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hawaiiandreams.mybizarrefamilyI’ve been dreaming of Hawaii lately. Probably because in T minus 61 days ,we will be going on our dream trip to Hawaii! We’ve been planning this trip for four years. In fact, we were supposed to have taken it back in 2013, but then…life changed drastically for us that year and even more so the following year.

I’ve written about most of this stuff before, but since it’s been so long since I’ve blogged regularly, I’ll give you a quick backstory. Our oldest son, Tyler, was diagnosed with end stage testicular cancer, which was devastating to him and to the entire family, to say the least, when he was 21 years old. We fought battles we never imagined we would have to fight. Nearly a year after his diagnosis, I was diagnosed with brain aneurysms, Chiari Malformation and Rheumatoid Disease. Then the most tragic thing of all happened to our family fifteen months after his diagnosis; Tyler passed away on April 29, 2014.

We are coming up on two years of not seeing his beautiful smile, hearing his stories and big laugh. It’s been quite an adjustment for all of us. It’s not something you just get over. We all are grieving, in our own ways. After his death, there has been health problems for my husband and even more for me, leaving me with no less than ten conditions (some that are autoimmune in nature and two others that are rare and more than likely congenital) that has left be with the label: Chronically Ill. Barring a miracle from God, which I know is always possible, I will only get worse as I age.

We decided right after Christmas that this would be the year we would go to Hawaii, no matter what. We have to start really living again, rather than just going through the motions.

Most of our kids are adults and lead their own lives now, so they will not be going with us. So, this will be really really different. We’ve never taken a family vacation before and not had all of our kids with us. The last big family vacation we took was six years ago to Hilton Head Island. We’ve taken a couple of little mini vacations without all the kids, but never a big one. I guess this is preparing us to be empty nesters. We will have our youngest daughter with us, who will turn 15 years old while on the trip. What a birthday present, right?

We’ve decided to go to Oahu because my husband and I really want to see Pearl Harbor. We are big history buffs and love exploring museums and historical places together. We probably would have chosen the Big Island or Maui if not for that. We hope that this trip is only the first of many to the islands. I mean, we have to see the other islands at some point, right?

I hope to have a series of blog posts about my upcoming Hawaii trip and even more posts after our trip! I plan on marking off some items on my Bucket List! If any of my readers has ever been to Oahu, I welcome any and all advice and tips you can give for my upcoming trip! What should we see and do while there? Where should we eat? Stuff like that! :)

What is your dream vacation? Have you ever gotten to take a dream vacation before?

MyBizarreFamily_glassesshopreviewHey guys and gals! I’m so excited to be back and doing another review! I’ve not done one in what seems like ages! I was approached by GlassesShop.com with an offer to try their products, and I can’t tell you how happy I am with them!

I chose these super cute prescription eyeglasses (in black, because they will go with everything in my wardrobe), but they offer all sorts of cheap glasses, both prescription and non-prescription “fashion” glasses on their website in all sorts of styles and colors. These are so affordable, you will wonder why in the world you have been going to the big box stores for so long. They also offer prescription sunglasses, which I will be ordering soon for my husband.

The whole process was super easy. I already had my prescription in hand, so all I had to do was choose the design and style I wanted (I chose the Evanston Rectangle), virtually “try them on” by uploading a recent picture of myself, and then enter my prescription information. Shipping was fast and the glasses were packaged well. The glasses came with a clear, see through case and a cleaning cloth. I spent several days wearing the glasses, so I can say with confidence that they got the prescription correct. The fit was just right (no sliding up and down my nose or anything). My daughter wanted to try them on and they even look cute on her! Now she wants me to get her a pair in her prescription!

MyBizarreFamily_glassesshopreview

Another great thing about this company, for me, is that this is an American owned and operated company since 2004, though they do ship globally. I love supporting American made products whenever possible! Their products also come with a 90 day quality guarantee. :)

Right now, GlassesShop is offering a great deal for my readers; if you use coupon code GSHOT50, then you, my super amazing readers, can take 50% off of frames (sale frames excluded). That’s pretty cool, huh? It looks like they have some other amazing deals going on right now, so I would head on over to check them out! Let me know what you think!

Have you ever purchased prescription glasses online? Why or why not?MyBizarreFamily_glassesshopreview3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for my honest review.

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here. I have had a lot to deal with this past year with my health, and to be completely honest, I just wasn’t in the mood. I must have needed the blogging break. I’m not sure if I am ready to get back into blogging on a regular basis yet or not. I think I’m going to try though.

A short update on what’s been going on in my life in the past 8 months: not much of anything really. I spent most of the time trying alternative treatments for my Rheumatoid Disease (RD for short). Mainly using just essential oils, vitamins and supplements and the AIP diet (Autoimmune Paleo). That didn’t work out like I wanted it to.

In October, I finally capitulated to the advice of my Rheumatologist and Orthopedic doctors and went on immune-suppressant medication (aka MTX, aka chemo) to try and halt my disease…or at least slow it down. Before I started the meds, I could barely walk without the help of a walker and/or wheel chair. Today, nearly three months later, I no longer need the wheel chair and I only need the walker after I’ve spend an entire day on my feet with little to no rest. I was able to walk all over Dollywood without having to rent a motorized wheel chair (the last time I spent the entire day in one). So are the meds working? Hell yes! The day after I take it and possibly even two days after, I feel kinda crappy, but that is a price I am willing to pay to be able to move with little to no pain. I try not to worry about what it is doing to my organs, but RD can and will damage organs as well if left untreated. Of course, there are still flare days, but it’s not every day anymore!

I still use essential oils (Young Living is amazing!), and I still take vitamins and supplements. But I am no longer even trying to AIP diet. I may give it another go one day, but I will not give up traditional medicine again. I’ve definitely learned my lesson. 😉

Other than that, my husband got a very nice promotion at work and my baby girl started high school and made the girls soccer team…that’s pretty much it for updates. I look forward to many more good things to come in 2016!

Several weeks ago, we took our youngest daughter to the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge, TN. It was a funny show with good eats! Check out the picture of us below:

mybizarrefamily-dinnershow-PF

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