gotcha day party awesomeness {attack of the lace doily}

i've been dreaming of emery's gotcha day all summer. i wanted a lovely evening with kids and sweet friends and family and emery...and ice cream. lots and lots of ice cream :)

what started as a simple idea, soon went slightly lace wild and i found myself knee deep in doilies, piles of estate sale milk glass, and the cutest little party. with a small budget, i was able to use a lot of what i already had on hand, coupled with fast delivery from an awesome etsy shop called Whachuneed (she sells doilies and SO much more), as well as my sweet sister in love who helped me pull it all off.

i spray painted old stuff, hung indoor photos outside, and strung more doilies than i'd like to admit. (i originally saw this doily banner on pinterest. it's much more time consuming than i had hoped, but i loved the way they looked). in the end, i nearly passed out from exhaustion (true story. i have no idea what balance is. i'm all or nothing. you don't want to meet me on a "nothing" day :)

and her special night? better than i could have ever planned. wonderful and relaxed and filled with delightful friends and family. i kept seeing emery bopping around., buzzing through the crowd, going from friend to friend...eating piles of doritos and countless sprinkles. she drank from nearly every stray glass of lemonade and i rarely caught a photo of her standing still. it was just the way it's supposed to be.

 FYI, chalk paint is one of our favorite things. but this was the first time i tried it in spray bottles. maybe i bought the wrong kind of bottles? but they were a sad disappointment. only one of three worked. but we ended up filling them with water and they were just as fun :)

a little before and after...
this was our backyard on the day we bought this house in april 2012 (a foreclosure property which had been vacant for over a year)...you can't see it in these pics, but the weed were literally 3 feet high.

this past weekend, my hubby installed a new fence (on the right side) and we worked hard to make it look like a real backyard. i also made a (free!!) tepee (from bamboo and old drop cloths) and hung tulle valences i found for $1 each at an estate sale. score!!

i was delighted to see that the kids LOVED the tepee and valences! i kept smiling all evening to see them running in and out :)
 i printed a book of all of my instagram photos recently from snapfish. it turned out SO well! the photo quality printed so much clearer than i was anticipating and with a 50% off coupon, i printed 1,000 photos for $70. not exactly in the budget, but i was so glad i finally did it :)
ps. that's my sweet sister in law in the top left, who my kids call "la-la". she is the sweetest, most wonderful, kind and creative person. she and my brother live less than a block away. it's amazing to be neighbors with them!!

 emery is obsessed with doing "cheers" when she is eating something fun :)
 oh how i adore her in her blue chinese garb!!
 this big brother spent most of the evening saving earth worms :) he has such a tender heart.
 and this little gem? that's emery's lovely gal-pal, isabelle. they are the same age, but emery came home in july and isabelle this past winter. to have a dear friend with similar language needs, medical past, and a hilarious, spunky personality...well, it's quite fun to see them together. they have so much in common...even their voices and tempter-tantrums are alike :) oh and they both clearly love homemade jolly rancher lollys and ride-on toys :)


  1. Hi, I've been following your blog for a few months now (and must admit, I did a lot of exploring of your older posts). I love the rawness with which you write and how you share your heart. Your family is just precious. We are in the process of adopting a little girl with unrepaired CL/CP, hoping to bring our little miss home this fall. Thanks for candidly sharing! And, Happy Gotcha Day - what a beautiful day of celebrating!!!

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  3. What a fantastic party!! The doilies may be seen at our house soon! :) Brynna wants a pioneer party (She thinks she is Laura Ingalls!) so I may be make her a doily banner!! How cute!

  4. What a beautiful celebration of your daughter's Gotcha' Day! I think we just might have to make a back yard teepee this weekend :)

  5. Awwww! My girl is famous! Thanks for featuring my Isa-boo on the fantastic Weldon blog. We are honored....and loving the ride on toy. Thank you!

  6. Okay that is just tooooooo cute. So So fun!!!!!!! Just such a beautiful family. :) I am all or nothing too. LOL When I get on something I work at it unitl it is completed. :)I was like that with our adoption paperwork.

  7. AMAZING. You are like super mom. The backyard looks fantastic. What a good job you guys did with that foreclosure property!!

  8. Such a special celebration .....I just adore everything about it!!!:)

  9. everything looked incredible. i'm sorry the mcintire clan missed it!

  10. Hi Angie,

    I stalk your blog but dont comment often but wanted to check in. Love all your crafts you do as I DESPISE arts and crafts but I have 2 girls and Emery too that love crafts and I need to get serious about trying to work with their desire. So, I wanted to ask you about a post you did a while ago about some storage system you were able to find that was able to organize your pens and glue and all that stuff. Can you tell me where you found those organizational system or if you have any other ideas. I have to do something to organize our dining room where the kids do homework and art. We have a large round table in the dining room and that is where they often do their art and I dont mind it being a combo art/ dining room. So, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much!!!!

    Christy :)

  11. Love all the details! Milk glass, small ice-cream dishes (so you can have 2nds and 3rds!) the lollies, and tents! The pictures! All of it - you are so creative! You've got such vision!
    Happy 1st yr with your cutie!

  12. Just gorgeous, is there anything you can't do? Sending NC love.

  13. aawwww.... gotcha day! Awesome!!!

    TODAY!!! 22/8, 4 years ago we pick our son up....wow!!! tears* and on the 25/08, a year ago, we picked our little girl up at the airport...

    God is truly amazing!!!! xx

  14. I know this is an old post but I found you through Ashley's post this morning about her visit with you. I just wanted to say "hello neighbor." I'm not sure where you are in PA but we live right on the NY/PA border line in the southern tier of New York. Im trying to catch up on past posts but wanted to let you know that your family is a beautiful one! :)



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