Because I know that all of you are waiting on pins and needles for this news:
(It only took a few cumulative days of senna-Miralax-colace-enema-cocktails. TMI? Sorry. It’s big news around here.)
Lisa here! For those that may be new to the blog, I am the director of operations here at LBB and Ashley’s right hand gal. I’m not much of a writer. I enjoy writing our sponsor and giveaway posts, but a personal post is a little out of my comfort zone. I thought it would be kinda fun for our readers to get a little behind the scenes account of the last several months, so I got on board with the post. When I was hired on, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I certainly didn’t expect to become the poster girl for “Girls Who Poop at Work,” either. I think it was meant to be though and I love my job so much.
From time to time I see emails come in from readers that have a hard time believing that Ashley is so positive and able to find joy in the hand she has been dealt. They want her to be more honest about her anger and fear. I have to laugh a little when I read these emails. Don’t get me wrong, after the death of her father, the miscarriage, then finding out the 2nd pregnancy wasn’t actually a baby but a tumor, like many of you I thought to myself, “How much more can this girl take!?”
Little did I know how much more she would end up facing, but I can say without a doubt, Ashley is not afraid. She has not and will not let fear rule. We all can learn something from her. I admit, up until Ashley’s emergency surgery, I let fear rule my life. It had taken over. If it was me that had been diagnosed with cancer I would have probably crawled in bed and never gotten out. That was until I watched how Ashley handled life’s curve-balls. I think we can all relate to her story in some way. Whether you have cancer, anxiety, depression, money problems, whatever! You can Choose Joy. From her example I have learned to let go of the reigns a little and just live. I try and take all of that time I used to designate towards worrying about the WHAT IF’s, and have made a conscience effort to replace it with happy thoughts, like how lucky I am to be healthy, have a roof over my head, food on the table, a caring and supportive husband and a daughter who lights up my life.
Ashley and I have a unique relationship. She is my friend and she is my boss (we were friends first). I work out of her home so I have been a passenger on Ashley’s crazy ride from the beginning. Working with a friend can be tricky. Although, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing when Ashley needs her friend Lisa and when she needs her assistant Lisa. Well, I haven’t been fired yet, so I must be doing something right. I think it’s important to know a little bit about me so that you can truly understand the dynamic that is Ashley and Lisa. I don’t think we could be more opposite. Maybe that’s why we work so well together.
I love hospital food.
I worry about anything and everything.
I have zero problem calling the doctor. In fact, I call them all the time. If they don’t call me back within 2 hours, I call again…and again.
I loved co-sleeping and breast feeding!
I love leggings but I look nothing like Ashley does in them.
I’m horrible at math and still use my fingers.
I’m not a crafter! It would take me weeks to make something Ashley can create in minutes.
I HATE to fly. In fact Elle doesn’t even want to sit next to me on a plane because I’m so obnoxious.
If I’m sick I want to be waited on hand and foot.
I don’t like to drive anywhere by myself.
Oh, and here’s the kicker! If I hesitantly say something looks “interesting,” Ashley will put it in our next line and it’s always a bestseller. She says “interesting” is my way of saying nicely that I don’t like something. I guess this is why I take care of all the administrative work and not the designing, lol! I laugh so much when I’m with Ashley. We joke that Lil Blue Boo would make for a great reality TV show. Although it would be WAY too embarrassing. We think we are so much funnier then we actually are I’m sure! We laugh through the happy times and we laugh through the hard times. We have had far too many hard times…one of those times was her miscarriage.
So what was it like when Ashley found out she was miscarrying? Here’s what I remember:
Ashley ran to the office where I was, she was wearing white shorts, there was blood everywhere. She didn’t have to say anything. I knew what was happening. She was having some spotting the prior week.
Ashley: Does this LOOK like spotting to you!!?
Me: No, that’s definitely not spotting.
I followed her to the bathroom.
Me: Let me take you to the hospital.
Ashley: I don’t think I need to go to the hospital, what can they do about it now?
Me: Ummm…I’m pretty sure you need to go to the hospital. I’m dialing the Dr. right now.
(The Dr.’s office confirms that she needs to go to the hospital.)
Me: I’m taking you to the hospital.
Ashley: I can just drive myself. I’ll take a towel.
Me: Are you F ing kidding me!? You are not driving! Please call Brett right now.
