Monday, February 3, 2014

a little bit of color & a little bit of sparkle

Dear Em,
While there are positive aspects of every season, winter is for sure my least favorite. I think that's because we spend so much of it cooped up inside. It's so grey & cold, & it gets dark before 5pm. I need fresh air. I need sunshine. I need color.

At least there are fun winter holidays to bring pops of color & a little bit of sparkle back into our lives. We mostly decorated for Valentine's Day a few weeks ago. I think it was the week after we took down the Christmas decorations & I couldn't take the dreariness anymore. This weekend, we added a few more things to our Valentine's Day decor. I love reusing what we have & adding a little something new each year.

First, we created a new door hang. I didn't start making them for the holidays until St. Patrick's Day last year. So, we didn't have one for Valentine's Day. Since you are four, this is your fifth Valentine's Day. We used five photos- one for each year that you've celebrated the holiday. To add a little bit of extra sparkle, I picked up some sparkly scrapbook paper & ribbon for the heart backgrounds.

I made three door hangs- one for Nonnie & Papi, one for Grandma & Papa, & one for us. Your Daddy's eyes lit up when I showed him the finished product. It's so fun to look at how you've grown & developed through the years in such a festive (& sparkly way).

Of course, we had to hold a mini photo shoot (it perhaps wasn't as mini as you would have liked) in order to have pictures from this year to choose from for our new door hanger (and let's just face it, I use any holiday as an excuse to stage a photo shoot). For that I borrowed a wicked fun idea from Hank & Hunt & made a floating heart backdrop for our Valentine's Day photo shoot. It was free for me to make, because I used leftover material from other crafts. I used a heart punch, paper (sparkly gold, sparkly pink, & red), clear fishing line, tape, & scissors.

It was time consuming. First you helped me punch out hearts. We punched out 120. Once you went to bed, I taped 20 pieces of 7 foot fishing line in straight lines across our dining room table. Then I taped six hearts, spaced evenly, to each piece of fishing line.

In the end, I kinda felt like it took forever to make, & those lines very easily get massively tangled (as I learned by carrying them upstairs to where we were taking the photos). But after taping them up, I loved the effect.

Plus, once we were done with our photo shoot, I cut each line in half & hung them up over your bed & our dining room table to add a little fun & whimsy to our existing decor.

In fact, the dining area looks so Fancy Nancy fancy, you decided to hold a tea party for your American Girl dolls, princesses, & baby dolls.

There were candles & real china plates for ambiance. There were cookies & cake to eat & pretend "pink chocolate milk" to drink. You even made sure that each girl had a magazine to read. You were the perfect tea party host. It was ridiculously adorable.

Mid-way through the tea party, you decided you needed a list of your guests with checkmarks to signify that they were there. You plopped yourself on the floor with a pen & paper & began sounding out their names & writing them down on your own. The first name on the left is Rapunzel (I think you confused your z's with your v's). I love how you sounded out Eral (Ariel). It took you a few tries to write your best friend Savanna's name, & you were so proud of yourself once you did. I was over the moon proud of you too. We've been doing a lot of rainbow writing, but other than you writing your name on your own, we haven't done much independent sounding out & writing.

I can't believe how much you're growing & learning & developing. You amaze me every day. We may have hung up decorations for Valentine's day, but I think it's truly you who brings a little bit of color & a little bit of sparkle to our home each & every day.

I love you so,

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