Friday, February 29, 2008

state of creativity

I wanted to share some photos I took recently of my dining room table. I've gotten really into handmade cards and I LOVE giving them as gifts. This is the aftermath of my latest project. I'll be able to post the outcome of the projects after tomorrow - otherwise I'll spoil the surprise for the baby showers I'll be attending tomorrow! Check back later!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Better late than never...

This post is long overdue. And I apologize. In my design perfection mentality, I wanted to make sure the post after Utah was perfect and would wow my readers...all 5 of them! I'm in the process of transferring my pics, music and other personal files from my old computer to my new MacBook Pro I just got for my new job! (post to come later with pics of my new, but messy, home office).

Here are a few pics to start. I'll post some favorites at another time!

Most of the gang before a day of skiing

This one is sideways but it was a cool shot.

Do you see the mountains in the distance? They went on for miles!

Haylie ready to hit Park City in her puffy vest and furry boots!

This should just give you an idea of how much snow Utah has gotten.
This is a picture of the 4 feet we had on our back porch!

Josh, Me and Jason on the gondola - Day 1

The other side of the gondola - Frank, Lindsey and Matt

Halfway through day 1 hangin out in the lodge

Me, Kate and Lins

An evening on Main Street - Amanda, me and Frank

Olympic hopefuls - Me, Lins and Ashleigh (hiding her belly in the bobsled)

Hangin out - Matt, Frank and Zach

Right before our horse-drawn sleigh ride!

Haylie lovin on Uncle Matt on our day off

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Welcome to Utah

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to post at the moment. I seem to be missing the cord that connects my camera to the computer in order to transfer the pictures. I will figure something out though. I thought I'd post quickly to update you on days 1 and 2 here in Park City.

We arrived at about 10:30am sunday morning (that's 12:30 east coast time) and immediately traveled to our "house". When we arrived a little after 12:30pm (west coast time), we discovered that the rental company made a (huge) mistake and put our group of 15 people in a house that slept about 9. Mind you, we have a baby, a pregnant woman and a 7 foot tall man in the group. We hadn't eaten anything since we left home at about 5 am that day so needless to say this didn't help the crankiness :). To make a long story short, we got major upgrades for our trouble. The only other place that would sleep 15 people in all of Park City was a (huge) house in Deer Valley, a very posh, upscale town about 2 miles from Park City. Our new upgrade has 5 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, 2 living rooms and sweet kitchen and an indoor hot tub! Definitely a blessing in disguise.

Today, for our first day of skiing, we took the shuttle to The Canyons resort for a full day of skiing. I'm pooped. It was a struggle to get back into the hang of it since it's been over a year since I skied last and that was only my first time anyway. Hopefully tomorrow I'll do a little better. My feet and legs are killing me. Oh, and we saw 3 moose on the mountains. Very cool.

I'll write more tomorrow hopefully with pictures to add!

Friday, February 8, 2008

oh, and one more thing...

Today is my last day working at CBI Group! I start on the 25th working full-time from home as a web and graphic designer! Goodbye, business professional. Hello, slippers and sweatpants.

Hittin the slopes...

On Sunday morning, we board a plane for Salt Lake City, UT for the annual Hall/Streeter ski trip out west. Last year, we traveled to Vail, CO for my first-ever skiing experience. I had two great teachers (my father-in-law and sister-in-law) on the first day and loved it ever since.
Many of you know that Matt landed hard after doing a jump on the first Black Diamond I ever skied down and broke his humorous into three pieces! He spent the second half of his vacation in Vail Valley Medical center where he got a 6 inch plate and 12 screws in surgery! He's got a huge scar to prove it. Well, I loved skiing so much that I was on the slopes while Matt was under the knife! :) Needless to say, there will be no jumping or tricks until we've paid that surgery off. Here are some pics of last years trip.

Clockwise from top left: Me and Shannon chattin on the slopes, Me and Matt on a peak, Matt being carted down the mountain in an emergency sled by the ski-medic, and Matt and his dad right after his fall (skis crossed in the background = mountain sign for HELP :)

Lilly, my favorite 3 year old (well, almost 3 year old) went on her first ski trip a few weeks ago. Paul and Kathy emailed me this picture to get me in the mood to ski so I thought I'd share it with you. I'm so impressed that 3-5 year olds can probably ski circles around a lot of adults.

Lillian Bruder - age (almost) 3
Remember that name. She may be a famous skier in the olympics.
She's a very driven little girl :)

I'll try and post when we're out west so you can experience 14 people in a house and skiing day-in and day-out. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 1, 2008

to know what it's like...

I think lately I have a new perspective on suffering and pain. Throughout my life, times of trial and storms have shaped me and marked a time in my life of change and growth. It never happens in an instant–for character and growth take time. In processing my thoughts in the last few months about struggles and painful trials, I know for me, I often search for someone who has truly been through what I may be going through–someone who can say, "I know exactly what you're going through." For some reason, at least for me, it validates my pain, making it easier to manage.

Recently, I've been reading a couple blogs by two families walking through some major suffering. One family, the Stanford family just posted this video documenting the first and last moments they shared with their son, Maddox, who suffered from Spina Bifida and Trisomy 18. Another family just gave birth to their first child, Gwyneth, very prematurely because Tricia, the mother, has Cystic Fibrosis and is in great need of a lung transplant. Her husband, Nate, has been faithfully posting on their family's blog with photos and updates of Tricia and tiny Gwyneth. As I'm writing this, I checked Nate's most recent post and it has pictures of him holding his daughter for the first time. One of the most remarkable things he said, however, was his reason for blogging and documenting this time in his life. Here's what he said:

"I have always believed that, if we allow Him, God never wastes a hurt, and that He will always use a painful experience to bless others going through similar experiences...Tricia and I feel that it would be incredibly selfish for us to have gone through this journey, no matter the final outcome, without, at least, offering to share our experiences with others."

I know for me, my pain in past trials becomes so much more meaningful–so much sweeter–when I can say to someone in a similar situation, "I KNOW what this feels like and I'm here with you." Even now, as I'm walking through troubles of my own, although not nearly as life-altering as those of Nate and Tricia or the Stanford family, knowing that someday I can say to someone hurting the same way, "I understand completely, " gives me pride in my hurting–the good pride that helps you push through with confidence. I can stop asking, "what should I be learning?" or, "why am I going through this?" and look around me at the answers to those questions...the ones watching me walk through it.

To God be the glory.

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." –I Peter 4:12-13

two weeks notice

What a weight lifted! Some of you may know (because I complain about it a lot) that my current job is just not panning out to be a good fit for me. It was a God-send when I was hired–a job a mile from home with a lot of flexibility–but it evolved into something much less exciting. I was ultimately a glorified receptionist. You can imagine how un-fulfilling that is as a creative person. So, I've been on the hunt. Just yesterday, I received a job offer as a web-designer working full-time from my very own home! What a blessing! I often thought when I was hired at my current job, "well, you can't get much better than working a mile from home!" And I guess I found better.

I was able to turn in my notice yesterday and already, its a weight lifted off of my shoulders. Many of my family members were noticing how this job was affecting me - just being unhappy during the week and anxious for a change. So, I'm counting my blessings. I'm so thankful for this new job opportunity and I'm excited to see what God has planned next!