Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Nursery Pictures

This post is a follow up to the previous one which showed all of the details of Baby Alston's room. In this post I wanted to get more full shots of the room so that you can really see how it all fits together. But all the pictures are with my cell phone, so they're a little grainy :)

Here is how the room looks when you walk in the door:

And when you look to the left:

This is my view when I sit in the glider chair:

This is the FINISHED collage wall above the crib!

These are the curtains I made. We just finished hanging them up last night. It brought the WHOLE room together and made it look complete. (Also hiding the mess inside. Very important.)

As I mentioned in the post below, the curtain fabric is the same that I used to make the hanging bookshelves. I love how it ties everything together!

I seriously LOVE it! 

Now, as my good friend Mandi keeps reminding me, we just need to fill it with a baby :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

El Casa de Baby Alston

I know you have all been eagerly awaiting this!

First - disclaimers:

The room is not "done". I took these pictures while the room is still in progress. That means that this post will take some of your imagination :)

And, the pictures were taken in sections. There is a lot going on so I will explain as we go. Enjoy!


Putting together the room for our soon-to-be son or daughter has been a lot of fun. Since we are currently living with Jon's parents it was a challenging collaboration of putting in things I always wanted to have in our baby's room, as well as our own personalities, while including all of the grandkids (since we won't be living here forever) and I also wanted it to be something that Jon's parents would love and be able to easily change, should they ever want to.

The best parts though were tapping into one aspect of my personality and not knowing the gender of our baby. I LOVE color and the combination of chocolate brown, avocado green and deep orange has always held a special place in my heart. AND I never ever ever wanted to do pastel colors for our children's room. I wanted something fun and bright that they can grow into. Pink, blue and baby circus animals are not my thing.

So here we go! When you walk into the room, the wall directly ahead is the blue wall. This wall has a big window and a twin size bed that my niece sleeps in when she spends the night at Grandma and Grandpa's. The quilt on this bed is where I pulled the color inspiration from the room. As you can see, it is Margo's new favorite place to chillax :) This room used to be just plain white. Jon and I picked all the colors and Jon painted all of the walls. (His parents helped with the edging and ceiling work). Jon made sure that I got a chance to come in and quickly paint a little bit of each wall so that I could say I participated :) He is so sweet.

To the right of the bed, there is a glider chair (thank you Mike and Amanda!) as well as a lamp for nighttime reading and nursing. On the wall above the chair is this super adorable BABY picture frame made by one of my SA coworkers, Kacy :) The colors are PERFECT! The picture in the top is our announcement of our pregnancy, the second picture has since been added which is one of my maternity pictures, the third picture will be the baby, and the fourth picture will be all of us as a family with Margo. There is a basket of blankets on the floor between the glider chair and the bed for easy cuddle access during rocking time, and the afghan there on the arm of the glider is from my cousin, Megan :) We were so spoiled with homemade blankets and snuggly-cuddly soft things!

When you walk into the room, the wall to the left is avocado green. I mod-podged the light switch plate with fabric that shows up in other parts of the room. The picture to the right here shows 4x4 canvas blocks painted in the colors of the room - each one with the initial of the grandkids on it.

These letters are hanging up above the window on the blue wall. The yellow block is blank for when we name our baby.
(The other grandkid's names are Kassidy, Audrey, Isaak and AnnMarie)

Here is a closer shot of our neice's bed quilt with her posse of animals. Behind the head of her bed you can see the orange wall.
Aw, Margo pup!!
When you walk into the room, the wall to the right is a golden yellow. The baby dresser and closet are on this wall. Above the baby dresser is this picture of Christ giving light to a little child and I hung this leafy wall sconce next to it. To keep with the leafy/earthy feel of the room (you will see more coming up).

Here is a picture of the baby dresser on the yellow wall (it was my baby dresser as a kid and I knew that I always wanted to keep it and have it in my baby's room.) It has moved with us to Utah and back. I love that now it really is officially part of our baby's room! And the picture to the right shows baby Alston's already good sized collection of toys and plushies from various friends and family members. So spoiled!

