Tuesday, November 26, 2013

thankful (twenty six)

on this twenty sixth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ rocking out while singing in the car on the way to school
+++ great lunch with one of my most favorite peeps
+++ pad thai - yum, yum, yum
+++ laughter in the middle of the work day
+++ my trampoline
+++ watching malena write out her birthday thank you cards (kerry, i think that she would make you proud;)) and thinking of how grateful i am that my mom taught me that saying thank you is important
+++ hearing "mommy, will you carry me upstairs tonight?"
+++ watching malena in the rearview mirror as she carefully listens and enjoys music, hoping that her love for music continues throughout her life
+++ happy mail in the mailbox
+++ catching up with my mom
+++ barely making a critical deadline and breathing a huge sigh of relief

i don't think that i have mentioned it yet but my scans will be january 28th and results will be on the 29th. i got the dates last week, no scheduling rest for the weary.

have a good wednesday, the holiday is so close i am can almost smell the good cooking. xo

Monday, November 25, 2013

thankful (twenty five) + happy birthday chase

on this twenty fifth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ malena cracking us up early this morning as we were getting ready for school
+++ the first fifteen minutes of my commute when it was smooth sailing and there was no traffic, not so much thankful for the other 45 minutes that was a complete stop and go grind
+++ my headphones so that i can listen to music
+++ pineapple
+++ hugs
+++ seat warmers in my car
+++ the feeling of walking into my house and being home
+++ our neighbors being the first ones in the neighborhood to put up their christmas lights, it was so great to see the glow of those lights tonight as i pulled around the corner
+++ kind words in my inbox
+++ beautiful blue sky in the morning

a couple of things to share:
++ today is chase's birthday and here is his birthday update -- happy birthday chaser!

"Hey Chaser,

We have been writing about you and sharing your journey with everyone since your accident. Today is a very special day for you, and I want to write one to you, and not about you. It was 5 years ago today you were born into this world, and almost 8 months to the day that we almost lost you. I can't imagine there are too many parents that can say that their 5yr old son has taught them more about life and the world in 8 months - than they had learned in 40 years, but Chaser, I can! I want to thank you for showing me a better world, and a better side of the people in it. I want to thank you for teaching me that quitting is not an option, and that if you dig deep, and sometimes even deeper, you will find the strength to press on....And buddy, I want to thank you for proving to me that trust in God is just not an expression- that if you do he will get you through. Every year at Thanksgiving we have always shared what we are thankful for- This year Chaser, there are many things we have to be thankful for, but one thing is the same for your mom, Ava, Tanner and I..... and that Chase.....is you! We may never know why this happened to you, and to be honest with you, it really doesn't matter. What matters is that someday you will be reading this, and along your journey of recovery, not only are you learning new things, but so are we-from you! I made a promise to you and the Big Guy 8 months ago on the deck of that cruise ship that I will keep until the moment I breath my last breath! - I believe, and ALWAYS WILL believe in you- You make me proud to call you my son. Happy Birthday BT!"
++ sad news that nick auden passed away from stage iv melanoma, his story touched so many lives including some of you that i know signed the petition referenced in the article
+++ i thought this article on the seattle no is awesome and totally cracked me up because it is so true (thanks em for sharing - xo)
++ i am so getting one of these t-shirts for big kids like me
++ i think the video for say something is pretty amazing (get a kleenex)
++ i am in love with kelly's hearts

happy tuesday peeps. xo

Sunday, November 24, 2013

thankful (twenty two - twenty four) + the true stories

these last three days have brought a lot to be grateful for, and so i am thankful for:

+++ a slow friday morning at home with malena before heading to the office
+++ spring rolls
+++ 90 minutes of massage bliss and time to just be still
+++ our house being full of family and the sounds of their laughter
+++ watching malena with her baby cousin and how gentle she is with him. it makes me so proud to see how caring she is, and in some ways a little bit of my heart aches as i still wish (and will always wish) that we could have given her a sibling. there are times when that pain rubs me more raw than others, and i never really know when it will come. but when it comes and the tears fall (like they do as i write this), i remind myself that i am so thankful that we had her when i was healthy, that she is healthy, and that is what matters the most. she gets to have all of my attention and time and love, and i know that is how it was meant to be. knowing that doesn't make it easy, but knowing that does make it easier on the days that are tougher than others.
+++ family celebrating malena turning 5, it seems like just yesterday we were all gathered to celebrate her turning 4. the time flies by so damn quickly.
+++ a great dinner hosted by my friend chris who gathered her closest for a thankful dinner, a lovely night surrounded by good people in a house full of love
+++ catch up time with my sister
+++ the sound of hearing baby footsteps around the house, and watching our little nephew master his stair climbing skills
+++ my mom's macaroni salad
+++ hershey's miniature dark chocolate bars when i needed just a little chocolate fix
+++ text messages that make me laugh
+++ sleeping in
+++ an extra campout night just because she wanted to
+++ being snuggled up with malena under my favorite blanket watching project runway and eating our popcorn
+++ watching malena play for two hours with her friends from school and seeing the relationships she has with them and how much fun they have playing together
+++ starbucks drive through for some hot green tea on a cold beautiful day
+++ my vitamix as i fired up a big green smoothie with dinner
+++ time to work in my craft room, one of my most favorite places in the world to be
+++ the moments when the one direction song that has been stuck in my head all weekend leaves my brain for a moment (stevie -- the story of my life....)

if you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that milestones are bittersweet for me. sweet in that i love celebrations and making the most out of the big and little moments in life. bitter in that at times milestones are a bit hard as i think about the future and whether i will be around for the milestones to come. the holidays tend to be a bit rough for me as well, don't get me wrong, i love every single second and am so thankful for this holiday season in particular. but, the truth is (and as my friend liz reminds me, it is ok to tell the true stories) this stretch of birthdays and holidays back to back is much harder for me this year due to the stage iv diagnosis. it has seemed to amplify the rough patches, the deep dark parts that nag at me with questions about the future. so these last couple of weeks have been interesting for me as i try to balance the joy with the reality of all of the other things that i am feeling. there have been a lot of tears, pretty much everyday for no specific reason at all. so i am going to enlist the help of my counselor to gives me some tools to work with to keep moving forward.

i share this not because i want or need any comforting or words of encouragement, it is really work that i need to do on my own. for myself. to keep moving forward the best possible way that i can. to get some thoughts out of my head, to make more space for all of the good that is to come in the next two months.

i share this because it is being honest, which is what i have always tried to be in this space. i am so thankful for the good scan results, and i say my thanks a million times over every single day. but it wouldn't be honest to make it seem like it isn't also tough to roll through this time of year with a stage iv diagnosis hanging over me. it wouldn't be honest to make it seem like i don't think about it every single day. it wouldn't be honest to make it seem like i don't think about whether i will be here for the birthdays and the holidays to come. it wouldn't be honest to make it seem like there aren't a lot of tears that i keep to myself. it wouldn't be honest to make it seem like life is easier than it is. that doesn't make it easier on me. that doesn't give you insight into the realities of how it feels to go through the holidays when you are so damn grateful and so damn scared at the same time.

so i am sharing the true story. i always have, and always will. sometimes the stories just take the right moment for me to feel like writing them out. for putting them out on the winds and hoping i feel lighter for sending them on their way.

so as this weekend draws to a close, i am thankful beyond words for all of the good things and people that were a part of making these last three days so great.

so as this weekend draws to a close, i take a deep breath and remind myself to take it day by day as another week begins.

that is just simply the best i can do. xo

Thursday, November 21, 2013

thankful (twenty one)

