Monday, December 31, 2012

Life Changing

These last few months have been difficult to say the least. I'm not really sure how to begin here... 

About 2 1/2 years ago, just 3 weeks before my wedding, I found out that my Dad had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Just 10 months prior to this, they originally found that he had colon cancer but it was only stage 1, they did surgery, and they said he was fine. No chemo necessary. 

Well, he wasn't fine. There were very very small cells still in his body and they his liver and lungs and that's what we discovered 3 weeks before my wedding.  It was devastating to say the least, but my whole family and I knew that he'd get through this.  He was an incredibly strong man--he'd already had Hotchkins Lymphoma TWICE and beat that and he had multiple episodes of congestive heart failure and made it through that.  This was just another bump in the road, right?

It took me a while to finally realize that this was going to be terminal for my Dad. I think I realized this earlier than any of my siblings, mainly due to the fact that my husband is in medical school and while he tried to tip toe around the subject with me, it was an unavoidable conversation.  It was very difficult for Doc to know just how serious my Dad's illness was and not be able to talk about it with me or anyone in my family.  We all were of the belief that he would be able to beat cancer once again or at least go into remission, and for Doc....he knew what the statistics were and they weren't good, but how was he going to say that to me or anyone else in my family?

Needless to say, about a year into my Dad's illness, my outlook on the situation changed.  I didn't know if my Dad would live 1 year or 10 years but I knew in the end, the cancer was just too strong and it would end up taking him.  So I made a conscious effort to appreciate every moment with him, make more phone calls to him instead of just talking to my mom, etc. Slowly, there was a big change in my family and you could tell everyone had sort of gotten to the same place and were appreciating every moment as well....even though at the same time there was a big sense of denial in all of us that he'd still be okay...

For over 2 years, my Mom and Dad traveled constantly back and forth to Houston, TX because of all the treatments my Dad was getting at MD Anderson. At one point, he had to live in Houston for a month because of the trial he was a part of.  It was a long road, filled with many ups and downs and those trials were the epitome of ups and downs--you're so hopeful that this is going to be the trial that works and then 3 weeks later, my Dad has kidney failure and you realize it only did more harm than good.

Back in September, you may remember my post (here) about unexpectedly flying out to Houston when my Dad ended up in the ICU.  That was a very scary time, but we were all so thankful he came out of there and was able to fly home soon after.  Little did I know it would be all downhill from there.

In mid October I got a call from one of my brothers telling me the doctors just gave my Dad "a few weeks" to live and that I should probably plan on coming home soon. I was thinking I'd wait a week and get some work things done before heading down to Miami for who knows how long (luckily my company was soooo nice about it all and allowed me to go down there and work remotely so I didn't have to take a ton of time off). While I was trying to figure this all out, I got a call from another one of my brothers who is going to be getting married in April.  Since all the rest of my siblings would be down in Miami that coming weekend (remember there are 6 of us...), my brother was thinking about getting married that weekend, but only if I was going to be there too. Well, how could I say no! This was a wonderful idea, so I was like okay I'll buy a ticket to fly down tomorrow and let's plan a wedding!

I flew down Saturday and Sunday my brother, Brian, and his new wife, Alexina, got married! It was a beautiful ceremony in our backyard.  We threw it all together in just 24 hours--they got the same guy who married me to marry them, each of us took on some duty...decorations, food, flowers, etc. It was such an beautiful, intimate moment and all of us will never forget it. Click here to view some of the pictures from the wedding on the photographer's blog. Here is a peak from our camera:

I'm so happy that my brother decided to do this and that I flew down on that Saturday because on the following Thursday, my Dad passed away.

I was actually out of town in Washington D.C. for a work conference when it happened.  I had this conference planned for months and when we found out my Dad had little time left, I was like well I'll still go to this was only 2 days and who knows how long this could go on with my Dad.  They said weeks and you just never know with this kind of stuff, so I figured still attending this conference would be fine.  I left on Wednesday morning and was supposed to come back Friday morning, but I woke up at 6:00 AM on Thursday to phone call from my husband telling me my Dad's heart stopped that morning.

