September 30, 2012

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Ellie

For the last piece in this series that many of you have been so gracious to support and spread the word on, I would like to talk more about Ellie.

Before I do that, I would like to thank each and every supporter! This was a hard subject to put into words, and I couldn't be more thrilled with the outcome. Next September I plan to do it up big! I hope to have special guest bloggers (childhood cancer survivors/fighters/family members), giveaways to support research, and whatever else I can think of.

Ellie was diagnosed Christmas of 2000. We lived 3 hours away from where she was seeking treatment and being diagnosed which put an added strain on my family.
This is Ellie before she was diagnosed. So blonde!

She was truly too young to know what was going on.
She was an angel through it all.

She was not able to ever shower or swim during chemo because of her central line. I will always remember the first time she was able to jump into a pool after she got it out. There were many pictures of her where the chemo made her swell, but those are too hard for me to share.

Unfortunately my cousin was also diagnosed with childhood leukemia after her. Thankfully the both went into remission and are thriving teenagers!

Here she is now. She is second from the right. This was before her homecoming. She is always and inspiration and always beautiful.

She would give the clothes off her back to anyone. She is the nicest person and I learn and look up to my little sister everyday.

Spread the Word!
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 29, 2012

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Support Efforts

I am continuing my posts on Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of my baby sister Ellie and all children who have had to fight, have fought cancer, or sadly will have to fight cancer.

There are many ways we can lend a hand in support. If we could pass these posts or messages on, that would be great. 

Here are two SIMPLE ways that I help support the efforts.

First: Buy a Hyundai! Or support their efforts.

Second: Support the Ronald McDonald House.

Backstory: Where my sister received treatment was in a city three hours away from where we lived. The Ronald McDonald house was a lifesaver for my family so that we could stay close while my sister was receiving treatment.

I save all pop tabs for the RMHC. Here is more info about it! I also donate all the travel sized shampoos, conditioners, lotions, soaps, them. The last thing a family has the time to think of between chemo treatments and being far from home is shampoo...

Missed the original post? What about this post?

Spread the Word!
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 28, 2012

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Identity Theft

Identity theft is a hard thing to fight. It is one thing when a criminal gets your credit card number, but fighting off a criminal when they get your social security number, date of birth, and name? A whole different story.

Unfortunately criminals will hack into cancer clinical trials and records to access this information to steal identities. Sadly, the biggest hope to these criminals is that the person is dead. They hope cancer won.

I was only recently turned onto this problem since my sister's clinical trial information was hacked into on Tuesday.

This is a crime that is striking the childhood cancer community like a wildfire in the middle of a dry summer. This type of identity theft, which is not limited to the childhood cancer community, is estimated to cost the federal government upwards of $1.2 billion annually. So, does this "crime" matter and require prosecution? 

Absolutely is my response. Yet there is an argument that it did not matter if some kids' social security numbers were stolen and used to file tax returns. Imagine the pain of losing your child, and then imagine someone stealing her identity. 

I am hoping my sister and parents do not have to go through the pain of someone stealing her identity. Some other people will just use a name like my sister's and claim them for tax purposes.

We need to stand up to this! There are children and a families who have already suffered and will continue to suffer for the remainder of their lives. They have already gone through and some have lost their children. 

In addition, sadly many families who have had to go through this, say the IRS is not helpful in resolving the issue once it has occurred. (go figure.)

It does matter, and that's why you should call your congressperson and ask them to co-sponsor HR 3475 to stop the sale of the death master index, and ultimately the fraudulent use of social security numbers to steal from the government. Yes, it does matter.

I went to this website:
And it says that this bill has a 2 percent chance of being enacted.

COME ON!! Seriously? That is sad.
This will save the hardship of parents who's kids have lost their lives to cancer and as a bonus save the government lots of money.

Please act on this. I never like getting political, but cancer is an issue that I take seriously. Besides, cancer shouldn't be a political issue. Cancer does not discriminate.

p.s. happy birthday to my mom! Love you mom!

Spread the Word!
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 27, 2012

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Forgive me that this is a long post, but I hope some of you will take the time out of your busy day to read this.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of this month, I am going to take the time to write about my baby sister Ellie.

Ellie was 5 when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). From the moment she was diagnosed, she fought hard, not truly knowing what all she was dealing with. One of the most haunting moments in my memory is when she was carried out by my mom and dad, sobbing, "why is everyone sticking needles in me?". I have so many other memories, but I could be here forever talking about them. What I will say is I think of my parents having to watch their little baby girl going through this and it is tough. You have no idea how much they wished they could take Ellie's place in this fight. I wished that I could take her place. I hope to never have to see any of my future children go through this.
My sisters and I
Ellie losing her hair

Before Ellie was diagnosed, I knew cancer was there, and that people got cancer; you would see the images of bald children for Ronald McDonald and St. Jude's. But until it effected me (granted I was only 13) I truly did not understand how unfortunately common childhood cancer was. (The number one killer of children)

Now imagine this headline: "Seven children were killed today as their parents watched in horror." This headline would prompt us all to take a moment to give thanks to our loved ones and maybe lower the flags. But the thing is, that this happens everyday because of the monster called cancer. 

In a divided nation where it is hard to get people to come together for a cause, we really need to draw attention to childhood cancer and stand together for a cure. We need to raise awareness and funding for this disease in an effort to ensure that the children lost are never forgotten and that no parents have to watch their child endure cancer. Or even worse, take their last breath.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know this? Come October we will be flooded with pink ribbons and everyone knows that it is breast cancer awareness month. Let us make September the same. Let us draw awareness. My hope is that someone reading this becomes more aware of this disease and may be moved into action. Be it a monetary donation, passing this post onto others, or thinking about the kids suffering every day.

I know that we could say this about many other diseases out there, but for obvious reason, childhood cancer strikes me.

For the rest of the month I will be writing more pieces about childhood cancer.

p.s. happy 21st birthday to my middle sister Tess! Love you! 

Help Spread the Word!
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 26, 2012

Big News!

Let me start off by saying this.
I stink at making decisions.
Especially when they involve money.

But regardless Kevin and I made a huge decision that cost us lots of money.

We bought a house!
(so no Hilary, not preggers! Like you, I am not announcing that haha...)

It will take a bit of fixing up and we will be sitting on both our mortgage and our rent for the rest of the year, but it is an exciting new step that I get to take with Kevin, and as long as I have him, I know I will be okay!

And my family....cause they offered to come help me fix it up. :-)

Yay! <3

September 25, 2012

10 Day You Challenge: 4 Books

Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to read. I don't get as much time to read as I used to, but I have read some pretty great books. I tried not to think too hard about what books to choose - I just chose the ones that popped into my head. :) There are just way too many amazing ones to pick my top four!

Harry Potter by J.P. Rowling
 Her ability to put together words onto paper in such a way that you are so visually transported into another world is just amazing! I have read the Harry Potter books more times than I can count. This was an easy answer to my favorite book(s). 

 Bel Canto by Ann Patchett 
An awesome book about a hostage situation. Pachett's inspiration was the Lima Crisis. It was amazing to see the situation from the perspective of which is it is beautifully written. If you haven't read this, do it!
 The Awakening by Kate Chopin
 She was a forward thinking writer for the time. Classic literature at its best. I also was in a Brain Bowl in high school where I answered a question about this book correctly for the win!
 Anything Sophie Kinsella. 
 Love the fun of escaping into her books. I wanna read her books under her other pen name: Madeline Wickham.
Honorable mentions: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lovely Bones, Twilight (yeah I know, guilty pleasure), and lots of other books. 
Remember here when I said I had some big exciting news? Tune back here tomorrow to find out what it is!! 

ALSO...Tiffany and I are so excited to be doing this challenge with everyone and have enjoyed better getting to know everyone and finding great new bloggers and friends! So we wanted to ask for your feedback in this survey. It is a quick 3 questions. Thanks! 

10 Day Challenge Link Up

September 24, 2012

Fall To-Do List

Fall is finally here and I am super jealous of all of you bloggers showing me sweaters and getting into the spirit of fall. :-) It is hard to get into the spirit of fall here in AZ where yesterday the temp reached 102!

So in lieu of being in the fall spirit, I thought I would make myself a fall to-do list so that I have something to look forward to!
1. Keep pinning inspired fall stuffs
2. Come up with creative costumes for us to wear for Halloween this year
3. Go to the pumpkin patch (hopefully two pumpkin patches...the one back home and finding a new one here in AZ!)
4. Go through old clothes and make a donation box
5. Watch lots and lots of football!
6. Dress up on Halloween and pass out candy to the trick or treaters for the first time-ever!
7. Get this blog under wraps and plan out posts so I don't get overwhelmed.
8. Make lots of my yummy fall pinterest inspired recipes.
9. Break out all my cozy sweaters, leggings, jeans, socks, etc...
10. Re-do the blog
11. Buy some new tennis shoes
12. Go on some hikes with Kevin
13. Take lots of pictures
14. Eat healthier
15. Find out if I have to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas or both (let's hope not!)

What is your fall to-do list?
Does it feel like fall to you yet?

September 23, 2012

Kiwi Daiquiri

Remember here on my date night we made kiwi daiquiris. I have the recipe for you!

Kevin's Yummy Perfect Date Night Kiwi Daiquiri 
(makes 2)


2 kiwis (sliced)
1 shot lime juice
2 tsp sugar
2 shots rum
Green Food Coloring (optional)
About 1 cup ice (crushed is easier to blend)


Blend it all to yummy goodness, pour and drink immediately because it is super yummy.

Optional (and highly suggested): make more.

Be sure and link up Tuesday for the 10 Day You Challenge!
See you then!

September 18, 2012

10 Day You Challenge: 5 Foods

I am going to branch into actual food dishes since everyone knows my obsession with chocolate and cheese. No need to put those on here since everyone knows that...

In honor of today's subject, I made some Zucchini bread this weekend finally! (remember when that was on my list)? It is very good and I will post the recipe soon!

This was hard for my to stay away from sweets and chocolate (even harder in real life!) but I did!
I also had a hard time picking just five! Even for a selective (Kevin calls it picky) eater.
Also sorry that I am late in posting. Looks like someone forgot to post after work :/ Forgive me? :-) 

one: Fried Okra
I mean who doesn't love fried food period, but I just love fried okra for some reason. (and I never have it...I should change that)

two: Rolls
Seriously who doesn't love bread! Texas Roadhouse has amazing rolls.

three: Pizza
With lots of meat and cheese!!!
I especially love a good white pizza.

four: Deli Sandwiches
Who doesn't love a good deli sandwich? Lots of meat and cheese is the best!

There is a local place I found here in Tucson that knows how to make me a deli sandwich!

five: Mexican Food
Like good Mexican food. I love me some enchiladas, flautas, tacos al carbon, nachos, chili con queso, chimichangas, etc...I was raised on the best Mexican food ever and will never compromise on that!
10 Day Challenge Link Up

September 17, 2012

How to Have an Amazing Date (Cheap!)

This weekend was just what the doctor ordered. I had it off work! Saturday I got my laundry done, went grocery shopping, ran, and went on a date!

Let me just say this. It was one of the best dates that I have ever had. And it was on a budget, spontaneous, and perfect!

First, I took Kevin to the grocery store. This is how that ended.

16 oz cans in six packs for $1! Wow!

Then I decided I was feeling really tired. Kevin said well let me make dinner for you tonight.

He made the most amazing lasagna. It was funny, I offered to let him look over my Pinterest, but he decided to search recipes online. He found an amazing recipe by the original food blogger herself.

And this really is the best lasagna recipe. Especially when it is made with TLC by your loving husband.

Then he made me a kiwi daiquiri! Wow that was yummy!
(I'll share the recipe soon)
Then he let me choose any movie I wanted! Woo hoo!
I chose How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
I was in the mood for some humor!

Then, let me back up so you understand, I had went on a run before dinner and was feeling pretty nasty. (I realized this right as we were starting the movie) So Kevin lit some candles in the bathroom and let me take a nice, soothing shower.

Then after finishing the movie we went to sleep. (yes really)

But that was the perfect night I needed with my husband and the perfect night for me to unwind and be taken care of.

So all it really cost us was nothing!

Minus the electricity for the TV and the cost of the food, but as for the made so much that now I don't have to worry about Kevin for dinner (since I work evenings)

Didn't even have to pay gas to go somewhere!

So my advice, try an awesome date night in.
What are some of your favorite things to do with your significant other?

As for football on My fantasy team did not show up.
Here are my letters to them:

Dear Wes Welker, Joe Flacco, and Jordy Nelson (and my defenses and kickers)...thanks for not showing up to work. This week...or last.

Dear Ben Tate, I am sorry I sat you on my bench. Please forgive me.

Dear Fantasy Team(s) (Yes I have two), Sorry we lost this week. Let's get them next week!

Dear Browns, Good try.

Dear Broncos, Good luck tonight! Wish I was able to watch you! Show ATL how it is done!!

How did your NFL team do this weekend?
How did your fantasy team do?

September 15, 2012

Great Posts This Week

I have seen people do this where they give shout outs to fellow bloggers for amazing posts. I think that blogging is amazing and I love the community and we should all be helping one another out and giving credit where credit is due. So with that said, here are some of my favorite posts by other bloggers as of late!

I agree with Tamara that age is just a number. I have experienced being looked at as "too young" based solely on my looks. It is kinda annoying sometimes! Let me do my job!

Caroline got real with us about this issue of weight.

We can't all be stick skinny and we need to start learning to love ourselves. Thank gosh I am not in the spotlight all the time about my weight. Jess handles it with grace!

Meg gave us a great reminder about feeding your marriage. It was a great post to read and renew!

Emily made me want to go to Cabo San Lucas!

Congrats to Jacqueline for getting engaged!

And thanks to Tanya for being such a cute pen pal!

Also would like to wish Mary a speedy recovery!

I have this weekend off work! (Finally! YAY!) But to my fellow people at work, saying "you look tired today", don't you know that is not polite? And I thought I was doing an okay job managing my time this week. Oh and I got 8 hours and 45 minutes of sleep last night...

Lots to do this weekend, including football, grocery shopping, and laundry.

What do you have planned this weekend?

September 13, 2012

A Laugh, Some Love, and a Better Day

So I made Kevin laugh the other night! I was delighted in my own cleverness!

1. Sorry for the bad pic, my phone needs an update in order to take a screen snap shot!
2. I am the light blue he is the dark blue.
3. Yes I do use military time. I am cool like that.

I also got some love this week from some sweet bloggers!
Erin and Kaitlyn gave me the Versatile Blogger Award!

Thanks ladies!

And as for a better day, Today is going to be one! I had a rough night at work last night.
more art here
Have a fantastic Thursday!

September 12, 2012

My Day Off

So yesterday I finally had a day off of work. Remember that new job I told you I got? Well here are the details (and therefore most of the reason I have been neglecting my little blog):

I work in a transitional care area in the acute care unit. 

A transitional care unit is where you have patients with long term needs that are not medically stable enough to do via home health or in a nursing home/long term care unit. So instead of staying in a hospital, their insurance will send them to an acute care transitional unit to cut cost.

So far so good! It is good experience that will get me into a hospital one day hopefully. :-) It has been super busy trying to get oriented and I have been doing lots of shifts. Should normalize today. Should being the main word there...haha!

I finally got yesterday off and I was stoked. I had a list of things that I needed to accomplish:

clean the floors
clean the bathrooms
clean the kitchen
clean the house in general
prepare dinner
map out a plan for dinners this week
go work out (for the first time in ages)
catch up on all you amazing bloggers I follow
start some blog posts
enroll in work benefits
look at some fantasy football options
make zucchini bread
Pick out wedding prints

The crossed out ones actually got done. I was more productive then I thought! But the important ones like the wedding prints and the zucchini bread didn't get done. Instead I added being a lazy bum watching TV to the list. Checked that one off pretty thoroughly. 

Alright, off to get ready for work. Catch ya on the flip side!

ohhh. and...
I may have some pretty exciting news soon. Stay tuned!!
10 points if you can guess what it is!

September 11, 2012

10 Day You Challenge: 6 Places

Everyone has places. Places they feel at home, places where they are home, places that have significance. Here are mine.

one: Las Cruces, NM
Home, sweet home! My whole life has been there: I was born and raised there. Kevin was born and raised there too. We love that we are still only four hours from home.
New Mexico State University's Campus. One of my favorite Las Cruces places!

two: Tucson, AZ
My new home with Kevin. It has proven to be really hot, but I cannot wait to keep getting to know this city!
going and seeing some softball!

three: The suburbs of Cleveland, OH
My extended family has lived in the suburbs of Cleveland and I love it. The trees, the houses, the people...its all so different then out west. When we are visiting my family, I love going to see a Cleveland Indians game, going to Cedar Point, Lake Erie, the list could go on and on! Such a beautiful landscape up there!
Back from 2007 when I shared Ohio with Kevin. Wow. We look young!

four: Vail, CO
Kevin's grandparents have a timeshare there, and every spring I have been able to share with him and his family in visiting. The town is beautiful and I love the skiing. I hope to continue the tradition of going every year and one day sharing it with my kids. (Fun fact. Kevin's parents were married in Vail.)
us in Vail 2012 pics aren't on my laptop :/

five: Coronado Island, CA
I will forever remember the day when Kevin proposed to me. It was a perfect weekend and I can't wait to go back and visit.
just engaged! Thanks random person on the beach for taking our picture!

six: Australia
This is the only place on this list that I have not been. It is somewhere I have wanted to go since middle school when I did a school project on it. I hope to travel there one day.

There it is! Have a great Tuesday!
10 Day Challenge Link Up

September 9, 2012

Weekend Update

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. Starting this new job has been crazy! I have a lot of work on my plate for a new RN (everyone I meet asks me where i worked before here) haha! But it is proving to be a good experience learning quickly. The girls that have oriented me have been so great! My work schedule has been wack. On Wednesday it will should normalize. 

