Friday, May 30, 2008

If I Were President...

No, this is not a political blog. At all. In any way, shape, or form. :) "If I were President" is a game that I used to play with my college friends. It goes like this:

When in a group of friends, one of us would loudly proclaim in a formal voice, "If Iiiiiiiiii were President..." (The "I" lasts about four seconds.) Then all of us would stop and listen, and the proclamation would continue with something like, "Professor So-and-So would stop looking at my boobs in class and give me an A for the semester." That was never said but I can't remember any of them and it seems plausible for college, yes? They were always silly things (or sometimes serious things) that were bothering us or getting on our nerves, and saying them in a funny way and/or having other people agree with us and/or laugh always helped. I still love playing this game, but Jason's not really into it, which takes all the fun out of it. But now I have a blog! And that means an imagined audience!

So! If Iiiiiiiiiii were President, there would be yellow or red lines painted about four feet away from every baggage carousel in every airport in the country (I'd say the world, but that might be a little greedy as President... but then again... oh, wait, I said this wasn't a political blog, I'd better stop now). The painted line would follow the curves of the carousel, but would just be outside of it by about three and a half or four feet, like a giant outline. AND, everyone who is picking up baggage would have to stand BEHIND that line, until they see their actual bag(s), at which point they can go up and haul it off of the carousel... which, of course, would be a lot easier since they don't have to worry about slamming it into the knees of other people since they are all standing where? Yes, behind the line. It also would be a lot easier to see when your bags are coming down the chute, because people aren't crowded around in a clump; they are all standing, yes, behind the line. And if I wanted to get all math dork on you, I could explain how the line would increase the diameter of the carousel, thereby allowing even more people to be in the "front row," as it were. But some people are afraid of geometry so I won't. Except I kind of just did. :P

The line could be a beautiful thing. So efficient. So civilized after those long flights in tiny seats when travelers are weary and cranky. Alas! It will never be. I would never could never will never be President, and even if I were, I would have a lot more important things to do than worry about airport baggage carousels. Which is kind of the point of the game (just in case you didn't get that). So don't send me nasty e-mails or post nasty comments, dork. [For the record this is a very long and drawn out "If I were President." Normally they are just a sentence, or at least just one breath. But obviously I've been thinking of this one for a while and wanted to elaborate.]

Obviously I was just an airport (or two, since that's kind how it works). :) I flew to Portland and then Mom, Dad, and I drove to Spokane for a visit with my sister's family and the baptism of my niece/God-daughter. (How many times must I incorrectly start typing niece and have to go back and fix it before I will just get it right the first time? Anyone?) Flying cross-country and going on a seven-hour (one-way) road trip (and back again, all in a week) was rough... but it was alllllll worth it to be there to hold the beautiful Lily when she was baptized and to hang out with my sister's family and friends.

It was Scrap Your Day on Sunday so I'm ploughing through 467 photos in between catching up on laundry and grocery shopping (and sleep!). :) Hope to post the highlights maybe on Sunday. Tonight Jason and I have a date involving grilled steaks, pasta, and some neighborhood dirt he found out while I was gone and hasn't told me yet (I know, I know, gossip is evil and bad and we shouldn't do it so don't send me nasty e-mails or post nasty comments). Tomorrow we are going to a Crawfish Boil with our friends Andrea and Scott . Super excited about that! I haven't seen Andrea since we walked the Avon Walk together so it should be a good food, good friends, good fun kind of day. Hooray!

Enjoy your Friday night, everyone! And while you're at it, tell me what you would do if you were President!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Today is Memorial Day here in America, and it means so much more than the start of summer to me. My grandpas and great uncle and uncle and dad all served in the military and fought in wars. I grew up understanding what that meant. In college I took a class studying the literature of the Vietnam War and spent a lot of time getting to know local veterans. Then, to my surprise, I fell in love with a boy in the Air Force (how that happened is another story for another time!).

