Friday, May 26, 2006

the Kitchen and other L-haps

went to the Kitchen at Hard Rock Hotel yesterday with Candice. (no pictures -- darn!) got to meet their pr girl -- she was great! the whole experience was...the peanut crusted wings were so delicious! i got to watch Chef Evan make them right before my very eyes. what a fabulous place to hang out and have fun and relax all at the same time. try the fish tacos and the ahi tuna. yum, yum!

last night was ID night. tony hooked us up with dessert sushi. their regular sushi is great too and now, they are on to the fruit thing. we got mango and banana sushi. it was amazing and very light. it's the perfect alternative to doing dessert low fat and healthy. it's not on the menu so we were happy to be taste testers. love the dynasty!!!

stopped by the gym yesterday. too late for step class. ended up doing 30 mins. on the treadmill. you get to see everyone that way. i wanted to stay in the steamroom forever. it's good to be back since the knee and the not walking well for several weeks.

leaving the office today at 1 p.m. what a nice surprise! everyone is in such a good mood today...that must be why.

dinner tonight with theo and cathy. we've got mucho money/gift certificate at stonewood tavern grill to burn so it should be fun!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

oh the places i've gone!

12 years ago today, i graduated from high school. hard to believe. for the latest on my fellow classmates, check out our website hosted by the coolest guy, peter boyd, at also includes the photos i took at the reunion two summers ago. good times, good times.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

this boy makes me happy

my little nephew, TJ, who looks just like my baby brother --
he's too cute and adorable!
thanks theo for the latest photos...i love them all!

celebrating legends with the LTC

Last night, a few friends came on over for Oprah's Legends Ball. We watched the show together while enjoying each other's company and chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for making it a memorable evening!

some of the legends in training club (LTC) with their youngins:

1 - shari and sara, 2 - cathy and sophia, 3 - ginger and amaya

not pictured yet: janice, michelle, ted and i

Monday, May 22, 2006

happy birthday lanie lay

Happy Birthday Elaine a.k.a. Cuzzy E!

It was so nice to see you on Sunday afternoon. Hope your day is special...although it seems like your weekend already was!

Who's Lanie? Check out her myspace at

Sunday, May 21, 2006


reflecting on the presentation i witnessed on thursday by dick martin, retired pr exec from AT&T:

three words to remember in pr --


"Being in Public Relations means that you can never say I told you so."

"Experience comes from what you do. Wisdom comes from what you do badly."

spent saturday jilling the first half and then left for jacksonville. had dinner with keith, dee, ted, teddy and tori. excellent company after the drive down 95.

visited the lay's on sunday! so good to see them and give them hugs before their birthdays. this is a big week for the family...elaine and bob's birthdays, michelle's graduation, tj's turning 4 months old!

as i continue to became aware of why life is so meaningful, i find that in every moment there is a great reason to celebrate.

Friday, May 19, 2006

my favorite BRIAN

BRIAN is the one on the left...he and shari are such ANGELS
had a great lunch with a great guy today who will one day be married to his great girl. i'm so excited for him and look forward to keeping in touch with him. he is the coolest (even though he graduated from boone)!
go brian, go!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

2 cents on leaving the comfort zone

by Suzanne Falter Barns

Here are a few things I've determined that might help when stepping outside of your comfort zone:

1. Don't look back.
On bad days, the temptation is strong to look back at the old, safe little world and wish you hadn't leapt. But you did leap, of course, and so now must work within that bigger circle. Hindsight just gives you a headache, so don't indulge. It won't help your cause.

2. Enjoy the view you do have.
Think about the expanding number of people who will be affected or helped by what you are offering the world. No matter what sort of work you provide, it will help others on some level. So keep your focus on that..

3. Start envisioning a bigger, better you.
When I first started working with a coach, I told her I wanted to be someone who wore 'bigger shoes'. Somehow the image of bigger shoes helped me connect to the sort of impact I wanted to have in the world. Pick a concrete image for yourself -- something tangible, no matter how silly it seems -- that will help you envision a larger, more generous you.

