• 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…

  • 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).…

  • Birthday,  Dearest Don Raine,  Gratitude,  Journaling,  Leah,  Love,  Memories

    Dearest Don Raine

    Dearest Don Raine, When you were an infant, I opened the first page of a special journal and wrote to you. I never picked it up again after that; my apologies. You will learn that habits need at least 30 consecutive days to establish themselves definitively in our lives and I certainly didn’t give it 30 days. I was disappointed in myself for a while because I kept a diary as a child and was always faithful to writing throughout the years. After four years, I thought that I could still write in this special journal; I could go back and write from memories stirred by photographs and videos.  So here…

  • 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?…

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • Carlton,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Grieving,  Holidays,  Honestly,  Illness,  Joy,  Leah,  Love,  Parenting,  Photos,  Raine,  Video

    Christmas 2014

    These are all photos taken by our talented friend, Christie, for our holiday cards. I can’t even tell you how much I love them. We were at Cana’s Feast, and those are my beloved mountains in the background. I’m not one to wear bright red, or even put Raine in bright red, but it happened by chance at the last minute when I raided his hand-me-down boxes and my latest LuLaRoe shipment. I think we look super cute. There is such a great deal of joy radiating from these photos, and that makes my heart swell. I designed a holiday postcard that reads JOY and shares our wish for joy in…