Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bringing Christmas Songs To Life

This has been one extra special holiday season already - and its only Christmas Eve!  For those who are interested I have baby Sara's "birth story" to share!  But first, this year brings new meaning to some of my old favorite Christmas songs:

I'll Be Home For Christmas - while I usually shed a tear (or a few) over this song, longing to be in Colorado to share Christmas with my parents and brothers and their families, this year I am celebrating getting out of the hospital with my favorite Christmas present yet, baby Sara, and in time to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family.  The picture would be even more perfect if my brothers and their families could be here with us, but they are here in spirit if nothing else!

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas - Oh how I have been dreaming of a white Christmas!  After 5 years in California I practically begged God for a White Christmas.  Most people here laughed at me and said it would happen maybe once in a lifetime, and you know what?  Maybe they are right, but that once in a lifetime is happening this very minute! It is snowing great big white flakes outside, and even beginning to cover the ground a bit!  Its wonderful!

For those who were surprised to hear that baby Sara made her grand entrance prior to Christmas, here's the story - its nothing too dramatic, well, it was for us, of course.  Sara was scheduled to be born on 12/28 by Csection, but after a month of increasing contractions and signs of labor, my wonderful Dr. decided that, as I had suspected, the chances of my spending Christmas in the hospital in an emergency C were growing fairly strong. So to avoid any complications and/or interrupted Christmas dinners, she gave me a call Monday the 21st asking if I could be at the hospital at 5:30am on Tuesday to have little Sara!  We all decided it was the best thing, and guessed that she'd already be (ahem) 7 1/2 lbs at least (giggle giggle).  So after a little bit of a long surgery due to scar tissue, Sara made her entrance at 7:52am on 12/22 (15 months to the day after Maddox's birth) at a whopping 8 lbs 13 oz!!  She is a big, beautiful girl with a head FULL of the most beautiful dark hair I have ever seen.  Her cheeks are big and round and precious.  I couldn't be happier, neither could her father!  Gabriel is completely smitten as well, although Maddox is still deciding what he things of her.

I have been utterly blessed with the help of my parents, my amazing husband, my sister in law, and my friends here, who have corralled to take care of the boys, bring loads of clothes for our little bundle to make sure she is warm in this cold weather, and keeping me company in the hospital.  I also have an amazing Dr and had amazing nurses who did everything they could to get me home as early on Christmas Eve as possible while making sure I am as comfortable as possible.  We may be opening Christmas presents in our bedroom, but hey, we'll do what we have to! We are just happy to all get to be together!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another 10 on Tuesday

So I'm going to copy a friend, and in an effort to blog more regularly try a 10 on Tuesday thing... meaning, a list of 10 things currently making me happy. Now whether or not I do this every Tuesday I cannot say, and I will certainly promise nothing. So, in the spirit of Thankfulness and positivity, here is my Ten on Tuesday:

1. At this very moment, I am sitting next to my 3 year old son Gabriel, who gives me a happiness all his own, but currently I am being made happy by his beautiful and carefree giggle. I love this boy's giggle. Seriously, since the first time we really got him laughing as a baby till now - and probably forever more in my mind - there is nothing better and never will be.

2. Watching baby Maddox learn to walk, and seeing the smile on his face when he knows he did well! I love how he sticks his little arms straight up in the air for balance.

3. My sewing machine. I know, I know, I'm such a nerd, but the crazier and crazier life has gotten (and will continue to get) the more thankful I am for this gift that my husband gave to me even though he didn't have to... and even though it meant spending a LOT of money on something he truly didn't understand the purpose of. But, as always, he was and is supportive and was willing to splurge because he knew it would make me happy. The hours (or hour) of quiet I get after the kids go to bed when I am upstairs sewing away keep me sane. They really do. For that short bit of time, just like math, A + B = C. There are simple steps, and simple answers, and things go together just as they should. Uncertainty disappears and suddenly I am in a place where I have a little bit of control in the middle of chaos. Suddenly I can pull messy scraps of a million colors together into something with straight lines and perfect curves - even if the rest of my world remains in chaos. I can try and fail without guilt, and when I succeed I can feel proud.

4. Don't roll your eyes - my sewing room. Yes, the room is a shared room with my husband's office on one side and my stuff on the other, but never in a million years did I dream I'd have my own dedicated space for sewing or whatever other creative pursuits I try out. Certainly not while we still had kids in the house, and certainly not one where I can truly spread out and feel at home and comfortable. Makes me want to read "A Room of Ones Own" again! Again - thank you Dan for obliging me!

5. My husband and his sense of humor. I make a million mistakes on a regular basis. Some big and some small, and just when I start to really get down on myself, or to think that this time I've really blown it and Dan is going to be super mad, I come to him, confess, and what does he do? He smiles, makes a joke, and helps me make a plan to fix whatever I've gotten into without ever a moments condemnation. How lucky I am. How I love this man.

6. The weather! Yes, I said it, I am happy about the current weather in Texas! A few months ago - or less - I was fairly convinced I could never survive in this climate and had no idea for the life of me why anyone would want to! I couldn't even remember anymore why we left Southern California for THIS!?! Of course I remembered how much it cost to live there, but still. Well, then it started to rain. And it rained buckets. And you know what? I never got sick of it. And now that it has cleared up I like it even better! I don't mind cold - in fact I like it. But the perfect weather for me is probably in the 60's and we've had a lot of that lately. Thank you Texas! I may stay here after all!

7. Planning for Christmas this year. I have been bitten by the Christmas bug earlier than I ever have in my life this year. I think partially because Christmas just wasn't Christmas last year due to a death in the immediate family. It feels like ages since we really had Christmas, and I am ready. This year, after what we went through last year, I am really feeling the spirit of family and tradition, and joy that Christmas is supposed to be all about. And now that Gabriel is old enough to start really understanding Christmas I am so ready to really start teaching him in fun new ways all about Santa, and more importantly, about a little baby named Jesus.

8. New Friends! It has taken me awhile to start getting connected here in Texas, but now I really feel things turning around. I've been in two mom's groups for awhile now, and have finally gotten myself and the kiddos out of the house and to the events often enough that I am really starting to get to know some of the ladies, discover things we have in common and things we can share with each other. And while the friendships we developed over 5 years in California will never be replaced, I finally feel I have some true friendships here that can be developed as well. Goodbye lonely days! Now if I can just convince my hubby to stay in one place for awhile, haha!

9. Being a SAHM. It is not easy. It is actually harder than any job I have ever had...but very different. Hard to find ways to keep my mind active and challenged (in realms other than discipline and how to potty train), and hard to find ways to keep my kids challenged and engaged. There are days I moan and groan and bitch and gripe and lament. But that is mostly because its a steep learning curve. One thing I know for certain though, each and every day, is that I am blessed to have the opportunity to raise my children personally, to be close to them every single day, and for them to know that everything I do is devoted to them. When I was a working mom, although our childcare was phenomenal and we loved our daycare, it always broke my heart to know that someone else was spending more time with my child than I was. I am thankful and happy today to have the opportunity to stay at home that many just can't pull off, and that for a long time, neither could we.

10. Thinking about Baby Sara and counting down until the day we will finally meet this little spitfire. Yes, I already can tell you that she is a spitfire and probably has nothing to fear when it comes to two older brothers... I am fairly certain she will hold her own quite well, thank you. My organs can attest to this! I already have a picture of her in my head...maybe wishful thinking, but who knows. I picture lots of dark brown hair and big round cheeks...wait, this is sounding oddly like what I looked like when I was born...who knows, we shall see!! So far we've got one brown hair/brown eyed boy and a blonde and blue eyed boy...anything could happen... red hair? Green eyes? That is also a possibility when you look at our gene pool! So much to look forward to!

And that's my 10 on Tuesday. What are yours?

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Quiet Morning

This morning (and yesterday morning, and probably tomorrow morning) I woke up at about 4:45 and was never able to return to sleep. Not an uncommon occurrence, but one that comes in cycles of about 3 mornings. No big deal, I have just learned to get up and make use of the rare opportunity I have to sit quietly at my computer and do whatever I wish. Now at 5:45 I have finished Facebooking, emailing, making a list of items for my hospital bag, and looking up a pattern to use to make burp clothes for baby Sara! Now its time to blog. I must note that the second I start blogging I take the risk that one or both of my children will likely wake up immediately. That's just how it works, so I have to wait until I am truly ready for the day before I start. And sure enough, as predicted, as I typed the words "tomorrow morning" Maddox has begun to stir, so my time is short. That's OK though, because he happens to be kinda cute, and I always get a good smile out of him when I go to him that makes it OK no matter what time it is! Gabriel too, he always comes out of his room happy, sleepy, and pretty much adorable. There is a reason God made kids so cute!!

The last few weeks I have truly enjoyed something of a sewing frenzy! I have gotten so much done, and sadly taken so few pictures which, after all, was sort of the point of this blog - showing pictures of what I make to share with any who might care, but more importantly so that I can sort of log them and remember them for myself. Oh well, what can I say! I'll try to make a list if I can remember, and dig up any photos I have later today, although I think most of them are on my phone if anywhere, and probably have been deleted by now!

First there was the turquoise jumper dress and bloomers for a friend's baby girl who will be joining us on November 2! I also made her a flannel blanket (that I SO wanted to keep for baby Sara once I was finished with it!). The blanket was made of squares of white, pink/white gingham pattern, and pink/red ladybugs and (I thought) turned out SO cute!! Next I finished up an art bag for nephew #2 (#3's bag is on my "to do" list for his December birthday). The art bags are simply long rectangular bags with a pocket on the outside (with their name), and on the inside I sewed up a little colored pencil roll up organizer thing (much like you see for knitting needles), and then filled with colored pencils, markers and other age appropriate art materials along with their own bound art book.

Next I made a blanket for my mom to give to a co worker's new grand baby with cute little sailor/anchor cotton on the outside and fleece inside (for Colorado weather), and a simple swaddler blanket made out of monkey print fleece. I finished baby Sara's crib set (this I can get pictures of) with the exception of her fitted sheet which I am in the middle of now (my laptop is actually sitting on the cut pieces of fabric now!) I went through a bout of hate for the set last night, but have been assured that it was purely hormonal, hubby gave his seal of approval which means a lot to me, so I am trying not to worry about it. The set includes crib skirt, bumper with pockets, quilt, pillow, and I'm also making her wall hangings out of a combo of fabric from the set as well as some matching(ish) fabric with butterflies. Its a little out there, but I'm hoping it makes for a fun set. We'll see. Lastly I just need to make some small room things out of those last two fabrics to tie them in with the set. We picked up the crib yesterday, so I'm all ready to get her room set up! Hubby keeps reminding me that she won't even use the room for several months, but I don't care. :) How often do I get to set up a baby girls room I ask you?!? And in case you aren't 100% clear on the answer to that, it is once. There will be no more girls or boys for us!

