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Monday, September 29, 2008

An Odd Sort of Anniversary

A year ago today at 6:00 in the morning Trevor disappeared down a long, sterile hallway in the Hunstman Cancer Institute for brain surgery to remove an astrocytoma tumor from the left hemisphere of his brain.

It is a strange day for me. In many ways this year has flown by. In many others it has been the longest year of my life. I am unsure how to best describe it. It has been a journey, now in our last month of chemotherapy treatments it seems only appropriate to look back and acknowledge where we have been. I know that I cannot explain it all in writing...and I don't have enough pictures to do much justice. But here are a few from the course of the last year.






Just before we found Trevor's brain tumor...and before we lost our sweet Lexi dog (the black puppy).







Only two weeks after having brain surgery Trevor came hunting with my family and shot his first deer - here he is with its blood on his cheek. We have consumed almost all of the meat, and will be ready for him to fill our freezer up again this year.



This is a photo from my sister, Lacy's, wedding in December. Trev sported this awesome hat for pictures since he had half a head of hair and half a bald head! I think he looked completely debonair.






This is a photo from a dinner outing the day after Trevor finally shaved off the remaining bits of his hair that didn't fall out from the radiation treatments. I think this photo is from February.









This photo is from our first big biking trip after Trev's surgery and during his year of treatments.In May we biked in West Yellowstone with Trevor's parents and loved every minute of the trip. We biked about 30 miles.



This is a picture from May at a USU banquet with my grandma and grandpa - Trevor's hair is starting to grow back here. This was a bittersweet night. The dean of my college at USU had found out he also had brain cancer only weeks before. He knew about Trevor and I and made a special effort to find us and visit with us much that night. He passed away last month and will be greatly missed.





This is our graduation picture from May as well. Trevor's hair began to grow back from the fight side over, growing in first to the spots that we shaved off and filling in last at the places that received the heaviest radiation in October 2007. he is down to one tiny patch - where the most radiation was shot that is just starting to grow in now.



This is a photo from our Zion National Park over Labor Day this year!



Numbers Over the Last Year...
  • Days of Radiation: 42
  • Chemotherapy pills Trevor has taken: 243
  • Doctor visits: at least 15
  • Medical bills: too depressing for anyone but our accountant to add up.
  • Times Trevor shaved his head: 3
  • Miserable side effects to chemo: too many to name
  • Number of MRI scans: 12
  • Number of complaints from Trevor: 0
  • Number of Chelsi's nervous breakdowns: more than I like to admit.
  • Number of prayers, small acts of kindness, warm wishes and bouts of good energy sent our way from incredible family members, friends and strangers: too many too count.
My husband is amazing. While it has been a trying year it has also made us grow a lot together and focus on things that are really important in our lives. Thank you for all of the love and support that each of you have shown us over the last year. In thirteen more days Trevor will take his last chemotherapy pill and we will start off into what we believe will be a beautiful, hope-filled future. We love you all!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lazy Sundays and a Hundred Other Wonderful Things

I believe one of the most sublime experiences any individual can have is to wake up healthy after feeling sick. Think about it, some of the most poignant pieces of literature, the most heart warming movies and the best remembered song lyrics revolve around the concept of healing. We celebrate those who overcome great illnesses, discuss parables and miracles of healings in Sunday school and actively participate in the "get well" economic exchange of flowers, cards, balloons and chocolates for those we love and care about.

When I finally feel the last little bit of a cold slipping out of my system I am the happiest girl in the world. I love everything around me. I love waking up each morning. I love going to work. I love doing laundry. I even love picking up after my dog in the yard. I am so happy to just feel good.

That is what the last couple mornings have been like. Granted, my arm is still broken, my nose is a wee bit stuffy, and everyone I talk to on the phone tells me my voice still sounds crackely. But I am feeling so much better! So this is a post with a few pictures of all the wonderful little things around me that come with finally feeling wonderful again myself.

One of the wonderful things I found yesterday morning when I was feeling better and happier with life is this snail! I know, I know...snails are not wonderful. They are pests and will destroy landscaping, crops, flowers and all those sorts of things. But I was completely fascinated by this little guy making his way across the walk in front of my front door. It is the biggest snail I have ever seen. I watched him for probably a good ten minutes. And as he was headed toward my bushes I knew I was supposed to pour salt on him or squish him or something. But I just couldn't do it. So I picked him up and walked him across the street to the park.
After watching a teeny, tiny living organism I went out to look at the biggest living organism in the yard. Ripsi dog! Most of you know that Trevor and I adore our sweet dog. One of my favorite things about Ripsi I the way she eats her food. She just inhales it. I set her bowl in front of her and she stares intently at it, waiting for me to say "go ahead." The second I utter those words her face is in the bowl and dogfood is being sucked into her gullet.




After being outside with Ripsi I started looking around my yard and found some more wonderful things. These pretty pink flowers grow in our backyard, and they are my favorite. I also found this tinest, baby palm tree sprouting up out of the ground beside our fence. I love living in the desert and having all of these fascinating warm weather plants around me. I know I will have to pull the palm tree up eventually - it doesn't have enough space to grow, but I'm going to give it a couple more weeks.














There are a billion other things that I love and that I think are beautiful. There are a billion other things that I love to do and people that I love to be with. Near the top of those mile long lists has to be spending lazy Sunday afternoons with Trevor. I love Sundays for the crock-pot meals I always make - for the later indulging in the goodies I have on hand (today it is chocolate cake with fudge frosting) and for curling up on the living room floor (even though we have plenty of furniture we always just pile onto the floor in a heap of blankets and pillows) with my husband, alternating between napping, watching old TV shows and visiting. Here is a photo of us doing exactly that today. Sundays are so relaxing and one of the days that Trevor and I both slow down enough to just stop, enjoy each other and be lazy.
Here is to our wonderful, strange life!



*When you leave me a comment tell me some of the little tiny things that are absolutely wonderful and sublime in your lives.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obama & McCain are fowling up my curriculum....

I am perplexed today. With the political atmosphere we find ourselves in I am naturally perplexed about the election, the economy, the candidates, the congressional committee assigned to "bail out" our economy by tomorrow, gas prices, food prices, education budget, tax cuts, tax increases, and the list goes on and on. However, what I am most perplexed about today is the debate debacle...

That's right, I am talking about the upcoming...er...postponed...er...maybe-still-on debate tomorrow night. Here is why:

In my Sophomore composition classes I structure the entire semester around a two goals: improve my student's writing skills & make my students a bit more civil minded. To accomplish these goals I put them into groups of 3 or 4 and each group picks a general political issue. The groups that I usually end up with are "Economy", "Foreign Policy", "Civil Liberties", "Healthcare" ,"Media" and "Education." They work in these groups all semester, each individual in the group writes their own papers that relate back to their umbrella topic, (ie) a student in the Economy group might write his research essay on the sub-prime mortgage crisis and its effects on middle-class families. They cannot write on exactly the same topic as anyone else in their group. At the end of the semester they must compile all of their writings into one collaborative document that replicates a magazine in layout. They then must do a 30 minute class presentation where they "pitch" their magazine as a valid, entertaining and educational document. The assignments that make up the magazine are a political cartoon analysis, a policy review, a book review on a piece of literature/volume of poetry that relates to their topic, a 12 page persuasive research essay, and a rhetorical analysis. They also must create their own advertisements that correspond with their topics, write letters to the editor about each other's essays, and create their own "rant' columns in their magazines. It is a really fun project and my past students have done some incredible things. I also give them 15 points extra credit to include other elements and some have done some really cool photo-editorial essays, Cosmo-like quizes, and other creative things.

A major part of their assignment this year is a rhetorical analysis on the first presidential debate. For the last two weeks we have been discussing argument structure, logical fallacy and discussing media impact and influence on rhetoric. We have watched old clips from the Nixon Kennedy debates, dissected countless Obama and McCain campaign ads to identify their rhetorical situation and just generally getting amped up for the debate.

And then the economy crashes. McCain cancels his campaign, Obama is planning to debate somebody...who, I am not sure...maybe himself. the University of Mississippi and most major networks are still planning on the debate. And my students filed into class today with these totally miffed looks, as if to say, "Now what?"

One of my sweetest, funniest girls said in the most serious way that 19 year olds can, "Isn't there someone we can call to make sure the debate still happens?"

Unfortunately I don't think there is. I suppose we have to wait until tomorrow to see what happens, and I might be scrabbling to come up with something else for my students to do in the meantime. I respect each candidates position and motivation on this issue, and I know there are bigger things going on in my country than just the possible postponement of my English 2010 assignment...but sometimes I just get tired of politicians messing everything up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'll be making my doctor a card...

I am sick...sick...sick...sick. I am miserable...miserable...miserable. Somewhere over the weekend I picked up a flu virus that set in full force Saturday afternoon. I spent big bucks on Zicam and Cold-Eeze and Airborne and Tylonel Cold. And the only thing that has done me any good is the box of Puffs + Lotion + Vicks Vapor-rub. (I love Vicks. If I ever decide to work an assembly line it will be in a Vick's Vspor Rub Factory). I spent all of this morning vomiting and whimpering to my husband. On top of feeling completely wiped out I am still all broken. This makes me even more frustrated when I can't get my own pills and cough drops out of their packages due to my fumbling left hand fingers.

Trevor is so sweet. He tucks me in. He gets me drinks. He gets me pills. He made me Chicken Noodle Soup exactly the way I like it. He washes my hair. He does my hair. He wraps my arm up in its cast. He unwraps my arm. He cleans up the dishes. He cleans up the house. He puts away the laundry. He makes me toast. He runs a bath, even though he thinks I like the water too hot. He puts cold rags on my head. He listens to me whimper and cry, and even though I know he really wants to tell me to buck up and be tough, he doesn't. He holds me as long as I face the other way and don't breathe on him. He types on the computer for me. He buttons up my jeans. He takes care of everything. In our marriage I have had little colds and such before, but I have never been this physically laid up, and even though our temple covenants are different than civil wedding vows, over and over for the past couple of days I keep coming back to the concept of "in sickness and in health" and thinking about how much a marriage means. I am so very grateful for this incredible man that I have the sweet privilege of spending forever with. I am so grateful for his patience and kindness and his commitment to stand by me no matter what...in sickness or in health...for richer or poorer...forever and ever.

I go back to the doctor in the morning for a check up on my arm. I plan to ask him about my most miserable bug as well. I saw this cartoon and thought about making him a "Get me well please card" but can't control the scissors or marker with my left hand. I asked Trevor about it, but he draws the line here. He says the only "Get my Wife Well Please" card he'll be handing over to the doctor is the Visa at the end of our visit.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lifespace for Joshua


A few posts ago our dear friend Joshua left this comment on our blog, in response to my September 11th post....

Though I appreciate the patriotic sentiments... You have failed to remember the most important part of September 11... It's my birthday!... also, after reading all of your previous and post entries... I feel that I deserve slightly more credit on your lifespace... maybe just one reference...?

September 18, 2008 10:30 PM

So this post is officially dedicated to Joshua.

My Top Ten Favorite Things About Josh

10. He reads my blog!

9. He told me not to "give up on Trevor" when we were engaged and I was frustrated.

8. He always answers his phone when I call with dumb questions about my husband

7. He is like the "How to understand and operate" call center for Trevor, and he never puts me on hold or records what I say for customer service purposes.

6. He gives me a hug when he sees me because I'm his best friend's wife.

5. The way he says "ok" and sort of laughs when Trevor says something truly dumb.

4. He is a hopeless romantic and will make some girl super happy.

3. He played "I Like Big Butts" as the first dance song at my wedding, and even though I really wanted to kill him then I think it is hilarious now.

2. He wore a turquoise shirt for my wedding...and the only thing close to a complaint was, "Turquoise...like really turquoise?"

1. It makes Trevor incredibly happy when Josh calls, and even more happy when he comes to visit!

The Top Ten Things Trevor Likes About Joshua

10. He's a "homo...sapien"

9. He guides and inspires.

8. He's a good D I P partner

7. He stays in touch

6. He calls for advice...I call for advice...and sometimes we even listen to each other.

5. He, as Chelsi says, 'puts up' with me.

4. My wife doesn't have to pay him to be my friend.

3. He has an awesome family.

2. He's tall.

1. Dude...he's one of my best friends, what else is there to say?

So Josh, here you go - this is our life space for you! And I typed it all with my left hand, which shows true admiration and dedication to our friendship. Get your tail down here and visit us soon. BTW - we have a birthday present for you. Maybe we can get together around the 16th when we come up for Trevor's Dr. appointments. Call us! We love and miss you!



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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sad Day in St. George

I go biking with our dog Ripsi about every other morning. There is a spectacular bike path near our house and we ride for about six miles before I come home, shower and go to work. It is pretty routine. Except for this morning.

We set out as usual. I normally hold Ripsi's leash really loosely with my hand, so it is easy to drop if something, like a telephone pole, should come between the two of us. But this morning I was being lazy. Instead of holding her leash I laid it across the handle bar and leaned down on it. End result? the leash lost its ability to easily slide. And the following chain of events incurred:

We are head down the road at a good clip - Ripsi is full out running...

Until she stops dead to answer a doggy duty call of nature...

The immediate tension on my leash yanks my bike...

I drop the leash, but not fast enough...

Headed over the top of handlebars I have a quick decision to make, break my fall with my arms or my face...

break my fall with my arm or my face...

Break my fall with my arm...and break my arm!

Amazingly, there was enough adrenaline pumping through me to climb back on my bike and ride the mile and a half home. My arm was throbbing by the time I got there. I ran a hot bath and tried alternately soaking my arm in hot water and icing it for an hour, hoping it would loosen up. Instead it got worse and by 9:30 I could no longer bend or rotate it, and I was ready to hack my arm off from the elbow down with my razor. It hurt so bad!

I got out of the bathtub and Trevor and I went to Instacare. My arm is broken in my elbow.It is not a full out break, which is good, it means that it does not need pinned or set. However the bone is chipped and fractured, which means if I bump it hard, even by just knocking against the wall it will completely break and have to be set and pinned. They put me in a soft cast, a splint and told me I have to wear a sling. I still cannot rotate or bend my arm, and am not supposed to try to. I will be this way for at least four or five weeks. It is pretty sore still.

The most frustrating part is that it is my right arm - my good arm, my needed arm, my most important arm. I cannot lift anything, open anything, let alone write on the board at school. Trevor had to do my hair this morning. He is a wonderful guy, but not so great at ponytails. He pulls and brushes hard and can't understand why the ponytail never ends up in the middle of my head. It is going to be a long five weeks of bad hair days.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I have Friends...and they like me!

Ok - I know I sound like a little girl. But I am so happy today because I think I officially have some friends in St. George! everywhere that Trevor and I have ever lived we have lucked out and along with making many friends there - we have also had built-in-friends - childhood friends that we grew up with who ended up at the same universities doing the same things we were. Even when we were single we always lived in situations with roommates, who have always become dear friends. Moving to St. George has been the first move we've made where we've known absolutely nobody. On top of that, let's be honest, St. George is a retirement community, and most of the people around us and in our ward are certainly older-definitely nice- but not the same play board games til two in the morning, take off on random camping trips, hit up midnight movies, veg out with cheetohs and hot tamales crowd that we are used to.

