Thursday, June 28, 2012

I've Learned…

I love this quote by Margaret Boyd. It's all the things that if I haven't already I hope to learn in my lifetime. Enjoy!
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back. I've learned that when ever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

"Pick her up and pretend you're going to throw her in the pool, she'll scream and fight but secretly she'll love it. Hold her hand while you talk. Hold her hand while you drive. Just hold her hand. Look into her eyes while you talk to her. Protect her. Tell her stupid jokes. Tickle her, even when she says stop. Slow dance with her. Let her fall asleep in your arms. Get her mad then kiss her. Tease her. Let her tease you back. Stay up with her when she's sick. Kiss her forehead. Let her wear your clothes. Kiss her in the rain. Just kiss her. And when you love her just tell her.

"As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to let you down, probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once, and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend and you might even fall in love. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing so fast. So take too many pictures, laugh too hard, and love like you've never been hurt because every minute you spend mad or upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Those who have hope, have everything."
-Margaret Boyd

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dreams and Gifts

1) List your dreams

My dream is to be an advocate for others.  I would like to graduate college with hopes of becoming a motivational speaker and also work in public relations. I would like to speak anywhere that is needed to share my inspirational story and teach lessons.

2) List your gifts

Artistic, natural speaker and motivator, ability to inspire and help others, sense of humor, writer

3) How do I want to help my community/society?

I would like to be an advocate for people with disabilities. I also want to volunteer my time to help others in need.

4) What are societies' problems I want to help solve?

I believe that society labels people with disabilities and looks at them in a different way. I would like to change this problem and make it so that people with disabilities are seen for the abilities that they have and not their disability.

5) Your favorite values you wish to be known for:

*served or helped those who were in need
*impressed people with my going the 2nd mile, in meeting their needs
*was always a good listener
*was always good at carrying out orders, or bringing projects to a successful conclusion
*mastered some technique or field
*did something that everyone said couldn't be done
*did something that no one had ever done before
*excelled and was the best at whatever I did
*fixed something that was broken
*made something work
*improved something, made it better, perfected it
*influenced people and gained tremendous response from them
*had an impact and caused change
*did work which brought more information/truth to the world
*was a good decision maker
*was me


Friday, June 22, 2012

Journal History I

On November 1, 2002 I was in a car accident. A few days later, my family started a CaringBridge site to keep everybody updated on what was going on with me. It's very interesting for me to read back through the Journal history since I don't remember much from directly after my accident. I'm creating a new series called Journal history in which I will continue to post most of the entries for all to read. Here are the Journal entries from November 5 through November 17.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002 at 08:14 AM (CST)

Jenni has had some progress. Sunday (11/3) she was placed in a Halo brace to keep her neck immobilized. Monday (11/4) she had her breathing tube removed from her mouth and a breathing tube placed in her trachea. We welcomed this operation to provide more comfort for her throat and now when she mouths her words to us it is much more comfortable.

Saturday, November 9th, 2002 6:45 PM

Although Jenni had a quiet night last night, she did not sleep well. Today she wanted to rest alot and we agreed she should. The nursing staff is the best, and Jen is comfortable with all of them. They are keeping her busy with tests and different things that will help her recover faster. The staff stressed the need for "quiet time" for Jen, we realize how important that is. We want her to recover just as much as everyone, so we are letting her rest as much as she needs. The family thanks everyone for the continued support, and we will let you know when she is able to have visitors more often. Thank you and God Bless.

Sunday, November 10th, 9:45 PM

There was not much change in Jenni' condition today, but we know with each passing moment her body is healing. Jenni is so strong! Kevin, Lori, Cindy and Kristen would like to say THANK YOU to the enormous network of family and friends who have come together in support. You have given us the strength and courage to cope. Jenni also knows you there and she is comforted. Coach Cos says; "Together" and we feel together. You are amazing people. God Bless you all.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002 at 08:58 AM (CST)

Jenni had a good night last night. Nurse Marylou wheeled in a TV/VCR and we listened to a movie until the Sandman came. He stayed with Jenni most of night, and this morning she feels rested. Today the Staff is working on elevating the bed more often, and for longer periods of time. We are continuing to hope and pray for Jenni and know you are too. God Bless.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002 at 07:20 PM (CST)

