Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Our Christmas Letter

Hi Friends -
I sent out Christmas cards to some of you, and some got this little letter. Since it was expensive to print two cards, not everyone got this letter - so here it is digitally. Enjoy :) - Emily

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 New Year's Resolutions Recap

I know this is a little early, folks, but I had the time tonight to write it up so here it is - I'll still wait to post my new ones, mostly because I'm still thinking about them :)

1) Build my own computer
I did this! Ryan and I did it in June. Could not have done it without his help researching the parts. I'm very happy with it, and hope to build more and learn more about it as time goes along.

2) Cook 12 dishes from non-US countries
Here is what I made: 1) Bahn Mis 2)Russian Kulebyaka 3) Hungarian Kiffles 4) Swiss Rosti 5) English Pea Salad 6) Morroccan Shakshuka 7) Beouf Borgionon 8) Etagere Dagenueu 9) Eggplant Curry 10) Morroccan Chicken Peanut Stew 11) Pad Thai 12) Spaghetti Carbonara

I technically accomplished this one. It wasn't quite as adventurous by the end, but I DID get some new staples in my regular rotation of dinners, and I learned that the trick to good cooking is mixing and matching ingredients and spices. Many of the dishes had the same core pantry staples - it just depended on how I paired/spiced them to make them taste "international".

3) Reduce my running time to a 12 minute mile, sustained for 3 miles
Yes, I've done this one, a few times now. Still feels like a stretch, but I can do it without feeling like I'm dying. I also ran a 10K, and I am now able to go 20 on our exercise bike in 70 minutes. I set a lot of intermediary exercise goals, and while I'm still slow, I'm pleased that this has been a persistent thing over the past few years.

4) Read one non-fiction book every month (on average)
I added that bit in parenthesis because this was quite hard at the start of the year. And I mostly read fictionalized non-fiction (aka memoirs). But I enjoyed it and I did it and I can do better as I go. Here's the list: Fresh Off the Boat and Double Cup Love (both by Eddie Huang), Cinderella Ate My Daughter (Peggy Orenstein), Pretty Good Number One (Matthew Burton), Why Not Me? (Mindy Kaling), Mastering the Art of French Eating (Ann Mah), You're never weird on the internet - almost (Felicia Day), My Grape Year, My Grape Wedding, My Grape Escape and My Grape Village (Laura Bradbury, and I'm counting those as one because they were so fun and easy to read), A Zany Slice of Italy and A Zany Slice of Tuscany ( Ivanka De Felice), The Magnolia Story (Chip and Joanna Gaines), Wild (Cheryl Strayed) and Food: A Love Story (Jim Gaffigan, which I am technically still finishing). 

5) Grow My Own Veggies
Technically, I did this. I grew tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. They were little baby plants, but I was able to make Ryan an omelette with them, so I am pretty happy with that. 

6) Make a Project Linus Blanket (subtext - learn to knit)
I did this!! I was SO proud of myself and have knit a few other things this year, including a baby hat for my cousin's newborn, a scarf for Ryan, and a kindle case for myself. 

7) Learn about car maintenance - specifically how to do my own oil changes
8) Listen to more podcasts while running
9) Make pasta from scratch
I didn't do these three. But the director of APL says that you shouldn't be able to attain all your goals - it means you weren't reaching far enough to begin with. SO, let's go with that and reach farther next year! =)

My Letter to my Future Bro-In-Law

One of my little sisters got engaged this week, and I wrote her fiancee this letter. With his and her permission, I am sharing it here. Yes, it's a little silly and sentimental. But I'm a little silly and sentimental, so just bear with me. You don't have to read it. It's not for you anyways - it's for my new little brother in law. if you do still want to read it, here it is:

Dear Derek -
In another life, you and I would never be friends. Putting aside the fact that you lived in PA and went to school in Ohio, while I have always been (and probably always will be) a Maryland native, if we had somehow been in high school or college together, we would have butted heads. I’m fully aware that my overt feminism is sometimes over the top, an effort to overcompensate for the isolation that so many female engineers feel. I’m also aware that I have a tendency to state my opinions on this fact rather loudly, and that my own love for school often makes me judgmental about apathy in other people. Which means that, from what I know about you, we would have fought in classes. Because I know other guys like you, and I fought with them. I fought about their general disdain for required classes, about their offhand jokes about women in the kitchen, about basically everything, because that’s what I did. It’s how I acted. Ask any of my guy friends (and I do still have some) - I was and still am a little sensitive about being a woman engineer.