4. Keep remembering how little you know.
The game in the land of thinking big is NOT to know how to do everything in advance. Instead, it is to stretch your ability to try things, and to follow your instinct. Your instinct is actually a far better guide than any instruction book you can ever find, and will generally steer you right whenever you listen to it.
It's also important to learn how to fail with grace, for just about every day there will be some kind of failure or frustration. By not having to know how to do everything at the outset, or having to do it perfectly, you can open yourself up to trying more and more challenging things.

5. Remember ... it's only a game.
Yes, you may have some personal investment in thinking big. You may have large sums of money tied up in your dream, or have made the mistake of talking it up with doubting relatives who are now waiting for you to blow it, big time.

However, this does not mean that your entire self-worth as a person is connected to your results. Instead, hold this grand experiment as a game, and you will have a much easier time of it. Games, after all, are fun ... and as we all know, fun is where the true power is in life. So go ahead. Step outside the circle by turning thoughts into action. Believe it or not, you do know exactly what to do.

still walking

so, last night i played soccer. i've been on a 3 week break since i hurt my knee. we had no subs and were down one player and we still played really well. we lost to the first team in the league by 1 goal. we were awesome!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

summer sisters

last night, i tried something new. i went to a neighborhood book club. i was invited by my friend suzanne from wesh. we started talking months ago about the connection that gets missed in every day life. she valued her book clubs, she's a member of two, and how it makes a group of people get together and discuss their views on not only the book but their life. it's a very revealing process but it's good for the soul. i left feeling a part of something that didn't have a lot of rules except just show up and participate. my only regret is that i didn't read the entire book -- Summer Sisters by Judy Blume -- but i did find myself contributing anyway. (so unlike me, i know) they have a nice system that rotates the location and the one who chooses the book. the person who hosts, picks the book and kind of gets things going when everyone sits down to discuss it. they meet once a month and not only discuss book stuff, but also neighborhood gossip. that was my least favorite part. i really came to talk about the book and to see how it all works. i realize that in most social settings -- structured or not, you've got to have that time. the time to catch up and get the latest from those you've grown close but haven't seen in weeks. it's a nice dynamic and one that i'm glad i got to experience.

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

Everybody's talking about Judy Blume!"The emotional connection a person can form with one true friend can be the mostformative experience in a person's life. In Summer Sisters, Judy Blume explores the friendship that spans 18 years in the lives of two women and the lasting effect this relationship has on both ofthem....Summer Sisters is her first foray into adult fiction in nearly 15 years, and it is well worth the wait....Blume creates a rich tapestry of characters, revealing all the hidden emotions lying beneath the surface. Summer Sisters is an exceptionally moving story that can leave the reader laughing and crying at various points, sometimes at the same time. Blume's talent lies in creating characters you can see yourself in, and, hopefully, we won't have to wait another 15 years for her to delve into the adult landscape again."--The Denver Post

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

fail to prevail

ran into a girl from high school today at a new restaurant, sandra, who played soccer for two years at CHS. last night, at janice's birthday dinner, i ran into Otis Smith, who just got promoted to GM of the Orlando Magic. then, behind us was John Morgan, who ate dinner with us. He is so "for the people" with his black amex card. at least that's what our server said.

i walked down to the library in the rain and thought i was going to have lunch with shannon but she wasn't there. it was nice to be out in the rain though. if you read my previous blog about rain break then you'd know why. this time, i did have a nice umbrella.

words that start with F: yesterday, i took a huge test and came away feeling pretty cruddy about the way i did. of course, i really won't know until i get the results which will hopefully be before the end of this week. this is one of those moments where if i failed, i failed and i have to just be ready to try again. in the process of getting to feeling ready, i'm just feeling the possibility. then, i keep telling myself..."well, at least you took the test!" what's the saying? it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. i don't think it totally applies here but for those who know me, i know you're impressed that i used it. everyone who loves me continues to remind me that i did fine but i just can't help but trust my gut on this one. i guess to prolong the torture, i can't wait until i get the results. maybe they lost them and they'll never arrive. then FAIL won't be acknowledged and if it's not then it never really happened.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Birthday to Janice and Aunt Maureen!

