Friday, February 27, 2015

good vibes

as we head into this weekend, there are definitely a lot of good vibes needed and i know that you all are the right ones to ask.

in an amazing turn of events, the young mom that i wrote about earlier this week - shannon - has improved and is being sent back home from hospice care. she is doing well enough that her docs are going to let her try another melanoma treatment while she is home bound. so incredible. so please send her and her family a ton of good vibes and prayers that she continues to hold her own and that she gets more time to be with her young daughter and family.

my friend mary who i have wrote about many times on this blog (and who many of you have sent happy mail to) found out yesterday that a nodule on her leg is melanoma. in the kind of messed up craziness that is melanoma, she had a dermatology appointment on the 9th which was all clear, and then she felt the lump on saturday and got in right away to have a biopsy done. she is waiting to hear when the scans will be to confirm if it is only in her ankle (i totally know that will be the case). please send her good vibes and prayers that she continues to kick the black beast where it hurts. i know that you have got this mary, you have kicked it in the you-know-what many times before, this time will be no different.

my cousin karen has an appointment this morning to determine the extent of cancer that she was recently diagnosed with. she is simultaneously recovering from the biopsy procedure which (as they always are) was not a fun process and the same is true for the recovery. please send her good vibes and prayers that the biopsies are clear. you have got this karen, one step in front of the other, we love you.

please also continue to send good vibes and prayers to judy who is finishing her six weeks of radiation treatments. may the treatments do what they are intended to do, and may her recovery from the treatments go as well as possible.

so as this week heads into the weekend, there are definitely a lot of vibes, mojo, and prayers needed. you guys make magic happen all the time, i know that this time will be the same.

i hope that you have a good weekend.

may it include the making of some new good memories that you can hold on tight to.

always, always hold on tight.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

cancer you can suck it

every year in june i join with family and friends to do the "shore walk" to raise funds for cancer research at fred hutchinson cancer center.

this year my friend beth and i are going to co-captain the team -- and of course, we had to come up with a good name.

so our team name is "cancer you can suck it".

awesome name, right? right. we decided that name over ciders the night that the generous stranger picked up our dinner tab.

the event has options for runners and walkers - beth and i are going to walk the 5k. i am so glad that beth can do the walk again this year as last year she was not able to because she was busy kicking cancer's ass.

so if you would like to join us for this event, sign up. if you would like to donate to our team, you can do that as well.

information to register is available on the website: - make sure that you sign up as part of the team.

information to donate is on our team fundraising page:

i think about that post last night and how tired i am of so many things related to cancer.

but even when i am tired - and angry - i don't quit. i never quit.

neither does beth.

so we will walk this year, raise funds for research that will help cancer patients, and be thankful that we are both here to do it again this year.

i will never get tired of walking until there is a cure.

thanks for your help in getting us one step closer to that goal that i believe will someday be reached.

i hope with everything i have that i am here to see it.

i hope that you are too.

Monday, February 23, 2015


i got an email today informing me that a young mom whose fight with melanoma i have followed is now having hospice care.

it makes me so angry.

it is just not fair.

i am so sick and tired of cancer.

i am tired of anyone having to fight cancer.

i am tired of all of the pain and heartache it brings.

i am tired of how much it messes up lives.

i am tired of the tears, the heartache.

i am tired of being brave.

i am tired of always having cancer swirling around and trying its best to invade memories.

i am tired of having to tell strangers our story, like we had to do today when we submitted paperwork for a school district transfer.

i am tired of having a story. well, we all have stories, i am just tired of the part of mine that includes cancer.

i am tired of looking at my scars.

i am tired of time moving so fast.

i am tired of trying to hold on to it so tightly.

i am tired of being so damn scared.

i am tired of thinking about going to the melanoma symposium again this year and hearing the inevitable statistics that are always part of the day.

i am tired of having to always buy insurance anytime i want to fly or do something that occurs after my next round of scans. because i might need a surgery, or more scans, or treatment. so i can't just book things anymore without thinking through all of the risks. i can't even sign up for a half-marathon without hedging my bets.

i am tired of the looks that i sometimes get from someone that hasn't seen me in a while, and when they ask how i am, i can immediately tell through their eyes and their body language that they are thinking (in a super nice way) about the cancer.

