Saturday, August 3, 2013

Life's greatest pleasures are the little things

I watch my adorable nephew Chillin' Dylan find such indescribable joy in such small things. He's got it right. So I made my list of the small things in life that I actually find far more pleasurable that the big stuff.

Ugg slippers!

Buying Ugg slippers in fun tweed for $55 instead of the typical $120. I found them at Scheels. Check them out yourself (! Not only that, but Scheels is a very fun store so check them out anyway.

Surprising notes

Morgan recently left this note on my bed...

Dear Mom, Fair is far. I owe you this much money for iTunes! You keep it!! I love you so much! You are the best Mom in the whole wild world!!!! You are so nice and thank you for everything. Love you!! Thank you for adopting me! You have been so nice and tough but at the end of the day we come together!!! I heart you!! Thanks 4 everything!! Love u!! Love Morgan

Ok, my heart melted. It made my day-- make that week.

Being organized

It took some work but I can find everything in my room! Look at these drawers. I think they're beautiful.

Our own bedrooms

When I got sick, I had to pack up my children and move us to my parents' home. I had to have fulltime caregivers or no stem cell transplant for me. Thank goodness they had the space for us and we all have our own rooms. They are small but they are ours and they are cozy. Besides, I'd rather create memories than accumulate size and stuff that doesn't matter to me anyway.

Doterra essential oils (yum!!!) -

My deliciously smelling (and highly effective) Doterra essential oils. Every day I use them... in my drinking water, in my baths (with Epsom salts), on my feet, on my spine, on my temples when I have a headache, under my tongue, on the back of my neck, on my scalp. I diffuse lavender at night-- you name it, I've got an oil for it. I think I smell of orange and peppermint all the time since I use those the most. If you've never used essential oils, check out I highly recommend them and if you have questions, send me a private email.

Unplanned excursions (

At the last second, Morgan, Siena, William and I drove up to Snowbird and went to the top of the mountain on the tram. Up there, we breathed crisp mountain air, found beautiful mountain flowers, and built stone temples (or tried, anyway). I also bought Morgan her first-ever set of skis and boots. They were 80% off and a very nice set. Since she's not growing much anymore, they should last her many season. I also purchased Siena her first set of boots but they didn't have skis small enough so we'll keep looking. I hate renting skis and this year I plan to buy the girls annual ski passes so having their own will be so much more convenient.

Giving a massage (who knew? not me!)

I have found that I love giving a massage to someone I feel very comfortable and safe with. If I care very much about someone, massages are lovely and cathartic and peaceful. And when I use my essential oils, it's "aromatherapeutic" for me, too.

Slumber parties with my girls

Morgan, Siena and I love to get sleeping bags, pop in a movie, and fall asleep in the living room with the TV on.

Hugs from my mummy and going out for ice cream with my dad

What can I say? Spending time with my incredible parents is such a blessing. I'm a very lucky girl to have been raised by such selfless, kind, loving and stable parents. Everyone should be so fortunate.

Vising my grandparents at the cemetery and talking to them

My grandparents were incredible, fascinating, faithful and strong people. They were married for over 70 years. My grandfather passed away in late October 2007 and my grandmother passed away just two months later. They couldn't be apart and they were faithful and loving all the way to the end. What a great example they were to their family and everyone who knew them. I can only hope that my children and grandchildren will say the same about me. I hope so and I live every day with that intention.

Bikram Yoga

This is where I learn my breathing and calming techniques, meditation, and how to center and focus-- to live in the moment. After Bikram yoga, I feel like I've taken an internal shower and have physically, mentally and emotionally done a thorough detox. During yoga, I talk a lot to my body (DIE CANCER CELLS!!!!) and God (give me strength, guide me in all I do). 

My girls

Going anywhere with my girls-- whether it be shopping or a weekend trip to Moab, it doesn't matter. What's important is that we are together.


Not working so that I can focus on my health and get through my treatments and rest. It scares me the thought of going back to work. For one, I have long (and sometimes unpredictable) doctor office visits. Second, I never know when I'm going to have a major fatigue day. I have incredible chemo brain. And, lastly, I never know if I'll be popping pain killers and needing to take a nap. I'm lucky to be able to focus my energies where it belongs right now-- and work is not it.


Growing hair! And, better yet, being comfortable enough in my own skin to kind of like its length. Kelsey, my hair artist, no longer uses the mini flat iron on me. I've grown enough hair that we she now uses a regular-sized iron. Progress.

Every day I get older

I truly appreciate every day that I age. I used to tell everyone I was 38 now matter how many birthdays I had. That's because I was happiest on my 38th year (incidentally, that was a few months prior to meeting my alcoholic ex husband and my happiness vanished faster than I could say "I do"). These day, I thank God for the gift of life.

Getting to know (and cry with) other cancer warriors

I hate to brag but we cancer survivors are the strongest, coolest, kindest, most honest, and amazing people on Earth, no joke. It's a shame we are struggling with this terrible disease but here we are, and the world is a far better place because us Cancer Survivors in it. There is a special place in Hell reserved for anyone who belittles, makes fun of, or doesn't appreciate or empathize with our battles.

Writing my blog

Blogging and sharing my story and having a forum to develop my own voice.

Russian fairytales

While we were in St Petersburg, Russia this summer, I bought a book of Russian fairytales. I read one story to my daughters every few days. It's a fun bonding time and a way for them to connect to their roots. The stories are very clever and entertaining and teach good, powerful life lessons. It opens up some great discussions between us girls.

Zupa's (


Getting soup and sourdough bread at Zupa's. Delicious and healthy.

Sarah Smiles

Hearing Sarah Smiles on the radio by Hall and Oates. I forgot how much I loved that song and it brought back some great memories. I cranked it on the stereo and sang- loud.

Oatmeal Sundays

Eating Oatmeal with my Mom at McDonald's every Sunday afternoon. It's our time and I treasure it.


Packing up a picnic and heading up to the American Fork canyon. I love spending time amongst such amazing beauty and serenity.

Having a peaceful home filled with love

Living in a home where I never fear that an alcoholic will scream at me for no apparent reason. Being surrounded by love, stability, laughter and joy is fantastic, and raising Morgan and Siena in that environment is nice.

No pain is-- no pain!

Having a pain-free day is not something I take for granted. This does not always happen and it's unpredictable. And when I am in pain, thank God for my friend Tramadol. It's a lifesaver.

Last minute art classes

Finding an art class at the last minute for Siena. She was so excited, she could hardly sleep the night prior. It's her passion.

Tuck-in time

Saying nightly prayers with the girls and chatting with them in private. Mommy-daughter time is precious and so important. I am honored that my girls still want this time with me. I must be doing something right.

Finding great skinny jeans that fit

Maybe I should move this one to the top of my list! When I find that perfect pair, I go back and buy many more. Last season, it was Old Navy Rock Star jeans ( I purchased them in yellow, red, teal and three denim versions. This season is still TBD. Dang, I love buying clothes.

My readers (that's you!)

Every day is like Christmas for me when I discover new readers are finding me. I started writing this blog just for me and, some day, Morgan and Siena (my ex husband kept telling me that as soon as I died or when they got older he'd tell them what a horrible mother I was and how I took them away from him just because I was a drama queen) so they'd always have my version of what happened in case I was unable to set the record straight myself. But as it turns out, my blog has for whatever reason resonated with so many of you out there. I just got a Twitter email from one reader, Lidiya, who said she loves my blog and is reading it like a book. Wow, I can't think of many things more flattering than that.

To all my readers: thank you!!! You make my day. I continually pray for forgiveness, love and understanding. I hope you all find the same.