Ellie painted her self portrait in school this week. It just melted my heart when I saw it. I love how she sees herself, she is just so happy. My favorite part is the little headwrap she put atop her head. She is just so precious and I love her so much.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
In this photo Ellie is undergoing her first round of chemotherapy. She was so beat down and sick that day and her expression just about killed me. We have come such a long way from when this photo was taken and even though it was one of our lowest days, we survived and emerged even stronger than before.
There are many more amazing photos over at I ♥ Faces... check them out!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This is my first placemat that I produced!
The wide format printer has arrived and I gave Ellie the honors to pick whatever design she wanted. She chose this cute ghost. Totally fits in with my Halloween theme today.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
In the meantime, I will enjoy the pop of color that the leaves offer, the crunchy echo when I walk in the woods; the smell of a fire pit that transforms me right back to being 10 years old; the fun of picking out Halloween costumes and decorating the house in orange, brown and dark reddish hues; the crisp cool air that will fill my lungs when Steve and I go for our walk; the fun of going to local farms for apple picking, corn mazes, wagon rides and hot cider; all of these traditions of fall I am looking forward to. I guess I have to admit I am glad it is here. Goodbye Summer, I will miss you and will be eagerly awaiting your return.
In other random news, I am very busy with work. This is great since I enjoy what I do and I am happy that the new designs are being well received. Yesterday Script and Scribble released the melamine plates that I designed over the summer and today a slew of plate orders came in. I am still designing birthday invitations and new holiday designs so the fun of designing is still a happening thing.
hmmm... what else is going on...Ellie and I had an interview with Richmond magazine this afternoon. We talked about Ellie's journey and our connection and dedication to raising awareness for St. Jude and pediatric cancer. The article will be out in November and will tie in nicely with the Richmond Thanks and Giving walk for St. Jude. During the interview we gave all of the glory to God and the reporter was very moved about so many of the divine occurrences that we have experienced. I hope that she will have the courage to keep that tone in her article. I have found that the mainstream media seems to omit much of the religious glorification when they report these stories. Just something that we have to keep talking about and eventually it will be heard.
Right before our interview today, I received a call from St. Jude about doing another interview this Thursday. The interview today was not orchestrated by St. Jude. The editor heard of Ellie's story and wanted to feature a story about a local cancer survivor. The interview on Thursday has more of a St. Jude slant and is with InStyle magazine or Life and Style magazine but I forgot which one she said. The editor saw the recent piece on Access Hollywood with Jennifer Aniston and Ellie and wanted to do a story on her. I love that Ellie is still being remembered and asked to participate. During chemo last year it was a great distraction to see Ellie in magazines and on tv. It certainly helped get us through some of the tougher days. After the Access Hollywood show aired last week we heard from several people that did not know Ellie prior to this that they were very moved by her story and in a world where all you hear about is cancer deaths, she was inspiring. That makes all of this worthwhile. It's another blessing that Ellie is able to bring hope to those parents and kids that are going through their cancer journey that they too can come through it and be better for it in the end. It's all about finding the good.
I just noticed that there are a lot of words up there and sadly there are no pretty pictures. So unlike me to do that to you. So...here are some extremely adorable little owls that I found on this cute website. I believe I actually squealed when I saw them. I defintely have to go and buy one
hundred of these.
Monday, September 21, 2009
So we had a quick visit in South Carolina but lots of fun was had and today the girls are off to school and Steve off to work. Another busy week is on the horizon for us. Tomorrow Ellie will be interviewed by Richmond Magazine which is a local publication and Wednesday we are speaking on behalf of St Jude and the Thanks and Giving walk at a local restaurant. We have friends coming to stay with us this weekend and our neighborhood is having a yard sale on Saturday and we have soooo much stuff to unload that we just have to participate. I have turned over the majority of the yard sale task to Steve so I have fingers crossed that everything will be organized and good to go come the crack of dawn Saturday....because I do believe that is when the hardcore yard salers start showing up. It will also be a busy week for me workwise which I love. I am so grateful to be back home this fall and back into a routine. Just knowing that the girls are at school and that they are healthy, happy and full of God's love makes my heart sing.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Head over to I ♥ Faces to see some more amazing photos.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I weeded the front and back garden, cutting back lots of overgrown plants.
Here is the clematis that climbs our front light pole. I cut it back at the beginning of August and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it quickly grew back and bloomed again.
Every year I plant Impatiens on either side of the deck stairs in the back. By this time in the summer, they are flowing over the stone wall and I love the way they look. I am grateful the deer didn't come to snack on them this year.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Ghouly Strawberries are courtesy of Little Ant Designs.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
My sweet Ellie got to experience her 'first day' going to First Grade today. Last year she was in the middle of an aggressive chemotherapy treatment plan and we were living 14 hours from home in Memphis. Experiencing all that we have over the last 16 months makes today's back to school, the most anticipated and exciting day ever!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Emma is all set with her school stuff too. Steve brought the girls to the middle school this morning and got everything settled into Emma's locker. No photos to share since Dad was in charge of that outing. Emma is excited about school too. She missed out on the first day fun last year since we were in Memphis so I am beyond happy that she is getting to experience it all on Tuesday. I cannot believe she is already in 7th grade and going in with mascara on her lashes to boot. She turns 13 in October and we promised she could wear some light makeup in 7th grade. Turning 40 and having a daughter that wears makeup - what is happening here??
This holiday weekend will be a busy one. Tomorrow I head up for a dear friends, father's funeral in Northern Virginia. Her dad had suffered for a few months with cancer and I know it is a blessing for the family that he is out of pain and free now. I recall the day like yesterday that my father passed and it doesn't matter how it happens, it is hard. A void that can never be filled. On Sunday we have a wedding to go to. It's the girls first wedding and they are super excited to go. Thankfully it's local so we don't have to travel too far. So two very different occasions to attend but I am grateful to be here to offer love and support on both fronts. Hopefully Monday we can have a cook-out or get one last swim in at the pool. To everyone reading - have a fun and safe end to summer.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Last month she had a giveaway. If you left a comment on her blog, she would choose a winner at random... guess who won? ME!!! I was so excited. The package arrived in the mail last week and the girls and I had so much fun opening everything. I knew I won a cute little felt bag with a cheerful flower sewn on it but I didn't know it would be stuffed with lots of goodies. Here is what was in the bag. Don't forget to head on over toPaper and String and see for yourself how amazing everything is....while you're there buy some owls...
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
There is so much still to be done regarding pediatric cancer. Huge strides, improvements and quality of life have been made in the last 10 years. If Ellie was diagnosed with a supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor in her brain just 15 years ago, she likely would not be here with us today. Heck, I don't even know if they would have had a name for the type of tumor she had back then. Lots of really positive changes have been made. I am grateful to the scientists, researchers, oncologists, & neurosurgeons that have greatly improved the length of life and the quality of that life for those suffering from cancer. Even with all these improvements, kids are still dying. If they aren't dying from cancer, they are dying from the chemotherapy treatment and its abrasive and toxic nature. I do believe cancer will be cured in my lifetime. I pray the breakthrough comes quickly and the map to turning off these mutant cancer cells is discovered.
September has been chosen as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I talked about the importance of that on Ellie's website. Please take a minute and read that entry. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ellie1
I 'officially' have the month of September to do my part and spread awareness. Tonight I will leave you with a few facts and figures from Candlelighters a website that puts the spotlight on pediatric cancer. Thanks for listening and spreading the word. Our kids are counting on us.
Childhood Cancer Facts