Monday, September 6, 2010
Early in my husbands diagnosis of terminal Brain Cancer, GBM, I learned to open gifts each day. Gifts bestowed upon me, treasures that needed to be opened and shared. It was easy to see the devastation that Cancer is, but much more difficult to see the Gift that Cancer can be. A beautiful christian woman explained that if you open a new gift every day, you will open your eyes to the blessings right before them. Blessings that you might easily miss if you succumb to wallowing in self pity.
I would like to share with you one of the greatest gifts my husband gave me, besides my children. He gave me his family. A mother and father who love me as their own. A sister who is one of my dearest friends. A family who love a care for me and my children and continue to share their lives with us and wrap their arms around us every day.
They live 8 hours away but we talk all the time. I recently visited them and stayed with Mom and Dad. I would like to share the gifts we shared together this journey to visit MY family.
I arrived early, so after picking me up from the airport, Mom and Dad took me to lunch. A beautiful restaurant, overlooking water. We sat on the patio, the weather was perfect. We drank Bloody Marys, ate simple but elegant California cuisine and planned our afternoon. Next stop...the winery's in Temecula. There are, to my amazement, about 50 wineries in Temecula. Of course, we couldn't go to all of them, but we did give it the ol' college try. Dad was our designated driver, so Mom chose a few of her favorite, and we were off and running. Shannon, my niece, met up with us at Wilson Creek. What fun. If you have never experienced wine tasting.......GO!
I had my favorites at each winery. I think at Wilson Creek, I loved the port. The tasting was incredible. They served their award winning Port in a chocolate cup. You drank 1/2 the cup then they filled the cup with champagne mixed with the Port. Now that is an experience.
The next morning we went to Balboa Park. We ate at Prado. Some of the best calamari I have ever had, anywhere, hands down. Mom had their Kobe Burger. They also have a signature cocktail. Salads, divine and their desserts are world class, of course, I had to have cappuccino.
We ate on the patio overlooking a wedding in the garden. After, we walked to the botanical gardens and around the Coi ponds. Balboa Park is huge. I definitely will go back. There is a Tea Garden and Art Museum. So much to see. I have been to Southern California so many times and each time my eyes are opened to more beauty. Below are some photos I captured.
I have never seen a pitcher plant before. (the middle photo). I was captivated by the way these little pitchers formed on this plant. Some of the most unique and beautiful flowers grow here.
After enjoying a peaceful afternoon with Mom and Dad on their patio, we went to the Gambling Cowboy restaurant in Old Town Temecula. It is owned and operated by a local family. It is both casual and elegant. Decorated with the family's history and the atmosphere is fun and inviting. Locally grown and sustainable food. You can either dine in the elegant dining room or on the balcony overlooking the town. Either way, you are in for a real treat.
I finished my trip by sleeping in, waking to fresh coffee, Bloody Marys and breakfast, cooked by Dad (and Mom). Shannon, Chad, Gwen and Michael all came to say good bye and then it was time to head to the airport. What an amazing weekend. What loving family I have been blessed with by my sweet husband. A "Gift" I shall treasure and hold near to my heart forever.
With all this world has to offer it is the simple gifts bestowed upon us that are the greatest. I am blessed. I encourage you to open your gifts each day. It's easy. It's fun and it keeps you happy and mentally healthy. I will continue to share my gifts with you as I open them. Won't you join me?
Sunday, August 29, 2010
All through this event I was reminded of my husband. The fight, the strength, the honor, the dreams. I will continue to serve, continue to honor him and continue to be blessed by the legacy he gave me and my children. A legacy of servitude, a legacy of strength, a legacy of hope, of courage, of support and of helping others. Inspiring and touching lives in a way that makes you feel good.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This is something I have struggled with all my life. Not anymore!!!! I love being alone now, I long for it. I love me and I love being with me! Just me! It's okay, in fact it's fun! This video teaches you how to learn how to do it. I wish I had learned this years ago! Thanks Andrea and Tanya for opening my eyes.
Monday, August 2, 2010
A year ago I had no idea what I liked. If you asked what was for dinner, I would call my husband and ask what he wanted to eat. If you asked what my favorite color was, I would say blue, just because. It amazes me to think about how little I really knew myself. No wonder, so many day to day functions actually scared me. I absolutely could not function properly in Wal-Mart. Would not, go to any restaurant alone. Could not, think about making a single decision without someone's approval.
I'm getting better now. This is a slow process. But, I'm liking what I see. I'm liking who I am. I'm liking the choices I'm making. Actually, I am falling in love with myself. It's a great feeling. I've always been a giver, a caretaker, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, etc. I've always taken those "roles" seriously. I still do. However, along with those roles, I'm also just me.