It takes two hands to count the number of my friends whose husbands are deployed right now. So today I ask you to remember the men and women who have served and are serving. Remember their families, the wives (and husbands) and children who celebrate birthdays and holidays and try to live their lives without their loved ones and with a fear in the back of their minds that they fight daily to not let take over. Remember those who did not return, and those who returned wounded--physically and mentally.

Jason has worn this POW/MIA bracelet every day for more than a decade. The name on the bracelet is Bennie L. Dexter. Jason never knew him, and he's not related to him. Bennie is just a man--let's face it, a boy--who fought in the Vietnam War and was never found. When we visited The Wall we found his name.

Take a moment to remember and say thanks, and have a beautiful and wonderful Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fairy Godmother

My beautiful niece who will be baptized today! I'm the Godmother, yippee! :)

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Make Mine with Mustard...

... and Catch-Up. ;P

Lots has been brewing this past week but I was siiiiiiiiiiick. So now it's time to catch up! I'm grouping things into categories to make it easier on myself. :)

First: Stuff I've Made

A couple of the surprises I mentioned have arrived at their destinations and so are no longer surprises! :) A pair of earrings for my fabulous friend Trisha for her birthday:

And an earring and necklace set for Jason's mom for Mother's Day:

I've also been working on those tiles I showed you last week. After I took that photo I found a "blonde" colored placemat at Ross (for 49 cents because it was falling apart!) and two placemats at Target with larger tiles. Loooove them. I'm obsessed! I have a bunch more halfway finished so hopefully I can show you those later this month. (Thanks to Deborah for the idea and to Shannon for sharing it.)

And Avon Walk thank-you cards. Nothing fancy, but heartfelt! And ready to be written in!

And I've also been working on a bunch of layouts but none of them are done yet. :)

Second: Happy Happy Joy Joy

What a super day with happy surprises! First my neighbor brought me these as a thank-you for taking care of her kitties. Please, like kitty cuddles and the hilarity of a cat who sits on command wasn't enough?

Then I received a package in the mail from Sooz:

Holy crap cow! Are you kidding me? When I lusted over the tabs she used on her pages she volunteered to punch some for me... but she really went above and beyond that kindness! Not only did she use Stella Ruby paper so they will match my album perfectly, but she also made me a ton with different paper, AND made me a mini-book! And how did she know that I am a huge fan of StoryPeople? I love that card! Everything is beautiful and I feel so spoiled! Thank you thank you thank you, Sooz!

To top it off, I found out last week that I won a free seat in Stacy Julian's 12-week Have More Fun class over at BPS! I rarely win anything so I was super surprised and excited! I'm especially excited because it's a class I normally wouldn't have taken... that seems kind of backwards because I should be excited if I was planning to pay for it but got it for free, right? But I'm more excited because this way it feels like "it was meant to be"... and I'm excited to find out why! It starts in July so I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Third: The Rest

I'm flying out tomorrow morning for Portland. So excited to see my Grandma and Grandpa, who I haven't seen for FOUR YEARS. They're snowbirds so the one time I flew home from Italy (Christmas 2006) they were down south. I can't believe it's been that long and am excited for them to pick me up from the airport! Here is a photo of us four years ago:

Can everyone say "Praise Jesus for the hair cut and color?"

Thursday morning Mom, Dad, and I leave for Spokane for my niece's baptism--and I'm the Godmother! Yippee! I'll be bringing my camera since the baptism will be on the 25th... so expect to see lots of photos when I get back! (Like there wouldn't be otherwise, ha ha!)

This past Friday we hung out with some of Jason's coworkers to welcome new baby Emma into Mike and Kerry's family. Several people mentioned how natural I was holding the babies (there were two at the party)... and I learned that apparently not all women have been holding babies for as long as they can remember! I've always thought it was "a girl thing"... we grew up babysitting, etc. But none of the other women at the party felt that way (except the moms). Now I'm wondering if I'm unusual or if this wasn't a good sample since all the women at the party were engineers, ha ha. :) Anyone? What do you think? Did you grow up holding babies or not so much? I'm really curious. Please answer!

