Monday, December 2, 2013

A Sweet Tea Party for Caroline's 4th Birthday

I know, I know.  You all gave up on me.  But I have a lot of great things in store this month, so it's a perfect time to come on back!

Speaking of the month, December starts with the sweetest girl's birthday.  I simply cannot believe she just turned 4.  It can't be possible!  While I ponder that time lapse, enjoy the sights of her par-tea!

It started with a great invitation from my sister-in-law.  Seriously, she can design anything.  If you haven't considered using Allie Logan Designs, you haven't considered having cute party ware!

When the girls started arriving, they got to play dress up for a little bit.  We had an array of hats, scarves, shawls, costume jewelry, and two big picture-mirrors for them to admire their reflections. 

 Then we had a little photo shoot in our photography area.  It was funny to see the different personalities emerge.  The glamorous, the timid, the humble, and the down-to-earth. 

I did a poor job of photographing this event.  I am out of blogging practice, I was being "in the moment" and I have a lack of good, quality photography skills.  Therefore, you will have to really visualize how cute this was (or look at Pinterest for your own inspiration.)  I had a speaker set up playing Disney music in the background while the girls "had tea" which was really a divisive citrus party punch -- the girls either loved it or drank none of it.  Don't worry; what's a tea party without sweet iced tea?

If you look in the background of the picture, you will (almost) see that I had each place set with a cute toile-patterned paper plate atop a chic piece of scrapbook paper for a place mat.  Each plate was topped by a china teacup and saucer.  There were no matching teacups.  Each unique piece was found either at the Alabama Thrift Store, the Goodwill store, or the Salvation Army store. 
 I filled the china tea pots with punch that we parents helped serve to the girls while they snacked on grapes, cookies, pigs in a blanket, and miniature cinnamon rolls.
 I had very specific (unattainable) visions of how I wanted Caroline's cake to look.  I also had very attainable limits on my budget!  Luckily for both, my local Wal-Mart bakery did a fantabulous job.  It tasted delicious, too!
Not pictured are the crazy craft each girl got to do which was put together a small cardboard teapot cache box which they can use for storing their small secret treasures and the goody bags each girl took home with a plastic teacup sippy cup, some tea party stickers, and a great tea party sucker.
Caroline loved her tea party and talked about it all night last night as well as this morning, too.
While yesterday was both her party and her actual birthday, I wanted to do something on a much smaller scale, too.  So tonight I let her choose our family dinner -- she chose breakfast for dinner which Rob calls "brinner".  Then she got to open her family birthday gift.  She was a happy girl!
iPhone pic...sorry for the poor even worse photography quality.
Like I said above, we are in full Christmas mode here at the Morris Manor.  Stay tuned.  I plan to share a lot more of our on-goings.
Happy and Blessed Holidays,  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Philipines Month Six

Well, it's October 1st, which means many things to many people.  To the Morris family, it means six months that my dad, Papa Joe, has been a resident of the Philippines.  We continue to miss him very much, but we have managed to stay in touch.  We talk, email, and even have video chatted.  Today he sent out an update to some of his loved ones, and I don't think he would mind if I shared with all of you.  He sent some photos in another email, but I scattered them throughout his letter.  Here he is in his own words:

Hello all
Today is Oct. 1st and marks 6 months since I have been in the Philippines. It has passed
pretty quickly for me much to my surprise. I have changed some as we all do from time to time. When I left Pell City I tipped the scales at 227 lbs. Now fully dressed I was at 202 lbs.  I am not on a diet and still very healthy just a change in climate and lot more exercise. I have spent the first 6 months in Davao City but later this week I'm moving to Cebu. It is a larger city with an international airport where I landed when I first came here in April. There are a lot more things to do there and it is one island farther north from the Muslim concentration in the area where I live now.

I know football season is in high gear in the US and I keep up with the scores on my laptop. There is a site that does play by play on a football field background but it is slow and gets boring watching the little lines. Sometimes after a long delay there will be 3 or 4 plays posted back to back. So I switch from game to game to keep up with what's happening. 
my all time favorite coffee mug made in China bought in USA
Thanks again to my sister Joyce I can make phone calls using a Magic Jack but it is not 100% reliable.  However when it is working correctly it is like calling on a local line. Maybe I haven't called everyone like I plan to yet. If you have not gotten a call maybe I don't have your number, so email me the correct number if you would like to hear from me.  

old man only 70, little English, rides-lives-sleeps-collects anything on his 3 wheel trike
Some things I have written about before so if I repeat myself it might be because I turned 67 back in June. It was a non event here and like any other day. The custom here is for the person having the birthday to give the party and provide the meal and goodies. I did not go along with that custom and celebrated with a trip to Manila.

going up to slide down water slide at pool
For all of you that think Christmas comes early in the US. well in Sept. around the 20th all the stores here had their trees up and some stores were even playing Christmas carols. It's gonna be a long season as much as I like Christmas.
bus rest area on top of mountain to water the engine and brakes to cool off -- I was riding for 8 hours -- no air conditioner but very pretty ride along the coast for most of the way

[Editor's note: does it strike anyone else funny that this bus is called "Bachelor Express"?]
Closing now before you all get too bored. I hope all the sickness and ailments are less and less painful and stressful. God is good and He is coming soon.
"hey Joe", your daddy, granddaddy, brother, uncle, great uncle, great-great uncle, friend, and brother in Christ
Another quick story:  He signed off on his email by using all of the monikers to which he answers.  He is a father, grandfather, etc.  But he told me a funny little tidbit about Philippine customs:  The locals will call any expat, Yankee, traveler "Hey Joe" just as a courtesy I-don't-know-your-name-and-may-not-care-to.  So when people started calling him "Hey Joe" he thought he had suddenly become very infamous until he figured out what was going on.  Hahaha.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Five on Friday -- 89 Days until Christmas

Did the title of this post freak you out just a little?  Well, it made my pulse accelerate.  Y'all...there are less than 3 months until Christmas!  But I'm not sweating it as much this year.  I have help.  No, I didn't hire a nanny or a personal assistant.  But I did subscribe to an amazing website that I'm sharing with all of you today.  Are you ready?

Available as an eBook, 100 Days To Christmas is so much more than just tinsel and "Deck The Halls".  This is not a sponsored post, just me telling you I have fallen in love.  Between now and Christmas, we also have Fall, Halloween, Election Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving, and more.  This book is a great way to simplify your life for the next three months and make these holidays memorable, special, and meaningful. 

Moving on, today's Five on Friday is mostly a list for myself.  The past few assignments from 100 Days have included ideas on crafts and DIY gift ideas to give and receive throughout the holiday season.  Here are five projects I hope to accomplish in the Morris household.  If you are really lucky, I'll even blog about them.  (How lucky do you feel right now?)

One: Scary Halloween House

Yesterday, out of the blue, Rob asked me if we could trick-or-treat at our house this year.  You should know we have gone to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's house for the past 4+ years.  Before waiting for my affirmation, he added, "and can we make our house really scary?"  Sure, my favorite child.  Anything for you.  So I am looking for some ideas like these:

via Pinterest

via Pinterest
via Pinterest

Two: Thankful for Family (Thanksgiving Keepsakes)

Now that Will is here, I have used (more times than not) the excuse that this is the last time we will ever all be this age.  Anything involving baby things, family pictures, etc., will always be complete.  There will never again be a time when I say "Oh, that was before ___ was born."  So my keepsakes are that much more important to preserve moments in time.  Therefore, I want to capture their "littleness"  (it could be a real word) in as creative/lasting a way as possible. 

via Pinterest
I love this! via Pinterest
Three: Fall is the Apple of My Eye

In school, Rob's class has been studying Johnny Appleseed.  And I have apparently been late to the game the past few seasons.  Either that, or apple orchid farmers have rolled out an amazing new marketing plan.  Nevertheless, I have heard so much about apple harvesting in the past few days, that I am going to try some new apple recipes with the family.  I'll start with an apple crisp, then I'll hop over to Mix and Match Mama's website where I'll dig and play around with all of her fabulous posts.  Shay has a whole section dedicated to fall recipes. 

Four: Gifting is about thoughtfulness, not price tags!

I am constantly on the lookout for amazing bargains and great deals.  But more so that sales, I'm sifting through my dusty brain for ideas on handmade gifts.  Once again, Pinterest has some great ideas.  In the past, I have pinned recipes for homemade salt scrubs, DIY coasters, ornaments, jewelry, and more.  Since many family members read my blog, I'm not sharing exactly what I'm planning this year.  But trust me, it's a great one!  I definitely will be making additional quantities to keep for myself.

Five: Christmas Cards...society's newest status symbol?

I'm not sure exactly when or why, but lately it seems like more and more Christmas cards are not sent to tell loved ones "Happy birth of Jesus," but to say "look at my beautiful family.  Aren't we special?" I get it, Christmas cards are a great time to share family portraits with others.  And if you are sharing family portraits all while wishing genuine holiday cheer to others, then please continue.  But you shouldn't have to go bankrupt in doing so.  Ever so often during the month of December, I will receive a card in the mail sans portrait, hand-signed, by a loved one who had no idea just how much I needed to hear from him/her.  That is the meaning behind sending cards.  With that said, I do enjoy sharing pictures of the kids.  Many of our cards go to family members we don't get to visit very often.  So while I will be genuinely wishing cheer to my loved ones, I am going to be thrifty by ordering from the ever-affordable Allie Logan Designs.  She can design anything you like, and include any message.  Just don't ask her to inscribe "Aren't we special?"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Wishlist

Ahh, the Holidays are approaching.  There's so much to do and so little time.  We have to find new recipes on Pinterest, find decorating ideas on Pinterest, create new wishlists of the greatest toys, jewelry, wardrobe staples, etc, that we have pinned on Pinterest.  Did you catch the trend yet?

Well, I'm feeling sentimental with a desire to journal, so I thought I would share with all of you my wishlist.

I wish Santa or one of his elves would help an Erin Condren life planner make its way to Helena.  I don't ask for much; I just want it to be pretty, flirty, with eMe monogrammed on it somewhere.
Shout out to the Blue Eyed Bride for her gorgeous color scheme she used with hers.
I wish I had a really great pair of brown riding boots.  I also wish I had enough cash and the desire to part with said cash to add these to my wardrobe.  Sure I love Target and Walmart for many things, but I do not want "disposable" boots.  I would like to invest in a really classic pair.

I wish I had a bi-colored or even tri-colored MK watch.  I am in love with my silver one, but I do believe that gold jewelry is back to stay for a while.  It is so much classier than the huge gold nuggets and chains of the 70's and 80's.  For that reason, I wish my current MK was more versatile.
I wish I had a juicer.  Because I wish I were a juicer.  I have seen great reviews about the juicer available at Costco.  I stopped by and tried a juice from the demonstration guy a while back and it was actually good. 

But here's my ultimate conundrum: I'm just too lazy to be healthy.  So that leads me to the next item on my wishlist...

I wish I wanted to actually lose weight as much as I actually want to "look good, feel great".  It's true, I'm dissatisfied with my body image.  I don't think after 13 months you can call it baby weight anymore.  It's just weight.  But I really like my convenient foods.  So there.

I wish I had a brand new wardrobe to take on my Super-Secret-10th-Anniversary-Trip for which we leave in T: Minus 7 days from today!  Wahoo!  But I need learn to be content with what I have.  Perhaps it's really a self confidence thing.  I know so many strong, beautiful, confident women (my mom included) who look amazing in pure rags.  What am I lacking that they aren't?  Yep, self confidence.

I wish I were more of a front porch decorator.  I guess it's never too late to start.  I would do something like this:
...or this: 
...or this:

I wish I had some real reason to completely start over with my house.  I guess my brain has been Pinterest-fied (better than petrified, but only slightly).  Natural disaster, major theft, fire, etc.  Whatever works.  Look, I don't wish harm or ill-will on anyone.  Not the first responders, my neighbors, or my family.  Well, okay it would be fine if the family of armadillos who live in my next-door-neighbor's yard perished.  I just want to redo everything.  Every room.  I my walls to be light and bright.  I want a fuzzy, plush rug underfoot in the living room atop much better (and professionally installed) hardwood floors.  I want to replace my 20-yr-old single pane windows.  And I want to decrapify.  A lot...

__9__I wish I could break up with my love affair of stuff.  Sure, stuff and I have had our share of "we  were on a break"...

 ...but stuff always comes back.  Stuff and dust bunnies must know something I don't! See, I'm in constant struggle with myself.  Didn't I just swoon over stuff-filled front porches? Oh...the...madness!

