Stop to Smell the Roses

In addition to sorting, packing, planning and teaching, I have been keeping busy with friends. Yesterday, I visited the flower district in LA and participated in other fun pre-wedding festivities with a friend.  I’m thankful for happy distractions because the list of the things that have to get finished before we move out is overwhelming.20160116_100323Thank you for your prayers.  Ryan and I are certainly feeling them.  On one hand staying busy is a wonderful distraction from missing Ryan as well as necessary in order to get things done.  However, it’s nice in the busyness to take some time to stop and smell the roses.

Sleeping under our Reception Quilt!

Well, it only took a year and a half but the quilt is done.  From an idea that my brother, my then fiancé and I came up with.  To choosing and buying fabric, cutting fabric and getting the quilt squares signed at each reception.  Then figuring out the order, size and pattern for the quilt.  Next was a long pause before finally buying the sashing, cutting the sashing and starting to piece together the sashing.

20151203_085749Quilting can be a long process but it’s so worth it:-)

And the last few stages just flew by.  Thank you Mom for coming down and making our quilt go from pieces and memories to a whole quilt that will be cherished for a long time.

It’s beautifully quilted with special words tucked into the sashing and it’s a very light quilt so we’ll be able to use it even in the Australian heat.  But since it’s colder here, we’ve been using it with other blankets underneath.  Nevertheless it is fun to keep rediscovering the decorated squares from our wonderful family and friends.  Thank you everyone who contributed to this sweet memory.  Finally, our wedding reception guestbook quilt is complete!

My Mother: Quilting and a Visit

I love my mother.  We’ve learned how to love each other from far away over these years of travel and living apart.  We don’t have a lot of time together so I look forward to the time we do get.  Today, she is coming for a week to visit.  But this is a visit with a purpose.  My mom has skills and expertise that I am excited to tap into when I get the chance.  This time we’re thankful for her sewing skills and quilting expertise.


Remember our wedding guestbook quilt?  Well, Ryan and I have slowly been working on the building blocks for the quilt top.  And the key word here is slowly.  I borrowed a sewing machine but at this rate, it’s going to be finished by our 3rd anniversary (yes, by 2017).  Since we really don’t want to just take quilt pieces to Australia, my mother generously offered her time and expertise.

I’m looking forward to sewing time, talking time and hang out time with a purpose.  It will be good quality time with my mother and hopefully we’ll see quick progress of our quilt top too.

Our Reception Guestbook Quilt- Sashing Cut

Now, if my math is right (it was way more than triple checked so I certainly hope so) and the cutting accurate (Ryan did the difficult parts because he’s more precise than I am), we are one step closer to finishing the Reception Guestbook Quilt.  I still love this idea and think it was perfect for our situation but I guess I didn’t quite think through the whole, I don’t own a sewing machine or any quilting paraphernalia situation.  Oh and the fact that I’ve never quilted on my own before.  However, thanks (many many thanks) to friends who have let me borrow things and multiple friends who have listened and helped with math and my husband who has patiently helped with the process as much as he can, we’re seeing visible progress.


Currently, we have all the sashing cut with some extra fabric, just in case.  The next step is finding a sewing machine to start putting the squares together.  All but 12 squares get exactly the same treatment so I only have one row to set aside and figure out placement before I get started.  Placement of everything else will come later.  I’m excited to see this taking shape.  It’s fun to have the squares out and remember all the people who celebrated with us.  It will be even better once it is all together and finished!

Happy Father’s Day


I know I posted this picture last father’s day but this moment is certainly worth remembering.  Because they live across the country from each other, our fathers may actually never be in the same room again.  However, they did get to be together when Ryan and I said ‘I do’.  I love this candid shot of us right after the ceremony each greeting our new dad.

Happy Father’s Day to the best dads we’ve ever had:-)

Quilt Progress

Thanks to a couple of friends and internet research, I’ve made some more progress on our wedding guestbook quilt.  It’s amazing to me how much math is involved.  Of course there would be less math if I was using all scraps and didn’t really care about the fabric choices but even in that situation there would still be math involved.  I’m currently figuring out how much fabric I need to buy for the dark blue sashing between the squares.  So I went over to a friends house and we diagramed it out.  We figured out how long and wide the vertical strips needed to be and how long and wide the horizontal steps needed to be.  Then I just multiply that with how many strips I need and I can figure out how much fabric to buy.


I had already made a picture of what the quilt should look like but my friend suggested that I work on making it a bit more to scale and even color it in so I get a better idea of the finished product.  This turned out to be a great idea for figuring out where to place the different colored blocks.  We don’t have enough floor space to lay them all out so I was able to play with patterns in a different format.

