Saturday, January 16, 2010


Today I am reminded how fabulous my friends are... almost a year ago I was sitting in Melissa's living room with some of the most amazing friends anyone could ask for. Seriously. It would take me years to write about each of them. Maybe that will be my legacy- a book on our friendship and how to make it last through thick and thin. Not something corny like the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood (no offense Sandra, I adore you) or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (however I love Greece), but something about society- how all odds were battled against us. College roommates, long distance phone calls, even "boy crush" swapping (that's another story all together) but we are still close.

Anywho... on a cheery, sunny, Saturday afternoon I thought you'd laugh just as hard as I did when we took these pictures a year ago and as I just did looking at them again! I can't wait to see these lovelies soon. My heart aches for their laughter and joy.

Yep, that's me!

Mel looks like Marge Simpson!

Is that Sponge Bob? Nope it's Christina!

*Thank you Apple for making such an amazing photo distortion program that kept us entertained for more than two hours on a sunny, warm morning in Denver :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's never too early...

Photo credit: Confetti System for Urban Outifitters

It's safe to say that the blistery winds and snow of winter are now here. As I sit typing this looking out on our backyard, I can see some of the dried hydrangea flowers that were still on the bush blowing away like tumbleweeds. For many, winter is a bit of a "Debby Downer" season. The lack of sunshine during these months is always an adjustment. Some flee south for warmer weather and others hibernate. For Kyle and I winter has become a solitude. With crazy busy Spring-Summer-Fall seasons we normally "dial down" a bit in the Winter. Work days are shortened and a time for re-energizing and re-charging is in order.

However, this Winter may not slow down- it very well may "speed up." With A Day in May, Event Planning & Design continuing to grow (we are almost booked for 2010) I'll be working hard this winter on further establishing our blog, our internet marketing presence and designing for our new clients and our company (i.e. continuing to sculpt ADIM).

With our last wedding of 2009 almost three months past I've been in a motivational and inspirational funk. And to be frank, I've been overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of owning a small business and being a wife, daughter, sister, friend at the same time. Some days I find that because my plates are so full that I don't know where to begin.

Because I know I'm not the only person who feels this way I thought I'd fill you all in on my 2010 New Years resolutions that I'm starting today, it's never too early...

Alicia's 2010 New Years Resolution(s) are:

1) to be a better wife.
No one is perfect, thankfully. And I am most definitely not the perfect wife. Since starting ADIM I've been focused on the success of our business rather than the growth and success of our marriage. I am so blessed to have such a great husband and I want to do more to let him know how wonderful he is and how much I love him. He has always supported me and my dreams and I too want to support him.

2) to learn just "to be."
For the sake of my own mental health I need to learn how to relax! I can watch a movie or read a book but I need to learn how to simply exist, "to be."

3) to be more productive with the time I have.
Liene Stevens with Splendid Communications had a great post a while back about Block Scheduling. I know that Block Scheduling does not work for me however I do know that I am most productive in the mornings. By maximizing my "work" time the more time I will have to spend with Kyle, Murphy and our family and friends.

I was talking with one of my best friends last weekend who said she "doesn't have her life figured out." None of us do! I especially don't. But I do know that I want to make changes in my life that will have a positive impact on myself and those I love before things "speed" out of control that I loose the solitude and stillness.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Flash back...

Take a look at this... precious isn't he?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

God willing...

Mom shared this with me the other day... it's such a powerful reminder that we are not in control of our lives. We live in a society of expectations and false realities but what really is "real?"

Lately I've been focusing on the here and now. Being present. To be. Last night during our small group, the lovely women I meet with twice a week and I were chatting about how we are "programmed" which is far from living in the present. We are built on routine and autopilot- especially during the work week or in our family's case, the busy season (April-November).

Finding time "to be" is difficult. I run two businesses, starting a third (more on that to come!), keeping house and trying to find time for me which is gym/eat, give some attention to Murphy and spend time with Kyle.

Enjoy this brief insight from My Grandfather's Blessings- a great reminder of just how fragile life is...

It is possible to befriend uncertainty, to remind yourself and others of the fluid, ever-changing nature of things. To remain awake to all possibility. Like many Orthodox Jews, my grandfather never made an appointment or spoke of any event without adding the words "God willing." It is actually a teaching of Orthodox Judaism that one does not make a promise without this tip of the hat to the authority of God. So whether someone said "I'll see you next Tuesday," or "We will have dinner in an hour," Grandpa would invariably respond, "God willing." God might, after all, end the world sometime between now and the chicken soup. There was never any fear in his voice when he said this, just a simple reminding of himself and those around him of the nature of things. Life required us to hold things loosely, not to be attached to a particular outcome. The lunch appointment, the pot roast, the graduation, or the marriage -- all were in God's hands. To be alive was to wait for the will of God to reveal itself. And one waited with curiosity. A sense of adventure. Much in the way you read a detective story at bedtime, struggling to stay awake in order to discover what is true, to see how things will turn out. If the fulfillment of every promise or plan rests on God's approval, then God's hand is hidden in everything that happens. According to my grandfather, all tragedy or blessings was a part of some unknowable and dynamic purpose. One might not always get one's own way, but one trusted the Way absolutely. At any given time, the will of God might be unknown, but the presence of God was certain and was the only certainty anyone needed in order to live. These days, my appointment calendar has places for entries three years ahead. There is a certain hubris in this, and, even as I write my commitments down, I remember this other way of living. I exchange letters of confirmation, I make plans, I even buy plane tickets, but deep inside I hold these things loosely. Lightly. I make my promises, and then I wait to find out. In my heart, I still hear my grandfather say, "God willing."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New look!

