Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rock On Momma

It’s 2:16am and my “mommy ears” have been perked, I’ve been listening to her over the baby monitor rustling in the crib.  Then I hear her sweet, almost cooing “Momma”.  I click the top of the baby monitor that lives on my side of the bed, and see her sitting up in the corner.  Roll out of bed and a short walk across the hall I open her door.  She sees me and instantly stands, arms stretched out reaching for me.

“Hi Momma”
“Hi my baby, it’s still bedtime.  Let’s go night night.”

Her deep brown eyes look at me, I feel her tiny toddler hands embrace my face, then she kisses me, wraps her arms around me and lays her head on my shoulder.  We make our way to the rocker in the corner of the room.

Once rocking, her head is tucked under my chin, ear pressed against my chest listening as I softly sing, “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…” The baby blanket draped over us, holding her close, I stroke her still baby soft hair while I continue to rock.

Silent Night
O Holy Night
Jesus Loves Me

I half sing, half hum tonight’s songs and she’s almost asleep again.  We rise from the chair, she’s curled up in my arms and we start our swaying walk back to the crib.  Pausing in front of the crib just for a few more moments of back and forth, I kiss her head and lay her down.  Her heavy toddler eyes look up at me as she’s rubbing her ears and I whisper, “Mommy loves you, sweet dreams”, her eyes close and she’s trying to sleep.

My husband, who had been listening to my whispering lullabies over the monitor, feels me get back into the bed, rolls over, kisses me saying in his deeply soft sleepy voice, “Good job Momma, I love you.” 
“I love you too.”
I snuggle under his arm and try to fall back to sleep.
 When I was pregnant, a woman I knew at work had told me with warning in her voice, “Once you start rocking them, you can’t stop.”  And now, when I see an expectant mother, I smile and with love in my voice say, “Once, you start rocking the baby you’ll never want to stop.”

So I say to all of the Mommas and soon to be Mommas of the world: Rock on Momma, rock on.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'Tis the Season

I am a well-documented Christmas fiend, the first of November and our house in fully decorated.  This Christmas has been a little hectic for us with specialist visits for my husband and abdominal surgery for myself, I am very thankful that we decorate so early because I'm not sure it would have been done otherwise.  I'm struggling a little bit with my normal Christmas time activities due to this lovely surgery recoup time, but I thought I would share some of my favorite things about the season in hopes of making up where my "cheer" has been lacking.

  • Church: The feeling of walking into church during the Christmas season is fantastic.  Watching the children light the advent wreath and stay late to decorate the Christmas tree reminds me of my enthusiasm doing the same not so long ago. 

  • The readings: preparing for the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus, are like a familiar bed time story; comforting and relaxing, easing you into the joy, peace, and the true reason for the season.

  • Christmas music:  I know them all.  Just ask my husband.  I sing them ALL day and all evening long, while rocking our little one, cooking, knitting, sewing, the shower, anywhere.  No one is safe from my Christmas caroling.  Doris Day, Dean Martin, Elvis, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, I stick to traditional classics.  You will find it is very hard to have a bad day listening to Doris Day.

  • Decorations:  It warms the house, all of the warm red and green and glints of gold sparkles here and there.  I love covering every nook of our house with Christmas goodness.  Every morning I bring our little girl downstairs she "oohh" and "ahh"s over the Christmas lights.

  • Baking: Snikerdoodles, apple pie, shortbread, pecan tassies, cheesecake, brownies, peanut butter cookies, sweet bread wreaths...yeah.

  • Knitting: "Baby it's cold outside...." *click click click* Nothing like knitting something snuggly warm on a frosty cold December morning while your toddler plays at your feet.

  • Family: We are always gathering, shopping together, eating together. Love it.

