Tuesday, November 13, 2012

MOVEMENT: Blankets and Beanies For Sandy Victims

Hey Everyone! This is a special post so listen up!

Our Goal: To Comfort Sandy’s Kids with 10,000 blankets and beanies for the families displaced by hurricane Sandy by Dec. 15th!

Join us in helping these families by sending them homemade or purchased blankets to help comfort and keep them warm as they rebuild and start the winter. 

What you do: 

1) Make or purchase a blanket or beanie. 
       If you would like to make them, below are some links to find some fun and easy ways to make a comfy blanket and a warm beanie.

2) Write a note - 
      Write a quick note to the family that will receive your blanket 
and/or beanie. If you want, you can also attach a picture of you and those who helped you.

3) Mail your blanket/beanie to one of these several locations:

Comfort Sandy's Kids
52 Featherbed Lane
Flemington, NJ 08822

Comfort Sandy's Kids
3917 E. Des Moines St.
Mesa, Az 85205

Comfort Sandy's Kids
343 W. 300 N. #4
Provo, Utah 84601

Comfort Sandy's Kids
54 Maplewood st.
Watertown, MA 02472

4) Continue to pray for all of those families who are displaced from the devastation of hurricane Sandy. And get your families, communities, and schools involved in helping us comfort SandyĆ­s Kids!

So here are some tutorials to help you as you help others! 
We made our own plus found a bunch of links to other quilting and crafty blogs in case you want to get really crazy. 

Remember, we would love all kinds of blankets, including big ones, small ones, quilted, tied, or fleece. Anything to help our fellow americans stay warm and feel your love. *But please no used 
blankets or beanies, only homemade or newly purchased

 Blankets range from 54x60 for the fleece and 54x36 for cotton
Blankets can cost from $10 - $20 depending on where you get your fabric. The fleece I just bought at JoAnn’s fabrics was 50% off @ 12.99/yd. so I paid just at $10 per blanket.
My cotton blankets are made from fabric purchased at Wal-Mart they have lots of cute fun prints at very reasonable prices.

Fleece Blankets

1-½ yds. Fleece
Make sure your edges are all nice and straight.  Cutting off all rough edges and salvages. 
There are lots of ways now to do your ends. You can tie all 4 sides of your blanket or you can choose to only tie 2 ends.  Cut 4 inch fringe about 1 inch think on each side you plan on tying. 



Tie each individual fringe by itself.
Or: tie two pieces of fringe together in a square knot. 
(right over left and left over right – so that when it is washed the knot will stay.)

Either method is cute and fun.  You can also find great tutorials on how to sew 2 pieces of fleece together to make a thicker blanket.

Super easy Cotton tied blankets
1 ½ yd. cotton print
1 ½ yd. cotton solid
crib size batting
Quilting needle
Wash and dry fabric (to prevent shrinking after blanket is made.)
On a flat surface lay the back side of your fabric with right side up.  Next layer on top of that your top layer of fabric with right side down. On top of that lay out your batting, pin all three layers together.
Trim all three layers so your edges are all straight and even.  Can use a straight edge and rotary blade if you have one.
Trim all three layers so your edges are all straight and even.  Can use a straight edge and rotary blade if you have one.
Sew all three layers together leaving a 5 inch opening on one side.  Remove pins
Turn blanket inside out.  
Your batting should be in between your fabric now with the right sides of your fabric facing out.  
Be sure to push out each corner from inside so you have nice defined corners.  
Sew up your 5 inch opening carefully on the machine or by hand. 
Be sure your fabric is tucked inside along that seam.

Time to tie your quilt!

Begin by marking your quilt with a 5x5 template. (I cheat and usually just stitch according to the pattern on the print.) The purposes of the ties are to keep the fabric together and the batting in place.  In the blanket shown we tied in the middle of every other fish, skipped two rows of fish and started again.  Use your best judgment and just make if fun, cute and consistent.

