Monday, November 26, 2012

weekend recap

This is the last weekend of November. So crazy how the rest of this year is flying by and going to fly by. Did you brave the crowds and go shopping on friday? I spent the weekend doing various things such as:

-shopping at Walgreens on black friday (though I don't count that as black friday scoring major deals shopping). just getting a few necessities.

-watching Water for Elephants. OMG, be warned animal lovers as there is mistreatment of animals displayed! I almost couldn't handle it and I will not be watching it again. However, to portray of how people & animals were treated in the late 1920's, early 30's, it's accurate that way. I was totally rooting for all the good people in that film. Have you seen it? Did you read the book?

-eating Thanksgiving leftovers. ham, turkey, pumpkin pie (i devoured 3 pieces!). I am so over turkey & ham lol.

-curling my hair and wearing it down. Now, this might not seem like such a news worthy mention, but it is because i ALWAYS have my hair up some way. I will only wear it down if it's curled and teased and hairsprayed. Sadly, I have not been able to do my own hair for 5 years now and so I must rely on my caregivers to do my hair for me. They typically don't have alot of extra time to really make my hair look pouffy and nice everyday, so once in a while, like this weekend was so fab to do something different with it!
I was seriously about to cry and then I laughed right after

i love my poufy hair!

it's so long. I'm wanting to donate to Pantene's beautiful lengths program (like locks of love)

-sorting, tearing and organizing papers/envelopes, newer addresses compiled into one, paper business stuff.

-calling each set of grandparents.

-writing a letter.

-planning and starting to package my SECRET SANTA SWAPPER's gift! I can't wait to find out who got me!
-trying not to be discouraged about a few things in my life. One of them being how I've been a random, not-so-with-it blogger! hahaha. and also, my weight. I know alot of you out there can relate to getting bogged down about the size we are or the rolls we got. The topic of weight and self-image is a HUGE other enchilada to write about so I'll stop for now. 

My friend C is such a great example of trusting in the Lord and being a light to those in darkness. Our life is really not about us, but about others. She reminds me unknowingly to be strong & courageous and to TRUST in God's plan for me. I believe God lives and He answers prayers because one got answered this week within my family and I am SO happy!

and because the season of giving is among us, I wanted to let you know that my dear friend Kendra of A Proverbs 31 Wife currently has 3 giveaways going on NOW:  Virgin Coconut Oil, Nov group giveaway and  3 bottles of NuNaturals Stevia Enter for yourself or if you win, you could pass it on to a friend! :)

I know today's Cyber Monday and i totally participated last year but funds are low at the moment, so no snagging deals online today! Bummer! Don't forget that if you are shopping today, go through or for some cash back on your purchases if the selected store is in their directory. And No, I was not compensated for mentioning either of these sites. I just love helping people save money and getting the most for their dollar!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thanksgiving greetings

Gobble Gobble!
Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful to be surrounded with many lovely people who love each other and who love me that I get to love.

I am thankful for finding laughter in almost everything--which sometimes gets me into trouble! lol.

I am thankful for my health and for this life that God has gifted me, trials and all.

I am thankful to be able to eat and enjoy the yumminess of green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. 

Dear pumpkin cheesecake, I will bake you for Christmastime!!

I am thankful for YOU--my most kind, understanding, supportive women I've met because of blogging.
half of the food ready to be eaten!

frozen oreo pie that my friend Brittney made! [excuse the kmart ad]

What have you feasted on today? What or who are you thankful for? Could be any one thing. 
Blessings to you & yours!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

things I've taught my grandparents recently

I daydream.

I get distracted easily.

I start on one task and then sometimes that turns into 3 more things i am doing or collecting to do.

While daydreaming earlier, I was thinking of yesterday, when my grandparents came to visit me.

I taught my grandpa how to make tea. He's always drunken one cup of coffee as his choice of hot beverage. Poor grandpa has gotten the cold.  He's getting better, alot better since the weekend, but his voice sounded raspy and hoarse. I suggested he try drinking some hot tea, especially with a bit of honey. He agreed.

