Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"The Maelea Dress"

Way back in February, Mary Beth sent me a picture of a dress she found on Pinterest and asked if I could recreate it for Maelea. I told her I wasn't sure I could. Since I'm a totally self-taught sewer, and this dress looked a little complicated for my skill level I didn't think I could recreate it. But I'm always up for a good challenge. So fast-forward five months and I decided to give it a try for Maelea's birthday! source

I wanted the dress to be light and breezy since we are having the hottest summer ever. So I picked a pale blue and white seersucker to work with. I used one of Ingrid's bigger dresses to help make a pattern since I knew Maelea was taller than Ing. Keep in mind, when I was making this dress, I hadn't seen Maelea in person in months and months! I was super excited with how the dress turned out. I used peach buttons down the back that really set it off. Heather got me some buttons from a cute little Etsy shop and I had been dying to use them. Plus, this help put a little different spin on the dress so it wasn't a carbon copy of the Pin Mary Beth sent me. I put the dress on Ingrid right away to see how it looked! I loved it! The oversized bow is just so cute and different. But then realization hit that this dress fit Ingrid perfectly, so it was going to be too small for Maelea! So off I went to make another one. I was actually excited to try again because there were some things I wanted to do differently. One of the main things I did differently was how I attached the bow. I also made bias tape out of the same material as the dress and used it around the neckline and armholes. I think it gave it a much more finished look. Ingrid's dress is more of an 18/24 month and Maelea's is a 2/3T. I loved how the purple turned out also! Mary Beth and Alex visited our church Sunday and the girls had on their matching dresses! It was just too precious. We went to McDonald's for lunch, per the girls' request, and I tried to get a few shots of them in their dresses. You can tell it was super sunny, hot, and almost nap time! But they still look as cute as can be. This is definitely the hardest thing I have tried to sew and I really like how it turned out. I could have bought a pattern and I'm sure it would have been easier and even turned out better, but I'm proud of myself for trying it on my own. Now I can't wait to make more of "The Maelea Dress."

Monday, July 23, 2012

They're BACK!

Six years ago my best friend since KINDERGARTEN moved away. FAR away---over 8 hours one way! I was super sad when she moved away, but I was so happy for her to start her adventure in Texas. She moved to Texas where her boyfriend lived and got a teaching job and a house. While she was there, she got married and had a baby girl. So much has changed in our lives over the past six years, but we are as close as ever. That's the best thing about best friends. This was our going away party at Mary Beth's house back in 2006. We had the opportunity to go visit them several times and they got to come here on holidays. We became fast friends with Alex over the years and we were thrilled to find out we were pregnant at the same time and due the SAME DAY! How fun it would be to have daughters the same age. It would be even better if they could see each other more than just a few times a year. I always wished and prayed they would find their way back to Arkansas. My prayers were answered when they did just that last month. Not only are they back in Arkansas, but we are living in the same town! We went to dinner together to catch up right when they returned. That night we learned that they are pregnant with their second baby! I'm over the moon excited for them and I'm doubly excited that I will get to be at the hospital when he/she is born! Ingrid and Maelea have already played together several times and they have become fast friends. Ingrid talks about Maelea, Mary Beth, and Alex all the time. She thanks Jesus for them in her prayers. I'm so happy they're back.

Hugs JUMP MB and Liv watching the big girls Doing a little work on the computer Tea Party My favorite Winding down for the night Mary Beth, Alex, and Maelea: We are so very happy to have you back in Arkansas. We can't wait for tons of dinners, play dates, birthdays, holidays, and more. We love you and Welcome Back!

Jen's Birthday

While we're on a birthday note, let's roll with it. Jen had her birthday party about a month ago and it was a blast (as all parties at Jen's are). We had it during the week so Derek had to miss out since he was working. This party really helped gear Ingrid up for hers. It was right before she turned two and she had such a great time, she talked about it every day for days and days. Jen and Meme had tons of food and snacks and desserts. It was awesome. The birthday girl Ingrid loved all the food of course. Amelia and Elise had on the cutest matching dresses. I hope I look like this when I'm 47! Jen had the sprinkler set up and a water tub. Bubbles, a sandbox, slide and swings--what more could you ask for! Lucky got thirsty! I was thankful Meme kept Liv inside most of the time because it was just too hot for a tiny one. And her allergies were starting to act up too. Just when it's been the best party of all-time, Jen brings out stamps! Ingrid was in heaven "making a craft." Amelia took hers very seriously. OH--and Meme had awesome treat bags for them to take home!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me! (and Heather)

On Friday night Derek took me to Branson for a birthday dinner. On the way up there, he asked me where I wanted to shop before we went to eat. I decided I was ready to eat first. And then he started acting weird. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him, so he finally told me he had made a reservation and wanted it to be a surprise! So off we go to shop around a bit. He said the reservation was for 7:45 at Texas Land and Cattle. You better believe I shopped up until 7:35--plenty of time to make our reservation! When we got to the Landing it was super duper crowded so I was even more excited we had a reservation--no waiting! We walk in to the restaurant and I'm SHOCKED to hear SURPRISE!!! and see Heather, Ross, MB, and Alex! They had all gotten together and had a surprise dinner for me. I was so excited (and embarrassed of course because everyone was staring at me!) We had a delicious meal of steak and potatoes and tons of bread. Saturday was my actual birthday and I got up early and went to a garage sale with MB. Ingrid tagged along too. Can you tell how UBER excited I am that my BFF is back in town!! I had a delicious coffee and latte from Neighbor's Mill and played with my girls all day. That evening we went up to Heather's for a joint family party. The girls had a blast playing together as usual. The decorations were super cute. And the food was Dee-lishus, as Ingrid says! Mom got a huge Chick-Fil-A platter. It was Ing's first time to try their chicken and she gobbled it up. We also had chips and dips and broccoli salad! Jen made chocolate covered strawberries too. Mom bought us each a Coldstone Creamery cake, which is like a present in itself. My choice was 8-layer Cake Batter and it was divine. Heather and I were showered with gifts and love! What a great way to celebrate our birthdays!

Smiles! This is the dress Mom and Dad got Ingrid in Vegas. It is the cutest thing I've ever seen. The is my best shot of all four girls. Food! Yum! Ingrid wanted to sit in my lap while I opened my gifts. Sweet little thing. I made Heather a set of Arkansas pillows and she loved them! Best Friends Watching our daughters sing to us! I am so thankful and blessed to celebrate another year with my loving family.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Castle Rock

Mom and Dad took Amelia to Castle Rock for her end-of-school present! They had taken her there in March for her birthday and she was ready to go back. Ingrid, Liv, and I met them on the second day for some water fun! This is a really neat indoor water park. Perfect for small kids. Most importantly, you don't have to worry about sun burns or heat exhaustion! Ingrid loved going down all the slides. I loved watching her. Liv had fun too! Dad carried her around while we went from pool to pool and slide to slide. She got in with Mom toward the end and she loved it. Thanks for the invite!