There is nothing I love more than creating handmade items for my own kids as well as to give as gifts and I think this Growth Chart project is so precious!
I first saw it in the Potter Barn Kids catalog and thought it was so sweet…..until I saw the cost.
$99.00. Is this real life?
Not long after, I began seeing DIY versions pop up on Pinterest and after talking to so many of y’all at the Christmas Pinterest party, I knew this HAD to be a project that we did.
I promise you, you will not believe how easy it is to put this together and to really personalize it towards your own decor. As usual, I will have tons of different paint colors and stains so you can create to your hearts content. All you need to bring is your sweet self!
While the project is easy to do, it does require a lot of working space per person so this party will be held at Lafayette First Church of the Nazarene so we can spread out. It is located at 201 Veteran’s Memorial Parkway, right across the street from Meijer.
Also, I am asking everyone that comes to bring a baby board book or similar book for infants and toddlers. I work with an amazing agency who’s goal is to strengthen parents and families and one of the ways we do that is through encouraging parents to read to their infants. It may seem like so an easy thing for some of us, but for a mom that does not have access to books, it is very challenging. The books can be new or very gently used.
Please feel free to share this invite with anyone you think would be interested. I can’t wait to spend the day crafting with you!
You can RSVP using the form below:
It’s Fantasy Suite week, ya’ll! Or as we all really know it, the Honeymoon (un)Dress Rehearsal. It’s down to Kaitlyn, Becca and Whitney and this week they are in the romantic destination of Bali.
We first get a glimpse of Chris pondering his life while looking out at the ocean wearing shorts and bowling shoes as he reminds us that he is a long way from Arlington. He is infatuated with his surroundings and comments that he can totally see himself coming back to Bali for his Honeymoon. I’m not clairvoyant, but I can’t imagine that would go over real well. I imagine the pitch to be something like this: “Umm….well…..yeah….remember that one time I was dating you and your two friends in that one place where I got to “kick the tires” to figure out if I really wanted to marry you or one of the other girls? YEAH! Let’s go there to celebrate the beginning of our new life together”. Not likely.
Kaitlyn gets the first date of the show and she and Chris really have great chemistry, even when they find themselves in an episode of Planet of the Apes getting accosted by giant monkeys.
Kaitlyn likens her relationship with Chris to that of the mammals by inferring that, just like a monkey goes after a banana if they really want it, she should go after Chris. There is a little part of me that sort of believes that she actually said “I can peel his f+*#@*n banana any day” and the producers just decided to edit it out. That has to be the truth.
Later, Chris urges Kaitlyn to let down any guard she has and to really commit herself to him and to the process, which sounds great if he wasn’t also dating two other girls. You know, you never know if it is going to work until you put yourself out there … or until you are riding to the airport in the back of a van crying your eyes out and questioning what is wrong with you.
Can I just stop and ask, by a show of hands, how many of you have the Fantasy Suite date card memorized and yet, the girls read it every season like it’s something they’ve never heard before?
Kaitlyn, of course, agrees to forego their individual rooms and stay as a couple in the Fantasy Suite and Chris seconds that motion saying “I think we deserve this”. For surviving the monkey attack, maybe? Who knows?
And then later that night Chris commits the cardinal sin of The Bachelor Franchise. Kaitlyn tells him that she loves him and he tells her that he is also falling in love with her. Blow the whistle. Sound the alarm. Flag on the field. You can’t do that! It is against every rule of the Bachelor and rule of life. Unless you are 150% sure this is the girl you are going to pick, you can’t tell her you love her and then have the girl that you did pick watch that back. You just can’t. There is no way for the girl that he does end up picking to ever unhear that. Poor guy.
Next up is Whitney. I just can’t. Half the time she sounds like Steve Urkle and the other half she sounds like the bossy Chippette on Alvin and the Chipmunks.
There are several times when she is waning on and on and on where it looks like Chris just smelled something bad and I think its cause his ears are actually bleeding. There are cats in the streets of Bali that are climbing up walls at the pitch of her voice. She seriously needs to stop.