Finally--sent out little things to a few people in the midst of sickness last week. SORRY that I suck and did not even include notes let alone pretty RAKs (random acts of kindness)! I owe you one. :)

Smooches and wish me luck with the cross-country flight! :)

32... +

I am a list person. I love lists. Indeed, I am the kind of person who could have lists of lists. I love checking things off of lists and making new lists. I have notebooks full of old lists and I love looking back and seeing all of the things I had to do and which things never got crossed off. It's a journal of sorts, comprised entirely of old To Do lists. You get that I love lists, right? So I can stop talking about it? Good.

So a few people that I check out have done these cool lists of things they want to do before their next birthday. Ideally this is done, you know, ON your birthday. Elise has 23 things to do before she turns 23. Andrea has been at this a while... first there were 36 things. Then she added 36 happy surprises. Now she is on to 37 things. (She really likes lists, too.)

Back in March or so I decided that I wanted to hop on this listful bandwagon. [When I received my degree in English they also handed me a license to make up words. Listful is an adjective which means lustful for lists. Useful, yes?] But in my brilliance I thought, "Oh, I'll wait until my half birthday and do a list with half things I have done since my last birthday, and half things I still want to do before my next birthday! It will be great!" What a super idea, right?

My half-birthday was April 20. But we had people staying with us, and then I was focused on the Avon Walk, and excuses excuses excuses. But today I decided that I still want to do it, and who cares about the timing. It'll still be fun. C'mon, it will be!

16 things I'm glad I've done since I turned 32:
  1. Bought a house.

  2. Taught myself to Venetian plaster.

  3. Learned that fear is a stupid reason to not do something good.

  4. Walked 39.3+ miles in two days.

  5. Became Inspired.

  6. Started this blog.

  7. Faux-finished the bedroom walls.

  8. Spent two weeks with the cutest nieces ever.

  9. Became a WASSIMA chick with the coolest group of artists.

  10. Taught myself to make some beautiful jewelry.

  11. Made lasagna from scratch without my "Mamma Italiana" Nunzia (she taught me well; my father-in-law loves lasagna and said it was the best he'd ever had in his life!).

  12. Met Anne Lamott.

  13. Started a year-long project I'm excited about.

  14. Readjusted to life in the U.S. Mostly. :)

  15. Bought original art.

  16. Found my Bulletproof Positive Attitude and started--finally--thinking of myself as an Artist. That's big, y'all.

16 things I still want to do while I'm 32:

  1. Venetian plaster the dining room.

  2. Have a housewarming party/open house.

  3. Take a photography class.

  4. Get my Etsy store up and running.

  5. Finish all of my Inspired projects--even the Rusty Pickle book(!).

  6. Make a handmade (sewn binding) book.

  7. Register for next year's Inspired.

  8. Visit my friends Kathy and Larry in South Carolina.

  9. Organize my studio and hold at least two workshops or classes.

  10. Find and buy curtains/window coverings/drapery/whatever you want to call it for all the windows in the house. (Currently we just have blinds. Jason is getting annoyed.)

  11. Make a collage over one of the cheap wall hangings I bought at Ross to collage on.

  12. Buy canvas fabric, gesso it, and paint on it. (Like this. Or this. Or this.)

  13. Either learn to love the green that my family room is painted or re-paint it.

  14. Send two cards per week for any reason whatsoever.

  15. Have a garage sale.

  16. Find and buy the following items for the house at less than retail: a stainless steel trash can that fits under the counter; a laundry hamper that goes with our master bedroom decor and holds more than two pairs of jeans; a spice rack for the pantry door.

  17. Organize a block party.

  18. (Once the gym I joined opens) go to the gym three days per week.

