I didn't exactly mean to grow my hair out again to donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. (The last time was more than 3 years ago, which I can hardly believe.) After all, my hair is so fine that it doesn't create a very impressive donation ponytail. But during our move, I was so lazy about getting my hair cut for so long that by the time I went in for a trim, my friend/hairdresser Kelli said, "You know, you could almost donate again!" So I grew it out for about 4 more months, and donate I did.
8 inches, baby.
It wasn't nearly as scary this time as it was last time. But it feels every bit as weird to wash it. I start lathering up, and I just run out of hair before I'm done washing.
Here's another view of the haircut, from a Fuzel collage I created for yesterday's Phone Photography Project challenge. (There's still time to register!)
But before I sign off, I have to say that I was extra inspired this time by my niece Breanna, age 11, for whom the hair donation was actually a huge sacrifice. My hair was driving me crazy. But Breanna's hair has been her signature look, her pride and joy, for years. She has thick, beautiful, hair-commercial-worthy hair.
While she was visiting me last week, she was going to have about 5 inches trimmed just so it wouldn't be so hot for the summer. And then she decided that, if it only took 3 more inches to be able to donate it for a good cause, she'd go for it. I'm proud of my sweet niece! And she still has a gorgeous head of hair left, lucky girl.
p.s. What was Keira doing during my big haircut?
Getting a manicure, of course, from Kelli's daughter, Abbie. Alternating red and blue for Fourth of July. You've gotta love a mother-daughter beauty date.
If you ever take photos with your smartphone, then this is the class for you. You'll have a chance to learn great tips from some seriously BIG NAME photographers, enter contests and win prizes, get the inside scoop on 60+ photography-related apps, and so much more. Check it out here. And watch this video. Because it rocks.
I've got some photos in there. And some tips. And one really cool idea to try with your kids or your friends one lazy day this summer. But mostly I'm excited to see what the other 31 instructors (all MUCH cooler than I am) have come up with!
No pressure. Just think about it. I can promise you won't regret it.
For the first time in Yeah, Write history, I managed to neglect my poor blog for an entire month. When I look back at my blog archives, I'll wonder, "What happened to August of 2012? Did NOTHING notable happen during that month? I really had NOTHING to say? That is so not like me!"
And then I'll read this post, and I'll remember.
You see, I've been a little bit busy.
I apologize in advance if The Brady Bunch theme gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day. I've been humming it for the last TWO WEEKS. Even poor Keira has been subjected to it at bedtime, as whatever song I'm humming eventually morphs into Brady territory: "Twinkle, Twinkle little star, who was bringing up three very lovely girls..."
So, yeah, this is my BIG news!
My company, Ella Publishing Co., that I've nurtured and grown for the last three years, is now part of the Big Picture Classes family. And I couldn't be more thrilled! My eBook production duties will continue, and I'm also the new Editorial Director at Big Picture Classes, a position I can continue to fulfill in my pajamas, from the comfort of my home office, with Jovie looking in at me from the backyard window—just like always.
It's going to be a whole new world for me and for Ella, and yet it also feels like coming home. I'm back together with the core team that brought the world Simple Scrapbooks magazine—me, Wendy Smedley, Stacy Julian, Cathy Zielske, and Mark Seastrand (former Publisher at Creating Keepsakes magazine and current CEO of Big Picture Classes).
It's the past and the future all rolled into one. And it feels so good and so right.
And on top of that, I get to spend most of my time doing what I really do best. No more trying to design my own website banners, learning html, trying to understand what MySQL means, balancing books and printing checks, phoning someone in Pakistan from Walmart while simultaneously pushing a crying 18-month-old through Wal-Mart (who was upset because I wouldn't let her open and drink a container of bubbles) in hopes of getting my website back up after it crashed due to massive amounts of traffic heading over from Stampin' Up!'s Facebook page.
I get to write. And edit. And write some more. And teach classes. And brainstorm with brilliant women. Yeah, that's the life for me.
