Sunday, December 20, 2009

Birthday Boy

We celebrated Jack's 35th birthday last week with a fantastic Sponge Bob party. Our friends (The Claysons and the Winsors) came over for a pineapple-inspired dinner, and pineapple-upside-down birthday cake. We even had a pinata.
Happy "5th" Birthday Jack!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Five Weeks and Counting...

My friend Christena made me this shirt. I get funny comments whenever I wear it...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beautiful Baby

Our birth mom Melissa had a 3d ultrasound last week, and here are the photos.

Is this a beautiful baby, or what?

Her due date is just 9 weeks away, and we are so excited! We can't wait to welcome this baby into our family.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We went to Florida over the weekend. (about 3 hours from here) We went scuba diving on Saturday, and we spent most of our time dodging the jellyfish! I had heard about them before, but had never seen one. (the water in CA is too cold for jellyfish, but the water of the Gulf of Mexico is so warm that it is a perfect breeding ground for them!) They are beautiful to look at, but I was freaked out about getting stung.

I was so careful and dodged them sucessfully for the whole dive, but when we were coming up I wasn't looking, and one got me on the hand. Ouch! It left white bumps all over my hand, and it was red and itchy and tingly all over! Luckily, it only lasted about an hour, so it wasn't too bad.
The jellyfish are interesting because they seem to just float along in the current. I mean, they obviously don't have eyes to see where they are going, and they didn't try to get out of our way (like the fish do) they just float along till they bump into something. I was intrigued by them. Jack touched one with his finger (only the tentacles at the bottom will sting you) and he said it was really firm. (Like jello? I asked.) Firmer than jello, but still rubbery. That suprised me because they look so thin and transparent, like a piece of Saran Wrap floating in the water. Hm.

They told us that the boat we were on was in the movie Jaws. And why would they bring up such a thing while we're out in the water???? Yikes. We also went to the beach, where the water was a bright green (They do call it the Emerald coast) and the sand was pure white- like sugar. Again- a total change from the beaches I'm used to in California. (where the water is dark and the sand is brown) And the water was so warm, it was really nice!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Art Show

On Tuesday I put up my installation at the gallery in Georgia. It's called Current.

Jack and I recently moved to Alabama, and are experiencing the South for the first time. His job takes us to a new place every few years, which is always a wonderful learning experience. As we prepared to leave our last home in Utah, I was thinking a lot about the good times we had there, and the friends we had made. I considered the things they had taught me, and how they had influenced my life. I thought about how those people and those experiences have become a part of me. Now I take those things with me, wherever I go.

This piece, Current, is about the people and places that flow into our lives, and influence how we develop. I started with 135 pieces of fabric, identical in size and shape. I hand-dyed each piece, then stitched the pieces together to form something that would fill the gallery. You can walk into the piece, so it surrounds you.

I started with identical pieces of fabric because the individual pieces can be read as moments in time, or specific people and experiences that have left their mark. I applied the dye to the fabric in different ways, sometimes allowing the dye from one piece to seep onto the fabric of another piece. I also soaked some pieces in one vat of dye, and then moved it into another vat to see how the colors would blend and change one another.

When I first visited this gallery I noted the wonderful length of the space, and I could immediately envision a river running through the space. Not the curvaceous, looping rivers of Andy Goldsworthy, but the long, wide rivers that I’ve seen here in the South, since moving here. And the colors of jade and turquoise, those came from a recent trip that we took to the Caribbean, where I saw the most incredible colors of water!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Our new home

Well, I unpacked the final 3 boxes today... so it's official. We're moved in!

It's taken a few weeks to get the last little bit done, but we did it! Here are a few photos:

Below is a photo of the field behind our house-- it is surrounded by trees, and is crawling with Kudzu. (Google it, if you don't know what Kudzu is. It's crazy stuff!)

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Baby Room progress

Jack's mom has been sewing like mad! She has sent us several boxes of quilts and blankets that she has made from the fabric I picked out.
They are so cute!
And since we won't know the gender of the baby, she has made two sets- one for a boy, and one for a girl! Here are the two quilts, on the crib.

I have a lot to do to get the baby room ready, but I am holding off for a couple of months.
I have just 3 weeks to get ready for an art show in Georgia, and then 4 weeks after that to get ready for another art show in Georgia! When those are both done (mid-October), then I will devote all of my time to getting ready for this baby. I have a stack of books to read, diapers to buy, products to research, curtains to sew, lullabies to learn, safety products to install, and a house to baby-proof. Just thinking about it, I get so excited!
January just can't come soon enough...

