Hi Grateful Lifers! Happy Friday :) You are all looking fabulous today. (Yep, I'm safely assuming).
I'm gonna cut right to the chase: I need your help.
My friend and pseudo little brother is lacing up his shoes to participate in a relay race as part of the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 15 to raise money for a cause that is very near and dear to my family's heart.
Here's a little back story, starting with an email I received almost a year ago....
On a recent trip to Haiti, a friend of mine met Tassy Filsaime. As a young boy, Tassy was involved with a gang in one of the worst slums in one of the worst cities of one of the most dangerous countries in the world. As a young man, he is now active in his community church, leads services, and is the principle vocalist in this church choir. He is the future of Haiti. And he has cancer. In a country that has survived over a century of political and economic turmoil and, more recently, the worst natural catastrophe in the history of the Western Hemisphere, Tassy may not survive. The tennis ball-sized tumor in his cheek is growing. What once used to be an inconvenience, is starting to make eating difficult. It will soon make eating impossible. Shortly after that, breathing won't be an option either. Given proper medical care, it could've been detected much earlier, but he was born in a world without health insurance, pediatricians, oncologists, or regular check-ups.But it's not too late. Through the generosity of Allegheny General Hospital, the tab for a $500,000 life-saving surgery has been reduced to $30,000. We have 21 days (basically until the end of August) to raise the funds to save his life. He has been granted a medical visa, but the window of opportunity is getting smaller. We can save his life, but we can't do it alone.
Thanks to the generosity, kindness, love and support of many incredible people (as well as the powerful hearts and souls of the Team Tassy fund-raising group) enough money was raised and Tassy was able to receive his life saving procedure!! According to the surgeon's estimates, without his trip to the U.S. Tassy would’ve died sometime in February. After shattering his jaw while eating lunch, he would have passed away due to blood loss or a quick bout with an infection in his mouth--all while suffering extreme pain when breathing and drinking. As my friend told me, that lunch would have been his last meal.
Following along with Tassy's recovery has been such a pleasure. Learning that his spirit remained unbroken throughout the entire ordeal was such an inspiration to me; his strength and joy and zest for life is something I wish the whole world could feel. I loved hearing stories like Tassy pretending to slip for a moment during a walk and nearly giving Ian (his friend and the head of Team Tassy) a heart attack. Being able to keep a sense of humor during an ordeal such as his showed me just how genuinely special this person is.
This young man's story is so beautiful...I think you should meet Tassy :)....
Tassy, prior to his surgery, rocking some killer Penn State gear :)
How handsome is that smile?!
Here's the next part of the story, starting with another email I received as an update on Tassy...
Tassy just realized last night that he was missing half of his teeth from his lower jaw. Unlike most of us, he thought that was the funniest thing. He asked if he would have to return to Haiti without his teeth. Ian gave him the options and he started laughing and laughed and laughed. He said he didn’t think his girlfriend would like that so much.
Can you imagine waking up from an invasive surgery to see that you were missing half of your teeth and your gut reaction being to *laugh*? I mean c'mon. Talk about having a positive outlook. Would *you* react in the same way? I'm ashamed to say I can't say that I would.
So here is where I need your help. To help Tassy *fully* recover from his procedure, Team Tassy needs an unexpected additional $10,000 for his jaw and teeth reconstructive surgery. My friend is partnering with the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation to help raise money for the surgery through his participation in the Pittsburgh Marathon...and I wanted to pass along the word.
I have received blessing after blessing in my small and humble life, starting with good health and access to good health care. We are all children of this world--we are all connected--and it is our duty to take care of each other. I am invested in this cause because I have the opportunity to extend kindness to another human being; to participate in giving someone a true and wonderful second shot at life. A shot, after having learned so much about Tassy, that he deserves to the utmost.
I don't want to b.s. you or beat around the bush: In short, if you feel that you are in a position to donate, please visit Frank's page HERE!
Thank you, thank you, thank you my darling readers. I am beyond grateful for your support. It means so much to me that you would even take the time to read this post and to send Tassy all of the loving, good thoughts you can muster. I'm so stoked at the idea of our grateful community helping to put that gorgeous smile back on Tassy's face!! You are rock stars and I love your guts!
