Yesterday I went to a “celebration of life” for my friends’ daughter that passed away.  Her twins were diagnosed with mitochondrial disease at a very young age and are now 18.  One of the girls just passed.  First I would like to say that there should be a rule in the universe that you should never have to bury a child!  With that said…. What an inspiration my friend and daughters are.  First of all, my friend to have the strength to stand up and speak is just amazing.  Second, there was a slide show and home movies playing and in every single picture of these girls they had the most beautiful, huge smile on their faces.  So innocent, so happy, so inspirational.  We can all learn something from them.  They may not appear to be like a “normal” 18 year old (which can be a good thing) but I can tell you this, they are happier than most 18 year olds I’ve encountered (or even than I was- ever hear of teenage angst).  To love life for what it is, to find joy in the simple pleasures is truly a blessing. 


It’s so easy to wallow in self pity and feel sorry for ourselves for just about anything – it’s much harder to pull ourselves up and make that conscious effort to hold our head’s up, take a deep breathe and smile and just be happy that today is another day.  Why is that?  If someone is always happy people are always saying “oh, they must be bottling up their feelings”, “they’re putting on a façade”.  Why do we think someone can’t just be happy?  I find it sad and bizarre. 


Our society is so busy climbing that perpetual ladder of acquiring bigger and better that we lose sight of what’s truly important – each other- being happy with our family , with our friends and with life.  You can have all the “things” in the world but without happiness you don’t have much.  What good are all of those “things” if you are unhappy?


The image of their smile is burned into my brain and I hope I never forget that image. 


Live a simple, uncluttered existence and be happy.  Life is too short.


Thanks for the lesson Katelin and Kelsey.

I’m back… it feels like forever since I last wrote.  We just got back from Chicago, it was my dad’s 75th birthday.  We are originally from Illinois, me from the Chicago area and Doug from central Illinois.  I just love going back.  There’s something about family- especially now with having kids.  It’s so important for them to know their relatives.  I grew up with my entire family living within a 30 mile radius (most within 15 miles).  I think we saw my grandparents every weekend.  I love being in California but there is a big part of me that misses Chicago and the family. 

I think Ryder must talk about his cousins at least once a day, and this is not only after we come back from seeing them, it’s all the time.  His cousin Casey is 5 and Zoe is 20 months. 



It’s the best to see them all together.  Kids are great- it’s like no time has gone by, they pick up right where they left off.  The same goes for one of my best friends kids.  Ryder adores them.  As soon as he sees them he’s so stoked and they just run off like they’ve been doing this day in and day out.  I think that’s the same way it is with my best girlfriends. 

It’s always bittersweet when we leave, part of me is ready to get back to my own house, day to day activities, etc. but then part of me doesn’t want to leave the comforts of my parents house and the energy of being around family that envelopes me like an old warm favorite blanket. 

So, cherish that bond that is family and good friends.