baked oats green chile chicken enchiladas chow mein bakery-style butter cookies

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what i didn’t know then

It wasn’t my intention to go silent for the past week. Most people who have met me could tell you that intentional or not, silence is nearly impossible for me. Sinus infections have rendered use real butter and the whole house (the human members) incapacitated these several days. I haven’t eaten much of anything the last two weeks, so there isn’t a recipe tonight. Besides, you’re all too giggly on the bubbles right now to comprehend a recipe, right? At least, I hope you are all giggly and bubbly – it’s the end of a decade.

happy new year!

I’m going to approach this backwards and start with 2009, which was a pretty good year because it took me to new places both far and very close to home – not so much geographically as socially. I discovered people and communities which led to friends and opportunities. A recurring theme for me was finding those treasures (people, places, events) right under my nose where they have always been. My stitch-n-bitch crew is a diverse and ever-growing group of bad ass, caring, smart, and talented ladies who routinely provide laughs, amazing food, cocktails, support, and unconditional love. My food blogging buds reinforce daily the notion that friendship need not be diminished by distance. My key to the local community – a community I had largely neglected due to my cancer treatments the prior year – was placed in my hand by a bright and amiable young man I met at a community dinner in April. We met because we were both taking pictures of our food!

you can’t always know where the road may take you

What wasn’t new this year is how my longtime friends, families, Jeremy, and even Kaweah make me feel very fortunate every single day. And it’s fair to say that I have an amazingly caring and witty readership of this here blog. Thank you for putting up with me and my big mouth. Thank you for sharing your stories – some hilarious, some heartbreaking. Thank you for your knowledge and advice. Thank you for being a wonderful part of my life.

at the beginning

I began the decade in a low point – in graduate school at Cornell. I loved the people around me, but it was the unhappiest time of my life to date. By 2002, Jeremy, Kaweah and I were headed West, where my heart belongs.

on the coleman glacier

It felt as if my life had been on pause for six long years. Once back in California, it was as if someone had hit the “play” button. We were among friends, near mountains, in the West. Life was very good.

There are some things you just don’t expect to happen. I didn’t expect to leave this decade without my only sister. When she died, my world flipped on its head in ways I never could have imagined. In the months that followed, I learned a great deal about people and impossible situations. Some people are bound to disappoint you, while others will surprise you. Life is too short to be constantly disappointed.

the summit of mount baker

I often sought solace in the mountains and forests where I could be with Jeremy and my thoughts. I had switched to digital photography only two months after Kris had died and it was my one regret that I hadn’t taken more pictures of her. Somehow this translated into an obsession with capturing those beautiful sights around me. And that’s also the time I began blogging, for my sanity.

new zealand is full of soothing landscapes

On one of our trips to New Zealand, we met a young kayak guide who shared a Maori saying with us, “Stand where your heart is strongest.” Where is home? Jeremy and I would ask this of one another while watching for shooting stars in the Mojave desert – where is home? As the third year of his fellowship came to an end, Jeremy and I decided that instead of chasing postdocs and jobs all over the country, we’d pick quality of life first and take a gamble.

driving through vegas on the way to our new home

After much deliberation, we placed our chips on Boulder, Colorado and moved to a little mountain town nearby. Jeremy took a prize postdoc to Boulder and within a year accepted a faculty position – we were here to stay.

this is home

All my life, my education and employment had been science and engineering. I liked it, but I can’t tell you how much I admired the way people like Jeremy or my PhD advisor loved their research and excelled in their fields. It’s not enough to just love it (although it helps ease the pain), you’ve got to be damn good at it – and trust me when I say not every one is. It’s easy to have a misplaced obligation to a career path as more time is invested.

sometimes a spark is required

At the end of 2007, shortly after use real butter went public, there was a lump. And there were tests. And negative results. And more tests just to be safe, with assurances that it was highly unlikely to be anything serious… except it was breast cancer.

what we do is forge ahead

Jeremy was my sole caretaker aside from a terrific team of nurses and physicians, but we allowed a small group of loved ones to rally around us for moral support. They were wonderful. My treatment lasted the better part of 2008. It gave me time to scrutinize my life priorities while I maintained this blog and slogged through chemo then radiation.

