15 Toddlers on New Year’s Eve


When I got Wrenn out of bed on New Year’s Eve morning, I told her that we were going to have a big party at our house that night, and that all of her friends would be coming over to play.

“Will there be cookies? Candy cane cookies? With SPRINKLES ON IT?”

Girlfriend knows that anytime we have a party, there are dozens of unsuspecting people whom she can sweet talk into giving her cookies, sugar, candy, and all the things that I rarely let her have. She’s got the system DOWN.

Happy New Year to her.

We hosted 40 people at our house for a New Year’s Eve party. About 15 of those were under the age of four.

The pre-child version of me would have had a heart attack at the thought of so many littles running loose in her house, throwing her things across the room or hearing the random <<<<CRASH!!!!>>>> and knowing a bucket of something had just fallen off a shelf.

But mama Bethe barely noticed. Every time we heard a crash, all of us parents would pause mid-conversation and wait to see if it would be followed by screams, and when no screams were heard, nobody even looked in the direction of the crash. Because this is our life stage right now. It’s noisy, and messy, and if you don’t embrace it, it will send you straight to the loony bin.

Besides, there was a cheese tray and bacon-wrapped sausage (yes!) to munch on. So why worry?


It was really a wonderful party, that happened to be over by 9:00 p.m. We celebrated the new year at 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00, so our littles had plenty of opportunities to cheer and revel in the celebration, and then moms and dads got them home and tucked into bed in time to not throw off their precious schedules entirely. (Although, Mr. Right and I stayed up all the way until midnight with another couple, having wonderful adult conversations that didn’t involve any toddlers screaming over us. It was bliss.)

The following morning, my house looked like we had hosted a fraternity party. For toddlers. Glitter, toys, and popcorn were everywhere. We found spare clothing items (all of the toddler variety) scattered throughout the house. Dirty dishes filled our kitchen.

It was so worth it.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions involves hosting a ridiculous amount of people in my home this year (nothing new for us… just want to kick it up a notch), and this was the perfect way to kick it off. Party on, 2016!

First Birthday – Party Prep

bird day party - blog

Wrenn is turning ONE in two weeks. How is that possible? I swear just yesterday I was 800 months pregnant, lamenting to my husband that I would never go into labor, as I was stuck on the couch on bedrest, eating Chick-fil-a and binge-watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix (y’all, Netflix got me through a very difficult pregnancy and the first two months of Wrenn’s life). And then my water broke, and next thing I knew, I was in the hospital holding my beautiful, big-eyed baby girl.

And now that beautiful, big-eyed baby girl is about to be ONE. ONE! We’ve decided to avoid the first birthday insanity and host a family-only birthday party with a simple dinner and cupcakes. But of course I had to design a special invitation and a FEW special decorating touches for the big day.


It was only fitting that we declare this a BIRD-day party in honor of our little Wrenn-bird. We

found the idea a few months ago from a greeting card while on one of Mr. Right’s secret dates. The card had a bird with a crown and it simply said, “Happy BIRD-day.” From there, we spent the evening brainstorming fun ways to use this theme.

I’ve been on my best behavior and haven’t gone crazy buying decorations OR gifts, but I did decide that Wrenn would have to have a special birthday dress. I found this pattern on Etsy and did a practice run with scrap fabric (see photo) to make sure I could do it. I’m in love with the way it turned out! I’ve bought special BIRD-day fabric, and Wrenn will proudly debut her new dress at the party. (Lord, please don’t let her have a blow-out diaper in her new dress before the party starts!)

I can’t wait to fill you in on the rest of the details! Also, in the meantime, don’t forget about my little Etsy Shop! That shop helps fund my fabric addiction.


PrintCheck out my newest print: Every Day I Love You.

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Baby Shower

Over the weekend Andrea and I hosted a baby shower for our dear friend Katie. She’s doing a lamb theme for her nursery and decorating it in purples, grays, and whites, so we decorated the shower to match.


I spent weeks working on craft projects, and then when I set everything out, it seemed kind of… wimpy. So then I did some more crafts in the days leading up to the party, raided my house for decorations, and called Andrea who rescued me with some more filler. I’m so pleased with the result!



Mr. Right and I are on a mason jar kick right now. We have some gorgeous glassware from Pottery Barn, but it’s so delicate that I can’t wash it in the dishwasher, and it shows water spots like crazy, and, well… I don’t have time to hand wash and perfectly dry my glasses every single time I use them. Mason jars are cheap, hardy, and can be thrown in the dishwasher. And they’re cute! We have some larger ones for everyday use, and I invested in 18 smaller ones for parties (here they are on Amazon).


