Archives for category: Random

Over the last couple of years, I’ve told you of my experiences with Relay for Life. I’ve told you about Kate, my friends Nick and Kelly’s daughter, who passed away from cancer when she was eleven.

You’ve already heard from me.

So this year, you are going to hear from Megan, Kate’s little sister. Megsie was 8 when Kate died, and at [almost] 16, she is still working hard at raising money for Relay in memory of Kate and her Grandpa Marv.

She creates luminaries that show her love for them…

relay kate luminary

relay marv luminary

and she writes letters to let people know why she participates in Relay for Life.

I’m sharing one with you today:


Over 7.6 million people die from cancer each year. About 20,000 people die each day. Our goal is to help people celebrate more birthdays. Every donation helps towards having someone turn a year older.

As most of you know, we celebrate Relay in memory of my grandpa and my sister. My sister would have been celebrating her 18th birthday this year. She would be graduating, going to prom, and applying for colleges. My grandpa would be 77 years old. He would be outside, riding his bike, driving his Porsche, and enjoying life.

relay kateandmeg

We raise money so that one day we will be able to say that we helped people find a cure for cancer. No matter how big or small, every donation helps us take a step towards finding a cure for this terrible disease.

For the last 7 years The Smiling Kate’s have been the top fundraising team. With your help last year, our team was able to raise over $18,000 in memory of my grandpa, sister, all the other people who are survivors, and people who have lost their lives. It was great!!! This year we would love to beat that.

relay megandmarv

This year Relay is on June 18th and 19th at Hawkeye Community College. It is from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.

We would love your donation!!! To donate online go to, and then click “Donate.” Click “Search for participant,” type in Megan Evens. After that click on my name and then click donate!

We appreciate your donation! Every little bit helps!

If we can help more people celebrate their birthdays and get to do the things they look forward to in life, the world will be a much greater place.

Thanks again! Hopefully someday soon our work will pay off!

~Megan, Kelly, and Nick


Thanks for reading, and letting Megan have a voice here.

If you are so inclined, follow the link above and donate… Megan and her family will be walking through the night tonight in memory of those who have lost their battles, and in celebration of those who get another birthday.



divider blue

Friday, June 4, 2010


Dawn, who cleans for me every other week, can cook.

She cooks like my mom cooks… without a recipe, throwing things together, tasting it, improving it, and calling it good.

And then… I CALLED IT GOOD. This, apparently, is some sort of leftover beef roast with barley and corn and YUM.

I mean, people. There are bits of cooked carrots in there and I still ate it. I asked for the recipe and then I remembered who I was talking to so I just shut up and grabbed a spoon.

divider blue

Saturday, June 5, 2010


In case anyone forgot about Padma, she’s still here. And isn’t this the most gorgeous background photo you’ve ever seen? It’s the Oregon coast… Josh took it when he went to Jenni’s wedding renewal.

I’ve decided that when I die and go to heaven, I’m going to live in a cottage on that beach. Only it’ll be heaven, so the air will be pure and I’ll totally get to go for a walk along the shore.

divider blue

Sunday, June 6, 2010


This shot is for Alece.

When she was here, she thought it was hilarious that Riley had, as she called them, bad fur days.

divider blue

Monday, June 7, 2010


So, I was on Twitter Sunday night when we were having a discussion about frozen Oreos.

Yes, I promote them wherever I go. Have you tried freezing a double stuffed Oreo and eating it frozen? No? Then go now and put them in the freezer.

You’ll thank me later.

Anyway, Cathi informed me that frozen grapes are the way to go.

Oh. My. Grapes. People. This is by far my new favorite snack.

divider blue

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get through an entire summer without watching Glee, since the season finale was this past Tuesday. I watched. I rewound. I watched again.

My friend Amanda had sent me this Glee gum she found, though, so I’m hoping the cute packaging will distract me as I’m going through withdraw.

divider blue

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Last week, when Marla sent her daughter Nina’s artwork, she also included tiles for Riley so there would be no question about his status in our house.

divider blue

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This photo tells you why the tiles weren’t really needed. He pretty much gets what he wants around here.

