Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Travel Journals

It was in the month of February, with the snow falling down all around us, that we first discussed our trip to Greece. We talked about the best time to travel and it was decided that the month of July would be the perfect time. Work would be slow for my husband, school would be done for my son and football practice would not begin until August, and as it turns out the sweet little girls I babysit would also be on vacation at that time. Perfect I thought but July is soooo far away. When we would get together with the family members that would make the trip with us, we would talk about what we would do, where we would go and of all the relatives that we were going to meet. I would listen with excitement but it just didn't seem real to me. Well here I sit on June 25 with only nine days until our departure. With the suitcases spread over the living room floor and all of my "To Do" lists it has suddenly become real to me. I am going to GREECE!!! I can only imagine the things that I will experience. My father in law came to America when he was just 16 years old and his whole family still resides in Volos, Greece. There are so many relatives to meet. My husband has had the opportunity to visit on several occasions but this will be the first time for my son and I. This whole experience is totally new for us. You may find this hard to believe but either Alex or I have ever been in an airplane. I don't want to forget a single experience or moment of this once in a life time trip. I decided the best way to remember was to take tons of pictures and to write daily entries in a journal. Because this trip is so special I didn't want just any journal and I could not find one that I loved. Then the thought came to me....why don't I make one. Why stop at one? I decided that my sister in law and my mother in law should have one too. I didn't want anything too heavy so I decided to use a regular old composition book and alter it.

I gathered all my supplies and began creating. I first created one for my mother in law and then my sister in law.
Once I completed theirs, I went to work on one for myself. I wanted mine to look like a vintage travel journal. First I started with a textured cream paper and sprayed it with a little walnut ink to give it that aged look.
Then I added all the vintage elements that I love, wallpaper, postcard images, a piece of vintage tape measure, sheet music, and buttons. To finish it off, I stamped my initials in the corner.

I can just imagine how it will be sitting at a little cafe' journaling the adventures of my trip, how blue the sky looks and how clear the sea. And years from now when I want to remember these wonderful memories I will open my journal and they will all come flooding back to me.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Day with Dad

I am sure there are not many fathers that read my blog so it seems silly to say Happy Father's Day. I do hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating your father, grandfather, husband and all the other special fathers in your life. I had a very enjoyable day with my father and my husband. The weather was beautiful, a perfect day for a Father's Day picnic.

A day to celebrate my Dad...
Growing up in my family there was just my sister and I. That meant bad hair days, giggles, having nothing to wear, tears, screaming, dancing, shopping, baby dolls times two. My dad left all the girly girl activities up to my mom but he did spend time with us in other ways. One of my favorite activities with my dad was at dusk when we would all pile in his truck and go deer spotting. I remember how cool it was to see a field full of glowing eyes. To this day, I have a love for deer and still enjoy seeing them in the wild. My dad also taught me to love fishing. I loved it when my mom would pack a picnic dinner and as soon as my dad would arrive home from work, we would take off for the local lake. I am sure that my dad must have lost track of the number of worms he put on hooks, fish he removed from those hooks, and hooks he removed from his fingers. Not to mention all the stray casts that ended up in the near by tree limbs. Once my sister saw a water snake and ran screaming down the lake shore all while the button on her reel was still pressed. It took my dad forever to reel in all that fishing line. Oh and there was the time I set my rod down just in time for a fish to pull it right into the lake. My dad, to no avail, jumped right in (cloths and all) to try and save it. It's a wonder he was able to get any fishing in at all. There are other special moments that I share with my dad. I will always remember how he looked on my wedding day, and how happy he was when he became a grandpa.

A Day to Celebrate my husband...

My husband is the most wonderful father. Sometimes I get jealous of how close my husband and son are. I can truly say they are friends. They enjoy each other's company and just hanging out together. One of my favorite sounds is hearing them laugh together at a silly movie. They are so much alike. They enjoy the same type of movies, they have the same sense of humor, they love to aggravate, hate to cloths shop, and I know they both love me :) He is a proud Dad and is so supportive and encouraging to Alex in whatever he tries. I could not ask for a better role model for Alex.

There is one more special father in my life to celebrate, my father in law. He too could not be prouder of his grandson and truly loves his family. He is always there for each of us to offer advice, support, and encouragment. He was unable to spend the day with us as he was out of town. Eventhough he was away from the family today he was never far from our thoughts.

This picture was taken on Alex's birthday in April.

A Happy Father's Day to all the special Dad's in my life. I love you all and have been blessed by having each one of you in my life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Roses and Peonies

Not a long post this evening. I just wanted to share with you some of the little beauties growing in my garden at present.

There was the threat of rain storms today so I thought I would bring some in before the rain dampened their beauty.

I love the simple beauty in nature.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Wonderful Weekend

A two hour drive doesn't sound like a great distance. Just jump in the car and go for the ride. But sometimes life gets so busy with everyday things, before you know it months fly by. Then you stop to realize that it has been months since you made the drive to visit your sister at her house. Oh of course we talk on the phone and she and her family make the drive to visit our parents (who live minutes from me) but it's just not the same as a weekend visit. Well this past weekend I did just that. I left my husband and my 17 year old son to fend for themselves and I hopped in the car with my parents and their very large but very sweet black lab, Molly and headed for Andrea's house. Andrea lives about two hours north of me in Brookville, PA. Brookville is a nice little town located in Central Pennsylvania very near Cook Forest State Park. The scenery was lovely as well was the drive. We arrived around dinner time and Andrea was preparing a wonderful meal for us. While she was busy in the kitchen, it was decided that my brother-in-law, Tom and my nephew, Hank would go for a kayak ride. Well actually Hank did the kayaking and Tom went for a swim. Tom is a very strong swimmer and is entered in a relay race of sorts this weekend. So we loaded up the kayaks and headed for the Clarion River. I was content to sit on shore, enjoy the scenery, and take pictures. My mom on the other hand (who is much more adventurous than I) decided to give kayaking a try. She did well and had a blast.

I was so impressed with Hank's kayaking skills. He just jumped right in and took off.

On Saturday there was a wonderful herb festival held in Cook Forest. The rain held off and we were able to wander through the tents picking the most fragrant herbs. I have always loved Holly Hock flowers so I purchased a beautiful plant which will hopefully someday yield lovely pink blossoms.

We woke early on Sunday and headed to a large open air flea market not far from Andrea's home. Oh we had such fun looking for those hidden treasures. Because we know what each other's interests are, we were able to spot things for each other that otherwise would have been missed. My sister purchased some wonderful old chess pieces, a vintage child's game and a fun vintage tablecloth. My mom found pretty depression glass dessert plates, a milk glass shoe, and a sweet hand mirror. And I--- well just look at all my treasures :)

I think the little rose pitcher was my favorite find. It came from a wonderful little shop called The Open House Shop. It was filled with treasures both new and vintage. From the moment you walked in the door you knew you were someplace special. The owner, Robin, was so friendly and helpful. I visited her twice this weekend and I am sure it will be on my list of favorite things to do on my next visit to Brookville.
I was sorry to see the weekend come to an end. (although I think I wore my sister and my mom out with all of my treasure hunting ) I had such fun visiting and spending time with my family. Times like these sure make special memories.
(Me, my mom, and my sister, Andrea) (my nephews, Hank and Isaac and my sister, Andrea)

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