Her husband did come home and take her, but she would have gone to the hospital all by herself if I had not insisted someone else take her. That’s Ashley though! She would much rather take care of herself and not trouble anyone. I find this to be one of the most frustrating things about Ashley! All I want to do is take care of her sometimes and she always turns me away…grrrr!
(Sometimes I feel like I have Ebola. She follows me around with Lysol spray if I have a sniffle. )
And then there was the day she found out about the molar pregnancy…..
I remember when the Dr. called and said he wanted her to come in to his office so he could speak to her. It was almost 5pm and he said he would wait for her. He explained over the phone that he had consulted with another doctor any they determined that the 2nd pregnancy was a molar pregnancy. She would need to have some scans to make sure there were not any cancerous cells. My stomach sank when she told me that. When she left I immediately ran to the computer and Googled molar pregnancy and cancer. Yes, I Google everything! I read as much as I could in about 3 minutes. From what I understood in those few minutes was that this type of cancer is rare but very curable!
Me: Hey. I just Googled molar pregnancy cancer. Even if you have it, don’t worry! It’s very curable, so everything is going to be just fine.
Ashley: So, I’m not going to die?
Me: No, you aren’t going to die. Promise.
I was working late that night because of Fall shipping so I was there when she got home. Brett was there too. We were asking her all kinds of questions about her meeting with the doctor. Ashley was very nonchalant about the whole thing. Typical Ashley. I have to read the blog to get all of the facts sometimes…..she shares much more in her writing than she ever does verbally.
And then there was the day that she found out about the cancer…..
The day after her scans she met with the doctor. I was leaving the dentist and I gave Ashley a call. I knew she would have news for me.
Me: Well, I have periodontal disease, hahaha (fancy name for hasn’t gone to the dentist in ages)!
Ashley: Well…. I have CANCER….so I win.
Me: Ok, you win.
How do you respond when your friend tells you they have cancer? I’m probably not the one to ask. I try and find the humor in everything. I’m sure I said something really stupid. I know there are lists out there of what NOT to say, and I’m certain I’m guilty of a few. Although, Ashley would never have the heart to tell me. I know I told her somewhere in between the bad jokes that I would be there for her. I wasn’t going anywhere.
Soon after Ashley found out about the cancer, my daughter was rushed to the hospital on the night of her 4th birthday because she was having trouble breathing (really bad croup). She was admitted to the hospital the next morning for just one overnight stay to monitor her. Right around midnight I got a a text from Brett. They were downstairs in the ER. Ashley was having severe abdominal pain. We find out later that her tumor had broken through her uterus.
My two favorite girls – both sick and in the hospital at the same exact time.
Seriously, what are the odds!? They admitted Ashley to the hospital and I snuck down to see her around 1am while a sweet nurse kept an eye on Elle. It took me about 30 minutes to find her room. I was on the phone with her while walking through empty halls trying to find her. I was totally lost and kept going to video cameras hoping someone would come and rescue me. Apparently no one was watching the security cameras that night. Finally, Ashley had her nurse come out to find me. When I arrived in her room, I didn’t even say hi to her. I was too overwhelmed by her amazing suite (a gift from her sweet in-laws)!! Hello, she had a stocked fridge in her room!! I took a ton of pictures. I considered calling the nurse upstairs to tell her I wouldn’t be back for several hours. It was like a spa in there.
I took a few drinks for the road since Ashley wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything.
I sat with Ashley for a little while. All she wanted to talk about was Lil Blue Boo, and not her health. Here she was lying in a hospital bed, in horrible pain, not knowing what the hell was going on with her body, and all she wanted to discuss was business. I actually think the only thing she has ever really worried about during the past several months was business. She has an amazing husband and so many supportive friends and family that she never had to worry about the needs of her daughter being met, so I don’t think that was ever a concern. We talked fabric, we talked shipping, and we talked about keeping the girls in the studio busy cutting and sewing. Lil Blue Boo employs 5 people. I know she felt pressure at that time to keep all of us working. She has such a huge heart and always puts everyone else first. She kept saying, “Lisa, you are in charge.” The last thing I wanted to do was disappoint her. She gave me the greatest gift a little over a year ago: a job that allowed a lot of flexibility. When you are a working mom, flexibility is such a blessing. I will never be able to thank her enough for that.
