Thursday, June 30, 2011



1. The art or process of setting and arranging types and printing from them.

Type is pretty major in Joel's field.  Design is ever changing & evolving and while I'm not completely the one in our family who is familiar with all things type, I know enough to know that it matters alot. 
A few months back, I started to think about a way to give Joel something for Father's Day that wouldn't suck.  

I wanted it to be cool without being over the top 'I'm trying to be cool." and I didn't want to just order something that had no relevance to Joel as a dad. 

After chatting with one of his colleague at work.  I found someone to execute an idea I thought would mean the most to Joel:

Custom Typography from his own son. 

Jude was just finishing up Kindergarten and his ability to read & write was getting pretty good.  Lee, the designer who was up for the challenge, told me to simply have Jude write his letters a zillion times so he had enough to work with.  

Once Lee sent me the ideas he had in motion, I just knew we were onto something....something that would mean a ton to my husband. 

It meant more than I realized as I've caught him staring at it...telling stories about it...and there is something I totally didn't think about in this process that I love: This print not only commemorates our son's handwriting at age 5 but is forever a source of pride for Joel toward his son.  

What do you think?  

BIG thanks to Lee Zelenak for helping to accomplish something I could have never done on my own!  Thank you, friend. 

Monday, June 27, 2011


My little Leland, who we affectionately call "Lebe"....has been a blast already this summer.

His joy for being on center-stage is really coming out.  If people are watching, he is performing.

He is saying short sentences like 'What's That?"  or  "Uh-oh Mama...."  amongst hundreds of other words.  I can just see he is pleased that he can finally communicate with us & it's so beautiful.

With the wedding season in full swing, I'm gone alot at makeup trials or doing makeup for bridal parties and I'm seeing such a sweet bond between Joel & Leland....they are becoming buds and I can tell when I get back from a long day away....he's getting more & more into hanging with the dudes.

While I'm open to having a third, there is something in me that feels the need to really savor this little age, so sweet & mostly innocent....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

L is for Logan

Picked up the cuties from VBS this afternoon.

I was running a tad late.

Leland was on my hip trying to get down and go play in mulch or eat dirt.  I was just trying to stay on track and not be the 'the mom' who consistently makes her kids feel like they are the last to get picked up.

I saw a woman grabbing a bald little cutie pie from his car seat...still sound asleep.  He was about Leland's size, just a tad smaller....cute little plaid overalls and sandals.  I'm a sucker for sandals on babies.

She said he was tired out from his treatment.  In a moment, it all made sense.  This little boy was sick.

I was compelled to ask questions but wondered if it would be painful to talk about it...she politely told me his condition is called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and has been in treatment for 8 months now. 

I couldn't help but notice how many similarities there were to Leland....the size, the cuteness of their little cankles, their hands.  Leland stayed on my hip like an angel as I spoke to this woman (Grandma to baby Logan) and in my heart, I whispered thanks to God for the health of my children that I often take for granted.

I asked her if there was a way to help with the costs.  She seemed surprised that someone would ask and mentioned that almost nothing is covered by insurance and his parents (with 4 children total) are drowning in bills.

She gave me a little flyer and asked if I knew anyone with a 'service' to donate for an auction they have coming up in July.  I knew I needed to blog about this....I don't even know this boy or his family.  All I know is that he deserves what Leland has....and he deserves to not be in pain all the time....and he deserves to laugh and play without the extreme fatigue.

His little lips were perfect and it was all I could do not to kiss on him myself.  Instead, I thought how beautiful would it be if anyone reading these words would be moved by compassion do something.

Perhaps you have a service you can donate...or perhaps you simply want to bless this family with a little help.  Could you imagine how YOU would feel if some crazy Mom blogger was moved by compassion to DO SOMETHING for your child?  Let's love this little Logan....

Here is how. 

You know a wise friend of mine once said...."Compassion with no action is merely pity...." 

If you would like to donate a service or some kind for their auction, email me at and I'll send you the details. 

Thanks compassionate friends....hug those children tight...pray for those who are fighting for their right to live...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

networking socially

facebook to me is really interesting.

To many, it gets the word out about their business or organization.
To others, it is about showing the cuteness of their offspring.
To some, it is about staying in contact with a group worth caring about to keep in an online list.

To me, it's just another tool to invest in what I believe is the most important thing: RELATIONSHIPS

Every now and again, I will peruse the site and come across a name of a person I haven't talked with in a while...I'll click on their name & VOILA: They have de-friended me!

It doesn't happen alot....but when it does....well, it wierds me out.

Are they mad at me?  Were they just cleaning up their list?

I usually think about it for about a minute...move on with my life....and look ahead to the next relationship.

In the many talks Joel and I have had, this is one of the reasons he is so anti-facebook.  The drama associated with deactivated accounts & defriending.

In alot of ways, he is right on.  It's like once you get on the ride & buckle up, it's hard to get off.

