Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankful for...

Here are 10 things I am thankful for, in no particular order:

My relationship with Jesus
My husband
My daughter
My extended family- both sides
My friends
Bible Study with other women
My health
My urge to be creative, even if I am not good at it
Being able to stay home with our daughter
Paper- think where we would be without it!


I trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. 

We had a great time and Little Britches was quite the trooper.  We went to my parents house Wednesday night and spent the night.  We enjoyed the company of my mom, dad, sister, and grandmother.  We ate some great burgers and debated about how often my mom and her twin sister needed to be spanked when they were growing up.  The debate ended in a phone call to the twin sister.  And anytime the twins agree on something you've automatically lost the argument, so it was agreed that they did get spanked often, though they  may not have needed every spanking they got. 

Thursday morning we ate pumpkin bread, sausage balls, and fruit.  We hung out around the house and let Little Britches do some playing.

After all that playing she was worn out and took a little nap with her Bella.

Little Britches has two dogs at her house, but she had never seen the likes of Emily, my parent's great dane.  Emily had some stiches on her side she kept chewing on so she had to wear a shirt on Thanksgiving Day.  She was pretty much embarrassed about that situation.

Next we had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving lunch.  My family doesn't do turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving.  We have it at Christmas, so for Thanksgiving we have whatever we want.  This year we had steak, salmon, fruit salad, squash casaroll, mac and cheese, homemade rolls, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie. YUMMY! 

After lunch we just hung out and enjoyed eachother's company while watching the dog show on TV. 


When it was time to say good bye we had to be granted permission to leave by the reindeer that was guarding the door. 

She said it was okay to go, so we changed Little Britches into her UT cheerleading outfit and headed to my in-laws for more eating and some football watching. 

All day Little Britches only really got about an hour and a half worth of napping in.  When a cousin came to my in laws to meet her around 6pm she was exhausted and hungry.  I thought for sure she would just cry, but she let the cousin hold her, take pictures with her, and love on her.  Little Britches even gave a little smile, but boy was she tired! 

I am so thankful for all the gifts God has given me and I had fun celelbrating God's goodness with family.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Okay, so as I said in this post my latest sewing project was a pillows covers for my aunt.  She sent me one pillow and the material.  The pillow was a 22 x 22 feather pillow, so I made three 22 x 22 envelope style pillow covers.  But to my dismay when I tried them on the pillows they had wings.  It seems that feather pillows sort of slump towards the middle and don't really fill out the corners of a pillow cover.  My solution was to custom fit each cover to the given pillow.  I think they turned out pretty well.  I am shipping them off tomorrow, so we shall see. 

Here is the pillow with wings...that just won't do!

I turned the pillow cover wrong-side out and pinned the extra, so I would know how much to take off.

I took the pillow to my sewing table and pinned the envelope closed so that it wouldn't slip during sewing.

I then took a ruler and drew a line with a pencil right above the pins I placed in the pillow.  I worked with the "I can always take off more if I need to" philosophy.

Now I sew on the line that I drew.

Now the pillow looks better, not perfect, but much better.  I will go back in a work on it a bit more.

When I am all done I trim my seam allowances (the material that hangs off pas the seam) to 1/4 inch.

All packed up and ready to send.

Next project?  Matching dresses for Little Britches and one of her friends!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Annual Run with EMU 10K

Family Picture on Race Day!

Look at those cute race shirts and race day onesies!

Last Saturday Little Britches, Little Britches' Daddy, and I ran in the First Annual Run with the EMU.  It was a lot of fun.  What is the First Annual Run with the EMU you ask?  Check here to find out. 

