hello erin »

alright party people. in approximately 30 days (not that I’m counting or anything) i’ll have TWO children in school. You read that right, i’ll have a whopping three mornings a week to work on my mom-bod, grocery shop, and try to squeeze in every single doctor, nail, and lash appointment into a three hour time span. oh and to catch up on the television thats too inappropriate for my children, and too trashy for my husband.

i know sending your kids off to school is bittersweet, i know i should feel “all of the feels” but the girls are so damn excited to go- its hard not to get swept up in the excitement right along with them. plus i LOVE back to school shopping (shoes, clothes, and supplies). K is starting preschool. A play based preschool. Which means i need to send her in clothes that will go the distance- they need to hold up under the most extreme paint, dirt, and mud pit circumstances. they’ll be washed approx. 10,000 times for about 10,000 various stains. Meanwhile Lex is starting kindergarten- so she wants a more grown up wardrobe- but one that’s still playful and fun (and one that she can have an opinion about). they both also need shoes- of the closed toe variety. and i dont want to compromise style for functionality- thankfully we happen to know of a brand that does it all.

enter Boden!

we LOVE Boden .  i’m a huge fangirl of their tights, knits, and everything in between. everything just seems to hold up- and I’ve passed more than a few things from lex to k. i LOVE that you can mix and match just about anything on their site and you can’t go wrong! so with the girls going back to school and back to cool heres a glimpse of what they’ll be rocking this year.





Now for the big giveaway: We’ve teamed up with 6 other bloggers to give away a $1,000 Boden shopping spree! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Also, be sure to visit their posts for more Back to School styles, tips and fun ideas. Here’s where to visit: The Chirping Moms, Jordan & Co, Hello Erin, Seven Graces, Sweet Southern Prep, Girl in the Red Shoes and Being Brickner. You’ll love the outfits and fun photos they’ve all come up with!

Good luck and we can’t wait to announce the winner of the $1,000 Boden giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


here’s a glimpse of what we would get with $1,000 to one of our favorite brands!

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  • August 8, 2017 - 7:22 am

    Karie - Love the red boots!

  • August 8, 2017 - 7:26 am

    Natasha - Just flipped their their catalogue! Love their bright graphic tees and prints! Would be perfect to kick-start Ethan’s kindergarten wardrobe!

  • August 8, 2017 - 7:30 am

    Chloe - Love this giveaway! And love your blog. So glad you are back!

  • August 8, 2017 - 7:48 am

    Ally Dewildt - I don’t know who is more obsessed with the rainbow high tops, one of us is 37 and the other is 6! Need to go into my cart asap.

  • August 8, 2017 - 8:10 am

    Amanda Bradshaw - Mini Boden clothing is so dang cute! I’d love those overalls on my kindergartener!

  • August 8, 2017 - 8:20 am

    Chelsea Fischer - I think I commented on the wrong post before… trying again! Obsessed with those overalls for back to school! We LOVE Boden – super high quality clothes that are SO cute.

  • August 8, 2017 - 8:23 am

    Julie - I love Mini Boden! My baby starts kindergarten next week and we would love some new outfits! Those overalls are amazing.

  • August 8, 2017 - 8:27 am

    Rachael - Your posts crack me up. I love seeing new ones!!

  • August 8, 2017 - 8:34 am

    Rachelle bell - Boden has the best stuff!

  • August 8, 2017 - 8:59 am

    Katie - Such cute girls! And such cute clothes!

  • August 8, 2017 - 8:59 am

    Brittany - Love the leggings!

  • August 8, 2017 - 9:01 am

    Jillian senner - Please!! Amazing stuff!

  • August 8, 2017 - 9:02 am

    sara - I MUST WIN THIS!! I need all the Boden!!

  • August 8, 2017 - 9:20 am

    K S - These photos of your girls are wonderful! Love your style, love your story!

  • August 8, 2017 - 10:21 am

    Kayla - Love the overalls!! and the peter pan collar sweater 🙂

  • August 8, 2017 - 11:14 am

    Madison Brower - Those overalls! Do they make them in adult sizes??

  • August 8, 2017 - 11:34 am

    Christy East - We LOVE Mini Boden Clothes!!!

