Saturday, October 22, 2011

Walking Day!!

Today was finally the day that I walked to support Alzheimer's and it was the most rewarding thing that I have done.  My friends and I were so excited but poor Kim got sick so she had to miss out but she was still able to raise money.  Justine and I wore our shirts we got made and wore our purple shoes...we were the best dressed  It was a fun and emotional morning seeing everyone there and hearing stories about others struggles with the disease.  It was so awesome to see that some people suffering from Alzheimer's were there and having a great time.  They had a DJ there playing music and before it started we did some dancing to warm was so cute to see the older people dancing.  We started the walk and Justine and I passed everyone because I really wanted to burn some calories but also wanted to be first.  If we did not get first it was not a big deal because I know it was not a race but it was something to strive for.  It felt so good to know that we were a part of helping to raise money for the research of Alzheimer's and we were also there walking for those who have passed from the disease and who have it now.  I have 3 family members with this disease and it is one that I do not wish that anyone would have to suffer with or experience it.  It takes a lot out of the person with disease but it also takes a lot out of the family members and caretakers.

This year was the first of many years that I will be walking to end Alzheimer's.  This walk raised about $113,000 which was amazing!!!  I raised $400 this year and hope to raise double that amount next year.  I am hoping to get more people to walk next year to help support this cause.  This is something that I am very passionate about want to spread the word to everyone!!!  You can donate all year long, just go to  Thank you to everyone who donated or just shared my blog to get the word out about Alzheimer's.

Here we are before leaving for the walk:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Family Time!!

Last weekend we had so much fun going to the Arboretum, it was beautiful.  Bray was in love with all of the pumpkins everywhere!!  It was great because he could run around and play so he could get all of his energy out.  I got some great pictures that I will post at the end of my blog.  I also wanted to mention that I did reach my goal for my Alzheimer's walk but anyone is still able to donate so you can go to my last 2 posts and click on the link to donate.  I am so excited to do this walk with 2 of my friends, we got shirts made and they turned out so cute!! usual we have been pretty busy working and doing daily life things but this weekend is great because we are both off and we get to go to the pumpkin patch!! We are going to get up tomorrow and go then come back to watch Texas beat OU!! Go Texas!!  This coming week and weekend are going to be busy because Matts family is coming to town so that we can go to the State Fair.  I am excited to go and eat a Fletchers Corn Dog....and maybe I will eat some fried food.  Just not a lot like I did last year and got sick.    So it looks like we will be busy for the rest of the month!! I guess I need to start a list for Christmas shopping so that I can get started.

This is short but I hope to write back soon!! Here are some pictures from last weekend, hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Busy, excited, and great weather!!

We have been busy lately with life especially with this weather being so nice.  I have been able to take Bray on walks and to the park.  Today he had a picnic lunch out in the backyard, he thought that was pretty special.  This week we were able to go to Matts game and Bray had a great time!! At first he did not understand that he could not go out on the field with daddy but he got over that and had fun.  Then after the game he was able to go on the field and join daddy in the huddle.  He did not understand that he had to stand there and be quiet so he was running to me and yelling.  It was so funny to see him to excited, he also distracted the football players but o'well!!  The only bad thing about going to the football games is that we do not get home until really late and he has to get up so early that he has a hard day the day after.

This weekend I think we are taking him to he Dallas Arboretum to see all the pumpkins and so I can practice taking pictures!!  I finished my photography class and I was sad to see it end, I am hoping to be able to take some more classes and now that it is so nice outside I want to go places and practice.  I am so excited to take pictures of my friends nieces, and that shoot is taking place next weekend.  I have gotten some props for this shoot because one is an infant so I have been doing a lot of research.  I made a tutu, got flowers, headbands, a hat, very pretty deep purple blanket, and some sheets for a back drops.  I am really hoping to get a lot of practice and for this to become more than a hobby, we will see what happens in the future and until then I will have fun with it!!

