Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thanks, Michigan

Instagram photo from our Michigan road trip

Christopher and I have returned to the real world after road tripping around Michigan for the past week. We traveled about 750 miles, spent time on two great lakes, climbed into the belly of a brontosaurus, spent too much time (and money) at a few over-rated tourist attractions, and ate some of the best sandwiches ever made.

I haven't even had the chance to upload any of the photos we took - I promise I'll share them here soon. It's kind of hard getting back into the reality of a busy workweek, but I'm taking comfort in the fact that next Monday is Labor Day and we're also taking Tuesday off for our anniversary. Got to soak in as much of the dwindling summer sun as possible!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Michigan Road Trip

Our bags are packed, the camera is charged, and the mix cds are burned. We're off to travel around the outer mitt of Michigan! See you next Tuesday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Inspiration: Road Trips

Later this week, the mister and I will be taking some much needed vacation time for one last summer hurrah: a road trip around the coasts of Michigan. As if I'm not already excited enough, I've been browsing lots of lovely road trip photos and daydreaming about the glorious time off of work. Here are a few of my favorites...

 Photo by Chris Owen

 One of our engagement photos by Amanda Fales

Instagram by Kevin Russ

Photo by Anna Wolf

 Photo by Anna Wolf

 Photo by Ben Liney
 Photo by Stephanie Mull

We'll be making our way around the Michigan outer mitt, starting at Holland and Grand Rapids, traveling up to Traverse City and Mackinaw Island, hitting a few more stops out east and ending it in Ann Arbor. Fellow Michigan-lovers, let me know if we should be sure to stop anywhere in particular!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Camping

 Instagram photos of our weekend camping trip at Chain o' Lakes State Park

It was a tent pitching, 7-mile hiking, campfire making, marshmallow toasting, nature walking, under-the-stars sleeping, river kayaking, s'mores eating, prairie wandering, hot dog roasting, lake splashing, summer loving kind of weekend.

Summer to-do: spend a weekend camping. Check.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lovely Package Exchange

Have you heard of the Lovely Package Exchange? It's a blogger gift exchange with a focus on lovely wrapping organized by Danni of Oh Hello Friend. I've always wanted to participate but have never made the deadline since space is very limited... until this year! I was paired up with Katie of Hey Little Apple Blossom, and earlier this week I received some very lovely brown paper packages (the best kind!) all the way from Virginia.

Don't you love the polka-dot washi tape she used? I haven't jumped on board the washi tape train just yet, but it really is such a simple way to make ordinary things special. Taped to the package was a sweet note from Katie written on a vintage Virginia postcard, which I now have hanging on my inspiration board.

In the first package, I was delighted to find a vintage map tote bag from Mystic Moose. It was folded up so neatly that I had no idea what the package held... I have the habit of trying to guess what presents hold. I'm such a five year old when it comes to gifts.

The second package contained a copy of Silhouette Art: Papers, Instructions, and Patterns for Making Modern Heirlooms from Chronicle Books. I'm pretty sure I squealed with excitement when I opened this one. Katie knew I love silhouettes, so of course this book was perfect. Apparently she also knew of my secret dream to own every book published by Chronicle Books. Their design department is killer. 

The book contains tons of silhouette-themed craft projects as well as some lovely patterned paper and rich black card stock to make your own silhouettes. I think I'll be attempting these silhouette lockets in the near future. Thank you, Katie, for such a wonderful package! I'm loved getting this little bit of happiness in the mail!

And if you're curious, Katie shared the package I sent her over on her blog. It was such a fun little swap... be on the lookout for the next Lovely Package Exchange. Danni usually coordinate one every summer and again around Christmas time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

International Cat Day

Woah, woah, woah. Did you know that today is International Cat Day?! I had no idea until Tang clued me in on Instagram. So of course, I had to share a photo of Ulia (it's been a while since she's made an appearance on gathered heart, anyway.)

She's been loving summer just as much as Chris and I have -- stretching out for naps in the sun, watching the birds from her favorite window. What a life. Happy Cat Day!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Late Summer Sunsets

This weekend Christopher and I were complete bums. Saturday was a fairly overcast day and we had no problem sleeping in past ten (or was it eleven?) only to wake up and lounge around on the couch with lingering cups of coffee and slices of peanut butter toast. We ventured out of the house around six for Chinese takeout, and promptly returned home for an evening of Netflix. With as busy as our weekends have been lately, it was so nice to do absolutely nothing at all.

We were hit pretty hard with a heavy thunderstorm that came in waves throughout the evening (fortunately the tornado southeast of us didn't travel to us as expected.) It eventually passed as the day drew to an end, and around nine a peculiar yellow-orange light crept through our windows and drew us to the waterlogged world outside.

The sky was on fire.

 The longer we're married, the more similar we become... we're even starting to make the same faces. 

The brilliance only lasted about ten minutes before it faded into a softer sunset with a purple-gray haze streaked with pink. We just stood on the dock, taking it all in. It was probably the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen, in all honesty. 

As beautiful as it was, it made me a little sad. This gorgeous sunset reminded me that summer was fading... the days are growing shorter and the air has a little more of an edge in the evenings. Fall is drawing close. Sometimes I wish summer could last forever, but then I suppose it wouldn't be as special.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympics of Summers Past

Multiple exposure of the 1972 US rowing crew in Munich, Germany

Have you been following the Olympics this summer? I honestly haven't been able to catch very many events since Netflix is my tv at home, but Chris and I try to watch what we can at his parent's house. Our favorite weekend pastime of late involves parking it on their couch and watching the finest examples of the human form sprint/swim/jump across the tv screen as we stuff our faces with guacamole and Little Debbie treats. That's real life.

In between events last Sunday, I caught a little segment about London's previous Olympic games, held in 1948, which were the first games since WWII. The nerd in me was loving it... interviews from 1948 US Olympians looking back at the past, grainy video footage and photograph stills that were spotted with age. The footage sparked my interest in Olympic games of summers past, so I decided to do a little digging on previous summer games.

1772 Canadian Olympians at the opening ceremony in Munich.
Special thanks to early 1970s fashion for the pimp hat/feather combo.

This is my favorite photo of the batch -- US hammer thrower Harold Connolly
with his wife, Olga, at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Isn't it dreamy? 

The 1968 opening ceremony in Mexico City. No fancy fireworks here, just loads of colorful balloons.

A 1964 medal ceremony for the women's 4x100 relay in Tokyo, Japan. 
Cyclists race on a distorted track at the 1952 summer games in Helsinki, Finland.

1960 US gymnasts clownin' around at the Stadio dei Marmi in Rome.

Am I the only one who feels nostalgic for times I never knew? I wish I could just jump right into the photos, which I pulled from the LIFE archives on Google. I love the history of the Olympic Games and the tradition of worldwide sportsmanship that carries on today. I hope it never fades.

It goes without saying, this weekend I'll be catching up on all my favorite events (swimming, gymnastics, diving) and chanting USA! USA!