Archive | August, 2013

BLOG – GIFT DAY 241 :: abundance :: spa day

31 Aug

Spa day! We had a pedicure today. 
It was my little way of saying “thank you” to Jaynane for all she has done for me over these past few weeks. 

As I soaked my feet I found myself explaining my blog to the wonderful women who took care of us today. So, of course, I had to ask them what they thought “abundance” is….

It’s a fascinating word. And it blows me away that nobody answers the question the same way.

Today it meant “more than you need” to one person.  To another it meant “tons of laughter and happiness.”

I started this year thinking abundance meant something big and wonderful and full. Now, almost 9 months into 2013 I find myself perplexed and pondering abundance.

To me ABUNDANCE started out meaning having what you want and experiencing it with ease. But after my little surgery journey, abundance has taken on a whole new deeper meaning.

I have been reminded that health is our greatest wealth. I have been reminded that nothing is more important than love. And I continue to be surprised at the constantly changing definition of the word abundance.

According to the dictionary abundance is defined as:

“a very large quantity of something.”

As I look over my bright and shiny new toes shellacked in coral orange, I wonder: 

What does abundance mean to you?

More tomorrow.

Lovemore {fearless}
{what is your abundance?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 240 fabulous f*ing friday :: love, thank you, blessings and butterflies!

30 Aug

Pathology results are in!
All good. All benign. All clear. 

Nothing feels better than good news.

And now, I must say some serious “thank you’s”.

Thank you for your:

  • prayers
  • love
  • blessings
  • texts
  • calls and messages (Sheryl, I still own you a call)
  • cards, cards, cards, cards, cards!!!
  • posts on facebook
  • photos of your children doing funny things (you know who you are!)
  • numerous cards in the mail (Kelly, Janet. et. al.)
  • personalized gifts that touched my heart (Julia, Ellen, Pam, Debby E., Myndee L., Laura, Lily, Drew, Kim, Shannon)
  • flowers (Nancy and Steph)
  • precious presence (Jaynane, Justin, Judy)
  • skill, expertise, know-how, bedside manner (Dr. Milas)

And so much more, and so many more amazing people who I love and adore and hold close to my heart and I’m sure I have forgotten here.  My mind is so relieved it is floating like a bunch of champagne bubbles.

So please forgive me if I forgot to list your amazing wonderful supportiveness. You are counted for in my heart.

There just aren’t enough words to describe how light and lifted I feel.
But I’ll try. 

You know, there’s something that happens when you get the “C” word plastered over a spot on your body by a team of medical experts — it never goes away.  Even after the treatments and procedures and scars heal, you know it was there.

And maybe that is the lesson to learn — how to move on. Upward and onward. 

And so, as I navigated my way through these last eight months tracking down this lump in my throat, there was a part of me that knew in my heart of hearts that I was okay.

There was another part that gasped for air and could barely wheeze under the pressure of another potential “C” label.

If you are a survivor you know. If you love someone who is a survivor, you know too. And that pretty much sums up all of us doesn’t it?

But here’s the thing. The silver lining. The aha moment. The light bulb that has gone off in my head and heart throughout this entire tiring process:  we’re here to love. 

No matter what we go through, or with, or without or within…
We are here to love.

To love each and every foil, flop, fear, phantom or foible.
And to love every moment of calm, peace, quiet and stupendous success.

Sometimes the medical process does nothing more than focus an intense lens on this thing called life. And I think it’s our choice to choose what we see.

It’s also our choice to choose our label. Some choose patient, some say survivor, and others prefer a word called thrive.

Not me.
From here forward I choose a label of love.


It’s ironic really. The “KICK IN THE PANTS” that I promised so many has turned around and kicked my heart into motion.  We are here to love everything that we are given.

So… tonight I sit at my desk feeling a little lighter, with a bubbly mind and a heart that is floating away on butterfly wings….

What do you love?

Happy fabulous f*ing friday.

