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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the one cent shoes

So this one time my mom and I went to the Nordstrom Rack where I found a great pair of shorts for $9 and I thought I was doing well.  Then I found these shoes on clearance for $15 and my triumph was complete.  Or so we thought because after I found them these beautiful patten leather slingbacks that should have cost nearly $100 rang up for a penny.  And they had to sell them to us.  For a penny.  

Then we went and showed the Stud who generously pried a moldy penny from his wallet, handed it to my mom and said, "I want to buy my sister a pair of shoes."  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

just so you know...

We're moving!!!

Remember that sweet beyond sa-weet apartment we found awhile ago?  Well, we got it!  Now I'm stocking up on 3M hooks (how awesome are those things??) and new sheets while I am still in the States.  We move pretty quickly after I get back to Cyprus so Mr. F is doing some preliminary packing without me.  Know what I'm really excited about with this place?  We get to furnish it ourselves.  That means that we get to choose what kind of sofa we have or the look of the dining room table.  No comes-with-the-place furniture.  Just whatever we like (and can afford..).  For awhile we'll probably just have an empty floor in the living room.  But I gotta tell ya, I'm even excited for that.  Putting together a home one piece at a time.

Monday, August 27, 2012

meanwhile in michigan: greenfield village

Greenfield Village is truly one of my favorite places on the planet.  All of the historical buildings are original and have been brought to the location piece by piece.  I love the variety of it.  At one end there is a Victorian farmhouse, home to the Firestones of Firestone Tires.  On the other end is Noah Webster's home, the father of the modern English dictionary.  As a girl, I learned all about glassblowing, printmaking, potting, and smithing from the various volunteers and onsite workshops.  And every time we went, my family appeased me and stopped at the milliner so I could try on a minimum of five beribboned hats.

Last week my family treated Mr. F and me to a day at the Village.  For me this was an especial treat as I got to show it off to my history loving husband.  I don't know if I loved trying on the hats or seeing Mr. F's reaction to muskets being fired more.  (Maybe the muskets...)  The Village in summer is a lot of fun as they have weekly vintage baseball games, workshops, and war reenactments.  On one day we were able to see a baseball game from the 1800s and an enlistment camp for the War of 1812. (Hence the muskets.)  And I got to try on a couple of hats.  Really fantastic day.

If ever you make it to the Metro Detroit area, be sure to check out Greenfield Village.  It is great for families of all ages (we  have pictures of my brother and I there as toddlers) and never disappoints. 


 A few tips:

If your group is large enough, check out an annual group membership.  Your one day visit will alone cover the cost of it.  If you live close enough, you should just have one.  Always.  No really.  

Pack a lunch.  A cooler.  A wagon.  Stuff a stroller.  This place allows you to bring in your food, picnic blankets, water bottles, whatever.  So while you might want to eat at one of the restaurants once you're inside, you don't have to.  Saves a few dollars and in a way, picnicking on the green really adds to the experience.

Be prepared to walk.

Go in the fall for Harvest Days.  It is one of my favorite times to visit.  The working farm is harvested and are there all sorts of hands-on activities for young and old alike to participate in.  

Go at Christmas.  I don't believe the whole village is open at Christmas BUT Eagle Tavern is.  They put on a special Christmas feast straight out of Dickens.  Amazing food and even better atmosphere.  Book tickets early, they go fast for this.

Ride the train.  

Remember to act like a kid and ask as many questions as you can think of.  The things you'll learn in a few hours will boggle your mind!

Schedule another visit for the Henry Ford Museum next door.  Especially if you have boys.  Check out the website and you'll get why.  (Hint: planes, trains, and automobiles!)

Send me pictures when you go (:  Pleeeeeeasseeee.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

dream cruise

Once a year, the world descends on Metro Detroit for the be-all and end-all of classic car parades, the Woodward Dream Cruise.  Close to 10 miles of main road packed with cars from the glory days and sidewalks stuffed with a million admirers.  We just happened to be in Detroit for this weekend, too.  It was Mr. F's first Dream Cruise, so we introduced him to it with a smaller parade the night before the main festivities.  He oohed and ahed like a true Detroiter.  I daydreamed about owning one of the pickup trucks someday.  Mr. F leaned toward the Corvette.  I'd be happy with either one.

This parade reminded me of how much I love being from Michigan and the Midwest but also how much I love being an American.  Hot dogs, taco trucks small towns, block parties, bar-b-cues, flip flops, barber shops, 7-11, Motown music.   All of it swept over me and made me so proud of who I am and where I come from.  And then we got a $5 pizza from Little Caesar's and I really had to stop and wonder why we live on the other side of the world.

