Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Hike

Monkeying around
Another great Eaton Canyon hike this morning. The boys really love this trail, we keep going back, it's through a canyon surrounded with great trees, the trail follows a creek that leads to a beautiful waterfall. Uncle Aram, cousin Sevak and yaya (grandma) joined us too today.

My favorite tree, isn't she magnificent?

We had to hop over some boulders to cross the creek a few times, that's always fun.

And after some more goofing around.... we finally got to the waterfall, it's tapered off a bit since last time, but it was still magical, we had some fresh fruit and nuts and headed back.
A great Sunday morning!

love and peace!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dance With Your "Chi"

This is one way of looking at the beautiful art of Tai Chi or Qi Gong, which really translates to movement of our Chi, our core energy. I call it "dancing with Chi" because it really is a dance. The slow and graceful movements that are performed during practice move the energy throughout the body, this dance cultivates and awakens that energy and forces us to direct our attention towards our core, it nourishes and caresses that which often gets ignored and overlooked.

We started practicing a couple of years ago, my brother and I (he's the certified teacher), at Brand Library. Every time we would practice someone new would approach us and ask about the art, and if they could join, and how much was each class. When he would say that it was a community service and that he doesn't charge anything, people got excited and our group started getting bigger, the energy flowing among us each time was stronger and stronger.
After months of skipping on practice, I finally decided to join them this morning, and I'm so glad I did. The place of practice also makes a world of difference, this place is so serene and quite, surrounded by lush vegetation, we can hear the chirp of birds, the song of the leaves as they sway to a gentle breeze every now and then, the playful squirrels climbing the tree trunks, just being in that environment is relaxing enough....

The teacher (master) is yet another important element in this dance as well, Aram is an excellent teacher, his gentle vocal instructions put you in a meditative trans, and his physical movements are so graceful and melodic, he exudes calmness and from that energy you can't help but be submerged in the moment. We become one as a group, swaying to the tune of our bodies and our "Chi dances".

I'll have to do an entire post on my brother one day, he is an inspiration to me. After many years in the computer corporate world, making quite a bit of money, he got fed up and just walked away, He went back to school and found his true calling as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. He looks much happier now, and enjoys what he does, and well... teaching Qi(chi) Gong is a bonus. I've seen him change so much in the past few years, and I'm so proud of him for taking that step into true happiness. Very few people have the guts to actually start over again later in life, we get comfortable in our own little corner and never look to see what lies around that corner.
Great job big brother, I've always looked up to you and now you have proven that when your heart is on the right path, so much can be achieved.
Enjoy your Saturday everyone.

love and peace!

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Members

It looks like I have some baby sitting duties this evening, it's not something I do very often, and I'm so excited (no ecstatic), and a little nervous actually. I mean come on.. last time I had a baby was some thirteen years ago. Things can't be that different right??? Some love and tenderness and this cutie is happy. Besides, we bonded pretty well the day of his birth, you see I was on "dula" duties and helped coach him into the light. So, I think we'll be fine, can't wait.
On the subject of babies..... our families were blessed with four new additions this past year, all boys (love em), and each one with their own little "manly" characters. Little intro...

I'm Yervand, (photo above), my current daily activities are pretty much the same from day to day.... eat, poop, sleep... eat, poop, sleep.... oh and once in a while cry, and I love hanging out with my dad, can't wait to go to auntie Mari's today, (I think she was the one crying when I first popped out).
I am Noah, little brother to Nicolas, I'm quite the thinker, always serious, but every now and then I throw a smile out there (just to keep mom happy).
My name is Andre, I have a very talkative big sister Nikki (ya I love her). I'm a Vegas dude, so I love to eat, drink (choice of beverage...milk), and love to stay up late (shhh, it drives mom nuts).
And last but certainly not least.... I'm Peter, family calls me Petik(I think my mom follows this blog;). I'm a very happy go lucky guy, sometimes my round cheeks heart from smiling so much, but what can I do... I'm just happy to be here.

Something about babies.... you just can't help but smile, I don't care who you are, what mood you're in, how pissed off your day went, or how much of a grouch you are... one look at these faces and you smile.
I remember talking to a soccer parent on the field one day, they had four kids and were considering having more, oy right? But the dad said... it's what keeps us young, kids bring so much laughter and joy into a home. Now that our boys are getting bigger, I do wish we had a couple of more of these little ones running around.... oh well we'll just have to wait for grand kids, in the mean time we can enjoy these cuties.

love and peace!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Which Came First?

