Monday, August 3, 2015

My Story

I finally made a video telling my story!


Friday, July 31, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Survivor Burnout

Ok this is weird...

I literally haven't typed in this space since February. 

I swear there is a reason.

It's not an excuse, but I'm going through something....weird.

Something I can only describe as survivor burnout.

The end of 2014 was absolutely amazing. My story was featured in Good Housekeeping, I was on the Dr Oz show, and I was emailing with survivors and their caretakers from all over the world. Every time I checked my email there was a new message from someone who had just had a heart attack or gone through a life altering event. I responded to as many as I could, sometimes late into the night. I heard the stories of survivors, mostly women, who needed someone to talk to who understood what they had been through. I couldn't say no. Meanwhile I was still volunteering, going to the Go Red For Women luncheon, working with my local AHA Passion Committee, and guest blogging for websites. 

It hit me around March that I was sad...too sad. I had taken on the stories of others, worrying about their health and futures and rather than empathizing I had begun sympathizing. I was feeling their pain and reliving my trauma over and over again. I felt guilty when someone's situation was worse than mine and devastated to learn of someone's passing. I realized I needed a change. 

I want to help others, but I have to find a different way of going about it. A healthier way. 

So if I haven't emailed you back, responded to your comment, or sent you a return message on Facebook, please forgive me. I am working through this and I will be back to me in no time.

xoxo, S

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy Heart Campaign

February is American Heart Month! 
To celebrate and raise awareness, I've started a Happy Heart Campaign! For the month of February I will be tweeting/FBing with the hashtag #happyheart to say what I'm doing to keep my heart happy and healthy. Please do the same. Also, I made a shirt for the campaign. I will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the American Heart Association! So please get yours today! My goal is to sell $200 shirts!
back
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The 3rd Annual Amazeball Race

January 25, 2015 marked the 3 year anniversary of Stewart the Stent. 3 years ago I got a chance to start again, so every year (see 2013, see 2014) I celebrate the most amazing day ever by organizing a scavenger hunt around the city. We all meet in a designated area where I give out the clue sheets and instructions for downloading the pictures. Everyone works in color-coded teams and the team that takes the most pics (which are a combination of whatever comes to my mind) wins! Then we head somewhere to imbibe on delicious adult beverages. Since the week before is super emotional for me, I really look forward to this each year. It gives me a chance to celebrate life with my friends and to stay positive. I'm already looking forward to next year! How do you celebrate important dates in your life?

Jo and I in Old Navy


Here are all the teams! Grey wins!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan 25, 2012: 3 Years Later

