Thursday, October 1, 2015

1 Family x 12 (September)

Just one day late this month with our monthly family picture.  I can't help but love this one with all the green and gold I spy in it.  Much to Ryan's chagrin, Abby now says "Go Pack, Go" on a regular basis and asks to wear her Go Pack Go shirt second only to her much loved "Greg shirt".

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Liberty Quilt

This quilt has been done for a few weeks now but things have been busy around here guys!!  I had a good part of this quilt completed before I had Hazel, but I swore I wouldn't pin baste another quilt while pregnant after working on Chirch's quilt a few months back so I was waiting until after the baby was born to finish this puppy up.

I made this one for me, all ME!  It's made out of amazing Liberty of London fabric with Essex linen and I just love it.  The pictures here don't quite do it justice.  It's really bright and fun and it's currently living on our bed.  It's technically not quite big enough for a queen size, not quite wide enough, but I wanted this quilt to live on the couch in the winter and on our bed in the summer and I find that true queen sized quilts are just too large for couch snuggling.

Liberty of London fabric is very expensive so I started collecting for this quilt over a year ago and joined a fat eight fabric club.  Each month I'd receive a small amount of fabric and slowly over the course of a year or so I collected enough to make this quilt.  I've even got some left over to sprinkle throughout my next quilting projects and I'm so excited to see where these fabrics end up.  This quilt features over 100 Liberty patterns and is simply beautiful in person.

The back is also Liberty which I scored on super sale a few months back.  Four continuous yards of Liberty would cost over $150 but I scored it at over 60% off and snapped it up as soon as I saw the sale.  Liberty has a silky feel to it and find that it slides a bit on our bed because of it...but who's ever so soft.

It's 60 x 68 and made up of 16 patch blocks that I string pieced.  Each block is 2 inches finished and I quilted it in the ditch using a 2 x 2 grid.  I'm pretty happy with how the straight line quilting came out but I'm having issues with it pulling.  You can sort of see it in the larger picture above towards the lower left hand side.  The squares are a little pulled out of wack.  I've done straight line before and haven't had this problem before.

So quilty friends - what's my issue?  How can if fix it.  I'm seeing pulling in whichever direction I sewed...but I was super careful to make sure the fabric wasn't hanging or tugging when going through the machine.  I quilted this on my dining room table to make sure I had the support of the quilt as I went.  I'm wondering if it was more of the combination of fabric types...the Liberty is so soft and silky and the Essex is a little "rougher".  Thoughts?  I'd love some suggestions on how to avoid this in the future.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Abby's 3rd Birthday

It's hard to believe that I have a three year old now.  Man does the time fly!!  Abby's official birthday was on Friday and I made our family's traditional birthday cake recipe to celebrate.  Both my Mom and Dad grew up with this chocolate chip sponge cake as their family birthday cake, so when they got married and realized they both used the same recipe it seemed only natural that they'd pass it along to us, and now me, to my kids!  It's delicious but I'm not even going to tell you what goes into making's NOT healthy and that's what makes it so good. 

Hazel's face though!  This picture cracks me up!

At Abby's 2nd birthday party she only sort of understood the whole thing.  We had to coax her to blow out the candles and she didn't quite understand the whole present thing.  This year was a totally different story!  Abby will say that she's three if you ask her how old she is and will even hold up 3 fingers to show you.  Presents and cake though, she's got that covered!!

Potential boyfriend material?  I think so!  Isn't he just the cutest?

Abby was FAR too focused on that cupcake than on getting a "ficture" with her parents. 

Since her first birthday Ellyn as been buying her her very own birthday cupcake.  Last year it had a ladybug on it...this year was a super cute #3 that was decorated to look like Minnie Mouse.  Super cute!

We are so thankful for all the friends and family that spent their Sunday with us.  We had over 60 people come out for the baptism/birthday bash.  There was so much love and support for us, we're one lucky family!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hazel's Baptism

This past weekend was Hazel's baptism.  We had her baptized at our church here in Hampshire, Cornerstone Church.  Her godparents are Greg and Meg and we couldn't have chosen a better couple.  Abby is in LOVE with Greg and Meg and I know that Hazel will feel the same about them.

