Monday, March 28, 2011

"spring, Spring, SPRING!"

Name the movie that I stole the above title from! The person(s) are singing the line. And now the word "spring" looks real funny now. Anyway...

Last week's weather was awful. Tons of flooding everywhere and now, GORGEOUS SPRING! Yeah!!!! It makes me happy. It may have to do with the Vitamin D I am now able to get, but hey.

My bulbs are starting to grow too. The trees are getting leaves and if the backyard weren't such a mud pit, I would be tempted to hang out back there.
The mud pit.
When I pruned the roses, I was worried they wouldn't grow back. Boy, was I wrong!

My bulbs are growing! And my morning glories!! Yippie!
A tulip that was planted by previous renters.
Last year, my Aunt tried to get rid of the huge lilac bushes that were at my house growing up. I was pretty upset about it because they were my favorite flower in the yard. Then magically, there were some that she transplanted into a pot to take to Idaho for my Nana. Mom didn't want them because she hates the smell and so I got them. I love the smell! Yippie!!

The only bummer was that there weren't any flowers last year. Leaves, yes. Flowers, no. I was devastated, truly I was. But this year--there are flowers!!! Look, see! They are starting to blossom!!

Also, apparently, my aunt planted little bulbs (I thought they were weeds until the blossomed) around the bottom, and those are blooming now too! Yeah for my aunt!

And some day, when I am a big girl and have my own home, I'm going to plant the lilacs in my yard. Some day...

Oh, and the movie is "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...In case you were wondering...

Friday, March 25, 2011

If All the Raindrops were Lemondrops & Gumdrops...

...There would be a lot of lemondrops and gumdrops.

It's been raining all week here.

Here is a slideshow from a local news channel that showed the flooding.

I took this picture of our backyard. Lovely. Yeah, our grass is going to die.

Here are some more pics of the field behind my office.


I wish I had a picture of the creek that feeds into the above field. It was flooded pretty badly. Fortunately, there were no houses near it, so there was no damage. But the creek is normally a couple of feet wide with lots of willows and brush close to it. Today you could hardly see any of the plants. It was probably at least 30 feet wide. Pretty amazing. At least there was no damage. I kind of like the wild and crazy weather.

The weather for next week? Clear, beautiful, and in the 70's! Wahoo!! I will appreciate it so much more now!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

**Holiday Tree: Easter Edition**

For how I made the tree, click here.

Here is a little tutorial on how I did my Easter Holiday Tree ornaments:

Fortunately, Joann's was having a sale and I found some cute foam eggs that I painted to spring colors (it took a few coats). To paint them, I put them on floral wire for easy handling. 
These are the foam eggs I used.
Yes, the floral wire is stuck in tealights. It was what I had handy so they could dry without getting smudged. :)
(It is times like these where I really miss my old house in Lincoln. I had an area in the living room that was all mine and had my table and all my craft stuff. Now, everything is scattered all over my floor. :( Oh well.)

Anyway, moving on. Then I attached ribbon using a brad and hot glue. The brads were little ones that looked like buttons, I just glued a rhinestone to the top. I like shiny and glittery. :)
Sorry this is an awful picture--my camera is having issues, but you get the idea.
Then I painted and glued and cut and glitter-ified the eggs to my heart's content. And my heart is definitely content! :) They turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.
For the butterflies, I attached ribbon that I had on hand to the back of the butterfly stickers (shown above, by K & Company) and then put them on pretty cardstock scraps I had, and then put some glitter glue on the pretty cardstock to give it a more finished look.  The stickers were sticky enough that I didn't have to glue the ribbon on.

Anyway...Then I decorated my tree! Yeah! So cute!! I'm not sure why, but the tree is much cuter in person. It doesn't photograph well. Maybe its the crappy lighting I have in my house. Anyway, I like it and that is what matters. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Secret Dream

So I've had a secret dream for a long time. But it is vastly different than anything I've ever done or studied. I've never done anything about it because I worry I'll fail. And that it will be an epic fail. But I suppose with risk there is always a pretty good chance of failure. But without risk, there is no chance of change or growth.

I've been thinking a lot lately about needing to take some risks in my life. I've thought about moving to the East Coast (still a possibility). About changing jobs. About getting my Master's Degree. Something. Anything. I need a change. I need to grow. I need to get outside my comfort zone. I need to take a risk.

