Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cystic Fibrosis: Feeding My Worry "Addiction" Since 2008

**Written by Mandi (I know, it's not Monday)

Many of you that know me, know that I’m a huge worrywart. I’ll worry about anything. I worry even if it’s irrational and I know I shouldn’t. “You can’t worry about everything!” you’re thinking? Wrong. Hm, what’s the best example. Oh, I’ve got one. I worry about the crabgrass and if we’ll be able to get rid of it. Does that help you get the picture? Part of it may be because I like to keep my mind busy. I don’t like sitting around doing nothing, and somehow “worrying” feels like I’m doing something. The second part of it, I’m afraid, is just my nature. Somehow I convince myself that if I think about something, and worry about something enough, I can outthink it. Makes total sense and is rational, right? (Insert eye roll and fart noise with mouth).

Unfortunately, having CF as a part of our lives gives me something to worry about. I think many of us do this. CF provides an easy thing to worry about for those of us prone to worrying. When I’m not caught in the middle of worrying, I’m able to think about it rationally and realize that my worries are irrational! Most of my worry spurs from reading or hearing about other people. It seems like every day I am reading about a CFer being listed for a transplant, dying, or getting sick. Each story begins to get my mind spinning. Some stories rattle me so deep to my core that I find myself getting choked up, and the only thing that will calm me is walking over to Ronnie and just hugging him. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens enough that Ronnie knows the drill. He knows why I’ve randomly shown up on his lap, tears in my eyes, holding onto him so tight he could pop. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “You’re not going anywhere, right?” To which he responds, “Right.” “Promise?” “Yup!” - like he, or any of us, can actually promise that.

The point is, I worry, yet I know my worrying doesn’t do anyone any good. So the question is then, how do we stop it? How do we help our rational brain teach our irrational brain how to think? I see this all the time in others in the community. We tend to focus so much on the negative - fueling our worry, concern, and flat out fear. Yet we let the encouraging, wonderful stories go in one ear and out the other. I’m pretty sure these days, the negative and the positive stories could go head to head. I read daily about new meds, people kickin’ butt with CF, and most importantly, I watch my husband faithfully do his treatments and exercise. But somehow, I haven’t learned how to focus on that quite yet.

So what’s the cure to all this worry? I think there’s a couple things. The first is time. Time to get more comfortable with Ronnie’s CF. Time to see everything that comes along with CF, the good and the bad, so I can watch Ronnie remain triumphant through each hurdle. Time to realize that Ronnie’s story is different than all 70,000 other stories out there. I wish I could speed up this solution, but I can’t. So I, like you, just wait, as each day turns into weeks, months and years. And I have noticed, that over the past 2 years, this solution is working. So I just sit tight, and look forward to the tomorrows - filled with less unknowns and more experience. The second solution I feel is trust. We all have something different that we put our faith and trust in. For me, it’s a trust in God. Trust that God has the plan already figured out. A plan that is in my best interest and a plan that is in Ronnie’s best interest. I need to better learn that my thinking and rethinking about scenarios and fretting over the what-ifs isn’t going to change God’s plan. I need to actually allow God to have the control I try to take by worrying. This, of course, is easier said than done. But the minute I turn my life and my fears fully over to Him, is the minute I’ll no longer be worried about what the future holds.

I know I'm not the only one that does this. So let's hear it. What gets you worrying? Have you found things that help you when you find yourself caught up in those fears and emotions? Have you found things that help you avoid worrying? Let me hear it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What the _____?: October 28th, 2010 (WARNING: PG-13)

A while ago we started a little contest on this blog in which I post a picture and whoever comes up with the most clever/funny/witty/etc caption gets put into a drawing for prizes at the end of the year. Still don't have everything figured out as of yet, but we do know a couple of things 1) There will be multiple prizes 2) I love the participation so far 3) If you think your submission is inappropriate for others to see, you can always email your answer directly to me at :) 4) I've literally LOLed all weeks so keep it coming!

