Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Patience in August

For anyone that knows me, especially my parents and fiance, they know that I'm not always patient  Arent we all that way sometimes though? We've all heard that patience is a virtue and that can be true.First off, what does this actually mean? In simplest terms it means that patience is a good quality to have. We've each have had times in our lives where we weren't patient at all. And, in my opinion, there can be many different things that we're inpatient about. In order words, the word "patient" may have an actual definition in t he dictionary but we all handle thins in a different way even if its the same situation, therefor, our patience levels are different. I know I'm impatient sometimes. sometimes I act too quickly because it's something exciting, or I tell someone something because I want to get my opinion out there but then laugh because I wish I had said something else. I feel that I'm better at controlling it now that I'm older. When I was younger I would get so impatient for a family party or event because it was fun but now, I'm able to realize that it wont get here any faster. If you asked me 6 months ago, however, how my patience level was, I don't think I could answer you.

August was a big month for this household and actually  it was kind of a blur. August was the month my cousin that had cancer died, so that was a biggy with us trying to be positive and going to see her and dealing with it all. The biggest part of August that tested my patience though...I'll give you a hint

A skunk, Lyme disease and a broken paw...oh my!

Yes, this was our motto for the whole month. Our poor little puppy didn't know what hit him! :(

Wednesday August 1st. Typical night of the four of us watching TV  We always let the puppy out around 10:30 when going to bed. We had had an issue with a skunk back in the spring so that sparked our interest of making sure there wasn't any when the dog went out at night. We had been very lucky. This night my mom was the one to let him out. I was in the restroom while my dad was sound asleep and my fiance was in my room. She let him out but when he comes in all I can hear is "oh no". My fiance and I run into the kitchen and right away block our noses. Thats right, after months of nothing, a skunk had done its duty! The dog was rolling EVERYWHERE. My mom said when he came in he ran right to the couch and started rolling and scratching his eyes! When we saw him he was rolling on the floor and just making a mess..it was so sad! Ok so, its 10:45 at night and the house smells disgusting  This is the first time we've dealt with this so we had no idea how to approach it. It didn't help that the dog thought he was in trouble so he ran under my bed and wouldn't come out (thank goodness for safety proof windows!) After looking up online what to do, Brian raced to the grocery store which is 2 minutes away (thank goodness for  being open until midnight!). We kept Bailey in the living room watching him like a hawk. It was now 11:30. Brian and my mom closed the bathroom door and attempted to give this smelling dog a bath. Bailey hates water so this was an even more interesting experience. The scent on Bailey went away a little and we were able to sleep...with all the windows open of course :) The next day was even worse. By this point the whole house was drenched in skunk and we all had headaches up the wazoo. My poor father went to work smelling too! We raced Bailey to Petsmart to get a real bath while my mom stayed here, with her put baking power or whatever everywhere. That was an interesting day. But as everything does, that passed.

On to Monday, August 13. We woke up to Bailey not being able to walk on his back right paw. Why? We didn't know but you could tell he wasn't comfortable. That particular paw has an issue with the knee. it gets displaced every so often but then is fine after he walks on it or awhile. We decided to let it be for a few hours just to see if maybe he just slept on it wrong, or if it was the knee cap. We went out for a bit and when we came back he was still having issues. We called the vet but couldn't get an appointment until the next day. something we weren't fond of but said alright. We drove to Petsmart so our friend could maybe tell us what was wrong but she didn't have a clue either. Unfortunetly the vet there wasn't available to look either. He wasn't crying and was acting normal. His one issue though was that he couldn't get comfy. It was also hard because we didn't want him to jump in case it hurt him more but, he thinks he's a bunny rabbit and jumped anyway.  After 12 hours, of  being brave and dealing with it, he was able to finally get comfy.

The next day he seemed to be in more pain. I stayed home while Brian drove an hour to the vet (yes, the vet is in the town Brian grew up in and lived before we started dating). He calls me and says that Bailey had Lyme disease. I didn't really know what it was but Brian said animals get it from ticks. It then occurred to me that back in May we went for a walk with our friend from Petsmart and one of her dogs. We took them into this swamp like area that had looks of brush and trees. When getting back to the car both dogs had TONS of ticks! I think we found the culprit  Brian said they gave him medicine and that he had to swallow half a medicine pill once a day for 30 days...lovely. It was a pain to give him dinner every night. Feeding him in a bowl but then having to put some in our hand and make sure he took the medicine too. Me being the worry wart I am, HAD to check for ticks every moment he came inside and would watch him walk all day long just to make sure everything was ok. He was a champ though and was fine two days later! 

Now comes the three situation. The one that really tested me (all of us to be honest). 
1) two months long of it
2) Bailey not being able to act normal
3) Needing to improvise alot of stuff which took up alot of time

That's right, I'm talking about the broken paw. Everything happens for a reason, and I believe this wasn't any exception. 

Saturday August 26th. Brian, myself and his father had went to a cookout/dinner at the airport where Brian flys. We got back around 9, and at that time Brian's father left. It was Brian, myself and dad in the house. As any dog, Bailey gets bursts of energy to play. He likes to play mostly with Brian because Brian isn't afraid to let Bailey bite him or to be really rough. We ave a good size table in our dining room, with the floor being a rug. There's enough space around though that Bailey can "run laps". This is one of his favorite things to do. Brian, or myself  will stand at the doorway and when Bailey comes around with signal to keep running. Brian uses his foot to stomp and I use my hands and wave. It was around 9:45pm. Bailey was hyper. I sat in the living room listening to them play. Bailey's running around the table. All of a sudden I heard a loud shriek and cry. Bailey comes racing into the living room with his front left paw up. With Brian right behind saying "oh my gosh, oh my gosh" about 6 times. He then says he doesn't think but knows he broke Bailey's paw. What?! Bailey hurting and Brian's crazy. He sits Bailey on the couch and tries to put ice but Bailey wanted nothing to do with it. Bailey then thinks he's in trouble, as always, and runs under my bed. My bed isn't that high so its amazing he could get under with a broken paw! Brian's frantic trying to figure out what to do while I keep saying to calm down because it happened and we have to fix it. My dad gets online and looks up a few urgent care places. Brian's upset even before calling because we know they charge an arm and a leg! After a half hour of calling places, we settled on one *Note: in the mean time Bailey is actually calm and just laying on a blanket!* We drove 20 minutes away to get there. We sit with the doctor and he knew right away it was broken. At first Brian and the doctor both thought was broken between the "wrist and elbow". the doctor said that if that was the case he'd have to have surgery to fix it...hello money! They took him back for X-Rays as Brian and I sat in the waiting room for an hour and a half (it seemed like so much more). the doctor comes out and says luckily it was only his "fingers" that were broken.... MIRACLE! We waited 30 more minutes and he finally came out. I have to say he looked so cute! He was so out of it though which was sad. they basically just said to make an appointment with the vet in 10 days and to make sure he isn't active and rests alot. Bailey not active? yea right! Here is a picture from that night