Thread your quilting needle with about a yard of yarn, pulling your yarn through until both ends of the yarn are even.  Make a small stitch at your first marking, making sure you go all the way through both fabrics.  Pull your yarn completely through until you have 3 inches left on the end. 
Next there are several ways you can tie your yarn.  The most important part is that you make a square knot at each mark. 
Here are two ways to tie:

1) Continue on stitching your yarn through each mark, making sure your 3 inch end stays secure and doesn’t get pulled through.  When you get to the end of your yarn, cut in between each mark, and tie at each stich point the yarn in a square knot.

2) Tie as you go: after each stitch cut your yarn, tie your square knot and continue on.

3) There is also a method to tie before you cut your yarn, but it is hard to explain.  If you would like to know how, send us an email and we’ll help walk you through it! J

Finish up: look at each tie and make sure it looks nice and clean. Check the back side of the fabric to make sure it also looks nice and clean leaving no crazy yarn pieces back there.  Trim each tie to about 1 inch long.

Viola! You have a fun warm blanket to send to a Sandy family and everyone gets to be warm inside!

We are also accepting beanies!! Follow the tutorial links below to find some fun ways to make adorable beanies to help warm up all those kids and families!

Go to these great links to get some more ideas and inspiration!
For blankets:

If you want to make beanies go here:

Info. about us: In 2001 we started Comfort the Kids, and with the help of several hundreds of amazing people delivered over 2500 handmade red white and blue blankets to children who lost family members in the twin towers on 9/11. To keep the fun going, we delivered over 500 blankets to victims of some of the California wildfires in 2003, and in 2006 sent over 500 blankets to Houston, Texas to a children's burn unit affected by hurricane Katrina.  As a family we are grateful for the blessings in our lives and feel it a privilege to share those blessings with those suffering.  Please join us and share your warmth and love with the families that are bracing for a very cold winter on the east coast. Please give a blanket, so you AND those who bundle up in your blanket will feel some comfort, warmth and peace this cold winter season.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Getting To Know Marsden

I feel like I could write a novel on our little boys personality.  He is so full of life (Drew calls him a fireball)!  He came here with an abnormally strong head/neck.  He could hold it up pretty much at the hospital!  Here's some pictures of him at 1 month old, that's 4 week folks!!

Marsden had a pretty fussy first 3 months.   I tried giving up dairy, but that didn't help so I gladly stopped that and his doctor got him on some stomach acid drops which helped.  He spit up A LOT!  Every time someone wanted to hold him I was so nervous that he would spit up on them and most the time he did!  Poor little boy, we felt so bad for him and all his bubbles!

This picture shows how much Marsden looks like his dad.  Can you tell which is which?  I'm sure the clothing and photo quality gives it away, but yeah thats Drew on the left and Marsden on the right.  Wow, TWINS!

*Marsden's first smile was while I was giving him a bath! March 19th 
*Marsden's first laugh was also in the bath at 2 months, but Drew tickling him at 3 months made him start belly laughing!

Marsden was always so alert!  It was like he wanted to soak everything around him in and see more!  He's still that way.  Always wanting to see and learn :). 

He loves people!  He especially loves it when older kids play with him.   I really think he could play forever!

*Marsden got his bottom two teeth at 3 months

*Marsden started scooting at 5 months and a week later started really crawling.   Once he figures out something, he learns quickly!  He crawls with his right foot stepping and his left knee on the ground and still does!  It's so funny.  This is also when he started sitting up on his own.

Here is a picture of him on his half year, 6 month birthday!  Taken and edited by Drew.

Marsden definitely keeps me us on our toes!  He pulls himself up onto everything and has even started walking with the couch.  We are in for a ride with his speedy brain.

*He got 4 top teeth between 5 and 7 months which means he has 6 teeth now! He loves to eat food (especially if he can gnaw on it himself) and is very good at it with all his chompers.

Marsden is the happiest boy and so much fun to be around!  He's always up for a laugh or to play with you.  He will make anyone smile with his smile ;).  He is now 7 months and we feel so blessed to have his amazing spirit in our lives!  Marsden makes life brighter.

One Year Later

I've been keeping a handwritten journal since we had our baby and therefore have not been updating our blog on our life. Today that changes!

