We have been a very busy family the past couple of weeks. Trying to fit all sorts of fabulous holiday fun in before counts go down. It has been exciting as well as exhausting. Elizabeth’s counts are finally up. We attended the Nutcracker Ballet, which is always so beautiful. The girls recognized many of the ballerinas on stage this year, which they were super duper excited about. We also witnessed and learned an important lifeskill at the ballet this year. One of the candy cane girls slipped and fell extremely hard during the performance. There is no way she was not hurt. She was in full toe point and every muscle in her body was flexed as her foot slipped on some snow and crashed down on the stage. As I gave Bryce a dirty look for laughing, after the show we as a family had a full conversation about never giving up. We witnessed first hand this girl picking herself up and continuing on with such bravery. I thought to myself, this girl will never be the same on stage. She will be stronger and braver than she has ever been before. The same is true with Elizabeth and cancer. She is stronger and braver than she has ever been and it’s true she will never be the same, either.
So our Christmas tree is up and we are ready for Santa to visit. Each year the kids pick a new Disney ornament and add to the collection. Disneyland is one of our most favorite places to visit as a family. Brooke and I both grew up going every year and we wanted to continue the tradition with our own children. It’s hard to believe at this time last year we were on our way to Disneyland with three healthy kiddos, well actually Miss Kate got the stomach flu while we were there and so we returned home and went back for New Year’s. Disneyland is also where we celebrated Elizabeth’s 5th birthday this year. And now we are decorating the same tree that we do each and every single year with all our Disney ornaments. This year it all seems so very different. My head keeps saying “what if this is the last time we get to do this together. I have been saying that a lot lately with many things. I try really hard not to think like that but that’s what cancer does. And it sadly stops me in my tracks. I don’t have it in me to Christmas shop this year. Brooke continues to pick up all my slack. Some days I feel like I can take on the world and other days I just can not. I heard the song by Tim McGraw the other day “Live Like You Were Dying”. You love deeper, you talk sweeter, you give forgiveness that you’ve been denying. I don’t know from one day to the next what life holds but life is definitely a gift not a guarantee. Make every moment count. It kills me to hear about the families that have lost their child because they died from childhood cancer or other devastating circumstances. I cry for these families and how hard it must be for them. I pray that we never know. As I sit next to Elizabeth tonight I again hear the baby crying next door. Elizabeth has received very intense amounts of chemo over the past 24 hours. Her Dad and I have been very anxious about starting again. Anxious for a couple of reasons.. Not only because of our fear of cancer coming back full force due to no chemo, which is constantly on our minds but also because this current drug Elizabeth is receiving is the drug the doctors believed caused all the stroke-like complications before. Things were getting back to somewhat “normal” around here. If there is such a word. Watching chemotherapy poison enter your daughters body to kill cancer cells should not be “normal” for anyone. Which is why EBB Foundation is so important to Brooke and I. We want to help make a difference for families who have to call this life “normal”. As I sat in the ER with Elizabeth and our new “normal” life Thursday night, she like always makes me laugh when I need it most (just like her daddy), she decided that she wants to start her own web show. “Really”, I replied “well, what are you going to call it?” I asked her. She said it’s going to be called…”Love Elizabeth”. Of course it is! Speaking of Love Elizabeth. Did everyone hear about the amazing fundraiser that took place this weekend for EBB Foundation? I’m convinced if you were looking down from the sky at our little community there would have been a big giant rainbow heart appearing overhead. Super duper generous love filled the air at 5202 N. 7th Street this past Saturday and Sunday. If you are down with EBB, then you know me and that I was so emotionally touched to see so many of you come out to support Elizabeth and her fight against childhood cancer. From the so special silver angel pocket token I received as well as the beautiful silver soldered necklace gifted to me that says “I can do hard things” to all the tight hugs and the kindest of words. It was beyond amazing! I feel like putting it into words could not possibly do justice to how I feel about each and everyone of you that came out full of EBB. Now for the mom who has a problem with the wording on our new “Kicking Cancer in the Buttcrack” t-shirts. And yes, really someone had a problem with letting their child wear a t-shirt with the word buttcrack on it and apparently had to verbally express this. I have two things to say to that person…GET THE STICK OUT OF YOUR BUTTCRACK and if that doesn’t work then KISS MY BUTTCRACK! Because if your child had cancer (and I pray they never do) and you saw first hand the evil that it brings, you would know those shirts are rated G compared to what they should say. And FYI the most beautiful five year old you could ever meet, came up with the wording on those shirts. And I’m not talking beautiful on the outside (because she does have that, too) I’m talking about beauty that comes from within the heart. Which again, you know nothing about. However, I do pray that you do figure that one out someday. And also FYI, I wouldn’t sell you either shirt because you don’t deserve to wear them. But for the rest of you lovely people who came out to support Elizabeth, Kate, Bryce, Brooke and myself this means so much to us all! Bryce worked so hard all day on Saturday. I didn’t have to wake him up. He just set his alarm clock, got himself up, made his bed and said, ” I’m ready to work, mom.”. And that little guy worked so hard monitoring the kids candy station and donations all day. He kept a tally all day long and every time he would receive another dollar, he would run over and tell me in the proudest way possible. Which in return makes me the proudest mommy possible. I’m sending a big big thank you to everyone who came out and bought t-shirts, entered the raffle, bought items from local vendors including my boutique, Vintage Style and especially helped make this a great beginning for EBB Foundation. It was a great success and brought in $12,000!! This money will be used towards a bigger fundraiser to raise awareness for childhood cancer (hopefully in the Spring) and to eventually fund The EBB Book Project, Elizabeth and I have been working so hard on. With Christmas so close, Brooke and I have been also talking about purchasing some special gifts for the kiddos who will be on the 7th floor on Christmas day. I will keep you posted on what we come up with. In addition to all of the above, Elizabeth started back to Crossroads Preschool this past week. Did I mention that Crossroads Preschool is the most absolutely, amazing and beautifully loving preschool I know! We are thrilled and are looking forward to many fun days to come. Did I also mention, Elizabeth was also approved for Make a Wish this week, which means she needs to decide what her Make a Wish will be. I will say she has mentioned meeting Jaden Smith and Justin Bieber, cheetah pants and a shopping spree. So we will see what she ends up deciding on. It is all very exciting for her! Well, signing off from the 7th floor tonight.
Elizabeth (and her mom)
P.S. We have t-shirts still available if you couldn’t make it Saturday and would like to purchase one, two or more. They are $30.00 and showcase Elizabeth, the cancer slayer, Kicking cancer in the buttcrack! We also have our original t-shirts Beauty comes from within the heart, as well. Let me know!