10.20.14

G.I. Jane and my troops

The Rhodes have been deployed to bootcamp for Halloween!

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We have deep soft spots in our hearts for the national guard. And it was an easy decision to pick this theme for our family this year – however, Mr. Rhodes was the most excited. He has said numerous times over the years that he wishes he would have spent time in the forces, and this guy was a kid at heart when it came to dressing up.

We took our family to the local Army/Navy store weeks ago to pick out these costumes and dog tags, we purchased some items used, and some new. Mr. Rhodes wanted all legit-used pieces, and on the day we took these pictures, he ran to Starbucks to get a coffee – and had his little moment of glory pretending to be a real soldier running around town.

G.I. Jane and my troops costumes via seejaneblog

G.I. Jane and my troops costumes II via seejaneblog

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G.I. Jane and troops costumes via seejaneblog

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G.I. Jane and troops costumes IV via seejaneblog

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Company MARCH!!! Right, Left, Right, Left… Company HALTTT

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Our mission is to report to basic training (aka: trick-or-treating) and BE ALL YOU CAN BE!

Do you have plans to dress-up this year? This might be our last time to attempt a family theme, we’ve only done it a few times, but with my older kiddos growing up – times are changing, and they are interested in making costume-plans with friends now… maybe, Dusty Rhodes will wear this costume every year he likes it so much!

If interested, I posted a fifteen second video of us in character on my instagram account @see_jane, #rhodesfamilyfilm!

***
This costume could be easy to throw together with how trendy camo and the color army green are right now! look in your closets for pieces of clothing – my older girls opted to wear black leggings. Our black combat boots are from Target. Temporary tattoos via tattly, you can’t see any of our army patches close-up in these pictures but we had a lot of fun choosing them – we each had an approropate ranking for our family, KJ and Myla had patches that say, “zombie hunters!” and more. you can get really creative with this detail. you can get free tires (locally) from Discount Tires if you need an obstacle course!

photos by Becky Kimball Photography.

10.6.14

lake powell + how-to steps to creating videos!

Hey friends. On my last video post I had a few inquiries about how I create the videos. I’d love to give you a few tips, and answer ANY questions you have but keep in mind this is the short version of instructions!

1 – I use my iPhone 5S for ALL of my footage. (I am DYING to get my hands on the new iPhone 6 just because I hear the camera is so much better!!!) I shoot everything with my phone horizontally, always tipping my phone to the left – in the same direction each time I take a video. If you don’t shoot it the same way, you can later edit it and flip it around or zoom-in later in iMovie but it’s an extra step or two to do so.

2 – I take a LOT of video. I’m positive I annoyed my family and friends when I first started doing this, they would all give me the “you’re kind of interesting, Jane” look when caught taking videos over and over and over. But, I feel like once they figured out what I was doing with the videos – they loved it and patiently embrace me now and accept my quirky video obsession.

3. I create and edit the videos in iMovie. I don’t feel that I’m good enough at doing this yet to give you my own tutorial. Technology for me is a live-and-learn, trial-and-error experience. This is a great place to start if you need help! Remember: when using ANY types of technology or new programs – if you have a challenge, GOOGLE the problem, I’d dare say that 100% of the time you will find your answers online to anything you need!!!

4. I created an account with vimeo, this allows me to have an online space to keep the videos organized publicly and to get a code to embed them here, etc. – I also have a Youtube account but feel vimeo is where more independent, artistic videos are being shared and I like the platform just a snitch better.

5. Have fun!!! If any of you make a video and post it somewhere, I’d love to see it! Or, let me know if you have questions you can’t find answers to – I will do my best to help!

* This past summer we made our first trip back to Lake Powell since returning to Utah. This trip REALLY made us feel like we were back in our stomping grounds. Dusty Rhodes would like to live at Lake Powell all summer. And I’m pretty sure our kids would agree! I think I’d LOVE it till one of the big notorious wind storms hit, and then I’d be done. The mix of sunshine, the outdoors, and lake for a week is a good combo, especially when you add friends, fun, and good food! However: when you see the kids having a whipping cream fight… someone on our trip had suggested a shaving cream fight – Because this was new to us I thought the shaving cream might burn the kids’ eyes, so I planned whipping cream instead. NOT A GOOD IDEA. The kids jumped in the lake after to clean-up, but a few hours later and the next morning – some of them started to smell like SOUR MILK. IT WAS AWFUL. Each time I hugged them, I was gagging from the smell, and BEGGING them to shower. Use shaving cream!

xo.

