Sunday, January 19, 2014


I’m currently going through a bunch of changes in my life.  This also includes a well needed update on my blog.  You will soon see my blog transform before your eyes!  Over time, some things may need to be edited or changed, but the fresh new look is going to be awesome!  I can’t wait until everybody can see what it looks like!  Feel free to comment or ask questions about the change.  I’m also open to suggestions if you have any.

Along with my blog changing, I decided to paint my room and redecorate as well.  It’s been painted and now I just have to put everything together.  I’m also going to buy new things to put in my room very soon.  I will definitely post pictures of the new color and then eventually of my whole room.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wheels in Winter

Although I love Minnesota, winter is hard on me (and my wheels).  With cold temperatures below freezing and sometimes even below zero, along with the piles of snow it’s difficult for me to get around. Sometimes I develop seasonal depression because I’m stuck indoors.  When that happens, I’m never in the mood to do anything or be productive.  It’s very unfortunate because I love getting outside (especially to take my dog for a walk) and go out in the community.  I’m looking forward to spring when I can get outside more.

Last week was especially hard.  The temperatures were very extreme; schools, events, activities etc. were even governed close last Monday and Tuesday because of the cold.  I believe the high was below -20°F and the wind chill factor (how it felt) was at least -40°F.  The news commented saying five minutes outside and someone could start to freeze!  Even Brody didn’t want to go outside.

The weather here is also very unpredictable.  The other day felt like a heat wave with the high being 40°F.  Other states probably might consider that cold but not us here!  I would definitely take Brody for a walk if there wasn’t so much slush in the streets.  In fact, I did when it first snowed and everything was fresh.  Last night it snowed a few inches and we’re due to get more today.
Me and Brody about a month ago.  It was still warm enough to be outside and the ground wasn't too wet.  By the way, he loves his sweaters!

The sun was shining brightly.
He only goes in the snow when it's warmer out.
When it's cold and snowy he goes out as quick as possible! 
On this day he stopped to soak up the sun.

Having a SCI and being on a ventilator is no match for the cold weather.  Because of my injury, I’m not able to feel if I’m cold or hot.  The only way I know is when it’s too late and my body starts spasming.  Also, the cold air can be very hard on my lungs.  When the vent pulls the air in, it goes through the tubing, then my trach and into my lungs.  There is nothing to warm the air up so it feels the same in my lungs as it is outside.  When someone breathes through their nose, the hairs warm the air up so it’s not such a shock.

There are still a couple months left of winter with more cold days and lots of snow!  As long as the temperature stays above 0°F I’m willing to venture out.  It’s definitely not the same to just look out the window as it is actually going somewhere.  Hopefully my wheels can take all the snow we’re getting and I can go somewhere soon.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Here's to the New Year

As the New Year starts, I’m reminded of the reason why I choose life instead of going down a darker road. Since my accident, I’ve continued to stay positive and believe that things occur for a reason. I don’t take anything for granted because you never know what can happen. There are instances when life can be difficult and we may face times of trouble. That might mean having to deal with things that can be unimaginable; things that may bring us down or even break us.

Despite what I’ve been through and what’s happened, I still remain hopeful and have joy because that’s what gets me through even my darkest moments. I realize that to many people my situation may seem challenging or hard and some even feel sorry for me. However, I’m grateful for where I’m at knowing very well that my situation could be worse. I live every day like it’s my last and cherish what I have.

That brings me back to my favorite quote and what I always say about it: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." This quote has two meanings for me. The first meaning is exactly how it’s stated. The second is a literal and more personal meaning. Life is not measured by the number of breaths I take, which happens to be 18 breathes a minute, but by the moment that took my breath away.

The highlight of 2013 was the birth of my niece, Avery Jean. She is now almost 5 months old and the happiest baby ever. I’m always greeted with smiles and she’s even starting to laugh a little bit! A child is the greatest gift anyone could ask for. I love being able to watch her grow and develop each and every day. My sister Kristen is a great mom also; I’m proud of her for everything she’s done and how devoted she is.

Avery 4 1/2 months

My goals for 2014 are to stay true to myself, continue motivational speaking and volunteering, find a job that I’m passionate about, start working on writing my book, paint and update my blog more. I’m currently in the process of redesigning my blog and my room. Not sure what that says but I am mainly trying to make changes in my life. It’s difficult in my situation to be spontaneous with change. It is definitely a process and I get bored easily not being able to do things all the time when I want to do them. Although I believe I make the most of my situation and strive to be a better person every day.


"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived-this is to have succeeded."
-Bessie Anderson Stanley

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
-Albert Einstein