Thursday, October 23, 2014

Conquering the mountain...

Several times since I've returned to work, I have had people say things to me like "How are things going?  Just like you never left right?"  To these comments I usually say something like, "Well..." because the truth is...

It really does not feel like I never left.  I mean the job itself is much like a soap continued almost in the same place where it left off.  The thing that is different is the person playing the part. I don't like to continuously wallow in my own self-pity and review the traumatic events of the past 3 years, however, I think it's also important for me to acknowledge the fact that things are not ever going to be what they once were. I'm still in the process of finding my groove, and I will tell you, some days it's not the easiest task.  I still get in my car at the end of the day, take a deep breath and think, "I did it, I made it through another day", well half of one anyway, because then I get home and the 2nd half of my day is just beginning.  

I'm still trying to find the balance.  I'm trying to get myself to a point when it doesn't feel overwhelming to look at the day ahead of me, when I'm ok with a not so clean house, lots of laundry and thrown together meals.  This transition phase is hard, especially for someone who likes everything to be just so.  I'm trying to be patient with myself as I continue to make this adjustment and work through the glitches.  A special "thank you" to those of you who are also patient with me as I continue to adjust...I know it's not always an easy task to be along side me on this journey, especially when the terrain is not always smooth.  Thanks for packing your bags and coming along for the hike as I conquer this mountain!

*Above photos taken at Hill Orchards.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Thankfully my cousin shared the proper spelling and origin of "doozie" with me a couple of weeks ago, because today was, once again, a duesy of a day.

"It's duesy based on the car manufacturer Duesenberg who made every vehicle completely custom tailored to the buyer. This expense and luxury coined the phrase, "that's a duesy," in reference to incredible things."

The good news:  It's already Wednesday tomorrow, there are still many many things to be grateful for (this is true even on the worst days) and we now all know the proper spelling of duesy (even though my spellcheck keeps underlining it).

Here's to a boring Wednesday!

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 13, 2014

I finished...

Yesterday, we participated in the Gloria Gemma Flames of Hope Run.  Thousands of people were there to support the cause, all wearing their pink.  

E and Little Miss ran in the Fun Run.  They both finished with smiles on their faces.

 The Rhode Island State House is a beautiful backdrop to the event.

 Mom and Dad came to support.

 Here we are at the start of the race, still smiling and able to breathe.

 And, here I am right after finishing, yes finishing...
I thought I may vomit at the very end of the race and I had to walk for about 10 seconds at mile 3 to regroup, but who cares about all that...I finished! 
 Thank you to Shannon for running along side me, yesterday and in everyday life.

I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The 40 Project...

My cousin Jason has taken on a mission in celebration of his 40th birthday.  He has chosen to raise awareness and funds for 9 organizations that he has a personal connection to; he is calling it The 40 Project.  He is currently raising money for my Relay for Life team, Bosom Buddies. For the next 40 days, he hopes to raise at least $1,000.  Perhaps you can help.

Click on over to the Indiegogo Site to watch a Bosom Buddies' slideshow and read more about The 40 Project.

"We are love, we are one, we are how we treat each other when the day is done."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lay off the horn...

Lately, while driving, I've been struck by the number of people who seem to be in a rush, impatient, and outright rude and obnoxious.  It's rare that I can get in my car and drive somewhere without hearing the sound of a car horn.  I was starting to get a complex thinking that my driving was really starting to stink, but then realized that all the horn beeping is not always targeted at me...phew! Yesterday I witnessed the man in front of me throwing a temper tantrum because the person in front of him wouldn't take a right turn on red.  Geez Louise people, calm down!  You are acting ridiculous and really, sitting at the traffic light for an extra 30 seconds isn't going ruin your day is it?  Roll down your window, breath in the fall air and sing along with the song on the radio instead.    

Even E has noticed the excessive impatience with others, "Momma, why is everyone always beeping their horns?"  

"I wish I knew E."

The impatience on the road is somewhat an analogy to life in general.  So many of us are in such a rush, constantly pushing our way through life.  Life is passing us by as we are busy "beeping our horns" to get everyone else out of our way.  

 As I return to the working world, it's a challenge for me to find the balance.  I don't want to feel like I'm constantly on the treadmill of life.  I want to go through it slowly, taking in deep breaths and enjoying the day to day, without plowing over everyone and everything in my path.  It's not always easy, but I'm working on it.  

Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting.

Pictures taken at Flume Gorge in Franconia, New Hampshire

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

30 years...

I was talking to my mom tonight and she told me that tomorrow will mark 30 years since my grandfather died.  He was sixty-seven.  I was almost twelve.  I'm not one to remember much, especially the details of long ago, but there are some things that I do have stored away in my memory.  
 I remember pepere sitting in the den, reading his bible with his wooden cross around his neck.  He was the epitome of a faith-filled man. 

I remember driving in his big white car with him when he would go pick up my memere at work in the afternoons. 

I remember how much he and my memere loved one another; he adored her and it was evident to all those in their presence.

I remember he would sometimes wear clashing patterns, "just look at the top and bottom separately", he would say. 

I remember he would get annoyed with us when we would spin around on the black chairs in the kitchen. 

I remember the funny faces he would make.  

I remember what it felt like to lose him.

I remember the stuffed dog I got when he died. I named him Mozart for pepere's love of music.  

I never remember him being sick, which again, speaks to his character.  

Although I was barely twelve, I'm grateful to have these things tucked away in my heart.  

Sending an xo to you Pep.

"Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory." 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Baby steps...

On December 31, 2011, when the nurse on the telephone told me I had breast cancer, it was a game changer.  My life as I knew it from that moment forward would never ever be the same.  Then, and for several days following that dreaded phone call, I had no idea where the road was headed and whether or not I would even survive.  The disturbing reality of cancer is that it takes many lives on a daily basis.  That last sentence is what rattles me to the bone every-single-day! With the age of social media, it's especially difficult to distance ourselves from the toll that the Big C takes in the lives of those we love.  We read heartbreaking stories on Facebook, donate to fundraisers and run in 5ks in support. 

At the time of my diagnosis, I immediately took a leave of absence from my teaching position.  In the two years and nine months since I took that leave of absence I had multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation as well as countless doctor's visits.  This is kind of a big deal for a 39 year old who had never been admitted to a hospital before. For almost three years, my top priority was to get healthy physically and emotionally and become the best version of myself for me and for those I love.  I learned more about myself during that time than I had learned in my 39 years prior.

In some ways it seems like that life changing phone call was just last week and in other ways it has been a very, very long road, mostly filled with baby steps to get me where I am right now...

Today I took another (not so baby) step when I returned to teaching.  I've been ignoring the looming start date for several weeks and today, it was here.  I got up extra early so I could sneak in a quick run before I left for my first day in 3 years.  As I was running, it suddenly hit me.  Walking back into work today doesn't make all the ugly stuff go away, but it does help to put some closure to it.  I am moving on and although it's hard to do, it feels good to start a new chapter.  Today's step still felt a bit wobbly; I continue to be a work in progress, but I did it and with the support of my family, friends and colleagues I think I'll be just fine. 

And then there was this "sign" in the high school bathroom after the orientation this morning.  I certainly appreciate the gesture among the f-bombs and other profanities garnishing the toilet paper holder.  At least the vandal was spreading kindness!
And finally, I can't let the day go by without wishing my beautiful BFF a very Happy Birthday!  Wishing you a fantastic, fun-filled and perhaps, slightly boring, year ahead.