When Things Don’t Work Out As Expected


Three years ago our family embarked on a two-year homeschooling adventure (planned) and I had the first of two lumpectomy surgeries for breast cancer (unplanned). Standing at a dramatic fork on life’s road, we threw away our old map and drew a new one that changed the way we saw the world. Little did we realize that “skipping middle school” would not only turn out to be the best thing for 12-year-old Natalie, but for all of us.  Quite a few people have asked us, “How in the world did you manage to home school while going through cancer treatment?” To tell the truth, we can’t imagine what going through cancer treatment would have been like having to deal with the schedule and unreasonable demands of regular school!  In fact, home schooling allowed us to take care of our bodies and spirits while learning and healing.

This is a big part of the “Two in the Middle” story –- it’s about dealing with the unexpected.  It’s the story of one family’s leap of faith: to choose health and happiness over everything else. One reader, a single woman without children said, “Your story gives me hope. And it’s one of the best love stories I’ve ever read.”

On a recent flight from Los Angeles to London, I watched (for the third time), the wonderful movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” There are some good lines in this movie.  The Judi Dench character says, “Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.” The Maggie Smith character answers, “Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.”

“Two in the Middle” is the story of what happened when things didn’t work out quite as we expected, but we were okay because it led us to good stuff. If you know of a literary agent or publisher who might be intrigued by such a story, please let them know that I am seeking a publishing home for a book titled “Two in the Middle” that people keep asking me where they can buy.


  • Spalva


    I used to read your blog a few years ago. I moved to London over the summer and have since been searching for your blog. My daughter homeschooled during 4th grade, then spent a marvelous two years at school, and is now home again after giving the British system a trial run.

    I underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy in 2008 when this daughter was 10 and my youngest was 2 — and we were right smack dab in the middle of a move from Ukraine to Lithuania…besides being right smack dab in the middle of a visit to my lonely mother who had the disease as well. I get unplanned!

    Just wanted to say hi again!

    • TwointheMiddle

      It is so nice to hear from you! You’ve gone through huge “unplanned.” I hope life calms down for you so that you can catch your breath.

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