Little moments

Feb 27

The very best days. The very best days are when I’m normal. In lieu of whole big normal days, I’m focusing on the little moments of normalcy and peace and fun and joy and all-of-the-good-things. I love these past few mornings, where I’ve had enough energy to rise with the girls (or, yesterday, before the girls.  I know.  I was amazing yesterday.)  We have our little routines.  First up, diaper change for Greta.   Obviously.  Next we get dressed, have vitamins while we do hair (vitamins during hair is instrumental in holding still/no whining), and I answer the first fifty-six questions of the day–before we even go downstairs.  I know.  I am amazingly productive; you all know how much mental energy it takes to answer fifty-six questions in seventeen minutes! We eat breakfast.  She chooses the placemats and the other she chooses who sits where.  We have a combination of healthy fings and not-as-healthy fings.  We have much discussion about health and beauty and strength and energy and kindness and bravery.  We also have much she-took-that and she-hit-me and that’s-mine and where’s-all-of-the-stuff and socks-what-socks?  I answer more questions. Maren does homework, and Greta does homework.  (And don’t you dare tell Greta that she’s not actually doing homework.)  Maren does art, and Greta does art.  Maren reads, and Greta weads.  Greta is Maren’s shadow.  This is the age where many mommys are tired of hearing “Mommy” from their two-year-old’s lips.  In our house, thankfully, I do not feel like “Mommy” is overdone.  However, “Maren”, pronounced “Mawen”, is by far the most-uttered two-syllables in our home.  Mawen, Mawen, Mawen, Mawen.  Ahhhh, the love of sisters.  Maren, God bless her, handles it with an amazing amount of grace. I answer the next twenty-seven questions of the day.  I pack Maren’s lunch, and Greta’s bag.  The bus comes for Maren at 9:03, up significantly from 9:07 a month ago, and that four minute difference has upped the chaos level significantly.  But chaos is the nature of life with small children; I’m known to act like a crazy silly person in an effort to make them hurry with out seeming to  make them hurry.  It usually doesn’t work, but the downside is that I...

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Today

Feb 20

Today I took a nap in Greta’s bed. I’ve outsourced most of the Greta-loving to Phenom and my family and friends during these tough days in the slide.  And, all those wonderful folks do indeed shower my Greta with love.  (But I still miss being with her, and a silly thing like napping in her bed worked for me today.)   Today I took a short, slow, meandering walk outside today because it was 60+ degrees and I knew that if I didn’t capitalize on that February awesomeness I would regret it. Ahhh, spring was in the air today.  As the snowmelt ran under my feet, I imagined blue chemo running through my veins, eroding any and all cancer cells to be taken away, away, away. Today I zeroed in on Maren during the hours I had with her. We connected, she shared, I listened.  It mattered.  It’s easy, some days, to mother my six-year-old without really seeing her.  Today I made an effort to press in, and tonight our hearts are full.  She’s an amazing kid; I’m so privileged to be her mama. Today I seized the thirty minutes where Brad and I were awake in the house together and we talked.  For real talked, not just logistical, mundane, hand-off talk. I love my husband and his heart.  So much, it sometimes hurts. Today was a good day. It was a small day.  A quiet day.  A simple day.  Very little was accomplished.  I’m behind on everything, and today I let it — all of it — slide right along with me.  But I invested in things that mattered, and I lay my head down tonight knowing that on day one of the blue slide, I was able to Do Today...

