My Quote of the Day

Wherever you go,

no matter what the weather,

always bring your own sunshine.

~Anthony J. D'Angelo


"I can." Necklace

As soon as I saw this posting on the talented Kelly Anne's etsy site, I knew it would be perfect for the gift bags.

The "I can." message is what I hope these women will gain from this gift. Each of these women is unique. They each have a story. They each have challenges unique to them.

Some of these women come from out of state and have no local support. Some may lose the child they are carrying. Some may spend months supporting their baby in the NICU. Some may know that their own lives are in danger during their pregnancy. I hope they know that they can.

Just as Kelly Anne put it on her etsy listing, "Whatever it is, you can do it."

Because this beautiful necklace was completely out of my price range, Kelly Anne offered to donate all of her time to make necklaces for these women. What an amazing gift of time.

What do we have?

My dear friend, Camille, sewed bags too. S and B wanted to be in the picture with her.

Here's a list of what we have so far for the gift bags:

Updated 12/5
- 43 gift bags handmade with Amy Butler fabric
- 43 "I can." necklaces
- 43 slipper socks
- 43 tiles with vinyl quote (Need to be assembled. I will post about these.)
- 43 cookies (Thanks to Megan for helping to get these donated!!)
- 45 draw-string bags with granola bars, bookmark and magnet
- 43 fans, chapsticks and t-shirts (I will post about these.)
- 43 card sets
- 43 nail polishes
- 35 pens
- 43 notebooks (Need a little work.)
- 43 bags of candy
- 43 lotions / body washes
- 29 books (post to come about these)

Wow! Thanks to everyone who has helped me with this. It's been a truly amazing process.

What do we still need?

Kind friends have asked me what still needs to be done.

Here's a brief list of what I'm still trying to gather:

Updated on 12/3:
- 14 books (Sudoku, novels, etc.)
- 43 Poinsettias or live plants

A few things I was considering but will probably drop:
- Picture Frames - When I was in the hospital, I loved having a picture of my family next to my bed. It made it feel like home and when the medical staff asked about my family, I could show them. There are many picture frames at Ikea in the $1-2 price range but I haven't made it down there to check them out.
- Knit Hat / Headband - Many of these women will only leave their room once a day for a wheelchair ride. It's their only chance to be outside and since it's cold, a cute hat would be both fun and practical. I think I'll learn how to knit these for next year. Anyone want to learn with me?

Another project night - 12/2

I still have a few things that need to be assembled and finished. I know December is really crazy but if anyone is interested, I'd love extra hands on Thursday, December 2nd (7 PM) at my home.

Here's what I have planned:
- group chapstcik, nail file, nail polish and lotion/bodywash into the same cellophane bag.
- attach pens to notebooks.
- cover initials on some of the notebooks.
- put the vinyl on the tiles - By far the biggest project of the night. Then place in cellophane bag.
- sew handles on 6 bags.
- put necklace and card into cellophane bags.
- put everything in the bags! Done!

Slipper Socks

When I was in the hospital, it was cold so my mom brought me some warm slipper socks. One night, my feet warmed up too much and I discarded them in the middle of the night. The next morning, while I was in the shower, the aide came in to change my sheets. Unfortunately, she didn't notice my slipper socks and by the time I came out and saw my newly made bed, my socks were long gone and not retrievable.

Since these moms are in the hospital during the cold winter months, I thought a one-size-fits-all slipper sock would be helpful. My friend, Andrea, and my mom donated these. Thank you!!

Wal-mart had these slipper socks $3 for 2. Not bad. I should have picked some up for myself to replace the ones I lost in the hospital!

Lotion and Body Wash

When I was hospitalized the first time during my twin pregnancy for pre-term labor at 29 weeks, I didn't have any toiletries with me. I had rushed from my doctor's appointment straight to the hospital.

When I was admitted, a nurse kindly gave me baby wash and that's what I used for soap and shampoo until I remembered to have Jeremy bring me my toiletries a couple days later. It was not great, to say the least.

So I wanted to include body lotion or body wash in the bags. I used a $10 Kohl's cash card to purchase two sets of assorted body lotions and body washes! Since they were $6 each, it only cost me $2.

I still need 29 more body washes and lotions but I think I'll check out the Black Friday ads tomorrow and brave the crowds (Yikes! I've never done that before!) on Friday if I see a deal somewhere.

Pilot Pens

A month ago, I sat at my computer and brainstormed about what kinds of companies might donate to this cause. I emailed Pilot Pens and received an email back saying that they couldn't help me but would send me a "complimentary writing sample".

I smiled when I opened the package a few days later and found not 1 but 12 complimentary writing samples!" That puts a nice pen in almost 1/3 of the bags!

Notecard Sets

My friend, Shellee, is a Stampin' Up rep. She kindly helped me with 150 custom, unique, handmade card fronts. During our project night, we made them into cards and packaged them in sets of 4 or 5.

The Talented Darcy

I love to sew but after the twins were born, I didn't have any time to even consider sewing. I needed new pillows sewn for my living room last year so I turned to KSL (more popular than Craigslist here in Utah) where I found Darcy's listing for sewing. She has helped me with my sewing and mending ever since. Darcy is a fabulous seamstress and she's fast. For me, she has made pillows, a custom tablecloth, matching clothes for my daughter and her American Girl doll, and many more projects.

She's darling and I really enjoy her friendship. I think I'm busy with my 5 kids... Darcy has 11 children!! She truly is amazing.

Darcy not only donated her time to make 6 bags, but I learned that she is a poet too!

She made this Simplify poem into a fridge magnet:


Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Return to the life of days gone by,

Feed our souls, as well as ourselves,

Reduce the things we have on our shelves

Return to Nature, from whence we came,

Find honor in life and bring no shame.

A great accomplishment it would be,

To hunger for less of the luxuries we see.

To value our friends, to see beauty in skies,

What we need to do is to simplify.

Darcy H. Jacobs

This Ripples poem she made into a bookmark.


Drop a pebble in the water, just one plop and it is gone,

But there’s half a hundred ripples going on and on and on.

One loving act of kindness, one caring smile, and it’s begun,

Then, as one life affects another, God’s love goes on and on and on.

Darcy H. Jacobs

Then, as if that weren't enough... Darcy made 43 draw-string bags for the magnet, bookmark and a granola bar.

Thanks Darcy!

Friends + Projects = Fun

After I received the fabric from Amy Butler, I emailed my friends, told them about the project, and invited them to join me for a night of sewing and card making.

What wonderful support from amazing women!

Candice was at the cutting table.

Andrea and Tracy ironed and surged.

Megan loves to sew. She's really good and fast.

Megan, a fellow twin mom, holding the first completed bag!

My daughter was so thrilled to help with the sewing and stuffing the candy bags. She even got to stay up waaaaaay past her bedtime! Marcy, my darling mother-in-law came and helped too.

The ladies put together bags of candy donated by Amy.

The completed bags of candy. They're filled with my favorites... m&ms and other chocolate goodies.

Kristy, Amy, and Linley worked on assembling cards.

The finished product was 35 sets of unique handmade cards. Shellee was so kind and gave them to me at less than cost.

We'll have another project night to finish up the bags.

OPI Nail Polish

When Karen and I were in the hospital in December 2008, we talked daily about just wanting pedicures. So assuming other women feel the same way, I wanted to put nail polish and a nail file in these gift bags.

I emailed OPI about my project and they donated 35 nail polishes!!

Reusable shopping totes made from Amy Butler fabric

It all started with an email. I love Amy Butler fabrics and noticed on their website that they support charities in their local area.

I emailed them and asked if they'd be willing to donate fabric or provide it at a discount for this project. A week later I received an email saying they'd donate home decor fabric from her August Fields line.

I was thrilled that they were willing to help but blown away when I got the package and it had 18 yards of fabric!

The woman at Amy Butler's company suggested using a reusable shopping bag pattern from Green Bag Lady, a woman who provides homemade shopping totes for free to people who promise to use it instead of plastic bags.

