Saturday, December 17, 2011

Owen's Nursery

Can I be honest...boy nurseries are HARD!

Most boy decor sets include football throwing, car driving frogs. or bears. or dogs. get the drift. We aren't really sporty people. or car people. or animal people (except of course for our sweet Izzy). So I spent many a hour thinking, stressing, and bugging everyone I knew about my boy nursery conundrum. Then one day inspiration hit....Ryan. He came up with a music theme. Now we aren't really musical people either, but we really wish we were! Ha! Ryan's grandfather had given him an old trumpet way back when and it served as the jumping off point for our sweet boy's nursery.

As the months went on we scoured every place we could think of to find stuff to fit our music theme. Turns out most music stuff is rock and roll and guitars. Again, not really us. So we turned to my favorite place to shop...junk stores. My own mother had her doubts and was just a bit flabbergasted that we were getting things for a nursery at junk stores. (Yes, I realize she is right and it is a bit crazy, but we cleaned everything and don't plan on letting him use anything as a chew toy.)

We are now 10 days (or less) from meeting our little guy and the nursery is mostly done. We are waiting on the rocker we ordered to come in. (Here's betting it doesn't make it! ) We are really happy with the result. It was such a team effort with lots of friends and family helping us find some really great stuff! Now, all we need it baby! (Oh and that dang rocker!)

Not sure why the paint looks like 5 different colors in the pictures. Also, I now remember why I don't blog anymore. Pretty sure it took my five million years to get these pictures on and they still look crazy. Oh well, I tried.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Freezer Paper Stenciling

Over Spring Break I went on a fun shopping trip with a few friends from my hometown. We went to a really cute store on our (much improved) town square. While there, my friend spotted a really cute pillow. It was a linen material with an old & sign on it. It was super cute, it's price tag wasn't. My friend also mentioned she would love to have her and her husband's initials to go with the & sign. Again, super cute but that price tag x3 REALLY wasn't so cute.

Fast forward a few weeks, and my friend's birthday comes and goes. A lot of important days got missed or downplayed in those weeks right after my mom's diagnosis. (Including my poor,sweet husband's birthday.Of course he was such a sport about it.) A few days after her birthday I needed a distraction, to do something that involved another c-word. Not the one that invaded my life, but the other one I love to do. I needed to create.
I remembered seeing many freezer paper stenciling tutorials all over my favorite blogs. Those tutorials+my cricut+ some linen fabric and stuffing, and I had the three pillows we talked about in the store that day.

I wrapped some ribbon around them to 'wrap' them up and proudly gave them to a sweet friend who has been such a wonderful support during the hardest time of my life.
This is a picture she texted me of them on her bed. I am so glad she liked them!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where We're At Now

Today marks one month since we found out Mom has cancer. It has been one long,confusing, heartwrenching month.

So many of you have called, texted, facebooked, and reached out to us in so many ways. Words can not express how grateful we are for each and every one of you. We have done our best to keep everyone updated as much as possible, but as the month went on the worse we got at it. I think the fall in that was that we were trying to (and still are) process all the information being thrown at us and we did not have the easiest time relaying it. We deeply apoligize if you have tried to reach out to us and we have not returned your call,text, facebook, etc. Please know that it is not because we do not appreciate you.

With all that said, this is going to be one major update with everything that we know at this point. I'm going to just start at the beginning and go to where we are now.

March 17- Mom had a complete hysterectomy and appendectomy. While the surgeon had her open, he noticed a mass on her liver. He told Dad and I and told us we would need to wait to get a CT scan.

March 19- We had a CT scan done. The results came back as a cancer that traveled from somewhere else in her body. (This (and other tests)is how we know it did not start in the liver, which is a common question)

March 24- We had a liver biopsy done. This was to see what kind of cancer cells the mass was made up of.

March 25- We recieved word that the biopsy came back that it is MORE THAN LIKELY colorectal cancer.

