Thursday, October 17, 2013

My flavor

Falling in love doesn't happen every day but when it does, look out. You always hear people telling you that it'll happen when you least expect it. Some even say they see fireworks when they kiss for the first time. Goosebumps when your love enters the room. Swept off their feet. They stole their heart. So many different sayings about love. "Falling head over heels" is one that absolutely holds true for me. 

I happen to be a very lucky girl. You see, on this very day three years ago, the waiting had ended, and the weight of the world had been lifted from me.  One of those moments you can't believe is happening.  I was physically walking towards him, my heart was beating so fast. Was he really awake or was I dreaming? Then I walked through those doors and the ICU staff was grinning from ear to ear in my direction. I couldn't hear a word they were saying to me. It was a too good to be true deafening experience. As my feet got closer, I turned the corner, and there he was.....looking right at me reaching his hand out towards me. With tears running down my face and a smile so big...I can honestly say at that very moment I fell in love with him all over again. The challenges ahead of us didn't matter because together we are a force to be reckoned with. To this day, he still rocks my world. He's my flavor.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Autumn memories

Autumn has got to be, hands down, my favorite time of the year. 

One of my earliest autumn memories is watching my brother and sister raking the leaves in our yard into these giant piles. Then I can recall that silly feeling as if it were yesterday .... taking that running jump straight into a giant pile of fresh raked leaves. Leaves everywhere, dust, dirt... was all worth that one jump into the pile. Who cares if you had to rake them again... so exhilarating. 

Another autumn memory for me is the pink sweater. For those that know me, they knew that when the pink sweater made an appearance, it was officially autumn. The fresh smell of coldness in the air. Wearing layers of clothes as opposed to a jacket. The pink sweater provided warmth yet so fashionable in a sea of orange, yellow, brown, and gold. I wore it for years until I had to finally retire my old friend. 

My first weekend getaway with Kevin was in autumn, with some friends for Oktoberfest in the mountains. Yes, the pink sweater was there. That was a weekend to remember for sure. Dancing to polka music, drinking German beer, laughing until our faces hurt, and enjoying the company of our friends. Good times indeed. 

This autumn was the first year in three years where thankfully no one has reminded me of you know what.  I'm guessing we've all reached our new normal. We are "living" post transplant as opposed to just living post transplant. Are you following me? We've come to some sort of acceptance, possibly all moved forward. It's also quite possible that everyone remembered but finally respected the fact that I prefer to remember the good about my favorite time of the year. 

For my kids, I'm hoping their earliest memory of autumn is when Daddy proved the family motto true......that we don't give up. He never gave up and we never gave up on him. Where there is a will, there is a way. I'm hoping when they're in their twenty's they recall all of our friends and family that stepped up to the plate with us, encouraged us when we struck out, and stood next to us cheering on their father when he hit the grand slam we were all waiting on. That our friends and family are the "rise to the occasion" type of people. 

For me, my newest memory of autumn is one that I will never forget. It's a story I enjoy telling over and over again. I get goosebumps just thinking about the events of that particular day. In a few days it will be exactly three years when I looked into Kevin's eyes and fell in love with him all over again. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Move forward

A quote from a television show I found some truth in....

"Trauma always leaves a scar. It follows us home, it changes our lives. Trauma messes everybody up. But maybe that's what pushes us to move forward."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

grocery bags

I can't remember when the whole save the earth, in your face,  movement started happening but I do know I have about half a dozen (probably more) of those re-usable grocery bags. Friends of mine have them, family members, and people I don't know have re-usable bags.  A few stores have even stopped using plastic bags so you're forced to help save the earth and get a re-usable bag. Some people have really fancy ones or ones from Target, Trader Joe's, you get my point. Recently I acquired this one. It's a Donate Life re-usable bag. The bottom right reads "reuse." GENIUS if you ask me. 

I'm always telling people, reduce, reuse, recycle. This should not only apply to our paper products, plastic bottles, soda cans but that it should also apply to our organs. If I'm dead what the flip am I going to do with my organs? I'd love it if I was able to help save a life just like our donor saved Kevin and maybe other lives for all we know. It's something to think about and something to share with your friends and family members.