10.2.14

Selabration number eight!

flamingo birthday party via seejaneblog

flamingo party in the courtyard via seejaneblog

Our baby girl turns EIGHT today. It has been the fastest eight years of my life. Sela thinks she has waited f-o-r-e-v-e-r to be eight. Like: we started talking about this flamingo party last SPRING. She was already putting in her request for another doll party. And deep inside as much as I love observing her love of all things doll – I did not feel like planning another doll party. So, as we continued to discuss ideas I tried to think of the most pink-girly-things that would intrigue her… sans barbies, etc. – when the flamingo idea came to mind! At this time, I hadn’t seen anything new or trendy with flamingos. And best of all, Sela LOVED the idea! she was CRAZY about the idea!!!

So. We started planning on the down low. Some time the end of May I told my friend Becky and she loved the idea too. Not soon after I received an invite to Alison’s flamingo FEST dance party. And about died of disappointment that a flamingo party was being planned on the social media scene. THEN, before Alison’s party, Silhouette America hosted one of the dinners I went to at Alt. Summit (a blogging conference) and used flamingos for their theme. THEN, I think every clothing line we like – crewcuts, GAP, Target, even my favorite children’s clothing store in the Philippines – Gingersnaps – had flamingos show up in their summer clothing lines. So, maybe it was sub-conscious and I didn’t realize I had already seen flamingos everywhere. But, six months ago, Sela and I thought we were reviving an idea for a party that hadn’t been over-used yet, and obviously, we were not. We are digging on flamingos just like the rest of the world!

The past six months of planning have felt like a lifetime for Sela! She has had a countdown on her bedroom wall till her party – there were weeks of little boxes she’s been checking off day by day. I think it’s safe to say, it runs in our blood to WANT to selabrate. It’s a NEED. So. We partied last Saturday with all of sela’s closest friends and our family. And today – her official birthday – our family has been extra lovin’ on her all day long. Because she’s sooo easy to love.

flamingos in the fairy gardens II via seejaneblog

The day before Sela’s party, I surprised her with these mini mini flamingo’s in her fairy gardens. They are just about the cutest little things I ever have seen – and she flipped out over them!

flamingo party in the fairy gardens via seejaneblog

mini mini flamingos in the fairy garden via seejaneblog

I had this idea: to have pink hair tips & wear pink eyelashes for the party!!! Sela loved both these ideas, about three weeks ago we tested out the eyelashes and it was really easy to put them on her – and me. She even cut one pair in half and put them on her dolls, it was super cute and fun. THEN, the day of the actual party came, and about thirty minutes before the party, I put my pink eyelashes on, Sela said she changed her mind and didn’t want to wear them. Which was fine.

I walked into our kitchen – where most of our family was and received some raised eyebrows and funny looks.

woah, mom. blank stares.

me: do you guys like my eyelashes?

Dusty Rhodes: Did you look in a mirror?

flamingo party pink eyelashes

Needless to say, Sela’s expression above – examining the eye lashes up close – spoke a thousand words. Right after these pictures, I ran to the bathroom and took them off. change of plans. Mom looked ridiculous. we are NOT wearing pink eyelashes for this party, Mom or the girls.

