Wednesday, July 30, 2014

hands free mama


"at least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself what is really important.
have the wisdom and the courage to build your life around your answer."
(dr. lee jampolsky)

i loved this book, for many reasons.

i try hard to put my phone down and enjoy the moments that are happening around me. but i could be better. i can always be better.

i try hard to not focus on my to do list. but i am not going to lie, i pretty much love a good to do list and equally love checking the boxes off of that list. i am a big huge fan of action items being completed. big time.

i try hard to live in the moment, go with the flow, and enjoy the moments as they occur. but sometimes there are more "just let me finish this" or "in just one second" or "i will be right there" than even i would like.

this book was a great reminder through the words within it about really focusing on the priorities for my time, and then giving those priorities they time they actually deserve. "because someday is nowhere to live your life" and there are definitely times when i think that i will getting to important things "someday" and the truth is that i can be getting to them today.

some of the key reminders that i will take away from this book are:
+++ put the phone down
+++ using time in the car to connect. to not make calls. to not mentally go through what i need to do at work or at home. to not check out the latest on instagram when i am a passenger and could be talking to those in the car with me instead of flipping through pictures (this is a tough one, because if you know me, you know i love my instagram account;).
+++ really thinking about the things on my to do list that truly need to be done, because in reality, if many of those boxes don't get checked, i am pretty sure that the world will keep turning.
+++ choosing to enjoy the moments, and remembering that dishes, bills, laundry, and all of the other things that came up everyday can happen later. they can always happen later, moments of "mom, do you want to play with me?" won't.
+++ saying no and not feeling guilty about it
+++ focusing on saying "i love to watch you...."
...and so many more -- i think that there was something on each and every page of this book that i connected with in one way or another.

i was very connected to a page towards the end when there was a reference to melanoma that i was not expecting. there was a list of things that the author is doing in honor of a woman who died at age 43 from melanoma. some of the things on the list include "i will take the scenic route", "i will take a chance if it is something worth fighting for", "i will pause for sunsets, goodbyes, and belly laughs. i will acknowledge such things are miracles. everyday miracles." that page at first felt like a sucker punch to the gut because i of course was not expecting any references to melanoma in the book. but, as i read through the list, i felt some peace from knowing that the woman's life would be honored in so many ways by her friend. quite an amazing tribute, and that is something that melanoma will never be able to change.

if there is someone that would like my copy of this book, let me know, i would love to pass it on. my only ask is that you then pass it on next to someone that you think would like it too. this is definitely one to be shared. first dibs gets it. in full disclosure, you will have to be ok with a copy that has some red strawberry stains on the side of about 40 pages;)

happy thursday peeps -- one more day, i am pretty sure that we've got this.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

sharon, part ii + beth

thanks for all of the love, prayers, and mojo that you sent to sharon today, i really appreciate it and i know that she does too.

unfortunately, the ct scans showed a small tumor on her liver and so she will begin chemo treatments next tuesday. she will have four rounds of chemo, and will also be meeting with   a surgeon. so please keep sending your love, mojo, and prayers her way. as usual, she is already in fighting mode with a great attitude -- go sharon go!

wednesday morning beth is getting her port in as her chemo treatments start next tuesday. so we definitely need to send love, prayers and mojo her way at 10:15 as she goes in for her appointment to have the port put in place. you've got this beth, one more step closer to being done. you can do this.

here is beth's latest update in her own words:

"I feel like there has been a lot going on. I am finally able to sit some, I found out last weekend. I can sit for 4 hours a day. It can hurt to sit, so sometimes I am in some pain. I shouldn't have been surprised by that, it was a major surgery, but for some reason it did catch me off guard. It mostly depends on what I am sitting on. I also haven't been able to bend much so my loss in flexibility is noticeable to me.
I am completely off pain meds now though, only using Tylenol. So I think that is good, and I still have some pain meds for when I really need them.
I am seeing my plastic surgeon tomorrow so I do have some additional follow up questions for him and he'll do a check in on the healing process. This Wednesday I should have all restrictions lifted in my sitting and moving, because it will be 6 weeks after surgery. I may still have to ease into things and all movement. And I wonder if I need any physical therapy to help with increasing flexibility again or any other help with movements.
I have had a weird thing going on with my ankle. I noticed some swelling last Saturday night and Sunday morning I was showering and my ankle where the surgery was started stinging, was all red and more swollen. So I called the on-call surgeon and he said the worst case scenario was it was a blood clot. But without seeing it he couldn't tell me. Well that isn't helpful to me, I call them to give me advice if they think I need to do something about it now or can wait. I have been on blood thinner so a blood clot should be unlikely, but still concerning. So I called my regular doctor. When all of this cancer business started she called me and gave me her personal cell phone. And she calls me every once in awhile to check in. I felt bad bothering her on a Sunday but she was so sweet and we actually caught up for a bit. I texted her a picture of my ankle, she didn't think it was anything too serious so I could wait to see a doctor. She wasn't working on Monday but set me up with another appointment with someone she trusts. What service!! I do love my doctor.
So I went in Monday afternoon and he thought it was a skin infection. They did some blood work and it came back pretty normal so nothing to do then. The ankle has gotten better, swelling has gone down, still a bit red but much better. But with everything going on in my body and surgery we are all so careful and more paranoid when something is not right with me and my health. I wonder if that will be something that stays with me after treatment, if I will always be more aware of everything that goes on with my body.
Monday I also went to SCCA for my port and chemo teach. Scary. The nurse showed me what a port looks like and what it will look like under my skin. We talked about the procedure to put it in my body. I will be under conscious sedation, like when you get a colonoscopy. I have to do the surgery showers and no food 6 hours before the procedure. Sounds like it will be a little sore after, no heavy lifting for a few days. So the port is getting installed this Wednesday. So I am hoping all goes well. I am a little nervous because it means chemo is really near, and I am a person with a port. People with cancer have ports. And sometimes I like feeling like a person who doesn't have cancer. But I am about to go into another period of my life being more centered around cancer and having a port will be a constant reminder of that. It all seems surreal at times. The nurse gave me a tour of the infusion floor. It was so quiet. I should get a private room when I am there getting infused. It has a hospital bed, a comfy chair for people who are with me, a TV. There is a snack room so I can eat while I get infused there. She also showed me what the pump and the bag looks like that I will go home with.
We talked about the different chemo drugs I will be getting, the likely side effects and I came home with some handouts that I have slowly started looking through. She said what I Have heard before - the side effects are setting in the day I typically go back to get the pump removed and will last for the next few days. And I should feel better the week in between the chemo infusions. I so want to have normal reactions and feel better in between. I don't want permanent neuropathy, I don't want to lose my hair (which is an unlikely side effect), I don't want to feel nauseous all the time or hate the smell and taste of food and only want to eat 8 things, most of them being white bland food. But I can't control them, I can't worry too much about it, what happens will happen and I will live through it. I have to.
I got a schedule for my chemo treatments for the first 6. I actually am starting Tuesday August 5th, otherwise my start days will be Mondays. The days I go in will be long - blood work, meeting with my doctor, infusions and then connecting the pump. It takes most of the day it seems.
My mom left last Thursday night to go meet my dad down in Hilton Head. She comes back in a week, to be there with me for my first round of chemo. When she has been gone in the past I have asked people to stay with me. But this time I did not. I felt like I needed to figure out how to balance my life again, being able to be alone and do some things for myself - laundry, watering my flowers, going to the grocery store. Things I did all the time without blinking an eye, but this year everything has more meaning when I can do it by myself. I still can't physically do everything, but I am figuring it out. It's been interesting how many things I took for granted that I don't anymore. Sitting for instance, bending to pick something up.
I have been fitting fun things in along with working some. Last weekend I went to the Seattle Bite for my first time since I lived here! Ate some good greasy food and it was good people watching. Saturday was a picnic lunch in the park, and then taking the ferry over to Bainbridge Island to tool around. It was really fun to be out and about and doing something different. While we were out I heard back from the surgeon about how much I can sit so I was able to go out to dinner that night in a restaurant! It has been such a long time. It did hurt a bit since it was the first time really sitting in over 4 weeks but it was nice to be out, eating good food and having fun. I even had a margarita!
Since my chemo side effects can make me dislike food, I am trying to eat at places I like and satisfy cravings before it starts. So this past week and weekend also has consisted of dinners out, brunch out, treats and just fun times with people. And despite the port installation this week I am hoping to do more of the same before August 5.
Thanks for all your love, support and prayers."

