Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Thoughts (Commenting Challenge, Coast to Coast, Blog2Print)

I'm so happy it is Thursday b/c that means we are very close to the weekend!!!  For some unknown reason I have been awake since 3:30 AM and therefore at work by 7:30 AM. . . I'm already feeling like I've hit the wall despite the ice coffee. . . going to be a long day.  Here are my Thursday Thoughts.  

This has been a busy week for me - both in real life and in blog land!  I've been participating in Jenna's Journey Commenting Challenge and been fortunate to find some great new blogs to follow/read.

I also registered at Whispering Sweet Nothings for Coast to Coast which is a way to find other bloggers in your area.  I'm excited that I've found several bloggers who live around me. 

So to all of my new readers. . . thanks for stopping by my blog!  I hope you'll say hello so I'll know you were here!

Have you heard of Blog2Print?  
I recently purchased my second "blog book" from them and love it!
My first blog book is of my first year of blogging (April 2010 to April 2011).  My second blog book (pictured above) I did from April 2011 to December 2011 which is most of my second year of blogging.  In the future I will order by calendar year so my next book will be all of 2012.  

I'm very please with the quality of this book.  Since I'm a scrapbooker (not as much now since I started blogging) I like having an actual hard copy of my blog.  This book is such a great keepsake.  

 You choose the title and cover photo.  Then you can have a dedication page which I did not choose to do in this book.  Next you can have a table of contents which gives the title of each blog post and page number.

 There are two options for the layout - a compact style or the actual layout of your blog.  I chose the actual layout b/c I wanted text and pictures to fall in the exact order I posted it.  In the compact option they group all the photos from a post together to save space (which is cheaper due to less pages used).  

 The page number and book title shows up on the bottom of each page.  

The pictures are small but to me that is actually ok - it saves space and allows more to fit on each page.  My book is not even for an entire year and it is thick (sorry I forgot to look at exactly how many pages).

My book cost about $125 but then I had a coupon which brought it down to $112.  Both times I've waited for a coupon to order my book.  Since I'm in no huge rush to get the book I think it makes the most sense to wait and use a coupon.  I follow them on Facebook, Twitter and email to stay updated about coupons!

I highly recommend printing your blog into a book.  It will be a great memento to look back on!

Let me know if you have ordered a blog book and what you think. . .

{I am not being compensated to write this post.  Blog2Print has no idea I'm even writing it!  All thoughts are my own!}

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy National Sunglasses Day

Not sure who comes up with these "holidays" but this one gave me a chuckle!  It also gives me an excuse to post an old picture of Peyton and I that I think is adorable!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lately. . .

I've been busy!  So busy that I haven't even had a chance to blog about a few things I did last week.  So I'm playing catch up now (in no particular order).

MAAV hosted a thank you party for the Melrose Running Club for their organization of the Melrose Run for Women on Mother's Day.  The Running Club presented MAAV with a check for $22,000 which we will use to sustain the mentoring program! 

MAAV is so appreciative of all the hard work the members of the Running Club put in to make the race so successful.  Such a great collaborative effort and a great example of giving back to your community!

{Please excuse the fact that I look like a hot mess - it was about 100 degrees that day!}

Wendy Booker
Last week I had the opportunity to attend a dinner sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, Teva, the makers of Copaxone (not the MS treatment I'm on but I read it is what Jack Osbourne is taking).

My motivation for attending was due to the fact that Wendy Booker was one of the speakers.  I'd heard a lot about her in the "MS world" and ready wanted to hear her speak.  She did not disappoint!

Prior to Wendy speaking the main program speaking was Dr. Allen Bowling who is an MS neurologist from Colorado.  His presentation was good and informative but could not compare to Wendy (in my personal opinion).   I do think it is important to hear from neurologist other than the one treating you, from time to time, to make sure you keep up with current MS trends/treatments.  It is always validating to me when another neurologist states things that are the same/similar to what mine says (such as their belief that every MS patient should be on treatment as soon as they are diagnosed). 

