Friday, December 31, 2010
It was also a year of reflection. I became passionate about a little baby who I had never met and his fight for life to the point that I am determined to help his family in any way I can try to find a cure for pediatric cancer. He lost his fight but his parents have only begun theirs. I was also shocked into reality when a family friend was suddenly taken from us in an accident only a mere 4 weeks ago. My heart aches for his family and friends as they are still reeling from this. These events are life changing for so many including me.
Last year my good friend sent an email to the girls (that being my most amazing group of girlfriends I chat with and see on a daily basis) on New Year's Day with her list of resolutions and she challenged us reply with ours. It took me 2 days to find the email trail but I found it and I have to say out of my list of 11 things, some (not all) were accomplished. And the same goes for my girls too...YAY!! This year, as I was thinking of something to write I thought it might be good to resolve to do things differently. Yes, we all make the same resolutions every year...lose weight, get in shape, stop whatever vice ailes us....and typically we don't accomplish completing them. So might I suggest a new way to have a New Year's resolution? How about we resolve to step into the subway car a little further so more people can get on during rush hours? How about we resolve to be kinder to others? How about we resolve to be more charitable? How about we resolve to be happy with what we have and not lose sight of the work it took to get to this point? All of these things are my resolutions for 2011 and beyond (along with the workout more, blah, blah, blah!!). I am a very blessed person and I know this. I am blessed with family and friends, with health, with love and I hope you all are too.
As I type this entry, Jay Z and Alicia Keys are singing about New York...fitting for today. Happy Happy Happy New Year from the greatest city on earth...may all of you have a wonderful 2011...I look forward to sharing it with you.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
We also typically travel during the holidays, this year we left on Christmas night, and I'm happy to report that it wasn't too bad since there was an impending blizzard in NYC and severe weather all along the eastern seaboard. We only had a 2 hour delay this year. Unfortunately, upon arriving in Jacksonville on Christmas night or well, the day after Christmas morning (12am), the rental car place was closed and we had to deal with a little additional delay at the airport. Rest assured, Enterprise Rent A Car will NOT be getting our business EVER again, since there were real live rental agents at the airport when we landed....according to the very nice guy, Chris, at Alamo (where we ultimately ended up getting a car from), the Enterprise guys could have totally helped us and they were being lazy...thanks dudes, Merry Christmas. But hey, Chris hooked us up with a nicer car and a cheaper rate, so there! Now I have to write my bad customer service letter to Enterprise, I hate having to do that.
I also have to give props to my kiddo, who is the master traveler...he is so good at getting through airports, and behaving on planes that he makes going places enjoyable. I love traveling with him! He can even sleep the whole plane ride, be woken up, help with the bags at the airport and go right back to sleep in the car without so much as a complaint, he's the best!
So now that we're here, we're looking forward to warmer weather (hopefully), spending time with my most awesome niece and nephew, friends, and family and returning to the great white north on New Year's Eve in time to hang out with friends and ring in 2011....WOW! I hope you all had a very Happy Holiday and I'm gonna contemplate my resolutions for my next post....Merry Merry everyone!!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sparing you the details, I was basically in labor with 13 other women on the day after Thanksgiving with only 1 doctor on duty...needless to say it was a long day. A day of my husband watching the monitor and narrating the contractions..."here it comes", "wow, that was a big one", "here comes another"...thanks babe, I think I got it, UGH! A day of "where the hell is the epidural guy"??? A day of deciding on what to name our son. Up until the minute he was born I was still unsure I actually want kids (yes, that's the complete and honest truth). I loved our life, the city, our friends, traveling, restaurants, parties....I wasn't really into the prospect of having my style crimped. You can call me selfish all you want, I'm just being real. And then, at 7:20pm (exactly the time the doctor said he would), Wyatt Nathanial Livingston Ichabod 23 arrived after a very uneventful (thank God) labor, and changed my life. And...I effectively lost my birthday at the ripe old age of 33.
For the last 5 years, Wyatt and I have shared our day, this year, for the first time together on Thanksgiving. As he grows, I become more aware of how special this is...to have the same birthday as my precious boy. He's an amazing, smart, happy, hilarious, wicked, sweet child. And as far as my life changing, well it did, but not as drastically as I thought it would. He was totally portable from day 1, so we never missed out on the stuff I thought we would. He came with us. So I would consider him an enhancement to our lives, a perk, a bonus...the best thing that ever happened to us. I am so blessed to have this little person in my life, sharing my favorite day of the year with me, it's a privilege.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I'm a firm believer in remembering loved ones for the lives they lived...they should be celebrated. Josh should be celebrated for his exeuberence for life, his love of words and for his hearty laugh and smile. I remember him at different stages throughout his life...as a boy on the football field, as a young adult home from college, at my brother's wedding, at their restaurant chatting with customers welcoming them, joking with me whenever we were in town on a visit about how crazy I am to live in New York, but still getting a hug anyway :)....he was a force and I know he will be missed by so many. The special thing about the town we grew up in is that it truly is a community that comes together in good times and bad. I know Josh's family is sorrounded by family and friends who will support them and love them and help them through this horrible time. His family is strong, they are faithful and they are blessed to have had the time they did with him.