getting outside kept me going

At the end of it all, I discovered a renewed appreciation for being normal and healthy. I had a heightened sense of the beautiful world around me when I walked through the mountains or looked to the sky. We never know what time we have, but I didn’t want to spend my life wondering if there was something I should have pursued.

the intersection of love and work

I came away with a desire to move in a different direction. I reevaluated my concepts of work and career allowing myself to shoot for creative goals that help me grow and learn. As one of my favorite physicists once said, “What do you care what other people think?” It’s liberating not to.

different perspective

The beginning and the end of this past decade have me standing in opposite places. Despite or perhaps because of the challenges, I find myself more centered than before. I’m living where I want to live and doing what I love. I have the best people in my life and I keep meeting more. I’m making the most of it. Happy new year to all of you. I wish you the very best.

time to grow

110 nibbles at “what i didn’t know then”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Lovely post. And a nice look back on life. Happy New Year!

  2. Chaitali says:

    What an inspiring post! I’m in the middle of a major life change and very unsure of myself right now. This post has strengthened my resolve to move away from what others expect out of me and to do what I really want to do. Thank you so much for this wonderful post.

  3. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Much love to you, kid. You are one strong girl–thanks for giving us so much beauty and joy.

  4. Rosa says:

    What a beautiful post! So touching…

    May you have another fabulous decade! All the best for 2010!



  5. Ceiting says:

    i love your recipes but i have to say i love this post the most. i wish you the very best for the new year as well.

  6. Y says:

    Ahh what a great post. Made me feel a bit weepy. Here’s to more wonderful things in 2010. I hope to find myself continuously making the most out of life too :)

    (By the way, I started out in Science and Engineering too! And now I cook. Who’d have thunk!)

  7. Steve says:

    We’re down and out here with colds/flu/sinus-y symptoms as well (it’s why I am up at the ungodly hour of 6am!). It *is* extremely liberating to not care what people think. That is something I continually strive to work towards. Good on you for living your life the way you want! We’re still learning where we want to go in life, having just gotten out of college two years ago. Until we find “home” I’ll be thankful for Mary and Lorna and all the joy we have every day. Great post Jen.

    Steve, Mary, and Lorna

  8. Ciaochowlinda says:

    What a thoughtful, profound post and the perfect thing to read at the start of the new year. You have inspired me with your recipes and beautiful photos in the past, but this writing adds a new and higher dimension to “Use Real Butter.” I’m so happy you are where you want to be in your life. May the year and decade ahead be just as great.

  9. Nate says:

    You have such beautiful writing. That’s what I admire most about you, Jenn. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  10. bekah jones says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with us, Jen. I love your recipes, but knowing a bit about your life to go along with them makes them more interesting and better. Happy New Year!

  11. Tartelette says:

    Happy New Year Jen, Jeremy and Miss K! Thanks you for making 2009 a better year than what it was shaping up to be. To say that you made it sweeter is the understatement of the decade. Feeling blessed and fortunate to have you as a friend :)

    Hope you guys are now on the mend and had a wonderful time celebrating!

  12. Deanna @ Marzipan says:

    Your photos are simply beautiful and inspiring! Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year!

  13. Shelley says:

    What a wonderful post, the photo’s are beautiful, your life story resonates in too many ways. Happy New Year!

  14. Kim says:

    Happy New Year. Your post is inspiring. I didn’t know you were a knitter.

  15. Unplanned Cooking says:

    What a great post. It is so hard to find yourself, isn’t it? I find myself struggling not to care what people think – it’s the only way to live your life. Your pictures are lovely, just inspiring. Happy New Year!

  16. Kathy says:

    Wow, what a decade it’s been! Thanks for sharing it with us. Your writing and photos always inspire me to live life more fully. Here’s a virtual toast to Jen with hopes for a wonderul year ahead!

  17. Kathy says:

    Jen – you’ve made the world a better place for people you don’t even know. I am writing that first hand. I read your blog to laugh, cry and in general learn about a woman with the strength and courage I aspire to.
    I thank you, Jen Yu.

  18. Phoo-D says:

    Jen – This post brought tears to my eyes. You have been through a lot this decade, yet the beauty you have found in it is simply stunning. Thank you for sharing what you find with the rest of us. It brings that discovered beauty into many other lives.

