Thursday, October 22, 2009


My brain is a bit full right now.  I find that happening too often, which tells me that I need to be journaling more.  When I take the time to sort out my thoughts enough to make complete sentences, then I feel more ready to act on them or move on, having processed all I need. Putting things on paper seems to make more sense, and as things are resolved I have something to look back on. 
I feel like I need to go backward to be able to catch up and go forward.  That might take a bit.  I'd like to say I'm going to write every day to catch up.  I may not get that done, but I'm going to give it a go anyway.  That means I need to go back to late August when I went to Scotland.  I put some of my pix on facebook, but not nearly all of them.  Thanks to the fact that rearranging them on here isn't always that easy, I'm going to put one of my favorites from each stop I made. Well, even that's not true, because some of them were on the move.  This one will be the longest.  How do you squeeze 10 days of travel into one post? 

Wait.  Before photos, it's necessary to give a bit of background.  In 2007 I went to Liberia to live on a big white hospital ship.  Most that read here know that.  One of my six cabin mates is from Scotland.  After several date changes and not really all that much planning on my part, I headed off to Edinburgh, where Shonagh lives.  That's her right there with the pretty red hair and big dimples. 

I left Detroit Metro on a Friday and got to Edinburgh, via Amsterdam, on Saturday morning.  The first thing on the list was a trip to the grocery then to Shonagh's flat for a wee nap.  Saturday evening we had dinner with Shon's friend Copper Karen (becuase she knows a lot of Karens and this one's a cop) then went to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  I didn't know what I was in for, but was VERY pleasantly surprised!  It was a lot of fun.  Exchanging Pounds Sterling to US dollars meant that it was not a really cheap event, but I'm so glad I went.  It was great!  If you're in Edinburgh during the festival, it's a must see.

Sunday we bought a package deal that included entrance to several venues and also a tour bus around town.  Here we are riding around.  I've not see tne movie, but the sports field just beyond the trees is where some of Chariots of Fire was filmed. 

I fell asleep sitting up on the bus.  Jet lag will do that to a girl.  So.....we headed to the Royal Yacht Britannia, but stopped for "refreshment" at Starbuck's first.  It's amazing what coffee and caramel shortbread can do for jet lag.  Mmmm.....perfect.  The RYB is Queen Elizabeth's yacht.  It was retired in 1997 and docked in Edinburgh to be opened for special state events and tours.  It was impressive.  There was no good way to get a view of the whole ship, so I have none.  Instead I took pictures of many rooms, decks, etc. on her.  For whatever reason, this portrait of Princess Anne, Charles' sister, really stood out to me.  I don't now much about her, but she's striking, isn't she?

Below is the one o'clock gun at Edinburgh Castle.  It's a big deal.  All the tourists go.  It's a great way to make one involuntarily go in their pants when they don't intend to.  Man, is it loud! 

Next we strolled down the royal mile, a Scottish mile stretching between the Castle and Holyrood Palace, the home of Mary Queen of Scots.  Photos were not allowed inside the palace, but this one below is Holyrood Abbey ruins.  It's interesting to me that the skeleton of a building can be so beautiful.

Tuesday it was on to the Falkirk Wheel, an "engineering masterpiece!"  That's what Shonagh kept telling me.  It is actually quite impressive.  This big clawed thing turns and lifts boats from the lower canal to an upper one.  It used to take traversing 11 locks and half a day.  Now it takes a matter of minutes.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing Moira, another friend from Mercy Ships.  She just happens to live in Stirling, only about 30 minutes from Shonagh.  We had a great time at lunch adn then shopping.  This photo does not do either of them justice.  Goofy is as goofy does.  That's why we has so much fun together!

Wednesday morning Shons and I headed out on holiday.  We first drove through Inverness.  This photo is taken on a footbridge crossing the river.  We ate lunch at a lovely little cafe along the river walk, then headed out of town to keep making time as we saw as much of gorgeous Scotland as possible. 

Loch Ness. We've all heard about the monster.  I never really knew that much about it.  I knew the loch is deep, but I had no idea that it would be quite so beautiful.  Or long.  We drove alongside Loch Ness for quite sometime.  I think it was 23 miles long.  We did get to see Nessie.  She had us for tea; baked us a cake.  She really is quite the hostess.

There is no shortage of water in Scotland.  Not only were there lakes, lochs, and rivers everywhere.  There was also an abundance of "liquid sunsine".  Let me tell you, it's drippy, that liquid sunshine.  Below is Neptune's Staircase.  This is a series of 8 locks near our bed and breakfast and behind the hotel where we had dinner.  This was a great little village, not to mention the fact that it was an amazing meal.  If you ever get the chance to sample sticky toffee pudding, do it.  It's not pudding.  It's cake.  With caramel drizzled over, soaking it.  And a dollop of ice cream on the side sure doesn't hurt.

Below is Eilean Donan Castle.  It's on it's own little tiny island.  It was in Made of Honor as well as several other movies.  It's been sitting there for hundreds and hundreds of years.  It was a gray, rainy day.  Eerie, really.  (funny...I just looked up eerie to see if it's spelled correctly.  It's a Scottish word.  Makes sense.  The gray skies, rain, clouds, and endless rolling hills define the word.)  I loved it. 

After Eilean Donan, it was on to Oban to drive onto the ferry and make our way to the Isle of Mull.  We spend the night on the island in Tobermory.  Anyone in the UK has heard of Tobermory because it's the sight of a children's show.  I had never heard of it before making plans to go, but I'm so glad we went.  Tobermory is a picturesque little fishing village on the island.  It's perfect.  Walking the entire main street maybe takes 10 mintues. 

There were other pictures that were prettier, but I like this one.  It just looks cold.  We were chilled to the bone, but hated to go inside the ferry because it's not every day you get to see the sights on the way to the Isle of Mull.  Notice Shonagh did try to ward off the chill with a cup of coffee.

Here it is.  Tobermory.  I tried the panorama view with my camera.  It's a pretty good example, but still does not capture the charm of the village.  In reality, the houses on the left end actually face the houses on the right end.  The harbour is a "u" shaped space that rises and falls quite significantly with the tide.  Ours was the red one near the left end.  It was next to the Tobermory Chocolate Shop, the blue one just to the left.  Nice planning on my Scottish friend's part.

Do I need to explain the picture below any more?

On the passage over we really were not sure how the front end was going to open because we had driven onto the ferry on the stern.  To me, it looked like the ship was opening its mouth to vomit the cars to make room for more.  It was fun riding on the ferry bcause it had many features that were very similar to the ship we lived on in Africa.  Both of us missed the Africa Mercy as we wandered around the ferry.

Below is Duart Castle, one that we saw from the ferry.  It's also in a movie ~ Entrapment. 

This is one sweet lady.  Shonagh's Granny.  After disembarking the ferry, we headed cross country to Dundee to stay with Granny.  She did such a nice job spoiling us.  It was fun getting to know her and hearing more about their family.  It's always nice to walk into someone's home and be treated like family immediately.  What a lovely lady!

Glamis Castle.  Home of the former Queen Mum, Queen Elizabeth II's mother.  We went to a fair here.  It was really like any fair here at home, other than the fact that it had rained for 3 days before.  Sorry, there was liquid sunshine.  At any rate, it was a muddy, mingin' mess.  Most everyone else was in Wellies.  My Chacos just had to trudge along.  It was still great fun.  We went to the fair with Euen, Shonagh's brother, his wife Janet, and their son Ian.  It was a fun day. 

The finale of the trip was the finale of the Edinburgh Festival as well.  Fireworks at the Castle, accompanied by and orchestra and choir performing pieces from Handle's Messiah.  It was overwhelming.  The setting, the beautiful music, the company, the fireworkds timed to the music were nearly perfect.  Shonagh looked over to ask if I was glad I had come.  I was actually welling up just because it was so impressive.  Am I glad?  How could I not be?  The whole trip was a chance of a lifetime!  Sadly, there were some trees in the way, so my photos of the fireworks aren't great, but they still capture the effect to a degree. 

