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!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Foto Friday

Yay the Schroeder's are here! To be followed by more family. Always good times.

Ok everyone, I'm gonna take your picture so shove your mouths full of popcorn and pretend to be entranced by the tv.