I made mini hash brown casseroles (here’s the recipe – next time I’ll add another egg or two to keep them from crumbling) and this fruit salad. Andrea brought those adorable lamb cupcakes, sausage balls, and mini muffins. I’ve found, over my decade of hosting showers, that it’s better to only offer a few food items – it’s so much easier to cook larger quantities of a few options (makes for a much smoother day!), and your guests still get plenty to eat. It meant that I didn’t have to stress and could enjoy the morning before the party (a plus, considering I was also corralling a crawling eight month old as I prepped).


Andrea and Katie were bridesmaids in my wedding… they have been such dear friends to me, and it’s fun to celebrate new life stages together. It was so fun to celebrate a new baby girl for my friend. Ever since I had Wrenn, I have had a new appreciation of what a treasure babies are!


6 And Wrenn’s dress… we don’t dress her in frilly things very often (my baby style is all about comfort/mobility and much less girlie than I ever would have predicted pre-baby ), but someone gave us this gorgeous pink polka-dotted dress at one of my baby showers, and it’s like a baby prom dress. I love it. Every girl has to dress up occasionally, right?

Can I just add that it’s so rare to get a picture of me with Wrenn that’s (1) not a selfie, (2) I’m wearing make-up and my hair is done. I’m trying really hard to have pictures of all three of us together, because I know in 30 years I will love looking back on this time of life, but man, it’s hard!

Happy Baby Shower Katie – I can’t wait to meet Baby Girl in a few months!


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Cute as a Button Baby Shower

My blog is acting funny – I posted this earlier this week, but for some reason you couldn’t click on the link or comment… so I’m posting it again. Sorry to my email subscribers who are probably tired of seeing this – thanks for your patience!


Last weekend my sisters and mom hosted a “cute as a button” baby shower for little Wrenn. And let me tell you, they gave Martha Stewart a run for her money – I’ve never seen such cute decorations!


They used antique family quilts, along with sewing supplies, as decorations. It was the absolute perfect theme for me.




This hand-made bunting will be making another appearance in her nursery soon. Thanks Aunt Sarah!



A photo with my mom and two sisters – such amazing hostesses!


Mr. Right made an appearance at the end… such a cutie. And for the record – I didn’t realize how big that baby belly of mine had gotten until I saw this picture – WOWZERS!


My mother-in-law and Mr. Right’s aunt…


A dear sorority sister from Baylor…


Thanks to everyone who came out to bless little Wrenn Olivia!

The Mullet Quilt

For my mama’s birthday I just knew I wanted to make her a quilt. It was a big milestone birthday and it deserved to be marked with an extra-special gift.

And then I got that pesky morning sickness that is STILL lingering, and all of my quilting dreams went out the window. I haven’t even turned on my sewing machine since November. I would have gone through withdrawals if I had had the energy to care… but you and I know that when you’re too sick to care about taking a shower, you don’t give two thoughts to things like crafts. (PS – I’m showering again, in case you were worried.)

But God came through in his perfect timing, just like he always does, and granted me a nausea-free day (and a day off!) just a few days before the party. So after a marathon session in my beloved but lately neglected sewing studio, I was able to whip out this little beauty. I call her my Mullet Quilt. You know why? Becuase it’s neutral in the front…

And a party in the back.

I was determined to branch out from my regular chevron pattern, but (1) I found these two gray fabrics and fell in love, and (2) it’s already getting hard for me to get up and down off the floor, and I’m getting pretty fast at whipping out chevron patterns and don’t have to do as much work on my hands and knees laying out patterns. I have a feeling the more pregnant I get, the less time I’ll be spending crawling around on the floor. Which means Baby Girl may be getting a chevron quilt too (which would be fitting, because it’s my favorite pattern).

I quilted a straight line along the zig-zags to make the pattern pop. I bought the fabric at my new favorite quilting store, Cabbage Rose in Fort Worth, and it’s so unbelievably soft. And gorgeous. Mr. Right talked me into buying the crazy floral backing, and I’m now so in love with it that I may use some of it for the nursery. He’s good at making me branch out of my comfort zone like that.

Later this week I’ll post about the party we threw my mama for her big birthday. In the meantime, happy birthday mom – I love you! And I can’t wait to get back to my sewing machine for the next project.

How we rocked the block on Halloween

Confession – I have never handed out candy at my house on Halloween. Ever. Well, at least since I was a grown-up. I’m always either (1) at a Halloween party at someone else’s house, or (2) hiding in my back sewing studio with all the house lights off, trying to enjoy a few hours of sewing bliss while simultaneously praying that no angry trick-or-treaters egg my house.

