Thursday, January 29, 2015


this will be my last post of the week as tonight i am going to keep beth company after she gets her port taken out today. a big milestone in her recovery and path forward post surgeries and radiation/chemo. super proud of her for fighting so hard through the last year, and for being brave as she starts to find her way through life again without doctor appointments and treatments being a daily part of it.

i have included below her latest update so that you know the significance of this day through her own words.

i hope that you all have a great weekend, may it include some kindness and magic. xo

"Tomorrow I say goodbye to the port. I have to admit I am a bit nervous about it, at least the procedure and recovery. I remember it hurt when it got put in, so I assume it will hurt being taken out. They will sedate me of course and I have to go through surgery like prep, showering with the special soap and no eating or drinking before the procedure. Butt it's a big step. I hope this means my doctors are confident I don't need it anymore. As confident as any of us can be. I still am cautious with how "excited" I am that the cancer is gone. I know what the pathology report said, but I wait for the scans, the tests that tell me they don't see any cancer. But it will be nice to not have that bump in my chest, but the scar will live on.
I tried acupuncture today hoping it helps with my neuropathy. The acupuncturist told me it would take a few times before I see a lot of difference but should see some changes after the first couple visits. The needles are definitely small, and more flexible than I realized. It's fascinating that you can put a needle in my arm and it's connected to my intestine. There was one that she put in my arm that stung quite a bit but other than that it didn't feel too bad when the needles are placed, mostly a pinch. And then you lay there still for around 45 minutes. I fell asleep, which was nice. It was more relaxing than I thought it would be. Of course she had a nice heated blanket underneath me which helped.
I have started spending my time with purpose. I completed my animal handling training class for the Humane Society. I have now signed up for my first volunteer date. I will be working on their mobile adoption unit. So Seattlelites come visit me at the Max Mobile Unit. I felt like that would be a good place for me where I get to work with people and with the animals.
Also last Sunday I served breakfast at the SCCA House. Although it's much more than a house, it's quite a building. A great facility. It's where patients and caretakers stay who are from out of town that are being treated at SCCA. I was excited about serving. I was nervous I would get emotional and there was one point at the beginning where I started to, but I held it together. I met a nice couple from Virginia. He has been diagnosed with a very rare form of skin cancer so was here doing a clinical trial. I am so thankful we have such an amazing facility here in Seattle, in my backyard. Because I chatted with them about how hard it must be to be in a new City without your support network. I couldn't imagine having to do that and how much harder it would be. So thank you for not letting me have to do this alone. I shared my story with them as well and the wife commented how young I was. But cancer does not care how old you are, it is not discerning of sex, race or age. That is the ugly truth about cancer, it affects everyone. And for me it is always hardest to see the kids. I once saw an infant in infusion. Heartbreaking. I saw a video on facebook this morning about a young 6-year who has cancer and his friend and what a powerful friendship they had. They were goofy and so supportive of each other. The friend shaved his head so his friend didn't have to be the only kid without hair. The friend also started the sale of scarves to help raise money for his friend's medical bills. And their lively spirits were so touching and inspirational.
Last Thursday Alli and I went out to dinner and chatted for hours and caught up. When we asked for our bill we were told it was already taken care of. And we both looked at each other with surprise. It turns out the girl who had been sitting next to us and studying by herself told our waiter we seemed like sweet women and she wanted to pay for our bill. We were so touched by that. Neither of us have ever had that happen. Of course Alli and I joked we were going to take our show on the road and see what else people would buy for us. :) We aren't sure her reason, whatever it was we thank her and both of us plan to pay it forward. My first instinct was she heard us talking about cancer. And not that we talked about it a lot or is the focus of our time together, but it is something we unfortunately have in common and can talk about how it affects us, our relationships, our view on life. So I know there were comments sprinkled in our conversation referring to cancer. And maybe that wasn't it, but I am sure you have either gotten that reaction or maybe had that reaction when someone mentions something awful like cancer. I know the look, the tone of voice, when people find out.
I will let you all know how the port removal goes. I plan on feeling good enough Sunday to go cheer our Seahawks on to a win at the Superbowl!
Thanks for your love, support and prayers."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


my friend liz posted a blog post called "the heart.full collection" and i loved it for a couple of reasons.

