Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How We Wait

Obligatory warning that this is a post by Brack.

While we were getting ready to leave the hospital after Jordan's procedures, we had some friends visiting with us. One of those friends shared something that has really stuck with us the last ten days or so. His prayer for us is that we would have a deep appreciation for the life we have around us. Also that this would be a time where our family could see the beauty of life.

Little did he know this has been an undercurrent in our family that has slowly been changing us over the last several years. We feel that sense of deep appreciation when we are fully present in the moment. Something especially hard for me because my mind is always thinking ahead. Constantly trying to feel out the future. The last several years have been spent in rebellion to that though. A little community in LaGrange, GA taught us so much about being present and valuing what is right in front of us.

This was a great reminder from our friend because in crisis we have found it is much easier to slip back into autopilot mode. So easy to forget about the present and worry so much about the future. That little reminder though has helped us to acknowledge those very real feelings we have about the future without letting them rob us of the gift of the present.

So here is how we have been drinking deep from the cup of life since leaving the hospital:

Eating fresh cherry pie that a coworker and student made for us.

Smelling beautiful flowers brought by friends.

Eating our weight in cherries (my fingers are stained). Jordan went blueberry picking with a friend and brought back pounds of some of the best blueberries we have ever had.

Gaining a little bit of weight from eating so well. The meal train is keeping us full and happy.
Quiche, pizza, enchiladas, lasagna and fresh baked goods, oh my!

An impromptu archery lesson at a friend's house.

Lots of back porch time reading and soaking in the sounds of nature.

Boardgames (pretty sure Jordan won).

Wetting our whistle in Portland with friends.

Another IKEA trip. Try the breakfast and buy stock now!

Sneaking up to Inspiration Point for a breathtaking sunset.

Jordan's first haircut in a year!

"Life is Uncertain, Don't Sip!"
This sums up our own hopes pretty well right now. 

My hope for anyone reading this is for you to take a deep drink from the cup of life you have in front of you today.



Friday, July 21, 2017


Nearly a week after surgery, I am grateful for dozens of seemingly normal things. Each person who has knocked on our door, each card I have received in the mail, each silly GIF or group text, each FaceTime call and each warm meal. It is obvious that we have a mountain of support around us and we're so thankful to see all the GOOD. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for showing up.

I am waiting for a post-op appointment on Thursday (the 27th) and will hopefully learn the results of the biopsy then. While the surgeon did confirm the mass in my brain is, in fact, a tumor, we will know more soon about exactly what we're dealing with and how best to treat it.

In addition, a spinal MRI at the hospital showed a spot on my thyroid and liver. On Thursday I'll also have a CT scan of my liver and a needle aspiration biopsy of my thyroid. Sounds fun, huh? These are minor outpatient procedures to help see if anything else is going on.

In the meantime, Brack and I are truly trying to enjoy our new normal. He's working hard to get our house unpacked and I'm working hard not to fall down. Our world is full of eye patches, sanders, fresh fruit, vitamins, friends, errands and projects. We miss our kids every day, but are so thankful for the extra time they've had with their grandparents. These are the good gifts we think upon often.

Thank you, again, for being a gift to us.
Only #12days until I see these sweet faces! 
Much needed treats from friends who know me well!

Lunch at Lake Taco today. Serious gratitude right here!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

We are busting out!

Another quick update from Brack.

A nurse woke us up this morning at shift change with the news that we get to go home today. He seemed a little shocked when I started putting Jordan's shoes on and pushing the bed towards the door. Apparently, it doesn't work like that...

I want to take a moment to recognize OHSU as a world class hospital. We are floored at how hard they have worked to make our stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible. All of the nurses we have interacted with have been so professional. They also take the time to just talk about life and not just about the logistics of why we are there. They have had such a gentle touch when working with us. The facilities here are beautiful and state of the art. People literally come hang out at the hospital for the views. The surgeons have been great. They were professional and honest with us. Jordan's surgeon came by early yesterday morning in the ICU just to check in. He did this even though he had shared with me the day before that we wouldn't need to see him again unless Jordan was undergoing another surgery. This experience could have been so much different without the world class staff here.

We are excited to get back to our home. We know the last month has just been one really long and delayed introduction to what is slowly becoming our new reality. There have been some frustrating times waiting and not knowing what is coming. There is still another waiting period that we are being faced with right now. Jordan and I both know that there was a purpose for this last month though.

We believe firmly and have seen it over and over again that the community we have been given in Oregon loves us, cares for us and is 100% exactly what we need for today. Just in the last couple of weeks as we have shared our story with more and more people that tangled web of community has grown tremendously. It includes people of all colors, creeds, shapes and sizes. We have had people from way back when reaching out to us. People literally from the other side of the globe. People that have helped shape us into the couple that we are today and people that we got into all sorts of trouble with growing up (me more so than Jordan on this one).

Interacting with these people has had us laughing and crying so much from all of the incredible memories we share. True friendship and community is not lost with a little distance and time. We are being reminded of that each day and are so thankful!

With all that being said daily life isn't going to be changing for us while we wait for the next step. We are both itching to get back to the gorge. Our home is literally one of the most beautiful places we have ever been right now. The weather is perfect (we have about 16 hours of sunlight a day), everything is green and the most delicious fruit you have ever eaten is literally falling from the sky. We are going to get out for lots of walks, do our normal exploring, spend lots of time in the backyard as the sun goes down and sleep with the windows open! There is no better place to relax and prepare for whatever is next.

One quick funny picture. Our friends brought Jordan a pirate ship pinata and a card with parrots on it to go with her eye patch.

Thanks again for all your support!