A Baby and the Big C (continued)

So three weeks went by and I finally got in to see my oncologist. I was expecting the worst, and brought my sister with me for support, and we sat in the waiting room for over an hour as it turns out they are kind of busy in that office. Why is the last hour of waiting always the hardest?

We were brought back into the exam room and a nurse practitioner met with us. I was trying my best to be calm, and brace for all the bad things I was about to hear. She simply asked, “So what have they told you so far?”.

I was kind of thrown off, I didn’t expect that kind of a start. I explained about what I had heard from my doctor and she listened to me with a sympathetic look on her face. She made a couple of notes, and nodded along, and eventually left the room to get the doctor. I started to feel a little calmer now, not entirely sure why.

The doctor came in shortly after and introduced himself, and proceeded to go over the results he had from my doctor. He was going to do an exam that day but nothing too intensive, as I had already had that colposcopy. (So glad I didn’t need another one of those!) He told me that technically my condition was still considered PRE-cancer. I actually asked him to repeat that. Pre-cancer?? It might be okay???!

Since they cannot do the extensive testing to find out more, he was going to treat me as being in the beginning stages. He did not recommend waiting to treat until after the baby was born, however, as there was a high concentration of cells on my cervix. It seemed riskier to wait to treat and let the cancer possible advance more while we waited. He advised that he wanted to do a cervical cone procedure, and he wanted to do it now, before the pregnancy got further along and the risk to the baby would have been greater. A cervical cone is a minor surgery where they remove a cone-shaped portion of your cervix, and can be done as an outpatient procedure. It can remove the bad cells, and at the very least, it will give them a very clear picture of your cancer diagnosis and allow them to come up with a more accurate plan to treat you. I asked a few questions, most importantly would this harm the baby? He said that the risk was much higher years ago, and through recent advancements the risk is now minimal. The main risk to the baby would be the anesthesia, and that they would have to monitor both me and the baby very closely. He said the optimal time for the surgery is 14 weeks, and I was just about there, so there was little time to waste. The office would be scheduling my surgery for October 2nd, a friday morning, at Banner Gateway hospital in Mesa.

I felt like crying. We had a plan. He didn’t seem pessimistic about my cancer. This could possibly remove it all! And if not, this will tell us how to proceed from here and we won’t be guessing or speculating. I didn’t have to carry this on my shoulders anymore, these people are pros and they know what to do. It’s going to be okay. I’ll be able to keep the baby and we were going to be fine, I knew it.

Now to deal with surgery, ughhh. I’ve never had it, aside from getting my wisdom teeth removed in 2000. And that was a bit of a disaster, honestly. Surgery is one of my top fears, but somehow I felt okay to face it. I had the baby to worry about, it wasn’t about me anymore. Just do it, get through and it will all be worth it.

About two weeks later was the big day. Kane and I drove to the hospital and checked in, and we were both nervous. They took us back to the outpatient area, and a family was in the waiting room loudly crying and holding each other. Gulp. I tried to just focus on the task at hand, sign the paperwork, change into the gown, get the IV in my hand, wait for them to wheel me in.

My husband kissed me for good luck and held onto my wedding rings, and they brought me into the operating room. They started the flow of anesthesia and asked me about my most recent vacation.

“You don’t care about my vacation, haha…” I muttered as I drifted off.

Next thing I knew I woke up in recovery, and heard nurses rushing around me, saying, “I can’t get a heartbeat…” as they prodded my stomach with a doppler. They started talking to me and I almost immediately threw up from anesthesia. The nurse held a bed pan for me as I got sick, a fact made worse by them pushing the doppler harder and harder into my lower stomach, but luckily they did find the baby’s heartbeat and it was okay. I got sick again a couple more times (hey, I have a sensitive stomach), but once I was able to stop they wheeled me out into another recovery area where my husband was waiting.

We sat for a while until I woke up more, and after helping me get dressed Kane drove me home.

I was so relieved. It was over! The next few days were filled with me being sick to my stomach though, and I had a hard time keeping down food and water. I chalk that up to being in the early stages of pregnancy and getting sick when you are too hungry, but then being too sore and still sick from the surgery to keep food down. Kind of rough, but honestly the surgery pain wasn’t as terrible as I expected. Throwing up probably made it hurt worse than it would have, really.

