Usually, that's the way my life rolls. I have big ideas, but not quite the ability to see them through.
When our other neighbor and friend Iron Mom was diagnosed with cancer, we knew we needed to do something to let her know how much we cared about her. We came up with this awesome idea.
"It'll be easy" we said. "We can totally whip that together" we said.
Side note: Neither of us sew for a living...or a hobby...
It's fine. We both have Pinterest, so we immediately started planning.
As soon as we got to the part where we had to figure out how much fabric we needed, and how big our squares needed to be, our enthusiasm dimmed--but only for a minute, because our Bishop's wife is a sewing machine (Ha!! Like how I did that? Ha!!) We called her, and she met us at her house. We took in our sketch of what we wanted the quilt to look like, and she did the rest. She even came to the fabric store with us to "guide" us to the right material for the quilt.
The Bishop's wife took our fabric and cut it into the correct size squares. She even let us borrow her actual sewing machine.
Friend and I tried to start sewing. There was a glitch. We called in reinforcement--Friend's Mother in-Law. (Bishop's Wife was working!!) Of course when she started sewing, everything worked flawlessly. MIL left us to our work.
Another glitch. MIL was now in a meeting. We called in the secret weapons. Beyonce and Barbie. They brought their own machines. Enthusiasm bumped up a notch or two. Squares come together. This was going to be awesome!
Problem: Bobbins run out of thread. No one knows how to re-thread them.
Beyonce calls her mom.
So here's what you should be picturing in your mind: My table has 3 sewing machines on it. My counter has one. Beyonce's mom is going from machine to machine threading bobbins. The other 4 of us are covered in stray yellow fluff from the minky we chose as the quilt back. 14 children are wandering in and out looking for snacks and attention. We got nothin' for 'em. ;)
Machines back in business. Kids outside with chips and crackers. We're laying the squares out on my living room floor.
Glitch: In walks Iron Mom.
I lie. Friend lies. Barbie lies. WE ALL LIE! Oddly enough we all conform to the same story--we're helping Barbie make a quilt for Noah. Immediately, Barbie is locked in for the day--she knows she can't leave us to finish "HER" project. Noah gets excited about his new blanket. (Um---we'll deal with that later??)
Iron Mom helps design and layout the squares. We arrange it exactly as she suggests.
I'm sweating (even now as I type--thinking back on the whole ordeal), pounding gallons of Diet Coke to keep me focused.
By pure miracle, the quilt gets done.
I bring this experience to the blog, not so much to brag about my craftiness, but more just to focus on how often times, Friend and I get in a little over our heads, and we're always so grateful to our friends and family who come to our rescue.
Another example of this type of rescuing:
"Let's turn our little neighborhood fun run into a fundraiser for Iron Mom" we said. "It'll be easy" we said. "We've got plenty of time" we said. ("70 days? Yeah, we can pull that off. Pshh, we just made a quilt overnight. Why are we questioning our abilities?").
Because of our recent experience of seeing our grandiose ideas put into action, we teamed up with Padron Counseling and other friends (Barbie, Beyonce, roped in again). We started planning. As soon as we finished with our first meeting, we began to realize just a little bit of what we were getting into. This was going to be huge.
We started talking to businesses about sponsoring. Do you know how great people are? I mean, AMAZING. We knew we had to find a place to run--our little neighborhood fun run course would not suffice. We talked to the people at Snake River Landing. It is the perfect spot for a fun run.
After we had a few monetary sponsors, we upped the ante a bit, and threw in raffle baskets. Businesses & Iron Mom's family donated exquisite and fun baskets! We had over 20! We also decided to theme the run after Iron Mom's interest--Superhero's. People love to dress up, and there are so many super hero t-shirts floating around, we knew we couldn't go wrong.
Next thing we know, Barbie (who also has Pinterest...) has the idea to station actual people dressed as superhero's along the path. Genius. She and her husband built pallet platforms and got them decorated to match the hero's standing on them! Not only that, she whipped up an incredible backdrop for a photo booth.
What? You thought we would just stop at the superhero's, photo booth and raffle baskets? No. No. Because the more Friend and I stewed and thought about everything, the more ideas we had--the bigger the event became. We needed food. We needed music. We needed FACE PAINT!
A few days before the big event, Friend and I were talking. I thought we should have people lined up at the finish line when Iron Mom came through. The people could hold posters or balloons or something. Friend excitedly suggested we get 100 pink balloons! I got goosebumps envisioning the whole scene. We would tell NO ONE (except Beyonce--she's the one with the 12 passenger van that would contain so many balloons)!
The big day came. Our goal was to have 100 registered runners. We had at least 160 (all who ran an extra mile...whoops. Put "clear course markers" on the list for next year!) We hoped we would raise at least $3500. We raised over $6000.
Is there any question that this woman is loved? She has impacted the lives of so many.
Again, there are so many GREAT people in our community. This event would have never been so successful without them and so many of Iron Mom's friends, co-workers, and family members.
As soon as Iron Mom came running in and crossed the finish line to her support system, the balloons floated upward. Seeing her made all of the planning, late nights, worrying, rookie mistakes, worth it.
Iron Mom's brother-in-law edited the black and white and pink picture. I loved what he posted on Facebook to caption this photo: I tried to isolate only the pink and Mary herself, to represent the positive in the war on cancer. Graying out all the rest of our problems and being able to focus only on the positive can make quite an impact. I think there is a lot of emotion in this photo. The more I look at it and the faces of family and friends and all the support and encouragement as Mary courageously runs across the finish line, the more emotional I feel. I'm sure that was not an easy race to run. This has been a great time for family to get together and reunite and mend relationships. Way to go Mary! Keep your chin up and remember that there is a higher power and a reason for all things. Your family and friends love you.
When we focus on the positive and the blessings that surround us, no trial is too great--no burden too heavy.
Next year, this event is going to be so easy to put together...