zip it

getting layla zipped up in these pj's is like stuffing a sausage. i die laughing every time i am vacuum sealing her in them. but i refuse to retire them because they aren't technically too small for her length-wise. and because, hello? the chunky little butterbuns looks flipping adorable in them.

8/30/11: being escorted onto the dance floor by her father.

monday morning layla took 4 real steps. i dont even know what to do with that. we havent caught her on camera showing off her burgeoning walking skills yet, but that's okay because i am still in denial. i was in such disbelief at how big and old she is that i went back and looked through all of her hospital pics to make sure that she ever actually was my teeny little baby girl.

big mistake. now i'm a nostalgic mess.

11/14/10: having just been escorted in to the world by my uterus.

sharsh, it goes by so fast! every day she gets harder, faster, farther. my squishy little baby doll who could just lay on me all day is gone. i keep flexing my "remember this" muscles and trying, trying to be present because i will want it back so so badly one day. i know because i already feel that way about my pregnancies. i also know that because it seems like EVERY parent of older children tells me so:"they grow up in a blink," "i would give anything to have them little again," "it's hard, but it's the best time of your life," "ENJOY it. you'll never get these years back." "the days are long, but the years are short."

oh, i believe you, i believe you, people! thus, defying sleep training protocol and having a 10pm playdate and snuggle session; thus pulling the car over when she turns around to smile at me so i can smile back and soak it in like vitamin D; thus baby pj's that barely zip over that belly that i refuse to admit she has grown out of. if only i could ensure she never grows too big for me. where is the zipper for that?


pumped up kicks

as we get nearer and nearer to layla walking (ex-skuh-weeze me? seems like she should still be covered in amniotic fluid!) we have to start stocking up her shoe supply. these are appropriately the first to be worn by her as a functioning biped because judah rocked them as first as well. and just like with judah, they are already too small.

in keeping with the post title, here are more descriptive song lyrics as captions. (camera lens going to the shop today. sorry for the blur)

"hands on ya knees, hands on ya knees." i freaking love the cha cha slide.

"i believe i can fly." yes i used to listen to this on full blast in high school and cry tears of inspiration imagining myself one day playing volleyball for world peace. and then R Kelly peed on everyone and i realized that evil dictators dont usually set up women's volleyball matches to determine the fate of the world, as had been my scenario, "and vincent (my maiden name) spikes for the wiiiiinnnn!!!! we are all saved! the nukes will be disarmed!!!!!!"

"stop in the name of love" LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE her. ovaries clenching right now with wanting to hold her.

since judah outgrew his first chucks so fast, i planned ahead for lay and bought 3 other used pairs from ebay while pregnant in the next sizes up. pink, black and kelly green! maybe you spotted them on the shelf here in the nursery reveal? they are so cute that they count as decor.

"hey now, youre an (converse) allstar, get your game on, go, play"

one more song lyric: "you are the wind beneath my wings." ok that was Schmoopy McCheeseballz, but yall made my day so much yesterday. i wasnt actually trying to fish for affirmation (i have before, but not this time), so your unexpected comment love really buoyed me just like webster's balloons. (did anyone get that reference yesterday?)

"it was you and me and then came you!"

i want to distill your hilarious, sweet, and encouraging words and put them in a syringe. better than flipping b12. so here's a hearty thanks you from me to you. i really love our tiny little corner of bloglandia. warm fuzzies all around.

have a great weekend party, people! ("it's friday, friday, gotta get down on friday")


dukey downer

i have a bad attitude today. it's the emotional equivalent of carrying a backpack full of my heaviest textbooks around all day. i feel 2 inches shorter than usual as if even gravity is in on the joke.

purge: got in a fight with my parents. huge headache with the insurance companies about the wreck i got in on saturday (NOT my fault, but she's not admitting it's hers). money worries. feeling fat. messy house that will never sell. our car inexplicably smells like cigarettes. havent been to the dentist in a good 2.5 years. BOTH of our cats ran away and/or got kidnapped for vivisection. getting treated like an idiot at work. bad sales at publix this week. ripped a hole in my jeans crotch. i let my kids watch too much TV. there was a cicada in our house yesterday morning (soul violation). our nice camera is broken again. i had mcdonalds for dinner last night. the letter T is broken on our laptop and it makes me insane. and then a few private pity parties that are too shameful for even me to go public with.

