Saturday, August 1, 2015

Wedding the Second

It's hard to believe the whole summer is gone already.  Only one more week until I go back to work.  I have to admit that it's fun to have summers off, but the transition is going to be hard, I think.  In any event, a couple of weeks after Ella arrived, and after my niece married her sweetheart, and in the middle of exams and grades, my son Sean married his sweetheart Jessica in the Bountiful, Utah LDS temple.  I think he looks pretty happy here, don't you??

We started the festivities with the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening.  I'm not sure why we call it that, because there's really nothing to rehearse, but it is a great time for the two families to meet each other and for the wedding party to get together.  I had gotten to meet Jessica's parents when they came to Orlando for a medical conference in September, but my husband had not met them yet.  Oddly enough, both dads are named Doug.

It was a lovely gathering, informal, and while very warm (apparently the restaurant doesn't have air conditioning, and it was a very warm May day) still very pleasant.

There were too many of us to fit at one table, but we managed to have a great time.

Naturally I exercised my grandma prerogative and got some baby cuddles.

Even the siblings got to hold their sweet new niece.

 The next morning it was up early for the wedding.

The sealing room was crowded - it is the only standing room only temple wedding I have ever attended. And then there was a bit of waiting...

They looked pretty happy when they emerged in their wedding finery.

Naturally there were photos.

And visiting with relatives and friends.

And of course, hugs and well-wishes.

Two of my favorite boys!

And my sweet girl!

All the little girls crowded around Jess as though she was a Disney princess.

Her flowers were gorgeous.  Everyone in our family likes peonies too.  (I remember as a little girl, my grandmother had them planted in her garden.)

A moment for a kiss and then off for more photos.

The wedding party

The Liening family

The Mihalik family

A rare photo of Sean, Amanda and Arielle - these don't happen very often any more!

The bride and her bridesmaids

In the evening, Sean and Jessica exchanged rings in a beautiful ring ceremony outside the chapel on the old Fort Douglas property (seems fitting since both the bride's dad and the groom's dad are named Douglas, doesn't it?)  The ring Sean gave Jessica was the ring my grandfather gave my grandmother when they were married on June 29, 1915 - within a few weeks of being 100 years ago.

Cutting the cake
After the ring ceremony, there was a wonderful reception at the old Fort Douglas Commander's house.

Sean's friend Patrick giving the toast.

Sean cutting the groom's cake.

And when it was all over, we all felt pretty much like this.

Best wishes to Sean and Jessica for a wonderful life together.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wedding The First!

Photo of Amber and Dan via Facebook
The weekend after Ella was born, my niece, Amber, and her betrothed, Dan, were married in Las Vegas.  Since Las Vegas isn't too far from Salt Lake City - just down I-15, you know - those of us that weren't in far-off Caribbean islands or dealing with newborns were thrilled to attend.  Son Sean flew in from Detroit and I picked up almost-daughter-in-law, Jessica, in St. George, and we headed to Sin City.

We met up at McCarran International to do some rental car adjustments - turning in for Sean and adding Jess to my rental agreement so she could drive back to Salt Lake.  I think that after a couple of weeks apart, these two were glad to see each other.

We had a nice lunch, did a little shopping, checked into the hotel, and headed to The Springs Preserve for the wedding.  We arrived a bit early and had time for a bit of a walk-around before the ceremony.  The Las Vegas Springs Preserve is remarkably wild for this urban area, and marks the site of the first settlements along the Virgin River in Las Vegas.  The Springs Preserve is a lovely site featuring many attractions, particularly sustainable living and intriguing desert flora.

photo via Facebook
It was a beautiful sunset wedding.  Wasn't Amber a glamorous bride?  And the best part was visiting with family and friends we hadn't seen for a decade or more.

Photo via Facebook
One of the really fun things about this wedding is that Amber and Dan have a really fun sense of humor.  Their theme for the wedding was robots, and many of their guests dressed up as robots for the reception.  It was a super fun evening, and though I didn't get ANY photos of my own, we had a really great time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Welcome, Ella!

One thing about babies, you have a bit of notice that they are coming.  Despite looming exams and a flurry of last-minute paper grading, I headed for Utah in mid-May to be on hand for the arrival of this little sweetheart.  She came a couple of days early, in the middle of the night, of course - 3:59 am to be exact.  The first Grandma knew of it was when big brother got up in the morning and found that his momma wasn't home. Oh my, such a sad little boy!

We quickly found out that sister had arrived.

We got ready and hurried off to the hospital to meet her.  (Britton thought riding like a big boy without a car seat would be ever-so-much fun!)

Their new baby sister brought some very cool presents.

And it wasn't long until she joined us at home.

And none of us could wait to hold her and show her we loved her.

We took turns.  First Big Sister...

And then big brother....

And then Grandma.  There's no doubt babies are exhausting!  But oh, so worth it!

And I get the chance to go back again this week!  Can't wait!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Two Weeks...

