Mar 21


Last week my darling littlest girl managed to wind a round hairbrush up in her hair. I spent at least ten minutes trying to untangle it, and got about ten single strands of hair out during that time. How she got it so wound up in two directions is beyond me.


The brush was seriously stuck. Greta was not a fan of the yanking, and I told her we would have to cut it out if we couldn’t pull it out. My girls both love (LOVE) hearing stories about ‘when they were little’, and I told Greta to remember this night because this is going to be a story that we are going to tell for years to come.

Greta was immediately onboard with cutting it out and giggling about the situation; she shed no tears. Maren, knowing the butchery that was going to come with the scissors, couldn’t even watch. She had to go to her room because she didn’t want to make cringing faces in front of Greta as we cut. In the end, Greta has lost some serious hair on the right side of her head. We have taken the round brush and put it in a ziplock bag so that Greta can save it and tell the story. (I was tempted to throw it away, so this is my compromise.)


The next morning we cleverly did a hairdo that disguised the damage, but she took it out at school so she could show all her friends the real deal. That’s G, though. She’s all about a good story and she has the confidence to pull it off. Earlier this month she wanted ‘hair like Rapunzel’, so this is a serious setback! Our favorite local hair salon, Lunatic Fringe, took care of us again–I can’t recommend them highly enough. I called on Saturday, they let us come right over, and we walked out with an adorable sassy bob complete with two temporary-colored ‘mermaid streaks’ framing her face. (Sorry, I didn’t get a picture; G has been sick and down for the count for a few days since.) Greta walked out with extra bounce in her step, and we definitely made lemonade out of lemons with this one.


I took Maren to the doctor a few days ago to get to the root of some persistent headaches she has been having. We had a very mature conversation with the doctor where Maren really did the explanation and describing; I was there to support and clarify, but it was really her appointment.Β Her pediatrician does not think it is migraines, as I was fearing. She thinks she has a vascular issue; when Maren changes position (sit to stand, stand to sit), she’s getting light-headed and then a corresponding headache as her blood pressure stabilizes. Weird, but not uncommon. It has a name but I forget it. The treatment is to transition slowly, and to drink a lot more water. The maturity of my girl was fully cemented when she shrugged, smiled, and said, “No thank you,” when offered a sticker as we left the pediatrician’s office. She is indeed almost ten, and apparently this is the age where these things happen. Look at those long legs. Be still my heart.


I checked the weather this morning, and set an alarm for 2:45pm because it was supposed to be sixty degrees and sunny. My alarm said: “Go outside!” And, I did. Walking felt boring, I’m not conditioned for running, so I dug out my rollerblades. These rollerblades are from 1994 when we did a family vacation to Miami, Florida and went skating along the boardwalks. It stands out in my mind as a great example of my dad’s knack for being Fun Guy on vacation and buying my sisters and I rollerblades on a whim as a good way to spend an afternoon. I’ve logged a lot of miles on them over the years, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t used them in at least six years. You know, pre-Greta. That’s how I measure time–LOL. I haven’t used them much post-Maren either. I remember a particularly harrowing incident where I tried to rollerblade while pushing Maren in our stroller through our neighborhood in Iowa. It was not a good idea as my stroller was not built for the amount of speed I was able to generate. It was kind of a miracle we didn’t crash that day. Moral of the story: do not attempt to rollerblade with a stroller.

Anyway. Today’s rollerblading exercise lasted all of 0.61 miles. Apparently twenty-three years is the lifetime maximum on rollerblade plastic parts because during my short stint, two different pieces of the plastic clips broke and fell off. Each time a piece broke, my skate was noticeably looser on my foot and hard to control. So, with no alternative, I hobble-skated home on my broken skates and gave them a sad farewell into the trash bin. I’m sure I gave the neighbors an entertaining show. I made a woman’s day, I think, when she drove by me, rolled down her window to air-fist-bump me, and said, “You go girl!” while laughing. I’m choosing to think she was just in a really good mood, and not laughing at me, but it definitely made me laugh at my ridiculous self. For the entire 0.61 miles I was skating, I just kept thinking “Fall on my hands. Fall on my hands,” because I was wearing wrist guards but no knee or elbow pads. I’m not injured, nor did I fall, so I am considering it a win, even though my beloved rollerblades are now in the trash.


Clearly, I am sun-starved and exercise-starved. I’m feeling better, but not amazing. That probably doesn’t make any sense. The new treatment is definitely better than the last stuff I was on, but it’s still chemo so I’m hit with bouts of nausea and struggle with energy. It’s a balance and I prioritize my body’s needs as I go through the day in a way that most people probably can’t imagine.

Today I’m grateful I was able to carpe diem. It’s only through the help and service of others that I can use my capacity for things like rollerblading (what was I thinking?!) instead of more normal tasks. My mom had Greta while she was home sick to keep her germs away from me, a friend made dinner, the cleaning ladies from Pink Ribbon Girls came today, and the prayers and friendship of many are lifting me up constantly. I don’t know where I would be without the help, so thank you!


  1. Karin /

    I LOVE that you got out and exercised in the sunshine today! It shows your Jen-ness! πŸ™‚ Continue to do things that energize your spirit because in turn it fuels your family. We love you.

  2. Jan M /

    Oh the round brush!!!! Impossible to untangle but sounds like you all handled it like pros!! Wish I could have seen you skating-that sunshine felt good today!

  3. Ahhh!!! All the rollerblading memories are flooding back–and so many of them are with you! I love your adventurous spirit and so happy that you were able to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine today!

  4. Kim Rourke /

    Love these “chats”!! Makes my morning coffee “smiley!

  5. Oh my goodness. Alyx did the same thing with her hair 10 minutes before we left for school pictures this school year!! We didn’t have to cut it out though! Think of you guys often xo

  6. So you are not alone on the 23 year old plastic parts of roller blades breaking! Our kids were ‘trying’ out Aarons and broke off critical pieces on both skates just a few days ago! πŸ˜‰ We also said farewell. ?

  7. Pediatric neurology seems to think my 17yo has the same kind of problem Maren is facing. We were also told move slowly when changing positions, increase fluids, and increase salt (that last one is hard for a kid who only drinks water or milk and doesn’t like sweets or junk food). I hope those “helps” solve her headaches!
    Somehow I’m not surprised you had those skates out in use. πŸ™‚

  8. Kelly Burns /

    I would’ve air fist bumped you too. πŸ™‚ You go girl!

  9. Laurie Stokes /

    Numbers 6:24-26 β€œThe LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

    Praying & thinking of you today. May He graciously bless you this day – abundant peace, strength and overflow of His healing hand.

  10. I’m glad I’m not the only crazy who tried roller blading with a stroller… this past fall Connor was learning to skate and rollerblade so I brought out mine as well…i felt so unstable and thought, yes pushing the stroller will hide my awkwardness around the neighborhood! Lol one neighbor yelled, “hey that’s cheating” and later another neighbor told his wife, “you have someone at the door for you…i don’t know, some crazy girl on rollerblades!”
    Through the winter I have been skating with Connor in the basement and have successfuly mastered skating to the mailboxes without a stroller lol. Other kids in the neighborhood have joined Connor and I on our skating adventures too. lol
    Lots off smiles, hugs n prayers to you all! XoXoX

  11. Marlayne /

    Smiling πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Hugs πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  12. Cindy Mitchell /

    Those crazy roll brushes.. Had a few mishaps myself.. Great job in handling this Jen..Rollerblading, hats off to you… Keep up your positive thoughts and action Jen.. love it.