  • August 8, 2017 - 11:38 am

    Jaclyn - We love Boden

  • August 8, 2017 - 11:38 am

    B - Oh I love Boden and that my little boy can match my little girls! WIN! I adore all of their dresses with my dress obsessed little girls, I also love the peter pan collar shirts under the jumpers and under overalls. Must have it all and with three littles to dress, this would be fantastic 🙂

  • August 8, 2017 - 2:23 pm

    Corinne Wright - I am seriously loving those rainbow sneakers! And I always love Boden’s applique t-shirts and dresses. So pretty, soft, and durable!

  • August 8, 2017 - 2:29 pm

    Nicole H - I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the Navy Cat Animal Overall Dress. It is so adorable and perfect for my cat-loving daughter.

  • August 8, 2017 - 5:49 pm

    Sam - Loved reading your blog, wish you wrote more but I 100% get it. You’re crushing it in every other part of your life! Also love Boden!

  • August 8, 2017 - 6:00 pm

    crystal - Glad to have your posts back! LOVE these outfits!!

  • August 8, 2017 - 6:23 pm

    Courtney Ramsey - SO DARN CUTE!

  • August 9, 2017 - 6:51 am

    Jolene - So many cute things. I have a twirly girl, so the first place I go is to the SKIRTS section! But I also am a fan of their leggings and jackets.

  • August 9, 2017 - 6:39 pm

    Kim - So much cuteness! Your girls always look adorable! Right now I’m loving the airplane dress that we are thinking of getting to an upcoming trip!

  • August 11, 2017 - 7:55 am

    Malia - I’ve got a dress obsessed girl so that’s where I head first

  • August 11, 2017 - 8:02 am

    Morgan Suarez - Eeeee I hope I win!

  • August 11, 2017 - 8:02 am

    Sabrina - I love those overalls!!

  • August 11, 2017 - 8:34 am

    Laura - The red boots did me in.

  • August 11, 2017 - 4:48 pm

    Anna Pry - my daughters would love to mix and match the big applique t-shirts and fun leggings

  • August 14, 2017 - 1:38 am

    Ly - Are you kidding me with these pics? SOOO ADORABLE

  • August 14, 2017 - 11:25 am

    Stephanie Murphy - My daughter is starting preschool in 3 weeks and would love to wear the Animal Overall Dress! Super cute!

  • August 18, 2017 - 9:40 pm

    Danielle carlson - Love those rainbow hightops the mostest but there are so many other great statement pieces I would love to buy.

  • August 19, 2017 - 5:34 am

    Naomi - I love Bodens style and definitely need clothes for my daughter that can hold up to the wash. I’m thinking of starting capsule wardrobes for my kids and this would be a great place to start!

  • August 19, 2017 - 2:27 pm

    Rachael - Love the striped top with the Peter Pan collar

I’m baaaaaaack. Reporting to you live from the couch where k has decided to take her cat nap. Because heaven forbid she nap in her real bed so I can get a few hours to myself. Girlfriend is lucky she’s adorable. Mondays are usually my cushy day. My MIL takes the girls one at a time- so nap time is my only time to catch up on the tv shows Mike refuses to watch with me (things like the real housewives & famous in love).

anyhow. lately I’ve been lacking any sort of outlet. i haven’t been taking pictures, i haven’t been working out- i haven’t really felt like ME.  Now that I’m back to the gym (hallelujah. this lemon meringue pie weight isn’t going to lose itself), i have endorphins (endorphins make you happy!), and i want to start taking pictures again. bonus points that my new little camera shoots video easily- and i’m just hipster enough to make mini-movies of the ladies.

The weather lately has been spring perfection. Its not too hot, its not too cold and all you need is a light jacket. Which is fortunate because lately lex has been begging to wear her bikini to school (that girl loves to show her abs. first her obsession with jazz tops and now bikinis). I have yet to actually give into her requests – mostly because she comes home covered in paint from her bow to her shoes and everything in between. . . her wardrobe is really excited for kindergarten.

i wish i could say we’ve been more interesting than that. but its monday. and i have 0 stellar stories to dazzle you with to prove i have the cutest, smartest, and bestest babes ever (i’d settle for best dressed).

