This is the spectacular view taken from my mom's hospital room. Today I am brimming with gratitude. I'm so thankful that I work with such phenomenal people, that they let me leave early today to be by my mom's side. I'm grateful that I live in this part of the world, where my mom is getting top notch care, and that we get to look out upon this - a sunny, spectacular city surrounded by beautiful mountains, and call it home.
I'm grateful that my mom and our family, are supported by countless friends and family members, who are constantly calling, texting, dropping off food - people really never cease to amaze me with their generous spirits. I'm grateful that I got to sit in the hospital room and see my dad holding onto my mom's hand, staying by her side, even though he's running on three hours sleep, and showing me that after almost 50 years of marriage, their love is as strong as ever.
Our days are what we make of them. And as hard as some days are, if we look closely enough, there are these little amazing moments all around us.
I hope you have a stellar Friday planned! The baby girl is in bed, and I've got a glass of red wine with my name all over it. peace and love xoxo
A two year old's perspective - OMG exactly how long do I have to wait for this bathtub to fill!?!
Pause to dramatically lean on the tub like a seasoned actress. Waiting for her beloved bubble bath clearly is the longest day of her life.
Being a kid totally rocks.
Have an amazing weekend friends! I will still be taking my 365 photos, but won't be posting them until Monday or Tuesday. We're having a much needed family lovefest for my mom. I hope your weekend is full of delicious food, fantastic company and as many laughs as you can gather. xoxox
The other day I was out running errands and saw that a local store was selling off their winter boots for half price. I've been avoiding stores for a few months because we've been really tight financially.
But when someone who is your greatest ally in life tells you they have a very frightening and aggressive form of cancer, you get a pair of shit kicking boots that make you feel like you can do this - you can fight back and kick cancer right in the ass.
I've been quiet on this site lately because for the first time in my life, I feel absolutely terrified. It's like waking repeatedly in a nightmare. Sleep is restless, emotions run the gamut from weeping in the shower to finding the strength to keep my daily routine going.
Friends from all over have been checking in with texts, calls, visits, food, you name it -support like I've never known. And yet anyone who has stared grief down can tell you, you've never felt so alone because it is all up to you to pull yourself through this. But I sure am grateful that I have so many tremendous shoulders readily available, not to mention an amazing little redhead who I have the privilege of mothering, who is literally saving my spirit through this process by being her cheerful self because that is all she knows how to be. She is oblivious to this, and I am so envious.
Tonight while on the phone with my brother, crying to him about how scared I am, he reminded me that we need to band together and stay positive, fight this together and give it everything we have.
So, I put on my boots.
I started educating myself on everything I could get my hands on about slowing down the army of tumours.
You can be healthy, you can be a saint, and you can still get cancer.
I can't reiterate this enough that life doesn't come with any guarantees. Life is short. Nothing is more important than the people around you and the time you share. Nothing else matters. Seriously.
So when I put them on and felt strong for the first time since receiving the news I thought, I'm buying these motherf#&cking boots. xoxo
I'm drinking in all the little moments that bring me joy - watching my two old timey pets have their afternoon naps as the sun streams in, watching my daughter play with her sweet friend or watching her insist on sampling a lemon with expected results. xoxo
Hello lovelies. I hope you had a wonderful weekend: 1) doing something special for yourself and 2) sharing time with people you love.....not because it was a hallmark holiday, but because this is how we should spend every weekend. xoxo
I've thought of nothing but love lately. This beautiful woman is my Valentine.
When we think of our life's big loves, we often think of our romances, but honestly my mom is one of the great love stories of my life. Our paths crossed because of circumstances, she had lost a child and I was up for adoption. And as soon as our eyes locked, it was love.
My mom is this woman who takes care of everyone in her vicinity. She is the single most giving soul I've ever met. In December, gathering for her birthday, we all went around the table to say what we loved most about my mom and "the most thoughtful", "the most giving", "the most generous "....were all common phrases spoken. My sister in law said it best when she said, "She's just the best person I know."
This has been the hardest week of my life, trying to wrap my brain around the word cancer and all of the terrifying unknowns attached to it. I still can't make it more than two hours straight without crying. I think anyone will tell you that once someone you love gets cancer, you've never felt so helpless because you just want to do everything you can to take it away from them.
I want to be little again, sitting on her lap, listening to the way her voice sings as she reads.
I want to be picking strawberries with her and having her kiss my berry stained face.
I want to be a teenager, shopping with her, and grabbing lunch, chatting about all of the tribulations of life.
I want to be travelling every road trip we ever did together, camping under the redwoods in California, spending countless weekends in our cabin at Mt. Baker, doing our mom-daughter getaways to the gulf islands or kicking our heels up in Arizona.
I want every conversation we've shared over endless cups of tea.
I want it all back. Because in those moments, there was no cancer.
So we will gather the troops, carry her on our shoulders, give her every ounce of our love, energy and hope and show the universe that cancer is not welcome in this family. In fact, it can fuck right off.
