Friday, January 11, 2008

Go Cubbies Go in 2008!

On December 28th, my brother and sister-in-law celebrated their 5th anniversary, and Ketra sent me this fabulous picture of the happy couple on their special day. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Up until this point, I've tried to be good about following the list for the traditional anniversary gifts. (You know, first year = paper, second year = cotton, etc.) However, as December approached, I knew I would not be able to continue with my plans for their wood gift for five years no matter how hard I tried. Time was just too scarce. So, while trying to deal with the disappointment of not being able to carry on with that, I tried to think of something special I could give them (possibly, make for them) that would be something that Aaron and Ketra would truly enjoy. Then it hit me. I could make them a fleece Cubs blanket. Something to keep them warm for the cold games and something to give them a little extra padding for the long games.

I headed out to the fabric store with many questions. It had been a while since I had made a throw, so I didn't even know how big they were supposed to be. The fabric cutter assured me that most are made to be about 1.5 yards long. I explained to her that I wanted my sister-in-law to have a fighting chance at part of the blanket, so I wanted to make theirs twice as long. So, 9 feet of Cubs fabric was cut.

Then, two days later, another idea hit me. (Or, maybe it was the same idea hitting me just a tad harder!) What gifts could be more perfect for my partners in crime at work, Laurie and Phillip? We're the only Cubs fans in a sea of Cardinals fans. We get plenty of grief for our loyalty, but we know how to hold our own. And, we do it proudly without any apologies. So, I found even more Cubs fleece. Being that I was in the heart of St. Louis, I received some strange stares that day... but I tried to hold my head up high as I exited the store... while realizing that I had purchased enough fleece to also make another for my college buddy and die hard Cubs fan, Mike.

It took me a little while to get everything cut and tied, but, in all, I made one huge blanket for Aaron and Ketra and three smaller throws for Phillip, Laurie, and Mike. I was so excited as I sent Aaron and Ketra's gift in the mail and as I wrapped up the others. I couldn't wait for them to be opened.

Ketra sent me a photo to show me Aaron really appreciated the blanket. I felt badly that Laurie received hers so late due to the hectic schedule at work, but hopefully she got a little hint of what she'd receive when she saw Phillip's throw when she returned to the office. Phillip decided to cover his conference table with his and promptly invited our most aggressive Cardinals fan, Kurt, down to his office for a nice long chat. Kurt could barely stand to be in the room... let alone that close to the Cubs logo. I told Kurt if he really wanted one, I'd sure make one for him. He quickly declined the offer.

So far, the blankets have created a lot of fun. I hoped the gifts would help each of the recipients root a little louder for our dear Cubs while they surge toward victory.

Seriously. I think this could be the year.



Kelly Spezzano said...

Awesome throws! What great gifts (I just love when gifts are homemade- there is so much thought and time put into it) I hope your friends (and Brother & Sister-in-law) know how lucky they are to have such a caring friend like you! And congrats to the happy couple on 5 years! Jim and I will be celebrating 4 years this year!

Elizabeth said...

The throws are really cute. If you do want to pick up with the traditional anniversary gifts, try
My brother's fiancee uses that site all the time, and this year was their fifth Christmas together and she had made this piece of a tree encraved with "Jonathan and Meagan, 2007" It was really neat. So that's just an idea for you.

mike3e said...

My Cubs throw is prominently displayed in my new bedroom. Thanks, Strem!

We're singing, "Go, Cubs, go. Go, Cubs, go. Hey, Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!"


Anonymous said...

Hi Strem!

Thanks isn't enough to convey my appreciation! My blanket is proudly displayed in my living room. It is so toasty!! I plan to bring it back to the office on Opening Day (hopefully I will be in that day) to antagonize the Cardinal fans :-)


Owl of the Desert said...

Cute throws! My cousin made me an Alabama throw when I was in college, and it is so warm!

~*Rachel*~ said...

I LUV throws, just can't really snuggle up in the I have anymore because it's too warm!

bleacherbumdad said...

This is a great picture of Ketra and Aaron. And good pictures of the other happy Cub fans. But if history is any indicator, those happy faces will turn gloomy by early June as the Cubs fall to about a dozen games out of first place. Prior is gone, Zambrano isn't and Lou thinks he can break the curse by looking and acting like an old goat. Get a shave and some exercise Lou.

My apologies to Ketra, and the boys, for leading them down the wrong path. I'm a 3rd generation Cub fan and should have done a better job of protecting them from the annual shame and dissappointment. But like you said, this could be the year. Get us some tickets Aaron.


Dani said...

You know the cubs were the first baseball team I pulled for. I remember seeing a game there when I was about 5 or 6 my first baseball game. My dad was born in Illinois and his mother is from Elgin.

Maybe this year. It could happen, I mean if the Red Socks went all the way...

jsarber said...

Wow. The ladies at my church actually made me a throw just like that one as a Christmas gift. Now, I don't want to offend you, but mine was way better. I don't know if the craftmanship was better but mine has the Atlanta Braves on it rather than the Cubs. Need I say more?

strem said...

Kelly, thanks for writing. When is your 4th anniversary? I pray you're blessed with many more!

Elizabeth, that site has some great ideas. Thanks for sharing it, and thanks for always looking out for me.

Mike and Laurie, I'm glad you both like them... and hope we get good use out of them in 2008! Can't wait to root with you.

Owl, I think the throws from a good friend are a great gift... especially since they are so warm. Hope you liked your grey blanket for Christmas. ;)

strem said...

Rachel, I know it. Life is tough down there in FL, isn't it? :) My furnace didn't work the last 5 days, so I was appreciative of some fleece blankets in my house and some wonderful fleece pajamas I received for Christmas. Thankfully, the furnace was repaired just in time before the next big cold snap. Maybe, just maybe, you'll have some surprising snow down there.

strem said...

Dear Mr. Bleacher Bum, :)

I think unconditional love, hope, being good sports, rooting for the underdog, and loyalty are wonderful traits to teach children, and I'm glad our family has passed down these great lessons along with our very own Cubs heritage!!! You should feel proud you did the same for your children.

Of course, it would be great to break up the monotony a little with a big win.... And, yes, get us some tickets, Aaron!!!!

strem said...

Dani, I had no idea your dad was originally a (gasp) Northerner!!! One from the Chicago area, at that! WOW!

Jeremy, need you say more? No, you don't need to say any more about your bad taste in teams. It's OK. We'll keep praying for you. (But, I'm sure that was a very special gift to receive from the church. Very nice!)

Owl of the Desert said...

Yes, I LOVE my grey blanket. I am always cold, and I have been using it quite often. :-)

Elizabeth said...

I'm going to have to go with Jeremy on the fact that I would way rather have an Atlanta Braves blanket than a Cubs. I have to root for my home team you know.

Dani said...

Yes, my Grandma (and we don't say it Granmaw) is a yankee and Daddy lived up there until he was almost two.

As for snow in Florida, it hasn't snowed here since the year before Gary was born and he's 28 now. I'm not thinking it will anytime soon. Just think about how much colder it would have to be way up there for it to snow way down here.

strem said...

Ohhhhh... Dani, good point. Good point.

Siren said...

Amen Sistah! This could TOTALLY be the year!

And if not, well, we still get to bask in the glory that is Wrigley Field on a summer day. : D

Those throws are awesome!