A lot has changed…

2 03 2012

A lot has changed since fall. While I don’t want to delete this blog, I won’t really be using it anymore. I still do art, I still lead worship. They are both part of my very core. But, I also have a up and coming business and so I’m mainly on my photography blog now. http://wp.me/2blqd. You can follow me there, it’s much more interesting and active!


Failing Into Fall…

18 10 2011

( 2 weeks ago…)

It’s  a cool Sunday evening, glass of wine in hand and a long list of summertime FAILS on my mind.  Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t about beating myself up ( Although, I must tell you I am REALLY REALLY good at it)  but it’s really about our own agendas vs God’s for our lives.  And I must tell you, don’t read this looking for an answer to finding out God’s agenda for your life, I don’t have an answer for mine.

Back in May I wrote a blog post about my summer Goals… let me ‘splain…no, there is too much, let me sum up…

1) Blog weekly.  Well, Last post was July 21st and It’s Oct 9th now…and now as I finish this it’s Oct 18th.  FAIL  I also talked about learning more about Social Media, I’ve toyed a bit with pinterest lately, ditched tumbler and the new facebook… I’m not even gonna go there.   But I did realize that no matter how much I try…writing is NOT my gift.  SO I will continue my blog, but stop forcing deep thoughts.

2) Start Mosaic-ing again.  HUGE FAIL, never even touched the stuff.  BUT  I have been painting like crazy.  I think more than I ever had at one time.  Lot’s of custom pieces for friends so far, and I have a whole bunch planned in my head. SO, the creative side of me has been fulfilled in the need to create again, just not in the way I expected it.  Also, I did clear a space in the basement and put most of my art supplies there… but I haven’t used it.  I paint at night mostly and have commandeered the back corner of my dining area as my “studio”. It also allows me to hang out with my hubby and watch all our DVR’d Pawn Stars together while I paint and he works on homework.

3) My Garden.  This was actually fairly successful.  I learned A LOT through some ammature mistakes, like planting things too close together, too early, and over / under watering.  BUT we did have produce and we did enjoy having it and being able to go out and grab food from the yard from dinner, so overall this Goal gets a SUCCESS! ( YEAH!)

4) Saving Money. Well, this was going fairly well, but then we got really busy and with really busy gets tired and with tired gets lazy and with lazy gets convenience and convenience is expensive.  We also started eating more of a vegan diet which was also REALLY expensive.  So, yeah bit of a FAIL here too.  Jason and I sat down together this week and poured over our finances, our weaknesses and strengths and looked at ways to save.  A few minor changes, like I get the Passat now since I drive EVERYWHERE and he gets my 12 year old, gas guzzling Pathfinder with 220k miles on it since he only drives to work and back most days.

5) Ummmm…Oh wait, that was it! I think the overall theme for the summer was SIMPLIFY, and it really didn’t happen.  It was more of a summer of change and re-prioritizing.  I’m so thankful for God’s GRACE and His plan for my life.  So as I put away the last pieces of my summer wardrobe, I look towards fall,  the leaves are changing beautifully here and I’m enjoying the journey God is taking my family and I on.

SO while I was failing at the attempted goals, God was creating pathways to blessings and success!  I’m pleased to announce

God opened a door for me this summer, big time.  It started with a small request to photography my Pastor’s youngest… then another “hey I hear you take pictures…”  Now it’s a business license, almost a website, a studio in my basement and 2 -3 sessions a week.    I’ll be honest when I tell you I did not see this coming.   Over the past 10 years I have tried several business opportunities for myself, but none have been really successful. Some because I wasn’t passionate enough to try, or the clientele wasn’t there for it to survive, either way, they didn’t happen.  While I had majored in Art / Photography in college and done some portraiture in the past, it wasn’t something I had even thought of pursuing…. but here I am.  Excited and a little nervous.  There are times I think “what am I doing?” and  I’m thankful that I have an AMAZING husband who supports me and believes in my art.  The more I photograph, the more my passion for this art reignites.  You will be seeing a lot less type and a lot more photos on this site, as I realize my expressive gift is through my eyes, not my words.

Fall Splendor…

Um, hi…. Sorry I took so long.

