Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Best of both worlds

So I do actually read other people's blogs quite often. One of my favorites is the Noble Pig - I get great recipes from her and they are usually easy. I was making pumpkin bars with carmel frosting and crumbled bacon on top (yum) but I didn't cook the carmel frosting long enough. It ended up runny. I started over but kept the carmel in hopes of finding some other use for it. If nothing else I could put it on ice cream. BUT I found another great recipe on Pioneer Woman (great site) - sticky buns. I used the carmel from the first recipe to make them. Delicious!!!! Thanks Joy for sharing these blogs with me!

If you are wondering why they are on a paper plate it is because I brought them to my plastic surgeons office today.... If you want me to make you some you better start workin' on that medical degree :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Thanks" "Giving"

I have so many BIG things to be thankful for this year - you all know what they are - but here are a few of the small things.

Clean sheets - the smell, the feel - ahhhhh.

Mail - I love getting the mail - email - regular mail. I don't care what it is but it feels like getting a present.

Comfortable shoes - when your feet are happy so are you.

The warmth of the sun on your back on a cold day.


Hot coffee in the morning - (hand delivered by your husband - the best!)

Happy Endings - I hate reading books that don't end well - I need them to be nice and tidy and good.



The feel of a good piece of chocolate as you bite into it, feel the snap, and let it melt on your tongue.

A working car.

The joy of giving someone something - a gift, time, labor - and watching their face as they enjoy it.

The smell of my husbands clothes.

The sound of my extended family on the other end of the phone line.

Hugs from my children that last a bit longer than expected.


What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Amazing 3 Day Journey

It started in a flash of a morning last Thursday. Throwing too many things into the trunk of Stephen's car and hitting the road for our 6 hour drive down to San Diego. A group of four friends - all with different experiences but a common goal - a cure for breast cancer. Stephen and Todd have both been touched many times by this disease - Todd's Grandmother, Stephen's Grandmother and Mother and their beloved dance teacher - Pat Jackson - all struggled with diagnosis, treatment and fear. Some of them survived - some did not. I lost my mother at a young age to breast cancer and battled this past year to become a survivor. Suzanne - was only recently touched by this disease on a personal level this year as she watched me struggled with (and helped me through) the process of beating breast cancer. The boys were veterans to the Susan G Komen 3 day walk - Todd was participating for the seventh time (he has either walked or crewed it every year) and Stephen had walked it several years ago. Suzanne and I were virgins and had no idea what was in store for us.

We spent the afternoon laughing until we cried - those would not be the only tears shed over our journey. Stephen drove the entire way down and stood up out of the car with sciatic pain - oh dear - not a good way to start out.

We woke up at 4:45 on Friday morning with a spring in our step ready to take on the day (after several cups of coffee). We threw on everything we could that was pink and made our way to Del Mar Fairgrounds for the opening ceremony. It only took a few bars of music for the tears to start flowing. We honored those who we have lost to breast cancer and celebrated those who have survived. We were reminded of why we were there. It took awhile to get going that day - so many people. Think traffic jam on foot. Over 4 thousand people walked along the coastline in the longest pink parade you have ever seen. We were lucky that day - no rain. The weather was perfect for walking and the scenery was beautiful. 20.5 miles. It took us 9 hours to reach camp at Mission Bay. I stopped by the medical tent at our last pit stop because my knee was bugging me so much. The boys were in pain (multiple areas) but Suzanne seemed to fly through without injury. I was worried we would not get through the next day.

Saturday morning we woke up to rain and wind. We dressed for what we thought would be a very wet day. Multiple layers, ponchos and grocery bags duct taped to our shoes and legs. Again it was slow going but we were all in a hurry to get through the day. We were cold and wet for hours. Our feet were soaked by the second pit stop even though we had the grocery bags on them. Pain started to set in in areas we didn't know existed. By lunch time we had walked 10 miles but it felt like 30. When we arrived at the lunch site I almost started crying because they were nice enough to bring buses for us to eat our lunches on - finally a dry, warm place. After lunch we headed out again - by this time Suzanne's knee was giving her all kinds of grief and she walked with a pretty severe limp. We headed out along the beautiful coastline into roaring winds and a torrential downpour. All we could do was laugh. Our ponchos were flying over our heads, we couldn't see because the rain was hitting us so hard and all 4 of us looked like we needed walkers. It was comical. Throughout all of this I didn't hear one complaint. People of all sizes, shapes and ages walking along side each other putting on a happy face. Hundreds of people were along the route cheering us on in the rain. Offering us candy or drinks. I couldn't believe how much support we had and it made it that much easier to keep going. What we were doing was bigger than the weather.

