Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 and beyond...

Yet another year is upon us, as we start another decade. Much like our own birthdays... every time a year rolls around we stop and reflect, we look back at the year and think of all the events and experiences we had and look forward to a fresh new start.

So, as Earth celebrates another birthday and as we say goodbye to one decade, pressing onward towards a new one...let's reflect, let's look back and see what we've been through and what we've learned both on a global and personal level. I hope that we will cherish the good times we've had, pat ourselves on the back for the major and not so major accomplishments we've achieved, and most of all learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others and not repeat what history has taught us...

For the coming year and the new decade we are entering, I have very few things to ask for. I hope to find peace both internally and for our fellow man as well. I hope to live with eyes open to see the wonders each day has in store for us, and to witness the events as they unfold in the world. I hope mankind will learn to be a bit more compassionate and to rely on love more often, I hope for an outbreak of kindness around the world (as a friend said the other day). And most importantly I hope we can all do our part as individuals as well as a unit to make this little blue planet of ours a better place for our future generation...

I wish you all a Happy New year and a prosperous decade ahead. Enjoy yourselves tonight, don't drink too much.... then again...why not? Go ahead knock yourselves out I know I will, there will be lots of drinking and a downpour of tears in our home tonight, both happy and sad...

Peace my friends!
Love and Joy to accompany...

So...tell us what do you hope for in 2010 and beyond...?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

give love...

As I sat down for a quiet cup of tea with my Gingerbread cupcake and the morning sun warming my heart... I thought of so many different things. The first thing that popped in my mind was the fact that never have I had a quite morning on a day like this, normally we would already be cooking away in the kitchen getting ready for Christmas dinner, perhaps running to the store for last minute items, or wrapping a few presents we didn't get to... In other words all the craziness that comes with the holidays. And as nice as my quite moment felt... it still made me think of all the things that are different now... As many of you have said before the first everything without my husband is going to be hard to experience.... So, yes this holiday season is very different for us...

But what I thought of mostly this morning... is all the love I have felt from everyone around me the past few months, love from family, friends, love from all corners of the globe from people whose hand I've never shaken or looked in their eyes and embraced after a few kind words. Yes, my friends I speak of you, and I can't tell you how much it warms my heart and lengthens my smile when I think of all the love and kindness that I've felt in the pages of my blog... I thank you all, and I want to send all of you so much love from my heart, as I have an abundance left behind by my husband... you have made a world of difference in our lives, I want you to know how much you have all meant to us, how many tears you've helped wipe away, how many smiles you've helped grow....I thank you!
And that is all one needs really.... love. When we love and let others love us... that warmth grows and glows forever in our hearts, no one and not a thing can take that feeling from us...

So this season...with all the little gifts you exchange, with all the hugs and kisses passed on.... most importantly don't forget to give love...give love sincerely, when you hug...hug warmly, when you from your heart, when you say "I love you" ... really mean it... believe me that is all anyone really wants, and if you dig deep.. you will see that it's all we ever want.

Merry Christmas, I send you all a warm, lingering hug :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

still walking the path...

Picture a widow, sitting in a corner by the window, dressed in black head to toe, gazing out as if miles away, handkerchief in hand wiping her tears from time to mangled, no make up, unaware of her surroundings, did you all get a clear picture in your heads?.... Ok now get rid of that image...because that is not me, least not on the outside. I was never that when Gag was ill, I didn't do that when he first passed away, and it's definitely not me now...

I've been so determined to "keep it together," to be strong for the boys, to keep busy with important and some totally unimportant things...and it has helped keep me out of that widow chair most of the time, but I wonder if I've had time to grieve, and that's why when I crash, I crash hard...and that's not good for any of us. We all know that grief has many stages, and the process is different for everyone, some people cry everyday, all the time and then eventually run out of tears, some others walk around in denial most of the time until somewhere down the line they get hit by reality so hard it takes years to recover...well once again I'm neither of those scenarios... In short I'm just surviving each day, I may not cry all the time or have major reality slaps at times, and I may laugh and enjoy things throughout the day....but deep down I really am that widow on the chair by the window... and you know? I'm ok with that...It's ok to be sad, it's ok to let your kids and the people around you see you mangled and depressed, it's ok to mourn the person you've lost...especially when that person was the reason behind your smile, the love and meaning in your life...

