Thursday, March 28, 2013


Traitor, sneaky snake, double-crosser, miscreant, Benedict Arnold...go ahead and let me have it if you want to after reading this post.

I have been a Nikon girl from the moment I picked up a camera five years ago. But when I decided to upgrade to a full frame camera as one of my Filthy Fifty items...I had no idea it would take me here. Here is all my Nikon gear...packed up and ready to go.

Because now I am a Canon girl (apostate, two-timer)!

A couple of my lenses found very good homes with photographer friends and I still plan on selling my Nikon body.

And this is my first photo taken with my new Canon. Literally unpacking the camera as we drove two hours to lacrosse games, I had NO IDEA even how to change my settings yet. Canon and Nikon are completely different.

And this is the second photo I shot. Dean taking a picture of me with his iPhone.

Oh you had me at the first shutter release Canon...just like butter. In fact I call it shutta butta!

Very simply put...every camera has a sensor which collects light through the lens to create a digital photograph. Full frame cameras have a larger sensor than a crop camera.

Which means I can now take sharper photos in low light situations,

and capture more of this Cache Valley scene.

Even Izzy is a fan of the new camera...just not a fan of being put in the chicken coop!

Filthy Fifty #8. I put on big girl panties and upgraded to a full frame camera. I have SO much to learn about this Canon camera, and I can't wait (deserter, defector)!

Friday, March 22, 2013


Dear Jocie,
Today marks five years or 1,825 days or 43,800 hours which equates to over 2.6 million minutes that have crept by since you left us for heaven. My heart records every single tick of the clock as a scar; invisible to most but entirely suffocating to me. Sitting just a few feet from your room as I write this post, snow is gently falling and I can't help but remember every detail of your last morning with us. How giddy you were to be on the mountain for a beautiful Spring ski day. Wearing an In-N-Out t-shirt and basketball shorts over base layer; long red hair bounded down the stairs for breakfast. 

Five can hardly seem possible. You have missed SO much of us just as we have missed SO much of you! 

I want you to know that even midst so much sorrow...joyful and happy times have weaved their way back into our world. Our family has been blessed to welcome the miraculous addition of baby Olivia Jocelyn 

and twice blessed to witness baby Henry's miracle arrival just 6 months later. Your Mom and dad are grandparents...which makes you Auntie Jocie, can you believe it? 

And your big sister is a mother, an incredible mama. Her once structured life now chaotically revolves around two little people. You would be so proud of her, I know we all are! Cass regularly tells her babes about Auntie Jocie and the millions of memories you made during your short life.

These little ones have stolen our hearts. 

Sometimes their antics remind me of you...especially Olivia. For she is a girly girl who loves to dress up, adores all amounts of sugar, and thrives on teasing the dog along with her baby brother. Sound familiar?

Speaking of your baby brother, he is no longer little. Next month he'll be driving a car and going out on dates. Chet is now older than you were when you left us...such a difficult thought for me to navigate. Oh how I wish you were here to tease him and wrap you freckle kissed arms around his manly shoulders and squeeze him tight. The two of you would be knee-deep in music, skiing, and shenanigans...I'm certain of it.

Your dad is still the man of my dreams. Although he has experienced overbearing pain and grief from your loss...he has also found strength to smile again. Just like always, he continually makes me laugh.

Last year he proved to all of us that he is still a pretty tough guy. But beneath that strong exterior lies a daddy heart that beats a little quieter since you have been gone. 

Every single time his skis lay tracks across freshly fallen mountain snow, I know he longs to turn his head and see you following close behind. Instead he settles for your spirit trailing next to him.

The Garlick sisterhood of the brown one, the blond one, and the red one is noticeably incomplete without you Jocie. Much like a three-legged stool missing that third leg, the balance is not quite the same. I know their loss is different than mine.

Living in LA now, I refer to Dione as lawyer girl. She is just a few months short of finishing law school at UCLA. Her commitment and achievement in accomplishing this law degree amazes me. You would love her new pooch Dorothy, she is sweet and adorable and just a tiny bit mischievous. 