I made a sample bag before the project night so that we'd know what we were doing. I used Amy Butler fabric in my personal stash. I made it just like the pattern but we decided to make the straps wider and longer on the gift bags.

We still have 6 bags that need straps. We'll do those during the next project night.

Our goal was to make 35 bags but we've sewn 43 bags so we'll fill those and distribute the last 8 to another hospital in Utah.


Fast Friends

Me and Karen the day before my twins were born at 37 weeks.
Karen's identical twin girls were born 6 days later at 32 weeks.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:

"What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."

- C. S. Lewis

The Parent-to-Parent group at the hospital supports the hospitalized mothers as well as the parents with babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Parent-to-Parent has a little luncheon with the moms on Tuesdays.

I was lucky to meet Karen there. She was also expecting twins and we became fast friends. We supported each other during our hospital stay and after the birth of our babies. I don't know how I would have gotten through the first few months without Karen. She was my Twin Mom Support Group.

H & B's first birthday party
One year later. We did it. We survived the first year with twins.

Karen and I went to the U for a Tuesday luncheon with the bedrest moms to deliver the gift baskets last year.

The Hope Project

Home Sweet Hospital Home - December 2008

In December 2008, I spent two weeks at the University of Utah Hospital before the birth of our twins boys. Although I had great support from Jeremy, as well as family and friends, being in the hospital during the holiday season was really difficult.

The night before the twins were born. There's a lot of baby in there!
11 lb. 6 oz to be exact.

Last year, as December approached, I wondered if there was anything I could do for women in a similar situation. I put together about a dozen gift baskets and poinsettias for high-risk pregnant mothers at the University of Utah Hospital. Many of these women come from surrounding states and don't have the local support I was lucky to have. Some of these women are in the hospital for months. In the gift baskets, I put things like: nail polish, notebooks/pens, notecard sets, Sudoku puzzle books, candy, fuzzy slipper socks, etc. as well as a little message of hope. My goal was to provide comfort to these women during a very stressful time.

This year, we're putting together 43 gift packages and poinsettias for women at both the University of Utah Hospital and IMC. Our goal is to give a package to each woman hospitalized with a high-risk pregnancy during the month of December.

I'll update this blog with photos and information about our progress.

Here are a few pictures from the twins' first few days:
Now we call him Big H but then, he was a tiny 5lb. 6 oz., 21 inch long, skinny guy.

Our big Baby B. 6lb., 20 inches

Holding our boys for the first time - 12/14/08.

One week old - 12/08

Christmas Eve 2008. We did the nativity twice so both babies could be the Baby Jesus.

One year later - 12/09


Our view of the world

My grandmother is moving out of her home soon and we were lucky to inherit three huge wall maps from the early 1980's. They're totally old school with the Soviet Union boundaries.

I'm planning on putting the US one and one of the world maps on the long walls of our downstairs family room and center that decor around our travels complete with travel photos and some of our favorite treasures.

The other world map will be perfect in my two big boys' bedroom with some of these pillows from PB Teen.

One of the maps is an ocean floor map of the world. This one would be cool with that map on the wall.

As for this one, I think I just need it somewhere in my home.
(found on DesignMom)


Boden's sale

I love Boden clothes... just not their prices. I was thrilled when I few things a love went on sale in a major way. I had to buy them all.

Love, love love this Scallop Coat. I was so thrilled when it went on sale.
Originally $198. Now $79.

This Fabulous Clutch really is quite fabulous. I wanted it in gray but it was sold out so I bought the pink. It may be a little over the top in that color but it's still fun.

I bought this Ribbed Skinny Cardigan for my daughter just because I wished they had it in my size. So cute with her new Converse sneakers and jean skirt for fall.

This pink Silk Party Dress is perfect on my daughter's slender frame. The price was just right at $18 (down from $62).

I bought this Broderie Shift Dress in white (but the details don't show up well in white on the screen so I posted the poppy color instead).