I have not abandoned theoneandallie!!!

Hello everyone,

I hope this post finds all of you well this winter season. I apologize for not being more on top of theoneandallie, I have been quite busy these days with baby showers, beating a nasty cold and being back at work! Cannot complain about the cold, as candidly, this is proof that my immune system is in fact doing its job and fighting it off. No fever, so I am going to keep moving forward, drowning myself in Dandelion tea (and honey) and hope this icky thing clears come Monday.#manifesting

Baby showers are all the rage in my core group of galpals in NYC. In fact, I have 3 that are pregnant and due within just months of eachother. I love being pseudo-auntie to all these little love bugs that are slowly making their way into the world. Last weekend was one of their baby shower’s and sweet Sarah, who kidnapped me right before my 100 days post transplant and gave me a sanctuary of a staycation close to Moffitt, is on the home stretch and we came full circle from her baby shower 2 years ago, when she ended up in the hospital with a bad bacterial infection, right before giving birth. I remember returning from France, re-newed and refreshed but also anxiously awaiting the arrival of the cute as can be Catherine. Finally on the Friday, September 15th I was able to hold my friend’s first born. Feels like things really are moving forward, and anytime we can come full circle from the past 3 years of ups and downs, I am eternally grateful. These are all signs from the universe that the BEST is yet to come.

Beating this cold has been a bit brutal considering that its HIGH allergy season in South Florida. Every time I start to feel relief, I try to step outside for some sunshine, under a hat and with SPF 50+ , of course, and I am smacked in the face with the Spanish moss. For my warriors reading along, the allergies are real post transplant and I know my twin is terrible sufferer from seasonal allergies. (hey it’s better than cancer) So…..partner that with 7 rounds chemo, which essentially ruins the barriers your built up overtime to protect you from the inevitable allergies that are all around us, and a little topper of immune suppression and it is a recipe for serious sinus situations. The good news is, I had my 10 months post transplant appointment this past Monday and I was aymptomatic at that point, with some more HEALTHY white blood cells to boot: they lowered my immune suppression, took me off one of my liver protectants and I admit I was feeling lighter than I had been as of late. I love when this happens. In conclusion, I think this little cold I have caught should move out sooner than later. Here’s to a clear head and less coughing as Mercury enters retrograde on March 5th, as this will conjure up some chaos all on its own, so I plan to be cold-free before making my way to my bed Monday evening. (more on that in the next post) J

Being back at work, even from a far, has been a major milestone for me. For someone who spent the past 10 years totally focused on moving up the corporate ladder, having to be forced to take a back seat and do a detailed “deep-dive,” on what was happening in my life has allowed me to “re-define” my relationship with work. I have begun to trust myself more in making the right decisions as well as honed in on the experience I have gained throughout the various companies I have worked for versus constantly second guessing myself. I also have an incredibly supportive boss, which is such a breath of fresh air in the Fashion industry. She cares about my health and knows that diving back in head first is never a way to move forward for the long term, so, with that I am slowly easing back into the fold and am forever grateful for the love and support I felt from afar from my teammates throughout the past 12 months.

Thanks for letting me share my stream of consciousness, could not continue moving forward towards the future, cancer-free and with courage without all of your support and love, from both near and far.

Cheers to the Week-End wonderful followers and fellow warriors!

Bisous Bisous



Year of the Pig et la Puissance!

Hello everyone and happy year of the Pig! Which is really a great Segway into this journal entry because it is all about another pertinent word in my life that begins with P, Power or in French Puissance.

When I reflect on the birthday I am about to have, the big double 3, I really reflect on the past 5 birthdays I have had. I will start 5 years back, one of the most memorable of them all, my 28th birthday à Paris! I was just getting to know France, fell in love with the Parisian suburb of Fountainebleu and started my journey to finding a fun-loving Frenchman to cure me of my peter-pan obsessed NYC self. It was one of the most powerful points in my life because it opened my mind to another culture, language and expanded my perception of how I viewed the world. It was a birthday for the ages!

