Sunday, June 30, 2013


A retired Marriage and Family professor from BYU is serving as a Senior Missionary (with his wife) in our ward here in Fresno. His name is Douglas Brinley. My mom took some classes from him while she was at BYU. We found out that we have a connection with the wife of their grandson - her family was in our ward in Japan. The world is a very small place.

Anyways, we were invited over to dinner at their house last Sunday along with another Dewey couple. While they are here in Fresno, the Brinleys have been doing firesides on marriage. The problem is hat he usually speaks on Friday nights, and Bear works late. But it just so happened that he was doing a fireside especially for a certain ward the day they invited us over for dinner. Bear has Sundays off. I was so excited to go! I was ready to take all these notes.

But his message was simple. And once I heard it, I felt very silly because it was exactly what our Sealer had said on our wedding day. I don't know why I was looking for a deeper, more profound message. Elder Brinley said that we are told to be better listeners, communicators, etc by all these marriage self-help books. You won't be able to find any General Conference talks or modern revelation on the marriage advice we usually think of. Instead, all we have to do is pray and read scriptures every day together as a couple. This of course sounds very simple, but we always forget. It's hard to find time in our hectic schedules to remember to take the time for these two things. But it's all about priorities. And time management. Is it worth it to take a few minutes out of my Facebook and Pinterest time to strengthen my marriage every day? Definitely. 

I want the Lord to bless our marriage and I want to become a better person by taking the time to read and pray every day. But more importantly, I want the Spirit to be with us. That is the most important thing. That way I can become the best version of myself and be more sensitive to Bear's needs. I want to take the time to do the little things and have those build up. I want to be like the Brinleys, who practice what they preach. I want a happy marriage, one that lasts. 


I try not to post political things on my blog, but because I am LDS (Mormon), my beliefs will slip out every once in a while. I'm also planning on doing a post about some other marriage advice that I've been reading about recently that is not religious, but I feel that this post was more important. I don't want to preach or have people think that I'm looking down on them. Or forcing my beliefs onto you. I just want to share things that I feel are important to me.

7 months

Lachlan turned 7 months on June 24th. Here is our photo shoot. All of his faces never cease to amuse me.

He can crawl and bear crawl. He tries to stand up from the Bear crawl position. He seems to recognize his name, and certain people's voices on the phone. He says "ga ga ga" a lot. He can clap, which usually means he wants to be picked up. We have yet to find a food that he doesn't like. He's tried a bunch of different fruits and vegetables and loves them all. His two bottom teeth are close to the surface, but haven't broken through yet. He loves chilling in the pool, and playing with everything except his toys. The word "chubby" makes him laugh and he wants to eat everything that we eat. I'm scared that he's going to be standing soon.

This is my favorite.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Swimming, Cookies, and Poop

With all of my tutorials, I got behind on updating about our life.

We rented a nice leather couch for the summer. It was a good decision.
Lachlan will eat anything we give him. We have yet to find a food that he doesn't like. And I can never spoon it fast enough into his mouth. He usually tries to grab my hand to go faster or just cries.
We go to the pool at our apartment a lot.
I added lots of low-lights to my hair.
Lachlan started eating cotton balls while I was doing my nails. I'm telling you, he eats anything.
I found a good pool toy that keep Lachlan in the shade without having to cover him in sun screen.
Lachlan loves to kick his feet out of his footie pajamas.
I have been called as a substitute Young Womens teacher for the summer. Leslie, another Dewey wife and I were in charge of Mutual this week. I talked about stress, and Leslie taught us yoga and meditation. Except I didn't get to try it because I was wrestling Lachlan the whole time.
I love it when it looks like he's deep in thought. These are my favorite jammies of his.
I had to take a couple of calls from work and so Lachlan was on his own for a few minutes. I forgot that I had left leftover cookies from a YW activity on the kitchen floor. But they were in a plastic case in a plastic bag! He opened both, and I find him with cookies in both hands, happily cooing and munching away. I don't know how he opened the case, but he's sitting in it. This kid just turned 7 months the other day...oh, and a white rug for a kitchen is not a good idea.
Like I said, we swim a lot. Our white skin doesn't make this very obvious though.
I tried a frap from Starbucks finally. I usually get their salted caramel hot chocolate, but it was over 100 degrees outside!

