Friend me on FacebookFollow me on TwitterFollow me on PinterestRSS FeedFollow me on Instagram

Real Beauty – All about Perception

A friend sent me this video, a Dove Project, and I found it fascinating. I could not stop thinking about it.  We, as women, can be so critical and hard on ourselves.  We see the magazines full of “how to look beautiful” all over the cover, we listen to the harsh comments about someone’s beauty or lack-of on TV, we see the sides of tall buildings plastered in advertisements depicting what beauty is and how one can become beautiful, we see other women on city sidewalks with the latest Tory, Chanel, or Yurman, stiff faces from Botox, and oily residue from the latest wrinkle cream or facial procedure, and we think this is what will make us feel beautiful, which in return, should mean happiness.  Right?  Maybe, for the immediate moment or as we walk out of the store and strut around for a couple days, and then it fades… Then it happens once again, we go back to the insatiable quest for beauty.

As I watched this video I could not help but see my daughter in these women.  It saddened me to think this could be her someday, seeing her own beauty in such a physical and negative way…

YouTube Preview Image

As a mom, I hope to instill in my daughter how beautiful she is and that beauty starts from within.  I want her to look in the mirror and not see her wrinkles as flaws, but as blessings of a long life.  I want her to see the lines around her eyes as many years of wonderful laughter and for being fortunate enough to have had so much to smile about.  I want her to see beauty as a person who has a loving heart, has compassion for others, who is optimistic in life, is giving of themselves, and who leaves this Earth making it just a little bit better.  Hopefully, my journey as a mother, will instill these qualities into the already rapidly absorbing mind of my sweet innocent two year old daughter.  Not an easy task, by far, with so much in society working against us.  But, it will be a forever goal of mine.  I will always be her mommy, loving, and knowing just how beautiful she is.  My hope is, she can see it too.

What is your perception of beauty?  I would love to hear about it.

Lending a “Sandy” Hand

Last weekend we sat in our apartment thinking about what family outing we should do.  We had power, nothing was ruined, and it was the weekend, right?  What new area could we check out?  Dean and I through some ideas out, and each time an idea was said, an empty feeling came over each of us.  How could we have a fun family day out with the aftermath staring right at us; the seemingly endless gas lines everywhere, trees ripped from the sidewalks, and the thought of so many without power, heat, diapers, all the necessities that Sandy spared our family.  How did we get so lucky?  What if we weren’t?  What if our area looked like Staten Island or the Rockaways?  There was only one thing to do, get out and help.  We had an SUV and a full tank of gas.  No better way to spend our Sunday than lending a thankful hand.

Waiting to get gas.  Maddie was sleeping in the back seat, so we had a good hour or so before she woke up and before a break down began.  I can handle an hour wait, but not an hour of toddler tantrums!

 Packing in the supplies from Assemblyman Mike Miller’s Sandy relief location.

Maddie helped in the back seat making sure everything passed the grab, push and squeeze test.

Headed to our drop-off location.  Wish I would have taken more photos.  Trees were blocking street, large trash binds sat in driveways filled to the top, boats and cars were in odd places, yet you could see neighbors and citizens banning and working together.  A warm feeling on a chilly day.

Howard Beach drop off location.  Cleaning supplies, clothes, linens, and food.  All was needed!

Headed home and the lines for gas were still lining the streets, including the gas can lines.  This lined wrapped far around the corner.  And it was getting colder..

One thing I’ve learned moving from CA to NY…New Yorkers are tough and can get through anything.  It was moving to see fellow neighbors, citizens, organizations and states banning together to lend a hand.

Tomorrow we vote!  Hopefully everyone can still find a way to cast their ballot!  I know who I’m voting for.  Do you??

Central Park Breast Cancer Walk

This weekend we participated in our yearly family breast cancer walk. A walk I feel proud to be a part of for many different reasons.  So many people are affected by cancer and most of us have been touched by it in some way, either by a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or an acquaintance.  Cancer is a disease that could eventually affect us all in some way and breast cancer is the second most common cancer for women in the US.  According to the American Cancer Society, in 2012, about 227,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and nearly 40,000 women will die from the disease.  That sounds high, yet we are also making progress.  More women are being cured and living longer than in the past.  According to ACS, ‘The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36. Breast cancer death rates have been going down and this is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and better treatments. Right now there are more than 2½ million breast cancer survivors in the United States.’  WOW!  What a feeling just hearing that.

Each year we do the walk in memory of my mother.  My mother who lived a healthy lifestyle, active, ate healthy, had regular check-ups and who was diagnosed at 53 with cancer in many of her major organs, including breast cancer cells.  A shock to us all, to say the very least.  Within a few months of being diagnosed she passed away.  I don’t blame anyone, not the doctors, not the things we could have done earlier, not the signs we didn’t take seriously, not the treatments available at the time.  I truly feel God was ready to bring my mother home, which makes me feel at peace with why she was taken so early.  I think about her daily: her love, her support, her smile, her loving advice, and our heartfelt conversations.  I also think about how 9 years have gone by so fast and the things that have changed: marriages, grandchildren, first homes, achievements and how the world has evolved.  Sometimes it makes me sad thinking about it, but I think of the higher power and put my trust in God and realize there’s a greater reason for everything.

When I walk in the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer walks with my family each year, I don’t just walk for breast cancer survivors and research, I walk for all those fighting a cancer fight, for those families who stand beside their loved ones and are a part of the emotional journey, and for those that will someday be face to face with the struggle.  I too wonder, if I will someday be in that fight, but I can look to my mother who handled herself with such grace and strength for her children and family and find peace in her courage, and how she fought, the good fight, at such an early age.