So I guess that makes me a Halloween Scrooge. But not this year! This year, Mr. Right single-handedly threw a ginormous Halloween party at our house, and it was a blast. It may be a new annual tradition.

I say he single-handedly threw the party because I had to work right up until the time the party started, and he was able to take the day off. So, he really did all the set up, all the cooking, all the decorating by himself (and most of the clean-up the morning after).

And he rocked it. I am so thankful I married a man with a servant’s heart.

I mean cowboy. I married a cowboy with a servant’s heart.

I’m no good at costumes (nor do I really care), but thankfully my sister is the QUEEN of costumes, so I was able to swing by her house on my way to the party and borrow this gorgeous 80s rodeo queen get-up. It’s my new favorite dress. (and so comfortable!)

You know who your closest friends are, because they’re the ones who show up before a party starts just to see if you need any last-minute help. They’re also the same people who call you your husband late at night when they’re having plumbing issues, and who never EVER judge you when they come over to your house and it’s a wreck and you don’t have any makeup on.  Anyway, not only did Andrea come by early to help (and stay late to clean up), but her taco soup also won the grand prize for our driveway chili cook-off.

So back to the party. We did a little calf-roping…

Baby holding… (look closely, this baby lumberjack has a “beard.”)

May the odds be ever in your favor-ing…


Bat gazing…

And candy handing out-ing… (No lie, I think we handed out candy to 300-400 little ones.)

And further evidence that Mr. Right is one of the most generous and hospitable people that I know, toward the end of the night he started inviting the trick-or-treaters to come in and get a drink and some dessert. Pretty soon word spread, and we probably fed an extra 1,000 people. Not really, but it sured seemed that way. Probably closer to 50.

I’m now sleeping off a post-Halloween-party-non-alcohol-induced hangover. I will admit that a mid-week party in our home just about killed me, but lesson learned – next year I will just plan to take off work the morning after a party, and all will be fine! In the meantime, if you need me, you will find me at home in my PJs from tonight through Sunday morning, probably sipping a Diet Coke and watching another 50 episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

Chocolate wisdom and leopard ruffles

Isn’t that just one of the greatest quotes ever? What a treat when I opened my beloved little chocolate from a secret stash bequeathed to me by a coworker. That stash is only for the most special of occasions… like when I try to cut back on caffeine. Which I’m trying to do – not an easy task when you average about six cups of coffee a day… on a good day.
My goal is two cups a day. Today I made it to two cups of coffee and a Diet Coke because I met a dear friend at Chick-fil-a, and I just couldn’t bring myself to order water. I was so strong on Paleo and so weak now that I’m off of it. I think I’m a total all-or-nothing kind of girl. Dang it.
This past weekend I threw a classy bachelorette party for one of my dearest friends who is getting married next week. I absolutely can’t wait, it’s going to be one of those weddings of the year, helped by the fact that it also happens to be a dear, dear friend. And there will be good food. And my dress is somewhat forgiving. And I’m wearing nude pumps that would make Kate Middleton swoon. It’s a win-win.
I promise to post new pictures soon, but wanted to show off my fancy new ruffled tablecloth. I learned how to make this on YouTube — ahh, YouTube, you have changed my life so. Mr. Right wasn’t a fan of the leopard print and pink ruffles, somehow he doesn’t find it as neutral (and awesome) as I do. When I assured him that I could re-use some of the fabric I purchased for the party in our house – he wasn’t so game. So I may have to make some leopard ruffle pillows for my new etsy shop.
Speaking of etsy shops – I promise you I’m working hard on creating inventory so I actually have something to post. Because as beautiful as an empty shop is… well, it really isn’t very beautiful. In the meantime, I have a few friends who have inquired about special items… if you have something you want, I am happy to create something ahead of time before I launch the store. Just leave me a comment and we can discuss. 
And to the sweet person who stopped Mr. Right yesterday at church and told him that she can’t wait to buy something from my little shop – you are officially my very favorite person. You know who you are (ahem, Michelle–BLESS YOU)
Speaking of Mr. Right – I got to help him out at church yesterday. He’s usually busy running all over the place and we never actually see each other at church, and I’ve busied myself by volunteering behind the scenes with the production staff – mostly because I get to wear a cool ear piece and headset and look official and stuff.  Kind of like a member of the FBI, but in a dress. But now, one week out of the month I’m officially Mr. Right’s right-hand-gal helping him with a new member class he teaches. I do very important things like sign people in, hand out books and pick up response cards. Basically the class couldn’t run without me. Okay, it could. But I like to be helpful and it’s nice to serve Mr. Right and my church at the same time. Besides, I love to hear him teach and love on people. 

