End of Second Term

End of Second Term

I’ve been meaning to write some more about school for quite a while but didn’t have anything bright and shiny to show you all. Here at last, something post worthy!

The good news is that the pace of class has changed quite a bit. Class sessions are twice as long which allows for a lab-style session. It’s lovely to work amongst my classmates. They’re gifted and talented and inspiring and challenging. And it’s been super fun to watch them improve and grow through our class sessions.

At the end of the term, just before spring break, our final project was to create bookcovers for fictional books, based on the podcast of our choice. I picked This American Life, one of my favorite podcasts, and started with a blank page. It turns out, if I work the process, the way my instructors have told me to, it actually works!

So first up was sketching and then a mood board. Here’s mine…(the pencil sketches aren’t mine…I found them online but loved the feel they brought.)


My first idea was to pick specific episodes that went with my theme–you know, episodes that all had some kind of connection: topics, locations, like that. My instructor pointed out (accurately) that choosing by theme would limit my project. If prospective clients saw it, they would think I could address those specifics, but what about episodes that have nothing to do with my topic or location? So I broadened the idea and added the globes because it turns out that This American Life is remarkably global.

I wanted to try hand-lettering since This American Life has a certain casual feel to it…something hand-made and conversational seemed right. So the title of the episode on the reverse and the main title for the whole series are hand-lettered within the confining shapes of the U.S. map or the globe. I ended up using a much simpler font to set the rest of the text.

To start this, our third term, we have done a photo shoot of our bookcovers. Super fun! We set up studio lighting, used a sweep, and took our photos. I could get seriously sucked in–there’s always one more idea to try and a way to refine the photo you’ve already shot. Next we retouched them so that required new Photoshop skills. (And I’ll be retouching my Facebook photos from now on. Ha!) And here are the finished photos.




What Makes You Happy? 9-13

What Makes You Happy? 9-13

Number 9:  This video.

How can that not make you smile? Shout out to Cath’ for sending me that link!

Number 10:

A few weeks ago I went back to Bend for an amazing weekend with the women’s ministry there. Kitty and her team always host fantastic events but this one was off-the-hizzle. So to speak. This one was an all day event with Carolyn Custis James. She is one of my favorite authors in all of the universe. If you haven’t read her books you absolutely should. Start with When Life and Beliefs Collide. Or possibly Half the Church. But honestly, The Gospel of Ruth is also awesome. I took photos of the event because I love how Kitty always uses a them for the promotional products, the print materials, and the environmental stuff. She gets it! The weekend was devoted mostly to Carolyn’s book, Half the Church, and was titled, Beyond Compassion. Women were challenged to understand their value as God’s image bearers and then to take action on behalf of other image bearers. (Lucky me, I got to do the print stuff for them!) Here are my lame photos-I-took-with-my-phone.

Here’s the table, all set and ready for guests.


Such healthy snack choices to start the day…


Kitty always makes sure the bathroom is extra special too.

photoDon’t know if you can tell, but for the centerpieces on the tables and then in the ladies, Kitty’s team took quotes from Carolyn’s books and framed them.
Love this.


The auditorium.


Carolyn was lovely and down to earth. She was inspiring and challenging and insightful. Yeah for a great female speaker and author!

Number 11:

I spent the night with Kitty on Friday night which was super fun too. And it meant, that I woke up to this face. How can that not make you happy?!?


Number 12:

A give away! Carolyn graciously signed books after the event. I had her sign my mangled copy completely with underlining and marks and dogeared corners that I’ve loaned to everyone and their mother. But I also got a lovely fresh new unmarked copy of one of her books with her signature just for one of you! To enter, just comment with something that makes you happy. We’ll pick a number for the winner and mail the book next week. Enter as many times as you like before midnight on Tuesday.

Number 13:

We went to the live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s La Boheme this morning. It was awesome. I was a little apprehensive that it would be too heady for me to follow or it would be hard or….but it was really just amazing. In between acts they broadcast the behind the scenes footage so you can watch the scene changes and everything. Those people are remarkable. And the singing. Oh my. Yep–if you’re even the least bit interested I absolutely recommend it. I came home and started following their facebook page so I won’t miss the next one.

That’s it for today. What makes you happy?!?

What Makes You Happy? Day 7


I’ve been storing up some happy thoughts until I had a chance to write about them. I promise my inability to write with regularity is not saying that I have been unhappy for the last week! So here’s a story from last week that still makes me smile.

My weekly schedule is pretty set. I’m in the office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and in school on Tuesday and Thursday. After school on Tuesday and after work on Friday I meet my sister and we visit my mom. Thursday evening after school I make dinner for my MIL. It’s all good and it’s all stuff I want to do. But it makes trips to the grocery store hurried and jammed between other appointments and while I prefer to a do a week’s shopping once, more often than not I end up at a grocery store almost every night.

albertsons-logoSince last week was spring break I just worked every day. Tuesday was an unusual day because I made a sales call on a business we are hoping to recruit. Accordingly, I was wearing dress pants and heels instead of my usual jeans and flats. And I had on my killer coat that Glenn bought me last summer at the Coach clearance sale. LOVE it. Back to our story…Tuesday after work I went to visit my mom with Delores. And after that I went to the grocery store. It’s safe to say that I am not feeling fresh and lovely at this point. Really I’m just trying to get in and get out. But in the midst of my mindless wanderings in the produce department a young hipster came up to me, said, “Excuse me, Ma’am” (good grief!) and then told me:

Your jacket is epic. And you’re cute too.