The month of October is the month my mother was born, the month she passed away and the month of breast cancer awareness.  Being a part of these walks are a wonderful way for Maddie to feel closer to her grandmother, for my husband to feel connected to his mother-in-law and for me to honor such a wonderful mother who gave her All for her family and children, and to walk with those who have been a part of what we have experienced with cancer.  The cheers while walking are not to make it to the 5 mile finish line, they are cheers for life and cheers for those still in the cancer fight.  What a wonderful walk to be a part of.

Has a form of cancer affected you or your family in some way?  May God bless those still in the flight and those that have been affected.

Amy

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Fall

The fun of Fall…apple picking, pumpkin patches, trips Upstate, brisk air, changing leaves and finding new ways to play…

 

My favorite season in the city.  This year I no longer have a baby but a toddler, and I can’t wait to experience a new type of New York Fall through Maddie’s eyes.  Happy Fall!!!

Until next ride,

Amy

Italy and Greece – Parents Hall Pass!

After a little time off from writing and being a parent…I’m back!  Summer has now wrapped and my husband and I topped it off with a trip for two.  Parents Only!  Before we left I was a little weary about leaving our 16 month old for almost two weeks, but the moment the wheels went up on the airplane and I had my first cocktail in my hand all those parent guilty feelings flew out the cabin!  All I could think about was, what sites to see and cocktails to have when we arrived.  We had two weeks to live it up and stay out past eight.  What happens when time doesn’t matter and there are no curfews?  What if there were no nap schedules, no eating schedules, no bedtime routine schedules…well let me show you!

Here’s a little look into our travels to Venice, Florence, Athens and Santorini.  We packed a lot in and ended the vacation on the beach!  Oh the things you can do when time has no restraints…

First stop Venice!  Straight from the plan to a boat, headed to the city center.  Yep, there’s the gondolas…we are definitely in Venice.  Could we have done this with a stroller.  Maybe, but I sure feel relaxed right about now, no thoughts of how to get the baby gear in and out of the boat.  A strange feeling I need to get use to, and let me assure you, I’m getting use to it quite quickly!!

One of the most unique cities in the world.  A city made up of 120 islands, almost 500 small bridges, lagoons and 100 churches.  A picture perfect scene around every corner.  I could get use to this lifestyle!

A city that has never modernized architecturally and has been around since the 10th century BC.  I think I could live a car free lifestyle and travel by boat.  Like they say…if you can make it in NYC then you can make it anywhere :)

The symbol of Venezia!

A local Venetian neighborhood…

A classical performance in Venice, a must!  Listening to the orchestra perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at an ancient church along the Grand Canal in a city with so much art history was a highlight of our trip.

Looks like it’s time to part with Venezia and our beloved afternoon drink, the Spritz!

Bye-bye canals, lagoons, gondolas and gondoliers, San Marco, Cathedral, Doge Palace, vaporettos, delicious fresh pasta, little bridges, narrow streets, ancient venetian artwork, churches around every corner, long Venetian dining experiences, carnival masks, and of course, the evening bright orange Spritz and aperitivio.  Ciao Venezia!

Buongiorno Florence!  I’ve seen this view in magazines and on t.v. and now here we are!

The Duomo.  The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Our Lady of the Flower).  The third largest church in the world, which took 140 years to build.  Spectacular!

Quick trip to the Chianti countryside.  Had a fair dose of wine on my Adults Only trip.  Loved Tuscany wine, but still faithful to my Napa.

When in Italy, expect to eat and eat a lot!!  I tried every type pf pasta dish and Italian pastry I could get my hands on!  Needless to say, I’m back on my bike, but so worth it.

Here we are at a traditional Florentine restaurant enjoying an amazing homemade pasta dish (2 pics above) and a biscuit pastry with sweet liquor.  One dip and I was already feeling it!!  Tuscany wine followed by a sweet shot of liquor…uh oh!  I might be in bed by the 8:00pm curfew.

Now time for a pit-stop in Athens and then to Santorini!  Ciao Firenze, Uffizi museum, David’s on every corner, amazing Tuscany wines, Renaissance buildings, Chianti vineyards, Michaelangelo’s artwork-home-tomb-road, Salvatore Ferragamo and Arno River.  Arrivederci Italy!

 

Hello Greece!!!  I tried to learn a few words in Greek, but it was all Greek to me :)

The Acropolis in Athens…a UNESCO site that must be visited!  Wow, the ancient history under our feet and before our eyes.

Hello Santorini – now pool time and relaxation!  A destination I’ve only seen in pictures and now a place I can call one of my favorite islands ever visited.  Look at that picture…have you ever seen an area like it?!  Gorgeous everywhere you turn.

A signature of the island…blue doors.  One of the three blues that represent the island..the blue sea, the blue roofs and the blue sky.

One of the many stairway illusions on the island that leads a person straight to the clear blue ocean.  I’m on my way!!

Amongst the white buildings and deep blue roofs and doors were other vibrant colors of red and green, and the beautiful fuchsia flowers that popped up everywhere.

Everywhere we turned there was a picturesque view!

Open a door and it felt like it led you straight to heaven!

Lets not forget the sunsets and the yummy Greek food and amazing restaurant views.  Dining was an experience in itself…felt like nothing was between you and the ocean.   Do we look like refreshed parents?  Taking in our last sunset!!!

To the last night of a memorable trip with my sweet husband.  What a great experience and relaxing vacation.  Tomorrow back to being parents, with curfews, schedules and less couple’s time, but I can’t wait!  In 24 hours I’ll be giving Maddie a huge hug and hearing all about her experiences with grandpa and nana…a time together that is just as important.

Do you have a trip you took somewhere near or far that is unforgettable?  Would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...