Doc was down in Miami because he was interviewing for residency and was also going to stay the week to spend time with my Dad, like we all were.  My Dad woke up early that morning in a ton of pain....more pain then  he'd ever been in so my Mom woke my sister up to help.  They just couldn't get him comfortable and didn't know what to do so my sister was like let's wake up Doc.  It all happened very quickly but my Dad knew this was it and kept telling them to just let him go, he was ready... Doc did CPR on him until the paramedics arrived and they worked on him for about 30 minutes and couldn't revive him. He passed away on my Mom's side of the bed, a side he never rolled to in the 40 years they were married, so my Mom finds this very special....I would too.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that Doc was there at the time of my Dad's passing.  It was only my Mom, my sister, and him and if he had not been Mom and sister would always wonder if there was something more they could have done but being that Doc is pretty much a doctor at this point....that gave them immense comfort. Unfortunately, Doc is left with the burden of wondering if he did everything he could....and he did. There was nothing else anyone could have Dad's heart gave out and at least it was quick. Had we waited for weeks for him to slowly die from the cancer...that would have been awful!

So we ended up planning a wedding, a funeral, and a memorial service all in the span of 10 days! It was completely exhausting but everything turned out well. The out pour of support from friends and family was just amazing. So many people sent food, flowers, cards, donations, etc. It was truly touching to see and hear from people who you haven't talked to in years.

This is definitely the hardest thing I've been through.  You just grow up and assume your parents will always be there. You expect them to get sick and die when they're super old, but not when your just starting out your life. Not when you haven't even had children of your own yet. Not when there are still so many more memories to make.  Life is just different now.  Not only is my Dad gone, but my Mom is now alone after 40 years of marriage. There is nothing that can be said to take the pain away that she is feeling....just time I guess. We just have to be thankful for all the time that we did get with him.  Glass half full. And oddly, we all have agreed that we feel my Dad very strongly in our hearts. I'm not a religious person but I do believe that he is still around, watching and hearing us and that brings me a lot of comfort.

Dad, I miss you everyday but I'm so thankful that you are not in pain any longer. You may be gone from this Earth but you'll never be gone from my heart or my will live on in all the memories that we share with you and for each and every one of them, I'm grateful. I love you.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Time away...

Well hello there everyone!  It's been a little while, huh?  More specifically a little over 3 months...

So, why did I take this blogging break?  I don't really just sort of happened.  As you may remember, for a few months prior to this break, I was suffering from writers block big time!  I think I was pressuring myself to come up with new/exciting posts each day and that just wasn't possible.  The more I pressured myself, the less ideas I had and I guess it just wasn't fun anymore.  

I started this blog as an outlet for talk about my life, fashion, just whatever inspired me that day but somehow that got lost.  I think I was more concerned with keeping up with other popular blogs....wanting sponsors, giveaways, more and more readers....

Well, I'm glad that I've taken a step back here because I'm feeling inspired to write again and even if no one reads my blog, I started it for me.  This is my outlet and this time around, I won't let myself get overly concerned with the "success" of my blog. When I have something to say, I'll post....if not, then I won't. This is for me.

So, here's to starting over fresh for 2013.......I hope to connect with many of you as I did in the past and I also hope to form some new friendships! Above all, I want to restore the fun in this because that's what its here for, right?  Who knows, there might even be a blog makeover in my future! :)

Catch up posts to come shortly....

Friday, September 14, 2012

Birthday, Chicago, & Kiawah Island!

Happy Friday everyone!

Time for me to pick up and go again!  I'm headed to Chicago for the weekend and then Tuesday morning, we are heading down to Charleston, SC for a family vacation with Doc's family!  And speaking of Doc, today is his 26th birthday....happy birthday honey!

Since I was out of town last week in Houston and before that I was in Miami the whole month of August....I just feel like I haven't had any time at home!  The house is a mess to say the least.  And it probably wont be getting any better since we're gone all next week, and then I'll be gone again in another 2 weeks for work!  I can't complain too much though....I mean come on, I get to go here...

 And spend it in my in laws beautiful condo right on Lake Michigan....and I get to go here....

