my sunday best! vol. 1?

23 October 2016

23 October 2016
Kate and I spent some extra time to look cute today, and I'm *trying* to not pass out from exhaustion so I decided to blog for a bit and link up with Rosie's really cute linkup for My Sunday Best this afternoon!

Outfit details!
Dress: Old Navy, last year. MAGIC DRESS. (see below). If they bring back their swing dresses, I will buy them out this year.
Shoes: Lucky Basel Boots, Christmas present last year
Scarf: Target, old
Belt: probably also Target, I don't remember for sure, old
Hair: laziness

Kate's dress: Carter's, last year, $8 if I remember right
Kate's sweater: Gap, bought at consignment sale for $4
Kate's shoes: H&M on clearance last season, probably around $5 as they are pretty cheap feeling and I wouldn't have paid much more for them.

As mentioned above, this dress is literally magic. It's a swing dress that I have now worn pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and post-partum and it covers and hides all the things. I was a little worried when I put it on this morning that it would be too short with the belly pushing it out a lot, but it was somehow only like an inch shorter than normal? Aka totally acceptable because the normal length is right hitting my knee cap. It's stretchy, actually warm but not too warm when the temp changes, comfortable as heck, and very flattering. I highly recommend it - supposedly all of those Old Navy swing dresses are equally great. I am too lazy to get up off the couch and check but it's gotta be a jersey or rayon mixed with cotton, and I am definitely going to buy some more if they bring them back this year even if they're not nursing friendly, just for future years' use.

Of note this morning at Mass: Kate genuflected with perfect form between David and me entering the pew, with no prompting -- aka the cutest thing you've EVER seen. This is the second time she's ever done it, because I honestly hadn't even been thinking she could do it let alone would want to, so we haven't ever asked her before. The first time I missed it, but I made sure to watch this time around and my heart about melted out of my chest. She also then tried to genuflect coming back into the pew after Communion - equally adorable. <3

Her behavior the rest of Mass was also super stellar, and that's not sarcasm even though usually it might be - I give her an A++ for the morning, which meant she got to have jelly on her toast as a reward. (Trying to avoid donuts EVERY week, so that's the reward I came up with haha.)

We are headed to Lincoln in a little bit to work on some baby Jesus mangers for another peg doll exchange I'm doing this year, Nativity themed this time around (so excited!), and then have dinner with my family. I'd like to get some more quilting done on the baby quilt, as well as work some on my freelance project for work when we get home, but we stayed up too late last night working on baby things so I might just pass out when we get home. We will have to see. A riveting Sunday as you might have predicted!

Head over to Rosie's to find more Sunday outfit inspiration and read stories about her cute kiddos at church! :)

7QT #54: fall walks, zoo trip, & Poldark

21 October 2016

21 October 2016
Another week, another random conglom (I'm going to start saying that in regular conversation) of useless facts about Hannah. What say you, friends?

Last weekend we had some dear friends of ours come visit from Iowa. We seem to have this deal going on where we visit them or they visit us about every 6 months, which works out really nicely if we manage to schedule it in time. Although now that I say that, I think we missed the visit this last spring because the last time we saw them was for our godson's baptism a year ago...hmm. Anyways, our goal is every 6 months and we made it happen last weekend!

They came for just a weekend, full of a visit to the zoo (our first since living in Omaha!), a Husker game, and a lot of good chats and toddler craziness. It was a blast and now every day since leaving, Kate's asked me where Cecilia (their little girl 3 weeks younger than Kate) is, and when she is coming back. Parting is such sweet sorrow, even for toddlers.

This week, therefore, has been a little dragging without the excitement of said weekend. I've been spending a few evenings here and there working on an extra freelance project, which I took on mostly to build up some extra moolah before maternity leave gets here -- because when you're self-employed, maternity leaves just means not working and therefore not getting paid. Not so fun.

I think the Starbucks I go to is still stuck in summer mode, though, because no matter where I sit, guaranteed about 10 minutes in I feel the AC kick on and get really cold. So even though it's been still relatively nice here (70 or so highs this week), I have been bundling up to go there like an old lady with jeans and a long-sleeve or sweater and a scarf.