  19. Come up with a plan to learn more Italian and start it.

  20. Hang stuff on my walls for heaven's sake.

  21. Make friends with someone who works in a frame shop and/or someone who works in a sign shop.

  22. Outfit the guest bathroom.

  23. Get new glasses and contacts (it's only been four years).

  24. Get our China hutch repaired so I have someplace to put my mountain of pottery.

  25. Get back to goal weight and/or goal size or just get the heck over it once and for all.

  26. Design and create/build/assemble an art piece for our huge front window.

  27. Get a bird feeder or three and keep it stocked.

  28. Find a church I like attending and go.

  29. Join--or start!--an active book club.

  30. Sell three things on eBay (and/or Craigslist).

  31. Write a letter to Nunzia in Italian that there is some possibility she will actually understand.

  32. Keep a secret.

Alert Reader: "Now wait just a dang minute! I thought you said there were 16 things you still wanted to do while you were 32? So the math works out well, you know, like you said? Half done and half to do and all that?"

Oh, you're right. Hmph. I did say that. See, this is what happens when you write a blog slowly over several days while you're taking cold medicine and trying to figure out the HTML code to put photos side-by-side (within a list, no less). Well, I really do want to do all that stuff, so let's just call me ambitious, okay? Or 48. I don't mind. Let's do it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

47 Heart Attacks

When I was 14 I babysat for a family that lived around the corner. Lovely Mom, Dad, and two little daughters--the oldest was about two and a half and the youngest was an infant. They lived in a two-story yellow house with a big front porch--you could put them on the cover of "The American Dream" magazine.

One day they asked me to babysit so Mom could go to a church group meeting while Dad re-roofed the house with his friend.

The Dad fell off the roof, catching his foot in the gutter. His head hit the ground first.

I had to call 9-1-1. I dealt with the situation the very best that a 14 year-old could... which is to say, not well. Thank God for those fridge magnets listing the address and important info for babysitters.

I will spare you--and myself--from the details.

The Dad died after arriving at the hospital. I never saw Mom or the girls again.

This past weekend Jason said we had to clean out the gutters (which became very obvious during our recent rain storm). My parents got us a super-cool ladder as a housewarming present so, aside from my panic attacks, we were set.

This is one of only photos I got, because once he moved to the upper gutters I was too busy holding the ladder and having 47 heart attacks.

Here he is discovering that apparently at some point before we bought this house, a tree fell onto the roof:

The plywood underneath is rotted and will have to be replaced. Can I tell you how much I don't even care about the roof damage? How thankful I am that this is a problem easily fixed by time, effort, and money? [Not to mention how happy I am that it is on the first floor part of the house.]

Sometimes it's all about perspective.

Thanks for letting me get that out of my head.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just Gimme the Good Stuff, Baby

Is that a song? It is a song, in my head at least. But is it a song in, you know, real life?

I'm still super sick. But I'm focusing on the good stuff, baby!

Ordered this. Can't wait to check it out! I made a super-cool star book in a class once (2004?) and was really good at it (artsy and precise? I'm there, baby!). And I had big plans in my head to make eighteen more, even ordering extra-large cardstock for big pages. And then I promptly never made another one. But now I'm doing the Handmade Book of the Month Club with Tena over at BPS and it's rekindled my interest. I love the BPS classes but since I am such a rule-follower (which is so annoying to me lately) I always end up ordering everything on the supply list rather than deviating and using my own stash. Which gets expensive, especially when it seems I can never find all the supplies at one online store and have a good excuse to shop all around and order a bunch of stuff I want but don't need at three different stores and if I just order a little more I get free shipping so I might as well, right? to place several orders. :) So with this book I can use all my own stuff to make any ol' book I want and it will be SUPER. Yay!

Also signed up for this class (Remember the Journey). I'm excited because the instructor, Carol Wingert, is also going to be an instructor at Inspired next year! And I will be there. So it will be fun to get to know an instructor now so we'll be old friends by next year. :) (Did I mention that Tena and Carol are friends and have written books together? It's a small world after all!)