now that that's out, let's replace it with some awesome. take out the textbooks and put helium balloons in that soul-satchel of mine. i'll be up, up and away like webster in no time.

my kids are hilarious, cute, well behaved and healthy. my favorite human is my husband. he is caring, respectful, responsible, hardworking and hot. i've run 8 out of the last 10 days. jesus. 5 of my friends had perfect little babies last week. my fantasy football draft is tonight. i am making this for dinner (tortilla chips instead of avocados). i got a postcard from my bestie living in germany and was reminded of her precious handwriting that looks like a 7 year old boy's. jesse got 2 new supporters last night. layla took her first half-step. two of my out-of-country best friends just moved back to america. i have the entire harry potter series on audiobook and love listening as i run. there is butternut squash, watermelon and asparagus in my fridge. my bff from the internet is my electronic penpal times a frillion and is inbox sunshine. jesus. my parents and inlaws have been married a combined 69 (haha) years this fall. i dont have a single physical ailment to complain about. avotacos for lunch. jesus. i have one free afternoon nap that jesse gave me (in exchange for other favors) that i havent cashed in yet.

feeling better already.


two for the moms

i recently had business cards made up for my etsy shop. a few customers had mentioned that when they gave my handmade items as gifts at showers, some of the other guests wanted to know where they had found them, and if i had included a few cards, they could easily pass them out. brava, customers. point taken. they should be here any day now.

it feels reeeeeally weird to have a business card. trust me when i say, i am not important enough to be represented in 2x3.5" cardstock. i will most likely NEVER hand one to a person in real life, but just sneak them in my shipments instead. the handing out of business cards is way fancy and i would probably pass out trying to pull off that level of professionalism, or at least accidentally punch someone in the kidneys while attempting it.

but as i was looking at my small tiny business, i realized i have more stuff for babies than grownups. granted, my tagline is, "handmade goodness for you and your babes," but i wanted more for YOU, to balance out all the stuff for the babes.

enter providence.

last night raechel posted her tutorial for a flat iron cover. i had spotted hers when she came to visit last weekend and was mad coveting. i begged for a tutorial and whammo, there it is (quandry: she may have already planned to do that tutorial OR i might just be that influential). so within and hour of seeing it, my little CHI (a 2-year dativersary gift from jesse) had a happy little travel sleeve to snuggle up in and to keep my other packed items from being singed/straightened against their will. and since raechel is dope like that, she always gives folks the go ahead to make and sell items using her tutorials.

so much more pleasing that some of the other flat iron cover tutorials and patterns that are out there and try to make room for the cord. no need!

and then i finally got around to making some cute earrings that i spotted on my friend debra joy's pinterest (really digging the pinning now, you guys. it helps me to think of it as a digital wish book or inspiration.) i think these little fabric covered button earrings are just the cutest. i might be addicted to making them!

i love an iteration

there are about fifty billionty kinds of these earrings available on etsy and raechel herself is making and selling the flat iron covers (this week only), so i dont know if i am actually going to get around to putting these in my shop for sale, but it makes me feel a little more balanced to have a few crafty things for mom in my arsenal. and if i happen to know you in real life, you will probably be getting one or both of these as gifts in the near to distant future. just saying.

update: i talked to raechel, and went ahead and listed the flat iron sleeves in my shop. since she's only doing them for a week and there is enough hair and fabric selection in the world to keep us both plenty busy!


keep until 2027

which picture will be better to show all of her suitors when they come to pick her up many years from now?

she was smiling and yucking it up seconds before this and then all of sudden, junk got serious. literally pooping her pants. it gets major embarrassment points because poop is involved. but then again, everybody poops...

...which is why this next little gem may edge it out. my nice camera wasn't focusing in the low light, so i missed the smiley cute shot i was going for and then, blammo, this magic unfolded before my eyes as it finally focused and took the picture. so thankful for the low light now.

looks like we're gonna making a bid for a mother-daughter dynasty for the "wittiest" superlative rather than "most attractive."


date night for smart dummies

marriage has been tough lately. not bad like it was here; just tough.

life is spinning us sideways. while i am at work, jesse has to take care of, feed breakfast to, drop off and pick up the kids from preschool and then put them down for naps. he only gets a few intervening hours to do his own work. when i get home at 3 , i dash right back into mom role, seeing my kids for the first time all day. jesse takes this time to do more work, conduct guitar lessons or schedule supporter meetings. he is still working so hard to build his ministry while at the same time raising the support and partnerships that will allow him to actually do his ministry as a fulltime job.

somehow dinner gets cooked, heated up or gone out for, then its bedtime for the kids which usually has one of us on each kid. when we finally have the house to ourselves, its time to de-clutter, tidy, do some laundry and dishes. (unfortunate grownup lesson i have learned this year: do a little every day rather than 2 weeks worth when it's overflowing). then it's "freetime". i usually tackle some sewing orders and then go for a run. jesse does more work and runs when i get back.

this ships-passing-in-the-night routine has been going on for a good 6 months now. all of a sudden, we've looked up and oh, hi! it's august and we are roomates and co-caregivers, and not so much spouses.

dont get me wrong, we still have tons of fun together and go on dates and have way more good days than bad. but that's more a function of random outside forces: a giftcard and free babysitting, a night off from running and sewing, a stress-free workday, happening upon a saucy scene in my dragon books (bow-chicka-wow-wow, yall. that's all i'm saying). this version of "good marriage" is actually just us sailing along on sunny seas without a lot of effort on our parts. a particleboard dinghy could cross the atlantic in perfect conditions, after all.

but if the weather turns stormy (think: money issues, judah tantrums, stress at work), our little lovers' catamaran ride turns into the black pearl versus the mighty kraken. if a disagreement comes up, we're just too spent from everything else to take the time to care for each others' hearts and we usually just go "eh," and opt for sleep instead. we let the ship sink because it's just easier.

in the past i would have gone balls to the wall on some of these fights. not letting up until the wee hours of morning when we finally threw down our swords in favor of some jesus and really loved each other the right way, but lately we just dont have it in us. at first i was all. "yay! less fighting!" about this period of detente, but lately it's been more, "ruh-roh! red flag that we dont seem to care enough to resolve any of this stuff."

we got really tired of this phase of letting the wind blow our marriage wherever it would. hell no! life doesnt dictate how healthy our marriage is; We do (that's a "We" of 3, yall. and the capitalization aint for me and jesse). regardless of the weather, we want our marriage to be the titanic. ok wait. no. not the titanic. that didn't end well (dammit, rose, move OVER and let him on that piece of wood, woman!). i should say that we want our marriage to be a water-tight nimble little vessel that can navigate the choppiest waters and withstand the stormiest skies. and one that has jesus asleep on a cushion in the front ready to wake up and calm it all with a word.

so we scheduled a "date night" last night. 2 hours to ourselves (praise the lord for the dukes babysitting on such short notice!) for rekindling romance. um, NO! wrong. that may be what i wish would solve all of our problems and give us the energy to fight the good fight--and it is what i always thought the answer was early in marriage: more romantical feelings!--but for us, that is not the answer.

for us, a restorative marriage event doesnt look like it does in the movies: a grand romantic gesture/evening/gift; a separation followed by a serendipitous meeting/sign/song; an epic gunbattle followed by raucous, shrapnel-ed kitchen counter sex (thanks, brangie!). it looks a lot more like this:

two chubby dorks at a suburban chain restaurant whipping out pens and paper, praying like hell, dropping our dinged egos and wounded prides, and finally submitting to each other and the One who authored marriage and authored our entire stories.

ahhhh, it was good. and yes, i am talking about the free crabcakes (coupon!) and the ceasar salad (pile on the anchovies!) and the makeup sex, but i am really talking about setting up a space where we could drop our fists (put down our dukes?) and know that our hearts were safe with each other. where we could say, "this is where i feel like you could really help me," and more importantly, "this is where i think i could help you." where we could stand side-by-side and go, "hey jesus. losers, party of 2 here, we need you to come back out to our place and fix us again. and this time, how 'bout you dont leave? even when we forget to feed you or to even acknowledge that you built this whole house. just stay. move in and get all up in our faces. amd for payment, we'll give you our cruddy hearts and you can clean those all sparkly new. whaddya say? deal?"