i am tired of always having to wonder what the future will bring our way.

i am tired of not being able to take my health for granted.

i am tired, and i am angry.

i hate cancer.

i do everyday, but there are days that i hate it with every single cell that i have.

today is one of those days.

so i am going to channel those feelings into good vibes and prayers and send them out into the winds.

to her and her family.

bless them all.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


being the mystery reader in malena's class on friday afternoon. camp out night. a good run on a gorgeous saturday morning. lunch with my parental team. seeing an amazing movie. making plans and talking for hours with my husband. time by the water. a great dinner, and some glasses of equally great wine. reading my book. sleeping in. eating one of my favorite breakfasts. making wishes on a skipping stone. green tea. dark chocolate. hiking surrounded by huge trees, green ferns, and running creeks. seeing some friends on a random sunday afternoon. watching the oscars (while eating popcorn and drinking a cider -- another february goal done - bam!), and crying more than once at the songs and the speeches. a weekend full of memories and good things. a heart thankful for every single minute of it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

two years

february 20th.

two years.

i went back to my post on this date from last year and everything feels the same.

just substitute the numbers, and the rest is a replay.

except for a key part.

one more year. another 365 days out from that fateful day.

further away. i love that part.

my friend ann is still my favorite part of this day (happy bday ann!!!!).

happy 2/20 all -- do something really good with it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


8 years ago today.

i wore the white dress, he wore the tux.

we said all of the vows, including the one about in sickness and in health.

if i think about what the woman in this picture would have thought that her life would look like in 8 years, i think that she would immediately have said a few things.

2 kids.

happy, healthy.

good jobs.

not driving a mini-van (that was a rule when we got married;))

still loving all gummy candies.

i don't think that she would have ever guessed what it would actually look like.

she would not have guessed that she would have one child. she certainly wouldn't have guessed that her daughter would have had two surgeries at children's hospital by the time that she was a year and a half old.

she would not have guessed that the mole that was barely a spot on her collarbone in this picture would grow without her even realizing it. that by the time that she did realize it after she came out of the fog of her daughter's two surgeries, she would get the news that she never expected.

she would not have guessed that she would be 39 and living with a stage iv diagnosis, but she would totally not be surprised to know that she made it her mission to kick cancer's ass. even then, that girl knew that she loved a good goal.

she would not have guessed that she would no longer have her long blonde curls, and she definitely would not have guessed that she had a pixie cut that was black with red highlights.

she would not have guessed that when people would ask her (like they did yesterday at a birthday party) "oh, do you have only have your daughter?" that she would want to scream "yes, i have a daughter -- and i don't consider her to be my "only", i consider her to be my "everything" and i am thankful that i had her when i was healthy thankyouverymuch" (end scream).

she would not have guessed that she would be pretty damn excited to turn 40, because that means she has been kicking cancer's ass for 5 years and one day and she made it to a milestone that seemed unreachable the day the diagnosis came.

she would not have guessed that she would have run a 5k, a 10k, and be training for a half-marathon. she would be speechless hearing this one, because that girl 8 years ago was not a runner. period. she did not do it, but was sure she would hate it.

she would have not have guessed that she would take trapeze lessons and feel her heart jump out of her chest as she jumped off of the super high platform. but she also would not have guessed that she would go skydiving, ride in a hot air balloon, get a tattoo, or many of the others things that have happened along the way.

she would not have guessed that it was not a given that she would get to live a long life.
but i think that she would have then realized that it is really never a given for anyone, she just didn't really appreciate that fact at the time.

but she would have known that whatever came, she would put up a hell of a fight and she would always be loved.

and maybe that is all that girl 8 years ago really ever needed to know.

