My First Wedding Anniversary without My Husband

As you may know, my husband passed away last May after a prolonged battle with cancer. Our wedding anniversary was on January 17, and I wrote this on Facebook to mark the occasion.

Today would have been our 8th wedding anniversary and 14 years of being together, since we were seniors in high school in 2003. It’s the first one I’m spending without you and I have to admit, it’s hit me harder than any of the other “firsts.” On this day 8 years ago, we thought we had the rest of our lives together. We thought we’d grow old and die far, far in the future. It wasn’t as far away as we’d hoped.

Today I planned on cooking a good meal that you would have liked and thinking back on our wedding day (what an awesome wedding it was!) to honor you and your memory. But, life happened. Grief has been clouding my mind, making it hard for me to sleep and keep up with life so I spent most of the day watching Henry play from the couch, and napping while he napped. Now Henry is down for the night and I have to do some chores that can’t be put off any longer. I know going on living my life is honoring you, too, because that’s what you wanted Henry and me, and everyone who loved you, to do.

This first picture is of you seeing me at our wedding for the first time. I’ll never forget how amazed you looked and how loved you made me feel. After this we went for a walk on the beach and took some pictures, then went back to the hotel and started the ceremony. I was so happy and excited to marry you that I couldn’t stop laughing throughout our vows. I’ll always remember our wedding day as one of the best days of my life. Thank you Michael for loving me so well and letting me love you, too. I miss you every day.

Design Wall Monday Nov 14, 2016

Having more than one project going is very unusual for me, usually I like to completely finish a project before moving on to another one. However, babies were being born so projects I started and meant to finish long ago got put aside…


  1. Meet in the Middle: I started this back before Michael died as an easy project to pick up as I had time. It’s a super simple design but I was able to use a lot of my scraps to make it. I have the top finished and the back pieced. Above is a picture I took while basting it. It’s bigger than I like to quilt on my sewing machine but I’m hoping finish quilting it this week.
  2. Mike’s T-shirt Quilt: Well, I have the shirts picked out and I’ve mocked up a design. Now I just need to decide on the border, binding and backing fabrics. I’m torn between using fabrics that would represent Mike more, or doing neutrals and letting the shirts shine. I’m also hoping to get the fusible web and batting as Christmas gifts.
  3. Butterfly Blossom: Another baby quilt gift. I’ve got all the fabric picked out, except for the binding and backing, but those can wait a bit. This is being made from a tutorial I saw over at MSQC.

And that’s what I’m working on this week. Head over to Patchwork Times to see what others are working on.

Stash Report Nov 13, 2016

Today my son Henry is 13 months old! Here we are at JDRF’s One Walk last week to raise money to cure T1 Diabetes


Well, I have a quilt finish under my belt, thankfully, so I can show some movement on my numbers. I used a kit to make most of the quilt, and I never added that yardage to my numbers so I’ll just be counting the yardage I used for the border I added and the backing. I’m really happy because I used a few smaller pieces I’ve had forever to piece the back, so now those are out of my stash and just a few small bits made it to the scraps bin.

img_4967 I stopped by my local quilt shop and added some bright white fabric to my stash, I was all out, and picked up some In Dreams (Lavender) By Dear Stella Design to use as a border on another baby quilt. I’m hoping it will match with my Good Fortune Charm Packs from a couple of years ago.

Used this Week: 1.125 yards

Used year to Date: 9 yards

Added this Week: 5.5 yards

Added Year to Date: 11.307 yards

Net for 2016: 2.307 yards

Thanks for stopping by. I’m linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times.

1930s Reproduction Prints Log Cabin Baby Quilt Finish


I’ve got another quilt finish under my belt! Another baby quilt, I’m swimming in babies over here but I don’t mind. They’re fast and easy quilts to make, and everyone loves getting them.

img_4675This time I bought a log cabin quilt kit with 1930s reproduction fabrics from Maywood Studios. It was really great because it was mostly pre-cut, too. All I had to do was assemble! I haven’t quilted much since my husband died and having an easy way to get back into quilting really helped. The finished size was a little small for my liking, so I added a border and cornerstone pieces with fabric from my stash. I’m pretty pleased with how well they match the kit fabric.

img_4965The quilt itself measures 41″x33″ and I quilted an allover stipple with white thread on top and pastel variegated on the back. For the back of the quilt I used various pieces from my stash; the quilt is for a little girl so I wanted to add some more pink to the mix. And I was happy to thin out my stash a little!

