Monday, October 19, 2009

My 3 Day Journey

EVERYONE DESERVES A LIFETIME was the motto for our Susan G. Komen walk.

It was such an amazing experience. I haven't processed it all, but I do know I'll walk every year for as long as my body will let me. I had the privilege of walking with an amazing group of women. Our team, Big Buoys, raised $30,000!

Many things inspired me on my journey: the sons' walking for their mothers, the sisters' walking for each other, and the people walking because they must - because if they didn't, who would?

The photo above was part of the opening ceremony at National's stadium. As the sun was rising, survivors formed a circle and held these inspirational banners to remind us why we were walking. Yes, those are bunny ears - Energizer was a sponsor for the walk.

Our Team

Laura, Wendy, Jennie (our captain & 2nd year walker), Christy (Jennie's mom, 2nd year walker & SURVIVOR), Me, Sarah (SURVIVOR), Heather O. (our captain & 2nd year walker) and Heather M. (my roommate and mommy to be).

Here we are at one of the pit stops. This event was so well organized - no detail was missed. The route was incredible. We walked all around Washington, DC, which brought back some incredible memories for me!

These were two of my favorite volunteers! They were full of life and always motivated us to keep walking. There were hundreds of energetic and caring volunteers cheering us along the entire route.

The closing ceremony was incredibly moving. The same survivors from the opening ceremony formed a circle, but his time a family member joined them and held up the flag in the center which read, "To A World Without Breast Cancer".

Here we are at the finish. On a very small scale, this walk was a lot like pregnancy. You start off all excited and giddy - can't wait to pick out cute maternity clothes and eat Big Macs!

You start feeling a little uncomfortable and have to pee all the time. Then you go into excruciating back labor and swear you'll never get pregnant again.

They place that baby in your arms and the pain subsides - joy and pride feel your heart and you can't wait to do it again!

Thank you all so much for your support. I'd also like to thank Bob and Mary Ann, my mother in law. Honey, you did an awesome job with the kids! Thanks for already putting it on your calendar for next year!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pink Ribbon Fabric Flower Pins

I leave in 2 days for my 3 day walk for a cure. Our team, Big Buoys, has raised over $25,000 for Susan G. Komen.

There are 8 ladies on my team. I haven't met some of them, but I think this shared experience we are about to have will forever change and connect all our lives.

I wanted to make a little something for them to wear as they make their journey. These pink ribbon flower pins can be worn on their hats, tanks or fanny packs. Just a small gesture to let them know how thankful I am to them for their commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer.

Check out Kimba's for more DIY projects.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Open For Business

I took the plunge. I opened an Etsy shop. I must be crazy.

Those two ladybugs are in honor of Ellie & Kate as is the name EK Designs

I have a few things listed. I'll be adding some Halloween things this week.
Come Visit!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Simple Chair Update

I'm slowly getting some projects done around the house. Here's the before picture.

I've had the fabric for months.

It's was just a matter of locating the staples and the staple gun at the same time.

In the amount of time it took for Max to prove to Ruby, once again, that he knew what he was doing . . . I was finished with all six chairs!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hello, Anyone Out There?

Bob just pointed out that I haven't posted in a long time. I've been wanting to, but just haven't had too much to say. So here's a brief update of sorts.

Our summer was fast & furious. We got in some great family & beach time! Bob and I even had an opportunity to celebrate our 10 year anniversary . . . . alone . . . for two nights thanks to Doll Doll and Grandma!

I've raised $1800 for my 3 day walk in October - only $500 left to go! If you'd like to donate, you can click here. If you've already donated - THANK YOU! Our team of seven has raised over $22,000 to help fight breast cancer!

Davis starts afternoon preschool today - we're hoping for a smooth detox from the Wii and legos. This will be my first experience with a carpool line, so that's exciting! Meg will do preschool and couple of afternoons, ballet and art class. Kale will continue to require 100% supervision and melt my heart on a daily basis.

I'm working on a few projects I'll post about soon involving fabric and wallpaper removal . . . the last of the wallpaper in this house!!!

Take care. I hope to be back soon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Self Portrait of a 4-Year Old

What happens when you let a 4- year old use a digital camera?

You end up with 124 photos similar to this one!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


3,214 . . . the number of miles I've driven in the past six weeks.

124 . . . the number of times Davis hummed the "Star Wars" theme song on the drive home.

1,298,212 . . . the number of grains of sand brought back to Maryland from the beautiful Florida beaches via shoes, luggage and little bodies.

92 . . . the number of sunscreen applications I administered while on vacation.