Finished some awesome projects that are surprises because they are presents. Smarty Jason reminded me to take photos before I ship them off. Whoa, that was a close one (dang cold medicine)! Thanks, Love. :) Have I mentioned how awesome my husband is? I don't want to show off my surprises yet but I’m liking the whole paragraph, photo, paragraph, photo thing we have going on, so here is a favorite photo of my darling husband. :)

I had about two good hours of energy on Saturday and needed something from Michael's for the aforementioned projects, so I scooted out of the house and across town. Next door is Ross and I always pop in to see what I can find in the housewares section. I've gotten some good deals there... but you all know about Ross, yes? A Bialetti pan, Bohemia crystal, and a cast-iron grill pan and press all for 50%+ off retail; these are some of my favorite finds. And now I have a new addition to the short list:

Can't wait to do something like this to them (hopefully this afternoon). Of course I couldn't resist buying every one they had because I am obsessive-compulsive like to help my friends. So I am offering some up to the WASSIMA girls (you know who you are). And to Shannon (thanks for the link!). And to Katie (just 'cause I think you're awesome). Let me know if you want some and e-mail me your snail-mail address and I'll pop some of the wood beads in the mail to you. 'Cause that's how we roll. :)

This little dude (and a few others) stopped by my deck (photo taken through my sliding glass door). Love these guys!

Other good things rolling around here (for which I have no photos): seeing the mamma feed the baby robin in our tree out front; making friends with an amazing woman that I only spent about an hour with in person and now adore; getting my inbox back to below 20 messages; finding out that our sump pump works (four inches of rain in the last 24 hours and still going!); still being grateful for having a dishwasher; the neighbor cats I'm kitty-sitting that have the cutest treat routine--I tell Buddy to sit (and he does) and then he has to stay sitting while I give treats to Abigail and say, "Ladies first!" and then give him treats. Get serious!

I'm trying out a new routine this week and it's now housework time (which is followed by artsy time) so let's roll on through, shall we?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Avon Walk Slideshow

Oops, forgot to post this after I finished it yesterday! Here it is:

And if you're like Jason and couldn't decode Emma Stedronsky's message, it says, "Good job girls and some boys, too." :)

Blahg Blahg Blahg [Cough]

I spoke too soon. The cold has come back with a vengeance and slapped my happy ass into submission. I had to get out of bed way earlier than I'd have liked on a rainy Saturday, because I was coughing too much and wanted to let poor Jason sleep. (Have you ever heard a Harp Seal barking?) I've been thinking that it was a little bit of a cold and a lot bit of allergies but now I think things have reversed. If stuff is coming up from my lungs when I cough does that mean I should go see a doctor?

I am brewing a pot of espresso right now. This time it's actually brewing, unlike the first time I set the timer for eight minutes and walked away without, you know, turning on the burner. Oh, wait, it's done already. [shuffle, shuffle, fridge opens, milk pours, micro goes on, fridge closes, micro dings, mini-whipper hums warm milk into lovely froth, a cappuccino is born, shuffle shuffle] Okay, I'm back. Yummmmm. (And yes, Mom, I know that I shouldn't drink milk when I have a cold.) Yummmmmmm. I added a little bit of the vanilla caramel creamer that my sister-in-law bought while she was here. Mmmm. I brewed the big pot today, because 3 shots of espresso just didn't seem like enough on this rainy day. :)

Jason was on a roll last night. He was watching television while I was in the kitchen and he flipped to a show that appeared to be about airplanes. Then suddenly the host says, "I love this airplane so much that I want to steal it! What does the Bible say about lust?" and the show launches into a section about the Bible. [Never mind that this makes no sense at all.] Obviously Jason was like, "What the ... ?" So he slides into a super rednecky voice and says, "Don't be Jesusin' on me all surreptitiously like!" Maybe you had to be there, but I rolled. So funny, that man of mine. [Edited: Jason likes watching those History channel shows about the Bible, it was just funny that this one was sort of, well, tricky about it. Just FYI.]

