Sunday, June 21, 2009

Me + A Craft Night =

InSpIrEd!!! When I was living in Philadelphia, my friend, Jill, would have me, along, with some other friends, over at her house for the occasional "Craft Night". One of the nights Jill pulled out some of her fabric books that she was collecting. One of them was an Anna Maria Horner book, which I had never heard of before, but fell instantly in love with after thumbing through just the first few pages. Needless to say I found this picture of a simple quilt that was filled with dark fabrics and then bound with a bright fabric that made the quilt pop. I absolutely loved it and thought that if I ever got the courage to make a quilt someday, that I would make one like that.

Well, in preparation for our move to Utah, being the de-junkster, that I am, was going through my storage bins and throwing out what I didn't want to move with. I always go through my old dance bin. Inside I have kept several things. I still have a ton of leotards from high school and college that I just can't part with...maybe because of the amount of sweat and hard work that was done in them, but below them also was a stack of shirts that I couldn't part with either. These shirts were only worn but a few times, and were kept for just sheer memory sake. We all had them, and some maybe have them still. I love looking at them, but got so annoyed by the fact that I would place them back in a bin every time. That's when ding, ding, ding...the idea came...Justin's mom had made him a huge quilt of all his shirts that he had saved from soccer camps, jerseys, etc. while he was on his mission. It is amazing! So I thought I could do the same, and hopefully find some great fabrics to go with them. Luckily Justin's mom was more than willing to help me, as this was going to be my very first quilt...and voila, here it is!!!

The front

The Back

This is a dance T-shirt from my high school days as a Jefferson Dancer. Justin's mom helped me start with all the cutting of the t-shirts and strips, and sewing them all together. She was the perfect teacher. She made me do all the cutting and sewing so that I could really learn, and guided me when I had questions. She helped iron all the sown pieces flat and laid them out. She was a huge support.

This is a T-shirt from college when I was a dancer in The Light of The World. The actual quilting I had done by the talented Shellie Blake in my old ward. She is amazing. I love the pattern she did over it, and it really shows up on the darker shirts. She taught me a ton about quilting from squaring it up to how to make and sew the binding.

I learned that fabric is forgiving, thank goodness, and that the key is to measure up along the seams, to keep all the strips and squares lined up. I was so afraid it would come out lopsided!

The actual binding probably took me the longest, because you have to finish it by hand, and I was trying to teach myself how to round the corners, which I still am not sure if I know how to do or not. But I love it, and it was a lot more fun than I thought. I might just have to make another one. Thanks again to Justin's mom for all her help!

Happy Father's Day...

To the best father and husband any wife and kids could ever ask for. We have been so spoiled this last month having him around every minute of every day. The one day he was gone for four consecutive hours, attending his orientation up at the U, Zach bawled, only wanting daddy to be home. We love you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An Italian Family Reunion...

Bonus road trip, and a ton of pictures. Since Justin doesn't start work until July we were able to go to his family reunion this year. We made it into a road trip. Our first stop was Rock Springs, Wyoming to visit Grandma and Grandpa VanValkenburg. We also got to see Aunt Gayle and cousin Jamie. It was a great visit and the kids warmed right up to their Great Grandparents.

We hit the road again. This is one our many visits to McDonald's. We love ice cream. We are in Cheyenne at this stop.

Then following the GPS rather than Map quest, we wound up on this gravel road somewhere between Wyoming and Colorado. It added about a half an hour to our arrival time. We were praying for a paved road to show up somewhere, anywhere!

Kate sleeping and Zach watching Toy Story. They were such troopers. I had all sorts of hesitations about driving in the car with kids for long hours, and my kids have proven me otherwise.

We finally made it Sterling, CO. Here are some of Justin's Grandpa's brothers and sisters that are still living. The one farthest on the left came up to me and said to me, "With that cute dimple of yours, I can just tell you are a Marostica!" Pretty funny considering that I was pretty much the whitest girl there. This white freckled body of mine is so far from Italian, but I will accept the compliment...thank you very much!

Here are all the children of the brothers and sisters from above. In other words the first cousins. Justin's dad, aunts and uncles, etc.

Zach took this picture of Grandpa Wal-Marty and Uncle Matt.