on this twenty-first day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ my friend michael who makes me laugh every single time i see or talk to him, i love him for that (plus a ton of other reasons)
+++ the fact that michael married jennifer (super smart decision on his part) because she is awesome (which is why he is so lucky that she said yes)
+++ the fact that i can kick michael's you-know-what at shuffleboard (at least that is how i remember it)
+++ starbucks having a kale salad that makes lunch easy for me when i forget to bring my own
+++ the moment i walked out of my office for the day. yes, it is one of those kind of days (but aren't they all lately? yep, pretty much).
+++ text message exchanges with my girlfriends that crack me up and make me laugh in the midst of hell breaking loose all around me
+++ quick catch up call with my friend rob who always, always makes me laugh within 2 seconds of getting on the phone with him
+++ barrett chefing up a good dinner
+++ hard apple cider. yes, it is one of those kind of days.
+++ the last chocolate cupcake
+++ knowing that my house will be full of family this weekend
+++ hearing the words "mommy, do you want to come and play with me?" (chris -- your present was a big hit)
+++ having enough gas to make it home even though the gas light was on (hooch -- do you want to fill it up for me in the morning?;) because i hate pumping gas and will put it off as long as possible
+++ happy mail from my cousin in the mailbox (michelle -- you guys rock, thank you!)
+++ getting to talk to my mom for a few minutes

+++ my brother giving us the heads-up that one direction was going to be on tv so that we could watch malena go crazy (kris -- it is just like what we must have looked like when the nkotb video was on;))
+++ happy mail from canada (sarah -- i kind of want to call in sick tomorrow just to use those stamps to craft up some goodness. xo)
+++ being able to share experiences of dealing with cancer to give someone else a perspective that might help them through an issue a little easier, reminding me that good can come from the bad
+++ a gorgeous sunset view with the sky filled with orange, pink, and yellow
+++ my sis-in-law's brother hoss doing better in the hospital
+++ chapstick

i hope that you all have a great weekend -- crazy to think that thanksgiving is next week. not sure how that happened as it seems like just yesterday i had surgery. i remember leaving that hospital thinking that i had no idea how this year would look by the time that it came to a close. i am not sure that i could have ever imagined all of the fun we have crammed into this year, but i am so thankful that i was given the chance for this year to bring so many good memories my way. for that i am blessed and grateful.

enjoy your weekend, make the most of it, say your thanks. xo

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

thankful (twenty)

on this twentieth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ my happy and healthy daughter who turned five day today. i could not be more thankful than i am to be her mom. she has taught me so many things about life, about what is important, about what is not important. to laugh every single day. to see life again through the eyes of a child. there are so many words that i could write to tell the story of how thankful i am for about having her in my life. but on this day, i am going to quietly tuck those words into my heart and say my thanks to the fates for giving me this day to celebrate with her. my girl is five. i still can't believe it. seems like it was just yesterday that i held her for the first time. i knew then i would never let go, and so i keep fighting like hell to hold on.
+++ my friends kadeena and jennifer who also celebrate their birthday on this special day
+++ gluten free swedish pancakes and lingonberry sauce
+++ laughter and good conversation
+++ anthropology (the store, not the science)
+++ the joy that painting pottery brings malena, pretty sure that we could go there everyday and she would be pretty happy about. today she painted an awesome multi-colored dog that is going to be a great addition to our home.
+++ being able to connect with a friend to say i love you as her heart breaks so that she is reminded that she won't have to pick up the pieces by herself
+++ a birthday dinner with friends to celebrate the big 5
+++ all of the love that surrounds malena from friends and family, she is a lucky girl to have so many people that care so much for her
+++ lite brites, malena and i did our first picture tonight and it was just as awesome as i remember from being a kid. i might need to call in sick tomorrow to take on the ship and birthday cake designs;)
+++ those boys from one direction that did a happy birthday video for all of their fans, which makes our little fan feel like she was the luckiest girl in the world to have them signing just for her. thanks boys.

have a good thursday peeps, one more day and we are at friday. yes, yes, yes.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

thankful (nineteen)

on this nineteenth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ my family being healthy
+++ making the right decision for me, even if it wasn't the easy decision
+++ my nutritionist who keeps me motivated to keep going
+++ dinner with one of my favorite peeps with good food
+++ the sound of laughter
+++ listening to my heart and following through
+++ prioritizing my time
+++ blueberries
+++ spring rolls
+++ opening the mailbox and seeing a lot of happy mail inside of it for malena
+++ getting our kiwi crate and the excitement that comes with the anticipation of the projects inside
+++ my counselor being a phone call away
+++ friends who are always there for each other, in the best and in the worst of times

tomorrow is a big day. malena turns five. huge milestone for this mom.

