I am very blessed to have a lot of super crafty people in Natalie's life as well as tons of people that absolutely love her to pieces and we've accumulated a bunch of "special" things that I'm planning on holding on for her to put in her own house someday or to pass on to her own kiddos. Here are a few of the special items that have been either made or lovingly bought for Natalie.
One of my mother's dear friends Gretchen made this blanket for Natalie and it is a constant feature of our bedroom. It is always lying on the ground ready for some playing with toys and lots of tummy time.
This snuggly blanket was made for Natalie by my super crafty friend Amy (who made a ton of other stuff for the nursery as well) and it is a fixture in her crib at night and during naptimes. It is soft and cozy and is definitely going to be her favorite security blanket.
I had this great idea to make a family quilt for Natalie with each of the family members writing a special message to Natalie on a quilt patch. I got the idea from my friend Kristin's wedding where the wedding guests did something similar at the reception. Unfortunately, I had absolutely no idea on how to put together a quilt so I employed my mother-in-law and her quilting friends to put the finished project together. I haven't gotten it out for Natalie to play on yet because I am afraid that she will spit up on it and ruin some of the words. It has a cute matching pillow and pillowcase that will be perfect for cuddling up on the couch with for family movie night someday.
My square - it was so hard to write on the material!
I love this square because Alexander and Ford (or FORB) wrote their own names and then had Nonna (my mother) write special messages from them to their baby cousin.
Natalie's square from her Daddy.
And of course, big sister Angie had to have her own message as well.
Over the course of my pregnancy, my mother and Natalie's godmother Kate gave me some really special items but I wanted to display them in a way that would preserve them properly. My mom and her friend Gretchen (same Gretchen as the blanket above) put the items in a shadow box for me! The pink cross is from Kate, the tiny medallion has a picture of me as a baby which was given to my mother by my grandmother and the large Madonna and child medallion was my grandmother's that hung over her bed in her house in College Station. My mother gave me this medallion at Christmas and of course, I was pregnant and in tears as I opened it and realized what she had given me. This box hangs right by Natalie's crib so that she will always have three very important women (her godmother, her Nonna and her great-grandma) always looking over her.
When I received my Confirmation, my middle brother Mike gave me the this famous Footsteps story which originally had a gold frame and a glass cover. I had it hanging in my high school, college and grown-up apartment but I couldn't quite find the right spot for it in the house that I share with Craig. Through the process of moving, the glass broke and it spent the majority of it's time in the closet under the stairs. When I was cleaning out the closet about a year ago I found it and realized that it would be perfect to put in the new baby's room because Mike would be the godfather! I had my dad repaint the gold frame to a nice silver so it would match and now it hangs right by the box of special items that my mother gave me.
I found the inspiration for this artwork on Pinterest and I made my own using Power Point. It has our name, our birthdate, length and weight as well as the time and town that we were all born. Natalie is by far the biggest baby in weight and length! If we have another child, I might convert the colors to black, white and gray and hang all FOUR family member's in the hallway or living room or something.
These were my white dress shoes when I was a baby and I have them sitting out on a shelf in Natalie's room. She wore them to church a few weeks ago when I stayed at my parent's house for the weekend!
My middle brother Mike and his wife Laura Renee currently live in Maine and over the past few years that they have lived there they have made a few trips over the Canadian border into the Frenchier parts of Canada. On one of their trips last fall, my sister-in-law saw this super cute ceramic piggy bank with the words of the animals in French! My brother carefully bubble wrapped it and brought it with him when he came to meet her last March.
Natalie has received tons of stuffed animals which I am sure she will enjoy playing with someday, but she has gotten four very special animals: a red lobster which was brought from Maine by her Uncle Michael, a green Beanie Bear given to her by the men at the baseball card shop where she often goes with her daddy, a brown bear brought to her from Colorado by her Aunt Sis (Craig's younger sister), and Marie the cat from Aristocat's given to her by my friend Amy's daughter Emma. Emma bought Marie for Natalie with her very own money and wrote that she wanted to give Marie to Natalie because Marie is HER favorite toy to play with so she thought that Natalie would love her too. Such a sweet little girl.
These three figurines were given to me by my mother's very good friend Kathy G. The middle one came to me while I was pregnant last December and then other two were given to me after Natalie was born in March.
In February before Natalie was born my two good friends Heather and Amy came over one Saturday afternoon and helped me finish up decorating and organizing Natalie's room. I had this frame hanging on the wall with no picture but I had plans to put a really pretty newborn or family picture into it once Natalie was born. Amy took it upon herself to drawn her own interpretation of the Nelson family (including Angie!) to occupy the frame until I could get a better picture. I remember Amy drawing similar pictures for me when we were in junior high and high school and now that she's moved off to Washington state, I just don't have the heart to replace it. I like looking at it and thinking of Amy and how much she helped me through the pregnancy and the transition to new mommyhood.
On my registry I had a couple of packages of receiving blankets and my friend Heather's mother bought a pack of the blankets and then used her embroidery machine to personalize the blankets with pictures and Natalie's name. Of course my personal favorite is the one all the way on the right with her name and a basketball with two volleyballs.
This isn't nearly as creative and spectacular as some of the things that other people have made for her, but it was my own contribution to her bedroom. I took a normal white canvas and stapled on some leftover polka dot material and then painted her name (without using a stencil or anything like that) onto it. I haven't quite finished the flower design at the bottom...but it's fine for right now I suppose.
These are a few of the special outfits that Natalie has received. The top left hoodie was given to me by the PTA at my school - I'm sure she'll be sporting it to lots of volleyball games! Last fall when Craig and I went to our yearly "Meet the Stars" season ticket holder event, we bought an infant jersey and had all the players sign it! The sweater on the right was made by my mom's friend Marge who I used to help in the nursery at church! She also made the bonnet at the top of the picture which will be worn with her christening gown at her baptism which I have tentatively scheduled for September-ish.
My friend Beri made Natalie two cute towels with hoods and her name embroidered on the hood. The towels are really thick and cushy - great for using after a bath, but even better for drying off from swimming! They are regular size towels so she will be able to use them for a very long time.
I think that's about all the "special" stuff I could find when I searched her room and bathroom. I am so blessed to have so many people that took their own time and money to make such beautiful things for my baby. If only I was creative and talented to make things like this for them and their families!