My life - from the impact of great loss, to a refreshing new take on life and a place where I now share ............... my favorite Plant Strong recipes....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Good Friends, Good Times, Good Therapy!

So the three of us, and our 2 pups headed over to Central Oregon for some R&R with the Skopp’s, and what a sweet time we had. As we come up this week to Chelsea’s 14th birthday, it’s
been a bit more difficult and emotional. To get away for the weekend was a great distraction, though she is still always on my mind.

The weather was beautiful, the guys got their football fix, the outdoors was refreshing, the food was, um, huge (more on that later) and the activities were fast, fun and addicting! To be out in nature, with the sun shining, zooming down the trails on quads was exactly what the doctor would have ordered… or should order…. or, well, you get my point. Jeff and I were both giddy from the rush, and I have to say, my gal pal D is developing quite the “dirt in your face” skills!

As for that big food - they took us to a great spot that I’ll keep undisclosed for the benefit of future visitors. What a hoot! Great food, too much food, original atmosphere and “Hee-Haw!” is all I can say on that.

We may have been on “puppy overload” at times, but it is great canine country. Our pup might disagree after he fell into the partially frozen fish pond. Bet he won’t do that again!

It was a great time had by all, and really was just what we needed. We have been so blessed even on the most tough of days, and we have so many to be thankful for who have surrounded us with love and encouragement. Thanks for you understanding, your patience and your encouragement.
God is good.

To receive email notification when I post, please email me at with "BLOG NOTIFY" in the subject line. Thanks!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Changing Seasons

Ok, so I am loving the change in seasons. The crisp air, the colors. Really, I thought I would dread fall - the idea of it seemed dreary to me. I feel like we missed so much of spring and summer with all our time at the hospital. Yet somehow this is nice now, not dreary at all, but peaceful.

More time to rest instead of trying to function and do, do, do. More time to be mellow as a family… more time for home cooked meals and games. There’s something about the rain that makes me love to be in the kitchen, and Kati is loving the games geared towards her age.
More time to snuggle up in a blanket with a good book.

More time for football.

Yep, you read me right. Jeff and I are both enjoying football more this year - both youth and NFL. We’ve been to several games now to see our friends play, and Jeff is looking forward to staying home instead of taking on the seasonal job that he’s done for many years - leaving more opportunities for him to enjoy the Raiders this year. It even seems like they’re doing fairly well this year…. Amazing!
More time for cribbage, and for gathering with friends. A good movie sounds good.
I think the fog is starting to lift. It still gets thick at times, but each day seems a bit better than the last.

Kati’s preschool class had a field trip to visit one of the many farms/pumpkin patches in the area. But when looking over the papers, I found that it is to our favorite pumpkin patch that we’ve gone to many times over the years since Chelsea was her age. The idea of being with a group of people that I don’t really know, bombarded with all the memories we have out there (hay fights, baby pumpkins, pony rides, nut house, hot doughnuts, fresh cider, goats in tree houses….) well, it was a little more than I thought I could handle.

So, some friends and us got an early start last weekend and had a great time at a different pumpkin patch before the crowds arrived. Coffee, fog, warm doughnuts, pony rides, pig slop, hay rides and of course, lots and lots of pumpkins.
Hope you enjoy the pics!
(Thanks to Lindsey and Jen for taking them!)

If you would like to be added to my mailing list to receive updates when I post, please email me at with "BLOG NOTIFY" in the subject line. Thanks!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Worth Repeating

Lillian Harris ended her battle with cancer and joined Jesus in Heaven in April

The following is from my friend Lori's blog (Lillian's mommy) - "The Next Chapter". I couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't even attempt. Here's what she had to say:

"As one cancer mom said, "you see so much suffering. I always knew it was out there but now I see it firsthand." I may have the privilege of knowing firsthand a dozen or so kids battling cancer. God has uniquely equipped me to stand alongside them during their fight and for that I am grateful.

But there are thousands more suffering in the name of hope. Over 40,000 kids are battling cancer right now. And the incidence of childhood cancer is growing with no explanation. It is the number one killer of children by disease, more than asthma, cystic fibrosis and pediatric AIDS combined. Yet the funding for childhood cancer research is nominal and has been cut! I gotta tell ya, I'm not okay with that. So I joined an online advocacy network on They notify me of any cancer related bills so I can send a pre-written e-mail to my elected officials. Couldn't be easier.

Right now there is an effort for $150 million federal investment to find a cure for childhood cancer called The Conquer Childhood Cancer Act. Visit curesearch to send a letter to your congressman encouraging them to support this vital piece of legislation.

The bright spot in my day yesterday was watching one of the kids in my cancer community, Boey, get a brand new house courtesy of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. What a blessing to see another deserving cancer kid receive such a generous gift on this memorial day! Maddie, Alley, Lexie and Maddy also had cameo appearances. Check out this video of Boey talking about The Childhood Cancer Act."

To be added to my list to receive email notifications when I post, please email with "Blog Notify" in the subject line. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Than a Memory

It’s already starting to happen. I’m meeting people, new friendships are developing. “Great!” you might say. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the connections that God has blessed me with.

So where does my hesitation come from?

Simple. These new friends never met Chelsea. They don’t know that giggle… those flaring nostrils.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I am going to hang tight to those friendships with those who are part of our lives now who knew her. For those of you who not only knew her, but loved her as well - you will always hold a very special place in my heart. You are a blessing to me, because you loved my baby. To you, she is not just a name. As her mommy, I will hang tight with every ounce I have (trust me, that’s a LOT of ounces!) to her memory.

It’s the strangest thing to talk of my baby in past tense. “This WAS her favorite movie… She LOVED that…. That’s how she USED TO wear her hair….. She WOULD HAVE loved that shirt….”. It goes on and on.

And if I’m telling someone of my girl, and they’ve never met her… well, it’s only words. People look at me with that look - they want to help, to say something - but really, we all know how difficult that is. It’s just hard, because Chelsea was so much more than just words, no matter how descriptive they are.

She is so much more than a memory, if that makes any sense to you. I could use every word imaginable, and still not find the right ones to describe this.

So, on a more upbeat note, Kati had a GREAT birthday! We are a blessed family and I am so thankful for my hubby and daughter. Celebrating her birthday, celebrating her life, had a whole new meaning and depth to it this year, and how great it was to share that. Her party was a blast and the only downer was that it didn’t last long enough. We had it at a gym, and Kati and her friends were entertained and entertaining at the same time.

So I’m finding that as I hang onto those precious memories of Chelsea, it’s time to make new memories as well. Birthday parties, game nights…. finding a new pumpkin patch that even compares to the one we’ve gone to for years… these things all can be fun and exciting as we allow God’s healing hand in our lives.

To be added to my list to receive email notifications when I post, please email with "Blog Notify" in the subject line. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Endorphins, the BEST Medicine!

One Day at a Time…
…. One moment at a time….
…. One second at a time…..

What a weird couple of weeks this has been. I have totally been feeling out of sorts to say the least. I had had a couple of weeks of migraine relief which was so nice. Then last week, it hit hard and fast and had me down for several days. Those days were really tough, probably the toughest yet in all this.

So I keep looking for those little things that make me smile. God promises to always meet us, to never give us more than we can bear. He is faithful. I have to admit though, on those days that I’m in a “funk”, I don’t really see the little things through all my tears. But guess what? He counts those too. When I think I get so far from Him, I realize how close He really is. It’s in those times that I have to trust, to walk in faith.

Little things make me smile. A kind word of encouragement, a kiss on the cheek from a friend, the sound of my fountain and wind chimes, Kati’s giggles. My puppy makes me smile… lots! He’s so soft and cuddly and all he wants is to be close to me. Watching my dogs play, growling like bears (appropriate since the pup looks almost like a mini polar bear at times). Okay, with that one, I’m not just smiling… I’m full out laughing, sometimes on the floor even! Helping with the men’s breakfast at church, or preparing to dig into the Angel Tree project. Hearing positive updates from other kids with cancer. Brand new babies and lunches with friends. Really good coffee made by really sweet ladies (snicker doodle with a dash of cinnamon is my most recent flavor fave - add an extra shot, would ya?)

Kati’s preschool paintings. Now there’s something that really makes me smile. This lil’ girl loves to paint and recently came home with the most beautiful picture of the ocean - fish and all! Or her excitement for her birthday party coming up. If you really want to grin, you should hear her and our neighbor’s sweet lil’ ones giggling and singing together. Stinkin’ cute I tell ya! And when I reflect on how our neighborhood used to be just a few years ago compared to now, I smile. Before Kati, there weren’t small children, now we are surrounded with lil’ playmates for her. And what great neighbors we have all around… good friendships have been developing these last few years, and for that I am thankful.

If I get the focus off myself and my pain, then there is much joy in the simple things. I have to remember that Chelsea doesn’t have pain anymore and she would want me to smile (why that brings guilt, I’ll never know…).

So then, I have to wonder… does anyone relate?
When you’re having a rough go of things, as we all do - what types of things make you smile?

Please leave a comment - it will make me smile!
(but know that it does take a while to post - I have a filter set, so it takes a lil’ longer… but don’t let that stop ya : )

To be included in my mailing list to receive updates when I post a new blog, please email me at with "BLOG NOTIFY" in the subject line.