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June 2008
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August 2008

Barney and I are frustrated...

...and not a little annoyed!  Today was supposed to be the day.  I should have known when I sat in the lounge at the mechanic's for twice as long as they said it would be that things weren't going perfectly.  (Although while waiting, I did get to meet the Russian Chad Michael Murray... interesting chit chat but I wasn't interested in being a salesperson for his new invention... lol.  He really looked like Chad Michael Murray, though.)  Oh yeah.  My point.  After a larger small fortune than the one I spent 3 weeks ago (which was much higher than their estimate) I found out that before I'm done, I now have to go to the Saturn dealership and pay more to get one last software update so that my crank shaft will be connected with my new PCM.  So now I have to find more time to take out of my workday before the end of the week to do that.  Needless to say, I will not be returning to this mechanic ever again even if it means getting my car towed three times as far!

With that, it's way past my bedtime so I'm just posting the layout I did tonight before I go crash.

San Lorenzo

One more day until Barney gets better.

Well, poor little Barney car should be all fixed up tomorrow morning.  The part didn't come in until late afternoon so my car couldn't get fixed today.  I have to be at the shop at 8am tomorrow, though, and if you know me you know that I'm screaming on the inside at the thought of being up and ready at that time... lol.

In the meantime, I worked from home again today and was still so crazy busy that I only remembered to eat when my blood sugar got too low despite the fact that I was sitting facing my kitchen.  Tonight I've been relaxing, though... we had a Q&A about the China trip on our message board and our guide, Jim, along with Heidi Swapp, answered tons of our questions.  I'm sooooo excited to go that it's painful to think of the fact that it's not until September.  lol.  But the Visa application should go in the mail tomorrow and that gets me one step closer. :)

Tonight, while reading the message board, I did another layout.  This was a combination of really wanting to scrap this picture, which is my favorite from Nicole's wedding, and really wanting to use this stamp for something.  So I combined them!

Beautiful Bride
And with that, I'm off to watch The Middleman which, if you haven't seen it, is a hysterical new show on ABC Family.  It's a new favorite. :)

P.S. Is it shameful to admit that I've started re-reading the Twilight series yet again in anticipation of this week's release of Breaking Dawn?  Because I have.  We just won't mention exactly how many times I have read it lol. 

P.S.S. Entertainment Weekly posted their Breaking Dawn spoiler today.  May I just say, nyah nyah to all members of team Jacob!  lol.

I have been amazed.

I finally saw The Dark Knight today.  As I was walking out of the theater I thought to myself, this might possibly be the best movie I've ever seen (of course, since I'm a woman, this takes into consideration my mood as I thought this. ;).  Everyone has been saying it's amazing, so I was prepared to be impressed and amazed, but it was even better than I thought it would be.  Heath Ledger was indeed fabulous, and I forgot how much I love Christian Bale... if I were 12 I'd have his poster on my wall.  lol.  I think we can say this DVD will be on my Christmas list.

And now another layout.  I can't believe Eraleigh is almost a month old now!  This one is of her at 2 weeks and you can already tell what a cutie she's going to be.

Eraleigh - 2 Weeks
You can tell I finally cleaned my scanner bed.  Now if I could figure out how to keep it from needing to be cleaned again after scanning just one layout.  Sigh.

No-Calorie Chocolate

Unfortunately, I can't eat it.  But I've been playing with it, reading the manual, getting my phone book transfered, etc... while I watched TV this evening. 

Blog - Legal Chocolate
Granted, it's no iPhone, but that's okay... this one was free!  I love the Verizon new every two program.  I know it's just a marketing ploy to get me to renew my contract, but when your old phone is dying and you just spent all your money on car repairs, I'll take it!  One day it will be possible to use an iPhone on Verizon... in the meantime, I'll just enjoy my new toy. :)

Getting back in the swing of things.

As much as I love having a day off in the middle of the week, it's really weird to come back to work on Friday and then have the weekend.  Not that I'm complaining!  I'm just trying to stay in work mode and finish up the day so I can go back to playtime. 

Earlier this week (in the midst of car drama) I found out who my roommate is for my trip to China.  We've emailed back and forth and she sounds like she's going to be a blast.  She's even set up a Yahoo group so all of us who are going can get to know each other.  I'm just getting more excited now.  All that's left is to finish the paperwork for my Visa and send it in and I'm all set.  I already got the passport picture they need... it's just pulling together the paperwork.  They want every little detail!  It's all worth it, though.

