Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A year late...

Tomorrow at 1:24am, Kyler will officially be one year old. I never posted about it on here, and I regret not writing about it. Those details are ones that I'd like to remember, so I'll do my best to relay it.
Getting pregnant with Ky was a total surprise. It took a long, long time to get pregnant with Baker and I expected the same struggle with future pregnancies, so after we had Baker, we never really used birth control. Then one day, I was folding clothes and thought, "Man, my boobs are killing me!....Wait a minute...." and ran upstairs to take a pregnancy test. It immediately turned positive and I started bawling. A doctor visit a few weeks later confirmed it, and immediately knew I really , really, really wanted to try to have a v-bac (aka vaginal birth after a c-section).

Call me crazy, but I also wanted to try to have him naturally, so I began seeing a midwife who came highly recommended, and began doing all the research I could to mentally prepare myself. The two weeks leading up to his birth, I tried every damn thing I could think of to get him out. I was taking evening primrose oil capsules, drinking cups and cups of red raspberry leaf tea, walking, bouncing on a big ol' exercise ball, using oils and reflexology massages, and even sex! Nothing was working. Because I had had a previous c-section with Baker (less than two years prior), they wouldn't induce me with pitocin, so when my due date of December 27th approached, we decided we'd try to do a natural induction, if I didn't have him by the 30th, and if that didn't work, we'd just do a c-section.

The morning of the 30th, my sister in law came down to our house to stay with Baker and we drove up to the hospital. I checked in at 7am, got into my hospital gown, and they started an IV of antibiotics (since I tested positive for strep b). Then my midwife came in and we started the "natural" inductions (which is where they place a bulb catheter in your cervix and fill the bulb up, so your cervix starts to dilate). She said it could take awhile, and of course 30 minutes after she inserted it, I had to use the bathroom. Andrew helped me manuver all the wires and such, and while I was sitting down, the catheter fell out into the toilet. I thought it was my fault, so when I got back into bed, we called my midwife. She came in, checked me, and said it had fallen out because I had gone from a 1 to a 4 in 30 minutes! The natural induction worked! I thought for sure we'd have a baby in a few hours, so we started walking the hall to get things moving. I could feel the contractions and thought they were pretty intense, but I had no idea what was waiting for me. A few hours later, I was only at a 5, so my midwife decided to break my water to help things move along. I remember when she broke my water, her face changed and she looked concerned. She told me there was quite a bit of maconium in the water, and I didn't realize how much there was, until they took the soaked towel away and it was literally all green/blackish. Then things got crazy. One minute, I was laying in bed and the next minute, there were literally 6 nurses in the room, calmly, yet frantically (total oxymoron) placing oxygen on my face, moving me from side to side, pushing my belly, etc. I guess when they broke my water, Ky's heartbeat dropped dramatically and he was pushing on the umbilical cord. It was so scary not knowing what was going on.

The contractions were getting more and more intense and my mom and Andrew were coaching  me through them. Natural labor is such a mental game. It's not just about dealing with the pain, but preparing yourself for the next wave of pain, and finding what works for you to get through it. For me, I had Andrew push back on my legs. There were a few times (ok more than a few) where I got pretty snappy and told him to push harder. The more pressure on my legs, the better the contraction felt. At about 8:00pm, my midwife checked me again and I was at a 7. More water came gushing out and suddenly, I was surrounded my a dozen nurses. His heartbeat dropped again and the same uncertainty/feeling helpless came.

At 11:00, I was in the worst pain of my life. The contractions were so intense and I didn't know if I could keep going. When my midwife checked me again, I was at an 8 and 100% effaced, going into transition, but she could feel that Ky had moved. He wasn't where he was supposed to be. When she told me, my heart sank and my anxiety spiked. Suddenly, I was right back where I was, less than 2 years before, with Baker. Laboring for hours and hours, feeling exhausted, and learning that my baby was stuck. We tried the same old tricks, having me lay on my left side, and then my right, hoping the baby inside me would straighten back out and we'd get things rolling again, but he was stuck. And I knew it.

I sat there, trying to concentrate on my contractions, shaking from the pain, while silent tears streamed down my face. I remember looking at Andrew and then looking at my mom and when we met eyes, I could see she was crying too. She gave me a knowing look and shook her head as if to say, "Shan, you've been through the've done your best, but I think you know what you need to do."

