April 30, 2009

[ still here ]

We're all still here. This week has been full with 2 doctors appointments for Mom (one in Richland and one in Seattle) among other things. I went into work for a few hours the other day (overwhelming), Mom & I both went to Beta on Tuesday night for Founder's Day (fun!), and we went to the Dream With Me Preschool Taco Feed and Raffle (super fun!).
In the meantime, I finished another quilt top and took a different quilt "sandwhich" to my friend Melissa to stipple machine quilt. She is crazy. She called the next day and said it was finished. Not that it is a huge quilt, but she has 6 kids including a 2-month-old, homeschools her older kids, and has 9 puppies and some kittens too. I'm in awe of YOU, Melissa!
On our drive to Seattle and back yesterday, I had the opportunity to sew the binding on and then I threw it in the washer last night.
Here's the finished result:

This is going to be popped in the mail today, sent to Reston, VA for my cousin Lisa & her husband Jon - for their baby girl that is due on May 9th. I hope they like it!

April 25, 2009

[ table runners ... and more table runners ... ]

Since we've been home from Seattle, I've been quilting a lot. Between helping Mom and visitors, it doesn't seem like I have a lot of time, but looking at what I've finished, I guess I have had some time to do things. :) Mom, Melissa, and I were supposed to go on a Scrapbook Retreat this weekend with Amy, Jessica, and Martha, but had to cancel for obvious reasons. So - to feel like I was there, I quilted for most of today - but never won a door prize, darn it! :)
(Oh, and if you're wondering...I did order a bolt of batting from JoAnn's yesterday. I'm glad I waited because when I looked yesterday, there was a 50% off coupon! YES!!!)
Ok - Table Runner #1. I finished this one the day before Mom's incident. I made another one that I finished this past Thursday, same fabric and pattern. The second one I donated to the silent auction for the Dream With Me Preschool Taco Feed and Silent Auction. It's going to be this coming Wednesday from 5-7pm at Connell UMC.

This is Table Runner #2. I needed to finish hand stitching the binding and I had it in my bag when we went to Seattle, so I finished it while we were waiting. Mom was able to use it on her bedside table once she got out of ICU. I think it brightened her room up some. :)

Table Runner #3 - I started it after lunch on Friday and finished it after lunch on Saturday! I made this to take to our Priest Lake house since we always spend 4th of July there. I love how it turned out. I ordered some more fabric to make another one for a gift or donation for something. It came together really quick and is pretty darn cute!

Table Runner #4. Same pattern as Table Runner #1, but different fabric. This is for my friend Ronda's birthday present. I'm going to try to get it in the mail this week even though her birthday isn't until the middle of May. I think it looks so spring-y. It makes me happy every time I look at it.

This week, I also finished a quilt top and got a different quilt top ready to take to my friend Melissa's so that she can quilt it. I think I'm going to move away from table runners for a while (even though I bought fabric to make a valentine's one and a coffee-themed one).
In other news around the Koch household...Mom feels like a queen in her mechanical recliner that our friend Jim Jacobs brought for her to borrow. It's one of those that with a push of a button will stand you on your feet and 10 seconds later, lays you flat on your back. She feels quite independent now.
Also, I took Samson to the vet on Thursday. I noticed the last couple of days that he'd been shaking his ears more than normal. Dr. Poe checked him over (he lost .5 lbs since November!) and diagnosed the little dude (that is what she calls him) with yeast infections in his ears. $85 later, we were sent home with drops that we have to put in each ear once a day and he seems to be feeling better!
So, this coming week is full with doctor's appointments on Monday and Wednesday and Beta on Tuesday. I hope to squeeze in some time for quilting somewhere in there and we have to get started on writing thank you notes - it's going to take us YEARS!! If anyone wants to come cut fabric for me, I'd love you forever. I hate cutting fabric. I just like sewing it back together!
I'm also looking at creating some sort of quilting scrapbook or journal. Has anyone done this? I can't think of the right kind of book. I'd appreciate any suggestions!

