Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Have you ever eaten a Hershey's Kiss so fast that you ate part of the paper tag? That's not what I am blogging about, it's just what happened a second ago. Let's keep blaming hormones.

It has been a busy week since I last blogged. I am still trying to get on top of the mess that is my apartment right now, with little to no success. I have projects galore to finish and start. And at least one return to make at every store I shop at. I have been buying things that I already have, only to find the original the second I get home. Durr.

Some fun stuff I actually accomplished this past week was for my friend Heidi's baby shower.
I copied my friend Leigh by making a fun paper banner. I put Heidi's baby's name on it. Does anyone else love the paper section of Robert's Crafts as much as I do? I don't even scrapbook and yet I still have a healthy collection of the stuff. It turned out ok for my first attempt.

About a month back I purchased a bridal magazine on a whim. Don't worry, I'm not planning a second go around, no. I have always just really loved weddings. An article caught my eye as it showed the color combination I had been dreaming of for the nursery. Robin's egg blue, white and red. So cute. Anyhow- it also showed these amazing cupcakes that I instantly needed an excuse to make. Hey! How about Heidi's shower? Click on the picture to see them a bit better.

So I tried them for Heidi's shower. They turned out so-so. And at the end of the day, even though it is super cute, fondant really doesn't taste that great. I was going to take a better picture of the ones I made. All displayed on some pretty fabric or plate, but settled for the cooling racks next to my toaster oven. Crumbs and all. Here they are.

Another project that I did sort of for the shower and sort of just because (Actually, all of these fall in that category really.) was a Modge-Podged platter. I have a collection of children's books from the sixties and seventies that have the most amazing illustrations. I recently had some of my favorites color-copied to put into frames and stuff. I took one and put it on the back of a clear platter then painted around it. Not sure what else I can use it for besides baby showers, but oh well. I like it.

The best part of the shower by far, was getting to see friends from high school. It was almost like a mini-reunion for some of our favorite Timpview friends. Here is a shot of everyone that could come.
From left to right. Back Row: Shauna (Bihlmaier) Howell, Elizabeth (Brown) Phalp, Camille (Heckman) Davies, Carina (Hoskisson) Wytiaz, Shelly (Taylor) Gramajo, Heather (Ohman) Hyte. Front row: Brooke (Hatch) Berges & baby Sadie, Heidi (Sorenson) Deifel, and me. It was so much fun to see everyone again!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day Clayton and I have a grand tradition of saying we are not going to do anything for each other, then breaking our promises. He surprised me a few days early by picking up these prints for the baby. They are by his friend JJ. I saw one on his blog a while back that I adored. It's of these two robots in love on a moped in Paris. JJ didn't have it for sale on his site:

but Clayton asked him to make a print and now we have it for our baby's room.

Here it is sans frame.

And Clayton got one that he loved as well. It's called Ice Cream Social. Note all of the robot superheroes. JJ also has a whole series of ninguins that are pretty adorable. Oh- a ninguin is a ninja penguin of course.

So I got an amazingly thoughtful gift of super-cute prints, and Clayton gets... frames for them. Ya. I am a wild romantic. Poor guy. Is there such a thing as a romantic V-Day gift for guys? Madden? He already has it. Anyhow- we did even more for the "big" day. We flew to Chicago!
If any of you are keeping track of the creepy floating baby off to the right here, you may have noticed that I am a few weeks away from delivering. I got the wary ok from my doctor, but was too chicken to ask her for a formal letter saying I could fly. The good news is that Delta has no restrictions for flying. You can fly on your due date if you want to. The bad news is that Delta has no restrictions... so ya- we went. And it went fine. We had gone in October but wanted to go back for one reason. Clayton's all time favorite art piece (Picasso's The Old Guitarist) is at the Art Institute of Chicago. When we went in October the Impressionist wing was closed, so we couldn't see it. It opened back up in December. However, for a reason no one could explain fully to us, it isn't on display right now. Argh! Poor Clayton. We had a great time anyways, and really enjoyed the exhibit of photographer Yousef Karsh. You can check him out here:

Even without the Picasso, we had a wonderful time.

Here is Clayton in front of the Sears Tower on Adams street. He looks a little pained, but it really wasn't that cold. Of course I am a traveling E-Z Bake Oven, so maybe my opinion on temperatures doesn't count. Our hotel was right behind Clayton in this picture. Just between the Sears Tower and the museum, and a train ride from the airport. I love the convenience of not renting a car.
We had dinner at a great sushi restaurant called Oysy. Lest you think that I am breaking all of the pregnancy rules, rest assured that I only ate what I should. Also- sushi gets a bad rap. As long as you watch for the fish you shouldn't eat anyways, (ones with possibly high mercury) sushi is only as dangerous as a cold cut sandwich. (Did you know that you aren't supposed to eat cold cuts when you are pregnant either? Ya- lots of fun rules.)