But. one more picture for memory’s sake, I will probably never wear pink lashes again…

flamingo party PINK eyelashes via seejaneblog

flamingo party cake via seejaneblog

flamingo party flamingo cookies via seejaneblog

Rustic flamingo party via seejaneblog

flamingo party details via seejaneblog

flamingo party mother daughter via seejaneblog

The girls all watercolored flamingos – this is the result of the momma planning the party currently taking a watercolor class. I attempted to give them a crash course in about 30 seconds. It took all the energy I had to speed talk as their minds were DYING to rip into those supplies and get started. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them each create their own unique pieces of art.

flamingo party watercolor printable via seejaneblog

watercolor flamingos via seejaneblog

flamingo party activities via seejaneblog

flamingo party neon hair spray for pink tips via seejaneblog

flamingo party watercolor via seejaneblog

flamingo BINGO via seejaneblog

flamingo bingo at a flamingo party via seejaneblog

flamingo party birthday cake via seejaneblog

flamingo birthday party CAKE time via seejaneblog

flamingo party pinata indoors via seejaneblog

flamingo birthday party pinata via seejaneblog

Sela also had the idea before the party to have the girls have a “flamingo contest” by standing on one leg. It was really fun. They all did so good too! We did about eight rounds, while I was timing them – those that made it to one minute, then I had them raise their arms, at two minutes they had to go on relevé, or in non-ballet terms: their tippy toes! There are some serious little yogi’s at this age, they were good!

It was the funnest, PINKEST day of our lives. We flamingled our little hearts out!

*****

party details: The wildly adorable mini mini fairy garden flamingo’s found here. Yard flamingos here. You can download the free printable flamingo to paint or color here. I found all the watercolor arts supplies we used locally at Hobby Lobby. Download the free adorable “flamingo bingo” here (if you use either of the printables, please give credit and I’d love to see your projects!) – just add numbers with a marker. Make sure to do it correctly! In sporadic order, only 1-5’s in the B column, 6-10’s in the I, 11-14 in the N, 15-20 in the G, and 21-25 in the O! I just kept a list of what I had called and wrote it down. The mini yard flamingos for bingo can be found here. Bamboo plates and utensils found here. Flamingo straws here. Sugar cookies here. Cake ordered locally here. Candles are from here. The flamingo pinatas were from a local party store – Zurchers. We attempted to use hair chalk for our hair tips and it didn’t work well, I also had neon pink hair spray as back-up and it worked so good! Found at a local party store – Partyland. The gold cake topper – was an item I was able to keep after the ‘Silhouette America‘ Alt. Summit dinner party this past June. They used smaller plastic flamingos and spray painted them gold – Thank you, Silhouette!

you can see previous selabrations here: two, three, four, five, six, seven!

Printables designed by lovely Lindsay for seejaneblog. Beautiful event pictures by Becky Kimball photography! xo.

9.30.14

transformation.

mother|daughter hands, seejaneblog

I was raised by a mother who had been raised Methodist, temporarily Presbyterian, and later converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Washington state when I was four years old. I’m not sure what church or religion my Dad grew-up participating in, but he was an extremely liberal christian also converted to the LDS church by the time I was five. I share this with you to give you a peek into my personal religious/spiritual history — raised Mormon by parents who were converts to the religion — I grew-up by all the standards considered normal by mormon terms: I attended primary as a child, young women’s once I was twelve – earned my young women’s medallion, went to girls camp, graduated from seminary, married a return missionary and was sealed in the temple for all eternity.

Yet, through all of those years — my soul greatly struggled with one major commitment (and a few other things) with the LDS faith. I did not believe it was the only true church on earth. In a nutshell: I did not have a testimony of Joseph Smith, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I struggled to believe in organized religion.

Over the years, I tried so hard — minus a few hiccups through my teenage years I fully committed to the gospel, it’s standards, and attempted to live just as I should by mormon values. I attended church regularly, I participated actively in my religion and helped whenever possible or whenever I was needed, I read my scriptures diligently, I attended the temple — and yet, whenever I was expected to share my testimony or acknowledge that mormonism is the only true church, or that Joseph Smith among others was a prophet of god — instead of feeling a warm confirming spirit that this was true — a serious case of nausea would sweep over me, and I’d get dizzy and sick just thinking the words. A mental battle would break out. It was constantly the opposite experience that I had learned growing up was supposed to happen.

