Dancing, Celebrating, and the Big Day

OK - so it really is not a secret that I am getting married.  And to my closest friends and family it is not a secret that I love to plan.  I have in fact always loved to plan and never been afraid of events or parties.  In fact, when I was quite young, I planned a surprise 20th Wedding Anniversary for my parents.  They, of course, had to pay for the event, but I managed to find the caterer, pick out the perfect guest list and people actually came to the house, my parents where indeed surprised (in a good way) and it worked!

So now I am planning one of the most important events ever, and it is less than 6 months away.  Last fall, when I bought my first 2 Bridal Magazines, I did so with trepidation.  You see, I am rather superstitious.  I have never purchased a bridal magazine before last fall.  I chalked it up to bad luck.  When I placed the magazines down in front of the cashier it was almost as if I was buying pornography or the like.  Don't get me wrong - I have danced my fingers over the pages of such magazines thousands of times before, but never, ever had I actually laid down cold hard cash for the stuff!

So with the magazines - and yes, I only bought 2 because I quickly realized that once you buy 1, there is very little content that differs from one to the next - I started off of my planning adventures.  There is the layout of the event, the colors, and the atmosphere...


(image from www.theknot.com)

A decision to find a color that will coordinate with the theme, the room and the invitations that will pull the whole event together...

(Design by Katharine MacIntyre Navins, Tallow Studio)

The flowers, the music, and the cake... and then there is the decision of the first dance, if dancing is something that you choose to do...

(image from http://www.fortnet.org/tfc/Pictures/tangoOutline.gif)

However, it is all too easy to become caught up in the planning and loose track of how and why you started on this journey in the first place.  In the end, the flowers will not last, the rentals are returned to their rightful owner, and the crumbs of the cake are swept up from the ballroom floor.  These items are all secondary to the celebration.  The celebration of being with the most amazing man in the world, the man who came into my life and quite literally saved it.  The man with whom I will spend the rest of my life dancing and celebrating.


Breathe, and bring your hands to your heart...

Yoga.  I am sure that that word conjures up lots of different images for people everywhere.  I still remember the first class I ever took.  It was in a hot room (about 100F), I forgot a towel, sweat dripped from every pore on my body onto an old grey sweatshirt and soaked it thru and thru.  I must have stopped 10 - 15 times to look at the clock and wonder when the hell the class was going to be over, because 90 minutes seemed like 90 minutes too long, and I could not stop my mind from thinking about everything and anything.  It was not zen, it was not peaceful, and it was definitely not something that I wanted to rush back into anytime soon.  But when I left the studio, I felt lighter (probably from the 5lbs of water that I shed), and my mind felt clearer (quite possibly from the thinking that occurred and all the thoughts that sweat out of my pores).  In any event, I figured that I needed to try it again, because I was sore the next day.  Really sore, which in my mind meant that it did something to me that my other fitness activity was not doing.  So on and off for several years I would take a class.  I listened to the instructors, each with their own philosophy on life about how each one of us should go about our own lives.  I would listen, but not pay too much attention to what each particular move really meant.  Nor would I pay much attention to the intentions of yoga.

After my stroke and heart surgery, one particular phrase took on an entirely new meaning..."Bring your hands to your heart..." Yes, every time the heart is mentioned in yoga, my mind now focuses intently on my heart.  My whole heart.  My heart that is mended, and no longer broken.  And now it is my heart that truly guides me throughout each yoga practice.  I have come to really like yoga, and when I leave class, the light clean feeling I have is because I have been able to clear my mind for 60-90 minutes (for the most part...) and really focus on thinking about nothing (except that woman three rows in front of me who can do crow, and I can't and it really pisses me off...but that is besides the point, because I am almost there).  And truth be told, yoga is a great compliment to my running, strength training and bootcamp.  It really is all about balance - which you need a lot of in yoga. 

And speaking of balance, when you are standing there, on your mat, it is important that you are comfortable when balancing.  The foundation can often come down to your comfort level (or it can for me anyway). SO now, more than ever, I have it all figured out.  I recently purchased a brand new yoga mat that will bring everything into focus - my energy, my balance, and I am pretty convinced that I will be able to master crow pose as well.

On Sunday, while perusing the aisles at SOWA, I stopped by the Lotus Pad booth to check out the mats.  I have followed her on Twitter, and checked out the website, but it is hard to know what you are buying sometimes unless you really get to see it... and I did.  These mats rocks.  They are soft, colorful, light, and the owner rocks.  The mats are reversible, so depending on your mood, you can change the color.  Kate, the owner, is fantastic, and you should really check out her blog too!  Check these mats out...you will be happy you did!
Mats2   Lotus
Kate - owner of Lotus Pad Yoga Mats

Amazing people and places

I have friends - amazing wonderful friends -  who are all doing incredible things with their lives.  Lisa has an extraordinary organic design company with colors, patterns, and designs that would make almost anyone want to start doing bits and pieces of their home all over again... Steevy just started an editing company to "dress up your words"... Jojo has baubles and bling that would dress up any girl on the dreariest of days and make her feel downright sparkly... Jody has one of the best restaurants in Cambridge with charm, class, and oh, did I mention the food???  I recently met Maryam on an exotic holiday to Marrakesh.  She told me tales and stories about the city and its history that would entertain even a snake charmer!  And you might need to pack something to pack your baubles and new fabrics as you pack for your next holiday to Morocco... well then, hop on over to Nankeen and you will find something that will fit everything for your trip there, and all of your treasures for your trip home!  Oh, if all the shopping and travel planning makes you hungry, then you really should order one of Pamela's spiked divine desserts!

Have a heart

It started with just a little idea.  How can I make a difference?  How can I share my story, inspire women, and make sure that women everywhere, all over the world start to take care of their hearts?  I met Jojo, a jewelry designer of great talent and spirit.  We sat over a cup of coffee one cold winter morning last year and talked.  I told her my story and what I wanted to do.  She helped to make it happen, and now we have the "Lily Bracelet".  A real piece of jewelry named after me...  You can have a little piece of the heart too... you can have a heart for yourself, your sister, your mother, your wife, your girlfriend, your daughter, or your best friend.  One little heart that can show how much you care.  The gold links wrap around your wrist and will remind women everywhere how important their heart health really and truly is...  so think about having a heart.  Plus, it will look so shiny around your wrist, and perfect for the holiday season...  You know you want one, and all you have to do is ask!AHA Globe Lily Bracelet 0374

Bracelets are $20 + s&h.  A portion of all proceeds do go to the American Heart Association.

Open Market

I am a fan of open markets.  It is one of the first thing that I look for when I travel.  I love the sights and the sounds - there is so much to learn about a place, a culture, and a group of people from an open market.  Often, when I travel, I forget what is right in front of me - what is located in the heart of my own neighborhood.  That is why I was so happy to go to the open market on Sunday.  Three little girls played together, while a vendor waited for customers underneath her tent...









and what market would be complete without the food section?  None as far as I am concerned.  It is absolutely necessary to have a food section, and my market had one.

but there are only 3 more Sundays in the season of this market... October 12, 19, and 26 from 10:00am - 4:00pm.  How can I not go?  It takes me away from what I know, it takes me to what I love about traveling, and all I have to do is travel a few blocks down the the road...