Archive | September, 2010

top ten #247.

30 Sep

ten things I realized at the mall…

#1. Fall is the best season to buy shorts. Even though you wont wear them til next year…they’re practically free right now!

#2. Some people should heed the fact that just because something is in “style”, doesn’t mean “they” should actually wear it. I.E…leather is in for fall, but leather is NOT for everyone. Lady at the mall, this is for you. Didn’t your mother ever tell you “just becuase everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you get to too.”

#3. I judge anyone who works at the “fake smokers” booth in the mall. If it doesn’t have nicotine in it, that means you are just smoking to “look cool”. Either way, its irritating.

#4. Yes, I realize my credit cards are not signed. Its intentional. So please stop saying, “I’ll need to see your ID since your card isnt signed” while you wait for a shocked reaction from me.

#5. No, I don’t have a minute. No, I don’t want my hair straightened. No, I dont want you to rub some strange lotion on my hands strange man dressed in white.

#6. I love Macy’s. An additional 40% Joe’s Jeans that were already marked down 40%. Yes please!

#7. I’ve never had bad customer service at Nordstrom. Ever. Thus the reason I love you too!

#8. I need to stop buying nail polish from Nordstrom Rack because apparently I keep buying the same color. If anyone needs 4 bottles of pink nail polish…let me know!

#9. Never buy anything full price. If you do, you’ll be the person I’m referring to when I buy the same item a week later at half the price and say, “I can’t believe someone actually paid full price for this…”

#10. If you bring 3+ kids to the mall, don’t look at me for sympathy. What were you thinking….they’d behave and enjoy patiently waiting for you to shop?




25 Sep
 At the age of three, most kids find themselves knee-deep in dirt, constantly running around in their new-found freedom of mobility and picking fights over who gets to be a certain superhero that day with their friends or siblings, but for Jensen Anderson , he found himself fighting for his life against cancer.  Jensen, now at the age of 6, son of Jeff and Julie (Beld) Anderson and brother to Ellie (13), Easton (11), Payton (10) and Tristan (4) has endured more pain and suffering than most people will ever experience. Still, his contagious smile and positive attitude has captivated the hearts of many, including the heart of our Lynden Papa Murphy’s store manager. Donations, fundraisers, requests, etc., file in to my inbox daily and while my heart is quick to break for those in need, my mind is logical enough to realize we can’t do everything. With that said, we CAN do something. Every once and awhile, something stands out and grabs my attention. It’s that kind of request when you realize this is not just a story, but a reality for someone so undeserving of the circumstance. I caught the passion behind our manager’s drive to want to do something for the Anderson family and collaborated with my team to put together a pizza night fundraiser at our Lynden Papa Murphy’s on Tuesday, October 12th. $2.00 of every regular priced pizza(s) purchased on this day will be donated to the Anderson Family in support of Jensen and the miracle we are all pulling for. It’s not only my honor to help support this fundraiser event, but to also share with you Jensen’s story (as best I can) with the help of his mom, Julie.

Jensen (6). Photo by Hatch Photography

Jensen was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor when he was 3. Surgery was quickly done and enabled Jensen to finally live a normal life…for about a year, until the tumor grew back. The tumor grew back so fast and so large that Jensen was in a tremendous amount of pain and because surgery was not scheduled soon enough, Jensen suffered a spinal cord stroke.  At the age of 4, Jensen was now paralyzed from his neck down.  Jensen’s family prepared for the worst as the tumor continued to grow into Jensen’s brain stem and he almost died.  Thankfully, the Anderson Family was abruptly reminded that our circumstance does not dictate our fate. This reminder went from a nice quote to an undeniable truth with one wiggle of a thumb! The mobility of Jensen’s thumbs flowed to the rest of his body as he continued to heal and the tumor shrunk away from his brain stem.  Over the next year, Jensen gained movement in his arms and was able to feed himself, draw, turn pages in books and play video games.  His legs started to gain feeling and he was able to start standing up, which then turned into a slow walk which was somewhat disabled, due to the stroke. This was the progress Jensen’s family and friends could only hope for!

