Friday, August 28, 2009

Vacation is upon us

Just a quick little note. Christian and I are off to our once a year vacation. This year, to make up for the lost vacation in Oregon where I broke myself just three days into the trip, we're going big. Christian and I are heading to Ireland!! We'll be back Labor Day, and I'm sure I'll be sharing many photos from our trip. Until then everyone, have a great week! Hugs!Let's hope I can take photos as amazing as this one! (It's the Cliffs of Moher, and yes, we will be seeing it! Can hardly wait!!!!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

For Celeste

I had a request from a super dear friend, who has known me since before I was born, to make a name plate for the newest addition to the Firth family. I've been waiting to post the photo of the finished product until Celeste's mom received the package. Well, I got the word that it made it there, so without any further ado, here is the name plate I made for Celeste.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Broken Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of the beginning to "The Great Clavicle Saga." That's right! It was exactly one year ago today that I rolled an ATV down a cliff while visiting my home town in Southern Oregon. I broke my collar bone and from that moment till now my life was put on hold. I'm happy to report that, although I am still healing, and still staring down one last surgery (in December), despite all that, my life has gotten back on track.

In one week I will be starting school again. I took the full year off from obtaining my degree due to the complexity of living life with just one arm. (Plus the whole pain round-the-clock thing didn't sit well with a full time student status.) I'm excited, a little nervous, but over all happy that my life plans are once again moving in the right direction.

Through everything that has gone on this past year I attempted to look at each challenge as an opportunity to learn something from the experience. (Trust me, there were plenty of challenges to use as learning tools!) I know that I have grown as a person. I learned that I'm a stronger individual than I thought. I learned how to ask for help. (Something I never would have done before the accident.) But most importantly I gained a greater love and appreciation for my family.

My mother-in-law provided food for several months. She offered to do my laundry and to help me clean the apartment. (Because of my stubbornness, I figured out a way to clean with one arm, and Christian did our laundry while I was immobilized.)

My father-in-law became my personal chauffeur, making sure I arrived at every doctors appointment safely and on time. He patiently waited with me for hours, and never once complained or made me feel like a bother.

Both my mother-in-law and father-in-law took over my position at the office to help Christian run a smooth practice. Kathy would work all day at school, and give up her free time after an already full day to sit at my desk and cover for me. John would spend his days off filing, answering the phone, and keeping all our patients content and entertained.

My family in Oregon, although the miles between us made it impossible for them to physically help out, they made sure I knew I was in their thoughts and prayers. They called me every week to give moral support and to share their love with me.

And of course my wonderful husband who spent every waking moment making sure I was as comfortable as I could be. He would go out of his way to make me smile. He sat through girly romantic comedies just to spend time with me, and stayed in on the weekends so that I wasn't too lonely. He cared for me like no other, and I adore him for it.

For all the support that my family gave, as well as all the prayers from them and from my friends, I am truly grateful. It's been a rough year, but I pulled through, and have discovered a new found love of life. I am surround by a beautiful life, and I am ecstatic to be sharing that life with such amazing people.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Hope

This weekend Christian and I spent the day in New Hope, Pennsylvania. It's a town on the Delaware River that is filled with many wonderful art galleries, cafes, and hand crafted knick-knack shoppes. The town has this very eclectic feel about it, as it attempts and successfully balances old world charm with modern art pieces. The buildings were clearly colonial, and yet many of them displayed and/or sold contemporary pieces. It was great fun to see such a contrast.We took a soothing, slow-paced boat ride down the Delaware in the heat of the day. It was great to be on the water and just feel the gentle rock of the boat swaying to and fro underneath us. While out on the river we saw a family of deer, a mother and her two fawns, swimming to the shore line. It had never occurred to me that deer might actually be able to swim with those twig-like legs that carry them around, but there I was witnessing it with my own two eyes. We also were lucky enough to see a blue herring, turtles, swans, lots of geese and ducks, teens tubing down the river, and an insane jet skier who liked to do what I could only describe as donuts in the water.I mentioned that we saw turtles. I took this photo and at the time I only saw one turtle, but after putting it on my computer I was amazed at just how many there were. How many turtles do you see? (Click on the photo to enlarge it)Finally, this last photo has become my favorite from the trip. I feel that it captures the true essence of New Hope. Peaceful, quiet, and inviting. Although it's a bit out of the way to get to, it's well worth the trip. I must agree that the town has been aptly name. After spending a day there, you do leave with a new found hope.

