Symphony

29 Oct

fall
When I was growing up my house was always filled with music. We had a record player (those of you under 30?, ask your parents what that is) and I think for many years we played music much more than we watched television…probably why I love music so much. My dad would sing constantly; Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, etc. and when he wasn’t singing, he would be playing classical music and pretending to conduct an orchestra playing Beethoven, Chopin, Bach (usually in his robe and pajamas). I have very fond memories of sitting on our stairs watching my dad and sometimes even joining him.

This past week was an amazing week for me. I randomly ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and the reunion was beautiful (and tearful). She shared with me some of the things going on in her life and told me that I had come to her mind just the night before, so she prayed for me. That simple prayer led to her releasing some of her stress and then seeing me the next morning, after at least three years, confirmed to her that God cared for even the little things. Over the weekend I visited my alma mater and had another reunion with an old friend whom I’ve kept in contact with. It was surreal as we visited where we lived on and off campus and some of the places we used to hang out over 20 years ago. What was even better (to me), was sharing some of the memories we had from those college days. I realized how much she played a part in my life for that period of time.wmu

I am always in awe of the different people that I’ve gotten to meet and do life with; those that have weaved in and out of my story. Some who have consistently been a part of my ongoing journey and some who are there for just brief moments of time. I don’t believe in accidental meetings because I do believe in a much grander plan by a big God who never ceases to amaze me over and over. Life is like that beautiful symphony. The treble clef carries the melody; interactions, work, nature, beauty. The bass clef is the foundation; solid, consistent, feet on the ground. There are times when we have some sharps; exciting, thrilling, or just changing peaks and moments. Then there are flats; maybe setbacks or maybe just calm. God is the conductor and the different movements in a piece are the different movements of an ever changing life. People, events, job, day to day, those are the instruments; some loud, some soft, but all working together to form a beautiful piece of art called life. There are no mistakes.
Life, he realized, was much like a song. In the beginning there is mystery, in the end there is confirmation, but it’s in the middle where all the emotion resides to make the whole thing worthwhile~Nicholas Sparks

Today I wear Nars Audacious Lipstick in Anna. These are long lasting but surprisingly creamy and smooth and feels weightless on the lips. This color is a smokey rose color, easy to wear for anyone. I mainly chose it for the name because of course I love that name :) Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata….Cheers!

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Que Sera Sera

20 Oct

Annababy

Doing what I love-West Side Story

Doing what I love-West Side Story

ag
Once upon a time there was a shy little girl who had big huge dreams. She dreamed of being Little Orphan Annie, of having powers like Wonder Woman or at least ‘adjusted’ to have powers like Bionic Woman, she wanted a love story like Joanie and Chachi, style like Charlie’s Angels, she wanted to be in the Olympics or at least get hair like Dorothy Hamill, then Farrah Fawcett, then the Go Go’s, then style like Cyndi Lauper and Madonna (in the 80’s not later). She wanted to be a musician, a dancer, an astronaut, Miss America. By the way, if you know all my references then I can guess what age range you’re in! She loved the world and everything was possible.
lissabday50spartysonggirlsmeandfranDLA2

Years later just days before her 45th birthday she believes once again that anything is possible. Life is full of adversity that can take you off your path, distract you, and maybe deter some of your dreams. She learned that adversity doesn’t really change people, it just exposes their character and brings them closer to who they really are. So, through cancer and a broken relationship, she stands strong and looks back at the many miracles God has brought. The healing of her body and her heart, the closeness of old friends and the beauty of new ones, the realization that life can change in a moment of time, and the gratefulness for each breath. Her senses are hyper-aware of all the little things, the stars, the sky, the rain, but most of all the people that surround her. Life is beautiful.
fam

My dad used to sing this song around the house when I was young (along with a bunch of other songs, of course), I just thought it was fitting for this post. Que Sera Sera (great version), whatever will be will be…I’m overwhelmed looking back at all that has transpired and all the people God has put in my path (sorry I can’t put everyones pictures up but you know who you are). You have all inspired me, thank you and I love you…best birthday ever. Oh yeah, Marc Jacobs Lust For Lacquer lipgloss in Magic because of the name, duh!

3 Words

15 Oct

AW3.22
There are three words that have become synonymous with cancer fighters/survivors or really anyone who has or is fighting some type of battle externally or internally…COURAGE, BRAVERY, HOPE. I have been called courageous for fighting something I didn’t choose, but also had no choice but to fight back. What truly do these words mean?

