Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Greetings, Earthlings.

Hello, Friends!

I'm still here. Do people still read this? Here's what we've been up to:

-Sponsoring a refugee family in Syria.


And here's a link to the news story about it:


-Peter is really loving basketball. It thrills me to see him commit and succeed.

-Vic started a new job at Robert J. Debry law firm. It is a MUCH NEEDED change and he's really enjoying it.

-I'm doing the KonMarie method on my house and getting rid of so much junk. It feels amazeballs and a half.

-I finished performing in "Sister Act" at the Hale Centre Theatre. I'm happy to have my life back.

-The holidays were pretty quiet and low-key. Honestly, I'm glad Christmas is over, as much as I love it.

-I still haven't (and don't ever want to) accept that Trump is our President. Never, ever.

-Zoë is still the cutest little peanut on the planet.

That's all I've got! I've got some real writing in me somewhere. I'll have to find it again someday.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I ran for you

"My heart is tender and my arms are wide open this morning. A lot of life's stresses came crashing down on me last night... So I turned to a favorite form of therapy and went on a run this morning. I ran for you, my dear friends. I ran and thought and prayed for all of you. For my dear friend, Justin Kinnaird, whose birthday is this week and who passed away two years ago. Oh, how I miss and love him. I ran for all of the refugee children in Syria. I ran for my friends and loved ones dealing with depression, divorce, a faith crisis, loneliness. I ran as my heart beat fast in my chest thinking of my parents far away in Russia. I ran with the love of Lucy bursting out of my heart, each step a pounding of gratitude for the grace and miracles surrounding her death. I ran for Peter and Zoë and their futures. I ran for my marriage. I ran for all the pain and suffering in every heart in this beautiful world. Every stride was a prayer for peace, healing, forgiveness, and love. I passed by a woman sitting on a bench smoking and crying softly to herself. I wondered if she was related to either of the young boys in our community who died recently from drugs. They were best friends. Every drop of sweat was the cleansing of my mind, an extraction of sorrows. No photo or written words could ever do justice to the beauty I beheld with my eyes and felt in my soul this morning. Carry on, humans. We can do this--I love you."

As I sat in the theatre late last night watching the other cast dancing on stage, feeling weary and sad, I was struck again with the truth that "this is why we do theatre. This is why we have art, writing, music...to ease the minds and burdens of those partaking of our creations, if even just for an evening."  

*FYI- I'm in the Monday, Wednesday, Friday cast (which also does the 12:30 matinee on Saturdays)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Long Lost Writing

So much is going on, not even sure where to begin.

Our master bathroom still isn't finished. Can't talk about it.

I did a triathlon and exceeded my expectations (which is very rare and was more than pleasantly surprising). 4th place!! WHAT?!

Vic and I attended a marriage workshop recently that has been a huge help (name one married couple you know who doesn't have to WORK/focus/sacrifice/struggle through their relationship).

I got cast in Sister Act and am currently in rehearsals. I'm tired.

I interviewed to be the drama teacher at Park City High School and wasn't hired. Opposite experience of the triathlon. Wah wah. But it's fine. Really, it is. It was a great learning experience.

Peter started 2nd grade. Lucy would have started 5th grade. I can't really think about it.

Zoë is doing MUCH better in the poop department. Praise be unto Jesus. You have no idea. She still has occasional pee accidents (not poo!) and wears a diaper at night to sleep, but we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were. SO GRATEFUL.

It's been a hot summer. Our air conditioner is broken. Most homes here don't even have A/C but I've wanted to use ours on several occasions. Another day, another project.

I attended (and helped plan) my 20th high school reunion. It was a beautiful experience for me. If I had the time and energy this could be its own beautiful post.

I miss writing. Remember when I used to write and blog often and I had somewhat insightful, interesting things to say? I miss taking the time to stop and express myself that way.

Maybe when Zoë starts preschool next week I'll give it another go. Heaven knows I need some therapy-- and writing (and running) are my cheapest and sometimes most effective options.

