Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day!!!

We had a fun, active, exciting and exhausting Fourth of July today! The first thing on our agenda was the neighborhood celebration. Our ‘hood sponsors a kids’ bike parade followed by play time and lunch at the park/pool/common area. This year, I had my act together and we got to the parade on time, because I learned last year that if you arrive after the parade is over, then you don’t get to be in the parade. Ridiculous, I know.

We even showed up with decorated bikes! By decorated, I mean a Mylar balloon tied to the handle bars (that I may or may not have appropriated from the leftover d├ęcor of my office’s pot luck) and a hand held Dollar Store flag. We are talking PINTEREST WORTHY if you know what I mean.

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While we did not win any awards for patriotic streamer abundance, we had a great time. And those Mylar balloons came in handy when my kids took off and left me in the dust. (Except my ever-faithful Gracie, who stayed by my side complaining that one lap around the block was too much for her dainty bird legs chatting about how much fun it is to be in a parade.

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Boone loved the parade, too. He walked regally beside me, proudly displaying his red, white & blue bandanas and panting the National Anthem. He was also super polite to everyone he met, including lots of neighborhood pooches.

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After the parade was over, I spent about 10 minutes searching for Noah. He had made his way to the front of the parade, decided one lap wasn’t enough, and plasma-car’d his little booty all the way around the block again. By himself. Had his own little version of Independence Day. Meanwhile I was celebrating “My kid was stolen during a holiday party and we’re going to be featured in People Magazine” Day. I have NO IDEA how my hair isn’t completely grey from 3 years of parenting that wild soul.

When we were all reunited and my heart rate returned to normal, Noah received a stern lecture and was made to repeat “One man and his balloon a parade does not make” 15 times. Then the kids ran off to play in the bubble machine while I stood in line for lunch at the food truck. They returned, soaked to the bone, and we had a delicious lunch and played in the park for another hour or so before heading home to rest.

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Where’s Noah? Yeah, story of my life.

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(Before you call CPS, he was back on his plasma car… this time in a well-defined and enclosed area where I could keep an eagle eye on him AT ALL TIMES.)

Back at home the kids relaxed/napped while I baked 96 teeny cupcakes (I counted them) to bring to a surprise engagement party. The son and daughter of two of my co-workers/awesome lady friends got engaged today and Debbie asked us to come to the party with dessert in tow. Aubrey and Michael are the sweetest couple and it was a great party filled with lots of beautiful fresh out of college folks that made me feel really old. :)

My favorite part was when Aubrey read the story book that Michael made her about their relationship – complete with illustrations done by their family and friends!

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The kids listened intently most of the time and got their wiggles out/tormented onlookers for the rest of the time.

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Once dinner and story time were over, we headed outside to pop some fireworks. The kiddos got in on some sparkler action with the help of Mrs. Kendra and Courtney.

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We finally climbed in the van just after 10 and drove home with the windows down listening and watching for all the fireworks. (Bri was at the party with us for a bit, but had to head out to work earlier.) We arrived to the sight of neighbors popping more firecrackers in the cul de sac, so another 30 minutes of sparkler and exploding fun ensued before I was able to drag the kids inside and get them into bed.

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I wasn’t sure what Boone would think about the holiday. He enjoyed the parading and flag waving and park playing. During that part, he was all….

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The fireworks, however, he did not enjoy. As in, “I’M NOT SURE WHY YOU PEOPLE ARE ALL SO CALM??!! IT IS OBVIOUSLY THE END OF THE TIMES!!! PLEASE HOLD ME WHILST I PEE ON YOU!!!!!”

Super fun. I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July and were able to celebrate John Adams style with “Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations."

I also hope you know what “Shews” are, because unless that’s a fancy way to spell shoes, I think we may have left that part out.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

She won’t Let it Go!

We saw Frozen at Thanksgiving, and like the rest of the free world, we were completely enthralled. Gracie received the CD for Christmas, and 5 months later, she still listens to it to go to sleep at least 4 nights a week. The DVD showed up in her Easter basket and we’ve since re-watched the movie approximately 321 times. It’s safe to say that we here in the Barrick house are Frozen fans.

It was no surprise that Grace requested a Frozen theme for her 5th birthday, but her party isn’t for a couple more weeks. In the meantime, I wanted to give her something Frozen related on her actual birthday. She loves to dress up, so I thought I would try to put together an Elsa dress for my sweet girl.

I wanted it to look less like the versions in the stores and more like Elsa’s actual dress from the movie. This was my inspiration picture that I took to Jo-Ann’s.

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I bought this Simplicity pattern and fiddled with it a bit. I made the skirt less full and added a slit and a small train. I used the version that had the sleeves, but I just made them longer and not as puffy.

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I chose 4 different fabrics. I used the costume satin for the skirt and the bodice, and the bodice is also overlaid with the sequined tulle. The chiffon was for the yoke and sleeves, and the glittery organza was for Elsa’s cape.

