Total Pageviews

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Awesome neighbors & Almonds

What up peeps?! Haha, it's Thankful Thursday time again! Time to sit back and reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for! Everybody has something they can be thankful for. Check out what we're thankful for, and then tell us what YOU are thankful for! We love reading comments people leave! Makes us feel special to know people actually read these things, lol! Here we go, our lists:

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for awesome neighbors this week! We live in St. Louis, Missouri and hurricane Isaac has decided to head up our way to spend the weekend with us. People all over St. Louis are preparing their houses for the lovely visitor! :) On the news they were giving advice, saying that you should clean your gutters out before Mr. Isaac gets here. You know, to make your house look all "pretty like" for him.

As I pulled into my driveway after work, I saw my neighbor up on his roof with his leaf blower cleaning out his gutters. He stopped to say hey and asked if I wanted him to clean mine out. Of course I said no. I feel bad allowing people to help me, much less ever asking them to. He said he really didn't mind and asked if I'd let him so he could "help a brother out." Now that's a nice guy! He was willing to climb on my roof and clean em out just cuz. I said thank you, not really knowing what t say when someone is going to do something like that for me. I feel like I should go buy him something. That's a huge help you know?!

Not only did he clean out my gutters but he did the older gentleman's gutters next to me too! Now that's an awesome neighbor! This same neighbor also mowed Monica and I's grass before we moved into our house but after we had closed on it. It was our house but we weren't living in it yet (we waited to move in til after our wedding) and didn't have a lawnmower. I honestly didn't even think about the grass til it had been a couple weeks, but my dad said every time he went by to do something it was mowed. Our neighbor knew we were a young engaged couple and kept mowing it til we moved in.... just to be nice! They really have been awesome neighbors to us, and so has everyone around us! It's nice to have neighbors who help you out and look after your house while your on vacation. They've gotten our mail for us, and just keep an eye out on the house for us while were gone. This week, I want to say how thankful I am for our neighbors!

What are you thankful for?!

Monica's List:

I'm thankful for almonds. We (me more-so than Jeremy) have been trying to eat as healthy as possible and these little guys are a healthy snack we both enjoy! I'm a girl who likes to have that crunch.... and almonds have a lot of it! ;) I like just about every type of almond out there but I've been eating the raw ones since they are sodium free. I was munching on them one day and offered some to Jeremy, much to my surprise he said that he would like some AND that he really liked them! For those of you who know Jeremy, he is very picky and the few things he likes to eat are NOT healthy at all! I was so happy to find another snack that he not only likes... but is good for him as well! Yeah!!

I am thankful for my hubby! He does so much!! I've been working a lot of hours and I'm usually pretty worthless when I come home. ;) He has been fixing dinner and taking care of things around the house for me! I appreciate him so much! Nothing goes unnoticed sweetie! I love you so much!!

I am thankful for cooler weather... when I say cooler I mean it's no longer in the upper 100's and is now in the upper 80's and 90's. It's still pretty warm here but it's a little more bearable, especially when it comes to jogging outside! I LOVE me some summer... but I love me some FALL too! I'm ready for hayrides, sweaters, bonfires... Oooo, and smores, can't forget smores!! YUM! ;) Bring on Fall baby!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Clouds & CF

Wait CF?! Is he nuts? Why did he put CF in there as something he's Thankful for? Well, I'll get to that. Right now it's time to open up our Thankful Thursday by asking you to think about all the wonderful things you have to be thankful for! Some days may be harder than others to be thankful, but there is always something. Today, believe it or not was one of those days for me. Here we go folks, Thankful Thursday!

Jeremy's List:

Today was a rough day. It seemed like all my chips were down. Not the whole day, but the majority of it. The day actually started off awesome! I was off today, but Monica had to work. I got up early with her and we ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast with each other. After I slept a little more (it was my day off ya know) I finished up some stuff that needed to be done for church, and it all went really smooth and I was done around 11am! Can you say Suuweeet! I had the whole rest of the day to get other stuff done and relax. Or so I thought. Haha!

