Saturday, May 25, 2013

What A Difference A Year Makes

As I was looking at my blog, for a specific card, I realized I have not updated in almost a year exactly. Unfortunately the last couple of years have been plagued by multiple medical issues, and there have been many new ones to add to the list. Jake, the kids, and I are healthy, but there have been multiple doctors appointments and hospital trips between our two families. I would like to share about my mother. If you have visited my blog before you may remember that in February 2012, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had an upper right lobectomy March 5, 2012 in which they removed the cancer, a few surrounding lymph nodes,and by summer we were given the most amazing news. No evidence of disease. Although we knew that there was a chance of recurrence, we did everything the doctors told us, never missed an appointment or scan. I guess you could say we were blissfully ignorant. On October 27, 2012, my mother was having a baby shower for my brother and his wife in her home. She was overly excited that we would soon have a new addition to our family, especially since my oldest was getting ready to turn 8. That day, we were at a pee wee football game about 30 minutes away. During Chisum's 5 minute halftime, I did something I never do and something that I can only attribute to God's urging. I walked out of the field to call my mother. I was excited that we would be done earlier with the playoff games than we originally thought, so the girls and I would be able to attend the shower. When I called, she sounded very off and asked me the most terrifying question I believe I have ever been asked. She asked me, "Why are there all of these decorations, drinks, and food here?" I knew right away that something was not right so I continued talking to her for a few minutes before I had her take the phone to my dad who was napping. I told him to talk with her, and if he noticed what I did to call 911. Within 15 minutes, paramedics were there (while we were closer to the hospital, so we just stayed put) and found nothing abnormal with her vitals, she was answering questions correctly, and as they were disconnecting her to leave, she said she didn't feel well and collapsed. She flat lined at their house, so my mother in law, Callie and I headed to the hospital as they decided to care flight her. We live about 45 minutes away from the nearest hospital, but that day we were only about 15 minutes away because the location of the football game was just outside the city where the hospital is. Care flight was mid transport of another patient, and my mother was so critical that the ambulance took off with her. About 20 miles away, she flat lined again and they had to intubate her and the ambulance stopped so care flight could get her and get her to the hospital quicker. My dad beat the care flight there, and we had already been there for about 30 minutes. We learned later that she had flat lined a third time, so until she was stable the care flight could not take off. When she finally arrived at the hospital, she was not conscious due to heavy sedation they had her under. The ER Doctors were originally under the impression that it was her heart that had created the problems. About 5 hours later, they performed a CT Scan on her brain, and came back and said they wanted to take her for an MRI because they noticed an abnormality in the brain. The MRI confirmed that she had a 15 mm frontal lobe metastasis, and this was creating seizures that caused her to flatline. We were shocked, upset, and in complete disbelief as she had been to the oncologist only a week earlier with the same NED diagnosis. We met with the neurosurgeon who said it had to be removed, and if it was not removed her prognosis was 1-4 months. After 36 hours, they finally started to wake my mother. She underwent a craniotomy on November 1, 2012 and the subsequent MRI revealed that they had removed it all. She came home on November 3 and she had some short term memory loss, but we praised God for His Mercy and for allowing us to keep my mother. On November 26, she began 13 days of Whole Brain Radiation (to kill off any microscopic disease), and was discharged from the Radiation Oncologist on December 12 after he last treatment. Then it was a sit and wait for 3 months until we could have an MRI to make sure that everything they had done was working. We had an amazing Christmas, and she was back to herself. But, by mid January she began to have headaches, and I felt as if I was always on the phone with either the oncologist or the neurosurgeon. By the end of February, we were trying to get them to move up the MRI. On March 1, my mom, my dad, and I went to her oncologist appointment, with a stop at the American Cancer Society to pick out a new human hair wig for her that Pantene had so generously donated. I cried because about her 9th day in to the WBR, clumps of hair began to come out so she asked me to shave it off. It was truly one of the amazing, inspiring, emotional, and humbling experiences of my life. So, when she put on that wig, I cried because of the journey we had been on, and where we were at. We got a thumbs up from the oncologist. March 2, a Saturday (again), we were in a different town (again) watching Callie at a power lifting meet when my dad called and said that my mom had went to use the restroom and when she came out she told him that she didn't know what happened but she had woke up on the cold tile and had no idea how she got there. I told him we had to get her to the hospital. The ER did a CT scan and although it was clear, we knew something was not right. That Monday, I called the neurosurgeon who scheduled her for an immediate MRI. Wednesday, March 5, we learned that the tumor was not only back, but the same size. The next day we met with the neurosurgeon who said our only option was one round of Stereotactic Radio Surgery. It is high dose of radiation directed at one spot. So, on March 27, she underwent the SRS. Her headaches disappeared, but everything else seemed to be going downhill. I called the oncologist on April 15 because she had developed a severe cough, and the next morning we took my mother in. The oncologist was off that duty, but her PA saw my mom. My mom could barely keep her eyes open, and I had to answer every question. The PA and the nurse took me into their office, and said something I had prayed I never had to hear. It was time for hospice. In that moment, filled with so many emotions, questions, and heart break, my world stopped. Since she could not stay awake, and she was dehydrated, they wanted to give her IV fluids. During that couple of hours, her oncologist came in, hugged me, and said it was time. She decided that we would bring my mother back on Friday, April 19, and she would approach the subject with my mother. So, we did. My mother agreed, and on that day, we stopped fighting the cancer. The next day, hospice came out and did her admission. At that point, she was still mobile, coherent, and her faith was inspirational and unwavering. The kids and I stayed at my parents house each day until 8 or 9 each night, but on May 3, I started staying at nights. It is still difficult to talk about, but God called my mother home on May 10 at 12:40 am with me, my dad, my grandmother, Jake, Callie (our oldest), and Callie's boyfriend of almost 2 years, all by my mother's side. I was blessed that the last hour of her life, I had the privilege (everyone was trying to get some rest) of laying beside my precious momma, holding her hand, kissing her, and telling her that no daughter had ever loved a mother so much. I finally had Jake get my dad, and we were all standing or sitting on the hospital bed when she drew her last breath. I miss her so much, and there are times when it is completely unbearable. I miss her touch, I miss her voice, and I miss her. The last 16 months, my time has been dedicated to my momma whether it was making her appointments, going with them to the doctors, or just listening to her when she wanted to talk. I have been so fortunate to be able to be there. I was able to be with her every day. We laughed, we cried, we prayed, and we grew closer to each other and God. I didn't just lose my mother, I lost my best friend. But, she is with our Heavenly Father, she is happy, she is healthy, and she is healed. I just need my head and my heart to get on the same page. We are beginning down the long road of healing, and I have been told that scrapbooking and crafting are very therapeutic healing techniques. So, I have been making some cards, and other things. But, today I won't post them. Today, I wanted to share where my heart and I have been the last 16 months. Please remember my family in your prayers. She was our rock, the wife to my father, the mother of 2 (but she considered it 4 because of my husband and my brother's wife), the greatest Nana to 7 grandchildren, a testimony to Grace, and a wonderful example of His Love. I look forward to getting back into card making, and this time I want to see where God leads me with it. Today, I leave you with this.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Front Porch Kit Spotlight