And since my sweet nephew Luke has been hogging all the pictures on the blog lately (my goodness, isn’t he adorable?) I thought I’d include a picture of our beloved niece Ella. We got to hang out at the pool yesterday, swam with our favorite girl, I watched Mr. Right do flips off the high dive, and then we ate a huge dinner on the patio overlooking the pool. It was a pretty great outing.

Ella will be a big sister in October and we will gain another adorable nephew who will probably hog the blog with all his cuteness. And of course I’m about to start his baby quilt, which may also delay my pillows. Thanks for your patience, I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having getting geared up.

Another holiday, another party

In case you haven’t noticed, Mr. Right and I love to throw parties. Like, we are hosting FIVE different parties at our house this month. Maybe we’re a little crazy, but it’s one of our very favorite things to do together.

When I first met him, he was hosting a monthly dinner at his house that would easily draw 20+ people. And, well, it was nothing for me to have 30+ people at my house for Easter, or church functions, or well… I didn’t really need an excuse. We both plan events as part of our job, so for us, it’s a match made in heaven.

It doesn’t matter that we have a little house, we love nothing more than to fill it to the gills with friends, good food, and lot’s of laughter. Plus now we have a system – he cooks, I decorate and occasionally help with the side dishes. And socialize.
This week was no different. We decided to throw a little July 4th party, thinking we might convince 10 people to come. We had 40. 
It was so much fun I didn’t take any pictures. Well, I took a few as folks were leaving together to  watch the fireworks at the lake a few blocks from our house… so all of the pictures are of folks’ hineys as they’re scooting out the door. Between you and me, there were no blog-worthy pictures.
Our party involved a hotdog cookout, and our friends brought sides and desserts. Most of our friends went Pinterest-nuts that day and brought several dishes each, so we had PLENTY of food, much of it was red, white and blue and covered in sprinkles. I had a little of everything and let me assure you, I declared the day a Paleo-free holiday.
But for now, here’s a few of my little projects I literally whipped up the day of the party. Nothing like waiting ’til the last minute, huh?

This frame will soon be a chalkboard, but until we get around to taking it to the framer to be redone, I decided to hot glue burlap to the back and then I pinned the patriotic bunting I made with scraps leftover from my nephew’s quilt. Total cost – $0.

I hung bunting like this in several places around the house – with our red curtains in the living room it made the whole house look patriotic. (For those who have asked, my sister made the picture above our mantle, which we used as a decoration at our wedding reception – I adore it.)

I will never be too old, or too sophisticated, to eat marshmallows. Admit it, you love them too. I call these my Star-Spangled skewers.

I am thankful for friends, for days off, for air conditioning in this blazing Texas heat, and for all the men and women who have fought so hard to give me freedom. Happy Independence Day.

The baby shower and the quilt debut!

We threw my sister an “April Showers” baby shower last weekend, and I must say it was adorable. But then again, Sarah is a shower-giving pro, so it was fitting that her own shower be extra special.

Most of the credit for this shower goes to my other sister Lindsay, who graciously hosted it at her house and did most of the decorating. My mom and I provided most of the food, and Sarah, even though she was the guest of honor, even helped with some party favors (because she can’t stand to pass up on a good craft project). She also gave us the world’s greatest hostess gifts, I might add.
Lindsay came up with the genius idea of serving drinks in mason jars, because (a) they’re adorable, and (b) they have a lid, which means no spills on her carpet! She just punched a hole in the top of each jar and inserted a straw. She also tied a name card to each drink so guests could label their drink and avoid mix-ups. I may use this idea at every party at my house for the rest of my life, especially once children are involved. Do they make plastic mason jars?

Oh wait, those are called sippy cups.

Since the shower was in the evening, we served a full dinner of chicken salad sandwiches, miniature ham and cheese sandwiches, fruit-kabobs, tomatoes with basalmic, pecans and peaches, various dips, and several desserts for our 30+ guests. Thankfully it was a team effort. 
Here are my sisters: Sarah, the interior designer (and baby Luke), and Lindsay, the Neuro ICU nurse. Unfortunately we’re covering up the adorable burlap bunting that said Luke with rain clouds.

I was lucky enough to have two of my favorite girlfriends (and former bridesmaids) help us celebrate – Andrea and Katie. (Katie’s the one getting my next quilt project, in celebration of her August wedding. And, well, Andrea is pretty much a member of our family.)

Here’s most of our family: Philip (Luke’s baby daddy… and Sarah’s husband), Sarah, me, Lindsay, my mom and dad. It was an all girls’ shower so Mr. Right and Lindsay’s husband Dallas didn’t get to come. Philip and dad came at the end to help load the cars, which we definitely appreciated.

