Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thankful for Great Friends....and Great Presents, too! (smile)

Another week has passed ridiculously quickly! Everyone told me that as our due date grew closer that time would drag out slower and slower...especially as I'm now more than 9 months pregnant in the hottest of part of the summer. But time has only gone faster now! I absolutely cannot believe that we are only 3 weeks away from our baby girl's due date, that her nursery is all finished and ready for her, blankies are washed and folded, and everything is ready to pack my bag! Not sure why I haven't actually packed it yet, but I'll get around to it. The most fabulous and fun part that has now come and gone: baby shower! 

Kristin, Tanisha, me, Becky & Hope
I've always known I'm very blessed to have the friends I have in my life, but never so much as last Saturday when some of the bestest friends a girl can have gathered to host/attend our baby shower! Hope (college roommate, general BFF, the Rachel to my Monica, or vice versa, depending on the day!), Kristin (another fabulous Belmont bestie), Tanisha (fantastic, dependable, great to have on your side, takes incredible care of those she loves) Becky (one of my preceptors when I became a nurse, polar opposite to me in the best way) and Kimmie (friend, yep, step-daughter but more like sisters because we are SO freakishly alike sometimes) all came together to host the most fabulous baby shower a girl could ever hope to have! The party took place at our house, which I must say is the BEST idea ever as it was soooo nice to just take everything up the stairs to the nursery rather than load a car, unload a car, etc! Plus, this pretty much forced Steve to be there for parts of it (which I know he enjoyed whether he'll actually admit it or not) and even Annabelle's brother in law, Clay, joined in on the fun (not sure he actually had the absolute greatest time ever, but there was food and it was extremely thoughtful of him to come). It was really fantastic to have family friends I've known literally my whole life, high school friends, college friends, friends I met through Steve, family and even my CMC friends whom I truly miss seeing all come together to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our little Annabelle. It's a wonderful feeling in itself to be so excited about our baby girl, but to see so many others excited about her, too, really warms our hearts and brings tears to my eyes sometimes. I know that we are truly blessed to have these people in our lives, and for Annabelle to grow up having them in her life, too. 

Great-Granny, Mommy & Nana (to be)
Adorable gift from Kimmie & Clay
That's all the sentiment for now, my screen is going blurry on me, so I'll skip the rest of what I'm thinking, go with a big THANK YOU to everyone and move on to the photos!
Sweet little dress from
Annabelle's GREAT Granny!

Annabelle's Nana made this GORGEOUS bassinet for her!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Nursery Is Complete!

This has been maybe the best week I've ever had...ever! It started with Leigh Ann Agee & ended with a fabulous baby shower, but I'll save that for another post as I don't have photos yet!
I finally feel like our sweet baby girl can make her grand entrance as she now has a truly magical place to sleep! There are so many things going on right now that I never, ever in a million years imagined! The biggest is that if anyone had told me last August that in one year we would be only 4 weeks away from the birth of a sweet little baby, I would never have believed it! Sometimes I still have to look down at my ever so round belly just to make sure it's real, and of course other times, she makes her presence known all on her own reminding me just how real this is! Something else that I would have never imagined is that a nursery could be so perfect! And I can't take any credit for it at all! It's hard for some people to believe, but my hubby actually has incredible taste, especially when it comes to his girls. As I said before, his idea for the arrangement of the nursery ended up being perfect (after several of my failed ideas), he actually chose all but one piece of the furniture and, most importantly, he hired Leigh Ann Agee to paint the most beautiful room I've ever seen!!
Annabelle's nursery before Leigh Ann

Most everyone is aware of my obsession with Paris; both of us truly adore it there! So, naturally, I wanted Annabelle (now that her arrival is only 4 weeks away, I feel ok using her name, so that's it!) to have a nursery that reflected our favorite place. We initially planned to have an Eiffel Tower above her crib in the distance and to make the whole room look like a Parisian park. Leigh Ann loved the idea, but needed another focal point for the opposite wall, which my genius husband immediately thought should be a carousel as there is a gorgeous one right by the Eiffel Tower, as well as in the Tuileries Gardens & Luxembourg Gardens, which we also love! SO...that was the plan! Right up until Leigh Ann had the idea to do a canvas with the carousel so that one day when we move, we don't have to leave everything about her nursery behind on the walls. Genius!! SO, I then started emailing her some our favorite pics from Paris, and the next thing we know, she has painted a truly incredible oil that Annabelle can have in her room forever (or until she wants boys on the wall instead)! We both are totally in love with the painting and can't believe that she a) painted it from a photo so perfectly without ever visiting Paris or b) has never done oils before! I find it really unfair that one person is allowed SO much talent while I can't even draw a stick man!

