Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Peyton!

Peyton I can't believe you are 3!  I still remember the day you were born and how excited I was to meet you.  I love spending time with you and doing fun things.  I look forward to many more sleepovers!  Happy Birthday sweet girl.  I love you!  xoxo

I'M IN LOVE. . .






Welcome to the family Neely. I love you already!

(She is an 8 week old yellow lab)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom! Happy Birthday Peyton!


Today is my mom's birthday. She is celebrating by eating Sal's Pizza tonight with my dad and then by cooking us a turkey dinner tomorrow night! Sounds relaxing right?! I decided to share one of my favorite pictures of my mom and I horseback riding in Ireland. I loved those horses. We had such a fun time and it is a great memory. I'm so lucky to have such an amazing mom (especially when she helps me clean and organize my apartment)! Since my mom got a special post w/ lots of pictures on Mother's Day I'm not going to post anymore today. Instead I'm going to post a bunch of my first niece, Peyton, who turns 3 today. I figured since Peyton never gets ANY attention on my blog (haha) I better write her a special post today!

Peyton has 2 birthday parties! She had a friend party and a family party - all on the same day! Lucky girl. Jenn made Peyton a Care Bear cake which was so cute. Peyton loves her "teddy" which is her huge blue Care Bear (see picture below). She had a great time at her parties and loved playing w/ her new toys.

And a look back. . . hard to believe it has been 3 years since Peyton was born. She is the first grandchild on both sides and loved by SO many people. She has most definitely been a blessing to me and my family. I just love looking back at pictures of her from when she was a baby and seeing how she has changed.

Peyton has experienced so many fun things in her first 3 years of life and she is a joy to be around (most of the time). I look forward to doing many more things w/ her. I love when she says to me, "Jodi remember when we went to see the ducks?" (aka the swan boats) Or when she says, "Jodi remember when we were on the jumpolines (aka trampolines) and you bounced me and I feel down." I love that she remembers the fun things we have done together and I look forward to doing so much more.

Here are a few pictures of Peyton and I together. I need to pull out some pictures of me from when I was 3 b/c Peyton looks a lot like me!





Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and for the first time maybe ever I had to work the day after Thanksgiving. My last job gave us that day off but since hospitals are always open someone had to work! Not that I planned to go shopping - me and Black Friday would not get along (I hate crowds in hot malls and I have no patience for lines) but it would have been nice to relax. Oh well I worked and then had the weekend to look forward to.

Thanksgiving dinner was at my aunt and uncle's house again this year. As my cousin Katelyn said it was a "singles party." Everyone there (except for her parents and my parents) were single. We really need to work on that one. Haha. We had a lovely dinner, watched the Patriots, played a dice game and a card game (I won 6 bucks) and then ate dessert of course.

And the highlight (notice the sarcasm) of the day was my Public Service Announcement as a Medical Social Worker. I brought Health Care Proxy forms with me and encouraged everyone there to complete one. To my surprised I think only one person there actually had one! So four people filled one out and the others will hopefully fill one out very soon. A couple of people not naming any names (my 2 older brothers) told me to stop pressuring them! Haha! I still have more forms to pass out to a few family members who were missing that day. This will be my mission b/c EVERY SINGLE DAY I come across at least one patient who does not have a health care proxy and is either intubated or confused to the point where they can't make medical decisions. Maybe this does not sound like a big deal to you but let me tell you IT IS A BIG DEAL! So please if you are reading this and do not have a Health Care Proxy please fill out the form and add it to your medical records at your doctor's office or hospital (or both). Not sure if the forms are different for each state so you can just google it for where you live but I will also put the one for Mass below.

MA Health Care Proxy Form

Another great resource you can use instead of the health care proxy form is the Five Wishes form. This form asks specific questions about many different situations. So it can help you make some decisions now and state your wishes clearly for your agent to carry out if ever needed. Five Wishes works in 40 different states.

Five Wishes Form

I am by no means an expert in all the stuff with wills and advanced directives but I do know that it needs to specifically state who your Health Care Agent is to work. Otherwise you need to complete the Health Care Proxy form. Oh and the good thing w/ it is if you decide to change your mind in a few years you can - the newest one would then take effect. Ok so that is enough of that.

Anyways we had a great Thanksgiving and now it is time for get into the Christmas spirit!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

THANKFUL {for my love of travel}

I am so thankful for the numerous travel experiences I have had. I LOVE TO TRAVEL. The first time I ever left the United States (besides Canada) was in my senior year of college (1998) when I studied abroad in London. I always knew I wanted to study abroad. Well since they my travel resume has grown quite long!