Monday, August 13, 2012

best layover ever

Somehow we won the layover lottery on our trip back to the States and found ourselves with nearly seven hours to play in Frankfurt.  The trips between the US and Cyprus take a MINIMUM of 20 hours and usually entail some serious running between customs and your next flight.  So to have enough time to make it leisurely through customs and then to step out of the airport to breathe some fresh air was just a huge blessing.

The only other time either of us had been to Frankfurt was last September when we took an impromptu trip to the LDS temple in the northern suburbs.  This time we got to go downtown.  We took the train from the airport and found ourselves in the center.  It was wonderfully refreshing to see how familiar and comfortable the German culture still felt to us.  We walked aimlessly along the Rhine, ate a breakfast of brotchen and yogurt, and soaked in the cool breeze of a German summer.  By the time we got back to the airport, it felt like we had enjoyed a mini vacation in the middle of our trip. It was a great visit and made me miss Europe all the more.

Friday, August 10, 2012

comin' home

See you on the Stateside!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


My grandmother passed away a year ago June, just before Mr. F and I left for Germany.  To say her death was sudden is an understatement.  She was healthy and celebrating her birthday, then the next day she was gone.

Being the mother of eight boys in a rural community, she had to get creative with making their budget stretch from paycheck to paycheck.  One thing she did was make all of the clothing and linens.  When grandchildren came, she continued this tradition, sewing up a storm for each new addition to her family.  I have so many memories of watching my grandmother at the sewing machine, piecing together Halloween costumes and quilts.  And when the time came, she even helped make my wedding dress.  It makes me sad that I am the only one of my cousins who will be able to have that experience.

I think of her very often.  Strangely this very foreign land has helped me rekindle my bond with my Nana.  I have had to learn how to be self sufficient and how to make things on my own, a skill I always took for granted in her.  I came here with snippets of fabric from her closet which have been my inspiration for the past year.  I wanted to make something like she did; take dissimilar elements and have them come together harmoniously.  I wanted to stitch something together.

I put the final dab of paint on this piece last night.  I erased all the pencil lines I could then just stood back.  It's done, I thought.  It is very much so an homage to my Nana.  To the fabrics she would use, the things she made for her family, and the legacy she left behind.  While it is not yet a completed project, every day it gets closer to the product I had in mind.  It's something beautiful that I made from the love of my grandmother and my family.  And in a few weeks, I hope I will be able to share it with you, too.

Monday, August 06, 2012

i've been thinking

I haven't really been present in blogger world lately.  I could apologize, but really, it's felt good to detach and not worry about pageviews and new content.  I got to just focus on what was happening around me and it's felt really good.  Really, really good.

I really enjoy being busy.  These past few weeks I have been buried in orders, personal creations, church commitments, and life in general.  I'll admit, it got a little sketchy for me at the end of last week when a few paintings weren't doing what I needed them to, but overall, I love going to bed completely exhausted at night.

How cool is science?  I mean seriously!  A rover just landed on Mars and is sending information back to Earth.  I marvel at the minds of the groups of people who made such a thing possible.  I'm lucky if I get the laundry folded...

I had no idea there could be so many different kinds of geometric patterns and that I would have such strong opinions about ones I like and dislike.

College a cappella music is just good for the soul.  There are so many songs from "way back when" that I know purely from their a cappella counterparts.  (Hats off to the Brown Derbies today who are serenading me as I work.)

Moving has never sounded so promising to me.  It's just time, ya know?  For a change. More space.  Less rent.  And a patio.  It is most definitely time for a patio.

On that score...

I miss being outside.  I have been working so much the last few weeks and it's been so hot and humid that outdoor living has been cut short.

We're going home this week!  How in the world did that come about so quickly?!

I need to do laundry.

Swedish pancakes are yummy and I'm really looking forward to the weather cooling down so I can starting cooking and baking again.  I've really missed making hearty meals this summer.

I am unbelievably blessed.  With a comfortable home, work I love doing, a wonderful husband, family, faith; the list goes on and on.  

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


{glasses: faux ban, dress: target, belt: stradivarius, sandals: h&m, baubles: gifts}

It was one of those kind of days.  Ya know?  The kind of day where if you explain any of it to any other person, you just sound whiny.  Nothing horrible happened, just meh.  The fact that I got up, dressed, showered, and hair dried in time to take Mr. F to work this morning is nothing short of miraculous.  The fact that my hair ended up in an incredibly sloppy, skiwampus bun is not at all surprising.  But the real treat to all of this?  When I picked up Mr. F this afternoon, he had the biggest smile on his face reserved just for me.  While today wasn't my favorite kind of day, getting to enjoy my favorite kind of smile on my guy made it all worthwhile. 

linked up again with the pleated poppy