Wednesday, July 9, 2014

This Side of Grief // In Honor of Devin

Grief. It's always been one of those words that I've heard others talk about, but I myself, didn't really know. Sure, I have felt grief different times in my life. We had some rough years growing up, I suppose that was a type of grief. I dealt with some personal issues in my 20's, I guess that was a type of grief. My papa passed away a few years ago now, and that was the roughest loss of my life, up until this point. He was a wonderful man, and I look forward to seeing him again. For sure.

But this? This grief? This grief is unreal. This grief takes it's toll on your body, on your mind, on your spirit...and pretty much everything else.

How do you deal with losing your only sibling after 30 years of always having them? Honestly, I'm still not sure. It's been 5 months today. 5. 5 months. What on Earth...?

There are days where I walk around, and look at people thinking, "you have no idea the hole in my heart. you go on living your life, like everything is fine, while mine fell apart 5 months ago." Of course, those conversations are silent, nothing like I would actually say to people. But hey, you can't really fault me for thinking it.

I've never been more devastated. I honestly wasn't sure how to even go from one day to the next, but the one thing I do know, and as cliche as you might think this sounds, God is faithful! He has been so faithful.

We really believed that Devin was going to be healed. I've never believed something so much in my whole life (other then in Jesus Christ). And then he wasn't. Well, not an Earthly healing at least. I remember sitting on the floor in the emergency room sobbing and saying that God failed us. Yes, moment of weakness, I admit it and am not ashamed. At that time, I felt it, so strongly. How can we believe and have faith, if this is what happens?

But through all of this hurt and pain and stuff, God has shown his loving hand to me. He has guided me and He has brought me into a deeper relationship with Him. My life has forever been altered and changed.

The one thing I won't allow to happen is for this loss to completely overtake me and ruin me. Devin wouldn't want that. However, our enemy absolutely would. I want this valley, this harsh dark valley, to become a testimony. I want to come out stronger, or at least I want to show people God's great and never ending love. I want people to see that life can move forward because we have hope.

Hope is not an ugly four letter word. Hope brings life! There are days that seem so dark and as if they want to overtake me, but God's light just shines a little brighter.

Yeah, it sounds like I have it all together. Well, no, I don't. How often do I sit at my desk at work and cry? How often do I weep in prayer at my bedside, or driving down the road, or at TJ Maxx? It happens, a lot. I'm sad. I'm devastated. I'm heart broken.

But I'm not destroyed. I have hope so much greater than anything I could be provided here on Earth. I get to see my brother again, along with my papa and most importantly, my savior Jesus Christ.

That is hope that nothing and no one can extinguish.

Until then, I will fight this battle everyday with the cross before me as a guide and one day, when my feet leave this ground, I'll be on the OTHER side of grief. I'll be on the other side of everything. I'll be where I'm supposed to be, for all eternity. Until then, I'm on this side of grief, and yeah, it's not a bed of roses.

So if you are struggling, hang in there. Remember to have hope and remember that life moves forward, sometimes slowly and with trials and pain, but get ready...because we have a lot to look forward to.


Friday, January 11, 2013


1. A-thread shop. Really cute shop and they donate 5% of the funds from your purchases to a non-profit of your choice.
2. Blogshop. Cool site that offers weekend boot camp classes classes to help you better your blog by using photo shop. They do in person classes all over the country and give really neat goodie bags.
3. Gold dipped jars DIY. Don't you love these simple but gorgeous jars? Make some yourself!
4. Cupcakes and Cashmere the book AND the blog. Fun and pretty book that offers tips on lifestyle, entertaining and living a fabulous life.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and have some fun checking out the fabulous finds above.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I wear orange for my brother. Orange is the support color for Leukemia.

My brother Devin was RE-diagnosed Monday with ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia) with the Philadelphia chromosome. This is the 3rd time and he has been living without cancer for 20 years now. Do you know how rare it is to relapse with the same type of cancer, especially the type he has? It's unheard of.

Talk about a miracle. And God is going to do it again. There is no doubt. Sure, it's been scary, exhausting, frustrating, infuriating, confusing, mind blowing, stupid, lame, sad, faith depleting, faith enhancing (I could go on and on). Yes, it's basically been a big ball of emotions. But in all actuality, we're not scared of the end result. We're more bummed about the road. The road is the hard part. The chemo, the medicine, the bone marrow tests, the exhaustion. The road sucks. No other way to put it. But we have a God that is unbelievable and we fully trust in Him. This just started, but we're ready for it to be over.

I was tested Monday to see if I could be a potential donor for a BMT (bone marrow transplant), I'll know in 7 days. Of course we pray that it doesn't come to that, but if it does, as a sibling I have a 1 in 4 chance of being a match. Devin doesn't want me to be a match, just because he doesn't want me to have to go through the pain of doing the transplant IF he had to get one. Of course, I'd give my left leg, but we'll see how it goes. According to the Dr's, the BMT is not as painful as it used to be, so, that's somewhat comforting.

Dev and I one week before his diagnosis. He was already feeling pretty bad. 

