So, this post is about 2 weeks late--- but better late than never right?  I had my very first baby shower on October 13 and it was hosted by Leah and Bobbie.  It was a couple's shower and it was so much fun!  Leah and Bobbie (and their very sweet husbands) made the shower look incredible!

The shower was at Leah and Aaron's house.

Kevin and April

There were flowers and banners and twine-- oh my!

And this beautiful swing!

This was set up for the gifts and cards.

They had made these diaper envelopes out of scrapbook paper because we were having a diaper shower.  In the invites was a little paper explaining that Keenan and I are going to do cloth diapers.  However, we are not sure yet what kind we will get and a local store here in Athens offers a program where you get to try the different cloth diapering systems for two weeks and then can buy which type you like.  So, we just asked for money so we can buy the type we like when the time comes.  We were so blessed by everyone in their generosity and we can't wait to try the different diapers!

It was such a sweet night and it was fun hanging out with some friends.  We also had a relay race for the boys- and that was incredible.  Not going to lie-- I saw a video of this posted on Bobbie's wall some months BEFORE I found out I was pregnant and knew I wanted a couple's shower and that relay- so as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I asked them to do it!!!  Here are some pics from the relay-- the boys were split into  two teams and they had to down a baby bottle of milk, one boy had to spoon yogurt into another boy's mouth, another had to put a cloth diaper on a baby, then another had to put the baby into a car seat and put the car seat into the car- correctly!  It was so fun!

It was a very fun relay and a very fun night!!!  Thank you to Bobbie and Leah for a perfect first baby shower!  I love you two so much and I am so thankful that you are in my life!!!

I had my second baby shower (I still need to get pics from my first so I can do a post from it too!) today and it was so beautiful.  Keenan's aunt, Liz, hosted the shower.  We had our wedding reception at her house so some of you may remember that.  She is such an amazing hostess!  This shower was with a specific group of women- the quilt retreat ladies.    This group of ladies have been getting together for a quilt retreat weekend once a year for some time.  Each year varies just a bit, so one year we may all give Lori some money and she purchases enough fabric so that we all have enough to make our own quilt- though it will be the same or at least similar to everyone else's.  Other years, she tells us how much of each type of fabric to buy and we give it to her, then she will cut it into pieces that will go in each of our kits.  A few years ago, when I was going through chemo, I was at home since I couldn't work that year and Lori invited me to quilt retreat.  It was so fun!  I used one of Lori's machines and hung out with 15-20 fun ladies.  We ate amazing food, quilted, talked and ate chocolate!  Sadly, though, that was the year that we had an ice storm in February, so our retreat was cut short.  Too late for me though- I was hooked.  Soon after this, Lori got me my own machine (Baby Lock Grace- and its all about the machine!!!) and I did a few more quilts over the course of the year.  I have since been to two more quilt retreats and they are SO. MUCH. FUN.!  Delicious food + amazing ladies = one of my favorite weekends of the year!  I am really looking forward to this year's retreat because Emily Anne will be able to attend!!!  This group of women have blessed me in so many ways- I love being able to spend time with them!  So, today's shower was with this group of women and it was wonderful!

When I first showed up, Lori grabbed me and said I HAD to go in the front door and this was why:

Yes, that's a pumpkin-head baby!  It is now on my front porch!

The food table with a beautiful canvas painting Liz had gotten at a craft festival.  It is hanging in EA's room already (just not in its final place yet!).

My amazing hostess!!!  Seriously, you talk about having the gift of hospitality!

Cute table decorations!

One of the games: identifying what's in the "dirty diaper".  There were eight diapers with a different kind of chocolate candy melted inside and we had to guess.

If anyone knows my gag reflex right now and how I can just think about something gross for about 45 seconds and lose it-- this was quite a feat for me to complete!

And just for the record- I went 8 for 8!

Shirley (Keenan's grandmother!) and Annette

Renee, Jacque and Randy

Pam and Lynda

Fran and Mabel Anne

Dottie and Becky

Kay and Liz

Me with some of the goodies!!!!

This was from a funny game we played.  There were about 10 items in this bag (some baby related, some not) and I had to make up a story that included the items as I pulled them out.  It was so funny!

Some items were pretty easy- like these pacifiers....

