just a GLIMPSE

My son is graduating from college next weekend.  It seems like I just moved him into the dorm and now it’s time for him to move on to the next part of his life.

So I offer a little visual trip back in time of some of my favorite pictures of him.

JoyThis is one of my most favorite pictures of Levi as a little guy.  Covered in spaghetti, he was having a great time eating lunch. Spaghetti stuck to his chest. . . well at least I didn’t have to work to get a shirt clean!  Technically, I shouldn’t have used the flash, but I was still learning then – and it was in the pre-digital age.  In color, it was just a bit nasty.  But I love the infectious grin and the joy that he exudes.  It still makes me smile.

Little ManSlightly older and wiser little boy looking very thoughtful.

Pout like you really mean it!

Another favorite.  Can you see the tears threatening to fall?  I’m sure he was angry with me for capturing the moment, but it’s a classic to which all parents can relate.

New Orleans 2005 - before Katrina

New Orleans 2005 – before Katrina

Such a difference a few years can make.  I love this picture and page.  His beautiful green eyes really stand out.  It was a quiet moment at the zoo.

AwesomeThat last picture was 2005.  This is from fall of 2010.  I took most of his senior pictures myself and these were three “attempts” at nice shots while he was acting goofy.  It was only like 105 degrees outside so I’m lucky he was smiling at all.

Graduation 2011High school graduation.  It seems so far off on that first day of kindergarten, but is sure creeps up on you with record speed.

Since then . . .

He’s been to college.   He’s ridden his Harley.

Saturday Afternoon Ride

He’s grown a beard.  He’s studied abroad.

On the Mosel in GermanyAnd he’s grown into a man.  I’m not sure when it happened.  I think I must have blinked and missed it.

But I confess that sometimes when I see him sleeping, I still that little guy that stole my heart so many years ago.

Turn the page

Abandoned house in decay.  Greene County, IL

Abandoned house in decay. Greene County, IL

. . . Another fall, another turned page. – Wallace Stegner

Although technically it’s not officially fall yet, it’s just around the corner.  And it’s wonderful.  I’d have to say that fall and winter are my favorite seasons so I feel a sense of excitement about it’s nearness.  The photo above is a favorite of mine that I snapped couple of years ago while were on the motorcycle on a fall day. I’m fortunate that my husband is a patient man who humors me by stopping and letting me take pictures.

And it’s done. . .well sort of.


Page 23 - A ride through the Badlands.

Page 23 – A ride through the Badlands.

I am finally finished with last year’s vacation “scrapbook” .  It’s uploaded and waiting to be printed.  I’m not sure why, but I’m always a bit anxious about the process.  I read and reread all my journal entries to proof them for spelling and punctuation, but it never fails that one tiny little error slips through.  And my son is always the one to notice it. Always.  Sometimes it’s not spelling.  One time I left a staple in his friend’s head.  I tell myself that nobody notices.  Anyway, this time I am more anxious than usual since I sent it to print at Blurb, a new experience for me.  It saved me a little money (and I found a coupon code online that saved even more) and by all accounts offers a product that’s equal or better to the printer I’ve used in the past.  We shall see.  The process was a little time consuming since I had to save all my pages as high quality jpeg files, and then import them and drag them on to the new pages.  That actually went really smoothly.  And I will say that in that respect, BookSmart worked perfectly.  And it was faster than you might think even with 43 pages.  It was just that when I looked at where the page would be trimmed, well some elements (photos, journal entries, flowers, etc) were a little to close for comfort.  In the end, I had to edit about a fourth of the pages to move some things away from edges, and then do it over. So what I thought would be a quick relatively quick process took me a bit longer.  Then I had more choices that I did at my old print shop.  Different colors of end pages.  Various papers of different weights and finish.  I hope that when it arrives in two weeks (because I was too cheap  thrifty to spend twice the amount on shipping to have it next week) I will love it.  I’m sure I will.  But the waiting to see if I got it right makes me a little crazy.

