Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh, the places I will go...

It's way too late but although I'm tired, I've got too much caffeine in my system to sleep... So here I am.

The blog I have mentioned oh so many times, Design*Sponge, has this section of city guides, where it tells you all of the different cool, artsy places you can find in select cities. Luckily they have one for my beloved Kansas City! I saw it a couple months ago while still at school but tonight I was randomly drawn back to it and it got me excited to do some exploring once my schedule frees up. These are the places I hope to hit up (in a completely none burglar kind of way):

-Nelson-Atkins: Ok, so I've been here many, many times, but it's always good to get some art appreciation time in. Plus, after reading Valeria's blog, it's got me itching to see some art.
-A & O Architectural Salvage: This sounds like a fancy name for a thrift store full of old building parts, but I think some very cool things could come out of this place if you go in with an open mind.
-The Studio: I have also been here a few times. It's simply a fun yarn store and I like to knit, therefore, I like yarn. Fun fact: This place is right across the street from...
-Cupcake a la Mode: This is a cupcake bakery! Pretty much my dream job (at least one of my dream jobs...) They have very tasty cupcakes of all varieties!
-Stuff: I've never been here, but according to Design*Sponge, it's cool. So I'd like to give it a try. Plus it's in Brookside, which would be fun to venture.
-Urban Arts and Crafts- Love this place. If only I had more money so I could buy and create more...

So that's my list. At least the beginning of my list. I'm always looking for a friend to experience cool places with... :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Favorite Pictures

My apartment around Christmas time, Columbia, MO
So, I have a little downtime before returning to the stand and all I really wanted to do was nap (did that) and blog... but my brain is fried by the heat and all I can think of are things like Twitter Glitters and Smoke Grenades and Happy Lanterns and Pyro Petes, etc... So, I thought I'd let some pictures do the talking... for the most part, at least.

A few weeks ago I thought about entering a amateur photography contest online because if you won, you got a free camera. Then I started looking at the past winners of this contest and realized that I was WAY more amateur than everyone else (which really is no surprise) and it cost money to enter the contest, so that didn't happen.

It did give me a chance to look through my pictures. I chose a few of my favorites and decided to go ahead and post them on here (some of them you may have already seen). This is not to say, "Hey, check out my photography" because, yeah, I'm not that good. It's just to bring your attention to pretty things that are in this world. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them.
My aunts' garden on Easter, Olathe, KS
Firehydrant under the Broadway Bridge, Kansas City, MO
Bench at Steven's Lake Park, Columbia, MO
Reading in a park, Savannah, GA

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Project "Sprouting Shelf": Completed

Once again, I had a surprise free evening due to fireworks cancellation so I had time to do my project that I wasn't going to be able to do for another couple weeks. It's a little different than the blog that I stole the idea from, Design*Sponge, but I like it. And because I already had a little shelf and some paint, it only cost me $8.63 to make! I love cheap decorating!

Anyway, here it is. If you want to see where I got my inspiration, look two posts below.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunset Chasing.

Ok, I know it's lame to post twice in one day but I had to blog about this. Tonight, fireworks was cancelled due to the weather (have I mentioned I hate storms?) so I had a surprise evening free! While the weather in Leavenworth (where the stand is) was ridiculous... the weather in Liberty wasn't bad... and the mixture of post storm plus a clearing in the clouds made for a beautiful sunset.

So I chased it. I just kept driving until I could find the best view to stop and enjoy (and take pictures) and it was amazing. It's funny now that I think about it. I was literally speeding around, afraid it was going to go behind a cloud or set or something. Turns out the best view was at a construction site behind our neighborhood. There wasn't anyone around so I took a little walk. It was wonderful!

The pictures really don't do it justice... but they attempt to capture my 15 minutes of sunset chasing.

My next project...

I think this is going to be my next project: the "sprouting shelf." As of 6:00 pm tonight my life will be consumed with running a fireworks stand for the next two weeks. But come the evening of July 5th, I'll be free and I hope to do this soon after if it isn't too expensive. We shall see...
P.S. You may not hear much from me in the next week or so, because like I said... I will be consumed with fireworks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mute Math's "Spotlight"

Because Cory is taking a hiatus from blogging this summer, I figured I would present to the world (aka the few family and friends who actually read our blogs) Mute Math's new music video. He isn't blogging about it, so I will. Though I must give him all the credit because he showed it to me.