Even in real life (instead of the hypothetical one) I had a hard time liking you. And here’s why. First of all, you were the first sister boyfriend I had to deal with. I hadn't had the chance to grow accustomed to a new guy in my sister’s life as the rest of the family did with Ryan. You were it, and you did not seem like the kind of guy I’d be drawn towards (see above). But my sister adored you. It was so obvious in every part how happy she was with you, how much she wanted this to work. When Jessica left for Case, I was slightly terrified about what might happen. High school was not her favorite time or place, and I (again, who loved school and couldn’t understand those who didn’t) worried about what college would do to her. When she met you, I was hesitant about being nice to you, because you (someone I didn’t know and didn’t trust) had the potential to crush my sister. I didn’t know you, but I knew if you broke up with her, she’d be sad in a way I couldn’t fix. And I hated you because of that. Emotionally, someone I loved and cared about was now loving and caring about someone else, in a way that they could not love or care about me. And the instinct in much of my large, loud, tightly knit family is to tease what you don’t understand or don’t like. So, I teased you mercilessly. And for the most part, you held up under it (even though I know I wasn’t your favorite Scheerer sister).

Anyways, I don’t need to go over the history of all the times you and I have interacted in person. The point is, you proved me wrong. Over time, you proved you weren’t just interested in Jessica for the status symbol of having a girlfriend. You were able to make an OH/TN relationship work when you finally left Cleveland. You were more OK with my teasing you - do you like it? Of course not, and no one does. But you put up with it, you didn’t shut me out. So slowly, I began to think that maybe you’d be OK, maybe you’d be in her life for good, and that would be OK. That’s around the time that I switched from calling you “Muff Man” and “The Muffler” (which, for the record, I still think is a fun nickname and I wish you didn’t hate it) to actually calling you Derek.

And now you’re almost ready to marry my sister. I’ve learned over the past couple of years that you all have been dating that, while I wouldn’t have selected you, Jessica did, and she knows what she wants and needs better than I do. It would appear that means you. While dating you, my sister’s confidence level has grown, and you have become an immovable fixture in her heart. So, Derek, because I love my sister, and who she loves, I will love - let’s be friends.
Let’s both appreciate how stunningly beautiful Jessica is - I mean, really, she was called beauty and girlfriend her whole life. Growing up, we all knew she was the sexy sister.  Let’s appreciate together how she was born to be a teacher - besides you, the only way her face lights up is when she’s helping kids with something. And she’s particularly talented for being a middle/high school math teacher, because those were the years that she was so apathetic about school herself, so she gets it, and gets how to make it inspiring. Let’s appreciate how crafty she is, and how she saves every scrap of fabric for a future project...oh wait, that part might not be so fun for you, since it means you have to store all that stuff. I’ll appreciate that, and you can complain about it, I give you permission.

This is as much a letter to open a space in my heart for you as a little brother as it is a love letter of sorts from me to my baby sister, the one love that despite all our apparent differences, you and I will share for the rest of our lives. It's on you now to love and honor her, to protect her the way my big sister heart wants her to be protected. When her heart aches, ours will ache for her. When she smiles, our hearts will be happy knowing she is happy. She will forever tie us together in a new sibling in law relationship.

Besides Jessica, I look forward to finding other stuff that you and I have in common over the rest of our lives (I hear you’re a fan of board games? Maybe that would be a good start). I want to welcome you into our crazy large and loud family, to show you just how much we care about one another. I want to believe that this is “the start of a beautiful friendship” between us (that’s a very famous movie line from Casablanca). I’m excited for y’all’s wedding day.
  • Emily

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Poem About Dad's Treatments

Hi folks! I wrote this poem about Dad's cancer treatments back when he started his most recent trial. I didn't post it at the time, but I'm sharing it now since we know (kinda) how the trial treatment is going. - Emily

In Hamilton they sing “Helpless”
But it’s helpless with happiness
Not this frustration
This weird anticipation

When you want to be realistic
But not quite pessimistic
To plan for a future and be hopeful
But not disappointed or ungrateful

