It Feels Like Home

A Boston girl goes Hollywood then chucks it away for a life in OZ… these are my adventures and general musings.

World Alzheimer’s Day September 21, 2009

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day- a day when the Alzheimer’s Association and other organizations around the globe unite efforts to raise awareness about the disease and its impact on families, communities and nations.

Dementia is an insidious disease that personally affects my family as my sweet and loving Dad has been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). You can read about it on my LBD blog found here.

Here are some facts to consider:

  • According to the 2009 World Alzheimer’s Report, newly released today from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), there are 35 million people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • There are 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s.
  • There are 10 million Alzheimer caregivers.
  • Every 70 seconds, someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s.
  • There are 78 million US baby boomers who will be impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The annual societal cost to our nation is $148 billion.
  • Worldwide, the economic cost of dementia has been estimated as $315 billion annually.
  • The US government only invests a meager $428 million dollars in Alzheimer research as compared to $6 billion for cancer, $4 billion for heart disease and $3 billion HIV/AIDS that has resulted in great advances.

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association today. You can donate by clicking here. Your gift will help the Alzheimer’s Association fulfill its mission against Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, the promotion of brain health and providing care and support services to the estimated 5 million people in America living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • You can also write Congress now and urge them to support the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2009. It takes just a minute to help. Click here to take action.
  • September and October is also prime time for the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk. The Memory Walk is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research – and it calls on people of all ages to take action in the fight. Year-round, participants are involved in efforts to help defeat this devastating disease. To find a walk near you, click here and find out more information, sign up, donate or volunteer. Get out there and walk!
  • To read more about the report released today, click here.

*Content for this entry taken from the Alzheimer’s Association website.

 

Breaking the News September 18, 2009

Filed under: Life — Holly @ 10:10 am
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When the Hubs and I found out we were pregnant, Mom was out-of-state visiting Sister in NYC while Hubs & I stayed home with Dad. Keeping it a secret was pretty easy and we loved having it be “our” secret. Eventually we decided it was time to tell our folks. As timing would have it, Mom would be home the week of Father’s Day so we decided Sunday, June 21st would be the day to share our wonderful news. We had plans to go out for a Father’s Day dinner celebration and figured we would tell them then but our excitement got the better of us. We opted to have Dad open his presents earlier in the day at home rather than later at the dinner.

To tell them the good news, I had purchased a cheesy t-shirt and hat that said “World’s Greatest Grandpa” across it. I wrapped it in a large box with a pretty bow along with some other gifts to open before the big one. Dad opened his movie tickets and then a gift certificate to one of his favorite restaurants. Time came to open the last large box. As Dad opened it, he was thoroughly confused and appeared not to be catching on. The Hubs and I looked at each and kept waiting. Then, Mom piped in and was like, “Is that a joke because that could really be mean.” Our reply was of course it’s not. Then Mom said, “well, the only way it wouldn’t be is if it means what it really means but it doesn’t.” To which we replied, “well it means what it means! We’re pregnant!” Mom & Dad were seriously confused and after a minute of letting the news sink in, they were beyond ecstatic.

Mom and Dad wanted to tell Sister right away so Mum took a picture of Dad holding up his Grandpa shirt on her cell and sent it to Sister. Sister calls and says, “What is that… did someone send that to Dad as a joke for Father’s Day?” Um, no! At this point Sister is on speaker phone so we all yell the good news to her which rendered her speechless for the first time in her life. Seriously, dead silence for 30 seconds and after we confirmed she was still on the line, she was like, “What? There’s a baby in your belly? You’re having a baby?!” Yes! Yes! Yes! To which congratulatory cheers were yelled and Sister got back to her crazy, chatty self.

After sharing the news with my family, we were on the phone to the Hub’s parents to continue our Father’s Day baby announcement. We were of course showered with more congratulatory wishes.

Dad has already decided we’re having a boy and corrects anyone who dares to call the baby a girl. It’s kind of funny and cute that he’s so keen on a boy. Maybe after having to deal with my Mom, Sister and I for so long, he’s ready to have a little buddy to pal around with for a while.

P1010082 P1010120 P1010139 P1010145 P1010148

 

The Cat is Out of the Bag September 15, 2009

Filed under: Life — Holly @ 3:23 pm
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Since the news is circulating, I might as well make our big announcement here: my husband and I are expecting our first baby on February 23, 2010! See, didn’t I tell you I had more exciting news to share!

