Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend with the Girls

 My sister Tara keeps having awesome excuses to come back to visit. Last weekend she was at it again!
And since we don't get her here ALL the time its a great excuse to get together with friends 
We lunched at The Habit
kicked back in massage chairs 
and treated ourselves to mani's and pedi's
Tara got in some good Brynne snuggles and lots of hugs from my boys. I love how close they are with her.  Wes especially still texts Tara and keeps her up on whats happening with him and and asks for advise.
After we sent Wes off to the Mormon Prom, we set off on a little road trip to Livermore to hang out with Nan and Devany.
We had dinner at a great little place in their cute downtown area and then stayed up talking into the wee hours of the morning
We had such a great day Sunday
The meeting we attended was a farewell for two darling boys from the same ward heading off to the exact same mission in Brazil on the same day! 
Spending time with all of these ladies I love so much was the best.  It's no fun having my sister live so far away and having good friends move away is the worst, but it makes times like these, that much sweeter.

Friday, April 26, 2013

On the Fence

This is the first of a few posts I'll be sharing today. The images speak for themselves.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Look Who's Home!

April 5th Brandi moved from ICU to a regular room!  
We were so excited to see several more of the tubes she'd been connected to had been removed as well.  They let her get out into the sunshine and she got a little pink on her cheeks. One friend had commented that sunshine is like candy for Brandi and I couldn't agree more!
 She was starting to use her phone more and slowly rejoining the social media world.
 I brought my big boys by one night to visit Brandi and they were totally entertained by the gloves and "capes" they got to wear when they visited.  Brandi was totally laughing at them and was even teasing with them.  She told Wes it was too bad she thought she was probably a little too old for him.
 It seemed like every day she was feeling a little stronger and able to do a little more. She was starting to look like herself again.  Last Friday they finally decided she was ready to go home.  It had been 6 weeks since she had been admitted to the hospital.  
 Brandi was anxious about coming home.  She was still very weak and was barely strong enough to get herself to the bathroom.  The PIC line had finally come out and she was slowly starting to eat real foods again.  As exciting as it was for her to be coming home, she knew she still needed care around the clock and definitely wouldn't be resuming regular household activities for quite a while still.  In fact she  has a hospital bed in her living room downstairs because she was unable to get all the way up to her room.  
She is still so tired, on tons of medications, and wears out easily.  Even little things like responding to text messages, or visiting with everyone who she sees if she makes it out to part of a baseball game or a kids awards ceremony is not only exhausting and a bit overwhelming.  It will all come in time, but right now she just needs to hunker down and focus on rehabilitating.
I'm working on making her a chart with a list of physical activities she can do daily and mark to see her progress.  She's walked around her cul de sac twice now and has almost made it up the stairs.  Today it was easier to do than yesterday.  We did McGyver up a ribbon that reaches from her bed rail up to the fan cord yesterday so that she could turn it on and off by herself.  Today her mom added another one for the light cord.
 I've never been so happy to watch someone eat as I was on Monday when I watched her down two big ole tacos and a mound of sour cream, followed by a tangerine.  She is eating regular meals and is getting stronger and stronger. The hope is that she will be well enough in the next week or two to travel to Michigan to finish recovering in her mothers home and surrounded by all of her family.  

People are always asking me what they can do for her and here are my thoughts.  Brandi is a fighter and she is going to recover from this. She loves all of the messages and support that she has received and has been moved to tears by everyone's support and concern several times, but just know that she really isn't up for responding much yet.  Don't feel badly if she doesn't respond to a text or a message on her FB wall, in fact let her know she doesn't need to. And secondly lets keep doing what we can to spread the word and work on raising funds to help her take care of the medical expenses.  She does have insurance, but it won't come anywhere close to covering multiple surgeries and countless hospital stays since December 10th of last year, and most recently this last 6 week stay.  And last of all just keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  It's been amazing what a support is has been!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

There He Goes!

