Wednesday, December 7, 2011

just because

I was going through some old photos and found some pictures I took of the Twin Falls Temple back in 2009, I think. I had just stopped at my grandparent's house and was on my way back to Boise when I drove by the temple and was taken with the beauty of the white temple against the gorgeous evening sky - I had to at least try to capture it! This picture certainly isn't perfect, but I decided the breathtaking blue sky was just too gorgeous not to share.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

lucky number 7

Back in August Jeff and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary! We went to one of our favorite Indian food restaurants here in SLC (please come visit us so we can take you there - yummy!), then went and played mini golf, one of our favorite things to do together. I'm so glad I married my best friend in the beautiful Idaho Falls temple 7 years ago. :)

real country

There is something about an agricultural field that just captures and holds my attention. Whether is is a vast expanse of potato, wheat, or corn I often find myself pausing to take in the beauty. I love the close up macro shots, as well as the big picture views where the fields look like rich and colorful ribbons. I guess that's just one more thing that makes me a country girl. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

confessions of a color lover

I posted a similar picture from the fair in Boise a long while ago, but I still love it!

It's true - I am a lover of color - big time. Color is something I have always been drawn to, way back to learning the order of the colors in the rainbow and the complimentary colors. I even remember contemplating colors combinations as early as second grade (as a child I determined that pink/gray, pink/green, and purple/turquoise were good ones).
The love of color continues today. One of the most fantastic features of our SLC and Maryland apartments are/were the wall colors (LOVE the taupe, blues and yellow). And I have been known to organize my closet, bookshelf, fabric, even DVDs by color. And I admit to not being able to get over the first color issue of the General Conference Ensign issue - epic!

So it looks like I'm not the only one to confess a stronger than average affinity for color. Aarean is dedicating a whole new blog to it (with an awesome giveaway, too). Don't you adore the beautiful items she paired together above? Lovely. I believe I shall be making some more color posts myself one of these days.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

project: seat covers


A little something about me: I enjoy a nice, bold, graphic print. Lately I've been quite drawn to chevrons. I knew I wanted to incorporate this print into our decor somehow, so I decided chair-pad covers for our dining table would be just the place.

Exhibit A: Boring Before.

We bought a 5 piece dining set when we were first married (7 years ago!) from Walmart. The whole set was $100, which I do think was a steal of a deal (especially considering the Provo D.I. is ridiculously overpriced when it comes to furniture). We've had to replace some parts, but overall the chair frames have held up well. However, the boring tan fabric on the chair pads was in definite need of replacement from years of use and abuse. So, I figured the perfect time for this project was when we first arrived in Salt Lake, seeing as how the chairs had already been dissembled for the move. After lots of time in the fabric store (which, PS, can I tell you how wonderful it is to be so close to JoAnn's once again?!) looking for pretty yellow fabric for a decent price, I finally decided to just make my own yellow print with some white and yellow duck cloth that was on sale for 50% off. So, about $15 and a lot of work later...

Exhibit B: The Awesome After!


It took some long, hard thinking, experimentation, failure, seam ripping, and frustration with the staple gun, but I finally figured out how to make my own chevron print chair pad covers (I suppose I could have just googled "chevron design" and found instructions on how to make the print here, but that would have been much too easy). The seams aren't perfect and it took a lot longer than I would have liked, but I LOVE the result! The bright pop of color these add to our home is so fun, and I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I look over and think, "Hey, I made those covers!"

hello there

Hello there, friends. I'm alive and planning to post. I just need to get up the stamina to do some of the massive updating that lies before me. I can do this - I just gotta take baby steps. And my first baby step is this little post. Not much substance, but posting this picture of a pretty daisy-like flower from a hike up in Cottonwood Canyon back in August is a start, right?

Okay, that wasn't too hard. Let's see if I can keep this going...

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I remember that morning 10 years ago. I remember waking up and hearing that World War III had started. I remember going to my Political Science 1100 class that morning. I remember hearing my professor, a New Yorker, tell us with tears in his eyes that class was canceled - he needed to find out if his loved ones were okay.

I remember another day just 4 months ago, when Jeff and I visited Ground Zero. I remember walking around the construction site where the now completed 9/11 memorial stands. I remember walking into St. Paul's Chapel across the street, the place of healing and comfort where recovery workers stopped to rest between shifts during that dark time in their individual lives as well as our nation's history.

