Posts tagged Family
Can it really be Thanksgiving next week?! So hard to believe.
When Halloween rolled around this year I didn’t feel in the spirit and it freaked me out a bit. Over the past several years my holiday spirit has been waning. In fact, I actually have not one, but two posts titled, “Where are you Christmas?” here on the blog. First it started with Christmas and has slowly crept earlier and earlier. This was the first year that felt indifferent toward Halloween. It’s sad because it used to be my fave holiday. DH and I used to go all out for both Halloween and Christmas. Decorations both inside and out. It’s hard for me to even fathom doing any of that now. What’s the deal?
It’s not like I’m all bah humbug. It’s just that I’m indifferent. Don’t get me wrong, I want to feel that warmth and joy that supposedly comes with the holiday season. (Does that really exist or is it really one of those things we happen to think is better than it was after the fact….know what I mean?)
Things that make the holidays hard to grasp:
Away from family - While being away from family make the holidays easier to deal with, (No running from here to there) the season just feels…empty. Not that I want to be going to a million parties but with with absolutely none slated for our calendars the season really is anti-climatic.
Warm weather - The lack of cold or snow leaves me scratching my head, asking, “What month is it even?” Since we’ve moved to Phoenix I swear the “eternal summer”, as we like to call it, has made the months fly by.
Even though we lived through eternal summers in New Orleans we always went home to Ohio for the holidays. Even though it was different we still anticipated family time/cold, and kept us on some sort of “cycle”. Last year was our first year away for the holidays. While it didn’t feel like the holidays much last year it seems like this year it’s kicked up a notch.
No decorations - I spoke about this last year but we have no holiday decorations. We either sold them prior to our move or left them in Ohio. I can’t remember the last time we even had a tree. Last year my friends Heather and Will were so kind to send us new stockings to hang so we had something.
Grownup Christmas List - We all know that the holiday season shouldn’t be about gifts, but let’s face it, gifts tend to grab much of the focus of the season. Over the past several years I’ve really focused on reducing my wants and focusing on needs, so when my mom says, “What do you want for Christmas?” nothing really comes to mind. If anything, I have a grownup Christmas list: money for bills or to put towards travel.
Sure, when I walk into a mall I still see stuff that I “want” but most often that’s a knee jerk reaction. Once I think it through I realize those wants aren’t necessarily needed or even realistic. While it may sound totally stupid, with all of these thoughts going through my head (I want that, I don’t need that, but I want a different look, but that’s not realistic, not to mention I can’t afford it….you get the idea) going to the mall is a pretty stressful event for me. In fact, just last week with all the hustle and bustle and being surrounded by crazy consumerism my anxiety went through the roof and I had a near brush with a panic attack before getting myself in check.
Lack of Holiday Meals - I’m not saying vegans can’t enjoy holidays, but let’s be honest, the standard fare at holiday parties isn’t targeted to vegans. Of course no parties/get togethers for us means no need to dodge food….But that means I have to veganize on my own or go without. Considering I’m not a huge fan of cookimg I’m opting out. Truth: we created homemade pizzas last year on Christmas. That’s about as fancy as I get. I enjoy Christmas cookies so I’ll usually make a batch but that also means we have a ton o’ cookies to eat between ourselves.
While being thankful and spreading cheer is something that should be done throughout the year (and something I attempt to do) I really want to feel that “holiday cheer” that I’ve been lacking. How am I going nip this in the bud? Well, since I have yet to do it for the past several years I have absolutely no clue….but it’s worth a shot. Here are a few things I’m going to try…..
Get a Christmas Tree - It’s so wasteful but we’re going to get a miniature real tree. I’m opting for real so we don’t have to store an artificial one. It won’t have ornaments but we can get a small strand of lights. There’s nothing light watching a movie by the light of a lit tree.
Candles - Due to Jax’ asthma and the heat of Arizona we never have or use candles. However, DH picked up 2 very lightly scented candles today. Another way to make our house more cozy…or something.
Make our own traditions - We tried last year by going out to see Christmas lights and then a hike on Christmas. Let’s see if we can keep that up and add some more.
What else do you think we should try? Would love to hear!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
This Saturday I woke up early to head to the trails with some of my Ragnar Trail teammates. While Ragnar is a month away it was the perfect opportunity to do a little training, familiarize ourselves with the trail, and once again get to know each other. It was a great run.
