Happy Mail Happy Hour + Minted GIVEAWAY!

by Lila on February 4, 2015

Happy Mail Happy HourMy favorite part of any holiday is that it encourages community. I get so caught up in the comings and goings of life, I find it easy to forget to reach out to people and tell them how important they are to me. But when a holiday like Valentine’s Day rolls around, I get excited about finding ways to show my people that I care.

Happy Mail Happy HourNow, I will be the first to admit that I do not always succeed in following through on my excitement about sending out thoughtful messages. Occasionally I have found a piece of beautifully packaged mail, ready to go, and waiting for an address in a pile on my desk, never having found its way to the person who it was intended for. Yes, this has happened… more than once.

Lucky for me the lovely Bobbie of Even if Nobody Reads This hosted one of her fabulous Happy Mail Happy Hours just in time for me to be truly ready to celebrate all the love this Valentine’s Day! Minted sponsored Bobbie’s happy event this time around and I think it may have been thebest one yet! Surrounded by beautiful paper, delicious food, and incredible company, I found my space to celebrate, collaborate, and create.

Happy Mail Happy HourThe venue was beautiful, the company inspiring, the paper gorgeous! Printed garland hung between chandeliers. Minted Valentine’s Day cards sat waiting for us to fill with sweet messages. There was also a drool-worthy cocktail created by none-other-than Ashley Rose Kirschling, mixologist extraordinaire. There is something about a signature cocktail that makes me feel a little bit special. Ashely combined some of my favorite flavors, grapefruit and ginger, together with a crazy-good new flavor of Skyy vodka, Texas Grapefruit, to create a dangerously delicious concoction. She also gave me tips on how to perfect my homemade ginger syrup and brought her own set of vintage glassware. Need I say more?

Happy Mail Happy HourIt is no secret that I love paper. So much. Minted had me swooning at the shades of blush and cream that covered the table. I have a particularly large crush on their classroom Valentine sets. Too much cute!

Happy Mail Happy HourHappy Mail Happy HourIf you are still figuring out what to do for your Valentine this year, you are in luck! Lingering Daydreams is hosting a Minted giveaway and one lucky winner will get $125 to be spent on the Minted website. Whether it be the perfect set of Valentines for your child’s classroom party, a collection of cards to send to your loved ones, or a beautiful art print for that special person in your life, you can find it at Minted.com. To enter, go to the Minted website, find something you love, and leave a comment about it below. Act fast! Entry closes at midnight THIS Friday! The winner will be posted here on Saturday morning! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Tiffany Morris!! Enjoy a little shopping spree at www.Minted.com!

Happy Mail Happy HourAll photos from this post taken by the talented Kelly Popejoy. Thank you Kelly!


{grayson’s 1st birthday} the invite

by Lila on January 12, 2015

1_Grayson-First Birthday - InvitesCan it be that a year has passed already? I have heard the experience of parenthood described as being long days and short years. I think that sums it up beautifully. When my little is up at 5:00 revved up and ready to go, the moment he falls asleep comes with a deep breath and a sigh of relief. Long days. But then a year has gone by and you wonder where the time went.

First Birthday - InvitesThis birthday brought on a world of emotions for me. I cared more about celebrating this moment, this momentous occasion, than any other birthday. There is something about the sense of accomplishment. He is smiling, healthy, we kept him alive, amazing. But I also felt a great sadness. My little is not so little anymore. Like so many other things that I have experienced as a mother, I had opposing, but absolutely true feelings about my guy turning one.

First Birthday - InvitesNeedless to say a party was had. Ever since I saw these photostrips from Print Studio I have had a design for Grayson’s first birthday invitations percolating in my brain. I was thrilled with how it came together. The photo happened on a whim. He was happy and sitting on my bed with great natural light streaming in the window. I knew I wanted him in the party hat I made. It happened to be sitting next to the cardboard letters I bought for his party, so I grabbed them too. It turned out better than I had hoped.

Invite Deets:

First Birthday - InvitesI created the design in InDesign with a pattern to frame the photostrip. I used temporary adhesive so that it could be easily removed and kept by recipients. Definitely not the last time you will see these photostips. You can make them all the same OR all different. So. many. ideas.

To add a little pizazz I cut out envelope liners using a template and tied twine around each invite. Labor intensive, but he is only going to turn one once….right?