I am getting so sick of the term "life goes on" or "be strong for your kids"....what a bunch of BS... Well of course life goes on...we are still alive, breathing, functioning, we can't just crawl under a rock and die, and as far as being strong for the boys...well that too comes naturally, we as parents have no choice! But what's wrong with wallowing a bit, what's wrong with mourning the love of your life for a while longer, what's wrong with your kids seeing how much you are hurting, perhaps then they will be able to show their pain as well. Why are we so determined to pack away the pain and loss so quickly, why should we be in such a hurry to move on and forget all this. Of course people move on... and they have, everyone around us has... they have their own lives and families to live and enjoy and that is natural... But this storm didn't hit around our home, it hit us right in the heart of it, so we can't, won't, shouldn't and will not be able to move on so fast, and we've accepted and embraced that.

He was not a man to be forgotten so fast, his loss is felt every second of our days, and we laugh or cry when we are reminded of him, but the biggest emotion we feel most of the time is sadness. The heaviness that's left on our hearts by this tremendous sadness is very hard to lift away, we may be able to do it for brief moments at times... but it's there always, our constant companion, and with this dark cloud that hangs over us all the time of course we can't really celebrate much in life right now. I see that in the boys as well, they are still sad and hurting and nothing really seems to give them complete joy at this time.... But again that's ok, what they have been through at such a young age..most of us adults can't even comprehend. They have lost their father, their life long friend and teacher, the man they look up to, admire and love so much... So perhaps we should let them mourn as well, they can be sad for a while too, we should let them grieve their own way, because none of us, me included know what they are feeling...

So, it's ok if we don't have Christmas this year, or attend fun parties and get in the jolly mood...we don't feel much like celebrating at the moment...and that's fine, we are in mourning, we are in sadness, and though we may have happy moments that we share with family and friends, the sadness is there... the loss and pain is there with tears to accompany... It's fine! As my husband used to always say..."this too shall pass"...

This is our path now, we can't take short cuts and skip over a few potholes... we have to walk it all the way, falling, rising and dusting ourselves off time and time again, and we will get through it on our own, in our own time and together as a family..

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

month five... the holidays

Today marks the fifth month of being without our loving, happy guy. Needless to say... it has been an ongoing roller coaster of emotions and definitely a deep learning process... learning to let go, learning to let ourselves grieve, learning to close my eyes and picture his face with a wide smile, learning to comfort myself, my boys and other loved ones...even though there are no words that can actually comfort us...
The holidays are coming...and I'm not prepared or unprepared for that matter, I don't want to go into it stressing out because everyone keeps saying how hard it's going to be... well, it's hard everyday, and yes I know... it's the first year, it's only been five months and yes it will be hard, to be honest I don't think the years ahead will be any easier, especially on such occasions... But we'll manage as we have every day since...
I want to post our Christmas cards from the past seventeen years together, we did a photo every year, even last year with all that was going on... I still wanted to send out cards to spread joy to everyone who was still in shock of hearing the "bad" news... Each year these cards adorned many a mantels, and with each year we were happy to share with our family and friends, the family we were growing into... our little union that was prospering...
But... we will not have jolly words to write on cards this year, there will be no Christmas tree or wrapped presents stacked under it, no Christmas parties to attend or presents to buy, we won't hang lights around the house, no mistletoe anywhere to be seen. In stead we'll have the warmth and togetherness of family and friends who will help us through the days to come, with each memory we share we'll keep Gag in our hearts, he'll be with us in spirit this year and the years to come.... and that my friends is all we want and need for Christmas.

our first Christmas as husband and wife (1992)

Arman's first Christmas (1993)

our little hyper toddler (1994)

happily expecting our second child (1995)

Robert's first Christmas (1996)

they were inseparable those days (1997)

our little family growing (1998)

they loved to pose for pictures (1999)

Robert's winning smile (2000)

a very jolly picture (2001)

one big happy family (2002)

this was our best year in soccer (2003)

Mexico, (2004)

growing up (2005)

went to Armenia that year (2006)

boys entering teen hood (2007)

we used my graduation photo last year (2008)

Hope you enjoyed the photos... my heart feels joy as I look at them and at the same time the pain is overwhelming as well.... Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season surrounded by your loved ones.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Change.... is Mother Natures way of moving forward...
There is much to be learned from her...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gag's plan..

