Time to Play Catch Up: Post 1 Austria Visit

Ah!  Time to play catch up!!  My family from Austria visited in the first part of August… here is the post I should have posted then :/

My dad is from Austria and all of that side of the family, for the most part, still lives there. We visit often and this year, my cousins Romana, Angelique and Virginia visited us!  (Gini and Angie are Romana’s daughters)  It was so exciting and we had the BEST 2 weeks showing them our state of Florida!  Here are the photos.  Enjoy!

Me & my cousin Romi at the Luau

Ken and I hosted a Luau at our house as a first day welcome to Florida.  It was so much fun having everyone over and drinking tropical drinks from carved pineapples.


Family photo. Cousins, nieces, my daughter, dad and sister.


with my dad at Disney!

Of course, we had to go to Disney!!!!!  It was me, my dad and my cousins.  We had a fabulous time!!!

Yep.  That’s Pluto in the background


Gini and Angie definitely enjoying the Disney parade.
While fun, I could only focus on how fat my arms looked.  Dammit.
My dad and Romi.  Definitely ready for a beer and dinner 🙂
Day 2.  Universal Studios.

Harry Potter time.

My dad the rock star at Hard Rock Cafe Universal Studios.
Here is our pit stop at 5 guys in Tallahassee.  We had to see my brother Richard. 🙂
And last night with my family.  At the Grand Marlin.  My dad LOVED having such lovely ladies on his arm.  Miss them all so much.

I loved having my cousins visit.  It was such a treat and I cannot wait for them to visit again!!!!




My Surgery Shopping List

So, I have decided to share my surgery shopping list.  I have compiled this from other blogs and just my own personal ideas of what might be helpful. I will update this after as to what I really did use and couldn’t do without.  🙂


  • Water pic ( I still haven’t purchased one, which is shameful. I plan to borrow my dad’s. :/)
  • Breath Right stripes ( I have a fear I will feel I can’t breath.  More on that later)
  • Rosebud Salve (I thought the marketing claims were BS, but my mom saw it in my purse and almost died.  She remembered my grandmother ordering out of a catalog in the 40’s)
  • Baby Toothbrush
  • Baby Spoons
  • Reading Pillow
  • Table top mirror
  • Pads/Pens
  • Wet Wipes (to clean my face gently)
  • Listerine Zero (I read regular has alcohol and will BURN)
  • Spray bottle (to mist my face)
  • Nipple Cream (for the LIPS, lol)
  • Long Qtips (can’t blow my nose after surgery)
  • Pony tail holders
  • Lg and sm ziplock baggies for meds, etc
  • Surgery Folder (for all my insurance cards, surgeon and ortho cards and surgery info)
  • Thank you cards and gift cards for staff
  • Syringes
  • Humidifier (again, my fear I will not be able to breathe)
  • Eucalyptus (to help clear nose)
  • Vicks (to help clear nose)
  • Travel size white board
  • Ketchup squeeze bottles
  • Afrin No Drip
  • Saline Nose Spray
  • Sippy Cups
  • Gel Ice Packs
  • Jaw Bras
  • Surgical bras (for the girls… gotta make things easy)
  • Burp clothes (for the amount of drooling I have read about)
  • Tissues (again the drooling)
  • Netflix Movie list
  • Blog post list (I fear after surgery, I won’t remember what was important to me to post)
  • Paper cups ( I think these might be easier to try and sip from as I will be able to “pinch” them together a bit and pour the liquid in my mouth)
  • Harry Potter book series (nope, never read it.  But I will now 🙂
  • Hot packs
  • Flash cards (for when I can’t talk.  I plan to make the most common phrases I think I might need to say…. PAIN, Water, It hurts, Hungry, Soup, etc 🙂
  • Ear plugs (I’ve read many do not have a quiet first night in the hospital)
  • Eye Mask
  • Ipad Lapboard

And now the food.  Keep in mind, I must travel for my surgery and will stay a week out of town so I must make a one week food list as well.  Here’s what I came up with.  Suggestions are VERY welcome!


  • Ginger soups and tea (I’ve read those are great for inflammation)
  • Pureed butternut squash soups
  • Vegetable broth
  • Cream of Mushroom soups
  • Cream of potato soups
  • Cheese soups (I thought to mix this with the potato soups 😉
  • Nutrition shakes
  • Pineapple juice (again read it was good for inflammation)
  • Coconut water

That’s all I’ve got on the food ideas…. :/

Just because these will make me happy..


  • Big Bang Theory series
  • Harry Potter books (of course)
  • Harry Potter Movies series
  • Adidas slides (for hospital time.. saw Gigi Hadid wearing them and I must have them 🙂
  • My skin rag magazines (lol) I just realized this is something I call my pop culture magazines and most won’t know what I am talking about.. lol.. it’s just people, tmz, that type of thing… sorry for any confusion!
  • Ipad for copious amounts of Pinterst time 🙂
  • A dog rescue tee (I advocate rescue and adopt dont shop, so must share this in the hospital via a tee 🙂
  • Jogging pants… what better way to be comfy??
  • Button up shirts (probably won’t want anything rubbing on my jaw)

So there you have it.  My list of things I need.. a work in progress though.. Now slated to have the surgery mid-December or first of the year, so I am sure it will evolve and change.

