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

26.2: Making Every Mile Count February 24, 2013



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 Please also consider checking with your company to see if they will match your charitable contribution. Every step, every mile and every dollar counts!


“The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!” May 23, 2012

Filed under: about me,family,friendships,motherhood,theatre — cyurik @ 1:27 pm
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Last night was The Ministry Institute’s benefit performance Annie at the CivicTheatre and it was just amazing!  The lead stole the show with her charming smile, phenomenal voice and sparkling personality.  I just wanted to scoop her up and take her home with me.  Instead, I settled for the her darling autograph and even a photo opp. 

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I just love the theatre – it amazes me – all the work that goes into a show, the casting, the rehearsals, the set changes, the music and it’s all live right before your very eyes!  My dear friend Andrea was Ms Grace and the clarity, purity and pure joy of her voice is unmatched by any other.  Thanks to Andrea for her amazing talent that we all delight in! 

It was so fun to get out for some mother/daughter/girlfriend time although I really missed putting Ethan to bed for the first time ever.  What fun we had this morning when he woke – that blog is coming!


Our Birthday Bloomsday Weekend Fun May 7, 2012

Our weekend started a gift from Ethan that he created with Linda, his teacher!  It is just darling and we will treasure it always!  It was a wonderful surprise to come home to after my volunteer shift at the Bloomsday tradeshow!

Our weekend continues with the arrival of Grandpa, Auntie Rachie & boyfriend Jayson and Cousin Riley who are all in town for Bloomsday.  We carbed up on Spaghetti and garlice bread and settled in to a good nights sleep! 

Saturday morning we all ventured out to watch Ethan’s final swimming lesson with Daddy. 







He did so great but daddy did say that Ethan was a little more skiddish about the water slide finale this time around.   His still came down smiling and doing great though!  We were even able to get video that I’ll try to share soon!

Our little “Shrimp/Kipper” has graduated his second series of swim classes!  Michael Phelps, watch out!

Every year David and I celebrate our holiday birthdays (May Day & Cinco de Mayo) by having a great meal with friends and family.  This year  – the big 35 is upon us and we decided that with Ethan’s birthday bash just around the corner we’d better do a much smaller gathering so that I still have energy left for all our new parenting activities.  So we fired up the grill and served ribs with salads and all the fixings!  My ribs are not given justice by this photo but they are pretty tasty!  My own spice rub blend and bbq sauce make for good eats and future summer time grilling blog post.  Stay tuned…


 I threw in some new recipes that sounded very “pinteresting!”  Check out theloadedbowlrecipe and cornandblueberrysalad  – YUM!   Three cakes finished off the meal: My Banana Cake, Blueberry Cheesecake (just because it sounded good) and this year for David – Strawberry Cake with Lemonade Cream Cheese Frosting which put us all in a food coma for sure!  More on these great summer recipes to come!

I love when we can all get together and just visit, laugh and now watch all our little kiddos skamper about! 


 It amazes me how quickly the children grow! 

Even the newest member to our group – Noah 🙂


 So we are carbed up, rested and ready to race! 

Bloomsday 2012 – HERE WE COME!



My goal: 1hr 20 min – Actual: 1hr 23 min – ugh! 

But I finished 🙂 

 Everyone did a great job and congrats to Rachie and Jayson on their first of many Bloomsday victories!  Off to the corporate cup tent I went for good eats and massage – then after picking Ethan up from Grandma’s we headed home to hit the hot tub!  Which is exactly where we found grandpa and company already relaxing in the sun!

The perfect way to finish celebrating Bloomsday is this – amazing waffles hot off the greatest birthday gift ever!  My father completely refurbished this industrial waffle iron for me and it is the coolest thing I’ve seen!  It pumps out waffles like you wouldn’t believe and boy they were tasty!  Thanks Dad!!!

 As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end… and Grandpa has to say goodbye for about 4 weeks until Ethan’s first birthday.  Oh what seriously silly fun I have in store for us the week of my angels special day.  I thank God for my family, friends and all those who add joy and light to our lives!  You are all loved! 


“God be with you ’til we meet again…”


Our First Easter with Ethan April 9, 2012

You are more loved than you will ever know, by someone who died to know you.
 ~Romans 5:8
Ethan awoke to some gifts from the Easter Bunny!
Lovely spring weather, a fabulous brunch with our loved ones and Ethan’s first Easter egg hunt all contributed to making this a day worth remembering for a lifetime.  Miles really showed Ethan how to round up those eggs and was so sweet when saying his goodbyes.  He made sure to give a hug and kiss to everyone.  He is such a sweet boy and will be a wonderful big brother!  Our little lovey was happy to spend time with Grandma and Neil, Uncle Paul, his godmother Alicia and family and enjoyed a little of our Easter ham and homemade bread. 

