I love sitting in my baby's nursery and I smile when I think about how much more time I will be spending in there once he is born.
It wasn't always like that and its not just because of "pregnancy hormones" (promise).
My favourite part of my baby's nursery was not bought on Etsy or a little hipster shop around the corner in Brooklyn. Above my baby's crib-to-be are 26 hand painted and decorated letters of the alphabet, each with a personalized note on the back for our son, made by a group of my best male and female friends.
One of my favourite things about living in NYC is having an incredibly diverse and amazing group of friends that have become our extended family. We are the first of our close friends to have children and they are equally excited about adding a little boy into "the family."
However, there's only so much that they want to hear about the different types of changing pads that exist (I don't blame them) and there's only so long I can get them to look at my Pinterest board before eyes start to glaze over. I wanted to find a way to connect my friends to all the planning and decisions I was starting to make, including the details of decorating the nursery.
I liked the aesthetic of these wooden letters from Land of Nod, and a crafty-friend-of-mine made a quick observation that I could recreate them for much cheaper using paper mache letters from "any craft store." We were sharing a lunch on her sofa when we had the "aha" moment - what if *we* made them. At my baby shower. Each guest could "do a letter", and finish it with a note on the back welcoming our son to this world.
I had to realize that some of my friends were probably not going to be as enthusiastic about this as I was. I also had to let go of controlling what the end product looked like (a learning experience for a control-freak). To top it off, my baby shower was co-ed, so I was half expecting a few of the men to politely bow out of the task. I pre-painted the letters to avoid a mess at the restaurant, brought a handful of black sharpies, lots of beer, and let my guests at them: the emphasis being on writing the letters for our baby on the back.
The results exceeded my expectations and I was blown away by how much my friends got into it. Sure, some of them weren't the "most artistic" and a few people didn't quite follow "the rules", but the notes on the back were truly the icing on the cake. Some made us tear up and gave us goosebumps, and some made us chuckle outloud. Needless to say, putting them up on the wall was one of the most fun "nesting" nights my husband and I have had during the pregnancy. Each time I look at them up on the wall I think of all the amazing secret notes that our little boy will one day read.
(Bonus: every time a friend comes to our apartment they look for their letter up on the wall, and feel connected to the nursery)