Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Curtis and I have been to Moab over a dozen times, but hadn't been since I was pregnant with Gavin. That meant that our little man had never been to one of our favorite places of all time. It was time to change that. A group of co-workers from VW/Audi were all going out for a long mountain biking/camping weekend and we had to join them. It turned out to be an even more memorable trip than we had expected :-)

The weather was amazing, Arches National Park was as impressive as ever, and our new campground was just beautiful, but it was the trip to the ER that really stood out this trip. Unfortunately, while the girls were hiking in Arches the boys were mountain biking and Curtis had a freak accident on his bike. The x-ray revealved a broken wrist that most likely needed surgery to fix (pins and a plate put in). Poor Curtis.

Luckily, Curtis wasn't hurt any worse than he was (or hadn't fallen off the nearby cliff), but we did immediately worry about him being able to work when we got home (and what his boss might say) and trying to get comfortable while camping and sleeping on a leaky airmattress is nearly impossible with a tender arm. We did have to shift gears with our itinerary for the weekend and the rest of the much anticipated bike rides were obviously cancelled, but we made the most of the trip considering the circumstances and we had some fun along the way. Since Curtis wasn't able to mountain bike for the rest of the trip we spent some extra time all together in Arches and around Moab showing Gavin the sights. Despite the change of plans we still enjoyed ourselves and the company of our friends. And we know that this trip will be unforgettable! Hey, at least we have a story to tell, right?

This was as close as we got to Delicate Arch this time around. Hiking with a broken arm and tired 4 year old, not so good. Maybe next time.

Gavin was completely in his element there in Moab: climbing rocks, running, collecting sticks, playing in the dirt. He would scramble up these gigantic walls of rock and sketchy ledges and pretty much try to climb anything that was in front of him, despite my best efforts to keep him alive. I was in a constant state of cardiac arrest! Man, that kid can climb!

This waterfall was in our campground!
Not only could we hike around the stream during the day, but we could hear the rushing water from our campsite. Who knew there was such a beautiful waterfall there in the desert.

Gavin feeling quite at home on the rocks.

Curtis and his little souveneir!

Just one of the many beautiful sights along the road in Arches.

Uncle Brent and Gavin playing around on some of the arches.

My brother Brent drove down from Orem and met us for this camping trip. It was so fun having him along.

The writing's on the wall
These petroglyphs are all over Moab and you can see them just driving down the street.

A dinosaur footprint fossil.
A very cool thing to show Gavin.

All in all it was a good trip, despite our medical setbacks, and we look forward to bringing Gavin back to this beautiful, almost magical, place again and again. Hopefully next time it will just be the scenery that will make the trip so memorable.





*** Note to self***
Urban living lesson #1: Do not leave your camping gear and road trip stuff in your car overnight. Someone will break into your secure garage and break your back window and steal that stuff. They don't care if they're taking your son's favorite movies or that you just broke your arm. They'll still steal it. Lesson learned........the hard way.


All this sitting action in less than one hour. It was a jackpot in the pretend play department.
What a lucky kid.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The Port of Long Beach hosted The Greenport Festival not too long ago and we made sure to scoot on down and enjoy all the free festivities including a harbor cruise/boat ride. We got to see the port up close and enjoy a beautiful day on the water.

Afterwards we spent some time in the park near the pier playing in the grass and taking pictures on the boardwalk. What a glorious day!

I think Gavin was a robot here.

Thanks Long Beach for the awesome day. Better believe we'll be back soon!


For the final assignment in my photography class we were to document a day in our life. To tell the story of our day through pictures only. This is a pretty typical day for us. Although, there are many little detail pictures I wish I would have included, but there never is time for such things, especially with school deadlines. Anyone else's day look like this?


As some of you were aware I took a photography class this last fall semester at Santa Monica College.....and just happened to love it. So much so that I am going back for more (and maybe even a degree). February 14th will be the beginning of my next semester and many more photos to be taken. I thought maybe I would share some of the pictures I took over the last semester to change things up around here a bit. Heck, maybe I'll start including some posts with photography tips and little lessons that I learn along the way. What do you think? Well, for now here are just a few images from varying assignments in Photography 1 with Ms. Gregory.

Oh, and all of these images are straight out of camera--no editing allowed. Not even cropping. So keep that in mind. And it's hard to always get it right in camera.

For this assignment I photographed lots of different produce from the 3rd St. Farmers Market. It was pouring rain this day while we were on a field trip for the class and I was juggling holding both an umbrella and my camera. Not easy. But I thoroughly enjoyed myself walking around in the rain and looking at pretty vegtables.

Farmers Market assignment.

Farmers Market assignment.

Farmers Market assignment.

This particular assignment was called 'Urban Landscapes'.
It was such a challenge for me to run around town just looking for cool pictures, not knowing before hand where to go or where I'd park and having time restraints with Gavin. But I was so happy that I pushed myself outside my comfort zone and normal subject matter (ie. Gavin) for this assignment. Well, I guess I had to if I wanted a good grade in the class. It wasn't easy to do, but I think I was the most happy with these images out of all that I took that semester.

Urban Landscapes assignment.

Urban Landscapes assignment.

Urban Landscapes assignment.

Here's one image from my 'Depth of Field' assignment where we were trying to get just a little bit of the image sharp and the rest of it out of focus, or shallow depth of field. These squares are from the wall of a local deli.

Well, and here we have the 'Environmental Portraits' assignment where of course Gavin made his SMC debut. What teacher could resist this face and give me anything but an A, right? I did use other people besides Gavin for this assignment, but at least half of them contained the little guy. Doesn't he look like such a menace here?

Environmental Portrait assignment

Environmental Portrait assignment.

Environmental Portrait assignment.

Next up for Spring semester.....Black and White film AND Digital Imaging. Can't wait!
Stay tuned for more!