I AM THANKFUL FOR all the vacations, trips and adventures I have had the opportunity to experience! I would post pictures but there would be 1000s and my blog would probably explode! Haha! So instead I was thinking I would list all the countries and states that I've been too.

International Travel (in no particular order):

1. England (twice w/ a 3rd coming up in May 2011)
2. Ireland (four times w/a fifth in 2012)
3. Scotland
4. Norway
5. Sweden
6. France
7. Spain
8. Italy (once w/ a 2nd coming up in May 2011)
9. Switzerland
10. Austria (twice)
11. Romania
12. Hungry
13. Czech Republic
14. Portugal
15. Brazil
16. Mexico
17. Canada

Hope I'm not forgetting any. . . Many more countries to be added to that list in my future. Top 3 places I still want to go:

1. Costa Rica
2. Africa
3. Australia

United States Travel (in no particular order):

1. Massachusetts (obviously)
2. Rhode Island
3. New Hampshire
4. Maine
5. Connecticut
6. New York
7. Pennsylvania
8. New Jersey
9. Maryland
10. Virgina
11. North Carolina (lived there for 4 years)
12. South Carolina
13. Georgia
14. Tennessee
15. West Virgina (just drove through on road trips to and from Elon)
16. Delaware (just drove through on road trips to and from Elon)
17. Florida (too many times to count)
18. Alabama (just drove through on 2nd cross country trip)
19. Mississippi (just drove through on 2nd cross country trip)
20. Louisiana
21. Texas
22. New Mexico
23. Arizona
24. California (lived there for 1 year)
25. Nevada
26. Utah
27. Colorado
28. Wyoming
29. South Dakota
30. Iowa
31. Illinois
32. Indiana
33. Ohio
34. Michigan
35. Hawaii

There may be a few others that I drove through on my 1st cross country trip but I'll have to check my scrapbooks to know for sure!

Top 3 states I want to visit next:

1. Oregon (hopefully in 2011 to visit Meghan)
2. Washington (in the same trip to Oregon)
3. Alaska (I would love to do a cruise!)

Wow that is a good list of places if I do say so myself. People always ask me my favorite and there is no way to pick just one. All the trips I've taken have been amazing for different reasons. I loved backpacking through Europe and I loved driving cross country (twice).

Oh and can you believe I've never been to any of the Caribbean Islands? I guess I've been too busy traveling everywhere else. I do look forward to taking some vacations to the Carribean in my future. Those all inclusive resorts are calling my name!

What about you? Where have you been or where do you want to go?

P.S. That is it for my Thanksgiving week of "Thankful" blog posts. I hope you enjoyed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

THANKFUL {for my love of photography}

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE TAKING PICTURES!!!! I enjoy taking pictures of everything - my family (especially Peyton and Ella), my travels, fun times w/ friends, etc. Looking at the pictures I took make me smile. I love the memories. Just a simple thing but so happy to enjoy it. Maybe in my next life I'll take some photography classes and be a photographer!

I AM THANKFUL FOR sunsets. The other night while I was driving home I saw the sky look like this (all in the span of about 30 minutes). Don't worry I pulled over to take these!

These are all unedited. This is how they looked straight from my camera!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

THANKFUL {for my health}

I really don't like having MS but I'm glad that even though I have a chronic illness I'm in pretty good health. I struggle with many annoying symptoms but overall I feel very fortunate that I'm doing so well.

I AM THANKFUL FOR my neurologist and medical team. I feel lucky to have such a great MS Center w/ an amazing medical team just minutes from my apartment. Living in Boston gives so many options in regard to top notch hospitals and knowing that I have a neurologist that I trust w/ my health is very reasurring.

I AM THANKFUL FOR medication to treat MS. I can't believe I am writing this but I'm thankful for Avonex (even though I hate doing shots). I'm thankful that I can use a medication that can keep me healthy and hopefully keep my MS from getting worse. I am also thankful for the many medications I have taken or am currently taking to deal w/ all the annoying symptoms.

I AM THANKFUL FOR health insurance. I am fortunate to have a job that gives me the option to have great health insurance. My health insurance covers all of my medications, treatments, appointments, etc (I pay co-pays of course). Without health insurance I would literally be many thousands of dollars in debt.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THANKFUL {for social media}

I know some of you may think I am crazy but I LOVE social media! There are so many great things about it and I enjoy all of it!!!

