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hello pigeon.

So, I went to my first Healing Chest yoga class. Swoon! First of all, it was in my old neighborhood (Platt Park for all of your Denverites) so I was immediately feeling nostalgic and happy being back in my hood.

There were only 6 women in the class. I felt safe and normal among these women who have endured what I have and more. Each woman briefly explained what they had gone through. When it was my turn to speak I immediately had to grab my boobs. “Anyone else do this?” I said sheepishly still cupping my bosoms? They all nodded.

Now, don’t get it twisted…I’m not going to start marching around in a pink baseball hat calling myself a survivor and entering every breast cancer event that is out there.

This was the perfect amount of community. I just wanted to dip my toe in a little. And get my yoga on.

It was perfect.



I woke up sore this morning and smiled. It wasn’t a lupus sore. It was a yoga sore, which is the best kind. I worked for this pain, dammit. It wasn’t inflicted upon me unfairly by chronic illness. I felt open and light. AND didn’t have an pain around my implants. Hoorah.

It was a lovely restorative class. Soothing to my body and soul. Not to mention getting all of the kinks out of my aching bod. Yoga is a necessity in my life. It was supreme to be back on the mat. I felt like I was home. I know this all sounds tres cheeseball but I’m being sincere. yoga+emily= BFF. And I know you’re thinking “don’t you practice at home?” Yes, I do but it’s not the same.

Anyway, I can’t wait for next week.

In other news, I need to work on not being such a cranky ass in the morning. I am a morning person but not when I have to get two children ready for school. I just basically have to follow them around (especially Finn) and say “Did you brush your teeth? Brush your teeth. Finn. FINN! FINN, BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!” all while I’m standing next to him in the bathroom because otherwise he’ll spin off in another direction. Oy.

Hadley is a different story. Constant distraction but in a different way. I’ll say “Ok, babe, run upstairs and get clothes on and brush teeth.” “Ok!” she’ll say cheerfully.

I’ll come up 6 minutes later and she’ll be standing in her room in her underwear half way through an intricate art project using a recycling yogurt tub, construction paper and feathers.

When she sees me she’ll smile and delve into an explanation about what she’s making as if I had never told her to go upstairs and get dressed.

“GET READY!” I’ll say cheerfully. Or, I think it’s cheerfully, but I’m sure H&F would disagree.   It never fails, as soon as both of them are out the door, I collapse and have to be still for about 45 minutes. Getting children ready in the morning is an Olympic event. Exhausting.



And now for a quote I love:

What is kinky?

Something with kinks or twists?

Well, that’s all of us, right?

It’s just a matter of finding who fits with your kinks.

To be loved unconditionally.

- Belle, Diary of a Call Girl


Crepes with nutella and tea are on the agenda for this afternoon. Just so you know.

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The Harder The Life, The Sweeter the Song


I saw Crazy Heart on Saturday and can’t stop thinking about it. I loved it. How great is the movie poster? Sigh…

Jeff Bridges was unbelievable. Absolutely un-freaking-believable.

It was simple yet so rich. Really heartbreakingly beautiful. I wanted to crawl into the movie and stay there for a while. I’m also obsessed with the soundtrack now.

Many more Oscar contenders to see…

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Thursday Loves

Wishing I was at Fashion Week in NYC. There is SO much beautiful design out there and to be at one of those shows would be BREATHTAKING. ( I was at a fashion show in Seattle (E!A!&R!) and that was small potatoes and I still was blissed out.

It makes me think of my friend KL who is a designer in NYC. She’ll be famous in a minute. Just you wait.

So, instead of being there, I peruse style.com and take in all of the loveliness. I also love to read Style Rookie’s take on fashion. The blogger, Tavi, is 13. THIRTEEN. Can you dig it? I’m astounded at her intelligence and wit. It inspires me to keep encouraging the eccentricities of my rare bird, HJ. Vive la Difference! Plus, she’s the most darling thing. Look at her.


