a folded, quilted clutch!

I finished my second sewing project just a little bit before Christmas.  It was actually a gift for my sister in law, Kristin 🙂  I could not have done it without the help of the wonderful Elise from Elise Joy.  I frequent her blog daily and absolutely love reading about her projects, crafts, and creative endeavors.  I recently purchased her Get Quilty eCourse where she tutorials 6 different quilting projects 🙂  One of the projects was this awesome quilted, foldover clutch that I made for KJ  🙂


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The finished product has some great, quilted details.  The bag is lined and has a durable zipper sewn in.  It was so much fun to make!  🙂  I’m excited to make one for myself too!

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what I’ve been up to :)

It has been a few months now since I shared with you all that I left graduate school but I haven’t shared, in any official manner at least, what I have been spending all of my time doing.  🙂  Here goes!

I have been coaching swimming in the early mornings and in the evenings


I have found this to be a lot of fun!  I even took Brett to his first swim meet this past weekend 🙂  I coach with a great group of people and it has been really fun being involved with a sport that I spent so much time and energy (and love) doing when I was younger.  I am primarily coaching ages 6-12 and a handful of high school girls but I fill in with all ages in between when necessary 🙂

I’ve also been able to take on a few more responsibilities with my church.  I am now co-director of the Campus Ministry Board as well as serving as the co-director of a new worship service called CommunityUnderground which brings our Sunday service content alive in a new, multi-media type of way.

I still get to wear my researcher hat now and again too 🙂  I recently had a paper that I submitted in April accepted with very few revisions!  I have resubmitted this paper and I should get final proofs to approve in the coming weeks.  I am also working on a paper with the folks at NASA so stay tuned!

Coaching, working at church, and finishing up some research has all kept me very busy….but I have one last endeavor that I have been busily working on.  🙂  I won’t share too many details right now (Eeep!  Teasers!) but I can say that I am super super excited about this new project.  Brett and I experienced some gaps in the cancer resources we were able to find for young adults.  (FYI:  young adults in the cancer world means people age 20-40).  The resources out there for young adults are fewer in number than for other age groups with cancer and they read like text books.  We also experienced huge info gaps in those resources, leaving us to figure out a lot of things about our new day to day lives.  I am trying to fix this with a new, tech start up geared towards young adult cancer advocacy and life style management 🙂  More info in the coming months!


a morning trip to Curtis Orchards and Pumpkin Patch

Just a few days before Halloween, Brett and I took a morning trip to the Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch.  It was damp and cloudy that day so we didn’t have to the share the place with anyone!  🙂


We enjoyed walking through the kiddie area…fully equipped with an awesome petting zoo.




After talking a bit with the animals, we headed out into the orchard and pumpkin patch.


While walking to the pumpkin patch we spied this lone pumpkin in the middle of the lane.  We decided we would grab him on the way back if no one had claimed him yet 🙂



It didn’t take long for us to find a great pumpkin!  Given how late into the season we were, I was surprised by how many pumpkins were still left!


Since no one else was around we also took the opportunity to take one of our famous ‘how many times can you be in the picture‘ panoramas that we debuted here



We also had fun finding some really crazy looking pumpkins.  Some of them had had enough time in the damp field to start rotting morphing.  🙂  I guess that is what you see when you wait until a few days before Halloween to go to the pumpkin patch!


One of the morphed pumpkins looked a whole lot like a pac man…and almost ate Brett’s head.  🙂



I bet we would have found a lot of morphed apples too given the fact that most of them were now on the ground instead of in the trees 🙂




Happy Fall!  Do you have any fun, fall traditions?  This pumpkin patch is a whole lot of fun and the little store attached to it has some great jams, apple doughnuts, apple cider, and other fun goodies!  🙂  I’m sure we will keep this on our list of fun, fall things to do while we are living in Chambana!


a northern chicago wedding

Brett was the Best Man at the wedding of a college friend a few weekends ago.


I basically knew some of the male members of the bridal party at this event and one other person…


…who I elected as my date for most of the day of the wedding 🙂

In all seriousness though, the wedding was wonderful and it was such a great opportunity for me to get to know some of Brett’s close friends from his college days.  Brett, being the best man, was quite busy on Friday evening and most of Saturday so I was able to watch the beautiful event as a ‘fully supportive and ready to meet new people’ guest.  🙂





The way the couple added such wonderful, fall accents to the wedding was really outstanding.  Brett and I were so focused on our summer wedding that I never even considered darker browns and oranges to our decorating.  This fall themed event was really spectacularly put on 🙂



For the more wedding ceremony interested folks out there, each bridesmaid wore the same dress but in a different color.  Plus, the groomsmen each wore a boutonniere that matched their bridesmaid’s dress color.  So cute right?!  🙂  Brett gave such a great speech as the best man…people kept complimenting him about it later on in the evening and I think it took Brett a while to realize they were being serious and not teasing him 🙂  (Brett was a little nervous before hand)  🙂  Brett only did the ‘Data doing a comedy routine’ arms a little bit while giving the speech (any Star Trek fans out there know what I’m talking about?)  🙂

On each table was a small bag of caramel corn with a cute label stating the Bride and Groom’s names and the wedding date.  At the end of the night these bags were left everywhere….so I helped out in the cleaning a bit and made sure they didn’t go to waste  🙂


We ate a bag on the way home 🙂  Such a fun weekend with such fun people.  I am so glad that we were a part of it!  🙂  Congratulations to Steve and Laurie!

there are squirrels in our backyard! and other happenings around the Casperson-Jones household

It is so nice being back in Champaign-Urbana!  Brett and I have been getting used to our new schedules (mainly my new schedule haha) and have been figuring out how to best work and still spend some time together each day.  The pups definitely enjoy their backyard here…plus you can’t beat fall in the mid-west 🙂

We’ve had some great microbrews…


…attended a polka concert 🙂 …



…broke our rule about pups on the couch….and then unbroke it haha! …




… made coffee at home and then grabbed donuts on the way to the farmers market …



… jump started our Escort…poor baby wasn’t driven all summer! …


…we went to the dog park 🙂 …



… made some really great food …





…started eating some meals at our new (and borrowed) dining room table…


… and have watched some new movies on the projector.


What have you all been up to?  🙂