  • Christmas movies:  My poor hubby has to put of with any and all Christmas movies that happen to be on.  (Deep down I know he loves my Christmas movie nerdiness)

  • Baby Muffin's Christmas:  This being her second Christmas we are so excited (admitting that we went way overboard on goodies for under the tree) we are so pumped to carry her downstairs in her Christmas pajamas that her Nana picks out every year and hear her little toddler "wow".  Sit cross-legged on the floor and snuggle together opening presents.

  •  Santa:  He's towards the bottom because he's not my holiday showstopper, but he is a pretty generous guy and loves kids so he's good in my book.
If you are struggling finding your Christmas spirit, I suggest you pile into the car with your loved ones and head to an evening church service.  On the way pop in a Christmas CD and admire the Christmas lights.   Once there sit close, hold hands and praise together.  Prepare your hearts for the story and meaning of Jesus' birth.  Go home, eat some warm food (preferably the holiday season variety) and watch a family Christmas movie.

Wherever or whoever you are I hope the true meaning and spirit of Christmas finds and warms your heart.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Where I've Been

I've been busy.
I've been needed.
I've been loving people who need my time.

So please forgive me for not being here.  I hope to have time to write soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fear

Sometimes it creeps in, very unexpectedly.  Sometimes I can feel like I’m reaching for something just out of my grasp.  The things I can’t control, the inevitable, the things I can control but fail at anyway.  Whether it’s ill loved ones, trying something new, finances, watching friends struggle, or fear of not being enough; we all deal with our own battles. 

I can feel a tinge of fear when I see the health of my Grandpappy getting worse.  I cringe at an unexpected bill.  I worry about dear friends who are fighting their own personal battles and sink when I hear a message on my voicemail because I was too busy to answer the phone when they needed me.  I can feel completely drained and guilty at the same time when I feel like I wasn’t able to be there for every person exactly when they needed me.  I fear things out of my control.


And then I pray.


I talk to Him as if I were talking to anyone else.  I know He knows what’s going on but I tell Him anyway.  I often have conversations with Him, Nana, Uncle Timmy, and Grandma, like we are all just hanging out.  I vent.  I find the time.  When I’m rocking Muffin, while I’m driving, as lay down for a nap and the house is quiet, as I wait in the kitchen by the stove for food to finish cooking.

And although the answer doesn’t always come instantly, the peace does.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl

Happy Birthday Katie! 

You are so loved, more than you’ll ever know, and I can’t thank you enough for always making time to be so active in our little Muffin’s life.  I know how busy you are with your senior year in college, club basketball, two jobs, and all of the social events, and you still make us a priority and feel so special.  I don’t know how you do it all and I wish there was a way I could tell you how very very proud I am of you.  You will do wonderful things and we will always be there cheering you on and supporting you through the ups and downs.  I am so honored to be your sister and Muffin is lucky to have such a wonderful strong woman as a role model and aunt.  I love you very much and happy birthday sweet girl!



Godmother Katie

Celebrating Muffin's 1st birthday
Helping Aunt Katie study for her LSAT

This Weekend Together: Pepaw and Grandma's

This past weekend we set up a much needed play date with Muffin's Pepaw and Grandma.  We have been doing this a lot lately.  They recently moved just down the road and they were hundreds of miles away.  Everyone is enjoying the extra time and the impromptu visits.  Especially one little very loved girl...


*and for the record I am not responsible at all for this outfit, Daddy dressed her and was very proud of what he had picked out.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Time Inbetween

Some of our best moments are the events and visits we are able to squeeze into our somewhat hectic schedules.  While I've been very busy with my work from home and Corey with his work in general, we were able to have a wonderful visit from Cousin Curti and make a trip to a local fall festival.

Us checking out some "interesting" crafts

Sneaking a little bit of play time while the boys ate their funnel cakes

Cousin Curti getting his snuggles in while Muffin checks out his zipper
So far I am adoring Fall of 2011!