as one who has previously in her life refered to valentine's day as "black xxxday" (substitute in whatever day of the week it fell on), i really identified with her words in the post.

especially these ones:

"And here's the thing about choosing to believe that "love always wins." It doesn't mean, "love always makes life easier" or "when someone loves you everything falls into place" or "you aren't winning if you aren't in love" or even "love will never hurt you." To me, it means a belief that keeping my heart open by choosing love (for those around me, for life, for the earth, for myself) will profoundly make the world a better place to live."

sometimes when liz writes (more often than not) i feel like her words are ones that i didn't know i was carrying until that moment i read them. yep, she is pretty awesome.

i also think it is so great that she is starting this new collection, and i love (big time) the hearts. i have many of her talismans, some i have bought for myself and others that have been given to me as gifts from family and friends. whenever barrett and i drive over to seattle for my scans, i carry them all in a special little box that i have. when we drive over two days later for the results, i carry them all in my hands for the entire drive and check-in process until the moment that my oncologist walks in the room. they bring me comfort and they give me strength.

everyone can use a little comfort and strength from time to time.

super excited for her and these new additions to her amazing shop.

so much good goes out into the world from her.

i think that most rainbows probably begin and end in very close proximity to her studio, which i am convinced is a little pot o' gold in tacoma making the world a much better place.

+++ elaine in cali -- super thankful that you decided to just start;) xo

Monday, January 26, 2015

feel it. love what you love.

i think that there were about a million emotions i felt when i read nici's words in this post.

i was all in just by reading the title alone.

this is one of the most beautifully written blog posts i have ever read.

her words had me mesmerized.

"feel it. love what you love. trust. be devoted. give in."

good reminders for what we should each do each and every day.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

blue spoon + turning the wrench

last week malena and i went to a yogurt place together for the first time. she has been there many times before with barrett, it is their go to place on dad/kiddo date nights. but one night last week when i picked her up, she asked if we could go in for some yogurt before getting the groceries for dinner. since there was no good reason why we shouldn't have dessert before dinner as a fun treat, we went for it.

when we walked in, i could tell the man behind the counter recognized her from the way that he smiled and said hello to her when we came through the door.

i could tell that she had her routine down. she got one of the small sample cups, and tried the strawberry yogurt. after eating that, she said she was ready - and when i asked if she knew what she wanted, she immediately said strawberry. i knew without her telling me that she always chooses strawberry, and the test cup isn't really needed, but it has just become part of her routine (you know, you need to make sure that it is a good batch of strawberry before you commit to the big bowl. smart girl.).

when we went up to the counter, the man rang up our total. he first tried to hand her a pink spoon, and she shook her head with a big smile on her face. he laughed and then handed her a blue spoon, and they both smiled. i could tell that he knows that she always wants the blue one, but he has fun offering her the other colors first.

she had three toppings on her yogurt, and saved the whoppers for the end (she must get that from you stevie;)). "i always save those for last momma because they are my most favorite." before that, i didn't even know that she knew what whoppers were.

it was such a fun experience getting to see this entire routine that i am not normally a part of, and made me really think about how cool it would be to see all of the other routines at school she has everyday. i bet each one is as interesting as the yogurt one was.

as we were eating our yogurt, i thought about this post (which i thought was so good) and the way that she talks about "turning the wrench" towards kindness. i thought about all of the ways that i can continue to do that with malena (and all of the ways that i can continue to do that myself) so she always keeps kindness a big part of her outlook.

as we finished our yogurt, i took out a dollar and told malena that it would be nice to tip the man for helping us and to tell him thank you again before we left.

