Hope Always & Rise From the Ashes

Sperare semper. It’s Latin for “To hope always.” And it’s our family motto.

During the last 7 years, my husband and I have been through the roller coaster of emotions that is known as infertility and adoption. The highest, most sacred of highs and the lowest of soul crushing lows. Somehow we have managed to hang onto hope. To hope always.

"To hope always." This hangs on the largest wall in my family room. One day I will commission @saltybison to make it glorious for me. I cannot wait to attack her at #snapconf's #qbm. #latin #mantra
For awhile I had “sperare semper” in crooked individual letters on my wall in our family room. Such a great reminder, but such an ugly one.

I recently commissioned Salty Bison, a local artist to handcraft that vintage window frame with reclaimed wood and hand-paint our family motto for me. Ahhhhh. So much better. Hanging by itself it looked rather lonely, so I added those two other pieces.

Here’s the quirky thing about me though: Everything I hang on my walls or have decorate my home has to have sentimental value. I want my walls to speak to me, to remind me of the beauty of life, the adventures we’ve had, the memories we’ve created, the lessons we’ve learned. Everything in my home has a story. And oh how I love stories.

In fact, let me take you on a little tangent-story-time-ride for a moment. Bear with…

Last summer, my husband and I went on a random, spontaneous trip to Panama (of all places!) where we lived with the Kuna indigenous people for a few days on a little island (seriously less than 100 yards long) in the San Blas Islands in the middle of the Caribbean.

Slept in a palm hut with a sand floor last night as the waves lulled us to sleep. Didn't sleep much because I was sure I was going to be attacked by hermit crabs in the night and it was just too dang hot, but it is the most beautiful place I have ever bee
We slept in a grass hut on the beach. We ate whatever our hosts pulled out of the ocean. It was a perfect paradise.

On the door of our hut was a mola (reverse-applique needlework done by hand). Molas are traditionally worn by Kuna women and have their origin in tattoos. So rad. I fell in love with them.

During the rest of our trip, I was on the hunt for the perfect mola to bring home. I found one of a phoenix that stole my heart. The phoenix is a mythical Arabian bird who dies and then rises from its own ashes. Oh the symbolism! It’s perfect for infertility, contested adoption, failed adoption and reversed adoption survivors!

I feel like our family, in it’s lowest of lows, has risen from our own ashes and is happier than ever. Better than ever.

Naturally, I purchased that mola, nailed it on some weathered wood from my best friend’s garden and added it to our family motto artwork.

But something was missing. How do I tie these two symbolic art pieces together? Enter Poppy Seed Projects Chunky Wooden Ampersand. It was perfect. I mean, c’mon. What better to tie together two deep meanings for my family than an ampersand? I love it.

Now my wall reads, “Hope Always & Rise From the Ashes”.

Thank you, Poppyseed Projects!



This post was originally published on July 25th at Poppy Seed Projects. You can check it out here.



  1. says

    I love it!

    I went to Brasil on my mission and while we were in the middle of our infertility treatments a year and a half ago it dawned on me that the same word could be used to mean “I wait” or “I hope” and it gave a whole new level of hope to me. I love how you’ve made the hope in your family so visual.