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29 August 2011

A Sparkly Monogram

This week I'm excited to share some of the projects I put together for Maren's pink party. I opted for something a little different than the traditional balloons to welcome our guests at the front door...a sparkly 'M' for Maren.

I had everything on hand for this little project. The 'M' was originally for something I was going to do in Maren's room. That project never made it past the yellow paint!

Since I didn't have pink paint I utilized my elementary art skills and mixed red and white together.

And just like that...a pink 'M'!

I used two colors of glitter to create on ombre effect...

...while the paint was still wet I applied the darker color heavily to the bottom and thinner towards the middle. Next I went over the middle with the lighter color and finished near the top with just a faint dusting of the lighter color. The glitter also managed to sneak into all other areas of my craft room. It has a tendency to do that!

I finished off by tying three thin scraps [rescued from the trash!] to one side of the M.

I glued a pink ribbon to the back so I could hang the 'M' from the wreath hook. I haven't decided if I'm brave enough to allow this glittery masterpiece to grace the peg rack in Maren's room. If I do, it will supply her wardrobe with a nice amount of sparkly for the foreseeable future!

Find more Monday inspiration here:

28 August 2011

A Pink Party to Celebrate '3'

I'm not entirely sure how we've arrived at this milestone, but our sweet girl is 3! She was rather insistent on having a pink party, so on Saturday evening we did just that. With the exception of a few paper products, balloons and a bunch of fifty-cent tin pails, I was able to use things we had around the house for the decorations. We invited some close friends, grilled burgers, and enjoyed a lovely Colorado evening in our backyard!

We took a little self-portrait before the festivities. Miraculously, Truett went to sleep ten minutes before the guests arrived and didn't wake up until we had started to clean up. Have I mentioned what a sweet baby he is?

We borrowed the tent and a couple tables...if only we knew of someone with a pink tent!

I tend to put way too much pressure on myself in the food arena for these types of events. This time we kept it simple, and it was perfect! We grilled burgers, and had watermelon and a couple different kinds of chips. Dessert was cupcakes and cake-pops with ice-cream. We served pink lemonade in canning jars with pink straws. [Of course!]

I wonder why beverages taste so much better when served in cute vessels?

We hung balloons from the ceiling. I borrowed the idea from Lindsey. [If you ever need some brilliant party inspiration, check out her blog. She does some amazing things!] I made the streamers with paper I had on hand.

All the kids made foot-print butterflies. The girls made pink ones, and I had blue paint on had for the lucky gentlemen in attendance!

Maren and her guests...

Gauging on the popularity of the pinata this time around, I'm likely to include one in all subsequent parties. The kids LOVED it, which made it well-worth the work. I'll share more about my pinata project later this week.

Sometimes I wish I could freeze Maren right here in time. She is so full of joy, is a wonderful friend and hostess, and appreciates life to the fullest. We asked people not to bring gifts this year, as Maren has no need for any more toys. She didn't mind it one bit...a few bags of candy in a cardboard '3' was enough of a treat to last the entire evening. Seriously...look at that face!

Maren's face was priceless while we were singing to her before she blew out the candles. She was beaming from ear to ear with a hint of bashfulness thrown in for good measure. Clearly I was paying more attention to the plate of flaming cupcake than I was to the state of Maren's attire. This is the last time she'll ever be allowed to display that much skin at a party! *wink*

Is there anything better than birthday (cup)cake and ice-cream?

I have grand plans to actually pay a professional to take a good family picture of us...but that won't happen until later this fall. For now, this will have to do. Truett made an appearance for the last few minutes of the party...just in time to garner a few ooh's and ahh's from the ladies before they headed home for the evening. He's quite the little charmer!

26 August 2011

Around here...

...little man has been doing a lot of this...

