Saying Goodbye to 2013 and Two Amazing People

2013 has brought so much to me. It was a volatile year – full of change, laughter, tears, anger, growth and love. I am not alone in feeling the weight of 2013 and many friends of mine are happy to see her go.

One thing 2013 brought was loss. This year I attended more funerals than weddings. Of them, two were probably the hardest hitting deaths I have lived through. This year, heaven collected two new angels too soon. Well… too soon for those of us left behind.

Both of these angels lost their battles to cancer this year (Fuck cancer, right?!). So both knew the road they were travelling on and both had time to prepare. And the rest of us prepared as well as we could, I think.

Kasi was beautiful, smart, had a HUGE heart and an infectious smile. I was lucky to have her as a friend, a confidant and a co-90’s music lover. I had an obsessed dog mom to talk to about our furry ‘children’. I finally had a girly girl at work to talk about clothes and weddings and trashy television programs.

With cancer being what it is, an asshole… I knew Kasi wasn’t here for too much longer and I am so, so, so, so thankful that I got to tell her how much she meant to me before she was taken from us.

AJ was like family. Another uncle keeping an eye on me. It was said so perfectly at his funeral that he lived without judgement. I hope to be more like AJ from now on. AJ would ask you the questions no one else dared to ask. He would eat a full steak dinner for breakfast before a long day. He sported an Igloo cooler better than the finest accessory. He was timeless, consistent, kind, responsible and fun to be around.

With cancer being what it is, a stupid jerk… I got to spend a few ‘last times’ with AJ. Times we all acted the same but knew it was the last time he would be there. I got to help him when he was sick, make him smile when he was in pain and got to just spend time with a remarkable man.

Death is such a heavy thing. Closure is too. I am not going to lie, I still feel like I will run into AJ or Kasi any day. Knowing that they are gone is hard.

Kasi-BWAJ-BW

So goodbye 2013 and goodbye to the goodbyes you forced upon us.
You mark a tough year.
You took too many.
Goodbye Kasi and goodbye AJ. Be well. You are so missed.

Around Here We Don’t Look Backwards

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Walt Disney

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Thankful for 5 Years, My Family and New Opportunities

You can read all the blogs and books you want. You can talk to all of your friends and family who have kids. You will learn a lot… but you won’t know what you are going to be like with a child.

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A little over a year in and I am still figuring out what I am like as a mom. As with every mom, I have made some sacrifices, slept a little less and probably added some stress to my life. What I am doing is trying to see what are the things that are stressful to me and also make a note of what things I enjoy the most. As I have said before, I have just this one life and only a small amount of time with my son and I plan on doing my best to enjoy it.

Making these notations of stressers and what I want from my life, I have made big and little changes to my day, work flow, expectations and relationships. Probably the largest change is I have made the very big decision to leave my job, at Hall Internet Marketing, that I have had for 5 1/2 years.

When I started, I was a different person and we were a different company. I have had countless opportunities, I have learned so much about business and marketing and I have had the honor of helping the company grow into the solid team it is now. I will miss my work friends, my boss and our clients but I knew it was time to make a move.

With that said, I did find my next adventure and I think you are going to like it… I am going to be joining the wonderful pack over at Planet Dog. If you have heard of them, I am sure you are squealing with delight right now. If you haven’t, let me tell you a little about this great little company that is doing BIG things.

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  • Planet Dog is a socially responsible, values-based company, bringing people and dogs together for fun and mutual support.
  • They make their own line of premium products “made for dogs, by dog lovers” – including the award winning Orbee tuff balls & bones and more. Otto likes the new Snoop combined with the Orbee ball.

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  • Their mission is to amuse, explore, support, innovate, create, educate, celebrate and philanthropate… all in the name of the dog.
  • They not only have a B2B business with pet products but they also have a B2C component with their online store and their innovative flagship store in Portland.
  • Planet Dog just started a major partnership with the Life is good company.
  • They donate 2% of their sales to their foundation – The Planet Dog Foundation. They just passed $1 million in giving to organizations that raise and train therapy dogs, service dogs, search & rescue dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, police dogs and more.

I cannot think of a better fit for the woman and mom I am right now than Planet Dog. I love their mission, their products, their drive, their vision and zest for a fun and full life.

So on Thanksgiving Eve, I am so, so, sooooooooo thankful.
I am thankful for the past 5+ years with a growing, rewarding job.
I am thankful for my wonderful little family and for Emmett who is really forcing me to take a long, hard look at my life and go after what I want and make big and small changes to get it.
And I am thankful for a new, exciting opportunity with a company I can’t wait to help carry to their next level.

