Saturday, 22 December 2012

Happy Holidays!! Love, Jane xo

     I'm sitting on my cozy couch watching Ginger Rodgers, vivid with glamour even in black and white. By the itty-bitty colored lights of our tiny Christmas tree, I'm ticking the last few things off my holiday to-do list.  And thanking the Lord for the convenience of internet shopping and express shipping!
     I haven't done very much at all in the way of writing lately. I haven't done much of anything at all lately. I've been bed-ridden with fevers, sometimes losing hours to black dreams and feeling deliriously confused. In eight weeks I've lost twenty-two pounds, not being able to keep anything down, repulsed by even the smell of food. Even though things look fairly grim regarding my health, I'm refusing to give up my fight to be home for Christmas this year! The nurses are coming every day for IV treatments at my home in an attempt to keep me stable, but the infection rages on. I missed my son's Christmas concert this week, which broke both our hearts. 
     But my son came home. 
     If you've seen the world news, you know of the tragic shooting down in Connecticut where so many small children lost their lives. I cannot begin to imagine the magnitude of that loss. I cry just thinking about those children and their families. Parents who have closets full of presents, waiting for the little hands that will never come home to open them. I cry thinking about how every time the holidays come around which are meant for family, love and laughter - they will only be haunted by these wretched memories. My heart aches for them.
     Our neighborhood suffered a different kind of blow last week as well. My son's principal was arrested as part of a drug trafficking ring. He watched over our kids the last few years. Even played hockey with my father and brother. Arrested along with twenty-seven others (including a doctor and other reputable members of the community) they also found two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in dope paraphernalia, a hundred thousand in cash and five guns when they raided there drug house.
    My son was shaken by both of these horrid events and asked me the questions I couldn't answer. 'Why would someone do such a thing? I thought we were supposed to trust our teachers?' How can I make him feel better when the world seems big and scary even to me?! 
I wish I could gather him up in my arms and home school him until he turns eight-teen and then ship him off to college in full body armor. 
     What I do know is this holiday season I'm with the people in the world I love more than anything. I know there will be singing and dancing, laughing at comic holiday movies, surprises from Santa and riots of good cheer as we ring in the new year. I also know now that I will have all of this whether I'm in my bed at home or in a hospital bed or anywhere at all. I had been so focused on hoping and praying and wishing to be home for Christmas that I did not realize that I'll already have everything I could ever ask for no matter where I am. I plan on being  grateful for every minute.
      People often ask me how I keep my spirits up. I understand that my illness is  an awful and scary obstacle sometimes. But how could I be sad or depressed when I feel like the luckiest person in the world in every other way?
     I hope you all have a wonderful holiday however you are celebrating! Enjoy the scrumptious food, the shiny eyes of excited children, the fun of watching the opening of gifts, the crackling fire and twinkling lights. Above all, appreciate all you have and those you share it with. Hug  your loved ones a little tighter, let your kisses linger longer and know that the biggest gift of all is being able to love them and hold them close.  

*Merry Christmas!*
             *Seasons Greetings!* 
                            *Happy Holidays!*


Jane xo

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Holiday Wish List Extravaganza!

   I have been doing one of my favorite things - buying people presents! And I'm darn good at it too. My son is going to go bananas this Christmas! I've also been inspired by Pinterest to make some gifts for my girlfriends. It's been really fun! And so easy. I definitely suggest trying this. Maybe after the holidays I will show you what I've been up to. Have to keep those gifts hush hush! Even if you aren't crafty, you would be surprised at all the amazing things you can make yourself at home.  All this gifting has got me wondering...
What would be my perfect Holiday Wish List?!

Dear Santa
     All I want for Christmas is:

bliss super slough scrub 
My bottle is almost empty! This big blue bottle will be your new best friend. The fresh, clean, 'awake' scent is heaven on it's own. But with those little blue beads doing their job to buff and slough off dry skin, this scrub means business. I swear to you nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than a temperate shower and this invigorating body scrub to wake up you and your new silky smooth skin!



I have been drooling over this Urban Decay infamous eye shadow palette forever. The pigment is ultra rich and goes on whisper light and stays put all day and all night. I like the Naked2 palette over the original because it has kept all the golds and tawny browns that are great for day, plus has a jet-black and some grays to glam it up with a smokey eye for night! 

Studded Zipper Riding Boot
This may kinda be cheating because I kinda know they are kinda in a box in my mother's closet downstairs. Buy hey! They are still most definitely on my wish list. I love the brown slouchy boot with the buckles, but the studded inlay with the zipper detail gives it edge. These will be great for winter and they will even be fun to amp up some girly dresses when the warm weather arrives.

