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.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Orlando Here I Come...

It happens once a year. The National Down Syndrome Congress Convention. People come from far away. Like us. Here I am at the Akron Canton Airport.

It is so early. We had to leave our house at four in the morning. Our flight leaves at 6:45 a.m.

Good thing my little brother is coming along. He is in charge of my sewing machines.

I love him so much. He is the best brother I could ever want.

We are still climbing and Matt is already asleep. I better put the shade down so the sun is not in his eyes.

Well here we are in Atlanta. We have to change planes.

Matt is getting the sewing machines down. Our new cases fit perfectly in the overhead bin.

Matt has a plan. He says, "Stay right here Sarah. I will be back soon."

Oh my gosh. This is amazing. Matt spotted a Chick-Fil-A and got us a breakfast mini. It is soooooo yummy. I never had one before.

Loaded back up. Heading for Orlando. This time I am sitting next to my mom.

It's very important to hydrate on the plane. My throat gets so dry.

I can see the city down there. That must mean we are going to be landing soon.

Yep! Palm trees. We must be in Florida!

We have arrived at the J.W. Marriott. It is fancy.

Here we are. The very tired traveling trio.

Oh this is so nice. They have a cookie station set up for us. Yes! Chocolate chip!! My favorite.

This is the view from our window. We are in room 17035. They let us in early.

Good thing. Because I really need a nap.

It's time for dinner. We ordered room service. You know I love that! I got a cheeseburger and fries.

My mom ordered key lime pie. She said you have to have that on a tropical vacation.

It's pool time!!! I can't wait. It looks so fun.

We waited until the sun went down so it's not too hot. I don't do so well in the heat.

Oh this water is warm!! 

It's not too crowded either. Just perfect for me and my mom.

We love to swim.

Even better is floating down the lazy river.

This is the best. Bye see ya later. Oh I met so many new friends in the pool. Hi Ted. Hi Scott. Hi Andrew. I don't have any pictures because Matt took the camera back upstairs for safe keeping but I had so much fun we stayed until closing time.

This room is very nice. It is so Florida like. I am eating my cookies now. I saved them for after swimming.

Oh hey look at this... 

We can see fireworks from our window. They are probably from Universal Studios. It is sorta close. But we are not going there this trip.

Good Morning!! This is a really nice view for dining.

I am having eggs, bacon and hash browns with apple juice. My favorite breakfast.

It's time to go downstairs.

I can't forget my sewing machines.

I am an exhibitor. It's time to get my booth set up. I am so excited.

I just have to be patient while Matt and my mom get the sign hung up behind me. They do not want me to stand on a chair.

And there it is. I really like it. I think Kristen would too if she was here.

Next we have to get the standing sign up. My mom is already talking to someone she knows. Hey mom, "Get to work."

Ok that's better. She is pro at this sign thing. She was practicing at the quilt shop one day.

It's starting to come together I think.

Well how do you like it? Down Right Charming designed by Sarah Ellen Ely. That's me.

My sign is taller than I am. It doesn't look like there is anyone beside us so we might be able to spread out. We'll see. 

Yikes! We came up to take a little nap before we have to be at our booth tonight and look at this storm blowing in. Scary. They cleared the pool. Lights out.

Yes indeed. We were able to spread out to two tables. We are all ready to go. 

I have my first visitor. She says she loves my work.

Thank you for being with me Matt...

...and taking this picture of Kayla and me. This is Big Blueberry Eyes. We have been following each other's blogs for a long time. Kayla just had a celebration. Happy 13th Birthday Kayla.

Here we are with our families. 

Ahh...two sisters with their little brothers.

Here is another new friend. This is what I love best about convention. Meeting so many people with Down syndrome.

You might think it is all about my quilts, but it's not. Nope. 

Here I am playing tennis.

I have a mean swing.

Haaa...I see you mom taking pictures. 

This man and I had a really good conversation. He was from Columbus, but he moved. It is still headquartered in New Albany, Ohio. 

Tennis, Fitness and Fun. Buddy Up for Down syndrome. Check it out

Ok, just one more hit. This is fun! 

Good thing I got back to my booth so I could meet Shelly Bedford and her family.

She and her husband have adopted seven kiddos with Down syndrome.

It was nice meeting them.

Here is a friend from Utah. Her name is Amber.

My first sale of the night.

My second sale of the night. This is going really good. I think they like my quilts.

It's time to go. They are closing up for the night. First I have to have my picture taken with the cast of Born This Way. I sure hope I get to meet them for real tomorrow. I love that show.

LoL. Look who we ran into in the hallway. He is in room 17016. Is he going for a walk or maybe looking for Pokemons? Hmm...

Day Two. You will never believe who is here. Pasha!!!!

He is so cute. One day I was looking at the Reece's Rainbow site and I spotted his picture. I was so happy he had a family who committed to adopting him.

Hey give me five little man! 

Look at this. He came to sit next to me.

I think he is reaching for the stars. I think he is going to be a star one day. 

I think my mom wanted to take Pasha home. He is just scrumptious.

Thank you so much Hope for bringing him to see us.