1AM. Totally "drunk" of the medicine

The next 10 days were a struggle. We  had no idea how to handle the situation and Bailey acted as though nothing was wrong. I felt like a race horse. If we caught Bailey looking like he wanted to jump we'd run to get him but he was too fast and would jump anyway, darn dog! :) We'd have to be with him at all times so it was hard to get anything done! One big issue was that the cast couldn't get wet. Obviously that's how it would be with humans too but let me tell you, dogs are alot harder! When he'd have to go outside we'd have to put a baggy on his leg and tie it. It was SO much harder when it rained too! It took maybe three days before he would go on the grass. I can remember when September started and I had to get up early for school. It would take 10 minutes out of my time just to deal with him. Something that was frustrating but totally worth it.

We took him to the vet after 10 days. they did an xray and said that we'd just have to wait. How long you ask? 6-8 weeks! I'm sure you can imagine our shock. They changed his cast and gave us the list of things he cant do. That wasn't happening! They then gave us the wonderful (sarcasm) news that we had to bring him in every 4 or 5 days for a cast change. Seriously??! Having to drive an house both ways every 4 days and pay 27$ each time wasn't too exciting. Especially since Brian ha to work alot so it wasn't overly convenient. We did it though. This is where our patient was very little at times. We had to make sure that Bailey didn't do what he wasn't supposed to, which didn't work too tell. We couldn't go on walks, had to put a baggy on to go outside, couldn't let him jump. Another reality that we realized is that for the first month we could leave him alone at home. Luckily, besides school, I was home most days even if no one else was. On the days that we knew everyone had to go somewhere we had to do it in shirts. I can remember one time my dad was going to run a few errands and Bailey wanted to go. We decided that was ok. First my dad went to a clothing store while I had to stay in the car with bailey to make sure he didn't get hurt. Sitting in a car for 30 minutes isn't fun. We then went to the food store. We each had to get a few things. Normally we go in together and one of us just wait for the other to finish. This time we took turns. I went in first and then came out so my dad could go in. Craziness!! 

That was basically our two months though. I'd say we encountered an obstacle maybe every week. they were a very difficult two months because it felt like we had to give ourselves to Bailey, which was fine but patience was sometimes hard when the dog cant communicate and thinks everything is ok and when we have to change our schedules just to accommodate him. We took it head on because it's what we had to do and I fel that honestly this situation happened for a reason. It's funny how the reason part may not be crystal clear and sometimes we never really know why it happened or at least don't see the reason in front of us, but it's always there regardless.

I feel that pictures speak louder than words times. So I'm going to leave you with pictures of those two months. I'd like to say that although it was sad for Bailey, we got a kick out of the fact that each time his cast was changed they made it a different color. Everyone on Facebook was so eager to see what the new color was. I want to note that I took a picture with each NEW color. The cast got change every 4 days for two months so there were times the cast had to be the same color. 

Family is a gift

"You don't choose your family.  They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. " ~Desmond Tutu 

I don't think this statement could be any more true! This is how I view alot of things in my life. Now that I'm older and have many responsibilities and will be getting married in a few years, I see that alot of those things in my life are things that the Lord has chosen me to have, the privilege. When I was younger my friends and I would be sent to Church and CCD. Although it wasn't always fun, we wouldn't complain going. In life though not everything can be fun! We were all friends and were able to share in that time together to talk and just be together. It's amazing to me looking back that we were so young but we still knew the difference. That's one reason why I love all my friends. We may be going in different ways and have many different interests but we all can look back and remember that time. We all lived in the same neighborhood so the lessons we learned were instilled in us every day no matter where we were.  We would sit in these small rooms learning about the Lord and what he has given to us and what our lives mean. At that time I don't think all of us grasped the concept that our lives aren't something we rightly have. I know I sure didn't. 

I am so grateful for everything I have in my life.  Most importantly, I just grateful for the life I've been given. As I explained in this post, I had RSV when I was 2 months old and was not supposed to make it. Although I accept people that don't think they should be grateful for what they have, because in reality they are humans regardless, I don't support that point of view. We cant always have everything we WANT and don't take the time to realize that what we NEED is just fine. I try to always be there for everyone I can and do good things, and it breaks my heart when some people have so much potential success and don't even realize it because at this time, they are struggling. We are each in this world for a reason. For some of us, our time is cut shorter than others but we each still have some greatness and have changed the word in our own way. 