I used a quote in my post about Declan when he passed away and I'm going to use it again here. "People think a soul mate is a perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it." Josh, I know some of your soul mates and I know you are missed terribly, and I know your memory will be kept alive through them everyday.
This Thanksgiving, be grateful for the ones we have loved and lost and the ones who are here with us to celebrate. Be thankful for your sorroundings, for your family, your friends, your children, your faith. Life is short, live it.
Rest well Joshua Douglas Crews...05.18.76 - 11.21.10
Friday, October 29, 2010
I understand how life goes on, people evolve, families grow and relationships change. It's always been important to me to continue traditions for the holidays...but I acknowledge the need for tweaks every once in a while. While I won't be traveling to trick or treat with my friend's kids, I will be trick or treating with mine. This year, Halloween came up way too fast for me! This is the first year our home isn't decked out with Halloween knick knacks (much to my husband's dismay!), because time just got away from me...ugh! So instead of obsessing over what didn't get done, I'm going to focus on what we're going to be doing this weekend...celebrating with our family and friends, eating lots of candy, marching around the neighborhood dressed as our favorite super heros, baseball players and princesses....and continuing our traditions.
Have a very Happy and Safe Halloween everyone!!!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
It's not about the clothes, the makeup, the bags or shoes and it's not about size. I particularly love that they have been getting an outpouring of support from other teens around the globe as well as the boys!! (you go boys!)....
There's also a link within the article to "Operation Beautiful"...a movement started by Caitlin in North Carolina who says "the goal of the Operation Beautiful website is to end negative self-talk or “Fat Talk.” If this little blog only does one productive thing, I hope it helps readers realize how truly toxic negative self-talk is — it hurts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically". KUDOS to you Caitlin...I hope this goes far!! Check out her site at: http://operationbeautiful.com/.
I don't have a daughter, but as a woman I know what it's like to want to keep up my appearance...my regular 6 week cut and color are facebook statuses for me...but I also know that I'm totally fine with not wearing any makeup on any given day. I'm also 37 and don't really care what others think, but when I was a teenager it definitely mattered...I wish we had girls like this in my high school!!
So props to the people out there who are promoting a positive self image to teenagers in their communities, you're helping more than you know!!!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Attention retailers!! I know it's been a rough few years, but I'm pretty sure you putting out holiday decorations and playing holiday music this early in the season is not going to get us all jazzed up...quite the contrary...it makes me anxious and aggravated. Stop rushing!! Life goes by fast enough, can't we just enjoy every day/season as it should be? I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in Christmas in July.
Friday, October 1, 2010
So yesterday I was reading the news and that's when I learned about the Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide because of bullying. Bullying? What? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!?!?!?!? WHY? That's not just wrong, it's shameful and horrible and needs to be addressed.
Here's what I know...especially since becoming a parent...I know kids are mean and I know kids are dumb and yes, that is a generalization. I know it's my responsibility as a parent to make sure my child is kind, generous, considerate, compassionate and well mannered toward others. I know it's hard being a kid, what with all the competition and expectations placed upon them from us as a society. I also know that children need role models...(apart from the athletes and celebrities)...people they know, who they can interact with on a daily basis, turn to for guidance, respect and communicate with (and I know that does not have to be a parent)...I know not all children have supportive parents and that sucks quite frankly. I know this is an issue that starts when kids are small and continues until they're adults and no matter what angle you look at it from, it's never right. Being mean to another person is wrong. You can say these types of issues are so complex and there could be some underlying reasons for it but you know what? Address it. If you have a child with socialization issues or self esteem issues or any other kind of issue that causes them to act out toward others...address it.
