Monday, December 5, 2011


I was going to enter this contest where you had to tell your story of your struggle with an illness.. whatever it may be. But I struggled to figure out how to export the damn imovie.. well.. I had no idea that I actually had to. So needless to say, I missed the deadline, but still find it important to share because it is a big... final? step for me in this journey. And its always about spreading awareness as a way to start to give back to the Lyme Community... hey, its a start right?

So, please watch, and share it with others. Raise awareness.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reflections part II

I think that being sick was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Since being better I have shocked myself with the strength and composure I've been able to show in situations that before I probably would have lost it. Not to give myself a pat on the back or gloat but honestly.. it feels damn good.

Not many people can say that... and I think I will be able to continue saying that through many situations in life. My outlook on life has blossomed and I am able to uphold that outlook no matter what life has thrown at me since healing. The little stuff just does not matter, and life is life and its a fight every day... but when you are healthy that fight does not feel so hard and its worth it. I am worth it. I am worth every effort I put into my life. What I give out I shall receive.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I am sitting on my back porch right now.listening to Wonderful World by Iz and drinking my morning cup of joe. This song always takes me back to Hawaii, and as I prepare myself for Saturday I can't help but be filled with so much joy and sadness at the same time.

As unhappy as I was to come home, it was the best thing I could have done for myself. And I can honestly say that it was exactly what I needed to heal. I couldn't tell you why it was, because I always thought Hawaii was the place that could help me through anything, guess I was wrong. It's me, the power to heal myself is what it comes down to, but sometimes I have to change the surroundings and be around family to reset my mindset and decompress. If I didn't come home I wouldn't have been able to travel to Italy, Montana, down south to Decatur and see old friends, make new friends and have the confirmation for myself that Art Therapy truly is what I want to do with my life. I wouldn't have taken the leap off of the edge with my art and done 2 huge canvases in MY style if I were in school this past semester. There's a lot that wouldn't have happened had I stayed in Hawaii, and I don't know if I'd be where I am mentally and physically if I was there either.

My disease is UNDER CONTROL! I only have 3 months of treatment left, and I am feeling better than ever. I can only hope that this stays and I don't go backwards, but I've learned that living in fear of going backwards is no way to live. I always knew it in the back of my mind, but I wasn't doing anything about it. Now, I am back to my old self, adventurous again and willing to do whatever. I am not a hermit anymore, hiding in my room from the world because I don't feel good and want to just sleep it away. The worst is behind me.

I've always said that everything happens for a reason, and while I am not entirely sure what the reason is yet, I have a feeling there are more reasons than one and I will eventually see them when the time is right. God works in mysterious ways. But I can tell you that so far I've seen that it has shown me the power of myself, and the power that the mind has on the body and its ability to heal. I have learned that no matter what happens in life, it will always get better, no matter how awful it is. And most importantly has shown me yet again to live up each and every day and to not take anyone, or anything for granted. Life is such a beautiful gift and there is SO much out there to see and do, and I had to miss out on a lot when I was at my sickest. It has taught me the value of health. It has taught me the value of life. And it has taught me the value of joy. That saying that you don't know what you have until it's gone, 100% true in my situation. When I had to start saying no to social events, surfing, almost everything because my body was too weak I never realized how much of those little things really impact your life in a positive way. And I plan on making up for lost time with the island and the people there who I was not able to give as much as I wanted to because I was too sick.

I have learned a lot so far from having Lyme Disease, and I will continue to learn a lot from it I am sure. I want to give back, and I tried but it was too much, too heavy for me at the time. But I'll get there. This disease is scary and an epidemic, and people need support now more than ever, trust me I know. I've been there and I can relate to it, we lymies need to stick together. And even though there is no cure and I will have it for the rest of my life probably, with my body being in control again I feel like I can say i HAD lyme rather than HAVE it. I am a new me and I am so grateful for it. Thank you to all of you who stood by my through the tears, anger, frustration and all of the above. There are not enough thank yous out there to show my gratitude. I love you all and I will be eternally grateful to you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Life theme song of the moment: On The Road Again

