Thursday, September 3, 2009

Belated Back to School Post

I’m a bit late, but still want to share their cute pictures. It’s our tradition for them to hold up their fingers to show which grade they are starting. Julia and Anna are in year round school and actually started the last week in July. The first month has gone well, and they get to go off track for three weeks starting on Tuesday.

This is a big year for Jamie. She started seventh grade last week! I can’t even believe I’m old enough to have a daughter in junior high! Doesn’t she look really cute and grown-up?

I remember being so nervous to start seventh grade. Would I know people in my classes? Would I be able to find my classes? Would I remember my locker combination? Would the 9th graders pick on me? There was so much to worry about. I tried my best to prepare. I went back to school shopping at Fritzi’s and planned the first week’s outfits down to which earrings and socks I would wear each day. I got my new Trapper Keeper and Esprit bag. But even though I felt ready I was terrified!

I didn’t want to scare Jamie so I didn’t tell her any of this, but it didn’t matter anyway. She didn’t seem nervous at all. She was just really excited, and so far it’s been great!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back From Hiatus and Sunflowers

So a few months ago I decided to take a break from blogging. There were some good reasons I decided to lay low for a little while (which I’m still not quite ready to talk about here) but the past few days I’ve been just itching to get back to my blog. Hopefully I can make up for my sporadic posting habits with some cool (and consistent) posts. After all, it is the first of the month. It's a great time to start something new - right?

I actually love the month of September….back to school, farmer’s markets, cooler weather, football season, new TV shows, Stampin’ Up! Regionals, and one of the things I love most about this time of year … sunflowers! They are so bright and cheery and just make me happy!

We have a big field at the side of out house where tons of sunflowers grow. My girls are so tired of me saying every time we drive by, "Look at the pretty sunflowers!" I even made them go for a walk to cut a bunch of stems to put in a jar for our house. Here’s a picture from our walk. How can any one think of these as pesky weeds?!Well a couple of days ago when I drove home from work, and just look at what my sunflower field looked like:
They must be getting ready to build something because it’s just a huge pile of boring dirt – I’m so sad and sincerely getting a little bit teary as I type this. Maybe they'll build somthing really cool like a Krispy Kreme, that might make it a little bit better.

To fill my sunflower void, I attempted to make one out of paper. I wanted it to look realistic - the hardest part was trying to get the center to have that velvety texture of the real blossoms. I think it turned out alright. It wasn't even that hard to make. I used the Scallop Circle Die - let me know if you'd be interested in directions.

Happy September Everyone!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Memories, and a fab weekend!

Wow, I have alot to blog about today!

First of all, you know how some people have "Flashback Friday?" Well, today I decided to have a "Memory Monday." But, before I share my memory, I have to tell you what inspired it. Jake and I had the best date this weekend. We don't go out very often, so when we do, we do it big!

Jake arranged to have his Mom take the kids (and dog) so we could stay downtown overnight. (Thanks Grandma Charlene and Grandpa Joe!) We checked in at the Marriott, then rode trax up to see the last University Of Utah home game of the season. It was a fabulous game - they easily beat TCU (by 19 points!) Go Utes! We'll definitley be cheering for them in the conference tournament this weekend.

After the game we, went to see our most favorite band ever, The Young Dubliners. We first saw them open for Jethro Tull like 10 years ago, and we've been total groupies ever since. They come to town about twice a year, and we never miss them. (Well Jake never misses them - sometimes I'm traveling and can't be there.) We even drove to Vegas last year to see them. They play really fun, rockin' Irish Music and are so fun to see live - it's impossible to watch them without jumping up and down and dancing your guts out. They were awesome as usual, but the real point of this story is the Scottish band that opened for them. If you know me at all, you know I Love anything Scottish.

This is the band. They are local, they are called Swagger, they all wear Kilts, and they had a Piper to bring them on stage!!! They were amazing!!!! I can't wait to see them again.