I am grateful for alot and some of it, to be honest, isn't needed. I'm so grateful to be able to wake up in the morning to share another day and experience all the new things I do. I'm grateful for my fiance, who, although we have our moments, is so great and always there for me. I'm grateful for the  cutest little puppy. I'm grateful for being able to have a roof over my head and having food I can eat. I'm grateful for being able to go to school and getting a degree so I can purse my career, I'm grateful for my parents. I'm grateful that I can go to the store when I want and buy whatever clothes I choose, or anything I want in general. There are so many things that I'm grateful for, big and small, but at the end of the end, family is what I treasure the most

I come from a good size family. My mom has 3 sisters and a brother, plus their spouses. My dad has a sister and 2 brothers, with their spouses too. I love having so many aunts and uncles. I do want to add that not only do I have all these aunts and uncles but, two of them are my godparents. My dad's sister and my moms brother. I don't see my moms brother alot because  he lives 3 hours away but I get the privilege to see my godmother alot. She is wonderful and I'm so glad she's my godmother too. When getting my confirmation she was there standing by my side and has always done that.  Besides these aunts and uncles, I have ALOT of first cousins. 30 to be exact. A few of these are 2nd cousins and a girlfriend of one cousin but we consider them 1st cousins regardless. I have 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins and so on! There's so many people. I know no family is completely perfect and I hate to say this but my family is so wonderful. We don't talk everyday or see each other every week, or even month, but we are close when we do. One thing I love about my family, especially my cousins is that we have all be raised kind of the same. We like different things and our lives are going in different ways but we have the same beliefs. All of the things we've been taught about life and how to treat people etc are the same and I love that. I have a unique relationship with each of my cousins. There's one relationship in particular that I am beyond grateful for

This is my cousin Alex

I love this guy! We are 8 months and 2 days apart, with him being the older one. We are both only children too. 

Him and I have a relationship that is hard to explain. Not because we don't get along, but because we get along too well. I honestly have to say I consider him my brother instead of my cousins. When we were younger, teenagers and such, we would go in another room and just chat for hours while everyone else was together. We talked about alot. Issues at school or in our friendships. About things we were planning on doing or just things we hoped our lives would include. We were young and didn't know as much as we do now so although our relationship was strong, its so much stronger now. When I think about it myself, its actually funny. Here are two cousins who are so beyond close, act like brother and sister and have this personal connection. You'd think it should be really weird. For us, it's not though. Up until two years ago, him , my aunt and uncle lived about 45 minutes away or more from us. We saw each other at parties and every once in awhile in between. We saw each other more in the summer but still not enough. I think that's also what makes us close. We were so close but couldn't hang out or talk much. He had his friends and hobbies and I had mine. We learned to be grateful for the times we were able to spend together and we looked forward to the times we would have. As I said, we didn't really realize how great our relationship is until we got older. 

As you can, hopefully, tell in this picture, we have different interests. He wears all black and has long hair. Loves music, black metal especially. Loves to go to concerts, writes his own music, is in a band and just loves to live life with his friends. goes to bars and goes on trips to see different musicians and things. Likes cigars and spends his time listening to music at home or playing video games. Me on the other hand: I love country music. I love staying home and watching TV. I have so many different outfits. I don't like going to bars and don't drink. The only vacations I go on is when we go down to Louisiana. I think you can get the picture. We are SO different yet we get along so well and that's what I love about us. Although there are times we may not like what the other is doing or thinks, we still accept each other and if it makes each of us happy then so be it. Don't get me wrong, we've had our fights. More so when we were younger but we've still had them. It's weird because I cant get mad at him for long. A few weeks ago we had a misunderstanding. Basically we didn't communicate something we should have. At first I was a little upset but I had this itch in me that said not to be mad. At one point I actually laughed at myself for being mad. 

Although we've had our moments, he really is the greatest and it's hard to express how much our relationship means to me. We've been through so much together. This guy has been there for me through everything I've experienced in my life, just like I have been for him. He's my shoulder to cry on. My friend to laugh hysterically with. My strength when I feel down. My encourager when I've had something I've wanted to accomplish. My hand when I've walked into a situation out of my comfort zone. The one whose put me in my place when needed. The one who teaches me things. The one who pushes me and most of all, the one who's been my best friend. As I said it's hard to put into words what this guy  has been to me and how he's affected my life for the better. He's the greatest guy I know and I don't know what I'd ever do without him.

I wanted to share a few things with you.

This first thing is the quote that our relationship lives by

Cousins by blood, friends by choice. This is one of the most important things in our relationship. As we all know, family is a gift. We were put on this earth to be blood cousins, that was God's plan. He gave us the base to our relationship and then let us go to figure out what it would actually be. I don't know too many cousins who have a relationship like ours and I wish I did. I have good relationships with all of my other cousins but this one is most special. Him and I could just be cousins who see each other at Christmas or birthday parties but no. We have chosen to also be friends, who go to dinner, or go to the mall to shop. 

A few years ago for a Christmas gift I believe, my aunt made me an album that had pictures of us growing up, from birth on. Its so special to me. These are the last two pages in it and I think my absolute favorite. They both basically explain what our relationship is like.

These are chorus lyrics to a song she found. Although this isn't my type of song, the chorus explains us so well. The name of the same is "Together, Whenever We Go":

As I said, I treasure this relationship so much and I'd honestly be lost without him. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The one thing we cant live without

Sunday Funday! Hope you've all enjoyed your weekend. For us, it's been laid back. My mom has been working so we haven't done alot. 

I'm actually really excited for this post because, as promised, you get to meet our adorable little puppy! I posted a few pictures of him here, but here comes the fun stuff!