About three weeks later I was driving home from work in rush hour traffic when my phone rang. It was the oncologist’s office with my results. I took a deep breath and prepared myself for whatever she was about to say.

“Hello Patricia, I just wanted to let you know that your results came back from your procedure, and your margins are clean.”

What the hell does that mean?

“That means the edges of the tissue we removed were negative for cancer.”

Does that mean the surgery got it all? Is the cancer gone?

“Yes, it appears that the procedure removed all the cancer cells.”

AHHHHHHH!!!! That was it? I was ok?? I could barely believe it! She advised that my doctor would go over the details with me when I had my follow up with him the next week, where I did actually find out my cancer was more advanced than they thought, and it was a very good thing we acted when we did.

But it’s over. Now I can just focus on growing a healthy baby, and the whole thing is no longer covered in scary dark clouds anymore. The future is extremely bright, no matter what happens. I am just so grateful that I found out all of this when I did, and I truly believe that this baby girl who is currently kicking around in my belly has saved my life. I never would have known I had cancer if it weren’t for the pregnancy. I am beyond thankful for the way everything worked out, and to my doctors and nurses, and to my family who supported me and most of all, to my husband. He was there for me and was so patient and loving and supportive through all of this nightmare, and now through all of the weird mood swings and cravings and aches and pains of a regular pregnancy.

So the point of all of this is, do NOT put off your yearly pap, just because it’s a little bit unpleasant. Take care of yourself and remember that no matter what drama you might be dealing with, your health should still take priority. And if you and your loved ones are lucky enough to be healthy, be thankful.



A Baby and the Big C

Warning: Long post ahead, with possibly TMI. You’ve been warned!

Kane and I have been together for 13 years, married for 6. Marrying your best friend has many perks. We’ve had our share of life struggles but we’ve always stuck together and very rarely fight or even argue. In 2012 we finally decided it was time to stop procrastinating and start having the family we’ve always wanted. I wanted two kids, since I grew up having a very close bond with my sister and want the same for my children.

I had been on birth control for 10 years with no break, so it took some time to get all of that crap out of my system. When we didn’t conceive right away I didn’t visit a doctor, I assumed it would take time. But every month that I got my period, I got more and more worried. I was determined not to panic though, figuring that stress can really make things harder and maybe I should just continue to be patient. In the 2+ years that followed, so many things happened and I just didn’t have the time or energy to focus on having a baby or visiting a doctor. Between my mother’s car accident in 2014 and her subsequent recovery, lots of travel for work and eventually buying our first house, it’s been a year of craziness and stress for all of us.

I was planning to go see my doctor (whom I hadn’t visited in 3 years since telling her about my baby plan) since I hadn’t had any luck in the baby arena just yet, when I noticed some funny symptoms in July. I was more tired than usual, had some body aches and pains (particularly in the breast-region) and just felt all around….different. Something was up.

I picked up a test after work on August 5th, and went home to pee on it. Assuming that it was yet another month that I would see a negative, I could not believe my eyes when the blue line in the “PREGNANT” window appeared almost immediately. My hands shook as I sat there, letting it sink in and watching that line get deeper blue by the second.

Since I’ve been dreaming of the moment of telling my husband, telling my sister, my mother, my inlaws, all of them, I didn’t know what to do or say first. It was so hard not to call Kane or my sister, and scream the news into the phone. I decided to really surprise Kane with the news, and ran out to find a baby onesie. I found one that said “Rad Like Dad”, and when he came home I was in the kitchen making dinner. I said I had something for him, and handed him the onesie.

“What is this?”, he asked, with a confused look on his face as he stared at the tiny outfit. I said nothing. He looked again, and then it hit him, the moment of realization! He gasped and ran to hug me and we both cried a little bit. It was all so overwhelming!

From there I called an OBGYN, since my old doctor was much farther from where we now live and I wanted to find someone closer for the many appointments I was sure would follow. My appointment was the following week, and Kane went with me. The doctor gave us a huge Maternity Packet with tons of info, all of it too much to process in our excitement. I had a quick internal exam, the first I’d had in three years, and after lots of “Congratulations” from my doctor and her staff, we headed home smiling.

That weekend we told my sister, who had a reaction almost as huge as ours was when I handed her a tiny “I Love My Aunt” onesie. So, so happy!!