I've been invited to be a part of this awesome eBook compendium featuring some really fun people in the scrapbooking industry! Here's a screencap of just three of the 33 contributors (those closest to me alphabetically). Others include Jessica Sprague, Renee Pearson, Amy Tan, Tiffany Tillman, Katrina Kennedy, Debbie Hodge, and more!
Check out a few pics, bios, sneak peeks, and more by clicking the banner below...
My creative partner in crime, Wendy, and I were invited to host our own show on the new and upcoming MyCraftChannel—an exciting new venture that features hosts from all corners of the blogosphere (scrapbooking, cooking, sewing, photography, mixed media, and more!).
The topic of our show combines two of our very favorite things in all the world: books and crafts. (We'll try to find a way to work in our other favorite things: cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies.)
Happy day! Exclamation points shall be used in abundance!
(p.s. If you didn't get the Ella email today about this, I'm sharing with you now the secret coupon code that will allow you to save $2 off of any eBook purchase at ellapublishing.com through Wednesday only. And the code is...CRAFTYTV. Enjoy!)
The first few weeks are always so disorienting. Where did all the time go? Why can I only accomplish 1/3 of what I was accomplishing in the winter and the spring? I don't think I'm spending that much more time in the great outdoors. But I'm certainly no longer the winter shut-in that I was just a few months ago.
Life marches on way too quickly with the vegetable gardening (haven't gotten around to any flowers!), editing and writing, parenting the 8-month-old and the 17-year-old, keeping the house, walking the baby and the dog, being in charge of the primary children in my congregation, planning a class for Big Picture Classes, and trying to keep up with Ella Publishing Co. while finding time to scrapbook, craft, and create. Busy, busy, busy, but good.
And last week, I found time to be on The Paperclipping Roundtable (thanks to my in-laws watching the baby upstairs while I chatted with Noell, Nancy, and the gang from the basement). Another fun episode! Topic: how to tackle big, huge projects. Title: For Big Scrapbooking Projects (and Grocery Shopping) Check out the collective group album mentioned on the show, which my family made for my grandfather, in this past blog post. And there's also one for grandma!
Here's a little layout I made using the List It! printable journaling lists! Super cute, easy, and fun. And then Jovie the Destructor promptly ate this layout, so I had to remake it. That's why you'll notice a slightly different version of the page showing up in this video, which you MUST watch if you'd like a glimpse of little Keira Jane waving at the end.
We conclude "Old News Weekend" with the final, edited family photos from Elisha Snow's fabulous photo shoot with my extended family a month ago.
The whole gang.
Just the grandkids.
My parents and their six kids (clockwise from my dad, we go oldest to youngest).
My big brother and his crew.
The Lucas clan.
My little brother and his family.
My sister and her entourage.
Jeremy and Keira—my little lovelies.
Breaking News! Today, May 30, 2011, I am blogging at Write.Click.Scrapbook. And I'm blogging there tomorrow too. I'm done living in the past. Come check out the fun ideas I have to share. Happy Memorial Day!
We continue "old news weekend" with an update about Angie's half-marathon from last month.
"Who cares about that any more?" more than one blog reader thought to herself when this headline popped up in her reader. But Angie feels compelled to share this because she made such a big deal about it before the race. (Trust us, this is far more interesting news than the more recent flower-bed weeding adventure from this afternoon.)
Lynsey and I at the train station at the start of the race at an unbearably early hour. We managed to sardine ourselves into the very last train heading to the start line. (Sorry, Lynsey, for always cutting things so close!)
Ready to run. Yes, I do call what I do "running," even though it may not appear much faster than a jog to the naked eye.
I do love the snap-a-photo-while-running technique. Everyone looks so chipper still, here at mile 3. (Wait until mile 10.)
Five down. We've all got that pep in our step and determined gleam in our eyes still.
At just a little over halfway, we're all extremely grateful for the extra downhill slope during this stretch. We can do it...
Mile 10. We're feeling the burn, and it shows in our strides.
