Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Home at Christmas

I don't have a Christmas tree decorated (and probably won't), its colder than I think NC should be, and I have yet to wrap the first present. But, it's Christmas and I love this time of year! Even if it may look like I'm trying to boycott the holiday.

I've got a lot going on in my life right now - like moving to a new city and starting a new job. (more on that coming up) I'm going to do all of this in the middle of Christmas parties, family gatherings and church festivities. Oddly enough, I think I operate best when pushed to the max.

But, it has made me nostalgic about Christmases past and all of those things that make Christmas what it is. This song is good for that too.

This song also makes me wish they were going to be in the choir at our Christmas Eve service at church. :)

The pictures below also make me ready for Christmas.

These two little people are my most favorite little people to be around. They are my cousin Kasey's little girls, but I'm not sure I could love them more if they were my own. I'm also not sure if there's anything more fun than kids at Christmas.

That's Allie. She's the oldest and in 1st grade. She's the one that likes to dress up and do the girly stuff. She's the extrovert and has never met a stranger. She likes to play in my make-up bag and thinks its so cool that she knows my phone number and she can call me whenever she feels like it - which she does on a weekly basis to give me a status report on getting green lights in school.

And that's Karlie. The baby that isn't really a baby any more. She's four and adores her big sister unless, of course, they're fighting like siblings do. Karlie's more reserved and less excited about talking to people she doesn't know, but if she does know you she'll get to going and won't stop. I love that she still wants to sit in my lap when she sees me,  but more and more I'm loosing my cool points with her. She would rather have the attention of my boyfriend whom she calls "Whit-i-nee" (Whitney). She pronounces it with 3 syllables. She's told me that he is her boyfriend now. I'm much more welcomed in her house if I bring him with me than when I come alone. 

Kasey and I grew up next door and have always been more like sisters than cousins. I can remember when we were their age. After Santa we headed straight for Grandma and Papa's house for breakfast and to open our stockings they had for us. I have no better memory of Christmas than those mornings.

Although this Christmas is sure to be different - this is our 3rd Christmas without my brother Matt and our first without my Papa - I'm excited about the holidays, traditions and getting to slow down, if only for a minute, and enjoy the people I still have around me.

Because before you know it the kids you thought would never grow up...

...soon do!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Perfect Room for Lily James

It's not a surprise that I'm just a little bit excited about the impending birth of my best friend's first baby, a girl, named Lily James.

She's due the first of January and we've been having the most fun working on the nursery. Megan and I looked at a bunch of different examples in magazines and on other blogs. I loved Erika's, from Urban Grace Interiors, little girl's nursery. Megan found another great inspiration of an adorable nursery in Martha Stewart's magazine. (Unfortunately, I don't have I link to that one.)

She did a great job of having an idea of what she wanted then we went to work to make it happen.

It started with the crib. She wanted this crib, in particular.

My job was to find it, but cheaper. It's a long story that involves Craigslist, multiple emails, a furniture store and a very nice stranger, but needless to say we found that crib - or last year's model which was significantly cheaper, but brand new and exactly what she wanted! It was like Christmas!

Megan's also fortunate to a have a super talented "Aunt Norma" who can sew as good as her mom could. She offered to help Megan make her custom bedding and drapes. We picked out the fabric from Loomcrafters in Burlington. It's the most nondescript fabric store but they have an amazing selection at very reasonable prices.

Her fabric for her crib skirt was my favorite!

Of course, pictures can never really do it justice, but it has a gold thread running through it that makes it pop when you walk in the room.

Aunt Norma even made a matching pillow for the chair.

Aunt Norma did the drapes as well. The fabric was a silk we found on clearance at Printer's Alley. It's the perfect shades of yellow and pink, but it had a grey/blue stripe that complimented the newly painted walls great!

The other major piece of furniture we snagged at a deal was the dresser. 

Megan was torn about whether to use a true changing table/dresser or not, but in the end I think she chose the right piece. This dresser is gorgeous and perfect for a little girl. We found it at a furniture store in High Point that carries pieces that people ordered but decided against. There wasn't a dent or ding on it anywhere! And it looks like it was made to match the crib even though they aren't the same brand!

And now for my most favorite parts of her room.

The only thing Lily James is going to be missing when she arrives in this world is her wonderful grandmother and Megan's mom, Mrs. Donna.

Mrs. Donna was an amazing woman and someone I looked up to like a second mother. Throughout this entire process Megan and I both talked about how much she would have loved to have been working on this nursery.

She was an interior designer and seamstress. I'm sure she would have been our leader shopping for fabrics and picking out furniture if she were still here. But, Megan made sure her touches were going to be all over Lily James' room.

These are the needlepoint characters Megan found in a box at her parent's house. She's not sure what her mom had started them for, but we cut them to fit and framed each one. Then used them as the artwork on the main wall.

A close up. 

They look like they were made for her nursery.

Megan also found another piece of needlepoint her mom had started. To know Mrs. Donna was to know that she always had a hundred projects going on at once. She was also good at getting something started, but not always getting it finished. (I'm just like that).

When Megan found a needlepoint of the alphabet that was almost completed but not entirely she just decided to have it framed as is. It was exactly as Mrs. Donna had left it and exactly as Megan wanted it. The guy at the frame store argued with Megan that she would want to finish it before he framed it, but Megan finally convinced him that she wasn't a crazy pregnant woman and that she knew exactly what she was doing.

The unfinished part is along the bottom, right side. I think it may be my most favorite part of the nursery. Those plates on either side were her mom's china also. The colors matched the nursery colors. I think plates on the wall are perfect!

(Disclaimer: The wall color is this beautiful light blue/grey color. I'm still figuring out this whole picture taking thing and you can tell my lighting is off. The colors just didn't show up as I wanted them to. Some were a bit too dark and when I attempted to lighten them up it would wash out the wall.)

Megan also used the picture of herself that her mom's friend painted of Megan when she was younger. She was an artist and had seen Megan on her bike. She snapped a picture and painted it for Mrs. Donna. It's the same picture Megan had in her bedroom when she was growing up. It's hanging over the crib.

Megan also used a picture of her great aunt Lily - Lily James is her namesake. James is Megan's husband's name.

And her purse from back in the 1920's sits on Lily James' bookshelf along side of her books. How girlie is that?

Overall, it came together so well. I think it's perfect. (I think I've typed "perfect" 100 times already)

I'm amazed at how great it looks and how well Megan pulled everything together. I love that it's so unique and not your traditional "nursery in a bag". 

Here's a look at it all together. 

Plus, a shot of the chandelier. Doesn't every little girl need a chandelier? 

And last but not least, Mrs. Donna's final perfect touch.

Megan also found an entire box of smocked dresses her mom had made for her when she was little. There's a closet full of clothes waiting for Miss Lily James to wear! From the blue dress left are all the dresses that her mom and grandmother hand made. 

Now, all we need is a "perfect" little girl!