About 10 days later I got a call from the doctor’s office. The nurse I spoke with said that my pap had come back abnormal, but not to worry, pregnancy does funny things to our bodies but to be safe we should do a colposcopy. I made the appointment for the following week and went in for the sorta-painful test. (Feels like a hole puncher clipping off a piece of your cervix. Ouch.) My doctor got it over with quickly though, and she assured me again that this sort of thing does happen early in pregnancy and not to panic. Ok, no problem. Went home and didn’t think about it.

A few more days went by, and I was at my desk at work on August 31st when my phone rang. Again it was my doctors office, but the tone of this nurse was a bit more serious. “It’s imperative that Dr. Starkey speaks to you right away. Can you come in first thing tomorrow morning?”. I agreed, and called my husband, I was a little scared by the urgency. He said he would go with me, so the next morning we drove to her office, not sure what we were about to hear.

We waited in an exam room, my head swimming with fear that there was something wrong with my pregnancy. Couldn’t be though, we had tried for a really long time and we wanted this so bad, surely nothing major could be wrong. We’ve had so much bad luck in our lives already.

She came into the room and sat down with us, and proceeded to tell me that I have cancer.

Cancer. Cervical cancer.


I listened to her talk about it as Kane held my hand, and watched her draw a picture of my cervix and explain to me that mine was glandular cancer, the more rare form, and we don’t know how far along it is because we can’t test more extensively because of the baby and a whole bunch of other stuff that I’m sure was important but I couldn’t hear it. Kane squeezed my hand and asked the doctor questions, and I fought back tears as I just sat, stunned and shocked and angry and terrified. I tried to stay calm, tried to reason with myself that this had to be a mistake. Don’t panic, it’s not real. It can’t be. The universe cannot hate you enough to do this to you. Just breathe. Don’t cry. Don’t look at Kane’s face. Just nod along like you’re hearing anything she is saying and go home and deal with this then.

I could only squeak out two questions.

“Does this happen a lot with women who are pregnant?”. “No.”

“What does this mean for my pregnancy?”. “I don’t know.”

She said she had never seen this come up with a pregnant woman before, and that treatment could possibly cause a miscarriage. Without knowing the extent of the cancer it was hard to say. I’d have to see an oncologist, and she was sure they’ve seen this happen before and could advise me better than she could. But she also told me that the cancer cells were visible and there were a lot of them, and there was a possibility that it was advanced enough to warrant a hysterectomy. We would have to terminate the pregnancy in that case.

Ok. Ok, one thing at a time. Deep breath. Just try not to cry, wait until you get home. Don’t cry.

I kind of blanked at this point as we said goodbye and walked to the car, and I got in, still swimming with a thousand different emotions and struggling to keep my tears from spilling out of my eyes. Kane drove us home in near silence, and I got out of the car and went in the house and sat on our bed. I sat there for a long time before the flood of tears came and I just couldn’t stop once I started. I cried for almost the entire day. I fell asleep. I woke up and cried more. I held onto Kane as tight as I could. I made awkward jokes about there being a curse on my family. More crying. I just didn’t know how to deal with this, how to tell my sister. How to tell my mom.

The oncologist’s office would call me to set up an appointment, but I tried to call that afternoon rather than wait to hear from them. They had already closed that day. I got through the night and first thing that next morning I called again. The soonest I could see them was September 22, exactly three weeks from now. THREE WEEKS? I barely made it through the night. This was going to be a hellish three weeks.

Ok going to stop at this point, that’s enough writing for today. To be continued in my next post.







To Do List


  • Give Jack a bath. He loves his new yard so much he rolls around in the dirt and releases a puff of dust whenever I pet him.
  • Get emissions tested and renew my car registration.
  • Provide proof of new insurance to my car finance company (forgot this was a thing).
  • Jury duty. At least it’s walking distance from my house so I shouldn’t complain this time.
  • Get master bathroom toilet fixed. We bought the part, now to flag down my neighbor and have him show me how to fix it!
  • Get a landscaper out to the house to clear out the fallen tree in our back yard and quote us for some basic landscape ideas.
  • Think of more interesting topics to blog about.