So what is this risk? I want to write a book. I've always wanted to see something I that I've written in print, available on a bookshelf, and maybe even make a few bucks. This is actually on my secret bucket list. I always thought to myself, "Self, some day you are going to have a wonderful story to tell and everyone will want to read it! And then you can write it!" Well I think I'm going to have put some work into and learn how to write. A story isn't going to just magically appear in my head and magically work its way to a bookstore. So I'm starting now. I am going to pursue one of my dreams. :) And I'm terrified! (It terrifies me so much that I've considered writing under a pen name so I don't get laughed at! I'm still undecided about that though. I don't want to put myself out there too far!)

I love reading good books, and I've read A LOT of them. Especially LDS books. I love how clean and uplifting they are. So I want to write book in that niche. Conveniently, I know someone who knows people in the LDS publishing world.

Problem is, I don't know what kind of story I want to write. Mystery? I'm not sure I'm clever enough. Romance? I'm definitely not an expert. Children's? Well at least I was a child once upon a time. Also, I don't know anything about creative writing. I'm not even sure I have a good story to tell. All I know is technical writing--which isn't very good for writing a fictional story. So, time to learn!

Well the first step I've taken to accomplish my risk, er, goal was actually to start this blog (I just didn't tell anyone). I wanted to get in the habit of writing and see if I could find my style. I've definitely gotten into the habit, but don't know if I necessarily have a style.

Next step is to learn about creative writing and practice it. Hopefully I'll get some ideas about the type of story I want to write. I thought about taking a class, but that costs a lot of money. Then I thought about getting a few books, but again $. So library, here I come! Perfect! The library is a perfect place to get a book or two about how to write a book. Ha ha ha. I love it. :)

So I am officially starting my journey to become an author. I'll probably fail in epic fashion. At least if I fail, I'll fail with glory! (I love that hymn!) But at least I'm trying......right?! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011


I am so blessed. That is the best way to sum up how I feel. I've been kinda grumpy the last few days and then I came across a collection of pictures of the devastation of Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. It really put things into perspective for me. So what if I don't always get my way, or if I don't get what I want. It doesn't matter. Hundreds of thousands of people of Japan have lost everything, including family and friends. What do I have? Everything. It is very humbling. I have a home to go to, a family to talk to, and friends to play with.

My heart breaks everytime something comes up in the news about how bad the situation in Japan is. I don't know anyone personally affected by the tragedy, but that doesn't mean I can't feel for them or help. Last week our ward was going to make hygene kits to send through the Church, but we received direction from Salt Lake that they are not sending kits, but they are sending money. The money will allow those in Southern Japan to make the kits and in turn help their economy too. Brilliant! Its like the leaders are inspired or something. :) Anyway, it's hard to know how to help, and really, there isn't much I can do for them, except pray for them and their friends and families.

I am so grateful that I live someplace that is safe and peaceful. Obviously, California isn't perfect, and it probably won't be for a long time, but at the moment, everything is okay. And for that I feel so blessed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring means Flowers

One of my favorite things about spring is all the flowers that start blossoming!!

After church today I went up to the Temple to chill. I haven't been a super good mood for the past couple of days and so I wanted to try to get to a happy place. The Temple is a happy place for me. And it worked. :)

There was no one up there (it had been raining) and church was pretty much out so it was nice and quiet. I ended up being there for over an hour. It was so peaceful. I definitely felt better when I left.  I walked around and there were so many pretty flowers blossoming. I loved it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Surprise PARTY!

Friday the 18th was my brother, Steven's birthday. Cait and I decided to throw him a surprise party to celebrate his 25th birthday!!

Okay, so he was kinda surprised and kinda knew about it, but wasn't sure. He walked up and heard someone laughing and knew. But that is okay. Caitlin had sown seeds of doubt to help. So it was really fun to almost get the better of him. :)

Here are some pics from the party:

Cait thought it would be funny to dye her tongue with stripes. And it was. Especially when the rest of her mouth turned bright blue too!
Yummy food
The cake Caitlin made. It was huge!! Decorating was an event. She put her hand and the blue icing tip into the cake multiple times.
Singing "Happy Birthday" to Steven. Joel and Danielle are trying to hide in the back. :)

Blowing out the candles.

Unwrapping his present. Its a box!!!!
One of Steven's favorite shows is Chuck and so I got him a shirt and a hat from the show.
Steven, Dave, Neil, and Nick decided to randomly start beating Cait with balloons. It was hilarious!
 So the party was a success and we all had a great time. Yay for surprises!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

More Projects

In the hustle and bustle of this week and trying to get ready for the big *something* on Saturday (I'll explain on Sunday), I came across several blogs that inspired me to make a few projects-which I just had to make before Saturday! Because life not being hectic isn't fun! :) Here is what I came up with.