thanks for sending your love out to these ladies, and i hope that your wednesday treats you well. we are halfway to friday, i don't know about you, but i have been ready for friday since monday morning rolled around. ugh.

Monday, July 28, 2014

for sharon

4pm pacific standard time.

send your love to sharon.

tomorrow she gets the results of her ct scan, which i know will come back all clear.

i just know it. there is simply no other option.

so send her your prayers, your mojo, your good vibes at 4pm.

she needs an extra dose of the good stuff to make sure that she has no problem letting cancer know she is going to kick its ass once again.

go sharon go, you have got this -- there is no doubt about it.

we all can't wait to hear the good news tomorrow. xo

Thursday, July 24, 2014

some link love for the weekend

a little list of some things i have been liking lately...

+++ i thought this post was a good one, and my brother will like it since it supports going to bed and getting rest;)
+++ i am pretty sure that a pair of these shoes were meant to belong on my feet. yep, pretty sure about that.
+++ i love this way of capturing the comparison and would love to do a layout like this for malena & i in our photo album
+++ i have never really been inspired to make my own jam (probably because i am spoiled by the awesome jam my mom makes) but i seriously considered trying it out when i read about this strawberry jam experience (ps - her shop has really awesome designs for place clothing)
+++ i want to see this movie (and so i didn't actually read all of the info here because that would ruin it)
+++ we are pretty excited that project runway is back on -- as you know, we love that show. tonight was the season premiere and malena was all over it. she got her sketch book out and designed an awesome dress for her first look for the season. so awesome.

+++ we had a girls date night last night with our favorite movie friends and watched this movie and loved it - and our big tub of popcorn.
+++ any post that has a title of i believe i can make good things happen is one that i know i am going to enjoy reading.
+++ i love quinoa so this recipe is definitely on my list.

hope you all have a great weekend. ours is going to include a starbucks date, baking cupcakes, a road trip, good times with cousins, campouts (maybe even in a tent this time), bbq, swimming, birthday party, laughter, new memories, and maybe a (or three) cider;)

have a good one peeps. xo

important sidenote:
+++ thanks to all of you that connected with me about being a helper for becky. xo

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

helpers needed

when i think of helpers, i always think of my friend jill and the dream couch surprise that she planned for me.

so when i saw a post from her on facebook today that simply said "interested in paying it forward? i have a friend who could use some help. message me." i was in. 100% in. the fact that jill has a friend who needed help was all i needed to know to say yes. i knew the details would come, and whatever they were, i was going to be happy to be a part of it.

jill (who lives in wisconsin) has a friend named becky from her mom's group that has been really struggling financially since her divorce, and she has three girls (ages 10, 9 and 6). becky just found out today that she lost her job. becky does not like to ask for help so jill is putting together an effort to help raise her spirits. jill isn't letting becky know that she is organizing this, so it will all be a surprise to becky. i don't about you, but i kind of think good things coming to someone who is deserving and and needs a turn of luck is pretty great.

so jill is hoping that there are some helpers out there from across the country who would be willing to send becky a card, a note, a gift card to walmart, target, walgreens -- any kind of happy mail, to let becky that she's got this and she has so many helpers cheering her on. even the ones she doesn't even know.

if you would like to be a helper and send a little happy mail becky's way to help raise her spirits and bring her some good when there is so much bad, get in touch with me. i will connect you with jill and she can give you becky's address and answer any questions that you have.

i don't think that there is a day that goes by when i am not comforted by the fact that there are so many helpers among us. i am so thankful that i call so many of them dear friends.

i am looking forward to connecting with a new friend in wisconsin.

i hear she could use some help.

just like we all could from time to time.

