Tuesday, July 22, 2014

50th Anniversary & Reunion

I had a busy Fourth of July, y'all!
Every July Fourth that falls around the weekend,
my dad's side of the family has a family reunion, with family that spans back three generations before me!
This was one of those years.
Here is the group picture of our immediate family, at least the ones that could make it.
Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents!

Can you believe there are at least 20 still missing?!

Here is my pale lookin' self and the rest of my family.

This reunion was extra special because we were also celebrating my grandparent's 
50th Wedding Anniversary!!

See those two large,black and white photos in the corners?
That bombshell and suave movie star are my grandparents.

Sibling photobomb.

 They cut the cake and fed each other all over again.
"Give me a kiss," said Nana.
And he did.

I am so blessed by the example and marriage I have been lived through these
two amazing Christ servants.
Not too long ago, I heard Papa say over the phone to Nana when she
called with vehicle trouble and needed him to come get her...
"I'll always pick you up, babe."

He picked her up all those years ago,
and he ain't about to drop her now.

I had a great time making all the cakes and cupcakes for their celebration!
I'll give you more pictures and details, including Pinterest inspiration, in my next post!
You won't want to miss it!

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Sometimes a girl just needs a little change.
Last weekend I decided to make that change, and it is one I've been planning since last fall...
I dyed my hair red!

Why red?
Because every time in the past that I have tried to color my hair a nice brown color,
it turns out with a red tint to it. I always tell them 'warm' tones, maybe that is where I went wrong...??
My grandma has told me that her hair always throws red when she tried dying it,
so maybe it is just in my hair code?
Anyway...I thought I would give in and actually color it red this time.
 I also did a little choppage while I was at it...just simple stuff...split ends, an attempt at layering in the back, and evening up my not-bangs.

Although this isn't the first time I've colored my hair, it is the first time I have done it at home by myself!
I was a little nervous, but once you jump in and get started, it really isn't rocket science.
I like the results fine, but I was hoping for that deeper, darker red tone, truer to the depiction on the box.
Just one week later, I already see it fading, even though it is supposed to be permanent.
Originally, I wanted to use Henna as a dye. But after a little research, I learned henna is very permanent.
You can't remove it or dye over it, or your hair might start smoking!
So, if I didn't like the red, I was stuck until it grew out.
I figured for $3 bucks I could get an ammonia free dye at Wal-Mart and do a far less scary test run.

Let me take this opportunity to draw your attention to the jean vest I'm sporting.
It was thrifted quite a few months back, but ended up sitting atop my large refashion pile
because it was just a bit too bulky.
Finally, I sewed some darts into the side seams and took it in. Simple fix.
It doesn't really qualify as a refashion, but I figured I could squeak it in this way.

This top.
I am in love.
Also a piece that has been in my refashion pile for a long time. But I really don't know why!?
I literally pulled it out just a couple days ago and there is nothing wrong with it. 
I've been wearing it ever since- it is so comfortable and I just love the print. 
You can't tell with it tucked in, but it has a loose fit and rounded hem.

 And these shoes!
They are currently my favorite pair, and my most recent thrift score.
And when I say recent, I mean two months ago. I haven't been thrifting a lot lately.
Too busy and broke! That, and I feel bad buying more clothes when my refashion pile is overflowing!
(That might be a sign I need to get back to refashioning, huh?!)
 Outfit: Jean Vest: thrifted ||Top: from a friend, Aeropostale ||Skirt: thrifted, refashioned 
Shoes: thrifted ||Belt: Bealls, old

How about you?
Is there a change you have been contemplating for a while?
Have you colored your own hair, and if so what products do you recommend?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Of Weddings and the Northland

At the end of May
I was so excited and thankful to be able to spend a week in Minnesota!
Wait what? Did I just say May?! Wasn't that forever ago?
Yes, yes, it was....but after being gone from blogging for so long,
I'm still playing catch up guys! Bear with me.
As I was saying,
this past May I went up to my once home-state of Minnesota to be there for my best friend's wedding.
It was most beautiful and I was more than thrilled to be a part of such an important day!
Her awesome family is near and dear to my heart,
and I consider them an extension of my own.
Spending time with them was more encouraging, refreshing and motivating than I can say!

Some days were spent in the Cities- oh yeah baby, I drove in the Twin Cities and survived!
Praise Jesus! I think I missed at least one turn every time I got behind the wheel,
but hey, I eventually got where I was supposed to be!

Picture not mine, courtesy of Facebook.
The wedding was beautiful, touching, significant, and tear jerking.
I saw my best friend- who I spent the greatest, scariest days of teenage life with- marry a wonderful man and step into a holy, exciting chapter of her journey!
It was a pretty weighty experience for me, in all honesty.

