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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

a little garden for a little gardener

I love working in the yard. I'm no pro, but am seriously coming to obsess our lovely backyard space. And I've always found something therapeutic about even pulling weeds.

Nowadays, with a tiny minion around, I have a second set of hands in the dirt. Jake loves to use his own gardening tools and help me outside. So I thought it was about time for him to have his own little flower garden. 

The idea went over pretty well, as you might can imagine.

We started with some small pots and Jake's six flower picks.
I added them to a nice metal basket {for easy moving} and created some little wooden labels.


For the labels, I painted the little wooden stakes black and stamped them with some white paint. 

He loved learning about all of the different flowers and what colors they would be. 
Every morning, we have to go out and give them each a little water and make sure to ask the sun to shine. 
{Because you need to talk to the sun to make sure it'll shine, of course...}

Tonight when I tucked him into bed, he told me that he was going to dream about pink and purple sweet peas. I'd say this little garden experiment is already quite the success!

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And don't forget to enter the April Giveaway!


 Last day is 5/4!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

april giveaway

** This giveaway is now closed. Stop back by soon for the summer giveaway! **

We've been bogged down with April showers around here lately, and I'm so anxious for the spring sunshine and perfect breeze. Add in a touch of seasonal allergies for the pregnant lady and here I sit in bed, sniffling away. Boo!

So what better way to cheer us all up that a new giveaway?!

This spring I'm thinking about good books, fun accessories and a summer vacation! Want to join in? Win this fun collection of goodies!

Anne of Green Gables hardback / compact blue umbrella / golden arrow bracelet / vacation fund mason jar / Essie nail polish / floral print

First, follow the blog via email! The option is on the right sidebar and it allows posts to be sent right into your inbox. Simple enough right?

Comment below and tell me your favorite and least favorite things about spring!
I'm going with weather and weather. This dismal rain and tornado weather where we live is down right awful at times. But the glorious sunshine and perfect temperatures are the best! Oh spring, why so bipolar??

Best of luck! Giveaway ends May 4th! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

wood slice coasters {DIY tutorial}

A couple of weeks ago, my little brother got married. A full weekend of family and wedding festivities! Other than fitting my pregnant self into a bridesmaid's dress {no easy feat!},  my main focus during the weekend was helping my mom with the rehearsal dinner. We had a great evening of food and fellowship and of course, super cute decor. As part of the table centerpieces, I found these wood slices and used my wood burning tool to create a sweet design for Ashley and Daniel.
My thought was that after the dinner, I could take the slices home, seal them and then they'd could be kept and used as coasters! So today's post is about how to make these darling coasters! 

I found the slices for $1-$2 each at my local craft store. You could also get super thrifty and find the perfect branch. With the right saw and a steady hand, you could slice these yourself! 

Once you have your coasters, decide what sort of design you'd like to put on them. I love the wood burning idea {and talk more about it here} but you there are so many options to personalize these! 

{in the close up shot, you can see more of the texturing that wood burning typically leaves on the wood}

After you've added the design you like, you simply need to seal the coasters. You can used a brush on or spray wood sealant {also a matte finish or glossy finish}. I sealed both sides and the edges with several layers of sealant to hopefully keep the coasters in tip top condition, using this spray

In the end my brother and new sister in law got these great coasters from their rehearsal dinner to keep for always! 

I'm not going to lie, now I'm itching to make some for myself!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

inspiration for a neutral nursery

One of the things that I'd really like to get to work on sooner rather than later is Eliza's nursery. Especially considering how up in the air the next couple of months actually are, I know I'll feel a lot less anxious to have that sweet space ready for her.

And I'll be honest, I was a bit stuck. It surprised me! I thought I'd be blazing forward in full force with an opportunity to do a second nursery. I think there are just so many fabulous ideas out there that I've been really overwhelmed. It wasn't until I picked a paint color and we had it on the walls that I had my "ah ha!" moment.

And contain your shock...
Because we're going with neutrals. 

 While I finish dreaming up my design board and start to put my plans into action, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite inspirations.


I'm totally swooning over that pallet wall. J.B. and I had considered doing something similar to this awhile back, but the thought of all the work basically overwhelmed us. The end result though, wow!



That ceiling!!!




I'm just dying for these animal head prints. So darling!

Lots of lovely things to ponder on! 
The idea of a calm and soothing place for Eliza seems to fit just right.
Now back to work!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

when everything changes...

A month ago, if you had told me that life was hectic, I would have quickly nodded. I would talk about the backyard birthday parties and family weddings and spring fun. I would have been frustrated by flowerbeds that need weeding and spaces that need cleaning. But we're never ready for how things can change so quickly.

Just a few weeks ago, we heard the news: Our sweet girl Eliza has been diagnosed with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. 

The term spina bifida literally means “split spine.” It happens when a baby is developing in the womb and the spinal column does not close entirely. There are varying degrees of it, but the most common is also the most severe, causing paralysis and nerve damage to the parts of the body below the opening in the spine. Hydrocephalus is a secondary disorder that is common caused by spina bifida. The pressure from the spinal issues can create a pulling force on the brain. Portions of the brain actually shift downward and keep the cerebral spinal fluid in the brain from being able to flow properly. Obviously anytime you're dealing with issues in the brain, the consequences can be dire.
I was fortunate enough to find out about Eliza's conditions early by way of a genetic screening that my OB offers to all of her patients. When the results came back extremely elevated, we were quickly set up with a maternal fetal specialist that confirmed our fears. From there, everything has seemed to happen very quickly... and very slowly at the same time. 

There is a innovative fetal surgery that is offered to some spina bifida patients that has seen great results. Yes, I said fetal surgery. As in, Eliza would be operated on while I'm still carrying her. It carries great risk to both of us. And right now, we don't even know if we qualify. Spina bifida is known as a "snowflake condition" because every single case is so different from another. Surgeons must analyze and over-analyze each specific case. Only a few fetal surgery clinics in the country even offer this program, and as you would expect, they are very particular about who they will have on their operating tables. The tiniest details can allow you to be a candidate or be disqualified.

The secondary option for spina bifida babies is to carry them normally, and as soon as they're born, have the surgery needed to close their backs and if needed, additional brain surgery to treat their hydrocephalus.

Eliza and I have been invited to come to the Spina Bifida Clinic at Vanderbilt Hospital next week for a full evaluation. Basically we will undergo a full day of testing and at the end of it, find out what route would be best for our little girl. Fetal surgery or newborn surgery.

{a link to Vanderbilt's fetal spina bifida surgery page}

{my mind was blown by the fetal MRI, and especially this giant film that we were given to keep}

It's a lot. And its such a shock. We're learning so much about spina bifida, potential surgeries and what we can try to expect in the coming months. That's probably been the hardest thing, not know what to expect. Our evaluation next week will give us loads of information about this sweet girl and we are not so patiently waiting for that day.

Until then, we continue to focus on what we know. That God made this precious little girl just as He intended. That He handpicked our family for her to be a part of of. And that regardless of what happens in the upcoming months, she will be perfect. We're trusting fully in His plan because frankly, we don't have one.

I intend to create a sister blog to this one exclusively for Eliza. Feel free to keep watch for that in coming days. 

Ans please pray with us this week. Pray for wisdom because we need these big brilliant brains at the clinic to have the greatest minds. Pray for discernment because J.B. and I need to have the greatest hearts in knowing what path is best for Eliza. Pray for patience because we are so eager to understand, help, and love on this sweet girl. Pray for peace because we are both so anxious and scared for her. But especially, pray for our girl Eliza. That she will always feel loved and cherished.

{at 20 weeks}

"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness!" 
- Lamentations 3:22-23

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter basket goodies

Has Easter snuck up on anyone else? No? Just me? 

Between cute kiddo birthday parties and family weddings, it seems like time has been flying by. Thankfully, with a little help from the Target Dollar Spot, I was able to grab some awesome goodies for an Easter basket for my little man. 

I don't do a big gift, but rather a bunch of small inexpensive things that he'll enjoy. He's really into Little Critter books and Veggie Tales at the moments so those were an easy given.

And we're still rocking our Pottery Barn Kids Easter basket.
Definitely a purchase that I'm glad I made!


What about you guys? What is in your kiddo's basket this year?