Hi everyone! Today all the designers will be spotlighting one of their recent projects from the Sew Artsy kit from Front Porch Kits. For my spotlight, I chose Hattie Hoop :) I was not quite sure what I would do with her when I received it in the mail. Of course, embroidery popped in my head, but I wanted something bigger. The chipboard dress form caught my eye, and I started to brainstorm. The vintage pattern in the kit really got me thinking. So here is what I did. First, I took the grey material and pulled it tight through the hoop. Next, I took and hot glued the green fabric in a ruffle pattern around the edge. I also added the black and white fabric on top of it for a contrast. The fun part for me was taking the vintage pattern and cutting thin strips, spritzing it with Shimmerz and making a ton of rosettes. I added the rosettes to the edge of the hoop. Next came the dress form. I cut off the long neck to form a v neck. I covered it with the black and white material and added the blue trim. At the bottom, I just added layer upon layer of the rosettes. I love the way it turned out. But, it was not complete. I created a template for the vintage style hat. I covered it with the material, the trim, added some white lace, a rosette, and a feather. Finally I found a sentiment that I thought was fitting for this, because this is to be a gift for a friend. I debated on whether I wanted to leave it as it was or if I wanted to actually create a wall hanging. I opted for the wall hanging. I used some off white satin ribbon, and added one last rosette as the final touch. There are only a few of these kits left, so go snag yours up today :) We are taking off for the weekend to go visit Dinosaur Valley State Park and walk where the dinosaurs did. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More Sew Artsy Projects

