April 24th, 2006

Mesa Highlights:

• Beautiful weather!!
• Driving golf carts… the hotel and convention center area was so big it was the quickest way to get around.
• Getting to spend some time with my cute friend Stacy J
• Getting to see my dear friend from college, Angie (Rasumussen) Clegg—the first time in seven years!
• Eating at Claim Jumper’s
• Eating at the Cheesecake Factory
• IKEA!!!!!!!!!!
• Getting to see my sister Mariah!
• Staying in a really nice Marriott—love the big fluffy beds!
• Riding the elevators up and down our last night together because we were so busy talking and none of us wanted it to end.
• Feeling so blessed that I get to work in an industry and with a group of people that I absolutely love!

mental note…

April 23rd, 2006

Maybe walking through security at the airport with a big ol’ box knife in your back pocket is not the best of ideas… totally didn’t know it was there… it was in my pocket from tear down at work last night and I forgot to take it out. I’m sure I’m on some list now and I was given a VERY thorough exam… and they so didn’t believe my story that I didn’t know it was there. Sorry CK, but you’re out a box knife because they so weren’t giving it back to me. Nice way to start the day and it’s only 5:15am… :) .

Look who I ran in to….

April 22nd, 2006

totally random but my cute little sister in Mesa the same time I’m in Mesa! How fun is that! Me for work and her visiting from Utah for a friends wedding. We only got to see each other for a few minutes but it was so fun and made my whole weekend. When she walked through the door my heart just did a happy little leap… it was so great to see her and made me a little homesick. I love my family so much.

Love you Riah, thanks for taking the time out to come see me!

P.S. Curtis it was fun to see you too!

P.P.S Ignore the HORRIBLE hair day I’m having… ugh.

Three hours

April 20th, 2006

feels like an eternity when you’re seated next to a really smelly person on an airplane.

On the road again…

April 19th, 2006

It’s hard to come up with fun and unique travel titles when you have to use them every single week (not that I don’t adore my job)… so I apologize but the witty titles are going to start being recycled.

With that said, me and Lola (my laptop) are super excited… my new PINK laptop bag came yesterday… yes it’s pink on purpose… even paid a little bit extra for it to be pink… how’s that for sick and wrong… :) Excited to try it out tomorrow as I head to Mesa AZ… and then on to Nashville, TN. Since Lola is coming with me I’ll be able to post from the road… I know you’re excited!! More from the Grand Canyon state (don’t know if that’s really their slogan but since it’s late and I’m too tired to care that’s what we’re going with…) Ciao!

Happy Easter!

April 16th, 2006

President Gordon B. Hinckley on the Miracle of the Resurrection

“Here was the greatest miracle of human history. Earlier He had told
them, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life’ (John 11:25). But they
had not understood. Now they knew. He had died in misery and pain and lloneliness. Now, on the third day, He arose in power and beauty and life, the firstfruits of all who slept, the assurance for men of all ages that
‘as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ (1
Corinthians 15:22).

“On Calvary He was the dying Jesus. From
the tomb He emerged the Living Christ. The cross had been the bitter fruit
of Judas’s betrayal, the summary of Peter’s denial. The empty tomb
now became the testimony of His divinity, the assurance of eternal life,
the answer to Job’s unanswered question: ‘If a man die, shall he
live again?’ (Job 14:14).”

It’s such a glorious day in which we celebrate the life of our Savior.

I had a chance to visit the Garden Tomb when my family lived in Jersualem. The spirit and the feeling in that garden was so strong, so powerful. And then the simple statement on the empty tomb that said “He is not here, He is risen”…. so wonderful. so powerful and testified once again what I already know, that He Lives. So grateful for His incredible sacrafice for me and for you.
May we never take it for granted. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Extra Extra… read all about it.

April 14th, 2006

I was interviewed by the newspaper last week while I was in St. Louis… I was interviewed for ten minutes and they use ONE line from the whole interview… I think that’s so funny! :) and she wrote it different then I said it but whatever, you get the jist.

