Hello, Friends! It’s Kayla!!!!! You haven’t forgotten about me, have you? It feels like years since I last blogged, and boy have things changed. We’ve been blessed with new Trunk Keepers, customers, and even some home office team members. One thing that has not changed, though, is the love, support, and admiration we have for what Matilda Jane was founded on. We’ve never lost sight of what it means to give back, to support one another, and to be proud of the person you are each day.

When I joined the Matilda Jane team over 7 years ago, I would never have imagined the journey it has been. The best part about that journey is that so many of you share the same story….. all because of ONE woman. A woman who has always led by example. Who has loved each of us through the good, the bad, and the ugly. She has shown us a world that many never even believed existed, including me. She is the true definition of strength, courage, and beauty.

Those who have met Denise know exactly what I mean. Those of you you haven’t met her probably feel like you have! She has that way about her. She has never drifted away from who she is, what makes her happy, and her love for making others feel special. Putting a smile on someone’s face is her biggest pleasure.

I could ramble on for hours about the many reasons I love Denise, but I would be preaching to the choir, and that to me is AMAZING. I love that she is loved by so many because it’s days like today when that love will work miracles.

Denise, her family, and her friends were devastated by some VERY unfortunate news a few weeks ago. The cancer came back and has spread to her liver, spleen, and one lymph node. She traveled to Houston for a second opinion, and settled on going through chemo again on Monday. Her spirit through all of that news never wavered, even when ours did. In fact, she was so not worried that she scheduled a trip to Bali to attend a retreat. On Saturday, the situation turned worse. Denise suffered from a seizure and was rushed to an Indonesian hospital. While in the hospital, they did a scan on her brain and saw a large tumor along with severe swelling. The chance of her coming home for treatment is unlikely due to the amount of swelling, however, the thought of brain surgery in a foreign country is so very scary.

Today, there is new news. She will hopefully travel today or tomorrow to Singapore, where they are equipped not only with a state of the art facility but also with sophisticated doctors who can provide a second opinion. David (her husband) is now by her side as well, which brings her and all of us A LOT of relief.

It’s been amazing to see the well wishes flood in on Facebook along with contacts for doctors and hospitals, and then to top it off, two visitors who happen to live nearby stopped in to see her. That to me is what Matilda Jane is made of. Denise deserves to feel loved and supported even when she is thousands of miles away, and I think I can speak for her when I say love is exactly what she is feeling.

I know there is a group of wonderful women who already have a fun project going on called “Project Smile.” Let me just say I am a little jealous they thought of this first, but let’s be honest, I knew they would. Those women are good like that. However, we want to add to the love by compiling messages and photos from all of you! We will print these messages and photos in a book for Denise to read during her treatment and recovery as we know it will mean so much to her!

Please comment on our Facebook post, so we can compile all your loving sentiments for Denise.



Vivian L - June 9, 2015 - 11:01 am

“Summer adventures”!

Lillie - June 9, 2015 - 4:36 am

i have no words. I’m here and my hearts hurts for you all. Love you girls. Denise, Kayla, Sam, you need me you’ve got my # 100s of x and I’ll be there as fast as I can. Hugs & prayers!

Lois - June 5, 2015 - 12:58 pm

Denise, you and your family are in my heart and prayers as you are of so so many around the world. I’m thinking that you have cheerleaders in every state. That was the word/description that came to my mind during the battle you fought a few years ago. So during your visual images you might just see a sea of pom poms waving and hear “Go Denise Go”.
My grand girls and I send love and hugs.
You made me feel like “Queen for a Day” and now I am going to mentally send that robe and crown back so you can feel this way.And love and hugs to David and the most awesome boys Joe and Gabe.

Lindsey - June 5, 2015 - 6:24 am

I will be praying for Denise. For God’s comfort and healing.

