Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Uncle A.J.

Today would be my Uncle AJ's 40th birthday.  I loved my Uncle AJ.  He would always drop by unannounced and I loved every minute of it when he did.  I remember the excitement I felt when the doorbell would ring and I'd look outside and it was him! He lived about 2 hours away and would just randomly drop by.  Not sure if it was just to visit or what - I let the adults do their adult thing...but he would talk to me about music and play with me. I even remember going out for ice cream with him once.

One day I came home from church camp (I was around 11 years old and had just gone to a camp in Oklahoma) to find a ton of cars at my house.  The whole family was there when I was being dropped off.  I remember my first thought was that my mom had lost the baby again.  She had several miscarriages and I remember how sad my mom would get when she lost the baby. However, I thought it was strange that everyone came over this time.  They hadn't for the last ones - maybe it was because mom was so far along? Well, my initial thoughts were wrong. Thankfully she had not lost the baby this time (and I am extremely happy for that - because now I have my little sister Aubrey!).  I learned that my Uncle AJ - who was 25 at the time, had been electrocuted and killed at a work accident a few days earlier.  I remember being really upset at first because no one had called to let me know at camp.  I later found out that they made that decision so I would have a good time and not have to deal with that at a strange place.  I remember some of my first thoughts after finding out was how upset with myself I was that I was off having all of that fun while my family was back home suffering.  After a few years I came to realize that I didn't know and that it was okay that I continued to have fun. That Uncle AJ would have wanted it that way as well.

To this day, certain things still set off his memory.  I wish I could have gotten to know him more as an adult. Eleven years is not nearly enough time and I know he was the "cool" uncle who I would have had a bit too much fun hanging out with! haha. There are certain songs that will play on the radio that stop me in my tracks - remind me of him.  Songs he had introduced me to and songs that played at his funeral. I have some pretty great pictures of me being so happy hanging out with him. I am thankful for those.

While today is hard for our family - on his birthday - it is also a great time to remember and be happy that we had a few years with him.

I love you Uncle AJ - if I could visit heaven today I would and I'm sure we'd get into some trouble :-)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


So I have some time right now while waiting for a few things to come in here at work. I suppose I can post a little something something for you all :)

It seems lately that a lot of my friends have been getting "news" from doctors - which isn't necessarily good news. One of my friends found out she has a rare form of cancer.  Another found out he has moved from Stage 3 chronic kidney failure to Stage 4 (out of 5 stages).  There are many other instances I could list.  Another blog friend is in for surgery this morning.  I'm thinking of them all and hoping for the best in each case.

I too found out some interesting news this past Tuesday.  I went in to the knee doc with my MRI results to try to figure out why, a year out from surgery, I am still in so much pain.  He had some findings. I have some bone shards in my knee around my knee cap (probably where the knee cap has been moving around - which has been the cause of a lot of pain).  Additionally, he couldn't tell for sure on the scans, but he thinks I do have some meniscus tears that need to be scoped. He said it is hard to tell on the side where he did the meniscus tear, because on the scans it could just be the repair he is seeing - but on the inside he says there is definitely some fraying. So that means going back into surgery to remove the shards and to see if he needs to scope out some more meniscus.  Additionally, the surgery won't fix my pain altogether.  He says I have developed arthritis under my knee cap and a little around the inside of my knee where the meniscus was scoped. I knew from previous chats with the doc that arthritis was almost inevitable later on down the road. I didn't realize that I would have it this fast! I knew that turning 26 was a bad idea! *cough*old lady*cough*  Oh well. I will have the surgery which will be far less traumatic than the first (only 3-5 days on crutches and only 6-8 weeks in physical therapy).  I also need to get my butt in shape! I need to strengthen the muscles in my legs as much as possible to help with the arthritis.  I went and worked out yesterday for the first time in forever at the gym and it felt GOOD! I'm glad I did it. I think I will make more of an effort for my knee's sake.

Anyway, that's my update. I hope that only good news comes next for all of my friends and myself! Let's get through the bad first half of the year - to an amazing second half!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I love Easton Corbin.

1. I think he is SO freaking cute.
2. His voice rocks.

This video brings me chills and I love the song. So I thought I'd share it with you all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 07 - A picture that shows your true self.

My true self?  Well, I love a lot and I love hugs. I love letting people know I'm thinking of them and that I would be there to give them a hug if I could when they need one. So I chose this little cartoon that I absolutely ADORE.

P.S. There are a lot of pictures I could have used for this "day" but I decided to settle on one. Hope you feel my hugs going out to each of you, my fellow bloggers!


Here is the newest addition to my little family.  I have decided to become a foster parent now that Jasper is close to the 2 year mark (his birthday is in May).

Poor little guy came to me on Thursday night and then got sick Friday morning! He hasn't eaten since and has been vomitting and other nastiness so I've been working to keep him hydrated. He is spending today at the vet getting IV fluids. Hope he isn't too scared!