See about a week or so ago, the fridge in our kitchen started to kind of go out. It's not keeping things cold. It's set to be at 36 degrees F, and is usually above 50 degrees F, which doesn't work for storing milk, or any food for that matter. No biggie, we have a fridge in the basement that Monica's grandma gave us for her to use for her cakes. We had been keeping our milk and other perishables in it. I noticed 2 nights ago that when I went to get milk, it had a nice 1 inch thick layer of nastiness on the top of it, lol! No bueno!So it was obvious that it was beginning to fail too. My goal for the day was to find a fridge! We had bought the one in the kitchen from a store that takes several new, damaged fridges and makes one whole new one and sells them cheaper. It's only been 3 years and has been nothing but problems for us. I spent about 4 hours driving all over St. Louis pricing and looking at fridges. Anyway, Let's cut this short so I can get to the thankful part of this story shall we?

Half way through the day my "Check Engine" light came on and I noticed my oil pressure gauge was tanking. I just changed the oil last month, and could smell the oil burning as I was driving. Monica's car has been going through a quart of oil every 2-3 weeks. And I had absolutely no luck finding a fridge that wouldn't cost us at least $1,000. On my way home today, all these things were going through my mind and I was beginning to stress. Wondering how we were going to afford to buy a fridge, fix both cars, put new tires on her car (which it desperately needs) and continue to save for IVF and hopes of a baby. I had gotten just plum aggravated. I was driving down the highway almost to our exit, in my stink of a mood, when a cloud caught my eye. It sounds silly, I know, but it was beautiful. It was one of the big fluffy, cotton candy looking ones. The sun was lighting up all the puffs, and it was just beautiful!

At that moment, I realized how thankful I was, and blessed I am, to be alive. If there's anything CF has taught me, it is to be thankful for every day. CF has taught me a lot of things. Hopefully some day I'll sit down and write some of them out. I realized that I had not been thankful for this day and had let my worries and frustrations get the best of me. I realize that CF did not actually teach me to be thankful for every day, that was God. CF was just the mechanism he used to get through this thick skull of mine. God has always provided for every need of ours and given us many wants along the way too. I don't know why I even worry sometimes. :)

So what's the point to this whole drawn out story? I'm thankful for God's reminders. Reminders that He will throw your way every now and again to remind you of all the many many things I have been blessed with. A beautiful, loving wife, the woman of my dreams. A beautiful home that I can call mine, or ours rather. An awesome supportive family, a job, and good health, all things considering. I guess this post should be addressed to God. Thank you Lord, for the little reminders in life that you throw my way.

Kind of a heavy sobering post I know. It's what I was thankful for today. SO! On a brighter note, what are you thankful for? It's there.... you may have to dig a little deep some days, but you'll find it! Just keep looking!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Going the Distance

Two weeks ago I made a pact with a buddy of mine to start running 3 times a week. So far so good! We're still going strong. Well, til he pulled his quad last night, but hopefully it'll be all healed up for Thursday's run. It has been awesome! I'm already noticing that my legs are beginning to feel a little stronger and it's getting easier and easier to push myself mentally to go farther, harder, and push past my screaming leg muscles. It's probably all psychological, because I doubt you actually gain a noticeable amount of strength from 4 runs.

We've been running pretty good distances too. On Tuesday we run a park by my house that is a 5.1 mile trail. We don't do the entire trail. We leave off a very small portion because we would have to back track to start at it. Soon I'll measure the actual distance we run. On Thursday's we run a 5K or 3.1 miles. For the 3rd day, at this point, we run whatever distance. My goal is for it to be at least over 2 miles.

My main reason for this post was to get feedback from any runners out there. My goal is to someday run a half marathon. I'd love to do a whole one, but I think that may be reaching a bit too high for right now. So here's what I know (or have been told) so far about running, including the things I do. I would like to know how to run farther and faster.

Shoes: I have a pair of Asics that Monica and I paid good money for so I think I'm ok there, but I've heard you should wear wool or synthetic socks, not cotton.. Is this true? if so why?

