Hello Spring :]

I saw PINK!

Jenna’s garden gave me a gift of pinkness today. :]

As far as I know this wonderful pinkness was not there until this morning. Isn’t it amazing?? I really thought all the crazy ice we got killed the garden, but it didn’t!
I cannot wait. This year I won’t have a preggo belly to keep me from gardening. I plan on spending lots of time out there and actually sharing the garden with all of you this time :]
I’m soooooo ready for spring!!
gardening.
cute summer-ey clothes.
flip flops.
a reason to paint your toe nails ;)
trips to the beach.
bluebonnets.
sunshine.
LOTS of sunshine.
swimming.
ladybugs.
bike rides.
Yup, I’ve missed you Spring.

Favorite Things: the bracelet i wear everyday

Every once in a blue moon I like to write about the things I love. Things that make me happy. Things that remind me to be thankful. Things that in my opinion, make the world a better place – like color, Jenna’s scrapbook… and today a bracelet. :]

I received this bracelet a good while back from a dear friend I met through bloggy land, Jill.

I don’t know where she found it but when I saw it for the first time it made me smile inside and out… it had Jenna’s name on it! And it sort of reminded me of the hope collages too :]

Around the bracelet is Jenna’s name in all caps and some inspiring words…
dream
inspire
hope
wish
believe
encourage
smile
laugh
I feel connected to this bracelet and feel naked without it. I literally wear it every single day :]
I’m not big into jewelry but I love that this bracelet is casual, and goes with anything and everything!
What makes the world a better place in your life? 

xo

ps- Bubby is amazingly back to health… for now! ;) That definitely adds to my list of things to be thankful for!! Thank you for all your well wishes again.

Saturday Lows & Highs

My little man is sleeping. I guess I should be too.

He’s been having episodes of high fevers again, not sure if it’s just teething stuff or something… more. We’ll be taking him in tomorrow to an urgent care center to determine what is behind all this junk.

Hopefully it’s nothing. Just teething.

Thoughts kept rolling through my head today as I realized Bubby was just not himself. I’m not sure if we all do it, or if we’re just more prone to do it having lost a baby, but I find myself playing the worst scenario in my head. I keep reminding myself it’s just a fever. Just a fever. Just a fever.

:::breathe:::

Yea, still not working.

I also thought about my mom. Pete’s mom. All moms. I had no idea this is what moms do. How brave are women? How beautiful is it to be a mother? What an awesome responsibility to be the one called to nurture this poor soul back to health, and if nothing else carry that maternal ache because your child aches.

via

Lots of thinking time today. My not-so-busy Saturday turned out much differently than I’d hoped.

The low for today: finding out Bubby had a fever again.

The high for today: I braided my hair into pigtails on the way home today… just because :]

What was your low/ high for today?

New in the Shop: {the berry collection}

Today I have tried to keep my to-do list to a minimum… I see minimal computer time {we’ll see!}, lots of Bubby time, tulle butterfly-making, shopping with the MIL, oh- and a Target stop. And the perfect March-ish weather to top it all off. :]

So since shopping is on my brain, it might be on yours too. If not I don’t think it’d hurt to share a little eye candy with you anyway!

Kicking off a splash of color madness I bring you the berry collection.

You’ll just love these. Promise.

They come in all sizes.

Newborn – Infant – Toddler… on super-soft, wide, stretchy bands.

And of course some stretchy bands for us gals!

In case you’re not into stretchy bands but you are loving the frayed rosettes…
Also available in all three berry collection colors!
And… how adorable is this belt?? ~swoon~
Which ones are your favorites? I will be adding some more colors soon!
Hope your Saturday is fantastic! 
To shop click any of the pictures or click here :]
XO
ps- use discount code HAPPYSATURDAY to receive 15% off your entire purchase today only!

Thank God for Fridays

I am pretty excited that it’s Friday. I work from home, but something about the weekend just helps me relax a little more :)

This weekend I look forward to doing absolutely nothing. Okay maybe watch some good movies, eat chocolate, go thrift store shopping… you get the idea.

What are your plans for the weekend??

I also want to thank everyone from yesterday’s post for saying a prayer for our Bubby. We are thrilled to report that his fever is gone!! :) He is still not 100% better, but he’s getting there. Smiling more, playing more, just a little weak.

:::

So I thought I should mention that blog design wait list is now OPEN! :]

It will be open until Monday February 28. I am taking on WordPress designs now which take a bit more time to work through but I am enjoying the challenge and diving in head first! You can read all about WordPress design here.

