A Little Of This, A Little Of That: In Real Life & Link Up

There’s been so much going on this past month that I couldn’t write about just one event as I usually do hence the title of this post. In a somewhat chronological order, what follows is a few of highlights of the most memorable happenings plus a couple more looks for my easy cool floral dress.

A consultation with a plastic surgeon started off the month so I’ll touch briefly on this subject. We met with this doctor to review and discuss options for reconstruction if I were to decide to have a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy and radiation. In my last update (My World Has Changed (Part 2)), this appointment was pending as was my decision on the course of treatment I would pursue. The surgeon was supportive of my rationale for opting for mastectomy and started off by explaining the process of reconstruction with an implant. The second option is flap reconstruction which uses tissue taken from another area of the body, usually the abdomen. The surgeon was thorough in going over pros and cons as well as showing us before and after photos.

Going into the appointment I’d been predisposed to mastectomy with flap reconstruction and left with the same intention. I’ll go more into the thinking behind this in an upcoming post that will be a continuation of the “My World Has Changed” theme. It would be a lengthy surgery which presents a greater challenge in coordination between the schedules for the general surgeon and the plastic surgeon. I was told that it might be a week or two before I would hear about a date for the surgery. Given the timing of projects and plans for staff vacations at work, I asked if waiting until July would present an issue. The plastic surgeon didn’t think it would since I was technically Stage 0 and while treatment was needed, a delay of a few weeks shouldn’t affect the expected positive outcome. About a week ago I finally got word that my surgery is scheduled for July 10.

Back into the swing of things with the blog, the dress I’d featured in this month’s Powers The Flower post with a look for work called to me to style it for other occasions as well. Challenge accepted, I give you a dressed down option where I’m wearing the dress as a long vest over a simple ensemble of a tee and linen pants.

I put together this next option with the idea of a look suitable for Mother’s Day and/or perhaps your child’s Honors’ Convocation (more on both of those a little further on).

Next up on the highlights is my new ride. I’d had my previous car for over 6 1/2 years and after close to 130,000 miles, it was getting tired and was headed towards needing some potentially costly repairs. Time had come to say good-bye and trade it in. I’d decided on getting a Honda CR-V some time ago so The Husband started to look for the best deal on the color and trim I wanted. Last month, we’d been at a local dealership and had come close to settling on a price but it turned out that the salesman had misread the inventory codes and they didn’t have the color I wanted in stock. At the time, I had decided that I wanted the olive green exterior and knowing that there was plenty of inventory available in the general So Cal area, I opted not be pressured into settling for a color that didn’t thrill me.

Given the events towards the end of April, acquisition of a new car had put on the back burning for a short while. In the meantime, I’d changed my mind on color and had decided I wanted the dark red exterior instead of the olive green. When contacted by the salesman we had met with previously who was inquiring to see if we still were interested in buying a CR-V, The Husband said yes but that our color choice had changed. Long story short, I got the color I wanted and we got it for the price we wanted, too.  I’m ready for new adventures.

Our son came home for the weekend of Mother’s Day so that the family could spend the day together. After a low key but delicious brunch at home (courtesy of The Husband and our daughter) with my mother-in-law, the four of us headed up the coast with the last stop being to return our son to his college town apartment. There were a couple of stops for shopping along the way as well as lunch and time to just chill on the beach. The night before, we’d had dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant which had its lighted heart-shaped photo backdrop decked out for Mother’s Day.

A huge focus of celebration this past month was for our daughter’s graduation from college. In and out in four years, no credits to make up over the summer … SHE IS DONE! With honors, too. The first picture (taken the Saturday night before Mother’s Day) was after she received her honors medal for being a summa cum lauda and then the graduate in her cap and gown as well as the view we got of the graduation ceremony.

Big news in the blogging world this past month had been about the changes in the Instagram algorithms and shadow banning. I owe a huge thank you to the bloggers who posted about this and offered tips for addressing the problem.
It appeared that I too had affected probably because I’d been using the “hashtags in the first comment” strategy. The new algorithms seem to have balanced out what I’ve been seeing in the feed and I seem to be getting more visibility too since my shadow ban lifted. Within the last couple of weeks I’ve gained nearly 100 followers and I took this screen shot when I hit 600 on May 17th.

To finish off the month, I got my first ever deva cut. With growing out the natural color of my hair, I hadn’t had a trim in a while and I wanted to freshen up my look. I’m trying some new products as well to see it I can get even more curl out of my mop. I’ll be sporting pictures with the new do soon but for now, here are the before and after photos at the salon.