Kissing Balls aka Pomanders (as seen here):
Super easy. Just like I like it. It became even easier for me because the original tutorial said to hand punch all the flowers, but I happen to have my sister's Cricut so I used that and just picked a cute flower and cute hundreds of them in various colors. I was going for hydrangea colors. They would be really cute with a ribbon loop attached so they could hang from a mantel or something too. hmmmm...
Adding the flowers--I was fortunate to find pins that had pearlized heads at JoAnn's. So pretty!
And because I needed a super cute way to display them (well, I did, didn't I?), naturally I made something. I've been secretly coveting the beautiful apothecary jars that seem to be everywhere, but I've never bought any because I feel like I can't justify $40-$60 for a pretty jar. But I want them, badly. Then this blog article came to the rescue! I love beautiful crafts made from junk, er, stuff at the dollar store! Think I just might have found a new favorite blog!

Apothecary Jars:
Unfortunately, my local dollar store didn't have anything that would work, so I headed to Wally-World and picked up these--all for $23!
After I cleaned the jars, but before I started gluing.
Waiting for the glue to cure. It's hard leaving them alone for 24 hours!!
Aren't they lovely?! I do want to make lids for them. But I'll do that later when I have more time.
Happy Birthday Banner:
So I wanted to make a cute Birthday Pennant Banner to go on my Holiday Tree. Here is what I came up with.

I went through my paper stash for cute patterned cardstock and then cut out the pennant shapes using the cricut.
Using Make the Cut to cut the pennant patterns
I laminated the outside of the pennant shapes to protect them as well as make them stiffer. Then I took the shapes, ran them through my Xyron sticker maker and folded it over the ribbon.

I took some letter stickers I had in my stash and put them on coordinating colored cardstock. I used a pop-dot to adhear the letters to the pennant.

TA DA! So adorable!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Irish Heritage

I've been really blessed to be born into the families I have. Both sides have wonderful heritages that are an honor to be a part of. Both of my grandmothers are half French and half English and both of my grandfathers are half Scottish and half Irish. So I'm 25% of each!

Today, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I want to share a history about a couple of my Irish ancestors.

The history is about my 4th Great-Grandmother, Margaret Cowan Bryson Dunlap, aka, Grandma Margaret, aka the Butterfly Grandma (she is why I love butterflies!). She was born in 1797 in Banbridge, Co. Down, Ireland, and died almost a century later in 1871 in Salt Lake City.

Below is her & her son's (Samuel Bryson Sr., aka "Little Sam") history as told by her granddaughter, Ada Bryson Jardine, and recounted by Conrey Bryson and comments by his sister (two of Margaret's great-great grandchildren). His history is generally accepted as official, considering it's the only history I've ever read or heard. Its long, but I love it. I've always felt a strong connection to Grandma Margaret. Maybe because we have such a detailed history about her life, maybe because I heard the stories all growing up, maybe because I decided I was named after her (Megan is a derivative of Margaret). But whatever it is, I'm excited and look forward to the day we meet again.

Click here for the history.

It was really cool growing up knowing this history. Because I was so familiar with it, I was able to find some cousins we didn't know about. Here is that story:

Nicole and I met and were roommates my sophomore year in college. In October, Nicole accidently ran into (almost literally) Elder Eyring in one of the buildings on campus. Apparently he was meeting with President Bednar. Nicole was so excited and came home and told us all about it. I said something about how my grandparents were friends with him way back in the day when they were all stationed at the same base. Somehow their last name came up in conversation and my roommate said, "My grandparents are Bryson's too!" We figured out exactly how we are related and found out we were 4th cousins! It was so awesome. I went home with her for Thanksgiving and met her whole family. And I got to tell them the Grandma Margaret Butterfly story. They had no idea! It was awesome to get to share my family history with new family members. We even got this fun picture of Nicole, her twin, Natalee, and I with our third great-grandfather, Samuel Bryson, Sr., on the pedigree!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homemade Headband

When I was at the dollar store, I picked up some headbands (4/$1!) and decided make some. I thought I'd start with one to wear tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day. I have a bunch of Prima flowers, so I grabbed a couple of green ones, and a large rhinestone and ribbon I had in my stash. This is what I came up with. And it took me all of 6 minutes. LOVE!