I told Andrew I wanted an epidural. The pain was too much and I wanted to rest before I had the c-section. The anesthesiologist came in, did his thing, and within minutes, I was physically pain free. At midnight, my midwife checked me again and nothing had changed. He was still sideways, and I was still at an 8. They started preparing me for surgery and wave of calm came over me. I had given it my all, and this was just how it was meant to be.

The rest is a blur. I remember telling the anastesiologist that I was scared of feeling pain, since I had felt them cut into me with Baker. He made sure I was good and numb, and then I laid there, freezing in the operating room (why is it so cold in there?) and waiting to hear my baby cry. After what felt like forever, I heard him. At 1:24am, he was born. He was crying and crying and I also started crying. I could semi see them cleaning him up, and when I heard them say "He's 10lbs 2 oz" I was said "Well, no wonder he got stuck!"

They got him cleaned up and got me put back together and stitched up, and we headed back to our recovery room. He latched on right away, which was a huge relief and everything was great, until later that night (on the 30th) when I noticed that he was breathing fast. I remember telling the nurse that it seemed like he was breathing faster than normal, so she took him to the nursery to check things out. They realized he had an infection from aspirating maconium and had developed pneumonia, and to treat it, had an IV placed in the vein of his foot where antibiotics were given daily. Because infant veins are so fragile, we had to be really careful with the IV and 2 days after having it placed, the vein clotted and was no longer able to sustain an IV. The NICU team at Lone Peak is a level 2 and tried all they could to find another vein that would sustain an IV, however each vein they tried blew out and wouldn't work. Their options were running low and after speaking with the pediatrician and head neonatal guy, they decided that if the night nurse, who was very experienced with infant IV's couldn't place a good IV, Kyler would have to be transferred to St. Mark's Hospital, as their NICU is a higher level and they have a team there that would place a picc-line for his IV. 

I could see the seriousness and concern in the nurses faces as they explained the situation to me. My nurses were great and tried to reassure me that everything would be fine, but I knew that if Kyler was transferred, I wouldn't be able to board with him at St. Marks and he would be admitted so they could monitor him. I really wanted to be able to nurse him, as I can't pump that much milk, and also worried about how I'd get to and from St. Marks multiple times a day to continue to nurse. It was such a stressful situation and I was so worried about my little guy. 

We text our families and asked everyone to pray for Kyler and pray that someone at Lone Peak would be able to place an IV. One of my nurses started making calls to other nurse friends who were highly experienced in placing neonatal IV's. A few hours later, my nurse told me that a nurse at St. Marks had heard about the situation. She specialized in neonatal picc-lines and said that she lived near Lone Peak. She'd stop by on her way home from work to see if she could give it a try.
Immediately I broke down in tears. Here was a woman, who after working a long, 12 hour day, volunteered to help a stranger. She could have easily thought, "Hey, a transfer isn't that big of a deal. He'll get help either way..." but out of the goodness of her heart, she decided to stop by.
Soon, it was time for Kyler to go back and have the IV placed. It wasn't guaranteed to work, but I was grateful for her to try. I sat in my room waiting, and soon, they brought him back to my room. The minute I saw the IV on his little head, I broke down and started bawling. The nurse who placed it came to my room and I thanked her profusely. She brushed it off and said, "Oh, I was just on my way home! I'm happy to help!" It may have been just a small act of kindness to her, but it was a HUGE miracle to me and my family, and I'll be forever grateful. It reminded me that, no act of kindness, however small is ever wasted! 
One of the nurses who took care of me was off her shift, and stuck around to see how Kyler would do during the IV placement and captured the photo of the nurses. She said it was silent in the NICU and each of those women had a hand placed on Ky to keep him calm and still. Truly a spiritual experience! 
Throughout the whole experience, I learned so much. The birth, Kylers condition- it changed me. 
My mom said it best in a text she sent me- "You seem so much more centered, confident... You were always those things but...I think natural childbirth, is really empowering, you went through the gauntlet and you wrestled it and won. Yes, you had to make a decision once you knew the rules had changed, but you did it! And somewhere, even subconciosly, you know you faced something terrifying and you didn't shrink from it." 

