Pinkies out

Jun 29

I’m fresh home from a girls weekend away, which means I’m feeling fantastic.  I’m wind-swept, sun-kissed and love-filled right down to my bones.  It’s pretty epic for eight middle-aged young mamas to escape for more than forty-eight hours, leaving our eight husbands and our combined twenty-two children to make magical daddy-kid memories without us.  We talked endlessly, obviously.  I was one of the six who completed a killer lake-side workout: imagine the six of us going up and down the fifty lake stairs a bunch of times while completing other exercises sharing a yoga mat and set of weights at the top of the stairs.  It was all very iron-sharpens-iron.  I’m also tickled with the two who didn’t do that round of exercise and instead read and filled their brain–more iron-sharpens-iron, just in a different way.  I’m filled up with vigor, perspective and encouragement so I’m tackling my day today with a freshness and sense of renewal that feels wonderful.  My friends are such a gift; they sacrifice much for me. I got to water-ski for the second time this month and thus am in the pinch-me stage of feeling blessed and privileged.  All the girls tried to ski and if the weather would have been better all would have gotten great runs in.  Exhilaration is so good for the soul.  Family at the lake is joining the bucket list because I’ve realized Maren is old enough to learn.  I’m reliving my childhood through their eyes: fireflies, sing-along loud music, creek walks, new freckles, water-skiing, windows down/open, reading-a-whole-book-in-a-day, mud pies, swimming, bike rides, flower-petal perfume, and melting treats.  Ahhh, summer day are special, and I. Am. Blessed. Last night I came home to a family who thrived in my absence and a husband who greeted with me with the perfect: I’m so glad you went and I’m so glad you’re home.  He encouraged me (us) to put the next one on the calendar.  Yes, great idea!  I’m a girl well-loved, indeed.  We spent an hour talking and catching up on not only the movements of our respective weekends but what we’re thinking and feeling about it all.  This stage of marriage for us is like that; amongst the hustle and bustle...

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It was such a nice way to start my day

Jun 25

The first time Greta came into my room that morning, she completed her compulsory touch-her-mama sequence, but then she quickly whirled off again.  I admit, I went back to sleep for what I think was a while, as I felt notably more rested when I woke the next time.  It was Maren who found me for the second wake of the day and climbed into my bed for some snuggles.  The next time Greta came in, Maren was curled in the crook of my arm, and we were quietly plotting and planning out our day from the comfort of our cozy togetherness. Greta announced, “Mom!  You have to come see what I did!” Greta is four.  An announcement like this from Greta is usually not a good sign.  But, today her tone is full of glee-filled wonder, rather than uh-oh woe, so I am cautiously optimistic that whatever she wants to show me is not a mess.  Or at least not a sticky mess, I think.  Messes are measured on a complicated scale during these mothering years.  I say, “Greta?!  What have you been up to?” She spreads out her hands in front of her and her fingers are splayed too.  She’s gesturing and chattering with an enthusiasm that is so very Greta.  “Mom, I have been in my room.”  She changes her body language and forms a new stance for her next statement, “I have been so busy, you are not even going to believe it.”  New pose, “Seriously, Mom.”  She looks at me, “I’m so serious.” I’m biting back my laughter as I listen to her; Greta has a flair for the dramatic, obviously.  She’s magnetic and engaging though, and Maren and I both leave the coziness to see what Greta has to show us.  G takes off in her usual manner when she is off with purpose: she jettisons from the room and I cringe as she squeezes through the doorway with no margin (cringe), careens around the banister (cringe), and makes the hairpin turn to her bedroom (cringe).  The girl only has two speeds: no way and hell yes. She stops dead four feet into her room and does a big “ta-da”. Maren and I...