A quick fast forward to 29, the year I decided I not only was in love with the fantasy of France, (which I really soaked up every Sunday at Felix, which is flooded with ex-pats and Francophiles alike) but I wanted to live there. I was determined to find a way. I had my heart-broken earlier that year by a French ex-pat by way of Peru (who will remain nameless) and I was determined to find my own Frenchie, who not only was simple French by blood but lived in France. I realized my career goals were shifting and business at the time was troublesome, I knew the only way to really elevate myself in my industry, was to pursue an MBA…..drum roll please: what better place than Paris, the nucleus and epicenter of fashion! When I look back this was really my first experience with manifesting and creating my dreams and before I knew it my Mother and I boarded flights in February, (right after my 29th birthday) made appointments with countless universities and I began my business school selection process. It was a powerful year of manifesting and making my dreams come true! I have to say when I look back, I am really proud of that young 29 year old version of myself.

Throughout my 29th year, after my business school fate had been sealed and first installment of tuition paid I took a little detour from my French-focused life and began dating someone in NYC. In hindsight I was a bit scared to leave my comfort zone of NYC, my salary, my travel benefits, my friends, my quick flight to Florida when the weather got too cold. He was keeping me there and quite candidly, he adored me, he opened me up to a world in Williamsburg, that I never knew existed. I was a bit of a Upper-Manhattan elitist who enjoyed my 63rd st sanctuary of studio and did all my day drinking and soirées in soho or Tribeca. This relationship opened me up to so many new things as I kissed my NYC life goodbye and I met some of the most impactful people in my life to date. (OsCarly and Kiran, I ❤️ you) Everything truly does happen for a reason. In Late summer of 2015, I boarded a flight to France, fighting back tears as I was saying goodbye to my creature comforts, my 63rd st studio, my upper west-side rendez-vous with BTP, Sunday soirées at Felix and Jones, my job where I learned how to survive in the garment business, to always fake it til you make it and never forget to be yourself. This place was where I have stories and friendships and most importantly Laughs that will last a lifetime…..it was a bit scary in retrospect as just thinking about it brings me to tears, but in the moment I got on that plane, wheels up, I felt like i was taking my life into my own hands, and I was in that what felt like a powerless moment, the most powerful version of myself. 29 year old self, you were so SMART!

As 30 inched closer and my Parisian #goals were starting to fall into place, it felt like my life was in a tornado. It started in November of 2015. First, a terrorist attack in Paris that left my neighborhood and university in complete shock, and a bit of chaos as everyone tried to piece together the powerful impact this horrible catastrophic event would have on their future lives. It was truly one day at a time healing and then another boom. I found out shortly there after the gas in my building in NYC had been turned off, my renter was no longer paying me and I was left in Paris to power through the madness and well PAY. Without my salary and living off my savings, I felt completely powerless. By the time I turned 30 I was 10 lbs lighter than when I left NYC and a complete nervous wreck. It felt like my French dream was being taken from me. This was supposed to be a wonderful experience where I was soaking up culture, becoming Fluent in French and learning how to navigate the ins and outs of French bureaucracy so I could stay in the country once my studies were up. Unfortunately, all of that fell to the way side. I spent most of the days following my 30th bday, stressed, sad and sick. Those days were some of the saddest of my life. I remember calling my best friend in Dallas and just sobbing uncontrollably on most Saturday nights. I was broke and in that moment I felt completely bewildered by what the universe was throwing at me. Before I knew it, I was back on US soil, indefinitely, moving to Baltimore, and by no means thrilled about anything other than the opportunity to work for one of the best Sports companies in the world. UA was saving me from myself. When I look back and remember August 23rd, 2016 when the doctor told me, “You have leukemia,” all the nonsense of not having money, moving back from France 3 months early, my relationship falling apart as a result of narcissism and me not having enough self-love to shut it down sooner, I remember that UA saved me. They brought me to one of the best cities in the world to be treated for Leukemia, they took care of me for as long as they could, and offered me a spot back on the NA sales team in the Spring. They sent angels into my life like Sarah, Shelby, Kelly G (who told me to go to the Doctor) and my Baltimore/Francophile bestie B Frank and to this day I am forever grateful. The universe and UA had and still has my back. They gave me back my power so I could persevere.

