Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Crib Rail Cover DIY

The other day I went into Mia's room, thinking, "boy, I thought I would have needed a crib rail cover by now."  I had casually kept my eye on the the top of it for teeth marks, and still didn't see anything..

Then I decided to look inside "just in case," and found...


What a mistake I had made.  A Big. Big. Mistake.  She's had teeth for 6 months..what was I thinking!

I went straight (humor me here) to Joann's to get some fabric to cover these babies up.  It was so easy! Here are the simple, no-sew steps:

1. I laid the fabric (I only bought 1 yard, and had plenty extra) over the railing to measure how much I needed to cut.  I wish I had cut some extra length-wise, since it pulls towards the middle once you start tying the knots.  Also, make sure you cut at least 4-5 inches past the bottom of the top rail for the strips that you'll tie together.

This is what I mean:

2. I cut the fabric into a long rectangle.  (Don't cut the strips just yet.)

3. I laid it back over the railing, and cut the strips in between each rail (I cut the back strip and front strip at the same time).  To make sure the fabric didn't shift around while I cut, I first cut the strips on each end and tied them, and then I cut the ones in the middle. Here's a closer look:

4. Then I tied the knots.

5. And lastly, I cut these remaining strips:

My strips were just the right length so I didn't need to trim the ties, but if you need to trim the ties, this is your last step.

And there you have it!

I sort of wish I had chosen a solid color, since the wallpaper is so busy in the background, but oh well.  

This project cost me $4.00, was a perfect no-sew solution, and once I got back from the store it took me mayyybbeee 30 minutes.  And there's enough fabric to cover the side rails too if I need to.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On the occasion of my 29th Birthday...

The month of May is great, isn't it?  Spring is in full boom, school lets out soon, Mother's Day is around the corner, and so many birthdays of friends and family members to celebrate, including my mother-in-law, my sister, my friend KM, Mia, and me! 

I would say my expectations for birthdays are mid-range...I don't expect the day to be perfect, or for it to be the best day out of all 365, or for me to not have to lift a finger all day (though that would be nice!), but I definitely  intend to have fun, eat food that I feel like eating, do things I feel like doing, and spend time with some of my favorite people.

And, once May 4th, 2014 started with me sleeping in until 7:10, 1-2 hours past my usual morning wake-ups with the ever eager-for-the-day-to-begin Mia, I knew it was going to be an exceptionally great birthday.  

I fed Mia and went straight for the presents.  I had asked Joel for this sewing machine, as I thought this would solidify my "stay-at-home-mom" status even better and more fun than, say, a "SAHM" self portrait tattoo.  

Or maybe something like this..


Anyway, I digress. As I walked into the kitchen where my present was sitting and surprisingly well-wrapped in last-week's newspaper, I noticed not one but two gifts.  The big one was surely my Singer machine I had asked for, but what the heck was the other one??

Well, my husband proved himself an awesome gift-giver once again, and surprised me with a beautiful - I mean Beautiful - book about how to make paper flowers.  One of my Favorite Hobbies On The Planet.

Here is the book:


It has a forward written by Martha Stewart, so you know it's going to be good.  Isn't the cover even so beautiful??  Just looking at it makes me happy.

Anyway, the unexpectedness and perfectness of it were just too much...and I cried. Just a tiny little bit people! Not that much.  But enough to acknowledge.  Personal, thoughtful gifts...a rising love language for me most definitely.

Shortly after present-opening, we decided to go out for breakfast (one of my favorite "luxury" pastimes), and agreed on La Grande Orange.  On the way there, Joel suggested I text a friend of mine that I haven't seen or spoken with in practically a year, who I wasn't really sure about the status of our friendship.  I miss her and think about her often, and told Joel a while ago that once I start staying home and have more free-time I was going to make an effort to get back in touch with her.  He suggested I text her to see if we could stop by and say hi after breakfast like we had done many times in the past.

I hemmed and hawed, wondering if now was a good time, trying to come up with the right words to use, etc. etc.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I got the same feeling I get almost every year on my birthday.  It's an emotionally charged thought that Life is short, that there is no time to live with regrets, and to not put off things till "later."  Now is the time.  I pushed send on the text message and went inside.

Midway through the breakfast I received a warm text message from my friend saying that she would love to see us, but she is out of the state for a few days, and that we should plan something soon.  

I was feeling such relief and excitement to finally touch base, but the best was yet to come.

After returning home, putting Mia down for a nap, hanging around the house and reading my new favorite book on the couch for a few hours, I decided to check my email, which I rarely do on a Sunday. In my inbox was an email from my friend, sent an hour before I had texted her that morning, congratulating me on Mia's Baptism (she didn't realize it was my birthday).  So if you're doing the math right...we each separately decided to connect with one another, on the same exact day, after not speaking / seeing / texting one another for almost a year.

