Wednesday, October 31, 2012

more treats than tricks


+++ quality time with a horse galloping around our neighborhood. very fun
+++ getting to celebrate mom's birthday again today on the day that she actually turns 70. happy birthday mom, we loved celebrating with you twice.
+++ lighting the birthday candles on seven cupcakes (hand decorated by malena) for the 7 decades we are celebrating with mom this week.
+++ making wishes.

+++  carving pumpkins for the first time with malena. new traditions.
+++ checking out the displays at our neighbors, they weren't messing around with going all out for halloween.
+++ an awesome bag of treats waiting for me on my desk at work filled with things that i love. definitely treats, no tricks. you rock ky!

another halloween ends. here comes november, the month malena turns 4. not sure how that is even possible. another milestone is on its way.


+++ i think that we all know this is true, right? right.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


we had a great time celebrating my mom's 70th birthday this weekend.

highlights included:
+++ slideshow that we made of pictures of our mom from when she a baby up until now. seeing how much she loved it, the tears streaming down her face were a good indication;)
+++ getting to be home for a couple of days and not coming and going within 48 hours like we usually have to do on quick weekend trips
+++ eating my mom's great cooking (as usual), including my favorite cinnamon chip french toast. yum.
+++ seeing a ton of family and friends, some we hadn't seen in a long time
+++ lots of laughter
+++ even trips to the grocery store being fun because i was with my sister and cousin
+++ my brother's great toast to our mom 
+++ tears, the good kind
+++ 110 people singing happy birthday to our mom
+++ seeing my mom smiling and enjoying herself surrounded by so many people who love her
+++ reading the kind words that people wrote about our mom on memory cards that we had on each table
+++ a ton of compliments on my short hair from people who hadn't seen me in quite awhile - embracing the compliments, and not feeling overwhelmed by the moments when people didn't recognize me. the healing continues.
+++ funny moments with my brother and sister
+++ getting to spend time with my great nephew, how cute is he? yep, pretty cute.

monday, i am not ready for you yet. no offense, but i would like more weekend please.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

breakthrough/my mom

+++ breakthrough today.

sat next to a woman in a meeting who i had not seen in a few years and she clearly didn't recognize me. when she finally did, she said "you used to have long blonde, curly hair - not anymore it looks like?" i said "nope, not anymore" and we moved on. i didn't get upset. my eyes didn't well with tears. thanks to the good advice of my friend michelle, i first thought about seeing someone i hadn't talked to in a long time. my second thought was that she wouldn't recognize me. my third thought was that i would be ok. healing? yes, healing. 

+++ my mom.

this weekend we will celebrate my mom's 70th birthday, the party planning has all been leading up to this. this picture is from when i was one, and it is crazy how much i see my own resemblance in my mom, and how much malena looked like me when i was a baby.

my mom is many things to me. i am pretty sure that me and my bro/sis have the best mom ever (yay for us!). caretaker. cheerleader. sounding board. good example of taking care of those you love. friend. shoulder to cry on. awesome cook. amazing grandmother. support system. a constant when everything else always seems to change. laugh maker. nurse. listener. center of our world.

i thought of her the other day when i was reading a post by libby ryder talking about her mom sharing thoughts on her fight with cancer. her mom had said "one of the hardest parts about libby being sick was that for the majority of her life i was the one that offered her wisdom and advise as i had walked many of the same roads before she had. i always seemed to have something to offer. but in was my daughter who was teaching me what it looked like to walk through cancer...".  i have thought a lot about my parents since my diagnosis and how it affects them as parents and how hard it is for them. libby's mom's words struck a chord with me because my diagnosis was probably one of the first times my mom couldn't say to me "i know exactly what you are going through and you can do this." but she could say she loved me and she would be there for whatever i needed, and that was all i really needed to hear. i was thankful she didn't have similar experiences with cancer, thankful that she didn't have those stories to share.

so this weekend is all about our mom. i can't wait. bring on the party, the smiles, the laughter, the celebration of 70 years with hopefully many more healthy ones to follow.

she is simply the best. ever.

happy birthday mom.

Monday, October 22, 2012


today was one of those days that i would call a mix. good (great) and (very) sad.

the good (great):
+++ my friend ellie surprised me with a kelly rae roberts figurine in my office today. i came back from a run of back to back meetings and found an awesome little package on my desk. i immediately recognized the handwriting and knew it was from ellie. her note said that she saw it and thought of me. the words on it read "my wish for you is that you embrace every ebb and flow. that you feel the full breath of possibility. that you listen to what is calling you." i love it. of course, i immediately put it on my desk at work next to my fairy picture of malena. an awesome unexpected surprise from one of my most favorite ladies on a work filled monday.
+++ some of my most favorite ladies have created a monday mystery club where we meet  on the 4th monday of the month to do something together. what we do will be a mystery each month until the plan is revealed. each month a different person gets to pick the mystery and everyone joins in the fun. this month we did dinner and pottery, which was my friend kimberly's choice, it was her month to pick and it was an early celebration of her birthday later this week. for pottery, we each painted a piece but we mixed it up. instead of painting something for ourselves, we painted something for each other by randomly drawing names. so everyone ends up with a piece of pottery that their friend painted. great idea. super fun. perfect way to celebrate a birthday. girl time. painting pottery. drinking wine. laughter. smiles. fun. music. hugs. loved every second of it.

