day 1 - inspired

the kewlest name badge! note the "alumni" yay!

christy tomlinson - total sweetheart!

susan and cd - friends from last year and SO much fun!

jennifer's first crunchie bar! I start my day off with her class tomorrow.

kelly rae - she is SO pretty! I saw her walking down to the plane in her dress and I was awestruck.

teresa collins - love her! 

melody ross - awesome surprise to see her here

paolo's back - love that smile! and this year he has his own photo booth! complete with costumes!

and the tradition continues - end of day one long arm shot with the inspiring donna! tattoos tomorrow, right?
"oh to be a pup, again"

as is the above picture I too am dazed and coming to you from north carolina where I am attending this.

I have mixed feelings about my time here.  last year I was SO excited to meet new people and be inspired by all their different talents.  this year in light of all that has happened I have given myself permission to move at my own speed.  whatever that may be.  yesterday had its highs and lows and I was sure that someone had put another needle in my voodoo doll with all the strikes I had against me, but today?

today will be a good day!



the last few months have included the worst moments of my life - ever. I have been through a lot in my life and nothing can compare to how lost I feel now. I have so many questions. so many fears. so many hurts. I am filled with such sadness and hopelessness that I ache. 

I do not believe there are enough self-help books or support groups to get me through this. just when I was starting to turn around after losing max we lost mary ann. she was gone at 57. then we lost an aunt. our cousin lost a grandmother. so much darkness. so many tears. oh the tears. I have "the secret" calendar and everyday I flip a page and it tells me to feel positive and to put good feelings out and good things will return. I think when I get back I will throw it out. it is just breaking me in two.

what I have learned so far in this year that seems to be slipping away like sand through my hand is this:

-to do lists are really not all that important because there will always be something "to do". it is never ending

-your life can change in the blink of an eye

-no matter what you look like or aspire to look like it means nothing in the grande scheme of things

-the more you think about yourself, the less people think about you

-(an oprah fave) when people show you who they are - believe them

-when the shit hits the fan there are the friends who will help you move a body and you know they are your real friends because they will help you move a body

-I have witnessed love like no other love

-I have felt silence rip my heart wide open and then ego came along and stomped on the pieces

-it IS possible to feel so alone in a crowd of people

-when you think about yourself, stop and think of someone else first

-be thankful for what you have and stop whining about what you want

-do it with all your heart or don't bother

-hug the ones you love as much as possible and tell them you love them every chance you get

-tell your kids over and over that you will be there for them no matter what, and then do just that

-if you think about calling someone, just do it and stop thinking about it

-be kind to one another

-this second is all we have, the past is the past, let it go

-take good care of yourself

-do nice things for others just because.  without waiting for a thank you or return gesture