Cancer, coping, podcast, Quarantine

Going Big After Starting Over ~ New Podcast Post!

This was one of my most favorite podcasts I’ve been interviewed on! We went where the conversation led us and it really gave me some “ah ha” moments!

You might enjoy this episode if you:

Have overcome hardship in your life but still find joy

Are currently going through a hardship and need a silver lining

Believe that everything happens for a reason and you love seeing things come together for a greater purpose


If you are struggling this season or finding yourself stuck in life I hope this will bless you!!


You can catch it on the podcast link below or or watch it here on you tube:

Real Talk with Krysta – Episode 2: Your Weight Doesn't Determine Your Worth Women Going Big

Happy Thanksgiving! Today's episode is brought to you by diet culture telling you to not eat those mashed potatoes tonight. I'm here to tell you to eat the damn mashed potatoes! But for real, your weight doesn't determine your worth. Don't give numbers so much power. 
  1. Real Talk with Krysta – Episode 2: Your Weight Doesn't Determine Your Worth
  2. Real Talk with Krysta – Episode 1: Let's get Real
  3. Women Digging Deep: Rising Above Against All Odds
  4. Women Going Big in Business: Taking Care of Yourself First
  5. Women Digging Deep: Finding Your Personal Power

Alittle bit about Krysta!

Krysta Paffrath is the owner and founder of Women Going Big, a podcast dedicated to sharing the stories of ordinary women doing extraordinary things from around the world. She is also the owner of her own social media agency, and co-owner of a full service marketing firm. In her journey through small business and entrepreneurship, she discovered the need for women’s voices to be heard in a true and authentic way. Thus, Women Going Big was born. She is on her second season of the podcast and is looking to expand the platform to create a community of strong women who are “going big” in some aspect of their life. I encourage you to connect with her on Facebook, @Krysta Paffrath (personal or page) or find her podcast on Instagram @WomenGoingBig

Cancer, Children, divorce

It’s a Girl!

Emily doesn’t love me.

At least this is what she tells me on a regular basis.  Followed by she hates me, she never wants to see me again, I’m mean, I’m stupid, and the list goes on.  (Now I could go off on a tangent as to where she hears this kind of talk but I’ll leave that to another blog…)

Coming from a 14 year old I would be mentally & emotionally prepared that this is a string of hormone induced ridiculousness of a teenager exerting their control & independence in the world. But at 4! Nothing has prepared me for the string of hurtfulness and anger bursting forth my 4 year olds mouth.  I secretly wonder if this is pay back for every mean thing I ever said to my mother. If it is, I better fasten my seat belt. Knowing my mouth, I’m in store for a long bumpy ride.

Reasons Emily does not love me:

