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Monday, July 21, 2014

Scenes from SoCal & Forgiveness

A few weeks ago I alluded to a bunch of personal crappola I was going through, and as hard as I tried to pretend it wasn't there and sweep it under the rug, it finally came time to deal with it. I've mentioned a few times (mostly in this post of my blog name's backstory) of the strained relationship I have with my dad. And by strained, I mean, four years with no talking, and only a handful of times in the years before that.

I thought I'd made peace with the fact he wasn't in my life, once finally realized it's okay to distance yourself from some people...even family. Especially if that relationship threatens your mental and emotional well-being. (Can you tell I'm married to a therapist?) 

But a few months ago all that false bravado came crashing down on me. Turns out when you hear the words "Stage 4" and "metastasized," all the rationale you've been clinging to just evaporates. The reasons I kept my distance suddenly felt small and insignificant. This was my father, the man who loves me even if he doesn't know how to show it, the man who wants the very best for me, even if he doesn't say it.

I tried to play it cool and stay in denial, but life was having none of that, and soon enough I was booking a last-minute trip to California to see him. (There are worse places to reconcile with your dad, right?!) On the flight over, my friend Erika posted this, and it spoke directly to my heart.

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Sure enough, the moment I laid eyes on him, all was forgiven. Just like that, I let it go, and instantly felt lighter and happier. I no longer needed the big, heavy conversation, rehashing the past. I didn't want to look back...I could start fresh right in that moment.

My dad and I spent a lot of time just being together, reconnecting and recommitting. Mr. SP and I were able to enjoy the area some too, which really contributed to the whole healing experience. The weekend was liberating, yet exhausting...why is that always the case with emotional journeys?!

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

I can't do a travel-related post and not fill you in on what I packed, and tips on the area!

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal
Hoodie (similar) | Pink Oxford layered underneath (similar) | Shorts (similar) | Flip Flops
Crossbody Bag (similar) | Watch (on sale!!) | Cross Bangle


We spent time in Malibu, Summerland (a picturesque and charming town just south of Santa Barbara), and Manhattan Beach. The weather and beauty of Southern California totally helped to soothe our spirits.

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal
Peach orchard in my friend's backyard. No big deal.

My dad lives part-time in Malibu (that doesn't suck), so the Mr. and I were able to take breaks from all the emotion, and enjoy the beach. I adore this man of mine. It's easy to love your spouse when life is easy...it's when life gets hard that you realize the true importance of the one you choose.

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal
Dress | Bomber Jacket | Crossbody Bag (similar)


On the third day, we hugged my dad goodbye, with pure intentions of talking and seeing each other again soon, and Mr. SP and I spent the day hiking in Malibu Canyon, and riding bikes along the promenade in Manhattan Beach.

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal


I'm not going to lie, as good and therapeutic as it was, there were a lot of tears. And even more tears when I got home. Along with a full day of baking...not sure where that came from! But God and my husband walked me through it. And now my dad is doing miraculously well, and we're figuring out this new chance of being in each other's life.

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments, emails, and texts in the past months, even though most of you didn't know what I was going through, I felt your support. And thank you to my mom and stepdad who stepped up without hesitation to watch the kids so we could take this unexpected trip. It really does take a village, and we are blessed with ours.

Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

Now for the details of our trip...first up, my travel uniform.

Watch (on sale!) | Cross Bangle | Gold Hoops


{Where We Stayed & Ate}

The Anza Hotel - Calabasas
Malibu hotels are hard to come by, so we stayed one night in nearby Calabasas.
We didn't see any Kardashians, but we were impressed with this comfy hotel.
It has several good restaurant options within walking distance, including Pedalers Fork, where we had an amazing breakfast.

Sea View Inn - Manhattan Beach
We had an early departure from LAX, and this little gem is a short 15-minutes away. For an unbelievably fair rate, we got an ocean-view room that included bikes, beach chairs & towels, and free parking. (A rarity in the LA area.) Some of the rooms haven't been updated yet, so ask to see a few before settling in.
The street is lined with restaurants, and we especially loved Fishbar for dinner.
Hermosa Beach Pier is a short bike ride away.


Hi Sugarplum | Scenes from SoCal

This is by no means a comprehensive travel post on Southern California...but I wanted to share the little treasures we discovered. Turns out Erika was right, forgiveness really is the key to life's happiness.


Sidenote: Most of the pictures in this post were taken with my new Samsung Galaxy Camera, and it rocks! Oh, and one of you lucky ducks will win one later this week, because I'm giving this $500 camera away! (Not mine, I'm not that nice...but another one.)

35 comments:

  1. God bless you and your renewed relationship with your dad. I am so happy for you that you got the chance to do this. And, you looked just fabulous on the trip!

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  2. Bless you for sharing this story. I'm glad your dad is doing well.

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  3. It takes courage to tell such a personal story. You have my admiration. And I`m happy for you!
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  4. I'm so glad it went well. Thanks for sharing your heart. I hope that there will be many happy moments ahead with your dad.

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  5. P.S. Forgiveness is so hard sometimes. I know that God was holding you close and giving you what you needed at that moment:)

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  6. Oh this post made me tear up a bit. I was once told "Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself." So, so true. But I also like to remind myself that forgive does not mean you forget. If you break a plate then apologize to it the plate it will still be broken. But, thank goodness for super glue. (Love).

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  7. What an emotional trip that had to have been. So happy to hear you and your dad are renewing your relationship and that he is doing so much better :)

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  8. Glad everything turned out the way it did Cassie. I can relate to your story on many levels. Thank you for sharing it. For me, the forgiving is easy...the forgetting, not so much. Working on that!

