The importance of family is felt even more keenly when you start your own and Rachael wanted to surround her daughter with family, or at least photos of them. She shares: Sylvia's bedroom was intended to keep her as close to our far-away family as we could. My family lives only a few hours away, but most of my husband's family lives in France.
For years and years I've imagined a twirly, swirly tree stretching over our baby's crib, covered with pictures of us, our parents, and grandparents to make the tree a real, live family tree. We ordered the tree decal from Dali Decals and it came with little matching birdie decals. Once the tree was on the wall, I decided it was too pretty to cover up with the pictures I had collected (in white Ribba frames from Ikea), so I took the pictures and the birdies to the opposite wall, behind.
I don't know what I love more - the tree or the collage of pictures. Okay, it's the collage of pictures. When Sylvia was a newborn and I had to feed her during the wee hours of the night, barely able to remember where I was or what I was doing, I would rock beneath our family photos and soak up all kinds of strength, love and warmth from our family surrounding us. Now that she's ten months old, (and sleeping through the night - yippee!) she loves to look up at the photos during the day while she laughs and waves at the familiar faces.
Since my husband's family is French, I wanted to add as many French touches as I could. On the back of her door she has a fabric French calendar, which I bought during my high school exchange program many, many years ago, and which provided the inspiration for the green walls. I thought big white stripes and a pretty white chair rail would really do the trick, and soften the bright green color of the walls. Above her changing table there is a colorful print of Paris that I found on our last trip to visit family. I display a few of her French board books on top of her bookshelf. Our friends gave us a sweet print of a bunny, labeled "Mon Petit Lapin," and it hangs next to Sylvia's crib. One favorite item (not pictured) is her soft pink "Dou Dou," or French lovey bunny that she sleeps with every night. She also listens to plenty of French lullabies from the iPod station next to our glider.
Sylvia loves her bedroom. She falls asleep each night dreaming of familiar faces. I think I love her bedroom almost as much as she does. It makes me feel like we're not very far away from them at all!
Thanks Rachael! Readers you can find Rachael and Sylvia at Living the Dream.
(Images: Cassie Stokes)