Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Give a Heart

I've had my share of heartache in a lifetime, more than most people will EVER begin to imagine.  But my heartache is nothing compared to what my friend, Sandy, is going through right now.  Literally HEARTACHE.  I've known Sandy for many years, I've witnessed the suffering and effects of cancer first hand with her, but through it all she has stayed so positive.  

In 2002, while we were working together, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  It was then that she told me that it wasn't her first battle with cancer.  In 1983 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and underwent radiation.  How could anyone suffer from so much?  That was my question.  Why the hell would this happen to ONE person?!  From experience (my brother died of testicular cancer), when you receive the news of cancer, you will do ANYTHING to fight it and I mean anything.  You will let doctors inject you with drugs that cause sores in your mouth, drugs that make you vomit for days on end, drugs that will put blisters on your hands and feet.  Sometimes these doctors will suggest radiation therapy. Radiation is delivered by a machine and uses high end radiation to shrink or kill cancer cells.  Each part of the body can only undertake so much radiation before it causes damage to healthy cells in the body.  These drugs and this type of therapy will also fight the beast and eventually, hopefully you will be in remission and will go on to live a happy, healthy life.  Sandy received very high doses of radiation to her chest during her first battle with cancer.  

Since her 2nd diagnosis of cancer Sandy has undergone a stem cell transplant where very high doses of chemo were given to her.  You see where I'm going with this?  cancer patients will do ANYTHING to live a healthy life, they will undergo every treatment known in the medical field and sometimes even participate in medical studies to cure this monster living inside of them.  Like so many others she is a true fighter and has been for MANY years.  But because of her strength and desire to live a healthy, happy, long life, so much damage has been done to her heart, she now has to have a heart transplant.  A HEART TRANSPLANT!  Your heart, the organ in our bodies that pumps blood, that provides love, that breaks when we are sad.  A HEART TRANSPLANT!  I can't imagine the fear, the worries, or the stress that this has caused her and Dave, but like so many others, she has again decided to fight cancer and is not giving up!  She has been on the heart transplant list for a month now.  I'm not sure what a heart transplant entails, but from following her status updates on Facebook (Sandy) I do know that she has to see many, many doctors, undergo several tests, she has to have dentures prior to her transplant and can no longer work.  This poor girl it makes me feel so helpless, so sad.  I can't imagine how she feels.  

A fund has been set up for Sandy to help cover the expense of a heart transplant.  If you can give anything, anything at all, please consider giving to Sandy.  I've posted the link for you  New Heart for Sandy.  Above all else, please say a prayer for her and Dave as they face these struggles.  These last few days have been extremely hard on her and she could use all the support.  I can't begin to imagine the emotional struggles that come along with deciding to continue to fight cancer and put yourself on a heart transplant list.  Sandy, I pray for you.  I pray for all affected by cancer.  


<3 Julie

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hiding food from your kids

We just returned from vacation and had a great time while away.  I just love getting away for a few days and now that the kids are older its so much more relaxing for me.  

I've been craving a malt for a few days now, not just any malt, but a homemade one or one from your local mom and pop ice cream place.  Tonight I finally stopped and picked up some ice cream to make myself a one and wouldn't you know, I forgot to make it! Yep, that's how bad I wanted a malt.

Now confession time: Is it terrible that I want to hide the ice cream from the boys so they don't eat it before I get my malt?  Oh come on!  Like YOU'VE never done it!  I know some of you have hidden things from your kids. There is a whole Facebook page on this stuff!  I know other parents do it, because yesterday when I stopped at the store one mom admitted to me that she was going to sit in her car and enjoy her candy bar before going home, because 1) if she ate it at home her kids would cry because she didn't bring them one and 2) it was right before dinner and apparently it's not ok to have dessert before dinner, unless you're my family, we eat dessert whenever, for breakfast, before dinner, at midnight, it's dessert, you're supposed to enjoy it!  

Now I know you hide snacks, food, or drinks from your kids, so fess up.  What are they?  

I'm off to go hide the ice cream behind the frozen fruit, they'll never move things!  

<3 Julie

Friday, July 19, 2013

Anything Can be Beautiful - As long as there is love

This week has been a week from hell, mentally that is!  I get this way right before a big event, the stress finally catches up to me and I'm just EXHAUSTED!  I'm off all next week, so work has been extremely busy as well, deadlines to meet, documents to get out, and the list goes on and on.  Ragbrai is Sunday, we've been putting the final touches on getting the beer garden ready for that, new opportunities have opened up with my Vault Denim business or possible opportunities, and you all know how my mind works, oh look at that pretty butterfly.... :)

For those of you who don't know what Rabrai is, welcome to Iowa!  Ragbrai started in 1973 with a few friends riding their bicycle across the State of Iowa, from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River.  Today,  it has become a Worldwide Attraction with more than 20,000 people riding Ragbrai.  Ragbrai is the "Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa", it is sponsored by the Des Moines Register, a news paper in publication in Des Moines, Iowa.  These riders have a route and they ride between 55-60 miles a day for 7 days, stopping in some of the towns along the way.  Sunday, they will stop in Minden, as it is the meeting town for the support vehicles.  Be prepared for many interesting pictures and stories to come next week on this.  You see Minden has a population of 600 people, so imagine 20,000 riders passing through this small country town!

I'll be spending my time down at the Community Club where we were forced happily decided to have a beer garden. The proceeds will be used for the Little League for new lights on the field.  Let me tell you those lights are in BAD shape and when I say bad, I mean real bad, falling down bad.

So today I needed a break, a break from work, a break from stress, a break from worrying if we have everything ready to go.  I took a walk a few blocks down over my lunch hour.  On my way back, this fountain caught my eye, don't get me wrong, it's not the first time I've stopped to look at it, but today, there was something about it, that said stop and take a picture of me and show me to the world.