And that it. You get a whopping 3.5 paragraphs for my first non-cancer blog post.

romper / hat



girls suits

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  • May 15, 2017 - 11:33 pm

    Ly - Two terrible but amazing movie quotes in one post? Legend.

    Did you get a new camera? What kind? Share share the details!

    sending lots of love your way! x

  • May 16, 2017 - 6:22 am

    Sara - YES. what is this new camera you speak of?! Tell K I said she needs to start feeling better. April 15th weather isn’t going to last forever. I’d love you for you to drop off my workout motivation. Maybe we need to be buds? I’m totally texting you about this later.

  • May 16, 2017 - 6:46 am

    Liz - LOVE IT! And love your new camera!!! Share the videos because you are amazing at them! So glad you’re feeling like your old self again! Bring on the photos!

  • May 16, 2017 - 7:11 am

    Crystal - You always capture the best photos! I want to know more about this new camera and I want to see some of those videos!!

  • May 20, 2017 - 9:28 am

    Laura Keenan - So happy to hear you are getting back into the gym and your camera! And I’m so excited for videos! And for you to teach me all the things!

  • August 8, 2017 - 8:19 am

    Chelsea Fischer - Obsessing over those overalls! We LOVE Boden – such high quality clothes that are so cute.

  • August 8, 2017 - 6:54 pm

    Whitney - Okay, first of all, Welcome baaaccck. Second,just posted tinny stories on Instagram the other day that people who speak fluent movie quote and insert it in to their vicublary like it ain’t no thang are my favorite because… Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to love you more! (I’m normal…promise!) Third, tell me more about this camera!? I want one that does both but is also somewhat easy to use! Any tips?

I figured I might as well finish these recaps so I can get back to using this space to tell cute adorable stories about my two roommates – the ones of the five and under variety.

Plus. I’m ready to kiss six rounds of chemo goodbye. Not a long kiss- a short awkward peck on the cheek because I’m not at all sad to watch it from the rear view mirror.

Alright. We got smart these last few rounds. We shipped the ladies off the grandparents for the majority of the week. The girls have been wonderful through all of this- but the last few hit them hard. They turned into little barnacles making it impossible to lay in bed while binging on shows targeted towards teenagers. So off to grandmas they went- where they had a LOT more fun (I mean. My parents have a pool. And take them to the toy store).

So. Basically I laid in bed. Eating horrible food (a mix of steroids and nausea means I didn’t make good choices). Just biding time between doctors appointments every day and praying for Friday to come sooner. And gaining 15 lbs (thank you steroids. and lemon meringue pie).

Round five came and went. Round six came and went.

When I first started I honestly thought at the end of round 6 I would feel like celebrating hard. Instead I finished and started crying. I still catch myself crying out of sheer thankfulness that the chemo portion of this “journey” is over. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do- I mean where was all of this when I was writing my college essays about lifes hardships? Most of my symptoms are gone and i still don’t feel celebratory, i won’t until May 26th when i get my PET scan which will seal my fate. Because my good friend lymphoma is either still there- or it isn’t (crazy right?! one or the other. bet you didnt see that coming). and only that PET scan will give us the answer.

and yes its 2 weeks out and i’m already having PET scan nightmares.

So. until May 26th we’re in a holding pattern. trying to get back to what our lives looked like before December 8th. I’m back to the gym, carting the girls to their activities, and it feels so good being able to watch them by myself for full days at a time. i finally feel like a FUN parent. i’m able to play with them (mostly) keep up with them, and they’re no longer riding the “mom’s not feeling well i can get away with stuff” train. Ive also curbed my online shopping habits- laying in bed all day really lends itself to a little too much web time.

oh yeah. and i FINALY got a wig! i still usually go bald. . . but some days i just want to hide the cancer.

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  • May 12, 2017 - 8:10 am

    Cathy - The last picture says it all.

  • May 12, 2017 - 9:46 am

    Heidi - You are beautiful with or without your hair. So glad that light is shining at the end of this horrible tunnel. GREAT NEWS IS COMING YOUR WAY ON MAY 26TH.
    Hugs and Kisses

  • May 12, 2017 - 7:48 pm

    Sara - SO.

    Celebrations start May 26?