As Elizabeth Gilbert says...
"In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices."
Love and Light,
ps- for more information on Tassy, give me a shout!
Whenever I am struggling with making a decision, big or small, I usually find the best course of action is to take a moment to visualize myself being really joyous in whatever outcome the Universe deals me. I focus on letting relief and contentment wash over me as if the right choice has already been made. And then, I give it up. I release my worries to a higher power and trust that if I continue to breathe deeply and listen to my heart, the right path will reveal itself to me. This is, of course, not always an easy process. My ego, my fears and my swirly nature can make this process almost impossible at times. But when I do manage to center myself...man, the results are pretty bad ass.
My most recent (incredibly) small decision has to do with my hair. Yes, yes, I know...how silly a thing to stress over. But bear with me here. I've been debating for months on whether or not I should stay brunette, go blonde, go dark, get highlights, etc etc. While on the surface this is truly a remedial thing to have even an ounce of worry over, I see now that my concerns were actually quite symbolic of my day-to-day nerves over staying true to myself. I was afraid that choosing to change my hair meant I was trying to change *me*; that it was a sign I wasn't comfortable in my own skin (I haven't had "virgin hair" since I first colored it at 16) and that I felt I needed to superficially improve myself in order to feel good...and I really did not want this to be the case. Being me, Patricia Louise, has been my #1 goal for the past few years. I hated the idea of back pedaling on all of the progress I'd made...but I also was feeling a bit stalled. In short, I was feeling afraid to move forward because I was afraid of losing myself. I lost her a time or 2 in the not so distant past and I was terrified to go down that road again.
As I was looking in the mirror the other morning having my usual internal dialogue over how to deal with my grown-out roots and a-little-too-light tips I paused for a moment. I paused for a moment and gave it up. I gave it up and felt secure in the knowledge that eventually the answer would reveal itself and I just had to be patient while waiting. And whaddya know, that very same day I received a message from a stylist friend-of-a-friend of mine letting me know one of her co-workers needed a color hair model the following morning. As it is a teaching salon, for just $25 I could have my hair modified by a student (closely supervised by the professional). $25!? That is unheard of. Usually a color treatment will run me $130-170, depending on the salon. OK, Universe. I get it. It's time. Let's do it.
I loved the salon, Grasshopper, immediately. Taking a seat on the plush waiting room couch I was welcomed by quite the peaceful glow. How could I not feel Zen in an atmosphere like this?!
And because the Universe loves sending us messages (if we open our hearts to receiving them) I then naturally flipped open a magazine to the following page....
After about 20 minutes of chatting and visualizing with the stylists, I finally said "I trust you." and let the magic happen.
Me and my brave "whatever happens, happens...it's just hair for gosh sake!" face...
The result was exactly what I didn't even know I wanted; a blend of super soft and natural highlights framing just my face, as if I'd been kissed by the sun during a beach vacation. It felt very Trish, which made me very happy. The change is so subtle that this photo really doesn't do it justice, but I would say it's a summery version of my natural hair color. As a June baby who grew up by the shore, I feel this is quite fitting :)
After the salon I ate lunch for one in the park across the street, courtesy of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. What could be better than a sunny bench surrounded by flowers and folks walking their dogs with a grilled cheese, tomato soup and Arnold Palmer meal? Very few things, my friends. Very few things.
Yesterday evening the girls and I went for a brisk walk with some coffee and stopped to take in the beauty of our city. I always find it to be so much more difficult to be in a stinky mood outdoors; it's a go-to quick fix for me and my "funks". Get outside. Go for a walk. Breathe in the scent of salt water. Be grateful for your surroundings.
As if the new hair, the magazine message and the company of loving friends, coffee and a Golden Gate sunset weren't enough, one of my favorite singer/song writers posted a new tune on her blog yesterday. The message is about as fitting to my life as any song could possibly be right now. Last night as I sat in my cozy studio apartment, on my bed that has become my sanctuary, eating a bowl of fresh raspberries and pita crackers with herb goat cheese while enjoying Tristan's voice and message I suddenly realized how incredibly fortunate I am. I realized what an incredible time in my life this is. Such a simple and lovely moment. Have a listen to Miss Prettyman here :)
If giving up my worries, trusting the journey and remaining in a constant state of love can yield me a week like the simple and joyful one I'm having now, I see no reason to ever change that flow.
