Nautical Birthday Party

Nautical Birthday Party

With the end of summer drawing near, I couldn’t resist one more opportunity to use elements from the Ahoy Collection by Carta Bella.  I just love this grouping of anchors, sea sentiments, and ocean inspired designs.  Remember the nautical birthday card I shared last month?  Here are several more ideas to accompany an anchor themed or nautical birthday party using digital scrapbooking products:

Ahoy Banner

Ahoy Banner

I used a generic banner die-cut to make my banner base.  Then, I used the alphabet letters from the nautical collection to spell out the word “AHOY.”  The focal point of this cute banner has to be the gorgeous anchor element.  I used the print and cut feature of my silhouette to cut out a perfectly shaped outline of this graphic.  To make everything pop, I edged the border with aqua glitter.  A few additional paper embellishments and ribbon completed the look!

Ahoy Banner Detail

Treat Bags

The Ahoy collection contains several darling graphics including a boat, a lobster, and a fish.  When I saw these elements, I knew they would be the perfect embellishments for treat bag toppers.

Nautical Birthday Treat

I packaged goldfish with the saying “Catch of the Day,” licorice bites with the phrase “Sailors Sweets,” and sour gummy worms with the sentiment “Live Bait.”

Nautical Birthday Treats 2

Here’s the basic outline of how I made these goodies:

  1. Open a new 4-inches x 2-inches document in PSE.
  2. Drag a piece of coordinating digital scrapbook paper onto your document.  Adjust the size if needed.
  3. Add a text box to the bottom half of the document containing your catch phrase.  I used the font Lobster 1.3.
  4. Print out this document.  Fold in half.
  5. Use the print and cut feature of the silhouette to cut out a digital element to add to the topper.
  6. Adhere this digital element to the topper using double sided foam tape.
  7. Embellish with additional punches or ribbon if desired.
  8. Add your finished topper to a Ziploc bag filled with yummy treats using tape adhesive.

Nautical Birthday Treat 3

Birthday Sign

I love creating little signs to include as part of a dessert table when hosting a party.  I made this framed graphic for my nieces’ birthday using Element 1.

Nautical Birthday Sign

A couple of notes:

  • I used the aqua chevron paper labeled “Seashells” as a base.
  • In PSE, I opened Element 1 and set my foreground color to the same navy color as the bottom portion of the banner.  Then, I selected the paint brush tool and filled in the “1826″ date so it wasn’t visible.
  • To make this element easy to cut out using the silhouette, I added a very light aqua stroke line.
  • I added a new “date” to the bottom banner using sticker letters. 2006 is the year my sweet nieces were born.
  • In order to make this sign dimensional, I added a scalloped red punched shape to the center.  I also layered a cut-out anchor in the center using foam tape.
  • For extra sparkle, I edged the anchor element with aqua glitter.

Nautical Birthday Sign Anchor Detail

There you have it…  3 extra ideas for savoring summer memories using the AHOY collection.  Now, go “Seas the Day!” and find some fun ways to incorporate digital design into your next project!

Here’s a peak at my final birthday package to my sweet nieces- all the nautical DIY goodies and 2 books about the sea!

Nautical Birthday Party Gifts

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dōTERRA Essential Oils: Family Physician Kit

A little more than 1 year ago, I was so curious about the potential of essential oils, I decided to order a Family Physician Kit from dōTERRA.  This intro kit contains 11 oils (5 single oils and 6 proprietary blends) and also includes your wholesale membership fee for the year.  When you subtract this one-time expense, you are basically purchasing 11 essential oils for roughly $10 a piece.  What a steal for the immense value these oils can provide for your family!

Family Physician Kit

Check out this list to get an idea of how you can start using the oils immediately: 150 Uses for the Family Physician Kit

Here’s a basic primer on the Family Physician Kit Oils:


Properties of Lavender:

Analgesic, Anticoagulant, Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant, Antifungal, Antihistamine, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Sedative (Modern Essentials, 4th Ed.)

Lavender is commonly referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife of Oils.”  When in doubt, use lavender! We use lavender all the time to promote restful sleep and relaxation.  I can speak from personal experience regarding the power of this essential oil to soothe burns, scapes, sunburns, and bug bites.  It is definitely a “go-to” oil in my medicine cabinet and used in many DIY roller blends.  The literature also supports lavender’s anti-inflammatory properties in relation to asthma: Read THIS STUDY.


