Monday, September 20, 2010

An update on Baby Ike

A little more than a year and a half ago, many of you shared your generous support for Baby Ike (Ike-a-saurus), the son of one of my best friends. Ike and his family have been through a lot in the last 18 months or so, but now have some really fantastic news to share. I'm a little late in posting about it, but last month, Ike and his parents spent several weeks in Cincinnati, where Ike underwent surgery to reconstruct his airway. While his recovery process in the first week post-surgery was a bit treacherous (heh - Kari will laugh at the "bit" part), he went on to recover so strongly that he was released to come back to Texas early.

He still has a long road ahead, but he's doing great so far. He's "breathing through his face" and doing wonderfully "normal" things like climbing up on to the kitchen table, sleeping in his own big-boy bed, and celebrating milestones like his first trip to the grocery store. He (and his family) are truly amazing. Our community of mamas had a big Welcome Home party for the Roy family a few weeks ago, and it was so beautiful to see everyone celebrate the effort everyone made to help support this family through such turbulent waters. The following weekend, we joined again to celebrate Kari's new book, Brains for Lunch. At both raucous, crowd-packed events, Ike was totally in his element, rockin' his Chucks, batting his eyelashes and wooing everyone.

I just have to give another heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated items for Ike's auction or purchased items from Ike's auction or said a prayer, sent a thought, etc. Ike's recovery and his family's strength through it all have been amazing to witness, and equally impressive is the tremendous support from all corners of the country for this sweet little guy. Thank you.

You can keep up with Ike and Kari and the gang over on Kari's blog, Haiku of the Day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Space and Stitchery (a.k.a. My Happy Place)

Having the chance to combine your passions is a pretty darn special treat, and when other folks respond positively to that ... well, it doesn't get much better. I'm so excited/honored/thrilled/stoked that my Hubble cross-stitch project won First Prize in the Funniest category of the ESA Hubble Pop Culture contest. Can you believe it? Nope - I can't, either.

I don't know that I was going for "funny" when I made the project, but considering the fact that humor is how I make it through any tough situations in life, I'll go ahead and take it. Not to mention the fact that First Prize carries some insanely awesome prizes. Hurrah!

This is the second time I've had a crazy idea for a project that combines my passions, but seems a little ... odd. One part of me said, "This is so dorky. Why would you bother?" but the bigger part of me said, "So what!? I like it! I'm doing it!" And when I went ahead with it, really fantastic things followed.

photo by Robert Pearlman of collectSPACE

So what does this mean to you? Well - I've had a postcard on my desk for years (actually, I can't find it at the moment, but it's seared in to my brain, so ...) it says, "Trust Your Crazy Ideas."

For reals, y'all. Trust those crazy ideas. Love what you do - do it with passion and most importantly, HAVE. FUN. DOING. IT. Don't worry about what other people think. And be sure to take things ... well ... One Screw at a Time.

You can read the full story behind the project in my original post about it.

When I was contacted about the win, the ESA folks asked several questions, the final one being if I had any favorite Hubble images. Here was my response:
I find most every image in the Hubble gallery inspiring, fascinating and humbling. Some of my favorite images, though, are pictures of the astronauts who have serviced Hubble through the years as they work on Hubble. More proof that humans are critical to space exploration.