...and Maren's been playing here...[courtesy of our new washing machine...our old one decided to up and quit last weekend. Always such great timing with these things, right? Clearly the home appliances didn't get the memo about the revised medical-bill-paying budget we're on. The saddest thing is that we're pretty sure the dishwasher won't make it through Thanksgiving. I told Brett I'd manage to wash dishes by hand for a while if need be. I was not, however, willing to extend the offer for clothing belonging to an infant and a 3 year old. *wink*]

We're getting ready for a 'Pink Party' tomorrow evening. Maren's been quite persistent with her request, and initially I wasn't thrilled with the idea. She first began petitioning for a pink party in March, so I've had plenty of time for the ideas to roll around in my mind. I have to say I'm tickled pink with how things have come together. I crack myself up sometimes. [Seriously, I just laughed out loud...I need to get out more!]

We do love hosting a good party around here, and this pink one is no exception. I think next week will be 'Pink Week' here at the blog. I've got quite a few fun little things to share from this party, so check back in to see what's had me blushing lately! Get it?..blushing...pink...okay, it's time to say goodbye!

23 August 2011

An interview with Maren

A while back I found a fabulous little book for Maren called Your Birthday Book: A Keepsake Journal by Amy K. Apart from being a simply darling book, it's a great way to document changes brought about by each new year in a child's life. There are interview questions for each year, and we captured Maren's interview on video as well. Some of her answers surprised me, some made me laugh, and some made me want to grab her and give her a giant hug. If you've got a couple of minutes to spare, here's a little peek into the world of Maren!

15 August 2011

Guess who?

We've been having a lot of fun lately comparing pictures of Maren and Truett. It's uncanny how much they look alike, especially in pictures where they're not wearing any clothes. Can you tell who's who?

*The first picture in all three sets is Maren.

13 August 2011

Do you know Sarah?

I've recently discovered the joy of watching my favorite HGTV shows online! This was a thrilling discovery for this non-cable-subscribing girl. One of my favorite shows is Sarah's House. Have you seen it? Sarah Richardson makes charming work of fixing up homes, aided by her clever assistant, Tommy. While my mom was here, we spent our evenings watching Sarah's Summer House. We both agree that Sarah's work is never disappointing. Here are some of my favorite transformations from what she calls her 'cottage'.

sitting area

There's not a single room in this series that I didn't like. The kitchen is by far my favorite. Sarah added so many interesting and whimsical touches, making the space unique and welcoming. It's likely I will never have her design budget, but I sure do enjoy finding some inspiration from within her walls!

11 August 2011

A little fun and a lotta sad

My mom left this morning, and my eyes are all tired now from crying. I dislike 'good-byes' very much. Before all the craziness with Truett's heart surgery, we had planned a nice long vacation to the family cottage in Michigan. We were supposed to leave today. So, I'm double-sad...sad that my mom isn't enjoying an afternoon cup of coffee with me, and sad that an entire summer is passing without a glimpse of my favorite summer destination.

I spent a few minutes perusing bhg.com this afternoon and came across this fun little organizing quiz.
I am a 'Schoolteacher'...orderly but not rigid. After you find out your organizing personality you have the option to read up on some organizational ideas for your type. It's a fun little way to spend a few minutes between loads of laundry. *wink*

Happy weekend!

10 August 2011

A few good days

We've been home from the hospital for a little more than a week and it's been pretty great. We were not sad to bid adieu to room 902 at Children's with it's slanty couch-bed and beeping machines. I think Truett's been significantly more content as well.

Administering meds quickly became the bane of my existence. There were so many specific doses and times to remember, not to mention the hassle of getting Truett to take them. I'm still not sure if it was worse for him or for me. His little rainbow of drugs was made up of tylenol, zantac, lasix (a diuretic), oxycodone (for pain), and propranolol (for high blood pressure). Within a couple days of being home he was off the oxycodone. Last week the cardiologist reduced his doses of lasix and propranolol by 1/2. This morning we were able to cut back even more on the lasix and say goodbye to the propranolol entirely. Yay! Our little guy is on the mend.

Maren thought it was Christmas with all the goodies that came home from the hospital in Truett's tub. Since we paid for all this stuff, I figured we might as well make use of it! She's become quite the little doctor around our house, treating ailments of all sorts.

This is pretty much how Truett spent his first couple of days home. He'd take occasional eating and potty breaks, but then it was right back to being cozy.

I have loved having my mom here. We share a really special relationship, and it's so hard to have her living on the other side of the country. We only get to spend time together a few times a year, so when she's around I soak up every minute! She also happens to be an organizer extraordinaire, so we've tackled most of the closets in my house. Someday I'll have to share some of the fun things we've accomplished this week. Here she is snuggling with Truett.

I cannot tell you how amazing Maren has been this week. She's had a few meltdowns here and there, but for the most part she's been a trooper. She loves to help with Truett, and since she's become such a seasoned doctor, would love to get her hands on one of those medicinal syringes of her brother's. We've resorted to having her hold him. I'd say she's plenty happy with that job for now.

I wish I'd taken a picture of Truett's not-so-little war wound earlier, but here it is in all it's scarring glory. Since Truett is a boy, and boys seem to like scars, he'll probably be disappointed with how amazingly the surgeon closed him up. We were told that it would likely not be visible in another year or two. The steri-strips are covering the opening from his chest tube. From the looks of it, that might end up being more of a scar than the actual incision sight!

Truett has really been a different baby since he's had his little heart fixed. In the 2 weeks leading up to his surgery, we'd noticed our sweet boy becoming fussier and more lethargic. I am happy to report that he's sleeping wonderfully, smiles all the time, and only cries if he's tired or wanting his diaper changed.

I still can't believe that 2 short weeks ago we were spending our Wednesday at Children's Hospital getting Truett's myriad of tests done before his big surgery.
What a difference...praise the Lord!

08 August 2011

Visitors and the rest of the hospital stay

Our families were such an incredible blessing to us during Truett's stay in the hospital. Brett's parents (Gigi and Papa) were so kind to have Maren stay with them for a few days. She always has a great time with her Gigi and Papa, and we felt at peace knowing that she was in such good hands. They also made the drive to Denver a couple of times to visit our sweet boy and to encourage us!

Here's Gigi and Truett.

Aunt Tiffany also came to the hospital.

Truett's nurse during his last day in the CICU was Kally. She actually works in the CPCU (Cardiac Progressive Care Unit), but she came down to the ICU to help out during our last day. We were thrilled that she remained Truett's nurse for the next couple of days when we moved to the CPCU. She was a fabulous nurse, and felt like a friend by the end of our time.

Truett's arm was all wrapped up to keep the iv in place.

Here is our baby getting his final echo-cardiogram in the hospital. We were so happy to hear that his little aorta was looking excellent!

As soon as we found out about Truett's surgery, my parents hopped a plane from Michigan. It meant so much to have them around for emotional support. They were at the hospital with Brett and I during the surgery, and stayed right across the street for the rest of our time in the hospital. Maren even got to spend a night with them in their hotel.

Here's Grandpa entertaining Truett:

Maren wanted to play with Truett when she came to the hospital. We let her share his bed for a few minutes. She's such a sweet big sister.

Here's my mom (Grams) singing Truett a song. Brett went home to stay with Maren one night, and my mom graciously stayed at the hospital with me. I was grateful to get some rest while she was with me!

Truett finally got his iv out the day before we left. At this point, he still had the EKG stickers on his chest, the pulse-ox monitor on one foot and the blood-pressure cuff on the other leg.

We were finally able to to leave on Monday morning, after 4 nights in the hospital. After one last round of tests, we were given the go-ahead to leave! Truett did so well with his recovery, surely due to the prayers of so many. We were originally told to expect a 5 to 10 day stay. Here I am...very tired but glad to be heading home!

It was so refreshing to see my baby in real clothes! I think he was happy to be going home, too.

This was probably the most emotionally and physically exhausting week of my life. I am deeply grateful for family and friends who lifted us up in so many ways. Three of the pastors from our church came to visit us in the hospital (they're all great friends as well!), and our senior pastor stopped by our house to pray with us the night before we left for Denver. We've been so blessed by prayers and kind words of encouragement from friends, family and many people we don't even know. Our sweet boy was so thoroughly covered in prayer. If you were a part of this incredible army of intercessors, we thank you!