As most of you know Gagik wanted to be cremated and had specific instruction on what he wanted done with his ashes. Part of the ashes were buried so that family will have a grave site to visit, and the other half was to be scattered at specific locations. He wanted some to be taken to a little place we used to go in Baja Mexico where we've had some great times, some he wanted scattered on and along the 3rd green at his favorite golf course, and the rest taken to Armenia, his birthplace. I've decided to keep some of it for myself to be mixed with my ashes when my time comes, so that once again we may be reunited.

We are planning to take his ashes to Armenia next summer if all is well, the Mexico trip was planned over Thanksgiving weekend, but we had a close family friend who passed away that week and the trip was postponed. As far as the golf course.... it has been an ongoing planning effort over the past couple of months. Every time we tried to plan it, something always came up or schedule conflicts put it off, so after many failed attempts the date was finally set for yesterday... the reservations at the golf course were made, everyone that was involved were notified, Gag's ashes were ready to be freed from the container, golf clubs were cleaned and ready to go.... then everything went wrong... or did it??

I have a theory... now feel free to call me crazy, delusional even (I won't hold it against you guys)... but I can't find any other logical explanation for what hear me out. As my brother got to the golf course he had a couple of phone calls from the other guys that were going to join him, Gagik's sister's husband, and his cousin's husband were both unable to make it, and the other person with whom Gag always played golf with (his other cousins husband) was running late. Knowing my brother, I knew that he was probably upset that once again this plan was going to fall through... but he took a deep breath, put a smile on his face and decided to take the "Gag" approach and just relax, hit a bucket of balls at the driving range and let the day pan out as it will.... You see, I think Gag had it all planned for us, Nick finally showed up and the game finally got under way... And who were the only people that ended up on the golf course yesterday? The two golf buddies that Gagik always had next to him walking the course...

So, you see no matter how much we planned for this special day to go as we wanted... Gag had other plans, he wanted to walk the course just with his golf partners one last time... it was his wish and that's exactly how it happened.... You may call it coincidence, or just a series of events, but I kinda like my version of things better...

Here are some pictures taken by my brother, and according to him... it was a perfect day!

(the 3rd )


(Gag's resting place on the 3rd green)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


My mom and I had a lovely morning yesterday visiting with some old friends. Now, I've talked about friendship here before and how important it is to have deep connections with people, how having and hanging on to those connections enrich our lives, and warm the corners of our hearts in a special way...
I believe that "soul mate" doesn't just apply to the love of our lives, to that one special person we find to spend the rest of our lives with, our partners in life... I believe that we can also find soul mates in our friends as well, people who are very dear to us, people who find that path to our soul, and make it to the depth of our hearts and that bond can never be broken.

I grew up with Hilma, we were neighbors back home, our families shared many happy and sad days together, made it through tough times and endured hardship through togetherness and laughter. And when you've been through so much together, be it good times or bad...that bond is so deep that it becomes a part of your life, your very essence and ultimately a part of your soul. Through that very connection your character is molded into who you become later in life. After we moved to the United States we stayed in touch, but the separation was still there, and even though they moved here a few years later we were still separated, not by distance but by the different paths our lives took us. However, when you do have that special bond, no matter how many years or miles you've missed... you are still very much a part of each others lives. You think of one another often, you remember all the experiences you've had together, and when you once again are face to face.... it's as though you didn't miss a thing.

These are the kind of friendships that stand the test of time, of distance and remain strong forever. These are the kind of friends that you can still call on when you need something...anything, and you feel safe in knowing that they will always be there for you no matter what, as you would be there for them. I feel very fortunate to have made such connections in life and cherish each memory, every walk down memory lane warms my heart.
These connections are very important and essential in being human, it's what makes us who we are and ultimately how we choose to live our lives.

So cherish those deep connections, feed them, nurture them and hang on to them...for a life without them is a sad and lonely existence...