I've also been ordering hot decaf tea because free refills with my Gold Star member status, and I can't drink caffeine past 6 p.m. or I'm up all night. I really am getting old, aren't I?

Some links:
// Theresa's got a new blog and it's adorable and you should totally go check it out. I think she might even inspire me to make myself a salad for lunch one of these days. (Yesterday I had the very fancy toasted peanut butter & jelly so...I could probably use some improvement in that area.)

// This article about what it actually means to waste your vote. I don't go political here because I get too rage-y but this article is great at proving that, mathematically speaking, you're welcome to vote for whomever you please and don't listen to people who tell you otherwise.

// A two for one day about political things: a greatly researched article from someone with actual experience about the Supreme Court issue that seems to be plaguing so many people about the election.

// In much more fun news, the new teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 made me really excited. I will always watch Chris Pratt in pretty much anything, and this looks promising as usual.

In an attempt to keep somewhat active in the last few months of pregnancy, and an effort to not waste the nice weather we've been having, Kate and Murph and I have been getting into the habit of a daily walk between nap time and when David gets home from work. Most days it involves a lot of scolding Murph for pulling on the leash and Kate demanding that I get the leaves she finds on the ground "because dey so pwetty, Mama!!" but it's still nice.

snacks and juice are a daily must as well
The hills around our neighborhood give me Braxton-Hicks every so often, and I'm usually beat by the end, but it's a nice way to get out of the house and get to know our new place a little better, as well as the best way to see all the beautiful fall colors before they disappear.

My newest obsession?

image via PBS
Guys. Why, oh why, did it take me so long to start this show? I knew it wouldn't be bad but I didn't expect to love it as much as I have. After my somewhat disappointment with Gotham (which I tried, and just thought the characters/villains etc. are a tad overdone and over-dramatic), I was thinking I wouldn't find a new show to love anytime soon. And then I started Poldark. If you haven't yet and you like historical dramas, this is right up your alley, I promise.

I'm also excited to watch The Crown, eventually. What else should be next? I have a feeling I'll burn through the available episodes much too quickly of both of those.

My most recent pregnancy weirdness? Craving chocolate pudding, which I haven't even LIKED in approximately 15 years, let alone voluntarily bought and eaten, as well as being obsessed with this Mrs. Meyers Apple Hand Soap to the point of washing my hands probably more than necessary just so I can smell it throughout the day. (Bonus is that it doesn't seem to dry out my hands like most hand soap does, so that's nice!)

Growing a baby does some weird stuff to you.

As prep for baby #2, sometime in the next few weeks my mom and sisters and I are going to get together and batch prep a bunch of freezer meals so I'm not completely reliant upon frozen pizza and mac and cheese after baby gets here...because nothing says weight loss like frozen pizza, right? We're going to prep some Trim Healthy Mama crockpot meals and casseroles, as well as hopefully a few breakfast things to tide me over at least until the newborn fog lifts.

I'm definitely including this awesome recipe for broccoli soup, at the very least. So good if you're in the mood for something quick & easy - I don't even really follow the directions, I just dump everything in a crockpot and set it on low for like 6 hours and it's still perfect! Top with bacon if you so desire (I always do).

I didn't do anything like this for Kate so I'm hoping it will help us transition into two kiddos a little easier. If you've done this batch cooking thing before, any tips? I plan to buy disposable casserole pans, organize our deep freeze, and label everything as clearly as I can but I am up for any other pointers you might have. Or if you've got any THM recipes that I need to include in my rotation, hit me up!

Check out Kelly's for more quick takers this week. Happy weekend-ing!

Kate's big girl room

18 October 2016

18 October 2016
I've been slowly chipping away at little refresh for Kate's big girl room, since soon enough baby is going to occupy all our time/energy and I wanted to give her a little bit of space that was all her own. Her reactions to everything have been SO cute, especially the lights on the wall - she was standing there with her mouth agape, watching me put them up, repeating "Mama, so PRETTY! SO PRETTY!" every time I adjusted them.

