They came over Memorial Day weekend, which just happened to be my and my dad's birth-week! We were both born on June 1st, so my birthday has always been about celebrating with my dad. I can't even explain how much it meant to me to be able to spend our birthday together. It has been a rough 9 months for our family, but especially for my mom and dad.
Last August my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was the worst news I have ever gotten and it was really hard for me and the rest of my family. But my dad is amazing and through the whole experience he trusted God and was able to remain hopeful and positive. He decided to have surgery to remove the cancer and was able to recover pretty quickly and be back to work. It was SO hard for me to be in Oregon during all of this because I couldn't see him and see that he was okay.
They had to wait a few months after his surgery to check and see if the cancer was gone. Most forms of prostate cancer are pretty mellow and really not a big deal, so we were all hoping to hear good news... But, my dad still had cancer, which means he has the rare form that is actually aggressive. The next step was radiation treatment for 8 weeks, 5 times a week. Again, it was hard for me to be away and not know how he was doing but he was able to stay really happy throughout the whole thing, even though the radiation makes you pretty exhausted.
My dad finished up his radiation treatment at the beginning of May (WOHOO!!) and to celebrate my parents decided to visit us :)
The first thing we did was take them sailing. It was a beautiful day, but not very windy. I wasn't complaining though because I wanted their first experience sailing with us to be calm :) they loved it and it was just so nice being outside on the water together--just talking and relaxing!
The next day was pretty rainy, but you can't let that stop you in Oregon! We drove down south to Mollala River and walked along the trail. Quality time like this with my parents is PRICELESS to me. I grew up spending time with them in the outdoors so it felt like my childhood to be with my parents on a hike :)
The next day was Memorial Day and it didn't stop raining all day... Awesome. So we went to the mall and walked around and got some yummy sees chocolate. Then we went over to our neighbors' for a rainy BBQ. I'm telling ya... If you changed plans based on the rain here, you wouldn't do much! It was so fun to hang out with our close friends and have my parents get to know them more.
Tuesday through Thursday I had to work so my parents decided to stay at a bed and breakfast on the beach. It was also their 42nd anniversary so it worked out perfectly... But I have to admit I missed them!
Landon had to work Friday but I had the day off so I got to have some one-on-two time. Now that I'm married and the fact that I'm the 8th of nine kids means that this kind of alone time with my parents is RARE. Oh man, I just love them! We drove down to Silver Springs and hiked over four miles and saw 6 waterfalls. Pictures and words just won't do it justice, but it was stunning. And a big shout out to my dad who hiked the whole way... And it was a pretty decent hike with a lot of steep switchbacks! He is a trooper!!
Saturday was the big day, our birthday! It was a beautiful, sunny day so we decided to go sailing. I can't think of a better way to spend the day.
We actually got some wind and were able to show my parents some tacks, gibes, and go pretty far up the river. It was a birthday miracle!
After sailing we went to Outback for dinner and then came home for presents and brownies. Landon surprised me by telling me he was going to take me out on a special birthday date the next Friday so he could celebrate with just the two of us :) He also got me a cell phone case and told me he would take me shopping for some clothes on our date.
After presents we played a game... But I had to BEG my dad because he hates board games. I tried the whole, "but it's my birthday..." trick but unfortunately he could say the same thing! Bummer. So we came up with a compromise that my dad would try the game and if he hated it after the first round we would stop. Well, he loved it! Power Grid is a game that uses a lot of brain power so it is right up his alley :)
Sunday morning before church we had to say bye and of course I cried. It was really hard to watch them drive away after spending such an amazing week with them. They are so cute and such good examples to me of faith, having a strong marriage, and just living a happy life. They have been through some pretty hard things, but through it all they stay strong and grow together.
Thank you so much for coming to visit mom and dad! We love you so much!