Chain of Events

January was a yo-yo month for us. Full of ups and downs, and twist and turns.

So it is no surprise to me when I look back why I ended up a bawling mess in my supervisor’s office this week during our 1 on 1.

Here is how our last month has looked:

Over the holiday break, Tom met with a Missouri National Guard recruiter. We were both wanting to be closer to home, and wanted our job situations to be more secure. Both of us are going to be 30 next year, so we wanted to see if there was a chance to start our permanent-in-one-place life sooner than we had planned first getting into the Army gig. The National Guard would allow Tom to still be in the Army, but do it part time so he could pursue is cop dreams again, and we could be stationary. While the Army at one point looked like it may have been a lifestyle for us in the long term, many things have occurred for us personally that we know that this would be Tom’s only enlistment. After speaking with NG, the benefits were just too good not to pursue getting out of active duty early. (Like end of this spring early.) I won’t go into all the benefits that were on the table, but let’s just say Tom and I were ready to pack our bags and say goodbye to Clarksville. Tom just had to get a few people to sign off on the contract change here in FTC to make it official. This was happening, and we both were on board of making a career out of the National Guard.

That first week back at work was possibly the roughest for both of us. Everything just kind of spiraled out of control before our eyes.

Tom was asked to interview for a company level communications position. He did not want it, however he was one of the few who were qualified and had the correct security clearance. He flat out told his commanders that he did not want this position and was happy being a team leader in the line infantry.

I am sure you can guess what happened.

They made him the Company RTO that same day, not even minutes after he said he didn’t want it.

The very same week, I was told I was going to be cut back to barely anything at work.

We were both distraught and felt like we had no purpose here.

It is the week we would like to pretend never happened.

From that though, Tom had no qualms about turning in his National Guard packet. It was the best plan to get us both back home and started on different avenues. And everyone he talked to said that of course he would get that passed through. No big deal.

Any guesses?

It took a little time to get all of this back since there are several people in the chain of command the paperwork has to go through. Ending your active duty contract is a fairly big deal even if you are switching to NG.

But eventually we heard the answer. One person who had to sign said no way Jose.


It took us awhile to accept that our next year would be here in TN (and for Tom-Afghanistan again) instead of the house and jobs we had just spent the past few weeks envisioning.

Finally we did start coming to terms with it and started seeing some positives.

This job has given Tom some pretty awesome access since he now works at the company level instead of platoon and team level. Basically, he is the right hand man to the group’s boss. He is being slotted for some training opportunities that he otherwise A) didn’t have access to due to poor leadership or B) didn’t have a reason to go. His leadership before was pretty toxic from what I could tell, so we are both pretty happy that he is in a much better position with people who seem to care about what he has to offer and actually value his knowledge and gusto. He has a pretty sweet schedule now and dictates most of that on his own outside of company field training times. It also means that he will be much safer on deployment. He doesn’t like that too much, but I can love on that fact!

We both grappled on to the idea of another deployment.We had thought we were going to be able to steer clear of this next one due to contract timing. You have to have so much time stateside to do separation things before your contract ends, and we didn’t think that they would send him overseas for only a couple months. We both were in dream land thinking we wouldn’t have to go through that all again.

I didn’t get emotional about it, and I even told several people without any tears or wavering in my voice. With the ups and downs of the month, we just kind of took it for what it was and started making other plans. I am currently still in a job search here right now, but I am also looking back home now to potentially move while he is deployed. If I were to find a job in Missouri it would mean that we are back on the long distance train for at least a year until he can join me. However, it does mean that I can start getting things settled long before his time in the Army ends, and my career doesn’t have to continue to be on hold. Since he is going to be gone for most of that time anyway due to this deployment, we really don’t see this as a bad thing. While I like the area and we have made some friends, it would be very tough for me to continue to be part time here while Tom is over seas. The ultimate goal is for me to have a full-time job. Wherever that happens will dictate a lot of factors such as our moving time, Tom’s career plans, and baby plans.

In the meantime while all of this is happening, I have had the period from nightmares this month. TMI maybe, but it is the truth and had a huge affect on my emotional state. Unfortunately, this is a side effect of not being on birth control and trying to have a baby. I have resorted to feeling like a teenage girl again with weeks of agony. Yes you read that correctly, weeks. (Don’t worry, I have a doctor’s appointment this week to hopefully sort that out.) Although this time, we thought we were pregnant for a hot second due to the first symptoms I as having only to receive a call from the doctor that we are indeed not. I was heartbroken again to get these results because so much inside of me was pointing in the other direction. That would have made this angry tornado in my stomach worth it. For the last couple weeks I have eaten mostly Cheezits and McDonald’s McChickens because I am so nauseous from being a woman. Not exactly a breakfast of champions let me tell you, but it is the only thing that will stay in my uneasy stomach.

