Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Year in Review

January 


This year started out pretty rough. I'm never at my happiest during the winter but this year was even harder because I was doing some major soul searching. Looking back despite the hard times, it wasn't all bad. Cordelia finished up her first ballet class, we got to spend most Sundays with her godparents,and I spent a lot of time hanging out with Cordelia- some days it was really tough but those are days I'll never get back and I'm glad I had that time. We also really enjoyed our snow days! It's fun to have Papa home from work, to have snow ball fights, and to drink lots and lots of hot chocolate. 

February


In February the snow days started to get a little long, We were all soo tired of snow, and soo tired of being cooped up inside but we learned just how awesome having neighbors is. We spent so many fun "happy hours" visiting at different houses- sharing cookies and wine. Brendon and I had made Valentines day plans but our babysitter ended up snowed in so instead we went to dinner as a family. It was really wonderful and I think I might want to spend Valentines day like that every year! Also- I sold my first item on Etsy! 

March



In March we were really, utterly, completely sick of the snow- and man did it keep snowing. Not only had we been snowed in for Valentine's day but we were also snowed in for St. Patrick's Day! Fortunately we had a nice clear, but very windy, first day of spring and Sarah and I were able to go to the Botanical Gardens. We have made a tradition of doing something on the first day of spring each year- hopefully it will be an always and forever thing and that when we are 95 years old we will be forcing our grandchildren to drive us to see each other. Or maybe we will just retire to the same nursing home. 
    

April

IMG_6778

In April we watched the Hyattsville parade with our neighbors. It was fun to watch the kids dance with all the step teams and marching bands, and run for the candy thrown from the fancy cars. We even got to wave at Mr. Edward in one of those fancy cars! I participated in my first Kids Clothing Week - and I got nine pieces of clothing sewn for Miss C that week! And we took a trip to the Natural History Museum to say goodbye to the dinosaurs (Cordelia still asks at least once a week if they are open again and if we can visit them- it's going to be a very long five years at this rate). The biggest event in April was Cordelia's 3rd birthday. I cannot believe how fast these last three years have gone, so much happens so fast! On the day of her birth we took her to see her first movie in a movie theater (Rio #2) she loved it and ate more then half the super sized popcorn by herself.  After that we painted pottery (a unicorn), and then got our nails done. Cordelia requested a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle birthday party, and we sure gave her one! Brendon and Cordelia were in heaven, in fact I'm not sure which one enjoyed it more! 

May 


May was another big birthday month as we got to help my mom celebrate her 60th! I have the best mom in the world and it was so nice to be able to put on a great part for her (which one day I might actually manage to blog about). We collected letters and well wishes from all of her friends and nothing was more sweet then reading them and seeing how many people my mom has touched.  May also had it's fair share of adventures including meeting Anna Dewdney and listening to her read her new book "Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too". One of the neatest parts of meeting Ms. Dewdney was that her daughter is also named Cordelia! Brendon ran his first 5K, and one with obstacles none the less. However after running the Warrior Dash I think he never wanted to run again because he ached soo much! Cordelia also gained a new kitten best friend- baby bean. 

June


June was a month of strawberry picking, princess dresses, family walks, summer jam, and glasses. It was such a change for Cordelia and she was soo brave during the doctors appointments, and soo good at learning to wear glasses. It was hard for me because I know just how much it can stink to wear glasses, but man does she look cute in them, and most importantly she sure can see better now! 

July


July was low key for us- because July is hot! I also have no recollection of what we did! I do know we watched fireworks with some great friends and the kids loved them!

August

IMG_7792

In August we took our first big family vacation/road trip. We went to New York and Vermont, and it was beautiful. It was also long, and I never knew how cranky kids could be on vacation! I started participating in Sew Geeky, and I am so glad I started because it's my number one reason to fight for sewing time these days! Brendon took me on a date to see Avenue Q- which was great, and I went back to school. 

September

Calcifer hood

September was a lost month as I struggled to get into the grove of being a part time student, part time sales clerk, and full time wife and mother. School with a three year old at home is 100 times harder then school as a regular student! Sew Geeky, and nature walks saved my sanity. 

October

Pipe Weekend Anniversary

In October Brendon and I celebrated our six year wedding anniversary at a pipe show. It was such a big step for my hubby and his pipe making that it was worth it. We also really took advantage of Halloween with pumpkin patches, Halloween parties galore and awesome costumes

November


November was low key- I struggled more with school and we celebrated Brendon's birthday. We took a zoo trip, I got better at styling my hair, and we took more family walks. The thing that stands out to me the most was I became a lot closer to one of my friends and I am sure happy I did because she really helped talk me down whenever I got way too stressed out. 
  

December

Christmas Dresses 2014

December is always a very busy month. This month I finished my class with a B!!!! Sewed a lot, did Christmas, and finally got to truly relax and reflect. I've been thinking a lot about how fast Cordelia is growing, how tall and smart and pretty. She makes up words to songs and tells me stories- both made up and true. She has endless energy that I will never even hope to match. I've been thinking about how lucky I am to have such great people in my life, and how lucky I am to call Brendon my husband. No one will ever have as much unwavering confidence in my abilities than my husband does. Life is unbelievably hard sometimes but right now I'm really seeing the silver lining. Happy New Year's Eve everyone- see you in 2015! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Sunny Day in December

December 26th at the Park

We live in a wonderful community. A community full of friendly neighbors, lots of kids, and a great collection of parks. We have a pretty small yard so it's really fun to be able to walk to so many parks- it keeps life interesting! 