My husband's family rented a beach house on Kiawah Island {they've been vacationing there since he was little}.  I've never been to the Charleston area before but I here its so beautiful! I'm definitely looking forward to getting some sun and relaxing...

What are you all doing this weekend?  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Well, I've had quite the eventful last week. I had to unexpectedly fly to Houston last Thursday because my Dad ended up in the ICU.  He has stage 4 colon cancer and he's been receiving treatments in Houston at MD Anderson for the past 2 years.  My parents were there for another set of treatments he was getting, and he had some complications which led to him being put in the ICU for a multitude of things.  He was on a breathing machine and totally blind for 2 days, but somehow he came out of it and is doing much better now. He's still in the hospital but will be discharged sometime today!

He is seriously like a cat....he has 9 lives and is using each and every one of them. I flew out there to be with my mom through all of this and the rest of my siblings were on standby to fly out there at any moment. I'm so thankful that everything is okay for right now and that I got to be there with both my parents during this hard time.  Really makes you think about how short life can be....

Enjoy every moment you can with the people you care about and love.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WEN Hair Care Prodcuts

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I recently went into Sephora to do a little makeup shopping, and while I was there I noticed they started selling the WEN hair care by Chaz Dean products!  I've only seen this advertised on TV and I've always been intrigued but never actually bought it {I think they make you renew each month and I didn't want to do that}. I was thrilled to see it in the stores now, so I bought the kit which has the Cleansing Conditioner, Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment, and the Replenishing Spray {pictured below} and so far I like it!

I was a little skeptical at first because the Cleansing Conditioner is a 5-in-1 product, so it takes the place of your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler, and leave in conditioner.  The directions tell you to use 10-15 pumps, which is A LOT of product {I've just been using about 7 pumps because I want it to last}, and you have to massage into your scalp for 1-3 minutes.  Then you comb in through your hair and leave on for 3-5 minutes, then rinse. It doesn't lather up at all either because it contains no sodium laurel sulfate or other damaging detergents, so its a little strange to be washing your hair with a thick conditioner and no foam!

However, I after using the products twice...I'm loving the way my hair feels!  Its soft and silky, no frizz, just feels really moisturized and healthy!  I have very fine hair and was concerned that this may be a little too heavy on me, but so far I'm loving it!  The Replenishing Spray is a great added moisturizing treatment that you can spray onto your hair wet or dry.  I have not yet used the Intensive Hair Treatment, but I plan to this weekend so I'm hoping it will be a great deep conditioner going into winter!

From their website, it looks like they have other products you can buy--a styling creme and texturizing balm.  I'll update again on this once I've had a little more time to use the products, but for now this how my hair came out this morning:

Have any of you used the WEN hair care products before?  What did you think? Also, this was not a sponsored post by WEN.....just 100% my opinion and experience :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to the grind....

Hello there and Happy Monday!

Well I'm back to the grind now.....Yesterday, I flew back to Columbus from Miami despite the hurricane!  I really thought our flight would be cancelled but we were able to get out before it really got bad.

My 3 weeks in Miami totally flew by! I really thought I'd have more time to do things, but all of a sudden it was over.  I never even got into a bikini once! I was just busy working or doing things with my family. I got to meet my niece, Juliana, for the first time and she is adorrraabllleeee! She's 5 months old and a super easy baby! Look at that face...

All in all, it was great to spend so much time with my family but I'm glad to be home!  Just happy to get back to my house and get things back in order.  Not very excited about being back in my office though....working from home was really great! 

I have some fun shopping posts planned for this week, so stay tuned!

Have a great rest of the day!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What have I been up to?

Happy Friday everyone!

Well, I've officially been in Miami for 1 week now and I'm loving it! Being back home is great and I'm loving all this family time I'm getting!

Doc has been enjoying his rotation at the hospital down here so that's been good!  And I've been working remotely, which has been working out great as well, so things are going pretty well over here!

My daily outfits have consisted of things like this:

Super fab, right? Found these awesome leggings in the my closet here from the 80s or 90s.  Well, I was too young to wear them...they were my mom's or sister's but I'm glad they were kept.  Patterned pants are coming back in style right?  I'm also really loving not having to blow dry my hair or dress up or put make-up on. I feel like I'm giving my hair and skin a healthy break!