I am getting really excited because The Walk for Alzheimer's is coming fast!! I still need some donations to meet my goal and would appreciate any donation.  If I can get 25 people to donate $1 it would help me meet my goal.  We got shirts made and they turned out awesome!! Here is the Link to my page for donations.  If you donate $100 you will receive a free tshirt made by  Ton Tons Gifts.  You should go check her out she makes some awesome things!! She just made me a cute shirt and Bray a cute shirt.  Here they are:

Please feel free to spread the word about Alzheimer's and my blog.  Hoping to help raise awareness and make my family proud.  Thank you to everyone who is reading my blog!!  Feel free to leave comments and follow my blog, I would love to read other blogs so feel free to leave your link in my comments.  Have a great weekend!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Inspiration to Raise Awareness for Alzheimer's

My Grandma Iris Kepner is my inspiration for raising awareness and walking to support the Alzheimer's Association.  I have had first had experience seeing what this disease does to someone.  My grandma was an amazing person; she was caring, smart, loving, loved to travel...I could go on and on for days.  She loved to play the piano, she was valedictorian of her class,  and she was a nurse.  My mom and my aunt followed in her foot steps and also became nurses.  I always loved to go visit her and my grandpa when I was younger.  They would always have deer in their backyard, I loved their house, and I got to see cousins and my moms side of the family.  My cousins and I would always go down in the basement to find old toys to play with, I would always be scared going down there because it was dark but we had a lot of fun.  Every year we would go to the Ozarks at then end of the school year and stay in a cabin on the lake.  We would all look forward to this trip every year.  We stayed at the same resort every year and we would go fishing, play games, and just spend time together.  I have such great memories and I am glad that I can share them with everyone.

I still remember when she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she knew she had the disease and it would make her so frustrated.  She would try to remember something and get upset because she knew why she could not remember.  It was very hard to see her go though this.  My grandpa took great care of her and he made her have the best life possible while dealing with this disease.  She started to forget who people were, where she was, and how to do daily life tasks.  He still tried to make her life normal by taking her to my high school graduation and still going to the Ozarks.  As the disease progressed she was unable to travel or be left alone; she needed help with everything.  My grandpa hired a lady to help take care of her and she eventually became like part of the family.  She helped take care of my grandma until it was too  much and she had to be taken to a nursing home.  I hated to see her losing her battle with Alzheimer's but she had it for over 10 years.  When we would go visit her in the nursing home she was unable to talk but we would still talk to her, we would wheel her around the nursing home to go see the birds, we would attempt to play the piano for her....she loved everything we did for her and you could tell.  I would always talk to her and even when she could not speak or remember she would also whisper "Mercy Marcie", this was the nickname she gave me.  It always was so exciting to know that she knew we were there with her.  She would always perk up when she would hear the piano being played and when she could hear the birds chirp.  I hate having to remember how bad she was during the end but I love having those memories of visiting with her, brushing her hair, and putting lotion on her face.  She finally lost her battle with Alzheimer's and is not suffering anymore.

 If I can do anything to help spread the word about this disease, raise awareness, and raise money to help research more about this disease I am going to do it.  Watching this disease is horrible and no one should have to die from it.  From now on I am going to walk for Alzheimer's and try to raise as much money as I can and walk in memory and honor of the many who have this disease and the many that have passed away.  Unfortunately my Grandma Iris is not the only family that suffered with this disease; her sister, my Aunt Margie passed away from it and my Grandma Genie is currently living with it.  I also have many friends that have or had family members with it.  Please forward this blog to anyone you  know to help spread the word, if you would like to donate to help me raise money I would appreciate anything.  Here is a Link to my donation page.  I know not everyone is able to donate so please pass this to anyone you know to spread awareness.  ***Thank you to my awesome friend at Ton Tons Gifts on facebook for helping me out.  The first 5 people to donate $100 will get a free t-shirt from her!!!***  She does amazing work!! Go check her out on facebook and tell her I sent you!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Here is a recent picture of Bray and I love it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Walk to End Alzheimer's

I just wanted to let everyone know that this year I am doing the "Walk to End Alzheimer's" with my two girl friends.  This is very important to me because my Grandma Iris (my moms mother) suffered with this disease for close to 10 years, Margie (my Grandma's sister) passed away from it, and my Grandma Genie (my dad's mom) is now suffering with this horrible disease.  It is a horrible thing to have and it is also very hard on family of those affected.  I am wanting to help raise money to fund research and was wondering if anyone would love to donate to this great cause!  If you are unable to donate I understand and I hope that you would at least pass this on to people you know so that we can spread the word about this disease.  I set my goal at $200 but I would love to go way beyond that goal.  Here is a  Link to my walking site and you are able to donate any amount you would like.  I would truly appreciate anything that anyone may be able to do, if you are able to I would love people to share my blog with friends, family members, or fellow bloggers to get the word out.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for your support.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mini Vacation!

