Sink or Swim

I took on another ambitious project this weekend. Has anyone noticed a trend, here? I get excited to try something new and instead of taking baby steps, I just jump in the deep end. Perfect example: my first fondant cake.

Well, this time it was painting a nursery for Suzy, a good friend of my childhood bestie, Shantal. Suzy is super sweet, and I’ve known her (through my childhood friend) since high school. She has a daughter and son (about 7 and 5), and she is having twin boys in September.

Shantal asked me if I would help decorate the nursery. I said yes, with the caveat that no one could get mad if it turned out ugly! 🙂 Plus, Suzy made it really easy by picking out this adorable theme:

It's called Bubbles & Squirt

It’s called Bubbles & Squirt.

Shantal went in the weekend before and painted the walls blue with pretty waves, so I just had to embellish with the characters from the crib set. I had a field day! We painted the turtle, octopus (which only had 6 legs), pufferfish, jellyfish, crab, seahorses, starfish, coral, seaweed, and assorted other fish PLUS we added a sea anemone and sea urchin to the mix.

Octopus, crab, and pufferfish.

Octopus, crab, and pufferfish.

Sea turtle!

Sea turtle!

Momma fish with two babies, and a starfish.

Momma fish with two babies, and a starfish.

Coral, anemone, and sea urchin, plus a cute crab her son made for the nursery.

Coral, anemone, and sea urchin, plus a cute crab her son made for the nursery.

We even used glitter paint over the air bubbles!

We even used glitter paint over the air bubbles!

Seahorses.

Seahorses.

These represent all the kids, her daughter and son, plus the twins!

These represent all the kids, her daughter and son, plus the twins!

The boys' names with seaweed growth charts!

The boys’ names with seaweed growth charts!

Jellyfish!

Jellyfish!

Assorted coral.

Assorted coral.

We even painted the trim a sandy color to coordinate with the ocean theme. It took us about 16 hours to complete — with an hour break for lunch and a half-hour coffee break!

Let me just say, I learned A LOT from this.

  • Plan ahead. We only had Saturday to get this done so we could surprise Suzy when they got back in town from a baby shower. We had no idea it would take us so long to complete! I would have started earlier and also laid out the designs beforehand, instead of that day.
  • Don’t skimp on supplies. The 12-pack of paint brushes from Michael’s doesn’t cut it on detail work! The rough brush hairs got to be pretty aggravating! And what you save in money on 57 cent craft paint, you lose in time and frustration applying two and three coats!
  • Bring music. Unfortunately, our iPhones batteries couldn’t supply us with Pandora music for the entire 16 hours. It was a good thing we had each other to talk to!
  • Bring sustenance. Time flies when you’re painting detail work like that; we hit 3:00 PM and realized we hadn’t eaten lunch! With so much to do, it definitely hurt to lose time and have to go out and get food.

Overall, I was pleased with the results, and most importantly, Suzy was happy. I was so thrilled to be able to give her this gift to welcome the twins, Hunter and Hayden. I am also glad we got to add in personal details like the fishies to represent her other children. We hope it makes them feel apart of their little brothers’ upcoming arrival.

And, I had a blast spending that time with my friend. It is a relationship I truly cherish, and I am always amazed at how we just pick back up even when it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other!

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Orchid You Not

Please excuse the bad pun, but I have a great update to share! Who remembers my Spring Has Sprung post and the Bulbs That Could?

They were so sad and small.

They were so sad and small.

Turns out, they are Hot Pink Asiatic Lilies. And well, I am just giddy about their progress! Behold, the power of nature:

Bam! They got tall!

Bam! They got tall!

One of the bulbs did not survive, but four out of five ain’t bad. 🙂 It has been such a pleasure to watch these grow, week-by-week, sometimes shooting up inches overnight with good rain.

That is a gorgeous shade of pink!

That is a gorgeous shade of pink!

Gardening is good for me, because gardening takes patience and commitment — both things I could use more of in my life. As these lilies so beautifully demonstrate, the wait is worth the reward! And just because you don’t have the best start, that doesn’t determine your future. You reap what you sow.

This wisdom goes far beyond gardening. In relationships, and in personal and professional endeavors, success and growth usually correspond to the time and effort you put in.

And progress doesn’t always come from large sacrifices. The work comes down to little things, making a commitment each and every day with the understanding that you are working towards something important.