Monday, December 19, 2011

Crafting Fun

Recently I decided that I wanted to get back into crafting. So I have a couple of projects I would love to show. Take into consideration that my photography skills leave something to be desired.

First I made a bulletin board/white board of sorts. Since I'm currently having a love affair with Pinterest, there are tons of ideas floating around that I want to copy recreate.

To make the cork portion, I cut down the tiles to the size of frames that I bought. I took a stencil and painted a border on two of the sides and let it dry. Since I was doing a four frame set, I did this again. Make sure that the glass is no longer in the frame, otherwise you can't actually use the cork as a bulletin board.

To make the "white boards" I took fabric swatches that I had lying around and wrapped them around the backing of the frame, as if I were upholstering a chair seat. Using hot glue, I secured the fabric to the board. Then I put it back in the frame making sure that the glass was on the fabric since the glass is the part you write on with dry-erase markers. 

Original frames

Completed white board frame

This is how the whole thing looks on the wall.

All in all, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was also a pretty quick and simple project. Just as a tip, make sure that the fabric is light enough so that you can see what you write on the glass. 


This year for Thanksgiving we fled the cooling weather in Virginia for a warmer Arizona climate. Matt's parents generously made it possible for us to spend Thanksgiving there at the home of Matt's oldest sister, Ashby. We had such a great time! On the morning of Thanksgiving, we participated in a Turkey Trot being put on in Ashby's neighborhood. There was a great turnout and our crew had made custom Turkey Trot T-Shirts for the event.

The whole crew (minus Stacey's husband, Cade)

The happy couple
After the feast, some of us adults took the kids to see the Muppet Movie. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. We were sad to see the trip end, we love being with family. We headed back to Richmond for the home stretch of the semester.

*All photos courtesy of Ashby Hatch*


So for Halloween we went to our ward's Halloween Party on the Saturday before Halloween. The Primary was in charge of it, and since I'm one of the choristers, I went early to help set up for the party. Part of the activity was putting together care packages to send to troops in Iraq so there was kind of a patriotic/ARMY theme. It was great fun and turned out very well.

This is me with my little ARMY buddy.
He is one of the great kids in Junior Primary

My husband decided to be Captain America, so I suppose
it was appropriate that I dressed up as a n ARMY soldier.

An Overdue Update

So there are many things to update you on. I'll try not to be longwinded since I know that would be super boring.

First off, my birthday (yes, I realize that it was nearly three months ago, but who's counting?). Matt and I went up to northern Virginia to stay with his parents for the weekend. Matt had bought me tickets to see...

I had never seen it before and it was being performed at the Kennedy Center in D.C. the weekend of my birthday. I loved it. It was very moving and I'm so glad I got to see it. 

This is us right before the show
On Saturday (my actual birthday) we got to watch General Conference which we loved, and then I got to open presents (yay!). Karen and Bill really made my birthday special, especially since I'm so far away from my family.

I got a great new purse, some books, earrings, and a temple bag. Definitely a great birthday! A Stringham family tradition that came from Karen's family is an ice cream birthday cake. It's delicious! Karen made it and colored the frosting purple since it's my favorite color.

Thank you all for making my birthday so special. And special thanks to my wonderful parents for making it all possible!

Monday, November 7, 2011

One Year

I've been quite remiss in writing lately and I apologize. I need to update the blog but something very important happened a year ago yesterday. A year ago on November 6, 2010 I decided to join LDS Singles for a month- that same day I found the profile of one MattfromVA. I sent him a message telling him that he seemed great and uI would love to get to know him better. Little did I know then that that simple message would drastically change the outcome of the next year and my life. It truly is the small and simple things that being about great things as Alma tells us in the Book of Mormon. I am more and more in love with Matt every day. I am convinced that a sweeter, kinder, and more loving man does not exist. I love him so much and thank my Heavenly Father every day for bringing Matt into my life. Here's to the first of infinite best years of my life.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn Love

I have to admit, I'm a total sucker for the fall. I love the change in the air, the rain, the leaves, and the yummy food. I remember the anticipation and excitement I felt as a kid at the beginning of the school year. There was just something about the new clothes, the new school supplies, and the start of a new year. Maybe my affinity for autumn comes from the fact that I was a September baby, so I have tree sap for blood (I am from Oregon after all). I am greatly anticipating my first east coast autumn- the first of many. I am so excited to watch the fall colors burst from the green of summer.

