Wednesday, December 1, 2010

putting a spring in my step

So I finally joined the 21st century a few months ago and got an iPod, which is quite a pretty one if I do say so myself (thank you iSkin).Thanks to my trusty iPod I have had an extra spring in my step on my evening commute, and I mean that quite literally. Isn't it amazing how music can just transport you to another world, cheer you up and make you happy? I've wondered more than once what my fellow commuters make of the smile on my face when I'm all earphoned out.

Make fun of me if you will, but here are a few Christmas tunes that I've enjoyed lately:

*NSYNC - wow! This takes me back to sophomore year of high school. I remember listening to this on the bus during basketball season, and it is possible I had this album on cassette tape (haha - I was even behind the times then!).

David Archuleta (aka Archdawg around our house)- we are thouroughly enjoying his Christmas album:

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

betchya didn't know

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month? Well now you do! Adoption has been on my brain a lot lately, so I guess it's appropriate that this month is an extra special time to be thinking of it.

To give you an update on us, Jeff and I are currently in the process of getting approved for adoption in the state of Maryland (different states, different standards), which hopefully will be squared away soon. We have had a number of birthmothers express interest in us over the last few months, but nothing has come to fruition for us (yet). We so much appreciate the kind thoughts, words, e-mails, and prayers you continue to offer on our behalf. It's wonderful to know that so many people are thinking of us and pulling for us!

I mentioned this a few months ago, but we would love for you to keep us in mind if you hear of any situations where a birthmother is considering placing her baby for adoption. We still have our LDS Family Services profile posted here, and this blog and our family blog are other places you can direct them to. I am hoping to get some pass along cards as well (I'm entering this contest to win some free ones - wish me luck!), so please let me know if you are interested in receiving some of those once we have some.

Adoption is so beautiful. I love the way is can influence really countless lives for the better - the adopted child, adoptive parents, and birthparents, not to mention extended families and friends of each of those parties. What a gift it can be! Jeff's wonderful older sister Becky was adopted, so we have witnessed some of those blessings firsthand.

How had adoption touched your life or the life of someone you know?

Monday, November 8, 2010

remember that one time...

that I went to Hawaii, said I would post about it, then never did? Yeah, that was a year ago.


I've been thinking about doing it for a while, but it just seems so daunting. But I have this Thursday off. Maybe, just maybe I'll get the motivation to do it. We'll see. In case I don't, here's a little sneak peak.

How's that for committment? :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

longwood gardens

Last weekend Jeff and I went to Delaware and Pennsylvania to see his brother Rob and his wife Jolene. It was wonderful to see family out here and spend some time with them. One of the things we did was go to Longwood Gardens. It was so amazing! I kept finding myself telling Jeff, "I want one of these someday!" Just exquisite. Our time was quite limited, but I did manage to snap some pictures of what was growing there.

Oh, these beautiful mums! I think I could take pictures of the purple ones forever.

A Bird of Paradise, Jeff's favorite flower.

I loved the water lily gardens. I kept telling Jeff that I just wanted to float away on one of those big lily pads - they were huge!

Flowers weren't the only thing they had at Longwood. This wall was incredible! So green, and the fresh vegetation smell was lovely. It was one of the things I told Jeff I want in our house someday. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

paperie goodness

Ah - I love paper! I've told you about my love of paper things before, but now I'm going to do some more showing of why I love it.

First are envelopes I am making from some vintage magazines I got from my dad. I think there is something special about snail mail, especially when it comes in a beautiful envelope. I'll need to make some labels to write the addresses on to ensure they make it to the inteded recipient.

Staying on the handwritten correspondence theme, here are some fun little flower notecards. When I got them for Christmas last year they were just plain, solid colors, so I dressed them up with my Paper Source Cottage Bloom stamp to make them extra special.

Who knew a plain old Staples clipboard could look so good? All you need for this project is some pretty paper and Mod Podge to stick it on with. Isn't the little bird paper fun? It's Snow and Graham wrapping paper.

I don't know about you, but I continually find myself drawn to animals and critters - birds, butterflies, squirrels, etc. I made this little guy and don't really have anything in mind for him, but I still think he's cute.

Finally, another little critter. I wish I could take credit for designing "Skip," but all I can claim is the purchasing, downloading, printing, cutting, and pasting. Mibo has some clever, clever paper animals. I got a bunch of the PDFs on a special deal a few months back and absolutely adore them! They're fun to give as gifts, and also fun to keep. :)

Isn't it amazing how much you can do with paper? What are some of your favorite paper projects?

last minute crafts

Soo...I figure it's time to post some crafty craftiness from me. :) Those who know me well know I am a procrastinator. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I had put off a couple of projects prior to our move out to Maryland, so I was rushing to get them done at the last minute before we moved back east.

Exhibit A: a lovely apron for one of my girls camp young women who graduated in (ahem) May. In my defense, I had gone shopping earlier for fabric for this apron, but I didn't find something that just fit. Something that is very important to me when working on a special project is that I find fabric that "fits" the person I'm making it for. Lucky for me, just before we moved I found the perfect fabrics for Kayla's apron in her favorite colors - purple and green. I had to go to two separate stores to get them, but the extra effort was so worth it - she loved it!

I also made her a little wallet with the extra fabric. I still think these wallets are fantastic! I use mine all the time.

While I was writing about finding fabric that "fits," I remembered the bag I made for the beatuiful and talented Beth back in, um, March or April, for her birthday. Again, that was another project where I did a little shopping around to find the right fabric, in addition to some procratination on my end. But, again, the recipeint was thrilled with the final product. She wanted a bag to carry her kids' library books in and I think this fit the ticket!

And don't forget the horribly-photographed-but-cute-in-person interior pocket.

