Monday, August 30, 2010

Shade Sucks. Give Me Fun in the Sun!

In coming up with a name for my NEW PROJECT (whenever I type that out it is REALLY big in my head with a booming voice and an echo and angel music) I was kicking around some ideas with Bo.  Who is wonderful.  And who you will get to "meet" when the NEW PROJECT is rolled out.  So some of my ideas were things like "" or "" which, frankly, I didn't like even though they were my ideas.  I like the idea of having ideas.  I just don't always actually have good ones.

So Bo says, and quite rightly I might add, "Not sure I like the shade reference. I don't want the disease to prevent her from playing in the sun, and hiding in the shade away from other kids."

Bravo Bo.  I mean that really.  Hearing another "melanoma parent" speak something I believe so strongly, yet question daily, is enough to choke me up.

When Rachael was diagnosed one of my early conversations with Dr. Hughes was me coming to terms with the fact that we live is South Texas where it's really stinking hot!  I'm all, "We're going to have to move to where those Vampire books are set and never enjoy outside again and my absolute favorite activity in the world to do with my children is swimming and now that's over and we live by the beach but we'll never see it again and how will I ever play with my kids or have fun in the future and stop me from hyperventilating right now please!"  

I'm paraphrasing.

Dr. Hughes takes a deep breath (bless his heart) and says, "Danielle, put sunscreen on and live your life.  Go to the pool.  Go to the beach.  But be safe.  And get a lot of hats."  And then he reminded me that this is actually good counsel for everyone.

So in honor of my NEW PROJECT I am giving away two great hats so that I can do a little part in spreading sun safety to YOU.  These hats both came from a great company called Coolibar.  I love them because they are SPF 50 (regular hats can offer as little protection as SPF 10) and I don't know if you have ever tried to sunscreen your child's head but it tends to be a sticky mess when it's over and Rachael needs sun protection even on days when I want her hair to be cute.  Hats are the perfect way to protect her head and high fashion at the same time.  Win!

These are the prizes up for grabs.  One will go to the winner of the "Name my NEW PROJECT" contest (we seem to have a front runner but I love hearing your ideas and it ain't over til it's over) and another one will be given to one random person who leaves a comment here.

One of the hats is the Sedona:

This is from the website:

Searching for a beach hat that’ll work with anything in your wardrobe? Our Sedona Hat is a natural choice, made from a durable weave that lends a dash of texture to your look. Like all of Coolibar's wide brim hats, it’s designed with coverage—and comfort—in mind.
  • Oversized 4" brim for maximum head and neck protection
  • Elastic internal sweatband for comfort and fit
  • Chin strap with toggle to hold hat in place
  • Lightweight, natural fiber/nylon blend weave
  • Spot clean
  • Rated UPF 50+
Basically...  it's awesome and you will look totally awesome in it while you are being all safe in the sun rockstar-ish.

The other hat is a child's chlorine resistant bucket hat


Again from their website:

Here's a child SPF hat that's built for any kind of waterfront activity, from wading to swimming to poolside.  Chlorine-Resistant Bucket Hat is lightweight, super soft, and fast drying comfortable enough to wear all day. These bucket hats are made of Coolibar's durable SUNTECT® fabric.
  • Extra-long flexible 2.75” (S/M) or 3” (L/XL) brim shades eyes and face
  • Velcro and elastic strap adjusts for growth
  • Superior chlorine and saltwater resistance
  • Durable aqua SUNTECT® fabric
  • Hand wash
  • Rated UPF 50+ 
The one I got for YOU is white and will work perfectly for a boy or a girl.

This is Rachael's go-to hat and I just ordered three more for her.  She wears it every single day and IN the swimming pool and it still looks brand new.  Here she is being all adorable and grown-up looking in her hat:

Isn't she beautiful?

That's totally not rhetorical.

Leave a comment to tell me how beautiful my daughter is!

Here's the thing though... until I move my NEW PROJECT to it's NEW HOME we have to deal with the constraints of blogspot so I REALLY need you to at least put your name on your comment otherwise we are seriously giving "Anonymous" the edge with an unfair amount of entries.

Leave your comment under this post.  Contest ends Wednesday night and I will pick a winning name for the NEW PROJECT and randomly select another winner out of all the commenters and post the winner on Thursday.

Good luck and get to it!

**Oh, and quick note:  I am sponsoring this contest.  Coolibar has no idea who I am and hopefully they don't get mad at me for stealing their images.


  1. Well, I think Rachell is beautiful both inside and out! Such a sweet child. My family is blessed to know each and everyone of your family!

    Of course, I would love to win a hat for myself or my boys. We are right in there with you in trying to be safe in the sun.

    I am all for "Fun in the Sun"!

    Good luck and have fun with your new project, I look forward to hearing more about it.

    Stacye M.

  2. Your daughter is totally beautiful. :) I love her eyes.

    Cool hats, too!

    Good luck with the new project!

    Whitney aka MaWhit

  3. Your daughter is beautiful! And those are really cool hats. :)


  4. I love this idea! I also like coming up with names. How about Portable Shade?

    -Michelle aka Cuddly

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. You are all amazing and I think that all the ways you have been adjusting to your new normal are awesome.

    I was diagnosed with Melanoma last year - thankfully it was caught early and I'm good - for now. But I still sometimes feel like your post where you make the comment that it could still be inside her but you say Jesus is inside her. That's a great reminder!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I have 3 children of my own - a 9 year old son (who has some characteristics very similar to yours!) a 4 year old daughter and a 3 year old daughter. My son has a mole on his abdomen that I am concerned about based on my history. The dermatologist is leaving it alone for now - but I think that I will request to have it removed at our next visit. I just don't like it.

    Stay strong. God does have a plan. You have a beautiful daughter and an amazing family!!!

    -Corinne Ratliff
    Baltimore, MD

  6. Rachael is beautiful! I truly love following your blog and I'm anxiously awaiting your NEW PROJECT.

    Toni Ruef
    Mandeville, LA

  7. My husband just passed at age 31 from this beast melanoma...i will keep your family in my prayers nightly and daily...we have a daughter and son together and our daughter has 2 moles on her face in the same exact spots his were in...i lather them with sunscreen to where they look like white god bless all of your family and your beautiful little girl...and good luck with your new project as well... love merideth gasaway and family

  8. ~ Corinne, good for you for advocating for your son. It probably IS nothing but pediatric melanoma is so rare that pediatricians and dermatologists usually go their whole careers without seeing it and have been known to miss it.

    If it follows the ABCDE's of melanoma at all, it's better to take it off.

    ~ Meredith, I am so very sorry. I follow a couple widows with young children. You can find their blogs to the right under "Random People I Stalk". "Melanoma Wife" and "Halley Family" are both written by widows.

    I would encourage you to write. It can be very healing.

    Blessings and prayers for you and your family.