I am a week away from my birthday. I will be 24 and I can hardly believe it. I know that this year's birthday will be so different from last year. I spent my last birthday working on projects on campus all day long, and came home for about 20 minutes that evening since my roommates had made me a cake. After which I went back up to the school. Yeah, it was pretty thrilling. If someone had told me last year on that day that a year from now I would be celebrating my birthday with a husband (and his parents) I don't think I would have believed them. As it is, I'm so grateful I would have been wrong. There could be no better gift than celebrating with the love of my life. Not only will it be my birthday that day, but also the 5-month anniversary of our wedding. I love being married, but more than that I love being married to Matt. It never seems possible, but I love him more every day. He is so sweet and thoughtful, it's hard to believe he would want anything to do with me.

Matt has been busy with school, but he always makes sure that he takes time to spend with me. Despite his busy schedule, I will still discover the dishwasher unloaded in the morning after getting home from taking him to school. I hope he knows how much it means to me than he so willingly does the little things to help me out. And so often without me even asking or mentioning that he do it. It's still hard for me to believe that I'm so incredibly blessed.

Serving in Junior Primary has been a pleasure so far. There are times when I wonder if anything I'm doing is getting through, but I think the kids like me and I sure think they're cute so it's a pretty good fit. They seem to enjoy the activities we have been doing to review the songs for the primary program and I'm hoping some of it is sticking in their little sponge brains. One of which was a game called "Sing Like a..." in which a kid is called to the front and chooses a circle that on the other side has a picture and what they are to sing like. For example, a robot, a baby, a girl, an old man, etc.

I made them with the help of my printer and new handy-dandy laminator. Oh, and scissors. Sorry the picture isn't that great. But you get the idea. My camera is not that great and so I use the camera on my phone which is better than my regular camera but still leaves much to be desired. Maybe someday I will remedy that situation and then learn how to properly use it. Someday.

I will send you off with a beautiful autumn scene. Sigh-worthy, no?


Monday, September 5, 2011

Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and Callings

Obviously it has been a little while since I have posted, so I'm sorry about that. Things got pretty exciting around here geologically speaking. Two weeks ago today we had an earthquake, it was strong enough that much of the east coast felt it. I had never been awake during an earthquake before, so I didn't know what was going on the first couple of seconds. I was standing in Wal-Mart doing some grocery shopping and looking at produce when the shaking started. A few seconds later it stopped and I was about to go back to  my business when the employees started yelling at us, telling us that we had to leave everything there and get out of the store. So some people just got in their cars and left while others of  us were shooed away from the building. Nobody seemed to have any clue as to what the heck was going on so we all kind of loitered around, hoping we would get some info. The employees were clueless, too. Anyone surprised? I wasn't either. One lady who had been gettin' her nails did at the classy nail salon inside Wal-Mart said she was sure that it had to be a sinkhole because Virginia doesn't have fault lines (all this was said with a southern Virginia black people accent). I took her information with a grain of salt because there was no way it was a sinkhole causing that quaking. Later, after she had been informed that it had, in fact, been an earthquake, she came back over to me to let me know that it had been. Um, thank you stranger lady waving your wet nails around talking like you know everything about Virginia's geology. 

So I waited around for about an hour before I got sick of it and was tired of sweating my life out and then I took off. Forget the fact that I had stuff in my cart, I was done standing around wasting my time. So I drove back down the main drag to my apartment and pulled into the more expensive than Wal-Mart grocery store which was open and functioning. Not to mention the produce was significantly better. 

Next natural disaster? Irene. Yes, we were in the hurricane zone. That occurred that weekend following the earthquake. Yeah, two in one week, it was great. So we bunkered down that weekend. It was pouring like crazy outside and the wind was all over the place. Our lights flickered a few times but never went completely out. We were extremely fortunate considering the fact that like 75% of Richmond was without power. Not only that, but some people spent the better part of that next week without power. Thankfully, the casualty count wasn't nearly as high as Katrina's was. Not that our hearts don't go out to those who lost loved ones or possessions, we are just grateful there weren't more. 

I was given a calling a few weeks as well. So, I haven't been to Primary since I was in primary. I never substituted or anything. Matt and I did serve in the nursery this summer but that is the extent of my work in that capacity. So when I was called to be the assistant Primary Chorister, I was a little (okay, a lot) overwhelmed. I remember loving Singing Time when I was in Primary and I want so much for these kids to love it as I did. I also remember how elaborate it seemed to be. I was assigned to do Singing Time for the Junior Primary, and I was honestly petrified. I've served as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, Relief Society teacher, 1st and 2nd councilors in the Relief Society, as well as Relief Society President, and this still caused me to stagger a bit. But I'm not one to turn down a calling or do a crappy job of it so I put my nose to the grind to try and learn as much as I could and find as many resources as possible for the task. Luckily with technology the way it is, it's so easy to share what's worked as well as visuals. I don't know how they did it back in the day before it was so easy. I have a lot of respect for those women who put forth so much time and energy. Anyway, after much printing and organizing and stressing, I had my first Sunday of working with the kids. Thankfully, the Junior Primary consists of kids who are still young enough to be fascinated by simple things like Musical Chairs and visual aids. They also have no clue if things didn't exactly go according to plan. And the adults are just glad somebody else is entertaining them for 20 minutes. All in all, I felt really good about it and I think I will end up really enjoying it. I'm sure it's really a blessing in disguise, or as Gloria from Modern Family would say, "a blessing in the skies." 

