Recap of 2009

Here’s a little recap of 2009 for us:
  • Went to Kentucky for cousin’s New Year’s Eve wedding
  • Noah was ring bearer- 15 months
  • Visited friends in Cincinnati
  • Nick turned 22
  • Noah said, “I love you” for the first time-18 months
  • Took Noah camping and hiking in Pine Mountain, Georgia
  • Found out we were expecting baby #2
  • Visited Chicago
  • Celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary
  • Nick completed his interior architecture thesis program
  • Found out it’s a girl!
  • Visited Saint Louis
  • Nick began 5th and final year of architecture
  • Noah turned 2!
  • Went to Kentucky for Henninger family reunion
  • Brooke turned 23
  • Noah became Peter Pan
  • Nick finished his second-to-last semester
  • Spent Christmas at our home here in Auburn
It has been a busy year for us as I’m sure it has been for you. We are very excited for what’s coming in 2010. Here’s to a blessed new year!



The new shop is up!… well, it has been for about a week or so now. We started it because we needed something a little more flexible than “babydarling” for any non-baby items we may want to make. So far “HENNstudio” only offers two basic items: fabric bookmarks and pen pouches. You may be wondering what exactly a pen pouch is. It is something I developed about a year ago. Being an architecture student I am very particular about my drawing/sketching/writing utensils and these would fall out of my pocket and be lost, all the time. This pouch keeps my precious drawing utensils in order and together as one manageable unit, like a wallet… and like my wallet I never leave home without it! There are other things we’ve talked about making but we’ll see if we ever get around to it. And the shop is not doing too bad. We’ve had 5 sales – all pen pouches – and all possitive feedback. One person even wrote: “WOW….I couldn’t get my pens in this sweet pen pouch fast enough. You did a beautiful job making it. Great communication and fast delivery. I may have to have another one…it’s so darn cool. Many thanks!”… that was pretty exciting. Here’s a screenshot of my SOLD page.
We’re also in the process of adding some fresh items to babydarling. Just today we had a photo-shoot for a couple new crib sets.  We’ve decided that bumpers might be a little too intense for us to keep making (especially with the new baby on the way), so hopefully these new bumper-less sets will be well received.  Also, authorities on infant-safety now say that bumpers significantly increase the risk of SIDS, so these sets are a great option for those who feel uneasy about crib bumpers.
Anyways, the photo shoot went pretty well.  We rearranged our living room, assembled the crib, borrowed Noah’s mobile and mattress, and turned our little living room into a photography set.  We have more to do tomorrow, but here are the two sets we were able to add to the shop today.
This has been a nice break from schoolwork, but we have so much more to do before baby Olive gets here, including my portfolio and thesis book (that I should be working on right now).  A new baby is sure to slow things down…


