Coming Off the Vacation High 

Welp, vacation is officially over. It’s back to work tomorrow morning. Back to inside all day, back to meetings, back to waking up early, back to long days. Back to “reality.” I hope that one day my day-to-day “reality” is something that I’m excited about and feel good about myself doing, but for now, I’m sure you can feel my level of excitement through my words– not thrilled. 

I did, however, do a good job concentrating on the days and moments I had while I was having them. Sometimes on vacations in the past, I’ve spent too much time thinking about how much time I have left or how much work I’ll have when I’m back but if thoughts like that entered my mind, I tried to bring my thoughts to what was going on right now instead of focusing on days ahead. It makes a difference.

So now, as I have begun to stress out about the week ahead and am beginning to feel like I’m drowning in negative thoughts, it’s time for me to remember what an amazing 10 days I’ve had. 

Days full of kayaking with my love.

   
    
 
Lobster, fried clams, clam chowder and more lobster.    

    
   
Days starting with Mary Lou’s Coffee every morning. 

  
 
Fishing off the dock.    

 Playtime with my favorite puppy    

    
   
Playtime with my beautiful, crazy, hilarious, sass monster of a niece.    

    
    
 
Swimming in the amazing ocean.    

    
   
Relaxing and taking in the gorgeous scenery around us. 

  
   
And overall, just enjoying moments with my wonderful family. 

    
    
    
    
    
 
It ended today with a day celebrating our little Princess Elle, who turns 4 this Wednesday. 

  
 
What a lucky lady I am. So many memories made this past week with the people that matter most to me. Blessed would be an understatement.

XOXO,

Jessy 

Hard Times, Good Times

I started writing this blog post last week and never finished. I went back and read it this morning and realized in one short week how things have already changed. Here’s what I wrote…

“The past four months have probably been the worst four months of my life. Not the most uplifting way to start a blog post but it’s the truth. During these months, I’ve struggled to stay positive and truly feel happy. Partially because of the unexpectedness of the pancreatitis. It seems so unfair that I would get that on top of leukemia. Because other than that my chemo caused the pancreatitis, it has nothing to do with the cancer. It’s only delayed my treatment, caused me a lot of pain and laid me up in the hospital three too many times. …. even when I’m doing “fun” things, my mind races to that things aren’t normal. That I can’t have a drink. That I can’t have a french fry. That I have to be home early to hook up to a feeding tube. That I’ve simply been hooking up to a feeding tube for over two months now. That I’m not at work. The list goes on and on. 
 
I’m hoping that the end of this funk is coming near as sometime in January I’ll be FINALLY going back to work and I think that will help immensely. But I wanted to write this blog post so I remember how I felt at this moment. These days are long and tiring. Each day I feel different, whether it be emotional or physical. I have a hard time sleeping and my mind always seems to run back to “i have cancer.” I spend half the day sleeping and another portion watching TV. I can’t take that anymore. I want to do, I want to be productive. But sometimes it’s too hard, I’m too tired. Today I was tired. I got out of my pajamas at 4 o’clock to run to the grocery store to get things for Thanksgiving. I love being in pajamas but when that’s all you have everyday, getting dressed up becomes a privilege. Overall, things have just been really tough.”

Well it’s funny what a few days, family, friends and good food can do. I had the best four days I’ve had in a really long time. Thanksgiving was wonderful as I got to see my whole family and grandparents and snuggle with my love bug of a niece. Then Friday I got to see a bunch of my best friends from high school at a fabulous Friendsgiving party! Saturday, Mike and I got our Christmas tree and started decorating for Christmas (my ballerina reindeer are up which makes this girl VERY happy). Then we headed out to a housewarming/birthday party at one of our good friends house which was a blast. Sunday we just stayed around the house and decorated for Christmas, made some turkey chili and watched the Pats. It was a busy but perfect few days and it was just what I needed to help get me out of that funk. I felt so happy to see my friends and family and get to spend four days with Mike. Times like this weekend I’m reminded why I’m so blessed. It helped change my mindset and brought me a sense of happiness that I haven’t felt these past four months. There are still hard days ahead (most likely a lot of them) and I will have to keep working on feeling normal and feeling happy but I’m thankful for last weekend as it brought both those things back into my life.
XOXO,
Jessy
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A Different St. Paddys Day Weekend

