Today we go two by two

Apr 06

My hubs is the kind of guy who takes all of his girls on dates.  The two of us try for at least once a month, but I-Need-My-Mama-Baby-G has hurt our track record for the past ten months.  In light of recent events, we are again motivated to make our dates a priority.  I always love my husband, but we like each other a lot more when we make time for our marriage.  One resolution: we’re having a Steak Date Night before each chemo round.  I need to eat more red meat, per doctor’s orders, so it’s a great excuse to go to a restaurant that does not serve chicken nuggets.  As a stay-at-home-mom, I especially love getting dressed up and anticipating a night away.  A couple of Saturdays ago, we  planned to go out for a fancy meal, and we ended up celebrating my Spine-tastic news.  When we were at the restaurant, I was totally checking out all the bald men.  Since I will soon be bald myself, I was trying to figure out what makes a bald head look good: stubble?  head shape?  shininess, or lack thereof?  good jaw line?  I never did come up with any concrete conclusions.  Our date night conversation might not be normal, but then we’ve never really been all that normal anyway.

At least once a quarter, Brad and Maren get dressed up, go out for a meal alone and do something special.  Maren anticipates it for a week.  She is such a girl: she plans her outfit and her shoes and even her purse.  She does not get that from me!  He has taken her to the symphony, to a high school play, to the movies.  They spend $5 or $100.  Family members gift them tickets for dates.  (Honestly, Maren appreciates the symphony more than I do.  She loves it, I yawn through it.  This is a win-win situation.)  Regardless of what they do together, she talks about it for months afterwards.  My little girl is going to know she’s a lady, and that she should be treated as the precious one she is.

Today Brad and Greta are spending their first whole day together without Maren or me around.  Why not call it a daddy-daughter date?  Greta is too little to understand much, but she’ll know that she’s with him.  It is good for both of them.  She will keep her sniffles (they should be gone by tomorrow) to herself, and he will learn more of her nuances.  Even if she won’t remember, he’ll remember for her and he’ll tell her about her Home Depot antics when she wants to know what she was like as a baby.  We are making memories left and right around here!

Maren seems to be better, though she and I are doing more snuggles than smooches to be safe.  Earlier, we made art together.  Now, she’s sitting next to me playing iPad games while I type.  Soon, we’ll go for a walk and bike ride.  Today, we are dividing and conquering as we go about the business of everyday life.  I am rested and refreshed after my unexpected night off last night.  A lovely friend cooked a delicious meal for us, which I enjoyed last night, and we’ll have it again, with all of us together, tonight.  Brad and the girls are energized by their impromptu slumber party, and, again, what I saw yesterday as a problem to solve has morphed into a fun event.

It’s Good Friday, and I can’t help but be so very thankful for the blessings I received this week.  God and chemo drugs are both decimating my cancer, friends and family are showering me with love, and, hundreds (thousands?) of strangers are praying for me with this bizarre fervent commitment that is mind-boggling to me.  My mind is too small to understand, I think, what the body of Christ is all about.  But this cancer, my cancer, His cancer, our cancer, it is connecting dots in my small mind and showing me a loving world and a loving God; bigger, way bigger, than I ever imagined.


  1. I read every single post you write. You are a terrific writer and have a gift with words. I wish it wasn’t cancer that brought all these strangers into your world but I’m glad to be one of them.

  2. Sue Nitz /

    Hi Jen. I look so forward for your updates and your sparkly spirit. I want you to know how you have helped me. I am where you will be a year from now. Cute little curly bob and feeling blessed beyond belief. God is so Good. Love and blessings and prayers coming your way from me to you and your family.

  3. Thank you for sharing so openly with us. You are strong and amazing and your love for the Lord is so evident. May He bless you and your family. It is an honor to be able to pray for you all. Keep loving!!

  4. Jen, I’m in awe of how your blog about your cancer leaves me with a smile on my face and in my heart. I read every update, and find myself wondering about you during the day, God places you on my heart and reminds me to pray, for you and for other mamas out there that I do not know who are fighting hard, just like you. I pray that they can find a touch of the goodness in a yucky situation, just like you. I celebrate you, you are awesome. I wish I had you as a real life friend so I could do something other than pray. Your words are changing my heart and making it bigger, and you remind me in every single post about God’s love. He’s got this, and he is looking down and LOVING the way you are handling your cancer, this trial. He is proud of you. I know it. Thanks for the Friday smile. 🙂

  5. Lindsay /

    Happy Easter and many blessings to you and your sweet family. You are in our prayers (and yay! for date night!).

  6. SandraA /

    Indeed God is good. You are truly blessed to be surrounded with the family and friends that you have. I’m sure others that don’t really “know” you are in awe, and just happy to be lending support in the form of prayers. God bless you all.

  7. Meigan /

    You need a like button, so I can “like” this 🙂 Wonderful as usual! Happy Easter! Blessings to you!

  8. Your outlook (or “up-look”, since you seem to be always looking UP) on your situation really puts things into perspective. You are an amazing person and a wonderful example of a Christian going through real-life and inspiring others! Thank YOU Jen!

  9. maggieeileen /

    I am in awe of you, also, Jen. You are a blessing to us all. I am praying for you & your family. Happy Easter!

  10. Happy Easter Jen! Your spirit and faith are so strong, it moves me! I hope you were feeling good this weekend and are able to fully celebrate the Lord and celebrate you! God bless you and your family this Easter and all days! I will continue to pray and dance with you!

  11. I think that is so sweet your hubby takes your girls out on dates. What a wonderful daddy/daughter thing to do. And yes, I too think it’s such a rare treat to go eat somewhere that doesn’t serve chicken nuggets… ha ha

  12. Christine /

    I don’t know you, I don’t even know how I stumbled upon your blog… Divine intervention perhaps? I just wanted to let you know that my family is praying for yours.

    A few people in our lives are also battling cancer and for some reason your words are healing for me. I hope that our loved ones can find the strength, courage and faith that you show to battle this disease.

    Best wishes on this journey, may you always find yourself surrounded by friends, family and His love.