Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What a beautiful ride

I once told Adam that 2009 was the hardest year I'd ever experienced. My stepmom's diagnosis of cancer, Adam getting laid off multiple times, and my worst CF exacerbation to date were just a few of the things that made it such a difficult time. But it was also the year that I got to experience the miracle of being pregnant and bringing my little angel into this world. Even with all the hard things we endured, we had so much to be thankful for.  

I dare say that this year has rivaled 2009 as far as loss and heartache. My grandpa and two uncles passed away, as well as a few good friends of mine - many of whom were far too young. But I can't deny the fact that 2011 has also been one of the happiest and most blessed years I've known.  

Life certainly is unpredictable, but isn't that what makes it so much fun?  

The struggles make you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has it's own way of taking it's sweet time
No, life ain't always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life ain't always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride
 ~ Gary Allan
Life Ain't Always Beautiful

Man, it's been a beautiful ride!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Moganko for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness

One of the perks of having CF has been getting to know some truly amazing people who never would have been a part of my life if it weren't for our shared challenges. One of those people is my friend, Josh Mogren.

Josh is kind and funny with such an ENORMOUS heart, it's a little ridiculous! Josh also has cystic fibrosis, and he has made it his personal mission to help others (specifically children) within the CF community.
"I'm a lifelong Muppet Fan and my sister and I loved watching the Muppets while we did our daily CF treatments. I wanted to figure out a way to combine my personal experience with that same humor that made me smile as a child while teaching CF families and the general population about Cystic Fibrosis. I wanted to create something parents could share with their children that shows them how to deal with their daily healthcare routine for this serious disease with love, honesty and humor. I wanted something light-hearted that adults with cystic fibrosis could share with their friends and family, explaining a little bit about what they go through every day."   ~ Josh Mogren
And so... Moganko the puppet was born. Together, he and Josh have created several fun, upbeat, and educational videos like this one:

Recently, Josh and Moganko launched their biggest project so far:

The Moganko for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Project!  

Josh's goal is to get Moganko to meet the Muppets and be featured in a public service announcement about CF. This is huge, friends, but it won't work without your help. So, here's what you can do:
Now, here's where I take just a moment to get serious. This has been an especially hard year for the CF community. Far too many lives have been lost to this disease! Sadly, off the top of my head, I can think of four individuals who have passed away just in recent weeks. Because of continued medical advances and the dedicated work of doctors and scientists, the outlook for someone with CF continues to get better. There are some amazing things in the works, including a very promising breakthrough drug that is currently awaiting FDA approval. Even still, the median age of survival for someone with CF is only mid-30's, and there are those who will not even live to see that many years.

I'm taking the liberty of speaking for the CF community as a whole when I say that we are positive, we are happy, we are strong, we are persevering, and we are living our lives with joy and hope... but we can't win this fight alone. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Call me optimistic, call me crazy (trust me, you wouldn't be the first) but I THINK THIS WILL WORK, and I really want it to! Why? Because I love my friend and want him to succeed, because I've seen the good he does and I want him to keep sharing it with others, because this will raise some major awareness about CF (and awareness is key to finding a cure for this disease), because CF has taken the lives of too many children, spouses, friends, siblings, etc... and I'll be honest, I want this to work because I'm a little selfish. I want to live to see my daughter get married and have babies of her own someday. I have a lot of living left to do and about a million more memories to make.

Helping is easy and will only take a few clicks. Again, you can help by:
So what do you say, can we count you in?

Click here to visit:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

To you and yours

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace." ~ Agnes M. Pharo
May this season end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright new year. Light and love from the Livingstons.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Don't even get me started on "Grandma got run over by a reindeer"

Jingle Bells

"The horse was lean and lank. Misfortune seemed his lot. We got into a drifted bank and then we got upsot."

Growing up, I always thought they just changed it from "upset" to "upsot" so that it would rhyme. But now that I'm a little older I know that... well, truth be told, I have no idea what "upsot" means.

Deck The Halls

I still don't know if it's "troll" or "toll" the ancient yuletide carol.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

He sees me when I'm sleeping? Creepy.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Let's face it, there are so many things wrong this song (like, who wants a bunch of guys in leotards jumping around the dinner table while they're trying to eat... which has always been the image that pops into my head when I hear "lords a-leaping") but one of the strangest things about it in my opinion is all the birds.

Wouldn't that just be the WORST CHRISTMAS EVER? By the time day four rolls around you know they're thinking, "Enough with the damn birds! Can we just get to the gold rings, already?"

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"They'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago."

Ghost stories? Um... wrong holiday, dude.

Do You Hear What I Hear

"Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, Do you know what I know? In your palace wall mighty king, do you know what I know? A child, a child shivers in the cold. Let us bring him silver and gold."

The kid is naked and freezing. Should we take him a blanket? Nope. Maybe a space heater or something? Nah. What about some silver and gold? Yeah, that's just what he needs... some BLING!

Baby, It's Cold Outside

"The neighbors might think"
               "Baby, it's bad out there"
"Say, what's in this drink"
              "No cabs to be had out there"
"I wish I knew how"
              "Your eyes are like starlight now"
"To break this spell"
              "I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell"
"I ought to say no, no, no, sir"
              "Mind if I move a little closer"
"At least I'm gonna say that I tried"
              "What's the sense in hurting my pride"
"I really can't stay"
               "Baby don't hold out"
"Aah, but it's cold outside"

This whole thing seems a little sketchy to me. Put your hat back on and go home, lady. It's not that cold.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Love, yourself

Last week I found a box of fruit snacks hidden in the back of a cupboard in the employee kitchen at my work. On them was this note:

Sometimes I'm blown away by my own thoughtfulness. I mean, how did I know that one day I'd be rummaging through the kitchen looking for something sweet and fruit snacks would be just what I needed? It's little things like this that let me know how much I truly care about myself.

You know, come to think of it, I just don't know what I'd do without myself; I can't imagine my life without me in it.

Though I might be a little freaked out if I start receiving messages from Future Jenny. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bucket of fun

... and giggles, and germs, and copious amounts of snot. Oooh, the snot! Earlier today she coughed in my mouth. IN MY MOUTH!

Ahh, the joys of parenthood.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Currently loving

1. Christmas Music

Adam has never been a fan of Christmas music and every time I randomly belt out "PINE COOOONES AND HOLLLLLY BERRIES!" he rolls his eyes so hard that I can practically hear them hitting the back of his skull. But I just can't get enough of the stuff this year! I love to crank it up while I'm driving, cooking dinner, doing the dishes, etc. I've been listening to this mix over at and a couple different holiday stations on Pandora.

2. Essential Oils

I started using DoTerra essential oils earlier this year (along with the rest of the world, apparently... I swear, at least twice a week I get an invitation to some kind of party involving DoTerra). There is a protocol specifically for cystic fibrosis that I started following about three months ago (though I've made a few changes as I've discovered which oils I like best and which ones I feel work for me). November marked my fourth hospital-free month... the longest stretch of health I've had in a year! During those four months I was able to conquer two pretty nasty colds that I'm certain would have landed me in the hospital earlier this year. I honestly feel that the essential oils are at least partially to credit for that.

(I'm working on a full post about the oils I've been using and the benefits they have, so keep an eye out for that if it's something that interests you. Oh, and if anyone from my clinic happens to be reading this, don't worry, I promise not to nebulize peppermint oil!)

3. Hobble Creek Candles

Every year I have the opportunity to purchase Hobble Creek Candles at an incredibly discounted price through my work. They are hands down the best candles I've ever bought! Among my favorite scents are Jack Frost, Home for the Holidays, Citrus Pine and Cranberry Wood Spice. I've constantly had one on the burner since the day I brought them home. They make my home smell so Christmasy, and I love it!

4. Old Friends

In the past few weeks I've been able to chat and reconnect with a couple old friends, and it's been great! There aren't many people in my life with whom I've formed such a strong connection that regardless how much time passes between our visits, when we finally do see each other again it's as if we were never apart. I'm so happy to have a couple of those people back in my life.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Let it snow!

Winter is in full swing here, and today was such a gorgeous day that we spent most of the late morning and early afternoon playing outside.

This is the only picture of Dixie I was able to get that wasn't just a blur of fur because she was running around the yard so stinkin' fast. She absolutely loves the snow! Little Nora? Not so much.


My favorite part was the way the snow was so light and fluffy that you could still see individually formed snowflakes. Well, either that or the way that Shylee kept whitewashing herself.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hi, my name is Jenny and I talk with my coworkers about inappropriate things

On the way to my employee Christmas party tonight:

Me, looking at my watch:  We're early. The drive didn't take as long as I expected.

Adam:  Well, we still have to find the dance hall.

Me:  I can just text Sandy (my boss) and ask her where it is if we have a hard time finding it.

Adam:  Oh. It's right there. Yeah.... we're definitely going to be early if we go in right now.

Me:  We could always sneak off for a little while, you know, maybe go have a quickie on a back road to pass some time.

Adam:  I don't think I know this town well enough to find a vacant back road.

Me:  Hmm... maybe I can text Sandy real quick and ask if she knows where one is.

Adam, seeing me glance at my phone:  You're not really texting her, are you?!?

Me:  No, I'm not texting her. But I'm totally telling her about this conversation when we go inside.