Memorial Day 2016

May 30, 2016
Of all the memes and phrases I heard on memorial day, the ones that touched me the most were "Today is the day we gather with our loved ones and remember the ones who can't be with us" and "thank you to the men and women who put their dreams on hold so that we could pursue ours."

My dream is my family. Sure, sewing, teaching, photography, and writing on this blog are definitely on my list of favorite things to do, they're not my dreams. Having a happy, faithful family is my dream and I am so grateful to live in a place where I can do those things without fear.

We spent our memorial day morning trying to get ourselves together to go to the Splash Pad, only to drive there and discover that the splash pad wasn't turned on yet. So what did we do?

"When something seems bad, turn it around
And find something good!"

We turned on the sprinkler at home! Alexa wasn't a huge fan of being sprayed, but Chelsea loved it! Andrew spent the day changing the brakes on our car. It is SO GREAT having a man who knows about cars!

Barrett was content to just lie on the blanket and watch me (to make sure I don't leave his sight even for a second!) This boy does so much watching and smiling and just being the sweetest! We love him so much!

Hugs for finding the missing flip flops!
 We have lost these flip flops so many times! Normally because Alexa likes to wear them and not tell anyone where she left them. #momproblems

Chelsea tried to get her to jump through the sprinklers. You can see how that went. Haha!

Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day! What did you do?

Throwback Thursday! Pom Pom Shirt

May 26, 2016
Throwing it back to probably about a year ago when my love for pom poms really began! I took these photos with the talented Mariasha Rowland Photography and, for some reason, never posted them!

I think I was nervous about posting them because the whole pom pom trend was new and I could easily imagine my brothers and sisters saying, "I remember Mom made me a clown costume with pom poms like those." Haha! Turns out, when I wore it on my birthday a couple weeks ago, my sibs all thought it was really cute! Wear what you love, love what you wear!

Also, I did my very first periscope last week! I wasn't wearing any makeup and didn't have a plan for the scope at all, but it was so fun to be totally one and one with some pretty great people! I'm planning on doing more because I had so much fun, so head on over and be on the lookout for more scopes!

What are you throwing back to today? If you were to throw yourself back to another time in your life, when would you go?

I've been seeing a lot of pics of mine and Andrew's 5-year anniversary cruise and trip to Disneyland from last year on my timehop and I'm thinking a cruise would not be so bad about now... And Disneyland is ALWAYS a good idea. We are heading out for Yosemite next week! I am SO excited! We've invited a couple of friends to come with us this time and it is going to be AMAZING! I can't wait to get back up into nature and do some hiking, swimming, s'mores making... the works. I seriously cannot wait!

Have a great Thursday my friends!

Tutorial – Loose fitting peplum

May 24, 2016

This weekened I did my very first periscope! I was just working on a pattern and thought it might be fun to try one out. It was so much fun! It wasn't really about anything, although I did give a quick run down of how I create patterns.

I did another periscope this morning about exercising with kids annnd... two people showed up. Haha! 8:00 AM may not be everyone's favorite time to get on periscope. That's the tricky thing about scopes is that you have to find a time when your followers have time! Haha!

Anyway, the pattern making periscope I made was showing the pattern I made for this shirt! I am so happy with how it turned out, except... The pocket is on the wrong side. Haha! Have you noticed that t-shirts always have pockets over the left breast? I'm guess it's because most people are right-handed and it's easier to get into the shirt pocket if it's on the opposite side of the dominant hand. Oh well. I'll just pretend that I made this shirt to accommodate left-handers.

Want to make it? Okay!

Difficulty level: Intermediate

You will need:
Model shirt
1 yard knit fabric (no need to zig zag stitch seam allowances with most knit fabrics)
measuring tape
corresponding thread
double stretch needle (optional, but recommended)
scissors, thread, etc.

Find a model shirt to trace the seam lines on pattern paper (the first part of this tutorial will help you know how to trace your model correctly). In the diagram above, I included the mathematics to get the width of the peplum and bodice pieces to have the same amount of loose-ness as mine has.

