Less than 30 days away

The countdown for our move has officially entered less than 30 days, a number both frightening and exciting.

Today text messages were sent back and forth with my youngest sister as we tried to set a date where we can all go out before Jason and I leave.

As we began planning around our targeted day, “Friday,” it struck me that in a blink of an eye we will be leaving the state of Florida. Friday became the go to day because it is Jason’s only day off, which left us with only three dates to choose from before departure, due to a few prior commitments.

I know things will fall into place and a day will be set for our trio date out . . . because there is always time for family.

Our conversation put into perspective just how close that departure day is becoming. With that hope of being able to see all of our friends who have touched us in one way or another before we leave, I began contemplating whether or not Jason and I should set a date where we can all get together for one last good time.

Between both of our schedules I know it is hard to make things happen, to set dates, to see people, especially when their schedules are just as hectic.

Again, I know those friends who are truly near and dear will find time to see us, just as we will find time to see them.

With all of that said, I am still really excited to make this move with Jason.

Yesterday I read a quote that stuck with me “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Why doubt, when the power of believing is so much more powerful? I believe in us . . . I believe in Jason . . . and I believe in me. We are packing up our belongings and moving to a new area neither one of us have experienced in the hopes that we can plant our roots and enjoy our new home to its fullest.

These next four weeks are going to be jammed pack with things to do, which unfortunately includes packing, and people to see before our move.

Surrounded by love

The last few days were truly amazing to witness and be a part of. I watched my good friend, brother and sister-in-law pour unconditional love onto their incredibly beautiful children.

Since my boyfriend and I are leaving in less than two months, I wanted to spend a portion of my vacation visiting with friends and family.

Before I arrived in Tampa to visit my nephews, brother and sister-in-law, I made a special stop to see Dorene and her beautiful baby girl.

This little girl, who is nearing a month old is precious. As I held her, a continuous smile spread across my face as I watched her take in her surroundings, stretch and make adorable noises. The best part is I witnessed a few smiles, which only emphasized her dimples.

When my attention drifted away from this sweet girl I found her mom also smiling and taking in the beauty of her baby girl.

Once I arrived at my brother’s, I instantly fell in love with my nephew who is now more than a month old. I smothered him in kisses, which his mom and dad continuously did throughout the time I spent with them as well. Every chance I had, I held him, so I could see his beautiful features and take in his adorable noises.

I also could not get enough of my other nephew who is almost two years old. We had a blast at the park, on the train, as well as playing at the house. Every chance I had, I also smothered him with kisses and supplied many hugs.

I love watching my younger brother interact with his little boy. The love that he has for both of his boys flood out of him, which in turn engulfs his children. Their mother is no different. Smiles constantly crossed her face as she looked at her boys . . . you could see the love she has for her boys through her continuous interactions.

I was completely surrounded by love these last few days. It felt incredible to be a part of their growing families.

Family and friends are a wonderful part of my life, a part that I absolutely love.

Survivors

This morning I covered a breast cancer event, which awarded me with the opportunity to talk to quite a few survivors.

This event attracted 301 walkers, which raised more than $20,000 for From Our Hearts, an organization that helps women pay for treatments and screenings that otherwise could not.

To have the opportunity to talk to these women who have been cancer free for up to 24-years, was incredibly inspiring. One woman who walked in honor of her daughter was 90-years-old, which was also inspiring.

A disease that affects so many people, brings so many people together. I witnessed complete strangers become friends this morning as they shared their journey of becoming cancer free.

One woman shared she was a six-month survivor … she blew me away. Her outlook on life, her incredible sense of humor, as well as her love for life was a breath of fresh air.

As she shared her story about how she was diagnosed, her smile grew and her stories became funnier. She had the women surrounding me, as well as me, laughing uncontrollably.

This independent woman who enjoyed doing everything on her own, learned to let others in and help her in her time of need.

She shared that everyone has a path, which led her in another direction … a tunnel that eventually opened to show her so many others who have gone through the same thing.

As I sat and listened to these incredible women share their stories, it made me think of how precious life really is!

As we let little things bother us, little things that don’t in the grand scheme of things matter, we are wasting precious time to live life and enjoy every second we are here.

Their motto “fight like a girl” shined through all of their stories.

Stories like the ones I heard today makes me appreciate life that much more.

One happy momma

Little jars filled with sunflower seeds to be planted once the baby is born.

Little jars filled with sunflower seeds to be planted once the baby is born.

Various shades of pink filled the kitchen and living room as everyone gathered at my parent’s house this afternoon to help spread the joy of a baby girl soon entering the world.

My mom was the star of the day as she opened her house to all of our friends and Dorene’s family members for the shower. She had every dish needed to plate all of the food
we were serving, as well as the space. My parent’s home was the perfect setting for such a wonderful day.

As I made some last minute stops this morning, the entire baby shower came together as pink balloons were tied near Dorene’s seat in the living room, a sign “It’s A Girl” was hung above her seat and adorable crafts came to life.

Once Dorene arrived with her children, what we envisioned and planned for the past couple of months slowly came to life as things were checked off the list. Her daughter was incredible as she made the delicious punch, finished the brusheta, scooped this, found a spot for that  and helped with any other job I threw her way.

Room on the kitchen table became sparse as all the platters were placed in their specific spots for everyone’s enjoyment. Pink plates, cups, napkins and utensils were also in arms reach.

Although everything looked amazing our angel food cake and strawberry skewers were the highlight of the table, due to the adorable girly decorations that topped the stick.

Long time friends were reunited, as well as the start of new friendships forming as everyone arrived with gifts in hand for the guest of honor.

My mother’s kitchen, no matter the activity, event or holiday, is always the gathering area. The baby shower was no different as everyone stood around the table and the counters as they caught up on each other’s lives.

Once the food was tasted and conversations shared, the party traveled to the living room as everyone gathered around to watch Dorene open her presents. As items were taken out of bags or unwrapped, stories were shared of when their children were young, or how awesome that particular gift was. Pictures were snapped to remember the moment the gift was opened to share with those who were not able to make the shower.

A trivia game was given to everyone, as well as a scramble game to test the guests’ knowledge of how well they knew everything baby. The winner of the games went to a guest who has no children and absolutely loved the smell of the pink candle.

As people began to leave, little jars with pink tissue paper were given to them with instructions to plant the sunflower seeds within once the baby is born.

Laughter constantly filled the rooms of my parent’s house throughout the afternoon deeming the baby shower a success.

I am beyond thrilled that this day was successful and the guest of honor enjoyed herself throughout the entire shower. The baby shower I planned and hosted went off without a hitch, which is an amazing feeling.

I will never forget how excited Dorene was to have this baby shower, along with the smile that constantly lit up her face throughout the day.

Friendships, no matter how long, fill your life with so many unexpected happy moments that enrich your life.