Our first home

136 N PomeroyWe’ve yet to make the official Facebook announcement (and may not, honestly. Life without FB can be strangely calmer!) but my husband and I bought our first house! This is very exciting for us, and naturally it was a giant stressful process that we felt ill-prepared for. We managed to get through it, despite lots of confusion and costs we didn’t anticipate, and we signed the closing papers on June 17th, getting our keys on the following day, June 18th. This is only one month after the listing popped up in our MLS, on May 15th. We saw the listing, my husband drove by it(no time to tour it though!), we fell in love with it through pictures and put in an offer sight unseen. And our offer got accepted. We did NOT expect that. Our friends who had recently purchased homes spent months, sometimes up to a year finding a house they liked and getting their offers accepted instead of being outbid. We also were told that historic homes like these (ours was built in 1923 in the Wilbur district in Mesa, AZ) often have a huge influx of bids, with very little chance that ours would be accepted. We decided to go ahead and offer anyway, maybe we could at least tour it and get to see it. When I got that call, I was shocked and completely floored. I felt like I had been hit by a truck; a truck covered in dollar signs with a driver speaking a language I didn’t understand.

In the month that followed, we had ups and downs, lots of fears, moments of excitement and more downs. It all came together but we put off packing way longer than we should have, so by the time our moving date of June 25th rolled around, we had very little sleep and tons more to pack. It was all done by the weekend though, and we cleaned the old rental house, locked the door for the last time and turned over the keys to our landlord, whom we will miss terribly. We were very lucky to have found him, and he was so supportive to us through this whole process. Now that we are homeowners and are working without a net, so to speak, it’s a bit daunting.

Now we wake up in the cutest little house every day, stub our toes and whack our knees as we maneuver around the moving boxes everywhere and find ourselves wanting to spend every dime we have left on house stuff. We are such grown ups.

My missing treasure


When I was about 6 I developed an unhealthy love of jewels and gems, and I was hell bent on collecting “treasure”. I blame ‘The Goonies’, ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Legend’ for sparking this love of all things sparkly, and I painstakingly worked to acquire my own stockpile of gems.

My “Treasure” consisted of the following:

  • One pile of loose green crystals from an old costume-jewelry earring that Granny had long misplaced the mate for. She was going to throw it away but I told her I needed the crystals, so she helped me pop them out of the setting with a pair of tweezers and put them in a black velvet pouch.
  • A fairly large chunk of clear quartz I had bought at a yard sale during my daily bike ride to the Spy House over the summer. It was a little old woman who sold it to me for $1, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have it. The “jewel” of my collection.
  • Roughly a dozen loose tiny pearls from a tube of decorations from my mom’s sewing kit. I think the tube was leftover from the pearls that granny had sewn on mom’s wedding dress in the 70’s.
  • One Smurfs shrinky dink that I had colored and shrinky-dinked myself.

This was to be the start of my treasure chest, but where to keep it all safe until i found said chest to store it all in? I was afraid that my collection would be pilfered by pirates, or by the neighborhood Muhlheisen boys that I had a rivalry with. I decided to hide my treasure in a place only I knew about, to protect my assets.

At first I thought the attic was the best place, but after a few days I realized that it could get moved when my parents went up there for stuff. I couldn’t risk them finding my jewels. I needed to go underground with it, because treasure was always buried in books and movies. The perfect place finally dawned on me—the tree stump in the side yard! We had recently cut an old tree down that had been damaged in a storm, and the stump was barely noticeable in the grass. I could use it to “mark the spot” so to speak.

One afternoon I waited until the street outside was quiet and nobody was around, and I grabbed my velvet treasure pouch and went outside. There was a hole in the top of the stump itself, and I thought I could drop the pouch inside. No can do, it was too big thanks to the quartz chunk. Fine, I’ll just keep that one in my room, no big deal. Without the crystal, the pouch fit in the hole, but you could see the top of it sticking out. No! Surely the Muhlheisens would find it and keep it for their own. Bloody pirates. I decided to pour out the contents of the pouch into the hole. It wasn’t deep, and I could still fish it all out again when I needed it. I smugly made my way back to the house that day, empty velvet pouch and quartz in hand, no one the wiser.

A few weeks later, dad was mowing the lawns on a Saturday. We had a big riding mower, and dad usually started in the back yard and ended in the side yard. I was in the house watching tv when I heard the mower in the side yard, and suddenly I remembered that the treasure tree stump was low to the ground and dad might go over it! I ran outside but it was too late. Dad had run over the tree stump with the mower! I hoped that my jewels were okay, and I yelled for dad to stop as I ran through the mower’s path and dropped to the ground, searching around the now-buried hole for my precious gems!


