Sisters, Like kids in a candy store

Today was the final piece in me & my sister’s trip to New York City.  Our segment aired on the Dr. Oz Show this afternoon and I felt relieved.  It was the grand finale on our whirlwind sister experience in NYC.  Watch the clip here:

My sister & I have had our ups & downs over the years, as is probably normal with any sibling relationship.  Well, maybe it’s not normal but it has been the normal for us.  But we’ve drifted a little too far apart in recent years, in my opinion.  So when I got notified that I had been selected for audience tickets for Oprah’s Lifeclass in NYC, she is the last person I thought would agree to go with me.

After all, she had convinced me that somehow we had nothing in common anymore since I had had babies.  She had convinced me that I couldn’t comprehend or relate to what it was like to be single in Albuquerque, therefore I wasn’t worthy of hanging out with her.  She had me convinced that my new circumstances somehow made me less of a sister, less of a friend, less worthy of her love & her time.  This was something I was just going to have to accept, after all you can’t MAKE someone want you.  Believe me I’ve tried.

It was a long shot, and it surprisingly came with very little contemplation on my part.  I think my heart made the decision for me, it knew that we needed this, it hoped that she’d say yes.  And she did.

The trip was everything I could have ever wished for.  It was everything that I tried hard not to imagine beforehand, everything that I didn’t want to have any expectations about in advance just in case the usual happened. I was going in with a clear head, a quiet heart, ready to just see what would happen in the 3 days that I had my sister all to myself.

In a nutshell, it was magical.  We were transported back to when we first turned 21 and went to Vegas together.  Like 2 kids in a candy shop, just excited to be in NYC, with all it’s energy, and each other.  For the first time in a long time, we  were both just living in the present moment with each other, no where else to be, no skipping out early.

We were just being twins, being silly, being excited, making each other laugh until our bellies hurt.  I think I laughed more in those 3 days than I had in years.  We were in sync again.  We agreed on everything, it was almost unspoken twin intuition:  how long to stay out, where to shop, when to nap, when to eat, what to do & see.  It’s like we were the same person.

Tomorrow is uncertain, but I will carry those 3 days in my heart forever.  We were not only sisters again, we were friends.

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I want to be a Supa Star

I went to my first Lunches with Leaders  function yesterday.  This is a local event in Albuquerque, New Mexico put on monthly by the Young Professionals of Albuquerque (YPA).  I’m not a member of the YPA but I got an email through my Linked-In subscriptions and decided to check it out.  I attended with a few fellow Junior League ladies.  We were ready to be inspired.

The guest speaker was Sally Adams, a highly successful business woman in our community.  She started out by downplaying her long list of achievements but she shouldn’t have.  She is great.  She has a very long history of giving back to her community and receiving numerous awards & accolades.   One of the first things she told our audience was something to the tune of encouraging us to find a non-profit organization that we liked and to partner with them throughout our careers.  Hopefully that message will stick with most of us.  It always impresses me when people use their “celebrity” (or the influence they have within an industry) to help others in their community.

Sally talked extensively about her life’s journey, which was humorous, scandalous, and entertaining.  She even shed a few heartfelt tears when she spoke about her beloved daughter.  She shared how she made many questionable or “failed” choices in her life.  Though failed choices, she said she never regretted them because they were the choices that made her into the woman that she eventually became: knowledgeable, well-rounded, experienced, down-to-earth, compassionate, and relate-able.  All of those experiences are what made her “real”, not just a list of awards on a piece of paper but something that created what she called the “fabric” of interpersonal relationships with others.

Often times I go to business engagements and I never really get a sense of who someone really is or was along their journey.  We never get to scratch beneath the surface of who these “successful” people really are.  In my personal life, I enjoy people who are introspective and can be honest with others, but more importantly honest with themselves.  I liked that Sally was willing to tell her colorful life story to a room full of strangers and not be fearful of judgment.  It’s refreshing when people “own” who they are and the decisions they made along the way (good or bad).

I think being comfortable in your own skin must just come with age.  I don’t think there is any faster or easier route.  She mentioned that she was 54.  Today, I turned 34, and I have to say that I can’t wait until I feel so comfortable in my own skin too.

I hope God understands

This Easter Sunday was one to remember…. Or maybe better to forget.   It started out with Charlie & I getting to sleep in a little (and by “a little” I mean till 8:15am) due to the kids staying up later than usual the night before.  Charlie was feeling unusually tired due to getting a tetanus shot that Friday, so I happily took on breakfast duty and made a batch of chocolate chip pancakes with bananas & whipped cream on top. They were delicious if I do say so myself.

Shortly there after we all ventured outside to check on the mini goats.  We discovered they had gotten in the patio (AGAIN) and one of them still had “runny” poo instead of the usual pellets.  Frustrated, Charlie exclaimed that if he never had to clean up poo from the patio again it would be too soon.  So while Charlie cleaned up the poo, I watered the flower bed.  Then I sat on the couch swing with Gentry and relaxed.  In true Gentry fashion he couldn’t sit still for long and he started climbing up the swing and hanging from the built in shade awning above.  To keep him from falling on me, I told him to swing to the side of me instead of directly above me.  As I pushed his body to the left of mine & looked up, he let go and his head slammed directly into my face, specifically my nose.  We both immediately broke out into tears of pain.  Charlie & Haven ran over to comfort us but we both just held our faces & cried.

