so a little birdy told me that keeping track and journaling this “journey” is therapeutic, a good way to keep friends & concerned family involved & is something to look back on when you need reminding that you’re a total and complete bad-ass.

So I shall blog. And inform all you concerned citizens about my progress and mental stability. And hopefully lex keeps it light by continuing to say things like “mommy! You can’t take me to school if you don’t have any hair!”.

I feel totally fine. Minus the (giant) gash in my chest from my mediastinoscopy (aka biopsy that I didn’t realize would result in a scar that rivals my c-section). I went to the gym this week! But I also went to two doctors appointments, got my chemo hair cut, and have my port scheduled to go in tomorrow…

I’m beyond lucky. I mean if you’re going to get stuck with a cancer might as well get a highly treatable kind. Every doctor and nurse I’ve encountered so far has been extrodinary. I mean my doctor barely flinched when I asked if I could be-dazzle my chemo fanny pack (his answer was ultimately no. But I’m sure I can win this be-dazzle fight).

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I start chemo this Monday! I march my butt to the hospital and get 5 whole inpatient days where I hopefully get to sleep in past 5am (we have an alarm clock shaped like a 2 year old that goes off at 5am every morning), and get to eat all the JELLO I want (insert jazz hands emoji).  My chemo regimen is 5 days on and 16 days off (EPOCH + R). Those 5 days are 24 hours a day of chemo- so after this first round I’ll get to do it from the comfort of my own home and continue to make sure the ladies are perfectly dressed (because priorities).

So. 6 rounds of this puts my end date being in April. APRIL. That’s so soon. That’s still spring! I won’t even have to endure this madness for more than two seasons- and that’s reason to celebrate.

since I have b-cell lymphoma AND it’s a giant mass in the middle of my chest (it’s 9cm long! Beastly thing) we decided it needed a good solid name because “cancer” is zero fun. So the nickname Bertha was born along with the hashtag bonvoyagebertha . I’m also totally throwing it a going away rager when this is all over (plus I’ll probably have some medical marijuana to use up. I plan on enjoying ALL the perks of cancer- despite what my dad says).

So that’s what I’ve got right now. a lot of hope- and a lot of not being able to plan (which is hard. . . because i’m SUCH a planner).

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i’m pretending that if my hair is shorter it’ll be lighter and i’ll keep it longer. . . and that it’ll be less of a HORRIFIC thing if shorter strands fall out. . . 


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  • Sooooo if IIIIIIII bedazzle the fanny pack, you won’t get in trouble? Totally what we’ll be doing then.

  • Gayle

    I don’t know how to bedazzle, but I can make rad Jell-O shots! You did say you love Jell-O, right?

  • Teresa

    So you get to miss running around in rain and mud. April. Spring fresh new alive. Kick Bertha’s butt

  • karra

    you better bedazzle the heck outta that fanny pack girl. + if they really don’t let ya, my mom sent me a New Kids on the Block fanny pack for Christma… you can have that 😉

  • Lisa

    Gotta love the honest mouths of kids! You’re amazing and I thank you for being raw and real in sharing your journey with this. Love you girl…I am praying.

  • Samantha Sherlock

    So in regards to enjoying all the perks of cancer… I have a friend in San Francisco who was going through chemo and on days when she was feeling great she would whip off her scarf or wig and fan herself with it to get sympathy and a seat on public transit . She said if she has to deal with the crappy side of cancer she better use all the perks while she can!

  • Beth Huff

    Bonvoyagebertha! You are amazing for sharing. Sending prayers, strength and love Erin! #luvyourpositivity!

  • Jean

    Erin you are such an inspiration…I love your photos, your humor, your new hair cut, and your writing is the best! With a winning attitude like yours and all who love and support you…omg and your girls…you are going to do great!!! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. Continous Love and prayers coming your way from the Hamilton/Kirkeby family!

  • I love your outlook and positivity, you are right April is so soon!!i hope this flies by for you and that the worst aspect is the hair loss. Lots of love for next week that you take the chemo in stride, and are able to enjoy the naps and jello! Love and light coming your way girl!

