Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Enchanted Village 2014

I had a fabulous weekend with plenty of time for relaxing, watching several Christmas movies, eating yummy treats and spending quality time with my nieces!  I really can't believe that Christmas is THIS week.  It came SO fast and I still have some shopping and wrapping to do (oh and I need to finish decorating my tree - oops)!

For the 3rd year I took Peyton and Ella to The Enchanted Village.  They are old enough now that they remember it from previous years which makes it a lot of fun. They look forward to seeing certain things especially the snow (it snows inside while you walk through the village).

The only way to survive the very long lines at The Enchanted Village is to bring an activity and to bring snacks. . . lots of them.  I picked these Frozen white boards up in the Target dollar bins a couple of months ago and they were a huge hit.  The girls played with them every time we waited in a line and they were SO good!

After you walk through the Village you get to see Santa!  This Santa was awesome!  He talked to the girls and told them "secrets" which was so cute.  They got a huge kick out of it and really liked talking to him!  It was just precious.

I hadn't planned on going ice skating but Peyton begged so we decided to check it out.  When I realized it wasn't actually real ice I figured we could (safely) handle it.  Auntie Jodi didn't want to be responsible for any injuries right before Christmas!  We had a blast and both of the girls were fast learners.  I think they have found a new hobby and will be asking to do it again very soon!

Oh look here they are using their white boards again!  In addition to waiting in line to get into the Village we also had to wait in line for Santa and to view our photos so I am glad these things entertained them so well.

Since The Enchanted Village is set up at Jordan's Furniture you of course have to walk out through the ENTIRE STORE.  The girls love looking at the children's furniture and they thought these chairs were pretty cool!

Our $32 dollar photo!  The Enchanted Village is free but of course you spend a million bucks on snacks, ice skating and photos so it is a good thing that Christmas traditions and making memories with my nieces are priceless!

To see our visit to The Enchanted Village in 2012 go here and in 2013 go here!

Linking up for the very last Monday Morning Gossip (so sad to see it go) and for Weekending!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Very Christmassy Weekend

This weekend was jam packed with so many fun things and they were all Christmassy which makes for a festive weekend (and exhausting)!  So here's my weekend in photos.

Amy and JP came to Boston for the weekend and we didn't waste anytime.  We met up as soon as I got out of work for drinks at OAK Long Bar in the Fairmont Copley Plaza and since we were there I had to introduce them to Carly Copley (Catie had already gone home for the night).

We then made our way to Newbury Street for a delicious dinner at Stephanie's which is a Boston landmark.  Amy and I both had the pumpkin ravioli and it was delicious.  We chatted away the whole time and it was so fun catching up.  This was Amy's second visit to Boston so I'm thinking I'll own her a trip to Houston soon!

My nieces were in a local performance of The Nutcracker (they did so awesome) and when that was over I rushed back to Boston for Kate's Holiday Housewarming party.  Not only did I get to see her and Joe's new apartment but I got to see it all decked out for Christmas.  It looked beautiful and I'm jealous of all her space especially her walk in closet/book nook!

Another busy day with some birthday celebrating before more Christmas celebrating!  Taylor turned 18 on Friday so I brought her a cake and then we went out for birthday manicures. Gabriel came with us and he was so well behaved.  We also took our first selfie and I'm sure it won't be our last.

Then I was off to my parents' house for their annual Open House.  It was a lovely evening complete with sangria, of course!  Oh lots of yummy food and good conversation too!

And that's a wrap!!!!  I'm exhausted! That was a very busy weekend.  Now this week if I could just finish decorating my tree, buying presents and wrapping presents I should be ok!

What are you doing to get in the Christmas spirit?!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Prayers For Baby Addison

Today was suppose to be a very BIG day for Miss Addison.  She was finally going to be discharged home from the NICU but that is not going to happen.

I'm sharing about a very special family. This is not my typical type of post but hopefully that will show you how much this means to me.  Please don't click away. . . take 5 minutes and read about beautiful Addison and if you can spare a few more minutes after that pray for her.  Let me tell you more about her and her parents.

Last year at BlissDom I had the opportunity to meet Stephanie who blogs at Vintage Modern Wife.  She is an amazing woman with such a huge heart.  When I learned that she and her husband Mathew were pregnant I was so happy for them.

Unfortunately, during Stephanie's pregnancy she had some complications and learned that baby Addison would need surgery soon after she was born to remove a SCT.  While they were prepared for that (as prepared as you can be) they were not prepared for all of the other bumps in the road and there have been many!

Addison was born on September 26, 2014 and she has spent all of her days living in the NICU.  She was intubated for the first couple of months of her life until she received a trach.  Can you imagine not being able to see your baby's lips or face without tape and tubes?!

Addison has spent all of her "First" holidays in the NICU.  Despite it her parents have made the best of it with adorable Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving tutus!

In addition to the SCT removal surgery Addison has had a PDA Ligation surgery (cardiac surgery), received a trach and a feeding tube (peg tube).  Then just this weekend Stephanie and Matthew were told that Addison will need to have another surgery.  She has Pulmonary Valve Stenosis and will need surgery to correct it.  Not only that but the hospital they have been in since Addison's birth does not do it so they will need to transfer to Texas Children's Hospital which is several hours from their home.

So instead of going home today Addison is facing another hurdle.  This little baby has been a fighter since before she was even born.  She has had her unfair share of hurdles and more to come.  Through it all her parents have had so much faith.  I hardly ever see Stephanie complain.  Instead her updates on social media are so positive and grateful.  She has such a strong faith!

I'm so sad for Stephanie and wish I could do more to help.  I figured the least I could do was share Addison's story in hopes that it could help in some way.  Let's all pray for a miracle that Addison can still get home for Christmas and won't need to spend another holiday in the NICU!

How you can help:

1. Pray!

2. Buy a #PINKNINJA shirt here.

3. Buy something at Stephanie's Etsy shop, Addison Olivia Designs, here.

4. Make a donation at Addison's gofundme page here.

You can follow Addison's journey on Instagram and Facebook.


Linking up for Monday Morning Gossip and Let It Shine!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Five

Why does the week after a holiday week/short week always seem SO long?!  Working this week has been tough! Ha! I'm ready for the weekend but sharing five things first!

I saw this gorgeous sunset last week while driving home from work. I literally had to stop three times to take photos because it just kept getting prettier!
 Pretty. . .

 Prettier. . .


My nieces are adorable so had to share these photos of some simple moments!

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to organize the disaster of makeup in my bathroom. I went to The Container Store and bought the awesome organizer you see below and voilá.  I think it looks much better now!

I don't think my parents use enough towels after giving Neely a bath! Haha!

I went to an event at the Cambridgeside Galleria for bloggers.  It was a holiday gift swap and they provided the gifts! I didn't end up with the gift I wanted (stole a PF Chang's giftcard but then someone stole it from me and I ended up with work out pants).  But I got champagne and a photo with Santa so I'd call the overall event a WIN!

Linking up for Five on Friday!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Genzyme's LEMTRADA Approved by the FDA

On November 14, 2014 a new MS treatment was approved for RRMS by the FDA.  It is called LEMTRADA and it is from Genzyme

The first treatment for MS was not approved until 1993.  I was a sophomore in high school then (I know it is hard for me to believe too)!  Imagine if I had been diagnosed while still in high school.  My treatment options would have been. . . well option-less.

Now a little over 20 years later there are twelve treatment options!  Maybe even more exciting is that is the past several years three oral treatment options have been approved including the treatment I am now on, Gilenya.  When I was diagnosed in 2008 my only treatment options were injections which I did for five years!  I'm so much happier to be popping a pill now.  You can read about my first dose experience here and my update one year later here.

Below is a list of all the approved treatments, the pharmaceutical company and year approved.

A little more about LEMTRADA. . . it is an IV infusion given initially for five consecutive days and then a year later for three days.  That is it!  It is different from anything else on the market.  It does say that only people who have responded poorly to two or more other treatments should use LEMTRADA.  That means it isn't an option for me right now (since I've only  had issues with one treatment, Tecfidera) not that I'm even considering changing treatments right now.  Good to know if Gilenya stops working for me there are other options out there besides going back to injections.

For more information about LEMTRADA (all the technical stuff) check out this article on the National MS Society's website.

Disclaimer:  This is NOT a sponsored post.  Genzyme doesn't even know I'm writing it! These are my own thoughts/opinions and you should always talk to your doctor about the best treatment option for you.