Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Etsy update

Since we've moved here, my etsy orders have slowed down some, which I didn't mind too much, but then last week they started to pick up again--and even better, I was contacted by someone who had bought some of my embroidery and wanted to buy another for a friend who had been admiring it.  She requested it in teal so I whipped that up for her: 

Then, because she liked the first one so much, she asked if I'd be interested in doing a custom order for her daughter, who just played Gretl in the Sound of Music. She had the idea of putting the text "The sun has gone to bed and so must I..." with either a sun or a bed--and then Jesse had the clever idea to sketch a cartoon sun tucked into bed! After a few tries, he came up with something we both thought was adorable and I picked a font to match it: 

Her daughter's room is mostly decorated in primary reds, blues and yellows so that's what she requested for the colors:

I loved making it so much, I think I might make more for my shop!  Also, the lady was SO great to work with--so nice and helpful as we batted ideas around.  It was such a fun experience :D  It was especially great cause I've been feeling in a bit of a doldrums lately in my personal development and hobbies and this collaboration was just what I needed to make me excited about creating again.  Yayy! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Nikolai can officially open the fridge.  

What do we doooooo?!?!?!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wave Field

Friday night we were feeling antsy and decided to take a picnic dinner outdoors.  The campus here is HUGE and there's this whole north campus that we hadn't explored yet, so we headed over.  

This awesome modern art greeted us:

I'm not always a fan of modern art, but I think this is really cool--and it was MASSIVE!

But the thing we really wanted to see was piece of landscape art by the famed Maya Lin (creator of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.). 

It might not look to impressive on photo, but it was really neat! 

Nikolai sort of liked it but it turned out the little hills were a little steep for him:

foJ43j on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

We ate some yummy sandwiches while Nikolai ran around and explored. 

See that tiiiiiny blue/green dot waaaaay out there?  That's Niko.  We're pretty sure he would wander off and live in the wild if we didn't make him come in! 

Then Jesse spotted an airplane through the window of one of the buildings so we went in to check it out.

The weather was cloudy and cool so soon we headed back out to wander and explore some more (Uncle Jack, Nikolai still loves sprinklers cause of you!) 

Eventually we wandered over to see another cool piece of modern art that we had seen from the bus many times but never seen up close. 

This thing was gigantic!  

And it had some really beautiful angles to it: 

We also saw this cool building on our adventure--check out the cool lines on it! (side note: this building is a "nanofabrication facility."  How neat is that?!)

Then we got back to the car and discovered we had parked in a restricted lot and gotten a parking ticket just 5 minutes before and kicked ourselves for not taking the bus...alas! Well, you live and learn, and at least we saw some neat stuff! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Little Reader

Last night, Jesse had a big paper to write (aka he was too busy to entertain Nikolai like he usually does) so we found our shoes and went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather! Last week we had a heinous heat wave (mid 90s for almost 5 solid days with tons of humidity) but this week has been blessedly cool.  It's like Michigan is saying, "Oh hey guys, I feel really bad about what I did to y'all last week!  How's a high of 76 for a solid week sound?"  And oh boy, we've been loving it! (side note: I could totally live in low 70 degree weather all day every day for my entire life and be totally happy) 

So anyways, it was gorgeous outside so I brought my book and followed Niko on his wanderings! (Have I told you this is how he plays?  He basically wanders around the complex, stopping when he finds fun toys to play with but mostly he just walks around) 

We did make it down the the playground/swingset, and I tell you, although he doesn't like to swing for long, while he is swinging he loves it!  That excited baby grin never gets old.

Anyways, he wanted to swing in the baby swing but pointed to the big swing next to it so I would swing too, so I set my book on the grass and we had a lovely time.  When he was done, I kept swinging for a bit and he did the cutest thing--just walked on over to my book, seated himself on a little grassy edge and started flipping through it! 

Well, I guess this story isn't as exciting as I thought it was, but it was a really sweet moment with my boy and I wanted to remember it!  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Speaking of tiny critters...

We went to the church building for playgroup this week (it was too wet to play outside!) and I found this little guy trying to get in.

But wait, check out how small this little guy was! 

YES. Seriously.  Barely bigger than my thumbnail!!!

I've always LOVED frogs so I captured the little guy and showed him to everyone else before releasing him back into the grass.  

Eeee! Now I want to have a pet frog....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Sometimes we take trips to the library to mooch off their glorious air-conditioning.

Sometimes it's hard to get a good picture of Niko because he's always in motion!  But that sneaky grin is definitely a common occurrence. 

Always looking over his shoulder for the next cool thing to explore! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The tiniest turtle

The other day we went to a new park for playgroup and happened to spot this adorable turtle on our way to leave! 

So tiny!  

It was on the sidewalk in the hot sun so we moved it to a more shady area so it wouldn't get stepped on. 

The boys were fascinated and so were we! So cute!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Out and about

What happens when you take two 18-month old boys to a natural history museum?  

Well, mostly they climb up and down the stairs, chirp at a couple stuffed birds, and then become obsessed with a container of lucky charms. 

And then you take them outside and they shift their obsession to the sprinklers on the campus lawn. 

Well, at least we got out of the house! (And got to eat some delicious cookie ice-cream sandwiches too ;D)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Don't you know

that stickers are supposed to go on your belly button?

*This post brought to you by Things Niko Knows*

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ann Arbor Art Fair

For a few days here in the summer, Ann Arbor turns into art central with four (FOUR!!!) art fairs that set up shop downtown.  As mild art fanatics Jesse and I decided we had to check it out!  

Nikolai and I took the bus to meet Jesse on campus when he got out of class.  

The art fair was really neat--they had several street performers as well as a stage with different performances going on every hour.  

Above: a couple from the UM dance team.  They were really good....but definitely made us realize how CRAZY good BYU ballroom dancers were!

I tried not to take many pictures of people's art, because some artists don't want you to, but I couldn't help taking a picture of this one! 

It's a legit treehouse!

I saw so much art that I would LOVE to have in my house someday (you know, when we're independently wealthy ;p), and even had a really nice chat with a woman around my age who did really cool nature inspired abstract art.  

Not pictured: The AWESOME NY-style pizza we had while we walked. SO DELICIOUS.  

The only drawback to our outing was the HEAT!  It was in the mid 90s yesterday with 80% humidity so we got pretty sweaty. 

But we had a lovely time, so it was definitely worth it! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


For Christmas, I got Jesse a rocket! Unfortunately, it was super snowy at the time (not good rocket shooting conditions) and then the next few months ended up being really busy as we got ready to move (also not good rocket shooting conditions).  So, now that we're settled in and all that, we decided we'd finally go make use of it! (you know, just 7 months later ;D)

Nikolai really wanted to help us assemble it but Jesse didn't really need the help ;)

Niko and I wandered the field for a bit until it was ready ;) 

Quick pose before liftoff!

Jesse holding the trigger, all ready to go:

and then....


It landed it a tree!!!!! ACK!  It found pretty much the only gigantic tree around and fell in the top, and there were no low branches for us to climb up and try to shake it after one exhilarating launch, we left our rocket in a tree and headed home.  But we are Stubborn Stricklans, so we headed back the next day after church, hoping it might have fallen down by then.  We got very excited when we realized it was no longer up there, but a brief perusal in the undergrowth (in our church clothes, no less...poor planning!) showed it nowhere in sight.  Alas!  We've decided to buy a replacement rocket soon (since we still have the launching platform and several engines left) but at least the one launch was so exciting!