Tuesday, April 28, 2015


i am love with this quote -- big time. it is so good. another awesome handscripted quote from ali edwards shared on her give sunday blog series.

cheryl strayed nailed it with this one. it is so true.

since i have my copy of  her book wild and it is ready to go to the next person who would like to read it, i am going to send it on its way out into the world. good words are meant to be shared.

if you would like the copy of "wild", let me know by 8pm tomorrow. i will use the random-number-generator-thingie-majingie to choose the lucky reader.

happy hump day peeps, we are half way there.

i think that i can almost see friday.

from the small glimpse i have, it is looking pretty good.

Monday, April 27, 2015


oh monday,

sometimes you really get off to a crappy start.

i had to go in at the crack o' dawn today (if we had roosters in our yard they would have been making noise) and it was raining. ugh. i was in a foul mood already by 6am and not looking forward to a long day at work.

around mid-day, i walked to a meeting to find that the people had cancelled the meeting and not got the update to me. super frustrating as i do not appreciate having time wasted, especially when i have no less than one zillion (yes, one zillion) things to be doing at the office.

so when i left there i was in a super foul mood.

about one minute later, a man tripped me as he cut right in front of me on the sidewalk --- and then --- wait for it, wait for it --- rolled his luggage across my toes. yep, that was about the point in which i decided that i might just have a little meltdown on the sidewalk. i pretty much wanted to call it quits on the day (or at a minimum punch that guy's luggage bag).

but by this time the sun had come out, so i grabbed a green tea, and sat down on a bench for a couple of minutes. i thought about this podcast that i listened to last week and the guest's focus on "today is not over yet". i decided to have a little attitude adjustment and reminded myself that the day was still early and a lot of good could come from it. so i tried to leave my crappy attitude on the curb. i headed back into the office to try and take one or two things off of the one zillion on my to do list before my next meeting (while hoping that at the next meeting the people actually showed up for it).
fast forward to after work, and i had some happy mail waiting for me in my mailbox (thank you kirsten - xo) and some chocolate covered strawberries waiting for me on the front porch (thank you mary - xo). you guys know how i feel about happy mail:) malena and i packed up food for a picnic at the park and then kicked it in our craft room while waiting for the third hanson to make his way home.
we headed out to the park to eat our picnic by the water and see what the ducks were up to. it was a gorgeous night and it felt so good to be outside in the fresh air.
after a ton of trips down the slide and across the monkey bars, we headed home and i had just enough time to squeeze a training run in before the sun finally went down.

the day was definitely redeemed.

the attitude adjustment was completed.

sometimes mondays can start out a little rough, but they also have a lot of potential to turn out to be a damn good day.

this one definitely did.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

around here

around here we had a good weekend, full of great things just as i like weekends to be.

around here i got to have a lunch date and dinner date with two of my friends. i love being able to catch up and talk one on one to download on the latest and greatest (and even the not so great stuff sometimes too).

around here we had campout nights. i woke up this morning and thought that it will be so strange when she no longer likes to have campout nights and we sleep in our own beds on friday and saturdays. i hope that time doesn't come for a long time, i will miss these days.

around here i got nine more miles in of training for the half-marathon.

around here barrett and i got three hours for a date night to catch up on one of your favorite shows (if any of you aren't watching "blacklist", you should be) we haven't got to watch in a while, and maybe drink a cider too;)

around here i got some qt in my craft room and it was awesome. that room is just magical for me and makes all of the stresses melt away while i am working with paper, stamps, and pens.

around here i finished reading the fringe hours (which will be a post on all its own - hint, i really liked it) and am super excited to start me before you which i have heard really, really good things about (and that i will need a box of kleenex).

around here we are eating strawberries and angel food cake on a regular basis and loving it.

around here i am thinking that the show "lip sync battle" is pretty awesome. i have to admit, i kind of love watching super funny lip sync battles done by celebrities. ok, now my secret is out.

around here i am working on matching up pen pals for the happy mail exchange. for those of you who signed up, you will get your pen pal's info on monday. super excited about all of the happy mail that will be making its way across the country in the next two weeks.

around here i talked to my mom and we got some really good laughs in. loved that. my sides might still hurt a little bit.

around here we had some epic tickle fights, and my girl teamed up with her dad. clearly i need to work more on her being clear that girls must unite in tickle fights.

around here i am kind of wishing that monday would have taken longer to get here.

around here i am wishing you a great start to your week.

