Tuesday, July 22, 2014


June. That's her name, just June. I wish I had a picture to share, but I don't. I don't have anything but a few memories and an urn. She came way too early and left us even earlier.

Trisomy 13 is the diagnosis that we had received just a few weeks prior to June 29. So when my water broke as I stepped out of the car at our beach vacation home after driving for 7 hours to get there, we weren't shocked. We knew it was the end and we knew why. We were just not ready for it to be this soon. I wanted to have her with me longer, even knowing that the possibility of her ever getting to live with us here on Earth would probably never happen. It wasn't easy but it was easier to accept because we knew why it was happening. Within an hour she was born. And within the next day I was sitting on the beach watching the never ending waves crash on the sand.

For just a few days I got to try to forget everything and just enjoy the sound of the ocean and my family. I knew that reality was waiting at home. A calendar full of doctors appointments that were already made that had to be cancelled. New appointments to be made. A refrigerator full of ultrasound pictures. A vase of dying peonies that were given to me by a dear sweet friend after the diagnosis of T13 sat on the kitchen counter waiting for me to clean up the wilted petals that had fallen. Already a mailbox of sympathy cards waiting for us. A box of keepsakes and books to be used when we had her many months from now from A String of Pearls sat by our garage door. Of course I didn't forget for one single second and never will. Not one single detail.

As awful and sad as it was, I can't think of a better place to have had our sweet June. We were on vacation with my parents. What a blessing it was to have them there for us and our children. Tybee Island I will be back! Your waves sound much sweeter to me now.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Four Years Two Months Sixteen Days

Four years two months and sixteen days ago I gave birth to my son. He was stillborn. This was quite possibly the hardest thing that I've ever gone through. Over the years I've come across sites that would have helped me tremendously had I known that I was facing that. I went in for my 32 week visit and there was no heartbeat, ultrasound confirmed death and I was induced that evening and had him that night. We were so unprepared and had no idea what to expect. We didn't even have a camera with us. I do have hospital pictures that I treasure but I often wish that I had more personalized pictures with my husband and I holding our son. I do have very vivid memories of him. I have a little blanket that he was wrapped in and a teddy bear that was in his pictures with him. I also have many copies of his foot prints and hand prints. That is all that I have.
There have been so many firsts that we've missed with him. There will be a lifetime of firsts without him. We've celebrated each birthday with cupcakes. Our girls know who he is and we talk of him often with them. They know he is in heaven and that we will see him again one day.
Now there is a huge possibility that we will go through this again very soon with a little girl. This time we know in advance and we can plan, if you can really plan for something like this. I know how I want this to play out, of course ideally that would be that they were all wrong and she will be full term and perfectly healthy, but that may not be the case. We've been told that she has Trisomy 13. We still aren't certain but are preparing for that just in case. My son was completely perfect and normal. His autopsy and blood work showed absolutely no reason for his death at all.
I know that we want to include her in our life as much as possible right now. I want pictures of my growing belly with my girls around us. I want lots of labor and delivery pictures. I want lots of newborn pictures with all of us holding her and loving her. Because I know that once I hand her over and she is taken out the door of my hospital room that I will not see her or hold her again here on earth and these pictures and little things will be all that I have of her.
I know that I will have a huge family to spend eternity with in heaven. We will all be perfectly healthy and pain free and happy forever. I know that God has been with me through all of this. He will continue to be with us always. He is the only reason that we are able to face this and to cope with going through this yet again. I don't question why this is happening although that would be easy to do. I accept it although its not always easy to accept it. I've been abundantly blessed. There is something great that will come from all of this. I don't know what and may never know but He knows and that's all that matters. My son served a great purpose. He was the answer to many prayers that I had. He brought my husband and I closer together and brought my husband back to church and to God. He had stopped going to church and was angry at God for some reason that he's never shared and that's ok because I don't need to know. When we had our son I asked him to go to church with me the next week and he did and he has every Sunday since.
I know that we will all be ok no matter what happens. She is loved and will always be loved.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lemon Cream Cheese Coconut Flour Cupcakes

Now that's a mouthful! I've recently purchased some coconut flour to use in a recipe from Trim Healthy Mama. It goes a long way! I needed to find another recipe to try to use up some of the flour before it goes bad. When I searched for recipes using coconut flour most came back still using wheat or using half a dozen eggs for 9 muffins!
I'm not usually one to go out of my comfort zone of following a recipe when it comes to baking. A recipe is not needed when I make anything else and it drives my husband insane! But baking must be by the recipe! 
I decided to make my own recipe with these cupcakes and it worked! I've made them 3 times now and each time everyone has loved them! 
I'm not completely wheat free. I'm not gluten free. I try to be as sugar free as I can, but that has only been in the last few months. This recipe is however wheat free, gluten free and sugar free!

