Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A confession of obsession...

All right confession... I LOVE seeing the way that everyone decorates their home. Its kind of a weird thing about me every time I drive past a pretty house I always imagine how decadent the inside looks. Even with smaller old cottage looking homes I have this secret need to go up to strangers doors and ask for a tour.. would I ever do it? NO... but its a nice thought I suppose..

That being said if there is anyone else out there like me.. I decided to take some pictures of my home for the holidays.. its nothing super fancy, but I love it and feel thankful for my home.. Plus its always cuter around christmas right?? So.. that being said.. here is the place I call home... ( at least the christmas part of it)

This ladies and gentleman is my FIRST christmas tree... complete with on sale ornaments and the tree donated to us by my lovely aunt.. I LOVE the way it turned out.

Oh deer... ( Just wanted to throw a little pun of the day in.. you are welcome)

EVERYONE needs a holiday apothacary jar in their house.. 

This wall is my personal favorite.. 

I wanted to dress up the Tv stand a little bit more so I put some red and white pearl lights in it along with some tiny trees. 

I love this painting.. I couldnt really find a nativity that I liked, however I am in love with this painting.. it depicts perfectly the birth of the savior and captures what christmas is truly about. So I call this my nativity.

 Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cystic Fibrosis, a love for life, and a presentation for patient care.. enjoy!

Jchao recently surveyed our hospital as you are all very well aware of. They said that we are one of the top hospitals in the nation and that we have an environment for improvement. We as an O.R staff have an incredible opportunity. We work among some of the most talented surgeons in the country, and every day we are part of a team of people that change several indivuals quality of life. With the constant goal of improvement we have a duty not only to this hospital but to ourselves. A commitment that will help improve the quality of care that we provide to our patients. I wanted to share a story of healing that has changed my life and helped me to have the desire to serve our patients in the most honorable and respectful way I can. This story is my own.

When I was two months old after failure to thrive and many other complications I was diagnosed with the genetic illness cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a disease where the sodium chloride channels fail to function properly and cause a thickening of mucus in every lumun of the body. The most common side affect of this is thick mucus building in the lungs which more easily harvors bacteria and causes scar tissue and decrease in lung function from infection. This lead to a complicated childhood with many hospital visits, and stays.

Every three months starting from when I was diagnosed I had what was called CF or “cystic fibrosis” clinic. Each time I went it was the same routine.. height,weirght, vitals then into a room while I awaited a team of individuals that oversaw different aspects of my disease. Lung complications are not the only side affect and in fact in my case not the most prominant. Digestion of food, chronic sinus disease, bowel obstructions and nutrition are whati struggled the most with and each one of the doctors, and other medical professionals helped me to find the best way possible to manage my illness. I remember each one of them because they were my life lines and still are

During these routine visits I would have pulmonaryfunction testing done to see if my lungs had either decreased in function,increased, or remained the same. Often when I was it would be decreased andi knew precisely what that meant. A two week hospital visit. No friends, no school, no riding bikes or playing outside with my siblings. It was isolation a picc line and heavy medicationsfor me. Getting a picc line was always the scariest for me. I dealt with it fine until the veins in my arm began to be occluded with scar tissue because I had previously received so many. It began tohurt more and so they would give me some versaid tocalm my nerves. I distinctly remember one instance when I was eight when I went to have a picc line placed and I woke up in a large room. I didn’t knowwhere it was but whati felt in my arm was a sharp pain almost as if someone had taken metzenbalms and was carelessly cutting up my arm with them.. although that was not the case what really happened was theyhad trouble fishing the catheter through my scarred veins and had taken me down to fluoroscopy to achieve better visualization. I remember tears streaming down my face as I asked for my mom but she couldn’t be in there forvarious and obvious reasons… I didn’t have my mom but a lady wearing something vest like (which now having more of a medical bacckgroung I know was lead) took a hold of my hand and told me my mom couldn’t be in there but she would stay with me the whole time…..the feeling I felt atthat moment was comforit….like it was allgoing to be okay… it was scary. Waking up on an or like table instead of in my room on the floor having a simple procedure done. I didn’t know what to ecpect and for an eight year old this simple procedure turned out to be more traumatizing than expected. They finally got the line in and I remember thanking them profusely …the feeling of gratidtue was one like none I can ever really explain they had worked so hard to do their job and had treated me like I was the only little girl in the world that mattered to them…..

I stayed in the hospital for two weeks after this and after that moment when they got that particular line in I decide that I wanted towork in health care.. that I wanted to be the one to help someone be able to feel better….

I had many good experiences and many bad ones… mean nurses who could have cared less about me, and kind ones who took extra time to be with me… I remember one of my favorite things about being in the hospital was child life.. child life is a program they have developled at primary childrens where they have games, activities, crafts, movies and a large range of other things that children who were recovering could participtate in with the hope to ease the burden and take the mind of being in a lonely hospital. This to me is what thehealing connection I help you feel safe welcome and at ease is. When I was little even though I had to have many needle sticks small surgeries and procedures done. I still found joy in the hospital because the people their were so kind to me. I didn’t grow up with young kids as friends I truly didn’t I missed 60-80 days of school a year. There wasn’t a lot of opportunity in most of elementary for lots of friends. my doctors ,  my nurses and the residents were who I called my friends. They helped me heal. They helped me learn things that not many people could learn. I learned that life isnot to be taken advantage of. The times that I wasn’t sick or in the hospital meant so much more than just being another day… it was a day where I didn’t hurt or didn’t have a picc line. I could go swimming or ride my bike and that to me was not a right it was a privaledge and something I cherished. Throughout life every day living has been the same I haven’t been hospitalized in over five years and for someone with this particular illness it is a miracle.. but every day to me is still so significant..

It isbecause of the incredible care that I received that made me who I am today. Because people took the time to be so commited and take such great care of me I became commited to other people. It is hard feeling lonelyand sick and uncertain of what is going to happen. It is hard being in a place where your life is going to be changed. Lets make a goal to be those people that have an effect on our patients for the better. Two thigns that I wanted to implement as some thoughts are goals are as follows number one

Keep it casual…said no one ever… when our patients are in the hallways think of the state they are in. they are scared… they just left the onlypeople theyknew and were transported to a hall filled with other patients, equiptments, andhealth care providers. A lot of the surgeries we do are life changing… some of our patients will have to learn how to walk again, some willcomeout minus one limb and some before feeling better will have to heal from the excruciating pain of lengthy incisions and torn through tissue. The thoughts going through their minds as they sit in the hall way can not be be far off from what is the worst thing that will happen to them… they don’t need to hear us talking about our weekends or our lives at home.. keep it professional they need our support. They need our love and they need our assurance and hope. Lets make a goal to try our hardest to put our fovus on the patients at hand and not having casual conversations with eachother in the hall…. I don’t want you to think that I mean all the time being serious having no fun or talking about anything but medicine.. we work in a field where their needs to be some time for laughing and humor and conversation but there is a time and a place lets keep it that way and keep our patients filled with hope and a feeling of safety and assurance.

And last I want you all to close your eyes…think of the person that you love the very most in this world….now picture them….now picture them having the surgery you are either scrubbing, circulating or performing today… would you not want them to have the best possible care?? Would you not want them to have endless warm blankets and people surrounding them helping them feel respect and compassion for what they are about to go through?? When you work today or any day for that matter…clean a little better, have a little bit more compassion, provide someone with a little bit more hope because that is somebodys person that they love most in the world… I was my families person they loved and because of incredible care and love and commitment I have been able to heal not fully but lead a healthy life with cf. cystic fibrosis is one of thousands of illnesses some more mild and some much worse it doesn’t matter what it is but every day the people we care for are suffering in some way. Be commited.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth- part 2

                   Where oh where did we leave off??... Oh, right. The seventh day of christmas!!

On the seventh day of christmas my true love gave to me.. Ice Skating Gracefully

When I was little I would watch women like Michelle Kwan on the olympics and I thought to myself, " Im going to be her someday."... haha sorry for everyone who was almost convinced that I was a gold medalist.. i know I know I fooled all of you... I do love to ice skate though.. even if hitting the ground is more of my forte, than hitting a triple axel.

