Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the first year.

Well, it is official.  We have now been married for one entire year… 365 days… 52 weeks… 12 months!!


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I guess I always thought that because Max and I had such a whirlwind ‘courtship’- traveling here and there, getting engaged after only 7 months, moving in together within a few weeks of meeting (this sounds crazy when I actually write it down) that the first year would be full of learning more about each other.  Maybe we were meant to meet or knew each other in some former life because I can tell you now that after a year of marriage, I really didn’t learn anything new about my husband.  It is like I knew everything within those first few weeks- take it or leave it.  Obviously, I took it J.


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Although I don’t feel like learned any new things about Max, I defiantly know these last 365 days were full of lessons.  Lessons on living with and loving those things I already knew.  Over the last 12 months I have learned how it feels to be really loved for who I am (which is now much fatter than I used to be!).  I have learned to enjoy his love for long car rides to nowhere in particular.  I have learned how much I enjoy having someone to come home to every night.  I have learned what it feels like to really sacrifice for something you believe in.  I have learned what it feels like to miss people and home more than I ever thought possible.  I have learned that having someone to hold you when you feel this way makes it all better. 

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For our first anniversary Max took me on a surprise weekend away!  We headed up the mountains to a bed and breakfast in the cutest little town, Montville.  From our room we could see all the way to the ocean.  Also, did you know when they say BED and BREAKFAST they literally mean they bring breakfast to you… in bed!  It was amazing!! 


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Are you wondering what Max is looking at?? He dropped my iphone off the balcany... 3 stories!


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Can you see him WAY down there looking for it?  We were thankful it wasn't on silent otherwise someone would have had to buy someone else a new iphone....


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My present :)  I just LOVE it!


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He is such a good model, haha.  I am thankful he plays along with my silly ideas and picture taking.  What a good sport that husband of mine.


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We spent the weekend eating too much, shopping and wine tasting.  It was honestly one the most relaxing weekends away we have ever had.  The best part about the weekend though was the thought and effort Max put in to making it special and something to remember.  He has always been a dreamer- planning this and planning that.  Where he has trouble is with the follow through.  But this time...  Not only did he dream this up and plan the whole weekend, he followed through and made it amazing.  Yep… he got me good with this surprise!




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People always make such a big deal about your first wedding anniversary.  Like making it one whole year is such an accomplishment??  But you know what… it is!  It is a year full of new experiences and lessons and for some people a whole new way of life.  It is a time when you get to sit back and make your life exactly what you want it to be.  And while not all days are rainbows and sunshine, you get to relish in the fact that you picked each other to experience those times with- thick and thin, clean and dirty, happy and sad.     




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So, happy first anniversary to my wonderfully supportive husband.  Thanks for choosing me!



Monday, August 22, 2011

all loved up.

Cedar Creek is one of the very first places Max took me in Brisbane.  It is a beautiful place hidden back in the forest. After a 10 minute hike, you are there, in the middle of this natural beauty... and ice cold water!  


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This is the night after Thomas' surprise party.  We were all feeling a bit, well, seedy but wanted to get out and enjoy the sunshine.


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Look at these two... all loved up!

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My honey reminiscing about our first trip to Cedar Creek when we were all loved up.


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Caught ya!


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beautiful place. beautiful day. beautiful friends.
Life is good!

Friday, August 19, 2011

digital picture dilemma.

These days everyone is taking pictures of everything.  I can’t remember a time in the last few years that I have left the house without some kind of camera on me. Whether it be on purpose or not, most people have a camera on their phone or a pocket sized Canon in their purse.  Pretty much everyone owns a digital camera of some sort!



My question is, what is everyone doing with ALL of those pictures they are taking?!?  If you are anything like me, most of your photos are probably either still in your camera or saved on your computer next to your college essays and your very first resume (which consequently I have never looked at either).  At one time or another we must have really valued these memories because we felt the need to take photos of the experience.

So how can we get the most out of these photos and really enjoy the memories that they have captured?  I have a few, very obvious, ideas for you!

1. Buy a digital picture frame for your home or office.  Max bought me one of these for my birthday last year.  There are probably 1,000 different kinds you can buy ranging in price.  Mine is just a really small one that would have only been $30-$40.  I keep it in my office next to my computer.  When I remember to turn it on (which is most days) I often catch myself watching it, thinking about the memory flashing on the screen.  It makes me smile and think about the fun I have had with the important people in my life. I have also been known to actually laugh out loud when some pictures come up and jog a particularly funny memory in my mind.  Either way, it is a really great way to display your photos without having to change them out everyone five minutes.
I am also the unfortunate winner of an office without a window.  This digital frame allows me to enjoy the scenery that I miss for 8 hours a day… 5 days a week.  Tragic isn’t it!

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2.  Create a scrapbook.  Growing up, my Aunt Marcy sold Creative Memories scrapbook supplies.  Whenever we would travel up to Michigan to visit Aunt Marcy I would always sneak down to the basement where her scrapbooking room was and check out her new supplies.  She had everything!  Crazy scissors that cut waves on your photos, funky paper in every color you can imagine and a little tool that made the corners of your photos perfectly round.  I will never forget the time she asked me to help her make a page about our summer tubing adventures on Grandma and Grandpa’s lake.  When she handed me that special pen and told me to write my story I just about died!  I think Santa (or maybe Aunt Marcy) gave me my very own scrapbooking supplies that Christmas.  Over the following years I managed to make some of my very own handmade scrapbooks… but they were never as good as Aunt Marcy’s.

