Monday, May 18, 2015

1 Family x 12 (May)


Well guys - I have a feeling this is the last monthly family picture of the three of us.  I'm thinking our June picture will include the newest little McGrath.  Which, to this 33 week pregnant Momma is music to my ears!!!

Abby was more interested in the beads on my dress than taking a picture this month...but at least we're all smiling.

Ryan raced the Galena Tri this past weekend.  It feels like it's been forever since we've had a race and Abby loved getting to cheer her Daddy on.  The weather was crazy rainy on Saturday but somehow we managed to have sunshine and clear skies the entire time we were outside.  Thanks Mother Nature!!

I only got one decent race picture this year so instead of doing a full post on the race, I'll just include it here.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

1 Family x 12 (April)


Yes - I realize that it is now mid-May and I'm just now posting April's family photo....and that technically this picture was taken on May 2nd (so not in April) but I hope you'll all give me a break.  :O)

That's our new camper in the background.  No, I didn't remember to take any pictures of the progress on that either.  We'll have it out again next weekend for Memorial Day and I promise to get you some updates then.  Pinky swear!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Randoms of Abby


Every once in a while I have a few cute pics I want to share but no real post to round them all out.  So....that's when I throw out a "randoms of Abby" post because I NEED these pictures in my yearly blog book!  You'd think after 2 full years of weekly/monthly pictures for my quilt project Abby would be a pro at pictures.  But the wiggles of toddlerhood = few pictures where she's actually looking/smiling.  So when I saw this one (above) that Jamie got from the water park I HAD to have it.


April isn't always known for being warm/sunny and summer like but we've had a few days of "summer" thrown into this April and we just couldn't resist a little time in the sun.  


And Easter.  Abby was pretty quick to round up her "beaster eggs" so I didn't get a ton of cute Easter pics.  After our egg hunt we rushed to church and then off to Jan Mary's house for Easter afternoon.  On the car ride their Abby fell asleep.  When she woke up we weren't close enough to a gas station to get her to a potty before she had an accident (boo!...she's been doing so good) so I didn't get a SINGLE shot of her in her cute Easter dress mom made a few weeks back.  Double BOO!



But - here are some cuties of her on Easter morning in her PJ's with candy stuffed in her mouth....you know, the way it should be.  Enjoy!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Abby's First Hair Cut


Two weekends ago when Ryan was in Texas I decided it was finally time to get Abby a hair cut.  Actually, I'd been thinking of doing it for a few weeks before hand but we're always running from one thing to the next on the weekends so I was just waiting to carve out an hour to go have it done.


I don't think that we'll always go to a fancy kids hair cut salon for every hair cut, but her first seemed like we should do something slightly special.  Plus, I was worried if she'd be scared and figured all the bells and whistles of a real kids salon, paired with the expertise of a professional, would = an enjoyable experience for her and a haircut that didn't look like her mom butchered it on the back deck :)



Good lord is it hard to get a toddler to stand still and look at the camera!  The before pictures were a feat in and of themselves but I did get this decent one of the back of her hair so you can see both the length and slight curl to her hair.  When I was little I had stick straight blonde hair until I hit about 6th grade and then the curls started.  I used to blame it on a perm I got around 5th grade but the truth is that my mom has curls so I was probably destined to get them too.  


Abby's hair does have some curl to it (as you can see in the before picture above) but I've usually got her in pig tails during the day so you can't often tell.  Her hair curls the most when its fresh out of the bath and drying.


Kelly at KidSnips did an awesome job.  Abby got to pick out a move (Paw Patrol) and got to pick out the car she wanted to sit in.  She couldn't have cared less what was going on with her hair...she had Zuma and Sky to watch!!  We only cut off a few inches from the back to even it all out, but it looks so much better than the random style it had grown into.  



Plus, who doesn't love a heart shaped braid with sparkles on top??  I'm happy to report there were no tears and she had a great time.  Another first to check off the list and add to the baby book!






Thursday, April 2, 2015

Another Sewing Post....


So - I bragged for a few minutes earlier this week about the cute little pj's I made for the new baby.  Well, I was inspired!!  I've been seeing cute little dress patterns and wondering if I could make them myself.  My plan was to try out the pj's and see how it went.  If I liked it, I'd try out something a little larger/more complex for Abby.  If not - well, no harm done.


**She really does like it...I'm not sure why I got the grump face in this one but she SO looks like me in that picture.

Anyways - after my attempt at the baby pj's I decided this was WAY outta my league...BUT, I was headed home this weekend so I enlisted my Mom to make this cute little dress for Abby.  Didn't it turn out great??

I got the pattern here and we just picked some cute fabric from Joann's so I'm not sure who the designer was but I think it's perfect.  I love the placket (a new word for me this weekend) and the contrast stripe on the sleeve and bottom.


The pattern says it's for advanced beginners which I am clearly NOT, so getting mom's help was a great idea.  We printed and cut the pattern, picked out fabric at Joann's and got to sewing.  Well, Mom got to sewing, I got to knitting (I've got a new pattern in my brain and need to finish the old one before I can move to the next...that's my rule!!  Otherwise hobbies get out of control quickly!!).

