Go To Your Happy Place

Mike & I were both on vacation for the week of the Fourth so we went to our favorite beach, Jeness in NH one day. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Not a cloud in the blue sky, a slight breeze to keep comfortable and the sun shining in every essence. It shined on my body, my soul and my mind.

I needed a day of peace and sunshine. A day to listen to the waves and chatter of families and friends. I needed a day to rejuvenate my mind as lately I’ve been feeling like I’m running on empty. Small things have upset me, my feelings are easily hurt and I send myself into a state of sadness too often. Life is good. But I’ve been having a hard time remembering that lately. Too much time spent checking off “tasks” that seem important during the day but when I take a second to think about it, aren’t actually that significant. I haven’t given enough time to keeping my mind in a positive, healthy space and it shows thru my rollercoaster of emotions. It’s easy to forget, but keeping our minds healthy takes some time and effort.

The beach always helps me press the reset button, however. It helps me slow down and appreciate the beauty of the day and the life I’ve been given. It helps remind me of the respect I have for our great Mother Earth. It helps remind me of how grateful I am for having Mike in my life and how excited I am to marry him in 13 days (ahhh!!). And it also reminds me of little things in life that I’m grateful for too, like the fact that it’s a blessing that I live in a country where I have the right to go to the beach and swim in the waves in a bikini!! The beach is my place to help disconnect me from the “world” and in turn, it connects me so deeply to what’s important in my life and the real world that surrounds me. 

I hope that you take the time to go your happy place more often- to go wherever it is in the world that helps you reconnect to the important things in life. Because, taking the time is important.

Love & light,

Jessy 


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Coming Off the Vacation High 

Welp, vacation is officially over. It’s back to work tomorrow morning. Back to inside all day, back to meetings, back to waking up early, back to long days. Back to “reality.” I hope that one day my day-to-day “reality” is something that I’m excited about and feel good about myself doing, but for now, I’m sure you can feel my level of excitement through my words– not thrilled. 

I did, however, do a good job concentrating on the days and moments I had while I was having them. Sometimes on vacations in the past, I’ve spent too much time thinking about how much time I have left or how much work I’ll have when I’m back but if thoughts like that entered my mind, I tried to bring my thoughts to what was going on right now instead of focusing on days ahead. It makes a difference.

So now, as I have begun to stress out about the week ahead and am beginning to feel like I’m drowning in negative thoughts, it’s time for me to remember what an amazing 10 days I’ve had. 

Days full of kayaking with my love.

   
    
 
Lobster, fried clams, clam chowder and more lobster.    

    
   
Days starting with Mary Lou’s Coffee every morning. 

  
 
Fishing off the dock.    

 Playtime with my favorite puppy    

    
   
Playtime with my beautiful, crazy, hilarious, sass monster of a niece.    

    
    
 
Swimming in the amazing ocean.    

    
   
Relaxing and taking in the gorgeous scenery around us. 

  
   
And overall, just enjoying moments with my wonderful family. 

    
    
    
    
    
 
It ended today with a day celebrating our little Princess Elle, who turns 4 this Wednesday. 

  
 
What a lucky lady I am. So many memories made this past week with the people that matter most to me. Blessed would be an understatement.

XOXO,

Jessy 

Tampa Times & Relay for Life Speech

It’s been over a week since I’ve written a blog post and it feels like an eternity. But that’s because I WAS ON VACATION! First vacation since being diagnosed. First time being on an airplane and getting to see palm trees and plop my butt in the sand and just relax. It was such a wonderful few days and something Mike and I really needed.

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We were greeted in the Tampa airport by multiple members of the fraternity I was a part of, Delta Sigma Pi. Their excitement to have me down and meet all the new members was infectious and something I felt so lucky to be able to experience.

So after deciding we no longer wanted a boring rent-a-car because we were on v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n,  we hopped in a mustang convertible and headed down to Clearwater!! The drive was perfect– the warm wind was in our faces, the music was on loud and I felt happy at its purist. We got so lucky as we were able to stay in a GORGEOUS condo that my friend Kelly’s family owns and were so nice enough to let us stay there for a few days. It’s right on the water, has a fantastic pool and jacuzzi, and the best balcony view of them all. We were so lucky to be able to have that opportunity! (so thank you thank you thank you to the Fitzgibbons!)

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We spent the next few days lounging on the beach, doing yoga in the sand, going for long walks hand in hand, sleeping with the doors open to hear the waves crash down, watching dolphins play in the water while we ate grouper sandwiches, spending time with some of my best girlfriends who came up for a day to visit, and watching the sunset go down atop the beautiful white sands! We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect few days.