So, this is Bailey
A little about him:
  • He's technically Brian's dog. Brian got him back in 2008 before we started dating
  • Brian works at petsmart and got him from one of his coworkers
  • He'll be 6 on March 10 (birthday party maybe :))
  • He's a Chihuahua/rat terrier (he really does act like a rat!)
  • He call him a skunk, cow and pig.
  • He weights about 8.5 which is what these type should way. Brian's grandmother got a little crazy one month (before we started dating) and feed him so much he weighted 20 pounds

His personality:
  • He sometimes acts like he's still 2 years old
  • He's very cuddly and LOVES to cuddle with my mom ALL the time. At night while we're watching tv he'll cuddle with her for 3 hours straight!
  • While he's cuddling, he LOVES to sleep under blankets. Even when he's not with anyone, he will jump on the couch and pull the blanket down with his teeth and make his way under. My parents gave me and Brian each a snuggie three years ago and now Brian's snuggie is Bailey. Such a spoiled dog!
  • He loves to play/flight with Brian and doesn't have a problem being mean!
  • When he gets hyper he's runs through the house and does circles around the dining room table (see future post for accident)
  • His favorite thing in the world is food. I know every pet parent says this but for him its true. We go through treats so fast. Luckily he runs in the backyard to keep the weight off
  • He loves car rides and is always the first at the door even if he cant come
  • He likes walks except in the winter. He gets cold in .2 seconds, in lie!
  • Even if you say something that doesn't have the word "treat" or "food" in the sentence he assumes that's what you mean
  • He knows how to spell. 
  • My favorite is that sometimes he gets SO overly excited that he bumps his head on things. We say that he's lost another brain cell doing that
  • Lastly, he dislikes other dogs. he likes my aunts two dogs and Brian's father's dog but that's basically it. When we go on walks he growls at almost everyone, I feel so bad for the owners! Last year we brought him to training class at Petsmart so he could be around other dogs. there were days he was OK but other days he'd have to "have a time out" and walk around the store with Brian. We have a joke with our friend, who was his trainer, that when he's mean he gets "two minutes for roughing" Stupid hockey reference!

He really is a lovable dog though! :)

And now for picture overload....

We love petsmart! Especially when they give Bailey a bath :)

He loves toys and to take out all the cotton!

He's way too obsessed with food!

Cutest face!

he loves to eat it...

he'll stand on the pool deck but hates water..

he loves to roll on his back!

We love our little guy!

Oh he's such a cutie!!! I have hundreds of pictures and am sure to be posting alot more soon but for now just wanted to give you a glimpse into the life of the puppy we cant live without!

On Tuesday I will be posting more about this little one, so stay tuned!

Krissy Girl

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I look to you

The sun is shining today! Except for the mere fact that any of us would take sun over rain/snow, this normally isn't a big deal. Today it is though. Has an event or situation ever happened to you and as a result when you see or hear about something, even if it's the smallest thing, you think about that event? That's what I'm going to bring you today. For me, the connection that makes me think back to this event is the sun. On any other day, I normally don't have the connection in my mind but because today is special I do

How many of you celebrate or count the "half a year" stuff? "Happy half birthday" is the most common and the one my family LOVES to use! Today is a "half a year" type of situation  I have decided to write this post on this day not because it's been half a year but because I want to remember the special time and to share the story of this wonderful person with you. 

Six months ago today, my family lost this wonderful woman

This is my cousin Denise. I have to say she was the greatest lady! I wish you all could have met her! She was the kindest, most giving, most patient  most positive person I think I've known and I'm so glad to have been part of her family. 

My grandparents (dad's parents) were like her second parents. She was raised by her grandmother (my great grandmother) and my grandparents. Out of my dad's three siblings he was the closets to her. Although they were cousins and already had that relationship, they had this unspoken relationship too. I guess you could say they were more than cousins. It was always nice to see how happy they each got when talking to each other on the phone or seeing each other the very few times they did. They would call each other every few months or sometimes even longer and talk for hours. Another special thing that was kind of "their thing" (or I guess just the family thing), was that every 'Christmas she would send a little vase of some sort of flowers. We always looked forward to those! :) 

Her and her partner lived in Vermont, about 2 hours away. We barely saw them, or at least that's what I remember  Although you'd think that I'd have memories of the few times we got to visit with her, unfortunately I don't  Sure, we have old movies from when I was a baby and we visited or even pictures but my first actual memory I recall without anyone just telling me about it was back in 2008, which is when the above picture was talking. Obviously it was at my graduation party...it was so nice they were able to come! The next time I remember seeing them is when we traveled to Vermont for my cousins football game. Because it wasn't too far, they made the trip to visit us! I have to add that it always felt a little weird talking to her on the phone or in person just because I never really saw them and plus I was younger. It actually kind of shows who she was though. She was a very soft spoken person and seemed to always be happy. She was very "gentle" in all that she did. 

Looking back, it's hard thinking about the fact that the time we saw them at the football game would  be the last time we saw her healthy. It's always funny how things can change when you least expect them took, especially when you don't see that person much.

This brings me to her overwhelming, brave, positive, strong story. About 6 years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She already had MS, which is a disease  It affects the central nervous system. On top of the MS, she also had Parkinson's disease. which affects the nervous system. The two aren't the same. So now she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a difficult time because of the other two factors and the attacks she would get from them. I don't remember this part of her life. Meaning how long it took to go away or how she was doing, I just know she had it. Luckily that finally was treated with the surgery and was gone. As I said this was about 6 years ago. Unfortunately, during the fall of 2011 she started having a pain in her shoulder. Her partner kept saying to get it checked. She wouldn't though. Finally in January 2012 she did and was once again diagnosed with breast cancer. this came as a shock to us.  She told him one night on the phone but said not to tell any other family members. That was difficult to not tell. This was in February when she told him. She got treatment every other week, 7 days on, 7 off. Because of this my dad would try to call on the off week just to see how she was. She wasn't doing well with the treatment and it would wipe her out, which is to be expected. Not long after he had calls for a few weeks and there was no answer. He finally called her partner and was told that she had moved in there. She couldn't take care of herself. 

Unfortunately she was just getting worse. The cancer spread to her bones and all over. Her partner told my dad one night on the phone that she didn't think Denise would win this time. I can remember that night and the sadness in my dad. Denise worked at a hospital. It was a very small hospital. At first she didn't want to go there and wanted to be treated at home. Unfortunately around The very first week in August, they made the decision to bring her there because her partner just couldn't do it at home. At this time my dad decided to call all our family members  She wasn't coming out of this one, and she knew it. It was a weekend when my dad first took the trip up by himself. He didn't know what he'd walk into. He came home and said she wasn't as bad as he had thought  So the next week my mom and I joined him. When we got there, you could tell she wasn't good but she was positive as always and we actually had a good time. We went up a week later, with my dad staying in contact almost everyday. This time there were alot of us there at once and you could tell she felt the love. She was on hospice and they had made a basket full of hand made harts. 