As for me, I stumbled innocently into the world of photography and have become enamored with the view of the world through a lens. At hundredths of a second, I capture and subsequently savor the important moments of our life. I am a blogger...not the typical mommy blogger...more like a sad mommy blogger learning to live again. Establishing a presence on the internet has introduced me to photographers and bloggers all over this small world...wonderful people I am so lucky to call my friends. My journey through grief these past five years has been buoyed up through their constant love and continued support.

Admittedly, I would give anything to see your blue eyes dancing in my viewfinder. But it is your spirit that urges me forward each and every day. I miss you enormously!

Believe it or not, we keep bees,

raise chickens,

and have even found a way to continue your legacy.

 This family makes you part of everything we do and everywhere we go.

 But most of all today on this milestone awful anniversary, I want you to know dear sweet child of mine...that we are OK. That although this photo is missing our red-head...

you are never absent from our hearts.

Love, Chet, Dad, Mom, Dione, Olivia, Bob, Cassandra and Henry

PS...And thank you for the snowflakes, I think they are a sign of your love showering down on everyone who misses you today.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Filthy Fifty 5,6,and 7

The new year has kept me busy, but I'm gradually checking off Filthy Fifty items one by one.

Filthy Fifty #5

It's no secret that I love the story of Les Miserables. But having never read the book, I felt like I was missing one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. With nearly 1500 pages and over a half a million words...I made an impressive Filthy Fifty goal to read the novel and finish it before the movie released on Christmas day. Friend and fellow Les Mis fan Michelle suggested I listen to the novel on tape. 

I WAS ADDICTED...and couldn't stop listening for over 60 hours. Romance, justice, history, danger, adventure, humor, sorrow, love and grace. Les Miserables has it all! Hundreds of endearing quotes like "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise" or "To love another person is to see the face of God" are scattered among the dramatic story. If you haven't read will not regret it! By the way, I easily finished and was one of the lucky ones to see the movie on opening day.

Filthy Fifty #6

Chet and I have a Wednesday morning ritual where we use his late start at school as an excuse to have breakfast together. Jitters makes the best hot chocolate.

With no school on this particular day it was a perfect time to go all out and have brunch with my teenage son as Filthy Fifty #6.

I wonder if there is something in the "Bro Code" making it OK to have brunch with your mom.

Filthy Fifty #7

It's no secret that we love winter here at The Garlick Press.

Each snowstorm just adds to our excitement.

But building Jocie a snowman at the cemetery (Filthy Fifty #7) just may be the highlight of this winter.

Following a Saturday morning ski trip up to the mountains (which explains our outfits no judgement please), we stopped for lunch at our favorite Herm's Inn and decided today was the day.

His name is Harv. We gathered accessories from some of the prizes that had been accumulating over winter by Jocie's headstone. Harv's mouth is a red velvet bow attached with flower picks.

I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by two guys (and a dog) who are willing to accommodate my last minute whims. Harv is perfect! I have a couple of big Filthy Fifty items coming up...stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sunday Afternoons in Winter

It's hard to even look at the next four photos...

and believe the days were so green and sunny and warm. Chet had an idea last summer and he needed his Dad's help with the execution of his awesome plan.

Born with the skiing gene in his DNA, the winter sport is always on The Teenager's mind...even in the heat of summer. He designed and built two rails to be used in the backyard as soon as the snow fell.

He decided to paint the rails in Rastafarian colors...because they're cool!

Chet even strapped on the skis and tried the small rail placed on the grass. Skiers can be ridiculously obsessive sometimes!

Fast forward to a snowy Sunday afternoon in February, Chet couldn't wait to try out the rails in the snow. The boys built a ramp to the first rail

then placed the second ramp a few feet away.

Kenya...aka the canine tornado..was happy for the outside company.

A few last minute details...

and he's off.

Nailed it!

Now I'm definitely not the girl who wants to miss out on the party, so I jump in my boots and join in the fun.

I have to admit it was pretty entertaining and a great diversion from making Sunday dinner. Please do not make fun of the sweat pants tucked into the boots.

Having skied on rails at the ski resorts,

Chet quickly shows us how to ride them correctly.

Skiing on a rail requires speed

and good balance.

And the ability to pick yourself up...

when you land

on your butt!

And that's how we spend a lazy snowy Sunday afternoon at The Garlick Press.