Because I Have a Message (Or Three)

by Chris on July 23, 2014

Today was a big day. I had my LAST chemo treatment. Echo, echo, echo… Since February, I have had 5 surgeries (one of them 9 hours long), 25 radiation treatments, 12 chemo infusions, and 6 fluid infusions because of the bad nausea. But today I said goodbye to all that. I fully appreciated that it could have been worse, thanked God for all that he has blessed me with, and skipped out of there with a new happiness.

I also said goodbye to the women who have been my champions, my confidants, and quite literally my entertainment through this journey. They truly care about me and my health, and I came to love and adore them. Today we had a party, hugged, cried, and posed for pictures. 

Message #1: Be kind to your nurses. I have a greater appreciation for them, and I feel blessed by almost every nurse I came into contact with. Sure, not all of them are wonderful, but you find that in every profession. However, when one—or more—comes along to help save your life? Treat them well and thank them for their compassion. I love you, Teri!! <3

Chemo nurses

Lots of inside jokes here, but the brownies involve jokes about putting marijuana in brownies before they realized my husband sitting next to me is a State Trooper. We laughed and laughed. FYI—medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, but I never used it. The (non-marijuana) brownies, however, were divine!

Chemo party

Message #2: Rely on your friends I’m a “small group of friends” person. I don’t need a lot of them, but I need them to be close. I need to be able to tell them everything and know that they’re telling me everything in return. These girls don’t judge me if a I get in a fight with my husband (as if!), or if I have $1.00 in my bank account. And if I lose my wedding ring more than once, they simply roll their eyes at me and call me a dumb@@. Most importantly, they will laugh with me during happiness and cry with me during pain. The best kinds of friends.


And finally, the message I hope can reach someone and prevent them from going through this misery. Message #3: GO to the doctor. Don’t put it off. I can’t determine how much this affected my situation. Had I gone sooner, could they have detected it? Probably. Would it have changed my diagnosis? I’ll bet. The “what if’s” of life will haunt me for years, and I don’t wish that on anyone. I also don’t wish cancer on anyone, and if you go to your doctor regularly, there are ways to prevent it. 

Screen Shot 2014 07 23 at 10 09 19 PM

And just so we don’t get too heavy in here…

Doctor Joke

Luckily, my office is specTACular, and I never have to wait. And I never will wait to go to the doctor again. Please feel free to use my situation as your motivation to make that call. I know our lives get busy, and it’s one of the last things we want to do…but it’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative if you don’t. Ok…off to spray paint something. Too much sick talk over here. :)



Haven ’14

by Chris on July 17, 2014

Woah. That was a whirlwind. Haven just happened, and I’m still recovering. The girls and I can happily say it was another successful year. We can’t thank our sponsors, speakers, or attendees enough for making it happen, but now I need a nap. Wanna take a little Haven tour?

Haven Team

Beth, me, Kristin, Traci, Sarah, and Rhoda

The event started off with Chip Wade as our keynote speaker. His new show Elbow Room is pretty darn incredible, and it was great to hear the mindset behind his creations. Let it be noted that his arm is touching my back here. I wonder if he’s still thinking about it. 

Chip Wade

And once again, Ballard Designs came through with a ga-horgeous living room set up in the grand ballroom. I moved from area to area pretending they were mine—kinda like a 9-year old would do.Ballard Designs Haven

Our luncheons were fabulous—this one fabulously decorated thanks to Mandi and Brooke—and our evening parties were incredible. 

Haven Party

Like, dance party and obnoxious beach photos incredible. Seriously. Home Depot and Ryobi know how to bring it. 

Ryobi Haven

Haven Team

Of course, I think it’s no secret what the best part of the conference is. The friends. Talking ’til your jaw hurts and laughing ’til you can’t breath is the best way to spend a few days.

Haven girls

Courtney, me-hi!, Cassie, Sarah, Megan


Cassie and me jpg

Me and Cassie—don’t get me started on this one. Love her!

Our team really can’t thank everyone enough for making our dream come true. What started out as a simple conversation has morphed into something amazing. More importantly, it has brought me life-long relationships with some of the best women I know. 

Haven Team

I could pour tons of photos into this post, but this is a good sampling. If you want to see behind the scenes of all things Just a Girl, follow along on Instagram. Believe me, my life is super entertaining. :)



Kitchen Stations


I’m usually one of those “don’t like anything on my counters” people. However, I was getting sick of lugging stuff in and out of cabinets for use, so I finally broke. We’re creatures of habit in this house, so I needed to develop some stations on the counters to help with my laziness and to […]

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Flashback Friday {Birthday Parties}


Well, happy Friday! And Happy Fourth of July! Hopefully, you’re celebrating with family and friends. Today’s flashback is some birthday parties I’ve documented. Unfortunately, I had plenty of birthday parties under my belt before I started blogging about them. Soooo I have a few I can show you. First up? The Indiana Jones party. I’m […]

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Fourth of July Menu Ideas


Happy “countdown to Fourth of July” week! It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year because I’m pretty darn patriotic. It makes me feel all, “I’m so proud of my country!” Of course, it also helps that I’m not working, and I’m in complete relaxation mode. I’m afraid we won’t be celebrating with a […]

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Flashback Friday


So the new projects around here are coming along slowly. Not even really surely at this point. In an effort to be all, “Hey, remember when I did that?” or “You’re new here, have you seen this?”, I thought I’d do some flashbacks of projects past.  Some DIY bookshelves, anyone? Unfortunately one of the shelves’ […]

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Kirkland’s Summer Table {$250 Giveaway}


Well, hello. It’s been a long time since my last post explaining things. I know. I can’t thank you enough for your messages, prayers, and encouragement. I have no doubt that they’ve pushed me to this point. I am nearly done with treatment (please, Lord), and I am less sick than I was a couple […]

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Well, here it is


Thank you so much for all your messages and e-mails checking in. I apologize for essentially abandoning you, but I’ve had good reason. I have been diagnosed with Stage 1 cervical cancer. There. I said it. I hate saying it. It seems like an oxymoron to call myself a blogger who is a private person, […]

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Ain’t Life Grand?!


Well today it is! Some blog friends and I have dedided that you should have some good ol’ cash in your pocket and spend to your heart’s delight. Or don’t spend it. Perhaps just feel guilty at all of it. And, course, my favorite part (besides the cute graphics here) is that it’s a small […]

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An Update


I wish I had the time (and energy) to thank each of you individually, but I’m afraid this post will have to do. I’m two weeks into recovery, and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m human again. It’s been a rough–and I mean rough–recovery, but your messages, e-mails, cards, etc. have been the light […]

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