Finally, this is something I made for a girl in my ward who won a handmade bag from me at our Relief Society service auction I don't even remember what month it was in. :P But the important thing is that I finished it before I left! She requested a beach bag and this is what I came up with.

Okay, this is fun! Let's see if I can get myself to post some more of my projects from the past few months. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"i got a whole lot of happy" (birthday)*

Happy, happy birthday to Jeffrey! Today is his 28th birthday. This is a particularly happy one for Jeff in light of the San Francisco Giants winning the NLCS just minutes before midnight last night to make it to the World Series! Jeff loves baseball and has fond memories of watching the World Series on his birthday, so what a gift it is this year that he gets to watch his favorite team fight for the title! As a present, he got to go to Game 1 of the NLCS between the Phillies and Giants last Saturday, but I'll post more on that later.

Lots of candles - while shopping for them I realized we had reached a milestone because one package of candles will no longer cut it. 2 packages it is!

It may look like it, but no, the cake itself was not actually on fire. :)
We also realized that the 28th candle is the straw that broke the camel's back, as it took Jeff 2 tries to get all the candles. He had a good laugh about it. :) These pictures aren't completely in focus, but I love them anyway.

Happy birthday, Jeff! I am so glad you were born!

*NOTE: To explain the title of this post, go here to read about the quote from Juan Uribe, one of the Giants players. Love it! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

texting snippet

Said Karla to Jeff via text after her morning Metro ride into work on Friday:

"Can I tell you something? I love the Gospel! Since I left my stuff at work yesterday I just pondered on the Metro in today. I thought of The Living Christ, the Family Proclamation, the Young Women's theme, and the Relief Society theme. And you know what I realized? The Gospel brings me more joy than any of these DC thrills ever could. They are fun of course, but they don't even compare to the full, happy joy the Gospel brings me. It was a needed reminder that I always need to ctr so I'm worthy of Gospel blessings. Thanks for letting me share."

And it's true - Christ's gospel makes me happy. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

what are you thinking about?

Ah - love this video. It's an oldie, but a goodie.

So, the question - what are you about? In the words of President Henry B. Eyring's father, "When you walk down the street, when you're in the shower or when you don't have anything to be thinking about, what is it that you think about?"

Perhaps you have heard the story, but this is the question President Eyring's father asked him to help him discover what it is that he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Trying to follow in his father's footsteps, he was studying physics. However, after pondering his father's questions, he changed his major and studied business, went on to get a PhD, and ended up teaching it.

Now don't take this as an introduction to a big career change. But I am starting to notice there is something I think about pretty much every day - at home, at work, on my commute. I just can't seem to get it out of my head, even though I probably should. That little something is...


Okay, well, not just food, but baking. I LOVE baking. I can't get enough of it. I want to do it every day, seriously. Not cooking - I mean who wants to go home and cook dinner? Haha, okay, I know there are some of you out there that love cooking deliciously nutritious meals for your family. I'm not so much one of them (much to Jeff's chagrin). Me, I want to bake my most favorite things, and two of those things are bread and treats. Mmmmm....yes, bread and treats. For example,

Chocolate caramel crakers
Pumpkin cake
Apple honey challah

Vanilla breadsticks (a variation of these)
Buckeyes (not technically baking, but a treat nonetheless)
Cookies n' cream fudge
S'mores bars (omit the nuts to be like me)

just to name a few...

Oh yes, I love me some bread and I love me some treats! Unfortunately my 10-11 hour work days (when you factor in the commute) do not leave me the luxury of spending as much time baking as I would like. Someday perhaps, someday. However, my waistline could probably do without. :) But baking is one of the ways I can create, taking raw materials and producing a wonderful end product that would not have existed without my vision, my hands, and my work. Mmm...being a baker makes me a creator, and that is something to feel happy, fulfilled, and satisfied about.

How about you? What do you think about when there's nothing else you have to think about?

Monday, September 20, 2010


For those of you who have asked, or who wanted to ask, or who might someday ask, the answer is YES! There are vacancies at the Ehlers' place! Please please let us know if you're ever in the area and need a place to bunk for the night(s), stop by before/after your temple trip, etc. We'd love to have visitors, and we have a dependable air matress with your name on it. :)

lunch break - installment II

For lunch today I walked to the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art. I had only been here once before and didn't spend a lot of time there. I didn't have a lot of time there today either, but I was glad I went.

Again, the lovely Capitol, looking toward the West Front on the walk down Capitol Hill.

They had a Dutch painting exhibit where I spent most of my time. Ah - you know how I feel about flowers, even in 2D. :)

Pictures truly don't do this painting justice (especially from my little phone camera), but the detail on the arches was so amazing! I loved it!

I was very intrigued with the way the painter made the reflection of the moon so realistic, almost like there was actually light coming from the painting. It was interesting to get up close to it and see that it wasn't real light at all, just paint. Wow.

Another view of the muesum. And I'm happy to report that petunias have the same lovely fragrance over here on the east coast!

lunch break - installment 1

Welcome to the first of hopefully many installments of what I'm up to in DC. I realize that I have some amazing opportunities, being able to work so close to so many incredible places. As a result, I'm making it a goal to use my lunch breaks as opportunities to get out and experience these places and things first hand.

So, something you'll probably be seeing lots of pictures of - our lovely US Capitol (please forgive the low resolution - it was taken with my low quality phone camera). I spent last Friday outside of the East Front door (TRIVIA: did you know there isn't a "back door" to the Capitol? They consider both to be the front door, so there is an East Front and a West Front). I used the time to write a letter to my mom (I did some pondering on the lost art of letter writing, but I'll save that for another post). It was nice and warm. I know it's still early fall here, but I am starting to see why everyone raves about autumn here. It is warm, but not hot. Cool, but not cold. I'm enjoying it already!