Thursday, December 30, 2010

Leaf Reviewed

Yep I actually finished another book! Computer died completely which left me some spare time. Imagine what I could do if I never got on the computer again. But all my friends are on the computer so that would be sad.

On to the book. The Boy Who Would Be a Fire Truck - True-Life Tales From a Working Class Writer by Marty Wombacher. I met Marty online on a website we both frequent. Shortly after I started to read his daily blog, A guy walks into 365 bars, (which is almost finished) his friend Gidget put up a chapter of the book on her blog. Its amazing this circle of interwebs.

I'll admit that one of the things I loved about his description of the start of summer in the 60's was that it reminded me a lot of the movie A Walk on the Moon, which is one of my all time favorites. I loved the chapter and really wanted to read the whole book. And six months later, I now have.

At four years old Marty told his mom he wanted to be a fire truck when he grew up. She told him that people don't grow up to be fire trucks, they grow up to be adults. Marty didn't like the idea of that and decided that he in no way needed to grow up to be an adult. The book is a series of essays from Marty's life. As an online review said "Wombacher's life is unique in the fact that he's had small doses of fame, but he is not famous." Reading the book I actually felt like, wow I've never really had anything exciting happen to me. Not in a dis on my life kinda way, but lets just say Marty and I have had very different lives. And yet there were still things that made me stop and re-read them because they struck a chord with me.

After flying to NY to be interviewed by Jane Pauley on The Today Show he said "That was my first time in New York and while we didn't have time to do much sightseeing, I remember feeling like I fit in. Something I never really felt in Peoria." I could have written that same line after my trip to London. Felt exactly the same way just walking around the city, like I fit in in a way I never had felt before. Sometimes life is less about what's different between us, and more about those things that bond us together into little groups.

The book has great stories of living in New York, being a writer, the jobs that paid the bills while being a writer, and a very real bond between a brother who passed away. In the end the book made me smile, and I can't think of a better thing to say about it. Marty, if I ever get back to NY (which is a possibility since I DO have family in Brooklyn), I'll meet you at the Stoned Crow with my copy of the book to be signed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Foto Friday

This month has been a hard one. I seem to be surrounded by people suffering and dealing with loss. I can't say I'm really in the Christmas spirit this year. Not having Will here tonight doesn't help with that. Another loss today and my heart feels more sorrow than joy. But it does make you appreciate what you have. What you love. And I guess maybe that is part of the spirit. So tonight I wish that you all are surrounded by those you love. And if you can't be surrounded, I hope they are in your heart and that you are able to feel their love. Merry Christmas. To my little army bug and all of you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

No Foto Friday

My home computer is dead. And I woke up with a case of the I don't cares. So we will return to regular programming next week. Hopefully.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Foto Friday

Thanks to my little foot incident, I have become my parents.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wrap up love in a hug

Things happen in life that just don't make sense. Life seems unfair. Cruel. And there just isn't an answer for why or how. Yet times like that make you cling to things that you do understand. Things that bring you comfort and peace. And maybe that is the beauty that can be found in those moments.

A co-workers wife was killed in a car accident yesterday. They have two kids. We weren't especially close but from those who were I've heard stories about how their marriage was the kind of thing that you wish for. They adored each other and were each others life. Its just a horribly sad and tragic situation.

And there isn't anything that you can really do to make it better. It makes me wish that I was closer to him. That I could just show up on his doorstep and offer to help. As much as I have issues with the LDS church, they do know how to step in during a time of need. I know he will have physical help. And the only thing I can really do is continue to be his friend and have a willing ear if needed.

So instead you start to think of your life. I think its natural to turn it inward. And it makes you appreciate the things you do have, just a little bit more. And maybe makes you want to make sure you don't take them for granted.

Feeling love is something that has never been hard for me. The word doesn't scare me in the least. I believe fully in the Four Loves and that it is something you can feel for everyone. And although its very easy for me to feel, its not always as easy to say. So I want to make sure those in my life know how much I love them. All of them. All of you. Whether its my beautiful son or supportive family. My co-workers who get me through the day. My friends that are there when I need to vent or the friends that are there just to share a common bond.

