creativelifetolive

using everything he gave me… this is my creative life to live.

Finding Nemo: Ethan’s 2nd Birthday Bash Invitations Make a BIG SPLASH! May 24, 2013

I typically start planning for any party we throw at least 3 months in advance.  There are menu’s to plan, decorations to consider and so much more.  Then Ethan was born and it wasn’t until15 days later we got to bring him home from his arduous stay in the NICU.  That was when I started planning his 1st birthday party because boy oh boy did we have something to celebrate!!!

That was my record – planning a party 10 1/2 months in advance – until now that is…  Granted I’ve truly only been planning Ethan’s Nemo party now for 5 months but my new record is that I’m also already planning his 3rd (Toy Story) and 4th (Cars) birthday parties as well!  I just can’t help it.  It is so exciting to see his eyes light up over the smallest things and it brings me great joy to make his eye’s light up and to fill his world with wonder.

I’ve spent months turning his bedroom and bathroom into a private tropical paradise for our little guy so I just had to pull out all the stops for his invitations too.  Check my splashy invites out – they’ll be swimming to a doorstep near you very soon!

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To make these invitation you’ll need to start by making your husband drink lots of Starbuck Fraps – the bottles are perfect for so many wonderful crafts!

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Add one charming little clown fish AKA Nemo.  I floated Nemo on a clothespin knowing I’d need something tall that would be fairly simple to maneuver through the top of the small glass bottle with just the tips of my fingers.  I covered the clothespin with cardstock using Power Crafty double sided tape.  Using the “flip” feature I was able to print a reverse image of Nemo so that no matter which side of the jar you look in you see him.  I also pinched a small 1 x 2 strip of contact paper in the clasp of the clothespin sticky side down so that the clothes pin would stand somewhat straight and centered in the jar until I was able to fill it with the goodies that would really stabilize it.  For the sandy ocean floor I added Nabisco Honey Maid Graham Cracker crumbs.

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Next add water via M&M’s custom color candies that can be purchased online or in your favorite specialty candy shop like Fuzzywigs.

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Don’t forget to add a few fishy friends so Nemo won’t be lonely in his new home!  These tasty Goldfish crackers are a staple in our home!

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I created a tag that could then hang over two sides of the jar – the sticky sides from where the labels came off.  The front side says:

“It’s o-FISH-al, Ethan’s turning 2…

Join us for a WHALE of a good time in the Big Ol’ Blue!”

I just love this whale stamp from Stampin’ Up!  However, I added Marlin and Dori with black pen and highlighters being freed from the whale much as they were in the movie.  Notice also how the orange cardstock resembles a fish tail coming out from behind the white stamped cardstock.  I made sure the white mat crossed the orange just as a stripe would on a clown fish 🙂

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 The back of the jar features some of the hit lines and characters from the movie…

I also wanted to add an interactive feature so if you notice the orange “fishy tail” sticking out from under the lid you’ll be included to hold it while removing the lid.  There you’ll discover photos we took of Ethan in his room after we filled with two shades of blue balloons and one orange one.  “Find Nemo” we said and he had so much fun!  His photo’s accordian out of the small lid adhered with double sided tape to about 12″ of the sheer orange ribbon anchored by his custom made Nemo stickers.  Stickers and Nemo address stamp are all thanks to one of my favorite websites www.expressionery.com.  The top of the lid is covered by the custom nemo address stamp on orange cardstock with a little bit of blue ribbon wrapped around the side.

I hope you enjoy this idea as much as I have enjoyed creating these!  Now I’m off to finalize the menu, games, prizes and favors!

“Just keep Swimming!”

 

26.2: Ice Ice Baby April 16, 2013

26.2: Ice Ice Baby

No, not this…

…or is it?

What a great run I had today, It was cold mind you but I was well rested, hydrated, nourished and best of all motivated. In one week I will run Spring Dash, two weeks later, Bloomsday and before you know I’ll be posting my full marathon results. In all three races I have goals to PR (personal record) over my past race results. On my weekly long run this morning while using my trusty runtastic app I hit two PR’s with regard to distance and time on similar terrain which motiviated me even further. My husband was home with Ethan and tended to me on my pit stops by the house. I called him when I hit my 8th mile back at home at which point he met with Gatorade, GU and my inhaler.

I headed back out to the cold to pound out a couple more miles and hit my goal of 2 hours, 20 minutes and yup – I listened to a little VANILLA ICE ICE BABY to keep me going! What can I say, for my generation – it’s a “classic!”