Monday, July 21, 2014


this book has been on my "to read" list for a long time.

the truth is, the reason it has been on my list for a long time is that i know it has a major thread related to cancer. that is a thread i haven't been ready for.

but the movie comes out later this year, and i really want to see it (hooch - you and me and ipic for the win). i have also only heard amazing things about this book. i want to know what all of those people already know.

my friend kirsten in texas and i are going to have a little book club and read it at the same time.

if anyone else feels like getting wild in august, we would love to have you join us.

happy tuesday peeps, we are almost to wednesday. which is half way to friday. which is the day before the weekend. so we can almost see it from here. 

+++ mom, my cake is all gone. can we implement a birthday cake every month as a new tradition? just a little idea i i ate my last crumbs of cake for the year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


weekend, i am sorry to see you go.

there has been so much to be thankful for in these last two days.

laughter with friends. a lot of hugs. a house full of family. little cousins playing together. getting to see my nephew on skype while he is on the other side of the world. birthday celebrations. getting to eat my red velvet cake that my mom makes me every year on my birthday - my most favorite thing to eat (ever). my dad's awesome bbq burgers, nothing tastes better than those in the summer. maybe one or two hard ciders;) sleeping in and waking up to my mom's breakfast casserole. the joy in malena's eyes when she saw the stable that my dad built for her horses.

a weekend full of good things.

i hope that yours was too.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

day one

well day one of 39 didn't turn out quite how i had planned it out.

due to one problem after another, the day turned into what felt like an endless string of things going wrong. it started off with a 6am sunrise run which felt like the perfect way to kick of this year, and then slowly the day started to unwind from there.

but while the unraveling was occurring, i got a ton of love and birthday wishes from across the country (my friend kirsten in texas had a picnic with her kids in my honor) and the world (my dear friend mike spelled out my name YMCA- style in front of the eiffel tower which is just about the coolest thing ever) from family and friends.

the day wrapped up with a quiet picnic dinner on our patio with the deck lights on and just the three of us. some good food, some laughs thanks to malena entertaining us with a microphone and music box, and even some sprinkles on that piece of cake.

day one of 39 done, looking for forward to day two through four.

they will include catching up with a dear friend i haven't seen in a year, some girl time, my dad making some of his famous bbq burgers, my mom making her famous red velvet birthday cake for me (haven't decided yet if i am going to share), lots of family time, campouts, cartoons, and many other good things.

i hope that your weekend is a good one too. xo

+++ the winner of the "kicking ass and taking names" card giveaway is ann -- congrats! they will be on their way to you soon;) xo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

39 + a card giveaway

dear 39,

well here we are, we finally meet up. it is really good to see you, i have been waiting for you for a long time.

as i did with 38, i have a lot of high hopes for you my friend.

just so you know what i have in mind, here is a little list of what i plan on being some of the highlights. the joy from seeing malena on our trip to disneyland. her total excitement when we surprise her with a trip in september. short weekend trips. watching her start kindergarten. celebrating her turning 6, and watching her grow into that 6th year and all of the good things it will bring her way. pumpkin patches. halloween. picking out the costume. trick or treating. thanksgiving. christmas and all of the traditions it brings. family and friend birthdays. a million big moments, and just as many small ones. all of them good.

i also intend to slow down in your year to make sure that i take more time to catch my breath and relax. i plan on doing this by saying no to say yes (see episode 17) more in my life. by reading more. by spending more time in my craft room. making more happy mail. creating more. cooking more. finding new recipes. playing more. taking more photos. learning more about topics i am interested in. just taking more time to intentionally slow down the pace.

