When life Gives You Lemons... - Make Beautiful Cards | Card Making Made Easy with Andrea Walford

When life Gives You Lemons…

Have you ever noticed that life rarely seems to go the way you expect it to? Just when you think that things are going well, something unexpected happens...well, that was my life this week.

“When life gives you lemons…you make lemonade”

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

Life hands you something challenging, so you turn it around and make it into something beautiful.

What you never realize, until you’re right in the middle of it of course, is that getting from point A (the challenge) to point B (something beautiful), is rarely straightforward.

There’s no path to follow. No map to guide you.

You’ve just got to take it a step at a time, and trust that at some point you’ll figure it out.

And that’s where I find myself right now.

At the starting point of a new challenge in my life.

This past Friday, I start experiencing some abdominal discomfort. As Friday turned into Saturday, and Saturday turned into Sunday, the pain started getting worse and worse.

Until finally I couldn’t take it any more and ended up going to the Emergency Department of our local hospital.

After a loooong day of tests, I was told the doctor suspects I might have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). So either Crohn’s or Colitis.

I have to tell you, this really threw me for a loop.

I’ve been struggling with a host of random health issues for the last 6-7 years. But for the most part, I’ve been able to manage my health and the busyness of the day to day life of a mom of 5, caring for my 100 year old live-in grandpa, and running my online business.

And I’ve done this by making sure I eat well, exercise, take breaks, get enough sleep, don’t over do it etc.

Now suddenly, it feels like my whole life has been turned upside down.

The thing about IBD is that it is completely tied to what you eat. The problem is that there are a lot of unknowns. There’s no straightforward list of “here’s what you can eat, and here’s what you can’t.”

While there are guidelines, it’s a very individual process of finding out what your body can tolerate, and what it can’t.

And let me tell you, it’s VERY time consuming. And it can be quite a painful learning process.

Pretty much overnight, I went from eating just about anything I wanted, to having to think about every single thing I put in my mouth…

From not really thinking about food, to having it dominate my life.

I was joking with my sister that I feel like most of my day now consists of research, meal planning, shopping, preparation, and of course the clean-up. On TOP of everything else.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Because figuring things out is taking so much time right now, I don’t have time for a lot else. And when I do have time, I just don’t have the energy.

Which means that I have to start making some hard choices about what I am spending my time on.

Which brings me to this blog.

For the past while, for the most part, I’ve been able to release new content every single week.

Unfortunately, until I get things figured out with my health, I’m just not going to have the same amount of time to spend on my blog and business.

What does that mean for you?

Well, I will continue with my monthly exclusive video tutorial for email subscribers. This is a video tutorial and PDF handout of an intermediate/advanced level card that gets emailed out at the beginning of the month to everyone on my email list. So if you’re not on my email list, and you enjoy my videos, then you’re going to want to be on my list.

Other than that, I’m really not sure how much time I’m going to have to post new content to my blog.

I suspect that for the next few months at least, you won’t see much other than that.

I’m hoping though, that as I start to figure things out, it will get easier. And my time will start to open up again. When that does, I’ll be back to posting regularly again.

I wish I could say I have a definitive timeline for you…sadly I don’t.

But I will do my best 🙂

In the meantime, I’ll be staying in touch via my email newsletter.



40 thoughts on “When life Gives You Lemons…”

  1. Andrea, please get to feeling better. I am so sorry life has thrown you a curve.
    Have no fear, you loyal friends and followers will be lifting up prayers for your improved health. And, we will all be here when you get straightened out. Take care of yourself !

  2. I pray you’ll get this figured out and start feeling better soon, Andrea. Know that you have a lot of supporters out here!

  3. Jacqueline Hedlund

    Wishing you success on your food journey. I had my gall bladder removed last summer. For 20 years I was told there was nothing wrong after I went through two tests! They have a new one now and it showed I had a spathic gall bladder. I am eating what I could not eat for years. I love sweet potatoes!
    Good luck

  4. Andrea life sure does throw a curve-ball at times. But you sound like the type of person that will pick up that ball and run with it until you make a home run. You take care and do what the Drs suggest , love your family and it will work out for you. Stay on target reel in on the other stuff.

    Best to you, your internet friend
    Diane DeMartini

  5. Family and Health are always first. Take care of yourself while food tracking. I think yogurt, fresh fish and poi (I’m Native Hawaiian living in Hawaii), and bananas are fabulous foods. Mahalo, thank you, for sharing your talent and your life with us. Malama pono, take care.

