Tag Archives: breathe

New Year, New You?

5 Jan

me1.5.15You hear that phrase a lot when the new year comes around. It’s a time when people make resolutions to lose weight, be more open, more giving, forgive, etc..essentially reinvent themselves. Is it really possible? Have you ever really thought about it? Do you really want it? A new you? Maybe. When I was young I was painfully shy, an introvert and with each passing grade I would pray to be more fun, more open, make more friends. When we moved to a new city and I went to a new school in 4th grade, I thought I’d make myself a little different, maybe less shy. Then Junior High came, then High School, then College; with each passing milestone I tried to be a ‘new’ me to hopefully have more friends, more dates, be more popular, but was I ever really ‘new’? Nope. At the core, I was still exactly how God made me to be and with each passing year or milestone grade, it was an opportunity to make myself a little better, a little wiser, really just a continuation of my path with lessons learned. I find myself the same way today. Every new job or group of people I interact with meets the current Anna. One who’s had different life experiences and a history that has made me into who I am today. Not much different than the introverted shy girl of before, just a person molded by the continuation of her story. I think when I was younger the realization that I was actually the same girl in a different environment disappointed me a little. I simply couldn’t force myself to be the most funny, louder, extroverted, life of the party, popular girl. Today, I’m thankful for who I am. With each life experience and interaction we learn a little bit more about ourselves and with all the turmoil of my past and trying to please everyone except me, I’m finally at peace with who I am and it’s so freeing. The other way is too exhausting and frankly, a waste of time. Those who know you and like you stick around, those who want someone different…nice to meet you, go find who you’re looking for. So a brand new you? Maybe not. How about ‘You…to be continued.’ The rest of your story is still unwritten.

Today I have to talk about the new Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss lipstick. I LOVE them. They created four of the same shades but for each skintone. I wear the red made for medium skintone. These are not only super hydrating but they add just the right amount of color. Not to mention you get them at the drugstore so they are fairly inexpensive. I chose red because, duh. Happy New Year again, cheers!

Moments

31 Dec

new year
I recently watched a short motivational video someone posted on Facebook. The 4 minute video had quite a few impactful statements but the one that stuck with me was at the end when the speaker said that his life is now measured in moments instead of time (or something like that). Essentially life is fleeting and instead of looking at minutes, hours, dates, he looks at his history as cherished moments and his future as the opportunity to create more memorable moments; well, that was my interpretation. 2014 was filled with so many incredible memories for me, good and bad, and as I reflect on the last year I am incredibly grateful for everything. Pain, heartache, fear, joy, happiness, excitement, love, all emotions I got to experience. Literally it was a year of extremes but everything, every event, every emotion has continued to shape me and mold me into the Anna of 2015 and I’m excited. I reconnected with some old friends and met some incredible new ones, and wow, all you guys are awesome! Every person you have in your life adds a little something to it, whether it’s a lesson or a confirmation, someone that helps you grow or someone who reminds you and brings out who you really are; and honestly,even the toxic people in our lives are there to make you stronger, and to help you learn something about yourself before you have to turn away.2014

So, after all the challenges and difficulty of the past few years I want more for 2015:

More joy
More love
More strength
More peace
More hope
More stories
More people
More moments
More magic

And less…

Less fear
Less toxic
Less turmoil
Less drama
Less things

In the end, logically, life cannot help but be measured by time. There are truly only 24 hours in a day. Today though, if you read Facebook posts and talk to people, they reminisce about moments over the past year so maybe we do measure our life in moments. Time is fleeting but it seems that moments and memories last, let’s make some good ones! Happy New Year!

What day is it?”It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.’~A.A. Milne

Today I wear Lovemarc Lip Gel in Showstopper. This lipstick has a bit of a different feel. It’s fairly moisturizing and since it’s a gel, it doesn’t feel like lipstick or lipgloss, hard to describe. I chose it because it’s red and I love the name, Showstopper, duh. Cheers!

ABC

15 Dec

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Today is December 15th, 10 days until Christmas, three presents under the tree. Nope, I have not yet purchased any Christmas presents yet and earlier today I started to panic a little. Where are the presents under the tree from you ask? My 12 year old who was able to buy gifts from his school’s Holiday Shop last week. Yup, the youngest member of my family is done shopping. One of the blogs I follow gave an ABC challenge today; what are the first three words you can think of starting with A,B,C, then incorporate those words into your blog. Here’s my three…Amazing, Beautiful, Contagious. So here goes. I have an amazing life; it is filled with imperfection, good and bad choices, good and bad memories, love, fear, heartache, illness. Look at that list! I am privileged to have felt all those emotions, awful things that have made me stronger and awesome things that have helped me remain grateful..it’s been quite the year. Beautiful. What can I say? There’s simply a lot of beauty out there if you look. From my kids, to the people in my life who love me and make me laugh, to even the grayest clouds in Michigan (you know the sun is just on the other side of the clouds). There’s magic and beauty out there if you just take the time to stop and find it. Contagious. This is my goal. To live an authentic life filled with love for people, patience, kindness, and so much joy that it’s contagious, you know, that whole pay it forward concept. Again, life is a challenge every single day and I get really sick of having to be strong sometimes, but I believe we go through stuff to help others. Plus, truly, how much is in our control? James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.momandaud (2)

So, it’s 10 days until Christmas, tomorrow begins Hanukkah and it’s a busy time of year. If I can focus on Amazing,Beautiful,and Contagious, I know it will all be ok. ‘Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!’― Dr. Seuss Take a minute to breathe in life and be grateful.ABC…what three words pop in your head first?