I just wanted to check in and say a quick hello!  I'm still alive over here. Got some fun posts planned coming up!

What have you all been up to? Enjoying the last month of summer?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Miss Maynard Found her Prince

Good morning and Happy Monday!

Well I stayed up way too late last night watching the season finale of The Bachelorette!  I passed on the After the Final Rose {I'll just watch it today}, but what did you all think?  I had a feeling Emily was going to choose Jef and I think she made the right decision.  They seemed really cute together and he just seems like a really respectable guy.  She also bonded really well with his family.......much more so than Arie's!

Emily seemed to be really physically attracted to Arie, but I don't think the chemistry was there as much as it was with Jef.  Did anyone think Arie was little.....feminine?  Maybe its just his voice but it annoyed me..... And wow, I never noticed how much grey Arie had in his hair until last night!  Maybe he had been dying it but since they were traveling, it grew out?

I just have my doubts that they will last.  So many of them seem perfect for each other, and then they break up a year later!  I hope for Ricky's sake {and for Emily's because its about time she finds love} that they stay together.  As soon as it ended, my husband was like "Oh, I bet Arie is the next Bachelor now"......I hope not.  We need some new faces in there!

I heard Emily's dress on the After the Final Rose was just okay but I have to say.....she looked REALLY good at the Men Tell All show.  I mean that Herve Leger dress and her hair extensions....she knew how to throw it in all those guys' faces huh?  Her make-up was really well done as well!

Not a great pic, but there wasn't much out there!

What did you all think of Emily's season?  Did you think Jef was going to win?  Do you believe those rumors about Emily and Chris Harrison?  Confession: I kinda wanted them to come true. Now, that would have been "The most shocking Bachelorette finale ever" as Chris kept saying.....{what a load of was NOT the most shocking finale ever Chris!}

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Catch Up!

Happy Thursday everyone!

Today is kind of my Friday since tomorrow I am heading to Sarasota, FL for a work conference!  I've never been to Sarasota before, but I hear its beautiful....definitely looking forward to it!  Oh, and I'll be staying at the Ritz-Carlton so ya know, tough life. :-)

I'm also very excited to say that I'll be living in Miami for the month of August!  Doc is doing an away rotation with a hospital down there in their Urology Department {field he wants to go into}, so I asked my boss if I could go with him and work remotely and he said yes!  I head down there in 2 weeks, so I'm very excited to be getting to spend so much time with my family for the month!  Doc will be a busy bee trying to impress the department {the away rotation is kind of like an audition before he applies to residency so there is a lot of pressure on him}, but I know he'll do great.

I've also never worked from home but I can't say I'm not looking forward to that! Being able to stay in my pjs and not blow dry my hair.....sounds good to me!  I also will get to meet this little cutie for the the first time:

That's my niece, Juliana!  She's like 4 or 5 months old now, so I'm anxious to meet her!  So needless to say, I'm ecstatic that my boss allowed me to do this but I still need to work hard so that he knows I'm not just picking my nose all day. LOL I mean there may be a little picking going on, but just not ALL DAY.... :-)

On another note, do any of you watch Pretty Little Liars?  I flew through seasons 1 and 2 on netflix....they were sooo good!  I have season 3 recording on my DVR right now.....don't you hate when you catch up on a TV show and then you have to wait each week to watch the new episode?

I currently looking for a new TV show to watch via Netflix.....any suggestions??  Here are some of my fav non-reality shows, so any shows I would like based on these? Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate get the picture!  Any ideas ladies?

Hope you all have a great weekend! Any fun plans?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Loving Lately

Happy Wednesday!

I've been so bad about blogging...I know, I know. I just can't seem to get back into the swing of it! I feel like I have chronic writers block...its so annoying! I swear I'm still here....I'm still reading all of your blogs too.  Just trying to get my groove back over here so bear with me! :)

So what am I loving lately? 