I love it when we can go to Big Spring for the weekend and visit with Matt's parents because it is always nice to get away.  When we go it seems like it is a break from the real world because I do not have to worry about anything.  Last week was a great week because Matt's parents came in town and took Brayden back with them so we had a couple days without him.  It was such a crazy week with working and doctors appointments that it was so nice to be able to have a girls day on friday with some of my most awesome girl friends.

I first had to go to my endocrinologist appointment to get the results back from my lab work about my was not the news I wanted to hear.  My blood work had changed but not in the way that I had hoped.  I found out that I have Graves Disease (click here to read about it) and that leads to a hyper active thyroid so I am also hyperthyroid.  Good news is that it can be taken care of with medication or some type of radioactive iodine therapy.  The doctor said that I have a very mild case so that I should be able to take the medication for year and it should put it into "remission", if the medication does not work then I have to get that other treatment that he said will "kill it".  The only down side is that I could be allergic to the medication I have to be on and there are some pretty severe side effects.  This medication can cause liver damage and a really low white blood cell count which can cause me to get sick a lot and if I get sick I can get really sick.  If any of these things happen I would have to do the iodine therapy.  I know that many medications have side effects but this one has to followed closely with my doctor.  The funny thing is that when I went to go pick up my medication I ask the pharmacist what it was because I forgot to ask the doctor, and when she told me I just laughed.  I am on methimazole which is what cats take for there thyroid!!! Another good thing is that I am on the smallest dosage, one pill once daily and he said that when I get my blood work done again to see if the meds are helping that I might be able to go to every other day.  So I will start these meds tomorrow night or wednesday when I am with people in case I have a reaction to the medication which is likely because I am allergic to a lot of medications but at least I just generally get rashes and so not have a severe reaction.  I am happy to finally have a diagnosis because I knew that I have not been feeling right but it seemed like no one understood how I felt and chalked it up to being a mom and working.  Well....haha...I was right, there was something wrong!! Now that I am getting it treated I am hoping it start to feel better and can get back to normal.

Anywho!! After my appointment I went to lunch with Heather and Kim at Cozymels!! I ate way too much!! It was nice to be able to go out and be able to talk during lunch about what all was going on and just catching up with each other.  I did not have Bray kicking, yelling, and whining.  After lunch I went home to pack, rest, and clean up the house before going out to dinner.  I then met Justine and Dana at the mall and we ate at the Cheesecake Factory.  We had a great time chatting it up and being able to spend time together outside of work which is nice.  We had a great dinner with some red velvet cheesecake for dessert.  So.....I obviously have been slacking this last week with my weight watchers (I am back on track tomorrow)!!  After dinner we went to Claire's and Justine and I got our ears pierced again.  It is so funny because I was so nervous even though I already have three holes in each ear.  All in all it was not bad but my ears are still very tender but it does not help when Bray has hit them a couple times.  As you can tell I had a great friday thanks to my wonderful girl friends!!! It feels great to get out and have some ME time and I am hoping we can do it more often.

Saturday morning we got up and were on our way to Big Spring!! We got there and Bray was so excited to us but he was having such a great time with Grandma and Paw Paw.  We were able to just relax and spend quality time together.  Of course we got to drive around and see the animals.  Bray just loves seeing the cows, buffalo, llamas, emus, and horses.  He always wants to get out of the car and try to pet them  but this time we stayed in the car because they were so close to us.  I was able to practice my photography skills once again and if I do say so myself I took some great shots but I still need to do some editing.

Sorry guys but your stuck seeing my pictures!! Hope everyone had a great weekend and got to enjoy family time!! I am hoping to be able to blog more once school ends and we get into a routine.

Monday, August 15, 2011

All Over The Place!!

My life seems all over the place sometimes but I love it!! This weekend was hard because Bray got sick on Sunday so we had to take him to CareNow, and he tested positive for strep throat.  Poor guy got so sick he would not swallow anything so he was drooling everywhere and we were unable to give him his full amount of medications.  This made a for a very rough night, he was up every hour complaining that his throat was hurting.  This has been the sickest he has ever been and I feel so bad for him because there was nothing I could do but hold him.  So this morning consisted of me holding him and trying to get ahold of his doctor. I waiting all morning for them to call and when Matt called me at lunch time he said he would call the doctor back and see why they have not called...I would have done that but I did not want to bug them because they said they were busy. But guess what??!? Somehow I missed the phone call at 9:45 so I had been sitting and waiting the whole time but the phone never rang or showed a voicemail.  I felt so bad that I let Bray feel horrible all morning.  So we went to the doctor and they gave him a penicillin shot and a tylenol suppository and he finally starting to feel better.  He still will not take his tylenol so we will have to figure out how to hide in his drink or something.  Since he was sick I stayed home with him since it was Matts first day back as a teacher he could not miss it.

