Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Driveway Gourmet needs your help!

Amazing people. Amazing food.

One of my very best friends Chrissy Cargill and her hubby Scott need your clicks to win big!!!  They have a food truck called Driveway Gourmet and they've entered a contest to win $5000 to makeover their truck.  You can enter 1 time per day, per email address. Here's the link.

I'm about to get real with your taste buds, so pucker up and try to keep that saliva from dripping down your front.

Let me just start with the Tri Tip and Bleu Cheese Tacos. This is what I eat 2-3 times per week. I try not to eat out THAT much, but I like to pretend that eating at your bestfriends taco truck isn't technically eating out. I've literally talked someone into getting them everytime I'm down there (and by down there, I mean behind Follett's Furniture Mon-Fri 10am-3pm).  

In between two corn tortillas is cheese. Then on top of the quesadilla is tri tip beef with bleu cheese melted on top, with a lil lettuce, green onions and tomatoes.  You get chips and spanish rice to go along ( i usually put a lil rice in my tacos). Plus you get a container of the homemade salsa (which I also put on my tacos).

The gourmet tuna melt is freakin fab. The classic chicken caesar is fab. Their Philly is also nothing short of amazing. It outdoes every single philly, even Philadelphians would agree.

Aaand have you HAD A MAGIC COOKIE BAR from them? Re-donk-u-lous. 

My parents had them cater a party, where they made Scott's famous pulled pork sammies. He also made chicken wings for my white trash 29th bday party and I'm pretty sure they were gone in a matter of minutes.

They make their own salsa and guac. too, and I've stopped by their house JUST to get some for the mexican meal I was making at home. Thats how freakin fabulous they are. 

So Please please please vote vote vote for them.  The voting ends August 31st.  Oh, and go eat there today!  This week's special is....Chicken BACON tacos. Nuf said. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Havin babies

Another warning: This blog is deeply personal and again has nothing to do with sewing and/or crafts. (My palms are sweating right now thinking about pressing publish) I guess its safe to assume that my blog has taken a different road than I originally planned.  This subject has been weighing heavy on my mind and heart, and I feel like after 5+ years its time for me to come clean and be totally honest.  

I've gotten asked around 1000 times (maybe more, seriously) when I'm going to have kids. And 990 of those answers have been a pretty common response to the tune of, "Oh sometime soon I hope!" or "We're still young, we've got time!".  But what I really want to say is that we can't have children unless we spend a lot of money, time and energy.

I feel like thats too long/personal of an answer that will just cause further questioning, going beyond the small talk most people were simply looking for.  For the last 3ish years, I worked with literally hundreds of (baby crazy) women (all in one building), and got the question many times, often from the same women asking me over and over.  One time I just told a girl matter of factly, "I can't have kids". Just to get her off my back.  For some reason, people feel its their business/right to know whether or not you become a parent. Pssst. Its not.

So, I'm here to set the record straight.  I'm no longer going to hide my truth. And that truth is called Huntingtons Disease (HD).  This is a very scary disorder that is only passed on genetically.  Each person affected with the Huntingtons gene has a 50/50 chance of passing it on to each child they have.  So really the only way to stop this gene mutation, is to simply not have kids (as there is no known cure yet).  Unless one goes through IVF and PGD (in-vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis), which can cost around $20,000 per try. Basically they test the embryos for the genetic mutation, and the ones that do not have it, they implant back into the body in hopes that a pregnancy will continue and the end result would be a 100% HD free baby that is 50% dorky me and 50% hottie hubs.

You see, my incredibly amazing and wonderful husband has HD. I knew this was a possibility before we got married and I remember thinking that I might not be able to have children. But at 22, you feel like you have your whole life ahead of you, and I knew that I wanted to be with my man and nothing was going stop that.

A couple years ago, he decided he wanted to find out for sure.  Mainly because we did want a family in the near future, and we wanted to know before we got pregnant.  We decided that we will not get pregnant naturally to ensure that the HD gene stops here.  I want to be clear that this was our personal decision. A very personal, long debated decision between me and my babe. See, the other side of the coin, is that HD could possibly have a cure before our child will be of the age where HD starts (not until around age 50ish) or better yet, there's the 50% chance our child wouldn't have it at all.

I've heard quite a few times in the past that we shouldn't worry about HD and just have babies.  I soooo wish we could.  But I know that we would have to someday explain to our child that he or she needs to be tested because there is a 50% chance they too may have what their father has.  I would rather explain to my child why we chose adoption, or why we went through IVF to conceive.  This has weighed heavily on my heart for so many years and I've gone back and forth on what to do, and all I can say is that our decision is solely ours. I can completely understand why couples have chosen to have their own children who may be at risk, and in fact I did get pregnant about 5 years ago to have that end in miscarriage. God has a plan, things happen for a reason. Two cliches I do believe in. 

