February 13, 2018

Boho Inspired Wedding Invitation Suite

Creating wedding invitations are some of my favorite projects. A couple months ago I created this suite for my brother and sister-in- law's wedding and I loved every bit of it. They're outdoor wedding had a laid back feeling with boho elements which made this really fun to dream up and create. Something I love to do when coming up with a fully custom suite is putting in simple details that are personal to the bride and groom. On the back of the invitation I added the illustration of a little picnic seating with their initials etched into the vases. Since they're wedding was outside and had picnic seating during the reception, the illustration gave a sense of what to expect from the wedding and tied in with the whole theme. Almost every part of this suite was hand painted and lettered, giving it a unique and organic look. We printed it on a creamy card stock and added the mossy green envelope to it to tie everything together. I loved designing every part of this from start to finish and loved even more that I got to create it for some of the people I love most! 

I listed this suite in my Etsy shop, making it available for any of you planning a wedding in the near future. You can click here to take a look, along with other pieces I have added to the shop for your sweet day. 

January 17, 2018

Favorite Memories of 2017

I found myself browsing through a year's worth of photos the other day thinking how on earth did another one fly by. I can get lost in the memories of looking at our pictures from over the months and smiling at all that happened through them. I decided to document some of my favorite moments of the year here that I may have not shared on this space along the way. Though these are just a teensy snippet of memories that happened, there's so much more behind the photos that make my heart so grateful, even through the hard messy stuff that we all know happens behind the pretty pictures. 

We started the year continuing our house renovation/addition that we began the fall prior. We added on about 400 square feet to our house, extending our living room into our old carport, enclosing the rest of the house to have an indoor laundry room (HEAVEN!!) and adding on a small office space to the back of the house, which is where I work from now. Living through your house being turned upside down and 4 toddlers running around is no easy task. But during our Thanksgiving when we shared what we were thankful for, I just kept thinking of how grateful I was for this little house of ours. For all the hard work my husband put into making it happen for us. For him letting me dream and design things that were fun for me. For the gift that we were given to be able to do this project. Of course it wasn't that fun in the midst of it, but I'm so thankful this is where we are getting to raise our kids and make sweet memories. (And yes, I plan on doing a house tour of before and after shots soon!)

Shane and I both turned the big three-oh in 2017 (which still feels so weird for me to say out loud)! One of my favorite memories of the year was pulling off a huge surprise party for him that I had started planning in my head a whole year before. For months I was scheming and planning and I had never been so nervous for that long in my life! ha! I told him afterward that I actually didn't enjoy the planning of it as much because of all the hiding I was doing from him to keep it a secret. But in the end, the finale was worth it and he was totally surprised. A month after his big day I said goodbye to my twenties too, spending it with our little family doing all the toddler things with my girls. Funny how your desires and interests change so much when you have kids--anything they wanted to do sounded more fun to me than doing something by myself or away from them. It was the best way to enter into new decade!

It was my second year into doing local handmade markets around the Phoenix area and every bit of it was SO FUN...exhausting always, but SO FUN! We even got to travel twice this year to California to set up shop in LA and San Diego with Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market. It was a year of growing in business, talent, and community. Through these events I've gotten to meet so many fun people and work on so many fun things! It even lead me to start selling my work outside of just my Etsy and these markets and into local brick and mortar stores. My hope for 2018 is that this will be an even bigger year in these areas for me. Lots of dreams and hopes as I try to keep my hands held open, enjoying every opportunity I get to call this my work! 

Of course, a huge highlight of the year was looking back on all the projects I had the chance to do. From collaborating with other small businesses I love, to working with brides to create art for their special day, to making giant murals all around town--each one was a blast to work on. Something I learned a lot this year was how to say no to the things that I don't get joy or excitement from so I could say yes to things that were more worth the time spent for me. I have struggled with this so much in the past, wanting to say yes to every project that comes my way. Sometimes because I wanted to just make the extra buck, and other times because I didn't want to let the person down. But I've learned (in hard ways) how to not spread myself so thin so I can give the best of myself to my work and the things that excite me the most. I know I still struggle with this a bit, but hopefully 2018 will be another year of growth in this area for me and I'll be looking back at the end of it feeling proud of where its lead me. 