i am going to have to trust you right from the start. you are beginning at a time that has been unexpectedly tough for me. you come on the heals of july 16th which is always a rough one. you also come close to the time that i would typically be gearing up for scans at the three month mark, and my emotions have kicked in as if those scans were going to happen now. between you and me, i also have a lot of anxiety about not having scans now and wondering what might be going on inside my body that i don't know about. i knew this three month mark would be a rough patch to get over. hopefully those scans will show nothing, i know it will be nothing. there is no other option, right 39? right. but those scans won't happen now, we will have three months together before we come up on scans. so, i need to trust that your first three months are going to treat me well and that you will only bring me good news when those scans do roll around. can you promise me that? i know that you wish that you could, but i will continue to believe and hold out hope that you can deliver even though i know the fates don't leave it all up to you. man, how i wish that they did.

i hope that you give me another 365 days. i hope that they are healthy ones. i hope that you and i can stay close, keep our heads down, not draw any attention from the cancer fates, and make it through while making amazing memories along the way.

you scare me a bit 39 because i don't know what you hold. i am not sure what you will bring my way, and the unknown of you petrifies the daylights out of me. but you are here now and so all i can do is embrace you and trust that you and i will make it through. after all, i have been waiting 13, 870 days for you to show up. so i have a lot time invested in you, and i am so thankful that you are here. i believe in my heart that you will be so worth the wait.

so thank you for showing up, i love you for that more than you know.

despite how you might scare me and cause me concern, i am really excited that you are here and i am anxious to see all of the good things that you are going to bring my way.

it is you and me for the next 365 days, let's plan on more good ones than bad. what do you say? do we have a deal? i thought so, so glad that we are on the same page about that.

also, if you carry me through to your friend 40, i am pretty sure that there will be a party and of course you will totally be invited. 38 and the other years will be getting an invite too so you will have friends to party with. so you might want to keep that in mind when you think about those scans coming up. i know that since you are a lot like me, you probably like hard ciders and i will make sure that there are many of them cold and waiting just for you the night of the party. just a little incentive for your consideration.

well here we go 39, day one. i always like new beginnings, so i am pretty fond of you already.

you be good to me, and i will be good to you.

we've got this. so grab my hand and let's do this.

anywhere you go 39, i go.



+++ card giveaway -- i decided that the start of 39 is a great reason to have a card giveaway. right? right. so here is the deal. leave a comment on the blog, email me, text me, leave me a message on fb, instagram, send up smoke signals, skydive out of a plane, send me a telegraph, charter a plane to fly over my house with a sign...whatever way you typically communicate with me, let me know that you want to be entered into the card giveway. let me know by 9pm on thursday (7/17) and i will announce the winner on tomorrow night's post.

i figured that it would be appropriate to give away 5 cards (with stamped envelopes) with my "kicking ass and taking names" stamp to mark 39's arrival. so if you would like a chance to win 5 cards made by yours truly, get in touch by 9pm. good luck;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


“happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times,
if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
(j. k. rowling)

my cancervisary.

1,460 days since that call i picked up when i heard the word "cancer".

there are probably a million things that i could say about this day and what it means.

if you have read this blog long enough, you know what this day holds for me.

the truth is, i am too tired from feeling and thinking about what it brings to write much about it tonight.

so instead i am going to bring a little bit of light to the day.

i am going to sleep in. i am going to watch cartoons with malena for as long as we feel like it. we are going to hang out. i am going to get a massage. i am going to have some dinner out with barrett. i am going to send birthday wishes to my friend mari who celebrates her birthday on july 16th, she is my favorite part of this day every year (happy bday mar-dog;)).

i am going to do my best to minimize the dark. it won't be gone, it always lurks in the shadows, no more on any other day of the year than this one.

but four years later, i am here.

i am here.

that is reason enough to turn on the light.

+++ sharon update - her tumor markers are high so she has some more tests coming up in the next week with results on the 29th. so keep sending your good thoughts and love her way -- i just know that she is going to get good results and will keep kicking cancer in the you-know-what!