I mean, I have definitely defriended my share of folks....but always for a reason.

Mine are pretty simple:

1-If you creep me out or try to go to a location that I frequent (Yes, this has happened) You're gone & blocked!


2-If you use loads of obscenities or are hurtful toward others, I just prefer to remove the negativity

This 'little' list of mine got me wondering why others delete people....perhaps I'm naive and I'm allowing my circle to not be as tight as it ought to be.  So...I turn the question to you:

Why else should someone be deleted?  (aside from creepiness/negativity)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

taking a moment...

to breathe.

Made it through my crazy Saturday just fine.

I was tired but I just so enjoyed each moment.  It really is an honor to sit beside a bridal party, hear their laughter, their stories of how long they have known one another...and get to be 'one of the girls' for a bit.

Father's Day was one of the best ever...time with my boys loving their Daddy and time with my own Daddy...just felt uber blessed all day long.

This week is strangely chaotic with tons of running around and a car in the shop (which brings such stress, I find) so I'm taking a moment....a moment to dream.  I'm choosing to think & focus on the trip we are planning to Dublin.  I'm thinking of the market near our hotel where we'll grab breakfast in the mornings.  I'm thinking of the bike rides we'll take along the coast.  I'm thinking of the Theater festival that will be starting the night we arrive.  I'm thinking of the late nights laughing and ESPECIALLY of us sleeping in....

Friday, June 17, 2011

intense....but loving it

Many of you know the story of Kajal.

The brand I was lucky enough to stumble upon through my dear friend, Kimberly.  I've been amazed as an emerging & developing makeup artist at just how much it takes - so much more than just applying a product to the skin.

It's about creating confidence, identifying the risk each client wants to take, & then making a decision based on the God-given beauty each one has.

It's not rocket science.
It's not surgery.

But....there is really nothing like watching a woman look at herself and truly believe (even if she doesn't say it) that she is beautiful.

Tomorrow is my busiest day ever....12-14 hours straight bouncing between 2 wedding parties that are polar opposite and on separate sides of town.  Praying for great weather....seamless traffic as I won't have a moment to spare....and wedding parties as beautiful and wonderful to work with as this one...

all images courtesy of Tom Forrest Photography

Thursday, June 16, 2011


There simply could not be a more opposite person of me than my husband.

While we have similar tastes in food, décor, music & art...our personalities remain vastly different.

I remember our first times together spent getting to know one another....we met while on a 16-hour bus trip to Colorado to climb the 14,000 ft Pike's Peak. We had about 5 hours to talk and it felt like 5 minutes....just so much to learn about the other. 

Last night we celebrated Joel's 31st birthday - for days prior, I would ask him: "Honey, want me to invite some friends over?  We could do a guys night....whatever you want for your birthday!"

He responded simply..."No that's ok, let's just let it be us."

The big difference in who we are is marked by how we view time with people.  We both value friendships a great deal.  However, time with people is like a recharge to my battery whereas time spent alone or in a calm environment is his.

We had a lovely meal...Jude put on an 'Art Show' as the entertainment and then I gave the man what he needed most: Time with his guitar - time without little sticky fingers getting in the way of his strum.

It was just what he wanted....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

31 years of...

photo cred: KMP

life lived to its fullest
brilliant songwriting
elaborate & simple design in a single artist
caring about family before himself
creative expression through music
-through graphic art
-through fine art photography
-through home-remodeling
evolving into a perfectly modern Bob Vila...just way hotter
Being a loving husband
Being an amazing father whose kids "KNOW" they are loved

I am so blessed to have shared the last 10 years of his 31 at his side....and to have so many more ahead.

Happy Birthday baby!  We love you!

Jess, Jude & Lebe

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


With all that could possibly go wrong in the world today, it's easy enough to give into the crabbiness...but then there are those 'sun scattering' persons out there who care enough to enough to be honest...and truly make the day bright.

I hope to be one of those persons in the lives of my friends. I hope to be the person who cares enough to give a compliment despite my own insecurities.  I notice this from time to time....this wierd withholding of kindness as a way to be or appear like the 'cooler' person.  It's SO obvious that insecurity marks such an ommission.  Love means being 'out loud' about it.  Love also is humble enough to realize there will always be someone 'better/prettier/skinnier/richer/artsy-er'  etc. 

Life will throw us tough stuff.  It's our job to either catch it & deal or dodge it and use wisdom the next time it comes our way.

Love this print from Kantan Designs

A person in my life a LONG time ago once told me..."If you still have the strength to sing in the shower, life can't be THAT bad..."

sing away, loves.....

