Archive | Family

My Dad’s Birthday Fun Days Continue & Georgia O’Keeffe Costumes

I mentioned recently that we are doing weekly outings for my dad for his 70th birthday (which is next Wednesday). The first week we went to a Gwinnett Braves game, the second week we went strawberry picking (so I could make him a strawberry cobbler), and this week we went and did bumper cars/laser tag/arcade games. We were supposed to go fishing last week, but it was crazy cold & raining so we took a raincheck {literally}. We also have to squeeze in a quick trip to Mayfield Dairy to grab some ice cream–my dad LIVES for his daily evening ice cream treat (I wish I could eat as much ice cream as he does and not gain weight #geneticsarentfair).

The reason we did bumper cars yesterday is because Daddy had such a good time with MM and Moseby doing them on vacation this past summer. I Google’d nearby locations for bumper cars and I only found one place near their house–Stars & Strikes in Dacula. But I found something pretty cool–on Tuesdays you can play all the arcade games (but you don’t win prizes), laser tag, and bumper cars you want for $9.99/person (or you can do all the bowling you want + shoes for the same price). Y’all, that is a STEAL. We spent almost three hours there yesterday afternoon and everyone–even Lala who spent the time being carried around on my back in the Tula–had a blast.

Here’s a few pictures from our day from my phone.

These two are the best of buds. So much so that if Pops (who Lawson causes “Dah”) is around he’s all like ‘Mama who?!’. 

The kids (& my dad too) are having a blast with these weekly celebrations–they love getting to do something fun on a random weekday night and we all love celebrating this special guy.


In other news, MM is doing a wax statue museum next week–basically she dresses up like a famous person and pretends to be them as “museum goers” walk around from famous person to famous person. She chose Georgia O’Keeffe (girlfriend LOVES art) and she’s just a tad bit disappointed that her costume will be baggy jeans, a white button down, and a long black cardigan…and a severe-looking bun. I did tell her she could wear lots of my silver southwestern jewelry so that made it a little better (she likes to accessorize!). I can’t wait to see her all dressed up and acting like the famous painter. (We bought a large print of this painting to put on an easel behind her.) Stay tuned. 😉

poppy

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My Latest Quilt: Giant Vintage Star

In 2016 (yes, a year ago) I told my mother-in-law I was going to make a quilt for her birthday. I picked out the pattern, I bought all the fabrics {fabric acquisition is my favorite part of the whole process}, and then it sat in my sewing room until 2017.

Oh, the shame. Oh, the horror.

In January of this year MM decided she wanted to learn how to sew a quilt and I showed her the quilt pattern I was making for her grandmother (it uses half triangles so you can get two quilts out of the fabric you cut since you only use one of the two triangles the pattern creates, if that makes sense) and she liked it. She chose a couple of different fabrics for hers, but for the most part they are the same. So that month we spent cutting out the fabric–actually I cut it out–I don’t trust her with a rotary cutter just yet. In February and March I pieced the front and created a back (while MM moved on to some other project–her quilt is my next project). In April I dropped it off at the quilters and finally in May (this past Wednesday) it was ready for me to pick up (I had them quilt it in an abstract rose design in the lightest shade of pink, by the way). I worked like a maniac hand sewing the binding on the past few days and yesterday I gave it to her at lunch (ignore the fact it was a year and 9 days late, m’kay?).

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Here is the finished quilt. My eight year old assistant took these yesterday morning and these were the only two that didn’t come out blurry. So I’m sorry about the lighting. Here’s a couple of phone photos I’ve been taking a long the way that may show the details a little better. 😉

Laying out the pieces–some of them ending up changing.

The front all pieced together (with a Lala photobomber).

Lala loves to roll around in my quilts. It’s his thing.

Sewing on the binding in bed.

Two of my “assistants” Friday afternoon while I finished the binding.

Hope you like your quilt, Ms. Kathy! Lots of love and little hands went into it–Happy Birthday!

Fabrics: a little bit of Cotton and Steel, but a whole bunch of Brother Sister fabric from Hobby Lobby. Quilting done by Betty Sue’s Quilts

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Coconut Cake & 85th Birthdays

Yesterday my grandmother {who we call Mamaw} turned 85.

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We are all just pretty dang lucky to have her in our daily lives. She’s loving and loyal and the most giving woman I’ve ever met. Some of my very best memories have her in them and I know my own kids can say the same thing. Being with Mamaw makes you feel loved and secured–just being around her is like a warm hug, if you know what we mean.

To celebrate her birthday I made her a homemade coconut cake–it’s her favorite. I tried a new recipe by Ina Garten. It’s tasty (but remember I’m not a cream cheese OR a coconut fan so I can’t give you a personal opinion, haha) and the almond flavoring in the cake & icing adds something unusual…but good! The one thing I would suggest doing is chilling the cake after you put the icing between the two layers–if not the layers kinda slide around (don’t look at these pictures too close, m’kay?).

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This is the bottom part of my retro cake carrier I got a couple of months ago. It’s now on sale for $7.50 (YES! $7.50–that’s 75% off!). If it’s sold out in the link here’s a few more cake carriers I like here, here, and here. I love cake carriers because you can store them on the counter or take them with you and the retro vibe is on point.

We also got her a few gift cards to local restaurants (she loves eating out) and I potted up some flowers {asparagus fern, marigolds, zinnias, and creeping jenny; #horticulturenerd} in a hen planter I found at at home for her front porch.

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We love you, Mamaw. So so so much. I hope you had the happiest of birthdays because you really, truly deserve it. Thank you for all you do for my kids & I–we are so much better with you in our lives.

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Tour Georgia Series: Washington Farms Strawberry Picking {’17}

I mentioned last week that we are doing something fun with my dad every week for the month leading up to his 70th birthday on May 17th. Last week we went to a Gwinnett Braves game and today we went strawberry picking (so I could make him a strawberry cobbler!)…who knows where we’ll end up next week! 😉

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And just because I had people ask on Facebook (’cause I personally think I look like a hot mess express post-workout here) here’s links to my gym clothes: top. sports bra. compression leggings. tennis shoes (different color). 

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Lawson had a blast picking berries. Well, he’d pick one, squish it all in his hands, and then stuff his mouth with it. ‘Cause that’s how you’re supposed to pick them, right?

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Mary Margaret and Moseby are old pros of course.

They grabbed their buckets and started picking right away.

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And after we picked these gorgeous ladies we headed over to the picnic tables and had our fill of strawberry ice cream.

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When we got back to my parents’ house I made dinner {spaghetti and meatballs because that’s my dad’s favorite} and homemade strawberry cobbler. I used this recipe and it was PERFECT. The crust was almost cake-like and delicious.

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Definitely can’t recommend Washington Farms enough (they have TONS of berries right now!) or this cobbler enough…or my dad enough. He’s one terrific guy.


This is the fourth time you will find me talking about Washington Farms on the blog. The first was in 2011 when MM was 2. We took her again in 2012 when she was 3.  And again I wrote about it in 2014 when we took her and Moseby (she was 5, he was 2).

 

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Friday Five

Before I begin, guess who has 500 followers on Instagram right now?! Yep, me! Thank y’all so much for following me and checking in daily. When I started the blog back up three months ago I didn’t know if anyone would read it anymore. Y’all do my heart good!

Ok, let’s see what we got this week in our Friday Five: fried rice, a certified farm boy, a Braves game, a quilt, and cookies.

Sounds like a winning lineup to me. 😉

  • First up: Fried Rice

My family loves fried rice. (Well, maybe not Moseby. If it’s not popcorn or hotdogs he’s not really a fan.) So I’ve come up with a recipe for a pretty great dinner by itself or alongside oven-baked salmon (MM’s fav). And what’s even better is that if you’re doing Keto or some other low-carb diet you can easily make it with riced cauliflower and it is SO GOOD. Click here to download the fried rice printable. (One note about using cauliflower: really let it dry after you wash it–I even press it between layers of paper towels after I “rice it” in the food processor. And add it to wok/skillet first before any of the other ingredients–you want it to cook. You’ll hear sizzling and that’s the water evaporating. Watch it so it doesn’t burn but make sure you get all the water out of it you can. Ain’t nobody got time for mushy Fried Faux Rice!)