April 21, 2009

[ an adventure ]

Ok, Mom and I are going to attempt going to the Tri-Cities today.
Wish us luck!
UPDATE: We did great! Dad & I encouraged Mom to take an extra-heavy pain killer for the ride to Tri-Cities, but it made her pretty sick, so we'll know not to do that again.
I've been doing a lot of quilting since we've been home from Seattle, but I had no batting. The kind of batting that I like was on sale at JoAnn's for $5.99 a yard, so I got 4 yards. The lady that cut it acted like I was nuts. She said, "Well, this should last you a lifetime." I tried explaining to her that I don't get to town often and I have multiple projects going at one time...then I thought - why should I have to explain this to you, lady? Cut my darn batting!
Batting is so darn expensive, that I've been looking up buying it in bulk online. JoAnn's has it online right now and you can use a 40% off coupon! I'm seriously considering would only be about $100 for 40 yards. Am I crazy?!

April 20, 2009

[ new routine ]

I am amazed at how quickly life can change and how quickly we can adapt to that change. Today is the first day Mom & I are on our own, everyone else went back to work! We made it through breakfast, the first dose of pills (13 in the morning!), and a shower! Whew! We had planned to go to the Tri-Cities today, but some friends of my Grandma's decided to come this afternoon, so Tri-Cities will have to wait until tomorrow.
Cheer tryouts start today! I'm really looking forward to seeing Jessica & Emersyn. I'm not going to be able to go everyday - but hopefully a day or two this week, and then, of course, actualy tryouts next Monday!

April 17, 2009

[ home ]

We are home!
After waiting almost 4 hours for the darn prescriptions to be filled, I think we all had high blood pressure!! Luckily, the pass was fine and we made it home around 7pm. We arrived to a sparkling clean home, thanks to some special cleaning fairies (thank you thank you thank you!) and a small welcoming committee.
Dad and Melissa unpacked the car and I unpacked things in the house. We finally wound down enough to think about bed around 11:45pm. We got Mom settled into Dad's recliner with everything she needed at her fingertips. I did a few things in my room and came out to the kitchen for a glass of water. She and I ended up talking for over an hour. :)
This morning, we're just trying to adjust to being home and figuring out what Mom needs. Her medications are super confusing, but I think Dad's finally got a handle on those. We also didn't get a lot of rest last night, so we're trying to veg a little this morning since we're expecting quite a bit of company today!
Some other happy news...I entered a blog contest a few weeks ago to name this funky mannequin:

I named her "Stella" and it was chosen!! I won a handmade apron by Miss Lila Tueller ( It was a great surprise!! I never win anything!!!

April 15, 2009

[ one more day ]

Well, we talked to the doctor this morning, Carrie Boom (she's great) and since Mom's blood pressure is unstable (yesterday it was 160+ and today it's at 100), she's apprehensive to send us home. So - we're staying at least one more day. I think we were all a little disappointed to hear that news. Melissa & I had already checked out of our hotel room and Mom was looking forward to wearing her new going home clothes that we bought her. Anyway, we are thankful for the doctor's knowledge and willingness to do whatever is needed. Dr. Boom said that if we lived on the west side she'd feel comfortable sending us home today, but since we're in Eastern Washington, it's best be on the safe side. I couldn't agree more - although I'm missing Samson something terrible and was really looking forward to seeing him. I am so appreciative Chris and Candace for keeping him this week...what great friends I have. Seriously - I wouldn't trust just anyone with him and not just anyone would agree to have him for this long. :)

Here's Mom's to-do list for the day - it's on a white board so that she can see it from her bed. She has to walk around the floor (about 400 yards) four times a day. You can see that yesterday, she did 6! She did three laps before lunch and when Dad asked her if she wanted to do the 4th before lunch came, she said, "Well, I don't want to show off!"

This is a hallway downstairs before you get on the elevators. Melissa and I try to take this advice everytime we get on the elevator.The hotel Melissa and I have been staying at is at the Seattle Center, just two blocks from the Space Needle, so we see it every morning when we leave and every night as we drive back from the hospital. It's become a reassuring sight for me, at least. This morning, there was patchy fog and it's pretty overcast still, but Melissa took this picture - we couldn't see the top of the Space Needle - it just disappeared into thin air - literally!