I've been working on a few really cool projects lately, but they are surprises so I can't post photos yet. :) Don't you love when you're working on something and you keep saying to yourself, "Oh, this is good, this is so good, she's going to LOVE it!"? I do. I love that! And you know what else I love? When you're working on something and you say, "Oh, if only I had X I could blah blah blah..." and then it comes to you that you DO own X and you go down (or up or over) to your mountain of a stash and pull out just what you need. I really love it when that happens! Because it justifies me buying more for my stash. Because then I am making use of the gajillion things I already own. It's like shopping in my own house!

Enough blahging. The coffee's kicking in so I am off to go finish those projects I'm loving!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Well, hello world! I almost feel like part of you again. My brain is still in a little bit of a cold-medicine fog, but I actually got out of my pajamas and went out into the world--willingly, even!--so that is definite progress. I'll take it!

Maybe it's the cold medicine making me loopy, but I have been wondering a few things the past couple of days. Like, for instance, do people actually listen to the "Sounds of the Holidays" music channel in the first week of May? And is there a law I don’t know about that states that if you want to buy a tiny dog you must buy them in multiples? And should I be ashamed that I'm a 32 year old woman but every time Taylor Swift comes on the radio I turn it up and sing along? And where exactly are the shelves that go in my CD/DVD bookcase so I can, you know, put away all my CDs and DVDs? Did the movers not pack them, and if not, were they trying to make me crazy? And do people who still have Christmas lights up on their porches turn them on at night? And what in the world should I get my mom, who doesn't wear much jewelry and never wants anything, for Mother's Day? And is it really true that people who are allergic to chicken can eat Chicken McNuggets?

Obviously, the cold medicine is making me loopy. Still, I do wonder about those tiny dogs I only see in twos and threes.

Lots to share today!

First: Our Friend the Olympian!

Daniele Molmenti is a friend for sure… but he is more like a brother to me (and Jason, too). Jason met him at a motorcycle club when we lived in Italy and we all became fast friends. Jason was on a motorcycle ride with him last April when Dani had an accident and was launched into a ravine (right in front of Jason). He landed in a creek bed, surrounded by boulders on every side. (He later told us that he felt water rush into his helmet and he got a thought of Sylvester Stallone climbing so he climbed onto one of the boulders to not drown. It’s so Daniele to be on the brink of death and thinking of Rambo. :)) Jason called me to come to the scene of the accident to pick up Dani’s motorcycle gear and I was a WRECK when I saw where it happened—I didn’t think there was any way he could live through it. (To be honest I was a wreck the second Jason told me—so much so that I had to ask my Italian neighbors to drive me there.) When we got to the hospital we found out that he was going to be transferred to a larger hospital so we waited for him to be brought out—I just had to see him with my own eyes. They rolled him out with one of those silver blankets over him and as soon as he saw me he said, “I’m sorry Cameron!” I laughed out loud and breathed a huge sigh of relief, because I knew that if he could worry about being in trouble with me then he was going to be okay! Somehow, he miraculously suffered only a fractured vertebra; he was in the hospital for weeks. We brought him Jason’s media player stocked with movies and music and episodes of Family Guy, and got to know his parents really well. :) But he has fully recovered.

And I mean, fully recovered. He’s been a competitive kayaker since he was a kid, really, and we were all afraid what his accident would mean for his career (while of course knowing that his life was more important). After lots of physical therapy and many months of intense competition, this past weekend he was chosen as the (as in, the one and only) Italian kayaker for THE OLYMPICS! A year ago he was in traction—now he is going to the Olympics! I am over-the-moon thrilled for him. I got the text message during the Avon Walk and screamed and jumped up and down, and said randomly about a dozen times throughout the weekend, “Dani’s going to the Olympics!!!!” Tanti baci, Dani, carissimmo mio!!! I’m so excited for you!

(Notice the Family Guy tank that then-girlfriend Zora made for him.)

What a stud!