I'm sure you all will here more of my fostering adventures :) jasper is doing well...seems to be a natural big brother...even to a sick puppy :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MRI; End of tax season; spring in Phoenix

Well, I head out here in a bit to go get an MRI on my right knee to see if we can figure out why I am having so many issues in my recovery from my surgery (over a year ago!). The doctor seemed to think that the meniscus repair performed did not hold, which happens in a low percentage of cases.  If that is the problem, we will need to have another surgery (far less invasive) so he can go in and scope the meniscus.  I don't want to have another surgery BUT if that fixes me up and I can finally start running, playing volleyball to my full potential, etc. - - totally worth it. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

The end of tax season is finally coming up.  I don't do taxes but audit's busy season is kind of the same as tax.  I do start a new client next week and will be busy through June probably - but not nearly as busy which is nice. I like the end of tax season because my firm gives us a big happy hour on Monday night - with free car rides home! Woo hoo!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year out here in Phoenix.  It isn't too hot and even if it does get a bit hot, it still cools down in the evenings.  I haven't had the heater or air conditioner on in over a month (well except for a couple of days when it hit 100 degrees). I am absolutely dreading summer though.  I used to think it wasn't a big deal - and it usually isn't...until it gets into October and we are still 100+ degrees. I could throw something in October. heh

That's all for now. My photo blog will be resumed once I figure out which photo to use for the next one. I can't really figure that out. Ugh.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I want to punch the government in the face right now.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 06 - A picture of your recent vacation, with your family

I just realized I didn't get any pictures of my family the last time we were all together which was Christmas 2010.  However, I got a lot of great shots over Thanksgiving 2010!

Thanksgiving for the past few years has been in the panhandle of Texas.  I must say - I hate the panhandle.  I have some memories from there. I didn't grow up there - I grew up in southwest Kansas (only a slight step up from the panhandle of Texas).  I did however, spend the summer after I graduated high school down in Texas.  I enjoyed it but it just isn't for me. Anyway, Thanksgiving was nice however.  The boyfriend and pup and myself made a car trip out of it.  We stopped semi-half way in Albuquerque at a dog park and let little Jasp run around. He played with the most adorable bull dog.  She was only 6 months old. I have NEVER seen a bulldog run like this little girl. Too cute.

Anyway, on to the picture:

Yes - we know the background sucks...haha. There weren't a lot of options at Aunt T's house!

I love my family.  I often times wish I lived closer to them all.  I literally have missed A growing up (she's the youngest one).  I graduated college when M graduated 8th grade and A graduated kindergarten.  She's so big now. She's going to do so well for herself though. She's gorgeous and has a great head on her shoulder and seems very bright and witty!  M is going to do amazing things as well. She graduates from Texas Tech in a month with a degree in graphic design! I can't wait to see what she can make of it. She is so incredibly talented.

Oh and one more picture.  This is of the whole clan for Thanksgiving. Yes - we are a very....interesting...bunch.

I'm going to answer before YOU even ask. Yes that dude's stache is real...that's my Uncle Billy Don. I remember being so scared of him when I was little. Still am a little 'intrigued' by his ways - I love him though.

Anyway, that's all for tonight. Need to get some sleep.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory.

I want to start off this post saying...I have a LOT of memories.  It was ridiculous how many I thought about posting about.  I have been so blessed in life to have so many amazing experiences and moments with so many amazing people.  Here is just ONE of those experiences:

Back in 2007, I got to spend January down in Peru for college credit.  We did some business consulting working with the organization ProPeru. Anyway, I think I have so many great memories from that trip - but here are a couple of them.

1. Building the "poop stove" in the random village in the Andes mountains.  Women and children get very sick in many of the villages because they did not know how to build stoves with chimneys. Their stoves were filling up their huts with smoke and causing a lot of respiratory problems.  Our group went in and showed them how to build stoves out of these stones (which I believe ProPeru provided) and a mixture of dirt, poo, and wetness.  I seriously saw kids mixing this up with their feet (imagine something like grape stomping for wine...only this is poo stomping for stoves). Haha. Myself and another girl in my group helped a guy who was building a stove for a restaurant he wanted to start in the village.  Here is a picture of the completed project along with the family.

2. Machu Picchu.  Not a lot of things in my life have left me breathless. This place - it did. I could spend DAYS there literally. I think my favorite part of the trip was getting to Machu Picchu early and the fog was still down in the "city" and we had hiked up the trail to get a good view of the ruins.  Here is a picture of the fog - and then when it finally lifted.

3. Lastly, there is a story I tell most folks who know me about my time in Peru.  When I was a kid, my first pet was Jitters.  He was a guinea pig and I loved him.  I even showed him in the 4-H fair.  One day he got really sick and ended up dying.  He was the first "death" that I remember. I know I had many pets (dogs and cats) before that had passed away - but Jitters sticks with me for some reason. I remember crying for days, whenever I would think about Jitters.  He is buried in the garden of the house I grew up in - my parents moved away when I was in college...but Jitters will always be there.  Anyway, in Peru - guinea pigs are a delicacy.  Families have guinea pigs running around their house and when it is time to cook a fancy meal - they are ....*cough* USED *cough*.  I knew this going down there and I knew it was going to be inevitable.  It happened one night.  The family cooked us all up a special meal of ....yes "Cuy" (guinea pig). Here is the big pile of our "yummy" food for the evening.

Notice - I have already eaten the leg. Slowly and steadily. Don't want to offend when they offer you their best!