it feels so very easy. so, "uh-duh!" in the times like these to just love each other right. why wouldnt we just care for each others' hearts like this all the time? well, life and screaming toddlers and poop-chewing babies get a lot of upfront attention and we take our eye off the ball for a second. and then a second more. and then we forget which ball it was that we were supposed to watching. and then we forget that there ever was a ball.

but i am inspired that 6 months of emotional tartar buildup got washed away after just 2 hours of carbo-loading and love-filled-truth-unloading. that we performed a reverse ball-ectomy (see above paragrah for ball reference) in record time and with no tears or screaming.

jesus has a hilarious sense of humor putting dudes with chicks for life and then saying "make it work!" like tim gunn on runway day, knowing full well that our best effort is akin to a hot glued puppy umbrella halter top. but lucky for us jesus is a big fan of marriage and what he really said was, "here. let me make it work. i'll do the hard part, you just wear the clothes."

and oh, snap, y'all, my butt looks AMAZING clothed in snow-white grace and love. if only tim gunn could be so helpful.


sure enough!

i once spent a good hour one night on the site damn you autocorrect (some of them aren't so clean, so maybe don't click at work). it is a site devoted to hilarious mishaps that occur when your phone tries to correct your spelling by using a logarithm to guess what you really meant. it's actually really helpful a lot of the time when your pudgy fingers type "yout" instead of "your" and it fixes it for you. but other times it gets cocky and feisty and just inserts really off the wall suggestions instead.

something about accidentally typing and sending something other that what you intend KILLS me. that night, jesse found me in our room crying, seriously tears shooting out of my face, because i was laughing so hard.

my best auto-correct mishap was before i ever had a smartphone. i was using jesse's to text our friend and realtor and i was trying to say "that is so bizarre". i must have missed the right keys because the iphone decided that i meant, "that's so mozzarella." jesse and i still use mozzarella to mean bizarre thanks to that.

but my best ever spelling mishap actually comes from autocorrect's predecessor: spellchecker!

the year was 2007. i was still new at my job. back then, i worked for a lady. i worked in the office, but she worked from home, so we emailed a ton. she isn't what i would describe as nice. we arent talking "devil wears prada" or anything, but she was just all-business and pretty brusque.

so one day i was getting kind of hyper with my in-office buddies. then an email from my boss comes in thanking me for having done something for her. instead of saying "no problem," or, "you're welcome," like a normal employee/human, my reply was "sure enough."

but because i was so hyper that day, and because i am such a freak, i decided to write it with a little more flair. so i wrote:

sho' nuff!

i was accustomed to spellcheck popping up in outlook after i would hit "send" and wanting to correct stupid stuff, like "i's" that i hadn't capitalized, or leaving apostrophes out of contractions. so i always automatically just clicked "change spelling" and let it make its suggested changes and then it would finish sending automatically.

so that day after i fired off my cheery and compliant "sho' nuff!" the spell checker thing popped up twice and i just instinctively hit "change" twice. away it went.

then it hit me. i had intended to "misspell" those words because i was trying to talk all slang-y and informally. so what the hell had it thought i meant and changed them to?

with much interest and a little bit of fear, i went to my "sent items" folder and looked to see the email i had just sent my 42 year old female boss:

show muff!

she had written me saying, "thanks for sending me that," and my answer was "show muff!" like, here's how you can really thank me!

i literally freaked out laughing with embarrassment and recoiled from my computer so hard that i sprained my neck. my office mates and i were in tears. i was sweating and so red-faced and could no longer turn my head.

i don't work for her anymore, but for her boss instead. somehow i did no get fired for sexual harassment.

jesse and i also use this little gem interchangeably with "no problem!' to this day.

there you have it. my best autocorrect ever. now please cough up some of yours. i need a good laugh today.