St. Patricks Day weekend is one of the many many reasons why I love living in the beautiful city of Boston. This weekend here is like no other– so full of excitement, energy and plain fun!Honestly, I was very disappointed about having to miss all the shenanigans that go along with this wild weekend but it is what it is. Luckily for this little Irish girl, I was able to have a nice day with lots of visitors! After three weeks of not being able to snuggle my favorite princess, my doctors said that I could have Eleni come in to see me. It’s amazing what a child can do for a soul…it literally made my heart feel better to give her hugs and kisses. Then some fabulous girlfriends came to chat, shower me with St. Paddys Day bling and give me some much needed girl time gossip! My parents and brother came later in the afternoon and unfortunately I wasn’t feeling well by the end of the day, but it was nice to have them here to be there with me during a not-so-great time.

Busy day for this lady but an even bigger day tomorrow. If my neutrophil count goes up to 500 (basically a number they give to my immune system), I could be going home. I’m trying not to get my hopes up but that’s basically impossible. I want to breathe fresh air, see the sun, lay in my bed, eat a home cooked meal. I want that so bad. So tonight, I’m saying an extra Irish blessing in my prayers and hoping I get my wish to go home tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a special weekend. Enjoy the week ahead!

XOXO,
Jessy

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Silver Linings BlogBook

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Mornings are hard. For a split second when I’m sleeping I forget where I am and then am reminded that I’m not home and this isn’t a dream I’ll be waking up from any time soon. Mornings also mean that there’s a full day ahead of me which can feel daunting. SO, this morning I wanted to remind myself of some of the good things that will come out of this not-so-good situation.

1. Connect with people— a true blessing has been receiving such an overwhelming amount of love and support from quite an array of people in the past two weeks. Obviously with those that I hold closest to my heart, but also connecting with people that I haven’t spoken with in years, people I am only acquaintances with, or people that I really don’t know at all but felt the urge to reach out and offer their kind words and support. It truly has shown me that people are innately goodand I am so lucky to be surrounded with the most amazing group of individuals I could ever ask for. This experience has already highlighted the importance of making a better effort in connecting with those that I love and appreciate– making the time to give a call to one of my many friends that are seemingly scattered around the country just to say hello, making the time to call catch up with someone important in my life that it’s been too long since we’ve last spoken, making the time to not get lost in the “routine” of life and put in a better effort to see my family and friends that live just an hour away in which I sometimes act like live across the country, making the time to say thank you and i love you to all those that make a difference in my life. So to all of you who are reading this blog and have connected with me in these past two weeks to offer me positive vibes and energy… thank you and i love you.

2. Try new things — I will have lots of new found “time on my hands” and while I know this will be tough road ahead physically, I really believe that the mental game is half the battle and the more active and stimulated I remain, the quicker the road to recovery will be. So there’s no better time than now to try new things and gain new “hobbies”– like BLOGGING! 🙂 or knitting, DIYing or painting. Creative outlets will be a nice change of pace and one that I’m excited about.

3. Become a famous chef-– If you follow me on Pinterest, you probably saw the outrage that I took to pinning recipes yesterday. The past few months, I’ve learned to really enjoy cooking and trying new recipes/foods. But as with most people, there’s not always enough time in the day to be slaving away in the kitchen trying all the recipes I want to discover. So lucky for me (and Mike!), I’ll be slumming around our Slomerville palace for quite some time and will have plenty of time to master this talent.

I see you Guy Fierri.

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4. Possibly get a pup — not sure if this one’s possible yet but I’ve wanted a frenchie for a long time now and there really hasn’t been a good time with my work schedule. So my wheels have already begun to spin that maybe this is God opening the door for me to have a little baby frenchie on board.

A girl can dream…

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5. Have a “summer vacation” — living in New England there is absolutely a “better” time to have chemo. And it’s called not winter. I feel lucky that I’m going to go through this just as winter is ending and the beautiful New England spring and summer are beginning. I felt sorry for myself last summer being locked up in an office building everyday during those warm weather days. And although this is not how I would’ve wished to get some extra days off, (I’d take winning the lotto instead), I’m excited to spend time soaking up more rays than I had anticipated and just enjoying being outdoors and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.

So with that said….dear 10 degree days in March– get the eff out of my way.

