Yesterday I turned 28 years old. I spent the morning with the six people that mean the most to me in this world, my family. We got brunch and bloody’s then hung out at our place for a little while. There was lots of laughter and . The previous night I had been with a bunch of friends for a joint-birthday party. We bowled and danced and sang Celine Dion. I woke up tired on Sunday morning, but I woke up with a smile on my face with a warm feeling in my heart of love and gratefulness.
I have always loved birthday’s. OBSESSED with my “birthday week” in fact. Growing up, it always fell on February vacation so I took that as the world’s way of saying we should be celebrating the occasion ALL week long. And while I’ve grown older, my love for birthday season still remains. However, I enjoy it for a few different reasons — one, it’s an excuse to get together with people that I love. Two, sometimes I get gift cards so I can satisfy my shopping yearning. And third, it’s a nice reminder to reflect. Each year, I enjoy thinking about what this day was last year or the year before or the year before that. And, what the next year’s day will be like. I enjoy taking a trip down memory lane. Last year, I was at a yoga retreat and had just been let off “house arrest” as I had called it. The year before, I had celebrated with a bunch of my hometown friends and had drinks for the first time in nearly a year. The year before, I was in a hospital room with a party hat on about to receive my first round of chemotherapy. The year before that Mike took me to an unbelievable steakhouse where I got a dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives and lobster mashed potatoes. Every year, as different as they are, I thoroughly enjoy February 26th. Even on years that I have been sick, it’s always a happy day. It’s a feeling of simple accomplishment– not the big “finish line” accomplishment type feeling, but similar to a mile marker– that sweet feeling you have when you’re running a race and you see the yellow painted line along the route saying you’re at mile X. Yes, you have many miles to go but at this moment, your legs are still strong, you’re still breathing deep and the music continues to play. I kind of feel like I’m on mile 3 or 4 of a marathon. I haven’t quite hit my stride but I’ve got a good pace going and am looking forward to journey ahead. There will be moments I may stumble or want to call it quits but I know when I finish, I’ll be able to say I did my best and had fun doing it.
When I was 27, I completed treatment for leukemia, I stood beside one of my best friends as she got married, I watched the Pats win the Super Bowl, I snuggled with my Princess Phoebe about 1,000 times, I traveled to Italy, I quit my job, I saw my girl Beyonce sing Halo live and of course, I got engaged to the love of my life. Not sure how year 28 will be able to top that, but I’m willing to try!
Thank you to everyone who had reached out with your kind words and warm wishes for a special day. I am beyond blessed to have you all in my life.
Love & light,
A year ago today, I turned 25. A year ago today, I received the first round of my chemo cocktail. A year ago today, I started the journey that was my 25th year of life. And it was a hard one. The hardest one yet. Today, as I turn 26 on the 26th, I’m so grateful to be where I am at this moment. Turning a quarter century old, I wasn’t yet sure if I would be cured, if I would respond to my treatment plan, if I would live to see 26. I like to think that in my heart of hearts I knew I would beat this and I would win, but to be truthful, there is always that “what if” in the back of your head. But today I’m stronger and so much healthier than I was a year ago today. Today I know I’m going to be okay, that I still have a long road to walk but that I can do it and that I will do it. Today, instead of being in the hospital, eating the single worst meal of my life (an absolutely nauseating chicken stir fry), I’m going to be busy at work and then spending the night with my mom, dad and Michael at a delicious restaurant in Somerville! We will cheers over a delicious cocktail called the Dorchester (pink lemonade, vodka & a cucumber…so good!) and we will celebrate all that we overcame together in year 25 and toast to a healthier, easier, and just plain better year 26.
As I’ve said so many times, this situation has taught me such a great deal, but none more than how truly blessed I am for the support system that I have. My birthday seemed to come early this year when last week on my one year “anniversary,” #inspirationaljessy stories starting popping up on my newsfeed. SO many people reached out…close friends and family, previous coworkers, people I haven’t talked to in years, people I’ve never met at all but read my blog. It was incredible. It made what was supposed to be a day of sadness, a day of celebration and happiness. The love I felt on that day was something I will never, ever forget and I thank each and every one of you who made it so special. It was the best birthday present I could ever have asked for.
People say turning 26 on the 26th means it’s your “Golden Birthday” and I think there couldn’t be a better time to have a golden birthday. So my birthday wish is to to have a golden year, one that sparkles and shines, one that brings out the best in me and allows me to help others, one that continues on my road to recovery. My wish is that this year is truly magical. Because a girl can dream, can’t she?
p.s. yesterday at clinic, my amazing nurses surprised me with a beautiful birthday cake and “happy birthday” sing-a-long. It was so sweet and absolutely made my day so wanted to share some pics!
Today’s a big day, it’s Michael’s birthday. So today, my bear, I want to tell you the 10 reasons why I love you the most.
1. Your smirk
2. How you give me endless scratchies
3. Your perfection of the crab dance
4. You’ve made my friends and family yours
5. The way you write me love notes
6. The fact that you love buff chix nachos as much as me
7. The way you make me giggle everyday
8. You slow dance with me in the living room
9. You are Plans Stevens and I’m Plans Moran
10. The fact that you’ve stuck by my side, holding my hand, giving me kisses and hugs, every single day of this past year
I simply love you, with all my heart, forever and ever, to the moon and back. SO MUCH.
p.s. bald is beautiful.
I’ve decided I’m going to try to do a post every Sunday and talk about three things I’m thankful for that day. Not all serious or “important” but just little things in my life… right now, that I’m feeling lucky to have.
So here goes for March 23rd…
1. March Madness- I’ve always enjoyed the tournament but this year I’m in a few different brackets and seeing as I’m literally home all day I’ve been able to watch almost every game. And this specific year, there’s been some fantastic basketball. Tons of buzzer beater endings, a few that have not gone in my favor but in general, really exciting games. When choosing my teams, I like to have a few underdogs go far because if it happens, it’s so much fun. This year, I decided to go with number 10 seed, BYU to go to the Final Four on account of the word “Juggernaut” being used in their CBS team description. Unfortunately for me, that tactic failed in the first round and I’m now left with just a great team name….#JuggernautJessy. Three different leagues. All #JuggernautJessy. All with the exact same bracket. So right now, as you can see below, I’m pulling HARD for Iowa State. Huge Cyclones fan.
2. Living close to my family – when I was about to graduate from the University of Tampa, I felt very torn about whether or not to stay in Florida. I loved that city and all its gorgeous-weather perks but in the end, I decided to come back to New England because I knew I wanted to be close to my family in order to be here for all the little things in life that I knew I wouldn’t want to miss out on. Never have I been happier or more thankful that I made that decision. I couldn’t have gotten through this past month, and wouldn’t be able to get through this next chapter of my life, without them here by my side. Yesterday that lesson rang true yet again when we were able to have a very special day as a family, all together, to re-celebrate my 25th birthday, St. Patricks Day and celebrate my Dad’s 57th birthday.
3. Bagels and cream cheese- pretty self explanatory but hot damn have I been on a roll with them lately. In my normal life, I typically have yogurt and granola every morning for breakfast but with my appetite out of this world and my body torching calories at a ridiculous rate, I’ve switched over to these savory and absolutely scrumptious morning delights. Asiago anyone?
What are you thankful for on this first Sunday in Spring? I hope it’s something fabulous!