Saturday, July 9, 2011

A very happy birthday to a 70 year old CFer!!!

Mrs Hughes had even more to celebrate than most people who have lived to see seven different decades. Mrs Hughes is the oldest member of Cystic Fibrosis Victoria, having lived with the disease all of her life.

“I’m very fortunate, but I’ve never felt like I was any different to anyone else,” she said. “I keep busy and manage fine – I’m very lucky.”

Mrs Hughes said she was “stunned” to discover almost 100 of her friends and family gathered at Ballarat City Fire Brigade yesterday night to surprise her on her birthday.

“I’m the hardest person in the world to surprise — but I never had a clue,” she said.

Mrs Hughes’ husband Max spent six weeks organising the party with the help of one of Mrs Hughes’ friends. But, his plans were almost foiled at the last minute by a very unlikely culprit. Mr Hughes had arranged for Kamahl to phone his wife on the night of her party, but a mix-up meant the singer had contacted Mrs Hughes a night early.

“If you’ve ever seen a grown man cry — that was almost me last night,” Mr Hughes said. “I couldn’t believe it — it almost spoiled the surprise, but luckily she didn’t realise it was him.”

Original story here

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Ingenuity & New Friends

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. as I mentioned, I no longer have the "linkytools" but I invite you to share your thankful blog in the comments section. Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful for family time. I've been able to spend nearly two full weeks with my parents in town and it's awesome. Even though we talk frequently (I told to my mom on webcam at least once a day most weeks), it's just not the same as being in person, face to face.

I'm thankful for old acquaintances becoming new friends. I danced with a girl in high school, who I always got along with, but we were never really "friends," just acquaintances. But over the past year, we've started talking, and have built to the point that we text almost every day. She too is pregnant (but with her second) and due only a few weeks after I am. It is so incredible to have such an awesome girlfriend to chat with about pregnancy, and just life in general. Funny how an old acquaintance can sometimes become one of your closest friends!

I'm thankful for peanut. Our little monkey is growing bigger by (what feels like) the second, and man am I thankful for this little life that God continues to bless us with. I am thankful for every kick, flip, punch, shift, you name it. I am so thankful that my baby is willing to entertain her mommy with all of the belly contortions that she is responsible for!

I'm thankful for our exercise routine. The past several months, we have had a great exercise routine going. I run and/or walk 2-4 miles in the morning; we lift weights Monday, Wednesday, Friday; we do some sort of cardio on Monday, Wednesday; we do spin on Tuesday, Thursday; and I do a step class on Friday. And let me tell you, it feels SO good to be active and healthy. This week we've been a little thrown off out routine, and man, I cannot wait to get back into our normal groove next week. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm antsy to get back into the gym and get back into my full cardio routine.

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for walks in the rain. They don't happen that often, but when they do, I thoroughly enjoy them. My most recent walk in the rain was through trees on a path leading to a beautiful waterfall. The sound of the rain hitting the trees was incredibly relaxing and the fact that the "hike" wasn't all up hill was just icing on the cake :)

I'm thankful for boats. I was able to ride on a boat quite a bit during the 4th of July weekend and it was just as I remember. I absolutely love kicking back on a boat that's cruising through the water. The wind that's rushing past you and the sound of that engine is something I don't think I could ever get tired of.

I'm thankful for ingenuity. I'm always amazed at the amount of cool stuff that we have access to on a daily basis. I sit here typing this on a lap top, on a website, that's going to go out all over the world on the internet. That just blows my mind! Thank goodness that most people in the world are smarter than me and come up with this stuff.

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Packing for a Trip

Mandi and I have become pretty masterful packers in our first year of marriage together. We each have our defined roles when packing for a trip and most of the prep work we have down to a science. I'll be the first one to admit that Mandi does most of the packing, but I'll tell you just like I tell her, we play to our strengths. It generally goes a little something like this...

At some point both of us decide that we've procrastinated enough and it's time to actually pack for our trip. At about this same time Mandi always says, "Why don't you get a treatment in and I'll pack us?". I still haven't figured out exactly why this is, but I'd guess that has something to do with me getting in the way more than helping. While I'm doing a treatment, Mandi puts all of our clothes into neat little piles on the bed and also gets our dopp kits all ready and packed. After the treatment, it's my job to look over what's being taken a decide what we can do to lighten the load. I'm a pretty light packer by nature and I always end up thinking that I've brought to much. On the other hand, Mandi tends to pack with the anticipation of any and all events occurring on our trip. No, I kid, it's not that bad. I think that she'd be the first one to tell you however that she tends to over pre-pack with the best of them.

After whittling down the clothes on the bed, we stuff them into our suitcase and it's on to the next task. At this time I'll generally start getting all of my medicine together and putting it all in my special little travel case. In this case you can find - albuterol, atrovent, Pulmozyme, Cayston, 7%, Zenpep, Advair, Mandi's pre-natal vitamins and my "dailies" (a smorgasbord of various vitamins, supplements and antibiotics). This bag ALWAYS goes on the plane with me on my carry-on along with my compressor. Almost all other things that airline can lose could be replaced immediately, but it would be tough to replace all of that. (And just as a side note, I've never been sweated about bringing my medicine on board with me and I've never carried a doctor's note).

Finally, the morning of the trip, after doing my first treatment of the day, it's time to pack up the compressor and vest. My life has been much easier since getting the travel roller bag for the vest and I would highly suggest it for any and every one. After the treatments are packed we load them into the car and are coming down the home stretch. We both go back into the house and give it a once over making sure everything is locked and unplugged. When everything has passed the test, we both go over a checklist as we make our way to the car. If we both agree that we haven't forgot anything (who really never forgets to pack something?) it's off to the airport.

Once we get to the airport, now that's a whole different blog...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Top 5 Best Fireworks Shows

Happy day after 4th of July everyone!! Also, a special birthday shout-out to my little brother Grant who turned 19 yesterday (gulp). Happy birthday man, I l0ve you.

During last night's fire work show, I got to thinking of all of the other firework shows that I have been to during the course of my lifetime. Here's a quick list of the top 5 firework shows I've seen:

5. Tucson - I admit, this isn't due to the fireworks as much as it id due to the memories. For quite a while, we're talking half a decade or so, I would always be in the middle of my tune-up for July 4th. We would head up to the top of a parking garage connected to the hospital and watch the show on "A" Mountain. I usually had my family around plus my trusty IV pole.

4. Newport Beach - I saw this show about 3 years ago the day before my best friend's wedding. I remember it being quite a long show and the reflection of the colors off of the water was quite amazing.

3. Boston - Boston scored big points with their harbor fireworks show that I took in. The colors reflecting off of the water was cool, but the most amazing part was the shapes they were able to create in the sky. We're not just talking stars and a smiley face, I remember the American flag and a cat :)

2. Shanghai - I have a confession, this wasn't for 4th of July (you probably figured that out due to the location) it was for New Years. I had to put it up here though because the show was absolutely amazing. I was on the 22nd floor of an apartment building and the explosions were happening at eye level and about 100 yards away. It looked like some of them were going to fly into the apartment. It. was. awesome.

1. New York City - If you're only going to go to one 4th of July show, this is the one. I've been there quite a few times for Independence Day and the firework show seems to get better every year. My buddy had an apartment overlooking the East river which held the three barges responsible for the show. Between the best grand finale I've ever seen and 1000's and 1000's of people chanting U.S.A in the streets, it's by far the best one ever.

What about you? Where did you see the best firework show ever?

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Four F's of July Fourth

Everyone loves the 4th of July. Something about this holiday really embodies summer. To me, there are four F's that are a must on this day.

4. Food - Every holiday needs some good eats to nosh on. But this holiday begs for some of my favorites; from burgers, to watermelon, to potato salad, to s'mores. There is nothing like some good grilled foods and summer treats to fill your belly.

3. Fireworks - I'll be honest, I happen to think the build up and thought of fireworks is almost always better than fireworks actually are. But regardless of how dinky the firework show my be, or even if you're just shooting off fireworks on your own, they are always a must!

2. Family - Regardless how you're spending your holiday, if it's not with family (or at least friends) it's no fun! Activities are only as good as who you share them with.

1. Fun - This one may sound like a bit of a cope out. Obviously any holiday needs a bit of fun (shoot, every day should have a bit of fun), but I'll take this one a bit further. I think the 4th requires a different kind of fun than you can have every day. It requires a special activity of some sort; whether it's a bonfire, a picnic, a parade or a cookout.