"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mission Remembrance Book

My younger brother just got home from serving a 2-year mission for our church, which is a life-changing experience. It's so difficult to articulate the kind of changes and growth a person encounters during such an experience. Explaining the hows and whys and depth of these personal changes is tricky, so sometimes it's just easier to show it:

I collected all the photos and writings from my brother over the 2-year period he was gone and ended up filling 3 pocket books with weekly updates on his growth. It was fun to go through it again before handing it over to him and notice how much a person can change in only two years.

Personally, when it comes to remembering my growth, I'd rather focus on the future growth ahead of me instead of looking back at what I used to be. (It's just usually embarrassing for me!) I can appreciate the changes I make in myself, though.

How do you document your growth? Do you have physical reminders of how far you've come?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Creativity Inc.

I recently finished reading Creativity, Inc., by Ed Catmull:

It's a business management book with great insights into fostering a creative environment in the workplace. Some of my favorite takeaways are:

1) Do not be afraid of hiring people who are smarter than you
2) Remember that people are always more important than ideas (because ideas come from people)
3) Be candid, which is being more than just honest
4) Search for the real underlying issues, not simply surface problems which are usually side-effects of larger problems
5) Keep the communication and management structures separate (they should not be one and the same)
6) Invite problem solving from every employee
7) Fail fast in order to reach the correct solution sooner

I never imagined I'd ever be drawn to non-fiction, especially business books, since they often seemed so dry to me, but this one is a winner! I totally devoured it. Do you like reading business books? Any good suggestions?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Zion Adventures

On our way to the Great Reunion of 2015, we dragged our daughter to Zion National Park because by golly, we were going to go hiking there while we were in the area. We talked her into the thought of going hiking yet again by telling her that we were driving to the mountains to see a great tunnel. 'Twas not a lie. There is a mile-long tunnel that was dug through the mountain with the sole purpose of blowing the minds of toddlers, I swear.

Tunnels are super exciting things in our family, and we made the experience even better by rolling down our windows and listening to our yells echo. We screamed to scare the bats away and hollered as best we could. We knew we had struck gold when she was yelling at the top of her lungs, "This is the best tunnel everrrrrr!" as we drove through. She said it a lot. It is a very long tunnel. Then we drove through a smaller less-impressive tunnel and flipped around to find a spot to park at a trailhead. It was all part of the plans.

However, by the time we had turned the car around, our lovely girl had had enough. To heck with our plans. She did not want to go hiking, but she did need a snack. So, we suggested parking so we could get out of the car for a little bit...and she agreed. Then, since we were already outside, we suggested putting on sunscreen while we were eating a snack...and she agreed. Then we suggested walking toward the tunnel so we could see it up close...and she agreed. Then we suggested climbing some stairs, walking on rocks, looking over fences to crevasses below, and running across a bridge...all to which she agreed. She even made sure to hold our hands so that we wouldn't slip and fall along the scary parts of the trail because she is very brave. Soon we were back in the car driving through the tunnel again and eating fruit snacks. Kirk and I exchanged victory smiles with each other because our mighty girl hadn't even realized she had indeed just been on an enjoyable and challenging hike.

Parenting tricks. Boom.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Valley of Fire

Kirk and I went to the Valley of Fire near the beginning of this year with our friends, partly in preparation to get some ideas for le grande family reunion we were in charge of earlier this summer. We were stoked to take our posterity to one of our favorite places and let her climb rocks and play in the sand to her heart's content. (She is a climbing girl, after all.) It did not disappoint:

The reunion went pretty smoothly, and everyone who ended up coming helped out and made the family magic happen. We gathered for a BBQ picnic and let the kids run wild and free, scrambling up boulders and chasing small desert critters. The red rocks, hikes, and petroglyphs were amazing as usual. It was such a joy to watch our kids play where we had grown up playing and enjoying the same great outdoors that we did when we were their ages!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Quilt Progress

Progress is an overly generous way of saying 'it's out in our living space because that's the only way I'll remember to get around to finishing this dang thing.'

Here's the backstory. My husband is as tall as a sequoia. He has never had a bed he fits in since pretty much the age of 12, so we saved up our dineros and got ourselves a nice huge bed for Christmas last year. Yay! Merry Christmas to us! We also got sheets because we're civilized like that, but I'm a cheapskate so we didn't buy any quilts because I already have fabric for quilt making.

Fast forward to today. Yes, this year's Christmas is much closer to where we are in the calendar year than last year's Christmas is. We still have no blankets that fit our enormous and amazing bed. And why? Because the wind has been taken out of my sails. The fabric I originally picked was enough to make a smaller quilt, but this one needs to be huge. I had enough extra fabric that I could make a larger quilt from my cut-down supplies if I were careful. So, I changed the pattern in order to accommodate a larger quilt and not waste any fabric. That was a mistake. I pretty much just made up a pattern and wasted some precious surface area in testing it out. Then I realized too far in that not only is the pattern more complicated regarding dimensions, it also has more seams in it, so it won't be as large as it could be. A major disheartenment, for sure.

And yet, it still sits in its temporary-turned-permanent work station in the middle of our major living space, hoping someone will pay it some attention. I knew the situation was dire when Kirk asked if I'd show him how to use the machine so he could work on the quilt too. He would do a great job, guaranteed, but I haven't even taken the time to show him how to use it either.

With the cooler months knocking on our front door, the time has come to finish this eternal project. Here's to second winds...starting next week.

For now, we are focusing on other shenanigans around here, like putting the finishing touches on our booth! My art will be for sale this weekend at the Beehive Bazaar in Provo starting tomorrow. There are some great local vendors there as well as a food truck roundup on Thursday night, so check it out!

Then, a second wind.