Now back to Wendy. . . WOW!  There are no (good) words to describe this woman.  I could say inspirational or amazing but these words are often overused. . . just take a look at her website to understand how truly special this woman with MS is.  She is living life to the fullest!

For those of you who don't feel like going to her website I'll tell you the cliff notes!  She was diagnosed with MS 14 years ago and since they has done things that are pretty incredible including "The Seven Summits."  Wendy made it to the top of all of them except Mt. Everest (she climbed it twice but did not reach the top).  She has been to the North Pole and the South Pole.  She has ran the Boston Marathon.  What's next for this thrill seeker you may ask. . .

The Iditarod!  In 2014 Wendy will participate in the 1,150 dogsled race across Alaska.  She will begin her training this fall.  Is there anything this woman can't do!?  The best part about her (to me) is that she is so normal!  Ha!  When you see her and hear her speak she just is a regular, down-to-earth person who happens to have MS. . . I love that she has made such an impact on the MS community by doing what she is doing.  If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak don't miss out!

Last week I also got to meet up with Christine.  Christine and I were put in touch over email through a mutual acquaintance.  She also has MS and was looking to connect with others with MS.  We emailed for several months and finally had the chance to meet for coffee in person. 

For me it was different b/c it was one of the first times I was with someone who has been diagnosed less time than me. . . usually everyone I meet (through the MS Society) has been diagnosed longer than me.  It was nice to be on the other side in terms of offering advice about "the first two years."

We shared about our diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and lots of other stuff (unrelated to MS).  It is always nice to spend time with someone who gets "it."  I recommend to everyone with MS to find someone else to connect with.  It is really helpful!  Hopefully we will be able to stay in touch and get together again soon.

So there you have it. . . that is what I was up to last week!

This week looks just as busy with "stuff" every night!  Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday!

I'm participating in this.  You should too if you wold like!

Today for the Commenting Challenge I am suppose to tell you why I blog. . . I started this blog just over two years ago to chronicle my journey of living with MS and to connect with others living with MS.  Little did I know it would develop into so much more!  I now use it as a digital scrapbook of my life which includes MS and a whole lot of other stuff!  I really like having a blog as a keepsake and think it will be fun to look back on someday.  The blogging community is amazing and has made blogging so much fun!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekend Recap

Here is my weekend in photos. . .

Most delicious Friday night dinner. . .

Followed by watching The Vow (which I really didn't care for)!

Saturday consisted of finally catching up on the phone with my friend Steph then being lazy for several hours prior to babysitting Sammy and Jake.  We had a movie date and saw Brave which was really good (a few scary scenes with bears so don't take the little ones).

While we were at the movie their parents were at the Red Sox game.  Following a torrential downpour there was an awesome double rainbow over Fenway Park!  It must have been lucky since the Sox won!!

Sunday I took Peyton and Ella to the zoo.  We met up with Joana and Carter there.  We all went to the zoo last year too.  You can read about it here.

Carter loved holding hands with Peyton.  It was too cute!  {I guess he likes older woman. . .he he!}

 Now I know you are thinking that the highlight of the zoo would be the animals but nope - not for this crew.  The favorites were the jeep, the rides, the tunnel, the playground and the. . .


And just to prove that we did look at the animals here are the two favorites - the gorillas (especially the baby) and the giraffes!  

On the way home from the zoo there was a pit stop for ice cream (after lunch of course)!  These two girls are B-O-R-I-N-G and both chose vanilla!  They sure don't take after me in their ice cream choices!!

By the time we got home they were ready to cool off by playing in the hose.  Always such fun!  {Please notice the crazy dog in the sand box! Ha!}

Later in the afternoon Jenn and I set off for a "training" walk.  We walked a whole 3 miles.  Just add another 47 to that and we'll be all ready for the MS Challenge Walk in 74 days!!  Hey you have to start somewhere right!!??

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I have another busy week with something every night after work!  Hopefully I can find some time for blogging and sleeping!

P.S.  I'll be participating in this. . .

and linking up here. . .