Polaroid 10-Megapixel Instant Print Digital Camera Z2300B with ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology 

Whew! This tiny camera packs way more punch than just it's long winded name. It's pretty much the most awesome camera ever! If you're like me, and most people I know, we take a zillion pictures these days for twitter, facebook, texting, instagram, yadda yadda...But rarely (if ever!) do we get them developed for display or framing. Not anymore! This amazing little super guy prints your digital color pics for you - instantly! How awesome is that?!

Table Top Cotton Candy Maker
Need I say more?! It's no secret that I have a major sweet tooth but dentists - beware! If I had this little lovely at home, I would be whipping up colorful cotton candy at every occasion. Bag it for Halloween trick-or-treaters, for birthday treat bags, as party favors and any other event. Like, how about, 3pm? Three o'clock? I'll celebrate it! Bring on the cotton candy!

This would definitely be my Ultimate Holiday Wishlist! What items for your ultimate wishlist will you dream up? I would love to hear! To tell me all about them, 'Like' my Facebook Page. I always love messages and comments! The holidays are among us! Today is the first day of Chanukah and there are only 12 days left until Christmas! Happy Holidays and happy gifting everyone! <3 

Jane xo
      (and mistletoe :)

*NEW* added Dec 12/12
 Tonight my son sat down to write his list to the big guy at the North Pole. Like I said, I'm so excited for him! I think this will be his best Christmas yet. I was reading over his list and at the very end I came across a post script he had written which said, "Dear Santa, can you please send my mother a vintage typewriter like she's always wanted." Of course, my heart melted! My perfect little man thinking of his mama. Naturally, he was right, too! I've always wanted one since my grandmother let me borrow this amazing blue typewriter when I was younger. I absolutely had to add a Vintage Typewriter to my Ultimate Holiday Wishlist! :) 

P.S. Of course, above all the cotton candy in the world, I just want to be home to enjoy the holidays with my friends & family. This list is just for fun and full of things I love and think are awesome. ;) 

Checking In - An Update December 12, 2012

     I wanted to just write a quick note to let you know where I've been hiding! I'm sorry about the lack of posts but stay tuned - I have some pretty good stories lined up. Hopefully I'll be writing a great one in January about how amazing my Christmas was this year!
     I adore soaking up those magical two weeks between Christmas and New Year's filled with snowy boots, laughter and family. Nothing makes me happier than cuddling up with my boy watching Yukon Cornelius, Charlie Brown, Kevin McCallister and all the Christmas classics by the colorful cozy glow of the tree with a large mug of Egg Nog. 
     And yet, every year as the seasons come and go, it never fails - that when the weather changes, my symptoms erupt like clockwork. Every October and every March I'm sick and most likely in the hospital. I have missed six of the past seven holiday festivities and countless birthday celebrations.
    Last year, since I had just been moved to a general nursing unit from the ICU four days earlier, I spent Christmas in the hospital. It's kind of funny though, looking back. All things considered, it was as great as a Christmas could be there. My family and friends really made it special. I had a little tree, little twinkle lights, little presents and a lot of love. 
     Now it's one year later. Back in October I fell terribly sick with a fever. I was nauseous, dizzy and delirious for days. At one of my bi-weekly treatments at clinic my doctor did blood tests, x-rays and everything else under the sun. The doctor called me that night and told me to go straight to Emergency. My blood cultures had grown two bad bacteria (gram negative rods if you're savvy and something else I can't remember) and I was in a state of septic shock. I was put on extensive IV antibiotics for ten days before I was allowed home. Everything seemed to be going great. Until two weeks later. It happened again. Two weeks after that - again. They have CT Scanned, MRI'd and Ultra Sounded me every which way and my doctors cannot find where the infection is in my body that is getting into my blood stream and causing me to go septic. I always say that if the rest of my life wasn't so wonderful, I'd be the unluckiest person I know!
    I'm keeping high hopes and sending even higher prayers that I will be home with my family this year. I want to be there for everything! The decorating, the baking, the visiting, Santa, the tree and all of that tinsel sparkle and holiday magic. If it comes down to it though, I'd settle for a Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day overnight pass from the hospital. Fingers crossed!
 I hope you all are feeling the tingle of rosy cheeks and holiday cheer as much as I am! 