I am back to share a few more projects from the Sew Artsy kit from Front Porch Kits. Make sure to scroll down all the way after the photos. I have listed the entire product list of the Sew Artsy Kit! I keep saying that this kit is filled with so much goodness! Here you can finally see it :) Now, check out these cards. The fabric in the kit is so bold and bright. I am down to using literally scraps :)
Sew Artsy Kit Content List: 1 Sew Artsy BluePrints Guide Printed Papers & Cardstock: 9 Printed 12x12 papers(Christy Tomlinson – She Art; Heidi Swapp-Sugar Chic; Jillibean Soup – Homemade; Theresa Collins- Fabrications; Lily Bee Designs- Victoria Park) 9 Cardstock 12x12 Papers – Prismatics (Bazzill Paper) 1 Cardstock Sticker Sheet 12x12 – Homemade (Jillibean Soup) Guest Surface: 1 Embroidery Hoop 10in. – (Hattie Hoop) Embellishments and Other Goodies: 1 package of Rub Ons – Doodle Art Stitches (She Art) 1 Chipboard Dressform – (Maya Road) 2 Wooden Button Adornments – (Adornit) 2 Canvas Tags & 1 Canvas Butterfly – (Maya Road) 3 Miniature Metal Hangers & 3 Miniature Wooden Spools – (Maya Road) 2 Spool Tokens – London Market (Pink Paislee) 2 Vintage Zippers –(Unique)colors will vary 3 Vintage Carded Button Packs – La Mode, Le Chic, Lansing (colors/styles will vary) 2 Floss Cards – (DMC) Assorted Floss – Black, Pink, Yellow 1 Vintage Sewing Pattern & Tissue – Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity (will vary) 4 Paint Chip Cards – Behr (colors will vary) 6 Resin Flowers – (Maya Road) 2 Button Stick Pins – (Maya Road) 1 Homemade Soup Labels – (Jillibean Soup) 4 Decorative Wood Buttons – (FabScraps) 1 Wooden Thread Spool Fabric Remnants: Black/white dot cotton, Green Floral Cotton, White Mesh, Black/White Check 3 Retro Polyester Squares 1 sheet batting – 12x12 1 sheet canvas drop cloth – 12x12 Ribbons & Trims: Vintage Lace Bundle Orange Macrame Cording 18 in. Black Satin Cording – 1 yd. (May Arts) Cherry Ruffled Trim – 1 yd. (Maya Road) Mini Turquoise Ruffle Trim – ½ yd. (Maya Road) Mini White Ric Rac – 1yd. (May Arts) Black Grosgrain w/ White Center Dot – 1yd. (May Arts) Yellow Pleated Tulle – (Maya Road) Pink Measuring Tape – 1yd. (Maya Road) Vintage Black Lace Scrap Remnant 1 Vintage Lace Package – Wrights (color/style will vary)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sew Artsy Kit and Projects

I am a little late posting as we have had some other health issues come up. I will explain more later, but I ask that you keep my family in your prayers :) Thank you in advance! Anyway, I am beyond thrilled to share with you the new Sew Artsy Kit from Front Porch Kits by The Little Blue House!! This kit is AMAZING, and I do not say that lightly!! It is filled with SEW many wonderful, beautiful, colorful, unique items, and you will most definitely not want to miss this kit! Make sure to head over to The Little Blue House to pre-order your Sew Artsy kit, and to also check out the fabulous projects that the Design Team has created. Talk about inspiration!! Here are some pictures of the kit, and all of the goodies!!!
This is just a small bit of the kit. Go to The Little Blue House for all the pictures and the supply list for this Sew Artsy, Sew super Cute kit!!!! Now, here are a few of my projects that I have far. There is SEW much in this kit, that I keep creating :) Meet Miss Hattie Hoop!!! I loved working with this. The rosettes are actually strips from the paper in the pattern. I spritzed it with some Shimmerz (not included). I covered the chipboard dress form from the kit with material, made a little template for the hat, and had a blast!!! The Design Team came up with SEW many different interpretations, and I love every one!!
The colors are over the top gorgeous in the kit. I love damask print, but then add some yellow and black, and YUM!!!
I think this is my favorite card. I used strips of the colorful fabric included in the kit, added some ribbon and lace at the bottoms, and wrapped them around the tiny hangers to make a hand towel thank you card. How much fun is this???
That is it for today. Stop back by tomorrow for a few more SEW cute projects from this kit. Hope everyone has a fantastic Monday :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day & More Sneaks

First of all, to all of the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, and friends. To all the women who contribute, mentor, and love children. Happy Mother's Day! For me, today means so many things. Today, I celebrate that God so graciously chose me to be the mother of our littles. I am beyond blessed by these 5 children, and I am so thankful that God saw fit to entrust them to me. I will never forget celebrating Mother's Day as a first time mom. Callie was 6 months old, and I was overjoyed. But, Mother's Day is so much more. For me, it is about celebrating the women in our lives. Today, I get to celebrate my mother, my mother in law, my grandmother, my husbands grandmother, my sister in laws, my cousins, my aunts, my friends, and more. Today, especially, I do get to celebrate Mother's Day with my mom, and it is an extraordinary feeling. I get to celebrate that my mother is a walking testimony to God's Grace, Mercy, and Love. I am so humbled that I get to just hug her and tell her how much I love her. My mother is not only my mother, but she is my best friend. She is always there to encourage me, support me, pick me up when I fall down, push me to be and do better, laugh with me, cry with me, and always ALWAYS there to love me. It seems like such an odd thing to say, but we can only find blessings from her having cancer. God has taken this and made our relationship stronger than I ever imagined, and we are closer than ever before. So, it's a good Mother's Day already :) Anyway! I am back today to share a couple of more sneak peaks from the new Sew Artsy kit from Front Porch Kits.

You can pre-order your Sew Artsy kit today by stopping by The Little Blue House. Tomorrow, I will show you a couple of more sneak peeks before we reveal the full kit on Tuesday! I hope you have been stopping by the other Front Porch Gals blogs to check out their sneaks. Once again, here are the links to these very talented ladies:

 Alrighty, that's it for today. Hoping and praying that everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day filled with smiles, laughter, hugs, and lots of love!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Front Porch Kit - Sew Artsy - Sneak Peeks!

Good Morning!!! I am very excited to be able to finally show you some sneak peeks of the new Front Porch Kit named Sew Artsy!
The banner for the kit itself, makes me smile! When I received the kit, within just a couple of days, I had a stack of projects done. From the minute I opened the box I was inspired. It is filled to the brim of SEW much scrappy goodness!!! Although I cannot show you all of the projects yet, I am able to give you a small sampling :) All of this leads up to the BIG reveal on Tuesday at The Little Blue House blog. Pre-Orders begin Today!!! Trust me, you do not want to let this kit get away from you! YUM! Simply click HERE to go to the website, and pre-order your Sew Artsy kit. SEW....Here are a couple of sneak peeks of my projects from the Sew Artsy kit! Make sure to come back tomorrow for some more peeks....and a little giveaway :) I can't let Mother's Day go by without giving something away!