Lindsay West - June 3, 2015 - 10:57 pm

My prayers are with you as you face one of the most difficult times a person can go through, again. Unless you have been through chemo, it is hard to understand how devastating it is to your body. Your body is never the same, even if you appear to be ok after it is said and done. I have a special place in my heart for my connection to Matilda Jane, through my own cancer. Two years ago, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Then, I tested positive for the BRCA2 gene. Therefore, my mother had to be tested since my father was deceased. Because of the gene testing, the doctors found a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her uterus. The diagnosis, stage 3 ovarian cancer. No symptoms. Had she not found it then, the doctors said six months later and it would have been turmanil. So, my six year old and four year old, watched and lived with my surgery and chemo, and their grandmother’s surgery and chemo (she was living with us at the time.) During this time, one of my best friends since middle school wrote to Matilda Jane about our situation. She sells Matilda Jane, and as much as my girls and I love the clothing, owning a closet full of MJ dresses was not in the cards since I had become a stay at home mom. Both girls each had one dress, that they took good care of. Christmas time came during chemo and getting ready for holiday was not an easy task. Boxes of items filled our foyer with items my mother and I had purchased for Christmas. As I was going through the boxes the day before Christmas, I found at the bottom, a box from Matilda Jane. I was confused but also excited. Inside the box were Barbie dolls and other gifts, wrapped, from the MJ staff. Then, the rest of the box contained more outfits than I could ever imagine giving to my girls. They were so happy. To see their excitement, made our Christmas. So, I will pray for Denise. I am sure her coworkers at MJ will keep her spirits lifted, and take care of her. Thank you for letting me share my story. #LOVEFORDENISE

Emily Bone - June 3, 2015 - 10:30 pm

You are truly inspiring. My kids – and even myself – have “grown up” with you. My babies (who are no longer babies) are now part of who you are because your inspirations are part of them. I feel like I’ve spent the last six years with you and your family and your MJC family. You are an amazing, genuine person with such a giving soul. You are changing world one person at a time. I’m sending all my love and prayers to you and your family right now. ~ She thought she could and she did ~

Carol - June 3, 2015 - 9:45 pm

My heart hurts and my eyes sting with tears reading this blog post. I have never met Denise, but I know how MJ clothes make me and my daughter feel, and a woman who can make others feel so good about themselves is truly a gift. I am so greatful that I have found such a well-fitting, good-quality, beautiful line of clothes that can make me and my daughter feel gorgeous every time we wear it. I also love what the company stands for and what the company does for others. Denise, my thoughts are with you!!

Cherie Jump - June 3, 2015 - 9:09 pm

You are an amazing and beautiful woman who inspires so many other woman and are a tremendous fighter! I pray for protection over you and for you to know that the good Lord will be there to protect you. Much Love! Xoxo

Sarah Freeman - June 3, 2015 - 8:39 pm

I’m not sure how I stumbled across this blog, perhaps because I just made my first MJ purchase. From the packaging to the last stitch I felt a sense of delight when I opened my box! I adore my 4 month olds outfit even more after reading this blog & knowing you are a piece behind this.
Please know you have a complete stranger, first time customers prayers & love sent your way & to your family.
Time to hop back on and do so more shopping, kiss my baby girl & enjoy the simplicity of life wrapped up in a Matilda Jane top & skirt.

Missy - June 3, 2015 - 8:24 pm

May you feel God wrap you in his arms and hold tight and take away your fear and pain and heal you completely. Sending you love and hugs and prayers.

Kayla Kessens - June 3, 2015 - 6:49 pm

Sending prayers your way!! Be strong and keep pushing! You’ve got this!

Shannon - June 3, 2015 - 6:09 pm

Lots of love of prayers being sent!

Keri Cartee - June 3, 2015 - 4:02 pm

Denise, You have brought me so much joy and you’ve never even met me! As if raising a daughter weren’t wonderful enough, you added icing and sprinkles to my cupcake by creating the cutest, most fun clothes to dress my sweet girl in. Thank you for using your gifts and passions to spread joy (to me and to so many). You are a blessing. I pray you will be provided with the best care, with clear answers, and I ask for peace in your heart, healing & comfort through all of it. Very Sincerely- Keri

M. Farwell - June 3, 2015 - 3:41 pm

Years ago, I wrote to you about how a simple little dress of yours made it easier for my little girl to ler her daddy go to work in the morning. He was starting a construction business and gone quite a bit. In the morning he would tell her, “daddy has to go to work to buy you pretty dresses.” So finally after saving enough money, he bought her a Matilda Jane dress that she picked out all by herself. If it still fit her, believe me she would still be wearing it!
That was over 5 years ago. I have been following your blog for a few years now and every time I see a little girl with one of your dresses on, I wonder about your health. We say prayers every night. You will be the star of our prayers tonight 😉

Jamie - June 3, 2015 - 1:13 pm

Beautifully written Kayla! Love, prayers and positive thoughts are being sent to Denise and family from around the world. She will get through this. Xoxo~ Jamie

Aloha - June 3, 2015 - 11:56 am

Sending much love and healing thoughts.

Emily C - June 3, 2015 - 10:32 am

Thank you for the post, Kayla. Continued prayers and positive healing thoughts.

Abby - June 3, 2015 - 10:24 am

Hit send too soon!!!