Today, since it’s the holiday season and just about all brands put out a palette of some sort I’m going to point out a couple lip sets that are my personal faves. First is Nars Digital World Lip Pencil Coffrett Laced With Edge Holiday Collection. There are 5 lip crayons both satin and matte. I love Nars lipsticks and lip crayons so this would be a fabulous set. Next is Urban Decay Full Frontal Lipstick Stash set which include 6 lipsticks and a lip pencil. This lipstick is great and this set would be a great way try several shades! Both sets come from Sephora and would be great to have! Cheers!

Identity

20 Nov

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It’s been a bit of a challenging week. Work has been busy because it’s almost the end of the year, the holidays are creeping upon us at what seems a faster rate than normal, we had our first snow and it wasn’t exactly just a ‘dusting’, and I heard from a friend who had some not so good news (and those are just a few of the things from this week). Having cancer connects you to lots of different people but there are always a few that you really connect with because either your cancer or your journey is similar. Last year, at around this time, I received a goodbye email from my friend Bob. I’ve written about him several times and needless to say, his passing was extremely difficult for me (read about him here). This week, almost exactly a year later, I heard from a woman I have actually never met in person but have emailed fairly consistently since the start of my cancer path 6 years ago. I’m not sure how we even got connected but we had similar cancer stories; thyroid, multiple surgeries, radiation, etc. Anyhow, she reached out to me and told me she now has breast cancer and it hurt my heart. It was difficult for me to hear that after all she had been through she was once again back in the fight, this time a different type of cancer. She has an incredible faith in God and like all of us, she will do what she has to do.

I have a friend who’s a flight attendant. She loves talking to people and she told me that she recently started asking people she meets to sum up who they are in one or two words or phrases. I had to think about that for a minute because what would I say about myself? How do we define ourselves? I would venture to say that ‘cancer survivor’ may be one of those phrases that slips out of me but is that good enough? The definition of survivor in thefreedictionary.com is to remain alive, in yourdictionary.com the definition of survivor is someone who got through; so do I want survivor to be my word, my identity? Sounds a little…eh, no growth. Yes I had cancer but that is not who I am today. It’s easy to identify ourselves by what we’ve been through but maybe our description should be more about who we’ve become. Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.~Bernice Johnson Reagon. Life is challenging for everyone in many different ways but let’s not get trapped in events or life’s drama, good or bad, and let’s not have them define us. Maybe how we define ourselves is more fluid, ever changing based not on our experiences but what we’ve learned from them; always moving forward, always growing. So if we by chance happened to sit together on an airplane, how would I describe myself to you today? Courageous (based on the definition I spoke of in a previous blog, sharing my heart and vulnerable), easy going (because I take each day as it comes), and optimistic. These can change with the ebb and flow of life but I think our core generally stays the same. It’s been a challenging week like I said, but I’ll take it as a chance to continue to learn more about me and more about life.

Today I wear Nars Audacious lipstick in Olivia. You pretty much can’t go wrong with a Nars lipstick. This formula feels really light but packs a punch in terms of color, hence the name, audacious. I chose Olivia because it’s a deep red…loving life and feelin’ the red again! Cheers!

Scars

16 Nov

scar
I was sitting in a lunch room speaking to some of my customers when one of the staff members asked what the scar on my neck was from. She made some assumptions and I told her my story while she ate. Like most people, after hearing my story, she didn’t know what to say but I’m ok with that. Usually I start asking questions about them to divert attention away from me. I asked about her job, what her responsibilities were in the office, her plans for Thanksgiving, etc. What’s great is that typically when you actively listen to someone, they will continue to speak and open up (at least that’s been my experience). She ended up telling me all kinds of things from her job woes to her food allergies but ended up talking about her strained relationship with her kids. She had been a single mom for a very long time and now that her sons were grown and out of the house they were no longer speaking to each other. She teared up talking about some events that led to the situation and how hurt she was, but pride on both sides prevented them from speaking and she wasn’t going to be the first to apologize,hmmmm…sad. She said she has grieved the relationship with her sons like a death in the family and she will always have a broken heart because of it; sounds like ‘sorry’ would be easier.

I have a few scars, one on my neck from cancer, one on my shin from banging my leg into a car door, and probably a few that I don’t remember. Every scar tells a story, either a funny one or maybe a difficult one, but either way, it’s a wound that’s been healed while also leaving it’s mark.’Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.’~ Cormac McCarthy. What about the scars you don’t see? The ones left by hurt, words, anger, discouragement, do those heal? I think it takes a really long time and maybe, without the ‘sorry’ and forgiveness, will never heal. My daughter recently showed me a picture that her friend drew of herself. I was shocked and saddened to see this self portrait because it showed a girl, sad and scarred pulling a mask away from her face; the mask was of a beautiful smiling girl. Being a woman and a mom of a teenage girl, I know how hurtful girls and other women can be to each other and because of my past I am fully aware of how damaging words and actions can be. When scars heal they change the texture of your skin, what about the damage of scars on your heart and soul? The hurt always alters something. ‘It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.’~Rose Kennedy

We are all damaged and scarred to some degree and we should remember that when speaking to each other. How do scars of the heart heal? Kindness, peace, patience, love, sound familiar? (Galatians 5:22-23). Some scars run deep and are easily injured again, be patient, continue moving forward. Maybe your heart won’t be the same, but like the scars on your skin, you’ll be a little bit tougher.

Today I’m wearing Cherry Chapstick, it’s a throwback kinda day! Cheers!

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.
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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!

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!

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