Busy Momma

 
Nannying during the week.  Baking fondant cakes for Bella Cakes into the wee hours.  Sewing, crocheting, and knitting special orders.  All the while being Mom 'round the clock.  Yep, I guess I'm pretty busy.  Last weekend I set up a booth with a friend at the local craft fair and although the crowds were minimal, I will be in an article in the local newspaper (free advertising), it will have been well worth the effort.
Bella Inspired - My special order sewn, knit, or crochet items.
Bella Cakes - My cake venture, making fondant cakes for all occasions.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Little Things

        I hear ice and water hitting the kitchen floor, she’s at it again, pressing down the pedals on the refrigerator door, laughing so hard I think she might hyperventilate.  It’s contagious and I start giggling too.  I throw down a towel and take a picture to send to her Daddy at work.  This is just one example.

            Some days I feel like I’m a broken record, “Honey please be careful”, “no ma’am”, “I don’t think so, is that yours?”  I feel like I just squash fun all day, I know the fireplace poker is really tempting and slamming the cabinets just seems awesome but there are some obvious safety lessons to be taught.  But the messes, the things that won’t hurt and only take a load of laundry and 15 minutes to clean up, I can let happen.

            We can feel cooped up here at the house, and my day may go by a little easier if I keep the messes contained and trail she leaves to a minimum.  But that keeps her from exploring and discovering here within our own house.  It also challenges the way she was made to learn, by doing.  If I reprimanded her for every little thing, I would be cheating her out of experiencing little life lessons and undermining budding self-confidence.

            Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t allowed to climb the stairs unassisted and there are baby gates and outlet plugs at every turn.  I just don’t fear the mess, the dirt, or the stains of toddler hood.  So we laugh and play, strip off our dirty clothes, and hop in the shower; and sometimes the clean up is just as fun as the mess making.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Freebird

This morning I got a call from Mom just a little after 5:30 am.  Grandpappy, who is in the early stages of dementia, wasn’t responding to instruction.  When this happens he needs to be lifted by some one for his medicine, changing, bed making, etc.  I get the phone call when Dad is at work and Mom needs me to be the muscle.  It’s no big deal, but this was one of the late night/early morning calls where Corey was still at home so I could run out while Muffin slept.

And there, even in the mad dash to get to the place I first called home, I find a sense of freedom.  I have had a little person in the car for over a year now, and the tone of the drive is very calm and filled with baby banter back and forth.  Even if Corey and I go somewhere without her, not much is on in the background because we are chatting.

So at 5:45 am, I rolled down the windows and cranked up the radio.  It was still dark outside and not many cars were out in our small rural town.  I felt like I was breaking the law, like I was 16, on my way home from a friend’s house in the early hours.  The morning dew making streaks across the front glass and my headlights the only ones lighting the road.  At this early hour I was energized, half singing and half shouting the lyrics to the music pumping out of the speakers.

When I reached Mom and Dad’s I was ready to get to work.  We had Grandpappy all fixed up and tucked back into bed in no time.  On my way back home I jammed out, until reaching our little town’s limits and turning the music down.  When I pulled into our gravel drive and looked at all the darkened windows, I felt myself transform back into Mommy.  I quietly unlocked the front door, took the baby monitor from my snoozing husband, and went downstairs to make a quiet cup of tea.

The entire morning made me realize just how far I’ve come, even if where we ended up was a 5-minute drive from where I started.
May 30th 2005

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nanny Lee Anne

This summer we have been so blessed to welcome a new little best friend for Muffin into our home.  During the week I have been watching a close family friend’s little bundle, and boy oh boy, he is just the sweetest!  At first I have to admit, before he came into our home I was hesitant about watching another little one, for a list of reasons:

  • We never found the perfect fit.  It was an idea Corey and I had tossed back and forth but we had never found that perfect match for our Muffin to have in a daily play buddy.

  • How could I possibly give enough attention to both my baby and the baby I am watching?  This was a very real concern; I didn’t want to shortchange either child.

But here is what I realized:

  • We found a perfect fit, the parents, the baby, the baby’s age, their proximity to our house…perfect.

  • I quickly found that I had over thought the whole “giving enough attention” thing.  I have two arms.  And it just so happens that they can hold two babies if need be.  Plus I was amazed at how different the little man is compared to Muffin, he is so independent, already wanting to be on the go, sit up, and crawl.  If he’s not trying to work on his motor skills he’s in his swing, and completely content there.  (There was never a simple solution for Muffin, so I have daily moments of “so this is what an easily pleased baby is like”.)

  • I love babies.

  • Muffin needed the sibling practice.  Our new household catch phrase is “easy touch” and she usually pulls her hands away to repeat, “eee-see”.  We now know the term “share” and the question “is that yours?” which typically means: I saw you take that, now put/give it back.

  • I can still get things done.  Having a little helper who shadows me on my daily chore rounds and helps place dropped or just out of reach toys back in little man’s grasp is a big help too.  I actually have moments were both are sleeping and I can either go into cleaning or crafting overdrive. (Crafting usually wins).
  
Basically, what it boils down to is that two babies keep you busy, but reward you just the same.  I love being a nanny and Muffin loves the company.  We have hectic days and amazingly peaceful days.  I look forward to the awesome friendship these two will have.  Most of my best friends are the ones I have kept from childhood.   Plus, I get to love, cuddle, and spoil two babies, and what crazy person wouldn’t love that!?

When Days Go By

This summer absolutely flew by!  And in our efforts to soak up every last moment of Summer 2011 that we could, I have been slacking in the blog department.  But in case you were wondering here are a few snapshots that sum up the latter part of our summer. Enjoy!
Posed as best we could for Corey to snap a photo

Took a few breathers here and there...some were unexpected...

We helped Aunt Katie study

We made sugar cookies in anticipation for fall

Hit the swings with Daddy

Mom and Dad were able to sneak off for a date night!

We went cruising in shopping carts

Stole kisses at every opportunity

Made Daddy proud
I hope your summer has been wonderful!  We are looking forward to the adventures fall will bring, football, heritage festivals, kettle corn, sweatshirt weather, and of course the changing of the leaves!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When Things Aren't As They Seem

I was reading a forum where mothers were discussing how they dealt with rude comments made about their parenting and lifestyle choices.  Helping each other deal with people who made comments about things such as co-sleeping, breastfeeding, being stay at home moms, living frugally so they could remain stay at home moms, etc.  I had originally clicked the link to discuss my own experiences dealing with others who had made their opinions known about the choices we had made raising our family.  But then I started to look at the list of different comments, all stating different scenarios and conversations it hit me like a ton of bricks and I cringed: I have been guilty of some of these thoughtless comments, not necessarily always saying them aloud but thinking them.  What had originally started with my venting about the wrong committed against me, made me realize the wrong I had committed against others, even if only in my heart.

            Before my dear daughter was born, I knew I was going to breastfeed.  It was something that was drilled into me from my parents, to grandparents, and friends who already had lots of experience nursing (not to mention every baby book and doctor I came in contact with).  I of course did my own research and found that it was recommended and is the gold standard, but one thing that stood out in my mind was the AAP’s recommendation to nurse up to one year and then as long mutually desired after the first birthday.  As long as mutually desired?  I also had found lots of blogs and websites that promoted nursing until the child weans naturally and mothers sharing about nursing toddlers.  I was miffed.  So I started to ask close friends and family, just to make sure I hadn’t stumbled onto some kind of outspoken group of nursing activists. As luck would have it I have a lot of wonderful influences that shared their knowledge and I found that quite a few of them had also nursed until their babies were around age two.  But at the time I couldn’t appreciate it, it wasn’t until Muffin arrived that I understood why.  I actually said aloud “I can’t imagine nursing a toddler, that would be weird, once they can walk around?  I don’t think so.”  And wouldn’t you know it, after Muffin hit her first birthday I was still nursing.  And I’m still nursing her today, at fifteen months old. 