A pretty good day today for Jenni. She had a visit from the Occupational Therapy department. They had her sitting upright in bed for about 5 minutes. It was a little uncomfortable, but a necessary stop on the road to recovery. Wednesday she gets to try a reclining chair. She enjoyed the new view of her surroundings. She also got some personal dental work from Cindy who filed a sharp point off her front tooth. It sure feels better, thanks Cindy. Jenni did ask her cousin Kari to find her a poster of "EMINEM"-(with his shirt off), to put on the ceiling for when she is lying on her back. We'll clear that one with the Staff. She sends her love and thanks to all of you. God Bless.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002 at 11:43 PM (CST)

Jenni writes tonight's journal entry:

"Dear friends and family of mine,

I love you all so much and I am so thankful to be in your prayers.
God bless you all. Thanks for writing to me and keeping my hopes up.
I love you all so much and hope to talk to and see you soon".

With love,

Thursday, November 14, 2002 at 09:44 PM (CST)

Today was a very busy day for Jenni. This afternoon she went to surgery to have an artery in her neck "sealed" This was done to prevent any clots from releasing and moving to her brain. We feel much more relieved now.

Jenni received a new trachea tube today however it turned out to be "not quite right". Another should be delivered on Monday. She is being very patient through all this, a definite sign of her strength and courage.

Saturday, November 16, 2002 at 1:58 AM (CST)

Good morning. Jenni had another milestone today. She got 10 very proud minutes in a chair! She was not quite upright, but good enough that she was finally able to see the rest of room she has been in the past two weeks. She was so excited. (Aunt Sandy took advantage of the empty bed to surgically tape an "EMINEM" poster to the ceiling. No more boring ceiling tile dots to look at.) We then had a mini photo shoot, taking pictures of Jenni with everyone there; Dad, Aunt Sandy, Aunt Julie, and nurses/new friends. What a ham! Late last night Cindy pampered Jenni with a scalp massage and hair brushing, while Dad did his best at a facial. Jenni loved it so much she didn't want us to stop. Later, a Respiratory Tech named "Ta" stopped and French braided her hair. (She actually bailed us out because we weren't sure what country her braid would've been from had Cindy and Dad done it.)We pretend we are at the "Ped's ICU Resort and Spa", a relaxing place Jenni can go to and take her mind off other things.

We may be moving Jen next week to Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul for rehabilitation. We visited the facility on Friday and were very impressed. Jenni has the "can hardly waits" to go there. We will keep you informed. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. God Bless.

Sunday, November 17, 2002 at 09:36 AM (CST)

We would like to devote this journal entry to educate you about Jenni's injury and present physical condition. Jenni suffered a compression injury to her neck, specifically her spinal cord in her cervical vertibrae,(C1-C2),at the base of her neck. As a result of this injury, she does not have voluntary control of any muscles below this point, including her diaphram. She is on a ventilator to provide her breathing. Above the point of injury, she is completely functional with the exception of her voice. The ventilator tube enters her trachea below her vocal cords.

Eventually she will learn to pass air across her vocal cords allowing her to speak with sound.
At this time there is nothing surgically or medically available to repair spinal cord damage. None, partial or full regeneration of the nerve cells may happen, but only time will tell. You can learn more about her type of injury by visiting A link is provided below.
We hope to move Jenni from HCMC Peds ICU to Gillette Children's Hospital in St Paul for rehabilitation as soon as we get the ok.

Thank you again for all your support through prayers and thoughts. God bless you all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Working on Homework

I've been extremely busy with my online cultural anthropology class this past week, hence the reason for the lack of blog posts. I love creative writing and especially writing posts for all of you to read. However I find it difficult to write them at this point because I feel guilty when I'm obligated to write things like discussion posts and papers for my class. Sorry to say this one ends on the 29th and July 2 I'll be starting an online marketing class. That means the same thing might happen depending on my workload. I guess that's part of what goes along with college!

For this class I have two chapters, seven discussion posts, a two-page paper, and a 100 point quiz that I have to do for homework each week. Right now I'm in the middle of working on my fourth paper in week four of my class (there's five weeks). For the paper, I have to pretend like I was just hired by NASA to create an extraterrestrial community in which I try to avoid problems and conflicts that exist in a modern society. I have to say I wasn't excited about this assignment at first, but I just typed out 300 words in the last half-hour after doing a little research. (With the help of Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software I'm able to type a lot of words by voice if I don't stop very much to think lol).