I was saddened to see picture after picture displayed of the victims whose lives were taken in the attacks. However, I also remember the feeling of gratitude for the many more individuals that gave their talents, time, and prayers to lift up the hands that hung down during that trying time. The chapel was covered with paper hands, origami cranes, and other forms of encouragement from around the world, sent by those who wanted to let the people of New York know they were not forgotten.

These memorials serve as a wonderful reminder to me about the potential we each have to be a force for good in this world. No act of kindness is ever wasted, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may be. Truly it is our responsibility to be the hands of God on the earth. As Marjorie Pay Hinckley said, "We all have a responsibility to make a difference, to be an influence, to lift someone." May we all strengthen our resolve to do just that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime

Hello friends! What a busy, busy summer it had been! After lots of driving, Idaho time, and visiting dear friends and family we are finally getting settled into our new place in Salt Lake City. I don't have a full update at present, but I will share a couple of fun summer photos taken with my new camera, the Canon Powershot G12.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Goodness! What a crazy few weeks it has been! I wish I had time to get my blog properly caught up on all the happenings of the last, well, 4 months actually, but I just don't have time tonight.

However, one piece of news that I suppose it is finally time to make official on the blog...

We're moving....

to Utah!

What? Didn't we just get to Maryland a year ago? Yes, yes my friends. But life has a way of leading us down certain paths where we think we know the final destination, only to lead to another, completely different path.

In short, after trying out the PhD program at the University of Maryland (and enjoying his professors and doing well in his classes, of course) Jeff has come to realize that the PhD route just isn't for him. Jeff loves to learn and had the ultimate goal of teaching in mind when he started the program at UMD, but Jeff came to find out pretty quick that teaching is not the focus of the PhD program he was in. The research heavy focus at UMD was too theoretical and philosophical for Jeff. He wants to be involved in the practical application of business; he doesn't want to write papers about business and study it - he wants to DO it.

So, after much research on graduate programs, pondering our future plans, and prayers for guidance, we came to the decision to go to Salt Lake City so Jeff can pursue an MBA at the University of Utah. Why Utah? Well, they made Jeff a great offer, which includes a spot in their entrepreneur center that Jeff is pretty stoked about. We are also hopeful this move will help him build his professional network in the west, seeing as how we love it there. Of course this is to say nothing about being closer to both of our families, which will of course be a big plus.

Although we have lots of reasons to look forward to and anticipate this big change, I don't think either of us were fully prepared for how sad we are feeling to be leaving our new home here in Maryland. I have an amazing job that has given me the opportunity to know some incredible people and to do some phenomenal things. We have had the opportunity to travel to so many places and learn so much about this country we both love. We have met so many dear friends out here, people we truly love and will be so sad to leave. We've come a long way from the homesickness we felt those first few months out here and are sad to be leaving behind so much we have come to love. During those times of sadness we are grateful to have the guidance of the Lord to help us know where to go, what paths to choose and what direction he wants our lives to take, even if we don't see the reasons why at present.

Something we have seen over and over in our lives - Heavenly Father is mindful of us and is directing our lives. I remember telling my brother that we were moving back west, and his first reaction was, "Man! What a waste!" feeling as though we moved all the way out here for nothing. However, we can honestly and truly say our time out here has been anything but a waste. We have learned so much, gained so much, and come to love so much out here. We see so many blessings from being here and are grateful for the time we've had - it has been a wonderful blessing from a Heavenly Father who loves us, knows us, and wants what is best for us.

So, here we are again, packing our lives into boxes for a big cross country move. We leave in about a month and will be spending time with family, friends, and loved ones in Idaho for a couple of weeks before we head to SLC. Hopefully we weather the big changes without too much sweat and tears and will settle again in the West soon. I can't make any guarantees on posting between now and then - I have a lot of catching up on our trips of the last few months as we've tried to squeeze the whole east coast before we leave! The above picture is from our trip to NYC. You can see my photo album on Facebook by clicking here.