            You see, what I didn’t understand at the time was I really couldn’t possibly know until I was there.  It was easy for me to make that comment because I wasn’t looking at it through the eyes of a mother.  Your baby is always your baby.  And now I look back and kick myself for making that statement, I was clueless.  As educated as I had made myself on the subject, I lacked the experience.

            That got the wheels turning in my head.  When else have I had these naive notions?  How careless to quickly label situations and the people living in them.  If I am to remain authentic, I have to admit guilt.  In the past, before becoming a mom, even before becoming a wife, I know with certainty that I have made comments that are in complete contradiction to the way I have chosen to live my life and the path God has laid out.  We can’t assume to know answers or solutions from the outside looking in. 

  
“Peak performers see the ability to manage change as a necessity in fulfilling their missions” Charles Garfield
I hope that by changing the way I assess situations and others, will better help me live to fulfill His mission.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Vacation Together: Corolla, North Carolina






A week of preparation paid off, when Corey got home from work on Thursday we packed up the car and hit the road.  Six hours later around 11 o’clock at night we pulled into the driveway of our vacation getaway.  This amazing vacation for us and for so many other members of our family gifted by Muffin’s Maw Maw and Grandpa.  Because of their generosity we are not only able to have an extraordinary family vacation but to make vacation memories with loved ones we aren’t able to see as often as we would like.

            Muffin was fearless.  Her first time at the beach and able to run, she headed straight for the water.  She was also a shelling pro, able to comb the beach for her perfect shell to carry the entire time.  After watching her older toddler cousin playing in the sand she quickly learned how to dig, rake, poke, and squish piles of sand under the cool shadow of the umbrella with attention and help of adoring family members.

            Most mornings there were usually sunrise strolls with those who were able to roll out of their comfy beds in the early hours.  Followed by groups pairing off, in different combinations each day, to explore all of the relaxing activities Outer Banks had to offer.  Corey was able to jet ski with his younger brother while Muffin, Nana, Grandpap, and I window-shopped and ate ice cream.  The next morning Grandpap and I joined the boys and went kayaking, navigating canals in the marsh while Muffin took a nap with her Nana.  Muffin also got lots of playtime with her Aunt Nana and Uncle, Maw Maw and Grandpa, and her little cousin and his daddy.

            Dinnertime was awesome and is always my favorite part of every vacation.  No matter how groups scattered during the day, when dinnertime rolled around everyone gathered, held hands, said grace, and ate together at the dinner table.  It really is our prefect escape, we get our quiet little family moments, but we also share the memories we make with other family members we miss throughout the year.  And for us that’s what vacation is really all about: family memories. 

The destination helps provide the setting, but the people you share it with and the memories you make are the real souvenirs that you’ll keep far longer than the magnet on the fridge.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pride

Today I am proud.  Today I am a shameless braggart.  All thanks to God and my husband, Corey, I have a reason to beam with pride.  Today my hardworking hubby got a promotion.  Yes, that’s a big deal by itself, but there is a bit of back-story that makes it all the more sweet. Let me explain:

Late March of this year my husband got hurt at work, it has been a physical strain on him and mentally taxing for both of us.  He works construction, so naturally, he can’t keep lifting 200 pounds over his head on a daily basis, and so they stuck him in the office.  Starting out with mindless paperwork or filing, management quickly took notice of how hard he was working and began giving him bigger tasks holding more importance.  He then took it upon himself to start reconstructing the safety training material within the company.  Within a week or two, he had the safety coordinators asking him to make presentations for safety conferences and not only to continue his remodeling of the safety platform but to add new safety models as well.  We are getting to the part where the vice president, yeah that’s right, the vice president of the company took notice.  Creating a position for Corey, a promotion, acting as a communication facilitator between his company and the general contractors they work on site with.

Yeah… he’s awesome.  And that’s not all.