All I can say is that it renewed in me even more strongly, that life is too short to not do those things we know matter most.  Don't hold back.  Don't over-analyze.  Just do it! :)

Ok back to finish my all-important birthday summary.  After 5:00 Mass we threw in a frozen pizza, put Mia to bed, ate more than one chocolate-caramel-nut brownie, and settled in for a movie.  Even though the movie was t e r r i b l e  and we couldn't even finish it- it was so bad, it couldn't begin to detract from my awesome day.  I feel so blessed by my family and friends, and am excited for the year to come.

Or something.

PS. Anyone think that Facebook has made birthdays 10 times better than they already were?  Dear Facebook: you  can be really annoying sometimes, but on my birthday, I appreciate you.  The end.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mia's Baptism, and an epic family vacation all in one 7QT!

Wow, where does the time fly?  I'll give you the low-down on big happenings lately, while I will also be linking up with Jen over at Conversion Diary.  

A little bit late never hurt anyone.

Speaking of which, Jen just released her awesome book Something Other Than God.  I have the Kindle version on my phone, and even though I promised myself that I had to finish another book I have started (months ago) before starting Jen's book, I couldn't resist and have been sneaking in a few pages all day.  (Sneaking from who? Who knows.)  

She also has a bunch of contests including who can come up with the best drink called "The SOTG."  I am really considering entering this one...my brain has been formulating ideas for the past 24 hours and I might be on to something.  Or maybe it's a sign I just really need a drink.  Either way.

So last week my parents, sister, and brother's family came into town!!  We are usually all in one room only when we come to SD, and recently that has been mainly just for the past few Christmases.  It meant the world that they came out to celebrate Mia's baptism, and it was also so nice for my brother's family to see where we live!

Whenever my parents are in town, I always come up with a list of things I need help with from both of them.  From my mom I need things like, how do I clean this certain un-clean-able thing? And from my dad, it usually involves a trip to Home Depot and/or electrician lessons for Joel (farmers know everything, you know?)  Anyway, one of the things I asked my dad to help with was to "stabilize" the Little Free Library my neighbor generously made for us.  Here is a before picture.

As you can see, it did look like it needed a little work.  When my dad said he could add a few nice touches, I let him have free reign to the project to make any improvements he wanted.  Well, a day later he came up with this almost-finished product (I still need to paint it):

Doesn't it look awesome!!??  You can't really see the roof in the picture, but it is epic.  Wooden shingles and everything.  And in the picture is Mia, my sister Maddy, and my two nieces Sadie and Kynslie.  

I can't wait to paint it-- any suggestions on paint colors???  I'm all ears!  

I should have maybe mentioned this above, but my sister completely surprised us in coming!!  It was so awesome to have her there, it just made the entire trip complete.  What a little sneaky snake she is.  And props to my mom for keeping the secret!  She's a pretty honest / no poker face kinda lady.

On Saturday we all went to the Zoo.  The weather decided to take about a 15 degree dip and was aMAZE-ing, and we spent the entire afternoon there.  The girls rode a camel, and we saw my favorite - the giraffes.  Are not giraffes the coolest animals ever?  Anyway, here is a family picture - probably the best one we've ever taken, minus Joel trying to help Mia with her water bottle.

All I wanna know is, when did my sister become the prettiest in the family?

Sunday morning was the Baptism.  Here's a close-up of Mia in her little dress..

(I also made a little white bow headband to go with..so cute!)

I found the dress from an Etsy shop that sells handmade items called Simply White Designs.  The owner was so nice, answered a ton of questions for me before I purchased, and the dress was perfect and beautifully simple in my opinion.

My brother Andy and sister-in-law Lyndsey were the Godparents, and the baptism was during the regular Mass, right after the homily, which is a little different than normal but I loved that so many people were there to witness and be a part of her baptism.  

I just think it is so beautiful and inspiring to me when I see other baptisms during Mass. It's such a welcoming feeling into the greater church community, and reminds the entire church (in my opinion) of the new little souls entering the church, the need to pray for them, and the responsibility we all have to be a good witness to our faith and to build community. Now I'll get off that soap box and cue a photo :)

After the baptism we had a great little get-together for lunch with some friends, and the day flew by and off my family went back home Monday morning. It was such a whirlwind of a trip but it was so, so good.  The weather was even better than expected, the Zoo was great, I beat my niece Sadie at Memory, (she could go Pro if she wanted), and Mia got to spend some really fun play time with her cousins, aunts and uncle and grandparents.

It was so, so good.