*There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.*
I made this ornament today -- it only took about 30-45 minutes to complete and I love how it turned out :)
1. You will need a round styrofoam ball (any size - I chose the 4 1/2 inch size) which can be purchased at your local craft stores (I bought all supplies at Michaels), a container of straight pins (I prefer the ones without the colored ends) and 5 or 6 different coordinating ribbons of varying sizes -- again, purchased at Michaels - total cost of ribbon was approx. .35 per each because of the great deals!
2. Cut your ribbons into 3 inch strips. The white snowman ribbon below had wire on each side -- I removed the wire to make it easier to use.
3. Begin by looping each piece of ribbon and sticking it to the styrofoam with a straight pin (sometimes the wider ribbons need another pin added once you've gotten it placed where you want it.) Arrange the ribbons on the styrofoam ball in any manner you wish.
You can add a hanger at the end by cutting a longer strand of ribbon (approx. 8-10 inches) and pinning it with 4 or 5 straight pins into the top of your ornament.
These spooky little guys were made using Wilton icing tips -- the mummies were made using the basketweave tip upside down (you can use any of the tips 44-47) and the Monsters were made using the grass tip (tip 233). I used the Wilton buttercream recipe and the neon food coloring that you can find pretty much anywhere now.
They were super simple and super fun and my preschool class LOVED them :)
Copyright 2011. Me and Connor on a paddle boat ride :)
All rights reserved.
*There are millions of people in this world, but in the end it all comes down to one. I still panic some times, forget to breathe, but I know there's something beautiful in all my imperfections.*
-- Crazy Beautiful --
Wow. It's hard to believe that it's been 6 months today since I heard those life changing words. "It's malignant melanoma." -- Cancer.
I'm not gonna sit here and pretend that I've been through some incredibly difficult, life altering, painful experience, because truth be told, I haven't. I know it could be so much worse... SO much worse. But that's why it's important and that's why the experience is life changing.
It's not lost on me that there are men and women diagnosed with melanoma who do not even LIVE to see the six month mark. And you may say what?? Skin cancer? Kill someone in six months. Yes.
Melanoma is the deadliest of all the skin cancers.
It is the most common type of cancer in young adults (aged 25-29).
Melanoma kills more young women every year then breast cancer.
Exposure to tanning beds before age 30 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75%.
But there is one advantage of melanoma over other cancers and that is this;
Melanoma shows itself on TOP of our skin. Paying attention to your moles, getting yearly exams and being cautious of the sun can save your life.
There are many things I cannot do because I had melanoma...
- I cannot donate blood
- I cannot be on the bone marrow donor registry
- I cannot donate organs (even if a family member were to need a kidney... I can't donate one.)
- I cannot get health insurance (I've tried... and been denied multiple times by multiple companies)
There are many things I CAN do.
- I can get up in the mornings and go to work
- I can spend time with my family and friends
- I can be more cautious about the sun in the future
- I can feel the sun and breathe in the air and feel good
The photo below is not my own... but the only photo that felt right today was a photo of the complete New York skyline.
Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Allsport
To those of us old enough to remember the day... every single moment of where we were and what we were doing... there is no doubt that 9/11/2001 was a defining moment in our history. There will always be, for us, a before September 11th and an after. The world changed that day. Our perceptions of the world changed. Our lives changed... forever.
We will never forget... we never can.
My prayers are with those still grieving the lives of their loved ones lost that day.
There are no quotes that can adequately describe what I'm feeling today. When I came home from work this afternoon, it was to the news that the wonderful, kind and amazing doctor who has cared for me and performed all four of my surgeries since my melanoma diagnosis in March, was killed as she was leaving her office last night. My heart breaks... for her family, her friends, her co-workers... for us. Her patients. She is not a doctor who can be easily replaced, but was instead the kind of doctor everyone would hope to have. Not only did she always remember who I was... but she always remembered things from conversations we'd had at past appointments. It was clear she wasn't just looking at my chart... it was clear that she cared.
I can't even begin to imagine why this happened... why things like this ever happen. But I pray for her husband and her children...
Pretty much everyone in my family has allergies to cats and dogs and other furry friends, and so we've never been able to have true "pets" in the sense of animals that live inside our house and allow us to cuddle with them and sleep in our beds with us. That's okay though! We have TONS of birds and chipmunks and squirrels outside that come to our home every single day for peanuts and bird food and other treats. They are just as much our 'pets' as those that someone buys in a pet store :)
This little guy is one example. He'd been visiting our home a lot as the winter was turning to spring and when the horrible ice storm hit and everything outside was covered in a thick layer of ice, he came and sat there on that bush, staring in the window until my dad went outside and remedied the frozen feeder situation!
Copyright 2011. Seagull over the ocean - June in Nags Head.
All Rights Reserved.
*I wanna sleep under a different piece of sky, I wanna live a little before I die. I wanna be so close to Heaven I see angels...
Angel carry me, oh so far away,
may my body never touch the ground. And if I promise you that I'll be back someday,
Will you set me free so I can fly away?
Fly away... fly away...
Fly away... fly away.*
-- Sugarland --
The tragedy in Indiana (link below) is weighing heavily on my mind tonight. I have been to so many concerts and will even be going to a Boyz II Men concert at the Kentucky State Fair on Friday... I know the pure adrenaline and joy that you feel when you get to spend the hours singing and dancing to one of your favorite bands. I simply cannot imagine the fear... the saddness that everyone who was there must have been feeling. Still must be feeling.
But mostly, I watch the videos they show on the news and can only cry, because, it is moments like these, when people are suffering and the world around us seems to be falling apart, that you can truly see the best in people. Watch the videos... the reactions of the crowd to run towards the stage to help instead of away from the pain and mess. To stay there when most would want to get out. To stay and try to do anything possible to ease the suffering.
I saw that the challenge for this week was "Friendship" and this photo immediately sprang to my mind. It takes me back to the early days of my godchildren's lives when Caydence was born and Connor simply refused to even acknowledge her existence. To the fear we had that he would ever really grow to love his sister and not to be constantly frustrated by her. Frustrated by her every movement and noise. And now... we see from the photo above (and of course from every day life) that we had nothing to worry about at all. The love between these two is what we call "crazy love!" They make each other laugh daily... they make US laugh daily, and they are definitely true friends in every sense of the word.
In this photo Caydee had just sneak attacked her big brother with a kiss and this was the reaction :)