Birthday Surprise!!!

Yesterday when I left you, my clues were:







With the last clue being the letter d.  And most of you figured it out!  Of course you did; you’re just so dang smart!

It spelled Sweden; my native land.  Well, like my grandpa’s relatives.  But my surprise wasn’t a trip to Lindsborg or to the country of Sweden.  But somewhere much better in my opinion…


We live in central Kansas and the nearest Ikea is over 3 hours away.  Which means we spent most of the day on the road.

Adam loves me.

A lot.

We ended up spending over 2 hours in Mecca, I mean, Ikea.  Their showrooms were amazing and it made me wish we had more rooms to fill than we do.  I was a bit worried when we arrived Adam would be bored out of his mind, while his wife spun circles in the showrooms with butterflies and birds flying around.  But I think Adam enjoyed himself as well.  At one point he was laying on a bed bemoaning the fact Ikea doesn’t have patterned sheets.  Seriously, all of their sheets are plain colors.  Plain, plain, plain.  And he wanted to find plaid sheets.  Man, I love him.  🙂

But plain colored sheets didn’t keep us down.  It was so much fun to oodle over their furniture and accessories.  In fact, we came home with quite a bit.

You want to see?!


First up:

Alarm clock .


I have been wanting an alarm clock like this for the room and they had it.  For cheap.  Ah!

Art Easel 


We both saw this and immediately thought Sof would love this!  But we’re going to be selfish and keep it at our house.  Adam found a butcher paper roll that attaches to a bottom rod and will then rolls over the top.  Heck, I may take it on a test drive before Sof gets a shot.

Fake Plant with Pot


I don’t know why, but I got really excited about this purchase.  It was probably because I feel like I have a more grown up nightstand.  Or maybe because the pot was 49 cents.  Either way, i love having this little guy next to my Willow Tree angel.

Bath Hook


You may be thinking “You just hung up a hook a few months ago”.  And you would be right.  Very right.  However our current hook wasn’t working.



Luckily, we rarely have the door fully closed, but when it is, it looks like the pajama monster is hanging out in our basement bathroom.

We are very excited to have a hook that will be able to handle two people’s pjs and a robe.

Swinging around in the same room, we were able to add a few new things.



It is so nice to wrangle a few of our bathroom supplies into baskets that doing a pretty decent job of hiding clutter.  Again, inexpensive baskets.

And last, but certainly not least.

Baking Pans

I can finally pay homage to my ancestors by baking them a cake.  But not just any cake, a cake in the shape of a…



I almost ran across the store when I saw the pan.

And to celebrate our victory we had lunch at Kansas City Joe’s.  We ate ourselves silly.

Kansas City Joe's Pic

I had an awesome birthday and part of that goes to you!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful birthday wishes!  You really know how to make a person feel extremely special on their birthday.  THANK YOU!!

Christmas Recap

Oh, my goodness.  We have had an awesome last week.  So awesome I don’t want to forget it.  I’m not sure what made it so great.  Maybe it was because it was Erik’s first Christmas, maybe because Sof fell in love with the tent Grandma Bonnie got her.  Or maybe it was because Lane insisted that every present was “his”.  No joke.  One of Adam’s gifts were socks and he claimed them as his.  Lane’s getting greedy in his old age of 2 years.

And I took pictures.  Lots of ’em.  So sit and relax, you know, with a bowl of popcorn and a nice glass of wine pop and enjoy!

Day 1:  Swenson Christmas


This is a classic look for Erik at this stage in his life.  The “what-the-heck-is-that-large-black-thing-you’re-sticking-in-my-face” look.


Most of my pictures look like this if Sof is the subject.  She was practically running back and forth with excitement.  Have I mentioned how much I love her?  ‘Cause I do.  A lot.


Along with this lady.  She’s pretty special.




This year Adam was spoiled with a lot of disc golf merchandise.  Between shirts, long sleeved shirts, a new stool (not that kind, but one that he can sit on when a game goes too long), he totally scored in this department.  I don’t think he’s too upset about it.  And, if he is, he’s hiding the disappointment with that adorable smile.  Gosh darn him!


Mom got Erik a wagon.  Mainly so he can pick up his homeboys in the neighborhood.  #theyseemerollin  #theyhatin


I don’t want to forget these little hands.  Ever.


And then came this…the ultimate gift of the day.  THE TENT.


I think she liked it.  So much so she spent the rest of the afternoon in it, inviting everyone to come in; Uncle Adam, grandma, mom and dad.  At one point she wanted all of us to come in and join the party.  I came in and promptly took a nap.  These days that’s my idea of a party.

We had an awesome day with my side of the family and I didn’t think it could get any better.  But the Robb’s brought something to the party.

Day 2:  Robb Christmas


Before any presents are opened, the Christmas story is read from Luke.  Every year, it’s read, it gets me.  Seriously, if you were Mary would you not be completely freaked out?  As I get older, the better I understand the gravity of the whole situation.

