Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas 2012

Snow Shoeing
Christmas 2012 was a wonderful season. This was the most nonstressful Christmas ever. Shopping was a week long event (instead of the usual several months), we saw the Forgotten Carols, The Nutcracker, and the Donny and Marie Christmas Show. Christmas Eve found us at the Cathedral of the Madeleine for their annual Christmas Mass. It is a beautiful way to start Christmas Eve. I love worshiping with people from all denominations and walks of life. The music defies description. After Mass we came home, got dinner ready, and talked to our Cameron for two hours. He is doing so well, we even got to see his face on Skype, what a miracle.  He looks great he sounds great! We are so proud of him and can't wait to see him in July : )

Mitch got new skis
The Nutcracker
Later in the evening, we enjoyed our annual testimony meeting as a family. It is so beautiful to share personal witness of the Savior with the glow of the Christmas tree. I love this time of year. I love Temple Square with the beautiful lights and nativities, i love our house festooned with our nativities from around the world, i love family, celebrations, dinners, good food, gatherings, family, carols, ward dinners, Festival of Trees, parties, more good food, shopping, family, and more good food. I think everyone should be home for Christmas every year.
The Newlyweds

Christmas night we went to Grandpa and Grandma Meiners' house for the ritual of feasting and Pounce (a favorite family card game). It was a great day. Toby took the week off so we could just relax, sled, snow shoe, eat, and enjoy. We took the family to Les Miserable, what a powerful story of redemption and forgiveness. I loved having Cristy here for the holidays, she almost didn't make it and that would have been a tragedy. Home for Christmas, that is where everyone belongs.

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving at the Hawkins
I'm trying to get caught up to 2013 but i just want to add a paragraph or two about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving was fabulous, one of my favorites to date. The whole family was together (except Cam in the Philippines) even my brother Jeff and Bridget came from Colorado. Our new house is double the size of our old house yet our kitchen space is smaller, so the question of where to have thanksgiving loomed large. The garage was decided upon and with the help of Ashley, Mariah, Cristy, Toby, and Taylor we transformed the garage in to a respectable dining hall. Everything was beautiful and tasty!

The day started with the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade and the roasting of the turkey. It was an unusually warm Thanksgiving day in Utah, somewhere in the upper 40's. A regular heat wave. We took advantage of visiting cousins and spend a couple of hours at the local trampoline gym jumping our way to happiness. There were about 20 of us. I haven't flipped, flopped, or jumped so much in years, it was a perfect pregorging activity.

I loved having Jered, Mariah, and Luke, Tay and Ash spend the week with us. It was fast and furious, but wonderful. It was a sort of a combo Thanksgiving/Christmas for us. We saw the lights at Temple Square, ate food, went shopping, crafted a little, went to the movie, ate a little more and enjoyed playing games with Cristy and Jeff one night.

I love thanksgiving. It is everything a special occasion should be; good food, good people, good times! Thank you dear people for joining us.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chickens and Pots

I started this blog as a blog about my chickens.  We moved in May and left the chickens behind.  It was a sad thing; I miss my ladies every day.  I traded my chickens for a studio. The biggest selling point for our new home was an amazing studio.  I went from an 8x8 foot shoebox to a 30x20 foot work room. 

In the beginning of October I was asked to sell my pottery in a boutique.  I was terrified.  Should I??  I didn’t feel ready.  It was a dream I have had for years, but was the timing right?  I stewed, I pondered, I stressed, I agonized.  I was still turning the idea over in my mind when I went to visit Cristy.  I sat by a lady on the plane who has become my best customer.  She was so complimentive.  She loved bowls with carvings (I thought I was alone), she loved bright colored bowls, she loved leaves, and poka dots, and pots with faces.  She loved braided handles and platters with carvings.  Was it a sign?  Was she just being nice?  I didn’t know.  I was skeptical.

When I returned home she called me and made a sizable order.  I was humbled I was excited.  She wanted me to teach her 18-year-old son who serves as a TA in the ceramic classes at Davis High.  I wondered if I had anything new to teach him.  It has since become a wonderful experience. 
Was I was ready to walk naked upon the art stage?  I had a dream the week before the show that I was swimming in the ocean with Toby and Jered.  They had an inflatable inner tube.  I was treading water.  They yelled at me to look backwards and there loomed a 90-foot wave, three feet from where I was treading water.  They were safe, I knew that, but I was in deep trouble.  I knew I had to hold my breath until the wave passed.  It was terrifying.  The dream stayed with me for weeks.