  19. mimi says:

    beautiful review of an amazing decade for you and your loved ones. your writing is an inspiration to us all.

  20. Kristin says:

    You continue to awe & inspire me with your honesty, wit, art & capacity for love and happiness. Thank you.

  21. Jane M says:

    Wow this was some post. Your photos are AMAZING! Happy 2010!

  22. Rachel says:

    This was a great post, both with writing and with photography.

    Happy New Year!!

  23. Rebecca Martin says:

    I’m a fairly new reader to your blog and have been enjoying your photography in past posts. This post – the words and the images together – is beautiful. Thank you.

  24. Lauren says:

    This was beautiful Jen. I love your honesty and how you move through life. Wishing you all the best in this new year and new decade. May it bring everything you hope for!

  25. Kim says:

    This is the best summary of the decade that I’ve seen anywhere. Thank you for all that you share with us.

  26. Annie says:

    Happy New Year, Jen. Of all the blogs I read (a LOT), yours is my absolute favorite. I love your writing, your photos, and your recipes. And I also love your attitude towards life. I also received a cancer diagnosis in the past decade, endured chemo, and overcame, and so much of your philosophy and experience is in tandem with my own. Cheers! Much love to your family in the new year.

  27. Kath says:

    Wow…not sure what moved me more…your eloquent way with words or your beautiful photography!

    Hoping this next year…and decade…will bring you, Jeremy & Kaweah much happiness, health & love.

    So very happy I met you this year :-)



  28. Anita says:

    So beautiful Jen. You’ve experienced so much and still maintain a positive attitude in life – I feel like as we get older it’s gets easier to fall into the bitter and jaded trap, and you avoid it so well. And your stunning photography is a stellar example of why it’s never wrong to follow your dreams and do what makes you happy – can’t imagine how much poorer we’d be without your photos!

    Best wishes to you, Jeremy, and Kaweah for a wonderful and joyful 2010!!

    XOXO Anita

  29. Diana says:

    I have been a silent reader of your blog. This post really spoke to my heart. Among the many blogs I read, I must tell you – YOUR BLOG MAKES ME APPRECIATE MY OWN LIFE THAN WANTING TO LIVE SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE. All I can say is Thank you and God bless.

  30. April in CT says:

    Inspiring. Thank you Jen!

  31. Andrea Meyers says:

    What an wonderful story. You are a special person with the inate ability to inspire others. Hugs and Happy New Year!

  32. Shannon says:

    happy new year Jen, may it continue to bring you happiness and good health. this was a lovely post, and it brought a smile to my face knowing how you’ve found your groove :)

  33. jie says:

    thank you Jen for sharing these. Happy New Year to your family. hope your 2010 is filled with happiness, joy, and peace.

  34. Laura B. says:

    Amazing post, as usual! So inspiring. Happy New Year!

  35. Aran says:

    oh jen, how wonderful to read about your last few years and where life has taken you. This is a great reminder that even through the bad times, one should want to stay here because the good will follow. It always does, doesn’t it? So here is to you for having found what you love, because you surround yourself with positivity and you make all of us happy in the process! Happy new year!

  36. LeeYong says:

    Thank you for sharing your reflections with us. May this coming year bring you and yours happiness and health. I, myself am grateful with all I have because we all know how one second can change all that. Best wishes and much love to you!

  37. Thip says:

    Happy New Year to you and family, Jen.

  38. Lisa is Bossy says:

    Oh Jen. This is such a beautiful post. It makes me feel hopefully through some challenges I’m having. Sort of that “sometimes you have to suffer/wander/lose your way a little bit in order to eventually find true happiness” idea. At least that’s what I got from it, whether that was part of your intended message or not.

    Thanks for your friendship. And Happy New Year to you, Jeremy and Kaweah.

  39. Teri says:

    Thank you so much for such a beautiful New Year’s post. Happy New Year!

  40. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy says:

    What a beautiful recap of your decade…your pictures really make it even more poignant.