When you walk in, the wall to the left is the green wall and the crib is on this wall. I'm a little biased, but this crib is my FAVORITE part of the room. I made the bumpers for the crib with the help of my bestie, Breanna. (yes - I know all of the regulations on bumpers) We used breathable mesh bumpers that go all the way down to the bottom of the mattress. They are not pillowlike and they are more firm than regular old-fashioned bumpers. These bumpers are super secure and tied so tightly, they are not going anywhere.
PLUS being able to pick my own fabric made them fantastically customized :) The outer bumper fabric is green with white circles/polkadots and the inside bumper fabric is golden yellow with branches and leaves all over it.

This was all inspired and pulled together by the AMAZING quilt that Jen's mom made for Baby Alston for my Fair Oaks baby shower. I mean, just look at how cute that owl is sitting on the branch! It came together better than I ever could have pictured it.
Also, to the right here you will see another shot of the blue wall. The space to the left of the window has a double shelf (which was a re-purposed find by Kacy and Alex!) and a framed quote by Ghandi (made by Jenae Payne!) which reads: "Be truthful, gentle and fearless." The items on the shelf include plush owls, made by Raya Durling in our old ward as one of her YW projects, and a large mason jar with a needle-point top that says "Welcome to our World" which was also in my room when I was a baby. It is something I always held onto and wanted to include for our children.

One of the things I am most proud of in the room are these hanging fabric bookshelves I made:
They are hanging on the orange wall as you can see. The fabric print is green on green leafy trees (keeping with the earthy/leafy/owly theme here). I found the tutorial online here. This is probably one of the easiest projects I have ever done.
Here to the left you can see the double curtain rod brackets holding the wooden dowels. The fabric creates a "hammock" for the books to sit inside. The picture to the right shows how the hanging shelves look from the doorway when you are looking to your left over the top of the crib:

I just love how these turned out! The idea is that the children can more easily see the covers of their favorite books instead of seeing the books on a traditional bookshelf which only shows the spines.
I also made curtains for the closet on the yellow wall with this same green tree fabric. They are not hanging up yet, which is why there aren't any pictures :) I promise you don't want to see the mess inside the open closet! I will get pictures once the curtains are up.
Above the hanging fabric bookshelves are Alston family pictures with everyone from Steve and Chris, to Steve and Jackee with their kids, Mike and Amanda with AnnMarie, Dave and Beth and me and Jon. They were just hung up today, so I don't have pictures of that part yet.
Last, but certainly not least, is the collage wall! This was the brain-child of Amanda Gray. Instead of making ONE thing for the baby's room, she went for an entire wall. This is directly above the crib. Unfortunately this picture doesn't show the wall totally finished. There is a big missing part above the SHH sign, but I really wanted to get this blog up. We actually finished the rest today, putting black and white pictures in the little blue, yellow and orange frames, and the part missing above the SHH sign is a blue doggy needlepoint that was hanging in my room when I was a baby. It really brings it all together. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! And of course, Coldplay is my favorite band. Had to have a song quote from them in the room...

So, that may be the end of the room tour for now, but that's not the end of my recent sewing projects! I also made this baby blanket for a dear friend of mine. She hasn't received it yet, so I won't tell who it is for. But I was SO excited about the flannel prints! The orangey/red print was so fun and the backside is chocolate brown with polkadots. It is the first baby blanket I have made all on my own.

Jon helped me decide on the stitching for the top-stitch. My machine can do some fun stuff :) Hopefully you can see it ok in these pictures below!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Awesomeness Rises

Remember back in January when we talked about this being the year of pictures? Well it's still going! I don't bring it up enough, but we still take a picture

Of course we may miss a day here or there, and almost all of the pictures are on our cell phones, and usually when we're going to bed and realize "crap, we still need our picture for the day!" but overall it's been a fun adventure in documenting our year. Here are some things we've been up to lately!

