Active Meniere’s Disease and What it Means to Me

If you have never heard of Meniere’s Disease, do not feel bad. I had never heard of it either until about 2 weeks ago. Let me start at the beginning:

Approximately 6 months ago, this random static/fizzing noise occurred in my right ear. It was the strangest thing and considering I never had ear issues as a child I did not know what to think of it. Finally, in late March I called the local ENT after an episode of high pitched whistling in my ear that woke me up from my sleep! I just felt like it was obviously progressing. First thing I learned: the sounds in my ear are called Tinnitus.

At my first ENT appointment, I was given a hearing test where I showed very mild hearing loss in the problem ear. There was nothing in my ear where you might shove a q-tip, so it was obviously coming from inside my inner ear. Great, I had been so calm and relaxed thinking it would be something as simple as built up ear wax. Gross, but unimportant and easy to fix..? The doctor then ordered an MRI and an MRA to rule out anything with my vessels, brain, veins, etc. because sometimes I had migraines and also the Tinnitus sounds would pulse. Wait.. my brain??! What?? I am okay with things possibly needing surgery anywhere on my body except my head and heart. The idea of either of those freak me out. Surely that’s normal though. So I had to wait around a week before I had the MRI and MRA done. Then I had to wait another week to receive the results. Seriously, do medical professionals prefer to make people sit around and wait that long on purpose? Thankfully the MRI and MRA did not show anything wrong with my vessels in my head or brain. Whew. No bleeding, weak veins, or aneurysm. Then what was the explanation? My local ENT informed me that he did not know from his end what could be causing it, but that there was a clinic in Memphis, TN that was founded approximately 90 years ago and the founder had “wrote the book on inner ear treatment.” He could refer me there if I didn’t think that the Tinnitus was going to get better on its own.

That is where Shea Ear Clinic came into my life.


My appointment was on the next Monday (another week to wait) at 8 a.m. in Memphis. From my house to Memphis is a 3 hour drive. We decided to drive up Sunday night and stay the night. Side note: my mother-in-law was going with me because everyone else needed to be at work or serving as child care for my daughter. There is a hotel that connects to the clinic via breezeway and it offered discounts to patients. Score! Once we were there we figured out we were really in the Georgetown side of Memphis, which in case you did not know, is a nicer side of town. It was also in the Saint Francis Hospital district so everything around us somehow looked brand new and booming. The hotel amazed us. The email reservation said two bedroom penthouse suite, but I had my doubts on the penthouse part. Until we arrived. We had a full service kitchen and I slept in an upstairs loft bedroom with a bathroom larger than the one at home. If I would’ve had the extra cash for a few more nights I might have wished for further testing. HA!

photo 2


photo 4 (2)

I wish I could take this grocery service home with me. Ha!

What I found out after about an hour of tests is that I have what is called Active Meniere’s Disease. Here is the basic gist of Meniere’s Disease: your inner ear makes and absorbs fluid at a steady rate. This is normal for your ear drum to work. For some reason my ear has stopped absorbing the fluid at the same rate and is therefore causing a build up of fluid in my inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease include: fluctuation in hearing loss, dizziness, loss of balance/vertigo, and noises inside ear. I only have two of the symptoms (fluctuation in hearing loss and noises inside ear.) Because I only have partial symptoms, I have a form of Meniere’s called Active Meniere’s Disease Cochlar.

I saw Dr. John Emmett at the Shea Clinic who has been there for 40 years and he is amazing. I highly recommend him if you are having questionable ear issues. He was not easy to jump the gun and start poking in my ear. He prescribed a fluid pill to be taken daily as well as recommended 2 over the counter medicines: Gingko Biloba 2xs a day and Lipoflavanoid 3xs a day with meals. I have to take them every day for 3 months. At first, I was a little overwhelmed at the amount of pills. I struggle to remember a multivitamin. Ha! However, once I started taking them, I notice that it was days before having the static or pulsing in my ears again! Yay!!  If you’ve never had static, pulsing, whirring, and whistling in your ears for over 5 months, then I cannot explain to you how CRAZY it can make a person. Crazy.

Oh, and he also suggested cardio. He said cardio gets the blood pulsing through your head and would force the excess fluid to absorb. Good to know. I have went to the gym, went hiking, etc. Now I notice every time I get my pulse pumping good and feel it in my head. Probably something that I’ve felt since running around as a child but never paid attention to until now when I know it is helping.

The diagnosis of Active Meniere’s Disease may not seem like a positive thing, but for me it is meaning a healthier life style because I am making a point to do more cardio each week. Also, I’ve cut out salts because they help the body retain fluid. So as inconvenient as the crazy sounds were, maybe it has benefited me by helping me finally make the moves for a healthier me.




