• 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…

  • Dan,  Dearest Don Raine,  Nature,  Raine,  Special Events,  Washington

    Dearest Don Raine

    Dearest Don Raine, I’m not sure where to begin. I thought I could be one of those parents who blogged that could (well, blog reguarlarly for starters…) post letters to their children, but it turns out I am not and I haven’t even been doing a good job of trying. It has actually been two years since I wrote my first blog letter to you. I’m not going to apologize because there’s a delicate point to be made that perhaps all of my blog is for you. It is for me, to create and cope; it is for those who read it, to take what they will from it; and then…

  • Awesomeness,  Cards,  Dan,  Joy,  Leah,  Love Letters,  Memories,  Nature,  Photos

    Our First Date

    MEDICAL UPDATE: (After yesterday’s post) Dan’s heart showed improvement yesterday so the catheter was removed and he was moved out of CICU last night. Today cytology results came back and there were no cancer cells in the fluid. He was discharged today!   Top 10 Reasons Our First Date Was Weird But Awesome (Kind of like our journey being in love the past 12 years) Our first date was at a wedding. Thank you, Allie and Joel Birchler. The wedding was out-of-state in northern Indiana. It was a weekend-long date, because I had plans to go camping with our mutual friends, Hattie and Corey, while we were all there for the…

  • Cancer,  Dan,  Grieving,  Illness,  Journaling,  Leah,  Memories,  Nature,  Oregon,  Raine

    Three Deer

    At 11:00 p.m. Monday night I drove down our street away from our house, turning left at the stop sign onto 7th street. I slowed as a mule deer caught my attention; she stood in the middle of the street surrounded by a soft, hazy strip of white from a single streetlight above. She didn’t move. My hands, slightly trembling, fell from the steering wheel to my lap as I sat still, watching her, my foot held on the break, waiting. She inched forward a few times, her gait slow, wandering, and then she stepped into the grass. There, another deer stood with a fawn. I watched them as they stood together for a few…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Flowers,  Lovely Place,  McMinnville,  Nature,  Oregon

    My Favorite Sidewalk in McMinnville

    One of the things that we loved most about Oregon when we moved here was how wild and free the landscaping could get. At first it was peculiar to not see perfectly mowed bright green turf, but ten years later, overgrown variety is the norm. This particular sidewalk surrounds a building where we go often for meetings, get-togethers, and dates; there are businesses providing excellent coffee and tea, food, wine and beer, and brewing equipment/materials. I love this spot for its midsummer display: lavender, russian sage, hollyhock, lamb’s ear, yarrow, daisies, crocosmia, and more. It is a lush, colorful, and fragrant spot that reminds me to slow down, physically and mentally. Sometimes I…