Melissa and I got out a little bit yesterday. Melissa's friend Rachel came to visit and then took us to U Village to get our nails done! Mine were trashed because Mom & I were supposed to get them done last Thursday, but life was interrupted. It felt great to get some fresh air and to take our minds off of things. While we were there, we decided to hop into Brighton to see if there was a heart bracelet we could get for Mom. We found that Brighton had created a bracelet especially for the American Heart Association, so we grabbed it and Mom loves it. :)

So, today, we're hoping today goes by quickly and that Mom's blood pressure stabilizes. Mom & Dad are napping right now and Melissa & I are watching Ellen:

Kara Mauseth sent us this scripture this morning and I'd like to share it with you:

Now, may the Lord of peace give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Love you all!

April 14, 2009

[ we *heart* our Momma ]

I'll try to make this a condensed version...I know many of you know what's happened, but I feel the need to record it in my blog journal. :)
On Wednesday night, April 8th, Mom & I got home from a meeting at church. We'd barely walked in the door and sat on the couch and Mom complained of a crushing sensation in her chest and pain in her jaw. I immediately looked up the symptoms of a heart attack and as I listed them, Mom said she had about 4 out of the 6, so Dad called 911. She was taken to Lourdes in Pasco where they ruled out a heart attack and a blood clot in her lungs. After many labs, tests, scans, and x-rays, they determined at around 2:30am that she'd have to be flown to Seattle for an emergency surgery. She left Pasco on a jet headed for Seattle while we raced home to pack a few things and meet her in Seattle.
By the time we got to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Mom had been in surgery for about 3 hours. She was in surgery for a total of 7 hours that morning to repair a severe tear in her ascending aorta - otherwise known as an aortic dissection. The doctor that spoke to us during the surgery made things sound great, that the doctors were happy with what they saw, that Mom was an exceptional case, and that she'd be fine (all of which, we know now is true!). A doctor that came a few hours later when her surgery was finished didn't have such great news for us, which made us very worried. To do the surgery, they had to completely drain all of Mom's blood from her body and put her on a heart/lung bypass machine, so they were concerned about neurological damage, damage to her other organs & extremeties, and excessive bleeding.
We finally got to see Mom around 2pm in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit, where she was hooked up to a ventilator and sedated. We were so worried, especially with all that the doctors were telling us. We were so lucky to have such a great support system - we got so many calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messages. We are so so grateful and blessed by our family and friends. Our family was over as soon as possible and we had friend stopping by the entire time. We are so blessed. We kind of took over the waiting room with all of the people we had here - I'm sure we were a little intimidating to the other families (10-12 people all the time!).
By Friday morning, Mom was taken off the ventilator and was able to whisper to us. By Saturday, she went for a walk and on Sunday, she was moved out of the ICU! It was such an Easter blessing! Since then, she's been taking 4 walks a day, she took a shower yesterday, and has all the wires removed! The sutures were removed today and they're kicking us out tomorrow!!
We've been learning a lot about what happened. She had an aortic dissection (, which is a tear in her ascending aorta. She had a graph (graft) of part of her artery. So, for the rest of her life, she will become good friends with her surgeon and doctor, Dr. Mokadam. She will have to carefully monitor her blood pressure and come to Seattle every six months for cat scans and echocardiograms. We are so thankful for his expertise and knowledge.
So- we'll be home tomorrow! I'll stay home with Mom for a while to nurse her back to health. I know we're just as excited to see everyone as everyone is to see Mom, but I think we're going to have a sign on the door for when she's napping or when it's not a good time to come in. We do want people to visit, because she's very energized by that, but there will be times that are better than others. Thank you for your respect in this!
Here's a picture from out Mom's window and also the puzzle we all put together the first couple days we were here (this puzzle looks difficult - but you wouldn't believe how hard it really was! There are four or five puzzles in the waiting room and all the pieces had been dumped together - so it took an extra long time to find all the pieces. What else did we have to do?!):

So, now we've learned a lot about taking care of your heart, checking your blood pressure regularly, and maintaining a low-sodium diet. We have been looking for heart jewelry to commemorate our time here in Seattle, so if you have any suggestions, let us know. :)

Thanks again for all of your prayers, support, texts, emails, Facebook messages, calls, and messages. We love you all so very much!

