Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Today my Abby is 6 months old! Where does the time go? It's been a lot faster this time around than it was with Megan too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

A few brief pictures from our drive to Texas -- I didn't know Missouri was so beautiful by the way. I always thought it would look more like Arkansas (which also has horrible roads). Anyway,we arrive in Texas during a major rainstorm and then I couldn't get a really good shot of the sign because it was on the left, but I had to take the picture and mark the occasion! Almost home!
This is one of my favorites because Megan is watching her DVD while reading the book, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV. And she definitely had too much TV on the drive but I'm not complaining!
The St. Louis arch! We just drove by of course but it was impressive nonetheless.

So on to the house:
I got a lot of strange looks over letting Chopper buy our first home without me seeing it AT ALL! And I have to admit I was very nervous about it myself. Once we drove into Texas I was all butterflies in the stomach to see my new home. And now? Well I can't quite believe we own a house. And I love it! But it makes me feel weird -- not only am I the mother of 2, I have a house. I don't feel old enough for that I think, although I am 30. It's just kind of surreal.
This is looking at our dining room (table unseen on the right but you've seen a kitchen table before right?). The door goes into the backyard which is huge and yes, those are french doors that separate the space from the kitchen, even though there is only a half wall on either side. That's the weird thing.
Ok standing in the doorway to the dining room and looking all the way to the front door! I love that it's separate spaces but also very open. The master is on the right at the back of the house and there's a small hallway that goes to the garage and girls bedrooms opposite from the couch. The 4th bedroom is by the front door.
Megan's room -- the quilt I made for her bed. Chopper thinks the room is too green but I'm not done decorating! I hope he's not right . . .
And this is the fabulous tree that Chopper painted on her wall. I'll have to post more pictures as I decorate more but I love where it's going!
The front of our house! It looks tiny from the outside but all extends back. I'm still reeling from having about twice the space as any place we've every lived in. I also love that I can finally decorate and really make it my own! Hooray! I'll keep ya'll posted on how it progresses . . .

Wedding, Vacation, and all that jazz

I did it! I flew to and from Salt Lake City from Saginaw, Michigan with a toddler and an infant! Well, I give myself too much credit. After all, I did have Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle James to help me. And thank goodness for that. I would just like to illustrate briefly the way a toddler can turn on a dime.

Megan's screaming started in security when she couldn't reach to put her shoes in the bin. It stopped momentarily while we waited for the plane to arrive and she was able to roam pretty freely (the airport at Saginaw is tiny so it wasn't a big deal). Then when we got onto the plane . . . you would think it was the end of the world. She wouldn't sit in her seat, didn't want to wear a seatbelt, nothing would appease her and I had to hold her down to get her buckled in. She's screaming at the top of her lungs on a very small airplane (commuter size) and I'm near tears thinking I can't do this for an hour, let alone the 4 hours from Detroit to Salt Lake City. The plane backs out and gets out to the runway, we taxi out and take off, and Megan stops screaming (literally, just like that!), looks out the window and says "look! little trees! airplanes! We're going fast, up high!" She didn't throw a fit again the entire way out OR the entire trip back.

My lands.

Abby was very good.

Now comes the wedding. Both of my girls were fabulous considering the thousands of family members (strangers) they met for the first time, the events we had to attend at specific times, missing naps and late bed times, and eating all the junk they wanted (well Megan wanted really). Ok that last part was probably a bonus right? It was a very good and VERY exhausting weekend for us though. Plus Megan got sick the day before and the day of the wedding. Of course. My fabulous cousin Emily watched her during the actual wedding and then she seemed well enough to go to the reception, although we did leave early.

The wedding and the reception both were beautiful. Adrienne is a wonderful girl and I'm looking forward to getting to know her and love her just as well as I love my other sister-in-law Denise. Both my brothers have done well so far, that just means Jeff and James have a lot to live up to! Of course I don't have a ton of pictures, just a few that my brother Danny took for me. But you can see a lot of Mark and Adrienne's wedding photos at the website of their photographer: www.mariawoodphotography.com And if you live in that area and need a a photographer, I don't know what she costs, but can I just tell you how fabulous she is? She was fast, flexible, funny, professional, and I love love love the results. And I'm not even the bride and groom! I told her if I ever was back in the area I was hiring her to do family photos. I can't wait to see the ones of the family from the temple.

The Sunday after the wedding we were able to attend the blessing of Danny and Denise's new little boy Liam. They have a new blog that they never update but he is a doll! So handsome, and such a little boy! Although I do think Abby could give him a run for his money in the gassiness department and she definitely has bigger thighs!! :) Danny gave Liam a beautiful blessing and it was nice to see her family and especially spend time with them.

And actually, that was the best part I think. I loved the wedding, I loved the blessing, but I really loved spending time with family -- my immediate family and my extended family. I know that not everyone is as close to their family members as I am and I know that I am very blessed to have them all. Even when I haven't seen them in YEARS, I can still talk to Aunts, Uncles, and cousins as if it were yesterday. I hope my girls can have that too!

Anyway, after all of the rush, we flew back to Michigan on Wednesday and then drove to Texas Thursday and Friday. Yes, we are all recuperating still -- but it is SOOOOO good to be back together as a family in our home!
Abby and Liam catching a much needed nap before we take them out yet again for pictures. Oh side note, Adrienne had several nieces that came out right after these pictures were taken and they of course oohed and aahed over the babies. The little 9-year old points at Abby and says, "that ones my favorite!" I had to laugh at that one. I think it was the dress. And I forgot to put the shoes on! They really completed the outfit. Anyway, they are both just adorable!! And they're only a few months apart so they could be great cousin-friends.
Megan looking like she looked whenever someone tried to talk to her . . .
Is Abby eying the M&M's or worried about her sister? Adrienne's colors were black and orange. Sounds Halloweeny right? Nope! It was a GORGEOUS fall wedding!
Abby is still all gums even though she's been chewing her fingers, fist, whatever and drooling all to pieces for months now.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We've been busy . . .

We went to yet another children's museum -- this one in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That's the third one this summer. Really it's all the same thing but Megan loves it. They did have the giant bubble thing and Mom was able to get a picture of Megan in it right before she popped it! It was a lot of fun. You know what Megan also loved? Hanging out in the dollar store beforehand while we waited for Grandma to finish her doctor's appointment. Dollar store . . . who knew?

My youngest and last brother James came home from his mission in Pocatello, Idaho, Spanish speaking. He missed a flight and ended up coming in really late so I didn't go to the airport to meet him. He looks so much more mature! Megan and I took him to the MTC when she was not much older than Abby is now (this was before they stopped letting family in). It's been nice to have some time with him before we go to the wedding and on to Texas.

Speaking of Texas, I'm waiting to reveal how Chopper has done Megan's room until I get her quilt finished and the whole room put together but I am SOOOOO excited. But I'll give you a hint . . . you know how Megan's loves trees and leaves . . .

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fabric Frenzy

Here they are! These are the quilts that mom and I won -- the smaller of the 2 is really only a crib size but I love the look of it!

One thing I've been working on while I've been here is a set of "wedding dresses" for the girls. Technically, they're not flowergirls or anything like that, but I thought it would be cute for them to have coordinating dresses. Mark and Adrienne's colors are black and a deep rust orange that I didn't even want to try to match, so I did dresses in black and white for them both. That being said, I don't often go for matchy-matchy outfits for my girls so I just did black and white for them both but different fabrics and different patterns. Both of these patterns are Simplicity (I don't have the numbers on me right now). Believe it or not, Abby's dress was only 6 pieces and was super easy. Megan's dress was a little more complicated -- you can't really tell because of the pattern of the fabric but you have a pleated skirt and pleated sleeves, plus a cummerbund waist. The pattern is a Project Runway pattern which just means there are a lot of different design elements that you can incorporate into the overall look. It too was generally simple -- it was the first time I had done any kind of pleating and it went very well. I gave the dresses a trial run to church yesterday and they did well (even though Megan insisted on wearing her pink water shoes . . .). Now I have to put together the headbands together for them to wear and voila! I can't wait for this wedding!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Amish quilt auction

Twice a year, the Amish community in Clare, Michigan holds a flea market and a quilt auction. This year, my dad was wonderful to watch Megan for the day while my mom and I (and Abby of course) went up to see. Boy do I wish I had more money to spend! The auction last about 6-7 hours and we sat through most of it with a short break in the middle for lunch. It was awesome! Of course you have the traditional auctioneer with their fast talking and the quilts were just beautiful. This is a picture that mom took on her cell phone. You can see some of the Amish and I know the quilt is hard to see but this was the high bidder for the night -- $1700!!! Most of the other "higher" priced ones topped out in the range of 600-800 dollars and there were several that I liked that went for much cheaper, but I didn't even really have that to spend. There was an awesome cathedral windows quilt that only went for $650! I know you're probably thinking "only"? But cathedral windows is really hard and time-consuming. It doesn't look as impressive from far away as some of the others and it's not a popular pattern so I think that's partly why it didn't go for a lot but I wished it could've been mine. Mom won a nice scrap quilt in more traditional Amish colors and I won a crib scrap quilt. I'll post pictures of those later. I came away so refreshed from having a day of not watching every move Megan makes (even though I love her) and feeling very inspired. I can't wait now to get to Texas, get my house organized, and start sewing and quilting again!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Miss My Camera!

I CANNOT get the hang of my mom's camera. Half of the pictures I took yesterday are awful and it was a perfectly overcast, picture-taking day! I dread what the pictures of Mark's wedding will look like -- granted there will be a professional photographer for them but I like to take a few -- plus there will be tons of family there!

Well at any rate, yesterday mom and I took the girls to Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan. These are gardens that were originally part of the Dow estate and now they are open to the public and beautiful! I wasn't sure how many flowers we would see since we're at the end of the summer but I was wonderfully surprised. And not only were there flowers, there were rocks, trees, interesting architecture, winding paths, streams and ponds, sculpture, and a really wonderful children's garden.

The children's garden is where we spent most of our time of course. Not only did they have flowers, they had vegetables that you could pick with these fun dressed up scarecrows in the beds, and of course activities. The bubbles were Megan's favorite of course but she had a good time just picking up "leafies!" and "sticks!" and looking at the "big rocks!" We walked into an area where there were quite a few leaves on the ground and her hands were already full and you could see her brain working trying to figure out how to pick up more! Abby was wonderful of course and just rode along. I think if we lived here we would get annual passes, we enjoyed it that much! I really recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area. And apparently they have great things going on year round, even in the wintertime!I loved this bush with the eyes -- reminds me of Snuffleufigus (and I KNOW I butchered that spelling -- you know who I mean!)
Chasing bubbles -- typical Megan I have no pictures where she is actually looking at me. But I don't think I can blame her with so much to see!

Every plant in this garden started with a different letter of the alphabet . . . but I didn't have the time to search them all out.

This is just a sampling of the flowers. Something like this you can't duplicate on film (unless you're a lot better than I am!) but I enjoy trying.

Next week we're going to the zoo so I need to figure out this camera! Oh and as a side note, Abby is not taking to food very well. She makes the most gloriously hideous faces -- but surprisingly she really enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
Just kidding.