so she did, and he had such a big smile on his face as he told her to have a good night. i don't think that the workers at the yogurt place get tipped or told thank you very often (maybe once, definitely not twice).

in that moment, i was thankful for a chance to see every aspect of that routine, and for her invitation to be a part of it.

i was also thankful to know that there is a kind man in this world that knows that my daughter likes a blue spoon. and that he always makes her smile when giving it to her.

so we will keep looking for ways to turn the wrench of kindness for others, and will continue to be so thankful for the ones that turn it towards us.

by the way, dessert before dinner is pretty awesome.

you should definitely try it sometime.

just make sure that you save the whoppers for the end.

Friday, January 23, 2015

pay it forward

last night beth and i had dinner together to catch up (she is doing great on her path to recovery after chemo - go beth!). we talked about relationships, lots of aspects of our ties to cancer and how it affects our lives, general catch-up about friends in common, etc. as we ate most of our dinner, a college student sat at the table next to us and was studying while she was eating dinner solo.

when beth and i asked for our tab, our server told us that our tab for the night had been taken care of. of course, we were completely surprised and looked around the restaurant as we thought that maybe someone we knew had come in and we had not seem them. nope. our server told us that the girl who was sitting next to us at dinner came up to him and said that she as was sitting next to us, she thought that we seemed like very sweet people and she wanted to pick up our entire tab. we were so surprised, and our server said that it looked like we had been given a chance to pay it forward. clearly he was right.

that was the first time that anyone has ever picked up my tab in that way, i have never even had the person in front of me buy my tea at starbucks (like many of those great pay it forward stories that you hear about). beth and i don't know if she heard the specifics on what we were sharing about our lives and cancer, or if she just in general wanted to pick up dinner for two friends. whatever the reason, it was so nice and touched us both immensely.

it was a great reminder that this world is full of good and kind people who do amazing things each and every day for no other reason than being kind. that one action made our day.

i look forward to paying it forward and doing the same for someone else.

have a good weekend peeps, may it include a lot of kindness. xo

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

stuart scott

"you beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live."
(stuart scott)
if you would have asked me before january who stuart scott was, i don't think that i would have known just by hearing his name. but if you would have showed me a picture of him i would have known immediately who he was. i would see him regularly on our tv talking about sports.
on a january morning, i saw a post that had the above quote and a message for stuart scott to rest in peace. obviously the quote struck a chord with me, and i wanted to know more about the man who had said it.
as soon as i typed in his name, i saw his picture and i immediately recognized him and was sad to realize that i would no longer see and hear him on a regular basis.
one of the other main things that immediately popped up along with the quote above were links to the speech he gave where he said those exact words. i typically would not listen to a speech that i knew was about cancer because it is just too hard. but on this morning i decided that i wanted to, i wanted to hear his story in his own words. i could also tell from his words that he was a fighter, and you know that i love fighters.
so i watched the video, i cried some tears, and said my thanks for all of the times that i got to see him on the tv and hear his voice. i also sent out love to his daughters and family, clearly they were his world. i can relate to that.
i think that he was right on -- you beat cancer each day by getting up, putting one foot in front of the other, and loving life and those that you are lucky to have as family and the friends that you choose to make your family.
listening to his speech will take 6 minutes and 56 seconds of your time. it will be time well spent. i think that it is one of the best (if not the best) speeches i have ever heard. it will give you a glimpse into the life of a cancer fighter and what makes them keep going. and if you are like me, you will need a kleenex.
you can watch his speech here.
you can remember his words always.
you know that i will.
the how, the why, and the manner are what keep me going every single day.
thank you stuart for sharing your words, may you rest well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

mid-january goals

so even with the very best of intentions, i didn't get my january goals down at the start of the month.

then i got sick.

and then hello mid-january.

so even though this is the 20th day of the month, i am busting out some goals for the rest of the month. just start, right? yep, probably good if i follow my own advice.

so i have a good mix of projects for the next 11 days.

exercise (low goal as my energy is still tanked). happy mail. eating at a place i haven't been to before. planning for some valentine's day happy mail. spending time documenting and working on pictures. trying a new smoothie recipe. reading. eating frozen yogurt. signing up for my next 5k.

looking forward to the next 11 days and getting these boxes checked (kirsten, you are right - there is power in checking off those boxes;) xo)

so look out end of january, me and my low energy level are coming for you and we are going make it happen.