I have to give thanks to my friends, who have shown me repeatedly how incredible they are. I have fallen in love with them all over again this week with their amazing support. And of course, Stella and Craig, who show me on a daily basis that ours is a home full of love. xoxo
Hi lovelies! What are you up to for your weekend? In BC, we have our Family Day long weekend. I am psyched because we have a fun lineup for Sat/Sun/Mon full of friends we haven't had the luxury of seeing in awhile paired with delicious meals.
Tonight while the hubby is out, and the baby girl is asleep, I'm looking forward to pouring a glass of vino and relaxing to this romantic flick:
Have you seen Before Sunrise & Before Sunset? I'm a huge fan.
Have a wonderful evening! xo
Earlier in the day, when we arrived home from a busy morning, I had rested my mug on the roof of our car, to unload my daughter in our driveway. Later in the day, when I had to do errands, I drove 15 minutes, making five turns before pulling into this parking spot, climbing out of the car, only to see my mug still sitting on the roof of the car.
I'm sure there is a scientific explanation for this, but I like to think I am one smooth driver.
I'm pretty sure when I learned how to drive, you're supposed to do some sort of spot check of the vehicle before you enter it.
(Also, yes, I am aware that this could have been extremely dangerous had it shot off the car and hit someone, and that I should, in fact, purchase a proper travel mug for coffee on the go.)
In my humble opinion, Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of the greatest actors of his generation. He was The Actor whose films I would see simply because his name was attached to them: The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Along Came Polly, Mission Impossible III, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Almost Famous, 25th Hour, Owning Mahoney, Capote, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Doubt, The Savages, Moneyball, Charlie Wilson's War, The Ides of March - I don't think I've ever embraced an actor's body of work as much as Philip Seymour Hoffman's. There are several phenomenal actors in his class, like Sean Penn and Daniel Day Lewis, but for Philip, it was the rangeof characters he could portray. He could be riveting as a villain (Mission Impossible III), completely transformative (Capote), sympathetically oafish (the Savages) - I just know that when he was on screen, I was transfixed. Forty-six years old, he leaves behind his girlfriend Mimi, who he's been with for fifteen years and their three children. It's so sad that in the end, after 23 years of sobriety, his addiction re-surfaced and cut a brilliant life too short. Here's one of his greatest performances:
More than ever, I've noticed how after spending time with friends, I've walked away feeling so inspired by the courageous way they live their lives. Through their actions, and conversations we share I always leave feeling ready to tackle the world.
When Janet lost her son, at 10 days old, I stayed by her side in the hospital, bringing her food and holding her hand. It wasn't until I had a daughter of my own, did I truly realize the gravity of what she experienced or the sheer magnitude of her resilience. I always knew she was strong, but now when I reflect upon how she handled that life altering situation, I realize that she just may be the strongest person I know.
When my friend Tam lost her father to cancer, she quickly learned the value of time and how limited ours is on this planet. She sold her home and traded in a highly successful management position for a part time position and turned her focus to charity - selling her homemade cards and amazing baking, with all of the proceeds going to charities she holds close to her heart, including the S.P.C.A and the hospice that lovingly cared for her father. I've never been so proud of her. For more of her amazing work, look here.
My friend Danielle was fed up with the rat race in the Lower Mainland. Danielle and her hubby quit their jobs and packed up their family, driving across Canada until they found a place they wanted to call home. You can read about her adventurous life in Nova Scotia here.
My friend Tricia is one of those people who inspire you to be a better person because she is the most thoughtful person I have ever come across. For example, my daughter was sick, she left us a new puzzle wrapped beautifully on our doorstep. When it was my anniversary, I came home from work to find an amazing bottle of Prosecco on my doorstep. She slips me beautiful cards all the time. Whenever we spend any time together, I always say to my husband that her kindness is beyond measure and she always makes me want to do better.
My friend Forbes lives true to who she is in a world that I'm ashamed to say does not make that road easy. It should be easy because love is love - that should be the end of the story....but for some reason, there are still people who are ignorant and prejudiced, who haven't fully evolved yet. I am always proud of her and hope one day her daughter realizes that she has these amazing moms blazing a trail for future generations to be brave too.
My friend Kim listened to her heart and her gutt and walked away from the familiar into the unknown, which is never an easy choice for anyone. As I saw her setting up her new home, starting over, I knew what she had endured to get to that place, and that it wasn't an easy journey, but I could see that she was finally exhaling and at peace. She persevered.
My friend Leah became a mom before she was ready to, providing a loving and stable home to a little girl desperately in need of one. She was brave and strong at just the right moment and her impact will have a lasting impression, I have no doubt of this.
I have so many stories like these from women I know and love dearly. I don't want any of my friends to feel excluded who I didn't write about because they really are so inspiring to me - whether it's my friend Caroline who is always the first person to show up in a time of crises and is continuously making food for someone who is sick or in need, or my friend Kerry who chose love, even at the risk of losing friends, because love is always the right road. There are so many stories of heros in the news, but I often find them right across the table from me while we're sharing a cup of coffee.