January 25, 2012

Sleep wasn't easy the night I was admitted into the hospital. Nurses came in and out to take blood and vital signs, doctors and patients roamed the hallways and I desperately missed the fur babies. I wanted to be home in my own bed, not here dealing with whatever this was. I figured I would wake up in the morning to yet another doctor saying, 'go home' and 'it must be something you ate.' Instead around 5 a.m. I got a massive nosebleed, prompting me to hit the nurse call button and send a frantic young flower of a lady running. Blood was all over me and it took awhile to get the bleeding to stop. I had no sooner laid back down and turned the lights off and monitors were going off around my head, prompting the nurse to fly back into the room. She read numbers, left, came back, left and eventually came in with a team of doctors. They all seemed nervous and jittery as nurses unplugged me from the wall and started to lay cords across me. It was clearly still dark out and yet things seemed to be moving fast. I was being wheeled out the door to my room, handed clipboards to sign things I didn't understand and into an elevator while a cold liquid was suddenly felt in my arm. When I asked where I was going, someone replied "cath lab." In my head (and I still tell this story to this day) I truly thought they were referring to a catheter...y'know...for urinary issues. Color me surprised when I ended up in a cold room, on a chilly metal table, medical instruments all around me being unwrapped and doctors in full surgical dress. I was quickly hoisted onto a cold metal table, stripped down and a blanket was laid over my chest. Metal instruments arrived all around me on trays wrapped in plastic. More cold liquid in my arm. The room started feeling fuzzy. Doctors and nurses chatted about the dinner they had last night, a show on TV, their kids' basketball games. I became more and more out of it. Soon a nurse was sitting near my head, walking me through what was about to happen. I nodded but I was definitely not understanding. There was an intensely sharp pain in my groin and I felt a ton of pressure in my right leg. I tried to cry out but my mouth was cold and dry. The nurse calmly explained they were taking pictures of my heart and to look at the screen. It was then that I noticed the screen next to her, with a picture of what looked like a road map. It was my heart. I could feel the wire being fed from my leg though my chest. The nurse explained they were injecting dye into my arteries. Suddenly, the room went quiet. I could feel the energy settle in the room. The nurse said something about medicine. I heard, "she's only 31," "no family history," "she said she's a runner." Another pinch in my groin. Someone stroked my hair. I could feel myself fighting off sleep. Then, someone was holding my hip while the nurse wrapped me in blankets. I was tired and sick to my stomach. Apparently I muttered something about my purse being in my old room and if someone could get it for me. I was wheeled to a new room, a private room with a view of the top of the tower next to me. I leaned my head to the side and slept for what felt like hours. Turns out it was minutes. When I woke up there was a nurse on me, holding the leg where the pain was. He told me he had to put pressure on my leg to close up where the angioplasty went. Another nurse, the nurse I will always remember, came in to talk to me. Her name was Linda and I didn't know it then, but Linda was going to be a very important part of my week in the hospital. She told me I had a heart attack, maybe even 2. I was confused from the medication and fuzzy from the sleep so all I could do was nod my head and then get really scared. I took the phone from the bed and tried to dial every number that I could remember. Finally I remembered my work phone number and eventually got my friend Amanda who contacted my friend Jo. Satisfied, I feel back asleep as the spiderwebs grew on the walls. When I woke up, the nurse was still laying on my leg, pain radiating down my side. I could hear Jo in the hallway, talking to a nurse. After the bleeding subsided, the nurse who had been laying on my hip finally wrapped the wound and I settled into bed. Nurse Linda came into the room and explained to me that I had a very major heart attack, my mid LAD was 99% blocked and that my type of heart attack is often called The Widowmaker due to its low survival rate. I had a stent put in and would be on meds the rest of my life. But, I survived. Say tuned this week for the rest of the time in the hospital.

**Sorry if this sequence of events isn't exact. It's still hard to remember what happened that week in the hospital, partly due to medication, partly due to the emotional stress and partly due to the insane amount of new information that I was trying to process.**

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jan 22-24, 2012: 3 Years Later

January 22-24, 2012: 


Finally the sun crept up on a cool Sunday morning after another long night of fear and anxiety. I watched another umpteen hours of TV like a zombie to pass the time and keep my mind off the pain. Another sleepless night and I was at work Monday morning, trying to act like everything was fine. Students gave me questioning looks, fellow teachers looked concerned but I just kept on, massaging the middle of my chest with my closed fist, which I found out later was my instinctual response to keep my heart pumping blood. Another sleepless night set in, but by Tuesday morning I was feeling better. The pain turned into a numbing ache and my vision was less blurry. But, as I was driving home from work, the pain came back with a vengeance. I almost went off the road at the sudden nature of its anguish, making my 5 minute drive home feel like an eternity. As I parked and reached for my cell phone I called a friend, crying and sobbing words I no longer remember. I forced myself to walk the dog, grabbed my glasses, iPad and charger and drove myself to the ER, rubbing my chest in between wiping my tears. That night I was admitted into the hospital, without a diagnosis. 

January 25th is the day I receive word about the heart attack...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jan 21, 2012: 3 Years Later

3 years ago today I had my heart attack. 