Lemon Cream Cheese Coconut Flour Cupcakes

4 oz cream cheese room temperature
3 tbs butter room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs of Truvia (or 1 cup of sugar if you don't use Truvia)
juice and zest of one lemon
3/4 cup of milk (can use almond milk) add more if needed
3 eggs
dash of salt
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

In a bowl combine the cream cheese and butter with truvia. Add in the lemon juice and zest. Mix well. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low until just blended. 
In a separate bowl combine coconut flour, baking powder and salt. 
Add flour mixture alternating with milk, to the cream cheese and egg mixture. Blend well. The batter will be much drier than normal cake batter but should be moist and sticky. You will have to spoon it, it will be too dry to pour. 
Preheat oven to 350*. Line 12 muffin tins with well greased liners or use silicone muffin cups. Fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes. 

This recipe easily doubles! 

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups of ground Truvia for baking (I ground mine in a coffee grinder)
1 package of cream cheese
zest of a lemon

I mixed all of this together in a mixer until well combined. If it is too thick you may add milk by tablespoons until you get the right consistency for spreading. 
Once the cupcakes have cooled well, ice with a generous amount of icing. 

The cupcakes should be refrigerated and can be frozen. The cupcakes tend to be a bit crumblier than normal cupcakes and will stick to the liners if not greased well. 

If you like the coconut taste and want to omit the lemon you can use a tsp of vanilla and make up the rest of the liquid with milk.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bohemian Babydoll Dress and Top Pattern Testing

This past week I was lucky enough to do a little pattern testing for Heidi at Elegance and Elephants for her new pattern the Bohemian Babydoll Dress and Top! Seriously it is adorable! 

I made the top version for Caraline in size 18mths. I will be making Lillie one this week since she was begging me the whole time to make her something! (I was also in the process of finishing up Easter dresses that I will share later, so she was getting something!)

I love that it doesn't have any closures! No button holes! No zippers!!!! It does have lots of ironing, but I love ironing so that doesn't bother me! 

It has adorable little flutter sleeves with the option of making it sleeveless. 

It also has a fully lined bodice and hides all seam allowances for a very professional finished look. 

I love the little hem band around the bottom! I made it from the same fabric as the underside of the flutter sleeve and the bodice lining. The fullness of the skirt is great for those little cloth diaper babies with big butts! Lots of room and not too tight across that little bum :) 

I used some seersucker that I purchased from Joanns over a year ago. It took 2 hours to sew together which wasn't bad for a first time pattern. 
The pattern is now available in a pdf download here in size 6mths-9years. Through April 25th use the code BABYDOLL for a $2 discount. 

Thank you so much Heidi for letting me test this adorable pattern!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What do you do?

Two years ago I might would have been doing the same thing.
Two years ago prior to February 14, 2012 I might would have felt that I had done my part in breast cancer awareness by taking a no makeup selfie and baring myself to the point that I was certain that I had endured what a breast cancer patient was going through. That I had made myself so incredibly vulnerable. And by posting such a picture of myself I might would have felt that I had certainly raised awareness for breast cancer. But.........

February 14, 2012 changed the way I see breast cancer and breast cancer awareness and spreading breast cancer awareness. I'm not putting anyone down at all. That is not what this post is about at all. This post is about how breast cancer has changed my life and how I see breast cancer awareness.

The way I see breast cancer is remembering my family being crushed imagining what my 30 year old sister, who is a wife and mother of two, was going to endure and thinking she was leaving us. I see breast cancer as stopping her world for almost 2 years. I see breast cancer as having tests and doctor appointments and more tests and more doctor appointments before a decision is completely made. I see it as having her chest basically cut off and reconstructed. Having bandages and drains for over a month, with more doctor visits. A port placed in her chest for blood draws and poisons to be pumped through her veins. I see 6 rounds of chemo every 3 weeks that totally drained her energy, her color and tried to suck the life right out of her. I see her losing her hair. I see another recontructive surgery before she could start her 5 weeks of daily radiation treatments an hour one way from home. I see her drained. I see her fighting for her life. I see her living for her family and still trying to keep life as normal as possible for her family. I see her finally getting to finish her recontruction over a year later. I still see her having many doctors visits in the years to come. I see her living. I see her accomplishing dreams and goals that she never knew she had until now.

I'm not belittling what anyone is doing to raise awareness for breast cancer. If you really want to raise awareness for breast cancer at least post along with your no makeup picture to go get a mammogram, do a self breast exam, donate to breast cancer research, do something! But in all honesty, 2 years ago the thought to actually do something to help in raising awareness for breast cancer probably would have never occurred to me, because it hadn't been a part of my life until now.

What do I do? I donate. I participate in the Susan G Komen 5 k held here in Roanoke, we've had a team for the past 3 years. I, along with my mom, family and friends, make mastectomy aprons and donate them to cancer patients undergoing a mastectomy in which they will have drains placed for sometime after the surgery. You can learn more about the aprons here. I get my mammogram (when I'm not nursing a baby!). I do self checks.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Or should I say blogkeeping? I'm slowly getting my blog set up the way that I want it.

