Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday: New Kitchen & BART

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 girlfriends. This weekend I'm headed up to Northern AZ with some wonderful girlfriends to enjoy some time together. And in two weeks, Mckenna and I head to California with my girlfriend and her daughters for a girls trip. I am so blessed to have such amazing women in my life. It's incredible to have fun, encouraging friends to do life with.

I'm thankful for our new kitchen. I feel so blessed to have been able to give our kitchen a facelift. I know that is was most certainly a want and not a need, so I feel so thankful that we were able to do it.

I'm thankful for this: This video made me choke up and my heart swell with love and joy. In a world where the news is filled with horrible stories, this video is a ray of hope showing the love and compassion that is still everywhere around us.

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for free breakfast buffets. I stayed in a hotel all last week and was able to take full, and I mean FULL, advantage of all that it had to offer. Now, one interesting thing about this particular hotel buffet was that you had to microwave many of the breakfast foods - bacon, breakfast sandwiches, hash browns, etc - but, they did have fresh waffles with strawberries and whipped creme. Yes please.

I'm thankful for Happy Hours. On the same note, when I first got into San Francisco, I opened up my trusty Yelp app and identified all restaurants within walking distance that had Happy Hour specials. No, not because I drink, but because I don't like paying full price for food. So, between the free breakfast buffet and happy hour early dinners, I mostly lived off of 2 meals and snacks throughout the day. I easily ate for less than 20 bucks a day. Not bad.

I'm thankful for public transportation. There has never been a huge need for public transportation any place that I have lived, so when it's available, I tend to take full advantage of it. And I guess I should be clear, I'm not talking busses, I'm talking trains, subways and trolleys. I used BART as much as I could last week and I loved it!

What about you? What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Does CF Consume Your Life?

Do you feel like CF consumes your life?

I get asked quite a bit if it feels like CF consumes my life since I do so many treatments and make sure that I exercise daily. I of course don't feel like my life is all about CF, but I thought it would be handy to put it into numbers to see if I could make it more clear. So, for this little exercise, I'll take 2012 vs. 2008. I'm taking these two years because they seem to be the average year before and after I got serious, or better put, "re-serious" about my health.

2008 in hours
Treatments: 547
Exercise: 182
Hospital Stays: 1680
Total hours devoted to cystic fibrosis: 2409 or 28% of all available hours

2012 in hours

Treatments: 1095
Exercise: 547
Hospital Stays: 720
Total hours devoted to cystic fibrosis: 2362 or 26% of all available hours

So when you look at those numbers, it looks like a wash right? I'm still devoting basically the same number of hours per year towards "taking care of business" when it comes to CF. However, looking deep into the numbers you'll see that in 2012 I am spent double the amount of time doing treatments, triple the amount of time exercising but less than half of the time in the hospital when compared to 2008. I don't know about you, but I would MUCH rather be doing treatments and exercising vs. being in the Hole. 

There are a couple more important numbers however that need to be thrown into this equation:

2008 lung function
Highest high: 79% FVC 68% FEV1
Lowest low: 64% FVC 54% FEV1

2012 lung function
Highest high: 87% FVC 74% FEV1
Lowest low: 78% FVC 63% FEV1

**It should also be noted that
a) I started a new predicted model in 2009 that would have actually had my 2012 numbers even higher compared to my 2008 numbers and
b) Since "on average" "they" say that "lung functions declines by 2% per year", my net gain is actually even higher!

Now, CF is definitely more about lung function and those numbers don't always correlate with how I feel. I can tell you this without a doubt though, if I had to quantify how I felt in 2012 vs. how I felt in 2008, it wouldn't even be close.

In 2012 I could...
breathe better.
laugh longer.
run further.
sleep sounder.
expect a brighter future.

So if 2012 was an average year of awesomeness, 2008 wouldn't have even of registered on the same scale.

