Monday, March 31, 2014

There You Are, Old Friend!

Y'all. It was a looooong winter. The longest I can remember in my life. And I have lived in Toronto and Minneapolis. So. That's really sayin' somethin.'

This winter, decorated with cold, rainy days and ice-covered nights, lasted an eternity. And no, I don't think it's JUST because I feel like I have been pregnant for the last 62 years. It's also because I have very active, energetic children who want to explore and play and live wildly, and the walls begin to close in after months and months and MONTHS of indoor play. We are outdoor people, our little family. We thrive on sunshine and movement and activity and swing sets and sports and exercise and outdoor adventure, and all of that is much harder to come by when we are sentenced to a looooong winter indoors. 

So. Spring. Please allow me to jubilantly and warmly declare...HELLO! We so happily welcome you on this, the last day of March! We've been (impatiently) waiting for you. And we cannot wait to take in all that you have to offer. To you, Old Friend, we gladly say again...Hello!

Hello to sunglasses and swingsets...

...and to tree swinging and climbing.

Hello to jackets by morning and short-sleeves by noon.

Hello to bubble-blowing belly laughs....

...and through-the-upright afternoons.

Hello to lawn-mowing madness...

...and outdoor playdates with best buddies.

Hello to sidewalk chalk loungin'...

...and warm, after-school picnics. 

Hello to lapping up the rays that shower down upon us...

...and enjoying every sun-soaked minute of it all. 

Hello there, Spring, our dear Old Friend. We have missed you so! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Coffee Date Friday: Pre-Baby, Girls Weekend Edition

Top o' the Spring morning to you, friend! Thanks for stopping by for Coffee Date Friday, where we'll pretend to be meeting face-to-face and sipping chugging caffeine as we close out the work week (via link up with Rags to Stitches). 

Were we to meet up on this warm but rainy day, I would first want to hear about YOU. I would love to hear about your week, about your weekend plans, about next week's plans. I would want to know if you have any news, big or small, you wanted to share. After being properly saturated on all things you, I would share the following about me over our caffeinated cups: 

...That I am headed out of town, alone!, for a mini girls weekend with my Momma and sisters tomorrow. My stepsister is getting married in less than two months, and we'll be spoiling her and her fiancé tomorrow night at a fun shower. Earlier in the day, there are big plans for taking my littlest sister to register for her first baby (yippee!), and we may even squeeze in a pedicure or (non-alcoholic) cocktail or two. I can't wait! This will be my last girls only weekend before Baby Lu arrives, and I am definitely looking forward to the down time with my sistas and momma. 

...That earlier this week, I gave a 50-minute tap dance lesson to one of my girlfriends' daughters, who needed to learn a few steps for her new tap routine. First of all, it was so fun spending time with her--she was such a sweet, talented, and hard-working dancer! Second of all, it was so fun to be back in the swing of dance again--actually, I'll be taking up a hip hop class with another girlfriend shortly after Baby Lu arrives! Third of all, if you could have seen my 34.5-week, big-ol'-belly-baring-bod teaching tap steps...well, let's just say I'm sure it was quite entertaining! It's been quite a few years since I have danced regularly (10 to be exact!), but it was fun to be reminded of the days on the Clemson football and basketball sidelines of this:

...That I found great success during my solo trip to the outlets last weekend. Between sales and coupons, I was able to save a huge chunk o' change while stocking up my kiddos' Spring/Summer wardrobes and bringing home a few surprises for my hub as well. Unfortunately, I had no success when shopping for myself that day. Being less than a month from D-day, it is really hard for me to justify buying any more maternity clothes. And yet, I am just not in the mindset to buy postpartum clothes yet. Oh well. Maybe next time!

