If I could go back in time and have a little talk with 2006 Natasha I would tell her to NOT put hardwood floors in her new house. I would tell her to go ahead and do the colored concrete she really wanted and not be talked into the hardwood decision. Unfortunately I have no time machine, so I have hardwood floors. Don't get me wrong, the floor is gorgeous. It's incredibly beautiful, it's also incredibly fragile. (it wasn't supposed to be, but that is another story) It gets dented, dinged, and scratched at the slightest touch. Living with this beautiful floor means living very, very carefully. It also means not sweating the small stuff, life happens and a hardwood floor is going to look lived on. I have come to terms with all that, and me and the floor have made a separate peace. I could not, however, be okay with the damage done to it by my cleaning ladies. They are very aware of the fragility of the floor and are usually really careful. One day one of them used a Magic Eraser on the floor to scrub some spots. The Magic Eraser took off a layer of floor finish leaving scrub marks all over. I will make a very long, frustrating story short - the entire downstairs had to be refinished. Sanded and taken down to the wood, refinished. It's kind of a nightmare. It took them a week to do the work, we had to send the dogs away, had no kitchen access, etc… The inconvenience level was pretty high. In the end it all worked out, we got through the week of work (Steve proved his adaptability and ingenuity by putting a ladder to the upstairs window and going in and out of the house that way) and the floor looks like new. It is most likely still as fragile so I'm not giving up on my time machine wish.
From hospital bed to half-marathon in 6 months. That's the goal Steve set for himself and that's what he accomplished this weekend at the Oakland Running Festival. He ran as part of TNT and raised money for cancer research (read about that here) and got to reap the benefits of being part of a training team and the support of coaches. TNT is an amazing organization. There is no way for me to truly understand what this journey has been for Steve, I am on the outside looking in and all I can do is marvel at what he's done. I was there at the end of the race when he crossed the finish line and I cheered, and I cried. It was the proudest I have ever been in my entire life. It is no exaggeration that Steve almost died last September. He came so close, and today he was so very far away from that. He did all this, he made today happen. I have a picture in my head of a very sick Steve in a dark room in the ICU, and now I have a picture of him running in the sunshine full of life and hope. I like this new picture so much more.
We proved with our first dance party that teenagers love; dancing, food, and a place to just hang out together. We also proved that we could throw a really great party, so Dagny, and I, decided to do it again. Since it was just before Saint Patricks Day I went with a green theme for the food and decorations, (you know how I love a theme) and I thought it all looked, and tasted, great. So did all the kids, they loved everything and had an amazingly fun night. Nobody more so than Dagny, which makes all the work so very worth it.