it stands alone

i felt like my favorite pic from the session (and probably ever) deserved its very own post. photo credit, as always, goes to brenna.

this is my love song sung in the face of the silly chick who thought she never wanted to be the mom of a baby girl.

this picture takes my breath away. layla takes my breath away.

keight, do you see what you would have missed if you had gotten your way? in your face, you stupid.

give me the drama, the hormones, the wedding expenses, the dates, the extra worry. i'll take them all; just give me this girl.

layla's 6 month pics

i thought these went terribly. judah was in RUH-AIR form that day and even miss easy face was uncharacteristically fussy and tired way before her bedtime. so imagine my surprise when our magician photographer brenna gave us our complete session CD and i found a trove of pixelated gems!

i had just finished layla's nursery and wanted some really good pics of the place. the natural light in that room is medium at best so i needed brenna's skills/umbrella flash/camera/eye to capture the details just right. i am going to go back and post these on the nursery reveal too because they are just so pretty.

i love what brenna does with color most of all, but she won me over even more (as if that was possible)with our white baby in a white bathtub. swoonsville, party of me!

goober in and goober on.

putting the moves on both of us.

hahaha. quite the assortment. love the sunshine in the first one, the sweetness (bought with many gummies) in the second and judah channelling the fonz in the third.

i call this sequence, "you asked for it" alternate title: "if you give a girl a fish..."

jazz hands, stank faces and general smushiness in the big bed.

100% UN-scripted/asked for/expected. like i said, he was in rare form. she looks so indignant as it's happening, and then resigned to her fate, and then finally she makes lemonade and just decides to snack on the mulch. that's my girl. great catch, bren!


5 & 5 with phone support

sorry to throw another cellphone pics-only post at you, but i am crazy busy. this time it's busy in the good, "i'm going to win the dundie award for bushiest beaver," kind of way, and not the, "i'm going to tie you all up and put you in the closet if you dont leave me alone" kind of way that i usually operate under.

a post naptime snack/snuggle/george screening. they both toddled over to me and demanded to be on me like two tiny little ron burgundy's

things i love about this pic:

1. judah's adorably genuine smile and the fact that he is loving being in my lap.

2. layla's stoic stank face and lips

3. woody cheesing right along with us cause he's just happy to be there and how i didnt even realize judah had sneaked him in the frame

4. the fact that layla's belly takes up 20% of the screen

5. that you can actually see the shape of our window and the panes reflected in my forehead shine. matte-fying powder, anyone?

keeping it positive and breezy-sweets, here are 5 things i love about this week:

1. the kids are back in daily preschool! 4 hours a day 5 days a week. they LOVE it and get so much playtime and stimulation that they come home and both take 3 hour naps. i heart routine.

toddler chic in his sweatpant cutoffs, h+m tank and teensy backpack. and my big man is so hot in his floral tote. j/k that is just my hairy arm/leg/foot.

um, was that a fall breeze i just felt?!?! yes! temps hitting the 60's at night and only topping out at 89 during the day. i actually checked the weather yesterday and saw the typical smothering hi/low of 93/76. i FORCED myself into a courageous 10 am run (it's usually sickeningly hot here by then) and it felt so breezy and light that i had to recheck the forecast. i then realized my phone was still checking weather at our beach in florida. happy surprise to me.

3. jesse got several new supporters and a really significant new partnership for his ministry just in the nick of time ("weird," huh?). hooray for paying all of our bills!

4. etsy orders continue to roll in, but i am staying on top of them and plan to get some pleasure sewing done this week. another one of these for layla and something for me too!

i better make something fast before my baby goat-lette eats all my fabric!

5. even though i am now TWO months behind on layla's monthly birthday posts, i am FINALLY ahead/NOT behind on our laundry.

about 6 loads. instead of folding/putting it away these past few weeks, we just decided to use it as the set for our own production of les miserables in the living room. culture. but it's gone and now I am master of the house.


fraggle rock

this little nerd puts me on a snuggly rocket ship straight to the planet "how did i ever think i could live without a girl?" my fuzzy baby gremlin monkey is a hearty dose of god saying, "doy, chica, i know what i am doing."


notes on running

a collection of mental snippets that i think on while pounding the pavement.