When I was twenty-seven years old, I had just had our third child – our son KJ. My husband and I lived in Provo, Utah – we were completely submersed in the mormon culture in the area. My husband was the elder’s quorum president in our ward – this is a male leader holding the Melchizedek priesthood in the office of an elder over the men in the area, I was a counselor in our primary presidency (primary includes the children 12 and younger) and one Sunday when I was finishing a sharing time with the primary kids, I knew I needed {and was expected} to close the lesson with my testimony confirming that I believed what I had just taught the children. And with all the mental strength I could conjure up, I couldn’t do it. I had finally reached a point where my “fake it till you make it” religious attitude wasn’t going to hold up any longer. I could not be dishonest with myself anymore. I couldn’t tell these kids {mine included in the group} that what I taught them was true, and that I believed it, when I didn’t. Not a fiber of my being believed it. that was the truth.

This is when I learned courage. REAL COURAGE. I had to tell my husband how I felt. I had to be honest.

Being raised LDS (or any religion), you know the intense emotion involved with remaining true to that way of life. You KNOW the heart ache that families go through when a member of the family chooses a different way. You know what they are going to think of you. You already know the judgements that are going to be made about you. You know the disappointment you are going to cause. You know that this doesn’t just affect your family, but also your extended family – your neighborhood – your friends – your children – especially living in Utah – where so many saints live, diversity is not commonly celebrated.

My husband and I were driving around one Saturday afternoon running errands, around this same time, he and I in the front seat of his truck and all the kids in the back seat —– when it hit me —- I had to tell him now.

It was very intense, and because it was so emotional, I don’t remember exactly how it all went down, but it was something like this, “you know how other people are just as committed and devout to their religions as mormons are – i.e. baptists, catholics, muslims, etc. etc” and yet the LDS church strongly believes that we are still the only true church…..”

Yeah.

“I don’t believe it.”

Right then, as my tears were forming and I could see his anger and frustration in his eyes — my husband told me to not talk about this in front of the kids. So, I stopped talking about it. And I knew. I knew I had upset the first person I was going to upset. There would be more. There would always be more…

Now I had to be brave. I had to find inner strength to not cave when all the people I loved chose to question my integrity, question my lack of belief, they would doubt my every inner quality as a person, as a mother.

My husband and I continued our conversation in private, after the kids were in bed. Me: explaining all my inner-most feelings with the religion I had grown-up with, with religions in general – explaining my views about spirituality as I see it. Him: listening. Very intently. So intently that he actually agreed with my perspective, and over the course of the time to follow he abandoned his testimony and childhood religion quicker than I did.

Here’s what followed immediately: I finally had the spiritual experiences and feelings I had been waiting for my entire life. For the first time after all those years, I felt peace. Truly, beautiful peace. My heart and every inner cell of my being felt right. I had confirmation after confirmation within our family and in the life around me, that I had made the correct decision. I felt this amazing inner strength that it was hard to tell those around me how I felt, but that it was right, and would all be ok.

This is one point that I think members of the church don’t always understand: I feel more in tune, and accurate now about my beliefs and inner moral compass than I ever did as an involved member of the gospel. However, with that said, I adore the “church” and greatly miss it at times. If only there was a forum for non-believers who love the philanthropy and social aspects of the church! I often wish there was a room for us at the temples, because who doesn’t want to escape the world more often to a place of peace, and calmness?!?

This time in my life was over eleven years ago – and this is the first time I’ve written about it anywhere. I’ve been writing THIS POST for over a year. It’s odd to me, that as adults, we still struggle to share our honest opinions about such matters. I have dozens of friends who feel the same way – apprehensive to discuss their thoughts. I have friends who passionately don’t believe, but are willing to keep pretending in order to not upset those around them. Religious pressure.

I’d like to mention one more thing: I don’t usually freely offer how I feel about religion because (one) it didn’t relate to my blog. and (two) I feel my personal views, when discussed in finer detail, can be very compelling to other members of the church who may have never questioned their LDS religion. For some dysfunctional reason, I carry a sense of guilt with the idea that someone would leave their religion after hearing how I feel. Everyone should be exploring religion, and spirituality on their own. Yes, our kids all know how we feel and as one of their parents I strongly support them and encourage them in finding and knowing their own individual opinions about such matters.

To be a real seeker of truth,
one must challenge the veracity of EVERYTHING-
truly challenge it without bias.

For the past couple of years I’ve had this growing urge to share my thoughts on the topic on my blog. And each time I attend a bloggers conference I keep hearing the echo – Find your voice. Be genuine. Share how you feel. Others will appreciate the honesty. So, once again, I will likely upset people. But I will also find a community that understands me and/or agrees with me, and maybe, they need to hear my story.

And I realize, this topic is big, the journey doesn’t end here. How do I feel eleven years later? About religion? About the LDS church? What do I believe? How does my family feel about living in the heart of Utah? How are my kids treated at school, in our neighborhood? (maybe future posts. Especially now with the popularity of Mormon intellectual discussions like those by John Dehlin, etc)

So – readers, have you ever had such an experience? Have you abandoned a belief system, a culture, something dear to you?

I have to add one funny story here – in the early years of my blog (c. 2007-09) I had posted about one of our annual trips to Mexico. I think I was wearing a bikini in a couple of the images. If you are unfamiliar with the LDS beliefs – modesty is encouraged and two piece swimsuits are somewhat discouraged, but I think most modern day saints would agree that this teaching is also an individuals choice. I had already not been involved with the church for years at this point of my life and if you knew me personally, you already knew this. Someone anonymous added a comment to the post saying, “It looks like when you go on vacation, your values go on vacation too!” I about died, I thought it was so hilariously judgmental. HUMANS! If that person is still reading this blog and/or anyone else has ever been curious as to what is going on with religion and/or values in our home… hopefully, your questions have been somewhat answered. xoxo.

Photo by: Mindy Johnson – mine & my daughter Kiana’s hands.

9.29.14

fall style.

black sneakers|black jeans, seejaneblog

hello friends! First and foremost – thank you, thank you, thank you for the warm welcome back! I have loved and appreciated all of your sweet comments and virtual hugs! I wish I could respond to each and every one of you, but please realize besides blogging, I am still raising four kiddos and going to school. Blogging is a passion of mine and I ADORE my community but at times I still have to balance it with other events in my life – please be patient with me.

With my return to blogging, I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite fashion finds. By no means am I a fashion blogger, oh my, I don’t know if there is anyone who feels more awkward in front of a camera than me… however, I do like fashion and would like to share little tips now and again… starting today!

Above: I have ALWAYS had a fondness for neutrals, almost my entire closet is grey, white, black, and camel. Seeing as black is a hot ticket this season, I am happy!

check out: New Balance 420 sneakers, Old Navy Rockstar denim – this fit has been my favorite for months – i can’t recommend them enough – go try on a pair today! they are stretchy-comfy, plain (I really like unmarked denim), fit so good, and usually Old Navy has so many sales you can get them 15-40% off regular price! I am always a fan of feminine neutral nail polish – check out Julep’s pretty hues. My bracelet was handmade by a cousin in Laguna Beach, she makes beautiful-simple custom jewelry, you can find her on instagram @moanasjewelry.

Do you notice trends in your closet?

photo via my instagram acct. xo.

9.22.14

laguna beach, california

This past July our family took a road trip to one of our favorite places on earth – Laguna Beach, California. My husband has family there, and each time we visit we dream of living there one day. If our future plans go as we hope they will – we’d like to move there in about four years – after Kiana and Myla have graduated from high school in Utah. Until then, I’ll just keep watching this video and dream of the day to come!

This is the first video I have ever created, so be easy on me. It’s a new hobby still in it’s early stages. But I’m so obsessed! I want to make videos all the time!!!

9.21.14

seejaneblog fave pinterest words

With my break from blogging, I also stepped away from pinterest. I would pop in every once in a while and take a look around, but for almost two years I didn’t pin very often. My love for pinterest sways because as much as it is packed with good, amazing images – all hail Ben Silbermann!!! It also frustrates a lot of “creatives” who want to have and admire original ideas.

