Saturday, February 1, 2014

BLOG CANDY IS HERE!!

Woo Hoo!! It's time to start, are you ready?  I know I am.  I am so very thankful to have another year to celebrate.  I know when much younger, I was often told I would be sicker and sicker and probably not make it past 40.  It made life hard at times, it made me live everyday like it was my last and do a lot of things while young like go to all the NBA All Star games,  push harder to do well as an Engineer and get recognized, and eventually, wear my body down to get sick.  So very sick.

By 2009, sick to point that I was doing very little.  I met Dr Aboumatar, on my first appointment, he told me, you need surgery (i.e brain surgery). I shut down.  Got my husband, let him talk to the doctor.  That is what started the path to surgery.  By Feb, I had gone through lots of tests and was ready for surgery to happen.  It's not an easy thing.  Two brain surgeries later, I was done.  After healing, It took about 2 months before I realized I was better.  Not just a little better, REALLY better.  Like better than I had felt in a decade!!  Of course, they will NEVER call surgery a success in a two month period. Never.  In fact, you don't yourself.  You spend your time constantly praying for another seizure free moment, seizure free day, seizure free night, and for thanks for that seizure free moment that you were given!

This month I will hit 4 years.....WOW.  The further I get, the BETTER the likelihood is that I will remain seizure free.  There's a percentage of people who go through this surgery like mine and have seizures again, many in the first year, but some in the later years.  So I try to always be thankful for what I am given NOW and to give back to all those who have helped me and been there for me all this time.

So, Let's Celebrate.  I am giving back to all the crafters out there, both old and new as the crafting community was so very good to me when I was going through the whole process prior to surgery, having the surgery, suffering post-surgery, and then step-by-step getting better after surgery!!  I have so many people to thank!!

 
Here's a card expressing my Love and appreciation to all of you guys!! Big Hugs.  Everyone please leave a comment below.  Winners will get drawn from this location all month long!!  Then, each day as postings appear, there will be people picked.  All countries are welcome to join in.
 
I anticipate that many people will win more than once, thus packages will be mailed at the end of Feb.  I am usually pretty quick at getting packages out and I will post which packages get mailed out everyday.  I also have companies giving prizes--Huge thanks to Paper Temptress, Scrapbook Stamp Society, Sherri Baldy, Babycakes, Squigglefly, and Sweet Pea Stamps!!
 
If you see you name on the winner list, drop me your address, htondre@aol.com.  If at any time you have an issue leaving a comment, you can email it to me and I will be sure to post your comment to the day's contest.

120 comments:

cebelica said...

Woohoo! 4 years ... That's AMAZING!!!! I'm SOOOO happy for you! I hope there will be many, many, maaaany more years worth celebrating. Big hugs!!! xx

Bhawana said...

Congratulations Holley. Wish you all the best and very successful years ahead. Hugs to you.

ellyscard creatief said...

Congratulations Holly.
Wish you many more years.
Gr Elly

ionabunny said...

Dear Holley, congrats on your 4 year aniversary. Glad to be hopping along with you again this year (my second). Thanks to you for spreading this love and joy and to all your generous sponsers for making it such fun. Hugs from Norway

KarinsArtScrap said...

I'm so glad you have go another year further Holley and I hope and it will that you have many, many years more.
I know this post that you have said 1 year ago.
And I hope to read it every year again.

You have made anoteh sweet card again.

gr karin

Roxanne from Indiana said...

Four years is truly a miracle. I pray you have many more.

Kaija said...

It is so wonderful to hear how well you can now after all.
The health of love and joy in your life in the future as well.
Included in the draw of course :)
Hugs Kaija <3

Larisa said...

It is so bright and positive! Nice card!

riliska said...

AWE your card is Gorgeous. love the colors and the papers!! Love it all!

lora said...

Beautiful card! I like the adorable image the papers and the flowers.

Hlora said...

Your colouring is out of this world, you get such deep rich colours with your markers. Love it))

Nikki C said...

CONGRATS Holley and your card is just adorable :) thanks for sharing this with us
hugs Nikki C

Josephine said...

Congratulations! And such a sweet card!

Lucie said...

I love the card! Here's to your continued good health!

Cheryl said...

WOW!! Four years!! This makes me so happy! And -- you card is just beautiful; I love it!

Cindy said...

