Real Life Help

May 10

It keeps happening.  Everywhere I go, people ask me, “What can I do to help?”  They ask my closest friends, “What does she need?”  There is a pulse, strong and consistent, that keeps coming at me with these pleas to do something for us.  It is humbling, but it is also hard: Brad and I feel blessed in that we both feel we can do this.  We’ve already seen the awesome support from our friends and family that translates into better quality life for us as we navigate cancer as a young family.  Thank you for linking arms with us.  We will spend the rest of our days paying it forward.

It is hard (very hard) to put this out there, but here are some practical ideas that would make life easier for us if you are in the camp of those who would like to be doing.

Prayer:  Enough said.  You can also stop reading here as this is all I need.

Running/Dancing Songs: I desperately need some new running songs.  Any ideas?  Also, we are always on the lookout for songs to introduce to Maren and Greta for our frequent dance parties.  Kid music has it’s place, but our family favorites are ones that we all enjoy.  Comment or send an email under “Help the Andersons.”

House cleaning:  I call our new cleaning lady my Fairy Godmother and I am Cinderella.  A clean house is nothing less than magical.  There is a paypal account set up to help us with this real life expense.

Meals/Veggie Prep:  There is a Care Calendar set up where you can sign up to bring us meals if you are local.  We are also asking for people to shop for, wash, and chop veggies and do some other prep steps to ease the burden of cooking and eating healthy diet.  Send an email under “Help the Andersons” to get signed up for the calendar.

Gift Card Bouquets:  I love gifting to other people and paying it forward.  Every five dollar gift card I receive, I set aside to bring to my teams of doctors and nurses who are doing their job and doing it well.  I’ve also been gifted a higher dollar amount with a note that said, “Jen, don’t take this the wrong way, but this gift card is not for you.  Give it to someone who blesses you.”  Isn’t that awesome?  There is a PO Box set up for us: to get the address, send an email under “Help the Andersons.”

Cincinnati Staycation Ideas:  What is your favorite local family destination for the summer?  We’ll be in town, as I will have chemo every week through the summer.  We want to visit new local parks and any other Cincinnati gems we may not know about.  Comment or send an email.

We have felt so. much. love. as we have faced this great challenge: the comments, gifts, words, and prayers have been overwhelming and have consistently buoyed our spirits.  Thank you for reading, thank you for praying, thank you.

27 comments

  1. Ummm, this is a little embarrassing, but my kids (and I, ok, it’s mostly me) like that One Direction song “What Makes You Beautiful”. We dance to it ALL the time. And if I were a runner, I think I’d even run to it. What?! I grew up in the age of boy bands! Also, it’s kid music, but my girls LOVE Jim Gill, Irrational Anthem. They listen so carefully to what the music is telling them to do next, and it’s freaking hilarious.

  2. My boys LOVE to dance; we have several dance parties on video that we watch often and laugh. Classic songs such as “U Can’t Touch This” and “Cotton Eyed Joe” are some of their old favorites thanks to the game Just Dance. which reminds me of their more recent favorites of “Dynamite” and “Party Rock Anthem”. I run to the latter myself and love it. :) I’ve also enjoyed my oldest show off his various and wacky moves to “Welcome to the Jungle” (yes we are Bengals fans), “Shout” (thanks to his Papa), and “I Like To Move It” (from Madagascar). Remember the saying…dance like no one is watching. :)

  3. I love that you have an abundance of helpers. So fricken awesome.

    Do you have a smart phone? Pandora on there? “I wanna dance with somebody” is one of my fave stations for getting the heart rate up. Happy trails!

  4. Marion /

    I bought the book, “Adventures Around Cincinnati” last year and love it. It lists adventures for here and all areas that are within 1-2 hours and organizes it so well – family friendly, time needed at location, cost, hours, stroller friendly, etc. If I see a copy at the store, I will pick one up for you – it made our summer loads of fun last year and I plan to use it a bunch this summer too! Written by 2 local moms.

  5. It’s hard to go wrong with “Surfin’ USA” and “Surfin’ Safari” by the Beach Boys. Tons of prayers being sent from my heart to God’s heart in hopes of blessing your heart.

  6. Sue Nitz /

    Good morning Jen. God has orchestrated all the people in your life to have all the time and talents that you need to help you and your family through this. Some people will be here for a minute, some for the rest of your life, but each is just as important. You will laugh, you will cry, you will roll your eyes (oh no not that story again, behead story) sometimes at their thoughts and efforts. God gives us opportunities every day to grow close to Him. Jesus came to earth to teach us how to love. You do it so well! And I want you to know that you have found a very special place in my heart. Even if it is God’s plan was for us to meet just that once (which I hope was not) He has given me the job to pray deeply for you and your family. I am here for you with an understanding heart and if there is anything special you need other prayers for please let me know. If you need someone to pray with I am here. My cancer brought me into a deeper relationship with Christ, and He has given me a very important new career. Rest today and bask in the love of God! It is what life is all about.

