Thursday, December 29, 2011

here lately.

in pictures.

i juiced with my attachment from james for Christmas.

eliza rocked a poncho and moccasins.

we went downtown for lunch with grannie and grandpa. eliza also got to swim at the hotel they stayed at. i loved it because i had a few free days. :)

i snuggled with mr. jude.

eliza worked the side pony with a side of sass.

she was super snuggly today. judging by that and the fact that many of her cousins have been sick, i'd say something is coming her way!for now, i'll enjoy the snuggles. in between my new healthy living kick. if you want to follow that blog let me know. it's private, but i need help from readers to keep me accountable!happy day!and yes, i forgot "from where i'm standing" this week. well, i didn't forget, i just didn't have time. enjoying all that me time. :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry Christmas!

hope it's filled with joy!

love. - james, shel, baby, eliza, delia, and pebble

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

from where i'm standing...

i see...

  • stockings that grew from 6 to 17.
  • beautiful hanger made by papa.
  • an empty stocking for the youngest.
  • a box that holds an ornament in memory of her.
  • cousins...lots of cousins.
  • joy that is sure to come when dumping the contents out.
  • a church pew my ma bought with money from her mom.
  • a pew that filled with love on thanksgiving.
  • pictures. old and new.

i feel...

  • anxiety for Christmas without her.
  • love for all those hanging.
  • joy for having such a big (and growing!) family.
  • tears streaming.
  • that i just need to see her and her big sister together in matching dresses.
  • love from them...for her. for us.

add your link. share your own on your blog. link back to this list. so they can all be in one place.

from where i'm standing...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

story time.

eliza went to her first one in korea right around her first birthday. it became a weekly thing. i enjoyed the story, craft, snack and visiting with other army wives. she enjoyed the snack and seeing friends. rarely did she sit for a whole book or jump into the craft.

by the time we left i had taken over leading so it was even more of an excuse for her to climb through the bookshelves and not listen. i couldn't reel her in while trying to read or lead a craft to the more attentive kids.

when we came back here i knew we had to find something similar. mostly for my sanity. i needed something to break up a day of stay-at-home-mom life.

so i hopped on the library's website and quickly saw just how different it is in the states.

i had to reserve a spot for her two weeks in advance! the next couple were already full. what? so i did, with a little reservation that we were in for some serious story time and she wouldn't care at all.

i'm sure it's the year difference. being a mature two year old and all she now sits so attentively. it's more structured and there are songs and little activities.

i've come to realize that this wild child that looks just like me, but acts the complete opposite of how i'm told i was, does have a bit more of me in her.

she looks to be a little teacher's pet.

last week they played with shaker eggs. they were told to come up and get one. after a few songs she said "okay, now bring them back up here" i thought "yea right, you are going to have to pry that from her fingers...prepare for meltdown mode." nope, eliza stands up, runs over, puts it in the box, and comes back smiling to her mat. ummm what?

same thing when they played with scarves later. a couple songs and she returned it without a fight.

this week after they got the eggs and did one song eliza hopped up anticipating that the leader was going to tell them to return it only to realize they still had two more songs. same thing with the scarves. it was like she wanted to show her she knew what came next.

okay lady, tell me your secrets! i'm sure it has nothing to do with you just not being her mom. why wouldn't she want to listen to the mommy she loves so much, the one who does everything for her?

don't answer that!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

from where i'm standing...

i see...

  • the same cocoa butter lotion brand i've used since high school.
  • lotion that the nurses used on delia that i later bought so i could sniff her smell.
  • bracelets for delia from some very special people.
  • a pin for anencephaly awareness.
  • a diaper that has stayed dry 3 nights in a row.
  • soap that i used after my last tattoo, delia's tattoo.
  • a reflection of a me that has been through too much.
  • a reflection of a me i don't recognize.
  • the shirt i wore to delia's funeral. the only shirt of mine she touched.
  • a phone that i waited a long time for and had to cover with a ridiculous case because i'm known to drop things.
  • medicine that nursed eliza back to health the last time she was sick.
i hear...
  • complete silence. it's tuesday. aunt whitney took eliza home when she picked up her girls. so i had a day to myself!
i feel...
  • refreshed for getting some me time.
  • like this apartment was too empty without eliza.
  • that i had too much time to think about things.
  • anxious.
add your link. share your own on your blog. link back to this list. so they can all be in one place.

grab this button!

from where i'm standing...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

slowly getting it.

eliza was 20 months when we found out about delia's anencephaly.