So after all that business, I still didn’t cry. I just figured that is the way that it goes in the Army and our life. You never can settle on one plan. Always have a back up and contingencies, and be ready for all that to change to0. It just is what it is.

Number one thing I have learned as a military spouse is accepting things I cannot change and move on with it. (I may not be proficient in this area yet, but I am a work in progress.)

Then you come to this week.

Tom was away at field training during this awful winter weather. It has been doing everything:  raining, sleeting, snowing, etc. And he had to sleep in a tent all week in these freezing wet temps. Although he tells me that he was glad that they had the tent and a heater and weren’t out on the ground, so of course no complaints from him. Just another day at the office. I however at the time did not know all this and was just watching the weather get worse and worse knowing he was out there, but I guess it is good training for the different terrain they may face. This left my emotional outlet out of reach and also my McChicken go-getter out of commission.

I also wanted to make sure I was completely open with my supervisor on the fact that I would be job searching not only here in TN, but also back in MO. At the same time, I also disclosed to her about the deployment.

And I just lost it.

I think it was the fact that I had not had a real meal in a week, but all the emotions from the month overtook me and I was a mess in her office. And then of course I was mad at myself for crying, so that just made the tears fall harder.

Blubbering wreck.

We have done a deployment before. Long distance relationship has been most of our relationship. We both have been on the bad end of career woes. We have dealt with the never ending changes of the Army.

But at the end of the day, we aren’t machines, and sometimes we are going to react and let it out.

While you do get used to things and learn how to adapt with the military lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that it gets any easier to deal with the separation.

I was just at my breaking point this week, but again I am blaming it mostly on the fact that I am starving and crave healthy meals.

So yes I am still job searching. For what? Lots of things, but only the right things.

Yes, we may be moving soon.  Where? It’s up for grabs, and it may only be me.

Yes, Tom has to go on another deployment. How long and when? It changes on  a weekly basis as does when they are leaving. 4 months-9 months. Give or take a few.

Yes, we have all of this taken care of. We are actually ok with how things sit right now. We are made to handle whatever may be thrown in our direction.  We both just had our moments of humanness this month.

No one said that the Army doesn’t make life interesting.

Family Photo

We are just going to have to have as much family time as possible!

Armucation: Homecoming Ceremonies

I was one of those people who thought that as soon as the soldier got off whatever vehicle transport they came in on, they would be free to go home.

This is a huge misconception. There is a lot more that goes into a homecoming than the banners and hugs.

These are just my observations of the Army and how Ft. Campbell does homecoming. Every branch and post may do their own variation of things.

Bangor, Maine is the first stop in the US for many of our troops. There are a band of greeters who meet the soldiers as they touch US soil for the first time in months. These greeters come to the airport at all hours of the night to welcome home our troops. Tom said this was one of the greatest parts of coming home. It is very touching to watch videos from here.

Bangor Homecoming Greeters

They can come at all hours of the day. I joked that going to a homecoming ceremony during the day is a myth. I have only been to them in the dead of night. The schedules are also unpredictable. When Tom came home, I feel like they changed the time they were supposed to arrive about every hour that week that they were scheduled home. So there is a lot of waiting.

Glinn Photography

Glinn Photography

Once the troops get home they have to line up for a short ceremony.

Glinn Photography

Glinn Photography

From here, they are released for about 20 minutes to meet with their family.

Glinn Photography

Glinn Photography

These are the moments that are inspiring and the ones to live for.

Glinn Photography

Glinn Photography

Glinn Photography

Glinn Photography

After this very little time with family and friends, the soldiers line back up to go back to their company areas. The families go to a waiting room or classroom in the company area to wait for an hour or more. During this time you are not allowed to see your soldier. The soldiers are turning in all of their sensitive items, getting housing assignments, and other various administrative tasks. For me this was the longest couple of hours because I knew Tom was right outside but I couldn’t see him.

After they are finally released after what seems like days, then kind of everything is up for grabs.

The soldiers are not allowed to drive for 24 hours that first day, and many of them don’t have cars anyway because they sold them before the deployment. So they have to make plans for that.

The units will have a reintegration class they have to attend every day for the next week. It is a way for them to have some stability and routine when their whole world just changed.

Then there are the personal things that you have to get use to again which can take time depending on the soldier and family they are coming home to.

So there is much more than what you see on TV for homecomings, and it ends up being a long process of reintegrating back into the country. It is a very interesting and wonderful experience, but it was frustrating at first that I couldn’t just keep my soldier to myself.

I would encourage people to go to a homecoming ceremony once in their lifetime. It is very awesome to witness!

Have you been to a homecoming ceremony for any branch? What things did you notice from the experience that I did not mention here?

As a side note, Tom and I are being featured on “Date Night Is”  for our date nights. Pretty sweet!

One Year Ago

One year ago, I was gearing up for the holidays, and was dreading every moment being alone.

One year ago, I woke up every morning to my beautiful Gracie, but without my husband.

One year ago, my husband was here.


One year ago, we were having our holidays worlds apart.

Camera 057

One of the hardest parts of being part of the military is knowing that you will miss out on days together. Days to make traditions. Days to be lazy. Days that are holidays. Days that are just days.

toms holidays

Here is where Tom and 9 other soldiers stayed during on of their missions. He received “holiday” meals a few days after while on guard duty.

Last year I was so apprehensive to go home for the holidays. I didn’t want all the reminders that Tom wasn’t there to share them with us. These were also the few weeks where I had very little to no contact with Tom. Come to find out later, these were the biggest weeks for Tom’s unit because this is when they got their CIB and had some pretty out there missions.

But all I knew were the days of silence.

tom's shots

One year ago, I jumped every time my phone rang, vibrated, or shuddered when I looked at it and saw nothing. One year ago, I was grasping for peace of mind.

One year ago, we both had to make the best of our distance.


Deployments are hard. They are hard for so many obvious reasons.They are hard for reasons I could never begin to explain.

And because of that, I don’t want to take this year granted. I want to make these moments we have been blessed with ones that we will cherish forever.  I have loved being able to experience holidays with Tom. I love the sense of being normal. I love knowing we are both safe. I love having the peace of mind.

I know that there are so many soldiers that are still overseas. Many military families are going to have distance between them this year. I think about this often, and know that this year I am extremely blessed to have my family whole again. My prayers, thoughts, and heart goes out to those who wait for their homecoming.

This company was shared with me recently, and I thought it was pretty neat to think about how far technology has come in the past few decades. It makes deployment a smidge easier to swallow when you can have glimpses of each other through the various means of technology like Dropcam.

This was taken from their website:

Dropcam’s simple live streaming abilities allow soldiers and their families to experience the joy of the holiday season together, even when they’re miles apart.  Military members can tune in and watch the excitement on their children’s faces as they tear open presents on Christmas morning.  Dropcam’s Two-Way Talk feature allows our soldiers to speak directly to their families as they watch the action unfold online right before their eyes. If schedules don’t permit our service members to tune into the live stream, 24-hour Cloud Recording makes it possible for them to relive the moments whenever it’s convenient for them. Dropcams can even be purchased by military members and their families using a special discount at the Apple Store

How cool is that? Looking back, Tom was not able to do much on either Thanksgiving or Christmas because of their mission at the time. Plus the time difference may not have allowed for our holiday contact either. We also only used Skype one time during the whole deployment due to the internet connection and availability. So the chance to have these moments recorded and saved for when it becomes possible for the soldier is really a great idea. Much better than pictures, or trying to mail tape recorders, although those are great too!

Dropcam also has shared some heartwarming holiday homecomings. Grab your tissues and be ready to weep! Obviously, the one that got me the most was the one with the dog. Such a powerful moment, to see your loved one again after so much heartache, unknown, and waiting. Such a relief and a renewed sense of life and focus on what matters. I remember one year ago watching videos like these on Christmas morning so thankful for these families to have their family together, and praying that mine was ok.

It is a gift to have our soldiers home, and one that I am not taking lightly this year!


Kicking it On Top of the World

Nothing is going to bring you down when you are about to see your love after 6 months of the unknown.

Not even pulling an all-nighter. For those who know me, they are well aware that I am not a happy camper without my sleep. I become a much angrier version of myself. I have nightmares of what my last all-nighter looked like my freshmen year of college with Amy as we studied for our American Government final-wretched.

