Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crochet Snowflake Garland

So if you follow me on Facebook at all, you have seen my new obsession hobby of crocheting. I looove making things with my hands and feeling the achievement of finishing a project. I also love making things for others - because Acts of Service is my top Love Language. (Please read The Five Love Languages! One of my favorite books that has taught me so many things!)

So this new love of mine is so fun and relaxing to do in my free time. I've made a baby blanket, a couple scarves, and lately a BUNCH of children's/baby's hats. The hats have been so fun to play with the colors and try different hooks and tension to get the right size. I've been pretty successful so far. I'm really proud of the work I've done. A post will soon come with the pictures of hats.

But I wanted to make a little Christmas ornament or decoration for the first Christmas in our new home. So I went to the Red Heart website and did some searching. This website has lots of cute projects for all skill levels.

After looking at all the cute decorations, I found this Mitten Ornament and decided to try it out. So cute and I thought it would be a good one to try out the intermediate level, because I have been sticking with the beginner/easy levels so far. I did the mitten and the snowflake - and I wasn't wow-ed. I didn't really want it on my tree, even though it was cute. But then I kept looking at the little green snowflake I made and thought, I'll just make a few of these as ornaments. So I went to it. Then as I was making my third one I thought, I'll just make a bunch and make a fun little garland for my mantle!!! Even though it was more work - I went to it!

I think I made 6 green snowflakes and 6 red snowflakes. Soooo adorable - I showed Steve every single one because it was cuter than the last!

So dang cute!!

Strung them all on a piece of yarn.

Up on the mantle.

I forgot that it would overlap with the stockings. Whoops. But I'm leaving it because I love it so much.

The cute fireplace and mantle.
I'd say it's pretty cute for a first Christmas in our new home. And I'm in love with my new little garland. When the room is painted, I plan to make a proper lovely fireplace/mantle setting. But it's good for now.

I hope your season leading up to Christmas is as relaxed as ours. We have really enjoyed our relaxing evenings since we finished our shopping. This week is finals week for Steve, and then we'll be able to really enjoy the holidays! Can't wait! Have a good week!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

12 Days of Christmas to Christ

We finished with Christmas shopping really early this year! That is usually what happens. That never happens!! I had extra time and did some shopping online, and got most of it delivered. And it's all wrapped and under the tree.
Since we were done early with the gifts and material part of the holidays, I decided we should start a new tradition to really focus on the reason for the holiday season. A while ago I was on Pinterest and found a cute little Twelve Days of Christmas to Christ thing on LDS Living. Here is the site: 12 Days of Christmas to Christ. I liked it because it was Christ and gospel centered, but not exclusively Christmas-y. I think it will be a fun, new tradition that we can do every year, together and any future children.
So to make this all cutesy, I typed up all the little representations in a cute font. Then I cut out those slips, and cut out wider slips in cute Christmas paper. Folder the cute paper in half, stapled one staple on each side, hole punched the top corners, and strung some ribbon through the holes. Then I folded the paper slips into thirds (I think) and put it in the little pocket. I had some little numbers that I traced and colored in to show the days. I had cute little advent-ish ornaments. A sweet, new tradition to start in our new home.

I'll update about how it goes and what cool things we learn. I'm really excited!!
And here is our fake little Christmas tree in our cool front window in our first home!!! I love our tree and our collection of ornaments we decorate it with. I especially love our personalized Disney ornament so we can always remember that vacation.
I just have one more little ornament to make to make a memory of our first home, then it will be complete for this year.

I hope your holiday season is getting off to a great start! This is my favorite time of year, and I'm excited to celebrate it in our home for the first time!

Painting the Bedroom

Well it is about time we tackled painting another room. We decided to go for the bedroom a couple weeks ago. Since this is our house and we can choose any color - we went bold. I made sure it was a color we both liked, so then even if it was a little too bold, at least we wouldn't hate it too much.
Don't you loooove that sheet window treatment? Classy ... I know.

Yes, the little pillow says "Hello Sexy".

All of our bedding is old from my old bedroom, or my dorm things, or given to us by Steve's parents. The plaid one on top is the comforter I had all through high school. But NONE of the comforters or blankets we have actually fit our king size mattress.

The door on the left is to our little master half bath.


I LOOOOOOOVE this color sooo sooo much. I fell in love with it after the first wall was finished. We obviously have a lot to finish - put up our blinds on the window, paint the trim, do a second coat on the ceiling, my plan for the closet doors, putting up pictures and other things on the wall, and we're saving up for new lovely bedding.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful & Blessed

It's still November. And I am still celebrating Thanksgiving. This year I have especially been focused on the good things we've been blessed with. This has been a BIG year on blessings for us.

We bought a home.
We love our neighborhood and ward.
I graduated with my bachelor's degree...and I survived.
Steve got a job in the area of work that he is going to school for.
We bought a much needed second car.
A new nephew was born.
We got to visit Disney World with my family.
Etc, etc, etc.