Our Lifelong Bucketlist as Husband and Wife

Trevor and Cindy’s Lifelong Bucket List

We were sitting around a few nights ago and came across the movie Bucket List and decided to watch it. I had never seen it before, so I was curious to see what it was about. Mid-movie, the Man of the House and I decided to create our own Bucket List of things we both want to do throughout our lives. I think by combining them together it will help us mark more off the list. I’ll be interested in helping him complete his dreams and can always find ways to combine items in one trip or event. I plan to update this list as we add things or mark them off.

Things in BOLD means only one of us has completed.

Things in BOLD AND ITALICS means that we have both completed it.


1. Skydive (Planning to do this in October 2014 for my birthday!!)
2. Deep Sea Fishing
3. Backpack across a foreign country (Hoping for Ireland on our 5th Anniversary.)
4. Smoke a Cuban Cigar
5. Scuba Dive
6. Earn our pilot’s license
7. Fly a biplane
8. See the Egyptian pyramids
9. Whitewater rafting
10. Dog Sled in Alaska
11. Swim with Dolphins
12. See all Old/New 7 Wonders of the World
13. Drive Route 66 from Chicago to California
14. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
15. Visit all 50 states
16. Drive a NASCAR
17. Try skeet shooting
18. Ride a camel
19. Get a couples massage
20. Hike a tropical rain forest
21. Visit Yellowstone National Park
22. Stay in an underwater hotel
23. Visit every Six Flags Park
24. Disneyworld and Disneyland
25. Swim with Sea Turtles
26. Ziplining (We will be doing this in October 2014 on our Honeymoon.)
27. Ride a dune buggy in the desert
28. Milk a cow
29. San Diego Safari Park
30. Go to a Kentucky Derby race
31. See a manatee
32. See a polar bear
33. Niagara Falls
34. Yosemite Falls
35. Bourbon Street
36. Waitomo Glow Worm Caves in NZ
37. Universal Studios
38. See a Volcano
39. Mt. Everest
40. Mt Kilmanjaro
41. The Venetian Hotel in Vegas
42. Sea World
43. The Georgia Aquarium
44. Iguacu Falls
45. The Great Barrier Reef
46. Coral reefs of Florida
47. The Everglades
48. Go on a cruise
49. Walk through a corn maze
50. Mount Rushmore
51. North and South Poles
52. Navy Pier in Chicago
53. The Bucket List Bar in Bondi Beach
54. A hot air balloon festival
55. Brooklyn Bridge
56. Gateway Arch in St. Louis
57. Kennedy Space Center
58. Cadillac Ranch
59. Elvis Presley’s Graceland
60. Lincoln Memorial
61. Times Square
62. Great Wall of China
63. The Galapagos Islands
64. Vatican City
65. The Taj Mahal
66. The Eiffel Tower
67. The Tower of London
68. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
69. The Grand Canyon
70. The Statue of Liberty
71. The Sears Tower
72. The Northern Lights
73. The Pyramids of Giza
74. Stonehenge
75. The Sydney Opera House
76. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
77. The Colisseum in Rome
78. The Smithsonian
79. Central Park
80. Las Vegas Strip
81. Grand Central Terminal
82. The Empire State Building
83. Tour The White House
84. Machu Picchu
85. The Crossroads Museum, Corinth, MS
86. Mud Island, Memphis
87. The Memphis Zoo
88. St. Louis Zoo
89. Own a successful Cattle business
90. Prank a stranger
91. Be at the birth of all of our grandchildren
92. Find the love of my life
93. Have a family
94. Raise a happy and healthy child/children
95. Renew our wedding vows every ten years
96. Build a house
97. Fly an airplane
98. Fly a helicopter
99. Fly a jetpack
100. Get a bachelor’s degree
101. Get a Master’s degree
102. Get an Education degree
103. Write a book
104. Write a blog
105. Learn to surf
106. Ride a mechanical bull
107. Make a difference in a person’s life
108. Volunteer
109. Create a YouTube video
110. Serve a meal to those w/o on a holiday
111. Teach my child/children to read
112. Teach my child/children to swim
113. Teach my child(ren) to ride a bike
114. Tutor students
115. Kiss the Blarney Stone
116. Attend an NBA game
117. Attend an NFL game
118. Attend an MLB game
119. Coach our child(ren) youth leagues
120. Watch my children be baptized
121. Learn how to use a pottery wheel
122. Carve our names in a tree
123. Visit the Sistine Chapel
124. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
125. Mayan Ruins
126. Inca Trail
127. Eat Kangaroo
128. Japanese Tunnel of Lights
129. Meet Chuck Norris (Ha! Please know this was not my submission.)
130. Visit Normandy Beach

131. Monroe, LA/Duck Commander
132. Scenic tour of the Natchez Trace
133. Mardis Gras in New Orleans
134. Jekyll Island

135. Volunteer in a Children’s Hospital


1. Fiji
2. Canada
3. Mexico
4. Monaco
5. Belize
6. Costa Rica
7. England
8. France
9. Italy
10. Greece
11. Ireland
12. South Africa
13. Australia
14. Brazil
15. Japan
16. Maldives
17. Switzerland
18. Portugal
19. Spain
20. New Zealand
21. Antarctica
22. Turks & Caicos
23. Bora Bora


