the truelove




There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

…and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them

and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly
so Biblically
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love

so that when
we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and everything confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t
because finally
after all this struggle
and all these years
you don’t want to any more
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness
however fluid and however
dangerous to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

Excerpted from THE TRUELOVE
From ‘The House of Belonging’
©David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

I’ve been reading and re-reading this poem for about fifteen years since the first time I saw the author, David Whyte, recite it at a conference. In 2013 I had an elaborate dinner party for six single women and part of it involved creating corn tortilla valentines with edible markers and candies to toss in to the lake in my town as a releasing of a wish.

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my Valentine dinner table and 3 layer heart shaped dark chocolate cake with rose buttercream – it was a fabulous evening

I carried my Valentine to the Tempe Town Lake bridge a few days after Valentine’s Day along with my David Whyte book and read this poem out loud before tossing my corn tortilla in to the only real water I could find in the desert.

Just three years later, on our wedding day, this poem was read as we stood over those rushing Falls releasing all of our past, all of our failures, all of our illusions of lost dreams in to that fierce water while committing ourselves to our future.


Dreams can come true and if I’m not a living testament to that I don’t know who is. I had all but given up on myself and then this.


If you’re interested in reading more of David Whyte’s beautiful poetry, first I highly recommend his book The House of Belonging which houses The TrueLove.. And if you click on his picture below, it will take you to some selected poems you can read online.


our niagara falls wedding



I’m not going to say much but just post pictures from our gorgeous special wedding day. I think the pictures say it all (just wish I could remember what we found so funny). 😉

By the way the little bag I was carrying was made of silk from my Grandmother’s wedding gown and filled with all kinds of special treasures borrowed and given. Love.

What a day to remember! 😀

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We each wrote each other’s vows, sealed until we opened them right there and read them.

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Our hotel is over John’s left shoulder and we can see the door left open to our room all the way to the right, 2 down from the top. The Big Wheel we got stuck in in that torrential lightning and thunderstorm is over my right shoulder. 😉

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When John and I decided to get married, we started, like every couple does, looking at dates. Let me preface this by saying I’m a gal who likes numbers. I don’t know why, I’m not really interested in stars and planets and find astrology mildly amusing but numbers and numerology fascinate me.

I’ve been referencing a book for nearly three decades which I consider my Numerology Bible. Ok truth be told, it’s the only book I ever have read and ever reference to anything related to numbers but I do use this one book semi religiously.  If a number starts appearing around me frequently or I’m making a big decision that involves choosing a date, I will definitely reference this book and have used it as a guide of sorts to help, well, guide me.

Here is the book and a link to where you can find it if you are so inclined (I get no kickback, just sharing):


(click the book for the link)

This book has you look up, based on your birth date, your “personal number” and when I read my unique number (41/5), it fit me to a tee. My jaw dropped when I read it actually as it was so descriptive to my personality–a freedom/change loving, creative, independent person who doesn’t like to be tied down. It also said I have a pleasure seeking personality. Guilty.


Which brings me to my marriage. 😉

I noted right away that John and I would both be age 55 at the same time just a month after getting engaged. I took note of this coincidence and shared that I thought we should get married under this same age. He readily agreed. After that, it just became about 5’s.

Fifth Year Golden Laurel Wreath

We decided May, of course, being the fifth month, then worked forward from there. Of course we noted the year 2015, another 5 reference.


We looked at May 5th and I consulted my numerology book and shuddered at the admonition to basically NOT undergo any kind of serious contract under that vibration. In a nutshell how it works is you add up the numbers of any date and it will give you usually a double digit number which you then reduce down to a single digit number. So going off our first date, it goes like this 5/5/2015.  5 + 5 + 8 ( 2+0+1+5=8) = 18 reduces to 9 (1 + 8).  So that date was a 18/9 day.

18/9 was a no. To quote the book:

“Maintain your present status while considering changes…” and “Sign documents carefully or not at all”.  Um, no not getting married that day. Not at all, indeed.


So we jumped forward to the 10th, obviously 5 doubled. When I did that numerology, I got 5 + 10 + 2015 = 15 + 8 = 23. 23/5–Eureka! Even the date itself reduces to 5!

I went back to the book and these are some of the words I found:

“There are powerful protective forces around you now to guide you in to safe ports…you may enter in to new contracts which could alter your life and such agreements may require quick decisions on your part. Marriage is one such contract that reacts favorably to this vibration”.  BOOM!

Our date was decided. 5/10/15--how perfect.


And it was Mother’s Day. Which was also perfect. You see I’ve spent most of my Mother’s Days in my life in a bit of a quandry which only got worse over time. Growing up without a mother, getting a terrible stepmother who didn’t evoke motherly love and then not being a mother myself, well you get the picture. Where do I belong?

On the side of a huge waterfall getting married and becoming a stepmommy, that’s where I belonged. Perfect.


As time went on, this date and this theme only started expressing itself with more magic, more serendipity, more joy.

You see, this date also was the date of John’s father’s passing. It was also Mother’s Day that year that his father died. You may recall, he proposed to me with his father’s wedding ring on a gold chain that his mother wore around her neck until she died. He found it just perfect we were reframing that date in history for him too. A new reference to that sad date.