Hi everyone!

Be sure and check out the new blog and some new updates on A Day in May, Event Planning & Design website!

Happy Saturday,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Six letter word

For over 18 years my mom has been a breast cancer survivor and patient. Ever since I can remember we've had five members in our four person family. Through countless surgeries, treatments, emotional roller coasters and stories of success I'm writing this post to tell you how she's inspired me, our family and my closest friends. I've never been more proud to be my mother's daughter than I am now.

My senior year of college at Michigan I lived with seven amazing women. Three of us out of the seven have mom's that lost, are fighting or had won their battles with breast cancer. One of my best friends Melissa lost her aunt to cancer. Another extremely close friend Chris lost his dad to cancer. My grandmother had breast cancer and my other grandmother had lung cancer- both have passed. And a new friend David is battling brain cancer.

Cancer- it has six letters, it's a word that is used as a verb and a noun. It's not uncommon to hear in conversation yet it stings each time it's spoken. Why? Is it that we don't talk enough about it? I hear about cancer all the time on the news? Is it that we are immune to it? Surely "I" won't get cancer. Is it that we are scared of it?...

After 18 years of a continued fight my mom is at peace with her cancer. Through the word of God my mom sees her cancer as a gift. Each day she wakes up and thanks Him for the new day before her, for my dad, my brother and I, for Kyle and the dogs, for the life she has. Each day cancer is a six letter word. Nothing more, nothing less.

Four weeks ago three of my best friends told me they were going to run Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure in Denver. It was impossible for me to get to Denver that weekend but I wanted to run too. So on Sunday, October 4th at the same time but different time zones we all ran 5k in honor of my mom- the gang ran with thousands of other survivors, family members, supports and friends... I ran by myself back Traverse City.

Aside from feeling like I was going to die, I haven't ran 5k all summer, I made it! The gang runs every day so it wasn't a big deal to them. :) But the simple feat of all running together to honor my mom and support her was mind blowing to me. After the run I sent a couple pictures back to them shrinking the miles between hoping they'd send some of their pictures but I never got an email. I thought it was weird since we are all iPhone junkies- maybe they didn't get around to downloading the pictures or were busy with work like I was.

Then today I went to the mailbox after my meetings and had a card in the mail from them. There were the pictures and notes that brought me to tears. Everyone wrote such touching words of love and encouragement lifting me and our family up. They all ran with photos of my mom and carried a sign that said "Team Gail." Christina, Melissa, Kristin and I have been best friends for almost half of our lives. They along with their husbands Chris, Nick and Phil, Melissa's brother Jeff and his fiance' Judy and our other friend Aaron all ran.

The old cliche is that "words cannot describe" feelings. I disagree. I was overwhelmed with love from those images and words to the point of uncontrollable emotion. Murphy thought I was going to explode! I couldn't hold back the tears and crying... how amazing to witness God's love like that. It's incredible to know how much love they have for me but my mom as well. For 18 years she's inspired all of us to "just do it." Fight our fight and run the race. We did Mom, thanks to you.

Cancer- it's a not a six letter word. It's four, love.

The gang in Colorado :)

Me in TC :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Hi everyone! My personal email account was hacked into this morning sending messages to my ENTIRE contact list (anyone who ever emailed me), dumping my contacts and hacking in to Facebook and Blogger. PLEASE do not wire any money to Western Union!

Kyle and I are not in London and we are fine. We were told by authorities that this is happening EVERYWHERE! To learn from our unfortunate episode make sure your passwords are all different and that you check them for security strength. We do not know how they hacked into my account but I believe that Blogger was used to include Kyle's and Murphy's name (yep they got the dog too!). There is nothing you can do to protect yourself except for being careful with sharing your password information through all the sites you use.

If your Facebook is hacked visit their "Privacy" link and scroll to Security and follow the prompts. If Google is hacked fill out the "Reclaim Account info."

Want to know the hacker's phone number? +2348089127656. Thanks Google :)

Dear Nigerian Hacker Jerks,

I wish that you did not live in such a poverty stricken area and stealing money from strangers is deemed unacceptable in your social circle. I happen to have friends from Nigeria who are wonderful people who made something of themselves other than just low life's who wreck havoc on others. Stay away from my accounts and my family.

Alicia "Don't Mess with Me" Caldecott