Here I am meeting another new friend. This is Laura with her little girl. They live really close to me in Ohio.

Do you see this connection? It is strange but it is for my sewing machine. The power cord was mistakenly left behind by the TSA. They took everything out of my machine bag. Now I can't sew. 

Last night my mom took a taxi to a store and found this. It wasn't quite right but she cut away some of the plastic and now it works. I will be sewing soon. But right now I have to go somewhere.

To see the cast of Born This Way. I love this show so much. Do you watch it? It is on A & E. I really want to have my picture taken with them but the line is so long and the man in charge said I had to wait in line. That made me cry a little because I can't wait in line and watch my booth.

I am so glad I came back to my booth though because this little cutie is going to get one of my quilts.

Oh she is adorable!! We are creating our own handshake.

My mom says she reminds her of me when I was that little.

Thank you for purchasing my quilt. That was so nice of you. I hope it keeps you warm. 

Ok I am back to sewing. I am making pillowcases today. Wait my phone is ringing. "What!" OMG I am so excited.

My little brother came down and stood in line so I could get autographs from the cast. Once he was almost to the front of the line we switched places. Oh this is so cool!

Here is Megan.

And Rachel. I really like her. I think we could be good friends if we lived close. 

Cristina's Dad came to check in just to make sure everything was going ok. My dad really likes him on the show.

John and I both love rap. I was happy to get his autograph. Then it was Sean's turn. I had to make sure not to spend too much time with him. He might ask me on a date. He is looking for a girlfriend. But I live in Ohio and he lives in California.

Back to my booth I go. Good thing. I got to meet Kim. She is the speech therapist for my little buddy Lucas. He lives in Nebraska now but he used to live in Cleveland.

This is so exciting!!! I got to meet Rachel and talk with her. And my mom talked for a long time with her dad Gary. I am star struck. She is so nice.

My chauffeur has come to get me. He is taking me out to lunch. He is the best!

I came back just in time to meet Amy Allison. We are friends on facebook. She is the director of the Down Syndrome Guild in Kansas City. They do a lot of great things.

I have to get busy. Someone wants to buy this pillowcase but it is not made yet. Not to worry. I can finish it in less than twenty minutes. I'm that good now.

Oh speaking of pillowcases, this is so exciting! Back when we first opened our quilt shop we met some really special missionaries. Alicia was one of them. Then when we dedicated our kitchen to Kristen she offered a really nice prayer. Well, she now lives in Gainesville, Florida where her husband is going to school and because we were in Orlando they drove down to see us. That was so nice. 

It is time to close up for the night. And now here is a word from the sponsors. I wonder what Genentech is? I see their name everywhere.

Ahh...I did it. This bed is so high I can't even get into it. So my mom had an idea. She pushed the top mattress toward the wall so that gave me an extra step. It worked!

I just called down for chocolate chip cookies. Look at what they brought me. They are huge!!

Taadaa. I made a place for them so I can keep them for tomorrow.

Good morning. I am back at it. Sewing away.

These conferences are really tiring. I think I will just take a litte nap right here.

Not for long though. Matt came down to watch the booth so that I can walk around for a bit. Look who I ran into Megan Bomgaars. She is at her booth Megology. She does hand dying.

Look at this. I just spotted Amy Silverman's book. My mom has been reading it. Here is a card with Sophie's picture.

Right behind me is my buddy Todd. He is so funny. He lives by me in Akron. He creates cards.

Oh this makes me so happy. This is Amy Silverman's friend. You will never guess what her name is? Sarah Ellen. That's me too!! She brought me a little goodie bag from Sophie.

I think my jaw is getting a little tired from smiling.

I met another new friend. This is David. He lives in Oviedo. That's not too far from here. He bought one of my pillowcases. I hope he likes it. 

This is when the world gets smaller and smaller. This is a friend of the woman who cuts our hair in Cleveland. She lives in Las Vegas and has a kiddo with Down syndrome.

And here is Amy Kosmalski. Everybody knows Amy...

and here is her daughter Kayla. She is adorable! And very smart!!

I picked out a pillowcase just for her.

Check out this dude. This is Collin. He is a body builder.

Here he is with his trainer.

This is fun. Meet Yulissa Arescurenaga. She is from San Francisco. She is a certified Zumba instructor in the Bay area. So many exciting entrepreneurs this year.

Meet my new friend Bola Bakare. She has come to the conference all the way from Lagos, Nigeria. She really liked my quilting.

"Hi precious. Give me five!" I love meeting new babies.

Her mom really liked seeing me sew. She said it gave her hope for the future.

I love talking about what I do. It makes me happy.

He's back. My chaeuffeur. Time to go get ready for dinner.

How do you like my dress? I have to wear me sweater though. It is cold in this hotel.

We are at the awards dinner tonight. There are a lot of people here. There is a dance afterwards but we might go back to the room instead. My mom is really tired. Shhh...don't tell her but I rented some movies while she was sleeping.

It's the last day. I am meeting some more new people. 

Welp, that's a wrap. Time to tear the booth down and go home.

That makes me kind of sad. Hope to see you next year in Sacramento, California!