Last, but not least, I came home to my parents to spend time with all of my family, who had gotten together for Labor Day weekend.  This is a wee highland wool dress I got for my favorite little girl.  Don't you think she looks like she's excited to try it on? 

And Seamus, the highland sheep that came across the big ocean for her as well.  You can't forget him.  What a sweet way to top off a great trip!  Great travel and then some cuddle time with my girl. 

Now I have evidence of why I've put off doing this post for so long.  It was fun.  There are so many fun photos.  There's really no way to concisely put it all into one post.  Ah well, it's done now.  I'm sure you're a bit happy about that. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rhaya's Birthday Date

One of my best friends has 3 kids.  Since they have no relatives in Ft. Wayne and neither do I, I'm Aunt Cheryl to all of them.  It's a title I enjoy immensely!!  Rhaya is the rose in the between two thorns.  Actually, that's not true because her brothers are not thorns, but she is the middle child.  This last Wednesday she and I went on her birthday date.  We talked it through and decided that this was the fourth time we've gone on our date.  Hers is usually several weeks after her actual birthday because she managed to enter the world over Labor Day weekend.  I've managed to be out of the country twice over her birthday.  Now that's just not fair. 

Anyway, four years ago I was just not sure what to get her for her birthday.  I decided rather than wander around for a long time trying to decide, I'd take her to dinner wherever she chose, and then take her to the store of her choosing to spend an allotted amount of money on her gift.  It was a hit!  I had no idea what a hit it would be!  I'm not silly enough to think that the "things" are not a big draw, but I think all 3 of the kids really enjoy the chance to go out with an adult all by themselves as well. 

Other than one visit to Pizza Hut and one visit to "Chicken and French Fries" (translation Micky D's) for her brothers, Steak 'n Shake has always been the eatery of choice.  This year Rhaya decided that she is now tall enough to sit on the bar stools. 

Hmmmmmm........what to eat?  Really, the option is still always the same.......chicken and french fries. 
 Aunt Cheryl these chairs are so cool!  They spin!  I'm sure the lady behind the counter was only praying that there wasn't a cracked skull in the process. 

This little girl is a bit of a dichotomy.  She is rough and tumble, not afraid of mud, ready to jump right into whatever adventure presents itself.  She'll give any boy, even if he's quite a bit bigger, a run for his money in most any sport.  At the same time, she is all girl.  I have never seen her go to Steak 'n Shake without getting a strawberry shake.  I know she likes strawberry, but it's mostly because it's pink. 

Notice, that she chose her outfit, a very cute dress.  When she was about 3, she would wear 3 Disney princess dresses and a Cinderella nightgown all at the same time.  If you feel pretty in one, why not 4 at once?  There's a reason she also answers to Princess or Diva. 

Good to the last drop! 

I'm not sure what she was looking at as we left, but she stood there awhile.  I like this picture.  Liked the way the sun was shining on her back.  Too bad the pole is in the way. 

This photo leaves no doubt as to the store of choice to spend the birthday money. 

What girl can go to a store without checking out the shoes?  Actually we did need to make a side trip to pick up a pair of school shoes, but one pair was not enough.  What girl wouldn't want to at least try the pink Hello Kitty boots?

This is my favorite, not because of the quality of the photo, but because of what was going on.  For those of you that have kids, you'll know that this aisle is quite far into the toy section at Target.  By this point we had checked out every thing in every aisle between the baby toys and here.  That's a lot of things that make a lot of noise and do a lot of cool stuff.  I was thinking, "honestly, child, you're not going to buy cars with your birthday money are you?"  I pointed that out, a bit more kindly than how I just wrote it.  She said she was thinking of one for each of her brothers.  I then pointed out that they would each have their turn on their birthdays, and we were going to get some ice cream for them as a bedtime snack.  Rhaya put her hand on her hip, made a face at me, and politely dropped two cars in the cart.  Boy, was I impressed!  She's not my daughter, but as the honorary Auntie, I was still proud as punch.  That was such a sweet, thoughtful thing to do!  I gave her two reasons why it was not necessary to spend her money on her brothers.  She still wanted to do the thoughtful thing.  How sweet! 

Here's the final loot tally.  Well, that, a pack of pink bubble gum. "I love this kind of gum, Aunt Cheryl, because it's pink and it's stickier!"  Ahem, it has more sugar.  Notice the common denominator. PINK!!!!!   Remember what I said?  A unicorn and a soccer ball.  She runs the gammut.  The stick unicorn was something she's "always dreamed of having, Aunt Cheryl!"  (hee hee)  We also got 6 mini-cartons of Ben and Jerry's to take home to share.  Now those things are entertaining.  They have their own spoon and only about 3 bites, but kids sure do like having their very own carton of ice cream. 

I'm not sure who has more fun, them or me.  We always look forward to the birthday dates.  This one holds a bit of special fun for me because she's the best hugger in the whole world.  I've told my sister about it.  A few weeks ago, Laura was with me at the Johnny Appleseed Festival.  We ran into the little Princess.  She came running at me full force and took a flying leap, knowing that I would be ready to catch her.  She wrapped her arms around my neck, her legs around my waist, and squeezed with her whole self.  Who wouldn't want to spoil a sweetheart with lovin' like that?  My sister just grinned, and stated that she finally understood what I mean when I say I know the best hugger ever. 

Friday, July 17, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about this subject lately. I'm honestly not sure what got me started. It began before Father's Day. I suppose it's presence on the horizon was the trigger. Not really sure.
My father was in Virginia over Father's Day, so I didn't see him. That's OK, though, because that means he was with his granddaughter. I'm pretty sure her presence is more preferable to my parents than me right now:) I'm just fine with that. She is pretty sweet. More than that. Just darling, but then again, I'm prejudiced.

On Father's Day one of our elders at church shared a lot about fatherhood, more importantly, being a Christ-like father. That's a tall task. Many don't come anywhere close to measuring up. Others do quite well. It is NOT an easy job. I know that he's passionate about men and their relationship with their Heavenly Father. In turn, their relationships with their families are improved. I have a lot of respect for that because I feel the same desire to see women grow closer to their Maker and each other, mostly through their time in the Word.
After the sermon there was a response time. Father's were encouraged to ask for prayer, pray with their familes, pray by themselves, whatever they felt led to do. There was one particular guy that got up to go speak to his son who was sitting with the youth group. I don't know what was said. All I saw was a man walking toward his son with an "I'm on a mission" look on his face. He leaned over, spoke into his son's ear for just a bit, then hugged him and walked back to his seat. Obviously I'm not privy to what was said, but the message of love was still evident in the body language. It was also evident in the fact that after Dad sat down again, I looked toward the son to see him unashamedly wiping tears off his cheeks. His buddies were sitting near him, and there was not a hint of embarassment about the fact that he was crying because his Dad loves him. It was really beautiful. I wonder if anyone else got to notice it.

I've been reading a book with other women from our Bible study. I honestly can't say that I've been much of a reader lately, but there is one line in it that has stuck with me. It says, "...Jesus Himself pursued relationship with us so we could come to know and trust Him." We have been given free will. It is our choice to choose to become a disciple of Christ or not. He cannot make us. He can, however, doggedly pursue us. I realize that Jesus is not the portion of the trinity considered "The Father", but the point is still there. Discussing the theology is not important here. We were created with His desire being that we would choose to accept the gift of being adopted into His family with all the privileges and blessings included in the family trust. We have to make the choice and He pursues us relentlessly, doing everything in His might to draw us to Him, into a place of eternal security and earthly peace. That's an even more beautiful picture of the love of a Father, that he does not give up.

The final picture of fatherhood that is the most recent to present itself to me is this.
This is Lars. I know him as Alek, only because it's easier to say. He and his wife, Hanna, are from Sweden. We all worked together as nurses on the Africa Mercy. They are both lovely people. I thoroughly enjoyed their humor, kindess, and desire to show Christ's love to the patients and crew alike. Yay!!!!! They just had a son, Alek, Jr. I'm very happy for them, and I'm also happy for him to be born to the parents he's been blessed with.
Look at it again.....a little bigger. Take in the details.

