"A good intention clothes itself with power."~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here it is, that time of year where we look at what is working well in our lives and we also look at the things that might not be going so well. Millions of people will toast to a brand new year and a brand new “them” at midnight Dec 31. Will you? What are you resolving for 2012?

For years and years I made (and failed at) new years resolutions, but everyone doesn’t fail! I am however in the majority though, statistically. This morning I read that out of those who make new years resolutions 22% of folks fall off the wagon after a week, and after 3 months 50% just give up altogether on them. Depending on where you look the statistics are a little different but still unfavourable. If you have found yourself disappointed and discouraged in the past with resolutions, or just plain not had any success with them, why not set a sankalpa instead? Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word from the yoga tradition meaning will, purpose or determination. The word san means “highest truth” and kalpa means “vow.”
A sankalpa is an internal vow you make to yourself. Its like planting a seed within. Its private. Its similar to a resolution only instead of focusing on what you don’t want (want to give up etc), you focus on what you’d like to bring into your life and manifest. Instead of saying “I won’t” you say “I will” and you see and feel your vision it in all it’s glory. It’s a resolve that resonates deep within your core. It’s a good intention that brings you into alignment with your highest self and your greatest good. It may sound a little hokey but its really quite powerful.

There are lots of ways to practice sankalpa and I highly recommend it. And if you’re not clear on your sankalpa? Just be open to receiving it and it will come. Maybe it’s a new energy you‘d like to cultivate? Or something you have already been working on for a while? Or it may be something entirely new you’d like to manifest. You can begin each day with your sankalpa. You can reflect on it often, meditate on it, or bring it to your awareness anytime your mind is quiet and receptive. Some good times to focus on it would be: at the beginning of a yoga practice, during shavasana (deep “on purpose” relaxation), meditation, relaxing in the tub, walking in nature, or any period of mindfulness (cuddling your child, eating, walking, chores etc.). You can journal or recite a mantra, or you can simply get quiet and breathe while you focus on what you are inviting into your life. It's important to not get your ego involved or invested. Try and remember that you aren't trying to fix anything about yourself.

We are always growing, changing, and evolving, and with a sankalpa we’re not attached to a specific outcome so that means never beating yourself up or getting upset or disappointed, so there isn’t ever a reason to throw in the towel. And real change doesn’t happen over night anyways. We stay very much in the present moment as the seeds grow and things evolve. And lastly, remember the practice of ahimsa (another sanskrit word) which means non harming-non violence. Its really important to practice your self compassion. We aren’t pressuring ourselves. We are already perfect exactly the way we are. We really are. We are just living with intention in the constantly changing flow that is life. Right here and right now. Good luck to you and all the best in 2012!

Stationery? What's that?

When I first started my journey into the world of writing letters, I was faced with two obvious questions - what to write with, and what to write on.  The writing instrument would definitely have to be one of my newly purchased fountain pens.  I'm a left-handed writer, and was always told that I could never use fountain pens.  I believed it until I saw a YouTube video from a left-handed writer using a fountain pen.  That was in July, and I haven't looked back since.  I protect my small collection of eyedropper Preppys and the few pens I have managed to purchase like they're my first born child.

But... the question of what to write on still haunts me.  I am on a somewhat restricted budget (I have decided to finally buy a new car in 2012... I will not spend another winter in a car without heat), so the economic factor is an issue when it comes to finding something awesome to write on.  And with fountain pens, you really have to keep the pens and ink in mind when you buy stationery.  You don't want to be halfway through your epic description of the crazy woman who was changing her clothes while driving down the highway at 80 miles an hour only to find the back of the page is littered with a mirror image of the words you just put down.  You also probably don't want the ink to have feathered more than a Charlie's Angel haircut, either.