We had a pretty interesting conversation over breakfast this morning. As our thirteen year old was eating (no, devouring) his soft boiled egg... He looks at me and says "How does this become a chicken"?... This kid doesn't ask a whole lot of questions most of the time, but when he does it's usually something comical and a chuckle always follows.
So, I proceeded to explain.... this is a cooked egg.... they don't turn into chickens blah.. blah... blah, he really wasn't interested in the answer, he just thought it was funny asking the question, oh who understands what goes through these kids minds anyways....
Then our 15 year old asks..."So, Rob which did come first the chicken or the egg?" After a long hardy laugh Robert answers..
" the rooster".... Ya, the 13 year old... I was stunned and didn't know to laugh or be upset at the X-rated answer. The older brother advises his younger sibling that he shouldn't crack jokes about things he doesn't "get". Then they go into this whole dialog about who "gets" it and who doesn't.
All of a sudden, I'm feeling left out of the loop... like hello??? Mother sitting here....
What are these kids learning in school these day, from their friends no doubt. I found the whole thing so funny, that here we are... I guess they are grown up enough to "get" these kinda jokes, of course I didn't laugh, didn't know what to say really at the moment, so just said... " ok smarty pants, there will be no talking like that..." and was barely holding myself back from bursting into a serious laugh. Wow, I guess we always see our kids as the little innocent young ones, but boy do they grow up fast, before we know it they'll be teaching us a thing or two about life... chickens and eggs and what not.
But it was a good laugh, way to start the morning.

Love and Peace! (with chicks and eggs) :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pap's Beauties

So yesterday went pretty smoothly, yes it was a long day, and we ended up in the pediatric infusion room, as the usual rooms were all full, but we made it through the day ok. As Gagik dosed off into a long nap, I berried myself in mindless magazines, just to block out all that was going on around us... is it selfish of me for blocking things out sometimes?? I just can't handle any more pain in my heart and seeing those kids in that situation is a very painful thing.
Anyways, Gag is doing "ok", today. I was worried that he would have too many side effects as a result of the chemo and the bone density infusion he got, both on the same day, but again he is doing "ok". And that's a good thing. As long as we can control his pain, and his appetite is good, and he's feeling a little stronger, than I'm good, I'm happy.
And since I'm in such a good mood today... I decided to share some of the beauties growing around the house. Some are in pots, others around the pool, and the roses are all along the fence in the front yard. I can't take too much credit for them though, my dad is the one with the green thumb in the family. Few years back he grew 45 Willow trees just from a single branch, yes that's right 45, our driveway was starting to look like a forest, they got to be around 5 feet tall. He gave some away to family and friends fortunate enough to have a yard large enough to grow them in, and the rest he donated to our towns parks and recreations organization. I should make some time and go see how much they have grown.
And as it turns out.. the man can write too, who knew??? He is in the middle of writing an epic story of a novel, he won't let us read it, and from the small captions he's read to us... it's brilliant. I'm amazed at this man, he was a champion fencer as a young man, taught most of his adult life, physical education in private schools, and fencing at the LA Athletic Club, he has influenced so many young minds, who have grown to achieve so much in their lives. Not to mention how great of a father and husband he has been. I love my pap, he is as great of a man as he is a gentle one. No wonder I married such a terrific guy, I had my pap growing up as a role model, and you know... they are very much alike, my hubby and pap. And look at him go.. at 74 still finding more and more ways of reinventing himself. Right on pap!
Love and Peace!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Letter From The Heart

Today is Chemo day... I'm hoping today it won't heart as much when they stick that big niddel into Gag's port-a-cath in his chest, I'm hoping that he won't spend the entire time hugging the bucket and vomiting all throughout his chemo infusion, and I'm hoping the day will go smoothly.
While I'm hoping all this as we spend most of the day at City of Hope, I leave you with this letter that was sent to me. Katherine is an acquaintance of my brother, she has never met me, and yet this letter touched me in my heart, it gave me strength to keep going, it gave me a small hope that I too can do my best through this difficult time and cherish every moment as she did.
Please, make the time to read her letter as it may touch your hearts and perhaps, give you that sense of understanding of life and death through someone else's experience.