-i got little blinky red clip on lights for safety (the flashing headlamp is now only for reading at night again). and whenever i see my shadow i, without fail, think my light has turned off because i cant see it in my shadow.

-approximately 78% of people driving on my running route smoke cigarettes and like to try to exhale directly into my mouth as they drive by. additionally 48% of people drive big honking or old hoopty cars with beastly exhaust that taste like a fossil fuel lolly. it's the delish-est!

-there is some contagion of flying ant-like bugs that comes out randomly on certain nights. running with these in the air can get as bad as running in rain--they are hitting my face and body that frequently. they seem very delicate and die on my skin at first contact (toxic keight!), but i am dotted with thoraxes, antennae, and leg pieces from their corpses when i am done. it's like i am a wet piece of chicken and they are my batter-dipped coating. the worst part is the 3 to10 bug's worth of parts that i find down my sports bra that i motor-boated into the grave. pestilential fools!

-i have this weird fear whenever i go over a bridge or runoff or culvert that someone is going to push me over. whenever i approach one i look all around me first like a big paranoid freak and then when i am parallel to the drop off, i stay far away from the edge. think about how easy it would be for some bully to just sneak up and push me over! does that even happen, in a world?

-my POWER SONG right now is robert randolph and the family band's "ain't nothin' wrong with that." holy cow it gets me going. perfect beat for my pace, and no matter how exhausted i am, when this little number comes on, i book it. i also tend to do my signature dance move while running: rhythmically pointing to the sky and making a kissy-duck face and. can you imagine driving by me while this is happening? (you'd have to blow your ciggy smoke up my nose because my ducky dance mouth is closed tight, suckazzz!)

i defy you to listen to this song and not want to get up and move. i may submit it as our official team song for the half marathon.

chubby blinking white chick running at a 12 minute mile pace covered in a crispy outer layer of exoskeletons? ain't nothin' wrong with that.


giveaway winners!

"i think i can, i think i can!"

so once again, on a totally blind caption judging, my dad had my favorite. maybe it's not fair because he and i have a genetically similar sense of humor. but his was just perfect. captured the train and the potty and did both so subtly. for the record, the caption i came up with in my head was, "all aboard the potty train! chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga, POO POO!" not so suble on the potty or train references.

obviously my dad will not be winning any etsy giftcards to my shop because i would just make him a bib for free if he ever needs one (and he probably will one day, and i will be the one feeding him).

i tried to get him to pick his favorite, but he refused. he wants all yall to like him, guys, and couldnt be the villain (he is a principal! he should be used to it!). coward. sweet, tender coward.

so i wussed out too and just did 2 randomized winners. eesh. the apple doesnt fall far from the sissy baby tree.

after deleting a few folk's accidental duplicate comments, we were left with 31. so here we go:

Kaci said...

"Tinkle Tinkle Litte Star..."

Ashley said...

Poo pooooooo! (instead of "choo choo")... so mature, right?!

congrats ashley and kaci! email me or send me an etsy convo when you know what you want to use your $15 for!

thanks to everyone who played along. that was stressful! like a high (not really) stakes game of apple to apples.


toweling off

...because that's what you do after a shower, right? oh, yikes.

well i think the baby shower was a smashing success. this could because i got a hearty to-go plate trough of food and stuffed me face with pigs in a blanket and pumpkin bread all weekend long. it's also partly because everyone seemed to have had a great time and natalie got some great gifts.

will this shower be in a magazine? probably not. we were on a budget bigtime and focusing on things that would last momma and baby for a long time and not just be cute and then thrown away. but i think we managed some cute for our dollar.

did it go off without a hitch? why, no. i got locked out of the venue with natalie's mom for 30 minutes with melting goodies and faces (mine) when we first got there, my co hostess abby got lost on the way and i may have blasted her with some of my locked-out stress anger on the phone, i forgot my sammie rollups at home and had to drive like a roid-rager to retrieve them 30 minutes before start time, and one of our good friends who was bringing 1/4 of the food was 2 hours late thanks to FREAK atlanta traffic followed by a speeding ticket. oh, i hurt for her.

