Friday, August 30, 2013

hello three day weekend, i think you will be pretty great

when malena and i were walking to the car last night in the pouring down rain (hello fall in the pacific northwest), i looked down and saw this heart. i love it when we see hearts when we are out and about, especially on days that have been filled with deadlines and stress.

we are looking forward to this weekend, it is going to include:
+++ a 90 minute massage for me (woohoo!!!) after working for most of the day today (boooo!!!)
+++ three campout nights - we are going to start a new tradition of having popcorn on friday nights. i remember having popcorn on friday nights with my parents when i was a kid, and i loved that ritual and it is one of my favorite memories. i am excited to start a new tradition with malena.
+++ a birthday party for nerd at our house (party, party!!)
+++ annual family trip down to the horse races (big money, no whammies!), this year i have the small goal of winning enough that i can retire. let's hope that little dreams can come true;)
+++ making some baby shower invitations for a very special mom's upcoming celebration
+++ working on our pictures and finishing up getting the disney pictures into the album
+++ scheming some more on christmas gifts that i am going to make this year
+++ thinking more about that etsy shop (nerd/jill -- you should be thinking too - hint hint)
+++ catching up on my email inbox (if you are one of the people that i owe an email back to, thank you for being so patient with me)
+++ sleeping in
+++ not working. not working. not working. not working.
+++ catching my breath
+++ starting to read this book which i have heard really great things about

have a great weekend peeps. i hope that it brings you some down time to just be.

make it a good one, i know that i will. xo

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

flying above it all

"the wind has welcomed you with softness.
the sun has blessed you with warm hands.
you've flown so high and so well
that god has joined you in laughter,
and set you gently back again
into the loving arms of mother earth."

the hot air balloon ride was pretty completely awesome. gorgeous view. great pilot. my friend marcie also went on the ride and it was so fun to be with her as she checked a big one off of her own bucket list.
it was interesting being up in that balloon for an hour and a half. i thought about how many times i have been seen a hot air balloon in the sky and thought about how cool it would be to ride in one. but i don't think that i would have ever actually made the step to make it happen had our friends not suprised us with the ride (love you guys). the flight today was a great reminder to "live intentionally" as my very inspiring friend jenny often says, to make decisons about the things you would like to do and make them happen. i think that i very much live intentionally these days (hello skydiving) but there is always room to keep growing.
keep growing, that is my plan.
as we saw tonight, there is a lot to see if you just look at the world from a little bit of a different perspective.
i thought of you all when i was in the air.
we got to go to some great heights today, that much i know for sure. 
on this thursday, may the wind welcome you with softness. xo
ps) to my brother -- since i didn't get home until after 10 and was already busted, i decided to go for broke and write the blog post. you can chew me out on sunday when we hang out all day. but, i am pretty sure that nerd will take my side, so it will be two against one. just sayin'...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

up, up and away

one day closer to friday, i am loving that. i really need a weekend again. wednesday is also the day that i will ride in a hot air balloon - very much looking forward to that (thanks jen and mike, xo).

here are a couple of links that i thought were worth sharing:
+++ the openings words, "time is a bullet train", sucked me into this post from the very start. those words are so true.
+++ this post made me smile
+++ i am going to unicorn melanoma every chance i get
+++ seattle seahawks support melanoma education with free cancer screenings and that makes them awesome in my book
+++ wow, these look so good
+++ love kelly's words about what she is grateful. reminder that there is always so much to be thankful for.
+++ inspired by kelly rae's kindness mission and thinking about what my mission will be. you know i am all about the kindness. anyone else in?
+++ so true
+++ i am sucker for lists of good things, and liz's list is full of good things. i especially love the anne sexton quote "put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard." i think that when i do that my soul tells me to open an etsy site to sell my cards. will have to listen a little bit harder to see if that is really what it is saying.

i also wanted to share the latest update on chaser -- keep sending him your good vibes;)
"A little bump in the road......
Written August 26, 2013 10:59pm
It had seemed so long since I had made that drive up 35E to see Chase in the hospital, but while I made it again this evening, it brought me right back to 4 months ago when I did it daily. At 5:30pm , with the cruise set, peering over the wheel with my mind battling with concern, doubt and fear- I headed North to Children's in St. Paul where the ambulance had just taken Lisa and Chase to the ER.
The last couple of days have been a little rough for Chaser. He has been throwing up, coughing more frequently, and as of 3am, had an on and off fever of 103. Lisa brought him to therapy this afternoon, but when they got there, he was very flush and had a fever of 102. She decided to leave therapy and bring him to his doctor to have him checked out. Once there, they determined he had an ear infection, and what appeared to be a little pneumonia in his lungs. After checking his oxygen level, and finding it was only at 84%, they decided to sent him to Childrens in St. Paul via ambulance.

When I arrived to the ER, I opened the door to find Chase lying on the bed in his blue hospital gown, with and oxygen tube hooked up to his little nose, and two nurses getting ready to put an IV in him. He didn't look near as bad as I had pictured him on the drive up. Nor did Lisa have much, if any, look of concern on her face. :) They drew some blood, took some urine and sent them off to the lab. While we waited for the results, Lisa and I ordered our favorite pizza from Pizza Luce and watched some TV with Chaser. The white and red blood cells came back normal! The nurse explained that the X-Rays were inconclusive as to him having Pneumonia or not, but with the thick stuff he was spitting up, and his breathing where it is, and his fever, there is a good chance there is some kind of virus or infection, so they put him on an andtiboitic. Once done getting his initial med, they transferred us up to the unit we had spent the first three weeks back home in. When we arrived to the room, we were greeted by a very familiar pretty smile that had taken such good care of Chaser 4 months ago- Mary! She had even drawn Chaser a little Captain America sign on the dry erase board to welcome him back. Knowing Chaser and mom where in great hands, and with his vitals looking good, I headed home to the other 2 waiting with Lana. I took the same way home that I had taken there 4hrs prior. But this time, instead of fear and doubt on my face, I wore a grin. Visting that ward again tonight, made me realize how far Chaser has really come. Last time we were there, we were battling Neuro-Storms, muscle tone, sleep patterns, pain, and wondering if we were ever going to get to bring Chase home again. - I truly am thankful for how much progress our little guy has made! He may have to spend a couple of nights there to get over this one, but he'll be ready hit it hard again in no time. God is Good!"
i hope that you all have a great wednesday.
anywhere i fly, you fly. xo

Monday, August 26, 2013

some other time

"i still find each day too short for all the thoughts i want to think,
all the walks i want to take,
all the books i want to read,
and all the friends i want to see."
(john burroughs)
over the last week or so, barrett and i have been kicking around the idea of taking another big trip in october. but in the end we decided yesterday to not book it.
living in these three months cycles is hard, and some days are harder than others. today is one of the harder days. i try hard to not let myself get very excited about doing something if i don't actually know that it is going to happen before my next scans. that is one of the main reasons i won't plan major things after my next scan cycle. but the idea of this trip came up unexpectedly and so i guess i hadn't really thought through guarding myself against it. i was just too excited thinking about the possibility of it.
so deciding to not take the trip it is a little  pretty rough on me. it isn't a given that we will ever get to take the trip. it isn't like we can say we will definitely take that trip next year. the ability to not make those kind of firm plans, without any doubt kicking in, is a downer.
i so wish that i could have the luxury of having the comfort to feel certain that i could take trips in the future anytime i want. all i would have to do is make it happen, book the tickets, make the reservations. i wouldn't have to worry about whether or not there would even be the time to make it happen.
some days are better than others. tomorrow will no doubt be a better day.
no doubt.
two simple words.
hard ones to live by sometimes.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

oh monday, are you really here already?

this weekend was a good one. our first one at home in a long time so it was good to just be here. i was ready for some much needed down time.

top ten reasons i loved my weekend in no particular order:
1) i didn't work
2) sleeping in and slow saturday morning with fresh carrott/raspberry juice

3) nerd had a good birthday on friday
4) lunch, pedi, and shopping with my friend christina on friday afternoon. awesome way to get the weekend started. thank you banana republic and anthro for having some clothes that i couldn't live without. my wallet and i both thank you.
5) dinner date with barrett on friday, can't really remember the last time we got to do that
6) malena wearing her princess dress all day long on saturday, days are just better when you have a princess around. don't you agree?

7) getting lots of happy mail ready to go out into the world tomorrow, love that.
8) breakfast at portage bay cafe (yum!!!) and catching up with our friend kimberly. perfect sunday morning.

9) getting some major progress done on our disneyland pictures, so happy about that.
10) lots of hugs, laughs, quiet, and deep breaths.

there were a couple of things that i loved and put in to the garage sale, but they didn't sell, and i want to make sure that they go to someone that will really like them.

this purse is from queen bee and is the same bag as this one but just with a different front cover. i took really good care of it, it has been gently loved but is still in really great shape.

i bought three prints when i was diagnosed with cancer, two of them i never put up.

they are both black and white and are 8.5 x 11 in size.

if you would like either the purse or the prints, let me know and i will send them to you. no charge, i just want them to go to someone that i know will really like to have them. plus, it will give me a chance to send some happy mail. double bonus.

i hope that your weekend was relaxing and you too got some chances to catch your breath.

happy monday peeps, another week begins. i am looking forward to this one (minus the work part) as it will bring gymnastics, a hot air balloon ride, my family coming to visit, celebrating my sister's birthday, going on our annual trip to the horse races, and hopefully lots more sleep and rest.

make it a good one. xo

ps) to my brother ---- i promise i will be good this entire week. see, it is only 9:05pm. i am off to a good start;)

Thursday, August 22, 2013


wow. this has been a really long week.

i am very happy that tomorrow is friday. i will be even happier when the work part of tomorrow is over.

i an looking forward to the weekend, which will include:
+++ not working
+++ two campout nights
+++ sleeping
+++ more sleeping
+++ putting our disneyland pictures in an album
+++ not working
+++ taking a nap (maybe two)
+++ catching up on life
+++ taking some much needed deep breaths
+++ sleeping
+++ getting some happy mail ready to send out in to the world
+++ daydreaming of how great our hot air balloon ride will be next week
+++  not working
+++ taking a trip to joann's as i am totally going to do this project to make some christmas presents
+++ remembering the rush of adrenaline from skydiving last weekend. if you want to see the video, check it out. forward to minute 7 to cut to the chase.
+++ not working

friday, i am pretty much in love with you. i will be totally in love with you when you get the work part wrapped up.

have a good weekend peeps. xo

ps) to my brother, i know - i know - i know. busted.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


+++ thanks for all of the good vibes and mojo for sharon today. her tumor markers were up, so she will go back in six weeks for more bloodwork. if the results are up again, she will have a ct scan. so we need to keep sending all our mojo, prayers, and good thoughts. sharon is keeping her usual positive attitude, so let's get those tumor markers to head for the hills. go sharon go!!

+++ here is the latest update on chaser and his appointments at the mayo clinic:

Mayo- Day 1

Written 9 hours ago
The two appointments today went well. Man, what an impressive facility! We met with a neurologist first. He examined Chase, checked his vitals, and sat down and talked with us for about 30mins. He said he was pleasantly surprised with Chases condition- Especially after reading his records, and given the amount of time he was without oxygen. He was very impressed with Chases reflexes, tone, skin color-condition, his eye tracking- and his great head of hair! He thinks Chasers recovery is coming along nicely. He recommends that we keep doing exactly what we are doing, and praised the therapy and care that he has gotten thus far. He mentioned a few other treatments that he had researched for patients in Chases condition, but we agreed that none of them are worth the known, and unknown risks involved for Chase- especially when he is continuing to progress as he is. We also discussed the hyperbaric oxygen Chamber- he reiterated what we have already known, that there just isn't enough knowledge out there to put Chase through the potential risks involved. Most of the known sucess stories are from blunt trama to the brain, and not oxygen deprived damage. He is going to take a look at Chases MRI and give us a report next week.

Then we met with a G.I. specialist. Wow! - if he in my dad were alone in the room - the level of intelligent conversation, and big words would be mind boggling! :) He did a quick examination of Chase, and we had good long discussion about his throwing up. He has a few ideas of what could be causing it, but wants multiple testing done so we can pinpoint exactly what it is! Yeah!!! NO more......."we'll just have to watch it".........or, "lets keep our eye on it"........or, ......"its probably because of the brain injury" So we are schedualed to go back tomorrow to see a couple of specialists, and if they can fit it in, we are going to do a 24hr study with Chase staying at the hospital- if not, that will be next week. We are going to do another swallowing test, take another look inside his stomach and esophagus, and alot of other big worded tests that Lisa will have to explain.... :) Lisa has the cruise set at 68 and we are on our way home. We would have been on the road earlier, but Lisa had to stop at Hobby Lobby- which if any of you guys haven't been to, don't bother- nothing for dudes there. Chaser and I hit Best Buy.
Will let you know how the testing goes tomorrow. Have a good night.
God is Good!!
+++ if you signed up for the happy mail project you should have received your pen pal info from me. if you didn't receive it, please get in touch with me (and sorry that i am apparently incapable of good organization skills this week). so excited for all of the happy mail that will be going across the us and into canada next week. woohoo!!
+++ i am pretty much in love with every item in the mulberry press etsy site. big love. one of everything please.
+++ i am booking a hot air balloon ride -- funny how being at 3,000 feet in a hot air balloon now isn't even just a little bit scary after jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet. perspective. thank you skydiving, you make everything from now on much easier. i am going to try and load that skydive video later this week so you all can see it (though i may be pushing my technology capabilities so we will see how it goes. it may work, or i may make my computer blow up. we shall see, 50/50 chance of success of failure).
happy wednesday peeps - we are half way there, don't know about you, but i pretty much feel like it should be friday tomorrow. i feel like i totally deserve it after the last two days (loooooong, looooooong days) of work. ugh. i am begging you friday, pick up the pace and get here already.