Friday, April 24, 2015

for mary

mary got the news yesterday that the lump in her leg is melanoma.

damn it.

in addition to it being back at all, it also really pisses me off that this new lump appeared as she was recovering from her surgery just weeks ago. the fact that the scans before her surgery didn't show the melanoma and then the lump appeared as she was recovering shows how fast the black beast moves.

when i got home yesterday, i needed to get a training run in which was good because i needed some fresh air and some pavement to work out of some of my frustration on.

at one point, i looked up and saw a heart in the clouds.
 a few minutes later, i saw a rainbow that had just showed up in the sky.
both the heart and rainbow were signs to me of hope and confirmation that mary is going to kick melanoma's ass this time just like she has every other time. i already knew that all on my own, but a couple of signs in the sky are good double confirmation. seeing a unicorn would have just about made it perfect;)

mary likes to run, but obviously with having tumors removed from her leg her ability do that has been affected.

as i was thinking about her on my run last night, i decided that since she can't run these days, i can run for her.

like i did when i dedicated the 10k run last summer to rabi, i am going to dedicate this half-marathon run to mary. one way or the other, i will cross the finish line at the 13.1 mile mark for her.

i have added her initials to the toes of my running shoes so that i can visually be reminded of her when i am running. if you remember from when i talked about the 10k run and putting rabi's name on my running shoes, i tend to look at my feet from time to time when running, and definitely when slogging up a a big hill because it is easier than looking at how much distance i still have to climb. i just look at my feet and watch them make progress with each and every step.

i know that you have got this mary, no doubt about it. you will kick it just like you have every other time. that i know for sure.

i also know that i will carry you with me on every training mile between now and that start line, and then for the 13.1 miles until i cross that finish line.

so get ready, we have a lot of pavement to cover, but i know that you are up for this challenge just like every other one you have faced.

i hope that this weekend brings you all a chance to make some new memories that your heart can hold on to.

+++ reminder -- if you want to be part of the happy mail pen pal exchange, let me know today, i will be matching up pen pals this weekend. xo

Thursday, April 23, 2015

happy mail

ok peeps, i am feeling like we need to add a little happiness and good vibes to the world between now and my scans.

here is my idea, hope you want to be part of it.

i am going to have a mini happy mail pen pal exchange for the next two weeks.

all you have to do is send someone 2 pieces of happy mail in the next two weeks. it can be a card, a postcard, a little note written on a post-it note, some kind words on the back of a receipt, whatever you want it to be. the point is to send some mail out into the world that will make someone else a little bit happier when they open their mailbox.

if you want to be in on this happy mail fun, get in touch with me. leave a comment on the blog, email me, text me, message me, trip me when i walk by you, leave a trail of jelly beans, hold out a cup of green tea in front of my face...you get the idea, any way you know to get my attention is a great way to let me know that you want to participate.

let me know by friday if you are in. i will match people up over the weekend and send you the name and address of your pen pal.

let's get some good energy heading out into the world.

who is in?

ps) please send good vibes to mary in wisconsin who expects to get the biopsy results today (which i know will be clear and not have any signs of melanoma) and to my cousin karen who is starting to have effects from the treatments she started on monday. lots of love needed today, as always.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


i am going to consider this post a public service announcement (psa) from my perspective.

yesterday i was having a discussion with a friend (who is a recently new friend and doesn't know my whole melanoma background, although ironically she too was diagnosed with melanoma years ago and was lucky to catch it early). she was asking me on the background and i gave the overview on the story that most of you know well by know. we were talking about my upcoming scans.

she told me about how she was diagnosed before she had her kids, and that once she did, that was kind of a game changer for her. she was worried about what would happen if it came back, what if her kids were little, what if something happened to her and they had to grow up without her. at this point, i started to feel my stomach hurt because clearly i can relate to that fear and it is over the maximum threshold as i head into scans.

she next told me that she had a friend with melanoma who had beat it for 15 years and then it came back in her brain and she was gone within a year.

let me clear, i know that she didn't mean in any way for that story to hurt as much as it did. but it did hurt.

right after she told me that, i thought of barrett's uncle kevin, and that is how this public service announcement came about.

a long time ago now barrett's uncle kevin asked me to share with him if i ever had any advice on what to say, what to not say, etc., to people fighting cancer. i think that this blog is one way to give advice each time i write, maybe in not that direct of a way, but to give you insight into what a cancer patient goes through - and maybe it helps to inform how you interact with anyone you know that is fighting cancer. at least i hope it does.

that said, let me give clear advice on this point. although i can really only speak on behalf of myself, i am pretty sure that many others would say the same was true for them.

i do not want to hear random cancer horror stories about people i do not know.

i do not.

nothing good comes from those.

here is what comes from those. on an ordinary day when i might not for that moment be thinking of the worst case scenario, i then have to think about it. it turns my whole day upside down. it makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. it makes me want to beg time to slow down. it makes me feel like i might throw up. it makes me worried that i am going to have nightmares all night.

