Archives for category: my life

I know I probably say this every year but I am seriously shocked at how fast the years go by.  I really just don’t get it.  2012 ended much faster then I was ready for and I feel like my head is still spinning a bit.  Looking back we had such a great year, each of us individually and as a family.  We tried new things, went new places, and made new friends.  Over all it was just fun!!  My word for last year was Let It Be, and once again it was perfect for what I needed and it helped me so much move on from some of the sadness of the past few years.  In fact, I liked it so much I will probably keep it as a back up word for this year too, it’s just that awesome.  I had a really hard time coming up with this years word, I thought for a while that maybe I just needed to do a second year of Let It Be and then finally, last night, I put my finger on what I was feeling that I wanted this year to be.  So, it all kinda started with the marathon.  Early last year Mike and I signed up for the St. George marathon as a way to get moving and to try and do something hard and to definitely do something we have never done before.  And all those things were exactly what it was for us.  Over the course of the whole experience though I realized something about myself.  Running just doesn’t fill my soul and why was I putting so much time and energy into something that doesn’t do that for me?  I realized that I should be spending my time doing things that will fulfill me as a person, not just doing things because everyone else is doing it.  I have thought a lot about all the things that would fill my soul and that led to my word for 2013.

Ready for it?


This year I want to live!!

I want to do things fun and different and hilarious and colorful and beautiful.  And I want that in all aspects of my life, at home and in my business.  All the possibilities kind of make my head explode and last night I just couldn’t sleep because I was so excited.  Here is a little list of things that are some of the things I want to experience this year…

1.  I want to go for a ride in a hot air balloon.

2.  I want to go to monument valley.  We have talked about doing this for the last 5 years, I just want to go already

3.  I want to learn how to make funnel cake.

4. paint, paint, paint.  For my birthday Mike signed me up for an art class and I just can’t wait for it to start.  Painting definitely fills my soul.

5.  Mike and I have been working on a project for about the last 3 years, this is the year I want to let it out into the world.  It’s been a lot of hard work and a lot more hard work is needed but I think it’s going to be amazing.

6.  I want to own a cactus.  I have a hard time keeping plants alive, but I love them, so I think I just have to find ones that will work for me and I think a cactus might be it.  Plus, I just think they are neat.

7.  I want to do at lest 2 photo essays.  I want to do one of each of my boys and where they are in their life right now because they are on the verge of some pretty big changes in the next few years and just want to remember all that they are now.

So, that’s the start of what I think is a promising list.  I’m excited to add to it and see where it takes me.  I think all this living is going to be rad!

Last year my band was Dave Matthews and he was good to me.  We didn’t get to see him live but there is always this year. That would fall perfectly into my year of really living.

For this year I want my music to be that of Bon Iver.  I just discovered him a few months ago and he moves my soul, I truly love it and it makes me happy.

I did alright with my Polaroid photo project last year, surprisingly I still have 4 packs of film left so the fun will continue! Here are some highlights and I really hope that blogging won’t be on the back burner this year because I really love this blog.  Happy 2013!!

P.S.  If you are interested in reading more about my yearly word you can check out these posts… 2011 Gratitude… 2010 Love… 2009 Eliminate

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Today was like any other day, Mike and I were sitting on our computers working away, trying to get as much done as we could before the boys got home from school and then we get this email thru the photobooth site that made us laugh so hard.


Name: Jackson ouzts

Event Date?:  nothing

What city will your event be held in?: St. george

What type of event are you planning?:  famliy reunion

How did you hear about us?:  your my mom and dad


i love you


Seriously, it totally made my day.  I love that kid.



It’s that time of year again, word time!!  Having a word for the year has been such an amazing thing over the past few years and this last year did not disappoint!  The word for 2011 was GRATITUDE.  Once again I was surprised at how it played out over the year.  I thought that having this as a focus would make me grateful for anything and everything around me, instead, while I am grateful for many things, focusing on this made me intensely grateful for a few wonderful things in my life.  I feel like I discovered a level of gratitude that I didn’t know existed.  This past year has been a pretty hard one for both Mike and I, but throughout the entire year I was able to remind myself that I was learning and growing and going through this for a reason, which in turn made me grateful.  Being grateful for the hard things has brought a peace to my heart, I feel very lucky and blessed.  Gratitude was exactly the word I needed this year!  I realize I didn’t blog as much this year but in a way it was a really good thing because I slowed down and tried to just enjoy what was happening around me.  Things I remember most about this year are the smell of the ocean, the boys bouncing up and down as we walked down Main Street at Disneyland, the way the clouds looked as we drove to Denver, art blocks, dreams about my grama, the feel of jellyfish and sharks, Beatles Love, going to DC all by my self, being a room mom, science projects that include lots and lots of water polymers,  the way it smells and feels when Mike hugs me (my very favorite), watching my baby get baptized, playing with the scouts, seeing friends I haven’t seen in 15 years and it still being awesome to hang out,  and realizing Jack’s toes are as big as mine.  I am thankful for all we went through this year, good and bad.

