Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Andrew

In 2002 we lived in Farmington, Utah. My sister Becky lived in Salt Lake City. She and her husband had bought a package of tickets to the Olympics, which had to be purchased over a year in advance. Summer 2001 she found out she was pregnant. The baby was due mid February. The Olympics were due mid February.
We were all thrilled about the baby coming. It would be the first new birth since Dad had died. It would be at a time when all siblings would be in town to enjoy the Olympic celebration. Anything that called for us to celebrate, helped us to heal.
We were also very willing to help Becky with her tickets. She was not able to use all of her tickets because some events required more walking and standing than she was able to do at 40 weeks of pregnancy. What is family for if not to help out in time of need? We were all very willing to sacrifice and attend the events for her. Loved it, by the way. Salt Lake City did a great hosting job.
But Becky refused to miss out on seeing Apollo Ohno. I think her husband rolled her into the ice rink venue in a wheel chair, so she wouldn't overdo it. She was able to see him win his first medal. Then she went into labor.
All 5 siblings, and my mom, my kids, and several nieces and nephews all hurried to the hospital and took over the maternity waiting room. When you're talking about a maternity waiting room in Utah, that is no easy task. But my family is not known to be shy and retiring. Only one sister was invited to be in the room the moment of birth, but within seconds she had run down to the waiting room and told us the baby was here. People jumped out of the way to avoid being trampled as we rushed down the hall to the delivery room. There we welcomed Andrew Woolley Apollo Ohno Eugene England Kimball. He looked just like my dad's baby pictures (at least that's what I think and the others who didn't agree need their eyes checked).
Before he was a week old, Andrew was able to see more athletes win medals. Becky got plenty of use out of the wheelchair during those olympics.
This will always be a part of the Winter Olympic experience for me. It was a great way to celebrate love and hope and healing. Happy Birthday Andrew!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Good Time Retreat

The exciting news for this month - well, not the only exciting news, but one of the pieces of good news. I will be teaching at Journalfest 2010! I love it when I develop an art class and have a great experience teaching it, and keep tweaking it with the help of amazing students, then I send in a teaching proposal to an art journaling retreat that is held at an old fort in the charming town of Port Townsend, Washington in October, and it gets accepted, and my sister Katherine will be teaching there as well, and don't you just love it when that happens?
If you have never been to an art retreat, or a writer's retreat, or whatever kind of retreat for what you love or want to learn, I can tell you it can be a great experience. If you have been to a retreat, and you had a fantastic time, then you know. For the last few years my sisters, sister-in-law, my mom and I have met up in Seattle and from there gone up to Port Townsend for Artfest, the mixed-media artist retreat that takes place in March. We all share a house and have a great time going to classes, sharing supplies, enjoying each other's artwork, cooking tempting food and being creative together. We trade artwork and ideas and encouragement. No matter what we are each dealing with in our lives, this reinforces us for the challenges, and enhances the joys. Now another generation is becoming a part of it. My daughter and niece joined us last time and it was great to see them developing and sharing their artistic journey. If there is a way to make this happen for you, I highly recommend it.
Now for the shameless commerce part of the show. Teesha Moore and her family are the creators of Artfest and Journalfest. The Website for Journalfest will be up on March 5. Go to and follow the link to the Journalfest site for details. My website has a few more details as well on the Places to Go page. I hope to see you there. I promise you will love it.
Now for the shameless affection part of the show. Dear Michael, this is for you - Happy Valentine's Day. When Dr. Suess wrote this, he must have had us in mind.
"You know you're in love when you don't want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." Theodor Geisel (Dr. Suess).