The backstory: I had been tired for weeks, barely able to dress myself and go to work each day. The back of my head hurt, I felt sick to my stomach and I knew something was terribly wrong. The morning of January 21st I got up to run 10 miles with my running buddies. I made it about 1/10 of a mile before I burst into tears. I just couldn't muster up the strength to continue. I slumped back to my car crying by myself, wondering what was wrong. My nearest walk-in clinic didn't open for another hour so I put my head down and took a short nap before driving over. By then my chest was tight like I had a cough. Their diagnosis? Mono. But the blood test said negative. So I drove home, gripping the steering wheel in one hand and a referral form for a neurologist in the other.  I laid on the couch in my running clothes watching TV. I have no idea what I watched that day, but I laid in the same position for 10 hours, getting up only once to take the pup out. I didn't eat, I didn't drink, I didn't sleep. I just stared at the TV in silence. Around 6 or 7 o'clock, the chest pain started. It felt like someone sitting on me, wringing my chest out like a wet mop. It came on slowly, building to a terrifying crescendo, the sound of the pain ringing in my ears. I tried to breathe, wondering what this pain could be. Heart burn? Panic attack? Can't be. The next few hours I tried to soothe the pain with antacid, hot tea, but nothing worked. I texted a few friends, played a few games and finally realized that this was not good. I stumbled out of the house, still dressed in the running clothes from the morning and made it to my car, frantically searching on my phone for a different walk-in clinic. The only one open at this time was the location at the airport. I drove to the airport, clutching my chest and crying. Somehow I was able to stumble through the gates and into the clinic, only to collapse on a chair. I was brought in, given an EKG and a blood test for mono (negative again...shocker). The words, "there doesn't appear to be anything wrong" came out of someone's mouth and "I feel like this is what a heart attack would feel like" came out of my own. But I was sent home. I barely slept that night, tossing and turning from the pain and from the horrifying fear that I would die here in my apartment at age 31. 

Come back tomorrow for January 22nd, 2012. ♥

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Goals

I'm not calling them resolutions, dang it! Every time I do that, I end up letting myself down. So, here are GOALS. Just GOALS, y'all. I have some serious writing to do, both in my educational career and my writing. I really need to save some moola...we have a wedding to plan! Also, I need some more time away from my pile of apple products. That might be the hardest goal on the list.
What are your goals/resolutions for 2015? 

Toodles 2014!

Well, it's official...2014 was the bomb. Maybe even one of the best years of my life. Here are my 6 highlights from the year... (pictures from left-right, top to bottom)

1. L turns 30! We celebrated in Miami!
2. Trip to Chicago
3. Good Housekeeping article
4. Being on Dr. Oz
5. We got another dog, Bingo
6. Getting engaged! 

Bring it on, 2015!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Dr. Oz Experience

Finally, the calm AFTER the storm. This last month has been insane. First was the filming of Dr. Oz, then the end of the year madness, the airing of the show, holidays, New Years and now it's back to work tomorrow. So, as I sit down to contemplate everything that has happened, I realized I never actually talked about the show. It's time.

At the end of November I was asked to be on the Dr. Oz show after a number of phone calls with his amazing producers and staff (no seriously, everyone there is insanely nice and supportive). On Tuesday, November 18th I had a camera crew and producer in my living room. They filmed around 4 hours of material, everything from me running, to sitting and looking off into the horizon, to blogging. Then they even set up the interview portion in my living room to re-tell my story. Those 4 hours were edited down into the 2 minute clip that was on the show.
Had to visit Strawberry Fields to get myself centered


By Thursday night I was on a plane, off to NYC. I grew up in NYS and I was pumped to be in the city right before the holidays. Frankly, I love the cold and I was looking forward to wearing a scarf and boots. I arrived at LGA around 11 pm and a driver picked me up (driver, did she say driver?!) and drove me into the city. Of course, being me, I have to hear his entire life story as we travel. He has a teacher for a wife, a new baby and loves his job. Enough said, this guy was the bomb.








The risers are up for the Thanksgiving parade on Central Park West!





