Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sweetie Pie.

A few of Lydia's one year pics. The weather here has been unseasonably warm, so we took advantage of it yesterday!

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lydia's First Birthday Party!

This past weekend we celebrated Liddybug's first birthday. She doesn't officially turn one until Friday, but this was the only open weekend we had this month, so we partied it up a week early. I settled on a garden theme for her party and had so much fun planning and decorating. I basically wanted something ultra-girly. I think we succeeded. With some HobLob sales, birdhouse donations from my bestie, a beautiful baby girl, and delicious treats, the party was a success! 

Caleb checking out the sweet treat table. Mmm.

My Mom gave Lydia her present early: A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Perfect for the theme!

The cupcakes were made by a local bakery. Yes, I did absolutely no baking for this party (well, except for the cupcake puppy chow mix ... that counts as baking, right?). I wrote out a menu, checked it twice, laughed at the time it would take to prepare said menu, and thusly called a local bakery. And it was good! Key lime, strawberry, and vanilla. Feminine and delicious!

Cupcake Puppy Chow and Black and White Mix (from Target). I heart apothecary jars.

This little dome was on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I mean, really. How cute is that.

The sweet treats were in the dining room and the brunch was in the breakfast nook. Nothing screams "Garden Party" like Chick-fil-A chicken minis, right?! I mean, they ARE biscuits. Totally garden-ish. And, also, fruit and cheese. There you have it: My version of brunch!

Lydia's throne.

I found a paper flower book at Target and the big kids had a blast assembling paper flowers for the party. They did such a good job!

The fireplace and my trusty chalkboard, with fun facts about our Liddybug. Oh, and Liddybug bunting. :)

Having family around to celebrate is the best thing. I love watching my babies get loved on.

Lydia examining her loot.

Big sister had fun spinning in her new skirt. The girls totally had to match. Totally.

Look at this: WE HAVE THREE KIDS. THERE ARE THREE OF THEM. It catches me off guard quite often!

Hey Liddybug! Time to open presents!

There are five of us. FIVE OF US. All-caps necessary. My little family of five.

This picture totally cracks me up. Yep, that pretty much sums up what our lives are like most of the time!

Time for cake! Well, time for a cupcake. 

Aaaaand faceplant. Good strategy, baby.

Love her!

Little Sister thoroughly enjoyed making her big sister and big brother jealous. 

The toes!


Ahhh, the cuteness!


Little cousins!

She finally got her cupcake, too. Big blue eyes!

Memere and Pepere and Lydia!

There you have it! Our little garden party. I'm kicking myself for not getting a family picture! It was so fun to make our baby girl the center of attention. This year has absolutely flown by and I can't believe we're standing on the brink of the big Number One. Phew. We love you, Liddybug!!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Life happens in our breakfast nook. Today was beautifully sunny, after days of clouds, and it shown brightly, filtering through our curtains. I had to capture our afternoon with my camera. In all of its beautiful, messy glory. Because our reality is not always organized or tidy (in fact, it is rarely so) and I have surrendered my kitchen floors to the inevitable and mysterious stickiness that seems to appear only moments after cleaning. This is simply the reality of having children; three healthy, imaginative children. Even looking at these pictures now, my heart is full at memories that are made simply on the normal days.

This room is not only where we eat, but it is where we learn and play.

Where we gather together to laugh, make a mess, to create.

When we purchased this blessed table the weekend after our honeymoon, I told my husband that I wanted a butcher block top "to be durable for our kids someday". This table has not let us down.

Caleb organizes his papers while Naomi draws everywhere and Lydia claps measuring cups together.

Two tables in this room--the big table and the little table. The big table is where we mostly operate, the little table is for important committee meetings amongst the little ones.

It is here, amongst the sippy cups and goldfish and play-doh and papers haphazardly scrawled upon, that we learn. Not simply shapes, or colors, letters, or numbers, or how to draw or color in the lines. We learn how to be together. How to give and live together. How your organization can compliment her imagination. And how to inspire and encourage each other to grow.

This is my favorite room.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Going Through The House: The Formal Dining Room.

The formal dining room.

I have to say, when I was a newlywed, I truly questioned the necessity of a formal dining room. A breakfast nook table is sufficient for meals, right? What's the point of a formal dining room? Especially if you rarely eat in there?

Well, Newlywed Katie, the point of your formal dining room is to have something pretty to look at, if nothing else. YES. Amidst rooms full of toys and hallways lined with shoes, there stands your formal dining room. Pretty. Cozy. Your daily eye candy as you pass by with an armful of clean socks and underwear. And, every once in a while, when you steal one moment to yourself in the morning, you settle at the table with your cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet view. Yes, Newlywed Katie, even a rarely-used formal dining room can provide overwhelming satisfaction. And, when you host your yearly holiday (Easter!) and the family gathers at the table, the room comes alive. And you love it. 

There. I've now sufficiently lectured myself. Onto the room.

Note: When I uploaded these pictures to the blog, they looked dark and fuzzy. I'm not sure if it's the blog's compression or what, but, I'm sorry! Just squint if you have to.

Nothing screams "formal" like "columns", ha! I've never been a big "column" fan, but I actually like these. They act as a non-intrusive barrier between this room and the hallway and front room, keeping this part of our house open and bright.

The table was a gift to me from my mother-in-law. It's the same table they had when my husband was a baby.  It's traveled with them through his life and was in the breakfast nook of the house where they currently live. When she remodeled her kitchen recently, the table came to me, complete with a fresh coat of walnut stain (it was natural before). I love it. This table will probably end up in our breakfast nook in a few years so we can put a larger table in here, but I love it in here for now! The chairs are from a local home decor store and were cheap. Yes, we have small children. Three cheers for pleather!

The hutch. The precious hutch. This once belonged to my best friend and through some creative negotiating, it ended up here. :) I love the pale yellow! It holds family treasures and has a character all its own, without being a typical stuffy and fussy hutch. Love.

Behold: The curtains. I had white curtains in here forever and finally decided to jazz things up. I'm a big fan of Celerie Kemble's interior design (will she please come and do my house?) and her Hot House Flowers pattern. Not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on curtains, I found these fabric shower curtains at Target for $15 each. Yes, fabric shower curtains. On my windows. Each "panel" is a shower curtain folded in half and they work wonderfully! Plus, you can see the pattern outside the window, too, which is fun because the window faces our front walkway. The only drawback is the length--I break every design rule and have curtains that only touch to the bottom of the window, rather than to the floor. But, I'm used to them now and with a crawling baby who loves to grab and pull things, I'm now glad these are shorter! Maybe someday I'll splurge ... but today is not that day. :)

The mirror was a quick find at Wal-Mart seven years ago when my husband and I got married. The blessed mirror has been with us since the very beginning. Our precious Wal-Mart special, ha.

Chandeliers are tricky for me because I try to avoid anything gaudy. It can be challenging to find something delicate and sparkly without it being obnoxious or excessive. I found this beauty at Lowe's last summer and it fit the bill for what I wanted with this room. It adds just enough elegance without consuming the entire room. Plus, I love how its femininity contrasts with the masculine chairs.

There you have it! The formal dining room. Oh, my husband's fish tank is also in this room, against the wall. Yes, you can't win them all. I'm trying to convince him how nice it would look at his office ... :)

Have a lovely day!