Friday, December 3, 2010

My First U of A Game...

...this season.

Just got back from the U of A vs. ASU "Territorial Cup" football game. Heartbreaking. We lost in double overtime by a point after our kicker missed an extra point. Ouch. Mind you, he missed an extra point for it to go into overtime in the first place. Don't quote me, but generally, kickers make 99.9% of their extra points. Our guy missed two on the same night. Oh well, enough about that, he's a kid and life will go on.

I absolutely love football, but I like to either be on the sideline coaching or on my couch watching. Being at the stadium of course has a nice feel to it, but listening to clowns cussing about our coach or "why is he running the *&%^%$^&&*^%&(* ball?" gets a little old. I also like to DVR the games so I don't have to worry about TV timeouts.

My step-dad was able to go with me tonight and that was the best part about being there. We got to hang out, talk sports and cheer on our Cats. I think I only need to take in one live football game a year though and I'll be good. I will say though, being there did make me miss coaching. I may have to look into getting back in the game at some point.

I'm glad it's now basketball season.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday is Back!

On Sunday, our pastor gave a GREAT sermon on thankfulness (it's not available via podcast yet, but when it is, I'll post it). Now let me tell you, I love our church. And most Sundays I walk away with more knowledge and a little something rolling around in my mind. But this Sunday was different. For some reason, this sermon really struck a cord. The gist of the sermon was this: Thanksgiving is a time of year to be thankful for what we have, but a lot of Thanksgiving is now spent talking about what more we can get the next day (Black Friday).

It's funny because I probably hear these same sentiments each year around this time, "what are you thankful for?" People often ask around the Thanksgiving table. But this Sunday, it really resonated with me. I walked out of the service feeling as if I needed to make a change. Ronnie's very good at being thankful. I can't tell you how many times a week he'll stop and say, "Man, we're blessed aren't we?" And I always agree. But rarely do I sit back on my own and really think about how much I have and how thankful I am for what we've been blessed with. It's so easy in a new house to think, "ok, now we just need to get x, y, and z to make it complete." Or with all the upcoming baby makin' stuff, I all too quickly I allow my mind to think, "why does it have to be so difficult to have kids?" Instead, I should be thinking, "Wow, how blessed are we that we own our own home?" or "How incredible that people who are infertile can now have children. We are so blessed to have great options." And those are just a few options. How many more basic things do we take for granted? Like not fretting over gas money; access to good doctors; a fridge full of food; a cupboard full of meds that we only paid co pays for; two working legs to run; I could go on forever.

Therefore, Thankful Thursday is back! For the next several months, I want to take the time to really appreciate all that we have been given. So each Thursday Ronnie and I are going to write about what we're thankful for. Some weeks it may be silly little things like, "this week I'm really thankful for a dishwasher, because man I hate washing dishes", while other weeks may be bigger items. I just want to make the conscious effort to rework my brain and my thoughts. Truthfully, to make my attitude a little more like my husbands' and A LOT more like it should be. One tip our pastor suggested in his sermon was to set aside 5 minutes a day and write out what you're thankful for. So I'm going to try this for the month of December. Anyone want to join me?! If so, leave a comment to say you're in and what you're thankful for this week. If we get enough people that want to participate, we'll set up a blog hop!

I'll leave you with what I'm thankful for this week:

  1. A helpful husband - call it newly wedded bliss or just one helpful husband, but Ronnie does A LOT around the house...probably more than I do. He hung 2500 christmas lights (yes, 25 boxes!) all on his own, installed lights in the house, and cleaned this weekend.
  2. A roof over my head - this one may sound a little silly (because it's so basic), but with it getting cold outside, I am so thankful that I have a place to go to get out of the cold. I can't make it 5 minutes outside without freezing these days (and we live in Arizona!)
  3. Hot chocolate - Can you tell it's getting cold out? After a FREEZING run, I like nothing more than to hold a toasty mug of hot chocolate in my hands.
  4. Other CF spouses - This week, I've emailed back and forth with another CF wife. I can't tell you how awesome it is to talk with someone who's been there and done that. It's nice to know that there are people there to answer questions and learn from, when needed!
So that's it for today. Hopefully next week I'll have a better list after taking 5 minutes a day of reflection. Who wants to join me this month?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I can do just about anything for one minute

One thing you have to know about me when I go for runs; I talk myself out of running the entire time my legs are pumping. Today was no different. I took off for my run (not the least bit excited) in what felt like 0 degree weather and my lungs instantly tightened up. I started coughing like crazy and I'm pretty sure I was tasting the snot running down my face. Delicious. I pushed on (mind you, it had only been about 25 seconds) and then my legs started to hurt. It may have only taken about .15 miles for me to start thinking about walking to "ease into it". I mean, things got a little crazy during the holiday weekend and I thought I may be smart not to push it. Luckily that thought didn't last long as I instantly thought, if I don't push through today, when will it be? That often seems like the problem doesn't it? It's always tomorrow, or next week or next year. For whatever reason we always expect conditions to be perfect when doing something we really don't feel up to. Today's run was no exception.