As you can tell, I wouldn't qualify it as "finished" mostly because we haven't bought window coverings that are dark enough to keep her asleep, so we're still rocking the "blankets over the curtains that came with the house" look. Classy is our middle name.

(I had to distract her with a cup of goldfish and an episode of Daniel Tiger to get her room this clean and then take pictures of it. #worthit)

Her bed is from Walmart, bedding from Target (I can't seem to find it anymore online), light string on sale at Target, two decorative pillows also from Target...yes, a themed room around "Target." ;) The map on the wall is one I got as a hand-me-down from my parents when I was little, and I got a custom frame made for it at Hobby Lobby because it was the cheapest option for something that was such a weird size. Rug from At Home.

The rest of the room is old stuff or hand-me-downs - the chair from her grandparents, side table from an antique store, the dresser from a neighbor of David's in Columbus, and the mirror above her dresser was on the side of the road in Lincoln awhile ago.

I have plans to refinish the dresser or paint it - chalk paint, probably! - and add some new drawer pulls. This room is also one that needs a new color on the wall, because this greige is driving me nuts and I'm itching to paint every single room in our house because of it.

She is seriously enamored of these lights, way more than I ever could have anticipated. She asks me to turn them on first thing every morning when we are picking out her clothes to wear. For $7 on clearance, definitely an investment worthwhile.

The door to the room is just to the left of the edge of this picture. We got some picture shelves at IKEA to hang up there, and then the other side of the room is a big sliding-door-closet so nothing fancy there. I'd like to find another big graphic print to put up, or make one of my own if I get crafty after the baby's born. So still a ways to go!

Oh, and these are only 5 of the usually 10-12 animals she haaaas to sleep with every single nap and nighttime. There are usually so many there's hardly room for her on the pillow. Toddlers, man.

What room color would you suggest goes best with what we have already? I'm even thinking a very basic warm white would be better than this, or maybe a yellow -- but  yellows seem really difficult to pick out, so I'm nervous to try that. I want something at least a little gender neutral because I'm guessing she will be sharing this room sometime in the future, so we can't go too far in one direction.

Also, if you've got recommendations for a window solution that accommodates a really narrow ledge, I'm all ears. All the windows in this house have about 1 1/4" between the glass and the edge of the window frame, which is smaller than our old house, aka those faux wood blinds we used in the last house don't work, so we've been indecisive about buying anything because of it. I'm worried we will have to settle for shades, which just look so bad from the outside, but they're about the only solution I have come up with that blocks enough light and doesn't cost an arm and a leg (and aren't curtains. I am over curtains.). Help me out if you've discovered the same issue and have ideas for me!

More house project updates to come soon...the basement and the garage, primarily...get excited!

32 weeks

11 October 2016

11 October 2016

Hard to believe how fast it is flying by! Especially since my last update was 19 weeks and the belly has grown considerably since then. 

How far along? 32 weeks exactly this morning. Only 8 to go!
Weight gain? About 10 lbs, considerably better than last time around but I'm still feeling the effects of carrying the extra weight around, mostly in hip/joint pain and bumping into things.
Clothing? 99% maternity, 1% gym shorts/sweatpants that I'm settling comfortably belowww the bump. I'm getting to the stage where some of my maternity shirts aren't long enough, also - downfalls of being a pregnant lady with a very long torso. The girl at Buffalo Wild Wings literally gasped when she saw my belly and said, "You're carrying SO LOW! How far along are you?" and then I had to tell her only 32 weeks, I just have a long torso and carry low in general. 
Sleep? Getting up at least twice every night to pee. Tossing and turning and having to readjust my support pillows multiple times. But in between those I'm sleeping like a freaking rock - I wake up dazed & disoriented every morning, like I basically passed out. 
Best moment of this week? Yeahhh, I don't do these every week so...not sure. David's birthday was this weekend and that was lots of fun!
Worst moment of this week? ...pretty good overall, I don't have any complaints!
Miss anything? Wearing normal clothes, sleeping on my stomach.
Movement? This baby is SO different from Kate in terms of movement. They are a lot more stubborn and multiple times in the last few weeks have been pressing super hard, and what feels like on purpose, in one spot enough to make it sore. David and I agreed that we don't remember Kate being like that at all.
Symptoms? Tired. Cranky occasionally. Back pain. The usj.
Food cravings? Nothing recently, except anything that doesn't involve me cooking!
Gender? My guess right now is boy, because I am having a lot easier time coming up with names I like for girls, where the opposite happened with Kate. But it's switched multiple times so I'm sure it'll switch again.
Labor signs? I think I'm getting very slight Braxton-Hicks when I go on walks with Murphy and we go up a bunch of hills - but that's it, and they're small enough I'm not even sure that's what they are. We got plenty o'time for that.