I loved all of the different textures in black at Vera Wang. Badgley Mischka always interests my eye. I loved the chic, luxe coziness of Michael Kors and could see myself in everything, which is rare, except for this:

Well, actually, now that I look at it again. I WOULD wear it, if I had legs like that. I’m transfixed by those gams. Viva legwarmers!

  • Freebasing Girl Scout Cookies. Thank goodness these things only come once a year. I find myself saying “I’ll just have one more. Ok, ONE more. Ok, JUST one.” And suddenly I am looking at an empty plastic sleeve where Thin Mints used to lay neatly stacked.
  • The fact that my sister said I reminded her of Chelsea Handler.
  • I’m re-organizing my bookshelves according to color. Yes I am. Ask me how it’s going tomorrow after I’ve given up and just shoved them all up on the shelves willy nilly. I blame it on me looking at too many decorating blogs. (I really want to be Door Sixteen when I grow up. Love her black and white minimalism vibe.)
  • The fact that when I asked Hadley for the 47th time to do her homework this afternoon she said exasperatedly “I’m GOING TO, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!” I didn’t get pissed at her attitude because I thought ‘Hell yeah, girl! Bringing back “for crying out loud.” Good work.
  • Being asked to be part of The Healing Chest’s first classes. It’s an amazing yoga program geared towards women dealing with reconstruction following breast cancer. Every time I think about it, I smile. We’ll see what happens. My body and soul need this. I fear it might be too easy but I’d rather it be too easy and feel understood than feel like an alien as I have the past few times I’ve been to a regular class. (awkward whispered exchanges during class with the instructor about why I can’t do certain poses, etc.) Its just irritating. I look forward to being able to practice normally again…whatever that means.

Namaste, MFers.  I wish you a worry free Friday with some sugar on top.

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Know When To Hold Them



Last night, Hadley was helping me make tacos for dinner. Rather suddenly, Kenny Rogers “The Gambler” came into my head. I immediately started singing my soulful rendition. ( I fancy myself a singer. Doesn’t every body?)

My dad was BIG into music and was constantly making mix tapes for car trips with what he called “good music.” Kenny Rogers as always in the mix.

I quickly downloaded the song so Hadley could hear it and we resumed shredding and chopping ingredients for dinner whilst wiggling to the song.

I had this weird all over body goose bump sensation, and thought of my Dad. Tears streamed down my face as I chopped tomato. I let the tears fall and experienced the chills right down to my toes. Then I wiped away the tears and smiled. And continued chopping.

Now, who knows what this was and I’m not trying to get all mystical on you. And I’m amused that my otherworldly feeling came during a Kenny Rogers song too. I’m just saying…my interpretation of it is that it was my Dad saying that he’s ok and he loves me.

We listened to The Gambler again. This time Hadley sang along because she knew the words.


My mom sends us four kids emails frequently with news and goings on. They are always full of love and warmth. She is an amazing writer I often tell her.

She sent this email last night and I asked if I could put it in a post. I want it out there how special Ellen and Roger Padden are as people and as a couple. It explains so much about why I am the way I am and shows the example I was given of a true and nurturing relationship.

Today I met three new residents (note from EP: my mom is a social worker at a nursing home)...and got preliminary information from them.  One was an 86 year old woman who stated that her husband had died three years ago (my heart stopped) and that she was still grieving because she lost her best friend. The second was a 63 year old man with very complicated leg and hip issues...born in Lynn, MA.  (My heart stopped)  "Want to go to Boston, want to go to Lynn?  Look out, ......Padden, you might fall in!" Remember that poem? Jiggling a baby on your knee???  And then the man said "I will celebrate my 40th anniversary in June.  I've had a wonderful life."  The third was an elderly gentleman who got teary when I asked him if he was married.  He said that his wife had died last year after they celebrated their 60th anniversary together.  When I took his hand and said I was sorry, he said, "I'm ok." (My heart stopped)  I just smiled and said "Good".

