The Life of Jennifer Dawn: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Family Photo Session with Lori Johnson

In honor of Lydia Grace turning three and Eli turning 6 months, we decided to have the fabulous Lori Johnson do a family photo shoot.  She really is a miracle worker because in between Lydia Grace deciding that she was "all done with pictures" and Eli spitting up all over himself, Tim and me...she still manage to take some great photos.  What a lovely, patient woman you are, Lori!

Lori is the face behind the blog Chickadees Everything Blog.  I would direct you to her fabulous Etsy shop, but she is taking a little break right now from Etsy because--I hope she doesn't mind me telling you--she is expecting a little one!  Just in case you missed her guest post from last August, you can click here to see the amazing tutorial she shared with us then.  

Thank you so much, Lori, for taking these photos for us! 

Our Family

Sweet Siblings

Lydia Grace

Up, up, and away!

Kisses and Smiles with Eli

*All photos for this post were taken by Lori Johnson.
Happy Spring!



Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's Eli's Half Birthday!

Tim and I both wrote letters to Eli today.  He is now six months old--too young to read the letters at this point in his little life, but hopefully they will be very meaningful to him someday.  Here they are...

 Dear Eli,
     You are six months old today!  Where does the time go?  Six months ago I held you in my arms for the first time.  I will never forget the moment I first looked at your sweet face.  Tears were streaming down my face as the word FINALLY kept running through my mind.  Finally I had another sweet baby to hold in my arms.  Finally I had another wonderful blessing in my life.  I remember when I first learned we were going to be blessed with you.  I was so in love with you already, but also so scared of loosing you like I had the two pregnancies before you.  How amazing our God is!  What a blessing you and your sister are!  You both are so special to me for so many reasons!  Your sweet smile lights up my days.  May you never loose that delightfully happy spirit.  You gaze at the world and everyone around you with such curiosity.  May you never loose your inquisitive nature.  I love watching you grow and learn.  Right now you are rolling over and scooting around trying desperately to keep up with your sissy who you seem to absolutely adore.  Soon enough you will be playing right along with her.  Witnessing all your milestones is truly amazing!  Boy, how you are growing and how you can eat!  You are already in 12 month clothing and gobble down every bottle and bit of food you are given.  You are even holding your own bottle now.  Well, sometimes...most times you prefer to be held and snuggled when you have a bottle, but you have successfully held it all on your own.  Although you love to eat, your favorite activity seems to be reading a book together.  How you love to sit in front of me and play with the pages as I read.  How I love to read to you!  Oh, how I love just being with you!  Sweet boy, may your always know how much you are loved.  This is only the beginning of your beautiful life!

All my love,

Dear Eli,
     I can't believe it has already been six months since the day you were born.  You have grown and learned so much since then.  I thought Lydia was little until you graced us with your presence, and now she seems so big.  It has been amazing to watch your development, and I continue to wonder every day what types of interests you will develop and how you will continue to develop over the course of your life.  I hope I am a great example to you on how to be a great man one day.  Please know that through everything, the good and the bad, I will always love you, and I apologize in advance if I ever come across as too hard on you.  I just want to help you develop into the best you can be.  I will always love you and look forward to all the future father/son moments we will enjoy together.  Happy Six Months Day!

                                                                                                                 Your Father

Happy Half Birthday, Eli!  We love you!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Knot Dress

 I finished this Knot Dress a couple of days ago.  It was a custom order for a close friend and her lovely daughter!

Knot Dresses seem to be all the rage right now.  They really are great though because you can easily adjust the knots allowing the dress to grow with your child.  I plan on making one for Lydia Grace now.  Well, as soon as I get my sewing machine serviced.  It messed up on me just as I was finishing this dress.  Ugh!  Might be time for a backup...
Have you crafted or created anything lately?



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Break

I was on Spring Break this past week.  I have a fantastic group of kids this year, but it was a well-needed break from work.  I'll just leave it at that.  
As excited as I was to be on break, the week certainly had a few low points though--losing Eli's stuffed lion at the zoo that he has slept with every night since he was born, a much anticipated trip falling through, a stressful incident that I will spare you the details...
I think I put way too much stock into my breaks.  Being a working mom, I am so desperate for quality time off with my kids that when I finally do get a break from work, I want everything to go perfectly.  Reality is that things don't always go perfectly.
Do you want to know what was perfect?  The precious moments that I got to spend with these two...