Monday, August 3, 2009


On our drive to Alabama, we stopped in Memphis for a tour of Graceland. It was nothing like what I expected.
Apparently, rich famous people in Elvis' day didn't live in the 10,000 square foot mansions, like they do today.

I mean, Graceland seemed like a fairly normal-size house. And the decor, well, it's straight out of the 70's.

Every room was different. There was the jungle room, with thick green shag, and crazy decor. Can you tell it was decorated in the 70's? (I had to laugh because on the audio tour, they kept emphasizing that each room was "professionally decorated"... in case you were wondering)

My two favorite rooms were the living room, with a mirrored wall and sleek white furniture; and the TV room done in bright yellow and navy blue. They were a little more timeless, and almost 40 years later, they're still cool.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Caribbean Cruise

We just got back from our trip. We had a great time, but it’s always good to be home too. We had a little adventure getting there…

On Monday we flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where we would hop on the ship at 1:30. Well, when we were about to land the pilot announced that the airport was closed to bad weather. We circled the airport for about 30 minutes until they finally diverted us to Orlando. We frantically got out our cruise paperwork and read that the ship was leaving at 3:30. Panic! We landed in Orlando an hour later, refueled, and flew back... arriviving at 3:35. We ran from the plane, and bolted into the terminal where we finally found the agent from the cruise line. They were waiting for us, and 6 other people that were on our flight. Two women showed up just after us. The other 4 were no where to be seen.
The agent radioed the ship, and she told us we had about 5 minutes to get there. There was no time to wait for our baggage, we just ran for the bus. The agent said she’d try to get our bags and have them delivered to us when we were docked at Key West the following day.

So, we made it to the ship seconds before they shoved off, breathless and bag-less.
We were just so grateful to have made it! The lovely people in Guest Relations gave us a bag with toothbrushes, razors, deodorant, 2 t-shirts, and a couple of pairs of tighty-whitey underwear and old lady panties. (Ha!) Even if our bags didn’t make it, we figured we could buy a couple of swimsuits and we could make it through the week!

I sent a text to my sister about being luggage-less, and her response was “Did you learn nothing from your trip to Egypt?” Ha. We thought we were being so clever this trip, by packing our stuff, half and half, in each bag, so that if one was lost, we’d at least have some things. Of course, we could have never imagined this scenario… Lesson learned? No more checked bags. Only carry-ons.
But as we said, we were just so incredibly grateful that we had made it onto the ship.

The next day we docked at Key West, where we spent half a day roaming the island, riding bikes, and enjoying Key lime pie, and key limeade. It was very hot and humid there, but I bought a skirt, which was much cooler than the jeans I had on. And when we got back to the ship we had a wonderful surprise in our room- two suitcases!!! Happy. happy day! We immediately said a little prayer to thank God for helping us out. It’s a miracle that we made the ship, and it was a miracle that we got our bags!

The next day we docked at Cozumel, Mexico, where we did 2 dives. The water was a wonderful 87 degrees, and was clear and beautiful! We saw fish and sting rays and corals of every shape and color. It was really incredible.

The following day we were in Belize, where we also did 2 dives. The water was the most incredible colors I have ever seen…
In the shallow areas it was a pale jade color, and as clear as glass. As it got a little deeper, the water was a beautiful deep turquoise, which darkened to a rich cobalt blue as you got farther out. I was completely mesmerized by the glorious colors of the water! And when we started our dive, down about 80 feet, the show got even better. Beautiful corals and sponges in lime green, deep amethyst and pale lavender. Fish in bright yellow, black and white stripes, and lovely oranges.

Diving is a very surreal experience. You are literally swimming with the fishes. You feel part fish, part mermaid. It’s like floating weightless on some beautiful, strange new planet. It’s wonderful! Everyone should do it before they die.

Our last day was spent at sea, cruising back up through the Caribbean, to Florida.
We spent most of the day lounging by the pool, reading, and listening to a steel drum band play Bob Marley songs. Despite the rough start, it was pretty much a perfect vacation. I’ll be dreaming about those crystal clear turquoise waters for many days to come…

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baby News

Things fell through with the birth mom we had been matched with last month.
It was very sad news.