Monday, August 19, 2013

for sharon

on tuesday, my friend sharon is going in for her bloodwork to monitor her tumor markers. please send her all of your prayers, good mojo, and great vibes. sharon reads the blog, so she knows that you all have some great mojo:) sharon and i have been on a roll with our last rounds of scans and results, so let's keep it going.

after the survivor lap at relay for life this year

sporting our "bust cancer" t-shirts at the fundraiser for the shore walk
thanks peeps, sharon & i both appreciate it;) xo

sharon - you have totally got this and i can't wait to hear when get the good news;) love you!

+++ for those of that know some kids heading back to school, i think that these back to school ideas are pretty awesome!

Sunday, August 18, 2013




it was insane.

it was amazing (i wish i could show you the video but for some reason blogger is not cooperating with me).

it was an adrenaline rush like i have never had before.

it was hands down one of the best experiences of my entire life.

it was 60 seconds of free fall from 13,000 feet on a gorgeous day in the pacific northwest. we couldn't have asked for a better day.

it was so incredible to take in the view of seattle, everett, mount rainier, the lakes, the sound, the list goes on and was jaw dropping the entire time.

it was such a powerful reminder to live. really live. to enjoy every single second.

it was a reminder that life can be full of so many amazing experiences, you just have to say yes when the chance comes up.

it was a chance to show malena that you can do anything you set your mind to. she got to watch her mom parachute down after jumping out of a plane. she has watched the video no less than 10 times today. i know she will never forget it.

it was an opportunity to build memories with my friends rob, sasha and tim that we will always share. building memories that i will carry with me, and that family and friends will carry with them, is so important to me. being intentional in looking for those special moments is a big part of my focus these days.

it was better than i could have ever imagined.

it was living life to the fullest.

living life.

to the fullest.

anywhere i fly, you fly. i carried you all with me today. xo

Friday, August 16, 2013

weekend + happy mail campaign

hello, weekend.

it seems like you have taken a long time to get here, and i still have to make it through a really long day at work (on my day off which makes it just that much better) before you officially get here. but, i can see you and you are looking pretty damn good. i think that we will have some fun together.

the weekend will kick off with a movie date night (yes!), and then tomorrow i will watch proudly as my nephew gets married. i am not sure how that is happening since i am pretty sure that he is still only two years old. me = proud aunt. so a saturday of family time is waiting just around the corner. i am so happy that i will be there to watch him get married, being at these important milestones now always feels just that much more special to me.

on sunday, i am jumping out of a plane. yes, a plane. yes, me. yes, it is going to happen. yes, i am not sure what i have got myself into. you might hear me screaming when i jump out of the plane from wherever you are...don't mind me, i am just jumping out of a plane at 8,000 feet so that i have a 30 second freefall. you know, the usual sunday routine.

lastly, if you want to sign up for the the happy mail project let me know today. i am going to be putting together the pen pal lists over the weekend so that everyone is ready to go the week of 8/26.

as i was reminded of again yesterday when getting some unexpected news, you can never predict how life is going to change for you or those that you love (i love you and you can do this - no matter what comes). but you do the best that you can do to show up each day and give them as much love and kindness as you can. you are reminded to say your thanks for all of the good things in your life.

i hope that this weekend finds you doing whatever makes you happy (maybe it is just taking a nap which sounds pretty damn awesome to me right now).

anywhere i jump, you jump. xo

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

good news + moving on + chase

let's start with the good great awesome news first. jennifer's scans came back negative! yes, your mojo worked its magic again:) so happy for her and mike! when we got the news, malena and i did a dance in our chairs at chicken robin. yep, we were that excited - i think that we would have done a dance while actually on our feet but malena thought it was super funny to dance in our chairs so we went with it. another deep breath and huge sigh of relief. we are on a good news roll with scan results, we will need to keep the mojo going for patty's next rounds of scans.

