I Want to Travel With You

The story I'm about to tell goes back. Back about 2 years. 

Back when I was in a beautiful dress. Donning pearls and a ruby that belonged to my Great Grandmother. 

I had read a letter from my betrothed. It said so many sweet and loving things. Mentioned things we were dreaming of doing and places we would like to go-with one another by our sides.

I had shared with Jerrel I would like to visit all 50 states. He took that nugget of information, tucked it away, and saved it for our wedding day. 

I opened a beautiful map of this United States and green little pins. He thought framing could be a project we work on together. We could pick out the frame and place to hang this piece of art in our new home. This is quite possibly the most thoughtful gift he has gotten me. It always makes my heart sing when I think of the words written in that letter and the thought that went into this gift.

But since that wedding day I'm sad to say that map sat rolled up, in a closet, until recently. I wasn't sure how to go about making it usable for the pins. I wasn't sure what kind of frame I wanted. I just wanted to do it right. But then I realized we had a frame the map would fit in. I had been using it for another piece of art that needed changed out. So then I had to figure out what to do with the map. It was time. 

I bought a roll of cork. I got my Mod Podge out. I took a deep breath and I dove in. I'm not sure why but lining the map edge and cork edge up was the hardest part. I saw some similar tutorials that suggested spray adhesive was a better choice than Mod Podge. But Mod Podge has always been faithful to me. It's never done me wrong. So I trusted it and went along. I spread about 3 inches at a time. Carefully rolling my map out as I went along. Using my hands and the edge of a credit card to work out bubbles.

Then using books to weight it down. Finally when I came to the end I took a deep breath. I did a thin coat of Mod Podge over the entire map then and called it done....for now.

It wasn't perfect. It had some "character." But it looked good. It looked a heckofalot better than it did rolled up in a closet.

Later I came back with another scary task. Trimming. I had my frame measurements. I didn't want to loose my latitude and longitude so I trimmed just a hair off each side and tried my frame, if it wasn't right I trimmed a little more until finally it fit-like a glove.

I used a large piece of cardboard as a backing. Because of how my map fit I only needed the cardboard for stability-since my cork was thin and for the pins to stick into-again because my cork was thin. I cut the cardboard the size of the frame opening as well and hot glued my cardboard to the back of the map.

Tips From Experience
-Use thicker cork
-Find a Brush that doesn't shed
-Spray Adhesive- if that's more comfortable for you.

I hunted around the house and decided our bedroom was the best place for this map.

It looks fabulous. Jerrel was so thrilled with having it up and ready to enjoy. We took a couple minutes to place some all important pins.

Please excuse the blur in the middle of this picture. Someone little got my camera and placed a few scratches....

Our criterion for pin placement is based on "experience" We have to feel as though we have experienced the place we visited, learned something, did something unique. We have to have a general feel for the area. 

Example: Just because we drove through Chicago, doesn't mean it gets a pin. We also slept in De Moins on our way home in a Holiday Inn. It doesn't get a pin. I know nothing of De Moins from our stay. 

Our pinning has been slow since we were hitched. But now the map is up. The baby can travel and we are getting brave. Our latest travel bug is mostly in NE-we want to get to know our state!

Look our world! Here's to buying experiences-not things.

Well, maybe a couple things. Girls' gotta get some souvenirs, right?



Dining Alfresco

A couple weeks ago I was weeding a flower bed. My husband was being dreamy and cooking supper. The little girl was mingling between the two of us, helping one then needing to find the other. It going to be a lovely evening, I could tell. 

Then things got even lovelier. My dreamy husband asked if we wanted to eat outside. I said yes. We had an extra table in the basement we could use. He hustled in and hauled the cast of characters out. And when I looked up from my weeds, this is what I saw. 

I mean seriously? Could this GET anymore adorable? My girl in a denim dress, vintage chairs, vintage table, delicious food. Some people travel hours on a plane to get to paradise. Mine? Well mine was right in my front yard in the warm sun.

Tortas were on the menu that night. We didn't see a need for plates. We just sat down a dug in.

If you have never had tortas you are missing out. You start with a grilled corn tortilla, smear some mayo on there (weird, I know), add shredded meat (ask Jerrel whats in that), top with onion, avocado, tomato, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. 


Then eat it like this.

Or steal your Momma's and eat it like this. 

We dined in the warm sunshine. We chatted long after the food was devoured while the dog and baby ran around the yard. When the warmth from the sun was gone, we carried our mess inside, vowing to dine alfresco more often. The more we can do out in Creation-the better.



Memorial Day Weekend

I've got some serious catching up to do. For most of the winter it didn't seem like much was happening. Then May came and it seemed like everything was happening. I've decided to make a concerted effort to get caught up, because I've got content! Yippie! 

So lets rewind to our Anniversary. When we got married Jerrel and I came to the mutual agreement that we would follow the "Traditional" guidelines for anniversary gifts. Year one is paper, year two is cotton, year three is leather. We thought this would help us figure out what to give. I am such a free spirit apparently, that this guideline actually restrains me. I spend time obsessing and trying to be creative in the confines of the guidelines. This year, on May 20th at 11:45 p.m. my idea dawned on me. Literally, like a lightbulb. I ran with it and never looked back.  

It's ironic I bought this for him. I throw candy away, I scoop his ice cream for him. I pack multiple vegetables in his lunches. Yet I buy him the Cotton Candy machine? I have one of these in my home? With my child? It's love people-it makes you do silly things. 

I'm accepting my "Wife of the Year" award next week. 

Jerrel bought me a beautiful hammock. We use it as a family all the time and took it camping. It's awesome! He's getting his "Husband of the Year" award next week too. 

We headed to the big city for Memorial weekend, my cousin graduated high school. We decided to break the trip into two days and headed to Ktown to stay with my Grandparents for the night.

To fully secure my husbands dentist bills and diabetes I treated him to frozen yogurt at Topperz once we arrived in Ktown. Happy Anniversary!

After seeing our dishes of yogurt though, I'm not sure who has the bigger sweet tooth. 

We of course had our little sugar babe with us to celebrate. While we didn't know her two years prior we were praying for her. And He answered us, soon! Perfectly soon. 

After a lovely evening with my Grandparents we got up and headed east again. We had supper, dessert, and good company. We were so happy to celebrate with Maddie!

The next day we went to another reception of Maddie's at her church. Again, good food was had by all.

Per usual Uncle Ev acted a fool. But that's why we keep him around. 

Millie and her BFF Kenzie went down the slide.

Uncle Aaron showed off his swinging skills and Jerrel pushed the merry-go-round so fast a stranger's kid fell off. With this crowd though you need to remember, "If you are gonna play rough, you gotta get tough." (Thanks Sandy for the family motto.) Jerrel put on his nurses hat and asked if he was ok-he was. We avoided the 8 year old and his mother for the rest of the party. 

Finally we ended the weekend with a walk around Haymarket. I hadn't been down there for years. So we walked around a bit before we had to pile back into the car. 

We also sat and watched traffic. For we don't have that kind of stuff where we call home. A wonderful way to spend our Anniversary, a wonderful way to spend a weekend-with family.