Then, in August of this year, Jensen’s MRI showed that his tumor had begun growing again and he lost the ability to bear weight in his legs soon after.  His Doctors said he needed radiation immediately to kill the tumor. The Anderson’s had heard that proton radiation was much better for children because there aren’t as many side effects and not nearly as many or severe long-term effects from the radiation on the organs surrounding the tumor site and also on the bones. The Anderson’s did some research on proton therapy and began the search for a proton therapy center that would accept Jensen’s case right away.  There are only 5 proton centers in the US that accept children and MD Anderson in Houston was the only center that could take Jensen right away.  The Anderson’s checked with their insurance company and were told that in order to begin the process to either be accepted or rejected for proton therapy coverage, they needed Jensen to be examined by the physician in Houston and then it could take up to 2 weeks for them to get an answer on whether they would be covered or not.  

The Anderson’s flew to Houston on August 27 as a family so they could all be together in this most dire situation, and to begin the approval process.  Jeff, Julie and Jensen were sitting in the waiting room at MD Anderson waiting to go in to have Jensen examined by the Doctor to begin the approval process for the insurance company when Julie received a call from the insurance company.  Jensen had already been rejected for coverage on proton radiation.  In the weeks following, they went through 2 appeals but were still rejected for all coverage relating to proton therapy. 

The Anderson’s had some very difficult decisions to make regarding Jensen’s care, but ultimately decided to take out a loan for the $105,000 and give Jensen the best radiation treatment available.  

They have been living in Houston as a family and will continue to live there until Jensen finishes his treatments on the 27th of October. 


The Anderson Family. Photo by Hatch Photography.

My hope for those of you, who come across this story, is that you will be moved, not only in your heart, but in your actions. I realize that the world is filled with hurting people, in fact, I realize that many of you might even find yourself in that category of “hurting”, but would you take a moment and challenge your mind to grasp the fact that this is not just a story, but the Anderson’s reality…everyday. With the added stress of finances, removal of their entire life and family in Lynden, and the daily strength to fight for the world to be blessed with much more than 6 years of Jensen’s life, I can’t imagine the internal struggle. In fact, I can’t even depict it, because when I speak with the Anderson’s and those blessed to call them family and friends, I don’t hear a struggle at all. I hear hope. I hear humility and graciousness. A family clinging to the promise that miracles still happen today. I’m encouraged by the Anderson family and humbled to be apart of something so much bigger than myself and my job.

What can you do? Buy pizza(s) on Tuesday, October 12th at the Lynden Papa Murphy’s. Help spread the word about this fundraiser by contacting me for flyers in which you can post on your social media outlets, at your work, send through your e-mail, hang up at local businesses, etc. You CAN do something and this might just be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.  Also, an account has been set-up in Jensen’s name at Bank of America where you can continue to give. If you go in to donate directly to the account, you need to mention to the teller that it is a Texax account and the account number is 5860 1965 7528. Lastly, regardless of your affiliation, distance, or knowledge of the Anderson Family, you can keep them in your prayers, believing with them for a complete healing and miracle.

Please leave a comment with your e-mail if you would like me to e-mail you a flyer. Also, I will be sure to pass along any and all comments to the Anderson Family, should you feel led to leave them. Thanks everyone!

I love my ducks.

19 Sep

1st time in Autzen stadium. Ducks beat PSU 69-0. Figures! It poured the entire time. Traffic was awful both ways. Dad hadn’t been back since the last game he played there 30 years ago…he was like a kid in a candy shop in that place. Nate Costa proved he earned his QB spot. James and Maehl were fun to watch. I loved everything about today. EVERYTHING. Go Ducks!

build a bear.

