Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thought this was Good...

So I'm playing with my iPad and trying to get this blogging down so this is kind of a trial post. When I came across this photo, it seemed perfect!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pink Saturday...When Life Hands You Lemons...

Make Lemonade!
I mean, make PINK Lemonade...

 because it's PINK Saturday.

Not just any Pink Saturday...
a "miracle" pink Saturday...
in honor of the "Miracle Makeover" for Colette,
a lovely lady fighting cancer.
Please go to Kelee's blog...The Katillac Shack to learn more.
Also, please visit Beverly from How Sweet the Sound
to find other lovelies celebrating a miracle pink Saturday.

Okay, so today's "assignment" was to post about
someone or something inspiring in our own lives.
Well, I've got that one covered.
I wrote about my summer adventure in yesterday's post
so if you're curious,
check it out by scrolling down.

On my 2nd day of IV treatment for MS, 
the unit was full so I had to take a seat in the chemo room.
One lovely lady who was also a patient started talking to me,
telling me of her long battle with cancer.
asking what I was doing there...
and encouraging me every single minute of our visit.
She was and still is a walking miracle!

Even her daughter came to my side,
giving me magazines, asking after me...
and telling me she would be praying for me...
a person she had just met.
What a beautiful family!
This lovely lady was my angel for those 5 days...
she kept me smiling instead of crying...
because she smiled instead of cried.
What a blessing she was in a very dark time!

Because of her, when I went for treatment,
I began to request a chair in the chemo room.  
These were very  brave people who had hope...

 and gave me hope.
From the man who couldn't speak due to cancer
to the one who couldn't walk...
and then there was my new friend...
they all had hope!

I knew then that I had to keep on with my life,
have faith and have HOPE.
Never lose hope!

 I was amazed at the people who reached out to me...
to encourage me, pray for me, tell me of their stories...
people I knew and those I had never met.
  Friends and family from far away...
friends I only knew through their blog...
and knew me the same way.
Blog friends...
SPECIAL friends!

I saved the messages I got and put them in a scrapbook.

Not a fancy one...just a way to remember how encouraging people
were to me...
Lots of people...
no, not just people...

How kind and caring many people in this big world really are.
Messages came from as far away as 
Australia, the Netherlands and Paris, France.

I am truly BLESSED!!!
In many ways.
On those days I don't feel so blessed, 
I only have to look at my Book of Hope...
because that's what all of you give me and others when
you take the time to encourage someone else,
to lift them up...
to tell them you care...

 that you will be there...
and that you will pray.

My sister, who loves to quilt and belongs to a quilt board,
told her friends about my situation...
and I even have pages of messages from these special ladies, too.

So on a day when we are sharing inspiration and miracles...
thank you for what you did for Colette...
and thank you for what you did...
and still do...
for me!

I received special messages from so many...
I want to share just one...but remember...
there were many.
And they were all so moving and sincere.
This one was sent to me shortly after my diagnosis
by one of my sisters.

Today you got a diagnosis in the Dr's office that changed your life, you will always remember where you were at 8 am on July 2nd!

And yet..........you have a loving husband who is a good provider and father to your two girls

and yet....you have two beautiful, kind, caring daughters who will always be there for you and bring you joy in the years to come

and yet you have two wonderful dogs that are your comfort and love you so unconditionally, a beautiful house to live in, parents who still love their "baby", good friends who will make you laugh and for a time forget what today brought, new friends who will sympathize like  no one else can as they too have been in your same situation....

And yet you have an older sister who loves you so much and still remembers the little girl she used to babysit and share a room with.....we always say we will be there for each other and now we start...... someday you will not remember this day unt
il it is almost over....and then you will tell yourself it was just another day.....

Like I said...I am blessed!

Chapter 2..."It Should Have Been Me"

I found out I had MS on Friday, July 2...
and these were the words my husband said to me later that night.
"It should have been me".

Very similar to the words my Mom said when I told her...
She said "I'm old...I wish I could take it from you".

But it doesn't work that way,
This thing we call life.
I've always told my girls "you get what you get".
But I never meant this.
I meant what color straw you get or what prize is in a happy meal.
This is no happy meal!
I've got it and I can't give it away.
If only, right? ;)

Anyway, as I walked out of the dr's office that morning to find my husband and daughter in the waiting room (they already knew too),
everything changed for us.
Suddenly, mommy had a problem.
Usually I'm the one helping them with their problems.
Now I'm carrying a stack of books to teach me about my new companion for life...Multiple Sclerosis.

