Links To The Past

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  • Sometimes you just need a good laugh, and this list from BuzzFeed provides it. I lost it at the sea flapflaps. Enjoy!
  • Although I’m sure you’ve already heard all about it, I am still pretty pumped about Marvel’s latest announcements. Most notably the next Captain America and Captain Marvel!
  • While the tone of this article about frivolous crushes is a bit cynical, I really enjoy the writing and how the subject is laid out. I feel there is such a huge difference difference between real love and the ooey gooey lovey feeling you get when you first meet someone, and this article only reinforces that.
  • In case you missed it, I was over at Sincerely, Sara this week taking part in her Books & Looks series! While I’m not too comfortable in front of the camera, I actually had a lot of fun doing the shoot with my BFF!

I’m a big fan of mashups, and this Portals/Zelda is fabulous. I love the Triforce on the side of the gun! Click the pic to see the rest of The Hookshot’s portfolio on RedBubble!

What Family Reunion Means To Me

I feel like when the term ‘family reunion’ is mentioned it is often met with groans, aversion, and the idea of sitting around awkwardly wishing you were somewhere else.

That is not my family reunion. For the past forty-eight years my family has gotten together for one weekend a year and celebrated the fact that we are here, as a family. We laugh loudly, play games, put on skits and musical numbers (seriously, we have a family band made up of ridiculously talented people), and generally have an amazing time together. I’m not talking ten or twenty people either – we have over a hundred yearly, and some years upwards of two hundred! It is truly one of the highlights of my year. I even wrote my college entrance essays about my family reunion. The experience of it has given me such an appreciation of what family is, and taking the time to recognize how lucky I am to have that.


Our campsite, before my mum arrived.


The view out into the field from our campsite. So beautiful!

I think my most vivid memory of the reunion isn’t so much an event, but a feeling. When I was about six, I remember being at the reunion and asking my mom every time I wanted to leave our campsite and go out and do something in the field (play games, jump in the sandpit, anything). Finally, she sat me down and said, “This weekend there are no rules – you can go where you want here, play with anyone, and have fun!”. As an extremely shy child, that was such a revelation to me. This was a SAFE place, a place where I am constantly surrounded by people I love, a place I can’t get lost and can do anything. That feeling has still stuck with me, eighteen years later.


We’ve started a new tradition where each branch of the family hosts a Happy Hour where we can all chat and mingle together! It’s so great! And although I’m not a drinker, I did have a glass of some amazing Sangria this year.


Some Frisbee with some cousins (and their awesome dog!).

We do so much at each reunion, but my personal favorite part is listening to all the acoustic music around the big campfire at night. My family is so musically talented, and it is amazing to be able to just relax and soak in all the wonderful music. I look forward to it every year!

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My little one participating in the kids pie eating contest.

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Then it’s the adults turn!

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Plank racing, a super fun game that is actually quite difficult. No matter how old, everyone gets in on the fun here!

I absolutely love my family. I love that in such an age of digital communication and social disconnect, we still all take the time to get together in person, and celebrate just being a family. My mum brought me at three months old for my first reunion, and so far I’ve never missed one. Even with twenty six reunions under my belt, I can’t wait until next year already!

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! The hubs and I have never done anything over the top for this particular holiday. Neither one of us are against it at all, it’s just not one of those holidays that is really important to either one of us. We have the tendency to randomly surprise each other with little things for no reason at all (he usually snags me nerdy collectibles, I tend to bring home some of his favorite sweet treats!) so V-Day just isn’t too big on our celebration list. But this year, I was spoiled!

We celebrated on Wednesday since he had the day off, and first he surprised me with this beautiful orchid.



Orchids are my absolute favorite flower, in basically any variety and this one is so lovely. Giant blooms, with plenty of buds left to open up!

Then he got me a HUGE square of fudge from my favorite shop! YUM! I rarely ever get fudge, so I’m pretty excited to savor this baby. Despite the fact that all I want to do is take it to a corner and gnaw away the entire thing, mouse style. But a little at a time. . .self control. . .I can do that!


And lastly, as if that wasn’t enough he got me a new Game of Thrones Funko figurine! I LOVE my Funko guys – I think they are such an awesome combination of totally adorable and totally creepy. He got me Jaime Lannister for Christmas, and now he’s added Jon Snow to my collection!


ISN’T HE JUST SO ADORABLE?!?! He is definitely my favorite one yet. His little mustache just kills me.

