Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful Squared.

I thought I would look back & see what I wrote last Thanksgiving - thats one of the nice things about having a blog - its like a permanent thought record.  Little scary sometimes, but I have found myself often referring back to a particular part of my experience or a particular date to see what I was thinking.  Here is what I posted a year ago:




Sitting in sunny Jupiter at my brothers beautiful home, surrounded by an incredible family with a big ass turkey roasting away in the oven.

I want to wish each of you a very happy and grateful day.

Here is my list of things top of mind for me today.

-I'm thankful I had cancer
-I'm thankful I no longer have cancer
-I'm thankful for modern medicine
-I'm thankful for my adoring & supportive family
-I'm thankful for technology
-I'm thankful for my wonderful friends
-I'm thankful to be alive, with my whole life ahead of me

Happy Thanksgiving.

To be honest, I don't know that I would add or subtract from that list a year later.  I'm still thankful I had cancer - it has shaped me as a person in so many ways.  But man am I thankful I don't have it anymore!  As time grows between my cancer experience and now, the memories becomes less vivid and sensory but in some ways more impactful.  As I get farther out from my treatment, I'm better able to see the whole thing in perspective, and also am finding (sadly) more opportunities to use my experience and my journey to help others.  

So I think thats the one change I might make to the list of things I'm thankful for - I'm thankful for the opportunity to use my cancer experience to help others.  I hate that others go thru cancer diagnoses and treatments, but as long as that happens, I love being able to provide some little bit of comfort or perspective or many times just listen.  

So, I hope that each of you has a wonderful Turkey Day tomorrow surrounded by whatever makes you happy - be that family, friends, pets, or sometimes nothing at all.  Savor the moments and the experiences.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

So Much for That!

So much for my promise to write more regularly huh.  Yikes, its been over two weeks since I last wrote a word.

I did finish our Paris photo book -

Its been a whirlwind since we got back - traveling a lot for the end of the year.  With all the craziness going on in my office, I've learned its better to be on the road!  It stinks for the family but it does allow me to keep my sanity.  Luckily I have about 10 trips in the next 3 months!

Hard to believe next week is Thanksgiving.  Kendall's mom comes on Tuesday so we will enjoy having her for a few days.  I think Emilia & I are going to brave the Black Friday madness next Friday, just for the experience.

Our puppies are getting bigger & bigger.  We are hoping to go see them & pick our boy next weekend.  He should be ready to come home a week or so before Christmas.  We keep telling Jessie to enjoy her last few weeks as an only dog.

Our new nanny, Megan, started this week.  Poor girl has a tough act to follow because the girls love Taylor so much.  So far so good, they both seem to like Megan & she's coming back for week #2.  Taylor came & took them to dinner & the play at school last night.  She is so adorable talking about her grown up job.  I love that she wants to stay a part of our lives.  Just like Holly.  

Its frigid here this weekend - almost as cold as it was in Breckenridge this week.  It snowed there all day Thursday - absolutely gorgeous & almost put me in the holiday spirit. Almost.  This was the view out my hotel window one morning - the day before all the snow came.  So peaceful & beautiful there.

Emilia got her braces on this week.  She looks so cute.  They only put the top ones on for now but she has a weird thing called a turbo that keeps her from biting all the way down.  I have to say the experience at Vanderbilt for Orthodontics has been very good.  The docs are all residents & they are young & fun - Emilia likes it.  Kind of funny because the private orthodontist we went to for a consult & ultimately decided not to use because of cost is one of the faculty so she sees him from time to time.  I think she is pretty enamored with the idea of being an orthodontist.  Lots of money, work doesn't seem too hard.

OK, thats all the news thats fit to print!  Happy thanksgiving!
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Friday, November 8, 2013

You Won't Believe This!

FIFTY miles is how far we walked while in Paris.  Yes, FIFTY MILES.  From Friday morning thru Thursday when we got on the plane we walked that far.  Emilia was a trooper & I think the mileage helped offset the indulgences in chocolate croissants, baguettes, crepes & the like!
The flight home was awesome - we went from Paris to Cincinatti (who knew they had international flights there!).  The plane was brand new & less than half full so we could stretch out.  And customs was a breeze with not much traffic there. We were home by 5.00 but of course that was midnight for us.  Still feeling a little tired tonight, but overall we are doing just fine.
Busy weekend of course - catch up from being gone last weekend & there's a football game Sunday so I lose a day of the weekend.  Hoping for another Titans win which will help make the playoffs seem even more possible!
I got some beautiful flowers from my Mom & Dad today - just because.  That was an awesome surprise I really appreciated.
Well, not really much else to share - just wanted to report our crazy walking in Paris!  It was a wonderful week with my big girl!!

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Bonjour de Paris!

Bonjour!  Emilia & I have been enjoying an amazing time in Paris.  Unfortunately today was Monday which meant work started & play stopped, but it didn't keep us from having a wonderful time. 

On Thursday we flew from Nashville to Paris thru Atlanta.  Plane was packed & we didn't get much sleep but that didn't slow us down in the least! 

On Friday, we took a shower when we got to the hotel & then headed out to start our adventures. First stop was the Lock Bridge over the Seine, then we took a bus tour (Emilia slept thru most of that & I admit to nodding off a time or two) that gave us a good overview of the city. We went to dinner that night & finally crashed pretty early. 

Saturday we were up & at 'em early, walking from Place de la Concorde all the way down Champs Elysees (stopping for delicious croissants & cafe) to the Arc de Triumph.  Climbed up that bad boy all the way to the top on a steep & windy staircase with no landings (thank goodness for that half marathon training!).  From there, we went over to the Opera & visited Galleries Lafayette, although we didn't buy a thing!!!  Back to the hotel for a quick rest then off to Notre Dame which was spectacular.  We had a quiet & quick dinner of pizza which was really yummy!  Of course we followed it with crepes!

Sunday we couldn't drag ourselves out of bed quite as early & had a slow French breakfast.  Then we headed off to the Louvre - the line was unbelievable so we took some photos & hopped on the metro to Rue Cler, a charming street that feels very Parisian - not touristy at all - we found ourselves amongst the locals as we visited the formagerie, boulangerie, fresh market & butcher to make a little picnic for lunch.  Ate that in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower then proceeded all the way to the freakin top of it.  I'm not scared of much but I think maybe glass elevators going 81 stories in the air could be one of them.  Quite an experience.  After that we wandered around the area a bit & headed back to the hotel.  Dinner was a long, drawn out French experience at a well known cafe.  We've decided we could do without the fancy French food - but baguettes, ham, cheese & croissants work very well for us!  Oh, and the crepes and chocolate mousse.

Today was work day - we headed on the long ride out to the expo center in the middle of nowhere, worked for several hours, then headed back downtown.  Nice long lunch followed by some shopping.  And then we took a stroll at night down the Champs.  Weren't too hungry for dinner tonight so I had a sandwich & Emilia had yet another crepe with nutella.

We've done pretty well with our French, me being guided by Emilia who is doing great.  We have walked our little feet off!  Over 30 miles since Friday morning.  I have an "Up" bracelet that tracks our steps & its been quite fascinating to see how far we go.  We have only taken a taxi one time except for into the city from the airport, relying on metro & walking to get everywhere.  Its hard to say what has been our favorite experience so far - they are all amazing.

Tomorrow after work we are going to Versailles & then on Wednesday night we want to visit the Louvre when it is hopefully less crowded.  Thursday we head back to the airport to go home & see our other half whom we miss dearly!

We have walked about 25 miles since we arrived on Thursday... 


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