On the eight day of christmas my true love gave to me.. A cute christmas crush who married me.

I love my guy more than anything... We love christmas time. Goofing off, drinking hot cocoa, and going on adventures is where you can find us. I am so thankful to have such an incredible man in my life.

On the ninth day of christmas my true love gave to me.. A whovilleation party

I love all things food, christmas, red, green, and sometimes the grinch is welcome. We started this tradition last year of having a whovillation just like they do in the grinch. We eat a big meal and have a party with family. How much better can that get... all in all christmas brings people together, and that brings joy, I am pretty in favor of joy are you?

On the tenth day of christmas my true love gave to me.. A snowman who looks just like frosty.

You are NEVER too old to enjoy building snowmen. Take the time this year.. just build one.. a scarf some gloves and a few hearty vegetables is all you need (carrots included of course) Snow will ALWAYS be magical whether you are 5 or 50.. A white christmas is one of the prettiest sights to see!

On the eleventh day of christmas my true love gave to me.. HUMILITY

I have so much to be thankful for and every time I look around me and take a minute to truly see all that I have I feel humbled. There are many that dont have family to be with on christmas, many who dont have money for "gifts". Be the gift. Give what you have. And love who you give to. It doesnt need to be something materialistic it can just be an extra smile.. a wave.. shoveling someones driveway.. but remember the things you have and not what is on the wishlist this christmas..

Last but not least the twelfth day of christmas

On the 12 day of christmas was quite special to me.. Our savior who gave his life in Calvary..

He was born in a stable with cows by his side... 
He had no money or jewelry with pride..

The savior so humble so loving and meek..
Dare we forget him on his special week?...

He spent his life giving and never asked more..
Than simple acts of kindness, maybe a knock on a door?..

Christmas oh christmas what are you all about?
One person who changed the whole worlds turn out.

He died on a cross, and gave all he had..
This Christmas lets honor him and make others glad!!
- Mindy Catmull-

Merry Christmas... haha I know its November but I wanted to kick off the holiday season early!! be thinking of what is special to YOU and what YOU can do to make this christmas special for others.

xoxo Gossip Girl

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth- Part One

Okay so i have my two front teeth..sue me. However I did LOVE that first grade.. when I was missing a tooth.. other than that I just thought it was a catchy catchy phrase. 

~~So christmas is coming~~ 

I am going to tell you what I love, Hate, loathe, and like about christmas and im going to tell it to you in one of my favorite christmas songs the twelve days of christmas.

On the first day of christmas my true love gave to me.. A trip to disneyland to see mickey!

DISNEYLAND - My favorite place of all and my very sweet husband took me there for christmas last year. That is one of the things I LOVE about christmas is that people go out of their way to make you feel special, to make you feel like you mean everything to them. Which is how it usually is but at this time of the year there is an added effort of love to show it.

On the second day of christmas my true love gave to me the Fun Fancy Festival of Trees

This particular year (2012) was certainly a special one. My mother in love made a beautiful tree for a beautiful fallen angel Jillian Dunn, who was her daughter in love and this tree was made in honor of another beautiful fallen star Astra Waller. I love the stories behind all of the trees. I love the humility they bring to peoples lives in remembering the people who are in our lives now may not always be there so every opportunity we get should be taken to love a little more. All of the proceeds go to Primary Childrens Medical Center as well, which to me makes it even more magical. Since I spent a good portion of my childhood as a patient there I have a deep appreciation to all those who donate and spend there precious time and money to help those in need.

On the Third day of christmas my true love gave to me 

Three corny Catmulls. OOH I love these three. My brother, sister, and mother in love. They are three of the coolest people I know. My brother serves as a marine and his life IS the story of a hero. His strength, dedication, and determination has made him into one of the most incredible people I know. I look up to him a lot. My sister has a heart of gold. This girl doesnt have one mean bone in her body. If you are ever looking for someone in your life that is kind, loving, patient,courageous,beautiful and talented this is her. no embelleshments it is just who she is and i LOVE her. My mother in love is one of the most selfless people I know. She spends all of her time giving. Whether its visiting a family member in the hospital, letting a tired mom of a newborn have some sleep, or just some snuggling in the PJ's Mcat is always there, and I think is one of the truest examples of christ.