  41. Susan @ SGCC says:

    Jen, you are amazing! You inspire me in so many ways. I want to be just like you when I grow up, if that ever happens. ;)

    Happy New Year to you, Jeremy and Kaweah. I hope that 2010 bring you all you ever dreamed of and more!

  42. barbara says:

    A beautiful post Jen. I’m sad to think I we didn’t know each other when you visited New Zealand. If only. Together, we would have drunk champagne on the top of Rangitoto.

    ..and to think our friendship began because of cancer.

    Love to you, Jeremy and Kaweah.

  43. Lindsey@pickyeatings says:

    Thanks for sharing your memories, good and bad, of the last decade. Here’s to 2010 and a whole new decade!

  44. The Other Woman says:

    You have a great eye. Thanks for sharing your lens with us.

  45. Memoria says:

    Lovely photos. Happy new year!

  46. susan marie says:

    Beautifully written post – breathtaking photos – you’re amazing! Happy New Year!

  47. Lisa says:

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank-you for sharing.

  48. Melissa says:

    I love you Jen Yu. Happy New Year. Thank you for being a strong voice, and for reminding me yet again where my head needs to be.

  49. Whitney says:

    Happy New Year Jen! I’m so glad that I found you in this little space. You inspire me.

  50. Diana Banana says:

    You honestly are one amazing person. Thank you, and happy new decade!

  51. Nancy says:

    We are going to be moving out your way soon and I can’t wait to lose myself in the beauty of the mountains…taking our doggies for long walks…

    When I started reading your blog I had no idea we would end up in Colorado, it’s funny how things turn out. I have read your blog for a while now and I have to say you are a most inspiring person. You’ve had to deal with some big issues the last decade and have not only made it through – but you’ve made it through with a wonderful outlook and a smile on your face! Your photography is amazing!

    Happy New Year and here’s to a wonderful next decade!!

  52. Jennifer Abney says:

    You brought me to tears. The journey is so hard sometimes. So wonderful sometimes….but always a journey. Simply amazing photography, recipes and introspection Jenn. Thanks for sharing a bit of your soul with us. Happy New Decade…the journey continues.

  53. amy says:

    This is a beautiful and touching post. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Years!

  54. Lindsay says:

    Your words make me smile :)

  55. SallyBR says:

    Another post that left me speechless.

    Happy New Year…

  56. Caroline says:

    What a beatutifully written post. Best wishes for a new year!

  57. manisha says:

    Love you, girlie! So very happy to have you in my life. *hugs*

  58. Dani H says:

    Your love of life, family, friends, pets, food, nature – all comes shining through your public persona. I love to read your insightful posts. I smile every time you tweet good morning to your “peeps”. You inspire me to do my best, to try new foods, to push past my insecurities to use new techniques. Thanks for all you give us, Jen. I hope 2010 is all you need and hope it will be for you, Jeremy, and Kaweah. And your photography is stunning.

  59. Sally says:

    you inspire me to live life to the fullest- to live large! I so appreciate your blog– for so many reasons– it is my favorite . the photos, the commentary, the food-
    it seems a shame there is no “award” to give you for this medium– because I would say you were due one!

    Happy Happy 2010

  60. Jenny says:

    Happy New Year Jen, thanks for a wonderful look over the past 10 years. You are a constant inspiration to me, and your beautiful photos help me to remember that I need to stay in the present and try not to live in the future or the ‘what could have been’.

    I decided to do the 365 project this year, I dont think I’ll ever be an amazing photographer like you, but it might keep me with a foot in the present and get me to look around me a little more.

  61. Collette says:

    What a lovely post. You’ve inspired me and made me think, both wonderful. Thanks for sharing your decade with us. Happy New Year to you and Jeremy (and Kaweah of course!).

  62. Linda says:

    This was beautiful, poignant and inspiring to read. You are a strong and amazing woman. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself.

  63. Ruth says:

    Thank you, Jen, for this beautiful post.

    I, too, have been reviewing the past decade and like you, mine has had its share of loss and illness. Unlike you, it has taken me too many years (I’m 57!) to realize that I owe no one any explanations for how I choose to live my life. I know what a struggle it can be to claim your own space and stand proud in it — don’t let anyone try to discourage your choice to live your life on your own terms.

    Your photographs illuminate your thoughts so eloquently, and simply. They complete your words.


  64. Cate says:

    This is a beautiful post. The part about being HOME rings so true for me right now. We spent the last year living and traveling in Asia and although it was fun, it just feels so right to be back in California.
    Thanks for sharing your photos and thoughts…you are truly an inspiration!

  65. Donna says:

    Thank you for opening your heart to us. You inspire in more ways than words can possibly describe.

  66. bron says:

    Happy New Year Jen! Thank you for sharing so much of your world with us, I aspire to see my world more like you do everyday and I truly hope you have plans for another trip to New Zealand in the near future ;-) xxx

  67. Jill says:

    What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing. My favorite pic is the aspen and pines……just lovely with the diagonals. Nice nice nice. Hope you are feeling better. Jill and Tom

  68. Janine says:

    Much wisdom, Jen. Thank you.

  69. Abby says:

    Beautiful reflections.

    I wish you the best in this new year!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful blog with us.

  70. Janice says:

    Been following your blog for over a year. Stumbled upon it while hunting for asian recipes and found myself drawn to your charisma and sense of humor.
    I too have walked this decade ending up on opposite places. In 1999, I completed graduate school and returned to Singapore to pursue a career as a Psychologist. 10 years later, I am in Taos New Mexico ….. where my heart is strongest.

    Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts.

  71. says:

    Beautiful post, Jen. Thank you.

  72. Janet says:

    Such an amazing post, so filled with positivity! I went through cancer treatment this past year…chemo, radiation, surgery, and four more months of chemo starting this month. I don’t have a significant other, so I went through it with only friends…so amazingly supportive!

    Your photography is stunning. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  73. Margie says:


    Simply beautiful; a wonderful treat that satiates the soul and bathes the mind in tranquility.

    Happiest of New Year’s is wished for you and yours.

  74. Andrea says:

    What an incredible look back at the decade. Your photography, food, and drive are always so inspiring, but it is the voice in your writing that truely inspires. Cheers to the next decade and many more to follow.

  75. The Little Teochew says:

    A beautiful, inspiring, heartwarming post. Happy New Year to you, from the bottom of my heart.

  76. Ronine says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with us through this blog, Jen. As everyone above is mentioning, it’s the combination of your great writing, food, photos AND personality that keep us reading.
    Cheers to a great new decade for you!

  77. melanie says:

    You inspire me.Yours is the first blog I read when I come home from a long day.Your cooking,photography and writing skills are superb and beautiful.Most of all,friendly and comforting. You are in my prayers,everyday.Thank-you and Happy New Year ! Health,happiness and lots more cool discoveries,on all fronts !

  78. Broderick @ Savory Exposure says:

    That snow covered shot is just wonderful – Happy New Year Jen :)

  79. Debbie says:

    Happy New Year to you Jen…and thank YOU for sharing all that you do!!!!! I absolutely love your pictures, writings, recipes, etc…..wonderful, just wonderful!!!!!

  80. Lori says:

    So well written (as usual) and with some beautiful pics to tell the story. You have brought us along on your journey and I want to thank you for that. I enjoy stopping by URB. When I have missed for a few days because life gets busy, I look forward to my moment that I can spend lost in your world. You are a beautiful person Jenyu. You are so real in your words!

    Cheers! All the best in 2010!

  81. Mrs Ergül says:

    What an incredible way to start a new decade. With every word that you wrote and I read, I felt like I’m right there with you. Thank you for still maintaining URB thru’ the difficult times of your treatments as that was about when I got to know you and I must say you are one of the greatest person I have met. Thank you for all that you have shared, through your lens, your humour and your wisdom, and, your kindness.

    May 2010 be the very best for you, for Jeremy and for Kaweah.

  82. Eesh says:

    Happy New Year to you as well, Jen! Lovely post, and gorgeous pictures. I’m really happy I found your blog in 2009– every post with its wonderful stories, pictures, and recipes has been a real treat. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  83. Janet says:

    Just thanks!

  84. Ann says:

    Beautiful words. Amazing pictures. Heartfelt thanks for such a wonderful post so thos eof us who still don’t know now.

