Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just Wondering?

Do you think that blogs will ever be a thing of the past? I have had my little blog here for 4 years! Wow, and my posts are slowly getting further and further apart...which is sad, because I love looking back at previous posts as sort of a journal to my life. I have also noticed that my friends and families update their blogs just about as frequently as I do... except those few really good journal bloggers that I really do look up to. So what do you think? Are blogs on the downhill?

Monday, June 13, 2011

To Europe and Back

Clay and I got home from Europe a few weeks ago! A dream of mine became reality and it was just as magical as I expected. I feel like I have new insights and have grown as a person by traveling and taking in other cultures. I can only imaging what one might feel like after a life of traveling. I want that to be me.

Paris was deemed our favorite spot. We had a lovely little apartment to stay in above a restaurant on a quaint street in the shopping district. We loved it. We loved the food, the people, the shopping, the style, the buidlings. It was so magical. After our visit we tried to think of all the possible ways we could live in France for a few years.
Barcelona was amazing as well. It was beachy and the gothic architecture was inspiring, not to mention the Gaudi influence all over the city and the rich history. We got to experience staying in a hostel. It was really cheap and a really great experience. Ya, we didn't get great sleep, but we met some amazing people and learned a great deal about the European countries. We met Simone from Holland - it was funny to hear how excited she was to visit america one day and see the drive through pharmecies...
America really is a great place to live, we lack a bit of culture and a 1000 year history but we have a lot of opportunities and we have an ambitious spirit about us that makes us strive to acheive greatness. I think we need a good mix between our societies though, Europe has a way of enjoying life, they sit at restuarants with their friends and families for hours just talking and enjoying life. It seems like we are so busy and rushed that fun things even become items to check off our lists. Ireland was beautiful. It was so fun to see Mandy and Bryan and to get to know the two of them a little bit better. They were amazing hosts, taking us around Ireland and showing us the sights, and introducing us to their favorite eating spots. We loved the rolling green hills and the blue ocean, the gardens and all the sheep! My one compaint...it was cold and rainy. And I guess that you have to pay a price for all that green beauty. Europe treated me with my most embarassing moment of all time. In Paris, near the catacombs, I ran accross the street to use one of those restrooms that look kind of like porta potties. I had heard that they cost a Euro to use. I found a Euro and was holding it in my hand as I looked around for a coin slot. With no luck I pushed the red button that would open the door, once inside I still could not find a coin slot so I hit the button that said close door. I just assumed that maybe this one was free? Not long into my restroom experience I heard a loud alarm go off and the door of the bathroom began to slide open revealing the world outside. To my suprise the toilet began folding up into the wall. Siren still blazing and about 15 people waiting to cross the street staring at me, I began to frantically try and pull my pants up and get out of there. Of course it seemed like minutes for me to get myself together and make a getaway. One man with a smile on his face stared and just shook his head. Embarassing!!!!
For more Europe photos we have an entire album on facebook or you can check out the design posts on Opal Never Shouts under Inspiration Abroad.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Work and Snow...work and snow...

The last four months it seems like there is nothing to blog about. Our lives as consisted of basically two things - lots of work and way too much snow...that is not ending! (Maybe I am writing this because as we speak it is snowing...boo.)
Clay and I have been really busy with work. Opal has it's first office and we spent lots of time painting it and making it look atleast better than when we moved in. Fight has been working hard to spread their message and are hosting a free concert in the summer! (Let's hope for no snow)
We did make it up skiing once this year - in April. It was fun and we both came home with lower face sunburns which felt nice and reminded me of warmer days. And I guess the biggest thing we have been working on is planning our trip to Europe! We leave on May 5th and are so excited. We can't wait to take a break from work and just have fun. We are hitting up Ireland, Scotland, Paris and Barcelona. Yahoo!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Unedited Thoughts

Today I had a small frustration with the blog world…I was checking up on a blog and found out about a new online magazine called Matchstick and decided to check it out. Great! new design ideas and photos, right? In the letter from the editors, they write that they started the magazine to help women design a life they love. Something about the phrase really hit me wrong. I started thinking about all these vintage lifestyle blogs that follow girls that seem to have the perfect life. I had this thought … these bloggers are sending messages to “design your perfect life that you will love” you will have to have these amazing clothes, design your home just like these 1950’s photos, wear red lipstick, bake cupcakes, ride old bikes with baskets, and write your friends letters on expensive letterpress stationary.