+++ abby -- congrats my dear, you are the winner for the "just start" cards;) so some happy mail will be coming your way soon! xoxo

Monday, January 19, 2015

just start


just start.

i know, easier said than done.

but anything and everything needs a start. it is that simple. hopefully it is a good one.

as this new year starts and i think that about all that i want to accomplish, i keep reminding myself that i just need to start.

a little progress is better than no progress.

if i start, i will be farther ahead at the end of that day than if i didn't start at all. and that is all that matters.

making progress, even if it is slow and steady.

so if you are looking for a little reminder to just start, leave me a comment/send me an email/send me a text message/trip me when i walk past you/send up smoke signals/leave a note on my door (preferably with candy;)) and i will enter you into a little giveaway. i will make 5 cards using the "just start" stamp and will send them to the lucky person that the random generator wizard selects.

let me know if want to be in the giveaway in by 8pm on tuesday (1/20). who knows, i might just put a little chocolate or some other goodie in with the cards -- we are talking about happy mail after all:)

remember, just start.

i bet you will be so glad that you did.

i am.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

december goals

december goals.

good times. i did not get all of the goals done, which i was totally ok with, but ironically finished those ones too within the first two days of january.

in looking back on the list, here are a couple of thoughts on this list...
+++ eating candy while making gingerbread houses rocks
+++ zoo lights are always a good time, especially when taking my parents for their first time
+++ merry go 'rounds never get old (we went two times in a row)
+++ man, i love reading books and wish i could dive into them more often on a daily basis
+++ as in november, drinking three hard ciders was tough, but i dug deep again and made it happen. i am not a quitter. that is for sure.
+++ barrett and i signed up for a 5k polar plunge on 1/1/15 and that will be a blog post all by itself - one word summary: brrrrrrrr.
+++ ironic when i set the goal to "choose my word for 2015" that my word would be "choose"
+++ the movie "annie" was so good, and yes, i might have been more excited to see it than malena and i am ok with that. and yes, i might have sang along to almost every song and i am ok with that. and yes, i might have had "tomorrow" and "hard knock life" stuck in my head for weeks and i am ok with that. and yes, i was in good company on all of those points (thank you michelle, i knew you were my best movie date all these years for a reason;)
+++ december was full of a lot of hugs, and i loved each and every one of them.

so take that december goal list, i pretty much knocked you out of the park. thanks for the good times, you were great and i couldn't have ended the year on a better note.

and by the way december, i think that i loved that nap on january 1st after the polar plunge much more than i would have loved it in your month anyways. no offense.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


so all has been quiet in this space since last week because i came down with a virus that kicked me in the you-know-what for five loooooooooong straight days.


i will spare you the details (you are welcome) but let me just say that i was a little ball of misery that could not move unless i had to and i got to take not one -- but yes two - trips to the emergency room. hence the super awesome picture above.

yep, good times.

today was my first day finding my way back to normalcy, and it is such a better place to be -- even if i am only barely crossing over the boundary into it.

but here is what i will be damn happy to put behind me (hopefully i didn't just jinx myself into round two with the mother of all viruses)...

feeling so sick that you start to lose hope that a moment will come when you will actually start to feel like a human being again.

laying on the couch for five days and being reminded that the last time you did that you were recovering from the surgery on your lung. that is not a comforting thought and your mind starts to play all kinds of pretty mean mental tricks on you about what really might be wrong with you.