  • Farm Boy

Lawson is having a ball on the farm this spring. If he is not asleep he wants to be outside with his Dah (what he calls my dad–the other grandkids call him Pops; he calls Pops ‘Dah’ and his daddy ‘DaDa’ and since they answer he keeps on doing it, haha). They water plants, prune trees, ride the golf cart, spread cow poop, feed the animals, and today they planted the vegetable garden. But if Dah is busy you better believe he is with his Mamaw. He’s obsessed with her Mule rides.

But let’s not talk about how yesterday MM was holding him so he could pet a chicken I caught {wow, how country do I sound?!} and got dropped on his face because his shoe touched her leg…in a chicken pen…that was quite muddy and uhm, chicken poopy. I’ll spare you pictures because I’m sure your imagination is enough. #thirdkidprobs

  • (Gwinnett) Braves Game

My dad is celebrating his 70th birthday on May 17th and to celebrate we’re doing a little something every week leading up to his birthday. This past week we went to a Gwinnett Braves game (Lala stayed home since it was so close to his bedtime). They lost big time but MM loved Chopper and Mo loved the footlong corndog (he ate the entire thing), the giant tub of popcorn (he ate the entire thing), and the second box of popcorn (yep, he ate the entire thing). 😉

It turned quite cold during the game because it had rained earlier and because I’m such a stellar (lazy?) mom I STILL have a garbage bag of clothes in the back of the minivan to take to Goodwill. By the end of the game we all were wearing mismatched sweatshirts and sweaters. We were quite a sight (…but warm!).

  • Latest quilt

If you are my mother-in-law, stop right here. Do not read any farther.

I’m talking to you, Ms. Kathy. No peeking.

Everyone else, lookie lookie.

I’m making this quilt for my mother-in-law’s birthday next week. It’s a great pattern–in fact, MM is working on her first quilt using this pattern!

I took it to the quilt shop on Wednesday (I don’t do quilting–I know my limit and quilting makes my eyes cross and cuss words spew out of my mouth). Can’t wait to get it back to put the binding on.

That is, if I can keep this little guy off of it long enough to put the binding on–rolling around in quilts is his favorite!

  • And last but not least, the best ever chocolate chip cookies. MM had to make them the other day for a school project and I wanted to share the recipe again. They really are the bomb dot com. I use five different kinds of chocolate chips which certainly doesn’t hurt. 😉

I hope you all have a great weekend. For once, in what seems like MONTHS, we don’t have anything to do. I’m hoping to get both a Zumba class and a yoga class in and some time on the boat. Oh, and an afternoon nap would be icing on the cake. Which makes me think–maybe I’ll bake a cake!

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Friday Five

Oh y’all, what a fun few days we have coming up. Eek! Today…probably right at this very second in fact {I write these posts in advance and schedule them to be published right at 8am, in case you couldn’t tell}…my cousin Jess is having her baby! I probably won’t be able to sleep, I’m so excited! I’m going to go ahead and put my prediction out there on Baby B: 21.5″, 9 pounds, 8 ounces (even though he’s only 39 weeks!), and another redhead.

I’m honored that she asked me to take pictures of Emery and B. meeting for the first time this morning. If she gives me permission I’ll share one on Monday.

Eek! Eek! Eek! Another baby to love on!

So excuse me if this post is all jumbled, but I’ve got Baby Brain!

Let’s get to it, shall we?

  1. First up, one of my sorority sisters {click here for her site} sent me a sample of No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask from Beautycounter when she heard I love trying new masks. It’s a charcoal-based mask. This is a little before and after. In real life I could tell a difference in pore size and skin tone/color/pigment (which is a big deal when you have problem with skin tone to begin with). It didn’t dry my skin out either like so many masks!

