Living in Limbo

I’ve been wanting to write another post for a while, but it seems like there is always something else needing my attention. Being an only parent doesn’t leave a lot of time for meaningful activities. (An aside — right now I like the term “only parent” to define myself. I agree with Taya over at MrsTDJ.com’s distinction between single and only parent.)

Today after I put my son to bed, I started my nightly routine and as I did, caught a peek of myself in the corner of my eye as I walked by a mirror. I looked tired and most of all, very sad. I wasn’t surprised as I had spent the last couple of hours feeling pretty weepy and missing my husband. But it made me even sadder to think this was the face my son sees looking back at him. Luckily, he is too young yet for this to really impact him in a way that he will remember, and I really make an effort to put on a happy face around him.

The reality is, though, that I am intensely sad. I miss my husband like crazy. Today I missed him because my son is starting solids and my husband would have been so thrilled to start sharing his love of food with our baby. I can just see him getting excited for him to be old enough to cook with. And the crazy thing is, sometimes the things I’m imagining in my head aren’t even things that, had Mike lived, he would have been able to do with Henry. Sometimes I wonder if I’m mourning the loss of my husband or the loss of the life I imagined having when I had children with Michael. I know he would have been an amazing father and sometimes I get so mad at myself for putting off having children for so long. Maybe he could have enjoyed the experience more, had more time to be a father, if I wasn’t so selfish. I know regret is a normal part of grieving though.

It doesn’t take much for me to miss him.

It’s been three months since my husband passed away and I’m starting to think about moving. I am about a one and a half hour drive from most of my family and friends, and it would be nice to live closer to them again. That part makes sense and being near my support system sounds very, very nice. But the thought of selling the home my husband and I bought together, the house we painted together and landscaped together and picked out furniture for, the house my husband worked so hard to get for me, the house we brought our baby home from the hospital to, the house my husband took his last breath in… It’s incredibly hard to think about.

There’s no need to rush into anything, but sometimes I’m incredibly impatient to start my new life. I feel like I am in this limbo stage between my old life and whatever my new life is going to be. It’s going to take time to figure out, though, and I need to find a way to be OK with living in that process.

Our New Life

I’m trying to start this post but all I can think of are cliches.

When Michael had his surgery in August 2015, we were so optimistic that it would end his cancer struggle. We were so looking forward to putting cancer behind us and moving forward with our lives.

Well, we did. Just not with our Daddy with us.

But I’m jumping ahead. After his surgery, Mike was trying really hard to get back in shape and get strong enough to go back to work. But no matter what he tried, he just couldn’t get his energy level up, couldn’t get his appetite to improve. About two months after Henry was born in October, Mike went in for a check up at the hospital. They did scans and found that the cancer had come back, his fourth diagnosis. We were crushed. Doctors started him on chemotherapy and radiation but by February 2016 they took away what little hope we had left. They said there was nothing more they could do for Michael and they gave him about 4 months left. By that time the cancer has spread into his liver, spine, pelvis, spleen cavity, lungs, ribs… There was just too much and his body couldn’t take any more, and the treatments weren’t working.

2016-03-16 09.10.05Unfortunately, by that time Michael was so weak, doing any exciting trips or vacations were really out of the realm of possibility. We spent quiet days at home with our new baby, took a couple short trips to nearby Palm Springs (Mike loved sitting in the heat by the pool) and just spent quality time with family and friends.

Less than three months after getting that news, my husband Michael passed away. He died at home on May 5th, 2016 at about 3 in the afternoon on a Thursday. I cried and cried over his body, not even caring who was around or who heard me, I clutched his hands, his arms, his legs, not wanting to believe he was cold and gone. After that outburst I went curiously numb and stayed that way for days.

We held his funeral a few days later on a Monday. I didn’t cry, I just felt numb. I think part of me didn’t want to accept that it was all over, that my life with him was all over. I had been with this person for the past 13 years of my life, since I was 17 years old. I’ve never been an adult without him. I really, really thought he would survive all this cancer and we would go on with our life. It would be a hard life and he would be disabled, but we would still be together.

Our former catering company donated the food for the event and a wedding event venue we used to work with graciously allowed us to use their facility for no fee, as well as a DJ. A lot of our friends and family were there, overall it was a very nice day.

It’s been over a month since he passed away and I’ve already hit a couple of milestones: his first birthday after his passing, the first father’s day. It’s been incredibly hard. Every day I have to convince myself to keep going, to take care of our son who’s just 8 months old. I miss Mike every day and I think about him and the life we had together all the time. I have a new life now, a life I never thought I would have, a life I never wanted.

2016-02-11 14.50.02When I pictured myself having children, I never expected to be doing it alone. I don’t think most single mothers do, but I was confident Michael and I would never split up. I know that Michael didn’t want to leave us and he desperately wanted to be a father. He would have given anything to be here to help me raise our son together. He was so looking forward to all the things he would teach our son one day. But now it will be up to me, and sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the prospect.