so, so thankful to have tomorrow to look forward to. xo

Monday, November 18, 2013

thankful (eighteen) + for jenny and hoss

on this eighteenth day of the month, i am thankful for the following:

+++ the excitement on malena's face when she carried her student of the week poster into school
+++ leftover pizza that hits the spot for lunch
+++ leaving the office right on time so that i got to see the entire hour of gymnastics
+++ a rough night of almost-five-year-old-tantrums turning around to be almost-five-year-old laughs, hugs, and smiles
+++ mayo (my friend, not the sauce)
+++ booking an unexpected adventure
+++ leftover chocolate cupcakes
+++ bedtime routines
+++ happy mail
+++ ending the day with giggles with malena
+++ messages from friends
+++ morning chat with a friend which made traffic much more bearable

on this eighteenth day of the month, i am also asking you to send good vibes, prayers and mojo to two special people.

my friend jenny is going in for her next round of scans tomorrow. you all know how i feel about scans so we need to kick the energy into high gear for jenny tomorrow. it is her birthday on wednesday so there could be no better birthday present than good scans for her this year.

my sister-in-law's brother hoss is in a hospital in new hampshire due to some medical complications. he has had a cat scan, biopsy, and will have an mri tomorrow. you all know how i feel about cat scans, biopsies, and mris so we need to kick the high energy into high gear for hoss tomorrow.

i know that all of your vibes continue to work (hello good results for sharon last week) so i am excited to see the good news that comes for jenny and hoss tomorrow.

thanks in advance for your good energy that you are sending their way. it is much appreciated. xoxo

Sunday, November 17, 2013

thankful (fifteen, sixteen, seventeen)

there has been a lot to be grateful for in the last three days, including:

+++ sleep
+++ down time
+++ snuggling up next to malena while we ate popcorn and watched the one direction movie (not so much for the music as much as the snuggles;))
+++ a ton of smiles, hugs, and tickle fights
+++ seeing the total joy on malena's face while her friends were all around her at her gymnastics birthday party. our first friends birthday party is complete, and it went great. i am thankful for all of the memories, both for us and for her.
+++ the same toys that i had as a kid being available for me to get malena -- hello lite brite, i loved you as a kid, and i am going to love you now. (ellie -- totally found one at target, yet one more reason to love target. sheri - can i work with you? pretty please?;))
+++ blueberry pancakes
+++ barrett turning a happy and healthy 35 years old, so very thankful for another healthy year for him and looking forward to the good things this next year brings his way
+++ sunday afternoon movie with our besties
+++ friday starbucks date with malena, our weekly tradition that i look so forward to every week
+++ blowing out candles and making wishes
+++ getting to work with malena on a poster for her being kid of the week at school, watching her write out her name and draw her own decorations around the pictures. i love watching her creativity unfold.
+++ chocolate cupcakes
+++ two good runs with blue sky above me
+++ hugs
+++ the people of san francisco for making a little boy's wish come true

happy monday peeps, another one begins. we can do it. xo

Thursday, November 14, 2013

thankful (fourteen)

on thursday, you were a grrrrrrrrrrind. but i loved you anyways for the good things that you brought my way.

on this fourteenth day of the month, i am thankful for:
+++ starbucks being open at 6:15am when i roll into work and there being no line (clearly there is no line because i am rolling in at 6:15am. ugh. i am thankful regardless).
+++ grapes (about 10 of them), especially since they are all i had time to eat for lunch today
+++ post-it notes
+++ chats on the way home with some of my favorite girls
+++ smiles and hugs when i picked up kiddo
+++ cold hard cider (had to do it today, reference the top two items for explanation as to why)
+++ dinner with malena and barrett and letting the day roll of me
+++ the way she reaches for my hand anytime we walk somewhere together
+++ finding the perfect present
+++ coming home. after a long day, i am especially thankful to come home to this warm home that i love so much.
+++ my flannel pjs and my favorite hoodie
+++ the chance to put my feet up
+++ project runway
+++ my friend having a sucessful hip surgery and his wife staying sane on day one of his recovery;)
+++ my friend having no issues identified during her regular skin check -- yes!!!