This week I sewed up three aprons for friends, including one cute little ginger apron for a friends' little boy (one coming for Gabriel shortly), a Thanksgiving apron for Flutterby Threads, which I am now actively trying to stock. And finally I sewed up one major project consisting of several smaller projects which I can't say any more about at the moment because they are for Christmas! The project is not so much done as it is "done for now" as I will have to spend some more cash on it to finish, so I'm going to wait till closer to Christmas. After Christmas though I'll be just about dying to share pictures of it!

Pretty much other than that, nothing has been new! Sewing has kept me pretty busy in the kids sleeping hours, and they have kept me busy in their waking hours. Speaking of which, it is officially time to go get me that baby Maddox smile!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Anniversary

5 years ago Friday, I married my husband Dan and started on the whirlwind journey that would be our lives to this point, and will probably continue to be a whirlwind journey for the rest of our lives, since, well, that's just how we roll. Looking back at who I was 5 years ago I can hardly believe how far I/we have come. Marriage and parenting has put us on a learning curve I never could have fathomed, and while I've often felt like I'm hanging on for dear life, knuckles white, arms screaming and tired from being whipped around on this roller coaster, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

5 1/2 years ago, or any point prior to Cinco de Mayo 2004, my life revolved around me, and that was pretty much all that mattered to me. I had no purpose and no direction other than living for the moment and pleasing myself. I flew by the seat of my pants, refusing to be pinned down to anything or anyone. Literally the ultimate commitaphobe. I had started a promising career (in an industry that would soon take down our economy) making good money assessing risk in securitizations, I was living in downtown Denver which I loved, and I thought that I was happy. Dancing, partying, yoga, and work were all I needed.

Then I met my husband on Cinco de Mayo 2004 on a blind date, married him 5 months later, moved across the country, had two children, three jobs in two industries, got laid-off from a giant mortgage company, got work in Marketing and then quit to be a Stay-at-home-mom, experienced the deaths of three Grandmas (two of mine and one of Dan's), lived with my mother-in-law for 2 years until her untimely and unexpected death, moved across the country again, got pregnant again, and bought a house. Which brings me to today. It has not been a quiet five years. But through it all, my husband and my best friend has been by my side, and I have been by his. We have been through the highest highs filled with joy we can never describe or top, and we have been through some of the lowest lows filled with money troubles, deep grieving, and pain. And we have come through it, almost cemented together now. Its crazy how love develops and changes through time and trials. One thing is for sure, I am eternally grateful to God for bringing us together. Only He could have orchestrated a pair like us, and He loved us enough to make sure we found each other.

I want to take this opportunity on our anniversary to thank my husband for what he has meant to me, and to tell him what I am most grateful for.

-I am so thankful for the sense of humor he has always carried with him and taught me.
-For teaching me to relax and let go a little bit - perfection is not always worth all the strife it entails.
-For his ability to go with the flow, and for teaching me how to be a little better at it myself (an ongoing lesson). How refreshing when the world takes another sudden turn, big or small, or when I make some huge mistake and expect it to be met with anger. Instead it is constantly met with a dose of humor, and always with an attitude that we will get through this too. Together.
-For his patience.
-For always having the right words when they are needed most, and enough silence when that is what is needed instead of words.
-For teaching me that I am capable and strong, and that he will always be there for me, and always willing to give me a kick in the butt, but for not being willing to simply be a rescuer. He will always support me and give me as much help as I need as long as I too am giving it my all.
-For his trustworthiness which I have never had to question, and have never had to worry about.
-For loving me from the inside out, and standing by me no matter what I look like, and for always making me feel good about myself when I feel giant and ugly. This one requires and example: The other day when I was feeling fat and ugly, Dan said "You're not fat, you're just pregnant." and when I responded that I'm always fat, he didn't miss a beat before saying "Well, to be fair, you're always pregnant!" Again, just the right dose of humor, combined with just the right words leaving me no room to feel sorry for myself.

The list goes on and on. I am blessed to be married to this man, and thrilled to be celebrating our 5th anniversary. I look forward to many more -although I hope they will be a little less eventful! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where I've Been

I've never been a very consistent blogger. I probably never will be. But I have a few legitimate reasons for my most recent absence!! Life has been crazy. And good. As for the bigger picture, we bought a house (what a process it is to search for a house, negotiate a deal, and close a loan!!), moved again (5 times in 4 1/2 years of marriage!), and are starting to get settled. We have a list of new homeowner projects that will provide us with new challenges every chance we can take! We had blinds installed already, and on the horizon there are rooms to be painted, furniture to be found (and saved up for!), rooms to be shuffled still, boxes of less used items to be unpacked, etc etc etc. But we aren't really in any rush to do any of the above. It will all happen in its own good time, and we've got plenty of other little things to keep us occupied in the meantime!

We are currently potty training Gabriel (or trying, that is... it should be obvious, but still came as a surprise that very strong-willed children are more difficult to potty train than most!) We've been fairly home-bound during the process in order to get a good foundation. Our little man has shown himself totally capable of using the potty as well as knowing when he needs to go #1 and #2 (YAY!!!!). However. He has also shown himself uninterested, and otherwise fascinated with his bodily functions. He has "successfully" peed in a bucket, on several toys, off of a chair (this was his personal favorite), and right up over the top of the potty, and in our bedroom, as well as once or twice in his bedroom because he was mad at me. This has been a challenge I have to say I was not anticipating. But with the support of Dan, my mom, my sister-in-law (who potty trained 3 boys herself - some also very strong-willed) -as well as other friends and family, we are getting through it one day at a time. Tonight was a big success when after being put to bed in a diaper (night training happens much later and pretty much on its own) Gabriel came to find us to tell us he had to use the potty, and he was right! And his diaper was dry! Yay!

Little G-man will be starting preschool in September! Wohoo!! I can't wait, and I think it will be so good for him! Enough potty talk!! Baby Maddox is cruising all over the place at high speeds. He can walk anywhere with a hand or two on something, and he is beginning to practice standing and balancing on his own for longer and longer! We think he'll be walking by his first birthday in September or shortly afterward. HIS FIRST BIRTHDAY!!! IN SEPTEMBER!!! I am having such a hard time fathoming that my little baby boy is turning one! And Gabriel will be turning 3 in October which is no less difficult to swallow! I have to say, there are times when I just can't wait till this phase in our lives is past and the kids are a little older, but then there are those moments at naptime or in the middle of the night when I am cradling little Maddox in my arms and listening to his sweet breath, that I know I will truly miss these times when they are gone. As for Casebolt baby #3, we recently found out its a GIRL!! Yay!! We could not be more excited! I think Dan might actually be even more excited than I am... well, maybe not...I don't think that is possible! She is ahead of schedule by about a week, so we are looking at a delivery of December 21 or earlier, we hope. It will all depend on how she's looking a little later on. We are doing our best to schedule the C-Section so that I will be home for Christmas Eve and Christmas. We are excited to have my parents and my sister-in-law join us here for Christmas and for the birth of our baby girl. And yes, we have a name. She will be named after her two grandmothers; one of whom she will meet, the other who will have passed away one year before her birth. Sara Katherine Casebolt will be her name. :)

Sewing/crafting! Believe it or not I have been fitting in quite a few little sewing projects, mostly in the last few days, and certainly not as many as I had hoped. I have no pictures for you tonight because I can't find the cord to my camera!! Most recently I finished my first "quilt". The "" refer to the fact that it is nothing more than squares pieced together, and as for the actual quilting, I only "stitched in the ditch" since I really don't know how to do the real thing. As for the binding which I was most intimidated by, I ended up taking the easy route and bough Quilt Binding at JoAnns and simply sewed it on! It was actually the easiest part of the quilt. Next time I hope to do it the real way - whatever that is. I used fat quarters from Anna Maria Horner's "Garden Party" collection, as well as a few from her "Chocolate Lollipop" line - both out of need and just because I had them and they were cute! She is definitely my favorite fabric designer! I had to buy the backing, binding, and batting, but the entire quilt-top was made from fat-quarters that I already had in my stash! I also sewed a little curtain for our kitchen window...I hope to sew curtains for at least all of the downstairs windows that open up into the kitchen/breakfast nook/living room. lastly I sewed several diaper inserts for Maddox's diapers using old receiving blankets and some microfiber cloths.

On the list of things to do next are: A rag bag - we plan to start using old T-shirts and other discarded items to replace some of the zillion paper towels we use, so I'd like to sew up a cute little bag to hold them in. This as well as the other ideas I have coming up all come from Amanda Blake Soule's books "Handmade Home" and "The Creative Family." I love both of them, but especially "Handmade Home" which I just got this week. Next I'll be making a little flag banner for Gabriel's room to keep "bad men" and monsters out. Poor kid has a lot of fears these days. Then maybe a quick cute purse for me, and lastly, I'm toying with the idea of making Baby Sara's crib/bedroom set on my own instead of spending the exorbitant amount of money it costs to buy them new. The only ones I like (not really into the whole pastel pink thing) cost like $ if I can just make the time for it, I can probably knock a good $200 or $225 off of that by making it on my own. I already have the pattern in Amy Butlers book "Little Stitches for Little Ones". As for what I've been is the list:
The Reader
The No Cry Potty Solution

In Progress:
Potty Wise
The No Cry Nap Solution
The Strong Willed Child
Three Cups of Tea

Hopefully I haven't bored you with too many details, but that's pretty much where I've been and what I've been doing over the last month or so!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Upheaval

Our lives these days have been anything but settled! With 2 little ones, a third on the way, our first home purchase in the works, and trying to potty train, we have our hands full!

Since this pregnancy is so close to the last, I am showing very very early. I mean, like really showing. This creates for some interesting conversations and a lot of funny looks. I just love watching people (over and over and over!) look from Gabriel to Maddox, to my belly two or three times, and then looking me straight in the eye like they are completely perplexed. Usually I try to pin down what they are thinking based on their expression: "Surely not...", "Are you kidding me?", "Are you mormon?", "Are you CRAZY?!?", "Didn't anyone teach you about birth control!", and "Oh you poor thing!" are the most common things people seem to say. Its pretty entertaining!

I have finished one more purse:


Now I'm on to a birthday project for my nephew, a snuggy blanket for Dan's coworker's baby, and one for ours! We think its a girl by the way! Next I want to make a very basic quilt, mostly to put on the ground at parks etc for the babies to sit on.

As far as I know, our home purchase is moving forward, although my lender is playing hard to reach, so who knows what that is about. As long as that's all good we are set to close on the 24th!