19 Sep

I got to babysit the Bradford lil’s and thought I’d take them out for a special fun night. Olivia was so excited that she kept saying, “I’m going to totally freak out when I find out what special place you’re taking us to”. When I told her I didn’t know what special place she was talking about, she reminded me that I have a map in my car so that should help :). She’s too smart! After strapping on Bennett in the pouring rain, then dropping his pacifier in the mud, becoming soaking wet due to Jack and Liv’s puddle jumping and then figuring out how to get Jack out of the locked bathroom stall….we finally made it to Build A Bear. (Brittany, you are truly superwoman) Needless to say…they were a bit excited, which was then trumped when they didn’t understand why they had to have the bear’s without stuffing. They apparently didn’t understand the whole “Build” part of build a bear! Thankfully they soon realized the whole process and jumped and screamed their way around the store! Here’s some fun pictures:


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oh brother.

15 Sep

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Today is my favorite brother’s birthday! (Don’t worry, he’s my only brother so don’t feel sorry for the ones you were thinking I was offending ;)) 27 years ago today he graced the world with his presence…a professional one at that! I’m pretty sure his baby shower gifts included, but were not limited to, newspapers, coffee cards, suits and ties…not to mention a golf club or two. What? Don’t believe me? Look at this picture:


Since I can’t be there on his special day to embarrass him, I thought I’d do so on here and gush about all things I love and admire about my favorite brother!

  • His style. Seriously, the boy can dress. In fact, he might have more clothes than me! He defiantly wins in the shoe category!
  • The way he can be everybody’s friend; young or old(er) 😉
  • His work ethic
  • The quick comments he throws back at my sarcasm
  • The way he laughs at his own jokes and will occasionally laugh at mine…even if it is just a courtesy laugh!
  • The way he challenges himself to really learn and figure things out for himself rather than just going with the trend.
  • The genuine way he has come to have a relationship with God and how it visibly affects the way he lives his life.
  • The role model he is for young men and the bar he sets for any man in my life
  • His humbleness.
  • The way he adores his girlfriend, Amy.

  • His taste in music. He always seems to find the greatest bands before anyone else does.
  • His generosity.
  • His character.
  • The way he has managed to keep himself alive while driving the way he does! That’s skill! 😉 (we won’t talk about that CA trip…)
  • The little “talks” he has with me that shows me how protected and cared for I really am.
  • The subtle ways he challenges those around him to be better.

Happy Birthday Brother! Today I am reminded how lucky I am to have you as my brother and my friend. I admire you, respect you and love you!

Girl’s Night :)

14 Sep

love these little ones!

ice cream beard 🙂
they thought this was hilarious!
Girls Night with my favorite little girls!
cheerin on the cheerleaders! Go Rachel!
way too cute.
Cousins/Best Friends!

carefully watching the cheerleaders 🙂


 Took Mollie and Livi to go cheer on the Camas Papermakers. They were easily impressed with the cheerleaders and couldn’t wait to give them their treats and tell them good job! After cheering on the cheerleaders they couldn’t wait to get some frozen yogurt and requested to drive there like a true high schooler…”Aunty Jenn, can you put the windows down and musak (thats music, incase you don’t speak 4 yr old language ;)) louder :)”. After skipping around Menchie’s in utter anticipation, we piled their healthy dessert with unhealthy toppings! Finally to our seats, both of them had to go to the bathroom…figures! Thanks to the kind ladies that watched our stuff so i didn’t have to cart it all to the bathroom! Funniest part of the night….Mollie asked Livi if she wanted a piece of gum after the ice cream and Livi laughed and said, “no way, my mom would totally freak out!” When did the four year olds I was carting around turn into teenagers?! Love these lil’ people 🙂

in the meantime.

1 Sep

I listened to a great message online today called “The Other Side”. Maybe it was so great because I feel like it’s so relevant, especially for me, especially right now. And heck, I thought that if maybe I thought it was so great and relevant, maybe some of you would to. If you have 40 minutes, stream this podcast!

Put simply, its about: What do you do when your not where you used to be, but your not where your supposed to be? What do you do in the meantime?