Jul 2, 2014

Celebrating June

I realize that today is July 2nd, but I want to take a moment to focus on some of the ordinary moments that our family chose to celebrate in June. It is my goal to do this each month and hope it is an encouragement for you to do the same. I believe when we look for the beauty in life's ordinary moments they become worth celebrating. 

Celebrating June with BBQ's and yummy fruit.

Celebrating June with end of year ballet recitals.

Celebrating June with friends at Summer Movie Fun.

Celebrating June performing "shows on stage" in the living room with your cousins.

Celebrating June with days at the pool, staying refreshed from Arizona's "dry heat".

 Celebrating June with later bedtimes and jam sessions with daddy.

Celebrating June with brunch at our favorite restaurant.
How have you been celebrating life's ordinary moments this summer?

Jun 6, 2014

Recipe Holder Full of Memories

This project post is part of a paid marketing campaign with JoAnn Fabric and Craft stores. Although this post is sponsored the project idea and all opinions expressed are my own.

I am going to let each of you in on a little secret. Ready? I don't cook. In fact, I'm horrible at it. Seriously it's bad. I've been known to burn spaghetti noodles, how does one do that?!?!? Lucky for me I have a super hot firefighter who knows how to cook and doesn't mind cooking. Score! However, this year it has been my goal to expand my cooking skills (even if that does just include learning how to cut various fruits).  Good news, I can follow a recipe! So when I came across Heidi Swapp's new line of memory keeping products available exclusively at JoAnn stores, I decided to make a Recipe Holder Full of Memories to motivate me to get me cooking. 

Regardless of my cooking skills in the kitchen, it still remains the heart of the home. The love, photos, and stories that have taken place in the kitchen room could fill multiple albums. What better way to combine those stories than with the recipes and then display them in the kitchen itself.

I was sent an assortment of goodies to work with and it was so hard for me to decide which product to work with first. I was inspired to play and make pretty stuff! 

My heart danced as I played with the color shine spray on the various papers. I loved having basics that I could make my own. The products come in a wide variety of finishes and different prices. 

I layered the papers that I added the color shine spray to and adhered them to the acrylic flip stand to make the cover of my Recipe Holder. I used the glitter letters directly on my photo, "Cooking in the Kitchen with Daddy".

I divided the Recipe holder into three sections Breakfast, Supper, and Cookies. At the beginning of each section I added a layered photo title card.

Beneath each divider is an entire set of recipe cards. It includes family favorites and new recipes that I want to try.

As a memory keeper I am always looking for different ways to document our lives. I am constantly recording life with my camera and my iPhone, however those photos don't make it off of my camera nearly as much as I would like for them too. I love that I have an added display piece in my kitchen that shows off our memories.

May 8, 2014

the day i became a mother was the day i found my strength

The day I became a mother was the day I found my strength.

My first child, Lilykate, was born on December 31, 2007, after an agonizing 58 hours of intensive labor brought on by a kidney infection. I was only 34 weeks pregnant when the painful contractions that lead to her birth began. We arrived at the hospital scared, worried, and panicked. My husband was scared while I was in intense, crippling pain. I felt as if someone was repeatedly stabbing me in my abdomen and lower back with a double-edged sword that left pulsating bolts of pain shooting through body. I could not stop writhing and hollering from the pain.  The only words I could muster were, “Epidural! Get Baby Out, Now!” I had never experienced such pain. 

For 36 hours the doctors tried to stop the labor. I was given pain medication, but nothing took the edge off. The decision was made to perform an amniocentesis to verify Lilykate’s lungs were developed enough for her to be delivered. Once the procedure was complete we waited for results. When it was confirmed that her lungs were safe for delivery, the doctors no longer tried to stop the labor and began the transition to active labor. I finally received an epidural and much needed pain relief. Within four hours I was in active labor.  

There were several complications during the delivery: Lilykate’s cord was wrapped around her neck, the placenta had torn away from her, and the umbilical vein had ruptured.  I was having a hard time pushing due to the exhaustion of the past 50 hours, her stats were dropping, and the doctors began reading different consent forms to me which included complications of brain damage and death and asking for my signature…. 

That’s when it happened… something inside me snapped. I found a strength I didn’t know I had. I would do whatever it took, physically, mentally, and emotionally, to protect and take care of my child. Moments later, my sweet little girl was born. 

Lilykate was whisked away immediately after delivery and it felt like an eternity before I was able to meet my little girl. We later learned that if I had not had the kidney infection, Lilykate would not have survived beyond 35 weeks. The kidney infection that caused such pain actually saved the life of my little girl.

#Alt Summit believes every mother counts

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