Monday, July 14, 2014

these days + sharon

these last couple of days have been filled with many good things.

a visit with beth. my mom's hamburgers, so good. gluten free cupcakes with raspberries that malena picked earlier in the day. campouts. seeing my friend chris marry the one she is meant to be with. hanging out for three days with my mom (who happens to also be a great wedding date). berry mimosas. omelette with roasted potatoes and gluten free toast. checking out artists showing their amazing work. a frozen yogurt pit stop. sunday night dinner with family, with more good burgers. a walk outside with malena as our tour guide. getting some things checked off of the to-do list with my mom's help. laughing with my mom,  especially when we get going and just can't quite stop. watching malena jump, cartwheel, and swing - i love to watch her at gymnastics. monday night picnic at the park. quinoa salad. blueberries. blackberries. strawberries. mango. getting a 2.5 mile run in to end the day. some happy mail in the mailbox.

on tuesday i plan to add one more good thing to my list which would be good test results for sharon. she is going in tuesday at 11:30 to get the results of her latest blood draw, and i just know that those tumor markers are going to be super low. please send her good vibes, mojo and prayers for good news. you've got this sharon, i just know it -- you will keep up our run of good luck;) give cancer a huge kick in the you-know-what.

happy tuesday peeps, hope yours is filled with some good things too. xo

Thursday, July 10, 2014

movie fun + mary

one of my favorite summer activities is seeing a movie outside at the park. getting cozied up in chairs with blankets. eating popcorn (and maybe some trail mix with m&ms in it). watching the sun go down. i pretty much love every part of it (minus the porta potties and mosquitos). this time we saw "frozen" (for the millionth time) and it was as good as it always is - i heart olaf and warm hugs. it was a great way to wrap up the middle of the week.

tomorrow mary is going to meet with the oncologist at the cancer center in florida to get her second opinion. so please send your love, mojo, and good vibes her way as she hears what his thoughts are on her fight with the black beast. whatever it is that he tells her, i hope that it allows her to go on a path forward that puts her mind at ease that she is moving in the right direction to kick cancer in the you-know-what.

our weekend around here will be full of good things, i hope that yours will be as well. xo

ps) kevin sheehan -- since you haven't called us yet, does this mean you really aren't going to pick us up and take us to the airport?;) xo

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


there are nights when you go to a painting class with six of your girlfriends.

you see a blank canvas and paints and brushes and wonder where to begin.

so you just begin. and you keep painting. and you keep adding color. and you just keep going.

and through all of the colors and the lines and the dots you know that in the center of it all is going to be a little heart. but you just aren't sure how strong that heart is going to be, will it  be the focus, or will it be subtle and blend into its surroundings.

in the end it is a little heart holding its ground in the middle of a million pieces moving around it. and that feels right.

yep, sometimes you start with a blank canvas and you end with something that reflects how your little heart feels at times.

and you realize that on this day you were meant to paint.

and you kind of love that.

and so does your little heart.

Monday, July 7, 2014


i am thankful for fireworks that lit up the sky on the 4th of july.
i am thankful for sharing a big bag of kettle corn with my girl while we waited for the fireworks to start.

i am thankful for a few days spent at home having down time to just focus on projects that we wanted to work on. so nice to work on my own projects instead of the ones that i focus on at work each day.

i am thankful for multiple nights of camp outs and morning cartoons.

i am thankful for pancakes on a slow morning with awesome maple syrup my parents brought me from their recent trip back east.

i am thankful for getting to have lunch dates with barrett two days in a row at our favorite restaurant.

i am thankful for meeting up with a friend for tea to catch up on life, the good and the tough.

i am thankful for my flowers that are exploding in colors on my deck, love to look at and water those each night.

i am thankful for my legs that carried for me over 12 miles in the last five days on some good training runs.

i am thankful for some happy mail showing up just when it was needed.

i am thankful for finding two new books that bring me food and home inspiration.
i am thankful for a saturday afternoon spent under the trees walking through the details of a dear friend's upcoming wedding and seeing the twinkle of happiness in her eyes.

i am thankful for a late lunch with these three.
i am thankful for a dinner catching up two friends over some of my favorite food and hearing their laughter and remembering how many times over the years i have loved hearing those sounds.

i am thankful for discovering gluten free angel food cake at whole foods today. that was a game changer my friends. big time. summer just got a whole lot better.

