Friday, July 30, 2010

An Angel's Last Precious Moment

Sunday will mark the one year anniversary of my Mama Comley's passing. It seems hard to believe that a year has passed. Looking back, I was dealing with a flurry of emotions. Joy from Bishop's birth, grieving still from Papa's passing, confusion in terms of God's plan for me, anxiety towards the prospect of a new relationshop, and anger for what I knew was coming.

I remember gathering for our family dinner and seeing the look in my mom's eye. Holding back tears, she was muttering the difficult words. I knew this was the end for M.C. I spent the whole night at the hopsital with my mom and grandma. We watched as she tossed and turned in pain. The medicine not able to calm her or ease the physical strain she felt. Her mind still sharp as a tack though.

Perhaps the most 'hard to swallow' part was when we asked her, "Mama, what do you want?" as she bellowed in pain. Her response, I recall plain as day, "To die. I want to just die." Chills filled the room. I unexpectedly yelled, " No!"

I also vividly remember the following evening, late, when we all gathered as the priest gave her a final blessing as she ascended to Heaven. The pain on my mom's face was all too much to bare. They shared an amazing love between mother and child.

We have completed our rounds of firsts without (i.e. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother's Day) Mama Comley. While they have not been easy, they have allowed us to continually reflect on the true angel on earth that she was to each of us.

Here's to you M.C. Thank you for watching over us all! We miss and love you!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


While nursing my chronic headache and spooking myself with endless re-runs of Without A Trace, I suddenly realized that my patience (cough, cough) is maxed out when it comes to something that I desperately yearn for. Then as I thought about this more, I realized that the only time I get so excited yet wish to prolong the actual event from occuring is Christmas.


Ever since I was a kid, I have loved Christmas. We still hold true the traditions from when we were little tikes. All 4 siblings sleeping in the same bed/room on Christmas Eve. Presents delivered on Christmas morning from Santa Claus in our respective places. Gifts from Mom & Dad wrapped under the tree prior to Christmas. Poppyseed bread and milk in our festive mugs for breakfast. Naps between breakfast and lunch. Stockings hung, falling due to the overload of candy, and then rehung again (sans as much candy). Getting up incredibly early to see what Santa brought.

As I grew older, my mom retired from her elf duties of handing out the wrapped gifts. Enter moi. Subconsciously, like a little worker bee, I spend my Christmas morning passing out presents like hot potatoes to my siblings and parents. Attempting to distribute evenly is a juggle leaving me with a stack of gifts to open while everyone else has begun transporting their new gear to their rooms.

Something about savoring the moment gets me. Every year. I just don't want to let go. I don't want to let go of my childhood, precious moments without worry, and the innocence & faith that comes with Christmas. It's the believing in something so magical that I just don't want to let go.

Ahh to practice that type of excitement and patience when it comes to other things...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Working Woman's Wednesday (Part Three)

Here's Heather: the east coast, west coast diva.

I know what you are thinking: how do you become a diva of both coasts? It's pretty simple really. Spend half of your life dabbling in the fabulous Hollywood scene and the other half emerged in the glamourous world of SOBE (South Beach for those less familiar with the acronym).

Heather and I met in grad school back in 2005. Wow, 5 years ago seems like forever! We quickly became close friends. We spent our time studying, dining out at Sunset Place, chilling in the Grove, and dancing at Automatic Slim's on the beach. Occasionally, we found ourselves on the beach, Johnny Rockets cheeseburger in one hand and a smile on our faces.

After school, Heather landed at job at Gulliver High School in the Gables/Grove. She has been working her way up to the top by teaching and coaching. She was promoted to Assistant AD for all Gulliver schools. Woo hoo!

In most recent years, we see each other less frequently, making the time spent together cherished. Whether she's jet-setting between coasts or I am touching down in Miami, we always make time for one another. Last weekend we caught up over cocktails, and we will get to relive our college days in about a week.