As I reflected on other timing issues around our coupling, I realized that the date we’d chosen to marry was 23 weeks to the day of our first conversation which we considered our anniversary. Also on a Sunday. 2 + 3 = 5

It was 46 years to the day of his father’s passing 4 + 6 = 10. We’re marrying on the 10th.

One morning the week before leaving to get married I nearly fell over in the shower realizing that I was 5 when my mother died and John was 15 when his mother died. 5 /10/15


You can see I had no doubt in my mind we had picked the perfect date to get married and I actually began feeling like this moment was so perfect we’d be slipping through some kind of magical portal a la Narnia when we tied the knot that day at, you guessed it, 5:00 pm. And I think we did because everything just got more colorful and brighter after we said our vows that 23/5 day.

We checked in to our gorgeous room the night before our wedding at the beautiful Sheraton on the Falls and I think it was John who realized our room, number 2057 also reduced to, you got it : 5. (2 + 5 + 7 = 14. 1+4 = 5).  20th floor = 5 times 4.


It was all around us. All inside us, all woven between us. Our ancestors and our past and future all conspiring to bring us to this pivot in to our new lives. Yes the number 5 is the one where we pivot in the single numerals. As above, so below, the tipping point. The number where it all shifts, indeed.

On our wine tasting adventure we landed in an upstairs VIP tasting room and tasted their upscale sparkling wine which is called, you guessed it: 5. Of course we bought a bottle which we will be popping on our anniversary next year in the 5th month.


Right now there are all the 5’s I can remember but we tend to see them everywhere so John might have some more to add that I’ve forgotten.


I tingle when I think about this magic. And all of the signs and serendipity blessing our union and reminding us we are moving on the right path.

Not that we need it because I can tell you, this marriage is the best thing that’s happened to me in, well, forever.

A sneak peak at our wedding pics–stay tuned for more to come…


always and forever



Greetings from 30,000 feet! The miracle of wifi in the air never ceases to amaze me. How does this happen?

I boarded my connecting flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix after stopping on my brief connection to grab a snack then a bottle of green tea for the plane. I boarded in Zone 2 after standing there congratulating myself for navigating the connection so smoothly (I’m sometimes kind of discombobulated while traveling).

As I took my exit row aisle seat and watched the plane board over half way, I noticed the flight attendant walking toward me with a white wallet “she has a wallet like mine” I thought as she extended her hand which was holding my unique fox wallet as she said “you left this at Annie’s Pretzels”.


How shocking considering I didn’t even know it was missing. I scanned it quickly and clearly nothing was missing–not even one dollar. I then started shaking thinking of the alternative and feeling in awe of this moment of supreme protection.


This feeling is not unlike how I feel about having gotten married to the man of my dreams.  All the way to the airport–an hour drive–John and I reviewed our wedding, our relationship, the miracle of our finding each other at this phase of life. How we both feel we’ve gotten closer and more intimate/connected since we got married those 13 days ago. How our lives have expanded so easily yet so broadly in the short six-plus months since we met. How we knew, both of us knew, how right this whole thing was so early on and how we were unafraid to take the risks we have. In fact it feels so simple and so seamless that not taking those risks feels like a greater risk.


This has been such an amazing and miraculous ride yet at the same time it feels so natural and uncomplicated. If you were to ask me one word to describe our relationship right how, I’d say “easy”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s full of passion and excitement and fun but all in all it’s the easiest relationship I’ve ever had.


We had a total of 2 fights–or arguments–on this trip. One was over salt and the other roast beef. In both cases we were laughing at ourselves within 30 minutes of arguing. But we learned new things about each other both times. And had chances to apply them soon thereafter.

Everything feels just so perfect and secure. I’ve truly never felt this way before–that balance of passion and security/lovers and friendship.


I sit here smiling at my good fortune and haven’t even touched on the extenuating gifts of his three children who are all special and unique and bring their own blessings to my life.

Thank you all out there for offering your love and support and most of all, for believing in me. This was the biggest gap in my life but it was a Grand Canyon that covered over two decades. And I must have done something right because this is beyond all my wildest dreams.


Some gifts sent to us from one of the generous and creative readers out there who MADE these wonderful things–note the tears in the eyes of my husband as he held up the tiny apron for little Lillian:

love love1 love2 love3

Yet year after year I kept putting love on my treasure map so I kept believing against all visible odds.

And that’s really all I know for sure about how the miracle of this love found me.


Signing off as we’re hitting turbulence now.

Sending love down from this plane as we glide, bumps and all, over the bulk of the country.





I’ve been busy getting married and honeymooning with my HUSBAND that I’ve had little time for blogging. It’s been all I dreamed and more. I love being married and feel so lucky that I landed in the lap of this fun loving, giving, funny as hell, affectionate smart loving man who asked me to marry him.  I’m still in PA at our home here for a few more days loving the long views and fresh breezes. We’ve been having an utter ball being married, things just get better and better I’m happy to say.