March 28-April 1- We spent this week getting information sent from Abilene to Joe Arrington Cancer Center in Lubbock.

April 5th- We had blood work and a Pet Scan done. (A Pet Scan is where they put radioactive sugar in your system and it shows places you have cancer.)

April 6th- We met the Dr. we had been praying for for weeks. We are seeing Dr. Figueroa at Joe Arrington Cancer Center. Every single thing about him and his staff is exactly what we needed and prayed for. I can not say enough about how wonderful they are.

As wonderful as he is, his news was not. The pet scan showed that about 50% of her liver is affected by a tumor. There did not appear to be cancer anywhere else.
Dr. F them wanted us to get a colonoscopy to have a more definitive diagnoses. ( We had not been able to do it up until this point because of the previous surgeries.)

April 12- We had a colonoscopy and two other scopes done. They were expecting to see a large mass in her colon that would line up with a colon cancer diagnoses. Instead, everything was mostly clear except for two small polyps that were found in her colon. One of the polyps was competely removed and the other was 80% removed. They were both sent off for pathology.

April 13- We heard from Dr. F and he said that he was still feeling unsure about the diagnoses because there was not a significant amount of cancer in the colon. (Cancer generally follows specific staging and there would generally be a large mass in the colon before it began to spread) One of the polyps that was removed had about 1/3 of it affected by beginning stages of colon cancer. However, generally it would need to be much more advanced to already be in the liver. He wanted to take some time to study everything and redo the biopsy stains.

April 19th- We met with Dr. F again today. He can not assure us 100% that is colon cancer, but after much studying and looking at other cases, he feels that that is what the evidence is pointing to. We are going to move forward with the chemo options for colon cancer and redo scans at 8 wks to see if it is responding. We will reevaluate our situation after that. We wish that it was more certain, but trust that our Dr. has done everything in his power to give us the best treatment. We also went and got a PICC line put in today.

April 20th- We will start chemo tommorow the 20th. She will getting four different drugs, with two of those being chemo drugs. She will be recieving treatment once every 2 wks with 3 drugs being at the cancer center and one being through a pump for 48 hours. After 4 rounds, we will redo scans.

I think that is everything. Please be in prayer that the tumor would be responsive to the chemo. That is our main prayer at the moment. We are also praying for strength during chemo and faith through all of the uncertainity. Again, we are so thankful for each and every one of you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

God is Good....All the time?

If you grew up anywhere remotely near a church, I'm betting you had heard or said this statement approximately 785 million times. I know I have. It is a statement I have said and believed with ease my whole life. But then again, my whole life has been pretty good. Pretty easy. Sure I had my share of heartaches, insecurities, fears. But overall, its been pretty good and I have had no problem seeing God's goodness.

But what about when life isn't so good? What about when it just down right stinks? What about when you are faced with your 47 year old mom having cancer before you have really even had a chance to do anything with you life? What about when you go a full month with no answers as to where her cancer is truly coming from? What about when you spend more time crying then you do laughing? What if those words get stuck in your throat? What if instead of coming easily, they come accompanied with a heartache you can feel?

What then?

I wish I could say that I have not struggled with seeing God's goodness in this. I wish I could say I haven't been mad. I wish I could say I haven't asked why. I wish I could say I have whole heartily put my trust in Him.

But you know what, I can't say any one of these things, and I'm ok with that.

My flesh is so weak. I am sad. I am scared. I am confused. I am frustrated. (this list could go on forever) But He is not. He is not weak during this time. In fact, His power is being made complete in my weakness. He is not surprised by this road. He's walked it and is holding my hand as He walks down it with me. He loves me and has compassion for me. When waters rise, He doesn't let go. He is faithful even when I don't feel like being. I'm a mess, and He is ok with that.

It's because of these things that even when I have trouble saying that phrase, I know it's still true.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

One Week

One week ago today my life changed forever.

