Sometimes I walk around the house with a smudging stick, burning the incense and blessing the house and the people & pup in it- my body, the food we eat, the house we live in, the bed we sleep in… I bless everything.
Five years ago if you would’ve told me I’d be doing such a thing, I would’ve made a snarky remark that that type of routine is for a crazy person.
But then life happened and I was forced into exploring my spirituality.
At first I thought it must be in the four walls of a church… I tried that a few times but always felt like I was forcing something that just didn’t feel right.
Then I started practicing yoga for more than just the physical benefits but for the emotional and mental benefits-the simple act of slowing down and focusing on your breath. That opened the door to mantras – affirmations I choose to say to myself – words which resonate with me that I can bring to the surface at any point when I need it most. I started writing down what I’m thankful for each night, even if it’s small, just to ensure myself that I was inserting gratitude into every day. I started meditating. I started praying- to what or who, I actually can’t say- just to a higher being that I know can hear me.
For a girl who felt uneasy in a church and uncomfortable reciting prayers- I have become extremely comfortable with spirituality and what it means to me.
It brings me strength, it provides me guidance and offers me comfort in times I need it most.
I found “the higher power,” in myself. I found spirituality deep in my own soul.
My hope is that you too explore spirituality in an authentic way- that you don’t force yourself into the predetermined box that can often be considered religion – that you don’t judge yourself for thinking or acting in ways you once may not have. My hope is that you can begin to find what spirituality means to you, not by how others tell you it should look, but based only on how it makes you feel. If you open your mind to alternative ways of accessing your inner self and the greater universe around you, I promise, it’ll be a beautiful thing.
Wedding fever has officially subsided. It’s been exactly one month since Mike & I tied the knot and became husband and wife. So, before the lovely details of the day begin to fade away, I want to write about just how incredible July 22, 2017 was in my life.
Well, I should first start by saying it wasn’t just July 22- it was the whole long weekend and the entire honeymoon. It began as soon as Mike & I crossed the Sagamore Bridge into the Cape on that Thursday. After we unloaded odds & ends for the wedding at our venue, The Dennis Inn, we checked into the house he rented for the four days (the place he would have his groomsmen and friends before the wedding!), dropped our bags and walked to the beach. Jumping in the cold Atlantic Ocean together seemed like the perfect way to begin what would be some of the best days of our lives. That night, we had our first ever “dual-family party” and some of our immediate family members who have never met finally got to. The flower girls practiced throwing petals, my mom made a teary-eyed speech, and my thoughts kept going to how “right” this newly merged family felt.
Before we knew it, rehearsal day was here and we were welcoming our family and wedding party to the Dennis Inn to lounge by the pool before the official festivities began. Us ladies started making ourselves at home in the bridal suite, getting mani and pedis by Cape Cod Mobile Nail Company. All fun and games until I was walking down the aisle with my parents and saw Mike at the end of the aisle when it really hit me that this moment was finally happening– that our special day was about to become a reality. After the practice-run had been completed, it was time to get the celebrations started. And celebrations to Mike and I typically mean some sort of fantastic food so it was time to chow down on lobster and clam chowder. As the rehearsal dinner ended, so came the rest of our guests that were here for the entire weekend! All of our closest friends and family here to celebrate our love– I remember feeling overwhelmed as I looked around that night and saw the mix of family, friends from home, friends from college, colleagues, even one of my doctors had made it for the “night-before” festivities. I think that’s one of the most special things about a wedding– having every corner of your life represented, melding into one life together- it’s a kind of love and gratefulness I’ve never experienced before and am so thankful that I had the opportunity to feel it.
And then the day we’ve dreamt of for so long came.
Speaking for the ladies, we woke up and were lucky enough to be led thru a beautiful “wedding morning yoga flow” by Mike and I’s weekly yoga instructor from Somerville. It was so meaningful to me to start my day with the women in my life that I love so much doing something that means so much to me. Some of them had never done yoga before, some of them may have been a bit hungover from the welcome party the night before, but they all showed up and participated because they knew it meant a lot to me. I felt about a million times more relaxed and calm when we finished and in the right mindset to take on such a big day in my life. Plus, I needed my “yoga glow” in order to look my best. And then it was onto becoming a beautiful bride!