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We then headed to Tampa so I could show Mike my old stomping grounds and get ready for the Relay for Life event that I was speaking at on Saturday. Friday night I got to meet all the wonderful students who have worked so hard over the past 6 months to fundraise in order to get me to Tampa and also to put on this incredible event. I was greeted by so many smiling faces, including old professors that came to support me– it was truly heartwarming. We then went out with some great friends for dinner and ended up at World of Beer for old times sake. It’s funny, WOB is right across the street from MacDittons, my favorite bar in college, and as I watched college kids go in and out, I felt old and almost like “could I do that anymore?” Funny how times change. Overall, it was a really special night to see so many close friends that I don’t get to see nearly as much as I’d like and just catch up and laugh together.

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Then came Saturday– the day we were down here for. I was anxiously awaiting my speech all day, reading it over and over by the pool and practicing too many times in front of Mike. Being the perfectionist I am, I wanted it to go smoothly and really make it worth everyone’s effort of getting me down there. The night came and my family, of course, was there to support me! Mom, Dad, Court, Stratos & Eleni were all there to cheer me on as I took the mic. With over 1000 people in attendance, I started to get pretty nervous– I haven’t public spoken like that in quite some time. But once I started speaking, I was reminded  that I’m talking about my journey– something I know a lot about. I could do this. And I did it. There was sense of relief when I ended but also real excitement. Overall, the ceremony was beautiful and so touching. It’s a night I will always remember.

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I’ve included the video below where you can watch my speech, hope you enjoy!

Again, thank you to all my brothers from DSP for making this trip a reality and to all my Tampa family who made being back so special to me. I love you all!

XOXO,

Jess

Vacation Bliss

After over a year of having no more than four consecutive days in a row off, I was delighted when the clock struck 5pm last Monday and I was officially ‘off the clock’ for 6 days in a row- wahoo!!!

Mike and I started the vacation with a trip to Portland, Maine. I haven’t ever been there and it’s less than a two hour car ride. So we packed our bags and headed north. As luck would have it, we got up early, packed our lunches, got in our bathing suits and headed straight to 62 degree and raining weather. No bueno. With that, we checked into our hotel and ended up doing this the rest of the day:

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Hopping from bar to bar to bar. Not what we had planned but I’ll never complain about a day like that. We ended up at a nice place called The Grill Room & Bar for dinner. It was absolutely delish! We sat at the ‘chef’s table’ which was offered to us because there were no other tables left. So glad they did, we got to see all the food being made and the chefs and wait staff were super nice. We had so much food and everything was phenomenal– in particular the lobster bisque and lobster tail. If you’re ever in Portland, this place is a must try. Here’s their website: http://www.thegrillroomandbar.com/

Wednesday we woke up and it wasn’t as cold but not very sunny so we decided to hop on a ferry and take it to a small island off of Portland called ‘Peaks Island.’

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While we were ferrying over, our luck turned around and the clouds lifted and the sun came out. All of a sudden, it was hot, sunny and absolutely beautiful out! We got to the island, changed into our bathing suits & cover ups and rented some bikes. The island is only 4 miles wide but so quaint and adorable. The people here are really friendly, the houses are beautiful, the views are breathtaking and there’s a small beach that you can walk (and we laid out for on a while). They have a few small restaurant and bars right on the water, in which we stopped at two of them.

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To my dismay, we had to leave this perfect little place only a few hours after falling in love with it so when we got back to Portland we treated ourselves to some unbelievable lobstahhh rolls and headed back to Boston.

Thursday– it’s America’s Birthday. I love America, so I love this day!!! We headed over to a good ‘ol back yard pool party to have some good eats, good drinks and good laughs with good friends. It was about 95 out and really sunny so it was a perfect day to be by a pool. What’s more, I got to see my favorite little creatures in the world– bull dogs! Our friends have two english bull dogs, “Hogan” and “Hoodsie.”

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We finished the day at another friends house to enjoy the fireworks from their rooftop deck in Charlestown. Great view and of course, the Boston Pops put on a great show. Gotta love patriotic music– always puts you in the spirit!

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Friday and Saturday I spent with my a bunch of girlfriends from college that were in town for the 4th! You won’t be able to find me much happier than when I get to be back with my best friends. I hate that we’re all scattered around the country so whenever we get a group of us together, it’s really special. Here’s a few pics to sum up our two days together:

drinking coronas in the pool

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crushing delicious bloody’s and breakfast in the morning

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and topping off our vacation together the best way we know how… with a lobstahhh dinner!

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A week later and the clocks about to strike 5pm again on Monday. It’s safe to say I won’t have the same week as I did last week.

Until next time,

Jessy