  • I won’t let her eat a marshmallow for breakfast
  • I made her take a bath
  • I won’t let her buy Yoplait yogurt at King Soopers. She wants peach yogurt. I point out all the organic, nutritious, non-chemical laden peach yogurts she can have. She wants Yoplait (maybe because the package is pink or maybe because she just wants to torment me) “It’s junk” I say calmly. “You can’t have it.”   “I don’t love you. I want to eat junk. I want to be sick!” she defiantly says with her hands on her hips.
  • I make her take her Retinoic Acid pills. And then tell her “No” when she goes to spit them out after only holding them in her mouth & not actually chewing them to get the medicine out.
  • I made her wear her coat. It was 54 degrees. Yes, I’m a mean mom.
  • I won’t take her for High Tea after she screamed on the top of her lungs in heritage square so loudly the daughter of my friend Anne actually covered her ears. Oh that and she started smacking me for talking to Anne.
  • I won’t cook her pancakes at 8:30 at night after I just made a veggie quiche, a Mexican quiche, and two homemade deli style baked sandwiches and cleaned the whole kitchen.
  • I won’t leave Aunt Chrissy’s house within the 1st 15 min of arriving to see my Uncle Frank & Aunt Valentina who I haven’t seen in over 5 years. (after an hour fit I finally was tortured into leaving early anyway)
  • I won’t take her to Casa Bonita after she got in the car & started screaming & whining in her words “just because.”
  • Every time I won’t take her to Starbucks to buy a strawberry banana $4 smoothie that she takes 2 sips of, a fruit & granola $4 yogurt parfait she takes 2 bites of, a $3 green machine she takes 1 swig of, or a $5 bowl of fruit she chews a half of piece of.
  • I make her clean a broviac when she does take a bath. And I scrub the full 15 seconds with the alcohol Cloraprep that burns her skin so it doesn’t get infected (ok this one maybe I understand)
  • I cut her toes nails. (although in my defense this is such a fight it is only after they become daggers that literally could impale a person resulting in death if she kicked them)
  • I won’t let her eat chocolate cake for dinner.
  • I push her Acyclovir anti-virus medicine thru her tube 3x a day. 
  • I can’t read her mind to know which song she wants to hear in the car when she sings “if you… dum um um um…you know mom! You know!”
  • I tell her she can’t scream every morning when she wakes up just because she wants to.
  • I made her put her blood pressure cuff on in the Intensive Care Unit. She screamed “I want my dad” and then told the RN to call him because once he got there he wouldn’t make her put the cuff on.
  • I wouldn’t buy her 2 Bernstein bear books, only one, at Tattered Covered and she NEEEDED two and HAD TO HAVE two and when she threw herself on the floor in a fit we left without any books and I carried her 4 blocks down 16th street mall with her screaming and flailing herself around while everyone we passed starred & I’m sure judged me as to why I couldn’t control my child (well at least the ones who never had kids anyway did)
  • I won’t change my plans in the middle of the day to take her to Chuck E Cheese, Mr. Biggs, the Bounce Place, tattered Covered, The Art Workshop, Red Robin, or wherever else she decides on the spur of the moment she just HAS to go to.

 

And the list goes on.

  • I make her wear her orthotics.
  • I won’t turn the radio up to a blasting level so she can hear it because she refuses to wear her ear jewelry, hearing helpers, hearing aids or whatever other term we’re currently using to make them seem fun.
  • I make her brush her teeth. 2 times a day!
  • I won’t let her open the car door when she’s having a fit while I’m driving. (Thank you Kwan for showing me how to child lock the doors!)  
  • I make her get dressed. In clean clothes.
  • I make her wash her face, wash her hair, and wash her hands on a regular basis.
  • I make her take her meds, drink her vitamin juice, and flush her IV lines.
  • I won’t let her play play dough on the living room carpet without a mat. (She explains her dad lets her play play dough on the glass table over the carpet. I tell her when we have a glass table she can do that here too)

 

Is it because she spent almost a year in the hospital getting catered to 24/7 that she now can’t “deal” with the “real world?” Is it because every time she did get to leave the hospital for a few days at a time we made a big deal to do lots of fun things that now she thinks every day is a “special day” for a special outing, gift, treat, or adventure? Is it because she deals with the same inconsistently every child of divorce likely faces where there are rules at one parent’s house that aren’t at the others? (She reminds me on a regular basis there are no rules at her dad’s. And then every time I tell her “No” she demands I call him and take her there. Now outside of the obvious, I can’t call him because I have a protection order against him because he wants to kill me but I can’t really explain that to a 4 year old. So I just say “I’m sorry Em, that’s not how it works. You’ll see your dad on….” Which just ignites how mean, stupid, & nasty I am and how much she doesn’t love me.  Or is it because this is the cycle of pay back in life? Your parent’s sweet revenge.

 I remember when the Doctor 1st told me I was having a girl.  NO! I thought! I can’t have a girl. There is only 1 crazy woman in my house. ME! I can’t handle two! I know me. I couldn’t even live with girls in college.  I refused to accept I was having a girl. I picked out a boy’s name, boys clothes, and a generic nursery set. People excitedly would ask the age old “What are you having?”  “The doctors say it’s a girl but I’m having a boy” I would respond. After all, I was sick and my mother was only sick with boys.  My skin was breaking out & my non-scientific study in the skin care market for almost a decade would indicate a boy. And most importantly girls were too mentally and emotionally challenging for me. God wouldn’t give me a girl.  As the doctor pulled her out of my belly in a very unplanned c-section the1st thing I remember asking was “What is it?”  “It’s a girl!” to which my ex husband leaned over and said “Do you believe them now?”