Monday, June 13, 2011

summer top ten

1.  Not being in a hurry.  Ever.

2.  Reading books just because...

3.  Being outdoors MOST of the time.

4.  Hearing boys giggle.

5.  Watching them learn, grow & share.

6.  Chasing & tickling them until the laughter comes from their bellies.

7.  Fun with family & traveling & picture-taking

8.  Bonfires & crispy marshmallows

9.  Snuggling during thunderstorms

10. Enjoying life & never wishing for the next moment to be here...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

vegan day 79

So, my original goal in this quest was try out the vegan lifestyle for a 90 day period.


To see if my body would respond to the diet difference and heal itself, decrease or eliminate pain associated with endometriosis & cause overall health & wellness.

I'm 11 days away from the 90 mark and the furthest thing from my mind is going back to meat & dairy.

I am fully embracing the plant-based lifestyle and am amazed at the energy level.  It's the most noticeable change I've seen.  I feel like I even sleep better.

The most commonly asked question I get is how do you make separate meals for your non-vegan family members?  The truth is I don't really...

I just try to think smart.  If I know a certain meal will be unappealing to the boys, I'll make my 'part of the meal' first and then add what I know they'll love.  For instance last night, I made a typical homemade pizza - kept a bit of the dough for my part of the meal and kept mine without the fresh mozzarella.

If we're grilling out, I give Joel his beloved meat & I have my egg plant or vegan patty ready to throw on the grill too.

What I am finding is the snacks & foods I'm getting for myself are finding their way to the entire family as they discover what I've learned in 79 days and that is this: Vegan living isn't eating bad-tasting's bringing out the richness & flavor in food from the ground!

To those who have emailed me about starting a plant-based diet, do a 90-day challenge & see how you like it.  I bet you might just fall in love with veggies, beans & legumes too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

stink eye

Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting our bro, sis & nephews/niece...

Josiah, the nephew who was born just a day before Leland decided to show us his new 'trick' - the stink eye!

Anywhere and everywhere we were, he would put on this face and send us rolling...

It just makes me want to kiss his little face and run my fingers through those curls ALL THE MORE!

How in the world does someone so cute & little do something so dramatic?  I love you, Josiah!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

the 12 minute project

I must admit I am not the most organized person.

People totally think I am.

I am NOT.

I am forgetful.

Good thing Jude and I had a little talk before he went to bed about the 'costume' he was supposed to wear this morning as the Letter M from the "Letter People" - here is how that conversation went down:

Me: Alright bud, let's get your PJ's on & have some book time...
Jude: Tomorrow is Tuesday right?
Me: Right.
Jude: Yay!  I get to come dressed as the Letter M!
Me: Cool bud.  Wait, how do you 'come dressed' as the letter M?  Were we supposed to get a costume from school?
Jude: No....we were supposed to make one.
Me: Oh...what was it supposed to look like?
Jude: Just like the Letter M
Me: And tell me what the Letter M looks like....
Jude: He is 'munchy' and he has a yellow mouth with blue legs so you need to color my skin, Mommy, ok?

After Jude went to bed...I frantically went to Joel for ideas.  I'm not good 'on the fly' like he is.

He came up with a 'Munchy M' Design and printed out something we could sketch over a makeshift ghetto lightbox (i.e. a light inside of a tupperware container with a piece of glass over it)

Here is what we came up with - not bad for a total of 12 minutes of prep....

Monday, June 6, 2011

why do weekends have to end?

This was by far one of our favorite weekends of 2011.

Jude's outdoor movie night party was FINALLY here after weeks of Jude asking...

Kim & Ryan (Our bro & sis) & kids were coming to town....

Gorgeous weather, time with family, excessive laughter & cute babies make for awesome pictures & precious memories!

BIG Thanks to the awesome Gannons for having us over for a delicious meal, bobbing for apples & hosting a blast of an evening!  We love you!

Enjoy a compilation from the weekend:
the 'popcorn bag' cake by Cakes by Julie (that's my Mom)

Concession Stand

Movie Candy

Quick Tug-O-War before the Movie...

going to miss our cousin, Allie...

brothers, Joel & Ry

Auntie C, Al & Erin

Josiah's 'mean' face

cousins, Jude & Selah

Bobbing for apples

the babies!

Auntie C got her apple!

Friday, June 3, 2011

a habit formed

The other night after an exhausting night with crabby kids....I realized that perhaps all the stress of the evening stemmed from a really crabby Mommy.

I was tired. Busy. A few things just bothered me that, when I look back, were such minor things.

Joel was merely speaking to me and I was just throwing back attitude.

I was not a pleasant person to be around.  9pm approached.  Kids fast asleep.  The thought of going to bed seemed appealing but my mind would be restless with the countless items waiting on my to-do list.

I would normally just trudge through, drink a latte & deal.

This particular night, I did something that I hope to continue.  I ran it out.

I got on my workout gear, stretched and hooked up the ipod.

I ran & ran & ran.

When I got home, it was as if every problem had gone away & I had a surge of energy to finish off the to-do's....

I think I've finally gotten to the place where exercise is a part of my life....and when it's missing for more than a few days...the entire world will know.