   Jane xo

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December 5th, 2012 - Update

Hello everyone! 
As you may have noticed, I have not written anything new for weeks. I was admitted into the hospital for two weeks (with no internet!) over the past month. It was a serious emergency, but luckily for me I have two of the most amazing doctors who quickly got me back on my feet. I've been writing the past few days so I'm hoping to have a post to put up over the weekend. In the meantime, read your favorites and follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Jane xo

Friday, 16 November 2012

It's Cold Outside. Read A Book November 16th, 2012

       I have been spending so much time reading lately. Reading in the hospital because renting a television costs $13.57 a day. (Yes, per day. How sick is that? Pardon the pun.) Reading in waiting rooms. Reading during my three hour treatments. Reading for inspiration.      
       A few weeks ago, I decided to tackle the small pile of books I had bought but had never gotten around to reading. I purchased so many newer books they became somewhat forgotten about. 
       The first of these is a book by Kristin Hanna titled Magic Hour. This book soaked me up like a sponge. It was so good that as soon as I had finished it, I ran down to my parent's apartment and told my mother she just HAD to read it. Yesterday, she gave it back looking exhausted. She had stayed up the entire night reading it. On a work night. Yes - it is that good! 
       One of my favorite things about a great book is sharing it with your friends and family. I get so excited when they also enjoy it and can talk about the story. I decided to put together a small list of the top three favorite books I have read so far this fall. I promise - you'll eat these up like Thanksgiving dinner. 

The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain
This author never disappoints. I have read six of her books but the first, and by far my favorite, was The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes. You will understand after having read it why I can't walk by any one of her books without buying it. This story starts with sixteen year old CeeCee Wilkes. She is a backwoods, small town waitress who is in love for the first time. She is blindly lead into a criminal plot with her boyfriend that spins wildly out of control. She is forced to run, change her name, and live out her life in secret. Decades later, the boyfriend is on death row - and CeeCee Wilkes is the only person who knows what really happened. This book will have you turning pages long into the night. So, get comfy, grab a cup of tea and a cozy blanket and be swept up in the intrigue. This book will have your pulse racing long after the last page.

Iron Lace by Emilie Richards
Emilie Richards has written many novels, but this is the first one that I have read. Set in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1975, the tone of the story is thick with politics, war, and racism. 
It was the beginning of modern ways, and most elders were lead kicking and screaming from the barbaric old rituals. Aurore  Gerritsen is not one of them. The matriarch of her family is living out the last of her life in her mansion. Her great grandparents started successful businesses that has kept her family wealthy for generations. Before she dies, she invites a young talented journalist to write the story of her life. Although at first reluctant, Phillip Benedict is swept up in the old lady's world, but nothing could have prepared him for the impact of Aurore's revelations. This book is so vivid, you will swear you've seen a visual video instead of words on a page. 

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
When I think of all the months this book has been right under my nose not being read, I could kick myself. The story begins with Dr. Julia Cates, an expert child psychiatrist, who moves back home to the Pacific Northwest into her family home with her sister, Sheriff Ellie Cates. One morning, from deep withing the heavy growth forest of the Olympic National Park, a six year old girl appears. She cannot speak and offers no clue to her identity. I really don't want to shed light on much more of this novel except that it will push your limits, emotionally. For the last hundred pages I cried. I was a bigger blubbering mess than a theatre full of women after a showing of The Notebook. Not that this is that kind of love story. I can't say anything more other than - Go buy this book. Now!

Finally, I want to thank you all for all the amazing feedback and compliments. I never could have imagined in a million years that my stories would be read over 10,000 times in under six months. Thank you :)

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

October 31st, 1990 Halloween

       Halloween brings back such mixed emotions for me. I love getting the house all decorated and helping my son with his costume. I love trick or treating with him out in the brisk autumn air with leaves crackling beneath our feet.
       When I was little, trick or treating down my road on the way to my grandfather’s house was my very favorite thing about Halloween. I loved how the air always smelled of chimney smoke and how there were children running house to house in a fit of giggles. He always had the best candy and would save me extra of my favorite molasses kisses. I’m pretty sure I’m probably the only person I have ever met who likes to eat those impossible to chewy treats.
       The best thing about Halloween itself, of course, was the pillowcase full of chips, rockets, lifesavers, aero bars, double bubble, tootsie pops, chocofudge, fun-dip and, if you were really lucky, maybe a can of soda pop. I would kick off my boots and lay claim to a big spot on my living room carpet and dump out my treats to survey the goods, dividing them into groups and making piles of the bad ones to pass off to my little brother. Halloween was also the gift that kept on giving because you knew you would have a candy treat every day for recess for at least the next month or so.
       Then in third grade I got diagnosed with my illness. I was pale as a ghost and all skin and bones. I had just had my very first surgery. I was so uncomfortable sitting in school that my mother made me a pillow to take for the chair at my desk. It was white and blue with Paddington bear on it. Every time I think of myself as that sick and lonely little girl, I want to give her a hug and tell her it is going to be okay and we’re going to have a rough life but we’ll get through it, I promise. It was horrible the way my most of my old class mates stayed clear of me as if I could infect them with all the terrible things that were happening to me.
       When October rolled around, the buzz started about the class Halloween party, costumes, candy and about who was brave enough to watch their older brothers horror movies. I was being tube feed all my nutrition at the time, so the last thing I wanted to do was be around all the festivities and not be allowed to so much as taste anything. I thought my mother would understand but she had a whole different idea.
       My mother decided that even though I wasn't living the ideal “normal” childhood that it was still important for me to participate in children’s pastimes when I was well enough so I didn't look back and regret it when I was older. Well, I’m older. And I still regret the Halloween of third grade.
       Since I would not be allowed to eat all the candy, potato chips and class party pizza, mom took me to Walter’s Party Rentals convinced that I should have the best costume ever so I would excited to wear it for the party and around trick or treating. She rented an amazing Miss Piggy costume. It wasn't a plastic mask or rubber head piece, it was as if it were the real Miss Piggy only I was inside. I was so excited to have the perfect costume that I pushed all my frustrations aside and started to get swept up in Halloween.
       Halloween day came around. Besides the pangs of envy over everyone eating at the party, I was admitting to myself on the way home from trick or treating that I was glad mom convinced me to go out today. My little brother and I were just finishing up the last houses in our neighborhood. The autumn night was mild and the tape that held my feeding tube in place was getting annoying and itchy under my heavy mask. I decided to take if for the walk home. We were cutting through the hole in our playground fence when my brother called to me.
       “Hey, Jane! The MacDonald’s lights are on! One more house! Come on!”
“We have two pillowcases each!” I laughed but followed him back through the fence. When we got to their yard I dropped my things on the sidewalk and carried my lightest pillowcase up their front steps as my brother knocked.
      “Oh hello! Happy Halloween!,” Mrs. MacDonald said, putting Cheesies in our bags. She looked at me and said, “My aren't Halloween things getting realistic – that on your face looks so gross!”
       It took me no time to realize she was talking about my feeding tube. I turned and ran down the stairs willing the tears not to come. As I raced through the playground I could hear my brother yelling to me that I forgot my bags of treats but I didn't care. I did not stop until I hit my bed,  pushing past my questioning mother, letting the screen door slam behind me.
       I cried. I cried all night. I cried the next day. There wasn't anything anyone could say to make me feel better.  Over the years I never went out trick or treating on Halloween again. My mother just accepted how I felt and left well enough alone. Even all these years later, when I’m costume shopping and out trick or treating with my son, I’m still haunted by the ghost of that poor little girl who cried every time another missed Halloween came around.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

The two cutest treats I saw for Halloween this year! My cousins make beautiful babies! I had to share :) 
Cupcake CutiePie Taylor :)
  Little Red Riding Reese <3 

I hope you, your friends, and your kids had fun dressing up this year and braving a wet night of Trick Or Treating despite all this gross wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy. If you want to share some cool costumes that you saw this Halloween - or maybe even ones that you made yourself! - I'd love to see you post them on my Facebook page at 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