I sometimes compare myself to our neighbors and friends and wonder how I'll ever be like them. I have to remember not to compare myself to others, especially those that are more established in their lives and that have lived here for years. This past Sunday I really felt in my heart that we are blessed and I do not need to worry over the little things that I am concerned about.

We sang Count Your Blessings, along with other songs about gratitude. But a certain verse really spoke to my heart:

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold.
Count your many blessings;
money cannot buy your reward in heaven nor your home on high.

I read that verse of the song over and over through the rest of the meeting, thinking of all that I already have and how so many others do not even have that. So I don't need to feel insignificant or like I don't have all the things I want. I have the things I need, and then so much more. I do not need to keep up with the Joneses, because my neighbors are some of the most sincere and caring people we've met. I don't need to worry that anyone is judging me or thinking they are better than me.

I know that Christ has promised me the best gift of all. I am so grateful for Christ's influence in our lives and in our home.

We are so blessed. I am glad that this holiday season helps remind me to be grateful in all I do.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Same

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
                                     -Emily Bronte

I love this guy and I am so thankful for him every day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Close Second

Christmas is my favorite holiday. But Thanksgiving is a very close second. I LOVE remembering all my blessings and all the things I am grateful for.

In my first year at Weber State my roommates and I made a Thankful Wall in our apartment. We made hand turkeys that represented us and we wrote something like "Thankful Turkey" on it. Then throughout the month we would take post-it notes and write things we were thankful for on them and stick them all over the wall. We also let any and all friends that came into our room add to our wall. By the end of the month we had a full wall of blessings and big and/or little things we were all thankful for. It was so cool to see what things people thought of and to feel how my heart grew while we did that together.

I think I'm going to try and do something similar in our house this year. 2012 has brought us many MANY things to be thankful for (a home, a car, graduation with a bachelor's, new nephew, Disney family vacation, 4 years of marriage, and so much more). I'm not sure if it will actually be on a wall in our house, or if I'll just use the blog, but something will happen.

Anyway - November is always a special month because of the attitude I try to create in my life. I hope you all feel similarly as you go throughout the season of gratitude and giving.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Oh, how I hate to wake up in the moooorning.
Oh, how I love to lay in bed. ...

This morning, the song that Steve's family sings at family reunions and camping trips is all I can think of. It just seems like all through the summer and since school started I canNOT get out of bed before 6:15 ish. And I really need to wake up at 5:30 to make sure I'm ready to go to work.

Laaaame. Anyway, I hate waking up. I'm not a morning person AT ALL. I'm hoping my regular attendance to a Zumba class and some occasional other aerobics classes will help me have more energy in the mornings. Probably not.


In other news...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The rest of Philly

Now it's time for the rest of the things we saw in Philly.
 I won't lie, I cannot remember what this is at all...

 Ok, these were the COOLest! Maybe that's just my nerdiness coming out because I work in a Disability Office. But it's a small version of the city, so blind people can feel the layout of the city and find their way around easily. I mean, I was there for a Disability conference!! I had to nerd out over this for a few minutes.

So cool!

Where Alexander Hamilton's house once stood.
 This was seen just while we were walking down the street, on our way somewhere else. When you see these little plaques you have to stop and read them because they could be something really significant, but you don't even realize it because it's just in a place nowhere near anything else historical.

 This was the Philadelphia History Museum. It was actually kind of lame, only because they were moving and remodeling. So there were two rooms. One (the size of half of our hotel room) full of a small timeline of Philadelphia, and the second being this giant room with a big map on the floor. Good thing THIS was free! ;) So we probably spent a good 10 minutes in here. But I'm sure it will be very cool when it's all finished.

Revolutionary War Monument
 War monuments always get to me. This one was very cool, with the ever burning flame for the soldiers and people that died in the Revolutionary War.

 The tour guides educated us. The above picture is actual cobblestone. The picture below is NOT cobblestone.

 As I mentioned, a majority of things in Philly are named after Benjamin Franklin. So we naturally decided to go to Franklin Ice Cream. It was a yummy vintage-y place.

 These really old boot scrapey things were outside like 90% of the buildings and houses.

 We went to the Consitution Center and saw a cool presentation, and saw lots of cool things in the museum there. Again, we were not allowed to take pictures inside. But we WERE allowed to take pictures in the Signer's Hall. WooHoo!

So we got into some deep discussion about the Constitution with some of the signers of that document.

Me and Benjamin Franklin!!

Some signers deep in discussion

We even got to SIGN the Consitution!! We got a certificate that says we signed it and everything.

There were three dissenter representatives from the country that did not sign the Consitution. This guy is quite the thug. He ain't signin' nothin'!!
President George Washington
 Mr. President even oversaw all those that signed the Consitution.

 We probably passed Ben Franklin's burial place every day that we were in Philly. But there were always 1,452 people around it. So we waited until a time it was less crowded. It was really neat because it's tradition for you to throw pennies on his grave. The pennies get collected regularly and they are donated to a local hospital.

This is a view from a different entrance into the cemetery where Ben Franklin was buried. I just love all the history you can see here. The graves are so different.

