Thankful Every Day!

My husband, Tim, was first diagnosed with cancer when he was 28 yrs old.  The six months following the diagnosis were the most difficult months of our lives.  It seemed like we were being attacked from all directions.  We had just packed up our vehicle with baby Laurel and the dog and driven from Memphis, TN to Wadsworth, OH to visit our dear friends.  It was there that Tim discovered a very painful tumor.  It was also there that we received a call that our house had been on fire and all contents were damaged. We would not be able to return to our home.  We packed the car and headed home to assess the damage to the house and to Tim’s health.

The house was heavily smoked damaged so we moved into a Hampton Inn.  Let me just say that keeping baby formula in an ice chest with no way to warm it is not fun but we all made it work.  Tim got into the specialist fast and surgery was scheduled within two days.  He was diagnosed with cancer that would require months of chemotherapy.  Once discharged, he got to begin his recovery in the room at the Hampton Inn and I got to return to work full time.  After two weeks juggling our lives around the Hampton Inn, some awesome friends invited us to come to their house until we could get into a rental home.  Luckily, that happened within two weeks because chemo began.



Tim’s mother had been fighting her own battle with cancer when he was diagnosed.  She grew progressively worse and passed away in October.



This time in our lives was certainly a time when we knew we were not in control.  We learned quickly to just be still, quiet and wait for the Lord to handle whatever it was that we faced each day.  I tried to adjust my work schedule where I could go with Tim for his chemo some.    He was very sick from the effects and was hospitalized some for fever and infections.  In fact, he looked so forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner I was planning but ended up hospitalized the night before.  Family came in and we made the dinner but he said he just did not want it because of the chemo taste.  So, my promise to him was that I would make him a turkey dinner as soon as he could taste it.   I did make that dinner but it also tasted like chemo!

Our little sweetie pie, Laurel, enjoyed her first birthday cake sitting on her daddy’s lap in a hospital bed.  She had fun getting cake all over herself and her dad!  We have video of this somewhere and I hope to locate it.  While Tim is a bit self-conscious about having no hair, to me that bald head means he is with us today, a battle scar.  He was such a fighter as he went to the office almost every day, preached every Sunday regardless of how he felt and continued giving of himself to the people of our church.  If you are wondering, what this post is actually about, it is this, cancer is forever in your life.   Cancer survivors are followed closely and monitored for new cancers with body scans.  Scans are initially frequent, like 3 to 6  months and then spaced further apart each year the body is cancer free.  The time between having a scan and receiving the results from the doctor are worrisome at best.

In December 2011, Tim had gone in for the results of his routine scan.  When he got home, I was standing in the kitchen making cake pops when he said, “they found a mass in my kidney”.  I said “what”, thinking I didn’t hear him correctly.  Again, he said “the scan showed a mass in my kidney”.  I think we both had become so accustom to hearing “all clear” that it was just unbelievable that we were once again facing cancer.  I mentioned the cake pops because I was actually making cake pops shaped like little kidneys for a close friend to give to her dialysis team.  How ironic could it get?  All we could do in that moment was cry!

Joyfully though, I am so happy to say that God had this one too!  He led Tim to a fantastic surgeon who removed all of the cancer.  The cancer had not spread and he would not be needing any chemo or radiation.  Today, is the Tim received results from his follow-up scan day.  Today, is the day we both report “all clear”!  Every day we are thankful!  Every day is precious!  Every day we praise God for allowing us to just be “still”.  HE has us covered!  HE has YOU covered too!



Welcome Sunshine!

These feel and look great!

These feel and look great!

“Everything looks better sprinkled with a little sunshine”!  I love looking out at our backyard and seeing grass, birds, flowers, and the dog running around playing instead of gingerly going down the steps avoiding ice and snow.  I am so ready for all that spring brings.  While it’s still too chilly to have a coffee on the deck, it’s evident that the weather for that is soon upon us.  I am also very happy to finally feeling better!

I decided to try out a few new mediums this week.  It seems that wide headbands are worn by almost every lady these days.  I made one for myself and a friend so we could try them out.  Guess what?  We LOVE them!  It’s the perfect way to secure your hair out of the way for working on almost anything.  I am always getting glue, sticky vinyl pieces, melted chocolate, icing etc…in my hair.  I now wear my new headband and just keep that hair out of the way in a cute stylish way.  They are also very affordable!  I will have some in my in my FB shop today.  Just send me a message if you would like one!    Once I made this one for my friend, I decided to give some glitter htv (heat transferred vinyl) a try!  Some folks like a little bling with their headbands!  Well, it is time to go outside find some JOY today!

Bring on the Bling!  Yes, that is an awesome summer weight scarf sitting there too!

Bring on the Bling! Yes, that is an awesome summer weight scarf sitting there too!


10000361_10203184780401237_1029211228_oToday’s post and design is inspired by Memphis.  Memphis has a big chunk of my heart due to the many years that we lived there.  The friend connections are priceless to our family and we are really looking forward to an upcoming trip to see all of the amazing people.

I was not born a “southerner,” in fact, I am routinely referred to as a “yankee” by my husband’s family and most native Memphians.   I didn’t realize how little I knew about the “Civil War” until I very abruptly learned that it seems to still be alive and “kickin” in a lot of southern people.  Since I did not speak the accent or even realize the differences in dialect, I was at a huge disadvantage when desiring to just “fit” in.  I quickly learned that “I”, have the accent!  A “yankee” accent!  Now that I am once again living in the midwest, I am told that I now have a “southern” accent!  So to sum that up….no one understands anything I say! (Insert big smile)  I am pretty sure I unknowingly offend on a daily basis.

This post is bringing back some fun memories of more differences specifically in the food category.   Growing up, both of my grandmothers were excellent cooks!  They always made everything from scratch and most of our food came from gardens they planted and took care of.  Tomatoes, carrots, peas, cucumbers, corn, cabbage, onions, potatoes, were all a part of the big half an acre garden plots.  Well, when I got to Memphis, I learned that peas were no longer a sweet little green ball inside of a pod.  Peas were now purple or had black eyes!  They were allowed to sit out in the sun until the pods swiveled up and the little purple and black eyed fellows became hard as a rock!  There’s even a special machine they throw them into to separate the crusty pods from the rock hard peas!  Then, you get to boil them until you have a pan full of the dirtiest water you have ever seen….then you probably get to boil then another hour or so because they still are rock hard.  Give me my cute little green balls of sweetness any day over purple hull or black eyed peas!  I will move on today but I do have to address cornbread, spaghetti, barbecue, fish, baked beans, turkey and dressing, pies and cake at some point.

See you soon Memphis!