This is the 21st century. We should be able to befriend whomever we want. Date, fall in love, marry, dont marry, have sex, be happy with WHOMEVER we want. It's no one else's business, end of story. It's not right to criticize, berate, tease, harass (or whatever word you want to use) another person because of their personal choices. Life is hard enough when you're well adjusted....imagine if you were struggling with something like your sexual orientation or low self esteem, or some other kind of anxiety as a young adult. That's the hardest time of your life to have to deal with anything of that nature...let's not make it harder for these young people. How can we fix this? Communication is the first step. Being able to talk about the issues without consequence or judgement is where this has to start. As a mother and a member of society it's my responsibility to listen. So, I'll start with the one child I have, and make a promise that no matter how hard it gets (because not every day is all candy and roses), I will love him and communicate with him and listen to him. I may not always agree with him along the way, but I will always try to guide him in the right direction for him and no one else. And I will promise my friends and family that if their children every need an ear or a shoulder, they can have mine without judgement.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I will readily admit that I have a hard time making girlfriends. I have a few true girlfriends from childhood, college, work, and most recently since I've become a mother. I can probably count the number of friends who would drop anything for me if I really needed them to on one hand. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to be a guy to save my life, but man, being friends with girls takes patience! Give me a bunch of guys, a few drinks, some food and a sporting event and you've got yourself a good time!
However, as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate the differences women have to offer in a friendship. Not only do we discuss parenting, but there are different life lessons, situations and other relationships we tend to want opinions on. I now cherish these talks. I crave the comraderie and the banter. I love the difference in personalities and the strength my friends exude. I wouldn't trade them for the world and I'm thankful for them everyday. I can't even begin to want to categorize them, they each have their own special uniqueness. So here's my suggestion...take it with a grain of salt...you be you and let me be me and how about we don't categorize eachother? That's the beauty of individuality....you get to be yourself.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Today is the one day of the year where I wish every human on the face of this earth would just take a step back and stop for a moment and live by the saying “do unto others as you would have done unto you”. Be thankful for what you have, give from your heart, love with your entire being and be kind. Because as we have learned from that day and other days since, life is short; don’t let it pass you by….LIVE it. So in honor of the memory of 9/11/01, I’m posting an article written by Will Femia, not only because he’s my husband but because of the content. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3080804/
And because honoring the memory of that day means we should continue to move forward and live, I’ll be spending my day at my son’s first soccer game, over looking the skyline of New York City being grateful.
How will you be spending your day??
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
What if I told you…
- The American Cancer Society’s Annual Report shows $1 BILLION in total public support and it’s Extramural/Intramural Funding in Priority Areas shows only $4 MILLION is directed to childhood cancers. Less than half a penny of each of these dollars is directed to the #1 killing disease for kids under the age of 20
- For children between 1-19 years, cancer is the fourth leading cause of death overall, and the leading cause of disease related death. It remains responsible for more deaths from ages 1-19 than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS COMBINED
- Approximately 46 U.S. children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every single day
- 1 in every 330 children will develop cancer before the age of 19
- National Cancer Institute’s Federal Budget was $4.6 billion from this total ALL twelve major pediatric cancers received LESS THAN 3% of this budget
- For every six research dollars per patient with AIDS and every one research dollar per patient with breast cancer, a child with cancer receives only 30 cents
- Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet there are many cancers that are almost exclusively found in children
- 1 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer dies
- 3 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer suffer from long-term or late onset side effects
- Common cancer symptoms in children are often suspected to be common illnesses and thus treated as such causing cancer to be found at later stages
- Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage when the disease would react more favorably to treatment have largely failed
- Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that their disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that their cancer has spread to distant sites
- Cause of childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented
- Nationally, childhood cancer is 20 times more prevalent than pediatric AIDS yet pediatric AIDS receives four times the funding that childhood cancer receives
- On the average, 12,500 children in the US are diagnosed with cancer each year
- On the average, one in ever four elementary schools has a child with cancer
- 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer
- Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas and relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia and relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Every day 9 children in the US are diagnosed with a brain tumor
- Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death from childhood cancer
- There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors, making effective treatment very complicated
- Because brain tumors are located at the control center for thought, emotion and movement, their effects on a child’s physical and cognitive abilities can be devastating
- At this time, brain cancer research is underfunded and THE PUBLIC REMAINS LARGELY UNAWARE of the magnitude of this disease
- The cure rate for most brain cancers is significantly lower than that for many other types of cancer
- The funding for pediatric cancer clinical trials has gone down every year since 2003, and is currently $26.4 million. By comparison, NCI funding for AIDS research was $254 million in 2006; funding for breast cancer topped $584 million the same year
- We may spend 3-5 times the amount of research money per patient on most adult cancer cases than we do on children with cancer
- In general, children with Central Nervous System (CNS) cancer do not share the favorable prognosis of those with many other common pediatric neoplasms
In the coming weeks/months our family, friends and anyone else interested in getting involved will be working on establishing a foundation to honor Declan, to help current/future children (and their families) and to perpetuate awareness, understanding and the search for a cure!
Please wear your gold ribbons this month… Tell people what you know about Pediatric Cancer… and, if you would, honor Declan by sharing his story, his life and how our beautiful little boy effected you.