I didn't tell my story to any of them.  It isn't about me.  I am there to help them.  But I came home so grateful that I have you all to share my grief, knowing that you miss him too and knowing that you want to keep his memories alive.  I think it is the spark that he had...the spark that I felt when I first met him as a blind date in Boston on a Friday night. It was Good Friday before Easter. I couldn't believe that anyone would go out on a Good Friday, but Joan and Fred persisted.  Later on, his mother agreed that she was shocked, too.   Joan and Fred and I picked him up in front of his mother's home. He was so joyous, so Roger Padden, in a camel hair jacket.  I thought right away...this is a special night.  I liked him so much, and I guess he liked me because he asked if I could go with him on Easter Sunday afternoon to Nahant Beach, his favorite spot in Boston.  It was a desolate beach (I picked up the black stone to remember the day in my mind) and then he ran out of gas, and we had to take the elevated back to Boston, and I had to loan him money...and I loved him then because he told of his life. I know you have heard this story many, many times, but I never tire of telling it.

He was a man of tremendous faith and humor. What a great combination.  I feel I am lacking in both without him to help me.  The Irish have so many sayings.  I do like the one "May his soul rest in Peace."  I know we all will be praying  for that tomorrow.

I am so proud of you all...and I know Dad is too.

Love, Mom 

My mom still has the black stone she found on their first date, by the way. She kept it all these years. On top of it, is a pop top (remember the old ones that came all the way off?) that my Dad used to size her finger before he purchased the ring to propose. The pop top sits on the black rock encased in a plastic half circle. I’m not explaining it well. I wish I had a picture. It’s like a paperweight. Anyway, if my sibs are reading this, I call dibs on that thing. It was a constant reminder when I was growing up of how magical love could be. Of how every day moments could be made into wonderful memories. And of how magical and special my parents were and are.

I responded to her email and among other things I said:

I choose to be joyful tomorrow and think about everything Dad has taught us and left us. To live my life with passion and purpose. To be kind to others. And to laugh.

Did you know because of Dad, Peter thanks soldiers every time he sees them? I had no idea. He just told me that yesterday.

We have no idea the breadth of Dad’s influence.


Miss and love you Dad. You’d be proud of me. Life is for the living you always said, and I’m living it.

Isle of View.

Emily Bemily


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I have been…



  • reading too many books at once – Peter finds me asleep with all of the books around me.
  • eating many many MANY Cadbury mini eggs
  • planning my final surgery in April (the “cherries on top” if you will. more on this another time)
  • curling HJ’s hair, much to her delight. Also putting a teeny pony tail at the top of Finn’s head, per his request, much to HIS delight.
  • coughing and constantly trying to soothe my sore throat (after the stomach flu business, Peter gave me some virus he picked up on his trip…oh, the thrill of being immunosupressed)
  • dying to go on a vacation somewhere tropical so I can I wear summery clothes and the kids play in the sand all day.
  • experimenting with wheat germ & baking things only I will eat, which is fine because they are so good.
  • juicing first thing in the morning
  • keeping warm and avoiding the cold. Emily +cold = no bueno. I shoveled the driveway for Peter on Valentine’s day and afterwards I couldn’t feel my left hand for an hour.
  • holing up at the library- my new solo hangout. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.
  • missing my Dad immensely. It’s hard to even articulate the hole he left in our family. He died three years ago tomorrow. He went into the hospital on Feb 14 with horrible symptoms from his first round of chemo for breast cancer. He crashed and never came back. As a family we decided to take him off the ventilator on Feb. 17.  My mom put her valentine to my Dad in the casket with him. A gesture I find so loving and beautiful every time I think about it.  Through my mom, I have seen grief differently. There is no end to it. You carry it with you always.  Grief is the lupus of emotions. It is different every day for every person and unrelenting. Making peace with it is a process.
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Happy Happy Love Love

Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day.