I still can't believe that this made it to air. Where was the producer on this one? You can also check out the video of the newscast here.

Alright, what do ya got!?!?

Last week's photo with the winning caption:

1st: "See, I told you I could swallow a brick whole without the tower collapsing!"
submitted by Helen T.

2nd: "...said Mandi after the fourth tequila shot 'JenGaaaaah"
submitted by Kelly Geist

3rd: "It's not the size of the tower, but how long you can keep it up"
submitted by Steven Sleight

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Need a reason to run???

Sometimes it's just a matter of thinking about someone you love more than yourself, lacing up your shoes and running for them.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Top Ten Favorite Shows (at the moment)

It's been awhile since I've done a top ten list. I recently found myself talking about my favorite shows recently, so I figured I would write a blog about it. If you've seen my other Top Ten Favorite Shows list you may see some crossover, but then again, you may not. I'm just going with what moves me :)

The Biggest Loser - Just got done watching a couple episodes of this show. Lately I've been just fast-forwarding to the weigh-ins and the "big reveal" (you know, the good stuff), but this still has to be one of the best shows of all-time. If you find yourself full of excuses as to why you can't work out, tune in to see what these people can do.

Property Virgins - Although I think the host of this show is possibly one of the most annoying people in the world, I still enjoy watching "the virgins" and their house hunt. I love seeing inside of people's homes and this will usually satiate my appetite for a while.

Around the Horn - Whenever I turn this show on, Mandi says "Is this the show that has grown men yell at each other?". Uhhhh, yup! This show gives me some of my sports fill, plus it's a quick one to run through on the DVR.

Sportscenter - I know that I've said this before, but I could watch the same highlights of the same game and not get bored. I find myself on more often for my sports news than I do watching Sportscenter, but it will always be my go to when I want to fall asleep with the TV on.

The First 48 - This is definitely one of the coolest shows ever. It follows murder investigators during the first 48 hours after a homicide. You get to watch as they search for evidence, interview witness and connect the dots up until an (eventual) arrest. Best part is, it's real life and it's real entertaining.

Hoarders - Another show on A&E that we've been hooked on lately. This show can turn your stomach at times, but generally it has you thinking about picking up the messes around your house. Mandi will always ask me if we're close to being hoarders because of our "catch-all" closet.

The Office - This will go down as one of my top 5 favorite shows of all time. I look forward to watching it every week and I'm already trying to play through my head how it will be with Michael Scott gone.

Intervention - If you haven't seen this show already, you need to figure out a way to watch it. It is intense and you'll be thanking your lucky stars for your loved ones after the show. It's amazing to watch different addictions of all shapes and sizes play out on screen and to see how far the people come by the end of the show is truly a miracle.

Teen Mom - We just recently saw the finale and I'm ashamed to admit that I'm already ready for next season. I wish I could tell you what draws me to this show so much (other than my high school was full of these girls). I at least wish I could totally blame it on Mandi for my love of the show. I can't, so I won't, but I just beg of you, let me keep my man card.

Modern Family - If you're not watching this then you really must not care about laughing. Period.

So how does our list compare? What shows have you been into lately?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Recap: I Love My Husband

Multiple times this weekend I thought to myself, "I love my husband." (I hope not all of you just thought, "YUCK-O. Newlyweds!") Well, I'll see your disgust and raise you some cheese. Ready for it? I think this relatively often. I know, I know, stop it already!

But seriously, this weekend I found myself thinking, "I love my husband," more than normal. It may be because our 6 month anniversary was on Friday (WOOT WOOT), or it may just be because we did/he did a lot that induced those thoughts. So let me tell you about our weekend.