Properties of Lemon:

Anti-cancer, Antidepressant, Antiseptic, Antifungal, Antiviral (Modern Essentials, 4th Ed.)

I am not a water drinker!  Adding a drop of lemon essential oil to my water glass helps immensely and tastes great.  As an added bonus, this practice also helps to gently detox my liver.  I also use lemon to help clean toxins off fruits and veggies, especially when I’m not able to find organic options.  Lemon is commonly used as an ingredient in DIY cleaning sprays due to its powerful antiseptic/antiviral properties.  I personally haven’t had any experience using lemon to remove adhesive or marks on a wall BUT I’ve heard many personal testimonies where it has been a lifesaver!  My doula shared a story recently about how lemon essential oil helped her erase Sharpie permanent marker from a dry erase board.  1-2 drops can also assist removing gum from hair… a handy tip for any Momma!


Properties of Peppermint:

Analgesic, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral, Anti-nausea, Invigorating (Modern Essentials, 4th Ed.)

I like to add a drop of Peppermint oil to my water for an energizing pick-me up in the middle of the day.  I also just tried a adding a few drops to brownie batter- so delicious!  The natural cooling effects of this oil also make it ideal for soothing sunburns and other skin conditions.  My skin is fairly sensitive so peppermint is definitely one that I always dilute with fractionated coconut oil.  I know many people that have also used Peppermint to ward off spiders, ants, and mice.  The research on peppermint highlights how it can be used to boost mental clarity and assist with GI issues.


Properties of Oregano:

Antiviral, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-parasitic, Antiseptic (Modern Essentials, 4th Ed.)

Oregano is a “hot” oil and should be handled with care.  This essential oil is at the top of my list to use when we aren’t feeling great since its natural properties make it a great immune booster.  I typically combine Oregano, Melaleuca, and On Guard to restore our well-being and optimal health levels- it’s quite a power trio!  Here’s a great article discussing the potential therapeutic benefits of oregano: More Than Just a Spice.  I’ve also heard that many people use oregano oil to successfully remove skin tags.


Properties of Melaleuca:

Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-infectious, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-parasitic, Antiviral (Modern Essentials, 4th Ed.)

Melaleuca is commonly known as Tea Tree Oil.  This is a “go-to” oil for disinfecting or any time I want to prevent an infection.  It is one of the power oils I mentioned above to help boost immunity.  I always apply Melaleuca, along with Lavender, to bug bites and common scrapes.  It’s also a key ingredient, along with lavender, in my daughter’s homemade diaper cream.  This recent follow-up study highlighted Melaleuca role in preventing infections during the wound healing process: The Effect of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) on wound healing using a dressing model.


Properties of Frankincense:

Anticancer, Antidepressant, Anti-infectious, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic (Modern Essentials, 4th Ed.)

I would label Frankincense on par with Lavender in the sense that it does SO many things and can be used in so many circumstances.  This oil is 1 of 2 remedies that I use when experiencing discomfort from a migraine.  It has a powerful aroma and taste- it reminds me of the smell of incense used during Catholic masses.  Frankincense contains sequiterpenes, which allow it to cross the blood-brain barrier.  It is commonly used to provide emotional balance, enhance concentration, boost immunity, and soothe skin conditions.  For more information on this oil, commonly referred to as “liquid gold,” tune into Dr. Hill’s webinar:


Deep Blue Blend Properties

Deep Blue is classified as the “Soothing Blend.”  It reduces inflammation and promotes circulation, making it perfect for stressed and sore muscles.  I personally have had great success using this oil on my temples while I’m experiencing a migraine- it’s cooling and analgesic properties work wonders!  My husband is a runner and this oil comes in handy for any common aches and pains associated with training.


Breathe Blend Properties

dōTERRA’s “Respiratory Blend” helps open and calm respiratory tissues.  I personally LOVE the smell of this oil.  It is perfect to diffuse at night to promote restful sleep and to avoid waking with congestion.  I won’t be without this oil during cold and flu season as it helps reduce inflammation and airborne contaminants.  Placing 1-2 drops in your palms and cupping them to your nose for aromatherapy benefits can help clear sinuses and quickly relieve pressure.