As a perfectly healthy 30 year old, this is extremely hard to grasp. Especially because I always imagined myself with at least 2 kids by this age. (I actually want 4 total!!!) No one every imagines that when they decide to start a family they will have such a giant roadblock.  I've come to realize that infertility is a common problem for many people.  Being able to get pregnant (for free) is a privilege.  Unfortunately, most don't see that. Most accidentally get pregnant and then the decision to become parents has been decided for them.  One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing white trash people having babies they can't/don't want to take care of.  It also bugs the absolute crap out of me when I see people complaining about their kids on FB or to me.  I understand that parenthood has its not-so-fun moments, but there are people out there that would give their entire life savings to have a bad day in parenthood. Me me me, pick me!!!

One reason I have not come right out and blurted to the world my life story is because its an obviously very sensitive subject that my hubby and I share, and I'm not sure I was totally ready before. But education and knowledge is power, and I want to everyone that knows us to know about HD.  The more people know and understand, the closer we can come to a cure.  We need to support the dedicated teams out there right now that are spending their time and energy working on the research for a cure.  I want to spend as many days as God gives me with my man.   

Life is not fair. We all know this.  So far, my life has been nothing but blessed to the max. I had the most amazing childhood, luckier than most.  I got to fly to McCall in my dad's private plane for breakfast (mmm....Those Potatoes).  I've travelled to the Bahamas on a cruise ship, Hawaii, and to Taiwan.  I have parents that are still married and madly in love. I have 3 older siblings that have always wanted to spend time with their much younger sis.  I've been married almost 8 years to my bestfriend from high school (have I mentioned how gorgeous he is?).  I have the most amazing, sweet sweet, precious dog.  So I suppose some wrench needed to be thrown in the mix to bring me back down from cloud nine. 

I'm ready to give people an answer they probably were not expecting the next time I get asked.  I'm ready to spread awareness about HD.  Please consider donating time and/or money to HD events such as the Hog & Grog event held in Lewiston every year, or visit the HDSA website for info/resources/events. My brother-in-law and his wife have also started a non-profit organization called Healing Huntingtons and I encourage you to "like" the page to stay updated.  My family needs your help, as do many many many families out there affected by HD.

Thanks for the support, love, and kind words already given to me and my family.   God is ever present.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Photo Shoot!

This is Kennedy.

She has probably had her picture taken every single day of her life. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say she has had multiple pictures taken of her every day since she was born.

But she's just so amazingly beautiful that I don't blame Chrissy (her mom and my bff) one bit.

So they came over last week and we got right down to business.

For Blake's Beanies of course!

Sock Monkey - Vintage-y colors

We happen to be babysitting my niece Roselynn.  Such a sweet baby!

Kitty Hello!

Chrissy's a Vandal girl and I aim to please.

I'm gearin up for the fall/winter season!  That means craft fairs, etsy orders, football, and lots-o-yarn.  There's lots more hats where these came from, and I'm always taking custom orders: any size, color, character, style.

Blake's Beanies has also expanded to beardies, fingerless gloves, headbands, flower accessories and much more.  "Like" my facebook page to stay updated!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

That looks JUST like......

So here are the pics I was talking about in this post.

I hadn't walked into the cabin 5 minutes and my sister snatched away her son's iPad (which he was in a serious Avengers game) to take my picture.  After that, we laughed until Phoenix had the hiccups, and then laughed some more.  Then I went pee, (i made it to the toilet, thankfully) and then we laughed some more.

They say we look alike. I s'pose its in the eyes.

She's always been so photogenic.

Robyn and Phoenix.

When I FINALLY got the iPad to myself, I thought I'd self portrait a few. I know I said I don't normally take self pics, at least not post the ones I take, buuuuut, I'm gonna go with my instincts on this one. Saddle up partner!

My chin, acting the part of a dimpled butt.

Hey you over there.
Wanna see how many of your
fingers fit on my forehead?

Fire Marshall Bill

Dad, you realize the camera does the silly faces for you, right?

Everytime we brought these out to show someone new, everyone's reaction was the same......."Hey! That looks just like_____" 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My genetically matched partners in crime

Having sisters is fun :)

Don't get me wrong, having a brother can be just as fun, if not more at times (especially if Zach Broyles is your bro).  But this weekend was a rare opportunity for me to spend it with just my sisters.  I'm so freakin lucky/blessed to have such amazing ladies to look up to, talk to, laugh with, swim with, the list could go on. Especially for the crazy busy weekend we had hangin at my parents cabin on Coeur d' Alene lake. 