Alright let’s talk about 31! This was the year of happiness, hope and a holistic healing, which I would eventually learn was setting me up for success so I could step into my most powerless moment, remission relapse. I am so thankful for as I quickly coined it, Allie 3.1. It brought me back to France and I was able to experience Malta with Faith and James, a memorable and meditative moment in the Mediterranean. I found love (that came to fruition when I needed it most), I spent many Sunday’s back at Felix when I was moonlighting as my girl SDK in NYC while she went on maternity leave. I was living life in a way I never thought possible, it was just flowing. I even locked in a new job for the new year in 2018, on a team more suited for more career goals, it felt as though my new life was falling perfectly into place. I had so much love in my life and there was only one person missing my twin-brother. God and the universe had a plan, and only 2 weeks before my 32nd birthday, remission relapse hit me like a hard kick to the ribs, as I felt it in my bones, which I soon learned was the leukemic blasts forming in my marrow and I was told it was time for the transplant. My life-saving, selfless, womb-sharing, but separate sacs brother of mine, flew to Florida not knowing he was the match, but in that moment, I knew I would be cured and my plan B, new immune system would keep the leukemia that once plagued me in remission forever. I was stepping into my power to persevere again but this time I had a side-kick.

Ahhhh 32. It started out with some champagne, as a BMT Doctor friend of mine in NYC said, drink up buttercup, it’ll be a while before you can have some spirits but I promise it will be worth it. I started the most ruthless chemo I ever endured to date on February 9th and by February 23rd, I was told by my fellow, a nice young doctor from Wisconsin (Midwest is best), I was back in remission but it was a different remission, a remission with 0 Minimal Residual Disease. A word that haunted me for much of 2017. (But no need to dwell on that at this date and time) My BMT Doctor started to visit me and it was as if he was literally sent to me from God, the universe, as his name was Michael, the archangel of protection and the name of my uncle who drowned when he was 3. Messages from the universe were spiraling in and my brother, Anthony (the patron saint of miracles) was named my Match. (Intuition told me this a year prior, but that’s a story for another day) I powered through the rest of the transplant process as best I could, with prayer, medicines, miracles (hello VOD), meditation, yoga and endless hours of therapy with my counselor, and before I knew it I was slowly getting my pride back. My hair started to grow and my skin “shit-show,” was beginning to sort itself out. With a lot of trial and error might I add and a call from a skincare specialist in South Carolina who read my blog. 🙏🏽 I was beginning to grow into the new person I was meant and always wanted to be, my authentic self, emotionally, spiritually and finally physically. And candidly I was starting to like it and notice it this past December. Then…… just last week, in an opportunity to share the story of my most powerless moment, I stepped closer to my spiritually aligned action than ever before and I told my story of triumph and all the in betweens. It was emotional and invigorating as the crowd had more empathy than i have ever experienced and felt in on one room. And the room my friends was FULL. I took them on a journey From France to Baltimore to AML August 2016 to Rejoicing and Remission of 2017 to Relapse and Rebirth of 2018 to my year of Gratitude and Going for my dreams in 2019. I was honored and humbled to have the opportunity to help this group have more happy conversations about what medicines they offer and how they change people’s lives, like mine. #miracles

So tomorrow at 1:17 am when I turn 33 I know that the year of the pig is not only a little stroke ornament luck and eating endless amounts of pork (kidding), but it is about gratitude, just as 2018 was about growth and persevering, my P for 2019 is about finding my power. I chose this as I realized during my reflection process that in my most powerless moment, which was my battle with Leukemia these past few years. I am forever grateful I am in remission with a built in back-up plan from my best friend and twin-brother, but I am also incredibly grateful to be able to share this journey with all of you and with other warriors working towards triumph. My friends, whatever you’re battling know that the mind is powerful, manifest your dreams, believe in miracles and watch them take form, you will be victorious!