And it has been sort of hard for us. Since the last three weeks that we have been here I have been so grateful for the blogging network and all of you, because it has helped me not to feel so lonely. Trevor and I have been used to having friends over or going out with friends two or three times a week, and I have always had a close network of girlfriends to shop with and laugh with and cry with. In fact, on Friday night I curled up by Trevor on the couch, buried my face into his should and sniffled, "I miss my friends" (aka ALL OF YOU PEOPLE!). Not two seconds later our doorbell rang. When I opened the door I found Sarah standing on our step, Sarah is one of the younger girls in our ward and she is real cute. She has two sweet little boys and is pregnant with her third. She smiled and asked if I would be interested in coming to her book club. I could hardly stammer out a yes before giving her a hug and telling her how excited I was. She was just like an answer to a prayer.

I went to book club today. These girls get together every few weeks to discuss a book they have all been reading. They each take turns hosting the gathering at their house and providing lunch. They were all so nice and I had a wonderful time. I came home a couple hours later happy and smiling. And here is the best part - they like me too! A few hours later Michelle, she is sort of like the book club organizer, sent around this e-mail:

Hey Girls! Here is the updated book list for book club. I've
also listed the books we've read so far. Thanks Teri for hosting.
The book was good, the food good and the company great!

Sarah invited a new friend to book club today. Her name is Chelsi
and she is way cute. We are VERY excited to have her join us.

I really had a lot of fun, and am already planning to go shopping with some of the girls later this week, plus Sarah and I are getting together at noon on Wednesday to spend a couple of hours scrap-booking. Most of the girls are married and we also talked about getting together with our husbands to play board games. Settlers of Catan here we come!

If anyone is interested, the book we are reading now is The Memory Keeper's Daughter (click for review) and it is supposed to be very good. You guys could all be my on-line blogging book club - let me know what you think about it and I can recite all your brilliant insights at my book club here ...because you all know that one of the very best things about old, good, tried-and-true friends is that they are always willing to help you look good in front of new friends.

I love and miss you all!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering...

September 11th is always a hard day for me, I think it is a hard day for most of us. It is strange to think it has been seven years since the attacks on our country. I can still remember exactly what I was doing with the first plane hit the World Trade Center Tower. For that matter, I can remember exactly what a I was wearing...navy blue Silver pants with a checked navy and cream Old Navy top. I listened to AM radio all the home from work today and they were playing a lot of tributes for the victims of 9-11-2001. I was in tears by the time I pulled in the driveway. Trevor and I hung a flag up today to remember. Beneath the picture I have typed a copy of what I think is one of the most powerful pieces of contemporary nonfiction today. It will make this a really long post, but it is a beautiful, emotion-packed piece of writing. And it says everything I think about this day and this tragic event so much more eloquently than I ever can. I hand out copies of this to my students every year. It is called "Leap" and was written by Brian Doyle, and I believe it was first published in Fourth Genre.
Leap
A couple leaped from the south tower, hand in hand. They reached for each other and their hands met and they jumped.

Jennifer Brickhouse saw them falling, hand in hand.

Many people jumped. Perhaps hundreds. No one knows. They struck the pavement with such force that there was a pink mist in the air.

The mayor reported the mist.

A kindergarten boy who saw people falling told his teacher that the birds were on fire. She ran with him on her shoulders out of the ashes.

Tiffany Keeling saw fireballs falling that she later realized were people. Jennifer Griffin saw people falling and wept as she told the story. Niko Winstral saw people free-falling backwards with their hands out, like they were parachuting. Joe Duncan, on his roof on Duane Street, looked up and saw people jumping. Henry Weintraub saw people "leaping as they flew out." John Caron saw six people fall, "falling over themselves, falling, they were somersaulting." Steve Miller saw people jumping from a thousand feet in the air. Kirk Kjeldsen saw people flailing on the way down, people lining up and jumping, "too many people falling." Jane Tedder saw people leaping and the sight haunts her at night. Steve Tamas counted fourteen people jumping and then he stopped counting. Staurt DeHann saw one woman's dress billowing as she fell, and he saw a shirtless man falling end over end, and he too saw the couple leaping hand in hand.

Several pedestrians were killed by people falling from the sky. A fireman was killed by a body falling from the sky.

But he reached for her hand and she reached for his hand and they leaped out the window holding hands.

