Playing In The Leaves

Yay we actually had a Fall this year (kinda)! We went over to my dad's house last week to visit him and his fiancé, and he had raked up a big pile of leaves for Evie to play in! There were pumpkins to carve and we had a great time. I spent most of the afternoon taking pictures, which is what I enjoy doing. Here they are!


5 Years!

Yesterday was Spencer's and my 5th wedding anniversary! It's amazing to think that we've been married for so long. At the same time, it feels like we've always been together. Probably because we almost always have. We've been friends for 12 years now, and we started dating 9 years ago. Nine! Spencer pointed out that another 5 years and we will have been together in our lives longer than we've been apart. What an amazing thought. We didn't have a lot of money to do anything extravagant this year (economy is still getting to us and all our extra money is going to my education) and my mom just had surgery again so we didn't really have a babysitter at our disposal. So last night we waited until Evie was asleep and then my mom (wonderful as she is) stood guard over the sleeping child (who graciously stayed asleep) while Spencer and I went out to dinner at Rodizio Grill. I put my diet on hold for an evening and just enjoyed the occasion. I had a passion fruit martini and gorged myself on grilled pineapple. I enjoyed making Spencer's gifts this year. He's always teasing me about getting on pinterest but he sure enjoyed getting presents inspired by pinterest projects! I made him one of those "52 Things I Love About You" things out of a deck of cards, and I made a chalkboard print that kind of chronicles the last 5 years of our lives. I framed it in white and it's going on our wall in the living room. The last five (9/12) years have been so amazing, I can't wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us!


The Learning Process

At the beginning of this year, I found myself extremely intimidated by the classes I have to take. I was looking at them not as greater opportunities for learning and growing as an artist, but as roadblocks: boundaries between me and what I really want most. These classes are required for all art students in the first year of the program no matter what your emphasis is, and they're designed to give you a VERY general overview of arts and art history.

I have never considered myself very good at drawing. I have always thought of there being this disconnect between my brain and my hand and what I see in my mind just doesn't come out on paper.

I assumed* that my 2D studio would be a year of show up, draw this, and you'd better be good at it. It never occurred to me that they might actually TEACH me to draw along the way.

My 3D studio intimidates me the most. I have almost no experience working in sculpture, and I will admit, fairly little interest in it. I have few ideas for things to build and even fewer ideas on how to build them. But I realized something the other day. I don't have to get through this whole year in one big block of time. Just one day at a time. And anyone can make it through three hours of playing with a hot glue gun.


Birthdays and Back to School

Lots of people in the Miller family had birthdays this month! Mine came first, on the 13th; I turned 26! After a few days it kinda hit me and I got scared. 26 is getting close to 30, and by 30 I REALLY need to have my shit together! I feel like I'm still completely irresponsible and scattered, even though I take care of a house and a child (not to mention the husband…lol). Anyway, Spencer cooked me a lovely breakfast and took care of Evie all day so I could just lie around and do whatever I wanted. It was better than Mother's day! When E was napping Spence and played video games together (such childish fun) and then Spencer made me dinner (spaghetti and meatballs-yum!). For presents I got a miniature Dalek figurine (EXTERMINATE!), a nice bottle of wine, a book I've really been wanting (it's about being a mother, see below for laughs), and get this: a starter collection of vintage cameras! SO exciting! I'm really starting to feel like a photographer now! I also got a haircut, a gift from my dad and to myself; it was time for a change for lots of reasons. Spencer got me an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins with chocolate cake and coffee ice cream-my favorite!

Spencer's birthday is a week after mine, and I tried to make it nice for him. I made eggs benedict for breakfast-it takes about an hour to make and is very labor intensive. It's one of his favorite things to eat but this is only the second time I've made it because it's so difficult! I made a chocolate cake from scratch and we had ice cream to go with. Spencer actually shares a birthday with my mom so we celebrated both birthdays that day, and I had a lot of work to do to make both of them feel special! That afternoon we all went out to lunch with Spencer's parents at Zupa's. LOVE that place! Spencer's parents gave me their present to me, a cookbook featuring classic Irish Pub recipes! I love it! Whiskey and honey glazed carrots? Yes please! And I can appreciate it as a(n) (aspiring) photographer because there are many beautiful pictures of the Irish countryside in it. Someday I will go there. It's on my bucket list.