It's hard to believe that two weeks of my summer break are gone.  The good news is that I do have a couple of things to show for it.  I finished up this Arrow quilt that I started during the school year.  It was slow going because I didn't have much time to sew, but I managed to finish it just as the baby/wedding craziness started.

Oh - didn't I tell you about that?  OK, I'll get to that soon.

Anyway, this quilt was one of Jenny's tutorials on Missouri Star Quilts (and was also in her Winter Block magazine), and I just couldn't wait to try it.  I stopped by my LQS and picked up a Kona Solids Layer Cake, brought it home and got busy.  Or at least started to get busy.  Jenny uses a Sizzix in her tutorial with a 5" half hexagon, but I don't have a half hexagon - or a whole hexagon for that matter - for my Sizzix, so I used the hexagon die for my AccuQuilt and cut the hexagons in half.  I also didn't have a triangle template for either the AccuQuilt or the Sizzix so I rotary cut them from a triangle template.  Consequently, my arrows started out a bit different than Jenny's from the beginning.   If I remember correctly, her sashing between rows was even, making the rows of arrows evenly spaced, but apparently I can't leave anything alone, so I graduated the width of the sashing so the rows got progressively further apart.

I have to admit that it was very nice to actually finish something - even if it was only a top.

Last week, in my creative funk, I dug out my box of blue scraps and started cutting and sewing.  I put together these random four-patch squares, and then interspersed them with white Bella.  It was just a bit of fabric play.  Borders or no borders - that was the question.   Since the quilt ended up being only 36"x 48", I finally decided to do asymmetrical borders on all four sides, making the finished size 48"x60".

I didn't notice until I uploaded the pictures that I hung the quilt "upside down" - to my mind anyway - so this is the way I envisioned it.

So, progress is being made.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Creative Dilemma

Before the hubs and I went on our great adventure of cruising and grandchild watching, and before I took a job teaching English in a public high school, I had a serious plan for quilting my way through life.    Before all that, I had a goal to finish 14 quilts in 2014.  These are the 8 I actually finished, backing, batting, binding and all.

The other 6?...  well, sadly they were left in the dust. And I think I have 4 or 5 other finished quilt tops that are ready to be quilted.  And I have tons of fabrics which have {mysteriously} found their way into the sewing room along with patterns and books in case I want to begin something new.

But what I'm finding, after almost 11 months of being away from my sewing room is that I don't know where to start.  My fingers are "itchin' to be stitchin'" but I just can't settle on a project.  It's crazy. 

I find myself reading books rather than sewing.  Maybe it's easier to decide what to read than what to create?  Even this blog post took 3 days to write.

I expected to have a new quilt top done by now and ...  nothing.  What is wrong with me?  Where is my creative mojo?  Oh dear!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

On the First Day of Summer...

The 2014-2015 school year is over.  My first year of teaching is finished.  This year, I taught English to some 150+ students for approximately 9-1/2 months.  Whew!  And for the first time in my adult life I have a "summer break".  I am sure I am at least as excited as my students!  It has been a memorable - and at times overwhelming - year.  I learned a lot - more than my students perhaps.  I had to think about things I hadn't thought about in years - like participles and literary devices and run-on sentences....  I read and taught Hamlet, Macbeth, Beowulf, Canterbury Tales (so fun!) and a lot of other stuff that was not so fun.  I had to learn how to keep order amidst a classroom of sometimes-rowdy students and try to motivate my anxious-to-be-finished seniors to complete the requirements necessary to pass English - the graduation they were so anxious to accomplish in jeopardy as they thought they saw the end of their high school careers looming so very close.

And now it is over. 


Whatever shall I do with it?

Oh, the possibilities!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

And the Parents went to Europe...

One of the funnest things I have done in a long time was spend the summer with the grands.  Abby and Britton are so hilarious.  This is Britton trying to get both of his "suckies" in his mouth at the same time.  I think Mommy and Daddy have since taken his little helpers away from him, but that is so not Grandma's job.  This little guy has a wonderful sense of humor and shares it often.  Sometimes, he just cracks me up!

Abby is growing up big and strong, and here she is showing off her big muscles.  She was a great little helper with her brother and with Mommy and Daddy's shop.  She moved bolts of fabric, sorted fabrics by color, and

made a quilt, with a little help from Grandma!

We went to the 4th of July parade with Uncle Sean and girlfriend, Jessica, and it was **HOT**.  I think it was 104*F that day.  Whew!

Britton gave up on our walk back to the car, sat down in the middle of the street (which was conveniently blocked of traffic because of the parade, thank goodness) and decided he was just - done. 

We rode on the carousel...

And drank milkshakes...

And played in the park...

and "rode" bikes...

and fed the ducks...

and taught each other dancing...

and read lots and lots of books and colored lots of pretty pictures...

and best of all, Grandma got lots of cuddles (while someone was taking selfies)!

All in all, it was an amazing summer!