second storie

Monday, November 30, 2009

this past saturday i went to the second storie indie market, not that i needed to buy anything, but i wanted to check it out and support handmade.

i was really impressed with the quality of work. i did buy a few items, but resisted the urge to purchase anything for myself. it was tempting since all of my holiday gifts are finished.

i bought this darling poster for the bean's room. and bought a few gifts for loved ones. my mom just had back surgery so i am her elf this holiday season.

i collected a large stack of cards. here are some of my favorite finds.

**letter press cards by pearlmarmalade. i am particularly fond of this one.

**letter press posters by inkandwit.

** vintage fabric buttons by secret pocket.

** quilted ring by smallbird.

i heart handmade!

a gift for a cooper

Sunday, November 29, 2009

courtesy of one of precious husband's customers. it couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time.

dear cooper

Friday, November 27, 2009

my dear sweet precious cooper,

a year ago today you entered the world, stole our hearts and forever changed our lives. oh, how i wish we were celebrating your first birthday and making new memories, instead of holding on to the memories of your short time with us.

the night before you were born, your dad and i were about to fall asleep and we told you that it would be perfectly fine with us if you wanted arrive early. i had this gut feeling that you would be born on thanksgiving day and it would get us out of thanksgiving dinner. you must have heard us talking and decided to indulge our wish, or maybe you somehow knew you would only be here a short while. whatever the reason, your early arrival gave us a full 3 weeks with you and for that i am grateful.

i slept fairly well that night and woke up at 5:30 because i was uncomfortable and had to go to the bathroom. it was then that my water broke and i just smiled to myself. i woke up your dad to tell him i thought it was time and went downstairs to call the doctor. he said to make our way to the hospital. i wasn't having contractions and wasn't in any pain, so i knew we had some time. your dad made coffee and i headed upstairs to pack our bag. we had been talking about how we should pack the hospital bag, but just never got around to it. i grabbed a diet coke on the way out the door and we arrived at the hospital around 6:30.

and then we waited, and waited and waited. since it was thanksgiving, the nurses worked shorter shifts, so we had three different ones by the time you were born. we watched alot of football games and waited. finally at 10 pm, after 16 hours of waiting your heart rate started to elevate and the dr decided that it was best if he delivered you via c-section.

you were born at 10:51 pm on thursday november 27th, 2008. when the nurses showed you to me, i immediately noticed your blond hair and that your hairline was the same as mine, a family trait without a doubt. you reached out and touched my face, as if you knew what lie ahead and were telling me it would be ok. the nurses then took you, cleaned you up and you met your dad. i love how you held on to his finger for strength and courage. after they finished sewing me up they let me hold you while they wheeled us to recovery. i remember thinking, "i cant believe they are letting me hold my baby, i am so drugged, aren't they afraid i will drop him?"

once we got to the recovery room, the nurse was about to hand you to me when she noticed that you looked a little blue. so they took you away and started doing tests. it seemed like an eternity before they told us that you needed to go to the nicu at strong and that you would be transported by ambulance. it felt like someone had ripped my heart out, i just met you and they were taking you away. little did i know how my heart would shatter in the coming weeks.

all i wanted to do was get out of the hospital and get to you. when we finally were able to see you, love you and hold you, i knew that my heart was no longer mine, it belonged to you and i would do whatever necessary to keep you safe.

cooper, there isn't a day that goes by that i don't miss you, that my heart doesn't ache to hold you, or wonder what you would be like on your first birthday. but i know this,by having you, knowing you and loving you, i am a better person and will be a better mother to your little brother. you changed me and for that i am grateful.

happy birthday cooper austin!

loving and missing you always

thanksgiving tradition part day

Thursday, November 26, 2009

the pinnacle point of the rivalry between texas and texas a&m is the annual football match up held on thanksgiving day.