I then called him when I hit my 10th mile and told him I’d be home in 20 minutes and in need of, as you might have guessed…

Yes, after running 12 1/2 miles for 2 hours and 20 minutes in 32 degree weather and wanting nothing more than to slink into the hot tub (at a toasty 104 degrees) I embraced my inner athlete (hiding these many years under a crafting, quilting, baby making momma) and jumped into a zero degree F ice bath. Shrieks and shrills filled the upstairs floor of our home as I slowly settled into the frigid waist deep waters in our tub. My very concerned almost 2 year old toddled up the stairs to peek in on his momma who was making all manner of silly and even distressing sounds just to make sure I was okay. He kept pointing up at the shower head saying “Take shower… take shower… momma – take shower.” He is so smart. I wonder what he must have thought about his crazy momma freezing in an icy tub when the warm shower he enjoys so much was right there!

“Alright stop – collaborate and listen…

Ice is back with a brand new invention!”

Yes, 1990 was “To The Extreme” for sure – just like me! HAHA!

Thank you for your continued support, donations and prayers while I train…

EVERY MILE, EVERY STEP AND EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/rnrseatl13/cyurik

Ps… I will redeem myself in my next post with my complete playlist and would love to know what my fellow runners listen to as well!

 

26.2: My Shadows Best Friend April 8, 2013

Apr 03, 2013 by Crystal Yurik

Spring has sprung in beautiful Spokane this last week and just in time to deliver unto us absolutely amazing Easter weather. Along with egg hunts in the park this weather brings great opportunities for warm morning runs in the glorious sun. With Ethan having started soccer tots this last weekend I chose to tackle the long weekend training run on my own using our house as home base for water and fueling breaks. This way I wouldn’t miss out on Ethan showing off all his athletic skills for the 18mos – 36mos old set.

For my first leg of 3 miles I grabbed my mischevious pin min Tyson and his harness and we discovered that my shadow has a darling little best friend of her very own too:

It was so wonderful to be out in the sun on Easter morning and Tyson did great on his first run in quite some time. I dropped him off at home and headed back out for 7 more miles. It was my best run of the season so far, a great time with Tyson and a the little “calm before the storm” of getting back home and whipping up a wonderful Easter brunch .

I hope you all had an amazing Easter weekend and are basking in the warmth of the sun we’ve been blessed with this week. If you have some time get out there and go for a jog!

To see my fundraising status or to make a donation please click:

http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/rnrseatl13/cyurik

Every step, every mile and every dollar counts! 

GO TEAM!

 

 

26.2: Training South of the Border March 13, 2013

Hola! We’ve been on an incredible journey this last week to Puerto Vallarta and back. It was such a blessing to escape the chilly temperatures of good old Spokane, WA and bask in the glow of the sunshine on a beautiful beach. Not only did we warm up our toes but we rejuvenated our spirits. You just have to get away every so often!

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 We swam with dolphins, saw a mother whale and escort whale teaching a baby whale to breach the waters and even tried to save some darling baby turtles left behind on the beach.  I even read a book – en entire book (can’t remember the last time that happened)!

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We mostly hiked, swam and carried around our 21 month old sun for cross training but I was able to work in some light training jogs on the sandy beaches:

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 But as all goods these do, our trip had to come to an end.  The following day my training run wasn’t quite so warm and wonderful…

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I was so grateful to return home to donations in my mail box and appreciate all the love and support you’ve all provided so far. I’m over half way to my goal and with your continued support I know we can make some miracles happen!

Please consider a donation of any size – every step, every mile and every single dollar helps!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/rnrseatl13/cyurik

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26.2: Making Every Mile Count February 24, 2013

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TAKING 55,334 STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Greetings from our happy little home to yours! I hope 2013 is off to an amazing start and this letter finds you and your family happy and well. Our family is doing wonderful. Ethan is a 30lb walking, talking, and football throwing 1½ year old who continues to amaze us daily with his light, laughter and purity of heart. We are truly blessed and it is in evaluating our many blessings that I began to think of those less fortunate. The holidays always bring to light the many ways we can help others through food drives, donations and gifts of service but there just seems to be something more we can always do.

You may remember back in 2006 when I took on the daunting task of training for a full marathon while fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with Team in Training. I was looking to get involved in our community and inspired by the recent news of a dear friend who was just diagnosed with Leukemia. Leukemia is a malignancy of the blood-forming tissues – bone marrow, lymph nodes and spleen. It is established that leukemia and other blood cancers will strike over 100,000 Americans this year. Every week 1,155 Americans lose their lives to this disease that is the number one killing disease of children, yet affects 10 times as many adults. The LLS and TNT fund research that has improved the effectiveness of treatment methods and brings us closer to finding the cause and probable cures. Funds raised by the TNT for the LLS have pioneered 6 drugs that are also used in the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer.