...That I have a tradition with my babies of scheduling special "Momma Dates," every couple of months, which basically translates to a special one-on-one outing with just one of my littles at a time so that I can focus 100% of my time, energy, and attention on him/her while doing something exciting and fun. These dates are so, so important to me, and honestly, I would really like to make them a monthly occurrence. Once every couple months is just not enough for this Momma. But I digress. Anywho. With Baby Lu just 4 weeks away from arriving, I knew I definitely wanted to squeeze in one more Momma Date with each of my littles before our world gets turned upside down. So. Earlier this week, I took Raleigh to Build-a-Bear for the first time where she chose to create a new rabbit friend, named "Hop," and then we had milkshakes for lunch. It was such a special morning with my sweet girl. And then, last night, Banks and I went to the toy store so that he could pick out a new toy before we headed out to a restaurant to repeat our favorite previous Momma Date: having a big ol' slice of chocolate cake for dinner. It was an awesome evening with my special little boy, who was so chivalrous and opened every single door for his Momma. Oh. Be still my Southern heart. 

...That we jumped on the bandwagon for our weekly Family Movie Night last Friday. We rented Frozen. Honestly, after watching it, both  my hub and I thought, 'Meh.' I think maybe I had heard so many amazing things about it that my expectations were too high. You know how that can happen sometimes? But...the kiddos were mesmerized. They absolutely loved it! And both have been singing the songs since then. I guess those Disney folks really know what they're doing . ;) I have a feeling we'll be purchasing it at some point in the future.

...That our LifeGroup recently welcomed Baby #4 of 6, with me being the next scheduled for delivery! And it is the sweetest thing to see, not only the house full of preschoolers (3!) and toddlers (2!) when we meet every other week, but also now 4 (soon to be 6!) precious new additions. It is really rewarding (and fun!) to be going through this chapter of our lives with our group. 

...That I can finally, officially, on-the-record say how very, very proud I am of my hub, who will begin a new job with a new company next week! It was a tough decision for us, as we absolutely love the company he has worked for over the last 8 years and will certainly always hold it and it's employees in the very highest regards. But. I am so excited for him and this next chapter of his career. My hub truly is such an ambitious, hard working provider for our family, giving his job his absolute all during his daytime working hours, but then making it a point to completely put his work away from dinner time until our kiddos' (and my!) bedtime, focusing all of his energy and attention on us during those hours, before going back to work again after I go to bed each night. He is a dedicated, loyal, and extremely involved employee AND father, and I could not be more proud of him. I can't wait to see where this next chapter takes us!

...That I received a thrilling package in the mail earlier this week: the grasscloth wallpaper I ordered for our dining room! After meeting with a wallpaper-installer-lady last week for measurements and quotes, I selected and ordered the paper, and it already arrived! We are hoping to have it installed before Baby Lu arrives, and I cannot wait to see how it looks on our dining room walls.  

And with that, I would offer a fist bump, high 5, and loud and resounding, WOOT!, as we finished our coffee and coasted into the weekend. Have a good one!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wee One Wenesday: 34 Weeks

I want to take a minute to thank those specific friends and family members who have supported me throughout this pregnancy, taking the time to check in to see how I'm feeling and how the baby's doing. Because here's the thing: When you have Baby #1, everyone is excited for you, and it is a big deal. When you have Baby #2, you quickly learn that the level of outright support and excitement wanes: while people are surely still thrilled for you and your new, impending addition, the pregnancy can feel isolating at times when the check-ins and support fall by the wayside. Take that and multiple it by 10 for Baby #3. That being said, I feel very lucky to have some great friends and family members in my life who have made it a point to call, text, email, post FB messages, etc., just to check in about everything. You know who you are, and I so very much appreciate your love and support throughout this pregnancy as we await Baby Lu. So. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making me and my Baby #3 feel special.

Size of the Baby: Baby Lu is now approximately 4.75 pounds and 18 inches long, about the size of a cantaloupe. 

