Saturday, August 20, 2011

Congrats Kirra & Tyler!!!!

An update for those you of who saw the blog yesterday: Your prayers have been answered and Kirra's dad will be able to attend the wedding!! Thank you to all who kept the family in your thoughts and prayers.

Here are a few pictures from our wedding of Kirra going for (and getting) the bouquet of flowers that Mandi threw:

And here's Tyler (on your left) just after catching the garter belt!

And I added this one because Luke (my 2nd cousin) is one of the cutest kids in the world.

Again, a BIG HUGE congrats to Kirra and Tyler. I'm so honored to share in your big day!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Prayer Squad Needed

Wether you pray or you throw something out to the universe - I need you. One of my good friends, Kirra, is getting married this weekend. Kirra and I met in college and were basically connected at the hip until both of us graduated. She was like the kid sister that I never had. We'd of course stayed in touch over the years (she was in our wedding) and I've been looking forward to the day that she would meet that someone special and tie the knot. Well, that day is happening this weekend and I couldn't be more happy for her and Tyler. Just a note: At our wedding, Tyler caught the garter belt and Kirra caught the flowers - pretty cool.

Anyway, you're probably wondering why I'm asking for prayer. About three weeks ago, Kirra's dad, Frank, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. It was pretty aggressive and they decided that emergency surgery was necessary. They ended up removing about a third of his stomach during the surgery, but felt like they got all of the cancer. They were also expecting him to fully recover and be out in time for the wedding. That was before he came down with pneumonia and a tube that was put in his stomach starting leaking bile. It's now going to take a miracle for Frank to be able to attend the wedding.

I of course would first pray for that miracle to happen. I know that Kirra is crushed and I'm sure that thought of her dad not being their to walk her down the aisle is devastating. If Frank is not able to attend, I would like prayer for a sense of peace to come over the entire family and for Kirra to be able to enjoy her special day as much as possible.

So, if you would, take some time today to set aside some thoughts or prayers for Kirra and her family. I know that they, as well as myself, would very much appreciate it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Old Teams & Bro-in-Laws

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:
I'm thankful for new recipes. We had a delicious nacho cheese soup. Maybe not the healthiest thing in the world, but VERY tasty!! I love trying new recipes...we rarely find and try one that is just awful.

I'm thankful for air conditioning. It's really stinkin' hot lately (go figure, this is Arizona and we are in the desert). Whenever I walked into our house from outside, I am always instantly thankful for air conditioning and the cool, refreshing air that hits my face when I leave the oven that is the outdoors these days.

I'm thankful that my brother-in-law, Andrew, moved up to Phoenix. He moved up here for grad school at ASU. Our goal is to get all of our family up to Phoenix at some point, and Andrew is the first to make the move from Tucson. It will be so awesome to get to spend more time with him. He's a great guy and we always have so much fun spending time with him!! Cannot wait to see him weekly!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for kettlebells...kind of. I'm certainly thankful that I was introduced to a new work out that absolutely kicks my butt, but that has been part of the problem too. I did a kettlebell workout 3 days ago and I'm still walking like I was riding a horse for a month straight and sitting down/standing up is more painful then I'd like to admit. So this is really a future thankfulness, cause I know as soon as I can operate normally, I'm going to really enjoy that workout again!

I'm thankful for my relationship with my old peds team. I'm lucky with the fact that they still follow me in clinic so I haven't totally lost them, but I sure wish they followed me still when I was in the Hole. All is not lost however - as I said, they still see me in clinic and they are my go to for anything outside of the Hole. They're only a phone call or FB message away and they are always very quick to respond. I just very thankful that the relationship didn't get totally severed when I transitioned to the "adult team".

I'm thankful for weddings. I get to see one of my best friends ever get married off this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! I definitely got a new appreciation for weddings since having my own, but I have an even larger appreciation for marriage. As we all know, the wedding does indeed come first and I'm looking forward to supporting Kirra on her big day. Congrats to Tyler and Kirra on their upcoming lifetime commitments!!

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rondi's Recipes: Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder

Mandi and I have been doing really well with cooking fun meals almost nightly, we just haven't been very good at reviewing them and posting for Rondi's Recipes. We had to bring it back though for a special dish we made last night. We had my lil' brother over for dinner, so we knew we'd have to make something that would fill up a "growing boy". We love to explore new recipes and try our hand at stuff that seems unique. We started with a recipe for Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder and then added some stuff to make it our own. If you'd like to see the original recipe, click here.

Ingredients: Chicken breast, Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes, Nacho Cheese Condensed Soup, Corn, Cheese -- Not pictured because we added in on the fly: Green Chilies, Pinto beans, Taco Seasoning, Cumin, Chile Powder

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and threw into slow cooker.

Added all ingredients in recipe and then added our own.

Finished product all stirred together and cooked.

Serve it up!

Prep Time: About 10 minutes
Cook Time: About 5 hours in slow cooker on low heat
Total Time: About 5 hours

What we liked:
I loved the hint of cheesiness from the condensed nacho cheese soup.
I really liked the addition of the beans and the green chilies - it added some great flavor and who doesn't like beans?
I liked the big chunks of tomato.

I loved the fact that everything (besides the chicken) called for in this recipe came out of a can. Even the stuff we decided to add came in a can. Talk about easy. This was one of the easiest meals in the world to prepare.
I LOVE chicken tortilla soup and this reminded me a lot of it.
You can pretty much count on me liking anything made in the slow cooker as chicken and nacho cheese soup as it's base.
The broth to this chowder tasted absolutely amazing. I could have sipped on it all night.

What we'd change:

I would cut the chicken into smaller pieces and/or do shredded chicken.
I would use dark meat instead of white meat, but that's just because I always think white meat is dry!
I wouldn't mind adding a some jalapenos or something spicy to give it a bit more kick.

I would find a way to add more liquid next time. This definitely had a chowder type of a feel to it and I wouldn't mind making it more of a soup.
I think this could also be really good thickened up, subbing beef for chicken and making a chip dip.
I'm not sure how I would go about it, but this could have used just a bit more of a kick.
Next time, I will try to make the chicken pieces a bit smaller

Here's our overall rating (with 1 being the worst meal we've ever had and 10 being the best):

Mandi's Rating: 9.0

Ronnie's Rating: 8.5

Again, if you guys have any suggestions on how this is laid out or what you guys would like to see answered/done differently, please let us know :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hemoptysis Questions

Had a couple questions from a reader that I thought I would share regarding hemoptysis (coughing up blood). Hemoptysis does not happen to all CFers, but if it happens to you, it wouldn't be considered out of the ordinary. I answer all questions to the best of my ability - based on fact, combined with what I've picked up over the years and with a little dash of hoping I'm close:

What do you do after you've coughed up blood?

If I cough up blood I have a pretty standard pulmozyme for 24 hours. no vest for 12 hours. If clear for 24 hours I resume pulmozyme. I will exercise at 25% the day after the blood.
50% two days after. And if blood free, I resume all activity as normal the third day.

Hemoptysis seems to happen to me a lot at night time, is that the case for you?

It can happen because of the pressure change with laying down. Try sleeping propped up if you can...I've spent many nights sleeping sitting up!

Do your doctors know the source of your hemoptysis? I have bronchiectasis in my right upper lobe, and I understand that it is common amongst CF'ers, and my doctors believe that's what is causing the blood. Could you tell me more about bronchiectasis? Is it the cause for hemoptysis for most of us CF'ers?

Bronchiectasis is just a fancy word for damaged lung. Most all CFers have a varying levels of it and it really just a matter of when not if it will happen. That's what CF can do over time, damage lung tissue and airways. We must focus on doing everything we can do to keep our lungs open and clear. The more closed off and full of junk our lungs are, the faster damage happens.

Bleeding is often a result of infection or blood vessel thinning. Our vessels/veins have a tougher time getting blood to where it needs to go because of our damaged lungs and over time get bigger and thinner. If you look at them under CT, they look like big worms instead of how they should, spider webs or spaghetti noodles. As they get bigger, the walls of the vessels get thinner and are more apt to tear. When they tear, this can result in bright red blood coming from our lungs.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Murderers, Nesting and Late Night Gelato

This weekend Ronnie was in Kansas City, MO speaking at a CF Education Day, so I was on my own on Friday and Saturday. I HATE staying home alone. I am sure someone will pick that night to rob us or come and murder me. In fact, I have trouble sleeping and spend half the night laying awake in bed watching for shadows out my bedroom window. I'm not sure where this fear has come from, and in the light of day I realize it is completely irrational. However, as soon as the darkness of night sets in, I am sure that a serial murderer is around every corner. This weekend was no different. Luckily, I was only home along Friday night, but I woke up at 4:30AM from a dream about someone breaking into our house, and didn't fall back asleep until it got light out around 6AM. It is so very silly, but I just can't help it. I try everything to make the fear go away. I lock and double check all the doors, I sleep with both phones in my bed incase I need to call 911, I have our incredibly scary dog (who literally would eat the face off of an attacker) sleep next to me, I pray that God will take away this silly name it, I do it. Maybe next time I will be more brave...or maybe I'll just go sleep at my brother and sister-in-law's!

Mainly running on fear and a little sleep Friday night, I did manage to check some items off of my to do list between Friday and Saturday. Friday night I kept my mind busy until midnight starting our registry and researching what products are necessary and best. Then on Saturday I went shopping for a chest for Peanut's room. Instead of doing a changing table, we decided to just get a chest and put a changing pad on top. We wanted something that could be used anywhere in our house down the road. Thankfully I found the perfect chest, and it looks awesome in the room (see picture...which I know isn't the greatest because you can't quite make it out, but there you have it). I also went and physically looked at items at the store that I registered for, to make sure that I liked them in person. After seeing some things, I swapped items and adding some new ones. It is something that was hanging over my head, but feels sooo good to have started working on, and believe it or not, I am getting close to being done!

Ronnie was home all Sunday. So did our normal routine of church, gym, and chores, and then headed to hang out with Josh and Chrissy (bro and sis-in-law). We had a blast playing wii and going for a nice little bike ride. We got home around 8:30 sat on the couch for 15 minutes and I began dreaming about frozen yogurt. I finally verbalized my desire for frozen yogurt and Ronnie said what no man should ever say to his pregnant wife at 9PM when she wants something sweet. He said, "Yeah? Well let's go." My ears perked up and I tried to convince myself for all of 30 seconds that it was too late and unnecessary. But no. It was very necessary my craving convinced me. So off we went to get froyo. Unfortunately there wasn't a froyo place where we went (where I directed us to because I thought there was one there). There was, however, equally tasty treat and one that would satisfy my craving just fine! Man was it good! I am pretty shocked that I made it to 29 weeks with only one late night food run...a success in my book! Tomorrow it's back to fruits, veggies, and protein, to give this little nugget all the nutrients she needs!

All in all, a good weekend!