The great news is that another birth mom found our profile on LDS Family Services' website.
She wants to place her baby with us! We really feel that this is an answer to our prayers.
Her name is Melissa and she is a sweet, wonderful young woman. We are amazed by her good heart and complete selflessness. We feel so honored and privledged that she chose us. God sometimes works in strange and mysterious ways, and it is a miracle that he brought us together. The baby is due in January, and will be born in Utah. We could not be more thrilled!

Thank you to all of our friends and family for their love and support through this adoption process. We can't wait for this beautiful little baby to join our family!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama

After 5 days of driving, we finally arrived in Alabama. We've been unpacking like crazy, and are finally feeling settled! Our new house is great, and it is wonderful to have our stuff back after two months in storage. My Cuisinart! My good knives! My bed! My TiVo! It's been like Christmas every day as we open box after box, rediscovering things that we love.

We still have some stuff to organize, and the garage is full of empty boxes, but I think we are going to take the next couple of days "off" and try to explore the area, and do something fun. It has been an exhausting week!

It is incredibly green here, trees everywhere! And we've had really intense thunderstorms almost everyday. It will be hot and humid all day, and then late afternoon you'll hear the rumbles of thumber, then BAM! Torrential rain that will flood the patio in seconds. It's like rivers of water just pouring from the sky. I've never seen anything like it. I guess it's all that water that keeps everything green-- but it's also what makes it so incredibly HUMID!
In the West, it cools down when the sun goes down, but here- it stays hot all through the night. When you wake up in the morning, it looks nice and cool outside. But when you open the door, the heat and humidity hits you like a wave. It's unreal!

We're excited about learning more about this area, and making this our home for the next year!
It's always an adventure...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Last Weekend...

It's our last weekend in Utah, so we decided to drive up to Bear Lake for the day. We floated in the lake, and enjoyed some sun-- it was a wonderful and relaxing day! On our way out, we stopped at La Beau's for their famous Raspberry shakes. Nobody makes shakes as good as theirs. YUM.
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We leave for Alabama on Thursday. We're sad to leave, but we're very ready to move into our new house and get settled. Our stuff has been out there for 2 months, so we are ready to stop living out of a suitcase, and have all our own stuff!

It will take us 4 or 5 days to drive out there, so we'll be spending 4th of July with my grandma in Arkansas. She is very excited for our visit. She's been trying to talk us into a visit since she moved there from California several years ago. So, that will be fun.

Alabama, here we come....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Girls Camp (in the rain)

I just got back from Girls Camp. I was one of the leaders, and we camped at Camp Woodland, near Morgan. We had 30 teenage girls, and it rained all week! What an adventure.
Our 3 biggest tents leaked really bad the first night, so we frantically tried to move everyone’s stuff up to the lodge, without all the bedding getting too wet. Whew! It was quite a night! But we finally got everyone up there, and got their stuff dry by the fire. Then we read them some bedtime stories. That part was fun.

I was the camp cook, so I cooked all the meals. Luckily, all the girls liked the food, except one girl. She didn’t like anything! Everyday, when I was prepping the meal, she’d come over to me and say “I don’t really like chili” or “I don’t really like onions”, or “I don’t really like eggs”. On the last morning I was cooking hash browns and she came over to me as I was putting salt on them. She said “Um, I don’t really like salt”. I had to laugh! In fact, just thinkingabout it makes me laugh!

Camp was great, but I am exhausted. It was a lot of work! But it was fun to spend time with all the girls, and get to know them better. They really crack me up.

It's good to be home, and to be DRY.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla

I visited the beautiful La Jolla location of the Museum of Contemporaty Art, San Diego yesterday. The location is stunning! Overlooking the water, the views are just incredible.

I loved the installation pieces- especially the ones by Tara Donovan and Cornelia Parker, and Nancy Rubins. (see photos below)

Gluten-free bliss!

I found a pizzeria here in San Diego that has gluten-free pizza..... it's a dream come true!
(Anyone that has food allergies will understand this!) If you're in the area, check it out:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

California Dreamin'

I arrived in San Diego a few days ago, where Jack has been for two weeks. He's busy with his acquisitions class, which last a total of 4 weeks. Me, I'm basically on vacation, although it is kind of a lonely one, because his class and his studies take up most of his time.

But it's beautiful here--yesterday I went on a 2 1/2 hour walk around the Marina. Our hotel is close to everything, so I can walk everywhere. After my walk, I swam in the pool, then made some dinner before Jack got out of class. Today, I'm off to the gym, and to do some laundry.
It's been sunny, and in the 70s- perfect weather as far as I'm concerned!