July 11th, 2012

       Pita bread, hummus, carrots.  I’m surveying the items in my shopping cart Nikki and I are gathering for an overdue girl’s night in. This bounty is in serious need of candy. Nik is vigilant about what she eats but I have an insatiable sweet tooth and baby carrots were not going to cut it.
       “Wine. We need lots of wine,” Nikki is telling me knowing full well that in our fifteen years of friendship I rarely ever drink. I’m distracted by something familiar about the guy standing ten feet away from us on the opposite side of the aisle comparing boxes of rice noodles.  In a split second, I realize who it is. I’d seen him a hundred times before but I was thrown off by the denim jacket and khaki cargo shorts, having never seen him without his long white lab coat outside the confines of the hospital.
       I do what any mature thirty-year-old grown woman would do when she sees a guy who she’s crushing on and panic. Grabbing Nikki by the arm, I duck around the corner before he sees me, rushing away like some scared little girl. 
       “What the hell!?” Nikki looks at me like I have ten heads. I point down the aisle and explain my actions in two words. “Hot Doctor.”
       “Ahh!” she sneaks a better look at him. “That’s him!? He IS a Hot Doctor! For cripes sake go talk to him! You look fantastic. Remember the cafeteria incident? You said that if you ever saw him while you were out here in the real world looking normal that you would do something about it. Do something about it!” She gave me a little shove. 
       Dr. W has been the resident working alongside my doctor for over a year. I could tell the first time I met him that he was going to be an incredible doctor. He listened. He actually made eye contact. More importantly, he understood that sometimes when tests don’t have all the answers, that patients themselves may have better insight than scans and textbooks.  He treated patients like people. You would think it would be a given that most doctors would know your first name without first having to check your chart. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Six months earlier…
        Chips, chocolate bars, pop. I’m in the hospital cafeteria at 2 a.m. standing in front of a vending machine daydreaming about the powdery neon orange cheese flavoring on Doritos. I've been an in-patient a little over five months and the only nourishment that enters my body does so via an implanted catheter in my chest which pumps in all the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, fluids and lipids I need from the bags hanging on this IV pole I’m leaning against. This Cadillac of healthy diets chemically predigested straight into my blood stream costs well over eight hundred dollars a day but does nothing to squelch the cravings and desire to taste the actual juicy, crunchy, sweet, sour, creamy flavor of anything between my teeth and on my tongue. 
       “Please tell me you are not seriously considering cheating on me here?” Doctor W was attempting to look at me very sternly but the crinkles by his eyes gave his lightheartedness away.  He was ridiculously handsome and so genuinely nice it could almost make you roll your eyes skeptically that guys like this actually exist. “Nothing in there is worth the progress we've made. Plus, I’ll totally tattle-tale on you to crazy Cathy the nutritionist and she’ll lecture you for hours about why your digestive tract needs a rest.”
       “Tattle-tale? You know, you are way too comfortable around me for a doctor.” I smiled. I didn't mind at all and he knew it. Over the past five months, a budding friendship had started to emerge. At first, he would stay behind after his team of physicians had moved on questioning me about my illness. Seeing as how I have such a complicated – and in some aspects, very rare – medical history, visits could easily last an hour. Eventually, he started asking the inevitable question: how has spending upwards of eighty months in the hospital over the course of a single decade effected my quality of life.  Our being so close in age we also soon realized we shared some mutual friends from university and before long talking medical history gave way to become more personal.
      “How about you just sit here and watch me drink a disgusting coffee from that ancient machine over there?” The coffee vending machine with fading seventies diner decals sputtered and hissed in reply. Laughing we sat down at a table. You would never know it was the wee hours of the morning had it not been for the emptiness of the cafeteria tables. Throughout most of the hospital, there are no windows and artificial lighting remains turned on endlessly. Hospital nurses, lab workers, doctors, and other staff are always busy working. Patients are catching naps here and there throughout the days but are rarely ever sleeping. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and scheduled medication times are the only indication that the time inches on. Days are identical on weekdays, weekends, or holidays. Blending together, they drone on separate from the outside world.  
       For the next three hours, we sat in the cafeteria as anything but Doctor and Patient. I knew before that night I was attracted to him in the way that every woman can appreciate a handsome doctor. It was a welcome treat to sit down with him as two people enjoying good conversation not revolving around my hospital chart. But on that night a very tiny spark started to flicker down in the pit of my stomach. I started to be attracted to him. A man who once performed fake CPR on a kitten his distraught six-year-old niece was adamant was no longer alive because it had been asleep for longer than ten minutes.  A man who could quote my favorite old Kevin Smith movies. A man who kept telling me repeatedly how it finds it fascinating I could be so sick and worn down, and yet honestly happy with life at the same time. 
       When Doctor W asked, I told him about how my past relationships hadn't had the strength to deal with the backbreaking weight of my illness. I told him I did not plan on ever putting another person I cared about through the ordeal again in the future.  He insisted that the right guy would understand. He said that someone who really loves you doesn't care about anything else.
       My mind started to wander. Would it be possible that a doctor could fall for a patient? Of course, there are ethical issues, but in the late/early night/morning over-tired haze of cafeteria light, I considered it. Who better to understand the physical and emotional toll of an illness? Someone who would fight alongside you to make sure you were getting the best care and treatment options. How amazing would it be to not have to always worry that he would bail out because he couldn't possibly have known what he was getting into? Could someone like him, someone who would truly know the extent of what living my life entails, possibly love me despite everything… 
       “Doctor W? Will you be joining the team for report?” Dr. Lisa Lea, a tall, pretty brunette  general medicine intern snapped me back to reality. Without us noticing, the morning medical staff had started to trickle into the cafeteria to stock up on caffeine before morning rounds. Dr. Lea was trying to be subtle about sizing up our little gathering with a critical eye. “Feeling well, Jane? Everything okay through the night? It’s good to see that you've gained some weight. Don’t worry too much about all that steroid puffiness in your face. That will go away.”
     I was quickly sucked into the pitiful realization of the situation. I was not a person that Doctor W ended up realizing was remarkable and wanted to hang out while he had some free time. I was a pathetic sob story. He felt sorry for me. Here I was, his age and instead of living life I was staring at a vending machine wishing for a taste of greasy chips. I was hooked up to machines, so bloated from fluids, my face a gray medicated pallor. I was so angry at myself! I wanted to jump out of my seat and convince him that I wasn't like this all the time.  I used to be pretty and I know we could get along and have fun out in the real world.
      “She’d be doing a lot better if I’d have let her sleep at all instead of making her listen to my bad jokes and keep me company during a slow night of on-call duty. Get some rest, kiddo," Doctor W walked away to join his colleagues without even once looking back.
       And with that, I was deduced to humiliated and pathetic. What the hell was I thinking?! Guys don't look at me the way they look at girls like Dr. Lisa Lea. I was so angry for even letting myself think for a split second that he saw me as more than a friend. Ha! Even 'friend' seemed like a joke! Hot Doctor only felt sorry for me like a jock would take pity on a dork sitting alone in the school cafeteria. I thought we had actually gotten along. Clicked in a way that made him want to spend that extra time with me. Why could I not have run into him while out downtown with my friends? All dressed up and having fun like a real human. Another joke – that was never going to happen. 
       It wasn't downtown and I certainly wasn't dressed up, but I was eighteen pounds thinner, wearing makeup and a cute sundress from a day out shopping with Nikki. I took a breath. All I wanted was for him to see me like a normal person. To know he's seen me look how other girls do. I needed me being some really nice sick girl he felt sorry for not to be his only impression of me. I wanted him to know that from now on when he does see me sick, it isn't impossible for him to imagine me as anything more.
       “Doctor W?” He looked at me and said ‘Hi’ with the polite vacant smile of someone who has absolutely no idea who you are. Oh my God.  I want to disappear right now. This is my worst nightmare. I’m about to foolishly remind him he’s been my doctor for the past eighteen months when I see my face register with him.
       “Jane?! Oh my gosh! I completely did not recognize you! look gor-g- great! You look great!” He is smiling that million watt smile at me and I finally start to breathe again. We spend the next ten minutes talking and catching up. He asks me all about my summer pausing frequently to look me over and comment on how wonderfully healthy I look.  Finally, I say I need to be getting back to my friend. “It was really good to see you, Jane,” he said. 
        I walked back over to Nikki making sure to keep composed while I was still within his view.  Doctor W had finally seen Jane the girl.  In a nice dress out in the real world and had a real conversation with her. Not out of doctor-patient necessity. Not out of pity. As two equal acquaintances bumping into each other.
       “Tell me everything! He’s is so frigging cute – no wonder you call him Hot Doctor!” Nikki begged for the details as soon as we were out of earshot. I was looking forward to telling her every word but first, without turning around, I asked her, “Do one thing for me? Check and see if he’s watching me walk away.” He was. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Updates and Explanations October 10, 2012