As I drove home I had one of those, “I love Phoenix moments.” We’ve been here a little over a year and chances are you won’t ever hear us say that we will never move, but we love Phoenix. While there are many reasons to love it here, mine personally stem from the ability to be outside, explore, and run. This got me thinking about running in Phoenix….
Weather - This is a no brainer. The weather here is gorgeous, allowing for year-round outdoor running. Many locals opt for the treadmill in the hot summer months but I’ve found it easy to adjust my schedule to fit it in during the “cooler” hours. I just choose to get up before the crack of dawn. Sure, it’s still warm, but I love the heat. It’s way easier to plan for the warm weather than unexpected weather that may bring ice and snow. Thankfully there’s no snow in the Phoenix area but trust me when I say, it still does get chilly. Last winter I was surprised by how cold it got. (I will admit that I didn’t take advantage of the cooler months last year since I went through a bit of an anti-running funk. But, this year will be different…) Every so often I’ve had the random day when I’ve gone out to run in the daytime 100* temps. While not pretty, it’s still possible. So really, dealing with the heat vs ice/snow is a pretty decent trade-off.
Location - Someday I would love to live in the heart of a downtown but DH and I currently live in a suburb of Phoenix. It allows easy access to the city but is still far enough away. Since our area has been built up over the past 10 years the development of our city is very symmetrical. This makes for easy route planning and for the most part I know how many miles I’ve run simply by the amount of blocks I’ve covered. Some may say that my routes aren’t all that exciting, to which I am inclined to say that I somewhat agree. But it allows me to get the job done and I feel relatively safe at all times. And although my routes may not be all that technical or exciting, every way I look I am surrounded by the beautiful site of mountains and that never gets old.
Trails or Road - We have never lived in a location with the choice of so many trails. In fact, I had never really done any trail running until we moved here. Now I absolutely love it! What’s even better is that we live within 15 minutes of some of favorite trails. Unfortunately my schedule doesn’t allow me to hit up the trails each day but it’s awesome knowing that I have the option, and I try to take advantage of it at least once a week. Trails will always be humbling but they are also cleansing to the soul.
Community - This is the absolute best part of running in Phoenix. Seriously.
I took a chance last year by venturing by myself to a Road Runner Sports Adventure Run. I caught up with a couple girls running, started a conversation, and we found we had a lot in common. After the run we exchanged contact information. A year later, we now work for the same company, see each other daily, and even hit up an Adventure Run again this year.
Upon making the announcement of our move I was quickly connected via twitter with a group of ladies called the Cholla Chicks. Once I arrived they welcomed me with open arms and have really become my family out here. It’s a bit hard to explain the group because there’s no formal organization per se. The best way I can explain is that a few ladies started running together, created a “group”, and it’s continued from there. Anyone can “join” but I love how close knit yet open we are. Some train together (sadly I live on the opposite side of the valley so it’s impossible to make the daily runs), we run races, we hike, we yoga, we have happy hours, we cheer each other on, we live life, and quite simply, we just run. I love these ladies.
Considering she is a Cholla Chick, I’ve also met the amazing RunEMZ. Yes, the woman that ran over 100 miles within 24 hours on a treadmill this weekend, all in the name of raising money for education in India. (They’re still collecting donations!) Absolutely incredible. She has a heart of gold.
Photo Credit – IKUNA Apparel
Since meeting the Cholla Chicks I’ve quickly learned that the entire Phoenix running community fits the 6 degrees of separation model….
At the run I even met people who are now some of my team mates for the upcoming Ragnar Trail. Funny enough, some of my teammates know the coworkers I met at last year’s Adventure Run. See! 6 degrees of separation. Everyone is connected in some way.
So….as I drove away Saturday morning having run 8 miles with some old friends and some new, my heart was bursting with gratitude. I love Phoenix. I love running in Phoenix. I love my Phoenix running family.
What a whirlwind of a week I had last week. From showing my parents around Phoenix, to a day trip with them to Sedona, topped off by a quick trip to Las Vegas to fulfill our dreams of seeing Celine Dion, we covered some serious territory.
Celine in one word? Phenomenal. It was one of those experiences where no words will do justice. I had a feeling my emotions may get the best of me and sure enough when that curtain opened and I saw Celine standing there the tears started flowing. I’ve waited close to 20 years to experience her live and she did not disappoint. So amazing and well worth the wait.
