Tuesday, November 28, 2006

To Live Is To Dance

I began dance classes when I was 3 years old, but was wearing tutus and prancing all over the house even before that. I remember my dad spinning with me around the room to the "Music Box Dancer" song from my first dance class and putting on neighborhood performances with my little sister and friends until it was way past embarrassing. I did all sorts of dance, but mostly ballet, jazz, and hip-hop.
When I was younger I liked the outfits as much as the dance and performing of it. Who wouldn't in an outfit like that- eh? (I would just stare at this particular costume in my closet and just wish I could find some way to wear and then I realized how great those spandex bottoms would look with different tops. So between 3rd and 5th grade that was my main style and I knew I was lookin' good. Man, I miss the 80’s when I could get away with that sort of thing.- ha) As I got into my teen years I was in competitive dance teams practicing many hours all week and performing on the weekends.
When I was 16 and 18 I needed major knee surgerys because some of my bone and cartilage in my left knee on the weight bearing section had come loose and broke off. Afterwards the doctors told me that I would not be able to dance like I always had. It was devastating, but I've always had so many interests that I found happiness in pursuing art and guitar more for a while. I dabbled with swing dancing in college for a year or two and my dance partner was great and one of my favorite people, but I was always afraid for my knee and even hurt it a few times so I stopped. So really I haven't individually danced since I was a teenager. I had become use to that and didn't realize how much expression, release, and happiness I get from it until I began my global dance class last March. It is so much more than a dance class for me. I LOVE the women, my instructor, and dancing again!!! I feel like I am me again. I didn't even realize I was missing a part of me, but I was. My knee is doing marvelously too! (Knock on wood) It's holding up so well because for years I did low impact exercise and weights to build up strength in my leg muscles and built up in intensity until I could dance again. So now I'm back in the leotards jumping around and spinning all over. (I'm starting neighborhood performances out front soon if anyone wants to come- jk) I think my body remembers dance too because when I started dancing it began letting go of the baby weight from my girls that it had been holding on to even though I had been working out 3-4 times a week for over 2 years.
My lovely dance teacher, Olivia, surprised us and made these wonderful funny not-so-little paper dolls of each of us using our photographs for our heads. My doll is in the "goddess" pose and I have her hanging in my room even though I think she scares my husband sometimes :) so I will remember who I am. I'm a mom and a wife, but I'm also me- a dancer! (Now I just need to build up some courage and start drawing again- if only my husband wasn’t so darn intimidating in his drawing skills.) :0)

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Little Trip

Last week my cousin Lennie got married to her man, Ben, in Utah and I was able to fly to be there. Seth stayed home with the girls so it turned out to be a pretty relaxing little trip. Isn't Lennie's dress amazing?! I must have taken a dozen pictures of her just standing there in it. She looked so beautiful and the wedding was wonderful.

This crazy looking guy is Lennie's older brother Matthew (Thew is what I call him). He's a super cool guy and married to a fun girl Jenny and they have Kate and their new baby Cole. It was so nice to see everybody!

Here's a picture of me holding their new little guy. He was so cute in that hat.

My Grandpa

This is one of the coolest guys I've ever known. I thought I'd show off my grandpa's high school picture- isn't he handsome? I sure love this guy!
He taught me how to play the guitar. When I was 16 and 18 I had major knee surgeries. He would ride his bike 6 or 7 miles to my house on Saturdays to keep me company, to help me not be so bored while stuck in bed. He was in his 70's then! He'd sit on a chair or at the base of my bed and teach and play the guitar with me and read letters, poems, and journals from our ancestors and tell me stories of growing up and of them.

My siblings and I had Saturday fishing trips with him. My sister and I looked so forward to it that we changed the words to a song about going fishing with him and she'd play it on the piano and we'd sing it for him. (In the picture I'm the one on the tire and my sister Kristie is on the ground.)Most Sundays we spent playing pool at his house, listening to records downstairs (especially Don Ho- he loved Hawaiian music), or playing all over his HUGE jungle of a backyard. It felt like a jungle to a kid at least.

I went out to dinner with my parents for my 16th birthday and we spent part of the night after dinner visiting my grandpa. I wasn't sure if it would be so cool at the beginning of the evening, but has turned out to be one of my most precious memories.

I always took my friends over to his house in high school because he was so fun to hang out with and most of my guy friends met him at some point or another. I remember when he met Seth he gave me the big thumbs up for him and even let Seth's family stay with him when we got married five months later.

I sure love this guy! He is one of my heroes and has been one of my biggest influences. He died a few years ago, but I know I'll see him again and that he probably watches over me now. I hope I make him proud of the person I've become. Love you gramps!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Cross stitch gift

My parents are serving an LDS mission in Salt Lake City, Utah doing Family History Work for people and as a going away gift my sister and I made this cross stitch. We had fun sending it back and forth for about 6 months. It was nice to work on it and mail it off and then get it back a few weeks later in the mail with a bunch more done. I worked on it for so many hours at a time that I haven't felt like cross stitching for an entire year. Finished, it was something like 18" by 24".