*I often use a model shirt to trace when I create patterns (and it's the easiest way), but sometimes the model shirt isn't exactly cut the way I want. So I'll trace the parts of the model shirt that I want the same, like the neckline, shoulder seams, arm holes, and sleeves and adjust where I need. This time, I decided that I wanted to improve my sleeve making skills, so I researched sleeve-making and found this site. If you're wanting to improve your sleeve-making-abilities, I highly recommend it!

 Step 1
With right sides together, pin the shoulder and side seams of the bodice pieces. Sew. Iron seams open.

Step 2
With right sides together, pin the short ends of the sleeves together and sew. Pin the sleeves to the arm holes of the bodice (right sides together) and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Use double stretch needle for sleeve hem. Iron hem.
Step 3
Lengthen your stitch to its longest setting and stitch along the top edge of the peplum. Leave long trail thread.
Step 4
Pin peplum pieces at shorter ends with right sides together. Sew together. Iron seams open.

Step 5
Gather peplum by pulling the trail thread and pin evenly around bottom edge of shirt with right sides together so that the sides seams meet. Sew. Use double stretch needle for hem. Iron hem.

Step 6: Pocket
Try the shirt on and decide where you want the pocket to be. Use a pin to mark the top, inner corner of the pocket. Hem all four sides of the pocket (1/4" seam allowance for sides and bottom, 1/2" seam allowance for top) and pin the pocket onto the shirt. Make sure that the fabric of the shirt or the pocket is not stretched when you pin and use a lot of pins when pinning the pocket so that the fabric doesn't shift around when you're sewing. Sew.

Perfect for summertime, amiright?

Let me know if you give this shirt a shot! Post a pic on Instagram and tag @suesnews I'd love to see how yours turned out!

And I gotta add in pics of my favorite photography assistant!

Good luck!


Aunt Molen

May 22, 2016
A couple of days after Chelsea's birthday, our favorite Aunt Lauren (Molen to my kids) came to visit from Colorado and I can confidently say that she is one of the top two favorites on Andrew's side. ;) I mean, not only did she bring presents for Chelsea to celebrate her birthday, but she also shared the wonders of Snapchat filters and that will instantly reel my kids in!

^^this could be an arvo watch ad, amiright? ;) ^^

We miss you so much, Molen! Thanks for coming to visit us!

Friday Fun Day!

May 20, 2016

I remember making A TON of home videos with my brothers and sisters as a little girl and I loved it! We would do magic shows, write plays and act them out, do commercials, and our specialty were lip syncs!

That's definitely a tradition I'd love to carry on with my kids so I'm glad we got the chance to spend the morning acting this play out that Chelsea made up! It took me WAY longer to compile together than it should have, but I'm still learning.



Mom Lesson

May 17, 2016
I learned a mom lesson the hard way today.

I don't know exactly why it went south because everything this morning had gone really well! We were having a great morning playing and just having fun until there was a sharing problem. I told the girls if they didn't work something out, I'd have to take the item away, they didn't work it out, I took it away, they weren't happy, blah blah blah blah blah... And somehow, my day turned from really good to really grumpy. By the time nap time and quiet time came around, I was so ready for some "me" time. Of course, Chelsea wasn't. Another fight. More tears. More frustration. Finally get things settled and plop myself with a big 'ol huff on the couch and pull out my phone. Alexa wakes up a little and Chelsea starts knocking on the wall separating the two rooms where they are and asking her what she's doing. Mad Mom rears her ugly head and banshee's her way down the stairs to Chelsea with angry words and accusations.

But then Chelsea said something that totally and completely broke my heart. With tears brimming in her eyes, she asked me, "Do you think my nice mommy went away, or is gone, or dead?"

I fell to my knees and pulled her into my arms where we both held each other and cried. I told her that her mommy would always be with her and never leave because she loves her. I couldn't believe that I had allowed myself to get so out of hand that my poor child had to wonder if her good, kind mommy was gone forever.

We probably sat there hugging each other for a solid two or three minutes until Chelsea did what she does best and forgave me completely. She started asking about the broken lamp in the corner. Then she asked me, "Is nice mommy back?" I assured her that she was.