CureSearch represents the combined efforts of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and the National Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF)
The National Cancer Institute: http://seer.cancer.gov/publications/childhood
American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/
Pediatric Cancer Foundation: http://www.pcfweb.org/facts.php
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I'm no stranger to tragedy....I've lost loved ones to sickness and accidents way too early in their (and my) lives, witnessed Sept 11th first hand, and have followed stories of devistation across the world whether it be from war or weather or bad luck and I've somehow come to understand that "this is part of life". I have come to terms with all of it, tried to see the silver lining and have moved on hoping that each experience has made me a better, stronger person.
Five months ago a co-worker of mine received the horrifying news that his 6 month old baby boy, Declan, was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. Upon getting the news, their family and friends mobilized into action with support, whether it was helping out with their other children, cooking, organizing fundraisers, or whatever else was needed to get the job done and focus on the best outcome for the baby. Declan's parents even started a blog to document the journey they were about to embark on and to keep family and friends aware of Declan's progress. In the aptly named http://www.declansjourney.com/ we learned about the form of cancer Declan was diagnosed with (AT/RT or Atypical Teratoid Rhabtoid Tumor), the treatment options available, the surgeries he endured and the feelings his parents, brothers and other family and friends were dealing with. I have been an avid follower of Declan's Journey. I have been inspired by his fight. I am in awe of his parents Stan and Sherri, for their strength, energy, compassion, generosity, selflessness and faith. As a parent I can't possibly imagine how it feels to hear the words "cancer" and "baby" in the same sentence. I can't fathom the magnitude of the decisions they had to make on their son's behalf out of sheer desperation and undying love. I'm mad that an innocent child was affected by such a disgusting disease. And I loathe the idea that they had to go through all of it for the absolute worst possible outcome....losing a child has to be the single worst experience anyone should have to endure. They did all of it with grace and poise and I am forever touched that they shared their story with us. In reading some of the thousands and thousands of comments on their blog and Facebook pages one message reigns superior....Declan's Journey touched every single person following his story. It's amazing to me that this baby reached so many lives in such a short amount of time.
Declan has reinforced my belief in living my life to the fullest, without regret, to always look forward and to be continually grateful for all of my blessings. There's a paragraph in the book "Eat, Pray, Love" that touched me from the moment I read it. I think it can be used in different contexts for different people, and I think it's appropriate in this setting. "People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it."
Declan....you were a soul mate for so many. Thank you for coming into my life and reminding me how important it is to have many soul mates, whether they're friends, family or people I didn't even personally know, like you. You will live on through the people you touched and most of all through your parents and your brothers. Rest in peace sweet angel.
Declan Black Carmical Aug 26, 2009 - Aug 18, 2010.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
All in all it was exactly what I had hoped it would be for me....old friends picking up where we left off all those years ago. Lots of good stories, old pictures, and general reminiscing that made me appreciate the friendships I had then, the ones I continue to have to this day, and the ones I will make a proirity to cultivate in the future. So now that I don't have a daily reunion reminder email to send out I'll have to find a new project to keep me busy!! LOL....
So, in honor of those daily emails to my classmates...A BIG, FAT THANK YOU to the Flagler Palm Coast HIgh School Class of 1990 for such a great weekend...I wish each of you all the best and look forward to staying in touch (thank goodness for Facebook!!!). And now someone else can plan the 25 year...I'll save the email list ;) xoxoxo
Friday, July 23, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
So, today, (and all this past week) I've not been yelling, but waiting....c'mon Oprah...CALL!!!!
Oh, and here's the link to my audition video, because you haven't seen it enough already!! LOL http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=7929&promo_id=1
Sunday, June 27, 2010
So, why did I enter this contest you may be wondering? Well, here's why...first off, It's been my dream to someday have my own talk show. Some of my friends and family know this, some don't. It's not something I discuss, rather a daydream/fantasy that I think about on occasion. Secondly, I have been told by some that I should have my own talk show. And finally, well, because my friend Michele sent me the link and said to me on Facebook "you HAVE to do this", and so I listened because, hey, I have just as good a shot as the other 10,000 contestants do, right??? :)
So..."Why Am I Yelling"??? well, there's a lot to yell about these days from really small stuff that happens every day in your own home to really big stuff that happens every day out there in the world. I want this blog to be interactive. I want you to submit topics and I'll respond to why I would yell about it. And while you're at it tell me why you're yelling too! This will be fun! No matter what happens with the Oprah contest, my intention is to maintain this blog so we can all have a voice. And speaking of the contest....1 more week left to vote and then I guess we'll know who made the first round of cuts. It's exciting!!!
OK, so there you go....check back to find out why I'm yelling or let me know why I should yell....Thanks for reading!!