On the fourth day of christmas my true love gave to me a silly sweetie santa

This girl is such a beautiful girl. She has such a big heart. In her little life she has all ready experienced what most people go through in their whole lives yet she finds joy in everything and has a heart FULL of love. she loves everyone especially her family and always finds joy in the little things. This is just a snap shot I took of her while we were in a car wash. A CAR WASH... and look at that smile... maybe we should all step back and smile and one or two more "car washes" during our day.

On the fifth day of christmas my true love gave to me.. Sissies who mean the world to me

I love my sissies so so much. They mean the world and more to me. The love they show is unreal. I love playing christmas music duets, the melodies and the beauty brings the spirit and love of christ wherever we are and that is something that cant be bought or traded. The Lights at temple square in Salt Lake City are another thing I love to share with my family.. The lights are immaculate and surround the temple illuminating it in all of its glory just like the star that shined so bright to illuminate the world reminding us the christ child was to be born.

On the sixth day of christmas my true love gave to me.. An ugly sweater party

Ha! I have to laugh at this one... There is almost no words but I love ugly sweaters.. I dont even know where they came from ... But I love them and thats all i have to say on that...

On the seventh day of christmas.... WHAT??? do you think you get the whole song in one day? think again however i will share with you my dislikes of christmas as promised....

the FRIDGID cold.. although I like the snow
x-mas.. UMM ... arent we celebrating christs birth.. CHRISTmas?? where did they X come from?
AND wait for it....
The movie A christmas story... Hate it. Dont be mad I just dont like it... 

more to come
xoxo Gossip girl

Friday, September 6, 2013

This too shall pass... graditude in the most difficult of times

Hello fellow friends and family. It is currently 2:10 am and Ihave not blogged in over two months... slacker status I know. As I layed awake my heart is so full of gratitude. My recent feat in running Ragnar cost me my walking for a while.... I have been on crutches with a stress fracture for over eight weeks now.. However this post is not about me its about others and how I have been blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and the wonderful people in my life.

Sometimes it seems to me that life is one trial after another... before you finish one another one arises.. I have come to deeply appreciate this process because I have learned SO much!! I have learned patience... false step back .. I AM in the PROCESS of learning patience:) I have learned to let other people help me once in a while and most importantly I have learned that I have the greatest family and friends on this earth ( ps. totally always accepting new friendships)

I will not ever be able to acknowledge all of the people who have helped me in ways unknown but i just wanted to name a few, in no particular order of course.


My mommy. She has always been there to support me and go to EVERY single dr visit with me. No matter how hard of a time i am having i KNOW that i can call her and she will drop whatever she is doing and help me... while juggling four other kids, two jobs, setting up for her biggest event of the year (halloween) and serving others. Mom thank you so much for everything. Take a moment today and think of all the things that YOUR mom has done or does for you, because more than likely it is beyond comprehension.

The Dadster. My dad has helped Luke and I sooo much. He always knows what to say and how to help. He is such a sweet man and I am so thankful for the incredible courage he had in helping me to further my healing. It has not just been a struggle with a stress fracture. Everything sort of fell out of place at once, but he was there when I needed him and I will ALWAYS be so thankul.