this weekend as we sold some of malena's baby things, it felt like little pieces of my heart left with each piece of clothing. i was struck with how vivid my memories of her in each outfit were. but they are only the clothes, they are not the memories. those are mine to keep. baby steps, i have taken the first one. i will keep taking more. one at a time. it is all part of the journey, and although it is not the path that i ever thought i would be on, i am finding my own way. for the last couple of days, for various reasons, this post has been on my mind.  as kelly wrote in "lift", "i think about your futures a lot. i often want to whisper to you, when we're tangled up together or i'm pinning your poetry to the bulletin board or repositioning the pillow under your head so you don't get a crick. remember this. this is what love feels like. don't take less. but what i end up saying is "this was my dream. you were my dream." i've said it too many times though; now when i look at you all soft and gushy and say "guess what?" you say "this was your dream. i was your dream."

she has always been my dream. 

i also want to give the latest update on our little warrior chaser - go chaser go!!
Written August 12, 2013 11:28pm
The last few days here at the Lykken household have been Great! We spent the weekend hanging out together as a family and did a lot of much needed bonding. On Friday we all took Chaser around the block for a long walk on his trike, and then came back and settled in for family movie night. With the contruction on the Sunroom done, we were all anxious to hang out in the new room and watch a movie on the Big Screen. Chase seems to love the new room. Lisa called me Friday morning at work, almost extadic to tell me the news. She put Chase up close to the big screen in his wheel chair, and his eyes moved back and forth across the screen as Jake and the Neverland Pirates paraded in front of him Samsung style. Although we have not heard back from his vision test done a few weeks back, clearly he is able to see lights and follow them! :) The last few days his eye tracking has become noticeably more frequent, and much more distinct. Its like he is watching our every move and processing it.
We are doing our best to do all of the things we used to do prior to the accident. We both feel it is the healthist way for our family to heal, and to get back into normalcy. On Saturday, we ventured out to the Lakefront Days Parade, where we ran into many supporters of Chase. It was great to be amung the local community and feel part of it again- Man we Love this community! We spent the afternoon hanging out together, did some grillin, a family picnic in the driveway, and took Chase on another walk on his trike.
Sunday morning, Armed with plenty of towels, extra outfit for Chase, and the portable suction machine, we all slid into the back at Grace Church. Lisa and I were worried that he might make a scene by throwing up in the middle of the sermon. To our surprise, there was only one little episode, and it was right in the middle of the muscial jam session- with all of the congregation "making a joyful noise", no one seem to notice the green machine firing up and suching the formula from the front of Chasers outfit that he expelled! Whew! We made it home in time for me to meet a saltwater tank expert at the house to give me some pointers on Chasers new tank , and teach me the quickest, easiest way to maintain it. It turns out I havent been doing to bad- might be time for a bigger one :)
We have had plenty of visitors this week, one special one dropped by to see Chase on Thursday. His buddy from school, Lilly. She was the friend of his that was hit by a car a couple of months back- she has made almost a complete recovery! Props to the Big Guy for that!

Overall, Chase has come a long way this week. With his Tracking and overall alertness, it seems like his little brain starting to process. His Sleeping patterns have been very consistant. He is sleeping through most of the nights. His swallowing and cough are getting stronger and more frequent. We are still battling the throwing up issue. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why or when he throws up. We have added more water to his formula, which has decreased the thickness of his mucus buildup in his throat- this seems to have helped his swallowing get better. We managed to get a couple of schedualed appointments at the Mayo down in Rochester. Next Tuesday we meet with a neurologist, and a week later, we meet with a G.I. doctor Hopefully this will bring some answers, if not, shed some light and open some doors on Chasers current condition. There is no doubt the move home has been good for Chase and the rest of the family. We are all looking forward to watching Chase make more progress!

God is Good!"
i am excited for everyone who has signed up so far for the happy mail project, it is going to be very fun. if you don't have my email, leave me your email in a comment and i will take down your email and will delete the comment tomorrow. i will follow up with you via email to connect on your address and information.
lastly, if you are looking for some awesome invitations that can be customized and delivered to your door, you need to check out the mini mart market. marta just relaunced her shop and the invitations/stationary in the store look so awesome. makes me want to organize a shower/bbq/anniversary/dessert party, etc. right now. i might call in sick tomorrow to do some serious party planning;)
have a good wednesday all - we are halfway there. i don't know about you, but friday seems  a long, long way from here. i am going to keep putting one step in front of the other, i am hoping that eventually i will get there. eventually.
make it a good day peeps. xo
ps) to my brother - yes, i know that it is 11 minutes past 10pm. yes, i know that i am in trouble. yes, i know that you might disown me. yes, i take your strong reminders (aka subtle hints) very seriously. yes, i know that you are my big brother and i should listen to you. yes, i am going to bed right now.

Monday, August 12, 2013

the happy mail project

so in my post last night i talked about a fun new idea that came to me as i wrote the guest post for "the gratitude project".

here is the idea.

generate more happy mail in the world.

you know that i am big fan of happy mail campaigns, many of you participated in the one that we did for jennifer as well as the one that will continue throughout this year for chase, ava, and tanner.

this time, i am creating a new happy mail campaign where you will have a pen pal that you will send happy mail to once a month. simply because sending happy mail out into the world is fun, and we all know that recieving it is equally as fun.

here is how it would work:
- once a month, you will send a card or postcard to someone (see below for how you will know who that person is).
- you will send your happy mail the fourth week of the month.
- i will send you a reminder email the week before it is time to send out happy mail.
- i will assign you the person that you will send happy mail to, maybe it will be someone you know, maybe it will be your chance to make a brand new connection.
- you will send your happy mail in the fourth week of the month starting in august, the last month would november and we would end the week of thanksgiving.

i think that collectively sending some happy mail out in the world over the next couple of months can only help generate good mojo, and we all need some of that.

if would like to participate, let me know by this friday. make sure that you give me 1) your email address, and 2) your  mailing address -- if i don't already have both pieces of information.

i will then assign everyone their happy mail pen pal this weekend and we will send out the first happy mail the week of 8/26. if you are in canada or somewhere else outside of the u.s., feel free to sign up and i will ensure that your pen pal is up for some international happy mail sending;)

i hope you will join me, we can all use a little love in our mailboxes.

happy tuesday peeps. xo

Sunday, August 11, 2013

the gratitude project

when i was at the retreat in oregon, i met an awesome woman named jo-anne who started a movement called "the gratitude project." she started the project as "a social engagement experiment triggered by my personal desire to celebrate the many blessings in my life in concert with others. It was sparked by the simple question:Wouldn’t it be cool to find out what others are grateful for?!”

you know that i love gratitude so i thought her idea and the concept were great and pretty interesting.

i was honored when jo-anne asked me to do a guest post on her blog. i chose to answer the question "what creative outlet are you most grateful for, and why?" 

in short, my answer was happy mail.

you can read my entire guest post by going over to the dare to be grateful blog. i would encourage you to follow her blog, facebook page, and twitter feeds to think a little more about gratitude. thinking a little more about gratitude can only make your days better. but i know that you already know it.

writing that guest post for jo-anne sparked a new idea for me, and i will share more about that tomorrow. it is something fun that you can be a part of, and i know that you love fun ideas too.

lastly, but definitely not least, i want to share that addison finished her fight with melanoma on thursday night. as noted on her facebook page, "Addison earned her wings and has been reunited with her mama in Heaven. Addison left this earthly world at 9:29 on Aug 8th, 2013, being rocked in the loving arms of her daddy and surrounded by many family and friends. We can never thank you all enough for the support and prayers."

as i wrote last week, my heart feels like it is in a million pieces over the loss of addison. no one should have to fight melanoma, much less a two year old little girl with her entire life ahead of her. 

clink. clink. clink.

bless you addison, you will never be forgotten.

tonight i am grateful for being given the chance to know your story.

i will keep up the fight in your honor. xo


Thursday, August 8, 2013

for jennifer + letting go and moving on

first to my brother, this post will happen after 10pm, but i am not working tomorrow so i should not be in trouble.

now that we have that clear (we are clear, right stevie?)....

on friday, our friend jennifer (you all know jennifer, hence our awesome happy mail for jennifer campaign) will be going in for scans. we all know how much scans suck. she is going to have to do the contrast routine, we all hate that. me especially. so let's send her all of our good mojo, vibes and prayers for her to get through the scans and for good results next week. thanks peeps, i know that her and mike appreciate it. it does my heart good to know that they will have our vibes with them when they roll into seattle cancer care alliance.

this weekend is our annual family garage sale - a favorite summer tradition.

i made the decision to sell some our baby things that we won't use anymore. put that decision in the category of tough unbelievably hard. lots and lots of tears. but it needed to be done. i have known that for a long time. malena is going to be five in four months, clearly we don't have a baby anymore. clearly, we won't have a baby again. clearly, we have to find a way to move through the sadness.

it won't be easy to watch those things go home with someone else on saturday.

but it is time.

time to let go.

time to move on.

so i am.

in baby steps.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


my brother totally busted me today. he has been paying attention to my posting times and called me out for staying up past my self-imposed 10pm curfew. so now that i know that he is watching, i will be posting earlier in the evening:)

thanks for the good vibes for megan and keith, the surgery went well and his doctor thinks that he was able to get most of the tumor out. awesome!

thanks also for all of the good thoughts that have been sent to addison and her family, here is the latest update that was posted within the last hour on her facebook page:
"On August 5th , Addison's doctors told her family that her recent health decline was the result of a brain tumor which is bleeding in the right side of her cerebellum and is causing pressure on her brain stem. At this time she has very lit...tle brain activity but is breathing on her own and appears to be able to recognize voices of family members. She has been placed on hospice and is at home with her family. Addison has fought a tough battle against melanoma with the support of thousands of prayers from her mothers home town of Wichita and around the world. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. As you can see, she is surrounded by love, is comfortable and always has someone by her side.
~Addison's Army"
keeping sending your love to addison and her family.
while writing about warriors, here is the latest update on our warrior chase that just came in:
"Lisa and I just realized it has been over a week since we have added a journal entry. OPPS! Its not that we didn't think about doing one, but time just kept slipping away. We have had a pretty busy household here. With kids coming and going with their buddies-in and out of the house, hockey, vacation bible school, golf. ect...
On Friday, Tanner and I took a few of his buddies, and their dads up to Mille Lacs for an overnight Fishing trip for his B-day. We had a blast, and Tanner managed to catch the biggest walleye he has ever caught, and I managed to catch something that landed me in bed for 4 days- leaving Lisa and Grama Judy to pick up the slack. Fortunately I decided to go to the Dr. yesterday and get some tests done. It turns out I have Pneumonia. After 36hrs of meds, I feel much better, but still couldn't spell that one to save my life if it wasn't for spell check! :) Well the boyz were having their weekend at fishing, Mom had some fun planned for Ava. The Ladies from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique sent Ava a care package with all the essentials for a princess makeover, since she missed her appointment on the cruise ship. They went to Lisa's hair stylist and she took care of the makeover. They had a great time.

Chaser seems very content at home. His tracking and over all alertness are getting better. He really seems to like sitting on our lap, looking out the window at the birds on the feeder. We don't know if it just happens to be the position he's in, the temp by the window, the sounds of birds chirping - whatever it is....we will take it. He contiunes to do well holding his head up, rolling over, pushing buttons on command and riding the trike around the neighborhood. We are still hoping to break the communication barrier with Chase soon- whether it be a wink, blink, kick, tick- doesn't matter, you pick. We know its gonna happen, but again we are on the Big Guys clock, not ours so we wait.....

Today Chaser started Vital Stem back up in Speech Therapy. He was taken off of it for a couple weeks, because it was doing more harm than good. He responded very well, with numerous strong swallows. Along with swallows, his cough has really strengthened, and he is heading in the right direction. Unfortunately he is still throwing up randomly, often, and inconsistantly. We are still waiting to hear from Mayo staff to get in- hopefully soon.

Tonight was good night. We went across the street to visit with the neighbors for a little bit. Chase was smothered in hugs and kisses from the little ladies in the area. They were all slerping on icys. Knowing how much Chaser loves icy's, Amy took a little chunk and rubbed it slowly on Chases lips. After a couple of passes, Chase actually stuck his tonque out as if he was trying to lick the juice left on his lips! God is Good"
lastly, i wanted to share this article about pediatric melanoma. an important reminder. protect the skin your kids are in.
have a good thursday peeps, share some love and practice some kindness. xo
ps) stevie - it is 9:57pm so i made curfew;)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

vibes for megan and keith + heavy heart

i can't tell you how much i wish that cancer would just go away. that no one would ever have to fight it, live with it, lose someone to it. i Hate (and i used a capital letter so you know it is a big deal) cancer. but you already knew that. i know you feel the same way. that is why we get along so well in this little space of my blog.

due to how much i hate it, i also feel very compelled to ensure that i send as many good vibes to offset it as possible which is where you all continue to come in.

as you have done for patty and jennifer and others before, we need to get the vibes going for my friend megan and her husband keith. keith was diagnosed with a brain tumor recently, and his latest scans showed that the tumor had started to grow. 

tomorrow keith goes in for surgery in seattle to remove as much of the tumor as is possible. pending the outcome of surgery, he may have to do radiation and chemo combined.

please send them your good vibes, mojo, and prayers for a successful surgery tomorrow and a good recovery. also send your energy telling that damn tumor that its days are numbered so it is clear that it should pack its bags to head far, far out of town.

thank you friends for sending them your vibes that work wonders. i know we could bottle your vibes/mojo/prayers and sell it for a lot of money since it works so well. but i kind of like that it is our little secret. don't you?

regarding the heavy heart, it is always so excruciating to hear the news of another melanoma warrior who is nearing the end of their fight. the family of little addison, who is two years old, has received the news from her doctors that there is nothing more they can do. nothing more they can do. i can't begin to tell you how much i hate those five individual words when they appear in that order. it is the worst. addison is now home with their family, and i ask that you send them lots of love as they spend their final hours with her. that family needs a lot of love, they already lost addison's mom briana to melanoma just last year.

