belly button blanket tutorial

it's no secret: i love to crochet. so when i came across this pin on pinterest a few months ago, i fell in love. i've made three or four of these blankets and maybe i'm biased because i'm the one making them, but i think they're beyond adorable. it's known around our house as the 'belly button blanket' because the mr. thinks it looks like a bunch of outie belly buttons made out of yarn. silly boy.

anyway,  i found out my friend was having a baby shower a couple weeks ago and i knew just what to give her. i rounded up a few skeins of yarn and got to work. i made sure to give myself a good couple of days to do it, so i'd have it finished in time. that was until i learned i was making the blanket from hell.

i started and re-started this blanket nine times. nine! one of those times, i was over halfway done before i realized that the bobbles weren't matching up. it was so frustrating. most of my problem was the fact that every time i make one of these, i have to re-teach myself how it's done. the directions from the website where the pattern originated from were a little bit vague, so each time i start a new blanket, i have to recalculate how many stitches to do in order to make things turn out looking right. i've decided that i just need somewhere solid to write everything down, so i won't want to pull my hair out the next time i make one and then i thought, "hey, why not share this pattern with the rest of the world?" so, here goes:

{this blanket turns out to be roughly 35"x35". if you want to make it bigger or smaller, adjust your foundation chain accordingly.}

1. first off, loosely chain 92 for your foundation chain and turn.
2. for row 1, double crochet into the third chain from your hook and continue double crocheting until you get to the end of your row. {91 stitches}
3. chain 2 and turn.
4. for row 2, double crochet into the second chain on your previous row and continue double crocheting until the end of your row.
5. chain 2 and turn.
6. for row 3, double crochet 4.
7. {time to spice it up!} in the next hole {the 5th one on your row} do a treble crochet, but don't pull it through the last loop. with 2 loops on your hook, do a treble crochet again into the same hole, but don't pull it through the last loop again. this should leave you with 3 loops on your hook. repeat this until you have 5 loops on your hook. then yarn over and pull through all the loops. {i like to stop and tighten each treble crochet as i'm working through the bobble. this prevents the bobble from turning out kind of pointy. it's not necessary, but i like the look better.}
8. continue on with your double crochet for 8 chains.
9. repeat steps 7 and 8 until you finish the 10th bobble.
10. double crochet 4.
11. chain 2 and turn.
12. for row 4, double crochet into the second chain on your previous row and continue double crocheting until you get to the end of your row.
13. chain 2 and turn.
14. for row 5, double crochet 9 and then make your bobble using the instructions in step 7.
15. continue on with your double crochet for 8 chains.
16. repeat steps 7 and 8 until you finish your 9th bobble.
17. double crochet 9.
18. chain 2 and turn.
19. repeat steps 4-18 until you've reached your desired length. {i usually do about 51 rows}

now for the ruffles:

1. do two treble crochets into each hole around the entireedge of your blanket. {i know, it takes forever. hang in there!}
2. now, go around the entire edge again, {just when you thought you were done. sorry!} but this time, alternate between two treble crochets in each hole and only one treble crochet.
3. finish off any loose ends and you are done!

it really is such a simple pattern. it takes a while, but it's a fun hobby to pass the time in long car rides or on a lazy afternoon. be sure to let me know if you try and if so, i want to see pictures! enjoy.

-the mrs.


top five friday.

today has been a long day. i've had people looking at our apartment, movers coming and giving us estimates, lots of cleaning to do, and an earache. i waited at the clinic for 2 hours to get it looked at only to be told that there was nothing wrong with me. heeelllooo! if there was nothing wrong with me then why would i be there? luckily the pharmacist at target hooked me up with some stuff. needless to say, this is a much needed top five friday, so i can see that my life isn't as bad as i sometimes think it is. ;)

#1 - visits from friends. jimmy and becky dossett live about three hours away and were so kind as to drive that entire way, just to spend the weekend with us. i couldn't stop thinking over and over how great it is that we've seen them only once in the past year and yet it felt like we just picked up where we left off. we met them last year at asbc in alabama. they were some of the first friends we made on this air force journey and i can tell that we will be friends for a long, long time. i can't wait until our next adventure!

 #2 - yesterday was my last day of work! and man, did it feel good. i really did enjoy my job. my bosses were fabulous and it wasn't too strenuous. it's just nice to have a break is all. good news though - i have a phone interview for a pharmacy tech job on monday. i'm not sure why i just told you that because i don't want to look like a fool when i don't get it. but i guess i can use as many prayers as possible. i fear getting my hopes up too much because i have no experience whatsoever, so my chances of getting it are pretty slim. but something deep down inside of me keeps telling myself that maybe, just maybe, it could happen. cross your fingers for me!

#3 - my handsome, selfless husband.

i snapped this picture while he wasn't looking. my legs were killing me from being sunburned, so he grabbed a towel and fanned them for a good ten minutes. it was heavenly. i married such a good man.

#4 - this headband:

i found the pattern for it on this website and had to try it out. isn't it just adorable? and it's so easy to make. maybe crocheting isn't nerdy after all.

#5 - just california. this is my last top five friday from here and let me tell you - i'm going to miss it like crazy. i'm sure cheyenne will be great and will have lots to offer, but it definitely won't be anything like this place. on the other hand though, i'm craving some stability. not monotony, just consistency. i want somewhere that will finally feel like home. so, thank you california for the grand time. you truly have been delightful, but it's time to move on. maybe we'll be back in another four years or so! one can only hope...

happy friday friends!

-the mrs.


sometimes, you just need to breathe.

i feel a little freaked out right now. and what do i do when i freak out? nothing. i do nothing. that's why you find me here blogging, instead of deep cleaning the shiz out of my house like a good wife should. i wish being overwhelmed motivated me to get things done, but for some odd reason it does just the opposite - makes me want to crawl in a hole and do absolutely nothing.

we are officially out of here on tuesday. as in 6 days. i can hardly believe it either. due to some miscommunication and mishandling of paperwork, we'd been planning on having an extra week or so after graduation before we could leave. we figured that gave us all the time in the world to get things cleaned and packed up. then the mr. got an e-mail today telling him that things were sorted out and the movers will be here on monday. that was a rush. i immediately called the housing office at f.e. warren afb and apparently the 30-60 day wait to get a house on base is actually a 6-12 month wait. so here i sit now with a house that needs cleaning, living space that needs finding, and a gut with butterflies the size of the moon.

you'd think that after three moves this past year, i'd be used to it all by now. the waiting, the packing, the driving, the settling. that's what you'd think. but, i'm not. i've found myself worrying a lot. worrying that i won't find a job in cheyenne. worrying that we won't make friends - good friends. worrying that the ward won't be as welcoming as the one here. and mostly, the one thing that i try my best to push into the back of my mind - worrying about the nights ahead that are going to be spent alone. the mr.'s job will require him to be away for about 8 nights a month on average. now, before you get all judgey on me and think i'm a wimp and tell me how your husband goes on business trips for months at a time or is currently deployed somewhere, please stop. i feel for you. i really do. but just because my problems seem small in comparison to yours, doesn't make them any less big to me.

i'm not one that likes to be by myself. i never have been. all growing up, my best friend and i were practically attached at the hip. {you think i'm kidding, but i'm not.} something in me loathes being alone. put that with nighttime and you've got a mix of awful. it's not like i have a choice though, really. no matter how bad i want zachary to be home every night of my life, it's not going to happen. but, i do know that God will take care of us, so i'm not sure why i worry and get nervous and freak out. i guess that's just the 'natural man' in me that we are all trying to overcome. sometimes i just need a long, deep breath before i can push on and know that it's all going to be okay. here's to having more faith and in choosing to be happy, even in trying times.

-the mrs.


dear body,

i'm not sure what else to say other than i am sorry. so so sorry. especially to you, little arms.

you'd think that after years of getting sunburned during soccer games, bike rides, and camping, i would know that the beach wouldn't be an exception. apparently i still have some learning to do.

i will tell you this though: when i laid down my towel this weekend on that soft, warm sand, putting on sunscreen really did cross my mind. don't worry, i would never purposely neglect you. but after a struggle in my brain, and the desire to be beautifully tanned for our upcoming trip, i was left with the idea that you might have a sense of invincibility about you. what a mistake.

but now, even through the burning showers, the constant need to apply my sunburn crack {aka aloe vera} and the fact that the mr. can hardly touch me without almost sending me into tears, i think our beach day might possibly have been worth it. we went with some dear friends of ours, the dossetts, and what a wonderful day it was.

i think it was the warmest day we've had since being here.

{aren't they so cute?}

we did everything from eating ice cream on the pier to spotting some dophins in the ocean to playing football in the sand, and seeing a 70 year old in a bikini. {what. a. sight.} oh and you can't forget playing paddle ball! that game sure was fun. the mr. and i need to get us some supplies for it asap.

i've learned my lesson though, dear body. mark this as the day i vow to always wear sunscreen everywhere i go. i hope you'll forgive my stupidity and recover quickly! thanks.

-the mrs.


top five friday!

#1 - our weekend adventure with the brother. we've been to slo/pismo a few times, but for some reason it just wasn't quite as fun until we took daniel up there. we ate at the splash cafe {home of the world's best clam chowder}:

left our mark on the gumball wall:

and ran into some ca-razy cal poly students {they were actually a lil' bit creepy}:

i know i've sounded like a broken record for the last few 'top five fridays', but i really did love having daniel here. it was just what i needed!

#2 - butterbeer. yes, you read that right. harry potter butterbeer. for those of you who don't know, the mr. is a root beer lover. he likes to collect the glass bottles, so we have seriously 40+ bottles sitting in our kitchen right now. i think it's cool. anyway, while he was browsing around our favorite candy store the other day, looking for another one to add to his collection, i got to chatting it up with one of the workers there. he was showing me all the different novelty drinks that they carry. ones like bacon, corn oil, buffalo wings, etc. {sick, i know}. then he continued to tell me how they were one of the few places in the country that got bottles of butterbeer from harry potter land itself. i couldn't pass that up! i had to get one. and let me tell you, i now know why harry, ron, and hermione loved that stuff so much. it's delightful!

#3 - grey's anatomy. yes, i've finally jumped on that bandwagon. the tax season officially ended this week and since i work in a tax office, that's like being set free after 10 years worth of prison. my bosses are on vacation while i'm here holding down the fort with absolutely nothing to do. so, i signed myself up for hulu plus and am now enjoying the sweet luxury of watching as much grey's as my heart desires. i'm not sure why it's taken me this long to watch it because it's so good! better late than never i guess.

#4 - teeth brushing interrupting dancing. boy, that's a mouthful. sometimes, the mr. will make me stop whatever i am doing, no matter what, just so he can hold me and love me. i kinda like it...a lot. one night, we were in the middle of brushing our teeth and he stopped, wrapped his arms around me, and danced with me. it was there in our underwear, with toothbrushes in our mouths, swaying back and forth to no music at all that i fell in love with my sweet boy all over again. i love the simple things he does for me. i am one lucky girl.

#5 - i think i finally know what i want to do with my life. i've had my pharmacy technician certification for over two years now and i haven't used it once. i kind of convinced myself that it was a lost cause and i was never going to be a tech and all that time i put into getting certified was a waste. then yesterday, i got started on my continuing education credits that are required to keep my certification and something happened in me. i realized that i actually really love learning about that pharmacy stuff. i knew it always interested me, but i didn't know how much i enjoyed it. since you have to get licensed in each state, it's been hard to justify getting my license everywhere we've been when i know we'll only be there for a few months. but since we'll be in cheyenne for three or four years, i looked up what kind of job openings they have. i haven't had any luck in the past. most places have actually told me that they're downsizing, so i wasn't expecting there to be any openings at all. surprisingly, i was wrong. there are two openings in cheyenne right now. i'm applying for one today. chances are, i won't get it because i don't have any experience whatsoever. if that's the case, i'm going to try to volunteer at the pharmacy on base. but if by some miracle i do get it, i would be the happiest girl in the world! prayers and crossed fingers are much appreciated.

happy weekend friends!

-the mrs.

p.s. wanna do your own 'top five friday'? just copy and paste the code below into the html tab on your blog. i can't wait to see what your favorite things from the week are!

Zachary and Sarah


name change.

i came to the conclusion a while back that putting our first names as our blog title was kind of lame. and we are not lame. so, it's time to change things up here at the 'zachary and sarah' blog, better known as: 'the {mr.} and the {mrs.}'. be sure to write that down. we wouldn't want to lose any of you along the way!

and now, since i have nothing more to say, i'll leave you with this video. enjoy!

-the mrs.


top five friday.

#1 - my brother is here! i went and picked him up on wednesday night in santa barbara. usually i'm getting ready for bed by 10:00, but that's what time i left for the airport. i must really love him. it's been so fun to hang out with him though. it makes me realize how much i miss my family. i think i tend to just suppress those feelings because i know i can't do anything about it, but i've felt them a lot more while being around him. i'm so glad he came all the way out here! it makes me feel so loved.

#2 - yanagi sushi and grill.

 {sorry for the blurriness!}

we've frequented this place a lot since we've been here. our bank account doesn't love it, but we sure do. usually i just stick with the veggie sushi, but i went out on a limb last night and tried the calamari and fish. if you know me at all, you know that's kind of a big deal. i am no seafood lover in any way, shape, or form, but it wasn't half bad!

#3 - crocheting. guys. i feel like a nerd saying this, but crocheting is so much fun! i've been making a blanket for my friend's baby {which has actually been a lot harder than usual. boo.} and if i had the time, i think i could do it all day. actually, i already do it all day. i've been bringing my crochet to work and it makes the time go by so much quicker. not only is it fun, but it's so rewarding to make something and know that you did it. wanna learn how? this blog has a pretty good beginner's tutorial. let me know how it goes!

#4 - christmas lights. i've always loved them at christmas time, but i learned this weekend that i love them just as much {if not more} when it's not christmas time.

doesn't this just make you happy? this was from our trip to l.a. this weekend. we've been to a few places here in cali that decorate their streets with the glow of these lights and i think it sets such a romantic mood.

#5 - this blog post about having kids. no worries, this isn't my confession to being pregnant now or anytime in the near future. don't go jumping to conclusions on me. i've already gotten enough of that since i announced that we want to sell our coupe and get a four door car. sheesh people. but i would be lying if i said this blog post didn't touch me. i can totally relate to what this woman is saying. i feel like part of me is shying away from wanting kids right now because all i hear anyone talking about is how hard it is and how much work it is and how i'll never sleep again and blah blah blah. it's nice to know that it won't be all bad and that there actually are some rewards to parenthood. that's all.

happy friday folks!


Zachary and Sarah



it's funny what time is capable of. i've heard zachary frequently say that it's a 'robber of memories'. it makes you forget. which could be a good or a bad thing. in zachary's case, he's usually referring to his mom. he wishes he could remember her smell and her charming, quirky ways a little more readily. sometimes, time is the enemy.

alternatively, time can help you forget the things you don't want to remember. i know there were plenty of times in my dramatic high school days when after an embarrassing moment or a break up with a boy, i was sure that life couldn't possibly go on. lucky for me, i can't remember half of the stupid things i did and i realize that most of the boys i dated were losers anyway. this makes time my friend.

but i think my favorite characteristic of time is that the more it's spent with someone, the more you learn to love them. unconditionally. two years ago yesterday, i went on my very first date with zachary. since then, i have fallen more in love than i thought possible. and the cool thing is? it happens more every day.

since we ate at a thai restaurant on our first date, we started a tradition last year to eat at one on every april 10th. so, off to boonie's we went.

it's so fun to look back on the last two years and see all the places that time has taken us. i can't wait to see what else is in store!



top five friday.

#1 - girl's nights and glitter toes. i had a little get together with my friends, sarah and whitney, over the weekend and we had such a good time! we popped in 'baby mama' {a personal fav} and chatted while we painted our nails. it doesn't get more girly than that. i followed a tutorial by my friend kynslie to do my glitter toes and it actually worked incredibly well. my toes are still glitterfied and it's been an entire week. impressive.

{don't judge my feet. they're special.}

#2 - my very first rocket launch. it's not every day you get to see a 25+ story-tall rocket be launched into space. it definitely went up a lot quicker than i was expecting, but it was still freaking awesome to watch.

#3 - the fact that i convinced my big brother to fly out and visit us....this wednesday! i am more excited than i have words for. i don't know the last time that i spent more than just a couple days with him. it's going to be so fun to catch up and show him around.

#4 - target. i went a little crazy there last night. zachary and i are planning {i use planning very loosely} a special trip next month. one that requires a cute swim suit and lots of sunscreen. so, remember that swim suit cover up that was featured on last week's top five friday? well, i bought it. except i got the purple one. love it! it doesn't stop there though. i also got this swim suit {in peppermint} and these bottoms {also in peppermint} to go with said cover up, this swim suit {because you can't have just one} and this cover up {in gray}. good thing i had a skype date with the bestie to get me outta there or i probably would have bought everything in the store. i love target so much! *cough* my-birthday-is-in-a-month-and-i'd-gladly-accept-a-target-gift-card *cough*

#5 - and finally, after my post of distress yesterday, i'm happy to tell you that i woke up this morning at 6:30, ran 2 miles, did jillian michael's 30 day shred, and was only ten minutes late to work. not bad for my first day! i'm feeling kind of sleepy right now and i have blisters the size of quarters on my feet {got any suggestions for new running shoes?}, but i feel proud. let's just hope i can keep it up.

happy friday folks.


p.s. say hello to my new 'top five friday' button!

Zachary and Sarah

now, you can do your own 'top five friday' post! just copy the html code in the box above and paste it in the 'edit html' tab when you post your blog. thanks for reading!


help me, so i don't go crazy.

i got a text from zachary yesterday saying that we should make a trip to san luis obispo. i had zero problems with that. i don't think there's anything i love more than spontaneous, spur of the moment adventures. especially when i'm not the one to suggest them. i felt like a child waiting for christmas as my last two hours of work dragged on. the moment i got home, i rushed to our bedroom, was greeted with some 'hello' kisses, and proceeded to change into something comfortable to wear for a night on the town. then i heard zachary tell me the plan:

"ok, we're going to hurry and work out, shower, and then head up to slo, alright?"

if you ask zachary what my reaction was, he might use words like 'overkill', 'dramatic', 'hullabaloo', or he might even go as far as saying that i threw a downright temper tantrum.

i don't mind working out. i really don't. but when i had it in my head that i was going to have a day off, only to be told otherwise...my mind went into a state of frenzy. we really do try our best to work out most days of the week. i don't say that in a bragging way because hello! look at us. we do not have drop dead beach bodies. and we probably never will. we've determined that both of us have the kind of bodies that need regular exercise just to try to maintain what we have. it's rather depressing, really. but, that's beside the point.

the reason i was so upset by the fact that zachary wanted to work out when i hadn't been planning on it was because i am honestly starting to feel a little trapped. every day, zachary and i go to to work, come home, and immediately get ready to work out. we then work out, cool down, cook and eat dinner, finish up any tasks of the day and before we know it, it's time to start getting ready for bed. i feel like there is no time for us to just go and do the things that we want. i know it sounds cheesy, but i don't want to waste away my life only doing the things that i have to. luckily, i have one very sweet husband that, despite my acting like a five year old, gave the green light to skipping our daily work out and indulging in some weekday fun. thank you honey.

anyway, i've been thinking today about my no-time-for-myself-always-have-to-be-doing-something problem and i've come up with a couple solutions. *ahem*

#1 - stop working out and become a fat lard that sits on my butt all day. not ideal, but hey, i have time to do whatever the heck i want.
#2 - do nothing and keep things the way they are. this will keep me healthy and {somewhat} in shape, but it may end in a nervous break down and lots of crying.
#3 - become a morning person and get my exercise on before i go to work. this will keep the exercise regimen intact, but will still give me the freedom to do as i please in the evenings.

i think the answer is pretty obvious. my only problem? i am not a morning person. at all. i shower at night, so that i can hit the snooze button 4 times, only to wake up 30 minutes before i have to be to work. don't judge. this is where you come in though. what are some things that make waking up early easy for you? do you put your alarm clock on the other side of the room, so you have to get up to turn it off? {death.} do you splash yourself with cold water? {not my idea of a great start to your day, but whatever works i guess.} do you immediately turn on the light? {to wake up your mind while only temporarily blinding yourself.} tell me your ways! i know right now it's easy to say that i'm going to wake up early tomorrow morning, but when that time comes, there ain't nothin' gettin' me outta bed. so, i'm asking you for help. give me some tips and pointers, so i can be successful like you. i am being completely serious about all of this and i know it'll be hard and my body isn't going to like it for the first little while, but heaven knows i need it. thanks for your help!



general conference.

i feel like i've been in a rut lately. a spiritual rut. i say my prayers every day, i read my scriptures {most days}, we try to have family home evening every week, but i feel like i've just been going through the motions rather than actually having a deep will and desire to spiritually strengthen myself.

and then general conference happened.

man alive, i think that was the best conference i've ever listened to. i actually stayed awake for all four sessions this time! i was blown away by how personal the talks were. there were so many good ones that it's hard to pick a favorite, but if i had to, i'd say the one i enjoyed the most was by larry y. wilson. if he doesn't spark some motivation in ya, i don't know what will. i told zachary that his talk is the blueprint for how i want to raise our kids someday. i highly recommend reading it. it makes me grateful that we have general conference so i can be reinvigorated to do good.

what was your favorite talk?

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