Thank you Katherine, for sharing your story, guiding us in this tough situation. And yes life is a gift to be enjoyed fully, and the unavoidable death, when it arrives, whenever that may be in our lives, needs to be accepted and in the end we must all let go.

Dear Mari -

My name is Katherine and I am a friend of Aram’s. I know that you are all going through a very difficult time right now and I can completely empathize having had to travel the same path myself with my Mother.

When my Mother was diagnosed it felt as if the bottom had dropped out of our entire world. Suddenly, my Mother was a statistic. I was angry. We were scared. It was a nightmare we couldn’t wake up from. The only way we could deal with it was to grit our teeth, dig in our heels and move forward. And then the long journey of chemo, surgeries and radiation began. It was almost surreal.

We dealt with all of this the only way we knew how – and that was to make our lives as normal as we possibly could. Through the five year journey we laughed as much as we could and did normal things as much as we could. We took each day as it came. And, consequently, we had a lot of very good days.

In April of 2002, my Mother got her Wings and evolved into the most protective and loving Guardian Angel I could possibly have.

Whilst I do not know if any of the experiences or emotions I went through will help you, I am jotting a few down, just in case.

Towards the end of my Mother’s battle, I made her promise me that she would keep fighting and not leave me - and my Mother gave me her word. In my entire life, my Mother never made a promise to me that she didn’t keep. When I was little, my Mother always told me “Never make a promise that you can’t or don’t intend to keep”.

Well, there came the day when I was lying beside Mum on the sofa bed in the living room and she was semi-conscious and I could see in a lot pain. However, she was arguing with “someone” like crazy. She was in such a fitful state and nothing would calm her. Then, I realized that she was fighting to keep her promise to me. I, suddenly, felt so devastated that I was the cause of her present distress. So, I did one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I took my Mother in my arms, knowing that her subconscious and Spirit could hear me, and I told her that I was sorry and that I should never have asked her to make that promise to me and that she did not have to keep it. I then asked her if, for once in her life, she would do something for herself. Something she wanted. No sooner had the words left my lips than my Mother became so calm and serene and drifted off into a restful sleep.

The next day, at 11:45am, it was time for her to fly away and try out her Angel Wings. It was a lovely, sunny day. The sky was the most beautiful blue and the birds were singing and our living room was full of Light. My Mother was in my arms when, suddenly, the most beautiful smile formed on her face. She gave a gentle sigh and, in that moment, became my Guardian Angel.

Releasing my Mother from her promise and telling her it was alright was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Later, I came to realize that it was also the greatest act of Love.
In the past, when friends of mine have had loved ones get their Wings and it has been so painful for them, there is something I always tell them:

The depth of the pain is a measure of the depth of the Love.

Then, there is a question I always ask them:

If you were given the choice, right now, of feeling no pain whatsoever, but the price of feeling no pain is never to have had that person or friend in your life. What would you choose?

The answer is always the same. Rather to have the pain and have known the Love.

My Mother and I have extremely strong Spiritual beliefs…..not attached to any specific religion, more a knowledge of a Greater Power, a Greater Good and a Greater Love that exists both within us and around us. A Power, Good and Love that is a never ending force and source in our eternal existence.

One of the greatest Truths – which is sometimes a hard one to accept in this existence – is that there is no separation.

Despite my strong Spiritual foundations, I ran a whole gamut of emotions. The biggest was Guilt. I entered the “What if?” and “What more could I have done?” syndrome. However, at the end of many long and heart searching meditations and self examinations, I came to realize that – during this journey – I really did do the very best I could do.

When you are on a journey like this, every minute of every day you address the situation in the very best way you can under such enormous pressure. There are times when you feel guilty for being so exhausted. Then there are days when you just want everything to stop. And then you feel guilty about that.

If these emotions do come up, you have to realize that in a situation like this everything you have done, everything you do, stems from Love. If you are exhausted, it is because you have been pouring every ounce of Love you have into that moment. If you want to stop, it is only so that you can renew yourself so that you can continue giving more support, more Love. Guilt has no place in the equation.