By day three we were ready to be done. Suzanne's knee was still a mess but she wanted to hobble through. We had more rain and it was much colder. Somewhere around mile 8 I started to lose it. I had a blister the size of my baby toe (on my baby toe), my hips, knees, ankles and feet were screaming and I was tired. Tired of being wet. Tired of walking. Tired of pain. I had often wondered why on earth they made people do this 3 day walk. Why walk 60 miles in 3 days? Now I know why. When you get beaten down to a point where you think you can't go on - be it blisters and pain 3 days into a walk, or your second to last chemo treatment, or the loss of a loved one who was taken from you too soon - you find that with determination, and perseverance, and support and love - you can go on. You CAN make it to the finish line, you CAN get through the treatment, and we CAN find a cure.

As we neared the finish line I was full of simple relief. I was looking forward to taking my shoes off and preparing myself for what was sure to be an emotional closing ceremony. I was taken aback when I walked through the finish line to a booming party. The music was blaring and everyone - EVERYONE - was smiling and high fiving us. Looking us in the eyes and yelling things like "Great Job!" - "You did it!" - "Thank you!" and " Congratulations!". It took me a minute to realize I was walking though a sea of hundreds of fellow walkers - people who had just done what I did and were there to cheer the rest of us on. It was the first real moment where I felt like I not only conquered this walk but conquered cancer. It felt like those people - who didn't know me - were high fiving my efforts in my fight to beat that disease. And I cried. I cried like a baby.

We made it through to the tent where we picked up our shirts - grey for crew, white for walkers and pink for survivors. On the back it says "invincible".

After everyone made it through the finish line we formed a parade into the closing ceremonies where family and friends were waiting. They separated the "pink" shirts from the white and grey shirts. I hugged my friends and went with the other survivors to the top of a hill. I didn't know any of these women I was standing with. They were all ages - from 26 on up. All with a common bond. I looked down on that sea of white and grey and I was overwhelmed with gratitude. So thankful for all of those people who walked. Thankful for all of the people who supported those walkers - thousands and thousands of them. Thankful for my donors, my friends, my family. It hit me how big this thing is. It hit me how we can to anything if we work together.

I thank all of you for supporting me. Everyone has different gifts and you all are helping us find a cure for breast cancer. I especially want to thank Suzanne, Stephen and Todd for experiencing this journey with me. We had quite a ride - lots of laughter, lots of tears and lots of pain. But in the end we helped raise more than 10 million dollars (in San Diego alone) to help find that cure. You are amazing, amazing friends.

I am already planning my next 3 day walk. I wish everyone could experience the ups and downs of this adventure - it is truly life changing. We are not done yet. I have 3 people I know right now who are finishing or are in the middle of treatment. We need to do everything we can. We WILL find a cure.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We're off!

Heading out tomorrow morning for our full day of travel. Waking up at 4:30 on Friday morning to start our walk. I will be taking lots of pic along the way and can't wait to share with you my experiences! Signing out until Monday! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


During the opening ceremony at the walk we are able to write down the names of loved ones we have lost to breast cancer. If you would like me to honor a loved one of yours please leave their name in the comments of this post and I will be sure to get their name up there. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

What to wear?

