Here we are at the end of AUGUST! Yikes. I can't believe how this summer has flown by. Maybe it was the lack of summer that came with it, or the busy days, but for whatever reason, I am not ready for Sophia to be back to school and the end of my sunny days to be in sight. This month has brought a lot of fun and positivity, along with a lot of emotion and stress.
Sophia and I spent a weekend flying to California for a family (bittersweet) memorial. We mourned the loss of Grandparents, while spending some wonderful time with family. We crammed some great quality time in two days for instance:
Nature walks to the skinny dippin' hole
Time with Brother John and his beautiful wife and baby.
The Fasana Posse dinner.
And some much needed, dirty play time with the Loosh.
On the way out, we flew out of a tiny airport in Santa Rosa. Good thing we got there two hours early to sit in the one room airport with the other 20 people. hmmm. Lucky for us, it was the Charles M. Schultz airport, so we had some friends to visit/pose with while waiting in the sunshine!
Charlie Brown, Linus and Sophia!
So, following a weekend in California, we returned to spend 2 days in the hospital. We had a planned procedure, Sophia had a minor surgery and we had to spend the night. She is great, healthy, healing up wonderfully, but it brought a lot of stress for parents! Yikes. Of course, in Sophia's social way, she made a great new friend. We shared a room with another little girl that had the exact same procedure done about an hour prior to Sophia. She was 5 and the two girls had a great time together... considering they were each bound to a gurney.
This is right as we were released to head home - Sophia and Kirsten.
To top it all off, Trav and I celebrated our 1st (married) anniversary yesterday. We hit the beach for breakfast, brought Sophia home and then went back to the beach for shopping, dreaming of lake houses and Thai food dinner. Happy 1st, we made it.
Well, I spent the weekend helping one of my dearest friends to start a new chapter in her life! Congratulations to the most beautiful bride EVER, and her husband: Albert and Vanessa - Now they are off to Antigua. I wasn't sure what this looked like, so I had to check out some Google images, I am so jealous. I hope you guys enjoy your honeymoon and many years to follow!
We had an eventful and fun weekend, however, I am so glad I took today off to recuperate! My mom had a beautiful bbq on Friday for the July/August Birthdays. We celebrated about 5 birthdays in one night, it was quite the celebration. Because of all the events this weekend, we got an extra special treat of family in town. My brother John and his wife and daughter came up from Reno. Skylar is about 20 months old and pretty dang cute. She is such a little person, with more attitude than I would think could fit in her little body. But she is SO darn cute! I am horrible about taking pictures, so here is the one I got of her, with my phone: She is handing me a plastic pizza cutter :) so. so. cute.
We also had a beautiful wedding on Saturday - Lydia, my step-sister got married. What a beautiful wedding, at a gorgeous setting. They held a small wedding at the groom's parents house. Lydia looked amazing and was glowing with happiness, which was wonderful to see. Congrats Joe and Lydia - love you guys!
Sunday morning we woke up and began the big birthday for Sophia, she is officially 7 today. Wow, where did that time go. We had a great birthday at the park, it was hot and the fountains were much appreciated by the kiddos! She is growing into quite the young lady. Sometimes I catch her being a kiddo, sometimes she seems more like she's 17, and I am not ready for that! We had 3 girls sleep over last night, plenty of giggling filled the house until I had to crack down and quiet them. Finally, we all slept and there was peace in the house.
Happy Birthday to my sweetest gift ever - I love you Sophia! Here's to another great year with you --
Well, we're back. New York was great - so much walking. I was wishing I had worn a pedometer for a couple of the days, it would be interesting to know what kind of mileage I put in. My legs are still aching. This year, we didn't hit nearly as many museums, but we had a blast. I saw Coney Island for the first time and rode the rickety old roller coaster there - yikes! It was quite scary, I wish I could've stayed for this weekend, Coney Island had a mermaid festival yesterday that I would love to see one day. Holy nudity:
We also hit Six Flags in New Jersey this trip. It was a fist-pumping, Jersey Shore, guido-filled day of fun. I fit right in! :) Now, I have never been to a Six Flags. I was expecting 2 good roller coasters and a bunch of other mediocre ones. Nope. Not the case at all. This place is full of fright! We went on at least 10 roller coasters, all of which gave me massive anxiety prior to loading. Never have I felt so excited and stupid at the same time. It was so fun - muggy and hot, but super fun. One other thing that Travis and I had on our to-do list this year was see the bamboo exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Travis has built this pretty heavy obsession with bamboo in the past few years - it will be taking over our house in about 10 years, I am sure. So, with this love, how lucky for us to land in NY while this exhibit was on display. WOW, and what a job. These guys just sit around tying bamboo together, listening to music all day. They have created this structure that is crazy. Huge. And, it has a complete walkway that you can take a tour and walk through.
As the end of the school year wraps up, so does ballet for the season. Sophia's ballet class is putting on their final performance this weekend - yes, ALL weekend. She has ballet coming out her ears, from Wednesday to Sunday. This year, they are performing Giselle. Travis and I went and watched last night, she was wonderful. It never gets easier, I try to not cry, and I am SO filled with pride. Wow, amazing what that girl does to me! Well, here are a couple of photos that we took on Thursday during dress rehearsal, not on stage, but in her costume.
I didn't realize until now, she is quite tall, wow, she is growing fast!
In other news, I had to make some posters for a literacy project that I participate in and for one of them, my family starred. Here's the final look! Travis hates it, but look how happy Sophia is, and Nico is pretty cute too!
Well, so far, 2010 has been rough. I have mentally decided, I am getting OUT of this funk, sunshine or no sunshine! With the loss of both Grandfathers and one Grandmother since last September, I have definitely been falling, physically and mentally. I have been sick now for about 6 weeks straight - 3 body infections, pinkeye and some crazy sore throat that just won't quit. I went to the Dr for the sore throat and she called the next day to ask if I wanted anti-depressants... ummm, that's weird! Do those help with sore throats? haha, anyway, um no thanks. I think the best thing I can do and the thing my body REALLY needs is for me to chill it out. Find some time for me, relax. Lose the stress and I think I will lose the sick. Most of the stressful situations have passed, we have survived all of them, my grieving has slowed and am finally at the point where I have taken responsibility and decided, if something needs changed, change it. The only thing left is Sophia's surgery, August 16th. I am nervous, but I know the idea of not having it done is SO much worse than just sucking it up and getting it done. Once that is over, no more excuses, I am getting out of this funk once and for all. In the meantime: naps, shrink, positive thoughts.
Oh, and vacation to New York: countdown is 2 weeks. YIPEE!
I have been missing design. I want to be freelancing. As of now, I have just been playing around on my free time and spending less time working and more time napping and relaxing. Here's what I've been up to:
Business card idea for a friend
I followed a tutorial for this one, in case Travis ever decides he should brew his own beer.
I think this should be the label.
I guess now I should work on promoting myself! Ouch, that's the hardest part.
I will start with design! I found an etsy shop yesterday that I am definitely going to support (when I can afford to, of course). This girl makes the most flattering and simple tops, they are reasonably priced too! Here is a link to crystalindumentaria's etsy site.
And here's my fave top of hers: Makes me want to buy new clothes and sew and get creative and stuff. Yep, all that from one Etsy shop. Amazing.
On another note, Mother's Day was spectacular. I started the day with pure laziness (my favorite thing). I slept in and then browsed the internet with a cup of my Keurig coffee in hand, with the house to myself. You just can't beat that. We later headed to my mom's to help her with her garden as her gift. We laughed and decided that, if you raise 5 kids, there is no guilt in having them come over and shovel hot, stinky compost (okay, be honest, it's shit) from the front to the back yard. And we did it, and we loved it. Happy Mother's Day, mama. We then planted the garden for her and really got her off to a good start! It was great time spent with my sister, brothers, significant others, nieces, nephews and folks. And a beautiful, sunny day to top it all off!
I feel blessed to have the family that I have. This has by far been some of the hardest couple of months I have ever had to endure. With health issues, life stress and the passing of my beloved Grandma, I think I have definitely been given the test of life. I have to give one big thank you to my daughter, husband, family and friends for truly being there through the thick and thin. I am blessed.
I lost a legend this week. My Grandma had a sudden stroke and was gone the next morning. Now, lucky for me, I was able to spend the last 29 years knowing my Grandma and Grandpa (who also passed earlier this year). I guess you can never really be ready to lose someone until they are gone, and then you grieve them and never forget how they impacted your life. There was quite a difference in the way they went, Grandpa had been talking about it for years. Every time I would see him and tell him goodbye, his response was something along the lines of, "I won't be around 'til then." He's had one foot out the door of life for at least five years. But, WOW, did it hurt when it really happened.
And just when she started to really break out and start living without him, Grandma went too. Grandma was different. She had chosen to live life, to the fullest, every day. She was busy, never bored. She engaged her mind and body all the time, every day. She always had a crossword and a new painting that she was working on and was always up for a game of Scrabble. There was always fresh biscotti in the cookie jar and ice cream in the freezer, just in case the kids came by. Never missed a Birthday or a holiday. She was healthy, strong and young at mind and heart. And then, gone. Just that quick. So, to cope, I look at past pictures. I cherish the treasures that I got to bring home and I continue to tell myself how fortunate I was to have them for the first 29 years of my life, and how fortunate Sophia was to have them for 6 of hers. Not everyone gets a chance to share a song with their Grandpa-Great and a sundae with their Grandma-Great and I just keep telling her that.
I just hope they know the legacy they left behind - They were loved so much, by so many.
