June 24, 2008

It's Still Romantic

Mark and I were chatting on-line today about an email I received that wasn't very nice. This is what he said to me: "If I were the ruler of the world and someone was a dick to you, I'd make it a capital offense." If you know Mark, you know how much he actually meant that and how absolutely romantic it was to me!

Slowly settling into our summer routine, which is do whatever you want all day long. We're heading out to the coast in a few days to get some much-needed family R&R. First to Olympia to visit my good friend Chery, and then on to the wilderness beach at La Push to give the kids their first taste of backpacking. So I'm off the blog for a while, but I hope to have some fabulous pictures to share when I return.

June 19, 2008


Here it is, the Evolution album I worked on in Ali Edward's class at CKU. It's all about the journey of Mark and I, from our humble beginnings to the present day. When all was said and done, I probably put in about 15 hours on this project and it was worth every minute. I absolutely love it. All the journaling is hidden behind those little pockets with the "W" on the front. I decided not to share it here; if you want to read it you'll have to come visit me! So enjoy, and if this post turns out wonky I apologize. Sometimes what I see on my design is not what I get on my final post.

June 17, 2008

An Intimate Conversation

Ben accompanied me on a little bra shopping expedition to Macy's this afternoon. After helping me make my choices, he sat patiently on a bench outside the dressing room waiting for me to try them on. When I came out again, this is the conversation we had.

Ben: Mama?

Me: Yes, Ben?

Ben: Mama, do you like these breasts?
(I look over and he's holding out a bra for me to see.)

Me: Yes, I do like those breasts.

Ben: Don't they feel soft?
(As he softly caresses the cups on a skin-toned bra.)

Me: I'm sure they do buddy.

The sales lady and I couldn't help but share a giggle. All I could think of was this: I sure hope he doesn't bring home a girl when he's sixteen and ask me the same question!

A Kamiak Collage

Had a lovely Father's Day hike on Kamiak Butte. The weather is finally splendid around here, so we took a little picnic lunch and headed straight for the top to eat. We climbed rocks and sunbathed and took in the glorious view of the magnificent Palouse. It's getting to be so much fun to hike with the kids, mainly because we don't have to carry them anymore, but also because they are so into exploring their world right now. It's a gift for Mark and I to look through their eyes at the wonders they see. And of course it's always fun to watch Mark climbing and carrying on in his own boyish way (yes that's him at the top of that tree). The kids are pretty sure he's the best Papa on earth!

On the way down, Ben and I split off from Claire and Mark and I enjoyed one of those moments of insignificant significance that occurs every once in a while. Two women passed us on their way up the mountain and commented on how much they liked all the animal footprints on Ben's shirt. It made him feel so good about himself that after they walked by he turned to me and said "I love you" and gave me a big hug. I love it when he has so much joy in his little body that he just has to let it out. Glad I was on the receiving end.

June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Kristi's Dad Brian.

Mark's Dad Ray.

Just a quick note to say thanks for bringing us into this world and being such great dads. We are blessed and grateful to have both of you in our lives. We hope you have a wonderful day!

The "father" of my children requested a family day of hiking at Kamiak Butte today, so that's what we're giving him. The weather is spectacular, school is out, the brownie campout is over, and we're ready to bust out. Looking forward to being behind my camera again.

June 12, 2008

A Small Sampling

On the first day of CKU, each student was assigned to a homeroom where she stayed all day while different instructors rotated through with a 30 minute project. Each project was a 6x6 double spread layout. At the end of the day, all of the layouts were compiled to make a complete album about our experiences at CKU. The amazing part was that each project reflected the instructor's personal style to a tee. Here are a few of my favorites.

Little Yellow Bicycle. This is a company I fell in love with at first sight and will be watching in days to come as they release their new products. Their instructors were fantastic and I also won an incredible goodie bag from them.

Tim Holtz. This page screams his name. Our grunge guy; lots of inks and stamps and paint and distressing. Love it.

Ali Edwards. The tags are sitting in tiny transparent photo sleeves that are stapled to the page and can be lifted to allow for hidden journaling. Ali is all about the words.

The sun is shining today after our freak snowstorm of two days ago. I am thankful for the warm forecast because tomorrow night is the campout for my brownie troop, right here in my yard. We'll be having a bonfire and singing and making s'mores, which would really suck in the rain.

Had lunch with my good friend Jill yesterday for some much-needed catching up. It's amazing how the hours always fly by when I'm deep in conversation with her. She's really one who can see into my soul.

Mark had a stress test yesterday as part of a baseline physical and found out that he has a heart defect that was probably the cause of the uncles on his grandmother's side dying so young of heart problems. He's in great shape however; the doctor said it was so nice to have a patient in such good physical health and all of his panels look great. We've reached that time in our lives where we have to really start monitoring our health and it's making me feel fairly old, but probably not as old as I'll feel another 20 years from now!

June 9, 2008

CKU and Me

I am home and can I just say "wow", those folks at CKU operate a well-oiled machine. If I had to sum up my experience in one word I would choose STIMULATING: the noise, the traffic, the heat, the crowds, the not looking up from projects for hours at a time, the constant crop chatter, the ecstasy of a constant Starbuck's caffeine buzz. I met amazing and creative people, some new to me and some who have been my favorites for a long time. The food was good, the hotel was scrumptious and the projects were out of this world. Mark picked up my lens yesterday and I hope to be photographing some of those amazing projects and posting them very soon.

This is me and Ali Edwards. She rocks. Her presence and style are inspiring to me, always have been. I created an heirloom album about Mark and I in her "Evolution" class.

This is me and Tim Holtz. He is one funny guy and amazing artist. I think I learned the most from him technique-wise and I love his "grunge" style.

This is me and Lisa Bearnson. She is the founding "mother" of Creating Keepsakes. She is poised and warm and friendly and I enjoyed the small amount of time I got to spend with her.

This is me and my table-mates, Kathy and Teresa, in the Evolution album track with Ali. Such a fun day with so much great energy. I love Ali Edwards even more having spent my whole Saturday with her. She's as real as it gets.

I missed my family though, and I learned that I really am a solitary scrapper. I didn't participate in any of the nightly crops or contests, and after my last class on Saturday I grabbed a subway sandwich and headed to my room for some peace and quiet. My parents went above and beyond the call of duty and gave me a free bed and let me borrow their cars and fed me great meals every night. A very big THANK YOU to them. I'm glad I had the experience, but I doubt I'll ever turn into one of those "groupie" women who go to every CKU. Definitely not my style!

June 3, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Heading to Spokane in 45 minutes to catch my flight south. I'm not a very good traveler; the long lines and the waiting, the fear of falling out of the sky. I am, however, looking forward to some serious warmth, Texas style, hanging out with my mom and dad and sister and brother, seafood and barbeque, and some much-needed creative time at CKU. I'll be meeting Ali Edwards, Tim Holtz, Lisa Bearnson, and a host of other talented and amazing people and I'm almost giddy with the possibilities. Can't wait to show you what I created when I get home.

Claire had a wonderful 9th birthday party last weekend. The sun shone all day and the squeals of happy girls was a welcome sound around our yard. They made a fort, ate junk food, traversed the rope bridge, slid down the zipline, played with the animals, rode to the mailbox in the back of the pickup, and ran amok until they were exhausted from all the joy. Ray and Marilyn made it up for part of the day and we all had a very nice visit before the party.

So long until next week. Maybe I'll suck a crawfish head for ya'll!