Look around, it’s been a year
We can cheer that Dad’s still here
But I want to know what time we have got
I forget I have privileges that others have not

I don’t want to sound depressing
This is my attempt at expressing
And processing for you
What I’m going through

“It is well with my soul” was my favorite song
But now when I sing, I question if it’s wrong
Is it well with my soul? Can I say that in truth?
It’s harder to sing now then it was as a youth

What I know in my head and what I feel in my heart
Those two are often worlds apart
I know that God cares and loves us a lot
But it still seems unfair, this straw that we’ve got

A lot of folks say this will be cured one day
Maybe soon, as many hope and pray
But for now, it is not, and we pay the price
As Dad rolls experimental treatment dice

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ellicott City Flooding

Exactly a week before the terrible flooding along Main Street, my dad, two sisters and I drove down Main Street on our way to a play (see the description in the bottom of the photo - I posted this to Facebook in full color last week). I have driven down and through there so many times (my friends and I even did part of our high school senior week exploring the shops there) and never thought that last weekend would be "the last time" I would drive down it before all that destruction.

I don't usually like when people change their Facebook profile pictures in "support" of tragedies. However, this particular tragedy is so personal and close to home, so I edited this myself to be grayscale to reflect my sadness for the lost lives and buildings, and I tried to make the coloring on the hashtag look like the coloring on the iconic Ellicott City bridge that marks the end of main street (google for photos of that if you don't know what it looks like). I am also donating to the United Way relief fund set up for Ellicott City, and if you're looking for other ways to help, check twitter for updates from the county.

United Way fund:

If you're not familiar with the damage (it has been making the rounds on the news):

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence - An Open Letter to my Dad

Dear Dad -

Independence Day: Resurgence has been declared to be a terrible sequel across the board by movie critics (31% on rotten tomatoes) and other audience members (37% on rotten tomatoes), and I don't claim to be a critic. But, if you're interested in my personal opinion as to why I enjoyed it (and it relates to you), and are prepared for a few spoiler bits, read on.

Firstly,  and some argue that this doesn't count, but I really like that this film starts by knocking the Bechdel test out of the park. The new female president compliments Peggy Whitmore on the speech she had written for the big celebration of 20 years since the aliens were defeated, and they talk (albeit briefly) about the planned celebration. It passes the test again when two women (the mom from the first movie - the one who marries Will Smith, because I can't remember her name right now even though I know she has one) and another nurse (whom she does speak to by name). I realize that test has flaws, but I tend to use it as a personal metric, and it started out on that good note for me. And since you know how I feel about that kind of thing, and always encouraged me to be/do anything I wanted, I thought you'd like the Bechdel test moments too.

However, what really stuck out to me in the Independence Day: Resurgence film (and what actually stuck out to me about the first Independence Day movie) was the way it portrays parent/child relationships. In the first film, it was the relationship between the drunk pilot (Russel Casse) and his son - to be brief, it made me cry that the moment he finally missed and respected his father was the moment his father sacrificed everything for his kids - something that it hits again in the second film.

In the sequel particularly, it was the relationship between the now adult Peggy Whitmore and her aging, former presidential father, Tom Whitmore. And I think, had the movie spent more time with these characters, it would have gotten more approval from wider audiences than just me. Because these are really interesting characters, and there are a few scenes of their relationship that really made me think of you, my own Dad.

In this film, Tom Whitmore is fighting a mental disorder left behind as a result of the previous film (when the invaded his mind). He's mostly coherent, but is connected to the alien hive brain and therefore suffers occasional strong headaches related to the alien queen. And he's grown old, so his daughter has a caretaker for him, and has given up her career as a fighter pilot to work in the White House to be near him. Dad Whitmore really hates this. She is constantly worried about him and trying to take care of him, while he continually tries to encourage her to keep pushing forward in her career - and I think that has a lot of interesting implications for grown-up children and parents - who takes care of whom? Does the parent/child relationship ever change? I think the child in the relationship might try to make it change, but Tom Whitmore shows that "you'll always be my little girl" kind of emotion that I have witnessed from you towards me and my sisters. (not only you, but in friends/church parents as well). Like the moment Abigail didn't get to be a Pitt Pathfinder, or the moment Bethany's job really sucked this past summer.

