Tag Archives: Breast cancer

I’m Self-Hosted! & A Weekend Recap

This post is going to be a ginormous update full of A.D.D. I know I’ve been M.I.A., but I swear, I have good excuses. 🙂

One. I’m OFFICIALLY self-hosted now! Thanks to Seth @ Boy Meets Food (thank you for the rec, Julie, he was awesome), I’m now with Bluehost and available at lifeofblyss.com. Ah yeah!

That means I can finally reply to reader comments with an automatic e-mail notification. And if you haven’t yet, go “Like” the blog on Facebook!

Two. My childhood bestie from New Jersey, Mag/Maggie/Magalicious (remember my birthday post to her last November?) came to visit Virginia Beach for the weekend. It was blyssfull (I love doing that; don’t hate).

Three. I then spent Sunday-Tuesday at home with my parents, my pup, and my sister and her three kiddos. It was some wonderful family time, and nowwww…


Her excitement upon seeing me never fails to completely melt my heart. I arrived home to be tackled and slobbered all over.

good thing I wore my swimsuit

so. many. kisses.

I will tackle you back and cover you with kisses and you will like it.

So, after I was reunited with my baby, my awesome sister arrived for a few days with the girlie gals.

And after getting used to her overzealous nature, they were pretty big fans of her, too. Mackenzie, the one holding the leash, decided she now wants to become a dog breeder instead of a DJ.

Adelyn, the one on the ground, thought she was being told to “SIT.” when we were trying to pose Chloe in this picture. Such a good listener.

And check out the brave tubers!

Speaking of brave, many have asked how my sister is doing.

Three words: She’s a rockstar. She is officially cancer free, and she even ran with me yesterday with NO PAIN. So much excitement!

She’s awesome. And cancer free.

And speaking of RUNNING, guess whose dream Asics arrived?!

cue the angel chorus; it’s my bright yellow Asics!

I gave them a whirl, along with my hydration belt, for the first time.

I’ve got a belt.

It was above 90 degrees out. There was no wind. I got bright red and very, very sweaty, and I will not subject you to a visual of my face afterwards (thank me later).

I can’t decide how I feel about the hydration belt. The two baby bottles don’t even fit a whole bottle of Propel in the two of them, so I feel like I’d get even more water if I just carried a bottle. I also had a lot of trouble with it bouncing on my hips.

I ended up pushing it as far down as I could, kind of resting it on the top of my butt, to make it stay. Thank you, ‘donk.

And this is my recovery spot.

And then, because I decided I earned it, I did work on the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. In my life.

It’s heaven on a very big plate. There’s mushrooms and white truffle oil on that sucker, and it’s crazy amazing.

And now, I’ll leave you with scenes from the weekend.

how “VA Beach” am I with that cutoff shirt?

Actually, that shirt didn’t used to be a cutoff. It shrunk in the wash, and I have a really long torso. Whoops.

Maaag, open those peepers

“This bar. It smells like stinky feet.”

“…You but in front of me.”

I’ve waited SO LONG for these girlies to meet!

(And how much of a hot mom is Anastasia in her one piece?)

To clarify, she’s not a mom. We just tell her she looks like a hot mom when she wears the one-piece. Yes?

Evidence that Mom has adopted the “Waaah!” And evidence that Chloe is the bomb.com and everybody loves her.

“They’re the twooo best friends that anyone can have”

One last thing.

I have found the perfect earrings for our bridesmaid dresses. The only thing is, they’re priiicey! Does anyone know a jewelry designer/maker who does personalized designs and could recreate these bad boys for less?



Thankful Updates

I can’t describe to you all how much your thoughts, prayers, and comments touched the hearts of my sister, my family, and me.

I’m so happy to report that Amy is smiling big from the hospital recovery room.

Why is she smiling so big, do you ask (other than all those pain meds ;))


We are all so thankful, relieved, and excited. One more cancer free family member gives us all so much happiness and a huge sigh of relief.

I will be heading to Northern Virginia to help Amy recuperate so my parents can go to Ohio to be with my dad’s family for my grandpa’s funeral. I’ve been really antsy sitting her in VB all by myself not being able to help anyone, so I’m anxious to get there and help my sister.

Although somebody (cough..Mike) had me really craving sushi last night, I was intent on using up some of my veggies I needed to get rid of before going out of town last night. SO… I decided to put my new little garlic chopper to work!

Wait till you see. This sucker’s is a genius.

garlic. master.

Abby showed me this little guy during my visit to Salisbury. This thing easily and quickly minces garlic without mess and without making your hands smell like garlic for 2397 days.

Not that that’s a bad thing…

Sidenote: I may have made a little booboo and purchased ELEPHANT garlic. Uh, what’s the difference, besides it being huge and not smelling as great as regular garlic?

It must be my new-found obsession with elephants after reading and seeing Water for Elephants. Yes, I now want my own elephant.

big dog garlic

My bad.

Check it out. You put the garlic in there…

Close it up…

Roll it on the counter… and the blades chop it all up!

Et voila. You can make [gross looking, but] delicious pasta sauces without making a mess of your hands.

Sorry I’m not sorry I don’t care enough to make a picture of my pasta sauce look more appetizing.