By the way – my sister got a ton of loot at the shower (such sweet friends), but I must admit that I don’t know what most of it is for. Baby things are like foreign objects for me right now… someday I’m going to need a crash course in baby gear.

And finally… drumroll please… here’s my latest project, Luke’s baby quilt! Ta dah! (imagine me using my best attempt at spirit sprinkles or jazz hands)

It was my first attempt at triangles, and I LOVED the process. My current project is another triangle quilt (I think I mentioned my 526 triangles?), but what I love about triangles is the next quilt will look NOTHING like this one – there are so many fun ways to use them.

I also must brag that this is the straightest quilt I’ve ever done – thanks in part to my fancy Janome machine. It’s so much easier, and I’m learning secrets that help me keep things straighter (although if you look closely, you will definitely see mistakes). Instead of sewing this in rows, I patched it together in squares, then bigger squares, and eventually had four big squares that I sewed together. This helped me so that if one part got off, it didn’t affect the rest of the quilt.

This quilt was made using vintage reproduction fabrics from my local quilting specialty shop – they cost a lot more than JoAnn’s, but they were also cute enough to justify the difference. Because of all the reds and whites I chose to prewash all of my fabrics, so this one probably won’t crinkle up as much as my regular quilts. I just couldn’t chance any bleeding colors. Oh… and I did a combination of machine- and hand-stitching on the binding. Sometime soon I’ll experiment with all machine-binding, but I’m still a bit worried about ruining an almost-finished quilt.

Here’s another view of Mr. Right “modeling” the finished product – what a sweet husband:

And the back… my favorite part… it features vintage bicycles and scooters. ***Sigh***

I can’t wait to see Baby Luke use his quilt! I hope that someday he drags it around the house, leaving it a dirty, tattered, well-loved blanket. Because that’s exactly how all quilts should be used… they should be enjoyed and loved.


Last Saturday night Mr. Right and I went to our very first Baek-il – a 100-day birthday celebration for our dear friends’ son Joseph. It’s a Korean tradition that started many years ago, back when babies had a high mortality rate, so making it to 100 days was a sign that your baby was going to live to see adulthood. Which, was worth celebrating!

I just love learning about other cultures – and honestly, I am always looking for an excuse to throw another party – so this was my kind of night. I tried my first Korean food (yum – sushi and egg rolls and glass noodles) and enjoyed seeing some of the authentic Korean costumes and learning about their traditions. I also discovered that Asian pears are ginormous and SO GOOD! I have a mild pear addiction, so this made my whole night.

My favorite part of the party (besides the pears) was the tradition where the baby predicts his future job. Guests were encouraged to bring an item that symbolizes a future career. We brought a bottle of store-brand Benadryl because (a) I bought several on sale recently had an extra bottle sitting in my medicine cabinet, and (b) his mama is a doctor and it would be fitting if he became one too. So, our Benadryl was put out next to a Bible (preacher), a spool of thread (signifies a long life), a $20 bill (wealth or banker), a calculator (mathematician), and a hammer (architect?), and we waited for 3-month-old Joseph to reach for an item that would signify his future career.

However, there was one small problem. 100-day-old babies don’t really perform on command. So we all stood around in a circle, anxiously waiting while he stared blankly at the items, probably thinking that we were a strange group indeed.

Finally, after trying several different positions and a lot of coaxing, he grabbed our Benadryl.

WHICH MEANS WE’RE THE WINNER. WE ARE AWESOME!! (Oh yeah, and he’s going to be a doctor. Probably.)

One other funny story – I was sitting at the dinner table, enjoying my first taste of Korean food, when one of the guests leaned over and asked me, “How does it feel to be the only white people at the party?”

Gotta love blunt people. I told him I hadn’t even noticed. And secretly I have to admit that being a fish out of water is one of my favorite parts of traveling… and teaching ESL… so this was right up my alley. Especially when they’re feeding me.

Don’t be surprised if someday Mr. Right and I adopt this tradition with our own babies. Which, for the record, we’re not expecting anytime soon, even though I got asked AGAIN by a coworker last week if I was pregnant. This time I responded with “Feel how flat my stomach is – I’m doing Crossfit!” I’m done feeling bad when someone asks… I’ve been doing some crazy crunches and I feel good. I know it’s the flowy shirts, but some of them are just too cute to give up (and are in style). 
Speaking of babies, stay tuned for my next post when I reveal my sister’s uber cute baby shower and debut the baby quilt! I’m so excited I could spit.