Friday, March 25, 2016

The Wildest and Craziest Spring Break Ever!

On Monday, I had my speaking students each give a short, impromptu speech about their spring breaks.  The speeches ranged from non-stop partying to being stuck at home with their kids who were also on break.  They were all equally wonderful, creative, and entertaining.  It got me thinking about my spring break.  It was nothing that spectacular but it was good.  It was filled with all sorts of odds and ends while being busy, relaxing, and fulfilling.  So, without further adieu, here is my spring break.
Thing started off with dinner and karaoke with my best gal.  We rarely document those nights because some things are better left not seen or heard.  We capped off that night with catching a bit of Brent's band and then called it a night.  :)  The fun didn't stop there though.  On Saturday, Brent and I took Rio to see Peppa Pig Live!  That. Was. An. Experience.  Pretty sure it was a sold out show filled with toddlers and their folks.  WOW.  That was our first experience with something like that and I'm not sure we'll be rushing to do anything like that again but we're glad we marked it off of our list.  And the kid loved it.  So there's that. 
The next day was a fairly low key one spent with just the kid.  What was notable about it was that the kid was an angel and my parenting skills were on point!  It just felt good.  We went on an adventure walk through our neighborhood, worked on scissor dexterity, sewed a bit, and just had an all around fun day.
I had made it my top priority to finish my Bifftastica website over spring break and spent most of my free time working on that.  On Friday, I was finally able to announce that it was done!  Do take a look and play around on it!  In addition to that busy work, I had soooooooo much grading to do but that's part of my job!
Thankfully, Rio still had her two days of school last week so on Tuesday, I scheduled a massage!  I'm incredibly guilty of making myself a low priority but I'm working to change that.  That massage was divine.  I fell asleep twice and may have drooled all over the place.  Divine, I tell ya.  After that I took my car in to let it have its own kind of massage.  I finished that afternoon off at the cemetery where my Granny rests.  I needed to spend some time alone there and I'm very glad I did.  Was restorative for me at that moment.
I squeezed in some St. Patrick's Day festivities to see my bestie and her girls doing some Irish dancing!  That put quite a big smile on my face.  St. Patrick's Day is one of my faaaaaavorites!  A holiday where everyone wears green??  Perfection!
 Oh, and the kid finally let me start braiding her hair!  This is HUGE!  And adorable!  :) 
I finished off the break by joining my folks at the cabin for a quick overnighter.  Brent stayed back in town so he could see ZZ Top, which makes me laugh.  Rio got to try her hand at fishing for the first time, the beast got to run free, and I got to nap and sleep in!  We all won!
 So no, it wasn't the most riveting Spring Break nor the most fun-filled but damn if it wasn't a good one!  If only we could have a week break once a month!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Couple of Quilts!

I have had the quilting bug BAD lately.  My head is overflowing with ideas but I've only had a minute here and there to work on any large projects.  C'est la vie!  I have managed to bust out a few small quilts though, as you'll see below.  :)
The first quilt came about thanks to my quilting guild.  They've started challenging us to monthly projects (if we want to participate) which will help us with skill building.  For March, we were asked to bring 12 strips of green fabrics and then exchanged them during our meeting.  Following that, we were given a pattern for a 3-leaf clover and were encouraged to get creative with what we made.  Well, naturally, I decided to change things up.  I made my clover with four leaves (to make it luckier, duh!), removed the stem and just went with it!  I did not intend on making it a quilt but it just kept growing and growing and growing!  Once I realized that this would be a quilt, I decided to make it a charity quilt.  Our guild donates quilts to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America who then gives them to patients undergoing treatments.  I only donated one last year and would like to donate more than that this year.

Once I got going on this one and I had decided on its purpose, I worked nonstop so I could release it on St. Patrick's Day!  And I did it!  I may have had to stay up a little later than normal but I think it was worth it.  And the shamrock pattern DID teach me some things that I did not know before.  I ended up loving this project!
Prior to the shamrock quilt, I decided to play around with quilt shapes.  Who says quilts have to be square?!  For this first experiment, I made a diamond shaped quilt!
I loooove the idea of it and am overall pleased with the outcome but I would have changed some things on it and probably will once I attempt this again.  First, the floral fabric was a beast to work with for a quilt.  There was some significant pulling which resulted in some 'hiccups' that stand out to me but probably aren't even noticeable to anyone else.  I absolutely love the way it looks on a couch or on the end of a bed though!  I'm not sure what I'll do with this finished quilt - it's not the right size for a charity quilt and it doesn't really go in our home.  Let me know if you have any ideas! 
Like I said, my quilting desire is strong right now!  I don't know if it's looking at QuiltCon entries, wanting to procrastinate other projects, or just feeling the need to communicate via fabric right now but whatever it is, I'm listening!  And stitching!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Whale of a Road Trip

Our family FINALLY got out of the house last weekend for a little time on the road!  It was so, so, so overdue.  Yes, we only drove about 25 minutes outside of Tulsa but a road trip is a road trip is a road trip, am I right?
I'm a life-long Tulsan and there are still so many places here that I have yet to visit!  On Sunday, I finally marked a few more off of the list.  First, we headed over to the Blue Whale in Catoosa on Route 66.  Now, I had driven past this a million times - in fact I even worked extensively on some Route 66 projects back in my architecture firm days - but I had never stopped to take in the attraction until now.  (Somehow I missed getting a full photo of the whale in all his glory so do check out the link!)

What sparked my desire to finally stop at the whale?  The kid.  In January, she and I took our own little road trip to a storage facility in Claremore to pick up the most epic Craigslist haul ever (hello amazing bedroom set - more on that in the future!) and we passed the whale.  Driving past that was by far the highlight of the day for Rio.  We had to return.  And return we finally did.  

After some turtle watching, picture taking, whale climbing, and memory making, we packed back up in the car and continued driving northeast, without a destination in mind.  Claremore is just around the corner from Catoosa so when we arrived there, we did some quick Googling and decided we'd visit the Will Rogers Museum.  Honestly, I initially wasn't that jazzed about visiting the museum, especially when I learned it wasn't free for adults but I quickly changed my tune once we started checking things out. 
First, the building and grounds are beautiful!  The museum is set atop a hill which overlooks all of the town.  Will Roger's tomb is actually on the grounds and is a very peaceful place to be.  I couldn't imagine what all could fill that huge museum so I was impressed to find a stunning saddle collection from all over the world, artwork galore of Will and his life, lasso trick videos (the mister and the kid were all about that!), and all sorts of other odds and ends.  There is even a large, fancy theater!
The highlight of the museum though?  The basement.  They converted that area into a total kids' area.  Walls painted like an old town and a forest gave it such a fun vibe.  They even have a scavenger hunt through the forest which I believe we all enjoyed equally!  Then, they have several different play areas set up - a puppet theater stage, a 'movie' theater, horse races, dress up, car building, a train set, and surely something else I'm forgetting!  All in all, I was super surprised and super impressed!  I would definitely recommend this as a quick day trip!
I think our whole little family has been missing little trips like this.  Where next?
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