Being able to feel love and share love is what helps fill up your emotional bank to help get you through those times when the world just doesn't seem to make sense. When you don't know what else to feel, you can feel love. And I just wish I could wrap you all up in a giant hug of love.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Foto Friday +1

So last night I was at my parents and I left my camera there, hence the lateness. The camera was left in the craziness of Ordervillites arrival. Today and tomorrow are the concerts of the choir my mom and I sing in. And my aunt, and other aunt, and cousin, and other cousin, and another cousin. (and if you think that's a lot, two sisters and two other cousins have sung in it) So they made the trek for the concert. The love sponge is in the house which means lots of this

And this

tons of this

and much craziness

Not much of this

Because the flash scared him and he ran off. Very sensitive soul.

And ending with some of this

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leaf Reviewed

Book Review: Ranger Confidential ~ Andrea Lankford: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks

What? A book review? Am I on Britta's page? I know. One benefit to not having a working computer for a few days was that I finally finished a book. That I have been reading for three months. I'm slow.

Keeley and Will gave me this book on my birthday and I have to say it is in my all time top 5 books. LOVED IT!

I have a fascination and love for the outdoors. In college for a time I thought I would become a Forest Ranger. I didn't end up going down that path and there is part of me that has always kept that dream in my heart. This book did something I didn't expect. It made me glad that I didn't end up in that profession. But it did recharge a desire to visit every national park in the U.S. I have been to one. I have some work to do.

This book is a very in depth look into what its really like to be a Park Ranger. The author was a full-time ranger for 12 years and at the end of that 12 years and the death of a close friend, she threw her uniform in a dumpster.

She talks about how rangers go into their job wanting to protect nature and in the end their job is to protect people from themselves. You read stories about how criminals go on vacation too. And how prevalent death is within the largest parks. People come to Nation Parks specifically to kill themselves. And the rangers are the people who deal with that. Rangers perform life threatening rescue attempts all the time. Sometimes lives are saved and sometimes they put their live on the line just to give a family a body.

Its a very hard, thank less job. And yet they live in the most breathtaking places on earth. And that is their reward. This book definitely increased my appreciation for rangers and love for the parks they protect. The book is filled with adventure, love, regret and heartbreaking sorrow.

Its definitely a tribute to her love for the parks and those she worked with. It is also a candid look at how the job wears a person down. The book makes me want to just personally thank those who put in all the hard work so that we can have these places preserved and we can enjoy them and all that they have to offer us.

1 park down ~ many more to go...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Foto Friday

Few things. This is a typical day at our house. Will looking at star wars legos on his personal laptop while watching dinosaurs on tv. Could he be more of a nerd in training?

How about asking me to take pictures of him and the lego army guys while he poses like an army guy.

Will: I really want a puppy for Christmas
Me: I'm sorry but we can't have puppies at our apartment
Will: Then maybe we can get a new house for Christmas!
Me: Good luck with that

Tonight was the Provo City Christmas Parade which is ran by my department at work. I've never actually been to the parade because it is usually the first Saturday of December which also happens to be the concert for the choir I sing in. This year they decided to do a night parade with lights and it got moved to black friday. It was cold! My sister Maiken and the kids watched and got a few pics while I walked in the parade. Good times.

Before the parade they had a Santa 5K Run. Every participant receives a Santa outfit and they get milk and cookies along the route. Wish we would have gotten some pictures with a large crowd, but it was awesome to see a hundred people all dressed like Santa running down the street. (can click the pic to see bigger)

Our entry. Zippy (0ur mascot), reindeer, elves and one of the mowers decorated in lights.

It's officially the Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It really sucks when you have something that you are really excited about, and want to write about when that excitement is still fresh. And then your computer crashes that night. Sucks. Luckily I have a great dad who was able to come save me from my own computer stupidity and get me back up and working. Thanks again dad!