"You should listen to your heart, it's gonna tell you what you need..."
As promised, a couple of snapshots and a brief summary of the awesomeness that was the Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart concert last week...big thanks to Jess for taking the photos and sharing them with me!
First we start with some classy Bart station cock-tailing, courtesy of Taylor's dad...(this tasted EXACTLY like a melted Icee-Pop. Holy sugar rush)....
Taylor did not like the taste of hers...
Jess and Taylor on our walk to the arena....such cutie patooties they are....
Snacking on Rice Krispy Treats prior to the show...
Group shot of me and ma ladies. I'm so lucky to have found this group of fun-loving gal pals :)
The Goddess herself...
I admittedly shed a few tears when she sang "Landslide", but in my defense she also dedicated the song to San Francisco. Apparently, and I quote, "without San Francisco, there might not have ever been a Fleetwood Mac or a Stevie Nicks. So this is for you, city of my heart...".
City of my heart?! I died.
One of my favorite singers dedicating one of my favorite songs to my favorite city?
I hippie danced and sniffled some tears. And then I died.
I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to see 2 musical legends in concert! Stevie was as fabulous as ever and I got the biggest kick out of seeing her move around stage like the hippie queen that she is. Even good ol' Rod was super enjoyable to watch; his high energy and cute dance moves were so fun to be around :)
And on a completely unrelated note....
This weekend I was invited to celebrate the 30th birthday of a super cool mom friend of mine (check out her new Weebly blog here!) and squeezed in a few giggle, cooing, ooh-ing and awe-ing moments with her darling son, Parker. My heart is melting just thinking of his cute little snuggled self!
Happy Tuesday :)
I'm in awe of the striking beauty in this footage. Big thanks to my Twitter buddy @fritzyuller for tweeting this and helping me feel humbled to live on such an incredible planet :)
Side note: Man, Mondays sure do creep up fast, don't they?
As Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart were wrapping up the concert on Wednesday night Stevie sent the following simple request to the crowd...
"Our world, our earth, is in turmoil....let's pray for the world! Do it!"
Today for Earth Day I'll be sending a zillion extra good thoughts to the world and our earth. Mama Earth has been sending us some pretty extreme messages for the past few years...I think it's time we start to listen to her. I'm so lucky to have seen so much of her splendor in my 26 (almost 27, yikes!) years of life and yet there is so much more left for me to marvel at, if I'm lucky. I know that folks get down and out about feeling like "how can I possibly help the Earth? I'm just one little person..." but I think what Stevie says is the most easy and do-able action for everyone. It's a simple and genuine place to start. Say a prayer. Send good thoughts. Muster up all the positive mojo you can in your powerful beings and dedicate it to our planet. She spoils us with gifts on a daily basis, a couple of good thoughts is the least we can do to say thanks!
I mean have you looked at the background of my photo above the "about me" section? Let me share the un-cropped version....
She's beautiful, right?! (The Earth, the Earth...I'm not being arrogant!)
Seriously, where do colors like this exist outside of nature!? It simply cannot be duplicated with the same beautiful effect.
Don't forget that we share our planet with little nuggets like this fella, too...we have to keep them in mind :)
So, as my adorable earth lovin' cousin Meggie would say, hug a tree today :) In fact, if you ever find yourself in a moment where you don't know what the most environmentally friendly course of action would be, simply say to yourself WWMD (What Would Meggie Do?)...and the answer will always be pro-Mama Earth.
Also-- as a follow up to this post-- I'll be going on my first run this afternoon. I feel mildly anxious about it but will be running outside (I mean it's Earth Day for gosh sake, I gotta soak up the beauty of my planet!) with my very patient gal pal and a very up tempo play list on the ol' iPod. I need to keep in mind I'm not running to impress anyone; I'm not running to prove anything to anyone...except maybe myself. I'm running to strengthen my body and my mind; to set a goal and reach it. I'm running because I can and that alone is a very beautiful reason.