When I was growing up, my mom used to remind me how important getting butterflies in your stomach was. She would leave me notes that had butterflies on them after high school heartbreaks and tell me that one day the butterflies would return. So when I heard the music begin and I looked out the bathroom window to watch Michael walk down the aisle, I was delighted to feel my stomach flip and hundreds of butterflies flutter around my belly. In truth, however, those butterflies are nothing new- he’s been giving me butterflies since the moment I met him. As I walked outside to walk down that aisle, my parents on each side, I felt like I was floating. I wasn’t nervous- I was excited. Beyond excited. I was thrilled- elated- grateful- so so so very happy. I was finally marrying the man I’ve wanted to marry for what feels like a lifetime. I was being given the opportunity, that on some days throughout these five years, I wasn’t sure I’d get to have. In fact, the month leading up to the wedding I had been having trouble sleeping and getting really anxious about “making it” to the wedding. Some bad thoughts were going thru my head that I believe were arising because of just how much I wanted this day to happen- how much I wanted to marry my Michael. So in that moment, as I walked towards him on that sunny afternoon, surrounded by all those we love, as birds were chirping and Halo was being played in the background, I truly felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
But then something amazing happened… that feeling of “luckiest girl in the world” came over and over and over the rest of the day.
I felt it when Mike said his beautiful vows
I felt it when I heard Dr.Mandy pronounce us husband and wife
I felt it when Mike spun me around and my dress twirled like I’ve always dreamt of
I felt it when Phoebe appeared in a beautiful flower collar so we could take pictures with her
I felt it when I listened to my dad give the most incredible speech
I felt it when he thanked the entire table of nurses and doctors from Dana Farber and every single guest rose to their feet to cheer and give them the praise that they all deserve
I felt it when I looked around at dinner and saw everyone I love in one room
I felt it when I, as well as everyone else, was sweating profusely from dancing so hard
I felt it when the last song, Young Forever, came on and everyone made a circle around us as we danced and took the moment in
I felt it when we went upstairs after everyone had left and we popped a bottle of champagne and looked thru the pictures and notes from the photobooth
I felt it when I laid my head on the pillow and couldn’t sleep because I was still smiling as I replayed every detail of the day
I felt like the luckiest girl in the world and one month in, I still do. I married my best friend and you can’t ask for much better than that!
So as we crossed over the Sagamore Bridge back to Boston, it was easy to be okay with “our day” being done. We had 10 days of honeymoon Hawaiian living to look forward to and the rest of our life together to be excited about!
Thank you to everyone that celebrated with us that day, and to everyone that sent us blessings and well-wishes. We are two very lucky individuals to have you all in our lives.
Lots of love & light,
More wedding pics and a video I made of footage from our honeymoon!
In a few days, I get to marry Michael. It feels like this day has been on my mind for years. Not just the day I get to wear a pretty white dress, but the day I get to marry my best friend. The day I get to commit myself to another human being- my person- in front of everyone that we love.
If I’m being honest, there have been so many moments in the past year- but especially in the past month, that I’ve let the stress of planning–essentially the biggest party of my PlansMorans career— get in the way of how joyous this period is supposed to be. I’ve become consumed in the details and the stress of making everything perfect. My temper has been short and my feelings have been easily hurt and the ironic part is that that man that I’m marrying is the one who has received the brunt of it. (Also my mom….my mom has seen some tears.) So, if you’re reading this Mike– I’m sorry, I love you, I promise my fuse is not typically this short! Thank you for dealing with my rollercoaster of emotions.
But as of tomorrow, the planning will be over and the celebrating will begin. And by Friday, nearly everyone that means the most to us will be on the Cape to help us celebrate. I can’t get over how amazing that’s going to be. When else in your life are you surrounded by, truly, all those you love? Hometown friends, college friends, mentors, in our case- our incredible team of doctors and nurses and of course, both of our families? It’s an occasion that we’re lucky to experience and I so want to relish in every second… I want to soak up every ounce of love and bottle it up!
