Tag Archives: friendship


18 Jan

There are certain events in life, both good and bad, that cause a shift in the way you see the world; your first kiss, the birth of a child, reaching a goal, and even a death of a loved one. These shifts can happen years apart or continually, fast and furious. The past few years for me have been the latter, fast and furious. Between cancer, my book, reaching certain goals, the death of my friend, deepened friendships, and even certain new people that I have met, all of these things have been one after another constantly changing my perspective and even showing me even more how awesome and beautiful this world is and the people in it. This past week I had another major shift happen in my life. Without going into great detail at this time, this shift brought feelings of both a death and a birth; the sadness and grief you experience from death coupled with the warmth, joy, and peace after a birth. My day ended with my view of the world being simple and beautiful despite the freezing temperatures and snowfall. An overriding theme to all these shifts is hope.

I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am 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 so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” ― C. JoyBell

I love this quote because if you recall from my 25 Things.. post, I love beautiful things that fly (not bugs), butterflies, hawks, eagles…because they look so free. Life never guarantees us an easy road but there’s always hope. Today is exactly the time between what’s already been and what’s yet to come so all we can do is live, learn, then move forward. With every shift I have learned different lessons and I welcome them. All I know for now, is that I will continue to live with breathless anticipation and hope, always open to whatever change comes next.

Today I wear Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in No Regrets. These full coverage lipglosses are amazing! They have full on color and they are fairly long lasting. A friend and I sorta went nuts at Sephora trying all of these on. Although I bought Fame, No Regrets (which is red) is next. I chose it today for the name. No matter what choices, or paths we take we can learn from them and move forward, regrets are a waste of time. Cheers!

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Behind the Door

8 Jan

This has been an interesting week. It started with being buried in the snow and being trapped in my own house. Then, a friend called and told me that she is going through some tough times. I offered my home and listening ear to her so she has been staying here while sorting things through. Sitting and listening to her situation while also considering mine, there is one thing I know for sure…no one knows what happens behind closed doors. Going through all that I have gone through including the cancer, I was surprised, yet, not really. So much happens in people’s lives and unless you are walking in their shoes, you really don’t know. My neighbor who read my book awhile back told me that she didn’t realize all I had gone through with the cancer and said, ‘I had no idea, there’s so much that goes on behind closed doors,’ She’s right. So what should we do? What can we do? We can be present to those who are in our lives. We can listen and be supportive. We can only give advice based on our personal experiences and journeys, but we can’t expect them to feel the same way or to listen to our advice because again, they are walking their own path. Lastly, we can’t judge, it’s not our place, and the last time I checked, the seat at God’s right hand was already taken. I heard this song by Coldplay this morning and thought about my friend. Here is a link to a sweet ukelele cover of Coldplay’s Fix You. As much as I want to help her ‘fix’ her situation, it’s not my place. I will simply open my home, my heart, and listen. I do want to say thank you to all my awesome friends and family who have been there for me throughout my path with homes, hearts, and listening ears. I am forever grateful. I took all these pictures of doors in Europe because not only were they beautiful, but I’m fascinated by people’s stories and the truth behind the doors and within the walls. We’re all so different…it’s pretty cool to sit back and listen.2012-06-25 20.34.44
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Today I wear Kat Von D Painted Love lipstick in Prayer. I really like these lipsticks because they are packed with color and are moisturizing at the same time. Prayer is kind of a mauvey-brown which is a great every day color for me and pretty much everyone else. I chose this color this time because I believe in the power of prayer and that is one thing we can definitely do for hurting people! Cheers!


30 Dec

Christmas 2013 has come and gone and now the countdown to a New Year is upon us. I cannot believe it will be 2014 in a few short days but I am so ready. 2013 has not been a great year for me but at least I end on a healthy note. It started with bad numbers in my blood work from January leading my physicians to believe that my cancer was back but in a different area of my body. From there, the different scenarios; insurance that wouldn’t pay for testing because of my pre-existing condition, then the one unwilling to pay for the expenses of the PET scan, ultrasound, etc., followed by the numerous friends that offered to do fund raisers so I could have answers. Then the passing of my friend, and cancer angel, Bob. The toll of all of those on my brain and body; depression, anxiety, etc. and all that has transpired since then…. For now, I am cancer free and moving forward. Most people set resolutions right about this time, goals they want to achieve, promises they make to themselves about health and life in general. After cancer I reassess those things daily, so annual resolutions are not something I think about,I tend to just ‘go’ with life. Someone I know said to me a short while ago, ‘So just because you had cancer you think you’re strong now?’ Without a doubt. Lesson #1 from 2013: Watch your words, they stem from your heart. Enough of the negative can really damage a person and their soul…blog for another day.