Are you ready to see more? Make sure to stop by all the Front Porch Gals blogs to check out their sneak peeks.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Much Needed Vacation

I have not posted in a while because with everyone healing, it has been crazy. But, I am so thankful that it seems everyone is doing great :) In fact, better than great!!!! God has done immeasurably above and beyond what I prayed for. I am truly blessed beyond belief! Also, we just returned from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. My sweet husband thought we both needed a vacation, so we spontaneously took off for a week. We literally booked the trip Monday afternoon, and left the next night. We were able to drive through the country there, and it was beautiful. At the same time, it really made me even more appreciative of everything God has given us. So, an extremely short look at our week in paradise :)
We only got back on Wednesday, but things are right back to normal. Funny how that always seems to be the case!!! Starting tomorrow, I will be posting some sneak peeks about the new Front Porch Kit!!! It is fabulous, and I have had such a great time with it. I can't wait to share. Make sure to stop back by tomorrow for the first round of sneaks :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Card!

** Warning** Photo heavy post :)

During the week, we have celebrated that He is Risen, and had a wonderful church service with my whole family. Then yesterday was my youngest daughter's birthday! Time goes by so fast, and I cannot believe that she is 9. She is my little fashionista so she was all about shopping for clothes for her big day.

I made this card for her birthday. All items are from Dear Lizzy Neapolitan Collection. The sentiment is from Kaisercraft. I purchased the entire collection from Two Peas in a Bucket and Stop and Scrap. This card just really reminded me of my precious sweetheart!

It is just such a happy little card, and I have always said she is my sunshine :)

We had a wonderful time at church on Easter Sunday. My mother was able to attend church for the first time since her surgery, and it just made the day extraordinary. Before I overload you with photos from Easter, I want to share a fun and cute Easter card that I made. Of course it is simple, which is my style.

Lots of kraft cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I also used some Jillibean Soup from last year, the pearls are from Kaisercraft, and the sticker in the center is from Wal-Mart.

Now, here is my beautiful family on Easter :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful start to their week!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I feel so badly that I have yet to announce the winners of the giveaways. I have to be very honest. I had debated about whether to close the contest on Easter Sunday or today, as it is my Shelby Jo's Birthday. For some reason (probably lack of sleep, anxiety, etc.) I thought I had put down to end it today. Then I received an email asking if I was okay, and I went back and looked. I am so very sorry. I am sorry for letting everyone down. I am trying so hard to get a handle on everything happening, including my aunt (my dad's sister) having stomach cancer surgery on Tuesday. They had to remove her entire stomach. But, no excuses. I don't believe in excuses. I messed up..BIG TIME. Please, forgive me?

So, to make it up to you, I have decided that everyone who commented is a winner!!!! That's right! I am sending out prizes to each of you who took the time to comment and share the giveaway. Of course, there are still the BIG prizes, so let's get to that first:

Grand Prize: $50 to Two Peas In A Bucket, and a TON of new Dear Lizzy

Savannah O'Gwynn said...
Praise the LORD for His wonderful love and goodness! So happy that your mom and grandma have such great news! HUGS!

Second Prize: Crate Paper Random Collection

Jojorenee said...
“The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting!"

Keep up the good work the card is cute!

Third Prize: Basic Grey Konnichiwa

April said...
Danielle, you're so generous!!! Thank you for the chance to win such amazing prizes!
- April

NOW for the following people:







Stephanie Conley


Email me all of your addresses at I will sending each of you a great prize pack also. This is my way of saying how sorry I am, and how much I appreciate the constant support and encouragement. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. So, Everyone is a Winner today!!!

Congratulations Ladies!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hi, Soapbox! Let Me Climb On!

I think people may have the wrong impression of me. I am sure I have contributed. For the umpteenth time I have heard about how perfect my life is. Huh? Don't get me wrong, I know how extremely Blessed I am, but the constant smile on my face is courtesy of thick makeup and some great anti-aging products. Just because I don't break down when we see each other and talk is because I absolutely cannot stand the, "Poor Danielle. She isn't coping well." I don't want any sympathy. Just nod along and say, "Yeah. That sucks!"

Life is tough! For everyone. Each of us are thrown different hard balls, and the only thing we can choose is how we handle it. So although I may not 100% of the time feel it, I CHOOSE it! I choose to accept God's Will over mine. I choose to believe that no matter what His Will is, He will give me the strength, grace, and peace to get through. I choose to make lemonade from lemons.