Saturday was the annual Twin Beaches Triathalon, a fun little bonding day for all the neighbors in our bay.  The first part is a swim (about 1/2 mile), then a fun hike around the bay, then a row back to the beach we originally swam to.  I hadn't done this in so long, I pretty much forgot it all. Especially the swimming section. Its a lot harder/longer than I thought, mostly because its in a lake that gets very choppy.  But my incredible Dad said he was going to swim right along side us three sisters.  How stinkin cute is that?  I saw other dads dive right in and head right to shore.
He's the best!

After the swimming portion of the triathalon
Being the youngest of 4 kids is awesome. Especially when your siblings are as cool as mine.
As a little kid around lets say 9, my sisters were 21 and 18.  Many nights were spent crying, wishing my sisters would hang out with me more, live at home longer, and include me in their fun.  But thats just not possible when both are away at college....or is it??? 

Just picture yourself at age 9 hanging in the dorms with cute boys.  That was my life on more than a few occasions.  My parents were very generous by letting me go visit my sisters and stay the weekends with them. They actually wanted me there!  Seriously, how lucky was I?  One weekend, Robyn took me to the NKOTB concert in Pullman and I'm not joking when I said I thought the tickets cost thousands of dollars.  (not until I went to my first concert did I have the moment of price clarity)

She's got a lil Captain in her

My oldest sister Robyn is crazy/wild/sassy. She's 12 years older, but you'd never know it because she looks and can act younger than me at times ;)  When I was 6, she moved out and went to college.  She would write me letters and talk about our boyfriends (both named Chris). When she moved to Phoenix I was 11 and for about 6 years or more, I would fly down there by myself to hang with her.  What mid 20 something wants to hang out with a tweener? Apparently she did, because I'm still flying down there to hang.  We have always had this amazing connection that I know will last forever. And to imagine she wanted to be an only child. HA.

First trip to AZ in 1994. Bought myself those moon shoes. Still own them.
Not sure where my pants are. I must've hopped right out of em.

On my way back home.....with my shoes for the moon.
Lets not talk about my haircut. Thanks
Robyn, Darcie, me and Katie in AZ for my sis's 40th.

Betsey is my 2nd oldest sister, 9 years older than me. She was more the crawl into her bed and snuggle/talk about deep stuff kind of sister.  When I was born my two sisters made a deal about my gender, and if I was a girl I would share a room with Betsey when I was old enough.  Lucky her!  She moved to college when I was 9 and wrote me letters constantly.  I still have all those letters (from both sisters). She made me feel so important in her life and also invited me up to hang with her by myself.  We have identical hands and feet, and if I didn't drink beer, I would be the exact same size as her.
Probably my favorite pic of us
Youme eyes

Bets (Zoey in her belly), Mom and me at the cabin

King and Queen McDorkus

Back to the weekend: They both have kids now, and so their attention is spread thinner, but they still had time to sit on the beach and talk.  Robyn's boy Phoenix has a brand new iPad which he's navigating like a pro already.  We took pictures all weekend with that thing using the different distortions.  My abs still hurt from laughing so hard.  Just hearing him laugh (to the point of giving himself hiccups) and watching Robyn be a (amazing) mom to him is priceless.  Betsey has 3 kids and they are all so much fun. Thankfully they now live 2 hours away so they can know their Auntie Blake and Uncle Rodney much better.

Sisters plus Mom and Phoenix during the triathalon

Hangin on the cabin porch swing a few years ago

2009ish? Christmas picture. Great posture people!

Cabin fun with fireworks!!! Zach's eyes cross when they pyro comes out.

Zach is my older brother. 5 years older. We were buddies, mostly just around each other. If my parents or siblings were around, we were constantly bickering.  And although sometimes he wouldn't acknowledge my existence around his friends, I knew how much he loved hanging out with me.  Saturday mornings were spent watching TV in forts that he made, eating breakfast that he made.  If you've ever been embarrassed by my potty humor, just blame Zach.  We've been through so many crazy times together, including being stranded for 8 hours in the snowy mountains wondering when we'd be rescued.  I can't tell you everything we've gone through together ;) but I can tell you he's looked out for me as any best brother would.  He's the Harry to my Lloyd, the Ren to my Stimpy.

"Hey. Lets do that 1/2 eye open look everyone loves"
Inappropriate? Maybe.

"I'm scared Becka"

I treasure the rare moments we're all together because R lives in Arizona, B in Spokane, Z in Vegas, and me in LCV.  It doesn't happen but maybe once a year and I want nothing more than time to stand still.
Moment to be treasured. Clothes not to be treasured.

Siblings and brother in law at my Jr.Miss
(they all flew in an surprised me!)

Going through all these non digital pics took me back to all the crazy times we've had together so far in our lives. Thanks for being such supportive, loving, fun siblings. And thanks to my parents for having us!!!!