 Hi Friends! 
       I just wanted to quickly answer some of your questions and concerns about why there hasn't been a post in quite awhile. After feeling so good during the past six months, a few weeks ago I started to notice some symptoms creeping into my days here and there. This is the longest stretch I've been out of the hospital in over five years. It may sound silly, but being able to cook supper and chaperon field trips has been the most incredible dream come true for me. Some people catch 11:11 on the clock or blow out  birthday candles wishing for love, money, vacations, luxuries. All I've wished for in the past ten years is to be well enough to be a normal full-time mom in every sense of the word. To be present for every laugh, every cry and everything in between. I'm so incredibly fulfilled being home everyday with my son that it was very hard for me to bite the bullet and start paying attention to what my body was telling me. I ended up having to receive treatment at the hospital everyday. (As an outpatient so far - whew!)  Tomorrow I'm having surgery. It's not a major procedure but it will be a rough week or so of recovery. Now that I've had a taste of normal life, the last thing I want is to have to be admitted.
       More importantly, I want to Thank You for all the support and well wishes. It is very appreciated and brightens my day to get encouragement during long hours at the clinic.
       If you really miss me though - why not take a look back to where it all began and then enjoy some my favorite stories! The first is the link to my very first post. Wow - I was so nervous about finally putting myself out there, I honestly felt as though I was posting naked pictures of myself online! Yikes! Now - less than five months, almost 9,000 views  and countless amazing comments later - I couldn't be happier.