So last night I was still in play mode and I finished another layout.  I must admit, however, that I shamelessly scrap-lifted this from the  fabulous Jennifer McGuire.

I took these pictures of my mom and my grandma at our reunion earlier this month.  While we were there I realized that I didn't have any of just the two of them together and I thought it would be nice for all of us to have.  Grandma loved getting pictures taken of people looking at each other and laughing rather than looking straight at the camera so when it was her turn she hammed it up... it was so cute.

Back to the weekend countdown!

Guess who's home!

That's right, my little Barney car is back in my garage.  Of course, it's not quite that simple.  It took several days but it turns out that while the work they did last time was correct, they didn't do enough diagnosis and so they didn't fix everything they should have.  I need a new PCM - a new computer for my car.  Not cheap.  They fixed it so that the old PCM doesn't recognize what was causing the problems before which makes it so I can drive it, but let me tell you about paranoia.  I swear I turn down the radio and turn off the fan every 30 seconds to make sure the engine sounds right.  The new part should be in Monday, though, and after that I should be good.  But I think I can kiss Thanksgiving in LA goodbye... no money for plane tickets!

Anyway, I've been enjoying my special Utah holiday... Pioneer day is great.  Play time in the middle of the week!  I did actually work for several hours today since I needed to prepare for a meeting in the morning, but I figured I'll just check out early tomorrow ;).  I also scrapbooked though!  These are pictures from the Roman Baths in Bath, England.  I was going through photos last night and I realized that I've been there twice and never scrapbooked it, so I thought I'd do a layout.  This one has a special little flippy section in the middle with my postcards, tickets and brochure, so there are a few pictures (and they suck... you'd think natural light would have made them better).

View 1:
The Baths 1

View 2:
The Baths 2

And a few close-ups.  I love that I finally got to use this little plaster Roman-ruin looking guy that I've had for years.
The Baths - Closeup 1

And finally, the title.  Another "yay, I used it!" moment here... I've had these ghost letters forever and finally pulled them out.  Too bad my special glue for acrylic wasn't sticking.  Sigh.  I hate that you can see the glue dots.  Oh well!
The Baths - Closeup 2

But you know what the best part of today was?  I got my new Summer American Crafts catalog!  Yay!  I've been going through it, drooling copiously, and making lots of notes on which new stuff I'm going to pounce on when it's released next month.  Love the new goodies!

And the wait continues...

Last time I talked to the mechanic, they hadn't even diagnosed the problem yet.  Um... how long have they had the car?  That's okay.  I'm holding their loaner car hostage until I get mine back :)  Theirs is worth more than mine, so I figure they'll be willing to work for that, right?  lol.  It should actually be done today, but we'll see.  I won't be able to pick it up until tomorrow, but I hope they finish soon.  I miss my little Barney car.

So just trying to de-stress a bit last night... I played in my attic for a little while and did my first layout from Nicole's wedding.  Of course, I haven't started her album yet... lol.  I'm still editing pictures.  I just saw the portrait sized prints are all on sale, though, so I might have to start hustling so I can take advantage of that.

The scan doesn't show it very well, but the right edge is scalloped.  I'm loving the scallops. I also think I've figured out why I'm not scrapbooking as much as I'd like to... I'm overwhelmed by all of the photos!  I have so many trips and events to choose from that I'm just mentally turning off instead.  So I think I'll have to just pick a subject to work on and just go.  Oh wait.  That's that choice thing again.  lol.  Oh well, I figure I'll never get caught up anyway ;)

Still no car. Sigh.

Well, the car is still in the shop.  Fortunately they gave me a loaner since they couldn't get to my car yesterday so at least I can get around, but it's prolonging the agony while I await the verdict.  Still crossing my fingers that this is related to the last fix. 

So despite my plans, I haven't actually gotten any scrapbooking done this weekend.  I guess I just haven't been in the mood... a lot of it is just probably the heat and recovering from a busy week at work making me lethargic.  However, even though I wasn't able to get to the post office to mail my package, I did make a birthday card... this one is for my favorite soon-to-be 8 year old :)

Fairy Birthday Card
Assuming that recognizes Melody's address this time so I can send it, this will go out tomorrow.

This is *so* not deja vue.

