Monday, September 30, 2013

Londyn Grace's 1st Birthday Party

Londyn Grace turns ONE...

in just three days!! So of course, we had to celebrate! We had her big party this past Friday night back home in Maryland, and it was pretty much perfect!

It was so special to share the celebration with our family and friends especially since we don’t see them nearly as often as we would like due to living over three hours away.

I spent months planning and preparing for the celebration and was so happy with how my vision came to life! We spent all day Friday transforming my parent’s church’s fellowship hall into a vintage space filled with buntings, burlap and floral decor! {I can’t thank my Mama and Daddy, my sister, cousin, and my sweet hubby for all of their help! I couldn’t have done it without them!}

Two months ago, I found a floral fabric with baby blue, light pink, magenta, robin’s egg blue, and sage green in it! I fell in love with the combination of colors and picked a coordinating sage green polka dot fabric as an accent. I also bought a few yards of fabric in solid colors. I wanted to pull out all of the gorgeous colors from the fabric. My Mom Mom (maternal grandmother) made LG a dress to wear for her one year portraits (portrait post coming soon!)  and to use as the basis for the party decor. I love the fact that she has this handmade dress to keep as a memory of her first birthday party!

I painted the antique highchair I mentioned in a previous post light pink and dry brushed it with white paint. It served as the perfect seat for Londyn Grace to dig right into her smash cake. Behind her highchair, we screwed four vintage shutters together and hung a burlap bunting with her name on it at the top.

Next to the highchair was the sage green chair she's sitting in in the one year portrait at the top of this post, that I just so happened to snag for free on the side of the road a few years ago, for opening presents in front of old barn doors topped with two more burlap banners.

One of my favorite details of the party was the wooden block guest book! Each guest was asked to sign a wooden block so that when Lovey Lou is playing with them for years to come she will always have a memory of who shared her special day with her! Reading some of the sweet little notes made me tear up!

I used vintage windows we used for the seating chart at our wedding to display her monthly chalkboard pictures.

The dessert table was the focal point as soon as guests entered the hall. Behind it I hung a light pink ruffled backdrop and topped it with a colored pennant banner featuring the various fabrics I mentioned before!

The ruffled backdrop is actually a twenty dollar shower curtain from Amazon! It served the purpose though and now I have it in case we ever move to a place where LG has her own bathroom!

Each table had a blue mason jar filled with two roses, one white and one pink, and baby’s breath, and a scrabble tile tray with one of Goosey’s many nicknames on it. Scrabble played a role in Daniel asking me out on our first date so we have incorporated it into our engagement pictures, our wedding reception, maternity pictures and now into our baby girl’s first birthday party!

For favors, I stamped mason jars onto cardstock and tied them to small bags of mints. Well, Daniel tied them to the bags of mints that he also filled! Thanks, Babe! I wrote “Hope you had a Ball!” on each tag. I ordered precious printed napkins, too!

This chalkboard greeted guests on their way in!

After a busy day of decorating, we headed back to my parents’ house so that LG could get a nap in before the party.

She and Daddy napped while I iced sugar cookies Daddy made earlier in the morning.

When she woke up, I gave her a quick bath and dressed her in the dress my grandmother made, robin’s egg blue leggings, her new gold shoes, and added one of my Mama’s pearl necklaces. She looked SO precious!

When we got back to the church around 5:30, guests were already arriving! 

It was the sweetest thing ever watching her greet them with her signature smile and adorable little wave!

For dinner, we ordered food from a friend’s restaurant. We had a variety of sub sandwiches served on vintage china, salad, and different soups. We drank pink lemonade out of mason jars with precious pink and white polka dotted and bunting straws!

After we ate, it was time for cake!

Everyone sang “Happy Birthday,” we helped her blow out her single candle and then put on her party hat and monogrammed bib to prepare for the mess that was about to be made!

She dug right into the rosette cake and even wanted to share with Daddy and Mama!

For dessert, we had birthday cake, cookies and ice cream!

After dessert, we had a table full of presents to open. Everyone was so gracious! She received so much, including money and gift cards, lots of new fall/winter clothes, adorable handmade bows, a musical tea set, a stroller for her baby dolls, a Tigger that bounces, a few stuffed animals, a puzzle, and her very own toy iPhone and even a personalized Tervis tumbler!


It seems so surreal that this time last year, I was folding tiny newborn clothes I received at my church shower, and now I’m putting away presents from my big girl’s first birthday party!