Finally, lest you think Jeff is trading his Cougar Blue in for Ute Red, please be aware that Jeff still holds that you can attend the U without become a Ute and is proud to proclaim he still bleeds blue. Let's hope we can hold true to that!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

dearest may

Oh May, I love you! So many happy things to look forward to: New York, my birthday, softball, seeing friends, Boston...yep, it's gonna be a good month.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I highly recommend you do yourself a big, fat, favor and make this yummy yum yum Bread in a Bag. Do not be deceived - it is as ridiculously good as it is ridiculously easy to make if you ask me. Simple, quick, and not messy to make means I can create this loaf of goodness on a weeknight after I get home from work - oh yes! And I'm thinking this would be a fantastic project to do with kiddies.

We never seem to make it through a loaf of store-bought bread before we throw it out. So when bread is this easy to make, well, why bother buying the store bought stuff? This loaf disappears FAST! Especially when there's tasty apple butter from Amish country to slather on it. :)


Sunday, April 3, 2011


I do so enjoy the stunning night sky behind the Capitol, even when it's rainy out.

quilt fun

Quilts! Quilts are fun. Time consuming, but fun. Here is a quilt top I made for Relief Society (we tied them for the RS birthday party). I've done humanitarian quilts before, so I was excited to do one again. However, I was quite surprised when I was handed a bag of random fabric that was not cut into squares. What? I was going to have to cut it into squares myself? At first I was nervous, but then I got pretty excited as I looked online for ideas and started cutting. This is what I came up with. What do you think?

I know, terrible lighting, but you get the idea. And don't look to closely - there are definitely crooked lines and imperfect seams. But I am definitely glad I was able to get my creative juices flowing to make something nice for someone in need. And don't the colors look nice together? Berries n' Cream is what I call it.

Doing this quilt has inspired me to do some more quilts of my own! I have been going through my fabric to get rid of some and put some to good use in projects. I don't have a picture yet, but I will report my progress soon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


saw dandelions for the first time this year :: they still make me happy

Sunday, March 27, 2011

day trip - gettysburg and lancaster

One of the best things about living in the east - DAY TRIPS! Everything is so close out here that it would be silly not to pack up and see the sights when we have a chance. Last weekend we headed up north to see Gettysburg and Lancaster. I posted more details on our family blog, but here are some of the highlights:

First and foremost, a great travel planner and buddy :)

History in Gettysburg (loved this apron in the museum!)

Amish country

Wide open spaces

Quality time together. :)

Crazy mirror fun

Beautiful homes to admire

and tasty, tasty food!

You can read and see more on my other blog post.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

good, good news

Have I really not posted since January? Wow.

Things have been crazy around here - all sorts of fun going on! In the past couple of months we have had 2 sets of visitors (one from out of state, one from out of country), gone to Philly, Lancaster, Gettysburg, and downtown DC. I also made a journey across the country to spend a week and a half in Idaho for my job. Oh yeah, and Jeff started a new job and got a new calling. Like I said, all sorts of fun!

One of the biggest and best things that has happened in the last little while is that we finally have all our paperwork done for adoption, meaning Maryland has determined that we are okay to adopt as soon as we find a baby. YAY! This is a big deal for us. Our caseworker said that, from her experience, Maryland is the hardest state to get approved in, so we are THRILLED to be over that hurdle. Now on to the whole part of finding a baby - the next hurdle. :)

We'd love for you to keep us in mind should you know of anyone who is looking to place their baby for adoption. If you haven't already, please take a look at our profile (link to it here) and pass it along to others who may be interested. We hear that having friends and family on the lookout for you is extremely helpful when finding a baby, so we sincerely appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and efforts on our behalf. We are so excited to be parents!

Also, it's not something I talk about a lot on this blog, but this journey has been quite interesting, challenging, and amazing in a lot of ways for us. I have and continue to learn SO MUCH as we go through it. It certainly isn't easy - I've had plenty of low points and tough days, which probably won't magically disappear. But I see our Father in Heaven's hand in our lives, guiding and helping us along to let us know He has a plan for us. This process helps me learn what faith is all about - hope and belief in something, or, more appropriately, Someone you can't see, trusting that His plan for you is greater than anything you had planned for yourself.

I hope each of you who reads this recognizes that the same is true for you - God has a plan for you, and it is amazing! On days when you're doubtful and discouraged, He is there, watching you and certainly mindful of you. It hurts Him to see us hurt, but He knows this is how we learn and grow - by facing challenges, wading our way through them, and finding peace in putting our hopes, wishes, and desires in His hands and trusting He will give us what we need most. It may not be in our time frame, but He WILL fulfill each of His promises to us, just as He has fulfilled them for others and even to us in times past. In fact, we can trust that He will bless us with even more than we can imagine!

