In the Air!

In the Air!
400 feet above the ground in Orlando.

Florida

Florida
Taking my first step towards a new life.

Virginia

Virginia
Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

My rocks!
Wouldn't be where I am without my parents!

Graduation

Graduation
Walking for my Masters. An interesting book end as this all started when I graduated from undergrad!

Awesome Nurses!

Awesome Nurses!
After my port removal and saying goodbye to my chemo nurses before moving away from Michigan. Wouldn't be doing that without them!

Hair again!

Hair again!
Growing longer each day

Last Chemo

Last Chemo

Google+ Followers

Silliness

Silliness
Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 145. Curly Hair and New Jackets!!

Today Was a good day!  I went to get my hair trimmed and my dear stylist gave me a cute, curly style that worked so well with the length!!!  I loved it!!  I walked out of the salon feeling happy!

Then mom and I went to the outlets and I ended up getting a hot, new coat!!  I love it!!  It made me feel good about myself and happy!!  I couldn't stop smiling!  

Then the day rounded out with a visit with my close friend and her daughter:). Sitting around the family room and just chatting:).

Enjoying these things that make you feel good about yourself and the people you love!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Days 143 & 144. One More Step!

It seems lately my life has been defined by steps.  Some big steps but mostly small ones that when you add them all together and look back at a distance form a giant step!  Well, after jumping back on my computer yesterday and today I FINALLY finished what feels like a big step but is in fact one of those small steps.  I finished putting together my study guide for my O & M certification exam!!!!!

Now, perhaps this doesn't sound so momentous.  Please picture 53 pages of typed notes to memorize! Momentous yet???  While the content will not expand much (although it can always be added to) the number of pages will since I will have to enlarge the print to somewhere around 14 to 16 point font so I don't strain my eyes.  For longer studying purposes I will probably go with the 16 point.  That adds a lot of pages to the original 53!  But thats ok because I have a plan to keep the freaking out over the immensity of it all to a minimum.  The study guide is cleverly broken down into 12 modules (already done for me, not my personal genius).  So each module will be printed and stapled individually and I will tackle them one at a time.

Sounds all planned out and ready to go doesn't it?  LOL!!  So funny!  It will in fact be very difficult to get myself focused and settle down as often as I will need to to study and be able to take the test hopefully in March!!  That isn't that far away actually!  Despite all my efforts to keep the intimidation of it all at bay...it simply is a lot of work!  The only positive part is...I love this field!  I am fascinated by it!  So I am determined to over come my anxiety and this stupid chemo brain of mine that leaks parts of information like a sieve and I WILL remember it ALL!!!

So say a few prayers because now the studying begins in ernest!  On top of my last semester of classes.  Yes, I am going to be going a little cross eyed and crazy by the end of April but I am DETERMINED to enter my internship with this test finished!  I can do this!!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 142. Star Wars

So today was good in that I went to see the new Star Wars movie with my parents. It was a good movie!  Exciting to watch and I am curious to see what the next movie will be like!  I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it but there were some shocks!  And the cinematography was great and what one would expect from JJ Abrams!  

It was a good afternoon and fun to hang out with my folks:)

All you Star Wars fans go check it out!!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

365 Things to Smile About. Day 141 Family

This afternoon and evening was so nice. Spent the time at my oldest brother's house with his family:). An amazing meal made by my sister-in-law and sitting around the family room talking, laughing and just enjoying company. 

The best part for me was playing Operation with my niece:). She beat me by one piece!  Lol!  It was great!  Sitting by the tree and trying very hard not to make it buzz and both of us laughing and jumping when it did buzz!  A great memory with my niece:).  The simple little things are the best:). 

Friday, December 25, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 140. The Christmas Moon!!

Facebook has been plastered with announcements of how this Christmas will have a full moon and there won't be another Christmas full moon for a long time. So I wanted to see it and try to get a good picture of it. 

I can see the moon normally in the night sky but the detail on the moon that people always talk about always escapes me. My eyes just don't see it!  So my brother kindly put up a telescope for me to look through tonight and I have to say...it was pretty amazing!!  I've never actually looked at the moon through a telescope before. I've tried looking at stars through one but they were so small still that I gave up. That is why tonight was so great!!   For the first time I started to see details on the moon with my own eyes!!!  Not just in a picture!!  I know it sounds corny but it literally took my breath away!!!  

Then, to make things even better, my brother took my phone and was able to get the pictures I've included on this post of the Christmas Moon!!  You can see craters outlined by the black sky on the bottom!! It is beautiful!!  So yes, while I've smiled about a lot today...this moon and this picture abd my brother were the most amazing things that made me smile!!  I have the best brother!!  

Merry Christmas everyone!!!  May the Baby Jesus shower you with many blessings this Christmas season!!

Photo Credit:  Joseph Bacik
The Christmas Moon!


Photo credit:  Joseph Bacik

Photo credit:  Joseph Bacik






Thursday, December 24, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 139. Christmas Eve

Today was about finishing things up for tomorrow and getting to my parents house:). Dad and I went to the store for our annual last minute shopping and then came home to put up the tree!!!

Then this evening we all went to the 10pm mass (it took the place of midnight mass) and other than the oppressive wave of heat that hit you when you walked in and the incense that kept me coughing...it was a nice mass and a pleasant time!  I especially loved getting dressed up with my little brother!  Picture below!  So a good day and a good start to the Christmas season!!



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Days 137 & 138. Finishing Presents!

Yesterday and today were busy but nice days!!  Mostly spent finishing making Christmas presents and filling out Chrustmas cards!  Played music in the background and just stayed busy!

Tonight was another night of observations and that is always a good night!  I always end up laughing there and tonight was no exception!  Especially while in the middle of a serious conversation with my supervisor, Siri on his phone piped up with "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that."  Lol!  We were both laughing pretty hard at Siri's unexpected entrance to the conversation!  Lol!  

So two good days:). And I head to my parents in the morning for Christmas!!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 136. Cute Little Wookie!

I was raised on Star Wars and Star Trek and am looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars movie soon!  I enjoy the countless Star Wars memes that have been all over Facebook.  Today though I found myself laughing over the cutest Star Wars inspired picture!!

A friend of mine sent me a picture of his brother's dog and entitled it "Wookie Dog"!  Lol!  I couldn't stop laughing and it felt so good!!  The picture is so worth sharing so I've included it below!  Enjoy!!!


Sunday, December 20, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 135. A Dog in a Car Window

It's a little thing but it made me laugh today!  As I was waiting to make a turn, a car turned in front of me and as I watched I saw the cutest dog stick their head out the rolled down window and start checking out all they cars the turning car was passing!  His head was whipping back and forth and his long ears were flapping all over the place!  It was just too cute!

365 Things to Smile About Day 133 & 134. How Do You Find Sun on Gloomy Days?

I know, I am a few days behind.  The last few days though have been very blah days.  Michigan has been overcast for a week now and yesterday was the first time the sun showed it's face.  So I guess I am rolling two days into one with the smile being for the sun!  Vitamin D that didn't come from an herbal jar!!!

I have been having a hard time lately finding things to write about that have truly made me smile.  Apparently gloomy weather affects me more now than it ever has.  I am trying to find ways to inject some sunshine into these gloomy days though.  And so I am throwing it out to you...what do you do on those gloomy, cold, over cast days where getting out of bed feels like the world's biggest accomplishment?  What do you do when you can't bring a smile to your face because you want to just stay curled up in bed with your eyes shut?  Tell me what you smile about every day.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 132. Google Home Page!

Ok, it sounds silly but I have been having fun today playing around with the google home page!  Lol!!  I like classical music but learned I ma really bad at reading music!  Lol!!  But it was cool!  Putting together music in the right order and getting a snippet of some great music with some silly cartoon characters was just fun and made me smile!  Lol!!

Doing things a little silly during the day makes you smile and just feel good!  And sometimes the silliness comes from Google!  Lol!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 131. Job Applications

Today I realized something.  I am back to the place I was three years ago.  Three years ago I was starting to send out resumes and fill out applications for jobs in anticipation of graduating from undergrad.  That was such an exciting time for me because after 15 years I was FINALLY going to be finished with my undergrad.  I had been working towards that day for so long and so many things had kept getting in the way and postponing finishing that degree.  But I had finally made it to my last semester and it was time to job hunt.

Then my last finals week came several months later and the cancer was found and my life turned completely upside down.  One of the job applications I had sent out this time three years ago had turned into job interviews and it was looking like I was going to head to Southern California to start a teaching career.  I had mapped my life out.  And then that map got rewritten.  And three years later, I am back to sending out resumes and filling out applications over Christmas break before my last semester of classes for a graduate degree.

I am mapping my life out again but in a different way.  I know things may not go perfectly and I know that a curve ball may come out of left field and thats ok.  Because I also know what I want to do and this time I have a passion for what I want to do that I have never before felt.  Yes, I am a little scared that come graduation time cancer will rear it's ugly head again.  But I also know that fear is just what it is.  It's just fear.  Not reality.  And the reality is, I sent out applications and resumes today for after graduation.  The reality is that I will walk in the commencement ceremony in April and there won't be a wheelchair anywhere near me.  I will go to my internship and then start an amazing job where I can make a difference.  And this all starts today, with job applications.



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 130. Yankee Candles

Tonight I am feeling mostly calm in my apartment.  I have my Christmas Tree lights on and got things cleaned up from the end of the semester.  I also lit my Lilac scented yankee candle and that just made everything pretty perfect!  It feels good in here and it smells even better!  I was sitting at my table writing out some recipes from the Christmas Tea I went to last weekend with mom and the candle glow from my Advent Wreathe and the tree lights and the scented candle made it feel homey and relaxing.

Nights like this are not often but I am starting to feel relaxed and the stress is easing up.  Nights like tonight are so helpful.  There are so many things going on in life that I just don't have control over.  That can cause a lot of stress.  But now and then with just lighting a candle and flooding the apartment with soft, warm glows, all that starts to melt away:).  I now feel ready to settle in tomorrow and get back to studying.  So thank you Yankee Candles for making such a lovely scent like Lilac to help me take a deep breath, slowly let it out and try to let go and relax.

Monday, December 14, 2015

365 Things to Smile About day 128 & 129. Scholarships are the Best!!!!

Mixing two days today:)  I got an email today saying that I have been awarded a scholarship to help with next semester!!!!  Thats a good feeling to not have to take out as many loans:)  Lol!

So happiness yesterday and today is a lovely scholarship!  It gives a little boost to relieving the stress of financial aid!  And relieving stress is very important!  Lol!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 127. A Busy, Good Day!

Today was a good and busy day today. The morning was spent running errands with my mom. Any day that starts with a trip to JoAnn Fabrics is good!  Lol!  I saw a Chewbacca fleece throw!!  Lol!! 

This afternoon mom and I went to a Christmas Tea at the Herb Garden. The tea house was decorated with ribbons, greens and lights!  It was a lovely couple hours with delicious tea and amazing food!!  Followed by a chance to shop through the Herb Garden shop with just about everything on sale!!

Then this evening my parents and I went to the Historic Village in town that was decorated for Christmas.  It was a very foggy night so all the lights had a haze around them and it was a little eerie but beautiful sight. Mom and dad and I walked through the town and looked at the lights and enjoyed the slightly warm weather in December!

So all in all, a full but good day:)

My tea setting at the Christmas Tea. 

The village all lit up!

Selfie with mom and dad!







Friday, December 11, 2015

365 Things to Smile About. Day 126. Celebrate Life Dinner!!

Every December my cancer center has a special dinner for all their patients to celebrate another year of life!  I love it because I get a chance to see the whole staff from the cancer center and it seriously turns into one big hug fest!  Lol!!  It's also good to see other patients who were there when I was and they are doing good!

 It's such a fun night and this is the third dinner I've gone too. It's become something my dad and I do together and this year was my last year as I'm planning on getting a job with my grad degree out East. And while I know my peeps there will be sad to see me go I also know they will be excited I'm gone because it means I beat cancer and took control of my life again!

Tonight, like every year, was a fun night!  The homemade food was delicious!  I seriously can't get over how good the ham was!!  The entertainment was a comedian, a Girl Scout troup singing Christmas carols and a Madrigal group singing carols. All three VERY good!  It was just fun to get dressed up, go out with dad and chat over dinner!  Always a good evening out!!  

Love to you all at the cancer center and thanks for another wonderful dinner!!

The picture is a selfie of dad and I at the Celebrate Life Dinner!!






Thursday, December 10, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 125. Chocolate Smells So Good!

This afternoon I got a text from my dad asking me if I knew of a candy shop by me that would have some specific hard candy used in Christmas chocolates my mom makes.  Apparently the shop she normally gets them at doesn't sell them anymore.  I have seen a place called Sally May Candies around here but had never stopped so I thought I would give it a try.

I walked inside and the smell that greeted me was so amazing!!!!  Sweet, chocolate, caramel. delicious smells!!  I wandered around a bit and didn't see anything.  But I couldn't bring myself to go ask at the counter for another minute or so because I was loving the smell of that place!  Lol!  They say that chocolate makes your endorphins shoot up and I was a happy, happy woman standing in that shop and  all I was doing was smelling those lovely, lovely smells!  Lol!  The one sure place to put a smile on you is apparently, a chocolate shop!

P.S. I did eventually find what my mom was looking for but not at the happy chocolate shop!
P.P.S. And no, I didn't buy any of the wonderful smelling chocolate!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 124. TWO YEARS!!!!