  • Love the new hairdo! So cute on you! Thanks for updating us all on how you are doing. Not only will this be therapeutic for you but will probably help someone going through this later on. Thinking of you!

  • Lynn Richey

    You may not remember me but I’ve known of you since you were a little girl. It always seemed time that you and your mom were inseparable and adorable. I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis and the process you will undertaking! Your positive thoughts will be a strength to you and those who love you. I will read with interest of your journey. Know you are loved by so many….even those you didn’t know cared! Your humor will help you through this. Prayers for you!
    ❤️ Lynn Richey

  • Meghan

    Oh yes, you must take advantage of any perk this gives you… especially the marijuana! It’s gonna be one heck of a party when this is all a thing of the past come April!!! I’ll be thinking of you Monday… stay strong, you got this!

  • Friend! Firstly, you are gorgeous… that beastly mass has nothing on you. And the haircut is perfection. I love your attitude and your spirit. Can YOU be my spirit animal? So many thoughts & hugs & prayers your way. I promise to be on call for all important texts during those many chemo hours. Love you Erin!

  • Ashley B

    You don’t know me and I’m not sure I’ve ever posted, but I am a long time reader and stalker, I mean follower on all forms of social media. I didn’t think I could love you and your sweet family from a distance more and then you go and write this post. YOU ROCK. That is all.

  • Joseph Gray

    I’m praying for you, Erin. We love yo and have confidence that God has this.
    Peace be with you.

  • Desiree

    Friend, you are so strong and amazing, and I know you’re going to kick Bertha’s ass.
    Love, love, love you!!!

  • Tobey Leier

    HastalavistaBertha!!… Sending you gigantic hugs, love and prayers… Your positive attitude and strength is awesome and amazing… You are a total Rockstar Erin! I LOVE following you on IG with all the daily adventures with your little cuties and now I will defnitely follow your blog xo… And I totally agree… enjoy any and all medical perks 😉
    Love, Tobey XOXO

  • Joseph Gray

    Keep on fighting Erin!

  • Lynn

    Kick butt today! You are awesome!

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I can’t believe I’m writing this.

You know when your life takes a turn and it’s so far beyond how you pictured 2017 would look like?

Well that’s just about how I’ve been feeling lately. Confused. Swearing a lot. And preparing for the battle of my life (literally!).

A few weeks ago I went into the doctor with some chest pain, a low grade fever, and some night sweats. I was one thousand percent sure the doctor would turn me away with a “cold” (’tis the season!). But instead after a chest CT with contrast while looking for a pulmonary embolism they found a mass.

Spoiler alert. Masses aren’t good.

I’ll spare you all the dirty details- but after a few biopsies (a needle guided biopsy and a mediasteinoscopy) our suspicions are confirmed.

B-cell lymphoma.

The good news! It hasn’t spread past the mass in my chest! It has a really high cure rate!

The bad news? I’m facing aggressive chemo (5 days on- 3 weeks off for six rounds). And we all know I have no hope in hell of keeping my luscious locks.

The best news? I have the biggest and best support system ever. My family & my friends. people have been so absolutely amazing and I’m grateful to have the best and brightest support system around. They’ve been there through all my rounds of emotional ups and downs. They’ve sent cupcakes, the prettiest family photo album, inspiring bracelets, meals, and the most gorgeous flowers (with cursing on the cards). And a poop emoji pillow with a card saying “sorry things are shitty”.

We’ve been slowly talking to the girls through it all. Just telling them simple facts and letting them (lex) ask the questions. When I told her the medicine would make my hair fall out I was greeted with the biggest belly laughs and a “MOMMY! You’ll look like a boy!”. For now we’re trying to keep things are normal as possible before their life is filled with lots and lots more grandma time.

Now. That being said. I have the utmost confidence I WILL beat this. Period. The end. It might be a rough six months. But soon it’ll be in the rear view mirror!

And so while everyone is makeinf their New Years resolutions I already have mine. FIGHT LIKE HELL. Because as moms isn’t that what we do?


  • You will beat this … bc you are right that is what moms do … I am so sorry 2017 is going to start as a bust, but it will end with a cancer free mommy! hugs to you and your sweet family.

