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Farah's Gardening Party

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Farah's Gardening Party

Yesterday we celebrated Farah's birthday with family and friends ... and as her 4th party has come and gone, I feel like I've finally got the hang of things.  After the guests left and we sat in our disaster of a living room, Luke looked at me and said 'I think that was the least stressful and most fun birthday party so far!' ... I'll chalk that up in the 'win' column! .

A few months back, I asked Farah what kind of birthday party she wanted, and she very quickly answered 'an airplane party!' ... well, ok.  That was unexpected, but nothing this over the top party planning mom couldn't handle!  I started to formulate ideas in my head, and was really getting excited about the theme when she walked in to the kitchen one morning and out of the blue said 'I've changed my mind, I want a gardening party.'

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About Face.

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Although I was bummed that the airplane party crashed and burned, I couldn't have come up with a better theme for Farah this year.  She loves to garden, and is constantly 'planting flowers' (in reality it's more like replanting the weeds that I pull out) anytime we are outside.  So I set out to create the perfect gardening party in our backyard.  There was only one fairly substantial problem looming as the party grew closer ... the weather was supposed to be dismal, so our outdoor fete was in jeopardy.  Although the rain held off, we ended up bringing the outside in just in case and we enjoyed friends, family, and fun inside :)

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You may notice that there is no pictures of 'Happy Birthday' being sung or candles being blown out ... after last year's dramatic episode (found here) I wised up and asked Farah if she would like us to sing and to blow out candles.  She said 'mmm, maybe next year' so instead we just said a quiet 'Happy Birthday' and everyone dug in to cupcakes :)

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I went a little overboard on flowers ... but in the end, I am glad that I did!  After all, it wouldn't be a gardening party without flowers!  I hit up our local garden/produce stand Joe's Gardens and swept up all the summer bouquets they had!  I displayed them in our watering can, mason jars, and tin cans that I decoupaged vintage fruit and vegetable labels on.  I kind of love the cans, and may see more decoupage art in my future :)

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We kept the menu super simple with bbq'd hamburgers and hotdogs, my mom's famous potato salad, fruits and veggies, and potato chips ... because let's face it, you can't have a birthday without potato chips :)  Being able to prepare everything before hand and then just grill up the meat (thanks Luke) just before serving lunch let us enjoy our guests and not be stuck in the kitchen with last minute preparations!

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The cupcakes came from an idea that I saw on the Today Show and was excited about how they turned out!  Farah was able to help me with them, and surprisingly enough they were very simple!  I think we both ate our weight in Starburst as I was shaping the veggies :)

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And of course, a gardening party has to include some gardening!  Because outdoors was out of the question, I set up a gardening station on our covered front porch where the kids could plant some succulents in a little pot to take home.  I love succulents, like LOVE them.  They're pretty much kill proof ... in fact, they multiply with neglect instead of die.  Seriously the.best.  Everyone got to pick a pot, plant some 'chickens' as we call them, and then choose a pinwheel for decoration.  Not going to lie, I made a few extras to put around my house ... because I think they turned out way too cute!

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And just like that, our sweet little gem of a daughter is 4!  We could not be more blessed by this sweet girl, and look forward to every day that we get to spend with her!

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xo, Jessie

 

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Happy Birthday Farah! | Bellingham Child Photographer

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Happy Birthday Farah! | Bellingham Child Photographer

Oh our sweet, sweet, Farah ... today you are FOUR! .

As I sat at my computer ... I struggled to find words that adequately describe our darling girl.  So I turned to her favorite book "Madeline" for some creative inspiration.

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FERRIGAN

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In a little house in Bellingham

that was tucked amongst the trees

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Lived a family of four and a million golf tees.

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This family of four made sure the books were read

they said their prayers

and went to bed.

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They smiled at the good

And frowned at the bad

And more often than not they were all very glad.

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They had so much fun, again and again

sometimes they'd grin

even over a bit of a sin

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the FOUR year old was Ferrigan.

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She was not afraid of slides

she loved summer, sun, and bike rides.

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To the neighborhood deer

Ferrigan said 'hey you, I'm over here!'

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And even when she was in a funk hole

She warmed our family's heart and soul.

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It wasn't that long ago

Although we wish the time would slow

The first time we got to say 'hello'.

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Little Ferrigan swaddled tight

Made everything in the world seem right.

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And soon after we brought her home

We knew never again would we be alone.

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We laughed

We cried

Every day our hearts were bursting with pride.

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Outside were birds, trees and sky

And so four years passed quickly by.

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One nice morning on August thirteen

It was time for a birthday fit for a queen.

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Or maybe a princess ... let's not be overly ambitious.

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'This little girl is FOUR'

Read a sign outside her door.

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Bounding in with balloons and more

So much love and giggles galore.

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So as this day comes to an end

And we wait for another to begin again

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This family of four makes sure the books are read

they say their prayers

and go to bed.

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But before we turn in for the night

We make sure to recite

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The last line of Ferrigan's favorite story

The one we have memorized in all of it's glory.

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'Good night, little girls!

Thank the Lord you are well!

And now go to sleep, said Miss Clavel.

And she turned out the light,

And closed the door,

And that's all there is, there isn't any more.'

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Happy, Happy Birthday to our darling Ferrigan Christine.

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xo, Mama, Daddy, and Deacon

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Deacon's Masters Par-Tee

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Deacon's Masters Par-Tee

Well, it's official ... the golfers err, guests  have gone, the living room has been converted back to a space for living as opposed to a Par 3 course, and we have a 1 year old!  As reality sets in, I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that our little man is ONE ... however I am giving myself a little more time to be nostalgic about it, maybe until the last of the party balloons lose their air ... someday I'll get a grip, maybe :) .

As the big day approached, I was met with a mix of emotions - the mama in me was struggling, and the party planner in me was thrilled.  Those who know me, know I love to plan a party, and may or may not spend months brainstorming party ideas for upcoming events (lol, I use the word 'events' loosely ... my event planning these days is limited to my kids' birthdays).  You can find blog posts of Farah's birthdays here, here, and here.  And I will neither confirm nor deny that ideas are already swirling in my brain for her next birthday ... but I digress.

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Deacon's first birthday party theme was a foregone conclusion the day he was born.  Um, hello ... Luke is in the golf industry, Deacon was born on the 'Superbowl weekend' of golf, and his middle name (though not decided on until the day he was born) is a direct link to Augusta National Golf Course.  A Masters Par-Tee of course, for our little pro :)  I had so much fun planning this special day, and couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our little man.  We hosted a very small gathering for close friends and family to thank them for playing (pun intended) such a huge role in Deacon's first round I mean, year!

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I hope you enjoy the par-tee ...

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'Next up on the tee, with the 5:30 tee time -  Deacon Butler from Bellingham, Washington' (I think I hear a faint golf clap)

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Because the party was in the evening, we wanted to make sure there were plenty of activities for children of all ages (adults included of course), so we created a putt putt course out of an artificial grass carpet I picked up at Home Depot ... I definitely caught Luke 'testing the roll' a time or two, and won't be surprised if the holes make an appearance before his tournaments :)  I created little score cards for the indoor course and found plastic clubs at our local party store which doubled as party favors.

Post 2Post 4We also created a Caddy Shack where party-goers found golf themed cartoon illustrations to color.  Of course a birthday party isn't complete without some variation of pin the tail ... and Pin the Flag in Augusta was a definite hit ... maybe more so for the adults than the kids :)

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Dinner was served shortly after guests arrived and included BBQ Chicken 'Sand Wedges' (sandwiches), Fruit 'Slice' Salad, Fresh 'Greens', and 'Chip Shots' ... a SUPER easy menu that made it possible for Luke and I to really enjoy the party without having to worry about food prep.

Post 5And of course, no golf course is complete without a well-stocked bar.  Guests could belly up to the 19th Hole and enjoy a refreshing Arnold Palmer after their round on the Par 3 course.

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The cake was something I just threw together (lol, don't you hate it when people say that ... it's like the equivalent of complimenting someone's outfit and in return they say 'oh, this old thing?!')  I decided that I was going to brave making Deacon's 'smash cake' and found the perfect idea on Pinterest (of course) to try.  I was pretty happy with how it turned out ... aside from being gigantic, and turning my hands and Deacon's hands, face, shirt, shorts, and high chair semi-permanently green.  I also made cupcakes, but completely lost interest in the grass effect ... so guests enjoyed cupcakes (and as my 4 year old nephew said) 'with snakes on top ... but don't worry, they're not real snakes' :) I also would like to take a moment to clarify the statement 'I made' when referring to anything baked in my house ... it definitely comes out of a box, Duncan Hines to be exact ... and the frosting is ALWAYS Duncan Hines cream cheese.

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Deacon wasn't too sure about the whole singing bit, but he powered through without a tear and enjoyed his cake (or actually, he enjoyed the frosting ... it was layered so thick, I don't think he ever actually made it to the cake), of course it took less than a second for the ball to come off ... which he promptly threw (green icing and all) on the floor and clapped his hands proudly :)

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I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into Deacon's first birthday, I think it was a hit (lol, the puns just keep coming).

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I had so much fun planning this little par-tee and even more fun celebrating our sweet boy.

xo, Jessie

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Happy Birthday Deacon! | Whatcom Baby Photographer

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Happy Birthday Deacon! | Whatcom Baby Photographer

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Year | yir | noun:  The period of 365 days, used for reckoning time in ordinary affairs .

Deacon is a year old today ... a YEAR people.  He is basically about to pack up and move away to college (cue the melodrama ... and the waterworks).

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In all seriousness though, I'm not sure how we got here.  I can honestly say that I feel like he was born yesterday ... I was tracking my contractions on my nifty little app, alerting family and friends that 'it's go time!', and  getting my last minute Masters picks submitted for the office pool (no joke).  I think it was a mid-contraction frantic pick that cemented my place at the bottom of the leaderboard (no hard feelings though, I got the best prize that Masters weekend had to offer).  I have contemplated this blog post for awhile now, not really sure which direction to go ... so forgive me if I wander.

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As we come to the end of Deacon's 1st chapter, part of me feels like we haven't been here before - like we are moving into uncharted territory.  But of course we have, with Farah just 2 and a half years ago (a mere 952 days, but who's counting).  The day that you look forward to with excitement and anticipation, but hope and pray will stay off in the distance for awhile because it is also bittersweet.  The day your baby turns one.

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Time is such a puzzling thing.  How can it feel as though this tiny human was born yesterday, yet at the same time seem as though they have been a part of your life forever?  I keep going back to the definition of a year ... 'the period of 365 days, used for reckoning time in ordinary affairs' and can only come to one conclusion ... Google is obviously not a mother :)  A year is so much more than that!  It is 365 days of self discovery, 365 days of a 'new normal' that occasionally borders on pure insanity (that you wouldn't trade for anything), 365 days filled with laughter as well as tears, 365 days of experiencing the world through the eyes of a child, and 365 amazing days of unadulterated joy and unconditional love.  Days that will never repeat themselves, except in the spirit of memories; locked tight and held safe in your heart for a lifetime.

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It is inexplicable how fast it goes, and with each passing day I feel like it goes a little faster.  However I take comfort in knowing that we have tomorrow.  Another day of discovery, another day of laughter (and most likely some tears), another day experiencing the world through the eyes of our children, and another amazing day of unadulterated joy and unconditional love.  As for yesterday?  Well, we have the memories - a blessing for which I am forever grateful!  I am so thankful for this little life of ours, for our beautiful and awe-inspiring children, and for a chance to share our joy with each and every person who is a part of our children's stories.  So thank you ... all of you.  You have watched our family grow, supporting and loving us along the way ... truly, thank you.

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Happy, Happy 1st Birthday to our 'Mister Man', 'Buster Boy', 'Deaky Deaky Deaky'.  Our darling boy whose belly laugh is infectious, loves his sissy the most, is happiest with any sort of ball in his hand, runs and climbs stairs like he's been doing it for years (I have recently pulled 4 grey hairs out of my head, coincidence?  I don't think so ... ), and whose smile is almost too big for the 6-9 month clothes he currently wears :)

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Thank you Deacon, for the last 365 days, thank you for the next 365, and the next, and the next 366 (I know there is a Leap Year in there somewhere), and thank you sweet boy, for a lifetime of memories!  We love you Deacon Butler!

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xo, Jessie

 

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Farah's Garden Retreat

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Farah's Garden Retreat

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When we moved to our new house (cough, 15 months ago) I was SO excited to decorate Farah's room.  I had found the most amazing wallpaper at Anthropologie and HAD to have it, it was absolutely perfect for a little girl's room!  If you've read my post about Deacon's room here then you already know about my inability to stay motivated to finish a project in any respectable amount of time ... it's a problem.  However, in my own defense, I was 6 months pregnant when we moved, 8 months pregnant when we hung the wallpaper, and then was charged with keeping two small humans alive for the last year - I say that's an okay excuse for taking so long to finish this sweet little bedroom.  All excuses aside, I think now that it is finished it was 100% worth the wait :) .

Welcome to Farah's garden retreat ...

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I think that without a doubt, my favorite thing about Farah's room is how much she adores her little space.  It makes my mama heart happy knowing that we have created a room where she feels so 'at home', and a place that she is proud to call hers.  Just like with Deacon's room, many of the items have a bit of a history and have been in the family for many years.

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'The mirror', this is seriously what we call it in our family.  It's sort of like Cher or Madonna, no last name or additional description required ;).  All joking aside, I feel SO lucky to be boarding this piece temporarily.  It is one of those items that doesn't have a forever home, it seems to move from place to place for unspecified amounts of time ... just long enough for the current foster family to marvel at it's beauty and daydream about it's history.  It came from the ranch, however it's exact story is unknown.  It is very old, quite heavy, and amazingly beautiful; the cracking paint and weathered glass surface makes it all the more special.  I just adore this mirror, and couldn't imagine anything else complimenting the wallpaper and hanging above Farah's headboard!  Speaking of headboard ... I found this little gem on Craigslist for $15 (well, actually I got TWO matching headboards, the other is in our attic for now ... total score!) a quick gold paint job, and tada - a sweet little bed fit for a Farah :)  The chenille bedspread is a vintage item from, you guessed it ... the ranch!  I am now dreaming about an official 'ranch' blog post - I promise it will come as soon as we plan (and execute) our next family vacation!

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Just about the time that we were moving to our new home, I received a text from Luke's mom who was visiting her own mother for the day.  Included in the text was a picture of this beautiful dresser, and the simple message 'Gigi wants you to have this, if you'd like it?' ... UM, YES PLEASE!!  At that point, I had no idea what we were going to do with Farah's clothes once we moved the dresser/changing table into Deacon's room - and this was the perfect solution!  Originally it belonged to Luke's uncle, Michael who passed away several years ago.  Although I didn't have the chance to meet him, I know that I would have absolutely loved him (and his passion for antiquing).  The glassybabies ... oh, the glassybabies.  I am fairly certain that when envisioning my future children's rooms (before I had kids ... because that's normal, right?) that glassybaby was always in the mental picture.  I mean, if handblown glass votive holders don't scream 'baby room' I don't know what does?! Haha.  But seriously, they are amazing ... and as those who know me can attest, I love my glassybaby ... every.single.one (and yes, I refuse to count how many I have).  These babies are some of my favorites; the lightest pink is named 'Baby' and was given to me when I was pregnant with Farah, and the medium pink is 'First Kiss' which was given to me at a wedding shower ... the others are a few that I picked up at some 'seconds' sales I've attended over the years.  If you don't know the story behind these magical little vessels, you can read about them here ... but be careful, the addiction is real.  In fact, I was just texting with a cousin about a new glassybaby called 'Tulip'.  I'm going to need that one too,  it will actually go quite nicely in Farah's room! (Hint, hint, Mother's Day is approaching).

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The collage wall has been the biggest work in progress, and I kept getting hung up on the fact that 'it wasn't complete'; but it dawned on me recently why I was feeling this way.  While enjoying a rainy morning at the local children's museum, Farah created a sweet little art piece.  She was SO proud of herself, and literally couldn't wait to get home to hang it on her wall.  That was it!  The items that were missing from Farah's wall were nothing that I could create in Photoshop, or buy at a design store ... it was HER art that was needed to finish the room!  I hit up our local office supply store and grabbed some cheapy clip boards, spray painted them and hung them up.  I envision artwork getting swapped out for newer pieces, especially as Farah is slated to start preschool in the fall (excuse me while I catch my breath), it will be a revolving masterpiece - I am really excited about it!

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Of course, the room wouldn't have been complete without a reference to Farah's namesake, her Great Granddad Jim Ferrigan.  A little picture taken in the 20s of my grandfather Jim and his sister Norinne is hung on the wall of Farah's room, a very special momento that I know she will cherish forever.

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Our sweeet Ferrigan Christine's room is a special place in our home, and I am excited to watch this little garden room change as our darling girl grows.

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xo, Jessie

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Bloggers Note: Another fun treat in Farah's room is a very large storage space that lies just behind a narrow door in the corner of the room. Just like with the rest of our house, I have BIG PLANS for this space ... stay tuned for future posts about a kiddo-retreat (play space, reading nook, etc.). I'm typing this out as a way to hold myself accountable ... however, if you are interested in remaining conscious, I would refrain from holding your breath :) It will get done ... in due time (let's just hope it's before we are empty-nesters).

 

 

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A Modern Vintage Cowboy ... Is that a thing?!

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A Modern Vintage Cowboy ... Is that a thing?!

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Here we are, closing in on Deacon's first birthday (I might have just blinked back serious tears typing that) and I am finally getting around to sharing the little mister's nursery ... is it still a nursery when the sleeping babe is one?! .

Before I give you the tour, I have a bit of a confession. The reason I am just now getting around to sharing this room is because, well ... we just finished it :) I always have the best of intentions to finish something that I have started within an acceptable time frame, however somewhere between starting and finishing, life gets in the way, and I lose all motivation ... ha!

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So now that you know one of my deepest, darkest secrets ... without further adieu, I give you Master Deacon's room, and a little (ok, long) back story to accompany the pictures!

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First off, we found out that we were having a BOY right before Christmas 2013 (lol ... that seems like 12 lifetimes ago) and while shopping, I found a JellyCat stuffed animal that was the most adorable white and brown pinto horse. PSA: if you ever need to find a 'lovey' for a baby, get a JellyCat! They are THE BEST ... so soft and cuddly, and are the most darling animal characters, many of which have matching children's books. I knew the instant that I found the horse that he was the perfect lovey for our baby boy; and he also would serve as the inspiration for the nursery! I tried to play it cool when I handed Luke the gift from under the tree with a tag that read 'To: Baby Boy Bennett Love: Santa' ... but as soon as he opened it, all my ideas for a 'modern vintage cowboy' room came pouring out. My poor husband, he's such a good sport ... he just smiled and nodded and when I finally stopped talking, quietly said 'I think that's perfect!'. Chances are he didn't really know if 'modern vintage cowboy' was a thing, or if a 12 inch plush toy could be the inspiration for an entire room ... but he kindly went with it.

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Here he is! Doesn't he just scream modern vintage cowboy?!

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Haha, in my now non-pregnant brain, I can catch a glimmer of how crazy my original ideas may have sounded ... but just a very slight glimmer ;) Farah has named him 'Deacon' (she's so original) but I think we'll give the cowboy a some more time before the horse gets an official name (in hopes that Deacon learns to say something besides 'dadadadadadadada').

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As far as decorating the room, I didn't have to go far to find some key design pieces ... my parent’s house was a treasure trove of 'vintage cowboy'! My mom's family has been in the ranching business since the early 1900s when her maternal grandparents settled in northern Nevada as sheep ranchers. As a child I spent my summers at the ranch, and often found 'ranch artifacts' as we called them (an old rusted can of sardines with the original rollback tin top still intact is not junk or trash people ... it's a 'ranch artifact'). Many of the more unique artifacts that came home with us from the Nevada desert eventually found a place as art in our home, serving as a daily reminder of our ranching heritage. I look back on my childhood summers with such fondness, the ranch being such a huge part of my story - I literally CANNOT wait to take our children there, to give them similar memories of their own to cherish for a lifetime. Bringing a little bit of the ranch into Deacon's room was so much fun, and more than a little nostalgic!

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The skull (lol, it makes me laugh talking about a skull in a nursery, but stylistically, it fits ... right?!) was a must-have, there's not much back story to it, other than my dad found it while walking the range and brought it home ... I kind of love it! The wreath came from the fence of a temporary coral; when cowboys would set up short-term fencing to complete cowboy duties like branding cattle, they would often string barbed wire and then leave the remaining coil hanging on a fencepost. After forty or fifty years exposed to the harsh elements of high desert weather, these rusted coils become the neatest looking wreaths. My mom found this one (and kindly let Deacon borrow it for 'awhile'). As for the small picture of the open range ... if you look closely, you'll see a wild mustang running through the brush. My mom took this picture with her camera phone (pre iPhone, haha) several years ago - so I edited the image to look a bit more like a painting than a photograph.

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Once I had stolen from my parents house, ahem ... procured the vintage items, it was time to figure out the 'modern' side to this cowboy's bunkhouse. After an unsuccessful search for navy striped curtains I had to get creative (seriously folks, something like navy striped curtains should be easy to find ... especially when they existed so clearly in my brain)! I found just what I was looking on SALE at Target in the form of duvet covers, and figured that cutting them in half, sewing up the edges and throwing them on a curtain rod would be easy! So I enlisted my seamstress (also known as my mom) to make my vision a reality. It turns out the process was a bit more involved than just 'cutting, sewing, and throwing them on a curtain rod', however the finished product was worth the hassle (I think ... right, mom?!) and they are perfect! We added a few more contemporary details in the patterned crib sheet and graphic wall art ... and voila, modern was officially a part of the room :)

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I would be remiss if I didn't mention a few more special details, starting with the rocking chair. My parents bought this sweet little wooden rocker before they had my sister 30-something years ago. Hearing the soft creaks in the wood as I rock Deacon at night is so comforting to me; it's as if the chair is sharing some of its own secrets of all the little babies it has lulled throughout the years. The rug ... one day while daydreaming about the room, I texted my dad asking if they had a cowhide that we could use as a rug (that's a normal text, right?! haha), I remember his response clearly, and it still makes me giggle ... 'Jessie, don't ask silly questions!' A few months later we received the perfect little rug from my parents, and every time I look at it I can't help but be reminded to not ask silly questions :) And finally, a little image of a small white building flanked by large trees and bushes ... not so vintage, definitely not modern, and about the farthest thing from cowboy you could find! It's the Butler cabin at Augusta National Golf Course, a little ode to Deacon's middle name ... this sweet little afterthought in the room might be one of my most favorite pieces. The print is just a placeholder for now; someday we will take Deacon to the Masters and get a proper picture of the cabin :)

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I love, love, love this little space and am so pleased with how it turned out. I am so excited to watch Deacon grow up in this room, and I just know that with the fun blend of modern and vintage pieces it will be a place he enjoys for years to come. I can almost hear him and his little friends giggling in his room, making up tall tales of the Wild Wild West and how that skull came to be on his wall :)

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I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into one of my favorite rooms in our home!

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xo, Jessie

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PS - Farah's room will be up on the blog soon too ... just as soon as I find one last 'must-have' item for the wall :)

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Ordinary Magic | Whatcom Family Photographer

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Ordinary Magic | Whatcom Family Photographer

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This day! .

There is no way to really describe today and do it justice, it was just an ordinary Sunday that somehow turned magical.  Even as I crawled into bed, exhausted from our sun-soaked afternoon, I couldn't stop smiling ... nor could I stop replaying the events from our beach day in my head, my heart is so full!  So up I got, and here I am ... blogging at 11:00pm (who knew this mom could stay up past 10:00?!)

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Spring has sprung in the Bennett household, which means the WWU Mens Golf season is in full swing (pun intended) and Daddy spends many weekends in planes, trains (ok not really), and automobiles traveling to golf tournaments as the Mens Golf Coach.  Quite honestly, the golf season is bitter sweet for me - I love that my husband gets to do something that he loves, and watching him pour so much of himself into his alma mater, team, and next generation of young men is inspiring.  The tough part for me is not that I'm going it alone in the parenting world, don't get me wrong, it can be challenging (insert MAJOR props for single parents here, you all are truly amazing) instead my struggle stems from the fact that he might miss something fabulous like first steps (no worries, Deacon is already toddling around) or first swear word (yep, he was there for that too ... thankfully?).  It is for this reason that I LOVE technology - phones, cameras, FaceTime, Facebook, Instagram ... I think I hear the angels singing.  When Daddy is gone, technology and I team up to make sure he feels like he isn't missing anything, even the occasional 3 year old tantrum ;)

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When the forecast was calling for another glorious day, I packed up the kiddos, grabbed my camera (to document our day for Daddy), and hit the road ... destination: family beach cabin in Anacortes.  I think I will save 'the cabin' for a later post, but suffice it to say - it is a little slice of beachfront heaven that Luke's grandparents purchased decades ago.  Often it is filled to the brim with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends - but today, it was all ours!

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We headed straight down to the beach, and it took approximately 4.3 seconds for Farah to dive into the sand.  Running it through her fingers, burying her feet, and even making a sand angel or two (check out the photographic proof on Instagram here) she was in paradise.  Deacon was equally as excited, and all attempts of keeping him content on a blanket quickly proved futile ... he may have eaten more sand than the resident seagulls throughout the day ;)

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And then it happened.  Sometime between stealing a few pictures with both kids (thanks to my handy dandy wireless remote control) and skipping rocks into the low tide waters, I stopped to drink it all in.  Farah was spinning around arms extended, head tipped towards the sky and Deacon was inspecting a seashell, his little clothes caked with sand.  My heart swelled and I choked back big, happy tears.  This seemingly ordinary moment was in fact nothing short of extraordinary ... it was magical.

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I am so blessed ... I have so much to be thankful for! And today my partnership with technology while Luke is gone is pretty high on that list.  Not only do I get to keep these moments in my heart for a lifetime, but Luke does too (and you as well) through these images ... Enjoy :)

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xo, Jessie

Jessie Bennett Phootography

 

 

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Half Birthdays are Worth Celebrating! | Whatcom Lifestyle Photographer

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Half Birthdays are Worth Celebrating! | Whatcom Lifestyle Photographer

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With a little one under a year ... we tend to celebrate month birthdays, One Month ... Two Months ... 10 Months.  And it dawned on me as we neared Miss Farah's half birthday, we should be celebrating that too ... because life is worth celebrating, and 3 1/2 years old is a pretty big deal :) The half birthday celebration started while Little Brother was taking his afternoon nap, I told Farah that we could do anything that she wanted to celebrate!  Her list was short but detailed, and did not disappoint!  'First, let's read the letter book (The Jolly Postman) ... then I'd like to make you some soup!  Maybe I could jump on the bed?  And then take a picture with your big camera, I promise I'll be really REALLY careful!'

And that's what we did ... it was magical!

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(of course later she got to choose what was for dinner, definitely not our most nutritious meal of the week ... and I made cupcakes for dessert, just to make it half birthday official)

 

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Deacon - 296 Days Old | Whatcom Baby Photographer

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Deacon - 296 Days Old | Whatcom Baby Photographer

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After hemming and hawing over whether or not I should risk waking a sleeping 9 month old, by undressing him, posing him, wrapping him, and photographing him ... I did it, and am so glad I did!  I think I speak for all newborn photographers when I say, this is a dream come true :) recreating a newborn image on a not-so-newborn baby was 100% worth the risk of waking him up! I have always been an advocate for mamas to sneak into the rooms of their sleeping kiddos to steal a few photos (newborn, baby, toddler, big kid ... age doesn't matter).  Because let's face it, no matter how old your baby is ... while they are sleeping, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the face you first laid eyes on in their infancy, the one that stole your heart and filled it to the brim with more love than you thought was humanly possible!  So work up some courage ... test the waters (I would be lying if I said I had a 100% no-wake success rate) ... and get those pictures!  It doesn't matter if you use a smart phone or a camera, the important thing is to capture those moments and save them for a lifetime!

