Tag Archives: love

he’s a keeper!


♥  love, love, love this story!  ♥

(NEWSER) – Turns out Pinterest is good for something other than bookmarking recipes and crafts you’re never really going to make: One resourceful boyfriend snuck onto the site and used his girlfriend’s “Dream Wedding” pin board to actually create her dream wedding, the Daily Mailreports. It all started when Ryan Leak, 27, overheard his then-girlfriend Amanda Roman, 25, tell a friend that she wanted to get engaged and married on the same day. So, for the next year, Leak set out to make it happen.

Using the 220 images on her Pinterest board, Leak chose the flowers, the decorations, and even Roman’s dress. In June, the couple flew from their home in Dallas to Miami (he told her they were helping a friend move), where Leak proposed … and hours later, they got hitched. About 100 of their friends and family members were there, and Leak even flew out Roman’s hairstylist to do her hair. “When I opened the door and I saw everyone that I loved standing there it was so overwhelming, I felt so overwhelmed with love,” Roman says. And she was wowed: “Realistically I never thought that I would be able to pull off some of the things I saw on Pinterest.”

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i wish mr. & mrs. leak happiness forever!  good job, ryan! 

“Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.”
 ~ Alice Walker 

you never know who’s watching


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for two and a half years now, i have lived directly across the street from the thai mission.   the doorman at the thai general consulate has worked there for 41 years, although i didn’t know that until today.   i really don’t know very much about him at all, actually.   he speaks very little english and i’m sure we have never had a conversation lasting longer than one minute – until just now.   on my way back home from walking ivan, he crossed the street and waved me over to let me know that today would be his last day, and in his very broken english said the following:

you haven’t been around much lately and i was hoping i would see you before i left.  you are one of the good ones, a big heart, kind – i know it and god knows it.  i wanted to make sure to say goodbye to you – god bless you.

i am putting that on my top 10 nicest things ever to happen list.

thai flag.

“If you see good in people, you radiate a harmonious loving energy which uplifts those around you. If you can maintain this habit,this energy will turn into a steady flow of love.”
 ~ Annamalai Swami

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cow kisses


 

schoolhouse rd kissing cows 

cow kiss

cow kiss crop

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“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
~ Dalai Lama

 

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best friends holding hands


 ♥

best friends

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
~ Aristotle

change making!


yesterday, on my usual rounds, i stopped by a rally on east 47th street in dag hammarskjold plaza that blew me away.  the leader of the rally was a self described 16 year old “change maker” named mariely garcia.  trust me, this will not be the last time you read about mariely (. . .  just remember, you heard it here first!)  this is mariely (on right) with another amazing young change maker:

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imagine a 16 year old who has already created a mission for not only herself – but for the world!  mariely is the founder of a campaign called perfectly made with a mission to change reality; to change the definition of the word perfect; to fill the world with love and convince young people of their value.  In her words,

Perfectly Made is a campaign to redefine the word perfect and ignite the flame of self-love and self-worth in young people all across the nation. To be perfect is to be who you are, love who you are, and embrace the perfection in everyone around you. By radically transforming how people think of perfection, we confront issues around self-esteem, bullying, and suicide with a root solution: the understanding that we are all Perfectly Made and must treat others as such. Through social media, videos, daily emails, and events of all sizes, we are sparking an inner transformation in students that ultimately translates into a world where acceptance, love, confidence, courage, oneness, inspiration and vulnerability thrive and are fully embraced.

yesterday’s rally was the launch of a national movement of students transforming themselves and their schools according to the new definition of perfect.  mariely has assembled a dream team & together they’re making it happen.
– she’s 16!!

i’ll walk you through the rally. upon arrival, people were invited to share in mariely’s dream by registering to help.  the next step was to stop by one of many full length mirrors to admire your own perfection. attendees were invited to share their thoughts using supplied crayons and writing on a very long runway of white paper which was laid down nearly the length of the plaza.

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young people were invited to express themselves through dance,

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poetry,

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and song.

