I realize it has been quite a while since you heard from me and there is a really good explanation.  Hopefully you read about the loss of BFF’s Grandpa right before the holidays but in January, we had a devastating loss of her 23-year-old nephew, Mathew as well.  BFF and I have been best friends for over 20 years and her family has adopted me as another member, with her brothers calling me their other sister and her nieces and nephews calling me Aunty 2.  So, when we got the news Matty had died in a horrible car wreck, I was devastated right along with the rest of the family.  You see, I had known Matty since he was little and I loved being his Aunty 2.  It was so hard to think about writing and words could not seem to come to me to even begin to express my grief over such a young soul.  But this week, as I was musing over Matty and how he lived his life, the words he lived by inspired me.  Live Grand.

Matty may have only been 23 years old, but the life he lived was so full and rich.  We like to say he lived life going mach 3 with his hair on fire, but really he just lived grand.  He LOVED adventure. This kid ran river tours in the Grand Canyon with the Hualapai tribe for many years and they loved him so much he was actually made a member of the tribe.  He loved to take chances and was a budding photographer, doing anything to get the perfect shot.  So many photos of Matty not only show his beautiful smile but they also show him on the edge of cliffs, playing in the Colorado river, snowboarding down the mountain and many other things that made his life grand.  He loved spending time with the family, never missing a function if he could help it and was always the first one to take selfies with everyone.  His laugh and smile were contagious and you could forgive him of any transgression by that smile and he knew it.  This spirit, this essence of Matty is his legacy.  to all of us.  This sense of loving life and living outside the box is what inspires me.  This is where my challenge to you, my dear readers, is going to present itself.  In memory of BFF and my nephew, I challenge you to Live Grand.

BFF and Matty 
That smile….


Take a moment and reflect on your life and what makes it grand.  Find one thing that you can do to make it more rich, fuller and bursting with life.  Whether that be traveling to a new destination, creating your own adventure or even just spending more time with your family, find that one thing and do it.  Do not wait until tomorrow or put it off to next year, I want you to do it now.  Matty wants you to do it now.  Plan it, execute it and make your life grand.  It’s that simple.  This is my challenge to all of you…to keep Matty’s spirit alive and make your life grand.  I want you to tag me in posts on Facebook, Instagram and even send me snapchats with the hashtag #LiveGrand and show me how you can change your life to make it your best life ever.  I want to see you #LiveGrand no matter what that means to you.  Show me!  I plan on spending more time with my family and traveling more to make my life grand.  Because if there is one thing Matty taught me, it was that family is not always about blood.  It is about those people who love and support you the most and BFF and her family are some of those people.  Thank you BFF and her family.  You all have given me something I cherish….your love.

This boy….

Mathew.  I am proud to have been your Aunty 2.  I am glad you never hesitated to tell me you loved me.  I am proud to have known you and been blessed by your smile, laugh and your love.  I am so proud of the man you had become and I will miss you my sweet nephew.  While I will never hear you call me Aunty 2 again and get some random snapchat from you showing me your smile, I will always love you.  You lived grand in life and now you can continue to Live Grand forever.  “Through every door, a new path awaits.”  Enjoy your new path Matty.  And #LiveGrand.

Mathew Thomas Reyes  1993-2017  #LiveGrand

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did discover that even through great grief, you can discover a new joy in life but I didn’t die.  Thank you Matty.  I am Fat Girl who is going to  #LiveGrand Running.  The experiment continues…

Fat Girl For Sale

My life has been crazy busy the last couple of weeks, hence my not blogging for a while.  I apologize for the absence.  My work schedule was crazy and in between shifts I was busy organizing a HUGE fundraiser for a very dear friend and co-worker who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing all the treatments for it.  When I say HUGE, I really do mean HUGE.  It literally overcame all my expectations.  For those of you who have been reading awhile, you all know that breast cancer is a cause that I get involved with every year with the 3 Day Walk so I knew we could easily get something together for her.  When we found out at work that the chemo had not shrunk her tumor and she had to move up the date for her mastectomy by several months, we were all heartbroken.  You see, she is my age, the sole income for her family, has a wonderful 6-year-old and is completely out of paid time off.  We quickly all racked our brains for what we could possibly do to help her out financially and came up with the idea that we should have a garage sale with all the proceeds to benefit our beautiful friend.  How did this end up consuming my time?  Well, I had the bright notion that since my HOA was sponsoring a community wide garage sale, that we should take advantage of the free advertising and do it that weekend and at MY house.  Sigh.  I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.

