Mari’s Nursery Reveal

IMG_3167If I am being honest, I’ve been meaning to write this post since the beginning of February. My little personal goal was to finish Mari’s nursery, take these photos and have this post up before she arrived. BUT, when she made her appearance 17 days early, before her baby shower gifts were all put away and her nursery was even finished, this post got put on the back burner. I have thought about posting it quite a few times since then, but I wanted to wait until I had her newborn photos printed and hung- since those were the last thing I wanted to complete this room.IMG_3164

Emilymenziephotography

After waiting a few weeks for her photos, deciding which ones to print, and then another few weeks for Amazon to deliver the frames..(thanks pandemic)…this room is finally complete! And I am finally finding the time to post it.IMG_3147Like her name and baby shower, I knew that I wanted Mari’s bedroom to be inspired by the ocean and the beach. Poor girl might grow up hating the island life, but right now she doesn’t have much of a choice, but to love it like me. 😉IMG_3148Like the rest of our home, I wanted this space to be filled with pieces that have meaning to us. I printed this giant photo that I took of one of our favorite vacation spots in the Dominican Republic to hang above her crib.IMG_3172Fun fact, I was about 1 week pregnant when I captured this photo. I love sitting in this room with Mari in my arms, looking at this photo and remembering that exact moment…I had no idea that her little life was already beginning in my belly, and that I was already her mama. It’s so special and strange for me to think that she was with me in that moment on that beach.IMG_3150That photo isn’t the only special thing on her walls. On the opposite side of her room, there is this water color painting my grandma painted for Mari. She has painted a picture of flowers for each of her great grand daughters, she titled it “Mari’s flowers” and it is so special to me.IMG_3166A few other sentimental decorations in her room include this cute sign that states “Now entering island time” that aunt Shara made for her baby shower, a picture frame with her hand and foot print that was gifted to us from Derek’s aunt, and a vase full of sea shells from all of our favorite beaches in the Dominican Republic.IMG_3162She also has baby blankets that were gifted from our moms, and a few that were hand made…one by Derek’s aunt, and a couple from each of our great grandma’s, who have passed away. I keep them all in this cedar chest, that my mom had since high school. She didn’t want it anymore, and I thought it was the perfect sentimental, but also functional, piece of furniture to hide away blankets and toys as Mari grows up. IMG_3159Speaking of furniture, I luckily had most of the pieces in this room already. I debated on buying a new rocking chair, but since we have one in our living room already, I just used this big leather chair in here instead. My mom bought this pink foot stool from TJ Maxx to go with it, and it is the perfect set up for feedings, and bed time stories.IMG_3149Next to the chair is this cute white table. Derek and I actually used it as our cake table for our wedding. Back then, it was blue. After I painted it white, I thought about selling it, but I am glad I held onto it a little longer because it is the perfect table for a nursery. Again, a cute piece that has some sentimental value…right up my alley. 😉IMG_3143I’ve had this dresser from IKEA since high school, and we had these shelves collecting dust in our shed, waiting for the perfect time and place to hang them. On either side of her dresser and shelves, there is her momaroo swing in one corner, and her book “shelf” in the other. I found these shelves at target, and they are the perfect modern display for all of her books. I can’t wait until she is old enough to pick out her favorites for story time. (okay maybe I can wait).IMG_3142IMG_3146Her crib is from Wayfair and it was gifted to us by Derek’s parents. It is the perfect color, size and style to keep throughout the years for our next baby(s). I found these seashell curtains on Overstock, and her cute rug from RugsUSA ties it all together.IMG_3160As far as decor goes, I had a few beach and ocean pieces already including this seashell candle, this photo from the DR that I had printed and framed, and a conch shell from our honeymoon. And with a few extra gifts and purchases like these ocean animal sheets, her stuffed whale and octopus, and this cute pineapple lamp from Target, her room was complete!IMG_3163IMG_3165This room is one of my favorite spaces in our house for many different reasons. It lives up to it’s ocean theme- it’s bright, happy, and relaxing. It is filled with sentimental pieces that bring back memories, things that Mari will grow into the future, and items that mean so much to our little family. It has been used for a lot of different things over the last four years, but it has never felt as special as being the first bedroom that belongs to our Mari girl. 