I try to whisper prayers for the sudden dead and the harrowed families of the dead and the screaming souls of the murderers but I keep coming back to his hand and her hand nestled in each other with such extraordinary ordinary succinct ancient naked stunning perfect simple ferocious love.

Their hands reaching and joining are the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and death. It is what makes me believe that we are not craven fools and charlatans to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fires, to believe that some unimaginable essence of who we are persists past the dissolution of what we were, to believe against such evil hourly evidence that love is why we are here.

No one knows who they were: husband and wife, lovers, dear friends, colleagues, strangers thrown together at the lip of hell. Maybe they didn't even reach for each other consciously, maybe it was instinctive, a reflex, as they both decided at the same time to take two running steps and jump out the shattered window, but they did reach for each other, and they held on tight, and leaped, and fell endlessly into the smoking canyon, at two hundred miles an hour, falling so far and so fast that they would have blacked out before they hit the pavement near Liberty Street so hard that there was a pink mist in the air.

Jennifer Brickhouse saw them holding hands, and Stuart DeHann saw them holding hands, and I hold onto that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yup...I live in Utah

The following sign was taped up in the English Department facutly workroom today:
You Can Always Tell Someone is From Utah if He or She...
1. Can pronounce Tooele, Duchesne, Scipio, Toquerville, Hurricane, and Moab.
2. Knows the difference between West temple, South Temple, and North Temple and never wonders what happened to East Temple.
3. Has a two-year supply of Caffenine free Diet Coke in the basement.
4. Thinks William Shakespeare was born in Cedar City...and merely served a mission in England.
5. Knows every line from Mr. Rogers, Barney, Big Bird and Mr. Mac
6. Is tomorrow the two-for-one sale, the three-for-two sale, or the two-pants suit sale?
7. Drives in the left lane and votes in the right lane.
8. Believes Jello is one of the basic food groups.
How I stack up...
1. Yup - I can properly pronounce every town in this list...including my personal favorite and new neighboring metropolis (ok metropolis might be a bit of an exxageration) Hurricane. You might think this is prounounced like it is spelled, the same way the weather guy announces and annuciates any tropical storm. You'd be wrong. We say this "her-ri-kun" I like to put a heavy emphasis on the "k" sound - makes me sound even more local.
2. I never even realized there was no East temple....hmmm.
3. Funny thing is there was a two year supply of caffine-free diet coke in our basement when we moved in...and it had only been there since the mid-90's! We don't drink soda, but Trevor and I had to try a can anyway...who could resist ten year old condensed sugar? NASTY!!! we threw all the Diet Coke away...and the root beer, and the Pepsi, and the Diet Dr. Pepper (still in the white and red cans!) that my grandma had saved.
4. Come on - Give me some credit - I am an English professor!
5. I am so grateful I do not know all of these lines - but I am pretty sure Trevor can quote Mr. Rogers - anyone remember his talent for MHS's Mr. Madison?
6. Who cares? it's shopping and a sale baby!
7. I do drive in the left lane most of the time...I get confused at the turn-in to our housing area...
8. We have allready had a new neighbor bring us a jello salad to welcome us to the area
...Yup - I live in Utah!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

So I married a Geek....and it is bound to rub off...

I cannot believe I am posting this...but I couldn't resist...let all my inner geekiness be released! While I was busy writing my last post my husband disappeared. I found him in his office playing a new computer game. Apparently this game just came out and it is called Spore. You start out in the game as an organism with so many cells and points or something and then as you go along in the game you evolve somehow into a bigger, scarier, fancier organism. I think you can end up creating a whole universe and your "spores" can battle other peoples' "spores". I am a little sketchy on the details. So Trevor showed me the "Create your Spore" page. Remember those "Sketch a Monster" books we had when we were little? The ones with pages of noses and ears and hands that you could carefully trace one body part at a time until you had a whole monster? It is like that but computerized, and...here it goes...I'm gonna say it...it is actually pretty fun. The type of body parts you choose impact your ultimate spore survival somehow...like I mentioned before...details. Anyway - here are some spores we made. Trevor made the spikey cow ram guy. I made the pretty purple, yellow and blue one-eyed critter. Trevor says my spore would not last long in the world of spores. Apparently I am not inclined to create things with a high chance of survival. Trevor pointed out the flowers and leaves on the end of my critter's tail are not key to survival and evolution. But here was my thought process. It has an ant-eater like snout to find food deep in the ground. While it is rooting around it can look out for predators with its one swiveling eye ball, and if a predator does happen along it can pull its tail up over its body and be disguised as a flowery bush. I think it is brilliant. Don't you all wish I was in charge of the world? Everyone could have foliage on their butts. It's a camouflage mechanism.