you love making the most of each day and filling it with life, and when you can't move and are basically exiled to a couch, you feel like wasted days are passing by when you can't even move enough to send an i love you text, get a hug and kiss from your kid, shoot an email off to say i am thinking of you, call a friend, send some happy mail, etc. i do not like feeling like i have wasted days -- in fact, i hate that feeling quite a bit. it is hard for me to waste a day which is why i tend to be in constant motion most of the time. but it is also because idle time makes dark thoughts creep in and i can keep them at bay a hell of lot easier if i have other things on my mind. down time is typically not my friend.

you trying your very best to not make painful faces that your daughter can see as she sits by you in the room you are in the ER while the nurses have a hell of a time getting your IVs in your arm. and they try, and they try, and they try - and it hurts like absolute hell as they keep moving the needle around in your arm. but you don't show that on your face because you don't want the entire experience to be any more scary for her than it already has to be as her mom has three people around her and tubes and needles all over the place.

you won't miss answering questions like "yes, stage iv melanoma" and "yes, to remove a cancer tumor" and "yes, on my collarbone" and "yes, my last scans were clean" while she sits next to you. because although they are simply words, they are the hardest words to say and they feel like they weigh about 1000 pounds each as they come tumbling out of your mouth.

so as i start to return to the land of the living, i am pretty happy to say goodbye to virus land.

not a lot of good comes from that place (with maybe the exception of an unexpected visit from my parents to help us out, my mom making me toast and my favorite fruit salad and helping with laundry, and my dad being the best errand runner of all time. thanks parental team, you rock).

i am looking forward to getting back to this place, i missed it.

happy wednesday peeps, we are at the halfway point - and i for one am pretty happy to be moving forward.

+++ judy is starting her radiation this week and so please send tons of love, mojo, prayers and good thoughts to her and her entire family as she starts this 6 week process and works through the info her doctors provided on the long term effects. we love you judy -- xoxo

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

goals + some updates

you know that i am a sucker for a good goal.

in 2015, i have two main goals.

one is to be active each day.

one is to spend time documenting our lives each day.

the active one may be walking, running, lifting weights, jumping, etc. whatever it is, it counts.

the documenting one may be sorting through pictures, downloading pictures, capturing a moment on instagram, picking up pictures, getting pictures into albums, writing in a book for malena, whatever form it takes, i just want to make sure that i am always thinking about documenting in one way or another.

will i be active every day? definitely not.

will i document some aspect of our lives every day? definitely not.

but i can tell you this, there will be more days that i do both than there will be days that i don't.

and that is what matters to me.

more days that i do, than i don't.

i will track my days of progress on the goal tracker show in my instagram pic above. i linked to them before, but if you are interested, you can download one for $4 at elise's site. you know that i am all about crossing the days off the calendar -- love it!

i am a sucker for reading about goals, like this one and this one, but i also loved this meet me at the bleachers, you new year go getters, you post. a different perspective on the new year and i loved every word of it.

if you have goals, or if you don't, i hope that the new year is starting just as you hoped it would.