Wish me luck!
In ocean, mountain, prairie, river, beach, forest, tree, animal, earth wind and fire Gratitude....
Yesterday was not my favorite day. Don't get me wrong; the Stevie Nicks concert was above and beyond what I hoped it would be (and I will blog all about it once I have my photos ready!), but prior to that 7:30pm start...yesterday was not my favorite day. And because it was so much of a bummer day (again, not counting Stevie!) I woke up this morning feeling not very willing to face the day. Which is, of course, the worst possible way to start any day.
And then I stumbled upon this story (via PostSecret on Twitter) about a hand written letter by iggy pop in response to a struggling fan. I stumbled upon this letter and I was given a bit of encouragement; a reminder to take a breath and regroup. To acknowledge my own strength and have faith that the Universe is always working in my favor so long as I remain committed to thoughts and goals that are loving, kind and full of gratitude. Hiccups and nay-sayers be damned; I am worthy of an awesome life filled with awesome people. I refuse to settle for anything less.
So naturally I wanted to share it with all of you :)
thankyou for your gorgeous and charming letter, you brighten up my dim life. i read the whole fucking thing, dear. of course, i'd love to see you in your black dress and your white socks too. but most of all i want to see you take a deep breath and do whatever you must to survive and find something to be that you can love. you're obviously a bright fucking chick, w/ a big heart too and i want to wish you a (belated) HAPPY HAPPY 21st b'day and happy spirit. i was very miserable and fighting hard on my 21st b'day, too. people booed me on the stage, and i was staying in someone else's house and i was scared. it's been a long road since then, but pressure never ends in this life. 'perforation problems' by the way means to me also the holes that will always exist in any story we try to make of our lives. so hang on, my love, and grow big and strong and take your hits and keep going.
all my love to a really beautiful girl. that's you laurence.
Seriously in love with this note.
"... but most of all i want to see you take a deep breath and do whatever you must to survive and find something to be that you can love. "
Love and Light,
My SF ladies and I are headed to see Stevie Nicks in concert tonight and suffice to say I have some SERIOUS ants in ma pants at my desk right now.
Stevie is....magic. She's a legend. She's THE hippie Mama, Queen, Goddess. Sigh, Sigh, Siiiiiigh I love her!! (Are you picturing me squealing like a Beiber Fever fan? Because that's what I'm doing)...
Her song Gypsy with Fleetwood Mac is my life anthem, particularly at this point in time and there is a 99.9% chance I will cry if she sings it tonight. I am 99.9% not embarrassed to admit that.
Once again I find myself quoting this song on my blog...I can't help myself....
so I'm back to the velvet underground
back to the floor I love
to a room with some lace and paper flowers
back to the gypsy I was.
I have goosebumps just thinking of how great this is going to be. Gosh she is so bad ass....
I will tell you everything tomorrow! With photos! Get psyched.
Trish aka total "band-aid" to Stevie
This morning I woke up and before fully opening my eyes and welcoming the new day, I mulled over some thoughts about my post for today (yes, that's how much I love my blog...it's the first thing on my mind when I rise and shine!). I tossed some ideas back forth to myself for a few minutes but nothing was fully resonating with me. I sighed, thought I know it will come to me, reached for my BlackBerry, and was greeted by the most perfect post topic, courtesy of my beautiful cousin.
Ah Universe, you sneaky little gem you.
My darling girl wrote an email to inform me that today is Poem in Your Pocket Day, part of National Poetry Month. How charming! She told me how excited she was to carry a poem around all day and one of the many, many things I love about her is that if she tells you she's carrying a poem around---girlfriend, without a doubt, has it in her pocket :)
She also wrote to me to share a poem that made her think of me. I fully admit I was a wee bit choked up after reading this poem; I think it was a mix of how simple and sweet and poignant the poem itself is and how kind and thoughtful the email gesture was as well. When anyone ever shares something with me simply because it made them think of me, I am humbled and grateful. I'm a sucker for simple human connections.