Anyways, on to the real moment that had me in tears, and the moment that turned the movie from a fun alien flick I was seeing just for Ryan's sake into a movie that made me think of you, and has stuck with me in the two weeks since I've seen it. One of the common criticisms I've seen for this film is that the characters don't make us care enough about the end of the world narrative, because they're so flat - and I just have to disagree with them based on this one moment, and the daddy/daughter relationship in it.

It goes like this. Peggy Whitmore has volunteered to be the pilot who will drive the nuke into the heart of the alien mother ship (note that this is a suicide mission). She believes her fiancee Jake has died in the fight against the aliens, and wants to do the same. Her father volunteers to go in her place, saying that she's the one who has to carry on the world after the aliens are gone, and she says to his caretaker "under no circumstances is he getting on that plane". She's about to board when the caretaker (his name is Matthew) comes running out to tell her that her Dad has collapsed. She runs inside to an empty room. She turns to Matthew who says "Peggy, he asked me as a friend. As a father...", and the screen pans to her stricken face, then cuts to Tom Whitmore in the cockpit, taking off.

That moment really stuck out to me. I thought of all the fathers I know with daughters. I thought of what it would be like, if father to father, they asked each other for something. And I feel like that's a real moment. A real character, with depth and emotion, agreeing to let his friend go on a suicide mission to save his daughter - not because he wants his friend to die, but because father to father he understands that parental bond. And I burst into tears. That moment - the ask, the sacrifice, the daughter's frustration at her dad's circumventing her - it just felt so real to me.

OK, back to the movie. Peggy runs out to the hanger and gets into a plane. She flies up next to her Dad who says "It's good to see you flying again". She's crying, and she's a little bit accusatory of him for doing it in her place. He's totally not apologetic for his choice to deceive her, even though she's mad - he wants to save her. He's proud of her for volunteering, but he's sacrificing his life for her, and he doesn't apologize for that. He turns toward her and says "can you cover me, Lt. Whitmore?" and she says "Yes, Sir". And that's it. Those are the last words between father and daughter. He flies into the ship, and she covers him so that his sacrifice can be worthwhile, and she cries as the nuke explodes. And I cried with her.

Part of why I cried I think is that she said "Yes, Sir" as her last words. A long running memory I have of growing up is you asking us to call you Sir - kind of as a joke, I think - almost always after the sound of music movie, with Capt. Von Trapp and his kids. And my sisters and I always refused. In fact, we were kind of annoyed. When I saw that bit, I could almost hear you in my head, asking if, in that same situation, would I respond in the same way. Because you like to do that with movies - try to apply good lessons to real life. Remember when we watched Spanglish and you made us write essays about it afterwards?

I couldn't handle the scene where an adult daughter was mourning her Dad's death. Because that sacrifice stuck with me. Because the moment of pride, of protection, of trying to be the daughter he deserved, and of that unconditional Dad love just stuck with me.

So thanks, Dad. Thanks for being the kind of Dad that made that kind of moment so poignant for me. And maybe you and mom should spring for the tickets to see Independence Day: Resurgence, so you can see this scene for yourself. Ignore the rest of the movie. Just watch for this one scene.

- E

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Mish-mash of thoughts

So, it is now April. In the past, I have attempted to do the BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) challenge, and I have failed miserably. This year, I thought - yeah, I want to do that! And it is now April 14th, and guess who had not blogged at all until today? Yep. Me.

Not that I have not been thinking about blogging, or making list of topics, just that I have not fleshed them out into full posts. And if I wait, I don't think they'll ever make it off of my list into your hands, which is not what I want. So, here is the list, with a few lines after each one in the list to get the idea of what a full, longer post would be about, but without the stories and self-editing that usually goes with one of my "longer" posts (most of my posts are still quite short, comparatively).