Also accomplished since March, working hard on a rigid, three times a week physical therapy sessions, often leaving him sore and using a cane.  He had countless (painful) spinal injections and trips to the hospital.  Constant check-ups with his orthopedic surgeon, not usually getting the most uplifting news about the current state of his back.  (Degenerative back disease, pinched nerves, holes within the spinal column, only to name a few, and there many more).  Then, that after all of that, he was an amazing doting husband and dad when he got home.  Giving us whatever remaining energy he had when he walked through the door.  We were even able to make trips to visit family, and I watched as my sweet husband “grin and bear it” so that everyone else wouldn’t worry about him and have a good time.

This man, my wonderful man, has more work ethic and more devotion to his family than anyone I have ever known.  I am so thankful and so proud. 

I love you sweetheart.

“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” –Mark 10:27

*And to our family and friends: Thank you so much for your continued encouragement and support.  I love you and appreciate you more than you'll ever know.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Family Romance

One of our first family photos. May 2010

I can count on my two hands the number of times Muffin has ever been watched by someone else.  It’s not that we don’t trust our family with her; it’s just that we enjoy her with us.  This is something that others around us see and struggle with.  How can we still be so madly in love with our child ever present?  How do we find time to enjoy each other and connect?  I think it really depends on the couple and what each individual’s idea of love is.

Let me tell you about a date we had:
We had a sunny Saturday together.  That perfect kind of sunny day, where the sun was warm and the breeze refreshing.  We decided to drive downtown and just stroll the cobblestone sidewalks and window shop.  We walked hand in hand, pointing out entertaining street art, and people watching.  He bought me a set of knitting needles I had been pining over in the yarn specialty shop.  I snuggled his arm as we walked together and chose a quiet place for an early dinner.  We settled on a restaurant with an outside view so we could enjoy the bright glow of sunset.  Helping each other sample our tasty dishes, we held hands, and stole little kisses here and there.  When the meal was over, we packed up our leftovers and headed home, chatting the whole way.
Romance can happen anytime.

            Now, is that any less romantic if I told you we had our toddler happily worn on my chest the whole time?  And to answer: no.
            We believe that as parents we are appointed examples for our children.  Functioning as husband and wife in front of your kids is just as important as teaching them manners.  Home is where your babies learn love and how to love.  We want to show our kids throughout their lives and throughout our marriage, what a healthy happy relationship looks like.  If they aren’t taught how to love, respect, and care at home, where will they learn it?  Who will be their examples?

Silly love is still sincere love.
            Our romance as a family is just as important as our romance as married couple.  We also enjoy our time together, just the two of us, after Muffin has gone to sleep.  We can watch awful television, have our adult conversations, and share our sometimes-scandalous sense of humor.  I think that’s it’s important to be able to find passion for each other whether alone as a pair or accompanied by a tot running around.

            Our decision to include our daughter in all we do was an effortless one.  It’s an easy fit with our love.  I’ve never felt closer to my husband, and we still snuggle, kiss, and flirt like teenagers.  Love is a language.  Learning how and when to communicate with each other has been our key to happiness and success.  Both as a family and as a couple.
           

The Simmons Family

Guilty as Charged

I’m a responsible, upstanding member of society.  I love being a wife and mom and my hobbies include sewing, knitting, singing, and journaling.  But I have secret behavior and some bad habits.  One of my goals with my writing this blog is to be as honest and real as possible.  And so, in trying to keep with that, here are ways that I am undeniably human:

I watch awful television.  I love the shows Sex and the City, Jersey Shore, and Teen Mom.  I know this is filth, I only watch it once Muffin is asleep for the night because I don’t think I could handle the guilt of it on in the background while we play together.  There is no way I’d allow her to watch it or emulate ANY of the people/characters within these programs.  Not to mention that my sweet husband was the only man at the midnight showing of the Sex and the City movie.  He definitely deserves a medal for putting up with my choices in entertainment.

I have a swear word switch.  I’m not proud of this at all and it is something I am working on.  It’s as if as soon as Muffin is napping or asleep the “Mommy filter” shuts off.  I don’t curse non-stop by any means, or even everyday, but I definitely let a few fly every now and then.  This is a work in progress.