but the good WAY outweighed the stressy.

so let's hit up a pictoral rundown, eh? all the good pics are by abby. and we didnt get many good group shots because we hostesses were the only ones with cameras and we were lots of busy.

why we did it: for this gorgeous mom and that little nugget in there.

that little boy in there is the second son of robert and nat, who have been on the mission field in england for 4 years. they had their first, benjamin, while over there, and now that they are moving home have had to leave ALL of their accumulated baby gear/necessities behind. stop and imagine having to start over getting everything you would need for a newborn when you already have a 2 year old and are changing jobs, homes and continents. hello, challenge! but we're here to help.

cohostess abby and i had a crafting day the week prior to the shower and churned out some cutesy from our little factory. i bought that paper puncher with a joann big coupon. if i ever host a shower for you: expect scalloped circle-shaped decor because i must make the investment go the distance. colors are negotiable.

natalie's mom had access to a sweet venue that is the meeting room and library of a local orthodontist she knows. most random thing ever? yes. super nice and free? YES! the building was so nice and very ski-lodge in style, which made it hard to totally baby-fy, but whatevs since we hadnt the money to do that anyway.

home made pom poms hanging from the central light fixture, flag bunting i sewed, pics of natalie as a baby and with bejamin on the hearth, and a MOM throne (with added comfort booster cushion). not mine: canoe painting and the after-braces glamour shots of some of the orthodontist's satisfied customers.

i am in love with these. natalie gets to keep them forever for any festivity!

thank you, martha, for your know-how

the food room. i used MADE's streamer sewing tutorial to pimpify regular crepe (not "crate" OUCH, i hate a homophone error and i committed this bad one. thanks, carrie!) paper. so easy in theory yet my sewing machine hated me and i peppered the streamers with an F bomb every few stitches due to constantly breaking threads.

with her first little man in the center of the table. she is awesome earthy hippie mother!

drink table. (their last name is braden, BTW)

yikes. the bargain drink dispenser i snagged from ross to serve ice water sprung an immediate and torrential leak. punch for everyone!


baby will be born in october, so the completed autumn tree will be perfect. you cant tell, but there is a heart with "r+n" "carved" into the tree. after baby is born i will add his name and birthday and frame it for the family

i love an iteration. decided last minute to make these "easy" favors thanks to a pinterest spotting.

they are easy. to make. as in AFTER you've unwrap 250 individual hershey's kisses. i forfeited my portion because i decided to try one while the chocolate was still soft and warm and ended up eating about 20 and washing it down with some of judahs whole milk right out of the jug. oops.

how i packaged the favors. computer paper rubber cemented in a tube and then sewed down on the ends. i filled the top spool and the bobbin with different thread colors and flipped over after one line of zig zags to get the mutlicolored line the easy way.

abby's cupcakes were the best i have ever eaten. period. adorable little toppers never hurt.

the food placard holders were just some of judah's blocks hot glued to painted clothespins.


holy cow. i have never been a believer or understander of the cucumber sammie phenomenon. well, nat's sister joj, converted me. i ate approx. 7,649 of these.

gifts! adorable hand drawn card.

because you never know when you're gonna need black tie attire!

i might be "obnoxious overly-helpful, needs-to-back-away, shower friend." dammit.

extolling the virtues of the 5 little monkeys treasury. what hijinks these primates will get into after their head injuries!

hahaha. 3 pretty ladies looking kind of pissed. dont be fooled. they talked and laughed the whole time and were very disruptive.

yes! emily and lena. probably judging me off camera.

big brother benj lost his pants during a game of chase. always a sign of a good party. he also got 3 or 4 big brother gifts...all of which he spurned for christine's iphone. typical!

hahaha i swear everyone wasnt mad the whole time. this was before we turned on the music and things got cuh-razy!

abby might have tried to steal this precious lil guest.

me and the godmothers of my kids! the wardrobe was unplanned. we are like an equation. they have been warned that they may not have babies for at least 3 years because i need time off before my next party-planning caper.

all 4 bradens. and yes, guys, you will love his little brother this much too. yes, natalie is married to justin timberlake.

seriously, we would do it all over again a hundred times for this chick