30 Days of Thankful

Today I am thankful for the incredible generosity and caring nature of people.  It’s easy to lose sight of this sometimes but today,  I was reminded of this by the Colts cheerleaders.  In case you don’t already know, two cheerleaders shaved their heads to show support for the Colts football coach who has leukemia and to raise money.    

I know that they’re just people and there are hundreds of kids who do this each year in Buffalo to raise insane amounts of cash for cancer research.  However, it takes a lot of guts to shave your head as a female, period;  I know because I did it (and when I did it, my hair was already on its way out).  So I’d like to give huge props to those ladies, especially because they let the mascot do it! 

More importantly, I’m sending positive thoughts and prayers to Coach Pagano.  Congrats on the remission status; keep up the good work!


30 Days of Thankful – Day 18

Day 18: For Movember and other creative cancer-fighting organizations

I used to wish I was a man so that I could participate in Movember (seriously, why do guys get all the good stuff!?!).  Although it took a few years to hit America by storm, we’ve officially reached that point.  Everyone I know is talking about Movember and more importantly, so many are participating. Movember has raised over $170,000,000 by encouraging men to grow mustaches and other assorted facial hair to support prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.  

Since Gus and I are currently unable to grow facial hair (hopefully that status will remain for me), we wanted to demonstrate our support; here are pictures of the blueberry smoothie mustache Gussy decided to “grow.” 


30 Days of Thankful – Day 16

Day 16: For the unfounded extremism Donny and I share for ridiculous things

I played hockey, Donny grew up skiing. I was doing cancer research while Donny was guiding groups of kids through the Maine wilderness. I love kale and Donny loves red meat. I love pop and punk and Donny‘s jams are all bluegrass. We have a lot of differences but we have one very important thing in common; our mutual weirdness in being very extreme when it comes to completely random things.

I realized just how thankful I am that I found someone who shares my crazy today because we had another “episode.”  Today’s focus of our irrational crazy: pantry moths.  In just a couple days they have become the bane of our existence.  In nutshell, they immigrate to your pantry from the grocery store (we believe our basmati rice was to blame) and they proceed to take over your pantry.  From everything we’ve read, successfully eradicating them earns you a Nobel Prize or something. Upon reading this and studying the life cycle, which Donny and I did independently of one another, we realized that we had to no choice but to throw out most of the pantry, clean every section, wipe down all remaining food stuffs, and putting all future dry goods in containers that cost as much as a small country. 

What’s left of our pantry food.

Our life in Oxo containers...

Fortunately, I got to experience this craziness with the love of my love who hates “these f*ers” as much as me!

30 Days of Thankful – Day 15

Day 15: For my Dana-Farber co-workers and our mutual affinity for Pat’s

I‘ve been home with the girls now for 2 months and although I love being with them, I’m also really starting to miss work. I know that sounds crazy, but there’s something awesome about where I work. Not only are we working to change cancer treatment through clinical research but we also love eating and coffee

One of my personal favorites around the hospital is Pat’s Place; a fairly well hidden little nook in Brigham and Women’s Hospital that serves up a delicious breakfast.  I love it so much that I sent Donny there the morning the girls were born to score us some breakfast sandwiches, and yes, he had trouble finding it despite my stellar directions.  

Today, I decided I desperately needed to get out of the house so the girls and I headed into to work. In addition to making the rounds in the office, a group of us headed over to enjoy some Pat’s. 

I’m going to be sad the day I have to drop the girls off at daycare (and it’s rapidly approaching) but my co-workers will certainly make the transition so much easier!


30 Days of Thankful – Day 14

Day 14: For the satisfaction I get from cleaning

I’ve never been a neat freak and I expect I never will be (I’m pretty sure my mom is laughing out loud right now). My mom tried to get me to clean my room throughout my childhood but I regularly relied on the “stash everything in the closet and under the bed” method (not that it fooled her).  In college, there were times my room got so messy that I had to climb a mountain of clothes to get to my bed; it’s amazing Donny married me after seeing my room. Despite my tendency to let entropy take over, I get an amazing amount of satisfaction from cleaning. It might be the feeling of accomplishment or just seeing the progress but I love it!

As you’d expect, Donny and I do not have much time for cleaning these days.  Thus, our kitchen floor has been neglected to a whole new level. While contemplating heading out on a run as I stood in the kitchen today, I looked down and immediately decided it need a good scrub.  Consequently, I replaced my run with 4 hours of scrubbing the kitchen floor. Not only does the floor look amazing but I think my back and arm muscles may start to look amazing too, if I keep this up!

30 Days of Thankful – Day 13

Day 13: For the ability to laugh at myself

We all do ridiculous things from time to time. Over the past month, I’ve put the milk in a cabinet and put my cell phone in the refrigerator. I’ve left bottles of freshly pumped breast milk sitting on the counter and I ran the washer at least a couple of times without ever putting clothes in.  

I’m finding that there is a direct relationship between the number of tasks you have to juggle and the number of ridiculous things that happen. Since Donny and I are only first starting down the path of twins+older brother, I have come to realize that fighting this phenomenon and getting frustrated is futile. Life is crazy and exciting, so these ridiculous things will continue.

Thus, I have started making a conscious effort to laugh at myself. The interesting thing about choosing to laugh at myself is that it not only lets me see that perfect isn’t the only good option (sometimes I can laugh at myself pretty hard) but it is also helping me be a better parent. I have an increased patience for accidents, particularly with my 3 year old, and it’s helping me convey the relative importance of things, which has always been one of my highest parenting priorities. 

I guess what I’m saying is that life is too short and it seems like laughing is a much better use of my time. 

30 Days of Thankful – Day 12

Day 12: for the opportunity to turn over a new leaf each day

Today’s topic is simple. Everyday is a chance to change regardless of that which you want to change; whether it’s a new exercise plan you’ve been postponing (read: marathon training), an old friend you‘ve wanted to call for months/years, or a more positive outlook on life, it is all just a night’s sleep away. The ability for tomorrow to bring so much hope is a grounding force in my life and it would not be possible if tomorrow didn’t hold so much promise for change. 

On that note… I am going to run tomorrow!


30 Days of Thankful – Day 10

Day 10: For delicious food

We need food to do all the awesome things on our bucket lists but also just to function. When our girls arrived 13 weeks early, their bodies weren’t ready to eat food so they were given the equivalent through central lines (more permanent IVs) that ran through their belly buttons. 

I received TPN during and after my transplant, when I was unable to eat for weeks. When you can’t eat, modern medicine has to give you the nutrients you would otherwise get from eating because food equals fuel. 

As a mom, I’ve already heard myself at least 20 times tell Goose that he can’t waste his dinner because “there are starving children in __________ (fill in the blank).” We all know that there are children and adults who are hungry all over the globe and yes, even in the US. For this reason and so many more, I am opposed to throwing out food; thus, DH and I have really tried to make a concerted effort to avoid this practice, recently. We check expiration dates in advance and plan meals according to what is going bad first. Sometimes I wish we could skip the ‘save the food’ campaign and just make extravagant dinners when we desire, but then I remind myself that leftover soup is significantly better than that which millions of other individuals are eating.

I have a fridge and pantry full of great food. I have 3 food stores less than 1 mile away. I have numerous food co-ops that will deliver organic, locally grown veggies to our door. Although it took me a couple years, I have finally realized that I am so lucky to have delicious meals multiple times each day and more importantly, be able to provide for all of my family.