The design studio also got a lovely new look! You can check it out by clicking on the button :)

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!!
XO
ps- If you have a moment, you might want to visit this blog. Loads of inspiring stories and something super exciting coming up!! :]

ps #2 – wow this is a first. Two ps’s. Anyway… the winner of the Dots and Dimples Personalized Premade to celebrate 500+ Facebook fans is Natasha!! Natasha please email me and we can get your freebie personalized! If you don’t follow us on facebook, you may want to! With every 50 new fans we receive we also do a giveaway exclusive to our fans :]

Just Because+Prayer Request

Just thought I would share how amazingly adorable my little man is. This big ball of sunshine is making milestones everyday. Saying Mama now {in a very demanding way, might I add!}, sitting up on his own from being on his belly, rocking-crawling, laughing at his own shadow… oh and he makes new faces too. Like he understand the world a little better.

Is that possible?

Yup, he is pure awesomeness.
Only right now he is sick. Booooooooooo!!!!
Please say a prayer for his health to return quickly. Just looking at him all sick-like makes me want to cry.

New Designs

Below are some bloggy friends who I’ve been working with on some lovely new blog makeovers. Hope you enjoy them!

Danae opted for a photo blog. Her photos are absolutely gorgeous!! She wanted a pink/ brown color scheme so I made the pictures a sepia tone and added some pink accents from the rose petals. You can view the full design by clicking on the screenshot :)

Kourtney was one of the first WordPress clients I have worked with. All I can say is that she was super awesome to work with. :)
I also had the pleasure of working with Whitney from Running with Ryan. I loved working with Ryan’s precious footprints and incorporating them into the design :)
My most recent finished blog design is Melissa from Raindrops. I have worked with Melissa before and I was so happy to get to work with her again :) Her new design is very serene.
Thanks so much for stopping by and checking on what I’ve been up to!
Blog design orders are closed but open up first thing Friday morning. 
*In case you’re new around here just wanted to let you know a portion of every blog design is donated to March of Dimes, Team KJ this month*
Hope everyone has a super Wednesday! :)

Tour Around My Studio :)

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. BUT. My studio has been a wreck. Let’s just face it. Sometimes it’s easier to work on the kitchen table… or if you’re me- the couch. ;)

After all I need to be in plain view of my Bubby. Especially since he’s just itching to crawl and making stronger attempts at it everyday.
It felt good to finally go through my stuff and organize this space. I even work in there now!! {when I can}.
It’s not a very big room, but it’s plenty of space for me and my junk!
So here we go!
This is my beloved wi-fi laser printer. What would I do without you my lovely? I use it for most of my paintings and memory boxes. Lots of printing happening here. Oh, and let’s not forget the Year of the Babylost Calendar! I hung it right where everyone can see it!
The two swatches pinned to the top are the colors I will be painting the walls hopefully within the next two weeks {fuchsia accents & ice blue-grayish walls}.
This is my trip to NYC on a canvas. This all-expense-paid-for trip was a graduation gift from my parents in June of 2008. My heart still aches a little when I think about the awesomeness we left behind. I miss that city and we only spent 5 days there. Ahhhh…..
Here are some close ups.. I collaged tickets, showtimes, programs, Metro cards, maps.. you name it, if it was on paper… it went on the canvas :)
:::
This is my “With Love” corner. Most of the things I would need to put together a care package. :)
Found this Eiffel Tower print at Wal-Mart for 10 big ones. Yup – total score.
Oh, and the motorcycle painting is something I painted for a potential client a few years ago. I’m not big into motorcycles but I was so proud of myself that I did it, so it’s like a little trophy I guess. 
Oh and the shelf, I totally put it up all by myself! :)
This is a picture of love. These are the journals that have been mailed or handed to me for the Jenna Journal Drive. Actually I have received a few since I took this photo. Love in action!

Not much to say about this one, except that I love my shelf. Thank God for big, tall shelves.
I keep my shipping supplies, stock items from my shop, scrapbooking stuff, neato pictures, some business cards and lots more.
Hello Gussy bag. How I love thee.

