Thursday, May 28, 2015

An Elephant For The Graduate!

I can't believe it, but the day has come. Graduation Day! Our middle son, John, is graduating from college this weekend! We're very proud of our John! Not only did he get accepted to the top engineering school in the country, but he also managed to finish in four years. Yea! No senior victory laps for this student!

John is graduating with a degree in software engineering and computer science, with a specialty in genetics.  And just in case you were wondering, the elephant is the mascot of his college, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. Go Fighting Engineers!

Of course, I had to buy this stamp set from Lawn Fawn because of those elephants!

{Today's Brew: Lawn Fawn stamps, Lawn Fawn papers, Lawn Fawn circle die, PTI card stock, square punch for banner ends, Prisma markers}

I had to add a little something to the inside, too!

It's going to be a busy weekend! A good weekend, filled with family, fun and lots of proud moments.

I'm a happy mama!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Saying Our Last Goodbyes

With just two weeks to go until the moving truck arrives, we have been saying our last goodbyes. Visiting our favorite restaurants, shops, markets, and parks one last time.

People often comment "You do this all the time. You must get used to it."

No, you just don't get used to saying goodbye. It's difficult every time.

Tonight we are saying goodbye to Sam's piano teacher, Miss Megan. When we moved into this house with its piano two years ago, we spent a long summer hearing Chopsticks. Over. And over. And over again. Thanks to Miss Megan, Sam quickly expanded his repertoire. He loves music now, thanks in large part to his weekly lessons with Miss Megan.

We're going to pick up some flowers for Miss Megan tonight, and give her a card to tell her how much she meant to us!

{Today's Brew: Thanks scripty die from Lawn Fawn, papers from Lawn Fawn, bridge die from Memory Box, PTI card stock}

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What I've Been Doing This Week

Obsessing over houses.

Obsessing over paint colors for houses.

Gathering items for the moving sale.

Snagging this awesome pair of cowboy boots for a steal!

Trying out a new haircut.

Playing with some new coloring mediums!

Rounding out my collection of ink cubes from Papertrey Ink!

Having fun with Mom, who came to town to see...

...Samuel in his school musical debut, playing the lead Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins!

Watching Samuel on stage, singing and acting like he'd been doing it his whole life!

Hearing Sam sing a duet with his best buddy, Erik...priceless!

It's been a good week! Hope you are having a good one, too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Inspired by Breakfast

Last weekend, I went to the Chicago suburb of Batavia to see the house that my husband had decided to put an offer on. I had dubbed it the Heinz house because of the ketchup and mustard colors inside. But after inspection last Friday, I am now calling it the hot mess house.

There is not a single surface inside and out that will not need attention. Everything needs painting, inside and out. Every light fixture needs replacing. Every window needs replacing, along with new curtains and window treatments.

I am trying hard to look at the positives. It does have a wrap around front porch. The yard is fenced for future dog. It is close to town, and we can walk and bike everywhere. I am looking at this house as a three year experiment in house flipping. And trust me, it will take every bit of three years to finish. It should be done about five minutes before the For Sale sign goes up in the front yard.

This is house offer number four, and it is still anyone's guess if this deal will actually go through as planned. We've been down this road before. We are house weary, and ready for this whole move to be over.

I spent a sleepless night after the house inspection, dreaming of houses with BIG spiders and really sticky webs.

The next morning, we went out to breakfast in Geneva. I sat down, looked at this menu and coffee mug, and told my husband "This makes me happy."

These days. I have to grab happy wherever I can.

I made this card today because I needed another dose of happy.

{Today's Brew: On The Farm stamp set (papertrey ink), card stock and inks (PTI), polka paper and scallop die (lawn fawn), flower punches}

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Happy Birthday, Grossmama!

Happy Birthday, Grossmama!

This is a photo of my grandmother as a young woman. Isn't she beautiful? She was born on May 3rd in 1891.

That's a LONG time ago, my friends.

One hundred and twenty four years, to be exact.

I know what you're thinking. How is that even possible? Well, my mother was the youngest child of her family, born when my grandmother was in her forties. Imagine what a surprise that must have been! And consequently, I, too, am the youngest child of my family, born when my mother was in her mid thirties and surprised to be having another baby after six, count 'em, six children.

Yes, that's right. 1891. Just think of that! This man was president of the United States at the time:

 Benjamin Harrison, from the state of Indiana. 1891, when people were still talking about the Civil War, the assassination of Lincoln, and the reconstruction of the south.

My grandmother was born in a little town in Germany. She married and had babies. She saw Kaisers come and go. During the Weimar Republic, she witnessed firsthand the devaluation of the Deutchmark, when it took a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.

Strange times.

She and her husband packed up their belongings and their babies, sailed an ocean, and came here:

Ellis Island. A new country. A new life. A new adventure.

I am thinking of Grossmama today, not only because it is her 124th birthday, but because of her spirit of adventure. She took a lot of risks in her time, leaving behind the safe and known to start life over in the unknown.

I wish I could ask her a few questions. Were you scared? What did you miss most about home? What was the biggest blessing that came of your great adventure? What did you regret leaving behind? What was the most important thing you carried with you into your new life?

As my family prepares to set sail on this new adventure, I hope that I can pass down my grossmama's legacy of bravery to my children. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Be bold. Try the new thing. Go for that new career. Move to that new city. Hike along the road less traveled. Meet new people. Taste new foods. Embrace the new, but remember the old. This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!

Chart your course and set sail, like Grossmama. Be an adventurer, someone who will be thought of one hundred and twenty four years from now.

That's quite a legacy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day! Simple Stories Life Documented Planner

Welcome to May! But seriously, where did April go? Is it just me and my impending homelessness, or is this spring just flying by? In any case, I thought I'd show you my monthly spread in my Simple Stories Life Documented planner. For the month of May I combined the Simple Stories Life Documented stickers with elements from Simple Stories Homespun collection.

I find this new ritual of monthly planning to be really helpful. Not only is it a creative outlet, but it allows me to center my thoughts and plan for the days ahead.

And the bonus? I get to use all of the pretty stickers that I have a tendency to {cough! cough! ahem!} hoard for that great unknown future project that never happens. You know what I'm talking about, right? Please tell me you can relate!

This adorable bike is going places, just like me! School musicals, concerts, college graduations. So many big events in the days ahead!

I added my bible verse for the month at the top. Just a little reminder as we embark on another day of house hunting. Today feels like a most auspicious day! The sun is shining, the flowers and trees are blooming, the birds are singing and the bunnies are hopping. I'm opening my hands and raising them high to receive all of God's blessings today!

Blessings on your May, cafe friends!