1) Teaching Computational Thinking

I tend to hear "we should teach every student how to code". And I almost always agree. But recently, I had the great pleasure to hear Dr. Kimberly Scott (look her up, folks, that woman is making changes in the world!) speak at APL, and I got to talk to her personally (I seriously love my workplace) and one of the things she asked was about the importance of coding. And around the table, those of us from APL agreed that it wasn't strictly "coding" - not a language, not how to write code - but the process of understanding how a computer program works, the logic required to break everything down into smaller pieces, to think about the algorithms - in short, computational thinking. I believe in the power of computational thinking, and I believe that everyone - even those of you who like to pretend you're too stupid to understand what I do for a job - is capable of computational thinking, and that their lives could be greatly improved if the understood it. In a world of increasing technology, it should be a requirement to understand computers a little better (so that we don't feel the need to fear/loathe them, they're great tools) and computational thinking will help get us there. It will also level the playing field as far as women in technical fields goes, something I think is excellent. So all around, teaching computational thinking as a requirement in our schools is a win. And at present, the easiest way to teach that is to learn to code. If you want an easy way to teach it, try this fun little Frozen themed coding game -

2) The Concept of Community

At work, I'm a part of a lean in circle - a community of peer females who get together for accountability, to learn together, and to just be social. Sound familiar? That's because it is - it's a lot like the Bible Studies I was a part of in college. And I find myself facing a lot of the same questions I faced as a Bible Study leader in my lean in circle - like how do we add new members mid-semester without breaking trust, when is a circle too big and needs to be two circles, etc., etc. Growing up in the church, the importance of community is highlighted a lot. But I think sometimes the real thing that sets the church and Christians apart gets lost in the focus on community. Community is not a new concept, and it's not a uniquely Christian concept - it's where I first experienced community, and I think that is a good thing, don't get me wrong - but it's not the thing that makes us different. I remember being in high school and visiting a mosque with some other kids from youth group. On the way home, our leader (who officiated my wedding later, because he rocks and we're still connected almost ten years after that mosque visit) anyways, he and I discussed this very question, because the mosque had so many things I identified with church - a nursery, an offering plate, a "sermon" - but yet it wasn't church. And we had a great conversation about how and why the gospel sets Christians apart - not community.

3) Security vs. Adventure - a false paradox

In the daily question and answer book my sister gave me for Christmas, I got asked "are you seeking security or adventure?" and about a month later "are you seeking contentment, or excitement?". And I got annoyed. I think society has this false assumption that "If you're not taking risks, you're not living" and that "taking risks means throwing plans into the wind and just going where the world takes you". Movies all support this (Eat, Pray, Love or Hector and the Search for Happiness or Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - all movies Ryan and I have watched and enjoyed recently, by the way). Many of my dear friends have taken some of those risks (moving to Texas hoping she'd find a job there (she did) or choosing to stay overseas even when her job fell through (she managed to stay for over a year travelling). And I have not done those "risky" things (I have always been a planner), I think it is a false paradox to assume that staying in one place is the content, secure choice, and not an exciting adventure. Yes, I have security and I am content, but I also find my life an exciting adventure. It's exciting, being a young married couple, contentedly enjoying life together. It's an adventure, working at a company that's been around for almost 75 years (job security) while trying to see how I can make my mark there. For me, there is no conflict between the two.

4) The Girl I Mean to Be

Last November, after Thanksgiving, my sister and I got to see the Secret Garden at Center Stage in Baltimore (seriously great place - you have to go, especially since they're renovating). And one of the songs (The Girl I mean to be) from that show really stuck with me. Here are some of the lyrics:

(verse 1 omitted)
I need a place where I can hide, 
Where no one sees my life inside,
Where I can make my plans, and write them down
So I can read them.
(verse 3 omitted)
I need a place to spend the day, 
Where no one says to go or stay,
Where I can take my pen and draw
The girl I mean to be.

And I realize, I'm definitely too old to be calling myself a girl, but I like the lyrics above, because that is one of the things I like to do - I like to make plans for the woman I mean to be. And to think on them, and try to write them out. I started to write my list here, but this post is getting pretty long and pretty personal with that list of things, so I'll just leave you with the lyrics to think about the person YOU mean to be, and how you are getting there.

Thoughts on Encouragement and UMBC

The other day at work, I was having a particularly tough day, where I felt like I was just not cut out for the job that I have, and that I was going to end up disappointing someone.

Then, I got an email from my honors college adviser and one of the professors I learned a lot from in college.  (A long aside about this particular professor: while she and I did not always see eye-to-eye, I really enjoyed all of her classes as it taught me, the computer science problem solver, some of the more complex sides of social justice and made me really examine the things I believe in. Her classes made me more articulate, more nuanced, and more careful when considering the other side of an argument, both politically and personally. She made me think, and isn't that one of the things you're supposed to get from college?)