DigestZen Blend Properties

Tummy issues don’t stand a chance with doTerra’s proprietary “Digestive Blend.”  This oil is packed with constituents that calm the lining of your stomach and intestines, thereby effectively and quickly reducing feelings of nausea and other system ailments.  It’s a lifesaver when you’ve eaten too much or indulged in “not-so-healthy” food choices.  We’ve found this blend to be an effective tool for calming our toddler’s tummy.  We massage a small amount of diluted DigestZen in a clockwise circle over Olivia’s stomach for fast relief.  One physician’s thoughts on Ginger, an important constituent in this blend, can be found here: Ginger: The Benefits Revealed in Modern Day Medicine.


On Guard Blend Properties:

Billed as the “Protective Blend,” On Guard works to boost your immune system.  The individual oils in this blend make it an ideal candidate for dealing with any bacterial, viral, or fungal issue.  Recent research has shown On Guard to attenuate the flu (STUDY HERE) and combat MRSA.  Read the full scoop on how this blend’s antimicrobial properties are being used to kill antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria in THIS ARTICLE.  On Guard can also be used to clean and purify surfaces, making it a common ingredient in DIY household cleaners.  On a flight earlier this year, I sat across the aisle from an individual with a horrendous cough and stuffy nose.  I was SO grateful to have a diluted roller of On Guard with me… you can guarantee that I was applying this oil often to help keep my immune system strong and healthy.


Slim and Sassy Blend Properties:

Described as the “Metabolic Blend,” Slim and Sassy helps bring the body to homeostasis.  It can be a powerful aid for weight loss since peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant, cinnamon balances blood sugar levels and decreases sugar cravings, and ginger speeds metabolism and tames tummy issues.  At the same time, grapefruit and lemon detox and burn fat.

What I love about the Oils:

I feel empowered to deal with whatever life throws at us!  Just this past weekend, we encountered an experience where the oils proved to be invaluable.  James was working in my parent’s yard and got into what we think was Stinging Nettle.  Almost immediately, he felt intense stinging and little white bumps appeared on his finger.  I immediately applied Lavender, Melaleuca, and Purify.  Within about 10 minutes, his pain subsided and the bumps were gone!

The wonderful thing about essential oils is the personalized way that you can take charge of your wellness.  There are definitely recommended protocols for various concerns supported by scientific research.  However, there is no one right answer to any one issue…. and what works really well for one person might not have the same effect on another due to personal body chemistry differences.  I highly encourage you to conduct your own research, listen to your body, and experiment!

Note: Information and protocols listed on this page are supported by current research and have worked for many.  However, it should not be used to diagnose or solely treat any ailment without the overseeing guidance of a physician.

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Nautical Birthday Card

Snap Click Supply Company has been celebrating digital design all month long by offering double the number of items on sale.  To go along with the theme of “double the fun,” I created a quick and easy summer birthday card for my awesome TWIN nieces!  This fun card uses digital elements from both the Ahoy There (Carta Bella) and the Nautical collection (Fancy Pants).

DIY Nautical Card

When I started this project, I didn’t have an exact picture in my mind of how I wanted it to turn out.  I did know, however, that I wanted to use the phrase, “Ahoy! It’s Your Birthday!”

Ahoy Card

I began by using the “print and cut” feature of my silhouette to cut out several awesome digital designs, including an anchor and alphabet letters spelling AHOY.  I also selected a background paper for my card base from the Ahoy There collection… this was a tough pic as there are so many fun nautical choices!

Ahoy Card Detail

With my card base determined, I started experimenting with the placement of the cut out digital designs. I love adding dimension to my hybrid card designs so foam tape is a must!  In the picture below, you can see where I applied foam tape to make various layers pop.

Ahoy Card Layering Detail

A few decisions and embellishments:

  • I punched a hole through the anchor top and added a bow using red baker’s twine.
  • I edged the white background panel with a Krylon gold leafing pen to add a bit of sparkle.
  • I used a Nestability die (Labels 18) to cut out a blue shape to highlight the anchor.  Love the contrast this step provides!

Nautical Card Elements

On the back of the card, I added the rest of the birthday sentiment.  I embellished the text with clear rhinestones in two sizes and a red punched heart.

Birthday Greeting Detail

To compliment my summer theme, I also whipped up a fun envelope design.

Summer Envelope Design 2

Again, I used the “print and cut” feature of the Silhouette to cut out the “Summer” word from Fancy Pant’s Nautical collection.

