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

Lately In Life

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A bouquet I picked up at Peirano & Daughters while I shopped during McMinnville’s Turkey Rama Festival. Floral gorgeousness courtesy of Pollination Flowers.

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? That sun is radiant and it sets with breathtaking colors. Our children can ride their bikes or pick berries or binge watch TV all day–however it ends up, they are exhausted and pleased when their heads hit the pillows. We get a few extra hours of sunshine to pour another cocktail or get just a few more things done…Summer is rewarding despite any moments of feeling hurried.

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Joker + Batman sizing up a Grain Station Haystack Gold || Carlton park picnic table playtime with April’s boys Noah + Nathan || iPad “Frozen” storytelling || Pool play with EverJean Ritchie <3

Raine is living it up these days. He is playing with toys, planning his 4th birthday party, getting dirty on the playground, loving books, watching YouTube and storytelling apps, and playing with water. He loves water. He wants to be in it and playing with it all the time. Nightly baths are a treat, the town pool is beyond exciting, and our inflatable slide/kiddie pool in the back yard is getting tons of action. We will start swimming lessons for him next week. He is so eager! And his social nature just keeps growing by leaps and bounds. He values friendship highly and his compassion, humor, and sweetness continue to make me proud.

It might be strange for me to note this, but we have unique circumstances and I’m his mother and I’m paying attention to everything, so I’m just going to say it…

This is his last summer of innocence.

I am astounded by how quickly children grow, adapt, and connect all those dots out there in their universe. I suspect this is the most fascinating time to be his mother, but don’t we all say that during every single phase of our children’s lives? :) I choose not to be sad about this statement I have made; I am hopeful that our awareness and care as Raine understands and defines his reality with a father who has cancer will be as healthy as possible. It will be “normal,” and then not normal. And then, hopefully normal again, as it became for us–living our best to be in the balance of gratitude and wisdom in every moment. There is an instinct to protect him from it; the truth of disease. But honesty has been the road I’ve paved so far in life and I am choosing to continue. Every question he asks receives a fair answer. (“Why does daddy have special medicine?” It is what his doctor knows will help. “Where does daddy’s medicine go? His tummy?” All over his body. “What is daddy’s medicine?” Chemotherapy.

I genuinely believe that this blemish upon his life–this thing that will make him different and his family different will be a beautiful strength for him-it will create a powerfully special quality about him. I can already see him using it for good. (Oh my, what an ambitious mother I am. Ha!)

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A weekend of canning – Dan pickled cucumbers and green beans || I worked on some decor paint projects

When the going gets going…Keep going. We are enjoying Dan’s maintenance chemo schedule and the better level of wellness and energy he has. Despite our record heat this summer, Dan forges on with full work days and resuming hobbies and activities. He is cooking, gardening, canning, playing fantasy sports, bathing Raine and playing games with him. He also manages a date nights with me and still supports me in all of my undertakings, challenges, and ambition.

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Hugging him is truly the best tonic. I am so aware of his height and weight–the shoulder blades, the waist, and the stretch of curving skin between. Just feeling that part of him and breathing with his breath, smelling him–it all relaxes me and helps me. Also I utilize strong cocktails and weepy and/or angry venting phone calls or dates with my girlfriends. I am working so hard to manage my stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. I am reading, organizing, and challenging myself on a daily basis. I am seeking a near-perfect balance of work/play/rest that I feel I have the luxury to seek only because life suddenly uplifted for us; everything is being re-written for me. It is utterly overwhelming even though it is really a blessing. And there are tremendous growing pains but I feel rewarded. My work days are becoming my own, my workouts are becoming empowering, and my gratitude is growing beyond anything I ever imagined.

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Chemo with our favorite visitor, Patrick! || Dan’s favorite date night Thai dish: Lana’s Favorite at Sawatdee in Sherwood || My business is launching…I’m an official member of McMinnville Area Chamber now! || We opened a special brew saved in our fridge for a year or more… just to share it. (Thanks Andy)

How are you spending your summer? Do you have projects? Trips? Special outings or dates? Do you feel overwhelmed by summer’s busyness or do you love it!? What is your favorite way to relax?

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