Top 10 Thrift/Antique store finds of 2010

Decided to take the obligatory end of the year post a different direction! Here are my 10 favorite things that I found at thrift and/or antique stores this year!

Vintage Papasan chair from Goodwill in San Diego

Westinghouse stand mixer from The Circle in Orange

Ceramic Jesus. He almost didn't survive the move. Poor dude. 

Wool Union Worker's coat. A steal at $40.

Chairs from 1961 found shoved in a back room of an antique jewelry store. Goal for 2011: Find a table that goes well with them.

Sweet little teapot from an antique store in Berlin.

Okay, I semi-cheated on this one. It's not from a thrift or antique store but instead from my grandfather's house. It's old as all get out. From at least the 1950's if not earlier. 

This skirt.

 A little watch I scored for something like 50 cents or a dollar.

My newest Christmas decoration from the local thrift store. It plays music! 

Here's to much happy thrifting in 2011! 


Why is cooking so boring?!

While making dinner I managed to pay all the bills, load pictures from my camera, blog and give photo booth some much deserved attention. Making dinner is so necessary yet so un-stimulating (is that a word? I'm making it a word!) to me!

To sum it all up

If I drank, this would totally be my drunk at family Christmas face. 

My sisters are my heart

My family is fun. 

And you don't leave an inside dog unsupervised outside because they WILL roll all over in the mud and ruin their Christmas outfit. 

It was a great day. 


My dream come true, Bruiser immortalized

Best gift ever. This was completely unexpected and I definitely cried! Ryan was given a portrait of himself a few years ago by a fan of Bleeding Through. This lady does amazing work and it always looks so realistic. Ryan got inspired and asked her to make one of Bruiser and it turned out awesome! I can't wait to hang it! It has every little wrinkle, every detail of coat color changes, he even has on his favorite fall sweater! I am in awe of this piece of art!

If you have a free minute, go here and check out some of her other work! I hope everyone is having a blessed Christmas. As for us, we plan on doing NOTHING except maybe seeing a movie later! 


What we did on Tuesday

Just some fun shaped french toast (snail, squirrel and hedgehog!) for Kaleb

They are so excited to make the houses

 My mom was impressed that my mixer actually works

Ryan and Houston are always so cute together

 Little sister! 

 House #1

By Cathryn and Kaleb

 House #2

By Houston and Ben

 As Ben would say "I've never been allowed to knife frosting before!"

I think this will have to become a holiday tradition, it was so much fun!


Welcome to Whoville

Less than 5 days until Christmas. As much as I love the day of Christmas, really it's the weeks leading up to it that mean the most to me. Right now Ryan's nephew, Kaleb, is having a sleep over at our place. We played board games, got soaking wet in the rain, made muddy buddies, watched Elf, shook a few presents under the tree and watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Tomorrow my niece and nephews will be coming over with my mom and we will be making gingerbread men, gingerbread houses and sugar cookies! Tomorrow night my little sister is staying over mainly so that I can ambush her at midnight as the 22nd is her 17th birthday! 

The following 2 days (including Christmas eve) I will be at work. I'm struggling lately with becoming too emotionally attached to what I do. All of today I have been aching to spend time with a very special lil person and I just can't wait to spend Christmas eve with them. I hate having to remain so very vague, but health privacy, you know? Let's just say I have been caring for the same kiddo for more than four weeks and I genuinely miss the little munchkin on the days I don't work. I can safely say that this year I have been involved in a Christmas miracle :) 

After that it is Christmas! I am not sure what I will actually be doing that day besides waking up and doing presents and stockings with Ryan. I believe he wants to go to the beach and surf, fine by me so long as this constant rain clears up! The next day will be my day with all of my family. I love this time of year!!

Does anyone else have trouble leaving work at work? I am usually very good at leaving it at the door but the last few months I have been struggling (including having horrible dreams)! Any tips on how remedy this?!


Dog park days

Is it weird that we go to the dog park and take pictures with/of other peoples' dogs? I think not. 

Where dreams align with reality

Have you ever been so passionate about a goal that thinking of it, reading about it, seeing pictures of it brings you to tears? This is what being involved in Operation Smile does to me. It gives me that deep in the pit of my stomach feeling that this is what I was meant to do. It makes my chest heavy in the best way possible.

Operation Smile is a non-profit organization that travels the world repairing cleft lips, cleft palettes and other facial deformities for children (and sometimes adults.) You can visit their website here. All of the surgeries are free. Some families travel for days just to be screened. In Assam (the state I am going to) alone there are 30,000 children that suffer from clefts. The need is great all over the world. Yup, here come the tears. I am such a sap! It has been a long time goal of mine to become involved in an organization such as this one and I can't believe it is all becoming real.

I sent my visa packet today, I already sent all my travel documents and right now I am just trying my best to prepare any way possible. I have a feeling that no matter how much I prepare, as it goes in nursing, everything I'll need to know I will learn when I get there.

I will leave my first entry with this:

This is a fortune I got four days prior to finding out I was selected to go to India. It says "Soon you will be sitting on top of the world"

Guwahati is in the state of Assam in the Northeastern part of India. It is nestled in the Himalayas, just east of Nepal.  On top of the world? I think I already am. 


12 Days of Christmas

It has started! Be sure to go on over to {Happy Owl} the next 12 days to see all of the lovely posts!

The best way to find yourself...

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." 
-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

It's been about a week since I found out that I will be going to India. I am really taken aback by the mixed reactions I have gotten from people regarding my trip. The overwhelming majority are so excited. I have even gotten a few other nurses to apply with OS. Many close family and friends understand my passion for children and helping those in need. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have planned and dreamed of this day, I have always known that I was made for going wherever I was called in order to help. I guess that is why I am so surprised that I have received several negative reactions and this is only one week in! 

I have had a few people tell me that they would never travel to India. Never. Not as vacation, not as a mission. This breaks my heart especially because this even came from a fellow nurse. I honestly had to hold back tears. I know I am not traveling into an ideal situation, this is no vacation! That's the point though, to go into places that would never receive help. To perform life changing surgeries that we take for granted in America.

A couple of people feel bad for me that I am using my paid time off to go on the trip. I have actually heard the words "Well that sucks." I say to them, this is an opportunity to work in another place. By using vacation time I continue to get paid while I am gone. How lucky does that make me? I feel incredibly blessed and I will have lots of time left over for personal trips whenever. 

I want to be clear that I am not writing this with a 'holier than thou' opinion but with honest surprise. I love every single person that I have talked about my trip with. They are all supportive, just some with different feelings regarding traveling to other countries. That is totally fine by me, that's why we all have different gifts to be used in different ways! 

I leave you with a couple of pictures from a trip that is happening right now in the very city I will be going to!