I love you Hilma and appreciate all that I've had with you and your beautiful family.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

our biggest strength

I went to visit Gag's best friend the other day, who just happens to be married to my best friend of 28 years. Gag and I had nothing to do with this union, they somehow found each other and we were just thrilled at the fact that... not only had both our friends found happiness but that we actually liked their significant others and could hang out too... Anyways, sadly he is also very ill, not cancer but an Autoimmune disease that is incurable... He's been battling with it for years but, for the past three years or so the illness has progressed rapidly and now he's not doing so well either. It was hard seeing him, it's difficult for me to see any of our friends...every time I'm in our usual circle I feel Gag's absence even more, but I need to start getting back into it again, I miss our friends and spending time with them feels good.

So, as we sat down for lunch, we remembered the last time Gag and his friend sat around the table together and had a few good laughs. They were very close, spoke often and had their poker night every now and then. Gag's death has really effected him as well, he had a very tough time with it, but was thankful that he visited him as often as he could (in his condition) the last few months of Gag's life. I came home that night and wanted to find the blog post I did about that day we had food together, and in doing so... I spent a good couple of hours reading through my old posts....

Well... let me tell you it was tough to say the least... as I went through post after post it seemed so unreal... all that we went through...everything he endured through those months... All the memories came rushing back into my head and it was so overwhelming, I actually couldn't believe that we went through all that...believe it or not I had even forgotten some of those awful days. I was also surprised at all the positive things that we experienced during that horrid time, we actually had some very joyous days... such as the day Gag and Rob sat down and painted together, or the day I read all my blog posts to Gag, the few days that he was feeling good and we actually enjoyed with our friends and family, the conversations he had with his long lost friend Michael... so many wonderful days were had... it's amazing how much energy and love I felt after reading those posts...

As I sat there rewinding the images in my head, I realized that with the love we had for each other... we were able to really cherish those days, we didn't let cancer take over and destroy us, yes it took him in the end, but we never gave up or gave into its pain. We didn't shrivel up and crawl into a dark corner for the remainder of his days. Instead we really celebrated each day, we found joy in so many unexpected places, our long conversations in the chemo room, or the drive home, spending time together, looking through our old photos, reading together, laughing with the many happy memories were made even in the middle of that storm...

I am so grateful for all those moments, yes looking back at those times now does still cause pain, but just as I had forgotten some of the horrible moments... more and more of those moments will subside and what will be left in our hearts and minds are those beautiful moments we all had together during his last days on earth... I am also grateful that I documented all of it, and now I can flip through the "pages" of this corner of mine, and find comfort...

Writing about all that has happened, I think was a great help, it's apparent now that it really did get me through the most difficult of times in my life, I can't imagine going through all that without this, I think the impact of it all would have been so hard on me and I might not have been able to stay so strong... Thank you all for your continued love and warming thoughts, believe it or not you have made this bumpy road a bit smoother for me....

It's amazing isn't it! That even in our darkest moments, us humans can still find joy and share love... and that is our biggest strength.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

it's all too fresh..

We lost a very dear family friend this past week, and had to be strong, and support the family through these tough days. But being there at the wake and the funeral... just destroyed me...
It's all too fresh for me, and I can't seem to recover from it yet. I've cried harder the past few days than ever... I miss him more and more, and need him by my side ever more...

This path just seems to get harder and harder... I hope the pain inside doesn't win over the strength, I have no choice but to be strong, my boys need me and will need me more and more, I must stay strong... but it's just proving to be more challenging as time goes by...

I'm hoping...

I miss you my love... please help me by giving me strength to get through this storm...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

giving thanks...

I guess this one day of the year is the day we reflect... we stop... to be thankful for all that is good in our lives. This one day when we gather with our loved ones, our friends and appreciate our lives, the people that make it a special life for us, we give thanks for the little things that make us smile inside....we give thanks for the roof over our head, for the love we share with the ones around us, for our health..... then we feast, get stuffed much like the turkey we just ate and the next day...we go on with our lives, slowly forgetting all those little things we gave thanks for, as we once again get overwhelmed with all the other little things that cause us to worry and stress over, and we slowly get back to the rush of life, zooming through our days...forgetting to even smile at times let alone be thankful.

