December 31, 2012
What a year! So many things have happened, I don't even know where to start! It seems a little crazy that just a year ago Andrew and I were visiting California, then Texas, and then living in his Grandma's basement looking for a job! Although it's been hard at times, what a ride it's been! I've accomplished so many things, the least of which not being the birth of my beautiful daughter! I've learned a lot and grown from my experiences/mistakes (many MANY mistakes!), so I'd say this year hasn't been a waste!
In order to celebrate the year's successes, I want to give you the 2012 Top Twelve! These are my favorite posts from the year. Happy New Year!

This is DEFINITELY one of my favorites because it's so easy and quite inexpensive, compared to buying an entire crib set that would cost you around $100-$200. Plus, it's actually really fun to make!

I worked SO hard on this and it turned out JUST the way I imagined it would!

This is the PERFECT baby shower gift! And not too difficult, either.

One of my favorites because who doesn't love matching with their little girl?

This is my absolute FAVORITE poem that I have ever written! Hopefully I'll get illustrations done and get the book published someday!

This is my favorite poem that makes me smile and cry at the same time.

The song that I sing to my little Chelsea every night before bedtime.

Seriously... These are a-MA-zing. Never mind that the recipe calls for Devil's food cake and my picture shows Chocolate Fudge...

This one was so much fun! When my hair gets longer, I'll totally rock it!

This has quickly become my favorite outfit!

This is definitely one of my favorites because it contains some of the best photos of my precious daughter and represents the joy that she has brought to the lives of her parents.

This is almost a cheat Top Twelve post because it links to a bunch of others, but this is the timeline version of our family history.

And that's twelve! Happy Holidays and I'll see you next year! I always got fooled by that. I especially hated it when teachers would say, "You have no homework until next year!" Ha... ha... Very funny.

Everything has a purpose

December 30, 2012
I had a really special experience yesterday where I learned that there are no coincidences. Everything that happens happens for a reason. When Chelsea was overdue, Andrew and I were going CRAZY! We were so excited for her to come and couldn't understand why she wasn't coming on time, but whatcha gonna do? Well, it just so happened that on that Sunday, a few days after the due date, President Eyring (the first counselor to the Prophet and president of the LDS church) came to our ward! His granddaughter was speaking so he was there to support her. He has been one of my favorite church leaders for a long time and I couldn't believe that he was there! And to make the story even more incredible, guess what he talked about? Purpose. Everything happens for a reason. There are no coincidences.
Then yesterday, my sister invited our family to the BYU basketball game against Virginia Tech at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City. They were court side tickets which was awesome, plus we got lunch and a snack at half-time! How could we refuse?! Well, we didn't and guess who happened to be sitting right next to us? Sheri Dew, the president of Deseret Book and a very inspiring woman! She even smiled at Chelsea a couple of times! And if that's not enough, guess who we ran into on our way back to our seats after halftime snack? Elder Nelson! Another one of my favorites. I got to shake his hand and what a feeling. That man is one of the Lord's chosen apostles. Truly an amazing experience.
Finally, after the game was over and we were home and Chelsea was asleep for a nap, I went to the temple. I hadn't been in a while and I was overdue. I arrived later than I planned (due to a dog nearly escaping and a wrong turn... Don't ask) and so had some time before the next session. It was then that I realized that I only had three chapters left to read in the Book of Mormon before I finished it. What an amazing and truly special experience it was to conclude the Book of Mormon in the temple! I read Moroni's promise to those who read the book, that if they read sincerely and prayed sincerely, with a real desire to know if the book is true, they would receive an answer, and I put it to the test, but not quite. I have read the Book of Mormon multiple times and have received affirmation from the Holy Ghost that it is true and ever since the first few times, instead if praying for a manifestion of its truthfulness, I thank The Lord for the knowledge that I have that the Book of Mormon is true and to bless me with that same feeling of joy that I always feel when the Holy Ghost affirms that truth. The Lord answered my prayer, and I can tell you that the Book of Mormon is true! The Lord loves us and He answers prayers. I encourage all to read it and find out for themselves. Don't just take my word for it! You'll miss out on more truth if you don't read it. And from that truth, you will find true and everlasting joy. I promise! I hope your weekend was as amazing as mine. Happy holidays!


And then I wore...

December 28, 2012
So I "hit the town" (a.k.a. went shopping for 2 and a half hours) with Chelsea, just like I said I would, and I decided that I would just carry her the entire time. MIS-TAKE! My feet are blistered, my arms are sore, my back aches, and my pocket is full (because I didn't buy a single thing!). So now I'm home and this is what I'm wearing:

Have a great night!


What I wore on this fabulous Friday!