Bisous tout le monde and thank you for following the journey to the one and allie! ❤️

A year of growth stepping towards Gratitude & LOVE

365 days. 365 days since the relapse diagnosis, a day where I felt dazed confused but also a sense of, relief. I would finally be putting leukemia behind me, it would not be easy but it certainly would be worth it. One year later, I can honestly say, it absolutely was everything I anticipated it would be and more. (And Better) However with the help of my loved ones, family, friends and the angels above as well as the universe and it’s unbelievable uncompromising power of persevering, I am here and I am 9 months post transplant.

Life has been a little different these days, although I am certainly getting a bigger piece of my life back with every milestone, independence is something I have never knew I was longing for throughout this entire process. Everyday I get a little bit of it back and less leukemia is in the rear view and the sight I see looking back is a path I paved personally for growth mind, body and soul.

When you choose to accept a new immune system and say goodbye to your old one it truly is a FULL rebirth, and not only of your physical body but your soul changes as well. I believe it changes because you have no other choice but to think positively, accept the things as they come and trust the universe and the angels to carry you through this darkness of things like chemo and count recovery. You must know there is light at the end of the tunnel and for me that light, was essentially learning to live a fuller, more present life with people who bring goodness and growth to my soul.

I started 2019 by doing just that. I took a 21 day break from Instagram, my preferred social media outlet (because it’s fantastic for so many reasons) and made sure the first moments of the new year were some of the best memories I can carry with me throughout the rest of my life. I haven’t had a sip of alcohol in 9 months and although for some that seems silly to mention, for me, someone who enjoys champagne, wine and a good dance party (accompanied with liquid courage), this has been a way to redefine my relationship with alcohol, be more present as I step further into my new life. I can honestly say I know when I do take my first sip again, it will be out of celebration versus escape and longing for inner peace. I haven’t found full inner peace but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling lighter and more healthy, holistically than I have in a very long time. (Even with all the medications running through my veins to shelter me from illness while my immune suppression tapers)

This was just a little snapshot of what’s been going in the new year, as life as we know it is starting to catch up with me as I anticipate going back to work from home right after I hit the big double 3 next month. I appreciate all the supportive and curious texts I receive daily from those waiting for their ”oneandallie,” update. My word for 2019 is gratitude and I am truly grateful for all of you, who are carrying me in my cancer free forever life!

There’s many more exciting things to come in 2019! I can feel it and I know at times all the love around me scares me, because it’s so fresh and so pure. And lets be real, after a crazy cancer diagnosis like I had 2016, followed by a relapse in 2018, sometimes you think the world is some how going to punish you and take all the good in your life away again, as many others throughout the world are suffering from even more serious situations. (This is that mean voice inside my head again, ha) However, as I step into gratitude, I realize that “maybe I am done,” just like in one of my favorite movies of all time, “Sex and the City,” Carrie Bradshaw says something similar to her best friend after she “shit her pants that year.” 🤣 Lord knows I have more than done that throughout the past 3 years, and cancer along with chemo, does not kill vanity. So I look forward to sharing a little bit more about the wonderful things that will come about in 2019, all while being grateful for every minute I get to write about it and inspire other warriors to know that cancer is a catalyst for change and the best is yet to come! ❤️

This month’s post is dedicated to two fellow warriors, one I knew well and another I only knew through a mutual friend. Both fallen soldiers, fathers and taken way too soon.



I have spent all my money on skincare and sunscreen only then to have my Dermatologist send me into a tailspin……#allsignspointtoParis

Hello everyone!