Things eventually calmed down and about 30 minutes later I had gone inside to google “cause of runny poop in dwarf goats”,  while holding an ice pack on my swollen red nose.  Just then I hear, Charlie talking to Gentry on the patio “You pooped in your pants? How did you poop in your pants?”… and as I hear Gentry start to describe why, I just burst out into uncrontrollable laughter and it hurt my face to laugh (which was in a full-on face headache by then but I just couldn’t stop laughing)…  Needless to say we never made it to church on Easter Sunday.  I hope God understands.

Luck of the draw, Oprah, and a Music Hall

I received a message in my email saying that Oprah’s Lifeclass was going on tour and that tickets would be chosen at random the following day.   I quickly found the page on their website and submitted my request for two tickets to the New York show taping with Deepak Chopra or Tony Robbins.  But in all honestly, I figured it was just shot in the dark, some marketing scheme that would pick one in a million submissions.

About  a week later, I received an email stating that we had been selected for tickets to the Tony Robbins Lifeclass, the evening show on April 2, 2012 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  I had to re-read the email over & over again to make sure it was true.  I was in disbelief.  The Oprah Winfrey show had been on the air for 25 years and we had never been able to score a single audience ticket, we could rarely even get through on the phone line, and now, this email was stating that we had actually been chosen for tickets to her Lifeclass show in New York  City. Part of me felt like I was on a hidden camera show and someone was going jump in front of me and say “Just Kidding, you’ve been PUNKED”….

The show was just over a month away.  My heart fluttered with excitement.  Who would I take with me as my guest?  Afterall, we only had tickets to the show.  The flight, hotel, and everything else would be at our own expense.  Who would want to go?  Who could go?  Who loved Oprah as much as I did?  The first person that came to mind was my Mom, who I quickly ruled out because she was across the world teaching on the tiny island of Guam and she wouldn’t be available on such short notice.  Then I thought of my twin sister.  Yes, we were kinda “on the rocks” and not as close as we once were, but she was the only person who I thought might appreciate the experience as much as I would.

When I asked her, she immediately said yes.  I jumped up and down with sheer excitement, like a 6 year old who’s parents just told them they were going to DISNEYWORLD.  Not only was I going to see my idol, but I was going to have my twin sister along with me to share the experience.  It was absolutely perfect.

When we arrived at Radio City Music Hall on April 2nd for the evening show, the air was sparkling with excitement.  Women were everywhere, ecstatic to be there, arm-in-arm with their best girlfriends or sisters, smiling ear to ear, and all dressed up.  Photos were snapping nonstop, people were documenting their experience at every inch of the theatre.

We were shown to our seats.  We got pre-selected to sit in the very front section in the Orchestra seating area.  It think it was because of our reply to an email of theirs inquiring about us.  We told a story of our last experience together in New York City, being stuck in the power blackout of 2003.  They either wanted to give us a better memory of NYC or they were rewarding us for flying all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We were so grateful to be seated just a few rows away from the stage.

When Oprah walked out onto the stage it was like I wasn’t even there.  It almost didn’t feel real.  After her show on ABC had ended, I hadn’t seen her in several months, so seeing her felt like seeing an old friend, one whom I had religiously watched on TV practically every single day for as far back as I can remember.

I could hardly notice the deafening cheering around me.  It was like I was watching her on television. She had the same voice, the same smile, the same sense of humor, the same mannerisms.  She was larger than life, yet her presence was calming & peaceful.  Her face translated as love to me.  It was familiar, genuine, full of light & love.  She had a warmth about her, a positive energy that brought tears to my eyes.  I felt so blessed to be in her presence.

Everything that she has done in her life has been to help other people.  Whether it be through her charitable organizations or though the work she does on her shows, she’s committed to success of humanity.  Committed to help us grow, cope with, and overcome things.  Help us become the best that we can be.  Help us forgive others, and forgive ourselves.  She’s a true humanitarian of our times, a modern day Mother Teresa.

She may not be directly living amongst & feeding the poor but she sure could have taken all of her wealth & riches and ran off to live on her own private island decades ago.   Yet, she didn’t.  She chose to continue to use her life, her influence, her platform, to encourage & inspire others to find their own strength and their life’s ultimate destiny.  She’s truly selfless, and a world class example of what true wealth is made of:  The wealth inside of your heart & soul. She is my hero.

She was so funny and real too.  During a commercial break (it was being aired live on the OWN network), she joked about her high heels hurting her feet so she promptly took them off and gave them to a screaming fan in front row.   She also joked around with the guest speaker, Tony Robbins.  They were both really candid with each other.

From where we were sitting, the sound was really echo’y.  We thought that might have been from the way they had to have the speakers positioned for the live feed, so we had a hard time following the dialog at times.  Tony Robbins’ loud booming voice really echoed alot so it was harder to understand him, distracting mostly.  But we got what we needed to out of the Lifeclass:  How to live fearlessly.  Tony was such an enthusiastic and positive guy.  Oprah spoke about how his support & encouragement prompted her to walk on firey hot coals, something she didn’t believe she could do.

End the end, echo or not, you could have put me on a tiny boat in the middle of shark infested waters with Tony & Oprah and I would have felt so grateful for the experience of just being there to hear these great inspirational icons and absorb all the wisdom they had to share.  Seeing an Oprah Winfrey show in person (and at world famous Radio City Music Hall in the heart of New York city no less) is now happily checked off of my Bucket List.  Whew.

Radio City Music Hall Lifeclass Audience

Radio City Music Hall Audience for the Tony Robbins Lifeclass

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah on stage at Radio City Music Hall for the Tony Robbins Lifeclass

Radio City Music Hall Oprah Lifeclass

Radio City Music Hall Oprah Lifeclass

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Radio City Music Hall Lifeclass Tickets

Picking up the tickets at Radio City Music Hall the day before.

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