I have only really begun to look for an economic way to procure a small collection of stationery.  Currently, I am using a ream of 28lb bright laser photo paper I bought at Staples.  I have yet to find an ink that it didn't like, even with my Noodler's Ahab pen at full flex.  I'm sure there is one out there, but my preferred method of consuming ink is in the form of sample vials from Goulet Pen Company, so if it's there, I bet I'll find it.  (Tangent  alert!  The De Atrementis inks are gorge, and I must has them all)

I found a PDF of a narrow width template for printing lines on paper for yourself somewhere on the FPN, and have exclusively used that to print and use for my primary writing paper.  This has served it's purpose, but I am getting bored of looking at nothing but white and black lines.  During my searches for stationery last night on Etsy and various places I could find, I saw a common theme with printed stationery - a border around the entire page in various colors.

 Ding ding!  A little light bulb went off above my head.  I dug around in one of my desk drawers to find a ruler and a mechanical pencil.  It took a minute to find the pencil, and to be honest, I was surprised I even still had one in the house.  Once I found the amazing world of nibs and ink, I haven't looked back.  Anyway, I decided to give my idea a shot and try to create my own stationery.

With the ruler, I measured out an even border on each side of the page.  If I ever do this again, I'll be sure to modify the line template to remove the margin, as well as skipping the whole 3-hole punch deal.  I keep all my current active writings in a 3-ring binder with me at all times, and I was just using the paper that I had on hand.  After I decided on the right border size, I would then outline it in colored pencil and begin the fun part of coloring it in.

Coloring in the border was the hard part of the entire process.  I'm very much OCD about staying in the lines, as well as making sure I have an even color across the page.  Completing an entire page of the border, on front and back, took me about 20-25 minutes.  If I focused on it, I'm sure I could knock one out in about 10 minutes.  But, I have a desk that is full of flashy technology and a phone that likes to give me access to Angry Birds... so I am easily distracted.  What was I talking about?  Oh, right.  That lady was in front of me on the highway, and I swear she must have changed her blouse four times before settling on one of them.  She started putting her makeup on as well, but I got off the highway before it caused an accident.

Here is the final result - the page on the left is in a very dark green (my favorite color!), and the one on the right is a mahogany reddish color.  Upon finishing these, I could see spots where my hand or fingers had picked up pigment from the borders and had spread it across the pages.  It's not a lot, but there are hints of each border color throughout the page.  I really really like the way they turned out, and can't wait to use them for something cool.  My pen-pals better watch out, you might be receiving some of these pages soon!  I have even thought of how to apply the same idea to envelopes, so that I can make envelopes to match the pages inside.

Of course, now is the time I start looking for other ideas on what to add to my homemade stationery collection.  I will eventually be buying some descent quality high class stationery (or even low class, really ugly, or just down right hilariously bad stationery), but for now, this will suit me just fine.  Perhaps I should get a custom embosser with my name on it or something.  The absolute next thing on the list will be getting a small collection of stickers and stamps to use to further decorate the pages/envelopes I fill with words.  I've always preferred the handmade look to printed or manufactured items, so this is perfect for my tastes.

Before I go back to coloring and watching a rather horrible movie on Netflix, I'd like to thank The Missive Maven for her very generous welcome on Twitter.  I am both excited and honored to be a part of the letter writing community!

Thanks for another great year! Looking forward to seeing you back in class next week (in 2012)!!

Hap-hap-hap-y New Year to you!

An introduction of sorts...

Why write letters?  Because there is something beautiful in the written word.  Taking the time to put pen to paper also seems to add a more emotional connection to the words that are written.  At one time, the only way to communicate with someone far away was to write a letter, and even in this day of modern instant communication, I prefer this type of communication.  Some will find that funny, as I enjoy a very active online social life.

My first pen-pal was in third grade.  Teachers across the county would organize a pen-pal exchange, and once every two weeks, we would exchange letters with each other.  It opened my eyes to a world that I had known nothing about before hand.

I stopped writing anything by hand in high school.  Term papers, essays, and research all required large amounts of information, and it just became much more practical to digitize everything.  The amount of time I spent doing homework alone removed any chance of me even writing to enjoy it.  Now, in my adult years, I have a stable job and a decent income, I have some free time to divide among my various hobbies.  I decided that writing, and more specifically, letter writing, would be one of them.