Tip: This element didn’t have a clear boundary for the Silhouette to recognize.  To remedy this issue, I opened the element up in PSE and added a light stroke to the edge in a coordinating color.  Adding a stroke line made cutting out this element using the Silhouette super easy!

Silhouette tip for digital images

I grouped the fun “Summer” word element with 2 layers of washi tape and a punched star.  I also added the twins’ names with sticker letters.

Summer Envelope Design

This nautical birthday card was fun to make and perfect for any summer birthday!  I hope my sweet nieces have DOUBLE the fun on their 8th birthday!

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DIY Engagement Cards

Two of our friends recently announced their engagement.  To celebrate this exciting news, I created these little DIY engagement cards.  First up is a “Bride” greeting featuring this silhouette design.

Handmade Card for Bride

I layered the graphic element on a fushcia background and edged the panel with pink glitter for extra sparkle.  To complete the look, I added rhinestone and paper heart embellishments.

DIY Bride Card Detail

Tip: To cut very detailed graphic elements that have thin lines, make sure your cutting mat is relatively new and very sticky!  *I might know from experience that the paper will tear very easily if using an older mat!*

DIY Engagement Card

I paired the Bride card with a fun engagement box using this template from Sarah Bailey available in the Silhouette Store for immediate download.  A few additions to this DIY card to make it sparkle:

  • rhinestones on the ring
  • a die-cut of the word “love” on the base box
  • punched hearts
  • a foam sticker behind the diamond element to create dimensionality

I love how these DIY engagement cards turned out! I packaged them in the same envelope for the couple.

Handmade Engagement Cards

Congrats, Eddie and Vanessa!

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Thoughts on Motherhood and Traveling: Part 2

To read Part 1, click HERE!

Aerial View

During a recent flight, I had the chance to sit next to the window and gaze out at some incredible cloud formations.  Perhaps I was just focused on missing Olivia, but the clouds (and really the whole process of flying) made me think about motherhood.

Some similarities that I was struck by:

… on both types of journeys, you alternate between periods of clarity and complete overwhelm.  As a new mother, you might feel like you are permanently stuck in a never-ending haze of confusion, panic, and stress… Similarly, to get to your cruising altitude, a plane must ascend through a dense and often murky layer of clouds.  I think I involuntary hold my breath for these moments- you can’t see anything and it feels like you’re traveling through a giant marshmallow!  Both scenarios require patience and trust that you are slowly getting closer to your destination.

Navigating Motherhood

… and then you emerge on the other side and it’s just grand.  This higher perspective fuels both gratitude and reflection.  These moments make the journey worthwhile and truly inspiring!

Clouds from the Plane

I’m still trying to navigate and find my footing on this precious journey of motherhood.  The highs and lows just seem so darn extreme!  Moods cycle so easily between clarity and overwhelm.  These days we are focusing on the good.

… precious baby smiles and laughter… watching new learning take place before our eyes….sweet baby snuggles and embraces… her joy in discovering something new… her delight in new independence and skills….


… all the steps and stages of learning to fly.

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Essential Oils: 101

doTerra Oils

About a year ago, I had no idea what essential oils were or how helpful they could be in promoting a healthy lifestyle and strong immune system.  Here’s a handy primer:

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune defense properties of plants. They are composed of natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Read MORE HERE.

Does It Matter What Brand of Oil You Use?

Short answer: YES!

Long Answer: To achieve the maximum therapeutic value from an oil, it is vital to source your product from a reputable company dedicated to practicing careful extraction methods and rigorous testing standards. An individual essential oil may contain anywhere from 200-800 different chemical constituents.  These constituents are influenced by soil condition, geographical region, climate, altitude, harvest season and methods, and the distillation process… to name a few variables!

A growing number of products, ranging in price and quality, claim to contain essential oils.  Many, however, use fragrant synthetic chemical substitutes to dilute or replace more expensive essential oil extracts.  Since there is no single governing body over the world of essential oils to regulate quality, it is even more important to do your research and know what kind of oils you are using!

In light of this reality, dōTERRA decided to implement its own protocol to ensure that each bottle meets rigorous standards for purity and potency.  The company’s CPTG (certified pure therapeutic grade) label refers to the process dōTERRA employs to verify the chemical constituents in all of their oils.  Currently, dōTERRA uses: gas chromatography, mass spectometry, FTIR Scan, microbial testing, and organoleptic testing to analyze each oil batch.  You can read a description of this process HERE.

doTerra Essential Oils 5mL

How Do You Use Essential Oils?

