Back in the Saddle & My British Equestrian Baby Shower

It's a little deflating to realize that I literally haven't updated this website or blog in a year and a half. With all the content sitting on my computer and no end to ideas of subjects to write about, it seems ridiculous that I haven't made the time to sit down and post. But my life changed dramatically over the past two years and it really has taken that long for me to get back to a place of productivity in my career. When I got pregnant, I envisioned one healthy, full-term baby, perfectly well-adjusted, and getting back to work within weeks of delivery with a sweet little babe sleeping on me in a sling and later, playing happily in the flower debris at my feet. I saw people like Sarah Winward on Instagram, toting her baby along with her to do floral design installations in exotic locations, and I absolutely thought that would be my own romantic reality.

Insert REAL REALITY: a traumatizing high-risk twin pregnancy with a surgery at 18 weeks to save the babies from certain death from Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, modified bed-rest post-op until pre-term labor at 27 weeks with a month of hospitalized bed-rest before a scary emergency c-section, the terror of having my premature babies whisked away following birth and one of them having to be resuscitated multiple times before being emergency transported to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, a seizure and other horrible side effects from the drugs I was given for surgery and a very painful recovery, one baby in the NICU for two months and the other at CHLA for 4-1/2 months and the guilt of having to divide my time between them, and then finally having them home requiring round-the clock care as they were both on oxygen and one had a feeding tube, struggling to get them to eat and gain weight as they are still considered "failure to thrive" to this day due to being so tiny... and on and on. Every milestone has been enormous for us and we are blessed with two beautiful, healthy little girls who have NO long-term disabilities despite being extremely high-risk for countless diseases and developmental delays. They are both completely medical-intervention-free as of June, but it has not been an easy journey. (This is the abridged version, if you want more gory details, check out our family blog where I am trying to work through my PTSD using blogging as therapy: The Magic Babies.)

I am finally back in the saddle when it comes to event and floral design work. I did have a limited number of jobs over the past year, and every one of them was incredible-- in fact, I think this past year represents some of my best work ever-- but I am also excited to get back into more regular work. In the weeks and months to come I hope to get some of the dozens of events that I've designed in the past few years posted, in all my free time between designing new events and trying to keep up with my twins! 

I've never posted anyone else's design work but my own on this blog, but I'm making an exception here to share the gorgeous, intimate baby shower that some of my dearest friends threw for me around the time of my original due date last April-- when Brioney had just come home from the NICU and Oakleigh had just turned the corner after being on life support for 2 months. Everything in my life was overwhelming, but it was the first time in months that I was able to take a little break, visit with my friends, and celebrate my daughters instead of being constantly worried about them. Knowing how much I love all things British and tying that in with the fact that the twins were born in the year of the horse, CortnieGiannaSummer and Sarah hosted an exquisite bash full of all of my favorite things: stunning flowers, gorgeous graphic design and calligraphy, delicious tea and scones, pie and champagne, stripes and polka dots, all in a way that perfectly reflected ME and the aesthetics and traditions I plan to share with my baby girls. Many generous "friend-ors" contributed to making this literally the most lovely baby shower I'd ever experienced, and I've listed all of them below. To all of you, thank you for bringing a big dose of sunshine into the stormiest days of my life. I am blessed to have each and every one of you in my life!

The shower was also featured on 100 Layer Cakelet, where you can see more photos and details from the day!

Planning & Design: Cortnie Purdy Fausner, The Venue Report / Gianna SanFilippo, Chic Celebrations / Summer Ball, Grey Likes Weddings  / Sarah Granger-Twomey, Sarah Styles / Photography: Michael Radford / Venue: The Loft on Pine  / Catering: Contemporary Catering / Flowers: Flower Muse / Calligraphy: Victoria Hoke Lane / Horse Place Cards: Mae Mae Paperie / Vintage Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals  / Rentals: Signature Party Rentals / Linens: LaTavola / Pie: The Pie & Beer Club