  • Tosha

    I have followed your blog for such a long time now that I feel like I know you. 🙂 My heart breaks for you that you have to go through such an ordeal but you’re right; you will beat this. Here’s a huge middle finger to cancer! Hugs!!

  • I love you.
    That is all.

  • F you cancer is right! You got this girl! It’s great you have such an amazing support system and the blogging support system is here for you too! <3

  • Meghan

    I am beyond sorry that you have to start the year worrying about something as shitty as cancer. But I have faith in you that you will beat this! And I have a feeling you will rock a bald head if it comes to that! We are all here for you!

  • Heidi Hunter

    What a way to start 2017 but YES you WILL/CAN fight this. Are hearts are with you and are ALWAYS here for you.

  • You’re AMAZING and amazingly strong and brave Erin. I adore you and I believe in you — you’re going to show that mass who’s BOSS. xoxxo

  • Cathy Naidoo

    Love you Erin.

  • Colleen

    Thinking of you!

  • Love you so much Erin! You will beat this and due to a shitty 2017 it will give you many more not so shitty years. Silver lining right?! xoxo

  • Stef and Brett

    You all are in our thoughts, prayers and we’re sending you all of our positive energy. You are an inspiration and know you will fight this battle with all you have and win! xxoo

  • Love you so, Erin! You were there for me during my worst, I hope I can do the same for you and your family. Though I’m kind of bummed someone already nabbed the poop emoji pillow :p that was perfect!

  • I will thinking of you and sending prayers and positive vibes your way!

  • ERIN! I am so sorry you are going through this, but you are a strong woman, and I know you will kick this is in the ass. Lots of positive vibes being sent your way.

  • Laura

    Well, Shit. I think this is my first comment (and sorry not a more fun one!) on your blog, but just wanted to take a minute to say that I think you are awesome, and have no doubt you will show cancer who is boss b!%*$. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this, but SO glad you caught it soon. Sending prayers and positive vibes from Atlanta! Cancer can suck it.

  • Sending all the love and prayers your way! You are tough and you will get through this!

  • SJL

    Sending prayers to you and your family.

  • You fight like hell and we will all be praying for you and thinking of you!

  • Heather Hughes

    Hey mama! I have read your blog for a while and wanted to post to you. I am so sorry to hear this and know you can beat this. October 2015 I was diagnosed with T Cell ALL (Leukemia) with a 16 month and 4 month old. I did 32 days in the hospital for chemo and then continued for a year of 4-5 days a week with IV chemo and I am still doing chemo once a month and take chemo pills daily (for maintenance therapy – I am on a pediatric intensive protocol because I am only in my 20’s). BUT, I am in remission. So I know you can fight like hell and beat this. You and your family are in my prayers and I know you can do this. Stay positive and have faith in God. If you need someone to talk to please reach out to me! <3

  • You’ve got this sweet momma!! I know you will fight and kick cancers ass! Lex’s reaction about your hair is pretty cute. I’ll be sending you positive thoughts from afar.

  • YOU GOT THIS GIRLFRIEND!!!! You are going to kick cancer’s a$$ and take names. I KNOW you will. And six months? Six months is NOTHING when you think of the hundreds and hundreds and HUNDREDS of months you get to spend with those sweet girls and that amazing husband of yours.
    Oh and sweet, sweet Lex. You know she will always be there to put a smile on your face, just when you need it the most.
    Love you so much!

  • eliana

    Hi Erin, been a long time reader and I love your blog & sense of humor. It breaks my heart to know others are going through this, as my family has been hit with cancer this year too. Not gonna lie, it’s a hard process, a roller coaster of emotional ups & downs, but you have such a good attitude and let me tell you that makes a HUGE difference. It will not only help YOU fight, but it will also help your family. It is so hard to see a loved one go through this, in my case it’s my mother, but seeing her be positive and cheerful through it helps me keep my emotions in check too. Thank you for sharing your story, sending you lots of love. You got this!

  • Jordan

    You are a badass rockstar and this C-word has got NOTHIN on you!!! You just watch, 2017 is totally going to surprise you when you kick this B & celebrate the crap out of life.