Friday, August 21, 2009

One Month Old!

Yesterday was my niece's one month birthday! Within her first month she has mastered eating, sleeping, and winning the hearts of everyone around her. You can't help but love her. Her Mommy affectionately says, "You're in Shayla world now." Once you've visited her world you never want to leave. It's so true. When visiting Shayla world you loose all track of time (in a good way), and whatever worries you had in our yucky everyday world seem to melt away. It's a place you want to visit time and time again. How lucky it is for her parents that they now live in Shayla world. It's truly a beautiful place to be.
Above: See, I told you she has mastered sleeping. So tiny, and look at those long fingers. Perhaps she'll be an artist like her Mommy?

Below: My husband has a thing for baby cheeks. (I just know that someday he's going to be the steriotypical Grandpa that pinches every little baby cheek he sees.) This photo is for him, look at those cheekie-bears. And even I'm with Christian on this one, don't you just want to touch them? So stinkin' cute!This photo (below) cracks me up. Shayla's Daddy is very much into boxing. He's really good at it. (He doesn't get in the ring, but you should see him bunch the heavy bag... whew!) I love this photo because it looks like his talent with the gloves on have passed down to his daughter. Doesn't she look like she's about to give a great jab? So cute!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Beach Wedding

(Note: This post is about two weeks late, I'm terribly sorry about that.)

On August 8, Christian and I traveled down to Long Branch, NJ to celebrate the renewal of vows for our friends Dyana and Vinny. They were married one year ago to the day, in a small family and close friends ceremony over looking the New York skyline. A year later the happy couple invited their family and this time, all their friends to stand as witness to their continued faith and devotion to one another.
The ceremony was held on the beach where shoes were optional and smiles were abundant. The Best Man was the couple's son Jayden. Not only was he a super cute Best Man, but my go0dness can this little-tike steal the dance floor! He was so stinkin' cute!My Brother-in-law John was one of the groom's men. Here comes the bride! Stunning, and so happy! The Bride's maids, a vision in teal.The beautiful couple.The center pieces were so cute. A Beta fish on each table swam the night away and then found happy homes with the guest at the end of the evening.Yes, those are Star Wars characters for their cake toppers. Such a fun night!There's Dr. Christian with his youngest patient. Jayden received his first adjustment at the age of four days old! He's one of our best patients, and we love when he comes into the office to say hello!The girls! My friend Margaret, my Cousin-in-law Danielle, and my Sister-in-law Krysty. (Doesn't Krysty look super fab for being a new Mommy!?!)
The night was filled with fun, laughter, and dancing. The happy couple created a wonderful evening, and Christian and I were honored that we were apart of creating a family memory with them. Thank you Dyana and Vinny for such an enjoyable day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Clavicle Saga is Back!

I haven't had much to write about in the past few months when it came to the never ending clavicle saga. Don't let this entry fool you. There really isn't too much to say, but I did pay a visit to my orthopedic surgeon this morning so I thought I'd share the newest findings with you.

First let me say that I'm a pro at these follow-up visits. I've been doing them for almost a full year now. (August 27th will be my one year anniversary of breaking my collar bone! My goodness!) This visit was probably around the 40th time I've sat in his office. So I was prepared with a thick book, and my trusty "posh" sudoku travel book. It's not uncommon to wait for a room for 45+ minutes. Today however was unlike any visit I've had to endured in the waiting room.