Also, last weekend we visited friends in San Antonio and went to Seaworld which was lots and lots of fun! That's pretty much all I have time for!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Always Changing

I am SO not doing well at this whole blogging thing, but I am NOT giving up! Life has been hectic and sometimes slow...very slow...lately. About a month and a half ago we found out we were pregnant with baby #3! We are very excited (and the teeniest bit terrified) for what is to come. We aren't really sure how we're going to manage, but we'll figure it out when we get there, and we know God wouldn't give us more than we can handle... which is reassuring when we consider what it will be like to have (possibly) 3 boys under 3 1/2 years old! Yikes!! We are thinking pink, but boy or girl will be a blessing.

Shortly after finding out about the little bean I was hit with some super miserable morning sickness unlike anything I had experienced with either of our boys... I was literally parenting my children from the floor for about 3 weeks, and would bury my head in shame if anyone calculated the actual amount of TV we watched in that time. But! We are at week 10 and I am feeling MUCH better! Thank goodness, life can resume!

Also, we have stepped up our potty training efforts for Gabriel, our search for a house, put Gabriel in (and then took him out of) preschool (I'll wait for a cheaper spot to open up thank you very much), and watched Maddox start to army crawl! It has been an exciting time for sure!

Gabriel is doing pretty well with potty training. He loves going #1 on the potty (like Daddy, lol) but is not so keen about #2. Oh time I guess! For now he pretty much prefers to run around with only a Tshirt on, and announce with glee each time he successfully goes. "I Pee!" is the newest and most popular household phrase these days.

We put an offer in on our dream house and backed out at the last minute for a variety of reasons, and then made an offer on a house that would be much more suited to a family with small children. They accepted, and barring any unexpected inspection items, etc, we will be homeowners for the first time on July 17!!! We are so excited! We have been glued to HGTV, and spent tonight at Home Depot picking out paint colors, imagining the fun things we can do with the house, etc.

I've been busy on the sewing front too -although I'm too lazy to post pictures right now. I have made 2 out of 3 bags that my cousins wife's mother requsted, and have been working on making some 4th of July shorts/pants for the boys out of bandanas! The first one I tried to eyeball for size for Gabriel and they ended up too small for Maddox! Oh well, at least bandanas are cheap! I wish I could say I learned my lesson and won't do that again...but we all know I will.

That's about it for now! Hopefully I'll get back on before as much time goes by, but if not, keep in mind that we'll be in the middle of moving and spending a week in Colorado over the next month, so we'll probably be a little busy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yay for Vaca! Yay for the end of Vaca!!

Going on vacation is always a lot of fun...and now more than ever it is also a lot of work! We spent the last 5 days in Colorado visiting my family which was wonderful! The best part of it was that our visit was a surprise to my father for his 60th birthday!

On Thursday after flying in, my sister and law and her three boys picked Dan and I and our two up and took us to Grandma's house. Gabriel had been SOOO excited to see Grandma he could hardly stand it! We waited around for Grandpa to come home. It was no surprise for him to see Amy's car at the house since that is pretty common, but when he came inside he did a double take as he saw Gabriel playing with the other boys! (Dan and I were hiding and Maddox was asleep). We got the whole thing on camera - it was great!!

The best part was that the surprises were just beginning! On Saturday my mother had coordinated a dizzying amount of details to get my dad out on a motorcycle ride for the day and at least 55 people packed into a small school house to wait for his riding buddy to lead him up! He was fully confused when Terry pulled into the dirt parking lot, but started to get suspicious when he saw my brother's truck parked ahead (and then my mother and her camera peeking out the window). It was pretty funny and fun! Gabriel and Maddox got to meet several of my cousins for the first time and had endless fun playing with his older cousins. He took some seriously good naps!!!

And now we're back! We're heading to Colorado again in July, but we are sure wishing we had decided to drive there this time instead of flying! Getting through security is quite a trick with two kids (one who you can't set down and the other who runs away) a double stroller, a carseat, and our bags through all without shoes, jackets, toys, etc...and then we have to put everything back together again! On the way home they decided that the diaper bag looked particularly dangerous and removed every single neatly packed item from it for examination...and then of course stuffed it all back in with no organization at all! Over all it went well though. The kids did great on the flight, and we had lots of fun visiting with family.

Now it's time for catch up! Laundry, dishes, cleaning, emails, phone calls, and tomorrow is my first OB appointment for the baby! (Did I mention that I'm pregnant?) Supposedly this office does an ultrasound even this early, so it should be pretty cool to see my little peanut! Obviously there will be no Aikido for awhile after all :(.

As for sewing...well, obviously I haven't done any, but I plan to. Last night I put the magnetic clasp in one bag which just needs a final seam and press, and then I cut out the pieces for two more bags I hope to get started on this week.

No pictures this post, but I'm sure I'll make up for it in a day or two!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moratorium on Spending - and some new projects

Last week, after a rash of spending - some necessary and some completely frivolous (Dan's motorcycle, and Eye-Fi card which none of my cameras are compatable with, kids clothes, Old Navy clothes for me, etc etc etc) I suddenly realized I am in serious need of some spending control. I was about two minutes from blogging it and putting in place an "official" morotorium on spending for some amount of time, when the kids woke up, I got distracted, and another week of spending went by... New walking/running shoes from New Balance, New Crocs (I needed the arch support!), another new pair of Crocs (see below), a Motorcycle Helmet, a Motorcycle class, a new camera (which ended up not being compatable with my Eye-Fi card even though it is supposed to be), a ton of fabric for some new projects (see below) and 14 patterns (for 99 cents each can you blame me??), and about 8 (more) tank tops from Old Navy (they were $5 a piece and they come in tall sizes...again, can you blame me??), and a QuickCam for my laptop so that we can talk to the family in Colorado using Skype. This is why I have decided the spending must end. We are in need of nothing. I resolve not to buy anything but groceries until after we get back from our trip next week. And once we get back, I'm putting myself on a serious budget!