she was there in the room for that ultrasound.

she saw how upset we were. she saw us break.

she was there with us those first few rough days.

i know she was too little to understand, but i always wondered how this would affect her.

she knew something was wrong. she didn't understand the magnitude of it, but she knew.

she was at the hospital the night delia came. proudly wearing her big sister jammies.

she met her. she cried. she wanted nothing to do with her.

she sat in the second row at her sister's funeral.

she talked during the service. especially when uncle joshua played his guitar and sang. pointing at him "dosh! dosh!"

she ran around the church beforehand without a care. it was like she didn't know she was supposed to be sad. her sister was here after all!

she kicked her while we tried to get family pictures.

she joked around, she used a polly pocket as a photo bomb and made her look at the camera.

she kept us smiling.

she waved goodbye and said "bye bye" after the service when we took her up to the cradle to see her sister one last time.

she won't remember those days, but it has to change the way her life is.

after delia passed i noticed she became more affectionate. she picked up on what everyone else was doing.

when her aunt adrienne was looking at delia's photo album and crying eliza went over and put her hand on adrienne's knee and started rubbing it while looking at the pics too.

she had to of seen someone do that earlier.

she also started patting your back when she gives you a hug. it's the sweetest thing.

my mom has asked us often if we think she wonders about her. honestly, we don't. mom has said "do you think she wonders why enola's baby sister lives with her, but hers doesn't?"

i think she's too young to get it.

i know there will come a time when she does though. those will be hard questions to answer.

she hears delia's name every day. there are pictures around, she's in our bedtime prayers, she has her book, we talk about her.

she hands me delia's blanket and says "mommy's." she knows i sleep with it.

she plays with delia's stuffed animals, but knows not to chew on them.

she uses her cradle as a step into our bed.

she will repeat her name, but never had she brought it up on her own.

she's said "baybee" while looking at pictures, but not delia at random. she has asked to see pictures, but it's always "baybee"

i made her a bracelet today. a simple reminder of her sister. while i tied it on i explained the three colors and what they stand for (neural tube defects and infant loss) i told her it was for delia.

she held up her hand and said "fo deewa!"

hours later as we wrestled before bed she fell on the floor, put her hand down to catch herself, noticed the bracelet and said "deewa! deewa!"


she's getting it.

cooler heads.

after going to bed infuriated, waking up still annoyed and hurt i had a different thought as i got ready to head to the store.

i placed my awareness pin on my dress and said "thank you harry's law."

yes, the same one i was cursing last night.

thank you for getting that word out there.

thank you for making me want someone to ask me what that pin is for.

maybe they watched your show. maybe they were misinformed, but maybe they were curious.

maybe they want to know more. maybe they will ask questions. maybe it will open the door.

as delia's mama i am proud. proud of her life, her fight, her tiny cry that was far too short.

it is my job to honor her. not fear the questions, but to educate the ignorant.

questions? just ask. i'm still healing, but more than anything i just love my little girl. i want to share her life.

she touched so many lives while she was in my belly, and in my arms. that doesn't have to end.


there is a show on nbc, called harry's law. (we don't have tv so i am out of the loop)

apparently, they had an episode about a baby with anencephaly.

the mother was accused of killing her baby.

apparently, they compared the baby to a house plant.

and said that their organs dry up from malnourishment.

as a mom who has been there. who has asked the doctor that very question "will she starve to death?" with the fear of the answer, i am livid.

i was very saddened to see this new on my support group.

i cannot imagine what i would have felt if i saw it myself.

if i was pregnant when it aired. if i was having those fears and here a tv show trivialized them.

apparently, someone didn't do their research.

we want to get awareness out there. many people probably heard that word for the first time tonight.

and here they will go on not knowing that the show was wrong.

they won't know that these babies are blessings. that they are nothing like a houseplant. that they are babies, just like all the "normal" ones.

they are ours, and they deserve all the love in the world.

* i linked to their fb page. if you feel so inclined, pay them a visit, tell them what they did was wrong, tell them about delia, tell them they need to research, tell them anything.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

from where i'm standing...

i see...