I went for my 34-week appointment late last week and everything continued to measure right on track, with the baby's heart rate being around 145. I was given the option of coming back this week or waiting until next week, and I think this is one of the sure-tell signs this isn't my first baby: I actually opted out of having another appointment this week. If this were my first baby, I have no doubt that I would be jumping at the chance for an extra appointment. But. At this stage in the parenting game, with all looking great with Baby Lu so far, I decided to wait an extra week to hear that heartbeat again. Times, they are a'changin'. ;)

Symptoms: I go from having great days to tough days, symptom-wise. Some nausea one day, none the next. Insomnia one night, sweet slumber the next. Heartburn one day, zip the next. A huge appetite one day, a feeling of fullness the next. It's all a guessing game when I wake up each morning as to what the day will hold. 

Movement: This baby continues to be STRONG. And FEISTY. But. I spoke with my neighbor over the weekend, who welcomed her third baby, a little girl, about 9 weeks ago, and she said the same thing: That her third baby was MUCH more active in the womb and that the movements were MUCH more painful. Have I mentioned that, by the way? That the kicks and punches that accompany this pregnancy actually hurt. Like, take my breath away, make me grunt out loud, kind of hurt. I was thinking this little one was just going to have a spunky, wild little attitude when he/she was born, not of the laidback variety of which I'm hoping!, but my neighbor assured me that her little lady is, indeed, a mellow one. So, we'll see what the personality of my little one ends up being at the end of all this!

Sleep: Some days good. Some days bad. Many days requiring naps. 

What I Miss: Being comfortable when tying my shoelaces. Not having shaving my legs feel like an Olympic sport. A yummy evening cocktail. 

Cravings: Baked Cheetos. Carrots. Chocolate pudding with whipped cream. Salads with dried cranberries and nuts. Random. And not all at the same time. 

The Belly:

As of yesterday, we are exactly ONE MONTH from the c-section date!!!! OhmydearLord, I better finish the nursery, sanitize the bottles, pack my hospital bag, have the hub install the infant seat, buy batteries for the swing, stock our pantry....Ahhh!!!! Less than a month to go!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Banksisms and Raleigh's Ramblings, Part 13

Yep. This is the 13th Banksisms post I've written since I first started this blog BUT only the second time I've included Raleigh's Ramblings. She is a funny little bit, though, our Raleigh Jane, and I have a feeling she'll have quite a few of her own funnies up her little sleeves over the next few years. So, without further ado, a few giggle-worthy conversations from my dynamic duo:

(After my hub starts eating a [small] piece of a [large] cake...)
Banks: "Dad! Why are you wasting cake like that?" 
This 8+ months pregnant Momma was thinking the same thing.

(While shopping for new baseball cleats...)
Daddy: "Of all these cleats, which ones do you like?"
Banks: "Well, I really like the ones that fit." 
A good starting point, I suppose. 

Banks: "The rain is the cloud's peepee."
I'd hate to know what he thinks about the snow...

(After catching a glimpse of herself in a full length mirror...)
Raleigh (to herself): "Whatcha doing, Rals?
Raleigh (responding back to herself): "Oh, just looking in the mirror."
Nothing to see here, folks. Just a little one-on-one conversation with her own reflection.

Banks: "I'm scared of the big, bad wolf."
Aunt Jess: "Whenever you think of the big bad wolf, instead think of the donut I'm going to give you in the morning to help get the big bad wolf out of your head."
Banks: "I can't because every time I think about the donut, the big bad wolf eats it." that's a real pickle. 

Banks: "When Banks and Raleigh grow up, we're going to get married to each other."
Momma: "How come, buddy?"
Banks: "Because I'm in love with Raleigh. No one can take our love away from each other."
Totally cute now. Totally creepy later.

Banks: "What was that drink called we had on New Year's Eve?"
Momma: "Sparkling grape juice."
Banks: "But there were no sparkles in it!"
The man speaks the truth. 

(After pushing Raleigh while racing in the backyard...)
Momma: "Banks, do you think it's okay to push your sister?"
Banks: "No."
Momma: "Then why did you do it?
Banks: "Because I wanted to win!"
It's too bad he's not competitive. At all. Wonder where he gets that from?