Monday, July 25, 2016

My new favorite dress and a Lula Roe Discount!

People! You've probably heard of Lula Roe. Maybe you haven't. You may already be in love with their INCREDIBLY soft leggings or darling dresses. Maybe you've never heard of them. Maybe you don't care for some of their crazy patterns. Maybe you love some of their crazy patterns. Maybe you love some of their not so crazy patterns. 

I wore this dress last Sunday and I could not keep up with the compliments. Every single young girl in Primary (the children's class at church) complimented me on my dress. The pockets!! The cut! The bright blue that goes with my eyes! The fact that I don't have to fuss and adjust anything! The soft fabric! It's seriously a dream. 

And did I mention I wore black Lula Roe leggings nearly every day on our trip to London? You think all leggings are created equal? They aren't. 

I cannot emphasize enough how happy I am with all of their clothing I've tried. But you have to purchase through a consultant. So here's your chance to get 10% off and fall in love with your clothing again. There is something for everyone. Seriously. 

Go to THIS LINK and JOIN the shopping page. You will receive 10% off your first purchase by joining the online shopping group. Kimberly will answer any questions, ship promptly, and be the kindest, least annoying helper with your purchases. 

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Listen To Your Mother--Lucia, Our Light

It's my mom's birthday this week. (July 22nd to be exact). What perfect timing that the video footage from the "Listen to Your Mother" show I participated in was just released.

With everything going on in the world right now, my heart is yearning to share this with all of you. Whether it's your mother, father, friend, sister, brother, coworker, or spouse who is helping you through your struggles, I deeply hope you have SOMEONE cheering you on. If not, please know that I am.

Please also note this is a READING. Not a speech, performance, or presentation.

But lastly, Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hot Sauce turns 4

Zoë Sass Pot June, 

Do you see this itty bitty container of Tabasco sauce? It's nearly as tiny as you. Do you know where I got it? I'm going to tell you. 

After two sleepless nights in the hospital after you were born (mommy had a major breakdown and panic attack), my final hospital meal was sent up to our room and this precious little bottle of hot sauce stood perfectly balanced on the edge of my food tray. 

The nurse who first cleaned you off and bathed you was a redhead and she was delighted to see a fellow ginger welcomed into the world. I wasn't sure if you were REALLY a red head or not. I couldn't get used to the idea. (Not to mention I was so out of it and when I finally did start drifting off to sleep one night the woman in the room next to mine was screaming in labor pains and woke me up). 

But the point is, when I saw this adorable little jar of hot sauce on my tray something told me not to open it. I asked Vic to put it in my purse because I wanted to keep it. If you really were a red head, I knew I would need this little bottle as a token of your sass.  Call me a prophetess, because you live up to everything about this...the cutest, toughest little package of spice and fire. I'm going to keep this little bottle for always. 

I will never forget how my heart changed the SECOND you were placed in my arms. Having your brother come into our empty lives 11 months after Lucy died was wonderful...AND SO HARD. As you know, Peter is not the most easy going, even tempered child. Mommy was exhausted in every way possible. There was something about you, Zoë...I don't know if it was the timing, your gender, your birthday being so close to Lucy's--I think it was just you, your amazing spirit that INSTANTLY changed the shape of my broken heart. You changed the entire dynamic of our family and the second you were placed in my arms was when my real healing began. 

I associate the start of my true healing so strongly with the day of your birth that I actually audibly gasped this morning while brushing your hair when I realized it's been 4 whole years since I have felt functional and "normal". 

You taught me that grief is just love squaring up to its enemy. But love is up to the challenge. 

I love you more than tongue can tell. Daddy turned to me the other day and said, "I realized that Lucy broke me, but Zoë yoked me." He is firmly tied to you and we are both madly in love with you. It is my greatest honor to watch you and your brother grow in the light of love. Thank you for always remembering your big sister. Thank you for your smile that explodes rays of blinding light. I didn't think I could know such beauty again in my life. 

Happy, Happy birthday Zoë June. 

