Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Joy + Mass Chaos

Hunter's dad was in town this past week, and we loved having him here. Hunter loves his dad and you know what? So do I. :)
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Unfortunately, my photography skills are nonexistent here...FTL. I knew I should have handed the camera to Hunter!!

Ty's blessing was on Sunday, so my entire family came to town. It was insane, but a lot of fun. I can't believe how many lively and spirited children are part of the Johnson clan these days. I love these kids!
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Digital High

I'm completely wasted, my eyes are computer-fatigued beyond control and my brain went to sleep several hours ago. But I absolutely have to tell this story before I can call it a day. Because boy, what a day this has been!!

Let's start at the beginning. Creating Keepsakes, a big name in the scrapbooking industry, has hosted what they call "Creating Keepsakes University (CKU)" for several years. It's a two-three day convention for scrapbookers to get together and take classes, create layouts, and mingle with/learn from the experts. I've never been a traditional scrapbooker so of course I've never attended CKU. And then I heard about the Digital Scrapbooking Experience (DSE). Basically it was CKU for digital scrapbookers...and the first one ever would be held in Provo! How cool is that?! Yeah, I definitely wanted in. Especially when my rockin' digi-scrap cousin Monica said she'd go too. Yeah, we were totally looking forward to this.

Well DSE kicked off on Thursday. We were so excited to meet some of our digi-heroes; mainly Anna Aspnes and Jessica Sprague. If you know anything about digital scrapbooking, you probably know about Jessica Sprague. She offers digital scrapbooking courses online, and she is an INCREDIBLE teacher. I should know, I've taken every single one of her classes. As for Anna Aspnes, she is one of the most brilliant designers in the industry. Not only is she extremely artistic and gifted, but she's also from England so she's ULTRA-cool! Really, I could listen to that accent forever. So yeah, Monica and I were star-struck. Here we are with Anna:
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And with Jessica:
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Do I look giddy? Because yeah, I was giddy. These guys are superstars, and I felt like the biggest groupie! It was very cool, to say the least.

So today, we were so excited to have a class with Jessica...in person for a change! She had us make a layout using this template, which she designed:
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After class, Jessica happened to see my layout (made using this kit):
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She loved it! I thought she was just being really nice...until she asked me if I am on any creative teams. I'm not, and mentioned that I was definitely interested. My heart started thumping as I realized she was probably going to ask me to apply!!! Wow, could there be a better compliment in the world, than this one right here??? So imagine my surprise when her next words were, "You're in". No application process, no thousands of talented folks to compete with...bam! Just like that I'm on the job. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I was absolutely floored. In fact, I'm still floored. And honored. And thrilled. Completely, utterly thrilled.

I'm sure many of you are wondering what the heck this even means. Since I've never been on a creative team, I'm kind of curious, myself...lol! I can give you the basic run-down though. Both traditional and digital scrapbook product designers have creative teams, and the intention is for the team members to use the scrapbook product in a creative and attractive way. So for example, at JessicaSprague.com there is a digital supply store, where you can purchase digital papers, templates and kits. As a creative team member, I will get {free} access to these digital supplies, sometimes before they are released on the site. I will use these products to create my own digital scrapbook pages, and these pages will be posted on the site to promote the product. So it's a mutually-beneficial relationship, and everyone goes home happy. Especially me. :)

So I've been rambling forever and I really need to close my eyes...but before I do, I have one last super-happy thing to share. DSE also hosted a digital layout contest, and gave prizes for the best journaling, best photography, and best something else that I don't remember. Then they gave a prize for the best layout. I kinda won. For this layout, which I really love (click the image for credits):
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I have to say the only reason I won the contest is because Monica didn't turn in her page. So I would like to thank Monica for giving me this chance. It was the icing on my already kick-arse super-happy day. Tonight I shall be sleeping with a smile on my digi-geek face. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Updates

Well, there's been a couple of happenings worth mentioning lately. For starters, we bought a new vehicle! Of course, it's not really new, just new to us...and we love it.

It all started innocently enough; we stopped at the car dealership to have our Mazda inspected on our way to work. Wouldn't you know it, the wait was around an hour...so we entertained ourselves by walking around the neighboring BMW dealership. I drooled over the mini-coopers (someday, I swear I'll own one), and we checked out some of the clunkers that had been turned in. Finally we decided to head back over and check on the Mazda. She wasn't parked out front so we walked through the lot to see if we could spot her in the car wash line. Just then she came around the corner, all shiny and pretty...so we headed back across the lot to fetch her. That's when we spotted the new dude:
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It's a 1997 Infiniti QX4. Hunter looked at the price on the window and did a double-take. You see, he used to own a Nissan Pathfinder, which is essentially the same vehicle with different badging. He bought his Pathfinder about seven years ago, and paid the same price for it! We loved Pathy, but had to sell her when she needed an expensive repair. Hunter has regretted that decision ever since.