We are figuring out what to wear as we walk this coming weekend. This is my PBAC tank top I am planning on wearing at least one of the days - paying tribute to all of you who donated to the walk. I know that several people donated to the walk but somehow did not make it on my page - if so - thank you so much and I am sorry your name is not on my list (the list came straight from Susan G). Please let me know if this happened to you so I can thank you properly! Thank you also to those who have kept me and are keeping me in your prayers. I know times are tough these days and this might be one of those years where your gifts come in ways other than monetarily. I appreciate it all so much - the encouragement, support, and love. I will have you all in my heart as I walk. When I don't think I can take another step it will be you that lifts me up and carries me to the finish line.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Danish Pancakes

For several weeks now Julia has been asking if we could go to Solvang to have Danish pancakes for breakfast. Today we finally conceded. These are not the round donut type cakes - these are crepe style pancakes that just melt in your mouth. It is hard to slow down when you eat them - they are so good. Of course we had to walk around this little tourist town but it was such a beautiful day and to just linger and stroll down these quaint streets was fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I am usually very careful about what I say and rarely let things come out of my mouth that I regret ....but. The other day after a very high stress day and a few sips into my Friday night cocktail something flew out of my mouth that I didn't even recognize. It was ugly. It was gross. It was shocking. And it was directed at a friend of mine.

How quickly I wanted to scoop it back up and shovel it back into my mouth but as we all know words are one thing we can't take back. I can try and analyze why I did what I did - alcohol, stress, release - but in the end there was absolutely no excuse for what I did. I was instantly remorseful and embarrassed and sick to my stomach. I felt small and flawed and unworthy.

The most amazing thing about this story is that my friend forgave me. In the light of that I am truly humbled. She was much bigger than me. I know the words I said hurt her - they stung like that thorn on a rose - but she forgave me. It made me realize how I tend to judge people by what they say and that perhaps I judge too quickly. We are all human. Conditioned to make mistakes. All we can do when one strikes us is learn and grow and try not to repeat them. I will see things in a different light now - knowing that there is ugliness in all of us and on occasion it slips out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Well, we are leaving a week from tomorrow for the walk. How worn in do my shoes look? I think I am in trouble. I have found my biggest challenge in training for this walk has been finding the time to actually do it. It is not like you can walk a long distance in an hour - you need several hours.... in a row. I am not one to have a lot of extra time on my hands. Somethings is always cooking. We will see if I can get a good long walk in this weekend. If you see me out and about give me a honk!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Puffer Fish

Julia wanted a puffer fish for her birthday... Not barbies. Not a new outfit. Not something easy. Just a puffer fish. So.... I learned what I could about puffers. I set up an aquarium in her room while she was at school hoping I could surprise her when she came home. I went to the fish store and purchased 3 puffers (just in case ya know). I found out that they are not nice fish - they are the bullies of the tank. They like to bite - even your finger - and they bite hard. They don't eat regular fish food - they eat worms and shrimp and need to have snails in their tank to help them groom their "beaks". I really love my daughter - did I say that already? Anyhoo, she was surprised and delighted to see her fish when she got home.

Unfortunately, though, I pulled a "Nemo". I mistakenly put the filter in backwards and when we came home from church on Sunday there were only 2 fish to be seen. The third was wedged in the filtration tube - I mean wedged. Certainly dead. "I am so sorry Julia". Dad came to un-wedge the fish for his toilet burial but when the fish popped out he started swimming. He lasted a day but the trauma must have been too much because this morning he is belly up.

Julia and I will be taking another trip to the store for a replacement. Fortunately they are fresh water puffers and cost very little. I feel obligated to replace the little guy since I not only killed it but made it suffer - so sad. And now you know.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Double Rainbow!

Today we were blessed to see the sky turn orange and have a complete double rainbow in our back yard. I couldn't get the whole thing on my camera (unless I video taped it ;))..... what does it mean?LOL

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We did it!

I finally reached my donation goal for the Suzan G. Komen walk! Thank you all so much for your support and generosity! Last Friday we held a "dance party" class to raise money and I would have to say it was maybe the most fun I have ever had at the gym! The energy was great and we had a couple of VIPs in the room - Dr. Wonderful and Liz (my nurse navigator). They were awesome and I can't believe so many people gave up their Friday night to come support us! The training will be going into high gear this weekend. I have noticed over the last couple of weeks that it is taking a LONG time to get my stamina back. I have heard that this happens sometimes. Chemo knocks you down for a year - or more. I am not going to let it. Mind over matter right? 60 miles - here I come! The walk is on the 19th of November and runs through the 21st. If you live in the San Diego area come cheer us on!

Monday, November 1, 2010