Saturday, November 20, 2010

Welcome to the Family!!!

We're so excited for today!! We finally get to make this little guy an "official member" of the clan. Congrats to Tim and Gina :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Big Weekend Ahead: National Adoption Day and CFF Gala

**Post written by Mandi

We have an exciting weekend coming up. We've got all of our Tucson family coming up to Phoenix for an AWESOME celebration. Our cousins, Tim and Gina, are finally making their little man an official part of the family on Saturday, National Adoption Day. The whole family is getting together to celebrate on Saturday, and again on Sunday for his Christening. We couldn't be more excited for them and are really excited to have the family all up in our neck of the woods for the celebration - we'll be sure to post pictures so you can see what we did and just how cute there baby boy is...we're talking Gerber baby material.

We're also excited because Saturday is the CysticLife Breath of Life Gala in Tucson. This year, CysticLife is the title sponsor for the great event put on by the CFF and we're excited to be a part of it. So we'll be headed down on Saturday evening to enjoy a fun night at the Skyline Country Club, honoring Paul Lindsey and Kathy Alexander. The emcee will be Mariana Valencia. If you're in the Tucson or Phoenix, or shoot, anywhere in AZ, and have Saturday night free, pick up a few tickets here and join us. We'd love to see you!! We're hoping to raise some serious moola for the CFF.

And then Sunday, after the Christening, it's a mad dash home to hopefully get some outside work done before the sun sets. (Is it just me or does the sun seem to be setting WAY too early? It feels like I barely finish lunch and the sun's already going to sleep on me. For a girl who has trouble stay awake in the evening, an early sunset doesn't help!!)

We'll be sure to take lots of photos and post them. If you're lucky, I may even get a photo snapped of Ronnie in DRESS CLOTHES - and as an adoring wife, I think he cleans up pretty darn well :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What the _____?: November 18th, 2010

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!

Alright, what do ya got!?!? This will be the last "What the ______?" for who knows how long, so make it good!!!

Last week's photo (we had two photos):

1st: "Don't Tell Ronnie, But This is What Marriage Is Really Like! "
submitted by CGBethPeters

2nd: "Help my hands are frozen to the bars and no ones listening because of their ipods"
submitted by lulu

3rd: "He won't let me out of here until I agree to his kinky dress up games!"
submitted by Marla

1st: "Don't tell Mandi, but you're kinda cute, and your little boyfriend is so . . . little."
submitted by CGBethPeters

2nd: " I love your outfits! Do you where I could pick up a set in an Adult size? "
submitted by Marla

3rd: "Now let ME show you what I can do with a stick and hula-hoop!"
submitted by Susie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Morning Walk is Back!!

One thing that I really wanted to focus on after this last trip to the Hole was getting my morning routine back - namely, my morning walk. When things get busy, it seems to be the first thing I put on the back burner, and it truly is a big mistake. Now that it's been a while and I've been able to stick with it, I can't even begin to tell you the difference it makes. The thing is, it literally takes up 10-20 minutes of my morning, but the positive affects of the morning walk stay with me all day. I mean, what kind of return on investment is that?? I'll tell you, it's one of the smartest things that I, you or your neighbor Billy Bob can do!

It sets the tone for the entire day when I get out there first thing in the morning and walk my little buns off. Not only does it get my motor running, but it also gets my lungs open like nothing else can first thing in the morning. I cough up a TON of junk and I'm able to give those "gut rattling" coughs without fear of tossing my cookies. Being able to just focus on clearing the gunk without that fear is priceless. It's amazing how much more clear I feel on the days that I get that walk in first thing in the morning.

I know I've talked about this before, but I just can't stress it enough to you guys. I'm constantly being asked "where do I start?". Start here! This is the PERFECT first step on your way to better health. It will barely take up any of your time; it will set the tone for the rest of your day; it's a nice chance to clear your head; it won't be so physically demanding that you'll be too intimidated to start. All you have to do is tie up the those shoes of yours, open your front door and start walking! I promise that a month from now you won't regret it. In fact, walk today, right now if possible, and if you regret doing so after your walk, please leave your comment here about that regret. In fact, if any of you EVER regret doing a workout, please let me know about it!