  • May 13, 2017 - 7:11 am

    Joseph - Awesome to hear that 6 has come and gone. I will continue to pray for you and your family throughout your life. I am hopeful for the PET scan results to be negative. I am thankful for your MD and all your caretakers who cared for you. I am thankful for the technology we have to fight cancer and win. I am thankful for Mike being by your side; your parents able to help with the kids; and the joyful youth of your children who bring joy and love into your life. GOD BLESS!
    – Pece be with you.

  • May 13, 2017 - 8:00 pm

    julie - You amaze me. I still can’t believe this is happening, but you have been so honest and real through it all. And I admire the sh*t out of you. You truly are gorgeous inside and out and I am beyond honored to have you as a friend. LOVE YOU.

  • May 15, 2017 - 11:21 am

    Blair - You are such a strong woman, you’ve conquered the 6 rounds of chemo like a beast! I cannot imagine what it is like to ensure dealing with that and babies. I imagine it is a good distraction for the grandparents to have the grandbabies instead of obsessing over their baby going through this! Praying hard and long that May 26 gives you the all clear! What is it about chemo and lemon flavors?

  • May 15, 2017 - 8:52 pm

    Desiree - I’m calling it. May 26th is one big, bad a$s celebration.
    Love you, friend.

  • May 16, 2017 - 6:51 am

    Liz - I somehow missed this! And I was actually wondering if you were going to post a round 5 and 6 “recap” if you will. I’m so sorry.
    I’m so, SO happy for you that the official chemo rounds are over and you can get some semblance back of your regular, every day life! You are one strong mama and kicked those chemo rounds in the a$$ and to the curb. Fingers crossed for May 26th and we can start the celebration that night! Love you so much! xo

  • May 20, 2017 - 9:47 am

    Laura Keenan - Thinking about you lots as May 26th approaches! Hoping lots of celebrating is in your future. Pitbull dance party perhaps?!

  • May 22, 2017 - 2:26 pm

    Jen Cantway - You are a real life SUPER HERO!!! Sending all the positive thoughts I can on May 26th!!! YOU GOT THIS!

  • June 2, 2017 - 2:13 pm

    Lauren - You are amazing and so strong! Incredible!! Warrior woman!! Love the last picture!!

round four almost did me in. i honestly thought i had this whole “cancer” thing figured out. i was handling every round okay. and i didnt think our family had been affected that badly. and then there was round four.

to start with round 4 is a totally and complete mental f*ck. you’re more than halfway done- yet still have three rounds looming over your head. that combined with the cumulative effects of all of the chemo so far AND my 20% bump and it was a total and complete sh*t show.

i feel like i spent most of this round- and many of the days after in bed. in a complete and total funk- i was exhausted, nauseous, and exactly 0 fun. my mouth sores lasted far longer than they usually do. and my levels (WBC) dropped so low i was neutropenic for the first time ever. i also had my first fever scare.

Mackenzie refused to leave my side in bed during chemo week- even though my mom was here. she had some sort of cold (the same awesome cold thats making its rounds) and passed me her cold. it started just as chemo was coming to a close that week. and landed me in bed for DAYS. like couldn’t muster the strength to move. it gave me a super cool fever (as a cancer patient if you get a fever of 100.5 for longer than an hour its a sign of infection and NO GOOD i hit 101.6 for four hours). i started a round of antibiotics (thanks to the fever), and thankfully got it down before i had to go to the hospital so they could look for an infection.  my first blood test of the week my levels were fine- my second blood test of the week earned me a phone call from a nurse AND my doctor about how low my white blood cell count was and urging me to take necessary precautions with germs and the two germ infested children i’m currently living with.

thats when we decided to run to my parents house for the weekend. we needed to get out- but not actually out (because heaven forbid i get sick and have to postpone the next round of treatment). it was the perfect weekend. we had an extra set of hands to help, we got to go swimming, and the girls had a blast. it sidetracked our big plans to do a disney day as a family that sunday- but thankfully we rescheduled for Wednesday when my WBC had bounced back.

