Monday, September 27, 2010

One last hurrah of summer

I love having get-togethers with my friends and family, and this past Saturday we had a barbecue in the park. The weather was beautiful (although I thought it was a little chilly in the shade) and we were able to find a perfect spot to have our barbecue. Six of my friends came, in addition to my sister Kristin's family, my sister Laura's family, our family friend Paul and my mom and me.

Here are a few pictures:

Grandma and Grandpa's visit

My grandparents live in Rochester, Minnesota, and they usually drive down twice a year to visit us. They weren't able to come earlier this year because my grandpa was having some health problems, so it had been a year since they had visited. It was especially nice to have them here because my sister Kristin hadn't seen them in five and a half years, and my grandparents had only met Kristin's oldest son once when he was a baby and they had never met the other three boys. We spent our time visiting and relaxing and we had a great time with each other.

Here are some pictures:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Making a spectacle

My new glasses came in last Friday, and I was very excited to go pick them up. As I said in my last post, I've had the same glasses for the past 10 years, so I thought it was about time to upgrade to a new pair. Here's a picture of me wearing my old glasses -- taken on my 20th birthday (six years ago).

My new frames are a little darker than I wanted, even though they are brown, but this was the lightest color they came in. One problem I have with the frames is that they hurt the bridge of my nose! They leave a red mark and an indent on my skin which is painful since there is no padding or cushioning, but I'm hoping my skin gets used to this so that I'm not in pain when I wear them. Here's a picture of me wearing my new glasses. (It's not the best picture since I was in bed when it was taken, but you get the idea.) At least I'm seeing well again, even when I'm not wearing my contacts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Last Friday I went to the eye doctor for my annual eye exam. It was very fortunate that I went in when I did because I had an eye infection on my left cornea called an infiltrate. I was a little surprised since I hadn't been experiencing any pain, vision loss or anything like that. My doctor estimated that the infection had only been going on for a week or so and was a result of sleeping in contracts. (For the past six years I've been wearing the Focus Night & Day lenses that you can sleep in.) My doctor said that she doesn't want me to sleep in my contacts anymore, so that's disappointing because that means my mom will have to take them out every night and put them back in every morning. This isn't a big deal, just an annoyance. Oh well, I know I've got to take care of my eyes.

One silver lining about this eye infection and not being able to sleep in my contacts anymore is that it's a good excuse to get new glasses. I've had the same glasses for the past 10 years, so I think it's time to upgrade to something that's a bit more current. Plus, my prescription has changed considerably in the past 10 years, so I can't see well out of my glasses at all!

Yesterday afternoon my mom and my sister Kristin came with me to my follow-up appointment. Fortunately my infection had cleared up and the white spot on my cornea had gone away. I picked out some new frames with the help of my mom and my sister, and I can't wait to get them next week. It will be great to be able to see clearly, even when I'm not wearing my contacts.

Sometimes I wonder what it would've been like to live in the "olden days" before there were things like glasses and contacts. I bet people just thought that they were slowly going blind. I have really poor vision, and I can't imagine having to live life not seeing!

I can't wait for the day when I have a resurrected body. One of the many reasons is to have perfected eyes so that I can see in perfect 20/20!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Three kisses

I love candy, especially chocolate, so I thought I'd write about three new flavors of Hershey's kisses that I've recently tried. (I can't believe how many kinds of Hershey's kisses there are these days -- it's a far cry from when your only choices were milk chocolate and milk chocolate with almonds. Now I can think of at least a dozen flavors!)

The first new flavor is caramel apple. When I saw these at the store I knew I wanted to try them, but I thought they might just be your regular caramel filled Hershey's kiss. But when I bit into it I was pleasantly surprised that it really did taste like a caramel apple. I wonder how they were able to flavor it that way!

The next one I tried was a candy corn kiss. These ones are so cute because they look like your traditional candy corn with yellow on the bottom, orange in the middle and white on top. Just like the caramel apple kisses, these candy corn ones taste just like regular candy corn candies, but better in my opinion.

The last ones are cookies 'n' cream kisses. I wasn't sure how well I would like these since I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate, but they are so yummy! I like how they have big, crunchy cookie pieces in the center of each kiss.

Movie #19

I saw my 19th movie of the year this afternoon with my younger sister Chandra. We saw The Other Guys. I thought the previews for this movie looked funny, but I was disappointed. It did have some funny parts, but there was too much swearing and vulgarity in it for my taste. I got so sleepy watching the movie and since I wasn't enjoying it I took a “mini nap.” I definitely wouldn't waste your time or money on this movie -- not even on renting the DVD!

Only six more movies to go!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Miracle product!

Whenever I find a new product that I like really well and that I think is great, I like to tell other people about it, and I think my blog is a great way to spread the word.

I only have my hair washed three times a week because it's quite an undertaking for my mom. We wash my hair every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. My hair still looks fresh and clean the next day, but Monday can sometimes be another story. I call Monday my "dirty hair day" since it hasn't been washed since the previous Saturday and can look a little oily.

Several months ago I was watching Live with Regis and Kelly, and Kelly Ripa was talking about a dry shampoo made by Oscar Blandi. I'd never heard of dry shampoo, but I decided to look it up on the internet to find out more about it. I read that it's basically a fresh smelling powder that sprays out of an aerosol can. You let it sit on your hair for a few minutes, then you shake the excess powder out of your hair. The powder really helps soak up any oil in your hair and leaves it smelling fresh. The only problem with the Oscar Blandi dry shampoo is that it cost $25 for a small can. I decided to buy it anyway and I liked the way it worked, but I found that the second time I tried to use it, it wouldn't work because the spray nozzle seemed to be blocked in some way. There wasn't anything we could do to fix it or make it work, so it was definitely a disappointing way to spend $25.

All of this back story is leading me to the point of this post. I recently saw a commercial on TV for a dry shampoo made by TRESemmé. It's sold at stores like Wal-Mart and Target, which is convenient, and the best thing is that it's less than $5 for a can that's even bigger than the $25 stuff I tried from Oscar Blandi. (I actually saw it on sale for $3.99 at Target this week.) This product works so well, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone that may need a quick fix if they don't wash their hair every day. (Or even if they do!) I love it!

Dirty laundry

Sometimes my mom watches Kristin's and Scott's four boys so that they can go out in the evening and have a date together. It works out well, especially since Kristin and Scott are living with us and Mom is able to watch the kids while still being able to keep an eye on me in case I happen to need something.

Kristin and Scott's youngest son Aaron is eight months old, which isn't really old enough to understand why his parents aren't around, but IS old enough to miss them! Sometimes he gets lonely after his older brothers go to bed, and he will start to cry even if my mom is holding him because he's lonely and misses his parents -- especially his daddy. He's quite a daddy's boy, and he usually spends the evening with his dad while his dad works on his computer, watches TV and things like that. When Aaron gets lonely and starts to fuss and cry, sometimes my mom will get one of Scott's "dirty" shirts and will wrap Aaron up in it. It's amazing how this helps to calm Aaron down, and will even put him to sleep. It's a great trick when the "real thing" isn't around.

(To clarify, when I say "dirty," I just mean a shirt that Scott has worn, but that hasn't been laundered yet -- not an actual stinky shirt!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blog in hard cover

Several posts back I wrote about reaching my "one year anniversary of blogging" at the end of July. I usually write several posts a week, so I thought it would be nice to print off my blog and make a book. I originally was going to copy and paste all of my blog postings to a Word document and have it printed at Kinko's. I wrote about my plan on my blog, but one of my followers gave me a tip about a website called where you can type in your blog address, and then all of your posts are automatically uploaded to their website and they will print your blog into a book. If you're a regular follower of my blog, then you know how much I enjoy documenting my life. I thought having my blog printed into a book would be a great way to help document.

This website is really straightforward and easy to use. There were a couple of things that I wished I could've changed (like the font, and I wish I could've deleted/moved pictures), but over all I liked it. My book cost almost $75 because it had 155 pages and I chose to do a hard cover, but in my opinion it was well worth it. (Books start at $14.95 for a 20 page, softcover book, by the way.)

My book arrived last Tuesday and it looks even better then I thought it would! I was a little worried that it might not be worth the money, but it definitey was and I'm glad I did this!


This is a picture of one of my nephews, Ethan. I wanted to say just a few things about him. I just adore him, as I adore all of my nieces and nephews. The other day I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up and he simply said, "a daddy." I thought it was so sweet!

Here's another cute story about Ethan. About a month ago I was going through some of my stuff, and I found a bunch of my old senior pictures and I gave him one of my extras. I didn't think it would make it through the day, and I figured it would either get lost or ripped. However, he kept the picture and I often see him carrying the wallet-sized picture around in his pocket. The other night when my mom was tucking him into bed, he propped the picture up on his dresser and said, "Heather can watch over me while I sleep." I thought this was so sweet and it warmed my heart when my mom relayed the story to me. I love this little guy and I think he's so awesome and sweet!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Invisibility cloak no more!

In the first year after my accident I had a conversation with my sister Sharon and I remember telling her that I wished I had an invisibility cloak like Harry wore in the Harry Potter books. (He was able to wear this cloak and move about without being seen.) I wished I had one so that I could go out in public without being seen and without having people look at me. I wanted to go out in public, but it wasn't worth the trouble of feeling like I stuck out like a person that was so obviously different from everyone else.

I'm happy to say that now after almost seven years since my accident, I've conquered this fear, and I now not only feel okay in public, but I actually want to go out and do things. I never thought I would change my mind about this, but I have, and I feel so happy. I attribute this change to making new friends. Having friends makes me feel "normal" in a lot of ways again, and I'm so thankful for that!

Movie #18

Yesterday I saw my 18th movie of the year... Charlie St. Cloud. It was a romance/drama type of movie and I enjoyed it. It wasn't the best movie ever, but I really liked it.

This is probably going to make me sound like a silly little girl, but I think Zac Ephron is so cute! He has such pretty blue eyes, and I really liked his hair in the movie and I like the shape of his lips. This is going to sound strange, but one of my favorite features on a person's face is their philtrum -- the depression above the middle of their upper lip. Not everyone has a nicely shaped philtrum, but I think Zac Ephron does. Wow, this paragraph makes me sound 13!

I saw two movies this week, so now I'm back on track to make my goal of seeing 25 movies this year! 18 down and only seven more to go!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blessisg Amy

My newest niece, Amy, was blessed in church on Sunday. It was memorable and made for a special day. I'm glad that Laura and Brett live close by so that we could attend the blessing. My sister Kristin and her family and one of Brett's brothers and his family were also able to be there, so it was great to have some of our family members there for the blessing. Unfortunately, Brett's parents weren't able to come at the last minute due to a family emergency. After church we all had lunch together in a conference room at the hotel where Brett's out-of-town family was staying. Here are some pictures from Sunday:

Picnic at Suson Park

The weather was absolutely beautiful this past weekend, so my family decided to take advantage of the lovely weather by having a little barbecue in the park on Saturday afternoon with my mom, my sister Chandra and me, along with my sister Kristin and her family. My brother-in-law Scott grilled some hot dogs and we also had broccoli salad, chips and s'mores for dessert. The boys enjoyed feeding the ducks and geese and had fun playing on the playground equipment after lunch. It was a great day and we all had so much fun together!

Pictures from the park:
Baby Aaron with his little tongue sticking out:I love making fun memories with my family!

Movie #17

I've been really busy lately, so my movie conquest has really been suffering since I haven't seen a movie in nearly two months. However, I took advantage of my sister Chandra being off work for Labor Day yesterday, and we went to the movies. There wasn't anything good playing at the regular movie theater, so we went to the dollar show. (It's actually three dollars, but they still call it the dollar show!)

We decided to see the movie Salt starring Angelina Jolie. It was a suspenseful, action-packed movie where you don't know who is good and who is bad until the very end of the movie. I thought the movie was pretty violent for a PG-13 movie, and people were constantly getting killed in violent ways! The movie was entertaining, but not great, in my opinion. If you're interested in seeing this movie, I personally would wait until it comes out on DVD.

17 movies down, and eight to go with just under four months left in 2010! I really hope I make it to 25!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When you meet me

I like meeting new people, but I always wonder what people think of me when they see that I'm in a wheelchair. I wonder if they think that I've always been disabled, or if I have some kind of disease or if I were in an accident, etc. A lot of times when new people meet me, they extend their arm in attempts to shake hands. This always makes for an uncomfortable few moments while I either wait for the person to put their arm down or I tell them I can't shake. (I think it's probably more uncomfortable for the other person than it is for myself, but either way it's an awkward situation.)

I think my situation makes me appear pretty intimidating to others because most strangers don't approach me on their own. They usually wait for me to introduce myself first (which I rarely do because I'm shy) or they wait for someone else that already knows me to do the introducing. I prefer to have people come to me since I can't go to them, but sometimes I have to improvise. Just for the record, I am approachable, even if my wheelchair makes me appear intimidating. I think most handicapped people feel the same way, so don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone who's disabled!
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