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Courage, Strength and Faith Printables

BC Art

Free Breast Cancer Awareness art from Keren.

Download them at Free Pretty Things for You

Use for buttons, cards, tags… anything.

Thanks Keren!  And please check out my post about my amazing pal Michelle and her battle with breast cancer.  

I am giving away some goodies in honor of her.

Malia

Michelle, Pink Warrior Princess + A Celebratory Giveaway

October 1st is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In honor of this important event, I want to write a little about my friend Michelle aka The Pink Warrior Princess and the bravest girl I know.  The tears are welling up as I write this but not out of sadness– hers is a story about strength. 

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Michelle Pre-Cancer

There are certain things in all our lives that feel too scary to think about– even after you're through the "danger zone."  Michelle's cancer is one of those things for me.  Even now, it feels incredibly tender to write about.  But it's so important to share her story.  

Michellein redsuit

Michelle Today

It started in the summer of 2009.  Michelle was getting ready in her bedroom and saw– yes saw– a lump in her breast. There was a flurry of doctor's appointment and tests.  Things felt like they might be ok and then they were not. In July of 2009 Michelle was diagnosed with Stage 2b breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy.  You have to know this girl had a figure to envy.  Great curves and still petite.  I expected her to be upset about the aftermath of the mastectomy.  In addition to all the pain and discomfort, something that had been literally a big part of her was gone. 

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Fall 2009

Michelle amazed me with her calmness and strength.  She was completely disinterested in wearing her prosthetics.  She was totally comfortable with where she was at in her treatment.  This picture is from last autumn.  Michelle had just cut her hair to get ready for five months of chemotherapy and the possibility her hair would fall out.  It did but her smile stayed put. 

Michelle getting chemo

Sometimes I got the opportunity to go to Michelle's chemo appointments with her.  It was actually fun (is it wrong to say that?) hanging out while we waited for the numbers to come back and the drip to start.  I would be in the middle of what I thought was a hilarious story and then I'd look over and see she was asleep. She seemed so fragile to me during this time.

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Winter 2009

Michelle had chemo treatments for months.  She was sick and exhausted but her spirit never faltered. Her husband, two boys, family and friends all rallied around her but really it was Michelle who made everyone feel strong.  Her sense of humor gave me comfort during this time.  She's the most genuine and sweetest person I know AND she also has a wonderful ironic sense of humor and way of seeing things. She's VERY funny and her cancer took her hair but gave her some new material.

Last chemo

The Last Chemo Treatment

Her last chemo treatment was like a slumber party.  All these girlfriends from different parts of Michelle's life, united in love for her.  Within a few weeks, Michelle's hair started growing back and she embarked on seven weeks of radiation.  She joked her 'do was getting long.  This was around her birthday in April. 

  Millmancandle

Happy Birthday, Warrior Princess

And here she is walking the runway at a fundraiser for the Seattle Chapter of Gilda's Club Spring of 2010. Doesn't she look fierce working the runway?  That's her cute Mom Cheryl in the background.  Michelle became a tireless advocate for cancer awareness and prevention.  Was she doing better?  Yes.  Was it still a scary time?  Definitely.

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Gilda's Club 

Fast forward to the present.  Radiation in the hospital is over (there is a daily does of Taxol) and she's back at work.  She has a clean bill of health and gets checked out every three months.  

This is a special photo of Michelle. She's gracing the cover of the magazine for Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, where she received her treatment.  Did I mention that girlfriend is also a TV Anchor and Reporter?  Yes she went through this whole deal in public and with so much grace.  

Michelle in monitor

And here's my most recent photo of Michelle from this week.  Look at this woman literally glowing with strength.  She's just gorgeous inside and out.  I made her a few breast cancer awareness pendant necklaces and she's wearing one here.  Hers reads "Courage."

Millman today

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to send one to a few of you. It's my tiny thank you to the universe.

Strength 1

Just leave me a comment on this post about how breast cancer has had an impact on your life.  The giveaway open for one week until 5 pm Friday October 8th. We'll pick a few winners. Please be sure to leave your email address so we can connect with you if you win.

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Survivor 1

To read more about Michelle's Journey check out her blog at KIRO TV.  And this important page details Breast Cancer Basics.  Through this extremely difficult year, I've seen Michelle become a fierce advocate for breast cancer awareness. Rising above her own fear and pain, she's given hundreds maybe thousands of people important information and more importantly– hope.  Before Michelle's battle with cancer, I was a person who had a hard time letting friends know how I felt about them.  And now– I realize each day is to be appreciated.  It's so important to say what you need to say.

Michelle, I am amazed and awed by the strength and faith you've shown through everything this past year.  I'm SO proud to be your friend.  I love you!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Big Pink Hug!

 Malia

Linking to some of these fab parties

Avatar: The Legend of Aang Party

Hi Friends… I've been slowly getting back into the swing of things after Max's Avatar Birthday Party last weekend.  This Avatar is not the one with the blue aliens. It's the cartoon that the Avatar the Last Airbender movie is based on.  The animated series is beautiful and follows Aang and his friends on a quest around the four nations (Earth, Water, Fire and Air).  

