Tag Archives: birthday

Create A Cute Felt Owl

It’s so easy a ten year old can do it.  We celebrated Ella’s double-digit birthday last week.  She wanted a small sleep over with two of her besties.  I thought about things that we could do for party fun now that they are 10.  They are young enough not to be distracted by social media – thank god, but too old for traditional party games.  So we settled on a craft with Ella’s owl obsession as the central theme.

Felt Owl Craft

Here is what we used for each owl:
4″ styrofoam ball
28 mm googly eyes
mini glue guns
3 different colors of felt rectangles (plus one piece of brown for beak and ears)
This template ( though we deviated for the feathers).

I used the instructions on this site, which was very useful and deviated when it came to cutting feathers to save time as I was cutting felt for the three girls and myself.

Tip:  I cut out the felt prior to sitting down with them to create and glue.  I also bought little glue guns ( I picked them up at Micheal’s for less than $5 a piece) for each girl.  It saved me time and any discussion about who got to use the one and only glue gun.

1. Press your styrofoam ball against a flat surface to create a flat bottom.  It will keep your little owl from rolling away.

2. Print out your template and cut out each piece.  First, cut out the feathers.  In the template the feather is #3, but this is where we did our own thing to save time.  In total, you will need about 50 feathers per owl.  To save time, we used a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut the feathers.  We cut them into a diamond shape and made them about the same size as the template feather.  It was much faster to use the rotary cutter rather then scissors.  Some of the girls used two colors for the belly feathers and one color for the back feathers.  Some used two for the back and two for the belly.  It’s up to you to get creative.

3. Stagger and glue on the feathers on top of one another starting at the bottom of the ball and working your way up until you have almost reached  the the top of the styrofoam ball. You don’t have to cover the ball entirely since there will be a cone shaped head covering (#5).

Felt Owl Craft

4.  Cut out the felt for pieces #1, #2, and #5 from the template as well as the brown felt for #4, which will be the beak and the ears.

5.  Glue the small eye piece #2 onto the large eye piece #1.  Next glue on the googly eyes.

6. Glue one of the felt brown triangles (#4) for the beak directly to the ball and center it.  Then pinch wide part of the last two brown triangles together at the base with some hot glue. You will have to decide where you want the ears before gluing on the eye pieces.  Once you have decided, glue the ears to the ball and then glue on the eye pieces make sure everything is looking anatomically lined up for your round little owl.

7.  Lastly, glue your cone shaped felt (#5) and center the tip of the cone shaped felt  between the eyes making sure to cover up any bald spots not covered by your feathers.

Good Luck!



10th Birthday

Counting Backwards

This week Ella turned ten. I have been thinking about this double-digit milestone for a few months. She keeps growing taller and a few days ago, asked if she could read The Hunger Games. It makes me realize that in a few short years I will be the parent of a teenager. Then I stop and remind myself that she still plays make believe with her friends and sometimes can be found mothering a baby doll.


Some of the most significant memories of my Mother are of those years when my older sisters where teenagers. I remember seeing her struggle with parenting and even though I did not know all the details, I remember knowing that it was hard for her. As I transformed into a teenager myself she transformed into my unreasonable mother. I was now the center of my own universe.

When I was 21, I flew home from Colorado to spend Christmas with my family. It was on this visit that I realized my teenage self was morphing into a young adult. It felt good to hang out with my mother in this new chapter of my life. I found a new appreciation for her and I sensed she felt the same. As I packed to return back to school she started to cry. It caught me a little off guard because by this point she was used to seeing me come and go and our good byes usually resembled those of two people parting for the weekend.

Why are you crying? I asked. We are going to see each other again in May.

I just hate saying good-bye to my children, she said.

May is right around the corner, I said.

My mother was experienced with the comings and goings of her grown children. On prior visits she couldn’t wait to see us, but then sometimes I think by the end she couldn’t wait for us to leave. I like to think this visit was different. We liked each other again and I had arrived as an adult.

Maybe she knew that we were not going to see each other again. Maybe a part of her knew that this would be it. She died that March.

As I count backwards on my first ten years as parent of young children and contemplate my future with teenage girls, I wonder what it would be like to mother with my own mother at my side. I miss the advice she would deliver, the advice I would heed and reject, the stories of her own mother and the chance we missed to be friends again beyond that one Christmas visit. She gave me the best and worst parts of myself and for that I am grateful.

She is still with me, though mostly in the quiet of the night when I am reflecting on the defeats and triumphs of the day. She is in the deepest parts of my soul and sometimes it is her voice that escapes my lips. Each day on this journey as a parent more is revealed to me about my mother even though she is not here to answer the questions, give me advice or defend her choices. I judge less and understand more. She is my mother, totally flawed and perfect at the same time.  She made a path for me as her mother did for her.

As I close out a decade of being a parent, I realize that now more than ever I am contributing to the path that the mothers before me created. I am shaping and planting and trying to make a beautiful foundation for my girls. I want to skip more and trudge less. I want there to be laughter and grace, but mostly I want to pass on the love that I still feel from my mother 20 years after her death.

At Winter Park with the Family


My coffee was not tasting good. My mind was preoccupied with why I was not feeling well when I was in, what should have been, a happy place.  I stared at the pancakes on the griddle and at my third attempt at coffee, my usual elixir for eliminating the morning woes  – I knew.  My heart started pounding a little faster and the task of making breakfast for my family and friends overwhelmed me.  I had suspected all week long that this might be the case, but the failed attempt at coffee sealed the deal. We were in Cape May, NJ on a combined effort of relaxing, while at the same time spending time with all the people we love back east.  I turned to my dear friend, Missie, and asked her to tell Darren that I was going to get sunscreen.  She looked at me a little funny because we were at her beach house and beach houses usually have an ample supply of sunscreen.  I jumped into our rental car and zoomed away in search of the nearest pharmacy.
This was not supposed to happen now.  Ella and Jules were accomplished at self sufficient things like making a bed and getting dressed on their own. Kesley and I were weeks away from launching Logically Local, a small business that would encourage people to shop locally.  (I did not link to it because it no longer exists.  A post for another day). The pins I had carefully dropped on the map for the next year of my life had suddenly disappeared and I was now in the abyss of blue to the east with no inner tube.  It was hard to breathe.
The feelings of this day seem like yesterday and a lifetime ago.  I used to feel slightly guilty about recounting my first trimester pregnant with Liam, but I know now that the events played out as they should have and his coming into this world, though surprising and derailing were nothing less than perfect.  He is a reminder that even well designed plans can implode, but when the shock subsides and the dust settles the universe has presented you with a more beautiful plan then you could have imagined.
This weekend we celebrated Liam’s third Birthday along side of my dear friend and ex and future business partner, Kelsey, who turned 39.  Logically Local may be no longer, but we will launch another when the time is right and put the education gained from our first attempt to great use.  Stay tuned.
Three years is crossing the chasm between baby and big boy.  He is longer and less squishy.  You can understand absolutely everything he says and he is almost too heavy to put on my shoulder to bounce to sleep (though it still works).  I know it will be okay though.  We will move on and celebrate the new stuff.
This weekend, for the first time, we skied as a complete family unit.  We rode up the chair lift together. The girls encouraged him the whole time letting him know that they had missed him on the mountain when he was a baby, but he had finally arrived.  He was so proud.
Almost 3!

Almost 3!

Liam Lego Plane

Lego Love.

Liam Lego Plane

“Native” Baby.


Lego Cupcakes (decorated with love).

Three Candle



Some of our Village.

Some of our Village.


Sharing with Kelsey

Celebrating with his “other” mama, Kelsey.

Big Boy on the Mountain

Big Boy on the Mountain.