Saturday, October 20, 2012

AZ CF Cycle for Life

The Arizona Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation  is hosting the Aptalis CF Cycle for Life presented by BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. on Saturday, November 3, 2012 beginning at 7am starting at Goodyear Sports Complex, Goodyear, AZ. The ride will kick off to two routes –35-miles and 65-miles – and then riders will embark on their ride traversing the farm lands, Sonoran desert, Verrado and rural communities throughout Estrella Mountains, Goodyear and Avondale to raise dollars for cystic fibrosis research.

Here is an opportunity for individual and cycle clubs to make their mark! Ride organizers are expecting hundreds of riders to take to the streets in support of changing CF to CURE FOUND! All funds raised will support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Foundation is one of the most effective and efficient organizations of its kind. It has received a four-star rating for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator, the largest independent charity evaluator in the United States, and is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

“This event will be a great ride for all—no matter your riding experience we have a route for you!” said Sheryl Keeme, executive director for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “Join my team Girls Gone Riding or form one of your own. But it isn’t just the route and the weather that will bring people together. We’re uniting in the cause of finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.”

With more than 30,000 people living with CF nationwide, cystic fibrosis is the number one life-shortening disease of children and young adults in the U.S.; however, there is much hope for the future as the median survival age for cystic fibrosis sufferers has climbed to 37+ years.

Cyclist can register today for the Inaugural CF Cycle for Life at Register today and save, the $25 registration runs through July 31, 2012. Registered cyclists are asked to raise $150 by event day, but riders are encouraged to go above and beyond with their fundraising efforts.

Additionally, those who want a taste of the ride, can participate in a free kick-off ride through Verrado on Saturday, Sept. 29, through Verrado beginning at 7:30 AM!
Corporate sponsorships are available; please contact Sheryl Keeme at or call 602-224-0068 at CFF to learn more.

Top rider fundraisers will receive a variety of prizes, including a collectors’ ride shirt, cycle jersey, wind jacket and other unique cycle items.

About The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Arizona:
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, of Arizona, headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a donor-sponsored nonprofit organization dedicated to finding therapies and a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF), while helping to improve the lives of those living with CF. CF is the No. 1 life shortening disease of children and young adults in the U.S. Caused by a genetic defect, the disease forces the body to produce abnormally thick mucus, leading to chronic, life-threatening lung infections and impairs digestion. Thanks to the support of millions and the work of organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, researchers have discovered the basic genetic defect that causes CF. While today there exists no cure, an arsenal of remedies have been produced to help treat the disease, dramatically extending the life expectancy of people living with CF. The foundation’s “pipeline” is filled with more than 25 promising CF therapy candidates in clinical trials and six others in laboratory development. With help from its supporters, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation looks forward to the day research finds a cure.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Just Want to be Like Mama!!

Adventures in a department store changing room....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Date Nights & Living Xtreme

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 one year with Mckenna. Mckenna turned from a baby to a toddler yesterday, and I'm so thankful that we have been blessed by the last year with her. I'm also thankful that I managed to keep her alive a whole year. You may laugh at that, but I think every new mom can relate!! They seem so fragile, and you're SO clueless when you first bring them home. I'm just happy she seems to be alive and thriving! Ha!

I'm thankful for date nights. Ronnie and I have been fortunate enough to get out on several dates the last several weeks. Thank you to Josh and Chrissy and Andrew and Kirsten for coming over and giving us time together out of the house.

I'm thankful for my hubby who spoiled me this week. I got a massage, a facial, a date, some fabulous gifts AND got to sleep in today!! I am married to a stud. He is always so thoughtful and treats me like a queen.

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for re-feed days. There are times when you hit a brick wall during a 3-month “eat awesome” lifestyle. Those times call for a re-feed day. For the past 8 weeks, I’ve been eating in a calorie deficit every day. Do this long enough, and eventually your body says, “If you don’t start eating, I’m going to act like your starving and you won’t get the results you’re shooting for!”. When my body says that, I know it’s time to kick up the calories a bit a load up on carbs and protein. There is nothing like a day full of pasta J

I'm thankful for the release of a new project we’ve been working on. Over the past 18 months of so, we’ve been working hard tracking down Cysters and Fibros in the community that are kicking booty and making a movie out of them. CysticLife, Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation and Essential Imaging Source Foundation teamed up to make Living Xtreme: Beyond Cystic Fibrosis, a movie about the importance of exercise and living a healthy lifestyle – sometimes, in extreme ways. Please check out and like us at our Facebook page here.

I'm thankful for espresso shots. I’ve been known to take an espresso shot or two throughout the day – one for added energy and two because they taste so good. I’m not the best at making them myself, so most of the time I rely on my BIL Josh to hook me up when we swing by their house on our bike ride. Thanks my man!!