I have a lot of sad anniversaries in my life.  But today was not one of those.  Today was a good anniversary.  A happy anniversary!  Two years ago today I was told I was in remission!!!  I've said the words "I beat cancer", "I went through chemo and made it.", "I'm in remission." and I realized tonight I always said those words TO someone ELSE but never to myself.  Like I had to just put up this facade of strength and bravery and nonchalance because that was what was expected.  Tonight, it finally, honestly hit me.  I did it.  I finally said it to myself.  I came through all of that and here I am with one semester left of grad school and starting my life in the field I have come to love!

The crazy part is all I could do was start crying!  Lol!  Lovely, stupid, fake hormones!  Lol!  But I did it!!  I'm two years and counting!  And it's a happy day!  A day I want to celebrate every year with just as much hoopla and craziness as my birthday!!  Because I did it and that was no small thing and I don't want to brush it aside like it was no big deal anymore.  It was a big deal!  And I did it!  Two years and counting!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 123. Project Done

Ok, yes, it's after midnight but I haven't done to bed yet so I am counting this blog for today...the 8th:).

I took my labeling project in and handed it this afternoon!  I went over it and my notebook with my teacher and there were no suggested changes!!  I was so happy to hear that!  Lol!  But I feel a pretty good sense of accomplishment that I finished it and handed it in early!  Lol!  And it will be a helpful tool for when I eventually get my VRT certification.  But that third certification is down the road:).  LOL!!  For now though, I am happy that I got everything done and turned in.  Only one more test in the morning and this semester is over!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 122. So Close!

So today was a crazy busy day!  Last class in my Living Skills class was this morning.  Then I came home, had lunch and then just went to town continuing working on my labeling project!  Thanks to the jump start from a dear friend I stopped over thinking WHAT to label WITH what label.  It took about 7 to 8 more hours (and some great help from my little brother) but now I am done with the labeling notebook and labeled examples!

I am so close to the end of this semester!  Just need to study all day tomorrow and take my last test on Wednesday!  Then I can say goodbye to this semester and start a new one fresh.  And I am SO CLOSE to Internship now!!!  Next semester I have a lot to do first though.  Including taking my certification exam for O & M!!  So close to that light at the end of the tunnel!  So close!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 120 & 121. A Great Play!!

Please don't think because I have had a lot of combined days lately that the days I don't do separately I am not finding things to smile about.  I really am!  Even if I have to sit and think about it for a few minutes!  Right now I am coming in to what has turned into finals week for me...which is technically the week before finals.  But it's shaping up this way for me and I am going flat out since last week!

But today I took a break from all the studying and projects and went to go see my niece in her school's production of The Lion King Jr. and was thoroughly impressed by these 6th, 7th & 8th graders!!  The singing was really good and the choreography was beautiful!  These kids did an amazing job and my niece was of course the best lioness!!  Lol!  It was a great hour and a half and so relaxing and just plain fun!  I was so proud of my niece and couldn't stop hugging her after the performance!!  She is incredibly talented and I am hoping her spring play will be while I am still in the area so I can see her perform one more time!!  I love plays and this afternoon was a lovely time at the theatre!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 119. No More Lectures!!

This morning after I had breakfast I sat at my computer and went through the lecture videos for this week and next week for my online class.  And 4.5 hours later I FINISHED THE LAST LECTURE!!!!  They actually weren't that long but in order to retain information for this class I have to take very detailed notes on the power point slides for each lecture.  So that involves a lot of pausing and writing and rewinding, listening, pausing and writing!  But hopefully it will be worth it and I will get a good grade on this last test that is available to take next week!  Depending on how much studying I get done for my other final next week...I just might be done with this whole class Monday night!

I think that is definitely something to smile about!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Days 117 & 118. More Observations!

It's going to be short and sweet because I'm wiped out tonight but in a good way! I started more observation times today with a low vision therapist I know and I loved it!!!!  Learning more and more each time and meeting some really wonderful people in my field too!!  Going to really like the next several months!!!  And determined to finish my hours before I graduate!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

365 Things to Smile About Day 116. A Nice Day:)

Today was a nice day.  Quiet but pleasant.  It was nice to catch up with a friend this afternoon over cider:).  It's good having a friend in my field that we can just sit back and talk about school but also other things too:).  Like how adorable her new baby is!  Lol!

The rest of the day was spent looking for labels for a labeling project for class and trying to plow through some more of my online class.  I think tonight I am going to relax as I fell asleep a few hours ago against my will!  I am not a person who takes naps because otherwise I can't fall asleep at night.  But when my body overrides my brain I am learning that means I just have to let go and relax.  I can muscle through a lot again but I can't muscle through everything I use to.  Instead of finding theses random reserves of energy my body just says "Nope!" and my eyes start to close and the next thing I know an hour has gone by and I'm half off the couch in strange, sprawled, contorted angles!  Lol!