Here is a picture of the rolls. The one on the right is a dragon. Cute food is always better.

This is an untitled piece by Picasso. Familiarly called the Chicago Picasso. Not the one we went for, but great none the less.

Here is a comparative shot of me from our trip in October at four months. John Singer Sargent is one of my favorites.

And in front of the same Sargent piece in February. Notice anything different?

Here is Clayton and a Rembrandt. One of his favorite artists.

And here we are outside. The weather was lovely, and we really enjoyed our LAST trip until the baby comes. I swear. Once she's here, who knows, but for now I am staying put.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


That's how little Allie pronounces it. Emphasis on the "lead". Which I think is a nice commentary on school spirit. Even if that isn't the point she is trying to make. Above is a shot of Allie in case you've forgotten who our family universe revolves around. Little Allie is two years old and her sister Megan is 17. Megan is a captain of her cheer leading squad at Lone Peak High School. Here she is after a recent game.

And with my mom.
Well, for Allie's birthday a few months back, I promised to make her a cheer outfit to match her sister's. When I was about four my mom made me an outfit to match my older sister Cassie's when she was a cheerleader. It always made me feel special. Wish I had that picture on my computer. I'll have to scan it sometime and post it. Allie loves to cheerLEAD. She has a special spot in her house where she does it. Right next to the stairs. She will make anyone else cheer with her (including her dad), and when they do she sits on the stairs. We think it's because they are just like the bleachers to her. Anyhow- I finally got around to making Allie's little costume and here are the results. In the third shot Megan's outfit is on the floor next to Allie so you can see how close I got. Not bad. She loves it and wears it around the house a lot. She also recently asked her mom if she had made Megan's. Too funny. I'll have to post shots of them together dressed up together later.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Four Tag

So Camille did this on her blog and I liked it. The idea is that you go to where you store your digital pictures, find your fourth folder and pick the fourth picture from it. Then describe what is happening in this picture. I cheated though. Our computer has a horrible filing system for photos, so they are actually in about seven different places. So I went to the two that I use the most and went from there.

My first thought- sweet, it's a good one. It could of been an unflattering one of me taking a bite of something. (I have a lot of those.) Of course, then I would have broken the tag rule and pretended it didn't happen. Ok, so I did sorta cheat. The first one was a shot of me and Clayton blinking, so I took the one right after it. I never said I played fair.

In the first picture Clayton and I are posing for some shots that my sister in law Jenni took when she first got her camera. We were in Hawaii and I had slicked back my newly cut bangs with tons of hairspray with so-so results. My hair was also extra yellow due to an unfortunate dye job (my work), but luckily you can't really tell in this shot. I also remember thinking that I looked huge in the white pants I was wearing. Now I can only dream about fitting into those stupid pants again. This is on the grounds of the resort Tom and Jenni were staying at. Ah memories.

My second attempt at getting a fourth picture came up with this. This is my nephew Grant. We are on a bus tour to the ruins at Tulum Mexico. This was when we were on the Disney cruise. Such a freaking fun time, and Grant was so fun to hang out with. It just goes to show how impossibly spoiled we have been that if I grab two random photos I get shots of two magical vacations we've been on. I've said it before, but we really don't deserve to have friends.

Now I am supposed to tag four friends... too hard. Instead I tag anyone that wants to play.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

When you have three days to play and free flights...

Well then, naturally you go somewhere far. Like Moscow, only we couldn't wrangle our visas (not the same as passports, not all countries require them) in time to go there, or for our next two picks: Rio or Dubai. We basically packed, flew to Atlanta and decided at the airport where we would go. We had two major requirements. First: It has to be in first class. (Because we can, and because at seven-plus months along, I need the space on a longer flight.) Second: We have to be able to get home by Tuesday night. That narrowed down our choices considerably. Paris was wide open, but we've been there twice already. Clayton suggested we fly there and take the train somewhere else in France. Like Rouen, where Monet painted his Cathedral series. Ok. A quick google search about what else there is to see there, and a stop at
to get a cheap hotel and we were off.

Rouen France!!!

We had an uneventful flight and even got our train tickets and what-not all sorted with ease. We arrived in Rouen and walked from the train to the Hotel Cardinal
which ended up being about thirty feet from the Cathedral. Amazing! The proprietor was so kind and helpful and the rooms were clean. A big deal for a two star hotel in Europe. Stars do NOT mean what they mean here in the states. We've stayed in three and four stars that were seriously not up to par, so we were pleasantly surprised. We got settled in our room and headed out to explore the town.

The view from our hotel window.

The cathedral was amazing.

We arrived there around one in the afternoon and throughout the day we got to see the cathedral in different lights. It really does glow pink in the setting sun, however I don't think I captured it with my little camera. Luckily Monet did an ok job of it.

The house where he lived and painted from is directly across from the cathedral. It is now a tourist information stop. He lived in apt.#35. Great views of the face of the church. This is the square with the cathedral on the left, his apartment on the right (where the white banner is) and our hotel is the red awning on the building in between.