Initially, when you deal with something like this, your inner safeguard mechanism automatically shuts down. It is like being in a Twilight Zone. You drift through days feeling numb, feeling nothing – and you wonder how you could be numb, how you could feel nothing because you think you should feel everything.

Then, as your system begins to start up again, so many emotions will surface – some so powerful that their intensity may surprise you. If it helps, allow yourself to feel them. Once you feel them, you can deal with them and let them go. We all have to be strong for other people, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be strong for ourselves. We need to be on our Tender Loving Care list as well.

In all honestly, I would LOVE for my Mother to still be here with me in body, but I feel her Spiritual presence, guidance and Love every single second of every single day. We have always been so close that people refer to us as “Twin Souls”. Well, now we are Twin Souls in one body……mine.

My Mother’s Love got me through this journey. Her Love continues to see me through each day. She is nurturing me and guiding me and caring for me as much now as she always did.

It is important to remember that Love is Eternal and that time is merely a man made measuring device. Some people live more and love more in a few years than many do in a lifetime. Love that we share with others stays with us always and remains with the ones we Love always. Love is the unbreakable bond.

So, this little note comes to you with much Love and Light.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Just Dreaming...

All I gotta say is... That's where I want to be right now. Sitting in one of those bungalows with Gag, sipping on a cool drink... dreaming the day away.... Ahhh!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Truth Is...

The truth is:
That I hate what is happening to my husband, to see him waste away in front of my eyes and not be able to do a thing about it.
The truth is:
That I am not handling this as well as I think I am, yes I survive through the day and do all that needs to be done and taken care of, yet still cry myself to sleep every night.
The truth is:
That he is handling this with so much courage and grace, I never thought was possible for a human being.
The truth is:
That I hate being alone because my thoughts take me to dark places that I don't want to go, yet I hate being around people too, as talking about all this is too hard on me.
The truth is:
That I do cherish every moment spent with him, yet I'm afraid of the future without him.
The truth is:
That his eyes say all the things he is unable to put in words.
The truth is:
That I'm grateful for having my boys, yet hate to see them suffer through this as well.
The truth is:
That life is too short and we must live in the now and breath in every moment entirely.
The truth is:
That there is so much to be said still and so much still undone, yet there has been so much said and experienced between us already.
The truth is:
That I want so much to wake up from this nightmare, and it can't be done.
And the truth is:
That as much as I hate to sound so cliche, but
we should all live each day like it's our last, because we really don't know what tomorrow has in store for us!

And Laugh

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hungry Boys

What does one feed four hungry teenage boys???
This was the question on my mind close to dinner time today... My two boys and a couple of friends, after school and a nice splash in our pool... and you've got four teens so hungry they would probably eat a horse, or even something bigger.
Easy...! No brainer...! Something meaty, and preferably grilled hence these delicious hot dogs.
And no recipe required for this one. Just picked up a pack of Cajun Smoked Sausages, grilled them up, sauteed some onions and tri color peppers (yes I got them to have some veggies too), had the usual trio of condiments (ketchup, mustard and relish), made some fresh home made fries... and had myself some very happy and full stomachs.
They say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach?? Ya and it starts at a pretty early age. :)

Love and Peace!

Thanks Girls!

Couple of my girlfriends kidnapped me for a quick hour lunch yesterday. I must say, at first I really didn't want to go (lately I don't do well being around people), and was searching for any excuse to get out of it but.... couldn't come up with any valid reason for not going. The husband was taken care of with all his meds, food etc, dinner was made already and a load of laundry was on the spin cycle spinning away. So, I kicked my ass out the door and joined them. I'm glad I did... it was a very short hour and a half lunch, they both had to get back to work, and I had to take mom-in-law to the doctor, so we didn't have too much time to hang out and enjoy the afternoon. But it was really nice, we sat outside, the weather was perfect, the company was great and the food was pretty good too, and hey it gave me a reason to shower and put lipstick on (just kidding about the shower, I shower daily;). We talked about this and that... discussed our husbands health problem (yes all three of us), and just forgot the worries for a little while.
Thanks girls! Aren't girlfriends great?
So, go kidnap a friend who needs to get away, today!
She'll be glad you did.
Love and Peace!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's cookin?