Anyway, this video is really strange... But I still like it. Don't be creeped out... this isn't typical (ha, get it?) Mute Math. Have an open mind and I think you may be entertained. I personally think this video is better than the first video they made for it. I have posted both. You be the judge. Which one is better?

New Video

MuteMath 'Spotlight' from Tim Malieckal on Vimeo.

Original Video

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summery Things

The heat has arrived. My mom informed me today that it is supposed to be in the 90s all week. Yikes! Now, I don't love the heat but I do love some things about summer. And here are five of them:

5 Summery Things That I Love:
1. Quik Trip 49 cent fountain drinks. I love them. You already know that I love Quik Trip, and that I love Diet Coke, and that I especially love QT's Diet Coke. All of this combined with the heat (aka: all the more need for a nice, refreshing drink...) and the cheap price makes for some awesome stuff.

2. My orange sunglasses. Joel gave these to me for my birthday last year. I love them, too. I love that they're orange, and summery, and much needed during this time of intense sun. Plus, I feel cool wearing them. They're great all year round, but their greatness drastically increases in the summer months.

3. Flip flop tans. I love having a tan (however infrequently it occurs.) I know, I know... skin cancer. I haven't really gotten a burn or a tan yet this summer, so don't you worry. But the flip flop tan on my feet is beginning to form. I know most people hate these and try to avoid getting them... but I love me a good flip flop tan. (That's not my foot... my tan hasn't developed enough yet to be captured on camera.)

4. BBQs. I have had quite a few fun meals with friends this summer. Last night was a good example of the splendor of a good BBQ. It was the Crows, the Cunninghams, David, and I and we just had a good ol' time. Brauts, hamburgers, pasta salad, sangria, ice cream, and good conversation. I love getting together with friends over a good, summery meal.

5. Longer Days. (I stole this one from my dad.) The longer days brings many great things. More flexibility because you have more time. More sunshine. Longer, prettier sunsets. Ok, so the list isn't very long but the fact that the sun is out longer just changes the atmosphere of life to feel a little more relaxed. (At least Dad and I think so...)

I hope you are enjoying summer as much as I am!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's, no, Daddy's Day!

It's Father's Day! Hurray! My dad is one of the coolest guys you'll ever meet. Not only is he a great dad, he's a quality man. They say you marry a guy like your father... if I find a guy anything like my dad, I will be one lucky woman...

When I was little, my dad used to tell me this "story." He would say, "Abby, if God lined up all of the little girls in the whole wide world and he told me I could choose one of them to be my daughter... I would choose you!" It's kind of been his and I's thing since then. It's pretty special...

So I made a card with that story as its theme. Some of you may know that I really dislike greeting cards. (While I know they mean well, I just don't think they do the trick.) So I made my own card this year. It was fun and it means more. I'm hoping to take my dad out for a nice lunch, too. I figure spending time together would be more special than... say, a Home Depot gift card or something else Father's Day-like.

Anyway, happy Father's Day, Daddy! I love you more than you'll ever know.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home Concert

Last night some friends of mine, Rob and Corrie, hosted a home concert at their house. I was a little worried it would be awkward... Anytime you can make eye contact with a person as they are singing to you is a little weird for me... But it wasn't weird at all! It was SO great! One of the highlights of my summer probably...

It was fun being with people from church that I don't normally hang out with. And I got to be Jessie's date which is always a good time. :) I even taught a few people what "haunching" is. It was just a quality time of community. As I was sitting there, I was thinking, "I hope heaven's like this." And I was reminded of how cool God must be because His hands were all over last night, and it was such a cool night. It was just awesome...

The actual music was quality, too! Rob debuted a few of his songs, which were great! Then a girl from Kansas City, named Sara Swenson sang... She, also, was awesome... and very nice! And then the main event was a guy named Aaron Strumpel, a member (or former member, I'm still confused on that) of Enter the Worship Circle. He was AWESOME! I can't stop listening to his album that I bought last night (I also bought Sara's album and it's good!)