  6. So sorry to hear this kind of news. I have a friend that has this same trouble. Not a fun thing to have. Will be saying a prayer for you. Hang in there. Hope it works out well and quickly.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about your latest challenge. I know you’ve had big challenges in the past too and somehow this doesn’t seem to be fair. I had surgery two years ago for a twisted colon and they cut 8″ out. I had bad pains three or four times a year for almost 50 years and no one could diagnose them until I ended up in the ER. Apparently the other times it had untwisted itself but this time it didn’t. It was a long recovery but I haven’t had any pain in the last two years. So take your time and tend to yourself for a change (easier said than done, I know). One day at a time and hopefully your life will balance out again soon.

  8. Sorry to hear this news Andrea. Most importantly take care of yourself, and good luck with the food tracking. Hopefully you’ll see a pattern and it won’t be too difficult to get to the bottom of what you can and can’t eat. Thinking of you.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear this, Andrea. Take care of yourself during this challenging time, and don’t worry about anything extra until you’re back on your feet. Many will be praying for you!

  10. The most important thing to do right now is to take care of yourself.
    In a few months hopefully you will have lots of answers to your health issues, it all takes time.
    Sending you good wishes as you travel this health journey.

  11. I will miss seeing your creations, and I totally get that you need to take care of yourself first. If you don’t feel right it is hard to have fun creating. Please take good care of yourself.

  12. To my beautiful creative email friend, I feel so blessed to be receiving your emails and gorgeous cards you do, take care. Health and family come first, take the time to heal and we will all be here to bolster your spirits. so many challenges have been thrown your way and you handle them with such determination and wonderful poise.
    May there be sunshine and rainbows flowing around you soon and good health to you and yours.

  13. Praying for you as you do what you need to do to get better. Take care. We’ll be here when you come back.

  14. Sorry to hear about the diagnosis. Enjoy the journey about finding which foods are good for you. Hold on to Christ’s hand and he will guide you.

  15. Sorry you’re not feeling well. Two of my daughters and myself have irritable bowl syndrome. Try a FODMAP and Gluten Free way of eating, we have found that this has helped a lot. My sister in law has Colitis and when she sticks to the gluten free way of she finds this beneficial too .
    good luck with your research and hope you feel some relief soon

  16. Jeannette Ferguson

    Dear Andrea. My heartfelt sympathies to you. Challenging times but you don’t have to walk alone or do in your own strength. I have a practical suggestion to make…noting how many fellow crafters have already messaged you. Why not tap into this community of talent for ideas and inspiration?
    Ladies – What if we all sent a card we’ve made and Andrea could curate and post on her website when she’s able to? Or, an even more grand idea – What if you allowed each of us to contribute a little more e.g. who we are, when we squeeze in card making, what inspires us and simple instructions/component details with a photo or 2 of our finished card.
    Keeping you in prayer.
    Jeannette, Sydney Australia

  17. Rosemarie Menassas

    Prayers going out to you to conquer this latest challenge. God must have something really special in mind for you, to give you all these trials! God bless you.

  18. I can empathize with needing to deal with curveballs (so many of us do) and I pray for balance in your life. You will find it! Do what you need to do. I pray you find the answers and your pain is relieved. I appreciate all you’ve already shared with us. We can wait.
    You are a gift.

  19. Maxine Norrish

    Oh Andrea, another challenge for you. I see you as a wonderful person who has managed so many challenges. Always thinking of others. Take care and I hope you are able to sort this out soon.
    Love and hugs, Maxine xx

  20. I’m really feeling for you! Our boys have to take care of what they eat, too and I know how much time it takes at first to figure out what works and what doesn’t. But it should get better by the time!
    I really understand that now you have to fucus on yourself – health is very important. So I hope you manage evreything and will be back soon again.
    Stay strong!

  21. Andrea, I certainly know about life giving you lemons – first hand. I won’t go into that story with you, but I want you to know I will be praying for God to see you through this situation. One of my best friends has Crohn’s Disease, so I have somewhat of an understanding of what you are probably going through right now. You are one very amazing and strong woman with a very full life with kids AND your grandfather. You take care of you – and we will be here with you along the way.

  22. Well, you’ve certainly been sent a curve ball. With everything else going on during this pandemic just try to stay strong. You have to think about your health over and above everything else and your loyal followers all realize this I’m sure. Please take care.

  23. I am so sorry you are going through this.. You always look great! You can get through this you are so amazing and you add so much to our lives.. My life has been a roller coaster snice I was pregnant with my daughter 35 years ago. I went blind and had a brain tumor that was removed and radiation after i had my daughter.. No functioning pituitary so things stopped working over the years, then stage 4 melanoma + I fell down the stairs because i have poor equilibrium, damaged spine now.. Sounds awful but i got through it and learned from my Neurosurgeon i have to keep myself happy, find things to laugh about let the kid in you out a lot.. Best advice ever.. My daughter is a Psychologist now she wanted to study the brain after spending her life seeing me go through so many hurdles. I am adrenal insufficient now so i have to stay home more. I am thankful to have videos like yours to watch and learn from. I love making cards it sparks joy!! LOL My Retinas are bleeding now so i have slowed down a lot until my retina surgeon can fix them it’s from the radiation she said i should have gone blind years ago.. I was blessed by having such excellent radiologist.. I still try to do stuff and laugh about what a mess i make. LOL So yep lemons lemonade, add some lavender etc.. LOL You are so amazing taking care of so many loved ones.. I will keep you in my prayers. Keep smiling and laughing life is roller coaster so you can scream!! LOl Many prayers and computer hugs..

