Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby, it's cold outside.

Cold doesn't begin to cover it, actually. Yesterday I said something on Facebook about -8 not being that bad because, really, cold is cold. But then it was -15 and I changed my mind.

There's cold, and then there's cold. We're currently experiencing the latter. Which is why we really haven't left to house to go anywhere but work, school, and Target for the last several weeks.  And I actually haven't gone to work that much, either, because I've been sick with the cold that will.not.end. accompanied by the most annoying.cough.ever. 

But, hey – at least we're not puking like all of my Facebook friends.

Lord, please protect my family from all the puking. Especially since I'm about to leave them for four days and I don't think Nate will ever let me go anywhere ever again if he has to spend the weekend caring for two puking children on his own. Which would be totally fair of him because I can't think of anything worse. Please and thank you, amen.

So, what do you do when your family is cooped up for weeks due to cold and cold and colds?

Pull out the rocking chair.

And the step stool.


Once those get boring, plop them in front of the fridge.

When that fails, build a monstrous blanket fort.

Or feed them.



Trains work (for a few minutes), too.

 So do pigtails.


Try the tunnel again.

Bake cookies and make casseroles.


Then give thanks for a working furnace and pray for spring.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A whole lotta pink: Audra's vintage first birthday party.

Hello, my name is Abby and I am a children's birthday party planning addict.

Seriously. I know I have a problem. And that problem is probably Pinterest, though my obsession certainly began prior to its invention. In fact, I'm pretty sure it began while watching my mom set the table for every party, every holiday, and every taco night. (Yes, taco night. As in nights we had tacos for dinner. She has the cutest vintage-looking Mexican tablecloth. Which my sister has already claimed, darn her.)

Lucky for me (and the 30 people crammed into 600 of our 1200 square feet last weekend), my mom also has an extensive collection of vintage table cloths. Which I borrowed to throw the cutest party yet — Audra's very girly, very adorable, and very pink vintage first birthday party.

SWOON. (And again I say thank you to the Lord for knowing what I need. I love my son more than life but there is no pink in raising boys and I sure do love pink.)

Without my mom's help (and I'm not just talking tablecloths — she was a cake frosting, deviled egg-making machine), this party would have been impossible.

It also would have been impossible without the sewing talents and gorgeous fabric collection of an Etsy seller named Wesley. My inspiration for the entire party was the cake bunting and fabric flag garland I purchased from her shop, Bluebird and Violet.

Look at this preciousness, please:

Yes, I probably could have made that myself. I have a sewing machine. But I do not have that many adorable fabrics, nor do I have time to search for them. Handmade by someone else is the way to go, friends.

Everyone loved the poms, which I have actually made by hand before (easy) but decided to purchase as a kit from Martha Stewart this time around (easier). I'm going to hang them in Audra's room...just as soon as I find myself willing to part with them in the dining room.

This was taken post-party. There were tons of mason jar glasses and
I had bottles of sparkling lemonade sitting in the center.
Along with the tablecloths, which I layered to cover my enormous table,

I only used eight of the 20+ tablecloths my mom sent me.
And this is just her pink stuff.
I used off white serving pieces, old jelly jars and a teapot full of spray roses, super cute pink paper plates, and pink and white striped napkins. My sister-in-law lent me her Mason jars for beverages (large bottles of sparkling pink lemonade from Trader Joe's) and I stuck baby blue and white paper straws in each one.

Even though the majority of our guests were adults, I wanted food that was geared toward the kids: PB&J cut into flower shapes, large bowls of goldfish crackers and clementines, a platter of deviled eggs, individual veggie pizzas, and strawberry cupcakes. We also made two pans of baked ham and cheese sandwiches for the grownups (so good). The kids went home with pink and white frosted animal cookies as favors.

The chandelier was a hit — I strung it with photos from the 27th of every month to document Audra's growth over the last year. Each month was written on a tiny heart sticker and clipped to the photo and ribbon with a mini clothespin:


Finally, I made Audra's birthday shirt. I usually buy them off Etsy, but I couldn't find one that fit the party and decided if I could hand sew a book on Calvin's Super Why costume, I could hand sew a number one on the front of a onesie. I used pink and white polka dot cotton fabric, and hand stitched it with contrasting baby blue thread. And I added a little heart on the back of the neck, too. Because I could. :)

A pretty party and a house full of people we love = the perfect way to celebrate our sweet Audra's first year. We are so blessed by the love and generosity our friends and family show our family, and especially our kids!

Now, to begin planning Calvin's next party! I'll give you one hint: It's going to be super. ;)
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