I think if he is feeling better tomorrow we will take a trip to Lowes and Hobby Lobby.  This leads me to another crazy idea I have!! I am now starting to paint and decorate my laundry room!  Crazy huh??? I have no time as it is but I want to finally paint it and get it done.  It is the only room in the house not painted and organized, but of course this led me to more ideas of things to do and create!!  I now want to paint a couple walls in my kitchen, make some wooden blocks, make some fabric boards for my bookshelves, create vinyl decals....I am hoping that this will fill my time for when Matt is out scouting.  Oh and this is on top of growing in photography and learning how to use Photoshop Elements since I just bought it on sale this weekend.  I am kind of glad to have all this to do because it makes feel like I have things I can do and not be bored.  I will do one thing at a time so that I do not get overwhelmed and have my anxiety come back.  This is something fun to look forward too and I will post pictures of my laundry room when it is done!!

Anyone have any fun DIY projects???  I am loving the website for some of my ideas.  If anyone is on there I would love to follow you!  It is easy to set up an account and if you want an invite just let me know and I can invite you.

I am off to bed so I can hopefully get more sleep than I did last night.    

Sunday, August 7, 2011

School work!

Since I have been taking my photography class I have been practicing editing and better shooting techniques.  I wanted to show off some of my pictures, so here they are!! (keep in mind I am still practicing and I need to purchase a good editing program hopefully photoshop elements 9!!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

San Francisco!!

We had a blast in San Francisco!! Matts parents kept Brayden the whole week so we could have our first vacation with out him.  I thought that it was going to be really hard leaving him for a week but once I saw that he could have cared less that we left I felt better.  He always has such a great time with his Grandma and Grandpa that I should have known it would take him 3 days before he would wonder where we were. He asked about us and then went back to playing, that funny kid!!  So while in San Francisco we stayed with Matts older brother and Tim.  Let me tell you walking up like 4 flights of stairs with heavy luggage is a chore, I was sweating!!  They live on the two top levels of their building, it has a gorgeous view!!  The weather was great, warm during the day and very cool at night.  It was great to be able to just open the window when it was warm and it would cool the room down in like 5 minutes...why can't we have that weather now???  

Matts brother Jeff is a great tour guide, he took us any and every where you would want to go when you visit.  We went to Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey, Carmel, Alcatraz, Berkley, Union Square, Cable Cars, Ghirardelli, Lombard Street, Bay Bridge, Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Bridge.....I know we did a lot more but I just cannot think of everything this late at  It was such a great experience and to see how people live in the big city.  It really amazed me to see so many homeless people on the streets.  They were all just laying on the sidewalks, sleeping, pushing their carts, etc.  It made me realize that I am very lucky to have the life I do and to not take anything for granted because I could have it a lot worse.  It did make me laugh some of the ways people try to make money on the streets; there was a guy just standing on a milk crate holding out a cup pretending he was a statue but the only problem with that was he could not stand still.  Then there was another guy who sits in the middle of the sidewalk hiding behind tree branches so when people walk by him he moves the branches and scares you.  It is kind of funny because there are no trees near that area yet people get spooked by him.  I was laughing so hard I was crying. Here is a picture of him, it is not a good picture because we were across the street and it was busy with people walking every where.  

There was also a lot of shopping there!! We went a little crazy and almost had no room to pack everything that we bought.  Speaking of luggage, it is crazy how expensive it is to check it!! They wanted us to pay $100 more dollars because Matt's bag was 4 pounds over the limit.  Luckily they let us transfer some items to my bag, that was interesting to do in the middle of the airport!  Anywho...we did a lot of walking which was great since we ate a lot, especially some chocolate.  I also got car sick because we did so much driving, but it was worth it.  This place is so gorgeous!! I would love to go back some day!

My favorite parts were; shopping (got a Coach purse for $75!!), Alcatraz, spending time with Matt and his family, going to the Bars his brother owns, seeing the city, the Aquarium in Monterey...too much to list!  I know there is a lot more that I did and experienced but this is just a short recap so I do not bore you!! lol!! Now here are some pictures of my vacation!!