• Adenocarcinoma,  Alcensa,  ALK,  ALK-Inhibitors,  Anxiety,  Cancer,  Corey,  Dan,  Honestly,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  Nick,  NSCLC,  Radiation,  Scanxiety,  Surgery,  Surgxiety,  Targeted Radiation,  Tumors

    Medical Update – Shoulder Surgery & Radiation Results

    We spent a Saturday evening in Chicago celebrating the 40th birthday of our bestie, Corey. (Shout out to Corey! He is the reason we ended up dating and getting married.) Dan had just enough energy to live it up and enjoy being with friends. So this guy likes to keep me on my toes. Wednesday Dan will have surgery for a complete shoulder replacement. First thing I know is that his shoulder hurt while golfing, and then all of the sudden we are in for a matrix bionic shoulder. Ok, that might be extreme, but I have seen the sling he will need to use and it kind of makes…

  • Awesomeness,  Beer,  Berry,  Books,  Dan,  Friends,  Grandpa Don,  Gratitude,  Grieving,  Home,  Honestly,  Illinois,  Leah,  Photos,  Sunday Sunday,  Taylor

    Sunday , Sunday – Edition 2

      Things that made me smile the last two weeks … What made you smile? Having drinks with my neighbor and friend, Taylor, Friday. We used some of my mom’s glasses from the hutch collections to sip our blueberry sour lambic. She helped me untangle ribbon for the gift boxes. We talked about anything and everything while the kids played. You know, adulthood? Raine describing the new business to his buddy: My mom got a business. She makes boxes (gesturing to them). She puts little surprises inside and when people open them, they’re like, “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Should I make that my tag line? The sun. I know everyone here thinks it…

  • Awesomeness,  Birthday,  Celebrate,  Char,  Dan,  Doug,  Family,  Friends,  Grateful,  Holidays,  Jim,  Joy,  Leah,  Memories,  Oregon,  Peoria,  Photos,  Rachel,  Raine

    And Along Came a 40th Birthday

    It felt like an outrageous accomplishment. It felt like the summit of Mt. Everest. And it also felt normal. We made it to his 40th birthday and life with cancer has become so normal to us, I was distracted by daily non-cancer minutia and completely forgot to plan something. While I was distracted, Dan planned his trip to Oregon. He always hoped to celebrate his 40th by traveling to the beautiful southern coast of Oregon to visit Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, consistently rated among the top golf courses in the nation. He set up plane flights, a rental car, air b&b’s for Lake Oswego and Bandon, reserved a golf cart–got a…

  • Announcement,  Anxiety,  Art,  Cancer,  Chicago,  Dan,  Doug,  Food,  Hospital Stays,  Lung Cancer,  Lung Cancer Community,  NSCLC,  PTSD,  Scanxiety

    Medical Update – Spring 2017

    The prelude to winter began with Dan’s hospitalization November 1st. I spent the day wrestling with my intuition that I needed a significant break–things were getting to be too much and I felt super fragile. I talked to the HR manager at work and decided to take a leave of absence for the month of November. I came home and told Dan, only to discover he was developing a fever. I needed to take him to the ER so my abrupt decision suddenly seemed genius. Honestly, I felt like I really couldn’t put a price on the relief I felt to not have to call in and get a shift…

  • Allyson,  Birthday,  Books,  Cards,  Celebrate,  Gifts,  Joy

    Lovely Gifts: Eva’s 1st Birthday

    little monkey! 2016 gave us the opportunity to celebrate the loveliest little munchkin’s first birthday, Miss Eva Caroline! Raine and I put together a birthday package for her in September; a colorful combination of handmade art, expensive apparel, and hand-me-down toys and book. Then we got to hold her, hug her, and try to keep up with her during our trip to Colorado after Thanksgiving. Oh, the sweetness! Thinking of her makes me so happy.   dinnertime munchies in the car, we sat in the back seat with her and sang songs. she especially liked twinkle twinkle little star. pirate bootie snackies and the cutest bib ever! where did you get it…

  • Awesomeness,  Celebrate,  Christmas,  Dan,  Family,  Flowers,  Friends,  Gifts,  Grateful,  Holidays,  Joy,  Memories,  New Years Eve,  Raine

    2016 Gave Us a Different Kind of Christmas…

    I started decorating and helping Raine get ready for the holiday season the day we returned from Colorado (a trip to see friends after Thanksgiving). I was grateful that I did that–I didn’t know the majority of December would be engulfed by the trauma and duties of grief, then caught up in the whirlwind of our very first Christmas with our families (12 years overdue). Although it felt like a mad dash to get ready for Christmas after the funeral on the 15th, I had a few moments to slow down and try to find my way inside the consoling cover of a peaceful and joyful moment. Seeing sentimental items and…

  • Anxiety,  Awesomeness,  Bipolar Disorder II,  Dan,  Depression,  Fibromyalgia,  Friends,  Grateful,  Gratitude,  Joy,  Leah,  Memories,  Raine,  Travel

    Disneyland!

    We did it! We went to Disneyland! Thank you to all of our amazing donors who helped make the trip possible! Thank you to Allyson Patterson, Aileen Fontana, Charlene Herzing, Doug Herzing, Patricia O’Brien, Javeed Shah, Frank Sierawski, Terrah Barkley, Bronwen Thiebes, Andrea Barry, Melissa Ritchie, April Catlett, Mark Nicklas, Linda Buchanan, Sarah Christensen, and the Lemont Township High School Class of 1995! It was a quick trip–two travel days and two days in the parks–but the difference it made in our lives was incredible. I have told a few friends who have asked how it was, “I think it was so absolutely amazing because we went into it with very low…

  • Anxiety,  Art,  Dan,  Depression,  Hattie,  Home,  Honestly,  Leah,  Life Lately,  Memories,  Nature,  Optimism,  Photos,  Raine,  Therapy,  Travel,  Vineyard

    Summer Recap

    I believe what I would remember most about this summer (and the quickly approaching end of it) was 1.) Trying to come to terms with the demands of my own health, and 2.) A fierce nesting phase as I tried to both prepare to launch my new graphic design business and transform our house into a rather lovely home. Before Dan was diagnosed last year, I was so busy working full-time managing the shop in McMinnville and operating my LuLaRoe business, our house was pretty empty and neglected, save a lot of toys. I also spent little time focusing on my health other than occasional diets and taking meds without stopping to consider…

  • April,  Beer,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Drink,  Fibromyalgia,  Flowers,  Food,  Gratitude,  Home,  Leah,  Life Lately,  Love,  McMinnville,  Optimism,  Oregon,  Parenting,  Photos,  Raine

    Lately In Life

    So let’s talk about life lately. We are nearing the end of July, folks. Summer is pretty busy, isn’t it? It certainly has quite a zeal to it. If it were fall or winter, I suspect we would be judging our busyness and blaming it on “back to school” or the holidays, or this or that. But because summer is sunny and the days are so generous, we feel kind of relaxed about our busyness, don’t we? Where we live, farmers are hustling and the swimming pool is crowded. Every single weekend is booked with a festival of some sorts–not to mention a personal social invitation or two. But who minds?…