Some not so this canned dog food (shout out for Boone!).

Two hardest items to put into my story- the Butt-Aid cream and the dog food!

 This next thing may have been the sweetest thing EVER.  When Liz sent out the invites for the shower, she included a pattern and the white pieces for each person to create a quilt square with pinks.  Each person included it in their present and they had signed it.  This is so special!  Two people could not be there so those are the two missing squares but isn't this just the sweetest thing?!?!  They are going to put a border on it for me and quilt it!  I am so glad each person has their name on their square-- it is just such a wonderful reminder about how invested this group of ladies is in my life and now in EA's life and I LOVE it!  I really cannot truly express how much this means to me--I just love it!

 Lori (Keenan's mom), Shirley (Keenan's grandmother, Liz and Lori's mom), me and Liz (Keenan's aunt)

Truly a wonderful group of ladies and I am so blessed to have them at my shower today!  Thank you to Liz and to everyone else who helped out- it was a wonderful day!

About a month ago, I got to go to an AMAZING conference called Becoming.  My friend Bobbie and I went last year and loved it.  So we were really thrilled to go back this year and even more excited when we found out some friends were going to be going!  Becoming is a one-night conference at a center near Ashville, NC and it is all about being purposeful.  Purposeful with your personal life, with your family, with your time and with your money.  I love it!  I came back last year inspired and excited about some things.

One HUGE thing that I came away with and stuck with was an idea from The Nester, who told a story about going to a friend's house.  Her friend's house was beautiful and so put together, but when the Nester went inside, her friend just started apologizing for everything.  Sorry its such a mess, sorry about the curtains, I really want to change them.  Just a lot of apologies and excuses why things did not look "perfect".  Well, the Nester's motto is "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" so you can imagine where she went with this.  She just thought, Man, if she is disappointed in her house when it looks like this, I better not EVER invite her over to my house!  She said that situation caused to to stop apologizing for any shape her house may be in.  She said it made her uncomfortable in this other house because of the apologizing and she doesn't want anyone to ever feel like that in her house.  So, yeah- I totally agreed with her- but how often to I invite people over and as soon as they come in the door say, "Oh, sorry, its such a mess in here, I really need to clean..." when let's face it, I was probably just finishing up cleaning and I just want them to think that it is normally cleaner than that.  Or, it might really need to be cleaned up but obviously, I had other important things that I needed to do- so why am I apologizing for that?  It was a huge aha! moment for me.  She caused me to think, how do I want people to feel in my house?  And do I want a house that is in pristine condition or do I want a warm, comfortable, lived-in house?  Now, yes, I still clean my house and I am an organized person by nature so that helps, but it sure takes some pressure away when I get a call that someone is going to "stop by for a bit".  Laundry on the dresser, no prob!  Dishes in the sink or some Boone hair on the kitchen floor- its ok!  Before, I would have apologized for that- but now- I realize that "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" AND if I don't point out those things, most of the time, other people don't even notice it because, ironically- their house probably looks the same!!!  Anyways, that just really hit home with me last year and I am still committed to not apologizing for my home!

Ok, the other thing that I left with last year was painting furniture!  I learned from Angela about all these things that are possible with different types of paints, glazes and waxes.  We even watched her do some of her work on stage and we were SO inspired!  Soon after the conference, my mom ended up getting some great pieces of furniture and wanted to know if I wanted them.  I said yes immediately and knew I wanted to try painting them, BUT- we were in a 2-bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment that we had been in for 3 years, so it already had all the furniture it needed.  So, I had some great furniture waiting at my parent's house- waiting for time for me to come and paint AND waiting for me to have a place to put it once I did paint it.  So, needless to say, didn't get to paint it or use it last year.

As you know from my last post, when we came back from Scotland, we quickly found a house and even more quickly closed and moved in!  So, I now had 4 rooms and 3 bathrooms to fill- so plenty of room for new, painted furniture.  Now, I just needed the time to do it.  Bobbie and I (and some fun friends) went back to Becoming the first weekend of September and I knew I would be re-inspired for painting my furniture-- and boy, was I!!!  I also knew I had a 4-day weekend in October that included a neighborhood yard sale on Saturday morning.  So, since about mid-August, I have had last weekend planned.  Friday- move furniture to garage and prep (just making sure its ready, didn't need to sand or anything), Saturday- yard sale, Sunday- paint furniture, Monday- distress and wax furniture.  Yes, I do remember I am 6 months pregnant and yes, I am SO exhausted from school- but I have been looking forward to last weekend for so long!  And, I can tell you, I got it all done!  Yeah!

