For most of you, it’s no surprise I’ve been taking a break from blogging.  Sure, I update my Facebook & Instagram to document my day-to-day happenings.  That’s all quick, easy & fun. I’ve also been doing photo shoots, editing and holding meetings at the studio.  But blogging is something I typically save for last…because it’s very personal for me.  This is a place where I’ve shared snippets of my life, marriage, travels & health (before I even knew about Facebook).  So, here I go again…..

Since my mom was diagnosed with cancer on June 14th, I’ve been pouring most of my energy and free time into my family who lives across the country.  With countless back-and-forth flights to San Antonio, road trips to MD Anderson in Houston, then Thanksgiving & Christmas, I’ve spent a total of nearly 4 months in Texas.  Being able to sit right next to my mom during her appointments, treatments & tests is something I will cherish forever.  Even those awful, heartbreaking moments took our relationship to a deeper, more connected level.

There’s no place I would’ve rather been than THERE…holding her hand.  Crying with her.  Reminiscing with her.  Arguing with her.  Laughing with her.

This past year has changed me, my perspective, my priorities and my future goals.  While I’ve often felt like I’m walking in fog, I’ve also never seen this clearly.

We did not allow cancer to completely take over our last half of 2012.  Throughout all of the challenges & confusion — there was SO MUCH BEAUTY.  Conversations we would’ve never had, if not forced to face such a scary situation.  A strong bond with others walking a similar path.  Reunions with friends who my mom hadn’t seen for years.  Programming ourselves to MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT.

Along with my studio support team, my understanding & caring clients helped me during this trying time.  Whether it was rescheduling photo shoots, meeting at late hours or laughing when I had a brain fart…I have developed some beautiful personal relationships with my incredible clients.  Clients who have given cards, gifts, words of wisdom or a simple hug.  Clients who mailed care packages down to Texas…even though they’ve never met my mom.  I remember every single gesture.  And so does my mom.  Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude.

Today seemed like the perfect time to get back to blogging.  That’s because today, I turned 35 years old.

I’m going to share an unforgettable moment of my 34th year.  It’s when Matt & I traveled to England in May with my clients/close friends Chad & Melissa.  On one bright morning, they whisked me away in a big gray van that drove us to Oxford.  Our driver acted like he was simply giving us a generic tour of the city.  Then…all of a sudden….we pulled up into this neighborhood.  I instantly recognized the white houses from old pictures of my mom.  Tears poured down my face, as Matt, Chad & Melissa smiled.  When the van parked, they all said, “We couldn’t come all this way without going to where you were born.”

Me + my first home in Upper Heyford (Oxford), England


My mom in nearly the exact same spot…35 years ago.

Today, I view my birthday as my mom’s 35th anniversary of being a MOM.

On that day of my birth, I was blessed with the greatest gift of all: HER.

Kerri P - January 17, 2013 - 8:08 am

What a beautiful post and beautiful story. I’m sorry to hear about your mom, and so thankful you are able to spend time with her-family is the most important thing. Your post touched me, thank you for sharing it. Happy Birthday! It wasn’t until 2 years ago that I realized you came to Hunter’s funeral on your birthday. Thank you again.

Nicole - January 17, 2013 - 8:46 am

Cindy, with tears bulging in my eyes, i empathize and celebrate with you all at the same time. There is something so raw about grief and you have learned that this past year. One doesn’t understand that unless you’ve gone through it. Innocence has been lost with the idealism we have of life, but your wisdom and compassion are unmeasurable and will surpass all depths you have gone. You aren’t the same person, and you probably never will be. You are blessed to have people who love you enough to embrace the “new” Cindy. Here is to a remarkable 2013!! Xoxo

Pam Lemelin - January 17, 2013 - 10:44 am

Lovely lovely post Cindy! I’m going to England this May and will visit Oxford. I’ll be thinking of you!

Mia - January 17, 2013 - 1:42 pm

Your writing is so real and raw that I felt like we were having a conversation when I read this. You are a beautiful storyteller Cin!!! Thank you thank you for being so open and sharing these private moments + feelings

Jaymee Sire - January 17, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Cin…I love you and I love this post. You and your family are constantly in my thoughts. Happy 35th!

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