I wish my parents didn’t have to head back home. I knew I had missed them but didn’t realize I had missed them so much until they arrived. Dinner together, hanging out, and heading out for adventures with them is unfortunately something we lost in our move across the country. While I’m happy we chose to strike out on our own adventures there’s no denying we miss our parents a ton. But we’re grateful for their constant support and the many fantastic new memories we made this past week.
Although they have gone home things won’t be slowing down for me just yet. A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Nokia and invited as an online influencer to their #ZoomReinvented press event in NYC July 11th. What?! YES!! Technology + NYC = Win/Win. I’m not going to try to sell you on the idea that I’m a total technology whiz, specifically when it comes to specs and all the ins/outs, but I must admit technology has always been a pretty big part of my life from a young age. Yep, all the way back to the ol’ Commodore 64 with joystick or my first kodak camera with 110 film, technology piques my interest for some reason.
While I’ve focused on unplugging more often lately I still must admit that my life revolves around electronics and technology. (Remember how many cameras I take on my hikes? Maybe this is also where I should admit that within the past week we’ve acquired a new iPad, iTouch, and laptop…..) So, as you can imagine, when I received the invite, not only was I stoked to hear I’d be heading to NYC, but also to see Nokia’s release of a new technology.
Nokia is keeping pretty mum about it all but there are lots and lots of rumors milling about as to what is going to happen. The gist of those is that they are poised to unveil the Lumia EOS which has similar specs to the PureView 808, but runs Windows Phone 8. Supposedly the phone will contain a 41 mega pixel camera. I have no idea if this is fact but my inner photographer is pretty darn excited at that idea.
Considering Nokia is being quiet about the technology you can imagine how little I know about what I’ll actually be doing in NYC. I do know that there is a welcome party the evening I arrive, followed by a full day of press for the release of their new technology. This includes a Q & A with the head of their camera technology followed by an evening #ZoomParty. Nokia has been seriously promoting how well their camera phones capture in the dark so I have a feeling we’ll get the chance to see the technology in action.
I know it doesn’t seem like I’m providing much information on what I’ll be doing in NYC but that’s because I don’t even know. But hey, ya’ll know I’m always up for an adventure. If you want to keep tabs on what I’m up to follow my #ZoomReinvented and #ZoomParty posts on Twitter or Instagram. NYC, here I come!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I’m not sure if I have mentioned it yet but my parents have been out here in Arizona visiting for the past week. It’s been just under a year since our move, and the last time we saw them, so to say that we were excited to see them is an understatement. I think we’ve done a decent job showing them around our neck of the woods, including our favorite places to eat, my regular running routes, and we even took a quick day trip to one of my favorite places on earth, Sedona.
I think it’s safe to say they understand why I love Sedona so much. Tomorrow we’re taking another quick side trip to fulfill one of our dreams…we’re going to Las Vegas. I can hear ya’ll saying, “Weren’t you just in Vegas? How is that fulfilling your dream?” Ah, but it’s not Vegas but what’s there that is what this is all about. So what is it about? Celine Dion.
Many people may not peg me for a Celine fan but I am….and crazy enough, so is David. I remember when her first cd released in the US and following her story as she rose to fame. It was always a dream to see her in concert. When she announced years ago that she’d have a show in Vegas I put it on my DREAM list AKA bucket list to make it happen one day. Sadly after a few years she took a hiatus and I thought I missed my chance.
While in Vegas last month I noticed that she was once again reopening her show. What?! Although I no longer have a bucket list per se it roused my interest. I randomly texted my mom, “One day I’m going to hop a flight to Vegas for the night to see Celine.” Her response? ”Let’s do it.” (It’s always been her dream too) And so the ball began to roll….
You should know, when I get an idea in my head I don’t tend to stop until it comes to fruition. When you put my mom and me together we make shit happen….hey, I learned from the best. Our gears started churning and I said, “Why not take a quick trip to Vegas while you’re here visiting?” At only 4-5 hour drive it’s not a big undertaking. A few more decisions were made and soon enough I received a text from my mom with this photo.