So back to the resolutions…yes, I have the typical thoughts of eating right, exercising, being grateful, etc, but for today I thought I’d set my anti-resolutions; things I don’t want to do in 2014:

1. I will not let any person dictate to me how I should act or feel or who I should hang out with; I already have a God that counsels me on that
2. I do not want to ever forget that God is in control and that He will never love me less despite my mistakes
3. I will not let someone’s opinions, anger, or bitterness affect or change my perceptions and opinions
4. I will not say ‘yes’ when I mean ‘no’
5. I will not feel guilty for eating carbs and sugar. I like them both and when I try to stop or cut back, I want them more anyway
6. I never want to be too busy to help someone or to listen to them
7. I will not feel guilty for missing a day or a week of exercise…although my body, heart, and mind will be mad at me
8. I never want to view life as a glass half empty, it’s too awesome just being alive
9. Although I talk a lot of taking risks and fearing less, I do not want to sky dive…ever
10. I will not stop playing Candy Crush because sometimes we just need a little bit of brainless activity…

I do look back at 2013 with a thankful heart too. I reconnected with some old friends, I started a new job with an old boss that I love, I’ve met some amazing new people, my kids are awesome and never cease to amaze me, going through tough times I have realized I am abundantly blessed with friends and family that support me; it’s really quite overwhelming. You know that saying that what you put out into the world comes back to you ten fold…it’s true, so be kind. I look at 2014 with excitement and eyes wide open for whatever adventure lies ahead but life happens moment by moment and I just want to soak it all in. ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards’~Soren Kierkergaard

Today I wear NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Snow White.This is a perfect red, exactly what you think Snow White would wear…not too orangey, more of a blue-red. The other plus is that it’s only $4.00. The formula is moisturizing and semi-long lasting. These lispticks can generally be found at Ulta or Target, they are really great! By the way, none of us need true love’s kiss to wake us up! Cheers and Happy New Year!

Staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find….
No one else can speak the words on your lips. Drench yourself in words unspoken,live your life with arms wide open.Today is where your book begins,the rest is still unwritten‘~ Unwritten,Natasha Bedingfield

Christmas Memories

21 Dec


Christmas always brings lots of memories; some great ones, and some not so great. Growing up in Detroit, I remember my parents waking me up as a young child to attend the historic Old St Mary’s Church in Detroit to go to midnight mass. What I remember about it (since I was so young) was that it was huge and outrageously beautiful. But I also remember the pews being hard as I fell back asleep on them during mass (oops, I was REALLY young). Anyhow, traditionally, we would go back home afterward and eat until dawn. Though the church location changed when we moved to the suburbs, that tradition carried on through high school, sometimes with only my family, and sometimes with friends coming to our house. I remember moments around Christmas like ice skating around the frozen fountain at Belle Isle, the Thanksgiving Parade, and shopping at the old Hudson’s in downtown Detroit.

The two most memorable Christmas’s to me were both significant moments in my life. The first was awful, 2009. It was the morning of Christmas Eve 2009 when I was at the hospital with my three girlfriends at 6am. They came with with me to support me during my PET scan to check on suspicious activity in my neck. At this point I had and beat cancer twice already with my last surgery just the September before. They came with me to sit for the three hours it took to finish. When I came out, two were sleeping in chairs in the waiting room and I’ll never forget how grateful I was they had taken time away from their families to be with me that day. At 4:00 the same evening my doctor called and I received the devastating news that indeed the cancer was back. He said, “Merry Christmas, I’m sorry.” The other Christmas I remember was in the 4th grade, I was 8 or 9 and we had just moved to the suburbs from Detroit. At this time my parents were both working and my dad had even worked two jobs to move us to a nicer area. That Christmas I wrote Santa a long letter. I remember writing a list of things I wanted and then adding things for my hard working parents. When I came downstairs Christmas morning, nothing from my list was on the fireplace. All that was there was a large (to me it was life-sized) yellow, stuffed dog. I remember being a little disappointed that Santa hadn’t brought the presents I asked for for me and my parents, but I loved that stuffed animal. It stayed with me for years! Looking back I now realize that we didn’t have a lot of money and my parents gave me the best they had. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

