The Reveal

I know you have all been dying to hear what Justin’s super epic surprise birthday present was. So without further adieu I present to you the newest addition to our garage.The fact that Justin loves ping pong is probably vital information to this reveal. He plays with his dad almost every week and has been wanting a table of his own for a few years.The fact that I scored this baby for free makes it even more exciting. I noticed it in a friend’s basement and when I mentioned it, he asked if I wanted it. Um, YES!!! And the fact that this happened a week before Justin’s birthday…Perfection. They delivered it on Saturday and Justin had no idea what was happening as I drug him out to the garage saying I needed him out there right away. Mission surprise Justin completely accomplished. I’m pretty sure I was more excited than he was. There really is nothing quite like totally surprising the one you love with something they’ve been dreaming of. So much fun!!! So proud of myself for pulling this one off and so incredibly thankful to my absolutely fabulous friends Etta and Theo for giving me this table and being a part of this surprise. It totally made Justin’s birthday!Justin ended up with another surprise when my dad brought him an ice cream maker on Saturday. He LOVES ice cream and we’ve been wanting to get an ice cream maker for awhile so this was pretty much perfect. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it when I was stumped for birthday gift ideas but I’m glad I didn’t because this was way more fun. They made the inaugural batch Saturday night and it was so delicious. And it was so much fun to have the kitchen packed as we made culinary magic 😉 Love a kitchen full of family cooking together, love the relationship Justin has with my dad, love a house full of family spending time together and celebrating birthdays, love making memories like this. Makes my heart happy.

Needless to say, Justin’s birthday was a success. A surprise trip to see stand-up at the new comedy club he’s been wanting to go to on Friday, ping pong and family on Saturday, and a total couch potato day on Sunday filled with all the boy movies he’s been wanting to watch. A perfect birthday weekend 🙂

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Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy happy happy birthday to my super fantabulous mom!!!I am so lucky to have such an amazing woman for a mom. She is my friend, my supporter, my cheerleader. She worked so hard to provide us with a great childhood and she succeeded in every way.Life is better knowing she is always in my corner.If I do end up becoming a mother some day, I will do my very best to be just like her.

Happy birthday mom! I love you sooooo much!!!

Random Round-Up

After an hour of wandering the aisles of Joanns the other day my crochet projects are all systems go. The yarn on the left is for the cowl. I actually decided on a different pattern for that because I couldn’t find any super chunky yarn that I loved. I think this one’s going to be even better 🙂 The middle yarn is for the scallop scarf and the turquoise yarn on the right is for the summer net type scarf. You may notice my love for turquoise in this selection… I threw this scarf together using the summer/net scarf pattern the other day since I already had the yarn on hand. It’s a thicker yarn than the pattern calls for so it’s not really the light weight summer scarf the pattern intends it to be. But I thought it would be a nice spring scarf, you know, for March when we all decide we are officially done with winter but winter is not yet done with us.

Justin’s super epic birthday gift arrives today!!! I am beyond excited!!! Pictures to come soon 🙂

I had the most amazing time at the Minneapolis Institute of Art the other day with a friend of mine. We wandered the halls for hours and looked at art in all shapes and sizes. I fell in love with Impressionistic art all over again. It’s been awhile since I spent time studying it in school and I forgot how relaxing I find those paintings. I think I could sit in from of them for hours and just let them soothe my soul. I really need to spend more time in that museum, I always forget how much I love it when I am away from it for awhile. This was one of my favorite paintings, done by Camille Pissarro. He had a medical condition which trapped him indoors so he decided to paint the scene from his window in Paris in all different seasons and weather conditions. Cool story, beautiful painting. Sigh.I love that being a part of our barn means you develop relationships with people of all different ages and backgrounds. I mean, how else would I end up with a friend 12 years my junior? I’m sure this sounds totally weird to most of you but it’s just the way the barn works. We’re all drawn together by our shared love of horses and friendships develop. I think it’s great. I love that it means that I can spend the day with someone preparing to start art school and hear her thoughts and impressions of the art that we are looking at. It takes me back to my early college days and reminds me to open my eyes and see things in a whole new way.