This miiiiight be my TOP highlight of the year and probably the best surprise I've gotten to date (aside from when Shane proposed, but its reeeeally close). Anyone that knows me well, or even not so well, knows my love for music and especially John Mayer. A week before our 6th anniversary Shane took me on a date downtown for dinner, then nonchalantly lead me to the concert of my dreams. My first time ever seeing him perform live and I got to do it with my best friend! What makes it even sweeter is that spending an evening at a concert is one of the last things Shane would choose for himself, yet he planned this surprise months in advance knowing how much it would mean to me. He chose to love me. He chose to do what I love for a night because of his love for me. I might not ever be able to explain it fully and it might sound a bit silly, but this moment right here, with tears filling my eyes, was one of the top moments I knew and felt his love for me. I can't believe we've its been 6 years already. The BEST, most fun, adventurous, growing, challenging, and sweetest years of my life. Being married to this man is everything I dreamed of and MORE. There's not a day that goes by that I'm not deeply thankful that I'm the one he chose and get to be the one standing next to him in all of life's craziness. I love this man more than words can say. 

One thing we knew when we started having kids is that we would be intentional about carving out time for family trips. We took lots of little trips here and there throughout the year that were sweet and memorable. From our first little family trip to Vegas, to traveling to Southern California beaches a few times, DISNEYLAND, and spending time together just the 6 of us in northern Arizona. There's something so refreshing for me when we get to travel. And, yes, it's not always smooth sailing when we have 4 littles in tow, but there's something in the chaos of it all that brings out the beauty and crazy fun. New inspiration comes, deeper bonds are created through laughter and play, and most of all the best memories are made. A big reason traveling is so important to us is because we want to give our kids experiences that open their eyes to the world around them. Experiences that allow them to grow up seeing things outside of their own perspective and little bubble. I hope that these little experiences we're giving them now are allowing for those things to happen in them already. 

Probably our most exciting memory of the year is finding out about baby five! I found out on Father's day that I was pregnant so it was the sweetest gift to "give" Shane that day. The girls have been talking non stop about the baby in my tummy and how its a boy or girl and what they will call it (it changes every day!). It's crazy to think its been 2 years since we last experienced baby stage so getting back into the swing of it will be interesting. I'm about a month away from my due date and I mostly can't wait to see how the girls will be loving on their new sibling!

Our Christmas season felt like it flew by so fast! I remember last season feeling a little more "in the moment" with it all, so I'm not quite sure what the difference was for this past one. It's a hard balance when the holidays roll around and I feel the need to rest and relax, yet its usually my busiest season for business and projects. Hopefully this year I'll get more of balance and grip on things to not make it feel so rushed and busy when this year's season comes. With the girls getting older each year is more and more fun with them, listening to the things they take in and can remember. Since Raleigh was a newborn, each year we've taken a trip to the local tree farm to walk around together picking our our tree, drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas tunes. I've loved that we've taken this picture in front of the trees every time we've done it to document each season. It's a reminder for me to see how far we've come and see how much our little family has grown. Forming new traditions each year is my favorite part of it all, especially when they just happen without planning it. I love the memory traditions bring reminding us of the sweetness we experience each time we do it.

There are a handful of more memories throughout 2017 that I could post here, but these really are the ones that stick out the most. Looking back on another year gone by only excites me for the next year ahead. Lots of goals and dreams and plans ahead that we are hoping and praying for and I can't wait to see what the year will bring. 

Thanks so much for following along on this little space and supporting my art and being so encouraging through it all. I love that I've been able to share little parts of how we do life and seeing more and more faces join. I pray your year ahead is full of newness and growth and exciting adventures too! 

