Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's a Celebratory Summer: To Follow the Registry or Not?!.....

It seems like our summers go in waves. Some years there isn't all that much going on, and we fill the weekends with barbeques, trips, and time at the family lake house (sniff - seems that isn't in the cards for this summer). Other years the summer is just jam-packed with weddings and celebrations - this is one of those years.

With a number of weddings, various types of showers, and other celebrations to attend, we are smack-dab in the middle of a gift-buying flurry. About a week ago, I came across an article that was especially timely. The article suggests that while gift givers think that that recipients are going to like surprises, giftees are actually happiest with gifts they've requested.

I definitely do both, depending on the situation. I have some family members who resist giving wish lists as if their lives depended upon it, so surprises for them it is! For weddings, the majority of the time I lean towards the registry - the theory being that they are entering a new stage of life, and they know what they need and what they don't. For friends and family birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc, I almost always go with surprises - but with the gift receipt whenever possible. I may think that I've come up with the most clever gift of all time, but you may not, and I'm okay with that. I'm happiest if you're happy - so return that stinker! (Although how anyone could not want a Das Beer Boot especially after watching the music video for it is beyond me....***)

So I'm curious, what do you think? When do you stick to a registry/wish list and when do you go for surprises?

***I am completely kidding. Please do not take that as a request of any sort. Let me be clear that I am not adding this item to my birthday list, christmas list, or wishlist of any kind!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Us vs. the Yard - Round 1

Last fall, we dug up a sizeable corner of our backyard, in anticipation of building garden boxes and planting garlic. Fall quickly turned into winter, and we gave up hope for garlic, but come spring, we were determined to return to our project.

Now that Michigan has finally decided to let us have nice weather, we've made quite a bit of progress! Mike built two 5 by 10 feet raised beds (yes, there is room for two more of those beds in the garden, and no, we've never gardened before in anything other than a window box - dream big!) and created a rock wall edge enclosing the garden area. We've been moving the dirt that we'd removed from the garden area, and are creating flower beds around the garden, on the side of the garage, and along the back fence. The garden boxes have been filled with soil and compost, and we've planted loads of goodies.

Next on the to-do list is tackling the field in the middle of the backyard:

Earlier in the spring it looked like this:

Today my very kind parental units are coming to help dig the bulbs out of the field and move them to the newly created flower beds. Hooray for warm weather, sunshine and progress!