6.2.2011 {part two}

And the birthday fun continues….

After the doily spoof at the brunch, we all watched a video of photos from the past thirty years of my life.  To my amazement (thanks, Mom) and delight, my mom had scanned a billion photos and with the help of my sisters put together a great slideshow!  Nice work, ladies. It was a very pleasant surprise and I really didn’t have a clue.

The night before my birthday (at my nephew Aidan’s 6th birthday part), Natalie handed me a book that had my face plastered on the cover – with lots of meaningful photos, quotes from this blog, letters from friends and family – packing each and every page (including a page of 30 of my favorite things).  It is a beautiful book that is full of my favorite things and people.  The girls did a great job!
{thank you to those friends/fam that took the time to write a letter – even tho a few didn’t make it in the book (deadline, maybe) – I will save them in the book and cherish them always!)`

My Dad also surprised me with not one, but two birthday cards and by far the best and most thoughtful gift he has ever given me – a gift certificate to a local spa!  I mean, hello Dad – AWESOME!  AND the best part was that it was totally HIS idea!  So special to me.  He also gave me the book “Heaven is for Real.”  I FINALLY just picked it up this week.  I hope to blog about it soon.

To my surprise, my sister Caren posted on Facebook to send a card to her address for my 30th birthday.  On the morning of my big day, she handed me a stack of cards!  And when I got home from ND – even MORE had arrived in the mail.  (Total birthday cards received: over 82!) THANK YOU to every one of you who sent a card.  Your thoughtfulness touched my heart in a BIG way! And made my big 3-0 just that much more meaningful and special.

So, after I posted the first part of my birthday a box arrived in the mail with a complete photo album of the two big birthday events (The brunch and the gala – post yet to come!)  Perfect timing to remember the day (and ALL the details and friends that made it SO very special) and to continue the marathon of birthday blog posts!  HA!

Well, enough about me.  STay tuned for, well…..more about me!
(joking, joking!)

Up next: Part Three – The Birthday Gala!


back to school

well, not me of course.  I’m always enrolled – in the school of life.  wahahahahaha.

Aidan started first grade this week and Finley starts preschool next week.  So, my mom and I wanted to have one last hang out with them before they started school.  We took them on a picnic to Lawrence Park on Monday after my mom got done with work.

After we finished our picnic dinner the kids scrambled to get to the play area.  They were the only kids at the park for most of the night and they had a blast together.

After we were all tired and sweaty (it was HOT) from the park – we went to DQ, of course!

Then we drove to our house to play in the backyard for a bit before the kids had to go home.  We played dodgeball  – Aidan insisted boys vs. girls and he filled us in on the rules he learned at Awana.

Briar got bored with dodgeball rather quickly and she started pretending she was a puppy (she is in LOVE with Yogi).  She even crawled into his kennel and dog bed.  I think she uses both more than he does!

And then I got a few “puppy kisses” from her!

Such a fun evening!  Love those kiddos.

6.2.2011 {part one}

Cake by Jen Schell - was DELICIOUS (as usual) and my pre-brunch "breakfast!" A fun birthday surprise. Thanks, Jen!!

On June 2, 2011 – I turned 30.  For so may reasons, turning thirty was such a milestone for me.  Just making it to thirty seemed so big.  But – that’s for another day/post.

I woke in the morning to the sounds of lots of kids!  All of my family (minus my bros-in-law) helped celebrate 30 with me on the big day.  One of the best parts of the day was getting to be together.

As we got ready for the first event of the day, our friend CC brought us all coffee’s from the Coffee Post!  My mom, sisters and I got ready and went over to our friend Jill Cannon’s house for a ladies brunch!  Everyone was already there waiting for us to arrive.  When they opened the door it was an amazingly heart warming feeling to look around the room and see so many faces that I admire, love and respect – and who have taken the time to love on me!  Two friends who live in MN who helped put the whole day together surprised me and showed up for the parties!  It was such a fun surprise.  If I acted subdued – it was because I was blown away by all the goodness around me – and it was just the beginning of the day!!

The whole group of ladies for brunch!

The decorations at the brunch had been design by my friend Sarah – the theme was Pioneer Woman – so she displayed quotes and photos from our meeting with Ree.  It was so ME, fun and unique!  Sarah had even slaved over PW’s Cinnamon Rolls the night before so we could have them at the brunch!  The food was amazing – including fruit, caramel and cinnamon rolls, a PW breakfast casserole – yum!  Everything was delicious and a great way to start the big day!

checking out the food and decorations!

Passing out the flowers.

I wanted to bring something to share to the brunch so I made flowers for everyone to wear.  You’ll see them throughout the pics!  It was so neat to see everyone wearing them and a great feeling to be able to “give” something.  🙂

So fun.

Love these ladies!

Amber (& Liz) drove from Minot for the days events!

Cute Girls!

A couple of the party planners...