I just love how much these two keep me laughing!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Coffee Date Friday: Hello Spring Edition

Howdy, friends! Thanks for stopping by Coffee Date Friday (via link up with Rags to Stitches), where we pretend we're meeting face-to-face for a little coffee, catch up, and conversation. 

Were we to meet on this, the first Friday of Spring 2014 (YAHOO!!!), I would first ask about YOU. I'd want to hear about your week, both the highs and lows, 'cause life ain't always a series of highs, amIright?! I would lend my psychologist ear and supportive friendship and try to just be present as you told me all things you. And then I would share the following highs and lows about me: 

...That being very pregnant as a stay-at-home momma to two littles is hard, especially with a hub who still has to travel overnight most weeks. And it's getting harder by the minute. Honestly, it's not even the nausea that has re-surfaced, the extreme fatigue that now dictates my days, nor the gigantic belly I am already sporting (with 5 more weeks, still, of growing to go) that makes it so hard, although those things are certainly no walk in the park. It is my decreased patience that often defines my mood that I blame on the fact that I just don't feel well, I just don't feel like me, most of the time these days. It is my inability to crawl around on the floor with babies, instead having to play from a seated position on the couch with a pillow supporting the weight of my belly. It is my having to hand over all bathing, and often bedtime, duties to my hub, who doesn't complain about any of it, but also thus having me miss out on those moments with my duo because my body just physically can't stand up any longer. I am ready to feel like me again. Yes, a sleep-deprived, multi-multi-tasking momma of three, but ME again. You woman who love being pregnant? Well, I'm happy for you. As for me? I am happy to be bringing this sweet miracle in my belly to this world. I am blessed to be in my third trimester and pregnant with a third healthy baby. I am a lucky, lucky momma. And I fully recognize that. But. I am also a momma who is ready to welcome this new addition to our family, feel like my old self again, and begin our new normal. 

...That, on a much lighter and happier and higher note, this girl just makes my day. I have been trying to minimize any errand running while Banks is in school so she and I can just soak up our one-on-one time together before our new baby arrives. This smart little cookie knows her colors, can recognize the numbers 1 through 10 as well as many letters by sight, and loves nothing more than making up songs, dancing her heart out, and taking care of her babies. I just adore my middle little!

...That speaking of little girls, my littlest sister found out last week she's having a baby GIRL!!! Ahhh!!! I can't wait to meet her! This also means that IF we have a girl, Banks will be the only grandson on my side of the family. Will he be that our-numbered? OR will he have a little brother so he's not the only boy? We will soon be able to share that little tidbit of information... ;)

...And also? That we had an AWESOME first teeball game last weekend. Banks had a great cheering section, with lots of family members in attendance to see his 2014 teeball debut. It was a beautiful afternoon and the perfect way to kick off our new season.

...That I am headed to the outlets this weekend to try to finish up the bulk of the Spring/Summer shopping for my kiddos. I now do this twice a year, trying to bargain hunt but also find cute clothes. Lucky for us, we live an hour from some awesome outlets, and I will be going there for some solo Momma time this weekend. And, even more luckily, there are brand new outlets being built in Charlotte, which should be done late summer, which means my Fall/Winter outlet trip later this year will only be about a 15-20 minute drive. Score!

...That March Madness has begun! Even though I don't enjoy watching college basketball during the regular season, I love filling out brackets and following my teams in the NCAA tourney. Here's hoping one of my two brackets wins out this year! 

...That, although I am not one who typically posts solo selfies, I got my hair did last week--a little more blonde to welcome the Spring/Summer seasons. I had highlights for 10 years but went back to brunette shortly after having Banks for ease of upkeep. I may be crazy putting some blonde back in right before welcoming baby número tres, but oh well.

...That my hub and I will be volunteering in our church nursery this Sunday for the last time until Baby Lu arrives! Wow--I feel like I was just barely sporting a bump yesterday and now we are doing a lot of "lasts" before the baby comes.

...That, if you were looking for us yesterday or need us today or tomorrow, you'll have to head outdoors! Now that yesterday, today, and tomorrow hold the promise of beautiful, Spring weather (yippee!), we pretty much camp out outside from the second it is warm enough to head out without jackets and stay until nap time and then again after waking, until dinner time. Sports play, sliding and swinging, bubble-chasing, sidewalk-chalk writing, neighborhood walks, you name it, we do it. We are filling our cups to the brim with Vitamin D, and my little family loves nothing more than soaking up all this sunshine!

And then, with all that being said, I would offer a resounding "Cheers!" to a beautiful weekend full of lots of fun with family and friends amongst the great outdoors. Have a great one!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wee One Wednesday: 33 Weeks

Our amazing friends, Jenna and Jon, hosted a couples baby shower for us over the weekend, and we had an absolute BLAST! Both my parents and my "in laws" came up for the event, and we had about 25 awesome guests in attendance. It was so, so fun, and we loved spending the afternoon celebrating Baby Lu with so many people who are so special to us. And now, a few photos from the shower before the typical Wee One Wednesday stuff: 

Off we go, to the last baby shower we'll ever have! 

The hostess with the mostess, my amazing friend, Jenna

The beautiful food table 

Using Hershey's bars, guests had to color in their guess of whether Baby Lu will be a "He" or a "She." Final tally? 66% of the guests thought Baby Lu is a girl! Time will tell... :) 

Guests were also asked to write something funny on a diaper to keep my hub and I entertained during middle-of-the-night diaper changes :) 

 Yes, those are actual bar game machines. If you knew me in college, you can imagine how ECSTATIC I was to see "Photo Hunt" at my baby shower. Coolest baby shower game EVER!!! 

Photo huntin'

 We had GORGEOUS weather for the affair, and the most beautiful back yard backdrop!

 My stepdad, my hub, my father "in law"

My momma, myself, my mother "in law"

 Some of the guests, ready for a baby shower game... was Boys vs. Girls. Unfortunately, the boys took home the "W" this time. 

 A special moment with my momma, captured, as I open the "Bammy blanket" she handmade for her fifth grandchild

 We loved having both sets of our parents there...

...and we loved having so many of our amazing  Fort Mill friends there, too, including my girl, Volree, who is also expecting Baby #3 :) 

Size of the Baby:  Baby Lu is now a little over 4 pounds and more than 17 inches long, about the size of a pineapple (Wow! A fruit I actually recognize!). If Baby Lu ends up being  the size that Banks was at birth, he/she has about 6 more pounds to grow! And 4 more pounds to go if he/she follows in Raleigh's footsteps. My belly feels heavy just thinking about that! 

Symptoms: I really can't complain. The biggest symptom these days is that I tire very easily. I also continue to have back pain most days but am definitely trying to take it easy and allow myself lots of time to rest. Case in point: On Sunday night, I feel asleep BEFORE 8 pm. And then slept 'til 5:30 am. I was so worn out from our full weekend of teeball, baby showering, and family fun that my body and brain were D.O.N.E.

Movement: My little mover and shaker continues to be all over the place, all the time! It is very typical these days to see my stomach being abnormally shaped, with a hiney poking out here and a leg sticking out there. This is the one part of pregnancy I will miss so much, and I am trying to really focus on the movements and relish this special time I have with my sweet, last baby in my belly.

Sleep: I usually wake up at least once a night but have been able to quickly fall back asleep this week.  

What I Miss: Raw sushi. Having energy. Not having to sit so much when playing with Banks and Raleigh. Adult bevs. 

Cravings: Sweets! It's all about anything sugary this week. I may or may not have taken a fork to my baby shower cake in the middle of the night, more nights than one, this week. ;)

The Belly:

I'm headed to my 34-week appointment tomorrow, and then, I believe, I'll start having appointments every week, starting with my next appointment. Say wha?!?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Welcome to Our Home: Raleigh's Big Girl Room

Finally. Finally! My sweet little lady's big girl room is pretty much complete. 

