So, it happened. Hudson turned one a couple of weeks ago, and we celebrated on Saturday with the help of family and friends.
We had so much fun celebrating his first year of life! I’ll post more pictures of the party soon, but today I thought I’d share a little project we’ve been working on for the past year.
First of all, when I saw the awesome weekly photo project that John and Sherry of Young House Love whipped up for their daughter, Clara, I was totally smitten. I loved everything about their idea and would’ve totally implemented it for Hudson, except for the fact that a) I know nothing about Photoshop and b) I don’t have 52 fabrics.
So, I came up with a little alternative that we ended up loving. Every week for the past year, I’ve taken a picture of Hudson and come up with a caption to describe something unique about that week. The captions were meant to give a little snapshot into his first year of life- things we were doing as a family (like living in a hotel), things he was accomplishing (like standing), things that were going on in the world (like the presidential election), and other significant events (like Christmas).
Zach and I love how it turned out! It makes us happy to have a fun overview of the past 52 weeks, and a special keepsake for Hudson that, years down the road, will give him a glimpse into what life was like back in 2012/2013.
Side note: this was one of the things that I thought had been lost in the Great Hard Drive Crash of 2013, and by far the thing I was most upset about. So thankful that we were able to get it back!!
So, here are 52 pictures of my favorite little man (I’ll probably divide them into several posts to keep things from getting overloaded):
So, for whatever reason, we seem to be in a season of things breaking around here. Our lawn mower and mixer both pooped out, we had a leaky pipe, and there is also sediment mysteriously getting into our bathtub water. All of these things were preceded by the crashing of our hard drive a few weeks ago.
Yes, the hard drive that had tons of pictures of Hudson’s first year on it. That were not backed up. On the same computer that had broken earlier in the year, which we were planning on buying an external hard drive for, but didn’t rush, because what are the chances of that happening again so soon?
I realize that in the grand scheme of things, they are just pictures, and I have it pretty good if that’s my biggest problem. But still. Pictures of my growing baby boy, that will never be a tiny baby again…you get the picture. Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The good news is, that in the midst of all of these issues, when my head is spilling and, to be honest, it feels like we’re bleeding money, we continue to learn about leaning on the Lord for provision, knowing that He is infinitely wise and good and always has our best in mind (even if it isn’t the sunshine and rainbows seamless route we were hoping for). So thankful that I can cling to that truth, and for seasons that remind me that I am not in control!
As a happy ending to this little saga, a good friend (the same one who fixed our computer the first time) was able to restore everything that was lost (even after the Dell people told us it would probably be impossible). So thankful for generous, compassionate, tech-savvy friends and the fact that we can still enjoy things like this:
Needless to say, I don’t think “pet hedgehog” will be on Hudson’s Christmas list anytime soon.
Now that you have most of the details on our main living space, I thought I’d double back and fill you in on some of the detials I left out, starting with our living room chairs.
Initially, we just used what we had in setting up this room, which meant using the two club chairs that I reupholstered for our old house.
This is the part where I kick myself for not taking a before picture to show you the difference.
I really liked those chairs, but basically they were way too wide for that space. I like the two-chair setup for symmetry, seating, and general prettiness, but as far as a walkway was concerned, it wasn’t working.
Thankfully, I was able to sell the chairs on Craigslist and even make a profit. (Love buying (and selling) secondhand!) So then, we had cash and a big, empty space.
I had a pretty specific idea of what I was looking for (less than 30″ wide, striped or plaid fabirc, something with blue), and the few things I found that met my expectations were way out of my price range. Finally, I found the Carla Linen Lounge Chair from Overstock which was a) fairly priced compared to most of the other things I had been looking at and b) totally adorable.
I mean, really. I still sort of love them and want to find a spot for them in our house.
The issue, however, was that they were sold out. Not for a day, mind you, for months. I will not tell you how many times I called Overstock like a crazy chair stalker to see when/if they would be coming back.
Thankfully, during my period of stalking, I also checked Craigslist to see what I could find. This route was also seeming like a dead end because I needed two chairs that matched, were pretty small, and were either exactly what I was looking for or cheap enough to merit recovering. Not exactly easy. Also, I’ve noticed that our local Craigslist scene has become a little crazy price-wise. Love it on the selling side of things, hate it on the buying.
So, I kept stalking both places, without a ton of hope for either.
Thankfully, I found an ad for these chairs on Craigslist one night, and couldn’t e-mail fast enough. The listing had just come up, and they were matching, small, and $25 each. Hot diggity!