Much to blather about. Just don’t feel like talking. There are children to put to bed, ice cream to eat and Big Love to watch.

I gave my darling geek husband this card from Pop+Shorty for Valentine’s Day. I had no idea what it meant but crossed my fingers it would make him smile. And it did.


I’ll leave you with this sweet pic via pixy and taco beans.


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Slippery When Wet – Especially on Halloween 1999

Emily and Claire - Halloween 1999

This is a picture of me and Claire at a party that Peter and his roommates threw on Halloween 1999. (The photo is wrecked and I don’t have the software to clean it up after I scanned it in,so live with it.)

Me, Claire and Becca decided to go as head bangers from New Jersey. The idea was stellar and we had SO much fun getting ready. I can’t remember why ELK didn’t dress up but she captured it all on video.

I painstakingly painted Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet album cover on the back of my acid washed jean jacket. I remember it taking me a long time. Wish I had a shot of it. Check out the fringe on Claire’s jacket. She got the best one.

We had on long red fake nails, chewed gum and talked with Jersey accents the whole night. That was the best part. I can’t remember what our names were… I dug for a picture of Becca but couldn’t find one. She had this massive blond curly wig on. We made up whole back stories for our “characters” and ELK filmed the whole thing. We put all the footage on a VHS tape and titled it “I am No Whore”, which we thought was hysterical, of course. The title came from us saying that throughout the night. “I’m sorry. I am NO whorah.”

I wish I could find that VHS tape! Pure comedy. I remember one snippet where I was talking to the camera about my gold cross necklace and how I got it for my f-ing confirmation.Then I was all “zoom in on it! zoom in on it!” We were class acts.

I’m laughing now thinking back because this post is not doing justice to how much freaking fun we had that night. It really is one of my favorite memories. I loved being someone else for the night. Especially a trash tawkin’, headbanger from New Jersey.

Side note: Peter and I had only been dating about 3 months at the time of this party. (He dressed up as himself circa 1989, which was fantastic because he really used to be a head banger so he just put on crap he still had and threw on a wig.)

We spent so much time on that same porch swing throughout our courtship, talking for hours and hours. It was there that I told him so many things about myself and he did the same. It was on that swing that I laid everything on the line and told him exactly what I was looking for in my life. No bullshit. I always thought of going to that house to see if I could buy the swing. I don’t even know if it’s there anymore.

Here’s to our swing, honey! I freaking love you. (said in NJ accent) Also, happy happy birthday my sweet 41 year old husband. (Saying the 41 year old part is imperative because it makes me seem REALLY young at 36. You see the logic.)

Welcome to the week people.

Shout out to my favorite comedian/husband of my bestie, Brandon Moynihan, for his most recent, hysterical commercial that aired during the SuperBowl. (He is the “dolphin trainer in the sweet yellow and green jumpsuit)


And here’s ANOTHER one starring Brandon from the SuperBowl that is hysterical.

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Magical Christmas Eve 2009

Does anyone else feel TOTALLY behind on things?

I have Christmas thank you cards to write.

THAT kind of behind.


Any free time I have I think “oh! I can lay down.” Because of lupus I don’t have that thing that makes you go“Free time?!? Oh GOOD, I’ll go work out, then run to the grocery store, then re-organize the recycling, change all of the air filters, clean out the refrigerator and call it a day!”

I’m trying to be kind to myself but it really pisses me off that I’m not TOTALLY ON IT ALL THE TIME.

Moving on…

I did not want this memory to fade before I had a chance to document it because I want to remember every bit.

Our plans just really happened sort of organically on Christmas Eve. We didn’t have family plans for that day so I knew it was just us. I wanted to do something different. We decided to go to the Denver Art Museum and stayed for hours and hours. The place was deserted. Just the way I like it.