So, you're asking, "what's happenin' lately?" Well, we have been a little busy, to be honest. Sophia keeps me going... No rest for the weary! Currently, she is doing ballet one night a week and soccer at least 3 nights a week. She wants to try out for a talent show at school and also just finished taking native dance classes for a friend's senior project. I had a video, all ready to post but, when I try to email it to myself, it is taking FOREVER, so unfortunately, I have nothing to show.
They did great, it was by far one of the best senior project productions I have ever seen! Great job to Halona, I hope she gets a wonderful grade for this.
On my end, just working full time is enough to keep me busy. I am pretty much completely exhausted after spending 5 hours with a classroom of 3 year olds. I really have been loving my sleep lately. Not sure if that's a good thing or not ~ regardless, I enjoy it! I have also been spending a lot of energy, and that's about all, on trying to figure out how to go about doing some graphic design work. I miss it so bad, yet am so torn on how to get into it. I would love a full-time graphic design job with great hours! HA, however, I don't want to commute. This seems impossible with my situation. My other option would be to do freelance/contract work. I am NOT business saavy, so I just don't even know where to start. I have done some networking, but I need help with the paperwork/contracts/marketing. SO, for any of you that just absolutely LOVE this stuff and can help me. Please, by all means, call. I would love to pick some brains on breaking into the solo world and being successful at it. Today, I have high hopes to put my garden in, or at least begin the process (til the dirt)
Just to finish off strong, here are a couple of photos from Christmas 09. I was inspired by Alyssa, who just posted her Christmas photos, they are always great to return to. Excellent family time!
The little girls with their Grandma-Great.
Sophia and her Chitch, having fun. I think she got what she wanted! ;)
Garden updates soon - I am on my way out to plant it right now!
So, this site is not so politically correct (so if your sensitive, maybe it's not for you), but it is one of my favorites. I love Etsy, don't get me wrong. This site is more dedicated to the Etsy sites that one may call...slightly eccentric? (Or just crappy, whatever you want to call them)
Well, it's been not quite one week, and here's the update on the garden:
That's what I like to call fertile-mertile! Holy cow, I sure hope we get our garden boxes ready soon, looks like we will be transplanting sooner than we thought! Oh, and by the way, that is like a 70/72 success rate right there! Wow!
Apparently, NOT having a design job is my inspiration for doing design. I miss it so bad lately, that I spend so much time looking and loving design. I have begun trying to get a website for myself done again, I am stuck, but trying to get past it and will hopefully seek out help before I give up. We'll see.. . . .
Anyway, my other focus area in my art degree is printmaking. OH, I love printmaking. I talk about it, think about it, but NEVER do I actually do it. Why, you ask?? I don't know. It is challenging. So, today, I sat down and decided to do a little sketch (the beginning of a possible print idea...) I really love red coral, I love it in it's raw, organic form. I love it's imperfect shapes. I love it's saturated red color. SO, I did research and sketched a little sketch:
tada. I think it would make a cute little print on a postcard sized paper. Off-white paper, of course. Well, that's all for now. :)
I was looking over some of my favorite design blogs and I came across this site: http://clientsfromhell.tumblr.com/ Now. This is aimed at graphic and web designers, but I think that anyone that works with clients can really appreciate this site. When I look at this, I think, really, if you think you can do it yourself, BY ALL MEANS, do so.
I really look forward to getting back into graphic design, I really miss it.... However, I don't look forward to working with unappreciative clients. Oh well, I guess every job has it's gives and takes!
I started my plants for the garden already! We got 72 pods planted with vegetable seeds, ready to warm up in the dining room, so they are nice and hardy for the outdoor transplant around April/May. It is WAY early, but I get SO excited! And anyway, in the past I have always thought that I was too late. It starts out that I think it's right on time, but my veggies come late in the year and then I have to stress out about whether or not they will have enough sun to turn, you know. Well, here is stage one... Oh, and you can see, I had my helper with me as well, she planted half the pods and helped make the little flag labels (her idea!) Cute!
It was sure great to see the sun today - I realize that it gives me a whole new outlook on my day, better mood, more motivation. Amazing. Today was great, the sun was shining, I even hit the gym after work (pointless, considering I finished the night with a cheeseburger and tater tots, YUM), point is, I went. What makes me sad is that I know it's just a tease, see, I want the sun to STAY! I see you coming rain, and I don't like it one bit.
well, for now, I am just going to enjoy a couple of sunny days! Enjoy yours as well.
So, here I am, now a preschool teacher. I enjoy my job, and the convenience, wow! I work minutes from my house and am off of work by 3 almost every day. I can't beat that. However, with all of this, I have been dreaming, obsessing even, over the graphic design part of me that has become inactive. I have been pouring through design blogs constantly, and dreaming of screenprinting as well. Needless to say, in my search today, I found something that I just can't pass up, it is worth sharing, I think.