datestampUSEFriday, October 31, 2008

My Spooky Crew

Well, maybe not so spooky, but definitely cuter than ever...


Happy Halloween 2008!


datestampUSEThursday, October 23, 2008

Day 30 : 30 Days of Balance

How very apropos that quite very near the finishing line of my 30 days of balance I begin to experience literal "technical difficulties" as I try to improve my blog. Is it just me living in my own crazy blogging world, or is that nearly the perfect metaphor for life? So with a bittersweet goodbye (a bit dramatic, I realize) I end my "30 days" exercise in balance. I admit, it didn't quite turn out exactly as I envisioned. There are always deep potholes of improvement that keep jarring and disrupting my life's ride. I'm afraid they might always be there. Perhaps changing, moving, deepening - but always ready to be filled and improved. I'm glad to have recorded a little bit of my every days as well as recognizing my own desires to elevate myself and my life and find a way to truly savor and enjoy each moment of the every days. I have always loved the quote by Emily Dickinson: "Time Flies on Wings of Lightning; We cannot call it back." I chose this picture because it is the beautiful fall view down my quaint little street. To me this picture is home...and what better way to end this little journey of mine than by going back to home.

datestampUSEWednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 29 ; 30 Days of Balance

Between my two budding pianists, our upcoming Concerto Federation, (a national music judging competition) the primary program, and the Christmas sheet music finding its way back is, and always does, play a major role in our everyday life. And let's not forget the iPod playlists, Radio Disney, the all ACDC, all the time Sirius channel (Max's favorite) that seem to be the soundtrack of our lives. What we would do without a little Mae Shi on the way to preschool, some Jason Mraz to spice up a workout, and a double forte Hayden piece to wake up Josie from a nap:)! What songs are on your current soundtrack?

datestampUSETuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 28: 30 Days of Balance

Off for a morning walk...need to squeeze in more of these; especially since it won't be but just a few weeks before outside is no longer an option and the treadmill has to become my friend.


datestampUSEMonday, October 20, 2008

Day 27 ; 30 Days of Balance

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How can I have any balance in my life without including just a little fun? Or even better...a lot of fun. I've been cracking myself up all morning with this. So without further ado and in honor of the release of High School Musical 3 (which we are not at all excited about), I present Troy and Kalli.


datestampUSESunday, October 19, 2008

Day 26: 30 Days of Balance

I have recently been inspired by a Salt Lake City icon, Pamela Atkinson. Her work on behalf of the homeless and other vulnerable groups are the stuff of local legend. She lives in my neighborhood and we've often had the opportunity to hear her speak. Her ideas and experience with helping the less fortunate members of the community are simple and yet very powerful. Following her advice and pleas for the needy, we have recently been gathering items in my home and shopping for supplies for donation to help set up refugee homes, aid lower income schools, and simply clean and feed individuals who have fallen into difficult circumstances. Couple this with the article I read in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning on the growing demand for more food in the food banks, and we have plenty of opportunities to step outside ourselves and give give give. I am constantly trying to find ways to incorporate an attitude of service into my life so it comes to me more naturally. Unfortunately, I tend to give my focus and attention to my own little brood - not always looking outside to see where help is needed. I am hoping to carry on a more selfless approach, not only through the holidays, but into next year as well...and the next and the next. Keep me on track, will you? Oh, and find a charity or food bank that needs your help and donate a little too.


p.s. I forgot to explain my photo. How perfect that we happen to have LOADS of travel size and hotel shampoos and soaps in all drawers of my bathroom? Pamela tells us they are perfect for many of the homeless who get a chance to clean up at a shelter, but don't have the room to pack around the full size. Bryce has been diligently stocking up.

datestampUSESaturday, October 18, 2008

Day 25: 30 Days of Balance

No picture for today. What happened occurred in my heart - a softening of sorts. And how do you photograph that?