So, it was business as usual at Lil Blue Boo, but with two little munchkins in my lap a little more often. These little faces sure did help us appreciate life a little more though The office was not the same without Ashley. She had to spend a lot of time in bed, not as much as I would have liked though. After her emergency hysterectomy she was always trying to push the envelope. It was like trying to keep a toddler in their bed! We eventually got her all hooked up in her bedroom. She was able to craft and write. We communicated via walkie talkies.
Oh how I missed the back of her head.
I don’t like to talk much about the night we almost lost Ashley. It was a nightmare come true. When Ashley was in the ICU she was hooked up to a breathing machine. You could tell her body had been through so much during that surgery. I took a picture of her. Yes, I really did. The funny part was no one in her family thought I was strange for doing it. They all know how much Ashley loves to document everything. I knew she would want to see it. Ashley’s good friend Todd drove me home that night from the hospital. I had to have him pull over so I could throw up. I was so embarrassed but he was so kind and understanding. It had been a long night for everyone. I thank God every day that she is here with us today.
So, here we are today. Ashley will start a new, more aggressive chemotherapy next week. I know we are all ready for this to be over, but unfortunately these things take time and we have to be patient. I know she will be healed. In the meantime, I will keep trying to mother her, and ask her if she needs anything. Can you believe she refuses my foot and scalp massages!? In fact, I get shot down all of the time. Although, she did let me help her to the bathroom once at the hospital. She was really drugged up though 😉 Seriously, she can be a real pain in the ass sometimes, but I still love her. We all love her.
……that’s the joke around here now. We met early this morning at Dr. L’s office……Brett, me, and my in-laws.
I already knew that it wasn’t going to be all good news. I could already feel something growing in my pelvis area. That can never be good. Dr. L reviewed the scans yesterday and consulted with three different radiologists and two additional oncologists. He even called Dr. R at Loma Linda last night to discuss the results and get his opinion. That made me feel really good that so many people had their chance to opine (nice use of “opine,” right?).
Here’s what the scan showed:
1. The tumors in my lungs have basically stayed the same…..but they aren’t worried about them so much. They could be scar tissue at this point and not cancerous anymore.
2. The lesion on my liver has neither grown nor shrunk……so they aren’t worried about that so much anymore.
3. The tumor in my lower pelvis area that had grown back since my hysterectomy (and removal of the huge tumor) has been reduced in size just a little…..but they expected it to be gone based on the amount of chemotherapy I’ve had so far.
4. There is a new 6.8 cm tumor higher in my pelvis that has obviously grown since my last scan in December. So that is what has been causing my pelvic pain.
Of course we got the facts:
1. My cancer is resistant to the current chemotherapy EMA-CO. They call that “chemorefractory”…..cells that don’t care that toxic chemicals have been pumped repeatedly at them.
2. Resistance is very rare.
So right now the consensus is to move to an even MORE aggressive chemotherapy called EMA-PA. I get new drugs on my menu of treats: cis-platinum and adriamycin. And I won’t even get my week off….I’ll start this Thursday.
My mother-in-law drove the scans to Loma Linda this morning for Dr. R and his radiologist to review. She refused to hand them over to anyone but Dr. R’s nurse. She’s a force to be reckoned with.
The Vincristine is messing with my nerves in my face again….and anything I eat or drink burns going down. I think I need a milkshake…..like from McDonalds.
The girls are working hard on getting the spring line ready to launch in February. No rest for the weary around here.
I feel like a pool being tested for chlorine. My mom left these ph strips for me to test my alkaline levels.
I can’t go crazy with nutritional stuff……if it’s complicated I get too overwhelmed and won’t do anything. I let my mom read all the books and then she filters the important information to me. So, here’s what I know about testing your ph in a nutshell according to my mother:
:: Diseases like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, etc are associated with excess acidity in the body.
:: Cancer cannot exist in an alkaline environment.
:: Things I eat that causes my body to be too acidic: beef, artificial sweeteners (Splenda ugh), cheese, soft drinks
:: Things I can eat to bring my body the other way to alkaline: olive oil, broccoli, almonds, celery grapes, raw spinach
My takeaway: I ate donuts this morning…..but I also ate a ton of celery, cucumbers and a little cheese for lunch. It all balances out.