Or travelin man by Bob Seger... in the past month it seems I have been on the road...go, go, go

"I see their faces, I feel a trace left on my soul, Those are the memories make me a wealthy soul"

This describes my current status in my life perfectly right now. I took the semester to come home and relax to heal and get better. For me, sitting around and sleeping for a few months was all I could handle. It was much needed, and guess what? It was enough to bring me to life again. I feel more alive than I have in a very long time. Sure, I am tireddd because I am jet lagged, a weekend of fun and friends and little sleep. But my soul feels more awake, my body is just a bit burnt out. So I'll take it easy this week and catch up on my painting and yoga. I think I came home so I could travel. I have been able to see so many friends I have not seen in a long time, meet their amazing friends and see some great places. I've been inspired by every place I've been and it will only continue.

This weekend was so amazing, two days after returning from Italy I got to go see my souls sista and her art show. My heart was filled with joy the whole time. I love being able to see her because no matter how much time has passed, we pick up where we left off. Her art has come so far since we first met and I am SOOO proud of her and I cannot stop saying that. She really is an inspiration to me whether she knows it or not. I look up to her and she is so positive and encouraging. We will be in each others lives forever. I went with her to her Art Therapy internship and that was all I needed to confirm what I want to do with my life. While I was there I couldnt help but think, I can't wait to do this for the rest of my life. Watching Kelsey work with this old hilarious group of people, gave me confidence that I can do it too. I think we could make a great partnership in the future and open our own art therapy studio. KELSEY WERE DOING IT!

I have been here and there, and it feels so great. As much as I love to be in my own bed once again.. I can't wait to get on the road again and have no idea what experiences will come of it. There is no telling who I will meet, what I will see and what I will experience. And that is what I've become addicted to. To me traveling is, in the moment, spontaneous, impulsive all of the above.
My mom doesn't get it, and is concerned I'm going to go backwards in my health. But personally I think that the soul aspect of my healing process is what needed the most work. Sickness brings forth such a dark cloud that so easily rips through your body and manifests in your soul. It needed a good cleaning and to be unnerved. I've gotten that and I think in order for the rest of my body to fully heal, the soul needed to wake up and say "okay lets do this". Together the mind, body and soul can defeat it all. Getting control of the mind was necessary for the body to start to heal itself, so i had to work on the layers of it all. Being away from family and my support system was hard as hell, and really affected the mind. But, now the soul is awake and it is booming with joy and excitement and I can't stop now. Maybe I am being a little bit too impulsive, but something tells me I'll know when too much is too much.
Can't wait to get on the road again.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I can speak Italian.. see? , Pizza, Cappuccino, Spaghetti

It all feels all surreal to me. I was in Italy for a week and a half, visited 5 different cities, 6 if you include the wine tasting in Montelcino. This is going to be a novel because I have so much to say, and I just cant leave anything out. So here we gooo...

Italy is a very different place, the mindset is different. Although I didn't spend enough time to fully immerse in the culture, I am certain of a couple things. Italians take much pride in: food, fashion, and wine. Everyone, and I mean everyone is so fashionable. My dad said it everywhere we went, but he was right. Everyone looks like they came out of a fashion ad. Scarves and boots are a must. Even the children are more fashionable than I am.

For the most part most Italians are so friendly. And they express so much emotion in the way they talk. I love the Italian language. Everything sounds better in Italian. It is such a musical language, and I'm determined to learn it one day. I started off In Lake Como, what a magical place! Its full of bicyclists and bikers. The mountains surround you and in the center, this lake the extends and wraps around for miles and miles. Interestingly enough, no one really was out on the lake, so the water was smooth and clear as glass. I wanted to dive in and go swim. Our last day there, we stumbled upon an old church up in the mountains. My dad really wanted to drive up to it. Surprise! There is no road, you must walk the whole way up, and we did. It took about 2 hours only and it was well worth it. GORGEOUS for lack of better words. The old church overlooked the lake and the mountains. We were the only 2 at the top and you could hear all the church bells echoing off the mountain walls. The sun was out and the air was crisp and cold. It was the perfect morning.

