Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stories That Restore Faith In Humanity

It's amazing to see what people can do when they put their hearts first..These links/videos/pictures will restore your faith in humanity, or at the very least make your heart feel very warm! I'm sure I'm not that only one who loves these types of features...make sure you have a tissue or two hanging around :-)

1. High School Basketball Player passes Ball to Mentally Challenged Player on the Other Team (click link to watch video)

2. Strongest Dad in the World
by: Rick Reilly

SO incredible :-)
Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars – all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much – except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution."

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain."

"Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that."

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."

That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

"No way," Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway. Then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?"

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 – only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century."

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy. "The thing I'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."
 2012 Sports Illustrated Kid of the Year--BROTHERS watch their inspiring video here!

And of course this makes my heart smile: 
 heart feels full after seeing these links...hope yours does too!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Costco & If You Really Knew Me

I don't know about you guys, but I'm seriously obsessed with Costco.  This Sunday, during the snowstorm, we bundled up and headed off to Costco (prob not the safest move on our part), however we fell in love with this Panasonic plasma tv, and decided to get a new one for our living room, and put our older tv in our bedroom.  Now being the dumb-dumbs that we are, buying a tv in a snowstorm, we kind of didn't calculate the fact that this 55" tv box probably wouldn't fit in our sedan.  We had to call AJ's friend Spencer to come and haul the tv back to our place in his SUV. 

Now that it's all set-up, I literally couldn't rave more about this Panasonic--best picture! It's a "smart-tv" too which means that it connects to wifi and you can go on apps like Netflix on your tv--pretty cool in my opinion! I'm pretty sure this is the one we bought (HERE). It was such a steal since they just came out with "this year's model" so this is technically a 2012 model--so we got it for half off the original price!

Another thing I love about Costco is their fruit selection.  I just bought a big box of oranges (probably had 25 oranges in it) for $8--such a steal. And they are DELISH! I have been eating way too many oranges per day--I keep telling myself that they are keeping my immune system safe from these crazy winter colds!

Since I have some new readers, I thought I'd dig from past entries today and share an "If You Really Knew Me, You'd Know" post....

  • I used to be a pretty good soccer player and that it was a huge part of my life growing up
  •   I love to spend time with my best girlfriends (my Atown girls & IX) and think of them as my family J 
  •  I love milk duds and starbursts and any sour candy mostly because I eat a very low sodium diet.
  •  I have had the same best girlfriend since I was 2 years old—Tory—and she is basically blood!

  •    My drink of choice in college was a vodka soda with lemon…or a bottle of chardonnay “chard”.
  •    I had a BIG crush on my boyfriend before I had even met him—he was my neighbor and I thought he had a nice ass (which he does ;-)…sorry mom!) !
  • Law & Order: SVU is my favorite show. I used to want to be a lawyer!
  •  I love reading blogs that have a lot of home renovations and DIY projects on them.
  • I have a handbag problem….and some would say a shoe problem. My daughter or daughter-in –law or granddaughter will one day be very happy!
  • I studied Political Science and Sociology of Law in undergrad. I love to read the paper online each day.
  • I have an older brother who is 18 months older than me.
  • I have a deep love for animals. I think in another life I was a veterinarian.  I am obsessed with my 20 year old fat cat named Freckles, and my 1 year old baby rescue kitten Peanut!
  • I love to read, and get really caught up in book series—recently I finished the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo book series (loved but a little slow at first), The Hunger Games Series (love love!), and 50 Shades of Grey series (which I didn’t really like). I am now reading “Gone Girl”. I also really love to read Auto-biographies of celebrities and political figures.
  • I read US Magazine and People weekly. They are my trash reads and I love looking at pictures of celeb outfits.
  • I am very competitive with myself, but have learned to cut myself a break in the past two years.
  • I studied abroad on UVA’s Semester at Sea program…we went to 8 different countries and it was amazing! Laying out on the cruise ship each day wasn’t horrible either J.
  • We go skiing practically every weekend in the winter, yet I am still a cautious skier.
  • I am a mush and cry whenever I hear a sappy country song that reminds me of why I love A.
  • I also cry whenever I see any “welcome home soldiers” video on YouTube…I am very patriotic, proud, and thankful.
  • I got my belly button pierced at age 14 in a tattoo and piercing shop in NYC.  Probably the most badass thing I've done.
  • I hope to one day get married and have a baby. If the baby part doesn’t happen, I will have like 7 rescue dogs and cats!
  • I can’t wait to design my future home, I love looking at design blogs. I think it’ll be modern with a feminine touch! Greys, whites, very dark wood floors…delicious!

  • I love to cook healthy, low-salt, recipes…I also love to look at recipe blogs/sites.
  • Mellow Mushroom cheese pizza is my ultimate cheat meal.
  • I am the baby of the family but am very responsible.
  • I love to work out—especially running, and just finished my first ½ marathon a few weeks ago.

  •  I also have a deep desire to become a yogi, but I just don’t think I have the concentration.  Hot Yoga is intense.