  85. florence says:

    this is definitely one of my favourite posts of yours ever. inspiring and so beautiful at the same time. (:

  86. Elisavet, Greece says:

    Happy New Year, Sunshine!

  87. Lizzie says:

    Happy New Year Jen,
    I will be a 3 year survivor at the beginning of Feb. I have always enjoyed life but with a diagnosis of cancer it certainly changes how life looks The moment I was told I had cancer I walked out into the hall way of the hospital and decided this was not going to change with my life. It didn’t If anything the diagnosis improved my life. But unless you have had a cancer it is hard to understand that. Your website is a breath of fresh air for all of us. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers with many blessings coming your way in the year 2010.

  88. Tamar says:

    It’s when the chips are down that we find out what we’re made of. That you came through trauma and trouble happy and strong is a testament to your will, resilience, and relentless optimism.

    I’m so very glad to know you.

  89. sarah says:

    Thank you for such a gorgeous post!

  90. Lily says:

    Awesome post from an amazing person. I’m so lucky to have found your blog. You, by way of your blog, inspires me. I wish you all the best for a happy new year and Thank you!

  91. Estie says:

    Wow Jen-what a breathtakingly beautiful post. Wishing you a tremendously wonderful next decade filled with good health, happiness and many more adventures! Thanks for all the advice over the last year-it’s always amazing and spot on!

    xoxo, Estie

  92. Pat says:

    I can’t believe I’ve been reading you for 2 years now! Without trying to sound too “fangirl”, you’re an inspiration for me always – in the way you lead your life, your honesty with us, and in your COOKING! I’d like to thank you for allowing us to share the journey thus far…it’s nice having this little nook to check in with somone you think kindly of, and admire.

    Sending you, the Mister, and Miz Kaweah all the best for 2010, and onward!

  93. carol says:

    Amazing photos! Lovely post! Inspiring and uplifting and very gratifying… Wishing you soft steps in your journey thru life….may your journey be full of love and sprinkled with joy….

  94. Dawn (KitchenTravels) says:

    I will echo the other commenter’s sentiments about what a beautiful post this is, in both the words and the photos. May you be blessed in 2010 with much joy and good fortune.

  95. Tokyo Terrace says:

    Not gonna lie. May have teared up on that one. You have an inspiring story and this post hit home for me in a lot of ways. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and here’s to another decade of discovery, excitement, struggles (hopefully fewer), friends, and love. Cheers!

  96. Georgia Pellegrini says:

    How lovely and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  97. Roksana says:

    That was beautifully written; you have a wonderful, courageous outlook on life. Best of luck with everything in the new year.

  98. Tammy says:

    Happy new years Jen! You’re an inspiration to us all.

  99. Asianmommy says:

    Happy New Year to you! Your pictures are so amazing.

  100. Karen B says:

    What a moving description of the highs and lows of your past decade – physically and emotionally! Thank you so much for sharing. Your blog always brings a new perspective to my day, whether it’s a new recipe or a beautiful photograph or a reminder of the beauty of life. I always look forward to it.

    Happy New Decade to you, Jeremy, and Kaweah!

  101. lebertran says:

    Oh my God! Beautiful pics! I loved your description of highs and lows. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. You’re an inspiration to us all.

  102. Mulan says:

    Your wise words will certainly guide me through an uncertain year ahead…but yes, some friends constantly disappoint whilst others constantly surprise. That is something that I have learnt in the past year. It made me realise that it wasn’t fair, and so from now on I will only surround myself with people who care about me, as much as I care about them.


  103. Patty Limjap says:

    beautiful words. beautiful pictures. an even more beautiful spirit behind them.

  104. Ruth Ann says:

    Happy New Year Jen, to you and your family.
    This post was amazing- both the words and the pictures. It was quite moving. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. You are really a talented artist, and come to think of it, you are quite the philosopher too.
    Wishing you the best,
    Ruth Ann

  105. Winnie says:

    What a beautiful post and the photos are breathtaking…thank you for sharing yourself and your talents! I wish you all the best in 2010 and beyond.

  106. magifish says:

    O Jen…..most beautiful post ever, both visually and soulfully! Thank you for the beauty and the inspiration – my best gift for this new year!

  107. jen! says:

    Jen, you are surely one of the most amazing people I have never met. Just knowing you’re out there makes me feel good.