6. More time with my Eleni Bear – lets face it, there’s no better therapy than snuggling with my favorite little nugget. Literally nothing better. And I’ll have way more time to do that. So BOOM– win.

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I’m sure I’ll think of more later but those are some of the main things I’m looking forward to with my new change of pace.

XOXO,

Jessy

A Beautiful New Baby Girl

Jeesh, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a post and I’m not sure how the time slipped away.

SO big news in my family and in my life– I am officially an Auntie. Eleni Kathryn was born at 5:30 am on September 28, 2013 weighing 6 lbs 7 oz! She is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on– big blue eyes, a FULL head of curly dark hair, the softest skin I’ve ever touched, a tiny round nose that’s as cute as a button and the most fabulous smirk I’ve ever seen an infant give. The past 9 months have gone by in the blink of an eye (however I’m sure my sister would disagree with that) and it’s both so exciting and relieving to have her here with us. I was surprised at how nervous I felt the weeks leading up to the due date– the overwhelming feeling of concern for not only the baby but for my sister. Millions of women give birth every day but when it’s the one you love going through it, it’s a whole different experience and something I really didn’t expect.

So without further ado, here is my beautiful baby niece…

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To my little Eleni: I feel so blessed to have you in my life and to have you as my niece and my goddaughter. My hope for you is that you grow up to be a smart, kind, independent and loving person. I hope you don’t take life too seriously and you have the ability to love hard and love often. I hope your life is filled with laughter because if there’s anything I believe, it’s that laughing can make just about anything better. I love you to the moon and back.

Xoxo,

‘Auntie’ Jessy

Rustic & Vintage Baby Shower

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My older sister, Courtney, is having a baby girl!!! It’s the first grandchild on either side of the family so you can only guess everyone’s excitement. I am lucky enough to say that I will be the Godmother of this little bundle of cuteness and I cannot wait another second to meet her.

Last Sunday, my mom and I threw her a baby shower and I thought I’d share some pics and how-to’s. I wanted it to be a beautiful baby shower– one that was classy, cute and chic all at the same time. Since we know it’s a girl, I obviously wanted to have lots of pinks and make it super girly. However, I didn’t want it to be so over-the-top that it was ‘too much.’ So I settled on a ‘Vintage/Rustic’ theme.

Color theme was pale pinks and creams with pops of dark, richer pinks. I wanted it to feel like an elevated country theme (without the ‘twang), so I went with distressed woods, mason jars, homemade drink stirrers, cardboard straws, and “vintage” baby clothes strung throughout the room. Below are some pics from the party!

My mom saved some of her favorite outfits from when each of us were babies, so we took those and strung them across the present table to add a personal touch.
baby clothesline

In order to spruce up the bar, I got wooden skewers for grilling and wrapped pink washi tape around it to make little pink flags for guests to add to their drinks!
bar area with drink stirrers

We placed this sweet sign on top of the bar — best part is that it acted as a great decoration as well as a nice gift for my sister to take home for the nursery.
bar sign

As for the tables, I bought $1 mini-sized easles and painted them with chalkboard paint in order to write out what ‘activities’ we had going on during the shower.
chalk board table toppers

I purchased plain mason jars and printed out some adorable ‘it’s a girl’ cut-outs and used modge podge to adhere them to the glasses. I loved this because it had multiple purposes– decor, water glasses, and our guests party favor.
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For the one of the ‘activities,’ I printed out baby images of each of the immediate family members. Guests then had to fill out a sheet guessing who was who. I made them all sepia tone to give it the rustic look (plus, it made it harder to guess who was who). At the end of the party, we revealed who won from each table and the winner got to take home the centerpiece (an oversized vintage milk jar with two pink roses inside). We also had plain white onesies on each table and asked guests to decorate it as a table–they came out adorable and my sister is planning to put them in the baby’s baby book. Lastly, we had pink cardstock cut up and placed on the table when guests first walked in and asked that they make a wish for the baby. These will get given to her when she’s older and should be very special.
guess the baby game

Last but not least (this was my favorite), when guests were responding, I requested them to bring a cute headband so that I could stack them all together and showcase during the party. I took a large candle and wrapped it in pink tights so that the wax wouldn’t come off onto the bows. I loved the way it looked and the bows people brought were just darling!
stacked bows

Less than a month until our little princess is born and I am so excited to meet her!

XOXOX,
Jessy