flood layout

No, I haven't been able to scrap with my back all out of sorts, but I put this together late last week when I met my friend, Megan, for an art date.

I am just getting around to posting it – very simple, but I think especially in this case, it should be all about the pictures, which were taken in IC, CR and DSM. Journaling is very minimal – I think the pics speak for themselves. Funny, but the last time I broke out my paint and big foam stamp letters was to do the layouts on the IC tornado, over two years ago. What is it about paint and natural disasters that I automatically want to combine the two??


In other news, thanks for the links that people have emailed to me – it's fun to see what other people have bookmarked during their web surfing. Definitely have been doing my fair share of online browsing and shopping while propped on the heating pad on the couch every night. Not much change in the past couple of days, although I can make a lap around the living room with no assistance – baby steps πŸ™‚


…and then it was fall.


Well, not technically fall yet, but it suddenly is and feels like September.

Maybe it's the unseasonably cool last couple of days we've had, or the merchandise changes in all my favorite stores. One way or another, it's time to think about trading in the flip flops, iced teas and trips to the farmer's market for long sleeves, cider and football. (Not to mention the fall lineup of our favorite shows – only three weeks until Grey's and the Office – not that we're counting!) πŸ™‚

I am first and foremost a summer kind of gal, but I do have a special place for fall. I love the colors, the smells, and the anticipation of holidays just around the corner. I find that I have to focus very hard on loving fall so I can forget that blustery winter and bitter cold are sure to follow once the leaves have fallen.

We have decided to stay put on 88th Street for another six months. We didn't find anything we loved while looking around, and in the end, we decided we just weren't up for the hassle of moving right now. It will be a great endeavor for the month of March where there is little else to do.

That said, I've let myself dive in and start decorating our current home for the changing seasons. I was going to just skip that part this year in anticipation of packing everything up, but it will be nice to just relax and take in the new season without any major stresses.

This time last year, we were doing bachelor and bachelorette parties, settling into West Des Moines life, changing jobs, planning last minute wedding details, and taking a honeymoon. It was a fun and exciting time, but I am thoroughly enjoying the slower, more predictable pace we have going this year. The two words that keep coming to mind are settled and content…good things to be.

I have a little extra motivation for getting all the "house things" done that I want, accomplished. I've wanted to start a book club for a long time, and finally jumped in and got a group together! We'll be meeting monthly for wine, food, and lots of chatting and since it was my suggestion, I figured I should offer to host first. We'll be starting in October, so that gives me a few solid weeks to get some things done around here before we all get together. At the top of my list: swap out summer to fall décor, find a new floor lamp, and put up window treatments.

Here's to fall decorating! πŸ™‚


weekend layouts


"Vino at Gateway"


"Take Me Out…"

"Golf" – a work in progress. Thinking I'm going to add a column of light blue brads down the right side, sort of "pointing" to the word Golf.

The scrappers hard at work…


…and the aftermath of scrapping. Not TOO bad, since we only brought "a few things" up to do a couple of layouts. πŸ™‚



my joanie. thank you.


August 2008

Joanie is my freshman roommate from college. I'm not sure you could have put two more opposite girls in the same dorm room…but somehow it worked. We are so very different, and yet have just clicked since day one. When I transferred to Iowa and decided to rush, Joanie (the anti-sorority girl) sent me her mom's chocolate chip banana bread in the mail with a note that said, "Good luck with Rush and I hope you get into a good house. I love that we are so different but still such good friends."

Don't "aww" just yet – this is also the girl who has never hesitated to put me in my place πŸ™‚ Once when I was acting particularly spoiled, Joanie said to me, "I feel like someday you will sit on a throne and just tell people, 'bring me things'." πŸ™‚ I guess you could say I return the favor. At breakfast when she was visiting, vegetarian Joanie didn't want part of a friend's pancake on what had been the bacon plate. While other friends at the table looked for a different spare plate, I told her to "frickin' quit whining and get over it". Ah, friendship.

Despite our sarcasm, I do love this girl. Have you ever met someone who is just good at EVERYTHING and in general, makes you want to be a better person? That is totally and completely what Joanie is and has always been to me. The girl with her dry humor and quirky sense of style makes her own clothes, her own jewelry, is a cross-country runner, paints, plays in the orchestra, writes her own songs, plays the guitar, cuts hair, and so much more. Joanie has spent time abroad in Ghana, and recent years in DC, working in an AIDS shelter for
women. Treat yourself and check out her amazing photography from her adventures.

In sharp contrast to her many talents, Joanie was handed me – a flighty roommate from CR who chatted on the cell or IM constantly, often decided not to attend classes, and is still to this day trying to decide what she wants to do with her life. (I've long since given up on trying to measure up to her and I am totally okay with that). πŸ™‚

Today, Joans is impossible to keep in close contact with, since she takes forever to answer emails or facebook messages. (It will be at least a month before she checks my blog and reads this). I am terrible about phonecalls, or checking voicemail more than a couple times a week. I don't get to see her very often (this month was the first time in almost two years), and we certainly aren't what you would call "great" at keeping in touch, but she still means so much to me. I know for a fact that I have gotten so much more out of our friendship than I have given back.

To Joanie: Thank you. Not only for putting up with the less-talented, fashion-princess, often shallow and ditzy girl you were assigned to live with six years ago, but for being my dear friend to this day.


i love the olympics.

Note: I tried posting this last night with no luck from Typepad. Finally got it to post this morning – better late than never!

I get so into the Olympics. We've been watching gymnastics and swimming tonight. So proud of local celeb Shawn Johnson's beam routine, and I think Page and I woke the neighbors with our screaming for the US men's relay team beating France by hundredths of a second! (Just goes to show – don't talk smack about the US – we'll put you in your place!) I LOVED Phelps' reaction! πŸ™‚




one of my faves.

I can make one of these and munch on it all week long – my own version of California Pizza Kitchen's Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Pizza…yum!!

Here it is before going into the oven…


I start with a Boboli whole wheat crust and brush it with a little olive oil (a trick from Dad!) Top it with a GOOD pizza sauce – current fave is Everything Sauce, from RockPower Pizza here in Des Moines – you can also buy it at the Farmer's Market. Add a couple handfuls of reduced fat shredded mozzarella, red and yellow bell peppers, and some little pieces of turkey bacon for smoky flavor. Now for the best part – put big globs of goat cheese all over and you're ready to bake! (Not too unhealthy…goat cheese is one of the lowest-cholesterol cheeses you can eat!)

Bon apetit!


hubby turned web designer!

As a joke a month or so ago, Page set up this website for fun and for some basic web design practice. He has since gotten really into website creation and will be launching a new site, PageSmithDesign – he already has a couple future customers! Right now his site is what's called a "holding page" – explaining to anyone who goes to his site that there WILL be a site there, it is just still under construction. I'm amazed by people who know how to animate web pages, the way those little blocks move around and break apart. Good job, babe! πŸ™‚


heritage layouts

Dana and I both got some scrapping done in the hotel this week. I took a break from current stuff and went back to my heritage album – a constant work in progress because I’m always digging up new photos and stories. For now I’m just focusing on my side but eventually I’d like to take on the Smith side of the family as well. Keeping the layouts simple and not too trendy…see the pic of me as a kid in the wedding dress? That’s my grandma’s dress – seen in the wedding photo on the “Carol” layout!