And in case you're interested in other sleeping kiddo pictures, generally I take them with my iPhone and post them here to Instagram.  Feel free to follow me there too :)

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Farah Froze the Summer

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Farah Froze the Summer

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You guys, Frozen Fever is REAL ... and it has hit the Bennett house HARD.  Nevermind the fact that in the days and weeks after Deacon was born, Farah seemed to become glued to the movie - and out of utter exhaustion, our 'limit screentime' mentality went by the way, way, wayside.  I'm not kidding you, we somehow lost the remote control to the DVD player, and the movie was stuck on 'repeat'.  At some point we had to just 'Let it Go' and the DVD mysteriously disappeared for a prolonged period of time :) As Farah's birthday approached I decided that as a big THREE year old (where is time going?!) I would let her pick a party theme.  Over dinner one night, I broached the subject of her upcoming birthday and asked if she had any ideas on what kind of party she wanted ... then the party planner and control freak in me held my breath.  After a couple seconds of watching the little wheels in her brain turning, her face lit up and out it came ...

FROZEN!

Well, that settled that, and it was time for me to put my 'spin' on Frozen (less commercial 'character' stuff ... more creative adaptation of Frozen ideas).  Unfortunately for all involved, singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles fell RIGHT at what should have been nap time (Mom Fail), thus the not-so-happy Farah.  I am glad to report that she rallied after the meltdown and had a great time :)  After the last guest left, she gave me a huge hug and as she squeezed her little arms around my neck said 'That was my best birthday ever, Mommy!' ... melt my heart (pun intended) :)

Enjoy!

xo, Jessie

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Welcome to Camp Farah!

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Welcome to Camp Farah!

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I am really at a loss ... how can it be that Farah is already TWO?!  I'm really not sure where the last year has gone, but can assure you that it has been so much fun watching our little girl grow.  She has the sweetest personality, I see so much of myself and Luke in her mannerisms (I think she got the best of both of us ... if I am allowed to be so biased)! When it came time to plan yet another birthday party, I found myself saying 'well, she only turns two once!' ... slippery slope, folks, slippery slope.  Because next year she'll only be 'three once', and the year after 'four once'.  Oh well, it is what it is ... this mama loves to plan a party :)  I knew early on that I wanted this party to be a 'Camp Out' theme, and had so much fun bringing Camp Farah to life for our friends and family.

The weather the morning of the party was dismal, but the rain stopped and clouds parted just in time to set up the A-frame tents Luke and I had made and fire up the bar-b-que for an afternoon camp out!  Another successful party is in the books, now I'm off to snuggle my 2 year old ... time is going too fast, and I am determined to enjoy each day we have with this little blessing.

xo, Jessie

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Happy 1st Birthday Farah!

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Happy 1st Birthday Farah!

Our sweet Ferrigan Christine is ONE, how on Earth did that happen?!  I feel as though I had been planning for this day for so long, excited to see the ideas for a small garden party come to life; yet at the same time wishing that time would slow down, I wasn't quite ready for our little girl to be a year old! I wanted this party to be as much about our guests as it was about Farah, it was a very small gathering of our closest friends and family - all whom are such a big part of our Farah's life.  It was my hope that the afternoon would provide a chance for us to thank these important people for all they do for our little family.

We decided to host a dessert party in the late afternoon for our guests to come and enjoy 'sweets, treats, and refreshments', and I chose a pink (shocking) and white color pallette to carry out my vision of a 'shabby chic meets modern' backyard soiree ... I'm not kidding, sometimes I worry myself with my theme ideas!  I was so pleased with out it turned out, and couldn't have asked for a more beautiful celebration.

Photo Credit: My very talented best friend, Kamriell Welty whose photography work can be seen here.

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