Saturday, May 31, 2008

Relay For Life... Finally!

After months and months of planning, the American Cancer Society Relay For Life finally arrived! My team, Swift Walkers For A Swift Cure, spent 24 hours walking for all of our loved ones whose lives have been touched by cancer.

  • The entire Relay raised almost $90,000 to benefit cancer research.
  • Swift Walkers For A Swift Cure raised $6,633 to benefit cancer research.
  • This made us the #2 fund raising team!
  • And with unbelievable efforts, Stewart raised $3,575 to benefit cancer research.
  • This made him the #3 individual fund raiser!

The Relay itself was super fun. Stewart and I arrived in the early morning to gorgeous sunny skies and helped set up. However, by the time the Relay began at 10 a.m. the clouds had begun to roll in and we had to rush to get our tents and canopy up before it started pouring. However, we didn't let this discourage us. Throughout the day while some team members hit the track, the rest of us participated in events and contests to pass the time. It was a great time to just chill out and hang out with my family.
At 11 p.m. the Luminaria Ceremony took place. For many people who attend Relay For Life, this is one of the most moving parts of the event. As the light dims over campsites and team members complete laps, the night is brightened by the glow of lighted bags called luminaria, each of which has a special meaning. Some luminaria celebrate the survivorship of people who have battled cancer and lived to tell the tale. Many commemorate the lives of those who have been lost to this disease. All represent a person who has been profoundly affected by cancer and the family and friends who continue to be touched by that experience.
Swift Walkers For A Swift Cure lit many luminaria candles for our friends and family who have been affected by this horrible disease. It was a great way to remember those we have lost and those who continue to battle for their lives every day.

As you would expect, the night got REALLY long pretty fast. The point of the Relay is to have someone on the track at all times, so this means while some of us slept in the tents, other people took their 1/2 hour turns walking around the track. It was cold... and dark... but it was a great opportunity to chit chat and heck, sleep is really over-rated, I think!
The next morning at the final ceremony we were in for a surprise. Swift Walkers For A Swift Cure had earned the most points in contests that had taken place during the Relay, and we won a prize package full of gift certificates to local restaurants and stores. Sweet!
Overall, even though it was completely exhausting and stressful, I am so happy that I was a part of Relay For Life. The event allows participants to fight back against a disease that touches too many lives. It's something that we forget about in our day-to-day lives, and this event really brings it into perspective.

If you'd like to be a part of my team next year, please let me know!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cailin!

It seems to be becoming a habit for me to dedicate a blog to each of my friends as their birthdays come and go each year. However, sadly, I do not have the luxury of celebrating in person with all of my friends. So I dedicate this blog as an ode to Cailin on this, her 26th birthday!

I've chosen to plagiarize the text of a card she once gave me for MY birthday, because I think it says just about everything about this fabulously amazing woman...

For a Special Friend

In our lives, if we're lucky,

we'll have all kinds of friends.

And although we appreciate them all

for different reasons,

there are some we come to cherish.

You, without a doubt,

fall into this last category.

You are the friend
who never, ever bores me,
the friend I'm always glad to see

and who never lets me down.

You are that special friend

who knows I'm far from perfect

and accepts me anyway.

We've shared a lot, good and bad,

and you've proven

you can be counted on.

All those things and so many more

come together to make you

more than just an everyday friend.

You're a lifetime friend.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend 2008

Even though it's pretty obvious that nothing can top last year's Memorial Day weekend shenanigans, we stuck with tradition and once again headed over to Evan's cabin in Sunland for the three-day weekend.
The crew is always the same, minus a few here and there. We always get drink, drank, drunk at the cabin. And of course, we ALWAYS go to the sand dunes, aka Disneyland according to Kelly. So this year was one in the same. We took the boat over to the dunes and parked the boat as usual. However, I think I made the mistake of not starting to drink early enough in the day, because the crazy party over there seemed to be a little too... clear or something.
I was completely appalled at the number of small children there, running in between 18-year-old girls wearing pasties and taking beer bongs. The water seemed dirtier and the people trashier. Oh, I'm sure nothing has changed... I think I'm usually in such a daze that I don't realize what I am a part of! How sad... am I getting too old for Disneyland? Has its magical powers over me worn off? Tragic.In any case, the rest of the weekend we spent basking in the sun on the boat and hanging with good friends at Evan's. Although the weather wasn't completely cooperative, and it even rained for a while, we entertained ourselves with games, food and booze. We also went over to Crescent Bar for pizza... something I hadn't done before. While we were there, a full blown drinking contest ensued.. one of my favorite parts of the trip. Besides, of course, Larisa krunking like crazy in the driveway.
Until next year... Cheers!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Jenny & Shannon's Wedding

I really don't think there is anything more amazing than when two people find love in each other. Cheesy, I know, but I really believe this is true. I also believe that there is no better reason to celebrate! So I was completely thrilled to spend my weekend traveling with Jeanna up to Vancouver, WA to celebrate the marriage of two of my good friends... Jenny & Shannon.
The thing I liked best about Jenny and Shannon's wedding was how "them" the whole weekend was. I love how casual and down to earth these ladies are with their lives, and the wedding completely reflected their style and taste. The entire extravaganza took place in the penthouse of the Rosellen Suites at Stanley Park. The hotel was completely charming and the penthouse suite (dog-friendly, of course!) had a wrap-around deck where the ceremony was held.
The ceremony itself was simple... 30 or so guests stood in attendance while dogs trotted around as Jenny and Shannon pledged their lives to each other. A friend played the guitar. I have to admit I shed a tear or two! Afterward the marriage license was singed (which I officially witnessed!)
Then, the party began! Jenny prepared a yummy feast of fish, chicken and salads with Trophy Cupcakes for dessert. Guests then got to spend the evening with cocktails from the open bar and good company.
I loved the simplicity and sincerity of the whole event. I am so happy that these two people found each other and I wish them the best in life and love.