Bravery and courage are sometimes used interchangeably but actually have very different origins and meanings. Today’s definition of brave means possessing or exhibiting courage, or courageous endurance. From Middle French it means splendid, valiant. It’s also an American Indian noun for North American Indian Warrior. Courage is interesting. ‘Cor’ is the Latin word for heart, and originally courage meant to speak one’s mind by telling one’s heart. Today it means acting heroic. Social researcher Brene’ Brown says “Heroics are often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line.” WOW. Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. In old English it is wish, expect, look forward to possibly connecting; root word ‘hop’-leaping in expectation.

Interesting. Can you have any one of these three words without the other? Can you have hope without bravery? Can you have bravery without courage (vulnerability)? See what I’m getting at? We need all three. If you go back to the definition of bravery and consider courageous endurance it takes on new meaning. Being brave requires ongoing vulnerability, enduring the road or path you are on valiantly.

All of us face battles every single day. Some internal, like illness, depression, cancer…battles with our bodies. Other battles are external;jobs, relationships, conflict. The only aspects in our control we really have with both are our attitudes and our actions. I have had a tough week but because of my faith I always have hope, and since the three words go together… I guess I am brave and courageous too. We can’t control others’ actions, just ours. I love my life. Pressing on…

Today I wear Dior Glow…my standby, constant. It’s a lip balm that somehow brings out the natural color of your lips. It’s simply awesome, get your inner glow on! Cheers!

Live Today

12 Oct

oneleft

I passed several of these flowering plants leaving an office last week while working. What I found so beautiful about them during this season was that on each of the plants there were only one or two flowers left. While most of the flowers had died already, there were one or two bursts of yellow on each; flowers appearing healthy in bloom, beautiful…survivors. So I got to thinking (of course), are we merely focused on surviving every day, or are we, like this flower, pushing every moment, taking in the sun, taking all the nutrients available, to truly live as much as possible? Yes I know it’s a stretch but that’s how my mind works. Sometimes life seems like survival of the fittest. Every day testing our patience, our kindness, our worth, our fears, every moment of every hour challenging us to make the right decision, then that choice leading us into the next moment, then the next decision, it’s kind of a lot.

What does it mean to truly live and not just keep your mind in survival mode? This past week I went to a fundraising dinner to support a great organization that I mentioned in a previous blog. They are doing some amazing work rebuilding a small section in Detroit. Although things haven’t happened quickly, they are making progress bit by bit. One of the speakers challenged us by asking how change happens…his answer, one step, one day at a time. Another spoke about pouring out your life into others because the return is 1000 fold. I am a believer. I’ve talked about this a million times before but sometimes we only get one chance to impact someone’s life and you leave them walking away feeling something. I want my impact to be a positive one. Receiving 1000 times back? Yes, when I was sick I was overwhelmed by the support from everyone I knew, some I hadn’t seen or talked to in at least 20 years. Pour an ounce of yourself, your time, your support, your smile into someone…it comes back. All this junk, the stuff we collect is just stuff. So what does it mean to truly live? For me, first noticing the beauty and being grateful for today. Like those flowers, we are surrounded by miracles all day every day, if you just keep your eyes open and notice. Second, pour into people; arms open, hands open, heart open…it comes back beyond what you can imagine. Oh yeah, take a risk and sneak in something daring when you can too! Always good to feel your heart racing every now and then!

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.~ Henry David Thoreau

Today I wear Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in L.U.V. which is a rich purple color. She is known for her tattoos and red lips so of course her lipstick is long lasting and full of color. Since this is matte it’s a little dry for me although I do have a couple other colors that are not too drying. I chose it because it’s a hot color for the season and for the name. We could all use a little more love! Cheers!

Happily Ever After

5 Oct

ut mts

Happily Ever After. That statement means alot of things to different people. Disney and Hollywood have made it a phrase to mean you’ve found your Prince Charming… the end. For some this may be true but I’m guessing for most it’s not. Maybe for some it means they’ve made it in their career, or maybe finally discovered what they’re meant to do or where they’re meant to be, and maybe for others it means getting the report that you’re cancer free. Like I said, could mean many different things, but the phrase itself puts a little pressure on people don’t you think? Is that what we’re all striving for? The happily ever after?

I’m not saying that it’s not good to have happiness as a goal, but life is constantly full of challenges and adversity. Most of the time I’m not whistling while I work and birds are not braiding my hair every morning (unfortunately); but here’s the great thing, there’s always an end. The challenges we face day to day, year to year always have an ending, not always the ending that you want but they do end at some point hopefully leaving us with nuggets of wisdom and a little stronger along the way. Our history and experiences shapes us into who we are, and what’s beautiful is that when there’s an end, there’s also a beginning. So maybe Disney got it all wrong. Happily Ever After shouldn’t be at the end, maybe it should be at the beginning because with each new day we get a fresh start or at least a fresh perspective based on where we’ve been and the decisions that we’ve made, good or bad.