Monday we met with my doctor. we saw the writing on the wall that i wouldn’t have to endure another 20% bump in chemo for round 5. but he said my levels dropped so low, and my symptoms were so bad this round, that i’m going back down to round 3’s dosage. i sighed audibly with relief. as much as i know i have to endure two more rounds- the thought of doing so makes me dry heave. it got hard, and real, and i finally feel like a cancer patient (and i dont love it). so the chance to go down in dose AND still beat this in the end was such welcoming news. i know it’ll still be frustratingly hard. but hopefully focusing on only having to do this twice more will help. plus- we’re shipping the girls to my parents for the last half of chemo week in the hopes that its easier for everyone.

Things are getting harder and its getting hard to remain positive about the whole thing. so many times this round i thought “why me?!”, i have an increasing number of friends getting pregnant with their third- and when they complain about morning sickness i just want to yell “ITS NOT FAIR”. because they get a baby out of their nausea, and i just get to live (and hopefully get my hair back).  I hate complaining- I’ve never considered myself a complainer- but this round i threw myself many a pity party. i didn’t sign up for this mess. i don’t want to have to be “strong”, or a “warrior”, or to be bald. but alas, its what life has thrown our way. so here we are. doing our best to make the non-treatment weeks as normal & fun for the girls.

It took me a long time to hit “publish” on this post. Mostly because it’s so filled with complaints… but a wise woman (in the form of my mother in law) told me it was high time to tell the truth about what’s actually happening. And now that I’m on the other side of round five I promise that next post won’t be quite so “feel so sorry for me”.

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  • April 10, 2017 - 1:54 pm

    Sara - Always tell the truth. It’s why I love you so.

    And you have ONE LEFT. I can’t believe it.

    I love you. That is all.

  • April 10, 2017 - 5:25 pm

    Erinn Connolly - So proud of how strong you are even when you feel the weakest. You are incredible and inspiring, which probably comes across as cliche, but you are. I’m in awe of your strength and ability to keep life as normal as possible for the girls, I really dont know how you are doing it, but want you to keep it up and keep kicking cancer’s ass. All the love and light your way every day.

  • April 10, 2017 - 5:50 pm

    abbi hearne - the truth is good. cancer sucks balls. I hate that you’re going through this and I truly hope this round was the worst and it gets easier and you’re finished before you know it. xoxo

  • April 11, 2017 - 4:13 am

    Sarita - Keep it real, girl! This is the hardest battle you’ve ever had to fight and it’s a doozie! You are awesome. My prayers are with you and your family

  • April 11, 2017 - 4:33 am

    B - Girl, complain away! I think you deserve that and anything else you need/want to do. I cannot even imagine how hard it is – and then to add trying to stay positive … Your girls are so lucky to have you as their mom! You are doing an awesome job. That living part – that’s pretty important to them and (all of us internet stalkers :)) we want to see your pretty face (with or without hair) for many more years! virtual cheers with whatever alcoholic beverage you can keep down!

  • April 11, 2017 - 6:07 am

    Laura - Your honesty just continues to show your strength! thinking about you always friend!

  • April 11, 2017 - 7:01 am

    Joseph - You go right ahead and complain, Erin! Those who love you truly want to here it, so we feel like we are bearing some of the burden. Not doing that prevents us from praying and loving you properly. Your mother-in-law is completely right.

    Braden is 6 years cancer free now after enduring three years of therapy and bone marrow transplant. He went through it pretty well, and had the same feelings about not wanting to burden anyone. But, we learned that that’s not the best way to handle this curse and burden.

    God designed us to love one another. We can’t do that if we don’t know truly how yuo feel. God bless you. Live strong! But cry when you have to

  • April 11, 2017 - 8:52 am

    Sarah S. - You have every right to complain so don’t ever feel sorry for speaking your mind. Besides, it’s your blog. 😉 Stay strong! You are such an inspiration!

  • April 11, 2017 - 12:51 pm

    Cathy - Keep going beautiful girl. Sending you love from Canada.

  • April 11, 2017 - 4:31 pm

    Lauren - You are a warrior woman!

  • April 11, 2017 - 9:43 pm

    Candace Edwards - SO glad you told us how it is Mama! You are still a rockstar for going through this. Praying for you from the Midwest and cheering you on–even when you don’t think you can keep going.

