Monday, September 17, 2012

Night Ramble

There is something about blogging at night, usually I'm too tired but have so many thoughts in my head.  Always when I'm laying in bed or in the shower is when I think of something awesome or profound & 95% of the time I don't write it down & tonight since I'm a little hooked on the Falcon's game (again so happy football is back & Go Steelers;) I figured I'd write a blog---plus I'm overdue!

So this is my second week off work.  Last week I had all kinds of "big plans" in where I accomplished maybe 2 % because I ended up very sick.  Both Steve & I got colds, but mine turned into the usual miserable sinus infection.  Guess it happened perfect timing though since I was done with work I slept A LOT! Thankfully Steve is very patient with me when I'm sick & since he was a little under the weather he slept a lot more than usual also!  So now to my first REAL week out of work. 

With that starts the cooking mission.  When we initially decided I was going to leave my job we made the adult choice that we would be eating all meals at home with exception of special occasions to save money.  Little back story for you.  I grew up with the most amazing independent mother who hardly had time to cook for us.  She did such an amazing job raising us by herself & instilling valuable qualities in us---but (no offense momma;) cooking was not one of those.  So I of course through college was one of my few friends that was totally okay with eating oodles of noodles (ramen) or microwave mac & cheese.  This quality carried with me a little too long though.  So when I met Steve who was raised where his parents would cook most of their meals.  His mom cooked a lot (& I have a lot to live up to his mom can cook & so can his dad) which then lead to Steve being the cook.  So when Steve & I started dating he did all of the cooking.  Not even kidding---one of the ways he "won" me over was his ability to put the effort into cooking us meals that I could eat & that he always would go out of his way to take care of me.  He had an extremely hard time when he lost the ability to cook for us, not just because he married a wife who really couldn't cook---but because he prided himself in being able to cook for us & take care of us. Side note for those who don't know I don't eat meat other than seafood & even then I'm super picky with my seafood.  So with that I don't (didn't) know how to cook meat---like seriously at all.  Steve being the good hub would usually pretend that he likes whatever I cook---but I can tell when he doesn't like something.  When you are already battling the worst disease in the world, you can only fake you like something so much.  I've been learning, but up until recently we ate out A LOT.  So here you have it I've become a little Susie homemaker in the matter of a few months.  I clean obsessively now, cook/prepare all our meals, shop, use coupons, bake, make things, organize (that's right I said organize) etc.  *Sorry just got on a patting myself on the back tangent.*  I've had lots of help from lots of amazing people.  From people bring us food to give me a break, to friends coming over cooking with me to teach me new tricks, my new recipe box (thanks Brittany), family & friends giving me new recipes & ideas, my new crock pot (thanks to Steve's parents) & lots of encouragement I'm getting the hang of it.  It was an adjustment to planning meals & grocery shopping the right way but it's kinda gotten fun.  So this week we have Polish Monday I made homemade Perogi's & Halushki (kind of impressed myself), tomorrow is our usual taco Tuesdays, Italian Wednesday, Crock Pot Thursday, & a special addition of Fattening Friday.  

I will keep y'all posted on my progress---but just another example that seriously if you set your mind to something you can do it.  

With that a few things----#1. I sorta (half intentionally) let the cat out of the bag for some of the big things Steve & I have coming up.  I still can't FULLY give all the details but no worries you will get a full detailed blog very soon.  But with that I  would like to say to each & everyone of you thank you for rallying around Steve & I ALWAYS when we need something. I'm beyond touched by your generosity, your love, your ability to make sure Steve & I know each of you care if your own way.  I honestly believe that Steve & I are the most blessed people in the world.  Honestly, anytime I have a need friends, Steve's family, my family, even perfect strangers always go above & beyond & shower us with love & support.  I don't even know if I can find adequate words to explain the feeling.  But know that Steve & I are so grateful for every person reading this being in our lives.  

With that I have something that has been on my mind & while I have the motivation & time to blog I want touch on it briefly.  It has 2 sides.  One is to be a blessing & the other is to share a blessing.  As often as I say that Steve & I are blessed we then thankfully hear stories of how we have "blessed" others with inspiration, motivation, perspective, etc.  This is an amazing experience & I want to continue to challenge everyone to keep the movement.  Sometimes, this is important, you are the only positive influence someone has in their life.  This has come into play in my life both personally & professionally & I sometimes see it as a burden---but with perspective I can see it as a blessing.  You are in people's lives for a reason & you may not always get it right---but when you can you should be building people up.  Encouraging one another.  You never know you might be the only person that reaches out to someone.  You may just have the right encouraging word to say to save someones life.  Never take that opportunity for granted.  I have seen several times in my life where I've missed that chance & I am now more cognizant of it & hope to encourage others to be as well. 

With that---I know I am growing as a person as I learn the balance of "care giving" & "wife". There are a lot of times where I feel like I get praised too much by others.  It helps to be encouraged (see above;) but sometimes I feel so lost when it comes to care giving.  I am learning & I am growing through it.  It has been such an adjustment as I touched on earlier from going from Steve catering me (literally) to me being responsible for everything.  I knew going into it, but you never know if you are really cut out for something until you try it.  I will say through some of Steve & my aggravations I have learned so many other important life lessons. I've learned more compassion for other people, empathy, understanding, patience, the list goes on & on.  Steve & I have always been an amazing team but sometimes it gets easy to play on opposite teams.  This happens in every relationship regardless but add our special circumstances it can happen a littler easier. Through each of this & lots of long conversations & perspective we both have learned to see each others side so much more.  I couldn't even imagine asking someone to scratch something & them not getting the right spot---while it can be so easy to get frustrated it's so important to remember that finding that spot means so much when you can't do it yourself.  One of the things I have always said about Steve is that I love his passion & it's that passion that keeps us together, because even if we blow up at each other it's his passion to sit & have a very open conversation that keeps us going so strong.  So while everyone says that Steve is blessed to have me, which I will admit yes he is.  I am also very blessed to have him---he has given me a whole new outlook on life.  I feel like I am growing more & more into the person I've wanted to be & I have him to thank for that.  

I also have each one of you---blogging is very therapeutic for me.  I appreciate y'all continuing to follow our story in spite of my sometimes poor grammar & my tangents.   I appreciate everyone surrounding us with prayer, love, & support & for ALWAYS always rallying around us in time of need. 

We have lots of things coming up in October that I will be reminding you all of but I am tired & this blog is already forever long so for now Good night to all.  Be blessed & be a blessing! Lots of love always! xo

Monday, September 3, 2012

Organized thoughts (sort of)

Sometimes it takes me a while to blog because I'm unmotivated, or don't have much to write about, or I'm too busy, but this time it's because I've had so much to write about that I needed to get my thoughts organized.  Well at least as much as possible--- So I'm gonna break down some thoughts & some updates as well as I can ;)

First of all yay for fall approaching.  As much as I'm a warm weather girl---I LOVE everything about fall. Love the "cool" not cold weather, love the leaves changing, football, pumpkin everything, boots, tights, fires, festivities, etcetcetc.... With that being said we have lots & lots coming up this fall.  There are some I am unable to write about until after they happen, but I've been asking for prayer for some of these things & and am happy to report the prayers have been working & a lot of these things have been falling into place perfectly! Thank you for constantly sending Steve & I best wishes & praying for us.  I truly believe that it's everyone pulling for us that is helping a lot of things we've been hoping for work out.  So thank you!

So on to the things I can write about.

An amazing friend Lori, is throwing the HOPEforSteve Golf Tournament which takes place October 20th @ 1:00 PM.  Steve & I are so appreciative of every ones help with these amazing fundraisers.  It's truly heart warming when I see all the effort & planning people are doing to help us be able to survive financially.  Because of these continued events I am able to do what I need to be doing, taking care of Steve.  Lori is one of the kindest people I've met & I am so grateful that she is in my life.  She's a ray of sunshine :)

On Thursday I received a phone call from a med student in Suwanne, GA who doesn't know Steve or I personally but heard of our story & felt compelled to help.  His honors fraternity is planning a fundraiser for Hope for Steve as well in October or November.  He is to be sending me the details to this event this week so as soon as I know the details I will pass them along.