Let there be light!

I realize many of you may not know where Trevor and I are living in St. George. We have moved into a vacation home that my family has owned for my entire life. My grandparents bought this home when it was first built. No one has ever lived in it for more than a week at a time. So in many ways it is like a brand new house...here is the catch, it was built in the 70's...so it is a thirty-year-old-brand-new house. We are working to try and update it as best we can, and it is a huge blessing to live here so we cannot complain. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two family rooms, a kitchen and a dining room upstairs and a half finished basement downstairs. The part of the basement that is finished is a game room with a pool table and a game table and a TV and stuff. It is a very comfortable house...but the part I have been the very most excited for is the other half of the basement - the unfinished half. Here is why....

QUILTING!

For the last two years that Trevor and I have been married he has begrudgingly shared his office computer space with my crafting sewing space.We are so excited to have our own areas. I told my grandpa that I wanted to quilt and craft in the basement and he offered to come down this weekend and wire it all up for me. It has had only one little light and two measly outlets until now. Now I have many outlets and the best light in the house!!! Granted, the walls are still cement and stud frames, and the ceiling is a patchwork of insulation, but I am so excited about it. I have swept and mopped the cement floor and washed the walls- so I have it pretty clean, and we laid down a big piece of loose carpet from my mom's house when she remodeled. I am still working on setting it up just how I want it. Trevor is building me some shelves and helping me set up a big table. I will post pictures soon. I love it. I told Trevor I feel like a little girl with her own fort - he just shakes his head and laughs at me. Until I reveal my crafty hide-out to the world I am posting some pictures of the quilts I have already made. I am still learning - but I love it. I also joined the quilting group in our new ward and am looking forward to learning lots of tricks and skills in those meetings.

Here is a close up of the quilt I made for Justin & Kelsey's wedding present. It is an over-sized Queen. I was really happy with how it turned out. I think they liked it too.



This is a quilt I made for myself a couple of years ago. It is not very big - only a little larger than a twin sized quilt and it is completely impractical. I used a lot of satins and velvets and gauze based material. So it is pretty fragile - you can't sit on it or anything. I just lay it over a corner of the couch in our formal sitting room.


The Levi quilt is a quilt I made for Trevor while we were dating. It is just a full sized quilt and I need to retie it - because he
hauls it everywhere with him and has pulled out some of the ties.











This last picture is a picture of the pattern Trevor's little sister, Hillary, picked out for her wedding quilt. I only had a couple of months notice with J's quilt, and since I traveled and worked all summer I basically made his whole quilt in one sleepless week. In order to avoid such sewing stress in the future I am making Trevor's little sisters pick their patterns and their material now. Hillary's quilt will be the first one I make in my new room. She picked out her material over labor day and choose black and white and gray shades. I think it will be pretty. She was excited and funny about it. Our conversation at the material store went like this.
Hillary: I love this. I wish I could have it now.
Me: Nope. You can't have it til you get married.
Hillary: But I don't have even have a boyfriend right now.
Me: It's ok - I will store it.
Hillary: What if I never get married?
Me: Then you will never get your quilt.
At that point the woman cutting our material burst out laughing.
Stacey (Trevor's other little sister): If my mom had like twelve kids would you still be making all of us a quilt?


I AM SO EXCITED
TO START IT SOON
IN MY NEW ROOM!!!