Surpassing the goal

Jan 30

Surpassing the goal

Thank you for all the support for our family’s oncology cookie donation and Girl Scout cookie sales.  Greta’s goal got blown away, and we are all WOWed by the love.  Thanks so much.  Our delivery and donation will take place at the end of February or sometime in March.  Pray for us as we embark on The Thank You Note Project of 2019.  We’ve got this!

Greta is one of those kids who wears her emotions on her sleeve, so as I was updating her on number-of-boxes-sold over the thirty-six hours, she literally jumped up and down and squealed with excitement with nearly every update — even if it was two more boxes. The floor was shaking. She’s a fun kid to have around. What got her excited was both being able to do the field trips with her friends, and anticipation of coming to my chemo room with cookies to share.  Greta loves coming to chemo with me.  Once they turned five I began regularly asking my girls if they want to come with me on chemo days when they aren’t in school. Depending on my treatment it’s a one to five hour commitment, and there’s not much to do besides sit and do quiet activities and talk to my friends.  Greta says yes every time, and it is sweet to me that she has such enjoyment in a space that I call my hallowed ground.  She brings smiles and laughter to room which is a treasure of everyone.

Last week Greta earned a coupon to wear pajamas to school (don’t you just love second grade?), and she decided to go with her owl pajamas. Ultimately she added her owl bathrobe on top, in addition to her owl knee socks — with one pajama pant leg tucked in so that you could see the knee sock.  My girl has some style and moxie.

She has been having a bumpy couple of months as she is maturing quickly.  Greta was ten-months-old when I was diagnosed, but this is the first season in which she has really grasped the reality of my cancer situation.  It’s tough, and a lot for anyone to deal with, let alone a seven-year-old.  Maren had a similar awakening when she was seven so I did anticipate it with Greta, but it is challenging to walk through.  Greta’s team at school is doing an amazing job of supporting her and giving her opportunities to share and process.  That’s another difference between my girls: Maren is very resolute and narrow when she shares; Greta seemingly will talk about anything with anyone!


Incoming cookie sales was an unexpected answered prayer when it comes to Maren. She shows her excitement in an understated way: her dimple deepens and deepens and deepens as she feels happy. She was excited because a lot of the cookie supporters were people with whom she has the closest relationship in our family. Her role in our family is distinct and evolving and brilliant with her own valor. On the cusp of junior high, she is experiencing a broadening of her world and it is validating for her to see the connections and relationships that she has already formed in action. My girl has some expected anxiety about the changes ahead (next year she moves from our neighborhood elementary to the bigger junior high with seven class periods.) She has a beautiful tender heart and is such a good friend to many.

On Monday night we sat down as a family and I read the blog I had written about my procrastination and the cookies to Brad, Maren and Greta.  It was the first time we have done a read-aloud of my writing, and it was cozy and sweet to see the smiles around the room.  Our family is maturing too.  I love these days, this life, and all my people.  Thank you for loving us so well.


  1. Lisa Smith /

    I love this so much Jen. How sweet to be able to picture you all sitting and listening to you read your blog post. Well done Rockstar Mama. xo

  2. Thanks for the beautiful update. Praying. Love , Kay

  3. This warms my heart on a very cold day. Love you. Love your precious family.

  4. Kelly Burns /

    I love Greta’s pajama outfit that she wore to school. What a fun kid! Continued thoughts and hugs for you and your family, Jen!! ❤️

  5. Melanie /

    Love your fashion style and your big heart, Greta!!

  6. We didn’t have pajama day when I was your kids’ ages, so I LOVE seeing the fun outfit Greta chose! It made me smile tonight to read about the girls’ happiness.

  7. Cindy Mitchell /

    Jen, What a lovely story of Greta and her cookies..I love her PJ’s and socks..The things that kids get excited about.. I love it..