I did try to do it naturally. And it was damn hard. At the time, I felt like I had failed. I wanted a vbac so bad, but my body had other plans. Some might say I should have just scheduled the csection and avoided all of the pain, but had I done that, I would have never known. Never known how far I could push myself, how my body just can't support a vaginal birth, and how much I'd learn and grow from all of this. My faith increased tenfold. I felt Gods hand in mine throughout this whole journey. He is good. He answers prayers and offers comfort and strength to all who seek it. It was really, really hard, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. 

Happy Birthday Ky

Saturday, May 3, 2014

{ the great escape }

Baker is teething, which has made nap time a nightmare. I know he’s tired from the way he rubs his eyes and boy does the kid get grouchy, yet when I put him in his crib, after I’ve rocked him and he’s drank a bottle, he immediately stands at his crib screaming and crying. 

I’ve tried the whole cry it out thing. So far, it hasn’t worked. He was on such a good schedule and suddenly, he hates his crib. He’ll sleep in the car just fine, but I hate to get him used to napping in his car seat! 

Today I took a different approach. It had to work. I was at my whits end. After trying to cry it out a few times, I finally laid down next to his crib on the floor and pretended to sleep. He stood there, looking down at me like I was crazy and instead of crying, he talked to me. 

“Maaa!! Mama!!! MmmmmaaaaAAAA!!!!” 

I didn’t move. 

He shook the crib. “Ma!!” 

I still didn’t move. I laid as still as I could. After yelling my name for a few minutes didn’t work, he decided he’d use the all powerful word. 

“No! Nnnnooooooooo! No no!” 

He yelled down at me, as if to tell me my plan wouldn’t work. He knew I was there. He knew I would eventually get up and then he’d be free, but I stuck to my guns and played dead. 

Soon, he stopped talking and decided to walk the length of his crib about 40 times, the way a warden would walk the cell block, slowly peering at the prisoners to make sure they were in their right place. He was trying to break me, but I was unbreakable. After each round, he’d shake the crib, look down at me (I peeked from time to time to see what he was doing) and he’d make another round. 

Finally, after about 20 minutes, he stopped. I held my breath and listened as he laid down. YES! Victory! I began to celebrate in my mind, until I heard him shoot up. I had made no noise, but it was as if he had sensed my excitement, that he checked to see if I was still there. This continued for another 5 minutes. 

At last, he was asleep. I could tell by his breathing that he was getting into a deep sleep and I plotted my escape. I slowly, ever so quietly lifted my head to the door that was cracked open 3 inches.

There, staring back at me, was the cat. 

I was a prisoner, on the brink of escape, silently pleading with the snitch that spotted the breakout. “Nooo!!!” I screamed in my head, trying with all my might to use my telepathic cat to human powers. “DO NOT COME IN KITTY! DO NOT MEOW! DO NOT GIVE ME AWAY!"

He peered at me and cocked his head to the side as if to say, "What's in it for me?" I plead with him in my head, but to no avail. He pushed the door open wider and came in. I frantically listened to see if Baker would wake up. 

The cat ran under the crib, just out of my reach. I tried to swat him away, but he confused my furry with affection and began purring loudly. “No!!!” I screamed in my head.

Then he meowed. 

Baker suddenly shot up, began crying, and the cat dashed out of the room. I imagined escape alarms sounding loudly as the warden caught me. I was trapped again. 

“Damn you cat! DAMN YOU!!!” I screamed in my head and laid back down, quickly and quietly. I laid still, trying not to breath, but feeling as though I would cry at any minute. Maybe I should just get up. Maybe my escape wasn't planned well. This is my life. This is my sentence.  

Baker watched me for a minute. Then, as if my prayers were answered, he slowly laid back down. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I didn’t move for another 5 minutes until I heard his rhythmic breathing again and knew, it was now or never. 

I got up to an army crawl stance. I had to make this quick. 

With ninja like skills and without making a peep, I made my way towards the door, pausing for just a second to see if the warden was still out. He slept soundly. 

I made it past the doorway, and quickly, yet silently pulled the door shut behind me and held my breath. 


He was still out. 

And I was free!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

{ poopageddon }

The past few days, Baker has been acting a little grumpy. His naps have been longer and his appetite is gone. I attested this to teething (1 year molars) because he's also been gnawing on the rubbery part of his toothbrush a lot, but really, other than that, he's been fine. 

Another thing you should know is that Baker is as regular as clockwork. Every day, at the same time, he's poopy. We have a routine. He wakes up, calls for me, I get him out of bed, change his wet diaper, and then we go downstairs for breakfast. After he eats, he stands at the coffee table, watching Caillou or whatever kid show is on at 8:30 and poops.