A girl. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. A girl. Pinks & purples. Dresses & bows. A 4 year old with a purse fetish and me, her mom, who would rather pull off my toe nails then go shopping.  A girl. Cliques and sleepovers and cattiness, and BFF’s.  Girl scouts, dance class & gymnastics (oh who am I kidding that kid will be waaay too tall for gymnastics). A girl. A gender that has a rare mutation where a phone can stay attached to their ear for hours and hours, days and even months without discomfort. A girl. Dating and boys and prom dresses and 1st kisses, and pregnancy and STD’s and date rape.  It’s been said that when boys get mad at each other they just beat each other up. Girls give each other eating disorders.

Of course shouldn’t have been worried. After all, I’m a better mom then my mom. I have it together. I’m more emotionally stable. I am not a product of some crazy 60’s hippy generation. I’m an 80’s baby.  Capitalism, Self Sufficiency, and Success at its finest.  I have read “Love & Logic,” “Babywise,” and “Principles of Success.”  I will run my home and my family with the same ease, efficiency, and effectiveness I have run a $300K+ business. I remind myself I mentor hundreds of women around the country.  I work with women every day!  I have lots of girlfriends who I adore and love!  One little girl can’t be that hard. I will be the model mom. She will always be neatly dressed in well matched clothes & a cute bow in her perfectly groomed hair. My house will never get dirty, my dishes will clean themselves & my laundry will fold & put itself away. My car will not have cheerios, juice boxes and diapers spilling over in the backseat. I will always have a fully stocked diaper/kid bag in my trunk with everything I might ever need or want at my finger tips. Nutritious Organic home cooked meals will miraculously appear on my dinner table every night.  The color coded calendar on my fridge will reflect a life of balance with church time;  personal time for yoga, prayer, friends, and happy hours; work time where I will have more than enough emotional energy & stamina to grow my business to my $1million goal; and a equal balance of activities to nurture a young creative growing mind, play dates, park outings, library programs, nature programs, and seasonal children’s events which  I have carefully selected out of kidspages.org to foster intellect, creativity and physically activity. 

Then, of course, Emily will grow up singing my praises about how blessed and lucky she is God chose me to be her mom (as I remind myself regularly when I am on my knees begging God for grace & patience).

Oh how I wish I lived in my fantasy world.  Where even as I type this I can hear birds singing in the background, a happy dog barking (not that yappy devil dog that lives next door that I want to bunt kick across the cud-a-sac because it barks 15 hours a day when it’s owners leave it outside and they are nowhere to be found) but a cute happy dog. And somehow there is magically a stream flowing in my backyard and fish jumping up to dance.

Back to reality. It’s 5:30 am (which in my world is the middle of the night) and I am wide awake because Emily woke up an hour ago screaming that she wanted  “drish.”  When I couldn’t understand …did she want gold fish? (was she hungry?)  did she want to come lay in my bed? (Maybe she was saying “dred?”) Which just made her angrier until I finally deciphered “my drish” into” my dress…” which really wasn’t a dress at all but my black and white silk shirt that she has recently become attached to “the one you wear ALLLL the time!” she screamed at me (for the record I think I’ve worn it once in the last 4 months.) and then rolled herself up in it and went back to sleep.  And now here I am typing & wondering how did my life get here.

We go to therapy tomorrow at 2pm.  I think we both need it.

Cancer, Children, Uncategorized

EM HAS EYELASHES

Written 8-6-10

Emily has eyelashes.

It’s funny how something so “normal” seems to strange. I have gotten so used to seeing her without hair that the short rim of dark lashes around her gray/green eyes look odd.