Well, I found this website, Gorjana, while reading through and I am in LOVE with their bracelets!  Especially these:

And there's so much more!  Click here to view all of the above bracelets. These would be great for an arm party right?

I'm also currently obsessed with Kale! For the past few months, I have been eating it non-stop! I don't mind the bitter taste so I eat it raw in a salad practically daily.  My favorite way is to cut up some cherry tomatoes and top it with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice.  When I have shredded parmesan I also put that on top. Mmm!  I also love Kale chips!

And finally, some Pinterest quotes:

Have a great rest of the day!

Monday, July 2, 2012

A "Magical" Weekend...

Monday, did we get back here again?  At least its only a 4 day week with Wednesday being the 4th of July! 

This weekend, I was totally one of those girls who went to see Magic Mike immediately!  Ok, I didn't go opening night but I totally got my butt over to the theater on Saturday with one of my girl friends {No, I didn't drag Doc to it. He made it crystal clear that he was not about to watch this movie with me!}....and it definitely did not disappoint! 

I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a movie that much!  I think I had a grin plastered on my face the entire time. No joke. It's about time us girls had an eye candy movie, right?  And the eye candy was out. of. control.

I mean look at these boys.....

I left the movie being totally jealous of Channing Tatum's wife. He knows how to move....I guess being an ex-stripper in real life helped....but wow, he is one sexy beast! 

If you haven't seen the movie, just see it and you'll know what I'm talkin' about! The best part was, right at the beginning of the movie, you see Channing Tatum naked from behind and the minute that happened....the whole theater starting giggling uncontrollably!  Of course, it was like 90% girls, gay guys, and then the like 2 straight guys that got dragged to it. 

The movie was actually pretty funny too....Mathew McConaughey's character was great! I could definitely go see this movie again....and again........and again! 

Did anyone else see Magic Mike this weekend?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2 Years Ago Today...

...I married my best friend.  I cannot believe how fast time flies!  It really just feels like yesterday that I was planning our wedding and frolicking around Hawaii on our honeymoon!

I am blessed beyond belief to have this man as my husband.  He is the sweetest, most intelligent, patient, and silliest man I know.  I can confidently say, I know we will be laughing our way through the next 80 years of our lives!

Happy 2 years honey...I love you to the moon and back! xoxo

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there!  Especially mine....

Love you Dad!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Birthday Shopping Haul!

Happy, happy Friday everyone!

I promised you I'd give you a full recap of my birthday shopping haul, so I finally have that for you!  I had so much fun shopping with this guilt free had been a while since I'd actually done some legit shopping so this felt gooooood!  Anyway, on to what I bought:

Express Zelda Jean Leggings in White {which, coincidentally, I just realized I posted on my blog back in February and just found them ON MY BLOG while Googling them!} I love a great pair of white jeans!

Express Burnout Double-V Wedge Tee in Black: I love the back of this shirt and it soo soft!

Express Zig Zag Banded Mini Skirt in Silver....or Gold? I seriously cannot remember whether I got it in silver or gold! I have to look when I get home....

Target Mossimo Gladiator Sandals in Leopard: I couldn't find my leopard ones online but these are the same ones, just in snakeskin.

Hot Tools Tourmaline IONIC Professional Dryer: I have been in need of a new hair dryer FOREVER, so I'm so happy I finally just bit the bullet and bought a new one!  I love how fast my hair dries with this and all the attachments are great!

It's A 10 Miracle Leave In Product: I've heard rave reviews about this product for a while now, so I finally decided to get some and I LOVE it!  My hair is so soft and silky after using it! My hair has lots of split ends so I'm hoping this will help combat that.

Lululemon Define Jacket in Flash Light: I've been eying a define jacket by Lululemon for forever now BUT the $100 price tag kept holding me back!  I just thought that's way too much for a zip up......but once I tried it on, I fell in love!  It fits so so well and the color is awesome {its much brighter in person}.

Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank in Flash Light: I needed a new tank to work out in and I just love the way Lulelemon feels and fits, so I went straight there!  I also got this in the same bright pink as the jacket. Love!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Any special plans?  None for me...just relaxing and getting things done around the house as usual! :)
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