18 August 2015

Grati Tuesday (It's been a pretty great summer)

I'm learning to be intentionally thankful every day, so here's some thanks from this summer:

for 3 days and 2 nights with these hooligans, learning how to apply theology to our relationships and trying not to get eaten by bugs.

for finding this stalker pic that my nephew took on my camera. FTW.

for fresh flowers on the kitchen table, always. 

for sunset chasing, even if it means just climbing on the garage roof.

for reminders that West River will always beat East River any day
also, the views from the top of the world? The best.
(ps, that tiny hiker is my fav)

for reunions in my living room

for silhouettes and unsuspecting fire guys.

for coffee shops that know what's up #starbuckswho

for a whole summer with these two dudes #squad #comebackPhil 

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." 
James 1:17

14 July 2015

A very Pinteresting turn of events.. (see what I did there?)

I have been itching to paint some furniture! Since we have had such a wet spring/early summer, it's been hard to find a time that I could haul everything outside and leave it to dry and not worry about it getting rained on. So this past week, I finally just decided to bite the bullet and start the ball rolling indoors. 

I have had this bookshelf that my BIL made for me years ago.. I never stained it, or sealed it or painted it... it has just sat there naked in the corner of the room year after year. We have been overhauling our catch-all room, aka guest room, in segments and this bookshelf is about to be put to use, so I decided it was now or never!

wouldn't be the first time that our kitchen served as a work shop! 

I loved this tutorial that I used for crates we had at our wedding. Easy peasy. Fun to watch. And mostly free! So I thought, what the heck. I will give it a go on this bookshelf, and see where I want to go from there! 

I hauled the bookshelf to our tiny kitchen and wiped it down, after brewing a pot of coffee, and then waited for the coffee to cool before applying it. Last time I did this, I used a spray bottle which worked decently, but it was also hard to tell if you had saturated everything well. I went with a foam brush this time.

IMPORTANT: always take a break for espresso and gelato.

The second step is to apply a mixture of vinegar and steel wool that you have let sit for AT LEAST 24 hours. This is where I cheated. I had a good amount of the vinegar concoction left from a year ago, and since I couldn't find any steel wool in my house (and it was somewhere around 10 pm), I decided to just use the old vinegar. Using the same foam brush, I applied the vinegar to the now dry bookshelf...and waited.. and waited.. and nothing happened. When everything goes as planned with this, the wood will change colors right before your eyes (pretty rad). But that never happened. So I let the first coat of vinegar dry and applied a second coat, hoping that would make a difference. Still nothing. Boo. I don't know why it didn't work, but my guess would be the old vinegar concoction.

After all that, the wood looked a touch darker, buttoning impressive. 

So the NEXT day... my adventure pal and advice lady, Caity, came along as we looked at stain colors and paint colors. I didn't want to wait another 24 hours or more for my wood to change colors (instant gratification, by George), so I ended up choosing the same dark walnut stain that I used for my table top and stained away.... indoors. Not the best life decision, but rain was forecast and I didn't want to risk it (yay, fumes!). 

it almost got left in this state, but I pressed on.

really feeling the fumes at this point!

On day 3 of this project, I decided to add paint. THIS time, I went outside. Taking my cues from the same tutorial, I mixed paint and water at an approximate 2/3 paint to 1/3 water ratio and then started slapping it on and wiping it off. Let's just take a minute to thank Jesus for the backs of furniture that allow you to experiment before you commit. Amen.

There it is.. the finished product! I decided to leave the backs and sides of the inside paint free, and I love it! The only bummer is that this is getting stashed in the spare room where I won't be able to stare at it lovingly without having to go out of my way. #firstworldproblems.

PS, the Havianas in this picture broke a couple days later :( :( :( 


10 July 2015

Summer vibes.

Soaking up every last bit of summer that I can! It's already been full and busy. And there's still so many more adventures to be had! 
Here's a few little snippets of the past couple months. 
Cheers, friends.

09 June 2015

The Best Day Ever

Holy smokes, it's been a year already! You know what they say, time flies when you're having fun! ;) Since I didn't really blog at all about the Best Day Ever that happened last year, I thought I would steal a Q&A idea from some of my favorite photographers. We both answered these questions separately, so it was fun to get together and read our answers and pick pictures. :)
Note: all pictures in this post by the one and only Clara Williams Photography.