  • Oh, Erin. I haven’t been able to get you off my mind. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. You’ve made the most perfect resolution, and you’ve got two of the cutest reasons to do so. I wish I could do something to help you fight, but for now sending prayers your way is what I’ll do. Add another one to your corner, sending love and support to you!!

  • You’ve got this pretty lady! You’re going to kick cancer’s ass and I have no doubts about it. Praying you through this!

  • Carolee

    I’ve read your blog for a while & never expected to find a post like this. Cancer sucks & I’m so sorry you have to experience it first hand. Much love being sent from Indy!

  • […] say more about 2016 later, but it ended on a low note for me.  One of my best friends was diagnosed with lymphoma and will start treatment early this year.  I’ve spent weeks pondering how I could best help […]

  • I’m so sorry you are going through this and thank you for sharing. I’ve followed your blog for years and feel like we’re friends. You will beat this, sending love and positive healing your way during this difficult time.

  • Desiree

    I love you friend, and I’m so incredibly sorry you are going through this. That said, you are the toughest, most bad-a lady I know (and I mean that in the absolute best way possible), and I know you are going to kick this cancer’s butt. You know where to find me, I’m here to help at any time, in any way. xo

  • Donna Parfitt

    Wow Erin. I think of you as still a teenager so how can this be?! Prayers go out to you and your little family. I know you will beat this. My mom had the same diagnosis at age 78 and totally recovered, so you will too.

  • I am so so sorry that I am so behind on my blog reading that I just found out about this! I feel trrrkble! You will beat this! Warrior woman!

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so it’s been awhile.

Which is how I start every blog post lately (or not so lately) it seems. But I pledge to do a better(ish) job of keeping the masses informed about our daily life. I just have so much to share with the world- photo dumps, the best Tupperware to store fruit in, how I swear popcorn is making a comeback, and other fairly random musings about life with two ladies and one mustache’d gentleman (for now! December 1st is upon us!).

I refuse to take you back to the last time I posted for a recap (because that was like Easter or something). Instead I’ll take you back ONE WHOLE DAY (or two. Because I know everyone is dyyyying to hear how our Santa meeting went).

I’d like to start by saying I love our Santa. Our Santa is my homeboy. We’ve been lucky enough to have every single Santa picture since lex was born with the same Santa (I promise to spare you all four years of Timehop Santa pictures)- he’s divine. And amazing. And add in the outdoor lighting and the fact that a lifestyle photographer takes the photos and I’m basically writing them a love letter from the depths of my soul year after year.

after standing in the rain for a solid 45 minutes (weather! We actually got to see real weather! I didn’t bring anyone jackets because it’s something so foreign to me! My umbrella still has its tag on it!) we got to see the big man. Lex having the preparedness of a boy scout marched up to Santa with her American girl catalog and flipped though the whole thing pointing out what she wanted (everything) while k sat idly by in my arms.

And then it was picture time.

K had a FIT. A real life Santa tantrum because she doesn’t like strangers or cameras- all while lex stood by like a good soldier and smiled. It resulted in the most perfect Santa picture I could ever ask for (and this is just from my phone!).

And after all was said and done lex will tell everyone and anyone that k is “getting nothing for Christmas because she yelled at Santa instead of telling him what she wanted”.
How I managed to write 200 words about one little Santa picture is beyond me. I have the gift of a good ramble.

So. Up next is out tree. Well- our picture tree. Because instead of everyone thinking I’m absolutely crazy with my hairbrained Christmas card picture that involves a little tree and two little girls (and the rest is a secret) everyone is rolling with it and acting like it’s some awesome idea.

Jury’s out on how the ladies will do. But I’m absolutely sure that if anyone can make the magic happen it’s tracy.

So we went to a Christmas tree lot in search of the perfect tree (which for lex was a $96 tree that was 4ft tall that apparently someone had to hike up Everest to get. NINETY SIX. For four feet. She cried the whole way home that we left “Norbert” at the tree lot). We got a tree AND I got to be SO totally basic and get enough tree pictures to fill my instagram feed for weeks.

