Saturday, September 9, 2017


Yesterday was our five year wedding anniversary! We celebrated last weekend with a mini-getaway. We dropped off Mae on Friday night with Grandma and Grandpa and checked into our hotel downtown. This was our first time both being away from her... and we got two whole nights to ourselves! We had a gorgeous view of downtown from our top-floor room.

Friday evening we enjoyed a tasty Japanese dinner followed by a night of sleep where we didn't wake up to the sound of baby whimpers. I forgot how nice that is. Saturday, we wandered around downtown through the mall and along the canal. The perfect weather reminded us so much of the day we got married five years ago!

Saturday night we made reservations at St. Elmo's, home of the famous cocktail sauce once named the world's spiciest food by the Travel Channel. I stuck with a nice salad for my appetizer, but Dan chose to clear out his sinuses with a few bites of horseradish and shrimp.

Sunday we went to mass at the cathedral where we were married. I felt pretty silly getting our photo taken in front of church, but we wanted to relive this moment from our wedding day!

Afterwards, we went to the art museum where we played a very fun, local-themed mini golf course and wandered around the paintings, gardens, and greenhouse, before driving back to my parents' house to resume our lives as mama and dada.

Are you wondering what Mae did while we were away? Well... most of the time, she stayed locked up in the entertainment center. (Well, not locked up, but crawling in and out of it IS one of her favorite things to do at Grandma and Grandpa's house.)

She went to the neighborhood park and played for hours on the backyard swing set and slide. She must have been a good girl, because they even took her for ice cream Saturday night! I think all of us had a great time, and Mae did really well for her first extended time away from us. I guess we'll have to do this again (in another 5 years)!

Monday, September 4, 2017

beach vacay

We are back from another busy vacation! I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but everything becomes busy with Mae in tow! Last weekend, we flew to visit Dan's family for a birthday celebration for his Mom. They had a big party at their apartment with lots of family and friends in attendance. Mae stayed up past her bed time and had so much fun running around and meeting all the guests!

The next day, we packed up and headed to the beach. We new Mae would be excited to splash around in the waves, since she was crazy about it even back during the spring when the water was freezing. We were not wrong. She bee-lined straight for the ocean as soon as I set her in the sand! She even got knocked over by big waves a few times but would wiggle out of my arms and back into the water as soon as I scooped her up.

We couldn't stay at the beach too long on Sunday or Monday since it was so windy. Despite the stiff breeze and blowing sand, Mae worked very hard with her bucket and shovel. She would fill up the bucket and then get soooo angry when it was then too heavy to lift and carry! Lift with your knees, Mae!

Tuesday was very rainy, but we took a short walk to the beach anyways. Mae couldn't understand why we wouldn't let her play in the huge tidepools even though we were in pants and sweatshirts! Too chilly!

Escaping the rain inside the beach house, Mae loved playing with (a.k.a. crawling through) the Little Tikes dollhouse and reading books. She made David read "Doggies" to her a million times.

And, of course, she spent lots of time chasing Pepper around. She discovered that throwing food from the table will lure Pepper closer. Pepper has always been tolerant/indifferent to Mae, so hopefully this new discovery will make their relationship a bit more symbiotic.

Such a fun vacation, thanks family!

Lastly, a little update on Mae milestones. She now has all her front teeth and one full set of molars, so hopefully we have a bit of a reprieve from teething troubles for a while. We are about to enter a new stage of issues, considering Mae said the word "no" for the first time tonight while Dan was trying to prevent her from going into the street. (Not looking forward to that!) Mae's favorite activities right now are singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (she gets her fingers ready as soon as she hears the word spider, or rain, or really any singing), and showing us her belly button. Dan's favorite activity is asking Mae to find her belly button while she's wearing a onesie (he's so mean.)

We always come back from our travels exhausted and saying that we need a "vacation from that vacation." This time, we got just that! More details later this week!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

lemon lady skater dress

I've seen lemon print everywhere this year, and I just love it! Mom gave me a lightweight lemon-print scarf for my birthday, which whetted my appetite for more citrus-y goodness. I spotted this Art Gallery fabric and immediately wanted a comfy lemon sundress. I love the silhouette of the Charleston dress pattern, but was worried this fabric wouldn't be sturdy enough for the fitted skirt. I started looking for a dress pattern with a circle skirt, since a flat front (as opposed to gathers or pleats) tends to be my preferred style. The Lady Skater dress has a circle skirt and a bodice very similar to my Lark Tee, so I figured it was probably within my skill range.

I made a practice version of the bodice with inexpensive fabric, as recommended by the pattern, and decided to try my hand at a few adjustments to my pattern pieces before cutting into my lemon fabric. I made a size 4 except I shortened the arm holes to size 3, shortened the bodice by 1 inch, and did a 1/2 inch swayback adjustment per the instructions provided on the author's super helpful blog post. The fit on the sleeves is still a bit off, but the back looks pretty decent!

I ignored the instructions for the neckband and installed it and the sleeve cuffs using a method similar to the Lark Tee neckband. I like that there are no exposed seams around the edges that way. On my first real attempt at the bodice, I did a narrow zig zag topstitch on the neckband which looked a bit messy. Because I'm a perfectionist and knew the topstitching would bother me every time I wore the dress, I remade the bodice and omitted the topstitching. In the future I'd consider a long straight stitch, or maybe a wider zig zag (which at least looks intentionally wiggly). I love the twin needle finish on the hem (my first time using a twin needle); it looks so professional!

You might have noticed that these photos weren't taken in our backyard... I desperately wanted to finish this before our vacation, since there are only a few weeks left to wear such a summer-y dress! More details on our beach trip later!