13 07 2011

The original tittle of this blog… that I started last week was “21 Days, A reflection”.  It was supposed to be some deep and spiritual blog about the 21 day fast my husband and I had just finished.  Only when I sat down to write it, I had… NOTHING.   I tweeted “blog coming soon” several times… but every time I tried to write, I had nothing to say. To be honest, that is how I felt a lot of the time through the fast. Even to the point of almost quitting cause it seemed pointless.  I wasn’t getting any visions or huge spiritual moments.  I barely got anything at all.   The physical part of the fast wasn’t so bad either.  Not eating dairy, meat or most processed carbs was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, although there were a few nights that I might have given my left  arm for a glass of wine after a long day with a 2 year old. I actually felt a lot healthier and we have made a lot o changes to our regular diet ( for the better) because of it.

So now, almost 2 weeks have gone by and I’ve had a bit more time to reflect and listen to God.  Here’s what I learned…

1) God is changing my heart slowly..otherwise I’ll FREAK out. 

I grew up a very lucky only child.  I was never in want of anything.  My parents were married (40 years this year), I had a good education, etc…  When I came to the Lord as an adult, he showed me my gifts in the ministries of music and creative arts.  My Christian life was pretty easy.  But lately, God’s been breaking my heart for the suffering.  The unlucky in life.  Showing me more and more how RICH I am in so many ways, and how I idolize so much of it.  OUCH.  It hurts.  He’s breaking my heart so it is more like His…. slowly.  I love how He knows that if He did this quickly, I might freak out and rebel like my 14 year old self.

2) I turn to 8 other things before I turn to God for Comfort.

Ok, maybe not 8.. but I have so many things I turn to when I am feeling down, or stressed.  Anything from my husband, to food, Facebook, TV, you get the idea.  But I’m supposed to come to Him.  He tells us to “cast our cares” on Him, but I don’t do that often enough and I need to.  I had a pretty bad day yesterday and, long story short, I just sat and cried to Him and told him all the horrible ( read: MINOR things in BIG picture) things that had gone wrong and why I was frustrated and upset and afraid.  then I just asked for comfort and Peace.  My entire household slept solidly through the night last night for the first time in awhile… coincidence?

3) I need to Believe in the Power of Prayer… and exercise it more.

Do you ever feel that when you say “I’ll pray for you” that it feels more like a “sorry I can’t do anything Real / Helpful for you”?  Do you know, I mean REALLY know that its the biggest thing we can do for someone?  I’m not talking a “Dear God, please heal Susy” but on your knees praying and interceding for someone.   When my Husband was deployed, I had a lot more free time on my hands. I prayed a lot, I talked to God about everything.  Now that my Hubby is home, I’m busier.  We have more social things to do, church meetings, date nights, etc.  I lost a lot of prayer time and God misses our talks.  I have also been feeling guilty about not praying when I know I need to do it more.

So there you have it. nothing earth shattering or mind blowing.  No sheets dropped from the sky with life altering visions.  Just a few little glimpses into the person God is trying to mold me into.   …I press on towards the goal.

Till next time!

9 Years and Counting

30 06 2011

I’m sitting here at my computer, it’s 11:43 at night.

My hubby has long been asleep. the house is quiet and I’m listening to the sprinklers outside the window as I write this and think back on the past 9 years.  9 years ago my life changed forever.  9 years ago today I took my marriage vows to an incredible man.   9 years doesn’t seem long in comparison to some things, but these years mean the world to me.

Don’t get me wrong, we have had major battles and problems to overcome…some I thought would be the end of our marriage.  We’ve broken each others hearts on more than one occasion. But, through the grace of Christ and our true love and commitment to each other, we’ve learned to trust each other and to love each other even more deeply.  I’m so glad we both stuck around to fight it out and grow in our bond.  We have the most blessed life. It’s challenging, beautiful,  imperfect and joyful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

So Happy Anniversary Jason.   You are truly my best friend, I love you and I’m looking forward to the rest of our lives together!

Here are a few of my favorite moments together…

Engagement Photo.  San Juan Bautista, California  May 2002


**** No wedding photos scanned…planning to rectify soon!****

***Jason spent most of 2003 in Korea, so not a lot of pics for that year either…ok, moving on***


Kissing in front of St. Marks Cathedral Venice Italy.  August 2004



Touring with friends,  Florence, Italy  July 2005



Re-enlistment 2006



Kissing atop Notre Dame in Paris, France February 2006



At the Castle in Heidelberg, Germany. April 2006



Summer in Venice, Italy July 2006



Toppers Award Show ( we both won that night!) Heidelberg, Germany April 2007



Sunset Dinner with some very dear friends. Croatia Summer 2007

Having a blast in the hills surrounding Dublin, Ireland Dec 2007



On a boat in Venice, Italy April 2008



Wine bar with friends. Sacile, Italy July 2008


Cheese Festival! Malnisio, Italy August 2008



Air Force Ball.  Aviano, Italy September 2008



Our Precious Son only a week old.  Utah April 2009



First Family Portrait. Utah May 2009

Just before Jason’s last deployment. Utah September  2010

The Scrolls..