As fate would have it, one of the car salesmen spotted us and headed right over. Hunter asked him a few questions and before we knew it, we were test driving it! The car is a beaut; it has all the perks including Hunter's favorite: automatic climate control. And the price...wow! We just couldn't believe it. Of course, once we got inside the dealership they tried to tack on some extra fees and stuff. Usually Hunter and I are not very good at negotiating, but this time Hunter put his foot down...and we walked out of there with a new vehicle! Holy cow, I can't believe how this worked out. And the best part is that we paid cash, so we own this baby outright. :)
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Now we have an extra vehicle to get rid of! Since our Mazda gets the best gas mileage of the three, and we owe more $$ than it's worth (ugh), we have to sell the Suzy. It's pretty sad; we've had an awesome year with her!

In other "news", I've been taking Jessica Sprague's "Beautiful Evidence" class online, and it's been awesome. For one of my assignments, I needed a photo of me and Hunter...so I asked Essie to do a little photo shoot. Here are my two favorites:
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Doesn't Madison look like she belongs to us? We would claim her in a heartbeat! Anyway, despite the scary thighs in the first photo, I still love it. It's me and my hubby to a T!! And, just in case you're interested, here is my finished product:

Click here to view this photo book.


Update: for some annoying reason, the image says the photobook has been deleted. It hasn't. You can still click on the link to go to the Shutterfly gallery and view the book.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

What a weekend. Hunter and I rode to Minersville Friday night, and it took us an hour and a half to get to south Provo. Ugh. We were wearing all of our riding gear too, which made for a very toasty beginning. However, once we started moving things improved dramatically. We stopped in Delta for dinner and arrived at Becca's house around 10 pm. I was ready for bed!!

The next morning we headed to Beaver with Ruth & Brady, Esther (who had arrived around midnight the night before), Kiera and Ty, and Becca.
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We met up with Sarah and Jed (Johnson) in Beaver, and we all headed to Cannonville in two vehicles. Last week we received the awful news that a dear family friend had passed away. Gaylynn Shakespeare was only two years older than me, and although she had a lot of health problems her passing was completely unexpected. Gaylynn and I were great friends when we were really young...after all, our dads were the only two park rangers in Kodachrome Basin State Park, and we were the only two families who lived out there. The Shakespeares are practically family, so it was only appropriate that the entire Johnson family attend her funeral. I am still so amazed that we were all able to make it...I think it's only the third time in about five years that we have all been together.

After the funeral we had to beeline it back to Minersville for Ryker's baptism. This had originally been scheduled for Saturday morning, which is the primary reason we were all able to get together for the funeral...we were already planning to be in Minersville. Fortunately, Becca's bishop was awesome and he allowed her to reschedule the baptism for later in the afternoon. Once again, it was a beautiful service. Ryker was baptized by his Uncle Shay who just returned from his mission in July. It was pretty cool because Jed (Becca's husband) had baptized Shay so he thought it would be appropriate to let Shay baptize Ryker. I think Shay must have had a lot of practice on his mission because it was the most efficient baptism I've ever witnessed. :)
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Needless to say, Saturday was quite an emotional day and I was exhausted by this time. However, the kids still had tons of energy and wanted to play...so I gave in and joined them. First we jumped on the trampoline, which is a lot more work when you're *ahem* 28 years old. Then we played some other games like Red Rover and Steal the Flag...games I used to play with the neighbor kids when I was growing up. It was so much fun! I kinda felt young again, for a few minutes! I sure wish I could do this more often.
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Sunday morning, Hunter and I packed up and headed to Henrieville. This time the ride was much much better. It was the perfect temperature, and the perfect duration. Not enough time on the bike to get beat up...just enough to enjoy it. Very nice. While in Henrieville, Hunter fixed my parents' computer and I took a nap. We relaxed and ate Sandy's delicious cooking; it was a wonderful day!
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Of course, on Monday we had to ride back to SLC. I was not looking forward to this because I knew traffic would be awful and the ride would be long. We went home via Escalante, Boulder Mountain and Torrey, which is seriously the most beautiful drive. I would do that drive every day, if we could just fast-forward the rest of it! It never fails to mesmerize me.