January 9, 2018

Dear Daughters - December

Dear Raleigh, 

This Christmas season was probably the best one with you yet. Watching you experience the season made everything more wonderful and brighter and FUN! YOU are SO MUCH FUN! We spent a day at Disneyland with mama's side of the family and it was the sweetest day walking around with you, listening to your excitement and telling me how everything was genuinely your favorite thing. I don't think there was a day gone by this season you didn't talk about baby Jesus or acted out being Mary and Joseph with your sisters. Your personality is becoming more colorful and vibrant, which I didn't know what possible. You love being goofy and laughing at yourself with the people you are the most comfortable around. Your heart is so sweet and sensitive and you continue to amaze me in how thoughtful you are of others. I can't believe how much has grown in you throughout this year--I look back on just a few months and feel like it happened just a minute ago. You are endearing, and playful and so inspiring to me. I can't wait to see what more this next year has to hold for you and with you. 

Dear Joci, 

You are a delight my sweet girl. You have been the sweetest thing lately, learning how to be kind to your sisters and let them enjoy things with you. You are learning to embrace others into your fun and include them into whatever you're into--somethings thats been hard for you in the past, but watching you mature in this makes my heart so proud. Being with you at Disneyland this season was my favorite, seeing how happy you were at the sight of everything around you. You observed every little thing and took it in with so much excitement and delight. You continue to be so affectionate and loving in this way. You ask for my cuddles and hugs and kisses daily and I could give them to you endlessly. You are creative and detailed and purposeful in what you do and I love watching how this plays out in your little world around you. I'm so so proud to be your mama. 

Dear Jaelynn, 

Never a dull moment with you--ever. And I hope that never changes. You are the epitome of JOY! The faces you make, the sound of your voice,  how you play with your sisters and cousins, the way you dance and jump and sing, every little thing you do is done with so much JOY! I love watching you, listening to you, asking you questions, cuddling you, creating with you... I could go on and on. You bring out the best in people. You are so smart and witty and take on everything with laughter. You are the first one to help someone or console them when their sad. You are observant and pay attention to whats important in a situation.  I've never known someone so tiny with such a huge personality and heart. You continue to be the source of making our family more fun and exciting daily and I'm just so thankful to be the one you call Mama. 

Dear Sage, 

My brown-eyed girl. I think it's safe to say you've found your voice around here. You are chatting away like crazy and although we're still trying to figure out some of your language, listening to you is so entertaining. You still try to fight your way to be heard and get what you want, which I think makes sense for being the youngest of your little crew. But you are quick to listen to me and dadda when we try to correct you to use your words instead of screaming to get your way. Your sweet responses of "uh-kay, mama" show me how you're genuinely trying to work through the situation and understand. Lately, you've been nothing but laughter and playfulness  with everything you do. You love to wrestle your sisters and tackle them any chance you get, making it seem like the funniest thing to you. Which makes me think if you have a little brother next you two will be peas in a pod by the time "he" would be able to play along with you! I love watching you grow up and see how easily you go along with anything that comes your way. You continue to bring smile after smile to anyone you encounter and I'm the luckiest to have you as my girl!

I love you girls, more than life itself. 

December 8, 2017

Christmas Tree Farm

We headed to the Christmas tree farm almost as soon as the turkey was gone on Thanksgiving day. There's no hiding that this time of year is my absolute favorite! One of our family traditions we  started when Raleigh was itty bitty was heading to Whitfil Nursery once their lot is filled like a pine tree forest. Now that the crisp air JUST hit Phoenix, it's the best place to walk around taking in the scent of the pine trees, drinking their complimentary hot chocolate, sitting by the fire and having the girls run around. Speaking of walking around, there's not much these day I can get around in feeling comfortable and semi-put together. I recently found these maternity pants from Preggo Leggings and I've worn them just about every (other) day ;) With my belly continuing to to get bigger and bigger, the less I feel "cute" or at least trying to, but these pants have made me feel both comfortable and put together in the simplest way. Any time I can get my hands on maternity clothes that don't look completely maternity then I'm in. 