So with that boring nonsense, I got off work right before the big Denver game! Here are my other remarks on the opening football weekend thus far.

::That's my boy blue! Way to go Denver!!!
::Come on Browns! You had it and as normal, you choke!
::Dearest Wes Welker: please play more next game. My fantasy team needs you!
::I was cheering for Green Bay. So sad.
::Good start RGIII!
::Dear Joe Flacco: Sadly you need to have the game of your life for me to win in one of my leagues.
::Dear NBC: Could you do anymore shameless promoting for The Voice? Seriously us football fans DON'T CARE!
::And as for college, way to go U of A! Gotta cheer for the hometown team now! And they pulled a major win this weekend!
::Dear Husband: Hope you enjoyed NFL RedZone!
::Seriously one of the funniest commercials this football season!

Since I had lots of work this weekend, my handsome nice husband did some kind things for me! He packed my lunch for me one night when I went to bed early (Yeah I have to leave the house at 5am) and he made me the yummiest burgers for dinner. Perfecto!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I am excited to see everyone's six places and catch up on what you all have been up to!
10 Day Challenge Link Up

September 5, 2012

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!

Today is the first day of pro football! Unfortunately I will be working during ALL the games this week, but I will be DVRing them!

I have a slight obsession with pro football. It really started from my husband's love of football. I love sharing this passion with my him (although I think I am crazier about it than he is).

So with this being said, I am going to give you a glimpse into the crazy that is me and pro football.

First off let me say that I love Fantasy Football. This will be my 4th year doing it. These have been my team names:

Travis Henry's Kids 
(those of you who understand are AWESOME)

Quality Control
This is because I refuse to put players on my team from the teams I dislike. I wouldn't care if they were supposed to be drafted first. I draft people from teams I like.

Victorious Secret

This year I am in two leagues and have Quality Control as one name. The other league has no girls, so my name is Beat by a Girl. BAM!

So you must be wondering my opinion on all the teams...Well here it is!

Teams that I LOVE
Denver Broncos
Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers
Indianapolis Colts

Teams that are OKAY
Baltimore Ravens
Houston Texans
Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vickings
Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
Tennessee Titans
New England Patriots
Dallas Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants
Seattle Seahawks
Kansas City Chiefs
St. Louis Rams

Teams that I DO NOT LIKE
Oakland Raiders*
Pittsburgh Steelers*
San Diego Chargers*
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
Jacksonville Jaguars*
New York Jets
Miami Dolphins
Buffalo Bills
Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins
San Francisco 49ers

*denotes that I will never EVER EVER cheer for them.

And so with that I am excited for this season. Doing fantasy football in a friend's league, my husband's work league, and even trying something new with the Gridiron Challenge with fellow bloggers. If you are interested in joining, learn about it here.

I love reading about you fellow bloggers that love football! 

And please pray that my fantasy teams do well this year, because to be honest, (and don't tell the people in my leagues) I am really not sure how my teams will fare this year. :/

September 4, 2012

10 Day You Challenge: 7 Wants

Tiffany and I are both loving this link up and all you other ladies linking up and getting into the fun with us.

This one was so much fun to get into!
Don't we all always seem to want for something?

I want to be more crafty. Hello Pinterest!
In addition to be a better chef for Kevin. Pinterest is helping, but I still feel I have a ways to go.

My dream home. One day! But at first I would take my dream starter home.

cute no? Probably won't work in ARIZONA.

A happy life--its simple. I just want a happy, long life next to Kevin. (and a dog and one day some kids)

A surprise party. I know that sounds weird, but don't judge me. I have never had one. Sounds fun. Plus I have a sad tradition with birthdays as of late. I vow to have a happy 24th birthday!!

To be healthier and skinnier. I feel like I am constantly wishing for this one and that I have the control over this one, but sometimes I just don't know what I am doing wrong or right.

 My sisters and I to be closer despite our distance. I want us to be the best of friends one day. I am hoping it doesn't take much longer.

my sisters and I circa 1996

and now!

As always, I want my family and friends to be happy and healthy. I also want to be successful with my first week of work (okay second, but the first week I didn't work with patients) 

Honorable mentions: a nice camera (and the ability to use it), some new tennis shoes that feel good on my feet, a visit to a podiatrist (so I know what shoes I need), and free money to buy some wardrobe staples. Who doesn't like free money?!? 
What do you want?!
10 Day Challenge Link Up
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