The other great thing about a morning walk is that you don't have to be the only one to benefit. It gives Mandi and I a great opportunity to talk about who knows what and everything else in between, but more importantly, just spend that quality time together. This could also give you some quality time together with that special someone in your life, whether it be your husband, wife, kids, mom, dad, sister, brother or dog. Shoot, to be honest with you, I don't think anybody looks forward to these morning walks more than Jezzabel (my dog). In fact, most mornings she sitting at the edge of my bed whining, just listening for the words "go get your leash".

Will you do me a favor? Go for a walk tomorrow morning. Then, come back to this blog and tell me about it. You can also share your experience over on We have a great group over there who love to hold each other accountable and root one another on. See you there!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rondi's Recipes: Chicken Teriyaki Ramen Stir-fry

Mandi and I do a pretty good job of making all of our meals at home, but we want to become even better. We figured that if we could commit to doing one food blog a week, it would push us to become more creative and it might give you guys some good food ideas.

So here it is, week number 1. 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 :)

Chicken Teriyaki Ramen Stir-fry

Some of the ingredients: Brown sugar, Soy sauce, Teriyaki marinade (to marinate the chicken), minced garlic, ginger and corn starch

Recipe for the Teriyaki sauce can be found here. We actually doubled the amount of soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic - as a result, we added more corn starch for thickening.

We cut up two boneless chicken breasts and browned them in some olive oil.

We bought an Asian Stir Fry vegetable bag a while ago from Sam's Club. For this recipe we used about 3 cups or so. Also used two bags of Ramen noodles.

Sauteed vegetables in a little bit of olive oil.

Like three peas in a pod...

Combine the Teriyaki sauce, vegetables and chicken - stir.

Dump Ramen noodles on top.

Stir until Ramen noodles are fully coated.


...and eat...

...and then get ready to take a bike ride.

Prep Time: About 10 minutes
Cook Time: About 15 minutes

What we liked:

Made with ingredients that I already had around the house - frozen veggies, ramen, chicken, etc.

Relatively idiot proof - even I couldn't blow it. It was simply adding a few pre-cooked items together.

Cheap - when one of the key ingredients is Ramen, you know it will be reasonably priced.

Versatile - you can make it your own or clean through your kitchen by swapping out the meat, mixing in different spices, even changing noodles for rice.

I liked the fact that we just had to open some bags, cut some chicken, throw a few ingredients together and we were done.

Anything that involves chicken and stir-fry can be put into my belly.

This was an incredibly cheap meal.

I liked that we were able to make the Teriyaki sauce ourselves.

Very filling.

What we'd change:

Flavor - the teriyaki sauce we made was very good, but I would like to try it with some kick - somehow make it spicier.

Meat - Ah, the age old debate of white meat or dark. Ronnie's into DRY white meat, so the chicken was a bit dry. I'd like to try it with dark meat (probably won't happen though!!)

Noodles - I would cook the noodles a little bit less before adding them to the cooked veggies and chicken. They ended up a little on the soggy side. Perhaps undercooking them before adding them to everything else and allowing them to finish cooking once added to the veggies and chicken would have helped.

Next time, I'd like to cut the chicken into smaller pieces.

I wouldn't mind a little bit of heat in this dish.

I wish Bird's Eye would pay attention to the random vegetable roots I kept biting into.

I'd mess around with the Teriyaki sauce a bit more and possibly coat the Ramen noodles first, before adding the vegetables.

I wouldn't mind trying it with rice instead of Ramen

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

Mandi's Rating: 8

Ronnie's Rating: 6.5

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 :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Carrier or Not - That is the Question

Two Thursdays ago, we had a knock at our door and when we opened it, no one was there. But at my feet, I saw a little white box. A white box that seemed to be holding a big part of my future in it. A little white box from Ambry Genetics. It was the box that held a tiny little vial, for me to fill up with my blood, and send off for the full test (read: the most extensive test there is today, testing for 99% of mutations) to see if I am a carrier for CF. As some of you may have read in previous posts I don't yet know if I'm a carrier for CF, as Ronnie and I were waiting to have me tested.

