Monday, September 24, 2012

Keep Me In Your Heart…

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever. 

~ Winnie the Pooh

As I go through life, I’m forever reminded that time is precious and fleeting, and never is that more true than today. After five months of courageously facing down Stage IV cancer, my dear Nana experienced a decline in her health over the weekend and is expected to have just days to live.

As I type this, I’m getting ready to head back out to California with the hope of seeing her one last time, and am trying to take comfort in memories of the weeks I was recently able to spend with her over the summer and of the nearly 29 years of friendship and love we have shared.

Image Source: Alex Neumann Photography
There is so much more that I want to say, about her courage, her strength, her beautiful spirit, but I just don’t have the words right now. Thank you all for your ongoing friendship and support, which mean more to me than you know. If you can, please keep my Nana and family in your thoughts and hearts throughout the coming days.

Love and peace, always. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hawaii on the Horizon

A celebratory fall trip to Hawaii? Yes, please! While Stephen and I had originally talked about vacationing at Disney World or in Puerto Rico this year, his parents recently surprised us by announcing their decision to host a family trip to the Big Island in honor of their 40th wedding anniversary.

Not only am I incredibly excited to spend a full week exploring areas we only got to visit briefly during our honeymoon cruise a couple years ago, but I also love the fact that we’ll be traveling out during November – usually right around the time that colder weather starts to set in here in DC, leaving me itching for a little extra  sunshine and warmth.

Visiting Kauai during our honeymoon in June 2010. 
We haven’t officially lined up any activities as of yet, but a few things topping my wish list are to try my hand at stand-up paddle boarding, go hiking at Volcanoes National Park, and maybe even sneak in a bit of whale watching on the side, if it’s not too early in the season. Either way, I know we'll have no shortage of fun ways to pass the time! 

Have you ever been to Hawaii? If so, what’s your favorite island/activity? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

From Seaside to Mountaintop: Northwestern Retreat Recapped

Well, hello there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Even though it certainly seems that way to me, I can also hardly believe that summer is quickly fading and that fall is already in the air here in DC. After nearly a month away – first traveling to Seattle for a low-key visit with friends and then back down to Southern California to spend more time with my family – it’s definitely taking me a while to feel caught up and back in the swing of things.

Nevertheless, I’m slowly but surely finding my groove, glad to once again spend time working on my novel, getting into shape for our upcoming trip to Hawaii and watching the inevitable election-year fever descend upon our nation's capital. Of course, I'm also excited to start blogging more regularly again, beginning today with a photo recap highlighting my recent adventures out West. 

Beautiful views of Puget Sound as seen from my friend Ted's balcony and beachfront sandbar in West Seattle – the perfect place to spend a week reading, relaxing and enjoying temperatures in the 70s and 80s. 

The Seattle skyline, complete with a glimpse of the iconic Space Needle. 

Sipping a watermelon margarita while catching up with Gianna and Bridget, my best friends of more than 15 years, at Alki Beach's Cactus. 

"Three Pines Cabin," where the girls and I spent a fabulous weekend exploring Mt. Rainier National Park just a couple hours outside the city. 

Hiking at and around Mowich Lake, where I felt quite proud for making it all the way up to the Mt. Rainier lookout point, despite a mostly uphill two-mile trek. 

The lovely Narada Falls, accented by a shimmery rainbow at the base. 

Posing inside the trunk of an ancient tree in the Grove of the Patriarchs, home to thousand-year-old towering giants and primeval-looking ferns. 

Have you ever visited Mt. Rainier or had the chance to explore any other national parks? I enjoyed my time in and around Seattle so much that I know I'll definitely be heading back again sometime in the future, maybe even as early as next year!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


After nearly a month-long summer blog break, I’ll be back tomorrow to recap my recent trip and share all that I’ve been up to these past few weeks. Today, however, I’m simply looking out my window at the Capitol dome rising in the distance, and remembering. 

Image Source: All Women Stalk
Love and peace, my friends, today and always.