Sixteen years old just in time for the Mormon Prom
So his first date was kind of a big deal
Wes went with Ali and a group of her friends 
I had fun taking a bunch of pictures of the kids and getting to know them a bit.
Wes' date is such a cute girl
I loved that they were teasing and laughing with each other
They were comfortable enough to take fun silly pictures  
 And were thrilled when we were finally done and they could get on with their night!
 But the best part was that just before they left Wes pulled me over and gave me a big hug, thanked me for coming all the way across town to take pictures, and then with the cutest grin on his face he told me, "You're such a good mom!" Yeah, I think he's a keeper...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Flashback Friday

This flashback Friday is going back just two and a half years ago to October of 2010 when I decided on a whim to join Kristie, a girl I had met once or twice, and a few of her friends for the Warrior Dash.
That is still one of the most fun events I have done
That day also marks the beginning of a friendship I am so incredibly grateful for
A lot of people just know Kristie as a competitor and a fierce one at that!
She is known to be athletic and always up for anything that sounds fun
That first day we spent hanging out ended with Jeff placing a bet that I could beat Kristie in a wrestling match. He had no idea what kind of athlete and competitor she is.  On the flip side Kristie had no idea what I am all about. She actually told Jeff in all seriousness that she didn't want to do it because she didn't want to hurt me.  This was of course the point where I said I was all in.
 While I didn't get an undisputed win that night I did gain Kristie's respect and surprised quite a few others.  We regularly get requests from the husbands for a rematch.  It isn't gonna happen. 
What did happen was Kristie joined us that winter for a few ski days with the girls
Including our St Patricks day tradition
That summer I learned that there wasn't a whole lot Kristie wouldn't do on a dare, especially when theres money on the line.  At a Fresno Grizzlies game where we had a private BBQ and pool side seats, she climbed into a bucket of ice and stayed there for some crazy amount of time!
Kristie learned about planking at about the same time I did and we spent a summer  making fools of ourselves all over town.
Kristie and Nan came with me on the crazy adventure that was an overnight drive to Oregon to purchase my boat, which she promptly named The Black Pearl
and she happily accompanies me every summer since out to the lake whether its a girls trip, a family trip, or just me and her and a boat load of kids!
We had a blast at Magic Mountain a couple years ago celebrating Nan's birthday.
No matter where you are with Kristie, you're bound to have fun
And if her wild and crazy personality isn't enough on it's own she introduced me to Celsius drinks. Weightloss supplements with a LOT of caffeine.
When you start handing these out of an ice chest to a bus load of ladies anything is possible!  This was year two of our mud run tradition this time at the Merrill Down and Dirty in Folsom.
Just get the right music going and both of us will be out of our seats
 and shakin' our tail feathers
We don't always have to get dirty when we hang out though.  Last year we went to Avila beach for memorial day with our families and we all stayed pretty clean!
They introduced us to this great little farm and market just outside of town where they sell BBQ corn on the cob and awesome ice cream
One of the many things I just love about Kristie is how amazing she is with the girls she works with at camp or in her ward at church.  I don't think the girls love ANYONE more than her.  
She plays with the girls and has such a good time.  She has a knack for drawing out the ones on the edges or trying to blend into the walls.  
 And while she is so often laughing or teasing, there is one thing she doesn't joke about and that is her testimony.  It's rock solid.  She has been through incredible trials in her life and has learned to rely on The Lord.  Kristie makes everything a matter of prayer and she promptly acts on the answers she gets.  
I can't tell you how many times I've been in tears with Kristie.  Sometimes it's due to us sharing things of a spiritual nature, or sharing our trials and struggles, but most often she has me crying tears of laughter.  The night I won all of this stuff while subbing at her bunko group is one of the funniest I can remember.  Kristie and her asian midget stories...
Getting out of bed before 5 am while training for a marathon is not uncommon, but that definitely doesn't make it easy, except when this is who you are running with.  Then you know you'll be laughing almost as much as running.
Kristie teaches a spin class at GB3 three days a week and has her own little cult following.  They know she is a competitive athlete and so they trust that she knows what shes doing and what she tells them. But the way she connects with the people in her class and pushes them to their best performance is what keeps them coming back.  
 She can be stubborn and expects a lot from herself, but with her friends she is constantly giving. She is the best listener, and she would do anything at a moments notice for those she cares about.  She is constantly striving to be a better person, and understanding herself and those around her.  
Kristie is thoughtful, and strong.  Sensivitive, hard working, and stubborn.  She is driven, kind and so crazy!  She is an athlete and a natural leader.  She can dance like nobody's business and has the most infectious laugh.  Kristie has a tender heart and she opens it to everyone. I am grateful to I decided to join her for a day of muddy fun a few years back, and I am grateful to call her my friend.