  7. Prayers… Every day!!
    My newest favorite running song is Gods Not Dead (Like a Lion) by the Newsboys

  8. Tina Mathie /

    For exercise/running I highly recommend Pandora Radio. I don’t know if you already use it or not, but there is an workout station listed under genre. Also club music with funky beats is fun to exercise to. I don’t know what music you like but I love working out to “party rock anthem or Sexy and I know it”-LMFAO. Or if you like pop/hip-hop from the mid to late 90s, just make a station searching for “Sisco-Thong Song” or JaRule or Blackstreet… as far as just music you can listen to, I love Carolina Liar and The Script, and any of the music they play on Grey’s Anatomy (it can be found online) is pretty good too. Best of Luck with the new tunes! Think and Pray for you often! Much love! XoXoX

  9. Sarah Steen /

    Current Top 4 Running Songs:
    1. “Starlight” by Muse
    2. “All These Things That I Have Done” The Killers (starts out slow but works into a very nice beat)
    3. “Stronger” Kayne West–if you don’t mind a few bad words
    4. “Stronger” Kelly Clarkson
    Also love anything by Beyonce for running, but especially “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies”

    Our kids love “Tarantula” by Bob Schneider for a nice dance party. It has a nice little Latin theme and it’s easy for them to sing along with the chorus.

    By the way, I just finished reading The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, and it was a great memoir about her journey with breast cancer in her 30’s if you are looking for a book like that :)

  10. Charlotte /

    You inspire me every day. I pray for you every day.
    Our son loves “Life is a highway” from the Cars movie – would probably also be a good running song. My husband recently sang(ish) whoomp there it is (mostly the chorus) the other night at bedtime and he thought it was hilarious.

  11. Our favorite family dance song is “Crazy” by Steven Curtis Chapman. We crank it up and (ahem) go crazy! :) “It’s crazy what love can do” is the theme.
    What an inspiration you are to so many…praying for you and your sweet family, finding my own courage through your battle. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. xoxo

  12. Kristen /

    Another running music idea: create a station on Pandora by searching “I like to move it.” It will play the Madagascar version and some cheesy (but high tempo) 90s songs. But more importantly, I am praying for you. :)

  13. Kelli Griffin /

    Here’s a good dancing song- Good Morning by Mandisa, feat. Toby Mac

  14. For your staycation, how about a trip to Young’s Dairy (http://youngsdairy.com/) near Dayton/Yellowsprings. It’s a working dairy and ice cream barn. Lots of cows, goats, etc that kids love. Plus, ice cream. John Bryan State Park near there is a lovely place for a short hike.

  15. lvolpano /

    We love to have dance parties as well, and it’s always so interesting to hear the songs the kids request! Our almost 2 year old always asks for Dynamite (Taio Cruz), our 4 year old is a huge fan of The Monkeys (especially the tv show theme song), and our 6 year old loves Hannah Montana (I pick and choose songs that I think are ok for all of us to listen to). Even though it’s classified as kids’ music, we also all really enjoy music by Ralph’s World; Drivin’ in My Car is a favorite. All of the kids also really enjoy dancing and singing along to VBS CD’s from past years. Our church sells the music that goes along with the nationally published VBS programs each year, and they are great. I’d be more than happy to make copies and send them to you if you wish! Just let me know! Good luck in your quest for some good music, and have fun gettin’ your groove on!!

  16. katebuesching /

    Here is my running/dance party play list. I have two boys so MOST of the songs are the clean versions, but be careful. Also, there is a mixture of Christian rock, Eminem, Muse, Black Eyed Peas, etc. VERY eclectic so I don’t get bored. I pray for you each day. You are such an inspiration! Much love! Kate