What does it matter if I'm a carrier you may be thinking? One word: Babies. We know we want to have children. And there are a TON of ways for us to start our family, but the way that we have to go about creating our family really depends on if I'm a carrier. We'll write a longer post later regarding some of the meat and potatoes that go into the following statement, but for the sake of keeping this post short(ish), I'll just make the statement for now: Ronnie and I won't have biological children if I'm a carrier. The main reason - we're not willing to take the risk of having a child with CF.

Needless to say, I'm pretty nervous and excited about getting the test results back. I'll be really honest. I'm hoping that I'm not a carrier simply because it leaves us with more options. I feel pretty comfortable with all of the options that are out there, but being a carrier somehow feels like instantly there are a few doors shut which to someone that wants to be a mommy really BAD, hurts a bit. So we shall see. Again, in another post I'll go into all of my emotions around all of our options, but we're not there yet :)

Once we know if I'm a carrier or not, we'll start to process through all of our family making options. As I'm sure many of you know, there are a TON of ways to create a family for a CF couple (which I guess I should mention, we've already ruled out the natural, "oops I'm pregnant" way based on a test Ronnie had done years ago), from IVF to adoption and pretty much everything in between. Again, we'll dive more into all of our thoughts on each option at a later date, when we actually get to that stage in the process. For right now, we are just getting past step 1.

We know that it can be a LOOOONG process for CF couples to create their families, and we're ok with that (ok, Ronnie's more ok with it than I am...but I'm bracing myself). We don't want a baby tomorrow or even in the next 6 months. But we know that whatever route we're going to take, we'll want to carefully and prayerfully consider it. So this is just our way of arming ourselves with all of the facts before starting the process of researching, investigating, praying, and visiting doctors or lawyers.

We took some videos so you could be a part of the process. It was surprisingly easy. You just go to the Ambry Genetics website and request a test. It shows up in the mail. You take the box (with blood vial inside) to the doctor. They fill out a form. You fill out a form. They take blood. You take a pre-addressed and paid for envelope to FedEx with the box and blood inside. You hear back in 15-35 days.

Tomorrow is day 15...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amazing Race - Phoenix Edition

Yesterday, Mandi and I were fortunate enough to compete in an Amazing Race type of an event courtesy of my cousins Tim and Gina. They had bought tickets, but due to some conflicts in their schedule, the tickets got passed down to us. If you aren't familiar with the Amazing Race, it's basically a race around the world in which teams compete against each other by solving clues and taking on various challenges. Challenges such as trying to hit a target with a watermelon using a balloon launcher, which if you haven't seen this video, you NEED TO WATCH IT!

So anyway, we didn't get to do anything that cool, but we did have a lot of fun and didn't kill each other. We also stayed within about a 5 mile radius and didn't fly across the globe - maybe next time. Here's some pictures outlining our day and the race.

Everybody arriving and getting checked in.

Some last minute instructions before the race begins. BTW, we started in an REI parking lot next to a big mall.

This clue wanted us to take a picture with something that represents what happens between dusk and dawn. Thus, Twilight.

This clue wanted us to eat a tasty treat from something that started in Santa Monica, Muscle Beach in 1946. That something, "hot dog on a stick".

We had to find a juke box, make 4 new friends and take a picture.

They wanted to see a picture of a teammate with a "modern day Dandyhorse".

This was the toughest gave some crazy quote, we had to figure out that it was Barry Goldwater who said it, then we had to run quite a ways to find this stupid statue :)

Just livin' the dream.

Called for us to dress up in some "retro" gear.

The race ended with a "shapes puzzle" at Barrio Grill where we got to hang out and mingle with some fellow race peeps.

Out of 34 teams, Mandi and I finished a disappointing 4th place. We weren't nearly as prepared as some of these other teams which clearly had done this before. They were equipped with matching t-shirts, bus schedules, clip boards, fanny packs, you name it, they had it. We are already looking forward to the next race which is in March, and I promise the field that we will be more prepared next time!

BTW, if you want to check for an adventure race near you, click here for the City Scape website.