Once the oil was finished and we decided where to put it, it was back to the drawing board for the space about the crib. I again started sorting through some of my fav pics of Paris and just let Leigh Ann choose what she felt like painting! I know that her taste far exceeds mine, so we would love anything she decided on! She ended up using a photo of another Parisian park, Place du Vosges, for above the crib. And I love that it's painted from a photo that I took! So I did have a tiny little part in Annabelle's nursery!

The rest of the room, we just asked that she paint whatever she felt like, and we love it all! I was initially totally against any animal that wouldn't be found in a park setting, but Steve & my mom both thought Annabelle needed some sleepy lambs on one wall (we had seen LA's sleepy lambs before), so I finally caved and let her paint the lambs, and I'm so glad I did! They have ended up being one of my favorite parts of the room! It helps that she wrote "bonne nuit" along with the lambs, which means "good night" in French!

So, that's the explanation of this week's painting of the nursery! I'm completely amazed every time I walk in, I feel like I'm seeing something that I haven't noticed before, so I'm just going to post a TON of pics to try to capture it all! Hopefully next weekend, Annabelle's bathroom will be finished, I can't wait to see what she comes up with for it!
I love the music notes!

Leigh Ann likes to paint "critters"!

My favorite is the baby duck at the end!

The sweet pic of Macy in the cabinet was a gift from Leigh Ann! Also an oil!
Annabelle's Nursery, complete with bassinet made by her Nana!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Paint-Beach-Paint-Baby Shower-Paint-Baby Shower-Paint...

We've been working really quite hard lately to get everything together for a sweet baby SAS's nursery. I know, if we weren't such procrastinators, we wouldn't have to be doing so much right here near the end, but, that's just what we do! We were initially supposed to have it all together the beginning of July, but with all of our family visiting and vacay in June, it just didn't happen. So, we moved the muralist to the beginning of August, which should have given us plenty of time...which is why we (my Mom) have been working our little fingers to the bone right up until earlier tonight...but, here's what we've been doing leading up to now!

Nursery Paint: Take 1
We ordered her bedding what seems like ages ago and chose the paint colors for her nursery based on that, carefully matching them to the wall that we so love in the Plaid Rabbit. We bought the paint, taped off the room and Mom started to work on the ceiling a week before vacation and thought she would finish the walls when we all came back home again. Then we decided to get the room crown moulded, which meant she needed to finish the walls ASAP so that the moulding could go on top, so of course my sweet mama worked like mad to get finished before vacation. And then we didn't like the color. At all. Leigh Ann (our sweet, wonderful, talented muralist) came over to look at it just to make sure we had done the right thing and her exact words were "Y'all, this is AWFUL"!!! So....back to the drawing board! But, before we completely started over again: BEACH!
Shoal Bay East, Anguilla

A few years ago, Mom, Dad, Steve & I all went to Anguilla for a vacay and we all completely fell in love with the beautiful little island. When trying to decide where we wanted to go for our "last holiday", I thought it should be somewhere that's kind of more difficult to get to, that we'd be less likely to take on once the baby arrived, and since we love Anguilla, and it's a pain to get there, that's what we chose! And naturally, Mom & Dad weren't going to let us go without them as they loved it there so much the first time. So, the third week of July, off we went! I was a bit nervous about the journey as it meant a nearly 4 hour flight at 31 weeks pregnant and I just knew there was no way I'd be comfy on the plane, but thank the Lord  for US Air preferred status, we were all upgraded to business class and all my worries about the travel disappeared. I guess I should have been nervous about the 45 minute boat ride we had to take from St Martin across open water to a 28 foot a downpour...with ocean swells bigger than the boat...that, only a few hours later became a tropical storm! But, we made it and by the next morning, the weather was sunny and perfect and stayed that way for the next 9 days for us! We stayed in a gorgeous little villa on the beach at Mead's Bay where we spent all day, every day alternating between beach chair, sea and pool. We celebrated Mom's birthday with couples massages on our patio overlooking the Caribbean, had some of the most wonderful meals ever and just had a very peaceful, relaxing time! Thankfully the boat ride back to St Martin was completely uneventful and we were all upgraded again! I had been a bit nervous that SAS would decide to come while we on a tiny island with only very basic medical care, but obviously that was not the case! Thank you, sweet baby girl for staying put!