    1. Andrea, I wish I could give you a hug right now! It sounds like you have another challenge in front of you. You need to take care of you. Please let us know how you are doing from time to time.

      “How are we going to get through this storm?”, asked the boy.
      “One step at a time”, said the horse.
      — Charlie Mackesy —

      I hope your path to finding out what you need is a short one.

    2. Wow Karen – encouragement from someone like you, who has experienced so many challenges along the way, would be a help to anyone who was facing an unexpected medical diagnosis. I am just another of Andrea’s avid followers, but your story really resonated with me, and I wanted to tell you that. Keep on being positive and caring – the world really needs people like you. Crafty hugs, Ann

  24. Andrea, I am so sorry to hear about your health. Please know, we all understand how important it is to take care of your health. Sending prayers and wishes for healing.

  25. Debbie Wicklund

    Praying for you, Andrea. There’s a saying, “the Lord doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.” Actually, the truth is that He allows lots of things we can’t handle, but He can handle it all. See what Moses told the Israelites facing the Red Sea with the Egyptian army in pursuit, Exodus 14:13 “And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today…” keep the faith, my friend!

  26. I am so sorry to hear about this Andrea. I have added you to my prayer list and will keep praying. Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Keep looking up!

  27. Sorry to hear that there is one more thing on your plate (or not). I little humor there to lighten the mood. Please put yourself first. You and your health are top priority. Hang in there with your food testing and don’t worry about us. We care about you and support all of your decisions!!!

  28. Hi Andrea…First…I’m so sorry for your newly diagnosed situation. I always believe that things happen FOR U and not TO U…for reasons that we have to exercise patience to come
    to an understanding of WHY. I don’t know if you have the time, but I would recommend
    the book “How Not To Die”, by Dr. Michael Greger. It sounds bad but is a wealth of information regarding health conditions and how to avoid them. This book has opened up
    a whole new way of looking @ “healthy food” for me. I’m sure it could be helpful for you.
    Secondly…I love and look forward to your emails, love your cards and appreciate all the
    creative sharing that you graciously share with all. Take care & I pray for your success in
    conquering this new journey.

  29. Dear Andrea

    Take care of yourself as much as you can, and look forward to a time when this episode becomes just a blip on the radar of your life. You have shown us you are resilient, hard working, creative and incredibly giving, and I just wish you the very best now and into the future. Bless you and your family.

  30. Oh my gosh Andrea. One never knows from day to day what will happen. I am so sorry to hear this, but thankful you went to the hospital and now have a plan. I have heard of many people who have conquered this through diet and exercise. I shall keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep in touch. You take good care of you. xxoo

  31. Right now, I’m living your very journey, and it started on March 30th. That means that I will pray for you often…as I work on my new journey…because you will be fresh in my mind. I’m, also, reading Praying For Your Elephant by Adam Stadtmiller. This situation seems to be an elephant, doesn’t it? And, as for your posts, I will look forward to those that you have time to share, but relax and take care of yourself. I’ll still be here when you post. Prayers to you!

  32. I’m so sorry to hear of all your health issues. Sending My love and prayers 💕🙏💕that you’re feeling better Very soon .
    God Bless you my dear!

  33. Katherine Fiander

    Andrea, so sorry to hear you are struggling. Has anyone suggested Keto to you or intermittent fasting? I know a lot of people who have had success with this way of life. I realize you don’t need to lose weight or have diabetes but at this point it may help with the gut issues and then heal the bowel. Look up Doctor Jason Fung, he is a highly regarded doctor from Toronto who is changing lives. I’m no doctor but you could check it out with your doctors. Although sometimes doctors aren’t on board with this but it might be something to check out.
    Good luck and get well soon!

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Hey there! Welcome to my blog! My name is Andrea Walford. I’m an artist and maker, mom of 5, caregiver to my 99 1/2 year old grandpa and a proud 1/2 Mexican 1/2 Hungarian “woman of color.” 

As a self-taught artist I have a passion for helping others discover and develop their creative confidence. And I have found that card making is a great way to do this.

When you make a card, your “canvas” is small. Yet it has so much creative potential. 

So if you want to learn how to make beautiful cards while developing your creative confidence – you’ve come to the right place!


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