Running: I try to take smallish strides. I try not to push off my toes, but rather off my heels so that I use more of my leg than calf. I noticed at first when we would run that my calves would be toast after maybe one mile. I try to keep my head neutral or slightly leaned forward and not look up because it will slow your momentum and shorten your stride.

Breathing: Obviously I have CF and so my breathing pattern may be different than others. Since CF is an obstructive disease, the air has a harder time getting out of the lungs than normal. I try to sync my breathing pattern with my strides. Breathe in for 2 steps, out for 3 steps. It sometimes varies depending on how hard I'm running. I try to breathe in through my nose and out my mouth as well.

These are the main things I stay aware of while I'm running. Anybody have any tips? Anything I'm doing good or bad?

To throw a little motivation at the end of this post I would like to encourage any of you reading this that don't run to give it a try!! Start off with a brisk walk if you have to or just walking at whatever pace for that matter. You have to start somewhere! It pays off in the end and you will learn to love it! No matter what size or shape you are, there's no shame in getting out there! So go on, get out there and GET MOVING!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Morphsuits & Running Buddies

HEEEEEY! It's Thankful Thursday again! That means another week has passed us by. Hope you all lived it to the fullest and soaked up the best out of each day! It's that time of the week for Monica and I to reflect on our lives and find things to be thankful for. Like I always say, there's something to be thankful for.... always. This week Monica is working on a cake and has been one busy little bee the last couple evenings after work, so I'm going to go this one alone. She's in the kitchen working away, but is here in spirit.

Monica is one of those few people that are beautiful just as much on the inside as out, and she's GORGEOUS on the outside! She can always find something to be thankful for and see the bright side of things.

This week I'm thankful for a little spandex wonder known as a morphsuit. They are one of the most awesome things I've ever seen!I've wanted one for over a year now, but never wanted to spend the money to get one. I made a little extra cash recently and splurged (haven't done that in a while as we've been sticking to our budget very snugly) and buy me a morphsuit! My patience was rewarded! They have just released a blacklight responsive line that glow under blacklights! Of course, if you know me, you know I love blacklights!It's just so awesome when stuff glows, I can't explain my fascination with it. I purchased a neon orange morphsuit. They have morphsuits of all different varieties! Here's the link if you want to check them out. link :)Now I just need the matching fanny pack, sunglasses, and sweatband set!

I'm also thankful for running buddies! Recently, as I discussed in the previous post, I started getting up at 5 am to be able to get 2 vest treatments in a day and started running again. This time it's going to be a routine. My last FEV1 was 59%. Unacceptable. I was feeling pretty crummy like I may need an admission. Hopefully my efforts will deter this as I go to clinic a week from Monday. Several of our friends have gotten into running recently. My main man told me him and his bro-in-law were gonna start running on tuesdays and thursdays and then a weekend run. We started this Tuesday. Boy are we outta shape! We did the Cliff Cave loop by our house that is supposed to be 5 miles. That's a good distance. We had a really good time though! Got to chat during our walking times and came up with our weekly game plan. I'm so pumped for this you can't imagine!

I HAVE to run. There is no option when you have CF. Ronnie Sharpe's blog title photo is right on point, "Running because my life depends on it." The only way I will see an increase in PFT's is to make running a regular occurrence in my life. Having 2 buddies to run with is gonna make that a lot easier to stick to! After our first tuesday I ran again on wednesday for 2.4 miles and we ran a 5K (3.1 miles) today. I finished the 5K today with a time of 29:33. I've never timed myself at a 5K before but I'm pretty happy with that.

Well I've babbled enough about what I'm thankful for this week! Now it's your turn! Leave a comment telling us what YOU are thankful for! Don't forget to type your name or better yet sign in so we know who you are! Happy Thankful Thursday everybody! Hope this next week is the best ever!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Make an Impact

My presentation in Cape Girardeau was yesterday and it went pretty well! Everyone there said I did amazing, but for some odd reason I was a little more nervous than times before and it felt it didn't go as smooth. BUT the day was a success! Half the room or more were respiratory therapy students, and I got to have a heart to heart with them and encourage them not to get into the field for a paycheck, but to become a therapist for the right reason, to change people's lives. To help people and make a positive impact on them. I tried to give them an idea of not only how important this is, but that it really happens. That RT's, RN's, MD's, people everywhere can make a positive impact on someones life so much so that they'll never be the same!