After cancer and life’s difficulties in general, Christmas along with every day is special. We were given the gift of Jesus on Christmas Day and that is the best gift. Every moment, every memory, every breath whether Christmas or the days after is icing on the cake. Today’s lipstick is my favorite red Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Merlot. Moisturizing, deep red. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!


8 Dec

Ok, I have a little writer’s block right now. Maybe because my week was ordinary? Or maybe my eyes were too focused on me and not seeking the extraordinary moments of every day? Nevertheless, a few significant things did happen this week in the world. There were two highly reported deaths in the news. The first was Paul Walker from The Fast and Furious franchise. People viewed him as too young, too handsome, too kind. He was one of those extremely private movie stars but as you listen to the stories, he was truly a nice guy; genuine, kind, authentic. There are stories of his charitable foundation and of his random, anonymous acts of kindness. On the other end of the spectrum, Nelson Mandela. He changed the world. He stood for democracy,freedom, harmony, and peace. The contributions he made to his people and society in general are far reaching. Then in my little world, my friend ‘B’-Bob was buried this week. I will never forget his impact on me and my life, let alone his family and friends. Although these three men come from all walks of life and had different ‘positions’ in the world, they all had significant contributions on people’s lives. Paul Walker, besides being an actor, he was a father and died on his way to an event of his organization to help the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. Nelson Mandela, his impact on people’s lives are too long to list. Bob, his love and support for me during a tough time will always be remembered and cherished. What do the three have in common, what will they be most remembered for? Their treatment of people. I found a really long quote from Maya Angelou. I was thinking of a way to take pieces from it, but I can’t. The whole thing sums it up perfectly, especially the last sentence:

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.― Maya Angelou

Today I wear Ulta Tinted Lip Balm in Toast. I LOVE these! They are inexpensive, moisturize, and add color! Toast is a deep wine/red which provides enough color not to be crazy. I chose it for both the color and the name…toasting these three gentlemen and life! Cheers!

The Future

3 Dec

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I have had a lot on my mind lately and it’s been hard to sort and filter through all of it. On the one hand, there are lots of cool and exciting things happening and I feel stronger than I’ve felt in a long time both physically and mentally. On the other hand, there’s a lot of change with a mix of fear and sadness. It’s quite the conundrum. It’s like ice skating (which I don’t do very well by the way) on thin ice. You feel your face in the wind and you see an awesome goal that you’re skating toward, yet, the ice is so thin that at any moment it could crack and suck you under; being on the verge of crazy laughter and tears at the same time. I can’t really explain but maybe you’ve been there….the crazy place between now and then, here or there, yesterday and tomorrow. Sheesh I’m getting deep….I don’t even understand myself. So what happens now? I guess it’s like I always say, something I remind myself and try to do every moment of every day…..live life. It starts getting crazy when you start thinking of the who, what, where, when, because I think that is when we try to control the circumstances. One thing I know, there are some things we can control but there are many, many things we can’t. So where does that leave me? I can’t change the past so I must look forward. I’m excited about what the future brings, but until then, I live and love one day at a time. Appreciating each day for what it is, because every tomorrow is the future.

Today I wear Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about these lipsticks before but they’re awesome! They have lots of color and staying power and they are moisturizing on top of that! I chose this color because it is the perfect nudey-pink, not too brown, and not too blah. Plus the name…naked, just me moving forward one day at a time. Cheers!