As you can probably tell, I could go on and on. :) If any of you are going through similar struggles or just need someone to listen, please know that I am here. I am certainly not perfect, nor have I learned patience and faith perfectly, but I know how helpful it is to have someone who will listen and help you realize there is hope, even if you can't see it yourself at present. My email is karlaehlers (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please let me know if I can help. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

saturday projects

I don't know what it is exactly, but I've been going to town the last couple of weeks in making our apartment more like home*. I've been hanging pictures, moving furniture, and arranging trinkets to give our place a more polished look and make it ours. I guess it's high time, considering we've been here for over 5 months now. :) Additionally, I also had time the last couple of Saturdays to work on some projects, which was fantastic!

First up is this Petal Pillow. It really was quite easy, although I made a few alterations from the tutorial posted for it on V and Co. First, instead of using felt I used some white fabric sturdified and made fray-proof (hopefully) with fusible interfacing. Second, I added a button to the front. And finally, I added a pretty yellow jewel button to the back to secure it. I really like how it turned out, much better than the old one I made about 6 years ago that no longer matches our decor. Although I will say Jeff was disappointed when I told him he couldn't actually lay on this pillow - for decoration only!

Next is this sweet little Valentine garland. It took me longer than I expected, but it turned out very cute. I'm not sure the pictures quite do it justice.

Finally, this is something from our time back in Boise that I never posted about (haha - not the first time I haven't posted a project). This bookcase, given to us by some friends, started out as one of those cheap $20 Walmart speicals. While I love Walmart and cheap furniture has its virtues (believe you me we have plenty of these items scattered around the house) I wanted to give it something to make it extra special. A small can of paint and some Snow & Graham wrapping paper, adhered with Mod Podge, did just the trick. Who needs fancy pre-assembled furniture when you can whip up something like this? Then again, pre-assembled furniture does sound pretty amazing. Someday... :)

*While we're on the topic of home, our LDS Family Services caseworker came to our place last week to update our home study. For those who don't speak adoptionese, that means we are VERY close to having all our paperwork done to get approved to adopt in the state of Maryland. That doesn't mean we have a baby all lined up to adopt, but at that point our online profile will be reactivated and we'll ready when a birthmom chooses us, whenever that is. Fingers crossed we're approved soon!


Ah, I do love dresses! Every year at this time I start dreaming of spring and what beautiful skirts and dresses I would like to wear in the warmer, sunnier days ahead. Here are some lovely ones I've spied over at Shabby Apple.

Let's start with an everyday dress. Enter L'Artiste dress. This is one I can see myself wearing all the time, whether to the grocery store, an outdoor party, or on a Sunday afternoon. I think that's part of the reason I love it so much - casual and wearable for everyday, but just enough femininity to make it something special.

As for the next step up in formality I like the Sierra Nevada dress. Not sure how the flowers on top would actually look on me, but I just love the cut and the belt.

Now this is a dress I've had my eye on forever, the Antiquated dress. I would love to have this as my "little black dress" that could be dressed up for fancier events like weddings and parties, but not so formal I couldn't wear it to church on Sunday.

What is your favorite Shabby Apple dress? Post about it on your blog and get a free pair of earrings. Details here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

i heart idaho

What a wonderful Christmas break it was! Jeff and I were lucky enough to spend lots of time in Idaho with family, friends, and loved ones. It was so nice to be home. :) While we were there Jeff gave me this lovely necklace. He got it from Etsy seller Truche, who makes all sorts of amazingness with metal. It is truly exquisite! It makes me so happy to carry such a beautiful little reminder of home around my neck.

As for some of my other favorite things from the trip, please see below.

Reed's Dairy Ice Cream! Not sure I will ever be able to restrain myself from the double scoop waffle cone. Mmm...mmm...mmm!

I made all sorts of fun snowflakes for my Mom. Here is the octopus one I came up with.

Pomegranate lemonade from Applebee's. Oh yes, it is tasty. Especially when you get free refills.

Snowshoeing - blessed, blessed snowshoeing. Here I managed to do a little quasi-sledding on the snowshoes. Don't tell the rental joint.

I took too many pictures to post them all on my blog, but you can see pictures of our snowshoeing adventure here and just general pics here.

Is it bad that I'm already excited to go back?