Sunday, December 29, 2013

Baisden's First Christmas

This year, we spent Christmas in the mountains...six people, one baby and eight dogs. It was wonderfully chaotic! Baisden enjoyed Christmas morning and wasn't as overwhelmed with it as I thought she would be. She really could have cared less about the presents (well, most of them)...we should have just given her boxes, bows and tissue paper!

Probably the most successful gift was a little keyboard from my dad. She immediately took to it, as we suspected. She really loves music and started "dancing" as soon as we turned it on. On Christmas Eve, we had some friends come over and they played the fiddle and the harmonica. B was in heaven! Then my mom pulled out her guitar and we sang a few Emmy Lou Harris tunes. Yes, this is what we mountain folk do around the fire :)

She also got an Anywhere Chair, her first baby, some beautiful ballerina sketches a la my sister and lots of other little goodies. Here she is with her Bitty Baby.

Of course, my mom cooked the most amazing food over the holidays...I'm always so disappointed once we return to Atlanta and my cooking doesn't taste as good as hers!

Josh and I got to do a little hiking in Dupont State Forest and it was really enjoyable. We visited Triple Falls and High Falls sans little one in tow. 

We also ventured to the big city (Asheville) for dinner with some old friends at Rhubarb. It was delicious and the company was even better than the food.

Then we packed up (thank goodness for Josh's truck) and came back to Atlanta with all of our loot. I snapped some sort of "official" first Christmas pictures of B this morning before we tackle taking the tree down. My little Christmas angel!

Next up, planning Baisden's 1st birthday party! We are keeping it a very simple, family affair. I've gone back and forth on the decision to do it big or keep it small, but ultimately decided that small will be better for the birthday girl. Stay tuned for details on the bumble bee themed party for our B!

Friday, December 27, 2013

11 Months

It's crazy that this is the 11th monthly post on our little B. Like each one before it, this month flew by and brought so many fun memories with our girl. I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that she will be 1 year old in one month's time. How does that happen?

Like all parents, we are amazed every day at the new things she is learning and seems to understand. B is completely full of herself. Someone once told me if you have an unhappy baby, you are likely to have a happy toddler, and although I wouldn't classify B as a toddler quite yet, I'm thinking this will hold true for us. She is so darn happy these days and we are loving it!

She has started to perform and do things that she knows make us laugh. Like sporadically shaking her head no and scrunching up her face and breathing loudly through her nose. I think she's gotten her daddy's sense of humor. She is always making us laugh.

She is not yet walking but is cruising all over the house. She loves playing on the edge of the stairs and pulling up on the stair railing. She will climb up the whole staircase in no time at all. While climbing, she makes the sweetest little sing-song type of noise like she's humming as she's a-workin'. She is SO FAST.

She is saying "da-da" (I'm not sure she has linked the word with dad yet though) and all other kinds of blabber but I haven't heard anything that sounds like a real word. She will, however, make noises to imitate us and has some hilarious sounds in her vocabulary. She shakes her head no like it's her job. 

The day after Thanksgiving, we went to the cutest Christmas tree farm in Cumming. I was nervous about the tree, ornaments and our little rascal, so we put in out of the way in our dining room. She loves looking at the ornaments, but hasn't tried to attack it like I thought she would. We have one ornament that looks like Oliver and another like Buster and she loves when I point those out. She will grin and giggle.

She is still obsessed with the dogs and we are very fortunate that our dogs are patient with her. She will completely clear Buster's back while he is laying down, bury her face into his fur and come back for more. Oliver is a bit more fragile so we keep a close eye on these two together.

She has started giving great hugs around the neck. It is the sweetest thing. She also loves to play with my hair...ponytails don't stand a chance!

Baisden is a daddy's girl. She loves everyone, but has a special place for her daddy and gives him the biggest grins. She is a mama's girl too and sometimes has melt downs when I walk away. B really doesn't have fear of strangers yet though. The other day we ran into a store and she reached for the shop owner as she greeted us. Luckily the woman was flattered and took her. I was thrilled to shop without someone grabbing at everything! I am shocked at how quickly B can get to things. I underestimate the length of those arms!

Baisden absolutely loves music. She is really into singing and any type of instrument. She got a keyboard, a xylophone and a little drum for Christmas. So far, the keyboard is a huge hit.

She is still really into her books. She will play and play on the floor with them. Opening and closing them. Kissing the pages and chewing on the corners. Brown Bear, Brown Bear is her favorite and she will freeze in her tracks as soon as she hears the intro. Her attention span with this book is remarkable. She cracks me up with Pat the Bunny...she's learned to do all the things in the book. My favorite part is when we get to the mirror, so I asked Josh to film it the other day so I could remember it.

We are so lucky to have so many other friends with babies around the same age. Baisden loves playing with all of her boyfriends, and of course, adores the big girls! I'm thankful for the mama camaraderie and advice from those in the parenting boat.

We also went to visit Santa this month. I was prepared for it to be a scream fest, and secretly wanted that classic reaction to the big guy in red. Baisden gave us lots of different expressions...from interested to sort of smiling to flat out melt down. It was hard not to laugh.

B continues to be a great eater. She really doesn't turn much away. Sometimes if she's over something, she will spit it out and shake her head "no." Her portions are insane. I marvel at how much food she can put away, shoveling morsels in with both hands. If she's shoving food in her mouth, she is happy. Needless to say, we have snacks tucked away wherever you look. I've started introducing whole milk, which she has taken very well to. I made it a personal goal to nurse until she is a year old. I'm very happy that we've made it this long, but am ready to be finished at this point.

