June 25, 2014

Vines of Vines.

So!  We were out of town all weekend and I am now behind on EVERYTHING.  GAH.
Kid in the pool!  Worth the laundry pile.
Matt swinging with the dude. #stevensonpartyoffive
Tarzan Matt  my new fav picture ever.
Also my iphone finally died the One True Death.  It's gone.  No more.  Which means I've upgraded to one of these bad boys:

I have no idea how it works.

I got a new phone and I have NO IDEA how to use it! #samsung
It can take selfies!  Now what?
So instead of one of the real blog posts I had planned I"m gonna go play with my new phone and try to figure out all of the many, MANY, features. Tips on samsung, adroid, using google to manage everything, the cloud wars, really any of it would be appreciated.  This is a WHOLE NEW WOOOOOORLD.

Victor with his ladies. #stevensonpartyoffive
A new fantastic point of view.

So how about some vines of... vines?


Aaaand that's all I've got for right now.  Yay new phone!!!

June 20, 2014

Three turns ONE.

You guys. I'm not sure how this happened but all of a sudden the little guy is ONE:

Who, Me?  I was just born like yesterday
His first birthday was spent like much of the rest of his life... being dragged around after his siblings:
You would think I would have a problem with this.  You would be wrong.
But between the ballet camp performance (you tube video here) and picking the dude up from grandma's house we made plenty of time to celebrate:

Balloons!!!!  BEST DAY EVER!
We just had a small family get together.  Like we do for first birthday's.  Just some grilling out with the grandparents.  And to be honest his gifts from us were new to him hand-me downs from his siblings (sorry, kid.  I love you but we have enough plastic in our house):

I don't know the difference.
But we made sure to include his favorites.  We had cheesy mashed potatoes as the side - his favorite food EVER.

For dessert we skipped the cake.  I know there's the whole cake smash tradition thing for first birthdays... but he's no stranger to the cake game.  One of the many benefits to being #3 - you get cake way before you probably should.  And it's just not his favorite.  He likes it but not nearly as much as he likes bananas.  Or ice cream.  So we skipped the cake and did banana splits.

It was a celebration all around.  We made it!  We handled the Year of Three Kids 4 and Under!  We got through the newborn/toddler/preschooler insanity!  


 And it is so, so worth it.  I am so glad this little one came into our lives:


 He is a very serious guy.  You have to earn your smiles with him.  He doesn't give them away easily:


But that doesn't mean he's unhappy.  Just thoughtful.


 He doesn't talk much - even now that he has a few words he's content to point at what he wants instead of vocalize.  Part of it is his serious nature - he's never going to be a person who fills the air with words - part of it is having an older brother who never lets anyone get a word in edgewise:


He's happy to go along with whatever his siblings want.  I've joked that he's the chihuahua who thinks he's a mastiff because he's a baby who thinks he's a big kid.  He wants to be in the fray no matter what adventure we are dragging him on or what his crazy siblings are doing:

His siblings dressed him up like a pirate and then put him to work in the ship's kitchen. #11months #siblings #stevensonpartyof5 #pretend
His siblings dressed him up like a pirate and put him to work in the ship's kitchen.  Seriously.
His likes and dislikes are becoming more and more clear every day.  Likes:  Sand, wheels, army crawling, mashed potatoes, ice cream, stuffed animals, his hedgehog, pointing, and chasing his siblings. 
Wait for me!!!!
Dislikes:  Snakes (seriously the kid is terrified of them), being treated like a baby, crackers that don't have peanut butter on them, and his car seat.


It has been so fun watching him learn and grow and his little personality develop.  I can't wait for all that comes next!

What a difference a year makes!  Happy birthday to my littlest one!  #stevensonpartyof5 #one
Happy Birthday, Little Guy!

June 16, 2014

Cleveland Photography Session Giveaway!

So!  Remember when I said that I was going to have a giveaway for a portrait session with I Heart Life Photography?  That day is today!!!  YAY!  But first I have to subject you to lots of photographs of my family because I am super excited about how the images from our photo session with Valerie turned out:

Photo session

Yay!  Valerie at I Heart Life Photography (or on facebook here) was excellent.  Easy to work with, fast with her turn around (it takes a long time to edit this many pictures!), and captured some really stunning images:
Photo session

Along with making sure that each kid was represented:
Photo session

Photo session
Photo session

And taking the posted photograph that I wanted.  This one was taken in the same place as some of our wedding photos.  What a difference nearly 10 years makes!