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these peeps had talent – they kind you would definitely have paid for. . .  wow!

at an age where many kids have doubts about themselves an often not enough support or experience to navigate the turbulence, marliely and her team provide love and support.

please watch this video,  “like” it,  share it and spread the word.  make it your random act of kindness for today.

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mariely garcia for president!

want to see what a real earth angel looks like?


this is chris:

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now read what he’s done for my family – and just try not to cry!

Hollister Construction Gives Westfield Girl, 9, a Lift

Sara Cagnassola, born with cerebral palsy, had an elevator installed in the Westfield home her great grandfather built.

By Elizabeth Alterman,  Westfield Patch

A conversation with a former college friend led to a dream-come-true experience for the Cagnassola family of Westfield.

Thomas Cagnassola, 44, explained that he ran into his friend and former fraternity brother Chris Johnson at a New Year’s Eve party four years ago. Knowing that Johnson was in the construction field, Cagnossola casually asked his advice on having an elevator installed in the English Tudor he shares with his wife and children.

Johnson, founder and chief executive officer of the Parsippany-based Hollister Construction Services, said while he had noticed that Thomas was often carrying his daughter Sara, then 5, he didn’t understand why his friend would want to undertake such a massive project.

Cagnassola explained that as much as he and his family wanted to remain in their home, built in 1932 by his grandfather, it was becoming increasingly difficult for his young daughter Sara, born with cerebral palsy, to navigate.

“When Chris said he’d like to help, I knew he was sincere but what I didn’t expect was that he not only picked up the ball and ran it though the end zone, but he kept going through the band and out the back door,” said Cagnassola.

Establishing the charitable foundation Strides for Sara in 2009, Johnson made it his mission to first find Sara a wheelchair which would allow her to remain in the Westfield School District. Without the chair, Johnson explained, Sara would have to be bussed nearly 45 minutes away to the Mountain Lakes School District.

While hosting a golf outing for Strides for Sara, Johnson mentioned the need to a colleague who serves with him at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“He said, ‘We just bought a brand new wheelchair for my mother but she passed away. It’s never been used,'” said Johnson.

“Next thing we knew a Hollister truck pulled up and dropped off the wheelchair,” said Cagnassola.

Once he’d secured the chair, Johnson said he was “off and running.” Each year, Strides for Sara has been hosting a fundraising event with the long-term goal of installing an elevator inside the Cagnassolas’ three-level home.

This March that dream became a reality. After working with an architect and finding contractors and subcontractors who were willing to donate their time to this labor of love, the three-and-a-half story addition was complete.

Johnson explained that the project, which took a little more than five months to build, began with a ramp at the mud room level. Cagnassola said this ramp, which allows Sara the independence to go outdoors and visit with friends in the neighborhood without having to ask her mom for help, is just one of the examples of the ways the team took all of Sara’s needs into consideration.

Johnson said the kitchen and bathroom areas are now ADA-complaint. In addition, an electrician has outfitted the home so that through an iPad, Sara is able to adjust light and heat settings as well as see who is at the front door.

“Sara is the fifth generation of our family to live in Westfield. My dad and grandfather are both Westfield High School graduates. This house means a lot to us. If it weren’t for Chris and the Hollister Foundation we would have had to move to a ranch, I’m sure,” said Cagnassola, who added that it was thrilling to watch the project come to life. “This is a fairy tale for any family with special needs. It’s like something right out of one of those television shows.”

Through his company’s charity, The Hollister Foundation, Johnson has raised more than $500,000 to promote awareness for organizations that foster children’s advancement through education and healthy initiatives. The organization supports a range of charities including Strides for Sara, United Way, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Hugs from Home, and The Center for Autism.

Additionally, Johnson is a supporter of the Ryan Wolf Kossar Foundation, the CJ Foundation for SIDS, the Development School for Youth, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Family Services of Morris County and Fairleigh Dickinson University, according to Hollister’s website.