"The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Let's repeat that last line as a mantra, shall we?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
I've been a big fan of artist Brian Andreas for a few years now and decided that for my participation in Poem in Your Pocket Day I would choose one of his beautiful and unique pieces to carry with me (it's so hard to choose just one; there are so many wonderful options). This one is called "Different Plans".
I don't know how long I can do this, he said. I think the universe has different plans for me & we sat there in silence & I thought to myself that this is the thing we all come to & this is the thing we all fight & if we are lucky enough to lose, our lives become beautiful with mystery again & I sat there silent because that is not something that can be said.
If you see me today, ask to see the poem! I promise it's in my pocket :) Thank you, Jessi, for helping me to start my day off so awesomely and for being a continued source of love and joy in my life! I am so lucky to be able to call your goddess self a friend.
(I just hope I remember to take it out before I wash my jeans)...
"You are what you believe you are. There is nothing to do except be just who you are. You have the right to feel beautiful and enjoy it. You can honor your body and accept it as it is. You don't need anyone to love you. Love comes from the inside. It lives inside us and is always there, but with that wall of fog, we don't feel it. You can only perceive the beauty that lies outside you when you feel the beauty that lives inside you."
-Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love
...so I'm making a few dietary changes. Nothing drastic, mostly just a mix of more mindful choices and less processed snacks. I'm the queen of snack attack and little to no cookie self control, and it's beginning to show in the ol' waistline. It's not so much that I don't like the way I look (OK OK--it's a little about the way I look) but more-so that I'm not loving the way I *feel*. I feel heavy. Weighed down. Burdened. Plus, my body is my temple and deserves to be treated as such. It deserves to be fed things to nourish it and heal it and love it; it doesn't deserve to feel like crap. In no way, shape or form am I "dieting". I'd say mostly I'm looking to deal with my slightly unhealthy relationship with food (i.e. if I eat this cookie, will I feel happier?).
Breakfast this morning was a mango shake, courtesy of the cookbook lent to me by my coworker titled Raw Food Real World. A raw food diet is intriguing to me, mostly because...if I'm honest...it sounds like the most boring and painful way to eat on the planet. What am I, a bunny? But this recipe book has quite a few dishes that look really yummy so I've decided to give a few of them a whirl. I figure if I'm food-adventurous enough to eat a burger within a Krispy Kreme donut (yum), then I can be adventurous enough to test out the complete opposite end of the spectrum.
3 cups diced mango
2 cups coconut water
3 tablespoons agave nectar or 2 packets of stevia
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Squeeze of lime juice
Pinch of sea salt
It was delish! A really great way to start off the day--I feel far less heavy than when I scarf down a bagel or a huge bowl of cereal. I think tomorrow I'll be trying their Enzyme Boost shake (and of course will let you know how it goes!)...
I'd like to introduce you to one of my top 3 favorite restaurants in San Francisco; Tataki. Dining at Tataki is never anything less than a trip to heaven for my taste buds and I'm happy to support a business that has the following eco-friendly mission;
"...to showcase the beauty and delicacy of Japanese cuisine while respecting the sanctity and fragility of our environment. If we are to preserve the art of sushi, we must also safeguard the health and biodiversity of our oceans. With this in mind, we strive everyday to integrate the concept of sustainable dining into our menu options."
My first visit to Tataki was probably my most memorable; while munching on edamame I suddenly felt a small *thunk* on the back of my head. Turning around to see what the deal was I realized I'd just been hit with a flying piece of sushi. The chefs were slicing and dicing right behind me and immediately were mortified that a stray piece had somehow bounced its way off the table and into my noggin. Never being one to take this kind of thing seriously, I naturally began to pick the caviar out of my hair and quoted Pretty Woman, "Slippery little suckers!".
Getting hit with sushi turned out to be really beneficial for my future with Tataki. Since the incident, each time I visit the restaurant when head chef Raymond is working I'm gifted with a free dish. I love being on a first name basis with restaurant/bar/shop owners in my city--it makes me feel like quite the little local and admittedly has its perks! My friends often tease me for introducing myself (and sometimes embarrassing myself) to business owners and managers but I can't help it. I like feeling connected.