Love you for ever and ever more, spice and all...


Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Poetic Life

After meeting a darling blog reader the other night (at Peter's thoroughly enjoyable First Grade musical performance), it dawned on me that many of you who aren't connected with me on social media might not be aware of the incredible experience we had last week. 

I've mentioned before that our dear friends are writing a musical based on this blog,  Lucy's death, and the power of social media called "Luz Y Amor". What you may not know is that one of the songs from the show was submitted into a very prestigious competition in London as part of the Stephen Sondheim Society and chosen out of more than 100 songs to be performed on a West End stage. (The West End is England's equivalent to America's Broadway...it's a huge deal). 

Spencer and Shenelle (our friends and composers) were unable to attend so they strongly encouraged us to go represent them and the show and experience the first live performance of this beautiful song about our daughter. (Specifically, this song was inspired by the blog post when we had to clean out Lucy's room and put away all of her bedding, books, clothing, etc.) 

Due to the last minute nature of the trip, we scrambled to figure out how to get everything in order, including finances, and Spencer started a Go Fund Me account to get us there. We have a generous and lovely friend who works for Delta that got us discounted buddy passes (which helped greatly!) and so many friends and even strangers donated to get us to London.

It was an incredible experience. We couldn't have done it without Vic's parents. (They watched the kids). We couldn't have done it without Tokako's buddy passes. We couldn't have done it without our dear, dear friends, the Hill/Bigwood/Wheeler family in London who hosted us (SUCH A TREAT). We couldn't have done it without Spencer and Shenelle. We couldn't have done it without Lucy. 

I thought for a long time that I couldn't do life itself without Lucy. But life (and Lucy) have proven me wrong. Our life is full of so much love and light. Our life is full of so much meaning. 

There is no way to thank each of you who made this possible. Not just this trip to London, but this life we are living now. We're trying our best, like each of you. Sometimes it all feels awfully poetic.

8 years ago today is when it all ended, and it all began.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Parenting in the Digital Age

If you follow me on Facebook you might remember the brilliance I was struck with a few weeks ago. I was upstairs cleaning the kitchen and listening to my beloved podcasts --but the fact that I'd asked my children to clean the basement a good 3 or 4 times and it still hadn't happened was really chapping my hide. (hyde?--I've never said that phrase out loud before but I'm just going to roll with it right now).

P and Z were downstairs watching Netflix via our Chromecast, (the little Google device that will stream anything from the internet onto your television) sitting amidst piles of blocks, Legos, Hot Wheels, and who knows what else. And that's when the idea came to me. The mommy heavens opened and showered me with pure inspiration.

I pulled out my phone, made a quick video, uploaded it to YouTube, and cast it from my phone down to the basement television.

Guys, it totally worked. I paused what they were watching, flashed my snazzy face up on the screen instead, and poked my head around the corner to see how they would react. Zoë stood up immediately and began putting her blocks back in their bag and looking at the TV in total amazement (and fear). Also, I blink a lot.

I headed back up to the kitchen and made sure to replay the video a few more times. Eventually, Zoë joined me in the kitchen, laughing and talking about her silly mom on the TV and Peter stayed down in the basement cleaning and farting around.

But the point of this post, surprisingly, isn't just to brag about my Youtube/crazy mom/lazy mom skills, it's to tell you what happened next. I decided to continue playing family videos from my Youtube channel onto the television for Peter. Specifically, I played all the Lucy videos I have uploaded. He was down there for a good 10-15 minutes while Zoë colored on the floor and I swept.

Before long, I heard Peter coming up the stairs. He entered the kitchen, heading straight for me with tears STREAMING down his face.

"What is it?? What's wrong?", I said.

"It's like she was right there! I felt like I could reach into the TV and get her. She was so real. I miss her."

Then he buried his head in my lap and continued to cry.

I'm not kidding. It was the sweetest thing. These were genuine tears of sadness. Like he was mourning for the first time the death of the sister he never met.

I started to cry as I held him, stroking his head and telling him that yes, she was very real. And she will always be his big sister.

