January 26, 2010

Gifted: Modern Day Warrior Quilt

reading blanket

Back in the day, before I was a blogger, I was very involved in online support groups as we searched for answers and healing for Noah's epilepsy.


In one of those groups I met Cris, and she would be the one person that tipped it all for me... she set my life on a different course. She planted a seed in me, to trust my instincts and start asking more questions. Do some research. Read Evidence of Harm. No one had ever told me these things before. That it was OK to stand up and be that mama bear protecting her cubs even if it was in the face of authority and *gasp* doctors.

And my eyes were opened. And from then on... everything changed.


I honestly credit Cris for Ivy's homebirth. Without her prompting so many years ago, I don't think I would have gone the way I have today. And I am so thankful for her.

Postmarked the day before Ivy was born, Cris sent a package, a quilt with two letters. One for me and one for Ivy.

I will never forget the fat, round tears that fell from my eyes as I read her words. I will hold these letters dear to my heart forever.


With her permission, I wanted to share her letter to Ivy:


Dear Baby Ivy,


Welcome to the world, little one! I can't wait to see a picture of you and your brothers all together.

Speaking of brothers... I am sure they will be protective of you, just try to take it all in stride- it's their job afterall!

Please don't ever underestimate how tough your mama is, either. She is fierce in her love for you all- somewhat of a modern day warrior woman. She and your dad will always do right by you, never doubt that!

The quilt is hand made, but it is not meant to be set on a shelf. Have picnics on it, use it as a cape (I put a sprinkle of super powers in it) use it! Love it and wear it out. I loved making it for you.

Love,
Cris & Mariah Kelly

Modern day warrior quilt

We use this quilt as a quiet time blanket. I spread it out on my bedroom floor and Ivy knows to sit right down on it. She'll run to her favorite books and we read together. Yesterday she discovered a finger puppet and tried to put it on my toe.

We sat on that blanket for the longest time just staring out the window at the snow. I stole kisses on Ivy's cheeks and I felt very, very blessed. Warm tears singed my eyes and I said a lot of thank yous. I have no wants, I have everything I need.



I hope to be a Cris to others as I live my life.


You do know, no matter how you tell your story, you have the power to be that someone, right? :)


[P.S. my Mom just pointed out that in these photos Ivy just happens to be sitting right where she was born, on my bedroom floor.]


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49 comments:

  1. AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!!!

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  2. So beautiful, Steph! No words!

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  3. I am a lover of quilts. And stories such as this one.

    Tammy and Parker
    www.prayingforparker.com
    @ParkerMama on Twitter

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  4. So special! And I think Ivy is sitting in the spot she was born.

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  5. Wow, what an awesome lady. I am sure you are a "Chris" to a lot of women:)

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  6. Ha, Mom (Mimi's Toes) you're right!

    Steph

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  7. You are that Cris, to me, every day.
    Love you so so much and continue to be inspired by your words, your actions and your good deeds. Never forget how special you are and the tremendous affect you have on others.

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  8. Wow that is just so sweet! It's wonderful to have support as you challenge and question and be that Mama bear sometimes roaring against convential wisdom! Without that, it is a tedious, uphill battle - one extra battle that a Mama never needs! Lovely quilt and letter and perfectly delightfully squidgeable little girl!

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  9. What a beautiful letter. I love it.

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  10. "You do know, no matter how you tell your story, you have the power to be that someone, right? :)" ... Thank You, Steph... I really needed to hear that today.

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  11. Beautiful. All of it. The letter, the quilt, the friend, the mother, the Ivy.

    Bri

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  12. Oh my goodness. Total sweetness. I loved the letter. It touched my heart!

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  13. Oh how sweet Stephanie! I love the fact she knows just what to do with that blanket! What a letter for her to treasure when she is grown. *tears and smiles*

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  14. "You do know, no matter how you tell your story, you have the power to be that someone, right?"

    And I'm crying, perhaps those big fat tears you spoke of.

    I've been struggling. OH SO STRUGGLING. There's so much I want to do, to say, to blog, to write, and I feel stifled because I don't want to hurt my family, my friends, for telling MY story, MY way. I hold it in. I blog cheery, funny stuff. And I'm an absolute miserable mess for doing it.

    My heart needed to hear those words. I'm trying to heal, trying to figure out what to do.

    And perhaps, as I take some time off, I will consider making my own quilt, to piece together all the things in my life I want to fix, and make it whole, repairing it, to heal once and for all.

    Thank you Steph for being that Cris to so many, including me.

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  15. That is beautiful. What a special friend.

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  16. Oh Stephanie, Oh Lisa---

    I love you both for your beautiful honesty. I love that we can be ourselves and be real and NOT BE JUDGED for our heart-beliefs.

    I love you both...and you have both become remarkable parts of my life that I just can't say thank you enough for.

    My friends that I have met through this odd bloggy-thing make up a quilt so diverse and so perfect that I know was stitched together by the Lord just for me.
    You have no idea how much I need you.

    You keep me warm and comforted when I feel alone in the world.

    Thank you.

    LOVELOVELOVE,
    Sara Sophia

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  17. you all are just so very lovely.

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  18. Cris sounds awesome. And--for the record--I have no doubt that you are a Cris to countless others.

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  19. How beautiful.