Anyway, I'm off to feed my hungry husband who has been studying hard. Thanks for all of your comments and kind words. They are much appreciated!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home

So this summer we lived with Matt's parents. Matt worked at his dad's dental practice and I interned at a local interior design firm called Sanctuary on Church. Both of us had really great experiences at work and felt blessed to work where we did. I loved living with his parents, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to get to know them better. It was also nice to have built in "couple friends." We had so much fun with them! Karen and I were able to spend a lot of time together since I wasn't at my internship full time and the men were at work. I'm so glad that we get along so well. She treats me like one of her daughters and I can't express my gratitude enough for that.
Needless to say, when it was time to move to Richmond for Matt to start school, I was conflicted. I was excited for him to start school, and I looked forward to setting up our little place and decorating it, but I was also so sad to leave his parents knowing we would be in a place where I basically knew one person (Katelyn, a former roommate) who would start teaching again in the fall. With Matt being gone all day and not knowing anyone, I knew I would miss the easy friendship that Karen and I had developed and how nice it was to have someone around during the day, especially someone I liked.

Luckily, it's easy to move to a strange new place when you are doing so with your best friend. So, on the hottest day of the year, we packed up and drove the two hours down to Richmond. His parents came with us and I don't know how we could have done it without them. Especially moving the mattress from the truck to the apartment. Those things are ridiculously heavy. Luckily, one of my requirements was a first floor apartment so we didn't have to haul anything up the stairs. But, regardless, it was still a heat index of 108 degrees. With humidity. But we all survived.

We didn't stay down in Richmond long because Matt de
cided to work some more before school started and we were going to Texas for a few days for Carly's (Matt's niece) baptism. We then went back to Virginia and Matt worked the rest of the next week and then we headed to Richmond the Thursday night before orientation started on Monday. We were able to finish unpacking and do grocery shopping. Once orientation started, I finished decorating and setting up house. So, as promised, here are some shots of our place. Please note that I am not a photographer and my camera isn't the greatest, but it will have to do.

Front Door

View from Front Door

Our Dining Area (Matt and his dad refinished the table and I did the seats)
Straight on View of Kitchen

Side View of Kitchen

Living Area Shots

Hall into our Bathroom and Bedroom

Sorry the Color is Terrible

The Rest of the Bathroom



So, there you have it folks, our first place. I'm really quite pleased with how it turned out and it really is beginning to feel like home. But that's probably mostly due to the fact that Matt's here. Thanks for your positive feedback on my last post, it really means so much to me to know that people are reading! Cheers!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Pilot Post

So I've decided to continue blogging due to popular demand. Also, since summer is ending, I won't be as busy (read: my husband will be starting dental school so I will basically never see him.). It's not that I didn't want to blog or had nothing to blog about, it's just that since Matt and my time together this summer was finite and dental school was looming, it just took abackseat. I know there is over three months of material to cover since my last post in Road to Marriage, but I will do my best to try and update on the things that have happened this summer.

Being married is honestly the best. Especially considering our whole relationship was long distance. Being in the same place is a novelty that I try not to take for granted. Before we got married, most people told us how much we would love being married, and few told us that marriage was hard. I am of the same opinion of the former. *Disclaimer: I do understand that there are marriages that are difficult due to one or the other spouse being a difficult personality or selfish, etc., however, I feel that in most cases it's not the marriage that is difficult, but sometimes difficult things happen. Getting off my soapbox now. Basically, what I'm saying is marriage is great! I'm pretty sure we are still in that disgustingly in love phase... if it is a phase.

Our wedding was beautiful, I couldn't have asked for anything more.

It went by in such a whirl, like they usually do, but the best part was the sealing and knowing that we are sealed together by the holy priesthood of God. What a blessing it is to have temples and the knowledge of the truth.

The day was absolutely gorgeous. It was a miracle that the weather was as great as it was. The end of April is always such a toss up in Oregon. It was wonderful to have our family there with us. Being able to share that experience with them was such a blessing. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day.

Of course there are many other photos that I love, particularly ones from the reception. But I've probably used up even the most patient person's attention so I will end this post. But stay tuned, because I have taken some photos of our new apartment that I am going to post soon. Just be forewarned, the picture quality isn't great. My camera isn't what it used to be since technology keeps advancing and stuff. Anyway, cheers!