Space ships flying over, sitting in a huge crowd of people at Disneyland waiting for hours, and 90 degree September mornings are definitely not my thing. However, they are the hubsters. So, I have learned that sometimes I need to put my own wants and desires to the side in order to try new things and entertain the ideas of the man who supports me with anything I do, because they end up basically being AWESOME.
On that special Friday in September, we packed up the kids & our friend Becky, headed for the happiest places on earth with excitement running through each one of our veins to see a part of history take place.
We enjoyed a view rides, a visit with Giulietta's favorite princess, and then we planted our tushies in front of the castle to wait for the space ship to flyover. Really not knowing when it was coming or what to expect, we kept our eyes on the sky as the sun burnt our wondering faces. People crowded close together, the hubster was full of excitement, and the girls were thoroughly entertained with their Becky.
Then she came! It was amazing, spectacular, and breathtaking all rolled into one, and thats is coming from someone who wasn't the least bit interested in watching it all take place. She came, she flew low, and she went all in a blink of an eye, but it was by far one of the most fascinating moments in my life. All the waiting and sweating was definitely worth the few seconds of history making awesomeness.
The best part is the thought that one day when my girls are talking about NASA, and the old space ships in school, they'll be able to say that they saw it first hand, they remember the awe of the crowd at Disneyland at the very moment the space ship flew over, and they have the pictures to prove it. Needless to say, it pays to try something new, to listen to someone else's suggestion for a change, to keep my mind open for new adventures.
This morning as I was hurriedly brushing all the tangles out of Giulietta's hair in the bathroom and trying to make sure that my little monkey girl Presley wasn't jumping off of the counter, Giulietta turned her head up and asked, "Mommy, how many people do you have living in our house?" Without thinking, I quickly responded with, "Four! Why?" She went on to say that she created a family tree at school and when her teacher asked her how many people lived in her home she said five. Again without thinking I quickly responded with, "You know we only have four people honey. We have Mommy, Daddy, Presley, and YOU!" She looked at me, said "Yes!", and us girls quickly went along our way without any further discussion of the make up of our family or living situation. I grabbed the keys, the kids, and the essentials and headed out the door later then we have been in a LONG time.
With Fall sorta upon us in California, and I say sorta because today we are expecting another 90 degree heat wave, the morning snuggles in Mommy & Daddy's bed have been amazing, and this morning I just wasn't quite ready to give it up. Hence, the big one was 30 minutes late for school, and I just kinda didn't care. We were making our own special memories at home this morning, and that was important to me. Soaking up the littleness that surrounds me, their giggles, and their want and need to be close to me is way more important these days then getting somewhere on time. My motto has become...
"It can wait, life is happening right here with them, with me, with us. When I blink they'll grow, they'll change, they'll walk their own path!"
After dropping G off at school and having to walk back to the car twice in order to get her lunch & then her share item, I placed my head against my headrest, engulfed a big breath, and took a minute to rehash the morning. As a smile slowly creeped up my lips while I thought about my girls sandwiched between their Daddy-O and I, something in the back of my mind abruptly shook my happy moment right off my face and out of my heart. Just one word replayed over and over and over again in my head. "Five! Five! Five!" Suddenly it occurred to me...we should have 5 people! The girls should have another sibling to dance around the house with, to walk down the street with, to wrestle and pull hair with. But, they don't, we don't, I don't!
And...if I sat here and said it was okay, I'd be lying. Truth be told it really isn't, and it probably never will be. However, it is life, it is the path I walk, and it is the one that I embrace. There are times that hurt worse then others, like today for example, but for the most part my heart still smiles at all the beauty that surrounds me, at my little ladies that I do have, at my amazing family & friends who support me no matter how crazy I may be at times.
Once my happy thoughts began filling the empty void I was left reeling with after the mention of "five," my mind began to wander deeper. I started thinking about when the Morad Four would become a five. Everyone knows that the hubster and I have always planned on having three kids, and sometimes the idea or four gets tossed around every now and then. And, it seems as the months quickly tick by and Presley approaches 2 the questioning of when from family, friends, and even strangers is increasing more and more. I usually brush it aside with the fact that I'm still trying to get to my "goal weight" or that I'm still working at becoming more emotionally equipped after the loss of Presley's twin. As true as those two reasons might be, they aren't the only reasons nor are they the real reason why I am waiting for baby 3. I am afraid!
Afraid for the first ultrasound.
Afraid to enter the same room that represents so much hurt.
Afraid of what might be unveiled.
Afraid to walk down a path that I've worked so hard to get off of.
Acknowledging my fear, admitting the truth, and facing it make me feel like I'm somehow weak. That the strong Katie, or the facade rather that I have always put in place when everyone is around, is no longer present. But, right now, I'm really okay with being a little weak, a little vulnerable. Being weak only means that I'm feeling, living, and staying in touch with the me I've been working so hard to become.
Will I let my fear change my mind, scare me away from doing something I've always wanted to do, or navigate me down a different life path? Absolutely NOT! My fear will only propel me to overcome, learn, and grow. There will be a Morad Five! Definitely not today, tomorrow, or in the next nine months. But, when the time is right.
