Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Goofy Discoveries & Opportunities

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 goofy discoveries. Mckenna has found her tongue - big time. She now moves her tongue in and out of her mouth while she chatters, while she's just sitting, while she's playing. She like to babble and move it. She likes to use it to make a smacking sound. And we're not talking she barely sticks it out...she REALLY sticks it out. It's so adorable and I love it.

I'm thankful there is Easter. The real meaning of Easter can be overlooked by focusing on bunnies and colored eggs. But I'm thankful for what Easter celebrates. I'm thankful the God of the universe sent His only son, to die on the cross for my sins. So I may be made pure and spend eternity with Him. I'm so thankful!

I'm thankful for family. We had a fun family celebration for Easter. We went to Ronnie's Aunt's house with his whole extended family. We always have a fun time all together!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful that we were able to celebrate Easter with so much family around. I have a very large extended family so it's nothing new, but what is new, is seeing the joy in their eyes when they're around Mckenna. It's just so endearing and sweet to watch them hold her and to see Mckenna's process of looking over new faces.

I'm thankful for our cast-iron Dutch oven. We were able to use it for the first time last night and we made some Corned Beef Irish Stew. Mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm. The meat was so tender that you could cut it with your pinky finger and the natural broth the resulted from boiling the meat along with potatoes, carrots and cabbage was amazing.

I’m thankful for opportunities. Opportunities come in many shapes and sizes, and I'm thankful for every single one of them. Particularly, I'm thankful for the upcoming opportunities to meet several people in the CF community that I have so far, only communicated with via email and Facebook. 

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dear 16-year-old-me

Hey Ronnie,

So I've been thinking a lot about you lately and I wanted to write you a quick note based on some things I've learned over the past 16 years. You see, I'm 32 now and have now doubled you in age. I'm not saying that I'm twice as smart, but I'm definitely at least twice as wise and then some. I would be remiss if I didn't share some things with you as you embark on the post-16-year-old journey that you're about to start.

First, let's talk about some things that you're doing right...

I know you don't take school very seriously, but I'm proud of you for not letting your grades slip. You'll be in college soon, and as a result of those good grades, you'll be able to save your folks some money. They can't afford to be shelling out college tuition along with paying for your little brothers private education. And you may not think about it now, but at some point, you'll be able to share the GPA with your future daughter.

I love your commitment to sports. You're a competitor just like me and I see how it fuels you in life, on the field and in the classrooms. I know that you're playing sports because you love them, but I'm telling you know, it's going to pay off in ways that you can't even grasp right now. So, stick with it, give it your all, and know that the memories you're making now with teammates with last with you forever.

And finally, I know this is something that you rarely think about, but good job on your treatments. Now, it's not entirely up to you as I understand it, but know that your mom is doing what she believes is best for you, and guess what, she's right. You're building up a baseline health right now that I promise you'll be thankful for in the future. Sometimes, it's not even about your lungs or about the treatments, it's about establishing what's important in your life and what's not. You're mom realizes that treatments are important, and even if you don't at the moment, you will when you're my age.

With that in mind, let's talk about some of the mistakes I made when I was your age with the hope that you won't repeat my offenses...

Speaking of your mom, don't give her such a hard time. Don't you realize that every decision she's made for the last 16 years has been because of you?? There are things that she wishes she could have done, or extra money that I'm sure she would have wanted to spend on herself, but she didn't - it all went to you. She loves you and your brothers more than you'll ever know and the amount of sacrifice she's given to the family will never be able to be repaid. But, with that said, you can start by acting like you love her instead of just saying it.

You need to be nicer to people. I know you think that you stick up for those less fortunate and knock other people down "a few pegs" who you think deserve it, but in reality, it's not your job to knock those people down. Approach them like a man and get to know them and just maybe you'll see what makes them tick. Right now, you're just being a boy who gets the approval and laughs from your friends by being mean to others. That's not right and that's certainly not what God would want you to do.

Speaking of God, get to know Him for yourself. Right now, the only reason you know Him is because your parents make you "know" Him. Your walk with God isn't about going to church; it isn't about praying; and it isn't about telling people that you're a Christian. He wants nothing more than to develop a relationship with you that's real and personal. All of that other stuff is important, but none of it holds a candle to actually knowing the heart of your Lord and Savior. When that happens, you can't help but have it bleed over to other areas of your life. Pursue Him, He's waiting.

I know it sounds like I'm harping on you a bit, but it's only because I love you. You're a good boy right now, but I think you can be an even better man. I know that's in your heart and I look forward to watching you grow.

Oh, and one more thing, break up with your girlfriend. You're wasting your time. God's already created the perfect woman for you, but you won't meet her until you're 28. I know it sounds like a long time from now, but you're going to need 12 years to become the man of her dreams.

32-year-old Ronnie

**This post was inspired by the WEGO Health Blog Challenege

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Disappointed in...

I had a clinic appointment yesterday as a 6 week follow-up from being in the Hole. I didn't go into it thinking my PFTs were going to be awesome, but I didn't think they would be bad either. I was right. And sometimes, I hate being right.

There were a couple reasons I thought this:

Mckenna came down with Influenza A a couple of weeks ago, and although I avoided the full on flu, I definitely developed a cough that still hasn't gone away.

I was particularly tight yesterday. I'm not sure if it was because of dust in the air or some other environmental factor, but it definitely wasn't "just CF". My cough is generally fairly dry, but yesterday it was tight and dry. Glenda could hear it in my cough and was not at all surprised by my numbers.

Those are pretty good reasons for my lower lung functions, but, and this is a big butt, I mean but, those were in no way the biggest contributing factor to my lower lung function.What those are are excuses. They just happen to feel a little better cause it happened to be out of my control. They'd be reasons if I didn't know this...

The biggest reason my lung functions were down was because, get this, because of me. 

I've been doing a really good job at getting all of my treatments and then some in each and every day. I have however only been doing an average at best job getting in all of my workouts. Now, I'm active everyday without fail because of the many walk we take with Mckenna, but that's just simply not enough for me. If I expect good lung function, I have to do more.

I can't settle for only running 2-3 times this week like I have the previous month. I can't go to the gym only 2-3 times a week and expect my FEV1 to increase. Some people out there may do great with that amount of work, but for me, it's not enough.

How do I know? Because I've put in way more work in the past and have had way better results. It's not the lung functions that I'm so much disappointed in, which by the way were 67% down from 74%, I'm disappointed in my focus and effort. 

I know I can do more. I know my priorities have been shifted over the last month or so. I know that I was more worried about running being hard than I was about the results. I was focused more on how tired I was rather than how much more energy I feel when I'm consistent with my runs. I thought about how cruddy my lungs felt before the run and not how great they feel after. I was focused on all of the wrong stuff.

When it comes down to it, it's not about me. It's not about how I feel. It's not about what I think. 

It's about them. It's about the two people on this planet that keep me going. It's about the commitment I made to my wife. It's about the commitment I'll make to my daughter when she's old enough to hold me accountable.

I know what I need to do. Now I just have to do it.

I need to remind myself every day that it's not about me, it's about what I do, and who I do it for.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Basket Photoshoot

We decided to have a little fun with Mckenna's first Easter basket. We are certainly not professional photographers, but we figured we could set up a white sheet, put her on it with her first Easter Basket, point, and shoot. Here are some of our favorites: