Tuesday, May 31, 2011

30th Birthday continued or Jolie learns the mandolin

I don't know if I ever mentioned but I had no idea what I wanted for my birthday. Beau wanted my gift to be something special and so rather than get something just to get it, we decided to wait until we had figured out a gift that had some meaning that would last.

A couple weeks ago it hit me! I've been dying to learn to play an instrument...side note 1-I can play the clarinet, I was first chair throughout my 6th grade band experience prior to quitting and joining chorus. You may find this surprising but those clarinet skills don't really translate into day-to-day life as well. I wanted to be able to play something I could sing along with. So I've been wishy-washy about what to learn: guitar?, accordion? (yes, I've seriously considered it), or ukulele? (wouldn't it be fun to play, you'd feel like you are an a Hawaiian vacation anytime you pick it up). Finally though, we settled on mandolin.

I love it and I can't wait to start officially taking lessons. It is so much fun to finally be on my way to one of my life goals (to learn to play and instrument past the 6th grade level).

So here are some photos of our impromptu jam session Sunday evening. I can play all of one song right now...Yankee Doodle! So needless to say it was more Beau and his friend Blake playing but I hope to be able to hold my own soon after some lessons.

Side note 2: If you think I'm crazy for considering the accordion some things to consider are #1-I'm part Polish, it's in my soul to love the accordion and dance the Polka and #2-The BowerBirds. Check out their music and you'll dig the accordion too.
Side note 3: Truth be told, this was Blake taking a break from impromptu Yankee Doodle jam session to help Frankie recite some Shakespeare...Sunday evening it was decided that sitting Frankie upright and helping her to use her hands to recreate some of the Bard's famous monologues was hilarious. Chalk it up to one of those "you had to be there" experiences unless you have a Shih tzu of your own to try it with :-)

Memorial Day Fun In Asheville

Beau and I had some fun company in town all weekend. One of Beau's best friends, Blake, came to visit for a man's weekend (he and his beautiful wife are expecting a baby soon). The boys spent most of the weekend hiking, fishing, biking, etc. which meant that I got some serious downtime (lots of crafting and cleaning). I love my husband but sometimes it is nice when he finds other people to be active with on the weekends so I can do some relaxing.

Anyway Beau's BFF (funny picture post on Beau's facebook where he calls Blake his BFF) left early on Monday and because Beau had been pretty active earlier in the weekend, we decided to take things a bit easier and opted to go down to Asheville for lunch and some walking around.

I didn't snap a ton of pics but here are a couple shots from our trip. The shirt I'm wearing is a new fave. It's a reworked dress that I rescued from a thrift store and decided would make a cute top. I've got a before and after of it but it's stuck on my camera and I cannot find the cord to transfer photos from my camera to computer...boo.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ft. Laud or bust

Have I mentioned lately how proud I am of my husband? Moving up to Asheville and starting up his own business was a big step out of Beau's comfort zone but he did it, and as if God hadn't blessed us enough by facilitating all of this, He also helped Beau to win a trip through work to Ft. Lauderdale! An unexpected, but much needed vacation. Blessed much?

We had our choice of activities and one of the options was to take a tour of the Everglades on an airboat. I think Beau and I both expected a little more swamp and a lot less tourism but it was fun either way, and when else are you going to get the chance to ride around on an aiboat? Plus the whole experience was very "old Florida". I long for the old Florida vacation days gone by of citrust scented erasers, plastic alligators, and oranges/grapefruit by the ton sold in rickety road-side stands.

What vacation memories are some of your favorite?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Yard Sales and Flea Markets and Mother's Day

Grandma and I at the Dino exhibit. After this she took me to Olive Garden where I tried and fell in love with Fettuccine Alfredo. I didn't know what to order and she said get the Fettuccine, it's like Macaroni and Cheese, you'll love it...and I did!

It's nearly Mother's day and that's got me thinking about all the great times I had with the wonderful women in my life. Now that it's getting to be the heart of spring, it has me thinking about all the fantastic times I used to have hitting up the yard sales and flea markets with my grandmother. We used to get up early, hit up the yard sales, find awesome treasures and reward ourselves with a nice Checkers hamburger when we had done all the damage we could for the day. I still order my hamburgers the exact same way lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup...it's a delicious combo!

We also liked to hit up the flea markets. Grandma would always take me to the gem-mining booth and sit patiently with me as I sifted through the muck in hopes of finding precious jewels. We'd snack on elephant ears or funnel cakes and have an absolute blast. I'm super excited because I hear there is actually a decent flea market up here in WNC. A friend has offered to take me out and show me around and while I'm sure it will be fun, nothing will compare to the times I spent scouring the booths with my Grandma.

I was blessed to grow up so close to my grandparents. I spent as much time as possible with them. My grandparents and I had some awesome times. She, my grandpa and I were the best of friends and I'll never forget those amazing times we spent together. She and I live several hours away from each other now, and my Grandpa or "Papa" as I called him, has gone on to be in a better place but I am so thankful for the time we spent together when I was younger.

Those memories will always be some of my favorites to think back on and I always get a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart when I pass a yard sale sign and think of how lucky I am to have her as my grandmother.

It's already been a super busy spring...

Beau and I have been busy, busy this spring. We've been doing lots of hiking, a little traveling and a little bit of giving back. We participated in the March of Dimes with the University of Phoenix-Asheville Team two weeks ago and had a great time. This is a great event and I found out after the fact can be made into a run if you're up for the challange.

I'll do several other posts this week hopefully with some more details about our busy weeks. I've got a little break from school and I'm taking advantage of the time to get caught up on my blogging :-)