Photo session

Seriously.  10 years!!!

Photo session

I could honestly post every picture from the session here - 40 images in all.

Photo session

I think my favorite image from the session is this one, though.  It so completely captures the personalities of each of them.  The big guys are messing around and the little one is all "they are crazy people.  I live with crazy people."  I love it:
Photo session

Yay!  Not to obsessively pin photo collage walls.  Because that is SO happening now that I have some wonderful images to work with!

Would you like your very own session with Valerie?  You can enter to win!  The fabulous prize is:

Lifestyle Photo Session
60 minutes on-location photo session for up to 5 people
Receive 12 digital pictures with print release
Photo session location within 30 miles of 44107 zip code.
Expired in September 2015

Entry is easy with the rafflecopter below.  I will choose and email the winner next Monday, June 23.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure:  Valerie at I Heart Life Photography provided a photo session for my family in exchange for hosting this giveaway.  All opinions are my own.  All images in this post are from I Heart Life Photography.  

June 12, 2014

First Fishing Trip.

So!  The post I was working on for today didn't work out at all.  It happens sometimes.  But!  In the interest of blogging more how about I just throw up some pictures from taking the kids fishing on Lake Erie?

first fishing trip
I figured no one who reads this blog would ever object to a few Lake Erie pictures.

We took them out on my dad's boat last night.  The big kids have been on the boat before but never actually fishing.  They've been looking forward to this for weeks  Practicing with their little Disney themed fishing rods in the back yard - pretty sure those exist specifically to sucker in grandpas.  Also it was this little one's first boat trip ever:

first fishing trip

So it was a big event.  We were surrounded by rainstorms so the trip didn't last long.  But as soon as the Dude had a line in he had his first fish:

first fishing trip

 He didn't quite know what to make of it:

first fishing trip

 Other than it was awesome:

first fishing trip

 He immediately started teasing his sister "well I got a fish..."  She responded almost immediately:

first fishing trip
our dog is not impressed.

With a double header:

first fishing trip

 Then we had to pull up the lines and scurry in to beat the rain.

first fishing trip

Which was very dramatic for the kids (but not really for us at all) and makes for a great story for them to tell.

first fishing trip
her high drama face

first fishing trip
How many creatures can I fit on my lap at one time?
I think they had a fun first fishing trip!

All of the pictures (about half of which I took) came from my dad's camera.  Thanks, dad!

June 4, 2014

Tote for Teacher.

So!  My daughter is officially done with preschool.  How did that even happen?  Time... she flies.  Anyways I honestly can't say enough wonderful things about her school and teachers.  They were simply fantastic.  Engaging and exciting and we're really going to miss them.  So I wanted to give them an end of the year gift that didn't suck.  And you know what everyone needs and can appreciate?  A nice tote bag:

Chevron Tote for Teacher

Simple, useful, stylish.  BOOM.

Totes for Teacher
I sewed them up using some outdoor fabric that I got way marked down at JoAnn's when I went to buy the fabric for my mom's supertote.  The pattern was adorable.  I couldn't resist - even if I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I bought it.

Totes for Teacher
Mmmmmm... chevrons.
To make the totes I took that one yard length and cut it into thirds.  Then folded those pieces it in half to get my tote dimension. 

Totes for Teacher

3 totes out of one cut of 60% off fabric.  YES.  I still need to make the third tote but go ahead and throw that one on my someday pile.

I used the instructions for a boxed out tote on Made.  Great tips in that tutorial!

Totes for Teacher
love the boxed out bottom!

But then I added in my own details.  I used the same dimensions and top stitching for the straps as in the Supertote:

Totes for Teacher

Adding in a pop of color underneath:

Totes for Teacher

Then I reinforced the straps with a line of angled stitches to mimic the chevrons:

Totes for Teacher

 I used french seams throughout so that they are completely finished inside.

Totes for Teacher

 It's all in the details, people.

Totes for Teacher

 The pink handled one is more boxed out than the green and the green one has a shorter handle:

Totes for Teacher
Just because I was experimenting.  I like them both.

Yay teacher totes!

Also just as an extra fun bonus picture... my daughter on her first day of preschool and her (almost) last day.

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