Cupcake 3

Since the show concluded in 2008, finding themed products was difficult.  So I contacted Kendra of Key Lime Digital Designs and she set me up!  Kendra made printable cupcake toppers of the four elements/nations and a dragon.  I used a circle punch to punch them out and a scallop punch for the red cardstock backing.

Party cupcake 2

And she created this awesome printable banner:

Party banner

I just printed out the letters, trimmed some black cardstock to make the backing and used Stickles to add glitter.  I used twine to hang it up.  I like making banners and this was a new shape and style for me.  It feels clean and uncluttered and I can imagine doing something similar for a Chinese New Year party.

Party banner 1

I really appreciated Kendra's attention to detail… She outlined each letter with the Chinese symbols for Earth, Water, Fire and Air.  

Party banner 3

To tie everything together, Kendra made Thank You Notes too!  Kendra will be sponsoring a giveaway tomorrow so I hope you stop by to enter.

Party thank you

My Mom and I had a fun time with the "extras"

Party favors

Here are the party favors.  I found these Asian inspired lined notebooks at Target in the dollar bin.  The dragon pens were from Target too but they were marked down to fifty cents!  You should have seen me pawing through the sale bin.  I found nineteen of them– exactly the amount I needed.  My Mom and I wrapped the notebooks and pens together with raffia.

Party candy

What's a birthday party without treats?  I picked up these colorful Chinese take-out containers at World Market and we filled them up with candy.

Party decorations

These battery powered lamps are from World Market too.  For activities we did face painting (or in this case, hand painting).

Party painting

And we had a treasure hunt.  We divided the kids up in two groups.  They had to solve riddles to find the next clue.

Party pix 5

Party pix 2

They got to work together and the treasure they discovered were ancient chinese coins necklaces.

Party pendant

The coins were also from World Market.  They really are ancient!  They come in packs of 10 for $5.99.

Party pix 8
 But the the kids thought the highlight of the party was when they all got foam swords (again from the dollar section at Target) and had a massive sword fight in the backyard.  We had plenty of helpers out there and set rules so no one got hurt.

 Big fun!  See you tomorrow for A Crafty Soiree linky party and a giveaway with four prizes to win from Key Lime Digital Designs.

 And on Friday I'll be posting a vey personal story about my friend Michelle and her battle with breast cancer.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I'll be doing a giveaway too.

Hugs!  Malia

L-O-V-E

The spirit of Valentine's Day is in the air.  You know, L-O-V-E.  For weeks, Mia has been talking about a young man in her class… we'll call him Mr. "B."  Yesterday, Max and I got to meet Mr. B for the first time at Mi's class Valentine's Day Party.  She's in the back row and guess who's standing to her right?

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My little lovebug has been coming home from school with stories about Mr. B.  First he was kissing her shoulder. Next he was kissing her on the face.  Then he told her he loved her.  That's when Mia informed me that they're getting married.  Sigh.  I think this girl is going to be a handful.  In a good way!

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Here are my little Valentines.  Best buddies most of the time.  

I wouldn't call the relationship between Max and his Physical Therapist love.  But I would say it's authentic like by both parties.  Here's the Valentine's Day card that Max made for Ly.

LyCard
I like how he drew me sitting down (that's pretty much what I do at PT) and that he made Ly pink.

Max&LyVal
I think friendship is a wonderful kind of love.  Sweet Michelle had her final chemo on Monday.  Look how this girl rocks a head scarf.

IMG_8998-1This may sound strange, but Michelle's last chemo was fun.  She had a bunch of gal pals there from all different times in her life (highschool, college, work, early days of mommy-hood).  They were fantastic. You can never overestimate the power of girl friends… or love!

Rainbows On The Way

Mia Rainbow
"The way I see it… if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."  

-Dolly Parton  

I think the forecast is for rainbows.  Michelle has her last chemo next Monday (!).  Max is going to the Pediatric Sports Medicine Doctor today.  I am hopeful she'll allow us to increase his activity.  I am ready for a rainbow (or two)!


Edward, Bella, Michelle

An imaginary conversation between Bella and Edward

Bella:  "Oh, Edward…"

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Edward:  "Yes Bella?"

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Bella:  "Why does it always seem like there's something keeping us apart?  My Dad, my friends, Jacob, Victoria, the Volturi… plastic packaging (sigh)."

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Edward:  "Oh Bella… You're such a doll."

Finally made it to "New Moon" this weekend.  I have to admit there were a few instances of teenage angst that cracked me up.  But overall, it was fun to see.

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My friends and I were equally divided on Team Jacob/Team Edward.  But we're all "Team Michelle."

Michelle has a new blog post up today.  She continues to amaze me with her strength and positivity.

Her blog is great reading this holiday week.