+++ getting home just as malena was falling asleep. a chance to say goodnight. getting to tell her that i loved her at the end of the day. getting a kiss and a hug. seeing that sleepy smile as she falls off to sleep. my favorite end to the day.

the (very) sad:
+++ as we were headed to dinner, i got an update on a melanoma blog that i follow that hillary quinn kind passed away from melanoma yesterday, one day short of her 26th birthday. i wrote about her in this post last month. if you didn't watch it then, please watch her video now. on the stand up to cancer feed today, they wrote "we’d like to share a list of a few of the things we’ve learned from hillary: that the bravest people face challenges with a smile, not anger; that not even cancer can rob a person like hillary of her inner and outer beauty; that every moment on this planet is a gift to be cherished. rest in peace, hillary."

as we were painting tonight, i just took it all in. some of my favorite people in the world being in the same room at the same time. their laughter. their focus on their artwork for their friend. the time spent being in the same place with them on a random monday night as the rain fell outside. the time shared. the individual moments. how much i love them. how much i want to be at a million more monday mystery club nights with them. my friend sasha was painting a piece (which rocks) for me and on it she wrote the word "dreams". as i was looking at the piece, i was trying to hold it together because i felt like i was going to lose it in a pool of tears at any moment. but my next thought was that in that moment my dream was that i want to share so many more mondays with those women. i thought about hillary and the courage she had to face melanoma and to do treatments in the hope that if they wouldn't bring a cure for her, they would bring a cure for other melanoma patients. like me.

i think that is about as brave as you can get. i thank her for being willing to fight for her own life, but also for the lives of others. i thank all of the melanoma patients that fight. the ongoing fight means more mondays. more laughter. more time spent with loved ones. more dinners. more pottery. more hugs.

more time.

rest in peace hillary. you will not be forgotten, i will remember you, and i know many others will as well. thank you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


last week flew by, i am sure that this one will be the same. i am starting to feel healthy again after fighting the flu last week. my energy level is still with the flu and hasn't come back to me yet. even without any energy, there is a lot going on around here. work is crazy. life at home is busy. this next weekend is the big party for our mom so a lot of time has been put in to planning and prepping. i am really looking forward to getting a chance to celebrate her 70 years with family and friends.

in between all of the planning, a few highlights from the last week...
+++ loving stepping out of my car to find my feet in a pile of fall leaves.
+++ long training run for the 5k, and when i was walking a bit after my run i stopped to take in the blue sky above as well as the red leaves below.

+++ making candy corn garland and candy corn decorated cupcakes for our friend sasha who loves candy corn more than any other person in the entire universe. seriously.

+++ sleeping in. awesome.
+++ crafting up favors for mom's party. thanks kadeena - you rock.
+++ saw this quote over the weekend and loved it..."we are all just walking each other home." (ram dass)
+++ feeling very inspired by my friend jill's painting (which rocks) that she was working on friday when she took time for herself to paint (yay!!) - loved the words she included on it
"to live in this world you must be able to do three things-to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and when the time comes to let it go, let it go". (mary oliver )
+++ thinking these granola bars look really good and really easy to make - i would do mine without coconut as i have absolutely no clue why anyone (and i mean anyone) likes coconut (hooch, thanks for the tip about the site - yum!)
+++ i can't stop thinking (drooling) about caramel apples since i read this post.
+++ for all of your instagram peeps, you might be interested in this
+++ these ruby slipper cupcakes are pretty cute
+++ if you are looking for a project for little munchkins, you can get info on free downloadable halloween paper dolls here
+++ i am liking this quote right now for many different reasons
happy monday peeps.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


(you are the one - kelly rae roberts)


+++ thinking i might really like the violet when i get the chance to dive in, and am already really loving the desktop wallpaper that i got in my first email from them today. woohoo.

Monday, October 15, 2012


"the key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule,
but to schedule your priorities."
(stephen covey)

i have been thinking about priorities a lot lately. maybe as a byproduct of having a strong constant feeling like there just isn't enough time. so much i want to do, and the days fly by and i feel like i don't make a real dent in the list. i have been thinking a lot about my dreams, of what i really want to do when i grow up. the thought of opening an etsy shop to sell my cards keeps knocking on the door. i feel this little voice telling me that i should do it. set the goal. make it happen. feel like i just need a little time to figure it out. just a little time, seems so easy and hard at the same time.

in the last couple of nights malena has asked me to lay down with her for a few minutes after we are done reading at bedtime. so we lay there in silence, and a couple of times she has fallen asleep within a few minutes. she doesn't know that i have a million things to get done at work causing my stress level to be high, with the list continuing to climb since i was home sick with the flu today. she doesn't know that i haven't got our photos printed and organized. she doesn't know that there is a long list of things that i want to get done around our house. she doesn't know that i feel like i am never caught up. she doesn't know that i feel some dreams knocking at the door. she doesn't know that i am anxious about the email that i know will come soon in my inbox telling me the dates of my scans in january.

but she does know how it feels to have her mom lay next to her for a few minutes as she falls asleep at night.

there will never be enough time.

but i know that i have the right priority.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

catching up

i am still catching up from getting back to work after a week off. it hasn't helped that i have been sick more than i have been well. but in between being down for the count, we have got in a bunch of fun.