  • new sub-floors.
  • a little girl with a fluff on her head that likes to "help" build.
  • floor joists that will hold up her bedroom.
  • space to dance.
  • a lot of work done by my husband.
  • more work done by friends and family.
  • memories already.
  • this house becoming our home.
  • the doorway to our guest bathroom.
  • dreams of what it will be.

take a picture. list what you see. link up and add your own!

don't forget to grab this button!

from where i'm standing...

and the song that has been stuck in my head...

too cool.

aunt cori made these leg warmers for eliza's birthday.

she knows she's cool.

she can get them on by herself now too!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

tismas tees!

or Christmas trees for those who don't speak 2 year old!

after a morning of shopping, granddaughter watching, and working on the house, (i will let you figure out who did what) we took a break to pick up our trees!

it was so warm, but we still enjoyed apple cider! after a few pictures and getting the perfect two trees, we went on a buggy ride. lisa and kathy were the horses that pulled us. it was a nice time, can't wait to decorate!

the bff's checking out the trees.

wagon ride excitement!

overjoyed. truly!

dav and whit!

grown up bff's!

nana and papa with three of their grandkids!

my phone took better pics than my camera did today. i think someone got fingerprints all over the lens of my point and shoot. not naming any names!

it's easy to post from my phone too, so i might try to get back to sharing random happenings.

happy december!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

delia's book.

when we were at the hospital the nurses took some pictures of delia for us. we weren't sure lisa, with nilmdts, was going to be able to come back.

when we left the hospital with our beautiful memory box there was a photo album of pictures.

we held on to those pictures so close. especially in the first few weeks. before we had any from our family and friends, and before lisa was done editing.

they were the only ones we had printed of delia.

i slept with them under my pillow. i carried them in my purse everywhere.

eliza loved them! she asked to see them and she would point out "baby peet!" (baby feet)

since they were all we had i didn't want her to get too rough with them.

then i saw an idea on pinterest. a personalized board book.

i knew that was the way to go.

so i wrote a quick book, edited it down to fit, and picked some pictures that fit their size requirements.

it turned out awesome and eliza loves it. she points out all the people and says their names and of course loves to see delia.

you can check out the online proof here.

the quality is very good. i was impressed and already have plans for ordering more!

i had a problem with paypal when i checked out and i emailed the company. their customer service was excellent! the lady was so sweet in her email and when i talked to her later on the phone to pay with my card she gave her sympathies again and told me that it was the sweetest book she read. she went on about how touching it was.

and no, i was not given anything for this. i just love the company and love that the back says "printed in the good old usa"


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

my wish...

is that these days of her getting so excited to wear her puppy shirt and a funny hat that i picked out are long.

please stay little.

Monday, November 21, 2011

enough already.

that's my prayer. haven't You put me/us through enough?

i hate who i'm becoming. i hate being this bitter person. i used to be happy...a lot.

You don't think sexual abuse, our horrible break up, deployments, all the army moves, one miscarriage, one infant loss was enough?

you have to beat me with this too?


if i am honest with myself i know He isn't doing it to hurt me. it wasn't His plan. His plan was for a perfect world, but this side of heaven we won't see that.

we fell. we caused this pain.

but why must i have so much?

i want to blame Him. i'm mad.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

a simple question.

"do you have any other kids?" or in the case today (said to eliza) "do you have any brothers or sisters?"

james and i have talked about that question. especially after losing delia. how would we answer it if/when someone asks.

"um...erm...well, yes...uh not with us. they're, well, in heaven."

that would make anyone feel uncomfortable. we didn't want to throw people off and make them feel like they asked the wrong thing, but we didn't want to discount our babies. we felt guilty for leaving them out.

james said something along the lines of "if you answer with confidence i think people will be okay with it. it's if you stumble that would make it awkward."

so i practiced. in my head. "yes. two in heaven." "yes, but not with us." "only her here on earth." "her and two angel babies."

i hadn't been asked yet. i was waiting. i knew it was bound to happen.

then today, the day after we had an unfortunate ultrasound with pebble, eliza gets asks. how does she answer? with a confident "yes!"

phew, dodged that one.

until the cashier looked at me like "does she really?"

"um...well, yes. the others are just in heaven. she, uh...lost a sister. this august. and, well...yea...that's her sister."

i couldn't get out of there fast enough. i appreciated the "i'm sorry. i haven't experienced that, but i saw my mom go through it" reply, but i needed out.

why today? why? as i'm picking up stuff to for what i'm going through losing pebble. i have to face that question for the first time?

thanks God.

another loss.

or so it seems.

started spotting this week. had a postpartum appointment on friday. ended up being a prenatal appointment.

they did an ultrasound and it looks like a blighted ovum (empty gestational sac)

i have to go back on the 29th to see if any growth happened. i might be earlier than i thought, but i doubt it.

i think it's happening.

i told people i'm more annoyed and mad than i am sad.