I’m going to see Celine in concert with a couple of my most favorite people in the world! All of this from simply having a pipe dream. I’m beginning to learn, no dream is too big. Over the past year I’ve also learned that the time is now. Yes, I’m enjoying what is here and now but I no longer want to wait for “someday” to live my dreams. What would’ve happened if we’d have said, “Someday we’ll move….” We wouldn’t be where we are today. Right? That’s not to say things happen fast or always as planned (Heck, it’s been how many years since I’ve wanted to see Celine?!) But I keep those dreams in the back of my mind and slowly but surely I’m working on making them come to life.
I guess this is where I should say that DH and I have something in the works for making someone else’s dream come true. If you think my mom and I are good at making things happen you can only imagine what happens when DH and I come up with an idea. More on that soon! But please excuse me for a moment while I go live out one of my dreams.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
After coming home Thursday evening and finishing my blog post about the passing of my grandma and celebrating life I found myself going through the motions of preparing for another workday to finish out the week. I had the feeling of “Hold on! Wait a minute! How can I write all of that and yet not do anything to celebrate life??” I was torn because although taking a day off of work is easy for something like this, I wouldn’t be attending a funeral or any of the other typical bereavement day type of things. After batting the idea around and with the encouragement of a friend I went for it. I was taking a bereavement day. But I wasn’t taking any ol’ bereavement day. No, I was doing it my way, Buzzbomb Style, and I was going out to celebrate life. (BTW, did you know the nickname “Buzzbomb” was given to me by my grandma? True story.)
I woke up early, called off of work, packed my day pack, and hit to the road to Sedona…one of my favorite places in the world. I’m not going to hash out again why Sedona holds a special place in my heart…it just does. To me it’s magical and is my happy place. The perfect place to celebrate life. I had somewhat of an idea of where I was heading but no exact game plan for the day. I was rolling with it. Just under 2 hours into my drive I rounded the bend and the beautiful Red Rocks came into view. That’s always the moment when I feel my eyes light up and the smile spread across my face. By 9am I was on the trails surrounded by mother nature and all of her beauty.
Nothing like the red rock and blue skies of Sedona
I have yet to be on a busy trail in Sedona but given that it was also a weekday it was pretty empty. Other than a few couples here and there I was by myself along with my thoughts and memories. Happy memories. While speaking to my friend Dave the night before he gave me a few trail ideas. I chose Brins Mesa which was absolutely perfect. Not strenuous, but a nice climb it get my blood pumping. When I reached the mesa I found what remains from a 2006 wildfire. The mesa was ravaged, which was pretty sad to see. As I trekked through the damage I happened to stumble upon a group of wildflowers growing out of a bunch of tousled rocks.
So often I see metaphors for life of my trail hikes/runs. As I stared at the wildflowers the thought that came to my mind was, “Through death, there is life.” A perfect metaphor for the reason I was out on the trails. After the wildfire I’m sure there were no signs a life. A dark time, if you will, for the mesa. But here we are, 7 years later, and the mesa is slowly coming back to life. In no way will it be the same as it was before, but life is present. Here were these wildflowers, the minority in their surroundings, yet they were providing so much sunshine and positive life to their surroundings. In life, I want to be those wildflowers…positive energy and light.
After a quick lunch I decided to search out a location I’ve had my eye on since we moved to Arizona, Devil’s Bridge. Devil’s Bridge is a pretty iconic location for Sedona which also means it’s a bit popular. Unfortunately for those without a high clearance vehicle, or not on a Jeep tour, it’s a longer hike for the average Joe. I drove our Jeep Wrangler to Sedona and got to do a little “off-roading” to get to the trail. This meant less of a hike and a new experience for me. We’ve never really taken our Jeep off-roading and I was going at it solo. Needless to say I had some belly laughs as I set out on my adventure. It was pretty rad.
I arrived at the trailhead safely and once again took to the trails in search of Devil’s Bridge. Given that I got to drive in meant it was a pretty short hike.
Some hardcore hikers often say Devil’s Bridge isn’t as exciting as people make it out to be. Blame the novice hiker in me, but I thought it was awesome and worth it.
The second half of my days also lead to yet another metaphor…One that I’ve experienced before, but still a nice reminder. “Some of the most spectacular views require taking a rough road.” What if I wasn’t willing to go off-roading to get to Devil’s Bridge? I would’ve missed out! Even more, what if I chose to go down the rough road with a scowl on my face? Sure, I would have gotten there but how enjoyable would that adventure have been?
