Weekend in Review

Friday Recap:

An evening with my Biker B!tch Crew for some good eats and drinks at The Classic Cafe in Malvern, Iowa.   Was so good to see these beautiful women and have a night of laid back conversation and a few good belly laughs.

ImageAshley, Kayla, Regeana, Liz, Lara, Anna, Tyree, Me, Baby Kaeleen (future Biker girl) and Sara



Thanks Hy-Vee!  Frosting = the best part of the entire cookie



Liz doubling it up.  How else do you numb the pain of a recent tooth extraction? 



Spent the good part of the morning and afternoon at the Med Center visiting my brother.  You know what is absolutely fantastic about the below photo?  The fact that Gabe isn’t in that bed but rather sitting in the chair next to me.  Pretty phenomenal considering 24 hours prior to that he took it upon himself to pull out his ventilation tube while he was still half sedated.  Talk about panic mode for the nurses, but he was clearly done with it and ready to fight on his own.  Simply AWESOME! 

ImageGabe managed to stay awake from 10-2pm that day.  He had a packed room with mom, Dave, me, Grandma and her friend, Pat, as well as our Uncle and Aunt Kam and Sarah.  A little after 2 hit and he was ready to lay down again.  Can’t say I blame him. 

It was so very good to see him awake, talking, laughing and eating.  The kid is a fighter and a half!



Today I was able to watch my cousin, Megan, play league volleyball.  She is a powerhouse!  Awesome to see her play!


This afternoon I went for an easy jog around Zorinsky lake thanks to the fantastic weather we had around here.  I am absolutely LOVING my new Asics Kayano’s.  They are a dream to run in.


I came up with a new recipe tonight using ground Turkey.  I have been hesitant to cook with Turkey for a while now (lack of flavor) but these turned out great.  Recipe coming soon!



And, the best part of the day!? 


The doctors are truly amazed by his recovery.  Considering we damn near lost him last week, it is a miracle he is doing so well less than 48 hours after leaving the ICU.  Thank you all so much for the thoughts, prayers and well wishes.  They were all felt.



Finding the Good Things


Celebrating the Good!

1) My brother Gabriel is making significant progress!! Completely off nitric oxide (which was helping to inflate lungs) and today they have been reducing his reliance on the ventilator. Also trying to dial back the amount of sedation, however, he keeps trying to pull the vent out when he’s in the magical world of half reality and half twilight zone, so this step is proving to be tricky. Makes me wonder… If he is so good at getting his hands out of restraints while sedated, how many times did he sneak out of the house in high school?

Ya, I’ve got ya figured out brother.


2) I made it through a week of teaching SIX fitness classes, training my predecessor at my 8-4, teaching my university students at night and visiting the hospital all with only a minor cold. SCORE!

3) My new boss’ boss bringing me flowers and chocolate. Because “that’s the only proper way to cope”. I’ll take it since it would probably be inappropriate for her to give me alcohol?


4) Absolutely hysterical car stickers in the hospital parking lot. Mildly inappropriate? You bet!! #sorrynotsorry


5) A fabulous friend who made us Chicken Lasagna to help out this week. Oh my. This stuff was so good! And my mom and step dad sure appreciated a hot, home cooked meal!

6) New faces in my fitness classes!! As of tonight I have now had 30 new people just THIS week! I’m over 50 people attending my TurboKick classes consistently! Sure am loving my FIT family and their energy!

7) A husband who can work on my Jeep. Even though said 2012 Jeep SHOULDN’T be having issues since I just bought it in August. Grrrr
Oh wait, this post is about finding the good. Yes, yes. Glad he can work on the piece of crap awesomeness.


8) Friday. Tomorrow! Ya buddy! A day off for some pampering, an afternoon with two of my best friends and an evening with my Biker B!tches!!

Did you find the good in your day?


It’s Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight


These words have never been truer, especially at this moment in time.

Let me introduce you to my brother, Gabriel, or as some of us call him, Gabe.


Gabe is my younger brother.  11 years age difference between he and I.  Gabriel was born with a type of dwarfism known as Cartilage Hair Hypoplasia.  From the time he came into the world, he’s been a fighter.  He had no choice but to be, and he’s darn good at it.

His journey with dwarfism and the bumps in the road he’s encountered in his 22 years is a story in itself, however, that is not what I am writing about tonight.

Gabriel is currently in Critical Care ICU.

Needless to say, it has been a rough weekend for Gabe, my mom, step-dad and family.

Unfortunately, the road has just begun.

Gabriel was first diagnosed with Influenza A last Tuesday, January 7th.  By Wednesday, pneumonia was added to the list and he was admitted to the hospital for observation and care.  By Thursday, he was doing better and was released.

It is unbelievable how quickly an illness can take over ones body, because within hours of his release, Gabriel found himself back in the ER struggling for breath.

BiPAP wasn’t working for him.  He fought it tooth and nail.  Fatigue and panic were setting in and the decision to intubate him was made.  The combination of all of this landed him in the ambulance, Omaha bound.

I arrived at the Med Center shortly after Gabriel on Friday afternoon.  It was like a war zone with the Doctors, nurses, fellows, etc.

The Doctor explained Gabriel’s condition in the most forward fashion I have encountered.  Blunt.  Frank.  To the point.

To me, the information was overwhelming but refreshing.

              To Dave, overwhelming but welcomed.

                              To Mom, overwhelming and shocking.

 I can’t imagine a parent’s feeling of helplessness.  It hurts to see my mom and step-dad so concerned and overwhelmed.

But, they are maintaining.

Together, they are strong.

In basic terms, Gabriel is very very sick.  The doctor likened his condition to a bomb having gone off in his lungs.

                                 But, he is also in very very good hands.

Gabriel is on high oxygen support with the ventilator as he is unable to adequately breathe on his own. The Doctor explained on Saturday that he expects Gabriel to be intubated for multiple days due to the severity of his illness and the effect it has had on his lungs. At the time, Gabe was alert and understood what the doctor was saying.

As of today, they have him heavily medicated and sedated as he was using too much oxygen while awake.  Gabriel’s lungs are also too stiff from the fluid build-up, which makes it hard for him to inflate his lungs by himself.  Doctors are pressurizing his lungs with nitrogen to assist him.  This procedure poses a slight issue in that they are unable to follow normal formula’s due to Gabe’s unique size, but they are closely monitoring him.  We also have to limit people in and out of the room in addition to keeping noise levels down.  When noise levels are up and conversations are happening around him, his oxygen levels begin fluctuating.  The doctor wants him still, not agitated and resting.

Today, the doctor also said the healing process could take multiple weeks.

Gabe is in for the long haul and he’s fighting.

So, we wait.  We think positive.  We pray.

Keep my brother in your thoughts and prayers.  The outpouring of love that he and my parents have received already has been astounding.

On behalf of my family, we thank you.

Keep the prayers coming.