Here’s some progress shots from my Instagram feed. Follow me @erinmakeitsew if you’re not already!:

Finished #logcabin #block #quilting #maywoodstudio

A photo posted by Erin (@erinigorg) on

#quilt top finish! #quilting #logcabin #maywoodstudio #designwall

A photo posted by Erin (@erinigorg) on

All basted & ready to go #quilting #quilttherapy

A photo posted by Erin (@erinigorg) on

Thanks for stopping by! I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Henry’s First Birthday

Henry and I on his birthday. We had a Halloween costume party.

Henry and I on his birthday. We had a Halloween costume party.

Our son Henry’s first birthday was a couple of weeks ago. My late husband Michael has a huge family so we ended up having a pretty large party. I usually enjoy party planning but I have to admit, I didn’t put as much effort and joy into planning this one. It’s understandable and I’m not beating myself up about it.

I was really dreading both days, his actual birthday and his party, from a grief perspective, but both ended up being a good days. I was afraid that I would be overwhelmed by grief and feelings of loneliness and sadness, and those feelings were there, but they were manageable.

Another milestone behind us. From here on out it’s a milestone a month until May. Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary, Valentines, my birthday, Easter, and then the one year anniversary of Mike’s death. Although it sounds difficult and I’m sure it will be, in some ways it won’t be much different. Every month I realize that another 30 days has gone by without my husband, I grieve for time passing. Every day takes me further and further away from a time when my husband was alive and we were happy. A time when I felt whole and hopeful.

When Michael died, I lost that hope that the future will be better. Now the future just is. I don’t know if I can be happy as a widow, without my husband by my side. But I have to try, for my son’s sake. Even though I have every reason and justification in the world to let myself live in sadness and grief, I don’t want my son to grow up with a perpetually depressed mother. Sometimes I will be sad and that’s unavoidable, maybe I will even be sad more often than other mothers, but I have to try to be happy, too. I want him to have a happy childhood despite not having a father. And the only way to do that is to be happy myself, too. So I’ll try, one day at a time.

Almost Four Months Out

Just a warning: there will be expletives ahead. I’m not apologizing because I’m an adult and I can use expletives if I want. Just fair warning if that sort of language bothers you. On with the show.

I’m almost four months out from my husband Mike’s death and it still gets me every once in a while: this feeling of utter disbelief that he’s dead and gone. I’ll be doing something mundane and it will just hit me, I can’t believe he’s fucking gone! I can’t fucking believe this is my life now! I’m never going to see his smile again, hear him say my name, hold his hand. That part of my life, the part I shared with my soulmate, is over and done.

Today my son was playing with some toys while I dozed nearby (give me a break, he woke up at 4:30am for the second day in a row). All of a sudden, I’m not sure if it was a combination sounds made by the TV, a toy and/or him, but I could have sworn I heard my husband calling my name. I jolted awake, sat bolt upright and looked around. My heart was pounding and my throat constricted. It sounded so like him but I soon realized it wasn’t, it was a combination of my drowsiness and environmental sounds that came together and tricked me; it wasn’t real.

That moment of realization, of remembering your life is missing a core element, can be very painful, especially in the beginning. In first days of my bereavement it could absolutely gut me and sometimes it still does. I wished for death more than once, not because I wanted to die, I just wanted to be wherever he was. As an agnostic this part is even more difficult. I don’t want to think that my husband just ceased to be, it’s incredibly painful to think there’s no part of him still existing somehow, somewhere. So I waver between letting myself believe his consciousness is in some kind of afterlife and facing what I believe to be the truth, that he really is just gone. Some days it’s too painful to be truthful with myself, so I believe the lie for a little while. But it never lasts.