Little Alek is bundled securely near his Daddy's heart. It's obviously a peaceful place to be. Notice he's sleeping without a care in the world. In the meantime Lars is protecting his son while proudly letting the whole world know that his son has arrived! The title of this photo on FB was titled "Fanfare for Alek Jr, our firstborn!" I just love it! I'm amazed that Alek is sleeping so soundly while that trumpet is blaring. That makes one think he must have heard it a time or two while he was in the womb as well. It's a song only for him, the shouts of the trumpet joined with the steady beating of Lars' heart.

When I asked Lars' permission to use this photo, he shared with me that Alek's arrival helped him understand just a bit more the love our Father feels for us. Since I'm not a parent, I can only imagine. The pride in this photo, though, is more than obvious. Just think. If he feels just a taste of what God feels for His children, how much more must our Father love us and feel pride in us. That says nothing of his desire to hold us close to His heart. Take some time to soak that up.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

How to spend a lazy summer afternoon

Yesterday was perfectly delightful. It all started with an email from my Aunt Phyll a few weeks ago. She was wondering what my plans were for the 4th of July weekend, and did they include time at the lake? She knew most would have a 3-day weekend, and wanted to spend some time at Grandma's house. Before I go further, let me say that our family has been spoiled for a long time. My grandparent's built their house on Perrin Lake about 50 years ago. Since then innumerable people have enjoyed time at their house. The house is nice, but the yard and the water are really where the party's at. Literally. There have been quiet afternoons with only 1 or 2 present, summer days spent swimming to the point of being waterlogged, family reunions, holiday parties, baseball end-of-season parties, youth group initiations (now there's another blog or two:), nights spent sleeping on the pontoon in the middle of the lake, and many other long-forgotten excuses to enjoy the company and the surroundings. Few places, if any, rank higher on my list of favorite locations to while away the day.

Yesterday included my Grandma, my Mom and I, Mom's sisters ~Phyll, Chris, and Becky ~ Phyll's son James, several of Becky's kids, and random others that showed up here and there throughout the day. The only planning that really happened was preparing for lunch, which was delicious ~ a few salads, deli-style sandwiches, and lots of fresh fruit. Mostly the plan was to spend time in the sun and with each other. The plan came off without a hitch!

For any that have read The Five Love Languages, quality time is at the top of my list. Activities are great, but I just dearly cherish spending time with those I love the most. Grandma's yard is a great place to do that. It sort of has an upper and a lower portion. The lower part of the yard is by far bigger. That leads to the lake, has a picnic table, a fire ring, and much more space. The upper portion has the porch swing and smaller grassy area. When we got there a few were already sitting on the swing. Rather than move down to the larger area, we just brought the lawn chairs up and sat there. Other than when a few swam out to the middle of the lake and when we ate lunch, we never really moved. We were too busy talking. I've spent countless hours lying in the sun at Grandma's house. I don't think I've ever done it in the yard right beside the garage, but that's what we did yesterday. We were simply too busy talking and soaking up the sun to be bothered moving down to the area where we usually sit.

Life is too busy. We don't often enough just spend time with each other, as families, as women, and generations. When I was a child I remember my Mom and I semi-regularly getting together with the women in my Dad's extended family. I thought it had a name, but I don't remember it now. That group consisted of some Amish women and some who were not. They usually quilted while the kids played. There was always a mouth-wateringly delicious lunch, then we'd all head home late in the afternoon. I don't remember a single one of those quilts. I have no idea who they were for. What I remember we kids having a ton of fun, and the women talking and laughing, buzzing like a bunch of bees. It was time to catch up, share stories, ideas, and much more.

Every time I spend time with women, be it at church, Bible study, a sewing bee, or near the swing at Grandma's house, the concensus seems to be that it is a refreshing time that should happen more often. There's a reason families are designed the way they are, generationally. Really we had 4 generations present yesterday. Grandma, her daughters, my generation, and then the little girls. The little girls are my cousins now (yay for adoptions:), but Zoe is 5 and Ellie nearly 3. (Soon the ages of my Grandma's grandchildren will range from 3-40) Since I'm, well, much older than 5 (not the one almost 40, though:), it's almost like they're nieces, not cousins. There is so much joy and insight to be gleaned from all of those generations. We're all at different places in life, but still had so much in common. Even James, who was the only male a good bit of the day, seemed to thoroughly enjoy lazing the day away with us. I can't say the conversation was particularly profound. At points it consisted of intestinal issues, physical changes, eye infections, and funky toes:) It wasn't really the conversation, though, that was important. It was the time together, and lots of laughter.