Only one sad piece remained, a very busted-up Smurf shrinky dink, flung into the grass next to the once-perfect hiding spot. I picked it up and went in the house, and threw it in the garbage. Sadness fell over the kingdom as my treasure was no more.

It wasn’t until like a year later that I lost the quartz when I dropped it in the street and it shattered.

Fireflies and gazing balls

When Lisa and I were little, we spent so many weekends at Granny and Pop Pop’s house in Spotswood, NJ. Every weekend at Granny’s was the best weekend ever. They always picked up every awesome sugary cereal they could find for us, and they had a big enclosed back porch filled with toys to play with. This was really only used if it rained, because we loved to go outside to play so much. Pop Pop had a small shed on the side of the house where he kept wood blocks and random bits and pieces for us to make things with, and I loved putting together simple little boats with sails made from a big nail and pieces of fabric from granny’s old tablecloths. I’d float them in puddles or in the faded floral kiddie pool that Granny would fill with water from the hose.

All summer long, our weekends there were filled with days spent at her community pool, and our white metal pool passes always left permanent little rust spots on our bathing suits by the time September rolled around. When we weren’t swimming, we were riding our bikes through the long paths that wound around her community, stopping at various neighbors houses for ice pops or candy. At the back of her house were the woods, and if you rode the bike path far enough eventually you would come to a private little garden with a gazing ball and tons of perfectly manicured flowers. To this day I don’t know who this garden belonged to, but it was such a beautiful place.

I usually ended my long days of bike riding and gorging myself on sugar with a visit to this garden, which I saved for last because when the sun went down the fireflies would come out. Tiny dots of light hovered around me, as I looked into the smooth blue glass of that gazing ball. I thought they were fairies. I imagined that they lived in the trees around the garden, in tiny little carved-out homes in the tree bark with arched doorways that people couldn’t see. Granny loved telling us stories and legends, and told us to watch out for the will o’the wisps, tiny flickering lights that would appear and lead you away from the path. I was convinced I had seen them sometimes as I sat in this little peaceful night garden, and I’d tell Granny, who always listened intently, amused as I recounted my story of escaping the danger.

There’s no place like this anymore, and so much less magic in the world as I get older. I miss it. I miss being that kid who’s imagination was encouraged to wander, given the opportunity to be as creative as I wanted and who scared herself into riding her bike out of the darkening woods fast before the moon rose and the werewolves came out to chase me back to Granny’s.


The longest year


It’s been a whole year since I’ve logged into wordpress and written a blog. Twelve months really flies by the older you get. For a while I thought about just shutting this blog down because truthfully I just got so busy with work and life stuff that I didn’t care much about writing. Or making things. Doing anything creative took a back seat to real life-stuff. But that’s kind of shitty, I like having some sort of record of what I’ve done the past few years. It’s fun to look back, and it’s fun to share with anyone who wants to read it, few as you may be.

So 2014…….

Some good and lots of bad. I guess that can describe most years as we get older. I’ll just jump into the key events.

Somewhere this year, I discovered Good Neighbor(see gif above…). It’s kept me laughing when I really needed it so thanks guys. Go Benjals.

In April, Lisa and I went whale-watching in Dana Point. We saw one whale and three dolphins, which is a record for low attendance by marine life. It’s funny actually, I think the sea dwellers saw me coming that day and decided to frolic elsewhere, but I still enjoyed getting to the water and being on a boat. Once the yuckiness passed from the rocky waves, of course. We had a good time anyway and managed to go to a screening of “Only Lovers Left Alive” in Irvine. It was a really good trip and much needed sister time.



In June I turned 35. I spent the day with mom at her pool, and the night out with lots of friends at a brewery. In between I chickened out on getting a tattoo. A perfect birthday.

pool day

In July Kane and I went to San Diego Comicon. We saw tons and tons of famous people, so we lucked out. Even though it was crowded as all hell, we had a really good time. And it was good to get away together and be nerds about Walking Dead, Marvel, Doctor Who and whatever else was on display there. The last day of the trip ended badly though, I ran into the edge of our friends’ couch and my kneecap slipped out of place. I think it’s still out of place or something is still wrong with it, 6 months later. So, oww.


