Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fun in New York!

Look! Finally pictures from my trip to New York for the swanky Highlights Writing Conference last summer in Chautauqua.

I just had to pose on these beautiful steps....

Yes, I'm aware I look like a dork. In fact, a dorky tourist. Whatever. In my defense, I took a red eye flight to New York and I was a bit sleep-deprived! Luckily I got a snooze in before the opening banquet.

Check out the steamboat! I didn't actually see this though. This is a shot of my friend's. But I heard it blow it's whistle. And silly me, I thought there was a train somewhere.

My utterly amazing and fabulous and stupendously great mentor, Patricia Lee Gauch....
She is the former Vice President of Philomel Books and an amazing author herself. She was one of the coveted mentors and I felt very very blessed and honored to score her as mine. I learned loads from this lady.

Okay. Could I own one of these houses? Please? That place was filled to the brim with beautiful homes with beautiful yards and beautiful flowers. Yeah, I just need a few million to make these dreams come true...

Check out the green stuff! I forget how brown Utah is until I get somewhere like this....

But I have to say. OY! How I did miss our mountains. And when I was on the plane ride home and we finally flew over some brown mountains, my heart smiled.
I loved all the flowers!

My view as I walked to breakfast each morning...
The famous Atheneum Hotel...
This is where we had our fancy dinners and amazing buffet breakfasts each morning. That place is simply gorgeous. I wish I could afford to bring my whole family back to stay. But not unless I sell a few gazillion books!

Here we were checking out the sweet house Barbara Santucci (picture book author) and Kathleen Hayes (editor of High 5--Highlight's magazin for the younger set) got to stay in. It was pretty pretty nice...

And we like to act like goofballs. So. That's what that picture is all about. :)

I made some really awesome friends. And we enjoyed getting together to swap notes about the different classes we were all attending....

Doesn't it look like I have the whole group just at my feet...waiting for my words of wisdom? heh heh. Pictures are so wonderfully decieving.

This is a great shot of the fun group I fell into....
We affectionately called ourselves 3 Men, 3 Mormons and Stephanie. These people are some of the greatest I've ever had the pleasure of hanging out with. We all became friends so easily. It was super. (And we were such an interesting illustrator, school teacher, couple moms, authors and even a crazy Australian former professional rugby player...Ah, Jon, I love ya!)
I made so many great friends on this trip! You really get to know people fast when you spend breakfast, lunch, dinner, classes and trips with them....

Here I am with the cute and talented Candace Fleming and the Caldecott winning illustrator of My Friend Rabbit, Eric Rohmann...
These two are super fun and I'm excited they're coming to Utah in March for a conference at UVU. I've been thinking of going...but then today I was wondering about being that far from home and only 4 weeks left of this pregnancy. Hmmm....not so sure about that.

Hey look! It's me hanging out with Terry Hatcher...
LOL!'s not, but doesn't she totally look like her? But I bet Kim is a much sweeter person. :)
Check out my stalker grin while posing with the famous and amazing Jerry Spinelli....

GoodNESS. Could I be any more starstruck??!
Well, the trip was totally and completely worth the expense and the effort. I loved it. I learned loads and I made a lot of great connections with people I know I'll keep in touch with forever.
But I did miss my family like crazy and I was so happy to get home to them. It's always nice to go, but it's even nicer to return home!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pretty in Pink (Link to easy dress tute)

I followed this tute...

Habitual's Sundress Tutorial

and made this fun little dress for my wee girl...

And the best part? It was easy peasy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Spooky Night!

Some fun shots from our yard during October...

We had such a fun Halloween! (yes, I'm aware this is a bit late...)

Our cute little nephew, Kolby was baptized that morning in St. George. So, we went down and spent the day with my brother and his family and my parents.

I was so glad we were able to be there for Kolby's baptism. He's such a fun kid!

Later that afternoon we went to a block party in my parent's neighborhood. Here we are all dressed up (Ryan is not pictured since he I forgot to pack his bunny costume...heh)...

It was a great party! They had a bouncy slide and a bounce house for the kids, a yummy potluck dinner and there were some excellent costumes in that crowd. Then a bit later we went out to prowl and grab some candy for the wee ones.
Emmett made a cute cowboy....

Zoe was the perfect little Pinkalicious (don't know that book? Oh, it is very pink and very girly)...