Holley this blog post brought tears to my eyes, you see my son has brain cancer and was operated on at age 17 for an aggressive tumor Anaplastic Astrocytoma Grade 3 and although he is terminal the Lord has blessed him and he has been in remission for 14 years now he had been given a 5 year to live diagnosis and this will return more aggressive. Your message brought back a flood of memories. You have been through so much and have really done well. No one can know unless they have had to go through it, the seizures and all. The shock of it all just tears you apart. Not a day goes by that I don't think of his cancer and still worry as a mom. My son has done really well too he went through a lot for about 2 years after surgery. He then went to college and he is a ICU nurse and so is his wife she works in PCU and they both work in a hospital and give back daily to others just like you are doing now on your blog. Life gives us many blows but brain surgery is one scary ordeal and I am extremely happy you have had such great success. You keep up the great thoughts and the wonderful artistic inspiration you give to others daily with your blog. I enjoy my daily emails from your blog and looking at all your wonderful work. Sorry this was so long but wanted to share my thoughts with you today. Hugs and Smiles Cindy

Kathy said...

An amazing story from an amazing person. I wish you many more years of good health. This card is darling--it uses one of my very favorite quotes, too!

Linda W. said...

Yes, a huge CONGRATULATIONS on 4 years Holly! I love your card to pieces! Many hugs!! L.

Laila B. said...

Wow...Holley!!! Congrats on your recovery!!! I wish you many more years with great health, lots of love and happiness.
Hugs,
Laila

shadow said...

Congratulations on four years.Love card is great bear so cute.Reading your blog each week helps me keep going,I just this yr found I have Parkinson.Your cards make me smile :}
Great weekend Holly.
Sue C

stamping sue said...

wow! can't believe it has been 4 years that I have been checking out your blog.
Congratulatins on 4 years healthy!!!
stamping sue
http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

Melody Strahan said...

I am soooo happy for you Holly! Being seizure free is such a wonderful thing! I pray you will NEVER have another!

Ardilla said...

Congrats again!
This is the third year I come to celebrate with you, Holley!
Many hugs,
Ardilla :)

Kate M said...

Your card is fabulous - thank you - and happy 4th Anniversary - may you have many many more
Hugs
xx

Leanne said...

Congratulations on four years being seizure free! Here's to another forty!

Anonymous said...

Congratulation, awesome story!

thinkscrap said...

Here's to a continued healthy future! What a great report! Adorable card too :-)

Mary K. said...

That is really great, four years.

kayham37830 said...

Congratulations on your 4-yr surgery anniversary month.

Love you LOVE card..

Anonymous said...

So happy for you Holley! It's so easy to take your health for granted. Sounds like you have never been able to do that. It's a wake up call to us all

Nancy Dunlap Bahr

gayemarie krause said...

wow, what an amazing story. God bless you ~
I love your card, the colours and details. hugs from the Cariboo

Anonymous said...

Holly,
I really like your "LOVE" card. Great job, so bright and cheerful.
Lots of texture and interest on the card. Keep up the good work.
Virginia Montagna
montagnava@aol.com

Christine said...

Your story is an inspiration to everyone. Your card is great too. All your work is incredible.
Thank you for the chance to win some great goodies.

Teresa Godines #6857 said...

Wishing you many more years of wonderful health!!! So many good reasons to celebrate.

Glennis said...

Thank you for sharing your fabulous card.
Congratulations on your four year celebration - that is just amazing

Linda Simpson said...

First I want to say thank you for sharing your story with us. It is always a pleasure to visit your blog for inspiration and I wish you continued good health too.

Your card is just beautiful and downright cute. Here is to many more years of blogging.

Hugs
Linda xxx

Vickie Kertz said...

Congratulations on year 4. Love the bright color in this card.

Anonymous said...

Holley - I am so happy for you and so glad that you are my friend. You are an inspiration. Audrey in Austin

Susan T. said...

Love the card, Holley. Your painting/coloring is always amazing!

Snoopy said...

Congratulations, sweetie! Our prayers have been answered and I am thrilled for you! It's so wonderful to see you creating and having fun every day. May you stay seizure free for the rest of your looong and creative life. :D

Hugs,
Snoopy :D

Ellis said...

Congrats Holley and great to hear that you are feeling good and enjoying life! =)
Hugs, Elenor

Brooke said...

