Humans with Bouquets: The Bacquets

My sister-in-law, Kassi and her husband Dan have 5 kids - Tyler, Tannyn, Tayli, Traxler, and Tavvi. That's a lot of kids. They are the Bacquets. Bacquet Family

Today's post is very near and dear to my heart, not only because the Bacquets are my family, but because I think of them as champions among us. Life has its ups and downs for everyone, but I think that some of us are dealt a tougher hand than the rest. Almost two years ago Kassi and Dan were given the gift of beautiful fraternal twins (a boy and girl), and what could be better than that, right? But there was a catch, their baby boy (Trax) was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis a few days after birth. For those of you who aren't familiar (as I wasn't), Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a fatal genetic condition that affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and pancreas. Especially tough is that Trax is a normal, active toddler, as the disease is not externally apparent.

Having been with the Bacquets for 2-3 days at a time and seeing their life up close and personal, it is apparent how much CF has touched upon every aspect of their life and changed it in many ways. Even with health insurance, medical bills are a huge issue, as insurance doesn't cover all of the necessary treatments. I would say that on average, Trax's CF treatments occupy 2-3 hours of their lives every day - and when you have 5 kids, that is a lot of time to spend on just one. However, they have taken it in stride, and their faith, sense of humor, and the love that they have for their family and each other remains strong!

I honestly don't know how I could ever cope with having to worry about every little fever that creeps up, a minor cold, or a cranky baby who doesn't want to be connected to a machine 3 times a day for 30 minutes - while still having to be a parent to four other kids.

Don't let these incredibly adorable tiny faces fool you, they can destroy you! The last time we visited it was about a month and a half ago, and one afternoon Trax cried non-stop for an hour. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Let's just say that we had an array of different flowers for our shoot, but both Tavvi and Trax were much more into my watering can... Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

With everything that Kassi has to do every day of her life as a mom to 5 kids, she is a put-together and stylish mom! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

And this guy, well he doesn't need an intro - the photos speak for themselves! I've known Dan for 13 years, and he still remains one of the funniest guys ever! He makes me laugh like no one does. My kids love him as their uncle Dan, and he is easygoing, patient, and fun - as well as a great dad. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

For more of Kassi's story, please check out this interview on Design Mom. For more information about Cystic Fibrosis, please check out the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by Nathan Underwood

Beautiful Begonia

I recently did a wedding where the bride wanted me to create lush garden arrangements with a unique element. I immediately knew that I wanted to use begonia once I set foot inside our local nursery and saw the variety of begonias oozing with beauty. I know that some of you on Instagram mentioned that begonias don't last in arrangements for you, but somehow I haven't had that problem. Perhaps, it's because I cut directly from the plant and into my arrangement. In any event, I really really love them in all shapes, sizes, and colors - and I would not hesitate to use them whenever I can. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: N.R. Underwood / nruphoto.com

Flowers: begonia, magnolia, garden rose, peony, fuscia, snapdragon, bower vine, privet, birch, grapevine Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: N.R. Underwood / nruphoto.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: N.R. Underwood / nruphoto.com

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N.R. Underwood

Unique Vessels: Floral Chest Extravaganza

Filling a chest of drawers (aka dresser) with flowers is a fun and eclectic way to create a real statement piece. For this project, you can use any dresser - it doesn't have to be old or unused, as no damage will come to it. I chose a white one, as I really wanted the bright colors to pop. This would be great for a party, and I could imagine several of these at an eclectic event. It would also make an amazing surprise for a close friend or relative (so long as you are willing to sneak in and hijack one of their dressers). It may seem like a lot of flowers, but the total cost was around $40. It is also a relatively quick project, taking only 15-20 minutes (once my husband and I hauled the dresser upstairs). Give it a try!

Flowers: dahlia, zinnia, lisianthus, snapdragon, plum, garden annuals

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

I really love the color of this dahlia, and think they are gorgeous as they are opening Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

I added these colorful knobs - much better than the plain white ones Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

A three-drawer chest works best for this, and any vases you desire for the surface Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

The bottom two rows are oh-so-simple - just keep the flowers in their pots/containers. You can put down a shallow tray, or make one with aluminum foil if you are worried about moisture leakage Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

For the top row, shallow rectangular vases can be used. The top drawer is only opened about 2 inches - just enough for the dahlias to stick out Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

So bright, and so much fun! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. Underwood