Another tradition we have on the night we find our tree is grabbing pizza from our favorite Spinato's Pizzeria, then head home to decorate the tree, eating pizza and listening to all the holiday tunes. So the leggings are not only good for the growing baby inside me, but also a good excuse to eat all the delicious pizza I can and not feel like my pants are going to burst! ;) 

Now our house smells almost as good as the nursery and I'm ready for the rest of our family traditions to begin. 

What are some family traditions you have done or have started with your family? I always love to hear more ideas and see what others do too!

November 29, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways

I'm so excited to kick off the start of December with this amazing giveaway I've rounded up just for you! I've teamed up with a handful of my favorite small businesses around (seen above) to bring you some fun items that you can win for yourself or a loved one. There's items for just about everyone you can think of on this list so its also a great way to grab some ideas on unique gifts you can give this season! The best part of this giveaway is that you have a chance to win not just once but TWELVE times! 

How it works:

Starting on December 1st and running through December 12th on my Instagram, every day will have a different giveaway for you to enter. Each day I will feature an item (or items ;)) from my shop along with an item from the shop I am partnering with that day for you to win. 

The kicker is that these are just peeks at who is involved, but I won't share what it will be until the day of their giveaway (trust me, its gonna be good!). So be sure to follow along to stay tuned on which shop will be giving away their item each day so you don't miss out on one of your favorites!

After the giveaways starts at 9am (MST) you will have until 11:59pm to enter into that giveaway for the day. The winner of that day will be announced on the same post the next morning. 

Check back on my Instagram each day to find out how to enter! It's super simple, I promise!

So mark you calendars for this Friday to stay in the loop. We're starting it off with a reeaaallly good, perfect for the start of Christmas! 

November 21, 2017

Dear Daughters October

We ventured through California a couple weeks ago for about 10 days and are finally starting to feel back to normal being back home...just in time for the holiday chaos to take over! haha! We went from Phoenix to San Diego to Santa Barbara and LA, traveling with Shane's basketball team, sleeping at a new house every other night, spending hours upon hours in the car. I couldn't be more proud of how the girls took it all on, going with the flow of things and taking on the adventure. Of course, we all had our moments of being completely over it, but for the most part they were the best troopers around. We've been doing this tour with Shane every year since Raleigh was a newborn so I guess its just been embedded in them that traveling is part of our family nature. These pics were taken on a day we spent in Carlsbad while Shane and his team were out all day. We met my parents down by the beach and the girls couldn't wait to get their feet in the sand! I forget how much I love being by the ocean this time of year. The beach is practically empty and being cozied up with blankets and a hot drink watching the girls run around felt like the perfect way to spend the day. I sat there watching them each individually seeing their different personalities play out and laughing at all the silly details of their differences, yet admiring how they could be having so much fun together just rolling around in sand! So I decided to use this day to document my dear daughters post for October...

Dear Raleigh, 
I think I'm just starting to realize how you being a 4 year old means you're not really a toddler anymore. I don't know when it happened exactly, but there is so much about you that seems so grown up. Its a weird/hard thing to grasp. I feel like I'm so sentimental for you to be so little again, yet so in love with you at this age too. Like I'm feeling torn in my heart about not wanting you to grow up just yet and at the same time wanting to discover more of who you are as you mature. I guess its something that can't really be explained in words, but only felt through the experience of it. I love looking back on some of our videos of you when you were barely talking and still seeing how parts of your personality and mannerisms are still so much a part of you today. The way you never stop singing and laughing and climbing and love being silly. You could've spent the whole day playing on the beach. You don't mind the messiness of sand in your hair or water on your jeans, you embrace it all. You live fully in the moment. You soak in all the fun around you and draw the fun out of any situation. I love our conversations lately. How you are seeing the world around you. How you see every person we meet as a friend and call them that too. You are testing the waters in new ways with us too. You are smart enough to know right from wrong, but seeing what you can really get away has been our new challenge. Maybe thats the part where I want you to be little again, like it was easier to just give you the answer 'yes' or 'no', but now there has to be more reasoning and understanding for you in it. I always want to be in a place of trust with you (and all of your siblings). As I parent and learn along with you how to do this dance of ours, I want to be able to give you reasons that make sense to your heart and allow you to trust me more. Not sure if that makes much sense to you now, but someday I pray we look back on this season, re-reading these notes together and knowing that this was the time that deep trust was being formed. I want to be my best self for you, but I also want you to see how I mess up and make mistakes too. I want you to remember the days when I had to say sorry to you, when I had to own my mistake and ask for your forgiveness. I want you to see life this way, that we're all human and no other human is superior or more righteous than another. I think you have a tender heart that wants to understand and listen and I'm seeing as we transition into these new seasons with you that that's something I can't and don't ever want to take for granted. 