6 . . . the number of new teeth Kale decided to grow on our trip.

We had a great southern vacation.  I'm glad to be home and hope to catch up with blogging very soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


He loves his sister's hot pink crocs.

And she's okay with that because they're too small for her now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tri-State Tour

We leave in a few days for our summer vacation. We'll be spending time in Georgia, Florida and Alabama over the next 6 weeks.

We're looking forward to seeing family and friends. Bob and I will even have a weekend at the beach sans children (thanks to a dear friend's wedding)!

Hopefully I'll get to check in a little while we're away.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Giving Handmade

This past weekend we went to a birthday party.  Happy Birthday, Scarlett!  We had a great time!

I loved how Meg's apron dress turned out and wanted to make one for little Scarlett.

Of course, at the last minute I decided I needed to have a cute little bag to wrap it in.  I found this great tutorial for a reversible patchwork bag.  I see lots more of these bags in my future.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

From T-shirts To Throw Pillows

My aunt, Andrea, visited a few weeks ago. She brought up a couple of her favorite old t-shirts and wanted me to make pillows out of them.

Side note: Have I mentioned "To Kill A Mockingbird" is one of my favorite books
(I know so original for a southern girl). Have I mentioned the author, Harper Lee, was a Chi Omega at The University of Alabama, and I met her during Homecoming week.

I love pillows. I used this as an opportunity to learn a new skill - making and sewing piping onto a pillow. I searched YouTube and found some great videos on how to make your own piping.

I hope you like them, Andrea. See you later this summer!

If you think you might want to try these, prep the t-shirts by ironing on some feather-weight interfacing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Fancy Camera

Bob gave me this fancy camera for Christmas. To date, I've used it once.

On Christmas Day.

My goal is to spend the next few days figuring it out. I thought sewing had a lot of terminology I'd never heard before.

But Aperture?

Wish me luck. I'm hoping this DVD will help.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Husband's Heart

My husband has a good heart. It's not sappy or romantic. It's not full of fear or anxiety.

It's just good.

Many times after we lost Ellie and Kate I wondered if he was angry at me. If somewhere deep in his soul he held me responsible for taking his little girls away from him.

He didn't.

I wish I could say I would've handled the situation the same. That I would've never questioned or wondered if he could've done something different to keep them safe.

Even when his heart was broken it was good.

Photo by Madolina

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Quilts in Progress

I love quilts. I love that I (almost) know how to make something I can give to my kids and they can give to their kids.

I'm really great at starting a quilt. Finishing . . . not so much!

I have four in the works right now. I haven't finished one yet, mainly because I haven't learned how to bind them. I'm hoping to get help with that this week in sewing class.
Warning: This post contains multiple pictures of quilts. If you're not a fan, you may not want to read further.

This is my first quilt. I followed along Crazy Mom Quilt's quilt along to learn how to do it. It's called a sampler quilt - a little more traditional than I like, but I learned a lot of different techniques and patterns. I know it's hard to see the fabric, but it's very "girlie". It has lots of flowers, hearts and teacups. My hope is to finish it for Meg before she goes off to college.

These are the first of my 9 patch blocks for Crazy Mom Quilts: One a Day Quilt Along. The idea is to sew one block a day, but I've found it's easier for me to do a few in one sitting. Days can go by before I have a chance to get on the sewing machine, so I do it when I can.

So far this is my favorite! It is called a Disappearing Nine Patch. There's a great tutorial for how to do one here. I'm hoping to add more to this one to make it a twin size - not sure for who. The fabrics are from the Wee Play line.

This is a quilt for my nephew, Nate. It's more like a quilted play mat. It's the closest one to being finished - all I have left is to sew on the binding. I thought I was basing this one on the Disappearing Nine Patch, but when I reread the directions, I realized it's not. I like it anyway and hope he will, too.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Do Phases Have Time Limits?

People tell me it's just a phase.

The defiance. The back talk.

Please tell me it will end. I'd like to unclench my fists and release my jaw!

Friday, April 24, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday - Volume 1

My friend, Megan, introduced me to a great blog, Conversion Diary. Every Friday people link up and share 7 things they have taken away or are thinking about from the week. I thought it sounded like a fun thing to try.

1. With the right tool, even a toddler can pitch in around the house. He walked around with this Swiffer all afternoon. He even wanted to take it to bed with him. He was not happy when I pried it out of his chubby little fingers.

2. If you look closely at the picture above you'll notice that's not a sock on my Swiffer. I have gotten lazy with my green efforts and plan on jumping back on the wagon next week. Keep an eye out for the revival of Three R Thursdays.

3. It's been raining a lot. I was beginning to get a little down on the rain and ready to hurt the next person that said "April showers bring May flowers". Then I saw these blooms. Sorry rain - you don't have to go away - just try to avoid Mondays and Wednesday so my child can play soccer. Thank you.

4. It gives me great satisfaction to buy clothes for the kids at consignment stores. It really is worth looking on a regular basis to see what you can find.

5. Even though preschool only lasts 2 1/2 hours, I will totally miss it tomorrow when school's out for a professional day.

6. I'd like to get better about praying when things are good. I've become very experienced at reaching out for God when things are difficult. But life is good, and I need to be more generous with my prayers of thankfulness.

7. All it takes is one little play date with a good friend to make you remember how important relationships are. I've always had wonderful women in my life. I want to work harder to nuture those friendships.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Breast Cancer Screening Methods

First, I'd like to thank my dear friend Ilene for my very first donation. I no longer have a goose egg by my name! Ilene has a fun blog you should check out, The Ferret Online.

Training's going well. I logged 18 miles last week and am hoping for 25 this week.

Help me reach my goal for the Washington, DC Breast Cancer 3-Day!

Last week we talked about some of the risks for breast cancer. I have a few red flags on that list, but I can't have a mammogram until one year after I finished breastfeeding Kale. I'm off for my yearly check-up today and will definitely have a clinical check. Below are three methods used to screen for breast cancer:

Mammogram — A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. It is done with a special X-ray machine designed for this purpose. The picture is stored on film (standard) or into a computer (digital). A mammogram can find many cancers before they can be felt.

Clinical breast exam — A breast exam by a health care provider should be part of your regular medical checkup. If it is not, ask for it. A clinical breast exam includes a visual examination and carefully feeling the entire breast and underarm area. If you are 40 or older, schedule your mammogram close to the time of your clinical breast exam.

Breast self-exam (BSE) — Is a tool that may help you learn what is normal for you. BSE includes looking at and feeling your breasts. Many women have a pattern of lumpiness in their breasts, which is normal. But if you feel any change or a new lump in your breasts or underarms, ask your doctor to examine the area. (For step-by-step BSE instructions, go to

Believe it or not, the best time to check for breast cancer is when your breasts feel fine. If you find cancer early, there are more treatment options and a much better chance for survival. Mammography is the best screening method used today to find breast cancer early. However, it is not perfect. But, when mammography is combined with clinical breast exam your chances for finding cancer are even greater.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WFMW: Art Cart

The Easter bunny went a little overboard with art supplies this year. To keep it all organized and accessible, I put everything into a rolling cart.

I love that it's on wheels and can easily tuck away into the pantry.

Another great thing is each drawer can pull all the way out. Now it's easy for my little artists to carry their supplies to the kitchen table and create something wonderful.

Check out We Are THAT Family for more great ideas!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Are You At Risk?

Most women have more than one known risk factor
for developing breast cancer, yet will never get the
disease. Some risk factors are things you can't control,
while others can be addressed by making lifestyle changes.

What's the most important risk factor? Simply being a
woman. But remember, there's no one cause of breast
cancer. If you are concerned about your breast cancer
risk, discuss your options with your doctor.

Known and probable risk factors:

• being a woman
• getting older
• having a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast
cancer genes
• having a previous biopsy showing hyperplasia or
carcinoma in situ
• having a family history of breast cancer or ovarian
• having high breast density on a mammogram
• having a personal history of breast or ovarian cancer
• starting menopause after age 55
• never having children
• having your first child after age 35
• being overweight after menopause or gaining weight
as an adult
• having more than one drink of alcohol per day
• currently or recently using combined estrogen and
progestin hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
• having your first period before age 12

Help me reach my goal for the Washington, DC Breast Cancer 3-Day!

My training efforts are going much better than my fund raising efforts. I was able to walk 5 out of 7 days last week. I'm hoping to start doing at least one long distance walk a week.

If you'd like more information on the walk or on breast cancer, visit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easter Pillowcase

Last week we learned how to make pillowcases in our sewing class. I love the great little piping detail. The cuff of the pillowcase is doubled and you can't see any seams.

Next time I'll get enough fabric to have the print running horizontal instead of vertical. I figure my kids sleep crooked anyway, so I don't think it will bother them.

The cuff is done in yellow polka dot. Love that.

I don't feel qualified to write up a tutorial, but I found a great one here. My measurements are a little different, but otherwise I followed it exactly as written. I used a 10 inch cuff and a 3 inch piping.