Archive | June, 2010

the summer boutique

Last night we hosted the summer boutique.

It was SO MUCH FUN.

And utterly exhausting!

I have a ton of beautiful photos I can’t wait to share, but I’ll start today with the before & after of our amazing space. 

This was hosted at my sister’s brother & sister-in-law’s house which is so beautifully designed and decorated.  They have this ingenious ‘garage’ space that they use as a playroom for their kids and  an entertaining space for big parties. Needless to say, it is not your average garage. It has wood beams, chair rail, a buffet counter and the most darling ‘bungalow’ guest house above it. I want to live there.  It all opens to a great courtyard with outdoor fireplace, a trellis with roses and a little grassy area surrounded by boxwoods {my favorite}.  It was PERFECT for our event.

Here is the before:

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   And here is the after:

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Oh, it was such fun.  Thank you to all you sweet ladies {and five men} who made this party a smashing success.  It really was one of my best days. 

But now, I am going to take a nap.

Lots more photos to come :

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cousins

I love that my sisters and I all have kids about the same age. There are eight all together with my number one being the first {which means there are eight aged six and under}.  Add in my cousin’s two little ones and it makes for a very crazy family get-togethers!

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This morning the two two-year-olds spent some quality time bonding over a bin full of sand.

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They are good little buddies.

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I can’t wait to see what they are like years from now.

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sign

Yesterday one of my tasks for The Summer Boutique was to make a store sign.  I wanted my sign to look the same as my logo {simple font spaced out wide}, but I also wanted it to look hand painted and old{ish}.

So we started with this old door front:

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then printed my logo extra large:

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I remembered reading about a technique that mimics carbon paper {I think from Isabella & Max Rooms}. You scribble on the back side of the print-out just overlapping the sides of the letters.

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Then place it on the surface you are transferring it to and trace the letter

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and when you pull off the paper, you have this:

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{the photo-editing software that I use gave me this strange effect, but I think it is sort of artsy and cool, so I didn’t fix it}.

I painted in the letters with a tiny brush and a mildly steady hand and here is what I have:

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I think it will work just perfectly.

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A dream come true

About a month ago I had the idea of hosting a handmade sale.  I’ve read blog posts about little parties where handmade items are sold and it seemed like a fun idea.  I figured I would just have it in our home, set up some tables, ask a few of my talented friends to join me and we would enjoy an evening together.

I told my {very creative & entrepreneurial} husband about it and something happened.

He LOVED the idea.

And so we spent the next couple of days coming up with a very ambitious concept of hosting a party where we could also showcase a few things I love: stationery, salvaged & vintage items for our home, embellished things like pillows and art and anything silver, old or white.   We asked a friend if we could set up our shop at their amazing home and she kindly obliged.

And so, The Summer Boutique was born.

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You may have noticed the image on the sidebar or the menu item up top, but I thought I’d explain a little bit more about what this event is all about.

Really, it is just us being us.

We are creative. We love using old funky things in our decorating. We find great pleasure in finding cool stuff, making something unique, re-painting, re-upholstering and finding new uses for random objects.  And {perhaps most of all} we love dreaming.

I’m hoping for a great turn-out {if you are in the Seattle area, please come by!}, but mostly I feel so grateful that my husband and I get to bring a dream of ours to life.  And that we get to do it together.

My father-in-law asked me this weekend where I was hoping to go with this.  Poor guy was living amongst his wife {our master curator of fine used goods, as we affectionately call her}, his son and me filling his house with our great finds and I think he was a little confused over our gushing! Anyway, I couldn’t really answer the question.  I don’t want to have too high expectations on this event, but at the same time, it feels so natural to us that you never know : we just may do it again.

Regardless, I feel so thankful to be able to express my creativity in a way that may inspire those around me – through my own creations and through what we will have available at the boutique.

And, like I said, to be able to do it with my husband is even more exciting to me.

It will be a busy week finishing up lots and lots of projects, but we are so looking forward to next Tuesday!

If you are interested in stopping by, click here for more information.

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graduation

I’m having a hard time believing that my baby is graduating from kindergarten today.  The fact that he is going to be in first grade is just too strange to consider for this emotional mommy.

My sweet boy is such a good kid.  He is respectful and thoughtful, a good listener and direction follower, which makes for a really good student. He started kindergarten being a pre-reader and is now a full-blown reader.  He started the year wanting me to walk him in to school each day and now he prefers to ride the bus.  He can count by twos and tell a joke and says the most big-kid things like “I’m 100 percent sure” and “speaking of :”.  Where did the time go?

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The other day he said to me, “mommy, I think I’m ready to call you mom. Ozzie calls his mom ‘mom’ and so do #3 & Marshall. So, I think I should too. What do you think, Mom?”

And then, we just looked at each other and busted out in laughter.

“Nah”, he said, “I’ll just stick with mommy”. 

It just didn’t feel right. I’m still his mommy. And he is certainly still my baby.

Even if he is a first-grader.

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daddy

Our kids have a really good daddy. He works hard to provide, yes. But more importantly, he has vision. He sees the direction he wants our family to go and he pursues it. His tenacity to reach beyond ‘conventional’ is inspiring to me and I know it will be to our children as well.

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In the meantime, they have a daddy who wrestles with them. Who drives a fire engine and rescues people. Who loves their mommy. Who plays ‘tool box’ and helps them get their ‘ya-ya’s’ out before bed. Who reads to them and sings to them and prays for them.

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And who has a very tender heart towards his newest love.

Yes, they do have a really good daddy.

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invitations

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I’ve been working on these sweet first birthday invitations for this fun lady.  Can’t wait to see photos of this party : it sounds like such a wonderful All American kind of fete.

