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Why I Didn't Blog Last Week - A First for Everything

There's a first for everything.
So they say. 

However much I wish that they were wrong, 
they (whoever they are) are right (in this instance). 

Last week when we arrived home from a week and a half long trip,
that included a pit stop to visit my best friend and a huge family reunion,
I was dismayed to find my sweet Little Muppet was becoming ill. 

After living in a house with over 50 people in it for a week, 
it's no wonder, 
but it was so sad nonetheless.

There was a lot of coughing, 
snot, 
sneezing, 
trying to breathe, 
fever,
and sleeplessness. 

Each night, all night long, I would doze for ten minutes at a time
and then bolt upright to listen her after she would wheeze to make sure she kept breathing.

My normally very active and playful baby 
was exhausted and didn't want to do anything at all.


I ached for her. 
My heart broke with her sad little coughs and sneezes 
as her body struggled to rid itself of germs. 

I suctioned and wiped her nose, 
filled and refilled the vaporizer, 
sang to her, 
checked fevers, 
and nursed her to her heart's content. 

For several days this went on. 
Then just as it was clearing up, 
it was time for her vaccinations, 
and another two days of sleeping, crying, and fevers ensued. 

By the time she was finally feeling like herself, 
I was sick!

My happy little one was ready to play
and have adventures, 
and all I had the strength to do was stay in bed 
and try to entertain her there. 

I guess what I took away from it all was this:

God bless mothers who have children who are sick long term. 

It was so hard for me to watch my baby be sick,
so painful for me to see her unable to be her full, healthy self. 
I cannot even imagine what that would be like for a longer period of time
at a more severe or fatal level. 

I've found myself thanking my Heavenly Father more that my little one is healthy
and praying more for the mothers in the world
whose little ones are not so healthy. 
Their fight is one that is worth supporting.

I am truly blessed. 


In the spirit of this motherhood learning moment, 
I'm preparing something special for my shop for next month. 

In September, 
in honor of the fight that so many families are fighting with cancer, 
I will be featuring a gold item with 20% of all proceeds going to Cancer research. 
Keep an eye out if you'd like to support my handmade shop 
and also support so many families who need cancer to be stopped in its tracks.
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The Fountain

All I can say is Hallelujah! 
The fountain has arrived
And it is almost too cute to bear!





What I'd Tell You Over Lemonade

My Little Lady,

It's so sweet of you to join me for a little imaginary strawberry lemonade party on this sun shiny day. Darling, I am amazed at all the things I want to tell you even though you are so tiny. 


I want to tell you how wonderful and lovely you are. Every inch of you is lovely. God created such a perfect little body for you and I hope you don't let the world convince you otherwise. Us girls are always harder on ourselves than we should be for our physical appearance but I hope you have many many moments where you are grateful for your body and all of its capabilities.


 I want to tell you how brilliant and creative you already are. Just because you might do things differently in your life than others, doesn't mean you're doing them wrong. Use your ideas, you ingenuity, and your unique abilities to shape your life and your actions. Mold them into a life filled with your passions and your purpose. 


I want you to know the difference between right and wrong. I try to show you by my example how to treat others, but I am so imperfect. I know you will be better than I am. I can see it in your soul when you light up the room and fill faces with smiles. If there is one thing I know that I can teach you, it is to always try. 


I want you to tell you that one of the greatest things that you can do in this life is continue to bring joy to those around you! You are filled with a happiness that is contagious and you are so good at sharing it! You never hold back just because you don't know someone or because you are tired. You always manage a smile for everyone, animals included. I think it's because you love to see the joy they respond with. I hope you always strive to bring them that joy. It is a specific talent of yours.


I want to tell you that life is not easy. I wish you could always be six months old laying on a baby blanket with me, but you'll grow into a life that is full of sorrows, adventures, frustration, triumphs, trials, and love. Press forward through the heart ache, my little one. Cling to your hope of what is to come and your faith in all that is good. Your spirit is incredibly strong. 


I want to tell you that knowledge can give you freedom. Seek out the best knowledge. Knowledge that will strengthen you, bring you light, and give you clarity. You cannot take your worldly possessions with you when you leave this life, but you can always keep your knowledge. It is one of the greatest gifts we can have. 


