Thursday, May 24, 2012


I have always had a weird fear of "settling down" - meaning buying a house and living there for a long time.  Matt thinks I'm crazy.  But there's always been something I liked about living in a place for a few years and moving on to the next cool place, discovering it, meeting great people, etc.  Maybe that "fear" is partly due to the unknown and worrying that I may have to live away from family permanently so I just wanted to avoid that for a while.

But, after doing this a few times and as my kids get older, I'm finding myself feeling more ready and looking forward to settling down. (we do have a couple of moves still.) :)

I love Iowa City.  It has been an incredibly easy city to live in with amazing people and surprisingly a lot to do and see. But for the first time, I've felt far from our families.  Traveling in and out of here is expensive and takes longer than I'm use to.  Driving is more than a day (or two). We won't get visitors like we did when we lived 10 minutes from the beach on the west coast. :) So I'm actually longing for the time to be living closer to family, spending holidays together, having them come to our events and celebrations, especially, when I see how much my kids love all of their grandparents.

My parents were here and we went and saw some fun things, but they mostly just wanted to read with them and play at home.  Charlie started calling my mom "Jule" and my dad "seeve" and followed my dad all around.  It reminded me just how important extended family is.  My kids have many great-grandparents around, too, and some of their healths are failing. It makes me wish I was closer.  I think Matt and I have grown from all of these experiences away and have made such incredible friends. I think the time is nearing, though, to settle down (hopefully) close to family.

Here is our little trip to Nauvoo, IL.  The early pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints settled there before they were driven out and began to move West.  We stayed in this great hotel across from the temple.  It was gorgeous. We also took a "carriage ride" through the little town of Nauvoo to learn more about the history. We had a fun little roadtrip.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Let's REALLY go Fly a Kite

My parents came to visit. We had lots of fun. (more posts to follow.) The most fun the kids had was just reading and playing with them.  One night at dinner, Madeline announced that when she grows up she wants to be a "kite-ist".  So Grandpa Steve took Madeline out to buy some kites.  Somehow she convinved him to let her get this cheap, pink, Barbie one.  Grandpas are softies. :)

I'm not totally sure why Charlie is carrying the toy iron. He held on to it the whole way.

We have so much open space, parks and giant fields all around where we live - not to mention some pretty decent wind, so we were able to have a really great afternoon flying kites.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Attempt at your own risk

My sister-in-law is getting married this summer, so I have been on the hunt for a special dress for Madeline.  I saw a darling FREE tutorial and thought I could save some bucks.
Plus, my mom is in town and I truly believe she can make/fix anything, so I planned this "little" project for us to do.

It has been a nightmare. :)

My mom just shook her head when I said I had found a tutorial.  As a seasoned seamstress and wise mother, she knew better than to think it would be easy. And she was right.  A day or two project turned into a week of sewing, taking out stitches, confusion, frustration, crazy ruffles, more sewing, more taking out and this repeated several times.

I was given a free pattern, which is really great.  I'm amazed at how generous people are with their talents.  And she did say it was an untested tutorial and may contain mistakes.  But just in case you want to attempt it, I think she skipped a few steps in her directions and to get the right fullness in the skirt, I think you need an extra pattern piece.  Anyway.. I guess we bonded and it's pretty much done. My mom had to make up a few steps and it worked out.  I'm still toying with the idea of adding an organza sash around the waist with a big bow in the back.  We'll see.

I think it looks cute on her. I used pre-ruffled mini fabric for the bodice and silk shantung for the skirt.

Here is the original tutorial

Twas the Night Free Dress Pattern

Good luck. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Craft Fair!

I did another craft fair and again, had lots of fun.  This time it was at a friend's 1930s, darling bungalow house.  She had about 15 vendors.  I set up my tent outside because I wanted the extra space.  We had a lovely sunny week until Saturday - it poured the night before and that day the high was 43.  I was pretty cold all day and I think the unpleasant weather affected the turnout.  But I did pretty well.  I don't know if I'll do it again though.  Now that I have three regular harp students and a few gigs lined up, I feel like there's better use of my time and energy than constantly sewing and stressing about craft fairs. :)

My mom came in to town to help me. I couldn't have done it without her. Matt was in DC for a conference and it was pretty nice to know my kids were having fun with their grandma while I was freezing and trying to sell my items. :)  We are having a fun week with her.  We are excited for Grandpa Steve to come next week.

I updated my etsy shop.  There are a few new items in there. Go check it out!