i am thankful for a monday night picnic at the park. i am telling you, mondays are so much better when they involve picnics. so. much. better.
i am thankful that beth continues to heal from her surgery and keeps up her fighting attitude day in and day out.

i am thankful for mary keeping up her determination to beat the black beast. mary is going to fly to florida this week to get a second opinion on what her next steps should or should not be, proud of her for listening to her inner voice and doing what is right for her. mary would also like me to tell all of you that have or will be sending her happy mail how grateful she is to you. in her words "i continue to receive awesome words of support and gifts. i wish i could thank everyone personally. please thank everyone on my behalf on your blog in the future. it truly has been a blessing."

i am thankful for chaser continuing to show improvement, here is the latest update:
"On our way back from a great weekend with Family and Friends in Sioux Country. Mom and Dad Lykken celebrated 50yrs of Marriage together this weekend with a party in Grand Forks. It was great to see all the relatives and friends there to support Mom and Dad on their big day- especially for Tanner and Ava! They had 2 days filled with hide-n-go seek, water balloon fights, swimming- non stop fun. At times it was a little tough for Lisa and I to sit and watch from our corner on the couch- suctioning Chaser and telling him he will be able to play like that again someday, knowing how much Chaser would have been right there in the pack. We know how blessed we are to have him here- but man we miss our little dude!
Although the Canadian side of the family held the majority of numbers present at the party, it was the American side that dominated in the corn hole toss game! And while the boys were out in the back yard playing bags, Chaser stayed inside and got some extra TLC from Marilyn, Michelle, and Lornell- and he was lovin it! His fingers were so relaxed they were straight out, and not curved for the first time in months. Chase did really well on the trip down and hasn't made a peep yet half way home- I wish I could say that for the other two, but they are brother and sister :)
Chaser has
had a really good week. He is still showing absolutely no signs of seizures since the removal of Keppra- and tomorrow we start our last week of weaning him off of Gabenpentin, which he is handling this well. The Dantrolene we started him on last week really seems to be helping with his tone. He is much looser and he hasn't had a full fledge throw-up in almost 2 weeks! Hopefully this trend continues, it would be nice to see Chaser gain a few pounds. His secretions are still an ongoing battle, needing to be suctioned much more than he used to- hopefully this is due to allergies and will pass in time. His breathing is still very loud. We get asked all the time if he, thats just our little goose. We are back at Mayo on Tuesday and Wednesday for a follow-up with his neurologist, and another eye exam. They more than likely will not be able to tell us if he can see or not, but they will be able to determine the condition of his eyes and if they react to stimuli."

i am thankful for malena still wanting me to lay next to her when she falls asleep.

i am thankful for quinoa salad.

i am thankful for almond butter toast and cinnamon apple tea in the morning.

i am thankful that i am so lucky to have so much good in my life.

i hope that you have a good tuesday, may it remind you of something you are thankful for.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


hello summer, good to see you.

we have had some nice weather around here lately which is always a good reminder of how amazing the summers are in the pacific northwest.

i am looking forward to all of the fun things to come in the next couple of months, lots of plans that will create a lot of great memories.

over the next couple of days, we are going to lay pretty low and focus on projects that have been on our to do list for a while. but there will also be some fun in the mix as well, and you know there will be campouts and time out on our deck with my lights (man, i am so in love with those lights).

also, here are a couple of things i have been liking lately...
+++ i have added daring greatly and girl boss to my book list after reading so many good reviews on both. more time to read, that is one of my summer goals that i am going to make happen.
+++ i would love to do a photo comparison like this one of what malena & i are each into these days.
+++ i think this is such a great idea and i plan on asking malena some questions soon for an addition to our photo album
+++ i thought about our couch when i read ali's post about her table, might be writing a blog on that soon.
+++ on a day like today filled with lots of tears due to classroom transitions, when we try our best to find some kind of balance in the day, this letter pretty much sums it up.
+++ the posts on kelly purkey's blog are making me want to jump on a plane to paris, immediately.
+++ i pretty much want to stay home all day and work on all 15 of these

i hope that you have a great and safe 4th, and if you need a fun drink to make at a bbq, these look pretty good. xo