I hope you enjoyed last nights post about my original best friend, my sweet, amazing sissy! I have always wanted to share her story without putting too much pressure on her to allow me to publish such personal information. I am thrilled that we have gotten to a safe place.

Ok, so, Part 2 is EVERYTHING!

Over 3 months ago (March 5th) I was approached with an idea to give a room makeover to a deserving blogger. The room would be redone and designed by the most gifted and talented designers in the business.  “Who are these magicians you might ask?,”

Luxe Furniture and Design

Owned and operated by fellow Tulsan’s and my dear friends Chris & Tamara Noel.

Now I have shared my love for them before in this post and so I jumped at the chance to get to work with Luxe again!

At first the room would be for a Blogger (me) who just happened to win the friend and room remodel lottery! As many of you know we are MOVING!!! My hubs bought us a new house! The boys and I are moving to South Tulsa and we are soooo excited. Anyway I knew since we were moving I didn’t want to take this amazing gift and not be able to use the space.

Fast forward a month later, I talked to my amazing, patient, creative, fellow mommy and friend from high school, Jen Kerckhoff with Resolute PR about this room project. What if I paid this gift forward and had the LUXE team renovate and redesign a space for my sissy??? I knew this was a shot in the dark but it would be HUGE if I could give this gift of space to such a deserving person. Anyone who knows Jenny knows she is the most humble, kind and thoughtful person, (almost to a fault) She never expects much and is thankful for being alive.

Even tho it was just a few weeks later, it seemed like an eternity, but they selected Sissy to be the recipient of the Luxe with Love room makeover!!! I remember being in my boys room with Monika MacIntrye and tears of joy shot through my face. I could hardly speak. This was going to be BIG! This was going to be HARD! This was going to be OUTSTANDING!

Now the real work began! I immediately got on the horn to my little brother who lives in LA.. I explained the entire thing to him and he was OBVI totally game. “Anything for sissy!” he said. Here is the kicker it is a SURPRISE! The entire project would be secret from not only my sissy but my mom as well.

So team Luxe, Jen & I started to have weekly meetings, text chains and emails galore about how in the heck we were going to pull off this reveal. Of course there was lots of tears, laughs and lots of fun picking out all the things for this space. We knew we wanted it to be a space for her to relax, heal, reflect, watch TV and make her jewelry. Tamara and her team, Robin and Tori ,were so wonderful to work with.

If anyone as tried to pull off a surprise like this you know how incredibly meticulous and detail oriented you must be. Good news we quickly realized this and became the dream team. The colors were chosen, the credenza was ordered as was the gorgeous chaise lounger sofa and custom designed pillows! Nothing was chosen in haste. We knew this was more than a room for sissy. This space represented freedom and encourages healing and happiness.

As the days dwindled and the room makeover quickly approached, I knew I had to get my parents out of the house, get my sissy out of her room and get my little brother on a plane home for the BIG REVEAL. Things get pretty tricky here. One afternoon Monika with Checkmark met me at my parents house to help me clean out the room.

My sister was getting VERY suspicious at this point so I told her I was doing some cleaning and organizing for mom since she has been so busy taking care of everyone else. This went over like a lead balloon. My mom was not pleased but I apologized without letting her in on the BIG surprise. I wanted to tell her so badly what we were doing for sissy, but like myself and many others change is hard. Especially when you have someone come in your house and mess with all your stuff.

Fast-forward to last Thursday! “D-Day” if you will. The perfect storm was brewing. My dad arranged to take my mom to Dallas for their 45th wedding anniversary which was coincidentally that weekend! As soon as they hit Southbound 75, Devon Whaling with Whaling Painting met me at the house to start painting the surprise room. We moved the remainder of the furniture to the garage and to my garage. The stage was set.

We had so many amazing people donate their time, skill and love to this project. Devon went above and beyond my expectations with his meticulous work and even helped us arrange for a carpet cleaner to come in the next day. When I called Eric Price with Master Clean Carpet Cleaning in Tulsa he was ready and eager to help us with this project. Someone we cold called got on board immediately when they heard about what we were doing for sissy.