friday, i can't even begin to tell you how much i love you. big time. over the top.

have a good weekend peeps, make the most of it. xo

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

thankful (thirteen)

on this thirteenth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ booking my first 2014 plans, and the plans occurring after january. big step. deep breath. making plans that will occur after my next round of scans is tough for me. but i did it. proud of myself. counting on good news in january.
+++ not sitting in traffic for an hour. yes, thank you traffic fates. i owe you one.
+++ deviled eggs.
+++ a gorgeous pink sunset out of my office window. it would have been even more beautiful if i had not been looking at it out of my office window. just sayin'....
+++ grapes.
+++ walking around the party store and getting to pick out toys and treats for the party bags for malena's friends. hearing "momma, look at this!" immediately followed by "momma, look at this!" immediate followed by "momma, look at this!"...you get the idea. she was so excited she had a smile ear to ear and was literally jumping up and down. so, so thankful for another perfect moment in anticipation of her turning the big 5. i have never loved being in that party store more than i did today. yep, counting out 20 tootsie roll suckers can bring more joy that you can imagine when you didn't know two weeks ago how these moments would actually play out.
+++ finally getting the miley cyrus song out of my head (hooch, i still blame you for it getting there in the first place) with this song that i am currently loving for a lot of different reasons.
+++ the sound of barrett's laughter right now as he watches one of his favorite shows (which is one of my least favorite shows - which is my hoodie is up and i am not even looking at the tv).
+++ gluten free/vegan chocolate chip cookies that are super good and satisfied a sweet craving i had been having all day.
+++ malena picking me as the one who got to lay with her while she started to fall asleep
+++ all of the fun things that are going to occur in november/december and that holiday spirit starting to come on. i wish that i could just do fun holiday focused things and skip the whole work thing. might need to get a lottery ticket and see if that could help me meet that goal.

thursday, i love you because you are bringing me one day closer to friday. sorry that i don't love you for your own reasons. but this week, i am all about you getting me closer to friday. sorry, i know the truth hurts -- but so does the fact that it is only thursday. no offense.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

thankful (twelve)

on this twelfth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ the great news that sharon got today -- her tumor markers looked good and she got a great report. woohoo!! woohoo!! woohoo!!!! super, super thankful for that update! her and i are on quite the roll and we intend to keep it that way:) thanks for all of the prayers, mojo, and love you sent her way today - it worked (as usual)!
+++ the work day ending (let's just assume from now on that i am thankful for that every single day, because i will be. trust me, the days aren't getting any easier. ugh.)
+++ getting to pick out the birthday cake for malena's party with her - so fun to see her get so excited. picking out a cake. it was that simple. that much happiness. these are the moments i was so hoping to have. i am so thankful to be having them come true just as i had imagined them.
+++ target. seriously, who isn't thankful for target? i know, we all are.
+++ costco having a couple pairs left of the pajamas that i got malena last week that i have not been able to get her out of. you wouldn't get me out of them either considering they are super soft and have a hoodie (i heart hoodies, i am wearing one as i type this). i was a little worried when we walked in and they weren't where they were when i bought them. i was sweating it because i thought we might be headed for a costco pajama meltdown. you know, when you are "those parents" with "that kid" that is screaming that everyone is looking at but pretending like they aren't looking at. yep, those people. but costco came through, and two more pairs of pj's made their way home tonight. whew. hoodie pajama crisis averted. we can all sleep a little easier tonight.
+++ sweet potatoes.
+++ hugs and kisses at bedtime.
+++ potato chips that give me my salt fix.
+++ the excitement that was on malena's face when we walked in to target and the $1 aisle (so in love with those) was filled with "one direction" swag. it was like santa just walked in and gave her all that she hoped for and more (taylor, you would have probably almost passed out;). two "one directions" pens for $1. thank you target, you made her night (and mine by association).

hump day. the half way point. i can kind of see friday over the horizon, and from what i can see, it is looking good. especially when it is 5pm (refer to the second item on the list above). xo

