embracing my new normal

Oct 9, 2017

Well, I had a Britney Spears moment last week.....

Okay, kidding kidding, but it was most definitely time to let go of my hair! Maybe the decision and the process of letting it go is a blog post for another time. Today I would rather focus on embracing it! 

And truly, as crazy as it may sound, I really like the buzz cut! I have always wanted to shave my head, this dates back to many many years ago. Remember when the whole, shaving one side of your head and keeping the rest long was a thing? Or maybe it was just a thing in music videos.....but I was dead set on doing it. My employer at the time was not as keen on the idea. Something about me being very young but in a much higher position in the company, and wanting to be taken seriously. I get it, and I got it then too. 

So I never really had the balls to do it. Nothing like cancer to make you grow a pair, right? 
Now, obviously the buzz cut won't last. These little hairs may not even make it to next week at the rate they are falling out. Losing my hair has really never been a worry for me since my diagnosis. I know everyone around me approaches it very delicately, especially when they saw the insane amount of hair I had to began with. But I was always like FUCK the hair, KILL the cancer! 

I know this is not everyones reaction. Every person reacts differently to this drastic of a change. My nurses and doctors made sure to layout the multitude of options I have to help, should I choose to use them. Wigs, hats, scarves, hats with fake pony tails....the list goes on. But I have always wanted to just embrace my bald head when the time came. 
blouse: h&m (sold out online, but check in store!) // jeans: levis // shoes: target (this years version) // bag: thirty one bits

When I was first diagnosed I obviously didn't care about blogging. Who would? I didn't know if I wanted to share any of this. I had the thought that I will just go away quietly and fight this awful thing. It is what I needed at first (the whole process leading up to my final diagnosis was about two months). Time to wrap my head around it. But then I needed to get back to me, to my normal. 

I'll be honest, the thought of outfit posts seemed very trivial, and down right silly. I mean, how the hell do you go from cancer to....hey this is what I wore today

But that is just it. I still get dressed, I still put on makeup, I still go out and do things. Cancer is a very shitty part of my life right now, but it is not my whole life. Doing things that are "normal" keep me sane. And I always tell Chris and the kids, when I feel good we need to do all the things, eat all the foods, and get out of the house. 

So, I am still going to talk outfits, beauty, skincare, and hashtag mom life. Sound good? 



a not so secret garden

Oct 5, 2017

Well, hello again! Let me first start out by saying THANK YOU! Thank you all so much for your sweet comments, messages, emails, texts, and cards. Truly it means a lot. And I was overwhelmed with the amount of encouragement and support from all of you. Virtual hugs to you all! 

Everyday looks a little different for me in terms of the way I feel. Some days I am so full of energy that Chris gets a little worried that I will overdo it. I blame the steroids. Other days I will drop the ball on my water intake and I will be as good as napping. But over the weekend I just had to get out. I didn't care what we did (that is kind of a lie since I picked our next activity) I just wanted to be outside. 
And if there is a botanical garden within driving distance, you can I bet I will find it. And I have been wanting to go to this one since we moved here but it was always just too hot to be wondering around for hours listening to my children complain. 

Sunday granted us cooler temps and a nice breeze. Perfect botanical garden weather if you ask me. 
This garden has so much to see, and if my children didn't move as if they were on fire, I could have read all the plaques that accompanied each garden. Chris though.....he read them. 

I think we all agreed that the orchid house was probably our favorite spot. The smell!!! It was amazing, and my children actually listened to the whisper yells of DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING
The other really cool part was the bamboo maze! You can start at the bamboo tower and then work your way around. The kids ran around forever, and well, I started to get a little tired. But we all know what the goal is here.....child energy depletion!

So, we keep it moving. 
I loved being out and about! I hated being home and sick after my first chemo and Chris would take the kids to do stuff. I mean, yes, it is good for him and the kids to do those things no matter what state I am in. But I was like.....I wanna go tooooo! So this was great. 

And then I went home and took a two hour nap. 





the blog post i never thought i'd write.

Sep 28, 2017


Things have been slowing down around this blog, and with good reason. 

I debated for awhile on whether or not I wanted to share the news that has turned my life, and my family's completely upside down. I didn't know if I wanted this space to reflect the truth and the challenge that I have set before me. This blog has always been fun, light-hearted, and a space to follow our ever evolving adventure in life. In that, this space has always been honest. Some of you wonderful people have been reading since Avalon was just a few months old. You have followed us from state to state. And I have been fortunate enough to turn these blog comments into friendships. 

Even still...I didn't know if I wanted to share this. Maybe it would make it that much more real. 

But it is real. 

I was recently diagnosed with Stage IIB breast cancer. 



The main reason I wanted to write this post was because statistically there is less than a 1% chance of a 30 year old with no family history, getting breast cancer. But, here I am. 

I wanted to write this post because I found my own lump. 

I wanted to write this post to do away with the idea that breast cancer is only something you should start thinking about when you get your first mammogram. 

I wanted to write this post to tell you to KNOW YOUR BOOBS! Check them, touch them, look at them all the time! And if you question something don't think "oh, it's nothing.....it will go away". It could, or it could not. 
________________________________________________________________________________________

As for this blog, I don't know yet. I have loved this space for so long, and I definitely don't want it to turn into some doom and gloom, because that is not how I feel about this whole situation. I have a long road of treatment ahead, but I am damn confident I am going to kick the living fuck out of this disease. 

I have undergone one round of chemo, and that little drug cocktail is no joke. Currently, we are all adjusting to life with mom and her new full time job, fighting cancer. 


But please, I did not write this post for sympathy or pity at all. I wrote this more with hope that you stop what you are doing and feel your breasts right now. If you have never given yourself a breast exam it is so quick and easy and could potentially save your life! I know it saved mine! Click here for a step by step guide



pneumonia, irma, and new jersey

Sep 19, 2017

Well, we experienced our very first mandatory evacuation thanks to the hurricane known as Irma. I have to admit, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to evacuating, and the decision isn't exactly easy. When we first heard that Savannah might be evacuated we talked to friends and neighbors who told us that they either did or did not evacuate during hurricane Matthew the year before and what they learned from that. 

Since this was our first ever experience with a hurricane, we weren't exactly super prepared. No generator, no plywood, no stock pile of food. I mean, sure we could have gotten those things, but we also had no plan....so ya know, lesson learned there.
The Thursday before our evacuation we took Pierce to the pediatrician because he just wasn't getting over a cold that all the kids had gotten. I knew he was having a tough time with the cough, and we have dealt with pneumonia before with him. Sure enough a chest x-ray agreed. We made sure our pediatrician gave us all he could on the medical front with the evacuation looming. 

With Pierce sick we couldn't take the chance of riding out the storm, even though the path had shifted west and we didn't think we would be hit as bad as expected. So, we thought, why not take these days off work and school cancellations as a time to go visit family? 
Friday morning when we thought we would be packing up and getting everything in order, Pierce was having a really hard time breathing. Pierce has had a long run with breathing issues. It only happens when he is sick, not like asthma. Although we have quite the line up of breathing treatments and devices. So when he could not catch his breath on this morning, and his oxygen was measuring low, I knew we had to call an ambulance and get him to the hospital. At this point one of the hospitals was already shut down for the evacuation, so we rushed to the one that was accepting patients. They acted fast and got everything under control. I was worried that they may not let us go, and if they did whether or not it would be safe to make the drive up north. I was a mess. But the doctors assured us that we would be fine (we had a plug in the car to do his breathing treatments every couple hours).
And we were! We made it to New Jersey to stay with my in-laws, who are just amazing. The kids and the dogs were in evacuation heaven! We all were. The kids spent every waking moment in the beautiful gardens that surround the house. We ate so much good food, that on the last night I had to unbutton my pants while at the table. And we soaked up so much family time. 

All the while, we were anxious about what was going on at home. 

Thankfully, when we arrived home after 16 hours in the car (evacuation traffic is no joke) we had some down trees and a trashed yard, but no damage. The power was back on, and we felt incredibly grateful. 

My heart goes out to all the people affected by these hurricanes. It is devastating. 

