Tuesday, October 28, 2014

the happiness of pursuit

"here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. if you're alive, it isn't."
(lauren bacall)

last week i finished reading the happiness of pursuit and it was so, so good.

the author, chris guillebeau, traveled to every country in the world (there are 193 of them in case you are curious) before he was 35. as it says in the book cover, "everywhere that chris visited he found ordinary people working towards extraordinary goals, making daily down payments on their dreams."

you know i love stories, and i love people following their dreams, so this one was a win win for me.

in addition to chris's own story, the other stories shared are so damn interesting.

walk across the united states. circumnavigate the world's oceans on a 38-foot sailboat as the world's youngest sailor. take, edit, and publish one million photos. run 250 marathons in a single year. set the world for the most sighted birds. lead an epic battle to return alaska's newspaper to the poeple of alaska. cook a meal from every country in the world. on and on. all amazing.

what i found equally interesting as much as the quests was the reasons behind them, including the ones where there was no specific reason other than they felt that it was just something that they had to do.

i got the chance last week to listen to the author talk and meet him in person. it was so great to hear how his quest came about, and how he ended up making this book something different than a memoir focused on how he traveled the world. how he was inspired to learn about what made other people pursue their own quests, and then how they go on "after the summit is climbed, the painting hung, the endurance records broken, the at-risk community saved."
this is one of the books that i will write a note in for malena and hope that someday she loves reading it as much as i did. i want her to remember through the words in this book that she can pursue anything and everything that she wants to, if for no other reason than her heart telling her it is the right thing for her.

i can't wait to see what adventures come her way.

getting to be her mom will always be my favorite one.

Monday, October 27, 2014


last week we took malena's first trip to a painting studio.

her own paints.

her own canvas.

her own design.

her own imagination.

it was amazing.

i could watch her for hours with the paint brush in her hand.

oh october, we are making the most of you.

while using a ton of different colors.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

mary, part ii + one for the candy corn lovers

great news came on friday!!

mary's scans were clear - you may have heard me yelling "yes!!" from wherever in the world you are. so, so happy for her -- couldn't be better news on a friday than to hear that you friend is "dancing with ned (no evidence of disease)". go mary go, keep kicking melafuckonoma's you-know-what. you've totally got this!

i love good news on scan weeks.

i plan to keep the good mojo going.

totally unrelated sidenote:
+++ if you love candy corn (sasha, you know that i am talking to you) then there is a fall treat mix that is super easy and looks super good that you are probably going to love. check out this fall candy treat mix. you are welcome candy corn peeps;)

Friday, October 17, 2014


my friend mary in wisconsin goes in for her scans today, so please send her your good vibes, mojo, and prayers. i already know what these scans will confirm - that melanoma has not come back in her leg or anywhere else. but all of you thinking the same thing can only reinforce that she will get good news. she has the scans and gets the results today as well. good thoughts, good thoughts, good thoughts. go mary go, i know that today she will beat melafuckonoma (one of mary's terms that i pretty much love) again. and she will keep on beating it for a long, long time. 

you've got this mary -- xoxo

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


my friend jenny is the one who inspired me to do the collage wall. i saw pictures of a wall in her home and was so inspired to find just the right pieces and put together one of my own.

jenny inspired me again today (as she does everyday) with a post she wrote about her home, and how it includes only things that they love. i love to read her words. so check out this post and get inspired.

when writing about jenny in this month of october, i can't finish this post without linking to her words that i shared last october. jenny is a breast cancer fighter. in this month last year, jenny wrote this "dear miss martha, i don't want a month i want a cure" post. i wish that everyone could read these words because i believe that it would inform their thoughts about cancer and so many related aspects of it from the cancer fighter's perspective.

fight on jenny, fight on. you rock.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

quiet days

these days.

there is so much going on that there isn't time for everything. that is always the case right? but sometimes it seems that feeling is amplified.

so i am trying to find ways to get a tiny bit of time to catch my breath when i can.

although there is so much to always say on this blog, writing in this space is also one the things that i trade for sleep, reading, or just having a moment to do absolutely nothing at the very end of the day.

so in these weeks leading up to my scans, when six months of time feels like it is crashing down all around me, i need those pockets of time. to breathe in those moments when i feel like there just isn't enough air.

so there will likely be more days than usual when this space is a little quiet, when there are no new words on the page.

i am going to trade some words here for some deep breaths.

feels like a smart trade for me at this point in time.

happy hump day peeps, we are halfway there.