I spent the rest of my shopping trip grinning from ear to ear.

What Makes You Happy? Day 6


Here’s my happy from today. And if I’m honest about how ridiculously spoiled I am, it’s my happy many days each week. You see my shower is magic. Most mornings I get in the shower and while I am lathering up in the steamy lovliness, a cup of coffee with precisely the right amount of cream, magically appears on my bathroom counter. It magically appears through the loving ministrations of my amazing boyfriend.

morning cup

Love that guy.

P.S. Shout out to my sweet friend Dina for this cup that always makes me think of her!

What Makes You Happy? Day 5

What Makes You Happy? Day 5

dinner-corned-beef_300This is not my photo. It’s one from the interwebs, specifically from Real Simple I think. I failed to take a photo of my lovely St. Patty’s Day meal. But man did it make me happy. I’m a food person. I’ll give you that. But in this case there’s more to it than just a plate of red potatoes and carrots and brussels sprouts with bacon alongside a crazy tender corned beef. Let me ‘splain.

You may have noticed an absence of recipes in my recent posts. That’s because it would look like this:

Monday: vegetables, organic chicken and brown rice
Tuesday: organic chicken with brown rice and vegetables
Wednesday: brown rice with chicken and vegetables
Thursday: vegetables, organic chicken and brown rice
Friday: you get the idea…

Yes, I’m on an allergy elimination diet. It’s been a month. We’re all full up of chicken and brown rice. But thankfully I’ve added a few yummalicious things back in: citrus (thank God!) wheat (double thank God!) and dairy. I’ve also added potatoes, bell peppers, turkey and pork back in. This was my first beef. Still on my list to try again: tomatoes (tomorrow, fingers crossed,) soy, and eggs (pretty sure this is the culprit.) Sadly, garlic still appears to be off-limits for me. But honestly, I am soooo happy to have bread back in my life (Hall-lay-lou-yah) that I can deal with garlic.

So here’s to a little variety back in our lives. And just for fun, a little love from the Emerald Isle.

May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends.

What Makes You Happy? Day 4

What Makes You Happy? Day 4

I skipped a couple days…not because I was unable to find something to be happy about. No, I was unable to get a photo of something to represent my happy thoughts. But not today. Today I stood in the middle of a store and took a photo just for you.

Sundays are among my favorite days. Glenn and I go to church and then have lunch at our favorite spot. I order the exact same thing every week. (So pathetic, right? But man it makes me happy.) It’s a lovely day and fills the spot of a date for us. Today, since it wasn’t our week to teach in Imago Dei Kids, we went to early service. We were ridiculously early for lunch at that point so we headed over the river to Powell’s. A little tricky today because of the Shamrock Run but even that was kind of funny. Portland is such an odd and quirky place!

So today’s photo is of the sign in Powell’s.


Truthfully, this is one of Glenn’s favorite places in the world. And HE is my favorite in all the world. Ergo, I like Powell’s. We wandered around, I checked out their supply of typography and graphic design books, and then I picked up a used copy of Gone With the Wind for book club.

Love books. Love my guy. Loved today. What about you? What made you happy today?

What Makes You Happy? Day 3

What Makes You Happy? Day 3

This morning as I was hitting my snooze button (for, um, the third time?) my phone dinged that I had a text. Glenn had already left for Rotary so I thought maybe he had something to tell me…some paper that needed to be picked up, some order we needed to figure out, something I had let slip between the cracks or an errand that he needed me to run. But I was wrong. Instead when I cracked open my eyelids and fumbled for my phone, here’s what I saw:

Sweet Meredith

This is the youngest of my three nieces, Meredith. Who got her braces off…today. How can you not be happy looking at this face?!?

It makes me so happy that despite the fact that they are several thousand miles away, technology makes it possible for us to share within moments of an experience. But what makes me even more happy, delighted even, is that she wants to share it with me. I always wanted to be the cool aunt that takes you out for shopping or ice cream or to get your nails done. But living half a country away has stymied that impulse a bit. So hurray that she wants to share with me. Hurray that she knows I love her even though Oregon is a long ways away. Hurray that Meredith got her braces off. Hip Hip, Hooray!

Now you.

What Makes You Happy? Day 2

What Makes You Happy? Day 2

I’m not certain this will be a daily thing but I have to say I loved the change in my perspective today–I had about fifteen different ideas for what to post! How fantastic is that? Exactly what I want my life to be: consciously and intentionally moving from one abundance to another.

So I’ll save my extra ideas for another day when I’m feeling less cup-half-full and use this one for today (since it’s hard to say when it will happen again.)

blue skyYou may be scratching your head and saying, what in world? Here’s what this is (and I promise I was stopped at a stop light when I took this.) This is the view today up through the sunroof of my car as I was driving. Noticeably absent: rain, mist, showers, downpour, drizzle, sprinkles, gloom, overcast, clouds, fog, …precipitation of any kind! Hallelujah for sunshine and not-a-cloud-in-the-sky.

Your turn…