Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Lovin

It's been a little chilly this week (60's to low 70's) and I'm so ready for the summer-type weather to come back.  I got a little spoiled when it was mid to high 80's for a few weeks. 

***Note:  I want to slap myself for thinking 60's is "cold" after the winter we endured!***

I'm enjoying this spring/summer time and have been trying to make the most of every day by spending as much time outdoors as possible.

We are loving having the convertible....but, I think Lainey is still enjoying it more than we are.

In addition to loving the convertible...I am also loving Jamberry nail wraps.  My sister just became a consultant and I AM ADDICTED!!!  Here are some of the wraps I've tried so far....

This style is obsolete, but I loved the look.
Yellow and Gray are probably my most favorite color combo
Icy Rose Polka
Another "Icy Rose Polka"
White Chevron over turquoise polish

Morning Dew
My sister and I share all of our wraps so at this pace, I've got about 25 other styles to try.  

Have you tried Jamberry?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Low Rider

Hubby and I recently purchased my grandparents car from them.  I have put so many miles on my current vehicle in the past 2 years from all the trips taking Lainey to the orthopedic specialist, rehab, chiropractor, massage therapist, etc.  This doesn't even count my daily commute to work and back.  I was looking for a vehicle to drive over the summer so that I could give my current vehicle a rest.

My grandparents (actually, just my grandma since my grandpa has passed) had a 2004 Chrysler Sebring Convertible with only 30,000 miles that had not been driven in almost 3 years.

It needed some work, but we knew it would be worth it in the long run.  So far we have purchased a new alternator, battery, tires, spark plugs, serpentine belt & pulley, an oil change, freon for air conditioner, and a few small items.

It's pretty much received more attention and care than my car has in all the years I have driven it.  The only good part, is that now I can take the time to do a tune up on that car too.

The interior still smells new, but the exterior needed some serious scrubbing.  There was 3 years worth of dust, cobwebs, and dead bugs that needed to be washed away.

Here is a picture of the roof showing all the grime before cleaning (left) and after cleaning (right)

And here is a picture of the entire car after a nice bath....

My nephew could not grasp the concept of the "convertible" and no matter how many times we tried to describe it to him, we finally put the top down and let him experience it for himself. 

On Sunday, hubby and I decided to take the dogs for a ride.  I'm pretty sure Lainey thought she was the coolest dog around.

Now if only I could get used to sitting so low to the ground.  I drove my Pacifica today and felt like I was in a monster truck. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Negative Nancy

I know I've been MIA for a while now!  It's been hard to visit this place and even attempt to write anything, because all I seem to be feeling lately is negative.

I even went as far as making some New Years Resolutions to help with my attitude and I have failed miserably at those too.

  1. Stop Complaining:  Even about the weather. 
    It's a bad habit that I got into last year and I'm not even sure why, but I can't seem to stop!  I have a great life and I'm thankful, but that doesn't stop me from complaining about...the good...the bad...the ugly....all of it!
  2. Stop comparing my life/marriage to others:
    In order for me to be content in even the most mundane things, this is a must.  I want to re-learn how to embrace the blessings I have and stop taking everything for granted.
  3. Take time for me:
    I have to take control of my own happiness.  Take time to do the things I enjoy.  Make more date nights with my amazing husband.  Spend some much needed time with girlfriends.  Be more intentional with my time.
  4. Watch less TV:
    In order to accomplish #3 I really need to pull myself away from the boob-tube.  Unfortunately, when I have only a few hours a week to relax, this is my go-to.  I think in some watching all of the drama on shows like Real Housewives, it makes me feel like my life isn't so bad after all.
Maybe after this horrific winter ends, I can come back and feel more rejuvenated and a little less grumpy.  Until then....I will probably continue to complain about all of this gosh darn snow (an inch per hour expected later today)....Ughhh

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lainey is RUNNING!!!!

For those of you who think I'm crazy for all the rehab/recovery work we have done with Lainey....Well, here is a dog who couldn't walk for 16 months....Look at her now!!! Still more strengthening to be done, but my heart about explodes when I see her running...there was a time I never thought this would be possible

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Catch Up

In addition to the many things in my life that are being neglected, this blog is one of them.  Between the dog and her physical therapy, massage, and chiropractor and my light therapy visits and long work hours, I barely have time to fit in the know things like eating, sleeping, laundry.

I'm running on fumes lately and so, so tired.  Not just mentally exhausted, but physically tired.  I have caught myself dozing off at work, dozing on the couch as I eat my dinner, dozing off at the wheel.  It's becoming a major issue and I just can't find enough hours in the day to catch up on the many, many hours of sleep that I need.  It also doesn't help that most of the medications I am currently on cause drowsiness.  Add that to an already fatigued body and it's a means for disaster.