Sorry, that’s my dirty {but dry} apron hanging in front of it!
Oh – and are you digging my wall-art? Check out this post!
That’s a desk in the closet. For all my papers’ safe keeping. Yea, let’s just keep those doors shut.
A relish tray turned FAB! :D
Today I added some glue gun sticks and hair clips/ broach pins to this. I can’t tell you how much I love this relish tray that I bought from a thrift store for less than a dollar. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
This is something I received from my dear friend Katie. It belongs on the door to this room because without my small bird none of this would be possible.
Hope you enjoyed the tour!! Pics with painted walls {and fuchsia accents!} coming soon ;)
XO

Bluebird Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone!
Hope you all enjoyed the three day weekend :)
This quote was requested by the lovely Deanna. 
Requests are closed now, but as soon as I catch up they will open again. In the mean time be thinking of your favorite quotes, lyrics, verses!
I thought this picture might hold a special place for many baby lost mamas. :)

LOVE this.
Feel free to print & share. 
XO

Confessions, Bandaids & Miracles

Can I just first say everyone of you are pure amazingness? I have been on cloud nine reading as many blog entries on the small miracles blog hop as I could. I have not read each one yet, but I will as the week progresses. The ones I have had the opportunity to read have been inspiring, uplifting and nothing short of pure miracles. And in case you’re wondering, the blog hop is open all week, so if you want to jump in and share please do!
:::
So I know I already wrote my miracles post here… but…
Something amazing happened tonight. 
I have gone through a transition since Jenna died. Right after she died I felt mostly at peace… the pain was always there but so was an unspeakable peace. As time progressed that peace began to slip away. The pain became raw again. Unbearable. It hurt. Almost like a fresh wound.
I began to question God. I knew the only place I could find that peace again was through him. I did not hate God nor stop believing in him. But the disappointment in his decision to allow my daughter to die began to grow larger than his love in my eyes.
The relationship I once had with him wore down to almost nothing. I was going to church every Sunday and Wednesday. I prayed. I read Scripture. But the relationship was gone. I did not trust him to answer my most earnest prayers. Not like I once did.
Hostility against religion built up in my heart. It seemed after a year passed and my son was born healthy {I have to believe well-meaning} people were rushing me into being okay. In their own words they wanted to patch me up with what I call a ‘bible bandaid’.
“At least she was a baby, and you know she’s in Heaven.” {Yes…. but………………………}
“As Christians, we should have hope…” {>>OUCH<<}
My disappointment in God quickly turned into flat out anger. How could this be a testament of his love? Why had it faded? I still needed him. Is this what he expected of me too after taking my daughter? To be OKAY?!!?!?!?!
:::
There has been a song that has had significant meaning in my life since Jenna’s death. It’s a hymnal called “The Love of God”. We sing this one at church during congregational singing on rare occasion but when we do, it’s more than a breath of fresh air. It is comforting.
Tonight I was secretly hoping we’d be able to sing it. The song leader called the last song number which I cannot remember now.
I already knew what page “The Love of God” was on, and my heart sank. {Page 188 in case you’re wondering}.
Maybe next time.
We all sat down and before the preaching began a group got up to sing. You guessed it.
They sang “The Love of God”. My heart was overflowing. For the first time in a long time I allowed myself to believe that God’s love was still there. Buried under the pain, the disappointment, the anger. The love of God was ever present tonight. Even if for a small glimpse.
Jenna’s Valentine’s Day rose
It made me wonder how long and patiently God must have been waiting for me to believe this again.
Somehow grief has had a way of putting a fog between me and God. I don’t know comes next. I’m not even sure I want to know. If all I get is small glimpses, small miracles from here to the end, that will be okay by me. 
The love of God has never been more precious.
If all you do is listen to or read the lyrics… please do. The words are amazing. Amazing. What’s even more amazing is that God loves me and has loved me through it all. Regardless of how I’ve felt about him this whole time.

Small Miracles Blog Hop #1

 

It is nothing short of a miracle that I can speak of joy, much less experience it. A little under two years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of experiencing joy again.

I didn’t care to dream about the impossible anymore. I was living it. Living without my daughter seemed impossible.

I remember living the best and worst day of my life. I was going to get to hold my daughter for the first time ever in my arms.

After months of carrying her in my womb, months of anticipating, weeks of bed rest and weeks in the NICU. The day was finally here.

But this day would also take something from me. Something precious and irreplaceable.

As I look through that folder in my hard drive titled “May 18, 2009″ I am filled with wonder. Wonder how I got from there to here.