So it was unofficial race with t-shirts and prizes!  How great is that?  After the nearly disastrous half marathon the week before I was not sure how I would do.  I had to walk with Little Britches because she is not big enough to be jostled about in our jog stroller since it doesn't recline at all.  I had a friend who was going to come and walk along with us, but she did not end up making it to the race, so Little Britches and I set out to walk alone.  Now, I usually walk this trail with Elisabeth and her cutie pie daughter, and I did not realize how much having someone to talk to substantially decreases your perceived time and distance.  It seemed like it took Little Britches and I FOREVER to walk around the trail's loop once.  When we had done just over one lap we got lapped by the first two runners- Little Britches' Daddy (along with our two dogs) and our friend Chris!  Way to go guys!  Imagine my surprise when I turned the corner and saw Little Britches' Daddy standing there waiting on us.  He took Little Britches and I took the fast dog and we traded.  He walked and I ran.  I thought I would catch back up to him in a lap and a half, but it took two laps.  We passed Little Britches off to a friend and ran the last lap together with our two dogs.  It was fun to run and finish together.  All in all we finished our 10K in one hour and nine minutes.  That is just over an eleven minute mile.  Not bad for having walked over 1.5 miles of it. 

Now the question is do I sign up for the Zooma Half Marathon?  I think my friend Elisabeth is going to do it too- maybe!  I like doing races with friends, so I think I am ready for the challenge.  I have heard the course is hilly, so I need to stop avoiding the big hill in our neighborhood.  I am looking forward to starting my training right after Thanksgiving! 

The Winner!

Thank you to all four of you who participated in sharing your holiday traditions with me.  I really enjoyed reading all of them and visualizing you enjoying each of those times with your family. 

I love traditions.  One of my favorite Christmas traditions is putting up the tree and then sitting in a quiet house with the tree all lit up and drinking a big mug of hot chocolate while talking with someone I love.  So in honor of this tradition the winner will be receiving some delicious homemade hot chocolate mix to enjoy while staring at the tree.

Here is the official prize results overseen by the Moore Accounting Agency. (haha!)

The entries:

The offical folding of the papers:

The offical bag to be drawn out of:

The offical shake:

The offical drawing:

And the winner is:

Congrats EMU.  I will contact you to deliver your prize!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Traditions (prize to be awarded)

Okay, so I thought maybe if I gave you the freedom to express yourself a little more it might be better than posting a new poll!

Post a comment telling me what your favorite holiday tradition is AND why.  I will take comments until Monday night, then I will radomly select a commenter to win the materials to recreate one of my favorite holiday traditions, but I can't tell you what it is yet.  It is a surprise! 

Start commenting!

Pumpkin Poll

Okay, so my pumpkin poll closed a few days ago and I wanted to comment on the results.  Four people voted.  (We will have to work on increasing our participation)  Fifty percent of you, who voted liked pumpkin rolls, Twenty Five percent liked pumpkin bread, and Twenty Five percent like pumpkin spice latte.  I personally like pumpkin bread over pumpkin rolls, but pumpkin flavor over-all is yummy! 

A day in the sun

Today Little Britches and I met our friend Elisabeth and Bop for our weekly walk.  Last time we met them I noticed the sun was in Little Britches' eyes.  I noted that I might need to get her a hat.  Before I could find a hat I liked our friend Jackie got Little Britches some stylin' sunglasses.  Problem Solved!  She wore them for part of the walk and then at some point took them off.  She looked super cute, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Riding so I can Run

My husband found a bike trainer on craigslist for a "I just could not pass it up" price. So we brought it home and I road it. Riding is good for runners for all sorts of reasons, but yesterday it was good for me as a runner because it meant that I didn't have to pound the pavement. This was a plus because I have two toe nails that are bruised and falling off from the half marathon. (I will spare you the picture of those). Using the bike trainer is also a great option for exercising with Little Britches is taking a nap. That is IF she will take a long enough nap. Today she went down for what I thought would be at least a two hour nap, so I checked my email, was going to grab a quick nap, and then workout. Little Britches only slept 50 minutes, so no nap and no workout. Oh well there will be other naps. Tomorrow Little Britches meet our friends for a walk. That should be fun. And Saturday- Run with EMU! (Or walk with EMU)
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Race Day Photos

