Fridays Photo: Arrivederci!

I have had quite a remarkable past 12 months. It’s coming up on one year since I heard the words, “you have invasive breast Cancer…and it’s an aggressive form”. Since then, I have gone through seven months of treatments, lost my hair and then much to my surprise found out everyone thinks I look better without hair anyway!(or very little hair).

Once my treatments finished things started to look up. In January of this year I was invited (thanks to the most awesome Veronika Miller) to participate in BlogTourVegas with Modenus. It was a transformative trip for me and one I still keep close to my heart. Then in March I attended my first ever Design Blogger’s Conference which changed everything about how I approach blogging. Then to top it all off, I was chosen to be an official High Point Design Blogger.

In between all these wonderful happy events, my husband was told he was being relocated to North Carolina for work, then three weeks later, that he was not being relocated, he was being laid off. (He has since started a new job but the stress during that time was intense).

As I look back over the past 12 months I have experienced some of my lowest lows and my highest highs. Tonight however will be a high as I will be pulling up by water taxi to this Marriott Hotel in Venice Italy and that in itself is another crazy, unplanned and unexpected life happening.


You see while I was at the Design Bloggers Conference there was an auction for a trip to Italy to benefit the charity Dwell With Dignity. Before the bidding opened Adam Japko of Esteem Media (the organizer of the trip) showed a video of a homeless family moving into their new home. I was in tears by the end of the video and so moved that I was compelled to place an opening bid simply to “get the bidding started”. I quickly was outbid and honestly never gave it another thought….then something “cosmic” happened.

The morning Adam was to announce the winner, my roommate Amanda Gates told me it was a lunar eclipse and that something life changing could happen to me. I couldn’t imagine anything life changing happening while seated in a function room all day listening to speakers. Well low and behold the lunar eclipse must have played a role because something life changing did happen (all arranged by the wizard himself, aka Adam Japko). All three bidders for the trip to Italy ended up “winning” the auction. I was completely stunned and speechless. I had never been to Italy and now a first class Design and Wine trip to Italy that wasn’t even a thought in my head 48 hours earlier was now going to be happening in my near future.

So, off I go today for a trip of a life time with the knowledge that life can change in an instant. My newly gained wisdom from the past year is to enjoy the highs, ride out the lows and just be grateful for every single day.

So Arrivederci!!! (for a week). I will do my best not to flood my social media with touristy photos but no promises!


31 Responses to Fridays Photo: Arrivederci!
  1. Kelly R. @ Interiors For Families Reply

    Buon viaggio, bella! Enjoy every moment!

  2. Max Reply

    This is awesome, Linda! I’ll be in Venice for one day only Mid-May, so Go for it, share your thoughts and pics. Have loads of fun!

  3. Donna Reply

    Have a wonderful time!!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Donna!

  4. Meredith Reply

    Cosmic, indeed! You are going to LOVE, love , love this trip!! Many more eloquent than I have described Venice as a dream, but I found Venice to be way beyond that….i found it one of the most beautiful, emotional, take-your-breath-away amazing places on earth…..Enjoy every moment, dear friend and have a glass for me while you bask in the wonder!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much my friend and hang in there with the ORC! I’m sending you good vibes from abroad!

  5. Pamela Copeman Reply

    Have a glass of wine for me Dear Linda, and enjoy ~ please flood me with images I could paint xoxo

  6. Kristie Barnett Reply

    You certainly have experienced so much on so many levels over the last year. And you have done so with incredible grace and hope!!! I am so happy for the blessings that have buoyed you during such tumultuous times. May many more great opportunities and blessings come your way 🙂

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much Kristie. Your comment really means a lot to me.

  7. Pamela Copeman Reply

    Have a wonderful time Linda and sip a glass of wine for me ~ xoxo P

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I absolutely will Pamela!

  8. Betsy Reply

    Holy shit, that’s awesome!

  9. nirma raffi Reply

    No one deserves this more than you!!!
    Love you!!!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much Nirma!!

  10. Carla Aston Reply

    So happy you can celebrate this milestone in style! Did you ever dream a year ago that you would be where you are now? Love you, Linda!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Never in a million years Carla! Life is such a wild ride!

  11. Susan Silverman Reply

    Have a wonderful trip…Venice is one of the most wondrous places in the world!

  12. Kimberly Wright Reply

    Oh my goodness! Congratulations, Linda! What a year you’ve had. I’m so happy that you’re experiencing one of the “highs” right now. Have a fabulous trip and bring on the photos so we can all live (in Italy) vicariously through you!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Kimberly!

  13. Siobhan Farrer Reply

    So glad this came your way.
    Best wishes for a wonderful trip!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so much Siobhan!

  14. Arleen Jaracz Reply

    So happy for you Linda. Enjoy the canals, the food, and the vino!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much Arlene. I plan to enjoy every second!

  15. Jil Sonia McDonald Reply

    Oh I’m bawling my eyes out. I’m sooooo very happy for you. Put the past behind and it’s all going to be wonderful now…
    With love and the deepest gratitude for your friendship, Jil and Brander

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Awwe, Jil the feeling is mutual. Love you my friend!

  16. Sarah Walker of The Curated House Reply

    I’m so thrilled you get to experience this kind of happy plot twist, Linda! You are an inspiration, and this post is exactly what I needed to read today. Enjoy every minute of your time in Italy! xx Sarah

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much sweet Sarah!

  17. Deborah Main Reply

    Absolutely THRILLED for you!!! Enjoy the high of Italy as it will be a trip you’ll never forget. And a rewarding one for that amazing year you and your family have been through. xoxo 💙💚💛💜

  18. Allyson Paris Reply

    How incredibly wonderful! Enjoy the trip and please share as many photos as you like!

  19. Kelly Reply

    So happy and excited for you my beautiful, sweet friend Linda! A lot of ups and downs this year for sure. Hope we get to connect again sometime- you must have a lot of great stories! xoxoxoxo

  20. Sarah Hepburn-Smith Reply

    What an amazing trip you will have – I love the wisdom you shared at the end of your post: “enjoy the highs, ride out the lows and just be grateful for every single day.”
    So true and beautifully said.

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