Monday, September 30, 2013

hello october

so, the month is here. you know, the one that has scans in it. damn the last two months have gone fast, it feels like we were just getting the good news on the last scans - how is it possible that it is already october? i don't know either but here we are nonetheless. ugh.

the last couple of weeks have been harder than i really expected them to be. i thought i had kind of worked my way out of it but then i spiraled back down. so i am working on bringing myself back out of it and focusing on making the next couple of weeks another great month.

so on this first day of october, i choose to think about all of the fun things that october holds, including:

+++ a girls weekend on the east side of the mountains
+++ getting my tattoo
+++ celebrating the upcoming arrival of a baby boy for my dear friend kerry
+++ gymnastics classes
+++ swimming lessons
+++ popcorn and movie nights
+++ halloween party with malena's classmates
+++ making halloween crafts with malena
+++ addressing birthday party invites for malena's first birthday party with her friends
+++ carving pumpkins
+++ making ghost cookies
+++ dinners with friends
+++ baking monster cupcakes
+++ lunches with friends
+++ decorating for halloween
+++ celebrating my mom's birthday
+++ trick or treating
+++ splashing in puddles
+++ jumping on my trampoline
+++ reading
+++ walking and running in the rain (i get to start running again -- i am so excited!)
+++ hugging
+++ smiling
+++ laughing
+++ loving
+++ sending happy mail

i hope that this month will hold good things for you as well. we all deserve a good month. let's hope that it ends that way too. xoxo

Friday, September 27, 2013

friday, you are looking good

thursday was one of those days were the good outweighed the bad (the bad of course being the long crazy hours i spent at work). after work i got to catch up with some of my favorite girls and we had a great night. we had a perfect spot to watch the sunset, thanks to a great september day in seattle. after a good dinner, we headed to the great wheel which always provides amazing views of the city at night. we finished the night off with a carousel ride, air hockey and photo booth pictures in the arcade. very fun, lots and lots of laughs.

this weekend will be a good one. after work (boo), barrett and i get to go to malena's school to hear about her latest curriculum and then i am headed to a massage (yay!!!!!). tonight is our usual friday routine of popcorn and project runway and campout. i love the routine of winding down from the week with some quiet time at home with just the three of us. saturday is going to bring a trip to alderbrook with my friend kris, looking forward to catching up with her and catching my breath at the same time. sunday i get to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a new baby boy, i am sure that some football will also be on our tv. the weekend is also going to include some fall traditions, like the annual moving out of malena's summer clothes to bring in the fall ones. i am also going to spend some time thinking about elise's three things concept because i think that it might be just what i am looking for to help me with my growing to do lists.

have a great weekend all -- hope it brings you some time to breath and relax. and sleep. xoxo

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

what i know

a couple of truths i know today.

i know that i am feeling like there is not nearly enough time in each day.

i know that my life/work to do lists are mounting faster than i am getting things done.

i know that i am not sure if there are more things in or out of my control, but i am pretty sure that it seems to be leaning towards the later.

i know that i just need to breathe.

i know that i hate cancer.

i know that i also hate that all cancer patients don't get the good insurance coverage they deserve.

i know that walking in to meet barrett and malena for dinner after a long day at work  changed the whole day around.

i know that malena surprising me with a long stem pink rose is just about as good as it can get.

i know that holding her hand while we walked to the store was just the connection that i needed.

i know that watching her drool over the pens and notebooks in the office supply aisle makes my heart sing a little bit because she loves pens and paper just as much as her mommy.

i know that jumping on my trampoline for five minutes is fun, and not as easy as you would think it would be.

i know that i wish that my family lived closer so that i could just stop in at their houses and say hi on days when i miss them, which frankly is pretty much every single day.

i know that sleep feels like a friend that i don't ever get to spend enough time with.

i know that this article is one that i think that everyone should read, and i know that i wholeheartedly agree that "life might bump and bruise us, it may not always go the way we plan and i know i get frustrated with mine, but here's the thing: you are alive."

i know that seeing a video of a friend lip syncing can make you laugh harder than you have all day long (liz -- if you are reading this, you totally rock - xoxo).

i know that the time i spent thinking this weekend about prioritizing my dreams (a long list) was a good use of my time.

i know that seeing happy mail when i opened my mailbox today was awesome (hi special friend, kristy, kimberly - loved seeing your names when i pulled out the mail stack).

i know that spring rolls are awesome to eat for lunch.

i know that my mom canning peaches and pears for us makes life better at dinner time.

i know that when i saw some pumpkins at the store today i got excited about going to the pumpkin patch with malena, walking through the corn maze, and doing rubber ducky races.

i know that i am thankful for this space to write and clear my head.

i know that i am lucky to have another day.

