Back Home In Time For Summer

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Getting back to the states has been amazing. It isn't just getting to do fun things like drink alcohol, but it's getting to simply relax. My job wasn't very hard at all - I wasn't lifting heavy things or having to go without a shower - but there is something to be said about having weekends completely free. As I worked more on call and made my own hours, I still worked everyday which meant no lazing around or being unavailable. Just the thought that someone can need you at any moment is a lot more stress than you'd think. Again, I'm not saying my job was ridiculously hard, but I certainly learned to enjoy the comforts I take for granted back home.

For example, I always wore a bra to bed just in case of indirect fire. I didn't want to run and take cover with nothing under my shirt. 

Sorry if that's TMI.

Once arriving home, after a week of reverse SRP (blood work, finance paperwork, etc for Army to file), I got to go to Arizona to see my fiance, parents, and cat!

The summer was pretty simple. Visited home which included getting to see some old friends from high school like Liz, Sara, and Sam. We played through an entire deck of cards.

We also got to visit Matt's family friend in Sedona which was awesome. We had good conversation with her and got to hike during the day time.

Since we were decently close to the Grand Canyon we also stopped by there where we didn't hike but just gawked around with the rest of the tourists. Instagram is really changing the game at National Parks. I once read an article that people think it's bad as the sudden influx of people is causing the growth along paths to be stunted and that enjoyed the quiet of the great outdoors is almost impossible now... check out this NPR article. While I understand the sentiment, I think it's unfair to say that. Sure, at the Grand Canyon it's almost comical to see hundreds of girls from around the world dressed like an Urban Outfitters front page instead of hiking boots walking around on the ledges but at the same time, if they are going where visitors are allowed to go, why not? The tone of those articles are always concerning to me because it implies that you have to be special visit national parks when that's the exact opposite of what national parks are supposed to be for. While that article mentions some really bad stuff (like waste disposal problems), maybe it's a call for national parks to build up their infrastructure. Apparently at Horseshoe Bend, they've started to build a fence around the area so visitors don't fall to their deaths. Is it annoying for photos? Probably, but they're ready and if you've been to the town around Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, I'm sure you can agree that the town is in love with the tourist revenue. And again, that's okay for them to be! 

I actually plan 90 percent of my vacations with Instagram. What better why then to find what their is to see then to see what others have already proven is awesome?

Me doing Savasana/Corpse Pose to join the yoga pose Instagram trend.

Me doing Savasana/Corpse Pose to join the yoga pose Instagram trend.

While in Arizona, Matt and I also got to do a lot of wedding planning which included: seeing the venue; meeting with our DC/MC and picking all our songs (we are still stumped on first dance song, any suggestions?!?!); and meeting with the florist. We also got a timeline which means I'm just one motivated Sunday away from actually ordering the formal invitations.

It's coming sooner than I think, I have a feeling. I still need to do dress fitting and buy things like shoes...real tempted just to wear flip flops since no one will see them but at the same time my brain really wants Louboutin shoes just because I can use the event as an excuse to spend all that money... we shall see. Probably not heels though because I'm not trying to fall down in front of my entire family.

While we were traveling, I managed to get Matt to start using my camera so I can be in artsy shots too! Here is his progression:

 

 

 

Wood Bridesmaid Gifts

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I am getting married! What does that mean... cute wedding planning blog posts. 

I was inspired by Pinterest of course and decided to find some quotes from my board and pick relevant ones for each girl. One of my goals for these initial boxes was to make it really personal. 

Michaels is where I got most of my supplies but luckily I already own paints. I did cheat a little and used sharpie for the words and then just painted the edge of the words to have the illusion of being completely painted by hand. 

Wood block per each bridesmaid, multiple sharpies because the wood and the paint texture eats up the ink fast, some fine tip brushes, tissue paper to wrap the gifts in later.

Wood block per each bridesmaid, multiple sharpies because the wood and the paint texture eats up the ink fast, some fine tip brushes, tissue paper to wrap the gifts in later.

The cost of all the supplies did add up to a little more than I expected but there were a lot of corners I could've taken such as smaller sized wood blocks. I thought bigger was better but in retrospect I could've gone down two sizes which would've saved me about 10 bucks per lady. That being said I am really proud of my work with the gifts.

The lettering was the hardest part and I'm glad I wrote the phrases in pencil first even though it was difficult to erase. I had to go back with a lot of white paint to paint over whatever stray marks I could.

For my final box I also included nail polish in my wedding color, cute one dollar erasers I found at walmart, and whatever random thing I thought each girl might enjoy.

Photo taken by Liz 

Photo taken by Liz 

Artists That Inspire: Jessica Harrison

It was Jessica's enamel figurines that caught my eye. Her beautiful statues remind me of the women that sit in my grandmother's glass cabinet except with a glorious twist...

                                                                           Image credit: Jessica Harrison/www.jessicaharrison.co.uk

These enamel figurines have ink on them!

The reason I love these so much is because they put a great modern day component onto something unexpected. Usually, the un-inked versions are sold in Hallmark stores and I always fantasize that these are the kind of things I would get people when I go to their weddings... or maybe I would buy for my wedding cake topper? Now that I know these exist though, I'll have to reconsider.

These are especially excellent because when I read articles about those considering tattoos, I see a lot of blogs and internet comments considering how tattoo placement will effect them on their wedding day.

I say that should not matter! If you want a tattoo on your back a wedding should be when you get to show it off not something you have to cover.

You can check out Jessica's work here.