Movie Theater First-Timer

Cold, rainy, dreary day=perfect weather for the movie theater.
I had gone out to run some errands this morning in the freezing cold rain, and when I was on my way home I had a thought. We should go see a movie today…at the movie theater. But wait, we’ve never taken Noah to the movie theater. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time Nick and I went to see a movie. I pushed the idea aside as I remembered exactly how much work I needed to get done today. Pulled into the driveway. Went inside. I mentioned the idea to Nick not thinking he would actually go for it, but much to my surprise, the next thing I knew he was looking up movie times on the internet. He listed off a few that sounded great for us but not for Noah. The only thing that was rated G was The Princess and the Frog which we decided would be our best bet. And besides, it looked like it would be cute. So, we ate our lunch, got bundled up, I grabbed our camera (thought we should document Noah’s first time at the movie theater), and off we went.
We figured the theater would be basically empty since we were seeing a showing at 12:35, and we were right. We walked up to the box office to purchase our tickets when the ticket lady said it would be $20.50. I thought to myself, “Man, that’s really expensive, especially for a matinee.” I glanced at the sign and told her that Noah is only 2. She looked back at her manager like “what should I do?” and he mumbled something back to her. They seemed like they didn’t believe me or something. My mind began thinking of how I could prove to them that he’s only 2, and then I quickly told them that I would be happy to use the extra $6.50 at the concession stand, but she offered to just go ahead and give me the cash back. She gave us our tickets and we went inside.
We purposely got there early because Nick said he wanted Noah to have the full movie theater experience and have some time to play in the arcade. So, we ventured into the dark room and the boys tried out all the driving games.
I spotted the photo booth which immediately brought me back to my teenage years. I thought, “How fun would it be for us to have these pictures from Noah’s first time at the movie theater?!” We piled into the tiny booth, pulled the black curtain shut, and tried to figure out this modern version of the photo booth. I don’t remember these things being this complicated. It had like 5 different categories to choose from. Do you want the picture to be in color, sepia, or black and white? What kind of theme do you want? There were more that I can’t remember. Then, to top it off we could only choose the very first thing on the list because the buttons were broken! So we’re preparing to take our first picture out of 4 and we notice that our faces are not on the screen…because the camera is pointing way up high! We quickly half-way stand up all the while trying to get our faces in the frame while it shoots the pictures! Good times. We paid $3 for 2 strips of priceless pictures that say “Season’s Greetings” at the top. I’ll always remember our session in the photo booth.
We still had some time to kill, so I suggested we try the “try and position the claw just right so you can win a hideous stuffed animal” game or something like that. Nick put 50 cents in the machine and worked his magic! I don’t know about any of you, but I have never been able to win anything out of those. Well, wouldn’t you know! God was smiling on Noah’s first visit to the movie theater because we got a funny little panda bear with huge eyes!
Now it was time for us to get our popcorn and a drink and head into the theater. For awhile we were the only ones in there, but a couple of kids with their parents came in a little later. Nothing real exciting to report about the actual watching of a movie because Noah did great! He enjoyed the movie and sat through the whole thing. He was, of course, not excited when the movie was over and we told him it was time to leave. The Princess and the Frog was a cute movie, by the way. And, Noah is officially no longer a movie theater first-timer.


Merry Christmas from the Henningers

Here it is…our 2009 Christmas picture!
It’s been awhile since our last post. Our camera has been in the shop. Thankfully, our good friends let us borrow their camera so we could go ahead and take our Christmas picture. I was 35 weeks in the picture and am now 36 weeks! We officially have less than a month until baby Olive joins our family! Here’s a couple more favorites from the photo session.


Hello December

I welcome this month with open arms! I love that the first day of December is a nice crisp chilly one!  I have to admit that we’ve already had our Christmas decorations up for over a week now. I’m usually not a fan of putting up Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving, but for some reason, this year I was ready. Maybe it’s because I’m in my 8th month of pregnancy and know that with each passing day I’m getting bigger and it’s getting harder to do every day normal activities…
I’m really excited about this Christmas. This will be our first Christmas in our own home here in Auburn! On a side note, I just realized yesterday that it will also be our last Christmas here in Auburn. But, back to the excitement of having our very own Christmas all to ourselves! In the past, we’ve always had to do “our” Christmas early because we’ve split the holidays between our two families, but this year, because I will be only 2 weeks from my due date, we decided it would be best to stay at our own house for Christmas and let the family come to us. I am so excited for Noah to wake up Christmas morning in our own home and get to open his presents!
I’ve already gotten some Christmas cards from some obviously organized friends! Receiving them reminds me that I need to get on that- we’ve done a Christmas card every year since we’ve been married- this will be our 4th Christmas card! We might have to borrow a friend’s camera because our’s broke a couple of weeks ago and we are still awaiting the diagnosis. Getting that fixed might be mine and Nick’s Christmas presents to each other!
I love all of the activities of December too! There’s always so much going on. There are 2 Christmas parades this week…I’m not sure if we’ll make it to both, but we’ll at least get to go to one of them. Next week is our Ladies’ Holiday Tea at church which is always a lot of fun! Not to mention a few Christmas parties and other community holiday activities.
I just popped a couple of snowman marshmallows into my mouth after Noah said, “I want some marshmawows, Mommy” which reminds me that another thing I love about this season is hot chocolate! I’ve got to find me some hazelnut hot chocolate- a friend of mine had some last year and it was absolutely amazing!