Monday was my first day back at school, and my first day as a student in the art program. It was wonderful. I really felt different, like I was where I was supposed to be. A few days ago I had a dream about the first day of school. I dreamt I went to the wrong class, chemistry of all places. It wasn't until the class ended that I realized I wasn't supposed to be there, but it ended with enough time for me to make it to the correct class on time. When I told Spencer about the dream, he told me it was a good metaphor for my life. I started at the U in the Biology/pre-pharm program, but I was miserable. I was doing it because I thought it was the kind of thing people would expect me to do. But it wasn't what I wanted. But I discovered what I wanted with enough time in my life to go for it. It's not too late to go for what will make me happy. It's never too late.


18 Months!

As of a couple days ago, Evelyn is officially 18 months old! I can't believe how the time has flown by. She's so big and so bright. She's so special. There are so many wonderful words I could use to describe her, but I'd be here all day. She's everything to me. I thought that to memorialize the occasion I'd make a list of some of the quirky things she does. She has such a cute, sweet personality. She makes me smile every time I see her and every time I think about her.

~before she started learning to speak, we taught her some sign language so she could communicate her needs and wants to us. Now that she's starting to speak, she says and signs some of her words at the same time. It's wonderful.
~When I'm eating something she wants, she comes up to me and says "nom nom nom"
~She's such a lover. She has so much love to give. She'll be playing with her toys and for no reason she'll stop, come over to me and give me a kiss and a hug, and then go back to playing. Melts my heart.
~Her first word was "book." enough said.
~Of all her toys, her favorite is a stuffed marmot. A MARMOT. So bizarre.
~She's starting to learn to count, especially when she stacks her blocks, and she counts one of two ways. Every number is either 4 or a repeated pattern of 6 and 7.

She is such a huge blessing to Spencer and I and brings so much joy to our lives. I'm so happy to have her.


Camping and Spencer's Fencing Tournament

Over this last weekend Evelyn spent a few days with her Mochan (my mom, who doesn't like being called "grandma") and Spencer and I got to spend some time alone on a road trip! We went up to a campground near Idaho City, about 37 miles East of Boise. Spencer is a member of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) which is a group that essentially does Renaissance reenactments. I'm considering joining myself. He does rapier/fencing and I want to get into weaving. We spent Thursday-Sunday up in Idaho and had a wonderful time. We participated in so many wonderful activities and met so many wonderful people. We made lots of new friends that we'll get to see again soon at other events (can't wait). It was a lovely vacation and so restful and the drive was beautiful and quiet. At the event itself Spencer participating in a fencing tournament (SO much fun to watch!), there was an arts and crafts display (with embroidery, weaving, pewter casting, wood carving, homemade liquors, and a bunch of other stuff), a bardic (big bonfire after dark with drinking and singing), archery, throwing weapons, and heavy fighting competitions, and a potluck bbq. I can't wait for the next event!


Utah Arts Festival

Yesterday the whole family geared up, covered ourselves in sunscreen, and braved the crowds to go to the Utah Arts Festival. It was so much fun. We go every year, but we absolutely HAD to go this year because I heard that Robert Hall was going to be there. He's a photographer who specializes in lithography who is my favorite artist and has been a huge inspiration to me since I started my journey in the world of photography. I met him at a gallery opening in January and he's been in my thoughts ever since. He works strictly with film (a brave thing to do in the age of digital and post-production editing capabilities) and not only did he REMEMBER me from the gallery opening, he told me to get a few more classes under my belt at school, and then to come talk to him and he said we'd see what we could work out in terms of a mentorship! SQUEEEE! To have someone you respect and admire and who inspires you offer to work with you on such an intimate level...I almost started crying right then and there. It was wonderful. And of course I couldn't leave without buying three of his prints.

Me and Robert Hall

Ok I'll stop gushing now

We also saw Justin Hillgrove, who's art is called Imps and Monsters. We considered buying a bunch of his art when we were thinking of doing Evie's room in a monsters theme. His monsters are quite cute. But lately he's been branching into more commercial-themed things, which happened to include some studio Ghibli characters, so we picked up this adorable print for Evie's room (Which, you may recall, is Totoro-themed).

I also found an artist whose use of colors just drew me in...so rich and vibrant. I found a piece called "Baile!" and it's a Flamenco dancer. It really appealed to be because I'm a quarter Spanish. It made me think not of the person I am, but of the person I want to be: confident, beautiful, powerful, passionate.

All in all I'd say it was a wonderful day. :)