My Name Isn't Jane....

Here are the top three most read posts!

January 2003

It All Started With The Lipstick -

Remnants. August 24, 2012 -
Interesting how the raciest posting has the most views. I guess there's a little 50 Shades Of Gray in all of us, huh ladies? ;)

Thank You again for all your continued support - it means the world to me! I promise new content very soon!

 Jane xo

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lazy weekend? Do This!

I have been not feeling the greatest - sorry about the lack of new posts! I've been working on something that I'll probably post tonight! 

In the meantime, check out everything I do when I'm bored. Or just check it out because you love me :)

Follow me on Pinterest! 
See all my favorite things in fashion, beauty, music, books & more! 

I'm also addicted to Twitter! Keep up with new blog posts, gossip, and my crazy thoughts on life! Follow @missjanespring is this really incredible website where you can score some pretty awesome new and unique stuff from all the places you shop. Plus, really great merch from stores you never heard of are soon to be your new fashion weapon!

I also created a Facebook page. Not many people yet - so show me some 'Likes' - I know you're out there somewhere!

Jane xo


Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Benefits of Boredom, Pinterest and Rainy Afternoons

Today I'm going  to mix it up a little bit! I celebrated my six month anniversary since my last night in the hospital last week. (*taking a bow - thank you, thank you*) At first, when I was home - I was just sick on the couch or in bed. Slowly, though, I started to get antsy and eventually I found myself bored. (A sure sign of health :) Then, I joined the populous in discovering Pinterest. Today, I'm going to show you my Pinterest inspired cheap projects, DIYs and dollar store deals! 

The first project I'll show you took me all of 45 min to do and 30 min of that was waiting for the spray paint to dry. All I bought were two $3 artist canvas boards and a decorative plastic hanging screen which was $2 (there's pics below) and two cans of spray paint $15 (and some scotch tape I already had laying around). 

These are the decorative plastic screens I'm using as a stencil. This design is the one for project two I'll show you later. Each package has two panels. The ones for this project were exactly the same size, just with a different design. I only needed one package for this project. I didn't think  to take a picture I was so excited to get started!

Spray paint in Chocolate Brown & Robin's Egg Blue. Both have a Satin finish with a slight sheen. I used the scotch tape on the back of the stencil to hold it in place. 

First I spray painted the stretch canvas boards completely with Chocolate Brown, making sure it was solid and to also spray the white edges. 

Next I carefully centered the "stencils" on the brown canvas and sprayed the entire board with the Robin's Egg Blue. I waited about 15min (one perk of spray paint is that it dries really fast!) then sprayed another coat of the blue. 

(I'm also wondering where in my apartment I can hang these pretty blue medallions now that I'm finished with them!)

After gently pealing away the plastic stencil, I was left with these two gorgeous pictures in my favorite colors! They are going to look amazing in my living room! Not too shabby for dollar store supplies! And I have a TON of spray paint left over for future projects! I'm already getting ideas.....  :)

Before I show you my second DIY project with the dollar store screens, my friends are always admiring the cheap fun accessories I buy and use in different ways around my house! I'll show you a couple:

I bought these little bird hooks by Umbra in the hospital gift shop. I get a lot of things in the hospital gift shop.

   They are made for holding mail and are magnetic to hold on to your keys! 

I staggered them by my closet and use them to hang all my favorite pretty scarves! I have a million scarves so I switch them up every once in awhile and I get to look at them like pretty art! Well, it's pretty art - to me!

I have a TINY kitchen with very limited cupboard and counter space. When I saw this pretty jewelry hanger for $7 at Urban Outfitters I snatched it up! Now it's where I hang my mugs on my kitchen wall. 

These $2 candy jars from the dollar store were the best $6 I ever spent for my kitchen. My cupboard space is small and short, so the only place for cereal boxes - since I did not want cardboard boxes cluttering up my counter top - was WAY up the top. But my son couldn't reach them. I filled up these cute jars. Now, they're cute, tidy and within reach!

Now, dollar store project number two!
I used two packages of the $2 screen paneling in this square floral and bird design. I bought Red Poppy Krylon spray paint $6, at Walmart. Krylon spray paint can be applied on anything but is made especially for plastic. After using it, it didn't seem to work any different than the other brand's satin spray paint from my first project. Both adhered to the plastic screen paneling perfectly!

