December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012.

Hi Friends! It seems that I gave myself an unannounced blog break over the past few weeks. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! With work deadlines, holiday parties, fundraisers for my friend Julia and the welcoming of Christian's brand-spankin' new nephew Daan, we have been busy over the past few weeks. I can't believe that 2013 is just around the corner.

This past year has been...surreal. We've kept up our traveling ways and jetsetted off to Lisbon, Croatia, Normandy, Tuscany, Paris and me to California a couple of times. On the contrary, with the diagnosis of my best friend's cancer, this year has also been eye-opening and scary. 

However, some amazing things happened over the last few weeks. In addition to the donations made from some of my readers (thanks guys!!!), there were also over 6 fundraisers for Julia in California and Oregon in previous weeks! Each one showed her just how loved and supported she is. These fundraisers have provided hope and brought my small community of Anaheim Hills, CA, together in a way I've never seen before. It is truly outstanding to have witnessed this. 

Instead of looking back on 2012, I'd like to end the year with my favorite picture from 2012--one that was snapped at one of these cancer fundraiser events. Some highschool friends arranged a fundraiser at a local restaurant...and the entire Orange County Sheriff's Department came for lunch...each proudly holding up the event flyer specifically for Julia. 

There is so much good in the world. And this pic brings tears of joy to my eyes. 

Thank you OC Sheriffs and to everyone who has brought joy to the world this year.


December 9, 2012

Farewell Fall

A few last pics of Amsterdam in the Fall. It snowed last week but left just as fast as it came. I love Amsterdam in the Fall but it’s quite spectacular covered in snow, too! So farewell Fall…come on snowy, frozen canals

Hope you had a great weekend!

December 7, 2012

Thank You! And an Update

Following last week's post about my best friend with cancer, the messages, kind words and donations made by so many of you have been incredibly encouraging. It takes alot of selflessness for a person to reach out to someone they've never met, someone that might even be a half a world away. Thanks so much, you guys :). 

One of the hardest things about this process is having to deal with it at such a distance because all I want to do is be with Julia every single second. Fortunately I'm headed home for her birthday in February--I can't freaking wait!  I rest assured knowing that we can talk at anytime during the day thanks to what's app, video messages, Facetime, etc. She also has such a great support system back home--since the donation site went live, our small community of Anaheim Hills, CA, has scheduled fundraisers in her name. Even a pro videographer friend of ours is doing a mini-documentary about her to raise awareness. All of this generosity warms my heart.

A small update on Julia's condition over the last week. When she went for a scheduled chemo session, they found out her blood count was low so planned a blood transfusion. A few hours later she went to the ER with severe stomach pain. They are keeping her over the weekend to treat her for pancreatitis and will give her a couple of blood transfusions. Fortunately her pain is nearly gone and her pancreas will be fit for her chemo session next week! I spoke to her on the phone for a bit and she sounds like same ol' Julia--optimistic, laughing and worrying that other people will worry too much about her. 

For such a scary situation that leaves me teary-eyed very often, she is so strong. I am so proud of her. I've actually never seen her stronger! And we've been best friends for almost 12 years.

Thanks again to all of your encouraging words and donations. I'm going to match any donations made through my blog (if you donated anonymously, please let me know so I can match it!) and if you want to donate or read regular updates about her cancer battle, check out the Project Julia site: 

"Cancer didn't bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet." - Michael Douglass

{Julia and her mama!}

Have a happy weekend everyone!