Now for sewing news! I have been asked to make a couple purses for my cousin-in-law's mother...phew! I was pretty stuck for a bit on what style/colors etc to go with, but today at Hobby Lobby inspiration took over. These may not end up being the ones she likes, but at least I'll have something to go on. Nancy - if you are reading this let me know if the color schemes below look at all appealing!



Also! While scouring the 99 cent patterns I found this pattern which will make a perfect little button up shirt for Gabriel using the Cars fabric pictured behind the pattern! I was thrilled to find a good pattern that I can use for the boys as well as a neat print. The best part was that all of the fabric I bought ended up being $1 off per yard as well!! So now I have my work cut out for me, but that's OK! I like it that way!


Tomorrow I start my motorcycle class, and then next week I hope to start some Aikido classes! I'm going to be a busy girl, but I just might start feeling a little bit like myself again! Sometimes motherhood (now matter how much we love our children and enjoy being mothers) can really take away your sense of self if you aren't careful. I had a particularly rough patch the last couple weeks, mostly I think because I'm also starting over in a new state with new friends. The friends in CA that we enjoyed hanging out with, and that helped us have some identity as adults (and who also could relate to us as parents in some instances) are gone. Still friends for sure, but so very far away. The more time I invest in mothers groups out here, in hobbies that are outside the home, and in church the better I will feel and the more "I" will return to myself!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Learned Some Important Lessons In Church Today

Along with a very valuable and applicable lesson on doing to others as you would have them do to you - including but not limited to avoiding judgement which I really should work on more - I also learned some "Life in Texas" lessons.

Lesson #1: When in Texas on a Sunday morning, it is very important to think very carefully about what you are going to wear to church. No, the people are not as old fashioned as I had envisioned (I didn't see a single pair of white gloves, and no large hats!). Neither did I see anyone else struggling to keep their lightweight wrap-around skirt from blowing all the way up and into their face as they carried their 7 month old and held the hand of their 2 year old through a busy parking lot. Turns out, everyone else already knew about the wind, and had taken into consideration the need for clothes that could be much more easily managed with one or fewer hands. I on the other hand am fairly sure I sent a few Texans home with some new information as well - hopefully not too many though, as I like to keep the color of my underwear mostly among close friends...I must have been feeling generous today.

In some slightly less exhibitionistic news, I am now completely finished with the purse (even Scotch-guarded it!) and the baby blanket - I'll spare you additional pictures since they really won't show anything that new and exciting. I have started on the baby blanket for co-working #2 in dark and pastel purples with some fun sparkly/starry fabric which I hope to finish tonight during some much needed and, I believe earned, free time! Once that has finished I think I'll do the second Kimono PJ's - or I may use that fabric to make a little jumper instead...I haven't totally decided...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter (A day late since I forgot to actually publish this!)

It was a pretty quiet Easter at the Casebolt household. We are still adjusting to not having Nana around and apparently, as we discovered today, holidays will be bittersweet for awhile.

It was not all sadness and loss though - we truly did have a good Easter with fun video messages from the family in Colorado, Easter baskets for the kids with a few goodies, well, for Gabriel that is, an Easter Egg hunt with Mama and Gabriel while Daddy and "Mad" snoozed for a bit. The best part was smashing the confetti eggs on the back patio with Gabriel at the end of the big hunt. He was so upset when we ran out of eggs! Then the day was ended with a delicious Glazed ham that Dan picked up along with baked sweet potatoes and some Pinot Noir. We were planning on having some Key Lime Pie for dessert, but there just wasn't any room in our bellies!

I finally did get some sewing done, although none of it is for Flutterby la vie! I'll get there some day! I finished the bag I was working on for a gift, although I do still need to add the magnetic clasp, and I am about 3/4 through with the baby blanket that I'm making for one of Dan's co-workers. Pictures are below:


DSC01366 DSC01365

Also, I have included pictures of my workspace...mostly because it is so pathetic!



When we moved I had just gotten things organized just right - everything had a place (and everything was put away!), so its going to take awhile. For now I just keep shuffling fabric around, sewing on a jiggly folding table, and ironing on a little mini ironing board on the floor. All of this is due to some very good news though... I am not allowed to buy the furniture Dan and I were planning on getting for my sewing/crafting room ... because... we have prequalified for a loan to buy a house!! We haven't picked out a realtor yet, but we've been looking at the houses in our price range and just can't believe what we are going to be able to get!! It is so amazing what the prices are here compared to California!

In the area we were living, the smallest Condos - about 800-1000 square feet and 1 to 2 bedrooms were selling for $350,000!! Here that would buy a mansion!! We couldn't afford that much out there, and we can't afford it here either, but we can certainly afford to get a pretty decent house -big enough to allow for a sewing room, office, and guest room!! So we are saving all our pennies for now so that we can furnish the new place when we get it!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mommy Confession #2

While I don't have much else to say today - and certainly won't have any sewing updates even tonight since the babysitter (yes, I said BABYSITTER!! YAY!!!) ahem, since she babysitter is coming in two hours and I will not be home until fairly late, I won't be doing any sewing tonight... I'll do a quick bit of confessing as I said I would try to regularly do:

I have terrible habits when it comes to feeding my children. I can't stand being stuck in my own house, so I often invent errands to run just to get the kids and I out of the house to the park or whatever. But as a result, we usually eat on the go. I would say I probably get fast food for Gabriel (often as a bribe) more than three times a week. Maybe even four!