It’s not that I don’t like these things, I do like riding bikes, I like new clothes, and I like vintage design. But I don’t want to ever get stuck into thinking that my life has to be perfectly designed for me to love it. Our world can be so materialistic sometimes especially in the design industry. It is so easy to get caught up into thinking that if only I had the perfect wardrobe, the perfect house, the perfect wedding etc. then I would be happy and life would be good. It is quite the opposite, design and material things are just a cherry on top. What makes a happy life is your family, your relationships, your hobbies, your faith, and your contributions to the world. Too much blog time and catching up on bloggers seemingly perfect lives can really leave you feeling down and like you need to go out and spend a whole lot of money on clothes and accessories. You just have to remember that they are just sharing the best of the best moments of their lives.

Ok, I will get off my soap box now. And I know what you may be thinking…you are a blogger Jen! I know, and I know that my chosen profession is materialistic. I just hope that Opal is a blog that is always teaching design principles, sharing tricks and tips of good design and isn’t the type of blog that emphasizes a certain lifestyle. So please, keep me in check!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Remembering My Grandpa

This post is a tribute to my wonderful Grandpa who passed away this weekend. We love you so much and are going to miss having you a part of our lives. Thanks for being such an amazing example of service and for always being so interested in our lives. Thanks for attending all the birthday parties, softball games, piano recitals and school performances. Thanks for your words of wisdom, your playful personality, your whistling while you worked, your love of family, and for being the best Grandpa a girl could ask for.

I consider myself lucky that I was able to visit my grandpa each day this past week and half. I am grateful that I was able to tell him that I love him and will cherish the tender moment of him calling me over to his bed and whispering three words...I love you.

I am grateful that I was able to be there in the room while he recieved visitor after visitor and was able to learn so much about his life. How many people he influenced and the many boards he sat on and awards he has recieved. He kept busy serving others even in his final days --attending honorary kernals meetings, lions club, and being on the board for the Noal Bateman award. In fact, I didn't even know what a Noal Bateman award was or that both he and my grandma had recieved one until this week.

Sitting in his office this past weekend I was overwhelmed by the awards that hung on his wall, service this...community that... there had to be atleast 50 plaques that covered the orange plaid wallpaper. It made me realize that I had a lot to live up to, and it inspired me to be better at serving in my community and making a difference.

We will miss you Grandpa! I will try and make you proud each day!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

Christmas this year was amazing! So many fun times, great gifts and lots of laughs. Megan and Kayla gave us a gift that made everyone cry from laughter! We were all laughing so hard that tears were coming from our eyes, even my dad!
It was a great Christmas, Clay went way over the top and gave me a trip to Europe! The present was complete with airline tickets he made and a little picture of the Eiffel tower with the two of us in front:) I was so excited, I had been telling him I wanted to go so badly and he kept playing like we couldn't afford it, he didn't really want to go... and I was getting so sad. That little sneak! Clay went to an antique store that we had visited together and bought a painting that I was completely in love with. It is a little watercolor from Russia that is framed in the most elegant little gold frame. I am in love with it!
We went to Springville for Christmas Eve and had a feast of shrimp, crab legs and ham. We also tried something fun and new...Turkeybowling. Yes, that is right, we closed the laundromat early, lined up the benches to create bumpers and brought out ten pop bottles for bowling pins. We had a blast! The kids were having the time of their lives cheeringeach other on and running and giving hugs when some of the adults didn't knock any down. Grandma even bowled right on over with the Turkey and gave us all a cute little glamour pose as she lay in the middle of the bowling lane.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the Season...

Merry Christmas to all of our Friends and Family!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Little Bit of Christmas...

Yahoo for Christmas! Our house is all decked out and we are starting the shopping. Yes, just starting and wishing we had been more prepared and done with shopping. Any good ideas for what to get parents? They always seem so tricky!