Love me some Heather!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


For nearly half a decade now, Josh has been turning his passion into our treasure. Inspired daily by those individuals in his life and the ideals he holds strong, Joshua Lee designs clothes for everyday living. His designs are bold, much like his beliefs. His style mixes the American contender with the bad boy feel. His vibe is one that screams bonafide bad a$$.

Ladies, do not fret. Redhawk Brigade designs for women too. Think less bad boy and more femme fatale. Add the flare of an accessory or two, and you'll be as hip as the fellas.

In accordance with his beliefs and support of our troops, he has dedicated many pieces to the military personnel of the United States.

Check out Redhawk Brigade for the newest gear.

Don't miss out on the next big thing!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend Wonders

The weekend was spent doing a hodgepodge of things. The lack of structure in my weekend was somewhat refreshing, but I managed to be on the go for most of it. Never a dull moment in this girl's life, I assure you.

Friday night, rested and ready to go, I headed to The Huntley Hotel for some girl time. With 3 friends in town from Miami and San Diego, I knew it would be a comical night. We sat on the dinner side in a poshy lounge area. We giggled and toasted to friendship. We reminisced about stories from graduate school and my less-adult days in SD.

Saturday was a full day as I geared up for Recruitment (have no fear, I am not going back to college; just advising). I pledged Alpha Delta Pi for life, and I am pretty sure I continue to exemplify the for life part. After a productive meeting, I headed down to the OC to watch the nuptials between Jeanine & Graham. In summary, she was a gorgeous bride. I learned a few Scottish wedding traditions, I adore the idea of "A Sweet Bar" (well a sweet anything is good in my book), and I cannot wait to marry my best friend/the love of my life.

Sunday I spent the morning with my RCIA group as well as volunteering at the Berkeley West Assisted Living Facility. I enjoyed my experience immensely, and I felt it fitting for the upcoming anniversary of MC. Lazily, I decided to soak up the sun with Nik by the beach.

But the most exciting thing to happen this weekend was the return of my sweet ;)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wonderful Woman's Wednesday (Part Deux)

Meet Nikki. Known as Nik to her nearest and dearest friends.

Nik knows fashion like I know Mc D's (previous life) and Chipotle (current life). She is my fashion icon. If I could pull off half of her wardrobe, I would be a lucky girl. Her eyes are proned to spotting the most glitz and glam, flawlessly coordinating pieces, and sporting them with confidence.

In real life, Nik is considered my Carrie Bradshaw. Her individuality shines through always. She is not afraid to speak her mind, give advice, or be brutally honest (a quality that I admire). Her spirit is a rare gift, one that inspires me to be vibrant and live without limits.

Of the many blessings that have come my way thanks to dating my sweet, Nikki is at the top of my list. Whether we are sharing stories over Yogurtland, screaming our heads off on roller coasters, or giggling over cocktails, I always feel right at home with her.

Thanks for being my friend, Nik!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Bishop Comley Dezarn!

Today, my nephew is offically one year old! I am so glad that I was able to be there for his 1st birthday party this past Saturday at Casa de Collins. Check out the pics below! Is he not the most adorable kid ever?!

The Birthday Boy!

Bishop's new towel

Monkey See, Monkey Do

B-day boy with his aunts & uncle

Um I love cake

In the pool with Dad & Kinlee

Sammy, why do you try to make me wear this hat?

Kinlee Dean

Excuse me, may I have my cake now?

The birthday cake

Hmm what is this thing?

I love the pool

Kinlee on the slide

Kinlee and Nana

The next John Wall

Monday, July 19, 2010

Home Sweet Home

No trip home is ever long enough, but I feel like this weekend we packed in the family fun. From dinners on the deck to pool parties and late night tennis beat downs to family boat rides, we had a blast! Loving and missing the family, but happy to be back with my sweets!