Since moving to Brisbane, my ‘supplies’ and I have been separated by the great Pacific Ocean.  While I have obviously picked up some new hobbies over here, I do miss the days of sitting cross legged on my bedroom floor covered in brightly colored paper scraps, chopped up photographs of my latest adventure and fingers covered in acid free glue until my legs went so numb I could no longer feel my butt.  I LOVED IT!

So go on.  Print those digital pictures out and start a’ scrappin’ until your butt goes numb… all the cool kids are doing it!

3.Create a digital PHOTOBOOK. While paper scrapbooking until you butt goes numb is appealing to some, others might find it a bit hard and time consuming.  Paper scrapbooking is tedious.  Paper scrapbooking is expensive.  Paper scrapbooking can take up a lot of room and be quite messy (at least it was for me!).

A few years ago I started using Snapfish to create digital photobooks.  Not only is it less expensive than traditional scrapbooking, the only tools you need are a computer and your photos!  Now a days, there are so many different options, companies, and programs out there that you can be as creative or noncreative as you wish.  The choice is yours! 


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I would say the easiest way to create a digital photobook is to use the ‘auto fill’ option. You upload your photo, select your theme and VOILA- you have a photobook full of your pictures.  While this option isn’t as creative, it does allow people who don’t feel so crafty to create really beautiful books full of memories with just a few clicks.  I usually create each individual page- changing the layout, number of pictures, background color, caption, etc. 

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Right now we have two of these books sitting on our coffee table.  It is amazing how many people look through them when they come over.  Unlike a traditional photo album, these books allow you to create your own story by adding captions.  Also, the photos are printed on to the page so you don’t have to worry about them falling out as they age.  Overall, I give the digital photobook five stars for being so easy and user-friendly.


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4.Create a digital SCRAPBOOK.  Now, you may be wondering what the difference is between what I call a ‘digital photobook’ and a ‘digital scrapbook’.  Digital scrapbooking is a cross between the traditional paper and glue scrapbooking and the digital photobook.  It allows you complete freedom to create your own pages however you would like.  It lets you do cool things with you photos like add embellishments, photo mats, stickers, stamps… anything you can do with paper you can do with digital (and even a little more!).  Now, this option is much more time consuming and tedious but just look at what you can create! 

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I LOVE this because it is just like my Aunt Marcy’s scrapbooks (well, almost) but I don’t need all of the expensive supplies.  So far the only thing I have spent any money on is the program I use- which I was already using to edit my photos (Photoshop Elements 9).  All of the other things you see I have gotten as FREE downloads online.  There is SO much out there for free and to purchase but since my hobbies seem to change every few months, I am going to stick with the free stuff for now.


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My layouts are really simple compared to most of the ones I have seen online.  If you want some ideas or are interested in making your own digital scrapbook, start here or ask me about it.

Well, that is all my rambling advice for today.  Happy Weekend everyone… we are off to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a surprise party.

Once upon a time Max had two friends, Thomas and Nerissa. Max had known these two friends for years and years, but for many different reasons these two friends had never really spent much time together. One fateful night while they were in Florida for our wedding, all of the stars aligned, the humidity was at the perfect level, the drinks were just cold enough, etc, etc and a spark flew (or, you know... what ever it is that happens when two people meet).


To make this long story shorter we will skip to the part that relates to this post....


Thomas has been working in Africa for over a year now.  He recently was offered a position with the same company that allows him to now live in Brisbane part time.  In honour of his "homecoming", his amazingly thoughtful girlfriend came up with the idea to throw him a SURPRISE welcome home party. Due to his 6am arrival to Brisbane, we decided to have the party at our house.


Nerissa did ALL of the planning and gave me the job of decorating which I was SO excited about :)  I decided to do an Australian theme, you know... because he was returning home to Australia (get it?!?). 


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Max's mom and stepdad were here in town this weekend. It is always great to see them but was really great this time because Val was such a HUGE help with the decorating!


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And now for the main event... 
the SURPRISE!!!


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I am pretty sure he had NO IDEA because he was completely speechless and a bit shocked.  

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Blake, Ryan and Mason playing after the surprise.


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Little Blake... he is going to be a big brother soon!


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Chloe and Byron starting the fire.

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The guest of honour preparing the meat.


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Nerissa's yummy salad!


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Maybe I should have been helping with dinner instead of taking photos of myself... oops.


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Max has known Chloe since she was born.  They are best friends :)


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Our teenager :)  Isn't he looking so much older now?

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Sam and I enjoying the warm fire.

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Mason and Ryan

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Mason and Ryan were obsessed with Thomas's mini Moke (the little car that the Welcome Home sign was attached to).


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I love this picture of Mason with the little teddybear in his lap... so cute!


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They were trying to escape the zombies that were chasing their car.  This is the point where they asked me to stop taking their pictures because the zombies could see the flash.  I didn't want to be responsible for a zombie attack... so I did as I was told and left :)

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Once the cold winter moisture soaked through the streamers until they hung so low you could no longer walk under them, we went to bed. 


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I think this was a very successful surprise party... and I know everyone is happy to have Thomas back on this side of the world.


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  Funny how these two people had to travel all the way to Florida to find each other when all along they were right there in front of each other; only one degree of separation between them.  Something to think about for all you single people out there ;)







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