We had no agenda. No place to be. But with each other. Amidst all of the delicious art.

I took a shot of them outside the museum. Fake smiles much?

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Here’s another piece of art I love in Denver. It’s right near the entrance. I think I’m all about large scale.

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She was just sitting there like this, taking it in.

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This exhibit was my FAVE. It’s an entirely red dining room with grey-black foxes posed all over the place. I wanted to sit down in there. Plus, I love the way the red in Hadley’s dress is being picked up. She was entranced.

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After we had seen EVERYTHING I suggested we go get dinner at Steubens.


It was JUST what the doctor ordered. I love this place.  It’s a bar/restaurant downtown with good eats and a downtown vibe.

You know those days/nights when all of the stars align and life is just really really good?

It was one of those nights.

The kids were worn out from the museum and being lovely. My mind and heart were full of all of the fantastic-ness that we just checkout at DAM.

Peter and I ordered drinks (Dark and Stormy for me, thanks. PGP had his usual Guiness) and deliciousness ensued. Public thank yous to AXM for introducing me to my latest drink – a Dark and Stormy. Look into it.

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I had grilled cheese and tomato soup, oh yes I did, and was in heaven. I dipped my sandwich in the soup and kept thinking “I love you, grilled cheese, in all of your simplistic glory.”

This picture sucks but it was the only one I had of us at Steubens so just know that Peter was not totally hammered. (I’m laughing thinking of how my sissie and I always say that a picture is a good one if WE look good.)

Team Provost for evah.

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Thursday Loves - the stomach virus free version!




-My darling PGP is home from his biz trip.

-We are OVER the stomach flu. (choirs singing) THIS IS MAJOR. The kids are back in school. (Pretend that sentence is shouted by me standing on the roof, in a bathrobe, with my mouth open maniacally and spit dangling from mouth, all crazy and Cujo-like.)

Seriously, it was really really ugly up in here for a couple of days…I cried at least 3 or 4 times a day. Mothers should just NOT get sick. Especially if their husbands are out of town. It’s cruel.

But I made it! I celebrated this morning with tea and toast and silence.  I more or less said to Peter “I’m celebrating feeling better and the return of the children to school with silence, so if you could just play along, that would be great.”

-Finn has been so over the top funny lately, I can’t even explain. His enthusiasm for things is so delicious. I wish I could bottle it. I would keep it in a monogrammed flask in my purse to sip from when necessary. He came RUNNING up to me yesterday, all spitty and excited.


”What?” I say noticing that the dog has started to howl. Finn’s loud voice makes my old Atticus howl. There are literally times when I have to say “Lower your voice, you’re making the dog cry.”

“Mama, um, Mama, Do you know who hates the Jonas Brothers???” At this point his faces changes to one of distaste and horror.

He sticks out his fingers and begins to list the people who dare not like the Jonas Brothers.

“Mean teachers, mean grandmas and mean grandpas.”

He looks to me for a reaction.

“I’ll remember that.” I say (while holding in the laughter I so desperately want to let out.)

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This Makes Me Happy


I love this video from swissmiss.

Trying to remain positive whilst lying in bed with the Hadley. We have a stomach flu/virus. Puke. Literally. Puking is so traumatic too. You know how after you puke something, you can’t eat it for a LONG time?

Yeah, nice knowing you cheese pizza. Blech.

I’m smiling now thinking of a movie…can’t recall which one…but one of the characters says ‘I’m one stomach virus away from my goal weight!’


Or not.

Because stomach viruses suck.

No puking today, we’re both just WIPED out.

Finn seems to be over it so I took him to school this morning. I think he was over it yesterday but I was puking and couldn’t take him to school. (PGP is out of town) We stayed in our jammies all day and he was such a lamb as Hadley and I moved from one couch or bed to another. I was literally counting the hours, knowing today had to be better.

As crappy as we feel, it’s nice to lie here in the big white bed with the rare bird. I love her so.

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