My time yesterday only solidified my interest in continuing to make time with my family important. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to spend the rest of the day with my Mom and Dad.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Giddy-Up God!

It's been so long since I've had much of anything to say. Other than going to Virginia to visit family about a month ago, I've just been working a lot and trying to spend time outside soaking up some of the gorgeous sun. Bring on the vitamin D! I have so many cute pictures of my niece, but posted some of my favorites on Facebook, so I feel like it's redundant to make people look at the same ones here. Sometimes I have posts that share my ponderings, but it's felt like the muses were working overtime. The only problem is they're in a jumbled mess that would only show up here as a confusing sort of rambling.

In the last couple days, I've felt as is my train of thought took me from one bloggable moment to another. There were no depots in sight for miles. Now I have more stops than I'm sure I'll be able to keep up with.

First on the list of things to share is two enjoyable evenings this last week. Wendy is one of the very special people in my life. We met nearly nine years ago. I had been volunteering at The Power House Youth Center. One of the directors asked me to think and pray about the opportunity of mentoring a particular girl who was a member at the PH. We had developed a bit of a relationship. After considering, I decided to agree. When I said I'd do it, I was told that they had decided on someone else instead. It was Wendy. I knew who she was, but didn't really know her at all. That made me feel a little uneasy. I had no idea what she was like, whether we would click, what we might have in common, what we might talk about, or if she would have any interest in spending time with me, for that matter. I went with it anyway, and I can't tell you how many times over the years Wendy and I have laughed about how right the choice was. We certainly have differences, but we have so many things, besides loving Jesus:), in common. There are things, such as a love for words, that we both implicitly understand about each other. When we tell others, they look at us like we just might be from another planet. The wondering what we might talk about? Ha! Quitting talking is usually our problem.

My friendship with Wendy has been an amazing experience. One of the adventures that I treasure most thus far. I don't have children of my own. She's too old to be my daughter. That's honestly not what a mentoring relationship is anyway, but I feel just a bit of the pride in her that a mother does. It's been my privilege to share in the last nine years of her life. I look forward to many more.

Fast forward nine years. Wendy has recently finished her Victory Lap. She's done a great job supporting herself, living on her own, and paying for school. The last year and a half many of our conversations have centered on the economy, unemployment, the vast array of jobs available or not to people with a business degree, and what in the world to do once graduation arrived. Graduating from college is an exciting time. Graduating from college in a rotten economy and thousands of dollars in loans is a scary time. We've been doing a lot of praying. Wendy found out last week that she had been hired for a job in Macon Georgia. I forgot to mention that once she was old enough, she quit being a member at The Power House and became a volunteer as well as employee. She is now the coordinator for a volunteer program at Wesleyan College. While I'm sad to see her move far away, I think this is a very good move for her. She lived in Macon for one year during school, and loved it. I'm just so excited for her! All those months of concern over how to find a job were taken care of only a month after graduation. I pointed out to her that it was nearly 6 months til I found a nursing job after school. In this economy, a job after only a month can only be seen as a HUGE answer to prayer!

A week ago she and I had dinner at our favorite pizza place. We said our "see ya laters". I figured that was it for quite a while. A going away party was scheduled for Friday, so I got to see her again. Saturday evening I went to church with her, and then to a cookout where we were going to stay for "a little while". A little while after midnight we finally left:) It was a very nice evening. The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold. The s'mores were delicious. The company was even better. I felt like it was stolen time with my girl. The two evenings made my weekend completely delightful. I'll miss having Wendy around, but I'm so excited to see what the next stretch in the road holds for her!