i don't understand. a friend's prayer, and mine, has been "what the hell God?"

seriously. why? why must we endure another loss? haven't You put us through enough crap?

i'm breaking.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

growing up fast.

it seems like many times in my life i've been "the baby."

i have 3 older brothers.

my first summer at lakeview i was one of the younger ones.

most jobs i held i was the kid amongst the older employees.

various groups of friends i was the little sister type.

it just fit. i was used to it.

each birthday i had i kept thinking "the numbers are going up, but i don't feel older." i felt like i was always stuck in the late 90's early 2000 era. i just didn't feel like i was getting older.

even after living on my own, getting married, buying a house, getting pregnant, miscarrying, having a baby, having a toddler. i still felt like people see me as a young one.

that changed fast.

i feel like i grew up so much this summer.

it wasn't the move from another country. it wasn't buying a (second) house. it was losing her.

that isn't something that happens to people my age.

we shouldn't have to think about burial options.

we shouldn't have to pick up a death certificate.

or meet with the thrivent guy to talk about her life insurance.

we shouldn't have to make these awful decisions.

i remember sitting in the funeral home the day after she came and left. the director was asking us for information for the obituaries. i kept thinking "i shouldn't be answering this. this is something adults do. i am not an adult. my mom should be here. she knows the answers. i am NOT an adult."

but i am. 28 years, but it wasn't until that week this summer that it hit.

i'm an adult.

there are adult decisions to be made. there are great losses to bear. silver hairs to wrinkle my nose at. children to love. children to miss.

Friday, November 11, 2011

fighter girl.

james likes to joke around with eliza and he'll tell her to put her dukes up. then they pretend fight. he of course wants her to be tough.

i never shared this video here, but it made us laugh when we saw delia. it was our last ultrasound before we left korea. my mom was there and got to see her too.

i love how she has her dukes up and that she punches me too. i'll never forget that.

also eliza was the sweetest thing saying "baybee" weird to see her on there. that was just july, but i feel like she's changed so much!

the second video is the only video we have of delia outside. i could watch her all day. i also noticed that my iPod was playing mason jennings. i don't remember putting that on, but i love that i did. i love sharing music with my beans. one of my favorite memories was when she and i were alone in the hospital room and i rocked her and played her songs. so special.

man, i miss her.

Monday, November 7, 2011

the one where i admit i suck as a friend right now.

it's true.

i cannot keep up with life. yet life as a stay at home mom isn't filled with too much it seems. we have lazy days. too many where we stay in our jammies. more than i'd like to confess to.

i used to be great at keeping in touch.

i was the one person who loved snail mail. i always sent letters, and always replied in a timely fashion.

now? i cannot even keep up with e-mails, messages, wall posts, comments, texts.

i feel like i'm sucking at friendship.

i want you to know how much i appreciate each and every single note.

i am so thankful that you took the time to write me/us.

i'm sorry i haven't replied, or if i have it's been short.

i'm trying to stay afloat.

i feel so disorganized. maybe it's because all of our stuff is everywhere still. we are in limbo. i'm still recovering.

i don't know.

i hate excuses. i just feel awful.

people have been so supportive. way more than i could have imagined.

i thank God for each of you.

praying i can turn this slump around sometime.

i hate being behind. having a full inbox. letting people down.

this sucks.

i wonder what the heck is wrong with me, but at the same time i know.

i'm sad. i need time still.


Sunday, November 6, 2011


  • i can't stop thinking about her.
  • was all saints sunday.
  • pastor read her name. the bell tolled. tears were shed.
  • her sister carries her book around like it's a prized possession.
  • i'm remembering the innocence of pregnancy that was taken away 3 years ago tomorrow.
  • i wished so many times that we could go back to the hospital.
  • i'm pregnant again.
  • i'm feeling positive about this baby aka "pebble"
  • i long to see eliza and her together.
  • is another day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

all in His plan.

at my 6 week postpartum appointment my doctor said "and do we want to talk about birth control?"

i smiled and said "nope."

she smiled back and said "well, i'm supposed to tell you in situations like this that you should wait 6 months. that being are adults and you are going to do whatever you want anyway."

i nodded and said "yep. we'll leave it up to Him. we were told to wait three months after the miscarriage and got pregnant that first cycle and that turned out pretty good for us." (thinking of our crazy 2 year old at home)

so...we put it in His hands.

then i got tired. really tired. and i wondered. and i peed on a stick.

and we saw two pink lines.

one faint, but it was there.