I am happy to report that this Holiday season I am cancer free for the first time in a very long time (since I always had minimal residual disease since my diagnosis in 2016, until my remission chemo this past Spring, + my totally perfect plan B cocktail aka bone marrow transplant). I continue to get a little bit of my life back every single day, dis-ease free. Thankful for all of the above and very excited for the New Year and all it will bring. In life, love and the pursuit of a beautiful dis-ease free future! Forever cancer free is the way to be, but certainly there are trade-offs as a lot of my fellow warriors know.

Fortunately, for me, my biggest trade off post-transplant after the liver faux-paus, is having satisfactory skin that I am comfortable in. 😉 Truth is, anything is better than the big C, but this new skin is not only tough for me to look at on a regular basis but also a bit itchy and extra extra sensitive. I am trying to not focus on this for the foreseeable future as I believe with time it will get better and the discoloration and pigmentation will fade. Hormones and all my medications that keep me alive on a daily basis are most likely to blame for a lot of the skin sufferings. However, I went to the dermatologist today and he sent me for a loop. A loop that involved the words “potentially permanent pigmentation,” followed by a long emotional text message while hysterically crying to my love, followed by a missed Trader Joe’s trip (I plan my TJs excursions around when it is not busy) and then a feeling of utter exhaustion from the emotional roller coaster I just took myself on. Le sigh. I had to call on my angels, God and the universe  to set me straight just so I could pull out of the parking lot. Good news, they answered.

Truth is the tears today were tears that I have been holding back for weeks. Partially because of the frequent stares I get from strangers when they see my skin without make-up and also from the draining of my funds. I really try to not let these things get to me, as I cannot even begin to tell you how much money I have spent on healthy, non-toxic skincare products to help fade the hyperpigmentation. But today, it all came crashing down. The products so far have helped a little but reality is, everything worth it, takes time. Especially when you are immune suppressed, in temporary menopause and #stressing about germs at every given second. I am not going to get a chemical peel or try something that could be potentially dangerous, although a quicker fix, so I have to be patient. No longer a “patient,” but practicing patience with my skin. My Puerto Rican and Italian genes are going to love this. 😉 Patience is not a Puerto Rican virtue but here’s to hoping! 🙏🏽

I have also wasted a great deal of emotional energy testing and becoming the lab rat essentially for many “eco-friendly,” and “organic” labeled sunscreens. This absolutely added to my emotional breakdown…….Only to find out that I am allergic to almost ALL sunscreens except Avene products, which funny enough are from France but often currently out of stock in the US. In sunscreen summation: basically all non-toxic entities, including My pre-cancer life, remission romance and my new and improved skincare regime point to France. Life is certainly funny that way!

I update this blog so I can educate my Family and friends on what is going on, to alleviate worry but also let everyone know how I am progressing. But…..I really write this every few weeks for my fellow Warriors. Those still in the war, those in the remission romance, those rebirthing right now, survivors stepping into their new life #100days and most of all in honor of those who were lost in the battle.

Thanks to all who continue to read and continue on this journey with me, remember the best is yet to come!

I am forever grateful to be on the journey to theoneandallie. ❤️




Survivorship Soliliquoy

Hello friends, family and followers,

What a wonderful last four weeks weeks it’s been post 6 month appointment. I must admit I underestimated how beautiful being a survivor is but also I underestimated the anxiety and other emotions associated with living through this rebirth and remission, while many others facing leukemia are less fortunate.

I had a conversation with my therapist this past week about why Survivorship is the consciously more difficult part of the cancer journey and why I need to give myself time. He said when you were in treatment and anticipating remission, preparing for your new cells, your body was going through a war, and thus your body went into literal “Survivor,” mode. The same type of mode someone would go into if a gun was being held to their head. It is part of our basic instinct and it is a type of fear that actually protects us when our bodies are undergoing trauma and we have no other decision but to let our subconscious survival skills take over!