I already knew that I wanted to paint Emily Anne's dresser white for her nursery.  Also, when we moved into this house, we found out about the neighborhood yard sale soon after.  There were so many things that we needed (lamps, tables, etc) but we just didn't want to have to shell out big money.  So, we made a list over the next month or so and that is what I took out when I went to the yard sales.  My friend Amelia (who is due Dec. 4th) came with me and we went to 27 yard sales.  You heard that right, 27!  We were both pretty pooped by the end!  So, Keenan and I set a budget and I went out with our list, which included:

-desk for Keenan
-2 or 3 bookshelves
-organizer for kitchen
-5 floor lamps
-6 table lamps
-type of storage for Keenan's study
-chairs (wooden or comfy)
-holiday decor

Here is what I found:
-desk for Keenan ($25!)
-1 bookshelf
-3 floor lamps (I broke one on our way home though)
-4 table lamps
-beautiful, tiny white rocking chair for EA
-some Christmas decor
-some Melissa and Doug puzzles and their complete music kit (I tried to find a link, but it looks like it is actually several different sets that they put together and sold-- anyways, AMAZING deal!)
-Dale Murphy picture in a big frame (its an inside joke with me and Keen)

I think maybe some other items too, but I am having trouble remembering them all right now.  Anyways, VERY successful!

I decided I wanted to try painting the desk I got for Keenan and EA's dresser- so Sunday morning, I got to work.  Oh yeah, on Sunday, my SIL (who is so amazing!) came and primed EA's room so I could paint it on Monday.  Earlier that week, we had gotten some samples and I decided on a light grey.  So, Sunday, we are both painting.  Here are some before pics of what I was painting:

We already had this dresser.  It is a dark blue color and I wanted to paint it a pure white for EA's room.

Drawers for the dresser and the desk I got for $25!

Just a different view so you can see the color of the drawers a little better.

This is after one coat of the Old White Annie Sloan chalk paint.

This is after 2 coats of Pure White chalk paint.

View of garage for 2 days while I was painting!

I think this is after the 2nd coat of old white.  Not the best lighting to show color!

 This shows some of the distressing I did with sandpaper.  Note to self-- ELECTRIC SANDER is a MUST!!!!

 Its hard to see the distressing but if you look really closely here, you can see where some of the wood color is coming through.  That's what it is supposed to look like!

 Finished distressing and waxed.

PS- On the underside I used the dark wax and it looked HORRIBLE!  Then, I remembered them saying NOT to use the dark wax on the old white or pure white colors!  So true!!!
The drawers distressed and Boone sniffing around.  He participated in the painting (some pics below clearly showing his participation).

You can see the distressing a little better on the drawers so just picture what the edge of the drawer looks like here and that is what the whole things looks like.

Mom's big helper!

Why Boone, is that paint on your ear???

Oh yes.....

it is!

Evidence of a side rub on the wet paint!  Luckily, I really could not find where he had done it- so didn't have to touch anything up!

 Sorry Mom.

Tried to get a pic of his SO CUTE yawn, but missed it and instead he looks so ferocious!  Ha!

Are we done taking pictures yet??

Finished pieces and how Boone normally looks in pics- half gone!

Finished in the front room!

$25 dresser and let's just estimate $15 worth of paint and wax-- we got this in our house for $40- what a deal! 

Just a finished view of EA's dresser and one of the lamps I got.

And a preview of her nursery- grey walls and Keenan assembled the crib we got from a sweet friend!!! Will do a post soon-- still getting some things set up in her nursery!  Its so fun!!!

So, overall, very successful weekend- 27 yard sales, EA's nursery primed and painted and desk and dresser completely painted and now moved into the house!

PS- On a HUGE side note- since when is Blogger so user friendly???  Pictures uploaded WAY faster than normal and I am loving the strikethrough options so readily available and the link button is super easy!!!