I have written, erased, and written this blog many times. I'm not quite sure how to put something that has been so life-altering into words. You always hear of other people having those moments. You just never think it will be you.

I'm a planner, always have been. Ryan is moving this Sunday to Plainview for 5 weeks. He has to go for school, so I planned out my life for the next 5 weeks to keep myself busy while he was gone. I planned out what I would spend my time doing this summer. I planned out what our life will look like when he graduates. I planned out our children and our future. I planned, but then one week ago, plans changed.

One week ago, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. In one single moment, plans changed. For a planner, being helpless is the worst possible thing. To say that my world crashed a bit would be an understatement. This 'perfect' world I had planned crashed.

I can't plan our way out of this, but have finally been able to do something I have always struggled with- letting go and letting God. In this past week, I have come to the end of myself so. many. times. but He has been faithful to pick me up and hold my hand during the darkest days of my life so far. I can't answer or fix the questions and fears we have, but I can trust that He set this road out for us and He is walking down it with us. I have prayed like I never have in my life. I have realized just how helpless I am and how much I need Him. It is a constant struggle, but He has been so faithful.

So many of you have called, texted, facebooked, or said a prayer for us. We can never tell you how thankful we are and how much we covet your continued prayers. We are hopeful to meet with an oncologist this next week. We are praying that God would lead us to the right doctor, and that we would be able to come up with a treatment plan to beat this. We are also praying that the Lord would continue to reveal himself to us, that we would continually praise Him for the faithfulness He has already shown us, and that we would seek ways to give Him glory through this and to draw closer to Him. We are also pleading to Him for healing. Thank you for remembering us.

I'm not even going to try to plan when I will be crafty again. Maybe soon, but who really knows.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

iPad Case Makeover

I prescheduled the next few posts because I am in Abilene with my mom as she has surgery. She's not having a complicated surgery, but it has been rescheduled twice over the past few weeks due to an unexplained small fever. Needless to say, its been a frustrating process that we are all ready to put behind us. (Ecspecially my poor mom!) Lord willing, she is having her surgery on Thursday so I will be there helping out with that. Now to the crafty stuff:
Like my camera case, my iPad case had a case of the blahs. I didn't take a 'before' picture but it was plain, plain, plain. I simply added some ribbon to make a tie to close the case and added a fabric flower to it for a little pizzaz.

You know I loved it because it was cheap, easy and fast!

I'm limking to the 77th Penny Pinching Party at

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hymn Art: A Tutorial

If you've known me for very long, you've probably gotten this as a gift. These things are so easy to make and inexpensive. They make great gifts for anything!

You will need:
- a hymnal (check out thrift stores)
- a frame
- a piece of scrapbook paper
- brown paint and water
- a paintbrush
- a lighter
- double stick tape or a glue stick

This will literally take you about 20 minutes! Here's how:

1. Pick your favorite hymn. Rip it out and crumble it into a ball. Get a tiny amount of brown paint (obviously my paint squirted way too fast and I got way too much!) Spray some water into your paint to dilute it quite a bit. You want it to be really thin.

2. Get the thinnest part of your paint on your brush and just 'paint' it on the hymn. Let it dry. (And if you made a complete mess with the paint like me, use this time to clean it! Ha!) In the past, I would put tea bags into a bowl of water and let the hymns sit, but I have found the painting method to be much easier and faster.

3. While this is drying, you can cut your scrapbook paper down to the size of your frame. Position the 'pretty people paper' on your scrapbook paper any way you would like and then just trace and cut.
4. After your hymn is dry, you may want to crumple it some more depending on how wrinkled you want it. Next, take your lighter and burn the edges to your liking. This takes a lot of hot air! Luckily, I have plenty of to spare!

5. Lastly, tape or glue your hymn to your scrapbook paper and put it in the frame. Done! Quick, easy gift in less than 20 minutes.
The possibilites with these are endless. This was a simple one that I threw together to fill an empty frame before we had company coming over. In the past, I have added embellishements and pictures. Truly a simple, neat gift!

