... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Influence + #31Days sneak peak

Oh, where to begin?

I just returned from the Influence Conference and my heart and my head are so, so full. There is so much I want to share--so much--but I'm going to divulge in a slow stream over time, as things come to me, rather than one big heart dump.​ That would just be a mess.

So much inspiration. 

Lara Casey and Jeff Goins both caused a major paradigm shift in how I think of myself, my dream, my why.  

Shauna Niequist reminded me that my work is my responsibility. She gave me permission to do my thing with my brand of crazy. She also dropped this truth bomb:

"The lie is scarcity; the truth is abundance."

There is plenty of room in this world for more art, more creativity, more beauty. No artist should be hoarding her gifts. Preach, Shauna.

Oh, there is much, much more. More inspiration, more encouragement. Seeds have been planted--ideas, friendships, truth. More to come...

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In the spirit of the conference and in honor of one of these seeds, I'm joining in the 31 Days link-up hosted by The Nester, which kicks off tomorrow, October 1. The linkup is a writing challenge to post every day in the month of October, talking about one topic, any topic. My #31Days topic is where it all began for me, my roots.

I cannot wait to share this story with you.
Join me tomorrow for the kick off!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Goodbye to Grams

My beloved Grams passed away last night. It's been looming; my family was prepared. Her health has steadily declined over the last couple of years, and it really plummeted for the last month.

Let me rewind a bit to replay some of the details...

My mom called me about a month ago to tell me that I should really start looking at flights to fly home to Colorado and see Grams, stat. I panicked a little and jumped online, hoping I'd find a sweet deal, pronto. No dice. Ticket prices ranged from $600 to $800--what the what?! Yes. I just want to go home to see my Grams, not play tourist in the mountains! It was infuriating

I continued checking, looking farther and farther in to September, then October.... Please God, let her wait for me... please let these crazy prices drop...

Last Thursday my mom called me in the middle of the day. She never does this, knowing I'm at work, so I figured it was important. Before I hit "accept", I just knew it was about Grams.

Grams was in the hospital. ICU. Her lung had filled with fluid, she couldn't breathe on her own. Ventilator, sedated. Cancer.

Back to the interwebs. My work colleagues helped me search flights for that night. Does $550 work for you? Boom, I'll take it. Ticket purchased, I rushed home to pack, then rushed to catch my buses to get to the airport. I hopped a couple planes and landed in Denver about midnight that night. Please God, let her wait for me...

I headed to the hospital Friday morning. She was sleeping, but would stir when we talked to her and even opened her eyes, under the influence of the sedatives. Her eyes stared blankly back at me, but I chatted her up anyway, told her I had finally come, that I was there.

The plan at that point was to turn everything off, unplug, say goodbye and let go on Sunday. But Grams had other ideas.

On Friday afternoon, her status began to steadily improve. By Friday evening, the doctor's plan was to wean her off the sedatives and test the waters with some breathing exercises, seeing how she might fare off the ventilator. On Saturday, she was a star patient--she was awake, she responded to questions by nodding her head, and she was sure ticked off that she had a tube down her throat. It was decided: come Sunday morning the ventilator was to be shut down and the tube would come out.

Sunday morning, the family gathered. We fidgeted and paced the hallway, awaiting the doctor to finish rounds. The time arrived at last--success! We rushed in and took turns hugging her, talking to her, holding her hand. All the nurses and doctors marveled at what a strong fighter she was and discussed release from the hospital the next day!

My flight back to Pittsburgh was scheduled for Monday morning. I said goodbye to Grams on Sunday night, giving her lots of kisses on the forehead. She said she would see me again.

They released her home yesterday afternoon. Mom sent me a text late last night, telling me she was home and that hospice was set up.

This morning I awoke to find another text from Mom: your Grams passed tonight.

See, Grams hated hospitals. Hated. Them. She knew her time had come but refused to breathe her last within the hospital's walls. She would be home.

I am so grateful that I was able to finally make it home to see my beloved Grams. I am at peace knowing she is no longer suffering, that her last moments were in the house she had lived in for 60-plus years, that my mom and uncle were by her side up until the final moments, and that she is finally back with Grampa.

Three generations on my wedding day, August 2012. Isn't she lovely??

Goodbye, my Gramma C. Nighty night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bight. I will love you forever and ever.

your Jessi C

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2 + 2: Influence Meet 'n Greet

In just over two weeks I will head down to Indianapolis, Indiana, to attend the Influence Conference!! I'm stoked, but I'll admit that I'm also a little overwhelmed with all I need to do to get organized and ready--biz/blog cards! decide which workshops to take! get a haircut! plan my outfits!--this is my first blog conference after all.

But! Before I hunker down for some serious list-making, here is a little 2 + 2 list for our pre-conference meet and greet...

Two things you will find in my bag:
  1. Batman.The moment Batman and I found each other on the bus that sunny Saturday afternoon, we've been inseparable. Just take a gander at my Instagram reel and you'll see.
  2. Crabby snacks. Low blood sugar = bad news bears. Yes, I'm one of those people... but don't worry, as long as I have good eats, I'm good to go. Anyone want to make a grocery store run Thursday afternoon??
Two things I'm most looking forward to:
  1.  In real life. I'm uber-excited to finally meet the gals I've been reading and tweeting with and looking up to for months and months. Connecting with peeps just jazzes me up. I have a feeling I'm in for a treat.
  2. Sparking. I've been wishing/hoping/dreaming for many moons about how to take this and my other blog to the next level. I'm ready for the spark to get the fires going.
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Now, to hunker down and make some lists...