Here are the photos of me from race day. I am a little disappointed that the photo of me with my metal at the end is not there or in the "lost and found" section because it is the one I bought from last year and thought I would get that same photo every year. Oh well.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Race

It is the morning after the race.  I can move my body without too much trouble, so that is a good sign. I did finish the race, which was the goal. I knew there was NO WAY I could match or beat my 1:56 time from last year, but I was hoping for a 2:15. Turns out that was a lofty hope. I finished in 2:39, but I did finish. I think anytime you are in a race you do better if you have a strategy. My strategy was to run during 2 songs on the ipod and walk during 1 song. This is a strategy I use when I first building mileage during training. I had been comfortably doing this for 6-8 miles in training, but had never made my 10-12 mile long runs. Our Saturday/Sundays just seemed to fill up. But at the end of an 8 mile run/walk I felt good and had maintained a 10 minute per mile pace, so I thought shooting for around an eleven minute mile would work out just fine. My strategy had its merits, but there were some things I didn't foresee. One is that running with 30,000 people, even in a wave start situation is crowded. I started with the 10 minute per mile people, but I started out running. I actually run a bit faster than 10 minute miles so I was having to dodge around everyone and work the crowd. Once my two songs had past I would make my way over to the outside and walk for one song, but when it was time to run again I would have to work the crowd all over again. This prevented me from every really settling into a solid rhythm of running. I really count on my rhythm when I get tired. It is like being on auto pilot. You just go. I also didn't foresee that it was going to be so humid. While it is often humid in Austin during training, I don't usually choose those days to do 13.1 miles. My upper arms are scabby from where they rubbed on my shirt. I picked up Vaseline from the aid stations twice, but it was just so humid! At the 6.5 mile mark I decided to walk to mile 7 and forget the song strategy. When I got to mile 7 and tried to start running again it was harder, but I made myself do it. I ran one song and then walked one song. I did that twice and then just decided at mile 9 to walk the rest of it. Four miles, how hard could that be? I walk all the time and find it much easier than running. Well it was hard. I did push myself to walk fast. I kept thinking, "Do your best. If your best is walking, walk your best." My feet hurt, my hips hurt, my neck hurt, my shoulders just hurt. When I got to mile 11 I thought I would try to run again. Two miles is the loop I do in our neighborhood without ANY trouble and on a pretty regular basis. I took two steps and my knees almost gave out while my hips and feet screamed in pain even more. Hmm...guess I won't be running the last two miles. I wanted to quit, I wanted it to be over, I wanted to be better than what I was, but here I was walking...walking...walking...I come close to the finish line shoot I thought I would give it one more try. Everyone runs across the finish line even if they walked the whole race. I took a few tentative steps and my body seemed to hold up, so I kept going. As I passed the sign that said 13 I felt my left calf muscle cramp and the ligaments ball up. "Oh no! It is not worth it to injure myself. I still want to work up to more miles. I want to get back to being that runner I was." I ran a little more tenderly because now I was near the finish line and to start walking would have meant getting run over by those behind me. I finally crossed the finish line and cried. I had made it. Not the way I wanted to, but I had made it. Too bad Cameron and I had a designated meeting place that was another 1/2 a mile away from where I stood! As I reflect on yesterday's race I realize that every "race" we run in life requires a strategy, but we also must never trust in the strategy alone. We must know when to let go of the plan and do something else. That is hard for me. I like plans. I like strategies, but more than anything I like finishing the races God has given me to run. Yesterday I saw a lot of room for growth as a runner and as a person. 

Here were my stats:
Distance HALF MAR

Clock Time 3:02:22

Chip Time 2:39:41

Overall Place 11788 / 20021

Gender Place 6377 / 12585

Division Place 1237 / 2238

Age Grade 41.3%

Pace 12:11

Ttlrace 20021

Ttldiv 2238

Ttlsex 12585

5 Km 30:58

6 1 Mi 1:06:20

15 Km 1:45:58

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What are you holding on to?