In 2006 when I started training my “running resume” boasted only one Bloomsday; but with determination I set out to train day in and day out as my team and I raised awareness and much needed funds to further research and care for patient needs. Fundraising was incredibly fun and rewarding. Training for my first marathon – a little less fun but also rewarding. Running my first marathon – a NIGHTMARE!

For those of you who don’t know the story, here it is in a nutshell:

Seattle had the worst weather they had ever seen in the history of their November marathon. Horrible winds, freezing temperatures, hail storms and unthinkable amounts of rain attacked the pavement and every runner on the 26.2 mile course. My first 12 miles were strong, I felt motivated and confident. David had run the majority of my training runs with me and signed up for the race the day before – my hero! He made it 16 miles before an injury took him off the course and away from my side. I now felt like the only person out there in a sea of cold and gloom. Every step ached, my stride slowed and little did I know hypothermia was slowly setting in. David offered me encouragement over the phone as I trudged forward with a heavy heart. Waves of water crashed down from the overpass above as I neared the downtown area and finish line. Then in a moment of absolute weakness when I thought I really couldn’t go on – my team captain found me practically crawling down the course. It was pointless to stop and be stranded in that cold and she gave me the final shot of encouragement that I needed to press on a few more miles. When I turned that last corner before the final stretch to the finish line there they were, more LLS/TNT trainers, fellow teammates and supporters – cheering me on to the finish line. And at last, I made it, barely… but I MADE IT! The video of me crossing the finish line, frozen, exhausted and confused, is quite comical. It took one hour to get my core body temp back to normal in the first aid tent but I didn’t care. I completed my mission – I ran, hobbled and prayed my way through 26.2 miles in 6 hours, 4 minutes and 37 minutes!

A year later I trained with my father for the Phoenix Rock ‘n Roll marathon – PHOENIX being the operative word there – the weather was superb!!! I fundraised again and trained on my own via a virtual LLS team since there was no local team running that particular race. I ran stronger and more consistent yet was exhausted by mile 20. But there, with my father by my side I crossed the finish line in 5 hours, 51 minutes and 9 seconds!

You might be asking yourself – what was I thinking?? How could I have ever signed up for a second marathon after my experience with the first, let alone a third right??? The answer is simple. There is a need and the need is great. Yes, I push my body to its breaking point on 20 mile training runs, yes I am filled with a special kind of fear no matter where the course is or what the weather is like but I guarantee that the physical and mental toll on me is nothing compared to months of chemotherapy that can break down a patient’s body and spirit. For these patient’s the wear and tear on their body is not optional and anything I can do to see to it that someone has their medicine, necessary travel arrangements to treatment centers and to further research towards a CURE, then I will do it!

Some of you may not know that on November 13, 1995, with very little notice, David lost his father, John Paul David Yurik to a very aggressive form of Leukemia. I run for and in memory of my father in law, Ethan’s late Grandpa John, who we’ll never have the great privilege to me meet. He lost his life far too young to this horrible blood cancer leaving behind his lovely wife Peggy and three beautiful children Tami, David and Paul.

Grandpa John

Today, February 24th, 2013 would have been John’s 64th Birthday, we love and miss him dearly!

I run in hopes of making sure that every child affected with this horrible disease (directly or indirectly) has the resources, care and treatments they need to fight the battle every day until that life altering moment when they cross their finish line and hear those two magnificent little words – “CANCER FREE!”

I run, for those who can’t run for themselves.

This year I also run in honor of my Aunt Elizabeth and dear friend Lynn who are breast cancer survivors and two of the strongest women I know; for my Uncle Tim who is battling prostate cancer; for our honored team-mates Layla Hefter and Jessica Lowery who are battling blood cancer and are an inspiration to us all; and I will also run for and/or in memory of your loved ones too. I will provide you with ribbon to write their name(s) and even decorate (if you like) and I will sew each ribbon to my race singlet and carry your loved ones with me all 26.2 miles.

“I used to run to get where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere.” Forrest Gump

My goal is to raise $3,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as finish the race in 5 hours or less. I have made a commitment to run this marathon and bring us 26.2 miles closer to providing hope, peace and freedom to those battling blood cancer. Please join me in the fight – your generous contribution and prayers are so desperately needed and will make all the difference in the world to those in need. Your donation is tax deductible and 78% of every dollar raised goes directly to fund research and to patient care, even right here in our very own community.

