Very Special Baby Gifts

As I mentioned a few days ago I went down to Southern California to celebrate baby Greene with friends and family. On Saturday my mom hosted a brunch baby shower at Mimi’s cafe. For more on this see: SoCal Baby Shower

I received many wonderful gifts at the shower, but the most significant gifts were from my mother. If you have been reading my blog since the very beginning you would know that at my bridal shower I received an unexpected gift of a  handmade intricate red and white queen sized quilt from my mom. For more on this see: Happy Mother’s Day

Since then she had also made us a beautiful nature themed quilted Christmas tree skirt. For more on this see: Christmas review

Well  I knew before we even planned on having a baby she would make us a baby quilt, as she had already made a few for my cousin’s first kids. So in November I took my mom to the quilt store in Chehalis Washington. After wandering the store for awhile I asked her if she was ready to make another baby quilt . . .  this time for us. It was a wonderful moment as I shocked my Mom with the news of our pregnancy, her first grand child.

Little did I know, just like she started the wedding quilt before I was engaged, she had already started a baby quilt before I was pregnant.

She took my color preferences of orange, green, and yellow and choose nursery rhymes as the theme.  Once I heard my mom was including embroidery in the quilt I knew this would not be put on the ground for baby to pull out the stitching. I decided that nursery rhymes and lullabies would be a great gender neutral theme for the nursery itself and the quilt would be displayed proudly.

But boy was I in for a surprise when I opened the quilt at the shower. I expected some embellished border or flowers in embroidery.

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Instead I opened the quilt to see twelve intricate picture panels of different nursery rhymes: all hand stitched.  It was overwhelming and wonderful.

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When my mom found out I would display this quilt she decided we could do a gender specific baby quilt for everyday use.  Mom and I worked together to choose bright yellow and turquoise, combined with charcoal grey using geometric prints and a tumbler shape.

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I wasn’t expecting to even see this quilt until the baby was born, knowing how busy my mom was planning for the shower and finishing the other quilt. So again to my surprise I open a gift bag to a completed quilt top. it was awesome to see the colors and designs work together.

As you can imagine both of these gifts a very special to me. I can’t wait to put them in the nursery in our new home.

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Thank you mom for taking so much time, thoughtfulness, and prayer as you not only put together such a wonderful baby shower for me but also two beautiful and creative quilts that I will always cherish. I know how much this little one is already loved.

A Handmade and Heirloom Christmas

This Christmas came with many wonderful surprises and most of them didn’t come in brand-new packaging. Because my parents drove to Corning NY they had room to bring along some meaningful items. So we had a wonderful handmade and heirloom Christmas.

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As I mentioned earlier (see Oh Christmas Tree ) this year my parents have passed down their Christmas tree topper angel to Luke and I. It was exciting the night they arrived to open that old box and stick the angel on top of our tree; it made me feel at home.

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But the heir-loomed gifts did not stop there. We were also given my great-grandmother’s (or older) 8 inch cast-iron pan that my mom has had hanging in her kitchen for years. It was immediately seasoned and  used to cook bacon on Christmas morning and green beans for Christmas dinner. It now sits on the kitchen stove alongside Luke’s cast iron skillet as if it has belonged there all along.

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On top of these wonderful sentimental gifts we were also given several handmade/homemade items. My mother made Luke a new pair of Star Wars printed PJ’s which she gave to him early so they would be hemmed and ready to be worn Christmas morning.

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In turn, she made me a retro 40’s style apron covered in a fruit print that matches the colors of my kitchen: blue and brown.

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Alongside these, my mom also made me some crocheted pot holders to accompany the ones she made me last winter.

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Also crocheted Luke received a beautiful afghan to keep us warm on our leather couches in the winter.

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My dad also made us something very special. Taking an idea from a Scandinavian artist, my father made a wood Christmas Tree out of the lath boards from my  childhood home. When my parents did some maintenance and remodeling to their home, my father stripped the old lath and kept them for a project. He made one of these trees for me and my brother so we will literally have a piece of our childhood home with us displayed every Christmas.

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The whole piece folds into one 1 1/2 foot triangle so to be easy to store. The boards are kept in placed by tightening the glass knob (also from our childhood home). We will have to decided where this tree will go in the future and how to decorate it.

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The last bit of homemade goodness we received was a jar of apricot jam and pomegranate jelly from some friends of the family and relatives an orchard. They will both be great on toast and yogurt! Yumm!!

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These wonderful handmade and heir-loomed gifts were what made this Christmas special. I am grateful my parents were here this winter to celebrate with us, but with all of these wonderful well-loved items a piece of them and home are with us for future Christmas we may not spend together and year round.