maybe worst of all, in that moment (and sometimes for hours afterwards) it makes me lose hope.

when i hear those stories, i stop thinking about kicking cancer's ass, and i think about what happens if i don't.

trust me, i have enough dark thoughts on a daily basis all by myself. when someone talks about upcoming holidays. upcoming birthdays. upcoming trips we want to plan. upcoming events. upcoming appointments. upcoming anything. i always cringe a bit because i don't  know if i get to have upcoming fill-in-the-blanks, especially if they happen after my next round of scans.

so i have the dark and scary stuff covered all by myself. trust me. anytime you see me, you see someone who carries a ton of ass kicking vibes, but you also see a girl who is scared shitless every moment of every day and does her very best to keep believing and to keep going.

here is how yesterday played out for me. i kept it together the whole time that i was at my friend's house. i kept it together when i drove malena home although i really just wanted to break down into tears. i didn't say much to barrett for the rest of the night, and didn't tell him about what happened, because i did not want to say those words out loud. hearing them was enough. i wanted to just keep trying to breathe, get in some comfy pjs, go to bed, pray for no nightmares (surprise, surprise - i had brutal nightmares all night long) and hope that when i woke up this morning i could shake it all off. the rest of my day yesterday and much of my day today was messed up over words that rolled over me in the span of about 15 seconds.

so i thought about kevin yesterday right after i heard those words. i thought about his ask and that this may be one of the most important pieces of advice that i can give.

people fighting cancer (and their loved ones) want and need hope.

if there is only one thing that you give them, give them that. don't take any of it away from them. they really need to hold on to as much of it as is possible.

end of the public service announcement.

ps) this psa is for kevin. xoxo

Sunday, April 19, 2015

weekend + good vibes for karen

this weekend was slow and easy. just what i needed.

dinner with friends. sleep. smoothies. some fun in the sun (with a ton of sunscreen on obviously). lunch out. unexpected trip to dairy queen. time with my book. some good training runs. swim lessons. good food. tickle fights. laughter. a random easter egg hunt. malena really wanted to do an egg hunt today, so we got the plastic eggs out and had three hunts late in the day. everyone got a turn to hide the eggs. totally random, totally fun. time in our craft room. strawberry shortcake.

it was a good one.

as monday rolls around, please send your love and mojo to my cousin karen as she begins her radiation and chemo treatments.

love you karen, keep on keeping on. xo

Thursday, April 16, 2015

for the fighters

yesterday we got a training run in and i shared the above picture on my instagram account with the following message "this training run was dedicated to my friend jenny meyerson, who like the purple tulip, is one of a kind. she marks a ten year remission anniversary today, she is a cancer ass kicker. keep on keeping on jenny. you are an inspiration every single day, and you give hope on the darkest ones."

days when remissions are celebrated are pretty damn awesome. i love those days and the people that i love that are celebrating them. so happy for jenny and her family and hope that she marks that anniversary for many, many more years to come.

some love and vibes are needed today for others currently in the fight.

my friend mary found another lump within her leg as she was recovering from her recent surgery to remove a melanoma tumor from her leg. so she goes in today for a biopsy with her dermatologist. please send tons of good vibes and love to wisconsin today that this lump turns out to not be cancer. you have got this mary, i know that for sure -- and if needed (though i hope with everything that i have that it won't be needed), i know that you will again kick the black beast out of town. jimmy and i are rooting for you;)

my cousin karen goes into today for her prep appointment for chemo. karen starts five weeks for radition on monday, with chemo happening once a week. as karen gets ready to move through the weeks ahead, please send her your love and prayers. you can do this karen, one step in front of the other, one day at a time. keep breathing.

there are so many that are in the fight, either going through treatment or finding their way through life on the other side of treatment (love you beth -- xoxo). i wish that i could wrap each of them up in bubble wrap and protect them from it all. but as we all know, they don't make human size bubble wrap (tho they totally should, right? or maybe i should stay home from work today and invent that?).

so the best wrap we can use is love, prayers, encouragement, hugs, and whatever else can be done to make things a little bit easier for them and to let them know that they are loved.

thanks for all the love and prayers for mary and karen today, i deeply appreciate it, and i know that they do as well.