2. I don’t really ever think my oldest and youngest look alike. MM looks so much like me (with straight hair) and Lawson looks so much like C. (with curly hair)…or so I thought.

Uhm, twinsies. Yes, his upper eyelids are a little more…uhm…absent, haha…like C.’s, but y’all, they look so much alike {minus eye color}!  I love genetics.

3. Maybe it’s because I’m a teacher myself, but I love giving teacher gifts. If it’s a holiday, we do gifts. It’s just our thang. I should’ve taken a picture our St. Patrick’s Day little gift that included chocolate coins, leprechaun socks, and lucky 7’s scratch-off lottery tickets–it was a cute, cheap, fun idea. Anyway, this was our Easter baskets we delivered last week.

Yellow containers. Bunny kitchen towel. Easter pasta. Rustic rabbit. Sisal chick with bunny ears. Bunny canvas. Flower in tin can.

4. In a recent post I mentioned items I was out of and reordering. That got me to think about my current haircare routine and a couple of new items I’ve added recently.

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I’ve been using Pureology Hydrate Shampoo + Conditioner for a couple of years now (here it is in a regular size bottle–that lasts me 4-6 months), and I’ve been using Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight and Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother for at least three years now. The two latest things are Pureology Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier–it’s like a vitamin spray–and Matrix Turbo Dryer since I have so!much!hair! and it really does cut down on drying time! Very pleasantly surprised.

5. We are getting so excited about taking MM on her surprise trip to Dallas on Monday. She has NO idea. ..and I’m totally not telling her until we pull into the airport parking lot. I’m going to pack her suitcase and put it in the car the night before so she won’t even know we’re spending the night anywhere…much less several states away! …much less with JUST her mommy & daddy! I can’t wait to see her face! Eek!

Hope you all have a great weekend. We’ve got babies and trips and gorgeous weather here. And I can’t wait.

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On Summer Camp Choices & a Smiley PJ-Clad Toddler

First, these pictures have nothing to do what I want to talk about. They are just my #3 in a nutshell. Like, if I had to pick five pictures of Lawson that summarized his personality it would be these.

Random toys (the kid LOVES toothpaste!). A belly hanging out of his shirt (he gets it honest from his mama). Curls for days (yep, from his mama too). Scrapes and bruises and bug bites. And the sweetest, happiest, most cheerful disposition you ever saw.

This, folks, is my Lala to a “T”.

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Now, what I really want to talk about. Summer camps.

Can I just say I am MORE THAN A LITTLE jealous of my kids’ summer camp possibilities?! I’ve been making a list for my older two in my planner as I’ve come along options or heard other parents mention them and MM has like THIRTEEN top choices and Moseby has seven (and he’s just in Pre-K & they typically don’t have as many choices as older kids). And theses camps are not just some dumb ones either. They are GOOD. (I’m using all caps here so you know JUST HOW JEALOUS I AM!).

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Mixed media art classes with each day focusing on a different material.

Make your own pottery. On a wheel. Learn how to use a kiln.

Creative writing camp.

Culinary science camps–multiple choices and cuisines.

Junie B Jones camp.

Magic Treehouse camp.

Ten different types of religious (or not) sleep-away camps.

The mandatory southern Vacation Bible School, haha.

Sports broadcasting.

Princess camp.

Cheerleading. Volleyball. Softball. Basketball. Lacrosse. Playball. Horseback riding.

Reading camp.

Sewing camp.

An explore Atlanta camp with a field trip every day.

I seriously could go on and on and on. And that’s just hers.

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Moseby’s choices include dinosaur camp, picky eater camp (he doesn’t want to go to it but I am SO TEMPTED to sign him up for it!), snake/lizard/bug camp, super hero camp, train camp, etc.

And I’m green with jealousy. Where are all the camps for adults?! I have been wanting to take an adult art class (either oils or nudes or watercolor…or at this point anything!). I would love to learn how to use a pottery wheel. Or even arrange flowers. Or how to make sushi. Heck, I might even want to go to super hero camp!

