Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm back! (again) 

Christmas hit this house like a whirlwind. It brought a new puppy...

who I will tell you all about in another post. But, our sweet little Maggie stole our hearts from the second we saw her at the rescue. She is loving, sweet, and PLAYFUL! 

Christmas also brought our favorite-- cousins!

Karis is so lucky to have cousins close in age. I am so lucky to have siblings who will make the 9 hour drive from Denver to our house so that we can all spend Christmas together. 

Almost everyone was together for Christmas. Craig and Holly couldn't make it out, but they were with us in spirit. For Christmas, they gave each of the girls a Sing-a-Ma-Jig.  If you haven't seen these funny  toys, check them out! You squeeze their belly, and they sing a note. Each different Sing-a-Ma-Jig sings a different note. So, when you put all four of them together, they sing in harmony. (They also each sing a little song, which is really funny too.)  Four babies. Four Sing-a-Ma-Jigs. Let the hilarity ensue! (You can see how funny Karis thinks they are!)

Christmas at our house also brings traditions. I have such fond memories of Christmas traditions growing up. Decorating sugar cookies at Grandma's house. Lighting the Advent candles in anticipation of Christmas Day. Eating homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Waking up to see that Santa decorated the tree in tinsel. I am excited to continue these family traditions in our family and make some of our own memories with Karis. 

Karis liked the tinsel.

One of my favorite traditions is opening pajamas on Christmas Eve. And, just in case you wondered, the tradition continues for all (including Nana and Pappy). 

Christmas also brought Aunt Jenny! 

Aunt Jenny is my youngest sister and Karis' God-mother. Almost as soon as she arrives, the house is full of laughter and fun. Karis is not necessarily a giggly baby, but she thinks Aunt Jenny is hilarious (and we all agree).  

As an older sister, I couldn't be prouder of my sweet baby sis. She is smart, kind, and such a strong Christian. Rustain and I are so grateful that she is involved in Karis' life. I love watching the two of them interact- they make funny noises at each other, read  stories together, and- of course- Aunt Jenny helps Karis ride poor Tucker around the house. What fun!

Christmas also brought family...

Just in case one Christmas isn't enough, our family gets to celebrate three! We celebrate with my family, Rustain's dad, and Rustain's mom. What fun! . And, of course, family means cousins! While Reece is a little bit older and mostly concerned with the baby girls not taking over all his stuff with all things pink, Karis's cousin is only a few weeks younger than her (even though she is at least a few inches taller). It's neat to see them interact and talk to each other. And, of course, it's special for Grandma and Grandpa Troutman to get to play with all three of their sweet grand-babies. 

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and is getting ready for a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Sorry we haven't posted.  No excuses. 

Okay, maybe a few. 

We've had a cousin (and her accompanying aunt) and Pappy visiting.

We've been decorating for Christmas.

I've been working.

And, I've been playing with my new machine... 
a surprise for my birthday
a Janome!

(Can I just say, I love it!)

There will be lots more projects in the future. But, for now... 

this easy Christmas table runner will have to suffice.

And, of course, this sweet face... (poor baby, has her first cold).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nine Months

In nine months, a lot can change. 

You can find out you are pregnant at approximately 5:00 am, right before leaving for Colorado to meet your new niece


tell your parents and all four of your siblings before you board the plane


proceed to eat almost nothing but Fruity Pebbles and oranges 


and wait an extra week after your due date to meet the sweetest, most wonderous being ever created.

And then, in the next nine months, even more can change. 

Your family can grow.

Your heart can grow.

You can welcome home your sweet baby girl.

She can bask in the sun.

She can sleep a lot. And you can never get tired of watching her sleep.

She can learn to smile (and melt your heart).

She can learn to hold her head up.

She can go from this...

to this... in just a few short months.

She can eat her first rice cereal and make this kind of face:

and then make this kind of face when eating peas. 

Then, she can learn to feed herself. 
And, now she eats everything in sight. 