I agreed to do my first sell with only five weeks to spare.  I explained to Toby what this would mean he willingly agreed to support me.  My family ate a lot of Little Caesar Pizza.  I worked harder than I ever had in my life.  I threw, trimmed, glazed, and wedged.  I worked ceaselessly every chance I got and late into the night most nights. 
The day of the show came.  My wonderful family came and supported me.  It was more than I could have dreamed.  Although traffic was light, I still sold a lot of bowls.  When the day was done, I was happy and yet a little sad, I couldn’t place my feelings.  Immediately I came home and started working on a second show 3 weeks hence with Thanksgiving in the middle.  Again, I had great success and sold every bowl I brought (except some bright, happy bowls which will have to wait for spring) every platter, tortilla warmer, and pot.  Toby asked me how it went and again I was elated and a little sad.  WHY?!?  It didn’t make sense.  It took me awhile - 12 months of my pottery life was gone.  My bowls are my friends, they have replaced my ladies.  They are mostly one-of-a-kind.  I am not a fast potter.  I labor and stew over each bowl and piece.  They are a little part of me.  I breathed life into clay and make it functional.  I loved to go down to my studio and just look around.  Now, there are only empty shelves waiting to be filled.  I received many orders from the second show and spent all of December making more platters and bowls.  I told Toby I was going to write a book called, “The Inconvenient Dream”. 

 I’m looking ahead to 2013.  I don’t know where pottery will take me.  Will I do more shows?  Will I just make things for people I love and special orders?  I don’t know.  I haven’t decided.  I learned a lot this fall.  It was an experience I will never forget.  I have miles to go to before I become the potter I would like to be but thank you for all your support these past couple of months.  It has been an amazing ride!

50?!?!? WHAT THE HECK?!? When did that happen?

I’ll admit i had a hard time turning 50.  Birthdays?  What are those?  Just a time to get together and a good excuse to eat cake without guilt.  I didn’t mind turning 20, 30, 40 felt like a holiday, a freedom from 30’s (those were hard years) but 50?!?  Seriously, that is a big number and what does it even mean?  Am I too old for skinny pants?  Am I too old to go to the trampoline park with my kids (who aren’t really kids anymore).  Am I old enough that I can wear bling without my son telling me I should move to Tooele?  At what age can wear what we want?  Tierra’s and cupcake dresses?  Hmm, I think that ship sailed and I wasn’t on board, unfortunately.
But 50, that was a hard pill to swallow.  I don’t feel any different than I did 20 years ago.  In fact, I feel better.  I have more stamina, more energy, and more passion for life.  I  don’t want to get old.  That’s all.  I love life, I want to drink from it deeply forever, I don’t want to get senile (more than I already am).  I want to travel and put in 18 hour days and never slow down.  I want to have energy for my grandkids; I just don’t want to be some old lady that they can’t relate to.  I feel bad for Mitch.  When Mariah and Taylor were teenagers we were in our 30’s and now Mitch has an old mom.  I never saw it coming.  No one warned me that I would go to bed in my 30’s and wake up 50.  That’s how it feels.  I don’t recognize the person in the mirror, that can’t possible be me; I am young.  I feel young.  It is weird.
Luke sitting on my stomach

In spite of all my misgivings, I had a terrific birth-day or birth-week. I flew to DC and spent 30 perfect hours with my sister, Cristy (we saw the ballet Dracula), I spend my birthday at the zoo with Toby, Luke, Mariah, Rob and crew, Taylor threw me amazing party, Toby got me a slab-roller for pottery, friends, and family were amazing.  I felt loved and supported and I did eat cake, lots of delicious cake (thanks Margaret).  I’ll take that fuel and more forward for hopefully 50 more!  Thank you wonderful people, I love you all!!

Technology Overload

I am feeling slightly technologically overloaded these days.  Taylor mentioned that he was going to write a book about all the things i don't know about technology.  While that may be true please let it be stated here, for time and all eternity, that i did unlock my own Apple phone this month.  I may not have a lot to brag about, but i am proud of that accomplishment.  Between Facebook, Blogger, Instagram, Pinterest, text, email, and now, Google plus (if i want to see pictures of Luke), it just seems like a lot (and no, i don't twitter).  Remember when people passed notes in class and you got mail in the mailbox?  Remember Photo mat where pictures were developed (i actually applied to work at Photo mat but was denied because i failed the prerequisite math test)?  Why is that suddenly sounding easier?  

Why is keeping track of your third cousin once removed now a prerequisite and answering 50 emails a day part of etiquette.  With a camera on our phone, we also have apx 2,000 pictures a year to sort and index.  As the comic Jim Gafferty said, "i have more pictures of my son than my dad ever looked at me".  Am i the only one on technology overload?  Hmm, so... in my quest to sort out all the before mentioned communication options, I'm trying to decide what to do about blogging.    

When i saw my friend Karen's book she made from her blog, i started writing.  I loved her book.  These days i don't scrap book, or journal (i write Cameron each week instead), so i liked the idea of a photo journal, a sort of family history.  The problem is i have been a terrible slacker.  So... my goal now made public (or at least to Karen as she is my only reader) i vow to do better.  I will blog at least once a month.  There, it isn't much, but it is a start.  On we go soldiers of technology!  I am going to catch up from the fall and then march forward. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mitch and NUAMES

Mitch’s First day of High School by Mitch and Mom

It all started this morning when my mom took the wrong turn and got on the freeway instead of  Woodscross where the bus was supposed to pick me up.  She let me out on the freeway entrance and I started walking to the bus stop as fast as I could.  I got a ride by the only person I knew going to NUAMES. 