I remember when her hair first fell out.  She had this head full of crazy curly Shirley temple golden brown hair. It was her “signature.” Everywhere we went people would comment on her hair.  When the doctor called me to finally give me the results of her biopsy and confirmed my worst fears…yes it she had cancer. I remember asking her if her hair would fall out.  I was embarrassed I was asking about something so trivial in the same conversation of “yes your child has cancer.” I was afraid she would think I was vain, insensitive, or just nuts.  She actually responded in such a kind and gentle way.  Yes she said – she would lose her hair.  I acknowledged how ridiculous of a question that was.  I remember her saying “No it’s not…it’s the outward sign of her cancer.”I didn’t feel so stupid after that.

I remember the first night they transferred us from the PICU up to the “bear” floor.  I was walking down the hall with my cousin and a teenager was walking in front of us who was completely bald. I remember that tight feeling in my chest. A stark slap of reality. I am on a cancer floor. I have a child with cancer. I will be the mom of a baldy.

 

I remember cutting her hair short.  Curly Q’s all over her head.  And then the hair started to fall out. Everywhere. It was gross. So we cut it again. Shorter.  A pixie cut.  And yet I couldn’t bring myself to shave it.  She sat in my lap as I pulled the pieces out and with a sharp orange scissor. I cropped it close to her head. I cried.  I tried not to. I didn’t want her to cry too.  She didn’t.  “Why are you crying?” she asked me. I just shook my head and tried to hold back the tears.  I put a thick piece of curls in a lab bag. I wanted to save it. The nurses told me her hair – when it grew back – might grow in differently. I wanted to remember what my daughter was before she was a cancer kid. When she was innocent and naive to the medical world. 

When it was all over she sat on the bed and brushed the locks of hair I had cut. That night I laid in the parent bed across the room while she was in her hospital bed and sobbed.  I remember her leaning over her bed — looking squarely at me and saying “Mommy why are you crying? I’m right here.”  It was if God spoke to me through her at that instant and said “She’s not going anywhere.” It’s one of those moments forever captured in a mental picture in my mind.

Now fast forward 9 months and I am so used to seeing her without hair I am not sure how to react watching the small patches that are slowly growing back on her head.  She had short dark eyelashes.  And just tufts of eyebrow patches.  Her hair before her transplant had started to grow back in a dark buzz look even and all over her head. It was different though. It only lasted a few days and I knew it was going to fall out again as I watched the chemo drip into her over 96 hours.  This time though the hair will stay.  There is no more chemo. It’s done.  She has one day left of radiation and then that’s done.  Her hair will grow back and she will look “normal” again.  Her bald head is a badge of courage everywhere she goes. She doesn’t wear hats or scarves or anything. She loves her bald head and keeps reminding me as I check out the new patchy hair growth that she will be shaving it off as it grows back. 

Right now she has the same hair as her dad. Lots of hair in a horseshoes around the back o f her head. And then a 2 inch tuff off the top.  So my ex and my daughter now share the same hair line.  I have asked the doctors’ 3x will it all grow in or are these bald patches permanent? They keep assuring me it will just grow in at different times but eventually will all grow in. I’m not convinced yet.

And at the same time I have to admit her hair growing back scares me.  It’s a reminder that chemo is over and we are onto the next part of her therapy.  Bio therapy.   I just had the consult with her doctors today and have the consent forms sitting in my bag to sign and bring back on Tuesday.  Bio Therapy (also known as immune therapy) lasts 6 months with 5 treatments.  She’ll go into the hospital on a Monday and stay the week. She’ll check out Friday and then have a 3 week break.  She’ll only need to come back to the clinic 1 x the following week and then only if she is sick.  The kids usually do great at home and after September 9th (her 100th day past post bone marrow transplant) her mask comes off and she can start to resume a “normal” life.  ‘