I love to push music on people, so check these people out. Sara Swenson and Aaron Strumpel. Do it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Momma's Flowers

Today was a gross day. It was hot and muggy and cloudy. Pretty must the worst... But then all of a sudden tonight it became beautiful! It was cooler, a nice breeze appeared, and the sun finally showed its face. It was a gift that encouraged me to get outside and enjoy the evening.

So I decided to take a walk around the yard to take a few pictures of my mom's beautiful flowers. I even blogged outside because I wanted to soak up the nice weather as much as I could.

Anyway, what a blessing tonight was. Here are a few pictures...

Monday, June 15, 2009


While I love rain (well, kind of... occasionally...), I very much dislike storms. I wish I was that person that ran outside and watched the sky turn or tried to catch hail in their hands... Instead I'm the person that runs to the basement to take cover. The fact that my bedroom is on the top floor, closer to the insanity (and death) doesn't help.

I think the main reason why I don't like them is because I'm deathly afraid of tornadoes and in my mind, irrational or not, every storm is a step away from becoming a terrifying twister. So today as I was discussing this with Jessie, I realized... Maybe I would enjoy storms if I lived somewhere where tornadoes are not a possibility. Maybe I should move to a land with no tornadoes... Or maybe not. Kansas City is still the best place in the world. Even with the tornadoes.

Anyway, speaking of storms... Jessie sent this to me today. The first minute or so is really cool (the rest is cool too, but the first minute actually has to do with this post.)

Have I mentioned...?

Have I mentioned that I love cupcakes? I made my first batch of the summer... I'm trying to do the whole diet thing so I have been cutting back on the cupcakes, but I thought I'd make some for my brother's birthday. So here it is: Funfetti with Funfetti frosting. (One of these days I'm actually going to make some homemade rather than use a box mix.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Slower pace...

Life is slow and I'm not going to lie, it's been hard. It's funny how in the craziness of the school year I think, "Man, I can't wait until summer when life will finally slow down." Now it has and I'm craving the other side.

I only have a few school friends (aka Sarah...) that live here in Kansas City but they are all out of town. I have married friends but they all have families and can't hang out all the time. I have my family, and they are here, and I am so thankful for them... but sometimes it's nice just to get out.

I think the slow pace and the loneliness is hard because it reminds me that I need to be relying on the Lord and fill myself up with Him rather than with people. People are great, but I lean on them to energize me way too much when I really should be looking to the Lord.

So although it's been hard, it's been good. I'm slowly learning to be content with this pace, to stop running to people for quick fixes and start giving the Lord the time He deserves which in turn will make me feel like life is right again.

No, this isn't my usual "Look what I noticed and love about the world" kind of post. But it's real. It's how I've been feeling and what I've been noticing. So really, this post describes what I'm noticing about my heart better than anything else I could write right now.

I did bake some cupcakes tonight though so there may be happy posts coming soon. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I have never really bought postcards in the past but I really got into it this vacation because I had people to send them to like my friend Mary who is gone for Navy basic training and my friend Valeria who is interning in New York this summer. Plus I always have the fam back at home to send it to... Anyway, I like postcards because:

-They're cheap. I think the most I paid for one was 35 cents!
-They're everywhere. Pretty much no matter where you go... you can find them.
-They're artistic. I love the pictures on them.
-They're an excuse to write people and let them know that though you are far away, you are still thinking of them.

Anyway, as silly as it may be... I for sure have a new found love of postcards.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Grand Canyon.

Today, for the first time in my life, I saw and experienced the Grand Canyon. I honestly wasn't exactly looking forward to it. I knew it was going to be incredible but I was afraid that I wasn't going to be blown away as much as I thought I should be. I got there, and it was glorious... It was so vast that my brain couldn't even comprehend its incredible depth. It varied in colors and shapes... It was incredible. But like I feared, I wasn't as blown away as I wanted to be...