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  9. So happy you were blessed with this gift. Proud of you for being brave enough to make the trip!

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  10. My mom has stage 4 metastasized breast cancer that has made it's way into her bones and brain. She has been fighting for 3 years. Although most days are good as she is strong and of great spirit, I do have days where I can't keep it together, those are the days when I feel her loss very heavy and give myself permission to not fear the future or wonder what it would be like without her in it. We are very strong Christians and without Him, there is no way I would ever be okay with the idea of letting her go. As a dear friend said "they aren't really gone, they are simply going ahead of us for a bit." Prayers to you and your family from a fellow DFW mom (I live in Frisco)!

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  11. So glad you were able to heal a little bit after the weekend. I deal with something similar in my family and it is definitely difficult. It's good to hear you were able to reconcile and move forward. Thinking of you!

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  12. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. OMG- that dress is absolutely gorgeous. Looks great paired with the white denim jacket.

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  13. You are a real gem Mrs Cassie. Your willingness to forgive is truly inspiring :)

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  14. You are amazing and so strong! Aaaaaand, can we talk about how you are married to not only a hottie rockstar but a get-in-touch with your feelings and deal with them professional communicator?!!! Double high fives.

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  15. God is good. ALL.THE.TIME. God bless you and your dad. Good post!

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  16. Being able to forgive is one of the most freeing feelings! I am so happy to hear that you made peace. I pray that your dad has many more moments with you.

    I live in California and I have been to the places that you posted about. It really is beautiful here. Just imagine. You can now come back and visit your sweet dad and enjoy the beauty that is Cali.

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  17. Goodness. This post was perfect. Loved every bit of it friend.

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  18. Sometimes I'm amazed with how much we have in common. I also have a strained relationship with my bio-dad. He has been distant my whole life, and even though I know he loves me it's so hard to have a relationship with him. He recently went through some things that made me re-evaluate our relationship, but naturally neither of us are acting on it. All of that is why I had such a special relationship with my Papa too.

    So glad you and your dad are figuring it out! Forgiveness is such a beautiful thing.

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  19. We all have different stories but for some of us so similar. You have a wonderful husband and have been blessed.
    Thank you for putting your personal stuff out there. Blessings...

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  20. So inspiring Cassie. Forgiveness can be so freeing. You'll both be in my prayers.

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  21. Forgiveness is so hard sometimes (most of the time?) when there's such a history of pain behind it. I think it's wonderful that you've gotten to this place though and hope you both get a real second chance here. xoxo

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  22. I've often heard that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. That is so true, and I'm glad you have been able to do that. And forgiveness is not letting someone off the hook, just letting them off YOUR hook and putting them on God's.

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  23. So glad this was a trip that gave you some peace!

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  24. So happy you were able to take this trip and heal with your hubs. Always thinking about you friend! Beautiful recap.

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  25. Beautiful Cassie. The story, your trip, and the outfits! Praying for peace over you and your family!

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  26. What a special post Cass, and I'm sure it resonated with a lot of people. Thank God your dad is doing better!! Love that pic of you smooching your honey. He's a good egg! ;)

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  27. So glad that this all went well and was freeing and healing for you. You have such a great way about you and you are one that always brightens my day, no matter what I am going through or how sick I am that day. So I didn't like that you were down. I'm glad this weight is lifted off of you now :-)

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  28. Thank you for sharing Cassie and for being so genuine. Forgiveness, one of the hardest but most important things we can give to one another. Blessings to your girl!

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  29. Thank you for sharing your story... I know that wasn't easy. So happy that you found forgiveness for your dad and that your relationship is healing. All my best to you...

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  30. I am happy this trip helped release your anger Cassie. My Dad also had a hard time showing love and communicating but as I got older I realized I could see his love if I looked hard enough. One thanksgiving (20 years ago) I decided I was too busy to go home and be with family....it was about me and what I wanted to do. My Dad had a heart attack the weekend after and died. You can imagine the guilt I felt for being "too busy" to go home and spend what would have been my last time with him. You hear stories like this.....about never knowing when you will lose a loved one.....so be sure to always say what is on your mind. I live with that guilt everyday and it has certainly helped me not make that mistake again......good for you to find forgiveness! I always say that it takes more energy to be mad than to forgive and move on......thanks for sharing your story about growth.

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  31. This is a wonderful story...thank you for sharing! I think your dad is doing well now because of you and your renewed relationship with one another...I will keep your family in my prayers!! Love your outfits too!!

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  32. Cassie thank you for sharing such a personal story. You have such a beautiful spirit that comes across loud and clear with every posting and I'm so happy that you and your Dad have reconnected. Your reaching out has lightened both your hearts, providing hope for a more comfortable relationship and has already had a positive impact on your Dad's health. Blessings.

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  33. I'm so glad you were able to take the weekend to try to work on reconnecting. Family is such a tricky thing, isn't it? I think acceptance of some things and forgiveness is all hard but definitely worth the journey. I do agree on the other hand that sometimes distance is necessary for your own well being. It can be so complicated. I think you are so brave to be so open about this journey, and I'll be praying for you as you continue healing. You and your mister seem to have such an incredible bond and are too cute together. Y'all are inspiring for sure!! XO

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  34. Great post, Cassie. I'm happy for you :)

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  35. Cassie- Thanks for sharing. I have a difficult relationship with my mother. And, lots of therapy later, I am okay with a managed relationship. Love the photos and trip details! laura

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Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

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