10 years a survivor, says.

Growth and Grace

Ten years ago today.

“You have cancer,” she said, on this day ten years ago.

And so, with a  decade under my belt, here’s what I would say to my scared, naïve, sick little 18-year-old-self:

  • Your hair will grow back. It will take way longer than you want it to, and you will look ridiculous in the meantime. But it will grow back. And your new favorite cliché will be ‘a bad hair day is better than a no-hair-day.’
  • You’ll get a puppy. The best puppy ever. And you’ll name her Kimo. #CauseObviously. And she’ll be around for two more rounds of Temme cancer. But everyone will be ok. Cause that puppy is good luck.
  • This will not be the hardest season of your life. Take this one in stride. It will suck. You’ll be really sick. You’ll break up with your high school sweetheart in the midst of it…

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#SoThisOneTime > Shoulda’s

Growth and Grace

So this post, written on September 14, 2015, could have looked a lot different. And I could write all day bout the shoulda’s, coulda’s and woulda’s, but for the sake of #growthngrace, I’d rather focus my heart on one of the most profound #SoThisOneTimes that ever was…

So this one time, one year ago to the day, instead of all my people flying into Seattle dressed for an evening of barn dancing and cheers’ing to love with Old Fashioned’s, my people re-routed their flights to Nashville.

Yep, about 15 of my best from around the country descended on one of the best towns in America, dressed in cowgirl boots and flannel for a weekend of line dancing and cheers’ing with anything alcoholic. Operation redirect my attention to country music, dreamy accents and my favorite winery in all the land was one of the kindest, most selfless gestures I’ve ever known.

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Gliding in Spain

Growth and Grace

Spain came and went easy as a carafe of sangria. It was soothing for my weary traveler soul, perfectly fulfilling for my kitchen-missing-soul and surprising, even for my ‘seen and done a WHOLE lot lately’ soul.

I decided I was just over being ‘on the go.’ And so, I made a game-time decision to trade in the beautifully bustling Alicante for sleepy, olive-producing Algodonales. Again, I traded my hostel bum for the country girl life, where I met Mike.

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Mike, like all three of my previous hosts, greeted me with the most generous spirit, beautiful home and invitation to take on his nemesis [aka one of my greatest joys]–cooking. All I did for three weeks was cook to my hearts content. Old favorites and new experiments. It didn’t matter. I was in a kitchen and I blared Michael Buble and I sipped on a fat glass of red and Mike…

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Word vomit from a Spanish villa

Growth and Grace

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a million miles away from real life and the ‘talkin over the white picket fence’ thing. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve kind of spilled my guts on this little blog or because everyone knows I’ve had my heart completely shattered and feel empathy deeper than I know what to do with. I don’t know what it is…and it doesn’t really matter….but people have shared with me in this last year, like never before. People from all nooks of the world, all with a different story, have poured their hearts out to me. All looking for encouragement, or understanding or at the VERY least, acknowledgement of their reality. And no, I’m not going to spill those stories…But there ARE some things sitting hard on my heart from this pretty little Spanish villa today, and so without an ounce of expertise on any…

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New triggers in Ireland

Growth and Grace

Is it just me, or do sounds and smells throw you back to certain moments in time, more than any other triggers? I love those triggers. Especially when they throw me back to the glory days of University of South Florida life…

USF All Girl

The smell of Thai food, tanning oil and tequila [yuck] throw me back to my 18 year old self when I first met Lucia [my little elephant lovin friend]. The sound of bats crackin into a ball, cheering against FSU in the best whiteout ever and crazy dance music in Ybor throw me back to when I first met Lucia’s man, Chuck.

They were good, good days, those college days. And last week we did a lot of throwin back. Lucia and Chuck, along with new friends Kathryn, Scott, Andrea and Bella met me in Ireland for a week of birthday celebrations, foodie marathons and Irish music. And I…

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Chasing Delight

Growth and Grace

Meet Orla. She’s beautiful. Like, she glows. She’s one of the most radiant and inspiring and genuinely good women I’ve ever met.

OrlaI’m helping Orla with her health and wellness business this week, but the health and wellness she’s pumping into my soul is the real help exchange. She’s sharing her life with me—a life she centers around delight. Whatever delights her, she does. That’s it. It’s really that simple.

And right now, delight for me comes in the form of new experiences with new people.

I think one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself when traveling is to approach all new things with an open mind and heart. Take what you will from each experience and leave whatever doesn’t resonate. Orla’s given me the opportunity to exercise that gift tenfold here in this quiet little village set  atop a proper old Irish golf course…

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