I’ve never laughed as hard as I did last night…….all at Lisa’s expense. I saw that someone had just Googled “girls who poop at work” to get to Lil Blue Boo and I asked them to “fess up” on Facebook…..and it set off a firestorm of poop searches. Well now…..if you google it…..Lisa’s image is the first photo to come up. I’m so sorry Lisa.
The past few days I’ve been having pain in my lower right pelvis area. I know there’s a tumor there. But the pain feels like last time when it was growing so fast……so my gut feeling is that it’s growing….maybe not much….but it’s “invading” something down there. I struggled a little to get out of the car after I picked up Boo from school and a wave of panic came over me. These tumors can be very invasive and aggressive…..and I know my bladder and colon are down in that area. I am squeamish when it comes to anything bladder and colon related. I get faint even thinking about it. Take a lung, take a kidney, take part of my stomach, take a finger, take a toe…..but don’t take any part of my bladder or colon. You’d be proud of me….I called Dr. L after hours. He was patched through immediately and said that we would move my scan up to this morning first thing. I had my scan at 9:45 and I already feel better that there is a picture of my pelvis floating around somewhere.
At the hospital this morning the nurse insisted on carrying my purse from the IV chair to the machine room……it was a new machine and was halfway around the building. It was a tug of war for a second…..because I was super embarrassed 1. it weighed over 20 pounds 2. was stuffed full of junk and 3. I’d brought donuts to eat immediately after my scan.
I had to drink the contrast stuff before the scan. It tastes like Crystal Light. They gave me 20 minutes as usual…..I drank it in 2 minutes flat. I’m sure the nurses were like: um, it’s not a competition to see who can drink it fast…..you REALLY have 20 minutes. Oh whatever….I like to be competitive at these things. I have no athletic ability so I’d like to be good at something. So let me brag a little: I am great at keg stands. I can shotgun a beer in 2 seconds flat. If you went to college with me you already knew that though.
….for some awesome horticulture shots in this post. And donuts. And Tostitos. And bee pollen. Etc.
I could hang out in the waiting room of Dr. L’s office all day. The average age is about 70 years and I meet kindred spirits. As soon as I sat down this morning a sweet woman says to her friends: look how this one just sprouted up. I laughed and told her:
Me: Yep, I never stopped growing….I’m like a giraffe. If you need anything up high just let me know.
Woman: I can sense when people are friendly…..I knew you would be.
Me: I’m in a extra good mood today now that I got a seat by you.
Woman: Can I see the color of your hair under that cap?
Me (laughing): I don’t have any hair under my cap. (I show her my head….and the entire room looks.)
Woman: Oh it looks so nice. It must have been hard though.
Me: Not really, and I found out I had some secrets under my hair….a birthmark and a scar.
Woman: Oh! That’s so fun…..and mysterious! It’s a secret you’ve been keeping your whole life!
Me: Maybe I’ll get a tattoo on my head before the hair grows back. That would rock.
Woman: Oh no dear…..no tattoos, please.
I got my Neulasta shot. I walked right in and said “shoot me in the stomach”……no hesitation. It really wasn’t a big deal last time……so I figured I’d be really brave. Awww….the Neulasta shot is a cute little shot…..pretty, blue and looks like it would want to say “I want to be a big shot, but I’m just a wee little shot.”
My father-in-law called this morning and said that he had seen my HCG numbers. They went up last week to 78…..and stayed the same this week. Do. Not. Like. My scan next Tuesday will hopefully hold the secret. Maybe there’s not enough vascular activity where the tumor is growing back in my pelvis (don’t I sound like a doctor? that came from my father-in-law)…..not enough blood supply to bring the toxic chemotherapy to the cancer cells. Dear tumor: just STAY away from my bladder and colon okay? I’m really squeamish about catheter type thingys…..I’ll faint even thinking about it any longer.
VERY IMPORTANT: Before my scan next week I need to buy a new bra. I don’t have to take it off for my CT scans…..and in the last scan I wore my favorite bra with the wire all wonky. It was a push-up…..so my boobs looked all wonky in the 3-D image too. As we were talking to the radiologist all I could think was how embarrassed I was……wonky bra, wonky boobs…..cancer? what cancer? He probably thinks I can’t afford a new bra. In the scan you could see the wire loud and clear all twisted and crazy looking. I actually wear my clothes and my boots in the machine…..it must be super powerful….which means I’m getting nucleared even more. It’s never a good sign when the technicians lock huge vault-like doors behind them and pull the shades to go push a button. Just great.