On Sunday we went to church, then visited my cousins Kristy and Vance, and their two adorable girls. Next Sunday is Mother's Day, and my cousin Melinda invited us to their house for dinner. (they live about an hour from here) I'm always excited to see the family, and play with all the kids!

My parents, and my aunt and uncle, will be driving down and camping nearby, so it will be nice to hang out with them too. And one of these weekends before we leave, Jack and I are going to do a dive trip out to one of the Channel Islands... I can't wait! It's too bad that we couldn't bring our kayaks with us... our hotel is just steps away from the bay. Oh well. There are plenty of fun things to do around here!

Friday, May 1, 2009

bye-bye (snif) house

I drove away from our house today, for the last time. All the boxes are packed and loaded on the truck. I've been so sad the last few days, thinking of all the wonderful times we've had in this house. It's been 4 great years, and it's hard to leave. Bye-Bye Utah. Hello Alabama!

In a few weeks, we'll be Alabamians... (is that what they're called?)
Our next Air Force Assignment, a new place, a new ward... a chance to make new friends and experience a new place. It's always an adventure!
It's sad to leave old friends, but I have to admit, that I LOVE decorating a new house every 4 years! And we get to see all parts of the country, so that when Jack retires in just 9 years, we should know exactly where we want to settle, and build our dream house. (This also means that we'll get to settle in one place before our kids start high school, so we won't have to make them change schools-- that would be awful.)

So, I fly to San Diego tomorrow, to be with Jack. He's attending an acquisitions class, and I can't wait to spend a few weeks in CA, and to be with my honey. I can't wait for walks on the beach, visits with my cousins, and some really good Mexican food...
I heart California.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Today was my last day at IKEA.
It was a sad day, and I cried like a baby.

I won't miss my hour long commute, or the "mock turtleneck" t-shirt and ugly shoes....
but there are a lot of things I WILL miss.

I won't miss putting away racking, moving heavy furniture by myself, or going up and down ladders all day.
I WILL miss the smell of grapefruit at breaktime, "Fried Friday", and watching Noah eat entire bags of Doritos in one sitting.
I won't miss Commercial Team Meetings, or doing PEs, or getting up at 4:30am everyday.

I WILL miss good friends, and the fun we had while working our butts off.
We have laughed, and we have sometimes cried... but it's been great.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Envy

Last Saturday was beautiful and sunny, and we were anxious to spend our first "Spring" day outside! We were ready to take out our kayaks and head to the lake... but it turned out to be a very windy day, so we changed our plans. (It's not fun to paddle into the wind)
Instead, we bought some kites and headed to the park by our house. It was perfect kite weather...warm, but windy. It was a nice, relaxing Saturday, and we had a great time!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On the MOVE...

We found out a few weeks ago that Jack was selected for a special training, in residence. He is very excited about being selected! The school is in Montgomery, Alabama.
This means... we're moving! We'll be leaving Utah sometime in July. We have rented a house there, in Prattville, about 10 miles from Montgomery. We will be there 1 year

I have given my notice at work, and will be there through the end of March. I'm sad to leave-- I have really loved my time at IKEA.

In mid-April we will be headed to San Diego for about a month, where Jack will attend an aqusistions class, and I will enjoy some time with my family. I have cousins that live in San Diego, LA, and the OC. My parents will also drive down for a visit) It will be nice to spend time with them, and to enjoy the beach, before we move. We'll return home the end of May, and have about a month to get our house SOLD.

Luckily, the movers care of the hardest part- packing up all our stuff, and moving it out there. We just have to drive out in our cars.
It's another adventure, and we can't wait!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy New Year!

We had a quiet evening at home New Years. We watched the ball drop in NYC, drank sparkling cider, and marvelled at Dick Clark's ever-young appearance.
On New Years Day we watched the Rose Parade on TV, then went snow shoeing in Weber canyon. The fresh snow was beautiful, and we had a great time! (Jack of course, is a marathoner, so I had a hard time keeping up with him.)

So, itAdd Image's the 11th today, and we finally took down our Christmas tree last night. It was a few weeks later this year, but we're always a little sad when it comes down.

I already miss the twinkling lights. I love their cheerful greeting as I stumble out of bed and am getting ready for work when it's still pitch black outside.

It's this time of year, after all the fun of the holidays, that I start dreaming of some nice tropical beach somewhere. I need sunshine in my life. Maybe it's time to plan another scuba trip...