So hey, if you want to keep an eye on what I am up to and where I am spending my time – go check out Planet Dog and the Planet Dog Foundation, Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and I can’t wait to help them tell you their story.

Stars Trump Facebook – Hands Down

Calvin & Hobbes- Infinite sky and people

We recently had a friend from NYC come visit us in our new island home. I can’t think of more polar opposites than New York City and Peaks Island, Maine. I love both places so much. Adam and I both love the City but obviously, we have chosen Maine as our home. NYC will always be there to visit!

One evening as we walked back to the house after dinner and a few drinks, our house-guest was walking with his eyes straight up to the sky. Stars. Millions of them covered the night sky. They don’t have stars like THAT in NYC. No tall buildings obstructing your view, no light masking the brilliance of those luminous plasma clumps.

Then there were those great philosophers Calvin and Hobbes… When do we stop to really look at stars? I can’t think of many times that Facebook, television or my iPhone have filled my head and heart with wonder as a few minutes staring into a twinkling night sky. A little star gazing can do wonders for your woes. Your problems and drama somehow seem a whole lot smaller.

Man, that kid and stuffed tiger were smart.

You Only Have This One Life

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Life has been a little crazy lately. We are working very hard to make sure we are doing what we think is right for the long haul. Sometimes setting that foundation means you have to be uncomfortable in the ‘right now’.

Adam realized a few years ago that he was not going to be happy with office/desk life and that he wanted to pursue a career in medicine. So I think we are about 4 years into a 10ish year journey to make that dream happen.

I remember pretty clearly the conversation when he figured out this was what he wanted to do with his life. He was afraid that he was too old to start this new journey or that I would not be a willing participant to see him through. There is definitely a difference between being the wife of a businessman for the next 10 years vs. being the wife of a student for the next 10 years. I chose to be the wife of a man who worked his ass off to chase his dreams.

We are both all-in and making this happen.

What about other dreams? It is hard to make plans for other dreams when the one right in your face is larger than an elephant. What about them? What about having children, exciting vacations, building our empire, chasing my own career aspirations? Do I put those on hold and start a To-Do list for 2019?

The smart decision would probably be to do that. Wait until we are settled. Wait until we have the money. Wait until the timing is right.

I never promised you smart decisions.

So blame the baby. Blame the death of my beloved dog. Blame the tragic funerals I have had to attend lately. Blame the pride I have when I see my husband working so hard to chase down his dreams. Blame the cancer diagnoses of friends and family – strong people being put through way more than they deserve. Blame the weather, for all I care but…

I decided waiting for 2019 is too long.

So I am making a few changes. Some big and some tiny.

Tiny changes – Silly things like instead of being pissed iced coffee is so weak, just order a freaking iced Americano. Small behavioral things like complaining less. Bitch fests can be fun but are they helpful? Eat more kale. No, that is a lie. This whole kale phenom needs to slow its roll. So I refuse to buy-in to kale but I am acknowledging there are lots of little things that I can make better about my day to day.

BIG changes – I am going to travel more and not just staycations.

This Fall I am going to Ireland with my mom. We have both always wanted to go but it has never been the right time and we have never had the ‘extra’ money. I don’t think there will ever be the right time or ‘extra’ money. So we are making now the right time.

What about the baby?! The baby is coming too. I have already met people who grumble about traveling with a baby but you know what? I have talked to even more people who are pumped about the idea. So me and my momma and my baby are going to Ireland.

And after Ireland, I plan on going someplace else too. Just not sure where yet.

BIGGER changes – We are moving to the island!

We bought a house (well another house – we have to still sell our current house). We have already started moving. Baby E will be growing up on an island. I was nervous – I am too busy, it is too inconvenient; we can’t host lavish parties that our friends will come to etc.

What I DO have is a network of family and friends to help me raise this amazing little boy – it takes a village right? I can’t think of a better place in the world to raise a child. A boy that can play outside, go to the beach every day and ride his bike to the store when he can still tell you how old he is with one hand. I am going to like that.

And the busy body worries? Convenience of a ferry? Lavish parties? I think more than those things, I need to enjoy my days more and maybe doing less will make me appreciate them more. Oh and I still can throw a lavish party, people will just have to bring sleeping bags.

BIGGEST (and smallest) changes – I am going to appreciate this one life I have.

When I look back at the last decade or so, I know I could do better. I could have been kinder, I could have done more, I could have been happier. As cliché as it is, I think about a poster that I have seen at Saddleback for the past few years. I can’t remember it exactly and if I try Googling it, it seems to be attributed to too many different folks. The message of it is that life isn’t made of minutes or days but of moments.

I want to look back on my life, especially this stretch, and see for myself that I crushed it – baby and all, med school and all, career and all.

You only have this one life. Why are we saving it to live later?