Sunday, March 29, 2009

Times for Heroes and Handbags

Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Oh My! It's time for Heroes and Handbags! This is our biggest event of the year for Heroes for Children. Due to a major schedule conflict, we had to change the date for the Houston event to Wednesday April 1st. Dallas is Friday, April 3rd. That's right, folks, we're running two major events in 48 hours. How are we doing it? Lots of hours, lots of stress, lots of checking and double checking. We have four women working on the events and juggling our various responsibilities (plus keeping up with HFC life outside of Handbags and preparing for other projects!).

I leave today for Houston. I am driving and my car is loaded down with contents from our storage unit. While in Houston, I have meetings for Hold'Em for Heroes and HFC Friends and then I'm off to work on final prep for Heroes and Handbags. Michelle, our new Director of Development, flies in early Tuesday morning, and Larissa and Danielle will arrive Tuesday night (good thing we're going to be hiring a Houston staff member in August!!). River Oaks Country Club will be invaded by our staff and incredible volunteers Wednesday morning at 6am, guests arrive at 9:30am. Then, it's time to sell some handbags! We have other 220 bags in the Houston silent auction. They are brand new, vintage, or "previously carried with care." Bags start in value around $100 and go up from there. We have quite a few pieces that people will be fighting for!

I hop back in the car late Wednesday afternoon after our annual tradition of a celebatory lunch at Escalantes with the volunteers. Should be back late Wednesday night, after Mag is in bed. It's straight to the Hilton Anatole in Dallas the next morning to switch gears for Dallas Handbags. Luckily, our use of the Chantilly Ballroom gives us a two room suite where five of us will cozy up to sleep together, after a really long day. We rush down at 6am for set up and final preparation. Guests will arrive as early as 8:30 for our "Snag the Bag Preview Party."

By 1:30 on Friday, Heroes and Handbags will be at a close for the 2009 year. It'll be time to crunch numbers, send out recognitions and thank yous, and look forward to the 2010 Handbags events (yes, that quickly). We immediately switch gears to thinking about the impending fall schedule, including the 5K, golf tournament, and two Hold'Em for Heroes events in Houston and in Dallas.

As you can see, I won't be around here much. This week is INSANE. I won't see my sweet family from today (well, Andrew left yesterday for his bachelor party in Shreveport with seven buddies so I hugged him goodbye yesterday afternoon) to Friday night. Our half marathon is next Sunday (um, yeah, that was NOT good timing, I realize that!). The rest of this month does not exactly slow down. We kickoff the 5K with our volunteer committee, organize our membership drive for HFC Friends in Houston, kickoff Hold'Em for Heroes, and much more. I have a trip to Memphis for the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers. No, I'm not a social worker, but I work with them on a daily basis. The conference has sessions that are very relevant to our programs, and continuing education in this business will help us stay the best at what we provide for the families.

My priority for the next month is balancing this work schedule with time with Maggie. I won't be going out for anything not related to work that doesn't include her and Andrew. When I'm home, I'm focused on them. Our weekends are free and dedicated to family. It's not easy to balance, but I'll do my best. I'm off to pack!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Just need to whine a bit

In college, I had my first ovarian cyst rupture. It was so painful. Between freshmen and sophmore year of college, it happened five or six times. Finally, the OB put me on birth control to regulate it and stop it from happening. The pain was gone. I didn't have any problems for years. That is, until I stopped taking birth control in 2003. I had one rupture then. Then I got pregnant with Allie a month later.

A few months after Allie's death, we were in Utah with our family for Thanksgiving when it happened again. Trying for Maggie, I had three ovarian cysts burst. Unfortunately, Dennis told me that the only thing that he could put me on to stop it from happening was birth control.

A month ago, I went to see Dennis and had an IUD removed. We're officially trying! So, it should be no surprise that guess what happened? Yeah, I had an ovarian cyst burst this weekend. As soon as it started, I knew what was going on. And we were at a birthday party of one of Maggie's classmates. As soon as we could, I hightailed it home for a heating pad and the fetal position.

It's been almost a week. Now, I'm cramping BAD. I've never experience this level of cramping. I called this morning but the nurse said beyond pain killers, there's nothing that will make it stop. He speculates that after a year and a half of having an IUD, my body is trying hard to ovulate, and I'm feeling it. Fun.

I came home from work this afternoon to get on my couch and in my pjs. I feel whiney. I feel bitchy. The pain killers aren't making the pain subside. It is more than just regular cramps, going into my back (the nurse said it can radiate to the back, that's common, but damn I still don't like it!). I have the half marathon in two weeks and hurt too much to train. The next two weeks of work are supposed to be our two toughest, longest weeks of the year with Heroes and Handbags Houston and Dallas happening April 1st and 3rd.

I don't have time for this shit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who's Your Favorite Idol?

Talk to me. I'm watching American Idol tonight. Who's your favorite? Are you watching this season?

Loving Danny Gokey. Love him.

OK, back to the tube.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friends in Need

Guys, I don't often come to this blog to ask for prayers/happy thoughts/positive vibes. Tonight, I'm coming here to ask for prayers/happy thoughts/positive vibes. Two friends of mine have loved ones in the hospital. Two friends who need support.