Bio therapy is hard. It’s painful. Really painful. The kids are put on a narcotic drip at admission. 2 of the 5 rounds are done in the PICU from the beginning (because so many kids end up being transferred, they just start them there now) Em will be the 3rd kid at this hospital getting this particular round of therapy. It’s not FDA approved yet. Kids who make it all the way through increase their long term survival rate 15-20%

I am told they will do whatever they have to do to keep her alive to get the drugs into her. Blood pressure meds, ventilators, ART lines, it’s a race against time.  The medicine goes in over 10 hours. If she starts to react they slow it down. It has to be in within 20 hours. Whatever doesn’t make it in in 20 hours is discarded and you start over the next day.  Obviously the more that goes in the higher her cure rate.  I sign a 14 page consent packet.  Pages of side effects.  All scary. A relapse scarier. I sign away.

I should be excited her hair is growing back. It means the end of chemo.  I’m not.  I know chemo. It’s comfortable. I know what to expect. Bio therapy is scary. It’s new territory. The unknown.  And then when it’s over….you wait. The scariest part of all.  You scan. You wait. You scan. You wait. You try to live without fear and you cherish life in a way most people will never understand.  I guess it’s a choice to be grateful or resentful. I’m not sure which choice I’ll make yet.

Those dark patches of hair represent the “real world.” Shampoo, haircuts, and bows. …they are all part of the “real world.” Washing your 4 year olds head with a wash cloth? That is not.  My reality is skewed. The real world is outside the 4 walls of a hospital room.  The real world, where dealing with “life” right now actually feels more overwhelming then dealing with cancer.  Here the nurses are our family.  The cafeteria my kitchen.  The parking lot my garage. It’s my life.  Hair…that’s not my life.

I look at her dark patchy tufts of hair. I wonder what she will look like. The bald child I see now is not the one I brought to the Emergency room almost a year ago. That child didn’t have nightmares of getting poked. That child didn’t have yellow tinged bruises on her legs that never seem to fully go away from week after week of insulfon needles being placed. That child didn’t have a “diamond cut” scar across her belly or holes where chest tubes stayed for months. That child didn’t know how to draw her own blood back out of a central line implanted in her chest or know that when she is “puky” she wants Atavan and when she is in pain she wants Oxycodone. That child didn’t know the difference between an x-ray, a CAT scan and a MIBG scan.  That child didn’t say “what? What?” all the time and didn’t need hearing aids.  That child had hair.

 I will miss kissing her bald head. I will miss that visible reminder that Emily is different.  Her bald head represents her strength to me. Her will to win. Her courage. Hair will make her like every other kid.  And as strange as it sounds I’m glad she’s not. I’m glad she’s a fighter. I’m glad she’s got a “reputation” for being strong willed and being the only 3 year old to pull out her own chest tube. I’m glad she is young enough to hopefully not remember the bad parts and old enough to remember she is a Miracle Kid and she can do anything.  I wonder how having cancer will mold who she will become. How it will shape her destiny in a way that having hair never would have.  Because even after her hair grows back…however it grows back, light, dark, straight, or curly….she will always be my brave, beautiful, bald kid.  

Reality….here we come.

Cancer, Children, Denver, divorce, Fun, men

ONE GOOD THING ABOUT HAVING THE RUG PULLED OUT FROM UNDER YA….EVERYONE KNOWS YOU’RE SITTING ON THE FLOOR

I am a happy person. Truly I am.

 I wonder why this is? If you look at my life some could argue I have very little to be happy about.  I lost my marriage and found out the man I spent 8 years with was a pathological liar and was finally arrested for assaulting me.  During the year that followed I learned that everything (and I mean everything!) he ever told me was a lie (jobs, friends, drug use, alcohol use, right down to the college he claimed he went to that’s printed in my wedding announcement…he made it up).  Then after I got divorced he didn’t pay the taxes, the debt, sign off on the title of our (now my) house (well it was always my house…I bought it and I was the only one on the mortgage but that’s for a different rant)  Anyway the list goes on.  I was struggling half way across the country from my family,  trying to pay bills, deal with the marital debt he left me with, take care of a house that needed more work then I have time for, and handle a 3 year old who was being physically and emotionally abused and was in therapy.  I was trying to piece my life back together and 9 months later my now 3 ½ year old was diagnosed with advanced cancer.  Since then I have moved into Children’s Hospital. Watched my business continue to slide downward, been subjected to severe control and power abuse with her father, watched my bank account dwindle, worry about how to pay bills , not have time (or the mental reserve) to get my act together and get back to work. And spend 100% of my energy cheering this kid through chemo, surgery, and now a bone marrow transplant. 

