Saturday, February 21, 2009

Project Complete!

So I really thought this would take me much longer to finish... not so much. I actually had it done within a few days of buying the supplies.

I used an ordinary mechanical pencil to create the lines to follow... truth be told, the markings were there but they were pretty faint so I was making up portions of the line as I went.

Every so often I looked at my project carefully and thought 'the stitches aren't straight', 'this isn't even', 'none of the stitches are the same length', ect. I kept wanting to either stop and abandon the project or pull out all the thread and start over. I pushed through those feelings and just kept plugging away. I am glad I did.

Is it perfect? No.

Do I love it and am I proud? Yep!

One of my character flaws is starting projects and not finishing them... actually another flaw is being a perfectionist and this project helped me address both of those issues. I persevered and made the image I had in my head... made with my own 2 hands. I also pushed through feelings of being inadequate and produced a product I am happy with. Now I just hope that the black string doesn't run when I inevitably have to wash this jacket ;~) Did I mention thinking things through isn't a strong suit either ;~)

It's my own Mondrian.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I bought a white running jacket for the walk (and subsequent training) and thought wouldn't it be cool to embroider a breast cancer ribbon the back?

Then I thought and I could add 'I walk for her' across the bottom.

Then I thought I come up with too many projects... but it was too late to talk myself out of it. I had the thought in my head and now I have to see it through.

Here is my jacket (bear with me, I am still learning how to use my new DSLR)

And here are my supplies for said embroidery.

Now I am not devoid of knowledge about stitching but I, by no means, know what I am doing. I am making this up as I go along and just hoping that it comes out halfway decent.

In my mind it will be crisp and clean like a Mondrian...

In reality I fear it will look something like this...

With any luck I will fall somewhere in the middle.

I am posting about this project here for 2 reasons... 1. it has something to do with the walk and well, the walk is what this blog is about so you do the math. 2. I want to follow through with my plan. I have the ability to think big and execute small and I don't want to do that here. If I think my readers (all 2 of you) are counting on seeing progress and a finished product, well, that just might keep me working on it!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My reason

One reason I started this blog was to share my personal story... to put a face on breast cancer. This is the face of breast cancer to me.

This is my mom on the day I met her face to face.

I didn't make it easy on her. I came into the world backwards so she had to have an emergency c-section... alone... at a military hospital... not pleasant at all. Once we met though... love at first sight. It was her and I from then on out... we were a team.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Purchase #1

When I did this walk in May 2002 I had every intention of training. My mom and I were going to plan out or training and hold each other to it. Unfortunately I was still young and self absorbed. I didn't follow through with the training which to this day saddens me. Not because the walk was hard but because the training was something my mom was looking forward to doing with me. I think she thought of it as time we could spend together bonding. I look back and it saddens me that I squandered that time... I couldn't even tell you what I replaced it with.

I made it through the walk ok. I had blisters like you wouldn't believe but I managed to take every step from the first to the last... some of those steps may have been more of a hobble but it counts!

This time, I plan on preparing. I am not in my early 20's anymore... ugh, I am not anywhere in my 20's. I am 30 and while I realize that is still young... it isn't as young as 23. Preparation needs to happen.

For this reason, I have bought the Omron Pedometer. It will go with me everywhere as I start the journey of preparation!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You Did It!!

I have to start by saying that I love stickers. I always have and probably always will. In fact, throughout my childhood, stickers were usually a staple in my Christmas stockings, adorned birthday presents and were given as 'for no reason' gifts... my mom knew me well ;~)

Someone at the Breast Cancer 3Day must feel the same way. They give you a badge with a plastic sleeve and lanyard. You fill in your name and place the number (a sticker) of 3Day walks you have completed. On the other side of the badge are all the places you can add stickers for completing certain milestones.

So far I have "Set up my personal page", "Attended a Get Started Meeting" and "Got my first donation" (Thanks Jess H!). I get giddy every time I complete a milestone and am able to put a new sticker on.. seriously, ask Adam!

Today I realized I get to put another sticker on my badge!! "Raised my first $500!" Thanks to you all for getting me so far so quick! I am so very thankful to all my friends who put me over my first hurdle! I literally could not have done it without you!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm Committed

or at least I should be committed!

I have officially signed up for the Breast Cancer 3Day!

I went to the start up meeting on Thursday night with the sole purpose of getting information... I signed up for the walk that night. I have wanted to do something for a while now... something for a cause and something to get out of my own self centered focus. Every time an opportunity was presented, I had an excuse why I couldn't commit. Now, I am out of excuses and really, I need this event. I may need it more than it needs me. This is my chance to have something of my own... it's my chance to be part of something much bigger than me... it's my chance to do something for someone else instead of focusing on what the world should be doing for me.

The 'her' in my blog name is my mom Susan. She fought breast cancer for 19 years before it finally won. She passed away in Nov 2004.

I was extremely fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with her. She was diagnosed in 1985, when I was 7 years old... this was also the time her and my birth father were divorcing. She was cancer free for 7 years... then it came back 5 years later... then not even 2 years later and from that time on, it was an almost constant battle. For the first 10 years of her battle it was her and I on our own. By God's grace we made it through. Friends helped us out immensely... I can remember staying weeks at different families homes while my mom was sick. I don't even know how she was able to continue working... or even if she did. I have no idea how that worked... just one of the many things I would like to ask her now.

In 1995 my mom met a wonderful guy who became her husband 2 years later. His name is Paul but I call him dad. We are still very close and I am so grateful God placed him in my (our) lives.

All 3 of us did this walk 7 years ago... these are my parents somewhere between Baltimore and DC. The one thing I remember most about the walk is pushing myself to keep walking because my mom showed no signs of quitting... I mean she was like a train. She was paced, consistent and had boundless energy. She amazed me and I wanted to walk every step with her.

Unfortunately I will be walking by myself this year... unless I can convince anyone out there to do it with me? I already have a team name picked out thanks to Rob! My mom will be with me in memories only and my dad is living on the west coast, participating in his own fight against cancer. I am not worried though... I know without a shadow of doubt that I can do this. I can do the training, I can raise the money and I can walk 60 miles. I can do it for her.

I am extremely excited about this event. Thanks for checking in... I hope my excitement is contagious!