Thursday, October 28, 2010

These are a Few of my Favorite Things...

The Bible. I love it. My favorite book, since I was in my teens, is Genesis. It's message is that God is in control. God's word is my guide. My guide to life. And it makes me happy.

Sushi. My favorite sushi ever? Ichiban's in Reno. Spectacular.

Marshmallows are a perfect sweet for me. Soft, gentle, puffy and wonderful. not a fan of the toasted marshmallow, resulting in a smore...but I still make them when camping with my sister, cause it's a fun tradition.

Coffee. A no-brainer.

I love to sing. It's fun. It's never perfect, but it's me. My dad taught me to harmonize as a kid and we sang for the first time together in front of church when I was 9. I still have the picture of us together at Sandy Baptist Church in Utah. I was wearing a red velvet jacket. It was near Christmastime.

Cemeteries. Death and dying. Grief. It's my passion. I don't get it, really, but God does.

Disneyland. It's a giant production. It reminds me (on a much larger scale, obviously) off all the work that went into making Tom Festival...from the vendors, the advertising and the little "touches" that thrill people. Nothing more fun to me than putting on a huge production, and Disney does it beautifully. I get so inspired creatively when I'm there. I take pictures of the nooks and crannies and details of rides and characters. It's fascinating. All of it.

Worship...specifically music worship. I love singing to God and losing myself in the heaviness of His Spirit. Not many worship leaders can bring that to pass - I find myself craving it.

Autumn. No better season for me. Leaves changing color to the palette I most relate to...they die and limbs become bare and vulnerable to the wind and cold...The crisp weather appears and I get out my collection of scarves and knit hats. It's lovely and despairing and perfect.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Birthdays and Death...yep, here she goes...

My daddy turns 58 years old today. In his mind, he rounds it up and decides he's basically 60. 60 is his mind. Well, it freaks me out as my parents get older. Older means closer to death - and losing a parent is just wrong.

I did the math this morning and my dad was 45 when his dad passed away. 45. I am 36. I cannot even imagine to lose a parent in nine years. I don't want to lose a parent at all.

Granted, my grandfather had a ton of health problems, mostly heart related, and was also an alcoholic. And I'm not talking recovering...I'm talking Canadian Whiskey first thing in the morning and all day long. After his heart attack in the early eighties, he was told to stop drinking. Well, he kept his booze in the pump house out back and walked out there hourly to get a snort. I remember when he died, I leaned over to kiss him as he lay embalmed and dressed in a suit in the casket, and his lips were not moist with whiskey. It was odd.


So, back to losing a parent. My cousin Amber...(history: Amber is the daughter of Ken Shanafelt, who married my cousin Robin. Ken was killed from a stray bullet in 1997 while walking downtown with Robin. On the 12th of this month, Amber's mom, Lillian, died of cancer.)...she feels like an orphan. No parents living. She has Robin still, which I think is lovely, but nothing compares to having those people who bore you, cared for you and whom you called "mommy" and "daddy." I ache for her.

My childhood friend, Jennifer Butler Brown, lost her dad about 5 years ago to cancer. My close friend, Geoff Neill, just lost his dad to brain cancer. My cousins, Nick and Ryan lost their dad, my favorite uncle, Rorey, to Lymphoma. Kids shouldn't lose their parents. I don't care if I'm an adult. I'll never be ready.


Sunday, October 17, 2010


I am so freaking inspired to create lately. I'm in Vancouver this weekend, and all I can think about is the list of projects I have to complete when I get back home! Thought I'd list them. I need to make a list, and well, I haven't been too consistent on blogging this week, so here we go:

1. Camera Strap. Making this for Trish. She already knows about it. I found a tutorial on it and bought the fabric about 6 months ago with plans to make it for her birthday, but got's a pic of what it will look like, minus her cool fabric.

2. 8 x 8 gift album for my grandparents (mom's parents). I like to make them something with pics from the last year since I don't see them very often. They love it.

