"Children come into this world with fresh eyes to see all that is beautiful, embrace all that is joyful, and love unconditionally with open hearts and minds."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

She has what it takes! (for now)

Sophia had her 1st dance class two weeks ago. Since she's only 2 yrs old, we decided to try the short summer session to see if she can hang with the bigger girls (including her big sister), follow instructions and not scream for Mommy. We were pleasantly surprised.... she loved the class, paid attention, followed instruction and was too engaged to notice me peeking through the blinds trying to catch a glimpse of her dancing! Last week, same thing.... she keeps on asking me "is dance class today"?


Here's a short video clip through the blinds during her 1st class and what she had to say when it was over...

Sew-mestically challenged & Hooked on Friday

For Christmas last year, my hubby bought me a Singer Precision sewing machine.
Why? Because I was going to use it as a scrapbook tool! Isn't that why everyone buys a sewing machine?
... A month prior to Christmas, I returned from a weekend scrapbook retreat. A friend brought her sewing machine to the retreat for anyone to use. I went crazy sewing paper & velum pockets on my 12x12 pages the entire weekend. It was my first time using a sewing machine since junior high school. I used the pockets to store my girls (daycare) report cards, ultrasound pics, etc. As you can see from the scan below of my scrapbook page... my sewing skills need some work [lots of crooked zigzag stitches].

(above pic - Ultrasound pic of Sophia sucking her thumb @ 19 weeks :)

Boy is she a beauty.... sitting there never used on my scrapbook desk for the past 7 months....

THEN... A couple months ago, I came across this Etsy shop "Little Fish In A Big Pond". They have wonderful Do It Yourself (DIY) kits. The fabric choices are simply wonderful. The kit has everything you need, except for the sewing machine, iron and scissors. I decided that this would be a great way to learn how to sew fabric [vs. paper], but at the same time have something to show for it.... soooo I bought two Parisian Dress kits - one Medium for Sydney and one Small for Sophia.

Finally, a couples months later on a rainy day (TODAY!), I decided to go for it. [I figured that I better do it before the sizes I bought are too small for the girls]. First, I had to learn how to use my new sewing machine... which took 15 minutes tops. THEN without even testing my sewing skills on test fabric, I opened the "Little Fish Big Pond" DIY kit and got down to business.

The instructions were easy to follow and the fabric is all pre-cut making it easy for a beginner like me. The end result after a couple hours (with multiple interruptions and a PB&J lunch for two little girls) was an adorable summer dress that Sydney loves. Yes, the seams are not perfectly straight and I had to pull a few stitches and redo a couple times, but I am happy with the end result - a sewing course, a cute summer dress and a happy little girl [all for $15!]. Next up, Sophia's dress... since I had a practice run, I'm guessing that it will take me half the time of the 1st dress?

Below is a pic of the dress kit: thread, ribbon & fabric comes in a tiny little package with a 2-sided page of instructions... THAT's IT!

This soon will become Sophia's dress....

Today's finished product... Sydney's blue/green dress....

hemming the arm-holes was probably the hardest part... if you blow-up the next pic you can get a better look at the stitching....

From these pics of Sydney you would think she's done this before!! She was a great little model for my 1st sewing project.

Check out the Parisian Kits here!

Don't forget to stop by Hooked on Houses for the Hooked on Friday blog party!

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

50th Anniversary Celebration!

It's been a while since I last blogged... the month of July has been so busy with lots of fun family time. I thought that I'd have more time to blog as a SAHM, but I'm having a hard time finding the time. I'm still settling into my new routine... at the same time, I'm trying to catch up on projects around the house and making time to share special moments and planned activities with my girls. All things that I didn't have time to do when I worked full-time. My idea for the blog was to record our time together as a family so I have some catching up to do!

Last Saturday evening, we celebrated my parents 50th Anniversary! They've been married since 1959! The entire week was crazy with getting the house in order, food and cake ordered, food prep, decorations, etc ready... it was a world-wind week. In the end, we were happy with how it went.... the weather was perfect, the food was delicious, the 50's music was fun and everyone seemed to have a great time.
[My Bob loves entertaining in our home and our girls had a blast with all of their cousins!] I forgot to do a couple things that we planned for my parents because the night flew-by and absent-minded me forgot to put out some food for the party [which is something that happens almost every time I entertain or have a party.... Not that it mattered because there was tons of food and tons leftover at the end of the night]. My only complaint is that the night went by way to quick! Seven of my parents eight children with their significant others and sixteen of their twenty-three grandchildren were there to celebrate with my parents.

my Mom and her Maid of Honor
my Mom and my Grandpop Brett
Exchanging rings
the new Mr & Mrs!

Honeymoon send-off...
Honeymoon in Florida....
My Parents 50th! :)
I put together a memory board of their wedding for the party (behind the cake)... and had framed photos of them on some of the buffet tables.