On my way home from the doctor my friend Megan texted me to remind me about the Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays…..so I stopped by. I only had $17 in cash….so I had to budget.
I bought some local bee pollen….that took $10:
When I got back from the farmer’s market I stole some oranges from my neighbors house. I actually sent her a text first. Her reply was “take them all! all I eat is double stuff Oreos.” Her dogs thought I was stealing though.
Lisa’s first day back from vacation…..and I make her drink her first glass of freshly squeezed juice. I don’t think she liked it that much. She said it bordered on workplace harassment. Then she complained that she felt like she was going to have to poop at work. Oh please, be GLAD you can poop Lisa! I’m praying for poop! Reminds me of a Google search recently that brought someone randomly to my blog: girls who poop at work. I hope they found what they were looking for. Lisa, was that YOUR Google search?
Don’t worry….I haven’t gone on nutritional overload…..I had a donut for breakfast. My friends Todd and Jodi brought some by. Jodi was still in her pjs.
I only slept for a few hours last night. The Decadron made me nocturnal. I made steamed broccoli at midnight and got some work done. I’m hoping maybe I’ll be able to nap. First, I’ll eat some Tostitos dipped in sour cream in bed…..and most likely completely reverse the juicing effects. Sorry Brett if I leave any crumbs.
Here I am at chemo today…..trying not to laugh as the nurse took my picture with my phone. My bra strap is showing…darn. I like my chair location….it’s right under one of the cool vents….and close to the bathroom. I told the nurses about Lil Blue Boo today…..and that I wrote about them. Maybe they’ll stop by.
See that huge bag at my feet? I take it every time I go to chemotherapy. It weighs about 50 pounds….seriously. I can’t stand to be without my stuff: laptop, iPad, iPhone, journal, pens, extension cord, chargers, cheddar Goldfish, Target fruit snacks, water, sometimes a Vitamin Water, lip balm, my chemo schedule, a blanket, my sweatshirt, and so on.
I had way too much energy today. I think it was the crazy juice concoction I made. I was totally on my own today because Brett had to leave to go out of town super early. Boo and Brett have their own special routine in the morning and Boo let me know:
Boo: Make SURE you mix the bananas good. Daddy does a good job mixing my cereal. And sometimes he lets me watch Goldrush. Its about finding gold. I think he already made my lunch though. And we can’t be late for prayer circle. I’ll tell Miss Leslie you don’t have any hair anymore when we get there.
Me: I’m feeling the pressure!
I took Boo to school and everyone in the office was sooo sweet and excited about my shaved head. Someone had forwarded around the link to the “how to shave your head” movie we made. Even Boo’s teacher had seen it.
I felt okay after chemo so I went to school to pick Boo up early. She didn’t want to leave. Go figure. Not feeling so hot now….but I have nothing to do this evening so that’s okay. I have a log from the last “CO” chemo treatment on how I felt….it helps me plan. The nurse told me that Vincristine (one of the drugs I had today) can cause major constipation……so I’ll be contemplating that. I’m just hoping I don’t have to blog about poop again for a while. Dr. L thought the Vincrinstine might be what was causing my jaw pain, that it was a nerve-related thing……but the nurse thought it might be the Neulasta…..maybe it’s both.
Since my mom left yesterday I was feeling guilty about not juicing….so this morning I took everything out of the fridge that looked like it might have some juice in it: cucumber, kale, young Thai coconut, carrots, apples, lemons and even a few sad looking blueberries. If it’s not organic, I just peel the skin off. This is the juicer I use. I got it from Costco. It’s kind a pain to clean….but if you just clean it right when you finish juicing and then put the machine right back together it’s not a big deal:
I made a huge batch so I could force Gicela to try it today (insert evil laugh). I just cut the carrots, apples (put them straight in with the skin on after they’ve been washed) and add them to the juicer with the kale….I think it helps to get the kale juiced better. With all the different colors it starts to look a little pea-soupish. I cut up lemons and add them with their skin on. The lemon adds tartness to the juice and masks a lot of the vegetable flavors. If I add oranges or grapefruit I cut the rind off…..their rind tastes icky when juiced.
Once all the juice is finished I like to add some crushed ice (because I like it super cold) and the coconut pulp….and I use a hand blender to whip it all up. You can add banana or avocado at this stage because those can’t be juiced.