This was one of our daily pictures while camping in Manresa last month. Dang, that sun was bright...

This was one Sunday after church. I LOVE this picture of our little family :)

4th of July at the Taylor's. We were soaking our feet in the spa since I can't actually sit in it. Jon really loves taking these pictures, as you can tell.

Here we are assembling the baby's crib:

I've been doing a lot of sewing lately too! Working on hanging bookshelves and matching curtains for the baby's room:

And here we eating dessert after my mom's birthday dinner!

I figure I should also post this one - 39 weeks!

I joked on FB that at this point I have abandoned wearing makeup or doing my hair every day because I'm either in the pool or napping haha. Really though I still don't nap that much. Maybe a couple times a week - although I have significantly chillaxed and smoothed out my schedule, limiting any plans with others and minimizing my time out of the house. I could really get used to this time off! The baby has hiccups at least twice a day now and still moves a ton. There are no signs of the baby coming early - of course I am due on the 27th so it is getting really close. Nursery pictures will come soon :)

Of course, until then we are trying to have as much out-of-the-house fun as possible!

Earlier tonight we went to see Dark Knight Rises with our sisters, Beth and Michelle. Holy cow it was fantastic! I had heard going into it that it wasn't as dark as The Dark Knight - and that was definitely true. The Dark Knight freaked me out way more and just had intensely horrifying scenes. But Dark Knight Rises reminded me a lot more of Batman Begins. That and the ending could not have been better! I'm pretty sure Jon and I had the hugest smiles when the movie ended.

Ah, it was so good! I love Christopher Nolan for the fact that no matter how much Jon pays attention, the twists STILL catch him off guard. I was also very proud of myself for 1) making it through the whole movie without a potty break and 2) not going into labor halfway through the film. Whew! That's a pretty amazing feat at 9 months pregnant.

So far it's been a pretty awesome year. Can't wait to see what the second half of 2012 brings our way!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Day of Rings

This past Saturday we had our friends Riley and Summer over for a day of watching all 3 extended editions of LOTR!

Some of you may remember when we first did this back in 2009.

Luckily this year was planned out much better, and it was fun to have another nerdy couple to embark on the adventure with us - because let me tell you, watching three, 4 hr long movies right in a row is no easy task!

We split breakfast, which consisted of hash browns, eggs, bacon and fruit.

Lunch was provided by the Hooper's - delish pastrami/turkey sandwiches!
Snacks included gushers, fruit-by-the-foot, chocolate dipped granola bars, sour cream and onion chips, and bbq chips.

For dinner we made lasagna from scratch with caesar salad and garlic bread. Here is Jon making the salad! So handsome.

We had an awesome time. I love watching these movies. They are SO fantastically done, and it's really fun to laugh about all the cameos and behind-the-scenes trivia as we watch the movies together. JRR Tolkien wrote an AMAZING story. It just made me super excited for The Hobbit coming out this December :)

We also talked about really going all out next year when we do this again. I'm thinking we will theme all the food around the movies, invite a bunch of friends, project it outside and make it an all day party!

And here I am after the 12 hours of movie watching. Officially at 37 weeks!

I was remarking the other day at how much I really have enjoyed being pregnant. I think it's true what a few people told me, that it's really not bad until the last 3 weeks. I can still sleep through the night, but I am feeling a little big and uncomfortable these days. It's nothing to make me hate it, though. I can still paint my toes and sit through a movie at the theater without any bathroom breaks, so even if Baby Alston is late, I'll enjoy as much of the rest of this pregnancy experience as I can! Hopefully he/she will be a LOTR lover too :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Three Hoots for Baby Alston!

Back on June 9th we had our baby shower in Fair Oaks. It turned out wonderful! All of my friends worked so hard to put it together and make it amazing.

