new dresses

i recently came across this blog off of freshly picked and i love this dress that she makes. mine did not turn out quite as cute as hers and i am still hoping to get better. it helps me practice the dreaded neckline that i can not seem to truly tackle. check her out. her stuff is cute. i also love her crochet bows. gotta try those.
they are not so cute on...i think its just too big for aves and sass. so i think we may give the yellow one to her cousin for her birthday...
until then, i am going to someday learn to do real necklines without elastic...


fun for your head felt edition

obviously, i have gotten excited about hair clips lately. (hard to say, but i think i am a phase person...) anyway, here are the first felt ones i have ever tried. i am not an expert at them by any means, and have a long way to go with felt. i love embroidery thread, but i think it can be too much sometimes and i dont know when to use regular thread. and my colors are kinda off...and eyes are hard...and do kids really wear animals in their hair??? oh well. we'll see how much better i can get during this phase (because we know im pretty much done with clips after that. and if its hard to tell, they are two blue birds, an elephant, a carrot, and a goose. and then some random flowery ones).
and then munch got a hold of my camera and followed sass around like she was a paparazzi.
we are prob gonna need brittany for some lessons on focus...


fun for your head

i recently found this blog and it is sooooo cute!! her parties are fantastic and she has clothes and accessories too. love it.
when i saw the hair clips (or rosettes as christy just told me!) i kinda got on a kick (like a tend to to do. i.e. the elastic waist skirt) and made maybe 20 of them. (is this a problem for everyone or just me??? maybe dont answer that. im crazy.)
and this is how i did it. it was super easy and i just kinda winged it.
pink clips
twisty flowers
if you know me at all then you are cracking up just seeing an iron on this 'tutorial'. i never iron. like ever. poor jeff. he is just better at it and i never really mastered it so i dont really do it in real life. i have now realized i have to iron seams and press outfits i am making so i do that more. and with this, even though you end up twisting it, it is easier to work with ironed with both of the bright sides of the fabric facing out. (then you dont have the underside creeping through your flower). once you iron it, if you so choose, take one end and start wrapping it into a circle while twisting the fabric around. (sorry, this is the light pink part...i kinda mixed two together). i glued some of it as i went and then i glued it to a circle of felt so it would stay together.
more flower clips
then i just kept making them...
modeling flower clips
and i put some on headbands and some on clips. i ended up making some felt clips too.
(and i made everyone model)
and then i covered some clips with ribbon and that really opened me up to a whole new world. i tried tulle flowers and crazy stuff like that...love hair clips
they are really just so easy. we took them to play group the next day and passed them out. thanks everyone for taking some!! im gonna try the crochet bows and some felt clips next...
hope everyone has a great weekend!!


behind the scenes in tiny town

It was so fun having family and friends come in town for Ella's party. Everyone was such a big help with getting everything ready for the party. I couldn't have done it without them. Thank you so much to everyone that helped!
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The night before prep party was almost just as fun as the actual party! We made 4 boxes of cupcakes, 200 jello shots, 150 caramel apples, hundreds of tiny number 2 sugar cookies and went through 8 cans of icing! I'm a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to party stuff and can get a little crazy:) Everyone was so great and just went with all my craziness! Kristen helped me cut out 3 different versions of signs because I just couldn't ever decide on what colors I liked best and she helped with the most annoying job of laminating the water bottle labels. My wonderful mom came up with the cute tiny 2 cookies and they weren't the fastest things to make. She spent so much time on them to get them perfect. Anna and Morgan helped with them too and I just loved the way they turned out! My fabulous mother in law Dawn popped out 350 mini cupcakes like it was nothing and she had a natural talent when it came to dipping those caramel apples. My uber creative cousin Christi came through on just about everything for me. She always has a great idea up her sleeve and she is like a machine when it comes to getting stuff done. I ran a 10 minute errand and by the time I came back she had 50 water bottles laminated and covered, she's amazing. Everyone but me pitched in when it came to icing the cupcakes and they looked so great! Bob, Matthew and Anna went on more than one after midnight errands for me and I never heard a complaint from anyone. I have the best family!
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The tiny jello was the biggest hit with the kids. I'm pretty sure Avery had 20 of them! I bought tiny 1.5oz cups at party city and filled them with orange jello. Once the jello set, I stuck a tiny spoon in them. Super easy, fast and very kid friendly.
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The tiny caramel apples were the biggest hit for the adults. I'm pretty sure I had 20 of them, they were so good! You take a granny smith apple (this kind seems to work the best) and use a melon scooper to get mini apples. I got about 8-10 mini apples out of one big apple. I bought lollipop sticks from Micheals and cut them in half. I stuck one in each apple then I squeezed moisture out of each mini apple with a paper towel. I tried many different dips for the apples and found that melted chocolate worked the best. Caramel wouldn't stick directly to the apples because the white part of the apple is all that there was to hold the caramel. Chocolate chips worked great and then I drizzled them with caramel. We rolled a few of them in health bar bits and some in mini m&ms too.
Let me just say that I love Lowes. When I came up with the idea of creating a tiny town I began to call around for places that could give me large boxes. Lowes had wonderful customer service and they were willing to help me get as many boxes as I needed. I left one side of the boxes open for kids to go in and out of easily. The roof on the McDonald's/Starbucks dipped down a little so Bob braced it with wood supports and they were very sturdy. I had so much fun painting all the boxes and turning them into a tiny town for Ella.
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Ella was on cloud nine with all her visitors that came to see her. Jo Jo, Pop-pa, Aunt Anna, Mamie, Pappy, Cousins Christi, Morgan, Matthew and our sweet friends Lindsay and Kinley. Thank you everyone for being here to help celebrate Ella's birthday.
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Ella had so much playing with all her tiny friends at the party. Tiny town was filled with lots of little laughs and giggles. Ella got so many great gifts and she loves them all so much! Ella has got some very sweet and talented friends. Check out some of the homemade gifts she got...
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Ella loves a tutu skirt and Kristen made her the cutest one! Ella puts it on multiple times a day and spins round and round in it. It's perfect! She also made her another skirt that is so cute, we will have to model it soon:)
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Lindsay made Ella some the cutest fabric blocks, a fantastic bag and this adorable watch! I don't have a pic of the blocks and bag so go here to see how fabulous they are. Ella loves them all and she looks so grown up with her new watch on.
Ella fell in love with Celeste's gift immediately! As soon as Ella saw Celeste carry it in, she ran to get her baby doll. She rocked her baby to sleep in the fantastic baby bed Celeste got her, and she made the bedding! It is so cute!
And let me just throw out another thanks to sweet Brittany for taking so many amazing pictures of the party. Here is one of my favorite pictures that she got. Uncle George (aka Jordan, Brittany's hubby) always puts a smile on Ella's face. So sweet.


ella's tiny two

Months ago I saw this tiny two party and thought it was the cutest idea. I started thinking of ideas for Ella's party and embraced the tiny theme in every way I could. It all started with the tiny invites.
Ella's tiny two party was last weekend and it was so much fun, she had a blast!
I made a tiny town out of refrigerator boxes that I had been collecting from Lowes over the last month. The town had all of Ella's familiar places in it. There was a tiny house, a tiny McDonalds (ella's favorite place), a tiny Starbucks (bob's favorite place), a tiny church and a tiny hospital, which is where Bob goes to school as a med student. Making the boxes was so much fun and all the kids loved playing in them.
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There was supposed to be a bounce house in the back yard but we got a random snow storm the night before the party so it got canceled. I had the movie "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" playing on tv but nobody even watched it cause tiny town was such a hit!
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My mom, sister, mother in law, and cousins were up with me till 1:30 the night before the party making lots of tiny treats. I couldn't have done it without them! We made tiny cupcakes, tiny number 2 cookies, tiny caramel apples, tiny (kid friendly) jello shots, and tiny cokes and water bottles. The water bottle labels were made by these lovely ladies. I decided on having water bottle labels last minute and didn't have time to make them myself. They put one together for me so fast and I was very happy with it. I just emailed them the colors and wording I wanted and they sent me a PDF file and I printed them myself. I laminated them with masking tape before taping them on the bottles. Everything turned out so cute! The tiny caramel apples were the biggest hit for sure and they were addicting. I saw how to make them here.
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I made tiny banners with tissue paper and yarn. The party favors were in tiny brown paper bags. I made the label on the bag using microsoft word. It said "good things come in small packages." I ordered all the tiny favor toys from oriental trading company.
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The craft for the party was shrinky dinks. I loved this craft when I was a kid and I was so excited when I found this website that still made them. I cut the shrinky dink paper into charm shapes with a hole punched through it so that everyone could make them into a necklace. This was a hit with not only the kids but adults too.
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Of course mom and the birthday girl had to match so I screen printed tiny two shirts for us to wear.
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Most of these fabulous photos were taken by my wonderful friend Brittany. She is an amazing photographer and I am so thankful that she took pictures for me. Thanks to everyone that came and helped out with making Ella's tiny two so much fun!
For some behind the scenes on tiny town go here.


guess who matched???

this guy.
congratulations jeff. we are so proud of you. we can not even begin to tell you how much. you have worked hours and hours of late nights, long days, tough projects and still always come home ready to see us, play with the kids and have a smile on your face. you never, ever complain and you are always content to work hard when you need to, even if you just had twins and you only got three hours of sleep a night for the last month. you are someone who i want to be just like. your contentment and joy in any situation is like no other person i have ever met and your confidence in God and His plans is always what gets me through. i could not have asked for a better person to stand beside these last four years and i cant wait to stand beside you for so many more. congratulations (almost) dr barstad.
get ready, tyler, here we come.


a work in progress

Ella's tiny two party is this weekend and I am so excited about it! I still have a lot to do these next 4 days but everything is coming together so great!
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Here are a few pictures of what I have been working on...
I have been making lots of tiny banners out of tissue paper and string.
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Here is a picture of the hospital and house that will be in Ella's tiny town. Since this picture I have cut more windows out of the hospital, put a UMC Hospital sign on the building and added an emergency sign to the ER part. I still need to finish painting the windows and door on the house and then draw bricks on with chalk. Can you see the vision?
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This will be the church in tiny town and I just finished these stained glass windows for it.
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You'll never guess what my wonderful husband is doing here. Well...Ella's tiny town has one of her favorite places in it, McDonalds! I took two foam noodles to make the McDolands arch and my trusty hot glue gun wasn't holding them together so good. Bob used his doctor skills and gave the McDolands golden arch some stitches! It really worked and it looks so great after I spray painted it yellow.
I will take lots of pictures of the party and post them soon!

so sweet...

How cute is this picture! This is Ella sitting in the laundry room waiting on her dad to come home.
Whenever I tell her that dad is about to be home she will go here and wait on him. Ella was on a wizard of oz kick last week and carried this dorothy doll around with her everywhere and of course wore her red shoes to match. Love her!


mini strawberry pies

so, tonight i had some left over strawberries that were looking a little soft and some pie crust that i had already used one layer of and we decided to make some mini strawberry pies. (and all things tiny have been on our minds alot lately). they were amazing. my mom would die, though, because everything was store bought. her strawberry pie is to die for and of course, it has homemade crust and real whip cream-never cool whip. noooo way, she would never use fake whipped cream. she only likes the real stuff. so dont tell her that we bought everything we put into these little balls of goodness. they def didnt taste like they were missing anything!
eating strawberry pie
you can see the made up "recipe" on our food blog.


rock hunting and a new skirt

it has been so nice outside lately, so we have been taking advantage of it. we have been on quite a few rock hunts. i dont know if you guys are familiar with those, but its basically going to find rocks and then when your kids find some, they bring them to you and say "wow!" over and over. its super fun. and, obviously, very complicated.
ben rock hunting
rock hunting
and i am trying to figure out how to do the necklines on dresses. but its really not working out. so this skirt started out as a dress and then made its way into an elastic waist skirt (we all know how much i love those)
of course i didnt take any pics of sass in it, and this pic is after a long day of wearing it, so its pretty wrinkled. but she was hilarious in it. her booty is so big that it was shorter in the back and her tummy is so round that it folded the flower down in the front! sooo cute!!