Today he missed his morning poo. It is rare when this happens, but when it does, I'm usually greeted with the overwhelming scent of a ripe diaper after his morning nap, so when he woke up from his nap and still hadn't pooped, I thought he was probably just constipated. 

Fast forward a few hours. Its 5:30. I'm making dinner, Bake is playing and crawling all over, being the busy boy he is, when suddenly, I smell it. 

"Someone's poopy!" I say in a singsong voice. Baker stops what he's doing and looks up at me and smiles. 

I scoop him up and feel something wet on my arm. Uh oh. He's peed through he diaper. Then I realize he's wet all over. Panic overcomes me as I realize he has diarrhea. I race up the stairs, while holding him under his arms at a safe distance in front of me and lay him on his changing table. 
"Ooooh boy. Wow." I say out loud. As I take his pants off. I decide the best way to tackle it is to just get in there and clean him up as fast as possible, totally unaware of the full horror that was under the diaper, and the minute I undo the velcro straps of his diaper, I know I've gone about this all wrong.

It's everywhere. I hold his feet up in one hand while reaching for the wipes. I should have pulled a new pack open before I even started, but I reach for one and as I do, I see, as if in slow motion, Baker reach for It. 

It, is his penis. He reaches for it anytime it's not covered and before I can stop it, he's got a handful of poop. I let out a scream, which scares him and he begins to cry. I still have one hand holding up his feet, so I use the other hand to try to wipe his poo-hand off and like a magnet, his other hand is on It and is also covered in poo. 

Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? So I did what I had to do. I picked him up, holding him way out in front of me, half nakie, and put him in the tub. Of course when I turned the water on, it ran cold for just a second, which he loved (not) and started freaking out. Luckily, it turned warm quickly and soon, it turned into a game of rinse the poop out of every nook and crevice. 

Later, after he was cleaned up and happily playing again, I posted this on facebook, "I just dealt with Poop-ageddon 2014. Alone. I deserve a freaking medal. Or at least a cookie." to which my uncle replied, 
"Ah yes, the brown badge of courage under fire. Have yourself a brownie!"
Oh the joys of parenthood. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{ that time I found a lump in my breast }

If you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you'll remember a few summers ago when I posted about my mom's breast cancer. You can read all about it here. My maternal grandmother had it too, and because of this, I regularly check myself - just in case.

I'm a paranoid person by nature (remember when I thought my house was haunted and when I let WebMD talk me into thinking I was dying?!) and when I do the self breast exams, I always think I feel a lump here and there. I push and prod and compare it to the other side, but it's usually nothing I worry about. Sometimes I mention that I thought I felt a lump during my annual exam, but the doctor feels and says they're just fine - nothing to be concerned about.

Well about a week ago, I was showering and felt a dime size, hard ball in my right breast. I froze. I felt it again. It wasn't like any other "lump" I'd felt before. I compared it to the other side in the same spot. No, lump on the left. Panic immediately overcame my body and I started bawling. Suddenly visions of IV bags, hair falling out, and my family rushed through my head. I thought of my son and about lost it. Luckily, the tiny, reasonable side of me came out and slapped my panic across the face. "GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, WOMAN!" I took a deep breath and made myself calm down. One step at a time, Shan. I couldn't let myself get carried away again and as soon as my hands were dry enough to hold my phone, I called my doctor.

As luck would have it, I was able to get in right away with my gynecologist. Maybe it was because the receptionist heard the panic in my voice when I told her I needed an appointment, or maybe it was because my voice cracked and I started crying when I told her it was for a breast check - either way I was so grateful to get in!

When I got to the doctor office, they took me back right away and had me change into a tiny paper gown blouse and then I waited....and waited...and waited. I was so nervous and swallowing the ever growing lump in my throat was getting harder to do. But, because I was nervous, I was getting sweaty, which meant I was getting swoob (sweaty boobs), which is NOT good when someone is about to feel you up to confirm what you think you feel. I quickly grabbed some tissues and of course, as luck would have it, the doctor walked in right as I was mopping myself up - HA.