 Marsden Trey Porter was born on February 24th at 2:48am weighing 7lbs 12oz and 20 3/4in long. He came out with a lot of unexpected orange hair, perfect skin, his dads shape of adorable blue eyes, and a perfect new body.

Becoming a mom was one of the two biggest changes in my life, the other one being marrying Drew. It also was the most greatly anticipated. I new I would love it, but I didn't know the feelings that came with it. It was literally magical! From the moment he was born I was changed forever. I had a newly found deep love for a human being that was part me and part Drew. I'll keep my labor story for my journal, but I will say that it went smoother than I could've hoped and I surprisingly loved all of it. This whole experience had an outcome of me meeting my baby boy so how could it not be the most amazing experience of my life?

One of the coolest parts for us of having a baby has been becoming our own little family. Watching Drew be a dad has been so much fun! He's such a natural. Marsden loves to play play play with him and they'll laugh so hard, I love the sound! Since he was born he loves it when Drew sings and plays his guitar for him. And I love it because it completely mesmerizes him (and me) ;)!  We are loving being a family of 3 and am so excited to watch Marsden learn and grow!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Place That Made Us

I've been thinking that I need to write about our experience in Boston. I'll start out by saying that it was the best experience for Me and Drew! We moved there together RIGHT after we got married in Arizona. In fact, our honeymoon consisted of driving across the country, slowly seeing sights along the way. We went to Yellowstone...took an accidental detour through Montana where we found our dream land...Mt. Rushmore...Niagara Falls and Buffalo...The Mall of America(awesome!)...then arrived in our new home, Boston. Right then is when we started the beginning of a 2-year adventure of Drew finishing his schooling at Berklee College of Music and me nannying.

We lived in Back Bay on the most beautiful street in Boston, Marlborough Street. It's a very quiet street that runs directly into The Boston Public Gardens, parallels 1 block each way from The Charles River and Commonwealth Avenue, and is 2 blocks from one of the best shopping districts in the world, Newbury Street! We lived just a few blocks from Drew's school so he conveniently walked to school every day. And with one nanny job I walked 4 blocks to work!

In the span that we lived there, I nannied for a few different families. I learned so much about taking care of babies/toddlers full time and became a more experienced cooker and baker. Me and Drew both discovered that we are a great pair when being with/taking care of kids and have a lot of fun! Also, how we wanted to parent our own kids. It was all GREAT practice which will come in handy in 4 more months when we have one of our own! I really miss each family that I nannied for and hope to stay in touch.

Drew finished Berklee with a degree in Songwriting and Music Business. He wrote and recorded his own music at 2 different studios while we were there, each one producing a completely different sound. He does vocals and acoustic guitar. Drew signed with a producer on Newbury Street right before we moved. He feels like he accomplished a lot while at Berklee and learned the most he could from his inspiring teachers! I am SO proud of him working so hard while we were there and balancing being a super-husband, teaching voice lessons, and school!

Living in the city we had many adventures! We walked EVERYWHERE...grocery store, dinner, work, school, museums, site seeing, shopping, friends houses, or just a stroll in the park. I guess that's why they call it "The Walking City"! It's small enough that you could walk the whole city in a day. The only times we really used our car was for day trips to a nearby city, visiting Dennis, hanging out with our friend David and his kids, errands not close by, and driving to church! We could have survived without a car, but are SO glad that we had one!! That would've taken away a lot of fun days we had, especially at the pumpkin farms in the country during the fall! One of the things we loved most about the city was the fact that each holiday actually matched the way it looked outside. Halloween time LOOKS like Halloween with old buildings and brown trees and Christmas it's white everywhere from the snow and the whole city is decked in lights and spirit! The summers are so green and flowers are all bloomed!!

Living in Boston was HARD! It's expensive and everyone works really hard for what they have. But how much fun you have in the mean time makes it all worth it! The people there all have something going for them...a really good school, big goals and aspirations, or a great job. It was so inspiring to be around! We will really miss our friends and appreciate all the fun times we had!

We want to say thank you to our family and friends who gave us their love and support while we were there! We never had to miss you too much because you visited often. It was so much fun sharing our fun life there with you!