I know this is all normal, as my therapist and multiple bereavement books tell me. But sometimes I get tired of being sad and crying; it feels like I’ve cried everyday since November 7, 2013 when the doctors told Michael and I he had cancer again after 11 years of remission. I want to move on, but at the same time I am not ready yet. I always feel this push and pull. I’m learning to be patient but it’s always a challenge.

This time last year I was heavily pregnant, just about six weeks away from delivering our first child, our son. Michael was recovering from his last surgery and we were hopeful it would be the end of cancer treatment. What a difference a year makes.

Our New Life

I’m trying to start this post but all I can think of are cliches.

When Michael had his surgery in August 2015, we were so optimistic that it would end his cancer struggle. We were so looking forward to putting cancer behind us and moving forward with our lives.

Well, we did. Just not with our Daddy with us.

But I’m jumping ahead. After his surgery, Mike was trying really hard to get back in shape and get strong enough to go back to work. But no matter what he tried, he just couldn’t get his energy level up, couldn’t get his appetite to improve. About two months after Henry was born in October, Mike went in for a check up at the hospital. They did scans and found that the cancer had come back, his fourth diagnosis. We were crushed. Doctors started him on chemotherapy and radiation but by February 2016 they took away what little hope we had left. They said there was nothing more they could do for Michael and they gave him about 4 months left. By that time the cancer has spread into his liver, spine, pelvis, spleen cavity, lungs, ribs… There was just too much and his body couldn’t take any more, and the treatments weren’t working.

2016-03-16 09.10.05Unfortunately, by that time Michael was so weak, doing any exciting trips or vacations were really out of the realm of possibility. We spent quiet days at home with our new baby, took a couple short trips to nearby Palm Springs (Mike loved sitting in the heat by the pool) and just spent quality time with family and friends.

Less than three months after getting that news, my husband Michael passed away. He died at home on May 5th, 2016 at about 3 in the afternoon on a Thursday. I cried and cried over his body, not even caring who was around or who heard me, I clutched his hands, his arms, his legs, not wanting to believe he was cold and gone. After that outburst I went curiously numb and stayed that way for days.

We held his funeral a few days later on a Monday. I didn’t cry, I just felt numb. I think part of me didn’t want to accept that it was all over, that my life with him was all over. I had been with this person for the past 13 years of my life, since I was 17 years old. I’ve never been an adult without him. I really, really thought he would survive all this cancer and we would go on with our life. It would be a hard life and he would be disabled, but we would still be together.

Our former catering company donated the food for the event and a wedding event venue we used to work with graciously allowed us to use their facility for no fee, as well as a DJ. A lot of our friends and family were there, overall it was a very nice day.

It’s been over a month since he passed away and I’ve already hit a couple of milestones: his first birthday after his passing, the first father’s day. It’s been incredibly hard. Every day I have to convince myself to keep going, to take care of our son who’s just 8 months old. I miss Mike every day and I think about him and the life we had together all the time. I have a new life now, a life I never thought I would have, a life I never wanted.

2016-02-11 14.50.02When I pictured myself having children, I never expected to be doing it alone. I don’t think most single mothers do, but I was confident Michael and I would never split up. I know that Michael didn’t want to leave us and he desperately wanted to be a father. He would have given anything to be here to help me raise our son together. He was so looking forward to all the things he would teach our son one day. But now it will be up to me, and sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the prospect.

This is our new life, for better or for worse. Henry and Mama take on the world.

2016-04-30 10.41.01-1

Quilt Finish – Hungry Little Caterpillar Quilt

Another finish under my belt! This quilt is a gift for a dear friend of mine having her first baby.

I bought this Hungry Caterpillar Quilt kit from the The instructions were great, really easy to follow. I had some trouble with the flying geese units, hopefully I’ll get better at those in time.

2016-04-18 09.55.23

The quilt finished at 49.5″ x 58.” I used an all over stipple in white thread on the top and bottom. Here’s the back.

2016-04-18 09.54.43

The butterfly panel came with the kit and I used some leftover binding fabric on the back, too. The red fabric was from my stash, happy to get that out!!