So now for the memory.....I used to play the bagpipes. I started because my boyfriend at the time wanted to join the bagpipe band, and I pretty much just followed him onto the band. (But, I must say, I turned out to be a much better piper than he ever was and I stuck with it long after he quit.) Anyway, I played through all four years of college. I marched in lots of parades, played at funerals, graduations and lots of other ceremonies, I even competed at several Scottish Festivals. I gave it up when I graduated and had to give back my pipes. Sometimes I really miss it. This is me (right in the front) in action:

And now back to the date. (I have to bring it full circle, so I don't leave everyone thinking about old boyfriends - yuk!) Jake and I slept in, and then he took me to Market Street Grill for brunch. It's my favorite place for Sunday Brunch - I'm drooling a little bit just thinking about the orange rolls.

The only picture I got of the two of us was this one on trax in our Utah red:

Thanks Jake for the awesome date!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My New Obsession

These books are one of the reasons that I haven’t posted much lately. I can’t stop reading them!

I’m totally embarrassed to admit that I watched the HBO series "True Blood." I know … try not to judge me too harshly…I promise I covered my eyes during the naughty parts!

The story really was awesome - mystery, vampires, romance, all the good stuff! After the first season ended, I started reading the books (which are must less graphic than the HBO series). I just finished the seventh, and ordered the eighth book in the series. I can’t wait for it to get here! They’re like a "grown-up" version of Twilight. I highly recommend them, and want all of my friends to read them so I can talk about the story and characters with someone. Has anyone else read them? The author is Charlaine Harris. She really has created an amazing world that seems so realistic, and characters that you can’t help but care about, and want to learn more about.
Let me know if there are any other fans out there.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spread The Sunshine

I've seen this contest on a few blogs, and since I'll do pretty much anything to win a prize, I decided to play too!

The way it works is that the first five people who respond to this post, will recieve a handmade surprize from me! The catch is that you have to pay it forward, post this on your blog, and send out five handmade surprizes of your own. What a fun way to spread some Springtime cheer!

Here are the official instructions:

"The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! Made with tons of love just for you! It might be a fun sewing project, a sweet letter to you from me, or some yummy goodies, you might be surprised what you get! Give it a try! The catch? You must re -post this on your blog and the first 5 people to leave a comment, will win a lovely little treat from you! Have Fun!"

Alright, this lack of blogging has got to stop!

Seriously, I loved my trip to Australia, but I'm getting pretty tired of looking at this post! I guess I got busy with the holidays and then all the sudden it had been so long since I posted, that I felt like I needed something huge and momentous to end the streak, and I just don't live the kind of life when huge and momentous things happen very often.

So, even though I don't have anything exciting to tell you, I just want to say "I'm back and excited about blogging again!!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back from the "Land Down Under"

I just returned from an awesome trip to Australia! I went to do some training events for work, and had amazing time. A few friends have asked for an update, so this is going to be a long post with lots photos, but you asked for it!
Places - I thought I'd post a map to give everyone an idea of where we went. We started in Melbourne (southern coast of Victoria.) We were there for 2 nights. It was an amazing city...big, busy, very cosmopolitan, and the fashion capital of Australia. From there we flew to Hobart (southern Tazmania.) It was a big contrast from Melbourne because it was smaller and more layed back, but it had lots of history and character and charm, in fact I think it might have been my favorite city. After two nights there, we flew to Cairns (northeast coast of Queensland.) It was very tropical and warm, but also very touristy, crowded, and commercial. (It's the best place to stay to see the Great Barrier Reef and Australian rain forests so lots of people vacation there.) We also stayed there for two nights. Finally we flew to Adelaide (South Australia.) It seemed more like "real" Australia - layed back and not as much tourism. We were there for three nights.

People: I traveled with really fun people. This picture was taken on our last night there. Lori is next to me - she is on my team at work and was great to travel with. Aaron is next in the photo. He is the general manager of Stampin' Up! Australia/New Zealand. He's from Sydney and met up with us in Melbourne. It was very nice to have someone with us that new the country and culture. He was a wonderful host. The last person in the photo is Holly. She was just barely hired as a trainer in Australia and flew to Adelaide to see our last event.

