Monday, October 31, 2011

Did You Say Free Tickets?

 On Saturday we received free tickets from a friend to the UCLA Football game. This was a great treat for us since we're always on such a tight budget, we don't get to go out very much. Luckily we enjoy each others company or there'd be trouble!lol

There are two boys (Jordan Zumwalt-starting linebacker & Luke Gane-tight end & special teams) who play for UCLA & played at our high school with my son's Jullien & Dillon. It was so fun getting to see boys you know & have watched grow up, playing at the next level. UCLA won, and after the game we let everyone know we're good luck & they need to let us know whenever they have extra tickets.

For those of you who haven't heard of Luke Gane's inspirational life story, please watch this & click on his blog ~PRAY FOR LUKE~ to read more.

To see Luke so healthy & getting playing time as a preferred walk on at tight end & special teams is so amazing. The Lord has truly blessed him! We stayed after the big win to say Hi to Jordan & Luke. We're so happy to see them doing so well, they both deserve it...GREAT KIDS (not really kids, but they'll always be to us!)

We then took a shuttle back to our car & headed around the corner to Old Town Pasadena to grab a bite to eat to finish off our date night. I LOVE date nights...especially when we get to see a football game! So I want to give a BIG thanks to the Gane family! PERFECT NIGHT!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Homecoming Fashion 2011

Over the years fashion & dance rules sure have changed. Most of the kids would rather go with a group of friends rather than have dates. They want to "keep their options open." My hubby never wants to let Elijah go unless he has a I have to tell him, "Times have changed since the 80's!"

So let me share a little Homecoming 2011 Fashion Show with y'all. The boys tend to dress down & have fun with their looks, while the girls follow the latest fashion trends. Luckily the internet has afforded us with an availability to view fashion from all over the world. This definitely helps the girls in their dress/shoe choices, since in our laid back beach community dressing up usually consists of putting on a pair of closed toe shoes instead of flip flops.
Trenton & my son Elijah (best friends!)
 A BIG thanks to my step-mom Rolene who took these photo's for me while I was in the hospital. It's always a fun event for the parents too. We hang out, eat, drink, visit & take pictures at the pre-dance party. It's quite an evening for everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Challenge-Roggin's Heroes-Elijah Herrera

Last night we were sitting around the t.v., eating warm chocolate chip cookies, big ice cold glasses of milk and watching the weekly Channel 4 show, The Challenge with Fred Roggin & Petros Papadakis, which comes on after the NFL game.

Now let's rewind to preface my story, last Friday night, my son Elijah, set an Edison High School record, by returning a kick off 99 yards for a touchdown. I was snapping pictures as usual from the stands, which unfortunately doesn't allow me to 'watch' it like everyone else. It's a bird's eye view through a lens...definitely not the full effect of the event.

The week prior I was in the hospital & unable to attend his big homecoming game (he plays running back, outside linebacker & kick off return) we won! Luckily this week I was there to witness this huge accomplishment. Our high school is a Division I, Powerhouse School with tons of GREAT players over the years, who've gone on to play at USC, UCLA, OKLAHOMA, BOISE STATE, UTAH, BYU...just to name a few. To have Elijah entered in the record books is quiet an honor.

Fast husband, Elijah & myself relaxing on the couch, waiting for our favorite part of the show to come on, "Roggin's Heroes," where they feature the TOP High School plays of the week, to the tune of music & the commentator's. Suddenly towards the end of the show, they say, "Well if you like that, you'll LOVE this, Elijah Herrera..." WHAT? We all perk up, lean towards the t.v. & Anthony says, "HEY, THERE YOU ARE!" Elijah's big, record setting play, featured on one of our favorite shows...and I actually got to see the whole run away from my camera! I started screaming (Ya, I'm kind of obnoxious when I get excited.) Elijah said, "Mom, I didn't get to hear what they said at the end because you were yelling to loud!" Oops...

So here it is...SO PROUD OF HIM! He's worked so incredibly hard this year. Hoping it'll pay off with some scholarship offers to D1 or DII school's. He's only a junior so he still has one more year. CONGRATS ELIJAH!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

What Are the Odds?

I hadn't seen my dad and step-mom in a couple of years. They live in Reno, NV and aren't able to come down here to California very often. And unfortunately with our busy schedules, we're not able to go visit them. That's when I came up with a brilliant idea. My dad, LOVES football, so I told him he should come down and see Elijah play this year. He agreed!

Before Homecoming dance-Elijah w/Grandpa & Grandma Lemich 

We planned the date, (made sure it would be during one of our 'tough' games) and had it all set up for 3 weeks from the date of our phone call. In the meantime, I scheduled my outpatient laporascopy surgery, thinking I'd be fine once they got here. But as you saw from my last post...what are the odds that I'd have complications?
Grandpa Mike & Elijah in front of his poster-done before the game by the cheerleaders
 Grandma Rolene & Elijah
 My oldest son Josh & Charmaine
 So, the day they got here, my pains started & I was back in the hospital for the ENTIRE time they were here. Don't get me wrong, I'm SO thankful that they were here to take care of my family. They were able to see my son's game, take pictures of him before homecoming, and spend time with all of them...BUT, C'MON, REALLY? I didn't get to hang out with them & visit or anything, (yes, that was said in a very whiny voice-poor me!lol!) .
Rolene & my sister Stacy-Family BBQ-w/o me!:(
My stepson Adam with Grandma & Grandpa Lemich
The baby boys all grown up!
Guess I'll just have to use that as leverage to get them down here again...even though my dad is a nervous wreck in all this traffic.
But really, 'What are the odds?'

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hospital-The Ugly Details

"Did I make the right decision?" This question ran through my mind like a hamster on a treadmill. I chose to push for a procedure, hoping to alleviate pain. Now that choice has placed me back in the hospital.

Debated about posting this lovely shot of myself...but then thought you wouldn't get the full affect of my ordeal without it.             
Looking very pretty with my sexy new nose!lol! FLESH COLORED TAPE~REALLY?!
I went in last Tuesday for a Laparoscopy to look for re-occurring Endometriosis. They found tons of adhesion's and removed them. It was an out-patient procedure so I went home the same day.

WARNING: Gross Content (now's your chance not to read!)

The next morning I felt fine, so I ate a PB&J sandwich. That was it...the nausea, pain and vomiting kicked in. By 4:00 a.m., I was throwing up tons of green bile. I knew something was really wrong (having had the procedure done 4 previous times with NO PROBLEMS.) I called my Dr., he said, "You may have an obstruction, head straight to the hospital."

I knew what I was in store for me...the dreaded NG Tube! This is a long tube that required two nurses to shove up my nose (crackling and crunching) as they continued to push it down my throat telling me to take big gulping drinks/sounds while drinking ice water, to stop from gagging and choking as they slid it down to it's final destination inside my stomach. Taping the tube to my nose with FLESH colored tape, which gave me a great look (long tube nose) to add to the pain. I was given Morphin and a CT scan indicating I had an obstruction in the small intestine from the procedure (handling/removal of the adhesion's which happens in about 85% of patients.)

I waited 14 hrs in the ER bed (no beds available in a room) with some crazy patients all around me. One guy was so out of control, 5 security guards followed him as he ran by screaming, swearing and threatening. Which caused me to instantly scan the room for the nearest exit in case he ended up having a gun or knife. I can't believe what goes on in there! I was finally admitted to a room, head pounding, taken for more x-rays (4 hrs on an x-ray table waiting for the Barium to travel down.) Finally they returned me to my room, continuing to bring a portable X-ray machine up every hour, telling me that the dye wasn't moving down very quickly (ummm duh, I have a blockage!)

I was desperate to be done so they could hook the suction back up to my NG tube and drain the excess out of my stomach (it was swollen like a 6 month pregnant woman-NO EXAGGERATION!) I suddenly began throwing up HALF a bucket of green bile mixed w/barium. Shaking, needing to rush to the bathroom to clean up, I swiftly set the bucket on the table to unplug my IV. All of a sudden, behind me I heard a loud SPLASH. The weight of the swaying contents propelled the lime green bile off the table & across the entire floor. I was trapped. I couldn't slide the IV unit across the bile, so a sat on the edge of the bed, my bile holding me prisoner from cleaning/washing/brushing my teeth. I frantically pushed the red button for the nurse, who said they were coming. After 5 minutes- pushing it again. Finally 15 minutes later (turns out my little 'episode' happened right smack in the middle of a shift change.) I eventually made it, but had two more LARGE barfing episodes.

I then asked my nurse to please change my lovely 'flesh' colored band aid holding my NG tube in because it smelled like vomit (huge mistake.) She couldn't get the tape off. I held the tube as she yanked, pulled, twisted and slowly cut it. While the tube moved up and down my nose and throat, gagging me, and causing me to sneeze about 15 times in a row over and over again. I finally lost it! I'd had enough. I'm normally the type to just suck it up, I NEVER lose it when it comes to pain. My hubby got a little stressed and nervous watching me cry. I finally said, in the middle of a sneeze/gag attack, "I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE! JUST OPERATE ON ME ALREADY AND FIX THE PROBLEM!" But I quickly grabbed hold of myself again, and felt bad I let myself snap like that:(

The next morning at 7:00 a.m. They took the final x-ray. It took an entire day to get the Barium through me (it normally takes 2hrs) talk about a blockage huh?

The next day brought one more episode. My IV began to leak. When they came to move it, my veins (due to dehydration) collapsed. They stuck me 4 separate times, one time causing blood to spurt out all over the bed and down my arm, while she called the nurse to bring more gauze. They told me they had the vein & the bleeding and burning I was experiencing was due to the fact that I jerked my arm. I told the nurse that it 'didn't feel right.' When she rudely replied, "LIKE I SAID..." A few minutes later she hooked up the IV and my arm began to swell up like a balloon. She walked back in and I said, "Does this look normal to you?" Boy, her attitude changed once she took one look at my elephantitised arm!lol! I wanted to say, "From now on, LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS!" But I didn't, she changed her attitude after that. Finally a 4th nurse tried to get the IV into a vein in my hand and it took!YES! My arms are sore and look like a bruised up drug addict now, but I survived without losing it again (proud of myself, I must say!)

After 5 days in the hospital, I was finally released on Tuesday. All in all I had AMAZING nurses (only two bad night time nurses.) I was even able to send out a prayer request for one of the nurses, through my church after talking to her about personal stuff for a while. I wanted to try to make the best of a difficult situation. We all go through tough times, but remembering that you have a choice in how you act helped me to keep a positive attitude...for the most part:)

Right now, I'm not completely out of the woods and need to slowly ease back into eating solids and stay on a low fiber diet for a while. Just had my first 'solid' food in 8 days- Cream of Wheat & it was the best thing I've ever tasted in my life!

Somehow, I always end up having the strangest things happen to me. But I've learned to trust God in ALL things and this has helped me become stronger through each and every obstacle.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Help For Lung Cancer Cough

I'm reaching out to all of you for help. As most of you know, my dad (step-dad), Dave has been battling 4th stage inoperable lung cancer. He has defied the odds. It has been 4 years since his original diagnosis.
My mom, Carrie & Dad, Dave with Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock
Lately however we received some disturbing news that it has traveled to his brain. We continue to Pray and have Faith that the Lord can heal him. He already has given us 4 years since his original diagnosis.

The immediate problem my dad is facing right now however is the horrendous cough. It is 24/7 and is completely debilitating. He needs rest so his body can heal, but the cough keeps him awake. I'm hoping that someone will read this post who has experienced or had a family member/friend go through this and may have heard of something that gives relief for 'lung cancer cough.'

Please leave a comment, links or any information you may have
or have heard of that may give him some relief.
Hubby Anthony, Elijah, me, my dad, mom & Stacy
 Private room to meet the Detroit Red Wings Coaches-Gift to my dad! READ ABOUT IT HERE

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tough Knocks

Last week, my son's high school football team, Edison, was featured on OCVARSITY.COM. Under normal conditions that would be a good thing. But what took place on Friday, September 30th, was anything but special. Our Varsity Football team played against rival, private school-Mater Dei. At half time we were trailing, 13-0. We rallied back proving that Edison has what it takes...amazing will & determination to never quit.

I was proud of the team & my son, Elijah Herrera (#9.) He scored two touchdown's in the second half, as we held the lead for the first time 20-16. To seal the win, we only needed to hold Mater Dei. Then, on the final play of the game...well, you can watch this short clip and see for yourselves.

This Thursday we start league play. My dad and step-mom will be driving down from Reno, NV to see Elijah play for the first time ever! This is really exciting for him, he's worked so hard this year & knowing that his grandparents will be there to cheer him on will give him added motivation.  We're playing the most difficult team in our league, Los Alamitos. I'm sure we learned a valuable lesson from our last game that will help us succeed in our bid for 2011 Sunset League Champions. Let's go Edison bring that 'WILL, DETERMINATION, EXECUTION, FOLLOW THROUGH, TEAMWORK, and CHARGER PRIDE and you will prevail!

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall. ”
Vince Lombardi

“If a man is running down the street with everything you own, you won't let him get away. That's tackling. ”
Vince Lombardi

“Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.”
Vince Lombardi

“Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”
Vince Lombardi  

“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory. Thats the essence of it.”
Vince Lombardi

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy 43rd Birthday John-WE MISS YOU!

My brother John's birthday & me
Today my brother John would've been 43 years old. I often wonder what he would look like. If he would have more wrinkles than me so I could tease him about it and get him mad at me.
He always had a quick temper and I loved playing jokes and teasing him unmercifully.

What are big sister's for?

John, me & Stacy (in the background)
When he was little, he did everything I told him, even playing with Barbie's because I promised to play cars with him if he did. But once we were done, I said, "No, I don't feel like playing cars." 
He'd get so mad at me, cry and tell on me. 
I often wonder if my teasing and tormenting contributed to his quick temper!lol!

The two of us spent every summer in Reno, NV for a month visiting our dad. During our vacation my dad & step mom, who have property up at Frenchman's, we learned to entertain ourselves. Hiking, catching frogs, fishing, sleeping out in the open on cots under the stars (now that I think about it, I wonder why we or our parents never worried about bears!lol! I wouldn't do it now.)
John was a good sport & while using our imaginations to fill our days,
I decided we'd have a balance beam competition on the trees that had fallen over the river.
I'd do the first trick & then he had to top me. 
Needless to say, I liked to play games I knew I'd win. 
He'd eventually fall into the water giving me a good laugh at his expense!
Me, John, Stacy & my dad-Mike (camping/hunting)  
My baptism (8 yrs old)
John, Me & Stace
As the years went by and he grew bigger and stronger, I was a little more careful about teasing because he chased me down. I needed to make sure I was close enough to the bathroom to lock myself inside, laughing at him as he pounded on the door.

Stacy, lil sis April, Great Grandpa Henry, John (goofball) & Me (Dorothy Hamill haircut)
My mom-Carrie, Aunt Fran, John, Grandma Bolda, cousin Christina, 
brother David, dad-Dave, me, April and uncle in Michigan

John (he played ice hockey) & me in background (I figure skated)

Usually I just gave him a daily scare. Hiding around a corner, jumping out, screaming, 
just to see him freeze in a karate position and laugh at him.

Vacation in Michigan-Me & John with cousins, & lil brother & sister (David & April)

He got me back when we were older. Driving me in the snow, down the back roads in Utah, spinning us around in the car while I yelled at him to stop before we got in an accident, he just laughed at me. Yep, he had years of torment to make up for.

He had an incredible sense of humor, fun loving, dare devil and always the life of the party.

As the years go by, the love never lessens.  
Happy Birthday John, I love and miss you and will see you again one day.

Until then, I will honor you annually with the fun good memories that you left for all of us.

Love always, Your big sis, Lisi
John & baby brother Bryan

Monday, October 3, 2011

Raging Ocean's Power at the Wedge

The ocean always captivates me...with it's calming, serene ability to 'take you away' from all the troubles & worries. But to see the other side, the power, force and danger is mesmerizing! 
A few weeks back we had a HUGE swell. I wasn't able to make it down to the Wedge when it was at it's peak, but the day after still had big crowds lining the beach to watch the daring body surfers attempt to safely ride the waves.

The lifeguards only allowed the Professionals/Locals in the we got to view the best of the best. I needed some shots so I squeezed, pushed, and maneuvered myself right into a front row spot, then pulled my hubby up with me. I'll find a way to get through the mob if it's for a photo!
The wipe out's had me holding my breath until they surfaced!
Just another beautiful day in Orange County, California!