As most of you know we have been in talks of the Fear the beard pub crawl for Steve's 30th.  Steve & I were having the debate of the date because his birthday weekend falls on GA/FL game.  With that I will digress momentarily to tell y'all about our experience at the GA this weekend.  It was one of the best weekends we had in a long time.  We drove up Friday mid day & just spent the day enjoying Athens.  Love love that town---literally everything about it.  That night we went with lots of dear friends to the Georgia theater, which since Steve's graduated they redid.  He is now able to get to every point in the theater & it's amazing!  The bands were all amazing---the company was all amazing---it was a wonderful experience!  After a fun night out with little sleep we then get up for game day!!  Jen & Danny met us at the hotel & we started with bloody marries & continued on.  Danny & Steve then went off to enjoy the game.  It was like saying goodbye to my baby the first day of school or something (not even kidding) when Steve left.  But thanks to Jen & all the girls (& guys) I was able to enjoy some fun time & felt relaxed with Steve knowing he was having fun.  Boy it was a HOT day in Athens but seriously so much fun (for both Steve & I).  Steve & Danny had great seats but right in the sun---however they stayed all the way to the middle of the 4th quarter.  Steve was exhausted after---overly so.  He pushed it to the point that we had to cancel plans on Sunday & even today he's still recovering.  While we love to take Steve on new adventures we don't want him to overdo it.  After this with much thought we decided it's probably best for us not to do GA/FL this year.  With all that ramble: The fear the beard pub crawl will be on his actual birthday Friday October 26th.  Now that we have the date we will start all the plans & will send info out within the next couple weeks.

Update on Steve:  Steve's been doing pretty well actually, he has his days where he doesn't feel 100% or that he is "moody" but through that he is still doing great.  He's been using a cream that his mom & a doctor created for the past few months & it's been helping him a great deal.  It helps with pain or discomfort and also helps when his throat feels tight or even when he has spasms.  The cream has been helping him feel like he is doing his part to help him last longer & we can see the effects.  We've recently decided as a family to put it on the market as more & more people have been using it & requesting it. is where you can go see more about the cream.  (Side note: I've been using the cream myself for when I hurt my back & got my mom & aunt on it as well) We've also been pumping Steve full of healthy fattening foods, lots of vitamins, & enzymes.  Since making the change to healthier foods Steve's been feeling more energized & has noticed some improvements.  We also had an amazing physical therapist, Lauren Polivka volunteer to come teach stretches & tricks we can use with Steve to help him stay more lose & comfortable.  This has helped tremendously.  Steve obviously still needs help with everything he does but with these aids things have been a little easier on him.  We are blessed that he is still able to enjoy all the foods he likes, he is still able to communicate, he is still able to move around & we hope with all these things we've implemented he will continue to be able to do these.

With all that being said---I've been thinking A LOT about happiness.  Without getting on a soap box I want to write a little about this.  As I've said before writing about these things is like therapy to me, so thank you to everyone who reads my rambles & gives me feedback.  I love receiving all the amazing messages, emails, notes from everyone & all the words of encouragement.  A common thing I hear (as does Steve) often from others is how we've been able to encourage & motivate people to live a happier life.  This is one of Steve & my favorite things is reading & hearing these stories from others.  It keeps us going & reminds us that we are helping people with our positive outlook.  I know those closest to us see us on days where we wouldn't motivate anyone---but most days we are on the up.  I appreciate hearing people saying how much they've taken our story & used it to improve their quality of life & I also appreciate seeing it first hand.  I have been thinking more & more about what makes people happy & I had to sort out these thoughts.  So here is my happiness according to Hope ramble. :)  For starters I believe a lot of people don't know what it is that will make them happy.  If you don't know what will make you happy---how do you find it?  Hear me out on this---people have ideas, but often when they do get what they thought was going to make them happy that happiness only lasts for so long.  On the contrary some people I see get it & I've been observing a lot of people & their happiness level & have come to learn a few things.  For starters the saying, you're only as happy as you make your mind up to be---IS TRUE! Seriously though think about it, in life you are OFTEN handed situations you NEVER could have prepared yourself for & while some people think when handed this they can never feel happy again.  Well, why not? Seriously why not?  Of course you can be happy.  I think that if everyone started being more happy with what they DO have & focus less on what they DON'T people would have more happiness.  This doesn't ever mean to stop thriving for more, but be happy with what you do have.  So often people focus on went wrong with their day, what they don't have, what they missed out on & forget to be thankful for what they do have.  It's funny the happiest people I know don't necessarily have the best situations but they made up their mind to be happy.  Everyone is capable of it---it may take some work---everyone is.  I think it's a balance of half knowing what will make you happy  & pursuing them & half of making the best of the unexpected situations that life hands that can help people lead a happier life.  Thank you for continuing to fill Steve & I with so much happiness by being in our lives, visiting us, calling/texting/emailing/mailing us, inviting us to fun amazing adventures, thinking of us, praying for us, & sharing your stories of filling your lives with more happiness.

Also, don't forget to get your Fear the beard shirts---especially if you'll be joining us for the pub crawl.  They are on the website under the donate tab.  Also---please if you do want a tshirt let me know a size, color (pink/grey), & your address.

We love each & every one of you & thank you for adding to our happiness.  Now go find yours :)