Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Its a crazy, beautiful life!

Wanted to squeeze in one more little blurb to round out the year here! Life as a family of four is way more exciting, tiring, phenomenal, exhausting, mind-blowing and dizzying than I anticipated. I mean I knew my world would be turned upside down, because thats what out of this world blessings do to you. But wow. Wow. WOW. Everyday is like a crazy roller coaster. And often all through the night too. But I really, honestly wouldn't trade it for the world. Watching these boys (and their daddy) love on and goof around with each other fuels me through the life lessons being taught (and learned). 

I had about 45 million other photos and stories and one-liners and crazy moments to share (and record for future embarrassing stories) but right now they're all escaping me and I'm just relieved that for however long it lasts, both these kiddos are sleeping soundly! Maybe this next year I'll at least start journaling in one of the three irresistibly cute ones I've purchased. Maybe not. These days are often a blur and Instagram and Facebook are just way too convenient of alternatives. 

Closing out this year recognizing that I don't really know what I am doing, but with my husband by my side and Jesus molding my heart, I can be grounded in the moment at hand. Just when I think I've failed and cannot recover, I'm given a reassurance of love and I'm so grateful for this love my family has for me. I have them all hopelessly fooled that I'm superhuman. Well actually, Cody just reminded me tonight that I'm human and that means I make mistakes when I cried over clothes that I ruined in the dryer. Nevertheless, I'm equal parts excited and nervous for the coming year and the adventures ahead!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Welcoming Bryce Roy!

Our second lovebug of a boy was born on July 13th at 2:57 PM! He measured 21 inches and 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Now if you're not the squeamish type, keep reading for the full story!

Monday morning I woke up at 6:30 feeling a contraction, which had been typical for the past week so I let it and the following one pass without too much thought. Once I finished scrolling Instagram, I waddled my way down the hall to the bathroom and my water broke! Not a gush like with Luke, but enough that I knew what was happening. It was 6:45 and Cody started work at 7. I quickly called him and told him it was "D-day"!! (Backtracking a moment here--he stayed home the previous Friday because between my random contractions and Luke developing a pink eye infection it was a home in need of Dad super powers! Friday morning he told me he was staying home and that I should put my tough girl pants because we were going on walks and doing yard work until I went into labor! Haha!) So when he arrived to work Monday everyone asked about the baby and he told them all we had walked and worked on over the weekend and that I was still pregnant. Only to have his phone ring seconds later with me giving him the 'get-your-butt-home-now' news!

By 9AM we were in the hospital with consistent and growing contractions, thankfully they were of more typical timing than I had experienced with Luke. Around noontime I was still dilated to a 2. Disappointed but not hopeless. By 1pm I couldn't take the pain anymore, especially considering I still had 8cm to go. So Mr. Epidural came in and by 2pm I was feeling moderate relief and had dilated to 8cm! Within minutes I started feeling the pressure to push, and the nurse told me I was at 10cm but that it would be best to let him drop further before pushing. Having the epidural was so helpful for me, I only had to handle the pressure and not the pain. Which honestly, the pressure is very painful but its just a different type of pain! My mom, Cody and Katy had been taking turns comforting and encouraging me. The nurses advised no more lunch breaks for my support crew and at 2:40 I was given the go-ahead to push! And at 2:57 Bryce was born! I remember being in such shock (but also relief) that he was born so quickly. And since I had no fever and Bryce was completely healthy we got to stay together. Huge, huge answer to prayer!!!

Bryce is a real snuggler, and its forcing me to learn how to cuddle, to sit and be still. I'm not sure I'll ever master the skill, he definitely gets that ability from Cody! Bryce is a bottomless pit just like Luke and has grown so fast already in his first two months of life on the outside! Luke is very sweet with him, gives kisses, does tummy time with him and loves picking out what he should wear. Bryce has been a smiley boy too! Loving the love he has for all of us!!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Little Man Quilt

I recently finished a quilt for our second boy on the way! I really love Luke's blue and gray quilt so I modeled this one after it. Except in red and gray to keep with their room colors. Also side story.. I realized Luke's birthstone is blue sapphire and so is his quilt, baby-boy-number-two is due in July (he better not wait til August to arrive!) and his birthstone will be ruby and his quilt is red! I mean come on! How perfect is that?? Now I know God has much bigger things to orchestrate, but I definitely have to credit Him for knowing my OCD and sentimental self!