Congratulations on your 4th year anniversary Holley. Your Whipper Snapper card is adorable.
hugs,
Brooke

Pat said...

Holly, I think that the crafting world has gained so much from your return to health as well. I know I have always been inspired by your work, and have really stretched as an artist, because of you. Here's hoping for a LIFETIME of seizure-free moments, and congratulations on a life well spent!

rovianne said...

Congrats on your health. What a different world it must be for you now.

Rhonda Miller said...

Congrats on making it one more year and thank you for sharing your story.

Your card is so sweet. Thanks for a chance to participate in your candy giveaway.

bissecat said...

Congratulations on your 4-yr surgery anniversary month.
You so positife amazing women!!
I feeling happy to you!!!
great candy.

Linda Wickwire said...

Oh I love bears and pink!!

Hugs,
Linda

Stacy H-W said...

4 year!! WOOT WOOT!! So happy to share in your happiness Holley! Love the sweet bear on your card. Congrats girlie! hugs, Stacy H-W

Anonymous said...

Congrats Holley, let the party begin.
Love the bear and the colouring.

kaye G

Sylv said...

Happy 4th anniversary Holley, so glad these 4 years have been good to you and wish you many more years of improved health. Love the valentine card, that bear is so cute.

Sylv xx.

Natalie said...

Congrats Holley! You are so strong and I hope your positive thinking will bring you many more happy and healthy years!

Best wishes! Natalie

Rosemary said...

That's awesome news. Congratulations. Remaining positive and strong is the key. The card is so cute, love it. Stay strong and thanks for the chance.

Judith Taylor - Wright said...

Morning x great job hun love it - have a great day xxxx and many best wishes xxx

Luvs2paint and Create said...

Holly this post was wonderful and you are right, when someone is ill you make the most out of every day my partner has cancer and we take every day we have and make the most out of it, because we do not know how many days or years we will have left, your card is wonderful, thank you for your inspiration

Penny

Trish said...

Hi Holley,
Congratulations on 4 years, post surgery, free from any seizures.... Praise the Lord. You are a great inspiration to many, and I love your daily blogs and positive outlook on life. I am looking forward to celebrating with you and all your blogger friends this month.
Many hugs,
Trish x

Betsy said...

Congratulations, Holley! I've been following your blog for a couple of years now, and I really enjoy your cards!! I really love the stamp that you used on today's card ~ could you post which stamp it is? I'd love to get it, as I think it is very versatile to be used for Valentine's Day, weddings/showers, even birth cards.
Best wishes for many more years free of seizures!

Nicky Wilcox said...

Congrats hun 4 years is a big deal I have had epilepsy since i was 5 when i had my second daughter they became grand mals there hell but i have been fit free for 6 years here is to many more to come. xxxx

j.r. said...

So happy for you. Love the card. your coloring is beautiful.

cathy said...

Congrats, Holley. It's great that your surgery was so successful.

Priyakumar said...

Congratulations dear Holley for successful years after surgery. so happy for you. May God Bless You and you always have a Blessed Life ahead. with love.

nwilliams6 said...

Yay for you Holley - a miracle girl for sure. I am so glad things have worked out. I love the gratitude you approach each day with - sweet, sweet, sweet. How fun you are giving away blog candy to celebrate. Fun stuff! Hugz - lots o them!

Janny said...

Molly, I hope you have so many years in good helness healt. Hugs Janny

Moni said...

Congrats Holly, happy for you! Hugs, Moni

elaine.aicher@hotmail.com said...

Thanks for the chance to win some candy. I live in Arlington Hts, IL and got about 8 inches of new snow Feb 1,14 It's okay cause I don't shovel it.
Elaine A

Sparkly Engineer said...

I don't care if I win or not. I am just rejoicing for you and your family.

Leanne said...

Congrats again. May you have many more healthy years.

Carol said...

It's wonderful to hear that your feeling so much better. Thanks for sharing.

Holley (Tondre) Barnhart said...

This stamp is from Whipper Snapper. Most other days I will try and leave a product list of all the goodies used v on the card. Cheers, Holley

Gail said...

Four Years is truly a blessing and I wish you many, many more healthy years. Your card is beautiful as always. I enjoy looking at all your cards for ideas. Thank you for the Blog Candy Contest!

Anonymous said...

I love how you use embellishments to accent the focal point. thanks for continuing to share your work! paulaj

Phi said...

Congrats on another good year Holley. Hope this year will be just as good and better. Your card is lovely.

Shelley said...

:) Another year gone, I think you've got this! Congrats Holly!
Love the card.

Luvs2paint and Create said...

all of the images are really cute but my favorite is the img163, she reminds me of a shy little girl, and my grand daughter. beautiful.

ShersL84bed said...

Every day you remain seizure free brings so many other people hope for a normal seizure free life. As you know my sons and I have epilepsy, and while its pretty well controlled with medication, your story gives us something to look forward to in case we ever need it. Keep telling your story over and over Holley so those who have lost hope will get it again.

Kim said...

Congratulations on being seizure free for 4 years. Thank you for giving back to the crafting community.

Judith Perry said...

Is is wonderful that you are having a great time with your life since the surgery. I pray that God continues to bless you!

Avril Ann said...

WOW, Holley, I have visited you blog many times, and count you in my friends list..but I never knew, the journey you have taken health wise, and I can only, with tears in my eyes, wish you many many more years seizure free my friend, love and hugs always...xxxx

Anonymous said...

You have been an inspiration for over a year! :) So happy for you, and wishing you all the best

Nancy Jensen said...

You are amazing! I hope you continue to remain seizure free for the rest of your life. You deserve it!

I have a friend who is waiting for surgery for his seizures. I hope and pray that he is able to recover as well as you have. I'm sure his family will be so happy when he is finally seizure free!

Ger said...

Love your card! And attitude!!

Paula Kay Barclay said...

Congrats... Many more years to come! Your doing great Holley. Keep up with your health and be positive. XOXO Pauline

shadow said...

Congratulation on your health.Love all your cards.
Sue C

Maroeska said...

I'm glad to hear you're doing well. I really like your blog! Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth said...

Not much to say that wasn't already said by these great commenters, but you are truly an inspiration and a tremendous talent. Thank you for all you do!

Roberta Swisher said...

What a fantastic celebration! Congrats on 4 years!! Thanks so much for being so generous for the entire month.
Your card is adorable, by the way.
Hugs from your Paper Temptress teamie,
Roberta

Paula Kay Barclay said...

Wow... my son have same last name you have as: John M. Swisher same as his dad and grandpa

debbie said...

you so inspire me... I love your art and the way you took a chance. and thru the grace of God you won... I so happy for you

grandmalee said...

Its so hard to believe that it's been four years since your surgery. I remember putting you on every prayer chain that I was on, and I still have people ask me how you are doing. What amazed me even more about your surgery and recovery period was that you never missed posting a daily card during this time. How many of us can say we have an excuse NOT to blog like you did, but yet you still found it in yourself to have enough cards done in advance as well as blogging about them.

Thanks so much for continuing to bless us all with your wonderful creations everyday. Special thanks to all of the fine companies that have been with you for so many years as well as all the newer ones. God bless!

Mallika said...

Four years and more -- May you have many many healthy years in your life.
Thnakyou for being so generous and giving away so many goodies and helping and making happy so many people around
Hugs
Mallika

Sylvia Anderson said...

Holley, you are an inspiration... I pray that your good health will continue xxx (hugs)

Stacy H-W said...

So happy for you Holley! Such a blessing.
Beautiful card my friend.

Carmen M. said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win. I wish you much luck in the coming years, to have your health is so important.

kai wong said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It is not only inspiring but a wake up call to what really matters in life. Here's to a healthy and happy life! Stay well. And your creations are gorgeous too, love them!

scrappymo! said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. you have been through so much.

I totally understand the fear of anything to do with altering the brain as I suffered a brain injury in a car accident 6 years ago.

Your card is very pretty. Lovely colours and image!

Stempelientje Stempy said...

I just realized: you can celebrate your birthday twice!! One at your actual D,o,b en the second one the date of your surgery.....thats is two parties en twice birthday cake!! YAY! :)

alethea said...

Congrats on being seizure free for 4 years! That is awesome and I guess the initial pain and struggle is well worth it when you can say that you are seizure free! With a positive mind and attitude it's amazing how the body heals!! Here's to the next 40+ years seizure free.. HUgsxx

Gemiel said...

Holley, congrats on your 4 year anniversary!! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I'm lifting prayers for your continued good health. I love your work and I am so excited to be taking part in your anniversary celebration.

Blessings,
Gemiel

postalorphan said...

Congrats on your anniversary - such a fabulous reason to celebrate! Your story is such an inspiration, and I love seeing the beautiful work you do.

Doris said...

Congrats on your anniversary!
your card is gorgeous

Barb S. (FL) said...

Praying for continued good health. I know what you mean about appreciating each day. After having breast cancer, I'm so happy to wake up every day - it's God's gift that I do..
This card is so darn cute
TFS,
Barb S

Karenladd said...

I just found your blog and have read through your amazing post and story twice now. What a wonderful, uplifting journey you have traveled these past 4 years and I am so happy to hear that the results have been good. You have my admiration for such a positive attitude, and prayers for continued success. I've been enjoying your cards so very much as well....your coloring technique is fabulous!

SHartl said...

I have been admiring your cards for awhile now but had no idea of the inspiring story of your life! Wow, now I'm even more impressed. Not only a great stamping artist, but also an inspiration to us all. So happy to hear about your health improvements and sending my prayers and congratulations your way!

Robin said...

This is amazing. I'm so happy for you. I hope you have many more amazing seizure free years. Lots a hugs, Robin

DJ said...

Congrats!! So happy you have reached 4 yrs.

Lisa Lucchese said...

Hi I am brand new to your blog. I just followed and bookmarked. Can't wait to see all of your wonderful inspiration. Thanks, Lisa

Cathy -Mercieschild said...

Love your blog and so enjoy how you stir up my creative juices, I need a boost every once in a while and you give it to me. I just got out of the hospital from a biking accident (total hip replacement) because of the way I landed and I came home not very excited about anything. I came in here and saw your cards and thought wow, I like that idea, I like those colors etc. Thank you bunche for your kicking my mojo in gear agan. hugs, Cathy K

maureenjscott said...

Love your story. Love your blog blessed to have found your talent. And you are so blessed to be healthy and able to share. Congratulations on 4 years! And here's to many more!!! Mo xxx

Barb F said...

I think I signed up yesterday also. Thanks so much for the celebration!! Hugs, Barb F

Melanie Smith said...

Such a inspirational blog. Thanks for sharing your journey with us along with your joy of crafting. God Bless!

Catherine said...

Congrats dear Holley... 4 years is a really a big thing. Have a blessed , healthy life ahead.
Thanks for the chance at a wonderful candy every year...

My prayers for you.

Hugs
Catherine Joseph
http://vidhucreations.blogspot.in/

Sindhu said...

Congrats Holley..Wish you all success and good health...
Sindhu
http://colorsofcraft.blogspot.in/

Iris said...

How wonderful that you are now seizure free and healthy and embracing life. I have your candy posted on my sidebar.
http://theirisplace.blogspot.com

isoscia at aol dot com

Linda Wickwire said...

Just realized I hadn't commented in this particular location.
I am so glad your surgeries were successful and you are seizure free. My husband died of brain cancer and had seizures that is how we found out about the cancer. I don't know what it is like to have a seizure but do know what it is like to watch your loved one go through it. I will pray for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Sending Lots of Health & Happiness vibes your way. Hoping many more sunshining days shine upon you. The work you do is Beautiful!! :-) xx
(j.sunshine335@gmail.com)

Pat said...

OMGeeee what an awesome story. God gave you a miracle and I am so happy for you. I too was very very sick in 2012 and I was also blessed with a miracle. God is good!!!!!!

cathy said...

So glad that you're doing so well. It's great that you do this contest every year.

Anonymous said...

Love the LOVE card. And the sentiment is so nice. I would feel very special if I got a card like this. Thanks, Holley for sharing your talent with us. Patsy

KC said...

Major congrats on 4 years! and thanks for doing these giveaways every year you rock!

vinita jain said...

Hi Holley
Your spirit is commendable. Glad to hear of your recovery and wow!!! 4th blog anniversary, two awesome news wrapped in a bundle. Love the sweet pink card you have made.I am a new follower and inspired by you.
Wishing you a joyful and healthy life day.
Vinita

Berina RGA said...

yours is a great inspiring story... thanks for shaing your story... this card is very beautiful.. I'm a new follower..
-Berina
Moxie Craftie