The Lord Will Fight For You, You Need Only Be Still

I “met” Jen Thompson way back in January after I first shaved my head while going through chemotherapy. Someone had sent me her website because she had just done the exact same thing.  I reached out to her because our stories were so similar. We were diagnosed with cancer around the same time.  We had surgery around the same time. We had identical incisions running straight up and down our abdomens.  The photos on her site were almost eery because I felt like I was looking at myself. We are the same age.  We are the same height. We look very similar….so much so that when Boo sees a photo of Jen in my Instagram feed she asks “where were you there Mommy?” Since January we’ve become friends and kept in touch….but now our paths have become quite different.  And quite honestly I feel quite helpless now but I’ve been blessed with a very supportive network of readers….and I want to pass that along to her.

Jen was admitted last week for surgery after her clinical trial was cut short from complications (stage 4 ovarian cancer). The surgery ended up being much more serious that they originally expected and she’s been in ICU ever since.  I want her to be able to give her own update….it’s not my place to tell her story.  I’ll pray she’s well enough soon to share on her Am I Still A Girl blog.

Jen Thompson ( via lilblueboo.comPhoto from @amistillagirl on Instagram

Another friend, artist Stephanie Corfee has the biggest heart.  Seriously…. Stephanie is always the first one to email me when she hears news about anything “How can I help???!!” Love that girl. Anyway, she created this amazing digital print to raise money for Jen’s medical expenses and all the additional expenses that have resulted from her hospitalization in Florida (3,000 miles from home).  It’s inspired by a saying that Jen has tattooed on her arm: The Lord Will Fight For You, You Need Only Be Still.

Print it off. Frame it or print on t-shirt transfer paper etc. It’s only $3….less than a cup of coffee. And every dollar goes straight to Jen and her family.  As I write this $780, has already been raised and donated from the Vintage Camera Prints. Thank you for your support.

Click image to view the listing:

Digital Be Still Art by Stephanie Corfee (For Jen Thompson Stage 4 ovarian cancer) via [Read more…]

Little House in the Desert

Boo is experiencing some tough love recently. I know she’s testing us.  It’s working.

I’m nipping it in the bud……

There will be no sense of entitlement in this house…by anyone…ever.

I took the TV out of her room.  She lost about 15 toys this week for being disrespectful…..and I’m not sure she’ll ever get them back. The toys now reside at “Sunnyside” on the top shelf of my closet. Honestly, I was prepared to throw every. single. toy…..forever. That’s my commitment right now.

I made her watch selected scenes* from “Machine Gun Preacher” yesterday (a true story from Sudan)……like where the children get their first playground, and the scene where they have one tattered soccer ball to play with among 30 kids, and the part where the children trek into town at night on their own from the village to sleep wherever they can.  She teared up and hid her face when the children saw their crudely-built-car-tire-jungle-gym for the first time. Later, I overheard her telling Mr. LBB:

In Sudan, the preacher sold his car and all his tools to buy a playground. The kids didn’t have anything…..they didn’t even have parents Daddy.  It’s a true story.

And now her TV is limited to Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons and Anne of Green Gables. I think we all could use a little bit of “Ma” and “Pa” parenting, right? Oh, and the reminder that Nellie Olson isn’t truly happy….despite having anything her little heart desires….

Little House in the Desert (Prairie) via

Boo and I made a pact that we will not raise our voices to one another. It’s a two-way street.

By going backwards……we are moving forward.

Yesterday, after hearing “I’m sooo bored. I want to watch TV” she was told “well, look at all these crayons, scissors, papers and journals Mommy has sitting out…..surely you can find something to do here.

And guess what…..she did.

She has everything she needs.


Recently, I read a newspaper article posted on Facebook and I wrote some of it down in my journal to remember….for myself, and one day as advice to Boo:

The world does not owe you anything. It doesn’t owe you a living.
You owe the world something.
You owe it your time, energy and talents so no one will be at war, in sickness and lonely again.
In other words, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone.
Start behaving like a responsible person.
You are important and you are needed.
It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.
Someday is now and that somebody is you.
-(adapted excerpt from a Dear Abby column from 1960)


I’m an American. I MAKE my destiny.**

This is why I choose joy every day.  I know that no one can create joy for me.  It’s up to me. It doesn’t mean I have the best of everything. My life isn’t perfect. I’m given second chances every. single. day. I worry about finances, vanity, health, war, politics just like everyone else. And every once in a while I have to take a step back and tell myself: I have everything I need. Something good is going to come out of today.

Now to pass this on to my daughter…..