First Birthday - InvitesCan’t wait to share more details of this wonderful day with you!



by Lila on January 10, 2015

1/52 - The 52 Project 2015“A portrait of my baby boy, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

January 4th, 2015: My little one is getting bigger. He is now one, who can believe it. He is almost walking. He is pointing and talking and screaming. We started the year in one of our favorite places, The Bay Area Discovery Museum. It is amazing and built for little ones like him. So much to do, touch, and climb.

So excited to embark on my second year of The 52 Project. Flipping through last years set of photos brings each moment of into sharp focus. An incredible experience.

Linking up with Jodi’s 52 Project

{ 1 comment }

50/51, 51/52, 52/52

by Lila on January 10, 2015

50/52 - The 52 Project“A portrait of my baby boy, once a week, every week in 2014.”

And as quickly as it arrived it has gone. A year in the life of our family, a year in the life of motherhood, a year in the life of this little being who changes in front of my eyes each day. I’m so grateful for this project. It helped me capture these moments and take the time to regularly look at and write about the little things.

December 6th, 2014 – Grayson had an epic birthday party. Friends and family filled our home at a volume unseen before. It was vibrant and packed and full of love. (Thank you to my brother-in-law for getting behind the camera to capture so many precious moments, including the one above.)

51/52 - The 52 ProjectDecember 12th, 2014 – Traditions are important to me. I love them. There is something about the anticipation, knowing how much you love a moment and repeating it anew year after year. For us, picking out a Christmas tree is one of those traditions. The cold air, the hanging lights… magic. Grayson walked the lot with his Dada, carrying the giant measuring stick and placing against tree after tree.

52/52 - The 52 ProjectDecember 25th, 2014: Christmas morning tackling Dada surrounded by lights and boxes and family. Nuf said.

Linking up with Jodi’s 52 Project

This is me, caught up and ready to march into 2015! Thanks for hanging in there with me :) Happy New Year!


46/52, 47/52, 48/52, 49/52

by Lila on January 7, 2015

46/52 - The 52 Project“A portrait of my baby boy, once a week, every week in 2014.”

It is a new year already. How did that happen. Entering the world of toddlerhood has been a wild ride. Very little time to sit and write. To take time for me. Also filled with laughter and trips to the park because they keep us smiling and sane. These days have tested my patience and lifted my heart. What is a girl to do.  But luckily I have held onto my camera as the days have flown passed. These photos are finding a new home outside the black box that has held them, although most of the photos from December remain captive…

November 16th, 2014: I have been meaning to wrap Jeff and I up in lights for a Christmas photo for years now. This year seemed the perfect time. I thought for sure Grayson would be entranced by all the little bulbs and play with them for hours while the 10 seconds flashed on the autotimer. He was less interested in the Christmas lights and more interested in the light on the camera, counting down the seconds. For the first 8 seconds he thought the light was hilarious, he would laugh and laugh. But then, at the last moment he would become very serious. We had to resort to tickling.

47/52 - The 52 ProjectNovember 25th, 2014: Having those baby blues peek out at me is probably the saving grace of all difficult moments. Grayson loves to play peek-a-boo. ducking down below my legs or holding a blanket up in front of him. It is the sweetest game.

48/52 - The 52 ProjectNovember 30th, 2014: This kid is so lucky to be surrounded by so much love. Watching these two spend time together reminds me of all the things I deeply love about my momma. She crawls on the floor, makes funny noises, waves dramatically from great distances. She is not afraid to be childlike, doesn’t care whose watching.

49/52 - The 52 ProjectDecember 2nd, 2014: I thought it might be a little early for a favorite toy, but I was wrong. He loves this firetruck. So much. There is a button that makes the lights flash. It is brightly colored. At one time it even had a ladder that rotated around on top of it. A lovely neighbor of ours actually brought over a bag of toys he was letting go of. “Just the best stuff, don’t want to load you down with junk,” he said as he dropped it off. And he was right. A handled paper bag of some very sweet toys. Such a kind act of neighborliness.

Linking up with Jodi’s 52 Project



happy mail happy hour

by Lila on December 8, 2014

Happy Mail Happy Hour{Gorgeous cards and coffee}

Not so long ago I went to a lovely, lovely gathering. It was a pop-up Happy Mail Happy Hour, where an incredible group of ladies gathered with gorgeous paper and great intentions. Our plan was to sit in a beautiful place and take the time to write letters to those we are grateful for. This was an incredible coincidence, like so many things are, because I had been wanting to send some love to some important people in my life. So we gathered and shared beautiful paper and wrote sweet notes.

