good-bye, party in the back

I've been waiting since June to get my hair cut and today was the happy day when I finally said good-bye to the mullet I've been rockin' this summer. I'll admit, I loved how easy it was to put my hair into little pigtails and throw on a hat {something I'll still likely do on weekends and maybe lazy Fridays), but I'm really excited to have my grown-out shag properly shaped into a bob. I've been waiting until the very last possible minute before school starts so my hair is as long as possible to work with.

Before: no more business only in the front
After: a blunt bob

Now I'm officially ready for school to start!


i'm walking!

I'm walking the Breast Cancer 3-Day! I've always wanted to participate in this extraordinary event, but never seriously pursued it until Amber recently asked me if this is an event I would consider doing. Without hesitation, I excitedly replied, "Yes!"

The Breast Cancer 3-Day is an event where participants sign up to walk 60 miles over 3 days while raising money that goes to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure and The National Philanthropic Trust. While many participate to support and honor a loved one, I have actually never been directly affected by this terrible disease. According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, more than 200,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and nearly 40,000 will die from the disease. This is why I'm walking - I hope to never be affected by this disease.

I am so excited to honor those who have been affected and also support the research being done that will hopefully lead to a cure one day. Together, Amber and I have formed a team named "Bloggers for Healthy Hooters". We'll celebrate our hope for a cure and our love for pink {in tutus, no less} for 3 exciting and inspiring days in San Diego in November.

As Amber mentioned on her blog, training and fundraising go hand-in-hand. You'll see to the left that I'm keeping track of the number of training miles I've walked {at this point, I've only walked about 5 miles; clearly, I've got a long way to go}. In addition, if you'd like to make a monetary donation, you can click on the 3-Day widget also to the left and it will guide you directly to my/our fundraising page.

Lastly, if you or a loved one has been affected by breast cancer, please let us know and we'll honor them with a pink ribbon that we'll add to our 3-Day walk gear.

Thank you in advance for your support as we embark on this very exciting journey!



Alas, the final road trip post. I'll try to make this more photo heavy than word heavy.

After the good 'ole Grand Canyon, we headed for beautiful Sedona, AZ. It was seriously hot!

Elk jerky anyone? What about buffalo jerky?

After a few hours exploring Sedona, we headed to Avondale, AZ to visit with my family, the Clydes. My Uncle Dana and Aunt Pat let us stay with them for a of days. It was even hotter in Avondale!

The kids: Ashlee, me, Kim, Kayla, Austin

Uncle Dana and Aunt Pat (yes, that's a giant pile of nachos in front of them...it was an appetizer for the entire table)
My cousin Kim and I
Just for fun, my cousin Kim and I back in the 80s

After some quality time with the Clydes, we were on our way to Bullhead City, AZ to hang with the Tucker side of the fam, except they are the Martins.

Ethan, Charles, and Gillian
Initially, the kids were really shy. Then, they were all over us!
And then Gillian wanted to try on my rings...Oh boy, those parents are in serious trouble with this little one!

On the last day of our road trip, we hit the lake with Charles and some friends.

And then, a rock got stuck in the engine and we were stranded for a couple of hours in the boiling heat, without cell phones, food, sunscreen, and barely enough fluids to survive.

About 2 hours later, we were saved! I devoured my first double-double cheeseburger and washed it down with fries, and chocolate shake. I walked in totally famished and I barely rolled out.

After lunch, we said farewell to the family, packed up our stuff, and downloaded a few more songs for the drive home.

We slept in this trailer in Bullhead City. It was cozy, but hot when the power went out in the middle of the night.

We were so happy to enter familiar territory upon entering the 909...this is our absolute favorite Mexican food place, Miguel's. Whenever we're in Corona, we grab lots of burritos to enjoy for the week.

And that does it for our road trip. It was only a 12-day trip, but the way I've been blogging this summer, it seems as though it was an all summer road trip.


miscellaneous updates

Here are some random miscellaneous updates, bullet point style:

- First, I'd like to thank you all for your kind words of encouragement! I am happy to report that my mom is much better this week. She's still in pain, however, she's slowly feeling better each day. My mom and I have not been particularly close in the last 15 years, but when I took her to the doctors last week, we actually had a good time and even laughed {which thankfully took her mind off the pain}. I can't remember the last time I actually laughed with my mom. I'm really happy she's back in San Diego recovering. I hope she stays strong and continues to heal and live a healthy life. I want nothing more than to have a great relationship with my mom again. There was a time when I was growing up that I would say she was my best friend.

- I can't believe my summer vacation is almost over! With the class I'm taking at CSULB and the craziness of the last few weeks, I feel like I've not even come close to accomplishing what I set out to accomplish at the start of my summer vacation. My chore to-do list grows each day, but I'm appreciating the lack of Virgo-ness at the moment with completing that to-do list. I think what's most important right now, is cherishing the opportunity to relax and enjoy my time off {in between homework}. The wall cleaning, fireplace painting, CD organizing, and other mundane chores will still be there when the cold icky weather arrives. On the other hand, my fun to-do list includes more scrapbooking, organizing my closet, buying new plants for our balcony, reading at the park or beach, visiting with friends, and riding my Julius cruiser {I've had her a couple of years now and believe it or not, I'm struggling with finding the perfect name for her. Any suggestions?}. Riding my bike brings me tons of joy, mostly because I think the bike brings others joy. I get so many smiles and compliments when I'm on the road.
- To help with the relaxing, Rob and I are heading to Dana Point tonight to stay at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott. Rob is speaking on a panel tomorrow morning and the company offered us a hotel room, so I get to enjoy the fruits of Rob's hard work. While I'll need to do some homework, there's nothing wrong with doing it while lounging by the pool, or after a massage, if I'm really lucky {and Rob's feeling generous}.

- I received an email this morning from a friend who is newly engaged and she asked me to be a bridesmaid! Her intent was not to ask me via email. In fact she has beautiful card that was supposed to be mailed to me, but it was returned to her {actually, I think I neglected to give her our unit number}. I am so thrilled and completely honored! Jen has been waiting for her prince charming for way too long and I'm so happy she found him {or him her}. I can't wait for all the wedding festivities to begin! The big day is January 17th. They have a really romantic story that I look forward to sharing at some point.

- We got my first AT&T bill...turns out I like to text message now that I have a real keyboard on my phone. I guess we didn't think I'd send/receive more that 200 text messages when we created my plan. I went over by 428 texts! This seriously increases the charges! Yikes! Must switch to unlimited texting ASAP!

- Seriously, I know it doesn't matter at this point, but I haven't completed blogging about our road trip. Our family time in Arizona is what is missing. For some reason, it's important to me to complete that. Perhaps next week...

- As posted on Nanette's blog, Kay's baby shower was a huge success! I loved helping Jolene plan the day. Anytime planning a party is involved, I'm there! Especially when it centers around pink and honoring a really great person! Check Nanette's blog for photos...Jolene and I were so busy we didn't take a single photo.

- I just want to thank you again for your kind comments and emails over the last couple of weeks. It's really awesome knowing I have a community of supporters via blogging!


love is...

Over the last 48 hours, I've been reminded about what unconditional love really is. I experienced this love from the amazing family I have (Tuckers and Palmers) and the incredible friends I've been blessed to know. My mom was {kind of surprisingly} released from the hospital on Thursday evening, creating some moments that I would never wish upon anyone. Here are some moments of grace that I'll carry with me during the coming weeks as we manage my mom and her healing.

- Crying to my husband that I'm way overwhelmed with my mom's situation and I can't do it alone. He offered to drive from Santa Monica to San Diego to help me. Instead, we decided his mom would be a better support {I felt like I needed a mom} and she was also about 2 hours closer to where I was located.

- Rob's sister helping to locate their mom, despite her preparations for her performance {she's in a local production of Music Man}.

- Rob's amazing mom dropping her life Thursday evening to rescue me from what I thought was equivalent to hell. She has been an instrumental role while managing this situation, and without her, I would feel mother-less.

- My brother answering his phone Thursday night whenever I called to give him updates and moral support, even at 4am when I could barely speak because I was so upset. He's so awesome and loving, I'm thankful that we're in this together. When he arrived Friday afternoon to take over, some really heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders.

- My husband answering his phone whenever I called, despite being super busy at work.

- The doctors at Scripps Green in La Jolla who counseled me through my hysteria when I told them how my night was with my mom. They listened to me and hugged me and offered support.

- One of my best friends, Melanie, telling me that she and Kristi would change their Friday night plans to be with me in San Diego if my brother wasn't able to take on mom duty. We had a slumber party planned for Friday night to celebrate Kristi's birthday. They carried on with the celebration, while I needed to be home to decompress with my husband. Melanie even offered a drop-off "cocktails and cake" service if we needed it.

- Me making a tuna sandwich for my mom...this reminded me of the unconditional love that I have for my mom {I hate hate tuna sandwiches; next to throw-up, tuna is my least favorite thing in the world}.

- Coincidentally receiving a 25% off Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy coupon on Thursday night from a friend who is not even aware of what's been going on. Perfect time for some retail therapy!

These are only some moments and some of the people who helped me through Thursday night. I am just so thankful for my support system. Thank you for your kind comments, emails, texts, and prayers from my last blog update. My brother and I {and by marriage, Rob and Mimi} are in the midst of a serious transition that will hopefully result with a healthy mom that we can experience life with. I'm still accepting positive vibes and prayers...