This is the one I decided to take..its shaped perfectly! I have this in my purse at all times. Just a little token to remember me of that time

Anyway, it was hard to leave. Both times it was so hard to leave. Especially the first time. We knew we wanted to go back but didn't know if she'd be gone before then. 

She died on August 21st. I'll never forget that day. My parents and fiance were gone to work so it was just me and the dog. Her partner promised my dad that she'd call when Denise had passed. Well, that afternoon as I sat here all alone with the dog, she called. I couldn't get to the phone but knew why she was calling. It actually wasn't that hard. Denise wanted to go. She knew it was her time and was a peace with it. And as long as she was at peace we were all ok. 

Talk about signs! We went up her the funeral. My aunt, uncle and two cousins came too. While sitting in the church for the mass, one of her close friends said some words about her. One part of her speech was reading a poem written about basically being free and not to be sad. There wasn't a dry eye around while she read that. Just to note it was cloudy that day. Not like rain cloudy but it hadn't really been all that sunny. At the moment her friend started reading this poem. A gush of sunlight just shined through the window and put a spotlight on the lady reading the poem and stayed there the whole time. There was a feeling that Denise was there with us. It was so nice and special!

Despite her struggle, one of the most inspiring and great things she did was start a program at the hospital she worked at. There were, and are, so many people on hospice and alot of them didn't have people to be there by their side when they passed. Denise started this program so that these would would have someone there. Denise would go sit by their bedside. She didst need to speak or anything...she just wanted them to know someone was there. Everyone needs a friend or someone to be there for them and that's what was so great about her! Because of her, they also had a hospice suite at the hospital. The room included a kitchen and whatever the family members needed so they could stay with their loved ones. There's a fund set in Denise's name for the room. We sent in money and we got a plague put on the wall in her honor. 

As I said before, this was a lady of many things. She was great and everyone knew that and was so honored to be apart of her life. Our time with her may of been cut short but we're glad for each memory we have had with her.

I want to leave you with a song. After her funeral we went back to her partners home. Her partner and some friends had put together a DVD slideshow and gave us a copy. This song is played throughout and it really sums up how she felt about her situation. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book or Movie?

Happy Wednesday everyone! It's been another very cold day. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal but lately it's been so cold that we've stayed cozy indoors and haven't really gone anywhere. This weekend we got more snow too. 

Today, we did something that we haven't done in ages. Go to the movies. I cant even remember the last time i saw a movie. It was fun to do that again because although it's nice to sit in the comfort of your own home watching something, that feeling of having to sit in semi uncomfortable seats with others around you and getting snacks is nice. The prices in tickets and food has gone up so much too...shows you just how long it's been since I've stepped foot in a movie theater  We each paid 9 dollars to get in..crazy! I will say though it's surprising because this movie theater is just our typical one. We have another one called Chuncky's. Chuncky's is awesome! When you first walk in they have arcade games for kids. When you actually get into the theater they have long tables with leather, recliner chairs (SO comfy!) Instead of getting your food at the stand, they actually have a full fledged menu with tons of options. Some people don't prefer that style and want the normal original theaters but honestly, if you haven't tried Chuncky's at least once, you have truly experienced a movie theater. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that the theater we went to cost 9 dollars and (unless they upped their prices too) Chuncky's costs 7:50. It's interesting to see how prices have changed over the years!

enough about prices though. We ended up seeing 

Has anyone seen it yet or read the book???

My mom, grandmother and I went to see it. First off, my mom and I don't go to the movies. My dad and Brian don't either to be honest. Netflix and On Demand all the way :) The last time we went was a few years ago to see Mama Mia. We brought my grandmother along too! My mom and i only went to see this because my grandmother has been obsessed with it since she learned when it was airing. A little background is that every year, for her birthday, for as long as I can remember, I've given her the new Nicholas Sparks book that comes out around the same time.  Second off, while my mom is into this type of movie/book, I'm more a true chick flick. This was a good movie but had a little suspense throw in. 

Everyone always says the movie isn't as good as the book and I have to say that although I haven't read the book, my mom, grandmother and many other people I know have and from what they have said the movie is nowhere close. It's hard to give my opinion when I haven't read the book but the movie seemed a little dull. Without giving anything away, I feel that the biggest part of the movie should have been talked about a little more. I also feel like it was too all over the place. I had a class back in the Fall where we actually talked about Books vs Movie. A few of the points that were made were that 1) the book always comes first. Does anyone know of any movies that came before their book? 2) They have to cut so much out because a movie only last an hour or two. This is what I think is difficult because they have to capture things that may not be as big a deal and leave out important parts. After watching Safe Haven my grandmother did mention that she enjoyed being able to put face to name. She's the type of person, like many of us, that like to picture characters to get the true picture. There were a few parts, she said, in the book that were confusing but once watching the movie she figured it out. 

Anyway, I don't want to say anymore for those that haven't seen it or read the book yet. Although it's not really my type of movie, I would say to go see it because it was good. 

Two more days until the weekend :)

Krissy Girl

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Taco Dip

Have you ever been to a gathering where they have a food that you generally like but the way they made it for this party isn't exactly what you'll eat? This happens to me ALL the time (pickiest eater award goes to me!). You go to a party expecting to eat, not liking some of what they have and then feeling uncomfortable because everyone is pigging out and you just have crackers and cheese or salad on your plate. Luckily, in my family, we usually tend to bring the same foods to parties (and bring ALOT) so there's always something to choose from. 