So pretty and so peaceful, had it not been 100 degrees with high humidity, I would have stayed more than 2 minutes to enjoy it.

Go enjoy your weekend readers, because I know I will as I'm making friends with thousands of riders!

<3 Julie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pirates Patch

I backed out of the garage this morning and immediately wished I had a patch on my eye.  Or maybe a toothpick to hold it open!  Drove 1 block and wondered how the hell I was going to make it the rest of the way to work.  Maybe I should call in.  I almost pulled over in one of those truck stop rest area's, but I'm scared of those places, yes I know, it's day light and a hundred cars pass by each day, but truck stop rest areas scare me.  I'm actually afraid of being snatched away and no one would ever know. - Seriously it's my biggest fear - that and I'm afraid of the dark - but back to my damn eye....

Why can't it be cloudy and dark out today?  Who wishes that?  This girl did today, because of my damn cornea ulcer on my left eye.  What the blankety blank is a cornea ulcer? Well, it's a scratch on the cornea which is now infected.  How does that happen?  According to my eye doctor it's from sleeping in my contacts.  Doc I've been sleeping in contacts since BEFORE I started wearing the overnight contacts.  What I think happened? On the 4th of July something hit and scratched my eye!  I remember because it hurt like a b*#%$!  And now it looks like this-

All red, gross, and half closed!  

Have you ever had to sit in a dark room, with the blinds closed, because your eye hurts so bad?  Yep, that's me today! (It actually is dark in here)


I will also be sportin' glasses for a few weeks, while the precious eye heals and NO MORE SLEEPING IN CONTACTS!  

Lesson learned.

<3 Julie

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Baseball Season is Over

Every year, when the boys are done with baseball I get this overwhelming feeling of sadness.  Why?  Because for 8 weeks baseball games consume my life, sometimes 7 days a week!  The longest stretch of baseball we had this season without a break was 12 days, count them, that's 12 days of sitting out in the heat (and sometimes rain) getting eaten alive by bugs.  12 days of running from town to town to sit in bleachers that hurt my butt so bad, I wish I would just break down and buy one of those stadium seats.  Am I too young for one of those?  But damn, it sure would be comfy to sit in for, sometimes, up to 5 hours watching baseball.  At times its so hot and sticky out, you're sitting in the bleachers, wishing you were floating in the pool, drinking a cold one, and then the wind picks up and a kid slides into home plate, only to be called out and now you're not only hot and sticky, but also covered in dust.

Dylan plays 2nd base & left field

Don't get me wrong, I love to watch the boys and their teams play ball, but by week 5, I'm so sick of concession food, driving all over Iowa, and paying $5 admission I could just scream.  But I wouldn't know what I would do without all the baseball.

Gage is a pitcher and plays short stop

I get that feeling of sadness because now what am I going to do with my evenings?  Now I'll actually have to MAKE dinner, now I'll actually have to do laundry on a consistent basis, clean my house, and maybe I'll even have time to get to the gym.

Good-bye baseball - hello summer!

<3 Julie

Monday, July 1, 2013

Annoyed by Attitude

What do you do when your kids are driving you absolutely nuts?  And I do mean getting on your very last nerve?  

I had all I could take, right in the middle of breakfast!  Yes, breakfast!  I picked up my plate and scrapped the rest of it into the garbage and said "Today will be challenging for us to get through" and I walked away.  

First the Gage was arguing with EVERYTHING Dylan said.  "No you said in the eggs not on the eggs."  "How is mom supposed to put salsa in the eggs?  With a needle?"  Boy does it really matter?  I knew what he wanted, for goodness sake!  

The last nerve was struck when we are eating breakfast and Gage is slurping his milk, I HATE THAT, and he continues to do it.  Of course, what is the big deal, no one is here.  Yes, but if you do it all the time no one is over, you will also do it when people are joining us AND I don't like it.  When it comes to kids, you have to put things into their perspective, so I used baseball.  It's just like at practice if you are jacking around and purposely overthrow to your second baseman, you will do it in a game.  Gage:  So what are you saying I've overthrown to second base before.  Me:  No, that's not what I said at all, I'm using it as an example of why I don't want you to slurp your milk out of your glass.  Gage:  Well it certainly sounds like you are saying I over throw the ball to second base. I don't know when I've thrown to second base, so how would you remember that I over threw the ball.  Me:  I'm NOT SAYING YOU OVER THREW TO SECOND BASE AT ANY TIME.  Gage:  YES YOU DID.  

I could tell this attitude was going to last for hours, so I did what any Mom would do, as soon as they finished breakfast I put them to work.  First recycling, then mowing, weed eating, pulling weeds out of flower bed and garden, sweeping out the garage, cleaning out the shed, putting doors back on my refurbished hutch project.  The fun didn't stop until they were sharing freeze pops, sitting out in the country oasis laughing with each other, it only took 5 hours for them to realize that I'd keep coming up with more chores if they kept up the back talking.  

What do you do when your kids argue with everything you say?

Shirtless Wonder

What is with people today?

Driving to run errands today over my lunch hour and I see someone who looked like this walking....

I wouldn't be writing this post if he looked more like this.....

Seriously, put a shirt on, you are in public, it's not that warm out, and not everyone wants to see your less than properly groomed abs.

A block away I see clothes and other personal belongings scattered all over the front lawn.  My first thought, maybe shirtless wonder will find his way back home.  Or did Mom do her son's laundry and left it out and a rabid animal got into it and scattered it all over.  

Seriously, what is with people today?  Or is it just me?  I'm staying in for lunch from now on.