Dad & I

Kendahl, Taylor, & Mom
Kendahl & Bishop

Amanda, Bishop, & I

Bishop loving the wind in his face

Beez & Me

Bishop's First Boat Ride

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Holding Court

Not many places can put me at utter ease, aside from the spa when my mind has been massaged to a sleep coma so that my body has a chance of rejuvenation. Apart from the stillness of the massage table, the tennis court magically creates serenity for me.

I guess without even knowing it, tennis became my therapy many years ago. Something about stepping on the court allows me to zone in and completely focus on the small, round neon yellow ball. Something about the freshly brushed green clay and the neatly lined white tape that makes me feel at peace. The court is a place where I am able to forget about him and her, financial woes, and life's pestering questions.

It is on the court that I have experienced so many of my favorite moments. It is where I saw my father first shed tears of joy and excitement. It is where I came back from a 3rd set 0-5, love-40 defecit in the most thrilling match of my life and turned a W. It is where I appropriately fist pump after an intense cross court rally of forehands where I then rip it down the line for a winner.

But like Serena's Wimbledon, I have my own home court advantage. It sits right in my backyard. It is on this court that I learned to serve and volley thanks to many hours of serving baskets. It is always where I learned the skill of ball placement accredited to my dad. It is where even at midnight with the lights only highlighting the court I am able to find solitude. It is here that I have expressed anger, frustration, excitement, and joy. On the court, I have been faced with adversity, risen above the challenges, and generated success.

It is my home.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hello Summer, I Have Been Awaiting You

Summer. Officially here as of Tuesday July 13th. Better late than never I guess.

Miraculously, my skirts and dresses have been leaping out of my closet this week. My baby green and black romper has also made attempts to fit into my work wardrobe line-up (easy little guy you will indeed get worn soon, just not at the office).

For the first time since moving to the Greater LA area, I have not had to accompany my tops with some type of sweater thingy. This pleases me many times over. For one, my sweater selection is ugh. Most of them are too big, too old, and too out of style (ask Ry for his opinion and he will most def agree I am certain). Secondly, while I do not enjoy dying of heat stroke, I do enjoy warmth. And lastly, I don't mind showing off my fancy schmancy shirts that have been accumulated over the years.

It must be noted that the office morale has been taken up a notch or two, and I accredit this to the bright sun shining through our windows as well as the 75+ temperatures thanks to the cloudless skies.

Thank you weather goddess for deciding to grace us with your presence. Stay awhile would you?!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wonderful Woman's Wednesday

As a spin-off of one of my fellow bloggers (but as not to copy her), I am going to incorporate a play-on words into my weekly blogging.

In my life, my girlfriends have always played a significant role in my life. They have been there in times of doubt, fear, and sadness. They have been there in times of happiness, joy, and accomplishment. Like fine wine, with age comes appreciation and understanding in how to support and assist one another in growth.

We, women, are a brave tribe who find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our quirks, mannuerisms, apprehensions, and self-doubt. So as a way to show how wonderful the women in my life can be, I am going to take the time to highlight a beautiful woman each Wednesday (no promises on how consistent this will be folks).

First up...

Rachel Watts Webb

Rachie and I met in 2001 when we were both rushing sorority life at UK. We became pledge sisters by chance, but we became life-long friends by choice. She is an amazing woman, on the inside and outside. Her Christian values are reflected in her daily life, and it is impossible to not feel spiritually moved in her presence. She has a smile that can light up the room. Scratch that, she can light up an entire neighborhood. Her ears are always open to listen, and her advice has a way of putting you at ease. Whenever I need an angel on Earth, I just pick up the phone and call her!

Currently, Rachie is the proud mommy of Walker and the loving wife of Lee (aka Leedle). I had the honor of playing a part in her wedding day (can you say stunning), and I strive to practice the love that she gives forth in her marriage. I have only had the pleasure of watching her parenting skills once, but dang this momma knows how to get it done.

