Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Been A While

I have been absent from the blog for the past few months. The desire to write has been gone. Our parents have been living in the States since the end of August as my mother is being treated down there. Not having them around has been extremely difficult. My life has been filled with worry, hope, prayers and sadness in not having my family home together. At times I think about what has gone on the past few months and it feels strange, as though I have been living someone else's life. Through all of this, I am reminded of the things that I am most thankful for, my family and friends, and I have witnessed a level of strength and courage by my mother and father that I cannot quite find the words to explain except to say they are both incredible.

My sisters and I have had the opportunity to visit with my parents. We are trying to make the best of this situation together and although there has been a lot of down times  there have still been many laughs and fun times shared. On my first blogpost 'back', here is a look into my life over the past few months (according to my iphone pics)...

The most special picture in my iphone (just missing dad and Kate!)



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Special Birthday Message for a Very Special Sister

Today is another special day. Today is T's 29th Birthday; her last year as a 20 something. 

Could she have been any cuter?

It's difficult for me to put into words what either of my sisters mean to, or the relationship we have together but... simply put... it is special. As I've said before, growing up we had the normal fights and arguments that all sisters have. However, Mama H always taught us to sort things out, move on, not hold a grudge... We always knew, somewhere deep down, that we loved each other dearly. As we grew we learned, more and more, to see the beauty in one another; appreciate what makes each of us different, but special. When it comes to Tracy, she is sensitive and kind, thoughtful, generous, creative, smart and would do absolutely anything for the people she loves. 

Look at those legs... I want to eat them up
Try not to be distracted by the awesome outfit I am wearing
A business woman from the start
In the upcoming year, T will not only spend her last year in her 20's, but she will also become a first-time Mama. In addition to being the cutest pregnant lady ever, T is going to be an incredible mother. If she is even half as caring, loving, protective and supportive as she has been to me over the years, then this is one lucky baby. 

She is a great listener and an even better advice giver (even when her advice may not be needed haha) and I know I can tell her anything. To my sister, and my best friend, I would like to wish T and very Happy 29th Birthday and an even better 29th year. You are very loved.

With Love,

Friday, November 9, 2012

And the Beauty of a Woman, With Passing Years Only Grows

"And the Beauty of a Woman, With Passing Years Only Grows". These words, spoken by the beautiful Audrey Hepburn, could not be more true or more relevant to this post. Today marks a special birthday for a very special woman. 'A' is a family friend of ours who has become more of a family member than a friend to us over the past few years and for this, we are extremely thankful. Not only is she an incredible friend, but she is a strong, classy, elegant and all-around extraordinary woman from whom I have learnt a lot over the past little while. She truly encompasses the essence of this quote and seems to be, like wine, getting better with age. Last night, I was lucky enough to attend a birthday party in honour of A and I have to say... I was touched by the love and true friendship that was present at this celebration.

Enjoying some nice bubbly!

As I get older, I realize more and more how important it is to surround yourself with strong, smart and positive women. I see the beauty in confidence and strength and appreciate more than ever having this energy in my life. What I loved most about last night was that there was nothing but happiness in the room. No one gossiped, complained or had negative things to say. Instead, everyone was happy and living in the moment; celebrating all that A brings to our lives. 

The beautiful table that D took a lot of time to put together.  
I think that I loved this so much because it reminded me so much of Mama H. Growing up, she was the strongest woman I knew. As is the case today, our mother continues to be strong, positive and one of her favourite quotes, which she lives by is "If you can't say nothin' nice, don't say nothin' at all". She instilled these values in us from a young age, and taught my sisters and I to always be there for each other and bring out the best in one another. My sisters are my best friends... and I think the reason why I have such strong friendships is that I treat my friends like I treat my sisters. And last night, it felt more like a group of 'sisters' than a group of friends. 

Make a wish
A cupcake from A's adorable cupcake cake
The aftermath

As I said before, I felt so lucky to have been included last night and took so much away from that table. I got to know women I had not known before, and got to catch up with those that I do know. All in all, it was a wonderful evening and I hope that A enjoyed it as much as I did. Finally, another quote that truly makes me think of A is

So from all of us at Life of Three and from the entire family, we would like to wish A a very Happy Birthday and an incredible year. It's time to celebrate!

With Love,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane

As was sung by Bob Dylan in his famous song Hurricane "Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane". So here it goes... Being the good daughters we are (most of the time :)) T, K & I piled into the car last Friday Jersey bound. Our plan was to surprise my parents, and spend some time with them for a few days. Little did we know (or we did know and didn't think it would be as bad as they were saying) there was a hurricane barrelling its way towards Jersey. We arrived in good time and were extremely excited to see our parents and their faces when they saw us. Well to say my mother's reaction did not disappoint would be an understatement. She was so happy to see her three girls and we were so happy to see her. Needless to say, there were a few tears. 

After spending the weekend together, K went back with her fiancee, who had been in Jersey for a work training event, and T and I stayed behind. Our intention was to stay until Tuesday, Mom's birthday, and head back so I could be back at work by Wednesday. Since Mama H had some appointments at the hospital, T and I spent most of Monday driving around, shopping and getting groceries. We had seen on the news that the storm would be there by evening, so we wanted to make sure we would have everything in case we couldn't go out. Spoiler alert: we ended up throwing out over $100 worth of groceries over the next couple of days. While driving back to the apartment in the afternoon, we knew things were getting serious when absolutely no one else was out driving or at the stores. Our car was swaying in the wind and we knew it would be safer for us in the apartment... and it was. T and I thought that the American news channels may have been exaggeration the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy, as they sometimes do... But Sandy managed to exceed all expectations. We all sat, T, Mom, Dad and I, while the wind blew roofs off nearby buildings, ripped trees out of the ground, dragged bricks off buildings and caused the night sky to light up like a Christmas tree from all the transformer explosions. We woke up to this the next day. 

We hardly slept last night listening to the violent winds, pounding rain and continuous sirens. It makes me think, once again, of that famous Bob Dylan song:

"One of us had better call up the cops"
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashing
In the hot New Jersey night.

Now, I know Hurricane isn't about an actual Hurricane... but it felt oh so appropriate. Well, T and I didn't get to leave on Tuesday, mainly because we only had a quarter tank left in the car and you couldn't get gas ANYWHERE. But, as always, we made the best of it as a family. We listened to the radio, ordered pizza (when it wasn't sold out... yes sold out) and even had a sing along. It's funny how things happen and tragedies tend to bring people closer together. We even made it out to celebrate Mama H's 60th birthday... which turned out to be an evening that included a long drive, a bar fight and friendly's (story for another time)

Though Hackensack didn't see the devastation that the other parts of New Jersey and New York saw, people did lose their houses to trees, cars to wind and even family members and my heart goes out to those people. None of us were hurt, and T and I made it home safely... in my father's car. He is still in Jersey with my Mom, who is currently undergoing stem cell transplant and though he has power, still cannot get gas (unless, of course, he wants to wait 4 hours to fill up). So, again, we have to count our blessings; be thankful that our situation wasn't as bad as it could have been. 

The car line goes for miles. Estimated wait time: 4 hours
We are home safe and sound and T even had her 5 month ultrasound on Monday. We miss our parents dearly though, and can't wait to be with them again. Well, that's all for now, but hopefully.. my LB sisters will do a post soon about what they have been up to. Please send your prayers to the people who were affected by Hurricane Sandy or donate by visiting the Red Cross site here or by texting Red Cross to 90999 (a $10 donation will be added to your monthly cell phone bill)