Monday, February 16, 2015

burnt and broken


every sunday ali edwards posts a quote on her blog. it is part of the way that she is honoring her word "give" in 2015.

this quote that she posted yesterday has been one of my very favorites since the first time that i read it.

i think that it is so true.

i know that for me, especially in the times when i am feeling burnt and broken, sending love out into the world makes things a little bit easier. it makes me feel a little more human, and a little less like some potential statistic that is trying her very best to beat time.

if you need a little inspiration every sunday, check out ali's blog. she also has a great list to remind you of ways that you can give, and you can download that list at

feel your life while you are in it.

i do my best to make that happen each and every day.

i hope that you do too.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015


february 11th.

my dad's birthday.

today marks his 70th year. awesome.

so on this day i am sending tons of birthday wishes and love to him.

i could not have asked for a better dad.

he has been there to cheer me on in all of the good times.

he has been there to support me through all of the bad times.

he has been there. always.

for that, i count my lucky stars as i know that to have had him beside me through all of my 39 years is a tremendous blessing.

i am thankful each and every day.

happy birthday dad, we love you to the moon and back (and then some).

Monday, February 9, 2015


when we were eating dinner tonight malena told us that a boy in her class asked her to marry him and be his girlfriend (and told her that he had a crush on her). he might have wanted to start with just one question, but hey, i do appreciate someone who lays out their goals and works hard to make them happen.

that said, malena told us that she told him that she would think about it. i like a girl who takes her time making big life decisions.

when i asked her why she said that she would need to think about it, she said that he gets zapped a lot in class and so she isn't sure if she wants to say yes to being his girlfriend.

you get zapped (basically get your star for the day taken away) when you aren't paying attention, talking when the teacher is talking, etc.

this is where if you could see me now, you would see me doing high fives in the air (yep, i don't need anyone to actually high five with) and taking a bow.

mom - 1 (dad may think he has something to do with this, but i think that we all know who gets this point),  six year old boys of the universe - 0.

she is 6 and thinking twice about boys who get zapped.

i can call it a day folks, my work is done here.

and to all those little 6 year old boys, let's chat in 20 years when you stop getting zapped.

and to my little girl, our chat today was one of my most favorite ones yet.

thank you for the awesome memory, and for being smart enough to take your time to think twice about boys that get zapped.

i appreciate you not rushing to the aisle, i am not quite ready to pick out that wedding dress with you.

but i dream about it all the time.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


well peeps, the weekend doesn't always turn out like we hope it will (although i did end up having three ciders by the time all was said and done so there is that;)).

friday night we had a plumbing issue that started with no warning, and quickly became a big problem. we now have a hole in our yard, a big check cut to the plumber, and more work to do to keep the repairs moving. total headache.

so due to that fun, we quickly shifted gears and only the girls in our clan headed to the coast to wish my dad a happy 70th. it was very fun to get to celebrate with him and have some down time with my family. loved getting to see him blow out the candles and make his wish for the year to come, and watch him have a great time celebrating his big milestone.

so this weekend was one full of balance -- the shit and the joy. i am sure that you all can guess which side of the scale goes with which event in our lives over the last 48 hours.

but problems with pipes are just that, they are problems with pipes. they are inconvient, stressful, and super frustrating. but that is all they are.

they are nothing compared to the radiation that judy is going through (she is half way through - go judy go!!! keeping sending her your prayers and love) or the surgeries, treatments, and procedures that others we know and love are going through. like the daily fight that chase and his family show each day, and i have included the latest update on him below, and their link if you would like to donate to their polar plunge team for the special olympics.


it is that little voice that tells me at the end of a week where it seemed like most everything went wrong (except celebrating my awesome dad turning 70 which was the total highlight), that the most important thing went right.

i was here to experience it all.

that makes it seem like it a pretty perfect balance if you ask me.