What was the most memorable moment? 
So many moments to choose from! Here's a few that stand out: 

My nephew Jared and new B.I.L, Joel, caught a baby rabbit and brought it to me while the girls and I were getting ready (it was sooooo soft!). 

My original B.I.L, Jason, "You're a mess!" as he attempted to clean grass that had gotten stuck in my dress train when I was getting ready to walk down the aisle. 

Praying with my dad and mom just before we went down the aisle. 

 Looking at everyone who came to share our day as I walked up the aisle... I felt very loved. 


By far, the most memorable moment was when my soon to be bride came outside the night before, amidst all the hubbub of preparations right before I left to go to bed. Liz came up to me and could tell how much turmoil my heart was in and just prayed with me for a while. What a heart throb she can be.

Or maybe it was when she came up behind me in the field and hugged me. Seeing her for the first time in her wedding dress was the most breath taking and stunning sight that I had ever seen before.

Or maybe it was watching her walk down the isle toward me... But I don't remember a whole lot of that part, because I had to not look at her because I was fighting tears so bad that I would have broken down into a sobbing mess.

What advice would you give to future brides/grooms? 

Make a plan and then delegate, delegate, delegate! Our wedding would not have happened without the gracious friends and family who were more than willing to get things done! It also helps to have an awesome wedding planner (thanks, sis!) and having awesome sauce photographers who are willing to go above and beyond (thanks, Clevi!).  And.... on your day, don't stress it! The important part is getting married, the rest is just a bonus. 


Grooms- Remember what the day is about... It's not about you. It's about representing the union Christ has with His Church to the world. It's about your beautiful bride enjoying a once in a lifetime experience. It's about enjoying the company of family and friends.

 Brides- Please be patient with your groom, he's a mess inside or totally clueless. Really. Hahaha!

What was your favorite detail? 

I think my favorite detail was the wood coasters that we gave out as favors, simply because they were a huge labor of love over hours of time by Matt's parents and siblings and grandparents. 


My favorite detail was my least favorite at the time... The part where I was unable to see my bride until just before the wedding. Made me sooooo mad that even MY OWN MOTHER was so for it! Ha! But I look back now and man, how sweet those few minutes were for us... Like the calm in middle of the storm.

What was the funniest memory? 

The groomsmen hanging out all day with their pants tucked into their socks. I think Chris would have gotten away with walking down the aisle like that if my mom hadn't caught him ;) 

That, and Joel hiding the funnel for the sand ceremony. Sneaky, Joel, reeeeaaallll sneaky.


Only one??? :S Probably walking back to the lodge from taking our "first look" pictures and coming up to all of the groomsmen with the awesome socks and gadgets Liz had bought them as a gift.  Pants tucked into socks and little keychain guns an such that made a lot of racket.  Fun times...

If you could change anything, what would it be? 


Going into the wedding, I think we knew that we wouldn't be able to visit with and see most of the people who came, but even on our wedding day we were really bummed to not be able to get quality time with so many people who came to support and celebrate with us. (Thanks, everybody! See you at the next reunion.)

There was not anything about the wedding I would change. Liz and her crew of awesome helpers (thanks, btw!!) did a superb job. I couldn't have asked for anything better... But I would change one thing. I wish I could have had time off surrounding the wedding to help more with wedding stuff and visit family more.

Where did you go on your honeymoon? 


Bozeman, MT! We got a short couple of days there due to work schedules, but loved every second exploring the coffee shops and farmer's market and mountain roads. We'll be back, friend! 

We spend the first night in a super awesome bed and breakfast in the northern hills where we were served a hot breakfast in bed and had our own hot tub. Pretty great. Then we went from there to the one and only wonderful Bozeman, MT.

What's the best part of being married so far? 

It may sound cliche, but it really is the best being able to wake up with your best friend and just do life together. There is something indescribable about being known and loved day in and day out, even on the days we might not like each other very much ;) 

There is so much awesomeness that comes with being married to Liz Tramp (once Johnson).  I think the very best part(s) is/are the fact that I get to go to sleep with and wake up with my best friend in the whole world every night. Also, I have always loved adventuring with Liz from day one of meeting her. She is just so fun and easy going... So now, I just married my adventure partner so we get to adventure with each other for the rest of our lives. There's nothing else like it.. No one else like her...