I've checked off the box that says yes to donating my organs, have you?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

this time of year

This fourth of July will mark two years since Kevin got the call for a new heart.

The fifth of July will mark two years post heart transplant for Kevin. 

This time of year not only reminds me of how grateful I am but it also reminds me of a time when our friends and family stood by us through the storm. The family that gave themselves so freely to us in our time of need. This time of year I get very sentimental and emotional. I play back that phone call, those feelings, the drive to the hospital, the waiting, the joy. When I flip through the clothes in my closet I always stop at the red shirt I wore that day. I can’t help it. I’m surrounded by memories that I get so caught up in smiling at them all.

This time of year always reminds me of how much I appreciate my friends. In particular, those that were with me in the waiting room, the princess blanket that kept me warm, the ones that held my hand, the phone calls, the text messages, those who didn’t think I was crazy when I asked “do I look OK? Do I need more lipstick?” They knew my reasoning. The ones who spooned me, fed me when my hands were too tired to pick up the fork, and those who are still my very closest friends today.

This time of year reminds me that generosity of ones self comes in many different forms. For this, I am grateful. Whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you for my husband's heart. My children and I are thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

10 months goes too fast...

Yup, me and Kev went to kindergarten culmination last week. Where did 10 months go? Wasn't I just getting all teary eyed about the first day of kindergarten? Well, a lot has happened in 10 months. Now that summer is here I'm hoping I have more time to blog about it all because I've certainly had enough time to digest. For now, I'd just like to thank the wonderful teachers at my boys elementary school, the new friends we've made, our family & friends, science, Cedars Sinai Medical Center doctors & nurses, and our donor family. Whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you for giving my husband a new heart.....and thank you for keeping my little family of four together. You rock!

Register to be an organ donor today.
You have the power to donate life

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chocolate chips

Everyone that follows my blog knows one of our kids has severe food allergies. It's totally manageable and now that he's older, he understands he can't eat certain things. It's much easier keeping him away from certain foods at 6 1/2 years old vs when he was 18 months old. With that said, there is one brand of chocolate chips that I can use when baking... "Enjoy Life." I usually buy them at my local Target. Anyway, the past month my local Target didn't have them in stock. And as it would happen, my child was asking for chocolate chip cookies. I quickly put my core group of twin mamas into action, asking them to keep an eye out at their local Target. Within a week I had some Enjoy Life chocolate chips. I have the best friends EVER and was so grateful to my friend for finding them. Cookies were made the same day with the entire bag of chocolate chips.

I was having a bad day recently (after I made cookies the day prior) and I get this perishable package in the mail. I open it to find I've hit the jackpot in Enjoy Life chocolate chips! There was no card...sneaky friends of mine. Once I discovered who it was I couldn't have been more grateful to her for a variety of reasons.

1. her thoughtfulness
2. she told me I was a great mom for wanting to make home-made chocolate chip cookies
3. she made me smile on the outside and inside
4. she reminded me that all bad days are easily cured with chocolate

Having so many chocolate chips on hand I got to thinking....hmmm, graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate = s'mores! Our kids have never had one. I had all of the ingredients. Yes, I had a bag of marshmallows in my pantry. I melted an entire bag of chocolate chips, poured it into a flat container, and popped it in the fridge overnight to make individual chocolate pieces the size of graham crackers.

The next night Kevin got the fire pit going in the backyard, we were all bundled up....yes, we live in Los Angeles and we were bundled up. It was 60 degrees outside, don't you bundle up once it gets that cold? The kids were beyond excited to be up past their bedtime. It was family time in the backyard with chocolate involved. I went inside to grab everything for the s'mores and saw the chocolate chip bag sitting in my fridge. There it was staring at me.... Enjoy Life. I paused for a brief second and smiled. My chocolate was telling me to enjoy life. Love it. And we all loved those s'mores.

Now get out there and enjoy your life. You only get one try but if you're living post transplant or part of a family that is, it's like getting a second go at life. So eat chocolate, spend time with your family, hug your kids, find time to play, believe in yourself, and love.

The memories that were created this past weekend wouldn't have been possible without our donor family. Whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you for giving my husband the gift of life.