Boston is where Me and Drew became US, it's where we established ourselves, grew together, became more well-rounded, and made our baby boy happen! So we miss it sooooo much...everything about it...being just me and him for 2 years was the best thing for us and that time will always be special.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


YAYAYA! We are officially having a baby boy :). We had a GREAT trip to Boston for the last time for a while. The doctors appointment went really good and the baby is definitely a HE no questions asked! It's sad when the ultrasound is over because I just want to watch him and hang out with my baby on the screen all day! We made finding out fun by having the doctor write his gender on a paper, went shopping at Zara, picked out one boy and one girl outfit, had the cashier look at the paper and wrap whichever gender it was. We opened in during a nice lunch at Stephanie's on Newbury Street! It was a really fun day :). I had been waiting to buy this baby clothes for 18 weeks! And it's just as fun as I thought it would be...and I haven't been able to stop. Drew is so stoked to have a little boy to rough up, but don't worry I will keep him sweet!!

I am now almost 21 weeks and have a little belly poking out. I feel him move all the time and his kicks are getting stronger, it's jolting and I love the feeling. Basically, being pregnant is the best experience I have had yet! The few things that aren't so fun about it don't even compare with how awesome it is. I was bummed when I couldn't get on a wave-runner in Mexico or when I wasn't much help lifting things during the move, but I just don't care that much because I'm so happy with WHY I can't!!! Anyway, that's my update for now...We can't wait to snuggle with our baby boy :).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back To Boston Tomorrow

This week is a very special week because we find out if our baby is a BOY or GIRL! We fly back to Boston tomorrow morning for our last appointment with our doctor there. I am now 18 weeks and have a little baby bump. I have been feeling the baby kick for 2 weeks now and Drew felt it for the first time this past weekend! It's so cute feeling it at this stage because its kicks are so small :).

My best friend in Boston, Claire, is throwing me a baby shower on Thursday with all of our friends! She is SO sweet to throw me a shower even though we are already moved huh? I am a lucky girl! Can't wait to see everyone!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A New Chapter of Life

CRAZY things are happening! First of all, we had an AMAZING vacation!! Both Mexico and Washington were perfect :). Mexico was paradise with our cabana bed on the beach, messages, and private dinners, while Washington was awesome being with the family and staying in a big house that overlooked the Puget Sound!

Leaving vacations and back to reality...So we had made the plan to stay in Boston and have the baby there in the spring THEN move West, but it all changed...Believe it or not we already moved to Arizona! It was probably one of the most stressful times of my life finishing up my last week of work, packing, selling our car, and working everything out so we could leave Boston so quickly, but we got here and it all worked out somehow. Drew has finally signed a contract with a producer in Boston to record and help get his music off the ground. They already finished recording so we hope sometime soon we'll be heading somewhere with his music. In the mean time, we are here in AZ now working for Drew's parents new business called E3 Imagine. There is a crew currently traveling to 14 different countries for the next two months and our job is to help run the company while they're gone and get everything ready for when they get back. Go to the website to see what we are doing and how this business will enrich the lives of many children and families around the world!

We have now entered a new chapter of our life...graduated, pregnant, new jobs, and a completely different environment. Wish us luck! :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

1 Week Until Freedom!

One week from today we leave on our big and last get away of the summer! This August is a big month for us with our 2-year anniversary and Drew officially finishing school...so we are going to CABO!!!

Goodbye Boston and hello Mexico! Drew surprised me with this as a birthday gift/combination. He's amazing I know!! This is a much much needed trip. I can't wait to be relaxing on the beach! I wish we could fast forward this next week :). I'll be nannying for the week in the Cape, LOOOONG days! I will be missing Drew taking care of me verrry much...ah well I'll survive and then we're off! Here's our resort...

After 4 nights in Cabo, we fly straight to Washington state for a whole week for my dad's family vacation! It's been many years since we have all gone somewhere together so we are all REALLY looking for to it. Drew has never been to Washington so I'm really excited for him to see it. SOOO green and beautiful! My dad always does a good job with picking an awesome place to stay and he has chosen a nice relaxing water front house. CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!