Grady and the Growing Bump

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As we continue to try to sell our house, prep for baby #2, and settle into a new home, we are busy beyond belief…but I trust it will all come together before our sweet girls’ arrival.

We took some time the other evening to capture Grady with my growing bump and to take photos of our family so that we remember this stage of our journey. G is keeping us on our toes; he is constantly chasing birds and playing ball, always picking me flowers anywhere we go, and invariably refusing to settle for anything less than what he makes his mind up for.  Our hearts are simply happy and growing every day with our love for both of them.

Baby T #2’s Gender Reveal

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We had the most magical day this weekend while discovering the gender of our next little babe.  To be honest, John and I would have been thrilled with either a boy or girl (especially since I am a big proponent of Team Boy these days thanks to G)…but when the confetti popped pink, it was just an insanely emotional moment to know we have been blessed with one of each. I have always dreamed to have a little girl of my own, so this is truly a dream come true for me.

We originally planned to do a super simple photo with just Grady, John,and myself to share with family and friends.  But after John and I started pulling everything together, we wanted our parents to be there with all of our closest ‘friends’ (really, they are more like family) for our special moment.  We threw it out there to everyone as a totally optional and small gathering….and in true fashion, they all showed perfect support and EVERYONE wanted to come!  So of course, we couldn’t NOT do something special to celebrate the occasion.

Since we did Grady’s gender reveal in the Oak trees outside, we thought it would be fun to do something different and do this one on the beach overlooking the ocean.  We ended up at a pavilion at Phipps Ocean Park and it was a perfect venue for our intimate affair.  It was a bit too windy to do the confetti box overlooking the ocean, but there was a beautiful shaded tree that worked perfectly just a few yards away that we were able to use.

Of course my mom was my savior and helped to take the event to the next level. She handmade the garland, centerpieces, cute Beach sign, and onesie cake (as well as the reveal box). I created some signage and banners and pulled together some fun pink and blue items for the table…and I think it came together perfectly!  We literally pulled it all together in just over a week after deciding to make it more of an occasion rather than just a gathering, and I honestly could not be happier with the way it turned out.  It was truly special:   A beautiful, breezy south Florida winter day with our loved ones.Life is genuinely beautiful when you take the time to celebrate the little moments.

I am so excited to start fully planning the arrival of our little girl! She is already so loved by so many and I cannot wait to share the beauty of the world with her.

Valentine’s Day Treats

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Grady and I have been thoroughly enjoying my time at home with him. We have been staying very busy and working on all sorts of projects (and of course spending lots of time playing and exploring!). One project we worked on are these Valentine’s treats for his favorite people.  We originally decided to make the large version of this for daddy as seen on Pinterest. We then thought that doing “mini” versions for some of his other Valentines could be super fun!

We found the tackle boxes and Candy at Walmart which made it really convenient.  The mini version boxes measure approximately 3″ x 6″ and cost less than $3 each.

Here is a photo of the different types of candy we purchased to make the tackle boxes (we needed more options to be able to make the larger version for dad, but you could easily buy much less for the mini versions).

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We created tags on my Silhouette Machine for the final touch.  I  love the way they turned out!

I have to say, doing these sorts of projects with a toddler around can seem challenging (and they are definitely be more work to have them involved), but it makes it so much more fun.  He loved all of the colors of the candies and shaking all of the bags while I did the main sorting and compiling. We can’t wait to share these with all of his loves!

Part 2:

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I also wanted to share Grady’s Valentine’s Day gift I made him for some inspiration.  I love putting little baskets together so I definitely had fun with this one.  Here is what I included:

  • Everyone Says I Love You pop-up book (G is obsessed with pop-up’s so I love how this is Vday-oriented and shows different “I Love You” languages all over the world) from Amazon
  • Baby’s First Words Book
  • What do you Love About You? Book (I love the message of this book)
  • Love from The Hungry Caterpillar book
  • XO Magnetic Puzzle from Target Dollar Section
  • Lion Jellycat stuffed animal
  • Little Red Car from Ikea
  • Dinosaur Puppet from Ikea
  • Tiger Valentine cup from Target
  • Valentine Fork and Spoon from Target Dollar Section
  • Stacks of Vday candy in clear boxes (boxes are from Hobby Lobby Jewelry Section)

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s day!  xoxoxox

Christmas Traditions

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What an amazing few weeks it has been prepping for Christmas!  I hope all of you have enjoyed the little moments as much as we have. It truly is a beautiful time of the year.