The only tea I had was Celestial Seasonsings Caffiene free Sleepy Time Tea. You know, the green box with bears on it? :) it's my fave for when I feel sicky, which thankfully only happens 1-2 times per year. I hesitated on giving him that one because i didnt want him to end up falling alseep while driving them home an hour later. So even thought it's tastier and calming than regular ol lipton, I decided on the lipton that we had in the kitchen, thanks to Sandy, my nurse.

It's made me chuckle reflecting on yesterday's event because my grandpa told me he'd like to take some of my tea home for some throat relief. It's not that normal for my grandpa to try new things. He's set in his ways. I told him to take the honey with him too.

A couple other things I've taught them is:

This past May, my grandpa asked me how to vote. you know, the real-election-ballot-voting! He's 77 and NEVER in his life has he cared to vote. But boy of boy, he sure's been invested in politics these past few years and all riled up over Obama [and not in a good way]! lol. I was SO excited to get my grandpa registered and marking the box to receive an early mail-in ballot. It's 2012 and my grandpa casted his vote for the very first time. That's a memory I'll never forget.

Then there's my nana, who about a month ago, asked me matter of factly:
"Britt, I need a cell phone. How do i get a cell phone?"

We all know that plans and phones depend greatly on your needs or how much you'll use the phone. I tried explaining the "depending" issues as simply as possible because my grandparents, especially my nana, get confused so easily. And as I type this, i think I may have already told you guys that my nana has gotten her first cell phone! lol.

Well for an update on how that's's going great! Nana actually speed dialed me (I am set to #2) last monday! She was calling me from Walmart. My grandpa must have just dropped her off. It makes me smile to know that I've made my nana's life a little less stressed for when it comes to her whole going out to the store. 

also just yesterday, I showed both my nana & grandpa how to turn ON and OFF her cell phone. "press and hold down the red button for 3 seconds." I love it!

It's really a privilege to ME that I get to help my grandparents for instance, especially at their older age. They have always been there for me and our family. 

My grandpa used to sometimes drop me off or pick me up from Kindergarten. 
My nana took care of me when I was constantly sick from my asthma when I was a child as both of my parents worked full-time.
They pick up things I need from the store since they know I can't just drop everything and go by myself.

It's really an honor to be able to help them with little things or 21st century things they don't quite understand like doing a survey online or googling for a local pet groomer versus inquiring the black print phone book.

My nana & grandpa may be aging and old-fashioned, but they have shown me that they are brave spirits to allow themselves to try or do things that otherwise may be a bit scary to them compared to the much simpler days of their youth.

I hope that if I live to their age, that I am strong and brave and curious like them. Who knows how things will be for us 20-30 somethings in 50 years?!

Monday, November 12, 2012

32 hours

The past couple months have been a rollercoaster. I have good days and crappy days. It's been one thing or another. I don't mean for this post to be negative nellie, but i'm being real. I've been having trache pain or arm pain, but I am alive and well. If I feel, it's because I am alive and for that I am thankful. God is still with me and as my mom says," He's got his angel crew around you."

 I went in to the hospital last monday for an overnight stay in ICU (when you're on the vent 24/7, you have to say in ICU). My doctor wanted to make sure I was getting proper ventilation after changing to a diff trache. I had my trache changed to a cuffless trache (without a plastic balloon attached from the inside out of the trache). My doctor believed that this extra, rough plastic could be irritating and causing more pain when I have my routine two month trache changes. After much discussion we both agreed to go ahead and give this new trache a try. 

With miscommunication between doctors, nurses, etc, I ended up having my trache changed 3 TIMES in 2 days!! CRAZY!! NEVER in my life have i had that many in such a short amount of time. While the trache site is still sore, I CAN say that this cuffless trache IS easier to get in and out versus the cuffed one. Praise God!
ouch! but my nurse K got it working with one attempt & with the smallest IV.

My 32 hour stay in the hospital went by so fast. It was busy. My good friend James went with me and stayed the night with me. He was SUCH a big help, especially when it came time for me to go potty on the bed pan which i absolutely hate! lol. Good thing he has alot of patience, because i bugged him for alot of things, like adjusting my pillows, underwear or giving me a sip of water.