The weather has been very hot and will just keep getting hotter over the next few days. And the humidity doesn't help how hot it feels, but I actually love humidity. It's good for my skin. 

Yesterday it was the cookie mess, which was pretty cute, but today...the cookies came through Lachlan. He cried for a long time because his tummy hurt, and wouldn't let me comfort him. Again, I had to take a call, and he unloaded and unleashed so much poop while I was talking. It immediately started leaking down his leg and he started crawling, dragging a trail of poop through the carpet. That was a fun mess to clean up :(

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kansas Twister Tutorial Part 3

Here is how to join the mini blocks together into one big block. Each full block needs seven mini blocks of the same color. See what I mean about the pin wheels all going the same direction?

1. Grab two blocks and put them right side together. It's easiest if you start with the center mini block and go around in a circle. Make sure that you are sewing the right seams together, because there's 6 sides to each mini block remember.
2. You have to make sure to pin in the middle again this time so that the points of the little white triangles will match up. I'm kind of a perfectionist so this is important to me.
3. With the first two mini blocks, you'll only have to sew one side together. But for the rest, you'll have to sew two sides together. And then 3 sides on the last mini block. When you have to sew more than one side, don't tie a knot at the end of each seam. Just push the needle through to the next side. (Make sure the second side matches up).
4. Now you have a full block! See what I mean about the points of the little white triangles matching up?

If you missed Parts 1 and 2 of the tutorial, here they are!

Here's an real antique version of the Kansas Twister quilt if you wanted to arrange the pinwheels this way. Just an idea.

Click HERE


Sister Mommies featured my blog post! Check it out!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Thoughts on Motherhood

I thought that I was ready to be a mom. Of course, that turned out to be not true and I realize now that no one can really truly be ready for parenthood. 

Even though it was something that I wanted with all of my heart, it is so hard. Even though I had a pretty easy pregnancy, it was still harder than I thought it would be. I used to have a weird notion that stay-at-home moms had it so easy. They don't have to work, and get to have fun planning meals and work on their hobbies all day. They get to cuddle babies all day and get together with their other mommy friends. Now, some days it sounds so much easier to go to work all day.

I thought that I knew how to take care of babies. I had a bunch of younger siblings, and I knew how to change diapers, to be careful of the soft spot, and to not shake the baby. I knew that you had to be careful until their umbilical cord fell off all the way. You had to burp them, and keep them warm, and that babies didn't let you sleep for the first few weeks. 

Although Lachlan wasn't colicky or sickly, he has yet to sleep 8 hours straight. I had no idea what prolonged periods of sleep deprivation can do to you. When it's your own baby, things are completely different. You can't just do a "good enough" babysitting job for your parents for a few hours. You want the best for your baby. Instead of just feeding your younger sibling the baby food that's already in the house, you have to worry what brand of baby food is best for your bebbe.

I didn't think about how much longer it was going to take me to get out of the house. How much stuff I had to pack in the diaper bag. How hard it would be to get Lachlan to learn to breastfeed, how hard it would be feel comfortable to learn to breastfeed in public. I didn't realize how much unwanted advice and criticism I would get. I didn't really know how it would be to take care of a teething baby. I didn't know how guilty I would feel when he fell off the bed. Or how much he would feed off my emotions; how freaky it would be to be dealing with a miniature of yourself.

I didn't realize how much guilt I would feel. How much I would second guess myself. How the second I get used to one of Lachlan's stages, he would change it up on me again. I feel so silly for telling myself "I'll never do what my friend does" or "I'm not going to be my mom"...and finding yourself doing the exact things you said you wouldn't. I'm still at a point where I can't quite imagine having another baby ever again. I tip my hat to people that have more than one baby.

I'm so grateful that I have supporting parents and parents-in-law. And that I have a Bear who helps me so much. I think everyone needs a big support system when they have a baby. Good thing that I know how worth it is to be a mom. Yes, being a parent is hard, but those times your baby looks into your eyes, laughs at you, or rubs his tired face into your shoulder...those times make it all worth it. Definitely worth it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kansas Twister Tutorial Part 2

1. Now that you have six triangle+trapeziod pieces, it's time to piece them together. We're going to do this three pieces at a time. At this point, decide which way you want your pinwheels (or "twisters") to face. Mine are going the same direction as the Judie Rothermel ones. But I wasn't paying attention a couple of times, and those pinwheels ended up going the wrong direction and I had to start all over again. Unless you want your quilt to be a little quirky, compare each new block to the block you made previously.
2. Make sure you're drawing the template on the back of the fabric.

3. Make sure none of the seam allowances are sewn down. This will make it easier for pressing later.
4. Once you have two sets of three, you need to sew them together.
5. Pinning the middle point is crucial if you want your points to look good. This took me a little bit of practice, but I like hand-piecing for this reason because it's slower and I can check my progress and go back much easier. Remember to pin the end of each seam too, like in the first tutorial.
6. If you've been pressing all of your pieces the same direction, it's super easy to press the finished block. The center seam will almost look like a circle.
7. You've finished one mini block! You'll need 7 of these mini blocks in the same color for the main blocks. See how the points match up?

Let me know if you have nay more questions.

Here's the link to part 1 if you missed it:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kansas Twister Tutorial Part 1

First of all, I got this pattern from Aunt Grace's Scrapbag by Judie Rothermel. My mom bought it for me a few years ago, and I think that it's out of print and hard to find. I have the fourth special printing that was originally published in 1992. The cover looks like the picture below. 

So I'll explain in my own words how I piece the blocks. There is a way to machine-piece these, and this blog shows how to do this:
But as for me, I like hand-piecing. It's not as fast, but I like that I can do it while I'm watching a movie without a loud sewing machine going. And I think hexagons are too hard to do by machine,.

1. First of all, you'll need templates. The white triangles are 1-1/8 inch on all three sides. You'll need to add a seam allowance to that. The trapezoids are 1-1/8 inch on the top (because they need to match up with a triangle) and the longer side is 2-1/4 inches. My template in the picture below has a "B" on it because it's clear plastic and I don't want to lose it.

2. I trace and cut each one out by hand, so that I can get the most mileage out of my scraps as possible. Of course a 1/4" seam allowance is standard, but not all of my pieces get that much because like I said, I'm squishing them onto scraps. But if you want your blocks to be more sturdy, you'll need to make sure you get a big enough seam allowance. Trim the points of the triangles and trapezoids, it makes it easier when piecing together.

3. You'll need 6 trapezoid and triangle pieces for each "mini" block.

4. Match up the points at the end of where you're going to stitch with a pin.
back view
5. Stitch along the line. Make sure that you're stitching along the line on the back too.

6. Do a back-stitch. Put your needle in the same hole as the second-to-last stitch and pull through. (picture below) This just makes your block more sturdy. You could do it at the beginning of the block too if you want to be extra careful.

7. Tie a knot, and press your piece. Always press to one side, not open. And make sure you press all the pieces to your mini block the same way. It just looks better.

8. Make 6 of these triangle+trapezoid pieces.

Stay tuned for more! If any of this doesn't make sense, please let me know in the comments.

Here are past posts about the Kansas Twister pattern:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Boating and Father's Day

I'm working on the tutorial, but I'm not done yet and it will be up soon.
Lachlan playing with daddy's baseball cap right before he came home and we went boating.
We had a lot of fun Saturday afternoon/evening. A cousin of Bear's coworker Riley owns a boat and we got invited to go out on the lake with them. It was a really nice boat and really enjoyed ourselves. It was the first time wake-boarding for both Bear and I, and neither of us were able to get up and stay up. We both tried close to 10 times. And now we feel like we got hit by a truck.
I was worried about losing my phone so I put it away and didn't get too many good pictures.  Yes, my husband wears his hats backwards.
I was afraid that Lachlan would cry the whole time from being in the sun and having to wear an uncomfortable life jacket, but he didn't make a noise. He fell asleep sitting up in our laps and so we put him under the driver's seat and he slept there for a long time. I don't know if it was the rumble of the boat or what.
Lachlan looks miserable in his life jacket, but he was so good. He didn't make a peep.
We went in the late afternoon, so the water had been warmed all day and felt like a heated pool. But we didn't get sunburned. I'm so mad that people who know how to wake-board make it look so easy! We did have fun on the tube. Bear did it way more than I did and fell off a few times.
The water was clean and we had a good time barbecuing and boating with our friends. I just hope I'm never this sore ever again.
Sleeping under the captain's seat
Bear and I gave talks for Father's Day. Bear's talk was tasteful because he talked about how all of us might not have dads, but all of can have or can be father figures. This doesn't mean taking over as someone's dad, but being an example to look to. And we will always have our Heavenly Father. Father's Day talks can either turn into awkward confessionals about relationships with your own father or kids, or just be a eulogy to a parent of the speaker that the rest of the congregation doesn't really care about. 