It's raining really heavy today so I didn't have the luxury of spray painting outside like I did with my artwork. It's really important if you're using something like spray paint indoors to use it only in a well ventilated area.  I used a fan and I opened my kitchen window as wide as I could, covered my floor completely with garbage bags, and draped old rag towels over my oven and table to make sure not to get any residual spray paint on anything.

I did two heavy coats of red, letting it dry between coats. The plastic spray paint needed to be trimmed with an exacto-knife in a few places because of the way the paint peeled off the garbage bags. I don't think I'd use plastic spray paint again - but I am glad for the convenient washability of it.

 My initial plan was to use tacky putty or double sided tape, but I ended up using hammering tiny picture nails and removing overhang with an exacto-knife. Yes, I have bruises. But just wait.... 

It was SO worth it!! I love how it came out!      If you hate it, please lie to me - because I think it's amazing and I'm super proud!

Looks like a gorgeous custom back splash!
Not bad for ten dollars, huh? ;) 

Jane <3 xo

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

September 19, 2012

       I just tucked in my son for the night. I pour myself a cup of tea and settle down with my laptop to get some writing done. I make the mistake of checking my Facebook first, now I’m clicking through picture after picture of weddings, babies, girl’s night out and vacations of the lives of people I know.
       Suddenly, it’s late. A train whistle blows in the distance. It reminds me of lying in bed as a child and hearing the busy work of the steel plant that employed most of our small town. It has long since been boarded up and fathers who provided for their families for generations milling railroad tracks hung up their hats for good when the steel mill closed. Our little island took a blow that it would never recover from. I’m wondering if my illness is something my life will never recover from…
       Everyone is doing something amazing with their lives and I’m just sitting here. My friends are married career women who own homes and take lavish vacations. I love helping with interior decorating, making wedding invitations, and listening to stories about Mexico and Peru.  Of course I’m happy for my friends and family.  I have the most incredible support system. It’s only because of the strength they give me that has kept me from falling into terrible dark places during those times when it seems like I may never get better.  It’s just that lately I’m always feeling this sense of being left behind.
       For the past ten years I’ve been telling myself ‘When I get better I’ll go back to school. When I get better I’ll go find work. When I get better…” Now I’m thirty. Last week I found three gray hairs. I have no college degree, no job, no assets…nothing to stand on. I know that it isn't because I'm not smart enough or lacking in ability. I have been given so many amazing opportunities over the years but I have never been well enough to commit to them. I've been held back by circumstances beyond my control. So it feels as though I’m just waiting and waiting and waiting for my life to start. Now panic is starting to set in. Time is whizzing by and I can't stop it. 
       “Mom?” I jump in my seat. My little man rubs his eyes looking so much like the little baby he was ten years ago. “I had a bad dream. Can I sleep in with you?”
        I shuffle over and tuck him in for the second time that night. He gives me a hug and a kiss. 
       “Mom? I just want you to know, I’m older now. But just because I might not kiss you goodbye in front of my friends at school doesn't mean I don’t love you. You’re my best friend and the best mother in the world. ”
       “I love you, too, pickle. Get to sleep, it’s late.” I plant a kiss on his forehead smiling to myself thinking it’s funny how he’s declaring his detachment from me at the same time snuggling down next to me in bed. 
        I’m watching him fall asleep and it hits me – I have the most incredible job in the world. A job where I can be myself. Where I learn new skills I will take with me all my life. A job which is challenging, but is infinitely rewarding. A job I love to wake up and do every single day.  A job that is the biggest and most amazing adventure of my life. 
       My life started ten years ago when I became a mother. When I became his mother. I am doing something amazing with my life - and I wouldn’t trade that for a paycheck, a house, a wedding, a vacation or anything else in the entire world. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

September 14, 2012

      Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought that in just three months over seven thousand people would visit my site and read my stories. The comments and compliments I get are amazing. They really mean the world to me. You see, for the most part, I'm a very happy, light and easy-going person. Sometimes, though, I feel really empty. I was too sick to finish college. I've been too sick to make a career out of the internships I was offered in public relations. I've been too sick to keep jobs and to take advantage of job opportunities.  I've spent so much time in the hospital over the past ten years that everyone's life has been on fast forward and I'm still stuck in the same place. I missed out on the young, wild and free era of twenties life and now my friends and family are buying homes, having babies, getting married and embarking on that next chapter. I often feel left back. Like I have nothing to offer. I know this is just a blog but to me it's something more. It's me putting myself out there. I feel like I'm accomplishing something. Thanks to all you wonderful people, now I can say I'm a writer. 

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I'm also addicted to Twitter! Keep up with new blog posts, gossip, and my crazy thoughts 
Follow @missjanespring 

 Jane xo