Onto the next adventure- Wren

 

 

 

 

Our Celebratory Spring

image3 (16)image3 (14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite thing about this time of year is saying goodbye to old chapters and welcoming the changes that Spring always offers. New flowers began to bloom, days begin to get longer and warmer, and other than mine and Derek’s birthdays, there always seems to be something that we are celebrating. Weddings, graduations, baby and bridal showers, vacations, etc.  I don’t know if it’s because Derek and I both get another year older, or if it’s just a natural thing for us to do this time of year, but we always seem to make a big life change or have a very exciting experience when Spring time comes around.image7 (2)

 

In the last few years, we’ve celebrated A LOT in spring time. I could write an extremely long list of all the small and big celebratory moments we’ve experienced in the months of Feb-May, but over the years I’ve noticed a pattern and for some unknown reason, the first week of May has always been very exciting for us.image3 (17)

On this day last year, we quit our jobs, said goodbye to loved ones, packed our lives into four small suitcases, and moved to the Caribbean for the summerIMG_0264

2018: We traveled out of country and spent a week in Costa Rica with our friends just for fun to celebrate being young and dumb18766084_1329152933804459_3936878527676152148_n

2017: Our best friends got married, so our week was filled with wedding celebrations (they were the second couple in our friend group to get married after Derek and I, so it was a big deal for all of us)IMG_1571

2016: We finally finished our 2 month long renovations and moved our things into our home

image4 (11)

 

image6 (3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s so easy for me to look back and see how different things were, and at times I am guilty of feeling like I wish I could time travel to this specific week in the years prior. A pina colada on a Costa Rican beach sounds amazing right now, attending a big event like a wedding with our close friends or family is what I’ve been missing the most lately, and leaving every responsibility behind to become a Caribbean beach bum doesn’t sound too bad either. But I’ve realized that this year has been just as, or even more exciting, so here are a few things BIG and SMALL that have happened this spring that are definitely worth celebrating.

image3 (15)

image2 (21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-We celebrated Easter with Derek’s family, which was pretty much our first holiday with our Mari girl since we don’t really celebrate St. Patty’s Day, and we were still in the hospital on Valentine’s Day.image9image0 (17)image5 (7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image6 (4)

image5 (8)

image2 (19)

-We celebrated Derek’s 27th birthday with our first date night since becoming parents. (take out and a movie at home, while Mari was at grandma’s) and celebrated his actual birthday with a family park day and Chinese take out.

image1 (21)image0 (18)

 

-Mari reached many new milestones, but her smiling has been my favorite.

image4 (9)

 

 

image5 (9)

 

 

 

 

 

image2 (22)

-Harvey has been attending dog training, and has made so much progress. (he’s always been good, just struggled with anxiety and confidence issues)

image4 (10)

image4 (7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Derek started a new job in website development, and absolutely loves it.image2 (17)image3 (13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-I’ve taken on the role of a stay at home mom. I have personally grown so much, and have learned to enjoy slow, quiet days more than ever before. (Hence this post)image0 (20)image5 (5)image3 (12)

 

-And last, but definitely not least, Derek finished school and got Bachelor’s Degree! His graduation ceremony would have been last Friday, but thanks to the pandemic, that didn’t happen. Instead, we celebrated with a date night on a roof, completed with our favorite pizza.image1 (23)image1 (20)image5 (6)image4 (8)

I know in a year from now, I will look back to this time and have the bittersweet feeling of wishing I could go back, but also happy with how many exciting and memorable moments have happened since. If you know me, you know I am a big believer that life is always worth celebrating. Whether it’s weddings, graduations, extravagant vacations, or simply the quiet mornings at home… they should all be celebrated.

And I am always so thankful to have spring time to remind me of that.image2 (18)image1 (19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of looking back, I read my blog post from last April the other day, and it amazed me how much really has changed, what I’ve accomplished in one year, and how different things are. If you want to read that post,  here is the link:

https://thestellarstories.com/2019/05/03/goodbye-to-this-chapter-and-a-very-busy-april/

Onto the next adventure, Wren