Before

Before

After

After

Let’s Wrap This Up

Now, onto the Fine-Whatever link up for this week. My featured contributor from two weeks ago in the Up Down All-Aroundr link up is Cheryl from Northwest Mountain Living & Style. I selected her because this was the first time she had joined my link up but she’s no newbie to blogging. Cheryl started her blog with the hope that she could make an impact on how women are seen in society as they age which is as good a reason as any in my book.

My surgery is about six weeks off so I’ve got time to plan and organize things at work, at home, and on the blog. The calendar is filling up for June and it’s going to be a busy month. I hope that you are all enjoying a fabulous and long holiday weekend. Who’s ready to kick off the start of the summer season?

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36 thoughts on “A Little Of This, A Little Of That: In Real Life & Link Up”

  1. A tumultuous month for you, with both good and bad news! I admire your fortitude in dealing with the surgery in such a positive way. Congrats on the hair and car – both fantastic for new adventures!

    1. Jodie, thanks although I’m still getting used to it and some new products. As for car shopping, I let The Husband handle that. I hate the haggling part but it needs to be done.

  2. That last photo of you speaks a physical and emotional YAHOO!! I can’t think of any better way to close a very challenging month. You, bravely moving forward with life, despite some tough “life events” was inspiring to me as I’m certain it was to your followers (all 600 of them!) your loving husband and children and anyone who cared to take note of the fabulous styling of a cute floral dress as a vest!!! Your shorter hair looks really great on you Rena and I STILL love the dimension that the highlights add.
    I will be interested to read your next post on further decision making for your July surgery. I enjoy learning about all things medical , partly because I think it’s SO important to be knowledgable in order to be a proficient advocate for yourself and family.
    Gosh Rena your daughter graduating Summa Cum Laude is so impressive! She is a beautiful, smart, accomplished young woman and you are beaming with pride. In fact every smile on your face in this post is a delight! CONGRATULATIONS on being a wonderful mom Rena.

    1. Thank you, Jude, for your always supportive and encouraging comments. Life is full of ups and downs even when they seem to be at the extremes, it makes for a more interesting adventure.

  3. There is still so much going on in your life, but I’m glad that there were some happy occasions! And it sounds like you are comfortable with the surgery option you chose. I’m sure July 10 can’t come fast enough, but it will probably also be nice that you’ll have a chance to prepare a bit more…

    I love the new haircut! You look great! And your new car is beautiful! Great color!

    Finally I love the dress! And wearing it as a long vest is a fabulous idea!

    I hope you are having a good weekend!

  4. Wow – you have had quite a lot going on ! I love the new ride and haircut! The dress you featured is so versatile and I enjoyed seeing the different ways you styled it. Happy Holiday!

    1. Maggie, I’m glad to have opened your eyes to new style options and I appreciate the positive energy and good wishes regarding my upcoming surgery.

  5. Hi Rena, I’m Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond and I found your blog through Grammy Dees Blogiversary link up. Such a difficult time for you however you seem to be so positive which is wonderful. I loved the floral dress and the different ways you wore it. Plus who doesn’t like a new ‘do’. I didn’t know about Instagram so thank you I will be looking into that. I think I’m guilty of putting # in the first post. 🙁 Have a beautiful day and I’ve enjoyed looking at the fashions of those that linked up.

    1. Sue, thank you stopping by and letting me know how you found me. I appreciate the lovely compliments and your support of my blog. I follow your blog as well.

  6. Hi Rena, this is my first time visiting your blog. I look forward to reading more and to your successful surgery and recovery. Your hair looks great, by the way. I so envy your curls!!

  7. Wow, you really have had a lot going on… hugs on your surgery….and love the new haircut…we have the same type hair, did they cut it in layers…it looks like it, I was always told not to do that to curly hair, but your new cut looks fantastic..

  8. Rena, I have been very behind in looking at other blogs, so I missed your initial diagnosis. I am sorry, but you seem to have a very positive and straight forward attitude about it. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It really helps to talk about things like this. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I love your new hair cut and the outfit is so cute. Congrats on your smarty girl graduating from college. You have a lot going on. – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

  9. You are so precious, I see where your lovely daughter gets it from, Congrats to her and love your hair! Will be thinking if you on the 10th of July and praying for your comfort!!

  10. Wow this is a jam packed post and I love it! First congrats, second you look amazing in your outfit. I love the mix if dark and light neutrals! So cute! Third, thank you so much for featuring me! You are too kind. Lastly, I can’t figure out what day you hold your link up. I wan’t to participate but not sure what day you do it. Peace!
    Cheryl Tucker
    http://www.northwestmountainliving.com

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