I’m sparing my feed but not sparing you.

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If theres one thing k and i have in common. . . its our desperate need for personal space. although i dont blame anyone for assuming she hates christmas trees AND santa (her allergies might reach father than “cats” and into “christmas”).

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  • I seriously just think you guys are the cutest!

  • OH K. You totally owned that Santa picture. Game over. As for Lex… I’ve got an AG store within 5 minutes of me… I’m just saying. She could totally love me as much as Santa. (Poor Norbert. I’m sure he needs a home in the girls’ room.)

  • Oh K! That is the best Santa photo I have seen yet. And all of the other photos are pure perfection, too!

  • Love a good screaming Santa photo! And I am completely jealous of your Santa setup – because heading to a mall with a terrible backdrop just makes me sort of cringe!

  • Desiree Macke

    Your Santa pic is EVERYTHING!!! Seriously, I DIED laughing when I saw how epic it was.
    I’m BEYOND envious you got a real tree, $96 or not. I’m still stuck with a fake tree, and debating on whether or not I should stoop to just getting a pine scented candle.
    Let’s also talk about that jacket (or is it an actual coat) you’re wearing. Totally swoon worthy!

  • I wish Ashlynn was asking for AG stuff, instead she’s asking for the stupid Torch my Blazin’ Dragon that will definitely be played with twice, then go die a toy’s death in the corner with Pumpkin Cinderella’s remote controlled dancing dog. Dollhouse? Bicycle? no, nothing that will actually last.

  • You’re blogging! How did I miss this? I’m jealous that you have the same Santa every year. And you got your picture, so yay! And you don’t even want to know how much I paid for my tree ($120 that’s how much). But it’s 10 feet, so justify-able perhaps? Anyways, hoping for more Erin posts this December….

  • Liz

    10 days later and here I am commenting. Apparently I read blogs as much as you blog these days. Let’s both make a promise to be better on that 😉
    So. Santa. Umm. Your Santa ROCKS. I wanted to go with Desiree SO SO SO badly when she went the week after you, but I sadly had to work. I seriously contemplated ditching and going to Santa instead but sadly, Santa doesn’t pay my bills. Or could he?

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i’m going to be totally honest here. . .

the highlight of my weekend was when i found a gold paper towel holder that wasn’t $100.

our fri-yay was a fri-nay thanks to a 5:15AM wake up call and a no nap situation. many thanks to our friendly local barista we ended up surviving the evening which consisted of driving to a pumpkin patch an hour away, riding the ponies, petting the petting zoo, bouncing in the bounce houses, and doing all pumpkin patch-y things besides getting actual carvable pumpkins.

i was devastated by my lack of “perfect pictures” . . . but after an 8:30pm bed time, and combing through 800 pictures i managed to find a few worthy of social media.

my attitude towards pictures usually goes a little something like “get there, get the shot, and then have crazy fun without any added pressure”. . . but sometimes that doesnt go according to plan and attitudes run high, and lighting doesnt work out, and everyone ends up wearing their grumpy faces.

i WISH i would have captured k’s face when we tried to get her on a pony ride. pure terror when the gentleman tried to do up her seatbelt. girlfriend HATES strangers. . . even when ponies are involved.

so this week? this week we find a patch that doesn’t have ponies and actually nab some pumpkins. . .



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  • You are seriously far too hard on yourself! These pictures are so so perfect. And for an added bonus, you get to hit another patch, so yay! But I totally resonate with being pissed about pictures not turning out how i want/hope/expect!

  • Desiree

    Stop it. These pictures are awesome, Erin!!!
    Also. WHERE is this pumpkin patch? The rides alone would have made the hour trip worth the drive.

  • Things may not have gone as planned, but these pictures are CUTE. I love K’s excitement over the hay. How badly does that girl need a farm??

  • Liz

    Dude. That pumpkin patch looks like a carnival! I seriously want to go there next year!