The Countdown is On…6 Weeks To Go

Who am I kidding? The countdown has been on since I found out I was going to have another baby! But, now that I only have 6 weeks or less until Olive arrives I am really counting down the days. Mostly because of exhaustion and readiness to have this baby out of me, so my body can go back to normal. And then I remind myself that I’m only going to get bigger and more uncomfortable, experience more symptoms of pregnancy, and then have to go through labor and give birth! I’m really not complaining here because I know that it is truly a blessing to experience pregnancy and have a healthy baby at the end of it all. I guess I would just say that I’m ready…to be not pregnant and be able to breathe, walk normally, sit normally, run (or at least have a skip in my step), not have to pee all the time, and many many other things that you get to do when you’re not pregnant.
This pregnancy has been very different from my first. With Noah, of course, I didn’t have any other children to tend to, so I did a lot of relaxing, reading, watching movies…really, whatever I wanted to- and I wasn’t working. Basically, I just sat around- which I think made the time go by really slowly. I felt like I was pregnant with him forever! And this time around it has been totally opposite. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by! Contributing to that is my full time job of motherhood, wifehood, and my business which has been busier than ever.  I spend a lot more time on my feet which, I think, has caused a lot more ailments with this pregnancy. I’ll spare you all the gory details…
I just read my little weekly email update that I get about the baby’s growth and development, and it said that “now is the time to slow down.” Yeah, right! Now is the time for me to hurry up and finish all my orders that my customers are waiting on before Olive arrives and the real exhaustion sets in! I’m at a crossroads here because, on the one hand, I am so ready to be done being pregnant, but on the other hand I still need some time to finish my orders. So, my sweet little Olive, I guess you will come when you are ready, but my customers will be really happy if I can get them their stuff on time. Oh well, I know it will all work out in the end. Thankfully, I have already had the so called “nesting” instinct- it’s either that or my obsession with organization- and I have already gotten Olive’s little clothes all put away and even went ahead and packed her bag for the hospital- just in case.


A Tid-bit on Architecture

I’ve been meaning to post some architectural design work on here for a while now, so this is at least a start.  Now in my fifth and final year of architecture school I’m currently working on my “thesis” project — “thesis” is in quotations because it is a little different from what it is in other professions.  It is basically an idea/understanding that arises through our investigations on a particular architectural subject matter.  Mine, so far, is about the intentional manipulation of light and perception through boundary (more on that some other time).
The medium of investigation is the design of a building in downtown Montgomery, a once thriving city devastated, like so many, by the advent of the car.  With the car came glorified suburbia, and out went people.  As pedestrians disappeared so did storefronts… empty buildings were torn down for parking lots/garages, and streets were widened to speed traffic.  This left the urban fabric in shambles and pretty unsuitable for pedestrian use.
You can see in this figure ground map of downtown how sparse the street frontage is– pretty much all the blank space (other than the streets of course) is parking.  I color coded the heights of buildings to show the lack of density: the lightest shade represents 1 and 2 story buildings while darker is taller.  Thankfully, now that people are beginning to realize these flaws and the beauty of good urbanism, the city is working hard to revitalize through proper planning.
 In small groups we researched the city and their overarching planning proposals to make our own proposals to revitalize specific portions of the urban fabric.  Out of these proposals came our individual building projects that we are working on for the rest of the year.
Mine (represented by the small orange dot on the map) is basically an observation tower that serves as a terminus for a major street and the backdrop of a new public park/plaza a classmate and I are designing across from the baseball stadium.  Above are  just a couple little images from earlier this semester.


Growing Up

This post is dedicated to my husband. We have been “together” for  7 years now! We started dating in 10th grade in high school, got engaged on November 25th of our freshman year in college, got married the summer after our freshman year (yes, we were only 19), had our sweet baby boy Noah a little over a year later, and will now have our baby girl before Nick is done with his bachelor’s degree! Praise the Lord he graduates this coming May!
We both feel so blessed by God that we were able to get married young. We have learned so much together, and I think that has really created a bond in us that is like no other. Unlike a lot of couples today we literally began our lives together. We didn’t already have careers or jobs or even college degrees. When we got married we were still wondering what we were going to be when we grow up. I mean, Nick knew he wanted to be an architect, but he’d just finished his first year of school. And now, here we are, still just babies in the eyes of many, with babies of our own, but we finally feel like we’re almost there- like we’re almost all grown up! But the thing is, we’ve done it all together, he and I-with God’s hand on us the whole way guiding us.
I thank God so much for my Nicholas. I know this might sound corny, but he’s truly my hero. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him. I don’t want to imagine it because I’m so incredibly happy and blessed.
We’re so excited about where we’re going next- we don’t know yet, but we’re just excited to be on this journey through life together.



front page of etsy

As many of you know, the front page of Etsy always features a set of twelve “handpicked items” chosen from treasuries curated by members of the site.  Our crib set made it to the front on November 1st (this post is obviously a little overdue).  Treasuries are usually based on a theme or color… in this case it was the term “linen.”  The fabric we use is not linen, it is cotton, but fortunately its name “optic blossom in linen” helped us to become part of this set.


Delightful Daddy-Time

noah and daddy
A couple Sundays ago, when we had some fantastic fall weather, Noah and I (Nick) got some of our occasional alone-time while Brooke attended our friend’s baby shower for a couple hours.  We thought about staying indoors sword-fighting and such, but the weather beckoned us to swing on the porch for a while and then to finally take a stroll to the nearby pond.  We took our dog Bella along with us to hang out, admire creation, and, of course, gather acorns and throw some sweet sticks into the water.
noahlittle boy
Noah even got to climb on the fence as we left.  Luckily I thought to bring the camera along to get some handsome pics of little boy.

Cool Threads

h threads
This is just a quick little post to mention a brand new online shop for fantastic fabrics and patterns! They used to have a shop on Etsy, but have just opened their own shop now atHawthorneThreads.com. I have ordered from them numerous times while they had their shop on Etsy and they are great. They have always answered my questions quickly and shipped orders very fast! And, I always refer my customers who are looking for great fabric for a crib set to them because they have an enormous selection of fabric! All in all, they are wonderful. Their new site has some great features too- like how you can search by color or theme or look for great fabric combinations in the bundles section. Their tiered pricing is fantastic if you’ve got a larger order. So, shop Hawthorne Threads!


Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

Noah’s favorite movie right now (which could change in the next week) is Peter Pan. So, naturally, we thought it would be cute to make him a Peter Pan costume for our church’s annual trunk-or-treat as well as the school of arch’s annual Pumpkin Carve.
peter pan
The first thing we found was an old belt from a thrift store that Nick cut down and punched a new hole in so it would fit Noah. We got some green felt material and searched Hobby Lobby for a red feather for the hat. We ended up using the tail feather from a fake bird- it was the perfect size for a tiny little Pan hat. We already had some green pajama pants, and for some last-minute shoes Nick cut up some of his dark brown dress socks to slip over Noah’s brown sandals… and a Peter Pan costume wouldn’t be complete without a sword, so Nick cut one out of cardboard for Noah to stick in his belt.
pumpkin groupPumpkin Carve was a blast… Nick carved the wartiest pumpkin he could find, and Noah had so much fun being Peter Pan that he didn’t want to take his outfit off! He ended up sleeping in it the second night, so I had to hide it from him and be careful not to mention it or I’m sure he would have wanted to wear it to church on Sunday!
pumkin carve


Have You Seen My Keys?

Nick got really tired of looking at my dirty, not-so-tasteful “key fob” (as they’re called), so he decided to help me make a new one. I had bought the old one at the place I get my hair cut just because I thought I needed one- not really sure why I picked this particular one out. . . I guess it was better than the other ones available. It turns out that they really are handy. It makes it that much easier to find your keys in your purse, or you can hook it on your wrist if you’re not taking your purse with you. So, being the super handy dandy husband that he is, he picked out some scrap fabric that we had and figured out how to undo the old one so we could still use the key ring part of it. About 15 minutes later I had a brand new, much more tasteful gadget to hang my keys on!
fab fob
Now Nick’s not embarrassed of my keys, and I have to say that I am a much happier person because of it (he can’t bug me about it anymore). I think my keys are happier too!