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PET results and cartwheels

Jun 22

The bad news: I have two new cancer spots.  Two more lymph nodes in my sternum (making four total) are lighting up showing cancerous activity. The good news: The two lymph nodes from my last scan are showing stable/no change.  They are not bigger/growing. The lung spot from the last scan is unchanged.  We didn’t even discuss it, so it’s not interesting to Dr. Wonderful which I take as very good news. My tumor marker test number was within “normal” range, which is all that matters.  Normal is good; normal is best case scenario. My cell search test registered at zero–this is huge; it means that cancer cells are not active in my bloodstream. My liver is cancer free. My bones are cancer free. My brain is cancer free. (The bones, brain, lungs, and liver are the four organs where breast cancer settles and creates tumors; death usually comes when cancerous tumors overtakes one or more of these organs.) Cancer in my lymph nodes is not an imminent risk to my vitality; I can live like this for fifty more years if the cancer has the decency to stay put. The plan: Dr. Wonderful is adding a drug.  Treatment at this stage is a delicate balance between being aggressive and preserving quality of life.  No one is better at striking this balance than Dr. Wonderful, and I trust his decision and understand his explanation.  We’re staying on my current regimen and adding one drug that will boost the hormonal resistance to cancer. How you can pray: Pray that the four lymph nodes in my sternum would be free from cancer and that cancer would cease spreading in my lymphatic system.  Currently all four are about one centimeter in size, which I tell you so that you can visualize them being obliterated! Pray that my bloodstream and vital organs would continue to be free from cancer. Pray for my miracle–forty-six more years! Pray for my quality of life, vitality, and energy both in spite of and because of my treatment. Pray that all of my treatments would be approved by my insurance. Pray for me to Do Today Well, every day. Pray for me to spend my (our) time, energy, and...

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My dad

Jun 21

My dad is super handy.  He’s able to fix anything.  When I was a young girl and something broke, we always put it on dad’s workbench.  “Broke” could mean out of batteries, or it could mean busted into fifteen pieces.  Within a few days, the broken treasure inevitably reappeared, as good as new.  My dad at his workbench is one of the iconic memories of my life: it’s one of the many ways he loved us, and loves us still.  I love that my dad sees worth in broken things and takes the time, energy and patience to restore it.  His willingness to restore things allows me to have treasures from not only my past, but generations past in the form of furniture, clocks, and other sentimental tributes. When I learned to drive in 1995, my dad installed a car phone in my car.  There was no “here’s how you change a tire” lesson or “let’s change the oil.”  There was just the promise that he would always be there, which was obviously far more comforting.  I know that whenever I have a problem, I can call dad and that will likely be the fastest and most efficient way to solve said problem.  He’s able to love and teach me and make me feel safe whilst still encouraging me to go and live my dreams.  He has never asked me to do anything for him, but simply to go and live the life of my dreams.  I’m doing it dad, and I’m proud of myself, in part, because I know you’re proud of me. My dad taught me to water-ski, and he is the very best boat driver I’ve ever ridden with.  The thrill of bursting out of the water and skimming along will forever remain one of my happiest places.  Along with those long, sun-soaked, music-filled boating days of my youth came the hours of preparation and the hours of unpacking of which I was blissfully unaware.  My dad has always done the most tedious and thankless jobs to make the days rich and focused on the fun.  He’s selfless and generous with all he has.  His work ethic, dependability, character and love are qualities I will aspire...

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It twinkled

Jun 18

I pulled in my driveway today, and thought what’s different?  My house looks so … clean. The answer?  No weeds! It was like breath of fresh air.  I think my house might have actually twinkled at me! Some sneaky weeders came to my house today and pulled all my weeds.  It was a mystery for most of the day, and I pondered and humdrummed over who it might have been.  I stifled the feeling that I “asked for it” when I shared it on the blog–trusting the gift as I’m sure it was intended.  Late in the day I got a text because one of the mini-weeders left a hat and they wanted me to keep an eye out for it.  Mystery solved.  I’m loved by some good-hearted folks.  Thanks friends.  Thanks village. It’s great to have a village who shows up when you ask for help. It’s great to have a village who shows up when you don’t ask for help. Lesson of the week for me?  Just show up when I see a need.  I’ve got a lot stored up in the pay-it-forward...

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