Side note: Just before we left church Saturday evening, the daughter of a friend found a large paper with a picture, apparently of Jesus on it. The adults were chatting and heard Vanessa in the background proclaiming, "God! I have a picture of God! I'm taking God home with me!" She really caught our attention when she raised the volume and proclaimed, "Giddy-up God! I'm riding God!" We turned to see her with the large paper rolled and tucked between her knees, "riding" it like a stick pony. How many times do we as adults wish that we could say "Giddy-up God!" I've been chuckling about it all week long. I guess He did giddy-up in finding Wendy's job.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Still among the living

I'm still alive! I have been busy, busy, busy. Blogging, apparently, is the thing to cut out when you can't keep up, at least it has been for me. I got a call today from a sweet college friend. She was my first roommate, other than my sister growing up. Anyway, she has been checking here recently and has seen nothing new. She called just to check in and make sure I'm OK. Yes! It really meant a lot to me that she was considerate enough to check in. I doubt that there will be much more in the next week or so, but I'll do my best. Sarah is not the first one to drop the hint that I've been neglecting this site. I do check in long enough to catch up on others, I've just not taken the time to write. I'll work on that. Thanks again for the notes reminding me that it's time to get back at it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Baby Mary Janes

As promised, I'm finally getting around to showing off my latest sewing project. That makes it sound like there's been a long string of them. There has not. I'm honestly not much of a seamstress, but after seeing a couple samples on Mary's blogs, I felt inspired. When I saw them I began hoping my brother and sister-in-law would have a girl because these were just too cute. Actually they could easily be made for a boy as well with the right fabric, but who can pass up a pair of pink Mary Janes? Especially considering the fact that I'm not much of an accomplished seamstress, I was quite pleased with how these turned out. I'll admit there were actually 3 made, the first being unintended practice as I found flaws and learned how to improve the process. Katie Grace's mama, Mindy, always says pearls go with everything, so the buttons were a no-brainer. The first link above gives details on information needed to learn how to make them. Here are some photos of the process and finished product. The bag was a last minute thought that kept me up 'til 2am on a work-night, but I felt like it was worth it when it was done.

The crooked seams in this picture were what finally convinced me that this one needed to be a practice rather than the final product. I've discovered I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

Still a little too big, but I just love her little toes peeking through.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meeting Katie Grace

Last week, Wednesday through Sunday, my parents and I went to Virginia to meet Katie Grace. She was 2 1/2 weeks when we finally got to say hello. I'm biased. There are plenty of precious babies in the world. For right now, though, she is definitely the sweetest one I'm related to. I don't necessarily have a ton to say, but please indulge a proud auntie as I show her off.

This is she and I getting some bonding time while her mama tries to catch up on some sleep. Once we went to Mindy's parent's house, where my parents were staying, then my mom soaked up lots of Grandma time. That meant Katie Grace and I getting our bonding done when everyone else was asleep. Fine by me.

Little missy just loves kicking for all her nakie self is worth. She's also good at peeing when there's not a diaper around, so I indulged her freedom while still leaving the diaper where it could help.

Katie with mommy and daddy........sadly watching Michigan State lose to Ohio State. Mommy tried not to rub it in to daddy too much, but daddy and I were both a little bummed. No worries. The important tournament starts tomorrow!

Daddy thought it would be fun to give Katie a fauxhawk. Judging by the look on her face, I'm not sure she thought it was a good look. haha

I liked this one. She looks so tiny with her daddy's hand coving her whole torso. Such a precious little bundle.

I didn't pinch her. Honest.

I had to get in all the kisses I could until the next time I see her, which by the way, will be the wknd after Easter. Anyone that reads this that is in the Sturgis area, there will be a welcome party for her on Sunday, April 19. Let me know if you're interested in details.

Just hangin' out with Dad. This was the day that Michigan State did win. I think she's trying to wave at the camera.
Thanks for letting me show her off. I've not met a baby yet that wasn't sweet, but I happen to like this one even more than most. It's a little strange to watch my little brother being a dad, giving baths, changing diapers, and pretty much turning to mush when she's around.
Soon to come is another post showing off the piece of apparel I made for Katie Grace. In the meantime, though, I need to get off this computer and into my bed.