i know that for sure. xo

Monday, September 23, 2013

for sharon + chase update + a couple of good things

tomorrow sharon goes in again for bloodwork due to the results that she got last time. so please send her prayers, good mojo, and vibes that this bloodwork comes back good and no scans are needed. she is going to show cancer who is boss, i just know it. go sharon!! you've got this -- i have no doubts!

i also wanted to give the latest update on chaser:

"Back at it-  
"Captain" seems to be as happy to be at home as Chase does! We had a great catch-up weekend with the kids after being gone all week. While I prepped Tanner for QB tryouts with the Vikes and tossed around the football, Lisa, Ava and Chaser hung out on the front lawn and soaked up the incredible weather. We threw some burgers and steaks on the grill, and had some of our neighbor friends join us for a bonfire Bobcat trail style- in the driveway! Chaser seemed content the entire time. Although he didn't get to enjoy one of the smores he usually wears more than he eats, I know the smells of burning marsh mellows and sounds of friends and family made him feel good :)

After a weekend of hanging out and relaxing, it was back to work for all of us today. Last night Lisa and I were discussing Chase's weekend at Mayo. We came to the conclusion that we need this surgery to happen sooner than later. I emailed the surgeon that was scheduled to do the operation in Oct and expressed our concerns. I received an email response early this morning from him offering to introduce us to one of his colleagues to perform the operation sooner. One hour later, Lisa received a call from Mayo to set up a consultation on Wed. Man, do we love Mayo!- Hopefully our meeting goes well, and we can get Chaser into surgery sooner.

Chase had a busy, and active day. The morning started out with speech- mom had to break the news to the gals at Gillette's that he can't have any oral intake- due to his vomiting and other stomach issues. They hooked up the vital stem to keep his swallowing muscles active and did oral stimulation with an electric toothbrush. Although it was a "dry" run, with no food or flavor involved, we don't want to stop him from using his swallowing muscles, or we may lose all of the progress we have gained thus far.
In PT/OT, Chaser was all business. They had him straddling a bolster swing, and asked him to push off using his leg muscles. The therapist was impressed as she felt his leg muscles contracting to try and move the swing. This was the first time he has ever attempted an exercise with his legs on command in therapy- and he did well. Apparently the 1 mile treks around Bobcat trail on his Trike are paying off! They also had him moving his fingers to push a ball at a target that was on the wall. Lisa watched as his little fist opened up to follow the requests and try and move the ball. As soon as they came home, Chaser spent over an hour in the stander. Grampa Mike dropped by at supper time, and we took Chaser for a stroll on his trike. He seems to really like it. Its going to be a really bummer when the white stuff falls and we can't take him out on it anymore- we will have to find something to takes its place.

We ended the night with little/big scare. Chaser's feeding tube got caught on his car seat, and was pulled out. Fortunately, our friend Shannon Hanson was here to save the day! We gave her a call to ask her what to do next, and 15 mins later, she was her and had it back in place safely! Thanks Shannon, you just moved up a couple notches our speed dial list!
Chaser is now resting soundly, and hopefully we will be soon. Hope you all have a good week. 

God is Good!"
also, a couple of things that i came across today that i thought some of you might like:
- for the ladies, if you need ten days of saying yes to the moment, you need to sign up for this (free!!!) adventure from liz lamoreux. i can't say enough good things about liz. there are literally not enough words. you will not regret it.
- my mouth started watering a bit when i saw these no bake pumpkin cookies
- also for the ladies, if you have the itch to start getting the planning underway for the holidays, you should check these handmade holiday organizers
- i think that these autumn bucket lists from marta writes are adorable and so inspiring to get ready and start decorating for fall
- looking at marta's post reminded me that it is almost time to make nutter butter ghosts. yes!

happy tuesday peeps -- it has to better than monday, right? we can only hope.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

hello monday

sunday night. here we are again. the weeks are flying by.

i think that i have caught my breath a bit. getting the dates of the upcoming scans shook me up a bit, ok, a lot. getting those dates gets harder and harder each time. this time is maybe tougher because of what lays ahead of these scans. malena's 5th birthday. barrett's birthday. thanksgiving. christmas. all of our holiday traditions. after seeing those dates in writing, i felt very overwhelmed and like i was drowning in melanoma for a few days. but i am finding my way out of that and am ready to kick ass and be brave again until the end of october.

this weekend we had family pictures with barrett's family. as i talked about last week, i printed some of the chalkboad backgrounds and they turned out awesome. this is one of my favorites pictures of all time.
i decided early saturday morning that i didn't want to wear our "be brave" bracelets in the pictures. i did not want melanoma to be a part of those pictures, it doesn't deserve to be. i made it through the pictures fine, but there were a few moments when the photographer was taking pictures of just the three of us that i could feel the tears coming on. some tears fell when no one was looking. taking family pictures comes with a lot of emotions for me. family pictures capture the moment, but also make me think of how i want many more years of our little family captured in pictures. so i took some deep breaths and focused on the fact that the three of us were there, on that day, and we would have the pictures to remember it by. nothing could take that day from us. for that i was thankful.

