Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tybee Island

Tybee Island was not our destination. Twelve years ago we headed south for Disney World. Savannah was our rest stop, Tybee Island just a day trip for an event at the science center. But then we saw the lighthouse and we found the beach. That beautiful, perfectly deserted beach and we never did make it to the exhibit.

Nine consecutive trips later, this detour has become our home away from home. My family spends three weeks every summer on this tiny, two-mile island. We unplug, read books, play cards, cook so much food, walk the beaches and take a break from the rush and pressures of home. It's a time to regroup and recharge for the challenges of the year ahead. We now have so many friends here who have made us feel welcome and given Southern hospitality a greater meaning. This year dear-friends-turned-family traveled all the way from Minnesota to spend a few days of awesome conversation, eating and enjoying each others company.

Sometimes you find something you didn't know you were looking for. This wasn't the plan. But it's perfect. Oh so perfect. And you slowly discover this is where you were meant to be. It is the best place to be. And your plans don't matter anymore. Perhaps someday you'll arrive at your original destination. And maybe it's a detour but a detour is still part of the journey. This, this is now.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Getting Crafty | Fall Edition

Have you ever had a Pinterest fail? Pinterest is the best but I have had more DIY fails than I care to count. It just looks so easy...until you try it. Last Christmas I bought three yards of Tartan print flannel for a Pinterest project that quickly deteriorated into a full blown disaster. And all year I have regretted the waste of my fabric purchase.

Until now! Inspiration struck and this time IT WORKED. I cut down my three yards to 2.5 (so as not to drown) and folded the flannel into a seriously awesome blanket scarf. Guys, it is so warm and cozy! Plus, because of all the colors in the print, it should go with pretty much everything. Which means I will not be taking it off until spring. I did not hem but I think I may do a straight stitch around the border so it frays enough but not too much.

And to further the awesome, a here VERY similar scarf here is selling for $45 (gag). With sales and coupons I paid less than $5/yard. Guys, it's hard to beat the thrill of a really good deal.

In other Pinterest worthy news, after hearing much about apple cider donuts I took advantage of a lazy Sunday morning and gave them a go. Mella + Elsa were my helpers and we used this recipe. We made our own boiled apple cider and fried without too much disaster (be proud). Conclusion? They were okay but I don't think worth the hype. And, at least this particular recipe, did not have as much of an apple flavor as I would have liked. I might try a baked and/or yeast version sometime...if you have a recipe you like I would love a copy!

Care you share your recent crafting adventures?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Dear Medical Professional

photo credit: susan schmidt
inspired by Morgan's fabulous post, Metrics of Affection...

Dear Medical Professional,

I hope you understand what an amazing privilege you have. This year, in the United States alone, 6,000 babies will be born with Down Syndrome. And you, YOU, will be the very first person to welcome that baby into the world. Those 6,000 scared and confused families are not going to look to their friends or relations for answers...they are going to look to you.

You will be the one to share the news of their baby's diagnosis.  You will answers their endless questions about the implications of Down Syndrome. You will set the tone of that baby's first days and weeks of life. And you words and action will determine their child's reception.

Two and half years ago my brother Addison-sometimes-Henry was born. While we knew he had a CHD we did not have a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. There were many specialist present at his deliver. And when he was born they knew. But no one wanted to be the one to deliver the news. Although he was stable, they swept him away to the NICU before my mother could hold him and she still regrets the loss of those precious early bonding moments.

He was three days old when we received a definite T21 diagnosis. "I'm sorry." "This shouldn't have happened." Statistics. Complications. Referrals.

I'm ashamed to say, we spent the first week of his life mourning his diagnosis and the bleak picture the professionals had painted of his life. Not one doctor, not one nurse congratulated us. Not one of the many healthcare providers involved in his birth told us what an amazing boy he was and what a bright future he had. To them, his birth was a genetic mistake. And that is what they conveyed to my family, already scared in the reality of this unfamiliar territory.

I can't encourage you enough, if you have the opportunity to greet a child with Down Syndrome, please take time to express to the family how pleased you are for the arrival of their beautiful baby.

Please tell them their child's future is bright and the sky is the limit.

Please tell them they are living in a wonderful era for people with Down Syndrome.

Please tell them their child is more than a diagnosis.

Please be honest and tell them this will be hardest things they've ever done but their child will always be 110% worth it all.

Please tell them, for now, the pain and tears are real but they are nothing compared to the incredible joy the future will hold.