I also got to meet some wonderful Stampin' Up! demonstrators, and see some friends that I met on my last trip. These are the demonstrator presenters from Adelaide.

These are the presenters from Hobart.

Presenters from Cairns.

And the presenters from Melbourne.

Shopping (and other activites):Other than work, the thing we did most while we were there is shop! I think we found the markets and malls in every city. I didn't really buy anything too spactacular - just some souvenirs, tons of candy and treats, and some rugby and AFL jerseys for Jake.

The shopping center in Melbourne had these amazing Christmas windows - they stretched on for like a whole street block. There was so much detail and movement - I loved them!

More Christmas windows - I wish you could read all the conversation bubbles - the elves are saying really cute things. If you click on the pictures, they should get bigger.

When we were in Melbourne, all the girls were wearing these fabulous frou-frou feathery clips in their hair. Really, it wasn't like one or two girls - it was ALL the girls. Of course I loved them, and made it my mission to find a feathery clip to buy. The big fancy ones are actually pretty expensive, but I kept looking.....

I finally found a scaled down frou-frou feathery clip that was perfect for me! It's not as big as most of the ones I saw, but that's okay because I won't feel as wierd when I wear it. I might try to make some of the bigger ones, because I really do like them!

When we weren't shopping, we spent a little bit of time at the beach. This is the northern beach in Cairns. The water was so warm, but there are a lot of Marine Stingers so you can't go swimming. (Not that I was about to put on a suit and go swimming anyway.)

This is the southern beach in Adelaide. There were lots of surfers and swimmers here. I spent my time looking for pretty shells and rocks to bring home. I found some really cool ones too! The girls loved them.

Food: We had some awesome food. I especially loved all the big breakfasts - they have the best bacon there (or maybe it's just us that have crappy bacon here.) I also tried Kangaroo meat which was really yummy. Here are some other food highlights:
We went to a Sushi Train restaurant in Melbourne. It's so much fun to see all the pretty rolls and sashimi pass by and be able to pick your plates as you go.

I tried gulf coast bugs for the first time. I wasn't quite sure what to think when I first saw this plate, but they were delicious! Even better than lobster.

Aaron insisted that we try a traditional "Aussie Burger" while we were there. Here's the description from the menu....bacon, beetroot, and fried egg....I was very skeptical.
Here is the actual burger - it was huge and hard to eat - but hands down the best burger I've ever had!

The only downside of the food there is the Diet Coke. When you order one it usually comes in a tiny glass bottle, and it just doesn't taste the same. They must use a different sweetener or something. I was really missing fountain diet coke, and was so excited to find a McDonalds. I ordered a large, and took it outside only to find out that they don't put ice in it. Boooooo! The first thing I did when we got off the plane in LA is go to McDonalds to order a real Diet Coke!

Animals: Another very unique part of Australia is the animals so I thought they deserved a special section of this post:

Everywhere we went there were lots of birds. I could hear them singing every morning, and every time I looked out my window, I was surprised to see that they weren't our brown and black boring birds - they were bright colored parrots and types of birds you buy at a pet store. It was hard to get a photo, but you can kind of see the parrot in this tree.

We also saw lots of unique animal signs (like wombat and kangaroo crossings) and crocodile warnings like this.

In Tasmania we stopped on a bridge to take a photo and when we looked over the edge of the bridge there were tons of starfish.They were so colorful. They're called "Biscuit Stars" which is appropriate because they are kind of fat and biscuit-ish.

On our free day in Adelaide, we went to an animal park, and had a great time. The kangaroos were so much fun to play with! They have a lot of personality, and are very friendly.

Emus weren't quite as friendly (in fact, I was a bit scared, but I was brave and fed them.)

We didn't get to see a platypus, but we did see an echidna. which is kind of like a platypus because it's a mammal that hatches from an egg. They kind of look like a porcupine with a beak - I thought they were really cute!

And of course I loved the Koalas! They are so soft and cuddly!

I have lots more photos, but that's probably enough for now. I am so lucky to have such an awesome job with opportunities like this!