Sara’s First Ride

Once the installation was complete, Sara reserved her first ride for the man who made it all possible–Johnson. The entire Hollister team, along with the subcontractors who donated their time and talent to the project, were at the Cagnassolas’ home for the inaugural ride.

“It took four years of grit, determination and, most of all, love for Sara to see this project through, from getting permits and approvals, to raising donations and holding fund-raising events, to completing the construction work,” said Johnson. “All that effort came together when we saw the big smile on Sara’s face as she took her first ride on her elevator. It was a wonderful moment that reminded us of why we are committed as a company to building stronger communities by doing what we can to help those in need.”

Johnson said intially he had been thinking only about how the elevator would improve life for Sara but after taking their first ride together, Sara’s reaction made him realize the full impact this gift would have on the Cagnassola family.

“She said, ‘Now my mommy doesn’t have to carry me – it will help Mommy,'” recalled Johnson. “It was pretty moving.”

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” added Andrew Goetting, Hollister’s Business Development Manager.

Johnson said he was motivated to help his friend’s family because he always believed Sara should be offered the same opportunities his own children have.

“It’s important to give back,” said Johnson, a 2011 finalist in the Corporate Citizen of the Year category of the 2011 NJBIZ Business of the Year awards program. “But the actual gift was to us. After we finished, you felt good, like you could run through brick walls.”

Cagnassola said he can’t thank Johnson and his team of contractors, electricians and plumbers enough. “You’ve not only transformed my home but also my daughter’s abilities,” he said.

For more information about Hollister Construction Services, visit the company’s website 

sara chris johnson strides (5)to the team of hollister construction – thank you, thank you, thank you!!

sara chris johnson strides (4)pushing the button – getting ready for take-off!

sara chris johnson strides (3) mommy & sara

sara chris johnson strides (2)mission accomplished!

sara chris johnson strides (1) sara & hollister superheros!

sara chris johnson strides (6) happy family with grandma & grandpa

may god continue to bless you forever and ever,
chris johnson!

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
~ Lao Tzu 

happy pre-valentines day!


hormones

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr. 

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good morning new york!


nyc skyline (15)

 

i want to take this time to publicly thank the city for it’s sheer awesomeness!  just imagine all of the greatness that is unfolding on this tiny island as i write .  it’s almost hard to wrap your head around it all . . . .

 

City Love

 

 

try not to cry


 


story peeps

 

“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.”
- Arthur Rubinstein

what would you love in 2013?


 

and what would you do to prepare if you absolutely knew it was going to manifest for you?

i am going to meet many amazingly wonderful people, one of which will be my future husband, get and sell the shot that will launch my photography career, write, write & write some more, do my best at the work i love which will compensate me beyond my wildest dreams, be aware and act on every opportunity to serve and finally, stay present and see the joy in every second of every day.

as you can see, i’ve got a lot to do right now so we’ll touch base again later, ok?

many miracles, peace, love & joy to all!

namaste,

laurie

venus icon

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness … the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”
~ The Dalai Lama

not for the jimmy choo’s


hi, friends -

quick question –  please help me out by answering this:

what is the  REAL  reason you would want to be super wealthy?

thanks in advance for answering & happy holidays to all!

“He who wished to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.”
~ Confucius

13 years


it was 13 years ago today that ivan said goodbye to his friends at the humane society on 59th st. and headed 4 blocks south  for his new home at 340 e. 55th street.  he was wearing a little yellow rain coat that the staff gave to him as a farewell gift.  i remember our walk down second avenue like it was yesterday. while holding his leash in my right hand, bursting full of puppiness, ivan sped down the avenue while i tried to keep up, schlepping his crate stuffed full of his belongings in my left hand.  the entire way home i kept thinking  “wow, you’re mine.  you’re going to live with me.  i have a dog.  you’re mine.”

funny how i thought he belonged to me.  it didn’t take long for me to realize that he didn’t belong to me at all, but i belonged to him. he stole my heart and now owns it completely.

ivan, december 8th 1999

he was the cutest thing i ever saw.

ivan’s first day at home

and he still is!  happy day boo!

