Category Archives: family

“A Year of Love”

“A Year of Love”

Something I wrote recently about my New Year’s resolution for 2014 was published over at Home & School Mosaics Blog today. Here’s some of it:

“How would you feel if Evelyn felt the same way about herself as you do about yourself?”

I had an interesting conversation with my husband the other night, in which he posed that question to me. For those of you who know me relatively well, I don’t try to hide the fact that I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for long periods of time.

One of the big side effects of my issue is that I put myself down. A lot. So often that I don’t have to TRY to slip in something negative about myself. It comes naturally to me to beat myself up mentally. It’s almost as if I am afraid my pride will get out of control if I don’t give myself a daily deluge of mental criticism and put myself in my place.

The night that this conversation took place, my husband, our 18-month-old daughter Evelyn, and I were hanging up Christmas ornaments on the tree. The majority of our ornaments are special to us – dated ornaments from each year we’ve been married, or gifts we’ve been given through the years, etc. A favorite is from when we went to Disneyland on our honeymoon. (YES, that is absolutely what I wanted, and my sweet hubby delivered, even though we were still poor college students!) While there, we got a picture of our faces pressed together with big smiles etched into a flat glass cutout of Mickey Mouse’s head.Family2013

For more, please continue reading HERE!

What are some of your new year’s resolutions?

Crocheted Yoshi

Crocheted Yoshi
Crocheted Yoshi

Okay, y’all. I am pretty proud of this particular crocheted cutie.

Internet, meet Yoshi!


Okay, you cannot tell me that this not-so-little guy isn’t adorable. And perfect to make for any of your Nintendo geeky friends/family members. This particular guy was made for my brother Stephen’s birthday last week. When we were kids and played MarioKart 64, we would always fight on who got to be Yoshi. When we went back to Utah in June, the old N64 got dusted off, and the battled continued.

Some things just never change.

Anyways, I had already started on this Yoshi for him by then, but it just confirmed what I already knew: Stephen was gonna love his green Yoshi!

I based this Yoshi on the free pattern you can find here. Overall, I thought the pattern was well written, though I felt it pattered out a bit at the end where I could have used a little more help with assembly!

Supplies I recommend:

  • Acrylic yarn (I used mainly cotton, and didn’t love it) in
  • your yoshi color (green) – about about 275 yds since you use quite a bit!
  • boot color (orange),
  • red (for the spikes/saddle),
  • white (tummy/cheeks/saddle).
  • (I also played around with the saddle and made it brown with a red stripe… because I felt like it.)
  • Size G crochet hook (I used an I because I tend to be a very tight crocheter)
  • White and black felt for the eyes (or just have white felt and improvise with a permanent black marker…. I may or may not have done that.)
  • Tapestry needle to sew allllllllllll the parts together. (And there are lots and lots of parts.)
  • Glue for gluing the felt eyes on to your Yoshi
  • Polyfill
  • Patience (lots of it.)

Be prepared for the assembly part-that is where patience comes in handy. It. Gets. Old. Fast. I like to assemble as I go because it makes the assembly time at the end seem not so bad. The way this pattern is written, all but the ball of Yoshi’s head are assembled at the end, and I wanted to pull my hair out because I was so sick of trying to put him together.

But when it is all said and done, you end up with this cutie! He even can give you a little thumbs up if you position his arm right!

Yoshi Collage

Some things that I did that vary from the original pattern:


(Makes two,in your Yoshi color)

Round 1: 6 sc into magic ring

Round 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)

Round 3: sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, around (18)

Round 4: sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, around (24)

Rounds 5-7: sc around (24)

Round 8: *sc in next 2 sts, dec over next 2 sts* Rep * 4 times. Sc in next 8 sts (20) ***

Round 9: *sc in next st, dec over next 2 sts* Rep * 4 times. Sc in next 8 sts (16) ***

Round 10: Dec 4 times, sc in last 8 sts (12) ***

Rounds 11-14: sc around (12)

Fasten off- no need for a tail because you will be attaching to the boots.

*** (I reversed rounds 8, 9, and 10 in the second leg- when you stuff them to put on, it creates a “mirror image” effect for those of us who are kind of perfectionists about that sort of thing)

For the saddle, I added an extra row an extra row of white single crochets since I didn’t like how small it looked on the back. If I could go back, I would have added an extra row of brown SCs, then the red slip stitches, then done the white. By this time though, I was ready to be DONE with poor Yoshi.

If you have any specific questions on what I did differently than in the original pattern, feel free to ask in the comments. I change up the saddle, the spikes, and would do the boots differently if I were to do this again any time soon! 🙂

A very special birthday

A very special birthday

Just recently, my very favorite girl in the world turned one year old.

SAMSUNGCan you believe it? I feel like she was just barely joining our family. (We never could get an answer from the doctor on why she was on the smaller side or why it was “critical” to induce. I suspect it had something to do with the doctor wanting to be paid for being on call that night.)

Anyways, we were lucky enough to spend Evelyn’s FIRST birthday with many of her extended family and some friends, and it was a wonderful day! We did a “Whoo’s Turning One?” theme, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

It started with these cards I designed using my Cricut cutting machine.


I made this cute little gift/decoration for Evie a few weeks before hand to go with her party theme:


I made treats and decorations and thank you bags:

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My mom kindly lent me her kitchen for a few days as I worked on Evie’s cakes. (Yes. Cakes. I know I am crazy, thank you. Jared also reminded me of this often throughout this process. “She’s only turning one!” He said. “She won’t ever remember this!” He said. Pshaw, party pooper!)

First, I baked some colorful “balls” that went inside the cakes:


Then I made the cakes themselves, Evelyn’s mash cake and the cake for everyone else, the day before and of. I am pretty proud how they turned out!

SAMSUNGEvie’s owl mash-it-up cake!

2013-06-28 13.51.56 2013-06-28 13.52.11The formal owl cake for everyone else (covered with homemade marshmallow fondant – which turned out to be a very fun learning experience that also tasted better than the store-bought colored fondant I purchased for some of the other parts of the cakes!)

2013-06-28 15.40.38Side by side at the party!

Then there was the actual party decorations and happenings.


(Thanks Sarah for the cute sign!)IMG_2624

Evelyn by the month birthday banner!

2013-06-28 15.41.24Cute decorations and guests!


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The spread!

Evelyn had the chance to get sung to, “blow out” her candle, mash up her cake while on daddy’s lap, play at the park, AND open some wonderful gifts. She was a very happy and tired girl by the end of the day.

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How amazing it is to me that somebody who once was this tiny, five pound baby:2012-07-04 13.54.54-1

has turned into an adorable, healthy, happy, active, curious, bright, and beautiful one year old toddler.


Happy birthday, sweet Evelyn. We ALL made it through your first year- and there were several times I doubted that I could do it! Here is the hope that we have many, many more we will celebrate together!

May-be a busy month

May-be a busy month
May-be a busy month

Yeah, I know. Lots to say, not enough time to type and post. Unless I decide to miss out on sleep. Or maybe a hot shower. And my priorities just don’t roll that way.

Anyways, May is a busy month in our household. The Man Of The Household has his birthday, and one of my brother’s birthdays. In the past, I was wrapping up the end of the school year, which was always…fun?

SAMSUNG(Showing Dad how to party on his special day!)

This year brought on Mother’s day and baby’s first swimming lessons AND first tooth, instead. (And then there’s the fact I take care of one small human, one tall human, 3 small dogs, and four chickens, too.  What? You can do all that and a full time job AND weed your garden every day? Show off.)

So fun times for us. The Little E turned ELEVEN months. (I get to be the Big E. Go ahead and laugh.)


Seriously, where has this year gone? I’m pretty sure Evelyn just barely showed up in my life a month or two ago… and now she’s almost walking on her own.

Oh, and NOW she can bite. Baby teeth are like little razors. I think I would be extra grumpy if that sucker was breaking through my skin, too. But since Evelyn’s always pretty grumpy, fights going to sleep, drools, and gnaws on everything, it was still sort of a surprise for that cute tooth to poke up Tuesday.

She also did a GREAT job in the pool. She had no problem going into the pool. She is such a water baby. Which was great when she had 45 minute class four evenings a week for the past two weeks. I think it wore me out more than it did her!

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(Hey Mom! I’m all dressed up! What’s the surprise?!)2013-05-20 15.58.55

(Inner Baby Model: Yeah, I know I look good. How YOU doin’?)20130520_175816

(Mom, this is AWESOME! It’s like my bath, but A WHOLE LOT MORE room to splash!!!)

You know, I had a whole bunch more to talk about, but I just looked at those cute pictures of pool-ready Evelyn and with a big smile on my face, completely lost my train of thought. It was a busy month, but full of good things. So on that bombshell, I think it’s a wrap.

Just look at that cute little smile and think happy thoughts before you go to bed tonight.

Crochet fun: Amigurumi Link from Zelda games

Crochet fun: Amigurumi Link from Zelda games
Crochet fun: Amigurumi Link from Zelda games

Recently, it was my brother Jacob’s birthday, and I made him a special gift: a Link amigurumi figure from “The Legend of Zelda” games that he was a huge fan of growing up. He also loves playing Link on “Smash Brothers” and as soon as I came across this pattern from Tanoshimou and these accessories and great pictures from All About Ami.

Of course, I did make a few changes. The biggest change is that instead of the traditional green getup, I had Link in red, since that’s his favorite color!

I am thrilled with how my little buddy Link turned out:

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The awesome part about this pattern is that his head can swivel! It was kind of funky to crochet the ball and joint for his head, but it actually turned out better than I thought it would! 🙂

Once he was done (A LOOOOONG process!) it was time for his shield, sword, and sheath!

2013-05-15 22.24.13  I followed Stephanie’s instructions mostly for the shield. The main difference was that I bought gray yarn JUST for this project, and so I used it for the back of the shield as well instead of blue.

SAMSUNG2013-05-15 22.25.11

As for the sword and sheath, I had to be a little more creative. I didn’t have any good dowels or materials for the “blade” so I crocheted it. Because it was a little bigger, I had to make the sheath a little bigger, too. I didn’t follow a specific pattern for either- I just eyeballed what seemed to work well in proportion to my Link.

2013-05-15 22.27.58 2013-05-15 22.23.48 SAMSUNG

After all that, you put it all together and TA-DA!

Jared had to inform me that I had the sword and sheath going the wrong way on Link (NERD ALERT!) so I had to do some small adjustments for his photo op and packaging to be sent to his new BFF Jacob, but all in all this was such a fun project. I think this makes up for the lack of gifts that I couldn’t send to Jacob when he was off doing missionary work in Fiji for two years. (Have you ever tried shipping anything to Fiji?! It’s ridiculous!)


Oh, and did I mention the hat comes off, too? So awesome. Seriously, get busy and make this for the resident nerds in your life. They’ll love you all the more for it. 😉