I do like blue but I also like other colors. I prefer sparkling water. I would rather eat fish than red meat. I love cool weather. I love to sleep with a cool breeze blowing against my face. I love early mornings and late nights. My music changes daily, and I love that. I love to travel, alone! I love to spend quiet sunsets on the beach, eating appetizers and drinking rum runners! I hate a dirty kitchen. I love comfortable clothing, flat shoes and no makeup. I love beautiful dresses, high heels and red lipstick. I love scarves and sweaters. My favorite face makup is Dior Flash. My favorite lipstick is Mac - Twig. I love animals, sweet people and my dogs. I adore my children. I am blessed with my family. I had the greatest love a girl could wish for in a lifetime. I love GOD.
I flew to Las Vegas last week. I left at 4pm. Went to a party for a photography Studio ATG. Then flew home at 9:30 p.m. Totally out of my box. I loved it. I had a great time. It was a little overwhelming. It was a little scary. It was a lot different for me. It was Good! I'm flying to So. California Thursday. I'll be spending time with my amazing motherand father-in-law, sister-in-law and niece. It will be the first time staying with them without my husband. Another first. But, I am prepared. I am excited. I am looking forward to it.
I am learning to Love me. I recommend it highly. It is giving me freedom of heart. I know a lot of people who say they love themselves. Hell, I use to. But, to really love yourself, to put yourself first. To place yourself on a pedestal, so to speak. Appreciate who you are and what you have become in your life. It is so liberating. I can honestly say, that the more I find out about myself, the more I like who I see.
I'm hoping that someday, I can grow enough, believe enough, love enough to touch someone's heart. To break their barrier. To teach them to love themself. To show them GOD. To ease someone's pain. To share this joy I am finding.
Maybe then I will have found what it means to be content.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
One woman this week wrote the most inspiring article on becoming a "Woman of a Certain Age". It captivated me and still I ponder her writings and long to become of "That Age". I need to share some of this article with you and some of what I have been pondering. Seriously, we go through phases in our lives. We want to be older, prettier, richer, smarter, braver, skinnier, healthier, more active, etc..etc..etc.. A "Woman of a Certain Age" as described by Karen Walrond has finally figured out her own beauty and knows how to Rock It. Without the need for a push-up bra, miniskirt, stilettos, botox and the like. She has given up vanity opting instead to feeling as healthy as possible so she can do what she was put on this earth to do. Live her Life. She has confidence to say "no" when she knows that saying "yes" will make her feel like a tiny bit of her soul is dying. A woman of a certain age can make at lease one beverage or main course without the need for a written recipe. She knows the difference between a good wine and a bad one (or choose the beverage of your choice) She can quote literature, knows funny jokes both clean and dirty. This woman she describes is confident in who she is and no longer strives to become someone she isn't.
As I have been thinking on this, I have realized that I am finally figuring out who I am. I am 47 years old and until this past year I didn't know what colors I liked, really. I didn't really know what my favorite dinner was, come to find out it's watermelon. I am finding out so much about myself it's like falling down the hole in Alice and Wonderland with the White Rabbit. Sometimes, I love it, other times it frightens me. I am learning what music I like, I am very eclectic there.
I hope I can become that Woman. You know, that woman that everyone looks at and thinks, huh, there is something about her. You know, that "Woman of a Certain Age". Because I hope this just isn't another "phase" in my life. I have been through so many "phases" in my life. I really am following that white rabbit. Learning, growing, reaching, and all the while trying to keep smiling. By the way, I LOVE to smile. Sometimes, I just smile for no reason.
Yesterday was Friday, not different than other Friday really. But, I had my truck serviced, left work a little early and went to Lake Tahoe. Not to see Rascal Flatts. Not to see the Celebrity golf tournament or chase celebrities. Not to find Snoopdog. I went to sit with an old friend. We sat on the beach, ate fabulous appetizers (which is also another favorite of mine), drank "Rum Runners" and watched the sunset. We talked for hours and not about anything in particular. It was inspiring, motivating and just felt good. We then went and sat with another friend on her balcony on the water. She, her husband and her family had rented a house on the lake. We had never all met, or gotten together. Another great experience. Nothing planned and no preconceived notions. Just friends, old and new, meeting, laughing and enjoying Lake Tahoe. I recommend that everyone just take the time, sometimes, to wander. Wander off your beaten path. Go where you have never gone before. Enjoy who you are and who you are becoming. You might just fall in Love with yourself.