Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crohn's, Running, and Me

I am a Runner. I love it! I run almost everyday and the days that I don't, I miss it. The thump of my feet on the asphalt, the sun warm on my shoulders, my breath even and true, and the small adventures that happen on the streets around my house.

It's just amazing to me and I treasure it.

I also have Crohn's disease, I have for about 10+ years. It was the most awful, painful thing I have every encountered, and doctors told me I was crazy. I have had an intestine resection (about 2 feet taken out), but for the past 3&1/2 years I have been on Remicade and it is my miracle. I have a Life now!

Now you're asking "What does Crohn's and running have in common?" least to me.

Crohn's is horrible. Imagine the worst stomach flu you have ever had and then times that by at least 4 and live everyday like that. Imagine feeling like shards of glass are slowly twisting away through your intestines. Of living in the bathroom half the time and barley able to move the rest of the time. Remember that, and all the while you must be a Mom, Wife, Sister, and Friend. That you should still make dinner, do the laundry, play with your kids, laugh with family, help at school, and smile through all the pain and embarrassment. Crohn's is one of those diseases that you really don't want to share the details with everyone (at least until you can be clinical about it).

Remicade had changed my life so much that I can live a "normal" life. It is by no means a cure. I still have very bad days when I need the bathroom nearby and just to sit in bed. And the side effects are unpleasant, but it's All Worth It! If it gives me a tail and mouse whiskers it will still be worth it.

Remicade has triggered what seems to be rheumatoid arthritis in me too. There have been times when I couldn't even sit up and get out of bed. I would have to roll to the side and fall out of bed onto my hands and knees, crawl into the kitchen to my arthritis-friendly bottle of Advil, and then crawl back into my bed until it kicked in so I could make my kids breakfast., sob story almost over.

Running, to me, is a way to stick it to my body. To scream at it "You have to do what I want! You have to listen to me and deal with the pain that I Earned." Running was unimaginable when I was sick. Moving off the bed was bad enough, but to run 3 miles....Never!
I ran 14 miles the other day. The sun was shining, it smelled like things were growing. When I crested hills I could see forever, and my body worked the way I wanted.

Every step was a blessing.

Every mile I run is throwing it in Crohn's face, saying "You do NOT define me. You will NOT force me to be weak."

I am a Runner, Mother, Wife, Friend, Aunt, Sister, and Marathoner!
There is no room on that list for Crohn's.

Every time I step out in all my running gear I am itching to run faster than yesterday, longing to go farther than last week, begging to push this wonderful body that God gave me harder, wanting to be strong, healthy, and Free.

Running is all this and more to me.

It lets me be just Me.
To compete against my best.
To let my mind wander over the fields and valleys in my head with no on asking anything of me.

One day---who knows how soon---my Crohn's will catch me, fast as I am, and arthritis will be more that a stiff discomfort. On those days when I must sit, when I must be in pain, I can call to mind the clear winter morning running my favorite road. The mountains in the distance frosted with snow. The neighborhoods quite and still in their blankets of glittering snow. The air clean and cold as it flows through my lungs. My body strong. My footfalls sure. My favorite song playing in my ear. The road open and free in front of me.

Those are the times running will mean the most.

But until then, I will strap on my water belt, turn up my Ipod, tie up my New Balance, and feel free on the road just outside my door.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

More aprons...

This apron was a gift as well, but I bought it as a kit---I know, hang my head in shame---but it was just so cute and I was short on time. I got it at Joann's using my 40% of coupon and it ended up costing only about 10$. It was easy to make, but the fabric was so awful. It was that stiff, cheap, printed kind. I added a bias tape and gathered a little more than it called for at the flower, but just wasn't quite right. It turned out cute, but it wasn't the quality that I would've liked. I might have to make it with "good" fabrics and see what happens. I think that I would make a fabric flower too instead of the paper one, I could just imagine spaghetti sauce all over it. I LOVE the pearls and flower.