I forget what we had going on, but basically I ended up driving to a semi-sketchy neighborhood and buying these chairs in the dark off of a guy maybe a little younger than me. Not my shining moment (this is not a post about Craigslist safety, and I promise that’s not how we normally roll), but thankfully I lived to tell about it. As I was giving him the money, he got mulitple calls/texts from other people wanting to come buy them (I’m telling you- it’s crazy around these parts). Thankfully, I whisked them away and was able to start dreaming of fabric. My dream job is one where I can look at pretty fabric all day long.
The picture above is a little deceiving- the fabric really doesn’t look too bad. Take my word for it, it was dingy and stained, and the texture definitely said doctor’s office. Not so great. Also, even though you know I love a good neutral, one thing I’m exciting about doing this time around is adding color to our house in the form of accent pieces. I’m a huge fan of completely neutral rooms, but I think bits of color help to keep things looking cheerful and more like a young family lives here.
I brought home tons of samples to get the opinion of my dear husband who loves nothing better than telling me why one shade of blue might be slightly better than another or how he loves the look of a certain floral. Or not.
Thankfully, I was able to get him a couple steps past “they all look fine”, and we made a decision. We landed on Braemore’s Bay Breeze (which I purchased through Printer’s Alley) because it basically had everything I was looking for- a plaid with blue, white, and green (which are already in the room) and gray (which I was planning on bringing in later). I also liked that it was a pretty classic pattern in a more updated colorway.
You would think that since I’m now an experienced upholsterer, I would’ve just gone ahead and done them myself. However, since this was right on the heels of a pretty massive undertaking for Hudson’s Christmas present (I’ll share pictures later) and we had a million other things going on, so Zach and I both agreed it would be better to outsource this one.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: get multiple quotes for custom work. Also, let people know you’re getting quotes, that way they give you a competitive price. By shopping around a little bit, I was able to find an upholsterer who did fantastic work at a really reasonable rate. If you’re local to the Raleigh/ Cary/Fuquay area and are looking for someone, I used Black River Upholstery and Eric did an amazing job. These chairs were especially tricky since I was putting a linear fabric on curvy chairs, but he did a fantastic job of lining everything up- even through the welting. Great craftsmanship!
Here’s a little close-up of the finished product:
I may paint or restain the legs in the future, but I’m waiting until more of the room comes together before I decide. We also debated removing the casters, but we like that the chairs can be easily moved around for conversation or playing babies. I’m so happy with how this little update turned out!
In case you’re getting caught up:
Here is our living room.
Here is the first set of details.
Ok, moving on…
Suitcase: yard sale
Letter and Lardbucket: Shipshewana Flea Market
Chair: Raleigh flea market (please ignore the fact that we have to repair the seat since my husband stepped his giant foot through it using it as a stool :))
Suitcase: yard sale (I love the unique size and the fact that it still has old RDU (our local airport) tags
Table: moving sale
This table was totally one of those things that let me know that the Lord cares about the minutia of my life. I saw it for $25, loved it, brought it home, and discovered it was the perfect size for our little corner and the perfect solution for a convenient/discrete place to store the computer. What a great gift! (Yes, I know He has bigger things to care about, but I’m thankful that He can care about big, important things and little, silly things all that the same time.)
Candle: clearance at Anthropologie, but it’s the Blythe and Bonny Honey Almond candle (still sold here). Y’all. This candle is intoxicating. As in, I rarely light it because I want it to last forever, but Zach and I will both randomly be sitting in the living room and one of us will say “What smells so good?!?” and then realize that we’d just caught a whiff of it. Seriously, I want to eat it.
Typewriter: flea market
Side table: $5 at a local school sale
Curtains: Ikea Ritva in white (two things: 1) I think the price has gone up since we got them, but it’s still a great price for a pair of curtains. 2) You can now buy these ONLINE?!? Hooray for online Ikea ordering!) These were obviously much less of an investment than our dining room curtains, but we’ve been really happy with them. I’m considering adding trim someday, but for now I’m liking the simplicity.
Cash Register: estate sale (details here)
Books: The Chronicles of Narnia in Michael’s frames (details here)
Hoosier Cabinet: Craigslist
*Trunk: moving sale
*Dolly: My parent’s first house was a major renovation project (totally in the genes) and there was an old grist mill on the property. The dolly and the large scale in the dining room were some of the items that they saved from the mill. Things like these have a special place in my heart!
*Please excuse the Christmas decorations. These pictures were taken a while ago, but I promise it’s looking much more springy around here now.
Next up are chair details!