    Party Rock Anthem LMFAO
    Clap Your Hands Sia
    Jenny Says Cowboy Mouth
    Something Good Can Work Two Door Cinema Club
    I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) [More English Extended Mix] Pitbull
    Bulletproof La Roux La Roux (Bonus Track Version)
    Walk Like An Egyptian (Energy Remix + 190 BPM) DJ ReMix Factory Best of 80s + 90s Hits –
    Hello (Single Edit) Martin Solveig & Dragonette
    When Love Takes Over (feat. Kelly Rowland) 3:11 David Guetta Songs for Japan
    Better Life 4:44 Keith Urban Songs for Japan
    Knights of Cydonia Muse
    Right Round Flo Rida
    I Just Shot John Lennon The Cranberries
    Subterranian Homesick Blues Bob Dylan
    Young Folks 4:39 Peter Bjorn and John
    Ruby 3:23 Kaiser Chiefs
    Dare 4:06 Gorillaz
    Girl 3:32 Beck
    E-Pro 3:22 Beck
    Let Me Clear My Throat (Live) 4:48 DJ Kool
    1901 Phoenix
    Beat It (feat. John Mayer) 3:48 Fall Out Boy
    If I Had You 3:48 Adam Lambert
    Dynamite 3:24 Taio Cruz
    If U Seek Amy 3:37 Britney Spears
    A-Punk 2:18 Vampire Weekend
    Tik Tok 3:20 Ke$ha
    Shut Up and Let Me Go 2:52 The Ting Tings
    Your Love Is My Drug 3:07 Ke$ha
    3 3:33 Britney Spears
    Ain’t No Other Man 3:48 Christina Aguilera
    Army 3:23 Ben Folds Five
    Assassin 3:31 Muse
    Boom Boom Pow 4:11 Black Eyed Peas
    Brian Wilson 4:46 Barenaked Ladies
    Calabria 2007 3:53 Enur
    Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) 3:25 Christina Aguilera
    Crazy In Love 3:56 Beyoncé
    Disturbia 4:58 Rihanna
    Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (Single Version) 5:51 Michael Jackson
    Evacuate the Dancefloor (Radio Edit) 3:30 Cascada
    The Final Countdown 5:10 Europe
    Girl 3:32 Beck
    Girlfriend 3:37 Avril Lavigne
    Heartless (Power Remix) 6:25 GG Pop Remixed, Vol. 2
    Here It Goes Again 3:00 OK Go
    How Far We’ve Come 3:30 Matchbox Twenty
    Hung Up 5:38 Madonna
    I Gotta Feeling 4:49 Black Eyed Peas
    I Like It (feat. Pitbull) 3:52 Enrique Iglesias
    Imma Be 4:17 Black Eyed Peas
    It’s the End of the World As We Know It R.E.M.
    It Takes Two 5:04 Rob Base & DJ EZ
    Let My Love Open the Door 2:43 Pete Townshend
    A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix) 3:33 Elvis Presley
    Live Your Life (Power Remix) Chani Xtreme Cardio Mix, Vol. 2
    Lose My Breath 4:02 Destiny’s Child
    Love Is a Battlefield 4:10 Pat Benatar
    Major Tom 4:22 Shiny Toy Guns
    Mas Que Nada (feat. The Black Eyed Peas) 4:23 Sergio Mendes
    Meet Me Halfway 4:44 Black Eyed Peas
    No Sleep Tonight 2:59 The Faders
    One Step At a Time 3:25 Jordin Sparks
    Party In the U.S.A. 3:23 Miley Cyrus
    Pon de Replay (Radio Edit) 3:35
    Pump It 3:33 Black Eyed Peas
    Push It 4:29 Salt-N-Pepa
    Rock the Casbah (Workout Remix) Interface SHAPE Cardio: Pure Hits – Now & Then (Workout Remixes)
    Sexy Back 4:26 My Fitness Music Top 40 DJ Mix, Vol. 3
    Shake It 3:00 Metro Station
    She’s so Cold 4:14 The Rolling Stones
    Shotgun 2:56 Junior Walker & The All Stars
    Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) 3:13 Beyoncé
    Somebody Told Me 3:17 The Killers
    SOS 3:59 Rihanna
    Such Great Heights 4:26 The Postal Service
    Survivor 4:14 Destiny’s Child
    Switch 3:19 Will Smith
    Take On Me 3:51 a-Ha
    Thoughts of a Dying Atheist 3:07 Muse
    Time Is Running Out 3:58 Muse
    Untouched 4:15 The Veronicas
    Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (Single Version) 4:17 Michael Jackson
    Whataya Want from Me 3:47 Adam Lambert
    4 Minutes 4:06 Madonna 4 Minutes (The Remixes)

  17. katebuesching /

    I thought I just posted this so delete if it’s a repeat.
    Here is my list: an eclectic mix of Christian rock, rap, hip hop, and classics. Most are the clean versions, but be careful.
    I pray for you every day and get much inspiration from your blog entries. Thanks for sharing!