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Birthday Letters to Mckenna

My Little Peanut –

Happy first birthday! This year has been one you will never remember, but I will never forget.

Your daddy and I always knew we wanted kids. We both felt we were born to be parents. And what I have come to appreciate is that God hardwired us to be your parents. We wanted you so badly, and from the moment you were created, we’ve loved you. We loved you from the very first ultrasound, to the very first kick, to the very first cry, and now to your very first birthday.

This year has been full of firsts. I can remember our first night together as a family in the hospital. I sat up most of the night watching you sleep, worried by all your little noises and grunts. I was totally in awe of the beautiful little girl I was now responsible for. I will never forget the countless hours spent sleeping with you in your glider, wishing those long nights would pass quickly, but dreading the day that they did. I remember the first time you smiled at me, and your first belly laugh. I remember watching you learn new skills that come so easily to you now. I remember your first taste of new foods and your first touches of new textures. I have watched as you’ve taken in so many sights and sounds for the first time; a face full of wonder. These are all things I will never forget, that I will hold so close to my heart.

There are two things from this last year that will always stand out in my mind. One of those things is watching you and your daddy as you’ve grown together. Your dad is a funny, sarcastic, steady eddy. He has a big heart, but isn’t the first to show his emotions. But you, baby girl, have changed his world. He melts at the sound of your giggle. He softens at the nestle of your head into the crook of his neck. The countless snuggles on the couch, games on the floor and daddy dates are what I picture when I picture this last year with you two. Another aspect of the last year that jumps out at me is breastfeeding you (you’ll hate that visual when you’re older…sorry in advance). Mommy loves her alone time with you, just us girls, in your glider. Sometimes sleepy, sometimes silly, but always enjoyable. You aren’t the world’s biggest snuggler. You like to be on the move. But when it’s time to eat, you melt into my arms and it’s a time for us to reconnect. You act independent and explorative, but I think you’ve found comfort throughout the day knowing that you’d be back to me, “homebase,” from time to time. And while that chapter in our relationship is coming to an end, I hope you still come back to “homebase” throughout the day, as you explore that big world out there.

God has created you in such a beautiful and unique way. Your daddy and I have only begun to see the dynamic personality God has knit together in you, but we cannot wait to learn more. You are silly and goofy, always laughing and trying to make others laugh. My hope is that you use this in the future to find fun, humor and joy in all of life’s ups and downs. You are friendly and sociable, always waving and engaging the people around you. My hope is that you use this as you age to make good friends and be a ‘disciple to men’. You are brave, taking risky leaps of faith. This may get you into trouble from time to time in the future, but my hope is that this evolves into your ability to trust your God, and take leaps to follow Him. You are intelligent. My hope is that you use this intelligence to learn to things, master new skills, and use your brain to make a positive impact in this world.

There are two more things that you are, and those are loved and His. You are loved beyond what I can express in a letter. You have forever changed my understanding of love. You have helped me learn just how deep love can be and have given me a new understanding of God’s love for me – His child. You, too, are His child. And my prayer for you is that one day you understand that and believe that with all of your being. Mommy and Daddy are just your parents on this side of heaven. You are “ours” to care for, to love, to teach, and to guide. But you have a heavenly Father who you ultimately belong to that cares for you, loves you, teaches you, and guides you more than we ever can, better than we ever will. My prayer for the years to come is that as a family we grow together in our love for each other and our love for Him.

I love you so much, sweet baby girl. Thank you for making me a mommy and thank you for this last year of firsts. Happy first birthday!


My dear Mckenna Day,

Happy first birthday!!

One year ago today, I sat in awe holding my little 6 pound 2 ounce Peanut and figured it could not get any better. Little did I know then, that each day spent with you and mommy seems to be better than the day before. It’s been an unbelievable experience watching you grow from that little girl in my arms wrapped tightly in a pink and blue-striped blanket to a bigger, but still little, girl wrapped tightly in my arms any chance that I get.

This past year has been an interesting one. Since you’ve come along, the days seem to fly by and it’s becoming more apparent that friends aren’t lying who say “treasure the moments now because they grow up too fast”. You’ve done something for me however quite the opposite - you’ve slowed down my life. Because of you and because of mommy, I’m even more focused on what’s important and live each day to excel only in a few areas. Every day that I’m blessed enough to wake up and put to feet on the ground, my focus is to be the best possible version of myself. The only way that is ever possible is to do the following – serve our God, serve mommy, serve my family and serve my health. You, Mckenna, have made that so much easier to do and for that I am eternally grateful.

I don’t know what the future holds for you, but I do know this, it will be bright. Not because of what mommy and daddy will do for you, but because Jesus has already chosen you to be a part of His family. The only Person that could ever possibly love you more than daddy would be your Heavenly Father. He will be there every step of the way to support you, comfort you and provide a peace that passes all understanding. You don’t know this yet, but God has already laid out a plan for your life, and all that He asks is that you do the possible, so He can do the impossible.