Maybe you have seen this happen: someone posts a creative/uniquely artsy idea or image on instagram. Within the first handful of comments a follower will say, so cool! i saw something like that on pinterest. Instant emotional deflation. In the art world, “all is copy” is a common phrase alluding to the idea that everything we create is copy due to the fact that our supplies and/or medium are already in existence. We have simply re-arranged the matter to view it in a different way. Or, the idea that so much art has been created over the course of thousands of years, there’s almost no way to have an original idea. Depressing, right? ESPECIALLY if you are a creature who yearns for authenticity. I haven’t received this typical pinterest comparison-comment too many times, but I see it and read it all the time, and it’s so frustrating!!!

Analogy:  If you make homemade chocolate chip cookies, OR your friend or neighbor does, is your first thought, “oh my gosh! I saw chocolate chip cookies on pinterest!” nooooooo.  your first thought is, “yay! yum!  your house smells so good!  I want one!” right?  so, please…. celebrate others ideas. what they are creating. baking. decorating. DOING.  because that’s it.  they are DOING IT, and that is awesome, regardless of where they found the recipe, etc. If they know they need to give credit – where credit is due – they usually do.

This leads me to another point – my volatile relationship with pinterest. When I have an idea, sometimes I will do a quick google and pinterest search to see if anything like it has been done. Other times I avoid searches like the plague because I don’t want to have any prior knowledge if someone has created something like what I want to do before I get started. Anyone ever feel this way?

Then. With my return to blogging, I decided to get back on the pinterest bandwagon in the past few weeks. I was instantly re-addicted. Pinterest is the best way to be inspired and waste time – it’s a mindfully delicious combo. which leads me to the image above – it’s four quotes and/or “words” I’ve pinned lately. I love reading quotes and having them stuck in my head for days – you know they are thought worthy if they linger.

A couple of the quotes above remind me of another set of words that have stuck in my head all year by Alison, of the Alison show – she did a video titled, “invest in people who invest in you.” It’s been a philosophy I’ve been really trying to adhere to this past year. Crazy that as an adult, that can be a challenging philosophy to live by at times. But so wise.

What is your favorite way to use pinterest? see jane on pinterest >>> here.

images: one, two, three, four.

9.19.14

letterpress

I have always been drawn to letterpress. I love the detailed, traditional process involved with the craft. When I see a letterpress design that I admire, I instinctively find myself running my fingers over the indentions of the print to thoroughly experience it’s beauty. If you don’t have this fondness for paper, you may think I’m nuts – I’m guessing most people never understand or they are well into their adult life till they have an idea of how much work is involved in this method of printing. Hard work and dedication goes into every letterpress piece.

All of this lead me to this idea: with Sela’s birthday approaching, I wanted to use letterpress invitations for her birthday party – created locally. And, I thought it would be so cool if my kids and I could experience the process of the cards being created. With this idea, I turned to a local letterpress studio – Paper Bandit Press. I shared with them my idea, and they warmly welcomed us into their studio last weekend.

letterpress lessons, seejaneblog

letter press lessons, seejaneblog

letter press up close, seejaneblog

sela letter press, seejaneblog

sela learning letter press, seejaneblog

sela at paper bandit press, seejaneblog

By visiting this studio, Kim and Brett Borup, the owners, allowed us to peek into their life filled with works of art. They were so kind, and patient explaining the meticulous attention to detail that is required with each step of the process.

Sela and KJ ran from one step to the next they were so interested and amused with helping.

letter press equipment, seejaneblog

letter press lesson, seejaneblog

paper bandit press letterpress, seejaneblog

fall style, seejaneblog

letter press student, seejaneblog

kj learning letter press, seejaneblog

The simple and complex tools of letterpress are an equal beauty to the works of art they create —

letter press tools, seejaneblog

heidelberg, seejaneblog

siblings together, seejaneblog

family letterpress lesson, seejaneblog

I was thrilled that my kids were able to experience first-hand the work that went into creating the invitations. Paper Bandit Press was so generous to allow us into their world. And KJ now believes he was meant to grow up and become a letterpress printer.

lets flamingle letter press, seejaneblog

selabration letter press, seejaneblog

Photos by: the talented Mindy Johnson.

© 2014 jane rhodes.