And, just to prove that I have started this journey - this is a photo of the three letters I sent out today.  These are going to various parts of the country.  The envelopes look rather boring... I need to spice things up a bit.  In time, I will be a letter writing machine, adding class and humor to even the most boring envelope you can find - the white No. 10 business envelope.

This blog will be about my journey into letter writing, and everything that it includes.  Stationery, pens, and other assorted goodies.  And... soon... very soon... the documentation of an empire I shall create with just the written word alone.  Muahaha LOL

making a new list for a new year.

find your 2013 printable kits, here!

tucked in my desk drawer is a letter i wrote myself last new year's eve. i'm anxious to read and remember what that girl wrote to this girl. i've been writing new year's letters to myself since high school. it's the best way to see my growth from year to year. to write down secret wishes and remind myself of what's really in my heart. setting goals. and making them. 

i love to gather the ones i'm celebrating with around the table. pour us all a glass of something bubbly,  turn up some good music and pass out these little cards. andrey and i keep ours up on the refrigerator and love to remind each other of the things we'd hoped for ourselves throughout the year. we write our dear me letters and seal them up tight. we ask the littles their favorites and giggle a bunch when we read them their answers from last year. i like to have them draw me a picture of themselves on the back - so that we can see how their drawings have changed during the year, too. 

would you like to join us?
i worked up our new kits last week and asked my dear friend danyelle of dandee designs to style and photograph them for me. a quick little collaboration that will hopefully have us all doing the same thing this coming new year's eve night.
making resolutions. together. 
the kind we'll want to keep.

download your printable resolution kits here.
print as many as you need. and be sure to let me know if you post about your goals! i'd love to know what you'll be up to this year.

smart kid

this holiday | stoyan-house edition

i'm going to count this holiday twenty-eleven as one of my faves. 
there was a moment on christmas eve.
watching those silly boys in front of our sparkle tree.
and my heart swelled to huge. 
i dreamt of this once. i thought to myself. 
and then tucked them sweetly into bed. 
we made memories this year. 
it was magic.

U.S.Airbag at Kirkwood

After a beautiful time in Kauai I struggle to grasp the fact still no snow has fallen. Although this was truth I still had to get up early and head to Kirkwood to shred some man made snow. As I am driving in I saw it....The airbag called! It's so great to try new tricks with little to no consequences.
Hanging out with my friends and watching each other fly through the air has to be the best part of all.

 They are going to be set up until the 31st so get out to Kirkwood and check it out.
Here is a video Kirkwood posted with some shots of the airbag.

Kauai Adventure Cont.

December 13th, my flight departs at 9:25 and that all to familiar childlike feeling of adventure calls. I gave my grandma a kiss as she stays half asleep in bed, and I set off for the airport. Dec. 13th isn’t just a typical day. This day was my grandfather Charles E. Links birthday, which my grandma had reminded me of the night before. She loves to tell me reminiscent stories of there travels together, that her fondest memories of there life was there ability to experience new adventures year after year together.
So here I am off on one of my own adventure, but Charles this ones for you! Miss you and happy birthday! My goal on this trip is to focus on the present moment...Enjoying every moment entirely.
 I met up with my travel partners, the Eyre family,and we began our adventure together. The whole stay was spent in lodging directly viewing the ocean. At times the view was framed by palm trees, reminding me of photographs I have been seeing all my life...but here it is right here in front of me. 
I met up with my friend Janelle Timmons who I met years ago at kirkwood. She is a ripping life long skier turned surfer which made for an adventurous day. She picked me up in her truck full of fun toys and we took off to the north shore for a exciting day of surfing. I was humbled by being the most inexperienced person on the line. Janelle was patient and encouraging which helped keep the confidence high, even after many face plants into the ocean. Janelle in my mind was killing it even though she seemed a little bored at times. 
After hours of laughing, crashing, and at times exhaustion, I found my self being pushed into waves by Laird Hamilton. It was like everyone became my biggest fan. Thanks man! 
Not to mention I was surrounded by these mountains of emerald green, jetting strait up from the ocean. Another deep breath, and again, another thanks for these amazing gifts in life. After paddling back into shore, about a quarter of a mile and some bomb sushi for dinner. So fresh and delicious!
My trip continued to be jam packed with the beauty of a jungly tropical paradise and fun, fun, fun. Attempts at Stand Up Paddle boarding. Which is very difficult when you fall cause those boards are heavy, and when you have one attached to your ankle it feels like the wave could rip my leg off. Add a reef ocean surface into the mix. I had some adrenaline going at times for sure. 
There were so many options of how to experience Kauai. From Hula lessons, zip lines 265ft off the ground, botanical gardens, snorkeling, hiking, and of course to surfing. I have a feeling I made my 9 day trip worthy for the memory bank.
All the while designing my winter plans. Registration for the North Face Masters was a success. Figuring out my schedule which will include the Daren Ralves tour along with working close to full time, and online classes. Yeah!