go fighters go.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


i couldn't agree more. especially when i wish that time would slow down. ciders. good chats with friends. great food. making pancakes in our pjs with my sister. road trip laughter.
taking in sheryl crow in concert and loving signing along with her (and the thousands of others that were there).  rainy days in seattle. diving into my latest book. wine tasting. taking in an arts show and seeing the creativity of local artists, and the sparkle in their eyes when you ask if they are the artist and when you buy something that they created. training runs for the half-marathon, even when we are tired and really just want to take a nap. all of it good. the days have been full. time keeps moving quickly, and i am making the most of every second.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

wednesday for the win

i have always wanted to go to the tulip festival up north but have never made it. so this year i was determined to make it happen. but as life goes, the days have passed by, and the tulip fields have started to close for the season. so i knew that i didn't have many chances left to check it out, and i wanted to take malena so that she could see the tulip fields as well.

but our weekends are already booked, so that left only weekdays. weekdays are work days which make them pretty impossible to take off.

so i went back and forth on whether to take a day to head up there, mostly due to the fact that i have about one million work deadlines weighing on me (ok, a million might be dramatic, more like 999,999 deadlines. seriously. ugh).

but here is the thing. deadlines can be met by staying up a little later or getting up a little earlier (i hope that my brother isn't reading this) and really focusing on how to use my time. priorities can be determined, meetings can be moved, there are ways to make it all happen. it just takes dedication to actually get it done. and as you know, i am all about dedication to get things done.

but tulips only bloom certain times of the year. adventures with your 6 year old don't happen on their own. you have to make them happen.

so that is what i did today.

i did not go into the office and instead i let her sleep in a little bit while i worked. then we got ready and headed out for our big day. her first request was donuts for breakfast (a good start to any road trip day). so we stopped and she picked out a chocolate maple bar (just like her momma would if she could eat them -- damn you gluten). while we were waiting in the line, the cashier looked over and gave her a big smile. he told her to go over to where the lillies where and to pick one out for her and one out for me. and so she did, and he gave us the lillies for free as he rang up her donut. i love nice people. big time. as her and i were waiting in a different line for a tea for me, i saw the same man go over and give a lilly to another woman and she too smiled as big as we did. she said that she was so surprised and told him that he made her day. he told her that his manager told him that if wanted to, he could give the lillies away since they had so many left and they weren't going to last much longer. he said that when he was given permission to do that, he wanted to make as many people happy as he could and decided to have fun with surprising customers with the lillies. he is my new most favorite cashier in the whole wide world (even more than the one at a different store who cards me when i buy hard ciders).

random kindness to start our day and we loved it. the lillies are gorgeous.

we then headed up to the tulip fields and they were awesome. the amount of tulips was amazing, the place that we went to is the largest grower in the world. 1000 acres of blooms. it is absolutely incredible.

we walked around in the gorgeous pnw sunshine and took it all in. reds. yellows. purples. combinations of colors i had never seen before. malena guessing at how many tulips there were (momma, i think that there are ten zillion five hundred ninety six and five and ten tulips) and being my tour guide by making sure that we covered every place on the map.

as we walked around the fields and she held my hand, i was so glad that i chose to go on this adventure.

the reports, emails, and the deadlines will all be there tomorrow (unfortunately).

but i know all too well that a perfect day in the sunshine to hold hands with my girl as we check out ten zillion tulips may not be.

today was a great one.

i will never see a tulip again without thinking of this day.

i really love that.

Monday, April 6, 2015

around here

around here i have been battling a bug that has been doing its best to kick my you-know-what for the last couple of weeks.

around here i have been crashing as soon as malena does (which my brother will be pretty happy about) but that has meant that i am getting about zero done at the end of each day (hence no posts in this space for a while).

around here i am missing writing in this space, it is always one of the first things to drop off when life gets too busy or i am sick, which is always disappointing because it is one of the things i like to do the most.

around here i had a great easter weekend full of friends and family.

around here i might have ate enough of my mom's awesome eggs benedict that i probably do not need to eat for the rest of the week. her easter breakfast is so good.

around here i was reminded of how good hot tamale jelly beans are and that it kind of sucks that they only are out at easter time. i might need to be making some post-easter candy purchases before they are all gone.

around here i haven't been able to run for two weeks due to the bug. today i put my shoes on and we hit the pavement for a 3 miler. it felt good but it was a total grind (my lungs and my legs were not entirely sure what was going on), i could definitely tell that i have not been running in two weeks. ugh, time to rebound. big time.

around here i got the news today that my scans will be 5/12 and the results will be 5/13.

around here that news makes me want to curl up in a little ball and hope with everything i have that time will stand still.

around here i am wondering how it is possible that 5 months have gone so quickly, and how it is possible that i am within weeks of going through dreaded scans again.

around here i know that the nightmares are going to start kicking in with a vengeance, my pre-scan anxiety will skyrocket and my patience level will plummet.

around here i am going to do my best to take deep breaths and keep taking it day by day.

around here i am pissed off at cancer.

around here i will keep carrying on.

around here that is the only option.