Monday night was another super night at Tataki. I was excited to indulge in my favorite sushi as well as pretty excited over my cute outfit (please excuse the crappy phone pics again, I really need to invest in a high quality/small digital camera)...
Head chef Raymond being super shy as I ask him to take a photo for my blog :)
Crab croquettes (crab, sweet potato and veggies) that make me drool and our free appetizer (thanks, Raymond!!) of baked muscles that also make me drool....
3 different sushi rolls; Rainbow, Pacific Sunrise (cucumber wrap with 4 fish varieties, garlic ponzu and no rice) and Mix-it-Up (spicy albacore tuna, crab, avocadocitrus sauce).....
The food here always tastes incredibly fresh and flavorful and Monday's meal was no exception. Thank you, Tataki, for another satisfying dinner!!
If you come to visit me in SF, chances are we will dine here :)
In Sustainable Sushi Gratitude,
The Giving Tree has been one of my favorite books since I was a child (I'd bet it was one of your favorites, too) and I've found that as the years pass my appreciation for its message continues to grow and deepen.
There is something magic about this simple story. When I worked for the YMCA during my teenage summers I was often in charge of entertaining (and keeping alive) 17-20 7 to 9 year olds. In the heat of Jersey summer, this was often a challenge (especially the keeping alive part, considering I often wanted to kill some of them myself). Every day was a new adventure with these kids; whether it be preventing Jacob Ellis from sticking gum on his privates and showing everyone or trying not to drown in the pool as 10 kids piled on top of me at once or preventing Kyle, the human allergy, from swiping snacks from other kids that might make his throat close up...I was pretty much kept on my toes for 12 hours straight (I worked 6am-6pm), 5 days a week. Looking back now I feel like I was a teen-aged Wonder Woman. I have absolutely no idea how I did it. And I am envious of my killer tan.
There would often be moments of pure mayhem at the Y; everyone wanting to play something different, fights over who gets what popsicle, tears over falling off the picnic table, despite my having told you not to climb on it 12 times already. But I always found that no matter the level of insanity, two scoops of crazy with a side of coo-coo-cachoo was no match for a good old fashion story time starring The Giving Tree. It was basically a literary Xanex. If I could manage to wrangle the troops to sit long enough for me to crack open the book, I was golden for the next few minutes.
It was amazing. Not one child would interrupt. None of them would fidget. They would sit and stare up at me with the sweetest faces, patiently listening to the quiet tale. It didn't matter that there was no magic or sword fights or grand adventures; they were captivated by a little boy and his generous fruit bearing friend. I remember feeling a calm wash over us all in our tented pavilion and I remember being so grateful for the few moments of peace.
I spend a lot of time on my computer. I am truly a woman of the digital era and definitely am a child of the instant gratification generation. I want it all and I want it as quickly as possible. To combat this slightly selfish and not-so-patient side of myself I often try and find ways to slow myself down, to live lighter, to be reminded of peace and calm.
Perhaps then you can see why I've chosen to decorate my computer in the following way.... :)
The message of deep selfless love (yes, that is my own interpretation) resonates with me, inspires me and "zens" me. It also reminds me that although gratitude is not always given where it is deserved, it doesn't make the act of giving out of love any less significant or important. I'm excited to have this reminder each time I reach for my laptop.
"And the tree was happy."
Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening Grateful Lifers!
I wanted to start today's post off by saying thanks to your support, The Grateful Life Blog had 207 unique visitors yesterday! Holy crap, right?! I am beyond humbled and (no surprise here) grateful. I've been having so much fun writing for you and look forward to this part of my day, everyday. It has helped me strive to be more involved, more present, more appreciative and you are a huge part of that motivation. So, thank you thank you thank you for your readership and for being a part of my life and my story--you are truly a light and your support means so much to me. Sending you all one billion good thoughts in gratitude :)
This morning I got an email from my cousin Courtney (technically she's a second cousin, but I've always considered her much closer...I love her, so the rest is just details) regarding a charity event she is participating in as well as the topic of organ donation. Our 26 year old cousin, who is a best friend of Courtney's, was diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago. He was also diagnosed with Crohn's Disease (an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract) and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC, a chronic liver disease caused by progressive inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts of the liver) at the age of 12. She will be participating in a 200 mile relay race in California next month in honor of him and is striving to raise both money for her event as well as awareness on the subject of organ donation.
