This past weekend, we had a small 1st birthday party for Grace. In a rare occurrence, I decided to get crafty and I made a ton of birthday hats for Grace’s stuffed animals. Grace loves stuffed animals so I wanted to incorporate them into her party but keep the cheesiness factor as low as possible.
I put together a little dessert bar…
There were also bags of cookies as party favors on the table but I forgot to snag a pic of them. Next to the dining room is the living room and that mantle had two bulletin boards filled with actual, real deal, touchable, not on a computer, printed photos of our birthday girl.
Our back yard is where most of the party took place and where the true hearty food was plopped down for people to graze throughout the day. The animal theme continued there and these gents had on their birthday hats as well (I used cupcake wrappers for them).
There was more food than that but I took the photo before we laid out most of the food.
Most importantly, Grace had a blast. She wore a hat all of her own for the cake cutting. Speaking of the cake, there was a little snafu; we plopped Grace down next to a heaping slice of cake and gathered everyone around for “Happy Birthday” and then we realized that we didn’t have a candle in it so Graham ran into the house and got one. He returned only to realize we didn’t have a lighter so he ran back to get a match. All the while, poor Grace, was sitting there staring at her cake, licking her lips, while I held her hands back, not allowing her to take a bite until the momentous candle blow out.
She survived the long wait and then we set about stuffing cake into her face for her since she was luke warm about the whole experience anyway.
Although it may not look it in the photo below, her big sis was thrilled to have Grace’s party since she has taken over 100% of the gifts. There was absolutely no jealousy just minimal understanding that it was Grace’s birthday. And that is the beauty of having a two and a half year old…
With that celebration under our belt, we officially have a one and a two year old. Now on to the next birthday party today – my wonderful, beautiful, talented, sister in law, Lindsay!
I’ll never forget the day I found out I was pregnant with Grace. It was the surprise of a lifetime that we had proved the fertility Dr’s wrong and that things could work out the old fashioned way.
My pregnancy with Grace was so different than Josie’s, with constant morning sickness ,that I was convinced it would be a boy. She surprised us and we got to be thankful for another wonderful girl and the beautiful bond of sisters.
We thought she would have the same brown eyes that Graham, Josie and I all share: big, round and pure as coffee beans. Grace surprised us with translucent saphire blues that you can spot from a mile away. She shares the blues of my mom, the ones that I begged for blue contact lenses in my adolescence in the attempt to imitate.
I geared myself up for the three month mark to sleep train Gracie but she surprised us at eight weeks and slept right on through the night. I was used to the soft pace of Josie and everyone has told me that “girls as so easy. boys are so active” Grace constantly moved in my womb and she hasn’t stopped since.
I thought there was no way a crawling baby in a sleep sack could manage to get out of her crib but she surprised us with a loud thump, a little cry and then happy crawling around her room as she celebrated her freedom.
I thought that little ones usually walk after their first birthday but Gracie took her first bold steps at eleven months. I thought that rocking chairs were meant to be sat on but Grace will find a way to crawl up them, stand on the seat and rock back and forth as though she is surfing a massive wave.
I thought her first word would be spoken to me or Graham but it was said to a dog at a park as she sweetly waved and said “hi” clear as day. I thought that Grace would always be the one to follow Josie, and while there is plenty of that, there are still the times when Grace takes the lead and Josie reverts to crawling and follows right behind her sister.
I thought that such an active baby wouldn’t want cuddles but Grace clings to me like a koala bear.
I thought my heart had expanded all that it could as it grew to the moon and back when Josie was born. But, boy was I surprised that my love has only grown two-fold. My life is all the more enriched in ways I didn’t think possible when the bubbly, active, curious, strong, willful, determined, smiley, loving Grace was born one year ago today.
To my special baby, bunkies, Gracie Girl, love love, la la, stinkerbutt, sissy, Grace Katharine, happy happy birthday. I love you so, baby girl, and I wish you a lifetime of continued happiness and exploration. Thanks for all the wonderful surprises, may you keep them coming and may you always keep your mommy and daddy on their toes.
The dog days of summer have sunk their paws right into my soul. Sloth is no longer a sin, it’s a goal. With the exception of my harried morning workout, I’m opting for the slow, easy route. The new speed allows for examining rocks that Josie picks up, observing Grace as she absorbs new information and standing by my man as he waters the garden.
We just returned from four days at the coast. Sand was the key ingredient for great times; it was consumed by Grace, manipulated by Josie and laid on by the adults. The water was only dipped into by our toes as there were 15 great white sharks spotted close to shore days before our arrival.
Speaking of spotting, marine life was in stupendous form – a humpback whale breached, sea otters relaxed, seals bopped in and out of the waves, dolphins played and one great white showed off its ominous fin.
The 4th of July was a show to be seen, with a trusty neighbor who spares no expense and rivals the city’s firework display. If he likes to puff out his feathers in the form of gun powder on our nation’s holiday well then God bless him. It was a wondrous experience to stand directly underneath a massive firework. As the sky lit up, I beamed with pride for our country and all the progress it’s made recently. Love is love and it’s beautiful in all forms.