She is super excited about spending the rest of the night and their WHOLE lives together, but Chris looks strained…kinda like he’s preparing for a prostate exam instead of the Fantasy Suite. He asks her again about her ability to see herself in Arlington, knowing that essentially she would be giving up her career. She reassures him that she is more than ready to change from making babies to having babies and I guess that is exactly what Chris needed to hear because from that point on, he’s happier than a camel on hump day.
Chris, once again commits Bachelor heresy, and says that he is also falling in love with her and that she could be the one that he asks to marry him. You can’t be cute and smart.
Becca gets the final date of the episode and I have a little secret to share with you guys that might blow your mind and if you promise to not tell anyone else, I will tell you. Pinky swear? She’s a virgin. Sshhhhh. We will talk more about that later.
Becca shows up wearing these black shorts that are super confusing to me. At first I think they are leather and then maybe satin and after studying them, I think they might be black Umbro soccer shorts? What ev’s.
After a romantic walk through some fields of Bali, Chris takes her to the temple to see if they can get some clarification on their relationship.
They sit down in front of a Mr. Miagi looking guy wearing a hat from Bennihannas and his BFF who translates for him. Chris tells the dynamic duo that Becca is his girlfriend and for the third time in one week and with the third different girl, he says he is falling in love with her. For the love of God.
Becca and Chris ask Bali’s Sylvia Brown if they are good together and the sidekick translates the words from the wizard saying they would really make a “good” couple using air quotation marks much like I do when I take a frozen pizza out of the oven and say I “made” dinner. It’s not completely a lie and not at all true.
This same guys also tells Becca that on their date tonight they are going to “make love”. Clearly, he’s a prophet.
Later that night, after accepting to stay in the Fantasy Suite with Chris, Becca finally tells him that she is a virgin and, as disappointed as I have been with Chris thus far, I do think that he responded very well. I think he was probably actually relieved after the way she built it up to be “THE MOST SHOCKING NEWS EVER”.
After spending the night in the Fantasy Suite with all 3 girls experiencing different versions of taking their relationship to a whole new level, Chris emerges even more confused than ever. He calls on Chris Harrison for advice. If, on the off chance, this whole Bachelor host thing crashes and burns as much as his clothing line did, he totally has a career as a relationship therapist.
Farmer Chris tells him that he is so confused because he is falling in love with 3 women and he’s so worried he is going to make a mistake and basically Chris Harrison replies with “Yeah…sucks to be you.” He’s about as useful as a pocket in your underwear.
The Rose Ceremony is held in a sacred temple and Chris Harrison cautions Farmer Chris about how holy of a place it is and how irreverent it is to show any affection. Wait. Let me get this straight. Hugging is a no no here but it’s perfectly respectable and favored in this sacred and holy space to be ixnaying 1 of the 3 women you are simultaneously dating. Just wanted to clarify that.
Just a few other observations here: Chris’s scarf cummerbund is way too tight and I think he might be wearing velvet slippers like Ritchie Rich wore. Also, did Whitney steal Jeulia’s pink lipstick?
At the end of the debacle, it turns out to be Whitney and Becca who get roses and Kaitlyn who is sent home. Kaitlyn is, of course, confused and broken hearted and I am really interested to hear what she has to say at The Women Tell All.
It’s finally time for Hometown Dates, ya’ll! Well, after we finish Sunday’s episode of course.
We pick up with Becca’s one on one date with Chris and we get to see about 1 minute and 17 seconds of it. Obviously, it was riveting stuff.
Back at the house, Britt tells the girls that after her “talk” with Chris the night before, she has decided that she is going to leave. The girls are surprised and thrilled all at the same time, but no one as much as Carly. She questions Britt’s sincerity in saying that she is leaving or if she will change her mind if Chris asks her to stay. Britt says definitely leaving in a for sure, probably, most likely, maybe kind of way. What ev’s. Anyway, she gets all dressed up in her party dress, fuchsia lipstick and Tammy Faye Bakker eye liner to go to the cocktail party so she can tell Chris she is leaving. Naturally.
Chris Harrison, obviously still bitter from Farmer Chris canceling the rose ceremony on the last episode, decrees that there will be no cocktail party this time which puts a little kink in Britt’s breakup plan. Just as Farmer Chris begins his stammering and stuttering around she says “Sorry. Can I talk to you for, like, 2 seconds?” You guys. I would have gotten his name tattooed on my lower back, right under Brett’s name, if he would have said “Yes”, got back into the other room and then said “One Mississippi, two Mississippi. Time’s up!”
Of course, he makes horrible decisions so he doesn’t hold her to her 2 second promise and she apologizes for confronting him about giving the group date rose to Kaitlyn. After going on and on and on she asks Chris if he has anything he wants to say to her and we are all on the edge of our seats because, given Chris’s phenomenal grasp of the English language and his legendary, awe inspiring speeches, we know we are about to get schooled here.
“Uhmm…..well…..you see…..I was told you were fake.” Britt is shocked and asks Chris who said that about her. “Was it Carly?” she asks. Chris, being the chivalrous gentleman we know him to be from selling Ashley I up the river, tells her that he won’t say who it was. Never ever. Like, he’s gonna take the secret to his grave. She can’t ever make him tell. Ok, fine. It was Carly.
Chris really plays up this Carly thing as Britt is leaving saying that he is looking for a woman just like Carly, someone who is looking out for him and honest with him and he is just SO appreciative of her, so he sends her home. Logically.
One other thing to not, clearly Britt did not go to the Andi Dorfman school of on screen crying. Bless her heart.
And with that, we are down to the 4 that will go on the famous Hometown dates. This is always a little fun for me to watch because, ya’ll, families can be crazy. We have seen more than once when a person was a front runner and then their family was introduced and the person couldn’t get outta their hometown quick enough. The good Lord knows that if Brett would not have been 16 years old and hadn’t suffered from one to many soccer balls to the head, there is NO way he would have stuck around after meeting my family. This is gonna be good!
First Hometown date is with Becca in Shreveport, LA. She shows up wearing some sort of red, off the shoulder, satin get-up and it’s hard for me to focus in the beginning because I have so many questions about how she decided that was a good choice.
She tells Chris that she is a bit nervous because she has never brought a guyhome to meet her family before and Chris says “Hopefully I can be calm and eloquently express my feelings”. NOT. A. CHANCE.
Back at the Becca Homestead, the whole 40 Year Old Virgin theme explodes as both her mom and sister caution Chris about how delicate and inexperienced Becca is. Her mom tells Chris that they have never seen her hold another guy’s hand and her sister describes her as “not an intimate person”. Gheez. Do they ever talk about anything else in their family? Is it like the topic of every family dinner and discussion in the Shreveport Duggar’s home?
The night ends with Chris taking Becca for a Ferris wheel ride at the State Fair. You know what they say….If the Ferris wheel is rockin’, call 911 cause Becca is a VIRGIN!
Whitney gets the second Hometown date and they go to Chicago to see exactly what it is that Whitney does for a living or as Whitney squeaks out “What do you say we go make a baby?”. Who does she think she is, Claire from Juan Pablo’s season? It’s not that kind of show, Whit.
Chris handles it all like a mature, grown, responsible man and by that I mean he giggles and jokes like a 13 year old boy. He said “I make corn, she make’s babies.” Whitney tricks Chris by making him think that she is going to test his sperm while at the office and Chris is every sort uncomfortable about this. At one point he said that he was pretty confident that “his soldiers are marching”. He’s such a dork.
Chris does meet Whitney’s family later that night and her sister is less than impressed with Chris asking for her blessing to propose to Whitney if he should end up picking her. She basically tells him to call her when he’s not dating 4 other girls and then they can talk about it. Good for her!