Now take the above and add in the busy, hectic holiday season that is approaching and it's enough to bring tears to my eyes.  I have our company Christmas party to plan, multiple holiday meals to attend (beginning with my first Thanksgiving celebration this weekend at the in-laws), Christmas shopping to get started.....and the list could go on and on.  I don't know how I'm going to physically still be standing by New Years.

Any suggestions on what I can do to get me through the next couple months?

FYI ~ I may sound like I'm complaining, but all it takes is one look at this face to know that all the craziness that we've endured the past 18 months with the surgeries, the specialists, the medications, the rehab....have all been worth it

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The things we fear the most....have already happened!

You may not know this, but I'm basically scared of everything.  Heights, lakes, spiders, mice, birds....just to name a few!

Well, on top of all the other things God has put in my path lately, he has also decided to test my fears.

It seems like every single time I walk out the door I walk right through a spider web.  It is so creepy and it makes me do this crazy arm flailing dance all the while thinking "is the spider in my hair?  Get it out...Get it out!"

Image from Google

And I've been avoiding cleaning out our shed to put away all the summer stuff, because I was in there this spring and there was a mouse.  I trampled my young nephew as I flew out of the shed at lightning speed screaming my wholly head off!  And to this day, I have not been back in there.  Unfortunately, we now have a mouse in the garage and it is taunting me.  My husband says he never sees or hears it, but EVERY single time I am in the garage it either peeks it's head out at me or decides it's dinner time and begins chewing, gnawing and making all sorts of noise.

Image from Google

And as if that wasn't enough...we now have red squirrels up in our soffits and they run around all day/night driving my cats crazy.  For a few days I simply pretended it was nothing, hoping they would leave on their own.  It didn't work.

Michigan Red Squirrel
Image from google
So now we have mice traps set in the garage and the shed, have sprayed for spiders, and have a wildlife critter control company hired to take care of the squirrel problem. 

Have any of you had "critter" problems before?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Major Makeover

For those of you who are Apple users and haven't downloaded the new iOS 7 operating it now!!!  I'm in love.

It is such a big visual change.  It may seem complex at first, but it's not that dissimilar from what you're used to, and in my opinion, the changes are definitely for the better.

I'm still playing around with it, but the changes I can see so far (and that I like) are:
  1. Bold new look
  2. New control center
  3. Air drop
  4. Camera
  5. Safari
  6. App switching
  7. Photo Library
  8. iTunes Radio
It almost feels like I have a new phone.  There are so many apps that have a new look.  Besides the new look, there are also new sounds, wallpaper, calendar, notes, reminders and more.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?  Go grab your apple device and update now.

Note:  the download takes 3GB of available space.  Unfortunately, my 16GB did not have that, so I had to delete some music, photos and apps.  I was able to plug into iTunes this morning and add all of that back in, so I guess it wasn't the end of the world.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tid Bits

I've neglected this blog for a month and I feel horrible about it, but I just can't seem to find the time (or the energy) to do anything about it.  As it is, you are only going to get bullet points today!

Here's a recap of the past month....

  • I still have my rash!  This Wednesday will be 16 weeks and I still don't have any answers.  I'm still seeing the specialist and they are still running tests, but at this time there is no prognosis.  I am on multiple medications to handle the itching and doing light therapy twice a week, but I wish they could diagnose me with something so that we could take care of this once and for all.  And more importantly, so we could figure out what is causing it.

  • Lainey has started physical therapy so we drive 1-1/2 hours twice a week for her appointments.  Tomorrow will be her 8th session so we are halfway done. 
    They do laser therapy, muscle building and strength exercises, and water treadmill.
    She has made huge improvements and I am so thankful for the doctors we are seeing.

    Here is the water treadmill....she is waiting for the tank to fill up.

  • We began to notice that Lainey was only limping and/or not using her bad leg while at home, but if we were out in public she would walk fine. She would be completely fine at my parents house, my sisters house, and a friends home, but would act all funny at home. We were advised by Lainey's physical therapist that it was most likely due to our hardwood floors at home.  She wasn't feeling confident enough with her leg and was too worried about slipping and sliding on the floors.  We just put them in 2 years ago, so there was no way that we were going to get rid of them (or cover them with a bunch of rugs).  So, our only choice was to buy huge pieces of remnant.  I hate how it looks, but she is a whole different dog since putting these down.

  • It's officially college football season!!!  Yay!!  My husband and my dad got an early Christmas present....Go Blue!!!

  • What little free time I've had has been spent doing a couple projects at home.  My stepson's bedroom had never been touched and was the last room in the whole house that was still that beige color that was on every wall when we moved in.  He is 17 and very rarely at our house anymore so I wanted to make it more "grown-up" so we could use it as a spare bedroom.  I love the way it turned out and even happier because he loves it to.  I ordered some wall décor that should arrive this week and then the room will be complete.