Most recently, while blog stalking her, I discovered that Leedle hi-jacked her blog to shine the spotlight on his boo. Rachie is hard at work promoting the great assets of our alma mater in the video below. So proud of you girl!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

KOL Rocks the Bowl

Hollywood Bowl: a hidden gem; an ampitheatre that sits off of Hollywood Blvd in the heart of the city where the maps of the stars line the streets but couldn't make you feel further from Los Angeles; an area where 10,000+ can enjoy the star-lit sky (yes you can actually see stars here) while sipping cocktails and treating your ears to fantastic acoustics; a place that just for a moment makes you forget all of your worries as you soak in the experience

Kings of Leon: a musical phenomenon comprised of 4 adult males born and bred in the southern state of Tennessee; a talented group of hard-working, dedicated musicians who toured for 5 years chasing a dream; a band capable of mixing melody, harmony, rhythm, soul, and blues to create heaven for the ears

KOL + Bowl: a pleasant surprise Monday night date; an amazing experience as "our first concert"; a musical act that represents "us" as a couple; a setting that allowed us to open our hearts, minds, and words to the love that we feel

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Camping 101

If you know me, you know that camping is not my thing. Mainly because I do not care for dirt, and I am a bit too OCD for the likes of wilderness living. However, I shared the most amazing experience and vacation with the love of my life this past weekend.

We spent 4 days roughing it in the wild. We saw 3 National Parks. We emerged ourselves in dirt, water, sun, and sweat. We spent time listening to the sounds of birds, waterfalls, children playing, and roaring rapids. We enjoyed the silence and stillness of the abandoned land. We read. We laughed. We ate like kings & queens (nothing like charcoal grilled chicken and steak). We roasted marshmellows and munched on s'mores by the campfire. We slept in a tent and brushed our teeth with bottled water. But mostly, we grew to know one another a little more and to love each other in a stronger light.

Enjoy the pictures below!

Sequoia National Park & Kings Canyon National Park

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Meet Half Dome

A granite dome that sits 8,000 feet in the air. From Yosemite Valley, it is a 16.4 mile trail of strenuous uphill climbing, stair stepping, waterfall spraying, cable mounting activity. The views from the top include snow-topped mountains, lush green pastures, and emerald colored waters. The experience is nothing like I have ever experienced before in my life.

There are no words that do Yosemite justice. I am not even sure pictures capture the true essence of its beauty. To spend 4 days in pure nature with God's gifts surrounding us was an incredibly spiritual journey. Combined with the extreme physical activity of mounting Half Dome made for the most memorable 4th of July yet.

Months of planning and training went into this weekend. All well worth it in the end. Because to face and conquer a challenge together is to strengthen the love between us.

Rising at 4:15am, we suited up, loaded our backpacks, packed the car, and headed to the trailhead. After a black bear sighting, we locked our food in the bear lockers and hit the trail at 5:30am.
Taking the Mist Trail, we started up the steep paved road. After a very deceiving moment of downhill, we crossed a bridge flooded by rough rapids. Making a turn to the left, we began ascending the stairway leading to Vernal Falls. The stairs were slick with water and puddles lay between crevices. The falls sprayed water against our bodies as we climbed to the top. Reaching the emerald pools, we encountered another set of steep stairs winding around to the top of Nevada Falls.
For about a mile, we ventured through a vast green meadow during the wee morning hours. Just past Little Yosemite Valley, we began another dirt and stone path upward, zig-zagging back and forth.
We rounded a left corner to find a large climb to the top of the mount. Granite man-made stair steps cut ever so precisely. One by one, we stepped and stepped and stepped. Alas, we reached the metal cables. In our packs, we grabbed our gloves and set out to complete the last daunting steep uphill torture (I mean climb). Using our upper body strength and what was left in our legs, we pulled our way to the top.


We could see for miles and miles and miles...a range of terrains and landscapes. We truly were on top of the world.