As a young family, it’s been super important for us to try to build our own traditions.  John and I think about it often and try to make an effort to create consistent moments that our kids can look back on and feel the love in their memories.  Since our extended families have drifted away from our old traditions, we both wanted something on Christmas Eve that we could start this year and build on each year as our kids grow.  So, we had a full-on Santa Cookie baking day  — full of Christmas music, lots of yummy decorations, a yummy warm meal at the end of the day, and our Christmas Jammies to wait for Santa.

I started with prepping all of the materials before my sister and her family arrived.  I pre-made the dough 2 nights prior so that it was nice and chilled for rolling out. The recipe we use is here (without the baking soda).  I also made two types of icing that morning in several colors each —  one batch of Royal Icing and one batch of softer cream cheese frosting (I figured this would be easier for the kids to work with).  Then, I had way too much fun setting up a beautiful display all of our our goodies and decorations (a feast for the eyes!).

I bought us all coordinating aprons from Williams Sonoma so that we could get super festive and in the holiday spirit (I love that they make them in Kids’ sizes…the kiddos looked so adorable in them!).  I rolled those up and tied them in ribbons to display on a cake stand to surprise the kids with some fun when they arrived.

When everyone arrived we got to work —  rolling dough, cutting shapes, baking cookies, and eventually decorating each one.  I just love how the kids’ cookies turned out. The personality of each one is so fun to see.

It was a TON of work, but so worth it. It really was such an amazing day and such a fun time. The kids had an absolute blast playing in the background and they thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process with us (and sneaking LOTS of cookie dough bites!). The best part is we all had beautiful cookies to leave out for Santa that night.

Hopefully we can continue to build new traditions with our other holidays and Christmas will also continue to evolve. It is so fun creating these moments for our kids!

A New Chapter

Today marks a new chapter in my life’s journey.  Fair warning: it’s about to get real.

After almost 10 years of working at IMG in the corporate world, I am taking some time off to focus on family during the early years and to start a little business of my own at the same time.  To say this was a difficult decision is an understatement.  It has been a lot of weighing options, looking at pros and cons, and going back and forth about where we ultimately wanted to be.  But in the end, it’s my gut that led me to this decision.  And it feels so good and so right.

I recently looked back on some journal entries I had 4-6 years ago.  At the time, I was SO TORN about the direction of my life.  In my mid to late twenties, I was thriving on youth and success…and I wanted as much as possible. I didn’t think I could have kids and focus on a career — I knew that either my career or my children would pay the price.  The funny thing is, I still come to that same realization. I can’t have both.  But what I want is so different than what I thought I wanted during those earlier journal entries. From the moment I learned I was pregnant, my entire world shifted.  I know that sounds so cliche, but it is the only way to describe it.  Since becoming a mother, I no longer thrive on self-fulfilling elements….I truly care only for enriching the life of my son and family.

While being the best mom I can be is obviously the MOST important thing to me, there are other dreams I am seizing at the same time. It’s been my ultimate dream to build and run a business of my own, so this opportunity is an incredibly exciting moment for me. It is definitely going to be quite a journey, and I’m not sure where it will go. Will it be a success or a failure?  Will I be happy out of the corporate world or miserable?  Will I have the time to be a mother and build a business?  There’s still a lot  of unknowns and lot of work to do, but I am excited for the challenge… and happy for the chance to be doing it while giving my son everything he deserves.

I hope to use this blog as a sounding board for my journey and I look forward to sharing it with you all.  It may not be pretty, but hopefully it’s true to me.

As I close this chapter, here’s a fun look at some of my fondest memories from my decade with IMG (they could literally go on and on).  I am eternally grateful for the lifelong friends I have met all over the globe and the amazing business skills I have gained along the way. I am a richer person in the ways it matters most.