There are 3 ways to use oils:

  1. Diffusing: aromatic application via a nebulizing diffuser or by simply placing 1-2 drops into your hands and cupping them to your nose.
  2. Topical: applying the oils directly to your skin.
  3. Internal: consuming by mouth (NOTE: Only pure, therapeutic oils should be used for internal use.  The FDA has approved some oils for consumption by giving them the designation of GRAS.  Never ingest an oil without this qualification.)

 Are There Safety Considerations?

Short Answer: Yes!

Long Answer: While essential oils are natural and don’t carry the side effects of typical pharmaceutical drugs, there are a few safety guidelines to know upfront:

  • Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, inside the ear canal, or directly in open wounds.
  • Do NOT consume essential oils internally unless the bottle is specifically labeled with a Supplemental Facts box that contains dietary use and warnings.
  • Less is more!  I always recommend diluting an essential oil with a carrier oil.  Common carrier oils include: fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, and almond oil.  Using a carrier oil will not dilute the potency of the essential oil as it simply helps spread out the oil over a greater surface area, thereby reducing the risk of a potential localized skin sensitivity.  ALWAYS DILUTE WHEN APPLYING TO CHILDREN.
  • Remember the rule: water drives an oil IN.  If you accidentally apply too much of an oil to your skin, don’t try to wash it off.  This action will only intensify the effect.  Instead, apply a carrier oil.

doTerra Family Physician Kit

How Can I Find Out More?

Excellent ways to continue your learning journey:

  1. Check out the education modules on
  2. Explore the essential oils archives on my blog.  I will be updating this section frequently.  You can also read about my burn story HERE.
  3. Email me! I love to chat about oils! (designing.delicious.adventures [at] gmail [dot] com)
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Olivia’s Nursery Update: A Reading Nook

We just officially completed a little reading nook in Olivia’s room and can’t wait to share it!

Reading Nook

When James’ parents came to visit Olivia in March 2013, they helped us create a custom bookshelf based on this popular Pottery Barn product.  James and his Dad worked all weekend to craft this beautiful piece so our precious babe would have a library at her fingertips.  Notice the curved lines?  I am still amazed at their craftsmanship!

Last week, James helped me hang this gorgeous petal shaped mirror above the space.

Reading Nook Mirror

With this new piece, Olivia’s reading nook is complete!  …And, I think our sweet girl might love this space just as much as I do!

Baby Girl Nursery

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dōTERRA Research

For the past year, my family has been using dōTERRA essential oils to support our immune systems and promote a healthy lifestyle. I absolutely LOVE this company’s commitment to sourcing the highest quality oils, AS WELL as its dedication to expanding scientific research. If you haven’t been on, head over there now to explore 2,500 (and growing!) studies detailing the benefits of essential oil usage.

Did you know?

  1. The natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties of Oregano were found to be more effective than 18 pharmaceutical drugs.  THIS ARTICLE explains why and discusses potential uses for essential oils in treating MRSA.
  2. dōTERRA’s proprietary blend, On Guard, was found to attenuate the flu.  READ this study!  It’s also been investigated for it’s potential to kill MRSA.  Read Jennifer Eddins’ study conclusions HERE.
  3. Lemongrass, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil were found to have larger “zones of inhibition” than 2 traditional anti-septic products.  For study details, click HERE.

Here’s a short clip of Dr. Paul Winterton talking about how essential oils can incredibly helpful in combating super bacteria strains that are already showing resistance to existing antibiotics.  The Modern Essentials reference book explains that individual oils may have between 200 and 800 different chemical constituents.  That’s a whole lot of biodiversity!

Another staggering fact: Prescription drugs are the #1 source of accidental death in the United States.  Wow!  Read People magazine’s feature story on this phenomenon.  In light of this fact, I am even more hopeful for a future healthcare model that embraces both traditional western medicines AND proven holistic, natural products.

I love that essential oils have helped my family take a proactive approach to our health care.

