Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cancer Sucks

Cancer sucks - It's a phrase I'm sure everyone has heard. It's a phrase that resonates with so many people. Heartbreakingly - I don't think I can think of a single person I know who hasn't, in some way, been affected by cancer. Perhaps with a scare, or a diagnosis, or through watching someone they love fight and suffer.

This past year, a dog-park friend of ours lost her battle. It's strange to be at an age in life, where it seems like more and more people that we know - that aren't 'old' are getting sick.  Perhaps the big difference isn't being older, but being more aware of the people around us. Whatever it is though, it's hard to watch. Linnea was a person with a giant heart, a fabulous sense of humour, and a mind filled with interesting ideas and discussions. The world certainly lost a gem.

Last year, Todd, Linnea's husband was seeking a way to do 'something'. Something tangible and concrete. He started Linnea's Legion to ride in the Embridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. Their team was amazing. They surpassed their fundraising goals, over and over again. They inspired others. They helped spread hope - at a time and in a situation where that can be hard to do. This year, Carly's joining the team as they ride again.

LInnea's Legion


If you haven't heard about the ride, it happens over two days - and covers over 200kms through the Rockies. This year, it takes place in August. The money raised goes to support the Alberta Cancer Foundation, through the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, and 15 other cancer centres throughout Alberta.

So, if you're able - it would be great if you could make a donation to Carly and Linnea's Legion. The link is here: http://www.conquercancer.ca/goto/CarlySzanik We'll keep you posted on the news as the day gets closer.

Sending love,
Diana




Monday, October 24, 2016

Wedding Day

New Orleans - Part 2

While it was delightful to have the opportunity to tourist New Orleans a bit - the purpose of our journey was to join the celebrating two great people. Eileen is one of fabulous gifts of UPeace. I loved the learning there - but the people I know because of that place are so much more incredible. She's one of Carly's 'people' (do you know what I mean? Oh how deeply I hope you have your own 'people'. I can't imagine life without mine) and I love that over time I have had the opportunity to get to know her a bit more. She's inspiring, energetic, a dreamer AND a do-er. She's kind, thoughtful, and generous. AND she's a ridiculous amount of fun. It would impossible to image her being smitten with anyone other than an equally great person. It always feels a bit funny to meet someone at their wedding, but - Hugh appears to be all the wonderful that he was rumoured to be. I wish them a lifetime of joyful celebration, surmountable challenges, patience, kindness, and of course deep deep love.

Their wedding day was filled lots with magical moments. Another wonderful Upeacer asked me to take lots of pictures (a task I'm happy to be assigned) ... so I tried. Here are some of my favourites.

Eileen and Hugh got married in Audubon Park under the Tree of Life which was planted in 1740! It's a giant oak - with incredible branches. We arrived to a giant shade tree which was a nice break from the hot sun and a very talented saxophone player while we waited for the wedding party to arrive.


Doesn't it make you want to climb on up? 
Eileen's lovely parents, Ginger and Charlie  
A variety of people did climb up. 
Peddlin' the petals
He was great!  
The groom arriving and greeting his mom

Watching a beautiful bride approach 

A reading by one of Hugh's sisters. 
Another by Eileen's Godmother. 

Both the Dad's spoke - which was lovely. I unfortunately didn't get an in focus photo of Hugh's dad's speech. I love how the ceremony was filled with laughter and great big smiles.





Don't they look smitten? So much happiness! 
The kissin' part of the ceremony really needs to be in series. The sweet 'steamy' moment, followed by Eileen's laughter and trying to remove the bright red lipstick from Hugh's beaming smile. Adorable.




 And the celebration! Time to move onto the party!



The amazing tree! 
From here - we piled onto the school bus to take us to the Napoleon House for the reception. While we waited for those getting pictures taken there was a chance to look around, nosh on tasty things, and people watch the busy street below us.

For some reason - I didn't take many pictures from here on out. Apparently food was too distracting - but I have a couple and the wonderful Ms. Avra has said I could share some of hers that I really loved.
So there are a few versions of this picture - and at least one person look ridiculous in each of them... 
My beautiful date (photo care of Avra)
New Orleans Roomies (photo also care of Avra)

View from the balcony
The venue
I think this is when another wedding was walking by... 
During dinner
The first dance - which kicked off some ridiculously fun dancing
(photo by Avra)
The band that played was awesome. Lots of fun and great energy. Shortly after this I was introduced to what is apparently a bit of a New Orleans tradition, the 2nd line. After a bit of dancing inside, the band lead us out into the street - where the bride and groom lead a parade (carrying parasols) with the guests all following, with handkerchiefs. There is dancing and laughing and celebrating as you weave through the busy streets.

Oh yes, in New Orleans, you parade with your drink 

I tried to take a little video - as there was no other way to capture the event. I loved how random passersby joined in. I don't know that I've ever uploaded a video though... so I don't know if this will work.


video

Towards the end of the night - sweaty and happy (also photo by Avra)
This one is also by Avra
We paraded around until some crazy folks were walking in bare feet rather than their heels (not a place I'd choose to do that in. Hope they're well immunized) and everyone was through and through joyous.

The next morning - lots of people were hurting, but we stopped by for coffee with the newlyweds - and lucked out on a brunch date with Eileen.


I was a smidge too late. Moments before Charlie's hat was pulled down tight
into what looked like a most uncomfortable nap. 
Poor fella, needed a bit of lie-down while we waited for brunch.
I promise the car was stationary - or we would have moved him. 
After brunch we did a bit of a wander through Crescent Park (I think that's what it was called) over the rusty rainbow.
Apparently when they put in the new park - they didn't really take out the old pier. 
There were pillars all throughout with different messages, peace, equity, family... 
The butt view climbing the rainbow
I'm sure you can guess why it's called the rusty rainbow. 
Captain Eileen and her brunching crew!  

All 'round a wonderful celebration. I feel fortunate that we were able to go - and look forward to many more moments of celebration throughout the years with these awesome folks.