There's something about this paper that's intriguing me now that wasn't before; it's that I'm able to create a society/community where I have the ability to avoid all problems that exist in the world today. Now that's what I call the coolest idea ever. I'm all for being able to eliminate crime and murder and implement good political, educational, and economic systems. I also have to share how I would maintain order and settle conflicts along with what main values I would build into my community. It's turning out to be interesting figuring out what's wrong with our society now and turning it into something right. Of course, I wouldn't have to necessarily create the perfect community, but why not?


Monday, June 11, 2012

Creating Artwork

One of my favorite activities to do is paint. I use watercolor and special paper to create all sorts of images and sceneries. In order to do so, someone puts the end of a paintbrush in my mouth with the other end full of the color I want; then they hold the paper for me. I've been using this technique since my accident and it's proved to be the best method.

It's the most fun and relaxing thing I do. It gives me great pleasure to create paintings that others can enjoy. I get asked all the time if I sell my paintings by people interested in buying them. The reason I haven't decided to yet is because I tend to get attached so it's hard to let go of the originals, especially if they're really good. I thought about making prints and then selling them, but haven't gotten around to it. Someday I'll get up the courage to sell some, just not yet.

I had four watercolor classes over the past five weeks that I took at the Edina Art Center. I took the same class there with the same teacher a couple of years ago and loved it! The best part was learning new techniques for my paintings. The class this year was 2 1/2 hours long. It's hard on my neck to paint for a long period of time so I have to take frequent breaks. There's another one just like it possibly starting this Wednesday with six classes. I won't be able to make it the first class because of appointments but hopefully I can sign up for it and attend the remaining five.

In the first watercolor class, she showed us how to paint a fish. Although I tried, it was difficult for me to do because of all of the details. Throughout the second class I worked on a painting of some flowers in a vase. I didn't know how to go about starting something like this since I hadn't done it before. The art teacher showed me a picture to go off of and then taught me how to create a vase. I wet the whole paper first and then created the background with yellow and a tiny bit of pink and blue. When the paper dried some, I put in some darker green to show the leaves. Next, I painted the vase with a purple and made the right side of it a little bit darker to show some shadow. That's all I completed that day.

In the third class, the teacher showed us how to paint a flower and then put a background in. Whenever I paint scenery I always start with the background first so this technique was very helpful to me. I practiced painting a flower; when it was dry I wet the white of the paper and touched in some color creating a background. Although it was just on a scratch piece of watercolor paper, sometimes even when I'm just practicing the paintings turn out really well and end up becoming
finished pieces.

During the fourth class I finished my flower painting. The teacher told me that it looked really good the way it was but I could add a little more color. So I added some brighter yellow, pink, and a tiny bit of blue. I think it turned out really nice and is one of my better paintings. I'm definitely going to try this technique again with flowers and a vase. I could possibly turn this painting into greeting cards or just make prints of it but I haven't decided yet.

Let me know what you think!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finding Time

I can't believe that it's June already. This year is going by so fast! I started my online cultural anthropology class this last week. It's extremely demanding of my time and there's a lot of homework; because it's during the summer, the class is essentially a 16 week class condensed into 5 weeks. Each week I have two chapters to read (about 50 pages), seven discussion posts, a 1-2 page paper, and a 20 question quiz worth 100 points. I've been able to get most of it done these past few days however each week will be different depending on other things I've committed to. Over the next four days I have meetings and appointments that will require a lot of my time so I'm a little worried about how much homework I'll be able to get done.

My week coming so far…
Monday-Botox appointment

Tuesday-Physical therapy, Art Class, acupuncture

Wednesday-Ms. wheelchair Minnesota board meeting, physical therapy
Thursday-Manual therapy, Psychotherapist appointment

Friday-Physical therapy
This doesn't seem like too much looking at it spread out, but I haven't included public transportation drive time. That can sometimes take longer than appointments depending on where I have to go and different pickups of people. Also, I often have to wait longer than the original pickup times; certain companies are better at being on time than others but most of the time it doesn't matter… I'm always waiting. The worst thing is when we have to pick up and drop off other people; being in a vehicle driving around the city when I know I could be spending that time getting other things done such as homework isn't the most ideal situation. It wouldn't be so bad if it was always straight shots.

Anyways, back to my homework. I have two discussion posts to do and a paper to finish up before 10 PM tonight. Wish me luck in all my endeavors for the summer. Blog posts might be a little scarce as homework is my top priority!
Feel free to make suggestions or submit comments and questions-I'm always looking for ideas on blog posts to write.



"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want."
-Bill Watterson