At the end of July, on the 29th, my mom was in a serious accident. Someone rear-ended her at 50 miles an hour. She suffered a brain injury which is going to affect the rest of her life. But the key statement here is “rest of her life”, because she pulled through against the odds, which surprised everyone, including her doctors. I don’t want to talk about the details of a very long summer and fall, but she is back in her apartment living on her own, and she is working hard to regain what she’s lost. I’m proud of her and of my small family that stuck together when we almost lost her. I also reconnected with my uncle in Florida, which was a good thing. He was the only family member who reached out and sent her cards and pictures to look at while she recovered, and showed all of us that he really cared from thousands of miles away. I won’t forget what that meant to me, and to all of us.


In November, my job sent me to Barcelona. Yes. They are the best people. For a whole week I got to get away from the bad stuff at home and be a tourist and explore a beautiful city with friends I truly love hanging out with. I saw so many amazing things. I visited Sagrada de la Familia, Park Guell, Torres Winery and Montserrat. I rode a bike form the gothic quarter to the Mediterranean sea. I saw a flamenco show and drank too much and ate amazing food. It was a much-needed break from the scary things that I was going through, and I’ll be forever indebted to whoever chose me to go.



I’m not a religious person, but one thing that I did and kept private until now is that I left my family’s names in a prayer room on top of Montserrat. It’s a tiny room near the cathedral where you can leave a loved one’s name or a personal object of theirs to be blessed by the monks, like to ask for protection for them. I left this, with my mom, sister and husband’s names, and at the bottom are my grandparents who passed away but are always in our hearts so I wanted them to know that. I left another sheet with my husband’s parent’s and my uncle’s names as well. We all can use all the blessings we can get.

The holidays came and went, and we were together and it was good.

xmasI got a new job at STA Travel, upgrading from my position as a groups team lead to a partnership executive in our marketing department! Very exciting and hopefully something that I will kick ass at!

In December my father in law celebrated his 90th birthday. Lots of family in town, although hard to talk casually about my mom. That will get easier as she recovers more. But happy to celebrate with Kane’s dad, who has been amazing and supportive to my husband his entire life, and to me for the last 12 years.

dadNow that the year is over, I’m hoping 2015 will be a better one. Hopefully with just as much good stuff, and much less of the bad. And hopefully we will all still be together too. Because that’s the definition of “good stuff”, and this year taught me how important that truly is.


Another year gone

It’s 2014!

2013 has been an okay kind of year, I’m not sad to see it go but I’m not hostile about it either. I feel like my facebook feed is one giant repeat of posts like, “Good riddance 2013!” and “Thank god 2013 is over!”. Looks like it was a pretty bad year for most of my friends!

I realized that the longer I live in Arizona, the less I care about NYE or the holidays in general and that’s just crappy. Maybe it’s just getting older and not just a location thing, but you never really make true friends in a new place like the friends you grew up with, and the mixture of obligations and flaky people this year kind of highlighted all of that and made me a little homesick for the east.

New Year’s Eve didn’t feel like a holiday at all to me. I worked all day and I was busy, and even had trouble leaving because of a last-minute ticketing issue that came up. I went to the grocery store on my way home to pick up some things since it looked like we were going to stay in, so better to get dinner sooner than have to deal with it later. The closest store to me is the Walmart Market, and going there raises my blood pressure on a regular day, much less a holiday! I fought crowds to get what I needed, and had a hard time even backing out of the spot in the parking lot, as a HUGE family decided to slowly saunter behind my car in single file, taking their time and even stopping to talk right behind my car. I had my brake lights on and was ready to ease off the brake at any moment, but they cared exactly 0.0%. By the time I got home I was cranky and tired, and all I wanted to do was take a nap and relax before dinner. My phone kept ringing so I turned off the ringer, gave the pets a little bit of food so they would leave me alone and went to my bedroom to get changed. I pulled off my new navy blue t-shirt and did a double-take in the mirror.  All of my skin had been dyed a deep dark shade of BLUE. Everywhere the shirt touched was tinted blue, but anywhere I had sweat was as dark navy as the shirt itself! If there was a way for me to take a non-inappropriate photo of my skin I would post it here, it was that blue. I took a shower and scrubbed for about a half hour, and it was better but I still looked like an extra from “Avatar”. My white shower-pouf thingy is now blue as well, but so what. At that point I just had to laugh, and be thankful that my friends had cancelled on me and I wasn’t hosting a NYE party. I took a nap, had a late dinner and watched the ball drop from the comfort of my couch, and it was fine.