Monday, November 11, 2013

thankful (seven to eleven) + for sharon

the last couple of days have been a bit of whirlwind and so it feels good to come back to this space.

over the last five days, i have been thankful for:

+++ the seattle pinball museum, it is amazing, and for $13 you can play pinball as long as you want. great time.
+++ tamarind tree restaurant in the international district. seriously, some of the best food i have ever had. so, so good. if you live anywhere near seattle, you must go. today. right now. you will thank me. you are welcome.
+++ cold hard apple cider, because some days, you just need one (or two).
+++ girl time.
+++ work days ending. couldn't happen soon enough.
+++ my parents staying with us for a couple of days and helping out in a bunch of ways (as they always do)
+++ our favorite coffee shop on a saturday morning.
+++ a trip to our favorite resort and over 24 hours for barrett and i to catch up on life and make some plans for the future.
+++ down time, drinking some green tea, reading a magazine, and putting my feet up.
+++ sleeping in.
+++ having a little time to do some dreaming about what i would like to do in the future.
+++ the thought that if my scans come back good in january, my oncologist will think that we are good to go to a six month scan interval. six months. to be honest, the thought of going without a scan for six months scares the hell out of me. don't get me wrong, the three month cycle is rough, there is no doubt about that. six months. a lot can go wrong in six months. i feel like melanoma can't get a big head start on me in three months (that is the story that i tell myself to bring me some comfort). so even if given the chance for six months, i don't know if i could bring myself to take it. but, we will see. what an amazing choice that would be for me to have.
+++ all of the men and women that have served, and those that are serving, for our country including my family members that are currently in the military. we love you and we thank you.
+++ malena hanging out with me today downtown as i had to be in the office. it was great to have lunch with her, to have her do some "work" and just be together. it wasn't the day that i had planned for us (not by a long shot), but it was a day we spent together, so it was a good one nonetheless.
+++ finding a sweater that i love. on sale. which makes me love it even more.
+++ watching malena at gymnastics, jumping, rolling, running, smiling. perfect monday night, every single time.

i am also thankful for my friend sharon, and tomorrow is the day that she gets her results on her tumor markers. so it is time to kick up the prayers, mojo and good vibes for sharon. i just know that tomorrow i will have good results from her appointment to be thankful for.

i just know it.

happy tuesday all -- i hope that it is a good one. xo

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

thankful (six)

on this sixth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ the minute i was able to leave the office (it is that kind of week)
+++ coordinating with friends on some fun plans
+++ opening my mailbox and seeing happy mail
+++ tickle fights
+++ malena saying "momma, remember that one time that you carried me and tickled me when we came downstairs?" as if it was a year ago, and it was actually just this morning
+++ music
+++ 20 minutes in my craft room, it is amazing how calm i become when i enter that room
+++ my favorite blanket (thank you sasha, still my favorite after all these years)
+++ the fact that we are over half way through the work week (refer to the first thing that i was thankful for today)
+++ disney putting lifeguards at the family pools on their cruise ships (though i would be even more thankful had the update never had to include chase or any other kid), per this update from chase's family today:

"(10:32 a.m. EDT) -- Disney Cruise Line quietly became the first major cruise line to have lifeguards onboard its ships in late September when it began stationing them at its family pools on Disney Dream and Disney Magic. Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder will get lifeguards by mid-November.

The lifeguards are always on duty, so long as the family pool is open. The pool is closed at night, and sometimes closed during bad weather or special events.

Disney said it regularly evaluates onboard practices and makes changes when necessary. Like at most hotels and resort, cruise ships do not employ lifeguards at their pools.

The move comes six months after a four-year-old boy nearly drowned just hours after getting on Disney Fantasy. Two weeks ago a six-year-old boy drowned onboard a Carnival cruise ship.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor"
happy thursday, hope it brings you a lot to be thankful for. xo

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

thankful (five)

on this fifth day of november, i am thankful for:

+++ a ton of laughs with malena in the morning before school
+++ the grueling (and i mean grueling) work day coming to an end - finally - it could not have come soon enough
+++ leftover pizza that was really good the second time around
+++ green tea, my favorite go to drink (diet coke -- i do really miss you, i hope you miss me too)
+++ good catch up session with a friend on my way home
+++ talking with my sister while sitting on the dream couch - a win win for me
+++ candyland, and watching malena stack the deck so that she got the popsicle to move closer to the finish without her thinking that i was paying attention
+++ fish tacos
+++ mango salsa
+++ dark chocolate
+++ listening to malena read cinderella
+++ having malena tell me that i am the best mom ever (seriously, could it get better than that? i don't think so)
+++ a good update on chase that i have included below
+++ all of the people that have sent the "fun mail" that is referenced in the chase update, the kids love it and we have a done great job of sending them mail every week this year since april (and will continue to do through december)

"Completely Compleat :)                               
Have you ever seen the movie Captain America? We had a family movie night this weekend and watched it. I have seen the Avengers and got a glimpse of Captain America, but never knew what he was about or his story. After watching the movie, I can see why he was Chasers favorite super hero, he definitely picked the best one of the bunch! Captain America was a weak, small man, who had nothing to offer but his courage and his determination to serve and defend our country. He was chosen by the Gov't for an experiment, that amplifies his qualities to become the perfect soldier. Great Flick!
Chaser has been off of pain meds for eight days now, we have noticed a big difference in his alertness. He is handling it well, with a few apparent side affects of its abstance. His muscle tone has become more tense and he has had a few fairly long spells of obvious discomfort. Aside from the couple of not so positive side effects, we feel Chase is much better off without these meds. He seems to be more attentive in therapy and working even harder-doing a lot of rolling over and working on the sitting position.......... and his eye movement, wow!- He is moving his eyes much more, and his eye seem to be more focused, and intense as well. We have noticed several times while he is sleeping, he moves his head, arms and toes in a fluid motion. It is really cool to watch- his limbs move like they did prior to the accident. Im not sure whats causing it, but I know that I like seeing it! We have transitioned him over to Compleat formula- although Lisa is not a big fan of its smell, its nice to know we are giving him natural food, and not something made in a lab that we add water too!
Lisa and Chase returned home from Rochester tonight, just in time to watch the white stuff fall down. Chaser had a couple of appointments today at Mayo with the PT and OT Drs. They went well. The doctors were a little concerned about his muscle tone, and scheduled Botox injections for the 19th- the day after his follow-up on his Nissen procedure. We are hoping that these will ease his discomfort and keep the forward progress going. Aside from his tone, they advised Lisa to keep doing what we are doing. We have also added another swallow study on the 19th. He has progressed nicely in that dept and we want to see how far he has come or if there has been an change. Cross your fingers!!!!
Tanner and Ava are doing Great! Tanner is flow blown into his hockey season, but taking this weekend off to join me in the hunt for the 30 point Buck on deer opener - we will see if one can survive without the Clash of Clans ipad game for a day or two! :) Ava survived a B-Day party and sleepover this weekend for her 8th B-day party. She is still making up dance routines, when not at practice, and makes sure mom and dad watch them all. Although the music is different for each one, the appear very similiar. She assures me that they are all different :)
We have been receiving the packages of goodies (fun mail)for the kids each week, and the kids LOVE them! Thank you all for your kindness and generosity! We all played one of the games tonight while Chaser took a rester next to us- ( I am not sure how he slept through that noise, wish I had the ability to do that!)- Have a great week.

God is Good!"

happy hump day peeps, make it a good one. xo

Monday, November 4, 2013

thankful (four)

on this fourth day of november, i am thankful for:

+++ all of the love that surrounded little baby burton as he took flight to the sky, and for the geese that flew over his house showing him the way. i thank all of you that have lit candles, sent prayers, and love to baby burton and his mom and dad. please continue to do so as they move through these days without having him to snuggle on each day. i also want to share the poem they shared. can you hear the pieces clinking from where you are? i am sure you can, they sound absolutely deafening to me.