Which is why I think the tiles were really more for me than him. But don’t tell him.

It’ll just be our little secret.

divider blue

Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well:

I’ve decided the difference between being chronically ill and having a brief illness is the activity of the mind.

When you have the flu and you’re laying on the couch… shaky, achy and miserable… your body can do nothing and you want to do nothing. You wonder after a day or so if you remember what being healthy feels like, and decide that nothing in life is important enough to risk moving from that very spot.

You’ve all been there, right?

You desire to do nothing except feel miserable until miserable has run its course.

Chronic illness can be similar in a lot of ways. I lay on the couch… shaky, achy and miserable… my body can do nothing, but I want to do something.

I know health isn’t coming at the end of this run. I know that whatever is around the corner – in some way shape or form – is  going to involve this illness. If history is any indication, around the corner will bring a new hurdle, not a smoother road. But unlike short term illness, my brain doesn’t tend to slow down and give in to my body.

I still watch Funny Girl on the weekend and dream of being discovered and put on a stage. I still look out the window and wonder if the water at the lake is warm yet, if people are grilling out and eating sweet corn. My mind drifts to past gatherings and I wonder what the current ones are sounding like.

Because I know those things are unreachable, my mind is constantly shifting to what I can do here. Letters I want to write to people, gifts I want to make, dishes I want to dare prepare in the kitchen.

My mind is constantly on the go.

But my fingers are too sore to write on the card, my body is too tired to stand and paint, and cooking is a pointless task when my hands and wrists no longer let me do something as simple as cut a piece of meat.

I’m a girl who desires a goal. I’m a girl whose mind goes a million miles an hour with ideas. But I’m also a girl who doesn’t have a body that can back it up. Often, despite my best efforts, I find myself to be a girl whose body allows her nothing.

That’s where trust keeps coming into play for me.

quote wooden

I trust that if my body is allowing for nothing that my mind can create, then I am meant to be doing something my mind can’t create. I’m trying to keep my eyes open all the time so when something small crosses my path that I am capable of, I can respond and participate. I’m trusting that God will put ways I can help people within my reach, and that my body is not allowing me the things of my mind because the things of His mind are more important.

What about you?

Are you living your life fighting for what your mind wants, or are you trusting and being open to the things that He may be putting in front of you?


divider blue

Friday, May 28, 2010


Riley is always excited when a package arrives. Which is ridiculously optimistic because most of the time there is nothing for him in the box. But every now and then I’m a really nice dog owner and order a few little treats for him as well.

Lucky dog. 🙂

divider blue

Saturday, May 29, 2010


This has been my favorite stand-by lunch since I was a very little girl. Actually, it was the only thing I ever wanted for lunch growing up, and I would eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Mom every day before the bus picked me up for afternoon kindergarten.

For me, this sandwich is comfort food. I’m sure for my mother, this sandwich was what came directly before a few hours of peace and quiet in the house. 🙂

divider blue

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I could hardly look at this photo long enough to crop it and put it on this page. Imagine how completely freaked out I was when I took the picture.


I am still looking under pillows and blankets for fear it had babies.

There was HAIR on that thing.

You have no idea how much wadded up toilet paper it took for me to grab that sucker and flush it. But I wanted the photo so when I tell people I killed the largest spider known to man, I have proof.

divider blue

Monday, May 31, 2010


I know, you’ve seen pictures like this of Riley a thousand different times. And people are always commenting how well he poses for pictures. But what you never see is this:


He poses so nicely because the minute he hears that first shutter click, he is diving at me for the inevitable Cheerio that follows. There’s no free lunch around here, people.

divider blue

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


On Tuesday, the girls and I had our rescheduled birthday dinner… and when I mentioned the word camera, it was met with a resounding “NO.”

I think they’re over the whole blog thing.