Hubby was craving Baja style tacos today.... your wish is my command my dear.
So, I made fish, chicken and shrimp tacos (yum), with all the extra toppings:
Home made guacamole, fire roasted tomato salsa, sour cream and cabbage slaw. They were delightful, and took us down memory lane.... to Rosarito Beach, Mexico. There is this little shack down there by Quinta del Mar resort, we always stop by there whenever we drive down to Baja. It is literally a shack, a great little lady named Maria was running it back in the day, made the best fish tacos we have ever had... It's a good thing we have Senor Fish here in Eagle Rock that comes pretty close, they have really good food.
Anyways, we enjoyed the tacos to the max, the only thing missing was the beach and a couple of cold Coronas, but Gag can't have alcohol, so we settled for Pomegranate Green Tea (from Trader Joe's, it's really good), I could have spiked mine... but it's not the same drinking alone.
Aren't memories great.... and it's funny how certain smells and tastes take you back to them.
You know, that's pretty much all we have with us in the end is the memories we've made, that... nothing can take away from us.

Anyone hungry?

Bon Appetite!

Just to Make Us Smile and Dream

(images from

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Received a card in the mail yesterday from a family member (thanks Gigi). It said:

"Hope is the companion of power,
and the mother of success;
for who so hopes strongly
has within him the gift of miracles."
-Samuel Smiles

Yes at times like this, one has to have "hope", there is not much else we have to hang on to.
But it becomes more and more difficult when what you are hoping for seems to get further and further and dimmer by the day, but we still fight the urge to give up and hang on to that hope, however small that chance of a miracle seems.
HOPE is always with us till the end...


Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer Fun

Ahh.... To be a kid again....

To quote from the movie "Under The Tuscan Sun" :
" We should never lose our childish enthusiasm!"

Have a great day everyone!

Love and Peace!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Things I Love...

These are the things I love about Gag.....

He is a strong man, yet very gentle.
He is hard working, yet lives his life in the slow pace.
He loves wholehearted, yet doesn't smother.
He gives and gives, yet never expects in return.
He has seen much sorrow, yet never complains.
His compassion is deep, and his understanding even deeper.
He has the patience of a wise man, and the wisdom of an old soul.
Though he is a quiet man, he says much with his
This is the man I love...!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Letting Go.

As I slowly start to accept the terrible reality that awaits us, I learn different ways of dealing with things. Let me explain.... for the past couple of weeks, since we learned that things are not going to get better with Gagik, I've been wanting him to express himself to me, to tell me things that he wants me to know, or to take with me through life, give me advice, share his thoughts, and I've been wanting him to do the same with the boys, which he is not able to do at this time. And as I was discussing this with my best friend, she felt my frustration and had this to say (which made sense and made me realize..), she said " Mar, just let it go..., just take what he has shared up to this point and keep in your heart the things that he has taught you and the boys".
So here is the thing....
Yes I want him to do all that, I want him to open up and maybe tell me things he's never told me..... but all this is for me. And this is not about me.. this is his life, he is going through this and if he is not ready or willing to go that deep, then I do have to let it go. And if at any point he does feel like telling me things then it will be a great gift to me, if not, then.... I have to accept that and take all that we've had together, and all that we have experience and shared and learned together, and cherish it, keep it in my heart. And believe me, in the short 17 years we've had together we have possibly experience and shared more together than some people do in a lifetime.
And this goes for all of you out there who know and love him as well. I know at times we want him to take part in family gatherings and friendly outings, but if he is not up to it then we can't be selfish and just expect that of him. The truth of the matter is, this is very hard for him, he loves life, gatherings and happy occasions and he knows that they are numbered for him now, but we have to let him enjoy those things at his own pace. I am sure that on some days, he doesn't want to be around anyone, or to see anyone, maybe because the pain is too much inside... I don't know, I can't explain it, but as much as we need to be there for him, we also need to give him that space he needs to come to terms with this situation his own way.
I know it is a difficult task for all of us, but again this is not about us.
This is about him!

Life is an ongoing learning process, through good times and bad there is much to be learned!