I considered summarizing her story, but I feel that she did such a beautiful job writing it that it would be a disservice not to encourage you to take a moment to read it for yourselves on her blog; http://www.unwoven.blogspot.com/
I'm 100% on board with her thoughts on organ donation. My family has always been very pro-donation to the point of having bumpers stickers (and we are NOT a bumper sticker kind of group) that say "Don't take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here". We've had friends and family members whose untimely passing but generous subsequent donation of organs saved a number of lives. To me, this is an incredibly brave and honorable thing for a person and their family to do. If it is possible to see a silver lining in a tragic situation, this would be it. I really admire any organ donating family for this amazing act of kindness during a time of great pain. I'm in awe of them, actually.
I think what strikes me the hardest in the story Courtney details is the fact that, despite getting dealt a fairly shitty health card, our darling cousin remains so positive and present. As Court says, he moves forward. As much as I would like to believe I would have the same strength...I don't know that I would. I am humbled to know him.
Be thankful for the health of those you love today. Be thankful for your own health. Be thankful we live in a world where the miracle of science has discovered a way we can share our hearts...and livers, and kidneys and lungs...with each other during dark days. And consider joining the movement to promote organ donation. If you or someone you loved needed an organ upgrade, I bet you'd be pretty thankful for a match...
And for no other reason than it's my favorite photo of us, here's a pic of me and my little unwoven author in SF....
Just when it seems like life in my favorite city can't get any cheerier, another college buddy has packed the bags and moved west for NorCal adventures! Sunday morning was sunny and warm with a side of brunch at my favorite SF breakfast joint, Plow. When I tell you their lemon ricotta pancakes are perfection to the point of not even needing one drop of syrup...I'm not giving them enough credit. So.stinking.delish.
I was looking a little rough after a night of crazy dancing with the gal pals (man we were on FIRE on the dance floor...girlfriends were unstoppable and my thighs are burning big time from the work out!) but so happy to snuggle up to my lady, Sara, while she too enjoyed a Plow dish...
And we were especially happy to have the newest PSU addition to SF, Jeff, along for a much needed catch up :)
After breakfast I took the PSU kittens to check out a super cool antique shop in the neighborhood where I met my latest furball obsession, Bodhi (pronounced like Codi)....
This little (giant) love was pretty skittish when we first walked in and when we asked the owner what was up with his nervous nellies he said "well he's a puppy."......A puppy?! Holy Hannah Montana. Naturally I needed to love up on this "puppy" immediately.
I'm so excited for Jeff and his fiance to become San Franciscans with Sara and I! Sharing what I love so much about California, the Bay Area and SF with folks who are truly fun, kind, and wonderful just makes me love it out here even more. There is an energy here that has allowed me to feel more like myself than any other place I've been. I mean really, who can resist a city that has random street corners of folks giving out free hugs for no particular reason? (Yes, my friend and I received free hugs. And yes, they were awesome.)
I am so fortunate to have been a part of an organization in college that introduced me to so many wonderful people and I am even more fortunate the Universe is finding ways to sneak them back into my life in fabulous new ways!
Welcome to San Francisco, Jeff and Courtney!
My darling cousin sent me the movie trailer for a film called Happythankyoumoreplease this morning...suffice to say, I will 100% be seeing this movie. "With gratitude, the Universe is eternally abundant" (Sigh. I couldn't agree more!)
Yesterday I convinced some coworkers we simply must take advantage of a) the amazingly sunny weather b) the rooftop park directly across the street from our office and c) the fact we are healthy and living and young and fabulous! Check out the kids enjoying a little picnic...
Soaking up the sun...
Oh you know, just modeling my total Nancy Botwin outfit (I heart Nancy from Weeds big time)...
Could this park be any prettier? What a fabulous hidden treasure, I'm so lucky to live and work here!
Sending you all good vibes for awesome weekends! Remember to say thank you :)
Love and Light,