I wish if I forfeited wish #7 and, instead, lived here contently for the rest of my life, I could find a proper way to get organized and stay organized.  Anyone have any methods that have really, really worked for you?

I wish I knew if the Common Core State Standards were as good for our children as I believe, or as bad as everyone else I know believes.  I have a disadvantage due to what I do for a living.  Working for my mother who sells educational resources all devoted to being "aligned to the CCSS" and being privileged enough to hear what the "experts" say about the future of education and just how children's brains are wired to truly grasp critical thinking skills makes me believe this is the best thing to happen to schools in a very long time.  But I also, as a 1st grade parent, can recognize that so many schools lack funding to convert their resources.  Many districts lack organization and leadership to communicate to parents all the benefits of these major changes the children are experiencing.  Some schools, requiring their teachers to effect a cold-turkey conversion of teaching methods, are now filled with students struggling through curriculum gaps of skills.  What if this all turns out to be brass and glass?  What if I am hypnotized by the hype?  How will it feel to be the last one standing in realization that I was wrong?  I just don't believe, yet, that I am wrong.

I wish we, America, could be at peace with ourselves, if ever just for a moment, again.  Am I the only one who feels the tension?  Political tension, religious tension, way-of-life tension.  If you must know, I claim to be a fairly liberal conservative.  I am steadfast in certain beliefs including the crazy notion that, yes, when reading between the lines of the US Constitution, you will find Christianity.  Crazier still?  America was set up to be a land of the free, but not free from moral responsibility.  Free will does not mean free from consequence.  If you want to live a life that is "against the norm" go ahead and do so.  It's America.  But don't make me the bad guy just because I believe in Jesus who spoke volumes about the way He and his Father -- God -- envisioned God's creation to work.  And I am not judging you.  Judging means I am deciding your eternity.  I don't have that power and I don't want it.  I love you.  Every single one of you.  To love means I want only good things to happen to you.  But I am still free to believe and to point out that you may be doing something in conflict with God.  It's your decision whether you are okay with that or not. 

I wish I could finish something I start.  Just once.  I have started reading "Shepherding A Child's Heart".  The first two chapters were wonderful and spoke right to my heart.  But I haven't come back to it yet.  I guess I should start over.  Which leads me to the following:

I wish I were the parent my sweet, intelligent, dynamic, beautifully blessed and healthy children deserve. 

Speaking of parenting, I wish I could visit my dad in the Philippines.  For so many reasons I really would love taking this trip.  The southern part of the little island Davou City is supposedly really beautiful, slightly touristy, and very Christian.  I want to know what it is about this island country that lured him away.  Is he happy or he is there regretting his decision?  Is he enjoying retirement?  What does he do all day?  But then I would feel sad if I didn't like what I discovered.  So I just want to hug him. 

Okay, so clearly my heart was heavy this morning, filled with far more troubling needs than boots, watches, and fabulous date books.  Thank you all for being my sounding board.  Have a great day!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday

So, about once every 2-3 days I say to myself "I really wish I blogged more frequently than I do."  Then I aimlessly and fruitlessly stroll through life for the next few days until I rediscover my desire for the written typed word.  What better way is there to get over myself and just write already than by joining the wildly popular Five on Friday blog party?


There has been some dissension and debating in the Morris household over a local scandal involving rival high school football coaches fist fighting after the game and ending up jobless.  For those of you who are not "from 'round these parts", you can catch up by reading this first, then this, and finish off with this.  Basically I am so worried about what message this sends all the players, while Bobby is heartbroken that the coach resigned.  Yep, you heard me right.  Bobby is defending the coaches while I am ready to hang them up at the gallows.  Look, you will never hear me judge a mistake too harshly.  I'm a firm devotee of the "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future" school of thought.  But I'm also a parent of three children who have or are soon to begin organized sports, public school, and society.  If my child were on his team, I would be so upset.  You simply cannot use your fists to make a point.  There were so many troopers, other coaches, and witnesses who could have intervened and aided in the "walk away with dignity" choice.  But no; the coach chose break a nose and tackle his opponent instead.  I get that the losing team of that game can painfully blame faulty stats-keeping on their loss.  However, that's a life lesson in and of itself.  Now they will remember this game not as the game where they did the best they could despite human error, but as the game where their coach decided to pummel the opposition as a last resort in frustration.  Now they lost both the game and their coach.  I do empathize with them waking up the next morning in sheer regret and remorse. Those are terrible feelings.  But they are not off the hook; I just don't see where anyone can sympathize with their teaching those boys to fight and bully others. Lastly, no one has mentioned how embarrassed the communities are about the lasting impression this leaves on other communities. 


Speaking of my betrothed, have I mentioned we are getting ready to go out of town?  EEP I'm so excited.  We have so few opportunities to travel as adults, play as adults, and recreate as adults.  You will hear a few more mentions of my upcoming trip in the next few posts.  Like now:

As of this posting, we are actually down to 26 days!  And yep, it's a Super-Secret trip.  Bobby thinks he has a clue of our destination, but he's wrong!  EEP!  (Like my excited squeal?)  There's so much to do!  I want a new outfit.  I need to see about adding some special touches to the trip itself along the way.  I need childcare (grandparents, are y'all reading this?)...


Speaking of traveling just as adults, Bobby and I did manage to sneak out of town on Saturday to go to the first Bama game of the season.  I guess I am contradicting my previous point I just made.  But trust me, it doesn't happen very often.   We drove over to Atlanta for the day and did a little tailgating before heading into to the GA Dome for the Alabama/VA Tech game.  Only in Alabama Football can you beat your opponent by 25 points and the fan base is wondering what went wrong from their Sunday-morning coaches' armchairs...ha!  We do have some work to do, though.  Very few plays held up to "the process" standards that Coach Nick instills.

PS: This picture above does neither of us any justice.  We got so hot and sweaty during the day.  Blech!


Did I mention that I haven't blogged as much as I would like?  I still need to tell you all about Rob turning seven.  Hopefully that post will come soon before the details are filed away in the back of my dusty memory. 


How did my baby girl grow up literally overnight?  She started 3K Preschool this week and absolutely loves it.  When I picked her up on Wednesday, her first day, she told me the following:
  • We got to go to the playground two times!
  • I made a friend named Ally
  • We had circle time and Ms. Amanda read us a book about Jesus...and a pig. (I'm secretly hoping those are 2 different books.  Otherwise, what the?)

Five and a half...she also starts dance class next week.  She wants to be a "bah-weena".  I bought her first leotard for class (leotard--a word she cannot say properly and I cannot type her attempts phonetically) and I almost couldn't get it back off of her.  She shook her little booty and ran around the house like a wild child!  So cute!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

365: A Reflection on Will's First Year

My dear, sweet William Joseph, today is your birthday.  I cannot believe you are a year old.  I cannot believe we have had all your first holidays: Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July, and now Birthday Month (appropriately named due to all of the August birthdays we celebrate--including yours). 

One year ago today, mommy was leaving for the hospital looking like this:
Whoa!  Suffice it to say you were out of room in there.  It was time for you to officially join our world.  So we left for the hospital long before the sun rose, before your Kindergarten-brother would climb the school bus for just the 2nd time in his life, before we would actually see your face for the first time -- although just how long until you and we met face-to-face came as a surprise for us all.

I have explained before that Will was born with some heart issues.  But be reminded that for the previous nine months, we had no clue anything was other than routine.  During the 11 hours I labored we never imagined how the day would end.  It wasn't until my silent little colorless, six pound 11 ounce bundle emerged that we began to worry.

Through all of the confusion, amid the anguish, Bobby and I took a united approach to getting through the minutes, hours, and days.  Somehow time passed.  With little notice, an entire year passed.  But let me not get ahead of myself.

Will spent the first week of his life in the NICU.  I left the hospital without him, writhing in agony.  I lay awake at night wondering if his tiny little hands were searching for mine.  Was his "Morris" nose searching for my scent?  Was he listening to all of the nurses' hushed voices trying to hear my familiar drawl?   However, I couldn't focus too heavily on that.  I had two older children who needed me to be strong for them.  Their childish innocence also yearned to know why their long-awaited-for baby brother couldn't come home. 

