Friday, December 6, 2013


I miss writing on my blog, so here I am.  I'm warning you right now before you start reading, that this post is ramblings of what's going on in my head, and will most likely not follow any logical writing pattern at all.

I've been trying to figure out how to get back into this, and it hasn't been easy.  I have been through the biggest losses of my life this year, and I've been grieving.  I know there is no right way to grieve.  I know I have to do whatever feels right to me, but sometimes I just don't want to figure out what feels right.  I just want to stay in bed.  My parents died 204 days apart from each other.  Sometimes it's hard to think about anything other than that.

I have had friends or acquaintances lose parents in the past.  Until you go through it, you just don't understand.  Nobody understands.  Everything that has gone through my head to write down here just sounds SO cliche.  Like I've heard it a million times before from other people when they've gone through this.  But I didn't understand.  There was no way I could have.

Cancer sucks.

It's not fair.

This happened to MY mom.

It all happened way too fast.

I want more time with her.

I want one more hug.

Did that all really just happen?

I don't have ANY parents anymore.

I would give anything to sit at another chemo infusion or blood transfusion with her.  Sometimes we'd sit in silence and knit together, and sometimes I'd listen to her little things that were so annoying at the time.  How she had to tell every single nurse her whole story about her power port, or how she is getting over pneumonia, or the story behind the dishcloths she was knitting.  We'd always end up laughing though, and I never took one minute for granted.  She gave me a hard time for pushing her wheelchair into the elevator forwards instead of backing in, like Erin did.  I'm sorry, mom.  I should have backed in for you.  I'm sorry when I left your tea bag in your cup too long.  And I'm sorry for hitting the pot hole at 10th Ave E and 4th St EVERY time I drove you through that intersection.

Sometimes I wonder about the people at the cancer center that were so nice to us.  I wonder if they ever think about mom.  Is there like a staff memo that comes out to let them know if a patient doesn't make it?  Or do they just have to assume if they don't ever come back?

The lady at the check in desk has a steel trap mind.  She knew every single patient that she checked in.  Mom never had to tell her what her name was, except when she needed her to recite it out loud with her birthdate before she put her wristband on every day.  She was so nice and funny.  Ironically...  I can't remember her name right now.  Dumb, isn't it?

And I wonder how some of the other patients are doing that we'd see there often.  We didn't ever really talk to any of them, but it doesn't stop me from wondering about them.

Lordy, I don't know where I'm even going with this blog post.

I guess I should use this post as a thank you to everyone for being so kind to me through all of this.  I probably haven't been the very best friend, or fun to be around.  I'm still not.  I'm doing my best, and as I dig myself out of this hole I'm in, thank you for being patient with me and noticing when I need help digging, or when I just need a day of digging by myself.  Sometimes I just need to sit down and stop digging.  It's an evil battle that I'm fighting.  Some days I feel like I've lost.  Other days I feel like I have more energy to keep on fighting.

I have gained a new perspective on so many different things in my life through all of this.  I'm really trying not to write one big cliche here, I promise.  But I guess I don't know how else to feel right now.

Dad, I miss you very much.  I hope the strawberry shakes in heaven are even better than McDonald's.

Mom, I think about you every day.  I am hurting, but I will be ok.  It has been almost a month since you left us, and I still can't really believe that it's true and that it all really happened.  I'm glad you are finally not sick anymore.

Thank you both for what you've taught me.  I hope I am making you proud.  We are taking good care of Sami for you.  I know she misses you both very much too.  Thanksgiving sucked without you, and Christmas will suck worse.  We will do our best to keep on with your traditions, and start some of our own.  We ALL miss and love you!

I'm so very, very ready for 2013 to be over, and to start over with the new year!



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Something I knitted!

I bet you all thought I quit knitting, didn't you?  Hahahahaha!  Hardly.  It's just been a long time since I've blogged any knitting progress.

One of the dads in our hockey community was recently diagnosed with esophageal and liver cancer.  I tell you, that nasty C word is everywhere people.  I hate it so bad.  So again, here I am wishing I could do something to help this family get through such a hard time.