Mom's Birthday at The Straw Hat
It was nice to come back home from vacation and still have a few days that Steve didn't have to work. That meant we could just relax together and spend some time shopping for our sweet girl. One of our new favorite places has become a little shop on the square in Franklin called It's Vintage, Baby. We went in one afternoon just to look around and ended up coming away with basically her entire layette! I of course had to immediately wash and iron all of the tiny little adorable pieces and they are now all in little rows in her cabinet just waiting for her!

The weekend after we returned home, we were given a lovely baby shower at the church where I grew up which put us much closer to being ready for her arrival! Finally, we have diapers! I had bought 2 packs, but that was all. It's just a lot more fun to buy cute stuff! That same night, we celebrated my great-grandmother MawMaw Fisher's  97th birthday. What a day!!!

Once the vacation and first baby shower were over, back to the painting! Mom spent all one day this week repainting the ceiling and walls of the nursery only to have us decide that we no longer like the color of the trim (remember, the crown moulding has just been installed and painted). She kind of gave us an evil look when we mentioned painting all the trim in the nursery and bathroom pink, so Steve called some painter friends of his and they came out the next 3 nights to take care of it for us! I think they thought we were a bit nuts for wanting every surface in her little room pink, but that is actually what Leigh Ann suggested from the beginning, we were just a bit hesitant. Once they had it finished, I think they loved it as much as we do! And that's what we did all last week!

Aunt Glynda, Mom, Me, Tiffany & Kayla
On Saturday, my wonderful Aunt Glynda and cousins Tiffany & Kayla hosted a fabulous baby shower for little SAS and me. It was really nice to get together with the family that, as Tiffany said, we just don't get to see enough! Everyone was so sweet & generous and we are now another step closer to being ready for her. She received her most special gift so far today: a pink baby afghan made by MawMaw Fisher! She had help from four other people to complete the project, so our sweet little girl will have something that five people in her family worked on for her! How special! On top of the wonderful gifts, we had a really delicious lunch and (insert shameless plug here) adorable cupcakes made by Kayla (! Thank you everyone for such a special day!

Steve's baby teddy bear on MawMaw's afghan

As the title of this blog is "Paint-Beach-Paint-Baby Shower-Paint-Baby Shower-Paint..." obviously there's one more thing missing...another day of painting! Mom came home with me after the baby shower to finish getting everything together so that the muralist can come first thing Monday to do the walls! I can't believe she's been so willing to spend sooooo much time on a ladder with a roller in hand, but I guess that just show's that a Nana will do anything for little SAS! As will a Daddy & a Grandpop who spent their day today assembling her crib, hanging her chandelier, unassembling the crib because I thought the mattress was too low, reassembling it, which left the mattress too high, and doing all one more time, leaving the mattress in the perfect spot! We then spent what felt like hours putting her bedding on and tying all the little bows. At this point, I wasn't entirely sure I liked the placement of her furniture, so then Daddy & Steve patiently moved everything from place to place to place.

We eventually settled on where everything should live. I promised Steve this is where I would mention that it's all exactly where he thought it should be in the first place and if I'd just listened to him, everyone would have been saved a lot of furniture moving! It's a bit annoying that his taste is better than mine some (most) of the time!!! And of course while I supervised the movement of furniture, my wonderful Mom spent one last evening painting the walls and ceiling of the bathroom. It's taken a lot of time, batting of eyelashes, and redoing of things, but finally her nursery is all put together!!! After next week, the walls will be completely finished and it will all be ready for her! Well, at least it will be after we get the windows covered to suit us! Having the walls, ceiling and trim all pink left us hating the cream colored blinds in her room, so we've now decided to have pink plantation shutters, but we still have 6 whole weeks until her due date, which should be plenty of time...