I told her what I had felt and held my breath as pointed to the area I felt the lump and waited, watching her face as she felt for it. I knew the minute she found it. She paused, her brow furrowing, as she compared the other side. She felt again and said, "Hmmmm...." She sat me up and my heart started pounding when she did feel something unusual, BUT  it felt like a smooth lump (I guess the bad ones aren't smooth?) Probably nothing to worry about, but she was going to have me get it checked just in case. I walked out of the office and again, my mind raced with all the possibilities and I started to cry.

Because of Presidents Day, I had to wait until Tuesday for my appointment. I was thankful for a busy weekend that took my mind off the pending appointment, and I hadn't let myself think about it too much. My neighbor was gracious enough to offer to sit at my house while Baker napped, so I could go to my appointment, and when I pulled into the hospital parking lot, all I could think was that the next hour or so could bring life changing news. The anticipation of relief or heartbreak was too much and I wished I had someones hand to hold as I walked in.

I never imagined myself going into the Womens Imaging Center at the hospital until I was older. I'm 31. I figured the first time I'd visit was when I turned 40 for my first mammogram, so it felt odd as I checked in and then changed into a hospital gown with the open side in front. Instead of a mammogram, my doctor ordered an ultrasound and the tech who performed it was so sweet and so kind. She validated my concern, but she assured me that most of the time, it's nothing. Still, she said, it was best to check, just in case. She began the ultrasound over the area I told her the lump was. I watched the monitor in anticipation, unable to decipher what I was seeing. Everything looked normal to her - it was just a regular boob lump, as boobs tend to be lumpy. Relief flooded over me and I was feeling better as she examined my whole breast.

Suddenly, she stopped moving the ultrasound wand over a specific area of my breast and started snapping screens shots of whatever it was she saw. She pointed to a little oval area on the screen and explained that it looked different. My heart sunk. Then she measured it on the screen, the way the measure the fetus when you're getting a pregnancy ultrasound. When she told me she needed to talk with a doctor to see what he thought, I once again started to cry. It was in an area that I wouldn't have been able to feel it as it was pretty deep, and my mind carried away and I thought for sure God had made the lump in my boob so I could feel it so they could find this other area I wouldn't have been able to feel. I prepared myself for the worst, when the tech came back in. She said the doctor said it looked fine. Nothing to worry about. I was fine. No cancer. I am healthy. And then I cried.

Monday, February 17, 2014

{ He's 1!!! }

 When I first had Baker, someone told me, "The days go by slow, but the years go by fast!" I never realized the truth of that statement until now! Seriously, where did the time go?! We took Baker to get his 1 year photos done at a local place called Camera Shy last week, and I was so impressed with their staff! Naturally, the day of the photo shoot, Baker refused to nap. I scheduled his pictures in the afternoon, thinking he'd have a good nap before lunch and then we'd go take pictures when he woke up. Wishful thinking! He was so hyper when we first got there and the staff kept saying how expressive and funny he was. Then the meltdown occurred. LUCKILY, the staff was amazing and they were able to snap the picture at just the right moment between tears. We got a lot of great shots - at the very end of the shoot, we let Baker get into a little cake we brought and he went crazy with it, smearing it into the floor and not really caring about tasting it! Doesn't he look pleased?

On Saturday we had a little gathering at our house with our families. I really didn't go all out (compared to some parties, which is fine - I just wanted something more low key & low stress)! My mom brought a delicious tomato bisque soup and my mother in law brought a fabulous relish tray! I had big plans to make Bakers cake and homemade breadsticks, but then I thought, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" so I ran to the market instead. Our local market will do a free little "smash cake" if you order a cake, and they make a dang good cake, so I had them do it! It was only $12 and I couldn't have made it that cute or that tasty on my own! I also picked up the breadsticks there and the balloons. Yay for one stop shopping! 

The one thing I did put time and effort into was this progressive banner. My friend McCall had done one similar and I loved it from the  minute I saw it! I used photoshop to zoom into a picture from different stages of his life and printed them out. Then I pasted them to black cardstock and cut around the face. I used scrapbook paper I had and made the little hats. The fringe is from green tissue paper I folded and cut and glued. Easy peasy! I loved it so much that I hung it in his room after the party!

 Baker was so spoiled and loved all of the presents he got! I think the first child, and even more, the first grandchild gets the most spoiled! It was fun seeing his reaction to all of his presents.

We saved cake until the very end so he could get into it and go crazy, which he did! It was near his nap time and he was a bit temperamental. He cried when we took his clothes off to get ready to eat cake, then he was happy when he had the cake, and cried again when we laughed as he smashed it. Silly boy!  But he did love the cake and ate a lot of it!

We're so grateful for our little guy and can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays! Love you Baker boy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

{ Be My Valentine }

I love Valentines! One of my favorite things as a kid was decorating a shoe box with pretty papers, stickers, doilies, and glitter for the class Valentines Day party! Each student would put a Valentine in your box, sometimes with a little treat, and it was a tradition I looked forward to every year. Even as a freshman in college, my roommates and I decorated a box and stuck it on the outside of our front door. Our apartment number was 205, but for Valentines Day, we wrote "Leave a love note for the ladies in apartment 2-0-FINE!" Ha! And yes, we did get a few notes!

Today as I was searching for vintage valentines, I stumbled up this little gem from Creative Breathing. 
I LOVE this wreath! The colors, the images - EVERYTHING about it appeals to me! 

images via Creative Breathing

She was nice enough to scan a few of her favorite valentines to share with everyone. 
Click HERE and HERE to save the images. I plan on printing out a bunch on card stock and making a little wreath of my own!
You can also find more vintage valentines to download by clicking HERE and HERE.

P.S. I know it's last minute, but would anyone be interested in swapping Valentines? If you are, let me know! I can quickly put together a little mailer list so each participant receives some fun Valentines Day mail!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

{ Fall Wedding }

Hi, Friends! I thought I'd check in and give a little attention to this ol' blog. It's been awhile since I've shared something, so I thought I'd share a wedding I helped with a few months ago. My brother got married in November and it was lovely! He and his fiance (now wife) live in Seattle, but since the majority of their friends and family live in Utah, they chose to marry here and have the reception here as well. That meant they needed someone to act as their unofficial wedding planner. That's where I stepped in! We threw around a few ideas and came up with some fun ideas- I was a crazy busy woman juggling a baby during the day, and working on wedding details by night! After a few mental breakdowns, a valium, and some helping hands, it came together beautifully, AND we were able to do it on a tight budget! I will say that I am pleased as punch that it's over!

Here are a few of my favorite details from the night!
For the sign in table, I cut out small squares of white card stock and lent my design rendering markers for people to leave "advice and well wishes for the new Mr & Mrs". I used 40% off coupons at local craft stores and bought the mini clothes clips to hang the notes on twine, strung between two vintage ladders. We also hung pictures of the couple sporadically on the twine, in between the note cards.
 I introduced them to the idea of incorporating chalk boards in the wedding, which they loved! I found this large frame at a local thrift store and spray painted it white. Then, I cut a piece of heavy mat board to fit the frame and painted it with chalkboard paint. I drew in the rest by hand.
 I loved how the backdrop turned out! This lovely ditty is the work of a talented duo that also helped set up and kept things running smoothly throughout the evening! Dave & Paige, you two really should start a event planning business!
I borrowed the iron garden arbor from my parents neighbor. I had purchased a few bunches of corkscrew willow from Tai Pan, which we tied to the arbor using brown zip ties (which you couldn't even see). Another neighbor had also recently pruned his willow tree, so we used some of the branches as well, which looked beautiful as there were still some fall leaves on the branches! The arbor was finished off by weaving burlap and white twinkle lights throughout.
To add some visual (and practical) stability, we anchored the arbor with two crates that were purchased at Joann and stained dark to give an antique feel. Each crate held a 36" cylinder vase with pea gravel and more corkscrew willow in it, as well as a short flower arrangement.
 For the centerpieces, my mom and I scoured local thrift stores for simple, 12-14" glass, cylinder vases for the tall flower arrangements, and small 4-5" cylinder vases for the shorter arrangements. They were a steal at $1 a piece! The flowers were from Costco (purchased and arranged the day before)! I am no florist, so my sweet friend Karlie stepped in to help me out! She was a professional florist for years and gave her time and energy to help me put these beauties together! We bought the black lanterns and candles at Ikea and my mom had the small votives in her storage.
My brother and his wife gathered the fall leaves a few weeks prior to the wedding and they looked so festive on the table!
The table runners were probably my favorite part of the wedding decor! My mom found a great deal on burlap and purchased two whole bolts of it (without knowing if we would even use it - when you find a good deal on burlap, you bounce on it!) and she cut them down to size, fraying the edges. I designed their monogram and used my Yudu screen printer to add a personal touch to the table runners.
 For their wedding favors, I donated some white, mini Chinese take out boxes I had and filled them with caramel corn (from the Pop Corn Cottage in Utah - a 7 gallon bag was only $35 and was more than enough to fill $100 of these boxes!) I finished them off with some green ribbon (from Tai Pan) and printed their monogram onto pearl ivory card stock that was framed with a bronze, metallic card stock square.

 The couple chose a dessert buffet and purchased an array of pies from Marie Calendars. We lined the white table clothes with a burlap runner and used boxes under the linens to add height variety. I found simple, white, ceramic pie plates at Tai Pan for $3 a piece and displayed the pies on white cake stands (some which I already owned and the rest were borrowed from friends). I also bought the pie servers at the dollar store (which  you would never even guess - they were great quality)! The mini chalkboards were rented from a local woman for a very reasonable price.
We also found small, white, square plastic plates at Zurchers and used some of my vintage milk glass to  hold the silverware. Tea lights in clear votives and white floating candles in cylinder vases adorned the pie table.
 I also used my screen printer to print "I love you more than pie" in silver in onto black aprons (purchased in packs of 3 at Michaels with a 40% off coupon). We let the servers keep their aprons as a thank you for helping!
 Barry & Kelly also love Italian Sodas, so we set up a little soda station! I used an old white crate my mom had to hold the cups, straws, and napkins (all purchased at Zurchers) and a big 2 gallon glass jar held the ice. I bought a small metal scoop at a local restaurant supply store to scoop ice and the cream stayed cold in my large, galvanized bucket. We stored the cream in glass Korken bottles (from Ikea) and had a variety of flavored syrups.
 This was originally a framed painting that I found at a thrift store. I loved the frame, so I painted it white, flipped the picture around and painted the back of the painting with chalkboard paint. I thought a variety in fonts was a fun idea to list the different flavors! While I wish my handwriting was normally this varied and lovely, it's not. I found fonts I liked online and carefully eyeballed them as I wrote out each letter.
 I was so happy with out how it turned out! Andrew was a HUGE help, taking care of Baker when he got home from work so I could focus on the wedding details! If you have any questions about where I purchased, or if you live in Utah and want help with a wedding, send me an email!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

{ Christmas Banners }

It's Christmas time! Is your decor up? Mine has been up since Thanksgiving - I just couldn't wait!
I'm offering FREE shipping on my Christmas banners this week! 
Visit my etsy shop and type in FREESHIPPING when you check out! If you order by Tuesday, you'll have it by Friday! 

 Red Glitter Believe Bunting

Friday, November 1, 2013

{ Happy Halloween! }

We had a great Halloween! Baker went as...well, a Baker! It was his first Halloween and I figured this is probably the only time he'll let me dress him this way. He was adorable and loved all the attention! We went trick or treating at my parents house and the neighbors next to them and then we went to Andrew's mom and dad's house for some yummy chili and bread sticks.

When we got there, everyone was taking pictures of Baker, and as you can see, he was hammin' it up for everyone! We trick or treated at a few more neighbor houses and then went home. 

It was so fun dressing him up and easy! I made the little apron and printed an iron on transer that said "Baker" to the front of it (you can't see it in this picture). I used the tutorial from The Train to Crazy to make his little chef hat, and we bought the mini rolling pin from Ikea. He also had a little oven mitt that I made that he refused to wear - silly kid.

I hope your Halloween was great too!

Monday, October 21, 2013

{ DIY Button Earrings }

A couple of months ago I started a little craft group with some friends. We're just a small group who likes to get our craft on from time to time! I almost like the adult interaction more than the craft!  

This month we decided to make button covered earrings and they were so easy! 
I've seen these all over the internet and craft fairs, and I knew they couldn't be that hard - and they weren't!

 these are the pairs my friend Ryanne made - super cute!

You'll also need some:
 E6000 Glue (I've seen some people use hot glue too but I'm not sure it's as strong)
 Needle nose pliers, or wire cutters
Directions: (as explained by Ryanne)
Follow the directions on the back of the cover button kit. There is a template to cut out and use. (Easy peasy directions, don't worry). Once you have completed the directions, use either your needle nose pliers to bend the button loop on the back, or wire cutters to completely cut it off. Then, add a little glue and stick the earring back on and let dry over night. Easy enough? I told you!