+++ i also wanted to give some updates ---
-- judy was in the hospital over christmas due to an infection, but she is home now and the infection is healing. she plans to hear on friday when her six weeks of radiation will begin, and she is ready to get started fighting. go judy go!
-- thursday will mark the one year anniversary of beth's diagnosis. so please send her lots of prayers and love this week (as usual) as she comes up on that milestone. here is her latest update:
"Purpose. That is my word of 2015. I want to live my life with purpose, purposeful in how I spend my time, in my relationships, in my work.
When I got diagnosed with cancer, I viewed and faced mortality in a new way. A much more real way. I had dinner with some friends over Christmas, and their young daughter came up to me and said "You are the friend with cancer?" And I answered "Yes, I am." And she said "You are alive." And I responded "Yes, I am." I am alive, and I've been given a chance to keep living.
I view 2015 as starting a new chapter in my life. I have no idea what it will bring, but I open to the future that is unrealized. I do have some things planned for this year. Quite a bit of traveling the first 6 months. Maybe the second 6 months as well. I was supposed to volunteer for the Humane Society last year, so I want to go back and do that this year. I also plan on serving breakfast at the SCCA House, it's where either patients from out of town stay or his/her family while a relative is being treated at SCCA. And who knows what else, maybe taking an art class, work my way back to taking my Barre class. In 2014 my whole life centered around cancer and I am hoping in 2015 that lessens. I still think about it a lot, my heart skips a beat when I hear someone mention the word cancer (which seems like all the time!!), I tear up when I hear of someone dying of cancer. I hope that will not always be my life.
My appointments went well last week. I met with my radiation oncologist on Monday. My labs looked good. The tumor marker test isn't back yet, it takes a few days. But I guess my tumor marker was never elevated even before so I asked him how will he know if something is going awry in my body if that doesn't show anything and they only do scans once a year. I guess there are other markers that will show abnormalities, for instance how my liver is functioning. Because rectal cancer is likely to travel to the liver if it travels. He said with how my body responded to radiation it is unlikely it would come back at the same location. And I remember the statistics my oncologist told me too, it was more likely to show up somewhere else. My blood count and weight are up, he thought everything was looking good. He kept commenting that I looked good. I responded by reminding him the last time he saw me I was in the hospital before my surprise surgery.:) And I was not in a good place. I had been in the hospital for a few days and was so sick after radiation. That was the one time this year that I thought I couldn't do this. Yesterday when I was out I got another compliment on my hair. A woman was thinking of getting a cut like mine. I think I get more compliments on my fake hair than I ever did on my real hair! But I know I don't look like I just finished chemo and am thankful for that.
And the genetics test came back negative. Thank goodness. Not that I was too worried. But they tested for the 14 most common genetic causes of colorectal cancer that they know to date so it's nice to know I or my family is not pre-disposed to get cancer. So unless me or someone in my family gets cancer there isn't much more reason to do anymore genetic testing.
So now I move on to my port getting flushed and some labs this week and then getting the port out. Hopefully by the end of the month, it's starting to bug me and my skin is irritated. Then I will have labs and meet with my oncologist in March, then on to scans and colonoscopy in June.
I had a very nice new years. Spent it at a party with dear friends, the perfect place to be to ring in the new year. And I had a good weekend catching up with friends, seeing a few movies, starting to shop for a new couch, and getting ready for this new year. I started my new year by taking a nice walk in the cool Seattle sunshine. It was a gorgeous morning new years day.
This Thursday marks the Cancerversary. I am still figuring out how I want to spend that evening. I don't believe the way my diagnosis happened was a series of coincidences or chance. And I think about that. The conversations I had leading me to go to the doctor, me mentioning the discomfort to my doctor as a side thought because I didn't have a lot of pain, my doctor recommending me to the surgeon and the surgeon telling me before even taking the biopsy that I had cancer, and then way the tumor grew so that I knew something was off to begin with. So I don't believe the way that this played out can just be chance or luck. And how fortunate I was it hadn't spread. Then came that feeling, the world stopping and this fear and anxiety building and pressing down on my chest in a way I have never felt before. But I never thought I was going to die, I never thought this was the way I was supposed to go down, even though I was so scared.
Now I move on to this new chapter. I wish to you all a happy and healthy 2015. Thanks for your love, support and prayers."

