SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{August 16, 2014}   Turning Over a New Leaf

I don’t remember it this way, but my Gram says I was a turd as a child. One of her favorite stories to tell is about asking me as a little monkey to dry dishes and I responded “I’d prefer not to.”

So I guess my monkeys come by it naturally.

I must have been 8 or 9 when Gram gave me the necklace.  It was a delicate little gold chain with 3 tiny leaves on it.  It wasn’t my birthday, or Christmas, or anything like that.  And Gram was never big on “just because” presents. That made it even more special.

My grandma said every time I turned over a new leaf, she’d add another to my necklace.

At the time, I didn’t understand what she meant. I just knew I’d never take that necklace off.

But I did.  The summer before 5th grade, my dad married Granny-at-the-farm.  (OK, I was a turd at that point, having a massive temper fit about the dress I had to wear.) She gave each bridesmaid a necklace, so I took off the leaf necklace.

And never saw it again.

As an adult, I get that Grandma meant changing habits and behaviors.  I’ve probably earned enough leaves now to weigh myself down. Good habits, bad habits, lots of changes.

One thing that has changed is my view of art.

My husband loves tattoos. He currently has 8. And he’s been obsessed for years with me getting one.

I can appreciate tattoos in terms of the art and creation. We watch a lot of the competition shows, and made a particular point to watch Tattoo Titans, where our friend Chris appeared. But 1) I’m a teacher and have to maintain a certain appearance; 2) I cannot think of one part of my body that won’t wrinkle, stretch, or sag; and 3) I have a distinct distaste for both needles and pain. In addition, I can be stubborn as an old mule when I choose to be.

But I can appreciate the art.

With everything that’s happened in the past 5 months, I’ve been through some changes. Major changes. And I’ve been rethinking some things. And I don’t know anymore which came first, the idea of the symbol or the desire to get a tattoo, because everyone thought I was too much of a wimp to get it. I remember the idea began to take shape in April, before my surgery was scheduled. It would be small, easy to conceal yet easy to display. It would be symbolic and not at all typical.

Between one thing and another, that idea moved to a back burner. I’m super cheap, but only wanted one artist for my first (probably only) tattoo. Money, scheduling, it just didn’t happen.

Earlier this week, Grizzly told me Chris Thomas (Golden Lotus in Little Rock) would be in Longview, TX this weekend for a convention. Appointment only, and he was totally booked except Friday night.

An hour away versus 3?


It’s bigger than I intended, but I trust Chris’s judgment implicitly. And it didn’t hurt like I thought it would. Of course, part of that was probably mental, the desire to be tough and prove people dead wrong. I made some crazy faces, I know, especially when he got close to my hipbone. Today I realize I was tensed up more than I realized – muscle soreness like crazy! But it’s so pretty, I can’t stop looking at it.

I didn’t get a tattoo just to get one, just because. This is totally symbolic of change for me, turning over a new leaf.

Have I totally changed my mind about tattoos? No. Will I get more tattoos? Probably not. Will I regret it years from now? I don’t think so. It makes me remember the worst period of my life and the changes I made to overcome and get through. It makes me think of my grandma and her pride when I turned over a new leaf as a kid. It’s a work of art and I love it.

What are your thoughts on tattoos?

~ Katie

Posted from WordPress for Android


That is very pretty, and I love the symbolism. I don’t have or want one, but I can admire some on others. I just wish everyone would think it through before they put something permanent on their skin, like you did. If it’s something done artistically instead of obviously amateur, and has symbolism to it….totally get it, even if I don’t want one for myself.

katiebman says:

Thanks :-). That’s kind of the way I always felt. I know too many people who get them just to get them. With something so permanent, I think it should have a lot of thought.

I don’t have any, but do appreciate them when they are beautiful. I wonder what is good tattoo manners when you see a beautiful one? Do you compliment , ask the story, ask to look closer or just ignore?

katiebman says:

I usually compliment and ask. I’ve never considered myself to be very mannered though 🙂

Georgina says:

I love the tale of your Grandmother giving you a leaf necklace and how it still resonates with you enough to get the tattoo. Found your blog on Reader (baby feeds in the wee hours) on the #crafting. Liking it!

katiebman says:

Thanks so much!!

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