This is our new life, for better or for worse. Henry and Mama take on the world.

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Quilt Finish – Hungry Little Caterpillar Quilt

Another finish under my belt! This quilt is a gift for a dear friend of mine having her first baby.

I bought this Hungry Caterpillar Quilt kit from the FatQuarterShop.com. The instructions were great, really easy to follow. I had some trouble with the flying geese units, hopefully I’ll get better at those in time.

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The quilt finished at 49.5″ x 58.” I used an all over stipple in white thread on the top and bottom. Here’s the back.

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The butterfly panel came with the kit and I used some leftover binding fabric on the back, too. The red fabric was from my stash, happy to get that out!!

Stash Report – April 18, 2016

I just finished the Hungry Caterpillar quilt I have been working on for a couple of months, so I’m happy to show some progress on my numbers! Unfortunately I also hit the remnants bin pretty hard this week, so not as much as I was hoping!

Used this Week: 7.875 yards

Used year to Date: 36.335 yards

Added this Week: 5.807 yards

Added Year to Date: 21.187 yards

Net for 2015: 15.148 yards used

Thanks for stopping by!

Design Wall Monday March 21, 2016

I think I mentioned here during one of my stash reports that I bought a quilt kit for A Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt. I meant it as a gift to a friend having a baby. Well her baby shower is coming up and thankfully I got the quilt top finished up last night. 

  
This was my first time making a quilt from a kit and I really liked it.  I bought it from FatQuarterShop.com. I had some trouble with the flying geese units but I managed to fix them and I’m glad I did. It made piecing the top together so much easier. 

Now all that is left on this quilt is piecing together the back, quilting & binding. Luckily I already have the binding cut & ready to go. The kit came with an extra panel. The caterpillar panel went on the front and I’m going to use the bonus butterfly panel for the back along with the scraps I have left from the front. 

I’m linking up with Patchwork Times

Quilt Finish – Beach Ball Baby Quilt

I’ve finished the Beach Ball Baby Quilt!

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It’s a free pattern from the Moda Bake Shop.
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I bought 2 “rolie polie” rolls (I guess they are mini jelly rolls) of Lucky Star by Zoe Pearn Designs for Riley Blake Designs to make the quilt:

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The white background, binding and backing were all from my stash. I used some leftover beach ball pieces to piece a portion of the backing as well. I could have added another row and made the quilt a little bigger, but the sizes on these pieces were off. If you make this quilt, I highly recommend buying a 60 degree triangle ruler. I just used the 60 degree marker on my cutting ruler and it wasn’t quite as accurate so I had a little trouble piecing.

Of course, I had to include a picture of a baby using the baby quilt!

Of course, I had to include a picture of a baby using the baby quilt!

The quilting was a free motion stipple using blue variegated thread on top and white on bottom. If I had to do it over again I probably would not do the blue thread and would have stuck to white for the top, too. I think the blue is just a little distracting. The finished size is 48″x45″.

Thanks for stopping by! I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

2015 Quilt Finishes

Another busy year for me! My husband was undergoing cancer treatment again and I was expecting and then delivered our first child, a baby boy, so not much time for quilting! Plus, I took on a very challenging quilt, the Leaves & Berries Quilt, that took me a few months to finish πŸ™‚

Superhero Quilt, completed in January 2015 for my sister-in-law and her new son:

Leaves & Berries Quilt, completed in August 2015 for my aunt and uncle:

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hi[bear]nate quilt for henry, completed September 2015:

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Sunburst Quilt, completed September 2015:

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Design Wall Feb 8, 2016

A couple weeks ago I got an invitation to a friend’s baby shower. I figured it was coming up soon and I already had the fabric and the pattern I wanted to use, so now it was time to make the quilt.

My son 4 months old so it’s been a challenge to find time to work on the quilt, especially with my husband being sick again. Thankfully my mother and mother in law have been gracious enough to come over and watch the baby while I work. Here’s what’s on my design wall this week:

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Beach Ball Baby Quilt from the Moda Bake Shop. Here’s the front of the quilt.

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Some extra beach balls I’m going to use for the backing.

I’m linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times today.

Stash Report week 14 – 2015

Stash Report – 2015 Week14
No finishes this week and I have made no progress with my Meet in the Middle Quilt. Having an 8 week old makes quilting kind of difficult. I did buy some fabric this week for baby quilts. One is a quilt kit from FatQuarterShop.com for a Very Hungry caterpillar quilt, and two “Rolie Polie” pre-cuts. Can’t wait! 
Week 14

Used this Week: 0 yards

Used year to Date: 22.46 yards

Added this Week: 10.38 yards

Added Year to Date: 15.38 yards

Net for 2015: 17.46 yards used
Thanks for stopping by! I’m linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times.