This coming year no doubt is going to be fast and full of good times! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!


It's moments like this that I'd like to freeze in time...

...my two beautiful children on Christmas Eve, all dressed up for church and festivities. Next year, Nora will be well on her way to being a little person, leaving her babyhood.

It's moments like this that made my heart melt... 

...as I watched my little boy turn four, and beamed with pride at all the obstacles he's overcome in his short life.

It's moments like this afternoon at church, when I first noticed the sign language interpreter beautifully interpret the Christmas hymns, and froze for a moment, imagining how our lives might have been... not bad, not sad, just different. 

It's moments like that, when I marvel at modern medical miracles like the cochlear implant that allow the deaf to hear, that allow my son to enjoy the sounds of Christmas, just like me, just like his baby sister.

Without this technology, we wouldn't have heard Lucas ask us where the camel was in the Christmas sermon play, we wouldn't have reminded him that he needed to whisper during the service, and we wouldn't have heard him attempt to *sing* along to the hymns.

It's moments like right now, Christmas Eve, when I sit  her with immense gratitude to Graeme Clark and Dr. K, for giving this gift of sound to my son, and many other deaf children around the world, changing the way they experience Christmas, interact with their family, and take on the world. 

It's moments like those at church this afternoon that will never get old, that we will never take for granted. 

Merry Christmas! Wishing you peace, love and joy!

merry christmas!

the elements for our holiday card this year were from the lovely tags 
by Hey Look. go print some out for your last minute wrappings!
this years family portrait was snapped by k. andelin.

Viver na Graça de Deus

"Vinde a mim vós todos que estais aflitos sob o fardo, e eu vos aliviarei." (Mateus 11,28)

A palavra "Graça" pode ter duas conotações: a primeira Graça, tem o sentido de benção, de estar abençoado, de ser agraciado por Deus. A segunda graça, no sentido de bom humor, satisfação, alegria e bem estar.

Os dois sentidos, conotações podem ser corretas aplicadas neste lema.

Inicialmente, este lema nos sugere que nos entreguemos às bênçãos de Deus e que tenhamos confiança, fé e esperança, que vivamos embaixo e Sua Sombra, permitindo, espontaneamente, que Ele cuide de nós.

Por outro lado, este lema também sugere que fiquemos de bem com a vida e com Deus. Que tenhamos bom humor, que sintamos satisfação de viver que cultivemos a alegria, procurando ver o lado bom da vida, pensamentos e emoções positivas, e que, plantemos bons frutos para termos uma boa colheita como nos estimula Tiago.

As portas de nossa casa, bem como as de nossos corações, devem estar sempre abertas a Cristo, para que Ele possa fazer as suas ceias em nossa companhia.

Viver na graça, é viver a vida neste mundo, sabendo do grande amor do Deus Salvador que se coloca ao lado do ser humano pecador, EU E VOCÊ, para ser o nosso ajudador, o nosso socorro nos momentos de angustia e aflição.

VIVA O VERDADEIRO NATAL DE CRISTO. Mesmo estando com todos os problemas que surgem em nossa vida, ou que nós mesmos criamos, viva o Natal da paz, do amor e da felicidade que temos em nosso salvador.
Pr Maiquel Hellwig

yodelay ho ho

And I think to myself...what a wonderful world.