Remember how I was driving home from the airport last week and my car kind of almost died as I was getting home at 1:30am?  And how the next day I had to spend 5 hours at the mechanic's while waiting for it to get fixed and when it was finally done I had to pay a small fortune?

Scene:  My house
Time: 9:13 am, Saturday 7/19.

Blog - Barney Gets Towed
Yeah.  I'm not happy.

Driving home from work last night on 15, I started to feel some bumps that weren't coming from the road.  I came down the exit ramp and they got worse... I had to keep revving the engine at the stop sign until I could go, where in order to keep from dying then and there I started praying and then gunned the engine, bypassed everyone waiting at the light, shot through the intersection just as it turned green and managed to get all the way to my house where I about died going into the garage.  Funny, these were the exact problems I was having last time!  At least the mechanic who "fixed it" last week was still there when I called after 6pm last night.  They gave me the number of their towing service in case I should need it this morning.  Obviously, I needed it.  I tried to start the engine but it just died.  So.  Here's hoping that it was the problem they "fixed" before so that all of this is free!

Looking on the bright side...
1.  I was out of bed before 10am on a Saturday.  Heck.  I was up at 8:30!
2.  Because I was up early, I cooked a healthy breakfast.  My trainer will be proud.
3.  Now that I'm carless, I'm stuck at home doing things that need to be done like exercising and cleaning my kitchen.
4.  I have time to scrapbook!
5.  It's the weekend, so I'm not missing work.

My planned trip to the movies is scrubbed... good thing I didn't pre-purchase tickets.
And, sadly, Melody - Angelina's birthday present is going to be very late instead of late.  I was going to the post office this morning.  Sigh.

Crossing my fingers that this is fast and painless.  Off to do something positive!

And now for a vacation layout.

I'm realizing that I can frequently tell when I'm watching my diet because I start to do layouts about forbidden foods... lol.  Ghiradelli chocolates and sundaes are definitely forbidden.  (Sarcasm alert:  good thing I didn't bring back any of their new chocolate peanut butter squares to put in my refrigerator.  Heh. At least they're still there.)

In any case, Ghiradelli has become kind of a tradition while we're in Monterey so, of course, it has to be fully documented.


You can tell that I'm feeling the American Crafts on this layout... I think it's just the total mental salivation over all the new lines they're releasing tomorrow at CHA.  I can't WAIT to get my hands on some of the new goodies.

I really shouldn't have stayed up doing layouts last night... I'm exhausted but work has been the busiest I've been in years so I feel like I have to do something after I get home so work and sleep aren't the only things I do.  Sigh.  It will calm down soon, I'm sure, and then I'll be able to breathe and sleep. :)

California Recap part 3

The third and final installment of my recent adventures in California.  A few of these pictures completely embody the reasons why I was feeling like moving to Monterey wouldn't be a bad thing.  Assuming I could afford it and find gainful employment, of course. ;)

First, this is kind of a family joke.  There's a bit of a rampant diet Coke addiction among my relatives.  Once someone (Nicole? Nat?) discovered that you could get diet Coke from the special orders window in the cafeteria, this scene repeated itself at breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Even grandma was sipping the DC at breakfast!

Diet coke

Next, one of the many stunning views of Asilomar (the place where we were staying).  This was coming through the dunes on the way back from a walk along the beach with my aunt one morning (we walked every morning.  Too beautiful to miss!)


And of course, a little glimpse of the scrapbooking activity on Sunday afternoon... there was another table as well but all the men in the family were noticeably absent.  Shock.  It went very well, everyone finished and they were all extremely pleased!


This is just sheer indulgence.  Ghiradelli has released a new flavor of chocolate - chocolate peanut butter.  Naturally they had to create a sundae to go with this new flavor combination.  And naturally, I had to sample it.  Extensively.


And the final photo in my little recap... this is from a parking lot near one of the main vistas in Point Lobos (near Carmel).  Nicole, Brian and I hiked out from here and climbed all over rocks and out right up to the water line.  It was gorgeous!  We spotted seals and sea otters in the water, got our entry point washed out by incoming tide and had to do a little climbing to get back out, and really enjoyed lots of spectacular views.

Point lobos

The rest of my photos are here.

Some playtime at last!

Well, if today was any indication, work this week is going to be even crazier than last week!  But that's okay... lots of fun and exciting projects to keep me busy. :)  On top of that, I had a great session with my trainer tonight that really got me feeling nice and motivated.  So I got home and ate my veggies and then managed to do a layout for myself!  I knew I wanted to get up to my attic and play, and the first pictures I wanted to do something with were, without question, of my new niece Eraleigh.