But back to the Robb’s.


This little guy was of course the highlight.


And this guy is always my highlight.


This may appear to be your average Christmas Cactus, but this plant reminds me of Adam’s grandma Helen.  And it was great to have it blooming in the same room we were all in.


This year seemed to be the year for “big” gifts.


Patrick and Julia got mom and dad an aerial picture of the farm.  This picture was taken in 1973 (is that right Patrick?).  It’s pretty cool to see the similarities of the property from then to now.


Jim and Beaty got a gift from us kids in which Beaty told us that we spent too much money and we shouldn’t do that again.  We’re grown adults with mortgages and we’re still being scolded.  😉

For one of my gifts, I opened a tripod.  WOO HOO!!!  Which meant before we all left the farm that day, we needed a few family pictures.  Mom, I plan on bringing the tripod New Year’s Day so we can get a family picture.  You know without having to use a ladder in the front yard.  🙂


And yes, Julia and I are wearing almost the same shirt.  What can I say?  Sisters from different misters (and moms for that matter…)


But our week’s fun wasn’t over when I got home I was able to open my last clue for my birthday surprise.  By this point in the week I had the following clues:


go to






My last clue was: d

Before I tell you where we went for my birthday surprise, do you have any guesses?


Alright, it’s time to spill the beans.  How was your Christmas?  Was it great?  Fabulous?  I would love to hear!!!

Christmas Home Tour 2014

With it being Christmas Eve, I thought I would do a quick showing of what our house looks like this year.  Christmas is my favorite holiday to decorate and over the years I have been able to add some nice things to our collection.  And this year, after six years of “collecting” I feel like things are finally coming together.  Finally.  🙂

Dining Room




Living Room



Laundry Room






Merry Christmas, everyone!!



The Christmas Break List…dun, dun, dun!

Don’t judge me.  I don’t have all of my assessing for grade cards done and I’m already thinking about what I’m going to have on my to-do list for Christmas break.  There are things around the house that I haven’t been able to get to because we have both been so dang busy with school.  Definitely not a bad thing, but the house has really been neglected.  Hence the break I have taken from the blog since Thanksgiving.

There just wasn’t enough time in the day! 🙂

But now that I know things are going to slow down for a good chunk of time, I want to make sure I make great use of it.  So tonight, after I got home, I took a quick assessment of what I want to get done.

In no particular order they are:

1.  Spare Room


This room is a mess.

Just a mess.

So my plan in here is to pick it up and turn it into a playroom for our niece and nephews.  And, no it won’t be used for a little one anytime soon.  No bun in the oven yet.  🙂

2.  Sew curtains for the guest bedroom


I have had this fabric for over two months.  And it’s time to get them sewn and hung.  It’s going to happen.

3.  Lower the shower curtain rod

We are totally digging our extended shower curtain.  You know, in the I’m-so-glad-buckets-of-water-aren’t-gushing-out-from-the-shower kind of way.  However, if the rod were lowered just an inch or so, it would look so much better!

DSC_0262And if you were wondering, the spots on the rug are water spots, but the dirt in the grout is from the cats.  Oh, cats.

4.  Paint the basement door

Basement Door

Before we moved into our new basement room, I painted the exterior and interior of the basement door.  For whatever reason, I didn’t finish painting the trim in the window.  Who knows?  Maybe it was time to…oh, heck there’s no excuse.  That’s one little detail that is going to get fixed!

5.  Board and Batten

This is a total dream project and probably won’t happen, but a girl can dream, right?  After spending an evening with some friends in their family room, I was totally inspired to add a bit of detail to our family room.  In our friend’s family room they had paneling that went up more than halfway on their walls.  And it looked really sharp.  So sharp even Adam agreed with me.

So, I quickly put together what it could look like in our basement.  (Just to warn you, it’s not accurate to the scale of our wall.  Like, at all.  But it gives you a big of an idea of the detail I’m hoping to add to our Family room.)

Board and BattanMy thinking is that we would add this the east, west, and south walls of the room.  I found two shelving units on the Ikea site that will fit almost perfectly on either side of the fireplace.  We’ll just trim them out and batta-bing, batta-boom, we’ll have custom looking bookcases for a fraction of the cost.

An issue with this project is that we have poured concrete walls in this room which means I will have to pre-drill holes in the wall before we can attach anything to the wall.  Sounds like a lot of work, but I think it would be so worth it!

Before I can get anything done on this list, I have to finish my school stuff.  So it’s back to grading, assessing, and more grading.  Then a movie day Friday morning, grade cards in the afternoon, and then it’s time to celebrate with family.  Then on to my list.  Speaking of the list, who thinks I can do all of the things on my list?  🙂  Yeah, I’ll be excited if I can do at least three of the items…

Anyone else have items on their lists?  Do I need to add anything else to my list?  And on the topic of lists, what all have you asked for Christmas?