25 06 2011

A few weeks ago I had tweeted about making scrolls for my church, but I never gave details or posted pics, so here you go.

My crazy Pastor Matt ( and I mean that in the best way) called me a few weeks ago on a Wednesday night… the call went something like this.

Matt: Hey I got a new project for you… but you kinda need to see it

Me: oook.

Matt: Well,ok…  I’m doing a series on the seven letters in revelation and I thought it would be cool to have like, giant scrolls hanging from the ceiling on stage. We could use the big rolls of brown paper, and make ’em look old somehow and burn ’em… I can do most of it, but I need you to do the lettering, cause it will look lame if I do it… I have a graphic that you can look at to see what I mean

Me:  I think I get the idea… so these things need to be like 14 – 16 feet long right?  And I suppose you want these on Sunday

Matt:  Yeah , and yeah, that would be awesome….

Me: So, I have 2 days…I’m going to kill you

Matt: I know. ( you can hear the grin through the phone)

So we agree that he will email me the graphic and I will get the supplies and get started tomorrow ( Thursday) and that he will call me.  Thursday goes by and nada.  Thursday night I’m leading worship rehearsal with our team and Pastor Matt walks in.  While he never emailed me the graphic, he got all the stuff at the store.  We talk briefly about it… he wants to do the burning / antiquing of the paper and then he will call me Friday afternoon to come get them so I can do the lettering.  Friday, 2pm I call him… leave a voice mail. Around 3 he calls back and I miss it,  I call back again he doesn’t answer, I give up.  My weekend was booked with other projects so these things are not going to happen by Sunday.

Fast forward to the following Tuesday night, my husband and I go to dinner with Matt and his wife. He has brought the scrolls  so we get them out in the parking lot after dinner and he begins to explain his process

“I tried your coffee idea of antiquing the paper, but it didn’t do anything when I poured the coffee on it, so I used black lacquer”


“The stuff you use on wood”

“wood stain, got it”

“Yeah so they came out kinda dark. So maybe you can do the lettering in white? I also bought a small torch to do the burning, so I rolled the paper up and we lit it on fire in the parking lot”

At this point I’m starting to giggle at the image of my Pastor, the Children’s church pastor and our admin assistant standing out in the church parking lot with a 3′ long roll of brown paper trying to light it. It probably looked like a giant joint.  Anyhow,  I take the scrolls and the remaining roll of  paper (in case I have to start over… ok, was planning on starting over as soon as I saw the wood stain) and get them in my car. My week was crazy busy so they sit there all week. Thursday night I get the new paper out and start the process again.

Here’s what I did. Paper is large brown paper bag type material.  scrolls are 15′ x 3′

Step 1: crumple up paper into large balls

Step 2: I brew up some dark coffee and some tea as well. I had done the paper antiquing process with small sheets of paper but never nothing this size.  I attempt to soak the paper, but the weight of the liquid and the paper is too much and the paper tears and falls apart all over my back patio.  It’s now 10pm and I’m beat.  Will try again in the morning

Step 3: I decide to take a safe route and grab some cheap craft acrylic paint in a umber and water it down into a stain.  I had my friend Anne over that morning for some brunch and coffee on the pation so I enlist her help in doing a wash over the paper with sponge brushes.  The water in the paint is enough to rumble the paper so we don’t need to crumple it.

Step 4:  The burning process.  I opted for the candle lighter over the small gas torch for more control, but also because I was by myself at this point, and having just built and planted my garden, I did not want to catch my yard on fire.Once I was done I was out of time for the morning and had to head out and get my son from playschool. I will do the lettering that night.

Step 5: The Lettering.  Pastor Matt wanted these to look fairly “authentic” and not just have scribbles.  I downloaded some ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic and used all 3 by alternating letters from each language to make it look like some biblical type language. I

Once they were finished we took them up to the church and they were hung. Here’s the finish product ( and our youth team rehearsing)

So there you go!  Sorry it took me so long to post this week.  Husband had knee surgery so I’ve been taking care of him. Our 21 days is going well. We are both hitting some struggles and obstacles  ( to be expected) but overall it’s been great.