+++ i don't know about you, but i am a huge sucker for pecan pie. big time. so there was no doubt when i saw the recipe for apple pecan pies that i was going to be whipping these up this fall. yes please and yum.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


"here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.
if you're alive, it isn't."
(lauren bacall)
well hello sunday night, i would say nice to see you but i am pretty sure that you know that wouldn't be the entire truth. but i do appreciate that you came only after many good things happened over the last two days. so, thanks for taking your time to show up, i appreciate that immensely.
your friends friday and saturday gave quite a bit to be thankful for.
+++ a date night with two of my favorite peeps, and seeing the movie "gone girl" (which is really good).
+++ a trip through the corn maze at our local pumpkin patch (i am always so, so thankful to be at that patch every year. may there be many, many more trips through the maze to come).

+++ getting a good run in, i love running with my feet moving through the fall leaves. i got also got an october goal checked off the list, i am all registered for my next 5k which will be in december.
+++ making some good progress on kicking my to do list in the you-know-what.
+++ watching our little mermaid swim her little heart out. that girl can fly down that lane. i love to watch her swim.
+++ time catching up on pictures, one of my most favorite things to do.
+++ reminding myself of this as needed.
+++ a sunday afternoon spent outside in the fresh air with my girl.

+++ time reading the happiness of pursuit which i am loving. big time.
so here comes monday, i just need to make it through the work day, and then it is on to gymnastics and my monthly dinner with chris. good motivation to get going with the day.
hope the start of your week is good as well.
important sidenotes:
+++ mary got approval for her scans through her insurance -- woot woot!! so we will be sending her lots of mojo through the week as her scans are on friday.
+++ beth starts her next round of chemo tomorrow so send her lots of mojo, loves and prayers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


nature’s first green is gold,
  her hardest hue to hold.
   her early leaf’s a flower;
but only so an hour.
 then leaf subsides to leaf.
  so Eden sank to grief,
    so dawn goes down to day.
     nothing gold can stay.
(robert frost)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

the days

the days when nothing seems to go right.

work is super demanding and full of issues. not stop, back to back, one after another.

the night is filled with an unhappy little one, and all hope of having some fun before bedtime is totally lost.

you feel like you didn't have one moment to catch your breath. just even once.

the day finally draws to a close, and in some ways, you want it to be over. or to have the chance to rewind it and see if would play out the same. you aren't sure which option you would take.

but you try hard to remember before you lay your head down and close out the day, that it was a day.

it may have been a damn hard one. but it was one.

and for that, above all else that the day held, you are thankful.

you catch your breath, get ready to dig in for another day, and prepare to carry on.

you always carry on.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

bring it october

i am such a sucker for to do lists. i love checking off the boxes when something gets done.

after seeing elise post her monthly lists on instagram, i was inspired to come up with a monthly list of my own. so here i go.

clearly, these 11 things won't be the only things i do in october. i wish i only had 11 things to do, but there are about one million others. so in addition to daily time with my family and friends and the normal routines, i am going to put energy into getting these 11 (14 if we are getting technical since 2 of these actually add up to 5 things) goals done.

i will keep you posted on my progress -- and if you aren't interested, well...i guess that you can just skip that day because it is my blog so i kind of get to decide what i want to write, but i will let you decide what you want to read;)

the list will also help me to do a little jedi mind trick on myself so that i can try and focus on anything other than november 10th and 12th, which i am thinking is a solid plan.

speaking of november 10th and 12th, as the fates would have it, the 10th is the last day that beth goes in for chemo treatment, and the 12th is when she finishes and has her port removed. so we are both going with the belief that the 12th is going to be a really good day for both of us. couldn't be any other way, right? right.

i am going to kick it with beth tomorrow night as she makes it through this week of chemo, so no more posts from me this week.

i hope that you have a great weekend, may it be full of big and little moments - and may you enjoy all of them. xo