So welcome 2014, may you be productive and full of positive changes for all of us!

(I also resolve to spend a lot more time in my pajamas. Because…….comfortable. And because they won’t dye me like an easter egg. Win-win!)

Christmas favorites


Again I have been away far too long!! I wish I had tons of pictures to share with you all, but I have been distracted from my usual tourist lifestyle. Please accept this weird christmas tree selfie, taken before my company christmas party, at which there was a dance-off and I ended up covered in Guiness.


In lieu of an update on how busy I’ve been (thankfully with both friends AND with jewelry orders…!), I decided to share some of my favorite things at christmastime. The kind of stuff that I cannot live without once December rolls around.

  •  A Muppet Family Christmas. My favorite christmas special EVER. It aired in 1987 and was only released on VHS and DVD for a very limited time, and is now inexplicably out of print. I don’t get why you can’t buy it anymore but I am eternally grateful to the person who uploaded the entire special on youtube! It’s so sweet and nostalgic to me, and unites all the Henson characters- the Muppets, the Fraggles and the Sesame Street gang. And the very end when they entire crew is caroling their little felt hearts out, Jim Henson himself is in the kitchen washing up the holiday dishes with Sprocket from Fraggle Rock. It makes me get a little teary every time. I love The Muppets so much!! Watch the entire special here.


  • Tiny glittery houses and villages with bottle brush trees. I don’t have as many as I’d like, but I am slowly building my little collection. They just look like candy to me. So sparkly and girly and fun! I need MORE!!


  • She and Him’s Christmas Album. On heavy rotation in my house and car this time of year! It’s just perfect and pretty and simple. Love.
  • Elf. Obviously. Because, AWESOME.


  • Facebook at this time of year. Seeing my friends’ kids with Santa, screaming and crying or looking super excited in their cute little christmas outfits just makes my heart smile! (I don’t know this family below but look at the terror! Amazing!!

santaWhat are your favorite things about the holidays you can’t live without? I adore this time of year but it’s over way too fast. I can’t say I’ll be back to post again before christmas, but in case I don’t, Happy holidays to you and your families!! Much love, Trish :)

Holiday ready

ImageAlmost December. How did that happen? This is my favorite part of the year, the entire time around Halloween through New Year’s Eve. The weather in Arizona has cooled off and we’ve had some actual rainy days, one of which was this past Saturday. I slept in a bit and when I got up my husband and I went to a late breakfast at Lo Fi Coffee Shop in Mesa, right on Main Street. We sat outside and breathed in the fresh damp air and ate slowly, so happy to enjoy being outside for a change.

We wandered around the shops down there, including a great store called LuluBelle Toy Bodega, who specialize in art toys and books. I picked up the coloring book above, as well as the strange little kewpi doll. Not sure why he caught my eye but I added him to my collection of weird toys and tchotckes on the dining room wall. He just fits.

I’m planning to head down to Main Street again on Black Friday, while my husband fights the shoppers at Best Buy for a new tv. Yes, our tv finally took a crap on us, after 6 years. It was a floor model when we bought it, so it still lasted a pretty good amount of time considering the deal we got. Hopefully he can order the tv we want on the website instead of heading to Best Buy in person. I on the other hand will be casually strolling through the boutiques and the antique mall that afternoon, where there are some sales going on but it won’t be nearly as crowded. I’m excited actually, since it really helps put me in the holiday spirit to look at the cute Christmas windows and see all the sparkling trees and lights on display down there. Plus a lot less crowds to deal with make me feel like the holidays can still be a time where we slow down and enjoy all the pretty things around us, rather than stand in line at Target for two hours.

I’ve added some new items to the shop by the way, so definitely check it out for some gift ideas! I’ll be adding more again soon so check back often. Some of the items posted will be hard to part with, particularly the Cinderella bracelet. The colors and the text on the tiny poster just look so soft and girlie, it’s hard not to keep that one myself!

ImageI hope you are all getting into the holiday spirit! I’ll be back to post again soon, I promise!