I don't mean to sound so cynical on a joyous day like this, but let's face it... that is exactly what happens in life, we commemorate and celebrate holidays such as Thanksgiving, by counting our blessings and being thankful, and like Valentines Day by expressing our love to that special person in our lives.... Then we forget... we forget everything and get into the zombie mode till the next holiday slaps us on our face to be awake that day and enjoy the present. On this day of giving thanks... I want to pass on a message to all of you...


My husband was such a man...why wait till a day on the calendar instructs you to give thanks, or to say I love you or to be happy... why not be that way on all the days in our lives...however long or short.
So, today as any other day I give thanks for the gift that was given to me, his presence in my life, his love that to this day overflows my heart, for the countless happy moments that we had together, for my beautiful boys he left behind. I am thankful for having known and loved him, I am thankful for all that he taught me... for all the "I love yous", for all the hugs, for all the smiles, for all the walks, all the talks, each time he held my hand or asked me to smile...
And not just today, or tomorrow, or the next day... but for all the days that lay ahead in my life..

Enjoy your family and friends today, enjoy the food and festivities, give your thanks and tomorrow.... don't forget all that you were thankful for... each day is a blessing, hold it dear to your heart, own up to it and be awake for each moment...

I leave you with my warmest wishes for today and some love from my heart..

Monday, November 23, 2009


Well my friends our first recipe swap day has finally arrived, I'm very excited (as I often get when food is the topic :)... Looking forward to some good food today in the blogosphere.

I'll be sharing a family favorite on our Thanksgiving table. My mom has been making this dish for quite a few years, she's the kitchen queen on this holiday and is in no way ready to relinquish that throne to me just yet. But I have been taking on a few of the dishes year by year... squeezing my way in sort of speak. I've put my twist on this recipe of hers for the past couple of years and I'm happy to report... that she approves. So here it is without any further ramblings... (I know... I talk too much) of our favorites.... a simple yet delicious dish.


This recipe is for 6 apples, which makes 12 halves, believe me you will want to double or even triple this one.
This is what you'll need:

* 6 medium Gala apples
* 1 cup of roughly chopped pecans
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup cold butter cut or torn into small cubes
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/8 tsp. of graded nutmeg or powder

* preheat your oven to 350*F

* mix all the ingredients but the apples in a bowl,
without over mixing, you don't want your butter to melt.

* cut apples in half lengthwise, leaving skin on,
* cut a very thin layer off the bottoms so they don't wobble,

* core the apples leaving most of the flesh in,
** make sure your stuffing is mixed before you prep the apples,
they will turn brown quickly.

* place apples on a sheet pan and fill with pecan mixture,
** make sure each one gets enough pecans and butter peaces

* bake for 25 to 30 min.

** take caution not to over bake
apples should still be a bit crunchy and
the pecans nice and toasty,
the butter and most of the sugar will melt.

* serve these warm delights either before dinner, as a starter with some nice Brie cheese,
serve them for desert or during the dinner.

Either way this is a very easy and a yummy addition to your table.

*and since we don't waste anything in the kitchen... if you end up with some pan drippings just drizzle the juices on top of the apples.

Enjoy and leave a note here if you are playing LET'S EAT!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

six word saturday


Thursday, November 19, 2009

happily sad...

I've been getting out of my cave a little more lately, taking up on peoples art exhibit here, a dance recital there, out for drinks with my girlfriends... and have noticed something interesting that I'd like to share with you lovely folks, my good friends here in this cyber corner of mine...

As I'm out and about socializing once more, trying to find joy in things again, I've run into quite a few people that I haven't seen since those dreaded days following Gag's death. Most of them are very happy to see me getting out, to see me smiling and enjoying myself, and yet others seem to have this puzzled look on their faces.... Not to say that they don't want to see me happy, but I think they are just lost in wonder at how I'm even able to function after all that's happened let alone be out with people enjoying myself. And believe me it doesn't bother me that they think this way, nor does it deter me from smiling and finding the joy in things once again...

