Snuggled Under Memories

I can’t remember if I ever wrote about my t-shirt quilt before. I feel like I have? But I can’t find one in my archives? And there’s a strong possibility that I just wrote it in my head but never on the computer? So if you’re reading this and it’s old news – then happy Friday! If you’re reading it for the first time, enjoy!

 

About four years ago, my sister Ali informed me that the boxes of t-shirts that I had been storing in one of her many closets (“No no, Ali, it’s fine! You have TONS of closet space so I see where 2 boxes are totally cramping your storage style!”) were no longer welcome. Forced to bring my boxes to my house and find a home, I decided it was time to find a solution that did not involve making more room in the closet.

I searched around on-line and came across Conforta Quilts. The front page had a picture of a blanket made entirely of St. Mary’s shirts – Peter and my alma mater – so I figured this had to be the right place. If another Knight trusted them, then we should too.

It turns out my gut was right. I met with Mike a few weeks later and brought my boxes o’ tees. As instructed, I pulled out my favorites and those with special meaning. I also had organized the ones that I cared the least about. We discussed layouts, style of stitch, etc over coffee and then I loaded my shirts into her trunk. On the drive home, I called Peter in a panic – what if she just keeps all my shirts and never actually makes a quilt!? His response “what the hell would some lady want with a bunch of Alpha Phi shirts??”. Ouch. And point taken.

About six weeks later, Mike called and we met at the same coffee bar. She pulled the most beautiful quilt out of a bag and handed it over for my inspection. Now, I was planning on it being beautiful, but I wasn’t planning on it being totally functional and amazingly comfortable too! Mike’s creation is machine washable and also backed with flannel so it’s warm and snuggly. In a word? AMAZING.

So many great memories, all said in t-shirt.

Not one shirt went to waste – even the logos were used and used on the reverse side too!

The square in the center of the picture is actually 3 shirts sewn together

This one has a special meaning – Peter gave it to me after I had decided I was going to UofA. He said it was one of his favorites from when he was a kid and that it didn’t fit him any more. I wore it to the UofA v ASU game where I met his parents for the first time. His mom, not knowing that her son had lied about the origin of the shirt, explained that Peter had bought it at SAVERS (for those not in the know, it’s like Good Will’s poor, bastard cousin – i.e. used clothes and not in a fun consignment store kind of way). I thought I had bed bugs crawling on me the rest of the game. What I really want to know is why they don’t make shirts with Wilbur the Wildcat trying to eat Sparky the Sun Devil any more?

So if you’ve got a similar issue with your college, high school or athletic shirts, I could not more highly recommend Mike at Conforta. I thought about doing this for Baylor and her baby clothes to some day. There are a million ideas!

Bird Watching

Technically, I think these two are fish watching. They are sitting on my mom and step dad’s porch in Montana, staring out at the lake. Sometimes they would shout “bird!!” and sometimes “fish!!”. I’m not sure if Baylor was confused as to what she was supposed to be looking at or if she really did see fish jumping. Either way, it’s adorable.

Looking back to get instructions from Noni

Fish? Birds? Or just fun to hold the binoculars?

Girls (mini) Weekend

This past weekend, I joined my friend Kristin and two of her friend (who I would now like to think of as our friends!) for a little mini weekend in Sedona.

Kristin found a great deal on TravelZoo.com back in January. It was for two people, two massages and breakfast for a ridiculously good rate. Kristin, Jen , Cheryl and myself headed out first thing Saturday morning. We arrived at the beautiful Sedona Rouge resort with plenty of time before our spa appointments to sneak in our Skinny Girl Margaritas and lay by the pool. We enjoyed the 90 degrees, sun, chilly pool and ice-cold drinks while catching up and chit chatting. It was lovely to just have the time to relax.

We gathered up our cocktails and gear and headed over to the spa for massages. An hour later, we all met up in the whirl pool to discuss everyone’s treatment and laugh about the conversations we had. My masseuse was a total hippie and very nice so we chatted the entire time. Cheryl fell asleep to the point where the masseuse had to wake her up and Kristin was rubbed down by every part of the masseuse’s arm and part of her hair as well. The consensus? Great massages and that we had to find out where they get their oils from – which when we finally found the store that supplies the oils to the spa, they couldn’t give us a straight answer on which brand they sold and which scents were most popular. But we did find the fudge store and got milkshakes for the drive home so our excursion goes down in the win column.

We capped off the day with Blood Orange Margaritas at a new restaurant called Elote. It’s kind of modern mexican food and was quite enjoyable. The remainder of the evening was spent answering salacious questions from a bachelorette party game left over from Kristin’s wedding. Despite the content, it felt very much like a teenage sleep over, complete with animal crackers and M&M’s – but with wine!

The thing that struck me more than once was that this group of ladies was the ideal group to travel with. First off, everyone brought snacks, wine AND an opener. All the ladies were easy-going, up for whatever and had  no qualms about when and what we ate. The easy going-ness of the group made it so relaxing and fun.

The icing on the cake of the trip was the drive home. We were having a deep discussion about the chicks from Teen Mom and drew a blank on the name of Jayce’s mom. When Kristin looked it up we all heaved a collective “JANELLE!!”. This was followed by “Samsonite! I was way off” which opened up a stream of Dumb and Dumber quotes despite the fact that no one had mentioned the movie. Pure genius.

Thanks to Kristin for being our cruise director and to Jen and Cheryl for making the weekend so fun!