I packed my pink backpack the day before with items to make me more comfortable [deodorant, toothpaste/toothbrush, mouthwash, my moisturizer, ipod, notepaper] and I sure did pack James a big bag of candy corn and some chocolate, which came into good use at 5am..NOT EVEN KIDDING!

I am already a light sleeper and between the blood pressure cuff squeezing tight my arm every 30 mins to 1 hour and my pulse ox coming loose and the machine beeping, I couldn't sleep. I heard when James would move or snore lol, my nurses or RT's checking in on me and even heard across the way a nurse yelling at a patient, "OPEN your eyes!! at 2 am! My circumstances were certainly not as bad as some of the other patients, who James said, there was a John Doe in my pod. Poor guy and how scared he must have felt.
about 11pm. about to write since i can't sleep yet.

Around 5 am, i needed more pain meds and James woke up. We both kinda took deep breaths and hoped for better sleep. Around 6, i finally fell asleep as I had been awake since 7 am! I then woke up at 7:50 as my RT, Valerie started her shift and was making her rounds. It was pretty dark in my room and still felt like 5am. I was exhausted.

My day nurse, Chuck came in too and asked if I was hungry. I said, kind of, but i needed to pee more. I really needed to pee around 4, but was too tired and lazy to really move anymore. We ordered breakfast, so i could eat something and take my morning reg meds. After eating a bit, going potty, James and I went back to sleep at 10ish, because we were all just waiting for whenever my doctor would arrive to check on me. He did at 11 am---oh good, a little more sleep!

I could go on about what happened the rest of the day, as above, needing to change my trache 2 more times, but it's a long story. I ended up not getting home til 7pm that night. I was utterly drained.

I'd just like to add that all of my nurses and Rt's were extremely kind and helpful. They "bent the rules" a bit to make me as comfortable as possible. I even had a God-connection happen as I was re-united with Sandra! I recognized her as she passed by my room. James had asked her for a blanket and I told James, hey! tell her i need to talk to her!" 

You see, Sandra was a CNA that helped me 6 years ago when I first was placed on the vent in the hospital. She was one of my favorites who really went above and beyond to comfort me when I was extremely scared and sad about my situation. 

So she came in and asked her if she remembered me. She didnt at first, but after I reminded her of how i knew her she smiled and did! I started telling her how she impacted my life then and I started to cry. After chatting a bit,we exchanged info and we now have a new pen pal!! She couldn't believe that she saw me and that I remembered her after all these years. Seeing her was such a bright spot.

My good friend Diane, a nurse, also stopped by to see me. I didn't even know, but she actually works on the floor/unit I was on! She treated us to starbucks!  Getting to see Diane was comforting because I hadn't seen in her over a year. We talked for about ten minutes before her shift started.
thank you diane for the treat!

This past week has been spent getting "caught" up on sleep and SLOWWLLYYYY  replying to emails that are backed up to three weeks! I  have about 5 people that I need to call and 5 letters that I need to respond step at a time.

I miss blogging and miss you! until next time, stay well.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

guest post: life's a box of coffee OR hot chocolate

Happy weekend! It's officially HAPPY NOVEMBER! Our weather here in Arizona is delightful and cooling down. The mornings have a crisp feel to them. How's it going in your neighborhood?

November calls for things you are grateful for. I sometimes take for granted the little things that really bless my life. I also can't wrap my brain around the devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to the East Coast. I know there are alot of people feeling angry, desperate and scared. I am thankful that there are kind, compassionate people to help others that don't have power or a home to go to over there. If I lived there and I was ok, i'd totally open my doors as well. 

I am thankful that my health is pretty stable, despite having trache or arm off and on issues, which btw, I am heading to the hospital monday for the trache change! Sometimes we get so busy in life, we don't take the time to notice the small but ever so meaningful blessings we have, like our good health, frame of mind, our families that MIGHT drive us crazy sometimes or the cozy home full of our belongings that we have.

I have a super sweet lady guest posting for ya'll today who definitely keeps things in perspective! Meet Marie who blogs over at Listening Rather Then Speaking. She's my other other fellow January birthday baby and loves coffee!...umm, we know i do too lol.