These children are so precious. They may be like rubber in so many ways and be so forgiving, but what we say and how we act really can hurt them. I am ashamed of the monstrous mother that I was today. Thank goodness for do-overs, but I definitely wrinkled her innocent little heart, and I feel the pain of that mistake. Whatever bad choices she made today, whether it was not sharing, pushing, or yelling is nothing compared to the horrible choices I made that led to my daughter feeling abandoned and unloved.

Although this experience is packed full of pain, I hope that I'll always remember it so that I can know that I never want to be in this place ever again. And I have to say how grateful I am for the atonement of Jesus Christ that allows me to not only repent and make amends for my wrong-doing, but enables me to move forward and forgive myself so that I can become a better person. A better mother.

All moms are humans. All moms make mistakes, but "a promise tomorrow is worth a lot less than a try today." (Jurassic World) If you've made a few mistakes today, don't give up and promise to do better tomorrow. Try to change today. Try to make it better. Oftentimes I find that when I think the thing I need most is some alone time, what I actually need is to put down my phone and other distractions so that I can play or even just watch a movie with my little girl. That's really all she needs, too.

So I'm going to apply one of my life lessons from the list I made yesterday and say/do a lot of really wonderful things to make up for my blunders of today, and I am going to make sure that my daughter knows how much her mother loves her and that she will never leave.

26 years + Kara's bridesmaid dress

May 16, 2016

Hey guys! So, yesterday was my birthday and Saturday night, while I was taking a shower, I started thinking about what I've learned throughout all these years and once I started thinking of these life lessons, it's like I couldn't stop! I feel like I've learned so many things. Isn't that wonderful? Isn't hindsight a wonderful, and sometimes painful thing?

So here's my (shortened) list. Have any of you learned some of these life lessons? *leave a comment!*
  • never do anything dramatic to your hair while pregnant
  • always trim your nails outside
  • say a lot of kind things to make up for the accidental blunders you make
  • be positively honest - you don't have to share EVERYTHING that's on your mind
  • hard is good
  • bathe regularly, but train your hair to make it in week-long stretches
  • if you don't try, you're guaranteed not to make it
  • you don't have to be best friends with everyone, but you should always be kind
  • have an attitude of gratitude
  • learn to rejoice with those who rejoice
  • assume the best in people
  • you can't get something from nothing
  • eating 7 oatmeal cream pies in one day, even if they're mini sized, may seem like a good idea, but it's not
  • don't pass up opportunities that you might regret in the future
  • pray always
  • buy a phone case for your smart phone and don't let it fall off of things

I'm so sorry if you've learned that last lesson the hard way like I did yesterday.

Happy stinkin' birthday.


But other than that unfortunate incident, and Andrew feeling sick in the morning, my birthday turned out really great! I took the kids with me to church (they behaved very well!) and we went to my sister's house down in Highland for a little birthday party! It was so great to be able to spend time with my family and it made me feel so special! My awesome cousin, Liz (whose birthday is today! Happy birthday!) came too! It really was the best.

Every time I get together with my family, none of us remember to get a picture. BUT! I do have some pictures of a dress I just finished for my sis-in-law who is going to be a bridesmaid in June! If she weren't in Germany, I would have made her model the dress for me, but... she's in Germany.

This dress was so much fun to make because Kara showed me a picture of what she wanted, we took some measurements, and I did it! Had to pick out some stitches and re-sew a few parts, but we got it and I love the way it turned out! What do you think?

inspiration photo vs. remake

Not bad, eh? Can't wait to present it to the bridesmaid when she gets back with my German chocolate. *wink wink*

So yeah. Birthday was good. Loved being able to celebrate it with some of the people I love most! I also felt a lot of love from my social media peeps! Plus, my dear, dear friend Ashley paused her vacation packing to make me a no-bake cookie with a candle poking out of the middle so that she could light it on my doorstep and sing "Happy Birthday" at 9:00 PM! I seriously have the best friends ever, and you are one of them! Thanks for making me feel so special, friends! I love you all!
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