Sunday May 1, 2011

We were on a beautiful spot on our earth last night celebrating with our friends the Anglins who own a farm cut through a river valley in Fillmore County.  The clouds cleared right around happy hour and I promised everyone high pressure was going to be in charge for the next 5 days or so - sunshine, good times, the damp cold days of April were behind us.  Now this morning we awaken to window shaking gusts, low clouds and 35 degrees.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...

We are working our butts off to find strength and silver linings and keep the smiles rolling.  In truth, the girls don't afford us much room to whine. 

Erin's Fireballs kept smiling and laughing through a 4-1 beat down in a driving rainstorm. That was how our Saturday began.  The only whining came from the coaches.  The good news is that pictures were postponed and our next 4 games don't start until 10:00am!!! 

The other good news is that Shannon and Grandma and Papa made no attempt to spectate - instead they enjoyed breakfast and WIFI at McDonald's. Shannon's appetite continues to be off the charts.  Her Egg McMuffin "tradition" with Grandma on Fireball game days just might carry us all the way through healing season.

After a hot shower it was Erin's turn with Grandma and Papa - they loaded up the Mustang and headed for Shakopee where E was able to separate and enjoy some Harkins cousin-time.  Erin and her cousin Laurynn Harkins have a serious connection (OK, not fact mostly super silly).  But a sister-from-another-mother kind of relationship that we are truly grateful for.

That free'd up me and Jen to visit with friends while Shannon played hockey.  Shannon's teammates continue to go out of their way to set her up in these spring games.  She lit the lamp twice Saturday - tried not to celebrate like Ovechkin - but her smile was clearly visible from the top row of Graham Arena's rink four. Olivia, Allison and Maddie seem like they are having fun spreading the puck around and Shannon is quite comfortable camping in front of the net looking for cheesy deflections and juicy rebounds.  Fun stuff.  As for Shannon's back checking... we won't go there...the kid has a brain tumor... cut her some slack.

After the game we ate slices at Mr. Pizza with the Pankows, Grafstroms and Leqves; families that have been along for so many of Shannon's happiest moments over the past several years.  Shannon always loved sports but when she started playing hockey three years ago she blossomed as a person and a personality.

Our challenge continues to be enjoying life without getting sucked into a vacuum of what is to come.  The happier the moments are, the harder it gets to stay in them.  At the Anglin farm down by Spring Valley we hiked, rode mini-bikes, chowed down on soup and hot dogs, burned a fire and laughed a lot.  We have been introduced to a highly efficient, s'more hybrid that I think is the future.  You place your roasted marshmallow between two Keebler Fudge Stripes.  Change is possible...

By the end of the night Shannon struggled to stay comfortable.  She was exhausted but never wanted any of us to see it.  Jen and I can tell.  So the ride home was kind of a downer because the kid was just cashed and telling us about tightness in her lungs and rib cage.  That's how it goes.  Shannon's challenge will be finding acceptance that her body can't rock like her mind thinks it should. We're 10 days into the 42 days of healing.

Today Erin comes home - YEAH - and we are going to see Grandma and Grandpa O'Hara at brother Mike's.  More family's all good!