So, please do not mistake my faith for my having a perfect life. Do not mistake my smile for strength. Because I have neither. Sure! I could dwell on the hundreds of problems coming at us. But, why? It will not help anyone or anything.

Now. I will continue on my perfect day. Oh. Wait. My perfectly precious yorkie just managed to puke on my new rug:)

Choose it. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Mind's Eye, Canvas, and Wood

Callie and Ethan are out of school this week for Spring Break, so we finally have a chance to breathe. Monday we went to see my arm surgeon who finally, after 10 weeks, removed my cast. I still have to wear a brace for the foreseeable future, but I think I can handle that :)

Have you heard about the giveaways/random acts of kindness going on here? If not, make sure to check out this post for all the details! Also, For The Luv of Art is having a membership drive! Here is what is on the blog:

"I am so excited to let everyone know that For The Luv of Art is growing....and we are approaching 400 members on the forum!! So in honor of this achievement we are going to celebrate, but first we have to reach 400. So its time to spread the word about For The Luv of Art to your co-workers, friends, family, neighbors, blog followers, and anyone that you can think of. So how this is going to work is once For The Luv of Art reaches 400 members in the forum we are going to give away a $25 gift card to the For The Luv of Art store to one lucky random winner! The only requirements to be included in the drawing for the gift card is you have to be an active member of the forum. This means you either have had to join the forum at For The Luv of Art since January 1, 2012 or post in the forum at For The Luv of Art since January 1, 2012."

So, come and join us over at the forum for fun, friends, challenges, and prizes!!

I have a new card to share using My Mind's Eye Be Amazing Collection, a canvas circle, some corrugated shapes, and a couple of Studio Calico wooden alphas. I really like the colors in this collection, and I love how well they go together with these natural elements.

And here is a close up of embellishment made with all of these elements.

Alrighty. I am off to enjoy the day with my love and my littles. Hope you all have a great day, too!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebrate Good Times

Oh, silly me. I was overly excited in my last post, and I forgot to add one little tiny detail.... A date to announce the winners!!! I also am going to refer to this now as a Random Act of Kindness because this is from my personal stash...which is now overflowing. BUT, that gave me extra time to think of some ways to make the RAKS more fun :) AND, to celebrate my DCM (designated card maker) position at For The Luv of Art, I have decided to add two more RAKs, and more chances to win. Ready?

Here is what you need to do:
1.) Leave a comment on either this post or the previous post.

For Extra Entries you can:
1.) Come join in the fun at the For The Luv of Art forum
2.) Post a link of your own blog back to this post
3.) Share on Facebook
4.) Send your friends here (make sure they say you sent them)
5.) Send your friends to the FTLOA Forum

Make sure to come back by Easter Sunday, April 8, and leave a comment letting me know what you have done, and each time I will write your name on a piece of paper and toss it in to the hat. I will announce the winners on April 10!!!

NOW!!! Do you want to know what else I have added to the prize list???? Are you ready?????

First prize - $50.00 Gift Certificate to Two Peas In A Bucket AND this:
**The date stamp is not Dear Lizzy, but Studio Calico**

From the Dear Lizzy Neapolitan Collection:
13 12 x 12 Double Sided Patterned Paper
1 Lovely Afternoon Velum 12 x 12
1 Endless Summer Stitched Ruffle Crepe Yellow
1 Sun Kissed Stitched Ruffle Crepe Pink
1 Happy Chance Pennant Flutterbys
1 Borders, Accents, and Phrases Sticker Sheet
1 Minimarks, Accents, Phrases Rub-On Sheet
1 Jar Acrylic Stamp
1 Parakeet Tile Letter Stickers
1 Ballerina Tile Letter Stickers

Second Prize -

Crate Paper Random 12 x 12 Collection includes 18 double sided papers, 1 Die Cut sheet, border stickers, phrase stickers, Stand Outs stickers, and Random Buttons.

And Third:

Basic Grey Konnichiwa 12 x 12 Collection. Includes 12 double sided paper, 1 coordinating alphabet, 2 (I added an extra) coordinating cardstock sticker, and 1 sheet of additional stickers.

Good luck :)