The third Hometown date is with Kaitlyn, but if you got up to take a potty break during the show, you probably missed it. They showed very little of it but it seemed to go well and Kaitlyn’s family was really lovely. At the end of the night she surprised him with a billboard that said Kaitlyn (heart) Chris because, apparently, “You can plow the F*^+K outta my field any day” was already taken.
Jade got the 4th and final Hometown date and definitely the most screen time due to the secret that she had to share with him. During dinner with her family, both her father and brother hinted about her less than PG past. Her brother called her a “wild mustang” which I thought was just kinda weird for a brother to say. Her dad told Chris that Jade was the kind of girl that just needed a guy that could “handle her”. Oh, I am sure lots of guy’s have “handled” her pictorial spread in Playboy but that is probably not what he meant.
Later that night, Jade goes with Chris to his Motel 8 hotel room and tells him that she has something to tell him about her past. She describes it as a liberating time in her life when she was just trying to do whatever it was that made her happy.
She goes onto tell him that once she moved to L.A. she was approached to pose for Playboy. You and me both, Jade. The only difference is that one of us said no. Chris barley has a second to process this news before she has her laptop opened and showing him the pictures followed by the video.
Chris is clearly caught off guard and for the first time in the whole show, I actually feel a little bit sorry for him being speechless. He did his best to giggle and look away, but he had to be thinking at that very moment that his “Love Doctor” date with Carly seemed like Burger King and Bowling compared to this.
I, for one, don’t think he should have been all that shocked seeing how she wore those white stilettos to the pool party back at the mansion in the first few weeks, but apparently Farmer’s from Iowa don’t always pick up on that kind of stuff. He tells her that this is not going to affect their relationship but we all know that he is lying out of his perfectly veneered teeth and it is Jade that ends up not getting a rose this week.
Next week is the ever popular Fantasy Suite dates and this always promises to be a fun episode. With the twist of having Becca in the final 3, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Oh wait…you guys probably missed that part where they tell us Becca is a VIRGIN. Well, surprise. She is.
During this episode we get treated to a special “Chris Tells All” episode where he, of course, tells very little. He is his usual, awkward self and stumbles over his words as he chats with Chris Harrison about the season thus far.
We do get to hear from Kelsey who is astounded and perplexed that she is so controversial on the show. At least that is what I think she said, I couldn’t keep up with my thesaurus app.
Chris Harrison asked her if she thought she was smarter than the other women and she said “Yes……I mean no.” He then asked her about her panic attack and asked her if she faked it, “Yes….I mean no”. She explained that she was just flooded with emotion and lost control over her fine motor movements.
She went on to tell that Chris that, as a mental health professional, she understands panic attacks and by mental health professional, I am pretty sure she meant mental health patient.
Oh, and she laughs like the Wicked Witch of the West from Wizard of the Oz. And I might have nightmares about it for the rest of my life. She needs to check her life.
Farmer Chris also offered some insight into Crazy Ashely S, Tara, Jordan and Jillian. Bless their hearts. I’m sure their momma’s are so proud.
And then, in what was probably a prophetic vision for Chris’s future, Andi was back to talk about her heartbreak over the end of her relationship with Josh. I was not the biggest fan of Andi on her season but I did feel really bad for her because it was clear that she truly is broken hearted. And then once I realized that she was sobbing and still looked like she was in the Miss America pageant, I felt slightly less bad.
Suck it up, buttercup.
Once we all step back from the ledge, we find ourselves magically transported back to the Rose Ceremony from last week’s episode. Right off the bat, Megan says the first and last smart thing she has said throughout the ENTIRE season and decides to leave because she just does not see her relationship with Chris being on the same level as the other girls.
Chris Harrison comes into tell the ladies that there will still be a Rose Ceremony and that one more girl will be going home and immediately, Carly is sure it is her and starts crying. She’s as anxious as a one eyed cat watching two rat holes but Farmer Chris just isn’t having any part of this Rose Ceremony nonsense. He grows a set of man plums and puts the kibosh on that insanity and all 6 ladies; Becca, Britt, Carly, Jade, Kaitlyn and Whitney survive to make the romantic trip to Arlington, Iowa.