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a little vacation

Some friends of ours have a private beach.  Literally a beach that spans as far as you can see without another person in sight.  It is gorgeous.

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They are building a new boat house.

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But it is turning out to be more of a beach house.

We’ve gone the last couple of years with a large group of friends to camp out {that annual trip is coming in July}. This one was just a short get-away to take advantage of the first summer weather and to help work on the house.  So while the guys wired the lights and hung shingles,

My first little man did a lot of this:

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Our second did a lot of this:

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and found a lot of these:

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And my third little man {the daredevil of the bunch} enjoyed launching himself off like this:

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And all the while, my baby girl just looked pretty:

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My legs saw the light of day for the first time in about a year:

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We ate yummy food:

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wrote in the sand:

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explored the beach:

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and spent time with great friends {with some pretty cute kids}:

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Such fun.

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it’s moving day!

I’m so pleased to introduce you to my new {wordpress} blog!

Take a look around and let me know what you think.

We’re still working on a few things:

1. If you have been following me on my blogspot blog, we’re figuring out how to make it automatically switch over to  this one, so sit tight and I’ll let you know if you need to do anything.

2. I’m {slowly} updating the blogs I read.

3. There are a few more customizing things on the to-do list, but I just couldn’t wait any longer!

And just because I can’t get enough of her, here are some recent photos of my sweetest girl:

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farmer’s market

We went to our local farmer’s market this weekend.  It was a beautiful day and perfect for being outdoors amidst farm-grown vegetables, plants, handmade crafts, candles, jellies and fresh cut flowers.

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I went with the sole purpose to purchase some peonies. I think my little girl likes them too.

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And the boys enjoyed their shaved ice.

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Yum.

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on being a mommy

My babies are growing up so quickly.

I was folding laundry tonight and got a little sappy thinking about how little their clothes are now and how big they will soon be.  I want to fold little bitty tights for forever. I don’t want them to grow up.

It makes me cry to think that I haven’t taken full advantage of these little years. 

Being a mommy to little ones is a constant and often exhausting job. Not exhausting in the sense that it is the hardest job out there – I am beyond thankful that I get to be home with my kids and never wish to complain about my ‘job’ – but exhausting in that I am always on. There is always someone to assist or entertain or comfort or discipline. Not a lot of time to be quiet with my own thoughts or to start and finish a task in one sitting. 

Tonight I was cleaning and re-arranging downstairs as the boys played {wonderfully} upstairs.  I so appreciated the few moments to get things done, all the while knowing that they were destroying the playroom and that I would soon have to focus on cleaning that room.  It never ends.

And, honestly, sometimes I want it to. 

Sometimes I want to just stay in bed.

Sometimes I want to take a shower without interruption.

Or eat my breakfast first.

{ooooh, I’m sounding terribly selfish – please tell me you understand}

I want to listen to my music rather than Psalty.

I want to go shopping and actually try things on instead of just buying blindly and bringing them home to try on {and then, inevitably, returning most of it because nothing fits}.

I want to clean the floors and have them stay that way longer than 30 minutes.

But do I really? Is a life of focused shopping and cleanliness and sleeping in really better?

I’ve had so many friends and acquaintances struggle with infertility and it always makes me stop and think.  We are so fortunate to have our four children.  There are many who don’t have any and would give anything to have just one, and here I am with four and whining about how they disrupt my breakfast.

If you are a mommy, I know you know how I feel. We love our babies, but could use a break.  For a week. Preferably at a tropical location.

While I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by this enormous task of raising kids {all the while maintaining a healthy marriage, hobbies and friendships} I want to remember to cherish these times with my darlings. 

My silly boys who make horses out of wrapping paper tubes and play knights {with only one costume, hence the shirtless knight}.

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Sweet little voices that sing songs to their baby sister.

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Little innocent eyes.

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These goofy kiddos who think making silly faces is one of the greatest pastimes ever.

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And, of course, their complete sweetness as they sleep.

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They are wonderful kids and I have the great honor of being their mommy. I hope I am doing a good job : and I hope I can take time every day to just enjoy where we are at {however dirty and disorderly it may be}.

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birthday party

My niece turned two this weekend. She is one of the most darling little girls I’ve ever seen and it seems crazy that she is already two.  We had a little {but fun} party yesterday with our family to celebrate her and my mom

I was reminded of the very cute party my sister & brother-in-law threw for her when she turned one and I thought I’d do a re-post.  Enjoy!

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my sweet little niece . i s a b e l l a. had her first birthday party this afternoon.  my sister has been working like crazy on it and hosted an amazing party. i was able to help with some of the creative stuff {which i always love} and it was fun to make it extra special for baby {i mean toddler} isabella
the birthday girl {wearing the most adorable tutu made by my mom}

every birthday baby need a bib for the special occasion.
darling, isn’t it?
and, as is tradition for all the grandchildren, my mom made the special birthday cake to be devoured by the i’ve-only-had-sugar-once-before-birthday-girl.
some might think she’s saying ‘all done’
but oh no. not this girl. she was loving that sugar.
{she’s my kind of girl}

yummy food

even yummier sweets
{because what’s a party without candy as the goodie bag?}

apparently these darling monogram shirts {for the boys} and flower pin shirts {for the girls} were not a good enough party favor {as explained by anna, age 7 and ethan, age 5 on two separate occasions} candy bags are a must at any party. just in case you didn’t know.

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the little sweetness with her new baby be blessed dolly

i think she likes her

the birthday girl and her mommy

ready for some birthday party swimming {in 62 weather}

rebecca, me, eric & amy {unintentional pattern makers that we are} enjoying celebrating our niece.
it was a great party with so many cute, creative and special details. good work, mike & hillary, on a party well-thrown and a baby well-made.
happy birthday isabella!

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