Hubby and I are going to be parents which is somewhat scary but oh so thrilling at the same time. We’re ready and while we have had a lot going on between packing up and moving from California to Boston, looking for a house to buy and now preparing for a baby, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Although, I wish the morning sickness would just disappear already. Seriously, I’m 17 weeks and I’m still sick EVERY. SINGLE. DAY., several times a day. I’m told it’s all worth it in the end, which, I’m sure it is. I guess it’s a small price to pay for a bundle of joy to call my own.

So there you go, that’s our “big” news and mostly the main reason I took a break from the blog. Between trying to pack for the move and dealing with the morning all day sickness, I was just too lethargic to blog. Now it’s time to get caught up as I’m hoping the worst is almost over. (Wishful thinking I’m sure).

Don’t worry, the baby won’t completely take over the blog but in the near future there might be a few more baby posts than normal. I’ll also blog about other fun stuff, too, because life is colorful and full of adventure. After all, I do like to keep a written log of my life and hope that one day this little bebe will have this blog to look back on and see how cool his/her parents were!

 

Road Trip September 9, 2009

Filed under: Life — Holly @ 11:04 am
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After we said all of our goodbyes to our friends and family in California, it was time to hit the road. We loaded up our car with the essentials and left the rest behind in storage- to pick up and transport once we have purchased a house. For now, we are renting a furnished apartment so all of our stuff was not needed.

Armed with our trusty GPS, a few audio books for our listening pleasure and our snack bag full of road trip treats, we were on our merry way and ready to conquer the great open roads of the U.S. Of course, California didn’t disappoint without sending us off with one last major traffic jam to sit through. Despite the hour delay right off the bat, the rest of our trip went relatively smoothly. Although, come to think of it, every state we drove through was under construction thanks to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Luckily, it didn’t cause too many delays. A few times during our drive, we had to outrun some nasty summer storms that were bearing down on our route, but all in all, we were treated to mostly sunny skies and smooth sailing… until we reached Massachusetts.

As a big welcome back to the Bay State, we were greeted with a tire blow out at dusk. We Hubs attempted to change our tire and did a great job until he got to the last center bolt… no matter what, it wouldn’t turn. Off I went to ring our insurance company for some mechanical support. After waiting an hour because the tow truck couldn’t find us, help arrived and by this time it was pitch dark. Turns out the reason Hubs couldn’t get the last bolt off was because it’s a security feature to prevent tire theft and can only be removed with a special part that gets attached to some high tech drill. After unpacking our ENTIRE car and scouring it for the magical attachment part, we couldn’t find it… even the mechanic tore our car apart and couldn’t find anything. At this point it was getting desperate and the mechanic said we were going to need a tow to a garage and wait it out overnight until we can get in to our car’s dealership for service. Of course, he’s telling us this isn’t covered by insurance anymore and we’re going to need four new tires and what not. Determined not to give up, Hubs took one more look in the trunk all the way in the back crack where the back seats and trunk meet. What do you know? There was the little bugger! Alleluia! Woo hoo! The magic attachment piece is put in to action, tire removed, dummy tire applied and off we went to our new home… driving no more than 50 miles an hour on the highway. Yes, everyone honked at us and probably cursed us out even if we were in the slow lane. Hey, it’s not my fault you can’t go more than 50 mph on our spare tire. We arrived after 10pm to our new home and crashed. We finally made it. The next morning, we were up early to replace all four tires. So glad my super duper car service I had done BEFORE we left California helped us avoid our blow out… pft!  I even asked them if our tires would be okay, do we need new ones, etc… “Oh no, they’re fine. You’ll make it there no problems.”

In any event, driving across country was fun and it was amazing to see the changing landscapes and talk with people along the way. Driving through the middle of the country, it seems like such a different world, a different way of life compared to the lifestyles and environments on the coasts. Yes, there was lots of corn… fields and fields of corn for most of our journey but still, it struck me at how beautiful each state is in its own way.  I especially enjoyed Iowa- the gentle rolling green hills, small farms dotting the countryside, it was just beautiful and almost makes me want to move there and run my own farm. Driving across country is something I think everyone should do at some point in their life. I consider myself lucky we had the opportunity.

Without further delay, some photos from our road trip:

July August 2009 025 July August 2009 017 July August 2009 021 July August 2009 022

July August 2009 028 July August 2009 030 July August 2009 039 July August 2009 040

July August 2009 041 July August 2009 044 July August 2009 051 July August 2009 060