Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Publication
I've got two layouts in the most recent edition of Creating Keepsakes. Sadly, this is their very last print version of the Creating Keepsakes magazine. The magazine has always been one of my favorite scrapbooking magazine and it's been around since the late 90s. It's so sad to see it disappear.

You can find my Christmas Cookies layout on page 19. 
 And my Family Photo Fail layout on page 32.

All of these photos are from 2011. Can't believe how big Trotwood has gotten since then.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Last week, Mr. Rochester, Trotwood and I took a long weekend off and drove up to Chicago! Mr. Rochester had a conference to attend so Trotwood and I decided to tag along since we'd never been to Chicago before. And, let's be honest, it sounded exciting. The drive lasted about 10 hours and that wasn't so...exciting. However, on our drive to Chicago, we happened to pass through Springfield, IL, where the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum are located. As soon as Mr. Rochester spied the sign for the museum, his eyes lit up and he said excitedly, "Let's go!" Spontaneity won over and we took a slight detour in our trip. It was definitely worth the detour though. I'd never been to a presidential museum before and this one was quite impressive.

Mr. Rochester feeling in his element at the museum (in my opinion). He totally should have been Abe Lincoln for Halloween.
After visiting the museum, we drove the three remaining hours or so to Chicago where we arrived at the "H" hotel, as Trotwood called it. We stayed at the Cass Hotel downtown which is really a Holiday Inn Express hence the big "H" on the sign.

Because of our little spontaneous excursion, we arrived in downtown Chicago in the middle of rush hour. To be honest, I was a bit terrified of all the traffic and how people were driving. We were downtown, in a big city with only our iPhone GPS to guide us to our hotel. Thankfully, Mr. Rochester was driving and he did great despite us both being a bit stressed out about the Chicago traffic. Our experience driving in Chicago traffic convinced us that we really just wanted to keep our car parked while we were there and take the public transpiration. Of course, that was more than okay with Trotwood because he got to ride a "train".

The day before Mr. Rochester's conference we all got to spend the day together and on this day we decided to go as a family to visit Chicago's Field Museum. We spent practically the entire day at the museum looking at different exhibits. Among other things, this museum boasts the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found and her name is "Sue." Trotwood had fun running all over the place and doing the hands-on activities at the museum. He also just loved looking at all the exhibits. When asked later about what his favorite part of the museum was he said the glowing bugs exhibit. This was a really neat exhibit called Creatures of Light: Nature's Luminescence.We really enjoyed the museum and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Of course while in Chicago, we had to try foods Chicago is famous for - Chicago hot dogs and Chicago deep dish pizza, and we also threw in some macaroons for fun.

The day of Mr. Rochester's conference, Trotwood and I visited the Chicago Children's Museum and the Navy Pier. The Children's museum is amazing! Trotwood couldn't get enough of it. He got to play with clay to to make a sculpture, work with real tools in a workshop, pretend to be a firefighter, build objects with rivets and screws, climb on all sorts of toys, and more!

It was the end of the day and we were waiting for Mr. Rochester to finish up at his conference and Trotwood said he wanted to ride the ferris wheel at the Navy Pier. It wasn't very expensive for the two of us to ride so we decided to ride the ferris wheel. After we got in our seat and we start to rise in the air, Trotwood got a little scared. A few minutes passed and he soon got over his fears and loved the idea that we were going up high in the air. Later, he said riding the ferris wheel ride was his favorite part about that day.
I thought Chicago was a beautiful city and we're so glad we got the opportunity to visit for a few days!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Eric Whitacre is a genius. If you've never listened to any of the choral works by Eric Whitacre performed by the BYU University Singers (or even anyone else), listen to them now. A whole album of the BYU Singers singing Eric Whitacre works is on Spotify. His compositions cannot accurately be described as beautiful or music. They are moving and transcendent pieces of art. This is one of the most touching pieces I have ever heard. The entire text of the piece is one single sentence from the King James Bible - II Samuel, 18:33:

When David heard that Absalom was slain he went up into his chamber over the gate and wept, my son, my son, O Absalom my son, would God I had died for thee! 

Rarely have I been moved to tears from listening to music. This would be one of those few times. Below is just music, no video. I know it's long but it is worth it. Just listen. Your life will change.