AND... I have been known to feed Maddox his bottle while driving - one arm reaching back with the bottle while the other holds the wheel.

And now I will go hide myself in shame for my terrible parenting skills!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's amazing to me what a long walk/run can do to clear up my head -and my attitude. Let's be honest, yesterday my attitude sucked. It seemed that anything that could go wrong did, and I let it make my day miserable. To top it off, I completely fell of the diet wagon and gorged on comfort food. So after tucking the boys into bed - and yes, after a large glass of wine - I headed out to make up for some of my calorie excess. For those that I haven't explained this to, I wear a Body Bugg that tracks the calories I burn, steps I take, etc etc.

About an hour into the walk I began to recount the day - looking for the humorous side of it all so that I could blog it all without looking too pathetic. But here's the thing - it really didn't seem like my big long list of complaints from the day was that long anymore, especially considering everything turned out just fine. I did not get a ticket even though I got pulled over, and all of the other storms had passed without a trace except for the sour feeling I was holding on to. Heck, I was burning a crazy amount of calories at the time, so I didn't even need to stress about over-eating. It was nearly 10PM at that point, and as I looked around me it seemed almost as if I was glowing despite the fact that the moon was hidden by a thick layer of clouds. I decided then to blog (and focus) instead on the fact that we cannot rely on objects outside of ourselves to reflect or shine on us and make us happy and fulfilled. Sometimes it will, but many times it won't. To be happy, we have to find something within ourselves and focus on keeping it shining. It may just be a positive attitude, it may be our faith, but whatever it is, it has got to be more even-keeled than the ball of fire in the sky and the many variables between us and it that can keep its light from reaching us.

Enough preaching. Tonight I plan to finish the purse that I will be giving away, and then start on a snuggy for one of Dan's co-workers (yes, I got shanghi'd into more gifts, but I'm OK with that at the moment).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Little Too Much Like An IV (alternate title: The Cord Lady)

This morning I had the chance to watch an episode of Oprah with baby Maddox since Gabriel had a bit of a rough night and slept in almost until 8! The show was entitled "The Secret Lives of Mothers" or something like that... my only complaint about the show was that no one acknowledged that one of the biggest secrets we mothers keeps is that we watch Oprah at all!! I know I don't admit it to my husband - if I did I'd never hear the end of it!

But seriously, it was a pretty funny and interesting show, and made me feel a little bit better about my imperfections as a mother. So I think its time to start a little (semi-) daily confession excercise of my own...and yes, I'm going to blog it even though I realize that people I actually know will be reading it! Some will probably make you roll your eyes, most will bore you, but I guarantee a few will either make you laugh out loud, pee your pants,or maybe even lose a little respect for me. Just promise you won't call child protective services!!

Today I confess that I literally appear to have my laptop attached to me via IV at times and that I am truly that dependant on it... I am severely addicted to my computer, and unfortunately to several other devices - all which attach to said laptop in various different ways (and to some that have no cords at all -ahem, Facebook). At times I am heading up the stairs following Gabriel with Maddox in one arm and my laptop under the other trailing not only the powercord, but the USB cable for my BodyBugg, my camera, and my Ipod, and squeezing a bottle of Maddox's formula to my leg to try to keep the rest of the load from falling. I have to remind myself - just to be sure - that should things start to fall, its Maddox that I'm supposed to catch first - not my pink Dell!

Yes, I said pink. Don't worry, Dan has given me plenty of grief about that, but I don't care! I love my pink laptop with its pink mouse and pink case! There is at least a little bit of girly girl in me somewhere!

As for sewing, well I haven't done any! I did however clean our bathroom today!! Wohoo! That's a whole other confession that I'll save for another day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

An FO and a WIP before BED

I don't have much to say because I'm totally pooped, but here are a few pictures of my work from the weekend. I didn't get done as much as I hoped, but I don't mind because I was thoroughly enjoying myself!

First the Kimono PJ's:


And the Manhattan Handbag. Not thrilled with how the colors turned out but we'll see - its not done yet. The lining will be made of the striped fabric second from the right with a double pocket on the inside:


And that's all for now! Off to bed!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yay For Saturday!

Saturday morning always brings a breath of fresh air for me. Yes, I still have to get up and take care of the kids just like any other day, but I don't feel the pressure to go anywhere and do anything. The kids and I often stay in our PJ's well into the morning and just relax together. Plus I know that in a few short hours Haji will be up and usually takes over kid duty for awhile, especially with Gabriel - they have so much fun.


My FAVORITE part of Saturday (and sometimes Sunday) is an accidental tradition that I hope we continue as long as possible...its our weekend-morning-hang-out-in-bed-as-a-family time. Some time around 9 or 9:30 when either Gabriel or I get anxious for daddy to get up one or the other of us climbs into bed with him...followed by the other (and Maddox of course) and we just hang out together in bed! We laugh, talk, tickle, giggle, pretend to snore, snuggle up and wiggle out. Those are moments that I know I will cherish forever...I wish I had a picture of us all like that (maybe with some touchups :) ). It is in those moments that I know I have everything I need right here and now and the day just can't help but start out in happiness.

Anyway, enough of all that mushy gushy stuff!