The perfectionist in me is annoyed that I printed the pictures with the black frames and then did a nice, soft and pink layout.  I feel like I either need to tie in the black or re-print the pictures.  Right after I wrote and posted this, I decided I couldn't go to bed until I fixed this egregious error.  lol.  What can I say... I'm anal.  The white borders look much better, but there might need to be more tweaking to make the dark backgrounds tie in better.  I think, however, that this means I should step away and go to bed.

P.S.  I hate celery.  Eating it is what I imagine chewing a cud would be like.  Eeewww.

California Recap Part 2

It's taken me a day longer than planned, but I'm back with round two!  This week since I got back I've seen the value of actually sleeping while on vacation so that it doesn't take a full week to start to feel normal again. :-P

We had a lot of fun family activities at the reunion and I hope I can get back in the mood for scrapbooking again soon so I can start to get some of my memories onto layouts.  I even took a trip to the scrapbook store this weekend looking for inspiration and it's been a good 6 weeks since I've been to one.  That might be a record.  In the mean time, a few more of my favorite photos from the trip.

Saturday we had been planning to take a day trip to Hearst Castle, but because of the Big Sur fires, the roads were closed so we stayed in Monterey.  A group of my cousins and I decided to go to the aquarium.  I've been there several times, but I'm always willing to go again.  My little cousin Savannah (who is a quintessential 2-year old... I have lots of photographic proof) was entranced by the jelly fish.  Can't say I blame her!  They're amazing.

Blog - Jellyfish

I love this picture... this is my cousin Natalie's husband Jon.  He looks about 17 and is one of the funnest people I know.  You'd never know to look at him that he's a 30 year old ex-Navy nuclear physicist (or something super brainy along those lines).  I'm crossing my fingers that I can find a plane ticket to go and play with them over Thanksgiving. 

Blog - Jon eats fish

Of course, we had to go through the kid's play zone and pose for pictures in the giant clam.  Nicole and Brian:

Blog - Nic and Bri in a clam

Natalie and Jon:

Blog - Nat and Jon in a clam

Nat and I:

Blog - me and nat in a clam

And now, the last picture of the post.  Some of the family had to leave on Sunday so we did a few family portraits on Saturday evening.  This is one of my favorites - my 2nd cousin Mallory had her little Gracie about 7 weeks ago and she was able to take some five generation photos.  I think it would be so special to have something like this for myself some day.

Blog - clark's 5 gen photo

Well, that's enough fun and excitement for one post :)  I'll post more soon.

California Recap Part 1

I can't believe it's already been 3 days since I got home... I've been crazy busy and time has just flown!  Anyway, I was finally able to sit down and get all the pictures off of my camera and rotate the verticals, etc... so I thought I'd share a bit.

Last Wednesday was my cousin Gretchen's wedding and it was gorgeous!  We had the wedding itself at the Oakland Temple and then drove back down near Sacramento for the reception.  A few highlights:

One of the group shots outside the temple - this is the bride and groom with all of the aunts and uncles on the Kimball side.  None of Saul's family was able to come and I think we might have overwhelmed him a bit!

Blog - group shot at temple

This one was just too cute... a few of my adorable second cousins posing with bridesmaids' bouquets.

Blog - Cousins with flowers

And here are Aaron, Alex and Sam - 3 of my cousins (and 3 of Gretchen's 4 brothers):

Blog - zimm brothers

After we drove down to Roseville and checked into our hotel, Mom and I hit the outlets.  It was a fun way to pass a little time before we went over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for the reception.  The reception was beautiful!  They had set up tables and chairs in their driveway and the house was full of the smell of flowers.  Here are Gretchen and Saul cutting the cake:

Blog - cutting the cake

And towards the end, a little something memorable.  My aunt said that Gretchen had joked that there have been so many weddings lately that no one would remember hers specifically unless they had Elvis parachute into the reception.  So my aunt hired an Elvis impersonator.  LOL.  It was awesome.  He came up and sang a few songs and tossed "kisses" (aka Lindt truffles) to a few audience members.  He was pretty good!

Blog - elvis

And with that, I'm off to watch some more episodes of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares that I tivo'd while I was gone :)  Nothing like a productive evening, right?  More recaps to come...

