Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mama's lips + Daddy's chin

It's rather hard to tell from an ultrasound, but it does indeed look like little Sweet Pea's chin is a feminine version of her Daddy's, while her mouth appears to answer my dreams of having a child with great flute-playing lips. : ) At our ultrasound yesterday we also received confirmation that Sweet Pea does indeed appear to be a little girly. And last but not least, we were reassured that though she is measuring a little small, she is still within a healthy range.

This is my first pregnancy in which I have had an ultrasound in each trimester. It is such a marvel and joy to get a glimpse of the tiny person who is growing inside of me. I feel more eager than ever to properly meet her!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

scrapbook pages

Two weeks ago we were thrilled to welcome a new, tiny niece into our family. Benjamin's middle brother and his wife had their beautiful little girl on Tuesday. She weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces and was 18 inches long. The whole family is still buzzing with excitement over her arrival.

It has become something of a family tradition for the sisters-in-law to assemble scrapbook pages for the newest family members' mothers to fill with photos. Below are my contributions.

My sister-in-law loves sunflowers, so I couldn't resist making two sunflower-themed pages. (The words on the left page say "Growing like a weed.") The dark brown paper is actually a print with architectural designs. It looks a little funny, but it was the only paper that I had that was the right color. Plus once there is only 1/4 inch showing around the photos, nobody will be able to tell. : )

I am a calligrapher before I am a scrapbooker...

I love all the different textures.

I also made two bright and cheery first birthday pages. You can't see it in the photo, but the stickers and paper are actually sparkly. I loved using all the fun girly colors even if the result is slightly chaotic.

Once again, I love doing calligraphy.

This simple page may be my favorite. I accented it by hand stitching some favorite heart buttons onto the paper with a rough thread.

The photo mats are labeled "I love Mommy" and "I love Daddy."

This is another glittery paper and sticker paper. This page was just fun to make with the funky-retro-ish paper and design.

My sister-in-law who put all of our album pages together said that it turned out really well. I'm so happy that I was able to contribute and hope that our other sister-in-law will have lots of fun filling these pages with photos of my sweet niece.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

time still marches on...

Once again I find myself being a fits-and-starts blogger. It's not that I have a lack of subject matter, rather I have too much and will be scrambling to get it all documented. Summer (actually more like spring) has finally arrived, and in addition to our normal activities (church events, hanging out with friends and family, laundry, dishes, etc.), we have had extra outdoor activities (trips to the park, yard work, playing outside) and special activities (weddings, upcoming trips, additional doctor appointments and Sweet Pea's arrival nears, out-of-town visitors, etc.). I feel a little breathless just thinking about it all. : )

Here are a few specific activities we have especially enjoyed recently:
~Walking to our local Dairy Queen and sharing sweet treats.
~Playing in the dirt, swinging wildly, riding bikes, and drawing with sidewalk chalk. (I mostly watch these events.)
~Planting a few flowers and vegetables outside (finally!).
~Participating in a dear friend's wedding photos coming soon).
~Signing the boys up for the library's summer reading program.
~Doing extra reading to them and to myself (somehow I can never break my extra-reading-in-the-summer habit that I developed when I was in school and spent the summer doing "fun" reading).
~Playing more music.
~Making boy-art Fathers' Day cards and enjoying new paints.
~Working on Sweet Pea's nursery-nook.
~Staying up later than is good for us sharing fun games and profitable conversation with good friends.
~Napping to make up for the late nights.
~Drinking Barry's Gold Blend Tea with cream.

What summery activities have you been relishing lately?

Monday, June 20, 2011

monday menu

a new-to-me pancake recipe
that just happens to be the perfect pairing
for homemade pluot jam

Last week was crazy, so I didn't end up using all the meals I had planned. I'll simply re-plan them this week!

M-chicken strips, mashed potatoes, salad
T-sweet and sour chicken
Th-sandwiches on the road (we're heading to Utah for a wedding and to visit Benjamin's family)
F-something I don't have to plan : )

What are you making this week?

Monday, June 13, 2011

monday menu

[crepes with caramelized apples and cider syrup]

Here is what I'm planning on making for our dinners this week:

M-barbecue sandwiches, fresh tomatoes
T-breakfast for dinner, details to be decided
F-grilled pizza

What are you making?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

matching wallet

I have been wanting a new wallet for a while; one that will hold not only my cash, change, and cards, but also my checkbook. After finishing my new messenger bag, I decided to dive right in and attempt making a matching wallet.