21 Days…

15 06 2011

“I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth…”  Daniel 10:2

One of my summer goals is to SIMPLIFY things.  God has been opening my eyes to how much STUFF we ( all of us) have.  In our homes, in our lives, in our bellies. Cloggin and distracting us from what matters.  Causing our greedy hearts to THRIVE!!    My friend posted this comment on FB this morning : “…Amazing to think that 138 million people in USA attend churches and collectively have 2.5 trillion dollars per year. The USA church would be the 7th richest country in the word..”  Another new friend  works for http://www.visiontrust.org and spoke this weekend at church on the poverty of other countries.  I’ve known it, I’ve seen the missions pictures before, but not until recently has God really MOVED me about it.

…I combine these thoughts with some personal realizations I’ve been having and dealing with lately.  For instance, I am an emotional eater.  I have a food vice for everything.  I also have a rebellious streak and food issues from being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 9 years old.   I still remember sitting in the hospital and listening to my doctor tell me all the things ” You’re not allowed to eat”.  SO I would eat “it”, whenever I could get it… chocolate, cakes, cookies. Now that I’m an adult I still carry the feeling that I have to sneak and defend everything I eat cause someone is going to scold me.   I could go on and on with my reasoning. but I will stop here and just say this is going to be interesting.

Today my husband and I started the “Daniel” fast.  I am making some minor modifications because of my T1 diabetes, but sticking to it as much as possible.  We will be eating a basic vegan diet for the next 21 days.  http://daniel-fast.com/about.html with some extra “rules”.  No processed foods ( technically, pop tarts are vegan…. really.  go look it up)  This also means no Coffee or Wine for me ( YIKES! start praying now!)

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,  so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:16 – 18

Soooo… why am I talking about it?  Well #1 Prayed about it and feel I got the go ahead from God to share my journey and #2… do I need another reason?  Obviously I have personal and spiritual reasons for doing this ( which will remain private) I feel that the emotional side of this (for me) will be worth sharing.

As I post this Day 1 is over.  I had fruit, peanut butter and soy milk for breakfast, various snacks throughout the day, a big yummy salad for lunch and roasted potatoes and carrots with spinach and white beans for dinner.  Bowl of fruit for dessert.  Honestly the roughest time I’ve has all day is…now.  When I’m usually catching up on blogs and facebook with a glass of wine, which has been replaced by a glass of soy milk…. but God makes it all worthwhile.

Till next time…

Summer… so far.

8 06 2011

We finally have had more than 2 days of sun in a row. It’s starting to feel like summer here which makes me very happy.  We are spending more time outside,  playing in the sunshine, grilling out and the garden is up and growing.  My calendar is quickly filling up and I have a feeling this season is going to fly by.  Oh, we are also trying to squeeze in a few family adventures before my husband gets ACL surgery next week.  I thought I would share a quick photo journal of our lives the past week or so.  Enjoy!

This past weekend we skipped church (gasp) and took a trip to the Hoggle Zoo…

Such Beauty and Grace in these Creatures!

Look at those EYES!

Sleepy kitty.  He looks so sweet, but Jason wouldn’t let me bring one home.

Our big boy discovering the Elephants..

A boy and his Daddy


Relaxing at home

Our Sweet Samson

New trick…coins in between our toes

The Garden….

Snowball bush in bloom

Herb Garden Beginnings

Greek Oregano

First bits of Summer Color!

Mommy’s little helper!

Snack time!

Ok Son, This is how you DUNK!

Great shot already!




















So that’s our family this past week.  As far as my summer goal list, you see the garden is up…nothing is dead yet!  My husband surprised me by clearing out most of the pile of junk in the basement so I can get my art stuff set up soon, I’m blogging ( although I’m a little late this week)  and next week Jason and I will be starting a fast for 21 days.  While our number one goal is spiritual ( just seeking God’s will in our lives as we look towards the future and end of our Military career)  it will also help us eliminate a lot of the junk we eat so I think we will both feel physically better and it will save us money on our grocery bills.

I hope you are all doing wonderfully!  Remember to get outside, enjoy the sun  and take a little time for yourself!  Till next time!