The Syrup Sop

This Saturday we attended the annual Loachapoka Syrup Soppin’ Day. For those of you who don’t know, Loachapoka is a very small town a few miles down the road from us. The syrup soppin’ festivities begin at 7 am for those avid syrup fans. We didn’t get a chance to sample any of the syrup this year, but Nick had some with buscuits last year, when we had a booth there, and said it was very good. I grew up in the south (although some don’t really consider Florida the south, even though it is most southern in location) and I had never heard of eating syrup with buscuits! Nick informed me, however, that at his house growing up this was a normal, occasional breakfast choice. While at the Syrup Sop (at it is affectionately referred to around here) one can sample the fine southern cuisine of, well, syrup . . . not only syrup though: boiled peanuts, kettle corn, pepper jelly, fine jams and preserves, and huge honkin smoked barbecue turkey legs! That’s right folks, you can walk around chomping on a whole turkey leg! Classy! I’ll bet they’re really good though- Nick was looking pretty longingly at them.
syrup soppn' chicken
A few of the other activities to witness while at the Syrup Sop are watching the mules give rides to children while they (the mules, not the children) work to crush the cane to make the syrup as well as go visit the chicken show which ran hourly. We didn’t get to see the show, but we did get to see the chickens- which Noah loved!  Noah was also pretty excited about the wooden snake that we got him. We also got little Olive a cute hand-knit beanie from a girl that we bought a scarf and beanie from last year. She now has an Etsy shop called Paradise Knitting.
soppin' purchasesWe had a great time and had planned on visiting the pumpkin patch on our way home, but Noah fell asleep . . . I guess he had fun too!
soppin' nap


Fun Etsy Finds and Trades

Not only am I an Etsy seller but I have also purchased and traded some fun things in the online marketplace for handmade goods. Trading on Etsy is, in my opinion, the coolest thing ever! You can offer your goods and/or services in exchange for someone else’s. Most of the time no money is involved, except in the case where one person’s goods are worth more than the other’s agreed upon item for exchange. The list of items I have traded for include (mostly for little Olive): a baby memory book fromednamaebaby (in exchange for a mobile and two pillows); a tiny bracelet (in exchange for a bib/burp set); stationary and address labels from artsynikki (for a giraffe); and thank you notes from twopoodlepress (for babydarling store credit for the holidays).
When a trade wasn’t convenient I have also purchased a couple of things- a “big bro” shirt for Noah from happyfamily, some cute leg warmers for Olive fromknottybabywear, and little “olive” booties from carameldiezel. I have greatly appreciated those sellers who were willing to do a trade with me and hope that more will be willing in the future!


The Elephant in the Room

This post is sort of an addition to Monday’s post, but I just finished this blanket last night and took pictures of it this morning. This is another custom order for a lady in Illinois. She came to me wanting a blanket for her baby’s nursery and found this fabric from a seller on Etsy. This adorable fabric is hand screen-printed on “yummy natural organic hemp/ cotton” over in Australia by umbrellaprints, and the price tag goes along with it! It is super cute though, and when I had finished the blanket- I have to admit- I really wanted to keep it!


Sweet Extras

In my business I do quite a few custom orders for people.  I enjoy doing these “sweet extras” because it’s a nice change from the usual stuff I make, and it gives us a chance to try out new fabrics that could eventually be added to our repertoire.  It’s also fun to take a few pictures of these special orders, and now I have somewhere to put them! Here are a couple of the most recent ones.
This custom crib set uses some fun fabrics from Joel Dewberry‘s Aviary Collection, most notably the “sparrows” print in almond. These fantastic fall colors were a great break from our usual fabrics.  These giraffes are miniatures of the ones in our shop. They were sent to San Francisco where they will be made into a mobile.


Around the world in 534 days

So the great thing about Etsy is that it can make a really small business pretty big, geographically at least.  Brooke and I (this is Nick) were amazed when we got our first international sales to Singapore and Portugal. Now our international sales list includes the UK, Italy, Germany, China, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada… oh yeah and the bizarre metropolis of Dubai (that happened this morning). We were also excited when we began shipping to fun cities all around the US like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Boston. Finally we decided to map our sales on Google maps… it’s a pretty tedious process that I’ve been doing during my Revit (computer) class.  We’ve had 412 sales on Etsy to date, but I think I’m about two-thirds the way done.  Here it is so far:
Teals are crib sets, purples are mobiles, and magenta is everything else, and if you click on a marker it will say what it was that was sold. I thought about including an image of the sold item, but I don’t have that kind of time. It’s interesting to see where sales are concentrated across the US, mainly around denser cities like New York and LA. If you don’t see your city, purchase something and represent.