Love to you all!



The Dreaded Words… Surgery Delayed

This photo I took before I was told that I wouldn’t be ready for surgery until after the first of the year.  Above you see the wires out and as they took the bottom out, the bracket on my stubborn fake tooth/crown popped off.  This is the third time this has happened.  And each time it sets me back from moving to the next wire.  Why, I don’t understand, but that’s what happens.  Apparently the cement/glue they use does not adhere to crowns very well.  I’m to the point, I say just take the stubborn bugger off and put it back after the surgery.  LOL.  Wouldn’t that be a sight?

So as they put everything back together, my ortho brought my molds in to show me one of the other problems.  My bottom front teeth are flaring forwards at a bit of an angle.  Like this   \     and they should be like this   |      nice and straight and upright. The problem comes in that if they did the surgery (moving my lower jaw forward, then I would not be able to close my mouth and my bottom teeth would be hitting the top and nothing would fit correctly.  So.  It will no longer happen this month or next as we were originally planning for. 😦

When my ortho said 3 more appts at least and surgery after the first of the year, it must have shown on my face how heart broken I was.  He asked my thoughts and I did let him know part of it was that I have already met my deductible and the insurance plan I opted for was great if I would have a surgery and hospital stay, it would save me money, but NOT great if I didn’t do any of that. I’ve paid out of pocket for every health visit and test which is very pricey.  But, it was ok as I thought I would have the surgery this year and it would end up saving me an extra 5% off my hospital and surgery bills.

Anyway, he said we could make the appts every 3 weeks instead of 4 to try and get me ready by mid-December.  I hope it happens!  And no more new issues pop up!!!  Or off!!!

So, that is where I currently stand.  Yuck.


P.S.  He did say the gap was closing nicely. I don’t notice it, but I am happy to hear that at least.

Pre-Jaw Surgery Photo Update

I haven’t shared any mouth photos recently, so I thought it was time. I took these this morning while sitting at the office pondering which project to tackle first. Let me preface the photos with the fact that my last ortho appt, I was told they couldn’t give me a surgery date yet because there were some gaps in my lower teeth that needed to be closed. They applied a power chain, but sadly to date, I do not see any results. And my next appointment is in the morning, so I fear I will not get a date again. But, we will see!

Here you can see the offensive gaps
My crowned tooth that the bracket doesnt like
Mouth selfie fail.
Success! Hello top choppers!
My pre-surgery profile. Im actually not angry.

And there you have it. Up to date photos. I hope the jaw surgery will correct the perception that I am always pissed off.

P.M. Update ~

I went to the gym after work today for the second day in a row.  My sister has bugged for the last year to join and go with her and I finally have.  I thought I would hate it, but I actually liked it!  And, I looked forward to going today!  Amazing.

After the gym, (I love saying that) I went by Walmart to knock a few items off of my surgery supplies list.  I thought it may not hurt so bad pocket wise if while I wait for a date, I pick up 2 – 3 items every other week or so.  My list is made up of a variety of ideas from other blogs I’ve read and my own thoughts on what I might need.  Most I have on my list were considered helpful from other jaw bloggers that have already gone through the surgery.

Tonight, I got:

  • Reading pillow (to prop myself up in bed in case there is not a recliner at the hotel we will be staying at.  Odds are there will not be one. Hopefully this will help)
  • Small white board
  • Box of tissues
  • 3 big containers of Veggie Broth (I am going to stick to my vegetarian diet.  It will be impossible have a Vegan diet I think after the surgery)
  • 2 containers Tomato & Basil soup
  • 2 containers Butternut Squash soup

Keep in mind, my food items I am purchasing will be just to get me through the first week.  My surgery will be in Birmingham, Al which is a 5 hour drive from my home.  So, my mom will stay up there with me until my 1 week appt and then hopefully I will come home.

The supplies I picked up tonight




Me and Jaw Surgery Update

I haven’t been posting as much as I had originally planned.  But, I recently discovered a few other bloggers that have not had the surgery yet OR just recently had it.  I was so excited that it has inspired me to post a bit more often.  And on one of the blogs, they posted a little “about me” post that was great.  The first thing I wonder when I discover a blog is:

  • Where do they live?
  • How old are they?  (this is mainly because I am pretty up there in age for all of this jaw stuff)
  • What surgery are they specifically having done?
  • And just random things are cool to know.  🙂

So. The “Me” update first.

I am 42 years old and doing this surgery that was recommended to me about 20 years ago.  Kind of glad I waited because from everything I read on current blogs, the technology and techniques have had major advancements.

I am married and have one daughter and a step son.  My step son lives outside of Orlando with his mother and my daughter is a student at UAB.  We also have seven dogs.  We are advocates for rescue and volunteer with several local shelters.  Hence the number of pups 🙂  And we adore and spoil each and every one.

I live in Gulf Breeze, Florida which is located in the panhandle.