Some may say Will's health challenges were small, even insignificant, compared to what other "sick" newborns face.  I'm not negating that claim; it's true that Will was okay.  But I believe that God allows everyone to face tribulation relevant to what that person can handle.  We all suffer in our own ways.  Fear and despair exists, faith is challenged in every heart just enough before it snaps or we hit our knees in worship and ask God's mercy.  So in that first week of Will's life we managed to check off our list of blessings: hearing...check; eyesight...check; no spina bifida...check; no physical malformations, heart deformations, signs of brain injury...check.  And then, he came home!

We were assigned to Dr. Robb Romp, the most fabulous pediatric cardiologist I have ever met (sure, he's the only one, but I feel confident the bar has been raised by him).  Dr. Romp never spoke to me in multi-syllabic medical jargon.  He would tell me exactly what I needed to know, yet also maintained the expertise to alleviate any concerns I may have. 

I can remember very early in Will's life the Dr. Romp said not to raise Will as if he were a baby with a heart condition, meaning, do not give him any special treatment.  Another blessing: we would be able to raise Will as a "normal" child.    In months the first three months, Will was truly an easy baby.  He easily accepted being put on an eating and sleeping routine.  By month six Will could sit up and by month seven he could pull himself into a standing position.  We dusted off our list of blessings: fine motor skills...check; muscle strength and coordination...check.

And that brings me to today.  Today, Will is a year old.  He completes this family in ways that I never realized were deficient.  I will always have concerns and worries.  There will always be times of fear and doubt and confusion.  I am a mother.  But I look back on my scared, post-partum self who wished the days would hurry along so I could bring William home and I want to remind myself that sped time never slows down.  I look back on my longing and yearning and realize that I was always so very blessed to have that experience.  It was truly a humbling lesson on both acceptance and trust in God's plan. 

William Joseph, you are 12 months old today.  You weigh TBA and you are TBA inches long.  You say "Bubba", "dah (dog)", "dada", "bye-bye (with a wave)", "da-du (thank you)" and an entire vocabulary of babble.  You hold your own bottle, you self-feed, you love to chase balls, you scream and squeal with delight, you have the most unique un-crawling style I have ever seen, you are extremely close to walking, and you are the best snuggler who ever existed.  You wear a size 12 month clothing and a size 4 diaper.  William Joseph, I wish I could slow down time.  But I am along for the ride and I thank God every day for everyone who makes up your family. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Will's Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

I cannot believe that one year ago at this very minute, I was double triple checking my hospital bag, knowing that I would soon be heading to the hospital to meet my William Joseph.  I mean, look at this sweet face:

On Sunday the 18th we threw his birthday party with a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme.  The invitations were adorable, if I do say so myself:
I had a lot of fun decorating; so much so that I put out very little food.  It's okay though.  With a party time of 3:00 PM, I was hoping people didn't come too hungry. 
Food tents at the food.  We kinda-sorta ate our way through the story with a few exceptions and modifications.

One of the main centerpieces of any great birthday party is the cake...or cakes in this case.  I made chocolate and white cupcakes, and Will had his very own smash cake:

To drink, guests had a choice of sweet tea, soft drinks, or water especially bottled just for the occasion.  Okay, the last part is a stretch, but check these out:
Instead of goodie bags filled with dime-store treasures (who started that joyous tradition, anyway?) I sent guests home with caterpillar cookies that looked really similar to these:

...but I didn't get a good picture of mine.  Shame.  Here they are on display in the bottom left hand corner of the picture below:

I have to be honest, Will didn't truly love his cake the way I thought he would.  I wonder if it was all the attention of being watched.  He did like it, but he didn't make the huge, face-planting mess that some 1-year-olds do. 
Will received a little candle-blowing assistance from the sibs.
It was a great party.  Will had a fun time being passed around and crawling around.  Our simple home was filled with close friends and family who all came out to celebrate Will's first year of life.

The sweetest big brother who ever lived!
The Mitchell-Nolan crew were in attendance!  Hooter-Hoot!
The birthday-boy and his!
I just love this picture of Caroline and her Uncle Jason!
Will and his Aunt Kristy
Will and his cousin/Godmother

Party sources:
All printed products (invitations, cupcake toppers, banners, water bottle labels): Allie Logan Designs
Will's first birthday shirt: bought 2nd-hand in new condition from a "W" monograms group on FB
Will's cake and favor-cookies: Val's Handmade Creations by Valerie Cook, my neighbor