Happy Mail Happy Hour{Yummy bites & beautiful supplies}

The location was gorgeous, the coffee delicious, the macaroons to-die-for, and the company oh-so-inspiring. It felt like such a treat to be out sharing ideas and laughing out loud.

Happy Mail Happy Hour{Bobbie of Even If Nobody Reads This and myself}

Bobbie, the creator of Happy Mail Happy Hour, brought us all together and was full of life. We talked about the big ideas we want to make happen. We complimented each other’s washi tape stashes. We giggled.

Happy Mail Happy Hour{Carla and Annie hard at work}

Carla of AlyssaandCarla got down to it and made me roll with laughter. It was so good to reconnect with her! It was my first time meeting Annie, of Montgomery Fest, and I must confess I have fallen a little in love with her blog. Everybody brought gorgeous cards and paper to share. Such. Beautiful. Cards. I was particularly thrilled with the finds from Eggpress and have become incredibly inspired by their Write On Campaign. My plan is to take their challenge of writing 30 cards in 30 days and see how the trickle effect changes my life and my relationships.

Happy Mail Happy Hour{Lauren & Carla chatting away}

The goodies didn’t stop at conversation and paper good either. Lauren spoiled us rotten with Yes to Carrots swag. I kinda couldn’t believe that I went out for coffee and conversation and came home with inspiration, skin care products, and enough stationary to start a small shop. What a lucky girl.

Happy Mail Happy HourA sight that got my attention right away was the large box Katie of Lovely Letters hauled in with her. I was impressed. Not only by her collection of beautiful tools, but by her mad skills. Girl can do some calligraphy. Can’t wait to collaborate on some crafty adventures.

Happy Mail Happy HourIt was a lovely evening that has stayed with me in the weeks that have gone by. Can’t wait to gather this group together again, drink some more coffee, share some more inspiration, and write some more letters! Thank you for a lovely evening ladies!



Birth-Story-4{all photographs in this post taken by the talented Brooke Bryand}

So the holidays have taken me by storm. And I have not gone quietly. We painted our living room, hosted parties, and driven here, there, and everywhere. Through all the delightful chaos one truth has screamed louder than all the rest. On December 5th our baby boy turned one. It is hard for me to wrap my head around. To believe fully. But it is true. We have celebrated and told stories and toasted to our bundle. Does the saying go, “Long days, short years?” My goodness how that holds true.

We strive to be a family of story tellers. When Grayson was born I insisted that Jeff and I both write our stories of his birth and then read them to each other before talking about the details. I wanted to see what stood out to each of us as individuals. What we wanted to remember. I shared my story many moons ago, and today, in honor of the little’s birthday, and with Jeff’s permission, I share the other side of the story. Dad’s side. What year, what a joy, what an adventure.


The birth of Grayson Clyde Smyth, as told by Dad

The anticipation had been building for months. Lila and I knew that sometime near the end of 2013 she would be giving birth to our first born child, a boy. And although we spent countless hours preparing, we were surprised when our bundle of joy came a few weeks early.

We just finished running our annual Thanksgiving marathon, which included football with the guys, a holiday meal with both sides of the family and a birthday dinner for Joan. Throughout it all Lila had quietly tolerated abdominal pain, something we both assumed was simply part of being nine months pregnant. On Sunday night, we were considering our options: I suggested watching a movie to see if the pain got better, Lila decided we should pack our hospital bag. She was right.

We called the doctor to see if the pain was something to be concerned about. She told us we should got to the hospital and have it checked out. That response filled me with equal parts of disbelief, excitement, and panic.

Surely our little boy could not be ready to come out yet. He was not due for a month still. Plus, we weren’t ready yet. We hadn’t packed. The carseat wasn’t installed. We just bought a new car that we hadn’t been able to pick up yet. But we threw some clothes in a bag, put the carseat box in a the trunk, and drove to the hospital.

It was very quiet when we got there; not many people driving in at 1 a.m. to get checked out for signs of labor. We even got two nurses to run the tests.

Two our surprise, the abdominal pain Lila had been experiencing was in fact the early stages of labor. The contractions were regular and the heartbeat strong. We waited around for two hours to make sure everything was alright, playing games and listening to the fetal heartbeat. Around 3 a.m. the nurses assured us that we were still a ways off and sent us home with a shot of morphine to ease the pain.

Lila slept for 12 hours, not waking up until mid-afternoon on Monday. I got up earlier and began letting people at work know what was going on. I worked from home most of the day. I also installed the carseat.

On Monday night we made another trip to the hospital. Again it was slow, again we hung out for a couple of hours, and again we went home with a morphine shot. It seemed we would have to wait forever.

On Tuesday we went in for an ultrasound, at which a doctor named Otto told us that our 36-week-old baby had the head of a 42-week-old baby. Doctor Kahn was thrilled because she had been worried that she would miss the birth, but it appeared as though our little guy was coming early. She also told us that the next time we went in, we would be delivering the baby, and to call her if anything “interesting” happened. And with that we waited…

The waiting was the hardest part. We had no idea if we would have to wait a day or a week. We called doctor Kahn on Tuesday night and told her we thought the pain seemed a little worse. Not “interesting.”

On Wednesday we waited some more. I was working from home, Lila was watching TV to pass the time. And as we sat around, me in the yellow chair and Lila on the couch, and amazing thing happened. For a brief moment I forgot how imminent the birth was, caught up in my emails. And at the moment, Lila’s water broke.

All-of-a-sudden it was game time. I ran around like a Tasmanian devil while Lila got ready to go. I grabbed bags. I put the chickens away. I fired off a few explanatory emails. I ate a piece of pizza. And then we were driving.

The drive itself was uneventful except that every few minutes Lila had a contraction. And not the weak, uncomfortable contractions from before. These were real contractions. And Lila was in serious pain.

I parked by the emergency entrance and we waddled into the reception area. The first two times we were there the place was dead; this time it was packed. All five rooms were already full and another couple was in the waiting room. We sat down and waited for something to open up.

A few minutes later we were waved into the back. Lila thought it was the other couple’s turn to go, but given the relaxed, almost bored, look on the woman’s face, it was clear that our situation was more urgent. So we got situated in the room for the third, and last, time.

They hooked Lila up to the machine so they could monitor everything and to make sure she should be admitted. Everything looked good and they were ready to admit us, but there was one problem; there were no rooms available upstairs. The hospital was completely full. So we had to wait for a room to open up, while the contractions got steadily worse.

In the hallway I heard another father-to-be frantically looking for a nurse. “Her contractions are closer now,” he said, as his wife moaned in the background. “They are constant!” When the room opened up the nurse asked if we were doing okay, and if it would be alright if they gave the room to the other couple. They seemed like they were so stressed that they needed it more. So we waited.

Another room finally opened up, after three hours, and they moved us upstairs. Coincidently, it was the same room, 237, that we saw when we took the hospital tour. It had a TV, private bathroom, and cot for me to sleep on. But most importantly, it came with the ability for Lila to get some pain relief.

The doctor came in to insert Lila’s epidural almost immediately. After he was done, he asked her how the contractions were feeling. She said she’d let him know when she had another one. He told her she had already had two. So the pain meds were working.

And then all there was left to do was wait. We watched a show, I took a shower, and we went to sleep. We knew that in the morning we would be having a baby.

I woke up at 6 a.m. Lila was starting to feel pain again, so they checked her out. She had dilated an amazing amount, meaning we were close. I got dressed, packed up my bed, and got ready.

At 8:20 doctor Kahn waltzed in the door. She said, “Alright, time to push out that baby.” It all happened so fast. Doctor Kahn got set up while the nurse taught Lila how to push. The abrasive doctor remained true to her character; she encouraged Lila to push like a drill sergeant. But 30 minutes after she arrived, our little boy emerged, with a scream.

He was beautiful, despite the distinct cone shape of his head. He was measured and prodded before being placed in his mother’s arms. It was amazing to witness Lila’s first moments with her son.

It was no less amazing when it was my turn. Although I had always been a little tentative around babies, the first time I held our little Grayson in my arms it felt so natural. It was like two puzzle pieces fitting together. I’ve never felt anything like it.

The next few days were a blur. So many visitors wanting to get their hand on our beautiful little boy. Learning how to feed him, and change him, and make him feel safe. And it all culminated in the moment when we were allowed to pack him up and take him home with us for good, though really just when the story of the rest of our lives began.



