Gone Too Soon

In life sometimes, if we are lucky, we come across individuals whose strength, determination, and selflessness leave an indelible mark on our hearts. My friend Liz was all that, sprinkled with extra sugar and spice! We met when we had just both become mothers for the first time, since then, we navigated life together in our new role as mothers and eventually, a bond of friendship, a sisterhood developed.

Our conversations ran deep, we spoke about everything and anything. We talked a lot about the people who mattered the most to us, our families , parents, siblings, spouses, children, and childhood best friends. We connected because we both knew the value of an authentic friendship. We always made time for one another and touched base once a week, even if it was just a quick call or text. We looked forward to spending time with one another, it almost always resulted in buckets of laughter, tears and lots of good food!

Liz had battled cancer twice before , when she found out that she had cancer again , she was resolved on beating it. “ I did it before, I can do it again! I can beat this! “ I believed that she could. She was amazing , her fight with cancer was quiet but it was fought valiantly, with her quiet reserve, her signature smile and with so much dignity and grace. She never allowed fear to consume her. Our friendship allowed her to share her fears with me and it allowed me to help get her back to faith or just let her cry. She sometimes needed a good cry, we both did, and then we would find something to laugh about! Liz made a conscious decision to embrace life fully, second by second, moment to moment. She was determined to be positive and her family served as the driving force behind her strength.

We lost Liz a month ago today, I miss her deeply.

Her loss was undoubtedly heartbreaking for all who loved her but her memory continues to inspire and uplift. In one of our last conversations, she asked me not to allow myself to wallow in sadness when she passes, but to enjoy every second of life and to keep an eye on her kids. That’s a promise I plan on keeping.

My view of life has been shifted because of my friend. Bit by bit, cancer took parts of her, what remained was her kindness, empathy, wit and her sweetness. She always expressed her gratitude and counted her blessings, she lived for her family. She cherished her friendships and paid attention to foster and nurture those relationships. Her children are amazing, a testament to her and her husband’s loving attention and dedication.

She would joke that dying young meant she would never have wrinkles and that she would be reunited with her mother, who had passed away from cancer only a few years earlier. She missed her lovely mom so much, and I know she was happy to have finally been reunited.

I want to honor her legacy by embracing life with the same passion, compassion, perseverance and determination.

In the end, my friend’s journey was not defined by her battle with cancer, but by her unwavering commitment to love, hope, and making the world a better place for her children. May her story continue to inspire us to be better, to connect, to give more, and to cherish each precious moment we have with those we love.

When I look at her children’s faces, I see her smile and her eyes.

Her absence will forever be felt but I will forever be grateful to have known her beautiful soul.

Until we meet again my sweet friend.💔🙏🏻🌸

Do this, be happy.

We are all living life, trying to find a balance and searching for happiness. Here are some things I’ve learned to do in order to be happy.

  1. Make the best of everything. Whatever happens in life, it could be worse. So make the best of it.
  2. Love yourself. Sometimes we are so busy taking care of others that we forget about ourselves. You need to be full in order to take care of your loved ones.
  3. Put your electronics away. You need to take a break from all the distractions. You are more likely to find your happy place when you are focused.
  4. Live in the now. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. Which is why it’s called the present.
  5. Faith. I have gone through so many ups and downs in my life, just like all of you, my faith has carried me through my toughest times. I’m thankful that I believe in a higher power.
  6. Help others. Do something every day to help someone else. It doesn’t have to be big, even a smile is an act of charity, you never know how it may impact someone’s day.
  7. Be grateful. Practicing gratitude will help you see all that you have, instead of focusing on what you don’t have.
  8. Meditate. Take a few minutes every day to sit in quiet contemplation . There are so many guided meditation apps that will make it easy to do. Meditation allows you to clear your mind and relieves stress.
  9. Diet & Exercise. Eating clean and moving your body is healthy for both your body and your mind. Having a healthy diet will give you more energy and exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good.
  10. Find a creative outlet. Do something that you are passionate about, or learn something new. It keeps you balanced.
  11. Surround yourself with positive people. It’s much easier to be happy with people who see the glass half full. And no negative talk, that means no negative self talk either.
  12. Set goals. Having goals helps you grow and learn and it keeps you on your toes.
  13. Travel. When you travel you learn so much about people and cultures. Travel allows you to see that we are more alike than we are different.
  14. Create a community. Keep in touch with your family, aunts, uncles, cousins. Most of my cousins are my best friends. They are a link to your history. Cherish your friends, especially your long friendships, those die hard, steadfast friends are keepers! I’m so blessed to have both old and new friends that I adore. Relationships take communication, time and love. I hope you have people in your life that think you are worthy of their time, because you deserve it.

I wish you happiness.

Thirteen

This is a letter to my daughter,

I can’t believe that you are a teenager! Although I do see some major eye rolling and a lot more time away from the “mommy” you used to be glued to, you’re still the beautiful, loveable you! You will always be our baby.

I want you to know that the day you were born was the most magical day of our lives. God blessed us with the most amazing little girl in the world. You are the most precious gift we have ever received.

You changed our lives forever. You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. You are an old soul, wise beyond your years. You fill our hearts and our lives with so much love and purpose. I know that whatever you do in life will positively impact the world. Your beautiful heart is filled with love, kindness and compassion. The love and loyalty you have for your family members and your friends always amazes me. We are so privileged to have you as our daughter. While we help shape the person you will become as an adult you have helped us to grow and learn as well. I know you will teach us a lot more as you continue to grow into the beautiful woman you will soon become. Know that love and the bond you shared with your grandparents will sustain you for life. You will always have them watching over you. They were so proud of you just as we are. I know that you will continue to make us proud.

We love you Sophia and wish you the happiest of birthdays. Welcome to your teen years, they go fast, so learn, live well, make the right decisions and always know that your family will be here for you. Remember, God and family first, always, that’s the legacy that is left for you by your grandparents.

Love, Mommy

I love this manifesto on parenting by Brene Brown and thought that I would share it with you all.

If you want to download the parenting Manifesto..click on this link. Wholehearted_ParentingManifesto (5

And if you want to shop for some pretty gorgeous little girl clothes make sure to visit http://www.ariaandsophia.com

Friendtastic

When was the last time you went out with a group of your girlfriends? If you have to stop and think about it, it’s been way too long.  A new study by a group of researchers from the University of Oxford, recommends that you go out with your girlfriends at least twice a week.

I’ve always been a girls girl. I love my time with my friends and I cherish my friendships. Those relationships are so important to me, I don’t think that I can live happily without them. I love talking to my girlfriends, listening to them and just connecting with them in general. It’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and share your life with someone who cares, it’s even better to see them in person. It always leaves me feeling happier.

According to the study, spending two days a week with four of your gal pals will help you recover quicker from illness, strengthen your immune system, and decrease anxiety levels. But, when the group is bigger than 5 people, funny situations that generate the necessary endorphins for happiness and well being are less probable.” says one expert. That’s why it’s recommended to meet in a group of maximum four friends.

Research shows that we women need to maintain our friendships because it increases serotonin and oxytocin. Having these close connections becomes even more important as we age. I know that whenever I go out with my friends, I always feel amazing! And a happier me means that I’m a better mom, better wife, just better overall.

So pick up your phone, call your girlfriends and plan your outing, remember, it’s good for you!

 

Live Life Now!

In just a second your entire life can change. Someone you love can be diagnosed with cancer, or get hit by a car. You can have an accident that can leave you disabled. Your perfect idea of a relationship can suddenly end in divorce. These are changes that can leave you filled with anxiety and fear. There are also many positive changes in life, such as a new partnership or marriage, the birth of a new baby, a new exciting career opportunity.  Change is inevitable, it’s all part of life. Some are planned, others are unplanned

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We forget that we are all on an inexorable journey that will end with the obliteration of our individual ego. Change is all around us but we ignore it. I can remember exactly how I felt bringing my daughter home from the hospital. She was so tiny and perfect, so helpless, unable to do anything for herself. Now she is a tall, lovely, competent ten-year old girl with her own opinions and ideas. Before I know it, she will be a teenager and there will be even more changes in my life. These are things we can’t control. When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is!