Take me for example. There's this RT, his name is G.W. I call him G-dub! He took care of me on my first admission to the hospital when I was 18. I know I am blessed to have never been admitted before age 18. I wasn't taking care of myself though. G-dub wasn't afraid to point out the obvious and help me realize how blessed I am to have never been admitted. He really motivated me to start doing my treatments.

I only saw G-dub that one time, but never forgot him. Fast forward 4 years, and I got my first RT job at Barnes-Jewish on nights. Guess who my supervisor was...... yup, G-dub! I recognized him from the get go. Once I told him my story he remembered me, and went right back to busting my chops about my lack of doing treatments. I was doing them more frequently at this point but not daily. He would call me in his office every shift to ask if I did them or not and to check in with me to see how I was doing. He cared.

We became good buddies, and I told him when I was going to propose to Monica. He was ecstatic for us, but pointed out that my inconsistent treatment regimen had to stop and become a daily routine. He was the first to open my eyes to the fact that I would soon be responsible for my wife's well-being and I needed to have my own well-being under control first. It was a HUGE eye-opener. He cared enough to say it. Let me add that G-dub did indeed bust my chops, however, he could always tell what my mood was and whether to bust em bust em, or go easy and encourage me. He was way more than a supervisor, he made a HUGE positive impact on my life, and I haven't been the same since.

I saw G-dub at the conference yesterday. It was awesome to see him again. Guess what he did while we caught up? Busted my chops! hahaha! They needed busting. I woke an hour earlier than  normal today to do my treatments. Making sure that I'd get 2 sets of treatments in today. And I will continue to do that. Why? Cause G-dub made an impact on me a long time ago and I know he's looking out for me. We had a broment, and he told me I needed to be doing my treatments twice a day with exercise, not once. He's also working on helping me get an IPV! If you've never used one I suggest looking into it! They're are awesome for moving that "Marlboro pudding" (as one of my patients called it) out of your lungs! There's a new portable IPV unit out. Looks to be a game changer, lol! G-dub's a believer and thinks it will significantly increase my PFT's so I say, Hey, Let's do it! :)

Has anybody made ever made a life-changing impact on you? Have you impacted somebody's life? You most definitely have the ability to! Stay positive and be an encouragement to the people around you and people you meet! You never how you'll change someone's life by simply caring! Even if you only meet them once...

Friday, August 10, 2012

More presentations?

First let's start out with a little late Thankful Thursday action, then we'll get into the presentation business. Monica and I were gone to the state fair all day yesterday with her family so we were unable to do our usual Thankful Thursday post. When I say all day, I mean all day! We got up around 7:00am left at 8am and didn't get home until 11pm. We were whooped! BUT, it was a GREAT day! So what are you thankful for?! I know there's something so tell us by posting a comment below!

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for these:


These are Asics Kinsei's! They are Monica and I's new running shoes! The top 2, with the orange, yellow, blue and red are mine. The bottom ones with the yellow, pink, purple, green, and blue are Monica's! They make a HUGE difference when running! Monica had wanted a new pair of running shoes for awhile and we had been looking. She did some research and found that Asics are supposed to be the best running shoe. We went to try some on and found out that the Kinsei (pronounced ken-see) are Asics' best shoe. Of course then that's what I wanted to by her! Only the best for my wonderful wife!!! She had been running in Nike Shox. The salesmen (a friend of ours) had a horrible look of shock when he heard this. She has never had problems with her feet or knees and has been skiing her whole life, but after a month of running her knees were starting to hurt. Our friend said the Shox HAD to be the source of this pain! :) The new shoes are awesome! I'm thankful for them and the motivation they give me to run more!

