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

Autumn Color Series: Black

Sunflowers don't usually come to mind when one imagines a dark-colored flower, but when I saw these lovely ones, I decided that I wanted to do a 'black' Color Series post with them. It certainly didn't hurt that there were an array of different flowers also available in the same color. Black is not a color that one would normally pick for a flower arrangement, but I think it is quite elegant. Note: There are very few (if any) truly black flowers. These are some of the ones that come close, and show just how varied some of the color ranges are for certain varieties (e.g. sunflower, calla lily, dahlia).

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Flowers: calla lily, amaryllis, pepper, banksia, dahlia, sunflower, agonis Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Begin with the agonis. The way you place this inside your vase will determine the shape of your arrangement. I love the wispy look of these leaves, and they lends a strong fall look and feel to the arrangement. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Add the calla lily. I concentrated mine to one side, and I think that they can make a better statement close (rather than spread apart) to each other in the vase. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Arrange the dahlia - they are so velvety and rich! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Now add the sunflower - I think of these as the star of my arrangement. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

The peppers are really black and they add great texture. I bunched them together in the front center of the arrangement where I had saved some room. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Now add the banksia. When I saw this at the market, I had no idea it was banksia as it looks nothing like the big colorful flowers I am familiar with. I learned that this is what it looks like at the end of its cycle, and I thought it was quite funky and so just had to use it. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Finally add the amaryllis - these are such a beautiful shade - I just love them! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. Underwood