Life’s hardships can open doors to new beginnings and No Place Like Home’s Happy Home Artistry is a perfect example of life pointing me in a new direction.  

When my daughter was three years old my husband and I planned a second honeymoon.  We were ready to welcome a second child and we agreed it would be a perfect time to begin the project.  Our daughter stayed with my parents while we travelled around Ireland for a week.  We were so pleased to learn that there would be a new baby soon. Into my ninth week I began spotting and my “perfect life” was completely turned upside down.  I was diagnosed with Gestational Trophoblastic Disease; I was having a molar pregnancy.   My molar pregnancy was very complicated as the mold was imbedded in the uterus lining and spreading quite quickly.  Gestational Trophoblastic Disease is a very aggressive cancer but curable if caught on time.  This complication meant many chemo treatments ahead, 13 to be exact.   My daughter was scheduled to begin violin lessons as well.  We had completed many observations of violin lessons together which is a requirement of the Suzuki String School before students can begin their own lessons. My daughter was prepared and eager to start and I couldn’t bear to disappoint her.   I had to do some fast thinking since I was unable to work and our funds were now limited.

Like my father I enjoyed designing and creating so I got to work.  In between chemo treatments I designed and created many seasonal craft pieces. Some of the designs required woodworking and my husband was more than happy to help cut all the wood pieces needed to complete projects. I honestly believe he welcomed any distraction from the hand fate had dealt us that year and so did I. We worked hard, like Santa’s elves in his workshop, and loved every minute of it.  Soon we had completed enough crafts to have a sale and No Place Like Home was born. We earned enough money to pay for our daughter’s violin lessons that year and grew a supportive community that we appreciated. Creating a happy home for yourself will influence your outlook on life.  We continued to create our craft pieces for many years.  

Life can throw you some real curve balls, but I am a strong believer that all is what it is supposed to be.  We made the difficult decision not to try to have more children as the risk of another molar pregnancy was just too high.  Our daughter went on to become an accomplished violinist and has earned an undergrad in Music Education and a Master in Literature and Performance.  She is in teachers college now pursuing her dream of becoming a high school music teacher.  As I look back at that “crazy year”, it is a reminder that difficult times can lead to new experiences.  

UPDATE:  My daughter has completed teachers college and is finally back in her home town enjoying her new career!