Finish size of this quilt is 36" x 45" and the squares are 6-inchers. Sewing down the ric-rac was the trickiest part for me, they're slightly crooked--next time I'll use more pins to keep it from slipping about. After purchasing the polka dot print for the backing I realized buying yards of each print was going to be slightly excessive. So after that I toned down my shopping zeal and purchased a couple half yards and mostly fat quarters for this project. Leftover squares were stripped down for the binding. Oh! And I actually machine quilted this one!! Simple stitch in the ditch, but it felt good!!

Getting more and more excited and anxious to meet this little guy! Let me tell you, he's busy busy busy already. Hoping for a few calm moments of snuggling with him and this quilt though! This is the first quilt I feel proud of creating. I feel like I'm starting to know what I am doing, sewing straighter seams, planning out design more, etc. Its been just over a year since I finished my first quilt and this is my seventh one! So I guess its about time I start showing some skills and confidence :) Big BIG thank you to all my friends and family who remain so enthusiastic and encouraging of my creations. You're really the best!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What good is a race with no hurdles??

This has been one of those weeks where Thursday, today, feels like Wednesday of next week. Its just been so crazy! Had a particularly trying daycare day with a child who, to put it mildly, has separation anxiety. Then Cody had car battery trouble getting home from work, and then our water heater needed fixing. Oh and lets not forget we are prepping for our bedroom remodel/swap this weekend so I've been packing up our entire room! Thank goodness I have these two, soon to be three (!!!!), men in my life to remind me to have humor and we're all in this together!

Luke is the cutest little go-getter right now, always has to be right in on the action with us. He 'washes' dishes, helps with dinner, waters the plants... I just love it! He picks up Cody's level and inspects everything, turns pencils into makeshift screwdrivers, 'vacuums' and puts his laundry away! He also is super great at picking things up off the floor for me. Getting hard to do that with his little brother packed up inside like a jack-in-the-box!

I do have to highlight though that the blessing of this week was the timing of our tax return! We had some materials to purchase for our room remodel this weekend and our state tax return came in several weeks early meaning we avoided putting any of this project on our credit card. Can I get an AMEN! God always provides!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Flannel Baby Blankets

I know I just got done raving about the easy peasy fleece blankets, but these double sided flannels are just as addicting! I had so much fun pairing fabrics for little-man-on-the-way. Although there is a boom of girls going around right now too, so I guess next I should venture into a few feminine choices! 

Each blanket is two one-yard cuts of fabric, sewn right sides together (inside out). Leave about a two inch section un-sewn so you can flip it right side out. Before doing so, it really helps to trim excess fabric off the seam line for a clean finish. I also clipped the corners on a diagonal for to help them lay flat. Once you've turned your blanket right side out, fold the raw edges in and sew closed as close to the edge as possible. There are many stitch options for this, I just did a normal stitch right along the edge in thread that would blend in. 

I alternated between sewing the in-set border at 1" or 2" from the edge. I'm slightly leaning towards the 2" edge as my preference, for now. Also sewing with minky was not as scary as I read! Just make sure to pin often to keep the fabric from slipping. 

I can't wait to wrap up our newest little guy in these blankets!! 10 more weeks to go!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Easy Fleece Throws

Well, I really took the break from large scale projects to the extreme! My recent completions are simply single cuts of double sided fleece with edges sewn over. So easy, a great instant update and preparation for baby! The hardest part was getting a finish photo. Cody grabbed the striped throw faster than I could unplug the sewing machine. Luke spent the next morning rolling and burying his face into it. I had to roll a bouncy ball down the hallway to get a photo without him! 

The baseball print is for Boy #2 and is a one yard cut of fleece, I got about 3/4 of the edges sewn before realizing the straight stitch may not stand up to wear and washing over the long term, but that's an easy one to fix if it becomes a problem! Luke has a similar blanket but in football print which is 'his' blanket. It's actually from our church's white elephant night, haha! The thing goes everywhere with him! 

I switched over to a stretch zig-zag stitch for the striped throw (a two yard cut), although again I should have lengthened the stitch. Oh well. Obviously it hasn't effected its popularity in our home! A little more on the how-to part: even out the cut of the fabric and fold over/sew the opposite ends first. Then work your way down the other two sides pinning and sewing to give the corners a finished look. And that's it! It really doesn't get any easier than that to sew a blanket.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Trellis from a Window

Two of these old, old windows were left in the back shed when we purchased our home. I wouldn't let Cody throw them out because, well obviously. It was clearly a house warming present from the previous owners right? Fast forward a couple years and I forgot all about them. Re-discovered them and got the eye from Cody so it was time I did something with them or risk them going 'missing' forever!

I knew right away I wanted them to be glassless, the glass was so so thin that it didn't take much pressure to crack and/or pop each pane out completely. I went around each frame with an X-Acto knife first to loosen the caulking too. Much of the wood though is very weathered and I honestly don't think it would hold up to a good sanding/scraping/cleaning I would need to do in order to make them a picture frame or something for inside the house. I figured the next best thing would be to back them with some wiring for a climbing plant since Cody is in the process of building a new deep planter already! We plan incorporate our wedding arbor here too, so a window on each side of it, attached to the fence is getting me all excited!

The wiring is stapled to the back of the frame and there is a bit of tie wire in the middle to hold everything tight to the frame. I'm really happy we went with the green (which we had on hand already making this project 100% FREE!), I think it will blend in easily with whatever we plant.

And here is the planter in progress!! The center area will cut back in for easier reach in maintaining the plants and allow a perfect nook for our wedding arbor. This area is pretty well shaded by our massive avocado tree so I've been heavily researching shade plants as well. I'm not super into ferns. But I think I have found a few that aren't super 'ferny' to help fill the heaviest shaded areas. Luke has definitely been the best thing that ever happened to my black thumb. He is so into carrying the watering can around, its been a great reminder to keep my plants alive!

Hard to describe the finish look we have planned but the planter will be 2ft tall and also act as bench seating. We're getting a better idea of how to make good use of our huge yard now too. Like everything else its baby steps, but having a solid plan is really exciting!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Shared Nursery Plans

In case you haven't heard, our second little lovebug is a BOY! I'm going to be seriously out-manned here at home, but I am very excited to train up two loving momma's boys! Haha! My aunt was so sweet to quickly tell me I have retained my status as Queen of the House. Love that thought! Cody is of course elated (although he was softening to the idea of having a daugher!) and he is especially looking forward to more football, dirtbikes, and just plain dirt.

We are planning to remodel our bedroom (add insulation, replace window, revamp closet organization, new ceiling fan, etc.) and give it to the boys. Its about two feet wider and with cribs, toys, and everything else these little bodies require it will help tremendously!! Luke's room now is all re-done, so we'll end up with a remodeled room ourselves! Woo hoo! Now that I am 24 weeks, the anxiousness is setting in to start demo and get going in there. We all still love the colors and furniture in Luke's current room, so I'll just be adding to it for the boys room, or as I am calling it The Jr. Man Cave! 

Things that are catching my eye...

Baby Boy Blanket Nursery Decor Photography Prop by theredpistachio
                  (Found here)Take a look at this Black & White 'Boy Cave' Plaque by Collins on #zulily today!

Dirt Bike Pillow  Applique Accent Cushion  Dirt by kmariemarsh 

I also have a few things I never got to for Luke's room that I want to make sure to do this time around. Primarily, framing Cody's All-Star football jersey and doing some large prints of Cody and both Grandpa's on dirtbike adventures. And with that I'll end with "Braaaaaap" ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hippie Flag Quilt

Recently, I completed my largest quilt to date, 84" x 96" (ahem, 7' x 8')!! Although I don't plan to make something quite so huge again, it was a fun one to complete. I had to move my entire dining set to the other side of the room to layer, bind and tie! Not only was it the largest but also challenging because the pattern mixing was a little crazy. Fun, but crazy. Since I was making it for a very creative friend herself, I had the chance to really push and stretch myself in fabric choice. Fabrics were a mix of thrifted sheets, pillow cases and off the rack yardage. For the backing I used a navy king sized flat sheet. Trim work was done using remnants of the black fitted sheet I broke down for my first quilt. The feedback I've received is pretty overwhelming! I didn't expect so many to genuinely love it. I mean friends have offered to PAY ME for one. Definitely not ready for that, its so much more fun and relaxing to create for gifts than money! Maybe in like ten years when my seams are straighter we can maybe possibly talk about it... But thank you, thank you for your confidence in my creations!!

I told you it was crazy! Coming from the somebody who has an OCD-like habit of matching her socks and underwear to the rest of the days clothes--this was a little out of the comfort zone! My modern day hippie girl loved the quilt beyond my expectations which is the ultimate compliment. This flag concept is one I will certainly do again, its a great one to personalize. 

I started cutting a stack of hexagons from some of the leftover fabrics and playing around with layout. But I actually really need to get cracking on a quilt for Baby #2. Thank goodness thats bound to be a smaller project too. I'd really like to do some machine quilting vs hand tying so a baby quilt is a much more manageable size for that!