The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.~ Arnold Bennett

Today’s lipstick is Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy (which is a pale pink color) with MAC Lustreglass lipgloss in Love Nectar (which is a shimmery peachy-pink) on top. I chose the two together because they are similar shades, both easy to wear but the gloss adds a little bit of pop. The names also remind me of the fairytales of Disney…Boy(s) and Love. Cheers!

Fly

28 Sep

hawk in yard
I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I’m going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that as long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.~C. JoyBell

I love this quote for several reasons. Partly because I think it explains to me why I’ve always loved watching large birds fly; they remain suspended in air for so long just letting the wind carry them and it’s always been amazing to me. I love the beauty and mostly the freedom of it. I love the sentence that says the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings because it rings so true. There are many things in life that can keep us on the ground so to speak, fear’s a big one; fear of making the wrong decision, fear of looking stupid, fear of what others may think, or simply fear of the unknown. On the other side of fear is trust. Trust in yourself and your gut, and trust in God who has a bigger plan than you can fathom.

photo 5This week has been busy and sometimes in the busy-ness of it all we can miss the small miracles. Here are a few from my week: Speaking to another cancer survivor back in the fight and being able to encourage her on her path, one of my customers showing vulnerability and tearing up from a memory while telling me a story of someone who impacted him, the valet at one of my offices (who knows me by name and can already tell if it’s been a stressful day) grabbing my hand and telling me ‘to put that smile back on my face because he missed it, and whatever it is, there’s always tomorrow’…thanks Chris. Add to that the changing colors of the leaves…a beautiful miracle. Notice many of my miracles revolve around people? We are all we’ve got!image

Anyhow, it’s been a tumultuous few years for me and who really knows where life will lead but I continue to force my wings to unfold, trusting without fear, and ready to soar. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.~Steve Jobs

Today I wear the always classic Lip Smacker lip balm in Strawberry...just because I feel like it! Cheers!

Tapestry

22 Sep

tapestry
Life is a tapestry of relationships, every thread is crucial….

This past weekend I was able to spend some time with my friend Grace at a cottage in Northern Michigan. I have known Grace for almost 20 years and it was just a great time to relax and connect. At the resort there was an outdoor art park with that saying, along with other quotes, carved into marble right in the middle of the woods. It was fitting to be there and see that with Grace because I’ve known her for so long; we’ve sang together, she’s been a mentor to me, but best of all she’s been a friend through all my junk past and present. As I was standing there staring at it, a whole bunch of people ran through my mind; not always great, life-impacting relationships, not always positive, but definitely a critical thread in my life story. There are many people past and present, even those I’ve just met, that each have had a purpose or have taught me something about me or about people in general. artpark

Up north, there was just a hint of the trees beginning to change colors. Fall is my favorite season in Michigan for exactly this reason. The air changes and becomes cooler, the sunsets are more fiery, but the changing colors are amazing and the beauty at its peak always leaves me breathless. So here it is, the beginning of a new season. The leaves change and the wind goes from a warmer air to being cooler and more crisp. Life is in constant change and people constantly weave in and out of glassour lives, sometimes for just a season. I believe we meet people at exactly the right time we need to meet them, there are no accidents. What’s our part? What’s my part? I’m repeating myself when I say that sometimes we only get one chance, one moment to make an impact on someones life. Will it be positive or negative? I personally want to be a faucet filling someone’s cup than a drain depleting someone of life and energy.This is a long quote but I really liked the analogy…
Life is similar to a bus ride.The journey begins when we board the bus.We meet people along our way of which some are strangers, some friends and some strangers yet to be friends.There are stops at intervals and people board in.
At times some of these people make their presence felt, leave an impact through their grace and beauty on us fellow passengers while on other occasions they remain indifferent.But then it is important for some people to make an exit, to get down and walk the paths they were destined to because if people always made an entrance and never left either for the better or worse, then we would feel suffocated and confused like those people in the bus, the purpose of the journey would lose its essence and the journey altogether would neither be worthwhile nor smooth.’~ Chirag Tulsiani

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven-Turn,Turn,Turn~The Byrds

Today I wear Nars Audacious Lipstick in Charlotte which is a deep oxblood burgundy. You can always count on Nars for great lipsticks and great colors. These are weightless, long lasting and smooth…obviously the color is amazing. This particular color is great for fall (but be sure you don’t do the smoky eye with it or you’ll look like a vampire). Cheers to a new season!

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