The theme of this month for our family has been travel! The month started with a trip to Michigan for a funeral and ended with an amazing family road trip that included stops at four NASA facilities and a day at the International Quilt Festival. (You can see my pictures on my FB album).
Speaking of quilts, I only had one finish this month, but it was a big one! A few months after I first touched a sewing machine, one of my very good friends, Erin, married her love, Bob. I promised her and new husband a quilt, but said they probably would get it until their first anniversary. I would have made that deadline, had my original design not turned out a little girly. As it turned out, it was perfect for a little girl I knew, and they graciously agreed me to gift their quilt to someone else. Because the movie "UP" was such big part of their engagement and wedding, they asked if I might make them an UP-themed quilt. I thought about it for months, trying to figure out how to make the balloons and colorful house. Then, on October 26, the unthinkable happened, Bob died of a heart attack. They were only married for 15 months. I worked nearly all my waking hours--and there were a lot of them--for a week to finish their quilt in time for Bob's funeral. I learned a lot about applique and got bit by the art quilt bug. Most importantly, I was able to wrap my gift around my friend in person.
When we got back from the funeral, I took a week to catch up on sleep and life. I stared at my Mom's Western Scrabble quilt and found lots of ways that did not work to finish the top. I really wanted to incorporate photos into the design, but the fabrics and photos clashed too much, so I finally (in November) gave up and found another option for the borders. Hopefully I can show off the finished project in my November recap.
The only other sewing I did was the ten minutes I spend making a stretch strap. On my penultimate day of physical therapy, I was looking at the stretch strap and figured I could make one to use at home. I made a few mental notes and whipped up my short-girl's version. On my last day of PT, I checked mine against the real thing and was happy with what I came up with. I've been putting it to good use ever since!
In a different kind of art, my son's kindergarten photos came in, so I was able to update his growing up gallery.
October can be a difficult month for a lot of parents. On October 15, we, along with other parents who lost a child too soon, noted Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This year I posted a poem my mom wrote for me in honor of our three children, two in heaven, and the one we get to raise.
One of the highlights of our two road trips this month was meeting four of the fellow December 2008 mamas. There is a group of us who "met" online six years ago when we were all expecting. These amazing women have been a lifeline to me as I have learned to navigate the waters of parenthood. We are vastly different in our beliefs, opinions, and values, but we all love our children and support each other through each milestone. One of the greatest benefits of driving, rather than flying, to our destination, is the opportunity to meet up these wonderful woman and their kiddos.
In fact, we were super social this fall with playdates, fall happenings, meeting new friends, and reconnecting with long time friends.
Between our first trip and our second trip, we spent some time enjoying the beauty of Ohio in the fall.
I worked on a few projects this month. The big one was finding a solution for displaying quilts in our great room.
I also made some homemade vaporub using Wellness Mama's recipe. We've put it to good use in November as we've been battling colds and allergies.
Finally, something big happened this month: Niels voted for first time as an American!