Fifteen of their twenty-three Grandchildren in the picture below!
Picture of me with 3 of my 7 siblings...

My parents danced together at the end of the night.... what a way to end a great celebration of their 50 blissful years of marriage!

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom & Dad!!
We Love You!

My Mom made the comment that it felt like a long weekend not 50 years (sure Mom!).

Sydney has not stopped talking about the party. She loves her Grandmom... She said that Grandmom was her favorite person at the party and that swimming in the pool with all her cousins was the best part of the entire night.

PS-Check out the Beautiful Life link party at the Inspired Room! The post on my parents seems so appropriate for this week!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Show Us Where You Live Friday: Backyard-igans

This week over at Kelly's Korner, it's garages and outdoor spaces. I'm not too excited about showing the garage ;), but I am over excited about sharing our backyard with you.

Below are some pics of my favorite summer spot.... the "backyard". We love the view of the golf course behind our house. We back up to the 1st hole, but have a stream & a tree-line as a buffer.

We had an amazing pool constructed by a couple years ago so there's not much of a "backyard" left (at least not the "Backyardigans" green grassy kind.) There's enough yard to play Bocce Ball between the far-side of the pool and the little stream (or maybe a future swing-set for our little girls). The past year my husband has been working on the landscaping around the pool/retaining walls and some additional landscaping right behind the house. I can't wait until it all grows in to complete the look of the pool and the back of the house. Credit goes to my husband, who does all of the planting (and replanting to accommodate my many changes. HA!). He also built the deck and the paver patio. Arista did all three retaining walls (due to the steep back yard) and the pool... they did an awesome job with the perfect symmetry we were trying to accomplish.

Sorry about the dark pictures... the sun already set when I was snapping most of these pictures.

There are two smaller retaining walls on the "house-side" of the pool and one larger retaining wall on the opposite side of the pool (large wall is not pictured below). The pool construction company had to work with the steep backyard and narrow depth of yard and did an amazing job.
The pool has 3 "square" areas - a sun shelf, a spa and the stairs. The equal squares in between hold the lounge chairs and the table.

I didn't love the idea of a "monster" slide... BUT the girls and all of my nieces & nephews LOVE IT!

Pictured below is the paver patio that my hubby built. The patio is under the deck so it's shaded. It's a great place to sit during the hot summer.

Looking down the stairs at the two smaller retaining walls with planters:

I really like the steps that go down to the pool!! This may be my favorite part of the hardscaping work. It was done perfectly... and blended in with the EXISTING paver patio perfectly.

We have 3 pets- 2 cats (Snoop & Uno) and an Eastern Painted Turtle. We found the turtle in the pool last May when it was being summerized. It was a tiny, little baby and has grown into a thriving pet turtle. Sydney named him "Mr. Turtle" and then she changed it to "Mr. Robot Turtle". They feed and take care of him.. we keep his tank on the patio in the Summer and inside with a heat lamp Fall through Spring.

During the warmer months, the girls have lunch or do craft projects on this picnic table that sits on the patio:

"Stuff" my hubby has hanging behind his patio bar:

Our latest project:
A couple weeks ago we added some
Stepables (different types of little Thyme plants) by a stone pathway that goes to a side gate behind the house. The stones were given to us by my hubby's friend who works at a quarry. We need a few more stones to complete the walkway to the gate. It will look much better once the Thyme begins to grow & cover the ground/mulch.

Thank you for stopping by for a splash of our outdoor living!

In honor of Sydney's favorite Noggin Show:

"Now it's time to have a snack, see you next time when we're back..."  
The Backyardigans

If you missed any of the home tour these last few weeks, here are my room links: Kitchen, Living Room, Guest Room, Dining Room, Children's Room, Home Office, Bonus Room/Basement, Master Bedroom

Click here to go back to "Kelly's Yards & Garages" tour!

Happy July 4th!

Outdoor Wednesday by A Southern Day Dreamer

It's Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by Susan at A Southern Day Dreamer. I'm a day late, but wanted to post pics of Bob having fun in the pool this evening with his 2 girls... something he does almost daily in the summer if the weather is nice.

This morning at Costco, I picked up some kid-size goggles. Sydney & Sophia are using them already. Sydney is now opening her eyes under water!
Look how high he is throwing Sophia in the air... and she kept on saying "One more time?"
A 2 year old with NO FEAR :)
Here are a couple pics of Sydney... Look at that form!---

Thanks for letting me crash the Outdoor Wednesday Party a day late!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just a Perfect Day

On lazy, late summer afternoons or early evenings after the girls wake-up from a long afternoon nap, you may find us out on the backyard patio doing...

Nothing Much, just enjoying each others company... it is pure bliss and relaxation. It's the end to
a perfect day.

Makes me think of the song "Perfect Day".

I like "Perfect Day" sung by Duran Duran, but for the purpose of showing a video... I like the "BBC Promotion" video with all the different artist and the shots of the garden in the evening.
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