22 June 2017

A Special Request Art Piece For My Birthday

After returning home last week and feeling that sense of urgency to get the wheels of progress rolling again it suddenly seems like there is a lot going on in every direction. That is a good thing and I am really feeling energized by small steps forward that are happening and ideas that are percolating. It feels like the speed of things is picking up too, so I'm feeling excited and a little bit of "hold onto your hat!" I am very interested to see what the next few months are going to bring.

Last year for my birthday I ordered a few pieces of art for the house. One of them was an art piece similar to this one above with the Los Angeles LDS temple as the focal point. This year I wanted to add the Albuquerque Temple now that this is "our new" temple. The artist Tolman Bryant Design didn't have the Albuquerque Temple among their offerings so I sent a message through Etsy asking if they would considering making one.

Within a day or so I had a file emailed to me with the sample work in it, already created and ready to go. I was so surprised! I had been thinking of making this a birthday present to myself - I always get myself something or a few things for my birthday, so I thought this would be a fun gift. I ordered it just before my birthday and then when we got back in town it was waiting for me....along with many other packages that I had ordered.

I didn't think too smart and had a ton of packages arrive here while I was gone. Some I had anticipated would arrive before I left, and a few I hadn't anticipated ordering at all, so it was an unusual cavalcade of deliveries while we were gone which did leave The Man wondering a bit. Ha.

I had used a silver floating frame from Michaels and added a mat to it last time I framed the other temple art. This is because I couldn't find anything else like I was looking for. I could've done without the floating option but it worked with the mat to look just like I wanted it to. So I popped by Michaels again earlier this week and was pleased to find the same frames on sale buy one get one free. So I grabbed two for the price of one and had this all put together in just a few minutes. Now the two pieces are sitting next to each other on top of an antique Spanish chest of drawers in our dining room. They look good together. I should've grabbed a photo to share with you. Duh.

If you are interested in seeing more Tolman Bryan Design art it's available on Etsy in a variety of sizes and different temple versions. If there is one you want that you don't see, apparently it's as easy as asking to see if they can create something special for you to see. I love finding religious art that is out of the ordinary and has a more modern feel. That puts Tolman Bryant on my radar for sure!

 I'm looking forward to a bunch more posts in the next few days. It seems like I have so much to share with you, fun announcements and progress on things. I think this is going to be a fun month to come...lots of hard work, but some good fun. Hope all is well in your world!

20 June 2017

Summer Kick-off Trip

School ended near the last full week of May and then we had just the right amount of days to unwind and rest of before we headed off to visit family and attend sports camps. In the aftermath of our trip I will say that I really liked getting away and starting summer off with a bang right away. It was good for the soul to see family, get out of town out and be somewhere different, and start the summer fun of splash pads and picnics right off the bat.

Sometimes I find that if I don't really start summer off with intention for summer fun, suddenly it's late July or early August and we are just getting having our first barbecue, trip, big bike ride, night at the city park or baseball stadium and we've missed the majority of the summer. So jumping right into the spirit of the season the week after school got out was great.

Kiddo attended golf and basketball camps in the mornings and then in the afternoons and on the weekends we had time to spend with immediate and extended family. We met lots of cousins at a local splash pad one day and another day we took a fun evening bike ride around Midway, Utah. It is a wonderful little town that was settled by Swiss immigrants and has the look and feel of a beautiful quaint European village. After  our ride, that we had the best burgers and fries at a local food truck.

It was so good for the soul to be with our people, to see old friends and to be about different things than we generally are on regular days at home. I met up with a fun friend from California who is now an esthetician working in American Fork and had a great facial and chat. Things have changed so much since I lived in the area where I grew up that it's a challenge for me to find my way around anymore. But it is fun to adventure to new places that I often hear about from locals that I haven't been to.

I also had a chance to do a little undisturbed clothing shopping and scored on a few great deals on summer clothes. We enjoyed some great meals at my folks home and out to eat at fun old favorite eating spots and some "new to us" spots too. I think I got a bit of heat exhaustion one day and eating a lot of salads really helped with recovery. Fresh fruits and vegetables just make summer such a happy time for me.

We were sad to leave everyone, but once we were home we were also happy to be back in our own home, beds and routine. Thanks to our fun 10-day trip we came home in full summer mode. Even though we have work, home chores, classes and camps to attend to,we are still making the most of summer by taking some free time every day to relax, swim and watch a little TV or go somewhere fun. Bedtime has also gone out the window, for better or worse. It feels like it's okay so far and I think everyone in the family seems to be benefitting from taking a break from the rigorous and tiring routine of the school year.

It's been insanely hot since we got back and we feel like we're roasting a lot of the time, so that downtime really does help us keep our sanity and stay as cool as possible. Swimming has helped cool down our core body temps in the late afternoons and we stay cool the rest of the day. What a blessing it's been to have a pool, even though we kept telling our realtor we did not want a pool. But there are a lot of houses in the southwest that have a pool so it's not always so easy to find the house you want that doesn't have a pool. In the end I'm so glad we have a pool. Lesson learned. Living in the southwest and having a pool is a good thing.

Summer is in full swing now. Kiddo is in a local golf camp this week and I am working as much as I can while also making time for downtime for myself, with the family and with friends. One thing I still want to work on is getting out with friends to do things. I am not very good at initiating plans but am always so happy when friends call and invite us to do things. This summer I want to plan some mom and kids outings and a few night time family picnics. Better get on that!


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