The little miss and I made him some cards earlier in the week. For hers, she painted a separate sheet of paper and then I cut out heart shapes. She glued them on in a line on the front of his card and then ‘wrote’ (aka she held the Sharpie while I guided her hand) on the front. For the inside she opted to do a watercolor drawing on one side, and crayons on the other. She was so proud! For her envelope, she colored a white heart and glued it on. Mine was just some stamp letters and silver ink! I think this years card is my favorite card I’ve made him yet. It’s silly, which suits us (definitely not the romantic sappy type over here) and also adorable! For the inside I used a sticker from my Scrawny Girl sticker pack and wrote a little love note for him. Perfect!





How do you plan to spend your Valentine’s Day?

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A Celebration of Love

I’ve had love on the mind this week. Not because it’s Valentines Day on Friday, but because on Sunday we celebrated my grandparents 60TH wedding anniversary. Sixty years together! It’s one of those numbers that seems unfathomable simply because I can’t picture any part of my life that far into the future.

Their wedding day in 1954.

My grandparents have always been my inspiration for a perfect relationship.  They were a gigantic part of my childhood, and so many of my values have been instilled in me by them. Not even just in terms of relationships, but life values as well! I think my favorite thing about both of them is their ability to find humor in anything. To me, that is so incredibly important in a relationship. You have to be able to laugh together – especially if you can find humor in the frustrating times.

Sixty years, three children, three grandchildren, and one great grandchild later.

I also know that they didn’t get to sixty years together without an incredible amount of work and dedication to the life they built together. No relationship is easy street all the time. Everyone has lows. Whether it’s financial, emotional – there are always times of struggle. But choosing to work through it together is what makes a relationship work. And they have worked through every hard time together, and come out stronger than before.

We made a Through The Years display as part of the decorations, with one photo of them together from each decade. I love seeing them age together throughout the years!

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Between their anniversary and Valentines Day rolling in soon, it’s made me think about my own relationship, and how happy I am in it. The hubs and I have certainly had our share of ups and downs, but I feel like we too are stronger with each obstacle we overcome. I love how we poke fun at one another and share that humor, I love that feeling of ‘home’ when we are together, I love what an amazing father he is, and I love that I can count on him for anything. Sure, we bicker occasionally, and definitely each have our faults (I am well aware that I have a serious case of nagging wifey syndrome, yet can’t seem to stop!) but we truly love one another, and are willing to work through problems when they arise.

So here’s to my grandparents sixty years together, and here’s to my own journey of building a life with the man that I love. Cheers!

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Our Annual Family Reunion

I feel like for some people, a family reunion can induce a lot of stress and eye rolling. The complete opposite is true for me – I look forward to our annual family reunion every single year. I have been going for 25 years (I was three months old for my first one and have never missed one yet!). I even wrote my college essay on this particular event and what it means to me.

Family has always been extremely prominent and important in my life, and I love that our whole family feels that way too. We have a HUGE, widespread family, but every year for the third weekend in July we all come together to celebrate how lucky we are to have one another to call family. An average size year means about 130 people show up. We camp in a giant field (all forms of camping – RV’s, pop-up campers, and good old fashioned tents) and spend the weekend making music, playing games, and in general enjoying each others company. How fabulous is that?

Loving the tent.

Bubbles in the field.

My hubs relaxing after setting up the site with my brother.

Having such a large gathering takes a lot of work and coordination. We have officers in our family (President, VP, Secretary, and Treasurer) who each have designated jobs that keep the reunion running smoothly. We have games for the kids with prizes, and we also run a raffle and 50/50 raffle to raise money for further family reunions. I’ve been the family secretary for the past two years, which means I’m in charge of keeping everyone’s addresses up to date, and helping out the President in sending out updates, etc. I love it, and hope to ‘stay in office’ for years to come!

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              A very happy camper!    My brother – such a handsome fellow.

This year one of my cousins organized a special raffle. She had been in Peru volunteering at a girls orphanage and wanted to raise money to send back to them. She was raffling some of her gorgeous photographs and two beautiful handmade cups that the girls in the orphanage had made! I very much wanted one of the cups, and I got it. I literally jumped out of my chair when they called my ticket number! All in all, our family raised $270 to send to the orphanage – not too shabby if you ask me.

The beautiful photos and handmade mugs in the Peru raffle. I won the mug on the left which is the one I wanted, yay!!

My family is also incredibly musically talented. Saturday night is the designated evening for entertainment and it never disappoints. A full band gets up and plays under the tarp, and then later we all move around the big campfire and sing/play guitar acoustic style until the wee hours of the morning. My little miss fell asleep in her camp chair cozied up by the fire listening to the sounds of her cousins singing. Those are the memories I want her to have growing up.

Family band time!

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My miss was just loving the music – she danced the night away, and even had to bring my brother’s girlfriend up to dance with her!

My childhood memories are bursting with different recollections of the reunion, and I can’t wait for my baby girl to be ecstatic about going too. I just love my family!


See you next time!

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