I remember seeing this sad, knowing look on my husband's face and tears on Jordie's face.
(Poor girl...and here she thought she was going to tennis!)
And I knew Taylor would be calling that night from her ballet school in Maine
to find out the results of my tests.
I thought to myself..."this is the hard part. I can handle anything but what about my girls?"
After lots of tears, hugs and reassurances (even through the phone;)
We started doing what had to be done.

First a few phone calls.
I also told my girls from the beginning that this was nothing to be ashamed of, that we did nothing wrong, and they should feel free to tell their friends if they wanted to.
We all need support and for a teenage girl, their support is often their friends...and each other!

So, what next?
Well, that afternoon was the first of 5 days of IV steroid treatments at the hospital. As I drove in to the hospital parking lot and parked in the space reserved for outpatients, that's when I burst into tears.

Me...at the hospital? But hospitals are for SICK people, not people like me!
But into the hospital I went for my first IV.
Have you ever heard of a transfusion center? I hope you never do.
That's where I had to go for my IV but worse than that, that's where outpatient chemo is done. I think that's when I knew for sure how fortunate I was. It could have been worse
Much worse!!!
Don't get me wrong, MS is no picnic.
There is no cure.
It still stumps the medical community in many ways, although they have made some progress and continually work for more.
But it is sneaky and stealthy...and you ALWAYS have it with you.
Some days the symptoms are not so bad, some days they're worse.
But it doesn't go away.
You may have no signs of MS for years and you may have LOTS of trouble within a year.
There is no single path it takes...and it isn't the same for two people.

But back to that first few days.
There were sleepless nights.
(you don't sleep on steroids)
Lots of cuddle time with my family

(and while I tried not to sound like it on the phone, I missed Taylor terribly. When she offered to come home, it was all I could do to say no when I really wanted to say yes. But she was where she was supposed to be, you know?)

Let's see...what else did steroids give me...
Tons of energy...
I started a new blog (which I haven't done anything with) started a book (let that go too), planned a trip to Europe, started to think of ways to raise money...(tutus and cupcakes)

AND awareness for MS...one of the "silent" diseases and I ATE.
Hey, steroids make you hungry!!!;)
That first weekend Jordie made Taylor's famous Veggie pizza (yum!)

and I casually mentioned that pineapple upside down cake sounded good so
VoilĂ ...my husband made me a cake.

Ask me how long that lasted around here;)
Steroids, you know. haha

After the first round of IV's, I took to wearing long sleeves.
In July.
In Florida.
Because I could tell that it bothered my girl to see an IV port and my arms looked like this..(actually, they got much worse but who needs to see that. Apparently I bruise easily. And don't you love the iv cover I made up? a tye-dyed sock!

Not horrible but for a scared 13 year old girl...just too much, too soon.
Kind of like the arms of a drug addict, I know.
I now have an idea of how they feel.
After 5 days of steroids, they took me off...cold turkey.

Yikes...can you say addicted?
Because I crashed and went into withdrawal big time!
I mean, I was bawling when my husband came home from work,
Couldn't talk to Taylor to tell her goodnight because I didn't want to upset her by bursting into tears, started making a list of things I needed to do and teach my girls in the next year, as if that was all I had, freaked out at how puffy my knees got overnight and called the dr's office begging to go get more IV steroids because I felt better then.
If that doesn't sound like an addict...
The nurse thought so too, so they called in oral steroids to "wean" me off.
They don't always need to do that but apparently I'm one of those people.
Now we know...for next time.

So what comes next?
Well, the fine art of learning to live with MS.
That's what comes next...
Getting on with Life.
Not crying about it...well, not too much anyway.
Lots of praying about it though!

But that's all for another chapter...another day.
I needed to get this one in before Pink Saturday tomorrow.
The theme is an inspirational story and I have a few of those.
Don't worry, I'll do my best to make it short and sweet.
I'll do my best...but don't count on it;)
And by the way...the Barn Chicks day is NEXT Friday, not today.
Sorry about that!

Okay well, if you stayed with me through all of this, thank you and have a great weekend. And I'm sorry it was sooooo long.

Also, please remember, one of the reasons I am doing this is there is somebody out there who just found out they have ms or think they do. Hopefully they have somebody to talk to but if not, I'm here!