One of the dishes that I adore when going to parties (we only have this at my cousins house and every other party I make it) is taco dip! I first tried this at my cousins house at one of their famous parties. And surprisingly I LOVED it! You may be thinking that this dish is so common and that everybody makes it. Thats true. Taco dip is one of those dishes that you really can put whatever you want in it. Once my cousin mixed it up and put beans and this different type of salsa and other little things. I tried it, it wasn't bad, but not something I continued to eat. I'm a plain girl and that's it

Another funny thing about this dish that always gets everyone laughing at me, is that I wouldn't eat each ingredient alone but I will eat it in this after its all made. Isnt it funny how that works?! So, if anyone you know is a picky eater but likes dip like this, have them make it! It honestly takes 5-10 minutes and is so good! 

What you'll need
1) 8 oz of sour cream (obviously it will vary depending on how many people you're serving  I use this amount when making it for 4 of us and its perfect!)
2) 8 oz of Whipped cream cheese (I ALWAYS use whipped because it gives it the right consistency that we like. Same rule above for the amount you need)
3) Bag/pouch of taco seasoning (we usually get the El Paso kind. And we get mild but obviously get what you like! We only need one bag for the amount we make but if you're making a double use almost two bags)
4) Tomatoes (I only use one big one because I don't like alot)
5) Lettuce (we use iceberg)
6) Cheese. (shredded stuff, whatever kind!)

It's so easy and pretty much self explanatory. The only things I'd really say are
1) Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together first 
2) After they are mixed, put the taco seasoning in. Mix that well because I've found sometimes the seasoning sticks to the bowl and then you get chunks of it!

I apologize for the quality of the pictures. It was at night when I took these and the lighting was all that good

Before adding the taco seasoning

After the taco seasoning and being spread. Another note is to make sure it's spread evenly

And there it is. So simple to make and it looks SO good! 

Does anyone have an recipes like this that they use?

Have a great Thursday!

Krissy Girl :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Happy Birthday

Ah, finally its the weekend! Of course, my weekend starts at 2:40 on Thursdays but still, there's something about waking on Saturday knowing you have the next two days off.

Today, we did something fun. My aunt has two dogs, one not even a year and the other turns 11 today. We had a birthday party for the 11 year old. Dont ask me why because there's no real reason. My aunt just called and invited us because she can. Part of it might be because he's getting older. I didnt get a picture of it, but my aunt made an invitation and mailed it to us...yes, we're weird! :) 

It wasnt anything big. My mom, Brian, my grandmother and myself we the only ones that went over. My aunt had made cupcakes for the dogs. Her two dogs ate them so nicely and enjoyed them. Our dog on the other hand, he tried to stuff the whole thing in his mouth....that didnt work too well! She also had made an oreo cake for the humans which was delish! My mom got the birthday boy a big bone that said "happy birthday", along with a gift card to Dairy Queen. Despite it not being good, thats one of the dogs' snacks after a walk! The rest of the time we played outside. The three dogs had so much fun running in the snow! Here are a few pictures..

(The top photo is the card my mom made 
The send is my aunt opening the birthday boys gifts

(this is the birthday boys brother!
(This little guy was waiting so nicely for a cupcake!

This is the Birthday boy!

Arent they so cute!? We had a fun time especially outside get snowy chasing the dogs. The next birthday is our little ones in March. I'm not sure we'll have a party but I will be buying cupcakes for us humans. The birthday boy will get extra treats that day! :)

Have a great and relaxing weekend!

Krissy Girl :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

4 years

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful Valentines day!! In our house it's not the biggest deal. It's a nice day to give extra love to your loved ones but that can happen any day! Of course, my dad always gets my mom and I each a box of some chocolate. This year he went all out and picked specific chocolate for each of us at this candy store in the town where he stays for work...apparently, it's the biggest candy store and I still have yet to go!. So yummy! It is a big deal for my parents though, because it's also their anniversary. We had a nice night watching TV  and pigging out on junk food (the recipe will come in a few days :))

For my fiance, Brian, and I, as a couple, its pretty much just another day. We still welcome the idea of it and love each other a little more but our anniversary is the day after, today!, so we wait for that. My valentines gift from him was ice cream from Cold Stone! 

We usually go away for the weekend of our anniversary but we didnt last year and we arent this year. It's actually kind of funny because now that we've been together for this long, the day just comes naturally. We arent big fancy type people that go all out but he got me flowers :), and we'll be going to dinner at our FAVORITE restaurant  Texas Road House! I have to say this place is wonderful and if you have one near you, GO!

This day is special for two reasons. We started dating on this day 4 years ago and got engaged on this day 3 years ago...the number 15 is Brian's lucky number too...go figure :) He's trying to convince me to have our wedding on this day too but I'm not sold yet! Anyway, I thought I'd share the story of how we got engaged. But first: Number 1) I HATE being center of attention and Number 2) we're just kind of weird :) 

We had been talking about this for awhile...after just a few months dating. During the summer we went to our favorite jewelry store and looked at rings...we had the BEST associate helping us. We found a few and that was that. Maybe two months later we were discussing something and because we both are terrible at lying, he told me he had got it (it was still at the store) but I'd have to wait. Maybe a month or two before Christmas we were at, of course, Texas Road House, and talking about when I thought he'd ask me. We went back and forth for awhile and by the end I had an idea but didnt say anything

On to the weekend we got engaged. We went up on Valentines Day and stayed at our favorite hotel for the next two nights. The first night we were there, we went to dinner. While getting ready Brian kept acting weird. He put on his coat like 20 minutes in advance and wouldnt budge from it. It just so happens that my aunt, uncle and cousins were staying at a hotel about 20 minutes away that night. We decided after dinner to go visit them. We got there and decided to go swimming. Well, Brian had to make sure that his coat was tucked away safe. My cousins and he stood around the coat closet for like 5 minutes and were just talking...that was a BIG hint! As we're leaving Brian was so concerned that the door was locked. The night went on and then we left. 