I’m so excited to see what this next year has in store for you. I can’t wait to see how your little personality continues to develop. You are the happiest little girl and already have such a spunk to you. It can of course be challenging at times, but I also welcome your inquisitiveness and independent spirit. I’m sure I’m a bit biased here, but I happen to think you have the makings of a very special little girl.

I feel privileged to have the opportunity to watch you grow in the Lord and I pray that I can cultivate the talents that God has already instilled in you.

Thank you for being you.

Love you always,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

26 Things I Love About Mandi


I can't believe my "little girl" is turning 26. It's like just yesterday you were 25.

In the spirit of your 26 years, here are 26 things that I love about you...

1. Your heart for God.
2. Your unwavering support.
3. Your mad mommy skillz.
4. Your athletic frame.
5. Your drive.
6. Your photoshop expertise.
7. Your freckles.
8. Your brain.
9. Your dedication to fitness.
10. Your oatmeal raisin cookies.
11. Your teeth.
12. Your sense of humor.
13. Your ability to humor me.
14. Your willingness to be stupid with me.
15. Your snuggles.
16. Your face.
17. Your attention to detail.
18. Your forgiveness.
19. Your tenderness.
20. Your pursuit of happiness.
21. Your giving spirit.
22. Your compassion for others.
23. Your laugh.
24. Your smile.
25. Your abs.
26. Your everything about you that isn't on this list that I know I'll think of once I post it.

Thank you again for being you and allowing me the privilege of not only being your husband, but your best friend.

Luckiest man on earth and beyond,


Monday, October 15, 2012

Delayed Mandi Monday and Early Birthday Breakdown

Yet another Mandi Monday where my blog was practically posted on Tuesday. This time, again, my excuse is poor. The weekend flew by and this morning, my usual last minute posting-writing time, was jam packed with my 4:40AM core class, my run (which today was a lazy walk), breakfast, shower, and the exciting civil act of jury duty! Yippee! 

If you're wondering, I wasn't selected, but I did go and give it my best effort. I mean, who wouldn't select juror number 25, sporting red shoes with tassels? Nothing screams impartial and unbiased like a red pair of suede flats, right? Anywho, I wasted 6 hours of my day hurrying up and waiting...but hey, at least Mr. Slip and Fall got his day in court.

So this week is the week. This is the week I go from having a baby to a toddler. Mckenna turns one on Wednesday, and I have to say, it's very bittersweet. This time last year I was sitting on my couch, peacefully enjoying a whole Saturday afternoon of uninterrupted TV. Parents - remember those Saturdays? Non-parents - enjoy one for me this week, would ya? This time last year I had no idea that I'd only have another day to feel Mckenna's sweet kicks and nudges as she repositioned in my belly. This time last year I had no idea that in 12 hours I'd have my water break in bed, at 3:30AM. This time last year I had no idea my birthday would be spent in labor. And this time last year I had no idea my entire world was about to be rocked with the best birthday gift I've ever received.

I have never had a birthday like I had last year. And over the next few days, I'll relive those glorious hours through a couple blog posts, but all I can say is it was the best birthday I've ever had. I would relive that day every year on my birthday if I could. Being in labor is one of the most meaningful and beautiful experiences of my life. For someone who wasn't sure if they'd get to ever experience pregnancy and labor, I can tell you that no contraction is too strong or push is too painful. It was a time spent enjoying the day bonding with my husband and feeling overwhelmingly blessed. I have never felt more empowered and amazed by how perfectly God created a woman! 

And while I would love to relive last year's birthday over and over again, I wouldn't want to be anywhere in time other than now. I used to selfishly rejoice my own life on the 16th of each October, but now I celebrate my "special day" by reflecting on the perfect little blessing I got on (well 44 minutes after) my birthday. No package wrapped up with a bow could ever compete with the gift I received from God, and each year I get the blessing of remembering the gift that just keeps on giving.

This last year (which we will recap the highlights in a special birthday post) has been one of the most lesson-filled and blessed years of my life. We have had so many firsts as a family this year, as we've watched Mckenna grow from a little 6lb 2oz, 17inch peanut; to a walking, "talking," toddler, full of spunk, personality and intelligence. It is so bittersweet to think of all of the firsts that we will never have again. All of the stages she's already progressed through. All of the growth that has been done. There are so many memories I would love to relive again. But holy smokes am I excited for the next year to come. I can't wait to watch the spunk turn to sass as she realizes her independence (at the time, I know I'll hate it, but what an incredible step in a kids life); her personality come through more and more with every new word she learns and phrase she masters; and her intelligence continue to amaze us as she learns new skills. 

This week is one that will be met with both happy tears and sad - but both from a place of celebration.

So here's to our birthday week, baby girl!!