David Attenborough-Wonderful world-BBC


Bom dia a todos...
Só complementando o texto postado ontem, ai vai um vídeo muito divertido, e MUITO VERDADEIRO, que vai nos fazer refletir sobre o termo Gospel e a "Moda Gospel".

Que Deus nos Abençõe nesta reflexão com Marcos Botelho.

Festival Promessas


Hoje pela manha enquanto tomava o meu chimarrão sentado na área de casa e olhava ao nada, comecei a refletir sobre algo que de relance assisti ontem, algo que pelo que vi, nas redes sociais teve uma grande repercussão, o FESTIVAL PROMESSAS.

Parece-me que a Rede Globo, que é Espirita por convicção resolveu se render ao enorme mercado GOSPEL da atualidade, que vende "qualquer coisa" em "qualquer ritmo", usando o nome de Cristo, e citando trechos do texto Bíblico fora de contexto e sem qualquer conexão, como mercadoria, e atualmente mercadoria que está vendendo muito, pois está na MODA ser cristão, mas ser CRISTÃO LIGTH, ou seja um cristão que pega o que me serve da palavra de Deus somente, que pega só o que me serve, e o resto se joga fora.
Estamos nos aproximando do natal, dia em que lembramos, o NASCIMENTO DE CRISTO, o verdadeiro e único sentido desta data. Que Deus nos permita ouvir a sua palavra, e realmente vive-la em todos os nossos dias.

Quanto e este "Festival Promessas", penso como meu amigo Marcos Botelho, e como o Pastor Batista Fabricio dos Santos, que escreve:
"Por que tudo em nosso "segmento", precisa ser explicado espiritualmente ou, pior, à luz do "perde / ganha (pseudo)espiritual"? O #FestivalPromessas não é uma bênção, nem uma maldição. É um festival de música cristã gospel, com coisa boa e coisa ruim, como o Rock'n Rio, com gente inteligente e com gente "mais ou menos", com vários estilos dentro da "ala gospel", blá, blá, blá... Pelo que sei de quem entende, foi muito bem organizado, tudo tratado com excelência, não obtiveram o êxito de público esperado, não ficaram devendo ninguém, etc. Tudo, inclusive, além do "padrão gospel". Não estou entusiasmado, nem chateado. Na verdade, estou um pouco mais do que "nem aí" e senti-me impelido a escrever devido a quantidade de comentários nas redes. A avaliação mais legítima, se dá no campo da sociologia. O segmento aumenta de forma significativa e, na medida em que isso acontece, os órgãos de mídia de massa, dos quais a TV é o principal, se veem na obrigação de considerá-lo importante para a manutenção de sua hegemonia. Sendo assim, acostumem-se a esse tipo de exposição. Que não é bênção, nem maldição mas desdobramento de um fato social. Agora, se é igreja é relevante, antenada, capilarizada na sociedade, protagonista de transformação, etc, etc, etc, a discussão se dá em outro cenário, demandando de nós e da sociedade como um todo, um outro tipo de avaliação. Quanto ao #FestivalPromessas , nem criminalizo, nem celebro."

Pastor Maiquel Hellwig

Little snow in Cali., why not head to Kauai!

I set off for my Kauai adventure on the 13th of Dec. I am only four days in and I have had an amazing time. Stand Up Paddling, surfing, sun bathing, delicious beverage drinking, running on the ocean side, dreaming of snowboarding, and beautiful sunsets! I will be uploading a journal from my trip so check in to see more pictures and stories.

Poipu Sunset

He who binds to himself a Joy,
Does the winged life destroy;
He who kisses the Joy as it flies,
Lives in Eternity's sunrise.

-William Blake

Heres what the new year is looking like for me so far!

You really must click the image to enlarge (due to my lack of computer skills haha..)