  108. jenyu says:

    I am really fortunate to have so many wonderful readers. Thank you for your kind words and new year’s wishes. I am very touched by your warmth and love. For those of you facing your own challenges, I really hope 2010 will see you through to a positive resolution. It’s nice that we are all more than just blogs or blog readers or cooks – we are people who love and hurt and rejoice and reflect. I wish all of you the very best always.

    Y – we have similar beginnings :) xoxo

    Tartelette – I in turn, must thank you for making 2009 a better year for me as well. Happy new year, my friend!

    Kim – I’d hardly call myself a knitter. I can knit, let’s just leave it at that ;)

    Annie – here’s to your health. I hope we all can be cancer-free. xoxo

    Kath – I’m really glad I met you this year too. I hope to see more of you in 2010!

    Anita – ha! You give me too much credit, my dear friend. Sometimes I am jaded, but… more than anything, I’m just very happy to be here. So glad I got to see you TWICE last year. Let’s shoot for THREE times this year! xo

    Diana – I’m so happy that you love your own life. That is priceless. People waste so much energy worrying about what others have, what others do, what others think. It’s a good feeling to be happy with yourself. Good on ya!

    Aran – thank you, sweetheart. I hope in 2010 we get a chance to meet in person.

    Lisa is Bossy – it’s whatever you want to take away from it. I hope your year is a good one and I definitely hope we can meet up again. Thank you for YOUR friendship. You’re awesome. xoxo

    Susan @ SGCC – that’s funny, because I want to be more like YOU when I grow up! :) I had such fun meeting you in SF last year. Let’s do that again. You’re a gem of a woman, Susan. Really, truly.

    Barbara – I friendship began because of cancer, but it endures because of love. I am honored to call you my friend. I would climb any mountain to enjoy a glass of champagne with you at the summit :)

    Melissa – your head is in the right place, hon. That’s what I love about you!

    Nancy – welcome to Colorado! I hope you love it as much as I do :)

    Manisha – the feeling is mutual, my dear. Believe you me.

    Dani H – oh sweetie, that comes from you, not me! I think yours is a great way to tackle each day. More power to you!

    Sally – you’re too kind. No award is necessary, just the satisfaction that I am reaching a lot of really awesome people like yourself. That’s the best part.

    Jenny – good luck with the 365 project! I have many friends who are doing that too. Anything that gets your creative juices flowing has got to be good :)

    Ruth – thank you for those words of encouragement. I dare say 57 is still young! My grandma is 88 and she is the epitome of positive living. I hope you continue to live life on your own terms. It’s the only way to find true happiness. xo

    Bron – oh yes! NZ is DEFINITELY on the brain :) Let’s do lunch when I get there! xo

    Jill (and Tom) – thank YOU for sharing and being a part of my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Janine – Madame, it would be fair to say that you were certainly an early influence in my life. Thank you for being my mentor, my friend, my role model.

    Janet – I hope the chemo passes quickly for you. Wishing you health and recovery.

    Melanie – so sweet of you, thanks.

    Broderick – happy new year, my friend :) So glad we met in SF!

    Lori – thank you. I hope you have a wonderful year ahead.

    Mrs. E – no no, I must thank you for always being there and for sharing your story with me. I wish you and your loved ones the very best in the new year. xo

    Lizzie – thank you, and I hope you continue to remain cancer-free. The diagnosis however, did not change my life for the better. Cancer was an obstacle that I had to endure, but it was more of a setback in time than anything else. To be honest, if I could live my life without having had cancer as opposed to having had cancer, I’d choose life without it plain and simple.

    Tamar – oh my dear dear friend… you and I know all too well what we are made of. That last night at dinner, when we shared our stories over dessert – you brought me to tears. I will always have a very special place in my heart for you, because you’re tough and you’re kind and you are so very special. xo

    Pat – thank you :)

  109. Sunshine says:

    What a wonderful post. It’s great that you are in a much better place. I am trying to figure out what that means to me, right now.

    Thank you, again.

  110. Rachael says:

    Hello there! I’m a new reader and it looks like a permanent one now! What a touching, inspiring post! Thank you so much. :)

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