Friday, May 15, 2009

My Love

How will I survive this???......
Last night Gag and I were watching TV together, sitting close and I started caressing his hand.
It took me back to our first date.... We walked up and down Brand Blvd. several times looking for the restaurant we wanted to go to, as we couldn't remember exactly where it was ( which was kinda fun too). After about a half an hour we finally found it, and took a booth, ordered our Mai Tais, and were looking through the menu. That was the first time I noticed his hands (which by the way are still one of my favorite features of his). I loved his hands, couldn't stop looking at them and for many years now can't stop touching and kissing them. They are very manly hands, very strong and yet still gentle and soft...
And of course as I was caressing them, it made me think of how hard it's going to be to lose him.
It's not everyday you find exactly what you are looking for in a life partner, and not everyone is as fortunate to have that in their lives... Here we are two such fortunate souls who have found that perfect person with whom we want to spend the rest of our days with, and grow old with, enjoy our kids and grand kids with, go on long walks with, have hours of conversations without getting bored with.... and now all that is going to be left short, with those dreams left unsatisfied....
We looked at each other, and as my eyes teared up I turned my face so that he won't notice, but he did, and right then we knew what we were both thinking, and the pain was so deep in the core of our souls, we said nothing and just sat there holding each others hands.
It's just not right.... and it hurts too much....
How will I survive this???...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Comfort Foods

Something about certain foods that just make us feel good on the inside huh...
It's a different food for each of us, some like soup, or something mom used to make, or just something we crave at that moment. I'm not much of a Lasagna person myself, but for some reason, taking this gooey, warm dish out of the oven, with the smell all over the house, just hit the spot. And it tasted as good as it looked, (yummy). I put mushrooms and spinach in with the ground beef, and go easy with the sauce, so you get the great taste of the beef with all it's flavorings, and a perfect balance of the pasta, cheese and the sauce. I guess there is nothing like comfort food to put you right again...
On another note, Gagik was in a great mood today, so it made my day a whole lot better, who knows I might even have the energy to squeeze in that half hour yoga session today after all, (but first, gotta digest this Lasagna :)

So what are some of your favorite comfort foods? Please indulge me and don't hold back :)

Love and Peace!


Lets talk about the "self" today....
You know... that "little voice" inside our heads that is constantly nagging, and criticizing us, putting guilt trips on us, and yes at times a bit constructive with little pep talks.
Being a bit of a perfectionist, and having so much on my plate lately, I feel like I can't do anything right. Obviously with having to take care of Gagik with all his treatments and meds, and emotional support, and the kids with their needs, not to mention our shop with it's own problems, and Gagik's mom still needing me at times (should I go on...?). I am emotionally drained and physically tired, (which is to be expected), but I feel like nothing I do.. is done properly, no time for perfection and I guess that's OK for now. Then why do I still find myself fighting with that "voice" all day, constantly pointing out to me how imperfect things are...????
I go to bed at night, and when it's all quite... it starts with the nagging, going over every little thing that I missed that day, and... "I needed to do that" or " I forgot to take care of this" and "didn't get around to doing that"..... It drives me crazy at times. I've only been able to have one nice yoga practice, I find myself just too tired and drained of energy to even do that which helps me feel better and gives me what I need to really perform at my best. It's a good thing I have this blog at least...This is the one thing that I have for myself, that's a good release and calms me down.
And I know... all this is expected and natural with all that is going on, but I guess it's harder to stay focused and turn that "voice" inside to a positive energy... I have got to make some time for myself, I don't need a lot, like I said a half hour yoga session will do, and I should probable start going to my brother's Tai Chi classes again, that's another energy boost for me.
Hope I didn't bore you today with my "self" pep talk....
Take care of yourselves! Nobody else will.

I leave you with a little quote from Buddhas teachings on the topic:

"One may conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men, yet he is the best of conquerors who conquers himself."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cupcakes Anyone?

Had my third official cupcake order this Saturday, and actually my first paid job :)
Just wish I had more time to devote to doing more of these..... Oh well that time will come too...


Sunday, May 10, 2009

"BFF" Power..

"BFF" (best friends forever), as the new generation refers to it... This generation that can text faster than they can talk, all the while "IM"-ing, and responding to comments on their "my space" and carrying on a conversation on the phone (like my niece), all in a matter of minutes... Boy I tell you, before we know it our babies are going to pop out with a laptop in one hand and a cell phone with MP3 capabilities in the other, oh and let's not forget a dictionary for all the newly invented "txt" jargon, because I don't know about all of you, but I don't understand half the things these kids are texting about... But, where was I.....

