Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kirstan's whale of a shower

Now that Noah has made his arrival, it's high time I posted pictures of Kirstan's shower.  Noah's nursery has a nautical theme, which we decided to carry throughout the entire shower day.  From the invitations to the decorations, all elements brought the sea and sunshine to Pennsylvania on this chilly fall day in November. After looking through the pictures, I had a sudden realization that it is virtually impossible to host a shower and take pictures at the same time.  I can hardly walk and chew gum...I should have handed off the camera.  
When going through the planning process with Kirstan's lovely lifetime best friends, the first priority of the day was the signature drink.   This is totally Kirstan (unfortunately she couldn't partake) - these signature drinks were a mixture of champagne and blue curacao.  We called them the "sunken ship" because unfortunately the clementine did not float, but it created a fun fizzy dynamic!  Definitely a hit to kick off the brunch!
Here are just a few of the decorations.  Fabric is always a great way to make a room feel whimsical and as soon as I found out that Kirstan was pregnant, I got started on some personal onesies for this little one.  There were several others with fish and "school of fish" garland that didn't quite make the photo shoot.
So much can be learned about my sister from the little touches throughout the day - the food included all of her favorites (including our mommom's homemade meatballs) and whale shaped finger sandwiches.  Also, the favors reflected one of Kirstan's favorite little gifts, Yankee Candles.  Luckily I live close to the big Yankee Candle in Western Massachusetts and I scored some "sand castle" scented votives for just $1.  I used some linen fabric (confession, I buy this in bulk at Walmart when we go to Maine for less than $3 a yard), and used heat and bond to add a square of starfish fabric.  I simply sewed easy edges and tied them off.  Each favor cost around $1.50, made the room smell like sun and sand, and fit the theme perfectly.  I set them out on a large round plate covered in sand.  
 Kirstan picked out the cake recipe when we were together in Florida a month earlier from a fall edition Martha Stewart Magazine highlighting a first birthday party.  I am not a cake baker, but this Brown Sugar buttercream cake turned out amazingly well.   Thank goodness for Gram who committed several hours to see this to completion with me!
Diaper cake curtosy of Kirstan's great friends!
The banner was personally made by Kate, my dear friend.  This fit as the perfect backdrop for the day (and can be seen throughout these photos).  It is now hanging over Noah's crib.  
 Another tidbit to learn about Kirstan is the fact that she is so slow.  She eats slow, she is on her own timeline for EVERYTHING.  Imagine all of the Christmas mornings when I had to spend hours trying to pry her out of bed!  She opened her gifts slowly and loved and admired everything in typical Kirstan fashion.  
This is the way it should be :) 
 She got some really cool gifts, including this Peanuts nativity set.  Yep, I'm jealous!  Noah, I'm coming to play with it!  Just know that Lucy is cool and all, but she's not a good substitute for Mary!
Little helper.
 Julia having some fun with "Nik-chop", my cousin who Julia adores!
My beautiful mom and her longtime best friend.  
The beautiful blissful couple who are anxiously anticipating this precious boy!
 And the kids taking a break from the day to enjoy nature's playground at Mimi and Papa's. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Year in review

I mention quite often that I'm not the most organized individual.  In my attempt to keep up with technology, I have downloaded some apps to keep track of a schedule.  I get it set up and then quickly forget to update my information.  It's purpose is totally defeated within the week as it feels more cumbersome to enter information at the time I am thinking of it.  I just ordered my new paper planner for the year from Paper Source, which marks the start of my year.  It is fresh paper, waiting to be filled with appointments, dates, vacations, recipes and birthdays.  I am a firm believer in small notions that bring this kind of joy.  Give me finely pressed paper over a designer bag or fancy jewlery any day, I like to keep things pretty simple.
My other dorky confession is that I keep all of my planners from year to year.  I have my college countdown to graduation from 2002 and it was endearing to me that on February 4th, 2007 we had our wedding tasting at Winterthur and exactly two years later on this day we had an ultrasound revealing that our first child would be a little girl.  Packed in to these planners are papers revealing special finds of the year - recipes, conference notes, and ideas for a business adventure that still remains a dream.  Before I pen the many appointments and events in store for 2013, it is fun to look back.  Here are the highlights from the last 6-ish months of 2012:
May 6th, 2012 - We brought Julia and Charlie to Point-to-Point at Winterthur where Charles and I met after our first date.  The day before this, we learned that my sister may be pregnant.  It was an exciting weekend filled with many celebrations!
 June 30th, 2012 - We celebrated our 5 year anniversary with an album counting down our 5 years of great moments.  We also enjoyed a date in the Berkshires at our favorite outdoor concert venue - Tanglewood.  
 July 11, 2012 - Just a random day, but I love this picture.  This is Julia enjoying Mimi and Papa's house.  (Papa is in the background watching her run).  It is a snapshot of one of the many exciting adventures to be had at this special place.
 July 12th, 2012 - We celebrated Charlie's first birthday in PA (a day early).  He enjoyed every moment of his cowboy party!
 July 13th, 2012 - I was privileged to stand by my best friend Kristen during her beautiful wedding!  This is her rehearsal.
 July 14th, 2012 - A shot at Kristen's wedding.  It's quite unique to have such close friends for so many years!  We love each other and we love a good excuse to be together!
 September 4th, 2012 - Charlie dips his feet into the Maine ocean.  A first of many...
 September 13th, 2012 - Julia's first day of preschool.  She's hugged by one of her best friends, Andrew who won't start until next year.  He is very excited for her!
 October 9th, 2012 - Charlie shows off his onesie while visiting Aunt Kirstan in Florida.  We had quite the family visit!  This was our first time seeing her pregnant!  (Noah has a 0-3month "I love my Auntie" onesie that he will be wearing soon).
November 10th, 2012 - Just a few weeks later we celebrated Kirstan (and baby-to-be) with a nautical themed shower.  Everything was beautiful!

 November 18th, 2012 - I accomplished an amazing goal with some amazing friends - running (and finishing in a decent time) the Philly Half Marathon.  And I had a really cute fan cheering me on at the end, which made the finish so much sweeter!
 Erin and I started with a small goal (a local 5k) and somehow it evolved into the half marathon.  I not only had 5:30am accountability, but I made a wonderful friend throughout this training.
 November 22nd, 2012 - We started off Thanksgiving morning with our annual Turkey Trot.  This year we had a surprise guest, our neighbor ran in a turkey suit (and finished quite well!).  We love our community!
 December 1st, 2012 - Our annual family trip to pick out our tree - a milestone to begin our Christmas traditions.  This year we were blessed with snow.  I always have this image of a beautiful Christmas card photo on this day, but it never quite happens.  Their faces reveal just how cold it was!
 December 9th, 2012 - Charlie decides that he's not a huge fan of Santa.
 December 25th, 2012 - Two sleepy little ones wake up on Christmas morning.  This is the first year that they captured the anticipation (well, Julia did and therefore Charlie followed suit)
AND a glimpse into the start of this year...
January 11, 2013 - I became an aunt!  Noah John Cazzola arrived a bit before his scheduled date.  I think it's going to be a wonderful year!