Dear Joci, 
Watching you this day on the beach was something I'll never forget. I've never experienced someone who loves and hates the sand so EQUALLY!! You loved running around in it, but the second there got to be too much on your hands or feet you couldn't take it! You spent a solid 20 minutes trying to brush off every grain on your towel just so you could lay down on it, pretty entertaining! But its just another way I see your intricate, detailed, unique personality playing out. I love that I get to learn from you in new ways, seeing how you view the world differently and praying that I'm able to nurture that in the best way I can. You have been more into drawing and painting lately which is so fun for me to see. The ways you draw tiny circles all over your page and pay close attention to each one of them shows again how well you pay attention to detail and the smallest things that may otherwise go unnoticed. You may also be the strongest personality of your sister clan, which can be so hard, but at the same time I see how being able to speak your mind and be confidant in who you are can be a beautiful thing down the road. I know that I'm in for a lifetime of learning from you and I'm so thankful for how God chose and created you to be the one to teach me so much. I love you sweet girl. 

Dear Jaelynn,  
These pictures embody who you are so much! Full of laughter, full of joy, full of silliness, full of life! I don' think you stopped jumping, running, and laughing for a second the entire time we were on the beach. I'm starting to be more conscious of writing down all the things you say that make us laugh so hard it hurts sometimes! I continue to be blown away at how your little brain can retain and remember so much! Things I've long forgotten about, you talk about like it happened seconds before and you remember every detail. Something I've always seen in you is how observant you are and your memory of people or situations around you shows how true that still is. You bring so much joy into our family. You embrace your crazy, humorous side and it brings you joy to make others laugh. You don't care if it makes you look ridiculous, but the fact that you make yourself laugh and embrace the silliness of life makes other people not care either. You make it easy to feel safe around you. I can see so much of your future at how people will always want to be around you. You naturally make others feel better about themselves just by being in your presence. It brings me to tears the ways I see how God can use you. Gosh, I pray you never lose that spunk and joy that exudes so easily from your being. I'm so in love with you my sweet girl. 

Dear Sage, 

You are so cuddly and sweet as ever. You take the world on in your own timing. You observe everything around you before you decide to go all in. You are still the center of attention with your sisters, they love you like no one else! You make them laugh harder than anyone. Your smile is the brightest its ever been. You are most yourself when its just the 6 of us. You come alive when you feel safest in our presence, laughing at your playfulness and letting you be you. I'm so curious how you will take on the role of being big sister because being littlest sister has fit you so well and you love it. You crave my attention and affection so much that I wonder how you will handle it when I'm needing to attend to a new baby in just a few short months. Watching you take care of your "babies" and play "mama" with your sisters makes me think you'll be just fine, but I'm also wanting to be sensitive to the big change for you and not let you feel forgotten in the new transition. I notice you so much, even when you think I'm not watching. I notice when you say something funny or copy a phrase one of your sisters says when you think no one's looking. But the second you see me looking at you, you glow with the biggest smile on your face and it's my favorite thing to watch about you right now. You are a delight my sweet girl. I love being in your arms and holding you in mine. 

I love you girls, more than life itself.