Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quilt for Matthew

Pretty much as soon as I found out that my friend Veronica was expecting I was on the hunt for the perfect quilt fabric and pattern. Mom and I were out at a local quilt shop and found a quilt pattern and matching materials to go along with the illustrations in Eric Carle's  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Of course, I picked up a copy of the book to gift along with the quilt. 

As soon as I saw the materials, I knew this was it. So I snatched it up and got down to business. At the time, I realized that I had tons of time yet until Matthew's arrival but I don't like to be in a rush when it comes to these things. This quilt actually took me several weeks to complete, I'm not sure if it was because it was the time of year or just because I was working on multiple projects at the same time. I also got a chance to use my serger for some of this project. 

So here we are:

I assembled the paw prints and the interior rows first. If you look closely at the stitching on the paws, it kind of looks like basbeball stitches. I used my the flat lock stitch on my serger to obtain this look.  

The weather was so nice, I decided to move the entire operation to the patio. I also worked on this quilt while we were on vacation visiting Mr. B's family. This is where I decided to try out my embroidery foot for the first time. It took some getting used to but I liked it. 

 I did a scrappy binding with the leftover fabric. 

I wasn't in love with the back but it's grown on me. 

This quilt is a bit bigger than a traditional baby quilt. I'm hoping to see baby M rolling around on this in a few months. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How To: Cute Little Bibs

In preparation for my besties baby shower this coming weekend, I decided to make these super cute little bibs!

I used the Simplicity pattern 2468  that I have been hanging on to for a special occasion for about a year. I found the buttons and perfect fat quarter bundles of green and orange at Hobby Lobby. Typically, I keep clear of the fat quarter bundles but I didn't feel like hunting around for fabric and was short on time. I used fusible interfacing that I already had on hand and also purchased the yellow ribbon. One change that I decided to make was to add the button holes and ribbon. I felt that the neck hole size wasn't large enough once I would have installed Velcro or a snap.

Like with all of my patterns, I use Swedish Tracing Paper to trace the patterns. I do this so that I don't have to cut the original pattern. Therefore if I ever want to go back and reuse the originals they are there and in good condition. Plus with the tracing paper, you can use the iron on low head to flatten them out. If you are anything like me and end up stuffing the pattern pieces into a bin somewhere, you can easily flatten them out with the iron. 

Overall I would say that these are a great project for a beginner and that they each took me about an hour from start to finish. (Excluding shopping for fabric and buttons. That didn't take long though. Conveniently, there is a Hobby Lobby less than a mile from our house and I happen to know my way around the sewing department.)

I can't wait to see baby Matthew sporting these in just a few months. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What I'm Reading

What I Just Finished Reading:

What Is This Book About? 
This book follows three female soldiers over twelve years through their military careers. 

How Far Am I?
Completed. This book was a little lengthy so it took me a longer than usual to read. I was sprinkling in a few other books at the time so this also could be why.

Do I Like The Book?
Yes, I enjoyed reading this book a lot. I don't know any female soldiers, well I don't really know any male soldiers that are in my age range. It was so interesting to read about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan especially from a female point of view.

Will I Recommend This Book?

What Am I'm Reading Now?

What Is This Book About? 
This book is your typical chick lit Nora Roberts read. I read the first two books in the trilogy and am wrapping it up on this one. This is a quick read and doesn't really leave much to guess about. You can pretty much tell what is going to happen before it does.

How Far Am I?
I'm about 50% through.

Do I Like The Book?
Yeah, I wouldn't read it again. It's one of those books that you keep handy for entertainment purposes. 

Will I Recommend This Book?

Today, I Am Thankful For: A BEAUTIFUL day.

Skin Cancer Fact: 84% of people who are diagnosed with Melanoma are diagnosed at the local stage. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Happiness

A little happiness on a beautiful Sunday.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Little Setback

Mr. B and I lost a pregnancy this week. 

There it's said... I know there is this big unspoken rule (ok so not so unspoken) but either way, it's a society-made rule that you aren't supposed to talk about your pregnancy until after the first trimester. For anyone who has ever been pregnant, you know how hard this is. 

I'm not usually one to stay quiet (about anything) so a few weeks ago when Mr. B and I found out that we were expecting we were beyond thrilled and were semi-open with the news but still cautious. I mean who actually thinks they are actually going to lose a pregnancy anyway. 

Now that i'm thinking of it, I haven't found a better way to say it than 'lose a pregnancy.' Its not like I lost my wallet or something, totally different, but the english language doesn't have a word for this experience.

I'll rewind to earlier in the week, we were floating around on our cloud of happiness when all of the sudden I started feeling the way that you aren't supposed to feel when you are pregnant. (You know, typical monthly lady-time symptoms when I should have really been 'throwing up happiness') I don't know what women did before the internet. Thankfully for me, I live in a time where I can type my symptoms into google and it tells me, well gives me an idea, of what's happening. It's the power of 'The Googs'

So anyway, my lady-time symptoms continue to progress to a not so good place and we were mentally preparing ourselves for miscarriage. Or so I thought. We went to the doctor to get things checked out and learned that our pregnancy was an ectopic pregnancy and also that I have a double uterus. (aka.. my double rainbow)

First things first, we had to have the ectopic addressed before it had an opportunity to cause any further complications. So, the doctor sent us over to the hospital for surgery to remove the pregnancy, which also removed part of my fallopian tube. Hopefully the other one works, we aren't completely sure yet but there's no reason that it wouldn't. I was discharged from the hospital the next day and have been couch-boating my way to recovery since. 

