Little Girl at the Piano

Four years ago, my friend Hope Anne and I became very close phone friends as she prepared to travel to Ukraine to adopt her new daughter Katya....more

The Big Switch…take two!

When we brought Abel home two years ago, we had all the boys in the second bedroom and Angela was still in the basement bedroom. Some of you have been reading here a long time and remember that as the Pirate Room. Unfortunately I wasn't happy with where everyone was and ...more

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms reading!There are probably some new readers here who have come from the Pioneer Press article about our family. Let me give you a little tour:Some are curious about life juggling kids and cancer ....more


Dean and I recently made a really big decision. Although I am very excited about the possibilities ahead of us, the work involved may cause me to have a nervous breakdown! If only I could put our lives on hold for the next month or two.We're hoping to have the house on the market but June 1st ....more

The week that Dean left town

Audrey and Abel had their surgery on April 7th.On Saturday I took Angela shopping for her prom dress.On Sunday Dean went down to Arizona. His parents own a condo there and that's where they spend their winters. Dean was helping them pack up then help them navigate the airport and fly home.On Monday morning Angela got up from school very pale and running a low-grade fever ....more

Long overdue updates

I don't know how many times I have come to update, only to realize I have no idea where to start. There is SO MUCH going on in the Garden!I guess I'll start where I left off.Here we are, 4 1/2 months into 2015 and our life is not looking the way I pictured it. There are already surprises, changes of direction, and "Oh my gosh!" moments that cannot be anticipated years in advance ....more

What do you do when...

What do you do when your prosthetic boob falls out of your bra and onto your feet in the grocery store? Why, pick it up and put it back in of course!What do you do when there is an itch on the INSIDE of your boob somewhere behind the tissue expander? (seriously, how is this even possible?) You shimmy around a lot trying to shift the tissue expander to scratch the itch, which is like a phantom itch and can't really be scratched.What do you do when you're trying on a prosthetic sports bra thingy in Nordstroms and you get very stuck in it? ...more

One of those days

Today was one of those days......when I realize there are 562 chromosomes in my living room. (10 kids x 47...more

Remember when I said...

Remember when I asked "What should I do?"Between the comments here and on Facebook, there were some great suggestions, even if some did include water (Hello, I don't DO water!). So here's where what I decided:I want to learn these things this year: Some kind of dancing - Ballroom or Hip Hop are on my radar acrylic painting how to play the guitar, or at least some basic chords. I want to be one of those moms who can play the guitar and sing with her kids ....more

The year I disappeared

One year ago four words changed the course of my life as I knew it. "You have breast cancer."...more