More tomorrow.

Lovemore {fearless}
{what do you love?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 239 starting over :: are you beautiful, kind, strong, brave?

29 Aug

Just in case you forgot.
You are. 

And if you need a reminder… you know where to find it. On your feet.

If you’ve followed this blog for any time you probably already know about these awesome socks.

And today I received the most awesome gift from our dear cousin Kim. Can you guess?
How about a “bushel and a peck” of socks!

Tomorrow I will receive the official results from my surgery…. and I am optimistic!

Hey, it’s what my socks say!

More tomorrow.

Lovemore {fearless}
{how do feel today?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 238 starting over :: nature

28 Aug

Justin surprised us today. 
He whisked us away to a National Park called Crater Lake.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.

It’s a lake in a crater formed over 7,000 years ago. Located just north of where we live, I would have never guessed this gem was tucked into the natural forests all around us.


Tonight I am both inspired and exhausted. A little tired out because it’s only six days since I had surgery but it felt amazing to be outside in the super FRESH air.  And, a lot inspired because the blue of the water was a color I have never seen before, and it kept changing right before my eyes.

I was reminded of how much nature changes, how often is shifts, literally beneath our feet and in front of our eyes — and how often I don’t notice at all.

It makes me wonder….

What can I do to find more time for nature.
What do you do?

More tomorrow.

Lovemore {fearless}
{how do you connect with nature}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 237 starting over :: decor

27 Aug

As you know, I’m starting over. 
But it feels like more of a celebration than a struggle. The surgery is over! The move to the west coast is complete!  
So, now, we need to decorate.

Jaynane to the rescue. 

Not only has Jaynane arrived by my side to help with post-surgery recovery, she has already delivered new furniture, sewed new curtains, and painted amazing amounts of furniture.

All I’ve been allowed to do by Justin and his mother has been kick up my feet and sip some wine. I’m not allowed to lift heavy objects or drive a vehicle or cook or do laundry. Doctor’s orders.

It won’t last for long, but it’s not a bad gig if you ask me.

As the decor transformation takes place over here I will post photos later this week.

Until then, I share a total makeover series with you from House Beautiful.
It’s totally worth checking out this day in the life of a surprise makeover.

My transformation has felt a little bit like this one below, featured on House Beautiful.

Swift. Quick.
And all done in one week!


More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless}

{what could you transform in one week?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 236 :: tips on starting over

26 Aug
I’m starting over. 
At least my body feels like it has a new lease on Life After Surgery — like a big, old reset button on my health and wellness.
I thought about sharing the post-surgery photos of my bulbaceous thyroid tonight (yes, in this digital age I now have images of my long lost thyroid on my iPhone).But I hesitated.
For a few reasons.

For one, the image is kind of gross.  Actually, it looks sort of like a chicken bone or a gizzard. So I will spare you the gore.

And, for two, I’m starting over. 

Jaynane reminded me of this tonight when I pondered whether it was too vile to post photos of my totally removed organ tissue on this blog.

“You’re on to better things.” Jaynane wisely advised.

And, you know what….I agree. She’s right.

So in honor of starting over, with a new body, a new gigantic daily pill dispenser, and a new lease on this thing called life….

I share:

10 Tips for Starting Over and Tips for Starting Over and Rebooting Your Life

These are articles I found interesting and helpful. And, really, starting over is just as easy as making a decision — lots of little decisions that add up over time.

So, rev up your engine, and here’s to your next start… whatever it may be!

More tomorrow.

Lovemore {fearless}
{where do you want a new start?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 235 finale – video series :: my favorite things and post surgery update

26 Aug

Today continues My Favorite Things with you. 
It’s a video series. But first…..

It feels like a month since I last wrote to you here on this blog, but it’s only been a few days. I blame the drugs. The surgery. The recovery room, IV, jello and ice cream from the hospital. 

This week has been a big one.
On so many levels. 

I am now without another pickled internal organ. My spleen forever lives in a jar at the University of Utah, my thyroid has taken up permanent residence in a lab in Oregon. 
More than anything else, I have learned the deeper power of love.

My surgeon, Dr. Milas, and her entire team, were outstanding. They were the perfect blend of medical science and proper bedside manners. They are not only “good” at their job, they love what they do.

And I could feel the difference. 

Justin’s mother is here with me now.

She has been by my side throughout this entire process (discovering the lump in my throat, encouraging me to follow up with medical care, helping me weigh all of my options, and everything else along this medical journey).

It’s been a long time since I felt this kind of loving presence of a mother in my life. 
But, I must also admit, it feels more like having a super nurse, mom, interior decorator, cook, and personal stylist looking after me.  (She is literally sewing curtains right now!)

I can honestly say, it feels amazing.

There’s Justin’s Aunt Judy. She flew FROM IOWA to be with me in Portland for my surgery.  I was so overwhelmed by her act of love that I broke down into tears. How amazing, how loving, how gracious. And, I am grateful.

Speaking of….One of the reasons we moved back west was to be closer to the best F word of all — family.

And, I was thrilled to see my cousin, Michelle, who also stopped by for a little bit of our Party in Portland.

We made the most of our pre-surgery time together and truly tried to create a light-hearted moment out of a life-gasping event.

And then, of course, there is my sweet, sweet, Justin. I can’t thank this man enough.

For being by my side when he was just a boy and I was just a girl, and for being by my side now. His capacity for love just gets bigger and better with time, something I never thought he could top, but he does, over and over again.

And, then, there is the posse of friends I adore and would do anything for. Between cards and calls I feel held and cradled in a web of love — coast to coast, EST time zone to PST time zone, day and night, old and young, silver and gold.

Needless to say, I feel blessed. 
And lucky. 
And clear. 

The best news all week is this — my thyroid is at first glance clear. We are still waiting for pathology results but for all intents and purposes, I have breathed a sigh of relief.

And that is clearly the biggest lesson of all of this — the waiting place is the hardest place.  It’s the most challenging and the most important time to breathe in and out. Over and over again.

Just breathe.

And I breathe the air of a new day, a new body, a new appreciation for all those I love as I round out this final video series — my favorite things.

Today’s favorite thing is my newfound garden. But, it doesn’t hold a candle to the deep roots I share with the people I love most.

Thank you for being here. I love, appreciate, and adore your presence in my life.

Now, go ahead, click the video… do it… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

I hope you enjoy!

More tomorrow.

Lovemore {fearless}
{what are your favorite things?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 234: my favorite things – designer coat

24 Aug

Today continues My Favorite Things with you.
It’s a video series.

So, while I can’t really keep up with the blog in between medical appointments, the hospital, and recovery this week, I can keep up with you. At least virtually over video.

I’m home now, but taking good, mending care. So please enjoy this little video. One of my favorite things for some of my favorite people!

Go ahead, click… do it… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

If you cannot see the video, please click here:

I hope you enjoy!More tomorrow.

Lovemore {fearless}
{what are your favorite things?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 233: my favorite things – tiny little steps

23 Aug

Today continues My Favorite Things with you.
It’s a video series.

So, while I can’t really keep up with the blog in between medical appointments, the hospital, and recovery this week, I can keep up with you. At least virtually over video.

Go ahead, click… do it… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

If you can’t see the video, please click here:
I hope you enjoy!
More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless}
{what are your favorite things?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 232: my favorite things – thought of the day

22 Aug

Today continues My Favorite Things with you.
It’s a video series.

So, while I can’t really keep up with the blog in between medical appointments, the hospital, and recovery this week, I can keep up with you. At least virtually over video.

Go ahead, click… do it… wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

If the video doesn’t play, click here:
I hope you enjoy!More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless}
{what are your favorite things?}
%d bloggers like this: