Reblog: Then He Kissed the Back of my Hand

Apparently I found the limit on the number of times WordPress will let you reblog one of your own blog posts… Today is the 3rd anniversary of my baby brother’s passing, and so I took some time this morning to re-create the story to share, spend some time with my own thoughts, and just reaffirmed how fast life can change and how important it is to stop and spend time in the moment.

Love you all, and now back to the story.

*******************************************************************

My parents always knew that they wanted to have 2 kids and to adopt.  So, after me and my sister, they began looking to adopt.  They wanted to adopt a special needs kid, provide a home to a child that might be overlooked.  They were aware of their own limitations and knew that they wanted a child with a physical handicap.  We took sign language classes together for a while when we thought we were getting a deaf sibling.  That fell through and in the end, we found out about Lee.  Lee had a little red triangle that appeared on his forehead above his nose when he cried and got upset.  The Koreans considered that a handicap.  It was meant to be!

Image<a Lee at Universal Studios, he’s so strong, he is lifting up the A-Team Van with one hand!

His Korean name is Man Ho Ha and we picked him up from Dallas airport when he was 6 months old.  He was ours from the time he was a month old, but we couldn’t get him until he was 6 months old.  It was amazing.  A Korean woman had traveled with him and several other babies and dropped them off at other stops, and Lee and one other child, a little girl, were her last stop.  We passed him around our arms while at the airport and just couldn’t keep our eyes or hands off of him.  It was a memory that will always stay with me.

He was named Jayman Lee.  Jayman is spelled slightly different from normal so that we could incorporate his Korean name in there – and Lee is a family name.  We just called him Lee.

Image

Through the years, as a good older sister does, I tormented him! I curled his hair and my other sister dressed him up.  Good Times!  Since there is 10 years difference between he and I, we were pretty close.  When he got older, I always took him school supply shopping.  We had season passes to Six Flags for many years.  Apparently, when he and I were younger, I thought I was also his mom.  He would bring home papers from school that were subpar and needed a parents signature, in order to keep him out of trouble I would sign his papers.  Then mom and dad would never know that he didn’t do well.  Yeah, uh, they found out anyway.

It was 10 months ago that he was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy.  You have followed my journey with him here on my blog.  After the initial diagnosis, he did good.  We had a few set backs, but overall, he was doing really well managing the condition.  We did have a few scares along the way, but he always pulled through.  In fact, our aunt commented at a family function “you don’t look sick.”  Yeah, she’s that aunt.

ImageLee’s Senior Picture

A little over a month ago he started not feeling very well.  His meds were adjusted, but he knows is body, and he knew when it was time to go to the ER.

He never left the hospital again.

This kid was amazing.  He took everything that was thrown at him.  We didn’t think he would survive the gallbladder surgery, but he did.  Then he was transferred to UT Southwestern, which is one of the best hospitals for cardiovascular issues.  He seemed to be getting better, but then stopped.  I can’t tell you how many times we were told “he may not make it through the night” but he did.  When he went in for his LVAD surgery, again, we knew he might not survive, but against the odds, he did.  I’m so very proud of my brother for all that he went through and how well he handled it.

There was a Tuesday that I went to visit him in Dallas.  He took my hand and held it.  He told me how much he loved me and how glad he was that I was his sister.  He said that he knows how much crap I put up from him over the years and he was so glad that I was always there to support him.  He also mentioned how thankful he was that I could spend so much time with him in the hospital.  He acknowledged that it couldn’t have been easy for me, but that he wanted me to know how much he appreciated it, and me, and how very much he loved me.

Then he kissed the back of my hand and sat there holding my hand.

That’s the last conversation I had with my brother.

Image

Lee with our nephew

That night he had to be put on the ventilator.  A week later he coded and slipped into a coma.  This Monday, he had a CT scan and we were told that there was swelling in the brain due to damage and that the doctors would not be able to fix that.

It was time.

This Tuesday we gathered by his bedside.  Mom, dad, my sister, my grandmother and I.  We held his hand, kissed his head and said our goodbyes.  When we were ready, we called in the doctors and nurses and they turned off his machines and left us in peace.  We stood by and talked to him, held his hand and we cried as he passed away.

Lee transitioned peacefully to Heaven surrounded by love.  We let him know how much of a blessing he was to us, and that we were letting him go.  He didn’t take long to pass, and we all knew when it happened, you could see the peaceful expression, it was so nice that after such a trying journey, he had found peace.

Image

Last picture of me and Lee, at the hospital

Today we have been busy making the arrangements.  Lee will be cremated and we will have a memorial service this Saturday morning.  I’ve been in contact with family and friends and have been absolutely amazed at the outpouring of love and support I have received.

Lee was well loved, and for a pain in the butt brother, he was pretty darn awesome.

Thank you all for being part of my journey with Lee.

In the Kitchen with Kate: Healthy Wendy’s Copycat Frosty

  
Really? That seems deceptively simple. But I had all of the ingredients on hand… And I had just finished 30 minutes on the stationary bike… So yes please!! 

  
I gathered my ingredients. 

And I blended. 

And blended. 

And shook the cup and blended some more. 

The mixture was really thick so I added another 1/4 cup+ of Almond milk. 

(The “+” is because I had just over a 1/4 cup left and went a head and finished off the carton! 😂😂😂) 

I blended some more. 

Taste test time! 

Ok, still really think and oh my goodness was that a chocolate overload! 

And not in a good way! 

And I’m out of almond milk, so I add some water. And then a scoop of vanilla protein powder. My thinking was that the vanilla would help off-set the bitter chocolate (cause 1/3 a banana wasn’t near enough sweetener!!) and to help keep the shake thicker after I added water… 

  
It worked!! So while the recipe wasn’t all that spot-on for me, with a few modifications I made it work! By the time I modified it, the caloric count was 234, which isn’t bad considering I had a scoop of protein in there! It was simple enough I’ll be making this me again! 

Oh, and well, I wouldn’t ever mistake it for a Wendy’s Frosty, it was really tasty, and 160 calories less (it would have been 260 calories less, but again, protein powder!!) 

In The Kitchen with Kate: Wordless Wednesday Edition

I saw this recipe on Pinterest the other day and couldn’t wait to try it. Homemade Veggie Nuggets!

Homemade Veggie Nuggets at Did That Just Happen Blog

That looks neat, right? Vegetarian chicken nuggets! And the ingredient list really was simple: Carrots, parsnips, potato, broccoli – and then some oil, egg and breadcrumbs.

The reality:

Homemade veggie nuggets, sort of, at Did That Just Happen Blog

So, mine is a different color… I can work with that… but it was also a totally different texture… well, let’s try it anyway, so what if the cookie cutter didn’t work and I pulled out the melon baller… It could still work!

Pinterest Fail Homemade veggie nuggets at Did That Just Happen Blog

Yeah.  No.

January Recap

I can’t think of a catchy title for this blog… and since it will be a smorgasbord, I figured that “recap” is fine.  Okay, disclaimer over with it! Let’s get started!

One of my SMART goals this years, under “Personal Betterment” is

I welcome January 2017 in as a sharp-dressed woman, as I have made an effort to be more presentable, and accountable in my attire and stepped outside the house always dressed for success.

Honestly, I really thought this was a good idea.

And I’m not ready to abandon it yet… but…

SMART goal not met at Did That Just Happen Blog

Yeah, that happened.

This month, we celebrated my mom’s birthday with a family gathering.  Mr. T had to work, so he spent time with her and dad earlier in the day and had a pleasant lunch with his grandparents, but since I was busy, I wasn’t there and don’t have any pictures – so we’ll start with a picture I snapped of the two of them a few days prior!

Mr. T and Grammy at Did That Just Happen Blog

They were having an intense discussion! Cassius, Lee’s boxer, came over for a visit, and if you look closely, even Shorty was taking part!

It was a fun gathering, and at the end of the night, it was time to take some pictures!

Group Selfie at Did That Just Happen Blog

The best part was when Grammy wanted some pictures with her grand-kids.  This is what we posted:

Picture worth at Did That Just Happen Blog

This is the behind the scenes of what all we have to go through in order to get just a few good shots! I am sure this is something most of y’all can relate to!!

Group shot at Did That Just Happen Blog

Taking family pictures at Did That Just Happen Blog

How to take a family picture at Did That Just Happen Blog

How not to take a family picture at Did That Just Happen Blog

Notice how we were all jumping in to help.

Yeah.  Not so much.  We are more of a sit-back-and-laugh family!!

Remember that I mentioned being busy that morning so I couldn’t join Mr. T during his visit with his grandparents?

Heroes for Hope 5k at Did That Just Happen Blog

Boom! First 5k of the year done! *happy dance* Heroes for Hope run benefiting St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

BA ran with me, and after we had cooled down, grabbed some food and water, I checked, and they didn’t have a computer set up for us to check our official times, but they gave me the site I could log onto later – and then pointed me in the direction of the guy that had the print out!

I did not medal.

Well, if I’m not getting a medal, then we could go.  Not going to lie, there were 30 more minutes to go until the ceremony, and I couldn’t hang!

The next day I got on and checked the official time.

I did not medal, BUT…

I knocked 3 minutes off my race time!! 3 minutes y’all!!  It was insane!  I did start way too fast, and it came up and bit me in the butt at the 2.5ish mark, but again, I’m just amazed at the love of runners, I was struggling, and another runner came up beside me and slowed down, told me I could do it – and then stayed to run with me for a bit!  She and I kept together for a good bit, and it felt good.  I love the sense of community that has come with running, I really do!

As long as I was checking my time, I pulled up BA’s time.

And then I called him and asked “When I was checking the time sheet for me – did you happen to check it for you?  I think you medaled.”

No, he hadn’t checked the sheet, so I contacted the race coordinator, and sure enough, BA came in 3rd place in his group!  They are mailing his medal – it took several hours for it to really sink in with him, but all of the sudden, I think I can convince him to run with me again!

Is there a medal and finisher shirt  Did That Just Happen Blog

 

 

 

 

I am a Runner

Happy Pre-Friday everyone! The other night I clicked a link on Twitter, read this blog  and then shed some tears. Several of you have been here for the last several years and know my journey to get healthier, and how I’ve started running and stopped, started and stopped more times than I can count.

It doesn't matter how slow you go, as long at you don't stop; at Did That Just Happen Blog

It took some time to for me to actually start “running”. I worked up to it. I walked. A lot. I did the elliptical. I tried outside. And came right back in. It’s hard. And there are people out there. People that could see every jiggle and bounce my body took with each stride.

It has been almost a year since I started “running”. And up until a few weeks ago, I still wouldn’t have called myself a runner. Y’all remember my first 5k from a few weeks ago? Remember those two girls talking and I distanced myself from the conversation because I thought they were friends – but come to find out, they were strangers too – they just had allowed themselves to embrace the running community, where as I hadn’t yet. I was standing there waiting for someone to tell me that I didn’t look like a runner. That I shouldn’t even be there.

It doesn't matter how this looks to others... Fighters Fight at Did That Just Happen Blog

That’s the little voice in my head that I live with. That I think most of us live with. That voice that can come up with 1,000 reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Why you shouldn’t run that race, why you shouldn’t take the new job, why you shouldn’t move across the country. Or even why you shouldn’t say yes to that invitation that your friend issued.

But you know what? Not once has that voice been right. I always have fun when I say Yes to the invitation. Taking the new job led to an amazing life, one I couldn’t have imagined that allowed me to be there more for my son. And you know what, not a single person at that race told me I wasn’t supposed to be there. Not a single one even gave me a sideways glance. Everyone I encountered smiled, and spoke, and invited me in.

And now I can say that I’m a runner and not put the quotation marks around it.  Now I can share with all of you what, up until this point, was pretty much only known if you follow me on Instagram! I was afraid to put it out there.  I was afraid to declare my intentions.  The little voice was telling me that I wouldn’t find acceptance.  Fortunately, I am stronger, WE are all stronger, than that little voice.

So, go run.  Go paint.  Go capture a soul through your photography.  Go step outside your comfort zone and take the new job.  Move.  Explore.  Do.

And go read Ashley at Rather be Runnin’: 

P.S. I linked to some old posts of mine, which was weird, because (1) they were old and apparently my writing style has change (hopefully for the better) and (2) they were not even telling the story the way I thought they were!  So, you don’t have to bother to go back and read them!

Apparently My Profile Picture Sucks

Drunk people, children and leggings always tell the truth at Did That Just Happen Blog

And thank goodness for that! We were hanging out in the concession stand Saturday night, working a very slow playoff game, and I’m not sure exactly how it happened, all I know is all of the sudden one of the teenagers was going through my photos to pick a new profile picture.  Because mine wasn’t very flattering.

So I’m looking around at everyone – what do you mean? I love that picture! It’s an awesome picture!!

And I got “you know, kudos to you for using natural light.”

whaaaat? Did That Just Happen Blog

All I know is that more people should speak up when a profile picture isn’t good!

But, do it in a nice way! And that teenager really was so sweet!  Later that night I tagged her on Instagram and asked if the one I picked was better – she agreed, so whew, I have a replacement! I’ve been trying to figure out where all I have the old picture so I can replace it! 🙂

Okay, I have two replacements.  I’m pretty much afraid to make any decisions on my own at this point!

Oh! You want to know what is not my profile picture? At the start line of my first 5k! Did That Just Happen Blog

That is me at the start line of my very first 5k run!  It was a last minute decision… like 3 days before the race I decided to do it!  I’ve never run that far before, it is 3.1 miles and I run about 2.7 most mornings.  I had no clue what I was doing.  At all.

And, I am so shy that I was in line and these two girls were talking and included me in the conversation, and I ended up scooting a bit out of it, cause nerves and insecurity!

At the end of their conversation, they introduced themselves.  To each other!  They didn’t know each other, they were just there in a shared experience!

AGH! I have got to learn how to do that!!

But that’s not the point!  Spoiler alert, I lived to tell about my race!

Finished my first 5k and lived to tell the tale at Did That Just Happen Blog

I finished!

Not only that, I finished in the top 5 of my group!  I was pretty darn proud of myself and now I think I’ll have to do another one!

Of course, if you follow any runners at all, it’s all about the meals.  The meals leading up to the race, and naturally the post race meal.  And boy was I thinking about a post race meal!

And then I remembered that I didn’t run but less than 1/2 a mile more than usual – LOL, it’s not like I burned an extra 1,000 calories that day!

So, I compromised.

Starbucks and Running Shoes, pretty much sums up my life at Did That Just Happen Blog