Tag Archives: Mom

The Games of Hunger

Mom and I went to the midnight showing of Hunger Games last night. Is anyone surprised? We see every major, awesome movie on their opening nights- Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight, Harry Potter…

We both read the Hunger Games trilogy last year and have been hooked ever since. And I am happy to report that the movie did not disappoint! The book was better, of course. But I was super happy with how the movie turned out. They stayed pretty true to the book and added lots of little details that would only really make sense if you knew the books.

I wish there was a little more relationship development. In the books, I love Katniss’ relationships with Prim and Gale and her will to do anything for her family. I also love Katniss and Rue’s friendship, and that was a bit rushed. But it was a 2 hour and 20 minute movie. They only had so much time. Going into the movie, I was Team Peeta all the way…I still am after the movie! Josh Hutcherson is such a cutie!

I also thought Jennifer Lawrence did awesome as Katniss. Katniss is kind of a hard character to like because of her social awkwardness and inability to connect with most people. Lawrence did a good job at being protective and strong but also a little hard to love. I can’t wait for Catching Fire!

In other news, this is how DC looks in the spring. Such an impressive city!

Mom took these pictures of the cherry blossoms. Aren’t they amazing?

My best friend’s wedding shower is tomorrow. I can’t wait to see everyone! Have a fab weekend! 🙂

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One More Surgery

As some of you may remember, my mom had a double mastectomy in February. She had the surgery as a result of being BRCA 1 positive, which means she has a significantly higher chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer in her lifetime due to a gene mutation that she inherited from my grandma. Instead of just waiting for cancer to possibly come (since the chances are super high), she had risk reducing surgery. She had her ovaries removed last November.

When she had her operation earlier this year, the surgeons left enough skin for implants. But before implants, the skin must be stretched. So a majority of her breast tissue, skin and nipples were removed and these plastic things called expanders took the place right under her skin.

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The idea is that keeping living tissues under tension causes new cells to form and the amount of tissue to increase. The expanders create that tension. After the expanders are in place, saline solution is injected into the spot every few weeks to further stretch the skin. This is a long and painful process.

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After the skin is stretched, one last surgery is done and implants are put in place and there you have it…new boobies and very low chances of developing breast cancer. It’s a lot easier said than done, believe me.

Mom was going this route after her mastectomy. But after a few weeks, an infection occurred. For a few days, she was having lots of weird colored, funky smelling drainage from her incision sites. Mom and dad went back and forth to the ER, and were told that it’s doesn’t look too bad, to just keep and eye on it and go home. What was left of her breasts grew very red and she was in pain.

Then something terrible happened, her breast literally split open at the incision site. The hole was about the size of a nickle, and you could see the blue expander through it. Fluid poured out of the site.

Thankfully, my brother was home when this happened. He immediately drove mom to the Naval hospital in Bethesda. I left work. My dad rushed to the hospital the second school was out (he’s a teacher).  

To make a long and dramatic story short, mom had emergency surgery to remove the expanders and clean out the infection. It was one of the scariest days of my life. We all sat in the waiting room together not knowing what was going on, or why this happened.

Mom had to begin her recovery all over again. It’s been a hard year for her. And it has taken a long time for her to feel normal and healthy again. Some days were better than other’s. And through it all, she stayed so strong and positive despite the fact that a lot of the time she wasn’t feeling good.

So after healing up totally, mom talked with us all and decided to forget about the reconstruction route and go totally flat. This means having nothing up top – no expanders, no implants, no extra skin, nothing. She will also get her scars cleaned up, since the surgeons went in pretty quickly during her infection.

Right now, as I type, she is having that surgery. She’s nervous of course. Sometimes she thinks that she should have tried reconstruction again. But there is no guarantee that she wouldn’t have gotten another infection, or had more complications.

So it’s officially adios tatas. The only time she will have breasts, is when she’s wearing clothes and has inserts on.

It’s scary to think about and I feel sad that she had to make this decision. I know she much rather have no breasts and be healthy then develop breast cancer, so it’s worth it. I just wish none of this stuff had to happen to her.

She’s a brave lady and so strong. I just hope and pray that this is the final surgery for a long time. She deserves to have fun and be healthy. Hopefully, with this surgery, she can move on and we can focus on better things like going to see Twilight at midnight next week (crossing my fingers she feels better by then!)

Thanks for reading. And please send love my mom’s way. ❤

Scenes from Sunday

I had one of those weekends…a weekend where I did exactly everything I wanted and needed to do. It was full of productivity and fun.

On Sunday, mom and I drove up to Bethesda for a little shopping and lunch. Bethesda Row is full of high end shops, markets and amazing restaurants. We began the day by doing some flea market shopping…

*Pics taken by Mom. Aren’t they gorgeous? 🙂

followed by a Mongolian lunch…


Then we cruised around some of the shops and saw a memorial for Steve Jobs outside of the Apple store…


a farmer’s market…

and a happy dog in a stroller.

This picture puts the biggest smile on my face! I’m so glad mom took it.

I used to work in Bethesda. The commute was killer but it was fun to go back and walk around. Nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to work there…at least not while living in Virginia!

Mom said that Buster liked the Halloween toy I got him.

And Bill was a big help all weekend. From helping Marcus fix his cat tree…

to helping me unload groceries. 😉

PS, Halloween Joe Joe’s are now being sold at TJ’s. Go buy a box or three. Tis the season, after all.

Then Bill decided he needed to give me present wrapping pointers…

How was your weekend? Busy or relaxing?

Have a fab one! 🙂

The “I’m Not Fast” Store

We all know I’m not fast. Even though I call myself a runner, my slow and steady pace will not be winning prizes any time soon. A lot of you out there could relate to that post I wrote. I got so many comments and emails from people saying, “right on!”

It seems as though there are a lot of people who are like me and rock the double digit mile times. So I thought, why not shout it out and be proud? If there’s one thing I know about runners is that we like to let other people know that we run. I cannot tell you how many 13.1 and 26.2 magnets I have seen on people’s cars (mine included.) When runners train we always wear a tee from a previous race, mainly to let other runners know, yeah I ran that.

So I decided to create “I’m Not Fast” shirts as a way for us slow runners to brag about one more thing. We may not be Kara Goucher, but we will get across that finish line eventually.

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The “I’m Not Fast” shirts come in basic white, standard weight tee for men and women; unisex, choose your own color, tie dye tee; and a heavy weight, choose your own color tee for men and women.

*Seen here – XL standard weight, men tee in white and M unisex tie dye tee in pink. Enthusiastic models not included.

Of course the shirt has a little shameless self promotion in the form of my blog name on the back.

And because I don’t discriminate against the speedy runners, there are also “Just Run” tees for men and women. You can get to the store by clicking on this link, or the “I’m Not Fast” box on the left side of my blog.

During the month of October, all proceeds from shirt sales will be donated to FORCE in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

FORCE is a non-profit organization devoted to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The members of FORCE are people who have or had cancer, are positive for the gene mutation that causes breast and ovarian cancer, or those with a family history of cancer.

Mom and I are both positive for the gene mutation that increases our risk of breast and ovarian cancer. My grandma died of breast cancer when she was very young. FORCE has been a great tool for education and a source of support during this past year. 

So if anything, buy a shirt and know that your money is going to a good place. Every little bit helps in the fight against cancer and this is a legit organization that is very dear to my mom and me.

Thanks in advance for checking out the “I’m Not Fast” store. Have a great weekend! 🙂

It’s A Celebration

Mom’s birthday weekend is over and I gotta say…it was a good one!

The weekend began Friday night. Mom, Dad, Marcus’ bro, nieces and nephews all came out to watch our softball games. Tyler ended up playing with our team that night, so it really was a family affair.

On Saturday, mom and I headed to Georgetown for our day/night in the city.

After checking into our hotel we went exploring. Right down the street from our hotel was the famous Baked and Wired cupcake shop. Of course we had to stop and see if the cupcakes lived up to the hype.

The inside of Baked and Wired was relaxed and funky. They had Kanye West blaring, original art work, and space to sit down and relax with your cupcakes and coffee. I loved the vibe right away. Mom and I were amused with the names of the cupcakes and loved the ones we picked out.

I would totally recommend Baked and Wired and would love to go back and try out more flavors.

After Baked and Wired, we did some more walking and a little shopping.

After a while we got hungry for supper and decided to stop at a Spanish tapas restaurant called Bodega.

At Bodega, we had warm bread and olive oil, a piece of potato, egg, onion pie, spinach and chicken skewers (for mom). We totally loved the relaxed Spanish vibe and awesome food.

After Bodega, we wondered down to the water and decided to take a monument river cruise from Georgetown to Alexandria, VA .

