Friday, February 3, 2012

What I Made: The Christmas Edition

Remember that epic WIMM I promised with all of the things that I made for Christmas?  Well here it is y'all!  It might be February and it might not be a Monday, but regardless, y'all should be excited!
Of course there are a few things that I forgot to take pictures of, but I remembered most of them.  Below each picture is a link to the tutorial/inspiration that I used (though I did modify bits here and there).  So without further ado...

some of Bennet's presents
Inspiration from SanctusStitches esty shop

Little additions to some gifts
Bird tutorial from Stephanie Lynn.  Packaging designed by me!  
(If you're interested let me know and I might put together a little tutorial for the packaging)

Koozies for Daddy, D'Daddy, Clay, and Uncle Barrett
I did the tutorial for these a while back!

I made two of these wreaths for Memommy and Aunt Nancy.
Inspiration from Two Junk Chix

A tiled map of Germany for Daddy.  
Each time I've been to Europe, Daddy has put up a map in the living room and documented where all I have been.  Since this map was going to be up for a while, for Mama's sake, I thought he needed one that was actually somewhat pretty.
I didn't think to take pictures of the steps, but again, if you're interested let me know and I can put together a tutorial (though it will be sans photos).

Some ornaments for the iron tree I got Mama and Daddy.  
Inspiration from BowerPower

Mine and Bennet's present for his Mama and Daddy.  
While we were still in Texas (and it was warm outside) I painted the canvas red and taped off the word family then let him go to town.  
Then I peeled off the tape and stuck it in a frame!  This is really a 'what Bennet made'.  
Inspiration from Baby Blackbird

Mama's wreath (and the bane of my existence for about a week)
Tutorial from Stephanie Lynn

A sign for Mama and Daddy.
Tutorial from The Handmade Home

This one wasn't a gift per say, but Daddy saw it on Pinterest and I thought that it would be easy enough to make so I cranked it out once I got home!

I also made a different wreath for Mrs. Kathy (which I forgot to take a picture of) and I made some Scrabble tile coasters for Aunt Judy (which I also forgot to take pictures of).  

And that, my friends, is how you do Christmas on a budget!
Granted the frames cost a bit, but they were 50% off at Hobby Lobby, so even those were pretty reasonable!  I did use the pipe insulation trick (which I can't seem to find the link for at the moment) for all the wreaths and it worked like a charm.  I used brown packing paper from the dollar store to wrap most of them, and then used some twine I had as ribbon.  I made the gift tags from the dictionary that I used for the birds and the rolled flower wreath which I got at Goodwill for $1.  

brown paper packages tied up with string
My rule... It's okay to be cheap when you can still make it classy. 
Luckily, my family was extremely understanding of the fact that I no longer earn a big girl paycheck, so they at least acted like my handmade Christmas presents were acceptable.  
Thank you family!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Year's Resolutions and A Face Lift

Has it really been a month since I posted last?!  What a slacker I've been!!  My only excuse is that life has been sehr exciting this last month and I just haven't quite been able to put that excitement into words, yet.  That and there is the fact that I usually spend 2 hours of my day on a train... That tends to eat up a lot of time.  

I have started to blog about New Year’s resolutions a couple of times, but time always seems to get away from me.  Looking back, I'm pretty proud of how many of last year's I actually accomplished.  

Let the kids do their own projects (CHECK)
Have at least 2 projects advance from region (CHECK)
Have kids make it to nationals (CHECK)
Spend more time with my friends and family and less with folks in the 11-14 age range. (CHECK)
Run more, Enter races, Be competitive  (well.. oops..)
Lose 20 (10 counts right?!)
Move locations, Change jobs  (HUGE CHECK!)

I am really glad I have that list on here to look back on, so I am going to put this year’s up as well.  Better late than never, right?  Ironically enough, I’ve already fallen short on number 1, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it..

Blog more.
 Eat more whole foods and less processed crap.
Learn German.
Write more letters, thank you notes, emails, etc to the folks back home.
Find time to create.
Learn something new every day.


On a completely unrelated topic, do y’all like the blogs new look?*  I’m pretty pleased, but I am still tweaking things here and there.  For one who considers herself pretty html-illiterate, I was so freaking proud that I figured out how to make the buttons over there on the side!  

*Please note that the only acceptable answers to this question is ‘Yes!’ or ‘It looks like God himself designed it.’ If you don't like it, you probably just shouldn't respond.. just being honest.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Have you seen the new Jimmy Kimmel challenge video yet?  Its similar to his Halloween challenge which was funny all though the children were bratty.  However in my opinion, the results of this one were much, MUCH more disturbing.  (Except I do love the kids at time marker 1:40.. they're funny.)

What is happening?!  When did Christmas become just about presents (or only good presents)? 

I have seen lots of folks posting about embracing a 4 gift rule for their kids.  

L.O.V.E. it!  Granted I don't have kids, yet.  However, when I do.. this blog post will be here waiting for me as a reminder of WHY this is a good idea!  Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Lord, not about getting every single one of the 50 items on your wish list.  Its about giving to others (as God gave Jesus to the world), not about receiving.    

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Not-So-Brief Update on Life in Germany

I have now been here 2 weeks.  In that two weeks time, we have kind of just been camping in the house because all of the furniture was still being shipped, but alas.. it has arrived!  I have a bed!!  After two weeks sleeping on an air mattress, I seriously don’t think I have ever appreciated a bed more!  While there are still boxes everywhere, it is beginning to feel more like home.  I am so appreciative that I was able to spend time with them in Texas so that their furniture is familiar enough to make me feel that way!

These two weeks have certainly had their times of frustration and home sickness, but there have also been lots of times of joy.  Lets start with the frustrations so that we can end on a positive note!  If you don’t want to hear about the negatives just skip the next four points…

Its frustrating that I have to have someone to communicate for me.  While I know some German, I don’t know enough.  My language classes started last week, and I am slowly seeing some improvement at least in my understanding. 

My credit and debit cards aren’t accepted here.  UGH!!  I hate dealing in cash.  It makes me nervous to have that much cash on me.  I currently don’t have access to all the money I saved for this year.  We have been working on getting me a bank account, but since I don’t have my visa yet (I’ve applied but it takes 4-5 weeks for processing), the banks can’t give me an account. 

Its frustrating that my mobility is limited to where the s-bahn and u-bahn goes.  I will eventually be able to drive, but we haven’t really had time for me to practice yet.  I am pretty intimidated by driving here, but my frustration with how not driving would limit my mobility is soon going to be enough to get me over that fear. 

Its frustrating that I don’t have a set schedule/routine.  No one is a fault in this and I know that Mareike wants a set schedule just as much as I do, but it is going to take time for her to build her client base and start to have routine in her workload.  I understand that and I’m flexible, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. 

Now onto the joys!  I am grateful…

when I understand a conversation that is being held in German.

for Christmas Markets

when Dooley makes Bennet laugh and smile.

for Bennet.

for Dooley.

for the walk that Dooley and I take most days.  We are pretty far out in the country and there is a dirt road that leads all the way into Maisach (the next town). 

that I have been able to meet folks that speak English so that I can at least have a social life before I learn German.   I have met a group of non-competitive runners that go on runs and then just spend time socializing.  I went on a run with them last Friday and am going down to Innsbruck with them this weekend for a run!

that I have found an english speaking Methodist church with a very international congregation that I think I will learn a lot from. 

for the peace in the unknown that the Lord has placed on my heart.  If you had told me a couple years ago that I would be okay with the fact that I don’t really have a plan for what is next, I would have called you a liar.  I am definitely searching and seeking, but I am very much trying to do this through God.  I feel as though its God’s will that I am here, so I am trying to be open and let Him use me where I am needed here. 

for technology that allows me to see and speak to my parents daily.  No, its not the same as being able to pick up the phone whenever I’d like, but it helps the homesickness a bit. 

for AthensChurch podcasts.  They make my train rides enjoyable and a good use of time.  I encourage each and every one of you reading this to go listen to Parts 1 and 2 of the Be Rich series.  You will be so glad that you did!!  I just finished the Game Plan and the Be Rich series.  In my search for what is next the fact that the Be Rich series so closely relates to what I’ve been feeling in my heart for a while now, I think I have my answer.  Now to see how God’s will will manifest itself…

Well my dears, that is all for now.  My regular blogging might be a bit spotty for a bit, but I promise to keep you updates with my adventures—which, granted, might just be my ramblings about walking my dog in cold weather and 15 month old boys, but there you have it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Here!

Next time I take a break from blogging, I promise I will give y'all more of a warning.  I have spent the last couple weeks making my way back to Georgia and spending some much needed time with my family!

I got to make a trip to Athens and get my hair done at my favorite place.  I got to go to the movies with my folks.  I got to go to Youth Assembly and hang out with some of my Y-Club favorites.  I got to see my absolute favorites because they are awesome and came to Atlanta to meet me.  I got to see all my aunts and family.  I got to give all my Christmas presents (and get a bunch!).  I got to hike.

It was awesome!

On Monday, we packed up all of my stuff and Dooley and I got on the plane.  We got here early Tuesday morning sleep deprived and cold, but other than that things went very smoothly.  The Little Man loves adores Dooley though I do still have to hold Dooley when she is around him because she is nuts a little excited.  Dooley is adjusting.  I think she is still trying to figure out where she is and why Mama and Daddy aren't here.  She gets really excited when she sees Stefan, Mareike, or Little Man, so for the most part I'm just keeping her in my room.  The road we live on dead ends into a field but there is a little dirt road that continues for a good long ways, so we have been taking walks down it.  
Our yard is also fenced in so she can be out there without the leash and get to run which is exciting for her.  

Yesterday we registered me with the village and today I had a meeting with the folks about my work visa--so I'm legal.  =D  I also have my phone all set up!  My number is 01145 176 9984 7580.  It is free for me if you call me, but I have no idea how much it will cost for you.. sorry!

In terms of the house, it is really nice.  Very modern and sleek.  My room is on the floor with the rest of the family's bedrooms, but my bathroom is down one level.  I have a HUGE bath tub which is SO exciting because I didn't think that I was going to have one at all!  All of our furniture is still making its way over, so we are all sleeping on air mattresses and sitting and eating on furniture that Stefan's family brought over for us!  I got all my stuff unpacked today and we found a shelving unit down in the basement that I put together (all by myself!!) so I have everything organized on that for the time being.  Thankfully all the stuff I sent with the air freight made it safe and sound so I have all my jackets and sweaters which I need because its HELLA COLD!  Its not below freezing yet, but its getting there.  

We won't have internet until next Monday at the soonest, so my blogging is going to be limited to our trips to McDonalds (barf).  I promise I will be back on track with my blogging once we actually have internet!  


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why Wednesday Didn't Happen + TILT

I'm obviously just pretending yesterday didn't exist so that I don't have to post about German.  I have actually fired up Rosetta Stone this past week, but I am completely, totally overwhelmed with it right now.. So I really just don't want to talk about it.  There for.. Wednesday just didn't happen.  On to happier things...

This video... Made. My. Day.

As did this one...

I just finished this book.  AMAZING.  Head over to her website to learn more!

I'm currently obsessing over these doggy products.  This and that.

Hulu is so bad for me.  I don't need a new show or two...

That's all for this week.. As usual, I'm linking up with Kelly over at You, Me, and the Deep Blue Sea