St. Louis Today

Creative hobby, flourishing industry
By Aisha Sultan

When Charlene English’s son left home to join the Marines, she wanted a keepsake of his childhood.

English, 58, started with a simple memory book of photos. Her design options meant she could choose from among a few varieties of decorative paper to mount her pictures. That was eight years ago, when scrapbooking was in its infancy. Now, she estimates she spends at least $200 a month on what has become her hobby.

This weekend, she traveled with six friends from Columbus, Ohio, to the Gateway Center in Collinsville, which was crammed with bits and details designed to fill the pages of countless scrapbooks.

About 5,000 visitors were expected to pore over embellishments, ribbons and precut pages sold by 100 vendors at the Creating Keepsakes Convention on Friday and Saturday.

Enthusiasts like English, and her “Buckeye Scrap Pack,” have helped make scrapbooking a $2.5 billion industry. Creating Keepsakes said its market research shows that the ranks of so-called scrappers have reached 32.1 million, outnumbering the nation’s 28.5 million golfers.

MaryRuth Francks, one of the organizers of the convention, said scrapbooking ranks as the fastest-growing hobby in the world.

“It’s taken the place of quilting bees, but it’s the same concept,” she said.

The roots of the scrapbooking phenomenon began in the Mormon community, according to Veronica Hugger, president of the National Scrapbooking Association. Part of the Mormon faith involves recording family genealogy and history.

“When they started documenting, they came up with artistic and creative ways to document their family history,” she said. The first manufacturer dedicated to scrapbooking paraphernalia came out of Utah about 11 years ago, she said.

Hugger said the idea of preserving a family’s story tapped into the national zeitgeist after the Sept. 11 attacks. “People started reflecting on what’s really important in their lives . . . scrapbooking fit right in,” Hugger said.

The industry also benefited from the embrace of suburban moms who began hosting scrapbooking parties in their homes to sell Creative Memories crafts. The social aspect of gathering with friends has become entwined with the scrapping experience, with groups holding “cropping” parties to work on projects.

Other lures, say the mostly female enthusiasts, are the sparkly stickers and pretty ribbons that speak to the inner girlie girl in many women. There’s also the creative aspect.

“I’m an assistant principal, and it’s my stress reliever, big time,” said Julie Wallace, of Champaign, Ill.

She spent at least $500 at the convention, where she was shopping Friday with her mother. The idea of creating a legacy and passing on family history surpasses the cost, she said.

“It’s family, and it’s personal, and it’s a part of you,” Wallace said.

At the same time the popularity of impersonal gift cards is rising, the popularity of the labor-intensive, customized scrapbook is also on the upswing. Next year home style guru Martha Stewart will jump into the market with her own line of scrapbooking products.

While the boom might be seen as a sign of a healthy industry, some observers say the bounty of supplies and options in what has been a cottage industry might actually end up limiting its growth. The boom also can turn off some women who are overwhelmed by what seems to be a hobby heavy on time, money and effort.

Lynda Angelastro, a managing editor of Simple Scrapbooks, said that’s the exact demographic her magazine hopes to reach. “We cater to people who just don’t have that kind of time,” she said.

Angelastro said that as scrapbooking has matured, so has its enthusiasts’ tastes. Cutesy flowery prints, odd-shaped scissors and hand-printed lettering have given way to designs with a more sophisticated edge, she said.

“I can’t even remember the last time something was cut with shaped scissors,” she said, and titles on pages from previous years “are almost uncomfortable to look at.”

Newer, contemporary designs were apparent at the convention Friday. English worked on a book with gray polka dots on black and white pages, alongside pink backgrounds. The color combinations come straight from the pages of designer magazines, she said.

New technology has caused the biggest change in the hobby, industry followers agreed. Digital scrapbooking is the hot new horizon, Angelastro said. She expects a new survey to reveal about 95 percent of scrappers use some sort of technology in their craft. Some scrappers even keep Web logs, or blogs, that are digital scrapbooks, she said.

For the time-starved, online services turn pictures sent digitally into “personalized” scrapbooks; pre-made pages become a keepsake with the addition of a picture; and professional scrappers do books from scratch.