Quilt Random

Based on the amount of blue, white and yellow squares, I came up with these two basic options.  The first has a patterned border with yellow, blue, yellow, blue and a couple white corners.  But the other is more random with the yellow sprinkled throughout.  I’m not sure yet which I prefer and I’ll need to get Ryan’s input too before making the final decision.

The next step is to buy the sashing fabric and start cutting the strips.  I’ll need over 300 all together so this will be a process in and of itself.  But I’m happy to see things moving forward.  Maybe I’ll have it done by our second wedding anniversary:-)

They Fell For Each Other

IMG_20150307_144904~2Today Ryan and I got to participate in a wonderful wedding celebration.  Remember Jill’s wedding shower?  Well, one month later and Jill is married to Kevin.

IMG_20150307_165912Today they shared their first dance as a married couple.  Both of them love to dance and they showed off their skills on the dance floor.  It was beautiful and very fun to watch.  Later on they had a limbo contest.  Needless to say, Ryan and I are not very good at the limbo.

IMG_20150307_144830~2Kevin and Jill also shared their first kiss.  Waiting until their wedding day to kiss was important for Kevin and Jill.  I love seeing their commitment to each other expressed in many different ways.  Now they have the rest of their lives to enjoy each other’s kisses.

IMG_20150307_174441Ryan and I had a great time at the wedding, we danced, had our fill of nachos and donuts, visited with friends and had some fun at the photo booth too.  Kevin and Jill fell for each other and we wish them the happiest of ever afters.


1 Year Together

So here is how we celebrated one year married and two years of knowing each other.  Since Ryan and I met on the 21st of February 2013 and we were already in Santa Barbara on Saturday (more details on why we’re spending more time in Santa Barbara later), we decided to re-walk some of our memories from our first date.

IMG_20150221_112535Coffee Cat was first.

20150221_130135And after lunch at Natural Cafe, we walked down State Street to the beach.  It was wonderful to walk holding hands the whole time and reminiscing instead of wondering.  This beach area was the spot where we ate our first granny smith apples together.  We also shared a couple kisses this time which definitely were not happening on the first date.

IMG_20150221_141548After walking back up State Street, we moved on to wedding day memories.  What does tradition dictate gets eaten on your one year anniversary?  Wedding cake!  There were no left overs from our wedding, so Saturday we picked up a couple Crushcakes cupcakes and took them up to Franceschi Park.  Yum!

IMG_20150221_142219Although it was hazy, the view was still beautiful.  And unlike our wedding day, the gate to the park was open!  This weekend was cool and rainy, which we’ve definitely enjoyed.  Moreover, it was a nice contrast to our wedding weekend which was sunny and beautiful.

IMG_20150221_145036And of course we had to take a picture from the spot where we said our vows.  I think this park will always be special to us.

IMG_0705Towards the end of the afternoon, we made our way back down to Camarillo and ended our Saturday with a fun Valentine’s dinner with friends from another local church.  Saturday was packed full of sweet celebrations.

But wait, there’s more!  Sunday was, of course, our wedding day anniversary.  We both spent the morning working and at church, had lunch with friends and then had a few fun surprises around the house.  Since the first anniversary is paper, Ryan got me a professional massage gift certificate which I will happily enjoy later.

20150222_152029And I made Ryan a treasure map.  Hidden all around the house were puzzle pieces that he first had to find.  I watched Starwars while he hunted.  Some of the pieces were easier to find than others.  No, I didn’t require him to turn upside down.  He did that himself.

IMG_0709Once he found all the pieces, he had to assemble the puzzle.

IMG_0706While Ryan puzzled, I made our typical Sunday night popcorn but in honor of our anniversary, we had an Australian wine from a friend.  It was sweet and bubbly so, although not much of a wine drinker, Ryan enjoyed it too.

IMG_0712Ryan completed the heart puzzle.  A treasure map and a puzzle.  Both are paper:-)  Now we have to decide whether to put some puzzle glue on it and keep it together or break it apart for more puzzling fun in the future.

The rest of our day passed uneventfully and thus ends our anniversary celebrations.  But wait, there’s more!  It’s not something typically celebrated but today is the second anniversary of our second date.  And our second date began with Ryan making me french toast.  So we’ll be having cinnamon french toast for dinner tonight.  Yum!

I hope you all had a great weekend and can find many reasons in your life to celebrate.

This time last year…

…we were anticipating our wedding.  This time last year, we were remembering that a year earlier we still hadn’t met in person.  This time last year, we couldn’t have anticipated all the ups and downs that this year had in store for us.

20150214_190913Next week we will be celebrating our one year anniversary.  I am looking forward to another year of ups and downs, new discoveries and many many more memories.