43/52 + 44/52 + 45/52

by Lila on November 18, 2014

The 52 Project - 43/52“A portrait of my baby boy, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

The whirlwind has not stopped blowing in my world. Trips galore, painting the living room, preparing for my little one to turn one, the world just doesn’t stop spinning. Luckily I’ve had my camera on hand to keep capturing the moments as the blaze past.

October 28th, 2014: Grayson was so happy to play in the dirt at Gizdich Ranch with his buddy Shae. It was a gorgeous fall day and the pie was out of this world. There is no season I love more than fall. The crisp cool air. The light. I love it. I’m also big into traditions and I think this is going to be a new one. Every fall journey to Gizdich for some pie and maybe next year we will even make it in time to pick our own apples.

The 52 Project - 44/52October 31st, 2014: After already buying a little lion outfit for my little monkey’s first Halloween, his Nani brought over this costume. It was Jeff’s first Halloween costume and had I known it would fit Grayson I wouldn’t have gotten anything else. So sweet to see my baby boy in his dada’s costume.

The 52 Project - 45/52November 8th, 2014: We did it. We spent our first night away from our baby boy. And it was amazing. I will share the long version of this story another time, but needless to say we loved every minute together as well as our reunion with our little guy. We immediately set off for the park to climb and swing.

Linking up with Jodi’s 52 Project





{joint birthday party} diy photo wall

by Lila on November 11, 2014

Party Decor DIYWhen it comes to party decor, I love something that has a personal touch. Photos often do the trick. Creating a diy photo wall allows you to showcase memories and create a giant focal point for the party. Even better when the pictures create a number or letter that is meaningful to the party’s theme. In this case since the party was honoring the collective family age of 75, it was only fitting that we create a giant 75 from photos spanning the history of the Lunny’s.

Party Decor DIYIt was so much fun going over to my dear friend’s house and helping her put this together. I felt honored to get a peek into their history. The 75 contained wedding photos, baby pictures, Shae’s sonogram. It was a gorgeous glimpse into how they have gotten to where they are today.

Big impact in simple steps.

Party Decor How ToStep 1: Tape off the numbers, letters, or shapes you want to fill with photos. Be sure what you create with tape is skinnier than what you want your finished product to be, overlapping the blue tape will make everything wider.

Step 2: Use mounting putty to adhere photos to your wall. Be sure to get putty that will not remove any paint. I recommend printing your photos with a white edge, it will showcase the overlap and make each photo stand out.

Step 3: Keep putting up photos. This does take some time so be sure to do it before the day of the event.

Step 4: Drink a glass of wine and take a minute to look at the photos you have so painstakingly put up. A sweet walk down memory lane.

Watch it happen - Party Decor How ToDon’t miss this party’s inspiration, invitations, and amazing food!


{dear grayson} you are 10 months old

by Lila on October 29, 2014

Monthly Baby Photo - 10 monthsDear Grayson,

You are a beautiful little human and I am bewildered by how quickly time is passing. Do I write that in every letter?

You look more and more like a little boy. You take steps while holding onto furniture. It started at Noni’s house over the course of Uncle B’s birthday weekend. You were pulling up to standing over and over on the couch. The next minute you were taking little wobbly steps along its edge. We keep thinking you are going to let go and waddle your first steps any day now.

Food fascinates you. You chew it up, spit it out, and crumple it in your hands to study with great curiosity. I try to not react, not encourage this charming habit, but it is hard not to smile when you look at me as if to say, “Look! Isn’t it amazing.”

Our mornings are peaceful. You wake-up bright and early, usually a little before six and I bring you into bed with me and dada. You are a sweet snuggler. We lay there, you head on my chest, sucking your thumb until you get hungry. Then you nurse and we are up. While I make breakfast you play. I am amazed by how independent you are. I sneak peeks, careful to remain hidden as you chirp at your blocks and books.

One morning at the park I started giving you high fives as you swung toward me. You laughed and laughed. Now you stick your hand up when you hear the words and a smile spreads across your face.

You are my little love. Snuggles and high-fives are my favorites. Sleep is getting better. There is a witching hour around 5:00 where we go on adventures to distract you from being grumpy. Your thumb rarely leaves your mouth except to smile or speak. You wave at people and then stop when they look at you.

I cannot get enough.



Monthly Baby Photo - 10 months Monthly Baby Photo - 10 months Monthly Baby Photo - 10 months

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