Welcome home? Not so much.

I had a FABULOUS time on vacation this last week.  My cousin's wedding was beautiful, lots of fun with family, great weather, beautiful scenery and plenty to see and do.  I'll post more about it as I get my pictures off the camera, but I was in no state to do that when I got home.  My flight arrived around 1am this morning and I was able to get my bag and get my car and hit the road quickly, but as I was driving up the street to my house, I felt and heard this horrible sputtering that made my stomach clench in dread.  So much for a happy homecoming... lol.  I managed to get my on-the-verge-of-dying car home and this morning, after making work arrangements and some phone calls, I even got it to a mechanic without towing.  Bonus.  So after 4.5 hours at the mechanic and more money than I really want to think about, I once again have a fully functioning car.  I just hope things will be okay for a while.  Right now, all I want to do is sleep!  I didn't get much sleep on the trip (less time to play if you sleep, after all) and I didn't get to bed until almost 3am so I'm wasted. 

I can't go without mentioning, however, probably the happiest event of last week.  I'm an auntie again!  Little Eraleigh was born last Wednesday.  She weighs in at a tiny 5 lbs 8 oz, and all of us are positive that her big brother is acting as her guardian angel since there were a few things that almost went unnoticed and ended up prompting an early c-section.  Eraleigh had managed to wrap the cord around various parts of her body multiple times and her heart rate was going down with each contraction but the doctors worked quickly and just in time for a healthy birth.  The doctors and nurses called her a miracle baby and said someone in heaven must have been watching out for her.  Mom and baby are home and doing great and the rest of us are just thrilled.

Eraleigh and Erin
She looks soooo much like Ben did!  Congratulations to Rick and Erin!

And I'm spent.

Woohoo!  Projects finished!  I'm really pleased that I was able to get everything done.  Such a relief!  Here are 2 more layouts for the brag book.

This one is one of my absolute favorites:

So Sweet

And this is the 2nd page in the spread from Easter.  Ben was really serious about his art.  He didn't scribble lines, he always drew in circles... it was fascinating.  These are almost the last pages in the book :(

L'il Artist

There's one more page in the book, but I don't think I'm going to post it.  I asked my mom if she wanted a final layout that included pictures from the funeral and burial and she said she'd like that.  It was a little (okay, a lot) emotional, but I think it's been healing.  Healing is good.

So now, all projects of the crafty variety are finished.  Next up, laundry! 


And now for something completely different.

But not really.  Still scrapbooking layouts, but a different style and topic.  My last project was to finish the brag book of Ben for my mom.  Here are a few more of our sweet angel...

L'il Man

Be Happy
I thought the "Be Happy" sentiment seemed to fit for this page.  He was always happy and I kind of feel like this was a message for us... follow that example and just be happy.  Such a sweetie.

And now, time for the grand finale.

Yes, I promise.  This is the last of the reunion layouts.  I seriously doubt that I'll have any desire to add photos from this reunion to this particular album when I get back.  Of course, I'm sure I'll be making plenty of layouts for my own albums :)

Blog - Layouts Batch 4
Those stickers and diecuts are pretty sweet.  Especially when you mix them together.  That, my friends, is creative innovation at its finest.

And now, I take a bow.  C'est fini.

Take two

And now for volume II in the trip back to family reunions of 2006... lol.

Blog - Layouts Batch 2
Layouts notwithstanding, I really love some of the pictures I took that I used on these spreads.  (And I thought it was so cool that I found that paper that mapped out 17 Mile Drive and even had a marker for where we were staying!)  I can't wait to get back there!

On to the next project!

I figured that it might be a good idea if I brought the completed scrapbook from our last family reunion to this one so that I can show them what it looks like when you finish it (because, let's face it.  Not everyone will have added photos to the last one).  Of course, the empty pages have been sitting in a bag for two years so I wasn't setting the best example.  Since I managed to get all of this year's stuff done ahead of schedule, I thought I should get some pictures printed out and into the album.  So, over the next few days, I'll indulge in the blogger's version of painful slideshows of family vacations.  lol.

Here's the cover, title page, and the first two layout spreads:

Blog - Layouts Batch 1
Admittedly not the greatest layouts ever, but given the limitations I had to work with, I thought I did pretty well!  Besides... everyone will love the photos and probably won't look at the rest (cliché, but probably true.)