Although fun, celebrating life doesn’t necessarily require living an adventurous life or always being on the go. More importantly, it’s about recognizing what has been given to us, being grateful, and celebrating it all…including the ups and downs. Because after all, it’s those ups and downs that ultimately make up this thing we call life.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
In late March I took a quick weekend trip to Florida to see my ailing Grandma. Initially I had planned to go the first weekend of May (just this past weekend), but decided to go earlier than later. I’m glad I followed my instincts.
When I visited she was aware of who I was, but within the 48 hours of visiting I saw a drastic change in her energy level. Over the next month our family made it a point to visit, knowing our visits were our final goodbyes. Over time she was sleeping more and more and was finally to the point of having to stay in bed. Although she was already under the care of hospice it was decided just a couple weeks ago to place her in a 24 hour hospice care facility. Yesterday I received a message saying that my mom would once again be flying down to Florida today and that they planned to beginning morphine due to my grandma’s restless nights.
This morning I received news that my grandma had passed away.
Growing up I was always a basket case when it came to goodbyes…especially when it came to my grandparents. I loved when they would come and visit for the entire summer but when it came to them leaving I thought it was the end of the world. I would sob for hours. Thankfully as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better at goodbyes. There will always be a little prick in my heart when it comes to saying goodbye, but I’ve had so many changes in my mind and spirit over the past year, especially these past few months, that I can’t help but feel joy and gratefulness with the passing of my grandma. Yes, I said joy and gratefulness.
I’ve spoken briefly about a feeling that overcomes me. I simply call it my “calmness”. It doesn’t happen everyday nor is it something I feel I necessarily have cognitive power over. It just happens. Most often it occurs when “bad” things happen or when chaos surrounds me. It’s almost as though a wave of energy flows over me and all is right with the world. When I received word that grandma passed calmness overtook my body, mind, and soul.
Have I shed tears? Yes. Will there be more? I’m sure. Will I miss her voice? Indeed. Will I miss her love and kindness she brought to the world? You bet.
But that’s just it. She brought joy to the world. Joy to my world…along with so many others. And although she is not here in the physical sense. She will always be here…in my heart. And every time I choose love and kindness over hate, there will be a little piece of her shining through.
I’m grateful that although these last months were trying she was surrounded by family. I’m grateful that although passing is never easy she didn’t suffer through the struggle that we had expected that would come with pancreatic cancer. I’m grateful I took the time to see her one last time. I’m grateful that all she said was “I’m going to be okay,” and I knew it was true.
Several months ago I sat down and wrote her a letter. This is what I wrote.
So often I’m not too good with words. I see what I want to say but it won’t translate on paper in the way I hope. For several weeks I’ve wanted to write you a letter and yet I keep putting it on the back burner because I can’t come up with the appropriate words to say how I feel. With that being said, I’m going to try my best.
As a little girl I remember anxiously awaiting your arrival for your summer trips to Ohio. I remember the “Welcome to Ohio gifts” and riding in your Lincoln Town Car thinking I was riding in an airplane because it was so plush. You always provided the best foods because you were the one that made it. I remember when you’d bring us Chiclet gum or Mackintosh Toffee. The photos you’d share from your travels. Seeing those photos made me realize I wanted to be a world traveler someday. Your special cross-stitch sweatshirts and afghans always amazed me. How could someone make such beautiful art and fill it with so much love? I never wanted you to head back to Florida and every time you left I was beside myself and an absolute basket case.
Although we didn’t make many trips to Florida they were always so special. From surprising you and Grandpa on your 40th wedding anniversary to my first trip to Epcot. I’ll never forget looking forward to Justin taking us for rides on your tricycle as we squeezed into the back basket.
When Christmas would roll around the amount of cookies you’d make was out of this world and I knew no one could make a better cookie than my grandma. I remember when you visited my freshman year in high school. When I was trying to decide what to give David for our first Valentine’s Day you stepped up and said, “Why not Dream Cookies?” Not only did you provide the idea but you also helped me mix, cut-out, bake and frost the cookies. Who knew at that time I would marry him? I like to think that those cookies sealed the deal when it came to him wanting to marry me. Ha! Although I laugh, he still references that Valentine’s Day. That was also a year for the Olympics and I remember staying up late watching all of the events with you.
