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Our Easter Sunday was so nice. Sam and I have been running full force for weeks now, and we have made goals to slow down a little and enjoy the moments. It's hard. There are just so any distractions, especially these smart phone that are attached to us. They're so hard to shake off! But, after a somewhat rough morning, our Easter Sunday really did turn out nicely. We dressed up and went to church, spent time with friends, and then went to the park to play.

The Easter Bunny brought Eliza a little tin pail with an egg-shaped bubble container, and eggs filled with bunny grahams. For some reason, the easter grass had to be pulled out one strand at a time and thrown out of the way- but once she finally got to the eggs she was pretty excited. She shook them around, and was surprised when I opened one of them to show her the bunnies. We put them out in the grass, where she got bored and wouldn't go searching for them. So, I had to pile them up around her feet. Mostly she loved banging her pail around and crawling all over us while we lay down on the grass and napped. And, for dinner we grilled herb-crusted lamb and oysters. It was perfect. It was nice to just take a second to breathe, and to spend time with my family without thinking about "what needs to be done."

I have loved looking through all of these pictures. This girl is my pride and joy. She's so beautiful! I love her. Her Easter dress was actually picked out by Sam on the morning we found out we were having a girl. It seemed so small back then. I remember that we brought it home to our apartment in Brooklyn and hung it up on the doorknob in our bedroom. It hung there until we moved. I just couldn't imagine such a tiny thing! And now, it finally fits my petite little girl at almost one year. She's the best.

Ps. I woke up to this video on Easter morning, and watched it about ten times in a row- cuddled up in bed with my little family. I strongly recommend that you watch it. It makes me want to be a better person. It makes me want to try harder, knowing that I have hope because of my beautiful Savior.

origami baby.

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Another baby shower!? I am overjoyed that more of my friends are having babies and can join the mom club for park hopping with E, and secretly dying of happiness to make more pretty things to celebrate! My friend Danielle is due this summer- look at that beautiful, pregnant glow! That baby girl is lucky to have such a pretty mama.

I teamed up with my friends Amanda and Erika to create an "origami themed" baby shower, as Danielle loves all things Japanese. It started with a few packs of square paper from the dollar section at Target, and took off from there! We pulled together a ton of ideas on this board. It was so much fun planning this party with these girls because they are so creative, and just as crazy and detail-oriented as I am!

Amanda made the best invitations, and I wish I had taken a picture of it! It was an origami heart, similar to this one, with a haiku of the party details written on the inside. Then we made 150 cranes, and I hung them in a couple of installations around the house with gold thread. I pulled some ideas from some Anthropologie windows and drew a little diagram, but it all sort of came together as I went. Sam helped me draw the "hello baby" sign with a calligraphy set from Daiso, a Japanese dollar store here in Berkeley. I used Martha Stewart's liquid gold to paint the tall vases (also from the dollar store), and the favor cups. And, the blossoms were cut from an empty lot near our house!

Amanda was the brains behind the beautiful food, and we had a lot of help from those who volunteered to bring things. She made that perfect cake- devil's food, with buttercream frosting and cocoa nibs. And, those rose cookies- lemon cookie, with cream cheese frosting. Then, we served edamame, potstickers, fruit, mochi balls, and the best California rolls (made by Erika). As favors, Amanda printed the "Thank You" bags, and had the best idea to put out a Pocky bar. The colors were so pretty!

This was so much fun for me. I have been dragging my feet around this messy house for a month now, just wishing it would unpack itself. It was great to have a deadline this weekend to get it done. We worked hard all week to finish most of the last few boxes and a few random fixer-up projects. Sam especially was a dream-husband this week. And, he spent most of the shower in the kitchen doing the dishes! What a guy. But, yeah- it really was so much fun to finally see the house clean, and to make something creative with my hands! Thank you girls for having fun and getting crafty with me!

Danielle, you are the most beautiful baby mama! We are so happy for the adventure you are about to begin. And, we can't wait to meet that baby girl. It was great to see how many love and support you! 

My favorite part of the day was when you went to open your first gift, stopped, smiled, and said "This is my baby shower..."

eleven months.

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This little pup is eleven months old today! 

It just occurred to me to other day that Eliza is just on the cusp of change. Like BIG change. She is so independent already, but she still hasn't taken those first steps. She is constantly grunting and squawking and screaming her own little language, but she still hasn't said her first real words. And, while I've been coaxing and encouraging her- it suddenly occurred to me that once she figures those things out, nothing will be the same again!

Walking and talking- that's a toddler. Ah!

I see the other moms chasing after their kids in the park, and I just want to say, "Hey, girl. We're having fun, right? Let's hold out a little longer!" I just want to lounge in the grass, while she crawls all over me and babbles away to herself. I love this view of mine- the top of her head as she pulls on my skirt and hugs my legs. She has never been a cuddle baby. I mean, we decided that we would wean her at a year, but she is already pushing me away more and more. When she starts running away and talking back, I think my mama heart will die a little! What if she doesn't need me anymore!?

 Eliza at eleven months:
-standing on her own, but no steps yet
-says "Uh, Oh!" intentionally, I think...
-loves to be silly with papa
-makes a certain "barking" noise when she sees dogs, I think...
-loves to play chase
-has a very fake cry for when she doesn't get her way
-loves to put things around her neck, like a scarf
-pulls everything out of everything
-exploring her new home
-always wants to be held by her mama
-slightly picky eater lately
-loves to crawl around the house with something hanging out of her mouth
-always clinging to our legs
-likes watching videos of herself
-loves turning pages of board books
-favorite foods these days: bread and cheese
(I wonder where she got that from...)
-loves trailing after the big kids
-loves the noises from the train by our house- choo, choo!
-communicates with her hand gestures more
-melts in the shower
-shakes her head and bounces when she dances
-just started clapping today!
-her tongue is always out
-crooked, little smile
-we are going to miss her vampire fangs because we're just now seeing two little front teeth push through