When they announced that they were going to hold a benefit with a silent auction to raise some funds to help this family tackle their medical bills, I knew this was my chance!

Out came the needles, and this is what they produced.

I'm not sure how much money I was able to help them raise, but I'm hoping it will help ease the burden just a bit.  Mom also made an afghan that we donated too!  Isn't she awesome?

I encourage you to go find something to do with your time that will benefit someone else.  It's a kinda cool feeling.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lutsen 2013

I am overjoyed to report that mom went home from the hospital last Friday with virtually no leukemic cells in her body, her white count, platelet count, and hemoglobin count slowly rising, and a sense of relief that I can't even explain.  Well, I had the relief for sure, and I'm assuming she did too.
This journey has not been easy.  We hit a very scary patch very quickly and there were simply no guarantees that she'd bounce back.  I am so very, very thankful that she did, and that we were granted more time with her.  Because it's just better with her here.
This is not to say that her cancer is cured, or that it won't come back.  In fact, we are pretty much sure that it will come back, but we have no idea when.  For today, it is gone, and I'm very happy about that.
Mom made it home just in time for our annual "Lutsen" trip with friends.  This was our 14th year renting a house with awesome friends and unwinding together. 
I think it's funny that we still refer to this trip as our "Lutsen" trip, even though we only actually go to the Lutsen, MN area roughly every other year.

This time we headed to a beautiful home a little north of Bayfield, WI, right on the shore of Lake Superior.

Being that we were kind of tucked into a bay at the mouth of a river, we didn't get the larger rounded Lake Superior rocks and crashing waves that we are accustomed to on the North Shore of the lake on the Minnesota side.

Instead we saw sandy beaches, which would have been nice if it were 80 degrees out, but that's not too common for this part of the country in Mid October.

None of us really mind though, because this trip isn't really about laying on the beach anyway.

It more about spending time with these friends.


Champagne and Knitting?  Don't mind if I do!
Our house was nicely stocked with Fiestaware and Pyrex.  It took everything in me not to just take them all home with me to add to my cupboards!
We played some games,
Drank some beverages,

Watched an incredible moon rise,

Ate some FABULOUS food,

(psssst!  Look what I cooked!  A whole bunch of root vegetables and they were soooo good!)

And went for a walk in the morning before the dew went away.

I can smell this picture.

I was a little worried what the status of the fall leaves would be since we were going a little later this year, but Mama Nature and her colors sure didn't disappoint.

Thank you again, Lutsen crew.  I know it was a little quieter year for me, but it was exactly what I needed right now. 
Good food, good friends, good wine.  Fresh air, laughter, and naps.
I absolutely cannot wait for next year.  FIFTEEN and going strong!








Thursday, October 10, 2013

Home tomorrow!

Mom gets to go home tomorrow!

We are being cautiously optimistic though.  They are sending her home because her fever has held for a few days and they were able to change her antibiotics to pill form instead of IV form.  Her white count is not rebounding like it was supposed to, so they will most likely suspend the chemo treatments.  She'll continue to go in for lab work and receive blood and platelet transfusions as needed.

Yesterday she walked two full laps around 3E pretty well, and I was able to take her outside in a wheel chair for a bit so she could get some fresh air.

Sami has had a busy week with us, even catching a football game.  I'm sure she'll appreciate spending time on mom's lap again back at home!



Monday, October 7, 2013

Cancer sucks.

I am not happy today.  I'm mad.  I'm angry at cancer.  It sucks.  It's pissing me off.

Sorry mom.  I know you are reading this.

Mom has been in the hospital since last Tuesday with a fever and pneumonia.  Her white blood cell count is hovering around 1, and that's just not enough to fight off whatever she has.

The docs are giving her antibiotics, blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, cough medicine, Tylenol, and whatever else she needs, but she still can't go home.  She really wants to go home.  I really want her to go home.

Kelly came up for the weekend and we spent a ton of time together and had some good laughs.  We brought the Scrabble board into the hospital and played a mad game with her yesterday.  But she cheats and we let her.  (You tell me.  Is zeel a valid scrabble word?)  :)

Today is back to work, sitting at my desk wishing I could be there with her to keep her company.