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disneyland with one kid is seriously epic. disneyland with no stroller and in temps that don’t sneak past 85 is even more epic.

space mountain during the month of october when they change it for halloween and make it spooky as hell.

not as epic.

sunday i took lex to disneyland for a big girl day. turns out at a whopping 40inches tall she’s big enough to start riding the fun stuff. . . k has a few more months (years) left on her. so she got to stay home and help watch every single football game (tis the fantasy football season). we got our toes wet with the toontown roller coaster- and then hit the big boys. space mountain, thunder mountain, and cars. she LOVED everything except space mountain.

guys. space mountain was not the coaster i know and love. it was HORRIFYING. theres some ghost fire witch (delores?) and its pitch black, and its just downright terrifying. ive never, ever, ever, heard such horrified screams coming from my four year old. “I WANT TO GO HOME!! I WANT KK!!!”. i probably scared her for life (LIFE!). so that’s a total bummer.

past that little hiccup. it was the best day! we stayed until almost 9. and got to meet the ever elusive mulan. which went a little something like this:

mulan- do you have any forrest creature friends at home?

lex- ya her name is kiki.

mulan- what kind of animal is she?

lex- a turtle!


lex- but i like to call her a turtle because it takes her forever to walk up the stairs at school.

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and now. for my OTHER big girl.

k rocked sleeping at palm springs, she genuinely loves her bed, and mike and i genuinely love to push limits- so we transitioned k into a big girl bed (slash took the railing off her crib). she’s made exactly zero attempts at crawling out- she just seems ready. we figured we should strike now, while she still has a firm love of her bed (and before she realizes just how much freedom this gives her).

we’ve done exactly one bedtime. and she rocked it. she read herself a book to sleep and passed out with zero escape attempts. so i’m officially calling myself the crib whisperer (until she proves me wrong at like 3, 4, and 5 AM).

and these are the last two pictures of her in baby jail.

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and now? sweet freedom!
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lex seems to be the most excited- because “now i can sneak into her room and crawl into bed with her! and put her back to sleep in the mornings and we can wake up together!”. . . i’m digging her sweet big sisterness lately. im also digging matching kneehighs. so there’s that.

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bring on hump day! slash the day my mom comes to watch the ladies while i get ALONE TIME. sweet sweet ALONE TIME.

  • Aww go K! Lex is the best big sister!

  • What a fun big girl day at Disney. Ya know, minus the scary ride. Were there any warnings that it was changed into something scary? Eek!

    “now i can sneak into her room and crawl into bed with her! and put her back to sleep in the mornings and we can wake up together!” <<< This is the sweetest thing ever!

  • Ha! I totally remember being scared of Space Mountain as a kid, too. My parents MADE me go on that ride during a family vacation one year and I was crying by the end of it. On the plus side, I LOVE roller coasters to this day… so that’s good I guess! Such a fun day with your big girl!

  • Desiree

    Ok, so minus Space Mountain (wth, Disney?!), your day together sounds like a dream.
    I’m recruiting you to train Julia once we transition to an actual bed. On a serious note, how emotional was it to convert the crib for the.last.time.ever.?!

  • I am loving that fact that you changed k’s bed to a big girl bed! It’s practically the first step in the direction of bunk beds because hello! lex can put her back to bed when she wakes up in the middle of the night. I say, leave the monitor in lex’s room and have a restful night of sleep tonight!

  • I can’t believe K’s already in a big girl bed! I swear I just took the front rail off Mac’s crib like a couple months ago. Mim will be in a crib FOREVER. And Lex totally rocks Disney! I’m so impressed she did rides with you! No one in my family will do any of the rides with me! Losers.

  • A TURTLE BECAUSE SHE IS SLOW UP THE STAIRS. I’m dead, Lex. DEAD. Here’s hoping for more bed whispering success… and bunkbeds. Because… BUNKBEDS. (Sorry Mike.)

  • “But I like to call her a turtle because it takes her forever to climb up the stairs”!!!! Seriously dying!!! K, the turtle. I kinda love it.

  • Umm Space Mountain is horrifying!! haha I was scared myself! Poor Lex!!

  • Husband and I are trying to move to California. Could we exchange emails and talk about what it’s like to live there? I lived there for a semester in college in LA and are trying to move back

  • the turtle comment!! best thing ever!

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