Every day since then, I have written, drawn, or done a collage on one or more pages in the journal. I haven't been good about writing regularly in my boring wide rule composition style notebook, but this is a much more inviting way to go. Once I started working on the collage, I remembered where I'd stashed a pile of collage materials from the previous fall. I pulled those out and mixed them with the new items I'd cut out from magazines to use.
My sister has inspired me in many ways, often without knowing it. Though super-busy with two young children, she still seeks out well-written books and reads voraciously. She does things to keep her creative juices flowing beyond decorating (which she does very well). The other gift I'm excited about is a copy of one of her favorite books: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I haven't read anything by her, so I'm looking forward to it.
Though I work at a Montessori school, I've gotten to see first-hand how effective the methods and materials are when used in the home at my sister and brother-in-law's house. They were brave enough to do the full Montessori bedroom (no crib, mattress on the floor and a child safe room). They use many of the positive discipline techniques we do in the classroom.
Speaking of ways my sister has influenced me, she has living plants at her house. After years of not being able to keep a plant alive, I have several small plants that have made it past several months in our place. I've finally learned not to overwater them. I still need to get around to putting many of them in pots, but I'm grateful to have taken initial steps to get some greenery in here.