Silly Fat Girl.  We started out by putting up sign up sheets at work for those who wanted to either help out the day of the sale or donate items.  We covered 4 units in our hospital (the 4 that we all float around to) and got lots of excited responses.  Awesome!  It was starting out to be a great idea and we had a month to get it all together.  I created an event on Facebook and invited everyone I knew, explaining our beloved friend’s story.  I enlisted the help of Bubby and his Pocket sized GF to help me clean out my garage.  Once we conquered that task (and not an easy one), I put out the word that I would start taking donations to sell.  We had already made a small but nice pile of crap from my own house and I honestly thought not much would come in.  The donations started slowly and added to the pile. Pretty sure they breeded overnight and soon even while I was sleeping, people were leaving donations on my porch, driveway and even in my garage.  Soon enough, one whole side of the garage was overtaken by everyone elses crap and I was starting to wonder if it would stop.  It didn’t.  Within a week, I could no longer park in my garage and the items kept coming.  Some creepier than others.  I really mean it when I say people dropped off stuff while I was sleeping. One day, I walked out to go to work and the pile was now encroaching on my ability to even walk in there.  Upon getting to my car, while wondering if there were live animals making nests in the piles of stuff in my garage, I screamed.  There on my car one of my friends had placed the creepiest mask ever and I quickly looked around to see if SOTL man had been there and skinned another fat girl.  Seriously.  Pretty sure I left a puddle of pee in the garage (thanks Fox).  You would have a Code WP too.

CREEEEEEEPY. Seriously Fox, you made me pee my pants

BFF and I started to wonder if the donations would ever stop, if we would have any traffic on the day of the sale and if anyone was actually gonna show to help us run it.  We attempted to sort the items and group them and it became pretty clear to me that we were in over our heads.  Seriously.  Is it breeding?  Luckily, the day before the sale, some wonderful co workers showed up to help sort, price and organize.  Nothing like 3 girls with OCD to organize a garage sale.  Let’s just say it was the most organized garage sale I have ever been to. I quickly put out word via Facebook that we were no longer taking donations when we realized that we could not walk in the garage.  They still kept coming.  Really?  What part of no more did everyone not get?  Of course, this does prove how generous the nurses are at the hospital and how they will come together to support a co-worker.  That part was wonderful.  Dealing with other people’s stuff…not so great (really…who wants to buy underwear from a garage sale?  Is it just me or is that gross?) We even had people stopping by and shopping while we were organizing and pricing.  Garage sale people are weird.

The day of the sale, I got up at the butt crack of dawn, hoping all those who said they would help would really show up.  They did.  Signs were hung that it was a fundraiser, a table with a bake sale and breakfast burritos was in place (that was PURE genius I tell you. They were gone in 45 minutes.  Damn hungry garage salers) and people did come to help set up.  We started setting up and 5 minutes into setting up, the buyers started arriving even though the sale was not for another hour.  From there, it became the craziest most insane I have never seen that many people in my yard at one time event.  We had some good shit to sell I tell you, but you could not even drive down my street because there were so many people.  I swear at one point, there was at least 75 people in my yard and they were trying to buy everything not nailed down.  It was a never-ending stream of people, haggling, and money being handed over.  An hour into the sale, BFF came up to me and whispered that there was already $1600 in the house.  WHAT?  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?  We still had 3 hours to go.  Our wonderful, beautiful friend even showed up to help, tears of joy at what we were doing for her in her eyes.  There were lots of weird moments at the sale, because like I said, garage sale people are weird, but the icing on the cake was when SOTL man actually DID show up with his little dog.  Wanna know how creepy he is?  He SAT down in my driveway and started reading the books for sale.  The children’s books.  Out loud.  Yeah…he is THAT creepy.  And he kept trying to get everyone to kiss his dog too.  Seriously Dude….you freak me out.  I was just glad it wasn’t him that left the skin/mask on my car.  Just saying.  (I WILL get you back Fox for that…I know where you live.  I have streaked past your house before.  Naked.  But that is another story).  Someone actually bought that creepy mask too.  If they show up to my house wearing it, I might scream and pee some more.  And then send them over to Fox’s house.

Do we know how to run a garage sale or what? We love you!

To make a long story short (I know…too late), the sale was a GINORMOUS hit.  We raised over $2500 for our friend.  Yes…you did read that right.  Who raises that kind of cash at a garage sale?  The Fat Girl does.  We won’t say how I did it, but I did.  Although, I did feel a little like a stripper when I went into the bank to exchange all the ones for bigger bills.  The tears from our beloved friend yesterday was all the thanks we needed.  Fight on my dearest!  FIGHT on!

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I might have thought another fat girl had gotten skinned and left on my car but I didn’t die. I am fat girl who is still overwhelmed by all the community support we got for our brave friend running.  The experiment continues…..