Embracing Life With Arms Wide Open

To have a Family Fun Day you honestly don’t need anything more than a sense of adventure.  You don’t need to spend tons of money or go anyplace far away.  A Family Fun Day can just be a day that is full of regular, every day adventure.  And today that’s exactly what we did.

I live for Family Fun Days, even the ones where we don’t go anyplace special.  Sometimes the best adventures just happen, and the funniest and craziest memories are ones that you were not planning on or expecting.  Today was Family Fun Day and it was everything a Family Fun Day should be.

This morning, my husband and I headed to my mother’s house.  Her birthday is next week and we’ve both been working on a super secret birthday present for her.  Since I knew she was at work, we figured this would be the perfect time to put her birthday present in her house so she’d be surprised when she got home.

My mom loves shabby chic.  Her whole house is dusty rose pink and sage green.  She has rose motifs everywhere, including her couch.  A few years ago my mom and I found a little barn-wood coffee table at a garage sale.  It was a little beat up and had seen better days, but the price was right.  So, she bought it and I fixed it up for her and painted the table legs white, and she ended up with this really nice shabby chic barn-wood coffee table.

Coffee Table Before (Left) and After (Right)

So for her birthday surprise, my husband and I decided to make her a shabby chic shelf that was similar in style to the coffee table she loves.  We love upcycling and breathing new life into old things.  With this in mind, we decided to use pallet wood to make her shelf.  I found a design I liked, my husband helped me cut the pieces and assemble it.  Then I painted it, and got a few accent pieces for it which my mom picked out weeks ago, but had no idea why she was picking out these little pieces.

It was so much fun going to her house this morning and setting up this birthday surprise for her.  The shelf came out absolutely amazing, and looked even more amazing once it was mounted on her bedroom wall and all set up.  The hard part was waiting till the afternoon for her to come home from work and see her surprise.

To make it even more special, I framed the last picture taken of my mom and Rachel this past summer in Block Island, Rhode Island.  I then put two other special items that my mom had gotten with Rachel on either side of the picture.

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The Finished Shelf

Finally, at 4:30 pm my mom called me and she absolutely loved her surprise!  She loved that I framed that special picture of her and Rachel and put other special mementos on the shelf.  She saw the two birds and the picture frame she picked out all those weeks ago and had no idea why I was having her choose items.  As she talked to me, she was telling me all the other special items she was putting on the shelf and as of right now, all the shelves are filled.  I can’t wait to go over and see all the little extra things her shelf now holds.  She absolutely loved that it matches her coffee table.  I’m so happy she loves it, and it was so much fun surprising her!

Another fun thing we did today is my husband and I went to a store a few towns over called Sierra Trading.  I’ve shopped on their website before, but only recently have they opened a store nearby and my father-in-law keeps telling us about it.  So, part of Family Fun Day was exploring Sierra Trading and that was so much fun!  My husband found a pair of hiking pants for only $12 that he wanted.  I found a 20 oz bag of raw, organic, non-GMO cacao powder for an excellent price.  I also found something to use for our sink that I think will help us when we do dishes (more on this in a future post).  Sierra Trading is an awesome store and if you have one by you, and are into the outdoors, you should definitely check it out.

After Sierra Trading my husband and I headed to an all-natural store we haven’t been to in awhile just to walk around.  And then we went to lunch at a restaurant called B.Good.  We’ve never been to the restaurant before, but I’ve heard about them, so we decided to try it out.

B.Good is an awesome place.  Everything is sourced locally, and they tell you where each product comes from.  They offer gluten-free and vegan selections.  The food is natural, sourced sustainably, clean, and supports local farmers.  But, here’s the part that made my day.  Not only is the food AMAZING, but they had a burger called THE JOANIE!!!!  WHAT?!?!?!  I’ve never shared my name with a burger before, let alone ever found my name on a menu.  You don’t hear the name Joanie all that often now-a-days so I was psyched.  I kept saying to my husband, “Ohmygoodness!!!  I’m a burger!!!  This is so exciting!!!”  Doesn’t take much to get me excited.  So of course, I ordered The Joanie and it was delicious!!!!!  I can’t wait to eat here again.

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Look!!!  I’m a burger!!!  The Joanie burger!!!

Another cool thing about B.Good which my husband totally did not get, but I did, was the name of the sandwiches are the names from vintage TV shows.  Since I grew up with 60’s and 70’s TV this was not lost on me.  Cousin Oliver for example is from the Brady Bunch.  Joanie of course is from Happy Days and later Joanie Loves Chachi.  So I loved that little vintage twist to the menu names.

And after lunch was our BIG adventure for today!  We picked up the 13-point monster buck from the taxidermist that my husband shot back in November.  Ohmygoodness!  Did he come out absolutely AMAZING!!!!  He is completely breathtaking!  But the fun didn’t stop there.

Nope, after we left the taxidermist we were off to have him officially scored to find out officially if my husband broke any records.  And he did!!!  The official measurers were shocked by his buck and said this is a great trophy for a deer taken anywhere in the US.  You don’t usually get a deer like this.  He was definitely one in a million.

After much measuring, and calculating we found out his official score: 177 6/8 gross and 150 net.  That’s AMAZING and was enough to get my husband into New York State Big Buck Club!  The official who measured the deer said that he is definitely a Boone and Crockett deer, but unfortunately there were deductions which made him officially ineligible for that.  But, we aren’t upset.  Despite whatever his measurements were, my husband is still extremely happy and I am extremely proud of him.  To think this was his first buck AND he broke a record.  That’s truly amazing!  And a buck like this definitely only comes around once in a lifetime.

As soon as we came home, the big monster buck went up on the wall and neither one of us could stop staring at him.  He is truly AMAZING!!!  And tomorrow, we are filling out the official paperwork for New York State Big Buck Club and mailing it in.

Today was a truly AMAZING day and I couldn’t ask for anything better.  You never know where Family Fun Days will take you, or what adventures will await you.  But, that’s the fun of it and part of the M.U.D. Life is embracing life with arms wide open!


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