It’s been a journey.
How this Cottage in the Mitten was formed.
Since I have a lot of new followers here, I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself and how Cottage in the Mitten came to be.
Mr. Mitten and I have been married thirty-one years.
Thirty-One! Seems like yesterday.
We are blessed to have three amazing sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law and one special grand-baby, who is our princess.
My mother taught me to sew, crochet, and craft when I was a little girl. I have always loved crafting and I have always loved decorating. As you will see from the story below, I have used my crafting/decor love for a cause near to my heart.
On the evening of December 20, 2011, we were moving into our newly built home...Our Cottage in the Mitten.
It was an exciting time. Moving into a new home AND preparing for Christmas. We were on a mission, pushing to be in before the holiday. We had a private builder and he was nice enough to let us put our Christmas tree up in the new house before we closed on it, anticipating spending Christmas morning there.
Everything at the new house was ready for Christmas! The Cottage was just waiting for us to celebrate. What we didn’t know is that there would be no Christmas at the new house that year.
December 20th was the day we started to move some things over to our new house. That evening also required a sudden unexpected trip. One of us had to take our sixteen year old son for a scheduled MRI. After months of many doctor appointments, weight loss and severe headaches, he could stand no more.
I expected we would be home within an hour or two. Although, that was not the case.
Sometimes things don't go as planned.
After the MRI, I was taken alone to the imaging room where they had my son’s doctor on speaker phone. I was told he had a mass on his brain. I was instructed to take him directly to a bigger, more specialized hospital where they would be waiting for us.
That evening proved to be the first of many hard scary days for our family. Especially for our middle son. He was only sixteen.
That day the hustle and bustle of our family, and life as we knew it, came to a screeching halt.
The move didn’t happen and it didn’t matter.
Nothing mattered at that moment except his prognosis and the well being of our other two sons.
I prayed and prayed. I asked why. I begged for my son to be healed.
His first brain surgery was three days before Christmas. The surgeon resected the tumor. It sounds unbelievable, but he came home from the hospital on Christmas Day.
To this day, it has been the best gift I have ever been given!
In the beginning, the prognosis looked grim.
He went back to school after the holiday.....with no diagnosis.
The week the kids went back to school we finally moved into our new house. Mr. Mitten went back to work and I proceeded to take down the Christmas tree that we never really got to enjoy.
The process took me hours and hours. Every time I took down a handmade ornament by one of my kids, I lost it.
Would I have three sons with me next Christmas?
It was the hardest season of my life. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep unless I was right in the room with him. I worried about my other sons, too. Was I giving them the attention they needed? How were they emotionally?
It took three weeks and two different hospitals to figure out what kind of tumor he had and if it was cancer.
It seemed like a year.
I spent my days praying for a miracle.
Finally we got the news.
The diagnosis was a benign meningioma. These tumors are typically on the outside of the brain, but our son’s tumor was inside. Less than 5% of his age group have this kind of tumor and less than 1% have it in this area of the brain. There are no studies or research because of these low statistics.
Since December, 2011, our son has had four brain surgeries, countless tests, and numerous MRI’s. He is now 25, a graphic designer and he is currently 5 years tumor free!! He continues to be monitored every six months.
He has an amazing outlook on life, even at the scariest of times. He uses his story for good; to encourage others. He is faithful, not bitter. As parents, we don’t always get to choose what happens to our children. But I truly believe that God uses everything for good.
Yes, even the really hard, difficult things in life.
Like I said above, I am a crafter by nature. I like to sew, paint furniture, decorate, and crochet. The first few years after my son’s diagnosis, I made blankets out of scrap material that I had laying around.
It kept my mind busy.
So, after years of making blankets, it has been laid on my heart to use this social media forum to create and sell my blankets, donating a portion of the proceeds to help find a cure for brain tumors. Each blanket I design has one square where the pattern is upside down. That square represents those who are fighting the diagnosis of a brain tumor.
That’s my story.
That’s how Cottage in the Mitten 8:28 came to be. My son created the Mitten logo so it means that much more to me.
And by the way…..Christmas has never really looked the same for me.
Every year, when I pull out the handmade ornaments, I am reminded of my blessings and realize I am a little more thankful than I was the year before. I am reminded that as a family we walked through the rockiest of waters and we came out stronger, together.
Peace and Blessings for the Merriest Christmas,
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”