Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Anniversary Trip: Part 2

Maine was the highlight!  Maine was the thing we were definitely looking forward to most.  We stayed on Mount Desert Island near Acadia National Park. We had a really nice cabin at a campground to stay in.  It was nicer than some of the hotels we stayed in!

We got in to Maine after dark and then went pretty much straight to bed in anticipation of getting up at 3:30 a.m. to try to see the Sunrise at the top of Cadillac Mountain. If you know me well, you know I am not at all a morning person.  But I got up and we drove to the top of the mountain and attempted to be the first in the continental US to see the sun rise. It was foggy. We saw nothing.  

But we were up so we decided to start exploring Acadia National Park.  Since it was barely 5 a.m. we had the whole place to ourself! We got to see some deer and a fox.  

Our first stop was Sand Beach - it's what it sounds like, a beach with sand.  It was pretty and very different from what we would encounter coming up.

Next up was the area called "Thunder Hole" where the beach is lined with rocks.  It is called Thunder Hole because of this area where the waves crash and make a loud thunderlike sound.  

It has a railed viewing area and we were there at a time when you didn't get soaked!

This is what the coast line looked like.  We spent hours climbing and hiking these rocks!

We continued around the National Park and ended up heading to the NorthEast Harbor to see the Bass Head Lighthouse.  

For lunch we hit a local restaurant where Ben (the adventurous one) tried out Lobster Mac n Cheese

And I (the not even remotely adventurous one) stuck with a sandwich and a Blueberry Margarita

The afternoon was spent doing lots of hiking on the rocks.  We pretty much hiked until my feet couldn't take it anymore.  Ben however could go for days...so I did my best :)
He's comfortable sitting on a cliff...

Meanwhile I'm trying not to fall with each step I take :) We had many good laughs on these rocks. Later in the day he took a longer more challenging hike while I went on a Nature Cruise through the Harbor.

I told Ben I wanted to see a Bald Eagle and Seals - well the cruise took care of that for me!  Right in the center of this picture was a bald eagle.

Blurry - but he was there! Very cool!

And then we went out to this island with a neat lighthouse and the island was full of seals!

It was a great cruise! I learned a ton about the island's history and the lobster industry in addition to the wildlife.

After dinner we decided to venture back up Cadillac Mountain and try to catch the sunset.
Choosing the second longest day of the year for sunrise or sunset, probably not the best move you can make.  At least we didn't have four kids with us wanting to leave!

We ended up calling it a day around 10:30 pm that night - it was a long, exhilirating day!
The next morning we caught a few more parts of the park.  We had focused a lot on the outer shores and wanted to see more of the inside.

Jordan Pond was stunning, I wish we would have had more time there!

The water was the clearest freshwater I have ever seen - stunnning!

This was right before it started to rain and was our cue to pack up and get on to the next adventure.  I'll be back with the last part of our trip on Thursday!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Anniversary Trip: Part 1

My husband and I just celebrated our 15th Anniversary and took a week-long trip together around the Northeast.  Ben had never been to most of the Northeast and although I had visited much of it, I was definitely up for doing it together! Why our 15th Anniversary? Because for once I wasn't pregnant!  And it also happened to correlate with my husband's 10th Year of Pastoral Ministry Anniversary. We set out early after having donuts with the kiddos.  I thought it would be fun to share the vacation in some blog posts.  
I have some seriously crazy hair going on!  Needless to say I was excited but also nervous as we've never left the kids for so long before!

My mom flew out from California to care for them so they were definitely in capable hands!

Our first long stop was Niagara Falls. We visited there for our 3rd Anniversary so this was just a quick stop since we were close by!

It was just as beautiful and grand as we remembered it!  Looking forward to taking the kids here someday in the future!

The next day we drove thru the Adirondacks and headed to Vermont.  This was a beautiful drive and unlike any other mountains we have driven thru before.
I grew up camping regularly near lakes and rocky rivers - so if I see a rocky river I have to explore.  We found this one and parked the car and made our way down - you can't tell from the picture but he is actually nearly in the middle of the river.  Rocks and water are a happy combination for us :)

Towards the end of this drive we stumbled onto a big river, bigger than anything we'd seen on the drive!  Turns out it was the Hudson River!  Beautiful and we were definitely excited to find that!

Maybe someone from the area can explain why the water had sort of a rust hue to it.  Every freshwater area we encountered was that was way throughout the NorthEast.  It was new to us! This picture of the Rust Colored Bridge over the Hudson reminded me of it!

We finished the day off in Burlington, Vermont.  We spent some time walking the shops on Church Street and watching street performers.  We grabbed sandwiches for dinner and headed to the coastline for Lake Champlain.  It was a cloudy day but still had a beautiful sunset!

The next morning we started off towards Boston!

Vermont's Green Mountains were totally different from the Adirondacks.  Green, green, so very green.  It was once again, unlike anything we'd ever seen.  We made a quick stop at the King Arthur Flour Shop and Cafe.  My hubby loves to make bread and other carbs, so when he saw we'd be in the area he wanted to stop in there.  It was a unique stop and full of yummy goodies for breakfast for us!

We had planned to spend a few hours in Boston but the weather was rough.  Ben bought us ponchos and we had an umbrella but the Freedom Trail still seemed a little nuts to me.  We managed to find FREE parking a block from Fenway.  So with a poncho on Ben and me under an umbrella we parked and walked the area around Fenway.

The rain even took a little break!  

While walking we stumbled onto a little restaurant in the wall of Center Field called the "Bleacher Bar." So we of course had to stop in and have some food and get as close to Fenway as we possibly could :)

Very thrilling for the baseball loving hubby!

I'm going to wrap there for today and will be sharing more of the trip in upcoming days!

Favorite SRM Projects & Big Announcement!