I have a temper.  I blame a lot of it on being a red head, when really I have no idea if that’s true, it’s more or less just my lame excuse.  However, I have gotten so much better at this; I used to get steamed at the smallest details or rude people.  (Since Muffin’s arrival I have to pat myself on the back that I have really toned it down in this department).  I don’t have an anger problem, when I get angry there is always a just cause.  I don’t read between the lines and I don’t over analyze what is said to me.  If you want to offend me you pretty much have to just come out and say it, I’m like a guy in this respect.  This goes the other way as well, when I say things; it comes out just the way I mean it, no hidden message or meaning.  People who try to decipher a deeper meaning or infer things from what I say are wasting time.  Ask anyone who knows me, if I have something to tell you I will most certainly let you know and if you’re curious, just ask, I’m happy to clarify.  (Yet another issue I have, but it too is now a lot better).  My motto at this stage of my life has been: If you give someone enough rope, they will hang themselves.  And it’s often proven true and really helped me better manage my patience in dealing with others. (As well as lots of prayer!  Well, tons of prayer!)

I’m a late night snacker.  I have recently switched to the 100-calorie snack packs, but it’s still an awful habit to eat before bed.  My goal is to eventually kick this habit completely (all of these habits really, well, except for maybe the television).  I’ve gotten a little better at this, but I still have nights that I just need a snack to fall asleep.  Gosh, that just sounds so awful, but it’s true.

There it is.  These are the biggies.  I’m ashamed of all of them and I’m hesitant to put this out there but it’s just because it’s hard to let others see your imperfections.  But I’ve been blessed to have people in my life who love and accept me and are patient with all of these, as well as work with me to better myself.  No one wants to point out flaws within themselves; it’s only natural to stay guarded, and to protect yourself from hurt.  But I’m hoping that if I can open up and show my weaknesses to others that they will open their hearts with kindness towards everyone’s human flaws.  And if I can be honest with myself about who I am, it will be an invitation for God to help me humbly better myself.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Marykate Sunset Dress

Recently my sister, Marykate, gave me a bag full of clothes she no longer wore knowing that I would use the fabric with some of my sewing.  When I pulled this shirt out I instantly thought "I must make this into a sundress for Muffin!!"
The beginning of the project!  I cut the shirt down the back.

I measured Muffin's chest and I marked with pins about were I was going to need to cut to make the front of the dress, allowing an extra inch for french seams.  (I don't own a serger, so this is my way to hide ugly seam edges).

This is the back of the shirt.  On the right, you can see that it had pockets and I knew I wasn't going to use these.  So on the left you can see how I chopped off the top, salvaging the factory seam and cut off the pocket just in front of the side seam.  I repeated this on the other side of course, this is just a way of showing the before and after.

I sewed the back halves together (left) and I rolled over and stitched the top seam to hide the factory stitching.  I then used the front of the dress as a template and cut the back of it to fit.  The front of the dress (right) is a little folded over on itself in this picture an makes the angle of what will be the side seam look a little off, but they are matching sides. 



This is the finished product!  I eyeballed the cut for the bottom and hemmed it.  And after a rough fitting on Muffin, I decided to fold over and sew a 1/4 inch on each side of the actual halter top.  (It had a very bulky look to it and the extra fabric on the sides was going under her arms, and I knew if it were on me it would drive me nuts!)  I kept it simple by leaving the ends of the halter longer so that it can be fastened with a loose double knot.
This is the a photo of the rough fitting and the best shot I could get with a very active toddler!  Hopefully I'll be able to get a better picture tomorrow and post it on here sometime.  When I look at this sundress with all of it's warm colors, it makes me think about our upcoming trip to the beach this summer and us taking a family stroll around sunset.  So I guess it's really a Sunset Dress.
Thanks Aunt Katie!!
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