Happy Birthday, Joon!

I love age 12. It's so dramatic and fun and confusing and full of admonishments to Big Papa to "just let her cry. You won't be able to figure it out anyway."

My little Joonie turned 13 this month, and if her big sisters are anything to go by, this age will be just as crazy as the last. And Big Papa will still be scratching his head.

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Sophie's birthday party pretty much lasted the whole week! We had a lot of fun with her, and we wanted to make it extra special because she has never asked for a birthday party. I've offered every year, but she has always preferred a quiet family barbeque instead. So this year, when she actually said she'd like to invite a few friends over to celebrate, we happily obliged.

Sophie and her friends opted for a mini pizza party and sleepover…

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And Mike and I sat at another table, since she's 13 now. πŸ˜‰ (She thanked us later, btw.)

Earlier that week, Sabrina surprised Sophie by coming to town to decorate the dining room in typical birthday fashion: lots of streamers and balloons and glitzy stars and birthday stickers all over the table covering. Soph was quite surprised when she came home from school that day, because she thought Sabrina was going to have to miss her birthday, but Sabrina told her that after the huge bash Sophie organized for her last year (Sophie loves to plan parties), there was no way she would miss the opportunity to return the favor. Sophie was thrilled!

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That evening we had our family barbeque, and Soph requested Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O Stuff instead of a birthday cake. (By the way, most of the photos in this post were taken with my phone, so you'll have to pardon the quality!)

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(I hope she always loves blowing out birthday candles.)

Even earlier that week, we told Sophie that we had a surprise for her. Since she's a huge huge huge fan of musical theater, we decided to take her downtown to see the musical The Addams Family. We knew Sophie was unfamiliar with the tv show, but we also knew she'd get a kick out of going to the play. This was in the car, on the way to the show; Soph still had no idea where we were taking her…

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(Again, pardon the blurries in the photos.. I couldn't hold my phone still!)

We arrived downtown and, after eating at another pizza place (we do love our pizza), we headed toward the theater. Sabrina and Mike were walking ahead of Soph and I…

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And this is when Soph started to figure out what we were up to…

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She was so excited!

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I love this photo… I was walking as I was taking it, obviously, but I couldn't miss grabbing the moment:

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It was such a fun birthday week (for all of us!), but we were sad that Bre couldn't be here with us. She did, however, make the long drive home for Mothers Day (thank you, sweet girl!), and brought Sophie's birthday present with her. Sophie loves the Wanelo app (it's a wish list, similar to Pinterest, but with retail items you long to own), so Bre scoured her wish list and ordered a gorgeous bottle of pink, glittery nail polish for her. But my favorite thing she got Sophie was this amazing, custom-made beach towel!

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And so my youngest daughter has been ushered into her teen years with lots of love and hugs and kisses and presents from a family that adores her.

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I love age 13.

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Bre came home for Mother's Day this past weekend, and brought her new puppy with her. At long last, Tasha had a friend to play with!

Home!

What a lovely time I had in Dallas! I can't express well enough how warm and welcoming the ladies and gentleman of the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild were. I found myself wishing I could come to every one of their meetings, just to spend more time with them all.

When Ann Weissler (and my dear friend Michelle, who was my gracious chauffeur for the day!) invited me to present a workshop to their guild, I was thrilled to be asked, and set to work designing a sampler and two coordinating accessories that I hoped everyone would like. The name of the sampler is called Crowned Bird Sampler, and model stitcher Sharon Schutjer did an amazing job on it, returning it to me in a very short amount of time, given the density of it. (And her stitches are perfect! Thank you, Sharon!)

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I designed it to be stitched with Belle Soie and Needlepoint Inc. silks, and I chose Lakeside Linens' Vintage Meadow Rue in 36 ct. for the fabric. (The pattern will probably not be released until next summer or fall.)

And here are the accessories…the first is called A Miniature Sewing Tray and the second is called A Berry for your Scissors:


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And here are some of the guild members, working hard on their pieces:

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I say "some" of the guild members because I couldn't fit the entire room into my camera! We had a full house, and it was a lot of fun.

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This is part of a trunk show I brought, with the workshop sampler set up as well…

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After the class, we all headed to a fantastic restaurant called Via ReΓ‘l. If you're ever in the Los Colinas area, be sure and check it out. It's beautiful, the service is excellent, and the food was outstanding! (Thank you, Ava, for organizing our dinner and making all the reservations!)

I am so happy I was invited to spend the day with all of you. What a joy it was to have gotten to meet you and chat with you and just spend the day doing what we all love to do. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for making it such a fun day for me! I sure hope it was fun for you too.

(My sister met us all for dinner that evening, and then I went home to her place to spend a few days with my family. What a great trip all around!)

P.S. Thank you again, Michelle, for working late the night before and getting up early to pick me up so far from your house! You're such a sweetheart. πŸ™‚

Plea

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I'm off to Dallas tomorrow morning. I'm so excited! See you when I get back!