  • April 13, 2017 - 9:34 pm

    Liz - I am constantly in awe of your strength. Even when you don’t feel like you’re being strong, you are. You might feel shitty and have no energy, but you’re fighting the hardest fight and coming out on top at the end. Your girls know just when you need a laugh or a hug and they are there for that. Your family has bonded together and as much as you feel like you’re “not contributing to society”, you are making life as normal and happy for your girls as possible and in the long run, that is all they’ll remember. Round 5 is now behind you and there’s only one more left! I know you want to slap me for saying that, but really, you’re on the home stretch! I love you so much. Keep kicking Bertha’s ass!

  • April 17, 2017 - 8:20 pm

    Desiree - I always feel like I’m at a complete loss for words. Because there are not enough ways to tell you that you are amazing, and you ARE strong, and you ARE a warrior. And, I’ve never, ever seen anyone as beautiful bald as you.
    What you’re going through, it’s not fair. And if anyone has earned the right to complain, it’s you. It’s a real sh*tty deal, and holy cow, you’re handling it so damn well.
    I won’t say all the cliche and frustrating things I want to say, but I will keep sending side hugs, and cheering you on, and telling you that damn it, you’re kicking ass.
    Love you. xo

  • April 18, 2017 - 9:05 pm

    Mabel - Its exactly what you feel and its completely fair to write about it. To get rid of that load of anger and frustration you feel sometimes. And Im sure you will read this post in a few years with a big smile on your face because you beat the sh* out of the mother effing cancer!!!!
    Lots of prayers to you!!

Round three feels like it was a million years ago. We’re really trying to capitalize and use the two weeks between our lives being put on hold so we crammed months worth of activities into the past few weeks.

The actual round was the same as round 2. 20% bump and all. Nausea holds strong during the nighttime and morning hours- but a diet of orange chicken from Panda Express and chicken salad from Lisa’s helps keep it at bay during the day (mike jokes that I’m oddly like a third trimester pregnant person- nausea & cravings – only I don’t get a baby out of all of this. I get my hair back instead). And the insomnia (currently penning this beauty of a blog post at 230AM). My bone pain remains one of my worst symptoms, Claritin & Tylenol & a heating pad seem to dull it a bit- but let’sbereal it still hurts to even have clothing touch it for the first few days.

Mike ditched me and the ladies mid-chemo week this round for a much needed ski trip (the role of caregiver is impossibly hard and that man needed a break from all of us). So my friend leslie came and stayed with us the whole time he was gone. Between her & my friends & family we made it through with little to no drama… although we woke leslie up at 5am every morning. I rewarded her with donuts so we’re even (nope not even close).

I tried working out earlier this time. By Tuesday after getting unhooked I was back at the gym where I made it through half of one of my favorite classes before I felt like blacking out. Rumor has it my bodies already working hard and then working out hard on top of it seems to send my heart rate a little too high.

By Wednesday of that first week we were on our way to mammoth. It took me days to acclimate to the altitude. Walking up the stairs was a chore. But fear not- we still managed to get the decks shoveled (your welcome dad!), see lex ski, and watch k really get to play in the snow. It’s the first time we’ve been up there since she’s been walking and she freaking loved it. The snow is incredible. I’ve never seen it packed so high in front of our house. And it turned out to be such an amazing and much needed family trip.

We drove home Saturday. Because Sunday mike & I rode in a little thing called cycle for survival. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s an event that’s put on by my gym (equinox) and MSK to raise money for rare cancer research. My friends and I had plans to ride in it before my diagnosis. But after being disagnosed WITH a rare cancer it made it all the more special. Our team kicked some major ass and raised over $29,000 for rare cancer researsch that will be conducted in the next SIX MONTHS. and the event as a whole across the country raised $33 million. It took on a whole new meaning when we found out that memorial Sloan Kettering has used money raised in past years to fund research on my exact diagnosis & treatment plan. So words can’t even express my thank you to everyone who donated and helped us out. I HATE that anyone has to go through this- but I’d rather be going through this now versus even 5 years ago when my chance of radiation at the end was high because my chemo regimin hadnt been dialed in yet.