I'm linking to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects and Get Your Craft On! with Today's Creative Blog.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Camera Bag Makeover

Before I even got my new fancy schmancy camera, I would browse cute camera bags and camera straps. While browsing, I did not browse the prices of said cute things. There are some way cute straps all over Etsy for relatively cheap, but bags were a completely different story. They are adorable, but not so easy on the old bank account. So to Plan B I went.

I found this bag at Best Buy for about $30. Easy on the account, but boring on the eyes. I'll be honest- I wanted to go buy new fabric at Hobby Lobby right after we bought this bag. Luckily, it was closed and so I had to come and look through my stash. I ended up having some cute fabric right here and did not have to spend any of my monthly blow money.

It's definitely not as cute as those etsy bags, but will work just fine!

Can't forget the strap cover too!

I'm linking to a few parties:


Monday, March 7, 2011

Things I Love: My 'Breast' Friends!

Yes, you read the title right. I love my breast friends. Truly, I do. They are some of my very closest and dearest friends. Let me explain.

After getting married and graduating, we moved to Midland in 2007. We both had wonderful college experiences and did not want to leave San Angelo. But leave we did. That first year was rough. Life after college in a new town is rough and I was a baby . We met people here and there and made a few friendships, but I craved close girlfriends that I could laugh with, cry with, and just do life with. In 2008, we began going to a new COM group at our church. For awhile it was just one of those things you went to twice a month and saw people for a couple of hours. Can I just say its hard to build relationships like that? But eventually a BUNKO group was started and my dear friend, Tiffany (who was practically a stranger at the time) approached all of the girls in our group about joining her in a walk benefiting Breast Cancer.

I will admit I was really reluctant at first. I even went to the meeting telling Ryan I probaly wouldn't do it. I practically knew noone, I didn't have a particular tie to Breast Cancer, and did I mention it was a 60 mile walk, we had to raise $2300 each, and we would sleep in tents?!?! (of course they were pink tents!) I'm not sure what changed my mind that night. Maybe it was listening to how this cancer has so strongly affected Tiffany's family or maybe it was just peer pressure.:) But whatever it was I am so, so grateful I left that night signed up.

Of course, for such a long walk we had to quite a bit of training. We would meet each Saturday and walk. and walk. and walk. and of course we would also talk. and talk. and talk. Over the months these 'strangers' began to be some of my very best friends. They became the people I would call when I had a hard day at school, that I would laugh so hard I would cry with, the exact people I had desired for so long to have in Midland. I look back and know there was no way I would have met and got close to some of them if it wouldn't have been for the calluses we got that year.

Finally, we traveled to Dallas in November of 2009 for the 3day. We were prepared to walk, we even had our pretty pink tutus and matching backpacks ready. But I'm not sure any of us had any idea of what exactly to expect. It was easily one of the best experiences of my life. I have never before been a part of something so big for one cause. As we walked (picture thousands of women- and men too!- in ridiculous pink clothing walking all over DFW), there was such a sense of community spirit. I think we all agreed that the 'cheer stations' were our favorite part. So many people joining together like that truly is a powerful, blow you away type experience.

We went back again this previous year to be a cheering station. We were definately 'Cuckoo for Coconuts' and had a blast being the encouragers for a change.

Currently, we are getting ready for the 2011 walk. This year we are Hooter Heroes! (complete with capes, of course!) We are already fundraising and will begin training walks soon. I look forward to it with so much anticipation and am so, so thankful for the 3Day for bringing me some of my BREAST friends!

**If you would like to contribute to our team, please visit our team website. You can also contact me if you would like to purchase a Hooter Hero T-Shirt!**

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Old Window Headboard

I have a slight (ok, major) obsession with old windows (and old doors, and old frames and old books- ok anything old.) I have them all over my house and my poor Nana's garage is stacked with plenty more I just KNOW I'll use someday. (atleast that's what I told Ryan when I bought them).