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Us, captured

Feb 17

Us, captured

As I’ve been sitting in the chemo lounge today, I’ve been thinking good thoughts.  It is strange to be told to sit in a recliner for 6+ hours for a busy mom like me, but I’ve learned to capitalize on the time and I really and truly enjoy it.  This room, the chemo room, is my sacred hallowed ground.  One of the things I’ve been thinking about today is how much I love my family.  We are so blessed.  Want to see some happiness?  Here ya go! (You can click on the photo to get to Carolyn’s site and see a lot more photos from our shoot in her blog post.) A few weeks ago we went out for a fun family photo shoot with our friend Carolyn, of carolyn bowles photography.  Immediately before I lost my hair in December, I was in a tizzy to try to get family photos in.  I’m proud of my baldness, as I see it as an outward expression of my cancer-fighting badass side, but in family photos, I felt like it could be distraction from what our family is really all about.  Ironically, the day after I tried to get organized to get a photo shoot together, my hair started falling out in clumps, and we buzzed it.  Carolyn and I began emailing a few weeks later, and I shared with her my hesitation with the baldness and asked her if she thought we should wait for summertime when I would have (a little bit) of hair.  Carolyn suggested that we do an outdoor shoot in the snow; we could all wear hats and scarves and it would add to the fun.  Since the last photos we did in 2012 were in the spring, I thought this was a fantastic idea and a fun twist.  And, truly, it could not have turned out better.  I’m so thrilled that she had a vision for our family’s unique situation and was creative all aspects of the shoot.  She even had her team of helpers (her own awesome family) help with snowman construction, and we had hot chocolate, warm cookies, and great conversation after the shoot.  Carolyn really created a magical memory-making experience for us,...

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It’s Blue Chemo Day

Feb 17

Good Morning! It’s blue day!  I’ve spent the weekend with my college roommates, so I am heading into this round on a high.  It’s odd: from girls weekend to chemo lounge; yes, this is my real life.  Our annual reunion has become a touchpoint of the year for most of us: we set goals, reflect and center in who we are as individuals.  Our husbands, and now our children, give us the time and space to escape into each other.  Love! I’ll (hopefully) write more from the chemo room today, but I wanted to ask for some prayers for blue: -Pray for my blood counts and my toe infection, that both would be in good enough shape for treatment today. -Pray that the drugs would target the ugly and be in search-and-destroy mode in obliterating any cancer cells.  Pray for protection over the healthy cells and for no allergic reactions. -Pray for my friends in the chemo room: that they, too, would be fierce cancer-killers today. -Pray for my family, especially my parents, as they ache for me that I have to do this at all.  (And, remember family, I’ve got this.  I’m a cancer-killing machine today!  Go me!)  ...

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Twirling

Feb 14

Twirling

This evening I decided to shovel the driveway for the first time this year.  (Our super neighbors have done 95% of our shoveling for us this year.  And it’s been a LOT of shoveling!  We love our neighbors.)  It was still snowing as I started shoveling, but I felt compelled to take a moment and put down my shovel and twirl in the snow.  I had my arms wide and I let the snow hit my face while trying to catch flakes in my mouth.  I noticed how the world grows quiet when it snows.  Nature simultaneously trumpets its power and its peace. It’s funny, but twirling in the snow reminded me of another time I’d done that… The last time Valentine’s Day was on a Friday it was 2003, and Brad and I had been dating for a little less than two months. The Thanksgiving prior, the Anderson family (Brad, his parents, and his brother and sister-in-law) had decided to meet in New York City for President’s weekend.  They planned to see several Broadway shows and take in the Big Apple.  At some point in January, Brad decided to buy me a plane ticket and bring me with him on the trip.  Not only were we spending Valentine’s Day in New York, but it was my first time meeting his family.  Whoa!  What a weekend! (For the record, I’d had a boyfriend worthy of celebrating V-Day for only one of the Valentine’s Days prior to 2003.  In fact, my favorite thing about Valentine’s Day was always that my dad got my sisters and I something special–such a wonderful tradition for a little girl.) The six of us had a great time skating in Rockefeller Center, taking ferry/taxi rides, seeing Mamma Mia and Thoroughly Modern Millie, eating at decadent restaurants, and generally having good family time.  I remember what a gentleman Brad was that weekend: he opened every door, held my hand, and bought me a scarf.  Also during that weekend in 2003, NYC got more than two feet of snow.  Our flights on Monday were cancelled, and we were forced to stay until Wednesday.  (It was my first year of teaching, and the canceled flights meant that I...

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