Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall decorations

I've never decorated for fall, but I've been to a few of my friend's houses recently, and I just love their fall decorations (Irma...Megan...Jessica...) so I decided to get into the spirit of things, small scale :).

Gourds, pumpkins, and fall foliage around the kitchen sink (I have another bowl of gourds on the coffee table too)

Fall foliage and Yankee Candle's "Autumn Leaves" candles
(can't thank Lisa enough for introducing me to that scent)

So, like I said, small scale. But the decorations make me smile. :D

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Medical update

So the latest on the medicalness of Melissa...

Saw the rheumatologist a week ago. We upped the dosage on the organ rejection medication (used for immune suppression). Turns out I've been running fevers of about 100 degrees every day starting around 4pm- this is due to my disease and just illustrates that my disease is VERY active right now (my doctor admired my gruesomely purple fingers and toes, with lovely angry red blister/ulcers on them...seriously, who needs a Halloween costume when you've got my hands? :) ).

He then asked how my back was doing and if I had decided go with the spinal injections. I told him that I wasn't convinced that the ortho doc thought it was biomechanical and given that I have made some awesome progress in general and especially since going on the new medicine, I am thinking it's all disease related, and given that the spinal taps I had in high school botched some nerves up for a good few years (my left leg would go numb if I sat in a certain position), I didn't feel that poking around in my spine right now was the right thing to do. And he agreed with me 100%. That made me feel good.

My disease flared a little stronger this week (stress) and my SI joints became inflamed again. But I was actually pretty happy about it because it shows that it is my disease and not some weird other back thing going on. They (SI joints) are already feeling better so I figure I will be back where I was activity-wise last week as soon as things calm down again.

But in general (pretending this week didn't happen)...things are definitely improving!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tima's Baby Shower

So you remember that Tima and Mark came to visit me in September? Well, I was super excited to get to see them again just about a month later in Arizona for their baby shower!...little Miller due to arrive in the middle of December. And, I managed to convince my brother to pick me up from the shower and jet to Chandler to meet our parents (who had just arrived back from Idaho and were driving down to Tucson) for a quick dinner. That's a lot of birds to hit with one stone :)

I had to post a picture of this cake...they had it made to match the invitations I did, how cute is that!?

The glowing Mommy-to-be! Can't wait to meet my honorary nephew!

More invitations

I've been busy this fall with making invitations. I made some for my friend Christina's baby shower, but, alas!, I forgot to take a picture of them. Here are a couple of pictures of my two most recent invitations:

Invitations for TimaSue's baby shower

Birthday party invitations

Saturday, October 9, 2010


My parents are heading up to Idaho today to visit the grandkids. Last night my mom passed these two John-Michaelisms along. This kid cracks me up. I can't wait until Carter starts talking!

John Michael to his mom (Monica): "Mom, when Nana and Papa come, I can't kick them because they are old"

(I should mention that he has started playing soccer so kicking is on his mind a lot...)

Monica: "Um, well, you can't kick them because it is not nice to kick people"

John Michael (thinking about this): "Mom, when you get old, I will buy you a car"

I love almost four year old randomness :)

John Michael started preschool a few weeks ago and is apparently having some separation issues (tears) in the morning when Monica drops him off. This week he was a little under the weather and stayed home for a day or so. But then he was better and it was time to go back to school.

John Michael- "My tummy still hurts. I want Fruit Loops for breakfast"
John- "John Michael, are you really sick or are you pretending?"
John Michael (smiling up at his daddy)- "Well, I think I will be okay if Mommy stops at Starbucks on the way to school and gets me a vanilla milk"

I busted out laughing at this. Little manipulator.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I couldn't blog about this right when it happened, but I came across a really awesome article this past weekend and felt it was time.

As many of you know, my Aunt Laurie passed away from ovarian cancer on August 23rd of this year. She fought a great battle for 3 years. And she is very missed. I am so incredibly thankful that I got to reconnect with her 3.5 years ago at my cousin's wedding, because I got to know better what an awesome woman she was and I hope to be half the homemaker she was.

The article that I stumbled across is about a woman triathlete who was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. Participating in triathlon means you spend a lot of time listening to your body- what to feed it, how to hydrate it, stretch it, rest it. And for triathlete Jenn Sommermann, things felt a bit "wrong"...this led to her stage 3 diagnosis. It is such a miracle that they discovered the cancer at stage 3, which meant the chances of successful treatment were still realistic. Ovarian cancer is near impossible to detect early. Laurie's was discovered at stage 4.

I want to encourage you to visit Jenn's blog here. She has a pretty awesome story and is out there raising awareness for ovarian cancer and raising funds for research. Go Jenn!

And I'd love to race one of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund races for Laurie once my back is healed. There's a goal.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Running shoes on...went for a...

WALK! Ha, bet you thought I was going to say something different didn't you? Oh well, some day I will once again type those three wonderful letters :)...but I digress...

I put my running shoes on for the first time in almost three months and walked around my neighborhood. My walking has gotten better- in the office, I am locomoting at an almost normal-Melissa pace and I barely notice that my back hurts. So now, I am trying to get better at walking longer distances. Not sure how far I went today, less than a mile, and I felt it...but it was tolerable. Baby steps!

I've decided to try REALLY hard to avoid the injections because the fact is that none of my doctors really understand what's causing the pain (I mean, the inflammation is causing the pain of course, but they can't seem to decide if the cause of the inflammation is disease related or biomechanical related) I am going to give it the rest of October to see where I end up. I AM improving, albeit slowly and still with some pretty yucky days, but improvement is improvement. I am still aquajogging, swimming "non-agressive" laps without kicking, and doing PT twice a week.

I was telling a friend over dinner last night that I am actually thankful that I had those 3 horrible weeks in July/August where I couldn't get out of bed. Because now, when I get frustrated that I hurt after walking across my worksite, or sitting on a couch for 2 hours, I just think "yeah, well it's not as bad as those three weeks". If I had just woken up one morning with the current uncomfortablness that I am experiencing, I think that would have been a lot harder to deal with. So I am thankful for the comparison!

Here's to walking around the neighborhood! Next up...stationary recumbent bike!?