• 2017,  Dearest Don Raine,  Family,  Flowers,  Grieving,  Holidays,  Hope,  JD,  JD,  Joy,  Love,  Memories,  Nate,  Nature,  New Years Day,  Oregon,  Parenting,  Raine,  Travel,  Values

    Dearest Don Raine – This Was 2017

    I regret that I didn’t write and share photos more in 2017 in this special space. The loss of Grandma Mary at the end of 2016 extinguished a spark in my heart. I worried that the spark could never return. I now know that her death changed me, Leah, as I know myself, evermore. It feels like I had to get used to this new version of me all year long. If you should lose a physical part of yourself–this is what I imagine it would feel like. How does one begin to live anew without want for what was lost? A leg, hands, sight, or hearing? I find my…

  • 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…

  • Flowers,  Grateful,  Grieving,  Holidays,  Love,  Raine

    Valentine’s Day

    While Dan rested over the weekend, Raine and I finally checked out the Peoria Riverfront Museum with our friends John, Kate, Marlena, and Penelope. It was a beautiful day so we also spent time playing at the park by the Riverplex, where there is a super cool zip line. Watching Raine and Marlena interact is such a joy. They play well together and I have waited so long to enjoy seeing Raine play with my best friends’ children.   Saturday night I was at the Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s concert Romance, with an after party in the lobby with a 10 piece swing band, dancing, and champagne until midnight (at least, for me).…

  • Anxiety,  Cards,  Christmas,  Flowers,  Grieving,  Holidays,  Life Lately,  New Years Eve

    Why I’m Writing Holiday Cards Now

    Our culture loves itself a holiday card! There seems to be a mad dash in the month of December to get. those. cards. out! I have always been caught up in that race, but not because I felt pressured to participate. I genuinely loved the act and the intention. Just maybe not the deadline. I have always had a very old-fashioned sensibility that values practiced penmanship and all types of stationary as well as fonts, typewriters, and printmaking. If you know me well, you know that you are going to get a birthday card in the mail, every year of your life, even if you are turning a very boring age…

  • 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…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  Cancer,  Dan,  Flowers,  Grateful,  Holidays,  Honestly,  Hope,  Hospital Stays,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  Metastasis,  NSCLC,  Oregon,  Raine

    My Mega Blog Post

    We have enjoyed a beautiful start to Spring here in Carlton, Oregon. Raine enjoyed celebrating Easter with egg hunts, gifts, treats, and time with friends. Dan’s exam and maintenance chemo treatment on the Friday that followed Easter was without concern or change. For Christians, Easter is a celebration of Hope. I remember learning about Easter’s entire procession as a child in Sunday School. What stood out to me was the palm fronds waved and placed in adoration of a spiritual leader. And then the death of such a beloved teacher and inspiration, to be followed by the mystical resurrection of his body. It was fascinating for me to contemplate as…

  • Awesomeness,  Bipolar Disorder II,  Birthday,  Celebrate,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Depression,  Grateful,  Halloween,  Holidays,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  Memories,  Nature,  NSCLC,  Photos,  Raine,  Rocco,  Scanxiety,  Vineyard

    My Birthday, Halloween, & Scan Results

      (This is a long overdue post that sat in my draft folder for over a month! Yikes!) For me, October was a blur of changing leaves and trying medications. I am really proud to say that I worked hard at getting healthier and by now, December, I am stable on some fantastic drugs (the disolve tab Lamichtal is pretty rad!) and feeling very stable, with a greater clarity of mind and ability to experience joy again. Just in time for the magical holiday season, so I truly could not feel more grateful. I am a busy worker bee with 4 jobs (more about that later!) and Raine continues 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…