The next morning, I walked around Central Park, went to H&M (I swear it's better in NY) and picked up my baby sis at the train station. She and her fiancé came took a train into the city for the taping which was awesome because I hadn't seen her since February. By the time they grabbed some food and I got ready back at the hotel, the car was there to pick us up and bring us to the studio. Imagine rolling up to a gated studio in an SUV with a driver who looks like Brad Garrett. Life is good, folks, quite good.









We were led into a dressing room (yes, a dressing room! A car, and now this! #spoiled) where things start becoming a whirlwind of events. Hair and makeup, steaming of clothes, producers visiting, meeting tons of people, taking ridiculous pictures with Steph and Cody? Done. Before I knew it, we were being led to the waiting room behind the stage and I could hear the studio audience. Whoa. This was really about to happen.

Let me just pause and say that everyone who works for this show is insanely nice. I don't think I can state this enough. They asked how I was doing, were very encouraging and super reassuring. Frankly, they didn't need to since I'm barely a fly on the flytrap of this show. But they all seemed genuinely caring and nice.
I can't! I just can't!



All in all, the experience was mind-blowingly amazing. I got to meet someone I really admire, spread the message about women and heart disease, and maybe help someone in need. I've gotten some emails and Facebook messages since the show aired that really helped me solidify my reasoning for doing the show. There are a lot of women out there with family histories, mothers and friends lost to heart attacks, high blood pressure or trying to recover from a heart attack. Shows like this one can help to feel less alone. I know they help me heal.

Now for some pictures. I hope you all enjoy the clips. Thank you for all of your support!


Yeah, I still can't get over this picture. #Awesome.



Rhonda and I. Rhonda survived cancer! GO GIRL!
Ali, one of the producers! She's fantastic!

This hardcore makeup covered my tats.

Oh you know, just chillin' with Oz

I got to wear my scarf! YESS!



Goodbye NYC <3

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Check Me Out on Dr. Oz!

Remember that big news I kept referring to?! This is it, baby! I recently flew to NYC to tape an episode of Dr. Oz. YES...THE Dr. Oz! It was an amazing experience, although you'll have to wait until after the episode airs for me to give you the details! So tune in Wednesday, Dec 17th!
The Great and Powerful Oz...and me.

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Birthday Roundup + #34before34

Here it is, my final #34before34 post! First of all, my birthday was amazing. L knew I wanted to see the Blue Man Group show, so she got amazing seats (note the ponchos) and we even went out for dinner first. There is a new burger and sushi joint called The Cowfish. Delish. Definitely going back.
Me, patiently awaiting my bento box
Seems like an odd combo to you? Put that thought right out of your mind.

Blue Man Group!

Note the ponchos...not as messy as I had seen previously but nasty none-the-less
The next day we took a drive to St Augustine. It was a beautiful night with amazing weather. We got to see the holiday lights, took a stroll down St George's street and had a yummy sushi dinner.

We even put up our tree! Meet Bing, the new addition to the family. He is a rescue dog and fits in perfectly. He's basically a snuggler and part-time hot water bottle. Here he is under the tree with his new brother. Both are obviously amused.


So back to the #34before34. I only completed 17 things off my list. However, I think these 17 things were the most fulfilling items. I noticed that a lot of the things I put on the list to get myself motivated to do (hellloooo closet & dissertation) didn't get done. But, I did make some amazing memories. So really that's what life is about anyways. Cheers to another year and more memories. It's great to be alive.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy 34th & Happy Black Friday!

Today's my birrrrthddaaayyy! Hard to believe I am 34. In just 2 short months I will be 3 years heart attack free! There are tons of Black Friday deals out there, but please check out this shirt at ShopHeart. Today it is only $7.99 + $5.00 shipping.

