In my head, I've written approximately 12 blog posts in the last week. There is so much swirling around that I'm excited about and want to share, but I just can't get it all done! I think today I'll start with just a general life update and then I can get to posts with lots of pictures. It takes so much time for me to go through them all!
I debated titling the post "CRAZY HANDS" because that has been my life for the last week! Remember last week when I wrote this post and said I was stuck at home with strep throat?? Yeah, so I had strep and got medicine and started taking them Monday and then also Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday morning I woke up to the beginning of the CRAZY HANDS saga. While I was laying in bed I could tell that they itched and by the time I made it to the shower, it was noticeable that they had a rash all over them. Lovely. I assumed it was an allergic reaction to the strep medicine I was taking so I stopped taking all of it, popped some benadryl, and headed to work.
My hands itched and were slightly swollen but really were not too too bad. The kicker, though, was that I was leaving straight from work that afternoon to drive to Atlanta with my mom for the Everything Applique Conference (more on that in a minute!). Obviously, since I was going out of town, I didn't want this to escalate into something worse. I texted pictures of my hands to the nurse practitioner I had seen earlier in the week for the strep to confirm that it was probably from the medicine and should go away if I stop taking the meds.
Yeah right. Fast forward to the next morning (Friday) when I woke up in Atlanta to incredibly swollen, red hands that tingled and hurt all over!
Not exactly ideal when I was about to be sitting in classes and attempting to take notes all day. I couldn't bend my hands well enough to grip anything! On the walk from our hotel to the conference, I found a CVS Pharmacy and ran in to get their information. More pictures were sent to the nurse practitioner and he said he'd call something in for me. I had to wait until our break at lunch time before I could run (through the pouring rain!!) back to the pharmacy to get them. After a long wait in line and issues with my insurance cards, I finally was able to pop a steroid and lather them up with hydrocortisone cream.
I wish that had relieved them instantly, but it did not. Actually, the rash spread down my wrists and onto the tops of my hands instead. Thank goodness I was at the conference with my Mama because she took good care of me! She had to help me open every bottle and dig through my purse and help carry bags and everything else I couldn't do without bending my hands.
We left the conference early on Saturday to drive home with the intentions of hitting up a Minor Medical when we got back into town. My mom drove so that I could "exercise" my hands. She made me continuously open and close them so the swelling would go down and made sure I didn't take long breaks! I guess moms know best because it did work. By the time we made it home the swelling was way down - so much so that we didn't go to the doctor.
I stopped taking pictures of my hands at this point because I wasn't texting them to Matt anymore. Sunday morning they were still swollen but down enough that I was able to get my rings off. I thought I would cry doing that; it hurt so bad and felt like scraped off a layer of rashy skin! Being at home with the kids forced me to use them more though which definitely helped with the swelling. By Monday they were looking better, but that's when they started itching uncontrollably. I decided, though, that itching was more tolerable that swollen and painful so I just toughed it out. Today, exactly one week from the initial breakout, they are almost back to normal! The swelling is all gone, you can't see the blotchy rash anymore, and they only itch occasionally and even then it's not too bad. I was able to get my wedding rings back on without too much pushing and shoving this morning. I have one more steroid pill left and then hopefully the CRAZY HANDS ordeal will be over.
(By the way, I'm still not totally sure the cause of the rash. I guess the medicines? But they were out of my system for a long time before the rash left. And a contact allergy wouldn't have stayed for so long or been so concentrated in one area. And I was away from any products in my home for two days and went through every item in my bags and couldn't find a culprit. So weird.)
But remember how I had to stop taking my strep meds after only three days? Yep. So that means I didn't really get totally better and I've now diagnosed myself with bronchitis. UGH. I have this sweet chest congestion and nasty cough going on that's also driving me nuts. And now Matt has it too. And Thomas is taking antibiotics for another ear infection. Isn't spring grand?? :)
Moving on to the Everything Applique Conference! This is the fourth year for this conference that is all about machine embroidery and appliques and everything related to that. I had heard about it for the last couple of years and this year when I started seeing information about it, it piqued my interest a little more. Since Mom and I have the fancier machine now and have officially started Mint Tulip, it seemed like something that would be fun to go to and would be totally justifiable if we learned a lot to help with our business. I casually mentioned it to my mom one night and after talking about, we really started to get excited and thought, WHY NOT?!