There are all the odds and ends we saw in Philadelphia. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Philly Bus Tour

Time for the very lengthy recap of the things we saw on our Philadelphia Bus Tour. It was on a doulbe decker bus, and (obviously from the pictures) the top was open. It was so fun! And it was a quick and easy way to see the sites that we weren't going to have time to go inside of (or that were too pricey). But it was fun!!! So here was our first tour guide.

This bald guy was in quite a few of our pictures. The danger of being on a bus tour where you can't move to get the best picture. But I think I used the pictures that he is not in.

U.S. Mint
Steve REALLY wanted to go the Mint, and I thought it would have been very cool. Sadly, they were closed while we were there. But we did get to go to the place where they destroy some money. (Can't remember what it's called.) But we were not allowed to take pictures there at all. Most of the places did not allow pictures inside.

Friendship Gate
 This archway was in the little Chinatown area of Philly. It was given to Philadelphia by their sister city that is in China. I thought it was SO cool looking. And the guide said it was super duper heavy (as you can imagine). But there was something special about how heavy it was and what it was made from.


This was like their City Hall type place. When it was built it was the tallest building in the whole town/city. But now many other buildings tower over it. It is also that old and still has not been reinforced or anything. I think that's incredible.

William Penn
 William Penn was the founder of PENNsylvania. He was on top of this City Hall building, overlooking the whole city. The guide said that about 6 buses could fit around the rim on his hat - holy huge.

This is a statue of one of the former mayors of Philadelphia hailing a cab.

Thinker Statue

Eastern State Penitentiary
 And out of nowhere, right in the middle of the city ... a CASTLE!! Just kidding - it's a jail. That is the Eastern State Penitentiary. This was probably the one thing we REALLY wished we had gone on the tour for. We just didn't have time for this one. But it's a SUPER old penitentiary (obviously) and it was in operation and used up until the 1970s. I thought that was incredible.

Joan of Arc
 This was a statue of Joan of Arc. It's not gold. But I think it looks cool. I couldn't remember what it was made of, but I just Googled it and it said it is gilded bronze. I thought it was pretty random to have in the middle of Philly. I don't remember anything else about it, so maybe there actually is some relevance to it being there...?? Still cool.
 I couldn't resist posting this picture of us in front of the Rocky Stairs. It's at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We thought this museum would have been cool to go into, but we just weren't digging it. Maybe if it had been free. (I'm making us sound like cheapskates...but we went to see tons of other things, promise.) Anyway, it was windy.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
 This was on one of the sides of the Museum of Art. I thought it was interesting. The detail amazed me.

 This is the view from the top of the Rocky Stairs - please notice the other people running up the stairs. We did NOT run up the stairs...

Yo, Adrian!!!
 Yes, we had to stand in a line to get this picture taken. This statue used to be up near the Museum of Art entrance, on top of the stairs. But it was moved eventually because it was "not art" and not a part of actual Philadelphia history. P.S. It was worth waiting in line.
Delaware River

Fresh Prince of Bel Air
 We went through West Philadelphia and the tour guide talked all about all the historic facts about West Philadelphia. I don't remember ANY of the facts he told us, because every time he said "West Philadelphia" I started singing: In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of the days....

Drexel University
 The dragony thing is the Drexel mascot. I just thought it was cool. I also loved the random piano covered in fabric behind it. And someone was playing it!

Franklin Institute
 The Franklin Institute is a cool place, and we read all about the cool exhibits they had there. We were really set on the idea of going there. But we really only wanted to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, and decided that just that exhibit wasn't worth all the money we would have paid to get in. Sooo we settled for the outside.

The "invisible" building
 The tour guide said this bulding was designed to be invisible and camoflauge into the sky. I'm not sure what they are trying to hide it from - or what they were thinking when they thought it was invisible. I can see that....  But maybe from the sky or far away it's more camoflauged?

 I thought that the tour guide said that all those people there were doing the Occupy Wall Street thing in Philadelphia. But I didn't hear it all. Turns out these people were just having a party. I had a good laugh because I was thinking, "Occupy Wall Street doesn't seem as bad as they're all making it out to be!" Yeah...

 This was some sort of church. I just thought the architecture was beautiful. Then I took the picture and my artsy-ness surprised even me.

This was one of the first Quaker hospitals. That clear bubble-like thing on top is where they used to do surgeries so they could get the best lighting (I think). It's still in use for something today. I don't think it's still a hospital. But Quakers still gather there sometimes.

 This is a random monument to Christopher Columbus - Mathematician & Cartographer. Pretty fancy.

Penn's Landing
And good ole Penn's Landing. It was a beautiful ending to our tour. Lovely.

It was a good tour, and I would definitely recommend the bus tour for a quick and easy way to tour the entire city, even the far away things you don't want to walk to. And it was neat because there were multiple buses. You could get off the bus, and about 20 minutes later another bus would come by to pick you up. And the tickets were good for 24 hours! THAT is worth our precious money! ;)