A few years later I was able to join you on my first cruise. What an experience. It was then that I realized what you had been raving about all of those years. Another moment with you that reminded me how much I wanted to travel.
As I’ve grown older I’ve seen our times together as even more precious. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to visit more as the years progressed. Most of our visits were very simple…no exciting trips or cruises, but they were just as important, if not more, than those because we got to spend time together.
You are such a strong and generous, yet loving, woman who passed her traits on to her daughter. I’m grateful to have had 2 powerful women to look up to over the years. Not everyone is so blessed to have such positive role models which in turn has helped me strive to be my best.
Every moment we’ve spent together is ingrained in my permanent memory and there are no words to describe how grateful I am for those experiences. Thank you for being the best grandma ever. I love you.
She was amazed at everything I remembered. What she doesn’t know is that it was just the tip of the iceberg of my memories. I’m grateful I took the opportunity to share with her how much she impacted my life because everyone deserves to not only know but hear that they are loved and appreciated.
It’s normal to be saddened and mourn the passing of a loved one. But instead of focusing on the sad I’m choosing to celebrate my grandma’s life. I have no doubt that’s what my grandma would want and that’s what I shall do.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I’m back from my short trip to Florida. I must say it wasn’t a emotionally draining as I expected it to be. That’s not to say it wasn’t trying. When dealing with the reality of knowing a loved one will be passing it’s never easy. However I am grateful beyond words to have had the opportunity to see my Grandma one last time. Sadly, her health and mind is worse than I expected. Even in the short time of my visit I saw a downturn in her health. More tired, the inability to recognize the time of day (like thinking it was time to get ready for bed at 4pm), not understanding why I wasn’t eating certain foods (when she knows I’m vegan), and calling me by my mother’s name/nickname instead of mine more often than not.
Surprisingly enough she’s still knitting up a storm and has made close to 15+ afghans within the past few months. I was blessed to receive yet another afghan to add to my collection of blankets she has made for me through the years. It’s made up of multi-colored squares, as she’s trying to use up all the odds and ends of yarn. With it’s bright contrasting colors, it fits me perfectly. All of my afghans from my grandma are prized possessions but this addition will be truly treasured.
As I entered the airport for my return flight I found some of the longest security lines to date. This caught me off guard considering the airport is known for it’s fast security lines. So fast that most times there’s little to no wait. Normally I make it to the airport with a minimum of 2 hours to spare. Knowing the history of the airport I became didn’t plan for the delay. Whoops. Initially I thought, “Crap. There’s a good chance I’m going to miss my flight.” But within seconds I realized, “Whatever will be, will be.” There’s nothing I could do about it. What would getting upset do? As the minutes ticked away and we very slowly moved through the line I could feel the anxiety rise around me. People becoming agitated and complaining. Even one woman calling TSA on the phone to complain. Instead of following the crowd I took my own action. By silently meditating as I stood, smiling at those around me.
I finally found myself speaking to those complaining. I didn’t speak in a “know it all” or argumentative way. Simply stating, with a smile on my face, “It is what it is.” This opened the lines of communication for further conversation, talking about everything under the sun. Before we knew it we had all made it through the security line and to our gate, just in time to board. Prior to boarding one of the gentlemen from the line said, “Thank you so much for calming my wife down. She was close to losing it and about ready to rip my head off.” A few moments later his wife came up to me and said, “You have such an amazing outlook on life.”
Little did they know that just a short time ago I was one of them…meaning freaking out, getting pissed at the situation, and raising hell. Heck, I still have my moments, but I am grateful that I’ve made a conscious effort to choose better emotions and actions. It’s not always easy, but it’s getting easier…and the results are pretty amazing.
Anyone remember that game? It was my absolute fave game to play while in elementary school. Anyway….the whole reason for the title is that I’m giving you a heads up that I’m taking a slight vacation from blogging. No, I’m not giving it up and wouldn’t call it a hiatus per se, but some things are going on in my life and quite honestly those things come fist. Sorry ya’ll, I love you but that’s the way it goes.
