Thursday, October 27, 2011

Birthday Month

October seems to be the month for birthdays. A lot of my family and friends have birthdays this month. There are several on my moms side, so every year since I could remember we've had a celebration for everyone that we call October birthdays. It's great when we all can get together and see each other.

My birthday was October 19 and I turned 25. It feels weird to say I'm a quarter of a century old. It's definitely gone by fast. On my birthday my boyfriend, Blake, took me out to lunch at Punch pizza. Then we went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I hadn't been there since grade school. I forgot how much fun it is to look at art from different places and centuries. We only made it around the third floor; there is so much art it would be hard to see all in one day.

Blake's birthday was October 14 so on the 22nd we had a combined birthday party at my house with all of our friends and some family. We've been together about two months so it was a good way for everyone to meet each other. We got Subway sandwiches and had a bonfire out back. (Of course I removed my oxygen from my wheelchair so I didn't blow up.) I had an awesome time and it was so much fun! I'm grateful to have met someone like him. He's amazing and a great guy; I'm so happy. :-)

Blake and I at our birthday party


Monday, October 24, 2011


Have you ever stopped what you were doing and listened to silence? Have you ever slowed your life down just enough to catch a breath? Have you ever taken the time to watch the sunset? Life's little moments may be passing you by.

Ever since my accident I've learned not to take things for granted because you never know what can happen. It's amazing how much people miss because they're too busy and don't slow down to see what's going on around them. No matter how big or small, life's moments are precious.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Imagine for a moment that there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400.

It carries over no balance from day to day.

Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use
during the day. What would you do? Draw out ALL OF IT, of course!!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to
invest to good purpose.

It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.

Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.

There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow."
You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get
from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success!
The clock is running. Make the most of today.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a
premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an

To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver
medal in the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you
shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time.

And remember that time waits for no one.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present!!!


Friday, October 14, 2011

A Good Feeling

I was at school the other day heading to my class when a guy stopped me in the hallway. He told me he remembered me from a speaking engagement I did three years ago. It was a 15 min. speech after a mock car crash to about 1200 students and faculty at Eastview high school. He was one of them.

I was kind of taken aback because I didn't expect it. He said that I inspired him that day. He also told me to keep speaking and sharing my story; that I'm amazing and inspirational. It felt really good to hear and know that I had touched somebody.

This reminds me of a similar story that happened a couple of years ago. I had spoken to a group of about 80 sixth-graders at Glen Lake elementary school. One of the students in particular had gone home that day and talked to his parents about my speech. He told them about me speaking and my story.

A couple of days after I had spoke, I received an e-mail from the boy's father. He told me that his son had come home talking about me. Then he said I don't know if you remember me, but I was one of the firemen that helped pull you out of the car that night. I came and visited you in the hospital afterwards.

Chills went through as I read those words over and over. I did remember him; he brought me a St. Christopher medal. He also said in the e-mail that him and his department still talk about that night. It's amazing the connections that we have in the world throughout life. I'm thankful every day that I'm alive and able to help others just by being me. I hope to have many more stories like this to share.


That's exactly the reason why I do what I do and love it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October Update

Hey everyone!

Hope your October is going well. The weather is so beautiful here in Minnesota. The sun is shining and the temperatures have been in the 80s. Although the leaves are still turning colors and falling fast. I think we might have a cold winter this year.

I've been busy as usual. School has been good so far, but definitely harder than I thought. That seems to happen most semesters. At the beginning of this semester I had signed up for two classes but unfortunately had to drop one. Now I'm just taking Introduction to Kinesiology. It's a little difficult because I'm not going to pursue a degree in exercise science, I just need to meet the goal for this area. But I'm still getting through it.

Thursday, October 6 I was the keynote speaker at MAMES (Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services) fall conference. I spoke for about 30 min. and then had question and answer after that. I told my story, talked about staying positive, Ms. wheelchair Minnesota, nationals, and also what I want from medical equipment suppliers. It went awesome and I got a standing ovation afterwards! It's great to be able to speak to others and advocate for people with his abilities. I'm definitely looking forward to many more speeches.

MAMES (Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services) President, Julie Weidemann presents me with a certificate of appreciation for my participation as the keynote speaker

I will be plenty busy the rest of of the month (including my 25th birthday October 19) so I will keep you updated.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

MOA Experience

The other day my sister and I went to the Mall of America to shop. It's the biggest Mall in the United States and the second biggest in the world (first biggest is in Canada). Although we only live 30 min. from it, I don't go there very often. It's always an interesting place to be at, full of different cultures and experiences. People come from all over the world to see the mall that's so close to me.

When we first got there, we looked around a couple stores on the main level and then decided to go up a level to another store. On our way to the elevator we stopped at a kiosk that had hermit crabs. We were just watching them, when the guy that worked there came up and started talking to my sister. He was asking her some questions and she was telling him how we've had hermit crabs before. Then I chimed in to the conversation and said to him that I had them but they'd all died. He got this surprised look on his face, looked at my sister and then straight to me and said, "Whoa, you can talk?"
I was like, "yeah!"
Then he said "good for you," and shook his head up and down a couple times. I didn't say anything to him afterwards; we left right away. Frankly I was a little in shock and kind of confused. Realizing afterwards that basically he had assumed that I was unable to talk because of my situation, I wish I would've said something else. I chuckle about it now, being that it was so unbelievably frightening at where assuming things in a situation gets you. I actually think this might happen a lot with people; it's just no one's said it out loud to me before.
After that, my sister and I kept going to our next destination. We went up the elevator a floor to the store we had planned on going to. When I first entered, there was a woman in front of me staring down at a rack of clothes. She looked up at me briefly and then turned to my nurse and said "I like the shirt she's wearing."
I just looked at her dumbfounded and said kind of sarcastically "thanks!" At that point I was a little annoyed but also disappointed in people. Felt kind of sheltered and in my own little world; like there was nobody around to help or defend. I moved to another spot in the store and went on with shopping despite my feelings. Sometimes when things like that happen I just have to take it as a learning experience and move on I guess. These certain situations are the exact reason why I want to get out there and educate others about people with disabilities.
It's important that people understand that just because someone is in a wheelchair, doesn't mean they can't talk or don't have abilities. My main goal is to help eliminate this stereotype and put fresh thoughts in people's minds. If everyone makes a conscious effort to help out with this, I think a lot of people could be reached and benefit.
Thanks for reading my blog and feel free to leave comments or questions. I look forward to them!