Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thirty-One Bags

Have you heard of this growing company?  (Hubby wish I hadn't!  hahaha!  They have the cutest bags and are very functional for all events! My favorite is their utility bag which I used all summer for their beach towels, swim suits, goggles, sunscreen, water bottles, and extra clothes to change after the beach.  The company is growing quickly! (moving from the East Coast and quickly adjusting well here in the West Coast).   A former customer, Stefanie, is a director of her group.  She was so excited for her team that she placed an order for 6 "thirty.one" pendants (with chains) so that she may give them as a gift for being on her team.  I was very excited to make her these beautiful necklaces for her team.  Go Stef, go!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Cancer Survivor Story by Kelley

Remember awhile back I asked for your survivor stories?  Saimi was the only person to comment.  So, she won a pendant for her friend, Kelley!
Below is the email I received from Saimi:

Here is the cancer story written by my friend, cancer survivor, Kelley:

"In March of 2008, I felt a lump in my breast during a breast self-exam that I try to do monthly. It felt different from my previous self examinations so I went to my doctor who then referred me to our local Oncology care facility for woman where a mammogram awaited me.  After the results came in, I was called back for an ultrasound and biopsy. The doctor was unable to get a core biopsy, so I was referred for a 'needle-guided' biopsy at the hospital. This procedure involves using a mammogram machine to flatten the breast, then a needle is inserted. Once the needle is inserted, I underwent  minor surgery where they removed a small  portion of the breast at the location of the needle.

This surgical biopsy happened in May, two months after my initial self-examination. After a few days waiting for the results, the doctor himself called, after hours, to inform me of the results. I had cancer. 

Devastated, my husband and I met with the Oncologist to discuss the possible outcomes. Naturally I was upset and scared, but the doctor was kind and understanding, taking the time to explain everything in detail, all the while jotting down notes. We spoke for over an hour and by the time our appointment was finished, the doctor was gracious enough to make copies of his notes so I could take them home and process the information.

The cancer I had is called, 'ductal carcinoma in situ', meaning the cancer was only in the mammary ducts which was good news. Since it had not yet spread outside of the ducts, my prognosis was very good.

More times than not a surgical biopsy removes the cancer and further surgery is usually not needed.  My case was not so open and shut. My biopsy did not come back with 'clean margins' meaning the cancer cells were so close to the edge of the tissue sample that further surgery was needed. 

Back in I went for what they call a 'wide excision.' It's a procedure where a wider wedge is cut from the breast around the site of the first biopsy insuring the removal of any remaining cancer cells. This happened in July of 08.

I couldn't have been happier as the surgery went well, my 'margins' came back clean and, although chemotherapy was not needed, I underwent radiation treatment in August right about the time I was starting a new job. Luckily my new employers were understanding, as I only had enough endurance to work half days.

While undergoing my daily dose of radiation, It was a comfort to chat and share stories with other woman who were going through the same thing. Despite the radiation 'sunburn' I handled the treatment rather well.

A date that will never leave my mind, was the date of my last radiation treatment. October 3rd, 2008. A Happy day indeed but still not out of the woods, I was prescribed Tamoxifen, a drug which blocks estrogen in the breast tissue. The type of cancer I had was encouraged by estrogen.

My continuing checkups involved breast exams, mammograms and breast MRIs every three months for three years. After my three year mark, my follow up appointments were scaled down to every six months. 

I will reach my five year cancer free date in October of 2013!"

Kelley, Thank you for sharing your story.  This pendant (chain not included)  is on its way to you!  I hope you wear it with pride!  Congratulations on your success story!

Survivor Pendant

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Funny thing tonight

(and most nights, really!)

I was putting the youngest to bed.  I kind of have to pretend I am sleeping and not talk to him while he tosses and turns, etc.  The whole ordeal - but not really an "ordeal."  It's just what he needs to do.  (Middle son used to request that I hold his hand before he fell asleep each night -- to each his own routine.)   It takes him literally less than 5 minutes to fall asleep.  Regardless, I still need to lay down and pretend I am asleep while he falls asleep.

So... there I am laying down and pretending to sleep.  He tosses and turns... then turns to me and says he loves me and hugs me.  (Mind you, we've already done the whole hugs, kisses, love you routine after the bed time story).  I pretend not to hear him -- because, again, I am asleep.  So he says it again and kisses me. (I'm about to lose it here!)  Alas, I hang in there... So he gives up and knows that I will not respond (because remember, I'm supposed to be asleep!).  And what do you think he does?!  He moves my lips for me and says in a very deep voice (didn't know my voice was THAT deep!)... and says, "I love you too."  Then he turns over a few more times, kicks the blanket off his bed and falls asleep!  And that was that!

I get out of his bed and run outside to laugh -- I needed that laugh this evening!  That boy, he tries my patience EVERYDAY!  :0

Gotta love him, right?!  Yep, I LOVE him!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another Pioneer Woman success recipe

I really enjoy reading The Pioneer Woman's blog.  She makes me laugh... a LOT!  :0  Her book is pretty funny too.  She always finds a way to make me laugh even when giving directions on how to cook.  Gotta love that about anybody!  The other night I made this for dinner.  I followed her recipe this time - wasn't about to mess it up with my "winging" around!
I couldn't find my large casserole dish... (hey, Matt, is it at your house still?!)  so I made them in a few dishes!  But I found that to be an advantage in the end.  Why you ask?  Because as I was putting the ingredients together I realized she asked for 2 cans of diced green chili, green onions, and cilantro.  Errrr, the children will not appreciate those at all!  So, I assembled the children's dish with just the sauce, meat, cheese, and olives.  They LOVED it!  Middle son even asked for leftovers for lunch.  Gotta love that boy!  (He eats left overs!  His future wife will love me for teaching him young to appreciate left overs.  You're welcome, my dear!).  The other 2 dishes I assembled everything as prescribed... and even hubby made time to stop chewing to say to me, "Yum, is this a new recipe?"  Why yes it is!  (And you might soon be getting sick of it if the children ask for it again!)


For A Sponsor

My dear friend and college roommate, Uyen, ordered this for a special person in her family's life.  This is for Genny.  A wonderful woman who sponsored Uyen and her family to America.  The story is beautiful and touching.  It reminds me of my own story and how my family was sponsored to America.  It makes me teary eyed thinking about it.

Anyway, this is for Genny.  Uyen chose 3 words to describe this woman who has a very special place in Uyen and her family's heart.  Then we added her October birthstone (opal).  Genny is flying to California from Michigan to visit at the end of September.  Genny came last year to visit for the first time.  However, this time around she is coming to visit with her daughter and daughter in law.  It will be a special time for everyone... and for Genny who will be celebrating a birthday!  Happy birthday Genny.  You are an amazing person for doing what you did so many years ago to bring Uyen and her family to America.  Thank you for being an important person in my dear friend's life.  May you wear this pendant and remember what an amazing person you are and the lives you have touched with such a simple gesture of love, kindness, and support.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Hubby!

We had a simple meal (roast beef, roast potatoes, steamed broccoli, and flan for dessert). We always keep our birthdays simple.  I made him this because one of his favorite books is Lord of the Rings.  I saw the saying on Pinterest and thought of hubby immediately.

1 1/4" sterling silver circle disc $40

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Butterfly love

This is for a special little 3 year old girl... for Christmas (with a June birthday - pearl birthstone). Yes, the person who placed this order is truly on top of things!  (So you know it's not a gift from me... I'm barely thinking about Halloween costumes!)

What about you... have your children decided what they would like to be for Halloween yet?  I often like to make their costumes... but this year, I think I may have to cheat and purchase them!  Let's see...

(5/8" circle disc $10, pearl $3, stainless steel ball chain $5)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

His Dragon...

"Not all dragons have to be scary, mom."

(And so he says... But apparently, they all must have flames coming out of their mouths and smoke too!  Not scary?  Says whom?!)