Every year my dear friend and neighbor Marci and I oohh and ahhh over the holiday PJ's way before it is even okay for them to be out in stores. We exchange emails with links, discuss coupon codes, and whip out the debit cards months in advance in order for our little darlings to match. We eagerly await our packages, call each other when they arrive, and then burrow the PJ's deep in the drawer until the perfect moment arrives.
I know that some aren't the matching type, and usually Marci isn't either, but if there is one thing she gives into my matchy matchiness on, it is these cute holiday jammies. And, you see she has willingly allowed me to torture our kids for my pure picture pleasure every Halloween & every Christmas since the big ones were born.
And...every year there is a day or night planned, an ideal time and location, and the expectation that the kids will sit, smile, and make it easy. However, it has NEVER gone that way. The kids move, they cry, and they do everything they possibly can to make it nearly impossible to snap one decent shot of the two, three, and now four of them. But, it doesn't really matter!
What I came to realize this year as the sun was setting too fast, the kids' stomachs were growling from the smell of the pizza that we were trying to bribe smiles out of them with, and all their little legs wanted to do was take off running across the neighbors lawn, was the fact that memories were being created. Sure, a picture with all four looking straight at the camera smiling was the task, but it was not the goal. The goal was for the kids to laugh, smile, hug, run, eat, and create lasting memories with each other!
And...you know what? You better believe that is exactly what these four friends did that night as they rocked their Halloween PJ's.
Let me just start this post by saying, I LOVE me some fabric! In fact, I have way, way, way to much of it. Every time I take one little step into the fabric store, I can't help but see something I know absolutely cannot live without. I can probably thank Pinterest for this dirty habit, considering my sewing board is filled with an endless amount of projects that I WILL one day complete! Ha, who am I kidding? Most of the tutorials will go unattempted, but they sure do look pretty sitting in cyber space, and they definitely do inspire.
Since I've started sewing about a year ago I tend to look at everything, and I mean EVERYTHING I can get my hands on. I turn items inside out, I examine stitching, I determine type of material used, I attach a value, and I figure out if it's makeable by me. And, to be honest, most things that I hold in my hand are makeable, but not necessarily cost effective or time reasonable. But, I never let that stop me! Sewing isn't always about those things, sometimes it is about gaining skill, or better yet having fun.
Recently as I was putting clothes away in Giulietta's closet, my eye caught hold of an almost too small light gray tulle skirt that we both have loved over the past year. It is puffy, but not too puffy; it twirls wide, but not too wide; and, it is fancy, but not too fancy. It is pretty much perfection in the form of gray tulle and satin turned skirt, and I wanted more. So, I did a quick inspection, made notes for what type of material i could use to replicate this gem, and headed off to the store.
With Halloween right around the corner, I decided on 1 yard of stylish red spider tulle for the top layers, 1 yard of red 100% cotton for the bottom layer, and a few yards of 1 inch thick elastic for the waistband.
I started my project by taking the gray skirt I was trying to model after, and measuring the waistband (you want to do this carefully in order to not stretch the elastic), and length. Giulietta's original gray skirt was a size 4t, and measured 19 inches around (elastic band) , and 10 inches in length. Since I wanted her to be able to wear this skirt a while (maybe two Halloween's if I'm lucky), so I decided to add an extra 2 inches to the waistband and length respectively.
I cut my 45 inch wide red spider tulle fabric into four separate 6 inch strips.
Then, I took two 6 inch strips of the red spider tulle right sides together, and serged them into one (you can sew them as well). I repeated the step above with the other two 6 inch strips of fabric.
Taking one of my two long strips of 6 inch wide red spider tulle fabric pieces, I gathered one edge by simply running the fabric through my serger. You can gather on your sew machine as well, it really makes no difference. The amount you gather is solely up to your preference, and it can always be adjusted for the length of material you are connecting this layer to. If you have never gathered on your serger, you are missing out on a real treat! In fact, that was one of the main reasons I bought my serger. I hated gathering like the next person, but loved the look of it, and wanted something that would make the job way easier. I found an awesome Tutorial over at Everything Your Mama Made & More! that is worth checking out if you need help gathering on either type of machine.
With both stripes of 6 inch red spider tulle fabric gathered and placed to the side, I found my 45 inch wide red fabric and cut it to 14 inches in length.
I then took my piece of red fabric and hemmed the bottom 1/4 of an inch or so that way it would not fray during playtime or while washing. Next, I stretched my red strip of fabric out all 45 inches, and began pinning my gathered red spider tulle fabric to it. I made sure that the tulle overlapped the bottom layer of red 100% cotton by about a quarter of an inch.
I think it is important to mention here that when I make skirts for my girls, or anyone else really that when I want to figure out how much fabric I will need to fit nicely around I simply double the length of the waistband. So, with this skirts planned waistband at 21 inches, I would typically use 42 inches of fabric, but I figured 3 more inches of fabric would only make it that much more full and fun so I continued on with the 45 inch wide red fabric!
Once I had the first layer pinned, I went ahead and ran it through my sew machine making sure I locked in my stitches on both ends.
I then laid out my red fabric with one layer of spider tulle attached, and followed the same step above while connecting the second layer. I paid close attention to make sure that the top layer overlapped the bottom one by about 1/2 an inch this time. Once pinned, I quickly ran this second row through my sew machine using a straight stich and making sure both ends were locked securely in place.
With my almost complete skirt laid out again, I folded over the top of my skirt 1/4 of an inch, and then again another inch and pinned. I made sure that my waistband tube that I was making was low enough to cover the top of my red spider tulle, so that the seams were hidden.
When the length of the skirt was pinned, I again ran it through my sew machine using a simple straight stitch locking both ends.
Setting the skirt to the side, I measured and cut my elastic to 22 inches. Considering that I wanted my waistband to be 21 inches when complete, I decided to add an extra inch for a hem allowance.
I picked up my skirt and guided my elastic through the newly sewn waistband.
Once the elastic was guided all the way through the waistband, I folded my skirt in half, lined up the two edges, pinned and ran them through my serger (a sew machine will do the job just fine, but my serger gave me a nice finished edge).
I turned my skirt inside out, and pushed the fabric around the waistband to my liking.
After cutting all the loose threads, and attaching a tag on the inside, I excitedly called Giulietta in from the other room so that she could give her new skirt a try.
With her smile spread from ear to ear, my girl danced, my girl twirled, and my girl held her new favorite skirt tightly between both her hands as she bounced around our backyard singing and dancing.
With this two tier skirt being such a hit with Giulietta, I decided to make my little Presley a matching one too with the leftover fabric. Her response when she saw it was, "Cute Momma, Cute!" The simple pleasure my girls get from me making them fun things truly melts my heart and reinforces the reason why I stay up to all hours of the night sewing, creating, and having fun.
Since making these Halloween skirts for the girls, I've already ventured to the fabric stores nearby and stocked up on more tulle in addition to some fun coordinating cottons in order to make the ladies a few more two tier skirts to add to their collection.
If you aren't savy sewing, or don't have the time to make these skirts, you can find a generous selection of them for sale on my ETSY store. Keep in mind if you don't see something to your liking, it doesn't mean that I don't have it or that I can't make it; I just haven't. So, please contact me with a simple e-mail, or an Etsy or Facebook message, and ask! I'd be happy to give anything a try!
At this very moment four short years ago, I nervously sat in a hospital bed, attached to what felt like every single machine known to man, anxiously awaiting the birth of my first baby girl. Fear, pain, love, hope, wonder and excitement engulfed my every emotion and left me feeling strong, capable, and determined to be the best Momma to my little princess.
What I didn't know, was exactly how much one little being could change me. Everyone told that bringing a life into the world would change my life, my home, my family, my marriage, my career. Most of the time I politely smiled, nodded, and thought "well duh!" However, what those people didn't tell me, and maybe it's because they didn't know, is how much having my Giulietta would change ME. Change me for the good, the better, the best, and make me the Momma I am today!
Sure, I have endured my share of sleepless nights, snotty noses, soiled bed sheets, midnight cries, and tedious tantrums. But, it isn't those moments that I remember when I look into my sweet girls eyes, when I hear the pitter patter of her feet on our hardwood floors, or when I steal a peak at her peacefully sleeping every night before I close my eyes.
It's the moment I first saw her,
the moment she first smiled,
the moment she felt snow for the first time.
the moment she walked hand in hand with her Daddy and I through the park,
the moment she first played with paint,
the moment she ate her first slice of birthday cake,
the moment she slept in her big girl bed all by herself,
the moment her smile spread bigger then any other time,
the moment she sat on the banks of the Mississippi sandwiched between her Daddy and I,
the moment she became a big sister,
the moment she sent her beloved paci to the "paci fairy,"
the moment she ran outside in the rain until her coat was soaked through,
the moment she danced around my bedroom like a princess wearing my wedding dress,
the moment she got her first "real" manicure & pedicure,
the moment she walked into her last first day of Preschool,
the moment just us girls took an evening stroll around our neighborhood,
and, the moment she danced her heart out at your 4th Birthday Concert.
And, each of these moments, plus many more are what have changed ME. It is Giulietta that has changed me! Her inquisitive mind, her loving spirit, her infectious laugh, her brilliantly wide smile, her double dimples, her even temper, her problem solving skills, her love for life, her warm heart, her insistent independence, and her natural beauty embody who she is, give her confidence to be who she wants to be, and touch everyone who comes into contact with her.
Giulietta you are special. You are my first born baby girl. You are someone everyone can turn to. You are someone who is easy to be around, someone you want, and often times need. You are a great thinker, who can often be found starring out into space contemplating or analyzing a particular situation. When you smile, really smile, there is nothing more beautiful then your expression. Your energy and attitude are full of charisma and love, with a lot of confidence and even more independence. And, when you look into your bright blue crystal like eyes, you can see your heart...full, honest, and loving.
Giulietta, don't ever change, don't ever grow up! Happy 4th Birthday my sweet girl, my first born, my little GEM. You are deeply loved more then words can express! XOXO
**I'd like to give special thanks to my dear friend Molly over at