The truth of the matter is that I am by nature a happy person, always have been. In fact that was one of the things that my husband loved about me, he loved that he was married to a happy person, someone that found joy in the simple things and was able to laugh out loud with him. As you all know he too was a very happy guy and loved life and laughter, and often told me that my smiling face was what made him look forward to each day... so imagine if he was married to a grumpy, negative, nagging person... what a drag that would've been for him. Now, I wouldn't go as far as describing myself as having a bubbly personality.. I have plenty of days where I'm a bit of a cynic and wear my pessimists hat at times, but overall I'm happy. Sure I have a great deal of sadness inside, I have a broken heart that may never heal, my soul is crippled and the pain can be quite unbearable for me at times, but what helps me get through my days now ARE those glimpses of happy moments, the joy that I find each day in the little, simple things. It is my personality, I can not help but wake up each morning and yearn to find things that make me smile.... such as the faces of my boys sleeping in the morning light, a little "good morning" to Gag's photo by my bed... the smell of my coffee... just to name a few...

There are plenty of things in my life that can make me unhappy, bitter and an overall angry person, and ya... I can walk around complaining, crying, nagging all day long and at times I have to reach rally deep inside to find the strength to even get out of bed on some mornings... But how could any of these benefit any of us??? I've grown up in a happy, safe and loving home... with parents that taught us to find the good in everything and everyone, to be good to ourselves and to others as well, I had a wonderful marriage to an incredible person, although short lived but a very rich connection filled with an abundance of love and happiness... and now I want to carry on that tradition of joy in my home, I want my children to see me smile, to feel that love and joy that was present when dad was alive.... Why would I ever abandon that character of mine... only to become a sad... lonely...bitter person... I would never do that to my children, to my loved ones, to myself and most of all to Gagik.

So... it does come down to who we are and how we react to the things that life has in store for us... people always tell me they are amazed by my strength and how calmly I have handled all that has happened to us... but I don't know if it's all about being strong as much as being true to ones nature... like I said, I am by nature a happy person, I can't help but be this way... I don't know how else to be.... So for now I am a happily sad person... and that's just fine by me.

Be true to yourselves...

Monday, November 16, 2009

simple things....

the sunlight in the morning,
the smell of cinnamon in my coffee,
a hug from my boys,
fresh baked muffins,
the warmth of a scarf around my neck,
a hot cup of tea in my favorite mug,
long conversations,
cooking up a storm for my family,
a good book and a quite space,
movie night with my boys,
the way children laugh,
colors on a canvas,
a good laugh,
a good cry,
a call from a friend,
a good movie,
looking through old photos,
a walk through the woods after rain,
the color of sunsets,
getting wet in the rain,
hearing "I love you mom"...

thank you Christina for giving us "simple things"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

my everything...

Four months ago today, at 8:38pm I lost my everything....

my husband
my best friend
my teacher
my lover
the father of my children
my partner in crime
my drinking buddy
my ocean breeze
my ray of sunshine
my voice of reason
my peace of mind
my soul mate
my pillow
my warm embrace
my goodnight kiss
my shoulder to cry on
my Saturday night date
my joy in life
my smile
my everything...

My name is Mari and I'm a recovering widow...

enjoy your loved ones fully...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

six word saturday..


have a great Saturday...

Friday, November 13, 2009


Yes you read it right... I've up and joined a boot camp...why you ask??... I don't know I've been trying to find an answer to that same question for over a week now, walking around in pain as my body is sore in places you don't even want to know. Now, mind you there are far more fun and interesting groups I'd rather be part of... say.... oh off the top of my head..... a Martini lovers group?? Where a bunch of us get together tasting a variety of Martinis and not doing a whole lot else.... or say... computer addicts anonymous?? Where us blog and facebook addicts can sit around and discuss how the computer world is interfering with our social lives...all the while holding on to our laptops tightly in our laps, eagerly checking our comment boxes.... But, I chose the boot camp...a wise choice given the health hazards of the above mentioned... don't you think?

So, here's the thing... I'm not getting any younger, and I'm certainly not getting any thinner sitting on my behind blogging all day... and there comes a time when one must choose to either be happy with the way we look and feel.... and not complain about it all the time... or choose to do something about the things that interfere in our thoughts at night and shut that nagging voice in our head once and for all. I think... most of us who are trying to trim down are going about it the wrong way... we get into fad diets and quick fix workout routines for all the wrong reasons. We think that just by starving ourselves, or running our asses off for a whole week, will help us fit into those old favorite jeans of ours or that little cocktail dress for an event we're going to. But, what we fail to realize is that these routines might work for short term results, but in the end we gain all the pounds we've shed and then some....