You know those days when you think to yourself, "Self? I would like to look nice today." So you get yourself all dressed up and finish that infinity scarf that you've been working on (didn't know you could finish something that was infinite, did you?) and when your done, you think, "DANG I look good today! I've gotta go out and do something. This rocktastic-ness shouldn't be wasted." So that's when you decide to hit the town... With your baby. But that just makes you ten times cuter, right? So here's what I wore. And in case your interested, the scarf is 125 stitches long and has 50 rows. If you decide to make this one on your own, I would suggest doing 50 stitches and more like 70-100 rows. Just FYI! Do you like it? Have a fandidilytastic Friday!

Shirt: Walmart $10.00
Pants: Plato's Closet $10.00
Boots: Plato's Closet $10.00
Scarf: Made myself $5.00

Drape Dress (skirt... thing)

December 27, 2012

What's cuter than a mommy/daughter match-up? Being Christmas-time, I couldn't resist and, lucky for me, my skirt design turned out just the way I wanted/imagined with even less difficulty than I anticipated! If that doesn't excite you, I don't know what will...
I made up this design for matching Christmas skirts, but imagine what they would look like as Easter or just every-day skirts?

For two skirts, you will need:
Approx. 2 yards (I bought 62" I think) of drapery fabric (fabric that's made measuring 54")
Approx. 24" of fabric for the bows
Thread, sewing machine, etc.

For one skirt, you will need:
The length from your torso to your feet plus 7" of drapery fabric (fabric that's made measuring 54"). I think my skirt ended up being 50" or so (that's including the 7").
18" of fabric for bow
Thread, sewing machine, etc.

Adult Skirt

Step 1: Fold the top part of your fabric over on the outside 5 inches down, rolling half an inch under like a giant hem. Pin in place.

Step 2: Find the center of your fabric on the giant hem. Measure two inches on either side of the center and draw a perpendicular line to the giant hem that's 3" long (1 inch away from either edge of fabric).

 Step 3: Unpin your giant hem and head over to the sewing machine. Set your machine stitch to a close zig-zag. You are basically making a very big button hole. While keeping your three-inch mark just to the side of your needle, zig-zag on one side of the mark, keep your needle in the fabric, twist the fabric around so you can make a parallel zig-zag stitch to the first line, and make sure that your two stitches do not touch, but are as close to one another as possible. PRACTICE ON A SEPARATE PIECE OF FABRIC FIRST! 

Step 4: Use seam scissors (stitch picker, or whatever those things are called) to cut the fabric that's in-between the two zig-zag stitch lines and now you've got your first giant button hole! Now create the next one.

Step 5: Repin your giant hem just the same as before and straight stitch it down. Also straight stitch along the top edge of the skirt/giant hem. This will give it a finished look. Your seam should be even less than a quarter inch away from the edge.

Step 6: Next, get your ribbon fabric and cut it in half "hot dog" (lengthwise) so you have two very long pieces that measure approx. 9x45". Then pin each piece with right sides together.

Step 7: Before stitching the ribbon, make a mark four and a half inches away from the end on one side of the ribbon (do this on both ribbons). From this mark, you're going to sew a straight stitch from this mark to the bottom corner of the edge to make the ribbon end diagonal.

Step 8: Sew using a straight stitch along the edge of the ribbon, including the diagonal, but DO NOT close the straight, non-diagonal end of the ribbon. Cut off the excess fabric where the diagonal is.

Step 9: Turn the ribbons right-side-out using scissors gently to poke the diagonal corner out. Zig-zag stitch the open end closed, then finish off the ribbon with a couple of nice straight stitches along the outside of the ribbon, just like the giant hem. Take as much time as you need to pull any fabric away from the first seam (the one that sewed the two long sides of the ribbon together) so that you have a nice straight edge of your ribbon. Make sense?
Step 10: Now, use some sort of long object (I used a knitting needle) to help you get your ribbon through the giant button holes so that the zig-zagged straight edge of the ribbon is lined up with what will be the back of your skirt. Pin it in place. Do the same with the other ribbon.

Step 11: Pin the right sides of the skirt together and sew with a seam allowance of 1 inch all the way down the skirt. The best part? If you've used drapery fabric, you won't have to worry about the open edge fraying!

Step 12: Try it on and decide on the length of the skirt, then make your hem, and VOILA! Your adult-sized drape dress, skirt, thing is done! Now you just have to make your daughter one (link).

 Or... I guess it could be a mini skirt...

But it's WAY cuter as a baby's skirt!

If it sounds complicated, trust me, it's not, and the results are TOTALLY worth it! Just look how cute we are?!

Good luck! Happy Holidays and happy sewing!
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