The week after this, I’ve decided to sneak off with my two little loves to four days in the mountains with my momma. The trip calls for exploring, chitter chatter and long naps in the afternoon heat. There will be ample mother/daughter/mother/daughter/daughter bonding time. Let’s hear it for the girls!
In between the beach and mountain trips, I will be turning 35. 35 certainly feels like the turning point to 40. But, I’m fine with that. I feel more confident and settled in my skin then ever before and I’ve heard that this getting older thing is all about that.
Hope you are taking full advantage of the long, meandrous days of summertime.
This past weekend, I went up to Seattle with the girls to check in on my best friend and the new house she and her husband are building. Flying solo with the girls was a challenge, to say the least, but it was worth it for some quality time with good friends.
My friend is to the point where they are finalizing paint for the exterior of the home. They are going with this very pretty dark gray blue that will be gorgeous. The front door is currently white and it is now up to me to convince them to paint it a fun pop of color. I think it’ll be so lovely and it’ll really add to the curb appeal of their already beautiful home.
Imagine all these homes below without a colored front door; they would all lack the fun pop.
My top choice is currently yellow –
My second choice is a classic red –
My third choice would be a green – either kelly or moss
My fingers are crossed they will take the plunge with a color. I personally love a glossy door and if you go that route, I highly recommend using Fine Paints of Europe in high gloss; it works great when painting wood. I’ll let you know if they go with a color and post an after pic.
What color is your front door?
Thought I’d check in on the personal side today. It seems the blog and I are at odds with each other. I love the written word so I’ve been clinging to this dear old vessel. But this ship is going down and I’ve begun to toy with waving the white flag. For now though, I’m sticking around and blogging when I can.
Here’s a shocking suprise – life is tough with two little ones. It’s also incredibly dear. There are days I’d like to scream for help and others that I silently whisper, “really, I get to do this all day?” Just like the emotions of a two year old, it’s a pendulum swing of pure joy and crazy frustration being at home.
But, I’m incredibly blessed to have the choice and to be able to be here. And the good far outweighs the bad. Josie is hilarious. She’s started to parrot things I say in full sentences. The other day on a walk, she pointed at a house (a rather run down house but we’ll let that slide) and said, “Mommy, I just love that house” Ha! You think she’s the daughter of a decorator? I do point out my favorite homes on our walks – she’s my buddy and I feel the need to share. Gracie is coming into her own more and more every day. She’s crawling machine and she’ll race ya up the top of our stairs. Baby girl has no fear. This child has got some tenacity in her. Grace is also quick to laugh. Josie is hilarious in her eyes. I don’t quite get all the jokes yet – I think it’s a two year old, ten month old humor.
When we put these sandals on Josie this morning, she looked at me and said, “mommy, these are my jogging shoes”
On the business side of things, I recently got a completed project professionally photographed. It’s truly a treat getting the professional pictures. I’m looking forward to getting the photos back and then I can share them here. Id also like to get my website redone to something more clean and streamlined.
I also have the girls bath updated and I love the transformation. I’ll work on getting some pictures taken and blog all the little details. Until then here’s a little peek from my Instagram shot of the bathroom. You can follow me on IG at Kate collins Interiors.
Above all else, I just wanted to say thank you so much for reading! You keep me grinning from ear to ear.
You know those times when you pick the same outfit off the bedroom floor time and again cause it’s just going to get spit up/smeared avocado on it anyway? You know how you reach for your “fat jeans” still because that spare tire isn’t listening to the subliminal messages you keep sending it? Yeah, me neither. Wink wink.
Things ain’t been so hot in the fashion department and I haven’t bought myself new clothes in a looong time.
Graham has seen me get worked by two little babies running me around so for mother’s day he completely surprised me with a gift certificate to Sak’s Fifth. I literally cried (happy tears) when I opened it. it was one of the best gifts and surprises that I’ve received in a long time because it was so unexpected.
In an effort to pull myself together, I got to treat myself and here is what I bought –
Because nothing says “avocado hands, still have baby weight, stay at home mom” like a white jumpsuit but the heart wants what the heart wants. If it fits like a dream I’m keeping it for that rare sometime occasion. It looks like I got the last one because I can’t find it on the site anymore but it’s Haute Hippie.
This is slightly more practical. Date night shirt/girls night out shirt/luncheon shirt/let your belly out shirt. Available here.
I added a ton of stuff to my bag and then narrowed down to the above two purchases so i thought I’d share with you what the other items were in case you felt the need to treat yourself. Everything is on sale.
I still have a bit of money left, anything you think I should go for?
If you have been hopping around various feeds, checking out glimpses of the show homes across the country, it seems that red rooms have been popping up more and more. The color red is very polarizing but I’ve always been a red fan; it’s a classic in my book.
I love what Mark D Sikes did at this year’s Kips Bay show home.
Alassandra Branca also took on the bold color with gusto at the Kips Bay Showhouse:
Closer to home, Nest Design went bold with red lips in a bathroom at the San Francisco showcase. It was my favorite room in the entire house.
Are you into red or is just too much for you?