This lower picture is a close up of it. Greg Olsen is one of my mom's favorite religious artists and so it was perfect to find a cross stitch pattern for this painting. I just visited them and they have it hanging up in their beautiful apartment there. They live in a building that is up a hill a little ways up from Temple Square in down town Salt Lake City and are on the 12th floor. From their balcony you can see the entire valley and the top of the conference center. It's so beautiful.

My Inspiration Dress

I love this dress. I found this picture online and am inspired. I can't wait to make a dress that has layers and different textures and materials like this. I think when I sew I use mostly safe colors and I like how this is almost like a quilt or scrapbook with all the designs that are put together. It's just beautiful!

CinderKenzie Bride

This is a Cinderella dress that I made for Makenzie when she was 3. This picture was taken when she was almost 5 years old. Kendyl wears the dress mostly now, although Kenzie still tries to wear it. Kenzie wanted to wear it to the Los Angeles Temple so we could take pictures of her and she could look like a bride. She wore my veil too.

In the bottom picture she was trying to get her money back from the fountain so she could make another wish.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Teaching Art

This is half of Kenzie's class. She's in this group (black shirt middle in the back). On Tuesdays and Thursdays for 20-30 minutes I teach art to her class in the back room. It has been so much fun to do what I use to do. I went to school for elementary education, but I also spent 2 years teaching/tutoring elementary age kids in art. I'm so grateful that Makenzie's teacher asked me to teach. Some teachers don't like parent involvement and it's nice to help where I can. This funny little guy didn't want his picture taken and hid under the table. So of course I had to.

This day they drew on the front of their sketch books I made for them.

This is a cheesy one. I had them all shout, "Hooray, art is fun!"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sleeping Beauty Dress

This is my daughter, Makenzie, when she was 4. I sewed her this Sleeping Beauty dress for Halloween. It's a little more tatered and grey in color now from washings and wearings. It still fits her amazingly. (Notice her short bangs... she had just cut them at a babysitters the day before- stinker.) :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kendyl's Preschool

I take turns teaching a preschool for my littlest and 3 of her friends. The other kids in the class are Dane, Clara, and Brecken. I teach for one week a month. Here are pictures of the cute kids learning a subraction song where they were apples and fell off the couch one by one. The top picture is of them being "shook in the tree" and Kendyl is the wild looking one in the middle. The bottom picture is of them having fallen to the ground and pretending to be dead. Kendyl is the one on the far right with her tounge out and arms spread. I guess she can't help being so dramatic with the sister and mom that she has.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Christmas Window Painting

One of the things I like to do at Christmas is to paint our windows. I began doing it in high school when I painted the down town Boise post office's windows for the holidays. Anytime we live in a place with a big window I like to do this. We've got big windows in our place this year, but they are completely covered by bushes. It makes a pretty view from the inside (especially with my butterfly twinkle lights in them), but you wouldn't see the painting from the outside. I'll just have to make small window paintings this year on our front windows. :) I sometimes forget to take pictures of my window paintings, but here are three that I've remembered in the past to take.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Enchanted Eve Castle

We made this castle for a special fundraiser night at Makenzie's school last April called Enchanted Eve. The theme had to do with fairy tales and nursery rhymes so I thought it would be cool to have them walk into the entrance of the school that looked like a castle.

We made a good team and it turned out really beautiful. Here's what it looked like in the end.
For Halloween this year I made a crazy dress. It took me about 8 weeks and was over 14 yards of fabric total for on top, one hoop skirt, and 35 yards of black tulle pushing it out from underneath. It was a 17th century Vampire type costume. I sewed a lot of this project at my friend Kristen's house. Kendyl wanted me to play Star Wars with her so I tried to do two things at once and my friend Kristen took the picture above.

This is what it looked like in the end. As you can see both my girls fit under there without a problem. They were peeking for the picture, but afterwards spent some time under there until I accidentally stepped on them in my 4 inch heels enough for them to get out. :)

Here's our family pic at the night of the Halloween dance at Makenzie's (my oldest) school. She's 6 and in the blue dress (Lucy from Chronicles of Narnia), Kendyl is my 3 year old little pipster and she's dressed up as a witch. Seth, my cute hubby is the dirty pirate bloke next to us. He grew out his beard for a month or two just to make his costume all that much more fitting. He's so cool. He's shaved it now though so we can go back to kissing without all the pokes. Horray.

Monster Mouth Doors

Project: Decorate School Dance
This was the entrance that my friend Cynthia and I made for the Halloween Dance at Kenzie's school. With Mike's help we also made a huge spider out of two large trash bags that was attached to the middle of the ceiling and then had 8 legs that were 70 feet long that spread out and dangled to the corners of the dance room. I bought 60 yards of black and orange tulle that decorated the stage and ceilings. Very fun.