watching this game has always been a part of my family's thanksgiving day tradition. the success of either team, has ebbed and flowed over the years. when i was at a&m we had a really good football team and beat texas all four years i was there. in recent years, texas has had the better team. and of course since its a rivalry game, anything can happen. growing up, watching this game was usually tension free, since everyone there was cheering for the horns. this changed when i went to a&m, i was a vocal supporter, changing the dynamic in the living room a bit. my dad was a good sport, but i am sure he would have rather watched the game in peace and quiet.

college football is part of who i am, growing up in texas its hard not to like football. my family looks forward to the start of college football every year. every weekend starts and ends the same way, with a discussion of the match ups and how the teams fared. my brothers, dad and i talk on the phone and text through out the day. we bond over football. we have bonded even more since my blood has returned to burnt orange.

let me explain. when i moved to the northeast, i wasn't able to watch many a&m games on tv, really the only one they showed was the thanksgiving day game. but as texas started to win, i was able to get those games and started watching them. slowly returning to my roots. in 2005 when it looked like they were going to make a run at the national championship i thought it would be great if we got my dad tickets to the game for christmas. it was at that point that i was faced with a pivotal decision on thanksgiving day, who to root for. if texas lost they wouldn't play usc in the national championship and my dad and brothers would have tickets to game they didn't care about. so i rooted for the horns, they beat a&m , went to the national title game and won.

don't get me wrong, i will watch a&m if they are on tv. and i still hope they win. but i know more about the team in burnt orange, watch more of their games and more concerned about where they sit in the bcs rankings.

when i was pregnant with cooper my due date was december 9th, but i had this feeling that he was going to be born on thanksgiving day. and sure enough he made himself known to the world, late in the 4th quarter of the texas-texas a&m game. i was never going to be one of those parents who dressed their kids in clothes that screamed where they went to college or relived their college days through their children. i don't care where they go to school, as long as they go. but by being born during the big game, cooper earned the right to go to either school, no questions asked.

his little brother will be born on a holiday if all goes according to plan but it wont be thanksgiving. and since cooper could choose either texas school, its only fitting that the same rule apply for the bean. so i made him a pair of burnt orange booties and a pair of maroon booties. he can decided for himself what color blood is running through his veins, but i have a feeling it will be burnt orange. his father is hoping he follows his footsteps and attends an ivy league school, after all they have better hockey teams.

as for the game today, well i am hoping that texas wins so that they can return to the national championship game, but if a&m wants to make them work for the win, that's ok too.

thanksgiving tradition part 1..... background

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

there are a number of institutions of higher education in the state of texas, but there are only two major public universities, we are talking 50,000 plus students, the university of texas and texas a&m university. the rivalry that exits between these two schools is as old as the schools themselves.

generations of both sides of my family went to the university of texas, so you could say that i was born with burnt orange blood running through my veins. so it came as a surprise to some family members when i decided to go to texas a&m for my undergraduate education. some may have thought that i made a conscience choice to go there, that it was a well thought out decision made after many college tours and meetings with admissions counselors. or that i was rebelling against my father in some way by not choosing his alma mater. but what they did not realize was that my behavior and poor decision making skills had earned me the right to go to two schools: texas tech university or texas a&m university.

you see i spent a year and a half at a boarding school in austin. no i was not shipped off, it was my decision to go away to school to get a better education. i had been in private schools most of educational career, but there was no private high school in midland texas. so the only option was to either go to public school or go off to a private boarding school. yes, i learned to study, but i also learned how to drink. now, i did not look 21 by any stretch of the imagination, but we spent alot of time in bars on 6th street, at fraternity parties and sneaking alcohol into texas football games. my parents caught wind of what was taking place and i finished the remainder of my high school days in public school at home under their watchful eye.

so understandably, my dad was a little reluctant to let me return to my old stomping grounds for college, which is why the university of texas was not on the short list of schools i could attend. i chose texas a&m without ever setting foot on the campus. fortunately, it was a good decision and fit for me. i received a great education, had some fabulous professors that i have stayed in contact with over the years, made good friends, had a full social life, was involved on campus and had some unique educational opportunities. i also loved the tradition that was part of the student culture. i can honestly say that college was a great experience and i loved every minute of it.

after college i left the state of texas and began to realize that no one really cared what side of the texas- texas a&m rivalry you were on, that is was just an age old college rivalry. as i attended graduate school, i took an interest in social justice issues, began to understand sexism and racism, and started to form my own political ideas, which is no surprise since my masters degree is in political science/international relations. i also began to reflect on my alma matter and my college experience.

i don't regret my decision to attend texas a&m, it was the right place for me at the time. but it has been almost 15 years since i graduated and my values are more concrete then they were at 22, so i can see it my alma matter for what it is, a place where i got a great education, experience, and doors opened. i can also see the underlying sexism that exits, the conservative nature that goes along with being a former all male military institution, and a hatred of a rival school that is too intense for words. how many schools have a fight song about beating their arch-rival?

the culmination of this rivalry is the texas- texas a&m football game which is always on thanksgiving day.......

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

* i finished the bean's quilt last week. i turned out a little bigger than a typical baby quilt, but he will be able to use it longer. i cant wait to see it quilted.

* i cant believe that a year ago friday, cooper was born.

* i have slept soundly the past couple of nights, lets hope this trend continues.

* i picked up my new sewing machine last week and finally took it out of the box yesterday. i am trying to get the hang of all the new bells and whistles.

* a customer of jamey's sponsored a coopers hawk in cooper's memory. what a great gift (more about this at a later date.)

* i have been washing the bean's clothes and put the bedding on the crib. i figured i should do it while i have the energy.

* we are going to see the blind side on thanksgiving day.

* i am currently knitting a trio of christmas stockings for a dear friend.

* we have some new art work to hang this weekend.

* i will be making my mother's chocolate pecan pie for thanksgiving. it will also be made by my brother in alaska and my brother living in north carolina. it's a family tradition.

* i have a great deal to be thankful for.

* wishing you all a happy turkey day.

walk in the park

Monday, November 23, 2009

i have been doing a lot of creating for others lately, and decided i needed to make a few things for myself. i am hoping that having something new to wear will help my mood. so i made list of things i want to make before the bean is born, some are small and some are more substantial. i saw the walk in the park hat and fell in love. its perfect for our sunday walks with the dogs.

i used one skein of the new cascade superwash 128 yarn. what a fabulous yarn! its soft, squishy, and knits up fast. i bought two skeins and only used one so i think i am going to take it back and make another hat in grey. i made it a little shorter in the length, mainly because i would have to use some, but not all of the second skein and i wasnt so sure if i would like the slouchy look on me. i am pleased with the results.

i am looking forward to some cooler weather and a walk in the park with my precious husband and dogs.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

this past week i have felt frustrated, tired, restless and a little grumpy. i am tired of wearing maternity clothes, i have aches and pains i didn't have with cooper and have a serious case of insomnia. my precious husband frequently hears me whine "i just want to sleep" at some point during the night. basically, i am over being pregnant and 13 more weeks feels like an eternity.

and then i had a two realizations..... i have been pregnant 15 out of the last 20 months! no wonder i feel the way i do.

and two, i have a completely different relationship with the bean in utero than i did with cooper. we interact during the day, i have a sense of his little personality, he makes me laugh and i cant wait to meet him, making being pregnant for so long worth it.

dont you just .....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

love this jig onesie?

a blanket for the bean

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

i have never been a fan of garter stitch, so i was a little skeptical when i found this pattern on the purl bee. but i was in love with the yarn, specifically the colors. i carried alchemy yarns in the yarn shop for a short time and knew that their product was exceptional. i hemmed and hawed because the price was, well expensive for a baby blanket. but those colors kept calling to me. and the yarn is washable, a definite plus for a baby blanket. so i bit the bullet and placed my order.

anything for the bean, right?

i had no idea garter stitch could be so luxurious. its soft and squishy, has great stitch definition and those colors are even better in person. this pattern may be my new favorite baby blanket pattern. it looks great with the bedding that i picked out and cant wait till all the little creative details i have planned for the nursery come together.

i think that the bean will love his blanket.

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

* today i received 5 sweet little cooper birds in the mail. what a wonderful surprise. and yes i will take members of coopers flock as long as people want to make them.

* i put some notecards up in the etsy shop yesterday. they would make perfect stocking stuffers.

* i think that i am going to have an outy belly button by the time the bean arrives.

*wishing it would snow.

*not to brag, ok i am bragging, i have finished all my holiday gift crafting.

* i am in the midst of making the bean's quilt. i love it and cant wait to show you.

*my body constantly craves orange juice. hmmm... whats that about?

* i am having really really strange pregnancy dreams.

* pregnancy is making me tired. i was out of breathe walking up the stairs. the exhaustion seems to be kicking in earlier this time around. and it is getting difficult to bend over.

* loving the new season of friday night lights.

* am on a bit of emotional roller coaster lately. i know its because next week would have been cooper's 1st birthday.

* my new sewing machine should arrive this week.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

paper and cake. i recently discovered this genius design concept, printable partyware that doesnt look like you printed it off of your computer or break the bank. and let me tell you, they think of everything you need to throw a fabulous party. i am particularly in love with their holiday designs.

Image of Deck the Halls Christmas *Printable* PartyImage of Deck the Halls Christmas *Printable* PartyImage of Deck the Halls Christmas *Printable* Party

makes me wants to throw a holiday party.....

a special project, story and thanks

Friday, November 13, 2009

i am not a saver. i don't see the point of hanging on to things and find great relief in purging and organizing.

however, i saved every card, email and note i received after coopers birth, surgery and death. i had a box full of stuff. i knew that i needed to do SOMETHING with it, but the thought of the task was just too overwhelming. i didn't even know where to start and i was grieving and hurting too much.

enter marta.

i began reading marta's blog shortly before cooper was born. i felt in instant connection, like she was my long lost friend. i loved her posts, her sense of style and how she talked about her beloved boy. sometime after cooper's death, i realized that she helped people create books out of their memories. i immediately knew that i had found the person to create a book for sweet cooper.

but how do you ask someone to take on a project so personal? we were not talking about someone's memoirs, the subject was a 3 week old whose life was cut short. and would she want to tackle such a project, knowing that she had a baby not much older than cooper? would it be too close to home?

i figured all i could do was ask. so i carefully crafted an email, giving her a brief summary of our story, my vision for the project, and the link to my blog so she could read more. i hit send and waited. i think i checked my email obsessively, anxious to see her response. of course her reply was caring, gracious, thoughtful and pure marta.

after several emails back and forth, we embarked on a journey together with one mission, sweet precious cooper. i boxed up the things i had saved and sent them to her and she began her own journey. a journey that took her into the depth of my heart and soul, my son and the love we had for him, and in time she too came to know and love cooper.

this morning i received an email from marta telling me that the book was being printed and sent to me for approval. after i had a chance to look it over and make changes, it would go to the printer and then to the bindery. yes this is the real deal. she also attached a post about her journey on this project and her perspective of our story. there was a puddle on my computer when i finished reading it. and i wanted to share it with you all.

marta's willingness to take on this project means more to me than i can express. she has poured her heart into creating this book for us and by doing so as helped us heal. i can not wait to see the final edition and will share bits with you here in time. but more importantly, i am honored to be able to call marta a friend and am sure that we will stay connected, thanks to the world of blogging.

thank you marta.

this morning

Thursday, November 12, 2009

i woke to a back yard covered with leaves. seriously, all the leaves were on the tree yesterday and they fell over night, a sure sign that winter is on its way.

so, i took the time to shuffle around in them, before my precious husband rakes them up this afternoon, and document the change of seasons. i do love the sound of leaves rustling under my feet. and B well he watched the last few leaves flutter to the ground and rolled around in the leaves, practicing his snow angels, in anticipation of the first snow.