Until I started looking around me. There were people from all over the world that came to see it. This thing that I found just pretty incredible... some people traveled thousands of miles to see. I started thinking about these people that surrounded me... wondering what was going through their heads. Did they believe that God had created this? Did they think that some mighty powerful water had lots of time to do its thing? What were they thinking?

I instantly became thankful that not only did I get to enjoy the creation... I got to enjoy the Creator. A piece of art isn't worth much without a talented artist behind it. The Grand Canyon would be meaningless if it weren't created by a God who spoke and brought it to life. So, no, I wasn't absolutely blown away by the Grand Canyon today, but I was reminded of the greatness of God and that was a good enough take away for me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Fountains of Bellagio

Last night I experienced something completely magical: the Fountains of Bellagio (at least that's what Wikipedia refers to them as.) Holy cow... I couldn't stop smiling as I watched them. As ridiculous as it sounds, that might have been my favorite experience of the trip so far.

Anyone who has been to Vegas (or watched Ocean's 11) has seen these, but I have never been so it was my first time. It was basically a choreographed water show to different songs. My favorite song that I heard was probably "Singing in the Rain"... but even the cheesey "Proud to Be an American" was cool! I've clearly seen fountains before (I mean, I'm from Kansas City: The City of Fountains) but the large scale of these fountains accompanied by the backdrop of the beautiful Bellagio Hotel and Casino was incredible... especially at night. Who needs gambling and half-dressed women? I could stand outside the Bellagio all day and be completely content.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ode to Naps.

I love naps. I think I really learned to appreciate them when I entered college. And even more when I started a job that made me wake up at 4:30 in the morning. Even if days have been wonderful (like today) sometimes it's great just to come home and sleep a little bit. Short naps are ok, but I especially love long naps.

This is short and sweet... but if this blog is about things that I love, then I need to blog about naps... because I love them. So, in honor of this post... I'm headed to take a nap.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Today I walked along the ocean/beach and it was wonderful. My dad kept on saying, "Ab, you going to blog about this?" "Is this blog worthy?" "You should call it 'Ocean.'" I told him, "Dad, I can't just blog about the ocean... what would I say?" Yet, here I am. In honor of my dad, and the ocean, I give you this post: Ocean.

The Pacific Ocean is way too cold to swim in... especially in the beginning of June. So we walked along the shore enjoying the scenery and experience of it all. The breeze was absolutely wonderful. I know it's silly and way overdone, but I love having the wind blow in my hair. I love looking up to the sky and closing my eyes and just taking in the feeling of it all. That feeling, plus the sun beating on my face and the sound of the waves in the background created several moments of perfection today.

We walked along some paths that overlooked the beach from above, watched a lot of seals soaking up the sun, had lunch on the patio at a restaurant that sat on the beach, and then we actually walked on the beach... I dipped my feet in the water which means my feet have officially touched both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans within the last three months! Anyway, it was a perfect day spending time at the ocean.

(My feet in the Atlantic (left) and my feet in the Pacfic....
Pretty similar, eh?)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Before and Afters

I just love before and afters. I love seeing a transformation without having to put in the work or the patience that is involved to finally see the end result. I guess it's the ultimate instant gratification.

Some before and afters that I enjoy:
-Beauty makeover before and afters
-Weight loss before and afters
-Designing before and afters (which is what sparked my interest into eventually writing this post)
-Ok, so I can't think of any more... but I still like before and afters!

I guess I just enjoy that the after is always a bit better, a bit more beautiful, a bit more creative. I'm not saying we always need to be striving for something bigger and better... I guess I just appreciate the eye that can see something old and transform it into something new...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chicago O'Hare Airport

Yesterday my vacation began. Cory and I began the trip by ourselves because we had free tickets that only worked on that day... so Joel, Mom, and Dad will leave today. We flew from KC to Chicago, and Chicago to Phoenix (where we are currently residing in a La Quinta in an ... interesting part of town.) We had a 4 hour layover in the Chicago O'Hare Airport so we started making videos. They are all pretty dumb but they kept us occupied for the first 30 minutes of our time there (we thought we were going to make some big production of our day... but we didn't.)

Anyway.... I could blog about the day. But I thought I would just post some of the videos. They're kind of lame, so watch at your own risk.