Finally, I want to tell you that there is nothing more important than for you to know how loved you are. I love you more than anything else in this world, except your Pappa. It was from my love for him and his love for me and our love for our Heavenly Father that you were born. Your Pappa loves you so much. The greatest love of all, is the love that your Heavenly Father and your Savior, Jesus Christ, have for you. Your Heavenly Father sent His Son to live and die for you so that you could return and live again with Them someday. He gave you all that you have. Your Savior gave His life for you that you would never need to traverse this life alone, that you would never make a mistake too grave, and that you would never stray too far for His loving arms to reach you. He waits for you always and no matter what. He can guide you through life each day if you let Him. 



You are my everything, Svea Elaine. I have given so much to be your mother and I would do it all again. You are the greatest choice I ever made and you are the greatest thing I ever helped create. I hope someday you can look back at this and know that these things are true.

Love Always,
Mamma



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Things I Love Thursday: Bannor Toys

This week's edition of Things I Love Thursday
is featuring family-owned-and-operated, handmade shop:


I first found Stacey of Bannor Toys on Instagram
and pretty much immediately fell in love with her work.
I love the toys she makes with her family
and the love that goes into each hand crafted one.
I knew that when I had my Little Muppet,
she was going to need one of their personalized rattles to play with.

It has turned out to be one of her very favorite toys.
It helps her practice dexterity
and she loves the rattling noise it makes.
Yet at the same time,
the rattling is not constant or obnoxious so I don't mind it one bit!

I'm glad that she has a taken a liking to it
and it's a go to playtime choice!


I love the Svea's rattle has her name on it!
It adds such a personal touch,
not to mention I also got to choose the colors to go inside,
so those match a lot of her things as well!


Go check out Bannor Toys for all sorts of neat wooden toys
including rattles, blocks, cameras,
cars, teethers, and more!
Support a sweet family in continuing their passion
and find the neatest toys for your babe.
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Svea's Nursery Reveal

So I've always had this problem.
I can be working away at something and suddenly
BAM!
A poem will come into my head, 
word for word
just dying for me to write it down.

I am working on something else, 
so naturally I try to ignore it.
But it's no use.

If I don't write the poem down
it bothers me
and bothers me
until I do!

That is pretty much exactly how Svea's room came to be.
We moved into our "fixer-upper" home two years ago
and I knew we would have a lot to work on. 
A lot of things needed repairing 
and all the rooms were the same...
an ugly off white/almost yellow color.
Empty.
Hollow.
Sad.

The second we had our belongings moved in, 
I started with adding photos to the walls, 
to try to make the place our own.
But I've come to realize that you can't just make a place your own all at once.

You have to live in it. 
You have to make moments in it.
Like my poems, you have to envision how you want it, 
and put the work into it. 
Every detail that makes my home better for me
or more beautiful to me, 
is because Lance and I worked at it. 

So here we are at the beginning. 
Since I don't have one of Svea's room, 
this will have to do. 
Her room looked exactly the same, 
just with tacky eclectic night stands and puke green sheets on the guest bed.
This was our room the night that we moved in.

Book, stuffed animals, back roller, lamp, and tissues. 
We were rockin it.


For a while, 
I didn't really know what to do, 
other than put pictures randomly on the walls.

Any money we saved went right back into fixing our house
and taking care of needed repairs. 

About a year later,
we still hadn't gotten to really change anything aesthetic
in the house.
I didn't have the right motivation.
I didn't have the right poem in my head yet.

Then when Lance and I started talking about having a baby, 
and eventually got pregnant,
my mind was consumed with all things baby.

I dreamed every night about my little girl.
I told myself that it was probably going to be a boy just because 
the little girl I kept dreaming about seemed too perfect to be real.
I found out later that I shouldn't have second guessed myself.
It was Svea.
Even the way she looked as a baby was right, 
so I'm dying to see if the little toddler face I dreamed about
ends up being hers too.

Anyway, one day I walked into the empty room 
that was to become hers
and I tossed a onesie from the clearance rack at Target
into the closet.
When I turned around my husband was standing there smiling at me.
I smiled back.
I couldn't imagine what joy this room would hold.
He told me that he was thinking maybe he'd like to put up 
wainscoting around the room.

BAM!
It hit me.
The whole room laid out in my mind like a poem.
I knew what the walls looked like.
I knew what the furniture looked like. 
I knew the colors. 
I knew the very light that would flow in and land on a sleepy eyed baby
smiling at me from her crib.