So. Back to Saturday. One of my favorite websites for years now has been Remember I mentioned just last week? Well I have met a lot of friends through the community of followers, including Marty. Hi Marty. And through Marty met Gidget and through Gidget have met lots of cool people. And met a very close friend Ashley through the site and on and on.

There is a group of local followers who have met a couple of times and its been really fun getting to know them. We had a met up planned for Saturday and again my sister Maiken graciously watched Will so I could go hang out for a few hours. One of the new people to the meet ups said we needed to make sure to invite Heather (dooce) and her husband Jon. After several comments about it I had to comment that I didn't really think there was any way Heather would ever come. She hadn't ever made a comment about our previous meet ups and from comments she had made on her blog, I just didn't think it would be the kind of thing she would do.

So there we are Saturday night at a local brewery and just after ordering we are going around with more formal introductions. We are almost done when the girl next to me interrupts with a "oh my god." For some reason my first thought was that I was going to turn and see a bar fight. Instead we all turn to see Heather and Jon walking towards our table. You guys I don't know how to explain that feeling. Now I realize only about 3 people have a chance of understanding, but I was meeting a person that I really admire. Someone who's blog I have read for 6+ years. Someone that I consider a celebrity. And she was walking towards our table! To have dinner with us!!

It was awesome. Amazing. They were so friendly and open to hanging out with us, and it was just a great night. We talked about parenting, relationships, depression, the site, and a little nerd talk for the two guys at our table. And my normal shy self took a big step and realized I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell Heather how much she and her site and community have meant to me. I got a bit choked up telling her and I'm sure everyone else at the table was wishing I would shut up, but when was I ever going to be sitting across a table from her again. And her site really has meant a lot to me this last year. And the amazing people I have met through the community are hopefully people I will be life long friends with.

They had to leave so their baby sitter could go home, but not before Heather left to go the restroom and stopped to pay our tab on the way out. Very nice. We were all in shock after they were gone. We weren't expecting it at all and it was just such a fun surprise. And although I feel really stupid for my comments about how she would never come, very happy to have been proven wrong.

I've never really had any "celebrities" that I have wanted to meet. And yeah I do realize that a lot of people have never heard of her, but she is my celebrity. And oh so happy to have met her. And thanks again to Maiken! Sorry you weren't there too!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Foto Friday

Something a little different today. One of my favorite websites,, is having a contest where you can win a really sweet camera. Go enter, the deadline is Monday but it would be really cool if someone I knew won it. And then let me borrow it.

So the contest is for Shutterfly and you have to make and submit a photo book. My sister Britta actually uses this site to do a calendar for the family every year and she made a photo book for my parents when Wade took family pictures for us.

Now the contest is judged on the book as a whole, not just the pictures so it said you could use pictures you didn't take but had permission to use. Good thing! And good thing I have some talented family and friends. I "borrowed" several from my brother-in-law Will who is an awesome photographer. My dad also helped and lent me pictures and a few are from my sister Britta, and one from Maiken. And the tattoo ones are from Becky. Wow did I do any of this book myself? I swear I did.

It is about my tattoo. (geez will this girl ever get over talking about her tattoo? doubtful) And mostly it was just fun to do and play around with the layouts and colors and everything. And try to come up with something a little different than most of the books submitted. Actually REALLY makes me want to have the camera they are giving away. And then maybe some motivation to go along with it to work on learning some skills.

Presenting, A girl and her tree

(you probably want to click on the link below to view larger)

Click here to view this photo book larger

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hidden Meaning

If you were handed this note and asked to pass it along to someone very important, what would you do?

Nope that's not a bad scan, that's the note (you can click on it to see it larger.) Was I given a bomb threat? I can read 500, Calvin and IRAQ. Are 500 guys led by Calvin attacking us from Iraq? Maybe I won something?

What would your response be after getting this, considering the person that gave it to you seems a bit crazy and just a tad scary?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Foto Friday

Why did the chicken cross the road...

My friend "A" and I were driving around the other day because he took part of the day off work to keep me company and entertain me. "A" is shy (or embarrassed to have me as a friend) so I'm calling him "A" for anonymous friend.

stopping at an intersection...
A - Did I just hit a chicken?
K - No I think it was a plastic bag that just blew across the street
A - No I think it was a chicken
K - You did not just hit a chicken
A - Look, its right there. I just hit a chicken. Is it alive?

Looking behind us there were feathers all over the road. Still not sure what happened other than a chicken tried to cross the road and got a bit tangled up with his car. I went back a few hours later to check on him and he was still standing in the exact same spot. This is one lucky chicken.

To keep the random animal theme going we stopped by to check in on "A's" horse, Sarco. He has blue eyes. And its weird. You don't realize till you see him but most horses have dark eyes. He's a beautiful horse and it sort of hits you when you see his striking eyes, they are almost eerie because they are so different. But he didn't like me. I think he takes awhile to warm up like his owner does. So I wasn't able to get a great shot that showed how beautiful and different he is, but gives you an idea.

So today, here's to being beautifully different!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Foto Friday

Nothing like a blurry photo to show your excitement! I don't usually talk about work on here, but good news is ok I think. On Tuesday a bond passed that will let us build a new recreation center. Anyone who has been to the current one, knows how desperately it is needed.

After working on this for 11 years, the mood at work has been, YAY! Now what. Its kind of a weird feeling. It will be an interesting two years with the design and build and then a very stressful time helping to open the new facility. So here's to the next two years!

And I'm guessing by the time we have the grand opening I'm gonna be needing some of the real stuff, and not just sparkling cider.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Sorry can't put up a Halloween post and not include this picture. Its just too damn adorable. And a reminder back to the time when I actually got to pick my son's costume. Those days are long gone!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Even though I hate scary things. You couldn't pay me to go through a haunted house or watch a horror film. So really I just like dressing up. But I like it enough to make it a favorite. And the candy might have something to do with it.

Of course when you're an adult you can just go buy candy whenever you want. So not quite the excitement on that level. And I did feel old when sitting at the party last night and thinking, we buy a bag of candy to pass out and my kid goes around to other people to fill up his bag of candy. Why don't we just buy our kid a bag of candy?

Anyway. For those not familiar with the Utah tradition (I think its only Utah. Maybe Idaho? They are our cousins in crazy) Several years ago people got all freaked out about kids walking around the neighborhood and so started what is called Trunk or Treat. Where everyone drives to the church parking lot, decorates the trunk, and you go from car to car to Trick or Treat.

Does save tired parents from having to follow their kid around town for an hour, but also, we had to work for that bag of candy when I was a kid! No 10 minute commitment, you were out all night. My parents church has even taken it a step further and moved the party inside and people decorate a doorway to a classroom and you just walk, or shove each other down the hall. Now I will say that when you are getting ready to leave and it starts hailing, not so sad about going to do the Trick or Treating inside. But its still kinda lame.

Soldiers make it safe.

Very cute monkey

And my award for best costume was this kid that was a bunk bed. Very creative.

Will wanted to be an army man this year. And that kid was committed. This is a week ago. And I think he has worn camo almost every day since.

When I picked him up on Thursday he was sporting some new wares including some hand me downs from Pop-Pop's Air Force days. And a machine gun. And I'll just keep my opinions about that to myself for now.

Friday we carved pumpkins and then went to the carnival put on by my work every year. I didn't take any pictures there because sometimes I'm just not in the mood. Or lazy. Or something like that.

Shocker Will wanted a puppy pumpkin and Lucia wanted a kitty. Sometimes these kids are very predictable. And yes that is a different set of camo Will is sporting there. Lucia wouldn't pose for me.

I went as Hit Girl this year from the movie Kick Ass. And yes it is great fun to tell a bunch of conservatives at work that you are a character from a movie called Kick Ass. The overall costume turned out ok, I made my skirt and cape the rest was purchased, but the funnest part was the wig. Wigs suck to wear for 11 hours in a row at work, but its fun having something that different. And it was a ton of fun to later play around on my dad's mac with photo booth and the comic photo feature.