Week 3 was glorious. I was BACK. Our lives were normal. Schedules and mike at work have never felt so good. And k didn’t cry through swim class. I took the ladies to Disneyland for a half day! it felt SO. DAMN. GOOD. We celebrated lex’s birthday at terranea. And she was the happiest little girl EVER. It was k’s birthday, and then we potty trained her. So lex was in need of some eyes all on HER. And I think we delivered her the perfect birthday weekend. Filled with mani-pedis, a surprise weekend at her favorite resort, more swimming than she can handle, and lots of family time. Friday we spent the night as a family. Saturday we had my parents come to pick up k so we could hang solo with lex. And Sunday we went home and hosted a party for the extended family in her honor. She never stopped smiling.

And then I started round 4. Complete with crying to my chemo nurse (totally normal right?) because I just don’t want to do it anymore. Being normal and feeling good- well it felt good. I’m definitely over the whole chemo thing. And REALLY over the whole cancer thing. The emotional side of it has really started to sink in. I pride myself on being fairly strong emotionally- but it’s a lot to handle mentally knowing what being hooked up to my chemo pump will bring. I just crave my normal life again. I wanted to punch anyone who told me I was half way there! Only three more rounds when I long for this to be in my rear view mirror and to have mermaid hair feels like an eternity.

Some of the other side effects I didn’t exactly realize have started to set in. I always thought it was “chemo skinny” and that I’d be heading into summer ready for that swimsuit. No dice for me. Instead the heavy dose of steroids I’m on, paired with a less than stellar diet, and hardly any workouts has me not recognizing my body. While I’ve technically only gained 5lbs it looks like I’ve gained 10-15. It seems silly and trivial to be worried about my body image while literally fighting for my life. But I worked so hard over the past year for a body i was (starting) to be proud of only to get cancer. Pair that with being bald and i hardly recognize myself in the mirror anymore!

Another side effect that gets tested is friendships. I have truly learned a lot about the people in my life through all of this. The good, the bad, the great. Nothing like waging a 6 month battle to strengthen or destroy a few relationships. Most of my friendships have been strengthened.i have friends who reach out daily, who I’m learning genuinely care (who I stopped lying to and saying “I’m fine” when shit actually sucks), the people who put their lives on hold to drive me to and from chemo. The ones who take time off work to come and stay with me to give mike a break. But it’s hard not to become just the “friend with cancer”. It’s interesting to see who’s dropped off  (probably because they don’t know what to say. I get it. Everyone has busy lives. I hold this against no one), and who’s stepped up in ways I never thought I needed. The people who distract me with talk of when the small shops drop their kids clothing lines (which is a very important topic for me!), the ones who’s post pictures of me circa 2003 on my Facebook timeline (for the love please don’t post any more of me as a blonde), and all the cards I keep getting, the ones who drop by with ice cream (or 3lb bags of Swedish fish). It takes a freaking tribe.

And I’ll leave you with one last side effect that started. My beloved eye lashes and brows have taken a turn for the sparse. Let’s just say I’m learning more about makeup than I ever dreamed. You tube makeup tutorials rock.

If you’ve made it this far. I’m currently giving you a standing ovation. And you probably want the last 20 minutes of your life back.

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  • March 14, 2017 - 8:03 am

    Sara - Nope. Not even close. Don’t need the last 20 minutes back at all. Love you, love your bald head (I mean really… who knew you had such amazing bone structure?), and love how you go hard in between the shitty times. I’m still in charge of the post-cancer adventure, FYI.

  • March 14, 2017 - 8:38 am

    Haley - Long time reader…just want to say that you’re an inspiration! And I hope that doesn’t make you cringe, but I understand if it does because I’m sure you don’t want to be an inspiration, you just want to be a regular mom/person. Nevertheless, I’m inspired by you every time you post 🙂

  • March 14, 2017 - 10:04 am

    Gayle Darby - Erin,
    You inspire me! I also want to hold you and tell you it will all be all right (please don’t hit me!). I’ve learned so much about you and your incredible spirit, which leaves me in awe. Sending you love and healing thoughts every day❤️

  • March 14, 2017 - 2:33 pm

    Paige - You are amazing! I’m so impressed that the weeks between rounds you are going non-stop! What a fun weekend for Lex too!

