Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Friends For Life... my thoughts

I have been writing this post in my head for the better half of a week now, and cannot seem to find the words to do it justice.  So I will say this:


The End.

Just kidding, but I think this post is destined for bullet points, otherwise it would be a novel rivaling that of War and Peace, length-wise, and ain't nobody got time for that.

(on a completely different note, oh my damn that video is funny)

Friends For Life thoughts, straight from my brain to your computer screen:

  • It. Was. Awesome. I felt home for the first time in many, many years.
  • It was also overwhelming.  I didn't want to miss anything.
  • And it was HARD.  Taking a 5 year old, two year old and a seven month old to FFL is do-able.  But be prepared to lose your shit several times. 
  • Jessica Apple is so tiny and adorable.  She's like a real-life doll.  I really enjoyed her session on Social Media with Scott and Kerri.
  • Gary Scheiner needs to come live at my house.  The man made my head explode with so much information.  If you see pieces of my brain scattered all over Orlando, please send them back to me.
  • Kelly K. talks like she writes.  It's funny.
  • Shannon is awesome.  She and her husband were so much help to Fred and I at the conference, they deserve their own post.  And their daughter?  Awesomeness squared.
  • I loved the Stress Management course given by Dr. Bob so much, I wish I could have taken it every time it was offered.  We meditated.  
  • FFL is just like the commune I've been imagining all these years.
  • The conference not long enough.  I would have had to clone myself many times over to get to all the sessions I wanted.  Even when Fred and I split up, we still missed stuff.
  • They need to offer a session on sleep deprivation. Or nap time for the parents.
  • I loved meeting Karen (and husband Pete), Sara, Scott, Kerri, Manny and all the other adult T1s.  It gave me such hope for my daughter.  And Elise loved it too.  She said it makes her feel better about growing up with diabetes.  She also said next time she doesn't want to be so shy around them.
  • Fred went to the Pump Tips and Tricks, and it was packed.  He was disappointed that they spent most of the time talking about tubed pumps.  We understand why, but podders are people too!  Maybe they need to offer a separate session just for pod people.
  • Meri spoke during the keynote about Dr. Richard Rubin.  She moved many to tears. I am so amazed at her strength and honoured to call her my friend.
  • Can someone please come to my house and do the carb counts for all the food like they did at the conference?  That would be great.
  • Elise ran high, high, high the whole time.  Normally that would make me start obsessing about fixing it, but there it seemed okay.  We just rolled with it.  Kept calm and temp basaled on.
  • One of my favourite things was when people who read this blog would come up and say hi. I guess the red hair makes me easy to recognize.  But everyone was so great to talk to and as an added bonus, they even said nice things about me and nobody punched me in the face.  Win!
  • Florida is armpit (hot, wet and kinda smelly) hot.  
  • Seeing Elise's face when she met Belle made the whole trip for me.  It erased all the lost sleep, missed naps, temper tantrums and just plain difficulties.  She tells me Belle is her "twin".

  • I enjoyed getting my dance on at the banquet/dance.  If anybody has embarrassing photos of me, please hand them over.  I'll trade you for all the embarrassing ones I have of you.
  • I am so thankful for Disney's Guest Assistance Card.  It made our visits to the Magic Kingdom possible.  Amusement parks make Elise run sky-high.  Even with a +95% tb, she was in the mid 200s.  And it was so unbearably hot. Getting to bypass the lines and wait in the air-conditioned areas let Elise ride the popular rides that she wanted. I know not everyone had such a good experience with obtaining the GAC, and I hope Disney hears from those people... One mom told me that she was told diabetes is not a "real" disease like cancer.  Kudos to her for not ripping that person's pancreas out.
I probably have more thought rolling around in my brain, but they'll have to wait.  This post is long enough.  Plus, the baby is asleep and I have laundry to do.

Back to life, back to reality.


  1. I need to make it there one of these years!Always sounds like such a good time!

    1. Racheal... You so should! I watched from afar telling myself, "maybe one day." Hoping to make it work next year as well.

  2. Awesome - so hope to go someday!
    On a note regarding the GAC - we got it in DLand and they were a little annoyed I could tell, but gave it to us. I was told by someone that they cannot ask you the child's medical condition (we offered it up on our own) - due to FMLA, so wondering if you can still get one if you just "say you need it for medical condition"...might help in the uneducated folk like the stupid gal who like you said should've had her pancreas ripped out!

    1. They can't ask, but they do in a round about way... I can't remember exactly how he phrased it, but it was tricky.

  3. SO glad you got to go and experience the wonderfulness that is FFL. Even more bummed that we missed it this year because I NEED TO MEET YOU!!!!!!
    Another year, I know it will work out!

  4. It was so awesome to meet you!! AND the bullet points... great idea! I might have to steal it to clean mine up :/

    I am so down with parent nap time. Maybe a dark room with water fall sounds. There HAS to be an app for that.

    1. Steal away...can't wait to hear your take on things.

      Love the waterfall idea, although it might make me want to pee...

  5. A few comments/questions:

    - So Scott gives THE best hugs? I thought Meri did. Can we have a hug-off next year?

    - Can Joe Solo come live at our house instead of Gary? I liked Gary but I really liked Joe!

    - Stop stealing my stuff (seeing Elise's face when she met Belle made the whole trip for *me* and *I* was the one singing Soul II Soul as we left the Sunday breakfast)

    1. It's because we share the same brain... I did not steal.

      Why not Joe AND Gary? The more the merrier!

  6. Sounds just like I had imagined it. Glad that you all enjoyed your time away and it looks like Elise got to be the Belle of the Ball! xoxo

    1. Hope maybe you guys can make it one day...

  7. I didn't bring ANY kids and bullet point #3 was true for me too!

    It was SOOO awesome to meet you.

    That Belle picture needs to be blown up and printed in your house! So sweet!

    1. I love that idea, Sara! I know Elise would too!

  8. Hug off? It. Is. On.

    I love you. You know that. But say it to yourself a few times today if you can remember. "Meri loves me. Meri loves me. Meri loves me."

    My work is done.

    Oh. And (Hugs!!)

    1. Meri loves me.

      I'm going to meditate on that.


  9. Loved meeting you =) Had such a great time with Elise in childcare. She is such a sweetheart!

    1. Thank you Brandy for taking such wonderful care of our kiddos. It means so much to just be able to drop them off without wondering if they'll be okay. Elise had so much fun she didn't want to leave!

  10. I love this post, Joanne! It was such a thrill to meet you and your family. One of the highlights was talking about Dexcom colors with Elise at the lunch place. :-)

  11. It was so fantastic to finally meet you and Elise!!!!! I wish I had been less shy with her right back - I wanted so badly to say something profound and I couldn't think of anything. But she is my hero!

  12. It was wonderful to meet you IRL! Weird thing was that the moment I saw you I felt like I had known you forever. I so admired your composure in fitting everything in with all of your littles in tow. It was hard enough for me to make it everywhere I wanted to be with my slightly older littles :) Looking forward to the next time we can hug IRL! (I won't even try to compete with Meri's hugs:)

  13. reading this just brought back all kinds of happy memories, so thanks! :) (is 6 months too late to make my ffl post? ;P)


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