But since I can’t physically bottle up this weekend, my goal is to take mental snapshots. Remember Mike’s face, remember our officiants words, remember the feel of hugs from friends and family. Remember the butterflies in my stomach when we kiss for the first time as husband and wife. Remember the euphoric feeling when looking around and seeing faces from near and far. Remember how bad my feet hurt after a night of epic dancing. But most of all, I hope I remember the feel of Mike’s hands holding mine, the look in his eye when he promises to be my husband, the wind whipping past my cheek as he spins me around the dance floor. I want to remember every detail from the day I become the wife of the man I love so much, my partner in life, my best friend, my soulmate.
I am so excited for this day, this weekend, our honeymoon but I am most excited for another chapter in our life to begin together. In the six years we’ve known each other, we have experienced a lot of ups and downs- career struggles and stress, a cancer diagnosis, a mother lost, but babies (and a puppy!) have also been born, we’ve traveled, we’ve laughed, we’ve danced, we’ve had so many firsts, we’ve had so many happy moments together. With each hurdle, we’ve stuck together and lifted each other up. And with each positive experience, it’s felt more intense, more beautiful, more incredible because we’ve had each other to share it with.
Meeting Michael was the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. Making it to the day that I get to marry him was a far-away dream. For a brief moment, that dream flickered, but on Saturday it’s a dream that gets to come true. And that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. My life is better with him in it- our lives are better with each other in it- and for that, I am overwhelmingly thankful.
To everyone who has been a part of supporting, nourishing and bringing happiness to our relationship- thank you!
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.
I haven’t written a blog post since my port was removed. That was March 13.
I thought that by not writing about cancer or talking about cancer, I wouldn’t think about cancer. But there’s still not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. To be honest, there’s hardly an hour that goes by without it popping into my mind.
Is writing like riding a bike?
Can you not write for years and then start back up again- like you never stopped?
I hope so, cuz I’m ready to start riding again. Wait, I mean writing.
Four months of being a stay-at-home pup mom brings up a lot of emotions and they varied everyday. One day I would be jacked up when Mike got home, so excited to talk to someone- to a HUMAN! Omg! And then others I’d be down, unable to keep a conversation because I felt so bad about myself. I felt guilty that I didn’t have a job, I wasn’t making money for our family, and that I didn’t have a better direction of where I wanted to go than I did the day before. I over-compensated by trying to do every single household chore one can think of. I became an award-winning chef. I got to spend time with family members that I know I wouldn’t have been able to if I had been working full time. There was so much good that happened in these months yet some days seemed so very difficult, so lonely and sad. What I learned, is that I need some sort of structure, I need to have a purpose, I need to feel part of a team. More than be part but I need to feel like I’m an equal part to the team. It’s essential to my happiness. Without it, I feel unworthy. Whether or not that’s a healthy realization, that’s yet to be determined. But it certainly is true for me. I’ve begun telling myself “I am worthy” during meditation. That’s because I am. But I don’t always believe it. I don’t always believe that I am worthy of this life I have been given- one with many abundances, many positive relationships, and above all, one that is healthy again. Feeling worthy is essential. It’s a piece of life I definitely haven’t mastered but I’m working on. I hope you read this and remind yourself that you’re worthy too. You’re worthy of all the good things that have happened to you, you’re worthy of all the blessings you’ve been given, you’re worthy of this life… your life.
With that simple post, I feel accomplished and I feel like I can start writing again. I’ve had my down moments in the past 3-4 months but I also have had amazing moments- I’ve gone tubing with my whole family, I’ve helped throw and had my own bridal shower & bachelorette party! I’ve traveled to Vermont, Florida and Austin. I’ve gone on long walks with phoebs on the beach. I watched my baby brother graduate college. I’ve gone to sporting games and concerts. I picked out my WEDDING ring! I’ve done SO much actually now that I’m looking back. And the best part is that new things are happening and there’s so much more to look forward to! I want to remember every bit of it… so it’s time to start documenting!
Happy weekend! Hoping you get to soak up the rays of sun that have finally decided to come out to play! ☀️
When I was growing up, my dad always said I was like a pendulum. I swang either really high or really low. I was either elated over scoring tickets to an *NSYNC concert or I was hysterical over a boy not dancing with me at a middle school dance.
Lately, I’ve been feeling just like that. There are moments like last Thursday, when it’s 60 degrees in February and I’m able to take Phoebe to the beach and sink my toes in the sand. The pendulum swings high. And then there are moments around 3:30pm this Thursday when I realize the day is coming to a close, and I’ve yet to make any money this week. The pendulum swings low. In those low moments, I begin second-guessing my decision to leave my steady job and salary. I struggle with the idea that I can still be a worthy human being without making money or having a successful career. Logically I know this to be true but emotionally I haven’t gotten there yet. I spend so much time staring off into the sky overthinking what I’m supposed to do with my life and how I can make a quick buck. It’s stressful to have bills and have to dip into savings to pay them. Or even worse, having to ask you’re partner for help. That’s the epitome of the low swinging pendulum in my mind. The last thing I ever wanted to do in my life was depend on anyone else financially yet somehow I find myself having to do that every time I go grocery shopping.
So many ups and downs. Ups when I’m able to take my own dog to the park rather than pay someone to do it for us. Down when my dogs barking at me because I’m trying to do work at the kitchen table. Up when I’m able to spend time cooking a healthy meal. Down when I realize I’ve been cooking this healthy meal for two hours and my fiancé is still two hours from being home from work. Up when your mom is able to visit you on a weekday. Down when she leaves and you feel lonely because you now don’t have anyone to interact with the rest of the day.
So many emotions in the past few weeks that it’s hard to process. I know I can’t speed up the universe but I wish I could. I want so badly to be on a steady path and know how I should proceed. How if I continue to wander aimlessly like this for months or even years? That’s feels like a nightmare.
The question is, do you shoot for highs even though you understand that youll of end up in the low sometimes too? Or do you aim to be constistenly in the middle? Although I, ironically, am the middle child, I’ve never enjoyed being in the middle of the pack. And right now, I don’t even feel in the middle, I feel like I’m falling to the back of the pack. But if I go back to that pendulum analogy, it should only be a matter of time until I’m on that high swing again.
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.
3 years ago on this morning, I was in a hospital bed being woken by doctors and nurses. I was about to start one of the most physically painful and emotionally draining days of my life. I had just been diagnosed and rushed to the hospital the night before and today was the day I had to undergo multiple tests and procedures to determine just what kind of leukemia I had. January 21, 2014 was a day of absolute unknown and terror of what lie ahead.
3 years later I’m waking up in my own bed with no beeping machines or nurses poking me for blood. Instead I can hear my wind chime outside, birds chirping and Phoebe is snuggled up next to me demanding for scratchies. I’m wearing an engagement ring and get to marry the love of my life in 5 months. I’m going out to dinner with my best friend of 25 years tonight for her birthday. My life is in such a different place than it was on this day in 2014, it’s almost mind boggling.
3 years from today is still unknown. However, this time, fear has been replaced with excitement. Where will Mike & I be living? What will I be doing for work? Will I be a mom? There’s so much more living to do. There’s so much more I’m looking forward to and I feel beyond blessed that I get to feel these feelings of excitement and joy.
The beauty, and tragedy, in life is the same. You never know what life has in store for you. You never know if the hopes and dreams you have for yourself will be realized. But you do know that you have today, and this moment and this breath. So make the most of it. Enjoy it, savor it and soak up the sunshine that is your life.
Sending each and everyone of you – those who have my followed my blog from the beginning and those who have just found it- so much love and gratitude. I am thankful everyday for the prayers and positive energy that you have sent my way to get me to this day.
Love & light,
Valentine’s brings up many different emotions for a wide array of people. Happiness to those in healthy relationships, saddness to those that aren’t in one, longing or loneliness for those who want to be in a relationship. It brings pressure to those in relationships to make sure they do something special. And it brings anxiety to 7th graders when they’re waiting for their name to be called signifying that someone bought them a flower. I love love. I’m a sucker for all romantic comedies and I watch viral videos of engagement proposals. But I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day (as my parents can attest, I used to color the day black on the calendar as a way to “skip it” when I was probably 14.) But as time has gone on and I’ve been lucky enough to be in relationships, I’ve ended up enjoying the day as another reason to go out to dinner and hopefully get flowers for my kitchen table. But when thinking about it this year, it dawned on me that I have no idea what the origin of Valentine’s Day is? What does it actually mean? What’s the real purpose? How did people celebrate Valentine’s Day before there were boxes of chocolates and 1-800-flowers?
So I decided to look it up, and to be up front, I really don’t like the origins of this holiday. Let me give you a synopsis of where it comes from. In the century 3 A.D., the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia by men sacrificing a goat and a dog and then would whip women with the hides of these slained animals! Young women actually would line up for the men to hit them, because they believed that it would make them fertile. There was then a matchmaking selection in which a woman could be ‘coupled’ up with a man. So romantic, right?
The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name this day after Emperor Claudius II executed two men during this same festival— both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years. This, for some reason unknown to me, was then honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. As years passed, Shakespeare began writing about this day and romanticizing the realities of it which lead to popularity in European countries during the Middle Ages where people began creating handmade cards for their loved ones. by 1913, Hallmark of Kansas began mass producing “Valentine’s Day” cards and the rest is history.*
But what if we changed this day to simply a day of LOVE? Then anyone and everybody who wanted to celebrate could feel like they’re included on this day. Of course, those in healthy relationships that want to do something sweet for their partner, do it! But how about loving yourself? How about sending love out to the universe or to Mother nature? If we could all act in a loving way today– not to just those that we’re “in love” with but all those individuals, animals and things that we love, this day could be far more meaningful and positive in a world currently so divided.
Why not get a trash bag and pick up around your community? Love your mother Earth.
Why not send a letter to a friend that you haven’t talk to in a while and tell them how much they mean to you still.
Why not volunteer at a homeless shelter and show love to those individuals who very much need it?
Why not reach out to an old teacher and tell them that the love they put toward you has inspired you in someway?
Why not call your mom and dad and say thank you for all the love they’ve given you in your life?
Why not show yourself some love by getting a massage or going for a hike or doing whatever it is that your soul desires? Loving yourself is not selfish, it is actually selfless. Because if you don’t love you then there’s certainly no room for you to truly love others.
There are so many ways to show love– flowers and cards and chocolates and dinners are all nice– but there’s other ways to show you, your partner, your friend, your neighbor, and your world that you love them. Even if it’s just one act of loving kindness today, I dare you to do it.
Don’t let your Valentine’s Day be filled with negative emotions — sadness, loneliness, anxiety, anger– simply make YOUR Valentine’s Day a day full of L-O-V-E.
It’s been over a week since Mike and I returned home from our Italian vacation. I can’t believe how quickly time is going by lately. It seems like yesterday that we got engaged on Memorial Day weekend but in reality an entire summer full of fun has gone by and a vacation that we’ve been planning for two years has come to a close! In less than 300 days, (295 days to be exact) we say “I do.” My eyes bug out of my head when I read that — 295 days!!!!!– it’s funny how when times aren’t the best, the days go by at a snails pace and when they’re going great, the days go by in a blink of an eye. Although I wish I could slow it down a little, I’m feeling so excited, happy and most of all thankful that I’m getting to experience some of these special moments in life!
The last time I blogged, we were on a train to Florence so I wanted to share some more photos from the last two cities on our trip! Florence was filled with art (a big artistic wiener to be exact) and LOTS of food and wine! Venice was filled with streets made out of water and rooftop swimming & prosecco. This country is so beautiful, diverse and magical, I hope you all get to experience it one day!
family run hotel in Florence
my main man Guy Fieri in Italy!
old time wedding gowns
outside the Duomo
tasted the grapes and they were delicious!
rainbow in Tuscany!
rose all day. including the car ride back to Florence!
Davidddd, you stud you!
the most delicious balsamic!
having our engagement blessed by Grappa!
inside the Duomo
meat, cheese, wine.
becoming a wine expert
always reppin our phoebs
need this pool in my life more often
starting our tour with cheese, prosciutto and of course wine!
drinks in the street?! I LOVE ITALY!
being a local and drinking from the street
a bar from the 1500’s
The city of Love!
last night in Italy
On our way to Phoebs
Halfway home Phoebs!
Italia- you were the most delicious, gracious and fun hosts ever. Thank you for making our trip more magical than we could’ve even dreamed. Until next time. Ciao!