I consider Matilda Jane, The Good Ones, Mighty Acorns, and YOU, Denise, to be an integral part of every special moment, every holiday, every laugh and smile in our family! I will be praying for you and your family as you continue this journey! Hugs and prayers for strength and healing!

Abby - June 3, 2015 - 10:21 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you face this challenge ahead. Although I have never had the privilege of meeting you, I feel like you are a member of the family in a way. Your clothes have dressed my daughter her entire life, and will continue to do so. I

Erin - June 3, 2015 - 9:22 am

Prayers for peace 🙂

Bridgette Lott - June 3, 2015 - 7:01 am

Beautifully written Kayla 🙂 Prayers for Denise at noon for a safe flight

Kelly Borne - June 3, 2015 - 7:00 am

You have been such a blessing to my daughter, Melissa. We are praying for you and your family many times every day, Denise. God is faithful! May you feel his peace and comfort.

Mary - June 3, 2015 - 2:43 am

Sending hugs and prayers!!!!

Brandie Cockerham - June 3, 2015 - 12:49 am

I am in tears. It’s been a very long time since I have spent time on the blog staying in the know of a business that changed my life over 7 years ago. Denise…you are a fighter, a giver, and lover of life! I have so missed your fresh perspectives on life and seeing you and the girls buzzing around the world sharing your love and passion. Your family is in our prayers.

Tiffany - June 3, 2015 - 12:00 am

I became acquainted with MJ when I found out my brother and sis in law were having a girl. I immediately fell in love because the designs were so cute and seemed to capture the beauty and innocence of childhood. Since I’ve liked the MJ page, I have found more and more reasons to love MJ. You’re a company with a heart and compassion for others, and that makes my heart smile! I’m honored to have my little niece wearing MJ clothes. I say all of that to say that, Denise, I truly believe you must be a lovely person based on what I know of MJ. You are in my prayers. I pray that God grants you peace, comfort, and physical healing. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you from Kentucky!

Holly - June 2, 2015 - 11:41 pm

I had the pleasure of meeting you years ago when MJ was just getting started. What you have accomplished is amazing! What you and your family must be going through is heart wrenching. Please know that you are surrounded by love and prayers coming from all over!

Linda Sevier - June 2, 2015 - 11:09 pm

Prayers for Denise and her family! I have two grand daughters and we love MJ!!!

Debbie Moore - June 2, 2015 - 10:44 pm

Praying for Denise and her family.May she be Blessed with a complete recovery!!

Nia - June 2, 2015 - 10:32 pm

You have an army of support, love and prayers Denise. You are an amazing woman who used clothing to make a real difference in the world. So proud to be a part of the MJC family for several years. Many healing thoughts and prayers being sent! Xoxo- Nia

Cheri H - June 2, 2015 - 10:18 pm

lovely, miss Kayla. You girls are the best team.

Rachel Burti - June 2, 2015 - 10:00 pm

What strength and love must run through you! I pray for healing for you and your family.

Pam - June 2, 2015 - 9:49 pm

I have just read your blog, Kayla. Thank you for this information. I have had the privilege of taking photos of adorable little girls in Matilda Jane clothing, during child and family sessions, and have admired Denise’s creativity and flair for design for quite awhile, now. I wanted to let Denise know I am praying for her at this time. Hoping to hear great news.

Kelli - June 2, 2015 - 9:39 pm

Tears. But that’s not really surprising, is it?
Beautifully written, Kayla!

Monica Skrove - June 2, 2015 - 9:37 pm

Denise, while doing my daughters laundry tonight, which is 90% MJ (and requires special treatment, haha) I thought of all the joy these clothes have brought me. These clothes you designed and a company you started. There is not one single item in my house that would be considered “retail” where the founding member of a company was so connected to their customers. We see your family photos and posts on Facebook and IG. You share 100% of who you are with us, your friends. You are a strong women and I can only imagine your will to live and fight is even stronger. Please know I will keep your health and spirt in my prayers.

Carli - June 2, 2015 - 9:14 pm

Sending prayers and tons of luck <3

Carrie Gugger Kelley - June 2, 2015 - 9:03 pm

That’s going to be a HUGE book of love. Prayers for peace for Denise and her boys.

sam - June 2, 2015 - 8:39 pm

I think you nailed it, Kayla. Thanks for writing the most beautiful blog about our gal. Love you.

Brenen (Payton Jo) - June 2, 2015 - 8:10 pm

Beautifully said Kayla. Love you both!

Stacie Petta - June 2, 2015 - 7:59 pm

Well said Kayla! Denise – stay strong!!! oxoxox

Trudy Cihak - June 2, 2015 - 7:50 pm

sending good thoughts and prayers.