My heartstrings tugged when I read what she had to say. Marie is a girl with alot of love and hope for humanity, especially when it comes to children. Read on. Be inspired.

Hi! I'm Marie from Listening Rather Then Speaking!

So I wanted to write a blog that would reach hundreds thousands millions about the need to give back. As many of you know September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Cancer is something that hits my heart in a very sensitive way.

Baby's Feet By Theprodiqy
When I was in high school, I would volunteer at a hospital. It was an experience that I figured would be a give and take relationship. I would have volunteer hours on my college applications and they would have someone who could help out. I NEVER expected things to turn out to be a give-give-give-give situation. I volunteered on the children’s floor of the hospital. I would play with the little kids and feed the babies. I loved seeing their bright beautiful faces smiling and happy.

One day, I was following my “normal route”, I came across a room that had a baby that I never met nor seen. I was one of the volunteers the kids loved, because I knew all their names. He was crying, my heart melted. I slowly approached the crib and his little brown eyes, just looked at me. His name was J. for privacy reasons, I can’t talk about patients. I picked J up and he gave out a laugh. It was love at first sight. A nurse came by the room holding a bottle; I guess she walked away to make him one. The nurse handed me the bottle and said “I think you have things under-control, I’ll be back in a few”. J finished his bottle, just in time. It was time for me to head home. I placed him in his crib, and he began to cry again. I looked at his chart and it said he had not had any visitors for days! I wondered why. I picked him up again; the feeling of confusion and heartbreak entered my body. I wonder how someone could not want to see this beautiful baby’s face or just hold him. The nurse walked back into the room and grabbed him from my hands. She knew something was wrong, she looked over and said “Cancer”.

Baby Sam By Reskiy 
I made my way to the door and didn’t look back. That night, all I could think about was that little boy and how his family left him there to die. I wanted to just take him home with me and make the best out of the time he had left. I went back to the hospital the next day, J was gone. I had a blank look on my face, the nurse told me that he was down stairs getting testing done and that she would bring him to me. She told me that I would have to complete my chores and do them all with grade A effort. Within the first half hour of my shift, the nurse brought J to me. He looked so happy and gave me the same laugh. I asked the nurse; how long he had to live. She replied less the a month, if not a little less. I asked her where the family was, she told me that they said their goodbyes a long time ago. I cried.

I made a promise to myself and to J that we would make the best out of the time, he had left. I would go to the hospital early and on my days off just to see his face.

Baby Details By Juliephotography
Once my volunteer hours where up at the hospital  they told that I could no longer be allowed in J's room and I would have to receive permission for his family. I knew that this was goodbye. I agreed with the hospital and said my goodbyes. I knew that J would fight the battle for the both of us.

The updates that I would get from my school regarding J, turned into no updates at all. I figured it was time to just remember his adorable face and move on. I knew that he fought his battle with all the strength he could.

I recently thought alot about J, I thought about making a call to the hospital.

"To reach the children's floor press 6, 
Hi this is nurse xxx,  can I  help you?"

I talked to the nurse for about 15 minutes; she knew exactly what baby I was talking about and she shared the information that she could. She told me that J had beat the cancer;; he beat the cancer. He is now 3-4 years old, and is living with a foster family who is going thru the adoption process now. I cried. It was nice to know that J had beat his fight. It was nice to know that my prayers have been answer and that little boy will be okay. 

Cancer is extremely close to my heart, not only because of this baby, but because of how selfish i was.
I wanted nothing more then to have a clear well written application to college, and then this event happened. 

Baby By Pictureguy
I made the choice to give everything and any time I have to children and the fight to help them. This is the reason why if you check out my blog (click here) I have been begging people to donate to my fight to cure childhood illness and disease. I want to make a large donation on behalf of the followers/givers. Its a simple process ; you buy a box of coffee, we make the donation.   

As of right now we are shooting to give between 40% of all proceeds to the hospitals. We are looking to give these proceeds to the children's wing of hospitals. We have two hospitals in mind right now, but have not made a clear choice due to the fact that they are both so close to my partners and my heart. Both hospitals that where chosen are known worldwide.  We are making this donation for children in general at this time. We want there to be a cure for all illness and disease that children get/can get. We want a brighter future for their today and their tomorrow. At this time, we would like to try and raise $5,000 dollars. Once we reach $5000 dollars, we would like to go even further and raise more. 

I know that most people have a ton of bills to pay for and have a things to take care, but Im begging and praying. I'm asking people to save the lives of our future. Who knows maybe, we have another Elvis, or Maryrlin Moore among us. Or we have a child among us that will create the cure for cancer. We don't know what the future holds, but lets try and make it brighter for these kids.

Baby Born By Katie490
I have created little perks that people can receive,

Buy one box- i will send you a personal thank you letter/card
Buy 2-4 boxes- i will announce your name on my blog. And send you a personal thank you letter/card.
Buy 5-9 boxes - i will announce your name on my blog plus run ad, send you a thank you, and a surprise!
Buy 10 boxes- a huge surprise!

I have set up donation perks as well that people can receive,

$5-25 dollars - i will send you a personal thank you letter/card.
$26-100- I will announce your name on my blog. And send you a personal thank you letter/card.
$100+ - I will announce your name on my blog plus run your ad, send you a thank you and a surprise!

These are just some of the little perks that I have set up to say thank you to everyone!

There is a high need for people to give back, and to spread the news about giving back. This is my way of trying to spread the news and helping people at the same time. I ask that you just take the time to give a moment of your day and really look at your loved ones. Now take other moment to imagine your life without them. It hurts like a million knives stabbing you over and over again. Doesn't it? Now if you could relax yourself and do one more thing for me? Please. Imagine the millions of families who need your help who don't know how to ask for help or begging for your help. 

I thank you for taking the time out to read this post, and I'm sorry for any tears that I have cause.
May your thoughts and prayers be answered today, tomorrow, and everyday. 

UPDATE as of 10/09.
We currently sold over 5 boxes on behalf of the cause. I am extremely excited because of this!

contact me for information. i would be happy to answer any of your questions at any time of the day!
847-800-0971. or

the campaign has not been set up yet. but i can link you to the donation center (click above donate bar)
please i am begging for your help!

Thank you Marie for sharing what has been on your heart for a while! Cancer of any kind is such a monster and i wish it would just go away! what are a couple things you are grateful for right now?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012

Wanna see the pretty festive people & Perla the dog, that made up my Halloween this year? 

Now, in my halloween preview post, i showed you my pink makeup. 
I actually did a video tutorial on this, but I had eyelash problems {im SO not a professional at fake lashes}  and the vid dragged on, so I'm not sure if i'll post it?

i love my crazy hair!
I Sure did use alot of hairspray to get my hair to be big & poufy!  
 see my completed outfit. 

I was aiming to be the pink lady that walks her pink dog in the Hunger Games movie. She has a non-speaking part-just walks by in the Capitol. However, after I tried on the wig and added my orange and two-toned pink socks, I felt more like a pink ooompa loompa. However again, for those of you in Arizona, I may have resembled the pink cotton candy lady in the Arizona State Fair commercials lol.
Mulan going to chop my head off, which apparently I am happy about lol
the Brave royal family

red riding hood & the pink lady!
In our neighborhood, the houses are not so close together and on our street, there is literally one lamplight, so it does look dark & spooky! We did not get ONE trick-or-treater! I kept going outside pacing on the driveway looking for ghosts & goblins to come by & pick up some candy, but nope. Linda and I saw a HUGE group of parents & kids, at least 25 people, passing by. We yelled to them, "hey! over here!" as our next two neighbors were hoping for treaters too, but that big group of people ignored us and kept walking by..BOO to them!

I did marvel at the FULL MOON! soo cool! This is the best photo I managed to take with my camera.

And I only indulged in one mini twix and a cookie the whole night! hehe. What candies or treats did you consume?
I ended the night by going to rent a movie with James, which by the time we got back, i was ready for bed.  It was time to de-pinkify! Hope all who celebrated Halloween had a fun & safe time! Until next year...