Yesterday was a beautiful day so Little Britches and I spent some time outside.  We go in the front yard because the back yard is the dogs' domain with toys and other things strewn about.  I am sure the neighbors think I am just out showing off our cute baby girl, and they may be partially right.  As we were outside enjoying the cool breeze Little Britches kept grasping at things.  First she grasped at the grass. 

Why do babies do so much grasping?  What are they looking for? What do they experience?   Did the grass feel cool or wet?  Did it tickle or poke?  It didn't seem to be what she wanted, so next she grasped onto her toy links.

And how was this?  Exciting? Stimulating?  Better than the grass?  I don't know, but it must not have been what she wanted either, because last of all she grasped me.
How did my hand feel?  Warm? comforting? strong?  Is that what she needed?  Who knows what she felt, but I know God gave me a picture of me.  So often I grasp for the things of this world.  Some of them "natural", some of them bright and promising, but in the end I only need to grasp for the hand of my Father, who holds me up and makes me not only feel secure, but know security, love, joy, peace, and contentment.  May you always grasp for the one that can offer what you most need.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rock N Roll

On Sunday my husband and I will "run" the Rock N Roll half marathon for the second time in San Antonio, TX.  Last year I was 6 weeks pregnant and ran it in under 1 hour and 57 minutes.   I am not NEARLY as trained up as I was last year or as I need to be, but I am going to do it anyway.  This week I ran 3 miles in 28 minutes and 2 miles in 17 minutes and 45 seconds.  That is not the only running I have done, but it speaks to how under prepared I am. Tomorrow I am going to walk 6.2 miles with a friend and on Sunday if worse comes to worst I will walk double that amount and still cross the finish line.  That is my goal- to cross the finish line.  I am going to be hopeful and say I would like to do that by the time 2 hours and 10 minutes has past.  That would be a 10 minute pace, but I am not going over react if it takes more time than that because, well, I haven't put in the work to do well, so what do I expect?  Oh, yeah, I already said- to finish!

A Shower of Baby Gifts

*Note there are a ton of links in this post, just roll over the lines and you will find them.  Happy Hunting!

Okay, a few weeks ago when I said Little Britches got a new burp cloth, I lied.  I ended up saving that for a baby gift I delivered tonight.  I wasn't planning on delivering it tonight, but my husband came home and was so excited about the finished products that he wanted to hurry and deliver them.  While that was a sweet compliment, it caused me to not be able to take a few quick pictures before the items left the house, but that is okay because, we didn't know it, but the baby is coming tomorrow!  So, sorry, I will just have to create word pictures for you. 
First of all I had lots of the material and ribbon I made the burp cloth out of left, so I decided to make a theme gift since the family includes a UT alumni.  After the burp cloth I made a longhorn rattle.  I took the outline of a longhorn and traced it onto the material.  I then cut it out and sewed it together with the right sides facing each other.  I was sure to leave a bit of the seam open so I could turn the longhorn right-side out.  After I turned it right-side out I stuffed it with stuffing and included a few jingle bells.  I put a loop on the top of the stuffed longhorn as I closed up the seam so it could hang from an infant gym or carseat handle.  Imagine this logo only in the pink material, puffy, and with a ribbon loop on the top. 
Next up was a onesie dress  made with the pink material for the skirt and the pink polka dot ribbon as the waist band.  It is the best onesie dress I have made yet!  Soon I will be able to whip one up in no time.  
No dress is complete without a hair (or head) accessory! So, naturally, I made a bow out of material and attached it to some ribbon.  I sewed a small piece of elastic between the ends of the ribbon to give it some stretch.  
I still had a small square of the pink material left and plenty of the ribbon, so I made a 7" x 7" loopy blanket.  I did not follow a certain tutorial, but this is the basic idea.   
I liked the way the gift set turned out.  I think it is fun to give what you make! 

