Thursday, January 22, 2015

Every heart has a story...

Unfortunately, now that I'm a working girl again, I feel as though I barely have time to breathe, never mind blog.  And now it seems every time I do blog, my posts are kind of gloomy and heavy. I was actually debating whether or not to write this, but then decided that if you don't want to read, you can always just refrain from doing so.  Those of you who choose to stay, thank you for joining me during this "therapy session".  

Social media helps us to connect with so many, and sometimes I find it overwhelming, especially on an emotional level.  It's hard to get away from the reality that life is not always filled with lollipops and rainbows.  Sad stories go viral and my heart starts to feel heavy.  There were two stories this week, in particular, that made my heart physically ache.  One was the sad passing of a 37 year old wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and co-worker.  To me and many others who have heard her name this week or seen a picture of her beautiful face for the first time, she was a complete stranger, a stranger with a story that we somehow feel so connected to. Over 3,500 hundred people have joined the Facebook page in support of turning her hometown pink in her honor and to support her family and friends.   Breast cancer was the culprit in cutting this inspirational woman's life short, but it seems her legacy and all she stood for will continue for years to come.  The pages of her story are still being written.


The other story was that of the 44 year old cardiac surgeon, husband and father of three, with a fourth due in two months.  He was shot and killed at his place of employment.  

Such tragedy.

When I hear stories like these, I feel like I'm getting smacked across the face..."Wake up and live!"

These stories are not mine, but I can't help but feel connected to them.  We are all in this life together, we all have stories, some with more chapters than others, and some with more heartache than many of us could ever imagine. Don't get stuck in past chapters and try not to overthink those chapters yet to be written.  Honor others who are experiencing tremendous heartache by "writing a good chapter", and start today!


“Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.”






"So find the love inside yourself, because every heart has a story to tell." 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Fight on...

In our house we don't really watch sports.  It's not that we don't enjoy them, we are just not the TV sports watching type of folks.  But, back in July, I was "introduced" to Stuart Scott, and, I wrote this brief post.  

Sports fan or not, by this point, it's likely that you've heard the name Stuart Scott.

  Sadly, he passed away yesterday at the young age of 49.  But, after hearing his own words, I refuse to say he lost his battle to cancer because if anyone beat cancer, it was him.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live. So live. Live! Fight like hell!"

Stuart was inspiring to say the least, not just in the words he spoke, but in the way he lived his life.  His refusal to let "cancer win" is admirable. 

"When you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest, and let somebody else fight for you."

It is now our turn to continue his fight.

"You've only got three choices in life:  Give up, Give in, or Give it all you've got."
-author unknown

In the name of Stuart Scott, fight on people, fight on.

And, if you haven't watched that 15 minute video of Stuart's speech from the ESPY awards, what are you waiting for?  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Exhaling....

It's now January 3rd and I can feel myself starting to exhale.  Phew...the holidays can be rough.  I think part of it comes from the fact that I don't acknowledge the potential difficulty until it has arrived in its full blown glory.   I'd love to rid myself of the feelings of uncertainty and angst that come along with the anniversary of the day that changed my life forever, but that's the nature of the beast with anxiety.  There isn't always an easy off switch. 

I'm a work in progress for sure, but with each experience, I gain more knowledge about myself and how I can grow and move on without getting stuck.  In the meantime, those close to me have to put up with my transformation and sometimes have to pull me out of the mud.  Their patience with me is often unwavering.

It's 2015, a new year, a chance to learn, grow, reflect, move on and start anew.  I'm doing my best to do just that. 

On the last day of this month, I will be 3 years cancer-free.  That, my friends, is one giant reason to breathe in deeply and exhale.

"Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you."

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reflecting...

I turned my computer on to upload some pictures and then I found myself reading through some of the past posts on my blog.  I'm not really sure what started it, but reading through some of them stirred up all sorts of emotions for me.  In a nutshell, I'm so glad I have this outlet to document this wonderful, unique and crazy life I live. I'm grateful to be able to go back and reflect on the many seasons. 


Ever since the dreaded Christmas of 2011, December is a rough month for me.  I don't even think I realize how hard it is until it arrives and I start to feel slightly out of whack (even more so than usual ;).  As time marches on, things are definitely getting easier, but this season certainly still acts as a trigger for some increased anxious moments.  It has been three years, but yet the moment is still so clear in my mind.  I feel like for the entire month of December, I hold my breath...and then finally after I get through New Year's, I feel like I can take a deep breath and go on with life once again.  Honestly, I'm waiting for the day when I have to struggle to remember the feelings of that day, but for right now, they are quite vivid. 

But, just to show that I'm not completely paralyzed by the anxiety that enters with the holidays, here are some glimpses of our Christmas.  








For me, the original play becomes an historical document: This is where I was when I wrote it, and I have to move on now to something else.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Random...

Tis the season to neglect the blog.  It's been almost a month since my last post and honestly, it feels like a week.  Really!  

On the one hand, I have a lot to say, and then on the other hand, I'm at a loss for words and can't think of anything to write.  I think for tonight, I'll just go with some random, impulsive thoughts (you should probably be afraid...)

Basically, it's less than one week before Christmas and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with my "to do list".  I have quotations around it because I don't actually have a list, which sometimes makes it difficult to keep track of what I have left to do and many times aggravates a certain person in this house (hint:  not me or my children ;)  

I went to Target the other night, did all my shopping, went to the register and then realized I didn't have my wallet.  I came VERY close to my first holiday meltdown, but I'm proud to say that I held it together (for the most part). 

Sparkee snatched Zart, our Elf, from the Christmas tree the other evening.  It made for a good laugh, after the initial panic from the kids. 


About a month ago, Victor and I went away for the weekend.  Thank you to my mom and dad for not only sending us away, but for taking our family for us for the weekend.  We stopped at the beach during our stay and it was still beautiful, even in the off season.

Lifeguard chairs tipped over are a little sad though.











So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Beautiful rainbows...

Today, Vic and I have been married for 18 years...it sounds pretty crazy to me to be saying that.  

Today I also decided to watch our wedding video with E and Little Miss, and here are some thoughts I had while watching.

-Although I was quite confident I hadn't changed in appearance much in 18 years, my children quickly begged to differ.
"Mom, you looked a lot better a long time ago." "Mom, was this when women were not allowed to vote?" "Mom, it looks like you have a rat's nest on your head."

-Ok, truthfully, we did look young!

-What was I thinking making my bridesmaids have the same hairdos?  Sorry girls...thanks for putting up with that request!


-I forgot how emotional we were when we said our vows...it still made me cry today when I watched it, even more so when I thought about how those promises have played out over the past 18 years.   

-I'm so grateful that my family was such a huge part of our day way back when and still continues to have such a strong presence in our lives now. 

-Creepy mustaches were "in".

-We all had a lot less gray hair.

-Portuguese people can dance!


-We have lost so many loved ones throughout the past 18 years and seeing their faces on the video was certainly bittersweet.

-Time flies.

-Maybe if I got married today, I would change some things but, I'd still promise to "love and cherish" the same man "for all the days of my life". 



So much has happened in the past 18 years and it certainly hasn't been all lollipops and rainbows, but life has been good to us, and we consider ourselves blessed.  We experienced some rough weather for sure, but bad storms do make for some beautiful rainbows. 





Happy Anniversary to my love! xo

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Annie...

In honor of National Adoption Day, here are some pictures of our Little Miss after her performance in Annie last weekend.  She played one of the orphans and had so much fun!


She even autographed a few programs. 
"I didn't want to be just another orphan, Mr. Warbucks.  I wanted to believe I was special."-Annie