*Warning: Machine Gun Preacher is not a movie for kids…’s very graphic and has many disturbing (and true) parts.  I only showed selected scenes to Boo that were appropriate.

**Update: I moved the quote credit down here to the bottom. The quote was by Romney. If you don’t like Romney, then just pretend that I said it instead: “Quote by Ashley Hackshaw”…..because that’s not the focus of this post…..nor do I want it to be.  Also, Romney doesn’t even write his own speeches. Neither does Obama. So technically neither of them has ever really said anything. If you see red from anger, or try to make 7 words the focus of this post, I’m sorry, I can’t help you out there……

Update 2: Does anyone else miss Michael Landon as much as I do?

Let’s Do This

It’s our last day in Tahoe.  It’s just us girls. I promised Boo that today we would go rafting down the Truckee River.  We got up early and headed into Tahoe City around 10:00am so we’d be one of the early ones. The river rafting companies wouldn’t let us go…..because apparently you need two adults on each boat.  Determined to keep my promise, we trekked across the bridge over the river, crossed the highway…..and bought our own boat. I’m not the strongest person in the world and with the boat, the oars, our huge bag of lunch, drinks, Boo’s life preserver……I think I looked like an ant carrying 50 times it’s weight.  Boo and I waited to cross over the highway so we could get back to the river access and cars on both sides stopped on the highway… let us pass. We must have looked that pitiful.

It was drizzling and 58 degrees and the water was freezing, but here we are….stoked and ready for our adventure:

Truckee River Rafting via

As I was figuring out how I was going to steer this boat down the river it actually ended up being easier with one oar. Right away, we met the nicest family who had met up from Grass Valley and San Francisco.  They were all tethered together and were jokingly making fun of our boat model. We had model 300 and they had model 400. I have to admit I did have boat envy for a brief moment…..but they didn’t have oars.  I traded an oar for a Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  (Hey, Float-illa the Hun, if you’re out there somewhere… was nice meeting you all!) [Read more…]

Your Chronicles: Hair Loss

I’ve been telling my story….now it’s time to tell yours!

These are so inspiring. I love all the smiles.

Thank you for sharing!


Meet Nicole!

Inspiration: Meet Nicole via

Nicole was recently diagnosed with stage IIIc breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma). She is currently in her second round of chemo treatment and is experimenting with many fun ways to cover her bald head! I would say so! Follow her journey here.

Inspiration: Meet Nicole via


Meet Melissa!


[Read more…]

Lord of the Flies

I had my first haircut today. My friend Tara cut and styled.  My friend Katie surprised me with an impromptu photo shoot.

My first thought: I think I’m in love with short hair.

My second thought: There goes my mullet…..sniff.

My third thought: I must unknowingly ingest a few flies every day…..

……..since my mouth.  never.  seems.  to.  close.        ever.


#choosejoy via lilblueboo.comphotos courtesy of katie geiberger


My blood results are still good. My tumor markers have been less than one.

Cram it cancer.


In other news about hair…..I love that the Mars Rover landing was totally overshadowed by this guy: [Read more…]

This Ain’t No Garden Party

Well, I was working on a longer post for today….but then this photo trumped it all. Yep, that’s Ric Flair…..wearing a Choose Joy bracelet. I don’t even know what else to say except:

Thank you Mr. Flair. You are the man.

My dad would have loved this photo……

This ain’t no garden party, brother, this is wrestling…..
……where only the strongest survive.
-Ric Flair

……I mean, he’s only the greatest pro wrestler of ALL TIME.


A big thank you Janet and Sally for conspiring to get this photo after my 10 Ric Flairs post! You rock!

Click here to check out who else is Choosing Joy!


I love to see how how you Choose Joy! Here are some of my recent favorites…

Share your #choosejoy photos on #instagram with lilblueboo.comCheck out past photos of you choosing joy here.


Want to share your Instagram photos with me? Use the hashtag #choosejoy and tag @lilblueboo. You might see them featured on Lil Blue Boo! Learn more here.

Remember to share the link to your photo on Twitter if your Instagram account is private….otherwise I can’t view it!

Want to add effects to your photos? Read the post on Instagram and Smartphone photo effects!


So many great photos of you choosing joy last week! Keep those #choosejoy photos coming and don’t forget to tag @lilblueboo.

you choosing joy with


Want to share your Instagram photos with me? Use the hashtag #choosejoy and tag @lilblueboo. You might see them featured here. Learn more here.

Remember to share the link to your photo on Twitter or Facebook if your Instagram account is private….otherwise I can’t view it!

Want to add effects to your photos? Read the post on Instagram and Smartphone photo effects!