i am also thankful for the moments over the weekend (as i have been ever since she was old enough to walk) when malena would grab my hand when we were out and about. i will never get tired of her reaching for my hand. never. ever.

i have a new friend named mojo that will be accompanying me to my scans in october. my dear friend hannah made him for me and i think that he rocks. i am totally in love with him. he has a special spot on my dresser so that i see him every morning and every night for a little bit of extra mojo to get me through each day. i can always, always use some extra mojo.

i will write more this week. it is now 10pm and if i don't end this my big brother is going to be all over me for missing my bedtime.

so goodnight all, i hope that your weekends were good -- and that this upcoming week brings you more good than bad. xo

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


i knew by about 4am that today was going to be a craptastic day. around that time, one of our fire alarm batteries started to go "beep....beep....beep." you know (and i know you can relate), the way that they beep when the batteries start to go low in the middle of the night. because they always run low in the middle of the night. nope, never daytime when everyone is up. only at nighttime when everyone is asleep. those sneaky little batteries, i think that they know exactly what they are doing. i think that they kind of get a little bit of a kick out of taunting us.

so after getting sleep cut short by about an hour and a half, i got ready to head into work early (ugh) due to an unexpected deadline (double ugh) today. but i could not find my car keys. anywhere. and i mean anywhere. so barrett took pity on me and found the spare key for me, after he saw me frantically ransacking my work bag and various other places that i thought that the keys might be. when i got to work and parked, i had the pleasure of realizing that the battery in the spare key was dead. yep, perfect. of course the battery was dead. why should the battery in my keys be any different than the one in our fire alarms? answer: clearly, they shouldn't. please refer to the last line of my first paragraph for my thoughts on batteries.

work was a blur of craziness and stress. then at about noon, a little email popped up from my oncologist's office. you know, that one. the dreaded email. my scans are going to be on october 29th, my results will be on october 30th.

my day took an even more craptastic turn at that point.

i am not going to lie. getting those emails is damn hard on me. i think that my tear ducts are instantly responsive when they see those emails come in. those emails mess me up a bit. they always have, and this time is no different. now the dates are known, now the three month mark officially exists. now i have to live with knowing the exact dates when the fates will tell me whether i get three more months. now i am reminded that i am now in the middle of the middle. now i feel like i am inching closer to the upcoming scans and farther from my last round of good results.

needless to say, most of my day has been a tough one. totally craptastic.

on the good side (you know that i always look for those), i had an appointment with my naturopath already booked this afternoon. it was great to see the progress i am making on the goals that we set back in march. that makes me feel damn good, all of the changes i have made are working and seeing the results on paper is pretty gratifying. it helps me mentally to know that i am making choices that pay off with me being as healthy as i can be to kick melanoma's ass at the end of october.

on the best side, i got to have a low key night with malena and barrett. malena and i played with blocks and built a tower taller than barrett, she was pretty proud of us and we had a great time. the perfect way for me to end this day.

so in the end, even on a day that everything seemed to work against me, there were bright spots. like there are every single day, you just have to wait and watch for them. they are there. they are always there.

i just need a little time to catch my breath, get my feet under me, and refocus on moving forward.

moving forward.

i always am.

f*ck cancer.

Monday, September 16, 2013

they will soar

i found some good cures for the monday blues, the blues that were increased with the gray skies and rain today. ugh.

she picked out her halloween costume for this year. we got invited to a halloween party for one of her classmates today (and at dinner she informed us that we would just need to drop her off and pick her up, she didn't want us to stay...and so it begins), and so i decided it was the perfect catalyst to inject some fun into our monday night. can you guess what she is going to be? yep, good guess.

we also got our chalk backgrounds printed at staples for our family pictures this weekend. so excited about those backgrounds, can't wait to see the pictures.

i also scored just what i was looking for to make some christmas gifts, love it when the plan in my head actually becomes a reality. super excited to start working with my dad to make it all happen.

lastly, i believe in giving malena all of the encouragement possible that she can be whatever she wants to be, and she can soar as high as she wants to (maybe even some day in a hot air balloon or a skydive plane like her mommy). i ordered one of these teach me to sore and i will shirts. one, because i wholeheartedly believe in that message, and would love nothing more than to tell her the words on the shirt and what they mean to me. two, because i wholeheartedly believe in supporting good causes, and supporting the national down syndrome society is definitely one of them. imagine if someone had given you a shirt as a kid and explained to you how you could sore as high as you wanted to and they believed in you. trust me, if they had adult sizes, you know that i would be all over it (and probably in multiple colors). i can't wait to see her wear that shirt.