We moved into our Fort Mill home 18 months ago. When we moved in, I knew I wanted to hold off on decorating Raleigh's room until we transitioned from a nursery to a toddler room. At the time, two of her walls were painted green and two, yellow. thank you. I knew the first thing I would change would be the wall color. I decided shortly after we moved in that the (eventual) colors of her big girl room would be the palest shade of pink and a bright aqua. I loved this color combination for being fun and bright and girly and a little outside the box. Deciding on the color palette well before we started the room transition was helpful, too, as I used these same colors for her first birthday party (well over a year ago!) and was thus able to save and use many of the decor items from her birthday party as part of her current bedroom decor. Nothing like saving time, money, and energy, right? 

Anywho. Fast-forward to now, and we (finally!) have a big girl room for our big girl! And now, without further adieu, Raleigh's room! And I warn you...picture overload begins....NOW.

This is the view when you walk into Raleigh's room. The wall color doesn't photograph the best but just know it is the palest of pinks. 

This piece of furniture is very special to us. The vanity was given to Raleigh by my aunt and uncle and is a beautiful family heirloom they repainted and topped with glass for her. We had the mirror on hand already, and I love how it gives the vanity sort of a modern feel since it is not the traditional tri-fold vanity mirror. The aqua pinwheel garland is recycled from Raleigh's first birthday party, and I picked up the distressed, aqua metal chair at Hobby Lobby of all places (for 20% off--score!).

I picked up these six, eclectic aqua knobs from Anthropologie during my annual Black Friday shopping trip, and I love the unique look they add to this beautiful, antique piece of furniture. 

Atop the vanity is this little, aqua polka dot tin I found at Hobby Lobby. My sweet friend Amy, owner of the etsy shop One Good Name, sent Raleigh this awesome vinyl monogram sticker I was able to add for the perfect little touch. 

Also atop the vanity is this delicate, vintage, beaded clutch I found (for $3!) at a local antique shop.

In one corner of the room is this white, metal dress form silhouette that I just adore for a little girly decor! I found it at my favorite local maternity/children's boutique that was going out of business. They were selling absolutely everything in the store, including the display pieces, so I scooped this up for just $30! And it's hard to see in the pictures, but the curtains are a white, light-weight fabric with aqua polka dots that attach to the curtain rods with aqua ribbons. They are from Pottery Barn Teen, and I love them and all the sunlight they let into the room!

Next up, Raleigh's big girl bed! I have adored this bed ever since I found out I was pregnant with a little girl. It is the Jenny Lind bed from Land of Nod, and I love the antique feel of it. It is something that will definitely grow with her, and I have a feeling we'll be painting it some fun, funky color once she hits the teenage years. But. For now, I wanted to keep it classic and white, and I just love it! Oh, and because Raleigh is not a restless sleeper, I decided to save the money I would have spent on bed rails. Instead, I use large pool noodles under the aqua fitted sheet that serve as temporary bed rails. So far, so good!

Being a born and raised Southern, I love all things monogram. So. I knew I wanted to incorporate my Raleigh Jane's monogram into the room. I ended up buying this unfinished, scalloped wooden monogram from one of those online daily discount sites ( I can't remember at this point) and painted it aqua to add a pop of color over the bed. I then used these delicate paper doilies, also recycled from the decor from Raleigh's first birthday party, and used glue dots to adhere them to the wall around the monogram to add a little more girly flair to the wall. 

Next up, the bedding! I knew I wanted to use a basic, white quilt as the main piece of bedding, since it will be able to serve as a transitional piece whenever we change Raleigh's room once she hits the teenage years. I found the white quilt and shams at Pottery Barn Kids/Teen. I then asked my extremely talented sister-in-law, Amanda, owner of Goat and Lulu, if she would make Raleigh a personalized pillow and a pinwheel quilt incorporating the pink and aqua colors of the room. Y'all. These pictures do not do the quilt (or pillow for that matter) justice. The quilt is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and we will treasure it forever and ever and ever. And I think the fun, matching pillow adds the perfect personalized touch to the bed!