I'm trying to offer up all the discomforts of these last months of pregnancy for anyone struggling to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy. I know being largely pregnant is not a ball of cheer, by any means, but I'd take it any day over those crosses. So if I know you (or even if I don't!), and you're struggling to get pregnant or know someone who is, you are in my prayer intentions and suffering intentions. 

Please excuse our tired faces - this was after two late nights in a row post-Sunday morning Mass, right when the nap bug hits. But we had to take a picture to commemorate David's 26th birthday! Later I will have a post on what we worked on the whole weekend, as well as his birthday present - it involves cleaning the garage - but I don't have the energy to work through all that today. (Honesty.)

We still have lots to do to prep for baby, but I'm trying to remember that we really do have most of what we need and baby will be okay with whatever is done or not done...because they won't have any idea cause they're a tiny baby. :)

Baby quilt #2

03 October 2016

03 October 2016
After the hectic-ness of moving and the fact that this baby's pregnancy is going by super fast, I finally got around to starting on the baby quilt this last weekend (with tons and tons of help from David). With 2 months left to go. I was a lot behind compared to last time, but whatever.

I started with these inspiration images, via Pinterest as ye crafters do...

left (original source deleted, found on Pinterest)

I knew I wanted something NOT primary colored, since that's what I went with for Kate's quilt. I also knew I wanted a modern vibe, something with big colors and not a lot of piecing to do. (Seriously, the first one we did? I mean, it wasn't my first quilt but holy cow, did I choose a difficult design to piece together. Tiny chevron blocks that criss cross and go opposite directions? Super super hard. For anyone's future reference.) So something not difficult to piece was priority #1.

I loved the look of the left image, but I was afraid if I copied it exactly it'd be too girly - the pink for a boy maybe just put it over the edge, and I couldn't find an acceptable peach color to substitute without ruining the scheme. The top right is nice, but the triangles looked like a lot more math than I wanted to do, and I loved the ombre look of the bottom right but I wanted a little bit more variance on color. Especially because I couldn't pick just one color to do variants of that wasn't particularly gender neutral but wasn't too far in one camp or the other.

So I shook my butt over to Joann, browsed the aisles for way too long and changed my mind 3 more times while I was there, and came out with a plan. (And, as it turns out, 3 yards too many of fabric, but it was only $2/yard so I'm sure I'll find a use for it somewhere.)

And voila!

After all the boring prep work - prewashing the fabric, ironing and trimming. cutting out pieces, re-ironing after cutting the pieces, etc. etc. (seriously, so much not-fun work before you get to something that resembles a quilt), I pieced together the 6 blocks (20"x20" squares, if you're curious, so the total will be a 40"x60" quilt) and then put David to work.

I had him iron the back seams and then pin all the layers together, and hopefully tonight or tomorrow I will get to start actually quilting!

I have a new quilting attachment for my sewing machine that has yet to be tested, and not yet a clear decision of what sort of pattern I'm going for when it comes to doing the quilting, but I'm excited. It helps that the majority of this project so far took not a lot of time, so my motivation for the project is still high.

I also haven't decided what to do when it comes to binding. I want to try my hand at making my own, and possibly doing it by hand, and also possibly adding some pattern in that way? We'll see. As you can tell, most of these projects I do piece by piece and try not to plan out, because I end up changing my mind so many times in the process anyway. It also keeps it interesting in an otherwise somewhat mundane process.

Next time I post about this it will (crossing my fingers) be done and you'll get to see the finished project! Thanks for listening to my craft rambling - it makes it all worthwhile, right? :)

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