i'm shocked. excited. terrified.

we have always shared as soon as we find out. i figure we would tell people if we lost the baby anyway, this way we have more people praying for us.

so pray. pray. pray. pray.

i also got to thinking how crazy it is. with baby, it was one cycle. with eliza it was one cycle. with this one, one cycle.

when i hoped to be pregnant again (before delia) i assumed it would happen right away. that was the pattern thus far.

i wanted 2 under 2. my whole life that is what i dreamed of. kids close in age.

james had to leave and be in the field for those important ;) days.

and God said. "in My time."

then i wanted to be pregnant asap.

and He said. "in My time."

then it happened, but God still had other plans.

the family i had in my head? forever changed.

God sure showed me Who is in control though.

He had a plan for delia. her short life has changed lives. she needed to be. we needed her.

i have to continue to trust.

no matter what the outcome.

i hope she's up there sporting her big sister shirt.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

oh those fifs.

vanessa aka noles wrote about them before. it's been a couple years since then, and we are still going strong.

now, i'm not saying this to discount my irl (in real life) friends. they have been wonderful through everything too. my family, of course has been more than awesome.

there is just something amazing about fifs (freaky internet friends)

they are there. every. single. day.

one was there at the hospital when delia was born. she drove down from michigan to just sit in the waiting room and be there. she never expected to be welcomed into my room, but she had to be there. my family was floored. wait...what? you never met her before?

another one (that lives closer and that i had met before) came to delia's funeral. took time away from her own baby to come and meet mine. to be there for me. to hug me.

they send the most beautiful, thoughtful gifts. send texts. share rainbow pictures. are there all hours of the day (great thing about timezones and night shifts)

(it has a mama bird on the other side. the two eggs/pearls are for baby and delia.)

i still can't get over it.

the scary internet has given me some of the greatest friends! i just wish i could express to them how much they mean to me. what a blessing they have been these last 4 years.

i love you hoars. :) yes. hoars. spelled like that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

still makes me smile.

at some point after that ultrasound i remember thinking "i'm so bummed i will never be able to show her nana and papa's reaction videos"

it was the best pregnancy announcement and we had it caught on film. after we recorded it and laughed over and over i thought "this kid will love seeing this someday."

i thought of them again today. i hope she's up there laughing as i sit here smiling and watching. remembering a time of innocence and pure joy.

you can see them in this post if you haven't.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


here's the thing that really bothers me when people first hear about anencephaly. it's something not said, but you get a feeling.

when told what causes it (low folic acid) you feel them judging you. "well, why didn't you take folic acid?"

i did. i did for months before i peed on that stick.

it's something you struggle with as a mom. that your body failed. you don't need strangers making you feel guilty too.

but you know what? even though i was sick almost everyday of my pregnancy, throwing up pills and wondering why i took them in the first place. all of the important development already occurred before i even knew i was pregnant. when i was still keeping those pills down.

it's not something i could have prevented.

that's why it's hard to know that next time i have to take a prescription of folic acid. one pill equals 12.5 of the otc kind.

why can't we just start with that? would that have prevented it from happening at all?

we are educated today. we know that you should take prenatals. even though we take them, tragic things still happen.

don't judge women and assume that it's something that they did wrong.

it's not, and you just add to their pain.

october 15th is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. we remember all of those babies that were taken from us too soon.

a group of us online have joined together and are trying to raise awareness about anencephaly. i hate that spell check doesn't even recognize it every time i type it.

people need to know.

we combined the colors from pregnancy and infant loss (blue and pink) and neural tube defects (green)

i drew up this awareness ribbon and we want everyone to know what it means. we want word to spread.

anencephaly awareness.

"there is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

a due date.

it doesn't mean a whole lot when you are pregnant. not many people actually have their baby on their due date.

it's a date that sticks with you though.

when i'm pregnant i use that date as a marker. if i see a commercial on tv and it's advertising a movie that comes after that date i think "wow. we will have our baby by then!" "our life will be completely different by that date."

today has been a date i've been dreading.

it reminds me of how much more time we "should" have had together.

james and i were talking the other day. guys are so different from girls, in case you didn't know. i asked him if he still thinks about delia all the time. he said it's been happening less and less. i shouldn't be surprised by that. when i was pregnant with eliza i asked him "do you think about the baby all the time? or the fact that i'm pregnant?" he didn't really. i was surprised since that is ALL i could think about all day long, but i've learned. they are just different and that is okay. that's what makes this whole thing work.