I AM THANKFUL FOR my blog. When I started my blog in April I didn't know if I would enjoy it. I had always been a scrapbooker and I love papers and pictures so I didn't know if I would be able to switch over to the digital age. . . but so far it has been great. I love that I can chronicle things going on and will have it to look back on. I also love that I've been able to use my blog to raise awareness about MS and connect w/ other bloggers who have MS.

twitter. I'm newer to tweeting than to blogging so still getting use to it but so far I'm liking it. Again I have found it a great resource in regard to MS. There are so many great articles out there and I love that people are always posting interesting things. I just wish more of my friends would tweet (hint, hint)! [@jodibean328]

Facebook. I love Facebook. It has been so much fun to reconnect w/ a lot of old friends. I'm not so thankful for the amount of time I waste on Facebook but glad I've been able to use it to my advantage when it comes to fundraising. Facebook has been a great tool for me and I'm appreciative to all my Facebook friends who donate to me for the MS Walk!

I AM THANKFUL FOR email especially gmail. I love gmail. I am an email addict. I love checking my email and seeing new messages. I love that I can stay connected w/ friends near and far over email when time changes and busy schedules make it to hard to talk on the p

I AM THANKFUL FOR my iPhone. I know this doesn't exactly qualify as social media but it makes using social media SO much easier for me. Maybe too easy! Love my phone so much and trying really hard to hold on tight so that I don't lose it or drop it in the toilet.

What about you? How has social media helped you?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THANKFUL {for my friends}

I AM THANKFUL FOR my friends. Old and new, near and far, rich and poor (haha that is for my social workers)!

I AM THANKFUL FOR my friends. Too many (not bragging - I'm just lucky) to name you all (and I'm afraid I would forget someone b/c ya know I have MS brain) but YOU know who you are. I appreciate you for being my friend.

I AM THANKFUL FOR my friends. For asking me how I'm doing, for sending me that random email, for going out to dinner with me, for shopping with me, for scrapbooking with me, for taking vacations with me, for helping me to smile and for enjoying life with me!

I AM THANKFUL FOR my friends. For walking with me, for donating to me, for fundraising for me. For being there for me during my roller coaster ride with MS. Thank you my friends for being you. Because of each of you I am a better person. I've laughed with you, learned from you, experienced life with you. For all of it I am thankful.

I am so lucky to have so many amazing friends in my life. I really don't know want I would do without my friends!

Monday, November 22, 2010

THANKFUL {for my family}

I AM THANKFUL FOR my parents. Their love and support is endless and they do so much for me. I don't know what I would do without them!

Tim, Allan and Scott

my 3 brothers who each in their own way support me especially since being diagnosed with MS. I am extra thankful to Timmy for being the only one of us to get married and have kids which made me an auntie!

Peyton and Ella

I AM THANKFUL FOR my nieces. No matter what kind of mood I'm in these two adorable little girls can always put a smile on my face. I love having them in my life and can't imagine what we did before they were in our family. I'm also thankful to my brother and sister-in-law for letting me be so involved in the girls lives.

Jenn (my sister-in-law), me, Katelyn (my cousin) and Meghan (my cousin-in-law)

I AM THANKFUL FOR these 3 special ladies for many reasons but especially for their commitment to raising money and awareness for MS. Katelyn is running the Boston Marathon in April 2011 with the MS team and Jenn and Meghan are walking 50 miles at the MS Challenge Walk in September 2011. Katelyn has set a fundraising goal of $4k while Jenn and Meghan each have a goal of $1.5K. Together the 4 of us our going to raise a TON of money in 2011! I'm also thankful to Jenn for marrying my brother so that I could finally have a sister! And of course for giving birth to Peyton and Ella.

I AM THANKFUL FOR my entire family. I have a small family but you would never know it by the amount of support I receive. My family is the best especially when it comes to being there for me by walking at the Boston MS walk and raising/donating a lot of money. I am so lucky to have amazing aunts, one great uncle, 2 cousins (yup I only have 2) and wonderful grandparents. I love my family!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

THANKFUL {for the little things}

In honor of Thanksgiving I thought I would focus my posts this week on things I'm thankful for. There are so many things of course but I thought it would be fun to just think about some (big and small).

Today's post I'm going to share some of the little things that I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for so many little things that make me smile and get me through my day.

I AM THANKFUL FOR this game that I recently downloaded onto my iPhone. It gives me hours of entertainment! Never knew I could waste so much time playing a game but indeed I can.

I AM THANKFUL FOR pretzel M&Ms. I love these and have been eating them non-stop!

I AM THANKFUL FOR this Christmas cactus blooming. This is the first time EVER that I have been able to get a Christmas cactus to bloom. Usually I buy them when they are in bloom and then they NEVER bloom again. So looking at this makes me smile!

I AM THANKFUL FOR my fall decorations that sit on my kitchen counter. I love pumpkins and these little guys have been the perfect addition to my apartment for fall. And they remind me of my fun day with Peyton at the pumpkin patch!