This was a WOW moment if I ever had one. Meanwhile I have spent the majority of the month of October angsting and being hard on myself for the dark places my mind was going. Thinking and saying to myself, you beat cancer x 2, your liver failed and you are still here, why do you think something catastrophic is going to happen to you again? I realized that I never felt this way during treatment because I was in “survival,” mode, subconsciously. I was without forcing it, letting my subconscious lead…..And my subconscious wanted to win, it wanted to live and so it did just that. It put me in the deepest remission I had ever been in since my diagnosis and it allowed me to accept my new cells, flawlessly, without fail. (Minus the liver fauxpaus #SOS)

Survivor serendipity was all the rage this week as I then spoke to a sweet man, who was a Cuban refugee. He fled Cuba in the 80s, on a boat and 18 days later made it to Miami. Talk about “Survival Skills.” He is a force. I am honored to have met him. He says after his “survivor” experience now he knows he can conquer anything. He went 17 days without food but always held out hope and prayed that one day he would be a citizen of the free world. He has been here ever since, raised 4 beautiful children and has never looked back. He gave me hope and reassurance that one day I will feel the same about my own survivor journey.

This conversation got me thinking and helped me realize right now is a little bit harder emotionally because the conscious mind, unlike our subconscious mind, plays tricks on us. It forces us at times to live in fear, to rethink every noise our bodies make, the list goes on. This is what my therapist calls PTSD. And the truth is, it will go away. Time. It really does heal all wounds along with my meditation practices and living in the present moment. Every. Single. Day. And somedays, the being present struggle is real. But then I think, I am like your trusty 7 year old MAC book pro that you just installed a new hard drive on, I just need time, love and nurturing, patience, as with an entire new system it is going to take time for the computer (and user for that matter) to get used to it. I say MAC Book because MAC’s are quite intuitive, something I learned while an MBA student in Paris, as once they get up and running, they can do just about anything you want them to with finesse and less stress. And friends, that is what our subconscious is, it is our intuition.

So….Here’s to the days ahead where my intuition is thriving and the chattering conscious mind is taking a back seat. It’s all part of my survivorship journey and for that I am forever grateful, to be here and be able to share this long but full of love voyage with all of you! ❤️

This is theoneandallie.



I’ll have the combo with a call from the past to keep pushing forward……


I just said that out loud to myself and for real, I am incredibly thankful for another Friday in the Florida sun. (And my parents air conditioner) ha! It was a busy and a bit heavy (in a good way) week with appointments, an interview about my cancer journey and my stem-cell savior twin brother, (all the feels), partnered with a bone marrow biopsy and baby vaccines….and we made it and I could not be happier to be moving past this 6 month milestone. I think I am stronger because of it.

Someone asked me the other day how I was feeling…..and I had to finally be honest, I feel physically strong and like I am finally putting this behind me, day by day, but survivorship, although beautiful and the best life has to offer, is a bit “emotionally” bumpy at times. She responded, “So it’s a combo, and you know the combo is always better, because you get the best of both.” She said exactly what I needed to hear and I will be forever grateful and remember that “the combo,” is not just the preferred Portillos order (Only my Chicago followers will get this), but it’s the preferred prescription for moving forward. Cancer free life, I totally love you.

A call from the past came in today, starting with a 410-328, I knew my old Maryland Medicins were calling. It brought back some big emotions but I was quickly calmed by the sound of the Research Attendings voice. His drug, I am convinced was keeping me alive and in remission for the 9 months in 2017. Unfortunately it was not approved so I was pulled off the trial after one year, 3 months later my cancer was quickly making a comeback. The Research required biopsy saved my life by catching and confirming the creeping cancer in January…Thus leading to the more invasive and intricate journey to transplant, a tried and true way to tell cancer to go away for good with twin brother’s stem cells protecting me for the rest of my life. ❤️ The Doctor and I spoke about the journey, he asked about my parents, I told him about my PTSD and he congratulated me on the 6 month milestone. He then ended the conversation with words I will never forget: “Now you can go and live your life, this is in the past and we are very happy to see this happen for you.”