Everything is better in Italy I've decided. I ate like a queen, even though I could not have the pasta and bread that was offered at every meal, I ate so many different cheeses and meats. You could say I am a carnivore now.... The vegetables are so fresh, even down to the garnishes they put with the dish. The olive oil you pour on your grilled vegetables and cheese is so fresh that it is slightly green. On our way out of Lake Como, we stopped to eat lunch at this quaint restaurant. Such a memorable lunch! To start was vegetable soup, topped with fresh grated parmesan. Oh my word, it was so delicious. Who knew a simple soup could be so full of flavor? I swear I was in heaven. I ate veal with mushrooms, and these mushrooms were unlike any I've tasted in the states. So much flavor in every bite of that meal. We sat outside while the Italian sun kissed our skin, and our waiter served us wearing gold Ray Ban aviators. Smiling and watching all the people walk by, waiting so casually to clear our plates and refill our water. I had my first glass of REAL red wine at this restaurant and I've never been a fan of red wine until now. For dessert, it was so simple, yet so elegant. Strawberries with whip cream. The strawberries were bright red andy juicy and the cream was fresh and tasted home made. To top off the meal of course we ended with espresso. Never have I had such a brilliant tasting espresso. So smooth and strong, instantly you are awake. It doesn't give you an intense buzz like coffee here, but it gets you past that afternoon wall we all hit. The perfect start to the perfect trip.

I wish I could have had the internet more often to write about my experience, here are so many details I'm going to miss because there were too many to write about. But I'll do my best.

Next stop was Turin, which I did not get to tour because we were only there for a night and half a day for a meeting my dad had. But I did see a camel in the back of a work place. Interesting. After Turin we hopped in the car again and drove through the day to Florence.
Ah Firenze! Such a wonderful place, very big and very busy. My dad had work here as well, and that is where I met Pino! I love this man, he insisted on taking my father and I out to dinner 3 nights in a row, and the first night Fillipo, his son, came along and they showed us the city at night. They picked us up at our hotel and brought us to Gilli's. Gilli's is this beautiful old bar, where you can order one (or more) drink and then eat all you want. Many Italians will do this for their dinner, it is cheapest and what I would do if I lived there :) I tried a white wine, that was more potent than expected;) and then we walked across the bridge to this little hidden gem for dinner.
They had Gluten Free pasta! So I got the full picture. Pino ordered for us, ordering antipasto to begin with. Proscuitto (raw cured ham) and other raw bacon. I ate it against my better judgment, but it was actually delicious. Very salty as you could imagine. Not my first choice but I didn't come to Italy to not try new things. And for my first course was this pasta dish with meat sauce. So simple, no tomato in it, it was basically just meat cooked with olive oil and maybe some spice. The olive oil has so much flavor in Italy, I swear it's all you need to add more to a dish. I was in heaven, the best pasta I've ever had. You know that scene in Eat Pray Love where Julia Roberts is grinning ear to ear and finishes every bit of here pasta? That is not an exaggeration. As cliche as it may seem, the food really is better in Italy.We also had red wine with dinner, and Pino would not stop refilling my glass. That man loves his wine and loves everyone to drink it with him haha. The wine in Italy is so refined I want to say, it never leaves you with a headache or feeling hungover.

After 2 days of working in Florence papi and I got to explore the town. We really had no plan, we just wandered around the WHOLE town. I swear I have so many blisters because we walked so much haha. The most important things to see for me were Juliet's house, and to see The David along with the Birth of Venus. So when we stumbled upon the Academia Galleria, we hopped in line. I felt like I was about to meet a famous person, heart thumping and stomach all jittery. The first room held many paintings of the Renaissance period, artists I was unfamiliar with, but incredible to witness nonetheless. The next room held a long hallway with some paintings and many sculptures, and at the end was The David.... I could not focus on the other artworks in the hall, I b -lined it straight to the David. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. I had no idea the intensity of the piece, or the scale. I was in awe, and so giddy. I snapped a picture hiding behind a column so I wouldn't get yelled at for doing so. The David, so magnificent. Michelangelo was pure genius, a master at his craft. I still can't get over it and no picture ever did it justice.
Before leaving Florence, Pino and Fillipo came to our hotel to say farewelll and bring us two huge bottles of his own olive oil, "not for cooking" he says, but to put on meat, vegetables and salad. I can't wait to try it. And I will never forget Pino and his kindness and his passion for life. I loved talking with him and hearing his points of view on the world. Italians have such a different way of thinking, I like it... a lot.

