Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The one where I return and report

Hi all.

Didn't mean to drop a bomb like that on you and then disappear for over a week. Sorry 'bout that.

The Dan update is this: Surgery went well, though it was hours and hours of an agonizing wait. Took way longer than it was supposed to.

They were able to remove the entire tumor without removing his kidney, but it did turn out to be cancer. He is doing great and will see the doctor next week to find out more. We are not sure what the next steps will be (if any). We are furiously hoping that the tumor removal is the end of this saga for him (with the exception of those body scans and blood tests he'll probably have to endure every six months or so). Fingers crossed that there will be no chemo or radiation.

Thanks a million for your thoughts and prayers. Daniel has no idea how many strangers out there were pulling for him. You peeps rock.

Me? I returned last night in the wee hours from a gorgeous, ridiculously lavish vacation with the family. My laptop died on the plane ride out (literally. Won't turn on. Any ideas, anyone?), and as soon as I am finished washing the sand from our laundry, I will upload the millions of photos I took and make you feel extremely jealous of how I spent the last six days.

Plus? I've got my favorite person ever coming to visit this weekend, and I can hardly wait.

Now I KNOW I've made you jealous.

Be back soon. Promise.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I love him anyway

Hi internet. How are you?

I am still here, and have missed you thoroughly. I have been busy with some of my favorite house guests, father's day and the Husband's birthday (all in one week), summer, gearing up for a vacation, and eight photo shoots in two weeks.

I'm exhausted.

But that is not what I am here to share today.

I am breaking radio silence to thoroughly embarrass and humiliate my brother Dan.


Dan is known by many of you here as the commenter who speaks his mind in a hilarious, if not slightly insulting, way. I can always count on him for a dose of reality and a good laugh. Usually at my own expense.

But what you don't know about him is that he is a father to four beautiful children and husband to a gorgeous, thoughtful wife. He is the dad who gets on the floor and plays trains with his boys. He has attended more of his daughter's tea parties than most men would have the patience for. He changes diapers and does the dishes.

He always has my favorite snacks and drinks on hand whenever I come to town - even though no one in his house ever consumes either. On those visits, he stays up until the wee hours of the morning, listening to me, making me laugh, and sharing stories of his own, then cheerfully gets up for work with only a few hours of sleep.

Sometimes he even calls me on his way home from work for a quick chat. Just because. And I love him dearly for it.

He is one of my best friends.

And right now, he is the one in need of some extra help.

A few weeks ago, doctors discovered a tumor on his kidney that is most likely cancer. He's going under the knife tomorrow to get it removed. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer, and I am asking you, dear friends, to add him to yours.

The risk is great that he could lose the kidney entirely.

I gladly offered to donate one of mine, but he doesn't think it'll come to that. I was slightly disappointed because I imagined the lifelong joy I would derive at the thought of one of my organs socializing and infecting the rest of his with my cooties. When I said that to him, he quickly put me way down on the list of donors. Right after the water-logged carcass of Osama bin Laden, I'm sure. Darn.

Anyway, if you think of it, your prayers on his behalf would be greatly appreciated. The power of a collective voice to our Heavenly Father is one that can work miracles. And that's just what we're in need of.

Though I know this post will annoy him to no end, I think that makes it all the more worthwhile, don't you?

Love ya, brother. Get better quick so I can come out there and kick your trash.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The one in which I have failed to train him properly for his future wife

The other night, I was in my bathroom washing the make-up off my face. McKay came in and a conversation ensued that went a little something like this:

McKay: "What are you doing?"

Me: "Washing my make-up off."

McKay: "Do you even wear make-up?"

Me: "Um, yeah. I wear a lot."

McKay: "I don't like it when girls wear a lot of make-up. You should just be natural. It would look better. Don't wear it anymore."

I finished washing and showed him the horror that is me au naturale. He wrinkled up his nose, made a face, and said:

"Um, never mind. I think you should wear some. Maybe even a lot."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making it count

"I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,
To put to rout all that was not life
and not when I had come to die
Discover that I had not lived."

~Henry David Thoreau

We are doing our best around here to suck all the marrow out of life.

I look at my three babies, one of whom is only a year away from high school, and my chest tightens into a ball of emotion. I feel compelled this year to make every moment count. To not waste one minute of this summer, this life. The life that seems to be slipping through my fingers like soft, white sand.

I find myself letting things go that would normally be screaming for - and receiving - my full attention. My conscience won't allow me to keep them in for something so trivial as organizing the closets. The house, for the most part, is sitting untouched - dishes are loaded and floors are swept - and that is about it. We have been soaking up the sunshine, swimming through muddy creek beds, racing together down the big slides at the pool, and laughing about all of it over melting ice cream cones.

The poem that I have often rolled my eyes at is running through my head on repeat because it's true -- babies don't keep. And cobwebs do indeed sleep.

Or at the very least wait for another day.

I feel like this summer should be the one that they remember because they played so hard, laughed so much, and smiled until it hurt. I want them to drop into bed exhausted every night, their freckled noses crinkling with silly giggles. Eyelids heavy, hearts full.

This summer will be the one we played together every day.

So, dear friends, you will understand if I suspend some of the regularly scheduled blogging around here for the summer. Posting will be spotty, but there when I can. Rest assured, come August, I will return with stories and How-To's galore.

But for now, I am not going to miss this summer. I am not going to miss them. They are growing before my very eyes and I am afraid that in a blink it will all be over.

I am going to suck the marrow out of this gloriously wonderful life I've been given.

After all, we only get one.

Here's to making it count.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The one where we brag for the grandparents

In 2004, I ran my first (and last) marathon.

I trained for months, read Runners World faithfully, and talked about running ad nauseam to anyone who would pretend to listen.

I pretended thought I knew a lot about running.

Fast forward to four years ago when we moved here and I met my friend Mindy. While humble and quiet about it, she knows all there is to know about the sport of running. She has trained elite athletes and coaches. She has run umpteen marathons. Her personal record for the mile? Has a very, very small number in front of it. She'd never tell you that herself, but girlfriend is hard core.

Chase has discovered this past year that he is a runner. He loves it and has been putting the miles on his shoes. He went from running the mile at school a year ago in 12 minutes to running it in 6:56 this year. He's thrilled and continues to push himself.

So when Mindy told us about a kids track club, we were all over it. And last night, they had their very first meet. It was a mile run, and nerves were running rampant.

And that was just the moms.

Here is Chase in the pack as they cross the starting line:


It was not long before we saw Mindy's son Nick leading the pack. Setting a new personal best and winning the kids event, here is Nick crossing the finish line:


Yes. That is a FIVE-TWENTY-NINE for his time.

I am not sure I can walk into the grocery store from the parking lot in 5:29. The kid has lightening for feet.

While we are awaiting chip time results officially, we believe Chase broke his personal best for a finish time of 6:55 (or faster. Hurry up. Post the results, will you?)

And, yes, he finished with that Chasey flair we have come to expect:


Not long after that came Nick's eight-year-old sister, Olivia. Me thinks this little one will be taking after her mama, too. I am not sure I could do a sub-eight-minute mile.

Unless I had a bike. Even then, that might be pushing it.


All three of our little runners, smiles and happiness to be done:


It was a really fun event. Especially exciting was watching the elite men run a mile in, oh, I don't know, THREE-MINUTES-FIFTY-SIX-SECONDS.


I bow at the throne of running.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Uh, oops

The holiday on Monday kind of messed me up.

I walked around all day yesterday thinking it was Monday.

My obliviousness continued as I was sitting poolside with the kids, sunning, and congratulating myself on having such a fine, carefree life.

At about three-thirty, I glanced at the calendar on my phone and realized my mistake. A mere half hour before Hannah had a mandatory rehearsal for her dance recital. And an hour before Chase had track practice. And an hour and a half before McKay had baseball.

Needless to say, there was a little bit of cursing.

And a lot of scrambling.

Thankfully, we made it to all three, in large part due to some awesome friends who had left messages offering to carpool. Mindy and Beckie, I owe you one. You girls are the best, and you totally saved my hide.

It was a crazy few hours yesterday.

And so I offer my apologies to you How-To Tuesday devotees. Those of you who put your posts up, patiently waiting for me, the blog host who never showed up to her own party.

I'll try to get my act together a little better next time.

Share with us your wisdom anyway, won't you?

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