Contagious Happiness

22 Dec

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I am at work on a Sunday blogging.  The reason I am at work is because my laptop decided to stop working on Friday.  I am sitting here soaking wet because I just left a hot yoga class and I stupidly did not pack a change of clothes.  Luckily I have a snuggie to wrap myself in.  Yes, you read that correctly, I am wearing a snuggie in my office.  That’s how this gal rolls.  My work computer is super nice and I can write much faster on it so I don’t really mind.  I have been feeling the pull to write, so here I am, typing away.

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I feel it is only appropriate to begin this blog by touching on the “Rae” of sunshine that is Mallory Rae Dies (I also want to mention that Mallory’s last name is pronounced “Des”).  It’s been 11 days since she left the world too soon.  The love and support that has continued to surround her memory is beyond impressive.  I found the hardest time for me after my best friend passed was once things calmed down after her memorial service.  I struggled during that time.

I have been following all updates via the Mallory Rae Support Page.  Her fundraiser that was thrown together in just 48 hours was a HUGE success.  The celebration of her life held at Shoreline Park looked like it more than did her memory justice.  From the pictures I saw via Instagram, Mallory put on quite a show as the moon rose and the sun set (photo credit to fern_golie on Instagram; search #4MAL if you’d like to see the magic yourself).

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Her fundly donations have slowed down a bit.  If you have $10 to spare please please PLEASE help her family ease the stress of her medical bills.  You can donate by clicking here.  $10 is the smallest amount you can donate via fundly (it defaults to $20 but you can change it to $10).  If you skip fancy coffee for two days, BOOM you have a donation.  Easy peasy.  I saw a Facebook post that said, “your donation is Mallory’s Christmas gift to her family”.  If you can help, I know it will be beyond appreciated.

I read an article last night that warmed my heart.  A foundation is being formed in Mallory’s name so this senseless tragedy serves a positive greater purpose.  Mallory’s Father has asked everyone to honor Mallory’s memory by never driving under the influence and also by becoming an organ donor.  Five people received the gift of life when Mallory passed.  She has given families a second chance at life right before Christmas.  I can’t think of a better gift even if it does come at such a high cost.  Check the box.  You can make a difference for many should you ever be in the same unfortunate position.

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Mallory’s blogs have had a powerful reach.  They were read 62,822 times.  They were read in the following 112 countries (many of which I had never heard of):

United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, France, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Brazil, Japan, Israel, Norway, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium, Argentina, Austria, South Africa, Chile, Denmark, Colombia, Peru, Finland, India, Poland, Costa Rica, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Philippines, Barbados, Turkey, Ecuador, Nepal, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Russian Federation, Guatemala, Qatar, Hungary, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Croatia, Ukraine, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Turks and Caicos Islands, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Albania, Kenya, Puerto Rico, Macedonia, Cayman Islands, Nicaragua, Portugal, Latvia, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, El Salvador, Venezuela, Senegal, Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, Northern Mariana Islands, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Slovenia, Bahamas, Swaziland, Marshall Islands, Nigeria, Guernsey, Palestinian Territory, Serbia, Zambia, Myanmar, Belize, Iraq, Saint Martin, Malawi, China, Ethiopia, Malta, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Jordan, Cyprus, Bahrain, Grenada, Greece, Rwanda, Belarus, Romania, Zimbabwe, AND Honduras.

As Mallory’s foundation is being formed if there is any way you’d like to get involved I’m sure its founders in Santa Barbara would appreciate any support they can get.  While I’m sure much of their support will begin in the local Santa Barbara community, an opportunity to expand their reach would most likely be welcomed.  If you work in the bar or restaurant industry get your wheels spinning.  I have already heard positive support from a dear friend in the Bay Area that is a bar manager.  Is there something you could do to help keep people from drinking and driving?  I know there are industry people here in San Diego that are sharing Mallory’s story.  Taking the pledge #4MAL is the first and most important step; spreading the word is the next.

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I had the thought that it seemed weird to go about my typical blog format which is essentially a run down on my day to day life.  This rather eloquent post on Facebook that my friend was tagged in made me realize the best way you can honor those you love that leave too soon is to continue to find happiness even when your heart is so sad:

“The last thing in the world Mallory Dies would want is people sitting around feeling sorry for her, yourselves, or anyone else.” ~ Jeremiah Shields

So, live your life.  Be happy.  Laugh.  That is the best way you can honor the memory of someone so unbelievable special.  Whether its Mallory Rae or Sarah Faye, I will honor their BEAUTIFUL souls every day.

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The rest of this blog will be about my life.  I wanted to take a moment to honor sweet Mallory once more before I dove back into my Happiness Project.

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The Thanksgiving holiday proved to be a challenge with blogging for me.  In the whirlwind of family fun that over took my day to day activities I did not have time to write a November recap blog.  So, this blog has a lot of ground to cover.  I am going to skip going into too much detail because as I said earlier, I am at work and its SUNDAY so I want to go the flip home, homie.

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My 8 year anniversary with mi novio was AWESOME.  I was told by a few that my lack of social media-ing during our date night shocked them.  Hartman often complains that he is rarely on a date alone with me because my nose is always going apps on apps on apps via my beloved iPhone.  I made a point to leave my iPhone in my purse to his shock and dismay.  We had a FABULOUS time out and I have decided I am going to put him in full complete charge of our dates moving forward.  He knocked it out of the park.  It’s always good to take a step back and look at the past 8 years of our life together.  It has certainly been quite a wild ride.  I wouldn’t have it any other way though.  My journal quote could not have been more perfect as I slinked into bed at the end of my day on November 1st.  Cheers to 8 years and what’s next to come.

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Life has been busy busy busy with a multitude of fun activities on my social calendar.  I had the privilege of enjoying a private VIP outing at Petco Park (shhhhhhhh, don’t tell them I’m all about the GIGANTES), girls night, happy hour, paint nite, High Tide Breakfast at the Marine Room, a lovely walk on the beach, dog sitting Sir Charles The True Gentleman Dog, AND reconnecting with friends who were away (welcome back, Roeys).  It truly has been such a wonderful couple of months.  I am so grateful to have such an amazing cast of characters in my life.  Enjoy the pictures of all the fun…

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Thanksgiving was spent with Hartman’s fam bam and we had a FAB time.  We started the week with his Brother’s family making the long journey from Tahoe to San Diego.  They stayed with us for a few days and we were sure to pack in lots of fun San Diego adventures with our precious nieces, Sienna and Riley.  It was rather entertaining watching big sister Sienna pick on her little sister, Riley.  With Hartman and I both being the youngest in our families we both remember having the crap beat out of us constantly by our older siblings.  After some San Diego fun we all headed to Mike’s parents in Northern California and we ate until we were about to burst.   We capped off the week with a trip to Lake Tahoe.  It was fantastic spending so much time with our nieces over an entire week.  Being an Auntie is one of my favorite roles and Uncle “Mito” is the most fun Uncle EVER.  He is a human jungle gym.

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I love Christmas and I look forward to December every year.  Decorating our home, listening to Christmas music, buying gifts…I love it all!  We live steps from Balboa Park.  Every year they host an epic Christmas festival called December Nights in Balboa Park.  As usual, it did not disappoint.

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gap intelligence threw their 10th Annual #gappyHoliday party at the Diamond View Tower in East Village this month.  I won the Ambassador of the year and was gifted a bat autographed by Mark Loretta from the Padres (I thought it said Matt Latos at first and was relieved when it was confirmed it was not from him).  I was honored to be recognized by my colleagues and the party was flippin’ sic as expected.  I danced like I was auditioning for the Jabbawockeez.

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All of my nearest and dearest gathered in Orange County for an early Christmas celebration last weekend since most of us are traveling over the holiday this year.  As always, the Hales know how to host.  We had a lovely time and somehow stayed up till 3am chatting away (a very rare thing these days for us 30 somethings).

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I spent a few hours last week volunteering with the Emilio Nares Foundation at Rady Children’s Hospital handing out Christmas gifts.  gap’s CEO was Santa for the day.  It enriches my soul when I help other people.  It felt good giving back in some small way to people so deserving of some holiday cheer.

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The sunsets in California have been spectacular lately.  I have taken time to watch them at a park that is near my house.  I have even pulled off the freeway to snap a pic.  The different colors painted across the sky this time of year are so pretty it hurts to look at them.  Gorgeous sunset = instant happiness.

I’m looking forward to hugging my family a little harder this Christmas.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday and do the same.

Finding happiness in life is the most important thing you do and guess what, it’s contagious.   Thank you for reading.  Stay happy.

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