Friday, November 30, 2012

Ornament Swap

I've never participated in any kind of online ornament swap, but when I saw that Tutus and Tea Parties was hosting one, I decided to give it a go. 

I was paired with Jen who blogs at Grown in Southern Ground. Of course, I procrastinated and was past the deadline sending mine off (I hope that Jen didn't mind too much), but I was super excited with what I received! Here's a picture of what I got:  

I especially love the Scrabble ornament. Anything crafty and unique is right up my alley. It went on the tree immediately after I took a picture of it. Super cute and creative! Jen seemed to like non-traditional and eclectic Christmas themes and colors. Here's what I made for her: 

It's kind of big for an ornament, but it can be hung up for decoration after Christmas. I mod podged scrapbook paper onto a spray painted wooden circle. I then painted the edges and sanded them, adding a few finishing touches with a paint marker. I stapled jute twine to the back and added a cute bow. 

While we did have a $5 limit, I probably only spent about $1.25. I'm glad I am crafty, because I'm super cheap. I included a card but not a cute handmade one like Jen did. I hope she likes it!  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mexico Beach, Florida

Less than a month ago, my family and I took a trip to Mexico Beach, Florida. It was a beautiful and much needed vacation, even though we were only there for two days. It was a bit chilly, but we walked on the beach, fished, shopped, and ate very yummy gulf seafood. Here are some pictures of the beach. 

My hubby, my mom, her neighbor and I all went fishing our first full day there. Mom and I got bored and decided to hit some of the cute shops while the boys were still fishing. We stumbled upon some very cute and creative items. I collected some smaller shells on the beach and plan to make something equally crafty. 

Cotton wreath / Christmas tree made from oyster shells
Driftwood mirror / Driftwood hanging heart
Wooden wall hanging with hooks

Porch at a neighboring home with beaded chandelier

Oranges in the yard - not quite ripe yet, but I can't wait until they are

On our second day there, mom caught two enormous fish

The Hubby

Mom and me on the boat

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Salute to Our Veterans

While I did enjoy being off work yesterday, Veterans Day is more than just a holiday. It is a day of remembrance and celebration - a day we honor those who have bravely served our country. As someone who has been personally affected by deployment, I commend those who have sacrificed so much to leave their loved ones for a long period of time to do their duty and face the dangers of war. 

My mother served in Baghdad, Iraq for 12 months in 2006-2007. She left about two weeks after I got married and was still gone when I found out I was pregnant. Luckily, she was home about three months before my daughter was born. It was incredibly difficult not to have my mom during such an important time in my life. While my hubby was there for me while I was pregnant, he didn't understand why I was being such a hormonal lunatic all the time. 

My mom at her MOB station in Wisconsin. She carried a loaded rifle with her everywhere she went in Iraq. It's hard to imagine my soft-spoken, sweet mother packing heat. 

Mom in Iraq

My little brother also served in Balad, Iraq for about three months. While he wasn't gone as long as my mom, his girlfriend thought it was the end of the world. We all missed him. He came home with a hardcore mustache. We were still proud of him though. 

My little brother just before he left for Iraq with my little munchkin

 My little brother was so proud of the new 'stache he grew when in Iraq. It lasted about 2 weeks when he got home. 

I continue to be so appreciative of the service of our soldiers and military families, especially those so close to me!