Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I'm still alive, and I still revel in that fact. My recent scare ("trauma" would be a better word!) has changed me. I've always found joy in life, but right now, I'm seeing more clearly than ever before. My life is a gift, and I am so grateful.

Our family is trying to truly buckle down - still, or more - on expenses so that we can pay off cancer-debt. No more meals out, no more take-out. Ryan is bringing his lunch every day instead of just sometimes, and I am cooking dinner every single night. We're eating vegetarian about 50% of the time (but even then, we eat cheese and/or eggs....we're not even close to vegan). I'm getting better at finding coupons for the types of things we buy, and I'm remembering to use them. It's all a lot of work, and requires a lot more planning and persistance, but it's working, and I'm proud of us. In the past year or two, I think I've cut our grocery bill in half, and I've cut our waste significantly as well (yes, the two are related).

I can't remember the last time I went to Target. Funny, I don't miss it at all! We have what we need, and a lot more than that. When I do need something, I'm much better at getting that thing, and not throwing other stuff in my cart.

It's not all fun and games. The school and church auctions are coming up, and we won't be able to contribute much. It would be lovely to take some nice vacations. And most of all, our front porch is in desperate need of work.

Cancer debt is depressing, especially because it keeps growing (this latest business is going to cost us thousands....sigh). We still owe my parents, and how I wish we could write them a fat check to apply towards rebuilding their house: I'd love to buy their granite counters, or some other upgrade....

But it's okay. It's all okay.

Over the last couple of nights, our family watched the Kit "American Girl" movie (from the library). It was another reminder about how lucky we are - we're giving to soup kitchens, not eating at them. Our futures look bright.

This weekend, we're headed to Marisa's cabin for some R&R. Halloween is coming up, and our family attends a party that we just love (in addition to trick or treating with neighbors). Family is coming for Thanksgiving, and we're excited for that. And Christmas? I haven't even thought about it yet, but I love the holidays.

Tessa is growing in leaps and bounds at school. She's been struggling with her reading, but I see her catching up, and her ability to do homework is extraordinary. Our whole family has had to adjust to it - every night she has three or so worksheets, plus spelling/sight words. At the beginning of the school year she cried and complained and whined "I can't! It's too hard!" but last night she happily brought it to the kitchen table as I was prepping dinner and said, "I like homework!" We're finding our routine, and it's working well.

I'm working on the book, and making progress. I hope that my boss doesn't hate me for being so far behind, but I'm catching up and hopeful that I can turn it into what it ought to be. Ryan is helping out more at home so that I can focus on the book, and I'm grateful for that.

I'm counting my blessings. I am grateful for the bounty of my life, and trying to see things with perspective. I am a lucky woman.