And so it began. 
We saved and scrimped.
I thrifted.
I used baby shower money.
 We used what we had
and waited for sales on what we didn't.

The last thing I needed to work on was the feeling of the room.
 One of the biggest things 
that I wanted to feel in her room
was love.
I wanted to feel like the things in her room were made with love.
Not all on a mass production line.

So I searched carefully for handmade items 
from shops, 
bloggers, 
friends, 
and family
that would fill my little babe's room
with love. 

I also fiddled with a theme until I finally settled on the perfect one.
Whales.
To me, whales are one of God's most beautiful creations. 
Great massive things that swim with grace, 
love and teach their young, 
cling to families, 
and express feelings in a way unlike any other animal. 

It's as if they had to be designed 
in such a massive size 
because any smaller form couldn't have held their beautiful souls. 
I knew my babe would have a soul like that. 
I could feel it. 
She would have a soul barely containable by her lovely little body.
So whales it was.

Now her room is done.
And it blows me away the difference it makes 
to see my poem on a canvas
every time I walk into the room. 

I would rather sit in her room than any other room of the house
and snuggle her 
and feel at peace in a sanctuary that Lance and I created for her.

Now I know what it is to create a space.
I've had that BAM feeling again since finishing her room
and will be sharing the next room I finish when the time comes.

For now, I hope you love Svea's Nursery. 


Swedish vinyl wall plaque by our friend Jannicke Godwin, Maternity Photos by Ten22 Studio
Origami ABC Art by our friend Lydia Hill, Mother & Baby Sketch is a Family Heirloom, 
Red Button by Hobby Lobby, Whale Mobile by Seeds & Some
Crib from Target, Striped "S" created by me, Frames from IKEA
and Blanket by A Pretty Life Shop (Me). 



Anchor Marquee Sign by Junk Art Gypsyz, White Teddy Bear by Hallmark 
(given to Svea the day she was born by her Morfar)




Handmade Whale Doll by Talpa Things

Tassel Garland by Studio Mucci, Hanging Frame is an antique find, 
Gray Rug from Target, Red Rocking Chair by our friend John Wilborn



Cloud & Hearts Mobile by Baby Jives, Bookshelf by IKEA,
Sea Creatures & Shark Prints by Lucy Darling Shop
Shoe Box from Home Goods, Muppets Plush by Disney
Ms. Deer by Maileg from A Little Bundle
Teddy Bear is mine from when I was born,
Bamboo plant given to us by our friend Dia us the day Svea was born to grow with her







Dresser, Wall Frames, & Lamp from IKEA, Family Photo by Ten22 Studio
"I Love You Much More" Whale Print by Simply Sweet Prints, Whales Print by Lucy Darling Shop
"Heart of the Sea" Watercolor Print by Shelly Sea Design, Custom Family Watercolor by Peanut Brittle Art
Darcy & Elizabeth Peg Dolls by Landon's Toy Box, Dresser Frames from Michaels,
Headband by Monroe & Harlow, Whale Wall Decor by A Pretty Life Shop (me)







Sheer Curtains by IKEA, Rocking Glider by Storkcraft
Knit blanket from Target, Custom Handmade Family Dolls by Betty Dolls


Frames from the dollar store and painted by me, Custom Bird Mobile by Baby Jives
Outlet and Light-switch covers created by my husband, 
Changing Table, Changing Pad, & Diaper Pale from Babies R Us
Moccasins by Freshly Picked, Diapers and Bath & Body Products by Honest
"Love You" Night Light by Housey Home, Changing Pad Cover from Amazon, 
Stuffed Whale from Bonanza




Narwhal Shorts by Mag+Pie

Sea Horses Light Up Soother by Fisher Price, Yellow Lab plush by IKEA
Chocolate Lab & Whale Comfort Blankie from Target, Custom Heart Rattle by Bannor Toys
Wooden Ring Teethers by Noah & Olivia, Red Chevron Elephant by Kelsey Bang
Kiki Elephant Teether by Callison






Headband by Monroe & Harlow, Onesie by Lime Leaf Threads
Striped Yoga Pants by Kennedy's Collections


If you have any questions about any products in Svea's room, 
please feel free to comment and I would love to talk with you about it!
Also, today is the last day to enter our big giveaway to win several of the items pictured
so check it out!
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