April 5, 2009

[ a little secret ]

Ok, I have decided to let you all on in a little secret: I'm having loads of fun accumulating fabric and patterns for quilting projects...but I haven't quite mastered the skills of actually completing the projects!
So, here's my list of projects to complete (along with a picture of what it's supposed to look like at the end, if I have it):
Starting with the ones that are closest to completion:
#1. This cute table runner that turned into a table square. It's my very first project. I hand quilted the flowers in the center. Now I need to quilt the outside squares and bind it.

#2. This pink baby quilt is for my cousin Lisa's baby that is due next month. I'm going to ask a friend of mine to machine quilt it. I need to buy the batting. The fabric on top of it is the back (darker fabric) and binding (lighter fabric).
#3. This is one of my favorite fabric combos! This is the first quilt I started. I'm sewing the strips together right now and I'll probably ask my friend to machine quilt it too. I need to get the batting. Lighter fabric is backing and darker fabric is binding.
#4. Camille's Table Runner in progress. I'm sewing the strips together right now. This is one I know I can finish by myself from start to finish (except for some help on how to bind it since I've never done that). I just need to do it! (Picture of how it's supposed to look is the second pic.)
#5. This fabric will magically turn into...
...this table runner!
#6. This fabric is for...
...this table runner!
#7. This is the quilt kit I got at Pike's Place Market the other day.
This is what it's supposed to look like when it's completed. Sorry it's not a great picture.
#8. This green kit I got at JoAnn's. It looks easy and cute, right?!

#9. I got this kit at Craft Warehouse - it was on sale last month! I love the big blocks on the pattern!

#10. This is the first kit I bought. It's from the Village Quiltworks in Richland. I love it and can't wait to work on it. This might be my summer project.

#11. I love this fabric! (Jessica, I think this is what you made your spring table runner out of, right?)

#13. I bought this pattern in Auburn last week and ordered the fabric for it when I got home on Friday. I want to make this for our house at Priest Lake since we're always there for the 4th of July. I love the stars on it.
(Amy, Jess, do you want a copy?)
I thought I'd show you how I store all of these works in progress, since I was in the craft room with my camera. :)
Baskets of fabric. This fabric isn't assigned to any patterns...yet.
Basket of idea books and magazines.Tubs of fabric...this fabric is assigned to the projects listed above.
These are projects that are halfway done.

And these are two table runners I'd like to make someday. Mom & I saw this table runner kit when we stopped in Roslyn at the quilt store there on Friday. I thought it was a cute fall runner, but I wasn't thrilled about the fabric, so I want to find the pattern.This pattern is from I bought the hexagon templates, just need to find fabric for it. I took the plunge. I shared my secret, let you in on my fabric/pattern/kit buying addiction. Who's going to be next? C'mon - I know I'm not the only one!! Inspire me!!
Leaving you with a completed project - this is the April calendar that Jessica, Amy, and I made last week. I love it and can't wait to take it to my office...{tomorrow}.
Today is Palm Sunday, so off to church I go. Crossing my fingers that my sewing machine works this afternoon. Maybe that's what I'll pray for at church today. Obviously, it has work to do!!!

April 3, 2009

[ around and about in Seattle ]

Our 4 days in Seattle...what a wonderful Spring Break getaway! It was just right - the right amount of time to be gone, the right distance, the right things to do & see. Here's a play by play...
On Tuesday, we got to Seattle fairly quickly, stopping in Royal City for lunch and Ellensburg for Starbucks. I taught my Mom to use the map feature on my phone and we found our way to one of our favorite stamp stores in Green Lake: Amuse. We found some cute stamps and paper - had fun looking around. We'd gone to their store a few years ago when we were in town for the CK Convention, but they'd moved locations and so it was fun to see their new home.