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ivan, december 2010

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ivan, e. 52nd street, 2012

ivan, e. 52nd street, 2012

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller

pain


Pay

Attention

Inward

Now

iyanla vanzant’s definition of the word pain. pretty powerful!

 

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
 ~ Mother Theresa

boo bear


although he doesn’t look a day over 62, ivan is celebrating his 91st birthday today.  that’s 13 in people years.  in the 12 years and 8 months he’s lived with me he’s never said a word , yet i could write an entire book about him.

on december 8, 1999, i adopted ivan. when we got home, we both looked at each other & thought, “what do we do now?”


we went to the park on on 58th street & sutton place and bonded in an instant.  i think it was the most fun he ever had in his first 4  months.

after all that playing, i put him down for a nap.

 i can clearly remember not being able to take my eyes off him and i just stared at him asleep on the bed – until it was time to play some more.

as you can see, he’s exceptionally debonair,

incredibly modest about his good looks,


and not a bit fussy about what he wears.

(unless i dress him up in something ridiculous)


he plays well with others,

he’s adventurous & athletically gifted,

a compassionate listener,


and he loves a good party.

but most of all, he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

happy birthday, my love!

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 
― Lao Tzu

share it


When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte , Nebraska , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. 

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri . 

The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Assoc. for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. 

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet. 

Crabby Old Man 

What do you see nurses? . . . . . What do you see? 
What are you thinking . . . . . when you’re looking at me? 
A crabby old man . . . . . not very wise, 
Uncertain of habit . . . . . with faraway eyes? 

Who dribbles his food . . . . . and makes no reply. 
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’ 
Who seems not to notice . . . . . the things that you do. 
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe? 

Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will, 
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill? 
Is that what you’re thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see? 
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you’re not looking at me. 

I’ll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still, 
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will. 
I’m a small child of Ten . . . . . with a father and mother, 
Brothers and sisters . . . . . who love one another. 

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet. 
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet. 
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap. 
Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep. 

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own. 
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home. 
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast, 
Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last. 

At Forty, my young sons . . . . . have grown and are gone, 
But my woman’s beside me . . . . . to see I don’t mourn. 
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee, 
Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me. 

Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead. 
I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread. 
For my young are all rearing . . . . . young of their own. 
And I think of the years . . . . . and the love that I’ve known. 

I’m now an old man . . . . . and nature is cruel. 
‘Tis jest to make old age . . . . . look like a fool. 
The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart. 
There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart. 

But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells, 
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells. 
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain. 
And I’m loving and living . . . . . life over again. 

I think of the years, all too few . . . . . gone too fast. 
And accept the stark fact . . . . that nothing can last. 
So open your eyes, people . . . . . open and see. 
Not a crabby old man . . . Look closer . . . see ME!! 

“I am not afraid of aging, but more afraid of people’s reactions to my aging.”
 ~ Barbara Hershey
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3 day mission


there are 3 days left until my birthday. the start of a brand new year.  since i didn’t keep any of my new year’s promises, i decided to do it a little differently this time.  over the next 3 days i will give away 50 things, list 50 things in my life i am grateful for, give 50 sincere compliments and meditate for 50 minutes each day.  i’ll keep track of it all and post it in 3 days –  here is the start of the list of things for which i am grateful:

  
my wonderful parents   the peeps in the front row & the rest of the family!
  
boo-bear,  being born in america, living in the city & my car.  that’s five – 45 more coming up – but first i’m going to take ivan out for a spin around the block & dole out some compliments!

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
 ~ Steve Jobs 

 

happy birthday neighbor!


wishing you a year filled with health, happiness, love & abundance!

best line ever


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& possibly the best husband ever . . .

Here you go, Honey – $190M

jim mccullar won $190 million in the mega millions drawing. that’s a $90 million lump sum payout after taxes.  $90 million!  he was quoted in the post today -

“We’ve been married 41 years,” he joked. “I know what to do with this check.”

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“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
- Robert Heinlein

my wish to you


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“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe