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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

read thru my pain and earn yourself a free printable!

This past weekend was not my favorite. 

There was a leak. A nasty one. One with mold. And the busting up of walls and floors and such. 

Like I said, not my favorite. 

When we discovered that a pipe connected to our master shower was leaking down into the first story of the house, it was just a few days before Eliza's birthday party. After the plumbers told us what the repair would entail, J.B. and I elected to simply use another shower for a few days and call the plumbers back out after we had hosted all our friends and family for her birthday. 

But luck prevailed! Although this leak has been a complete pain the tush, we caught quite a few breaks while repairing the damage. What initally looked like an extremely costly repair, has ended up being more doable than we anticipated.
The best part though? I got a prize too. One of the gutted areas was my laundry space, an area that I'd been dying to touch up, but couldn't justify spending the money on. But the leak made it happen. Woohoo!! So my laundry space got a fresh coat of paint on the walls, some nice cabinet space and a lovely little restyle. I'll take it!!

It's tiny, poorly lit and basically impossible to take a respectable picture of. But it now looks cute enough that I might actually enjoy doing some laundry. Okay. not really. But I enjoy the space!

And guess who else gets a prize here? You! Since you sat thru my entire whiney post about plumbers and leaks, I suppose the least I could do would be to share my newly designed laundry printable with you!

Snag the 8x10 printable HERE!
Snag the 11x14 printable HERE!
Snag the 16x20 printable HERE!

My laundry room is now done and you got a free printable.
Seems like a pretty solid day to me! Happy Thursday, friends!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

tassel bookmark {tutorial}

You may have heard in this post that Jake and I have ventured into reading chapter books before bed. It's been a super fun experience and I love retreading some old favorites. 

Jake, never to miss and opportunity, reminds me almost every night that we need a special bookmark to hold our place. 
I may or may not have been using random magazine ordering inserts... 

So I finally took a few minutes to make him a unique bookmark just for our nighttime tale.  

I grabbed a pack of paper clips and decided to go with a really distinctive clip. These can be found in the papercrafting section of your local craft store! I also nabbed some embroidery thread. It's hard to tell from this picture, but this thread is actually an ombré turquoise. 

  I wrapped the thread around three fingers, probably 50 times or so. I used the majority of the thread in the pack. The basic rule of thumb here is that your tassel will be as thick as your wrapping. Smaller tassel? Wrap less. Thicker tassel? Wrap more. 

Next, slip your paperclip onto the thread. I had to rotate this one around thru the arrow to get it to the right spot. 

Slip the thread off your fingers. 

Grab about a ten inch section of your thread and tie it tightly around the top of your bundle. 

The wrap the ends around the same spot a few times and tie off again. 

Now for the scissors! 
Trim the edges of your tie strings. 
Cut the loops at the bottom of your tassel. 
And trim your tassel to the length you're wanting. 

And done! 

You can slide these into any side of the book. Or even more than a book. What about marking the date on a planner or date book! What about a fun extra add on when you give the gift of a book!

Jake was so excited about his new bookmark! And I've convinced myself to make a few more with the extra clips in my pack! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

eliza's first birthday {the party}

The day of Eliza's birthday party most definitely didn't go as planned. 
I really thought that one of the advantages to her having a summer birthday was that the weather element would be a bit less severe that Jake's March birthday. Wrong.


It was a rainy day and we, of course, had planned an outside party for our gal. We watched the hourly radar and decided to go for it. An hour before the party, tons of rain. But magically right as we were scheduled to get going, the rain clearly and the clouds opened up. There was a mad dash to set some things up in the yard as our guests all arrived and hung out inside. A few minutes later, we all headed out and finally got to celebrate. 

We served a dinner of hamburgers, chips, pasta salad and watermelon slices. 

For dessert, we skipped traditional cake and cupcakes and had a huge ice cream sundae bar! Yum!

No question about it - Eliza enjoyed her smash cake the best. She snacked and shared with other people and just soaked up all the attention (and sugar). Girlfriend had so much fun that she had to go snag a bath mid-party! 