BEFORE ~ This is a picture from the day we moved in

AFTER ~ No more beige :)
We used the same grey from the Living Room/Dining Room and accented with Dark Blue
(we have also added curtains since this picture was taken)

I also decided to try a little DIY project and make my own curtains.  I've been looking for low cost ideas to change up our living space and when I started pricing new curtains I about lost my mind.  I even tried to find some on Etsy and still couldn't justify the prices.  Since I can't sew, I did a little search on google and Pinterest to find a "no-sew" method.  After watching a few videos and reading a couple blog posts, I decided to give it a whirl.

I went to JoAnn Fabrics and picked out these fabrics (great for our fall décor).  I also picked up some twin white sheets from Walmart to use as the lining.  Four curtain panels for just over $50...Can't beat it!

Chevron for the Living Room and the Polka Dots for the Dining Room
Here is the final result....I love them (and so does the hubby).  It is just that small change I needed.

  • And to end are some adorable pics of Lainey in her new Doggles.  She insists on having her head out the car window for the ENTIRE drive to physical rehab and I was so worried about debris getting in her eyes. Hopefully, she will get used to wearing these and then mama won't have to worry and stress so much.

Sorry for my absence...let's hope another month doesn't go by before I stop by here.  At the least, I can promise that things in my life should slow down about November and I hope to be back here more regularly.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Keep Calm and Enjoy Camping

I have so many memories of going camping when I was younger.  Watching all of the adults sit around the fire singing songs, the smell, roasting marshmallows, listening to the bugs at night.

But somewhere along the line as I grew into adulthood, camping no longer seemed fun.  I like convenience and I hate public restrooms to put in bluntly.

Fast forward many years later to when I met my now husband.  Prior to his accident that left him paralyzed, he was an avid camper.  I have to admit that I was thankful he was no longer able to do this, as I don't think for one second I could have gone along.  The bugs, the cold nights, the outhouses....ewwww, gross!

But then a few things happened.  Mainly, my parents bought a travel trailer.  And not just a travel trailer....a trailer big enough for my husband to be able to get around in his wheelchair.  And a bed just perfect enough for him to sleep in.

Obviously, this got the wheels spinning in my husbands mind that he was going to camp again.  He's not one to let his disability get the best of him, so I knew I was going to lose this battle.

Fortunately, the trailer has most of the modern necessities that I require....air conditioning, flat screen tv with cable, a dvd player, a full shower with hot water, electricity, a fridge, microwave, stove and oven.  Most of you won't consider this "camping", but for me, it allowed me to stick my feet in the big, scary camping water and test it out.

I LOVE IT!!!!!  We have now gone camping twice.  Once with my parents and once on our own.  I'm already counting down the days to Labor Day weekend because we are going again!  Who would have thunk it? 

And to make it easier for my husband, we purchased some portable wheelchair rails so he can go in and out of the trailer as much as he wants.

Testing out the new rails before heading out

The dogs have done so well and are much better behaved than we could have imagined they would be.  I was so afraid that Stewie would bark at EVERY.SINGLE.NOISE which then causes Lainey to follow suit.  Fortunately, that has not been the case!

Lainey helping Grandma Joyce finish her plate

Lainey's first camping adventure

Stewie's first camping adventure

Daddy & Stewie in matching outfits

Stewie getting some lovin' from Grandma

Mom & Dad
Lainey enjoying the fire with Grandma

 What are your thoughts?  Is camping your thing or would you rather stay at a Holiday Inn?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gluten Free.....No way, not me!

Tomorrow marks 8 weeks that I have had some sort of rash.  It is mostly on my lower back (upper buttocks), on my sides, around my chest, on my lower stomach, behind my ears and all over my scalp.  It is so itchy and drives me nuts.

I have been unable to see my family doctor as they are booked about 3 months out, so I have visited the urgent care 3 times and the emergency room once.  On all 4 visits I was diagnosed with contact dermatitis.  Meaning, I am coming into contact with something that I am having an allergic reaction to.

I've been prescribed mass amounts of prednisone, topical steroid cream and scalp wash....but, it continually keeps coming back.  We have gone through every item in our home (indoors and out) to see if there is something out of the ordinary that I have used and to this day we have thought of nothing.

Thankfully, I had an appointment with my regular physician yesterday for my annual and we were able to discuss my rash.  She made a phone call to a dermatology office and explained my situation and they were able to get me in yesterday afternoon.  Miracles do happen!!

A biopsy was taken off my lower back and will be sent out for testing and I also had some blood work drawn.  The specialist is thinking that I have Duhrings disease (aka dermatitis herpetaformis) and celiac disease.

Unfortunately, if this is the case, I will be on a strict gluten free diet and this will be a lifelong requirement (along with medication).  I've been wanting answers for weeks now as to what is causing all of this....but THIS is not the answer I would have hoped for.  I love food way too much to even "think" about having to go gluten free!

As much as I want this chronic itching to end.....I just never imagined this would be my answer.

Do any of you have to avoid gluten?  If so, what tips do you have.