Tom was scheduled to come in at 7pm originally, which with that I figured we would have an all-nighter anyway with not having seen each other in 6 months. But that was on my terms. The first lesson you learn in the military is that plans always change at the last minute. Days before his trip, they pushed back the flight arrival to 1:30am. Oh goodness.

And of course you have to be there several hours before they actually land, so I drove up to the parade field at 10:30pm and boarded what looked like a prison bus with several other wide-eyed families so they can take you to the hanger outside of the airfield.

Then you just sit on these hard cold bleachers in a hanger for a couple hours as a soldier counts down every 10 minutes. I played several rounds of bejeweled and tried to read a book, but my nerves were on high alert and I ended up looking at the time every few seconds. You would think the last 2 hours would be easy compared to going through 6 months of waiting.

Wrong, they were the worst 2 hours of the whole deployment.

And of course it is probably the one time of the year that it decided to be snowing and gross in KY. So when they had us file outside to wait for the plane for a half hour, I am pretty sure I lost feeling of my toes and nose as we were waiting for the plane to land.

So here I was at 1 o’clock in the morning, wet, cold, anxious and cranky. Surrounded by other wet, cold, anxious, and cranky people. We were a sight.

But then we heard that humming noise. All of a sudden, there is a plane in front of our face.

It was pretty cool to see a plane land right in front of you, and even more special considering the cargo it held.

Then we waited for what seemed forever for them to actually get off the plane and watch them file past us. Ugh they all looked the same in the uniforms and through the snow and tears of joy. Where was my hubby?!?

And then I saw him!


There is my guy.

All the worry, all the anxiety, all the everything just melted away. I didn’t feel cold; I wasn’t tired; I was on top of the world. I have him back!

I was half tempted to jump the barricade and go tackle him right there, but my better judgement won over there.

Then we waited for a 5 minute ceremony to commence before we were able to actually talk with our soldiers for 20 minutes.

We had our wonderful legs-wrapped-around-the-waist-hug airport moment. Nothing can compare to this moment.

You are just in shock that you are touching each other and seeing each other in real life. It is a goosebump moment.


Then after these wonderful few minutes, they have an exhilarating process of turning in sensitive items. This took about 4 hours….

You are not able to see your soldier during this time until the whole unit is done turning in the necessary gear. So you sit in a room with all the family members waiting for them to be released. Every time the door open, the whole room turned in anticipation and then slumped back down as we realize it was not them.

My cranky pants came back on at this point. I had hit the wall.

They were finally released around 6 am. We were heading back to the house as the rest of the base was coming into work.

It is hard to explain the nerves and joy that washed over me during this whole process. You look over, and it is a like a surprise all over again that he is actually back. We both kept saying that this felt like a dream.

As the song says, “I don’t think it’s ever felt so good, or felt so right. You here with me tonight.”

It’s in those moments that everything you just went through is worth it. You are on top of the world. This song was my anthem that weekend. Every word of this song expresses how I feel to have him back stateside.

And you are just really proud of what he accomplished. He just went and did something that very few in our country will do. But at the same time, you are pretty grateful that it is over for the time being.

Some other fun stories from that night: There was a proposal, a separate proposal that led to their marriage in a parking lot that night, and a father seeing his few month old baby girl for the first time.

I don’t think I will ever take these moments and grand experiences for granted. Going through this makes you realize what is important and how precious moments can be. Just soak it in.

It makes moments like this priceless.

I loved seeing how Grace loves her dad! They have been inseparable since.

We are still doing the long distance for now until I move this summer, but it is unbelievable good to know that the worst of it is over. I can call him anytime I want, and see him every couple of weeks.

You have to live in the moment, and be on top of the world as much as you can. It is even better when you have someone to share it with.

This craft is another map project to commemorate our moves.

I had the place, the map, and the years we lived there.

It was something I made in Publisher and then printed off.


I like how clean it looks. And it really matches my last map project.


And it will be easy to replicate when we move again.

Thanks for hearing our story. It was a great night and I am ecstatic to have him back safe and sound.

In Remembrance.