The other claim to fame this city has is it's history with Joan of Arc. It is where she was burned at the stake for heresy. Poor thing. They have an interesting church there now with a brass tiled roof that is supposed to invoke the ocean. It had a bit of a hobbit feel to it.
The sign marks the very spot where she died.

The Seine runs through town as well, but the part near the cathedral is very industrial looking. Nothing like Paris and it's old stone bridges and walkways.
The city is riddled with old cathedrals. So many that about every other one was boarded up in disrepair. Not enough money to keep them all up. Like this one.
We enjoyed our evening crepes and a late-night dinner. Sadly we only had the one day there, but I highly recommend it as a day trip if you are ever in Paris. You can see a lot of the town in very little time.

The next morning we awoke early to make our way back to Paris and to the airport. We got to Paris fine, but accidentally got on the wrong train to head back to the airport. No problem. We'll just hop off and turn around, we had plenty of time so we weren't worried. Until...

The following is a bit long. If you don't feel like it- you can skip it all.

Clayton hops off and I am right behind him. Only the doors close right in front of me and I can't get off the train. It was just like in the movies. Separated. I look up in horror as Clayton mimes that he will stay right there. I will just go to the next stop, turn around and meet him back there. Ok. Still no worries. Of course, the next stop is ten minutes down the track. I know he wont know that and will be expecting me back much sooner. I eventually get back to that station, only I am let off on an entirely different track. It is a three floor station with four to eight tracks on each level. Yikes, remember, no cell service here, so no way to contact each other. I start looking for Clayton, up and down, back and forth, calling out his name like a moron. No Clayton. Twenty minutes pass, thirty... did I mention I am seven plus months pregnant? Walking is a lot slower than normal, I am dragging a suitcase, and my hormones aren't helping anything. I start crying. And my prayers to find him turn to prayers to just keep it freaking together. I couldn't stop crying. So I look like a true idiot. Giant, swollen, sobbing, lugging a bag in my long Mary Poppins coat that doesn't even button in front. I also had on a lime-green sweater, in case anyone didn't notice me. I quickly learned how to say "Are you ok?" in French as I heard it a few times. Each time I had to smile and pat the hand of the inquirer to ensure them that I was indeed ok, and not in labor. And I was ok really. We both had our wallets, train tickets, credit cards and free flights home whenever we needed. It wasn't so much a life or death situation, but it was enough in my hormonal state to make me feel like the heroine of a tragic novel.

Did I mention that this giant station did not have a bathroom? It's common in several areas of Europe. They figure that the next one has one, so no need to put one here. It does keep down on crime and stuff, but have you ever been seven months pregnant? I was also hungry (boohoo) but didn't want to stop and eat until I found my husband. There is also no paging system, information desk, help desk, nothing. A store that sells crystal baubles sure, but no- no bathroom.

Does anyone remember Elder Uchtdorf's talk from the Nov 2008 Conference? About his mother getting off the train to get food for her four kids, only to have the train gone when she gets back? During WW2, with her husband serving in the war. There is a real emergency. The talk is called The Infinite Power of Hope. I will email a copy to you if you want. Only it steals the thunder from my story. I didn't remember it at the time, I wish I had, I might have felt less pathetic.

Back to our saga.

I knew Clayton would be looking for me too, and realized that in a train-station this big, we could circle each other all day and never see one another. I had to debate the impossible notions of what he would normally do, and what he thinks I would do, and how that would change what he would do. Would he stay and look all day? Would he go on to the airport? Does he know that we even got a clear message to each other through the closed doors? It's like that scene in The Princess Bride where Vizzini and Westley have a battle of the wits. There is no right answer. One hour, two hours. I have been walking around forever, we have missed our chance to make our first flight and still no Clayton. From all of the flying and walking the days before, my feet are twice their normal size and my back is killing me. After nearly three hours and constant praying and searching, I finally decide to just head on to the airport without him. The second I make that decision I feel fine. Not relieved or happy, just a calm. Does anyone really doubt the power of prayer? You really shouldn't. So I get on the train, go back to the main hub where I can gladly pay to use the bathroom (yes they make you pay- could you imagine in the States? People would never put up with it.) get a chocolate croissant and a water at Paul's and get on the next train to the airport.

Once there, after checking at the desk to see if he has been there, I decide to plant myself down and wait in the one spot where he should go to check in for a flight. And I start crying all over again. Five minutes later he appears. I can't even explain how I felt to see him again. Great, I'm crying again. Sorry to be so dorky, but it has to be a glimpse of what seeing your loved ones again after you die feels like. He had gone to the airport an hour earlier and had been looking for me there ever since. We checked in for a later flight and made our way home. About six hours later than we planned, but together and happy.

And we went home in first class, in case anyone was feeling sorry for us, let me just pull that rug out from under you.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Eleanor Month by Month----Current Blog Below