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Happy Easter!

April 22, 2011

Hello, Friends!

I hope you all have a wonderfully Happy Easter! 

We are off celebrating with our families. 

This weekend is sure to be filled with lots of laughter, good food, egg decorating, basket-hunting and (hopefully) plenty of black jellybeans (my favorite!).

I’ll be back on Monday with all kinds of pictures and stories!

XO,

Vicki

Lovely picture found (here).

52Photos//Open

April 21, 2011

Hi Friends!

I loved this weeks’ 52Photos prompt, “Open.”  I immediately thought of an open book.  I know I’ve written plenty about my love of reading here on the blog.  The truth is, I can’t imagine my life without books.  I have been a reader my entire life.  Books have taken me places I would never gone and helped me meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise.  I have learned about different cultures and religions and customs.  Books have kept me company when I’ve been lonely and made me laugh when I was sad.  Reading is definitely my favorite simple pastime.  And I couldn’t be happier that I’ve passed on my love of reading to all three of my kids.  I love that they, too, will have a lifetime of book joy.

XO,

Vicki

54 Eggs + Sparkles + A Little ModPodge =Easter Magic

April 20, 2011

Hi Friends!

Have I mentioned how excited I am about this weekend?!?  Christy’s fiance, Michael, is hosting the big celebration on Easter–I can’t wait!  Before that, we’ll celebrate with John’s family on Friday and then head to Tom and Tommy’s on Saturday for the big Easter Egg Decorating Extravaganza.  We had so much fun decorating eggs together last year, that we’ve decided it’s going to be an annual tradition.  This year I’m bringing 54 hard-boiled eggs down, though, because clearly, 36 was not enough last year.  : ) 

Last year we made all kinds of chicks and birds.  This year, I’m going to switch things up a bit–a little more artsy and a little less farm animal.  I love these delicate beauties:

And who wouldn’t love a little sparkle on their eggs:

Fun, right?

But then I spied this little guy and he kind of stole my heart:

We just might have to make a little heard of sheep, too.

I don’t know who is more excited for the decorating party–the kids or the adults?  I can’t wait!!

What are you doing with your eggs this year?

Happy decorating!

XO,

Vicki

All but the glitter eggs came from Martha (of course!).  The glitter eggs were from (here).

Scenes from the Rally

April 19, 2011

Stranger in a Strange Land.
That’s how I felt at Saturday’s Tea Party Rally in Madison.
What struck me the most was not the speeches, or the musical entertainment, or the stories, or even Sarah Palin.
What struck me the most was the passion.
The passion of those who support the Tea Party.
The passion of those who were there to demonstrate against the Tea Party.
The cheering and jeering. 
The applause and the drums and the cowbells and the chanting.
Our greatest freedom as Americans is that we get to freely and passionately speak our minds.
And believe me, all kinds of people were freely and passionately speaking their minds on Saturday.
I believe that an informed voter should understand all sides.
An informed voter should listen to the opposition.
So I went and listened.
I listened to the 14-year-old girl who talked about the importance of paying off America’s debts.
And I listened to the small business owners who shared their stories of standing up to “union thugs.”
I even listened to Sarah Palin.
And all the while (every single moment of the rally) I listened to protestors chanting and yelling.
And I thought, once again, that only in America could these two things be going on simultaneously.
I wondered about those protestors.
About their passion.
About what they were hoping to accomplish with all that yelling and shouting and jeering.
The rally went on just as planned, despite their best efforts.
But then I thought, maybe, just maybe, all they really wanted was a chance to publicly say, “I don’t agree with this.”
And they had every right to say it*.
Just like the Tea Party members had a right to stand on the state’s Capitol steps and talk about their agenda.
Because this is America.
Land of the Free.

XO,

Vicki

*Except during the Star Spangled Banner.  I hated that the protestors shouted through the singing of our National Anthem.

I Heart Magnets (especially handmade ones!)

April 18, 2011

Hi Friends!

