Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

12 years....

In some cases, talking about the past is not healthy for you, nor your audience. In other cases, it could be a time for growth and reflection.

I haven't done this before - but think back to September 11, 2001.
Where were you - when you got the horrible, gut wrenching, news of the attack on the twin towers?
How did you feel? 
What were your first thoughts?

I was in my first semester at USF - on my way to Pre-Calculus (ha, what a joke!). At the time I didn't listen to the radio in the car, I would just pop in a cd - - I detested talk radio.

I pull on campus, park, walk 5 miles to the building (in the snow, and get to my classroom. There was some commotion in the building next door - I didn't think anything of it. Our scheduled class time comes & goes, and the professor never showed up. So those of us sitting there like tools got up & followed the commotion.

The building next door had a group of people standing around watching the live news cast of what was going on in NYC. My tummy sank, and I thought I was going to puke.

I tried calling my parents. I don't remember where my mom was, but my dad was en route to Daytona Beach, FL to handle some business. The cell phone towers were jammed so I was not able to make any calls. By this point I had made it back to my car - clearly all classes were cancelled for the day.

On the car ride home, I turned on the radio. At the very point of turning it on, an interview was taking place with someone that had been in one of the towers. They explained how terrible the sight was....especially seeing handicap people stuck, with nowhere to go and no one helping them. I lost it.

You can ready why HERE but ultimately, I have a younger brother who is physically disabled.

So in utter distress, after not being able to reach my parents, I called his middle school and told them I was coming by to pick him up. They tried reassuring me that he was fine....but I was not having it. I drove to his school and signed him out for the day. 

When we finally got home from my emotional outburst and impulsive act, my mom was there. This is where everything starts getting fuzzy again, but I remember falling to the floor and sobbing as I explained to her my reasoning for signing him out....all the people left to die because no one helped them & they were not physically capable of helping themselves.

It's odd the memories that stick with you. This day was a huge one for me, for you, and for our nation. I think it's okay to recall where we were, what we felt, what we saw. I don't think that this is a case where we should "forget the past & move on". I want Beau to know exactly what Matt & I encountered that day. We lived history.

To those of you that have a birthday today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Or if you're celebrating another momentous occasion, I do not mean to take away from it :) 

porkchop's birthday

Today is my brother's 24th birthday.

If you had told my mom 24 years ago that he would live to see this day, she would have probably not believed you.

Ralphie was born 3 months prematurely. My mom's water broke at 4 months, & in hopes of delaying labor, the doctors put her on bed rest until the 6th month of pregnancy. (After suggesting to her that she go ahead & terminate the pregnancy). It was that 6th month that Ralphie was delivered.

Due to his being premature, his lungs were not fully developed, so he was put in a high frequency ventillator. that breathed 900 breaths per minute into his little body. At the time, the ventillator was still only a "trial" method - there were only 7 in the nation, 1 of which happened to be at the hospital that my mom delivered. The doctors forewarned my parents that 13 babies had been in this machine, Ralphie would be the 14th & that the 13th baby had died.

Ralphie survived the ventillator, but not without my parents getting several calls on seperate occasions during the middle of night from the doctors, telling them to "come down to the hospital & say goodbye", that Ralphie had taken a turn for the worst.

After being on the ventillator for 7 days, Ralphie was moved to an incubator that breathed 90% per oxygen into him. It was made known to our parents prior to - all the complications that could arise. It caused a bleed in Ralphie's brain, which ultimately led to him having cerebral palsy. Ralphie underwent 14 head surgeries by the time he was 12.

after one of the surgeries - he bounced back really quickly - normally asking for french fries

He has a shunt on the left side of his head, that controls the cerebral fluid. When barometric pressures drop, Ralphie normally experiences severe headaches. They aren't as debilitating to him now as they were when he was younger.

Ralphie's 80% deaf without his hearing aids in & he's 20% deaf with them. He is fluent in sign language & at first, opted to teach me only the words that make him laugh, like 'fart'. He has since changed his mindset after realizing that I'd only finger spell words to him since I didn't know the signs.

Ralphie is able to walk, he's not confined to a wheelchair. He has orthotics on his legs, which aid in stabilizing him enough to walk. His calf muscles are under developed - he's the epitome of "bird legs". His upper body however, definitely makes up for it. His right arm is freakishly strong & he will arm wrestle you til the world's end. His left arm is severely effected by the cerebral palsy, so he has no function in it, except to latch on to your hair & not let go!

Ralphie may not be "normal" in society's eyes...but let's be honest - what is "normal"? Ralphie's outlook on life & his love for people is admirable. He sees nothing but a person to love in everyone. He will talk your ear off & ask you a ridiculous amount of questions, to find out everything he can about you. And when he sees you again - 6 years later - he will remember EVERYTHING & repeat it all back to you. (The good and the bad).

He loves to dance & has been known to get his groove on doing the sprinkler.

ralphie breakin' it down at our rehearsal dinner

His best friend is his service dog, Gracie.

He is a walking almanac when it comes to sports. It's ridiculous how much he knows about stats, players, and their personal lives.

me & ralphie with ARod & Bernie Williams

So in this picture, Ralphie is telling Randy Johnson that he should have been a basketball player because he's so tall. (Um, Ralphie I think he did just fine with baseball.)
Notice my dad (behind Ralphie) & Jason, the PR guy by Randy, are laughing.
Randy is not.

I'm totally blessed that I married a man who has the patience for Ralphie. 
ralphie's first fishing trip with matt

There was no doubt in Matt & I's minds that Ralphie would be in our wedding.
all the handsome groomsmen with my handsome groom

A gratuitous amount of pictures - an "over the years" montage if you will......

shortly after he came home from the hospital

not sure if i was the one feeding him - but if i was, GUARANTEED i was feeding him a bite & then me a bite

Easter Sunday '89

crimped hair & shoulder pads....the good 'ol days

shortly after, dad got rid of the go cart - there's a good chance i dumped my brother out of it while i was driving.

all of us in vegas for christmas 2009

 Given that Ralphie will always be dependent on my parents - it's really great to see that it doesn't effect his disposition. He's able to look at the positive side of things in his mind. He works with my dad & I. He "runs" with my dad (my dad runs, Ralphie rides his 3 wheel bike - but he calls it running). If there's something he wants to do, he does it. He's never let his cerebral palsy limit his desire to live.

He's an inspiration.
Jeremiah 29:11

Happy 24th Birthday, Porkchop!

fitness & fashion for monday

A jam packed weekend has left me with a "weekend-over". Matty & I OD'd on family time, I got some great shopping in while he got in some baseball at the Rays v. A's game; and we got our grub on a ridiculous amount with an amazing homecooked meal, a visit to the Columbia, and a visit to Cheesecake Factory. Yumm-O!

Saturday was supposed to be my long run - but after 3.2 miles I pooped out. I used one of iTRAIN's treadmill workouts - & I think it's worth sharing the details about it. Here's a link to hear a sampling of the workout....

The workout is 4 phases, and offers 3 different levels: walker, jogger, runner. I normally always do the runner level or just under it, perhaps at a halfway point between jogger & runner. You start out at a fairly comfortable pace (9:30 per mile), once you reach about 1.2 miles (or 11 minutes in to the workout), you are prompted to walk at 4.5mph for 60 seconds. After the 60 seconds, you have your first of four sprints (the speed varies based on the level your working - walker, jogger, or runner). Your incline varies from 1.5% to 3% throughout the course of the workout.

The workout lasts a total of 60 minutes, with the goal of completing: 4 miles for walker, 6 miles for jogger, or 7 miles for runner. I really like it for the speed training, and since I have the natural tendency to compete, I normally always compete with the distance I clocked the previous time I used this workout.

I followed up the run with Physique 57's Thigh & Seat Booster. 30 minutes of blasting your thighs & rear. Ouch.

And incase you were wondering, here's how to dress up for going out - when it's blazing saddles hot outside:

Shorts & Heels!

Top: Anthropologie
Shorts: Ella Moss via Anthropologie
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Bag: Elliot Lucca

this is how we do it

Half way through the week, & I've only worked out once. YIKES! Sunday was a rest day. Monday I did the Physique 57 Volume 2, 57 minute workout & followed it up with a 3.6 mile run. Tuesday was a hair appointment & then dinner with Matty's my evening workout didn't happen.

I think I have had the goal of 4am workouts since 2009, but it has only happened ONCE. That's a whole different topic - fitting in an early AM workout. Do you do early AM workouts?

To be honest, I physically feel crappy about only having worked out once so far - but I don't feel "guilty" about it. I love working out & it makes me sad when I have to miss a planned work out. But dang it, my schedule through the week is insane.

A typical day for me?
Wake up anywhere from 5am to 5:15am (depending on my ability to open my eyes)
Get to work by 6am to 6:15am (depending on the wake up)
Leave work by 4pm
Home at 4:30pm (contingent upon several things)
Workout from 5pm to 7pm (dependent upon what time I'm home & plans for the evening)
I try be in bed by 10pm at the latest - but normally I fall asleep on the couch in order to spend some QT with Matty. (So from 7pm to 10pm, I shower, make dinner, watch a little TV with Matty or watch a movie).

So all of that would be a typical day. But now, because of the car wreck - I'm in physical therapy. So that pushes my workouts back to 6pm since I've been going after work, 2 or 3 times a week.

I know there are so many women out there that work full time, have kids (perhaps with special needs), are a care taker to a family member, manage a household, AND still find time to workout. How do you do it?

Others of you that perhaps don't have kids, may be continuing your education & are saddled with that, along with work. How do you do it?

It just becomes taxing after awhile, mentally & physically. Especially when I don't have time to clean the house or do the laundry.
Do you think I could write off a maid as a work expense?
I hate having to save everything to Saturday. Sunday is church in the morning, & up until here recently, we were doing a Bible study on Sunday evenings.

In my opinion, my schedule is ridiculous & it's really not conducive to me seeing much of Matt Monday thru Friday. His work schedule is opposite of mine. I'm lucky if he's home from work by 7pm. He starts his work day later than me (as does most of the world), so he is able to stay up later at night than me. I'm one that requires sleep - I can't operate well with only 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

And then there's the whole thing about allowing for emergencies to arise throughout the week, or unexpected family plans / friend plans. I still try to be sensitive to those things.

How do you fit in your hobbies & interests?

This isn't a "woe is me" post by any means - but I definitely would love to hear back from YOU on how you maintain a marriage, household, & active lifestyle - pretty much your time management skills!

shop, then workout

Weekend workouts: ran 6.5 miles on Saturday, Physique 57 (P57) full body workout Friday, P57 30 minute workout Saturday

Saturday's goal was to run, clean, do my Bible study, & finish the laundry all before noon - since Matt would be heading home around then from fishing.


Since when do I ever accomplish what I plan?

The one to blame: Ideeli
(You didn't think I'd say I was to blame!?)

Ideeli had these "shopping marathon" sales. I spent a good hour shopping. Good grief. Needless to say, I didn't finish everything I needed to finish before noon.

But hey! Here's what I bought:
JB by Julie Brown - Liza top

JB by Julie Brown - butterfly shorts

Betsey Johnson dress

Report Signature - Adrian heels

Lovely People - Daniela flats

And for Matty....
Banana Blues - Starboard

VAST plaid board shorts
There were a few other items that I was hoping to get for Matt & 2 others for me...but they sold out super quick. Seriously, if I had spent full retail on these items, the total bill would have been over $1000...but not today! I spent a 10th of that. Ridiculous.

I finally got around to running & working out. What a distracting morning!

Saturday evening, Matt & I took his younger cousin Cameron to see Transformers 3D
3d glasses are the hot ticket item for summer
Have you seen Transformers 3?
Is it just me or did anyone else cry? That dang Bumble Bee....gets me every time.

Seen any other good movies lately?
We saw Horrible Bosses....holy moly Jennifer Aniston!

fashion & fitness friday

This week flew by & left me all sorts of dazed & confused.

In fact, the whole month of July so far has been a blur. It's just going by so quickly. I finally had time to check out my monthly shoe picks from KimmyK, Just Fab, & Sole Society. So stay tuned for another post about my picks.
combining 2 of my loves - stationary & shoes

Monday, I had to run up to the airport to pick up my mom & brother. They had gone to Las Vegas for the weekend with my dad...who went from Las Vegas to San Fran (which left me runnin' the show at work).

Look what my mom brought me back - she must have known I needed a 'pick me up'....

according to matt it's not just a "fish" - it's a "coi"

Love Thomas Sabo.

I have a charm bracelet -

which is strictly shoe & bag charms; & then I have a necklace that is for all the sentimentals.
Mom thought I should add the fish to my bracelet....but I added it to my necklace. My bracelet is only bags & charms! (I may not be super picky about keeping a clean house - but I demand order to my charms!)

Do you like charm bracelets / necklaces?
Do you have either?

I have a Juicy Couture charm bracelet as well. Which Matteo always complains about when I wear it. He says it makes too much noise. Blah blah blah...

FYI: the Juicy Couture charms look super cute on necklaces...I've been known to rock a few on my Return to Tiffany's necklace. (Only 1 charm at a time though)


How were your workouts this week?

My workouts for the week....
Monday: Physique57 (P57) vol 1, 57 minute workout
Tuesday: P57 vol 1, 30 minute full body workout & 4 mile run
Wednesday: P57 vol 1, 57 minute workout, 4 mile run, & P57 arms & ab booster
Thursday: rest day
Friday: P57 vol 1 57 minute workout, 4 mile run & P57 arms & ab booster
Saturday is scheduled as my "long run"....hopefully that stands true!

Doing the P57 workouts require a yoga mat, but at times that mat is such an unsteady surface for me. So when I recently saw these shoes, I thought 'what a great idea!' Sanitation AND stability!

Blake Brody's 'Ali'

"Blake Brody's In-Studio Footwear provides fashion-conscious women with innovative eco-friendly shoes to use during studio activities like yoga and Pilates.....a stylish shoe that encourages stability, prevents cramping, and protects against moisture and irritants....
Each shoe in the line is made with environmentally-conscious & humane materials that were hand-selected for their unique characteristics. The progressive technology behind the materials allows the shoes to be breathable, antimicrobial, and delicate enough to maintain a feel for studio surfaces..."
I can see the benefit in them...I do think the price tag is a little hefty in comparison to my running shoes. I don't attend a yoga studio regularly to justify the price.

Yoga studio floors often give me the creeps...thinking about festering bacteria. What a stylish sanitation barrier these shoes make!

Would you ever consider wearing yoga shoes?


The garage sale hasn't sold out - the Coach sunglasses are still available if anyone is interested!


sights to see...once you see sasquatch

While we were visiting Matt's grandparents in North Carolina, we got to visit a few sites that are worth checking out if you're ever in the area.

First up, get your grub on at the Dillard House in GA. It was only about a 40 minute drive...all mountain roads until you hit GA, so pass the dramamine please!

Family style eating, all southern comfort foods!

more food & they refill said food

our attempt at a group either get the background scenery...

or us. take your pick.
Somehow we all were able to fit back in the car when we were done eating...after packing up a ridiculous amount of the food to take home of course.

So we headed to our next stop: Bridal Vehl Falls
grandma's sporty ride
So at these particular falls, you drive right under the fall & enjoy. Not thrilling by any means, but makes for a great picture!

Last stop: Dry Falls...but don't be misled, they are not dry at all
 After walking down a copious amount of uneven steps...

 we were able to walk around & under the waterfall.


Matt & I under the fall....from a distance...

We eventually ventured back to the cabin to safely deliver the leftovers.
that's a whole lotta styrofoam

our sweet waitress labelled our sand for us, not to be confused with the blackberry cobbler that was served for dessert

Matty & I were going to enjoy a peaceful time, swinging on the bench on the porch....but look who found cell service...
not fair. but look, i can take self portraits to amuse myself

why can't i get cell service? we have the same flippin' carrier!
i should really look into botox. good grief. 

ohh, cute shoes!
look no cavities, ma!

okay, you can be in my shoe picture...but that doesn't mean i endorse wearing Sperry's with socks