Saturday, October 17, 2015

Two Months of Journeys

What an adventurous summer!

After our June visit to Utah, Eric and I went again in August. This time it was to attend BYU Education Week. I wish I could express how much I love this event. After I graduated BYU in 1994, my mom and I went to Education Week for several years. Eventually its dates began to overlap into school starting when we were both teaching for LAUSD, so we stopped.

In 2013, I decided to attend Education Week again for the first time in over 10 years. It was still as wonderful as ever! My mom went too. Last year I attended alone, and, even by myself, it was still great. I'm thrilled that Eric decided to go with me this year, along with a dear couple we became close to on our cruise, who we were able to spend a lot of time with.

BYU Education Week is truly for the life-long learner, which is me to a tee. I'm a school nerd and proud of it.  I love going to interesting classes and learning new things. Education Week invites speakers and authors who are leaders in their fields and for 5 days you can go to classes on a wide variety of subjects for around $70..for the entire week. Not your typical vacation, but a way to charge yourself up, educationally and spiritually, depending on the classes you choose to attend. Best of all, you have complete control over your schedule.

I didn't get a lot of photos, because it isn't that kind of a trip, but here are a few to commemorate the week:

Eric and me at the Marriott Center, waiting for the Tuesday devotional to begin.

Every year at Education Week, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks at a devotional.  This year it was Elder Neil L. Anderson. For those of us who live out of state and do not have many opportunities to hear an apostle speak in person, this is pretty special.

Another fun thing during Education Week:  Famous LDS artists are asked to showcase their work in the art department of the BYU Bookstore. I was a little starstruck meeting Robert Boyd, my favorite LDS artist/photographer, this year.  His work is so beautiful!  Visit his website HERE.

On Saturday, after Education Week was completed, Eric and I went to Salt Lake, did some shopping, and visited Temple Square. Photos do not do it justice, nor do they express the wonderful spirit that abides there, but this is the best I could do, taken from the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building while we were waiting for a table at the Garden Restaurant.

Last day in Provo! We went to The Bombay House, my favorite restaurant there. Best Indian food ever!!

Despite a harrowing drive on the way to Utah, with a 4 hour delay on day 1 because of wildfires, our drive home was nice and smooth. We listened to talks on CD by our mutually favorite Education Week speaker, S. Michael Wilcox. If you ever attend Education Week and he is there, go listen to this spiritual giant of a man. We were so impressed!

Shortly after returning home from Utah, I made plans for a solo road trip to California to visit family. I hadn't been since last November, but something told me to get there as soon as possible. I have a 97-year old cute grandma who I needed to see, along with spending time with my mom, niece and nephew. And, although my grandma is in fairly decent health for her age, I decided to heed that prompting and go.

I stayed in California for about 2 weeks, spending an afternoon with my grandma, helping my mom with the house whenever possible, and with babysitting my brother's children, which my mom does once or twice a week. I also got to attend church for 2 Sundays and go to lunch with two good friends from high school. A few days before leaving my mom and I went on some shopping trips, where I helped her pick out some new church clothes. On my last Saturday there, we went to the local airport and had breakfast with my mom's brother, Uncle Beto.

It was a very good trip, even though I didn't visit any of my usual CA haunts, like Disneyland, the Norton Simon Museum, or the Arboretum. It was very hot and I was extremely glad I had my own car, which gave me a lot of freedom. And it was fun to shop in an area with so many shopping choices (unlike our town in WA.)

My mom and I went to a production of Guys and Dolls at the Glendale Centre Theatre, a wonderful, family-owned theater-in-the-round that is very close to our hearts. I hadn't been there in a few years. The play was great!

On Monday nights my mom attends an "empty nesters" Family Home Evening, which I tag along to when I visit. Here I am with 2 amazing ladies I've known since we joined the Church in 1986, Afton and Helen. Afton was celebrating her birthday that night! I love these ladies.

We saw a lot of my brother's cute kids, who are 7 and 5.
I can hardly believe the way time has flown!
 Here they are with my mom and her doggie right before an evening walk.

With my Uncle Beto. He loves his toys and going on new adventures!

To make things a little easier, I broke up my return drive into 3 days instead of 2. It was nice to be home in the arms of my cute hubby and back in my own house.

These past few months I've been enjoying a new hobby! It's one reason I've been such a slacker in updating this blog.

Coloring. Yes, you read that right.

I've never fancied myself much of an artist when it comes to drawing, but I have always loved coloring. I also like to hop from hobby to hobby once in a while, whether it be reading, writing, photography, and now...coloring. Whichever hobby I'm in, I like to immerse myself in it.

After doing a little research I bought my first coloring book for grown-ups...Enchanted Forest. (Click to see its link on Amazon.) I've been using some colored pencils, but mostly Pentel markers, which are very good, and Crayola markers, also good and more reasonably priced.  After nearly completing my first coloring book, I moved on to "Creative Cats," and I have the soon-to-be-released Lost Ocean on order.

Some pages I completed from the Enchanted Forest book.

Taking Before and After photos is fun.

My favorite (and personal best) from the Enchanted Forest book.

The nice thing about the Creative Cats book is that every picture is on its own sheet of paper. And that it was less than $5!

I like the way this one turned out. Sometimes I start with the kitty cat, sometimes with the background. But is is fun to breathe life into the picture. My personal rule for the eyes is to pick a color for them that is not used anywhere else.

Negative space can be powerful.

My personal favorite and best of the ones I've completed from Creative Cats.
Mary Engelbreit's art and color palette was my inspiration here.

Some people will find this a silly hobby, others will not have the patience for it, and there are many kinds of books available for different preferences. I like the ones with detailed nature and animal pictures over the abstract designs.  And even though I'm not a really patient person by nature, I find myself getting lost in this hobby. It's very relaxing, and great for use while traveling.

What's next?
This has been an unbelievable year of traveling, with more trips this year than I've ever had in my life in such a short time. We've also made some great friends who feel like we've known them for ages, and have had some great experiences as a couple. (Our 5 year anniversary was in August!)

And we have one more trip in 2015 before taking a major hiatus from all the traveling and laying low for awhile.  Should be fun!

1 comment:

MOM said...

Fun to read all about it, though we've shared a lot about your summer. So glad you and Eric are traveling and enjoying life to the fullest. Love, MOM