This call from the past was exactly what I needed to perservere through this weekend and for many weekends beyond. Although this journey at times has been darker than I ever imagined, the people I have met along the way have changed and brightened my life in ways I never thought possible and I will carry them with me in gratitude forever.

Here’s to keeping the past in the past, enjoying the present and moving forward into the future!



All the Good Cs: Courage, Cole’s Parents, Chicago and Camaraderie

Hello Everyone,

Bon Dimanche as my friends and family across the Atlantic say on Sundays. 🙂 I am happy to say that this week was full of many special moments and most importantly all the good Cs. Coming off of the bad C these past 2 years, it is always good to make this letter “good” again!

With that, the first C I am going to talk about is Courage. Everyday I am working towards cultivating Courage versus living in a fear-focused phenomena. It is amazing that today went I put on my Calm app, the daily calm was about Courage. Talk about synchronicity. It is something I reach for everyday as I move forward into my Cancer free life and know that I can handle just about anything when it comes to maintaining my happiness. I also cultivate Courage in order to do things that seemed intuitive in my past life, like getting on an airplane to go see loved ones and experience cooler, crisper temperatures. This takes a lot of Courage, as wearing a mask usually freaks out 75% of travelers, and causes people to stare, and it also forces me to remember that I am in fact immune suppressed. This does not mean I am dying or living a less fulfilled life, but I have to be extra careful when in large groups of people, and most importantly, protect myself. Courage is becoming my best friend, and I have to say, I kind of love it. Every time I have a dark thought, or have a moment where I am frustrated with my skin, feeling insecure about it, (as this saga is still on going and could take up to a year to subside), I remember how courageous I am, along with my fellow survivors. Taking your life back, although seems easy to most, can sometimes be the scariest thing you could have ever imagined. (cue the immunesuppression) But, I also remember that no matter what changes my exterior and interior body are going through, that most people can only see with their eyes, I have chosen to press on and know that this is the “best” of my life and the worst is truly behind me.

Courage is really something, it brought me to see some of my favorite people this past week. Also known as the Kruml’s or Cole’s parents. 🙂 The Kruml’s have been part of our lives since as long as I can really remember. We were football families in the ever-growing and evolving western suburb of Chicago called Naperville. Cole’s parents reside in the City of Chicago, and while we were headed to Naperville to attend my twin’s best friend’s wedding, we made a pit stop in the Windy City first. It was exactly what we needed, crisp, cool air and catching-up included.

Chicago is one of those cities that just makes you feel like you are at home. Nothing like good Midwestern city dwellers to keep that feeling going for as long as you let them. Tony and I love it and are proud to call ourselves “midwesties,” and Chicago suburban babes.

The camaraderie came a day later, when we headed to the burbs to #getbriggywithit. My twin prior to transplant had spent about 7+ years on the West Coast in San Diego, missing many of his closest copains, who he left back in Chicago. It was a beautiful moment seeing my brother step back into “bro,” mode when we arrived at the beautiful Batavia ceremony. He saw not only long lost highschool brothers, but also some of his Montana boys as well as his tride and true galpal, Tiff, that had also made the trip. It was an amazing experience all the way around, and Tony’s friendships, once lost in translation, truly came full circle. I was lucky enough myself to see some of my closest copines from my Rosary days. (the HS I attended) It reminded me how lucky I have been all throughout my life to be constantly surrounded by strong but also incredibly sweet women. Love was seriously in the air.

I left Chicago last night feeling so happy and a bit hyped from all the excitement of the short trip’s events. However, I am happy to be home and finally able to sit down at my computer, to tell you all about the special week I had with old friends, new friends and most importantly forever friends.

Cheers to good times we had this weekend, and the many more to come! So grateful for all the goodness this week provided.

Thanks for continuing to follow along with me on the journey to theoneandallie, the BEST is yet to come, but moments like this keep taking my happiness meter to another level.