3. Virgin Mary costume for Flannery...In Awana this week, they have to dress as a Bible "superhero" and she chose Mary. She's seen The Nativity Story so many times and loves that Mary trusted and obeyed God. Chris and I went to the Salvation Army yesterday for their 50% off sale and I found a dress to alter, a long sleeved blue shirt for underneath and 2 light blue pillowcases that I'm going to cut, sew and make into a shawl and head scarf.

4. Pillows. Well, I have to stuff them and sew them shut. Flannery is a pillow maker. She finds discounted remnants at Joann's that remind her of people, cute it, sews it inside out and then has me finish them for gifts. She's so thoughtful.

5. I FINISHED my two 6 x 6 albums - one for my mom and one for Sue (mom's BFF from childhood) - and yes, they read this, but that's okay. It will still be fun for them! Includes pics like this one:

6. Last but not least...Mom's Calendar!!! I make her one every year and this years is completely laid out minus December. I'm planning on using pics from our Holiday vacation to Disneyland for that month. Here is a sneak peek from the Disneyland website:

We leave in a couple hours and I may just get started when we get home!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Beautiful Mess

I can't seem to add this to my blog as a widget, and I'm working on that, but in the meantime, if you want some creative inspiration from one of my faves...check this out!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Autumn Thoughts

We returned home Sunday night from a 3 day trip to Moses Lake & Coulee City to see my sister, Melissa and my mommy. On the way, we were blessed to stay with our dear friends, Bryan and Kissa Everett in their cabin in Packwood, WA. This is one of my favorite shots from our visit, taken by Flannery.

The leaves are beginning to change on the maple and birch trees scattered within the Douglass fir and pine. I love this time of year.

Today was the first day where I was chilled as I got the kids into the car at 7:40am. I had to put on a jacket. I love that! The sun is so bright I have to squint all the way to the elementary school and the heat is cranked in the car.

Sunday, as we approached home, We took a stop and a mini hike at Multnomah Falls to stretch our legs and let Cannon run around a bit. He found a huge leaf and carried it around. Maybe it's his brown eyes, but Cannon + Autumn leaves = bliss.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Feeling inspired to create...I love that.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I realize I just posted, but missing my sister brought to mind my favorite time of the year...well, it USED to be my favorite day of the year. Halloween with Kelly and Melissa.

Melissa would make TWO crockpots of chili. One would be mild and the other, spicier. She brewed hot apple cider, complete with clove and cinnamon sticks, on the stove. Her Autumn-scented candles were lit around the house, a fire was in the fireplace, the fire pit in the backyard was also aglow, encircled with camping chairs.

Everyone would scoop a bowl of chili, grab a slab of Marie Calendar's cornbread, slather it with honey butter and bundled in a sweatshirt or sometimes a throw from the couch, gather in the backyard. Kelly would stoke the fire, and we'd all take turns yelling at the kids to leave the fire alone.

The kids would eat quickly and then race inside to get their costumes on, while we lingered and soon would hear the begging to head out on our 2 hour neighborhood begging spree. We'd pour giant mugs of hot apple cider, tainted with the sweet taste of Spiced Rum.

Once home, we'd soothe our throats (a little raw from the constant, "did you say thank you?") with more apple cider, sit by the fire inside and check the kids candy. And by check, I mean, we'd eat the kids candy.

As Halloween approaches, I'm a little sad. But there are new traditions to be made and I am determined to make them as special as those we left behind.

I miss my sister!!!

I talked to my sister and Melissa today for over an hour. Kelly decided to send me a bunch of pictures from her phone to my email and now I feel like I've been there. I feel so empty without them near me. I miss them every day. For 3 years they were a daily part of my life...and's a phone call a couple times a week. It's so strange.

As you may know, my brother Jon moved with them and is working there and saving money to get his own place. He really couldn't stand to be so far away from Kelly. I guess if I was single, I might have done the same thing.

Here are some pics Kel sent me about an hour ago.

Jon having his morning coffee...


Birthday, our sweet Havamalt...