Yes, I've been crying AGAIN while typing this post--just like after every other break when I have to return to work.  I'm sorry.  I don't mean to throw a pity party each time.  I'm just madly in love with my kids, and as much as I love my job it really does crush me that I don't get to spend the time with them that I would like.  It felt like I saw them more this past week than I have the whole time since returning to work after my maternity leave.  My fellow working mommas, do you ever have these same feelings?
I hugged and kissed my kids so much this past week.  There were times when it was just the three of us, and I tried to hold them so tightly and just soak up every second.  All the while, trying to capture mental pictures in my head that I would carry with me upon returning to work--Lydia Grace's spiral curls bouncing around, the softness of Eli's little forehead each time I kissed it, L.G. looking up at me and saying, "I love you, mommy", Eli's little hands tightly clinging onto me...
These are the memories that I will carry with me in my heart tomorrow.
These moments were perfect!



Happy Sunday


Friday, March 23, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

Do you remember when I said I was going to make Eli's baby food?
Well, that's just what I've been doing.  Although, I was a bit intimidated by the process in the beginning, I've learned that it really is very easy and a lot of fun to make your own baby food!  
The first baby food creation...
Organic carrots!
Eli loved them!  (I have to confess that Tim and I tried them, too--just to see what they tasted like.  They were actually pretty tasty.  Please don't think I'm crazy for trying his baby food.  I just wanted to know what was going into my sweet baby's mouth.) When Eli finished eating, he grabbed the bowl and began looking for more.  
Since making the carrot baby food, I have also made bananas, pears, and green beans!  Eli has loved them all!  
Let me tell you...this boy can eat!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Little Bit About Me

Here are just a few things you should know about me if we are going to be BFF...

1. I love (Are you ready for this list?) all things girly, music, evenings relaxing on the front porch, warm weather, cheesecake, the color pink, shopping, pedicures, fashion, clothes, crafts, sewing, art, photography, poetry, decorating, books, cooking, animals, travel, tennis, wildflowers, playing piano...  I'll stop.  Let's just say that I have many interests and hobbies.  
2. I don't eat meat.  Yes, I'm a vegetarian.  Not vegan...just vegetarian.  I'll save further explanation on this for another post.  You wouldn't believe the questions I get from this confession.  Well, maybe you would.  They are probably the same questions that are running through your mind right now.  Again, we will save more on this for another day.
3. Here's an even more shocking revelation.  I tend to be very leery of technology.  I know.  I know.  I blog and do the whole social network thing, but technology and I take a little warming up before we are able to get along with each other.  My parents are the ones who bought me my first DVD player and told me to "get with the program" and let go of VHS.  When the hubby first started talking about getting a Blue-ray player, I looked at him like he was crazy.  Sometimes all the tweeting, facebooking, posting, chiming, pinning, liking, a bit overwhelming.  I am also pretty sad about the whole e-book craze.  In my opinion, nothing!  I repeat...nothing beats sitting down at the end of the day in a comfy chair with a cup of tea in one hand and a good book in the other hand--a book with actual pages.

4.  I use interrobangs (!?) and ellipses (...) way too much when I write or blog.  Sorry.

5. I'm a perfectionist along with being hopelessly OCD and a complete neat freak.  I apparently wipe my kitchen counters down multiple times while cooking and don't even realize it.  I go nuts if my house starts to build up the tiniest bit of clutter.  In fact, I was a little nuts today because the house was terribly messy.  Thanks goodness for spring cleaning and spring breaks!

6.  I love Jesus Christ with all of my heart.  He is my savior and my strength.

7.  I fiercely love my kids.  It still breaks my heart to leave them each day when I go to work.  My mornings usually consist of tears and pep talks from my momma as I drive to work each morning.

8.  Speaking of mommas...I love mine!  She is more than just my mom.  She is my friend, my constant cheerleader, and my role model for the type of mother that I want to be.  If you see me on my cell in the mornings, I am talking to her.  For that matter, if you see me on my cell at all...I'm probably talking to her.

9. Like any true Southern girl, I still call my father, "Daddy."  My daddy has always been an excellent example of hard work and perseverance.  I appreciate all he has done for his family.
10.  I dream BIG!  I pray that someway, somehow God will use this little life to make a difference in this great, big world.

11.  I am a G.R.I.T.S. through and through.  If I have to explain what that is...darlin' you obviously ain't from 'round here.

12.  I strive to be a loyal, loving friend.  Just thought you should know that...
since we are going to be BFF!

Now, leave me a comment and tell me something fascinating about you.  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Matching Necktie Onesie and Ruffle Skirt

The other day I sewed Eli and Lydia Grace matching outfits.  A necktie onesie for Eli and a ruffle skirt for Lydia Grace.  The looked darling together in their matching aqua and polka dots!  We had their pictures made wearing these two handmade creations.  I'll share those soon. For now, here are the onesie and the skirt without the cute kids! ;)

Want to make your own?
Necktie Onesie Tutorial
Ruffle Skirt Tutorial

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Has Sprung in the Etsy Shop!

Here are my newest crafty creations!
It's the...
Spring Bling Collection!
Cabochon Jewelry and Accessories for Ladies and Girls
I would love for you to stop by the shop to see my new spring collection of cabochon accessory items.

Happy spring!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's March 17!  Time to get out your green!  I just wanted to take a minute or two--before I dive into some fun with the kiddos today--to wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day and to show you a custom order I did last year for this very occasion.

In a green mood now?
Have a great day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blog Swap: Meet Biz from Busy Biz Blogs

It's a swap!  Biz from Busy Biz Blogs will be spending some time with you today.  I am over in her lovely corner of Blogland.  I know that you will love what she has to show you today.  Biz is a very talented lady, but even more than that she is an amazing mother, wife, and friend.  I am blessed to have met her through blogging and even more blessed to be able to call her my friend!  Here's Biz!

Hi Everyone!

I'm Biz from Busy Biz Blogs.

I felt so blessed when Jennifer asked me to come over and share my most recent craft project with ya'll.
I am the wife of an Air Force Officer and I am blessed to be a stay at home mom to my beautiful baby girl Bitsy.
With all the transition in our lives, adding a baby is a lot of change, finding time to craft was a challenge at first.
We are a little over 5 months in and I'm finally starting to feel like a normal human again, most days!
This is a craft that isn't too complicated or time consuming (as sometimes with little ones you don't have the luxury of time)

Today I am going to share with you my Blarney Rag Wreath.
(JUST IN TIME for St. Patrick's Day!)

Here is What You'll Need:

 3 heart shaped wire wreath frames 
(you could do 4 if you want to make a 4 leaf clover, I opted for 3)

1 yard each of 2 types of green fabric.
(or 2 yards of one green fabric OR 3/4 a yard of 3 types of green fabric, you get the gist) 

I got all my supplies at Hobby Lobby, but I've seen these heart wreath frames at most craft stores near the floral section.

Fold your fabric in half long ways.

Fold in half long ways again.

Now cut 1" strips in the fabric.

You'll have strips like this when your done.
(Save 3 or 4 of these longs'll need them for your stem)

these strips were a little long...oops
 Cut each of those strips into 5 pieces.

You should end up with strips that are approx 1"x 7"

 Figure out how you'd like to lay out our clover.

Then starting in the center, start tying your strips of fabric on.

As you can see you'll want to tie your hearts together at first.

Once that is done you'll start tying the fabric around 2 bars at a time.

 Knot it once...

 ....and then twice.

 Alternating fabric colors as you so choose :)

The final touch is to add your stem.

Take your extra long pieces that you saved from earlier and loop them through your back two adjoining hearts.

You'll have 6-8 long streamers hanging down.

At this point you can gather them haphazardly and braid them together.

(Sorry I didn't get better pictures of this part)

When you are done you may want to go around the edges and clean up or sharpen them.

I trimmed up a little and here was my final result!

 And there you have it!

Your very own St. Patrick's Day Wreath.

I just want to thank Jennifer so much for having me over today.

Jennifer is such a wonderful friend to have here in blogland.

I feel so blessed each and every time I stop by to visit her and check on her little ones!

It's crazy that our babies are nearly the same age and growing so quickly!

I hope you all feel as blessed by her as I do!

Feel free to come by my place anytime you fact I'm hosting a give away if you are feeling lucky?!