My surgery will be a LeFort I Osteotomy and Bilateral Sagittal Osteotomy of the Mandible.  This is per my surgeons office.

A few random things:

  • I am transitioning to a vegetarian diet and hope to make it completely vegan.  Kind of sucks because before I became so informed on reasons and actually researched one diet vs the other, I had huge plans to go to Las Vegas for a culinary tour once my braces were off and I could bite into things pain free… my first meal was going to be a huge, juicy, loaded burger.  Now, nope.  I am fine with this though. But, the thought does still occasionally cross my mind. I have to be honest.
  • I went to a gym for the first time and it was today.  I always avoided that and my sister finally talked me into it and I LOVED it.  LOL!  Let’s see if it actually continues.
  • I never read the Harry Potter books.  BUT, I am purchasing them on ebay and saving the series for when I have my surgery.
  • I love margaritas
  • My favorite day is a nice cool, crisp, Fall day.  Just cool enough for boots and a sweater.
  • My husband and I love hiking.

So that is the “Me” update.  Now for the Jaw Surgery update.

Sadly, I have no update.  I have my next ortho appt this Thursday.  Last appt he did impressions and was sending them off to my surgeon.  I will find out the news this Thursday.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Five Months in Braces

Today is my 5 month appt with my ortho, Dr. W. He said at my last appt he might be able to tell me if I would be able to have my surgery next month! Here is a quick video right before I walked in for my appt.

Update: I went in for my appt and he couldn’t give me an idea for my surgery. He said he needed to close the gaps in my bottom teeth and something about the arch. I didn’t quite understand but gave the impression I did. Stupid, I know. Anyway, Dr. W put a power chain on my bottom front teeth to move things along. Keep your fingers crossed this does the job. 

Happy 4th of July!

My honey and I decided to have a nice big outdoor party to celebrate the 4th.  I started planning this party in March because I wanted it perfect and I wanted to give out of town family plenty of notice.  It had been a very long time since all of my brothers and sisters and most of our kids were all together with our parents.  It was so great that it came together and almost all could join!

My brother Richard, his wife Erin and their two girls, Natalie and Ashlyn came in from Tallahassee.

My brother Kyle and his wife Ally flew in from D. C.

My sister Laurie, her boyfriend Larry and all three of her girls, Brianna, KC and Cassidy came over.  Although, they only live right down the road so that was easy to get them all over 🙂  BUT, her son, my nephew Billy and his wife Sarah AND their precious little son Owen flew in from New Mexico for the party!!  Owen is 5 months old and it was the first time I got to meet my Great Nephew!!  Sadly, my nephew Jimmy could not make it.  He is in Jacksonville and was very missed.

Another surprise was the arrival of Chelsea and her husband and her parents!  Chelsea is a very good high school friend of Billy’s along with her husband and they practically grew up at each others homes.  So it was very cool to surprise him by inviting them. Plus, I like them a lot 🙂

Of course, my parents were there as well as a few other family friends.  Sadly, my daughter April could not make it 😦  So we were missing my nephew Jimmy and my daughter April).

Everyone brought a dish and it was such a great 4th with tons of to die for food!

Ken and I are slowly transitioning away from any animal in our diets.  Right now we eat no meats, but still eat cheese, eggs and a few other dairy products.  More on that later.  My brother Kyle and his wife are vegetarians as well and my sister Laurie is starting to transition to a vegetarian diet.  So, we made sure to have something for every guest.

We had:

  • Burgers on the grill and vegetarian burgers on the skillet.
  • Roasted Sweet Potato Salad (Yes, I got the recipe! It was delicious and I’ll share it at the end of the blog. Vegetarian Friendly)
  • Cole Slaw
  • Shrimp boil
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Fruit salad that arrive via Chelsea’s mom, Denise and in the CUTEST carved Watermelon!
  • Sangria.  Of course.
  • Assorted beverages (Adult and Kiddie approved)
  • Bake Beans
  • Asian Salad
  • Vodka Spiked Jello in a Watermelon (Pinterest worthy lol)
  • Hot dogs for the kiddies
  • Fourth of July Poke Cake

I know I am forgetting quite a bit, but you get the idea.  Backyard Celebration Food!

A little about the party.  I sent invitations out, I made 4th of July wreaths (2 because we have french doors and yes, it’s a PAIN to always have to make or find TWO identical wreaths!) I got patriotic favors, and of course decorated with flags and 4th of July pinwheels.  It was just such a great time!  I hope everyone had a GREAT day and I will leave you with some photos.


My mom enjoying the breeze and waiting for guests to arrive


Our Patriotic Flag beach towel favors and of course, goodies for the kids 🙂


We had to make sure the garden zombie showed his patriotism
The gorgeous, adorable carved puppy watermelon my friend Denise made in my honor!

Here is a link to the Roasted Sweet Potato Salad recipe.  It’s is over at www.pinchofyum.com and is absolutely divine!

No mayo. No starchy potatoes.  Just pure ingredients shining as they should.  Healthy, delicious and it was a hit at our party!