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Social

What is your all-time favorite song?
Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield {Not sure why. . . it just is!}

What is your favorite singer/band?
Maroon 5, MatchBox Twenty, John Mayer, Michael Buble, Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Dixie Chicks, Van Morrison, Bangles, Kelly Clarkson, The Band Perry, Zac Brown Band. . . and so many more!

What is your theme song/song that best describes your life?
Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks

Who doesn't know what I'm talking about
Who's never left home, who's never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone

Many precede and many will follow
A young girl's dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn't yet guessed

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

She traveled this road as a child
Wide eyed and grinning, she never tired
But now she won't be coming back with the rest
If these are life's lessons, she'll take this test

[Repeat Chorus]
She knows the high stakes

As her folks drive away, her dad yells, "Check the oil!"
Mom stares out the window and says, "I'm leaving my girl"
She said, "It didn't seem like that long ago"
When she stood there and let her own folks know

[Repeat Chorus]
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
What songs put you in a good mood?
Here are some of my favorite songs right now. . . they always put me in a good mood!

Some Nights by Fun.

Rumor Has It by Adele

I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz

. . . and so many others but these are 3 that are standing out to me this week!

What is your favorite road-trip music?
Any of my favorites listed above. . . I like to mix it up!
What song are you embarrassed to admit you love?
 Really can't think of one. . . I'm not a fan of Justin Biber or One Direction but if I were I'd probably be embarrassed to admit it!  Ha! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Welcome Summer!

I've been waiting for you.  You decided to arrive with a bang. . . high 90s already!?  Whew!  I'll take it (as I sit in my air conditioned office)!

I'm hoping to do a lot of fun things this summer.  Summer always seems to go by so fast so have to take advantage of each day.  I've already noticed my evenings filling up with dinners out. . . it seems I have much more energy to go out after work when the sun is shining!  

Hopefully I will also be motivated to walk several days per week since come September I'll be walking 50 miles in 3 days at the MS Challenge Walk!  

Summer is all about flip flops, ice cream, Red Sox games, making s'mores, weekends on the Cape, concerts, and being outside.  Got to love it!

Hope everyone is enjoying this (very hot) first day of summer! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MS In The News

I'm sure you have heard/read by now. . . Jack Osbourne, son of Ozzy Osbourne, has announced that he was diagnosed with MS.  I'm not happy that yet another young person, in the prime of his life, has heard the words "YOU HAVE MS". . . but I am happy that due to Jack's fame a lot of attention is being given. . . even famous people get MS.

This story is all over and was one of the lead stories on The Today Show this morning.  Jack isn't even that famous (not trying to be rude but you know what I mean) and this story is getting a ton of attention.  It is a big deal.  MS is a big deal.  The more people who are brave enough to share their story the more awareness is raised about MS.  I applaud Jack for sharing his diagnosis with the world.

Did you know. . .

That both Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney have a personal connection to MS?  Obama's father-in-law had MS and Romney's wife Ann has MS (I've actually met her since they use to live in MA.  She was at a conference I attended).  Not only do famous people get MS but Democrats and Republicans do too! Ha!

A few other famous people that also have MS. . .

Meredith Viera's husband, Richard Cohen
Montel Williams
Father and son, Alan and David Osmond (brother and nephew of Donny Osmond)
Jodi (oh sorry I got carried away. . . I'm not famous. . .yet!)

In the 3.5 years since I've been diagnosed I have met SO many people living with MS.  It is amazing to me how many "regular" people have MS.  On an almost daily basis I'm meeting people who have a personal connection to MS.  It is everywhere.  The more we talk about it the more awareness we raise and that is GOOD!  Once you know a little more about MS you might be a little more inclined to volunteer or donate!

In other MS news. . .

Genzyme applied to FDA for approval of Alemtuzumab to treat Relapsing MS.  Alemtuzumab is given by a cycle of IV infusions only once per year!  Do you realize how huge that is?  Once a year.  Wow!  That would be such an amazing option to have. . . to read more go here.

Clinical trial shows Teriflunomide pill reduces relapses in Relapsing-Remitting MS.  This is very good news!  This is an oral medication which is a big deal b/c up until very recently the only treatment options were injections.  There is now one oral medication on the market but it is still very new.  If the clinical trials continue to go well for Teriflunomide that will be great b/c it will mean another oral medication option!

It really is exciting that there are so many potential treatment options on the horizon. Doing weekly injections is not fun.  But I do it b/c so far it has worked for me.  I have not had any relapses.  But there may come a day when my treatment does not work anymore and I want to know that I'll have many choices including oral meds!  I'm SO tired of doing shots and I look forward to a day when I can just pop a pill.  Ha!

And last but not least. . . 

My cousin, Katelyn, will take part in the Cape Cod Getaway this weekend.  She will ride a bike for 150 miles in two days - 75 miles each day - from Boston to Provincetown!  Yup you read that right - 150 miles!  Last year Katelyn ran the Boston Marathon for MS and now she is finding another way to raise awareness and money.  I'm so proud of her and grateful that she stands by me during my MS journey!  Please send positive vibes her way this weekend (and pray for good "biking weather.")

So now you know a little more about MS!  Thanks for reading!

Two other non MS related items:

he, me and them is hosting an awesome giveaway on her blog.  Go check it out for a chance to win an adorable dress and ad space for two months on her blog!!!

There is still time to vote for my awesome plate at Sweet Tea Paperie.  I really want to win this plate so take a few seconds and go vote (ends Wed at 5 PM)!  Thanks!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Low Key Weekend. . .

My weekend was busy and relaxing all at the same time.  It was low key and I didn't take many pictures but here ya go. . .

Friday night I made chocolate chip/mini M&M cookies. . . I only ate a lick ok a few spoonfuls of batter.  Yum!  The batter is just so good - I like it way more than the cookies!

Saturday I worked all day supervising a visit.  We went to the zoo.  The day turned from warm and sunny to cool and cloudy rather quickly which was disappointing.  All and all work was ok and went by fairly fast.

I then proceeded to a cookout which really should have been a cook"in" seeing how it was oh about 62 degrees!  I guess Boston didn't get the memo that it is JUNE!  Luckily we were able to enjoy plenty of sangria and pretend we were in a warm tropical location.  Nothing like hanging out with good friends and good drinks. . .

Sunday was a quiet day.  With Father's Day plans postponed I found my day completely open.  I did some errands to CVS, Old Navy and Target (oh that store will be the death of me - I go in for some essentials and quickly spend 100 bucks)!  I did a little cleaning.  I did A LOT of relaxing.  This was necessary as my body was feeling a little "MS" tingly.  I watched Eat, Prey, Love for the first time - it was ok and I watched The Shawshank Redemption for about the 100th time (love that movie) and did a lot of computer time/blog reading.  All and all it was a nice day.

So there you have it.  Another weekend down in the books.  I really can't believe it is already the middle of June.  The 4th of July is right around the corner and then it always really feels like summer to me.  Can't wait!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Social, Father's Day, Etc.

Favorite movie of all time?
Dirty Dancing

Favorite movie quote?
"Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

 Best movie to watch for a girls night in?
There are so many good ones. . . How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days, Pretty Woman, 13 Going On 30, The Wedding Date, The Holiday. . .

 Best breakup movie?
Not sure if this question is asking best movie to watch after a breakup or best movie about a breakup but I'll go with the first and say any of the above movies would be fun to watch after a breakup!

Favorite celeb eye candy?
 I don't really have one favorite but I think Blake Shelton is adorable and his tweets crack me up too!

Which movie stars closet would you want to raid?
Hmmmm. . . maybe Reese Witherspoon. . . I would love to have a movie star budget to buy all the clothes I want.  That would be really fun!

Happy Father's Day Dad!  Hope you have a great day and looking forward to celebrating soon!

I'm a finalist in the Sweet Tea Paperie Plate Contest.  I designed this adorable plate and I really want to win it.  Will you please take 30 seconds and vote for me here!?  I would really appreciate it.