Matters of the Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day!


I hope all of you are having a great day and have some fun plans, whatever they may be.



My Valentine’s Day this year is dedicated to my mom, my Pampaw, and Bob, my father in law (of Bob’s Breakfast fame, in case you were wondering).



I haven’t really talked about this on here yet, but I thought the one year anniversary of my mom’s exciting day would be the perfect time. Plus, it’s all about the heart.


On this day last year, my mom had a heart attack. For a few months before hand, she had these strange times when her blood pressure would just go crazy for no reason, but they could never really figure out exactly what was going on. Eventually, I think they said she had an infection in her kidney that was causing the blood pressure issues, and since the weirdness stopped, they assumed everything was fine. And it was.

Until February.

I’m not sure exactly what happened on the 12th or 13th, but she ended up going to the hospital because of some chest pain and her blood pressure again. She had had one stent put in on the 13th after they did a heart cath and she stayed  in the hospital that night. Valentine’s Day morning, I got a call from my dad saying that her doctor called him, that something bad had happened, and he was on his way to the hospital. Nick and I turned around, went back home and packed, and left.

She said she woke up with this pain in her left shoulder/upper chest and she thought it was just some indigestion since she hadn’t really eaten much over the last day. She called the nurse for a coke, and then a few minutes later, that little discomfort turned into a stabbing pain. Before she could call the nurse again, one was already coming into the room – thank goodness she was still in ICU!

She is now the proud owner of 4 stents and had 2 blood tranfustions done, but she  is doing amazing and is back to normal  :)  and I’m so thankful.


The scary thing?  My mom does not fit any of the characteristics you hear of or the ones that doctors look for in “heart attack patients”.


In fact, none of my examples today fit them.



Just over a year ago, my Pampaw died from a massive heart attack and he had no history of heart problems. This was so unexpected and sudden…it’s still hard to go home because I know I won’t see him.

I mean, less than a year before his heart attack, he bought a motorcycle!




He passed away 4 days before Christmass 2007, and I can honestly say I don’t remember much about the week I was home. Everything was and is still just a blur of being in the hospital, sitting by his bedside and reading verses to him, just hoping he could hear me. I know these things happen, but when it happens and you’re not expecting it at all…it just makes it a bit harder. I know he’s fine and healthy where he is, but I still just miss him so much.



Bob, who also didn’t fit any of the “heart attack patient” characteristics, had emergency open heart surgery 2 days before the VT shooting in April 2007. What another crazy week that was! I can’t say I was happy that he had emergency surgery, but I am happy that it got us away from campus that week considering what happened 2 days later. I can’t believe this April will be his new heart’s 2nd birthday!



He and Nick’s mom had started working out regularly a few months prior and I guess he was having some blood pressure issues after working out so he went to see the doctor. They found that he had a pretty big blockage and scheduled open heart surgery for Wednesday the 18th. My parents had come to our house for the weekend and we got a phone call from Nick’s mom at 5 am on Saturday the 14th saying that Bob had gone to the hospital and she thought he was having a heart attack. We all got up, got packed as fast as we could, and drove to the hospital where they were taking him. He went into surgery that afternoon, and is doing awesome. It was a long recovery, but having a new puppy helped, I think.  

He also has a motorcycle (like my dad and Nick!), and is still working out consistently. In fact, he ran his first 5K with us since his surgery last October  – he and I ran together for most of the race, but then he smoked me at the end  :)




I know Valentine’s Day is usually all mushy love stuff, but it’s still about the heart. And I have a lot to be thankful for after the last couple of years.


These things are a big reason for the changes I’ve made in the past year and a half. They are why I’m so passionate about my health now, and the health of others.

Heart attacks don’t only happen to overweight men over the age of 50.


Heart disease is now the #1 killer of women in U.S.


Since today is Valentine’s Day, tell someone you love them. It doesn’t just have to be your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Tell your Dad. and your Mom. and your siblings. and anyone else you care about.

Life doesn’t always give you second chances to say I love you, or even to say goodbye the way you’d like.


Take advantage of all the lovey, mushy, cuddly stuff today  :) 

Let people know that you care about them.

And take care of your ticker! It’s worth it.

The Secret is Out

Good morning!!!  and Happy Valentine’s Day!


I felt so weird not posting at all after breakfast yesterday – I feel like I have so much to catch up on. And I don’t even want to LOOK at my google reader  :)


This weekend has been fun so far.


My presentation went pretty well! Thanks again for all the luck and well wishes. It probably wasn’t perfect, but I think it was good overall and now it’s done.


We found a quick place to eat while we were in Richmond before my presentation. Nick picked this deli downtown called Coppola’s and it was really good.


I got their Barnyard sandwich, which was turkey, canadian bacon, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and this amazing dijon mustard on whole wheat bread.





I didn’t eat all of my sandwich because I was saving room for part of this!





Nick ordered one of their homemade cannolis with his lunch and I had to try it. This was the best cannoli I’ve ever had. I don’t think I can ever eat one again unless it’s just like this one. The filling tasted almost like cheesecake batter, and that spot is not a chocolate chip. I thought it was, but it was like this little pillow of vanilla something.  I don’t know what it was, but this thing was awesome.


After my presentation, we headed over to meet a friend.


This is the surprise.


Are you ready?


I finally got to meet Beadie in person!!!



She is so funny and sweet, and it was fabulous to finally get to meet her in person!  She even made us a batch of her best fudge brownies (more on that later) and brought me another gift, which I’ll save for a different time. We had so much fun just sitting and talking in person – I can’t wait to see her again!