Wild Montana Skies

Calling Montana the Big Sky State is no understatement. Some of my favorite pictures are always of the sky, clouds and sun. If  I only had a camera that would capture the night sky – I can’t even begin to describe the amount of stars and planets that can be seen each night.

At the rodeo:

About an hour later:

At the rodeo, to the east:

At the ranch, after a rain shower:

View from the ranch over the Paradise Valley:

Feathered Accessories

Feather hair extensions, clips, headbands and pins are all the rage these days. Just typing “feathers” int a search on Etsy.com brings up dozens of sites selling feathered accessories.

And because these little beauties are popular, they aren’t cheap. I goofed around online until I found some close up shots of the clips and decided I could copy them. Thankfully for me, my hubby Peter ties flies for fishing. This means there are  plethora of feathers in his desk of every length, origin and color.

I tried a prototype that didn’t hold up very well. So I added some ribbon and my new clip survived several outings while on vacation. Here’s a good picture:

Just a hint of feather under my left ear. It’s just enough to be hip, but appropriate for a mom who’s approaching 30! I did make a little clip for Baylor, but she wasn’t a fan. And my mom kept thinking there was something stuck in my hair. I guess some trends aren’t for everyone.  But I’m thinking with a few gin and tonics, she’ll be into it. My mom that is, Baylor’s more of a M&M kind of gal.

I Heart Rodeo

One of my favorite parts about our Montana trip every year is the Livingston Roundup. It’s a small town with a big rodeo. Most of the participants do this for a living and win big doing it. But the actual ridding, roping and racing are only part of the fun. It’s the other sides of the rodeo that make it such a hoot.

First, there’s the cocktails. You don’t purchase one beer, two or even three. You purchase by the six-pack. Mostly because they have a system where you have to first buy tokens, then go stand in another line and buy beer. Rodeo goers don’t want to  miss any action so you buy all your beer at once. But how do you carry and or keep cold all this beer? Why with ice and a trash bag box:

Yes, much like Costco its self, there are a variety of empty boxes and bags to carry your cocktails back to your seats.

Karin is very excited about all this.

When buying the beer, I asked the nice lady with the beer how many six packs I could purchase at one time. When she looked at me strange, I replied that we were there with a lot of people and was there a limit on how many six packs I could get? Her response? “Just where the hell are you from?? You can buy as many as you can carry darlin’!!”. Aaaand that’s why I love Montana.

Now, if you’re not armatures at rodeo drinking like we were, you do like the locals do:

Pretty purse, yes? And then you open it:

Aaaaand you see how the locals do it.

The best discovery at the rodeo this year was our friend Karin’s love of Rodeo Humor. RH is the banter between the miked up rodeo clown and the announcer between riders. They jaw back and forth and make dumb jokes, all of which Karin practically rolled on the floor she was laughing so hard. Which made it infinitely more funny to the rest of us. We’re not sure if it was really that funny, or if the combination of “beer in a box” and “kids are sleeping soundly with the sitter” giddiness were the real reason it was all so funny.  Here’s an example of the fun:

I know it’s a little hard to see, but this is one guy. Yes, the guy in the middle, or the Indian in this version of the Village People, is controlling the other four dummies. Yes, he does have two dummies rigged up to pipes and pullies in front of him and two behind. The result? His YMCA dance is preformed in perfect time by all 5 of them. It was bizarre. It was strange. It was slightly disturbing and it was oh so funny.

The night ends with a gorgeous display of fireworks set to patriotic music that gives you goose bumps. It’s then a scramble and a fight to get back to the car together and in one piece to then wrestle through traffic to the one entrance to the highway. Start to finish, it’s a front runner for one of the best events of our year!

I Believe

I believe in miracles. I believe in signs. I believe in the warm and fuzzies and gut feelings. I believe that God gives us little whispers, hints and reminders that we are loved and that someone is listening.

This week Baylor moved up to the “big pool” at swim lessons. It was bitter-sweet for me because it meant that I no longer had to get into the super chlorinated pool only to get doused several unwanted times. But it also meant that I didn’t have to get into the pool with her for swim lessons anymore. After watching her lesson, I saw how great she did with her instructor because she was getting spread her wings and it was amazing to watch. I was so happy, so proud… and so comfortable in the cool air conditioned room.

I realized on the way home that our second call after Peter to tell him how great she did, would have been to Mame. Mamie always loved watching and hearing about Bay’s lessons. She bought her goggles, a kick board and her first swim suit – followed by many other swim suites. She was always so excited to hear how she did and loved watching her “kick, kick, kick and float, float, float”. When she was able to come to lessons, Baylor made a point to climb out, run to the sidelines and give Mamie a kiss. Even though it was not what she was supposed to be doing, even her teacher couldn’t get mad because it was so cute.  I was sure to note that night during prayers with Baylor, how proud Mamie would have been of her.

Saturday morning I was greeted by a sweet, smiling two-year old shouting “AWAKE!! MOMMY!! AWAKE!!”. I picked Bay up and took her to the changing table where she asked me for her “Mamie angel”.  I handed her the wooden figuring that Mame had given her on her first birthday. She kissed it, and then looked at me and said “I saw you”. I stopped mid diaper change. She said it again and this time smiled at me. Baylor has never said that before – she usually says “see you” or “momma, see”, never a full sentence and never in the past tense.

My only conclusion is that it was a little sign from Mame that she’s watching. That she sees how amazing Baylor is and that she’s proud. I tried hard to hold in tears and said a little prayer of thanks for knowing that she’s still here and that she still sees how much she is loved and missed.