I AM THANKFUL FOR this plant. Notice the before and after shots. At one time this plant was dying and was down to two leaves. I moved it's location and it starting growing lots of leaves. It is now SO big I had to move it to a bigger pot. I love this plant!

What little things are you thankful for?


Do you take as many pictures as I do? I take A LOT especially of Peyton and Ella. So I love being able to order my pictures online. Have you ever used Shutterfly? It is such a great website and they have so many options for making cards, photo books, invitations, thank you notes, etc. I've made many different things on Shutterfly and I'm always pleased w/ the quality and the results.

I made Peyton this photo book for her birthday (shhhh don't tell her). She loves looking at pictures and I've made her other books in the past. I love the way this one came out and can't wait to give it to her next Saturday at her birthday party.

Click here to view this photo book larger

In the past I've made other things too. I love making cards for special days like Mother's Day. Also I've made cute thank you notes to thank my donors after the MS Walk.

Now it is Christmas card season and they have so many cute options which makes it hard to choose. That's why I have you! Help me choose a card. Let me know in the comments which one you like best (1, 2 or 3).

Looking forward to seeing which you like best and maybe I'll choose that one. Now go order your own! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Me In Real Life

So I know that most of my friends and family thing that I have everything together all the time. Often I do. . . but often I definitely DO NOT. I guess it is good that I can "fake" it and present like I'm on top of things, organized, well rested, calm, etc, etc. Me in real life couldn't be more of a disorganized mess if I tired! Lately I've been even worse - blame it on MS, blame it on the face that I've been sick sick the beginning of Oct, blame it on the craziness of organizing my fundraiser, blame it on lack of sleep. . . you get the idea. The bottom line is that I'm NOT PERFECT! I know shocking but I had to let the cat out of the bag. Here are some pictures to prove my point.

These are all clean clothes. I did laundry like 2 or 3 week's ago at my brother and sister-in-laws house while I was hanging out w/ Peyton and Ella. Unfortunately the clean clothes never made it to my drawers and closet.

These are more clean clothes. I did more laundry at my friend, Jenny's house the other night. I thought if I put them on my bed it would force me to put them away so that I could sleep in my bed. Well that didn't work. I just moved them over and slept in my bed anyways. I know I know it is crazy!

Next example take my sink w/ many empty glasses. The reason for so many said glasses is b/c I'm thirty a lot and instead of washing the glass I've just used I keep getting new ones. Pretty soon my cabinet will be empty and I'll be forced to wash these. I guess it is a good think that I hardly ever cook or eat at my apartment or I'd have a lot more dirty dishes!!

Here lies some "leftovers" from my event. The picture frames, fabric, plates and napkins. . . At least I put them in a pile right? Someday they will make it into the storage bin!

The explosion of tissue paper also leftover from my event. It needs to be nicely folded and put away into a different storage bin but needless to say that hasn't happen yet.

Oh and last photo proof (for now) of my "messy" life is the huge pile of mail on my kitchen counter! Most of it is boring stuff which is why I haven't opened it. And the addition of like 100 catalogs due to the holiday season is not helping my organization! Sometime soon at least half of this pile will go into the trash.

Ok so there you have it - me in real life. Yup I'm a mess. I think most of it comes down to the fact the I am EXHAUSTED by the time I get home from work and literally don't have the energy to do anything besides lay down and rest (and sometimes write on my blog but that has been hard lately too). It reminds me of the spoons and the fact that most days I don't have any left by the time I get home from work. It really is too bad. I would like to be productive after work. But in order to be productive at work it requires all of my "spoons" each day. Oh well. Maybe someday when there is a cure for MS I will be a little less of a mess. . . but I doubt it!

What about you? What are your secrets? Dirty dishes? Piles of mail or clothes? Never cook?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Event updates and ramblings. . .

I feel like I haven't blogged in a long time. I will be posting a recap of "Jodi Bean's Fundraiser for MS" once I get the pictures. Burns Pictures donated their time to take pictures during the event. I was so thankful for them b/c I was so busy talking w/ everyone that I never even thought to take pictures. I can't wait to see the pictures!

The event was AWESOME! We raised $2,000 for MS! I am totally amazed and so pleased with the entire night. More details to come soon.

I feel like I can exhale now that it is over. The week leading up to it I was pretty stressed. I wanted everything to be perfect and most nights I stayed up way past my bed time. So lack of sleep combined w/ my regular fatigue did not make for good days at work. This weekend I've caught up on a lot of sleep so this week will hopefully be a lot better.