damn the black beast.

there are times, likely even more than i know, when melanoma breaks my heart into a million pieces. reading the update about addison was one of those times. it feels like the pieces of my heart are rattling around inside me, i am pretty sure that i can hear them when i walk. clink. clink. clink.

the other warriors. they are one of the reasons that i don't celebrate good news too loudly. for me, there is always some guilt around good news. guilt because i know so many other warriors who are also currently fighting, and as we know with melanoma, the bad news tends to outweigh the good news. so, when good news comes my way, i quietly say my thanks because i know that i am lucky and i do not take it for granted. not for one second. not for one minute. not for one day. on the days when good news comes, i wish that i could send it out on the wind to all of the other warriors so that it could bloom where they are.

so tonight i will send my mojo, vibes, and prayers to keith, megan, addison and her family.

i hope that you will send yours their way too.

i know you will.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

patty + kindness + the list

first off, thank you all so much for the mojo, prayers and good vibes you sent to patty over the weekend. you worked your magic (but we didn't doubt that, did we?). patty has had great progress over the last three days with her speech improving and her ability to get around using a walker. i want to share a picture of patty so that you know exactly who all of your good vibes are going to. keep them coming!! you all rock, just like patty does:)
you may have heard about this over the last few days as i think that this graduation speech is spreading like crazy. but, if you have not read this speech, you need to take 5 minutes from your day and ready it. 5 minutes. i know you have it, and you know you have it. spend it reading this speech. it is amazing, a great reminder to be kind. so click on this link ( and read why george sanders regrets most his "failures of kindness." you are welcome (and i won't even rub it in that i was right about it being 5 of the best minutes of your day. i promise. i won't rub it in at all. but, i am pretty sure that we both know that i was right about this one. right? right.)

so, the list. you know that i have been working on it. the mental list i created but didn't share prior to my last round of scans. the things that i will be spending my time on over the next three months until scans roll around again. in addition to spending as much time as possible with family and friends day to day, here are a few things at the top of the list:

+++ watching my nephew get married in two weeks
+++ skydiving. yep, from a plane. yes, seriously. in two weeks. yikes!
+++ taking some online classes i am super excited about, like this one and this one
+++ getting a tattoo
+++ going for a ride in a hot air balloon (woohoo!! mike and jen - you two rock!)
+++ celebrating a ton of family birthdays, including the first birthday of our favorite little man isidro. how cute is he? yes, super duper cute - i totally agree with you.

+++ three more monthly dinners with my friend chris
+++ dinners and happy hours with friends
+++ drinking a million green juices - yum!
+++ trying two new recipes a week - super excited about this new tradition and it was a ton of fun diving into our cookbooks today and getting the meals planned for this week
+++ helping to plan and going to the baby shower for my dear friend kerry (patty's beautiful daugther)
+++ girls weekend adventures
+++ hanging out with my family at our annual summer garage sale - favorite traditions continue
+++ making our annual trip to the horse races labor day weekend
+++ working on my picture albums
+++ sending tons of happy mail
+++ working on some craft projects
+++ getting a jump start on some homemade christmas presents
+++ walking
+++ jumping
+++ watching malena at gymnastics and swimming lessons
+++ campout nights
+++ using my juicer every morning
+++ drinking tons of water and green tea
+++ eating as healthy as i can (aka continuing what i have been doing for the last four months - it seems to be working;))
+++ sleeping (yep, up past my 10pm bedtime tonight - i figured since i was writing to you it was ok)
+++ taking a long weekend trip to bend, oregon
+++ planning malena's 5th birthday party (you know i am especially loving this one)
+++ picking out malena's halloween costume

happy monday all. practice kindness. xo

Thursday, August 1, 2013

good thoughts for patty

we need to get our mojo, prayers, and good vibes going for our friend patty and her loved ones. as i wrote about in that previous post last month, patty needed to start another round of treatments to fight brain tumors. she had a seizure yesterday that may have been a side effect of radiation. she is now out of the hospital and has been able to go home - yes! so we need to send good vibes that the meds help and she remains seizure free. now i know that you all can work wonders with your good vibes. hello, good results for me on tuesday. so, let's work those vibes again and send them to patty, she is the one who needs them now.

thank you peeps, you are the best. but we already knew that about you, didn't we? yes, we did. you rock and so do your good vibes.

have a good weekend. make the most of it. enjoy every moment. each one is so important.

say your thanks. xo