David Bowie was my music man of the year, when I started adding a band I just thought that it would help me surround myself with good music that I loved and made me happy and that was pretty much it.  But I learned something from David Bowie this year, imagine that!  One day I was reading about all the things he has done in his life and I was shocked to discover that he has failed at more things than he has succeeded at.  It’s hard it imagine some one like David Bowie failing at anything, but he has, and I found that  inspiring!  Not that I inspire to fail, but I hope that I can live a life where I do what I love and I never give up, and more importantly, I hope that I can teach that to my boys.  The other thing I discovered about David Bowie is that the music of his that I like, I really, REALLY like, and the music of his I don’t like, I seriously don’t like, there is no middle ground for me and David.  And that’s ok, I still think he’s rad.

So, on to 2012.  Since picking my word for 2012 it has popped up again and again and I just love it when that happens!!  For the first time though, I picked a phrase, not just one word…


This is going to be great for this year and something I have discovered that I need to learn.  I have a tenancy to let things eat at me, and after all that we have had to deal with this last year, I just can’t deal with things eating at me and, even though it’s hard, I have to remember that I can’t please everyone.  For the most part the things that eat at me are things that I can’t do anything about and stressing out about them is just not healthy and not worth my time.  This year is going to be about moving forward, surrounding myself with people that I love and I know love and respect me back, and things that I can’t do anything about I will let be.  It makes me feel free and happy just to think about it.

Music for the year is another David or Dave rather.  Dave Matthews.  I have loved him for a lot of years and the reason I am picking him is because he is the soundtrack to the story of me and Mike.  From the very beginning Dave was there, when Betsy and I won tickets to go see Dave in Denver I bought Mike a shirt with the last of my money and then I used the cell phone of the drunk guy next to us to call Mike so he could hear the opening song of the show.  Mike proposed to me at Stewart Falls up by Sundance and on our way down the canyon “two step” was playing, every time I hear that song I think of Mike, his red truck, fall time, and the promise I made to love him forever.  It makes me happy.  Memories like that go on and on and I am so happy to have all of them with Mike.   In our 12 years of marriage we have seen Dave live 7 times and we can’t wait to see him again, I hope we can find a way this year!!

I started a photo project last year with the theme of yellow.  I only took a few photos of yellow things so when I first started thinking about it I thought I had totally dropped the ball on that project.  But then I was taking a look at my professional work for the year and I noticed something…  for the most part my work is all filled with the sun and beautiful flare, when shooting into the sun what color do you get?  That’s right, yellow.  So even though that project didn’t go as planned I am considering it a success!  Yay me!!  My project for this year is going to be a fun one, instant film!  Mike bought me a huge pack of film for my birthday and I am going to attempt to stretch it out over the year.  The photos at the end of this post are from Thanksgiving.  We had our last hurrah at Disneyland and then Mike surprised me by driving us up to Zuma Beach, the beach of my childhood, I loved it!  I had my little camera and 10 photos for each place, these are few of my favorites.

Happy 2012!

This year Jackson is in 5th grade.  He is doing well and loves his class and teacher.  He is doing a lot more writing this year and Mike & I have been getting a kick out of some of his school work that he brings home.  Recently he had to write a few paragraphs about his favorite holiday food.  I am just going to type it all out (typos and all) because it just made us laugh, we are happy we could pass along our love of pumpkin roll to both our boys.

My Favorite Holiday Food

By Jackson Ouzts

My favorite holiday food is my moms homemade Pumpkin Roll.  At the end of Thanksgiving diner, my mom lets us eat that delicious, most scrumptious, very delightful, even rich, Pumpkin Roll!  Just thinking about it makes me craved.

My mom makes it with a lot of pumpkin bread and a special cream that is the best part of the Pumpkin Roll.  She rolls it up and puts the ingredients together, then, she puts it in the fridge for two hours or so.  Then at diner time, we eat like pigs

If you don’t have any clue what I’m talking about, you’re missing out.  I wish you happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

If you would like your own pumpkin roll here is the link to the delicious, most scrumptious, very delightful, even rich recipe. 🙂

The ocean pulls, pulls, pulls me in and then it spits me out salty, sandy and happy.  The beach is therapy for me, I don’t know what it is but I always feel better when I’m there.   We will be going back soon and I just can’t wait!  These photos are from Newport Beach at the beginning of September, we had so much fun just sitting on the beach all day long.

So, it’s Friday, the boys have just finished a long week at school and they both have friends over.  Jackson and his friend are in the other room and this is what I hear…

Jackson: ” So, what do you want to do?  (and then really excitedly)  You want to do some multiplication?!!!!!”

Seriously, how is it possible that he is my kid?

Today the sky is blue and the sun is shinning.  If I stand at the window it heats me up and makes me smile.  If I go outside a blast of cold air goes right through me so today I will enjoy outside from the inside!


Part three in the free set, love.  You can click on this image twice and right click to save or I also put in on my free art page for download.