Almost all of the other angel moms I've met since Lucy died had other children to care for and grieve with and worry over after their child died. I always wondered what it would be like to still have to get up in the morning and care for your living children when you yourself felt like dying. I especially wondered what it would be like to see your living children suffer at the loss and separation from one of their siblings. Grief on top of grief.

I got a small taste of it that day with Peter and it did 2 things at once to me. It broke new splintering and painful pathways in my heart, but it filled and healed older broken passages. To see the longing on Peter's face and hear of his love for his sister--it was jaw-dropping and astounding.

I just realized that the insanely awesome idea I had to create that silly mom video may have had two purposes. I'm thankful I got my clean basement out of those little shitlins, but I'm far more grateful that it led to such an incredible bonding experience with me and my son...and my little Lucy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

In the wake

I woke up expecting it to be just another Tuesday. Get the kids to the bus stop, workout, clean the house, get a few other things done, take the kids to swimming, blah blah blah. But today was WONDERFUL. Dare I say, MAGICAL.

I had to write down what I experienced today. All of these beautiful little gifts kept being dropped in my lap and I was filled with such gratitude. I was patient with my kids, managed to shower and do my hair and makeup, and I didn't even let the crappy weather bother me.

First of all, the kids made it to the school bus on time. Victory! (Zoë has been wearing diapers to preschool...STILL...but that is another story. Whatevs. At least she made it). I met a few new friends (mom's from Zoë's preschool who are just RAD) at the gym for a workout class, which I really enjoyed. Then home for a healthy breakfast and shower.

I checked my Facebook and saw that my friends, Spencer and Shenelle Williams, had posted a demo from Luz Y Amor,( the musical we've been working on) and it was being received warmly. This made me feel so good. I've known the song for months now and it brightened my soul to finally share it with others and take a moment to honor my Lucy as I got ready for the day. Reading all the positive and supportive comments was pure icing on the cake.

After stepping out of the shower, I noticed I had a missed call from my dear friend, Cathy. Cathy lives in L.A. and I was her nanny years and years ago when her twins were in 5th grade (they are now graduating from college!) She called to invite me to her Hebrew school graduation ceremony in May because she is reading a paper at her ceremony and the paper is about ME. Whaaaa?? I was not expecting this. She went on to tell me that the day she was at a trade show in NYC and received my call about Lucy's accident was a day that has really stuck with her. In her words, "Your faith has really effected me. I've always struggled believing in a higher power and you've shown me that there is more to hope for." I could hardly believe it. Then she told me the dates of the weekend she wants to fly me out...the same weekend in May when Lucy had her accident and died. We decided this for sure needs to happen. It's meant to be.

I hung up the phone feeling so grateful. So filled with light and love. Life is ALL ABOUT the connections we have with others.

Next, I picked Zoë up from a playdate (she was at the home of one of the rad preschool moms I worked out with earlier) and we headed to the dentist so I could get a small cavity filled. As I entered the waiting area, a beautiful African woman (who had just finished her appointment) was heading to the front desk to pay her bill. We were the only two people in the dental office and I smiled at her and wondered about her story. I overheard the receptionist telling her her total would be $520. (Her TOTAL bill is $8,000!!! But her payment that day was around $520). I could tell she was struggling to communicate with the receptionist but she reluctantly handed her credit card over.

Zoë was happily playing with toys on the floor and I just kept pacing back and forth trying to decide if I was really going to do it or not. What the heck..."Excuse me. You might think I'm crazy, but can I pay for some of your dental bill?"

Guys...Seven hugs. In the next 5 minutes she hugged me 7 times. I kept thinking about the bombings in Belgium. This woman was from Rwanda. She'd been in a car accident (her husband was driving. Please tell me he wasn't drinking) and her teeth were mangled. She had broken English and as far as I know she has never been to Belgium or has any association with it. But for me, helping her and learning some of her story had everything to do with Belgium. I texted Vic through my tears and told him about my new friend, Agathe.