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My two days of cooking and preparing our brunch was worth it as the meal and desserts were all well received.  My first Easter brunch menu included cranberry glazed ham, honey bacon, quiche brownies, orange cream french toast, lemon cream pancakes with blueberry orange sauce, fresh fruits with sauces, deviled eggs, cheesy wheat spirals, cocunut cream pie, sugar cookies, chocolate mint brownies, chocolate pudding cupcakes, “peep”-tinis and David’s Kool-aid creation.  I even attempted homemade bread in the shape of a bunny but he looked a bit more like a turtle.  He was a tasty loaf none-the-less. 

I’m quite pleased with my centerpiece and have even prepared a condensed version of it to take to work and share some left-over Easter treats with my work “peeps.”  

As usual I didn’t get to photograph my entire buffet before the digging in commenced but I will try to post recipes with pictures very soon. 

I can’t think of a better way to have spent an afternoon than to look to God with gratitude for his love, sacrifice and many gifts, to warm our spirits, hearts and tummy’s with laughter and joy and to watch our son learn and grow before our very eyes. 


Just Between Friends March 25, 2012

Filed under: about me,ethan,friendships,motherhood,shopping — cyurik @ 11:26 pm

When my friends found out I was pregnant late fall of 2010 I was promptly invited to join them at the JustBetweenFriends sale the following spring to stock up on clothing, toys and furniture for the baby at amazing prices. JBF happens twice a year in our area and is a consignment sale of epic proportions.  I’ve since attended two more sales – but this weekend I volunteered to earn early entrance, getting a jump start on the shopping madness and it was well worth it! Here’s my haul from the Thursday presale:

1 Tickle Me Elmo

1 Baby’s First Year Silver Frame

1 Fisher Price Barnyard Bowling

1 Chuck the Truck

1 Fisher Price Learning Activity Table

1 Pair Black Dress Shoes

1 Pair Brown Casual Dress Shoes

1 Pair Black Sandals

6 Piece Knicker Suit (w/ suspenders, tie, hat and shoes)

4 Piece Suit (w/ tie)

1 Brown Plaid Hat

6 Pairs Fleece Jammies

2 Pairs Cotton Jammies

1 Jogger Suit

1 Elmo Button Up Shirt

2 Pairs of Cargo Shorts

2 Polo Shirts

1 Mickey Mouse Jungle Safari Short Set

1 Lizard Short Set

3 Onsies

2 Polo Style Onsies

1 Polo Shirt

3 Jumpers

3 Sweater Vest w/ Matching Button Up Shirts

1 Yellow Swim Shorts and Shirt

1 Hoodie Short Set

1 Sweatshirt

1 Sweater

1 Hoodie Short Set with Hat

1 Sweatshirt and Pants Set

1 Pair Pants

 Total Retail Value = $1,081 (I googled prices and brands just out of curiosity)


What did I pay you may be wondering???  DRUMROLL PLEASE….. $220


Amazing right!?!  And then…  Sunday is free admission and 1/2 Price on Most Items Day so before my volunteer shift began I did a little more shopping just to see what was left and found three great button up shirts, an alligator book, a V-Tech talking/remote control type dog and some darling shorts all for just another $25. 


JBF is amazing and I can say this first hand because I’ve now seen it from behind the scenes.  Breaking down the sale today was an eye opener as to how much work truly goes into putting this event together – run a smooth and efficient event and then… tear it down, sort it and return everything left over back to the consignors or to donation as some consignors choose to do.  The spirits were great from all staff, all volunteers and it was clean and organized.  Those of you who know me well know that I cannot handle disorganiztion or uncleanliness what so ever and JBF has my “stamp of approval” for whatever that’s worth.  I just wanted to share with you all about this great event.  Spread the news and look for a JBF event in your area! 


Thank you JBF for helping to keep my little Ethan so well dressed and afordably so!  You have a customer, a volunteer and one day a consignor – and for many years to come!!!


Scrapbook Room Makeover January 29, 2012

Filed under: about me,family,friendships,motherhood — cyurik @ 9:05 pm

Inspiration hit and the whirlwind that was this weekend has come to a close.  I’m exhuasted…  having run several marathons I can tell you it feels as though I spent all weekend running one, every muscle aches but it was all so worth it!

I decided it was time to breathe new life into my studio – while it was lovely to begin with I just needed a change and boy did I get it.  I started Saturday at 11 am, worked until 3:30am before crashing for 6 hours and jumped right back in.  I just finished – Sunday at 8pm.  Pictures include before, during and after pictures.  Thank God for my happy space that I share with my dearest friends and even my little man Ethan has his own craft table and supplies!   Now its time to get scrapping!

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Christmas Eve Morning January 2, 2012

Filed under: Christmas,family,friendships — cyurik @ 3:21 pm

Ethan hanging out with his buddy Miles…


One day these two boys will be men and they will change the world!