We had lawn games like giant wooden dice, cornhole, and wooden dominos. Of course the kids all went nuts running around on the treehouse and swings. One of the things I so love about our house is the great space we have in the backyard. The shade of the trees is lovely, the privacy is perfect and the kids can all play without adults having to worry. 

In lieu of gifts, we asked that our guests bring a donation for the Ronald McDonald House of Nashville. A year ago, they made an incredible impact on our family when Eliza was in the NICU. We knew that she didn't need any more toys and would much rather give back to help other families stay together while their children are receiving care at Vanderbilt. Our family and friends (as always) were so wonderfully supportive and we raised an awesome amount to take up to the RMDH at Eliza's next clinic visit! I'm so excited!

I hand dipped some Oreos as favors. And I'm not mad that I had a couple left over. 

I also created this pallet display for Eliza's monthly pictures. So many feelings seeing that tiny baby grow!! It'd be great if someone could explain to me how this year went by so fast...

The downside? It was chaotic at best. I didn't get as many pictures as I liked because things were frantic getting started! Woe to the craft blogger! But we all had a great time. Most importantly, our gal had a great day!

Maybe this party is a funny parallel to how this last year has been. Chaotic. Unpredictable. Crazy. Despite all our best plans. But ultimately it has been so wonderfully sweet. Surrounded by friends and family. And with the best, happiest girl we could imagine. 
What else could we ask for?

Friday, August 12, 2016

eliza's first birthday

Oh my precious beautiful girl! 
What a joy you are! What an amazing year you have had!! 

I remember looking at your perfect face the day you were born, after months of anticipation and thinking, "this is it." 

If I could I would go back 365 days and tell myself so many things. I would tell myself that you are beautiful and that you are brave and that you are strong.

 I would tell myself not to be concerned with the physical limitations put upon you because we serve a faithful God and that you will be able to do so much more than any doctor ever described. 

I would tell myself not to worry about the "what if's" because you will bring so much joy to every person around you that those questions will pale by comparison.

I would tell myself to take it one day at a time. That there will be hard days but the hard days will be overcast by the incredible, amazing days. That the milestones that you reach will be tremendous and inspiring. That you will do so much more than I could even dream of. 

would tell myself to get ready for the most beautiful ride of my life. 

Eliza, you are our special joy. Happiest of birthdays, sweet girl!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

eliza's first birthday {the invites}

The countdown is on to my baby girl's first birthday. I know. I just can't, y'all. 
I have a few more days to tame my emotions, so in the meantime, let's focus on these sweet little invites to her birthday party this weekend.

We've planned an ice cream sundae party for our gal that's sure to put a big smile on her face! 

I started with some corrugated paper as a background (grab this in the specialty scrapbook paper section) and laid my printed invite page on top. 

The bunting is made from basic string and washi tape! 
Look how fun those sprinkles are!

I've had quite the time with the endless birthday party projects. It's my very favorite thing! And maybe the best distraction from the fact that my precious babies just keep growing!

Friday, August 5, 2016

reading together!

Reading has always been a big thing around these parts. J.B. and I are avid readers, and I believe we've officially turned Jake into a bookworm as well. 
(Plus my mom the teacher, who can't see him without bringing him a new book!) 

We began reading to him as a baby and I do give books some great credit as to why he's so verbally advanced and so incredibly curious.

Now that Jake is a bit older, we've entered into a new bedtime tradition with him. 

Chapter books!

It's been so fun to snuggle up each night and see where the story takes us! He gets so invested in it! We've also been fortunately in that our first three big chapter books have also had movie adaptations. So watching the movie after we finish the book has been a fun addition too. We get to talk about how they changed the story in the movie and what parts he liked best.

Our first three books have been: 
1. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgrin
2. The BFG by Roald Dahl
3. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Jake and I even made our BFG movie night into a date night and had such a fun time together! 
And I think we're on quite a Roald Dahl kick because I think next we'll be starting The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Add to our reading list and suggest some great kid's chapter books we can enjoy together!