This weekend I do hope to get some crafting in... I finished the top of the baby Kimono PJ's and the bottoms shouldn't take long at all! I was a little skeptical about using such a heavy looking black trim to go with the lady bugs for a little girls PJ's, but overall I'm pretty happy with it. I'm sure it won't be a favorite, but its a good start. I also learned how to make and attach a binding which was fun. That said, there are some definite imperfections, but I'm choosing not to worry about that.

While getting a few last supplies at Joann's though I spied some super pretty brown and pink floral fabric with some complementary patterns and just HAD to buy it! Funny how that happens! I'll take pics later - hopefully this afternoon. I had no idea what I'd do with it, so I bought 2 yards each of three prints!! Now I think I've found the perfect pattern to start with!! Its the Buttercup Bag shown here and with some fun color/pattern ideas here. I think this fabric will be perfect for this purse! And I should have enough leftover to make the baby jumper/bloomers by Amy Butler (or another set of Kimono PJs)... yay!! That may be ambitious for the weekend, but I'm going to give it a shot! First things first though, I've got to finish the purse I started last week and the ladybug PJs!

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Why I Drink Wine

March 30 009So the bigger of my two little men woke up at 3am and 4am this morning and snuck out of bed (not realizing I have a monitor in his room about 2 inches from my ear) and went out into the playroom to play with his new Thomas Train Track.

Oye. All this after a very interesting nite nite adventure. Dan's brother and his girlfriend were over for dinner (Steak and Salmon, yum yum!!) so Gabriel was especially wound up. He cried and cried when I put him to bed. Finally Dan came up and read to him and he settled down to sleep - or so we thought.

Next it was Maddox's turn and he was also reluctant. I came downstairs twice only to have to run right back up and rock him, replace his paci, etc etc etc. The third time I came up the stairs I nearly tripped over Gabriel who was making his way to the gate at the top of the stair. I was already irritated and tired so I snapped at him to go back to bed thinking he was just being naughty. Poor little guy just started sobbing as he headed back to his room. When I caught up to him I realized what the problem was - he was wet even though I had just checked him and changed him before bed! So we changed his PJ's another new diaper at which point I realize that Gabriel had tried to take his own diaper off - before going potty (meanwhile Maddox is still screaming). Turns out Gabriel's bed is drenched as well.

Long story short, we eventually got them all clean, dry, and asleep and I poured myself a nice big glass of wine (Duh!). Then of course we had the 3 and 4am jaunts out to play with Thomas.

Last night I finished all of the last details on the aprons I was making and started cutting the pieces for the Manhattan Handbag (by Nancy Green) that I was going to make. I was hoping to get a lot more done, but I realized I was totally out of fusible fleece and the a few other necessities for the pattern. I went out this morning to get what I needed and came home with pretty much the wrong EVERYthing. Argh!! Oh well.

March 30 007

Here's where I'm at so far with the purse. I also got some fun fabric for little baby kimono PJ's. One in a red and green lady bug print with plain black lining, and the other is blue with flowers and butterflies and yellow lining. I hope they turn out!

Here are a few pictures of Dan and Gabriel from the Day out with Thomas (and one of Maddox just because):
March 30 003b March 30 001March 30 003e

March 30 010

Saturday, March 28, 2009


What I need to learn, is to focus on one project - one hobby - at a time. I throw myself headfirst in to hobby after hobby only to get distracted by something new and fun, or old and fun. Even within the hobby of sewing I have trouble sticking to projects. Usually when I start one I will always finish it, but that doesn't count all of the ideas I get in my head only to get pushed out by something else - usually something more immediately gratifying.

Right now what I'd like to do is to focus on getting my business Flutterby Threads up and running. At the very minimum I need to choose a direction or two at the most for what I want to sell at the store, and limit my projects to those that fit within the goal. I hate to say it, but I'm going to have to limit and/or restrict myself even from sewing gifts for people...and certainly nothing that is just for me.

Today at JoAnn's I managed to get in and out with only the items I need to complete the projects I have already started...Phew! But it was hard! So many fun things wanted to pull me in so many directions.

So here it is. I'm going to write a more specific goal outline right here so that there is something solid for me to come back to each time I want to start a new project:

I MUST finish the three aprons I have started (they only need buttons, so this is not a problem). Then I will make one purse for a gift. After that, I am to focus solely on purses and baby items for the "shop". By May 1 I would like to have completed at the minimum, three purses to sell and at least one baby item (probably the Kimono PJ's).

So here is my project guide which I must commit to follow:
Finish Aprons
Sew 3 Purses
Sew 1 Baby Item

Once these are finished I will set new goals, but if I look farther than that my ideas start expanding exponentially and then I just get myself off track.

So there.

I'll post pictures of the aprons and purse when they are finished. I won't have time to work on them tonight, but hopefully Sunday I will. Dan is taking Gabriel to see Thomas the Train tomorrow, so while I should be continuing my efforts to find a church home out here in TX, I am going to instead, take little Maddox into my sewing room with me and find some sort of balance between playing with him and sewing!

Wish me luck!

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Blog Old News

A friend of mine recently asked me if I had a blog displaying my sewing creations. I was ashamed to say that I did not... so here I am! Flutterby Threads ( will soon (I hope) be a fully functioning web site with items for sale through!

Please pardon me while I figure out the best way to display my BCI creations (Before Blog Inception). This is a very incomplete list as I didn't take pictures of a lot of the items I sold/gave away... but going forward I will!

For now, here is a link to the set of photos I have on Flickr...I will be adding more today I hope. If anyone knows how to display these better please let me know.
Crafting Photos