Friday, October 28, 2016

halloween '16

The Hallead Squad dressed up as sushi this year, and my mouth was watering all night.

Jaina was a little salmon avocado roll, Fiona and I were a piece of shrimp nigiri, and Zach was... a bottle of soy sauce.

I love coming up with family outfits where we can have fun, but still be comfortable and wear jeans. Zach already had the Kikkoman shirt, and the only hard part was convincing Jaina to be a sushi roll. ;) She quickly got into it. What kid doesn't want to dress up as food?

I used 1" foam for the circles on Jaina's front and back and glued pieces of thin kid's craft foam on for the salmon, avocado, and cucumbers. I cut strips of black trash bag to be the seaweed and crumpled it up before gluing it around the sides to give it more texture. Then I glued big orange beads to the top for masago (caviar). Finally, I cut strips of black felt and sewed two on for shoulder straps and a pair on each side to tie together near her waist.

 Little Stinker kept ripping the wasabi out of her hair, but later I tricked her.

For Fiona's outfit I completely covered her baby carrier (a Beco Gemini) with white felt tacked on with a million safety pins. Then I cut out a quick shrimp shape from pink felt, glued orange stripes to it, and pinned the shrimp onto the baby carrier as well.

I wore a white shirt to be the little blob of rice, and once she was settled in her carrier I wrapped a piece of "seaweed" (garbage bag) around us. Ta-daa! Cozy and snug. 

Jaina, Fiona, and I all had little hair pieces that were supposed to be wasabi and pickled ginger. I used spools of tulle for both. For the wasabi, I used my large pom-pom maker and just wound the tulle around like yarn. And for the ginger I made loose bunches of the pink tulle and tied them to a barrette.

Jaina with her good buddies, Waldo, and the cutest little lion!

This was the first year Zach actually got to trick-or-treat with us the whole time, and we had a lot of fun. I love dressing up as a family, and I hope I can keep convincing everyone to do it for a long time!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

fiona's camping birthday!

Fiona turned ONE this summer, and we celebrated with a camping birthday!

It was a vintagy Moonrise Kingdom/Camp Wandawega inspired party, and we had planned to have it outside at my aunt and uncle's house. We were going to do a campfire, a nature walk, and have their beautiful old yellow canvas tent set up and decorated.

But all the rain from the WHOLE SUMMER decided to fall that morning, afternoon, and night, and we had to move it into the garage. The kiddos had a ball, but it hurt my heart a bit.

Cute little bear from Target's Pillowfort collection, and play fire by me. ;)

I had more than one person tell me the unexpected rain was somewhat of a metaphor for the year Fiona and I had. They're not lying. ;)

So I guess it's only right that I had to scrap everything and rethink the day. This little girl keeps me on my toes!

All the s'mores we never got to eat. :( We still have marshmallows and chocolate. 
If anyone wants to do a campfire call us up.

These fruit skewers turned out great! Just sliced some melon and pushed cookie cutters through. Bada-bing.

There are tiny washers glued to the back of each pennant on this banner. 
I actually remembered to weight my banners this year, and we weren't even out in the wind!

There was a lot of family memorabilia on the table. We had my mom's moccasins, my grandparents' lantern, compass, bobber, roasting sticks, and kiddie lawn chair. We also had Zach's grandpa's fish knives, and this sweet old thermos I found at my aunt and uncle's house the day of.

The party favors for the grown ups were "s'mores-to-go" with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and Teddy Grahams.

Instead of cakeballs, I put energy bites on a stick! If you do this, keep them in the freezer till right before cause they did start to fall off.

I really love life-like animal figurines. You know, the little rubber plastic ones like these. It's so hard for me to not buy all of them at the craft store, but I got a couple for the cake and the kiddo favors. ;)

My mom made three ah-mazing cheesecakes! S'more, Hawaiian, and Root Beer Float. I got my s'mores somehow!

We always have the party guests sign a book for the birthday girl. This year's was Curious George Goes Camping.

Favors for the two baby guests were little birdies. ;)

And the big kiddos got packets with animal figurines (heart eyes), little woodland critter tattoos, coloring pages, and a cute little chart of how to make shadow puppets. (Which we would've done in the tent, but you won't hear me complaining about it!)

 Our nature walk checklists!

I got most of my Instagrams from the past year printed and hung them on this fabulous frame Zach made. It's supposed to be for our bathroom mirror, but I'm stealing it.