You can donate here on my fundraising webpage http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/rnrseatl13/cyurik Please also consider checking with your company to see if they will match your charitable contribution. Every step, every mile and every dollar counts!

 

Don’t Mess with Me, I’m Reading… July 27, 2012

Filed under: ethan — cyurik @ 1:39 am

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Ethan really gets into his reading and is very intent on reading by himself at times. Other times he’ll bring the book to us, open our hand and place it in your palm. So smart!

 

A Cookie Monster Bash – Ethan’s First Birthday Party July 2, 2012

I can’t believe our little cookie monster is already a year old!  I’ve been planning his first birthday party for about 9 months now, down to the very last detail!  I’ve been handmaking 3 banners and many signs, embossing every napkin, preparing many batches of cookie doughs, planning and making games and even had Grandpa hard at work on some amazing outdoor activities for the littles.  Aside from not so great weather the party went off without a hitch.  We had over 60 guests and an absolutely amazing photographers who captured every moment. 

Photos were taken by our dear friends Jamie Crone and Gina Sainsbury and we are blessed by their talents.  Not only was I able to host the party and visit with everyone – I didn’t miss a moment because of the 600+ photos that were taken. 

THE INVITATION

 I used a variety of rubber stamps, cricut cartridges, paper punches, and my sewing machine to create the ticket effect as seenonpinterest!  See the 3rd and 4th pictures below…

 

Banners, Decor, Signs and Games

I used my Cricut to cut 12 letters that hung from above the garage.

I hand paperpieced several signs – I love how this banner turned out!

Plus I’m taking it apart to use as accents in our family scrapbook.

A small poster that has baby pictures of David and I for comparison.

I sewed small cookie beanbags for the littles to toss into Cookie Monsters Mouth.  inspiredbypinterest!

My dad this amazing “Cornhole” game that is double sided.  One side is blue and we put laminated cookie monsters that I made out of cardstock on it – the other side is a great terra cotta color for everyday use!

My father made these tire teeter totters for the smaller kiddos – if only we’d had better weather for the kids to be out playing more!  inspiredbypinterest!

This next project took me months (a year actually) but actual months to put together.  I used a picture for each month of Ethan’s first year as the 1, 2, 3 oclock stations on this clock whose hands are adhered at 1:38 (pm) the time Ethan was officially welcomed into this world on June 6 of 2011.  The detail is the border – a picture from every day of the year.  Well just about, for some reason I missed some days in October but it turned out amazing!  This is put together on a peice of left over sheet rock from when David was finishing the interior of our garage.  It’s painted to match our dark walls and will soon be hung on the lighter walls that grace our stairway to the upstairs.

The quote I put in the center of the “clock” is the quote that is engraved on our wedding watches (the gifts we gave to eachother) as well as on Ethan’s first scrapbook layout which details his every moment of his 15 day stay in the NICU.  I love this quote, it is truly timeless.  QUOTEBYHENRYVANDYKE 

I use the Canon IP1700 and it has so many print options for sizes of photos.  Each border picture is only 1/4″ squared in order to fit them all.

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One last sign will be shown at the end of this post…

 

The Buffet is open!

Da-da the grill master manning his post…

 

 

 

Sweet Street – My Dessert Buffet

I bring home milk jugs from work to recycle and one day as I was rinsing one out from Costco I thought – there is something here for the party – these can make great cookie monster cookie “jars!”  It worked great!  The eye’s had to be bolted on after we spraypainted the outside.  We made 3 of these cute jugs.

My party tip for the beverage bar is to make ice cubes of each drink you are serving.  This way your beverage stays cold and when the ice melts your beverage doesn’t get diluted!  I made white milk and chocolate milk cubes, blue raspberry kool-aid cubes and orange sherbet cubes for the monster juice.  It works great and looks fabulous!

 

Click here to see some of my cookiemonster inspiration

 

The Cakes

I made Ethan a small banana cake so we wouldn’t end up with blue carpet.  He wasn’t very interested in it though – too many people and new toys around!

My First birthday cake for my baby!  David had to help work the fondant and Grandma piped the rice crispie cereal head I created to assist due to my terrible hand strength.  The cake turned out so cute!

 

A COOKIE MONSTER FAMILY

When you choose your party theme… commit to it!  I had cookie monster in my,  a neclace, a ring, cookie monster fingernails and toenails, made a shirt for Ethan with a cookie monster patch and found a tee-shirt for dada!  My men are so supportive of their silly momma and what fun we had!  Happy birthday my sweet little Ethan – Next year I’m thinking TOY STORY!

I will link recipes soon for all my tasty creations!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!