The end is inevitable. The journey is irreversible. We die because we are born and that begins the unrelenting odyssey. We don’t know how much time we have in life. What matters is what you do with the time you have. In fact, with each day. Live it now!

  • Spend time with the people who bring you happiness
  • Do what makes you happy
  • Don’t fall into the ‘some day’ trap
  • Use your best china
  • Go on that vacation
  • Explore the world, go somewhere new every year
  • Show your love to the people who mean everything to you, saying I love you is one thing but actions speak louder than words
  • Be kind, serve others
  • Spend one on one time with your children, parents, partners and friends you cherish

Do it now, this is not your practice life!

 

Having a Breakdown?

Sometimes having a breakdown is what we need to keep our emotional life in balance.

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Most of us have experienced holding back our emotions for so long that when they finally come out, we have something that looks like a breakdown. The overwhelming flood of feelings coursing through our bodies consumes us, and we stop functioning. Often, it takes us by surprise, welling up within us as we drive to or from work, watch a movie, or are busy with some mundane task. We may feel like we don’t know what triggered us. This is because we are releasing feelings that have accumulated over a long period of time, and whatever inspired the release was just a catalyst for a much larger, much-needed release.

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When we find ourselves feeling this way, it’s important to find a way to let our feelings out. Set aside some time for ourselves to give our emotional system much-needed attention. Allow ourselves to release the pent-up emotions inside ourselves so that they don’t create imbalances in our bodies and minds.

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When you are feeling better, make a plan to find a way to process your emotions regularly. You can do this by seeing a therapist,  talking to a friend,  journaling and or meditating. Making room in your life to take care of your emotional needs on a regular basis will keep you healthy and balanced.

Lavender Feilds

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Forgiveness is the smell that Lavender gives out when you tread on it.-Mark Twain

img_9311Every second of every day is an opportunity to be grateful. Grateful for the air we breathe, the beauty that surrounds us, our health, the children we are fortunate enough to raise, our loved ones, our friends. Every situation in life good or bad gives us an opportunity to grow and to be grateful. Even in the worst of times we can find something to be thankful about.  Live this way and you will see your life change for the positive.

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Here are some other ways to live a positive life

  1. Spend time getting to know yourself
  2. Appreciate what you have
  3. Accept and love yourself 
  4. See the positive in every situation
  5. Live in the moment
  6. Travel to new places
  7. Stop worrying about the future
  8. Spend quality alone time with your spouse
  9. Enjoy every second of your children, they grow fast
  10. If you are lucky enough to still have your parents, spend time with them
  11. Make time for friends that want to spend time with you
  12. Be a positive role model for your children by living authentically
  13. Teach kindness and compassion by practicing it yourself
  14. Do something for others on a daily basis, you will be surprised how much happiness this will bring you
  15. Keep on learning, a new language, knitting, dancing, cooking, something that will keep you reaching for goals
  16. Take time to make new friends and reconnect with old ones
  17. Forgive, love and let go
  18. Stay away from negative people
  19. Live your dreams and take risks, life is happening now
  20. Connect with your source, learn to meditate, pray

In all things in nature there is something of the marvelous -Aristotle

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Take time to be present, stop and smell the flowers.

 

Ride the waves

 

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In life we experience ups and downs, rocky and smooth times. People disappoint us or surprise us. New friends come into our lives while others leave. Loved ones pass away and new ones are born.

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All we can do is focus on the positive, appreciate today, enjoy the ones we have and be grateful.

imageAll we can do is live and ride the waves of life.

Kindness

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Persian nights, sharing food, friendship and tradition. How delightful and delicious it is to be together with loved ones in peace, laughter and harmony.

To our hostess,

Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.

-Rumi