Second: End of an Era

If you are lucky enough to have ever been to Venice, Italy (and maybe even if you haven’t), then you know about the famous pigeons in Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square). Some people love them, some people hate them, but everyone must agree that for decades the pigeons—and the feed sellers—have been an institution in Venice. One of my favorite memories of Piazza San Marco is of watching a woman with a tiny dog on a leash throw pigeon feed (corn) out to attract them and then the dog running around in a circle chasing them away. It was hilarious; the pigeons would fly off until the dog was past, swoop back in to grab some food, and fly away again before the dog could get them. The dog constantly ran in a circle so it was a constantly moving arc of pigeons, too.

Those days are over. As of last week, selling food and feeding pigeons is illegal in Venice. The story is here. I had a lot of fun with the pigeons when we were there so I am kind of bummed to hear this news… but like everything in Italy the rules could change any time. ;)

Third: Avon Walk

I know I said that I was going to write more about the Avon Walk, but, well… I’m not. I like the way the moments came together, and I’m going to let them stand together as my story.

The only things I will add are these: I am going to lose two toenails and one of them really hurts (but it also will not need chemo); if anyone wants to take this thing (or a similar thing) on, let me know and I can help you out with some hints and tips; I am really, really, really glad I did it. Just in case you didn’t get that the first time. :) And also, I will post photos tomorrow.

For now, I leave you the task of decoding what dear Emma Stedronsky wrote on the Avon Walk pillar. I think she said it pretty well. :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Overwhelming Moments

I did the Avon Walk this weekend. I finished. All 39.3+ miles. It was amazing. I have sooooo much to write about but I am a semi-zombie right now and can't think in any kind of order. Since I've been doing the 25th Day challenge I've been thinking about capturing those little moments that may seem insignificant on their own, but which together build a picture of a day. So for now, here are a few moments (in the order in which they come to me):

(At registration on Friday) Selling all six necklaces I made and having people tell me they were beautiful. Women buying them as gifts for friends they were walking for. Women coming to ask if I had any more because they'd seen other people wearing them and loved them.

The Fancy Pink Ladies with their pink feather hats in a convertible Lexus driving back and forth along the route and cheering us on. And seeing them later on the route sitting at an Irish Bar drinking beers (out of bottles!), still cheering us on. (Andrea and I decided we want to be them when we get old. Or next year.)

(At breakfast both Walk Days) The worst coffee I have ever tasted in my life, which could not be fixed with any amount of half-and-half and sugar.

Seeing (and buying) a button that says, "Blisters Don't Need Chemo." Being thankful for that dose of perspective before I even started the walk. Wearing the button for all 40 miles.

Little girls with free lemonade stands in front of their houses, handing out free lemonade to the walkers.

Men holding their babies, sitting in their front yards and thanking us for walking.

The "Walker Stalkers" who spent all day driving from place to place along the route and cheering us on and thanking us for walking.

And the candy. Oh, the candy they handed out. It was a constant, guilt-free sugar rush.

Food and Friends chocolate chip cookies.

Banana Laffy Taffy.

A fabulous and very gentle chiropractor (on Saturday night after 26.2 miles).

A kind and beautiful osteopath who understood my needle phobia and told me when to close my eyes and when I could open them again (when she drained my blisters on Saturday night).

The little girl generously doling out Jelly Bellies using a paper Dixie Cup as a scoop.

Saving the peach ones for last.

The little boys (toddlers, really) giving us their animal crackers.

The woman who came out to her porch and shouted, "Tomorrow is my last day of chemotherapy!"

All the walkers cheering for that woman and then tearing up.

Being so glad I was there when she said it.

Laughing with strangers.

The funny and sometimes dumb pink signs posted by Team California.

The man with his guitar serenading us with, "Pretty women, walking down the streets..."

Seeing the mile 23 signpost--further than I'd ever walked (training just got up to 22 miles).

The motorcycle crew who served as crossing guards/comedians. The man who dressed as a princess and handed out princess stickers and wore falsies and had a pink bra across his motorcycle headlights and a pink mohawk on his helmet. The guy who blasted out up-beat music from his motorcycle. The woman who invited us to come over to her little "island" (aka the median). They must have done this eight hundred times but they kept it up to keep us laughing.

Meeting Larry and thanking him for posting his "What If" message.

Getting texts of encouragement from my mom and my sister while I was walking.

At mile 25.5, waiting at a stoplight and being told, "I can't believe you're all still smiling!" All of us then looking around at one another and thinking/saying, "Oh, we are still smiling!"

The college kids in pink feathers and crazy outfits who cheered us like crazy (especially when I said, "Keep it comin'!") and passed out bumper stickers. The lift it gave me.

The longest mile ever (milepost 20) and then the glory of the shortest mile ever (milepost 21) about two minutes later.

The hot SHOWER at the end of Saturday.

The funny team names and t-shirts. "Po Po for Ta-Ta's." "Breast Men." The baseball jerseys saying "Save Second Base." The hilarious "Feel your Boobies" shirts that you just had to see to understand. "Four Abreast." "The Boobsie Twins."

People laughing out loud at our team shirts. "Saving the world one headlight at a time."

(On Friday night) Going out to dinner with our team at, of course, Hooters.

Finding out that all the walkers raised more than $8.1 million, a new record!

Reese Witherspoon's address at the closing ceremony. So casual and down-to-earth and funny and excited.

Finishing. Walking through the channel of people cheering us on and high-fiving us as we walked under the finish line arch.

Finding a Mohawk Man pink-ribbon penny.

The 17 year-old boy with his arm in a cast, walking with the sign on his back saying, "I'm walking for my Mom. I ROCK!" Wearing skater shoes. :)

Jason taking pictures of me at the closing ceremony.

Spending two days and walking 40 miles with Andrea. Lots of talking. Easy silences. Easy laughter.

Developing allergies and sneezing 408 times.

Overheating in the sun at closing ceremonies and escaping to the shade. Jason melting ice cubes in his hands so the cold drips fell over my forehead when I said the ice was too cold.

The elderly woman in a wheelchair sitting along the route thanking us for walking.

The woman standing in her yard with bare feet drinking coffee and watching us all walk by.

Walkers wearing feathered hats, tiaras, and all kinds of crazy, funny things I wouldn't want to walk in.

Finally getting a picture of all six teammates on Friday night.

Walkers so newly out of chemo that they are still bald.

Hearing the woman explaining to her very young son why we were all walking.

Men holding flowers at the finish line, waiting for their wives.

(On the way home out of D.C.) Yelling out the car window, "Good job, ladies!" to some women on the sidewalk.

Hearing them yell back, "You too!"

Falling asleep in the car on the way home.

Arriving home and putting on soft, fuzzy socks and pajamas.

Finding even more blisters on my feet.

Hearing Jason talk to the people who called to check on me as I dozed on the couch.

Twittering throughout the walk.

Finding out people had followed me on Twitter.

Waking up today and being able to walk. :) Mostly. :)

Checking on my friends' blogs this morning and seeing their blogs about my walk here and here and here and here. These are ladies I met less than a month ago at Inspired. Wow. Wow. Wow. I am so blessed.

Crying as I wrote this message and remembered these moments. Laughing that I am still writing when I intended this to be a quick message. So, so, so thankful. Full of thanks for each and every moment.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I'm getting ready to leave for Avon Walk check-in right now and am a WRECK totally prepared. I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off all week, and I can't wait to just START WALKING at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning!

I'll be sending messages to Twitter about how I'm doing throughout the walk whenever I'm at rest stops, lunch, and at the end of each day. Check in on how I'm doing at or by clicking here. You may also notice that I have my three latest Twitter updates in the left sidebar on this page. :)

Think happy sunny no-blister thoughts for me all weekend, okay?

If you have my cell number feel free to text me this weekend but I won't be allowed to talk on the phone except at rest stops, etc. No talking and walking! :)

Twitter twitter twitter goes my heart. Bye!!