After we ate a tasty brunch and visited for a bit – there was a bit of a spoof and me and my dislike of doilies.  Let’s just say that I NEVER saw this coming – ever.  The backstory – years ago my sisters and I were going through our mom’s clothes (with her) and we came across a faded denim “blouse.”  Between each button was a small doily with a mauve rose.  And doilies on the collar.  It was just too much to think that she had kept this shirt for YEARS and refused to part with it.  Every once in a while the “doily shirt” – as it became known – made an appearance – much to our chagrin.  At some point in the past few years the story of the “doily shirt” and our (my sisters and I) mutual dislike towards all things doily – found itself being told to friends in Williston.

Two of those friends, Helen and Jill, took our love of (?) doilies to a whole new level.  As the whole group of ladies found seats in Jill’s’ living room and got settled in, Helen started the presentation with a history on doilies.  While it was quite educational it was also very comical.  The ladies took many of my personal interests/history/habits and some how incorporated doilies into them…

Enjoying the education on doilies.

Jill & Helen

Helen took the doily "spoof" so seriously! Love her!

Enjoying the Show!

Sportin' some of the accessories that Jill and Helen created....

Getting a kick out of Helen & Jill's doily antics!!

The brunch – beginning to end – was an amazing success.  It was so “me.”  It was a perfect way to start my day and the next decade.  Everything, every detail – from Susan’s prayer, the doily education and spoof, the decor, the GUESTS, the eats, – all of it was such a celebration.  Not just for me and my family, but a celebration of so many important women who have helped shaped me into who I am today.

Thank you ALL who put the time and effort into making my 30th birthday a day to remember.  It was such a JOY filled day for me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

the show continues...including my mom and sisters. 😉

sisters and their doilies!

Summer 2011 {herb garden}

Soooo…..my herb garden was seriously neglected this year due to my 9 week vacation/relocation to North Dakota.  When I got home, it was severely overgrown.  The lemon balm and chocolate mint took over!  I had to cut them back to find a few of the other perennial herbs hidden beneath.  I’m definitely missing a few annuals (here, at least) that I enjoy cooking with throughout the summer and into the fall – basil, parsley, and rosemary.  Next year!  No fresh basil pesto this year.

I’m also missing a perennial that I added last year – it’s a leafy lettuce/herb that adds spunk to salads.  It looks like spinach and  it sort of tastes like arugula without the bitterness….

Where the pink flowers are (bottom left), I had planted the sorrell but….I’m pretty sure my Mom plucked that out of the ground before I was even packed for my trip back in May! Ha!  Actually, I guess she thought it was a weed.  😦  I’m working on forgiving her…  😉

This is allll peppermint!  I know the rule:  don’t plant mint in the ground because it takes over, but I sort of love it.  We always have an ABUNDANCE of peppermint or chocolate mint (which makes a tasty mojito or virgin mint julep).


Have a great week!


random ramblings from the pages of a journal.

From the pages of “an old school journal.”  I used to hand write in my journal all the time, but that was before the new fangled computer, internet and blogging were created – well or not, but since I worked so much on the computer I just found it more advantageous to write a quick journal entry now and again.  But, today I grabbed one of two journals that I received as gifts and decided to write….well….I didn’t make it all the way through, but it was a nice attempt.  I think it’s been over a year since I’ve “written” in a journal. Enjoy my random ramblings…..now there’s a blog title!

Friday, August 19th, 2011
It’s Friday Funday!

I have been sitting outside since about 1 this afternoon.  (It’s 4 now.) The patio table is laden with a variety of felts, scissors, glue gun, pins, iHome, pen, journal, cell phone, water/coffee, and notes.  I’ve only made about 3 flowers (a new design I’m working on.)  I posted pics on FB the other day, but I’ll post them here as well…

It’s hot out here and the skies are perfectly blue with sparse, wisps of white here and there, but the house seems to be staying cool as I shuffle in and out to snag supplies (ice, burn stuff – yet one more hot glue gun injury!).  The subtle scent of pot roast has finally worked its way outside.  It only took several hours for that to happen.  I am looking foward to roast beef sandwhiches at the lake tomorrow.  Yum!

I woke up later than normal this am.  9:31.  Lately, most nights I have been falling asleep fast and hard.  My dreaming seems to be more intense, realistic and action packed.  Last night I was traveling cross country — back in the 1800’s.   Therefore, it was tough to wake up this morning to my alarm at 8. Needless to say, I didn’t “get moving” until about noon today, but I got lots done….laundry folded and put away, pot roast in oven, dishes done, etc.

As I started to enjoy the afternoon in the sun, I felt a migraine creeping in.  As fellow migraine peeps know – it usually feels best to go in a dark, quiet, cool room.  Not today….I just kept plugging away.  Not sure when it let up, but it sure didn’t last long. It may come creeping back tonight, but by then I’ll be more apt to give in to a dark, cool room.  Anyway, I’m thankful it went away!!

*My iPod just quit playing music and a warning appeared on the screen with a temperature warning!  I guess it’s tooo hot out here for the iPod, but not for me!!  I think Yogi gave up long ago, too.  He’s such a lazy bum and can’t take the heat for very long.  I do treat him to iced water everytime I leave the house and he has to stay oustide – is that weird?  Does he even care?!

This morning I started making plans with my friend Lena and family – I’m going to drive down to visit them for a day or two!  Can’t wait!  It’ll be fun to visit and get to snuggle/play with Baby Alexia.

Two weeks ago, my sister and her friend had a garage sale – so I managed to throw a few things in and ended up making about $30. Everything that didn’t sell is being stored in our garage and we plan on having another garage sale in September.  This was great motivation to go through the handful (or 10) totes I have stored in the garage….lots of homewares for that day that I get to move out.  I was able to purge 1 or 2 totes and even go through my cllothes again.  I love the feeling of having less “stuff.”  In the process of re-packing/organizing my totes of stuff, I found a bin full of craft supplies and decided to overhaul my craft, graphic design and office things into a more manageable and useful order. It’s been fun and challenging this week trying to get it figured out….without spending money on the organization part.  In the end I only spent about $15!

I also ended up getting out my sewing machine to work on some projects that have been adding up.  I shortened a maxi dress that was never quite long enough, but was very cheap at Ross two years ago.  (Project fail, btw, the hem is NOT straight  or even – whatsoever!) Then I used an “old” aka vintage pillow case that I saved out of my grandmothers things (probably from the 70’s) and revamped it into a cover for a toss poillow!  Love!  I also made a curtin to hang inside my armoire to hide my tops that are (neatly) folded, but don’t need to be seen while watching tv….just sayin’.  I also have a few other dresses/tanks that need a bit of altering.  I’m also starting a twin sized quilt (Christmas gift) for my niece Berkli.  Ireceived a bunch of precut squares of fabric from a friend in ND (Thanks, MARY!!).

*Um, don’t freak out but a gnormous bee (wasp?) just landed on my shoulder and climbed up my neck.  I watched it happen in the relection on my iPad.  Not-so-Awesome.  Oh, yeah – I switched to typing now cause my hand got tired. Hehe.

Oh, I also wanted to let everyone know that I have been working on a birthday post.  There are soooo many photos that it’s taking awhile to upload.  But I’ll hopefully have it posted in the next day or two (weekend sometime!)  I hope everyone has a fun, warm, enJOYable weekend!  Do you have weekend plans?

PS: The migraine is back – so this is me, signing off, grabbing a dilly bar and getting in my bed.  =)

And probably snackin’ on a few of these…..

Summer 2011 {Auctions, Homesteads and Family Time}

It is difficult to even know where to start.  The past two months have been amazing.

On May 26th, Caren, kids and I road tripped over to our hometown of Williston, North Dakota.  A place that will always remain near and dear to my heart, regardless of its ever changing landscape and dynamic.  If you were not born/raised in Williston – it may difficult to understand – but just imagine the place you call home and why you love it.  For me it is so many things….the memories, the people, childhood, the good times, the tough times, the consistencies, the small town, the food (ha, I know!!), and the familiarities.  Most every street and building holds some type of memory and I love that feeling.  Even though in recent years, Williston has changed drastically most of the things I love about my hometown have remained.  There is always something going on and someone to visit with.  Someone is always having “a coke (which can mean any type of “pop” or soda)” or coffee and treat.

Therefore, “going home to Williston” is always something I look forward to.  It’s a very safe, secure, encouraging and loving place for me.  Most everyone has known my story since an early age and watched the journey – the “get” me.  This chaotic, confused, sarcastic, goofy ME.

Back to the story…..we road tripped to Williston and stayed at the Waitman’s.  Natalie and kids were to arrive the next day and my Dad’s family auction was the next day – on the 28th of May.  For me, it was a mini-family reunion with my Dad’s family.  I got to meet little cousins that I had never met before.  The auction itself was a very bizarre feeling.  I had always known it would happen, but it was very bizarre that most of my grandparents earthly possessions held no memories/meaning for most of us kids.  They were avid auction-goers – so most of their belongings were from auctions around the area and kept in their original form – boxes full of random “stuff” aka antiques.

The auction itself was a fun and new experience.  It was crazy (and disheartening) that most of the items went for far beyond their value.  Going into the auction – most of the family members didn’t have anything particular that they were looking to bid on, but as the auction started numbers were snagged and my sisters (and Dad and Kim) – as well as other cousins, aunts, uncles – ended up snagging a fairly large pile of loot.  Surprisingly, we even snagged a few pieces the held memories for us!  I grabbed my grandparents dishes that they used at the farm and bowls that I vividly remembering eating Cheerios out of!

During the auction, Natalie’s diaper bag/purse was stolen.  Gone.  There was a scurry of activity as word spread.  That bag held her life while she was on vacation with her kids in ND.  Without the contents she would be in a world of hurt for the rest of her trip.  Police were called, a report was filed, but then the bag mysteriously appeared.  Everything was in the bag except for Holton’s toy bag – full of 50+ cars from Cars the movie.  One disappointed and sad three year old little guy – why would someone do that?  The whole incident made no sense.  It was a very rough start to our family time in North Dakota.

The last few days of May we spent visiting friends, hanging out at the Waitman’s, and  visiting the farms….

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The next big event while we were all in North Dakota happened to be on June 2.  My 30th birhday….

To be continued.