We feel fortunate that we could capitalize on our first evacuation and fill it with an amazing four days of family, which meant so very much to me right now. 


blending in with the boys

Sep 18, 2017

Oh these boys! Growing so fast, and keeping me on my toes at every minute. The older they get the funnier they are as well. Not too mention the more questions they have, and they surprise me at how much they comprehend about the world around them. 
tee // camo pants (old, similar here and here) // shoes: zara 

Ace thought it was pretty cool when I pulled out these camo pants. I have had them forever, and I love that over the years they have come and gone as a trend. Ace threw on a camo tee as well, which I thought was so cute. I mean how many more years will I have that he will think it is a-okay to match with mom? Don't answer that. I will just live in this moment. 
This weekend was spent getting back to life after evacuating from Irma (a post all on it's own). The kids only had two days of school last week, and this weekend we were making up soccer practices that were missed. My mom is also in town, so playing tourist downtown was high on the priority list. Even after a tropical storm, Savannah is just as charming and beautiful! 

How was your weekend? 



a party fit for pierce

Sep 5, 2017

Labor Day weekend is always a great weekend in everyone's book right? An extra day off work, no school, and for us....Pierce's birthday!! Six years ago today, on Labor Day, I went into labor with Pierce. He has continued to be the same easy going, happy, go with the flow baby. Or I guess I should say little boy. I have never met a child that is so full of life, and can make an entire room laugh just by being himself. (His teachers may not think it is always funny....he is quite the class comedian. I am convinced they secretly love it, because they do not send notes home, but write me emails telling me the funny things he did/said that day). 
For his birthday he was just so easy to please. He wanted pizza and the pool. Nothing more, and absolutely nothing less. He had a couple friends from his class come, and we rented out our neighborhood pool for a few hours. It was so nice, and just enough excitement for the kids. If you have been around these parts for awhile, then you know we like to keep things low key on the birthdays. No Pinterest all-nighters being had for some decor, no fussy photo booth props, and if we are being honest......this year I didn't even wrap the presents! Ask Pierce if he cared. But, I did make the cake!! Which was a first for me! It disappeared quite fast so I think it was a hit. 
The whole weekend was spent doing what Pierce wanted to do, despite his brother and sisters giving their two cents. It was wonderful! I do wish I had pulled out my camera a few more times, because the pictures were limited. That is the sign of a good time, right? 

And this morning I will send him off to school, treats in hand, as a six year old! 

Time is a real thief, but I am so excited to see Pierce take on this year. His main concern is how his hair looks "for the ladies" as he puts it! 






one on one time

Aug 31, 2017

Lately I have become very aware of just how many different directions I am pulled. This is due to a multitude of things, but no matter where I am pulled, the only place I want to be is with my kids. But even when I am home with them, each of them wants me to watch this....or help with this....or make that....

And let's be honest it is always nice to be wanted. As a mom it is always a wonderful feeling to know that you and only you can fill whatever void. And now more than ever I am setting time aside to give my undivided attention to each of my little babes. Even if it is a boring errand that I could easily do myself, I know there is one out of the four that will want to jump in the car. And we will talk about all the things they want to talk about, and there will be no one to jump in. Just the two of us. 
leather vest // tee // jeans // shoes: tibi 
avalon: shirt // pants // boots: old navy (from last year, love these ones!!)

Avalon is super into some mom time right now. Last week she found a large stash of costume jewelry that I have had boxed up for who knows how long. She took the whole thing into her room and put every single piece on. She came out and said "mom, look how fabulous I look". And indeed.....pretty fabulous! 
"Mom do you have any necklaces' in here? Or a lollipop?" 

I love that a coffee date and a run to Target where she of course had to get some chapstick, is all this girl needs to call it a successful mommy and me date. I little bit of time away from her brothers so she can talk about all the princess stuff she wants. I can remember growing up my parents would set a "date" with us and we would go out to eat or see a movie. As we got older these became so important to us. And I realize that it is so important for me now. 

Chris has requested a date too....so let's see how long that takes for me to make that happen! Ha! You think he wants a coffee and Target date too? 


gingham & glasses

Aug 28, 2017

Back to Monday. I have to say I kind of like Mondays, now that we are in a routine. Simply for the fact that I feel like I accomplish so much in just a morning. Because I get up at 5 am, by the time I get the kids dropped off, get home, clean, throw in some laundry, make the girls their third or fourth breakfast item, vacuum up the first round of Caspian hair, it is only 9 am! Then I feel like I can sit down possibly stuff my face with something, chug the remains of my cold coffee, and make a new to-do list. I love a good list. 
t-shirt // gingham skirt (old, similar here and here) // boots: rag and bone // hat // glasses

Over the weekend though, I allowed myself to be moderately lazy. The girls and I headed downtown on Saturday because I had to make some exchanges at H&M, which of course turned into a full on try on session. The girls could have spent their whole day in the accessory aisle. Avalon exclaimed many times "MOM this is amazing. I need everything!". Once we got home I got right into pajamas and planted myself on the couch for a nap. I was physically and mentally exhausted after last week. So it felt good to just relax. 
Yesterday, I could have truly continued with my lazy streak, but Chris and the boys headed to the pool before the rain and wind rolled in. And I promised to have myself up and ready for when they got back because the kids wanted to go to brunch at this little buffet by the house. Who can say no to a brunch buffet? No one. 

I ordered these clear lens glasses last week for a little twist, and I think they are so fun. I am constantly in sunglasses, but why not switch it up a bit? This is coming from a person who does not actually have to wear glasses. I can remember when I was in like middle school or around that time, and some of my friends had gotten glasses and I was like....I want some too. My mom always looked at me like I was crazy. With good reason, because I don't walk the line of sane. 

BUT! Completely switching gears!! Who watched the Game of Thrones season finale last night? O to the mother effing G! I mean, I think anyone who has watched the series knew a lot of what was coming. But to see it? I sat there for a minute like.....whoa. 

Are we starting the countdown to the final season? When it that? 2019? Damn. 



savannah, by way of the trolley

Aug 22, 2017

Hello! Has everyone recovered from the eclipse excitement? I have to say that the boys were really pumped about going to school and getting those special glasses to see this amazing event. Yet, the cloud coverage rolled in about an hour before and the rain quickly followed. So we didn't get to see much, but their school had them watch it on the live feed. Ha! Gotta love technology! 

Anyway, over the weekend we did something that we have wanted to do since we moved to Savannah. We took a trolley tour!! Whenever we go downtown with the kids they always see the orange trolleys and ask if we can go on. So they were so excited when I told them that Saturday was the day! 
In an effort to beat the heat we made sure we were at location numero uno early and ready for that 9 am trolley! It proved to be a great seating choice as well, as we definitely beat the crowds. Our trolley tour guide was so great, born and raised in Savannah, and her love and enthusiasm about her home town really showed through. Not to mention she was very witty and threw in some pop culture references for the kids along the way! 
Savannah is deeply rooted in American history, and it was amazing to hear just how much every building and square played a role in history. Truly one of the most remarkable things for me to learn was just how much SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design, helps to preserve Savannah's architectural history by transforming structures into many different components for the college. As we would pass by buildings we would find out that they were now classrooms, and dorms, and libraries. I was thinking "how cool would it be to go to college here". You know.....if I wanted to go to college all over again. 
One of the best parts about the trolley tour is, that there are 15 stops along the way and you are more than welcome to go on and off at any of them. And then another trolley will pass by every 15 minutes for you to hop back on and continue your tour. We stayed on for a bit until the stop for the American Prohibition Museum. I have heard that this is a fun and interactive museum, even for kids. And that proved to be very true! Although, you know how it is when you go to a museum with kids.....they think it is a race to the finish. So Chris and I are planning a trip back, just the two of us so we can look around and hey maybe even pop into the speakeasy to try one of their signature 1920's cocktails! 
Okay but maybe the best part about this stop was that the museum was right next door to Byrd's famous cookies!!! Where you can go in a sample all the cookies. The kids were not shy in this department. But we all settled on a couple boxes of the chocolate chip cookies. They are SO good! If you are not in the Savannah area, look them up online and order yourself a few bags. You can thank me later. 
After we were all in a cookie coma, we hopped back on the trolley to finish the tour. It was starting to get hot, so the kids were happy to be sitting down and catching the cool breeze as we drove around. I've said it before and I will probably say it 100 more times. Savannah is just the most charming city. This tour made me fall in love with it even more, and helped to add about 50 restaurants that I want to try. 

I would definitely say that if you are planning a trip to Savannah, block out some time in the morning and get on the trolley! It is just such a fun experience and you learn so much about this gem of a city. Now I have my sights set on the Ghosts and Gravestones Night Tour!!! 


A special thank you to the Old Town Trolley for sponsoring this post and amazing experience! 














 

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