I would say it could be argued I just “put on a happy face.”

And yet that’s not true. It is a happy face. I am happy.

I am happy 7 months later Emily is still fighting cancer! She is HERE to fight her cancer. She has made it thru 6 rounds of chemo, 2 chest tubes, lung surgery, an 8 hour tumor removal surgery, and a bone marrow transplant.  She is 4 days into her 14 day radiation. I am happy she is a fighter and no one has told us to go home stop fighting.

I am happy I have a family who hates my ex more than I do. Ok seriously now. I am happy because I have a family that is willing to stand by me, help me out financially, and encourage me to keep fighting for my daughter’s safety.

I am happy that for 12 years I have been in a pink bubble called Mary Kay. Where I have learned to set goals, control my attitude, smile at everyone I meet, and be supported by the most incredible integrity Faith filled women on this planet.

I am happy that this is a season in my life. That it’s not forever. And that both Emily and I will be stronger people on the other side.

I am happy because now I have perspective. I went out the other night with a couple and the guy stormed off mad.  Who knows what they were arguing about.  They’ve been on and off for as long as I remember.  I am happy that I no longer need drama in my life. That my perspective has been changed forever. That it’s ok to disagree, even argue, it’s not ok to bring drama into your relationships. That I see the need for drama as a form of manipulation and insecurity. That I can pick and choose who I want in my life and I have the confidence to say “no thanks” when it comes to drama.

I am happy because my kid is fantastic.  She sticks my hand in her warm bath water and then when I’m pretending not to look she puts it under the cold water running from the faucet. And then when I pretend to be shocked and horrified she squeals in laughter – a laugh that makes me laugh.

I am happy because when I got to sleep at night in the pull out hospital bed next to Emily and I say “Emmie I love you” she says “Mommy I love you”

I am happy because in her bath yesterday she told me “Mommy I love you a million gazillion, bazillion, migillion, cadillion, pazillion” I told her I loved her that much plus 100. She said “I love you that much plus 1000”

I am happy because even though I’m no longer Top 10 in Colorado in Mary Kay. (right now I don’t think they even have a spot for where I am!)  I still have the skills and experience to rebuild where I was. My “stat reports” may have changed but I have not changed.

I am happy because Debbie Segal believes with more conviction then anyone I know that Emily will be ok. And Every time I am scared all I need to do is talk to her for 5 minutes and I’m ok

I am happy because no matter how bad things are I can always go dancing with Jaime and all will be right (or at least avoided for the moment)

I am happy because even with everything with my ex I would go back and do it all again just to have my daughter – even if she does have to fight thru her cancer

I am happy because 7 months ago Emily would cry on the door when I would leave. I was working like a crazy person trying to get my life back together. I was stressed and tired and just depressed.  I would tell my therapist I felt so unconnected. I would sit with Emily and she would just want to play and I wouldn’t know how to just be present with her and play. I felt numb.  My mind 1000 miles away filled with fear and worry and then guilt for not being able to just play. I would hold a toy in my hand and just look at it. And because of her cancer I now know how to play again.  Cancer gave me a chance to just be with her. To play with her. To laugh and be silly.  It gave me my relationship back with my daughter