Mcat my mother- in - love. She is the most NON judgemental person on this earth and I am certainly not sure how I was blessed enough to have her in my life but she is ALWAYS doing things for her family. Always listening to anyone of our stories ( all of the kids). Always there to share a laugh with. This morning I woke up sobbing because I was feeling trecherous. It felt as if a stack of bricks were placed on my forehead, and my sweet Lukas had to go to work. So he called his mom to see if she would stay with me through the day and her response was, " let me just wash my face and brush my teeth and im on it" really? who does that? Thank you for your love and support mother in love. You are such a tremendous blessing.
Splenda or SPENDA daddy ( my father in love) He is such a wise person. Whenever we need help he is always there. He is one of those people who doesnt leave the conversation when you stop talking. He thinks about it for days and ways he can help solve anything that might be askew. He is incredibly loving and willing to do whatever possible to help out at anytime. Thank you for your great example.
(picture to come:))

Karacat- This girl is UNREAL. We live in different states yet talk and or facetime every single day. She is ALWAYS there. Always someone to talk to. Always a good friend, and has the sweetest heart out of anyone I know. You dont meet people who have as pure of a heart as Karalee, but I am lucky to call her my sissy, and one of my dearest friends. We have Laughed together, cried together and embarked on the quest of family history together. Thank you for all of your time and friendship kar!! I love you sis.


My Luke. I have realized over the past eight weeks more than ever what an amazing man Luke is. He and I have been through in five months of marraige what most people go through in 20... We have had the works. But through it all it has made us stronger. I love this man. He has taken care of me and come to Dr. appointments with me, and done dishes and vaccuming and laundry, not to mention full time school, and his job. He has helped me gain a stronger testimony of faith and in the Savior. He has been there and held me as I cried and was in my deepest thoughts of sadness, and dispair, and he has been there to LIVE, LOVE, and LAUGH with me. We still laugh every day. I love being with him. It can be the most stressful of days or circumstances but at the end of the day there has always been at least 2-3 ...or 5 or 6 gut busting moments. I love the life I have been given and the people who have surrounded me and helped me. Lukas... to you I am forever grateful to be your eternal companion. You are such a kind, loving, and hard working husband and best friend. Thank you times a MILLION. I have learned what true love is and I feel sorry for anyone who is not able to experience it. Thank you my love. Thank you. I l Y P I

And last of all My savior

I weep as I write this part, but not out of sadness. Out of appreciation and humilty. Our savior. My savior always is there. A silent listener. A healer, and by him, through him and of him we have the opportunity to be saved and be healed through ANYTHING. no matter what we have done.. No matter what trial has fallen upon us. Christ paid the ultimate price so that we could feel comfort. He suffered ALONE so that we would have someone to suffer with. Thank you to christ who has blessed me beyond anything I could ever have hoped or dreamed. Thank you for blessing me with the people in my life that I have. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I testify that they live and are watching over each and every one of our lives. No matter how hard life gets... spend less time counting sheep and more time speaking to the Shepard. Thank you everone for helping me to become stronger and to heal. I love all of my family. There are many others who have helped me and have been with me whom I will forever be grateful to... Tacy, Sherrie, Rose, Emily, Melissa, Michael, Matthew, Grammy, Grandpa, Grandma U, Grandpa U, Alyssa, Anthony, Chloe, Frankie..... The list goes on and on.... No matter how hard things get if we stick to what we know is right we will always have a helper on the other side to help ease our burdons...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Make the impossible possible... possibly???

In life there is always going to be that one thing... that thing that you HAVE to overccome. That goal that you    HAVE to reach. and that thing that you HAVE to conquer. I feel as if in this world there is so much negativaty so many " you cant do it", " that's impossible", or " There is no way I will ever be able to accomplish that. For some reason this for me has been what fuels my passion to overcome anything that I want to. I dont believe in " cant do it" because you can do ANYTHING. 

                    A well known story reminds me of conquering the impossible.

 At the age of thirteen, on October 31, 2003, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. The attack left Bethany with a severed left arm. After losing over 60% of her blood, and making it through several surgeries without infection, Bethany was on her way to recovery with an unbelievably positive attitude. Lifeguards and doctors believe her strong water sense and faith in God helped get her through the traumatic ordeal.

Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water to continue pursuing her goal to become a professional surfer. In January of 2004, Bethany made her return to surf competition; placing 5th in the Open Women’s division of that contest. With no intention of stopping, Bethany continued to enter and excel in competition. Just over a year after the attack she took 1st place in the Explorer Women’s division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships – winning her first National Title.
In 2007, Bethany realized her dream and turned pro. Bethany has since participated in numerous ASP and World Tour Events with her major highlight being a second place finish in the ASP 2009 World junior championships

This story is such an inspiration to us all that the impossible is indeed possible. Well my impossible this past year has come true and that is what i wanted to share with you today. At the young age of two months I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic illnesss in which the sodium chloride channels ( the cells that produce and take care of the function of salt) improperly work which creates a thick mucus in all of the lumens of the body. This being said it mostly affects the lungs and digestive system. Lung infections and decreased lung function are common and the median age of survival right now is 35 years. Now For me as a kid growing up in thehospital with numerous two week hospital stays, treatments, and over 30 pills a day I learned that life is something to be cherished. I learned that I was NOT going to be one of those people who let their illness rule their life. I have been blessed in many ways with this disease and learned things incomprehandable to most people my same age but they are priceless none the less. I have fought my whole life to keep my lung function up. because the rates and severity of infection are so high it causes scarring in the lungs which decreases lung function. However I always wanted to DO something that I thought i couldnt and this year I did. 
                                               ***** Let us take a moment and go back in time*********
In December of 2009 I was having a phone conversation with a good friend and we both decided that we wanted to be on a sports team. However here is the kicker ladies and gentleman. I happen to be THE most uncoordinated human being on this planet so this plan was tricky. Alas, fortunately you do not have to try out to be on the track team. So as sixteen year olds we decided that is how we would spend our next few months.... HA! running! HA!..... me? .... anyways, carrying on... I started running on my treadmill every night and it took me about a half hour to run two miles. I was so proud of myself, and then.... practict started. I had never really ran before I mean I have a lung disease so it wasnt really on the list of the top ten things I should do with my life. Anyways it was the hardest thing and I worked my butt off        ( literally I lost 15 pounds). I always came last in races.. honest to goodness last place.. but I didnt care. I didnt care because I made more friends through running than ever before and I did it. I became a runner. All of my friends that I had made on track ran cross country as well ( I ran on the long distance team) and so that summer every day I would run with them. Thats what we did. We ran. Ate. Ran. Slept. Ran. and that is when I fell in love with running. 

(JV regionals 2009)

(Cross country Regionals 2010)

About a year after I graduated I had lost touch with most of these amazing girls that always pushed me through the hard runs and helped me to reach my goals. However I decided to make goals ofmy own. I wanted to PROVE to not only myself but others that a girl with asthma and cystic Fibrosis was NOT going to let that stop her.  In November 2012 I ran my first half marathon. I did it!!! I ran it in 1:49:15 and was sooo proud of myself. Was it hard?? Yep. Did it hurt? Absolutely. Did I prove to myself that anything is possible ?? That was the BEST part. 

(Snow canyon Half marathon post run, November 2012)

My next goal I completed happened just a week and a half ago. I ran the wasatch back or ( Ragnar). Ragnar is a race from Logan to Park city. One team of twelve. 198 miles. About 36 hours ( give or take) and three legs each. My first run was 7.7 miles. It was incredible, I ran as hard as I could and thank you to good ol gummy bears I kept just the energy I needed to finish the run. My second leg was 3.0 miles. Super easy but I was still sooo tired. and the last run was 3.3 miles. Running on no sleep, very little recovery time was NOT an easy thing. Ragnar is not known as an easy race but I completed it. I ran with some of the kindest most fun people I have ever met and I would do it again in a heartbeat.It was HARD, but do you know what?? most of the things in this life that are worth it are. I issue a challenge. A challenge to do something that youthink is out of your reach. you CAN do it you just have to want it. 

(Right before my second leg 3.0 miles June 2013)

( My last leg just before making a kill (when you pass someone from another team they call it a "kill)))

( My favorite team member and mother in love, who was kind enough to make this race possible for me and supported me the whole way through)

My team:
A special thank you to Wayne Freestone who was the captain of our team. And provided for all of our needs.

If I can do it.. run a half marathon and complete a 198 mile race. me. A girl with two lung diseases. let me ask you this...... What can YOU do???