Bathroom mirror shot

So to those not living in Utah (or Pennsylvania, you can't trick or treat there on any weekend night!) Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Foto Friday

This has been a really hard week for me. Don't really want to write a lot about it here. But I do know that sometimes you have to just get on the train and take the ride. You have to go to the next station even if there is a chance of getting hurt or causing pain. You have to try. Because if you don't, you miss the beautiful sites along the way.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Me and my tree

(warning: post may include sappy, sentimental gushings)

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved trees...

Its hard to pinpoint when my love for trees began. But overtime it has definitely continued to grow. I have been interested in getting another tattoo for some time now and wanted to make sure that I was really settled in what I wanted to get. Knowing quite well the commitment in getting one. After going several years with the general idea not changing, I figured it was worth moving forward on it.

Without going into too much detail I will admit that going through the divorce definitely gave me another push in getting this done. If nothing else divorce definitely makes you re-evaluate yourself. And you end up focusing in on you a bit more. For good or bad. I tried getting something set up to get the tattoo done last year around my birthday. But things just kept seeming to not really work out. I now know why. I wasn't ready yet.

A few months ago at work I was asked to fill in and take minutes at a meeting. It was for a local gallery stroll and was full of gallery owners. One of the women there owned a gallery/tattoo parlor called the Painted Temple. She just seemed like a really interesting person and I have never noticed the place even though I drive by it a couple times a week.

I looked their place up online and started browsing the artists work. And then I saw the trees. Daniel Walker's stuff just grabbed me. It was the detail in the bark. The texture of the trees that I just didn't feel in others work I had looked at. I found my artist. And it turns out trees are his favorite thing to tattoo. Definitely a match.

Like any good artist, there would be a wait. And so the nerves kicked in. Two of my sisters with tattoos reassured me that it was all normal and the wait continued. Finally last Saturday the day came. I will admit to a bit of a break down that morning. It had been, and was to come a big week. This was just another thing thrown into a lot of other emotional stuff. I showed up at the appointment nervous. Would I be able to tell him what I really wanted? Would he do a good job? Would I be able to handle the pain? Would I be happy with the end result?

The session started with Daniel and I going through inspiration pictures. We both quickly narrowed the search to several pictures of live oaks. We both loved the unique twists and turns of the trees. Daniel doesn't do any pre-sketching of the tattoos. He likes to design it to your body so he does the sketching right on you. Most of the trees that he does have a bit of a dark feel to them. I told him that I didn't want a dark, evil tree. Trees to me are protection, comfort, strength. Offering all of that to those who come near. He said that it would be something a bit different for him, but he thought it would be fun. And in the end he told me that my tree ended up being one of his all time favorites.

Having someone draw on my back was a very cool feeling. And when I saw the sketch I was amazed. I mean all he had done was look at a few pictures with me, pick up a sharpie and go to work. After the outline was done with the sharpie he added some more detail to the drawing with a pen. Talent is not something this guy is lacking.

With the ok to move ahead, the fun began. Now I do have a small tattoo on my foot so I am aware of the pain associated with a tattoo. But the first one took about 10 minutes. This was going to be several hours.

A favorite blog of mine is written by Heather Armstrong. I really enjoy reading her stuff and have actually meet a lot of people through it. Including Marty who comments here. Hi Marty! Last year Heather wrote a great post about giving birth to her second daughter without medication. One of the things that has stuck with me from that post was her description of dealing with the pain.

"Have you ever seen one of those yard ornaments where a constant stream of water flows over a ball of some sort? They've got a giant one at the Hogle Zoo here in Salt Lake City, and I didn't even know that I was going to have this sort of vision, but suddenly I've turned myself into that water ball at the Hogle Zoo, and the contraction is the water flowing over me. "

And that's what I pictured during the tattoo. That the pain was just washing over me. I tried very hard to not give into my natural feeling of tensing up against the pain and tried to let it wash over me. Not becoming part of me. And I'm very glad I had that visualization to focus on or I'm not sure I would have made it through the five hours. When the tattoo was done all of the built up adrenaline came flowing out and I was shaking for about 30 minutes afterward.