+++ we made our halloween spiders
+++ we painted some halloween ghosts
+++ we went to the pumpkin patch, picked out pumpkins, went through the corn maze (multiple times), and did the rubber duck races (a million times)
+++ had breakfast at portage bay cafe (hi marcie-roo) and malena got her juice in a little coffee cup that made it look like she walking around downtown with a little espresso
+++ a lot of party planning
+++ my longest training run yet - woohoo!
+++ trying a new gluten free hard cider, so good
+++ end of fall soccer season, i will miss watching her play on the weekends

i hope that last week has treated you well, and that you too have had some fall fun.

+++ going to keep olive box in mind when i need a fun surprise package sent for some fun mail
+++ i am loving this print
+++ i totally cracked up at this patch story

Friday, October 5, 2012

thursday already? really?

"the very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for,
and the most you can do is live in that hope.
not admire it from a distance but live right in it,
under its roof."
(barbara kingsolver)

i can't believe that it is already thursday, vacation week is flying by. i need another week...or two...or three. but since that isn't going to happen, at least this time, i am making the most of it.

when thinking about this vacation, one of the main things on my to do list was to print off our pictures since i was diagnosed. my mission was to overcome my issues with pictures. i didn't get those pictures printed because life happened which was great. but i made the needed step. today i started documenting our life again. i am taking an on-line class from becky higgins, which started today, because i knew that it would light the needed fire. the fire is lit.

i promised myself that i would start this week on the first day of class, and start i did. i got two pages done that represented our week so far. it felt so good. it felt very emotional. baby steps that felt like huge steps. i still have a long way to go, but i kept the promise to myself. that felt really good.

after getting those pages done, it was run time. 1.65 miles in 21:34 minutes. not bad for a girl who didn't run (at all) at the beginning of september. look out 5k, i am coming your way.

malena and i had a date night today. we went and painted pottery for an hour and had a great time (wallace, does the picture from today look similar to another one you know?;)).  i love to watch her paint. she is just like me when i am working on my cards. quiet and focused. she chose to paint a horse, not a big surprise considering the fact that she is going to be a horse for halloween (sasha, are we sure she isn't yours?)).


following painting, we hit the kids area and made music and played for a long time until darkness came.
thursday, you did not disappoint. thanks for everything.
have a great weekend peeps, enjoy it.
+++ if you are looking for some cute text for some halloween treats, you can download a fun design here for a dollar.
+++ i am not a chili fan, but if you are, this recipe may be one that you would like
+++ for the mamas, you must read this and you must stay in the picture
+++ also for the mamas, you will like this one
+++ i love the idea of writing a letter to your kid to memorialize a certain time in their life
+++ this pizza makes my stomach growl
+++ if you ladies are looking for a cool felt idea, you should make this wreath
+++ jill, loving the quote above - thank you.
+++ kp, yay!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012


wednesday, you were pretty great.
+++ sleeping in.
+++ cartoon time.
+++ sunshine and blue sky.
+++ new park.
+++ good friends.
+++ picnic.
+++ holding hands.
+++ laughs.
+++ hugs.
+++ finding the dream halloween costume. giddy up.
+++ down time relaxing on the couch.
+++ dinner out.
+++ swim lessons.
+++ tons of girl time.

thanks wednesday, i owe you one.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

vacation, i love you so

 a couple of reasons why i am loving vacation:
+++ sleeping in.
+++ no set schedule.
+++ no blackberry.
+++ early morning runs in the sunshine taking in all of the fall colors.
+++ time in my craft room, with just my music and my imagination.
+++ eating lunch, and not working while i do it.
+++ reading a good book and the latest version of a favorite magazine.
+++ being able to plan a wednesday that is full of fun with malena.
+++ no stress.
+++ time to really dream about all of the things that i want to do.
+++ getting to spend time working on upcoming birthday party for our mom, i love party planning.
+++ slowing down.
+++ wearing flip flops, jeans, and a hat on a weekday.
+++ having a glass (or two) of reisling after dinner.
+++ listening to music.
+++ unraveling.
+++ being able to go and get spring rolls for lunch just because i feel like it.
+++ time to wander around the grocery store with malena taking in sights, sounds, and pumpkins.

all in all, vacation is pretty great so far. i also had some good news today. i went into my derm because i noticed last week that the pigment around one of my moles on my cheek was changing. he confirmed today that it was not a change that i need to be worried about.


i am too busy loving vacation to be worried.