65 years of Memories



yesterday was jannie's 65th birthday! To honor what a special person she is and how many people's lives she has truly touched we asked friends and family from past and present to write her a letter of memories. I didn't expect we'd get all the way to 65... But we got that and more!!



alicia saw this idea on a blog and helped me, collecting vintage Etsy envelopes and stamping each one... And adding her calligraphy hand to pretty it up!


people got so creative!! There were long letters and old photos and songs and stories... Even a full book of the story of their friendship!


it was really fun to actually get MAIL in a mailbox 


Jannie is so blessed with so many wonderful friends who took time out of their busy lives to do this. Thank you friends! We love you Jannie!


Playroom Makeover!

Last week Heff took Francie and Maisie on a duck hunting adventure overnight (JJ went to hang out with Oma too) so I figured it was the perfect (only!) time to finally paint the playroom and fix up the girls room like I'd been wanting to do since we moved in. I set Tess up in her bouncy chair to watch me and got to work with some chalkboard paint in the little closet off the playroom...

These were the before shots

I ran out of steam and paint about 2am and called it quits, but not before I emailed a couple of my awesome girls at work and Emmy to surprise them with a "project day" for 9am the next morning!

Wednesday morning we finished the raspberry pink wall and got a little ambitious with the hall closet too (that is empty since it is framed out for a circular staircase to lead to the unfinished third floor someday. I wanted to make it a reading nook so we painted the white walls grey and grabbed some Ribba white frame ledges from Ikea, my favorite staple for book nooks :)

After the pink was dry enough I attempted the stencil. I had seen a cute stenciled room on "Finding My Feet" - a cute blog I read about a mom in Nashville who is always up to some project - and ordered this tribal/chevron stencil a while ago.

We picked a few colors to match the Land of Nod rug I love in the playroom...

and practiced the stencil on cardboard until we liked the color scheme. Kelsey through the fan getting the paint to dry on the cardboard sample (can you tell we were having too much fun with a fisheye lens?)

ready to roll

We quickly realized a stripe across the room was going to be way better than the entire wall (TG) and it was fairly easy to do little by little. First try - let's see if it worked...

moved all the way across the room - done! and chalkboard room stars all done on the ceiling

Sara, my awesome graphics girl at work, painted on these cute moon and stars on the ceiling and we were contemplating what to do on the big wall you see from the playroom.

The first thought was a banner with our name and the girls names coming off it it like ribbons, but then decided frames with their names under it gave them a cool space to draw portraits (will definitely come back to bite us when they realize they can draw unflattering pictures of their parents I guess :)

Chalkboard closet - ready for drawing on the walls (I guess I have to let them now? ;)

Playroom filled up with toys and dolls! LOTS of dolls.

Girls room was closer to being done. I liked the blue paint that was already on the walls and the beds were in - we just added a few things to make it feel finished

fisheye view

I wanted to do some sort of "art" on the wall and let the girls help make it. (I wasn't a nice enough mom to give up control on the stencil to let them help :) We took a big 3Γ—4 canvas that was 1.5 inches thick and drew a deer on it inspired by the Land of Nod bedding. The girls went to town with different colors and then Cousin Kate and I did a little top cover. When it was dry I exacto-knifed slits in the back and stuck white lights through the holes in the deer outline. Plug in, hang up and now it's homemade art/a night light! I love the way it lights the room.

"The orphanage" as my sister calls it for the three big girls

Ribbon pillow from LofN and Francie face from olliegraphics

bookcase and cute little deer clock, owl light and the little girl wooden pic Jannie and Kaky had in their room as little girls

I added a few fresh toys to keep it exciting :) love these color stained blocks from Land of Nod too!

BlaBla and raccoon collection

bookcase for MORE dollies

and our latest favorite toy - the Tegu blocks

and the Book nook closet! all finished. This room was pretty easy but so much fun in the end! I keep walking by to open the door and peek in :) and the girls love the coziness of it.

I was inspired by this quote Sara found but my sister got wind of "words on the wall" when My mom was looking for a good quote for us and she called me to veto it.

I was also inspired to do a gallery wall like this but in the end I liked the clean look of the ABC's - and it was a little easier!

some of our favorite books ready for reading

I wanted to do something on the ceiling but at 1am when stripes weren't working we went for a "modern art" abstract and at the last minute painted one area yellow - can't you tell it's like a stained glass of the sky with the sun peeking through??;)

wide angle book nook

that's a wrap! girls love it. Now go make your beds :)