Happy Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! It’s a short work week, we will be filling our bellies with delicousness in a few days, spending time with our loved ones, and we all reminded of all that we have to be grateful for. So to kick off one of my favorite weeks of the year, a few pictures of some adorable “kittens” from our recent trip to the zoo. Hope you enjoy!

Any of you living near the MN Zoo, I highly recommend you high tail it over there so you can visit the adorable little guys before they get too big!

Scrappin’ Mexico

I’ve been working away on my scrapbook for Mexico and I am having so much fun with it! I decided to go with a smaller scale plan this time around and I’m loving it. I bought a binder from Staples from the Martha Stewart line that measures about 6×8. I’m using a variety of sizes for the pages, some baseball card holder pages, and some pages made up of 2 4×6 photo holders taken from an old photo album. It’s a lot of fun playing with all the different sizes and I’m getting to “borrow” inspiration from all those gorgeous Project Life albums out there.

Mexico Take 2

The second leg of our trip was spent in the Old Town area of Puerto Vallarta. We had an incredible condo up in the hills with a private pool, stunning view, and walls that opened up. It was every bit as awesome as I had hoped! We fell in love with the town. It was so beautiful and the people there were delightful. It was our first experience staying in a residential area and I really really loved the experience. I felt like I’d stepped out of my comfort zone and was experiencing a different country for the first time. Definitely an addicting feeling. We spent our time with my dad who stayed in adorable little hotel two blocks from the beach. The three of us had a fabulous Mexican adventure. But more on that next time, today I’ll just share the pictures from around town 🙂

Have Disease, Will Travel

When I informed my doctor that I was going to Mexico, you could say he was less than enthused. My health is incredibly complicated and the average medical professional hasn’t even heard of my disease, so any traveling has an element of risk to it. Traveling to another country where the available health care is questionable at best and healthy people regularly get sick takes things to a whole new level of risk. It’s easy to become intimidated by it all, to allow the what ifs and potential dangers to overwhelm you. Those of us with bone marrow disorders have fragile health and we must take things seriously. But we must also continue to live and enjoy the health that we do have for we never know what’s around the corner. So with that in mind, we put a plan in place and I am happy to report that my travels were absolutely wonderful and I returned a happy healthy girl. I wanted to share how we handled my health issues for this trip just in case anyone out there is in a similar situation looking for answers. And right away I want to preface this by saying this isn’t for everyone and certainly talk things over with your doctor before making any plans.

First up, travel insurance. There are a bunch of different companies out there selling travel insurance with a wide variety of plans. I used this site to compare the plans and ended up choosing Global Alert. I primarily focused on the medical coverage, making sure I chose a plan that had a large amount available for health insurance and emergency evacuation, as well as a plan that covered pre-existing conditions and would give a full refund if my health were to make it impossible for me to travel. Thank goodness I didn’t need to use this but it gave me an incredible peace of mind knowing it was there. I did however need it to cover the night at the resort that we missed due to our flight delays so it turned out to be a wonderful thing to have all the way around.

Next I picked a condo that would be extra wonderful to spend time in if I wasn’t feeling up to being terribly active. Some days I just don’t feel great and I doubted that being on vacation would change that, and I was right. I had one day that I just felt crappy so we spent the afternoon hanging out in our private pool (every bit as amazing as it sounds) and it ended up being one of the best days of our trip. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on my vacation stuck in a hotel room so it made feeling less than stellar no big deal. We tend to go go go when we travel so our room hasn’t really been a priority in our past travels, but it is now something that I will take into consideration when planning trips.

I spent time with my doctor making plans for our trip as well. We planned a blood transfusion two days before I left so that I would have plenty of blood for my travels. Since I’ve been needing transfusions every six weeks or so we knew that I would need one somewhere around that time. It also ensured that I wouldn’t be lagging because of low blood counts. They also sent me on my way with a bunch of masks for the plane rides. I’ll admit I didn’t actually wear them. But I had them ready to put on if I happened to be near anyone couching or sniffling.

While in Mexico I was extra careful in regards to food and drink. Puerto Vallarta is one of the better destinations in Mexico in regards to water filtration so that certainly helped, but I avoided fresh fruits and vegetable and stuck to the bottled water, even when rinsing my toothbrush. Better safe than sorry, especially with a compromised immune system. I also avoided anything too terribly adventurous. With such low platelets, the wrong bump or tumble could turn into a big problem so I erred on the side of caution in that department. In general, I just played it safe and took my health issues into consideration with pretty much everything I did. I didn’t let it ruin my trip or cause me to live in fear, I just kept it in the back of my mind and did my best to make responsible decisions. At the end of the day, I don’t think it cost me a second of fun 😉

So for any of you actually reading this whole boring post, I hope it helps should you be making travel plans of your own! At the end of the day all you can do is make a plan and hope for the best. Traveling may be a little risky for us sickly folk but I believe it’s a risk worth taking. Having a disease complicates our lives for sure, but it also brings with it an appreciation for the time and health that we do have and serves as a daily reminder to make the most of it. For me, that means traveling as much as I possibly can because it is one of my favorite things to do in life. Some day my health may not allow me this luxury so I intend to soak up every ounce of it that I can and pray that day never comes.

Mexico Take 1

Alright, I know I said yesterday that I’m going to try to do more than just share pictures around here but I can’t skip over our trip to Mexico! I’m going to keep it simple though and just share pictures, not go in to depth about every little detail, cause I have a problem with doing that and burning myself out. Seriously, I kill myself with my self-imposed rules!!!

Anyways, our trip was absolutely amazing. We got in a day later than we were supposed to due to some flight delays which was rather stressful, but all’s well that ends well. We got there just in time to get ready for the wedding and scored some fabulous vouchers which will be enabling us to fly for free on another vacation in the near future so not too shabby, now that I’m not stuck in Dallas anyways. But I digress. Puerto Vallarta was incredibly beautiful. The mountains, the jungle, the ocean… Just breathtaking. We spent two days at the resort where my sister’s wedding was held. The resort was fabulous and we had a great couple days celebrating with family and friends, swimming in the ocean, jetskiing, releasing baby turtles. It was perfect. So without further adieu, the pictures from the first leg of our trip.

Identity Crisis

Dear blog world,

I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve just been crazy busy. And a bit unsure about what I’m doing with this little blog of mine. I started this blog to share updates about my health and to share what life looks like when you can’t have kids and you’re dealing with a serious disease but are still managing to enjoy life anyways. But somewhere along the way that all seemed to get a little lost. I got caught up in sharing my projects and pictures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just started to feel a lack of purpose in it all. But every time I think of tossing in the towel and giving up on blogging all together, another person comments on the post I wrote over a year ago about my port and I feel once again like I need to keep going, that I do have something to add to the conversation. So I’m going to try to get back to my original purpose, to keep things a bit more real and not just share crafty projects and pictures. There will be those as well for sure, but I feel like if I’m going to keep going here it’s going to need to be more than just that. I’m not making any promises but I will do my best!

Fun With Planes

A few weeks ago we headed to the Duluth Air Show with our neighbors/friends. It was freezing but so worth the frozen toes!I got to check out a C-130 (the plane my dad was on in Vietnam)but I have to say my heart still belongs to the old bombers. Maybe it’s the history nerd in me but I think they’re gorgeous.We had our eardrums rumbled by some serious jets, much to my husbands glee, and watched the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.They were absolutely, heart stoppingly amazing. Seriously, I have no idea how they didn’t fly into each other. My husband may have made me watch too many youtube videos of air show crashes to watch such a thing without assuming the worst was just about to happen…

Nothing Like It

There’s nothing quite like Duluth in the fall. The crisp air, the smell of pine trees, the beautiful colors on the trees. It’s one of my favorite places to be.As an end note, I would like to once again profess my undying love for my iPhone, without which none of these pictures would exist. And also a shoutout to Apple for adding the sweet panorama function to the new update that is responsible for the last picture. Couldn’t have had better timing.