And to my husband who wishes it were him and not me and to my mom who wishes she could take it from me, I love you for that.
Thanks anyway!
As much as you would like to, you can't have it.
God gave it to me.
I don't know why but he does.
So we just have to have faith, trust, hope...
and courage.
But I will let you help me through it.
Because I'm sure every once in awhile, I'll need a little help;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In 3 Weeks...

I will be leaving you to visit Europe!
Yes, in 3 weeks we will be jetting on British Airways to


and Rome

with a day in Florence, Italy too.

Ooh la la;)

So, if any of you world travelers have any tips for me...things that are a must see, favorite restaurants, just getting around in general...I would love to hear each and every thought you have. You know my email...shabbychicks@gmail.com.
Thanks and Happy Wednesday to you!!!

P.S. You know I love old barns, right?
Well, somehow I found a fabulous group of ladies who make up a group called
The Barn Chicks and Friday's blogs will all be about...
you guessed it...
with a side of APPLES thrown in!
So check back Friday to start getting in the Fall mood if you haven't already.

Au Revoir

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Keeping Busy With My Shabby Chicks...

When you come in our house,
especially if my husband is on a business trip...
there is no mistaking the fact that we make tutus.
As you can see, the dining room becomes the tutu room:)

And lately we have been making quite a few tutus.
Shabby Chick Jordan made a bunch of tutus this summer,
especially for a photographer who wanted some to use in her studio as props.
Here are a few photos from the photo shoot...
yes, these are Shabby Tiara Tutus!
Pretty cool, huh?

And then Shabby Chick Taylor came home from Maine...
and started organising the business.
She also worked on a bunch of NEW tutus.
Check these out...
Cute...a Candy Corn Tutu...

(Her creation!)
And finally, here are a few models whose mommy bought our
Hawaiian tutus...
We've now been a part of many 1st birthday celebrations:)

So that's pretty much been keeping us busy.
We're currently working with a lovely lady from Australia.
Even though I sometimes get tired and think enough with the tutus,
the girls are working and we do have fun creating together.
And no doubt about it, they are learning a bit about working for their money,
taking and fulfilling orders, 
and dealing with customers from all over the world.
I bet not a lot of moms get to share this with their teenage girls,
So for now, we're still covered in tulle:)
Now for the shameless plug,
you can buy their tutus at The Shabby Tiara.
(Sorry...couldn't resist!)

How about you? 
Any fun creations in your life these days?
I have lots of things I want to make...
So many ideas, so little time:)

And now I'm beginning to think about Christmas.
Okay...no groans.
As I write this, there are 123 days, 2 hours and 40 minutes until
I make it my business to know these things!

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Birthday Story...Pink, Of Course

There are a few traditions in this family when it comes to Birthdays.
We spend them together and not necessarily with a bunch of people.
We decorate!!! Boy, do we decorate.

Usually the night before so they wake up to a house full of decorations.

We usually have a theme. We ALWAYS have cake;)

Breakfast in bed...or at least lounging on the sofa!

One of my all-time favorites...strawberries on toast...with a side of good n plentys;) And a cute puppy helps too!

The celebration lasts all day...and sometimes all week...or month;)

We always have lots of presents to open. Not that we overspend...we just
Wrap everything separately so there is lots to open.

Guess what? This week it was my turn to be the Birthday Girl.
In addition to a pre-Birthday dinner and a week full of festivities,
I awoke to an amazing Birthday celebration last Monday.

There was ribbon, cherubs, tutus, flowers...a perfect blend of PINK, shabby and very chic.

My girls did good, let me tell you! My husband was out of town so it was up to them...and they made my day sooooo special!

They went shopping the week before...and what shoppers!
A necklace and charm bracelet from Brighton, beautiful belt and gift card from White house/Black Market, Body butter from Victoria Secret, Starbucks card, cute stuffed turtle (family memory), a tai chi DVD for me (doctor 's order) and more goodies too, from them and others:)

They made me a special card...little notes tucked in a pretty pink box, nestled among a bunch of tiny messages just for me. I loved it!,,

I am SOOOO blessed! Thank you for a wonderful day girlfriends!
And I hope all of you liked my pink treats!
Happy Pink Saturday and thank you to Beverly from How Sweet the Sound for graciously hosting all of us pinkies again!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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