I'm also still dealing w/ the blocked ear and congestion. This has been going on since the first week of Oct and I'm really tired of it. My follow up apt w/ the ENT doctor isn't until Dec! Ugh!

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away. I had been so focused on my event that I wasn't really thinking past that. Nov 30th is also my niece Peyton and mom's bday so it will be a busy Thanksgiving weekend.

I plan to do some posts the week of Thanksgiving w/ things I'm thankful for. I have SO much to be thankful for and this is s good time of year to think more about that. So stay tuned for that!

Ok that is enough rambling. Lots more to come about my event soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010



6:00 TO 10:00 PM
Auction will end at 9:30 PM so people will have time to pay and collect their winning item(s). Cash or check made payable to National MS Society. Payment due at event and you must be present to win!

Check here for directions and details about discounted parking!

$25 PER PERSON $40 PER COUPLE (Cash only please - pay at door)

Email me for more info!
This is an {almost} complete list but I have some other jewerly items that aren't on here. This should give you a good idea of what will be there tomorrow night!

Family/Couple Photography Session by Burns Pictures which includes a waived sitting fee for your session and a DVD with all the photos. Valued at $200. This is an outstanding deal!

Family/Couple Photography Session by Kelly Dillon Photography which includes a free sitting only. You can purchase pictures and/or DVD from photographer. Valued at $250

Check out both of their websites to see their amazing work!!!!

This basket includes everything you need to complete several projects - just to name a few - 12x12 scrapbook with pages and page protectors, 12x12 paper, stickers, 8x8 scrapbook and pages, punches, scrapbooking bag to carry all your supplies and so much more! There was so much stuff I could even fit it all in the picture but you'll get the idea. Valued at $250 (You'll have to outbid me to win this one! Haha!) Donated by Jennifer Brinkley, Creative Memories Consultant

Creative Memories Quick Kit Scrapbook Set including everything you need to complete a scrapbook! Donated by Jennifer Brinkley, Creative Memories Consultant Valued at $44

Creative Memories 11x14 Picfolio Album which holds 160 photos and package of 4x6 journaling cards and mats Donated by Jennifer Brinkley, Creative Memories Consultant Valued at $55

Samuel Adams Bucket of Cheer includes galvanized Sam Adams beer bucket, 2 shirts, 2 hats, 2 key chains, 2 perfect pint glasses and a certificate for a case of Sam Adams beer each month for a year! Valued at $400

Harpoon Gift Pack includes 2 pint glasses, a shirt, a hat, a bottle koozie and a 12 pack of "Winter Warmers" Beer. Valued at $65


January 10, 2011 Section 16 Row 5 Seats 11&12 vs. Houston Rockets

April 3, 2011 Section 19 Row 15 Seats 12&13

Both are valued at $160 and bidding will begin at $80 (per set of 2 tix)

BRUINS vs. Lightning December 2, 2010 Heineken Board room - buffet dinner and soda included! Value $400 Starting Bid $100

Donated by Professional Ambulance, Cambridge, MA

Florite bead necklace (purples, greens and blues) handmade and donated by jewelry designer and co-owner of Aboca Beads, Taylor Corson Valued at $40

Walk MS Black “sweatshirt” blanket Valued at $30

Dooney & Bourke large wristlet white/multi Valued at $75

Dooney & Bourke travel case red Valued at $32

iPod Shuffle 2GB silver Valued at $49

Samsung SL50 Digital Camera Valued at $90Stayfit Pedometer with FM Radio Valued at $24

Elizabeth Grady “Signature Facial” gift certificate Donated by Elizabeth Grady in the Financial District Valued at $70

Christopher’s Restaurant and Bar (Cambridge) “dinner for two” gift certificate Valued at $65

Lia Sophia necklace – maroon and brown Valued at $78

Lia Sophia necklace – long with blue, white and silver beads Valued at $98

Red Sox Basket including a signed copy of The Ultimate Red Sox Home Run Guide and Home Run's Most Wanted both by David Vincent (my mom’s cousin), a copy of
At Fenway: Dispatches From Red Sox Nation
by Dan Shaughnessy and other Red Sox goodies Valued at $60

Heart of the Matter signed by Emily Giffin author of Something Borrowed and Something Blue Valued at $27

Wicked Appetite signed by Janet Evanovich author of the Stephanie Plum series Valued at $28

The Breakdown Lane signed by Jacquelyn Mitchard New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean Valued at $26

The Pioneer Woman Cookbook by Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman! If you have not had a chance to check out her VERY popular blog on her website check it out!

Shark Press and Refresh Garment Care System (Clothes Steam Cleaner) Valued at $99