What I've come to understand the past couple of weeks, is that in order to really stick to a plan...(and this plan shouldn't be all about trimming down, looking good, and loosing some pounds, but more for feeling better, having more energy and just overall bettering ourselves), we should approach it differently... Let me explain, when we decide to go on a "diet" which in turn means cutting calories, restricting some food intake, and avoiding some food all together... we are setting ourselves up for failure right from the start, because we all know that it is human nature to crave what we can't have.... However if we start by committing ourselves to an exercise routine, we start feeling better faster and in turn start to watch ourselves a bit more carefully around the table... Let's face it, if we put ourselves through hell each time we work out... naturally we are not going to want to stuff unnecessary calories down our throat, in turn throwing all that work down the drain. I think we love ourselves far too much to do that...

So... bottom line is, if you want to lose some weight... look at it from a different angle, sign up for some activities just to feel better, that's it... that alone should be your only motive... and the rest will follow. You will naturally want to watch what you eat, you will undoubtedly have more energy to be even more active and in the end will definitely shed some pounds, and in the process you'll have some fun, get stronger, fitter and will feel much healthier. The ultimate bonus will be... when you look good and feel good about yourself... you will be a happier person, and believe me your kids and family will appreciate that.

Get out there and move... just for the sake of happiness.

By the way I love my boot camp trainers and the program they have put together, they are changing lives every day out there... well done guys!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

update on recipe swap

Just a quick note to let you guys know that our recipe swap date has been set, it's on my side bar... so start flipping through your books and notes of all the yummy food you've had and share with us on the 23rd. Thanksgiving favorites.

I also want you guys to head on over to Just Jules today, she has a great post for Veterans Day.

Enjoy your day everyone!


Monday, November 9, 2009

the creators..

Went to an art exhibit this weekend, it was of one of my all time favorite artists Emil Kazaz.
He has quite an imagination, passion and vision that is apparent in his work. I'm no expert and am in no way qualified to judge an artist, or give you a detailed analysis of his work. However what I can tell you about is how I felt as I walked around, looking at the paintings, sketches and the sculptures (which were my favorite part of the show).

Who are artists?? Artists are the writers, painters, sculptors, singers, dancers, directors, composers.... visionary people who create. Their imagination and the yearning to create make our world a colorful one. A world that speaks to our soul, opens our eyes to different realms, a world that warms our hearts, makes us cry or laugh at times, that makes us feel, makes us smile. A world without these riches would be quite a sad one, if you ask me.... A few notes of a song can lift our spirits.. or a scene from a picture can make us feel alive inside... a simple photograph can bring tears to our eyes... or perhaps the brushstrokes on a painting can inspire us in so many ways.
What a gift to us humans, to those who have this vision, this incredible ability to express and put out this imagination which lives in their minds, hearts and is embedded in their souls... And what a gift to those of us who see and appreciate their creations. Whether we like a piece of art or a particular group of music notes put together, we must appreciate the "work" that went into creating it, the feelings that were involved in the molding process, the love and all emotions that are ultimately responsible for the end result.

I couldn't help but feel humbled as my eyes jump from one piece to the next, catching all the little details in the paintings, all the colors that dance together on a canvas, or as I felt the many curves on a sculpture, I imagined the number of hours and days.. months that it took to finish each peace... What was involved in the process, how many moments of victory or defeat were felt... yes we can get technical about it, and really dissect this process.... but that will not take away the fact that in the end... it is still a work of creation... The artist is the creator... and we're just going along on the ride and enjoying every minute of it...

Yes artists are creators... of beauty, of pain, of joy, of love, of darkness and of light without which we would all be pale on the outside and inside...

Here are some of the sculptures from the show, enjoy!

So, make some time... go to a concert or an art gallery, stop for a moment to listen to a street musician or look at a statue you pass by in detail, although natures creations are beautiful, and the colors that surround us make our lives fuller.... sharing the vision of our human creations will no doubt enrich your soul....