    I strive to be "Chris" with the people in my life, too.

    And for what its worth, I think you're a "Chris" to many as well.

    Nell

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  20. This is goosebump awesome! I love it all.

    Hugs,
    Heidi

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  21. I love it! Thank goodness for people like that.

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  22. Amazing... a beautiful letter, a beautiful quilt, and a beautiful post.

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  23. what a beautiful letter, a beautiful story.....

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  24. Just lovely.

    I am trying very hard to be a Cris, I really am.

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  25. So beautiful. It's wonderful to have such a great story on a beautiful quilt. I love the quiet time blanket idea as well!

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  26. Darcie is right. You are a Cris to so many.
    I love this post. The words, the pictures, the meaning...and especially Ivy sitting where she was born!

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  27. What an awesome lady she must be! She seems to be genuinely kind and strong and sure.

    You totally are a Cris to tons of women, by the way, Steph...including me.

    P.S. When you had Ivy, were your boys at home...and, if so, did they watch the birth? I can't remember...

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  28. That is so beautiful. Handmade quilts are amazing, my mother makes them and you can feel the love oozing from them :)

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  29. Aw, this post made me teary! Amazing!!

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  30. Beautiful. The letter, the quilt, the strength. Something I keep reiterating to moms (which I often find strange, since I don't have kids yet) is that they need to be informed and trust their instincts.

    And I love that she sits right down for quiet time, definitely something I will need to bookmark for later, because honestly, I am going to want quiet time!

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  31. Oh. Wow! Print this for her and tuck it away in her baby book.

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  32. Oh. Wow! Print this for her and tuck it away in her baby book.

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  33. love this.

    cris is my kinda lady.

    you are a cris to me.

    i hope to be this, too.

    ivy is pretty, so is the quilt, so are you.

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  34. Steph,
    I am so incredibly uplifted to know that our lives have touched yours in such a special way. You have been an inspiration to me. To witness the miraculous results when Noah started the diet and to read your words of encouragement to other parents, some days it left me speechless. Although Mariah struggles daily, I do believe that there is a reason that her precious life was entrusted to me. I believe in some small way she helped me to 'open my mouth', to stand up for what is right, to question, to think outside the box. She taught me to believe in myself, to believe in goodness and to summon that inner courage that we need on our journey. Most days I don't speak with much grace and I don't always have the right words, sometimes I can even come on a little strong, but I am literally Mariah's voice, I have to speak for her. In my quest to help her little body & brain heal I have found that not only do I have to speak for her and question for her but I also am asking and speaking for other children and other parents. Others who are on a similar journey as ours. When I find an answer I feel compelled to share. I really feel this is my 'reason'. Any time I have spoken of your blog or shown someone a little bit of it I always say "This is Steph. Her son is a miracle. She had a homebirth and is still nursing. I have never even met her, but she IS a friend" And I am honored. When you quietly shared with me that you were expecting Ivy I was so thrilled for you and I immediately went to my fabric stash. The quilt kind of showed itself to me, as did the actual stitching which makes it a quilt. My hands were just led to create it. I have never been highly religious. You, my friend, have shown me through your example just how blessed I am, that God truly does know what He is doing. And I thank you.
    Love, Cris :o)

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  35. ...And to all friends of Steph,
    She is an amazing woman. To know the lengths she went to, to know how hard she fought for Noah is truly awe-inspiring. Noah was the reason that we tinkered for so long with the diet when my daughter was on it. Steph is a 'once in a lifetime' kind of person. I hope to one day meet her in person so I can give her the hug that I so need to give her. I am truly humbled reading your comments and I will daily remember that in someone's life I made a difference.

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  36. And here come the tears -- this is just beautiful. What a blessing.

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  37. How lovely...the quilt, the letter, the friend, the writing. All lovely.

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  38. Beautiful...lump in my throat...just beautiful

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  39. Steph: my kids always ask, "Are you reading that blog again? The one that makes you cry?" And I explain "yes, but these are good tears, tears of hope, friendship and joy."

    Thank you!

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  40. OH i have so many questions. But they will have to wait. :)

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  41. Love all your post bit the brestfeedin post was beautiful! {it's natural and God-made} I feel just the same as you posted here. Inlove with nursing my babies but do not look down on other who do not~ Thank you for posting and also making baby wearing inspired by others~ Blessings Cat

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  42. So beautiful, Stephanie. So poignant. Just like you.

    Ivy is growing into a beautiful little girl.

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  43. Wow. You got me today. I can't even express how much your words mean to me. I'm so thankful I stumbled upon your blog!

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  44. I like the breastfeeding post, I breastfeed everywhere, but I know some people don't and that's fine with me too.

    I wanted to ask you where you found the yellow hat Ivy is wearing in the breastfeeding post, it's really cute.

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  45. I love your blog. I love your photos. And as a Mama who has breastfed all 6 of bio kids and now tandum nursing my adopted son and toddler - I want to shout out loud for your support of breastfeeding (in public, uncovered, extended)

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  46. I actually read this post right after you published it, but I hate leaving comments from my phone, so I starred it to come back to. That letter and the quilt is just beautiful. And you are SO. VERY. INSPIRING. to everyone who reads your post. Your genuineness is evident (even to a skeptic like me!)

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