30 Nov

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“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”   ~Lucius Seneca

Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year was a quiet one for me and it was also the first year I haven’t cooked (remember a couple blogs ago how I felt about cooking?), so it was good. I was able to spend time with family and also a few friends over the past few days and actually laughed more than I have in awhile. I read the quote above and I find it to be so true. Happiness is one thing, but contentment is so much more. Enjoying the present and resting in the satisfaction of what we already have; just being grateful. There are many millionaires in this world who continue wanting more…are they happy? Contrast that with the poor, the people in impoverished countries, those who know nothing about turkey, pumpkin pie, or even simply clean water…are they content? I venture to say that at times maybe they are more content. This Thanksgiving I have so much to be grateful for and despite the many obstacles and stresses that life continues to bring, I’m content.  If you look in the dictionary the definitions for contentment and happiness are very similar if not the same in some, but I believe a little differently. Happiness comes and goes based on the situation whereas contentment brings in the grateful factor. What’s the definition of gratefulness? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is being thankful for a helpful act; appreciation of benefits received. Gratefulness is appreciating the gifts we have, the things in life that are free. Friendship, kindness, laughter, sunshine, snow, running water, etc. Open your eyes, every moment is a gift and we are never assured of the next moment. Do you have to be happy to be grateful? Just the opposite, you have to be grateful to be happy. I am outrageously grateful for what I have and the people that are in my life. I rest in the fact that there are many things I cannot control but I have a God that does.

Christmas is coming up and the hype of shopping and presents and things has officially arrived. It’s a great and beautiful time of year but it can also be a stressful time for some. The hunt for the perfect parking space, the hunt for the perfect present, combined with the stress of being with family, or having none. It’s a good time to stop and rest in the moment. Be that person to show kindness, compassion, patience; give the recipient a reason to be grateful whether they accept it or not.

Today it’s Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick in Kiss of Life. On the web it looks like a deep plum…it’s red. These are matte so a little dry for me. I mainly chose this for the name. We could all use a Kiss of Life right? Cheers!


24 Nov

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This week’s topic for my blogging group GBE2 is inspirations; movies, music, people, whatever or whomever is inspiring us lately. Well, this list could go on and on for me but not with famous musicians, athletes, movie stars, and not even Oprah. Really, just the people around me. My friends Dawn, Leanna, Frances, overcoming some difficult youth situations and using those experiences to help others (me in particular). Your incredible support astounds me. My friends Callie and Grace, supermoms for different reasons, your strength and courage in your daily situations blow me away. Thank you for your friendship always. Stacie who juggles work, family, and volunteerism but still has time to listen and support my family.  Lissa, despite her circumstances, continues to push to be a better mom; whose friendship goes above and beyond. Bev who adopted a beautiful little girl just as her son was leaving for college. Jill, inspiring me to bring ‘Anna’ back. Lori and Donna whose work in the communities never cease, amazing what one person can do. Michelle and Melissa, two fiercely strong women who stood by their men while juggling work and family, through all of the ups and downs of their cancer treatments. Steve and Paula, two mentors I look up to, all love, no judgment. Dr. Rubin, Dr. Menaldi, and Marie, whose belief in my voice and spirit to overcome never wavered. To my beautiful radiation partner and friend ‘B’ who despite being in severe pain and sitting in a hospital all week, still sends me notes of encouragement. ‘B’, you are one of the kindest and strongest men I know, so glad you’ve been a part of my life. Jen(Chapstick), who checks in consistently, always positive, always encouraging, always making me laugh. To my crazy friend who quotes movie lines and song lyrics, you inspire me to ‘stay gold’ (The Outsiders), and laugh. To my awesome kids who make me want to be a better mom and a better person all the time. My incredibly talented brother who continues to follow his dreams. Although there are many ups and downs, you always land on your feet (and always land a gig too). You are incredible and those times you may stop believing in yourself (nature of your industry), I will always believe in you. My parents, who left everything and everyone they knew for a better life for their kids. It wasn’t always easy but we were never in want or need of anything…plus look at how good we turned out (haha).

Like I said, I am surrounded by inspiring people, too many to mention. All different, all from different backgrounds, all with a story. There are many famous people we could look to for inspiration but I think it’s just as easy to look at the pool of people surrounding you. Everyone brings something to the world and I believe those around us, if even for a season, are there for a reason. ‘People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Never throw out anyone.’ ~Audrey Hepburn. Thank you all and Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am not going to name a lipstick color but recommend you go to Sephora.com.  This is the best time of year for lipstick sets. Since the holidays are upon us many cosmetic companies put gift sets together of their most popular products in the most popular colors. Some are small versions but some are full sized, but all of the sets are specially priced and a lot less expensive than normal. NOW is the time to try something new! Cheers!