  • March 14, 2017 - 5:00 pm

    Liz - I never ever want those last 20 minutes of my life back because I 1) love reading new blog posts from you and 2) love getting updates on how you’re doing. Even though we text often, I know it’s a lot to tell everyone details daily, and I might just be nosy (ok, I am), but I loved the detail in this post. The good, the bad, and the ugly. You are one kick ass mom, friend, wife, and all around person. I am genuinely so happy that I know you and that I can be here to cheer you on. You truly inspire me to work harder and be better. LOVE YOU! xo

  • March 14, 2017 - 8:31 pm

    Desiree - Those 20 minutes were the realest ones I’ve read since… Your last update.
    I love you hard, my friend – sparse eyelashes and all.
    This is probably starting to sound like a broken record, but damn it, you’re so strong. There aren’t words to express how much I admire your strength, spirit, and honesty.
    One of these days you’re going to write a blog post that says, “I kicked Bertha’s as$.” And this all *will* be in the review mirror.
    Hugs and love.

  • March 15, 2017 - 6:40 am

    B - Hard real life has a way of sorting the friends versus fake friends quickly! I’m a fast reader and I adore getting your updates, knowing you are okay (I IG stalk you as well) and learn that this is hard both mentally and physically. Your girls are adorable and I know they would get along with my girls fantastically – now if I can just convince my husband to move across the country. Working out at all is a feat for me and I am not fighting for my life so seeing you rock it and being so active is amazing!

  • March 15, 2017 - 7:51 am

    Lynn Richey - Erin. I know I haven’t been the most consistent poster to you. But you are rarely gone from my thoughts and prayers. You are such a remarkable, brace and inspiring young woman with so much life and joy and great adventure ahead of you. You are a beautiful wife, mother daughter and friend to so many. You take the sadness we feel for you and somehow make the feelings lighter and we feel empowered by your incredible strength and character. Love the pictures you share. It reminds us of all you have to fight for and WIN!!! And you will win!! You are thought and prayed for daily. You are in my heart forever. Have a beautiful day today! Love, Lynn

  • March 15, 2017 - 3:09 pm

    Erinn Connolly - I love hearing you had such an awesome break between rounds getting to experience so much and enjoy your family in such a trying time. I love reading your updates and being included in this journey, you are so inspiring and I wish you health, happiness, and 3 more pounds of swedish fish. lots of thoughts, prayers, and good vibes always heading your way!

  • March 15, 2017 - 5:39 pm

    Abbi - I love hearing your story – thank you for being real about the good and bad. I’m keeping you in my prayers buddy! You’ve got this. It’s so amazing you have this tribe around you! Your girls are so lucky to have such a strong mama.

  • March 15, 2017 - 7:45 pm

    Bonnie Hardy (Bev Disney's Mom) - Erin – keep up the good fight. You are an amazing woman and your strength and determination must mean so much for those in the same struggle. Thanks for sharing with all of us. It truly makes one stop and think about all the blessings we have in our current lives and also causes us to appreciate all the wondrous moments of each and every day that we have. Life is short as we all know, but for that very reason, we need to experience fully all the moments, good and bad and be thankful that we are still here to do so.

    Take care, Erin, and I look forward to your next post. Hugs.

  • March 16, 2017 - 3:38 am

    Joseph - Hey! Erin!
    Great post. Love those sunglasses! And, your little darlings are the cutest.
    I am truly amazed at your strength and courage to be so active at this level. I continue to pray for you and the family. God always has this. Robin and my family say hello always keep you in prayer.
    Peace be with you.

  • March 17, 2017 - 2:16 pm

    Chelsey - What a rock star, and I love your honesty. I can’t even begin to imagine, as I have kids your same age. Glad your’e feeling good in between, but I’m sure it plays a bit of a mind game as you know whats coming next now. And I CAN’T believe you power through Dland with two kids, I did that this week too and man is it tiring!! Rooting for you!

  • March 26, 2017 - 10:15 pm

    Laura Keenan - Oh friend, what an honest glimpse into your battle. Your strength still shines through even though this is shitty & unfair. I wish I could eat orange chicken with you all day & help in any other way. I’m here! I’m swear I’m here. And I wanna talk shorties, & Hart of Dixie, & maybe even throw on a pitbull tune. Hugs!!!

  • March 29, 2017 - 9:00 am

    Edith - I love reading your posts. After all you are going through it is refreshing to just read about real life. Punch me but you are halfway there! You are such an inspiration and your girls look so happy! Following your battle with you.