Here are some photos of our time up to the wedding and our beautiful simple wedding itself next to the stunning Niagara Falls. By the way if you’ve never been, get yourself there!  And stay at the Sheraton on the Falls! Just breathtaking. I’ve never seen or felt anything quite like it and can’t wait to go back again. I’ll post another entry on our honeymoon soon but for now…our special wedding day (and the days leading up to it traveling to Canada).


Gotta love a man who can pack a car brilliantly.



on our way!


Remember these little guys from my Treasure Map? The ones that drew me to my beloved? Yes, I found them. 🙂

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Yes we pretty much hopped in the robes and popped open a bottle of champagne upon arriving to our room. Check out the view!


My redo on this dress before our fantastic wedding eve dinner at AG at the Sterling Hotel –wonderful meal!

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No wedding ring yet 😉



Falls lit at night from our window

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breakfast the morning of our wedding


John’s foxhead pocket square in his royal blue velvet blazer (hot)


my boots under my layers of lace rufflesimage

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got a free gift bag of cosmetics from the spa where I had my hair done


awww he’s helping me tie my boots


a collection of sentimental things we both carried for the ceremony


before we headed out to the wedding site (didn’t take any pics out there as we had a professional photographer and were too busy getting married!)


we did it!

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our wedding dinner overlooking the Falls at our hotel


one of my “something borroweds”



surprised my groom with this little cake and fox/owl cake topper 😉


dancin in the elevator after our wedding dinner (burp!)


a little too much champagne perhaps? 😀

A video of the morning after:


What a fantastic day all the way around, perfect in every way!

Some highlights of the ceremony:  we wrote each other’s vows that we didn’t know a word of until we each opened a sealed envelope at the ceremony spot. They were surprisingly or rather unsurprisingly similar.

Here is a photo of our rings with each other’s fingerprint lasered in to the gold. We also had the words “faith and surrender” engraved on the inside. They feel like a second skin.

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Here’s to True Love! ❤

showered with love




It’s almost here! I leave tomorrow for Pennsylvania for….drumroll….my wedding this weekend!  I’m so excited I can barely stand it!


Originally my fiance John and I had planned to just run off casually and get married over a weekend. Well something else kind of took over and although we are still eloping technically (meaning just the two of us without any guests or friends/family in attendance), this thing has become purely magical. So many things to share and many of them to come but this post is about a fairytale shower that my friend Kathy flew in from Delaware to host for me last weekend. It was truly the most beautiful magnificent shower I’ve ever seen and I have the pictures to prove it.


I met Kathy via Websleuths and she posts under the name Zuri. We got involved in some truly serendipitous and magical situations related to the Travis Alexander trial which are so involved I can’t go in to it all here. Suffice it to say she became a sort of anonymous angel urban legend on the message board we posted on and inspired many many others to do good deeds for the Alexander family –including me.  She has now also become my angel as well!

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Kathy is also a surviving sibling of homicide so we “get” each other on a very deep level.  I have clocked hundreds (if not more) of hours on the phone with her in the two plus years we’ve known each other but had only met in person once recently before she flew in to throw me that amazing shower. She has also met John! People are still talking about the shower, it was just that beautiful.



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(I got to take that home!)

It was a high tea held at the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort. 10 of us in attendance, including my dear from Lora from Tucson who drove up and my cousin who drove down from Vegas for the weekend for the festivities.


The table was so stunning that people were literally stopping to take photos of it as they walked past in the lobby. Everyone had their own small flower arrangement with their name as a take home gift.



The ladies were in their tea finery and at the last minute threw on this hat of my Grandma’s with a spider brooch that perfectly fit my flowy dress. Everything was perfect.


Our servers said they had never seen a table so beautiful or with so much “positive energy” as ours. Kathy kicked off a toasting situation where everyone shared a memory with me and tears flowed all around the table. There was so much love going on I’m surprised the table didn’t levitate. Then my dear friend Mya (who cohosted the shower with Kathy) served up 4 bundles of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” and inside the first one was a locket she embedded with pictures of my sister and mother. Tears as you can see.

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The beauty was indescribable.

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 (angel on my shoulder)


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(this is me showing a video John made to greet everyone there)

Since then others have gotten on the sentiment train and a friend stopped by yesterday offering to loan me a hankie that’s been in her family since the 30’s carried at weddings all over the world that have all resulted in long happy marriages.


Then last night my Dad gave me a baby pin of my Grandma’s and a bib clipped of his with his initials monogrammed.  (as well as a big fat check to basically cover our entire trip). It’s just all so much to digest!

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As you can imagine I’m knee deep in packing and projects (and working today) getting ready to head out tomorrow. I’ll just tell the rest of the story in pictures.  Thank you everyone out there who’s been cheering us on. This has been a very long winding road to find each other but we sure did. This is my guy, the one I’ve waited a long long time for. And I can’t wait to marry him and become Kathy Monkman-Higham (pronounced High-um). He is perfect for me.


Stay tuned for more adventures. We take off to our wedding destination Saturday and have so many fun things planned. My custom made dress fits like a glove and…well, just stay tuned. It will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

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Hope all you readers out there are enjoying your Spring. 🙂