Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jurgens family pictures

I love this family (they are our neighbors and friends) and I had so much fun doing their pictures. We went to this fantastic abandoned house and it was a Location Extravaganza. Brick walls, old sheds and even a few friendly horses. The weather gave us a lucky break and we had a blast.

Look at those eyes! I could just squeeze him... but he wouldn't hold still long enough.

The baby boy is a precious red-headed doll.

The picture on the left is one of my all-time favorites, it just captures their personality so well. Thanks you guys!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Watermelon to go

This great idea came from my brother-in-law, of all places.

The dilema: 80% of a watermelon on the counter that's going to get yucky. If I put it in the fridge it will leak juice all over and I will be mad. If I put it in a bowl it will get mushy, no one will want to eat from a bowl of watermelon-muck and it will go bad. If I leave it on the counter, Bart will keep poking at it and I will put him in time-out until he's 12.

The solution: Cut into lots of bite-size cubes and store them in individual baggies. Put baggies in the fridge. Take out baggies when you want a quick snack. Send one to work with husband each day. Genius! Takes up less space, cuts down on waste, provides a healthy snack and almost eliminates sticky-juice-kid-face (Bart could get sticky-kid-face eating dry bread crust, so I say almost.) Thanks for the idea Braden!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Your mom has a blog

Actually, MY mom has a blog. Awesome, right? My dad got a big touring motorcycle last year (this is MidLife Crisis #4, after the horses, pilot's license and BMW). Now he and my mom spend every sunny weekend cruising the scenic byways of the western U.S. My sisters and I finally convinced them to keep a travel journal on a blog so we could see what they were up to. Mom promised to post on her blog if I designed them a special look. And here it is.

It took her a few hours to learn the ins and outs of blogging but she's already getting posts going and pictures uploaded. My dad is a computer genius and I'm pretty sure he'll have it all figured out by lunchtime. My parents are rad.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Running goals

It's strange how your goals can change over a year. Last fall I stopped running. My feet hurt, my knees hurt and it didn't matter how much I worked at it, I still felt exhausted and out of breath each time I ran. I hated it.

This spring I re-evaluated my quitter attitude. It had done me no good. In fact, I was 10 pounds heavier and annoyed with myself. When Joe started training for the Wasatch Back I decided to give the whole program another try.

This year I've started off much slower. I've stuck with the Couch to 5K program very strictly. I've done weeks over if I don't feel ready to move on. I've been running on our treadmill because it's easy to find time while the kids nap and I don't have to push them and their giant stroller around. I've cut down my speed so that I don't feel out-of-breath each time I run. And I can tell you - it really works! (Real runners are out there saying 'duh!')

I'm so glad I went to the Wasatch Back with Joe because it really made me see how fun running can be. I really want to do that race with him next year but I'm going to give it a couple months of training and see how I feel. So my official short-term goal is to do a run-through-the-lavender 5K at Young Living Farms in a few weeks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jue family pictures

I loved this family, they were lots of fun. The kids had already had a really long day but they were so patient and just did whatever I asked them to. In the midst of all the rain, rain and more rain, we miraculously got a few clear hours and were able to get some great pictures.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wasatch Back by numbers

188 - total miles run
12 - team members that relay the legs of the race
2 - vans, each with a non-runner driver (I was one of these)
4 - hours of sleep I got the night before we left
11 - minutes we had between when we arrived in Logan and when our first runner had to start running (stupid road construction)
5 - other rad people that shared a huge Suburban with us

3 - legs of the relay that Joe ran
13 - miles he ran total
24 - seconds I had Joe's iPod Shuffle in my hand before I totally lost it and he had to carry my larger Nano the entire weekend
211 - pictures I took during the race
3, 792 - teams that think fecal matter is a necessary ingredient for a great team name
117 - times I wondered what the heck our team name meant (Straight $hooters) and why we wore rainbow tie-dyed shirts to go along with it
1 - gigantic hill that Joe ran up
292 - feet of elevation gain of aforementioned big hill
1 - even bigger hill that Diana ran on her last leg (661 feet of elevation gain)
1 - even longer and BIGGER hill that Brian ran at 2:00 in the morning (884 brutal feet of elevation gain)
118 - times I was grateful for those rainbow tie-dyed shirts because we were easy to spot in a crowd of ten-thousand
11,001 - times we leap-frogged over our team members, started and stopped the van and rolled down windows to shout unintelligible things to cheer them on
12 - times we cheered and shouted at the wrong runner because they run in normal clothes, not those tie-dyed shirts
1 - mile of Diana's second leg that I ran along with her
5 - gallons of water that poured in the Suburban and onto Brian's lap when I parked too close to a sprinkler shower-head
2.5 - hours of sleep that we got on the lawn outside an elementary school, under a blanket that barely covered both of us
278 - times I wished I had the amazing running ability of Christina, Diana and Katherine
2 - regular meals we ate over the course of 28 hours (unless you count half a bagel and a breath mint, then we ate three meals)
94 - times I heard Brian say "I'm so embarrassed"
1 - cup of hot chocolate that saved my shivering life at the top of East Canyon Reservoir
83 - times I was glad I packed a Handy Little Bag of Everything (hair ties, nail file, Advil, eye-drops, sunblock stick...)
2 - hours spent showering, watching TV and taking naps at Christina's aunt's house before the end of the race
8,001 - times I thought Joe was a Total Racing Stud

4 - doses of Ammodium AD that Brian can (yet probably shouldn't) take in 2 hours
294 - minutes we spent trash-talking some team called Spit Happens (they started it)
1 - hapless male that unfortunately had Joe spit in his face as he tried to pass alongside (it was an accident!)
37 - times we hoped that guy actually was from Spit Happens
1 - Parking Lot Nazi that denied us entry into the lot adjacent to the finish line
0 - times we heeded his Threats and parked there anyway (under the guise of 'turning around')
412 - times the Parking Lot Nazis threatened to tow all the vans away for not having their Van2 decals in place
10 - minutes we had to stand in pouring rain waiting for our last team member to finish the course
1 - extra Wasatch Back Medal that was given to ME in addition to the rest of the team (apparently volunteers can't count and get rained on at the same time)

31 - place that our team took in the Coed Open division
299 - teams that came in after us (including Spit Happens who were 19 minutes behind)!

5 billion - gallons of water dumped on us in a crazy storm in Provo Canyon while driving home
0 - times the kids actually missed us because they had Ultimately Fun, Dinosaur Museum Visiting, Pudding Eating party with Grandpa
1 - iPod Shuffle miraculously discovered in the back of the Suburban when we got home from the race
3 - times I had to wake Joe up to try and get him actually in bed so he could sleep after we got home
infinite - times I will hope that we get to do this again next year... except I'm making a tentative promise to myself to be an actual runner instead of driver

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cheer for our team!

Today we're leaving for the Wasatch Back, a 170-mile Ragnar Relay race that goes from Logan to Park City Utah. The team is the Straight $hooters and they're team number 479.

Don't think that I'm running in this race. Maybe someday. Actually I'm just driving one of the support vehicles. But Joe is running and that makes him studly and awesome. If you happen to be in Park City, cheer for the Straight $hooters!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rob & Andrea

This shoot was so much fun! We tried out this awesome abandoned house location that I discovered a few months ago. It looks scary on the outside but it makes a great background. I am really happy with it.

And lets not forget Rob and Andrea. These are their engagement pictures and they are a really fun couple. They were totally willing to try any crazy ideas. The only hard part was that Rob is probably more than a foot taller than Andrea... always a challenge.

Beautiful, beautiful girl. Don't you love the random gust of wind? I wonder how I can work this out every time I do pictures...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cute cute girl

This is my niece... sort of. Her mom is Joe's cousin so however we are related - I call her my niece to simplify. Anyway, I did her family's pictures a few weeks ago and this is one picture that I loved so much, I had to post it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

House Elf Fashion

In the summer of 2007, I posted this on my family blog.

