framed baby clothes and how I know my husband really loves me.


I wish I could say this ivory baby dress had been mine or is a priceless family heirloom, passed down for generations.  but the truth is, I found it in a favorite thrift + junk store of mine.  it was a steal at just five bucks!  however, the day I found it, I already had several other items I was purchasing.  I guess that little dress would've put me over, so I hid it on a rack between some old quilts, with the intention of coming back for it.


A few nights later, my family and I were celebrating my birthday over dinner.  we dined under the trees in my parents' backyard, feasting on shish kabobs at a pretty table my mother had set.  after I blew out the candle on a homemade molten chocolate cake, I began to open my gifts.  wouldn't you know each of the little treasures I found days earlier while shopping with my sister were wrapped up in a cardboard box?  among them was that sweet little ivory dress.  my sister snapped photos of things that caught my eye, hid them when I wasn't looking, and then sent my mom the pictures and the hiding places.  then, my mom went on hunt to find these items and surprise me with them for my birthday.

it makes me smile remembering this.  I'll never forget the thoughtfulness and intentionality of those sneaky girls.  and even though it's not an heirloom from my family, per se, it's still a family heirloom from someone's family and I am more than happy to give it a place in my home.

The fabric + frame are from Hobby Lobby.  the fabric is a beige linen and cost $16.99/yd.  with my coupon, I got a yard and a half for about $16.00.  typically, I would have searched for a frame at a yard sale or secondhand store, but large, chunky, gold frames are hard to find.  I had been eyeing this frame for awhile, but was waiting for the right time to buy it.  the right time is obviously when there's a sale.  regularly priced at $79.99, that's more than I would usually [read: ever] spend on a frame.  so when the frames were marked 50% off, I snagged this baby and a smaller 8x10, as well.  the frame was backless; so after giving my husband the dimensions, he cut some cardboard at work and brought it home to use as my backing.

I wish I could say this involved a fancier process, but maybe the simplicity of it will make it a more attainable diy project.  first, I measured my fabric against my frame, leaving a little extra around the edge, and cut it.  I just eyeballed it—no rulers or measuring tape needed.  I had a good bit of fabric leftover, too.  next, I steamed the linen fabric.  then, I stretched and wrapped the fabric over the cardboard and hot glued the edge of the fabric onto the backside of the cardboard.  after steaming the dress and using my straightener to iron out the collar [doesn't everyone do this?], I laid the dress onto the fabric covering and arranged it how I wanted it to look when hung.  using straight pins, I secured the dress onto the cardboard—first along the top, then along the bottom.  I then rested the frame against the wall and fastened the rest of the dress to the fabric.  it helped to stand the frame up so I could insert the pins completely through the cardboard and I was better able to see how it would look, rather than laying it flat on the ground.

once the dress was secured onto the fabric covered cardboard, I called my husband into our bedroom to ask him what he thought.  he was sweet, as always, and told me he loved it.  I mean, what guy doesn't want a framed baby dress hanging over his head?  literally.  I know he probably could not care less about this project or many of the things I do around our house, but he always humors me and is complimentary about these kinds of things. this is how I know he really loves me.  that, and one time he went to Walmart at night to get me coffee ice cream.  because for whatever reason, Blue Bell coffee ice cream is "not available" on Walmart's grocery pickup in our area and we had run out [aka it was an emergency].  this might not seem like a big deal, but this is the same guy who buys our dog food from a drug store, meaning he pays substantially [$3ish] more, just to avoid stepping foot in Walmart.  that was the night I knew he really loved me.  we've been married nearly four years and I thought he might before that, but this is how I knew.

I love the way this project turned out.  I tend to lean towards a more southern, traditional style and I think this embodies that.  I already had scissors, a glue gun, and straight pins; so between the frame, the fabric, and the dress, the grand total comes to $55ish.  not too shabby if you ask me.

what do you think?  would you ever hang a framed baby dress in your home?  or drop everything to run to the store to pick up ice cream for someone you love?


the nursery.

On August 29th, 2015, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby. we were stunned and so unbelievably excited. it didn't seem real for the first few months [still doesn't sometimes], but eventually it began to sink in as we began to prepare for this sweet baby and all the changes that would take place.

One of the things I was most excited about was creating a nursery. I had a vision in mind of what I would like for a boy or a girl. it wasn't a one-size-fits-all, gender neutral nursery; but it would have been very similar, regardless of the gender. I wanted simple, classic, quiet.

The day before thanksgiving, we found out we were having a boy! I was ecstatic. I've always wanted an older brother, so I always dreamed of having a boy first. this was literally a dream come true.

As excited as I was about decorating a nursery, I didn't really get started on it until March. I'm sure this surprised some; it surprised me a little. but I didn't want to jump the gun; plus, we had lots of furniture and things to shift around to make room for baby.

The day before my first baby shower, I finished the nursery. mostly, anyhow. several of my precious friends came in town for the shower and that gave me the motivation I needed to really wrap things up in the baby's room. I'd been dreaming about what I wanted our nursery to look like for months, maybe even years, and slowly gathering + collecting these items the previous eight months.

so one Friday morning, my parents came over to help bring all my dreams to life. my dad hung the curtains my mom had sewn for the room, on the curtain rod he painted the perfect shade of gold that I had searched months for. a beautiful, antique garden gate hung on the wall over the buffet [now a changing table] and a boxwood wreath hung over that, like a bow on top of a gift. my artist little sister created priceless artwork that decorated the walls, sweet watercolor paintings of baby animals. the buffet and armoire I spent hours, even weeks, restoring and refinishing looked just like they belonged, just like I envisioned. the crib that my husband so lovingly assembled sat in front of the one window in the bedroom, framing it perfectly. the crib skirt our baby's great grandmother made rested around it, gently flowing onto the carpet.

it. was. perfect. it was my new favorite room in the house. I loved walking in there. I found any excuse I could to do it. it was everything I dreamed it would be and more. 

and then on March 9th, less than a week later, our home flooded. this crazy, unexpected rain rolled into town and flooded homes, streets, businesses, churches, everything. it was devastating. and the tiny white house was no more.

So, here we were, eight months pregnant and temporarily displaced. my gracious parents have taken us in for the time being. and we had to set up a nursery. again. this time wasn't quite as fun or exciting. it was marked with tears and sadness and bitterness and even a little anger. it actually took me a little while to get around to doing anything because I had already done it all and set up this perfect [to me] nursery and then it was washed all away, along with the rest of our home.

but my family was so kind and gentle and patient and helped me to slowly pull myself together and recreate this nursery for our baby. and you know what? it's even better than I dreamed it'd be.

it is now complete, minus the little boy who will one day make his home here.

The beloved buffet-turned-changing-table that has been in the family for years did not make it through the flood. talk about heartbreaking. I cried many tears over this. then we decided to improvise with our potting bench, which used to serve as our entertainment center. this was the first piece of furniture I ever bought for our home. before we were married, I snagged it at a garage sale for forty bucks. it's one of my favorite pieces. I'm sad that the buffet couldn't weather the storm, but I love that this piece is getting use again for yet another unconventional purpose.

My sister + I created this little mobile to hang over the crib. I wanted something sweet and serene and, frankly, not stupid to use as our crib mobile. so I came up with this idea of little floating clouds made from book pages. I cut out some of my favorite excerpts from Robin Hood and used them for my clouds. you can find a diy crib mobile tutorial here.

thanks for taking a look! hope you enjoyed.

"even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty."
Psalm 84:3

times are changing! read about the nursery pt. ii here and the nursery pt. iii here.