20 Nov


I saw a quote the other day ‘I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles…so are the families and friends who have stood by them.’~ Christopher Reeve

Thanksgiving is coming up and I have so much to be thankful for. But today, I want to thank all the people who are and have been a part of my cancer journey. It’s really difficult to express my feelings of gratitude to those pre-, post, and during my cancer journey because thank you doesn’t seem enough. Maybe because thank you is used too much? More than thank you, I have a deep love for all those in my life. When I got cancer, not only was I surrounded by friends locally, but people from my past that I had lost touch with, sent cards, e-mails, and even care packages. I even had a good friend offer to fly here to just sit with me. It’s really overwhelming. I want to thank my doctors and entire medical team who went above and beyond what they needed to do; who called on their off hours to see how I was doing, who made calls to their connections to make sure I had the best treatment. Thank you to all those who brought meals to my family….little did you know it was some of the best food they have ever eaten and we were all depressed when the meals stopped (refer to #19 on my last blog). Thanks also to all of you who follow me on my blog, twitter, Facebook fan page…your continuing support, comments, and private messages inspire me. Thank you to my family, especially my parents, too much to say. Every single interaction you have with someone, even if just for a moment leaves them with something. If you choose to be kind and respectful in those moments, it comes back to you ten-fold.

It’s been a long road and the journey continues on with different obstacles so where does that leave me today? Grateful and looking forward to the future. I’m not the hero, I was forced to be strong. You are all my heroes. To the new people in my life, welcome, hope you hang around awhile. Cat Stevens sings that it’s a wild world and yes it is, but truly living in it is worth it.2013-07-03 04.44.07

Today I wear Chantecaille Brilliant lip gloss in Lucky. These glosses are moisturizing and a little plumping (which my lips obviously don’t need). The colors are soft and pretty. Lucky is just a soft pink which is easy to wear. I chose it mainly for the name. I don’t really believe in luck, but I feel so lucky and blessed to have all of you. Cheers!


6 Nov


It’s November and I haven’t written in a while. You know when you’re so busy that you feel like if you stop running for just a moment, life will run you over? Sometimes that’s how I feel. Well, today that picture above was the scene on my street. Just last week those trees were full of different brightly colored fall leaves and today, they’re almost bare which only means one thing here in Michigan….winter. While during challenging or difficult times, certain areas of life seem to move in slow motion (I can almost hear the clock ticking second by second ever so slowly like water dripping), generally I think time moves so fast, I can’t believe 2013 is almost over. Tonight I got to spend some time with some of my sorority sisters from jen2college. It’s been awhile since I had seen many of them but even after 20 years I still think we look the same, again, where did those 20 years go? Two of my most favorite people were there and it was great. One I get to see fairly regularly and the other, not enough. One thing I know for sure is that great friendships last a lifetime. I could go months or even years without seeing them but the minute we start talking it’s like we never left. “We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet. Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”   ~ AA Milne, Winnie the Poohanne and jen

Life has been a wild ride for what seems to me, a long time. Through cancer and life post cancer, friends have really stepped it up. Some of the things they did and have done for me jenhave been extraordinary and I know I will never be able to repay their kindness and support. Isn’t that what friendship’s about? Giving without expecting?  I am so grateful for all of the friends who have and continue to stand by me and support me, and to all my new friends too. I don’t believe we meet people by accident, so welcome to my world. Life would not be fun without you, you’re my heroes.

Today I wear Urban Decay Revolutionary Lipstick in Venom which is a really bright plum. These lipsticks are pretty awesome, full of color and moisturizing at the same time. My friend Jen in the pictures was one of my lipstick inspirations. Back in college, she wore hot pink lipstick everyday while I wore my Chapstick trying to hide my big lips. Since then, I have learned to love my lips and whenever I buy something bright (like today’s color), I still think of her. Thanks Jen! Cheers!


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