I had a little play area for the kiddos with books, "sleeping bags", and toy food to cook over their pretend fire. The kids loved it, and I'm so glad since we were all kinda squished inside!

We also made binoculars for our nature walk. So easy to prepare, and the kids really seemed to like doing it.

Fiona was hamming it up. She had such a great evening. She loves people, and likes to be silly.

Her "Happy Camper" shirt is from LilMongo's Boutique on Etsy, and the moccasins are from Trendy Ends - also Etsy. And she actually left her kerchief on the whole evening!

Those eyes!

Cake time was hilarious. She really has not had sugary stuff, so she was VERY into it.

Proud big sissy!

She got immediately CAH-RAZY, then powered down just as fast. Oh, sugar. What a wild ride.

We love you so much, Fiona! From your time in my belly, to your birth, to this intense year we've had, you've come through so much. You have the best smile, and make us laugh every day. ONE! We made it!

Thank you so much to everyone who came out on that rainy night with us! We loved celebrating with you!

Party Credits
Party Styling: Kara Hallead
Photography: Faith Zimmerman
Cheesecakes: Carol Scheuerman
Tablecloth: Hobby Lobby
Log Cake Stand: TJ Maxx
Instagram Prints: Shutterfly
Favors: A.C.Moore
Wood Font: Wood Sticks from Dafont
Decor: Vintage
Plush Fire and Logs: Kara Hallead

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

207 singer road

I said goodbye to a house this week.

 Kitchen door, whereupon you will most likely hear, "Hi! I didn't see you drive in!"

Mimi's house for over half a century; good old 207 Singer Road, New Freedom, PA 17331.

 This living room held both a piano and an organ for many years. ;)

It's one of the few addresses I have memorized because it's the only one that's stayed constant my entire life.

 Climbed this tree so many times. It's weirdly the same size.

My grandparents moved in 57 years ago, right before my mom was born.

 And there's been a looooot of life there ever since.

Mom and Pappap before her prom. Classic Gunne Sax.

Three kids, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

 Pretty sure there's a baby in that contraption in the middle. Is that me? 
Or wait! Is that me over Mimi's knees?! What is happening?

 The best driveway to ride down. 
You had to be careful and steer around the corner.

And even though the timing is right, and I'm so excited for Mimi to move on to a cute and manageable cottage close to friends and close to us, this little piece of earth meant a lot to me and I'm going to miss it.

 Queen of the Castle, right here.

 Mom, Aunt Lori, and their cousin - Fiona and Jaina

It's been a long time since I've said a "forever goodbye". It was weirdly familiar even though it was just for a house. You want to act normal and have fun in your last moments together. You take a lot of pictures and make jokes, but all the while "Nevermore" is hanging in your head.

 Pappap's shed

 I always thought that glass doorknob to the garage was magical.

A long time ago there were bunk beds in this office, 
and one night I begged and begged to sleep underneath of them for some reason. 
Mom said no, but in the middle of the night I fell off the top bunk.
And instead of crying or calling for anyone I rolled under the bed and slept there the rest of the night. 
True story.

We've actually gotten to take quite a few pieces of this house to our home. Mimi's table and chairs now sit in our dining room, and the piano takes center stage in the living room. I have Mimi's lifetime stockpile of sewing supplies, and Zach has a few of Pappap's meticulously organized tool drawers.

Maple "helicopters" are so much fun.

I'm always gonna struggle with this concept of home. Just when I think my priorities are lining up another cord severs, and I realize just how earth-bound I still am. Ouch. I really liked that anchoring point. The roots ran deep. Can we get anymore metaphors in there? ;)

How many Easter egg hunts have we done around this house? 
Pappap would always keep a list of where he hid each one to be sure we found them all.

There are a few places around the world where I've left pieces of my heart. The city streets of Hong Kong, painted all over Chiang Mai, Thailand, it beats in Dimnent Chapel at Hope College, and now Singer Road, New Freedom.

As we pulled out, Jaina yelled, "Goodbye, Mimi's house!" And I'm so glad she did, cause I couldn't.

Groovy paneling in the basement

Thank you, Mimi for always making your house a home. Thanks for all the overnights, the Thanksgiving dinners, and allllllll the Goldfish. Thanks for letting me live with you and Pappap for a year after college. In a world that was always changing 207 meant a lot.