It seems like today we are surrounded by death. With media, we hear about different deaths every day. It is on many TV shows, some of them my favorites. It seems that they are all trying to find a new spin on the murder mystery storyline. I will admit some of my favorite shows are Castle, Law and Order SVU and Pysch, which have a death in pretty much every episode as entertainment. I think at times we forget the seriousness that comes with such finality.
This month especially I have been reminded at every corner about the mortality that we all face. The 11 year anniversary of September 11th came and reminded us all of so many who gave their lives willingly and unwillingly. Such a tragic event reminds us that we are not untouchable.
Then there are the daily conversations that people have around me about the possibility that my husband may not come back. Yes this happens on a regular basis, and it is not the most comforting thing to face. I know that most people are trying to be comforting and become uneasy and the awkwardness just pops out. But it becomes exhausting hearing “I feel so sorry for you,” and “How do you do it?” or seeing “The you poor thing” face. I think about Tom and the danger he is in every day enough on my own without the help of these conversations. And, again, I know people do not mean to put this pressure on and are wanting to show care and concern.
Hint: Ask me how Tom is doing just like you would if he worked here in the States. Yes he is making a huge sacrifice, and yes it is dangerous, but we are trying to live as normal as possible. So say thank you for the service if you want to mention the topic of the Army, and then ask normal questions and treat us like normal people. You don’t have to walk on egg shells around us. We made this choice to do this adventure so you don’t have to be uncomfortable and act like we need saving. We’ll let you know if something happens, then the saving can occur. And I will need lots of saving if something were to happen. Otherwise, I can just tell you how his first mission was attacking a bee hive. Hard at work I tell you.
These things were all just reminders about death, but then I had to deal with real life ending stories when both of my grandparents passed away recently. My grandma passed after a stroke in July, and my grandpa gave into his fight with cancer earlier this month. I have been very fortunate to have all 6 of my grandparents up to this point, so lucky.
I have had people I know pass away in my life-time, but never anyone that I was super close to and depended on. So the concept of death being real is something very new to me. I did not have my first real experience with death until I was in grad school when one of my staff members, Sam Rankin, passed away from a disease she was struck with suddenly. She and I were extremely close after her time on staff. She became like a little sister to me, and I was devastated to learn of her passing at such a young age. Sudden events like this make you think how you can change your own life to make the best of the time you have on this earth. Sam is my inspiration in a lot that I do at work to always be mindful of helping students have an meaningful time while they are at college. You can always do more. She had a wonderful zest for life and was always positive, and I hope that I can live up to her spirit.
As for my grandparents, I still am trying to process their passing. It’s hard to believe they aren’t just a phone call away when I need advice. Or that when I head south they wont be there to go to a buffet for dinner. They lived in South Carolina my whole life so they weren’t always here in person. But they were grandparents who made you feel loved and special with the time that you did have with them and never forgotten when we were apart. They always made it a point to call whenever we did have big things going on in our lives, and did come to things when they were able.
They lived right outside of Clemson where I went to grad school. Having a different relationship with them was one big reason that I went to school down south. I wanted to know how they were on day to day. During those two years, I was able to get to know them differently and learn so much more from them. They were the most compassionate and generous people that I know. They opened their door to so many people even when they had nothing. And the love that they had for each other is something that we all should aspire to. So to remember them I thought I would tell some of my favorite memories or tidbits of their lives.
1. Anytime we went out to eat we always asked for a to-go box even if there was only 2 bites of mashed potatoes left. Grandma wasted nothing.
2. We called him “Grandpa Christmas” because he sounded like Santa over the phone and always came to visit at Christmas when we were a kid.
3. While I was in grad school, whenever I came over Grandma would have piles of newspaper clippings to help me solve an issue for a problem that I had had a month ago and had probably forgotten about.
4. Grandpa giving me transparencies of his lectures to help with my counseling classes.
5. Seeing my grandma play the piano and my grandpa sing along. They had a way with music.
6. Watching their faces when I told them I was doing an internship at SWU, their beloved school my Grandpa had worked at for years.
7. My grandpa’s sense of humor and his impeccable timing for his wise cracks.
8. Grandma giving you a back rub every time that you got a hug from her.
9. They always spoke so highly of the family and showed true dedication and love to us. And you could see the pride and joy they had for us when they talked about any of us.
10. Grandma fixing my soon to be dead flowers I had in Clemson and teaching me a thing or two about gardening.
11. When I went to visit them we always went to Ryan’s, and when they drove into Clemson we always went to Western Sizzler. Guaranteed.
12. When I broke my butt, they came and cleaned my apartment so I wouldn’t have to worry about it while I hobbled around.
13. Both of them had infectious laughs that shook their whole bodies, and is making me giggle right now to think about them.
14. The fact that I come by being a packrat honestly. When I came for the funeral I realized that the kitchen window was actually a door. They just had junk piled in front of it for years that I never had seen it open or that it had a door knob.
15. I don’t really remember this, but my parents say Grandma had a knack for potty training, and was able to train my brother and I on weekend visits. I wish she had spilled that secret before she went.
16. Taking us to the zoo when we were kids.
17. Grandma being terrified of bars. Her reactions/stories about “bar folk” were priceless. I am pretty sure she thought anyone who drank in a bar wore all leather and was in a vicious biker gang.
18. Whenever I had a break-up, I could expect a letter from Grandma soon after telling me about a story of her love life and how things will get better.
19. Grandpa asking me how we got Grace and if the same shelter would give him a dog to help Grandma through the stroke. (FYI: Grandma did not like dogs.) Adorable.
20. Not one of my fondest memories, but a good life lesson. They always had a way of putting me in my place when I was being selfish. It wasn’t that they would point it out, but they truly lived by example and taught me so much in the way they lead their life that it reminded me what was really important. They never meant to make me feel guilty, and I don’t think that they even knew that I did. But their life and their actions were constantly showing me that this world is bigger than myself.
21. They taught me to always serve others and always show kindness.
22. Their dedication to the Lord. Their faith was unlike any other. They had bible study every morning and every night with each other. When they were in hospice before Grandma passed, Grandpa insisted that we took his tithe to church for him. We told him that he had given enough and that he did not have to worry about it that week. He then proceeded to give us a lecture on the importance and wrote out the check for us to take. Always giving to the Lord, even in their last moments.
22. Lastly their marriage will always be something that I look upon with fondness. I have a memory of them doing dishes in the kitchen, and they are singing and being playful with each other. Just precious. They were so sweet to each other and would give and give. Their love was unwavering. They grew together over the last several decades, and were always there for each other. This is something that will always stick with me as Tom and I begin our marriage. One year strong!
They were wonderful people. Seeing the hundreds of people who came to their services shows they are going to be truly missed by so many people. Words cannot even begin to express what influences they had on people. They gave all they had in everything they did and everyone they met. And it showed in their celebration services. The best that we can do now is to take what we learned from them and continue living our lives the best that we know how.
Some days it is hard to accept death, others it may never even be on our radar. In thinking about Sam and my grandparents’ deaths, I am reminded to never forget that each moment is precious. It is a moment where we can be an example and show compassion to others. It is a moment to love life and be thankful for the gifts that we were given. We should be thankful for the moments that we have and just live.
And so with that, today I am thankful for a weekend of rest and the chance to make things!
Now the holiday season is upon us (sort of), so that means that some of my creations will be for “Homemade Christmas.” I have gone back and forth about whether I should post these on here or not, and I have decided that we are all grown-ups, and it’s the thought that counts not the surprise on Christmas day. And this way you can share in the story. Or maybe I don’t want to wait until after Christmas to talk about all these goodies and post all the pictures. You decide.
I have wanted to do a Chevron thing for a while, and this weekend I tried. Here is my story of how it went.
To do chevron patterns, it takes a lot of time and patience.
First I measured out and marked the squares on the canvas.