I unexpectedly dropped in on an old friend and said some kind words. That's about it...but it was enough.


datestampUSEFriday, October 17, 2008

Day 24: 30 Days of Balance

Never underestimate the power of family. Bryce and the kids took away all my worries and duties for the day and made absolute sure that I had fabulous birthday. The kids fixed me breakfast in bed, we did a little shopping, Bryce and I went to dinner, then we went to Grammy and Paca's for Mini's cupcakes and presents. To top off the night, we had the inaugural viewing of Paca's new home theater. We watched the 1st two Stars Wars movies (not exactly my movie choice but I took it for the team :) Blessings galore, happiness abounds, life is good.


datestampUSEThursday, October 16, 2008

Day 23: 30 Days of Balance

Here's our latest kitchen experimentation. I took my pizza dough recipe and colored it green before I added the flour. Then instead of rolling it out into a crust, Max and I rolled them into "breadsticks" and stuck a slivered almond into the end. After they were done baking for about 20 minutes, they made the perfect Halloween side to go with our soup. We're not sure whether they look more like witch fingers or monster fingers, but either way they're spooky. (Oh, and Max and I had a perfectly wonderful time together preparing dinner.)


datestampUSEWednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 22: 30 Days of Balance

Exactly why I wish life would slow down a little...since when does she like to talk on the phone?


datestampUSETuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 21: 30 Days of Balance

My kids love art...especially creating it. I love it in nearly all forms. I have had a recent affinity for doodling (that kinda counts, right?) My kids are really digging this particular page of my doodles. Which really works for me, because they are totally my target demographic.


datestampUSEMonday, October 13, 2008

Day 20: 30 Days of Balance

Disclaimer: This could quite possibly be one of the lamest pictures ever to be posted on a blog. BUT!!! I had to include some element of organizing in my 30 days and this cabinet above my desk has been screaming for some attention for quite some time. Oh, the shower fresh feeling of a well organized space! Calgon take me away! Sometimes when the house gets horribly unruly I find myself drawn to a clean drawer, closet, (or cabinet in this case) to take a reassuring peek of order. I admit it, okay? I love to organize. There, now let the name calling begin...


datestampUSESunday, October 12, 2008

Day 19: 30 Days of Balance

Last night we had an adults only Halloween soup and pumpkin carving party. Here was our entry. We didn't win the prize, but we still thought he was pretty cute. One of my favorite ways to spend an evening is to spend it with good friends.


datestampUSESaturday, October 11, 2008

Day 18: 30 Days of Balance

I love being a mom. I truly, madly, honestly, deeply love being a mom. There is not enough space (nor enough time - never enough time!) to express the blessings, miracles, and joy I feel in being mother to my children. Having marvelous experiences like today at Ella's baptism, only capture and heighten the joy of the everydays. I am blessed.


(Click here for a few more baptism pictures...)

datestampUSEFriday, October 10, 2008

Day 17: 30 Days of Balance

Practice, practice, practice...."It's a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get." And what's a better place to practice my photography than a Halloween party for four year olds? These are just a couple of my favorite shots.


(Click on each image for a better peek...)

Ella's Big Day

Happy Birthday Ella Isabelle! Ella woke up to a birthday breakfast and opened her presents before school (as per her request). At school, she shared her birthday treat with her classmates and ran home straight after school to play with her birthday gifts and await her party. She has been waiting nearly 3 years (since Kalli had her 8th birthday party) to have her birthday "tea party" at the Lion House (Brigham Young's historic home near Temple Square). If you asked her, I'm pretty sure she would tell you it was well worth the wait. She and her friends dressed up and got to have a private tour, play some pioneer games, make old fashioned taffy, and of course eat their mini sandwiches and birthday cake. And the day wasn't over yet...we came home to her favorite dinner: waffles and eggs. Dad even whipped up some homemade ice cream to serve up with the waffles. I can't say enough how much we love this little girl. She gives our house an energy it would never have otherwise. She's enthusiastic, caring, loving, and bubbly. She is a little bee buzzing with zest for life. We love you Ella. Happy Happy Day!


Hello again

(To make your own iPhone message, go here.)

datestampUSEThursday, October 9, 2008

Day 16: 30 Days of Balance

How could an exercise in everyday balance be complete without the element of surprise? What a silly little rush it is to be sneaky for a good cause! I snuck over to Ella's school this afternoon to decorate her locker so she could have a little surprise waiting for her in the morning. If you know Ella at all, you know this little effort mine will pay off big time.


datestampUSEWednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 15: 30 Days of Balance

And speaking of design, how can I not get pure enjoyment out of decorating for my favorite month of the year?


