1. Joseph got his braces off this week! I couldn’t believe how much older he looked when he first got his braces, then he got them off, and, poof! He looked older again! They were on for about 14 months, and oh my gosh, the difference! They were on to close the gap between his two front teeth, and boy, they did the job. Now, the nighttime retainer.

Boy in glasses and blue tshirt smiling and holding a bag of candy.

2. This sweet girl has been living her best summer life. I can’t believe she’ll be in kindergarten in the fall. Time is a serious thief. I have no idea where her toddlerhood went!

Little girl on a yellow slide.

3. As I mentioned last week, Dominic had a new scan and bone marrow biopsy on Friday. A couple of days ago, we got the final results from his oncologist in New York. The scan showed a slight decrease, while his bone marrow biopsy remained clear of disease. It shows some benign cells that were there in April, which can also light up on scans. His doctor believes this is likely the case.

The plan moving forward is for two more cycles of antibody immunotherapy, but this time WITHOUT the low-dose chemo, and then a battery of scans after that. His regular MIBG scan and bone marrow biopsy, along with a head MRI, chest/abdomen/pelvis CT, and a full body PET scan. If those scans confirm that what seems to be lighting up is dead disease, they will deem him ready to move on to maintenance, which would be enrolling in a neuroblastoma vaccine trial to help prevent relapse.

This was obviously incredibly good news to receive, but we don’t want to get too excited or ahead of ourselves because, well, you just never know. This has been such a roller coaster, but it is so encouraging to know that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

(He is also gracing the walls of Memorial Sloan Kettering and loves looking at his picture when we go!)

Boy in blue tshirt and khaki shorts standing against a wall below a photo of boy in mask using a stethescope.

4. While we were away, I grabbed a bag of cheddar and sour cream Ruffles to eat with a sandwich. I haven’t had them in YEARS; they tasted exactly the same as I remembered, and they transported me back to my teenage years. Isn’t it crazy how a smell or taste can do that?!

5. I love these two snippets from recent James Clear newsletters about helping others:

And then this: “You help people when they need help, not when you are ready to help them.”

6. I haven’t made my favorite chewy, fudgy brownies in quite a while; I’m due!!

7. I love the mornings and always find myself most productive during that time >> How You Spend Your Morning Matters

8. Can’t wait to make a fresh batch of homemade pizza! >> An Italian Cook Taught Me 9 Secrets That Made My Homemade Pizza Insanely Better

9. Today Duke turns TEN!!!! Such a big birthday for our big guy! The kids have been SO excited counting down the days :)

Dog sitting on the floor looking off to the side.

10. TGIF! Wishing you a wonderful 4th of July holiday next week!