Friday, February 28, 2014

dinosaur valley

I would be a much better and more productive person if I didn't have to plan dinner. It is seriously just about my least favorite thing. It wears on my mind all day and then I spend hours scrolling through recipes. And nothing sounds good or looks simple enough. Ugh. Then the moment I decide to forget about it and just make french toast or order pizza... suddenly all is right with the world! Please tell me that I am not alone, here, people!


While my parents were visiting, we took a trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. My dad is pretty into fossils so we thought he would enjoy it a whole lot. (Who am I kidding? I am that dorky kid who in elementary school would say I wanted to be either a geologist or a paleontologist when I grew up... Ok, it was for me too.)

Dinosaur Valley is cool because you can see real dinosaur footprints in the riverbed. Yes! Real footprints from real dinosaurs walking 113 million years ago across what is now Texas! Not something you can see every day, that's for sure.

There are a couple main sites in the park that require just a little walk to get out to. One requires a walk on stones across the river. Not really very handicapped accessible I suppose, but it was fun. And the day we visited was absolutely gorgeous!

Unfortunately, in the early 1900s when the site was discovered, many of the prints were cut out of the riverbed and sold or sent to museums. Other prints have eroded due to flooding or other natural occurrences and have either disappeared or are barely visible. So there are not a ton of footprints to see in the public areas of the park, though I'm sure you could see more if you hiked to some of the more remote areas. I was talking to a friend about visiting and she said her husband felt it was a big disappointment. I didn't really think so, however, because how often can you see authentic dinosaur footprints outside of a museum? In nature? Where the dinosaurs actually walked? Not very often. If this kind of thing interests you... don't put it off too long because the tracks that are left will eventually erode away as well!

In conclusion (what is this, a book report?), I thought is was pretty neat. There is also a crazy (but probably really sweet) guy who sells rocks and fossils - most of which he finds - at a place called The Stone Hut on the road to Dinosaur Valley. If you ever visit, be sure to pay him a call... He is a trip! We bought some petrified wood from him to put in our garden. :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

fun times with family

My parents came to stay for a week over my baby girl's birthday. It was soooo wonderful to have them here... in case you were wondering, they live 800+ miles away, so we don't see nearly enough of them.

But they were able to make their flights (sandwiched between harsh midwestern blizzards) and I dare say they appreciated the break in shoveling snow and battling sub-zero temperatures, even if it was only for a week. Because we had a GORGEOUS week here in Texas.

We spent a lot of time at the arboretum. We even had a picnic! In fact, we visited three separate days over their trip. It was lovely and relaxing and we especially couldn't believe how many new flowers had bloomed in between visits. Beautiful!

So this week, baby girl and I are missing Poppy and Nana. We Facetimed (is that a word?) with them on Sunday, and my daughter gave her Nana three big sloppy kisses over the phone. So adorable. And sweet. And also a little sad, because we probably won't see them in person again until July. And babies change so fast. 

But we are so thankful for the memories!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

You Are My Sunshine: a first birthday party

My daughter turned one this week. For me it's bittersweet. I can't believe her baby days are going by so fast. But on the other hand, she is learning so many new things and is just so much fun. I am truly looking forward to all the "big girl" things we can do together, and those days will be coming soon - play-doh, chalk, board games, arts and crafts. These things I have been looking forward to doing with my kids for a long, long time... years before I had a child or was even married. But I can't help but be a little sad about all the things that are already over - nursing her to sleep, being able to hold her easily in my arms (she's so big and squirmy now!), the first smile, first laugh, first word, first tooth, first food. I know there will be many, many more firsts... but it is still hitting me hard just how quickly it goes.