  • Today, we aren’t as reliant on over-the-counter medicines– many of which have serious side effects. Before our wellness journey started, I had no idea that Tylenol is the #1 cause of acute liver failure.
  • We feel better prepared to deal with what life throws at us.  We can, for instance, use oils to help our daughter’s ears feel better when she awakens in the middle of the night.  Having an effective, natural alternative to provide instant relief is invaluable- especially at 3am!  (Not to mention that you don’t have to wait to call the doctor’s office when they first open, then wait for an appointment, and finally wait for a prescription.)  Same story if you’ve spent one too many hours in the sun… I love knowing that the combination of lavender and peppermint will provide instant cooling and skin relief!  AND THE LIST GOES ON!
  • BONUS side effect of our wellness journey: I feel so much more knowledgeable about the human body.  Studying essential oils has given me a deeper understanding of how various systems work together and effective ways to promote wellness.

I am SO EXCITED to see what comes out next as far as research on essential oils.  dōTERRA has partnered with Vanderbilt University to study the implementation of oils in direct patient care.  It’s truly an exciting time!  During the first phase of their research, they diffused citrus oils at Vanderbilt’s Level 1 Trauma Center and found a significant decrease in stress levels and increase of energy among staff.   Here is a short video of their findings:

I’m hopeful they will release the second phase of their research efforts on patient care at their next annual convention in September.

If you are open to learning more about essential oils and the impact they can have on your health, email me at: designing.delicious.adventures [at] gmail [dot] com

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Around Here: June 2014

Busy, busy, busy….  This month has been spent:

…enjoying this gorgeous view while in Florida.  The Breakers Hotel review coming soon.


…taking our baby girl to the pool.

Olivia Swimming June 2014

…looking through a camera lens.  I took on several large photography projects for The Dating Divas blog.  They are launching several amazing products over the next few months- here’s a peak at my work:

Anniversary Printable Pack

Dating Divas Anniversary

Couples Group Date Night

Dating Divas Group Date Night

Printable Summer Activities Pack

Dating Divas Summer Pack

Babysitting Co-op Printable Pack

Dating Divas Babysitting Co-op

…reading these articles on motherhood:

…taking stock.  By Kara Anne sent out an email with the subject, “Is June the fresh start you need?”  This one-liner got me thinking about my OLW for the year, as well as my 30 During 30 Goals.  #12 on the list was to make and send 30 cards.  I wrote down a quick list of projects that came to mind and realized that not only had I met this goal but exceeded it by quite a bit!  2014 has demanded an outpouring of creative products.  My goal for the reminder of the year is to figure out how to lighten my load, focus on what’s important, and let the rest take care of itself.  Easier said than done!

…visiting my Grandma after her fall.  I hope Olivia inherits her grit and determination!

…writing many blog posts.  Curious what goes into a post?  Read THIS and THIS for a thoughtful breakdown.  When I got into blogging, I had no clue that you needed to be an amazing photographer, eloquent writer, expert WordPress user, marketing genius, and part-time HTML coder to be successful.  I am far from where I’d love to be in this industry BUT I’ve made great strides with my photography skills over the past year.

…learning why I hate cilantro!  And, I picked up a new phrase: single-nucleotide polymorphism.

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Fourth of July 2014

For the past several years, our Fourth of July’s have been a mixture of boating, sunshine, and fireworks on the lake.  This year, however, we spent our Holiday talking to doctors and visiting care facilities after my sweet 93 year old Grandma fell and broke her hip.

Grandma Surgery

Three: the number of places she broke the top of her femur bone.  Fortunately, the position of the breaks were such that she didn’t need a full hip replacement.  The orthopedic surgeons opted to place 1 rod and several pins into her leg to secure her broken joint area.

I’m so glad to report that Grandma is making wonderful progress.  In fact, she walked across the hospital room the day after surgery!  I so admire her strength and determination.  On July 4th, we moved her to a rehab facility where she will spend the next few weeks receiving an intense dose of physical therapy.

One of my favorite generational pics from Olivia’s first birthday:

Three generations

I’ve been taking Olivia up to visit daily- Grandma adores seeing her.  So much so, that she insisted that we place Olivia on her lap as she was wheeled down the hallway to dinner.  We ever so gently placed our very active toddler on her non-broken leg and held our breath!  I think my whole family was braced to immediately swoop in if our baby moved an inch.  Guess what?  Olivia leaned back, enjoyed the ride, and didn’t move a muscle!

Grandma after surgery

How was your July 4th?  My Mom surprised us over the weekend with this festive package filled with a few yummy treats:

4th of July gift 2014

…and some dear friends delivered a food care package with a darling July 4th themed cake:

4th of July Cake

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