After 2 more hours on the road, we got to the in-laws and had some dinner. I was so hungry by this point – that sandwich was good, but just a sandwich doesn’t hold me over for very long.


Thankfully, Nick’s mom made a great meal for us.





We had some of those whole wheat noodles I used in my beef stroganoff a week ago, which are from an Amish market here. They are delicious and get so puffy and doughy.

She also made a lighter alfredo sauce that had some chicken and spinach in it. 


Plus fruit on the side!




And for dessert, we just  had to break into Beadie’s brownies. :)





Oh my goodness. These things were like a mix of brownie and the best fudge ever. They were so rich and chocolately!  We all loved them, Beadie!!!  I can’t wait to have more today  :)


Hope you’re all having a good weekend!  I’ll be blogging some, but I don’t know how much.


Make sure to enter Beadie’s contest – deadline is Tuesday!

Get your BSI entries in, and check out Mara’s blog for her giveaway today!


Enjoy your Valentine’s Day!

Headin' Down to Richmond Town


Just a heads up: I’m heading out after breakfast, and will be at my in-laws this weekend. I will have my computer and camera, but I don’t know how much I’ll actually blog. We have a lot of work (and shopping!) to do  :) 


Breakfast needed to be something easy and something that would hold me for a few hours.


Eggs it is!





A big bowl of fruit: banana, strawberries, and the last of the blueberries and raspberries for this week.





and milk!





Make sure to check in later!  There’s a surprise happening this afternoon and I’m SO excited!!!


Thanks for all the luck!

Welcome Back, Grill Master

First – I think I am done working on my presentation!  I’m about as ready as I can be, so let’s hope it goes well tomorrow  :)  Any luck you can send me would be great!


I was so antsy today at work and couldn’t concentrate. I was really happy I packed a snack to keep me occupied.




0% fage, pom, and some TJ’s high fiber cereal with the dried fruit and nuts in it. A great mix, indeed.


Check out these awesome spoon/fork/knife things Nick and I got!  I was so tired of buying plastic silverware just to throw it away, but these are perfect!




I have the green, he has the blue.


We were planning on running tonight after work, but I knew I needed to finish my presentation AND practice it tonight, so we skipped the run. I’m sad, but I know I’ll be happier about it tomorrow when I’m giving the presentation.


Nick finally got to use his Grill Master skills tonight – it’s been so long since we’ve cooked anything on the grill. I was so happy the weather cooperated for our dinner tonight, because it was amazing.





Check out those grill marks!





We both had a salad to start and get some green!  Mine had romaine, carrot, tomato, and 1/2 Tbsp real ranch dressing. You just can’t beat it.





Plus steak!, my leftover veggies from lunch, and some barley/brown rice pilaf. I ate a little less than half of my steak, and saved the rest so he can have steak and eggs in the morning.





Since I’m done working on my presentation for tonight, I’m going to finish some laundry, catch up on blogs, and get ready for THE OFFICE – I hope you’re watching tonight! It’s going to be a good one  :)


Is there a meal you have in the spring or summer you can’t wait for?


We love to grill, and Nick has probably missed it more than I have!  We use it a lot when the weather is nice – I can’t wait to really start using it again! I’ll eat just about anything off the grill.

Friday for Me!

I won’t be at work tomorrow because of my secret appointment that I have not mentioned yet, so today is my Friday. Well, almost like Friday but without the jeans.

Do you ever just wake up and feel hollow because you’re so hungry? I just felt like I had nothing in me at all, and my tummy was yelling at me to feed it! Of course, I listened.

I had another bowl of Berry Bananaza


  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 4 strawberries, sliced
  • palmful of blueberries and raspberries
  • cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds


And instead of just a cup of skim milk, I had a monster glass of chocolate milk  :)


Sometimes you just need chocolate milk, and today was one of those days. And YES, I like my chocolate milk very chocolat-y.

I had a cup of coffee at work – I usually have this every day, but I usually use the same mug so I don’t take a picture of it every day.



Lunch today is….leftovers!  Surprised?  No?  :)


Some of my one-pot wonder


mixed steamed veggies


and an apple!

I have a good snack planned for this afternoon, and I’m hoping to go running after work outside if it’s still nice.

- Don’t forget to submit your BSI entries to Mara by Sunday!

- Stop by and enter Beadie’s BBQ (and secret prize) giveaway! Deadline is Tuesday!


Do you like leftovers?

Obviously I do!  I mainly just don’t want to waste food, but I don’t want to make a meal every single night, either. Plus, I think leftovers make some of the best lunches and I can freeze them for later when we’re running low on everything else.

Special Delivery and Review #3

Woohoo, I LOVE getting real mail!!!

First, my Valentine’s Day Secret Blogger Package, and now my share of the tea prize from the BSI Date contest that Sarah held a week ago.


Look how cute the little package of tea is!  Thanks so much, Sarah! I can’t wait to try it.



Now…for another review of what is quickly becoming my favorite place.


Since I had to go get Sarah’s BSI prize the other day, I decided to try another truffle from The Chocolate Spike.

This one is called the Spikey Rum Truffle and is a dark chocolate truffle with a hint of rum. The outside is completely covered with roasted cocoa nibs.


I have a feeling I’ll try every one of their confections pretty soon – it’s hard to resist!

What’s your favorite decadent treat?