The next night, we planned to go to another favorite restaurant (the same one we went to here on our first date). He had made a reservation for 8 pm (which was another hint because I didnt think you could do that). He was once again obsessed with his jacket. While getting ready, Brian says that he has to go make a call downstairs in the lobby....um, cant you make it here? He kept saying no, so I let him go...with his coat on too! We got into the car to go and he "had" to call to make sure the table would still be ready for us. So weird! At this point I had a hunch but didn't show it. We get there ad the manger brings us over to our "special table". We sit and these are there

They were so nice :) As we sit the manager whispers "Congratulations" to Brian....total giveaway. We order our food and it gets brought to us. In between it was just an awkward feeling vibe. We get our food and start eating. Brian's acting funny but I didn't say anything. We weren't even half way done and the waiter comes over and says that his manager has made us a nice cheesecake for dessert. My response when he leaves? "I don't even like cheesecake!" I was NOT happy. Because of this, Brian had no choice and proceeds to ask (while I'm in the middle of eating a chicken finger...yea, we aren't fancy as I said before). It was really nice! For the rest of the dinner Brian sat there relieved, not because it was over but because they almost blew it.The second best part of the night was when the manger came over after we were done and said that he was covering the bill, it was SO nice of him!! :) The rest of the night was spent calling our families, who already knew. Facebook was blowing up too :) (ask to add me!) It was just a nice and special time for us. 

So there you have it, the story that everyone still laughs about. The reason being is that it's totally me and it was played out so naturally on my part! We're hoping to get married in 2015 when I finish my associate degree. But stay tuned for all that juicy stuff later! 

And as for the cheesecake, yea that didn't happen...I got my favorite chocolate dessert instead!

Have a wonderful night!

Krissy Girl

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Vision on Life

Good afternoon to you all and Happy Valentines day! :) Although I have an "about me" section, I wanted to talk with you today about why I started this blog and about a part of my life that sometimes defines who I am in situations.

Back in 2010, I started college at the community college not far from here. It's been the greatest experience! When I first started I really wasnt sure what I wanted to focus my major on. So, after asking the advisors for help, we decided to start with Liberal Arts. This was fine and the classes were great. This lasted until the end of Spring semester 2011. The problem with basic Liberal Arts was that while i could choose a few classes here and there, it was more focused on, well, the Liberal Arts side of things. Which meant that I couldnt really choose classes that fit the type of things I wanted to study. There was a point during that time that something happened that started getting me thinking. Ask me what it is...I have no idea, totally forget :( But something did happen and then throughout that whole summer, I felt that I was getting signs which were leading me in the direction of which major to choose. A little background on this. I have a disability, and I have a few cousins that also have disabilities. I have worked with people with disabilities all my life and have loved it. I also love hearing peoples stories and, from what I've been told, give great advice. So when I say signs, I mean things such as commercials on TV having to do with a particular disability or being able to chat with people and give advice. There were more signs but I forget. Anyway, when Fall semester of 2011 rolled around I went back to the advisiors and said what I wanted and they suggested General Studies. The advisor I talked to focused fully on GS, so I think he was bias when he said I should do it. After talking to one of the main advisors, we decided on Liberal Arts with Psychology concentration, and luckily, that's what I've stuck with and love it

Whats the point of that? This is where we get into my own personal stuff.

At 2 months old, I came down with a serious case of RSV and was hospitalized for two weeks. It was so bad that the doctors said I should have died. While there and having tests be run on me, they found that my eyes werent quite what they should be. After examining more, they discovered that I'm visual impaired (I'm registered as "legally blind"). This means that I cant see far distances. I cant see peoples faces, read signs or any type of words from far away. Even my near-sighted vision isnt the best. I cant read small print. I mean I can but it has to be wicked close to my face. This is something that is hard in evveryday life for many reasons. I've had this all my life and will continue to have it; it will never go away and they cant do surgery or anything to take it away. I'm not complaining though! Instead of actually getting into it, I have decided to share a part of an essay I wrote last semester on this topic