Oh yes, back to "bff"s.... For us girls having a close nit group of girlfriends is not only fun, but essential for survival in this life. Who doesn't enjoy a night out with the girls every now and then, with some margaritas and a great conversation, we can laugh, recharge and for once not worry about being a wife or a mother and just be us "girls". Or how about a couple of days away, doing a little bit of lounging around in our PJ's in the hotel room and watching "chick flicks", eating all the chocolate we want, without worrying about how we look that day. Ahh good memories....

We all love each of our girlfriends for different reasons, one may be our fashion guru, or the other knows all the hot spots in town, and yet another is our drinking buddy.... But there is always that one we seem to connect with on a deeper level than all the others. Maybe we have more of the same interests, or have a longer history with, but when we make that connection it is one of the most fulfilling relationships in our lives, we must hang on to it and cherish it for as many years as possible and even beyond that...

I am one of the fortunate ones to have that connection with my "bff", we have been together for twenty seven years, yup that's right, met in 1982 in high school and still going strong. We have so much history together and have been through many highs and lows of life, I can not imagine life with out her (ok girls don't get jealous). What I cherish most about our friendship is the fact that no matter what situation we are both in, or what time of day it is, or where we are... we can always reach each other, and know this person will have the time to give us and not judge, or criticize us, but just be that shoulder we need right then, or that guiding light to help us out of a tough moment. It truly is a blessing to have that in our lives.

So, girls... nurture that relationship you have with your best friend and don't let go of it, it's hard finding such a gift in life.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

To All The Mothers...

MOTHER...... What can one say about this, mommy, mama, ma, it is a universal word, a ward that exudes warmth, kindness, unconditional love, understanding, forgiveness, joy, safety... and on... and on.... We can find many such wards to describe what we each feel when we think of our mothers.

The greatest gift to a woman, a privilege, a blessing.... though sometimes it seems otherwise.

I'm sure we've all had those moments at one time or another where we just wanted to scream and pull our hair off one by one because of something our kids have put us through.... and I'm sure we've experienced that feeling many a times. But in the end, we still somehow gather enough strength and patients to deal with each situation, and still find ways to laugh about it all, and hug and kiss that little monster that just put us through hell as if it's the first time we saw and held him or her.

I won't let my fingers keep walking up and down this keyboard today... and just say....

I wish all you moms out there a great mothers day, hope you each get bombarded with warm and fuzzy feelings all day, and that your kids say "thanks" and "I love you" for real at least on this one day of the year.... (ya right)... And also want to dedicate this post to the great women in my life who have guided me and shown me how to be a great mother by example.... my mommy, my yaya and tatik (grandmas) and countless other great women who are great mothers that I have come in contact with in my life.

Enjoy your day, and fill it with some great memories to hold in your heart.


Friday, May 8, 2009


Wanted to update you all on Gagik's condition. He will be done with his radiation treatments on Wednesday, it has been a tough couple of weeks, with chemo once a week and radiation everyday, he is pretty exhausted and drained. He is feeling a little bit stronger, but with all the treatments and medications he's on it's taking it's toll on him. He is loosing weight still, almost 3-4 lbs a week. When we weighed him yesterday before radiation, I said "I don't understand why you're loosing so much weight, you're eating ok..." (how stupid of me right?). He looked at me and said " what do you expect" , as if to imply....."I'm dying what did you think"...... Every time I hear him say things like that it just chokes me up, and he is right, he knows what's going on inside him, and I know it's the reality but... what should I do, I just put it in the back of my mind so I don't have to face the truth every day? That's a tough thing.

Speaking of tough things, I had a very difficult "mother" moment yesterday. I had told Arman about dad's worsened condition a week or so ago, but we never really went deep into it.
Well... yesterday we had a heart to heart, and let me tell you it was the most difficult thing I ever had to do as a mom. I know as a 15 year old every little problem you encounter seems like the end of the world, but for him, now at the verge of loosing his dad..... is pretty much the end of the world. He said so many things that I never thought was going through his mind and it was so painful to hear as a mother. He cried and just couldn't understand why this is happening and how unfair it is, and how concerned he was about how Robert would handle it... "I just can't be around him mom, it hurts to see him like this"!