Mr. B has been wonderful, he not only experienced the entire world of women's health in a few short hours, but held it all together so I didn't have a complete meltdown. 

So what's next.. for now.. 'Park's Closed Folks.'

This is how I feel too. 

I think that i'll have to move my secret maternity and baby pinboards to the back burner and just hang out for a bit to recover. We will have to address my double rainbow and are working on finding a doctor to help us do that. This will likely require another procedure and includes lots of questions about the future of our fertility. 

I think the worst part is going to be the waiting.  

Today, I am thankful for: Mr. B and our very supportive family and friends. 

Melanoma fact of the day: This week, there was another new drug, called Keytruda, approved by the FDA for advanced stage melanoma patients. It makes me happy to read about treatment progressions for this disease. One day there will be a cure. :-) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sew, Sew Sewing..

My goodness it's been so long since I've given you an update on what I've been sewing. If we are being honest here, it's because I haven't really taken any pictures of my projects. So I thought that I would take some time to give you an update. If you don't care about my sewing adventures then this probably isn't the post for you. 

  • Blue Tshirt & Purple Surplice Dress
This shirt was part of my Craftsy Sewing with Knits class. I mentioned that I signed up for this class a few months ago and have been working through the projects over the summer. I definitely recommend a Crafsty class or project if you're into that stuff.  I followed the patterns and instructions completely for both of these projects. I've worn both since I've completed them and am super happy with how they turned out. 

  • Blue Weekender Dress
This dress was also from Craftsy. I whipped it up in just a few hours. I would recommend this for anyone who loves to wear cotton dresses. I decided not to add the orange to the bottom of this dress. I'm also happy with how this one turned out. One thing that I definitely like better about sewing clothing with knits rather than woven materials is that knits are way more forgiving. 


  • Two Place mats 
While we were visiting Mr B's family this summer I was introduced to this great fabric shop where things got a little crazy. Anyway, I brought home a bundle of summery fabrics. I decided to make two place mats with some of the fabric. I plan to gift these. I didn't have a pattern for these. 

  • Quilt for baby Matthew
This I am not ready to share until after I give present the quilt to his mommy. Stay tuned. 
  • Fixed a few things here and there
  • New Additions to the sewing room 
I got this sweet serger bag and a piping and elastic foot for the serger. Can't wait to use them for future projects. 

Thanks for going on this crafting adventure with me. I've got lots of project waiting in line and am excited to share them! 

Today, I am thankful for: Ever feel so happy that you want to burst and tell share your happiness with everyone? That's how I feel today. So i'm thankful for that.

Melanoma fact: Thirty percent of all melanoma in men arises on the back—it is important to ask your doctor to examine your skin carefully for atypical moles.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

7 Lessons We Learn From Our First Love

Recently I was perusing the interwebs and stumbled on: 7 Lessons We Learn From Our First Love. Often times you hear songs or see movies that are written about breakups but it's less often that you find stories of relationships ending by death. Even less common are stories of young widows and widowers. 

For several months after Ryan died, I would hear love songs or love stories and they all seemed to focus on a broken heart but from a breakup. I just figured that most younger people had not experienced what I was going through. Sometimes I would find myself trying to connect with those breakup stories or songs but it never felt like a good fit. 

So to my surprise, reading this article today some how kind of connected with me. Ryan was my first love, we just experienced all of these things in a shorter than usual period of time. ( I was really lucky to have a 7 year relationship with my first love. )

Anyway, this one was my favorite. 
7. You Will Love Again, And It Will Be Even More SpecialThere are those moments after you break up with your first love where you believe you will never love again. How could you? You just left the one person you loved more than yourself, and there’s no possible way you will find that again. Eventually, as your heart heals, as you begin to love yourself more, you find your second love. And, unimaginably so, it is the perfect blend of everything you expect from love. TC mark
Now, you'll have to read between the lines to see the connection. So, Ryan and I didn't exactly break up in the sense that this is referring. His life ended and mine continued, whether I liked it to or not, it did. With a break up, you always run the chance of seeing the person pop up on your Facebook newsfeed or running into the person at the grocery store. Well, not so much in my situation, in fact, while people who are working through breakups might wish that these things didn't happen, widows/widowers often find themselves wishing that these situations did happen. 

I remember grasping at straws in hopes that I would see or feel Ryan's presence. It was exhausting and can at times be consuming. I remember at night before bed I would try to fall asleep wishing that I would dream of Ryan. Unfortunately for me, it almost never happened. 

There is also truth to the line that speaks to thinking that there is no possible way that love will find you again. If there was a club for people who believed that love would never find them again, I would have been the captain. The part about finding a second love that is a perfect blend, I couldn't feel more connected with that line. 

I am so thankful everyday that I have Mr. B and have had Ryan in my life. I think about Ryan each and every day, while these memories aren't always happy memories, i'm finding that the happier I am with my life, the more that I am able to focus on the happy memories that Ryan and I shared. 

Some people go through life never really knowing what love feels like. I'm so glad that I took a leap and declined renewing my membership in the 'Never find love again Club'.  My life is so full, despite the heartbreak that still burns in my heart every day, love has helped to make me into the person that I am. And when I say burn, some days it's more like a bee sting and on others, it feels like I've been hit by a bus. But hey, aren't the best moments in life found after struggle?