Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nie Nie Auction

Last week Christian and Stephanie Nielson were in a very serious plane crash. They are a young couple with four children under the age of six. They are in critical condition. Their recovery from serious burns will be very long and very expensive.

Today, several websites are auctioning off items for their benefit. Go here to see the comprehensive list: Or, if you are able, please consider contributing to this fund that will go directly to the family

Updates about Stephanie and Christian here:

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Day in Paris

(The 3rd of 4 installments from our Europe trip)

I heart Musee d’Orsay – You should stay at Hotel Gabrielle – Notre Dame – Saint Chappell – Paris really is filled with cafés – Opera House – Sacre Coure (my favorite cathedral) – Arc d’Triumph – the Lourve is very big – Eiffel Tower – Parisian bakeries do not disappoint, wow – nor do cheese shops - Versailles gardens

A day in Paris is worth a week at home. Well, we actually had a day and two half-days, but we did more in those few hours than I normally do in two weeks!

We traveled by chunnel to Paris-- my nine year-old sister was terribly dissappointed that we "didn't even go under water". I guess she was really looking forward to seeing fish out the window!

Upon our arrival, we stuffed our 15+ suitcases into three lockers at the station and took the train to the Musee d'Orsay. Once again, I'll save the art for other posts. This was the museum I was most looking forward to and it didn't disappoint. The building itself is beautiful -- a former train station with the ornate clock pictured above.

We stayed at a fantastic little hotel- Hotel Gabrielle (I would definitely recommend it). It was tricky to find on the first night-- just two blocks from the metro, but which way?! The 14 of us pulling roller suitcases up and down the cobblestone streets at 10pm made quite a spectacle! We were conscious of the ruckus we were making as we passed a few old Parisan men sitting outside a cafe enjoying the quiet night air. In a thick French accent, one of them shouted out, "Iz this a zuitcase race?!" My sister and I started racing and my brother invited him to join in. He replied, "Oh no, I am only amatuer!" Who says Parisians are unkind to tourists?!

Reverence at Norte Dame. The aesthetic of european cathedrals really characterizes this part of the world. The contrast between cathedrals and the chapels and temples of my own religion prompted me to think about the differences from my own beliefs and about how much we can learn from their reverence.

Street cafes. I could never resist the fruit tarts-- this one is apricot.

We had some company at our little table, not six inches from us.

Saint Chapelle was Kelly's favorite cathedral with it's wall to wall stained glass.

Regrouping on the steps of the Paris Opera House. We would have loved to go inside, but there was a rehersal in progress so we were not able to go past the lobby.

Sacre Coeur-- well worth the several flights of stairs. It was my favorite catherdral and the best view of the city.

Kelly really enjoyed this exhibition we passed as we made our way up the des Champs Elysees. I love the illustrated look of the design details-- this car was ready to see and be seen in Paris!

The Louvre was amazing. We didn't even try to see everything we wanted to -- it's just not possible, so we enjoyed one room at a time. Above is the dinning hall of Napolean's apartment.

At the Louvre.

We made our way to the Eiffel Tower and were in one of last groups to go up.

The pictures of Kelly and I on the tower turned out terrible. Here's one of Bryan and Suzi.

The next morning we got up early to frequent a local pastry shop. I would move to Paris just for the pastry shops, not to mention the rest of the beautiful city!


We bought baguettes and pastries to enjoy at Versailles.

The strawberry tart was one of the best things I have ever had!

This baguette was one of the best things Caleb has ever had!

We found a cheese shop just around the corner and made purchases to supplement our baked goods.


Kelly loved the manicured landscapes. He was amazed that so many plants were familiar to him even though the climate is nothing like Las Vegas.

This fountain of Enceladus rising from the depths was complete with sound effects that "erupted" every few minutes.
Kelly and my brother-in-law Nathaniel turned into paparazzi.

Jeni and I looking for four-leaf clovers. It's a tradition that Jeni and our brother Bryan started on vacations when they were young.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Additions

Kelly and I have a few new additions to our home.

June's new addition was our little dog, Enzo. Enzo is a 1 year old Italian Greyhound. He's so much fun to have around and encourages (begs) me to go running every morning.

He's a great dog. We feel lucky to have found an IG that has a great personality, is (mostly) well behaved, very loving and was not expensive (Craigslist adoption).

In July, Kelly and I made a purchase that we've been considering since we had our wedding invitations printed last year. We bought a 12 x 18 C&P letterpress, 1930. The press was in Boise, owned by a former pressman. We were planning to be in Boise with family over the 4th of July and made arrangements to pick-up the press while we were there.

We rented a forklift and moving truck and between Kelly and his Dad, we loaded it within an hour. It went even quicker getting it into the garage at home. My husband is quite handy with the forklift! Having a lift that fit into the garage made a huge difference-- it was a tight fit-- if it hadn't fit the process would have been much more complicated (dragging the press with come-alongs).

Right now the motor is in the shop for a full tune-up and re-wiring. We are anxious to start working with it to try our hand at letterpress printing.

In August - or maybe the end of July- we found some couches that we both really liked. It's a couch, loveseat and chair-- all for $300. (I heart Craigslist)

We've had some great additions this summer! This fall/winter we plan to spend some time playing with Enzo, learning to letterpress and actually spending a weekend or two at home to use those couches!