Sunday, August 30, 2009

'Staching for the Cure

As many of you know, my dear friend and sister-in-law, Jeanine, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. And despite the shock of this news, our family has pulled together to support Jeanine and her family in any way that we can.

Through this experience, Jeanine has been working hard at living a healthy lifestyle. She has switched to eating organic foods as much as possible, has cut red meat from her diet, and has walked one mile every day. Although at times she feels physically weak, she is the strongest she has ever been. It is this strength that has inspired her to raise money and participate in Making Strides, a breast cancer walk that is being held in Raleigh on October 3, 2009. Her oldest brother, Kevin, established Team Jeanine for the event, and many of us are signed up to raise funds and are walking with Jeanine on that day.

My husband, Jason, is taking a unique approach to raising funds and supporting his big sister on that day. Jason has pledged that for every $5 that is donated under his name, he will forgo shaving for one day. My husband, a man who usually keeps his face a little scruffy, has never committed to a full grown 'stache. He has coined his efforts as "'Staching for the Cure." So if you would like to support Jason and Team Jeanine, please donate to 'Staching for the Cure here.

To help you picture what Jason may look like with a serious mustache, I've created these series of visualizations for you to enjoy and ponder:

The ToothbrushThe WalrusThe EnglishThe HorseshoeThe Painter's BrushThe LampshadeThe Fu ManchuThe ChevronThe Imperial

"Cancer is a word, not a sentence."
- John Diamond

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Celebrating 100 Years of Terry and Jeanine

This September, my dear friend, Jeanine turns 40. Her husband, Terry, turned 60 in February. To celebrate these milestone birthdays, the dynamic duo has chosen to celebrate this achievement in style -- with a 60-40 party. The theme? A casino-like party that will surely be remembered fondly for years to come and discussed at all of the major holiday gatherings. You see, Jeanine is not only my friend, she is also family.

To help out with the event, I have been asked to design and be responsible for the invitations. Immediately, the king and queen of hearts came to my mind. Gambling is a way that Jeanine and Terry often like to relax and spend time away together. Cherokee is often their city of choice, having spent many a weekend there with Lady Luck. What better way to capture this couple than as king and queen of our hearts?

I used a real set of cards to help me with the physical layout of the design. Once I had my placement mapped out, I began sketching the couple using a candid family photo. Slowly, the design began to take shape.

Invitation Design

King and Queen of Our Hearts

Invitation Design 2

Finishing Touches

Once I completed the design, I began to use a combination of water color pencils and regular color pencils to add dimension and color to the design. I'm pretty happy with the results. Now to mail off the invites and keep track of all of the RSVPs...

Invitation Design 3

What a difference color makes!

Invitation Design 4

"All of us have bad luck and good luck.
The man who persists through the bad luck --
who keeps right on going --
is the man who is there when the good luck comes --
and is ready to receive it."
- Robert Collier

Monday, August 24, 2009

Words to Live By: Week 11

My friend Jeanine has cancer, but cancer does not have Jeanine.

No complications after her second cycle to report, but she will be having surgery this week to have a port put in to make her subsequent chemotherapy treatments easier. Not the highlight of her week, I'm sure, but she is getting one step closer to being healthy.

Week 11

Week 11

Friday, August 21, 2009

Words to Live By: Week 10

My friend Jeanine has cancer, but cancer does not have Jeanine.

Making sense of everything - the rhyme and the reason of it all - helps her to be a victor and not a victim, and we are all the more richer for her purposeful perspective.

Week 10

Week 10

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Precious Life

Today Jason and I moseyed on down to Coats to visit our dear friends, the Hills. It was no ordinary occasion. We were visiting to celebrate the second birthday of their darling daughter, Zora. And as god mother to their child, it was not only my honor to attend, but it was my duty.

A Happy Family

The Happy Family

Two years ago, Zora was born three months premature. Despite a rough start, she has overcome so many obstacles and has grown into a humorous, happy young lady. The growth she has shown both physically and developmentally in her two years of life astounds me. She reminds me that miracles do exist and are worth celebrating.

Happy Birthday, Angela!

Zora a few days old

Now She's Addicted

Zora's 1st Birthday

I'm a Big Girl Now

Zora's 2nd Birthday

As my sweet pea continues to grow, I hope to help nurture her creativity and wonder. As an investment in her creative development, Jason and I gave her an art easel from IKEA. You can never start too soon, right?

Start Her Young

For me?

Zora, I hope you had a wonderful birthday party, and I hope you have a really wonderful birthday on Wednesday! Love, Auntie Diana.

Happy Birthday, Zora!

"A baby is sunshine and moonbeams and more,
brightening your world as never before."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Old Me

I have a self-portrait of sorts that I adore. I did this sketch back in 2005. I decided that it's supposed to be me as an old lady. Back then, it may have been more of a joke than an actual prophecy.

But the more I look at it, the more I like it. Old Diana has spunk. She looks like she's lived a full life and still has something to smile about.

Old Me

"Love life and life will love you back.
Love people and they will love you back."
- Arthur Rubenstein

Words to Live By: Week 9

My friend Jeanine has cancer, but cancer does not have Jeanine.

She told me that although her body is weak, she is the strongest she's ever been. That's my girl.

Week 9

Week 9

Friday, August 7, 2009

Words to Live By: Week 8

My friend Jeanine has cancer, but cancer does not have Jeanine.

She starts the second cycle today. Getting closer to the finish line... and we are all rallying behind her.

Week 8
Week 8

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Words to Live By: Week 7

My friend Jeanine has cancer, but cancer does not have Jeanine.

A minor setback caused a four-day stay in the hospital. It was difficult, especially isolation, but she made it through like a champ. Despite being kept in isolation, she found a way to work in her daily one mile walk - 294 laps around her hospital bed! I am in awe of her strength.

Week 7

Week 7


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