After Florence was Siena. My dad really wanted to go there because he loves old things, the older the better. Siena is an old medieval town. It was quite beautiful, and quite obviously old. Each building had so much character and you could see the age in it. I love all of the color they use in Italy, and I love all of the laundry hanging out the side of the buildings which looks like decoration. Siena reminded me of Florence, but much smaller. Not as friendly a town, but that is okay. We really just walked around the whole town, and then went back to our hotel for a wine tour. We went to 2 wineries, the first a very modern way of making wine. It was so neat to see a winery and then to taste the wine they produce. Brunello is what is made in Montelcino,and made by only one particular grape. It was really quite good, but then we went to the second winery. It was over 100 years old, and Mario didn't speak a lick of English, and loved the ladies. I think he is the epitome of an Italian man. He explained how they made wine in the old days quite briefly, then he led us to the room where he had 3 glasses set and plates for each of us. Yes, he had three glasses, but we did not taste just three. I think we tasted about 6 wines haha. Smart man, get the tasters drunk, then hand out the order forms. But anyway, he also came out with shots of Grapa for everyone. Grapa gives me the chills. I passed on the shot, there was no way. It's like vodka, made from grapes, only stronger. Lastly he gave us shot glasses full of dessert wine. It was so delicious it tasted kind of like carmel, and was much thicker than wine. Needless to say, we took many bottles home with us. Good man, Mario.

That night after touring wineries and Montelcino, we packed up AGAIN and headed to Belogna for the night. We did not tour Belogna, just woke up and packed up and drove to Verona. Verona was a great choice, we got to see the second oldest colosseum. It is so old that they used to have jousting and gladiator fights. It was very erie to be there, you could almost feel the energy of the past. The fighters who died, the stands packed with royalty and peasants cheering for the fighter, either to win or die. It's an interesting culture back then. Verona is where Letters To Juliet was filmed. After going in circles, we found Juliet's house. It was packed with people, signing the wall and taking pictures of her balcony where she waited for Romeo. Yes, I wrote a letter to Juliet. They've changed it so that it is an electronic submission, I'm still waiting to hear from her. I love that story, and it was so fun to go and see where the story supposedly was based off of. Verona had the best shopping! I got a new outfit, its one of those outfits where you feel like a million bucks in.

After Verona, it was almost time to go home. We had one day to kill, and our hotel was near the airport, so what did we do? We found an Outlet mall in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy. I bought a new dress that is made in Italy. It is funky, edgy and fun, and I will be wearing it this weekend without a doubt. It also makes me feel like a million bucks. It's overwhelming looking at so many amazing clothes. I wanted everything, if only I had that kind of money.

I feel I didn't even get to talk about the million other things I saw in Italy, then again I may bore you to death if I do. But it was a trip I will never forget. I want to go back again, Italy is so big there is just not enough time to see it all. There were "Italian tourists" in Florence from the south of Italy. My dad is so amazing to have brought me along, I don't think there is ever a way to thank him enough or properly, but I will try. I am so blessed to be able to have these experiences I have had in my lifetime thus far. It was an adventure, and I know I will have many more. But Italy, I can now check off my list. It will be great to be home and sleep in my bed, but I can say that I will miss hopping from one town to the next. I was born to travel and explore.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

feeling inspired

everyone who reads this.. even though its probably only like 8 people but if you happen to stumble upon this PLEASE help make a change in many lives and in the health world.
we have a right to health, but thats not the case. so SIGN this petition!!!!

get excited, get rowdy, get loud! stand up for something!!!