Weston was a superb Mad Scientist...

Sam was a spooky Vampire...

My brother was an AWESOME pirate! (wait. did that sound sarcastic??)

And here's our cute niece, the pirate princess, Natassha. Isn't she so pretty?! And she sure loves that little Zoe. Unfortunately, Kolby, who wasn't feeling so good that morning, but wanted to go ahead with the baptism, ended up feeling pretty yucky and had to miss out on the trick or treating. But all the kids contributed some of their candy for him. Sweet kids!

Fun was had by all. And the kid's favorite treat of the night were the mini beanie babies one house was handing out.
We stayed the night with Grandma Donna and Grandpa Fred and went to church with them the next day. And, of course, when it was time to go home, we wished the weekend was longer!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mr. Violin

(In an effort to catch up my blog I'm trying to post everyday! So, stay tuned :)

Weston really really wanted to join the orchestra at his school this year. So, we found him a violin to rent and he was off! He has orchestra practice twice a week during school. And then he's supposed to practice 15 minutes a day at home. He has loved it.

He had his first concert in December. And he did such a super great job!

They played Mary had a Little Lamb, Jingle Bells, Ode to Joy (my favorite), the Chipmunks Song and more. It was a really fun show to watch!

We were so impressed with how well our Weston did. I don't think he made one mistake!

Great job Weston!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jim and Mikki's Wedding

Yay! Mikki is officially apart of the family!On a chilly day in December Ryan and I got to see his little brother, Jim, sealed to the wonderful and fabulous Mikki. It was a beautiful day.

The kids LOVE their Aunt Mikki. While Jim was on his mission, Emmett became concerned about who he was going to marry. His first pick was me. :) Then Zoe. I kept telling him that wouldn't work. Finally I had to tell him it was against the law! But when I asked him why he wanted to marry her he said something like, "Because I'll miss her when I grow up."

Well, then he decided he would marry Mikki. But, sadly, I had to share with him that I thought she might be taken by Uncle Jim. So, the boy is still on the lookout for his future bride. Luckily, he doesn't seem so concerned anymore.

There was a swanky reception at the Marriot after the sealing. Yummy food and great company. What more do you need? As you can see, Zoe really enjoyed the chocolate mousse.

The next evening they had a fun reception at the Bryce Valley Elementary gym.
We had such a great time seeing so many people from the area. Many we hadn't seen in sooo long. We sat at the table where people signed in. So, we got to chat with just about everyone! It was super.

The boys were pretty excited about their jobs as present gatherers. And they did pretty good except we heard they were going up to people and saying, "Where's your present?" So. We had to have a little chat with them about that!
Here's sweet Zoe snuggling up with her handsome Grandpa Franz.

We kicked up our heels for the second half of the reception. And I got to dance with all my favorite boys!

And Zoe even got to dance with the cute groom, her awesome Uncle Jim.

What a great night!

Friday, January 22, 2010

('s been awhile, eh? well, hopefully I can get back into the swing of the blogging world...)
A week ago Weston and Sam recieved letters in the mail saying they had both won in Reflections contest at the District Level.

They'd been looking forward to the awards ceremony after school in the District office building ever since.

They recieved awards on the school level last...erm? December maybe? And, so it was fun to see their entries had gone on to win again. And it's especially cool when you think theirs were chosen from 252 entries in the county!

Weston got an Honorable Mention in the Photography catergory for this cool photo....

I love that shot he got. Unique perspective, eh?

Sam recieved Second Place in 3D Art for this fun sculpture of a wee robot and his hardware trimmings (yep, the boy still loves robots)...

Sam also won First Place in the Photography Catergory and this meant his entry got to go on and compete at the Regional Level. He won for this photo...

What we didn't know before we went was that they already knew who had won at the Regional level and so we were happy and surprised when they announced his name again! This means his photo will go on to compete at the State Level. The cute little guy was pretty excited about the posh medallions he recieved. He'd been looking forward to it for days. And that morning the first thing he said to me was, "Today we get to get our trophies!!!" (He was hoping for a trophy...but he was more than happy with the medallions)

He even got interviewed by a lady from the paper. That would be fun if they print something about him and hopefully we won't miss it.

I'm so proud of my guys. Doing all the projects is a lot of work, but I think it's totally worth it. We felt bad that Emmett didn't win anything, but he's already planning an entry for next year!