To make this delicious low-fat cheesy tofu cream sauce:
-3/4 cup plain greek yogurt (I used my love, Chobani)
-3 medium mushrooms, sliced
-1/4 cup tofu, cut into blocks
-1 triangle Laughing Cow Light, Garlic & Herb flavored
-a pinch of light goat cheese
-1 clove garlic, minced
-a few shakes of Garlic & Herb seasoning

All added to this stuff:

whole wheat fettuccine pastaaaa

Try not to trip over yourself as you sprint to Target to pick up this baby. You won’t regret it.

In other news, Chloe is doing beautifully at boot camp. Our breeder reported that she is one one of the smartest dogs he has ever trained. She is doing well with heeling and sitting, and he’s getting ready to teach her to ignore distractions.

The tornados we had last week touched down in the town she’s in, but we got a phone call saying Chloebear was safely inside. Phew!

“Mom. Relax. I’ll be home soon.”

I miss my baby. 😦

Did you notice? I’m now self-hosted!

I finally gave in and got my own domain. Check the top of your browser.. see where it says lifeofblyss.com? Yeeeeah.

Now, you expert WordPress friends, please tell me how I can now add the plug-ins I want to use so badly (i.e., comment plug-ins). I need your help and I’m sick of trying to Google it.

Next time I post, it’ll be from NoVA alongside my rockstar sister. 😀

I Believe in Angels

Today, my family lost a wonderful grandpa, father, and great-grandpa. We were all so sad to receive the news of Grandpa’s stroke over the weekend. He hung on like a trooper until early this morning.

My grandpa joined the group of angels watching over my sister this morning for her breast cancer surgery. After my Grandpa passed on, my cousin Emily’s words were, “Well… Amy’s got her angel.” And she is so right.

I was blessed with the best grandparents in the whole wide world. Both of my grandfathers are the most impressive men I have ever known. My Grandpa, alongside his father, built the house in which they still live today, with his bare hands. I still remember how great of a hide-and-seek game my cousins and I could play in that Ohio house.

Grandpa’s other claim to fame? At my brother’s graduation from the Naval Academy, Grandpa taught me to not be ticklish. I can still remember the mantra he had me recite as he jabbed at my ribs… “I’m not ticklish. I’m not ticklish.”

And to this day, I’m not ticklish. 😉 Thanks, Grandpa.

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Ohio was always so much fun. Since they had four kids, I was blessed with a number of awesome cousins to play with. Grandpa would always say my cousin Emily and I were racing in our rapidly changing heights, and we’d have a measurement each time we saw one another (Em, who even ended up winning that race?).

Grandpa left behind some really strong, loving, lanky kids. He was such a great Grandpa and an awesome buddy when you wanted some lengthy stories or someone to play with. I probably owe all of my waterskiing skills to that guy, and I’ll bet he’s building a firepit or fixing up a boat in heaven right now.

Grandpa and Grandma’s four kiddos – my daddy’s on the right. 😉

But, most importantly, I’m thinking Grandpa and my Mamoe are up there together watching over Amy for her big, important day. I’ll really miss my Grandpa, and I’m missing my Mamoe every day, but I know they’re gonna make sure that, soon, every little thing’s gonna be alright.

two of the greatest grandparents ever, our power-team of angels.

Awareness: My Sister Rocks.

People generally say good things come in three. So do bad things.

Last week, my family got some news that was hard to swallow.

My sister, Amy, has breast cancer.

2011 has been a rough year for me with my recent events, but it’s been especially hard on my family. Namely, my dad and my sister.

After my dad being diagnosed with his aggressive prostate cancer this past November, we’re in the calm of the storm for his recovery. Amy’s news kind of sent us all reeling.

Daddy and his girls

Amy is my big sister. I’ve adored her since the day I was born. I’m still told stories about how psyched she was to get a baby sister when I was on the way, and as silly as it sounds, I love knowing how much she “wanted” me.

yeah, I was born with red hair. it fell out and I grew blonde locks. don’t hate.

I mean, really… look at that adoration.

I’ve looked up to her my entire life. She’s so smart. She’s so pretty. She’s so compassionate. She’s so loving. And she’s always said that Doug (our brother) and I got the funny genes. She’s wrong. She’s pretty funny herself. 😉

and she’s obv always shared my love for ruffles.

we’ve shared each other’s milestones together, as sisters do.

And she’s been there for me in my life every step of the way. Whether I’m up, down, healthy, or struggling, Amy has always been a solid rock in my life. And I’m so thankful I’ve been lucky enough to have a big sister like her.

Amy is 36. Women are supposed to have their first mammogram at age 40.

The only reason Amy had a mammogram at her age is because a traveling breast cancer van came to the school at which she works. She had the test done because everyone else did. She was flagged, and went for further testing.

She found out a few days later she had cancer.

Had Amy waited until she was 40 to get her mammogram, she would need extensive chemotherapy and her life would be much, much more at risk. Yes, this is serious, but it would be so much more serious had she waited.

SO. For my sister, check with your insurance company. Ask them for the earliest age they cover mammogram screenings. And once you hit that age, go get tested.

Amy is a sister, a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a granddaughter, and a teacher. No matter who you are, be proactive. Research. Spread awareness.

And do me a favor and send some prayers up for her. I love my big sister so much, and I’m going to be there for her through all of this mess.

‘Cause as you know, Cancer’s got nothin’ on us Halters.

Pass it on: 35 is the new 40.