 

A Woodland Celebration

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Guys, I have literally been planning this for a year (okay, maybe a little less, but not much).  I could probably have 20 blog posts about all of the different projects we did for this party, and I may add different posts that include more details at a later time, but I wanted to share some of the highlights from Grady’s amazing birthday.

What made the party so VERY special was all of the people who came to celebrate him and to shower him with love.  It really was a beautiful thing (despite him being terrified and overwhelmed most of the party :)). The party itself and all of the details really did come together, but it was the company that made it just perfect in every way.

From the beginning, since G was born in Autumn (my favorite season!), I knew I wanted something centering around the clever fox.  At first I was planning a simple fox theme, but the party eventually took on a woodland theme with the fox being the main character.

Pretty much everything you see is hand-made or crafted by my mom and myself.  We did everything in small projects over the last several months so that it could come together at the end.  It was a lot of hours…but I think it was well worth it in the end.

My favorite part of the party is that we created a 1 Year Slideshow of Grady’s 1st year and it played on a loop in the background.  What a great reminder of the amazing and blessed year we have had with this boy.  This is definitely a tradition I hope to continue for each birthday of his in the future.

I think the pics speak for themselves so I will do less talking and explaining on this post than normal :).  I will also try to link most things below.

Too many pics??!  Sorry, I literally could’t dwindle it down.

Sources and Details 

Banners and all die-cuts:  This machine was worth every penny!! We used it for all of the tags and banners.  It cuts and it writes.  It makes everything so precise and professional!! Highly, highly recommend.

Invitations:  My SUPER talented sister HANDMADE all the invites.  What a beautiful touch.

Fox Cake Toppers: Handmade by my mom with Fondant

Grady Cake Topper: Purchased online here

Wooden Backdrop: Handmade by my husband with old barn and palette wood

Wooden Stumps on Food Table:  My dad cut these and sanded them down or use.  Love the height variation it gave the table.

Floral: My mom and I re-created an arrangement I fell in love with online.  The wooden planters were purchased here and the floral was bought online here

Kid’s Play Area:  The mushroom and fireplace are from Land of Nod.  So many good interactive play toys for kids!

Animal Pins:  My mom handmade these with clay and paint, inspired from Oh Happy Day.  Yep, be jealous.  She is amazing.

Fox Plush:  I kind of love the fox plush toys we had all over the house. You can find my favorite one here ….trust me, I know ALL the fox plushes available out there.  These are great quality for the price.

Woodland Animals: My mom Hand sewed these little critters and they were all over the party.  G absolutely loves them!

Animal Cups: We handmade these, but the tutorial is here……so, so cute.  We used them for cups at the Granola Bar.

Chalkboard: Yep, my mom. 🙂

Cake Pops:  Okay, you guys.  I found this shop and she is amazing.  Most beautiful cake pops I have ever seen.  So. Much. Talent. And she is really amazing to work with too :).

Sugar Cookies:  Purchased from Cookie Cousins ….they made a custom cutter based on something I liked on Pinterest.

Kid’s Favors: I will do a whole separate post on this sometime soon. There are too many goodies to include here!

Birthday Morning Surprise

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I decided early on that I wanted to make a tradition for Grady on his birthday mornings with a little surprise waiting for him when he wakes up.  I bought this cart a few months back, and as soon as I bought the cart, I had this vision for Grady’s morning surprise.

I had way too much fun pulling this together, and it pretty much is exactly what I envisioned from the beginning.  I love that it was a great way to display his gifts and show him that this was a special day all about him.

I stacked donuts on a cake stand and had lots of little party animals overlooking the scene. With lots of balloons blown up on the ground for G to play with, we sat around and enjoyed the morning while he opened his gifts and we nibbled on breakfast.  What a wonderful way to start such a special day!

Sources:

The Birthday Hat and tassels along the side were handmade by my super talented mom!

Bar Cart (a bit smaller than most carts out there, but it works nicely for decoration and events!)

Party Animals – I had a hard time finding all the animals in this amazing party hat tutorial  but I ended up pulling them from Target and Michaels.  The best ones (and the ones in the tutorial are Terra animals)

Paper Fans and Spheres

Felt Ball Garland

Cake Stand — My mom had had this for years, but a similar style is here