Bay was the originator of the shower plans and sent out all the invitations. Sally generously opened up her home for the shower to be hosted there. Jen was the party planning mastermind and spent HOURS working on all the designs, planning, decorating and making sure everything came together. Her ideas were so incredible and everything from the food labels to the advice cards and the prizes for the games was better than I ever could have expected! Candice helped with the crafts and games, Amanda and Noelle pitched in with bringing treats - sorry I didn’t get pictures of the pinwheels or the walnut cookies :( And I’m sure there were others that I’m forgetting, but seriously EVERYONE’S help showed and was much appreciated!

The focal point was definitely the food table. (I mean, c’mon – who doesn’t love to eat??)

There was quite an assortment of treats and deliciousness! All of the cupcakes were vegan, and the inserts were handmade by Candice and Jen. Even the plates were adorable :)

I love love love fresh fruit and veggies with hummus!

These little Russian Crème’s were so cute! I didn’t try one, but I heard they were delicious.

The olive tapenade was super yummy and we even had lemonade (my favorite!)

Jen found these cute striped straws online and has these glass jars for drinks collected in her party stash. Everything was fantastic. I loved the owls!

The bright colors were so fun and cheery and reflected the colors we are doing the baby’s room in.

We played a few games – like everyone sculpting babies out of play-doh, which I then had to judge. That was a tough one! I never knew my friends were so artistic. Everyone was also given a piece of string and had to guess how big around my belly was. It really cracked me up! The winner was Tiani, and Breanne was a close second.

The advice cards were also great. I loved reading through all of them and seeing everyone’s guesses on if we are having a boy or a girl.

Either way, Baby Alston was very spoiled! Everyone really went out of their way to make us homemade gifts, provide us with much needed diapers and wipes, and fantastic must-have items like bath towels, diaper bags, onesies, pacifiers, hospital bag goodies and more. I won’t be able to list or post pictures of EVERYTHING, but all of the gifts were sincerely appreciated. We would not be prepared without all of the help and great support from everyone around us!

-Here are just a few of my favorite cute things-

Bibs from Bay:

Owl quilt from Jen / her mom (this is the main baby’s blanket/bedding. The sheet set we got matches with green, brown and orange polka dots.) It is beautiful appliqué work and I was blown away!

Bathrobe and slippers from my sister-in-law Kelly, brother Josh and their boys :)

And this I just had to share. We were super excited about the bumbo seat – but what is with that kid’s hair?? The baby pictured on the front is like a mini Elvis. Baby toupee anyone? I could NOT stop laughing.

Unfortunately all the pictures I got with friends were on another camera and I haven’t gotten copies of those pictures yet. Hopefully soon! I know there were a lot of people unable to come – which is ok! I appreciate everyone who was there, wanted to be there, and was there in spirit. Everyone’s love was felt!

Friends who were able to come:
Michelle O’Keefe
Amanda Gray
Noelle & Joey
Emma Thurston
Debra Malenovsky
Jody Jensen
Candice Humes
Bay VanWagenen
Britni Nelson
Sally Nelson
Jen Holtry
Jess Spann & Heidi Wright
Kelly Bailey
Katie Roth
Karin Hart
Jenae & Laurie Payne
Valerie Anderson
Amy Douglas
Tiani Taylor
Breanne Weber


Meanwhile – Baby Alston and I have made it to 36 weeks.

We have a ton of doctor’s appointments and baby classes this week. It is also my last week of work! I can’t believe this whole experience has gone by so quickly.

So far I still love being pregnant. It has been one of the neatest experiences ever. I have been SO blessed that baby and I have made it to just about full term, I haven’t gained excessive weight, I still have my ankles, I can sleep through the night just fine, I don’t have weird cravings, I didn’t get gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, and still no stretch marks at all. I’m crossing my fingers that the delivery day goes this smoothly – because basically it looks like I was made to have babies :)

Thank you again to EVERYONE who has loved and supported us so far with our family. We can’t wait to introduce you all to Baby Alston in a few weeks!