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As I was talking to MM tonight about her top two choices (she’s going to her first week-long sleep-away camp plus two local camps plus two VBS plus a week at the beach so girlfriend is going to be busy or I’d let her pick more!) she said, ‘Gosh, Mommy, how do you even narrow it down?!’

Let me know when you figure it out, sister.

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{In case you’re wondering she’s leaning towards culinary science class here and art class here. Moseby wants to do dinosaurs and Playball. Oh, and he’s for sure doing swim lessons, whether he likes it or not.}

And if any of you know of some summer camps for mamas (sans kids of course) you just let me know, m’kay? 😉

And if you want to see this funny guy’s personality in real-time, here’s a video. I love that he laughs just THINKING he’s going to be tickled. Full of joy, I tell you!

 

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Friday Five: Daffodils, Birthday Sweets, Clothes, a Recipe, & Cheese Faces, Oh My!

1. Daffodil Pictures.

Every year I take pictures of my kid(s) in a daffodil field of an old family friend that lives near my family’s farm. Looking through the pictures {click here to go down memory lane yourself} is very bittersweet–watching your babies grow is such a gift, but what I wouldn’t give to hold each one–tiny and squishy again–for just a few minutes more.

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2. C.’s 37th.

We celebrated C.’s birthday last weekend. Aqua Terra and creme brûlée. Bowling and Mexican and chocolate cheesecake. Hals and triple chocolate cake. A giant banana-chocolate chip bread {recipe found here}.

Poor guy, I don’t think he was shown enough love for his birthday…or got enough sweets, HA!!! 😉

3. Swirly Cinnamon Roll Cake.

Speaking of sweet things, y’all, you have GOT to try this new recipe. I made it this past week for a work treat {always a risk trying a new recipe for other people!} and it was GOOD.

Click on this link for a printable Swirly Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe (4×6″ size)!

4. This top…for less than $15!

The other day I was in JC Penney of all places with MM {she was Pinkalicious for book character day and we were looking for a pink dress} and I found this top (I’m wearing a medium). I wore it to C.’s birthday dinner the other night and I am in love with it. It’s currently $19.99 {with an extra 25% off with code: 8FORYOU (30% off if you have a JCPenney card)}. C. couldn’t believe it was such a cheap top–it REALLY is well made and cute in person!

Jeans (which look funny around the ankles here, but I promise they are a normal bootcut) here. Similar leopard print heels here.

5. ‘Cheese!’ face.

One of my favorite stages of childhood is when they start mimicking you or doing what you ask. This is Lala’s ‘Say Cheese!’ face. He’s so sweet I could eat him up with a spoon I tell you!


Hope you all have a great weekend! We’ve got my father-in-law’s birthday and that’s about it. I’ve been battling sinus crud the past week so I’m happy for a weekend at home hopefully filled with lots of sleep (and no pollen!).

 

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Friday Round-Up: What’s Going On ‘Round These Parts

~I haven’t mentioned the dining room or master bedroom this past week, but they’re both coming along. Actually, they’re both finished minus the drapes in the dining room (BUTTTTTTTT they’re in the process of being made at least!) and hanging mirrors/artwork in the master bedroom. Hopefully soon I’ll be ready to do a post on each. Until then, here’s a sneak peek of our new bed. Oh y’all, it’s dreamy.

~Lawson got his first haircut yesterday at 18 months old. I put it off as long as I could as he is my last baby {I know, I know, never say never} and his firsts are hard for me because they’re my last firsts. It’s hard to explain, but hopefully other been there, done that mamas know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, his hair was too long. We had resorted to man buns around the house to keep it out of his eyes and people always just assumed he was a girl (he is “too pretty” to be a boy, if I do say so myself, haha).

My friend/hair stylist, Jessica, cut his bangs and about an inch off the back. It was important to me not to lose his curls (we cut Moseby’s off at his first haircut just assuming he’d always have curls. Uhm. NO. They never grew back. I’m not making that same mistake with Lala).