Looking for my final 34 before 34 post? Want to know more about how I am celebrating 34? Check back in this weekend! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday with a grateful heart. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

American Heart Heroes-Orlando Families Conference

Last weekend L & I signed up to volunteer for the American Heart Heroes - Orlando Families conference at the Nick Hotel. We had a group of 7-10 year olds from 9 am to 3 pm, all either with Congenital Heart conditions or siblings of kiddos with heart problems. It. Was. Awesome. We played, watched movies, did crafts, and even got to see a live taping of the game show "Double Dare Live." We were the Spongebob group, so our chant was for someone to yell "SPONGEBOB" and the group would yell back "SQUAREPANTS!" Out of respect for the kiddos and their families, I didn't take picture of them but you can go to the American Heart Heroes Facebook for more info.

L & I, ready to rumble. Bring it kids.

Spongebob! Squarepants!

Drinking the green slime


One of the kiddos' drawings on their craft bags

Slime 'em!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

8 Ways I've Changed

When people email me, or talk to me after they've heard my story, I get a lot of the same questions.
"Do you have a family history?"
"Do the doctors know what caused it?"
"What did the heart attacks feel like?"
But the most common question I get (in emails especially) is "What is your life like now?"

This is a hard one to answer. My life has done a complete 180 after the heart attack. A lot of these changes aren't obvious to people who didn't know me before and a lot aren't even that glaringly different to those I'm closest to. But for lack of a better description, my insides are differently configured. Not in a bad way, but just...different. I thought I would try to explain these changes as best I could in a list. If I digress, it's only because it's hard to explain. So here we go...

1. Every day is a gift. Yeah, yeah...blah blah, put it on a magnet, I know. But it's true. We all know I hate mornings (can I say it enough on this blog?!) but I am thankful when I open my eyes. I went through a few months where I was scared to go to bed because I worried I wouldn't wake up. The morning gratitude has yet to wear off, I doubt it ever will. Each day is another day to make life great. 

2. Don't sweat the small stuff. Easier said than done. In general, I don't get worked up about deadlines, bills, money issues, to-do lists or errands. These are all just bumps in the road and don't affect my viewpoint on the bigger picture-enjoying life. They are just necessary tasks. I used to be so upset if I didn't cross everything off my lists or if things weren't just right. Now I have a messy closet, dusting that needs to be done and errands that will get done...eventually.

3. Anxiety. On the flip side, I've been struggling with a lot of anxiety since the heart attack. Right after everything happened, I had a year where I was depressed. If I wasn't feeling numb, I was crying over anything. After the depression subsided, the anxiety sunk in. I don't get anxious over anything in particular, it's more like random anxiety attacks that are overwhelming and cause me to bail on running, hide in bed for the night or stare at a TV screen for hours. It's not linked to anything in particular, like stress at work or school, it just comes on randomly and stays a few days. Then, if something stressful happens during that time it is heightened. For example, the week before the Good Housekeeping shoot I was a complete and total mess. So on the one hand I'm much more relaxed every day, but when the anxiety flares I'm a mess. I know, I don't get it either. #confusing

4. Senior Citizen status. This one intrigues me. I've always been super extroverted, out of the house every night, here there and everywhere. I love socializing, dinners, drinks with friends and just being OUT. After the heart attacks, I'm a total homebody. I love Netflix, snuggling in bed, my Keurig and a fuzzy blanket. Part of me wonders if that's age or anxiety, but I actually don't mind it. It's nice to slow down a little (says my bank account).

5. Self-esteem issues. I've always struggled with my self-esteem and self-concept. I have had serious body concept issues, from the time I was in middle school. I know I'm probably the weight of the average American woman but I can't help but think that when people hear me talk or see my pictures they think, 'well no kidding she had a heart attack, she's a fatty.' Screwed up, I know. My amazing friends try to help me with this one but it's tough to control when you've dealt with it your whole life. I often don't pursue jobs, blogging opportunities, even invitations from friends because I truly think I'm not skinny/pretty/funny/charming enough to go for it. 

6. Sliiiiight hypochondriac. After going through something major medically, it's hard to think your body isn't failing you. Lump in my neck? Red blotchy spots? Knee pain? Pimples? All of these become major in my head and I ended up googling symptoms and self-diagnosing myself with some rare disease from Mongolia. Not. Cute.

7. Love deeper, stronger.  I think I've mentioned this on the blog before, but I had a hard time committing to anyone or trusting people before the heart attack. I kept friends at a distance, sometimes even ignoring them altogether. I didn't go out on a lot of dates and if I did I found a way to reject them quickly. Even my relationships with family members were distant and strained. After the heart attacks I guess my heart was literally and figuratively unclogged. Only 9 months after the heart attacks I started a relationship and we're living together, even talking about marriage. I'm not afraid of it, and I'm all in.

8. Pursue the happiness. If I want to go on a trip, I book it. If I want to stay in bed all day, I do it. If I want to paint my nails blue, they're blue. If it feels good, I will do it.

I hope this sums up my experience. It's hard to explain, but I'm a different me. All in all a happier, forward-thinking me.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Run Nona 5k

My motivation to run this past month has been less than enthusiastic. I would rather watch "Honey Boo Boo" on repeat than get up a second before I have to each morning. As I've said on this blog before, I've tried for years to become a morning person. Alarms, coffee, cold water, planning outfits the night before, not eating after 7 pm...? They've all failed me. So when I'm not really into running, the mornings are even worse. Instead of fighting them, I've caved in to their power. I haven't seen my running group in a month or so and I can't say I've missed it. That sounds horrible. What I meant to say is I don't give a darn. Dang, I did it again.

So what do you do when you're down on running? Sign up for a 5k of course! A while ago one of my running buddies, Anna, suggested we do the Run Nona 5k Run at Night. She organized a team for Doctors Without Borders, called Florida Health Defenders. The mission of the team was to raise awareness and funds for Florida residents who aren't covered by Medicaid due to coverage gaps and also to raise enrollment for the Health Care Marketplace. So I signed up to be a part of the team for the sake of healthcare. Also there was food and beer. 

The weather was fantastic. It was 58ish degrees and windy as heck...I was in heaven. If I could run a half in this weather I would PR, I just know it. However, everyone else was cold. The race began at 6:00 pm so as the sun set, the air got colder. We decided to power walk the race, enjoy the scenery and get updates on the Gator game online. It was glorious. Perfect weather, great friends, a Gator win, and delicious food and beer after the race. I'm not going to say it restored my desire to run again but it was definitely a good night. 

And yes, that is Grant Hill eating nachos at the start line. Best. Celebrity. Sighting. Ever. (Besides that time I saw Margaret Cho in San Francisco. That was amaze balls)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

High Hopes

Listen, I'd love to write you a blog about how successful my #34before34 has gone. I'd write about how my mission of self-discovery has led me to a higher level of self actualization than I could've possibly dreamed of. My life would become stress free, I would dance with unicorns on a rainbow in the land of cookies and puppies. However, that ain't it.

Reality is I've only accomplished 15 items off my list (#23 is a stretch-I didn't write an article but I feel like being in Good Housekeeping counts for something, darn it!). The school teacher in me is screaming "15/34 is only a 44%! You're getting an F in life!" Fact is, at this point the most I can get is 30/34, because the items in red are a big, fat FAIL. I didn't finish 2 months of NutriSystem (at least not all at once), my Half Marathon was cancelled (sure, it wasn't MY fault), I an an OTF drop out (the classes and my schedule were not friends) and I didn't blog every week (alright, alright, I'll own up to this one).

However, some things have been crossed off. I did manage to take the furry child to the beach last weekend. He walked to the marina, chilled on a balcony with a view of the ocean and enjoyed some delicious mango rum...I wish I was kidding.
My friend Kevin thinks manatee mailboxes are fun

#beachdog

My co-pilot, beach bound!