Usually I have a carefully thought out, well-defined plan in my mind and sketched on paper before beginning to sew a new design. This time, however, I uncharacteristically dove in and winged most of the aspects of the wallet. It might have turned out better with a more careful plan, but then again, it might not have. The outside certainly looks just like I envisioned it, and the inside is serviceable in spite of the fact that it is not as nearly perfect as I would have liked.

I decorated the flap of the wallet with a small flower matching the flowers on my bag. About half way through making the walled, I realized that without planning it, I had made a messenger bag and a wallet that coordinate nearly perfectly with my flower-decorated vintage suitcase. If I ever travel with all three I will be one coordinated gal. : )

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

new diaper bag/purse

Over Memorial Day weekend, I had some fun spending my "free" $20 of customer reward money at my local quilt shop and indulging in a somewhat selfish sewing project. I love, love, love sewing for other people, but every once in a while I do enjoy making something for myself to keep.

I decided to make a the Hip Mama Diaper Bag with a few variations of my own to use after (as well as before) Sweet Pea arrived. My old diaper bag/purse is still holding up quite well, but it will be nice to have something new to carry.

Overall, I'm delighted with how it turned out. I used magnetic snap closures for the first time while making it and was delighted with how easy and effective they are to use! It has two exterior pockets, and seven interior pockets of various custom sizes for my stuff. (Yes, I left out some of the pockets in the tutorial. *gasp* I actually simplified a pattern!) The strap is a few inches longer than I had planned. However, I think the benefits of having a longer strap outweigh the disadvantages. For example, my tall husband should be able to carry it comfortably. Plus the long strap means that I can wear it across my body, a fall-proof, hands-free feature which will, I'm sure, prove beneficial.

I decorated the flap with three free motion flowers. I sewed around the rough outlines of the flowers with four different coordinating though contrasting colors of thread for a purposeful slightly messy look. They turned out just like I had envisioned them.

The exterior fabric is a rich yet earthy green fabric (none of the photos do it justice) made of some sort of rough-spun natural fiber. (Is it cotton? rough silk? rayon? some sort of intriguing blend? I'll probably never know since I picked it up two yards of it for less than a dollar at a local thrift store.) The lining is a beautiful batik that I've been admiring for a while. The many-shaded green sprigs harmonize perfectly with the outer fabric.

I'm not the only one who loves my new bag. Brother likes to stash his little cars in it and seems to think its up for adoption. I am losing no time in making sure he is informed otherwise. : )

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I think that just-for-fun, no-particular-occasion gifts may be my favorite. For example, last weekend Benjamin surprised me by bringing home a sunny, yellow bush of lovely mums for me. I loved them; they cheered me as I enjoyed their beauty. Plus they made me smile as I reminisced about the very first bouquet he ever gave me which included sunny yellow mums.

I have recently received several other no-particular-occasion gifts. I have been enjoying and am very thankful for each of them.

My Mum gave me a new green tea pot (complete with a loose-leaf tea strainer!) to replace my old, stained, lidless one (the lid broke quite a long time ago). Its clean lines and cheery color make me smile as does the tasty tea that steeps inside of it.

This teapot was a college creation of a friend. Apparently, it's actually something of a joke in response to her pottery teacher telling her that her work was too generic. : ) When she was reunited with it in my presence and was not sure what on earth she wanted to do with it, I offered to take it off of her hands. I love how quirky and unique the clever textures, colors, and patterns make it.

This antique printer's drawer is from my mother-in-law. A while ago I stumbled across an Etsy shop featuring printer's drawers turned into wall-mounted jewelry organizers. I absolutely loved the idea and embraced it as something that would be ideal for my growing (and disorganized) collection of earrings. The price tag, however, didn't fit my budget, so I posted a plea on Facebook for my friends to keep a look out for an inexpensive printer's drawer for me only to find out that my mother-in-law had one in storage that she was willing to give to me! It is in beautiful condition, and I can't wait to mount the little hooks in it and see my earrings in it!

I am so thankful, way beyond my thankfulness for these gifts, for the friendships behind them. After all, what makes gifts truly meaningful is the lovely reminder of the people who gave them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

monday menu

[cream cheese won-tons]

Well, I have definitely been blogging by fits and starts lately, haven't I? I hope to get back into some sort of blogging routine, but if I don't it's not the end of the world. : ) In the meantime, here is what I'm planning on mixing up in my kitchen this week:

M-dinner with my parents
T-grilled chicken, orzo with basil and parmesan, salad
W-quesadillas (made with leftover grilled chicken), fresh fruit
Th-steak, mashed potatoes, broccoli
F-farfalle with fresh tomato sauce

What are you making this week?