Baisden, you crack us up with your determination, sense of humor and intensity. You have kept us smiling, laughing and crying for a wonderful 11 months, baby girl!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Sister's Wedding - Brevard, North Carolina

It's hard to believe that this was almost 6 months ago. I've been meaning to share pictures from my sister and her hubby's wedding for a while now. It was so beautiful and special. Helping plan a wedding was a nice variation on my usual of planning corporate events. My mom, sister and I had a great time working on this together. Although Josh and I also got married at my parent's home in North Carolina, we wanted Rachel and Eric's to have a completely different feel. Which it did. It was perfect. All of the photographs are by the very talented Ashlee Culverhouse

The ceremony was held on a cleared knoll in the pasture overlooking the mountains, just past the reception tent. I should also mention that this was the most perfectly beautiful summer day. With such a damp season, we got super lucky. We swear Maughi had something to do with that!

My dad built a split rail log cross for the alter like he did for our wedding. It almost looked like it belonged there! We anchored it with large stones and dressed it with enormous ferns. I got to take these back to Atlanta with me and they are currently in my basement to hopefully survive the winter. Distressed copper containers lined the aisle and housed natural greenery, fern and hydrangea.

We created an entryway into the tent with an old planting table, large ferns and an oversized lantern. Rachel really wanted a romantic feel so we used lanterns in the trees, on the food stations, basically everywhere we could.

On the entry table was a nontraditional guest book. I copied this idea from a girlfriend's wedding (Christie, I'm looking at you). We included post cards from all the different cities to which Rachel and Eric had connections. We greened everything up with succulents in rustic pots.

For the guest tables, we used a combination of highboys and cocktail tables. We added some height to the cocktail tables with airy but effective arrangements, and kept the highboys simple with a compilation of succulents in pots.

More lanterns, which we hung from the trees with jute rope. I have a memory of standing near this tree with my screaming 5 month old strapped on me in the  Baby Bjorn as my dad hung the lanterns and lovingly cursed us for raiding every single HomeGoods within a 300 mile radius. :)

Now onto the food. It was just as delicious as it was beautiful. The food was a joint effort by my mom's catering partner in Brevard and Jan McCord Catering out of Fort Valley, Georgia.

We had a double sided station with all sorts of goodness and then two large cheese stations, which were to die for. We used a combination of white china, rustic wooden bowls and family silver for vessels. 

Eric is a popcorn nut, so my dad lent his movie theater popcorn machine for guests to enjoy. 

And the cakes! The groom's cake by Jan McCord was, of course, absolutely incredible. Chocolate with blackberries. What I would give for a big slice of that right now!

And here is the happy couple! They left the ceremony on one of my parent's mules and it was so hysterically cute. Rachel wasn't too keen on this idea initially, but I think Eric talked her into it. I love this shot of them. Rachel looked so elegant (isn't her dress to die for!) and Eric was so handsome (isn't his tux to die for too!).

And one of our little family. Based on Baisden's history, I was very anxious about her behavior at the wedding. Josh asked the pastor (who also married us) to place some fatherly love on her prior to the ceremony and it must have done the trick. She didn't really lose it until it was very late and she was flat tuckered out.

Such a wonderful weekend celebrating family and love! We had a ball planning this and had so many great helpers alongside to assist in making it all happen.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Laundry Room Project

Well, it took 3 months to get to it my but I've finally completed my laundry room project. It was pretty simple, involving only hanging some prints and sewing a laundry skirt for my sorry little sink. I've had the fabric for months, but the sewing part was very intimidating to me. The only sewing I've done has been to replace buttons or tack on feathers to make a chicken costume.

My inspiration for the project was a box pleat skirt in a similar style of fabric. Mom helped me figure out the box pleats, and after some measuring, guessing and testing, we approached the sewing machine. Mom is a pro and walked me through it. It was fun and I'm so pleased with the final product!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Baby Sketch

If you follow me on Instagram, this is repetitive but I had to share what my mom did for me about a week ago. I swear this woman has some mad talent...and I'm kind of bitter that she didn't pass it along to me :) I think she's planning to practice a little while longer and then put these on her Etsy shop.

Pretty sweet, right?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dinner on the Diamond - Turner Field Event

Here is a closer look at the event we did a couple weeks ago at Turner Field, amid this week of event craziness. Although it was chilly, it was a really great evening for 600 special guests who got to enjoy the exclusive experience of dinner on the diamond.

As if being on the field wasn't enough, the guests got to participate in batting practice, tours of the Braves locker room, pose for pictures in the dugout, run the bases and compete in a talent show.

Stilt walkers and hawkers greeted the guests as they hopped off of the buses to create a real baseball style atmosphere. Below is the view from the stage - we even brought in a lounge grouping for the judges of the talent show.

Our client ordered all kinds of items for the tables which doubled as takeaways for the guests. Thank goodness Miley Cyrus did not get her hands on one of the foam fingers :)

The Tomahawk Team and Homer also mingled with the guests, distributing custom t-shirts to everyone.

We also had a custom 3D frame constructed for the guests to pose in - the photo opp was a huge draw.

I should also mention that the guests were so. much. fun. They came dressed up for the talent show and gave it their all while on stage. Sales people are very entertaining!

I mentioned in the previous post that this was the most challenging event I'd ever planned. That mostly stemmed from the importance of the grass to the game of baseball...I swear that it must be laced with platinum! Even after years of planning events, I learn something from every single program I work on. I'm amazed at the new circumstances that come up again and again, no matter how much you feel you've done. Keeps me on my toes!

All photos courtesy of Northlight Photography.