so monday wraps up with a night of fun that outweighed my time spent in the office (aka the not fun part of the day). perfect way to reverse the monday blues. mission accomplished.

happy tuesday -- we are inching closer to wednesday, which means it will be hump day, which means the work week will be half way over, which means that i will be a little bit happier, which means that those that live with me will also be a little bit happier too;) xo

Sunday, September 15, 2013

goodbye fun, hello work

well, i am pretty sure that tomorrow is monday. i keep trying to click my heels together to make something else happen and reverse time, but so far, no dice. so prepare yourselves, i think that monday might just come with the sunrise. i know, i am not happy about it either.

our weekend was a great one:
+++ our popcorn/campout nights were great, and watching our project runway peeps trying to "make it work" is always good. i decided on friday that we need some special popcorn bowls for our new tradition so i am hooking us up with some of these. if we are going to have a tradition, i want it to be marked with some special touches that malena will always remember.
+++ i decided on friday afternoon that i could use a cupcake. it had been a long, long week.
 +++ thanks to wonderful jennifer i spent time on friday listening to a story about treating kids cancer with science and a pocket full of hope. this story is about dr. olson at seattle children's who works with kids who have brain tumors. you will need kleenex to listen to it. trust me. but in exchange for the kleenex, you will find hope. you will be reminded to live in the moment. you will be humbled by the stories of strength and love. i hope that you will take time to read/listen to the story. it is worth it. the kid's stories are worth it, and you know how i feel about sharing stories. thanks again jennifer for sharing, xoxo.
+++ we ate my mom's awesome swedish pancakes during a triple birthday breakfast extravaganza at my parent's house. we went into our usual food comas due to mom's amazing cooking when you are so full, but you are also pretty happy about it. yum, i think that i will dream about pancakes tonight. this little man celebrated his first birthday this weekend, i am pretty sure that they don't get any cuter (clearly, he brought the 'hawks some luck tonight).

+++ my mom surprised me and made some gluten free cupcakes and frosted them with my favorite homemade red velvet frosting. i may have ate a lot of cupcakes this weekend. they were so, so good. of course they were, my mom made them.
+++ my dad and i spent some time at home depot planning some christmas presents he is going to help me make. i love that my dad can help my plans become a reality. super fun to have a christmas present-maker partner in crime.
+++ my mom and i spent time saturday night catching up on the latest and greatest and crafting up some surprises for a friend of ours. great way to spend a saturday night, talking and being creative with my mom. loved it.
+++ tons of fun at the fair. camel ride (yes, i said camel). horses. horse show. lots of rides. petting farm. scones (i kind of drooled watching barrett and malena eat theirs, oh how i wish there was a gluten free scone at the fair as good as the old school ones). on a sunday when i felt like i had about one million things to do to catch up on life, i said screw those one million things and we spent the day at the fair. all of those other things will  (and can) wait, making the most of the weekends with my family will not. definitely the right choice, but i knew that when i made it.

+++ planning a new little project i am going to work on at our house. i will blog more about that project later this week. but, in the meantime, i will share two pieces of it. i came across this you are my bucket list print this weekend and immediately fell in love with it. within the hour of finding the print, i took this picture of barrett and malena. i instantly knew that picture, and the print, are going to be side by side as part of my new project. pretty excited.

+++ spent some time having fun getting ready for an upcoming baby shower for my dear friend kerry (no pictures kerry, no hints allowed)
+++ i may have spent a little bit of down time at anthropologie on friday afternoon after a great lunch date, and i may have found a new purse that i could not live without. i may have decided it needed to come home with me. i may have decided that i deserved it, i did work half of my day off after all.
+++ i made malena's friday by surprising her with a "one direction" dvd that she had been introduced to last weekend on our bend trip. she loves their music. yes, i think that in general a 4 year old is too young to love a boy band. what do you know what else i think? i think that my girl loves music and it makes her happy. to watch her smile, dance, and love music makes me super happy - and if sometimes it comes in the form of a boy band, then so be it. i will take happiness however we can get it.

+++ i sat in the worst traffic on saturday. the worst. awful. the worst. but instead of getting super grumpy (because it was the worst ever) about it since it caused me to be late to the party i was headed to, i decided to crank the music, drink my green tea, chill out and enjoy the hell out of the worst traffic. ever.