I have to confess:  I have a wee little obsession with magnets.  My fridge is covered with them.  I love to buy a magnet from each of the different cities I visit.  They always make me grin.  A couple of weeks ago I saw an easy tutorial on  How About Orange about making your own super-glossy magnets.  It was love at first sight.  I couldn’t get those little cuties out of my mind.  So Emily and I headed out to Joann to stock up on wooden disks, a pack of magnets and a bottle of Mod Podge Dimensional Glue.  Then I invited a couple of crafty gals on over to make some magnet fun.  I may or may not have gotten a little bit out of control with this craft.  Needless-to-say, I made a whole big bunch of magnets.  The magnets above were made with rub-ons.  The ones below were made with vintage maps:

My friend, Jess, made this cute Vegas magnet:

I plan on giving this set to Jack’s teacher at the end of the year:

This project is completely simple.  I think the hardest part was finding where they kept the Dimensional Glue at Joanne.  The directions on the bottle tell you not to shake it before you use it.  If you do, you will end up with air bubbles (I think you can see an example of this above). If you glue your picture onto the wooden disk, make sure to let it dry completely before you cover it with the dimensional glue.  I found it helpful to hot glue the magnet onto the back of the disk before I started on the decorating part.  That way you have something to hold onto when you’re adding the dimensional glue.    Even after covering every possible wooden circle I could find, I still had plenty of glue left over for future projects.

Happy Crafting!

XO,

Vicki

I’m linking up with Heather again this week at Life Made Lovely!

Late to the Party!

April 16, 2011

Hello, Friends!

How is it that I am the last person on earth to discover Mindy Gledhill and her beautiful voice?  Have you heard her Anchor CD?  Why, it is simply lovely.  Truly.  I bought it last week and I can’t get enough of it.  Every song is meaningful and Mindy’s voice is nothing short of angelic. 

The title song, Anchor, literally makes my heart squeeze.  It completely captures how I feel about John.

“When all the world is spinning ‘round
Like a red balloon way up in the clouds
And my feet will not stay on the ground
You anchor me back down.”

Oh, and Hourglass?   It makes me want to weep.  I’m pretty sure it was written for her son, but I can’t help thinking about my own children who keep insisting on growing up.

“Little boy, when you speak
I can’t help but kiss your cheeks
I love the way you grab my hands
And tell me all about your plans

Rocket high, comets fly
You and I could take a ride
And fly away to Neverland
And give our best to Peter Pan

When you reach for the stars
Don’t forget who you are
And please don’t turn around and grow up way too fast
See the sand in my grasp
From the first to the last
Every grain becomes a memory of the past
Oh, life’s an hourglass
Life’s an hourglass

Story’s read, prayer is said
Close your eyes sleepyhead
While angels linger in your dreams
And hold you in their feathered wings
Just like you, I was small
Not that long ago at all.”

 Oh, friends!  You need to check out this album.  It’s not too late:  you can join the party, too!

XO,

Vicki

Picture found on Mindy’s fabulous blog.

Favorite Memories Friday//Honeymoon in Jamaica

April 15, 2011

Hello, Friends!

As hard as it is to believe, it’s almost been 20 years since our *magical* honeymoon in Jamaica.  John and I spent our first week as man and wife at Sandal’s Dunn’s River, where they catered to our every whim and fancy.  We played in the clear blue/green ocean, competed in hokey newlywed games, and sat under the star-filled sky and talked about our dreams for our future.

One night we boarded a charter boat and went snorkeling.  Before we jumped overboard, our guide asked if we wanted life jackets or not.  I wasn’t sure, so I consulted with John who assured me that I was a strong swimmer and didn’t need a life jacket.   For future reference, when someone offers you a life jacket, go ahead and take it.  Those waters were super choppy.  Oh, and FYI, coral is not a good place to perch on for a quick rest while you catch your breath.  On the plus side, look how cute our underwater picture looks!  We managed to smile and everything! : )

And the food!  Oy!  We ate and ate and ate!  What I remember most was all the fresh fruit–all you cared to eat at every single meal.  Yum!

I’m so glad I have a picture from toga night!  I doubt I will ever get John to wear a pink toga again.

One of the highlights of the whole week was climbing the waterfall.  It was slippery and scary and deliciously-fun all at the same time.

I also loved waterskiing.  I had never managed to get up on waterskis before our honeymoon, but I had the world’s best instructors who guaranteed that I would be skiing in no time.  After a few quick lessons in the boat, I got up the very first time!  You know what else was great?  The couple’s massage the day after I waterskied for the first time.  I’m pretty sure that was the best massage I’ve ever received.  My lady spoke no English, but she managed to find every single sore spot on my body! 

John and I also played golf together for the first time on our honeymoon.  Did you know they make left-handed clubs?  Well I didn’t.  By the time I completed the 6 miles necessary to get to the golf course, go back and swap out my clubs and then trek back to the course, I had sort of lost my enthusiasm for playing golf.  But I played anyway, because, you know, it was our honeymoon and all.  : ) 

My memories of Jamaica are warm and wonderful.  I think about them when I smell coconut, or hear Bob Marley.  It was a beautiful place to start our life together.

XO,

Vicki