    Party Rock Anthem LMFAO
    Clap Your Hands Sia
    Jenny Says Cowboy Mouth
    Something Good Can Work Two Door Cinema Club
    I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) [More English Extended Mix] Pitbull
    Bulletproof La Roux La Roux (Bonus Track Version)
    Walk Like An Egyptian (Energy Remix + 190 BPM) DJ ReMix Factory Best of 80s + 90s Hits –
    Hello (Single Edit) Martin Solveig & Dragonette
    When Love Takes Over (feat. Kelly Rowland) 3:11 David Guetta Songs for Japan
    Better Life 4:44 Keith Urban Songs for Japan
    Knights of Cydonia Muse
    Right Round Flo Rida
    I Just Shot John Lennon The Cranberries
    Subterranian Homesick Blues Bob Dylan
    Young Folks 4:39 Peter Bjorn and John
    Ruby 3:23 Kaiser Chiefs
    Dare 4:06 Gorillaz
    Girl 3:32 Beck
    E-Pro 3:22 Beck
    Let Me Clear My Throat (Live) 4:48 DJ Kool
    1901 Phoenix
    Beat It (feat. John Mayer) 3:48 Fall Out Boy
    If I Had You 3:48 Adam Lambert
    Dynamite 3:24 Taio Cruz
    If U Seek Amy 3:37 Britney Spears
    A-Punk 2:18 Vampire Weekend
    Tik Tok 3:20 Ke$ha
    Shut Up and Let Me Go 2:52 The Ting Tings
    Your Love Is My Drug 3:07 Ke$ha
    3 3:33 Britney Spears
    Ain’t No Other Man 3:48 Christina Aguilera
    Army 3:23 Ben Folds Five
    Assassin 3:31 Muse
    Boom Boom Pow 4:11 Black Eyed Peas
    Brian Wilson 4:46 Barenaked Ladies
    Calabria 2007 3:53 Enur
    Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) 3:25 Christina Aguilera
    Crazy In Love 3:56 Beyoncé
    Disturbia 4:58 Rihanna
    Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (Single Version) 5:51 Michael Jackson
    Evacuate the Dancefloor (Radio Edit) 3:30 Cascada
    The Final Countdown 5:10 Europe
    Girl 3:32 Beck
    Girlfriend 3:37 Avril Lavigne
    Heartless (Power Remix) 6:25 GG Pop Remixed, Vol. 2
    Here It Goes Again 3:00 OK Go
    How Far We’ve Come 3:30 Matchbox Twenty
    Hung Up 5:38 Madonna
    I Gotta Feeling 4:49 Black Eyed Peas
    I Like It (feat. Pitbull) 3:52 Enrique Iglesias
    Imma Be 4:17 Black Eyed Peas
    It’s the End of the World As We Know It R.E.M.
    It Takes Two 5:04 Rob Base & DJ EZ
    Let My Love Open the Door 2:43 Pete Townshend
    A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix) 3:33 Elvis Presley
    Live Your Life (Power Remix) Chani Xtreme Cardio Mix, Vol. 2
    Lose My Breath 4:02 Destiny’s Child
    Love Is a Battlefield 4:10 Pat Benatar
    Major Tom 4:22 Shiny Toy Guns
    Mas Que Nada (feat. The Black Eyed Peas) 4:23 Sergio Mendes
    Meet Me Halfway 4:44 Black Eyed Peas
    No Sleep Tonight 2:59 The Faders
    One Step At a Time 3:25 Jordin Sparks
    Party In the U.S.A. 3:23 Miley Cyrus
    Pon de Replay (Radio Edit) 3:35
    Pump It 3:33 Black Eyed Peas
    Push It 4:29 Salt-N-Pepa
    Rock the Casbah (Workout Remix) Interface SHAPE Cardio: Pure Hits – Now & Then (Workout Remixes)
    Sexy Back 4:26 My Fitness Music Top 40 DJ Mix, Vol. 3
    Shake It 3:00 Metro Station
    She’s so Cold 4:14 The Rolling Stones
    Shotgun 2:56 Junior Walker & The All Stars
    Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) 3:13 Beyoncé
    Somebody Told Me 3:17 The Killers
    SOS 3:59 Rihanna
    Such Great Heights 4:26 The Postal Service
    Survivor 4:14 Destiny’s Child
    Switch 3:19 Will Smith
    Take On Me 3:51 a-Ha
    Thoughts of a Dying Atheist 3:07 Muse
    Time Is Running Out 3:58 Muse
    Untouched 4:15 The Veronicas
    Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (Single Version) 4:17 Michael Jackson
    Whataya Want from Me 3:47 Adam Lambert
    4 Minutes 4:06 Madonna 4 Minutes (The Remixes)

  18. katebuesching /

    That looks embarrassingly long now. Hope it’s not overwhelming!