Today I celebrate Janice and Maureen!

email surprise - random happy photos - old school

thanks to a former fellow straw hat player, Michael Maguire,
i received these photos in my email today.
wow! how crazy are these pictures from 1990!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

holding hands

this weekend i sat with my mother-in-law, Trish Johnson. i held her hand most of the afternoon yesterday and part of today. i was so relieved to discover that her hand had so much strength and so much to say. her right side is very weak but her left is where she is most responsive. i sat and watched her yesterday and i kept wondering what she was thinking, what she was feeling. are you in pain? are you upset? are you afraid? are you even aware of what is happening to you? from the touch of her hand, i felt normalcy. i felt something familiar. i felt the trish that would say my name a certain way when i walked into the room or when she answered the phone. her hand gave me a sign that she's still here and she still loves me. her hand made me know that she is not lost, but rather, trying to find her way to letting everyone know that she's okay. from the touch of her hand, i felt her life.

the doctor's are not sure how much time she has left with us. she is no longer on any treatment and is being visited by hospice daily. i want to scream -- "don't die, don't die...PLEASE!! DON'T DIE!" What can I do? What can I do to stop what's happening to her?

even though her hand, her life, was in mine, i still miss her. i want her to be able to come and visit us in our home. i want to know what she's up to. i need her to keep coordinating all of us and making sure all of the finer details are taken care of. i long for her to call me and let me know how she's doing and who she's hanging out with for the weekend. i want to watch her and ted share a kiss in the kitchen after preparing a meal together for us all day. i want to see her and millie decorate the house together. i wish she could of taught me and teddy how to make her spanikopita. i need her to take the next good book i read off my hands for awhile and then talk to me after she's done reading it about what she liked and didn't like. i want her to just know that all her worries and frustrations were going to be okay.

all around their house, there are beautiful orchids. what i've learned since i have had a few in my home is that sometimes the blooms come in great strength and while their there, you love to enjoy what they represent -- beauty, growth, amazingness. then, they begin to fall, one by one until you're left with a stem. it's the same stem that brought about the beautiful and amazing growth but it needs to start over again. i've been unsuccessful in bringing any blooms back with my own orchids and i remember Trish saying the same thing about hers. it saddens me because i know the possibility that lies in that stem but i don't know what to do to make it feel better so that it will bloom in full strength again.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

childhood bestfriend

Happy Birthday Tina!
She's the only one I would do that for because ever since we were five years old, the girl has bled orange and blue.

here's a photo Tina coordinated with her brothers (Daniel, Dennis and Jonathan)

as a Mother's Day gift for Sandy.

how sweet is that?

they are all who i used to play with when i was growing up.

Friday, May 12, 2006

me talk pretty

I was reading a great article written by Sally Kempton the other day about the power of words in an article called Me Talk Pretty:

Words and the energy they carry make or break friendships and careers; they define us as individuals and even as cultures. The unnecessary speaking that takes place and how it wastes energy, energy that could otherwise be devoted to prayer, self-inquiry or transformative action. More important, is the power that words have to change the communal atmosphere, to cause joy or pain, and to create a climate that fosters truth or falsity, kindness or cruelty. So much of the pain we cause ourselves and each other could be avoided if we were just a bit more discriminating about what we say. WORDS create reality. Before speaking, ask yourself the following three questions:




These questions are the three gates of speech. Remembering to ask them will at least give you pause, and that pause can be enough to hold back torrents of trouble.

Speak from a place of awareness. Whenever you start to complain, take a moment to be quiet and still, and pay attention to your heart. Then, wait and see what words come from that silent place. Most always it will be something unexpected and wise.

Use speech that can change and inspire the world, that resonates at the highest level of contact with your silent place behind words, the place we reach when we're able to pause, turn into the heart and let the stillness speak through our words. Speech that comes out of stillness is speech that comes, literally, from the source of wisdom itself.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

rain break

Receive the present moment -- pleasant or unpleasant -- just as it is.

new co-workers took me out to lunch today and instead of having a nice stroll back to the office, it was raining so hard i could barely see where i was stepping. james and jeff didn't have heels on either so i stood in front of a building contemplating whether i should continue the torture of soaking myself or if i should just stay in front of the building until the rain passed. of course, i chose to go for it and everything was drenched.

later tonight, i was pulling into where i live and lo and behold, another strike of rain comes rushing down right when i was about to get out of the car. what's with the rain and me today?

i couldn't help but be upset but then i remembered the people across town who have been dealing with fires because of how dry it's been. i remembered how one of my favorite things to do back in the day was to play in the rain. this week has been hectic and it's not emptying into a nice relaxing weekend. in fact, the weekend, will be more difficult than my week. in moments like today, when the rain is coming down on me so hard and all i can do is question "why" because i've got a million things to do and this shouldn't be happening to me, i am reminded of how i need to take a rain break. it's different from a "rain check", a rain break requires a break from it all and to just let the water fall over me and feel something so that i don't miss my moments, the precious ones, they're not forever but only for that second. like the raindrops, they are always falling, wherever i go.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

how can it be?

Today and every day, I celebrate how much I love Mr. Wonderful and how much my love for him continues to grow each and every day.

Monday, May 08, 2006

remember them

they need your prayers right now and your support through a very difficult time. remember them. remember trish johnson and her family that surrounds and wants to do the best thing possible for her.

Friday, May 05, 2006

slice of life and savoring every bite

Sometimes SILENCE is the best answer.

When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

When you LOSE, don't LOSE the lesson.

In disagreements, deal only with the current situation.
Don't bring up the past.

Three R's to REMEMBER:

R espect for self
R espect for others
R esponsibility for all your actions

I could write a novel after each one of these statements based on experiences, examples both bad and good and how the world operates according to my perception. Take the first one, "Sometimes SILENCE is the best answer." Sometimes you just know nothing you say will make a difference to another person. No matter how much they try to control and manipulate a situation, you just know if you give a glimpse of trust to them, they will abuse it which is a great segue into "When you lose, don't lose the lesson." Through loss, you find truth and you find something closer to what you are which is opposite to what you're deciding to let go of. To choose something that no longer accepts you, that wants you to be and act like something you're not is a sure way to lose your essence, your uniqueness, what makes you special. I was talking to an old friend, an old soul today and through our conversation we realized that we just don't have time to waste on living life outside of who we are because before you know it you're diagnosed with brain cancer and losing the ability to function in every day life. None of us know when or what it will be. It's such a cliche, but the meaning is so universal. That brings me to the three R's -- Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions. All are easy to talk about but at times, very difficult to do. If we respect ourselves, we respect other people. Typically, disrespect is a direct result of someone acting out because they don't respect who they are. Responsibility -- now that's a good one. I recently experienced firsthand how convenient responsibility and the choice to take it can happen. A person decides that to get out of something, they forget to take responsibility for what they did. It's a cop out and a cowardly way to deal with life or people that you claim to love, to think of as family. I know they can't help it because they've never done anything different. I can no longer choose to be okay with that because then I would be disrespecting who I am striving to be. The sad part of it all is people who lack responsibility will never find true joy or happiness. Part of finding joy, is being able to acknowledge your weaknesses and what makes you human. If you consistently live in world where it is always their fault, not yours, you are missing out on you, the real you. "When you make a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it." There's that third "R" again. And, if you don't agree with someone do the following -- "Deal with the current situation, don't bring up the past." To do this, you have to know that by harping on what once was, you are not going to move forward. The majority of what surrounds us all, moves forward -- time, nature, the wind, why can't we? What an amazing force we'd all become if we would just let go and go forth without reservation or what once was holding us back? Open your arms to living and just fly...Awe yes, now, that's life!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

in mind

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.