+++ "Chaser did so good kicking the ball the other day, we figured we would bring it to the next level. We played a little pick-up game of soccer in the living room today with Ava, Chloe and Courtney. While Chaser was held up in the UpSee attached to Lisa, not only did he get to be up completely vertical, walk around the house for 30 mins, but he got to kick the ball back and forth with the gals. Man is that thing Awesome! He made it the entire 45 mins with hardly a moan, and most of the time his eyes were moving slowly from side to side as if he was checking things out. Although that evasive smile didn't come out yet, it seemed like he really enjoyed it- I know we all did! -Especially Chloe, who got to stand face to face with her good buddy and look him right in the eyes. While Lisa walked him around the figure 8 in our living room / kitchen, I had to sit down to absorb what my eyes where seeing. The countless dreams of him walking that have startled me awake in the middle of the night were real - right in front of me....Wow! I know Lisa was doing all the work, but just to see it again...for him to feel that again....was a pretty cool deal. It just gives us more strength and more drive to keep pushing him to that finish line when he will be doing on his own! We KNOW we got this!
We are less than 2 weeks away from the Polar Plunge here at Prior Lake. I want to send out a Thank you to all of you that have pledged to support us for the jump, and thank you all that joined the team to take the jump with Lisa, Tanner, Ava and I. For those of you that know us well, you probably are sick of hearing about the Polar Plunge coming up
Feb 21st. I think it is important that you understand why we are so passionate about it. Well, I'll tell you this: Its not the idea of standing in line in an outfit that would make us shiver on most summer nights, little alone in the near or below freezing weather- Nor is it jumping into a hole cut through the ice into the 34 degree lake water, climbing up some metal stairs and dashing to the heated tent while trying to catch our breath. Its what this simple, ingenious, Minnesotan event stands for!
Prior to Chases accident, Lisa and I used sit and talk about how great we have it, and how much we loved our life. I'll be honest, it took some time, but we can honestly say that again. Although we would give anything to turn back the clock and prevent what happened by any means humanly possible- We can't, and we get that. But we have been truly blessed throughout this journey. The things we have learned about ourselves and life, we would never give back. But equally, if not more important, is what we have learned about people. We have had more encouragement and support than we could have ever imagined. Many of you that are reading this now have been with us since the beginning. There is nothing that my fingers could type that would express how much you have helped us get through this. I know its not my bad spelling and grammar that keeps you here! The prayers, kind words, and the thought that many of you genuinely care about Chase and our family, has comforted us and helped us press on countless times. Having said that, there are thousands of stories like ours out there that never get heard. People living this same life without an army behind them like we have. Thousands of children that were either born "different", or born with challenges that would make some of the toughest adults give up. Yet they push through just as Chase has and is, to fight their way to their own set of goals and finish lines. For some of them, the Special Olympics is one of those mountains they want to climb. And we know, as do a lot of you, how hard they and their entire family had to work to get there. If us taking 2hrs out of a
Saturday afternoon to jump into some cold water, and me humbling myself to ask friends to give up some pocket change, helps them put a smile on their face and make them feel special- We're In! And we are going to have a smile plastered on our face the entire time we do it!
---That is why our family and friends are doing the Polar Plunge. Please help us show these families and little ones that they do matter, and that people do care. No donation is too big or too small. Here is a link to our teams page- to donate, you just click on a name and follow the instructions. We all appreciate your support- as do They!

God is Good!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


oh friday.

you took your own sweet time to get here.

you really dragged this one out. getting yelled at by someone super unhappy about one of my projects (and it happening by about 9am which makes me want to automatically take the rest of the day off. why did i not do that??). strep throat notification from malena's kindergarten classroom. perfect. lice notification from malena's kindergarten classroom. my worst nightmare (please, please, please lice fates, i am begging you to spare us on this one - pretty sure that we can all agree i have enough on my plate without adding lice to it. please and thank you. did i mention that i am begging?). oh, and you know that those two notices came within a 24 hour period because we can't have less than 5 things circulating in the class at any given time. crazy traffic everywhere i went, making me late everywhere i went. love staring at brake lights as seconds of my life tick by (in opposite land). stepping out of my car into a massive puddle (with flats on so my feet and shoes were immediately soaked. no problem, i wanted to walk around in wet shoes all evening so it couldn't have worked out better). the straw from my berry smoothie falling out of my glass and onto my gray pants, as i am driving to work (yep, just like being yelled at, awesome way to start the day. i was on my way to work, isn't that punishment enough? apparently not).

so all in all friday, i am happy to see you. i am sure that you will bring some drama my way, but you will also bring down time (after i get the hell out of the office), campouts, time with my family, and other good things (aka anything that doesn't include lice).

happy weekend peeps - i hope that it is a good one for you, and i will raise a cider (or two...ok, let's be honest, i deserve three after this week) to you.

make it a good one. xo

sidenote: one of the best runs of a 13 minute stretch of time this week was watching this jimmy fallon lip sync battle with will farrell and kevin hart. so, so good. (mary - i totally get why jimmy is your favorite tv boyfriend;) xoxo)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

hello february

bringing in february with some big goals.