So where was sissy during all of this? Well she was wrangling the 2 wild boys and we also had arranged for her to go on a “staycation.” The Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott Downtown Tulsa in the newly rejuvenated Brady district gave Jenny and me 2 nights stay at their hotel to enjoy during the remodel. This is something my mom, sis and I often try to make happen and daydream about. Getting to have some girl time away from the house, hospital and just have fun! Since she is not able to travel, staying in Tulsa was ideal.

She was over the moon and beyond thrilled to get this amazing gift which she thought I had arranged since my parents were out of town as was my husband. I got the boys situated with the babysitter and headed over to get sissy and head downtown. When I arrived she was lying on my parents bed, white as a ghost. She had fallen earlier and was not doing well. She tried to rally but when she went to put on her matching green dress she crumpled to the floor in tears.

This is one of those times I will never forget. She was so disappointed, so sad, so tired, so sick, it broke my heart to see her that way. I helped her to bed and told her to rest. Her health is the most important thing. The hotel wasn’t going anywhere. After profusely apologizing she finally calmed down. I decided to cancel the room and order some food to be delivered to the house. As I sat down to eat my food alone at my family’s kitchen table, I lost it. I called my husband and just cried and cried. I was so overwhelmed by the entire situation. I felt like the little engine that could. Repeating in my head “I think I can, I think I can.”

My friend Jen needs an award and a license in therapy for putting up with my emotional mess all weekend. Jen reminded me of the famous quote from the story “A Tale of Two Cities,” by: Charles S. Dickens; “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I then realized the real reason we were all doing this, it was to make sissy happy. Even tho things seemed to be going wrong and were extremely stressful it was worth it. Again my wise friend quoting Thomas Jefferson: “with great risk, comes great reward,” and that was the motto that got me thru the next 24 hours.

Sissy and I had a good cry and then we stayed up till almost 2 am laughing, talking, reminiscing of the days when we shared a room and retelling funny stories from our childhood and recent moments of hilarity with my boys. Even tho she was still at home and too ill to leave, it was just what we both needed, sissy time. Of course the fancy thought of a girls night downtown and staying at a hotel with out my kids sounded incredible, but being with her and taking care of her was the only place I wanted to be.

When you are a caretaker you do whatever is necessary to make your loved ones feel comfortable. Always in the back of my mind thinking OMG she has NO idea what is about to happen. OH & I was picking up a very special package from the airport on Friday. Baby brother was coming home from LA! Getting this piece of the puzzle to fit was the icing on the top. If they hated the room, at least PJ was home as the perfect buffer and welcomed distraction.

Ok bare with me y’all this is a long story but we are getting to the end so hang in there. Friday came & went and before we knew it, it was REVEAL DAY! Tamara, Robin, Tori and the LUXE team arrived in the morning and installed the furniture, custom wall art and added just the right finishing touches.

Finally it was time to sit my sister down and explain what in the HELL was going on. I made her a video explaining my hair-brained idea, that the room was all for her. It was always about her. Being able to give her this amazing gift along with my incredibly talented and generous friends (even tho my dad did end up helping with the bill,) was what this whole thing was about.

“You were selected for a health and happiness room! WTF does that mean? We made a room just for you. You are beautiful, kind, strong and you do not deserve to be this sick. But you do deserve some happiness and maybe a room like this will help you heal. The train tried to derail several time. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in this. It was a tremendous undertaking of love. Because we love you and you deserve this so, lets go check out your new room!”

So here it is DRUMROLL PLEASE…

The pictures do not do the room or the emotions felt justice. But just know that ALL THE FEELS were there! Everyone was happy and lots of tears of joy were shed. Finally I leave you with the amazing custom wall art done by Angela Finch Custom Artwork 

The scrolling art at the bottom is handwritten script which is a quote from Cinderella. “A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will loose your heartache, whatever you wish for you keep.” Little did this artist know that I sing this song to my boys at night to remind them that anything is possible as long as your heart dreams.

Just Happy Mommy

Our local paper also did a nice article about the room Tulsa World Article

PS Special Thanks to Norwalk Furniture and Spectrum Paint Company


  1. This was so inspiring to read Kristi!! Blessings to both you and your sissy! You are both such amazing women!

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