Deanna's father had a very intense brain surgery on Tuesday to remove a brain tumor. It was supposed to be a six hour procedure. After eleven and a half hours of surgery, the neurosurgeon reported that it was more extensive then they originally expected. There was more blood to the tumor, and he had two strokes during the surgery--one at the brainstem and one at the cerebellum. He is still intubated and heavily sedated. Tonight, he is responding better. Deanna has been through hell this week.

Please, please add my sweet friend to your list of prayers. She needs it.

Crys and Baby Zack
Crys, Alexa and Zack's mom and my friend, needs your support. In June, sweet four year old Alexa passed away. She had been battling Neuroblastoma since she was 19 1/2 months old. Her adorable, happy son Zack has been battling a mysterious rash and pain for four months. This week, they found a growth under his chin. In one day, it tripled in size. He was hospitalized Tuesday night. Tonight, he had surgery for the growth, which is an infection (most likely MRSA staph infection). Today, the doctor told Crys that he believes Zachary has a combined immune deficiency disorder. They don't know the extent of it all.

Please send every good thought and prayer to both Baby Zack for his recovery and to both his parents Crys and Zack.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Big Milestone

Today, weeks after I confessed my weight on the internet, I stepped on the scale to see a good number. I gained two pounds the next week. I stayed stagnant for a week or two, hovering around 158 or 159. I attended four catered events in a matter of 8 days. Ugh. So, the past week, I've refocused. I've gone back to the basics of South Beach, doing a modified version of Phase I (didn't cut out sweet potatoes or fruit, but did cut all other carbs).

As of this morning, I weigh 155. YEAH!! I haven't seen this weight since BEFORE I got pregnant with Allie. So, um, like 2003? Yeah, it's been a while. I'm so excited! My size 12 clothes are too loose. I haven't bought size 10 clothes yet with the exception of a few new fabulous dresses for our Heroes and Handbags events (hello size medium at Banana Republic, I love you!)

This is a big milestone for me. It's 30 lbs lost since I started. My BMI is now 25.8 (under 25 is no longer overweight--I started at 30.8). I'm so close!

The biggest challenge for me right now is exercise. I worked three consecutive 70 hour work weeks. Between that and focusing on being with Andrew and Maggie, I'm so physically exhausted! I haven't been good at my training. I can walk more than 10 miles without an issue, but its been a few weeks since I've done it. The half marathon is April 5th, so I have to get my rearend in gear to get this done. I can't lollygag and procrastinate on the exercising any more.

So, my commitment this week to is refocus my energy on the exercise. I've refocused on the food and I'm on track. Now, I need to get the exercise in line. That way, as I lose weight, I can feel good about how my body is looking too!

With that said, I'm going to watch American Idol on my DVR while sweating it out on the treadmill. Gotta go!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The past two weeks have been a bit exhausting. To say the least. This week has been a big week for Heroes for Children. Monday night, I joined supporters at Hotel ICON in Houston for the live auction. We auctioned off handbags from Elaine Turner, Oprah tickets, and a cool package from Olympic medalists the Lopez Family, plus several other equally fun and exciting auction items. It was a big night and such fun. We flew back Tuesday morning and prepped to do it all over again. Wednesday night was the same event for the Dallas crowd at Heritage Auctions. Again, we had items for auction that were fun and exciting to watch with the bidding (such as, oh say, Super Bowl tickets for the 2011 game when it is played at the new Cowboys Stadium). Tomorrow night is another big night. The GCS Mom's League is hosting their annual benefit dinner and they selected Heroes for Children has their 2009 beneficiary. Phew, see what mean?!?

When I'm home, I'm focused on my family. I try my hardest to maximize my time with them. Maggie went to my mom's last night so Andrew could join me for the party and she'll spend the night there tomorrow night so he can go to his computer flea market "First Saturday" (lame, I know but he loves it). This weekend, some of the girls are going down to see Tracey. We haven't all been together in over two months. I'm not going. I just can't. I owe it to my family to be home. I need to be respectful of Andrew and how much time he is home alone. So, I told them all to count me out. In fact, I told them to count me out of anything that doesn't involved husbands and/or kids for the next two months because honestly? I'm not going to be able to have much of a social life.

Now, before you comment that I need to be delegating and letting others shoulder the burden of the work, let me dispel that. The HFC staff? Totally and completely ROCKS. They are all busting their tails. We just have SO.MUCH.WORK. Until the first week of May when we launch the women's auxiliary HFC Friends in Houston, we're jammed packed (by the way, if you want info on a volunteer group in Houston to join, email Christi Disch at These women work so hard every day for the mission of our organization. This is our busy season. Spring and Fall are our toughest times of the year.

I'm home every night the next two weeks and I couldn't be more happy. Andrew is thrilled! We are already talking about fun things to do--such as tonight's dinner outside under the Christmas lights that Andrew put up on the awning. Sunday's plan is to go to our favorite weekend funspot--Six Flags! We haven't been since right before Christmas, and we love our time there with Maggie. Completely ignore cell phones, emails, and anything else that doesn't revolve around the three of us and the fun we're having. I can't wait!

Really, this was all to say that I'm sorry I have been so negligent on the blog lately. Stick with me. I will, when I'm not brain fried or trying to spend time with the family, blog more. Just know that you will see little blog activity March and April. I'm here. Just trying to make sure that while work is a major focus, my family is a bigger. That includes getting off the computer in the evenings. And with that, I'm shutting down for the evening.