In three weeks, on September 24th, I’ll be walking a 10K to participate in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk to raise funds for Dana-Farber. Since this isn’t a Facebook message where I’m talking to a bunch of people I’m not really friends with, I don’t think I need to explain how much that organization means to me. You know my story because so many of you have been here from the beginning, reading each post and sending your kind thoughts and well-wishes. So instead of telling you again why it means so much to me that you donate to Dana-Farber, I thought I’d share with you someone else’s story… someone else’s story that showcases the importance of the work this Institute is doing.
I had gotten this idea to tell someone else’s story yesterday and thought I’d go searching for a ‘compelling story’ tonight. But then I opened my inbox a few minutes ago and I see an email from the Jimmy Fund team with this little guy’s face in it. His name is Asher, he’s from Salem, NH and he too was diagnosed with the same form of cancer I had… acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I couldn’t find out how old he was when he was diagnosed, or how long he went through treatment for. All I know is that this little boy had to endure pain, mental and physical, far beyond his years; that he had to deal with something that no child should ever ever have to deal with.
And that’s all I think any of us should have to know about Asher or any of the nearly 16,000 children that will get diagnosed with cancer this year in the U.S. They deserve to have a normal childhood that’s filled with super-heroes and birthday parties and bike rides and dance parties — not that’s filled with chemotherapy, and nausea, and headaches and spinal taps.
This year, I ask that you give, whatever you can give, to kids like Asher who have been dealt this horrific hand. Your gift directly fuels the research that will one day find a cure for a cancer, so that one day there won’t be a child in the world that knows their doctors and nurses better than their teachers and coaches. Thank you for giving and thank you for supporting the fight against cancer.
Love, light & gratitude,
We’re on the train to Florence which means we’re half way through our trip! Thus far, it’s been more than we had even ever dreamed of! The sun has been shining, the people have been friendly and welcoming, the scenery has been stunning and the food and wine has been unreal.
Our time in Positano was the perfect was to start our trip. We stayed at a fabulous hotel (Covo De Sarcini, highly recommend) right at the bottom of the cliffs on a small beach. It’s a fishing town so the seafood was absolutely mouth watering. I’m picky about fish so it was a shocker when I ordered mussels three times in five days. The food here in general is literally so fresh it’s hard to explain unless you’ve tasted it. I also don’t loveeeee tomatoes typically however they are so juicy and flavorful here I haven’t stopped eating them! We spent a morning at the Pompeii Ruins and it was just fascinating. Then the next day we went on a boat with about 10 other people for the day. It took us along the beautiful Almafi coast, had a few hours on the island of Capri and stopped at different grottos and let us swim around in the Mediterranean Sea. swimming was my favorite, the water is so blue and salty you float easily. We swam into the grottos and got to look up at the natural caves- it was a moment I will never ever forget. The last night we did a wine and cheese tasting. Boy the Italians do not skimp out on their wine pours- but I never complain! 🍷 There was a festival going on right outside our hotel where kids were performing ballet to mostly music from the nutcracker so we watched it from our balcony and enjoyed some music we recognize. Perfect way to end our perfect little Italian beach getaway.
Then we headed to Rome where we fell in love with this city! The history is unmatched and the vibrancy of the city life makes you smile. And of course, the food and wine is like heaven. We toured the Colosseum and got a tour in the underground tunnels where the athletes and animals would be kept before being put on the stage. Walking thru the ruins of the Roman town from 3,000 years ago and to hear about how they lived was just unreal. Yesterday we went to the Vatican and although Pope Francis was holding a mass while we were there, we were somehow not invited. But we did spend four hours going thru all the art, looking up at Michaelangelo’s work of the Sistine Chapel and then ended our time at the Basillica which was nothing like I’ve ever seen. We were lucky as the Holy Door was open, which it only is every 20 years, and it’s said that your sins are washed away as you enter thru. It was a special moment and one that I needed after the many not-so-holy thoughts I had had while touring the Vatican with an especially obnoxious visitor that was in our group and the 10,000 other visitors who bumped and shoved their way thru the museum. Okay, okay, back to the religious part of the day. My favorite part, by far, was simply getting to kneel and say a prayer in this stunning cathedral knowing the Pope had been there just an hour before.
And as beautiful as all the sites and amazing as all the history, I think my favorite memories I’ll take are just the moments Mike and I sat and people watched outside, whether it was at a small ristorante, or The Trevvi Fountain at night, or the small cafe as stopped at to get a glass of wine where we met the best couple and chatted with them for an hour or so. It has been the small moments, the moments together, feeling content and peaceful that I will take away from this trip.
My heart is so filled with gratitude for getting to have this experience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime and I am trying not to miss out on any of the little moments. So with that, I must get back to staring out the window of this train as we pass thru the mountainside as we head to Florence.
Caio! And lots of love & light,
It’s been a stressful few weeks. I’ve been working so much I feel like I’ve been missing out on me time and in particular exercising and yoga time. Literally, it feels like my arms are in chains attached to my computer. So tonight, even though it was only for 15 minutes I took some much-needed time and did some at-home, silly yoga. Sometimes it’s good not to take it so seriously and not practice so rigidly but simply do what feels good in the moment, for you! So I wiggled around and stretched a lot and took deep breaths to calm my mind and of course, danced around to some good music to make myself laugh and loosen up the muscles.
It’s good to be a yogi & I’m so grateful to have found this practice.
Cheers to loosening up and making yourself giggle!
Lots of love & light,
Yesterday my best friend Brittany’s Meme passed away. Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, of the importance of remembering that each day with those we love is a gift. Yesterday I was reminded of how beautiful and important friendships can be.
Brittany is more than a best friend, she’s a sister. I met Brittany when we were 5 years old in kindergarten and she asked me for my fruit roll-up. A rarity in my household, I swiftly denied trading for whatever snack she had. Since that moment, we’ve been by each other’s side. Throughout my childhood, The Piet’s, were my second family. I had a trundle bed in Britt’s room as I slept there so often. I went on almost every family camping trip and even a family trip to Disney when we were 16. I was at holiday’s and parties. Sometimes, to Mr. & Mrs. Piet, it probably felt like I was there more than I was my own home!! They already have four girls, but they opened their home to me and made me their 5th daughter. And that love was not just with her immediate family, but with her extended family as well. I gained aunts, uncles, cousins and two amazing grandmothers. How lucky I was to have this extended family in my life. My own family and grandparents are incredible enough, then I got blessed with this second set of family as well!
Meme was kind, gentle and full of love. Her smile was one that would wrap around you like a bear hug (that is, if she wasn’t giving you an actual bear hug!) She was truly a beautiful soul here on this earth and I know she will continue to be one eternally. Most of all, her family was her everything and I am so grateful that I was able to be an honorary member of that family.
I will forever remember her sweet eyes, lively laugh, caring nature and sweet demeanor.
To my Piet family, I can’t thank you enough for making me part of your family and allowing me to have known this remarkable woman. I am here for you and I love you all from the bottom of my heart.
All my love,
A year ago, my little body was starting to shut down a bit when it came to my pancreas and liver. I was sitting in a hospital room, hooked up on so many pain meds, being flushed with so much fluids, I was unable to not only get out of bed but unable to move myself up or down without the help of others. This would happen time and time again until February 2015 (knock on wood, it never happens again). During these bouts, I would end up having to use walkers, canes and go through physical therapy to “learn” how to walk again. But my body is strong and I’ve learned that so is my mind. With a good attitude and determination, you can do just about anything.
So yesterday, I completed a 5K race with three of my favorite people in the world. I certainly didn’t run the whole time, but I had a blast and did the best I could do. The greatest part of this race? 10 inflatable obstacles to throw yourself into, bounce and slide down. I pretended I was an American Ninja (princess) warrior and laughed my ass off the entire time. Laughing is the best ab workout, anyways right?
How grateful I feel to be strong enough to complete a physical challenge like this. 🙏🏼
Happy Sunday, loves! Enjoy your day.
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