It isn’t that bad! Gicela even liked it.
I’ve got chemo tomorrow…..so I thought I’d go to Home Depot this afternoon and stock up on some spray paint. That makes sense right? I went by myself….nothing on my head….totally bald. I walked around for about an hour….I like to do that….just browsing the aisles and thinking of potential projects. It was the ultimate social experiment. I hit up the garden center…..Mr. LBB wants some ferns for under our pergola. I couldn’t find any…….so I kind of aimlessly walked around in the shady plant section. A woman smiled at me and said “you have a VERY nicely shaped head.” I told her excitedly that I had just shaved it. Only a few moments earlier she had berated a man for stealing a shopping cart. You should have seen the look on the poor guy’s face when he saw that it was my cart….he looked like he had stolen a cart from a cancer patient! He sheepishly returned it to me. I was so embarrassed and I told him it was no big deal. It wasn’t……if someone steals my cart I usually find another. It’s good exercise.
It’s not really fair, but I started to mentally ticking off which categories people fell into as I walked around the store. It ended up being all over the place:
Okay….so I came close to crying in Home Depot too. I was in the checkout line and a sweet elderly man looked at me, turned around, and then looked back at me again. He said softly “have you been sick, sweetie?” I told him yes, but I was going to be okay….he took my hand and said “well I wish only the best for you.” I barely made it out of the store intact.
I don’t think I acted any differently than I ever do in the store. I know I was paying more attention to interactions. I was on a mission NOT to look sick: standing up straight, walking briskly, smiling and talking with energy etc. But I was definitely treated differently. It doesn’t bother me at all…..we are all human. It’s just something I’m aware of now…..and I’m thankfully aware. I’ll never look at anyone bald or wearing a scarf the same again. It’s what my mother said as well.
The crazy part about the whole thing is……I fell into the category “totally wants to say something but doesn’t get the courage” at lunch. There was a bald lady sitting near us and I wanted to know what her story was and I didn’t have the guts to ask. Maybe she wouldn’t have wanted me to ask. Ironically, I was a bald woman worried about talking to another bald woman.
Last night was my mom’s last night here. She babysat and Mr. LBB and I went out to dinner with our friends Ben and Staci who were in town visiting. It was awesome…..I haven’t been out in months. I wore a wool beanie….and I got SO hot….so I took it off at dinner. We had to laugh because half the restaurant was bald…..seriously. We were the youngest people by about 30 years.
Update: Someone asked me which category I wished people fell into. I like when people are inquisitive and compassionate because I’m very inquisitive and like hearing what their story is. I also like when I’m treated completely normal….so probably somewhere in between! I can’t speak for anyone else though. Maybe some of you could let me know what you think…..especially if you’ve been there! I know I’m a total fail on things like this sometimes….I get social anxiety and want to do the right thing but then become a crazy person. So I’d be the overly friendly and awkward!
So…my mom left today….and we already miss her. Who is going to force me to drink green juice and test my PH daily?
My friend Kristina sent me some personalized M&Ms! CHOOSE JOY, NURSES BEWARE, and DEMAND RECOUNT. A few weeks back my HCG numbers didn’t budge….even after starting the aggressive chemotherapy and I told everyone that I had demanded a recount at the doctor’s office. I didn’t believe the number. Turns out the doctor didn’t either and switched labs for my weekly test. I’m learning more and more to speak up when I think something is wrong.
Chemo isn’t until around lunchtime tomorrow…..it won’t be a long day! Hopefully I’ll get something creative done in the morning.
I’ll call this series of posts Project Playroom because it is a work in progress, the making of a DIY Play Market staring with the awning. Lots of little projects leading up to one big reveal. I just have to pace myself and work on things as I feel up to it! We took the old LBB office and cleared it all out into a much bigger office. It was going to be the nursery but those plans are on hold for a bit until I am cancer-free and we figure out how we want to add to our family. So now it’s my new “writing room” and Boo’s new playroom….we needed a room just for that almost-four-foot-tall Barbie dream house she got for Christmas.
Boo loves her kitchen and she’s always wanted a market/grocery store to go along with it…..so I thought I’d devote one small corner to just that. Brett found this old awning that someone had tossed out:
I took off the existing awning to reveal the frame and Brett got out the power tools to make it a tad smaller. He’s always so great when I ask him to do little projects….you know I love my power tools, but I’m not feeling quite as strong as I used to so I don’t trust myself with the saws right now….I’d like to keep all my fingers and limbs if I can:
I used my seam ripper to take apart the existing awning cover. This is the easiest way to make a new pattern! Just take apart something old, trace it onto new fabric, and then put it back together the same way! That’s how even the biggest of companies do it!