I haven't updated my winter schedule on here quite yet but heres a quick look at when classes are and where! Mount Pleasant's classes start up again on Dec 26 (Mon) and Dec 28 (Wed) and ALL my Roundhouse classes start up the following week (first week of Jan.)
Hope everybody is having a really stellar weekend. Thanks for all your support over the years and sharing your practice with me. Can't believe 2012 will be number 8!

Read this quote a week ago and haven't been able to get it out of my mind.

"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all." MICHELANGELO-Renaissance sculptor and painter who spent 4 years lying on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

a winter song.

written last week. and tucked away. 
thinking i'll post it tonight - so my mother can take my thoughts with her to fernwood tomorrow.

the grief surprises me sometimes. but as soon as the ache begins – i remember it. i shake my head, bury my head in my hands and take a deep breath. i’ve felt the familiar for a few days now. a heavy quiet  - sitting right on my heart.  i expected it to come with the putting up of lights, the sipping of hot drinks, of mittens and boots. 

i didn’t make the trip this year. my yearly trek over the mountains. for a 9thand 9th shopping trip and christmas card making with my mother.  for lots of reasons, really  - i’m not there this time. am wishing for it, tonight. 
we started our tradition when lucas was a babe. two thousand and seven. i met briana then. at carlucci's bakery. in the back corner table. cath couldn't wait to share her with me. she sipped hot tea and chatted birth and life for an hour or so. the next year was the 'change is coming' house meeting. we exchanged gifts at the salt lake city library. two thousand and nine was a blackwelder booth at the beehive bazaar with in + out burgers after.

last year on these days – i was in that city with my three dearest friends. i’d imagined that we’d have a free night to huddle together at briana’s. that she’d teach us how to make homemade marshmallows and i’d get to share her space with the holiday trimmings up.  we didn’t try very hard to make it happen – other adventures came up and instead of an entire night in her company we got a quick hello as she hurried out the door with my mother on their way to a holiday gift exchange.

a few days later after my friends had gone home to their families – baby charlie and i headed out for The Children’s Hour with my mom in her li’l red mini. bri wanted to meet up with us. to share hot drinks. to snuggle charlie. to catch up for a minute before i headed back to washington. we kept being in just the wrong place at just the wrong time. we kept missing a meet-in-middle. and i wasn’t trying very hard to make it happen, either. i was feeling selfish and wanted my mom to myself - and so it didn’t.
i love looking back in retrospect. to see things for how they were then and how they are now.

i am wishing for a different story tonight. am wishing i was looking back at homemade marshmallows and good music. at tea shared on 9th in mugs with mittens.

tonight the grief came with the words to winter song.
…that you’re not where you belong... inside my arms. 

am wishing that she was with the people she belonged to tonight. 

am wishing that she was with candice. that they’d trimmed that tree together.
that she was with cath tonight. while chuck’s out of town. giggling and tincture sharing. up so late.

am wishing she was with tess and that chubby baby. knitting him some first christmas gifts and making felt birds together.
am wishing she was with rachel and that belly.
and i guess that maybe… she is. 

We are shaped by our thoughts

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

~ Buddha Quote ~

If you had one wish for Christmas what would it be?

John Lennon answers in the video below:
Peace on Earth.
That implies no violence.
No starving children.
No violent minds.
No violent households.
No frustration.
No fear.

"We think the future is made in your mind"

I've have had quite a few yoga students confide in me lately. This isn't always the greatest time of year for everyone.

I have likely posted this in the past, but I just came across it again in my documents and thought I'd repost. There are some real words of wisdom written here. Keep your chin (s) up and don't lose hope! You know who you are...

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and the Divine. It was never between you and them anyway. -Mother Teresa

Atividade Especial

Final de ano é sempre aquela correria em nossas vidas, e em nossa congregação não é diferente...  atividades a MIL...

Neste ultimo domingo tivemos uma atividade envolvendo as diretorias de nossa congregação, na qual fizemos uma avaliação de nossas atividades no ano de 2011, e nos programamos para o ano de 2012.

Tivemos uma boa participação, com grandes contribuições e muita coisa sendo planejada. Agora cabe a nós orarmos e pedirmos a nosso bom Deus que nos de forças para colocarmos em prática  o planejado, e que tudo seja feito para o glória do noome de Deus.



Mindfulness=Stress Reduction

HERE is an article I wrote for Vancouvermom.ca last week on stress reduction and mindfulness over the holidays (and anytime).

Its full of self care tips and things that have helped me.
And if they have helped me,they can help anyone! Believe me. I have a stress disorder!

I love Vancouvermom.ca and I believe its the greatest resource out there for mom's, dad's and families. If you haven't already, check it out HERE
Hope you are keeping your cool this holiday season. Namaste.

I think we all know that its the season for more than joy. Its the season for heart attacks.

Its likely all the rich foods, booze, and all the pressure. None of us are immune.
A girlfriend of mine emailed me this the other day, and its been on my mind ever since so thought i'd copy it on here.

Its an account by an ER Nurse (female) and her own experience having a heart attack. Both my dad and my grandmother had heart attacks in their early 40's, and being in my late 40's right now its something its something thats never far from my mind. None of us are immune to having a heart attack and women have very different (and often ignored) symptoms.
Below is her account. its long, but worth a read and worth sharing with your loved ones.

I am an ER nurse and this is the best description of this event that I have ever heard. Please read, and pay attention.


Women and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction). Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack.. you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.

'I had a heart attack at about 10:30 PM with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, 'A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up.

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation--the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasms), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR).

This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws. 'AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening -- we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack!

I lowered the foot rest dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else... but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in a moment.

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics... I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to un-bolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

I unlocked the door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the radiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably something like 'Have you taken any medications?') but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stints to hold open my right coronary artery.

I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stints.
Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand.

Be aware that something very different is happening in your body, not the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they wake up... which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before. It is better to have a 'false alarm' visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

Note that I said 'Call the Paramedics.' And if you can take an aspirin. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER - you are a hazard to others on the road.

Do NOT have your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road.

Do NOT call your doctor -- he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics. He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr will be notified later.

Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.

Don't wait for Christmas

anybody out there you need to forgive?

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” ~Paul Boese

I love the ripple effect.

It takes very little to create real change. Love this little video. Glad I came across it this morning. Goes perfect with that morning coffee :)

A little weekend holiday humour

gift stitching/swapping.

as with most things that i do - i procrastinated until the VERY last minute to get my swap gifts together. i signed up for the freshly picked + ardor gift swap back in october. and didn't get started until the night before they needed to hit the post office. 

lucas helped with the fabric picking and that ended up being my favorite part. i don't love the actual sewing quite as much as i love the planning, picking and purchasing. running the linens and crisp cottons through my fingers. once i got going though, i remembered what it felt like to make something. i didn't love them that night. in fact i almost threw them in the garbage. (this is an effect of manic late night sewing sessions) but i loved them in the morning.  i love the texture these pretty little things have. the hemp. the wood. the tiny 'x' sewing on the button. i really really love them. 

danyelle shared her packaging stash with me. lucky, huh. and i used my favorite olive manna stamp on the front of her paper bags. a little swatch of gold striped washi tape and these were on their way. happy? yes! 

my machine is still out on the kitchen table. like the old, old days. crossing projects off my long list of stitching to-do's. using up fabric that i've been hoarding in galvanized buckets for years. making things for our cozy christmas house and some things for gift-giving-away. any requests? get 'em in now. not sure how long this sewing binge will last. 

one of my swap partners (who also just happens to be a dear friend + neighbor) was asking me how i learned to sew. i was pregnant with lucas and had just discovered amy butler's beautiful fabrics. a diaper bag was made with the help of my mom on an old borrowed machine. a year or so later i discovered my friends jen way, leslie keatingallyson hill, and the blog wee wonderful's. i was so inspired! andrey gifted me my pretty machine that christmas and i would sit down in the basement and stitch away while the rest of the house slept. i'd listen to some of the early brandi carlile in my head phones while my machine hummed along. with fabric picked on shopping trips with ashlee and our baby boys. obsessed with the look of my top stitch. it was calming. and happy.