I love seeing the 2016 goals some of my friends have already posted! I’m always inspired by the goals of others — not so much the content of their actual goals, but the ways in which they arrive at them and the structure they use to maximize their chances for progress. A few I’m loving so far: Val, Victoria, and Nancy. I’ll be working on finalizing mine this weekend, and can’t wait to share them on Monday!
In the meantime, I wanted to share my inspiration board for 2016! This is the first time I’ve made one of these; to be honest, I’ve always been a little leery of them. To me, the danger with creating a board like this is that you can look at it (at the end of the year, or the middle), and say, well, my life sure doesn’t look like that. It’s not that clean, or beautiful, or color-coordinated. I didn’t want to even be tempted to have this board make me feel that way, so I tried hard to pull images that felt “real” – and in many cases, I did that by pulling images that ARE real (from the places I love or things we’ve done in the past).
But, for this year in particular, I felt it was important to have a visual touchstone. So as I pulled photos for this board, I challenged myself again and again to choose ones that didn’t just look pretty and went well together, but that meant something to me, and were relevant to MY year ahead. It’s not bad to dream, to be aspirational, or to look toward the future, but I think even those things need to be planted in reality. I’m not moving to Hawaii this year, and I’m not building a farmhouse. But, we hope to renovate our backyard, and we will be traveling to Michigan and Maine with family, and those are things I can dream about.
Alright – I’ll get off my vision board soapbox! :) Here’s my final version:
I wanted this board to be about finding the beauty that’s in my life, and the beauty I hope to add to it this year, and I think that’s what I did. Consider it a sneak peek at my goals for 2016 – can’t wait to share more on Monday! :)
First, a little background: this was Nancy’s one big shower, and the guest list drew from all walks of her life — family, church family, childhood friends, high school friends, more recent friends, team members, and more. We sent invitations to around 60 ladies, and only received a handful of “no” RSVPs. To ease the strain on my house and on street parking, her sister Mary Lindsey and I opted to make the shower an open house, and encouraged guests to drop by between 10am and 1pm. This worked out very well! Guests trickled in for the first hour, mingled for the second, and we opened gifts in the third (we were playing the gift opening by ear, but it worked out great). Some guests stayed for the whole time, and some stayed for a shorter period.
You may recall our Christmas deer. Bucky did an excellent job greeting at the front door outfitted with a custom sign.
As guests arrived, we encouraged them to pin on a pink or blue clothespin based on whether they thought Baby Ray would be a girl or a boy. I proudly wore one of the few pink ones, and was delighted a few months later when my guess was confirmed!
Our only other “game” was a prediction sheet, which we encouraged everyone to fill out before they left.
For decor, I picked up a few bags of moss at World Market and used that to fill in terrariums and cake stands. Callie was my terrarium queen – her loaners made all the difference! I also purchased spring flowers in white, green, and lilac from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s the day before. (I was hoping they would have loose ferns or greenery at Whole Foods — I had seen both there before — but no such luck.) Lastly, I purchased a few potted ferns and repotted them in white pots. Tip: don’t buy them too far in advance, because ferns are notoriously hard to keep alive :)
The little animals are actually Christmas ornaments! I just folded their hanging loops under.
For the linen on the table, we used a few yards of Minted’s Branch Toss fabric. As a memento for Nancy, I had a pillow made from a piece of it for Baby Ray’s nursery post-shower!
Though I contributed a lot of the decor, thankfully, I had almost nothing to do with the food! Nancy’s mother-in-law and friends were amazing, and brought scones, sandwiches, donuts, parfait ingredients, veggies, muffins, and more. We did not want for delicious eats.
Another very special friend, Ashley of Ashley Cakes, helped us out big time with a beautiful dessert spread. Aren’t those deer cookies the cutest thing you’ve ever seen??? They were delicious, too!
The rest of the shower was simply spent loving on Nancy! Toward the end, her sister led everyone in a really heartfelt prayer, and others got the chance to join in and offer encouragement, too. I know that was a gift for this sweet mama-to-be — probably the best one she got that day!
Love you, Nancy!
Many thanks to the wonderful Elizabeth Tate of Nancy Ray Photography for all of these photos! It was such a joy not to think about taking pictures while getting everything ready!!
To know Nancy Ray is to love her. She is one of the most faithful, encouraging, insightful, and delightful people I have ever known, and her friendship has meant so much to me over the last few years (as I know it has to so many others!). When the opportunity arose to co-host a baby shower for her this spring, I jumped at the chance! I considered it a small opportunity to repay her the love she’s showed me over the years… and, let’s be honest, to throw a party where I could actually put my larger-than-normal collection of cake stands to use!*
Nancy had requested a “spring and woodland and baby animals” theme, which was perfect for our March party and her May due date. Since there were many hands helping, I put together an inspiration board to keep everyone on the same page. Our palette was mint, shades of green, creamy white, and tan.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! John and I are spending the week at home in NC. We’re planning to wrap ourselves in blankets and watch the Macy’s parade this morning, then meet up with dear friends and their family for a hike and turkey dinner this evening. We’re bringing pimento cheese and John’s family’s cranberry sauce recipe!
Today I’m feeling grateful for my husband, for technology that connects us with our far-flung families, for friends close enough to share Thanksgiving with, for a busy shop, and for our new and super-comfy king size bed (even though we’ve yet to buy a quilt and are still sleeping on it in our sleeping bags!).
P.S. Gift guides are coming your way next week! :)