I know some of my friends that read this also do embroidery here's my take on it - it was a lot of fun! We really only did a day and half of the full two days but still feel like we got a lot out of it. There was a trade show going on throughout the whole event where we bought lots of blanks and got good vendor info. Tons of different classes were offered and you just got to pick and choose which ones you went. Some were very specific to brands of software - we attended two classes on PE Design but there was also Sew What Pro, Embird, Embrilliance, etc. - and others were more broad, like how to photograph your products or how to open a store front, how to price merchandise, how to create a font book. My favorite class we attended was on cutwork embroidery which we are eager to start trying.
I have pretty much zero pictures from the event because, well, swollen hands and what not. To the right is a horrible selfie I took of us late Friday during the ice cream social after we'd sat through class all day and run through the rain to get me medicine!
If you like to embroider and have the opportunity, I'd definitely recommend going at least once! There were also lots of vinyl/heat transfer classes and vendors so if you're in to that kind of stuff you should go too. We didn't stick around for the end when all the grand prizes were drawn...winning a new ten-needle machine would've definitely made up for the crazy hands I had while there!
On Friday night, Mom and I left the conference and went straight to Ikea. It was the only other thing on our agenda while in Atlanta...can you believe that neither of us had ever been to one?! That's crazy when you think about how much we like to shop! :)
We were starving when we got there around 6:30 but I knew the store had a restaurant in it. The plan was to eat dinner there but when we realized they closed at 9:00, we decided to forego any food so we'd have time to make it through the whole store. It was so overwhelming but so much fun! We definitely could've stayed for a few more hours if they would've let us.
We made some practical purchases and some fun purchases and some totally frivolous-not-needed-at-all purchases because it's Ikea and it's cheap so why not? My favorite silly purchase is this pair of down-filled moon boots, as I like to call them. Katie Wynn thought they were pretty cool too. :)
Another thing we've been thick in the middle of lately is starting a new Sunday School class at our church. We have been talking for months about getting involved in Sunday School, mostly because I knew I wanted Katie Wynn going to class (like I grew up doing) and it only makes sense that if she's going (and eventually Thomas) that we should be going too. We have lots of friends at church who felt the same way and we decided there was a need for a new class. It seems like it has taken forever to finally get the ball rolling but over the last couple of months we have gotten three teachers to commit and secured a classroom and made announcements during the church service and finally, just last night we had a Meet and Greet party to kick it off!
The party was at our house and was just an informal time for anyone interested to come over and meet the teachers and just kinda sniff us out. I had no idea what to expect - would there be four people or forty? It was at 7pm so I didn't make dinner foods. Instead I had a couple dips, a couple desserts, and a cheese and sausage plate. I had made up my mind that if 12 people came, I would consider it a success. Well, we had 15 people come so yay! And I heard from at least 4 others that want to be included but just couldn't attend last night. It was a great mix of people spanning from late 20s all the way up to 60-ish in age and the conversation flowed easily. I was terrified the whole event would be painfully awkward but it wasn't at all! Such a huge relief to have all this planning done and now I'm excited for our first class this Sunday. I've volunteered to get there early to start the coffee but, since I'm not a coffee drinker, that's stressing me out. Surely if I can do that right then all the stress will be done and I can just sit back and enjoy learning with our new class!
Also - super huge shout-out to my parents for keeping both of our kids last night while we hosted guests. They kept them overnight so it was such a treat for Matt and I to get to sleep all night in our own bed with no interruptions from children. Who knew actually getting to hear your alarm clock go off in the morning could be something NICE to hear?!!? It beats being awaken much earlier by a crying child, for sure. (Thomas is our early bird...)
The last topic that is constantly swirling around in my brain these days is that Mom and I are busy planning a big Mint Tulip party! We are going to have a "Trunk Show" of sorts where we'll invite everyone over to see all kinds of goodies - children's clothing, adult apparel, towels, koozies, bags, blankets, etc. - that can be ordered and personalized any way possible. The party is going to be on April 29th, so less than two weeks away. EEK! We're super excited about it and have been furiously ordering blanks and stitching out designs and brainstorming ideas so that it will hopefully be a success. We would love for it to be something that we ended up doing at least once a quarter throughout the year. For all you locals, please let me know if you'd like information on it. I'd love to send you an invitation as soon as I get them drawn up. :)
So that's what I've been up to. What about you?? Did you know that leaving me a comment on this here blog is pretty much equal to giving me a big fat bear hug and a sloppy kiss on the cheek? I love to hear from you! Hope you're all well and rash-free! :)