In way, Hugger said, what her industry sells is immortality. “Everybody deserves to have a biography,” she said.


April 14th, 2006

So two years ago, after a lifetime of looking my parents moved into the perfect house. It’s an older house, with a barn, on a beautiful, quiet rural street. It has a full sized tennis court, a huge garden, a beautiful yard and a lot of land. It’s in the city but feels like you’re in the country. Its five minutes from my dad’s work. They lucked out when they found this house… it was old and run down and they got it for an awesome price and they’ve redone the whole thing and turned it into an absolutely wonderful home. It’s not the house I grew up in but it’s definitely ‘home’.

So a couple of months ago my parents were approached by a developer who wanted to buy the house and the land and bulldoze it all down and build high rise condos. My parents said no way. But one by one the neighbors have started selling out and now they are left with the decision… do they sell their dream home and lose everything that they’ve put into it and never find anything nearly as great or do they stay and be surrounded by high rise condos and lose the rural, peaceful area that brought them there in the first place.

It just makes me sad… I talked to mom tonight and she’s so sad, not knowing what to do… this is the house they thought they’d spend the rest of their lives in… and they have to make a decision fast.. actually by tomorrow.

Anyway I don’t know the answer… just wanted to vent. I hate change. Why do we need more high rise condos? Why can’t “they” leave well enough alone?

The front of the house and front yard

The view from the backyard

The street in autumn

Let’s talk American Idol

April 12th, 2006

Ok, so this is the first season I’ve ever watched American Idol but I’m hooked and I blame it all on my Spokane friends.

Anyway, Bucky. I’m sure he’s a really nice guy but it’s about time he was voted off!

And I’m so completely bugged that Mandisa was voted off last week. TOTALLY did not see that one coming. She is an AMAZING singer. By far one of the best on the show this year. I seriously thought that it was going to come down to her and Chris. I’ve been rooting for those two since their first auditions. I also like Taylor Hicks. Just because he’s so different from the rest.

So what do you think? Who do you think is going to win? Or who do you want to win?


April 10th, 2006

I’m finally home!!

So the highlight of my three weeks abroad was definetly Chicago. Such a cool place. I had such an amazing time!! It was so fun to hang out in such a huge city… We could have stayed a month and still not have done everything we wanted to. So much fun!!


Walking the Magnificent Mile. Amazing (over priced) stores, great people watching, hustle and bustle everywhere… totally worth the cold and blustery conditions to walk it.

Going to Marshall Fields in hopes that we might just bump into Oprah… unfortunately no such luck.

The Art Institue of Chicago. I don’t know a ton about art but I’m so glad we spent an afternoon there. Really cool stuff. The one painting that I really wanted to see (the farmer with the pitchfork and his wife) was out on loan in DC… oh well.

The Sears Tower experience. So not worth the $12 it cost to go to the top but nonetheless I’m glad I did it… I got some good pictures of the city.

Garrett’s Popcorn- a Chicago tradition and unfortunteatly only availabe hot and fresh in Chicago. So freakin’ good. I’ll have to try ordering some online one of these days. I doubt it will be as good as the fresh stuff though.

Buying “chicago style” pizza- not such a great experience. It was cold and not so fresh (we hit the very end of the lunch shift)… too bad because we were really looking forward to it.

Taxi’s and public transportation… oh the joy. Read Leslie’s write up on our taxi experiences here.

Spending the week with one of my dearest friends Leslie. So much fun! Leslie and I have been friends for 11 years. We met my freshman year at BYU… we became good friends and ended up going to BYU-Hawaii together… I adore Leslie and the trip was so much fun and I’m so glad that I got to experience Chicago with her.

I also got to spend a couple of days with my dear friend Liberty who lives in the Chicago area. Liberty and I met when we were five years old and were in the same Ballett class. We hooked back up in high school and have been friends ever since. Liberty was nice enough to pick us up from the airport and even took us downtown one day. So kind of her. After our scrapbooking event was over I stayed in Chicago a couple of extra days to spend some time with Liberty.

Favorite Photos

Anyway lots of good memories…. I’ll have to share more later!