My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

we have a WINNER!!!

I was very excited tonight to pick a winner for the gift certificate.

First I used a shape cutter to get every name cut out.

I lined them all up and counted to make sure everyone was on. Oh I had to throw one away...funny TJ, but you can't win:)

Then I carefully folded all the circles in half...

...and put them into this drum thing I found in the music room.

OH I think a little drum roll is appropriate....DRUMROLL!!! by yours truly:)

And then I picked a winner...It is Cammie Heflin...I love little Addy. She will be so cute having her picture taken.

I'm filling out the gift certificate and then I will be sending it to them.
A little live action below, including my drumroll...

Drum Roll Please

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Last Call from Two Men and a Beauty...

...hahaaa that's me, Beauty. You know, like Beauty and the Beast. Only I'm not wearing a yellow dress and I'm not with a beast. I'm with my two favorite men... Grandpa...

...and my Dad. We want to remind you that tomorrow is the day I will pick the lucky winner of the $50 gift certificate to Portrait Innovations. You still have time to leave me a message to get into the drawing. Click HERE to enter.

Monday, September 28, 2009

All because Two Moms Blog

A message from Joyce: For years, friends have suggested I write a book. They felt we had so much to share that would help other young families. Although I agreed and wanted to share what we have learned from our experiences to help others, a book seemed so formal. Then someone suggested blogging. It seemed like a better fit for my writing style, but being a near fifty something, it was not in my repertoire of acquired skills. So I needed to do some research.

I started by looking at other blogs, mostly about Down syndrome. Then one night I came across a very dear couple who inspired me so. I spent a few hours reading every entry that had been lovingly written by this young mother. The faith and wisdom they shared was clearly years beyond their chronological age. I was also in awe of Kristen's talent for knitting and seeing the collection of darling hats she was preparing for the much anticipated arrival of her baby girl. Once their daughter entered the world, I was mesmerized by her adorable charm. I was touched by the way they were dealing with the challenges they were encountering.

Yet what truly took me to my knees was the day that Kristen described how her husband had hung an OSU flag in the ICU during one of his daughter's many hospital stays. "So what," you might say. We all do crazy things during those long and stressful days. Ahh...but you see, he did this in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There is no greater college rivalry than between The Ohio State University and that school up north. I instantly knew there was something truly special about a daddy who was able to proudly wear his scarlet and gray while depending on the medical expertise at the University of Michigan Hospital to save his daughter's life.

Shortly after reading this, our blog went live. Sarah quickly became more and more involved and she too fell in love with this little girl. I will never forget the day we opened her blog and Cayman was wearing a scarlet and gray outfit. Sarah squealed with delight. She had just found another Ohio State fan. As I read through the words Kristen had written that day, I realized we had definately found another family equally obsessed with Buckeye fever.

To be honest, my appreciation for big ten football is newly defined. During my years at Ohio State I was working on two degrees, I had a field placement downtown during the day and worked as the house manager at the battered women's shelter in Columbus during the midnight to 8:00 AM shift. I rarely slept, except on Saturday. Each week on that one day, I closed the blinds to the daylight hours and quickly slipped into dreamland. Truthfully, I would not have been able to tell you when home football games were scheduled.

Fast forward to the spring of 2005. The College of Social Work from which I graduated, hired Bill Meezan as it's new Dean, oddly enough from the University of Michigan. He and Jennifer Heller the Director of Development set out to establish a Dean's Development Circle and drove to Cleveland to visit with me. I'm not sure how my name surfaced, but I'm guessing because at the time I was listed as the Executive Director of the American Heart Association which in the world of not-for-profits means I had some experience with fund raising. In fact though, I had left that job to work with my husband to expand our medical billing business and be able to spend more time with Sarah and our boys. I did however, agree to serve on the committee and that one decision has opened doors I never dreamed possible.

For any family with a child with special needs, particularly medical challenges, there is often a social worker involved. That person helps to navigate the murky waters involved with durable medical equipment, waivers, funding and family support. And we are no exception. So in honor of Sarah's 18th Birthday, we created an endowed scholarship that will go to a social worker each year committed to the field of developmental disabilities.
So how does this all relate? Simple. When we established the scholarship our sole purpose was to help others, forever, which is why it is endowed. We soon found out it made us a part of a special group, not one we set out to be a part of, but one that does have it's benefits: ie. football tickets.

Unlike me, John has been a die-hard fan from his early years. After graduating in 1983, he faithfully followed each game on the television or the radio. Every now and then he was able to get to a game with one of his sons. But the day he was able to take his daughter, his medically fragile baby girl, to her first game will forever be etched in his mind. In September 2007, John and Sarah walked through the gates of the Horseshoe, hand in hand, smiles beaming from ear to ear.

The following September I was able to repeat the experience. I can't really describe it. Walking into a stadium with 105,000 plus fans all dressed in scarlet and gray is exciting. Yet doing it with a child that has overcome significant medical challenges, is exhilarating. It simply takes your breath away.

The Circle of Life. That's what comes to mind when I think of that first visit from Bill and Jennifer. Because they extended an invitation to be involved, John and I have these memories to last a lifetime. And we have been given an even greater gift, the ability to share our tickets so others too can experience the thrill, the exhilaration. This past Saturday, The Beautiful Cayman Cindy and her parents were able to sit in our seats. As I watched the memories unfold in this extraordinary video Kristen created, tears were flowing down my checks. Tears of joy all because two moms blog. Indeed, the Circle of Life.
An addendum. Kristen too wrote about what I wrote about. I believe we were both equally touched by how wonderfully life works. To read her entry click here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sibling Sunday ~ Don't Forget...