Different things along this journey have brought me hope. Early on, the thought of her in Heaven brought me hope. It still does, but lately the idea of Heaven just seems so… distant? I don’t even know how to put it into words.
The other day I was walking Bubby around the park and I saw this little bird perched way up high in the bare tree branches. It is like she was placed there just for me.
I was snapping pictures of anything and everything that day. I was just enjoying being outside. Enjoying the beautiful day. Enjoying the walk around the park. I could feel myself breathing again and for the first time in a long time enjoying life for what it is.
This was a small thing, but I get reminded of her through little birds. She somehow feels closer when I get to witness these small miracles.
What small {or big!} miracles have brought you hope lately? I hope you’ll share a piece of your journey by joining the blog hop :)
As Aubrey Hepburn so eloquently put it…

I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

To link up.. it’s super easy! Just write your post on your blog, copy the link to the post and come back here and click “Click here to enter”. Please be sure to copy the link to your post, not your blog home page. Thanks!

Sneak Peek: Sundae the Puppy+…

It’s a miracle I’ve gotten anything done this week. We got this super adorable puppy last Sunday {so we named her Sundae… as in Chocolate Fudge Sundae!}, the day before Valentine’s Day. She was a free puppy out of a Wal-mart parking lot and a beautiful mix of chow and lab. Right from the start she was just full of personality.
♥ I love the way she pounces everywhere, she makes walking look like so much fun
♥ I love the way she is intrigued by Bubby & just super sweet around him
♥ I love that she is slowly becoming house-trained ;)
In between cleaning her mess, making Bubby homemade baby food, beginning the weaning process, and loads of laundry… a few things in the studio have gotten done – or at least partially done.
This week I am slowly mastering the design behind WordPress. *skips around the living room*  I have all these ideas for the new website bouncing around in my head and I just can’t wait for it to come to life. In the mean time, some friends have entrusted me with their WordPress blogs. I’ll be sharing those blog designs with you hopefully soon :)
Aside from that I have been inspired. 
My shop will soon be filled with all sorts of rosettes. All colors. All sizes. Sizes for newborns, infants, toddlers & adults. Everyone will get to be lovely with these super adorable & super affordable headbands/ clips & broaches :)

Lilac, Plum & Berry
They haven’t made it to the shop just yet, but just wanted to share a glimpse of the goodies to come!
Happy Friday everyone!!
XO

Wordless Wednesday

Okay I can’t be totally wordless. 
Sundae is our newest family member :) She adores Bubby, but the feeling is mutual ♥
More Sundae-ness coming soon, I promise.

Dots and Dimples Blog Freebie

Another fabulous freebie! Ready to give your blog a post-Valentine’s Day spruce? Maybe this one’s more your style. Seriously- how fun are these banners!! :]

Instructions are provided to install the freebies aannndd you can also purchase the template if you’d like it personalized! Personalized templates are less than half the cost of a custom blog design – $15!

Dots and Dimples Template

This template includes:

♥ Background
♥ Coordinating Header
♥ Post Divider

For installation instructions please click here.

Want to personalize this template?

$15
A personalized template includes:

♥ All of the above
♥ Custom font and wording in the title & subtitle
♥ Custom signature
♥ Choice between 2 or 3 columns
♥ Installation

To purchase the customized template please use the PayPal button below. After making your purchase be sure to email smallbirdstudio@gmail.com with your wording preferences, header pictures and signature name to complete the design. Templates are installed within 2-3 business days of payment.









Name of Template Desired

 

 

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By downloading the free blog templates you are agreeing to the following.

These templates may not be used for any blogs or sites other than personal blogs. They may not be used for any blog or site that is used for monetary gain. Do not sell or redistribute these templates.

The credit that links back to Small Bird Studio is to remain on your blog if/ when you decide to change your layout. Unauthorized use of any of our templates or freebies is STRICTLY prohibited and punishable by law. If you have a question about using one of our freebies for anything not stated above please contact us. Thank you for respecting our wishes.








x Franchesca x

Bluebird Tuesday

Hope your Tuesday is treating you well :)
Every Tuesday I share quotes {provided by you} and make them into fancy word art. Sometimes the photography is my own, but most of the time it’s borrowed, in which cases I credit the source :)
This time the picture is all my own! ;) Aren’t you proud of me!? Kidding.
I snapped this yesterday after we dropped off some Valentine’s decorations for Jenna. I was wearing some of my favorite shoes…
They’re a lovely shade of fuchsia of course!
Well said. Quote was requested by the lovely Natasha :)