This stunning ensemble was put together by Lisa's grandpa. He called it her 18-second-swimming-suit. Apparently she visited their house in her Sunday dress and wanted to get in their pool even though she didn't bring a suit. So this is what she ended up with. Sadly, she's also been out in public dressed like this. She insisted on wearing it to the store on multiple occasions and I don't have the energy or willpower to argue with her over stuff like this. Who cares if people think that I routinely dress my children in household linens? They did it in the Sound of Music and everything thought Julie Andrews was a genius. Yes, we did get a lot of weird looks. That might have also been because she and Bart were playing a toy recorder as loudly as they could in the shopping cart. But if I can watch you stuff your screaming children full of grapes and bananas that I know you're not paying for, then you can listen to my house-elf band without complaint.

If J.K. Rowling had portrayed her house elves this cute, I bet S.P.E.W. wouldn't have any problem getting proper representation.
Since this post, Lisa's brief stint as a house elf has become famous. When groups of mothers discuss the appalling outfits their children put together, someone invariably asks "well have you let your child out wearing a pillowcase?" And not just any pillowcase. The uneven arm-holes. The ragged, tattered bottom. I'm sure this picture will be a favorite of mine for many, many years.

Fortunately, recent trends in handmade fashion have come to my rescue.

That's right, YOU TOO can dress your child in a pillowcase and still hold your head up high. An entire summer wardrobe of adorable, one-of-a-kind dresses is probably waiting for you in the linen closet right now. The downside is that it might take you longer than 18 seconds to make them.

For the entire tutorial, visit Susan Petersen's blog at Freshly Pickled. She also did a lovely article that was printed in the June issue of Simply Handmade, which you can download in its entirety on their website (only $5 per issue - how's that for savings?!) If you make one of these dresses, I want to see it!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Running update

Since I've been such a slacker with my blog, you may have decided that I've also been a running slacker. I'm proud to say that I've actually kept up with the Couch to 5K program! Week 5 is in the books and I'm still running 3 days a week.

Technically I did one week of the program over because I wasn't feeling very strong but it ended up being a good thing. Right now I can run the required distance each day without feeling out of breath and, best of all, with no knee braces! This is such a huge improvement from last summer. I think starting slow and not worrying about how fast I'm going has really taken less of a toll on my body. And this makes me not hate running! So far, so good and I'm still hoping to do a few 5Ks later in the summer.

Oh and a happy, happy side-note to the running thing is that I've lost 12 entire pounds and feel really really awesome about that. So, you know, yay!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Parade of Homes

I've been visiting the Utah Valley Home Show with my sister-in-law this week and have come away with several ideas/desires to put on my to-do list. Unfortunatly most of them require taking insane advantage of Joe's handy-man skills.

1. Get started on the under-the-stairs play house that I've been planning for the kids. I have a few great ideas for it now that I hope they enjoy.

2. Actually work on the tree house they've been begging for since we moved here

3. Install a sparkly tile floor, sink and chandelier in Minnie's bathroom. This idea probably won't happen because she has to share the bathroom with Little Man and I don't have the budget for sparkly tile. But I would sure like to. Did anyone else see that beautiful bathroom in the Hatfield home in Lindon? Wow. Minnie told me she was packing up her bedroom so we could move there.

4. Re-paint my bedroom since I ended up not liking the color I did last year. Shhhh, don't tell Joe. He worked so hard to get the corners edges nicely. The blue was just too saturated. I'll re-do it while he's gone with the Scouts one week and maybe surprise him.

4. Decide if I could do white wainscoting in a bedroom that has dark wood trim and doors. What are your thoughts?

5. Rip out the useless closet that clogs up my laundry area and make it into a functional mudroom.

6. Organize the toy room downstairs and paint it a fabulous and kid-approved color so they'll quit dragging their toys upstairs and leaving a huge mess.

7. Actually decide on a paint color for the kids rooms. They've both been asking for some color in there.

That's a pretty good list for right now. I wonder if I'll make any progress on it this summer...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Catching up

Whew! The last few weeks have been crazy. Between pictures and some design work I've totally neglected my poor blog.

But at least there's been some progress. Check out the blog design I did for a cool book-review website over at Bloggin' 'bout Books. I had a lot of fun with this one and really enjoyed stretching my Illustrator skills with the drawings.