Except this guy. He's the marathon winner, and he's already run 23 miles to our 10, and he looks like he'd be fine for 23 more.
The finish line. The blessed, glorious finish line.
Hell yeah I'm going to post this picture! I sweated through 13.1 miles and paid $26 for it (plus another extremely unflattering mid-stride shot), with an obscene extra $8.95 for shipping that they secretly tack on when you're not looking. Race photos—it's a racket.
And here we are at the end, looking only a little worse for wear. We rode the train straight to Johanna's Kitchen (in our sweaty race gear, medals, and all) to consume omelettes and scones in honor of the Lucas family's April birthdays. We miscalculated our travel time and couldn't make it home to shower; meanwhile the whole family was waiting on us. Upon our arrival, I was both relieved and puzzled to see that we weren't the only patrons who went straight from race finish-line to local diner without showering in between.
My time this year: 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 04 seconds.
In 2009, I faithfully ran every run on my training schedule. I did not have 7 extra pounds of "baby weight" to carry around. I did not have an infant at home, which inspired me to miss at least one training one per week with no regrets. So I'll wear the extra 7 minutes proudly—it's really only 30 extra seconds per mile.
Besides, I placed 102nd out of 236 in my age/gender division, and 3,477th out of 4,444 overall. I can run faster than at least 1,000 of my fellow Utahans, and that's not so bad. :)
Journaling Prompt What's some "old news" you've been meaning to write about? Pull out your journal and get it down on paper, whatever it is. (Or, heck, blog about it. There's no shame in that.) Can't think of something? Write about your most recent accomplishment—anything you've done that makes you feel proud.
According to Utah state law, there has to be a 6-month waiting period between adoption placement and finalization. Keira Jane Lucas was placed in our home on October 4, 2010. Her adoption was finalized on April 13, 2011.
A Frantic Morning 5:30 a.m. Wake to feed Keira her early morning bottle then doze with her on the couch, as usual, until it's time to really get up.
7:22 a.m. Awake again with a start, realizing no one upstairs had heard their alarms, and we have exactly 23 minutes to be out the door and on our way to the Salt Lake County courthouse for our appointment with Judge Paul Maughan.
7:50 a.m. Pile into the car, only 5 minutes behind schedule (grateful we had packed the baby's bag and showered the night before) and head toward the Salt Lake County Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake.
7:55 a.m. Encounter unusually horrible traffic backup on freeway, due to an accident blocking two lanes, and have to frantically find alternate route. Of all the days!
8:28 a.m. Arrive at courthouse, find parking spot, go through security, find the courtroom, and breathe a sigh of relief that we had arrived before both our attorney and our caseworker.
8:43 a.m. Breathe another sigh of relief that the attorney and caseworker arrived just in time.
8:45 a.m. Wait patiently for my parents, who had been caught in a worse version of our morning traffic nightmare, to run from the parking garage to the courtroom.
8:50 a.m. Raise our right hands and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9:00 a.m. Walk out of courtroom W37 with our legally adopted baby in our arms, and maybe a tiny tear or two lingering under our lashes.
My little family. Already official in my heart. Now official by law.
Proceedings were witnessed by Travis' mom and dad, the four of us, my mom, Trav's sister Lynsey, and my dad.
And it just happens to be my dad's birthday today. I hope you like your present, dad!
Here are a few tasks that have been weighing on me for anywhere from 2 to 12 months, and that I have finally checked off this week. This calls for celebration!
1. I organized a very small drawer in the office that's been driving me crazy. Yes, this counts as "organized;" you should have seen it before. Seriously, go organize a tiny drawer right now. It takes just a few minutes and it feels SO good!
2. I separated the pile of crap on the office desk into two magazine holders purchased at WalMart--one for each of us.
4. I gathered all of Keira's outgrown clothes (sniff) into storage, dropped off some hand-me-downs to my neighbor and her 1-month-old baby girl, and prepped Keira's dresser with the clothes she'll grow into in the next 6 months.
5. I hand-delivered one thank-you note. Hey, it's a start.