Monday, July 7, 2008

Nearing the end

Only one more day of staycation left folks. We really have been blessed with our almost week-and-a-half of family time, and I am a little bit sad that it is almost over! I really never would have thought that staying at home would end up being so good for us as a family, and I am not lying when I say that I think this has been one of our best vacations ever (and we've been on some real doozies). Even my husband said the same thing yesterday. It's been 10 days (well, 11 if you count tomorrow) of such great bonding time for us as a threesome, full of relaxation, fun, a few projects that we have made some major headway on, and some much-needed separation from the rest of the world for a little while. I cannot recommend a staycation enough, if it's done properly. I cannot tell you how proud I am especially of my husband, who usually has a hard time "turning off" his job -- he truly has made us a priority this week and has not hardly checked his Blackberry, email, computer, etc., and I can tell it has really been good for him personally to have such a break as well.

Yesterday, while working outside, my husband spotted this teeny little fellow hiding in the ivy. Can you see him in there? A teeny tiny baby bunny!

We love our bunnies -- there are between 3 and 5 of them that take up permanent residence in our front yard and come out every evening to graze. Some folks don't have the bunny love since they are wild, tend to eat flowers, etc., but we have extra love and affection for our bunnies since they mean one major thing to us: when there are bunnies, there are no rats. If the bunnies have moved out of their burrows in our yard, watch out. (Bet you might not have wanted to know that, did you?) We live in a great neighborhood with a creek that runs through it a block and a half over from ours, and unfortunately, here in Wonderland, creeks sometimes equal rats. The rats don't care if it's nice or a ghetto. But thankfully, the rats haven't paid a visit in a long while.) So you'll understand why we sometimes even go so far as to leave carrots in the front yard for our bunnies. Please stay, bunnies, we implore. Please stay!

I've been painting in the bathroom again today, but I'm still working on those gosh-darn trees. Hopefully I'll finish them up in a day or two and be able to move on to the final step of adding leaves and oranges.

And I have been doing some sewing recently, but it has been for a project for my mom actually. A few months ago, maybe even late last year, she purchased a quilt kit. Let me add, my mom is not a quilter. And this quilt kit is not small by any means -- the finished quilt will measure 68"x83", and it is made up of a whole lot of blocks, many of which are intricate applique with a lot of hand-sewing around the edges. Thankfully my mom bought the kit from the ladies who made up the quilt because it is the most organized thing I have ever seen. The quilt is broken up into months (8 total) of blocks, usually 2 or 3 per month, and the quilt kit has the fabric not only organized into Ziploc bags for each month, but the fabric pieces are also labeled with stickers for which piece goes with what. It has made this a breeze to get started on. I cannot imagine if she had only bought the pattern (a book, actually) and would have had to buy all the fabric required and cut it all up ourselves. That alone would have taken hours upon hours. We started on June 19th, trying to get together one night a week or so, and already we are almost done with month #2. The two months we have done so far have had a lot of applique that has to be embroidered and hand-stitched around, something my mom hasn't done in a while, so that has been funny to watch her grumble about. It will be interesting to see how long it ends up taking the two of us to get the quilt top done, but I know it will be really neat to see it finished in the end. I'll try and keep you updated on our progress. For now, here are some of the blocks I was in charge of doing this past week while she took home her own "homework" of a bunch of hand-sewing on other blocks. I have 4 out of 7 finished so far.

Now our staycation hasn't been completely at home. We did sneak away two and a half days last week and go on a roadtrip to visit my cousins for the 4th of July. (But you might not have known this, since I figured out I could type my posts before we left and set them to post once a day while we were gone -- clever, clever blogspot!) We had the best time! My husband got us a smokin' deal on a five-star hotel. (This is a picture of the pool, which was great, but the picture is a bit deceitful since the pool closed at 6pm every night, and you couldn't really see the beautiful view at night like this.)

We spent our time walking around the area, shopping (at Anthropologie, of course, although you already know how much restraint I showed this time), and visiting with my extended family. They had the most delicious spread of chicken, potato salad, 7-layer dip, fruit, cakes, etc., and they had also bought fireworks (and a permit, since they live in the city) to put on what I thought would be a little show. No little show there! There were probably close to $300 in fireworks, and the show lasted for over two-and-a-half hours! It was so much fun -- we are thinking we may have to make it our annual 4th of July trip.

If you made it this far, bless you. I think I got a bit long-winded today! I'd better sign off until tomorrow -- lots to still do before I shut 'er down for the evening and watch the Bachelorette finale...

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