Last year one of my biggest dreams in the scrapbooking industry came true!  I got an email saying I had been chosen to be on the SRM Stickers team.  I have nearly wrapped up that year with them and have loved every minute of it!  But....here's the exciting news...I am joining them for another year on the design team!  They have put together a reunion team of sorts - all gals who have been on the team before and I am thrilled to be amongst them!  

As the year wraps up I thought I'd share some of my favorites that I created in year one! If you want to see more detail on the project - click on the linked title and it will take you to the original blog post!
This was probably my favorite creation of the year!  I used SRM clear tubes, twine, stickers, and punched pieces to create these little Snowman Candy Holders!

This pocket page was published in PaperCrafts Magazine's very last special edition and makes use of those fabulous Sticker Stitches.

A Lucky Banner using the fun new gold and green doilies from SRM Stickers.

Home State Decor piece making use of SRM's fabulous vinyl!

This Disney Princess layout was a very recent creation but I absolutely love it!

A Simple Christmas Card using SRM's doilies to create a different tree!

A Star Calendar using the calendar stickers.

Metallic Thank You Card using the Fancy Sentiments and silver Doily.

As you can see SRM Stickers carries way more than stickers - there's doilies, vinyl, stamps, containers, and even more with the new releases!  If you haven't been able to check them out lately - their store is here and is full of all kinds of fun products!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Make Your Own Patterned Paper!

I absolutely love the Sticker Stitches from SRM Stickers and today I am going to show you how I used them to make my own patterned paper.
This layout doesn't use any patterned paper at all!  That is kind of incredible in this industry!  But sticker stitches helped me create a fun and whimsical background!

To start with I created scribbles with gelatos - one color for each of my kids.  I then topped each one with a star that I made from the Sticker Stitches.

Each kiddo got a different stitch for their star- it was fun to watch how they turned out with different stitches.  If you want to make stars like this you will want 2 sheets of the Sticker Stitches - because it takes about 1 1/2 stitch to make each one. I also added in some die cut solid black stars to play up the star feature even more.

I added in various sticker stitches into my margins outside of the picture area.  I cut them to be different sizes and didn't worry if they were straight or symmetrical - I just put 'em down!  It made for a super cool and one of a kind background!

And if you don't want to mess with the stickers - guess what!?! SRM has just released Clear Stamp Stamped Stitches now too!  They will be awesome and allow you to make a project like this just as easily!

Supplies Used:
Stickers: SRM Stickers
Enamel Dots: Recollections
Gelatos: Faber Castell

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

15th Anniversary Layout & Reflection

Today my hubby and I are celebrating our 15th Anniversary!
 In 15 years we have been through a lot together - we have had 5 different homes, I supported him while he went to Seminary, we've been blessed with 4 amazing children, we've lost an unborn baby and family members; we've seen some highs and lows! I thought it would be fun to create a layout about 15 things we've learned in 15 years of marriage - sort of a list of things that make us work!  We worked through it together and today I am going to share it with you - in layout form of course! It was fun to reflect on what makes us work and I'd encourage you to do the same with your spouse!  As this posts we are on a trip together to celebrate our anniversary - we've been going all over New England and exploring together! 
Spoiler Alert: New England layouts coming soon :).

It's kind of a funky and fun layout - a little out of my ordinary comfort zone.  But if you know me, I don't usually have this much journaling either!  So here's the list we came up with:

  1. Make the choice to love your spouse every day - you won't always feel like it. 
  2. Pray for each other.
  3. Support each others interests (Ben has always been supportive of my scrapbooking because he knows it makes me happy. I support him in his gardening and grilling....seeing each other happy is so important)
  4. Compliment each other on a regular basis
  5. Go out on regular dates together (we try to do this at least once a month, often more!).
  6. Fight fair - don't say things just to be mean (this can be a hard one - I have definitely learned over the years to think before I speak).
  7. Be completely honest about money (no secrets here - we talk about it all!).
  8. God, spouse, kid...don't mix the order up (if this order gets messed up then we always see consequences).
  9. Spoil each other every once in awhile (I love to make him his favorite meals, he brings me flowers, etc...it doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate :))
  10. Show affection and laugh together regularly.
  11. Have some common interests and some separate interests (I scrapbook, he bakes bread - we both have things we love to do that have nothing to do with each other - but we still cheer each other on in doing them).
  12. Attend church together (this is a funny one because he is up front preaching and I am in the back - but the point is we are both there every week. That unifies and strengthens us for the rest of the week.
  13. Think about how your actions/choices affect your spouse (for example, I know a low key Saturday evening is better for Ben before he preaches on Sundays, so I avoid scheduling stuff for myself on Saturday evenings).
  14. Travel together.
  15. Help each other - don't expect one spouse to do all the work. (Ben almost always does the dishes - I take care of all laundry.  We have things split up so neither of us is completely overwhelmed all the time)
So that's our list! What would you add?  Every marriage is different but I think some of these will apply across the board for all marriages!  Thanks for joining me on this reflection!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

You Are MyHappy

Today is my first post as a design team member for JustNick! I am absolutely loving playing with her cutfiles and I know you will too!  As soon as I saw the You Are My Happy Cut File I knew I wanted to use it for a layout and exactly how I wanted to place a picture with it! The titles just look like they are meant to have a picture sit on them!
I used patterned paper and the Brushstrokes cut files to create my background for both the picture and as anchors in others spots on the layout. I love the look of paint but I am not brave enough (or patient enough) yet to add too much of it to my layouts, so this is the perfect solution!
The brushstrokes made a great matte for my picture and also a great base for my title and journaling!
Have you tried out any JustNick files yet?  She's got a ton of trendy things in her store! Make sure to share it with me if you do create something!


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