our life now

Today, life at our house changed forever, and–I think–for the better. At 7:46 pm, Hazel Madeline Smith was born. While I was in labor, Nora wrote Hazel a message in my notebook. Jeff helped her spell it, but I think the idea and the words are all Nora.

There’s something so difficult but so incredibly magical about a three-year-old opening up room in her life for a new baby sister. I can’t wait to see their relationship grow, and I can’t believe how lucky I am they’re both mine.

Progress! (nursery edition)

You guys probably haven’t noticed (because I can’t imagine that anyone really cares), but I have been checking stuff off my before-the-baby-comes house list like crazy. Blake has been awesome, and Sarah and E have helped a ton as well. Thank goodness for tax refunds, too.
I took some (confusingly blurry) photos of Nora’s spruced-up room with her new bed and rug. I haven’t reassembled the crib yet to put in there, but we have measured everything out and the new furniture arrangement will fit the crib if we take out the rocker and the easel. I’m not sure if the magnitude of this discovery is clear, but our rooms are pretty tiny and I am VERY excited that it’s going to work to have the girls share the upstairs bedroom.
As a reminder, the before photos are here. It’s not so much a redecorating as it is a rearranging. Still, it means a lot of work and Nora is super excited about her big bed (and about her future roommate).

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Love, Jeremy

Nora, you have touched so many people during your short life with your smile and your sweetness and your humor. Today at Jeremy’s funeral I was reminded that you had touched him as well. Here‘s what he said about it, in case no one keeps his blog going in his absence.
I looked on the face of God.
I have a new favorite wallpaper. This is Nora. She is Blake and Lisa

Craft Lake City review

I find it’s most helpful to review an event two months after it happens, so that everyone who might once have cared has already forgotten about it. That’s why I’m telling you now how much I loved Craft Lake City!
The craft booths were everything I wished the disappointing shopping at Swiss Days and Peach Days would be. Instead of seeing the same vinyl cutouts and magnet boards at every booth, there were tons of alternative and/or slightly subversive crafts, and fun and unusual fabrics galore.
Here are photos of my (reasonably priced) booty:

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1. A skirt for Nora for next summer, from Noelle O Designs.
2. A horse finger puppet from Nifty Kidstuff, which has the cutest details–like a bright green lining to match the bridle.
3. My mom shopped Nifty Kidstuff too, and found Nora a doll that she can practice fasteners on. Nora named her Betsy Buttons, after this book. (Seriously, this girl makes so many cute things. How much do I want this little fabric sewing machine for Nora?)
4. Grandma also bought Nora some cute hair ties with fabric-covered buttons, but unfortunately they didn’t have any maker-identifying packaging.
5. I had a hard time tracking down these ribbon-covered hair clips online (they’re just marked ‘am’), but I think the buttons covered with Japanese fabrics are darling, and they inspired me to make my own ribbon clips.
6. This little yellow papier-mache bird was an impulse buy at Beehive Bazaar, and I love having him on my mantel.
I also loved the fascinators and headbands from Its The Little Things, but I didn’t have enough cash to buy one at Craft Lake City. Instead, I grabbed one of her cards and bought a hat for Jillian’s funeral on Etsy later.
The family rockabilly band that was so cute was Mad Max and the Wild Ones.
Here’s more of Nora enjoying them:

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Anyway, I hope that Craft Lake City becomes an annual event, and that they have even more awesome booths next year. If I had one suggestion to offer, it would be to the crafters whose great wares were for sale: make sure your packaging is branded, and list your website right on it if you have one. That way, the love can keep going long after the festival is done.

they grow up so fast

I meant to post these pictures on Sarah’s birthday, and to tell you all what an awesome person she is and how proud I am of her. Luckily, I still feel the same way three days late.

Congratulations also to Mallory

…and to Valori, who graduated at the same time! I love you guys.

I took some pictures of Nora, too. What do you want? I’m a mom.

little bunny foo-foo

It’s hard for me to believe that Nora is old enough to notice what holiday it is and if she gets a present or not–but this Easter I had to face the facts. Since Blake is pretty adamant that Nora not eat candy (and I’m not actively encouraging candy either), I wanted to make her something special that would take her mind off the lack of chocolate eggs.

This little bunny and her blanket are made from this mmmcrafts pattern, and are sewn from some of Nora’s outgrown baby clothes. I used felt, embroidery floss, thread, and batting that I already had, so the only thing I had to buy was the pattern itself. My dad made the cradle for me when I was a baby, and my mom brought it up from Spring City so that I could pass it on to Nora. Tender, right? I mean, I’m pretty much the best mom ever, wouldn’t you say?
Unfortunately, my gift was completely overshadowed by the gigantic pink plush Care Bear Nora’s great-aunt bought her at a secondhand store. Nora tackled that thing and rolled around with it, giggling and giggling. Ah, well. Maybe this sleepy little homemade bunny will grow on her.
(Oh, and if you think that I copied Angie’s wedding colors, then all I can say is thank goodness I have people with really good taste to mooch off of.)


Lisa: Are you teaching Nora how to juggle?
Blake: Yep! Well, I’m trying to. She’s totally going to impress all her kindergarten friends.
Lisa: Yeah she is. And her teacher.
Blake: She’ll impress EVERYONE. Except Dave. Dave’ll just be like, “I’ve been juggling since I was three.”

you can’t hug a photograph

At the beginning of August, we went to an outdoor showing of Goonies that combined three of Nora’s favorite things in the world: being outside, live music, and macaroni and cheese. Not to mention some of her (and my) very favorite people. Don’t worry, I have already forgiven Sarah and Mallory for sticking pens in my hair while I was lying on the blanket.

The girls and I let Blake and Nora get to bed at a reasonable hour, then headed to Wal-Mart for midnight purchases of Breaking Dawn. Unfortunately, no one told me to take off my “I was bitten” pin before we went into the coffee shop, so I embarassed myself in front of the barista. Mew!

Farewell, Summer. I hardly knew ye.

Babies for Obama

Since Nora had so much fun voting for Obama on Super Tuesday, I thought she might like a campaign shirt of her very own. I designed a graphic to look like his other swag and had Zazzle (who I’ve (used previously) print it up for me. I got it a little big, so that she can wear it this summer when the election’s closer.

Don’t be jealous. You can buy one too! I think I get like a dollar for each onesie sold–and I’ll donate any proceeds to the campaign.
Zazzle’s changed their site around, so here’s the fancy new link to my gallery: