two years

Thursday, December 31, 2009

we met in an unconventional way.
you were new to, i was not.
i am not sure who winked first.
nor do i remember much about your profile.
except for the fact that said you didn't like chain restaurants.
my foodie soul mate.

when we met for the first time
i felt like we had known each other our whole life.
i knew that you were different.
but i played it cool.

i knew when i invited you to my brother's wedding
that you had my heart.
i knew that you were the one i wanted to grow old with,
and walk down life's road hand and hand.

we decided to get married over a bowl of vodka rose pasta.
i am pretty sure it was a very matter of fact conversation.
we both agreed las vegas was the place,
and new year's eve was the date.

little did we know the road ahead of us,
but i know we could not have walked down it
without each other.

it is your love that makes me want to be better.
it is your love that saves me every single day.
and it is because of your love that i can face
whatever life may bring.

i love you.

happy anniversary, precious husband!

family history rewritten

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

me and my mom in the hospital.

it seems that one of the first questions people ask when a baby is born, is how much did the little bundle weigh? they don't ask if mother and baby are healthy, but want to know if it is a big baby? as if having a big baby is some sort of right of passage. and we wonder why we are a weight obsessed culture.

when i was pregnant with cooper, my mil was convinced i was going to have a huge baby. i am not really sure why she thought that. my precious husband and his brother were over 8 pounds. my nephew was also over 8 pounds and has been in the 95th percentile since he was a wee one, but my bil and sil are much taller than me, so the size of their child really had no bearing on the size of the child my precious husband and i would create. cooper, by the way was 7 pounds 4 ounces.

perhaps my mil also thought i would have a big baby because i was 10 pounds. before you gasp, you must know this, i was also a month late. my father was in medical school when i was born and despite my mother's begging to be induced, the doctors were unwilling to induce labor. it was harvey wall bangers and chili dogs that finally coaxed me out of the womb ( and for the record i cant stand hot dogs). i cant tell you how many times i have heard over the years about my weight at birth.

but while i was home i discovered a little bit of family history that needs to be rewritten. i was in my dad's office printing a recipe and out of the corner of my eye i saw a bunch of old photo albums. i immediately sat down to look at them, hidden in the stack was my baby book. i started looking through the pages and was suddenly dumb struck at the information i discovered. i was NOT a 10 pound baby, in fact i was far from it. i weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces when i was born.

i share my discovery and clarified with my parents. my dad's reply "i knew you were 8 pounds 4 ounces when you were born." my mother's reply "well it felt like you were a 10 pound baby."

the way i see it, if i wasn't a month late, cooper and i would have more than likely had the same birth weight. and for the bean, well i guess we will find out in 8 weeks......

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

** after an early morning wake up call, 2:30 am, we are home.

** it is always great to get away but i love coming home.

** the dogs were very excited to see us.

** it was 6 degrees when we landed. i guess winter is here.

** we had a grand time with my family. it went by way to fast.

** i didn't lose my patience while traveling today. i am very proud of myself.

** we had to bring a very large additional suitcase home. it was filled with christmas goodies and lots of stuff for the bean.

** i feeling the nesting, purging and cleaning urge.

** i am looking forward to watching lots of bowl games this weekend.

**and doing some knitting. i have some new design ideas floating in my head.

** how was your tuesday?

8 weeks to go

Monday, December 28, 2009

and less than that would be just fine with me.....

handmade holiday unwrapped part 1

Sunday, December 27, 2009

now that all of the gifts have been unwrapped, i can share some of my handmade holiday gifts.

a quilt for my mom, with little birds in the quilting pattern.

a longhorn pillow for my brother, he says he is taking it to the bar to watch the bcs national championship game for good luck.

a warm hat for my little brother who lives in alaska.

merry christmas

Friday, December 25, 2009

dreaming of a white christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

wishing you and yours a happy christmas eve.

tuesday tidbits (on wednesday)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

**i cant believe that tomorrow is christmas eve. i still have a hard time sleeping christmas eve, anticipation of christmas morning.

** my birth story is featured on designmom today, what a great way to remember cooper.

** the bean has LOTS of presents under the tree.

**it snowed here in santa fe last night, just about an inch, but enough to delay school openings. funny to think about if you live in a place that gets lots of snow each winter.

**we always see a movie on christmas day. this year the movie is sherlock holmes.

**it is good to be home.

** wishing you all a merry christmas eve eve.

thoughts on traveling

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

i think there should be rules that people have to follow while traveling, especially during peak travel times, like the holidays. and perhaps i would go as far as to say that there should be enforcers to make sure that holiday travellers do not break the rules......

here are some things that come to mind.....

**is it really necessary to tell your life story to the stranger sitting next to you. the guy sitting behind us yesterday was telling this poor woman all about his pet snakes at 6 am. seriously? and then he busted out the homemade beef jerky and offered it to her. i am quite certain that he killed the deer himself and it could have been a deer he hit with his pick up truck.

** please use your inside voice on the plane. i do not need to hear your thoughts on the airlines baggage policy or how you and your wife measured and weighed every single bag to make sure you would not be charged extra money.

** when walking in the airport, do not stop in the middle of the road.

** travel attire.... there has got to be some middle ground here people, between dressing like you are going out for a night on the town and looking like you just rolled out of bed. and do us all a favor, if you have a beer gut, muffin top or any other kind of belly, please, please, please wear a shirt that covers it.

** why must you carry your suitcase on when you know damn well that it is not going to fit in the overhead bin? i watched so many people try to push, shove, stuff and jam there suitcase into the overhead bin, while holding up the line and hitting people on the head in the process.

** i know the airlines are cutting back and do not offer snacks, but must you bring smelly food onto the plane? if you know that your hunger pains are going to kick in during a 2.5 hour flight, eat before you get on the plane or pick a food that doesn't stink to high heaven.

maybe my rant is due to the fact that i am seven months pregnant, but.....

thank you and happy holiday travels

home for the holidays

Monday, December 21, 2009

packages are shipped, bags are packed, dogs are at "camp" and we are on our way home to santa fe for the holidays, where we will carry on our family traditions. i am looking forward to the time away and resuming normal snyder family xmas cheer. last year was such a horrible xmas and we just went through the motions. i cant wait for family to open their handmade gifts. i love seeing that look of joy and excitement. i will post pics....

oh, and did i mention my mom is having a party for the bean? what fun that will be.....

we will return on the 29th of december, but i am sure you will here from me along the way.........

a father's tribute to his son

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We all live with the scars we choose, they may hurt like hell, but they make us stronger....

10:21 am

Friday, December 18, 2009

time of of death was 10:21 am on december 18, 2008.

it is also the exact time that my heart shattered into a million pieces, our lives forever changed and we became part of a club where membership is not sought.

cooper's death was unexpected and caught every one of guard, including the cardiac team. but there was part of me that knew, knew he would only be on earth for a short time. i don't know how i knew, call it a mother's intuition, or a gut feeling.

everything after 10:21 am was a blur, yet i remember every single detail of the events as the unfolded. i was numb. i didn't know i could experience hurt so deep and so raw. i didn't know how i was going to put one foot in front of the other, or how i was going to find joy again. hell, all i wanted to do was crawl in a deep dark hole and never ever come out.

but here i am a year later and this is what i know:

** my heart has mended, but will never heal completely. it will always be scarred.

** the ache is still there, but it's not constant. it ebbs and flows, a characteristic of grief.

**losing cooper has become a part of who i am, but his loss does not define me.

** moving through grief is a choice i make every single day. i had two choices, let it cripple me for the rest of my life or do the hard work to heal. i chose the latter.

** even though cooper is not here, i have a relationship with him that is real and it is strong. i feel his presence daily.

** my relationship with my precious husband is stronger than ever. i love him more than i thought possible. it is his love that saves me every single day.

** i am thankful for my dear friends and family that have allowed me to feel whatever i needed to feel, whenever i needed to feel it. this played a critical role in my healing.

** the kindness and support of strangers continues to amaze me, whether through creating cooper birds, reading the words i write or leaving words of encouragement. i cherish it all.

** that the ultimate way to honor cooper is to continue to live, find joy, treasure the little things and give him a little brother to watch over.

and finally, i will be a better mother, wife, friend and daughter because of the love i have for cooper.

a year ago

Thursday, December 17, 2009

december 17, 2008:

we awoke to a landscape covered with snow, so pristine and clean. was it a sign of what was to come? nature's way of cleansing before the ugliness sets in....

at the time we saw it as an inconvenience, knowing that the drive into the hospital during rush hour would take longer, adding strain to our already frazzled nerves. there was some humor on the drive in, the trunk of car wouldn't close, so we drove all the way to the hospital with it open. snow blowing inside and people trying to tell us it was open. i remember my mom saying "if this is the worst thing that happens today, its ok." of course the trunk closed and latched as soon as we arrived at the hospital.

somehow, we made it to the hospital close to the appointed time, dr a., the surgeon, was not so lucky. he was about two hours late. so we waited, and i tried not to think about the fact that my 3 week old baby was about to have open heart surgery. cooper was hungry and cranky. i let my mom hold him. i still feel guilty because i didn't hold every minute before surgery. i know there was no way to know what lay ahead and letting others help doesn't make me a bad mother, but i still feel guilty.

after they took him away. i fell apart. i was terrified that something bad was going to happen, but i was also hopeful. hopeful that dr a and his team would repair the hole in cooper's heart, giving him a full chance at life. the waiting was agonizing, we watched tv, sent emails, read, knit and tried not to think about the what ifs..... there was one point, about half way through the surgery, that my heart started racing and i felt sick to my stomach. in hindsight, i am sure it was the moment that they made the decision that the repair was not enough and they needed to put in a shunt in cooper's left ventricle.

after 6 hours of waiting and nail biting, the doctors came into tell us that cooper would be in the picu soon and that we would be able to see him. we saw him briefly as they wheeled him by, my sweet little baby all puffy and with tubes, but he was alive and doing well. once they got him settled they would let us see him. dr a came and talked to us. he admitted that the surgery was more complicated than he had hoped, but that cooper had responded brilliantly.

when we saw cooper. i cried. it broke my heart to see him like that, but i was also so relieved that he had made it through surgery. they left his chest open, so there was this piece of second skin covering his little heart. you could see his heart beating, such a welcome sight.

that night before we went to bed, i told my precious husband, " i thought i would never see him alive again, that i was so relieved." i slept with coopers' fleece sleeper that night because it smelled like him and i needed to be close to him.

december 17, 2009:

it is a winter wonderland once again. the first real snow we have had this year. i am sure it is cooper's way of trying to ease the ache in my heart and letting me know he is watching over us and the bean.

even though, my heart feels like it breaking all over again, i am hopeful.

last night

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

its beginning to look like christmas.....

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

**i just survived the post office. survived being the operative word. no wonder people go postal. maybe being so pregnant contributed to my irritation.

** its a scott miller day. haircut, hi-light and the coveted blow out!

** we are going to support our local AHL hockey team tonight.

**not looking forward to flying next week, well its the small seats i am worried about.

** but i cant wait to be home with my family. i love our christmas traditions.

** so far the week has been ok, but friday is approaching. i cant believe that it has been a year since cooper died.

**have really enjoyed making patchwork scarves and they keep selling. have to make a few more.

** have been really tired and uncomfortable this week. maybe the bean is having a growing spurt.

** 10 days till christmas, the most wonderful time of year!

dear bean

Monday, December 14, 2009

dear bean.

you have a date with your dad and i in 10 weeks. a very important date. one that we have been anxiously and joyously awaiting.

yes, in 10 weeks we will finally get to meet you. although, i feel like i know you. i know that you are feisty, you let me know when you don't like something. i know you like it when i drink my starbucks tea in the am. you seem to be more of a night owl. although i do hope, you get your days and nights straightened out. i know that you are much more active than your brother. and that this pregnancy has been harder on my body, but that probably is not your fault.

but there a lots of things about you that i don't know and look forward to learning.

i cant wait to see your sweet face, count your toes and kiss your little nose. i wonder if you will have blond hair like your brother, will you have your daddy's chin or my hairline? will you look like your older brother?

you have already stolen our hearts. i know when we see you for the first time, all will be right with the world.

see you in 10 weeks, sweet bean.


perfect stocking stuffer

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Purl is one of my favorite knitting shops and their blog, the purlbee is a great source on inspiration for all things creative. i was thrilled to see that they have created a calendar. perfect for one's crafting space.

you can purchase it here.

and santa, if you are reading this, i would really really like this in my stocking.

just added

Saturday, December 12, 2009

just added to the etsy shop... and a few other last minute gift ideas

christmas tradition

Friday, December 11, 2009

for as long as i can remember, my grandmother always made lizzies at christmas time. if you don't know what a lizzie is, well it's a cookie with candied fruit, pecans, bourbon and a little bit of dough, a fruitcake like cookie. she would make these by the batches and give them as gifts. i am not sure if people really liked them. personally, i think they were too afraid to tell her they didn't like them and graciously accepted them each year. i have this vision of lizzies being thrown out by the dozen all across austin. i think they are awful and i always asked her why she had to make cookies with fake fruit in them. she would calmly reply that candied fruit is not fake fruit. we never resolved this little disagreement.

my father, however, LOVES lizzies and looked forward to their arrival each year. when my grandmother passed away two years ago, the logical question was who was going to make the lizzies? it seems that tradition has fallen on my shoulders. however, i am not making batches of them, nor am i giving them as gifts. they are a labor of love for my father. and well, i am the oldest grandchild.

so yesterday morning tradition called, and i set about making lizzies. One batch calls for 6 pounds total of candied fruit and pecans. that's alot of fake fruit. the only redeeming ingredient is the 1 cup of bourbon. my father likes bourbon, and has some pretty high end stuff here at our house, so i decided to use that, hoping that it would make them edible. well, i almost got drunk off the smell of the bourbon, but it didn't really help the taste.

all the cookies are boxed and ready to ship out tomorrow. the good thing about making these cookies, is that i am not tempted to eat any while baking them. i did choke one down to see if they tasted like my grandmother's version. i think they did, perhaps that is because she was looking down smiling that i was carrying on her beloved tradition and telling cooper how i despise fake fruit.

may you catch lots of trout

Thursday, December 10, 2009

all the men in my family, going back generations, fly-fish. fly fishing is a right of passage, a defining moment in one's upbringing, a thread that connects the generations, a time to celebrate family and the outdoors, an excuse to travel, a reason to spin wild tales and of course worship the almighty trout.

my cousin, ben, contacted me right before thanksgiving and asked if i would design him a trout hat to wear while fishing. he is a fly fishing guide in santa fe and needs to keep his ears and head warm while showing his clients a good time. i had great fun creating this hat for ben. i have a feeling i am going to get some requests from other family members, in particular my youngest brother, sam.

and ben, may you catch lots of trout while sporting this hat.

ashes to ashes

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the week of thanksgiving i received a box in the mail from marta. she was returning all the items i sent her for cooper's book. i sent her a plethora of cards, emails, poems and pictures. but this was only about half of what we received in those weeks after coopers death. my precious husband and i went through all the cards and decided which ones we wanted to include in the book. those we chose all had special meaning to us for a variety of reasons.

at the time i did not throw away the ones that were not included, i put them back in the box i was keeping them in and returned it to the shelf, which is where they have remained. the question was what to do with all the stuff? one of the reasons we created the book was to have everything in one place and not have to have a box of sadness around. i wasn't comfortable with throwing them in the trash. and shredding them was too much work. so, the next logical thing that came to mind was to burn them.

which is exactly what we did sunday night. we burned probably 200 cards in our chimena in the back yard. it was cathartic. it felt good to watch the paper catch fire and turn to ash. it felt good not to have this box of sadness sitting in the closet. it felt like closure. and it felt like a weight was lifted.

the metal box is still in the closet, with coopers name on it, but it is filled with all the cards and notes i received with each member of cooper's flock that arrived on my doorstep. reminders of the love and support we have received. of the kindness of strangers. of sweet coopers legacy. and of how he has touched the lives of so many.

tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

* we had our second echocardiogram of the bean's heart yesterday. his heart is still perfectly normal. yay!

* the cardiologist would still like to take another look once he is here. probably when he is around 3- 4 weeks.

* really i think she wants to meet cooper's little brother.

*we put up the xmas tree. it is not the best tree ever, but it will do for this year.

* the point is, it is up and decorated.

* i am working on some cute mixed media journals for the etsy shop.

* they should be up by the end of the week. and would make great stocking stuffers.

* i am looking forward to getting home to my parents on the 21st.

* i am knitting some things for me... a sweater, for post baby, out of cashmere and a new accessory design that i will offer for sale on etsy.

* i am feeling the pull to make another quilt before the bean arrives. maybe santa will give me money for fabric or a gift card to my favorite online fabric shop.

* we took another huge flock of birds to the hospital yesterday.

* i am in a better emotional place this week, but can feel the storm clouds building.

* i feel like a swallowed two basketballs today, so i put on precious husband's flannel pj bottoms.

* its a sight to see!

the stockings were hung

Sunday, December 6, 2009

in weatherford oklahoma. a few weeks ago i received a request from a friend, would i knit her 3 christmas stockings? i told her i thought i would be able to pull it off in time for christmas. she gave me a color scheme, but gave me free reign on design ( a designer's dream client). i finished them over thanksgiving and they arrived at their new home last week. she loves them! i can just picture them hanging in her home, i have not seen her home, but the house she grew up in was always so festive and embodied holiday cheer. i expect her house is no different.

for jiles

for shef

and for brad

after many attempts

Friday, December 4, 2009

you all know how much i heart any fabric from heather ross. well, before i even knew how to turn on a sewing machine i bought her book, weekend sewing. i loved everything in the book, but was particularly smitten with the lucy kimono.

i tried to make it very early on in my sewing career for alli and baby charlie, but failed miserably several times, each attempt ended up in the trash can. when my mom was here in october she gave me a binding lesson, now i was ready to tackle the kimono. or so i thought. it took me ripping out many times, alot of four letter words and walking away several times, but i finished it today. i cant wait to see it on the bean. i think i will take it to the hospital.

today, i learned that i should listen to my inner voice. usually i am pretty good at that, but not with sewing. there was something about the pattern that just wasn't making sense and each time i ripped out and did exactly what the pattern said, it was wrong. i finally, listened to myself, approached the little garment intuitively and it worked; i believe the way that ms.ross intended. i then added the extra binding to the bottom edge.

i am ready to order some more fabric and make a few more for the bean. i think they will be perfectly adorable over a white onesie. hopefully, it wont take me all afternoon the second time around.

holiday cheer

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

you can find more holiday cheer here.


tuesday tidbits

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

*we survived the holiday weekend, but today my sadness is weighing heavy. i miss cooper so much.

* we bought a xmas tree today, but i am not much in the holiday mood. the holidays just aren't the same after last year.

* i did just wrap all my xmas presents. now to get them in the mail.

* we have our second echo cardiogram next monday. i am looking forward to seeing a close up of the bean.

*i still feel like i swallowed a basketball.

* i am LOVING my new sewing machine.

* we woke up to a light dusting of snow this morning. it made b very happy. it also made him sad when it all melted.

*we saw blind side over the weekend. great movie.

* currently working our way through season 4 of the wire, highly recommend this series.

*i made quite a few things for the bean over the weekend, burp cloths, swaddle blankets, curtains, angora booties and a pillow.

* tonight is pizza night.

hope you all had a great holiday weekend!