My next project is a paying gig.  My aunt has commissioned me to sew three pillow covers for her.  It will not be hard, but I am procrastinating because I want to get it just right.  I DO need to start the process though.  And when I do I will be sure to take pictures- promise.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Survey Says...

Take the pumpkin poll I just posted on the right hand side. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Giggly Girl!

Our Little Britches is a total gem! She smiles and often squeals with delight when you tickle her or kiss her neck, but before today her true laugh has eluded us. We've caught a glimpse of it every now and then like when we are playing on the bed or when the dog does something funny. On those occasions she would let out a "ha, ha". That's it! Two ha's put together. I wasn't even really sure those were real laughs, so I hadn't recorded any of them in her baby book, but today's date will go down in Little Britches history as the day she first laughed and laughed and laughed some more.

We had friends come over for dinner. They arrived not too long after Little Britches had gone down for a nap. The extra commotion woke our sleeping princess, but she was in a good mood. It was early enough in the afternoon to give us time to walk to the park that is about a mile away, so we set off on our field trip. About half way to the park Little Britches started to cry in her stroller, which she rarely does. I didn't know if she was still a little tired from her shortened nap or if she was hungry, since it had been just about 3 hours since she ate. Daddy carried her the rest of the way to the park and that seemed like it was what she needed. Our friends have a one year old daughter who started to swing. We put Little Britches in her own swing and she started to cry. She is not normally so fussy, so I knew we were dealing with tiredness and hunger. These were certainly not the circumstances that I thought would lead to her first laugh. I finally sat down in a swing to just have something to do while I talked. Daddy handed Little Britches to me and she started to gnaw on my wrist. I started making hints and starting towards home, but to no avail. The husband of the couple that was visiting with us sat down in the swing next to me and started to swing. When he wanted to slow himself down he let his feet drag through the pebbles below the swing set. Little Britches let out a BIG giggle! I didn't believe it at first, but every time our friend would drag his feet through the pebble Little Britches would laugh and laugh and laugh. Well, Little Britches's Daddy would not be left out, so he started to swing while dragging his feet through the pebbles, too. The more he dragged his feet, the more she laughed.

It was a sweet, contagious, wonderful, joyful laugh. I hope I hear it many more times in the coming days, but each time I hear it I hope it reminds me that even less than ideal circumstances can render sweet moments that I will treasure forever, if I am on the lookout for them.

Thank you Giggly Girl for that sweet laugh today!

Thank you God for the abundance of blessings that you continue to pour out in my life!

(Here is a picture of us swinging just prior to the giggly moment.)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dressing our little Jacket

Well, better late than never. As promised Here are some resources that helped me as I made Little Britches's outfit for homecoming. First of all I started out with the dress. I have made several of these and I really like that they have the onesie under them so that they don't ride up. I looked at several tutorials and pictures.  Then I kind of used a little from each of them to make our dress. Check out the tutorials and pictures here,  here, and here.   There is some very cute stuff out there!

Then the outfit just did not seem complete without a head adorment so I took this tutorial and made a flower.  I attached that flower to a ribbon.  To get the ribbon to stay on her head, intead of just making it the size of Little Britches's head I made it a smidge smaller and added a short length of elastic as the connector.  I didn't use this tutorial, but it is the basic idea. 

Now that Little Britches was all decked out I needed to cover her feet since this was an event outside in October.  I didn't want to have to be picking up kicked-off socks all day so I decided to make her some shoes after looking at this shoe tutorial.  I friend asked me if the shoes were reversible.  The ones I made were not, but I had remembered seeing this tutorial that gave instructions for a reversible version.

All in all I think the outfit turned out pretty cute.  None of it was too hard and I just did it during several nap times over the week. 

Currently I am starting work on Christmas gifts.  If you have never gone to sew mama sew and looked at their handmade holidays blog posts, you should.  They are full of great ideas.