Monday, October 6, 2014

Breast Cancer Moments

Wow, I can't believe it has been almost 5 months since my last blog post!!  I want to apologize to my dear Sweet Metel Moments readers!  In the past few years since I've created this blog, I have had such wonderful supporters write sweet comments and emails to me in regards to my posts.  I'm sorry if I have let you down and have been so absent the past few months!!  I still have lots of ideas and free printables brewing in my mind, and I promise I will be posting those ideas soon!  So much has happened to me this year, and I have been wanting to share with you all, but unfortunately there were times I simply did not have the time or energy to be in front of the computer.

But I feel that now is the perfect time to write you and tell you my story.  I am turning 35 years old today.  And this birthday means more to me than any other birthdays I've ever had.  Around this time last year, on October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Never in a million years would I have ever believed that at 34-years-old, someone was going to tell me that I had cancer!  It was a surreal moment and I am thankful that my wonderful husband was there with me as we both heard the devastating news together.  Our world quickly turned upside down, and we were in the "Let's get on our knees and pray and trust in God" mode, and "Follow the doctor's orders" mode...

To make a long story short... I had my lumpectomy and sentinel node removal in November 2013. I also had a port installed since originally, my doctors thought I needed chemotherapy.  But after the final pathology report from my lumpectomy, they determined I didn't need chemotherapy after all (I think it was definitely God answering our prayers!) and they removed my port in January. I was also extremely blessed to learn that the cancer had not spread yet to my lymph nodes and the lumpectomy removed all of the cancer.  In January, I had 6 1/2 weeks of radiation, which was 33 daily treatments.  And now, I am on tamoxifen for five years.

Today, my doctors are confident that I have been cured and cancer-free.  There is still so much I want to share of my story and I hope I can share them with you all from time to time.  I will head those posts with "BCM" to represent "Breast Cancer Moments".  I feel like I have learned so much from my experience and appreciate life so much more!  And my relationship with my husband, family, and friends are at a new level.  Most importantly, I feel even closer to God whose mercy and love really saved me through it all!

 I plan on sharing more with you, especially during this month, as it happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month!  I am also honored to be part of the Florida Hospital Pink Army marketing campaign this year (that is where the photo above is from)!  The Pink Army's mission is to help create greater awareness about the life-saving benefits of annual mammograms and early detection.  Early detection definitely saved my life since I found my own lump during a self-breast exam while taking a shower!  To find out more, please go to their website, and join us in our battle against breast cancer!!  Go to

For now, I want to let you know that I am doing really well. I kiss my babies with a little more appreciation each day as I realize how quickly I can lose them.  My husband has been my rock.  I know how truly blessed I am to have him in my life and how much that man loves me as he took care of me during this crazy journey.  

Here are some photos of me celebrating my birthday with my family at Sea World.  

Thank you for taking the time to read this!  God bless you all!  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Free Printable - Teacher Appreciation - "Thank You Vera Much"

For one of our big gifts at the end of Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to give Brody's teacher a Vera Bradley bag because we knew how much she loved them!  So I created a flat 5x7 card that says, "Thank You Vera Much!" to go with the gift.

Click HERE or on the image below to print out your own cards.  There are 2 5x7 cards per page.

I printed it out on heavy cardstock and wrote a special note to the teacher on the back, then punched a hole on the corner and used ribbon to attach to a super cute Vera Bradley gift bag.  (Thank you to my friend Sarah who provided the adorable shopping bag that came from the local Vera Bradley store!)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Free Printable - Teacher Appreciation - "You Nailed It"

For Day #2 of Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to give Brody's teacher this cute nail polish set I found at a Loft Outlet...

I actually fell in love with the adorable polka-dot packaging first and then saw the beautiful shades of nail polish color that was part of the gift set.

To personalize it, I made a gift tag label, "You nailed it as my teacher!  Thanks for a toe-tally awesome year!"  I also made smaller mini-gift tags in case you wanted to put your nail polish in small organza bags just like the lip balm gifts.

Click HERE or the image below to get your free "You Nailed It" printable!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Free Printable - Teacher Appreciation - "You're the Balm"

It is officially Teacher Appreciation Week!  I love this time of year when we can thank our wonderful teachers for everything they have done throughout the school year.  Brody's school is actually celebrating it a week later than the "official" week.  So I apologize if this is too late for you to use, but I think teachers should be thanked year-round, so hopefully you can use some of the printables that I will be sharing within the next few days or save the ideas for next year!

As usual, I like to have an affordable gift that Brody can give to all of his specials teachers.  Especially since he has six PE teachers, we needed to keep the gifts within a budget.  So we thought it would be useful to give the teachers ChapStick or lip balm.  I was lucky enough to snag some multi-packs of ChapStick on clearance after the Easter holiday.  And of course I had to make some sort of tag with a pun.  I think I am dating myself with the statement "You're the Balm!", but I remember using the term "You're the Bomb!" a lot when I was growing up.  I actually probably used that term just a few days ago and had to explain to my kids what that meant... LOL!

Here are the other supplies/tools you will need for this gift:
- ChapStick or Lip Balm
- 3x4 Organza Bags (can be found in wedding section of craft stores)
- Shredded Crinkle Paper
- Hole Puncher
- Scissors or Paper Trimmer
- Tag Punch (optional)
- "You're the Balm!" Mini Gift Tags printed on white heavy cardstock paper

You can print the tags HERE or print on the image below:

- Once you have the "You're the Balm" gift tags printed, cut out each tag that you need, or if you have a punch in shape of a tag (found at Michaels or JoAnn), then you can use the punch to punch out your tags. 

- Whan you have all of your tags cut out, then use your hole puncher to punch a hole where you will put the ribbon through to tie to the organza bag.

- Fill your organza bag with shredded crinkle paper and the ChapStick and attach your tag using the ribbon and tie closed.

And now you are ready to give your teachers their gift!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

This year we decided to give our little friends glow sticks as valentines.  As usual, I had to include a picture of Brody and Skyar.  I don't know how long my kids are going to let me keep taking their pictures for their valentines, so I will keep doing it until they tell me to stop!
I hope you have a very special Valentine's Day with your loved ones!

Iris and Metel Family

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy 8th Birthday Brody!

Happy 8th birthday to our handsome and energetic Brody!  I can't believe you are 8-years-old already.  I love that you are still so sweet to your mommy and that you still kiss, hug, and hold my hand in public.  You will always be Mommy's favorite little man!

This year you started 2nd grade and have been excelling in all you do, including getting straight A's and putting a lot of hard work and ownership to your projects.  You have also continued your love for soccer and it is so much fun watching you grow and develop as a soccer player!

We made fun memories during vacations in Atlanta, several Florida beaches, on the Disney Magic cruise ship, and in Arizona!
We love you so much Brody!  We are so blessed to have you in our life and we thank God every day that He brought you into our family!  Hope you have the best birthday ever!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday Skylar!

Happy 5th birthday to our precious Skylar Rose.  You are growing up to be such a beautiful girl, inside and out!

This year you started preschool and it is so wonderful to see how much you love school and enjoy learning about Jesus and also about being a good friend.  It is also nice to see how your love for ballet continues to grow!

We made fun memories during vacations in Atlanta, several Florida beaches, on the Disney Magic cruise ship, and in Arizona!

I am so lucky to be your mommy and I thank God every day for bringing you into our family!  We love you so much Skylar!  Hope you have the best birthday ever!!


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