Wild Geese
By Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
+++ all of the good vibes, prayers and mojo that you have sent to sharon. it is time to fire up the mojo again as she heads back in tomorrow for blood work to check in on her tumor markers. her follow up appointment is on the 12th, so let's kick the mojo into overdrive for the next week. please and thank you.
+++ i will also quietly say my thanks for all of the parts of my day that i am thankful for by tucking them into my memory and my heart and saying my thanks for another day.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

thankful (one/two/three)

hello november, you are looking so good.

a month to really dig in and focus on all of the things that i have to be thankful for.

like last november (can i just say that it makes me pretty happy to be able to refer to posts that i wrote a year ago? damn, that feels good. another year.), my posts this month are going go focus on what i am thankful for each day with other random things that i want to add mixed in along the way.

so here we go...on this first/second/third day of november, i am thankful for:

+++ my dad happily chauffering my mom and i around the eastside to complete about a million errands on friday
+++ laughter
+++ completing a special project for malena (i will blog about it later this week)
+++ my mom's good cooking
+++ starting to get into the holiday mode by finding some perfect christmas presents
+++ our friend alexis turning a happy and healthy 4 years old
+++ an unexpected movie/popcorn/hello kitty date at our friend's house
+++ the utility workers that worked through the day/night in cold weather to get our power back on at 3am after it was out for 16 hours
+++ malena sleeping in until 10:30am today - no clue why - but meant some extra sleep for mom. you know i loved that.
+++ a great run with blue sky and crispy leaves under my feet, and finishing just as the rain started to fall
+++ the excitement on her face when i tell her which of her friends are going to be able to make it to her first friends birthday party
+++ malena wanting to address her birthday invitations all by herself, sitting next to her and being so happy that she will turn a happy and healthy 5 years old this month and i will be here to see it. i will be here to see it. i.will.be.here.to.see.it. i am overjoyed.
+++ fruit and green smoothies
+++ hearing "momma, do you want to come and play with me?" yes, yes i do.
+++ watching her fall asleep and her little arm resting across me. i could stay there in that moment forever.

here are a few things that i have come across that i kind of loved, and so you might too:
+++ i kind of think this chin up buttercup sign would be great to have in every room of my house and in my office at work
+++ i am a sucker for a good pad to write to do's on - and this make things happen pad is right up my alley
+++ this dentalvention story made me laugh, and i will take laughter any time i can get it
+++ i thought this article on the one thing you must do was right on the mark
+++ this post will remind you that there are so many good people in the world who are doing good things for others
+++ i love the you can do anything but not everything desktop wallpaper
+++ i really liked reading lessons learned from a year of staying in the picture - like the original article, a great reminder to get in the picture which i try to now do as much as possible
+++ i would be pretty thrilled with any of these mulberry press mousepads but i think that the "good things happen to those who hustle" is my favorite

happy monday peeps -- hope it is the start of a good week for all of you. xo

Friday, November 1, 2013

hello friday

we had a great thursday, loved it. just like i had hoped for.

celebrated my mom's birthday all day with breakfast at portage bay cafe (yum!), hitting a craft store to get tons of ideas for fun things to make, shopping in historic snohomish (amazing), and a party last night with good food and wishes made as the candles were blown out. although i am pretty sure that my mom's wish was granted on wednesday, she might have made it a dual wish for three months from now as well.

our little snow white went trick or treating and got 29 pieces of candy, she counted them out as soon as she got home - just like her mom used to do, the apple does not fall far from the tree;)

this morning we are going to head to starbucks for our usual friday morning starbucks date before school. our weekend is looking good. some more holiday shopping, bestie's birthday party, swim lessons, catching up on photos, relaxing, christmas list-making, and getting an extra hour of sleep (yes!) on saturday night. as much as i love the extra hour of sleep, i do not love it getting dark at 3pm each afternoon.

i have started to go into my total exhaustion phase which is when the stress of the last month catches up with me and i feel like my legs weigh about 100 pounds each and it takes a lot of effort to move. as my friend crystal said, you never realize just how much stress you are under until the weight is lifted and you finally understand how much weight you had actually been carrying for so long.

i hope that your weekend is a good one. make the most of it. enjoy it. do something fun.

say your thanks.

i know i will.