I am happy because I am not alone. I value the people in my life more than the things in my life. Everything I have lost is material. Everything I have gained is priceless. I don’t get frustrated sitting in traffic anymore. I don’t feel like I need to defend or explain myself to people. I don’t care about the small things and I finally “get” the title of the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small stuff.  I see the world differently. I value the “temporariness,” that in a blink life will pass me by. I used to live in the future.  I will be happy “when”…when I’m married…when I am a sales director…when I have a baby…when I get a pink caddy.  Without even realizing it in the last 8 months that has changed. I am no longer happy when. I am happy now. Cancer forces me to not think “when” because I don’t know what the future holds.  Ironic that this is my life now. I am a planner. Emily was 2 and told me she wanted to rip the color coded calendar I had made us off the fridge. It broke my heart. Now I can’t plan more than a week at a time because you just don’t know where you’ll be. Will we be in the Hospital or home? With an infection? Without?  In recovery? In crisis? There is no planning with cancer. I am happy I don’t have to plan.

I am happy because it’s sunny. I live in a hepa filtered room. I am happy every time I walk outside and take deep breath and am grateful for the sun and the air and the breeze.

I am happy for sushi, and bagels from Jordyn, and tequila. I am happy that I grew up in NJ and I will forever have a better appreciation for good food then the natives who live here in Colorado (or the Midwesterners who migrated here…the worst! Basically should just lump them with the English)

I am happy when I get to put on stiletto sandals – even when I get strange looks from the Doctors. It reminds me I have a life outside of these four walls and eventually Em and I will be back in it

I am happy for Video chat and that Emily can see my sister who loves her more than anything and Emily loves her back just as much.

I am happy for music. I believe God created music because he wants us to sing.  I sing in the car. Alone, or with people. And when Em is in the car we sing together. Music makes my soul happy.

I am happy I don’t have to live up to expectations anymore. One good thing about having the rug pulled out from under ya….everyone knows you’re sitting on the floor.  I don’t have to pretend I have it all together. That it’s better than it is. I can just be happy and ok with the crisis that is around me

I am happy that I am no longer married. No matter how bad things are now I am free. I am not being manipulated, controlled, or brainwashed by someone who needs a psyche ward instead of a spot in my bed. I am happy I only have 1 child to take care of now, not 2

I am happy that I will never date someone who I would have to get up if my kitchen was on fire.

I am happy I listened to that annoying little voice in my head that said “call Paul” last fall. I argued with it for weeks. Talk about eating humble pie. But I did. And he’s great. And I’m happy he’s part of my life.

I am happy Erin Rose, Cory Johnson, Jamie Roberts, Savannah Murdock, & Devon Kerns are people I get to have in my energy field

I am happy that 6 years ago after being in CO 2 weeks I saw an ad to audition for the Bovine Metropolis Theater and met Denise, and Eric and they just make Denver a better place to live.  

I am happy because I have the most amazing Mary Kay director sisters ~ Deb S, Meara B, Shari S, Yvette A, Pam L, Vanessa M, Sentra H Susan M, Elizabeth M, Sally Ann Q, Suzy K, Lise C, Maryann C, Alexa T, Ronnie K, Kathy P, Tracy G, Judi R, Kelly J, Piper P, Kathy P, Wilma D, and all the others I’m forgetting to add

I am happy Chris Gallegos cracks me up and makes me feel like a million bucks

I am happy Jordyn has the best bed, best Stromboli, best bagels, best hug, and best heart and I am lucky enough to have him in my life

I am happy because Bethany, Jon and Becky and Alyssa are 4 people who have hearts bigger than Santa