Nothing is ever going to be perfect though. I pressed on. After getting over the initial shock of the cold and frigid air, I eased into a comfortable pace and kept moving forward. I was still thinking about all of the other things that I would rather be doing, but those were balanced by thoughts of all the stuff I've been able to do thanks to my new "lease on life" since changing some things up regarding exercise and treatments. Just as I was getting more comfortable with the idea of running the full 1.8 mile loop, it hit me. Numbness. See, I had on two shirts (one of them being long-sleeved), but I had on my running shorts. Roughly .5 mile into my run, my legs were numb. Sweet! The fact that I didn't have to deal with the pain in my legs during the last part of my run was an unexpected bonus. It's almost as if I had been given a gift.

Since I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I knew that my regular 1.8 mile loop wasn't going to cut it. My breathing pattern was holding steady and I couldn't feel my legs; this was as perfect as it was going to get. I pressed on. I extended my loop and tried to pick up my pace. While I wasn't able to keep an increased pace for the last 1.5 miles of my run, I did sustain a quicker pace for at least half of it. My legs certainly tired after the first 1.8, but that's only because I'm pretty conditioned for that distance. One thing I need to get better at is switching up the lengths of my runs so muscle memory doesn't play to large of a role in fatigue. I guess we can just add it to the ever-growing list of things to work on :)

As I was nearing the home-stretch, I thought about all of the times I wished I had pushed it a bit more during the last part of my runs. There are many times that after getting home and figuring out my pace, I think to myself "if only I would have pushed it a little bit more I could have gotten under XX minutes. Dangit!". I didn't want this to be one of those times. But wait a second, my legs were tired, my coughing was picking up and I wasn't breathing nearly as well as I was a couple miles back. I wanted to push it, but did I really have the capacity to do so? That's when a little voice popped in my head, "Come on Ronnie, you can do ANYTHING for one minute!".
True. I took off in a sprint. I mean, if I had to endure one minute of being short of breath, in pain and even more tired, was it worth it? Absolutely! I wanted a better time. I wanted to show my body who's boss. I didn't want the same regret that comes after some of my other runs. I knew I could pick up the pace for a minute. And wouldn't you know it, 53 seconds later I arrived at my doorstep. Mission accomplished.

Imagine if we started doing stuff that we really didn't want to do for just a minute longer? All of those minutes would sure add up. I'm sure one minute would then lead into two, then to 5, 10 and so on. With most of the stuff we put off or avoid it only takes that first step. The decision that enduring "pain" for one more minute everyday may be worth one more year to us. Now, maybe you don't see that kind of return on your minute, but I'll tell you this, you'll never ever regret doing something good for yourself after you're done.

So here's the question, what can you do for one more minute today?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

50% is not going to cut it

Out of all my goals that I set out to accomplish last week, I'd say my rate of success was about at 50%. That's simply not going to cut it. If my ultimate goal is to be the absolute healthiest I can possibly be, knocking out half of my mini-goals will have me falling short every time. Good thing is that I'm able to look back and see what I can adjust from last week to try and make sure it doesn't happen again, bad thing is I can still feel last week this week. So let's go through my goals and see how I did and why I came up short:
I refuse to miss any treatments. My middle day treatments always seem to get caught in the crossfire when things get busy. When this happens, I generally feel like dookie at the end of the day and my lungs get super tight. Even with that foreknowledge I'll still put off my middle treatments for some reason. Doesn't make sense. This week, I can't afford to do that. I need to stay on my game by staying on top of my treatments.
I'd say I was 3/7 (42%) on this one. I REALLY wanted to do all 4 treatments every single day (which did happen Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday), but I ended up only doing 2 Thursday, 3 Friday, 2 Saturday and 2 Sunday. I wish I could tell you that "life got in the way" but I can't put it all on that. I did have the opportunity to squeeze in another treatment each weekend day, but I decided to put other things first. I could have brought my vest and compressor down to Tucson on Thanksgiving day, but I chose not to. Excuses 1, Ronnie 0.
I will go for a run everyday. My runs have been going well for quite some time now and I refuse to let this crazy week derail the train. Lately I've been running every other day to let my legs rest, but have been going on long walks or bike rides on my "off" days. This week, I want to run every single day. I want to run every single day to make sure my body knows who is in charge and even though he's not going to feel like lacing up his shoes and hitting the road, he's GOING TO DO IT!!
You'll see a reoccurring theme happening here. First three days of the week were good, last 4, not so good. I did not run at all after Thanksgiving until today. I still got in some bike rides and my morning walks, but that wasn't my goal. My goal was to run and that I did not do consistently. I can feel it this week as my mucus is thicker, darker and generally harder to get up and out. Excuses 2, Ronnie 0.
I will not forget to remember all that I am thankful for. This shouldn't be too difficult to stick to as Mandi and I have made this part of our daily lives, but out of any week of the year, I want to make sure this isn't the one I forget to be thankful. If I started listing everything I had to be thankful, we'd be here until next year, but I definitely want to be more vocal about it his week. I want to make sure the people in my life know how thankful I am for them.
I'd have to say that I nailed this one. I don't think a day goes by that I don't voice how thankful I am for my wife, family, friends and life. I was able to reflect even more on that this holiday weekend, but in general, I'm a very thankful guy. Excuses 2, Ronnie 1.
I will not overeat on Thanksgiving Day. Now, I don't want you thinking that I'm watching my weight (although I probably should be); Thanksgiving Day and I have some history. I had my first ever full intestinal blockage in 2003 on Thanksgiving Day and it was not pretty. I won't go into details right now, but I'll try to write about it this week. Long story short, know when to say when when it comes to turkey.
I'm proud to report that I did not overeat. I had seconds, but they were a small seconds. I even managed to throw away some dessert after I started feeling full. With my history of stomach blockages on Thanksgiving, overeating is not something I can afford to do. Excuses 2, Ronnie 2.

They say a tie is like kissing your sister, but I'd rather that than be shut out 4 to nothing versus Mr. Excuses. It looks like I'll have something to work on for this next holiday week coming up shortly. I can only hope that I do better.

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Tis the Season!

First things first - Thank you guys soooo much for all of your love, comments, and prayers with my carrier test. We couldn't be more thrilled that I am not a carrier and that we can possibly make "Rondi" babies!! We'll keep you posted once there's actually news to report. For now, we are just thankful for our options and we'll continue moving the ball forward. We scheduled a December 21st appointment with a doc to start discussing options. But I'm bracing myself for the long road ahead. I think the fact that the earliest appointment available was December 21st is a good indicator that it will be a LONG process! We'll keep you posted!

Now onto current events - As you saw in Ronnie's post on Saturday, we had an awesome Thanksgiving! His family does holidays up right. All 30+ of them get together at either his mom's house or one of his aunt's houses, and there's always a lot of food, a lot of games and a lot of fun. This Thanksgiving was no exception. There were kids all over (even a baby that most people couldn't pry from my arms), so much food I couldn't even think of eating a little of each (and I went into the meal with my game face on and an empty stomach...still no go), and the annual cousin bake off (in which each cousin brings a dessert and then all the desserts are judged...winner gets to take the traveling trophy home) went really well. We came in second - a shame, but perhaps next year we'll have to focus on looks AND taste. Our dessert looked awesome, but tasted not so awesome.

Thanksgiving got me into the holiday spirit. I had told myself that I couldn't decorate for Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving, and it didn't take me very many hours into Friday to start getting the itch to decorate. So Friday night we went to Hobby Lobby (does anyone else have a Hobby Lobby by them? It's the best store EVER) to buy Christmas decorations. I kicked off the holiday decorations by making my first ever wreath...that's right, watch out Martha, this girl is getting domestic!! It turned out pretty well (said while patting myself on the back)...I may or may not have had my mom on video chat walking me through the process, but hey, you gotta start somewhere! I also set up a little tree on our kitchen island (we are doing a big tree too, but we won't do it until the end of this week). After the wreath and mini tree, I had run out of decorations, so I wrapped up my decorating for the night. But I got an early start Saturday morning with a another trip to Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx and Walmart. I came home with a car full of Christmas cheer! After a full day of letting my creative juices flow, our house was turned into a winter wonderland...with only one tiny hitch - we bought about 1/4 of the lights required for our right now we have the most pitiful looking Christmas lights outside, covering the side of our house, and the garage. The lights we need we couldn't find at any of the 15 stores I went to today. So that will be Ronnie's job tomorrow :)

All this decorating really got me into the Christmas spirit. I went around all weekend, singing my thoughts in the form of christmas carols (awesome for me, terrible for everyone else). I just can't help but be merry! I love this time of year. Everything has a warm and cozy feel. Everyone's more friendly. Everywhere you look there's something "jolly" feeling. Everywhere you are there is Christmas music playing. Everything is buzzing. I absolutely love it. But my favorite part is to come: My parents will be coming home from Shanghai (where they are currently living), so we'll get to spend a ton of time with them; everyone will be taking time off of work to just sit around and enjoy each other; we'll head down to Tucson so celebrate another Christmas just like we did Thanksgiving with Ronnie's HUGE, awesome family. I LOVE this time of year.

Here are some pictures of the decorations we have so far:

The pot is always there - so I just tweaked it to make it Christmasy

On the right and left are glass jars will cranberries and candles. In the middle is just a bowl of ornaments - quick and easy!

A grapevine wreath that I stuck berry-type things in. On the right and left are glass jars with cranberries and candles'll notice a running theme.

A mini Christmas tree on the far end, and a cluster of glass things with cranberries and candles (told you there was a running theme!)

The wreath I made...super proud of the bow (thanks mom for walking me throw how to make a bow like that out of ribbon!!)

A glass jar with bead-like things stuck in it...same as what's stuck in the grapevine wreath. Wish I knew what they were actually called!

And now that I've shared how we're getting in the Christmas spirit, leave a comment to let me know how you are. It's our first Christmas living together, so we're starting all new traditions...I'm working overtime to make my hubby feel like his home is set for Christmas. So hook me up with some tips of what you do around your home - so I can steal your ideas and maybe get a wifey of the year award for my outstanding holiday performance :)