So I’m late for everything. Ev-ver-y-thing. I have really really good intentions and I strive (oh, how I strive!) to be punctual. It just never (ever) happens. I habitually arrive late for appointments. I’m almost always late for gatherings. My baby was born five days past his due date (although I might be able to blame Mother Nature for that one.) I did manage to make it to my own wedding on time, but only thanks to the army of amazing bridespeople I had behind me, gently pushing me to keep me on track.
Yup. I’m one of those people.
So it’s hardly surprising, I suppose, that I just finished up the thank you cards for my baby shower (um, the one I attended BEFORE Patrick was born) (in July) (early July…) Embarrassing? Yes. But, in all honesty, the past few months have absolutely flown by. FLOWN! And – poof! – suddenly it was December. And I suddenly realized that Christmas cards needed to go out. And it seemed in poor taste (actually, downright tacky) to send Christmas cards out to the same people who first deserved thank yous for their very generous and wonderfully thoughtful baby shower gifts.
Which, given the (embarrassingly long) time that had passed between the shower and the thank yous, makes me really thankful that I took the time (during the early days of my maternity leave, pre-baby) to carefully record what everyone had given me. Like this…
Yup. I took pictures of all the gifts I was given, along with the accompanying cards. Clever? I thought so! And, if not clever, practical at least, since five months out I would have never, in a gazillion years, remembered what gifts I was given and by whom (despite being unbelievably thankful for all of the super generous gifts I received.) (Mommy-brain is a bit of a bitch like that.)
Plus I think it’s pretty neat to have pictures of all the gifts we were given. Yup. I’m all about preserving memories with my little guy. Every single memory. Every one. Even the tiniest. Mommy is a little OCD like that. (Although I prefer to call it “organized.”) Patrick is currently trying desperately to crawl, and I’m sure having the ability to run away from my camera makes mobility particularly appealing. (I have all of his crawling attempts videotaped, of course.)
So there. That’s my little piece of advice for any soon-to-be mommas out there who are headed to their baby showers shortly. Take pictures of your gifts. It’s actually quite a lovely keepsake! And, if you’re a bit tardy like me, it’ll be a huge help when you go to write your thank you cards. Several months later. :)
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I should really be far craftier than I am.
It’s true. I love yarn. I love painting stuff. I love making things pretty (oh how I love making things pretty!) And, most of all, I love (love!) scrapbook paper.
You know that aisle in Michaels with all the pretty, perfectly stacked piles of colourful papers? I get lost in that aisle for hours and hours. HOURS. Combining different patterns. Swooning over prints. Marvelling over all of the potential for serious prettiness. Yep. It’s really rather silly considering I’m in no way a scrapbooker (since, honestly, I’m far too lazy for what appears to be a very finicky and fussy – albeit lovely! – hobby) and since (as previously noted) I’m not particularly crafty.
During my most recent trip to Michaels I picked up no fewer than fourteen (yup – fourteen) (see? I’m obsessed…) sheets of gorgeous paper. Did I have any particular plan for all these beautiful papers? Nope. I just really liked them. I also bought a few super inexpensive (they were three whole bucks each, I think) ready-to-paint (or ready-to-leave-in-their-lovely-unpainted-state, in my case) picture frames. And then I came home and started looking at the fireplace mantel in my dining room.
(Aside: I find it important to clarify that this particular faux fireplace mantel is located in my dining room, since we have no fewer than three faux fireplaces in this house. The previous home owners were indeed faux fireplace fanatics.)
And then the wheels started turning. And then I realized that the sheets of lovely coordinating scrapbook paper, and those unpainted frames might look sorta rustic-ish-ly cute on my dining room fireplace mantel.
And so began the rearranging. (Does anyone else get a little OCD when it comes to fireplace mantel decorating?) And the fussing. And the tweaking.
And here is what I finally came up with…
It’s not done yet. It needs something… more. Perhaps a few miniature pumpkins in honour of fall. Or some Christmassy bobbles and doodads (but not for a few weeks – I adore Christmas, but it’s a little too early for that at the moment, even for me!) For now, and until I get around to adding additional adornments to the mantel, those lovely papers are making me happy.
That all said, there will be more faux fireplace fussing to follow, I’m sure. And definitely more frivolous scrapbook paper purchases made in the not-at-all distant future. (I just can’t get enough!) (It’s weird, I know.)
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Many apologies for my MIA-ness over the past couple of weeks. I’m now off on maternity leave (which makes baby-day seem really really crazy close now!) and you’d think (logically) that this would mean tonnes of extra time to relax/sleep/enjoy sanity pre-newborn, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with me. I’ve had family to visit, friends to catch up with, a hospital bag (Sweetie refers to it as my “bug out bag”) to pack, projects to finish, a thousand obstetrician appointments (or so it seems) to attend, last minute baby “essentials” (ie: cute little onesies and sleepers) to buy, cloth diapers to prep, and (seemingly) a gazillion other things on the go.