I was scheduled for a 9:30 appointment, and of course being the uber neurotic person that I am, I made sure I was there 15 minutes early. I sat in the waiting room till 10:20. Okay, an hour is not terribly bad, especially when you're prepared and know you'll be will waiting. They stuck me in an exam room, and the doc came in right away. I was in shock, I'm usually left alone for at least ten or fifteen minutes. He looks at my shoulder, touches the skin which has grown sensitive again, and sends me down the hall for the ever popular x-ray.

I grab my bag and book and leave my room knowing that in the waiting room full of patients one lucky person will snag my desired room. Snap, snap! Two x-rays taken. And now I wait for a room to open so that I can see the doc and see my ever healing bone. Finally at 11:00 a room opens up, and I walk back down the hall, sit on the table covered in paper and begin to wait.

I wait. And wait. And wait. I read over 100 pages in my book, have finished two sudoku puzzles and have had people check in on me so that I know they haven't forgotten that I'm there. Finally the doc graces me with his presence, spends probably three minutes with me and tells me we'll meet again in November. I leave his office at noon and even though I have be there for close to three hours, some how I still have a smile on my face because what else can you do? No point in getting all huffy, right?

Anyway, in those three minutes I saw my clavicle, and it still looks pretty darn good. The plate looks like it's still in the right position, snug against the bone. I'm overly worried that it might shift or begin to lift again, so I always check. Surprisingly I still have a small area that has yet to fuse. Am I the slowest healer on the planet or what? I informed him that I will be starting school again in the fall, and I would like to have my final surgery to remove the plate on my winter break. So we both agreed that December sounds like a good plan. So there you have the newest addition to the clavicle saga. Hopefully we won't have another update till my next visit with him in November.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aunt Taryn's Gift to Shayla

This past weekend I completed my first gift for my niece Shayla. I wanted to create something special for her, something that perhaps one day she could look at and say, "My Aunt Taryn made that for me when I was two weeks old." I made her a wall hanging of her beautiful name. I tried to use a sophisticated color palette, so that it was something she might not out grow.

When I lived in Oregon I use to always have little craft projects going. I had a closet full of supplies, the inspiration seemed endless, and some how I always found time. 95% of the things I made were gifts for those I cared about. Since moving out to East Coast, going to school, working at the office, taking care of a home,and the buzz of every day life, I had forgotten about my passion for crafting. So when this idea of making a gift for Shayla developed I was thrilled, and determined to make it as perfect as her.
My supplies for the project. Not everything you see above made it onto the wall hanging, but thats okay. It shows a sense of reserve, and balance. Picking out the right color scheme was probably the most time consuming. I didn't want it to be too "baby-ish", but at the same time I didn't want it to be too mature. I would have to say that I spent close to an hour in the scrapbook isle finding the perfect papers. (The employees at the store must have thought I was bonkers!)
The finished project. (If you click on the photo it should enlarge to see the finer details) I gave it a slightly distressed look with chalking around the edge of the larger letters, I filled the edges of smaller letters to reveal the white core of the paper, and I used a charcoal colored ink pad around the edge of the background paper to help it blend with painted wood molding.

I'm am so grateful for my new little niece. Because of her I have a greater understanding and a deeper love for my own Aunt. My Aunt Irene made things for me all the time as a kid. I always admired her work, and use to watch her paint for hours. The pieces she made for me are so special, and I am so blessed to have them as a reminder of her love for me. I want to be the Aunt to Shayla that my Aunt Irene was to me. They're big shoes to fill, but in a way, while I was making this gift for my niece, it was as if I could feel my Aunt Irene standing by my side, watching me work, and if she was there I think she would have been proud of what I created for my niece.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring!

I'm just checking... I live in New Jersey right? I ask simply because for the better part of the summer I have been confused, and truly wondering if I live in Seattle. This is why... (Press the play button)
video

But I bet many of you would not be surprised to learn that I love the rain. So I've actually enjoyed the soggy summer of '09. But then again, we've always known that I am one odd Duck. (Go Oregonian Ducks!)