I guess this is a lot of how Zach experienced the Family reunion. He loved the program they had...lots of music, and Uncle Dan sang and played the guitar. Gee I wonder why? He is obsessed with the guitar, drums, you name it.

Three of the sisters sang some of their favorite Italian Songs. Here is one of them.

We took a tour of the cemetery where a lot of the Marostica's were laid to rest. Zach is putting a rose in the ground by Justin's Grandpa Lawrence's parents grave, John and Domenica. We also took a tour of Iliff, CO, courtesy of Uncle Harry, where Justin's grandpa grew up. Lots of history and lots of stories.

After the family reunion was over we continued our road trip. We passed through Matt Perry's(Justin's buddy from Dental school) old stomping grounds of Akron. And it was probably a mile long...I am not exaggerating.

We ended up in Rye, CO, where Justin's Grandma lives. We visited Justin's Grandpa's grave. This is the new headstone. It was beautiful. The Army charm is from his hat. He was a Korean War Vet. The Rose is a symbol to Lovell, WY, where Justin's grandma is from. And the Salt Lake Temple is where they were sealed. A few facts for the sake of family history.

Justin's dad took us on a little tour up into the San Isabel National Forest, near Rye. This is a castle that a man has been building since the 1970's. The guy is a little cooky, but pretty talented for constructing this massive thing.

Video of Justin and Me climbing the Tower.

Justin's dad took us up to his family's property. It was gorgeous! They use it for hunting mainly, but maybe someday will build a cabin on it...fingers crossed. The only way to get to it in the winter is by snowmobile!

Then we ate at "The Lodge", one of Grandma Marostica's favorite restaurants next to the San Isabel Lake.

We stayed with Grandma Marostica for the night. This is four generations!

We left Rye and headed back to Utah, with a few planned stops on the way. Just a few more remnants of some of our friends from Dental School. "Chaffee" County sign.

We climbed the Rockies and hit this amazing view among several, and even got a little snow!

These guys were having a blast getting pulled up the mountain by a snowmobile and skiing back down. Some people have the life...this was Monday afternoon...who needs work?

One of our planned stops was Aspen, CO for lunch. It is in a setting like Park City, only bigger and I might have to say better! I could live here. We ate the best burgers at a little place called "Bad Billy's" and walked around the town.

We eventually left and kept plugging along. Zach was in Grandma and Grandpa's car, Kate in ours...again such good troopers.

We had so much fun and saw so much. I have always said that I would much rather fly than drive, but after this road trip, I am thinking that driving is not such a bad thing. You definitely get to see and do a lot more than you think, granted you might have to take the longer roads, but well worth it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Last Three Weeks...

Have been spent moving from Philadelphia to Utah. Between packing, stressing, loading, stressing, saying our good-byes, stressing, BBQ-ing, and stressing...did I mention stressing?, we managed to see a few things in Philly that we had neglected to do our entire 4 years of living in Pennsylvania.

Here we are at the top of the steps at the art museum. Philadelphia is beautiful, at least this side of it anyway...

Grandpa and Zach re-enacting "Rocky". There Zach goes pulling that famous face of his...
One of my favorite things to pass along the freeway and look at during the day, and especially at night all lit up, are the crew houses along the Schuylkill River.
We hit up Geno's, for the first time. Easy cheese and all. You only live once. I thought my mom was going to die, but she ate it.

Again after all the stressing, packing, loading, stressing, good-byes, and stressing Justin took off with my Dad in the truck and my mom and I were off on the plane to Utah.
This is what driving across the country looks like from a Penske Truck. I hate to say it, but I don't think I missed much. Someday though I will probably get my chance...minus the kids though. I love them, but I just think the 5 hours on the plane, mixed with how exhausted they were from the week, was enough for me.
A lot of people helped us move, and we needed every little bit of it. Can I just say that Kids + Moving = Not Easy? My poor mom had to witness it all. She was so nice to take a month off and help us out. Thank You! The other kicker was having to say good-bye to Justin's parents. We even stayed with them the last week we were in PA, thinking it would help ease the whole good-bye...we were wrong. We are going to miss living so close to them. It is hard to move knowing that you leave behind things and people you love so much. We are now settled in our new place and are enjoying seeing family, friends, and Cafe Rio(hahaha). But, we definitely still think about Philadelphia every day and wish we could have the best of both worlds all in one place.