After the dentist we headed home and I had a moment to FaceTime with my dad. I told him about what an uplifting and unexpected day it had been thus far and his response, as always, was "Days of Plenty". (I reference this phrase and song a lot. You may remember it is the song from the musical "Little Woman" that Marmee sings after Beth dies). Indeed, today was a day of plenty.

Peter arrived home, headed across the street to play, and I got to fit a little nap in. The kids and I then headed to swimming lessons, which happens to be in the same building where the Democratic caucus is held. Once the kids were with their teachers in the pool, I got to duck out and vote. I always get emotional when I vote. I'm so proud and grateful to live in this country. Being surrounded by so many upstanding citizens is so empowering and just plain inspiring.

I headed back to the pool and noticed a text from my new friend, "Hello, this is my nomber my name is Agathe am happy for what you doing for me, tanks." Guys. This is as good as it gets. 

Then it was home for dinner and a little homework while daddy is at his Tuesday martial arts class. Peter started reading a paper on the counter, which I thought was a menu list Vic wrote up last week, but it was a list of affirmations to me from Vic. I was so surprised. They'd been sitting on the kitchen counter all day and I didn't notice them. He must have written it before he left for work...


You are a Child of God
You are Beautiful
You are Funny
You are Captivating
You are More than Enough
Your Body is in Perfect Balance
You are Healthy and Strong
You are Sexy
You are Wonderful
Everything you touch Prospers
you are Always Taken Care of
You Fully Accept Yourself
Everything Works Together for your Good
You are of Infinite Worth
When People are in your Presence They feel their Worth
Heavenly Father has a Purpose for you
You are loved!

And with that, I tucked my little ones in bed and began writing this blog.

Who am I to have this much love and support in my life?

There is love in this world. There is goodness. There is kindness. There are miracles. There is much to be grateful for. I am grateful. I think I'm doing what the song from Luz y Amor says--I'm flying. At least for today, I'm flying. In the wake of tragedy and hardships, somehow we can fly again.

*Editor's note: I just re-read this post and I cringed a little. I sound like I'm tooting my own horn a lot and that bothers me. I need to learn to just keep some things to myself as gifts and not tell anyone. I heard through the grapevine that people stopped reading my blog because it became self-serving and a few other negative things. That hurt. A lot. I never want to come across that way. It still stings when I think about it. So...just pretend you and I just sat down together for frozen yogurt or a drink and I told you about my day. Sigh. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

It may not be broadway but...

Guys, on our flight home from San Diego I got a call from our local library (we are total book nerds. Vic is even on the Library Board) asking me if I would sing the National Anthem for a G.E.D ceremony. The woman explained to me that these people have been working very hard for well over a year to earn their G.E.D. 

7th or 8th grade was the highest education many of these amazing people were able to finish in their home countries. When Daisy, the community education coordinator, told me about past ceremonies, and how the students cried during the National Anthem, I just couldn't keep it together. I hung up the phone and told Vic. Both of our eyes were wet as I told him what an honor it felt like to be asked to do this. 

A few days after getting back to Park City and back to the stress of our everyday lives, I got a little dressed up and headed to the library for the ceremony. It was just as powerful and emotional as I expected. I introduced the song and shared a few thoughts about how brave these students were for committing to education and not giving up. I had to pause a moment to keep it together before starting the song and  I made sure to look slightly upward toward the back wall during the song. (I couldn't look anyone in the eyes because I knew I'd lose it). 

On top of all this, a sweet friend from my ward was one of the graduates. I had no idea! She was also asked to be the student speaker and did an excellent job. One of the men (on the far left) was a doctor in his home country of Cuba, yet, here he was in his broken English earning his high school diploma. 

I was reminded of all the opportunities I've been given and was so inspired by the sacrifices these members of my community have made to improve themselves and the lives of their children. It was no Broadway performance, but it filled my soul with such sweetness. 

I'm truly not where I always dreamed I'd be (living in NYC performing), but I love where I am. We are all brave in so many different and unique ways.