delia is still all i think about. she's on my mind all day. the last few weeks i kept thinking "i should still be pregnant." "i should still feel her." "she should be here."

i felt so empty. we were supposed to have more time.

it's not fair.

yet once again, God reminds me of life in her death.

the date of that ultrasound? my brother's 30th birthday.

my due date? my sister's (in law if you want to be technical) birthday.

that is what i will try to focus on when these two dates roll around. life.

delia does have life in her death. a new life. one far better than these on earth.

and she reminds us in every rainbow she paints. (she's still painting by the way!)

trying. trying to remember that.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

now i lay me down to sleep.

if you know me. you know i love pictures. i take pictures. a lot. mostly of eliza.

at delia's funeral i was anxious to finally be able to take my own pictures of her. i could not stop snapping. it was my chance to photograph my bean.

at the hospital my camera barely came out. i was in the moment and didn't even think of it. that's where i was supposed to be, but i do regret not thinking to video her baptism. or her little cry. or take pictures of our short time with her.

thankfully, someone was there. solely to take pics. (well, i think it starts as that, but she was there for support to as we've become friends) to capture all the little moments.

my ma first told me about now i lay me down to sleep when we were still in korea. i waited until we got back to the states to contact them. i figured we had plenty of time.

little did i know delia would make her debut before we were even able to get our bump pictures.

our photographer friend lisa was on call and drove an hour over to the hospital at 10:00pm. she had a nursing 3 week old girl at home so she was limited on her time she could stay. she told us she could be there until 4am. hopefully delia would come before then.

well, she made it just in time...3:21am.

we are so thankful for all of the pics she took. it's nice to see those moments through another's eyes.

our family was thankful for her too. she sat with them in the waiting room, and they all just went on and on about how wonderful she was. she is!

lisa came back again the next day and took some more posed shots of delia. they are all so beautiful.

i woke up this morning and had an email with a link to a slideshow. it's perfect and something to cherish.

thank God for organizations like 'now i lay me down to sleep' for the photographers who devote their time to preserving memories for strangers friends. what a blessing they are!

go here if you want to see it. you might need some tissues.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

kite theme 2nd birthday.

i'm going to backdate this, but the truth is, it took me almost 6 months to get this posted. :) hey, i have a two year and half year old to chase!

in these few years that eliza doesn't have an opinion on themes i'm taking full advantage.

i thought this year kites would be fun!

i made postcard invites to set the stage and to save on postage!

i sewed the kites on one pieces of cardstock.

for the back i printed off the info. then i stitched the two together.

i started planning in august and one thing that kept me busy while anticipating delia's birth was this kite tail garland.

i got a jelly roll. trimmed the strips down and then tied, tied, tied.

i did a little each night while watching tv. tied them around hemp and let them be just loose enough that they could slide around for adjustments.

i hung it up at home the night before so she would have a fun surprise when she woke up. it was a nice backdrop for some birthday photos!

then we used it to decorate with at the actual party.

i also got the idea for the balloon strand from young house love. i sewed through the end of the balloon though. i thought it would be easier than tying. i should have waited and done this when we got there because they were a bit of a jumbled mess from being in the trunk.

most of the table decorations i got from target. we also had two galvanized buckets for pop and water and lemonade in a glass dispenser.

one other crafty touch i did was a mini bunting cake topper. the bakery at kroger was surprised i just wanted a plain white cake, but i had a vision. :)

i used leftover paper from her invites to tie it all together.

one other thing that jump started the kite theme was handkites i saw on etsy. i thought they would be fun favors and eliza still plays with hers! i had to make a few adjustments to the final product. i dropped them in miniature paper bags with candy and they were a fun gift for her little guests.

the craftiness didn't stop at the party. my mom taught us to send out thank you cards and i want to make sure i pass that onto eliza. last year i gave her a few sheets of cardstock and crayons. she colored then i cute them up into tiny cards.

this year i thought we'd do some postcards. she is much more into coloring so they turned out real fun!

i grabbed a sheet from her easel that she already colored. used some spray glue and mounted cardstock cut and stamped into postcards. (i found the postcard stamp at hobby lobby!)

then i trimmed, removed stickers, and scrawled a quick note!

it was a great birthday! even with how crazy/sad and trying our life was at that moment (and still is) i wanted it to be special. there were a lot more things i would have liked to of done, we wanted it at our house, but the place we found was nice. there was a shelter outside, it was a beautiful day for september, and a big open grassy area that we used for opening presents.

it was a small party, just family, but it was perfect for her!

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