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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

20-12 wasn’t the year for my blog. Clearly, the year had huge time gaps where I posted nothing at all. But I’d like to think it was because I focused more on LIVING. I did miss the writing though. Capturing the moments through the year that inspired me, drove me, or were just plain cool.

 

So here’s my attempt to do 20-12 right and quickly share the top 12 moments for this year. 12 moments, for 12 months, for the year ’12. It’s never too late, so I’m taking charge and getting it done just under the wire 🙂

Cheers and Happy New Year! See you next year.

 

Annual College Girls Reunion in Memphis!

Annual College Girls Reunion in Memphis!

Hiking up the tallest dune in the Great Sand Dune National Park.

Hiking up the tallest dune in the Great Sand Dune National Park.

My friend Jen and I having brunch in the Space Needle with 360-degree views of Seattle! Unbelievable.

My friend Jen and I having brunch in the Space Needle with 360-degree views of Seattle! Unbelievable.

Best shrimp truck in all of Oahu... Giovanni's.

Best shrimp truck in all of Oahu… Giovanni’s.

Trying something for the first time - sea kayaking. Harder than I thought and a great team building exercise for a relationship :)

Trying something for the first time – sea kayaking. Harder than I thought and a great team building exercise for a relationship 🙂

Meeting Jaws at Universal Studios. Duh-Nuh...

Meeting Jaws at Universal Studios. Duh-Nuh…

Best theme park ever! It really is the most magical place on Earth. Disneyland!!!

Best theme park ever! It really is the most magical place on Earth. Disneyland!!!

Another first... letting the Sea World flamingos  nibble my hair! Apparently it's their way of helping me groom myself. They were gentle and quietly 'honked' while doing it. Classic.

Another first… letting the Sea World flamingos nibble my hair! Apparently it’s their way of helping me groom myself. They were gentle and quietly ‘honked’ while doing it. Classic.

My Laguna Beach sunset. Chased down and well worth it.

My Laguna Beach sunset. Chased down and well worth it.

Stomping grapes and touring Napa Valley wineries to ring in the big 3-0. Couldn't have asked for more for my special day celebrated with family!

Stomping grapes and touring Napa Valley wineries to ring in the big 3-0. Couldn’t have asked for more for my special day celebrated with family!

New York City at Christmas time was incredible. A 5-day work trip mixed with classic NYC moments...a great ending.

New York City at Christmas time was incredible. A 5-day work trip mixed with classic NYC moments…a great ending.

As fun as it is to look back, it's more exciting to look forward! From my family to yours, have a safe New Year.

As fun as it is to look back, it’s more exciting to look forward! From my family to yours, have a safe New Year.

 

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L.A. and lovin’ it

If you’ve read this blog, even a little, you know I enjoy taking pictures of the places I’ve traveled to. Well, it was no exception when I visited Los Angeles for work to film two advertising videos and bonus…got to spend the weekend with my brother and sister-in-law.

I’m in Hollywood!

Downtown L.A.

L.A. at sunset

Love my brother

Blessed with the most amazing sister-in-law

If you can’t have fun with your brother, then, well, that’s just sad.

P.S. – I realize this year has flown by, six months since my last post, couldn’t be?!?! I’m coming back folks. Get ready for an explosion of updates cause I have some catching up to do.

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2 Months, 2 Days

I just told you where my head’s been at from August to mid-September, but there’s also been something else weighing on my mind and in my life, also contributing to my sense of lack of control and fighting all these internal emotions going on. Also, why I haven’t been able to write on my blog.

On August 14th (15 days after our entire family flew to Pittsburgh to celebrate his 87th birthday), my Grandpa found out he had 3-6 months to live. He’d been battling colon and liver cancer, doing multiple treatments and on that fateful day, his doctor told him that the treatments weren’t working and there was nothing more that could be done. His doctor told him that he probably had 3-6 months left.

Quite the harsh reality. And life-changing on so many levels.

My Grandpa has always been the rock of our family. Never sick. Didn’t even take any other pills except for a multi-vitamin, fish oil and iron, at the age of 87! So when I say it was a harsh reality, that doesn’t even begin to describe how he felt.

Well, on Oct. 16th, I got a call from my Mom that I’d been dreading for years. My Grandfather has passed away. Calmly and as peaceful as one can. He had gone to heaven. 2 months and 2 days after getting the news that his life had a time limit placed on it.

It’s been very difficult. And if you’ve lost someone close to you, you know too how long the grieving process can take. I think about him everyday. And have a feeling I always will.

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My Mom made the most delicious strawberry pie recently that I couldn’t help but show off. This was on the cover of Cook’s Illustrated American Classic magazine and it was amazing! It took a long time, but her masterpiece was amazing.

Final touches on the masterpiece

Gorgeous!

A slice of heaven

The inspiration

 

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When my Grandpa turned 87, I wanted to do something special for him. His favorite dessert is Banana Cream Pie and he hasn’t had it in many years. So I knew exactly what I wanted to make for him for his big birthday weekend! He was surprised to say the least…

 My first Banana Cream Pie with Meringue

(the meringue turned out perfect with the help of my sister-in-law)

Side view of my first baking masterpiece (if I don’t say so myself)

Everyone loved it and most important, it made my Grandpa’s birthday and brought a huge smile to his face. That’s all I needed.

If you’re interested in the recipe, it’s so simple…

1 graham cracker crust

1 package of vanilla pudding

3 bananas (sliced)

Make the pudding, according to box instructions. Slice the bananas and layer the bottom of the graham cracker crust. Pour the pudding over the bananas. For meringue, 1 egg white (1 part) and beat until fluffy. Add about 1 TBSP sugar (1 1/2 parts) and continue to beat until it forms peaks. Spoon on top of pie (feel free to make it look textured like I did using the back of the spoon). Then place in oven on broil setting, watch it carefully, and pull it out once light brown.

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I enjoy reading several different blogs. Some give me insight on personal development. Some are pure and simple entertainment. While others provide me the opportunity to learn something new. One of these blogs that I enjoy reading is Andrew Hyde’s blog – even better is that somewhat recently he’s been writing about his fantastic travels, unique events he’s attended and his personal challenge to live a minimalist lifestyle (something I find inspiring).

One post featured Andrew’s favorite presentation from a TED Talks event. Completely surprising, amazing and sure to give you goosebumps. The presentation is by Sarah Kay and all I can say is WOW! I don’t have a daughter, but when I do, pretty sure this already sums it up for what I’ll want for her.

Check it out and tell me what you think.

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No matter where I travel – for work or pleasure – I try to keep my eyes open to the world around me. This time, it was experiencing some classic food picks the city had to offer. For example…

Infamous Primanti Bros. sandwich – meat, french fries and coleslaw – amazing

Apple tart – love the presentation in the pan

Key lime soufflé – refreshingly unique

Strawberry shortcake – three light cakes with real whipped topping between each layer, loaded with strawberries… I ate it all.

Oh Pittsburgh, you treat me too well.

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