I'm thankful for opportunities! After I gave a presentation to my department last October, I was asked to give it at the Missouri state conference, which you may recall me talking about. I'm not sure if I've mentioned anything beyond that or not, but I was asked to give the presentation 3 more times!! Next monday the 13th, I'll be traveling to Capo Girardeau to give it at a local respiratory conference. Then on September 7th, I'll be giving it locally in Fenton, MO. Lastly, on November 13th, I'll be in New Orleans, LA to give it at the AARC Congress (the American Association for Respiratory Care national conference)! Crazy how fast things happen sometimes isn't it?! I count it as a huge blessing to get to spread awareness and be able to take my wife to see New Orleans! Can't wait! I'll post more as these events unfold!

So what are you thankful for today my friends?!?!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Saw this on a buddy's blog, and love it! This is so true. Anyone can achieve greatness! It may look different from person to person, but it's still greatness! I want to meet that kid. So I can hug him and tell him how GREAT he is, and how inspiring this commercial is! See for yourself if you havn't already!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Ronnie & Mandi Sharpe

¡Hola señors y señorítas! It's time to be thankful again! This week is like any other week, there's a lot to be thankful for! This week We're especially thankful for something, or should I say someone. We want to dedicate this Thankful Thursday to them! Here's to you our friends!

Our thankfulness for Ronnie and Mandi Sharpe:

I'm thankful for none other than the man, the myth, the legend........ Ronnie Sharpe himself....... and his wife Mandi! For those of you in the CF community, this man needs no introduction. As soon as you jump into the CF community on the web, you will see his name and face all over! He's done A LOT for the CF community! Saying he's done A LOT actually is the understatement of the year! He has completely changed the CF community on the web. His blog, run sick boy run (rsbr), and the social media site he co-created, CysticLife, have done wonders for the CF community. Honestly I had nothing to do with anything CF on the web. I got into it probably about 3 years ago when Monica and I got married. She really wanted to learn as much as she could and jump head first into anything and everything CF she could get her hands on. She discovered rsbr and began following Ronnie's blog, and subsequently discovered CysticLife. She kept urging me to follow Ronnie and Mandi and get on CysticLife as well. I was reluctant. I can be stubborn and head strong at times. My feeling was why do I need to follow another CFer's life and start another social media profile?

Everyday Monica was discovering something on Ronnie's blog and calling me into the office to see. She was so excited to be learning so much about CF and following Ronnie and Mandi on rsbr! When the person you love more than anything becomes passionate about something, it rubs off on you. I began following Ronnie's blog and started my CysticLife profile. I can honestly say I have learned and grown so much in the past 3 years as a man, CFer, and husband. Partly due to being newly married and having the responsibility of provider placed on my shoulders, partly due to watching my CF progress faster than it has in my life, and partly because of Ronnie's blog and CysticLife.

I've been really motivated by Ronnie. He's very real about things and shares the same feelings I have about CF. He's not a complainer. I do not like complaining about my CF, or making excuses for myself because of it. Ronnie doesn't either. Ronnie is a go-getter. He is motivated to be the healthiest he can be and inspire as many people with CF as he can to do the same! Has he always been that way? According to his blog..... no. And he's very open about sharing that story and spreading that message that most of us are not. We don't take care of ourselves the "right" way or try "our hardest." We tell people and ourselves that we do, when if we took a step back and looked, we'd realize we weren't doing all that we could. It's because of Ronnie and his blog that I've been able to make that realization over and over.

For me, I need to be reminded that even when I think I'm doing my best, I'm not. I can always try a little harder, run a little farther, workout on those days where I feel crummy and not up to it. There's always more that can be done.

I'm thankful for Ronnie Sharpe and his lovely wife Mandi! She can't be forgotten either. She has sacrificed a lot to help Ronnie and has done just as much for the CF community! Here's to you 2 awesome peeps! I'm so thankful God has put you on this beautiful green Earth! I could fill a book, but I'll leave at this. I appreciate all you do! I cannot thank you enough! Love you guys!

P.S. To see the motivation behind my posting this check out Ronnie's post on his blog, it's what made me realize just how thankful I am for all he's done!