Counting snowflakes

“Look, I see one!”

 

“There’s another!”

 

“I KNEW it would snow today!”

 

“I love snow! I love it because then we get to go skiiiiiiiiiiing!”

 

There were probably—and this is just a rough guesstimate, so bear with me—four snowflakes today. But, apparently, that was enough to get my kids gabbing, yet again, about skiing.

It set off the running checklist in my mind—the missing gloves to be located or replaced, equipment to be checked for fit, and traded up for size at Utah Ski and Golf, where we enrolled Big Guy in the Grow-With-Me program (you pay a flat fee, they provide equipment as the child grows until age 12 or so.). Little Guy has 70 cm skis that we purchased, since he started skiing so young that no rental shop carried gear in his size. Thankfully, Surefoot, where his “Ski Aunt and Uncle” purchased a pair of boots for him two years ago, offers a trade-up program for kids, as well.

Then, I’ll remind myself, like I do every year, what it takes to enjoy skiing with your kids. Click on that hotlink, above, and you can see what I wrote about it on my Deer Valley Blog this week.

This weekend, we’ll go have our photos taken for our season passes at Deer Valley. We’ll sort out the gear issues. And then, we will wait, not terribly patiently, for the first snow.

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20 Celebrity Icons of Breast Cancer

Today, you can click over the story I wrote for Prevention.com. It’s also live on msn.com today. These stars have helped, in a variety of ways, to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Why is it important to all of us to follow their lead and raise our voices? Here are some interesting stats from cancer.org

How many women get breast cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2011:

  • About 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women
  • About 57,650 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,520 deaths from breast cancer (women)

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

I have seen a dear friend through breast cancer treatment. My grandmother survived breast cancer. I’ve had many, many friends be diagnosed themselves or see a family member through diagnosis and treatment. So it’s personal—yet even if I didn’t have those personal connections, I would feel connected to this cause. It strikes too many of us, and it hits too close to home. When I hear about someone I don’t know getting diagnosed, I get chills down my spine.

In fact, I woke this morning to the news that E! News correspondent and reality star Giuliana Rancic, who has been very public about her infertility struggles (which probably made countless women enduring the same struggle feel less lonely), has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her public attitude is inspiring—she says she had a mammogram at the behest of her IVF doc, and that after her treatments conclude, she’ll continue to try to conceive a child. “I feel like this baby saved my life,” she said in People.. I send my wish to her—and all the women who received a diagnosis on the same day as Guiliana—for a healthy recovery, and for the space she needs to get mad, sad and frustrated that she got sick at all.

By making her diagnosis public, she follows in the footsteps of other celebrities who have used their platform to raise awareness about the disease. Like them, you should take it personally. I’ve reported on breast cancer for over 15 years. You can see some of the stories if you click on the Healthy Lifestyles tab, above. Read them. Get inspired. Get your physical, get your mammogram, and if you do get sick—get the best care you can.

 

First snow report at Deer Valley

The first snow got me thinking about…shopping. Honestly, some days my life as a parent revolves entirely around what my kids have outgrown or worn out, that must. be. replaced.

I wrote about the hubbub at my house on a recent (and snowy!) October day for Deer Valley. Check it out here. Then tell me whether you are cursing all the lost mittens and outgrown boots in your house!

Buy the November issue of Prevention Magazine!

Jillian Michaels is on the cover of the November issue of Prevention, and I wrote the cover story. It was an incredible experience, and not just because Jillian and her team are a group of lovely, warm, funny people. All of this is true, and made it ever-more enjoyable to do my job that day. Of course, we talked about The Biggest Loser, her new gig on The Doctors, on Dr. Phil, where she’s arrived in the adoption process (and even how she’d advise people to do it differently than she has!), what kind of mom she thinks she’ll be…and even her own troubled teen years.

Jillian's Prevention Cover

Pick up a copy on newsstands today!

But being privy to Jillian’s process, as she coached three Prevention readers toward better, more fulfilling lives, was, quite frankly, humbling to watch. Yes, we called three readers and got into the nitty gritty of their lives for this story, too.

Truly, this is a woman who puts her heart into her work. She so quickly saw to the core of their roadblocks, and engaged them with compassion. When the interviews were completed, she and I got the chance to talk. That’s when she said, “You really love what you do, too. It shows.” I was over the moon—because she’s 100 percent right. And I’m glad it shows. What got me pumped that day was being part of a project that included learning about the three dimensional life she leads, and the way that she invests herself in helping people.

Not to get too soap-boxy, but every work day is another opportunity for me to find ways to engage other people about the things that matter most–our health, our well-being, our relationships. It’s even more fun when I’m collaborating with people who get that.

100% Chance of Snow

That’s tonight’s forecast. And tomorrow’s.

And…

I am SO ready.

View from our kitchen door

This is what autumn snow looked like last October

Except for the fact that I don’t currently own a pair of functional skis. But I can’t get bogged down in the details (and, also, I can take comfort in the fact that Florida Keys Girl stores her skis in my garage, so I’ll be able to start the season by making sure her oft-neglected boards get some action.  (Anyway, she just got a dog, who is so cute my Little Guy insisted on eating dinner with this new pup’s picture displayed on the screen of our kitchen computer…my point is, I will be surprised if she and Florida Keys Guy can tear themselves away from little Babka for as many ski days as they usually spend in Utah. Which means it falls to me to see to it that her skis don’t feel neglected, what with the new family member and all.)

Anyway, I had to smile this afternoon, when I heard “100 percent chance of snow” during my favorite afternoon show on KPCW, as host Randy Barton started handicapping the snow line—official reports called for somewhere in the mid 7000 feet range, but Randy noted the temps and started calling for a lower line. We’ll see.

The truth is, I’ve been antsy for a couple of weeks—and started gabbing about it with some of the folks at Deer Valley who are charged with preparing the resort for the season. You can find out about my skiing daydreams—and get some inspiration from some people who really have the inside track (ahem)  on perfect ski days at my Deer Valley blog. What’s YOUR perfect ski day?