So, in short (or, rather, long): I feel like I’ve been super busy, despite my currently newborn-pending, work-free status.
Although I did manage to fit in a quick DIY mat session the other day. For the record, I’m really quite awful at using the tripod + timer approach to self-photography. This was a rather challenging little project! For about an hour’s effort, I ended up with one image worth sharing…
…and even then, it’s out of focus. And my hands are all gross and pregnancy-vein-y. And I’m not sure if I look serene and contemplative, or sort of annoyed. Needless to say, Sweetie is taking me out later this week to try again, with an actual person (Sweetie) on the other end of the lens. Guessing (and hoping!) that we’ll have much better results with a two-person DIY mat session approach. I’ll keep you posted!
The good (and rather timely) news: I’m nearly finished with the nursery (finally!), so a big (likely long-winded) update/grand reveal will be coming shortly. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll probably be marveling at the size of my belly while hanging/organizing/baking/shopping for something. At 38 weeks, I’m starting to feel really large. But I also feel amazing. And with only a couple weeks left before my due date (and, really, knowing that Baby could arrive at any point now) I feel so lucky to be a mommy-to-be. Can’t wait to make that transition into simply being “mommy”.
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Curb appeal is coming slowly (very slowly) to the old mauve house. I have to keep looking back at the before pictures, particularly from the rather disasterous day we moved in (while the previous owners, who apparently didn’t fully understand how the whole Closing Day concept – ie: moving out so that new owners can move in – really works, rather obliviously took their time packing things up and were still picking up their belongings FOUR DAYS after we gained possession of the house) (true story) to fully appreciate that our house HAS come a long way in seven months. Especially considering that we were buried under several feet of snow and darkness and cold for five of those seven months.
The newest addition to our create curb appeal campaign? Pretty new house numbers.
I present to you Exhibit A: the old house numbers…
Brassy and rusted and old. Gross eh?
And, now, the snazzy new mailbox decal numerals (courtesy of etsy seller WelcomingWalls)…
I never imagined that a set of sticky little house number decals affixed to a plain black mailbox could make me so unbelievably happy.
And, just for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at a couple of rather disturbing before pics, shall we? Here’s the picture from the original house listing…
…and here’s what the house looked like the day we took possession, with all the previous owners’ stuff strewn all over our newly acquired lawn…
Yep. We bought THAT house. We’re rather brave (or foolish?) peeps, Sweetie and me.
And now the after…
See? Progress. Slow progress, mind you (we still need to dig out that ugly stump in the front garden and plant some more appropriately sized cedars or boxwoods and – oh! – some flowers in those flowerbeds would look pretty and the shutters and front door could definitely use a lick of paint and that deck would really look far lovelier if it was stained and gee wouldn’t it be awesome if our entire house was re-sided in any colour except for mauve?)
But, still, progress nonetheless. :)Leave a comment
Sweetie and I were pretty secretive when we first found out we were expecting (despite that I wanted to tell absolutely everyone – the mailman, random children, the lady behind the counter at the gas station, stray dogs, etc – about our very happy news.) It had taken me quite a while to get pregnant (but that’s a whole other blog post for a whole other day) so we were both really cautious about spreading the news to too many people too quickly, before we were out of the scary anything-can-happen first trimester. (Translation: there was a lot of breath-holding and positive thought-thinking going on around here during those first few months.)
But once we reached our comfort zone (shortly after our 12 week ultrasound showed that baby was perfect and squirmy and had a good strong heartbeat) we decided to finally tell the future grandparents.
Being a rather monumentous and life-changing announcement, this wasn’t something I wanted to simply blurt out over dinner, mid-french fry. I wanted the announcement to be as special as the news itself. Unfortunately, I’m not an overly creative person. And while Pinterest showed me hundreds of amazing and elaborate and creative announcements, none of them felt like us.
Here’s the card I finally designed to spread the news…
(Please don’t giggle too much at my obviously lacking graphic-design skills. A graphic-design guru I most certainly am not, and the whole thing was put together using – gasp! – Microsoft Word.)
We printed the card on basic cream-coloured card stock that I had left over from some other random DIY project, and then I tied a ribbon around the card (so that the card wouldn’t accidentally flop open and ruin the surprise before the recipient had a chance to finish reading the cover.)
When the time came to hand out the cards, there were happy tears from one set of grandparents, high-fives from another (who apparently had speculated, a couple weeks prior at Christmas, that something baby-related might be up), and stunned silence from the third set of future grandparents we told (which quickly erupted into squeals of joy.) All in all, the announcement (and this announcement method) was a huge success. :)
And now, several months later, all of the grandparents are eagerly anticipating the arrival of this new little one. Who is currently way bigger than a lime. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve got a happy little eggplant or butternut squash or watermelon rolling around in there now. (A really, really, cute one!)
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