Caution, when you are making the lines, try to be as light as possible. I had a hard time erasing some of the pencil marks at the end.

Then you can use tape to start marking off the stripes. I used painter’s tape, but I would suggest something else like Frog tape or masking tape. My paint bled through-not living up to it’s name.

You will do diagonal lines in each square alternating directions as you go across the canvas.

This takes FOREVER. You have to cut the tape as you go to make the precise lines. I think doing the markings took me about an hour alone. So if others have suggestion on how to make this a quicker process, feel free to chime in. I was not able to make it quick.

I wanted to make one for me and one for my mom, but I got sick of the tediousness by the second canvas that I just made up a design by making a whole bunch of diagonals with the tape. And I actually like the funkyness a little more.

Then comes painting.

I let it dry over night before I took off the tape. Like I said some of the paint bled underneath the tape. Bummer.

While I was waiting for this to dry, I took on the second part of the project. I wanted to personalize each one with our last names. So I had to spray paint wood letters.

I wish I could have found a little bigger blocks, but the next biggest size were about the size of my hand and would not all fit on the canvas I had already bought. Sometimes you just have to go with what you can find.

Once everything was dry, I hot-glued the letters on the canvases. And here is the final project.

I still don’t know how I feel about either of them, but here they are. I am hoping its like when you get your hair cut. At first you hate it, but then it starts to grow on you.

Mom, act surprised. I hope you like it!