"I’ve come across many people that ask “How do you handle it?” or “How does it impact what you do everyday” or, my favorite, “are you able to go out and do things like everyone else can do?” My response: “ I’m the same as everyone else, I just have to do things in a different way sometimes”. I don’t like saying that this disability defines who I am and what I do, but in reality, it does. My everyday life doesn’t really change.  Although I’m capable of experiencing and doing the activities any other person does, sometimes it’s too difficult due to what the activity or experience is composted of. I like to use the phrase “I’m physically there but not visually there.”  When choosing what to do on a Friday night or on school vacation, most people can easily find something and go do it, and if they’re bored of it they can go somewhere else and not have a problem or any obstacle in their way. They’re reasoning “because I can and I’m free to do whatever”. Even though I have the ability to say that also, when deciding what to do on that Friday night I have to think about whether or not it’s safe, if it’s going to be really dark, if there will be any obstacles at complete the activity or being able to get the most out of it. Sometimes it’s a daunting task because I wish I could just get up and go like everyone else but it’s something that I’ve adapted to and am able to cope with. When I was younger it never made a difference to me where we went because the thought of “can’t I see this” never crossed my mind. I knew something was different but it didn’t phase me. My parents and family members were great at being able to tell me what we were seeing or what was going on so that I was able to at least follow some things. There were trips we went on where it was dangerous for me and I’d have to have someone right next to me at all times. Many people develop fears as they grow because of experience but for me the fears that I experienced when doing these activities were kind of already embedded in me. For example, we went once to climb some mountain with my class and it was very rocky and slippery. It was the first time I ever had climbed a mountain and so I should have had fear but because my visual of it was limited and different than anyone else’s, the fear of falling come about. As I’ve grown and have experience many unique things I’ve been able to have, what I call, a sixth sense in respect to knowing my limits and what’s best for me to attempt and what I shouldn’t.  My fiancé and I love to go out and do things and just be busy which I love but I’ve come to terms with the fact that there will be many times where I just can’t do the activity. It’s hard for my fiancé because he enjoys so many cool things and I want to be able to experience them with him and even though there are times I go to things just to make him or others happy, I can’t enjoy it myself.  For instance, my fiancé loves hock and we have a friend who has season tickets to the monarch’s hockey games. We go a lot with them and even though I know what the outcome will be for me, I go anyway. Sure, I ask questions and try to have a good time but what’s the point when you can barely even tell that there are players on the ice? My fiancé knows how serve my disability is but whenever we’re out somewhere he’ll sometimes slip and say “look at that” and all I can say, my famous line, “I can’t see that”. One of our favorite things to do during the summer every year is go see one of our favorite country singers. Even though year after year I know what happens when we get there, I still go because it’s fun and I can’t take away fun all the time. Music is great, people are great but there’s one problem: I can’t even see the singer on stage. As I’m sitting in the crowd listening to this concert I always ask myself if I’m crazy. We pay all this money to go see our favorite singer so I can just sit there.  I know I shouldn’t but I blame myself a lot for not being able to go places and for holding others back also. That’s why most of the time, I stay home while everyone else goes and does what they love or what they want to experience.  Being independent; it’s something I’ve been taught. Because of the many obstacles it’s hard to always be independent. I try to be as much as possible because I want to be like everyone else and I try not to let this disability run my whole life. For example, even when I’m getting a bunch of things I’ll ask to go into the grocery store alone. Being able to go shopping alone and successfully is something I’ve had to be taught but I love doing it. I go into the store and am able to find what I need to and cash out and leave; it’s perfect and I love it. There have been many times I’ve tried to be independent even though I don’t need to be because if I wanted someone there they would be but unfortunately I find myself, especially in the grocery store, saying one sentence over and over:  “if only people knew”. The reason for this sentence is because when I’m in a store and trying to get around I find that people don’t care. I mean they don’t care anyway usually because everyone just wants to get everywhere quickly and are always in a rush. I’m not complaining and I don’t need special treatment but here I am (or any other person with a disability) just trying to get one or two things and people just push buy or cut me off or bump into me because they can’t wait that extra two seconds. There have been times where I’ve just stood in an aisle and waited for people to pass. There have been times where all I can do is stare in disbelief and in anger but of course I suck it up and finish what I’m doing. It doesn’t happen all the time but this is just one example of when I want to be independent and it’s sad that I can’t even have that. None of this independence would be possible though with the help of someone driving me. Driving: it’s something that makes me happy and sad at the same time. I’ll never forget the moment I found out I’d never be able to drive. The .  reedom of getting in the car and driving somewhere was taken away from me. It was one day in elementary school. My vision teacher (who was a teacher for students with disabilities to help with whatever was needed in the classroom) was making one of her regular visits to my classroom to check up and help me out. The other students were asking questions to me and her about my vision and someone asked me if I’d ever be able to drive. Before I had a chance to response my vision teacher said the word I wish I never had to hear, “no”. I was about 10 and hadn’t really gotten introduced to what my disability actually entailed and how it would affect my life. It was a moment of heartache, of confusion, of the question “why?” and of, what seemed like,  the functionality of my life being taken away. I can still feel the shock in my heart. Luckily though I was able to adapt to it nicely and still do. When I was younger it didn’t really matter; because I was allowed to stay home alone, wherever my parents went I went too. Because I didn’t have any responsibility at the time or anything special to do, there weren’t those times where I’d have to ask for a ride.  Now that I’m older and have responsibilities, there are many times I have to ask for a ride (even if it’s just to go down the street to the store). Sometime that’s a difficult task because I only have three people that I can rely on and if they are busy well I have to wait. This is something that I know I have to deal with but it gets me upset when I can’t go anywhere because I like being independent. If everyone is busy and I don’t really have anywhere to be I am sometimes stuck in the house for days. I don’t mind but it’s hard when I want to get out of the house or go somewhere and someone doesn’t feel like going anywhere. When I’m booking my next doctor’s appointment or have to make a commitment to something and they ask if I have a specific time I can come because of school or work or something, my response is “no actually I have to book this around when I can get a ride” and they usually look at me funny. It doesn’t take much to please me so it doesn’t really matter if I stay inside all the time but when it comes to those few things I do need to do I have so much supp[ort in getting me there. One of those places being school.`I’ve always loved school and I’ve always done well. It’s ironic because I have a visual problem but I’m a visual learning. I’ve had my struggles with school but have met so many great people that have helped me along the way and if it weren’t for them I don’t think I’d do as well as I have. When I was in preschool I met my vision teacher. As I said before she helped me with anything I needed. She continued with me through elementary school, junior high and high school. I was given the best help in high school and I could never thank those people that helped me enough. There were many accommodations that needed to be made and many things with the lesson plans the teachers made that had to be revised. It was hard for many of the teachers because they had never had a student with a disability like mind. In fact, one day in psychology class (we were about a month into the class so the teacher knew very well what I could see and what I couldn’t) the teacher was writing notes on the board. I was following along best I could and had my helper sitting next to me. Out of the clear blue he looked at me and asked me a question about what he wrote. All I can say was, “I can’t see that”. The room of voices just a minute before that got completely quiet and it truly was the most embarrassing moment of my high school life. There were many modifications that had to be made and they were done perfectly. Because I couldn’t read the board, I had a friend always sitting next to me. We’d chat while the teacher talked and that person would take notes for me. There was this special paper that was used so that the notes that were written went to a paper attached to it so that we both had notes but they were only written once. I had to have books that were insanely big. Whenever there was a worksheet or homework it had to be enlarged on the copier which was sometimes a pain. Even though there were so many things that had to be accommodated for me and many exceptions that had to be made, I had the best support team and best teachers anyone could have."

I honestly enjoyed being able to write this essay. sometimes it's hard for people to actually understand and it's hard to tell them. This disability isn't all that I am and certainly will not take control of this blog. I wanted to put the subject out there because nothing I do in my daily life is alot different than anyone else's, it's just done in a different way and I want to (sometimes) give my perspective, just like I love hearing all of yours! There are so many different situations that I've had to improvise but I wouldn't change it for anything. 

I hope this post has given you some insight into a different way of looking at life. Please dont be afraid to ask me questions, I welcome them!

Have a great night everyone!!

Krissy Girl :)
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