I love you mom.  I know this is hard and sucks.  I wish I could snap my fingers and make it better.  I would have done it from day one if I could have.

I love you!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life is Good.

I have a hard time writing about my emotions on my blog.  It's easy peasy to write about something good that has happened, or something I did that I'm proud of and I'd like to share it with you.  But when things aren't perfect, I guess I go a little more quiet than normal.

Because who wants to come and read a blog about me being sad or stressed, right?  I want to keep this a light, fun place.  I love making people smile.  I love hearing from someone that I've made them smile.

I read something the other day on one of the too many social media sites that I'm 100% addicted to that said something like - Try to go 24 hours without complaining, and just see what happens. So I did. And it was honestly eye-opening. Of course I failed. But I will say that I significantly cut down on my complaining for that day, and I'm trying hard to carry it through to every day. Lord knows I do my share of complaining (who doesn't need a good vent every now and then, right?), but I really, really don't want to complain here.

I'm not even really sure where I'm going with this, just that sometimes we are dealt with challenges that make it easy to overlook the good stuff you have in your life, and to be thankful for it. I'm so lucky to have friends and family that remind me of this when I most need it.

So yes, my list of stress causing issues is ever growing and rotating, but so is my list of blessings.

Mom is feeling good today.  They have decided to space her chemo treatments from every 4 weeks to every 6 weeks to allow her body more time to produce healthy cells in between treatments.  This is a VERY welcome change in her treatment plan.  The doc said last week that she is responding to treatment the best possible way she could be.  Hopefully with this change, she will need fewer blood transfusions between treatments.

We are 2.5 weeks into the school year, and I think we are starting to get used to schedules again.  There are still things to be added, but we'll squeeze them in.  (Hockey hasn't even started yet!  Ha!)

Last night I prepped and froze 17 quarts of apples from the In-Law's backyard.  Full freezers make me happy.  I have 55 pounds of tomatoes that will be delivered to me next Wednesday that will be turning into canned spaghetti sauce and salsa.  We will be well prepped for the apocalypse.

So although I have a ton on my plate right now, there is more good than bad.  Someone reminded me this morning when I was up to my eyeballs in crud, and in the middle of a major complaining session, that God only deals you what you can handle.  Yes.  I totally needed that reminder.

Life is good.



Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Wedding! Chris and Kristin

I used to babysit this beautiful bride when she was just a wee one, and when she got old enough, she babysat my kiddos.  Now she's all grown up, and we had the pleasure of seeing her tie the knot with her beau this weekend!

It may have rained, and changed the plan for the outdoor wedding, but it was still beautiful, and I thank you for inviting us to be a part of this day with you!  I wish you many, many happy years together!!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Football Season is Here.

Which means there is something new to blog about!

Last night was our first scrimmage, which was really run more as a practice since we just pretty much scrimmaged ourselves.

I will admit that football isn't my favorite sport to watch.  But when your kid is playing it, it gets a whole lot more interesting.  

Andy took last year off, but decided he'd like to give it another try this year,

So there have been practices after school almost every day so far.  He is exhausted when he gets home, and all of his stinky gear stays at the school in the locker room.  Win/Win!!

Coach is awesome.  "You four stooges here in the back row better be paying attention!"

Strategizing... and then they put Andy in for Quarterback for the rest of the day!


I sure wish these football players would realize that my pictures would turn out much better in this drizzly darkish weather if they would just hold still.

If I were going to be a quarterback, I'd much prefer the play where I would stand back a bit and the other guy would throw it to me.

See?  They only stand still for a minute, and then it's just a flurry of motion, very disrespectful to the photographer who hasn't mastered her camera settings yet.

You will have to trust me that my kid is somewhere in the middle of this mess, and that he threw that football up into the air.

Still for a moment...

Still for a moment...

And then everything moves everywhere.

Ahh, well, we still have 6 games left, so hopefully I'll get a little better at this as the season progresses?  We can only hope.  Ha!