Farm fun!

Yesterday we headed to a friend’s house, who happens to have a farm. Jacob was in his glory!  It was like all of the animals that he reads about in his books suddenly appeared before him. He couldn’t chase the ducks fast enough, although he was able to outrun them when they turned towards him quacking! He loved using “nice hands” on the dog-dog and thought it was the coolest thing ever to pick up fresh chicken eggs! The pond was awfully tempting to play in on a hot summer day too. He tried sneaking a leg in a few times!

All of the plants at Alimonti Farms are edible and the trees were covered in fruit!  It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon and Jacob loved every moment! Hearing him make all the animal noises and having the animals talk back was awesome!

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I graduated!

I’ve attended a few graduations in my years. My big sister’s helped prepare me for what to expect a year later at my high school graduation. When I graduated with my two year degree, I was excited and surprised to receive an award for excellence. For my four year degree, I had initially decided not to walk the stage but later decided to walk – with my family cheering me on from the crowd.

Today’s graduation was a bit different. It wasn’t a two or four year event in the making but it had been a long process for the past four months. Initially focusing on one area and then moving to the next, the progress could be seen but the emotional and physical stresses could not. A few weeks ago I decided to slow down my expansion process by adding on one more so that the pain and discomfort would ease over the weekend following each expansion. This has greatly improved my comfort level and I still finished when I wanted.

So today, I received my last saline expansion for a total of 620 cc on the right and 670 on the left. Though the expanders are positioned oddly (to me), I feel a new sense of comfort and relief…a new normal. I have graduated from the weekly visits to the plastic surgeon and although I will miss the laughter and jokes, I am glad I won’t be returning for 3 months.  There isn’t a stage to walk across in celebration of today but there is a massive smile on my face that basically sums up my thoughts. Hooray!

Another phase complete on this journey.

My baby sister

Life has been a little busy this month and I both welcome the daily chaos and curse the lack of the mundane. This week has been especially busy as we prepare for the coming week’s festivities – my baby sister’s wedding.  One of the ways I have been trying to prepare is by writing out my Maid of Honor speech. Though I have written and spoke a few before, this step always gives me pause. I want it to be creative, meaningful and with just a hint of humor. In preparing for this speech, I’ve been reflecting on our childhood and recent years with my baby sister.

I remember the moment my mom told me she was pregnant with her. I recall looking up to my mom as she sat on the wooden bench in our kitchen, her dirty blonde hair laying just below her shoulders. My big sister and little sister stood on either side of me as we listened to the exciting news.  I remember watching my mom’s belly grow with my sister inside of her. I don’t recall the moment she was born but I know the days following…picking her up gently from her crib and changing her cloth diaper. Bringing her upstairs with milk to watch cartoons with me on an early Saturday morning. I remember the way she always wanted to be around her sisters. The way she played softball always amazed me, like it was second nature for her to hit that ball across the entire field. Her laughter has always been infectious and I find myself looking forward to the moments that she can still make me giggle. I once worked at a before-school program that she attended and I distinctly remember how much I admired her determination to do the right thing and stick up for others.

After I moved to Florida, she would visit and we would stay up all night playing board games by candle light when the storms knocked the power out. We have countless memories of the beach, spotting dolphins & manatees and watching the sunset. My visits to Georgia are filled with tours of her town, shopping sprees and ice cream. She always has a list of things for us to do together so she can show me the town she loves so much.

All of these memories fill my heart and yet I know that we still have an entire lifetime of more memories to make together. And though I don’t want time to pass too quickly, I cannot wait for all of the incredible journeys that are ahead of us.

Though I have not completed my speech just yet, I find comfort in remembering all of these priceless moments that I have been so blessed to have with her.

Tell me, friends…what do you think makes the best wedding speech?

Wednesday blessings

It’s been a while, friends and I’m sorry for the disappearing act! What better way to get back into the swing of things than to share some blessings?!

1.  My amazing support system of family and friends – they continue to amaze and inspire me daily!
2.  Vacation – which is approaching quickly and so exciting because we celebrate the love between my baby sister and her soon to be husband!!!
3.  Laughter – my sweet boy loves to giggle and there is no better sound in the world!

Tell me your blessings, friends! Let’s make this Wednesday wonderful!

Spread the love

It’s been a rough week for Central Florida. There has been a lot of heartache and too much tragedy.  Through these challenging times, the community is coming together in the most incredible ways to spread love and overcome the horrific events that have occurred.

Spreading love needs to become a regular thing in our day to day lives…not just within our families and friends but with folks that we may not know.  The power of a smile or a hello is amazing. It can literally change someone’s entire day around.

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I was sad that last treatment round that I didn’t have Love Jars to drop off. I have been meaning to make more but life has been busy.  Tonight though, I made them a priority – and little man helped too!  They may not be the fanciest jars that I’ve made but they are absolutely filled with love and blessings from my heart. I can only hope that someone’s day is brightened, just a little, by picking one up tomorrow.

Though it is a very small gesture in this big, beautiful world, it is something I can do to spread love.  And that makes my heart smile.

Continue to love hard, friends. Spread the love, always.

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Being memorable

I recently had an encounter with someone where we chatted for a few minutes, introductions and all, discussed things we had in common and laughed. I remember this person’s name, the way they walked and the sound of their voice.

I reached out to this person after our encounter to ask a question and they were unsure of who I was. Happy to help, sure, but no acknowledgement of our encounter or the time that we chatted.  Now, I will say…I am sure, especially with chemo fog, that I have unintentionally done this before.  For this recent experience though, I was a little surprised and quite embarrassed.

So I’m wondering, has this happened to you? I can’t be alone in the world with this particular experience! 😄😐😶😆