  19. Lisa /

    Have you heard of Cleaning for a Reason? Google it. Free house cleaning for women having chemo.
    So glad to hear you are accepting help.
    Prayers continue.
    Lisa

  20. Oh you asked the right person the right question about workout music! I’m a former RPM instructor (indoor cycling), personal trainer and avid exerciser. I’m rehabbing an injury right now and can’t do what I’d like, so I’ll pass on my favorite workout songs to you! Someone should be using them!

    Anything by Ke$ha, particularly BLOW
    Tom Petty, Runnin’ Down a Dream
    P!nk, So What
    The Cure, Close To Me
    Simple Plan, Take My Hand (great for intervals)
    Rob Thomas, How Far We’ve Come (great for intervals)
    Florence + The Machine, Dog Days Are Over (good warm-up)
    Nickelback, How You Remind Me
    Paul Van Dyk, Featuring Johnny McDaid, Home
    Paul Van Dyk, Featuring Rea Garvey, Let Go
    Oh, and my husband, who is another worker outer, likes Mumford and Sons.

    That’s just a small sample, but hope it helps. Check out my blog-there are a couple of posts about using music to boost your workout, and I might mention a few other songs.

    I don’t know you, and I can’t even remember how I found your blog, but I find myself checking in on you regularly. I think you are living your life with grace and beauty.

  21. Do your kids know music from the Go Fish Guys? It’s three dads who created Christian music for kids that won’t drive parents crazy.

    And their music is buy one at $15 and any others are $5/each if you want DVDs so you see motions and don’t just get itunes versions.

    I think one of their songs I love the best (and is a great dance song with kids) is “If You’re Happy (and You Know it)” – it’s on a bunch of the albums (Praise DVD and Party Like a Preschooler for sure).

    They have a ton of albums – the newest one Praise DVD one is the danciest, but it’s all good. That one’s been created with the Go Fish Guys and Denver and the Mile High Orchestra and they are great together. They come every year to a children’s ministry conference I go to, and we (adults) like them as much as kids do!

    Kickin’ it Old School is mostly hymns made current.

    I like Let’s Sing a lot because a lot of it families will already know the songs, but just get the Go Fish spin on them.

    Party Like a Preschooler is songs your kids will know already but less annoying and more cool :-)

    I’ll keep thinking! And praying. I’ve actually sent your blog to a family from my church also at a similar place on the journey as you guys – I told her that you guys seemed like you’d “hit it off” if you met in real life – sassy, breast cancer-fighting, trusting God to be good in the midst of it women – they’re following and praying, too!

  22. Heather rose /

    Thank you for inspiring, thank you for letting others help!

  23. Great suggestions above for running music! I also like to listen to podcasts while I run, it’s a totally different vibe but I find it gets me into a good place for running longer distances. Plus, I’ve learned a lot! Favorite podcasts are Radiolab and NPR’s Fresh Air.

    And I’m praying for you as well!

  24. Elizabeth /

    My girls (4 & 2) love the album The Philadelphia Chickens, by the children’s author Sandra Boynton. It’s really great for dancing and crooning!

  25. Kendall /

    Even though they *are* kids songs, my husband and I find the KidsTV 123 songs by A.J. Jenkins so cute and catchy, we sing them all the time with our 2 year old! And a bonus – Jenkins, I think, is British, so it is hilarious to hear our son pick up on his accent and say “to-MAH-to” and “ZEH-bra.” For running, I also like a lot of disco/funk – Earth Wind and Fire (September, Let’s Groove), Parliment (One Nation Under a Groove), Kool and the Gang (Ladies’ Night, Get Down On It, Take it To the Top), The Brothers Johnson (Stomp!), and McFadden & Whitehead ((Aint no stoppin us now).

  26. Kendall /

    And for a Cincinnati Staycation, I second the Young’s Jersey Dairy Rec/Yellow Springs, above. The Clifton Mill is nearby Yellow Springs and a very cute place for breakfast/lunch. The Cincinnati Fire Museum (downtown) is really great, as is the Duke Children’s Museum at Union Terminal. The L&M Railroad in Lebanon has kids’ themed train rides over the summer (Clifford and Curious George, I think). Entertrainment Junction in West Chester is great as is Choo-Choo’s restaurant in Madeira (inexpensive and trains everywhere!). .

  27. elle /

    I didn’t even read your whole post, but the first song that came to mind for all of the above (dance parties, running, chemo listening) is francesca batistelli’s “This is the Stuff” it is Christian and completely kid friendly, with a peppy perky little beat about how all of our normal every day annoyances shouldn’t interrupt our feelings of being loved and held in grace…. That song has carried me through thick and thin! :)

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