First, my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew are coming to visit!! Eeeeeee! We have been lucky enough to have met up with friends as they’ve passed through Phoenix since our move, but these are the first family members to visit. It will be awesome to see them since it’s been 8 months since we’ve seen any family members. Not to mention, our nephew is close to 2 years old and is starting to talk and do all the fun things toddlers do. Man, do they grow up fast. As crazy as it sounds, pne of the things we weighed before moving was missing out on of nieces and nephews growing up. Although we are more than happy with our move it’s still a tough fact to swallow. Thank goodness for internet and the their ability and willingness to visit.
Second, next week I’m heading to Florida for a few days. I’ve kept quiet about something personal because it’s something I’m holding close to my heart. You may remember that my grandfather passed last year. Although he was getting older and had health problems his passing pretty much blind-sided us. Since then my grandma has had her share of health difficulties. Most recently an abdominal mass was found and a biospy was taken. Within a few days we had answers…pancreatic cancer. She has chosen not to pursue treatment, which is understandable, which also means it’s a waiting game. Having been diagnosed a few months ago she’s doing pretty darn good. With that being said, we know that time is not on our side and we need to take advantage of all the time we have. I won’t be able to visit long but I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to make the trip.
So as you can see, now more than ever I need to practice Be Here Now, even if that means not writing for a week or so.
On a MUCH lighter note….what was your fave game to play in elementary school? Although I loved Heads-Up, Seven-Up, I could also play a mean Four-Square.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
It’s easy to miss family during the holidays (and we do!) but it is nice not to get all caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. One thing about moving away and leaving the decorations behind, it leaves plenty of room for us to try new experiences. We were able to sleep in this morning until I woke up and decided to make my vegan chocolate chip pancakes from scratch.
We had absolutely no plans to exchange gifts but D told me two days ago he bought me a present. A couple weeks ago we took a trip to the mall and found a shop that sold skateboards. Seeing them got me thinking about how much I’ve always wanted to learn how to skateboard….just one more thing on my Before I Die List. We talked about it a bit, I didn’t think much more of it, but he remembered. My gift from D? A skateboard.
No doubt about it, it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m excited! All I want to do is cruise, no tricks, but knowing my history, I’ll be investing in some safety gear.
After I rolled around the house sitting on my skateboard with the dogs on my lap we headed out to our mountain to do a little hiking. It was by no means busy, but I will say I was surprised how many people we out there today. As always, I have some of my best thoughts and experiences on the trails. I have really come to love them and am grateful that D was out there with me today.
As I type we’re finishing up the night by watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
I’m hoping that wherever you were or whoever you were with today, your day was everything you hoped for and more.
Who knows if anything we did today will become tradition. Either way, it was low key, simple, and just like any other day….perfect for us.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Today is supposed to be the end of the world, once again, eh? If you’re reading this then I guess you’ve made it….unless the end of the world comes at the end of the day. Ah. Who knows.
When people start seriously talking about preparing for the zombie apocalypse and surviving the end of the world (hellos, Doomsday Preppers) I can’t help but shake my head. To each his own, but would you REALLY want to live after the end of the world?
Growing up I had serious anxiety about saying goodbye to anyone. I cried up until the 6th grade when it was time to head to school because I didn’t want to leave my mom. When my grandparents left after their annual trip to visit us I was beside myself. My mom would say, “You’ll see them again.”
I’m still not fond of huge goodbyes but over the years I’ve learned to deal with this anxiety. Heck, with all of our moves I’ve had to learn how to deal with goodbyes. The thing that gets me through goodbyes isn’t the thought that I’ll see the person again. Although this may sound negative and even morbid I’ve come to realize that in all actuality there’s no guarantee I’ll see the person again. In my life most often than not this really is the case. What gets me through goodbyes is being present in the moment. I’m not talking about just being present in the moment during the goodbye but whenever you’re with that person. Once again, not to sound morbid, but I often think, “What if I don’t see this person again?” and that helps put me in the position to be “present”. I’m grateful for what I’ve been blessed with and the time with these people that I do have. When the time does come to say goodbye, whether on the phone or in person, whether I’m leaving on a trip or just heading to work, I take those extra few seconds in our embrace.
Even more, not only have I decided to make this choice with my interactions with living beings but also with moments that I experience. Whether simple or special I make it a point to stop, take a second, and say, “This is my life….”
I’m not trying to poke fun at the end of the world or anyone who has specific beliefs. What I am saying is, instead of focusing on when things are going to come to an end or preparing to survive, just live. Be happy. Be helpful. Be grateful. Be here now.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)