This silly apron was made from a old skirt that my mom gave me that was just too big. I took it apart, keeping the waist and just cutting a curve at the bottom. Then I made a thick ruffle--I love ruffles-- out of some leftover pink that I had from my daughter. Another "free" apron. I think the thing I love the most about this apron is the heart pocket. I feel so girly when I wear it, very french maid. I made this apron for a camping apron....who says you can't be cute in the woods?

Sewing Apron

I love aprons (I think of them as "tool belts") and when I am sewing I always need my little tools and somehow they end up in all kinds of weird places....enter the apron. I looked online at a few half aprons and found some cute "sewing" ones. The ones I liked had pleats so when you are sitting the pockets are right at your hips. I added the scissors loop, but I think that I need to change it. The first attempt I had them--the scissors-- hanging a little more off to the side, and every time I sat down they fell. My little girl is always hovering around me when I sew, so and I was worried about her little toes. So I moved it a little more to the center and and added another loop for the tip to sit in. I also made a small pocket for my small snipers. I love this apron, and I used all old scraps to make it, so it didn't really cost me anything :)

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Drool inducing Chocolate Cake


I made this cake today....and was so good! I found it on this amazing blog WhipperBerry (I am in awe of what this woman can do) and it is too good, and really easy to make. It tastes a lot like the Nothing Bundt Cake that I make, but with this one you get icing on every bite! I just loved it.....obviously.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

{Recipe} Chocolate Torte

Chocolate Torte
  • 1 Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 pkg. (3.5 oz.) Instant chocolate pudding
  • 3 Eggs
  • ½ cup Oil
  • 1 1/3 cup Water
Combine cake ingredients and mix well. Grease two 8-in. round cake pans. Substitute cocoa for flour so you avoid the white film on your cake. You can also cut out circle rounds with parchment paper for easy removal of cake. Bake cake for 42-43 minutes. Test with a toothpick. Let stand 5 minutes in pan, then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack. I prefer to chill the cakes for a little while before proceeding to cut. After cakes have cooled completely cut each cake round in half horizontally making 4 round pieces.
  • 1 pt. HEAVY whipping cream (no exceptions)
  • 1 (8-oz.) block Cream Cheese (full calorie, NO exceptions)
  • 2/3 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • ½ tsp. Salt
In you mixing bowl whip your whipping cream until very thick. In a separate bowl blend together cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Now fold together the cream cheese mixture and the whipping cream.
Finally, put the cake together. Lay one cake round on a cake stand and frost. Next place another cake round on top of the frosting and repeat process.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hair Bow Organizer

"Dress" bow organizer. Her room is SO pink that the in the picture, the dress looks almost a non-color, but it really is pink too.

I have made so many flowers and bows for Ashley in her short little life that they were everywhere, so I needed some way to organise them-I love to organize.

I made the "dress" bow holder first and it was fine...for awhile. Then I got into making flowers for every color of her wardrobe. So I did a little googling and found an idea to hang long ribbons on her door.
It works great.
I bought the satin ribbon at the dollar store-yea dollar store- and just nailed them into the top of the door. Doors are very dense, and it took a lot of bent nails and a few choice words to get them in at the top. Then I measured and nailed the ribbon in about half way up the door-I don't want the babies that visit me to pull it down- and tada! a perfect bow hanger. It filled up much faster than I would've thought and I will have to put up another ribbon soon.....

Crochet Mohawk Hat

I wanted to make this awesome Mohawk hat from the moment I saw it, the problem was the patterns. None of them really were right for my son. They were either too big, small, or too complex. So I improvised, something that I do all too often when I am crafting-not always for the good either.
So I took the pattern from the hats that I made with the flower on them and didn't add the brim. Then I found a pattern with ear flaps and kind of followed it to add the ear flaps, all the time making Jake try it on to see if it fit.
Then I did the Mohawk. It was so easy, once you understood. I chained about 70, then single stitched every chain while pulling out about an inch of yarn with every stitch. So I had a long chain with lots of loops. Once I did about 5 rows I tied off and sewed it on the hat right down the center. Then I cut all the loops, and with a fine comb ratted all the yarn so it had that cool funky look.
I love son not as much. I made him wear it when he went skiing with his class and I think that he might of taken it off, but oh well.
I wear it when I scrap my driveway and feel very cool.