Having a baby changes everything including your concept of time! A year has never passed so quickly!

It was such a wonderful evening! Watching LG have a ball was truly the best part!

We are looking forward to continuing the celebration for the rest of this week as we approach her birthday on Thursday! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Five & Five on Friday :)

I'm linking up with two link-ups on this Fall Friday!

 1. {Homemade} I have recently begun thinking a lot about processed foods and their impact on our health. I guess it stems from a combination of my sister and her battle with digestive issues, brother in law and his battle with Crohn's disease and now having LG's diet to think about. It also has do to with my weekly grocery budget. (So often my latest Pinterest recipe calls for a packet of Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix or Italian dressing mix and these mixes are around $2 a packet with lots of yucky hard to pronounce ingredients.) This week I made my own mixes!! I ended up having most of the spices I needed on hand and only had to buy one or two. Not only did this save me from having to buy the packets this week, but the recipes I used made enough to equal several packets! I stored the extra in mason jars and will now have it ready the next time I make a Mississippi Roast (Daniel's favorite!) or Pesto Ranch Chicken (a newly added (and super yummy!) item on our menu!)

2. {Big Girl Carseat} We had planned to wait until after the party to buy Londyn Grace's new carseat, but when we received a mailer about a promotion that Babies R Us had going on, we decided to get it now! With any purchase of $150 or more, you could get a video monitor for free! We used a 20% off coupon on the $169.99 seat making it $135.99 so we grabbed two pairs of pajamas and a package of drawer locks to get us to the $150 mark! Unfortunately they were sold out of the monitor so they gave us a raincheck and will call us when they get the shipment in! Daniel installed the seat today and she tried it out for the first time! She wasn't too sure of it and neither is mama! She is getting too big too fast!

3. {My other Blog} After much nudging from the Holy Spirit, I have finally resurrected my first blog! I wrote devotionals at Loving my Lord on a daily basis for around 5 years, but had neglected it since LG's birth. I plan to make time for writing again at least a few days a week! I'd love it if you'd follow me there as well!

4. {Almost Party Time} Lovey Lou turns one three weeks from yesterday! Her BIG party at home in Maryland is two weeks from tonight!! I've gotten a lot done, but still have several projects to tackle in the next fourteen days! I can't believe it is almost here!

How cute is this mason jar stamp?!

5. {Saying Goodbye} We went to Maryland on Monday to say goodbye to my Aunt Mary Ellen. The first of my Daddy's nine siblings (he is the baby of ten!) to pass away, she left an incredible legacy. I was blessed to spend 3 years with her when we worked together and carpooled each morning. She was only 57, but the Lord knew her body was too weak to face the cancer treatments ahead. She always put others first and served so selflessly. I'll think of her often, every time I use a coupon as she would typically finish a grocery trip with bags of groceries and the store owing her money, eat a chocolate chip cookie, she knew they were my favorite and always saved me some or watch a Christmas movie, she loved the 25 days of Christmas specials on ABC. I'll miss calling her every once and awhile, just to talk. I'll miss her sweet spirit. I am grateful that she knew Jesus as her Savior and is no more bound by this body of clay. Heaven is a little sweeter with her there and I have the assurance of seeing her again.

What are your Friday Five? Head over to The Sowell Life or to The Good Life Blog and link up!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Dolly

If you remember from my weekly pregnancy posts, I thought for sure that Londyn Grace was a boy! The busy baby in my belly just had to be a boy because it was always moving. I was shocked and thrilled when we cut into the cake and saw PINK! I would've been just as thrilled if the icing was blue, but knowing we had a sweet baby girl on the way made me so very happy!

And even after almost a year with her, I am still having the time of my life dressing up my real-life dolly!

This afternoon, after our chores were finished, I wanted to take advantage of the lovely weather and get a few pictures of LG outside.

We are sort of between seasons and between sizes right now, growing out of all of her summer clothes and not quite ready to wear her fall outfits so I didn't find anything in her closet. Just then I remembered, a tote of my baby things in the attic.

So I chose a precious yellow dress with eyelet lace around the neckline and even found one of my old dolls for her to play with. My white shoes that she wore for her dedication matched perfectly!

We headed out back to capture the sweetness of her interacting with it, dressed in my vintage dress and wearing my shoes! Oh, how sweet it was!

We were only outside for less than ten minutes when the bugs started biting, but I am thrilled with the shots I got!