...about the $50 give-a-way to Portrait Innovations.

Click HERE to sign up.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Favorite Cart was waiting for Me

So here we are at the grocery store. The Giant Eagle closest to our house is really, really big. Once we get to the other side where the orange juice is, I am so tired and my bone really hurts. I will have to tell you about my bone one day.

Anyway, they do have this great wheelchair with a shopping basket on top. It isn't always available, but today it was waiting just for me. Hurray!!! We got everything on my list.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm making a Shopping List

We are out of milk. So I told my mom. She said, "Sarah, you know what to do." Yes I do.

I need to make a shopping list. So I get out a piece of paper and my special writing pen. It is easier if I use an easy flow gel roller ball or a felt tip marker like Crayola fine tips. That way, I don't have to press so hard when I am making the letters. We learned this tip many years ago and even had it written into my IEP.

Do you see how I am looking at the empty jug? I am copying the word "milk." It's a little trick I've learned.

Now I am copying the words, "Motts apple juice" because it is almost empty. Tomorrow after work we will go to the grocery store. My mom will ask me to read the list when we get there. I like doing that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today is My 500th Post!!!

In celebration of my 500th post today, I have a $50 gift certificate to Portrait Innovations to share with one lucky reader.

It's simple. Here is all you need to do:

1. Go to the website Portrait Innovations and make sure there is a studio close to where you live.

2. Leave me a comment that you would like to receive the gift certificate.

3. Feel free to link others over here to join in the fun.

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry. I will draw the winner on September 30, 2009.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My 20th Birthday Portraits

We decided to try a new place. It is called Portrait Innovations. We had a great photographer. Her name was Amy.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for a special give-a-way announcement in honor of my 500th post.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meet Kelly Fitzgerald

Great Inspiration.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sibling Sunday ~ He's Gone

I had such a fun summer with my big brother TJ.

We flew to Florida together...

...he played putt-putt with me...

...we went to the mall...

...and to our little brothers baseball game.

He came to my final performance at the fine arts camp...

...and he sang happy birthday to me.
He fixed my computer when it wasn't working and he programmed my cell phone so a picture comes up of whoever is calling me. He always laughs at my jokes and he asked me everyday when I got home how CEVEC was and listened to me tell him about Mr. K.
I miss TJ already. He went back to college. His classes start this week.

He is majoring in Finance at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. He is always on the Dean's List. I am so proud of him. I love you TJ. I hope you have a great Senior year.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We've found all the Missing OSU fans

So if you haven't heard, Ohio State is playing Toledo today in the Cleveland Browns Stadium. That's right. In Cleveland. When I first heard about this, I thought it was a little weird. Scarlet and Gray in a Brown and Orange stadium. I did not want to go. But at seems everyone else did because it was almost impossible to get tickets. Until the last minute, when they released a whole bunch.

So this morning about 11:15 my mom and me are driving to horseriding. We go south on I-71. There is no traffic on our side. But YIKES, look at all the cars coming NORTH...

...from Columbus. It is dead stop gridlock...

...almost out to the airport, which is miles from downtown. We just got home. The game is on ESPN. My dad says, " There sure are a lot of empty seats." My mom tells him, "Ya we know why. They are still sitting on the freeway."

Ugh. Double Ugh. So glad that's not us.

Well, I just hope the Buckeyes win today.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Watch Out!! I've got the Hammer...

So now that the letters are done I have to get busy. Here is my empty wall and the top of my headboard.

I can't decide if I want the letters straight in a line or hanging some other way. My mom had an idea. She had me trace the letters on white cardstock and then gave me the special blue tape that painters use. We love this tape because it doesn't hurt the walls.

So I started to stick them up in a line. I didn't like it. Next I put them at different heights. I sorta followed the shape of my headboard.

There. I think that is perfect. "Do you like it, Mom?" "I love it, Sarah." Now comes the fun part.

We already marked on each letter where the hole is, so all I need to do is put the nail in that hole and hammer away. How do you like my hammer? It has flowers on it!!! It's my girly hammer:)

Next I have to gently peel the tape and take the white paper letters off the wall.

I have to be careful to not take the nail out when I pull it off.

Finally, I get to hang the real letters up. I try to match the hole to the nail.

Then once I have it on the nail, I straighten it out.

And Voila!!! SARAH. How do you like it? Oh wait, where am I?

Ha ha ha, Here I am. I love my new letters. Just what I wanted. Now on to the next task.

Oh, here is a fun little video of me hammering away.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Creating my Name in Letters...

...BIG letters. Time to get back to my bedroom project. The next thing we have to do is the letters for my name. I want "SARAH" above my bed. So we went to Michael's and bought the letters. Actually we had to go to two Michael's because the first one was out of the letter "S."

Then I went through our collection of Stampin' Up scrapbook papers and picked five that I liked. My mom sprayed the letters with sticky stuff and then laid them on the papers. They are out in the sun drying. She told me to stay inside because she did not want me to breath in the fumes from the adhesive. When I first looked out the window I was in a panic, because those are not the papers I wanted. My mom told me I was looking at the wrong side. The good colors are face down. Whew!!

Next we used a sharp blade to cut around each letter. I had a hard time doing that part so my mom finished them for me.

All done. S...A...R...

...A...H... Now we have to go hang them on the wall...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My First Local Hero Delivery

My mom got word that one of our local heroes arrived home from Iraq last night.

So we quickly pulled together our supplies.

I signed a card...

and made a label...

and neatly put it on the bag...

and stuffed it with the cards and some candy treat bags...

and then I left it in his front door. I think he will be surprised. We just want to make sure he knows how much we appreciate his service to protect our freedom.