And look how cute–and grown up!–he looks. I’ll have to get some pictures with my camera this weekend. He definitely is looking more and more “little boy” and less and less baby. #slowyourrolltime

~Today I took the boys to the pediatrician for their well checkups. It was an experience. Which translates to: something I never want to do again. 😉

Lawson got his shot, didn’t cry at all, and as soon as I made a silly face afterwards he laughed out loud. This is his personality to a “T”. {And gosh, he looooooves that brother of his.}

Momo on the other hand? I’ll just leave you with this picture and say that he refused to put on pants for over THREE HOURS after his shots in case they might brush against his bandaids. I also had to carry him out of the pediatrician’s office like a baby (while also holding Lawson and my purse and my diaper bag). Lordy y’all. Lordy.

(His shirt is his St. Patrick’s Day shirt for this year. It says, “I Pinch Back”. …Lawson got one that says, “Irish I Had a Mustache”. I’ll have to take a photo of the two of them tomorrow and post it on Instagram.)

~Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, I made Irish Soda Bread on Tuesday and it was good! It tastes like one giant buttermilk biscuit, I guess you could say. And it was super easy to make! You can find the recipe here.

~Do y’all remember me mentioning that I was hosting a couple of sign painting parties? One was at the end of February and the other was the past Sunday. Y’all, it was so fun! I can’t recommend PK Decor enough–you can go to her house and paint (she has room for about 15 people in her studio) or she can come to you. …and if any of y’all ever host a painting party yourself you better invite me because I have about ten more signs I want to make, ha!

Here’s two I made–a Fourth of July truck and a goat that looks like our pet/show Boer goat, Oreo (because…well, why not?!). MM made a castle for her bedroom door all by herself (girlfriend even added her monogram); her classmate/friend made a cute owl. My mom made a vase of cotton.

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~And, that’s all I got! Today is not only the most favorite holiday for all the reddish-haired pale people out there, but it’s the 37th birthday of someone pretty dang special.  And what better way to celebrate than going afternoon bowling with three kids! HA!! {Tomorrow night we’re going to his favorite restaurant (Hals) after he has an afternoon massage so I promise he will have some fun! 😉 }

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A Quilt for Baby B.

My first cousin {who is like a sister to me}, Jessica, had her first child {a cute redhead named Emery} nine days before our Lawson. They are the cutest buddies who see each other almost every day of their lives.

She & her husband wanted their kids close together in age and she’s due with baby number 2 (also a boy!) at the beginning of April. {Not going to lie: my kids are 37 months apart and 42 months apart…makes me hyperventilate for her just thinking about having two under 19 months old! HA!}

I made E. a quilt when she was pregnant in his nursery colors of tans/soft blues/grays.

This is the quilt tutorial I used for both E.’s and Lawson’s quilts.

I don’t think I ever shared Lawson’s baby quilt! Ack! Here’s his:

Once Jess. decided on a black and white with gold accents kind of modern theme for Baby B. I got started on a quilt for him too.

(And y’all, if you are just now starting to sew/quilt, this would be an AMAZING first quilt project. I did it because I liked the way it looked, but it really came together the quickest of any quilt I’ve ever done. Like, I was done with it a full month before my self-imposed deadline and that never ever happens!)

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(I took these photos on a random south Georgia road that was closed on our little trip to the Okefenokee last month. HA!)

I gave it to Jess on Monday at a little lunch/sprinkle at Tin Lizzy’s.

(Moseby was totally there, by the way. He’s still going through his anti-picture/anti-doing anything mama wants phase–I think it’ll only last another 10-20 years.)

Baby B. is set to arrive the morning of March 31st and we can’t wait to see if we’re having another red-headed baby (I’ll keep y’all updated, no worries)!

We love you, Jess! …and Emery! …and Baby B, too!

Fabrics for Emery’s and Lawson’s quilt came from Intown Quilters in Decatur–it’s been so long I forgot the actual fabric designers, oops! The solid fabrics for Baby B.’s quilt are Kona cotton solids by Robert Kaufman and the backing is COTTON + STEEL and came from Cupcake Fabric + Quilts in Spring, Texas (I picked them up when we went to Houston in January).

Wanna pin this post? Click below!

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