I emailed them to my Mama when we came in. She often says how much Lovey reminds her of me, so seeing her in my dress and shoes playing with my doll, made her cry!

LG has been carrying around the doll all evening!

I love watching her give it lovin'! 

My dolly with her dolly!

Be still my heart!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eleven Months...

Here we are four short weeks from ONE. Londyn Grace is eleven months old! 
This time last year we were having our maternity pictures taken and putting finishing touches on her nursery. Now we are chasing a very busy baby around and watching her blossom right before our eyes! 

Weighing in at 18 pounds 3 ounces, she is definitely getting heavier and catching up in the weight department. At her check-up with Dr. Schlachter last week, she was still measuring 28 inches, so she has stalled a bit in length. We are buying 12 month clothes for Fall/Winter since most of her 9 month wardrobe is getting too small.

Baby girl has had a BIG month of milestones!!

Within the last two weeks, her two front top teeth have finally worked their way out, bringing her total to four (the two bottom she’s had since 7 months). I am going to miss her sweet gummy smile! It’s amazing how two teeth change the appearance so much!

Her hair has also grown like crazy! We can now clip in her bows! I am in love with how curly it’s getting!

I mentioned in my last post that she is getting into EVERYTHING! She has mastered crawling, no more dragging one leg, and crawls so fast, pulling up to standing on anything she can get her hands on and then cruising around using the furniture to balance. She also figured out how to walk using her walkers this month! She has a plastic one and a Melissa and Doug alligator walker at home and there is another one in the church nursery that she is super fond of. 

Verbally, she made my day, my week, and probably my year when she crawled up to me and called “Mama” to get my attention! I’ll never forget that moment. She has been making the sound for months, but hearing her use it in direct relation to me was so precious! She has also mastered “Hi!” and will say it when I am talking to someone on the phone or when she is waving. She continues to say “Dada” and knows who her “Dada” is! She gets so excited when she hears the front door open and knows it’s Dada coming home! Just this morning, she said "Bye bye" when Daddy was leaving for the church! She is beginning to mimic sounds, as well.

Sweet Lovey Lou has become so much more affectionate and willingly gives kisses! Ah, they are the sweetest. EVER. Open mouth and lots of drool! She will give them when we ask for them, but is more apt to offer them on her own! {Melt my heart!} She also shows affection
by patting my arm when I’m holding her or laying her head on my shoulder.

Aside from her walkers, Goosey is beginning to love baby dolls! She gives them “lovin’” too, kissing and hugging them! We definitely have one on the birthday list. She still has a ball interacting with the baby in the mirror! I told Daniel that we really need to get this poor girl some little friends to play with! 

As for her eating it is about the same, still loving anything and everything we offer and not wanting us to eat in front of her without sharing! She loves to take bites now that her top teeth are in and gets frustrated when we won’t let her have a whole piece of whatever is on the menu! Little piglet! :) Her favorites include any type of meat, corn on the cob, her morning Cheerios, and grapes (Mama gives very tiny pieces.) 

Her number one is still Mama’s milk, though as she still eats every 3 hours or so even if it’s just for five minutes. My heart hurts to think about our nursing days being numbered. We will continue until she is finished, but with each passing day she grows more active and less apt to sit still. She often eats standing on her head or playing with a toy with one hand. I am beyond grateful for the journey we’ve had. I know I mention it every month, but with our rough start there were many days when I questioned if we’d make through the day much less eleven wonderful months! 

Sleep is still about the same as well although our bedtime routine has changed a little. Some nights she is now letting Daddy put her to sleep while others she still likes Mama qto rock her and sing the same lullaby I’ve been singing for months. She is still beginning the night in her crib and coming in with us at her midnight waking. She has also started to wake up a little earlier in the mornings. Napping is going well and she almost always naps in her crib! For a few weeks, I thought she was going to give up her morning nap for a longer afternoon nap, but most days she still needs both.

This month, her personality has become so much more apparent! She laughs when we are silly and often does silly things herself to get a reaction from us! She has perfected the “stink face” and is often curling her little nose up when trying to figure something out! Londyn Grace is very determined and even stubborn at times so we are continuing to work on teaching boundaries and helping her understand rules and limits. Overall, she is still happy and sweet and we pray that she stays that way!

It is so hard to wrap our minds around the fact that our teeny tiny newborn is almost a whole year old. We are so thankful for the last eleven months and can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring. Her big celebration is only four weeks away!