So before I went to bed I grabbed the camera and took a picture of the only evidence that they were here…


divider blue

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


And this… well, I may or may not have eaten this little bit of leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

We won’t even talk about all the Cushing’s weight I have yet to lose. I mean, it was mostly fruit, right???

divider blue

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Is there anything better than beautifully colored pictures from little people?

Marla’s sweet, lovely, youngest daughter Nina showed me her artistic side and sent me some new artwork for my fridge. I always say that life is just a little happier with Eyore around. 🙂divider blue

Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well:

I’m skipping a few years of Memorial Day celebrations so I have the space to show you all the layouts for 2007.

We may have taken a few photos that year. 🙂

I love capturing moments, and my sister Laura had just gotten a DSLR for Mother’s Day, so we had a hay day with the cameras. I also took a lot of pictures that year because I had this nagging pull on my heart the entire time. It was one of those weekends that I was purposefully taking in every moment because it was becoming very clear to me that it would be my last year traveling home.

I had no idea my health would continue to spiral like it did, as quickly as it did. I just knew my limitations were escalating. I remember standing in the kitchen with mom, after everyone else had left to go home, and saying that it was the perfect weekend to end on for me. The kids were all so good and played so great together, everyone was relaxed, there was no schedule. It was calm. And happy. And I felt so blessed in that moment to have it.

I think Mom was still a bit in denial at the time about whether or not I’d be making any car trips after that, but she agreed that it was a lovely time. I hope you can see in the photos the kind of happy it left with us.

I look back on these pages often.


scrap page 51
scrap page 52
scrap page 53
scrap page 54
scrap page 55
scrap page 56
scrap page 57
scrap page 58

I think I’ve mentioned it a little bit before, but do you all know I used to be a compulsive scrapbooker?

Like, I’d start one layout in the evening and then stay up until four in the morning trying to finish an entire book. I loved it. It was like once I started I just couldn’t make myself stop. Obviously, in the past couple of years I haven’t done a lot of sitting at the computer for hours on end, and in the past year I’ve done… let’s see… zero pages.

I really started faithfully scrapbooking for my family in 2001 when we had our first big Memorial Day get-together because we had family pictures taken. All of my nieces and nephews had such a great time playing together that we decided to make it an annual event, and I love that I have my scrapbook pages so I can look back, remember and see how much the kids have changed.

Want to see some? 🙂

I’ll post a few layouts today and a few more tomorrow. I’m warning you, I’m no Jessica or Ali Edwards… but I do love putting a page together. Just click on the photo and it will open to a bigger shot so you can see them better.

Feel free to tell me how cute my nieces and nephews are. I’m not going to argue with you…


scrap page 1

scrap page 2


scrap page 9
scrap page 10
scrap page 11 

scrap page 17
scrap page 18
scrap page 19

So, last Friday I had every intention of blogging.

I intended on blogging in the same way I intend on blogging every week day. Except, some week days it just doesn’t get done. I was really tired on Thursday and not really moving so well, and the thought of sitting up and saying something sounded like a lot of effort, so I just didn’t do it.

I skipped. It happens.

I just happened to skip writing on the two year anniversary of starting this blog.


Hey! Thanks for sticking around for two years you crazy people!!!!

Thanks for sticking around while I ramble on about the antics of the most ridiculous blog dog.

twitter IMG_2311

Thanks for sticking around while I sometimes write about things that probably only seem important to me.

Thanks for sticking around when I pour out my heart and am feeling less than completely thrilled with my life.

Thanks for sticking around when I write posts about choosing joy … posts that are a reminder for me just as much as they are for you.

Thanks for sticking around while I tell you silly stories about my childhood that I write simply so I won’t forget them.

Thanks for sticking around even when I’m not around. For those days when I’m not well enough to blog and you all are here for me anyway. For those moments when you all have been my lifeline to a world I want to be a part of and sometimes just don’t have the energy to be in.

Thanks for all of that. And all the other stuff I haven’t mentioned.

Just, thanks.

For being you.