When we had Abby baptized she wore my baptism outfit so this time around we put Hazel in Ryan and Erin's baptism gown.  She also wore the prettiest strand of pearls that Erin wore. 

Doesn't Abby look excited to be on stage?  HA!  She was just ready for her birthday party to start and to get her hands on that cake!

See - they are already great god parents!!  We're so lucky to have these two in our lives. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Birth Annoucement

I sent out about a million of these birth announcements but I know I've got some blog followers and friends on Facebook that might not have seen it so I wanted to post it here as well.  Plus, this way it's printed in my yearly blog book for all eternity!!

And, I get to talk about the quilt that's peaking out from behind Hazel.  Just about everybody knows that I've been quilting for about 2 years now, and this quilt is a very special one.  It's actually an antique quilt that was handed down through the McGrath family.  It was made by Ryan's Great Grandma Hitzman and I'm so lucky to have the quilt passed down to me.  It shows some wear and tear and I might look into having it restored, but it was the perfect background for this cute baby photo.  I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Auntie Erin

Today is a sad day in the McGrath household.  For the past 3 months we've had the best house guest one could ask for.  Erin, Ryan's sister, has been living with us this summer while she's doing a show at the Lincolnshire Marriott - City of Angles.  Having her here with us has been awesome and I was so sad to say goodbye to her last night.

Having been on maternity leave for the second half of her stay has meant that I've had a girl friend to hang out with and watch crappy daytime television with.  Someone to chat with about all the things from marriage, babies, careers, family and so much in between.  I'm sure that Erin has learned more about parenting in the last 3 months than she EVER cared to know.  She can swaddle a baby as well as any mother, knows the crying baby bounce, can entertain a 3 year old and redirect tantrums.  She's been my extra set of hands and my sanity check in these first early newborn days. 

See, she's even got the newborn crotch hold down too!

Abby is about to crash hard when she realizes that her Auntie is no longer living in the basement and a flight of stairs away.  No matter how hard I try, I just can't play the way Auntie does.  She'd pick Erin over me any day....and, that reminds me, why don't I ever get to play the "sleeping game"?  (See picture below).

Erin knew how to jump in and help right when I was about to loose it with the girls.  Whether that means scooping up Hazel to calm her crying, getting Abby to forget about whatever she's crying about in this moment, helping with bath time, getting PJ's on when its causing a meltdown, watching Hazel while I snag a quick nap after a long night awake, or reading bedtime stories.  I say that Abby and Hazel will miss her, but the truth is, I'm the one that's going to miss her the most. 

Erin is sweet, kind, loving and a great friend to confide in.  I've been so lucky to spend these last few months getting to know her in a way that only people living together can know each other.  She's been my co-conspirator to getting Ryan to eat veggies, a good influence in convincing Ryan to NOT have one more beer and just go to bed, and an awesome "backseat car ride entertainer" on the long car rides to and from Turkey Run.

I've been writing this post in my head for about a week now and no matter how hard I try I just can't come up with the right words to explain both how much help she was to me and just how much I'm going to miss having her around.  I've been giving her the hard sell to move back to Chicago so I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I know that even if she does it won't ever be quite like these past few months where we got to spend SO much time together with the girls getting bunches and bunches of one on one time with their aunt.  We'll be missing you tons girl!!!  Thanks so much for EVERYTHING.  These will be days that Abby will never forget.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

1 Family x 12 (August)

Oh yeah, that's right.  That's us hiking at Turkey Run State Park with two kids!!  We had the annual cousin's camping trip this past weekend and it was SO MUCH FUN!!  The park was beautiful and the hiking was awesome.  Ryan and I are already planning on putting this park back on the list for a trip for next year.

As for the camping trip....well, I won't be doing a separate post on the trip this year because I was a total slacker and didn't take my camera or phone out ONCE to take pictures.  Cell service was poor but the best part of that was that nobody had their phones out all weekend.  Luckily Zach had his on this hike so he was able to snag this family photo for us.