+++ i played some good games of hello kitty bingo with malena - that girl has some awesome bingo skills, might need to sneak her into a casino soon to make her mom some big bucks. ca-ching.
+++ i laughed a lot which felt damn good.
+++ sent out reminders to all of the ladies participating in the "happy mail campaign". another week of happy mail going across the country and into canada is coming up. i am loving that.
+++ i signed this petition with the hope that this stage iv melanoma warrior will be given access to the drugs he needs to have more time with his family. if you have 5 minutes of time (and i know that you do), i hope that you too will sign the petition.
+++ caught up on the latest update on our warrior chase:
"Put me in Coach!  
Another great weekend for the Lykkens filled with Football! While we sit here and Ponder the Vikings loss, Chaser is snoozing peacefully in Lisas arms. It must have been a pretty cold day in Hell yesterday- I actually cheered the Gophers on.......but it was football- not hockey :) Yesterday we ventured out to the Gophers football game. Wow - What a great experience! The Ronald McDoonald House and the Gopher organization teamed up and got us some front row seats to the game as well as an on-field experience. Mom had plans with the neighbor gals, so Uncle Andrew joined us on what turned out to be an Awesome Gophers Game! Tanner and Ava were pretty excited when they escorted us down and let us watch some of the game right on sidelines. Chase did great. He was so close to the action, he could have been playing. We actually had to wheel him back one time, to get out of the way of the play! He handled the noise and excitement like a champ, and even managed to get a 10 minute rester in. Out of respect for the Gophers, we didn't wear our typical Sioux attire. Goldy swung by to say hi and share some Gopher spirit- little did Goldy know, we were sporting Sioux socks- cleverly hidden. Thank you RMH and Gophers for memorable experience! Although we still bleed green, we truly enjoyed, and appreciated the game and gained a new found respect for Gopher Football. The entire staff at TCF stadium were great.

Unlike the Vikings, Chase has had a winning last couple of days. Thursday in therapy, Chase got to taste some of his favorite food- Mac-n-cheese...MMMMM.- Although it was only the sauce, Im sure it was as enjoyable for him to taste, as it was for Lisa to watch him smack on it! His eye focus and neck control continue to improve -As does his over all alertness. We are looking forward to a productive, educational week at the Mayo starting tomorrow. Little Chaser is going to under go a lot of tests, and we are all anxious to start them. We are heading down there at 5am tomorrow and going to be staying the night. The rest of the week, we are going to follow the doctors agenda. We will keep you up to date on the weeks events and procedures. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. God is Good!"
i hope that your weekends were good too, and i hope that your monday is bearable. if you figure out a way to keep monday from coming, please send me the tip -- i would so appreciate it.

here we go...another one begins. let's make the most of it. xo

Thursday, September 12, 2013

finally friday

oh friday, i am so happy to see you. it has been a long week my friend, and it feels like you took your own sweet time getting here. but, here you are, and i am so very thankful.

i am looking forward to this weekend for the following reasons:
- i will not be working (that is, after i stop working tomorrow on my day off. don't even get me started.)
- campout nights with popcorn, and catching up on project runway - one of malena's favorite shows as she loves to see the clothes that they make and be her own judge on who will win and lose. maybe we have a little fashion designer on our hands which would be totally good by me, especially if she hooks her mom up with her latest and greatest.
- sleep. and then some more sleep.
- lunch with one of my favorite peeps.
- some more scheming on christmas presents i am going to make.
- celebrating family birthdays for my brother and niece and the very first birthday for our little man isidro. very fun. you know i love birthdays, and the wishes that come along with them.
- eating my mom's gluten free swedish pancakes. yes please. i will take seconds, ok, maybe thirds;)
- did i mention not working and getting sleep?
- starting to read this book which i have only heard good things about (which kind of makes sense otherwise why would i be reading it, right?)
- putting a deposit down to get a tattoo appointment made - wow, those are words that i never thought would come out of my mouth if you had asked before the c-word came along.
- hopefully some bonding time with my craft room working on pictures. i have missed my craft room this week and i am pretty sure that it feels neglected and lonely. hoping we can reunite and patch things up this weekend.
- getting some happy mail ready to be sent out into the world.
- taking malena to the fair - and i can tell you what that adventure will pretty much revolve around...the horses, the horses, the horses. but they make her happy and so i am all over it.
- going to staples to get this background made into a poster for our family pictures next week. can you even imagine how cute malena is going to look taking pictures in front of that? i can, and i think that it is going to rock.
- seriously considering ordering this download to print and frame. i would love to look at those words everyday as barrett and i go about our daily lives.
- rereading this post which i thought was amazing and such a good reminder for us women on loving ourselves -- just the way we are. i could give myself some more of that love (hellos scars everywhere i look) just like everyone else can.

have a good weekend peeps, i hope yours doesn't include work, does include sleep, and definitely includes you making time for the things that really matter. xo

