Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jenn’s baby quilt

One of my best friends, Jennifer, is due with her 2nd baby in the middle of September.  Another friend of ours and I hosted a baby shower for Jennifer and I started this quilt WAY late.  I really need to make a bunch of quilt tops for boys and girls and then just finish them when I need them done, instead of waiting until a week before the shower and then rushing to get the quilt done.  Either way, I think it turned out pretty well, despite a few of the mistakes I made.



I always love when quilts have the contrast strips in the back and this is the first time I did this with one of my quilts.  I like the way it turned out.


For the quilting I did a really big stipple pattern on the main part of the top and then a loop pattern on the border.  I used pink thread so you could see it a little better, although my free motion quilting still leaves MUCH to be desired.


I love doing baby quilts.  They come together relatively quickly and I don’t have to fight them as much to get them through my little sewing machine when I quilt them myself.  I think if I did a full sized bed quilt I would probably send it off to be quilted since my machine is really little and I’m just not good at maneuvering that much material around.


I think Jenn liked it and I hope that she and baby girl will get lots of use out of it.  Her cousin (pictured in the blue dress) surprised me by crying when Jenn opened the gift.  I guess their grandma had always made quilts for new babies in the family and Jenn’s baby girl was the first one that wasn’t going to get a handmade quilt, so she was really happy that she did get one after all.


I have a BUNCH of friends that are pregnant right now, so I’d better get working on my quilts!  I love putting them together and seeing the finished products!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Jumper Abbie

Since Abbie started her swimming lessons, she’s really taken off in her love of the pool.  She loved it before, but she was content to just float around with her water wings on.  She didn’t want to jump in, she didn’t want to take her floaties off, she didn’t want to put her head under water or open her eyes under water.  In the past month, things have changed a little.  For one, she’ll jump in the pool completely by herself, while all the adults watch and take pictures from the deck.


She’s turned in to our little water kid.  We bought her a couple of those water ring and sticks that sink to the bottom of the pool and she loves trying to dive down to get them and usually she can get 2-3 of them before she comes up for air.


Thank God Mark likes to swim since I’m not much of a “get in the pool” person.  I like to watch from the sides.  And the pool is a nice refreshing 94 degrees right now.  (That was intense sarcasm… It’s like swimming in a warm bathtub.)  Abbie loves it and Ben loves it too, although we usually take Abbie swimming during Ben’s naptime, hence the lack of pictures of him.


All I can say is the house with a pool in the back yard was a good investment.  I’m glad we have it!


Monday, July 15, 2013

4th of July


Over the 4th of July weekend, our friends Brittney and Dan came to visit us for a few days.  They lived in the same town as us in Italy and they moved to Albuquerque, NM shortly after we moved to Phoenix.  It’s nice to have them within driving distance although I would much prefer Brittney to be closer than she is.  She’s one of my best friends and I miss her!


We decided to check out the base fireworks for the 4th.  It was both of our kids first time seeing the fireworks.  They liked them, but they got a little bored about 5 mins in to the show.  The fireworks were being put off way in the distance so it wasn’t nearly as thrilling as it is when they’re right over your head.  Next year we’ll find somewhere else to watch them.


Ben found these little chairs right in front of where we set up our blankets.  He LOVED that little chair.  It was empty most of the night and all he wanted to do was sit in that little chair.  I think he thought it was pretty cool that there was a chair there just his size waiting for him.  =)  Guess we’ll have to get the kids they’re own little lawn chairs since they like them so much!



We waited in a ridiculously long and slow line for snow cones while the sun went down while they kids played in a nearby sand volleyball court.  I think Ben came home with my sand in his hair than anywhere else.  He was having a great time trying to throw it, but the wind was blowing it all back in his face.  Silly boy.


Overall, it was a fun weekend.  I wish Britt and Dan could have stayed longer.  We’ll just have to go see them and their new house sometime this winter.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Family photos


One of the main things I wanted to do when we went back to IL in June was to see my grandma.  She had her 98th birthday while we were there, although we weren’t able to attend her party because we were attending Mark’s older brother's ordination to the priesthood, which happened on the same day.  These are all the pictures I took of our families while we were up in IL for the few short days we were there.


My parents, Mark, the kids and I went out to lunch with my grandma at our favorite Thai restaurant in my grandma’s town.  The food is AMAZING!  I wish we could find good Thai food like that here.  Actually, we probably could, I just haven’t looked.


My mom wanted pictures of them with all their grandkids for their Christmas card this year, so I took a bunch of pictures of the 7 of them.  It was nearly impossible to get every one looking at the camera and smiling.  We probably would have needed 3 hours to get a great one, but these are the best ones we got in the 10 times I tried.  (Note:  when you’re part of large group photos, DON’T TALK.  Just stand there and smile.  I have about 20 pictures of both of my parents mid-word or noise or something and anyone looks goofy mid-word.  Just stand and smile – it makes things a zillion times easier.)


Abbie is probably one of the most photogenic people I’ve ever encountered.  These are two of my favorites of her with my parents, although I have a BUNCH of these and they all turned out great.


And here are a few pictures of the kids with uncle Alex and aunt Sarah.



Trying to split our time between our families isn’t easy and it stresses me out big time.  It seems like you never have enough time with anyone when you only see them a couple times a year.  Luckily my parents, Mark’s parents and Alex and Sarah have been to our house in Phoenix already this year.  And my parents and Alex and Sarah are also going to be here for another visit over the next few months, so we’re excited to see them all again!