I was also able to visit with old friends and in general have a splendid time.

After leaving the cities, we (my travel companion, co-driver, and brother Anthony) made the trek further north to join my grandparents who were finishing up a camping trip and share a corner
of their camper for the night.

Ahh...I fell asleep to the sound of soothing frog chirrups and calling loons. 

Sitting on a picnic bench I had the lake shore in front of me, trees behind me,
and these wonderful people to each side of me- my brother and grandparents.
Don't worry. My brother wasn't being one of those on-the-phone-while-surrounded-by-nature
kind of people, he was taking pictures.

This was such an unusual and eye catching tree formation.
Grandma told me this is actually tree cancer- the tree grows around
the area like this.
Isn't it amazing how something harmful made this tree unique and beautiful?

In the park we stayed at, there is a white deer that roams the forest!
We were blessed to get a look at her!

These shots are blurry because she was so far away, but you get the general idea.

I love all the adorable little churches scattered across this country.

Even the fields of dandelions were gorgeous in my eyes!

Once you have lived in a thirsty land for a while,
this is a heavenly site!

After leaving the camping grounds, a couple more days were spent relaxing with more of the family back at the 'home base' with all the aunts, uncles and cousins around.

Oh yeah...I decided I need a motorcycle!
This is my uncle's ride- he is the teddy bear driving. ;)

I'm not even kidding.
I want a bike now.
Or a guy who has one.
Yeah, that might work.
We'll see which one happens first.
Good times.

Old friends, family, stimulating conversation, and open hearts coupled with deep drinks of bountifully green and grassy landscapes...sunlit tree canopies...and lakeside walks, made this trip deeply restorative and motivating.

What has this summer taken you so far?
Where will your travels take you in the months ahead?
I'd love to hear all your exciting plans!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Animal Babies!

Animal babies!
Need I say more?!

Everyone knows spring brings babies,
and we saw the proof of that here on our little country acres this spring and early summer.

I'm gonna make a confession right here and now...
these pictures....I kind of took them like...almost a month ago.
But I'm too lazy to go take new ones (AND it is reallllyyyy hot outside, so I know you'll forgive me).
Besides these are SO cute!
Just know, all the babies are growing up!

Say hello to this little cutie!!
This adorable pup was a a stray that some of our town friends
found wandering about.
After asking around and putting up posters that sat for a week without response,
we decided she was a drop off, so we got to keep her!!

We don't know what breed she is, her coloring looks similar to a German Shepherd, but she has small paws and a curly tail.
We *do* know this much... she is 100% adorableness!

Case in point.

She loves eating the garden plants and cooling off in the damp dirt.
I told her she really shouldn't be doing that....

...and this is the face I got.
Those eyes!!

Her name you ask?
After changing numerous times over the course of three weeks...
Pepper...Pipper...Princess...Paddy...and those were just the ones we tried out,
we finally stuck with Lucy.
What do you think?
Did we make a good choice?

Let's move on to some of our more furrier editions.

Our first batch of kittens were 'The Wild Ones', given the name
because their mom was the daughter of a stray wild cat that adopted us.

I give you Miss Fluffykins.
She is the only long haired fluffy kit in the bunch.

And as you can see, my sister's favorite.

The two boys we named (respectively) Milo and Otis.
Childhood memories anyone?
Yeah, yeah, I know Otis was a dog...and Milo should have been the orange cat.
Well...it was a cute idea, and my memory just slipped a little and I got the names mixed up.
Still stinkin' cute if you ask me. 

Otis, occasionally called Cheese Puff, is my little brother's buddy.

And the mild mannered, tummy rub lovin' Milo is my baby.
He will just lay in your hand, on his back, while you stroke his tummy.
So sweet!

Lucy wasn't quite sure what to think about the fur balls with legs.
She got used to them and would tease them mercilessly.
In sad honesty, just a couple days ago while we were gone for the weekend, 
she got a little too rough and friendly and we lost one of our little kitties from the later bunch. :(
No fun.
Now we are being extra careful to watch her and train her to leave them be.

The later batch here was from one of our favorite momma kitties, Buttons.
She birthed five kittens, one didn't make it, and was left with these four, now three.

Not long after, Wild Momma Cat up and left, so Buttons adopted
the three Wild Kids as her own, with a little help from the Kitten Relocation Services...aka,
concerned kids of the house.

The kittens from right to left we named Callie, Zeus, Daisy and Percy.

Zeus is my favorite from this batch.
I love them in this early, baby tiger, folded back ear stage!!

That should give you your cute fix for the day!
By the way...want a kitten?

Here is to the dog days of summer.
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