(including pickles, cranberries, grapefruit, and anything else that is edible)

She can learn to sit up and explore her world.

She can get on all fours and try to crawl. 

And, she can even stand on her own. (Although, Mommy is right behind her, ready to catch!)

A lot can change in nine months! 

Happy Nine-Month birthday Karis Ann!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Homemade Coffee Creamer

Have I mentioned how much I love coffee?

I really, really, really love coffee. I love the smell in my kitchen in the morning. I love the warmth of the drink on cool fall mornings. And, I have to admit, I love the caffeine. 

I take my coffee with just a touch of cream. 

And since we're trying to make more of our food,
avoid artificial sweeteners, 
and generally, be a little healthier
I decided to make a little creamer.

The results? 


1 pint half and half
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Heat the half and half over medium heat just until warm. Add the maple syrup and vanilla. Stir well.
Remove from heat and add cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add to coffee and enjoy!

You can also experiment with different flavors. I wonder what it would taste like with a little honey instead of the maple syrup... or just some vanilla... or some chocolate syrup... 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meet-A-Mama Monday: Sampling

It's all I can do to keep my eyes open. 

Having an 8 month old, a doctor daddy in his first year of residency, two dogs, a cat, two cousins, an aunty, a Nana, and another aunt and cousin getting ready to visit--

plus a new (kind of) stay-at-home job
(more about that later)

makes me a tired mama.

So, since we're a little behind on meet-a-mama, 
I thought I'd take the easy way out share some of my favorite internet mamas with you.

Meg at Sew Liberated: Her work is beautiful, her son is adorable, and her Montessori parenting is so sweet. As a side note, she has had some tough news lately and is definitely in need of some prayers and encouragement.

Rachel at p.s. i quilt: Rachel's writing style is sweet, simple, and Southern! She makes beautiful quilts and features some wonderful fabric. Plus, her website plays the theme music from Legends of the Fall... who doesn't like to be reminded of Brad Pitt in that movie?

Ashley at Film in the Fridge: Her quilts are to die for, and she is about to become a new mama herself!

Angie Smith at Bring the Rain: If you haven't read her story, grab a box of Kleenex and read I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy, which is the book that came from her blog. Seriously, this sweet lady is open and honest about her life and her walk with the Lord.

Heather and Megan at Quiltstory and Fresh Poppy Designs: Sisters who quilt and blog?! Need we say more? We love their designs, love the stories they share, and love Fabric Tuesday!

Rachel at Clean: I'm always encouraged to live more simply, be more careful of our earth, and slow down and enjoy my baby after reading Rachel's musings. 

What blogs do you read? Which mamas inspire you? 
Leave a comment... we always love finding more mamas! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010


We have some fun guests this week!
Erin came with her two little munchkins for a week.
After a very early morning flight for the girls (and a mama),
a nice walk to the park was in order.

Nothing better than a nice swing : )
No baby swing for little K.
She had fun watching her cousins though!

Look at that static hair!!!

Six more days of fun!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Prima Papa

Katie and I were "garage-saling" and came across a wonderful
Peg Perego Prima Papa high chair for a mere $30.00!
It looks brand new except that it had a custom fabric cover - washable, not wipeable.
So, we decided to try Heat n Bond Vinyl on a piece of beautiful fabric and make our own cover.
 LOVED using the vinyl.  Easy, easy, easy!
(I've always loved laminating things so this was the best - laminating fabric!!!)
Making a pattern from the old cover was a breeze too.
So in a few hours, here's what we have...

I wasn't aware that the vinyl came in a "matte" finish as well as "gloss".
I think I will try the matte finish next.
Anyone else have experience with iron-on vinyl?
I'm curious to see how it wears...

We'll be linking up with Quilt Story !

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meet a Mama Monday

Meet Heather and Megan!