I am happy because Brad is my man angel

I wonder why I’m happy. Is it a genetic pre-disposition? Is it 12 years of MK attitude training that it’s an actual choice? Is it the whole Zen Buddhist minimalistic theory…you take away the material and you realize what you really have? What makes someone happy and someone sad? When my marriage was falling apart (oh that, and my ex was threatening to kill me) I was diagnosed with situational anxiety and depression. I kept thinking “what’s wrong with me???” *note to self..there is nothing wrong with you, you were married to a crazy person, you have a perfect child, it was still worth it*  I find it strange that at that point in my life – when I had a healthy child, choices (I mean I could have filed for divorce) and still had a solid business…I was depressed. Now I have a child with cancer, less choices (Per-CO law I’m stuck here till Em is 18 or my ex dies, whichever comes sooner), and have lost much of what I built in my business. Yet now, I’m happy. Really in my soul happy. Different then stressed. I’m still stressed beyond belief. Stressed about the pile of bills on my desk. Stressed that my judicial review will not be accepted and my alcoholic ex husband will still be allowed to administer medication s to our cancer baby.  Stressed that my mother is coming back from NJ, moving back into my house, and has no plans to actually leave. Stressed that my car program is “up” in Mary Kay and for the first time in 10 years I have to “work” to earn a car. Stressed that I don’t have anyone to facilitate exchanges when Emily is discharged and her dad is going to hang our parenting plan over my head. Yet before stressed = unhappiness to me. Stressed made me depressed. Now stress, yes, it’s part of my life. And yes, it’s there and yes, I’m happy anyway. 

My happiness isn’t linked to the stress or lack thereof in my life. My happiness isn’t linked to an event or an achievement or an amount in my bank account.  My happiness isn’t linked to a relationship, a holiday, an accolade, or a vacation. My happiness if found in the mundane. In giving my 4 year old a bath. In pushing her on a swing. In that moment right before I fall asleep and think she’s made it another day. (and grateful I have too.)  In that moment when the Dr is telling me how much her orthotics are going to cost every year out of pocket and I’m grateful that I’m already calculating what that will be by the time she is 18.  In BBQ’s, snuggling, Ice cream, giggling, dancing in the elevator and then in the clinic waiting room to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” Even grocery shopping. These are the moments that make me happy.

So now,

I’m happy.

Should I say “Thanks Cancer?”

Well Ok even I’m not that Happy.

Uncategorized

WHAT TO DO IN DENVER ON A SUNDAY

Jazz in the Park! I was just Jazz this sunday – that place is PACKED! I mean I think all of Denver was there…I love love love jazz park – it is the perfect mix … here’s why….

A perfect place to people watch – better than 16th street mall!

A perfect place to BBQ

A perfect place for families with kiddos – let them run crazy, tire themselves out

Perfect place to play volleyball etc (well I don’t do those things – you know – sports – but it looks like other people were having fun)

Perfect place to just throw down a blanket and lay out in the sun

Perfect place to meet new people – lots of hot guys & girls

Perfect place to crack open a bottle of wine (ok I actually don’t know if you are legally allowed to crack open a bottle of wine…might have to check the law on that one….)

Perfect date place – casual, fun, free, and if it’s a bad date you can always pray for rain

Oh and if you like Jazz the music is pretty good too 😉 (the whole reason we’re there right?)

Find out more http://www.cityparkjazz.org/

dating, men

WHY I THINK FACEBOOK IS THE NEW MATCH.COM

Copies of Emails I receive from men I don’t know…. (all names have been removed to protect the not so innocent & grammer/spelling etc is exactly as it was written…no joke)

June 18 2010 4:32 pm
Subject ~ Hey!!
Ok Dammit…what’s going on this weekend?? I need to get OUT!!!
*posted by a guy who had friend requested me that I hadn’t yet responded to – still trying to figure out if I actually know him or not?

.
June 16 2010 10:09 AM
Subject: Hello Beautiful
Hope you have a great day, 🙂
*posted by some random guy who just friend requested me

June 15 12:16 pm
Subject ~ hi
your welcome do you have a boy frined
*email from some guy after I thanked him for the friend request & asked him to join my fan page

June 15 12:23 AM
Subject ~ hi
hi you doing sexy?
*posted after I thanked him for his friend request & asked him to join my fan page

June 14 at 3:29pm
Subject ~ none
Damn you got a lot of friends! Are you some kind of celebrity or something? haha .
My reply: haha no not at all ~ just well connected in Denver 🙂 .
HIs reply: Oh I was about to ask for an electronic autograph!
*after I thanked him for his friend request and asked him to join my fan page