Happy Hump Day Ya'll!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Academy Awards Review

Wow my first day back at work, after a week of vacation, was pretty intense! Lots of e-mails, expenses, and other tasks I needed to get I'm breathing a little lighter today :-). There is still plenty of leftover snow on the roads and sidewalks, though a lot did melt yesterday, thankfully, we're supposed to get more snow today! I doubt it will be much, but there is really nothing better than a snowy winter day in Colorado.

I'm missing my parents after spending a full week with them, and hoping that they get their butts here soon to visit! Super excited also because my best girl in the universe, Tory, is coming to visit in April!!! So looking forward to that once we get it scheduled. Hopefully by that point it will be warm enough to take her hiking at the Cross Irons in Boulder or something fun like that (and obviously to a brewery or two).

Here are a few other pictures from our vacation last week that Anne put up on her facebook:

The family that dresses alike...

Anne & Jack the birthday boy!

Beers for da boyz

birthday cake for Jack & Tom

Dad's "photo-bombing" mom & Donna...hilarious!

This man sure knows how to relax

I think if I attempted this, the tray of drinks would drop in .02 seconds!

Little Oscar's Recap:

  • Loved Jennifer Lawrence. She seems so cool, normal, and down-to-earth.  Not only is she gorgeous, but she has great style too--loved the delicate, long, dimaond necklace she wore backwards.

    • I dont know what it is, but I think Naomi Watts has been all around the best dressed this awards season. She is a stunning woman, with a great figure, and amazing taste:

    • Charlize is just an all around beauty. One tall glass of water in a fabulous dress. I loved how she picked white, and I loved the sparkle on the peplum that you can only really see on tv.

    •  I know a lot of people didn't like this dress, but I thought it was high-fashion, and the eggplant color is amazing on Jennifer Garner. I also was mildly obsessed with her diamond necklace--exquisite! She is such a supportive wife to Ben Affleck, and I'm glad his movie, Argo, won Top Picture:

  • I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Anne Hathaway's outfit.  The back was out of this world stunning, but the front was a little weird--namely the boob region where the creases of her dress looked like nipples. The color is very pretty however:

    • George Clooney's date, Stacey Keibler, looked amazing. Not only does she have a long, lean figure that can pull off practically anything, but she chooses great dresses.  This one is absolutley amazing:

    • Finally, I thought that Catherine Zeta Jones looked like a million bucks. She looks like an Oscar, and her hair and makeup is perfect. 

    AJ surprised me during the show and thought that Salma Hayek's dress was really great....verbatim he said "Now that's a dress"...seriously cute coming from a man! I loved the gold "collar" on this dress, and her figure looks amazing:

    Well off to work it is, hope you have a fabulous Tuesday!

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    Mexico Vacation Recap!

    My week vacation to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico was incredibly sweet last week! I spent the whole week reading up a storm (finished off a Nicholas Sparks book, a Jodi Picoult book, the book--A Sense of An Ending, The Mindy Kaling book, and another romance novel all while sitting poolside! It was sunny and in the 80's the entire week, and I achieved a GREAT tan. It was great getting away from work for a week to hang out with my mom and dad, and our family friends all week! I arrived home Saturday night, and woke up to almost 6 inches of snow this morning! It's actually still snowing very hard--guess I didn't miss the one snowstorm of Denver's winter after all :-).  This morning, like the stupids we are, AJ and I made the trek to Costco.  I LOVE COSTCO! It's just the best--a playground for adults if you will--with free samples everywhere! We left with a new Panasonic 55" Plasma TV for our living room--and moved our other TV into our bedroom.  Pretty pumped about our new tv...though it's going to take a little bit of time getting used to how big it looks in our living room! It's a "smart tv" meaning it connects to Wifi and has APPS on it (such as Netflix) which is really awesome.

    Tonight, with all this snow, we are going to hang low and soak in the Oscars. Out of all the awards shows, this is my favorite--the speeches are the best, and the outfit choices the most spectacular! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    Here are some pictures from my trip last week :-) 

    in my dorky hat on the first day!

    mom & dad on the way to the pool

    mom learned to photo-bomb right before the trip hahah

    skyping with my brother!

    gorgeous resort

    my amazing parentals!

    dad in our living room

    Our friends Erin & Anne

    Pretty Girls!

    The Collins

    Great couple!

    Dad, Mom, and Donna cheesin!

    The boys minus Brendon & Kevin!

    Esther & Dayton

    At Jack's wonderful Birthday dinner in downtown Playa!

    pretty mommies!

    Our timeshares! 2 bed 2 bath + kitchen & living room!

    Beautiful golf course on our resort

    One of the four huge pools on our resort!

    The infinity pool with the beach

    lots of secret hideaways to relax all over the resort

    Dad's sippin a beer at the pool!

    My setup...water, magazines, books, and poolside :-)

    The pool we hung out at a lot!

    White & blue stripped shirts for pool coverups

    cute towel designs by the cleaning staff

    Anne sign interpreting everything that Jack was saying--so funny

    Dinner at the Asian Bistro

    A nice break from Guacamole!

    cutest shop dog in Playa


    lobsta in Playa

    Coconut Shrimp!

    a fruity drink at dinner

    Vacation is sweet!