Sunday, October 17, 2010

Paintin' Punkins

Yesterday, I spent the day in Greenville visiting my sister and my sweet baby nephew, Brady.  It's been three months since he was born, and my sister has been right by his side, everyday, as he recuperates in the hospital.  He has had more complications than we expected, but we are all very hopeful that he will be going home soon.

As you can imagine, spending that much time away from home can be difficult, but my sister has shown an amazing amount of strength during this whole experience.  I have witnessed more acts of kindness from the community and support from family and friends, that I know it has made some of the stress and worry of Brady's situation subside for my sister and her family.  She has grown to know nothing else over the course of these few months but to be the best mother she can be for Brady.  And I know that the excellent care and amazing skill of the hospital staff on the PICU floor has truly enabled her to do that as well.

I think it is Barbara's complete devotion to Brady and her determination to be an advocate for his treatment that has made her a favorite among the nursing staff on the PICU floor.  Time and time again I hear the nurses tell my sister that she is a breath of fresh air.  They work in a world where not every parent cares; they witness some horrendous crimes against children that cause them to be patients on the PICU floor.  So to see someone who loves their child as much as Barbara loves Brady, I know it must give them hope.

To help pass her time in the hospital, the Child Life specialist has befriended my sister and has given her great activities to do during her visits with Brady.  One of the most popular activities to date is pumpkin painting.  It started off small with Barbara painting a pumpkin for Brady.  But then she started getting requests from other patients and the nursing staff to paint pumpkins for them as well.  So when I showed up yesterday, Barbara said, "Guess what we're doing today..."  When she told me, I couldn't wait to get started.

Painting Pumpkins

Here are some of the pumpkins that were created:

Zebra Pumpkin

Witch Stockings and the Letter B

Trick or Treat!

Even though this journey with Brady has been a difficult one, I am so very thankful for the little moments and the happy celebrations that have made this journey for my sister and her family one of hope and love.  Thank you to all who have kept my sister and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Feeling Batty

"When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween."
- Author Unknown

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Perfect Day

On October 2nd, Inochi Designs made it's debut to the public at the Sertoma Arts Fair in Raleigh.  Back in July, I attended an awesome workshop about taking charge of your own happiness, setting goals, and working toward achieving those goals.  One of the goals that I set for myself was to participate in an arts fair.  Luckily for me, I got that opportunity, and I seized it.  Since July, I've been using every spare moment to prepare for the fair.  I planned, I researched, and I created but not without obstacles.  Some of the people I love dearly in my life are facing some serious health challenges which have left me feeling helpless.  I felt guilty doing anything that wasn't related to making their situation less crumby.  But my husband had a heart-to-heart with me to let me know that it was okay and that life must go on even when terrible things are happening.  To give up or to stop living takes away from the good that can come from chasing your dreams.  So, I tried to find that balance of being supportive to these loved ones and preparing for the art fair.

I took two days off from work to finish any last minute details for the event.  (I think I went to bed at 1 a.m. both nights -- unheard of in my universe.)  My friends were also supportive and offered help where they could by doing things like helping me package products to turning PDFs to jpegs to providing me with a solution to be able to run credit card purchases.  My husband, Jason, and my good friend, Shannon, also put in their time to help me organize my booth set up.  Without everyone's help, I would not have been able to pull it all off.

When the morning of October 2nd came around, I was SO EXCITED and NERVOUS.  Here I was, putting myself out there for the world to see.  But by doing so, I learned that there IS a niche of people out there who actually enjoy my art.  I received so many compliments that day, both for my booth set up and for my art work, and I had so many of my friends and coworkers show up to support me that it really made me feel like a true artist.  I felt validated in pursuing this dream.  When it was all over, I had a renewed sense of motivation.  There is so much more I want to do with this dream of mine.  So much more...  and I can't wait to share it all with you.

It was truly a perfect day.

**Congratualtions to Kannikka who is now the proud owner of an Inochi Designs original painting, a set of  handmade decorative tile art, and a hand crafted felt flower pin!  She won the raffle contest that I held for Little Pink Houses of Hope as a salute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.**

"If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up." 
- J.M. Power


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