On the other side of the bed is a second window. Underneath it, I decided to place a white toy box we've had since Banks' nursery (from Babies 'R Us) for stuffed animal storage. But then I thought, 'Hey! Why not transform it into a little window seat?' So. I measured the top, and bought pieces of foam and mdf wood in those measurements. I found a bright, fun fabric to cover it with, stapled the fabric over the foam and to the wood underneath, and voila! Instant window seat!

This is the view of the other side of the room if you are sitting on the window seat.

I am in love with this antique dry sink, which was painted aqua and distressed before I even bought it. When I saw it at a local store (Southern Marketplace, for all my Fort Mill and Charlotte friends), it was a no brainer, especially for the phenomenal price it sold for and all the extra storage it provides. I just love, love, love it and the bright pop of aqua it brings to the room. 

Hanging just above the dry sink is a wooden window picture frame I bought from Target that I painted white and filled with four different, but coordinating pink and aqua fabrics. I then used more of the bunting from Raleigh's birthday party to add a final little decorative touch. 

Also atop the dresser is a ruffle lamp I made for Raleigh's nursery when she was still in my tummy. It was just a basic white lamp from Target that I transformed by hot glueing ruffle ribbon around the shade and adorned with aqua and pink flowers, also taken from Raleigh's birthday decor. 

In the corner of the room is an old, antique mirror I had in my own room as a little girl. Until a couple weeks ago, it was cherry wood, but my hub applied a few coats of white spray paint to make it a great coordinating piece for the room. Hanging above the mirror is a ribbon mobile I easily made using various aqua ribbons that I cut and taped onto an embroidery hoop and then attached to the ceiling with thread. Thank you, Pinterest!

Here's the dresser that sits directly across from Raleigh's bed. It's a pretty big piece of furniture, which is exactly what I wanted since it is the only dresser and occupies such a big wall in the room. We ordered it from Wayfair, and I love it--simple but also pretty and functional.

Here is what decorates the top of the dresser: a changing pad since Rals isn't yet potty trained, a pink basket and small bucket holding supplies for diaper changes, and these fun little pink and aqua suitcases I ordered from Land of Nod for a bargain (less than $20 total!) that hold all of her hair bows and headbands. 

I created a bright gallery wall above the dresser using shelves we already had on hand, a few pieces from Raleigh's old nursery, and a few new pieces. I think my favorite component is the shadow box on the bottom left that holds the little notecard that was on her hospital bassinet and the outfit she wore when coming home from the hospital. Also, yes, I realize the picture right next to it on the bottom shelf is facing the wrong way. I am waiting for a new (vertical) photo from our newborn photo shoot with all three of my babies to replace it. :) 

I also created a lyric tree using an idea I saw on Pinterest. The tree is cut out of cardboard, covered with typed-out lyrics from "our" song (Isn't She Lovely), and has the hearts hanging down from the limbs with Raleigh's initials and birth date. Easy and cheap decor!

More easy and cheap decor: embroidery hoops with fabric and fun cut-outs (in this case, birds) in contrasting fabrics. 

And finally, one last view of the room from a different angle.

It is important to me to have crosses in all of my kiddos' rooms. I bought this distressed white cross at Hobby Lobby ages ago and found this (free!) printable on Pinterest and framed it in an old frame I painted in aqua. I love the verse so much and the fact that it is the last thing my Raleigh sees when she walks out of her room. 

So, there you have it! The only decision I continue to contemplate is whether I want to add a small aqua rug to the room to add one more pop of color. I go back and forth. So. For now? The room remains rug-less until I can make up my mind. But. It has certainly come a long way since we first moved in! And it was so fun putting it all together...just in time to start on the nursery. Whew!

I envision many a slumber party and late night flashlight session happening in this room, and it makes me so happy to think of all the memories my Raleigh Jane will make in her own special space. I hope she knows it was all done with love. <3