We meandered around and found our way to U Village. I *heart* U Village. :) There is so much to see there and many of my favorite stores are located there.
Example #1: Anthropologie. My roommate in college, Andrea, introduced me to this wonderful oasis of kitsch-ware. They have beautiful clothes, furniture, housewares, linens, jewelry, dishes, kitchenware, etc. etc. It's a little, no, a lot, expensive, so I didn't buy anything. I just love being in the presence of all those wonderful things!
Example #2: Sephora. I'd been trying to talk Mom into trying Bare Escentuals for a few weeks and told her when we got to Sephora, I'd make her try it. She did, we both bought a few items, and got our Sephora fix.
This is Mom leaving our favorite restaurant at U Village. It's a delicious Thai place that I also learned from Andrea. I had Pad Thai with Tofu (yes, tofu - it's good in this dish!) and Prawns. YUM! Mom had Kung Pao Chicken and we both enjoyed some Passion Iced Tea.
It's always raining at U Village and so they have these great bright yellow umbrellas that are outside every store - you just grab one on your way out and leave it at the door on your way in. There always seems to be one available for anyone who needs it! Doesn't she look natural?!

I didn't get any pictures, but we also went to Crate & Barrel and Miller-Pollard. :)
Example #3: Storables. This is for you, Jess. U Village doesn't have "The Container Store," but they do have Storables. I thought I was organized until I went here and saw all the things I could organize things in. WOW! I didn't buy anything here either - too many choices.

Seriously, do you want colored baskets? What size?

Or clear or white baskets? What size?!

We didn't go to Mrs. Cook's, but I like the name! :)

After our rainy, but fun afternoon at U Village, we found a hotel at South Center, watched Dancing with the Stars, and crashed. We had a big day ahead!
We stopped by our neighborhood Starbucks:
A familiar sight:
and got to IKEA around 9:40am. Do you see what time it opens?!
We waited in the parking lot until it opened and then spent three - THREE - glorious hours strolling IKEA. Mom surprised me with a belated birthday gift on our way into IKEA - a gift card! YES! It was awesome! :) She felt bad that she'd forgotten to give it to me on my birthday - but I told her this was even better. So exciting!
We were exhausted after all that shopping, so we enjoyed lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We shared a chicken and avacado club sandwhich and a salad. We had to save room for cheesecake, of course! I had a Kahlua cheesecake and Mom tried the Snickers. We ate half and saved half for a bedtime snack. (Doesn't this make you drool? I could've stared at that case all afternoon!)
Then, we went to our other favorite stamp store: Impress. There are four locations around Seattle, but this is their original store (read: biggest and best) and we could spend hours there. Besides all the great stamps, the examples are awesome. We found some cute things, of course! :)
We stopped a few other stores (including JoAnn's...I got a Cuttlebug and I got the pattern for that green fabric quilt kit, Jess), then met my cousin Kevin at BJ's for drinks when he got off work. He moved to the Seattle area about a year ago (2? I don't remember...) and works for the Seattle Thunderbirds as a marketing...person. He sells season tickets, advertising, etc. It was great to see him and hang out. We used to be really close, but have grown apart in the last few years. I miss him and his friendship a lot.

The next morning, we went to the Seattle Thunderbirds arena - Showare Center - and Kevin gave us a tour. They just moved into this arena in January, it's brand new. His office is in the arena too. It's a really nice arena and I could see that it would be fun to see a hockey game there!

The new arena is in Kent and Kevin suggested we go to Kent Station for some shopping, so we drove around and decided on lunch instead.
I'd heard of Panera Bread but had never seen one in real life. We decided to try it and are sure glad we did!! It was amazing!

...even if they did misunderstand our names...
Introducing Marvi...and Toni. :)
Mom's Roast Beef sandwhich and my Chicken Panini.
We decided to find some fabric stores that I'd searched for online. We went to one called The Calico Cat in Auburn. They had some beatiful quilts on display, I found a pattern for a 4th of July Table Runner and this cute Christmas countdown:

I don't remember the brand, but - Amy - I thought of you! It's so adorable!
I had found a few other quilt stores in the area, so we set off on a mission to find them. Long story short, we drove around FOREVER, in the rain, only to find one no longer there, and another, the address led us to a house - in a neighborhood - that was vacant. It became pretty funny, even though it really wasn't.
We decided just to drive around, check out downtown Burien, which I'd remembered as being pretty cute, but we didn't really see anything. We ended up driving along this road that had homes that looked out over the Puget Sound...can't you imagine living here?
It was like out of a movie or a book. So cute!
We decided to return to reality: Target.
Not that we really needed anything, but hey - it's always done us good!
Ok - now my favorite story. We went to Nordstrom at South Center. Mom decided to buy Bare Escentuals, but wanted to do it at Nordstrom to use her card (smart, right?!). I love Nordstrom, so we looked at all the cute shoes, fun spring clothes, jewelry, purses, oh my.
(P.S. I cannot stress how hard it was raining. I think I heard on the news that it rained an entire inch yesterday!)
So, as we're preparing to run out into the rain to our car, I'm trying to get my keys out of my purse (which I think has put a kink in my shoulder!), and I glance over at the ladies coming into Nordstrom. I do a double take. I kid you not, I swear it was Sarah Palin and her daughter Willow. I am not kidding. She had the suit, the hair, the glasses. I didn't want to make a scene and do a triple take, but I should have. Once we got outside, I told Mom, "That lady looked like Sarah Palin" and she said she had thought so too! Now that I've thought about it for an entire day, I am more sure (or I've talked myself into it) that it was her. Why didn't I stop and check? I would've never seen them (or the random lady) again. What did I have to lose?!
We braved the rain to go have some appetizers and drinks at a favorite restaurant, Claim Jumper. We enjoyed yummy Mojitos and a "dirty" Root Beer Float with Calamari and Cheesy Potatocakes. The atmosphere at Claim Jumper is so cozy; perfect for a raining evening.
We went back to our hotel to watch the Series Finale of ER. I was a little sad, I have to admit. I feel like I grew up with ER and now it's over. I loved seeing Drs. Weaver, Carter, Lewis, Corday, and Benton. My friends... I think I need to Netflix ER from the very beginning.
Friday, we got up and headed to Seattle to Pike's Place Market.

I think we were "had" at the Parking Lot. It advertises $14, but when I went to pay, I could only use a debit/credit, and it was $16.53...FOR TWO HOURS! Oh well, it was jut enough time.
One of my favorite sights in Seattle.
These two accumulated quite a crowd - but they were worth it. They were really good!
Fresh fruits and veggies...aren't the colors beautiful?
$17.99?! What kind of shrimp are these?!
I loved looking and smelling the fresh flowers - daffodils, tulips, mixed bouquets. So pretty.
Jessica Fife suggested we try this Russian restaraunt. They had great stuffed pastries. They were as good as she described, but a little messy to eat while walking and gawking.
Well well well...look what we found. The flagship Starbucks. The very first one. It was like a mothership calling us home. Mecca. The Holy Grail.
Call it what you was fun to be in the presence. It got Mom & I thinking and talking about how this one little non-descript coffee shop launched a worldwide phenomenon. did that happen?
We watched the famous fish throwers for a while. This guy was chasing some tweens around with this fish...funny!
After Thursday's fiasco looking for a quilt shop, I had given up, even though I'd written down the name and address of one on Pike St. As we were looking around the market and in the shops below the market, we stumbled upon this:
Of course, I bought a cute Amy Butler quilt kit. (Jessica, I think this brings it to 11 projects...)
There was a pub in the basement of the market and they had these trays around the ceiling...check that one out!
We decided we'd better get on the road since we'd been hearing the pass was pretty bad the last couple of days. We passed this familiar landmark on our way to I-5.

How could we not stop in North Bend to peek at what they have?
(I got Samson a new Spring collar - it's teal! - and it was 50% off!)
Here's what the pass looked like. Notice it's bare and dry!!! I was so relieved. I was really nervous since all the news talked about was getting cars of out ditches and the max speed was 25mph. I was so so so happy.
We did have to stop for about 45 minutes while they did Avalanche Control. We turned off the car and rolled down the windows to enjoy the mountain fresh air. Once we got going again, we saw a few snowmen along the side of the road!!
Our list of "to-do's". I think we pretty much crossed everything off, except for going to dinner at "The Melting Pot" in Bellevue. Oh well, we got to enjoy so many fun things - do and see so many fun things - it was a great break. But I am glad to be home and that we still get to enjoy Saturday and Sunday at home!

Now, we get to unpack and play with our new toys!!! I hope everyone else has had such a great Spring Break!