December 26th at the Park
December 26th at the Park
December 26th at the Park

The park closest to our house used to be tiny and old and dirty. However, after some hard work from some neighbors, the city revamped it- replacing the equipment and redoing the entire layout. We spent a lot of time walking to the park just to sit and watch the workers build, and now each trip to the finished park is an adventure. Everything is just soo new and fresh! 

December 26th at the Park
December 26th at the Park
December 26th at the Park
December 26th at the Park

There are two big pieces of playground equipment- one for children ages 2-5 and one for 5 and up. There are swings, mushroom stools, spinning leafs, climbing tree posts, a dragon fly seesaw, and the best part - lots of slides. 

December 26th at the Park
December 26th at the Park
December 26th at the Park
December 26th at the Park

A Rose in the Garden

Rose in the Garden Dress

With as warm as it was for Christmas, it was equally as cold at the beginning of December when I was trying to take photos for our holiday cards. The photo of Cordelia and Pig I ended up using was taken inside because she doesn't look very happy in these. As I was editing I kept telling Brendon "these are perfect blog photos but they suck as Christmas cards!". He didn't quite get it, but I had a vision!

Rose in the Garden Dress
Rose in the Garden Dress
Rose in the Garden Dress

That being said, I do love these photos- Cordelia did  good job rocking this dress like a very prim Alice hunting in a garden for the white rabbit. 

Rose in the Garden Dress

I used Simplicity 1508A with the side swoop option. I'm really digging the side swoops but I ran out of fabric so the back underskirt pattern is half as big as it is supposed to be. I don't think you could even tell that I shorted it but one day I want to make the full version to compare. 

Rose in the Garden Dress

She picked out a simple strand of jet beads and a teal hair bow to go with her dress. I made her wear the long sleeve shirt underneath so she didn't freeze. 

Rose in the Garden Dress
Rose in the Garden Dress

The fabric is from Joann Fabrics, I bought it on a whim because I had an extra coupon and I fell in love with it. I kinda want to go back and buy more so I can make myself a dress as well. It reminds me of the costumes from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. The roses are so vibrant and surreal and the blue is very soft. I kept making the comparison when talking to my sister about the dress and she didn't see it so I admit that it might just be in my head- but that's ok. I was thinking Tim Burton when I picked the black and white diamond trim. Lastly, I added ball fringe to the swoops because Cordelia and I have a ball fringe obsession- and wanted to make those swoops really stand out.

Rose in the Garden Dress

Cordelia will always be my little Alice in Wonderland with her never ending imagination and curiosity.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Sparkle

Christmas Dresses 2014

I really enjoy making special occasion dresses for Cordelia. I love a good theme, so normally I'm pretty traditional. Hearts on Valentines day, shamrocks for St. Patrick's, bunnies on Easter, velvet and sparkles for Christmas. Originally I had planned on green brocade for Christmas, however Cordelia has been really into long dresses and I wanted to make her some that she could wear every day and give them to her as Christmas gifts. I figured that once she opened these she might not want to wear her "special" Christmas dress. SO I ditched the original dress idea and just made these two.

Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014

Taking these photos with Cordelia was a lot of fun. We took them on the 26th of December and we had unseasonably warm weather which made everyone really happy. Cordelia was singing at the top of her lungs and dancing the whole time. 

Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014

This dress is made of 100% cotton Batman print fabric. Batman look especially aggressive in this print so I wanted to balance that by adding a lot of girly princess like details- like the puff sleeves and the ric rack. The appliqued Batman logo is Her favorite part of the dress. I used a commercial pattern- Simplicity 2463 in a size 3 with a size 5 length. The dress has a pretty hefty sized hem in it because she grows out of the length of things sooo fast. I followed the pattern pretty close except for adding the sleeves and a side patch pocket. Over all it's a pretty nice pattern- the instructions are clear and easy, but the neck is a little low for my taste. 

Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014

I was very anxious to see which dress she would pick to wear first. She picked Batman, which is the one Brendon thought she would go for- because it's fancier. 

Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014

The second dress is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle print gown. Also made from 100% cotton- but I can't give you a link because it looks like it's out of stock. This dress is kind of the opposite from the first in the fact that I wanted it very simple. The print is pretty active and I wanted her to be able to accessorize it however she wanted, without it being way too loud and crazy. 

Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014

I used Simplicity 1508 A in a size 4 with a 5 length. I don't have nearly as much to let it down but I have more in the body so I might have to make this a short dress before it gets retired. I pretty much kept to the pattern except I didn't line it I just used bias tape to hem the neck and arms- and I added a pocket because every girl needs a pocket! 

Christmas Dresses 2014

I love the fit of this pattern- the higher neckline just seems easier to wear, and the waistline is just in the perfect place. 

Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014
Christmas Dresses 2014

I tried and tried  to cut down on photos so this post wouldn't be crazy long! But alas, I failed and so here is one more.

Christmas Dresses 2014