My new ring. A reminder of the Hope that we have. 

 Due to Devin's lack of insurance right now, any donations to help out with expenses would be unbelievably helpful. If you are able to donate, please check out this link and give what you can.
Anything you could give would be helpful. Of course, we'll continue to take those prayers too. 

Thank you to everyone who has already given, prayed, called, texted, emailed, stopped by, brought up cupcakes or food, THANK YOU. It really means the world to see how much support we have during this time. 

Thank you all for fighting along with us. In the meantime, find something orange for yourself to wear here

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Dessert is the best part of any meal. Some say you should have dessert first, so you can make sure you have room for it. :) I love anything sweet, and I love beautiful decor and inspired design. Why not mix the two? 

Sweets and Dessert bars are a huge hit at weddings and parties, and we can see why. Sweet sugary delights all in one place, designed beautifully with charming take home bags...of course I'd stop by on my way out of the party! Caramels, Madeleine's, macaroons, chocolates and more. The ultimate treat bar. You can keep it simple or go all out. Either way, it will charm the pants off of your guests and have them smiling all evening. 

My friend Monica (of Dirty Bombshells) and I are endeavoring to start our own Stylishly Sweet business this year and would love for you to get involved. Do you need a sweets bar at your next event? We're ready to get started and would love to help you. While we're getting all of our business plans in line, we'd be willing to set up with plenty of awesome decor,  refill and tear down and all you need to pay for are the actual treats. We'd only do this for the first few customers of course, just to get our feet wet. We both have plenty of event planning experience for both small and large events, and we're ready to get out there and help with yours! This is a smashing deal for someone who is trying to save some money right now, or is doing their event on a budget. We'd love to help. Send me an email at and let us know what you need. We'll get back to you very soon. 

In the meantime, here is some eye candy to inspire you. Check out more on my Pinterest board here.

Monday, December 31, 2012


People say happiness is relative. What do you think?

I think those people are right.

"Happiness does not depend on real quality of life" I like that.

I honestly believe you can be happy in good times and yes, even the ugly bad times. Sure, the bad times, well, they are no fun and it's very hard to see the silver lining sometimes. However, did you know, that  in some of the poorest countries, happiness is higher than what it is in America? I think that's because we have so much and we constantly want more. We constantly want the next thing, the next gadget, the next i-whatever. I'm just as guilty, but I've found it's really the experiences in life that make us happy. Not the things.

When was the last time you were truly happy? I mean, TRULY happy? I'd have to say my proposal was the last time I was just unbelievably happy. Like, hugging kittens, happy. I cried and laughed, all out of sheer happiness. Yeah, that doesn't happen often, that was a different type of happiness. I can tell you that I'm pretty happy most of the time though. I mean, I'm a Gemini so I definitely go into the mully grubbs like once a month (and no, it's not because of what you think...eww) but I just feel life is to short to not be happy. Don't get me wrong, I'm very far from perfect, and when I'm in those mully grubbs that I mentioned in the previous sentence, yeah, please don't come around (or when I haven't  eaten and my blood sugar is low, don't come around then either).

We all need things to remind us of what makes us happy. Here are some tips to get to that place, I mean, you know, when you really need to. Not saying you do, maybe you are always in that place. So to you that are, I applaud you and ask that you share YOUR tips with ME. :) For those that need a little extra help sometimes, read on, maybe you will be inspired. 

1. Give to someone. 

Give to someone with needs greater than yours. Gifts can be free, whether you volunteer at a soup kitchen, give blood at a blood drive, or bake a cake for a shut in, you can be greatly reminded of your true happiness, when you give of yourself to others. It's really the easiest thing we can do and sometimes seeing someone with different needs than yourself can help you remember what you are truly happy about in life. 

2. Go outside and take a deep breath. 

Yes, go outside, breath deeply and just let it all go. Smile, look at God's beautiful creation and think back on your happiest moments. Those moments were happy for a reason, what were they? You can have that again. 

3. Do something exciting, something you've never done before. Scare yourself. 

Sometimes, we just need to feel alive to remember what it feels like to be really happy. When our lives become mundane and we have the same routine everyday, our joy can start to fade. Why not go and do something crazy? Something that scares you silly, but shows you what life is really all about. It's about those new experiences, it's about learning something you never knew. It's about being crazy sometimes.   Obviously be smart when you do these crazy things, and don't do anything reckless. Crazy doesn't have to mean skydiving or riding motorcycles, sometimes it means going to a local restaurant and getting to know the couple beside you. Sometime crazy means trying out a new hairstyle that you were always afraid to try, but really wanted to. Sometimes crazy is telling that someone you love, you love them, when you've been to scared to. Whatever your crazy is, why not do it as soon as possible? 

4. Hug those dear to you. Really hug them. 

Hugging can release stress, calm you down and lower your heart rate. So, hug it out already! Hugging helps you remember why you love that person. Breath them in and get your squeeze on. Hugging is sheer happiness. 

I hope you find one (or all) of these tips helpful at some point. Either way, I believe we all deserve true happiness and I wish that for each of you. 

What makes you truly happy?