The scrapbook may be done, but this project is not.

Provence baby sweater for Noa.

Provence baby sweater for Noa.

The sleeves are done.  And I’m about halfway to dividing for the underarms.  I’ve got several hours of knitting time next week so hopefully, I can get this project all finished up.  Would be nice to deliver it to Noa when we see her (hopefully) in Germany next month.  It’s quite soft.  Beautiful color.  Washable wool.  It’s just that the yarn isn’t much fun to knit with.  And my new beautiful yarn is calling to me.  But I refuse to give in until this sweater is done.  So until then. . . I knit on.


Family Tradition

Family Tradition - resizedA somewhat simple page I created from an Instagram photo I took on Father’s Day this year.  I layered several papers (from several kits but the majority of the content is from the Take Wing kit) and played with the opacity to soften some of them and then flattened.  Did the same with a larger photo of the hydrangeas that were on the table and used it in the background because the flowers (a gift from my neighbor) were just too pretty to not include them. Note to self:  plant hydrangeas next spring!

15 Random Facts

1.  I always wanted to be a park ranger.  I majored in Biology, but looking back (because hindsight is always better, right?), I should have double majored in Art.  And what did I end up with as a career?  Science education.

2.  I was supposed to go to college in Colorado, but sort of at the last minute I changed my mind and attended Illinois College.  My mom’s alma mater as well.  And will be my son’s too.

3. Many years ago I received a subpoena to testify hearing for a DUI case involving a local guy. Later I married the arresting officer. We’ve been married almost 24 years despite the threat to find us in contempt of court for the flirting outside the courtroom!

4. I’m an only child and I didn’t mind it at all.

5. My dream house would be in the mountains.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park










6.  I love riding on the back of my husband’s Harley.


2013 Headed home from South Dakota.

7.  I can play the violin (but not very well anymore).

8.  I’m a whiskey girl.  Scotch or bourbon.  Either is good.  But Redbreast is delicious.

9.  There are too many books and too little time.  I’m a voracious reader.


One of many.








10.  I was pretty much ambidextrous as a kid. Teachers made me choose. So I write right handed but do many other things left handed. And am left eye dominant which my eye doc says probably makes me genetically a lefty.

11.  I’m a Chicago Blackhawks fan.

2013 First game of the Stanley Cup playoffs











12.  I think a winery is a perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Spirit Knob Winery, Ursa, IL

Spirit Knob Winery, Ursa, IL








13.  Without my husband to keep me in check, I would probable be a “crazy cat lady”.

My "Betsy Boo".

My “Betsy Boo”.









14.  I am fascinated by old abandoned houses and barns.


An abandoned house in Greene County, Illinois.

15.  I love country music and the radio station in my car rarely moves from The Highway.

I’m thinking NEVER again.

Lately there have been scrapbook pages with a typographic portraits on them that really caught my eye. Not sure what it is about them, but I think they are so cool.  In an email this morning I  saw an online lesson being offered for $40.  I ask myself just how hard can it be?  I don’t need to spend $40 on it.  I’m a smart girl.  I can figure this out.  A quick search pulled up tutorial on YouTube.  I’m not sure what time i started this, but I was still having my morning coffee.  I finished about 4:30 this afternoon. HUGE time suck.  (All while my laundry was not getting done and my floors were not getting vacuumed. And my dog laid at my feet offering up an occasional big sigh.)  This project only confirmed what I have always thought and that is that Photoshop Elements sucks is not very easy to use (despite having a science degree).  I think my work was slowed down in part by the fact that the video wasn’t showing Elements and so I had to figure out, in some cases, what the commands were for my version. I think the guy did a great job of compressing an all day process into a 30 minute video though!  I’m sure if I look around, I can find an easier way to do this.  Maybe.  But then again, I’m not sure I want to do this again.  And the kicker is. . . I’m not sure that I really love it.  But I will use it in a scrapbook page because it seems a shame not to after all the effort.

  Type Portrait 3 copy -resized