Don’t these things happen in threes?

Jan 23

Don’t these things happen in threes?

This morning I showed up for coffee with a friend exactly on time.  So I was pretty proud of myself, obviously.  By 9:40am, I checked our text thread to make sure I was at the correct Starbucks.  At 9:41am, I checked my calendar to make sure that we were in fact meeting this Wednesday and not next Wednesday.  I considered calling her, but figured she’s not that late, so I should wait a bit longer.  Lord knows I am not the one to hound anyone about timeliness. And then I realized it’s Tuesday, and I showed up for a coffee date twenty-four hours early. And then I texted her because I can’t not share my hilarity:   Last week, I was slinging dinner around the kitchen.  I set water to boil on the stove, I turned the temperature down on the oven, I set the table.  I thought, “I wonder if I should put the veggies in now; when will Maren be home?” And then my stomach plummeted because I remembered that I was the pick up parent for volleyball practice.  I snapped the oven off, hollered at Greta to “Get in the van QUICK!”, and grabbed my keys.  I eyed the clock as I pulled out of the driveway. Practice had ended a full thirty minutes prior.  Ooops.  I called the other carpool families en route, and told them, “Kiddo is going to be home a bit late from practice, mmmkay?” “Sure, no problem,” said the friends because I am only friends with people who have a high capacity for grace-giving. “Just to be clear, everything is fine (I think), and it’s just that I forgot to pick them up.  No excuses, no logic, I was just making dinner and just plumb forgot.” Friend says, “That is….. ….. awesome!  That is hilarious!” she laughed, “You are never going to live this down.” She’s so right.  And then she asked, “Do you need me to go turn anything off at your house since you were in the middle of making dinner?” “No.”  Then I thought about it, “Hmmmm, er, maybe,” I stammered.  “I mean, I know I turned off the oven, but it is entirely possible that I left...

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Remember this

Jan 22

Remember this

Last weekend our little family of four spent forty-eight hours in a little remote cabin in the woods.  It was rustic, remote, cozy, and exactly what we needed.  Brad planned the whole thing and he always delivers the most amazing relationship building experiences.  I love my husband. We packed snow gear and sled, board games galore, books, knitting (Maren), friendship bracelet string (Greta), new Christmas art supplies, and all the coloring things.  When it was time to load the car, Brad gazed upon the bags (andbagsandbagsandbags) by the door and said, “How long are we going for?!”  Sorry honey, we do need all the things. The four of us stopped at a teeny tiny grocery store that is one of the stores that Brad is currently working with at his job, so it was interesting for him to see another client, and for all of us do the shopping together.  The girls got PopTarts which is a direct correlation to their current opinion that grocery shopping is one of their most favorite things to do. On Saturday we settled in with a cozy fire, reading time, a game of Monopoly, and exploring every detail of our cabin in the woods.  On Sunday morning, the girls decided to burn off some steam and mess up the pristine snow surrounding the cabin.  I retrieved the book Maren asked me to read: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and I began rooting for the main character from the very first page.  Steamin coffee in hand, I nestled into an exceptionally comfortable recliner with a view out the front window to the hillside where my daughters played.  I alternated between reading my book and looking out the window.  The two bright spots of turquoise and magenta charged around with an intensity made stronger by the white blanket and crisp air around them.  They explored and circumnavigated our cabin. Sometimes their voices carried the waft and simmer of strategic planning and camaraderie.  Other times I heard shouts and squeals of glee.  And of course I heard tones of discontent and weight.  All of it is the verbage of siblings, different accents in the same language.  They made snow angels and...

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My regimen(t)

Jan 15

It’s about that time: I’ve been on this drug combination long enough to understand how I feel and to get into a routine.  I’m on Herceptin (infusions through my port), Faslodex (shots), and Ibrance (oral pills); I like that these three are all administered differently: as I visualize cancer being destroyed, I like that I have a variety of pathways of attack.  I liken my regimen to my regiment: warriors for good. This combo is treating me really *really* well; I feel better than I have in two years.  Last winter I spent most of my days in bed, and this winter I have dusted off my recipe box, dumbbells, and bookshelf.  In a potent way, it feels like I am also dusting off my brain and my body: I’m asking both of them to function in arenas that I haven’t attempted in — literally — years.  One example is how different this holiday season was for us: Brad and I did the math and figured out that we served our combined families three hundred meals over eleven days when we hosted them back-to-back in December.  It is a big blessing to have the energy to serve; I’ve missed it. In seasons where I am sick from my treatments, I have spoken about the things that I give up: everything from cooking for my family to being in shape, from having a job to volunteering at church.  I’ve given up a lot.  I’ve also spoken about the blessing of this process: I have had the privilege of evaluating and holding on to only my most dear priorities.  I’ve had to pare down to the core essence of Jen, and fight for the things that make me feel the most alive.  I never do anything because I ‘should’.  Few get to be as fiercely intentional with their most valuable resource (time) as I do.  I get credit for this, as does Brad, and my entire village for helping us with a level of commitment that often overwhelms me. Now in this season of betterness, I feel I’ve gotten to pause and look around at the treasures at my feet and decide which ones I am going to pick up.  Ironically,...

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