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

* today i met baby riley, who was born early this morning. he is perfection.

* my heart ached for cooper and soared with joy at the thought of meeting the bean.

* the bean got some cute clothes in the mail from zutano.

* i made some more holiday patchwork napkins today. i do love them so.

*last night, i got really mad that cooper died.

* my c-section date was scheduled today. february 22, 2010. it seems so far away.

* the doctor who delivered cooper will do the c-section, as well as my obgyn, who is coming in on her day off! i am happy to be part of such an amazing practice.

* still loving my iphone, although it is a bit like crack.

* have one more gift to make and then i am done with my holiday shopping.

* then comes my favorite part, picking out wrapping paper at target!

* the bean is still very active. i think he has his days and nights mixed up.

* in 17 days cooper would have been a year old. i don't really know what to expect in terms of my emotions.

* all in all life is good.

holiday patchwork napkins

Monday, November 9, 2009

we are having indian summer here in the northeast for a few days, so it certainly feels like the holidays are far away. but i have been working on some holiday napkins and wanted to share them with you. i will be making more and putting them in the etsy shop. i found the pattern here and used the scraps from the holiday pocket placemats. i love how they turned out, very festive!

a good read

Saturday, November 7, 2009

a few weeks ago, marta and summer, wrote about this book,
rules for my unborn son, by walker lamond. lamond wrote this
book as a way to preserve the words of wisdom, bits of advice
and rules that his father told him while growing up, while at the
same time adding a modern day twist.
incidentally, his first son was born shortly after he finished
writing the book.

i was intrigued and thought it would be a good to buy for the
bean's room (it would also make a great baby shower gift).
my precious husband i and stood in the garage,
flipping through the book,
laughing, debating and agreeing with lamond's rules for his unborn son.

these are some of my favorites:

* yes ma' am. no sir. no exceptions.
* make a hipsters day. donate old clothes to charity.
* sit in front of the classroom.
* remember the girl you are with is somebody's sister. and he is
perfectly capable of kicking your ass.
* don't underestimate your fertility.
* let napping dad's lie.
* dont date the bartender.
* when fishing, practice catch and release.
* until you are a doctor, never answer your phone at the table.
* nothing is more important than family.

this is a great book. it has tidbits that we can all benefit from, i cant
wait to share it with the bean.

the beans room

Thursday, November 5, 2009

i have designed the beans room a million times in my head, if truth be told, before i even got pregnant i would imagine what i wanted it to look and feel like. i knew that i would be using the same furniture and the paint colors would stay the same ( my precious husband has painted almost every wall in this house in the last 2 years and i couldn't ask him to paint again!) the challenge was to create a new space with new energy.

it is starting to take shape and i like the direction it is going. no, i haven't started to put the room together, but i have started gathering things. yesterday the crib bedding came. and i have to admit i am in love

i have also acquired all the fabric for the quilt i am going to make for the bean. he is going to have a quilt and a knit blanket ( wait till you see the colors of his blanket). i am crazy about this fabric. now to figure out what pattern i am going to make up for his quilt. i have to get this to the quilter by mid-december.

i am looking forward to sharing my design ideas for the beans room, as it comes together.

stay tuned......


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

some random tidbits for you today....

* my mom and one of her oldest friends left today after a week long visit. we had a great time.
* the bean got lots of goodies this week.
* i made a huge technology leap... a new macbook pro AND an iphone.... i think i am in technology overload.
* my mom taught me how to sew on binding.
* i ordered a new sewing machine which will be here in a week. cant wait!
* we went to niagara falls.

* there are holiday placemats in the etsy shop. they are sure to bring holiday cheer.
* the bean is kicking like crazy these days.
* i got the swine flu shot today and feel like i am now protected from the pig germs.
* we attempted to take a holiday card pic this weekend. this one is NOT the one we will be using.

* there is way too much halloween candy left in the house, maybe that is why the bean in wild. sugar overload.
* and finally, i hope you are having a good day!