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


this picture is from our sheehan family reunion this summer. yours truly in the top row, fourth over from the left with the hat on. that very handsome man standing next to me in the red shirt is rabi, who is barrett's uncle but who now very much feels like my uncle as well. rabi has had more than his share of medical issues previously, and has just recently been diagnosed with carcinoid syndrome which is a form of cancer. luckily, his treatment will be better than anticipated and will require only (the word only is relative to what could be more intense forms of treatment --- not meant to imply in any way that "only" is in any way insignificant when talking about cancer treatment) one shot a month. even better, the shot can be done locally and will not require him to travel to the mayo clinic. i am loving that his treatment keeps him close to home. so please send your mojo, prayers, and good vibes to rabi and his family as they take on this new challenge - i know he will tackle it head on, so the syndrome better watch its back.

after this group picture, rabi and i stayed up on that top deck and talked for awhile about some of the things that we have in common. the kinds of things that you wish you didn't have in common with anyone - not only because you wish that they weren't part of your life but because you also wish that didn't have to be part of anyone else's either. we talked about scans, the endless doctor appointments, the neverending needle pricks, the iv's, drinking the contrast, how each of us had been doing and feeling lately. but what i will always remember the most about that conversation is how rabi and i agreed that we go through it all for our families. i don't think that i will ever forget the moment that he looked over at his family who were in front of us and noted how we do it all for them. that look and those words will be a moment that will forever stay with me. yes, we do it from. but, we also do it for us. to see babies born (for him to see grandbabies born). to see kids grow. to be at weddings. to give hugs. to give kisses. to be there for all of the moments, the big and the small ones - they are all so important. i thought about rabi when i had my scans in august, as the needle went into my arm, i thought of that moment on the deck with him and remembered that i am not alone in knowing how it feels to go through scans one more time. one more time, hoping that you get the results you and everyone else is so hoping for.

i try hard to remind myself about the good things that come from my diagnosis since the list of the bad things often feels never ending and overwhelming. one good thing has been this blog and finding this venue to write. this blog has allowed me to share other's stories (which by the way, i only share stories with the permission of those i write about), and i think that sharing stories is a critical part of life. i think that there is a lot of good that can come from sharing stories. sharing stories can bring those "yes, me too, me too" moments, the "i have so much to be thankful for" moments, or those "damn, it feels good (and necessary) to be reminded that we are all human and can and should care for each other the best way we can" moments. i often wish that there were not so many stories to share about those that are affected by cancer. but i can't change that, no matter how hard i wish (trust me, i have done a lot of wishing). so i show up for them however i can, and if ok, i share their stories here to ask you to send your mojo. having more love and mojo circulate around those that need can obviously only be a good thing. last week i know that there were prayers from ohio that were coming to patty and my friend that had surgery on friday. pretty amazing to think that without this blog, those ohio prayers would never have made their on the winds across the country to them.

tonight, as i think about rabi and i send him good vibes into this warm pacific northwest night, i am thankful for the ability to share his story and have some extra love coming his way from all of you. i count that as one of the good things that cancer has brought. i count that as one good thing that outnumbers many of the bad things that cancer has brought. on the days when life is pretty tough for me because of all that i carry due to cancer and i have a hard time reminding myself to be brave and face the day, i remind myself of the good things and the other warriors - like rabi.

so rabi, you keep doing it for them, and we will keep doing it for you.

love and good vibes are on their way to you my friend. xo

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

indie kindrid

last night i had the great opportunity to see a screening of jen lee's film indie kindrid, a movie about creative collaboration. two of the artists in the movie are liz lamoreux and kelly barton. i met liz and kelly at the retreat that i went to earlier this year. as you know, i thought that experiece was ah-maz-ing and a life changer. i left that retreat with a full heart and a ton of new friendships with women spread across the usa and canada. i continue to be super thankful for all of them as they continue to make my life better on a daily basis. love you ladies.

this picture taken while at the retreat will forever be one of my all time favorites.

it was so great to see liz and kelly tell parts of their own story on the big screen, and to hear the stories of the other featured artists. very, very inspiring. i also got to reconnect with my friend hannah as we took in the screening together. a great, great monday night for me. i left there feeling like my heart was full and i had been given the chance to catch my breath for two hours. perfect.

i also left there feeling like my dreams were banging around louder than ever just wanting to be let out. etsy shop. selling my cards. the dream gains more and more volume as time goes by. more to come on that soon.

in the meantime, i hope that this week allows you to spend some time with -- or time to seek out --  your own kindrids. xo

Sunday, September 8, 2013


i wish that our weekend could have lasted longer, it was just that good. the only thing that could have made it better would have been if all of my family could have been there (we missed you nerd, ty, jess, karah, zach, and isidro).

+++ driver in training (while the car was not actually on of course for those that may think that we are a little ambitious to start her in driver's ed;))
 +++ i don't drink it very often these days, but i think that it is good to drink white wine on any day of the year - and i 100% agree with this sign, which totally cracked me up while walking by it on a sidewalk in front of a kitchen store

+++ gluten free hard cider. yes, it has sugar. yes, i made an exception. yes, it was good. no, i don't regret the exception. back to juicing and green shakes tomorrow.

+++ i didn't drink all of these by myself...or did i?;)

+++ loved taking some time to stop and check out some of the small historic towns along the drive. i heart road trips.

+++ a good reminder while i enjoyed my last mug of tea for the day

+++ two words: pure joy. this is one of my most favorite pictures i have taken of her. ever. there are no words for how much i love this picture. you know this one is going to be framed.
 +++ we shopped our little hearts out.

+++ a little clearing in the sky after massive rain storm, including thunder and lightning which put on quite the show.

+++ a little more shopping, and i love capturing our time together just having fun.
+++ i also started and finished where'd you go, bernadette and loved it (jennifer and mama steg - you were so right, could not put it down). i think that it might be one of my favorite books i have read. unique. funny. heartwarming. also, if you are someone who has ever lived in seattle, it will definitely, definitely, definitely make you laugh. highly recommend this one my friends.

i want to give an important update that my friend had a successful surgery on friday and there results were no cancer. yes!!!! no cancer, two of my most favorite words in the world when they are put together in that order. thanks for all of the good vibes, mojo, and prayers. clearly, they worked their magic again.

also, here is the latest on our little warrior chase who keeps fighting:

"Chaser kicked off NFL Sunday playing a little football himself. Tanner and I were outside playing catch, with Chaser watching us, and we put a football on his lap. After a minute or so, Tanner came running up to me, "Dad, you want to see something really cool? Watch Chases hand with the football on his lap." I ran over to check it out, and his hand lifted up, and his fingers were stretching out to grab the football. Wow! This was especially exciting because he had been moaning in discomfort, and his tone was really stiff the previous 3 hours. Of course, I didnt have my phone with me the first couple of times, which were much better than this video, but we did manage to capture some of it to share.

We had all had a great weekend. On Friday, Lisa surprised me with a lobster dinner to celebrate our 11 years of complete bliss ...;) Chaser stayed home and kept Grama Judy company while I showed Lisa my dance moves at some little bar in NE Minneapolis with a couple friends. I spent Saturday at a golf benefit for Laker Hockey, while Lisa and Ava sang along with Taylor Swift in concert down at the Xcel Center. Tanner helped Grama Judy keep Chaser busy doing therapy and reading books. Today we had a family hangout day. We sat down and watched the Vikings start the year off with a loss. Chase had his favorite Football Jersey on during the game- but it didn't seem to help our boys out in the 2nd half. After the game Tanner and I took Chase for a stroll around the neighborhood on his therapy trike. Chase seemed to enjoy the exercise, he didn't moan at all. When we got back, Tanner and I decided to play some catch and try and throw the ball better than Ponder- which is when we shot this video. ....... (I posted the video on Chase's facebook page, as I am not sure how to on this website)

The last few days Chase has had some good hours and some bad hours. 5 o'clock seems to be the witching hour where he will feel uncomfortable and start to moan and cry like he is in some sort of pain. He had a doctor appt on Friday and we chalked it up to the antibiotic not agreeing with his stomach. He has just finished that med so we will see if the discomfort will stop. The throwing up still exists but it has become less frequent. We have increased his vest treatments to 2, sometimes even 3 times a day, along with a deep suction. We are not trying to change or add to much to his routine right now due to our Mayo visit coming up next week. We need to prepare Chase for his adventure and give him an easy and quiet week.

God is Good!"

happy monday peeps, i hope that this week brings you more good than bad. xo

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

bubble wrap

patty's scans today showed some growth so she will be back for some more scans in four weeks. the hope is that the growth is due to swelling from radiation (isn't it crazy that you would hope for swelling from radiation, damn i really hate tumors) and not from actual tumor growth. we all know that we are good at holding on to hope, so let's keep up the good work so that tumor gets so scared that it shrinks down all on its own within the next four weeks.

also on friday i would very much appreciate good vibes for a friend that is going in for a big surgery, with the hope that the results will show that cancer isn't a word that she has to live with. so please kick your magic into gear at 11:30 on friday morning and send good mojo/prayers/vibes for a successful surgery and clean results. there is just simply not another option, so i think it is a given, but let's just give a little extra insurance with your awesome vibes.

oh, bubble wrap.