This obsession began way back in the day when my college roommate's parents were getting new windows. They offered to let me have their old ones. They were huge- 8 pane windows. I had NO idea what to do with them- but I loaded them up and carried them in the back of my car forever. Finally moved them to my parents and then moved them to our first apartment after we graduated and got married.

They just sat on our balcony forever until finally inspiration hit! I decided they could make the perfect headboard for our spare bedroom. The only problem was I needed the glass out. I figured I would just hit them with a hammer a few times and it would be easy. Well, let's just say those things were GREAT storm windows. At the time we lived in an upstairs apartment. I worked on them forever with a sheet down on our balcony. After awhile I called in for backup and Ryan got his first taste of his new wife's crazy habits. (Little did he know that was the tip of the iceberg! Poor guy!) We loaded them up in the back of his truck and worked. and worked. and worked. Finally, we got that silly glass out. (I'm sure our neighbors thought we were crazy- we kinda were)
The rest really was easy. I just went to Wal-mart and got their old boxes and cut cardboard to the size of the window panes. I hotglued batting and fabric on the cardboard and hotglued them to the window.

After all this time (and moves), it is still my favorite part of our house.

I'm linking to The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday!

Easiest Scarf Ever

I don't knit. I wish I did, but I don't. I remember in college, a group of older women would meet in our favorite coffee shop and knit. I wanted to join their little posse, but I think I might impale myself with those huge needles if I tried. So, I never thought I could make a scarf (without risking my own death atleast).

Until...This little tool came into my life. Funny looking, right? Awhile back I went to Snyder and hung out with a good friend of mine who enlightened me to this little slice of heaven. And you want to know the best part?!? They sold it right there in Snyder at Wal-Mart. That is a miracle folks, so I was able to go let my mom buy it for me get it right then and get started.

It is so, so easy and cheap! You basically just wrap the yarn and then use the hook thing (technical I know) to loop the yarn over itself. It makes tubes out of the yarn, and you can use the tubes however you want to. The smaller end made the tube for the flower.

This is the scarf I made. I totally copied it from my friend who copied it from a gift she got. (You can call me a copy-cat. I'm basically immune to that word since I hear it 957 times a day from my Kinder friends) She also made some really cute mini ones for her daughter.

I loved it and got a lot of compliments on it. The only downside to it was that I found out about it later in the season, so I didn't get to wear it much. There's always next year!

I don't think this would necessarily qualify me for the coffee shop club, but it was quick and easy so I loved it! Here's to being a fake knitter!
P.S- Wanna know one reason I hardly ever blog?! Uploading pictures makes me crazy! It takes me forever! Anyone else have this problem?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wall Art

This is not something recent, but it is something easy! When I first started reading blogs- a couple of years ago this was one of the first things I made based on something I saw on the blogs. It has been moved twice, but has surprisingly held up well.

All I did was get a bunch of frames from a junk store. ( I very rarely buy frames new anymore- thrift stores always have a ton that just need a little spray paint loving) I took the glass out and spray painted them all green. Next, I made transparencies of a bunch of mixmatched letters off of Word. (You know us teachers and our love/hate relationship with transparencies.)

A few nails and a little double stick tape and you are done!

A little while after I did this- cricuts and vinyl became all the rage, but as we have established- I'm cheap and not changing this, but vinyl would look great too!

I'm linking to The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm Cheap Frugal

When we moved to Lubbock we downsized. This wouldn't be such a huge problem, except for the fact that I have a true love for bringing what some of you might consider trash home. I have a. lot. of. junk. So, going from a 3bdrm house with a garage to a 2bdrm apartment was quite the stretch. My poor Nana has inherited my junk in her garage.

