Hi.

Welcome to my blog! I write, and take photos, and use Photoshop every day. I love learning and surprises and my sweet family and being a transplanted southerner.

Crouching over a laptop, humming to myself

Every now and then, everyone just needs a break. I have basically taken a week-long hiatus, and it has been so good. I have enjoyed my technology-lite existence here, and haven’t been too pressured to work or reply to email, or blog (as you’ve probably noticed), although I’ve been taking lots of pictures, of course. It’s a good thing to have this change of scene, this renewal, this time of family and spending time together with people we don’t see often. We have had an awesome time here - I remember now what it’s like to have cold feet all the time, and how to layer clothing to keep from freezing my now-Southern butt off. Did I really grow up here? Did I actually spend more than a few seconds outside gasping in the frigid air before diving for a warm car or house without dying? I think I did. I have photographic proof. But acclimation is a real thing, and NC has made us soft, I think. :P I did get to shovel some snow, and played in the snow (so much snow! There are at least 2 feet on the ground) with the kids, and even went sledding today, which was awesome(!), but it’s weird to be longing for my 60+ degree home. I really never thought I’d reach this place in my life. Where my parents’ home wasn’t home. I like it. This feeling has been a long time in coming, and being a visitor ain’t so bad. :)

We are leaving for Salt Lake tomorrow morning, and back to NC on Thursday, so we should be back home Thursday evening. What a trip! We have had such a cool time, visiting, eating way too much, hanging out with my brother Jason and his wife Jessica  (who are expecting baby  #1 the end of February) and my sister Julie and her husband Jordan,  playing games until way late, eating, and playing in the snow with the kids. We toured the Rexburg LDS temple during its open house on Saturday, and hung out (3x!) at Porter’s in Rexburg, easily my favorite store in the whole town. So many crafts, so little time… :D

With the kids, we’ve hit up Idaho Falls a couple of times, hit up Porter’s in Rexburg (mentioned already that this is my favorite store in the whole town? Yes? Yes.), eaten at the cutest little Chinese place called Fong’s (and realizing that Rexburg has the cutest little main street EVER, complete with crunchy snow, Christmas lights, and that small-town feeling), and played in the snow almost every day. It should come as no surprise that Elliott did not last as long with the snow as Rowen did. And every time we brought him inside from going anywhere he’d say, “I’m coldie! I need a baf!” And how can you resist that? So off to the baf it was.

Our after-the-kids-are-in-bed gaming tastes have ranged from Guitar Hero (this white girl has no rhythm, but my brother kicks some serious butt at this game) and Hot Shots Golf on the Playstation, Settlers of Catan, Clue on DVD, Life, Scene It, San Juan, Phase 10 Dice - clearly this is how the Idahoans spend their long winter nights, right? It has been awesome fun, and it doesn’t feel like too soon to go home, so we know it’s been a great trip. Our kids (who I was really worried about) have been great travelers, thank you for your suggestions. We will never leave home without Dum Dum suckers again. :D

The best part - is hard to say. I find so much delight in seeing the delight of my parents at their little grandkids. Christmas (even having arrived at 2  a.m. that morning through a blizzard from Salt Lake) was magic with small ones. And the sledding. And the snow-angels. The visit with my Grandma, whose husband of over 60 years passsed away 2 years ago this time of year, and whom I admire with all my heart. Talking with my dad, who is one of the great heroes I have in this life. Seeing how much better my mom is doing. Hanging out with my brother and sister and their spouses and playing games. Buying WAY too many beads (beading - I am way too new at this to call it a “hobby” yet, but I am having a lot of fun noodling around with it), and seeing Jared’s face after I finally caved after three years - when he opened his X-Box. Seeing Rowen making Christmas cookies with Grandma, and attaching herself firmly to her Grandpa whenever he was in the room. Seeing the Rexburg temple. Not answering emails (sorry!). The laughing. So much laughing.

I’m a completely different person than the last time I was here (3 years and another kid later), and who knows who I’ll be the next time we’re back?

Classes 

I’ve been planning out when the first quarter classes will be, and I’ll have that posted on Friday. Jared and I have both been getting your emails requesting to be added to the notification lists, so stay tuned for more info on that as soon as we get back. Here is some preliminary info:

  • I’ll be teaching one each of the three classes in the digital series in the first quarter of 2008.
  • The advanced class will follow the same month-long, video-based format as the Up & Running and Now We’re Rockin’ classes.
  • All three of the classes will be offered (newly recorded!) in Photoshop Elements 6.0 AND Photoshop CS3, so if you’re running Elements you’ll take the Elements class, and if you’re running the full version of Photoshop, you’ll have video specific to your version. Looking forward to that! :D
  • Look for the announcement of at least TWO other new classes coming early this year. 

We’re off home. I hope your holidays have been safe and full of joy.

Happy New Year!

First-Quarter classes at JessicaSprague.com!

Merry + Bright