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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lately

* Because I appreciate when a tried and true recipe is passed on, I made THIS last night and it was a hit. Direct quote from Russ, "This is everything I've ever dreamed about in a pasta." Haha. Dramatic much? Also, I must mention that it was quick and easy! I used polish sausage instead of beef for a little extra "zing," and I added some salt to taste. Try it out! 

* We've been busy, busy with house projects! As I mentioned a while ago, we redid our floors (pictures to come!), we built a shed outside, we are working on getting a fence along the river, and lots of organizing and yard work. Yay for home ownership!

* The babies have been swimming a few times, in real pools and in the kiddie pool outside. They like it!

* Max wakes up at 5 or 5:30 every day. I know. I have tried changing bed time earlier AND later, I feed him, we've made it super dark in the room, turned on fans, noise-cancelling machines... everything! I am desperate for him to sleep a little longer. Does anyone have any amazing tips? 

* We are gearing up for a few vacations in the next month. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit anxious about them. We are finally into a good routine and I hate the idea of messing that up. But I know they will be fun. They will be fun, right? ;)

* And because babies in sunglasses are always adorable, I'll leave you with this.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Geranium Dress(es)!

Those who follow me on Instagram probably saw that I've been busy with the sewing machine lately. I have caught the sewing bug and I can't stop! Growing up, my mom was always making dresses and clothes for my sister and me. She made Easter, Christmas, everyday dresses, as well as all of my formal dresses for dances in High School. She truly is an amazing seamstress, and I have always had a goal to be better with the sewing machine. I needed some motivation... Enter Clara!


I found an amazing pattern from Made By Rae for a dress that I could modify a million ways and that would last until size 5T! The Geranium Dress pattern was totally worth $10. It comes with the pattern pieces and step-by-step tutorial (with pictures!). As long as you can work a sewing machine and generally understand how things are put together, this is the pattern for you. The pink and mint dress was my first attempt (definitely a first trial-run dress - don't look too close :)), the denim tunic was next, and then I finally felt like I had it "down" and made the perfect little gold polka dot dress. I'm in love with it.


As I mentioned about the Geranium Dress pattern, you can have a lot of variations. I tried out the sleeveless dress, flutter sleeves, cap sleeves, scoop neckline, knotched neckline, gathered skirt and pleated skirt. And like I said, I made 3 dresses and 1 top. All from one pattern! I think I also concluded that I like pleats more than gathers - gathers are tricky to get perfectly even and looking nice!

Flutter sleeves!

Gold buttons galore! For some reason I love gold buttons. Although button holes and I are still not friends. I will get better.

 

I finished this dress this morning. That pom-pom trim took a little longer than I was expecting, but I just love the result! Clara is wearing it today and it is just way too cute. 


If you are still reading (ha ha), hopefully this post has encouraged you to try creating something with the sewing machine! For some reason it seems so intimidating, but I quickly learned that nothing is permanent (except perhaps scissors... :)). I have had to tear out a lot of seams and stitches, but eventually I get it right. And also, it doesn't need to be perfect! There is so much satisfaction in putting something I created from just fabric onto my little girl.


I think she likes the gold polka-dot dress! :) 

Now... to find a pattern for little boys. I can't wait to make some thing for Mr. Max!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Swingin'

Max and Clara had their first adventure at the playground this last weekend. This was the first of many playground adventures to come, so of course it had to be documented. I really love the picture below for some reason. It was a quick moment in time. I love their hats, their chubby legs and dimpled hands, the draped arms over the swing - all of it.


Sometimes Max will flash this smile at me and it cracks me up. It's like he's saying "hey mom! Just hangin' out on this swing with my twin sister. Life is pretty great, huh?

Yes, Max. Life is pretty great.

For some reason I couldn't quite capture Clara's smile on the swing, even though she was loving it. But who could miss those thunder thighs? Mmmm. I could just squeeze them.

Both Max and Clara have also been loving when we play the guitar or piano with them. I'm still loving the idea of a family band. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dads Are the Best!

We've had a busy and wonderful weekend of celebrating the Dads in our life. Without getting too mushy, I am so incredibly grateful for Russ and the amazing Dad he is to Max and Clara. I love watching him interact, take care of, and show his love for them. Watching Russ grow into the role of "Dad" has made me love him even more. He brings a smile to their little faces no one else can! It sure makes my heart melt.


Father's Day Sunday also happened to be Max and Clara's "8 month" birthday, so of course we had to attempt their monthly photo shoot. Unfortunately, Clara was not a huge fan of the grass. In fact, she pretty much cried the whole time. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Either way, these babies are getting cuter by the day (if I do say so myself) and I am loving this 8 month stage! .... now only if we can make them good sleepers again. Yikes. 

This was pretty much the best we got. :)

... because this was how most of the other pictures looked. Although I do love this one and how Max is reaching out to her while she is crying. Twin love. It's a real thing, people.

Since Max was obliging we had a little solo photo shoot with Mister Smiles. :)


.... And back to the Father's Day weekend post. Both of our Dad's birthdays are within a few days of Father's Day, so we usually celebrate both Dad's birthdays and Fathers day in one weekend! Whew! My family came over Friday night to honor my wonderful father. I love you, Dad! I couldn't ask for a better dad. You have taught me so much by word and example. And plus, you know how to have some serious fun! :)


(We were missing Jace and Bella who are up in Seattle for an internship)

Saturday we had a fun barbecue in the American Fork canyon along the gorgeous, raging river. Well, sadly no photos were taken. Darn. It was a wonderful afternoon spent in nature and honoring Russ's father. :) 

Hope everyone else had a fantastic Father's Day! Aren't Dads the best?!?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

We're Floored

That title is a bad joke, but whatever. We've been crazy, crazy busy these last few weeks while we redid our floors on the main level of our house. I'm tired. Russ is tired. My knees are still recovering and I'm still finding dust in areas of the house I swear I have dusted 3 times already. I haven't taken any "after pictures," but I just thought I would check in to explain my lame blogging status. 

Tiredness. That is the explanation. 

While documenting Max eating his beloved peas I did capture a bit of the floor. We went lighter after many, many people told us darker wood is harder to keep clean. I also tend to always go lighter than darker with things in my house. So far, I absolutely love it. Do not fret - a more thorough post is on it's way.


And while I'm on here I need to include one of my most favorite pictures to date. This girl has stolen our hearts. I love seeing the cute bond between her and her daddy. This was taken after church on Sunday while Max was asleep. Sometimes I try to keep them on the same nap schedule, but other times I don't mind when they are a bit off. It gives us one-on-one time with each baby, which is definitely a novelty with twins! We'll take it when we can. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Memorial Day Series

This is Part II of the "Twin Series" pictures. You can find the first here

Max and Clara: Here's your obligatory cute twin picture, Mom. 

Max and Clara: Can we go back to our Baby Einstein jumper now? 

Clara: You know, I'm actually having more fun here than I thought I would!

Clara: Max, let's be silly and tell secrets to each other!
Max: Mmmm... I'm not feeling it today. I'm kind of tired. Sorry sis.

Clara: Ok, that's cool. I'll just lick your arm instead!!

Clara: And now I'll go for your chunky leg! Mwaahahaha!

Clara: Mom, I just love my brother! Thanks for making him for me.
Max: Mom, I really do love her, but I kind of just want a nap.

Thanks for tuning in to Part II of the "Twin Series." 
Disclaimer: Max was not feeling good today. I think I blame that evil thing called teething. He's not usually such a grump. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

7 Months!


The babies are 7 months! I'm pretty sure they are getting cuter by the day, but I know I am biased. Both can roll over now (finally!), but sitting up is still hit or miss. Mostly a "miss," like today when I turned around for a second and Max toppled over for a nice, loud "thud" on his poor little big head. Oops. They are chunking out like crazy, but I looooove it. I can't get enough of those rolls and chubby cheeks. They love all fruits, and Max loves his peas. Bath time is still the funnest thing on the planet. Bedtime is 6:30, and the babies sure like it that way (probably as much as mom and dad!). Goodness,  we sure love our babies.

Max is wearing his "Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit" which really was magical. As soon as we put him in it he would smile. It's like he knew a good night's sleep was on its way. We have started transitioning out of it, however, since the warm weather makes for a sweaty little baby! :)

My mom is an incredible seamstress and has "whipped up" some fun coordinating outfits for the twins. I took a moment to capture these particular outfits and loved seeing their little personalities shine in these pictures.

She thinks it's so fun to topple over on her brother. 

I love this cheesy boy. 

 Capturing a Clara giggle on camera is like gold. I hit the jackpot this day!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy "Mother's" Day

Today was my first "Mother's Day" as a mom. What a special day for so many reasons! I spent a lot of time reflecting on how much I love my two little people. As I rocked Clara to sleep I choked back tears of gratitude and love. Max and Clara are such a special gift from God. There were a few years where that label - "mom" - felt so unreachable. Now I am, and forever will be, a mom. We are only 7 months into this thing, and I can already say it's the hardest, toughest, most amazing and rewarding job I've ever had.


With that said, I have also spent a lot of time thinking about those who are not yet mothers and desire to be. For those in that position, Mother's Day can be a tough day. I know it was for me. I hated going to church where mothers were praised. It felt like salt in an open wound. If you are in this position and are reading this, just know I am thinking about you and understand the pain you may feel. Mother's Day should be re-labeled "Women's Day" to honor all women for the sacrifices we all make in so many different ways. 

I have also thought about the close family and friends whose sweet mothers have passed away. Nothing can replace that person that is your mom. What a beautiful promise that families can be together forever, and that they will see their angel mothers again. Happy Mother's Day to you. :)

Finally, I hope all women - mothers or not - felt loved and adored on this very special day. 


And how could I not close with that picture? Those faces melt me. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

"You're Doing OK, Mom"

I think I saw this going around social media, but I never watched it. Until this morning.

I had just gotten Max down for his morning nap (after much resistance) and moved on to feeding Clara some pureed pears. Oh the joys of "solids." After she sneezed Pear bits all over my face and I was in the middle of trying to get the same spoonful in her mouth for the 4th time, this commercial came on in the background. I stopped my attempts for a second and watched.

And cried, of course.

Whew. That one played to my emotions. But seriously, sometimes I wonder what my babies think about me. Am I messing up? Do they get enough attention? (This really is something I've struggled with from the beginning with the whole "having two babies at once" thing). Do they know how much I love them? One time when voicing these thoughts to someone they said to me "don't worry, you are the only thing they know. If you mess up they have nothing to base it off of!" Ha. Thank goodness for that. 

Mothers really are amazing, huh? I've learned so much just in my 6 months of motherhood, one of which is how much I love my own Mom. It really does come full circle, doesn't it?

Anyway, this is all just a bit of rambling on this Friday afternoon. Pull out some tissues. This is good.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

6 Months!


My babies are 6 months old now! It's amazing. I love them more than I ever thought possible.

In preparation for twins, I frequently heard "if you can make it through the first year of life, you are good to go!" or something to that effect. So, I guess I can give myself a pat on the back and let out a big sigh of relief. It really has been a blur. Those first 3-4 months of life were a bit touch and go at times (i.e. extremely hard), and then around 5 months I felt like I was coming up for air a bit. And now at 6 months, albeit still hard at times, the days are so much more manageable. Naps are starting to form (hallelujah!), they are more content entertaining themselves for longer periods so I can actually attend to one without the other just screaming or crying on the side, and they go to bed at 6 or 6:30, which gives us a good 3 or 4 hours to ourselves. NO, they still don't automatically have the same napping schedule, which usually means I don't get a break all day, but like I said, that is so much more doable knowing after 6:30 I can have a moment to myself. 

Technicalities aside, sometimes I feel like my heart is ready to explode with two little perfect babies smiling up at me and coo'ing to their hearts content. I love having two babies, and now I really can't imagine it any other way!


At their 6 month check-ups, Max was 18 lb 11 oz and Clara was 17 lb 4 oz, both in the 70% for weight, 90% for height, and Max was literally off the charts for head circumference. :) Haha. Sorry kid, you had to see that coming with the gene pool you were coming from. 


Max's smile can light up a room. He is such a jolly baby! Now that their personalities are really starting to shine through, I have a hunch he is going to be a little quirky, funny boy. The facial expressions he throws my way crack me up. Sometimes he just starts dancing/shaking back and forth while laying on the ground in complete silence. He has the music in his head. :) He has also been a great eater with solids! Thank goodness, because I sure am not loving this new process.


And then how does that face not melt your heart?! This picture may be my favorite of Clara. She has these big puppy dog eyes and chubby cheeks that pretty much have Russ and I wrapped around her little finger. She is such a good sleeper, loves to hang upside down and giggle, and of course, play with her toes all day long. She is a really content and easy baby, but is also ready to be on the move! She is always wanting to check out her surroundings and sit up. Max, on the other hand, is pretty content just chilling. :)

So there you go. 6 months down, eternity to go!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Master Bedroom

I have been updating our master bedroom over the last year or so, and I feel like it is finally complete. That word, complete, is one Russ anticipates hearing with every room in our house. I'm sure I'll update it over the years or so, but for now, it is complete. (see what I did there?) :)

It's interesting because it's not like I started thinking "hmmm, I want to decorate the master bedroom." Everything somehow has just come together slowly over the last 4 1/2 year of our marriage. It's slightly miraculous that it works. 

My Christmas present was a new bed. I have talked about the "Colette Bed" from Crate & Barrel for years, so imagine my shock and surprise when Russ actually surprised me with it! We had an Ikea wood frame bed, which we both pretty much hated. I enjoy sitting up and reading in bed, which was super uncomfortable, but now I could hang out here all day. And sometimes the babies and I do! Haha. 


The pillows are from Caitlin Wilson Textiles that I bought second-hand from a friend of a friend. (Unfortunately that color is no longer available). The duvet and sheets are from West Elm. After years of hunting them down, I finally found the sheets at Downeast Home, a local discount home store. 


The starburst mirror is from Target. It replaced a homemade shelf we had made years ago. That link also shows the Ikea bed and our hand-me-down bedside tables before they were painted white. Because people have asked, our walls are painted Cliffside Grey by Benjamin Moore. It's the perfect GREY - not warm, not cool, just grey. I love it. 



Another reason I have always loved our room is the view. We sure love that river and those mountains.
The clear lamps, lamp shades and frame are also from Target. Oh Target, you suck so much of my money.



One update that I actually really love are the DIY curtain rods. I applied some gold rub n' buff to cheap $7 Ikea curtain rods using this method. I wanted them to match the mirror and was pleasantly surprised by how much I love them. The curtains are from - you guessed it - Target, that I picked up on clearance almost 2 years ago.  


And finally, I put the pictures and art that used to be above our bed in a cascading pattern around our sitting chair. It was nice that I didn't have to buy a single piece of art or frame! I did, however, apply some more rub n' buff to that bottom frame to tie it in with the curtain rod. The sitting chair is actually a dining chair we had bought from World Market about a year ago. It ended up being too big for our table and we put in our room to put shoes on, etc. 


So that's our master bedroom. I really have loved all of the updates we've made. It's such a peaceful and calming space to call our own!