We missed the bus and sped as fast we could to Bountiful High School where we also missed the bus.  We then drove at mach 5 to the next pick up which was Viewmont.  In the mean time, my mom was driving at mach 5 to the next freeway exit, ran a red light and sped back to find me.  She saw the NUAMES bus leave the highschool as she was still on the freeway trying to get to me.  When she got to the school I wasn’t there and she couldn’t figure out where I had gone as she saw that I had missed the bus.  She sped to Viewmont to make sure I was on the bus.  When she got there she was shocked to see me waiting for the bus.  She gave me my lunch and all was well.

On the way to school I had a sound track of odd kids making pokemon noises and talking about World of War Craft.  All of the other kids on the bus were talking about Mind Craft or Star Craft.  I was entering alien territory.

When we arrived at school I was about ready to shoot myself.  We started with period 5, English, not much to talk about there.  Next I had Digital Photography.  I am very excited about this class as we are learning everything about Photoshop.  I have an assignment to take 20 pictures of specific items for next weeks.

Next came lunch.  It is weird to have only two periods and then lunch.  I ate with the girl that gave me a ride to school, Witley, which is the weirdest name on earth.  There are lots of people with strange names at that school, one girl (im not making this up) her first name is Demo and last name is Lition.  Only at NUAMES.  She is a weird girl, so it fits ish.

After lunch I had math, gotta love math.  It is taught by a Russian lady who spells everything wrong on the board as she can’t speak the language too well.  We are guinea pigs in a new math class that has never been taught before.  Wish me luck.

Next came Engineering.  It is cool, we have an assignment to make a paper bridge to span between two boxes with no other materials than paper.  I am excited.

After school we had our First Robotic club class.  I am way excited the last group that did it won the state championship and went on to the world championship that is held in St. Louis and got 81st out of 83! It was U.S. and then all those Asian countries.    

After First Robotics the fun began.  First I couldn’t find a bus to take me to the Front Runner Train.  I called my mom but she didn’t want to drive all the way to Layton as they told her there was a bus that left from the school and I needed to figure it out.  This was about 3:15.  It took me a long time to figure out where the bus was.  So… the first bus took me in the wrong direction.  I stayed on the bus to loop back around to the school.  On the way back to the school we as we were driving along (I was the only passenger) a truck with a trailer on it was trying to turn and didn’t see us, we tried to swerve out of the way but it bashed into the back of us and we did a 180 and almost tipped over. My neck still hurts.

After all police in Utah came and I had to fill out 1000 forms about the accident (they wont be able to read them, have you seen my handwriting?) That took about an hour and a half.  Then I got on the same number bus and had to go all the way back where I turned around, waited another hour to get on a different bus that took me the front runner station.  On the way to the station we stopped at a train crossing and watched my train leave.  I was about 30 seconds late : (.  I had to wait another hour for the next train.

In the meantime (since I never called or texted my mom), she was calling the police to see what had happened to me.  She got a call about 6:00 from a police office who told her that my bus had been in an accident and he had my Park city ski pass. That’s all he told her.  If that police hadn’t called she wouldn’t have heard a thing from 3:30 until 8 when I finally got to Woodscross!  Lets pause and feel sorry for my mom who was going crazy wondering what happened to her little boy on his first day of high school!  My phone was dead and I didn’t want to use the little bit of batteries I had.  I wanted to save the battery so I could call when I finally got to Woodscross.  Poor mom

So at 8 I arrived safe and sound ish…, 5 ½ hours after school was out.  We went for ice cream and are now writing this note as not to forget my first day of High school!

August, September 2012

Stunning Sun Valley

 July brought me to Sun Valley with some of my favorite people- my parents and sister Cristy.  We rode bikes everywhere. To town, around town, to watch the hang gliders, to see the beautiful valley, to shop, to eat carmel apples, to visit the lodge, and just for fun.  We spent time in book stores, in our favorite Indiana Jones Store, art galleries and even spent a minute or two in a pottery store.  

We ate, hiked, biked, talked, swam, watched the hang gliders every morning and evening. We watched the opening of the Summer Olympics that took place in London. We stayed in a nice little condo with breath taking views of the mountains.  We took a lovely drive to a meadow and took a hundred pictures (dad has them all).  We made yummy omelets, ordered too much pizza and even got to read.  What a perfect four days!

Girls Trip to St. George

September brought a girls trip.  Mariah, Ash, Luke and I traveled to St. George for four relaxing days.  Summers are a little hard on Mom's and working women so the escape was the perfect tonic.  We shopped, swam, walked, and even biked for a minute or two.  Ash and Mariah were able to go to the St. George Temple and attend the production of Aladdin at Tuacahn while Luke and I hung out.  

We crafted, watched movies, ate Mexican food, baked goodies in the condo and generally relaxed and enjoyed.  We swam each day and enjoyed perfect weather. Warm and wonderful, my favorite.   The best afternoon was spent in the St. George DI where we found all sorts of treasures.  i wish we had taken pictures.  Luke was a real trooper through it all.  The time went way to quickly and soon it was time to return home.  

A couple of hours after we returned home we had a birthday dinner here for Kathryn, Mom and Mariah.  It was fun to get-together with the family.  i love my family, i love my girls, I love my sisters, and i love my mom!