Apparently there are not any hotels in Arlington which isn’t actually that odd since there are also no restaurants, stores, bars or people either, so the girls stay in Des Moines, IA. Oh, and just as an attempt as full disclosure, I totally had to Google the abbreviation for Iowa. And Kelsey thinks she is a genius. What ev’s.
Jade gets the first one on one date of the night and gets to make the 3 hour trip to Arlington to see Chris’s hometown and boy, is she in for an exotic experience. Except if exotic mean boring.
She is clearly taken aback by the depravity that is Arlington, IA but she does a fairly good job keeping her poker face on and pretending to be impressed.
She gets a tour of Chris’s home and farm land and then he takes her for a ride into town on his Harley. Surprise. TA DA! There isn’t actually anyone there because they are all at the local high school for the Friday night football game.
Let me say this, I grew up in a fairly “small town” by most standards and went to a county school where people drove their tractors to school and football was everything on a Friday night, but Chris’s high school makes my redneck, country bumpkin school look like Eastland from The Facts of Life.
Ya’ll. The cheerleaders were just wearing regular clothes and ¾ of the marching band also played on the football team. Oh, and his mom is the cowbell lady at the games. Good times.
It is clear that Chris is really smitten with Jade and I think she is a super sweet girl, but I just don’t think he will be able to get past her “modeling” career. You know, the one where she forgot to put her britches on. I think ultimately, it’s a deal breaker.
Whitney gets the second one on one date and they spend the day kissing at every possible spot in the city of Des Moines. I wasn’t really sure about Whitney at the beginning of the season and when people in our Fantasy League picked her to be in the final 3 I thought they had been hitting the juice, but now I see it. I think she could be the one and I would totally be ok with that…..if she never spoke again because her voice is like my kryptonite. Honestly, if you tell me she has not been sucking helium, I question your ability to tell the truth.
She gets to meet Chris’s best friends later that night and they have lots of questions for her and she knocks each one out of the park and gives some really great answers. The one question I want to know is what she would plan on doing if she ended up being picked and would move to Arlington. It’s a population of 47, I can’t imagine that there is a big market for fertility nurses around those parts. At least not the bovine kind.
While Whitney is on her date with Chris, the other ladies decide that they really need to see Arlington with their own eyes and take a little road trip and boy, are they impressed. Except the opposite.
They each have a very guttural reaction to the quaintness of the town and each question if they would be able to see themselves in a place that was so desolate. Now might be a good time to think about that. Of course, 6 weeks ago would have been a great time too, but better late than never.
The group date goes to Kaitlyn, Britt and Carly and it is clear from the beginning that there is gonna be some major tension on this date. Carly is totally not feeling Britt and thinks she is totally fake and not right for Chris. You guys. This coming from a grown woman that makes a hand puppet of the girl she thinks isn’t quite the “wifey” type. Of course.
Carly’s contempt for Britt boils over on the date when she decides that she cares for Chris so much that she needs to tell him the Britt is not being honest with him. Chris eloquently responds to Carly’s heartfelt concerns with his usual “Uh…..well…..mmm….ok”.
He confronts Britt about it and she hypnotizes him with her fuscha lipstick and off the shoulder, tube top number from Rainbow and Britt returns feeling confident that they are soul mates and that he is definitely her boyfriend foreva!
Until he gives the group date rose to Kaitlyn and then she goes B*A*N*A*N*A*S. She immediately says she is confused and hurt because she does not want her husband to see her as 3rd or 4th or 5th down the line. She wants her husband to want her back. Well, doesn’t she have a skewed conception of reality TV love? Obviously, this is her first time seeing this show.
Chris, being the poetic wordsmith that he is answers her questions with “Ummm….I don’t know…You……Meh…. Uh…I don’t know what to say”. He’s about as quick as yesterday.
And then we are left hanging as to what happens from there. Monday night’s episode will surely be the most shocking Rose Ceremony ever. Or not. Who even knows at this point?