I bought some bright yellow canvas, bias tape, and thread:
I traced all my awning pieces onto the new canvas:
I sewed the pieces together and tested the fit of the awning on the frame. Looks good!
I made a little template so that I could cut the bottom into a scalloped edge:
I stitched white bias tape all around the raw scalloped edges:
The finished edges!
I used a simple freezer paper stencil to add the word “MARKET” to the front. The letters could be cut out by hand but my Silhouette machine cut them out in under a minute. You can see more about freezer paper stenciling here in my beanbag tutorial.
I used a sponge to dab white fabric paint onto my letters:
While the letters were still slightly damp, I carefully peeled off my freezer paper stencil and touched up the letters with a small paint brush:
Brett hung the market awning up in the playroom. Now I’ve got to create the actual market and stock it with lots of goodies!
I just ordered this antique milk scale off of Ebay the other day to hang in her market! Isn’t it cool? It will be the perfect addition.
Oh my gosh….the craziest thing happened: I woke up this morning bald.
And my teeth are bigger. My sister Perry and I joke that we have horse teeth, it takes work to close our mouths. My teeth grew even more with the absence of hair.
I slept in a ski hat last night. It was awesome.
My head feels like it has mint or wintergreen on it…..you know that “cool” feeling?
Diesel (our dog) never even noticed my hair was gone. Dogs are awesome.
I took a shower last night and still used shampoo and conditioner. I don’t like rubbing my head against the grain of the hair…..so I could only wash it in one direction. I’ll get used to it. I didn’t have to put a towel on my head afterwards. I just pat my head dry!
I watched the video from yesterday this morning with Boo and it got to the point where she’s staring at me and I asked her what she was thinking at this moment. She said: I was thinking “are you sure about this?”
All of your comments and messages about the rite of passage video and the cancer chronicles are so overwhelming. And so appreciated. I am completely humbled. I don’t think of myself as an inspiration. I mean, why should my simple little life be at all inspiring? I don’t know…..someone said yesterday that I have a lot of readers and maybe that this is why I was chosen to have cancer. Maybe? I know everything can have meaning behind it….and I don’t want to waste it.
Here’s the honest truth: I do choose joy everyday. There is rarely a moment that I am not upbeat and positive. I’ve been questioned countless times through email: there’s no way you could be this upbeat, it’s not normal, it’s too exhausting, it’s weird. Maybe it’s not normal, maybe it is weird. But it takes less energy. Life is terminal….I’m going to die. That’s the only thing I know for sure. I could be worried about paying medical bills….but I know we’ll figure it out. I could get angry at an incorrect order at a restaurant….but I’d only ruin the waiter’s day. I could be self conscious about what I’m wearing but everyone else is probably self conscious too….and it sounds ridiculous for all of us to be in a group being self conscious about ourselves. We aren’t living in the movie Heathers. With any inconvenience I try to tell myself: This too shall pass. And I know it will. The hardest part is realizing it before anger and frustration set in. I remember one day when I couldn’t find Boo’s lunch tickets for school…..all prepaid. Brett was out of town and I was feeling overwhelmed. I got so flustered and frustrated and we were late for school and I took everything from the counter……and literally threw it all very dramatically all over the kitchen floor yelling “NOW let’s see if I can find the @#$@#$ ticket!” Papers, magazines, pencils, snacks…..everywhere. Boo just stood there in horror. She probably thought she was next. The second we walked in the school office Boo said “Ooooh, Mommy made the biggest mess. She threw stuff all over the kitchen. She was so mad. And she said a bad word.” All I could say was “yep, I need a chill pill. pronto.” It was just a stupid lunch ticket. I probably lost a year off my life with that little rager. I probably lost another year cleaning up the huge mess. And it breaks my heart to think about how horribly Boo’s day started out. It wasn’t worth it.
Anyway, it is just impossible for me to respond to all your comments from yesterday, and if you’ve been around a while you know I like to respond. So I wanted to say thank you. You took precious time out of your day to comment and I want you to know that I appreciate it. I read every comment.