Things have been a bit rough with Justin’s job lately. Nothing major, just the stress that accompanies a career in sales. We are incredibly blessed by his job and we are both thankful for it everyday. But it does come with it’s periods of burnout and that is where we are right now. Lots of travel, a busy meeting, lots of waiting for others to make decisions… There’s lots of good in sales but there’s also lots of stress, it’s a rollercoaster of a career. I’ve realized that it is so much easier for me to deal with my own pain or stress than it is for me to deal with his. I hate to see him even the slightest bit upset and would do anything to change it. I would take a bone marrow biopsy over seeing him stressed any day (as I write this I realize that this is not something that would be in the average person’s thought process, but it seems so normal to me…Guess this is what happens when having a disease just becomes part of your life). Unfortunately there isn’t much to do but be his cheerleader and pray so that is what I’m doing, to the very best of my abilities. The birthday present coming today might help a little too 😉

My big camera’s kit lens has taken a turn for the worse and it’s days of autofocusing are behind us. I thought my camera was broken so this is actually better new than I was expecting, but it is disappointing none the less that my year and a half old camera has a problem, especially considering the fact that it replaced a perfectly good camera that I managed to drop into a water fountain. I’m taking some time to contemplate what to do about this dilemma. I can have the lens fixed for $100. However, I looked at used lenses on National Camera Exchange’s website and found the lens I’ve been lusting after, the Tamron 28-300, for $189. I’ve been wanting this lens for years now but it was spendy ($450+ new) and I never really considered it as a replacement for my kit lens (18mm-50mm). So I’m planning on taking a look at it in person and see if it’s light enough and small enough to be a practical everyday lens. From all the reviews I’ve read I’m confident I’ll be happy with the quality, and everyone says it’s super light and small, so we’ll see. If it truly is light and small enough, it may be the perfect combination of my small and big lens all rolled into one. Can you say happy Jackie at the zoo??? And if I have to put money into a lens, I may be better off putting into the new lens I’ve been wanting anyways. For now though I guess I’ll just have to perfect my manual focusing skills, and by perfect I mean actually develop them since I’ve never actually done it!!! EEK!!! So, new manual focusing skills and perhaps my dream lens on my camera. Making lemonade out of lemons around here people!

And finally a new scrapbook page to share. This was one of those pages that just flew together and I had so much fun making it. Love when that happens!Alright, how’s that for a totally random round-up??? This is me people, as random as one can get!!! 😉 Hope y’all are having an excellent weekend!

2*23*12

Just a few scrappy items to share with y’all today.“Double Date”

Lot’s more My Mind’s Eye goodness on here. I am so in love with all their new stuff of theirs. And I am still loving using crocheted flowers on my pages. Of course my scrapbook is probably going to be bulging with all these bulky flowers in there. Oh well 🙂“New Additions”A new Smash book page. I ended up with a bunch of pictures that fall more into the “photography” realm than the pictures of stories realm (if that made any sense at all…) so I decided to put them all together and journal about my love of photography, how it’s evolved over the years, and how my iPhone is the latest evolution of that.

Ambitiously Pinning

I’ve been ambitiously pinning crochet patterns to my Pinterest account lately. I’m probably going to be way over my head with a lot of these but that’s how you learn, right? If any of you are interested in the patterns for these, click on the picture which will bring up my pin, then click on that and it will take you to the pattern.

I want to make a short, one loop infinity scarf for myself. I love the ones I’ve been making as gifts and I’m sick of my bulky scarves making me look rather odd shaped under my coat. I’m planning on making this one. Pretty simple but will be a great addition to the winter wardrobe.

I also want to make myself some summer scarves. I’ve realized this winter that I really love wearing scarves and I love the look of cute light scarves with summer outfits so time to make me some. I’m thinking of trying these.This second one definitely falls in the ambitious category but I’m pretty in love with it so I think I’m going to give it a whirl. I see lots of tearing out stitches in my future.

I’m also thinking of making a shawl. The practical side of me says what in the world would I do with one when I can just put on a hoodie, but the side of me that always swoons over the tv characters all wrapped up in yarn creations on cool summer nights says I need one. I’m thinking of these two.K. How awesomely out of date is this picture???I honestly feel totally lost when I look at this one but I really like it and it would definitely force me to learn new things…

I’m also considering this one, which is kind of a shawl mixed with a big scarf.Pretty, huh?

Now I just need tons of yarn…

Scrappy Shares 2*21*12

“Love Him”

I love this picture of Justin looking at pictures in the photo center. It never ceases to warm my heart that he takes an interest in all of my hobbies and is so incredibly supportive. This picture seemed perfect to create a page around highlighting just that.“Fun Together”

A page filled with pictures from our MN History Center adventure last week. I was inspired by this layout by Lisa Day.And last but not least a new Smash book page. To be honest, I don’t love this page. It’s too busy to me. The background paper was really busy to start off with and then I really packed a lot on there. But I’m not going to love every page I make. That’s just the way it is. I still love the fact that I have all this stuff smashed into a book. And I do love that this page has tons of little bits collected from the various places that we visited, like the brochure from Justin’s hotel in Vegas, the bag from the gift shop at the History Center, and the card from Candyland.