--- i also wanted to share the latest on chaser, his surgery will now be february so as always keep sending the love and prayers to their family.
"The house is finally Flu-free! Ava is back dancing, Tanner is back at hockey, Lisa is putting make-up on again, and Chaser is doing great! Looks like my Sioux blood fought it off before it had a chance to get me- as I am the only one in the house that it didn't run its coarse with. Chaser kicked in the New Year today, starting with PT and Speech therapy early this morning. He was given the choice of a nuk brush or one of the vibrating toys we often use to get his attention. It was no surprise that both times asked he looked right at the a yogurt dipped nuk brush(spoon), as he doesn't not like the vibrating jiggler at all. Lisa and Jen (his therapist) said there was no doubt he knew where he was looking. As he tasted the spoon, he did plenty of good swallows and alot of good tongue movements, which we havent seen many of previously. In PT, he sat criss-cross and held his head, neck and back up really good. When his head would drop, with mom cheering him on, he was able to pick it back up and hold it there several times. He rolled over, once from side to back, and once from back to side- although it took awhile, he was able to do it with minimum help. And to show he was really in it, he did some suttle kicking movements while he was trying to roll. Our little dude is definately trying as hard as we are to get back!
He had a great day in school today as well. With his new nurse Deanna by his side, he played some interactive games on the smart board. Being star of the week for the class this week, she and Chaser presented the poster about him that we made as a family last night. The kids were very attentive and curious about it and him today. Lets hope today is the start of very progressive 2015. Unfortunately because of his flu, Botox and surgery have been reschedualed until Feb 4th. Although its a bummer we have to wait, we need to make sure he is healthy so he can recover from that as quick as he has everything else. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers..

God is Good!

PS. There has been another tragic near drowning on the Royal Carribbean cruise ship. Ascanio- a 4yr old boy, was pulled from a wave pool after being under water for nearly six minutes....please send some up to the Big Guy for the family, as they are just starting the journey that we have been living."

Monday, January 5, 2015



that is my word for 2015.

this one came to me a few weeks ago, and when it stuck around in my head for a bit, i knew it was the one. i will carry the words from the previous years, like brave and believe, with me into 2015 as well. i still need those words too. i think that i always will.

we are only 5 days in, and i love it already.

i think that the list is probably unlimited, and there are reasons i don't even know of yet that this word will feel right throughout this year.

but here are some of the reasons i am excited about choose.

i choose to take more time to document our lives through words and pictures.

i choose to focus on slowing down, and saying no to more things so that i can say yes to the things that i really want to focus on.

i choose to send happy mail out into the world each and every week.

i choose to be active and continue to run and exercise multiple times each week.

i choose to do more 5k runs with a goal of improving my running time in each event.

i choose to have friends over for dinner more often, even if my house is in a little bit of chaos on the days they come over. it is the food and conversation we will all remember, not the toys across the living room floor.

i choose to use the time driving home from work to call friends and family rather than think through all of the things that i need to do when i get home or at work the next day. the lists in my head will always be there, so there is always time for a call.

i choose to carve out time to read the books and magazines that i love.

i choose to spend more time in our craft room with malena working on whatever our hearts desire. i want her to have vivid memories of us having time together creating in that special room.

i choose to drink more water and more smoothies.

i choose to cook new recipes.

i choose to go on a (or multiple) rock climbing date with my husband.

i choose to think more about how i spend my money.

i choose to make more gifts.

i choose to play more games, so far this year, i think i have already completed about 100 games of uno. our girl has a new love and it is called making her mom and dad draw two cards, the girl should go to vegas.

i choose to be a tourist in our state and check out some new places that we haven't been to before. more day trips. more weekend trips.

i choose to tackle (am signing barrett up for this one too) projects around the house.

i choose to get us outside for more adventures, we have a day hiking book focused on activities with kids that i plan to break in this spring.

i choose to get more sleep (big brother this one is for you).

i choose to bake more goodies.

i choose.

the possibilities are endless.

+++ i loved reading about why some others chose their words for this year, ali, elise, natalie,
+++ i really liked listening to the podcast where elise and ali talked about choosing their words and living them throughout the year - you can hear the podcast here, it is episode 38
+++ i am going to take ali's one little word class, i took it once before. this year i have decided that even if i don't do all (or any) of the monthly exercises, it will help me to connect with my word throughout the year and do a gut check on whether or not i am following the intent i am starting out with.
+++ although i already had my word, i thought that liz's post was a great one about the things to consider as you choose your word