match day

so, i should explain why we are moving.
jeff is going to start residency next year and he is in the process of trying to get into a program. he finds out which program he gets into on match day.
match day is on march 18. it will tell us our home for the next three years.
match day is also when all fourth year med students find out where they are going to residency. they have interviewed, done rotations at wherever they want to work and probably traveled all over the country to find a place that they like and that likes them. then they rank their top choices (or all of their choices) in order of where they want to go, starting with their favorites. the residency programs also rank the students they want and the lists have to correspond between the students and the programs. (i have heard its kind of like a sorority match process). some programs take 2 or 3 people and some take 20 or 30. it depends on the program and on the specialty.
jeff wants to be a family dr. he decided this after working with a dr here that really made him feel at home. he really feels that family is the right fit for him. he actually wants to work in the country with a small town but i really cant live in a super small town for selfish reasons (and lack of creativity. i mean, i know the pioneer woman does it, but i am not that creative, smart or ambitious. i need museums, zoos, friends, pools, good crafts stores, etc.). family medicine is not always that competitive of a field and i have heard that sometimes people go into it for that reason. jeff is not. he wants to be a family doctor and i know he will be great at it. he wants to know the entire families of the patients he is working with, do some OB work, and be able to be a more of a community dr.
anyway, family residency programs are all different. he really loves the program in tyler, ft worth and dallas. he also interviewed a little in colorado but those programs were not his favorite. so tyler is his number one choice and we really hope we get to go there.
so on march 18 we will find out if they like us.
but part of us is a little bummed...
i am pretty sad to be moving. i am trying to think of this time as a chance to change and grow and see trees again (i mean, i kinda forgot what they look like since lubbock is so scarce). i am also getting tired of my house "look", so i am excited to redo my house decor and start fresh. i am excited to be closer to home (or be home, depending on where he gets in). i am also excited to not be in lubbock because i dont want to live here forever.
all that said, i will miss lubbock so much. i have had some of the absolute best times here. (and some that were pretty tough). when we first found out that we were coming here, i was a little nervous. i had gone to acu in abilene, and was born in abilene, so i knew west texas pretty well, but i had never lived this far west. or this far away from home.
the first year was pretty tough. i am really shy and i get super nervous around new people so i really didnt meet that many people until about 9 mo in. then, because God is really so faithful, we met some of the most amazing people, that i will forever consider family. and the rest of those first two years, before tech made them go to el paso and amarillo, we had a theme party every week (so much that people started requesting we do things without themes...i know, it was hard). we watched lost, buried a pig in the backyard for a luau, had concerts at our house, shot each other with bb guns, had dance parties, had study groups where i just annoyed them til they talked to me and just got through school together (like i went, i mean, i know i didnt actually do school, but you know, i watched jeff...). ashley was a med student wife with me, and she and i bonded so quickly- she really showed me that i can meet a new friend that hasnt known me for ten years or more, that will be my friend forever. and in the middle of all of that we found out that allison and bob were moving here and jeff and i were both ecstatic. and celeste moved back. loved it.
then i had the surprise of twins. i could not have done it without allison and celeste sitting with me, on so many long days of crying, nights without sleep, and never seeing jeff. i also could not have done it without lindsay and blair who came some weekends when jeff was on call. they will never know how much they got me through some of the toughest times i have ever had.
and now i have to leave. after i have made friends, gotten to the toddler stage, and learned how to survive med school. too bad its over. on to how-to-survive-residency. im sooo not ready for that.
and i will miss ella so much. i honestly can not write that without crying. i have known that blogs are grandparent (and friends') dreams because they show pictures of kids that they miss. and that is so true with linds. i check her blog constantly to see kinley. but i have never had to do that with ella. and of course, what will i do without allison??? she has been my rock and help more than she will ever know. oh, and bob. love bob. but ella. yall have all seen her. you know how precious she is. avery, sass and ben, also love them all so much. and i love it. ashley is having a baby, too, that i will only know for about a month. and celeste has a house that i wont be able to drive by and see the updates. and our new friends at church are so sweet. and it all just kills me.
i know that God is going to take care of us. that He is always faithful. and i know that He will lead and guide us during all of this.
i know that this has drawn out way past what yall need to know, but, what i mean to say is that i am so proud of jeff and all that he has worked so hard for, and i am excited for the next phase of our life....ill prob just be more excited about it in a year or two...
and i will let yall know what happens on march 18!!
wish us luck...


tiny invites

Ella's tiny two invites got mailed today!
They are nothing too exciting but they were cheap and easy to make.
I used microsoft word to make them. I put a short rhyme on the front and listed different meanings of tiny on the back.
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I did the invitation in a tri fold so that it could fit in the tiny envelope. The tiny envelope then went into a regular sized one.
Speaking of mail...look what somebody named GARTH BROOKS sent us in the mail last week!!!
(if you're wondering how we became best friends with Garth, read here.)
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