In My Next Life...

or I guess I could also title it: "If I could do it all over again..." I would still marry Bryce. (That's comforting, isn't it H?) But what I'm really getting at is this: I would study interior design in college so I wouldn't have to claw and dig and torture my brain (and the internet) for inspiration for my home. I think I have been to a bazillion design blogs and sites looking for ideas to gussy up my family room (which still has only two pieces of furniture). And I have finally found the THE room. Isn't it gorge?

Now onto my space:
I have this couch:

And one cream leather barcelona swivel chair (and two window benches). I am hoping to finally start styling my room using this room above as inspiration. (I doubt I can find a Merimekko butterfly chair but I have to start somewhere, right?) I am just loving this very neutral pallate with the small splash of happy yellow. If it's a success, I'll post pictures. If not, I'll curl up into a ball of shame...and take pictures of that.


p.s. you can find the rest of this sneak peek home tour here

datestampUSETuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 14: 30 Days of Balance

Oh the beauty of tomatoes still on the vine in October! (I'm a Wyoming girl where there is usually snow on the ground by this time!) This will, however, be the last one enjoyed by us this season. This weekend is supposed to be the first big freeze. Thanks to my dear neighbor for planting this crop on a little strip of dirt right between our properties for us both to enjoy. Next year, I am hoping to try my hand at square foot gardening with a little help from my dad. More details on that later.

Now, I'm off to go back outside and enjoy this gorgeous fall day!


datestampUSEMonday, October 6, 2008

Day 13: 30 Days of Balance

tea party amr style...

I love a good cup of herbal tea. My current favorite is an orange spice from Trader Joe's. It's the perfect way to start off the morning after the girls have rushed out the door for school. It's such a part of the routine that when Max was younger he would come up to me and ask,"Time to tea?" Absolutely.


datestampUSESunday, October 5, 2008

Day 12: 30 Days of Balance

This is how I spent the majority of my weekend. My kids simply call it "church on t.v." and love having a family breakfast (poppy seed muffins and juice this time) and getting away with staying in their pj's all day. For me, it's a weekend full of replenishment and inspiration. In the self-improvement genre, it just doesn't get any better than 8 hours of this...


datestampUSESaturday, October 4, 2008

Days 11: 30 Days of Balance

This little one's upcoming special birthday has been keeping me busy...I don't believe my time could be spent any better. Being her mom is one of my greatest gifts.


datestampUSEFriday, October 3, 2008

Day 10: 30 Days of Balance

Wow! What an experience! Considering this was our first run at a boutique, and not having a lot of time to put it together (we decided to do it on Monday and held it on Friday) we had a marvelous time and I think everyone who stopped by was happy with the selection of unique goods we had. Most importantly, it was a fabulous opportunity for so many friends and neighbors to share their artistic talents with one another. I was so busy running around I didn't take very many pictures; but at least wanted to share a few.

1. The crowd gathered at Natalie's table to see her fabulous jewels.
2. Some of Jane's skirts
3. My Halloween necklace display

We're considering doing it again sometime in late November or early December for Christmas. The cleaning and prep nearly knocked me out, so I may be looking for someone else to have it at their house for this go around. (Any takers?:)

Thank you so much to everyone that participated. I am in awe of all of you and your talents. I'm so happy I'll be able to look back at my "30 Days" and remember this new experience...taking a little risk, doing a lot of work, and seeing it all pay off.


An Oldie but Goodie

found this picture on my friend Halli's blog and I just had to share. Can you guess who the hottie in the pink jumpsuit is?


datestampUSEThursday, October 2, 2008

Day 9 : 30 Days of Balance

I had to run back inside and grab my camera to get a shot of the gorgeous fall sky today. Please tell me someone somewhere is painting a mural and using this day and this sky as inspiration. How blessed we are to live on such a beautiful planet. In my efforts to achieve balance, serenity, or gratitude today or anyday, I just have to remind myself: "If in need of inspiration, look up."


datestampUSEWednesday, October 1, 2008

Day 8 : 30 Days of Balance

I'm somewhat of a control freak - shocking, I know. I have learned (most often the hard way) that it is not healthy for the mind, body, or spirit to crave so much control. So here we have my constant little companion who lovingly reminds me who actually is in control is certainly not me. It's all in good practice for letting go a little (and cleaning up a lot). I'm doing my best to make light of it - and in this case, hope it's a phase that will soon pass.