We never get tired of DC, so this was super fun activity.

After our two hour cruise, we made it back to the hotel and decided to call it a night.

On Sunday, we woke up early with excitement for Wicked. Since we had time to kill, we watched chick flicks and enjoyed our hotel beds for a few more hours.

Finally, it was time to go to the Kennedy Center for the show!

Before the show, we decided to stop for brunch on the Kennedy Center rooftop terrace. With amazing views of DC, we dined on eggs benedict, pancakes, veggies and champagne of course! It truly felt like a birthday celebration. I know mom was really happy! 🙂

After brunch, it was time to head to our seats. I had butterflies as we sat down and saw the set.

After a few minutes of waiting, the lights dimmed and Wicked began! From the very first note to the last, I sat on the edge of my seat, grinning like a fool. I sang along with the songs. I laughed at Glinda’s blonde moments. I fell in love with Elphaba and Fiyero.

Mom and I loved the show. It was beautiful, funny, and amazing. The dancing, singing, costumes, makeup…everything was perfect. We both agreed that we would see the show again. I was sad to see it end.

Even though the show ended, mom’s birthday celebration didn’t. At home, Marcus and his family were gathered for Sunday dinner. Mom got lots of well wishes and even tried Ethiopian food for the first time.

When she finally made it back to her house, dad and Tyler were waiting with cake, candles and balloons.

I think it’s safe to say that mom had a great birthday. And we had a great time spending it with her.

I love birthdays…and weekends…and family! 🙂

Happy Birthday Mom!

As I get older, I see myself picking up more and more of my mom’s qualities. Mom is the type of person who puts her family first. She always sees to it that there is dinner cooked, lunches packed and laundry folded. I used to sit back and wonder, why is she working so hard? We are all capable of picking up after ourselves, doing our own laundry, etc. Why does she stress if there’s nothing to make for dinner? We can just eat cereal!

As a soon to be wife and one day, a mother, I am starting to better understand the will and desire to take care of your family. And while my mom always instilled it in me to be independent and strong, she also showed me the unconditional love and devotion that someone can have for their kids and husband.

Another thing my mom did, was make our birthdays special. From the second we woke up to the second we went to sleep, our days were unforgettable. We would often wake up to decorations. The decorations spanned from our bedroom doors, to the dining room table, to our cars (once we could drive).

Mom always did something different every year. Going to bed the night before our birthdays felt like Christmas Eve. What awesome decorations, cake and presents am I going to have this year?

As we got older, mom didn’t let the tradition fade. I had luau themed decorations and a portrait cake for my 21st. birthday.

A pirate themed 22nd birthday.

A colorful 23rd birthday.

A surprise at work, 24th birthday.

After I moved out and started living with Marcus, I thought the decorations and surprises would end. But like the crazy little sneak that she is, mom came by our house while we were at work and decorated our dining room with birthday goodies! Imagine my surprise when I got home and saw Harry Potter decorations, homemade cupcakes and presents. What a great 25th birthday!

Never wanting mom to feel left out, I attempted to create similar birthday memories for her.

And even though I tried hard…my decorations and homemade cakes never quite had that special mom touch. She’s just one of a kind.

We are all very lucky to have my mom. I hope that I can be half the mom that she was to me and Tyler, and create the same kinds of special birthdays for my own kids.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope we make your day as awesome as you make all of our’s! Love you!!  😀

Potter Head

I had an emotional and well-written post prepared for the final Harry Potter movie and the affect the whole series had on me. I was about to hit publish and suddenly it was gone. I had it saved, and now it’s lost in the cyber abyss. I have no idea what happened. But it took me over an hour to write.

I don’t think I can go back recreate the post. But know that my love and passion for Harry Potter began when I was 14 and first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Now, 11 years later the stories and the movies are finally over.

I grew up with Harry. I read every book at least 5 times and have seen every movie just as much. I attended the midnight book and movie releases.

The final movie was epic. It was everything I expected and more. It was faithful to the book and beautifully directed. The cast was amazing. The special effects were phenomenal and at the end, Potter prevailed.

I really wish my original post didn’t disappear because my true love for J.K. Rowling’s magnificent creation was depicted in the post. Just know that I fell in love with the magical world of Potter and feel very lucky to have discovered the books 11 years ago.

I am exhausted after 3 hours of sleep. Here are some pics from last night. See the movies, read the books, fall in love with something magical and amazing.

Have a great Friday. 😀