I wanted some really awesome little icons on my sidebar so that you could all stay in touch with me and follow along with what I'm doing when I'm not on here. I found one of my favorite bloggers, Karen at Sew Many Ways, has a series on how to do almost every thing in blogger! How awesome is it that she just shares this out of the kindness of her heart?!?

So after visiting her blog, I now have some cute little icons. Now you can follow me on instagram, twitter, facebook, flickr,......! The icons that I used came from here.

If you are trying to find out how to do things on your blog chances are she has it all figured out for you or can help you through it! She also has the most awesome craft room! And the most creative mind I think I've ever seen, she can think up things to do with anything other than what their main purpose is.

If you need me I'll be browsing through her site finding more ideas and learning things to do to my blog!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sewing Buddy Project

I joined in the Sewing Buddy fun with Whipstitch! I'm really enjoying getting to know my pen pal! I'm sure if we lived closer there would be some fun play dates with us and our girls!

Our first project was to make an artist trading card. I had never heard of them before now. They are so cute and fun to make! It's basically, in this case, a fabric business card. It's the approximate size of a business card and basically gives a description of yourself.

I think I did a fairly good job describing myself in this little card! I wasn't sure at all when I started this, that I would be able to get anything on that small size about myself. But I think I covered most all of it ;)

I tried to use my favorite colors, grey, green, white, pink and blue. I love all shades of these colors, especially grey blue and green. The pinwheel block is one of my favorites and I could make it tiny. While I don't actually live in a pink house, its about as pink as it could get with 4 girls including myself living in it. I love love love to garden! The tree and flowers represent my love for that. Daisies and hydrangeas are my favorites! The blue forget me nots are in memory of my son that was stillborn at 32 weeks. The pink ribbon is in honor of my younger sister that has won her battle against breast cancer that started two years ago. The beads on the back represent my blingy side!

This was a fun little project and it got me back to the sewing room! I haven't done anything in there since before Christmas. Can't wait to see what our next challenge will be!

The signups for this year are now closed but if you are interested be on the look out for signups next year! Until then you can see what some of our projects are in the Sewing Buddy Project flickr pool here and follow mine here!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My Grandma's Quilts

Have you heard of Vintage Quilt Sunday? If not then you need to go check it out here at Swimbikequilt.com! Katie has featured some beautiful quilts with some beautiful stories! She also wrote a book about vintage quilts, Vintage Quilt Revival! I don't have it yet, but that is my next purchase! 

Anyway, today my Granny Carrie's quilt was featured! How awesome is that! Go here to read the story!
Thank you Katie for sharing the story of my Grandma's quilts! 

Swim Bike Quilt

Monday, February 3, 2014

Christmas Dresses, just a little late

Just a little late in posting the girls Christmas dresses that I made for them. 
In all honesty I wanted to share them earlier, but it took 3 different attempts to get a descent photo of them. One professional shoot that didn't turn out so well, one of us was sick, one of us looked very fat, one of us looked like we had some bad botox (in his defense he has never had botox, but I have no idea what his facial expressions were all about!), and two of us never looked in the same direction at the same time (actually all 5 of us)! One little attempt on our way out the door to church while they were both crying! And finally one attempt after Christmas was over before we took down the tree, the next day both girls were diagnosed with the flu.

Of course Lillie the 2 1/2 year old, decided that she did not like the dress and was not going to wear it because she did not need it. I would have been broken hearted it she wasn't so funny about it! She would say, no I don't want to wear it, I don't like it I don't need it you need it! Ok? Finally she decided it was ok after about 2 weeks of talking about not wanting or needing it. I told this story to someone and she asked what are you going to do about a Christmas dress now? Well, shes' only 2 she will wear it, she may not be happy, but she will wear it ;) 

Back to the dresses, I fell in love with the Olivia pattern by Craftiness is Not Optional. It includes sizes 6months to size 8, which made it perfect for me with 2 little girls running around! I couldn't wait to get it! I found the fabric at Joanns, nutcrackers are my oldest daughters favorite! I give her a nutcracker every year for Christmas and she's had me start that with the two little ones. I also smocked a detachable collar to go with the dresses. I made up my own pattern for that and used one solid color of thread so that they can be used with other dresses. 

This little dress was so easy to make! I can't wait to buy more of CINO's patterns, they are so easy to follow and very precise! I have fabric stacked up ready to be cut out and made into more little tops and dresses for the girls. 

As for the pictures, they are blurry, the girls are not sitting still, but on occasion I got a good smile from one of them at a time :) And that's ok, that's our life these days(and I wouldn't change that for anything in this world!) and one day a few years from now I may be able to bribe them enough to get a picture that we are all sitting still, looking at the camera and have smiles on our faces!  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Checking in

This month has flown by, mainly because we've all been sick. We've had the norovirus, flu and two different colds all since December. I'm so ready for spring and fresh air! 
I have some exciting things coming up in the near future! Exciting for me. Exciting for my family. And exciting for my friends! 
I'll fill you in on everything as I can! 

For now I'm perusing seed catalogs planning my garden and dreaming of summer!