We all know that cystic fibrosis is about more than just numbers. But sometimes, numbers can help make things more clear. By looking at the numbers above, it's clear that the more I did for my health, the more my health did for me. Sure, a quarter of one's life devoted to anything seems like a lot, but I can tell you this, I've enjoyed the other 75% of my life a whole lot more in 2012 than I did back in 2008.

Monday, February 17, 2014

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Oh boy…I just went to write my blog and realized I was the last one to post a blog. Last Monday. Yikes. We really blew it this last week. In our defense, we were a bit busy. I'll give you the full scoop. Sorry this will bore you.

We started in on a kitchen remodel. It was a bit of a "if you give a mouse a cookie scenario." Every homeowner knows exactly what I'm talking about. It started with our refrigerator. To put it nicely, it was horrible. A side-by-side that had just enough room for nothing that hadn't made ice for months. (Anyone else need bigger fridges because they have two shelves full of meds? What's with Cayston packaging? It's really well laid out and helpful…but it's HUGE). We were going to get a cheap additional fridge for the garage, but it seemed silly to not just replace our current fridge, that at some point needs to be replaced and was worthless, and use it as the extra fridge. But our previous fridge was white. And well, we prefer stainless and if we want to resell the house at some point, people will be hoping for stainless. So that would mean a stainless fridge. Which would mean all new appliances so they'd match. Which wasn't a bad idea since our microwave would randomly turn on (seems like a fire hazard, doesn't it?) and the dishwasher was rusty in spots. So there was it was, we made the decision to get new appliances. But wait, new appliances? Let's look into getting the cabinets re-stained like we planned to do all along. AND wait, if we are doing the kitchen cabinets and they are already staining, let's see if they'll just throw in the bathroom cabinets. And that my friends is how you end up redoing your kitchen, and re-staining your bathrooms, all from wanting extra refrigerator space.

The project was supposed to take a week. That was 3 weeks ago. Gotta love contractors and home renovations, right? Well I'm happy to say, after 3 weeks of hard work by our trusty new friends, we are very pleased with the outcome.

The kitchen looked like this to start...

Then it looked like this…for a very long time because we got held up. For a girl who considers organizing just hiding things behind a closed door, this was like airing dirty laundry…Anyone that came by saw my dirty little secrets.

Then it looked like this. Please note all the murder scene plastic that cloaked the house for weeks. Thankfully we trusted our helpful contractors, or I would have been nervous they were preparing to kill me while Ronnie was out of town.

Now it looks like this! The back cabinets are a dark walnut and the island is an off-white with brown "antiquing". We are still waiting for the appliances that started this whole mess. They get here today.

The desk area…usually the mail covers the whole thing. So if you ever stop by for a visit, you won't be able to find said desk.

The roses are a nice touch thanks to hubby for V-day. He had flowers show up to keep him out of the dog house for being out of town on the day of love…well played, Senior Sharpe.

Another angle.

This is what the bathroom looks like now (used the be the same color as the kitchen). The other 2 are the same color now but too small to really stand in and take a picture.

Meanwhile, Ronnie was in San Fran all week for work…that's his excuse for not writing. (He can thank me later for making an excuse for him.) Mckenna and I had fun having a girls week full of fun with friends, playdates and lots and lots of playing outside in some gorgeous weather.

And lastly, a cute, exciting, and semi-sad update…we signed Mckenna up to start preschool in July. Yippee and boohoo. She is so excited. We went for a school tour last week, and I had to carry her out kicking and screaming…literally. Our little social butterfly can't wait to spend two and a half hours, two days a week with friends. And the best part is her best friend since the day she was born will be in class with her. They will be so good for each other. Mckenna is uber outgoing, bossy, and doesn't think before she does anything. Her friend is more careful, shy and  we can't wait to watch her step into a new stage in her life. It will be a proud moment to see her walk into school for the first time, knowing she's headed into a chapter that will be full of trials and triumphs for her. Our prayer is that we all navigate the chapter well.