I still need to go back and add two little buttons for the top but I wanted to show off mom's handy work to you all today.  I'm thinking if it's warm enough that I might have her wear it for Easter.  We'll see.  It's funny - as mom was making it she said "this dress looks like you".  HA!  I suppose it's the blues - which I can never get away from - and the fact that it's not overly frilly or girly.  It's just a nice comfortable tunic dress that I can send her to daycare in and not worry about it getting messy.  It's an everyday dress for a little girl who loves to run and play.  I love it!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

You Guys....I Made These!!

It's no secret that I've added quilting to my list of "old lady hobbies".  I've been posting about the quilts I've been making for over a year now and most of you are probably tired of hearing about them.  But guys - guess what I tried this past week?  Sewing clothes!!  Honestly I've never really been interested in sewing clothes because I've always had both my mom and Ellyn on that front.  My mom used to make us Pj's every year and I'll never forget our yearly trips to Joann's to pick out our Halloween costumes.  We'd look through the pattern books picking the perfect costume and then move onto fabric.  I remember gauzy girly costumes like a witch and genie for my sister and warmer ones for me - like a pumpkin and a scarecrow.  I was no dummy!  October is ALWAYS cold in northern Illinois.

Ellyn is a great seamstress as well.  I think she's retired from it now but she used to make all the costumes for the local play house and has been making Halloween costumes for Erin and Ryan since they were little...and yes(!) we still rope her into making our costumes as adults....I'm no dope - I don't turn down good help when I can find it!

All that being said - a few months ago one of the bloggers I read posted this pattern and I was hooked.  Well, it actually took reading another post from a different blogger I follow making them before I decided I'd try them for myself.  Course, having a little one of my own on the way played a huge factor as well.  I'm not sure if I'm going to get a quilt made for this baby before he/she arrives but I'd be damned if he/she didn't' have something handmade from me!


Oh and I was trying to live by my own words.  I've been teaching two friends to knit lately and both were tentative to start anything harder than the normal knit/purl.  After some convincing I've got one doing cables (which really aren't hard) and the second working on some secret project with semi complicated stitches....they both asked me how I learned to knit and the answer was "I just tried".  I watched YouTube when I didn't know how to do something and I put my mind to figuring it out.  I decided to do the same with making some baby clothes.  The internet is a magical place...you can learn how to do ANYTHING if you really want to.

Cute fabric motivates me as well.  I mean, come on. vintage campers?!?  If you know us, you'd know that had me hook, line and sinker.  These were relatively easy to make and I'm sure if I had more experience with sewing clothes they would have been much simpler.  If I'm being 100% honest I had quite a hard time getting started.  But I had a lot working against me.  There were a lot of first involved here:
1.  First time sewing clothes.
2.  First time sewing with knit fabric (it's stretchy and that leads to its own issues).
3.  First time using Stretch Thread (to go with the stretchy fabric).
4.  First time using a double needle.

I decided to start slow and just cut the fabric for one of these little guys (the orange one) and see how it went.  The first two nights were a complete disaster.  I tried all of the "new things" at once.  New thread, new fabric, new needles and that was a bad combination!  When I ended up with snagged and snarled thread I wasn't able to pin point what to change because everything was new.  After MUCH testing I eliminated one "new" at a time until I finally found a combination that worked.  Knit fabric, regular needle, polyester thread (not stretch).  By that time I was just glad to have something working right for me and to be moving in the direction of a finished product.  


After getting the orange one all sewed up and complete I went back and did the remaining three all in one large batch.  I wasn't surprised that batching them together went much faster.  And the fact that I'd already made one helped too.  

Yes - there is one "girly" fabric in there.  Ryan and I have chosen not to find out the gender of this baby, just like we did for Abby, so that one was a little risky.  I just couldn't help myself.  I think this baby is a girl (I guess we'll know if I was right in a few months) and those little flowers just called my name.  Plus with 2015 being the "year of the baby" I'm sure that I can find a cute newborn baby girl to gift it to if I end up being wrong and we have a boy.  I have a feeling finding someone to take it off my hands won't be hard!

So, what do you think?  I'm super proud of them!!  I'm not sure that I'm going to start sewing all the kids clothes...I'm not THAT motivated but I am glad I tried something new!  

Oh - and the hats!  I made those using this pattern if anyone is interested in making them too.  The pattern is a little, how shall I say it, funny looking, but they were really easy to make and turned out super cute!  My mom said they look a little big and I have to admit my memory of how tiny newborns are is a little fuzzy so I'll report back on that come July.  If you're making them for yourself though you might want to consider scaling the circumference down a bit...just a heads up.  They do seem big.


Friday, March 27, 2015

1 Family x 12 (March)


We hit up the Dells this past weekend and of COURSE I forgot my camera!!  Luckily Jamie came to the rescue and we got our family picture taken care of for this month.  Complete with a real smile from both Ryan and Abby!!

I'll be doing another post with more water park pictures once I snag Jamie's SD card....for now, happy March!!