I on the other hand, had to talk about moderation. I loved this topic because I learned so much for myself. I finally learned that temperance is moderation. And I had heard the scripture and quote "all things in moderation", but then I started seeing the quote "all things in moderation, including moderation". I wondered if that was true, and these are the quotes that I found during my research:

"Part of the spirit of the Word of Wisdom is moderation in all things, except those things specifically forbidden by the Lord. It is well to avoid extremes in dress, hairstyles, makeup, conduct, speech, and music. Extremes may attract the attention of some, but they are more likely to turn off those you really want to impress." - James E. Faust

"Security for our families comes from learning self-control, avoiding the excesses of this world, and being temperate in all things. Peace of mind comes from strengthened faith in Jesus Christ. Happiness comes from being diligent in keeping covenants made at baptism and in the holy temples of the Lord." - Kent D. Watson.

"What better example do we have of temperance than our Savior, Jesus Christ?
When Jesus Christ, the greatest of all, suffered for us to the extent that He bled from every pore, He did not express anger or revile in suffering. With unsurpassed self-restraint, or temperance, His thoughts were not of Himself but of you and of me. And then, in humility and full of love, He said, “Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.” - Kent D. Watson

"I need to caution myself and each of my readers that the very nature of this message could tend to the same downfall that it warns against. The idea that our strengths can become our weaknesses could be understood to imply that we should have “moderation in all things.” But the Savior said that if we are “lukewarm,” he “will spue [us] out of [his] mouth” (Rev. 3:16). Moderation in all things is not a virtue, because it would seem to justify moderation in commitment. That is not moderation, but indifference. That kind of moderation runs counter to the divine commands to serve with all of our “heart, might, mind and strength” (D&C 4:2), to “seek … earnestly the riches of eternity” (D&C 68:31), and to be “valiant in the testimony of Jesus” (D&C 76:79). Moderation is not the answer." - Dallin H. Oaks

"The Saints should not be unwise, but rather understand what the will of the Lord is, and practice moderation in all things." - Joseph F. Smith

"As plain and direct as a prophet’s counsel is, however, we sometimes tend to get sidetracked. Some members wish to follow the Prophet when it is convenient, but ignore him when sacrifice or deeper commitment is required. Some, forgetting the simplicity of the gospel, may over-emphasize one part to the neglect of another. Others may complicate the guidance given them, blurring the plainness of divine directives and losing their sense of spiritual balance. Some even fall prey to rumor, fanaticism, distorted virtues, misplaced values, and shallow religious commitment.
For example, some of us eat excessively, while others ignore getting healthful nutrition. Some sleep too much, others not enough. Some ignore proper body care and conditioning, while others almost worship the physical body. Certainly one must gain all the new information he can in matters dealing with the health and care of our bodies, but I believe the Lord expects us to use wisdom and common sense. The key words are balance and moderation—thoughtfully applying all the truths one knows, not just a big emphasis on one of them." - O. Don Ostler

So basically what I got from all this was there were many areas that we need to have a good balance in - the way we look, talk, take care of our bodies, and act around other people. We need to balance our time and activities. But when it comes to being committed to the gospel and commandments, we can't be lukewarm. We have to give 100% to the Lord. And we can look to the Savior as an example and ask His will and how to be moderate ourselves. By doing this, we can avoid being too discouraged by our weaknesses, or an apathetic attitude thinking we don't need to give it our best.
Father's Day gift
 Bear wanted the Bear Grylls brand machete for Father's Day, but I accidentally bought him the parang. I clearly don't know my knives very well. I felt weird checking out with a big survival knife at Sports Authority, when I've bought a kitchen knife about that big before so I guess I was just being silly. Bear wants to survive the zombie apocalypse. He's happy that it says "BEAR" on the blade. I think he secretly wants to be Bear Grylls deep down inside. 

I also bought Bear some nice leather flip flops and we made some breaded chicken for dinner together. All the spices were a little strong for me, but Bear loved it, so I guess that's what matters because it was his day. If you want to try it, the recipe is right here.