Leanne, Ryland, Kaitlin, Jeff & Maryn

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is the summer really over???

Holy cow! Where has the time gone? I really can't believe that we are solidly into September, and before I know it, it will be winter again. We had a very action-packed summer. Kaitlin came to stay with us for the standard 6 weeks, and tested my mom skills. ;) I'm just joking...she's actually a very amazing kiddo. She had two weeks of soccer camp at UC Berkeley, and managed to sprain her ankle on the very FIRST day of camp. In the second week of camp (while Jeff was away on business), she re-sprained the same ankle on Wednesday, and landed us in the pediatrician's office, then the hospital for x-rays. Luckily it turned out just to be a bad sprain...but she got doctor's orders to take it easy. You don't have to tell a 15-yr-old to take it easy twice...boy was she milking it! LOL!

We did get an amazing opportunity to take Kaitlin onboard the Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE for a day out on the San Francisco Bay. Kaitlin is officially convinced that she needs to become a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy...Jeff and I are encouraging her to do just that...and so are our pocketbooks. =) I also was able to catch up with a few friends from the Academy while onboard. It's amazing how nice it seems, once you have been removed from the cadet lifestyle for over 10 years...all of those bad memories have seemingly disappeared, and I am starting more and more to only remember the good things.

I started my new job in July and am loving every second of it. Everybody is in great spirits and all of my co-workers get along so well. I am very fortunate to be in such a positively energized place! I love being back "in action" but the long work days take a little getting used to. Jeff is taking both of the kids to daycare now, and I am commuting the other direction through tons of Bay Bridge traffic. Ugh - I didn't miss that at all! I am thoroughly enjoying the weight of responsibility and the trust that my supervisors have in me...it feels great to be "needed" again at work!

Maryn and Ryland - wow. They are getting big (well, not Ryland)! Maryn is nearing the 3-yr-old mark, and is bound and determined to stretch the terrible two's to the very end. She had a good 6 weeks of misbehaving at school...just happened to coincide with me changing jobs and her moving up to the big kids' classroom. After many trials and tribulations, I finally found something that works...the reward of Special Mommy Walks after bath time when Jeff is putting Ryland to bed. She and I go for a walk in the neighborhood, usually not making it more than three houses down the street (the neighbors have a wonderful tire swing hanging from a HUGE tree in the front yard). We swing and play for 15-20 minutes, then return home for some snuggle time. So, that was the fix. Ryland is finally cutting all of his teeth - at once! I was worried that little guy was going to have 5 teeth forever. Fortunately (or unfortunately??) the teething is all happening at once now - including the ever-painful molars. He is running laps now...it looks so weird to see him walking. He's still tiny as ever and looks too small to be walking/running as well as he is. The babies have started to fight! My parents are laughing their heads off at the payback I am receiving. Who knew that a 2 1/2-yr-old and a 16-month-old would fight and bicker?

Jeff and I are doing very well. We took vacation in August and went home to Idaho for my best friend's wedding. She married the love of her life, and I'm so glad we were able to be part of it! Maryn was a flower girl, and I shared the bridesmaid duties with another girlfriend. Following the wedding, Jeff and I crashed their honeymoon and joined them on a 3 day/2 night white water rafting trip on the Snake River through Hells Canyon. What an AMAZING time! Jeff's parents took care of Maryn and Ryland (Kaitlin had to return to school and didn't get to partake) while we enjoyed a Mommy and Daddy vacation. It was EXACTLY what we needed! Class IV white water, fabulous fishing (I caught 7 small mouth bass in 30 minutes!), luxury camping....ahhhh. I can't wait to do it again next year!

AND....for the big news. Drum roll please........I am DONE DONE DONE! I completed my last Herceptin infusion at the end of July, and had another clear PET/CT scan! Woohoo...I am cancer free after almost two years of roller coaster treatment! I really can't believe it's almost been two years since my D-Day (diagnosis day). September 21st will mark my two year anniversary of the day that changed my life forever. What a tumultuous two years it has been. I certainly wouldn't be here right now (and wouldn't be a happily married mother of two!) if it weren't for my amazing team of doctors, my family, and friends. THANK YOU to all of you! It's sad that it takes something of this magnitude to firmly plant your feet back on the ground and smack a little reality into you. It's not the paycheck, the time at work, or the high stress environment that I used to thrive off of that matters. It is the phenomenal people I am surrounded by - the ones who took the time to call me, email me, send me care packages, came to the house at a moment's notice to take care of me or my children, those who cooked us meals, and those who stood by us through all of the good times and the scary moments of the last two years. THANK YOU!

Jeff and I are also signed up to do the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in San Francisco on September 21st (my D-Day ANNIVERSARY...wouldn't you know it!?!). If you haven't had a chance to swing on over to our page, please do so. And as always, if you are in the area for the event, we would love to have you join us!


Many hugs and much love!
Leanne, Jeff, Maryn and Ryland (and Baxter!!)