i think that i have wrote before how about i wish that i could wrap my friends and family up in it to protect them from hurt. it always seems that someone (or at times like these multiple someones) i love is hurting for one reason or another. i still very much feel that way about bubble wrap. i wish that there were times that my loved ones could do the same for me (hello scan times) to help protect me from fears and all the tough (ok, totally shitty) stuff that comes with cancer. i suppose that we actually could wrap up our loved ones in bubble wrap, they might look a little funny and walk a little weird and people might point at them in public - but it is possible. i am not sure that they would really appreciate it though for the reasons in the previous sentence. so instead, i think that the best we can do is to show up. to show up in whatever way you can. sending good vibes or prayers or mojo. silently sending your strength out into the world, telling the winds to leave it on their doorstep. to call them. to send them a text message. to send them an email. to send up smoke signals. to send happy mail. to give them a hug. to give them a smile. to say tell me what you need, and then follow through when they actually tell you. to listen. to just sit quietly with them. to make them laugh. to let them know that you believe it will be okay, it will really be okay. it may hurt like hell for a while (maybe even what feels like eternity), but there will come a point, where it will be okay - and they may get to that point without even realizing it because the hurt is just magically a little less one day when they wake up. to let them know that you support them, whatever decision they make, whatever they need to do. as long as they are happy, you support them. to let them know that when it may seem like life is going on as normal (aka good) for everyone else, you remember that today is a little bit tougher for them.

so i will continue to show up and do the best that i can. i will also continue to think more on the bubble wrap idea, there might be a million dollar idea there that i just need to execute with the right marketing/production plan;)

i will talk to you on the flip side of the weekend, with some new adventures in the books for us. i can't wait.

have a great weekend.

i hope you show up, and someone does the same for you. xo

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

sweet september + patty + chase

the middle month.

the one that does not begin or end with scans.

the in-betweener.

a month intentionally full of great things. intentional months are the best ones, right jenny?

some great on-line classes in photography and project life.

reading (mama steg -- haven't got to start yet, but am on it this weekend when we have a little vacation. so excited you love it!).


first family trip to bend for the three of us.

popcorn and campouts.

celebrating a couple of family birthdays, we love birthdays.

trip to alderbrook. yes.

family pictures.

baby shower.

checking out a indie movie that i have been so excited to see.

monthly dinner with my friend chris.

maybe getting my tattoo, need to get that appointment made.

girls night out.

documenting life through pictures.


juicing. more juicing. more juicing.

taking deep breaths.

sending happy mail.

taking malena to the fair. i guarantee you that we will spend most (scratch that, all) of our time wherever the horses are (sasha, i still think she might really be yours).

i am looking forward to the transition to fall. i love the crisp air. the changing of the leaves. the feeling of settling in and slowing down. the planning of the holidays.

i want to ask for you all to kick your good vibes/mojo/prayers for patty. she goes in for her scans tomorrow to see if the treatment has been working to stabilize her tumors. so send all of your mojo to seattle tomorrow and especially pour it on at 11:30 when they get the results. thanks peeps, we know you can all work magic. let's do it again tomorrow.

i know that you all will also be interested in the latest update on chaser:
"Even when recovering from pneumonia, Chase didn't skip a beat! Today in therapy he worked on his posture by sitting on the bolster, with the therapist sitting behind him helping hold him up, he continually pushed out at a beach ball to move it, on command. He did the left arm,then the right arm. The movements were slight, but definitely intentional. There is still a little processing time between directions and actions, but he is listening and following directions, so we will take it!

We had a good long weekend here the household. Tanner and I snuck off to Rutgers Lodge for 24hrs of fishing and golfing. Tank may have out fished me, but I showed him his old man can play shuffle board and swing a golf club a little better than he thought! ;) While we were off doing some male bonding, Ava was at a friends farm seeing how the country folk live. She picked some peppers and made some homemade salsa, apple dumplings and got to take care of some horses. Lisa, Gramma Judy, and Chase got to enjoy a quiet household and worked on some home therapy. Yesterday, we left Chaser with Gramma Judys TLC and took the Tank and Ava to the Mall of America to spin around on Spong Bobs rides.

Chaser seems to have recovered quickly from his spell of pnemonia. His antibotics seem to have done their trick. He has had a couple of nights with a few hours of obvious discomfort, evident from his moaning, but for the most part, seems to rid of the infection. HIs throwing up has still been very frequent, but it doesnt seem to affect him much more than the act itself. We are looking forward to the 16th! We are going to head down to mayo for a full week of tests and hopefully some answers! Chasers alertness and focus continues to be strong. Although he is still unable to communicate with us verbally, except when moaning in discomfort, he continues to speak to us through his eyes- and boy do they say alot! Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

God is Good!"

have a great wednesday peeps, we are half way there. yes, yes, yes.

ps) josh --- so super proud of you for unicorning that job;)