As I mentioned before, Friday was our 6 month anniversary. We didn't do anything too crazy, just got some pizza and then sat and listen to music with the house all opened up. There's nothing better than a nice breeze coming through the windows and doors, and being able to relax to the sound of a fountain and some tunes. Now, this may sound romantic, but it wasn't this that made me think, "I love my husband." Instead, it was when he said, "soooo do you want to talk about angels?" His really sweet, romantic and subtle way of saying, "Don't you just want to turn on the TV instead of sitting here staring at each other?!" and it was in that moment that I smiled to myself and thought, "I love my husband." One, because I could totally predict that that would be his response, and two, because I was thinking to myself deep down, "Hm, maybe we should just watch something on TV." But we didn't, we sat and discussed what came first a zipper or velcro, the weather, and anything else random Ronnie could think of to poke fun of my efforts of wanting to just "sit and talk".

On Saturday morning, we attended our cousin's wedding. It was a FABULOUS wedding. Very, very well done. It was a smaller wedding, unique, and fit them PERFECTLY. I love when you can get a complete sense of who the couple is, just based on their wedding. It was fantastic. We sat at a table with a few cousins and family friends and it was a blast. And here's the best part. Cousins, Tim and Gina, have two perfect, adorable kids: one, a little over a year, and the other two months old. So I spent most the reception holding the precious little 2-month old. Eventually, Ronnie pried her out of my arms to hold her for a bit. And I tell you what - as I looked over and saw him adjusting her little dress so she'd be more comfortable, I thought to myself, "MAN, I love my husband." He's going to be a GREAT daddy one day. (Insert: Ronnie breaking into a cold sweat as he reads this...just kidding, he wants kids just as much, if not more, than I do...right honey?!)

Saturday night we had the privilege of attending the CFF Breath of Life Gala here in Phoenix. It was a very well done event. Great food, great venue, and GREAT company. We got to sit with some dear friends, the Olimbs and the Duns, and Josh and Christine. It was a delightful evening. We were there because Ronnie was asked to speak. In his typical fashion, he stood there, casually, confidently and with such ease shared his life in a matter of fact way with the attendees. A few jokes here, a real life example there. However, he was missing one key element that was "expected" of him: the sad story that showed the "death and destruction of CF". It was in that moment I thought to myself, "I love my husband." You see...that's what raises money, but that's not Ronnie. That's not Ronnie's view of CF. And because he doesn't feel that way, he doesn't work it into a speech, even when it's "appropriate". Instead, he talks about his CF. What his life looks like, and simply said with a smile on his face, "Thanks to the CFF...the meds...treatments...blah blah blah. I'm here at 30.....blah blah blah....I'm asking you to give what you can tonight because I plan on being here for my friends, my family, and I have to be here for my wife, or she'll kill me." Would a sad story have maybe raised 100 more dollars? Maybe. But what Ronnie cares about were the parents and CFers sitting next to us, or somewhere else in that room. The last thing they need to be told again is, "CF sucks" because Ronnie doesn't feel that way and they don't have to either. I think I'm getting side-tracked here, but the point is, in that moment, I smiled and thought, "Man, I love my husband."

And that brings me to Sunday. We went to church, came home, and I decided while Ronnie did a treatment, I was going to take a nap, and then we'd both work together to get the house all picked up and cleaned. But when I woke up, Ronnie had finished his treatment, and had already started cleaning without me. The house was picked up, the laundry folded and he was standing outside watching the sprinkles. (Oddly enough, I "catch" him watching the sprinklers often. This time it had a purpose as they weren't working the other day...but typically, he just watches them because they fascinate him! Ha, makes me laugh thinking about it). Anywhoo, as I woke up to see the house picked up, the laundry folded, and my shirtless husband watching the sprinklers (for the 100th time this week) I thought to myself, "I love my husband."

All in all, it was a great weekend!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Linday's Lungs

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Lindsay tonight at the CFF Breath of Life Gala here in Phoenix. She actually entertained the crowd with a couple of amazing numbers. That girl can absolutely sing!! She held one note for longer than I can actually concentrate. Meeting her tonight reminded me of the great CF awareness video she did a while back and I wanted to share it!