exercise - that is a given.

see a movie with barrett, it has been forever since we have done that - and i have some oscar nominees that i really want to see (do i have to let him have a say in what we see? i think that we all know the answer to that).

getting disneyland pics into the album, which will make me want to fly right back down to the magic kingdom and do it all over again.

happy mail - another given.

signing up for a half marathon - yep, planning to go for it -- 13 miles in june. more on that to come.

getting a house to do crossed off the list - carpet cleaning appointment, because let's be honest, life can't be ciders and movies all the time. or can it? hmmm...maybe i need to rethink that theory.

bring more juicing back into the routine to add to the morning smoothie routine.

finish reading "unbroken" - can't wait to see how it turns out.

i am a huge fan of the oscars - and the speeches, those are my favorite. so i figured why not make it a really good goal and drink a cider and eat popcorn while i am doing it. you know, good old fashioned multi-tasking. i am all over it. and, i will probably do it while wearing my favorite fleece pants and sweatshirt. it will be a home run of goals my friends, because that is how i roll and i go big.

my dad turns 70 this month, so snapping a pic with him to celebrate is my favorite goal of the month. hands down. love that guy.

i am planning on some qt on my dream couch with green tea and a magazine. this will be a tough one folks, but if i dig in and really focus, i think that i can get it done.

i have some great artwork that malena has done that i want to get into a binder so that we can look at it, instead of having it in an envelope that never allows it to be looked at. really excited for this one.

last but not least, eat a gluten free girl scout cookie. they are new, so of course i need to do some quality control right? someone has to do it, so i will take one for the gluten free team. or maybe i will take a whole box if all goes well.

so february, i am coming for you my friend. we have a lot to get done.

in the words of my friend kerry...let's do this.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

world cancer day

february 4th. world cancer day.

a day when the cancer gets a little more attention than usual, and is hopefully brought to the forefront in ways that make a difference in the lives of those fighting cancer, those that have loved ones that have fought, and those that have finished their fights.

as this day rolls around this year, it finds me in my typical three month from/to scan time. when i start to get very anxious that three months have already gone by, and i know that the next three months will go by even faster. the months leading into scans always do. time goes so damn fast when you want to really live and take in each and every moment.

the typical signs of the three month mark have started. feeling worn down. short temper. very anxious. can't sit still. low patience. all kinds of fun things. but i just need to get over this hump and i will get my head back in the game. these times are always tough, and they always get better. i will roll through this period just like i always do. even fighters need down days, i think that the down days are sometimes the exact thing you need to catch your breath and pick yourself back up a little stronger than the day before.

stand up to cancer is having a #kisscancergoodbye campaign and you know that i am all over that. i would love nothing more than to kiss it goodbye, not just for myself but for everyone.

so on this world cancer day, please send some love out into the world.

until there is a cure for all cancers, the world will continue to need a whole lot of love.

we all need that, right?

Monday, February 2, 2015

goodbye january

not too shabby for busting out 7 good goals in the last two weeks of the month.

it felt good to get back in the exercise groove after being down for the count with the virus and out of commission for two weeks.

sending happy mail is always awesome and was definitely one of my favorite boxes to check.

friday night i took a ferry over to bainbridge island with some girlfriends for drinks and dinner - had a great time checking out a very cool ale house (and so of course i had to have some ciders) and a great diner (that had really good gluten free pasta - yum!). so i pretty much hit that one out of the ballpark.

i am all over valentine's day planning and have some fun ideas for that little holiday that is rolling through in two weeks. how is that possible?

new favorite smoothie every morning - honeycrisp apple, kale, cucumber, frozen berries. malena even loves it so you know it is a winner.

i am currently reading unbroken and really liking it - i have only heard raves about this one so i am excited to keep moving through it.

m & b and i headed to frozen yogurt last week and saw our favorite worker, and surprise surprise, malena picked out strawberry yogurt and ate it with a blue spoon;)

so there are a couple of goals that will make their way into february, and that is totally fine with me. i will keep them in mind as i work through the others on the list. more on those soon.

hello tuesday, let's make it a good one.