Random catch up

Sep 20

I haven’t written a lot lately… I’ve been really prioritizing being p.r.e.s.e.n.t. in the space I’m in.  Summer, with the girls home all day, was wonderful.

I titled this post random catch up, because that’s what it is.  Almost every snippet could be a longer story, but ‘random catch up’ is feeling like the right thing for tonight.  I don’t have any news or updates to share.

Now the girls are in school and I’m filling in my days with ease.  As my mom would say, I’ve always enjoyed the pleasure of my own company.  And as my dad would say, I (we) work hard and play hard.

I’ve started on Halloween costumes (a happy heart project for me).  I’ve cleaned out a few corners of clutter.  I’ve had coffee and lunches with a few people, and have a long list of more connections I’d like to make.  I’ve read some books.  I take naps.

After a summer break, I re-started asking helpers to come on Mondays while I’m at chemo.  Generally, I leave a list and whomever comes also does whatever they see that needs doing.  It’s amusing to see what projects they take on.  Opening a cleaned and organized “junk drawer” leaves one with both the thrill and the horror that someone has organized my junk drawer.  It is the simultaneous joy of twenty-four inches of removed chaos, and the embarrassment that my chaos is exposed.  (The joy always wins for me!)  I asked this weeks cleaner to peel and chop my mix of sweet potatoes and russet potatoes for dinner, and they found and identified an errant rutabaga that I’d inadvertently purchased.  (I am not a chef; I don’t have the first clue how to prepare rutabaga.)  Rutabaga is not going on my list of favorite veggies, however I very much appreciate the laughter that we shared together.

Maren learned her first hairstyle and — no bun or ponytail for her — she does the most darling pair of dutch french braids that you ever did see.  She braided her own hair for picture day this year, and she wore a shirt I bought her from the *junior department*.  She’s such a wonderful person to be around.

Greta picks out her own outfit every day, down to the shoes, hairstyle, hoodie, and accessories.  Yesterday she wore three bracelets; today she wore six rubber bands on her wrist.  She has made new friends in her new class, loves gymnastics, and is reading like a champ.  She shines.

Last night Brad and I went on a Tuesday night date, and I am reminded of how much a like date nights.  Weeknight date nights still (still!) make me feel like I am young and in love and that the world is at my feet.  One of my favorite date nights ever was when we were first dating.  We were walking through the town square near Brad’s first house with every intention of parting ways: him home to his house and roommates, me home to my apartment and roommates.  At 10:00pm we walked by the local cinema grill and saw that it was playing My Big Fat Greek Wedding, so we decided to duck in and watch the movie instead of being responsible adults and getting a good night of sleep.  One of the best parts of getting married was getting to fall asleep with my best friend every night; I still love that.  There is always a place for spontenaeity in my heart.

Both of my sisters are off adventuring and doing their thing, and doing it well.  I’m proud of them.

I had the opportunity last week to speak to some mothers who are just-enough-younger-than-me that they seem to think I have some wisdom to share.  It was so interesting for me to reflect on what I wanted to say now that my mothering-of-very-littles stage is over.  I truly enjoy each milestone with my babes.  And I am truly enjoying them at ten and six.    School age parenting is so different than baby and toddler parenting.  I imagine I’ll say the same thing each time my kids bump up to the next phase.  I’m not terribly nostalgic.  I’m pumped I get to see what’s next.

Maren has orthodontics in her mouth, and Greta has lost her first two teeth.  Maren’s overhand serve is solid, and Greta can do a handstand.

We went to Volley for the Cure this month, and both girls absorbed it as part of our identity in a less abrasive way than in years past.  They, the daughters of a metastatic thriver, are hit with an onslaught of emotions at “cancer-y” events: the relief that others care about our burden, and the reminder that no one else lives our burden.  ‘Tis an understandably conflicting scene for all of us, especially my sweet littles.

And didn’t I just get done saying I don’t have littles any more?  The will always be my littles.

I took a walk tonight, my first in a while.  I so admire everyone: Brad, the girls, my friends and family who are pursuing physical challenges and goals.  I’m stinking jealous of their capacity, and am also genuinely grateful for the everyday life feeling of wellness I am experiencing.

That’s my prayer for tonight.

To continue doing all the things.

To love well, to live well, to be well.  Amen.



  1. Marlayne /

    Random Hugs ~ Sleep tight Zzzzzz 🙂

  2. Hugs friend. ❤️

  3. Patty Wheeler /

    You amaze me always. Happy Birthday to your dad. ❤️

  4. Always so beautifully shared – so happy you took a walk my friend. ?

  5. You are beyond amazing Jen.

  6. Lisa Smith /

    Love you xoxo

  7. Praying in Va. Jen

  8. Newbie Friend /

    Enjoy your posts always!

  9. Kim Rourke /

    Thrive on!

    • My little one is 26…..& I still get teary eyed when I read about what good times your having with your little ones ☺️
      We pray for y’all! Lots of love and great times! ??
      Love to Roz & Norv ?

  10. So glad to read the catch-up.Prayers for you, the family and your helpers.

  11. Tiffany Nabozny /

    Just say no to Rutabagas!!
    ❤️ all of this!

  12. Amen. You are wonderful!! So excited to see you guys soon!!

  13. Cindy Mitchell /

    What a great catch up story you told.. I enjoyed every word..Sending hugs and my thoughts and prayers are with you Jen.. Take care and keep up with your attitude..

  14. You and your sweet family continue to be in my prayers through all of the ups and downs. ♥

  15. Dan McDonald /

    Your attitude is inspiring and your strength is awesome. You, Brad and the girls are always in my prayers. Thanks for being there for Makenna at the volley for the cure each year.