• Announcement,  Awesomeness,  Cancer,  Cardinal + Finch,  Dan,  Gifts,  Grandpa Don,  Honestly,  Leah

    Young Cancer Family Starts Gift Business – We Need Your Help!

    {Medical Update: Dan’s shoulder replacement surgery was successful! He is such a rock star; he was sent home the following morning. Like, 24 hours later–In a giant hospital t-shirt that said “get moving,” super tight scrub pants, and no shoes. Clearly, I was not prepared with an overnight bag. He started physical therapy after two weeks of resting and is driving, cooking, and managing his pain well. We are keeping a close watch on his edema for signs of infection but so far so good!}   I developed this little hobby of making gift boxes full of wonderful goodies. I pretended it was a real business and gave it a…

  • Awesomeness,  Bipolar Disorder,  Dan,  Dr. Singh,  Gifts,  Gratitude,  Hobbes,  Hope,  Marriage,  Sunday Sunday

    Sunday, Sunday – Edition 1

      We survived another week! Time for another. Things that made me smile … What made you smile? The kindness and generosity of somone who is going to help us get Hobbes treatment to remove the tumor on his tummy. Creating a new playroom for Raine so that he can pretend he is an American Ninja Warrior. Vegan cookies from Cyd’s. My options are thin for a dairy allergy, so when in Peoria … Buy 4 cookies and live large! ( I would share a photo…But you know it! I ate them so fast.) Catching up with friends. Celebrity name drop! TAYLOR BLACK. JON BYLER DAN. ALLYSON PATTERSON. The support…

  • 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…

  • Awesomeness,  Dan,  Donations,  Gifts,  Grateful

    Lovely Gifts: A Yearbook & Donation

    A formal blog Thank You is in order for this lovely gift we received last month. Classmates that attended the 20th year reunion signed a yearbook with messages to Dan and donated money toward our trip to Disneyland. The donation made a significant difference and the heartfelt messages were encouraging. A classmate also donated a prize she won, an Amazon gift card, which we will use to get Raine a special present from Santa next month! Dan was so honored that his classmates were thinking of him. We both got choked up when we heard the news. Acts of generosity and kindness like this mean more to us than anyone…

  • Dan,  Family,  Father's Day,  Gifts,  Guest Post,  Jim,  Lung Cancer,  Raine

    Dan’s Thoughts on Father’s Day

    My favorite part of Father’s Day this year was sitting outside the tasting room at ArborBrook Vineyards with my wife, son, and our friends, the Timmen family. It was a beautiful sunny day with good conversation and a really nice cheese plate. There were also some very sweet cards from Leah and Raine, and just prior to Father’s Day, Leah bought me some nice clothes to update my look (which was basically my look since high school). {Editor’s note: I didn’t update his look, I just improved upon it with quality and fit. ;) } Sometimes I think of Father’s Day as: “Well, we have Mother’s Day, so I guess…

  • Beer,  Drink,  Gifts,  Grateful,  Leah,  Music

    Lovely Gifts: My Piano

    Words can not express my gratitude and excitement to get a piano! I took lessons for ten years in my childhood and played for many years while I lived with my parents. It had been two years since I touched a piano and 13 years since I had a piano in my home. It has been a complete joy to sit down and remember how to play again, and how incredible it felt to play in my soul. I am working on “Clair de Lune” for Dan and “Jingle Bells” for Raine. Thank you to my wonderful husband for understanding how valuable and therapeutic it would be for me to…

  • Carlton,  Dan,  Doug,  Flowers,  Gifts,  Grateful,  Hobbes,  Holidays,  Joy,  Leah,  Love,  Photos,  Raine,  Rocco,  Snail Says,  Special Events,  Wine

    Our Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony

    There was a beautiful opportunity that opened up for us to renew our wedding vows on Valentine’s Day. In three weeks, I planned a small ceremony for us with our siblings, Doug and Rachel, and enlisted a few friends and community members to help us put it together at the last minute (on a shoestring budget). It all fell together like clouds parting to let a generous slice of sunshine through–and that warmth covered us so that we felt rejuvenated as a couple. It was utterly luxurious to dress up, shamelessly invoke romance, and focus entirely upon our love and our solemn vows to one another. You can read more about leading…

  • Alternative Treatments,  Cancer,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Dr. Duffy,  Essential Oils,  Fibromyalgia,  Gifts,  Grateful,  Leah,  Nature,  Photos,  Raine

    One Week in Photos 1/6 – 1/13

    I made a new friend recently, Jane, who advised me that she was inspired to wear lipstick in the New Year. She wrote, ” I have decided to embrace each moment by celebrating more and wearing red lipstick. Me, wearing red lipstick is a pretty funny resolution as I am someone who forgets I own make-up most of the time, but for me it means that I am wearing a badge of confidence in a way. A statement that draws attention to myself, something I tend do avoid in the majority of circumstances, the year of red lipstick.” This struck me so deeply. I, too, have never been one to…

  • Friends,  Gifts,  Gratitude,  Love

    Lovely Gift: Our Bracelets

    Thank you to our dear friends Lorri and Carmen, who gave us these matching bracelets for Christmas. It is such a special gift–so lovely and thoughtful and keenly appropriate–I just don’t have words. They are beautiful pieces, designed by Lisa Gaffney of Heart and Sol Designs, and inscribed with the custom phrase that I wrote in my first blog post: “Everything around us is extraordinarily beautiful and luxurious now.” We wear them daily and think of one another and how lucky we are.