Thursday, July 18

DIY Birthday Chalkboard Tutorial

Ever since my post about Callie's first birthday party I have received a ton of questions about how I made her stats "chalkboard."  My sweet niece just turned one and her momma asked me to make a chalkboard for her, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make a tutorial to answer all of your questions! 

Here are the supplies you will need:
  • Black foam core board (Can be found at Hobby Lobby or other craft supply shops)
  • Metallic permanent markers (Max Pen UltraMark are the best and can be found at Walmart)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler or straight edge 
  • Baby stats

The first step will be to find a font you want the name to be written in.  I free handed all of the letters and writing but if you are, shall we say, craft-challenged you can also just print out the letters using a computer, cut them and trace with a pencil.  Once you have picked the font use a straight edge to guide the writing and outline the letters in pencil.  **Note- do NOT use a lot of pressure when drawing with the pencil, you want the line to be barely visible.  If you make a mistake do NOT erase.  If you erase on the black board you'll be able to see a faded line from the eraser. (See picture below) I promise you won't be able to see the thin pencil mark mistakes once the board is complete.

After you've finished the outline take a marker and trace over the pencil lines.  This is a great time to add details, don't be afraid to make the lines more bold, you want the name to really stand out.

The second step would be to draw the scroll under the name.  It looks super complicated, but I promise if you just break it down step by step and draw each part as you go, it's not too difficult.  Follow the same steps as before, use a pencil to draw and then trace with the metallic marker. 

At this point go ahead and section off the areas where you will list the 1 year information.  I just used a straight edge and added a little decoration on the ends. 

 Now the fun begins.  Experiment with different fonts on the computer, type out what you want to write and then eyeball it as you use a straight edge to keep the words from looking crooked.  Don't forget to add fun details like flowers and pictures of the things you've written to add a little more to the board. 

That's all there is to it!  Make sure to allow a good chunk of time to make the board.  When I did Callie's I started a month in advance and just added details as I got the time.  If you do it right before the event you may get too fatigued to really do a good job and it will show in your work.  This whole thing should cost you less than $8.00 to make and it's permanent!  You can't beat that. 

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, July 9

This Life

Flipping through my feed on Instagram reminds me how blessed we truly are to get to lead this life.  This summer is whirling by quickly and with it, memories are being made and cherished.  Here's a little bit of our summer in pictures! 

I started, and finished a great book that challenged my faith and priorities. 

Callie has had lots of playtime with her cousins


We've enjoyed wonderful evenings with friends and family
Played guitar
 We celebrated a wonderful Father's Day.  Callie was dedicated to the church on her first Father's Day and this year we were blessed to attend her cousin, Kinsley's dedication!  Shame on me... I didn't get a single picture! How special for these girls to get to grow up in such a wonderful, Christian environment! The picture below is of Callie wearing her Daddy's first pair of boots and the caption was "With every step I take, I try so hard to walk in your shoes."

We celebrated the Fourth of July with incredible friends and family at my mom's AMAZING pool.  
Callie's first Fourth of July compared to her second... My what a year can do!  
And let's not forget all of the snuggle times, nap times and enjoying the let's-do-nothing-but-sit-on-our-butt times. 

There are so many pictures that I am leaving out, but this summer has been an absolute blast so far.  I'm thankful to still have a few weeks left and can't wait to see what's in store.  My wonderful (favorite) niece is turning ONE this weekend and I cannot wait to celebrate her life with our amazing family.  Having a best friend for a sister in law has turned out to be really incredible and I am so glad the girls will have each other to grow up with.  :) Here's the picture her momma used for the invites... I was honored she asked me to take them!  

The Dreaded Search for Childcare

The other night I woke up around 3 and couldn't go back to sleep once again {Maybe God is trying to tell me something}.  My heart started racing as the realization that it is July hit me. 

As blissfully happy as I've been staying at home with Callie this summer there has been a dull ache looming in the back of my mind.  Instantly I started freaking out about where we are going to take her for daycare {Unfortunately, our incredible, in-home daycare had to shut down last spring}, how I was going to manage the separation anxiety and actually get excited about work.  Panic struck my body and then I was reminded, stress and anxiety show a lack of faith in God.  I kept repeating over and over, I am faithful, I am faithful, I am faithful... I am faithful that God will provide childcare for our sweet girl, I am faithful that He will light a spark in my heart that will ignite my love for teaching so that I can get excited about work, I am faithful that He will hold my heart ever so tightly when I am forced to say goodbye to my baby every morning.  And then, I fell back to sleep. 

We still don't have childcare figured out for Callie and my heart is still dreading going back to work.  But you know what?  I am not anxiety stricken.  For that, I give thanks to God.  With that being said, ideally we would like to put Callie in an in-home environment for childcare or in a daycare that is lead by Christian principles.  There are a few leads but location seems to be a difficult thing to get around.  If you know of any great places, or even someone who is looking to fill a spot in their own home please let me know.  God has a place already prepared for her, I just need to find it now.  Any help would be much appreciated!  Besides, who wouldn't want this little angel 8 hours a day?! 

Monday, July 1

Strong God

Most of you know how deeply music speaks to me.  I'm that girl you see at the stop light singing at the top of her lungs, hands in the air; not a care in the world.   Well, this past week I heard a song that got me right away and ever since it has been blasting on my speakers. 

The first verse starts, "Father to the fatherless..."  Well- yeah, that got my attention.  I've said it now for many months how thankful I am to have the only true Father I'll ever need.  My dad is gone, and though he was a wonderful father, he was just my earthly one.  My heart and soul are complete in the arms of Christ and this song has become an anthem for me.  I literally SHOUT the chorus at the top of my lungs until I have no voice.  Seriously.  You may get sick of hearing me say it but good golly I love my God... I am so not worthy of His forgiveness, grace or love but I am incredibly thankful and joyful that I get to sing to Him and want every single person I know to get a glimpse of His awesomeness. 

This song is called "Strong God" sung by Meredith Andrews.  Go ahead, give it a listen, and once you've gotten it down shout it out at the top of your lungs.  I promise you'll feel amazing afterward.  ;) 
Click here to listen!

"Father to the fatherless Defender of the weak
Freedom for the prisoner we sing

This is God in His holy place
This is God clothed in love and strength

Sing out lift your voice and cry out

Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God

You're with us in the wilderness faithful to provide
Every breath and every step we see

Sing out lift your voice and cry out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God
Sing out raise your hands and shout out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God

There is no higher no
There is no greater no
There is none stronger than our God"

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