You may know Heather and Megan from their quilt pattern business
and their blogs Quilt Story and Fresh Poppy Design.
Quilt Story is a site where they share other's amazing quilts and have a fun linky party every Tuesday where you can share a project that involves fabric. Fresh Poppy Design is a place where they share decorating and crafting ideas with lots of tutorials.

Heather is a stay at home mama of 4 daughters and 1 baby boy. Her life is her kidos, carpools and house-work. However, she's a craft addict and sneaks in a craft or two as much as she can. What a busy mama!

Megan is a stay at home mama of 2 little boys; Sawyer - 3 and Ollie - 22 months. Her husband is in his third year of medical school so it's a little crazy at their house. Megan's house keeping tip: "I like to be out and about with my boys which keeps the house a little cleaner and makes me feel like I'm doing something right!" She tries to craft as much as possible, but her crafting generally doesn't start until 8 pm!

Their Aunt Wendy and their mom taught them to quilt about three years ago and they've been busy ever since!

Just for fun the sisters have a yearly retreat to Park City, Utah - without children!

A couple of months ago...
"We had dinner and headed up to the hotel. We stopped at a supermarket to get our late night treats to enjoy while we watched movies and stayed up way too late. We grabbed our basket and filled it with the essentials: 2 pints of ice cream, 2 small bags of chips (because you always need a salty note after ice cream) two spoons and two waters. The important and embarrassing word here? TWO. Heather grabbed my arm and through giggles made me realize how shameful our basket was. Quickly we grabbed more spoons, bananas (which I brought home the next day for my boy's) and a couple of large bags of chips. Now surely this didn't look like a party for two anymore. As we were checking out I decided to make sure the cashier knew we weren't pathetically eating this ourselves.

Me: "Heather, did you call the guys yet to let them know we're on our way?"
Heather: "Who?"
Me: "Did you call them and let them know we're coming??" through large eyes.
Heather: blank stare.

This little exchange ultimately resulted in ridiculous giggles
and being shamed for our gluttony."

These super sweet sisters are BFF's.
They're funny,
super talented quilters/designers
(each would say the other is more talented),
AND, of course, they are mamas!

Heather- "I am completely in love with my children. Nothing has brought me greater joy and happiness, or frustration and tears all at the same time!

Megan- My hubby and I look at each of our boys every day and just talk about how adorable/cute/funny they are. Will that ever stop? I can still stare at their faces in complete awe. There is absolutely nothing like being a mother.

~ Here is a sampling of their talents ~
You know how this works... leave a comment and tell Heather and Megan something you admire about them, something you learned, or just leave a little encouragement.

Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Homemade Hair Bows

Sometimes a girl just needs a hair bow. 

Making hair bows is one of my favorite projects. 
It's super-easy. Super-quick. And the results can be worn almost immediately by my sweet little girl.

This is one of my favorite outfits Karis has. Skinny jeans (really, who doesn't love these jeans?!?), a little onesie, and a sweet hand-me-down sweater from Auntie Erin. 

the grass was more interesting than smiling for the camera

All it needs is a matching hair bow.

I bought some silk baby roses, broke out my hot glue gun, and voila... The roses are glued onto a clip that I can use on either the headband or, when she has enough hair, directly in her hair.

Anyone else? What's your favorite hair bow project? 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A trip "home"

I just returned from a week in Colorado.
Even though we have lived around the world -
Colorado, Alaska, Ohio, Germany, Texas, Virginia and Kansas.
Colorado will always be home.
I step into that crisp, clean mountain air, take a deep breath, and instantly know I'm home.
Give me a hammock, a pine tree, some sunshine, a little breeze - ahhhh!
We spent the week looking at houses and will make an offer on one this week.
This will be my backyard!


I also spent the week loving these sweet faces:

Back to my sewing...
I'm excited to finish my Tokyo Subway Map top this week!
The blocks are all trimmed and ready to be sewn together.
What a fun quilt-along. Thanks to Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson!

Don't forget to check out Fabric Tuesday!