First of all, thank you for all the kind notes and emails about my Aunt Peggy. It meant a lot to me and my family, and I truly thank you.
For the last week, I slipped down to Punta Mita with my cousin Amanda. She had a work trip that she invited me on, so we decided to extend the trip and stay a few nights at my parents place as well.
After we met in the airport, we immediately freshened up and made our way to Blue Shrimp for our first night out.
We both kept laughing about our good fotune. The night was beautiful, we were together, and we were in paradise.
During the days we would read by the pool, break for guacamole and coronas, swim in the pool and then take a nap before dinner. It really wasn't hard to get used to.
If you ever find yourself in Punta Mita, you'll have to email me so that I can send you some of my favorite restaurants. Si señor is high on the list, and I took Amanda there on the second night.
For dessert and martini's, we popped into Cafe De Artiste. It's a beautiful boutique hotel and if you happen to be "celebrating a birthday" they will make grand fuss! It's always a fun spot to take people for the first time.
After those two days, we moved to the hotel in the Four Seasons for Amanda's work trip. Everything was provided for us, and we literally lived like kings for four straight days.
At night, her company through lavish dinner parties for almost 300 people. Each night had a different theme and vibe, but it felt like we were going to a fantastic wedding four nights in a row.
The welcoming night was probably my favorite. They had golf carts pick us up, drop us at the main pool where we we're greeted by a mariachi band and margaritas!
The four seasons hotel was absolutely beautiful and we took full advantage of everything they had to offer; room service, pool side drinks, massages, hikes, you name it.
It was the best trip, with the best company, and I wouldn't trade anything for that week with my cousin Amanda. We had such an amazing time, I wish we could have this trip every three months.
Yesterday would have been my Aunt Peggy's 51st birthday.
For some unexplainable reason, she isn't on this earth to celebrate with us.
At 49, her body turned on her, and in a matter of weeks she went from the happiest and most joyful person I've ever known, to someone who couldn't even stand in an elevator to the 3rd floor.
I remember snipits from that time, two years ago.
The conversation she had with my mom and I in Starbucks that her nurse friend was worried her symptoms "could be cancer", the phone call after Valentine's dinner that Peg was admitted to the hospital, or the doctors appointment when we found out it was in fact pancreatic cancer, or the buckets and buckets of letters she got in the mailbox every single day.
It was 28 days from diagnosis to death.
Pancreatic cancer came into Peggy's body and ravished it.
It was a fast, aggressive, and scary 4 weeks, and I hope that none of you ever have to expierence it.
But one thing I do hope you experience, is the joy of meeting someone like my Aunt Peggy.
She was the light of any room. People gravitated towards her because she was just pure goodness. I was never more beautiful than I was in her eyes. She found only the good in people, and she only gave you the best of herself.
She is a woman I don't think I'll ever be able to live up to, but if I get to be even half the woman she was, I'll have done alright.
My Aunt Peggy left behind 2 amazing kids - Riley and Gia, and her husband Charlie.
She was so loved by our family and her friends, and even strangers, and there is a hole in many hearts because she isn't here with us.
When Peggy died, people came out of the woodwork. We had meals delivered for weeks, boxes of Kleenx and wine dropped at the doorstep, hugs and letters, and love. Just an outpouring of love from anyone who had been touched by our Peg.
People showed up and showed love.
And maybe most notably, a foundation came in and stepped up.
JEH Foundation, in honor of a friend, Joe Hasten, who lost his battle to Pancreatic cancer, decided to donate all of their 2012 funds to a scholarship that will send my cousins Riley and Gia to college.
The weight of that still moves me.
They raised thousands and thousands of dollars, and they changed the game for my cousins.
I am forever endebted to them.
If you feel a calling to donate to a notable charity, this is the one that I endorse.
My friends - Joe Hasten's children - run this organization and every dollar is donated to build scholarships to children who have lost their parents to pancreatic cancer.
Tomorrow morning I'll be flying to Punta Mita, Mexico for 6 days of fun in the sun with my cousin Amanda!
::: 1 :::
I have to have a well stocked purse on the plane or I get a little crazy. I like lots of options to distract myself and make the flight as easy and enjoyable as possible.
::: 2 :::
My nails are ready, which means - I'm ready! It's just not vacation until oranges and pinks make their way onto my nails.
::: 3 :::
I also always carry on....I do not have the patience to wait for my bag to come down the carousel. Once we land, I want to get out of the airport as quick as possible. And, I pack like 4 days early just so that I have time in case I forget anything.
::: 4 :::
We are spending two nights at my parents house, and then four nights at The Four Season's for a company vacation that Amanda earned and graciously invited me to! We will be eating, drinking, lounging, spa-ing, and playing and we couldn't be more excited. I'm not sure what we will talk about once this trip is over.
::: 5 :::
Even though this trip is bound to be one of the best yet, it's always hard to leave my boys.
I have always been obsessed with jean jackets, but I have never found a more versatile and comfortable jacket than this goody. It's light weight, stretchy, and hits right above your hips, so it's the perfect addition to every outfit because it doesn't look too much like an official jacket. I bought it last Friday and have pretty much worn it every day since. And it'll be perfect for Mexican nights too!
Ok, I'm not normally big on makeup, but you HAVE to try this. I've used Erase Paste for the last two years and thought it was the best overall under eye concealer I could find. My only problem with the paste was that it caked up easily and showed make-up wear at the end of the day.
Well, Benefit fixed all of those problems with this Fake Up. It goes on smoother and lights than Erase Paste and has an all around better feel as well. This is my #1 make-up product that I use.
I've heard a lot about this book and am considering bringing it to Mexico as a beach read. Cameron clearly is a beauty in her own right, and I'm curious of her tips and tricks of the trade. I know she is a big advocate of drinking as much water as humanly possible, and since I've read that I've been trying to up my intake as much as I can.
Joel has been using Epsom salt after long runs, and last week I decided to give it a try. You mix add two cups of salt to your bath and soak for at least 15 minutes. Epsom salts have been used for decades and have a number of different health benefits but I found the most overwhelming benefit to be stress relief. I felt like it was a glass of wine for the body. I felt so relaxed and calm and slept amazing.
No one loves fresh laundry like Roscoe.
:::Ben & Jerry's Core Ice Cream:::
Seriously? I need to try this.
I always have a hard time finding a perfect airport outfit for Mexico. The flights pretty quick, 2.5 hours, but I feel silly going to tropical and wearing my hat on the flight. I worry that I look a little too toursity, but I'm not sure how to not wear it and not have it smush in my carry on.
I'm hoping with a jean jacket and black pants will reduce the overly-amped-up toursit factor.