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It was a little slow going at first because all of these fabrics are slippery and hard to work with. I’m used to being able to turn my iron all the way up and really press my hems before I sew them, but I couldn’t do that this time around. Also, I was making a lot of it up as I went. So I had to do, undo, and re-do a few times (all while trying to keep it hidden from Grace so it would be a surprise!) This was the bodice before I added the skirt and sleeves.

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A couple days later I had it pretty much pieced together and almost done.

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I was up late the night before her birthday adding in the zipper and working on the cape (which was her favorite part!) It was all worth it to see her face when she opened it and put it on! She immediately launched into a precious, off-key version of “Let it Go”. I finally got better pictures of her in it today. I took her outside and turned on her music and she went to town singing along and dancing around!

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This girl. She makes doing stuff like this SO. MUCH. FUN. I don’t even care that the cape is leaving a trail of glitter throughout the entire house. :)

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Happy Birthday to my little Elsa!

Linking up to the Make it - Love it Link Party!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Gracie’s Quilt

Over a year ago I fell in love with some fabric lines and decided to use one of them to decorate Gracie’s new girly room.  She LOVED sharing a room with Ben, so I really had to sell the idea of putting the boys together and moving her out by herself. I showed her pictures online of a few choices and she ended up picking the one that was my favorite, too: Simply Sweet by Riley Blake.

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While I had experience making bedding (I sewed the duvet and shams for the Master bedroom last Spring), I had never made an actual quilt before and I really wanted to try! I saved up and placed my order and felt all warm and fuzzy inside when this arrived!

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That picture was taken in June 2013, for anyone interested in knowing the true depths of my procrastination.

Anyway, the fabric arrives and I hug it, smell it, pet it and whisper sweet nothings to it because it makes my heart sing. Then I set it in the corner of the guest room where it stared at me and mocked me for months. MONTHS, I tell you. At one point the song “Tainted Love” was actually emanating from within the crisp folds. True story. (If it’s not already obvious, I have an irrational fear of cutting into pretty fabric.)

Anyway, it took some sweet friends (Joan, Lori, you are my quilting heroes) and Gracie asking for the hundredth time “Mommy, when are you going to make my pretty blanket?” to get this show on the road. Finally I cut (and survived) and pieced and seam ripped and pieced some more and I landed here.

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Oh my gosh – I could see the finish line! When I finished piecing it, I sent it off to be quilted at a little quilt shop in Keys, Oklahoma. The quilting is AMAZING. It’s so intricate and I wish I could take a picture that would really show it off.

I got it back at the beginning of April and I bet you can guess what happened next…. that’s right, the staring and mocking again. I had to add the binding and I’d never done that, so naturally I just stuck the whole thing in a corner and pretended it didn’t exist.

This past week I realized that I had t-minus ZERO TIME if I wanted to give this to Gracie for her birthday. I consulted the friends again and read 3 or 12 binding tutorials and last night I FINALLY got ‘er done. I texted Lori this picture and said, “Ok, I’m putting on my big girl pants and I’m going to DO THIS THING."

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Then I pinned the binding on in the wrong direction and had to start over. Because, you know, I’m me.

I found the tutorials by Cluck Cluck Sew and Wasn’t Quilt in a Day to be the most helpful. I’m TERRIBLE at sewing by hand, so I just decided to do it by machine on both sides and it actually went pretty quickly. I finished it in one night. I couldn’t wait for the sun to come up so I could take pictures!!

Here she is, ALLLLLL done.

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The binding came out really cute – I love the yellow.

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The back is pretty simple. The blue polka dots make me happy happy happy – Phil Roberts Style.

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I can’t wait to wash it and see it get all puffy and precious. Then it will be all ready to wrap up for my Gracie-Grace’s birthday next Thursday.

I have enough fabric left for some shams, throw pillows, and valences, so I’ll get right on that…. in a month or six.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

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We had a great day celebrating Jesus and family and friends. The kids were very excited to dig through their baskets when their eyes popped open.

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By some miracle, we were dressed for the 8:30 service with time to spare for pictures. I made Gracie’s dress (completely last minute – didn’t start it until Friday – which officially makes me a crazy person) and I LOVE it! She looked so precious. I can take pictures of that sweet girl ALL. DAY. LONG.

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All three of my guys were handsome as ever, too.

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We weren’t able to get a picture of all five of us, so we just took turn passing the camera around. Ben wanted to take one of me & Brian – my little future photographer. :)

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The service was great – the kids went down to the altar and tore paper (representing Jesus being torn for us and how we need to be broken before him) and then taped all the colorful pieces to the cross to demonstrate how something beautiful comes from Jesus’s suffering and sacrifice. I love how FBC involves them in the service for these special celebrations.
After church we came home and started lunch prep. The Monneys came over and we grilled and the kids played and played until we were all ready to drop (which is exactly what we did for a couple hours after our company went home.)
Tonight we will hopefully get to make our Resurrection Cookies since we ran out of time yesterday.
Happy Happy Easter from the Barricks!

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