That tough day, I got an email from her after a VERY brief update I had just sent her about my post-graduation life. I won't share all of it as some is personal, but here are some of the little encouragements from that note that really shined for me that day, and almost made me cry on my tough day.

Regarding my challenges at work while still enjoying my job:

"I'm so proud that you have found a niche that continues to challenge you and that you are also finding a way to make your mark and a difference for gender dynamics in STEM. You always make me smile but that made me smile HUGE!"

Regarding my relatively new marriage:

"Be patient and kind with each other and remember that your love is why you're together and facing life's challenges together."

And her final line:
"Emily, I'm so proud of the woman you've become and are becoming. Go you!!!"

And that note is PRECISELY why I chose to go to UMBC. Because I knew, after much dragging of my heels, that at UMBC, through my beloved CWIT and the amazing Honors College, that I would get that personal touch, that connection to my teachers, that would make their encouragement something I valued post-graduation, and that staying in touch with me would be important to them.

And THAT is my UMBC story. That is why, despite what experience others may have, despite the fact that UMBC is not without it's flaws, that is why I love my UMBC. Because I care about the people there, and they care about me.

My Asian Eyes

Editor's Note: I wrote this post a few weeks ago (March 22), and it never made it to the blog until today.  

I have “Asian eyes”: narrow, almond shaped, “slanty” – whatever you want to call them.

And I know the feeling I’m about to describe isn’t all that different from the experience of many others with Asian-American heritage, but I’m going to throw my voice in the pool anyways. My “Asian eyes” have always seemed to be a source of weirdness. When I smile big, my eyes disappear completely – they’re still open, but because of my rounder cheeks and narrower eyes, you can’t always tell that. So in photos, I either intentionally widen my eyes – making my smile look really fake – or I have a natural smile, and my eyes look like they’re shut. Consequently, on my badge photos for work, on one, my eyes look closed, and on the other, I'm not smiling (so that you can see my eyes).

In 7th grade, a kid in my class called me out on my Asian shaped eyes during recess (he wanted to call me almond and the African American girl in our class “brownie” – almond brownies – so much wrong with that). In 9th grade, my art teacher docked me points off of my assignment to practice drawing parts of my face because “I made the eyes too skinny”. In my freshman/sophomore year of college, my roommate’s boyfriend commented on how, in photos of the two of us together (my roommate was Filipina) you could see that we were both Asian because it always looked like the sun was in our faces. "Asian eyes" were always different, always something people felt the need to point out to me - "hey, it looks like your eyes are shut!"  

As a result, I don't usually like the photos where it appears my eyes are closed (even when they're not). I take pride in other things associated with being Asian (chinese new year, not wearing shoes in my house, folding plastic bags into little footballs, etc.), so why do I dislike my Asian eyes so much? Because it's the thing people point out, it's the thing that seems weird to them. They say "wow, you look super Asian like that" - what's wrong with looking super Asian? I am, after all, a half-Asian woman! So I made a recent photograph of me and my husband my Facebook profile, and even though my eyes look closed, I kind of love it. The end. There's no big resolution or meaning to this post, just me telling myself that "Asian eyes" are just a part of what makes me.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Reflection on March

Happy March, everyone!

Here's some of what this March means for me.

1) March is Women's History month. In school I never felt that Women's History Month had much impact but at work (especially as a Society of Women Engineers or SWE member) it has a big impact and I'm involved with all kinds of events focused on it.

2) My husband turns 30 this month. I can recall the day my mother turned 30 - my Dad, in an effort to surprise her, bought these heart shaped cake pans, and I remember shopping for some apple scented lotion and getting some sugar letters to spell out "Happy Birthday, Mom" on the cake. Of course, letting me and Abigail in on his secret meant that it didn't STAY a secret. Anyways, perhaps I'll use one of those same heart shaped pans to make Ryan's birthday cake this year! One interesting article I read online said the worst mistake to make in your 30s is thinking how old you are now - so I'll be sure to make sure Ryan doesn't do that! :)

3) March means that one of the more dire predictions of my Dad's cancer diagnosis has passed. Does it mean he's "better"? No. But does it mean that treatments to hold off continued cancer growth are, for the moment, still working. And that's good, because when it comes to continued time with Dad, I'll take everything I can get.

What are you looking forward to this month?