I'm very thankful to my good friend Becky for coming with me and taking photos to document the experience. And during the second half when I had to focus more on not giving into the pain, it was a nice distraction to listen to her and Daniel talk about art. And have to just make sure I also mention how amazing Daniel was. He put on music that we both liked, was very easy to talk to, and was just an awesome guy.

I can't explain the feeling when I looked in the mirror seeing the tree take shape. I mean its not like you get a second chance to erase. This is a one shot deal. And it was just so beautiful. So perfect. So much what I wanted. I told him later that I wasn't able to go in and describe exactly what my dream tree was. And yet somehow he was able to draw it. I wouldn't change a thing about it. Except that sometimes I wish it was somewhere that I could just stare at it.

When my sister Maiken saw it she said that it was like looking at a piece of my soul. And it is. Its an inner part of me that is now on the outside. Its a reminder to me of my strength and connection with nature. A few days after getting it I was able to be up at one of my special spots in the canyon and feel the fall breeze on my back. And it brought me to tears. Its my tree. And I'm that tree.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Foto Friday

A little bit of a delay on my tattoo post. So for today, a find driving through Aspen Grove. Stopped to try and get a picture of an avalanche area but couldn't get a good shot through the trees. While walking back to the car, passed by this awesome tree that had been uprooted. It was in a very rocky area and the roots of the tree had just grown around the rocks, encompassing them. It just struck me as one of those very cool things you happen upon in nature.

Monday, October 18, 2010


There will be a post coming about my tattoo. I'm just waiting till I see my friend Becky in a few days to get a cd of all the pictures she took. But I can't wait to share the experience, because it was awesome! And my tattoo is awesome! And I want to just stare at my back. But its kinda hard. Cause its my back.

To be continued...


Back in March, I became the new owner of my great aunt Bis's dresser. In June when I went out to PA to visit my sister Britta and her family, we went to the Harrisburg Art Festival. I fell in love with several watercolors by Deborah Nell. I bought several small cards with the plan of framing them.

One of the things I remember about my aunt Bis is that she had a wall of all different shapes and sizes of mirrors in her bedroom. The thing that tied them all together was that they were all gold. (from what I remember) I didn't have a lot of room to try and display the watercolors but thought that it would be cool to have them next to my aunt's dresser and have them all in silver frames that were different.

It took me much longer than expected to find frames that would work, but I finally got the project done this weekend. And I'm very happy having them in my room. They all remind me of a mix of myself and the wonderful women in my family.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Foto Friday


No shit sherlock

Friday, October 8, 2010

Foto Friday - Sundance

First off, my dad Bob recently told me that you can use Photoshop online. For free. To like edit your pictures. Awesome. So much better than trying to fix red eye in Paint! Only wish I'd know sooner.

Ok so this last weekend my dad Monte and Jackie came to visit while the Schroeder's are in town. They rented this awesome cabin up the canyon at Sundance and we just all hung out for a long weekend and soaked in lots of family time and lots of nature time.

The weekend in pictures

The cabin. I was going to take more photos but didn't get around to it before our stuff exploded all over it.

Grampi time on the balcony

River next to the cabin

Pretzel time

Marshmallow time

Throwing pine cones into the river

Sucker time

Got an awesome secret shortcut to Stewart Falls. Helps when the cabin owner is a Stewart.

The falls

Touching the falls

Hot tub time

Lots of coloring time. Lots

Movie time

Cascade Springs

Helping point out the fish

Attempting group photos

Enjoying the interpretive signs more than the scenery

I love, love rock stairs. Just something about using nature to landscape nature. Makes me swoon.

Aspen make me swoon too. Unfortunately we weren't able to get any pics in the spots where they were just glowing yellow. Rain storms and tiny roads.

A great few days of family and nature. Thanks everyone for the great weekend!