Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Mantle Crafts

Oh yes, it is finally that time of year (my favorite time of year) where it's acceptable to decorate for Christmas! If it were up to me I might leave them up year round, but the comings and goings of the Christmas decor do make it more fun to decorate each holiday season. So here is what I did for my Christmas mantle this year and how you can do it too!

 The first thing I did was get some old wood I had leftover from making a headboard and nail it together. Very simple! It's about 2ft x 3ft. Then I grabbed a wreath I had made for the spring and tied a ribbon around it and just snugly stuck this converted Joy Christmas ornament between a couple branches. Finally (here's the trick), I put a 3M hook on the back of the wood UPSIDE DOWN so I could loop the ribbon around it and keep the wreath stationary. 
Step 2: Create trees. I did these in kind of a hurry so I forgot to take pictures but they are super easy! All you do is take an old cereal box (or any food box, really) and roll it up into a tree shape. TIP: Make sure you roll it up with the colored side on the INSIDE of the tree, it will give you a blank canvas to work with.
For this one I just bought a holiday pack of twine (red and green) at Joann's and wrapped it around (hot gluing as I went).
This is a strand of pearls that was also in the holiday section (I guess to use as garland?). Don't look at it too close, it's kind of ugly, but from faraway it's super cute!
This little guy was made up of white pipe cleaners that I wrapped around the tree then spray painted gold (which sank in as more of a brown). When it dried I sprayed it with spray adhesive and put glitter on it (which ended up looking like snow and I like that).
The lace ones are my favorite! Super easy, too. I got $1 scrap lace from Joann's and just wound it around the tree until it was covered. 
This little guy is bubble wrapped and spray painted gold.
This is the most unusual tree. I hot glued those little craft puffs (the ones that look like cotton balls) all over and then spray painted gold. Then I did the same spray adhesive and glitter process as before.
Lastly, I bought a holiday potpourri bag at Hobby Lobby and hot glued leftover Joann's lace to the pinecones. Then I tied 3-4 together and made the lace into a pretty knot before hanging them on tiny command hooks on the mantle (get the clear ones!).
Put your stockings on their own command hooks and voila! Christmas mantle.
Let me know if you try this or something similar! I'd love to hear how it turned out.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

7 Month Update

Dear Titus,
At 7 months...
  • You weigh 18 pounds and are 25 inches long. Your height is in the 5th percentile, weight is 50th, and head is 85th.
  • You are wearing 6-9 month clothes (pants are still long) and size 3 diapers
  • You may not be tall but you are wide! We will have to get you a new car seat soon because you are getting squished
  • You sleep from 7:30-7:30 (12 hours), and take naps at 9:30 (1.5 hours) and 1:30 (1.5 hours), and sometimes a catnap around 4:00 (20-30 minutes).
  • You rarely fall asleep in my arms anymore- you like to be put in your crib to fall asleep on your own
  • You are finally napping in your crib for most naps. You still wake up at the 45 minute mark, sometimes falling back asleep after a few minutes and sometimes being done with your nap early. 
  • Your sounds for this month are blowing raspberries and a fake cough. 
  • You now eat lots of baby food and like almost everything. Your favorites are green beans and sweet potatoes. You don't know what to think about peaches and still hate peas and cereal.
  • You have rolled over both ways for a while now, but you never really wanted to do it til the last couple weeks. Now you roll all over the place!
  • You still don't cry tears! How weird is that?!
  • You can sit-up like a big boy now! You sometimes wobble a little like a bowling pin, but you do a pretty good job most of the time.
  • You have started rolling over and sleeping on your stomach which made me a little nervous at first, but a good friend told me that this will be the first of many times I ask the Lord to watch over and protect you, and I'm doing exactly that.
  • You have started saying some real jabber words instead of just noises. You'll say things like "ah ja da da da" over and over again to yourself all day long!
  • You are still extremely cuddly. If you had it your way I'd just carry you around all day while you look over my shoulder and hug my neck. Extremely inefficient for getting anything done, but it does this momma's heart good :)
  •  Your newest eating habit is wanting to eat your bottle flat on the floor. If I hold you and try to give you a bottle you throw a fit because you think I'm putting you to sleep.
  • You like when I clap and cheer for you, maybe you'll mimic me soon!
  • We took you to swing in the park for the first time and you LOVED it! I think we will have to get you one for the backyard.
Sweet baby you had your first real sickness this month and it was so sad! It started as a cold and morphed into a cough which made you lose your voice. Now your normally noisy personality is pitifully quiet and squeaky. This makes mommy feel so bad for you! It has really made me thankful for how lucky we have been, though, to have this be the worst thing you've experienced. I'm sure you will be back to your loud self in no time, and at least for now you are still our happy boy! Nothing seems to phase you, Titus James. You are our tough little man!


Monday, November 5, 2012


I have a wonderful husband who really is perfect for me. We have so much in common and our opinions on most topics from religion to politics to parenting are almost identical. Sometimes it feels like we're in a secret club with only two members. But that's not the only reason I love Garland, he has proven time and time again that I am lucky to call him my beloved. A few examples...
  • He never wants me to have to drive alone. Even if he's at work in Rogers and we have plans in Bentonville he'll drive all the way home just to drive the 30 minutes back to Bentonville so we can ride together.
  • He never comments on the state of the house even when I haven't had a chance to pick of from the whirlwind that is two dogs and a baby. He's a very neat person and yet he trusts that I will get everything done when I have time. I love that.
  • He frequently empties the dishwasher and washes bottles by hand because he knows I hate those chores the most. 
  • He always washes the dogs. I could do it, but he knows its much easier for him to control them so he just does it without complaining.
  • He has never once seemed put out to change a diaper. Even when he knows its a bad one he just picks Titus up and I hear Garland talking to him on the changing table.
  • When Titus and I have had a long day and I pass him off to Garland after work he gladly takes him. Never mind that he's just had a long day at the office, too, he jumps right into his role as husband/father as soon as he walks through the door.
  • Words of affirmation are not his love language strong suit and it is not in the forefront of his brain to keep in touch throughout the day. However, because he knows it's important to me, hardly a day goes by where I don't receive a text message or a note on my mirror that says something sweet.
  • He always goes to bed with me at night, no matter what. I know every couple is different, but it's always been our thing to climb in bed together no matter how early or late. Even on days when I'm thoroughly exhausted and want to fall asleep early, he's right there beside me, arm under my pillow and "I love you" whispered under his breath.
You may or may not know that Garland majored in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing in college. He wrote a book of poetry for his Honors Thesis on the Buffalo River area and I used to tease him that he hadn't written anything for me. Then for my birthday one year he surprised me with the sweetest present of all, a poem about me. If poetry is not your strong suite (as it is not mine) then I will tell you ahead of time that he wrote it about my eyes (this will make it a little less confusing). 

*sigh* Talk about making a girl go weak in her knees!
P.S. It is titled "Mae" because my middle name is Elizabeth and he calls me Ellie Mae as a nickname.

Garland Autry

I dare not speak of thee
Fortwould be impossible to say.
(Though vain and ambitious words do attempt)
Come forth! Come forth! Slight, soft spray,
Against vast seas of white;
The most perfect of colors
Mingled together in one array.
And me, thine willing prey
Forever caught here in thy gaze.
Oh thy Father of mercies,
Wouldst thou permit me to stay?
Alas, to thee I dare not speak
Unless of course to say,
I am yours, I am yours.
And will be until the gray
O’ertakes these foolish thoughts,
And still and waiting for thee I lay.”