Another event that I've been looking forward to for a long, long time is hosting birthday parties for my kids. Growing up, my parents always planned the best parties - streamers and balloons and well-organized games with prizes... they are such happy memories. I've always looked forward to planning parties for my own kids someday. And that day was Sunday!

you are my sunshine first birthday party

I may have gone just a teensy bit overboard... since I know a 1-year-old can't really appreciate it anyway, but I am willing to admit that the party was mostly for me. And Pinterest is so full of temptations.... I blame Pinterest. :)

you are my sunshine first birthday party

The theme was "You Are My Sunshine" so yellow was the color of the day. I sewed my girlie a yellow Geranium Dress a few weeks ago and it was absolutely perfect. I made a quick farfalle hairbow, paired it with white tights and gold shoes from Old Navy, and her outfit was good to go. Oh, and I can't forget her special bib!

you are my sunshine first birthday party

I set up a sweets table with a homemade angel food cake - and I just had to buy these mini pans off Amazon so that my baby girl could have her very own mini cake! Sunshine and heart cookies (glace icing recipe here), kettle corn, chocolate coated sunflower seeds, yellow rock candy, yellow sixlets and pretty yellow sodas rounded out the spread.

you are my sunshine first birthday party 

you are my sunshine first birthday party

you are my sunshine first birthday party

My husband grilled burgers for us and both sets of grandparents and a beautiful great-grandmother. We had a lovely lunch followed by cake and ice cream. Baby girl wasn't too sure about the cake at first, but after I cut her a piece to try she was all about it. Then gifts and lots of playtime.


Such a wonderful day and so filled with love. I have read many times that children multiply love and I completely believe that to be true. What a happy, fun-filled celebration for the sweetest one-year-old I know. She has brought such joy to our lives.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I've been a little busy lately... but for good reason! I have been planning a special first birthday party and getting ready for my parents to come down for a visit. The cleaning and crafting and planning has left me with very little time to blog.

I did however, have to pop in to share this... because it makes me smile too much. I made a special birthday bapron for my daughter to wear at her party. It coordinates with her dress (heaven forbid she get cake and ice cream on that!!) and is super cute. I added the applique letters and sunshine with fusible webbing. Can't wait to see her wear it on Sunday! :)

first birthday bapron

Thursday, February 6, 2014

kid's clothes week: you are my sunshine geranium dress

I know, Kid's Clothes Week is over for the season and that makes me incredibly slow. In my defense, though, I finished this project on the very first day. I just didn't get a chance to photograph it until now.

you are my sunshine geranium dress

The was the number one goal on my Kid's Clothes Week list because my daughter's birthday is in two weeks and this is her party dress! Yay! Can't believe she is turning one already, but if it has to happen, she might as well look as cute as possible, am I right?

Her birthday is a "You Are My Sunshine" theme, because of the way she beams up at me when I sing it to her. Such a sweetie. So I had to come up with some appropriately sunny yellow fabric. I decided on Michael Miller Happy Tones Jemma in yellow for the dress and Michael Miller Happy Tones Cora in sunshine for the lining. Perfect, right?

you are my sunshine geranium dress

I sewed the Geranium Dress by Made By Rae for the first time. I've been hearing about it for so long that I just had to try it out. It was a great, straightforward pattern with lots of fun options and I know I will make use of it countless times as my daughter grows. I decided on flutter sleeves, a gathered skirt and a notched neckline. I sewed up the 12-18 month size and it fits her just perfectly, though with not quite as much room to grow as I had hoped. Also, I sewed a diaper cover from the MADE pattern in the same fabric as the lining. Forgot to photograph that part.

you are my sunshine geranium dress

For the back of the dress, I used vintage orange buttons from my grandmother's stash. They are maybe a bit too big for the dress, but were so pretty and the perfect shade so I just had to use them. I didn't get a photo, but these were still on the button card. They had been marked down from 39 cents to 35 cents, so someone (either my grandmother or my great-grandmother) just had to snatch them up! Haha, sounds like something I would do.

you are my sunshine geranium dress

I had only a couple slight troubles with the pattern and those are definitely due to user error, not the pattern itself. First, the notched neckline was harder to perfect than I expected. I realized that you really do need to be super deliberate when sewing it to make it turn out right. Mine is ok but not great. Also, I had a little trouble with the lining at the very end. When I hemmed it under and then tried to "stitch in the ditch" from the front side to attach the lining to the dress, I wasn't catching all of the lining in my stitches. So the inside of the dress is not quite perfect, but I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to go back and try to make it more perfect.

No photos of my daughter wearing it, unfortunately, but if all goes as planned, you'll see some in her birthday party post in a couple weeks! :)