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I had a pretty amazing 2011.  I ran my first race (a marathon relay, on a team with three fabulous women), our family adopted a new dog (Nora, a quirky coonhound), my husband and I hiked the Grand Canyon (an amazing experience during which I found my new favorite place in the whole world), and I was given an incredible surprise party for my 39th birthday.  All of this wrapped up with two great kids.

I should mention that 2010 was a lot harder, albeit not less epic.  In 2010, I had two surgeries to treat thyroid cancer, and the road that followed was a lot more treacherous and full of unforeseen obstacles than any doctor could have warned about.  The fruits of 2011 came after a lot of patience with finding the correct medicine levels for my altered body, and after a lot of hard work in re-evaluating the things that are important in my life and implementing the changes necessary for finding peace, happiness,  and “big love.”

We are almost through the first quarter of 2012, and I am not sure what will come next – maybe nothing BIG – which would be just fine, I think.  But I did decide to start this blog to highlight gifts that we can find on an ordinary day, because if the cancer experience taught me anything, it was that being present and living in every moment is the only way to live a peaceful, happy and fulfilled life.  If you live that way, the ordinary can become extraordinary, and then…the extraordinary, like hiking the Grand Canyon, is, well, even better than extraordinary.

One person asked me how I planned to “top” 2011.  The answer is, I don’t.  That’s not the point.  There were really big things that happened in 2011, but the fact that they were big is not what made them great.  Individual moments made them great.  Paying attention and realizing what I needed and wanted in my life and then making those things happen made them great.

I have been given a great gift – the ability to find joy in simple moments, the ability to find longer and longer periods of balance and peace in a busy, hectic life.  My hope is that Daily Presents will keep me in the practice of looking for the spectacular in the ordinary, and for seeing the gifts and life lessons in the difficult.  If anyone actually decides to read this blog, I hope you will commiserate on the things you relate to and share the things that inspire you.

Introduction  aside, this blog is not going to be about cancer.  I may share how that chapter of my life continues to teach me things, but my hope is that this blog will be a source of laughter, love, reflection and inspiration for anyone who stumbles upon it.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present.” – Alice Morse Earle