One of my favorite things about the house we lived in was that there was an extra bedroom that I used to host all this junk and my craft stuff. It was my space that I could close the door and hide my mess from Ryan have all to myself. I knew this type of room would not be possible in our apartment, but the apartments we chose have a decent sized laundry room in the back. I had grand plans of this being my craft area. That is until I got all my crap in there and could not walk back there, much less make something. So lately, that has been my quest. One of the things I did was buy a cheapo book shelf from Target that a friend helped me put together. (we don't need no stinkin boys ;) )

Again, I had grand plans to make things super cute back there with some cute tubs or baskets. That is until, I saw their price tags. Then inspiration struck as I was walking down the hall of my school. Luckily, First Grade got new books in boxes that were perfect for my shelf. I quickly began grabbing them from anywhere I saw them. (Pretty sure the janitor thinks I'm a nut job.)

Added some Target clearance wrapping paper and done. They aren't as cute as those pricey tubs, but they do their job and cost me under $5!

More of the craft room (ok it's not big enough to be called a room)...craft area to come!

I linked up to A Thrifty Home's Penny Pinching Party!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day!

Look what we have!

It didn't end up being nearly as bad as they were predicting, but it is 10 in the morning in I am still in my pjs. I will definately regret this later, but for today I am loving it. The only thing that would make it better is if Ryan got to stay home and enjoy it with me. He technically didn't have to go in until 11, but the doctor he is doing his rotation with is short today, so he went ahead and went in. I can't say how proud I am of Ryan and all his hard work during PA school. It's amazing to see how doing something you love makes such a difference. Don't get me wrong- he works crazy long hours and then comes home and writes papers, dictates patients, studies from what he saw during the day, and studies for upcoming tests. But even at his busiest, he seems happier than when he was working as a Chemist in the oilfield. I am so thankful he is getting this opportunity. (and that it is almost over :) Cmon August! )

So, today I plan on:

- not getting out of my warm pajamas (what's the point)

- maybe working on some stuff for school (probably not)

-binging on those 'necessities' I braved the crazies at wal-mart to get yesterday (you know, necessities like hot chocolate and marshmallows)

- work on some projects

- schedule some blogs
-watch Veronica Mars on Netflix (if you haven't watched this show- I'm sorry- all three (sadly, that's all) seasons are instant on Netflix- you will thank me)

I'm also going to try to figure this bad boy out.

I found a really great series I'm going to do.

Oh, and spend some time with this sweet girl!

Ah, bliss.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rosette Mirrors

I may not update my blog daily, weekly monthly ok, ever, but I read blogs every single day. One of my favorite things to do when I get home is log in to Google Reader and read through the countless craft blogs I wish I could be as cool as. I star all kinds of wonderful projects I completely plan on doing. In my head these starred projects will look glorious. They will be effortless. I will have all the supplies ready and calling my name. But then, my 15 minutes of Google Reader dream time is up- and dinner needs to be cooked, floors need to swept for the 33rd time today (Thank you Lubbock wind!), 21 Kinder Kids need to be filled to the brim with knowledge, husband needs to be loved, supplies need to be bought, craft room is a mess, and well, I decide to leave the crafting to the pros.

But the truth is, I do love to craft. More than I love to cook, clean, and sweep- that's for sure! So, I'm trying to be better at balancing my time with things I have to do and things I like to do. With that said, UCreate has a monthly create with me challenge. This month was Rosette Frames. Well, I didn't happen to have any frames- so I dug in my stash and found some mirrors I just had. to. have. at my one and only Ikea experience ( I'm pretty sure this experience rated at LEAST in Ry's top five most unpleasant experiences:) ) That was about two years ago- and sadly they still sat untouched, but they were perfect for this project.

I basically just rubbed a light coat of gray craft paint on them because I wanted them to still show the wood grain. Then I followed the tutorial and made the rosettes. They ended up being pretty easy- and addicting.

I'm redoing our laundry/my craft area and these bad boys will go in there. I have several more projects that will be for this area so hopefully I'll post them. You know, someday.

Oh, and look what I got.....

A big girl camera! (Not that I really know what to do with it! Something else for the todo list!)