How do you explain to this 15 year old boy at the doorsteps of becoming a man, the time where he really needs his dad.... that it is what it is, and that we have no control of certain things in this life and that we have to except it, and try and survive this horrid time... come out of it still intact and not to loose ourselves in it's sadness.....
The only things I was able to reassure him with are the fact that we are together in this and that we will survive this and that him and his brother need to live their lives to the fullest and succeed and live happy lives to make dad proud.

Being a mother is a joyous thing, a rewarding thing, a gift, a privilege, and yes at times the most painful thing, because every little pain your child feels... you feel it a hundred times more.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Enjoy the Simple Things in Life!

The feel of grass under your feet.

Sand in between your toes.

The shape of clouds in the sky.

The smell of bread baking.

A hug.

A cold breeze in the summer.

A warm blanket in the cold.

A smile.

The smell of coffee brewing.

The beauty in flowers....

That's all I gotta say today!

Big Sigh.................

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This and That


One morning yoga session and I had enough energy to:.........clean my house, do a couple of loads of laundry, cook dinner, color my hair, pluck my eyebrows and take hubby to radiation.... and all this before noon. I really should consider doing yoga more often..


I've been meaning to bring your attention to a few of the links I have on my blog. I really want you guys to check out "to begin within" Alice is an amazing person with great incite to a whole different kind of living. Also check out her daughter's blog "kyranicole", she's making sandals to collect money for her summer camp....Brilliant (like mother like daughter).
Go browse in "wellness within" and "healing bean" great sites both, and you can order some chocolate that's good for ya.
Speaking of browsing..... when you guys stop by and read a little, don't be shy and drop a comment, better yet be a follower. I only have two lonely followers.... now I know there are more of you reading, so come on join in and keep us company. I know...I know.... you guys are all busy with your lives and what not, but if you have a little time to visit and read then speak up and put your voice out there too. I love reading your comments, but don't do it on the count of me, if you have an opinion about a post.... share.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Practice What We Preach

In light of my last "speech" about fear and regret, and not reaching our potential, or pursuing our dreams, I am going to attempt to practice what I preach.....

I have always wanted to be a Yoga instructor, well at least since I started practicing some 12 years ago. I taught myself with a great yoga book I picked up at a garage sale for $2. I fell in love and have been practicing ever since, unfortunately on and off. Every time I made a commitment to practice for at least 6 months to a year diligently, so that I will be up for the instructors courses, something always came up and I stopped my practice. And we all know, once we veer off of our routine it's always hard to get back on it. That same cycle has been occurring for many years and hence, I have yet to reach that goal of being a yoga instructor. Deep down I know how good I will be at it, and that it really is my true calling, but once again excuses and that ever present fear we talked about has kept me from reaching this dream.

Well.... from today on I will start my practice once again, and hope to actually put and end to that cycle and eventually one day teach this beautiful art of "body and mind in perfect harmony". I know with all that is going on right now..... some may say that "this is not the time" for this dream to start it's journey, but I say now is the time..... what's that saying? No time like the present? Yes so true, that "perfect" time may never come, so I can't keep waiting.... It will actually benefit me and my family during this difficult time in our lives. With the practices, and all the meditation and deep breathing that goes into it, I always feel recharged after a practice and will be able to deal with everything much better and with a clearer mind.
Speaking of deep breath..... how about we do a few nice, deep breaths together, ready??

Pranayama (complete breath)
Sit in a comfortable position
Relax your body, and shoulders
Let out all the air from your lungs by exhaling deeply
Start breathing in through your nose very slowly and purposefully
Expand your belly, like you are letting the air blow it up
Then let the air move up to your chest expanding it and filling your lungs
Now keep breathing in and raise your shoulders to your ears (to fill your lungs all the way)
Hold for the count of 5
Slowly exhale the air through your nose
Releasing your shoulder back down
End by pulling your belly in and pushing all the air out.
Repeat 5 times, with eyes closed, and tell me if that didn't feel great.

Do this any time you feel like you need to recharge or relax, I love it first thing in the morning and before bed.
I'll keep you guys posted on how my practices are coming along. I will start with twice a week and gradually move to a daily practice. And maybe I'll introduce a pose each week to you all and we can practice together.

I leave you today with these encouraging words.....
Realize your dreams and start that journey today!