A Vintage Garden Party on top of Whole Foods Market Culinary Center proved the perfect Honestly Ultimate Baby Shower for Austin winner Chelsee Capezutti. Together with family and friends, we celebrated Chelsee’s dedication to her family, her personal strength, and the difference she makes in the lives of others as a teacher. Her friend Wendy told us:
Chelsee has been a warrior by [her father’s] side and by her mother's side. She has been terribly stressed with her father's condition and hasn't been able to fully enjoy her pregnancy. She is such a beautiful person inside and out. I think this would be a wonderful gift to bestow upon such an honest, kind, strong woman. She is a high school teacher and is teaching her students lessons that will stick with them far beyond her classroom.
We had a wonderful time getting to know Chelsee and her husband John and couldn’t be more excited to honor such an inspiring woman, lift her up, and support her in her mission to create a safe and healthy home for her daughter Hope and upcoming arrival Harper.
Get to know a little bit more about Chelsee in her own words….
Honest: What surprised you most about winning the Honestly Ultimate Baby Shower?
Chelsee: I just feel extremely honored to have been chosen, as well as nominated. My dear friend, Wendy, nominated me. I feel so grateful that she took the time to do something so sweet for someone else. I am still in a bit of shock because something like this has never happened to me before. I feel beyond blessed to receive so many great things from The Honest Company and the other partnering companies. It truly is something that I will remember forever, and I will always be touched by the kindness shown by The Honest Company.
Honest: Please share with us a little about your story and what it means to your family to win the shower.
Chelsee: First of all, before I start, I don't believe that I've had it "harder" than anyone else in this world. I believe everyone experiences their own heartaches and struggles and we all learn from them. The important thing is that we accept people for who they are knowing that we haven't walked in their shoes. I don't live my life feeling sorry for my struggles in life. I focus on the blessings and that is what gets me through each day.
Up until 2009, I had led a fairly easy and peaceful life. I married the love of my life, John Capezzuti, in March of 2009. On our 7-month anniversary, I got a headache which progressed into a horrible migraine. My husband decided to take me to a direct care clinic because we weren't sure what was going on. After many tests and scans that night, we found out that I had a very large tumor on my brain stem, which is an extremely delicate spot in the brain. After being told that no one in Austin was qualified to perform surgery on it, we searched for doctors around the country who specialized in this area of the brain.
My brain surgery was performed in Dallas at UT Southwestern Medical Center. It lasted 13 hours. They were unable to remove all of the tumor because of the delicate area. Three months later, I underwent Cyber Knife Radiation to hopefully stop the growth of the remaining tumor. Because of the surgery, I have numbness in the right side of my face and double vision, however, these are minimal side effects considering the list of risks they gave me.
Prior to finding out about my brain tumor, John and I had been trying to start a family with no luck. After I was through with my treatments, we started trying again. After several months, we decided to see a fertility doctor. After a few rounds of fertility treatments, we found out we were pregnant in 2010 and could not have been happier. Two months later, at one of my check ups, we found out that our sweet baby's heart wasn't beating and I had miscarried. We were devastated as this is all I had ever wanted. We weren't giving up, though. We immediately started fertility treatments again once we were cleared. After a few rounds, we got pregnant again with our sweet daughter. Hope Adair was born on November 30, 2011. Finally, everything was right in the world!
Just five short months later, my Daddy was rushed to the emergency room because he was unresponsive. His initial diagnosis was meningitis, but after several tests and a biopsy, we discovered the news that no one wants to hear. He had cancer. This past year, my father had three brain surgeries, a hip surgery, several biopsies, and several rounds of radiation. He fought more courageously than I've ever seen anyone fight. On March 24 of this year, he passed away peacefully in hospice with my mom, sister, and me by his side. He had a big goal of meeting my newest little one, Harper, in June and it broke my heart that it didn't happen. My family is very close and this has been a trying year, or three years, for all of us.
My faith, my family, and my friends have certainly gotten me through all of this. Winning the Ultimate Baby Shower provides a special opportunity for all of these people who have supported me to come together and enjoy a memorable event. This shower isn't just for me. It's for all of them too. I truly believe that, no matter what life throws at you, as long as you keep a gentle spirit, kind heart, and positive attitude, you can go on. Throughout my journey, I have kept an online blog at www.caringbridge.org/visit/chelseecapezzuti.
Chelsee: Since I was very young, I knew that I wanted to be a mom. Being able to experience what an absolute miracle my first daughter is, I truly think they are gifts from God. I can't wait to see what she looks like and get to know her little personality. I'm also excited to watch my daughter, Hope, meet her little sister for the first time. There is nothing that can describe holding your baby for the first time. A part of you that you never knew was missing is made whole. After such a hard year, I know that her arrival will be such a light in many of our lives.
Honest: What's one piece of advice you'd share with other parents about creating a safe, healthy, and nurturing home?
Chelsee: I think it's pretty simple in my opinion, ALWAYS put your children first. I make every single decision based upon what is best for my daughter. I feel especially honored to raise two daughters as I know how important it is to create a loving, accepting, selfless, and confident children. There are so many things in this changing world that can warp our children into something we don't want them to be if we aren't careful. Creating a strong, safe, and trusting relationship with them is so important.
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