This might sound really strange but the day my grandma died I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.  I grabbed on to it and let it wrap around me for the days that followed, it helped me to come to terms with the fact that she was gone, and helped me to know that this was how it was supposed to be.  As the weeks went by I felt that peace slipping away until it was gone all together.  Things got noticeably more difficult and it seemed like no matter where I searched that peace was not to be found.  Then, Mike and I started looking together.  Slowly but surely it has returned, and I am learning how to hang on to it.  Surprisingly, it hasn’t been that hard, I have just had to look in the right place.

Today I came home from church and my heart was full of love and gratitude and peace.  I was so glad for that.  I came across a print I made last year with this same quote, and I knew immediately that I wanted to remake it to match my grateful print. (I feel a 3 piece set coming!)  So, same as before, if you would like it, you can have it, just click the image twice and save it to your computer.  Want the other one? Here you go!  I can’t tell how many,  if any, were saved but if you like these let me know!!

here is a little list of things I am grateful for today.

1. big smiles.

2. staring contests.

3. eyes that know me.

4. that one eyebrow that goes up.

5. happiness.

6. freckles.

7. this face that is classic Link.

8. negative space.

9. growth.

10. color.

11. sweet light.

12. brothers.

13. sand.

2010 is over already, the way the years fly by kinda makes my head spin!  Is it really necessary that the days go by at warp speed?  This summer my boys will turn 8 and 10, seriously, how did that happen, they were just babies!!!  I don’t get it, but hopefully my word this year will help me… but I am getting a head of myself, first I must talk about LOVE!!  Oh how great this word has been to me, I have learned so much this year it has really been incredible!!  As I reread my word post for last year it makes me happy to see how far one year has brought me, and while at the beginning of 2010 I was hoping for an easy trial-less year I am so happy that I didn’t get it!!  This last year has been wonderful in a lot of ways and really, REALLY hard in others which I also see as wonderful once I get a chance to break away from the hardness and see how it is helping me grow.  I am happy to report I fell in love with many things, not only did I fall in love with cooking I also found a love for all things kitchen!  On some days I really love being in there and the food that I make is actually good!  Who knew I could be good at that?!!  Not me, that’s for sure, until this year!!

This year I also fell in love with Netflix, everything about it is awesome, that is all.

I have had 2 callings in church this year and while I enjoyed the first one (helping out with the scouts) I am really loving the one we have now which is teaching the 8 and 9 year olds in primary.  Preparing the lessons have helped me on my quest to fall in love with the scriptures which I am still working on, and I am learning so much, I really love it when I realize how good something is for me.  I was super overwhelmed when we got the call and I may have cried but it has been exactly what I have needed and something I am really happy to do!!

My Grama taught me the most about love this year.  To her, love was an action word, she didn’t just talk about it or say the word a lot, she showed her love for everyone by serving and giving and supporting and teaching and hugging!  She taught me a lot about love when she let me serve her and watching Mike do what he did for her made me fall in love with him more than I thought possible.  We buried my Grama on our 11th wedding anniversary and it was a day I know I will never forget.  I felt so lucky and proud to be a part of her family and extremely happy to be loved by Mike and our boys.  I know that my mission to love more will not end with this year, it is a life quest and a darn good one, I think!!  I know I will never be as great at loving as my Grama was but I’m going to keep at it anyway.

I feel a bit sad for who I was a year ago when it comes to loving myself, as I read that post I noticed that I was basing my ability to love who I am completely on what I looked like on the outside.  There is a lot more to me than that and sadly it took losing a bunch of weight and then gaining it all back to realize I have more to offer the world than fitting into a certain size jean.  My quest to control my weight will go on forever, I am sure, but my reasons have totally changed.  There are some things that I don’t like about me but there are  a lot more that I do like and over all I am happy to be me!

When my word for 2011 came to me it came like a punch in the face which makes me really excited about it and also a little scared!  Interestingly, that punch in the face came about 3 months ago and it has already started changing me for the better, seriously, I highly recommend a word of the year, it’s crazy cool!!  drumroooooollllllllll….


I have to admit that I am the kind of person that says ” I can’t wait until this happens, then things will be better.” or ” as soon as we get thru that, life will be awesome”  Just over the past 3 months this word has helped me to slow down, look around and even though things might not be ideal, I can find the happiness by counting my blessings.  I feel like 2011 is a big present I can’t wait to open!  And I feel really happy that love goes hand in hand with gratitude.

For my band this year I decided to try something different.  Instead of picking a band that I love I thought I would pick something unfamiliar and see if I could find something new to love!  So, David Bowie, you are my man for the year!  I really only know a handful of Bowie stuff and I am excited to learn more about him and his music.  So if anyone out there has some Bowie music they would like to share with me, that would be awesome, or even just recommendations on what to listen to would be killer!

I am also going to add a photography project to my list of do’s for the year.  It will be called the yellow collection.  The idea is that when I see anything that is yellow I will take a picture of it, through out the year I will post them here and by the end of 2011 I will have a big collection of yellowness.  I hope it will turn out cool!  HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!