Milestones… Today as I was wondering what to write, I was looking at our statistics and I am pleasantly surprised and shocked really.
Milestones… Today as I was wondering what to write, I was looking at our statistics and I am pleasantly surprised and shocked really.
Today as I was wondering what to write, I was looking at our statistics and I am pleasantly surprised and shocked really. When I decided to start this blog, I really thought I was going to use this as a platform to sell our jewelry designs not write. I hired my daughters best friend Haley to write articles for me because I thought: Who really cares what I have to say!
Turns out, I love to write just about anything. Most of us our creatures of habit, stay within our daily routines or just go day by day through this life. This blog Bare and Me really made me step out of my comfort zone and look at life differently and yes share feeling I normally keep private.
It has been since July 2014 that we (Haley and I) wanted to do something fun, different and be honest about our feeling and daily life. I think we have done that and we show ourselves in a quirky, funny and maybe just a little obsessed with fashion and love. We have written about love, sadness, travels and do-gooder ideals but mostly we write about what we feel right then…
Today we hit over 10,000 views and we have 3152 followers. Just a little over 30% of the people who read our articles want more. That is a pretty good percentage. Reaching 1/3 of people is a very hard thing to do, especially when you write about everything, not just one subject. The other surprising thing is, we have more than 50% of men that follow us. Really? That is crazy, they want to know about love and fashion as well or maybe just what we will say next. I obviously will say anything, it’s a problem but I do curb it for my writing. In person, it just flows right out and gets me in a ton of trouble at times. Being 47 I think I have earned my right to be non-filtered. I would never say anything to hurt anyone or intentional say something that would offend someone but the one thing I have learned, someone is always offended by something. You can never please everyone and someone will always have an opinion. I love that…
This by far has been one of the most liberating things I have ever done. Thank you to all who put up with our silliness and in the future we hope to bring more of our craziness…
Oh dear, I am in trouble…
Sitting waiting, wondering what is taking so long I am thinking to myself. I see a doctor walking towards me in the waiting room and he says, “Laurie, will you come with me please”. Well, you know this is not going to be good news.
We go back into the examination room and two other people come in the room and I know, oh man, this is really bad. My heart starts to go a million beats a second and my whole body has this shaking that will not stop. The doctor proceeds to tell me they have found a calcified tumor in my breast that looks like cancer and I need to find a specialist as soon as possible.
My Mother was just diagnosed with stage three-breast cancer 3 months before so my sister and I thought it was a good idea to get checked. I had been many times before with no issues but this time was different. It was the look in their eyes. The look you know you are in deep trouble. The look that has tears in it. The look that feels sorry for what you about to go through. The look you never want to see.
I was walking out of the office in a daze, with my imaging, doctors note in hand and I entered the elevator and saw my OBGYN who had delivered all of my babies. He knew I had this appointment today and we had become very close over the years. We are about the same age and had children at the same time. He also knew I never took things very seriously. I had been in his office the day before and he found this lump and set up the appointment with the radiologist for the next day. He looked at me with the look that I knew he had heard already. Man, does bad news travel fast. I looked at him and just broke down. I do not cry EVER, so this was truly an event. We walked outside the building, I am just sobbing uncontrollably and we sat on a bench. I cried for about 10 minutes, and then I was done. I actually never cried again. We started to make a game plan.
By the time I reached my car I had an appointment with the best surgeon at Georgetown University Hospital in two hours. Sometimes it is really nice to know people who can work that quickly. While driving from Bethesda to Washington DC I called my husband to fill him in but with an attitude I was fine and everything will be ok. I did not want to alarm anyone and I was truly very good in bad situations, I always have been. Something comes over me and I just do not stop until everything is in place. If you are sick, I am your girl. I will do everything in my power to make you well.
So finally after a very long wait, this tall blonde beautiful women comes into the room and looks at me and says, “So I hear we have a problem!” Look at it this way; you will have great new boobs. I just started to laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. I knew she was the doctor for me. Her opinion of this awful tumor was no different then the other doctor, so I knew my life was going to change forever.
So the dreaded day comes and I am in this bubble gum pink robe with these wires poking out of my boobs. They had found more tumors that needed to come out. My sister Shelly came with me because I really never said how serious this was to my husband and my children. I needed this to be very understated so I could make it through. I had told very few friends and family about this and wanted to almost keep it a secret.
As Shelly and I were walking down this hospital hallway, we both started to laugh uncontrollable; you know the nervous laugh where you cannot stop. Literally, we were told to stop three times. We just could not, every time we looked at each other it just started again. I think it may have been the “I am gonna die” jokes they did not like. They come to get me and I was walked into this room where your robe comes off and you lie on this table with your arms out like a cross. My doctor says, “I hope you do not mind but I have some of my students that will be in here for the procedure”. I am fine with that until I see 15 doctors that looked 12, whom all want to touch me. I just went with it, made friends with all of them before they put me out.
I wake up in recovery and find my sisters eyes. My doctor and nurses are looking at me saying how do you feel? I’m okay but why are all of you looking at me like that. I have very low blood pressure so I have a hard time with anesthesia and I was having some issues with coming out of it. Worried looks is all I see and to make things even worse she says it does not look good for me and we have to wait a few days for pathology. At this point, I am starting to prepare myself for the worst. My first thought is my hair, how will I look bald? Seeing a person go through chemo is no picnic and I wondered to myself, would I be a trooper like my Mother.
I am at home talking to some friends who are checking up on me, Shelly had left to go back to Boston and I am just recovering from the surgery. It was a snowy, gloomy day and I was in bed feeling a little sorry for myself. I get a phone call from my doctor and she says, “Are you sitting down”? I am thinking, oh man, here is comes, the dreaded words of, you have cancer. I could tell in her voice that she was holding back tears and that just really threw me off and I was just waiting, almost hurry up already. She starts off with, I had them run this twice just to make sure but you have just won “the lottery”. I have only seen this 3 times in my career and you are the luckiest girl. NO CANCER…
I jumped out of bed so fast it would make your head spin, yelling for my kids and husband, guess what NO CANCER. Are you sure Laurie, my husband says? Yes, I won the lottery. They are all hysterical and I am running around the house jumping for joy and just so elated I am not sure what to do next. I start to make some calls to my family and friends to let them in on the news so no one has to worry anymore. What all of them said to me was you have no idea how many people were praying for you. I would have been so mad at everyone if I had known anyone knew about my situation. They all know how fiercely private I am and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. Unbeknownst to me, I had been put on everyone’s prayer lists, that friends of friends were praying for me, Churches were praying for me, strangers praying for me. Even our children’s school was praying for me. I had know idea that the world could be so kind and people you do not even know have your back in the worst of times…
The power of prayer and my miracle. Thank you to all of you for your random act of kindness.
A whole lot of stuff…
A Mama, Daddy, newborn, kids, Grandma and Grandpa with a whole lot of stuff.
We go to the same place everyday at the beach in Rehoboth, DE and we always sit where no one can swim. It is designated for fisherman only. It is smack dab to the entrance of the beach at the very end of the boardwalk on the North side.
We see the same thing everyday. People come and set up not realizing the kids cannot play in the water. The reason they do this is because of a rock wall you can’t see when the tide is high. A place that someone can get hurt if they do not know this. So everyday we go and tell them, “You might want to move”.
We wanted to tell them this before they set the tent, chairs, blankets, toys and just everything else that goes into a beach day with the kids. Boy, I remember those days chasing my little angels around, making sand castles and playing in the water.
Jessica walks over to tell them and she says that the Grandma and Grandpa are coming and that is why they chose this spot so close to the entrance. They were older and walking fifty feet would be hard enough.
We sat there for a little bit an watched as they looked at each other trying to decide what they should do. I could see them start to pack up as I saw the Grandparents start to come down the hill. “Come on kids” I said, “lets help”.
I know how hard it is to just get to the beach with a chair and towel with grown children that can carry their own stuff but imagine a huge tent and everything else.
We helped move them to a different spot and they helped with getting the Grandparents safely to the spot they chose.
A day of fun in the sun ends happily…
My homage to ducks…
I thought this was the sweetest thing as I walked through a park and noticed they had actually constructed a ramp for ducks to easily get into the water fountain. In everyday life we can find the beauty in bridges, ramps and just simply your hand. I have certainly used the analogy of a duck many, many times and I have been told, “Laurie, when you walk, you waddle “like a duck”! I do have a certain style and if it is a duck walk, then I love it because it is me…
You know you love ducks. How many times have you said this?
“If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck”
“With a rubber duck, one’s never alone”
“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”
“A few feathers short of a whole duck”
And my personal favorite!
“Let it roll off, like a duck”
One Moment in 27 Years
Be still, think quietly my mind travels
Wrapped in the past, in a room I do not know
Eyes focused over the door, lying so small
Soft, simple words, what is it?
Unafraid in this moment my heart swells
Is this real? Could this be? 27 years?
All at once in one single moment
Forgiveness, I am free
Sometimes we all need to see the forgiveness in small, simple moments.
Well, talk about random…
We set out to have a day of walking the monuments of Washington DC spending time with my daughter Jessica, her fiancé Matt and my husband David and of course looking for “random acts of kindness”. I have become a little obsessed with this whole challenge.
One thing about me is, if I sign on to do something, it is 110% on my mind. All the time.
I am looking everywhere asking my family what we should do. I say, “maybe I can take a picture for someone” and everyone says, “that’s really not so random”. Jessica says, “it will just happen Mom when you least expect it”. I had all but given up and we set out for dinner for Cantina Marina which is in the DC wharf.
The band was playing, the sun was setting and I am HUNGRY. It was the perfect night for a margarita with a warm wind blowing overlooking the Potomac River. We had walked for quite a while and we were all starving and truthfully I just wanted to sit down and relax. We walked down this narrow walkway to the back of this marina and the gentleman was sitting at the entrance on a stool and puts his hand out. I looked at him inquisitively and then realized he was carding me. I have not been to a bar in a long time nor have I been carded. I’m 47 and started to laugh. I said “do I not look 21?” He looks at me with a bright smile and says “no”! Oh, I’m thinking I like you-alot… We just wanted dinner and he says in his funny little voice, “Ma’am, we are having a fundraiser tonight and it will be $40 a person. That includes a buffet and 4 drink tickets. So we all say ok, we are in, let’s go and have some fun.
The bank was playing “brown-eyed girl” by Van Morrison and I knew it was going to be a fun night. We were walking down this ramp to get to the restaurant and outside bar with decks everywhere and they had set up a place for raffle tickets to raise money and of course I give them my money. I love to win anything. So competitive with everything. Even raffle tickets.
We head for the bar with our wrist ban which has these tear off pieces you give to the bartender each time you order a drink. So we all tear off the ticket. We all get margaritas which I just love once a Summer. Alcohol and I do not mix. It just makes me loopier than I already am. Heck, I am drunk without being drunk all the time. But in a good way. We head to the buffet, grab a table on the deck and just sit and listen to music, talking about our day. By the end of my drink I am standing, singing and having a grand time. We had a few drink lefts and we just gave them to the people next to us. They were certainly happy. I’m sure they thought that was random.
I have just recently been introduced to sailing last month while visiting my sister Shelly. We went out on a friends Olympic Sailing Boat which I sailed all by myself for two hours. I loved it so much I asked if I could be part of their sailing team and of course Shelly broke out into a belly laugh because she knew I was serious.
I would have to say that Jessica is right, “random acts of kindness” just happen.
Just let it find you.