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2011: Looking Back

It’s weird looking back at all of the blog posts from the year and seeing all the things we’ve done, accomplished, not accomplished, and most importantly, how we’ve grown. Here is a compilation of the more important things that happened. I know it’s cliche to say, but lately I’ve been realizing more and more how much I love my life!

Looking back, it may not seem like we did much, but oh we did! I’m doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to. The most important things in my life happen at home :)

Attempted to beautify our new house and make it our own. Still a work in progress

Said goodbye to our dearest friend, and sweetest companion Wanda. We still talk about her often and Cole still asks where she is. See ya in a few, Wanda! xoxo

Made A LOT of messy art

Played with as many cousins as possible

Mades bestest friends with neighborhood families. Spent A LOT of outdoor time together (and indoor time, for that matter!)

Spent the majority of the year growing another human

Spent more and more time outside!

Had sweet baby Hawk! Became a mother of TWO!

And now we’re a family of four, loving (almost) EVERY second of it!

DIY Sweater Stockings

I’ve been needing to get new stocking for a while now. Our family is growing. When I made stockings a LONG time ago, it was just Matt, Wanda and I. Then, when Cole came, Wanda’s stocking became Cole’s, and we got Wanda a more fitting stocking, because she was a dog and all. Now that Hawk is here, I thought it was time to just scrap the old stockings and start over, thinking long-term.

Before I start on the tutorial though, I must give credit to Nicole for giving me this idea. If it weren’t for her, I would not have these sweater stocking hung by my chimney with care.

If you’re worried about sewing, fear NOT! This was probably one of the most simple, easy crafts I’ve ever done! Anyone can do it, I promise! I busted 6 out in about an hour.
First, I started by going to the local thrift store to find some sweaters. You can use your own old sweaters too, if you have some. Here were my criteria for the sweater hunt:

-fun patterns
-bright colors
-nice ribbing on the bottom of the sweater (because this would be the TOP of the stocking)
-enough fabric to make large stockings (the size I wanted them to be)

After you have your sweaters, come home and make a pattern. I liked the shape of this basic stocking pattern, so I roughly followed this design. I made the pattern on the back of a cereal box that I had taken apart and opened up.

*Make sure to keep in mind seam allowance when making your pattern. Leave about 1/2 inch extra on all sides.

Turn your sweater inside out and pin your pattern to the sweater, making sure that the top of your stocking pattern (the opening of your stocking) is matched up with the bottom ribbing of the sweater. Cut out fabric.

Sew the stocking together, turn inside out, and voila! You have a beautiful stocking!

*Some of the feet on my stockings turned out a little elvish on accident, but I kind of like it like that :)

I tried to make a hook out of part of the sweater, but it was more work than it was worth, I thought. I ended up just putting the knitting of the stocking through the nail on the mantle. It works fine.

I made six stockings because I didn’t want to make stockings again. Does this mean I just made it official that we’re having 4 kids? Hmm…We’ll just have to see.

Best Breed of Dog?

On 16, Feb 2011 | 21 Comments | In Wanda | By Heather Mildenstein

I’ll admit it. Matt and I have been looking. Obsessively. Not as a replacement for our beloved Wanda, let’s be honest, nothing can compare to her. We just like dogs a lot. We’ve debated back and forth about the pros and cons of getting a dog right this second, but more on that later.

Right now I want to hear what kind of dogs YOU love and why!

We’re open to a lot of different breeds, and have just been doing research. Our main requirement is that the dog be hypoallergenic because Matt has allergies to animals. But that aside, what is YOUR favorite?!

Wanda: January 2007-February 2011

I didn’t want to write this post, but Matt wanted me to, so here it is. We had to put Wanda down early this morning to put her out of her suffering. She had gotten progressively unstable throughout last week, and the vet had no solution for her. She had been shaking for the last week and a half uncontrollably, stopped eating, and couldn’t really walk anymore. The best, most unselfish thing to do was to put her down. It was terribly hard.

I have never lost a child, but without belittling the subject AT ALL, I feel almost like I can somewhat relate.

Wanda has been part of our family almost as long as Matt and I have been married, and we imagined at least 8-10 more fun years with her. We had plans for her to have puppies. It is so hard. I know I sound ridiculous, but if you’ve ever lost a dog I think you can relate.

I know it’s even harder on Matt than it is on me. They had the silliest, most ridiculously adorable relationship I’ve ever seen.

Anyway, we thought that you all should know that Wanda’s gone now, but there’s no doubt that our loved ones in Heaven are playing with her right now.

Wanda had a good…no, great life. You can read more about it HERE.

Mod-Dog: Modern Art For Modern Pets

On 26, Jul 2010 | No Comments | In Art, gift ideas, Wanda | By Heather Mildenstein

I just saw these Mod Dog prints on Grassroots Modern and it made me so excited! Pet portraits that aren’t totally ridiculous and embarrassing! I love love love them! I think I’d get the Westie print (naturally) in either chartreuse or warm grey. But how do you choose the color? They’re all amazing!

What a great gift this would make!

Wanda Wednesday

On 15, Apr 2009 | No Comments | In Wanda | By Heather Mildenstein

Due to the high volume of requests (ok, just one request…thanks Arica!) I’m going to attempt to get back into Wanda Wednesdays.

Wanda and Cole are best buddies and I love it! They’re both equally fascinated with each other. One time I caught Cole actually petting Wanda very carefully with his small little hand. When Cole is asleep in my arms, Wanda insists on snuggling up against him. Anyway, I’m so glad I captured this photo of Cole grinning at Wanda! They love each other!

Wanda’s toy suggestion for the week- Take an old sock, tie it it a knot, and play tug-of-war! It’s her favorite! She loves playing fetch with it, too!

Wanda Wednesday

On 15, Oct 2008 | No Comments | In Wanda | By Heather Mildenstein

Remember how I’m obsessed with my dog and I like her more than some humans? Well, I’ve decided to dedicate at least one post every Wednesday to my first born (adopted) child, Wanda Sue Mildenstein. This photo was taken exactly one year ago today. I love how scraggily and young she looked! Maybe we’ll go buy more Cinderella pumpkins like the ones in the photo and take the same picture this year, and every year, like a growth chart.