My friend Amy and I also made it to Chicago! We had an amazing weekend full of food, fun and mayhem. I ate a grilled cheese that had mac n' cheese on it....IT WAS AMAZEBALLS. I swear I could hear my arteries clog as I ate it but soooo worth it. My hair looked amazing, I rocked warm clothes and I took in the sights. Did I mention I ate a lot?

The bean!


Go Cubs. Or at least look at how cute this new scarf is!


So I didn't accomplish what I expected to by this point. What's a girl to do? Carry on. Frankly my friend Kathleen warned me this list would be near to impossible and I should have listened. She is always right. Did this list give me some anxiety? Yes. Is my job insane this year? Yes. Do I need sleep? Yes. so moving forward I have exactly one month left. I doubt I will get a 30/34 but perhaps this list is about more than accomplishing things. Maybe this is all a good lesson in patience and allowing myself to not fulfill every list that comes along. It has been a long time since I haven't accomplished something I've set out to do, and this will be a real blow to my ego. Maybe that's what I need. Come the end of November I'll let you know. Until then, I'm off to relax and enjoy life. I hope you do the same.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's here! It's here! Thank you Good Housekeeping!


It's here! It's here! I'm so honored to be a part of "The New Face of Heart Disease" in the November issue of Good Housekeeping magazine! It was amazingly surreal to read my own story in a magazine! Good Housekeeping has been a part of my family since my first memories. My grandmothers, aunts and my mom all read Good Housekeeping and I remember flipping though it when I was younger, imagining myself baking the recipes in its pages or decorating my bedroom with brightly colored linens and unique throw pillows. So to say I am included in its archives is a huge privilege. 

Thank you to Amanda Robb who wrote the article, Janie Matthews who did the fact checking, Andrew Thomas Lee the amazing photographer who took my pictures (of which I get to see in 30 days!), Jillian Caro who did the hair and makeup, and Marina Harnik who was the Photo Editor. Did I miss anyone from GH? I sure hope not because they were all very kind and encouraging.

A huge thank you to my friend Kathleen who put up with me through the process, graciously opened her home up for the photo shoot and kept me sane. 

P.S. Check out the other 2 women featured! One was an army lawyer and the other a reporter in D.C.! 

Here I am!
This is the cover. Just me and Eva, y'know. ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Macys

Last Saturday I had the privilege of speaking to the employees of Macy's at Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, FL. Since Macy's is a major supporter of Go Red for Women and Thanks for Sharing, it was an honor to speak about the importance of self-care and heart health. Thank you Macy's!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Beat


Welcome to my new posts, called The Beat. I'm always on the hunt for red clothing (dresses, especially), running gear, and things with hearts! I'd like to feature some of them every once in a while. See any others? Send 'em my way! 

2014 Greater Orlando Heart Walk

This year's Greater Orlando Heart Walk was another success! First off, thank you to everyone who helped me reach my fundraising goal. I raised $500 total!

Money, money, MONEY!
This year I did something a little different. I volunteered with the Passion Committee! Instead of getting there right before the Walk began, I was able to drag my tired behind out of bed at 3:30 AM and report to duty at the Advocacy tent! Along with a few other Passion Committee ladies we got people to sign postcards for elected officials regarding the lack of CPR as a graduation requirement here in Florida. I got to speak to other survivors, family members, even high school students who were in support of the change. We obviously were the coolest tent EVER because we had temporary tattoos. Hotness.
You're The Cure...you're obviously b@da$$ too
It's amazing my eyes were this open at 5 AM
Finally, the sun rose in the sky and people flooded the UCF campus including my loves, Lina & Jo. This was Lina's first Heart Walk! Jo is no stranger on this blog either. As I've said before, he walked in memory of his mother who died from a heart attack in 2009 and then helped me survive mine. He even rocked his heart guardian tee I got him.
My lovers for the morning
And we're off! 3 miles in the hot Florida sun. I'm used to the mileage, but we always run before the sun comes up so this was brutal. But we made it through. Another successful Walk!


Let's do this!

Almost done! Must. Have. Breakfast.
Until next year!