Genuine Smiles

I have the hardest time getting good shots of my daughter these days. When she sees me coming with the camera, she either hides, makes a face, or if she pastes on a fake smile that just doesn’t look like her at all. I can relate ....more

Vera Beautified Me for Get Hitched Give Hope

I was getting ready for Get Hitched Give Hope, an amazing, annual charity event that pairs wedding planners and vendors with happy couples planning their nuptials, with the proceeds benefiting two organizations that support people living with cancer: the Young Survival Coalition and the Dream Foundation. ...more

The Haircut

Yes, my daughter had the most beautiful, long, golden locks. Did I say had? Oh, yeah, we cut them off ....more

2014 – Year end wrap-up

2014 was full of big changes and new beginnings for us. ...more

Gem’s Gems 2014 Wrapup

My kid says some funny stuff, and every year I post a round-up of some of her best lines. enjoy. That’s my girl! ...more

Outside looking in: a flash-forward peek at my future in parenting

My daughter recently competed in her first chess tournament. I was more nervous than she was. She’s only 5, and I worried about sportsmanship, I worried about whether she would have fun ....more

YSC, the Tour de Pink, and #GivingTuesday

A couple months ago, after a Tour de Pink training ride, my friend and fellow cancer survivor, Karen Lawson, posted a selfie on Facebook, and wrote, “Love these legs and the 57 HILLY miles they just carried me up.” I was surprised when my eyes welled up at reading her post. In the nearly 5 years since my breast cancer diagnosis, one of the things I’m still working on is forgiving my body, and learning to develop compassion and even appreciation for my body – mutant genes and all. Cancer felt like a betrayal; my own body turned against me ....more

The White House at Night

I just returned from a quick, four-day trip to Washington D.C. for ProjectLEAD with the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Coincidentally, my daughter’s kindergarten class has been learning about Washington D.C. in their social studies segments. She wanted me to be sure I got my picture taken with the President ....more

Recipe: Koobideh – Persian Ground Lamb Kebabs

While my husband was in grad school studying Persian literature, I started exploring Persian culinary traditions as a fun way to embrace and support his studies. One of our favorite meals is the very simple dish of koobideh, ground lamb kebabs, served with roasted tomatoes and basmati rice. The trick to a successful koobideh is to drain out the onion juice ....more