1. Alabama (Obviously. We were born and raised here.)
2. Alaska
3. Arizona
4. Arkansas
5. California
6. Colorado
7. Connecticut
8. Delaware
9. Florida
10. Georgia
11. Hawaii
12. Idaho
13. Illinois
14. Indiana
15. Iowa
16. Kansas
17. Kentucky
18. Louisiana
19. Maine
20. Maryland
21. Massachusetts
22. Michigan
23. Minnesota
24. Mississippi
25. Missouri
26. Montana
27. Nebraska
28. Nevada
29. New Hampshire
30. New Jersey
31. New Mexico
32. New York
33. North Carolina
34. North Dakota
35. Ohio
36. Oklahoma
37. Oregon
38. Pennsylvania
39. Rhode Island
40. South Carolina
41. South Dakota
42. Tennessee
43. Texas
44. Utah
45. Vermont
46. Virginia
47. Washington
48. West Virginia
49. Wisconsin
50. Wyoming

What is on your bucket list? Have you ever created a bucket list with your spouse or significant other? Have ideas that we don’t already have? Please send them to me! I’m adventurous and determined to make my Man of the House that way!! (;

Asbestos Awareness in America

Asbestos is not banned in the US,

yet it’s the only known cause of mesothelioma.

This is a subject I have known about for many years, but like many Americans I’m sure, is a subject I’ve never dedicated much thought nor time. After “meeting” Heather Von St. James in early April when she contacted me about Asbestos Awareness week and sharing this valuable information with my readers, I was shocked at what I had learned!


  • Every year around 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
  • On average, they are given 10 months to live.
  • That’s 300 days.
  • 7,200 hours.

And Asbestos is still not banned in the United States. WOW. I cannot believe that. I know that many manufacturing companies have chosen on their own to remove asbestos from their plants and locations, but if they choose not to, there is nothing a person can do about it. Why is this even a question? Because of a lack in legislation banning asbestos, our fellow Americans are suffering and some dying.

Please visit Heather and read her story and share it everywhere.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma are real and nothing has been done about them.

Also visit the Mesothelioma website and find out what you can do to help with the cause.



2014 Outdoor Project One: Flower Beds

One of my yearly bucket list items was to finish some outdoor projects around our house. We bought our first home last April and decided in October it was time to do something about this grassy spot between the house and sidewalk.

That handy man I live with had tilled it up two days before

It looked so great.

I guess you could say I was proud. Ha!

We were SO proud because it looked great when we finished….

Until two weeks later when grass started to grow through because we had forgotten to put down the black gardening mesh. Oops. It was like a slap on the forehead. How did we forget that part? In our defense, it was both of our first times to ever plant a flower bed. Because Winter was coming, we didn’t stress it too much because the grass was going to die with the cold weather. But a few weekends ago, I was tired of looking at the new grass starting to take over my flower bed. We dedicated about 3.5 hours to this project and we got it done.

So here we are doing what should have been done in the first place…

For the record, I know in the picture below there are gaps in the mulch. That is because the know nothing female calculated it and said we should get 15 bags of mulch; however, the all-knowing man said only 10. Then there was not quite enough. Maybe next time he will listen. (; That was an easy fix a day or two later.

And never underestimate the amount of landscaping staples you might use during a project like this. Buy extra bags of them. This is spoken from professional experience. Ha!


Springtime in North Alabama (And GIVEAWAY!)

Snow, tornado warnings, frosts, 80 degrees all within a 4 week period. Does that sound like a sci-fi film or the end of time?

Welcome to Spring in North Alabama.

Really. Within the last few weeks we have experienced at least one day of every season. This brings back some not so fond memories of April 27, 2011, when an EF-5 Tornado traveled from Hackleburg, AL to Tanner, AL. (That’s approximately an 75-80 mile trip that the tornado covered in about 30 minutes. Talk about MOVING!) It entered Lawrence County where I live on one side and crossed the entire county before exiting into Morgan and Limestone counties. A nightmare followed for many days, weeks, and for some it has continued the last two years. It had been a very long time since a tornado of that magnitude had occurred in Lawrence County (the 1970s to be exact), and people were unprepared from lack of TRUE awareness. This resulted in the loss of lives and the people who survived were left without food, necessities, etc. I want to help you prevent this in your lives if you live in an area known for tornadoes. Even if it takes thirty years before another one pops up.

NSS Tornado Awareness Month

April is tornado awareness month, and I am partnering with National Storm Shelters to give away a FREE Emergency Preparedness Kit to help spread Tornado Awareness. If you would like to enter to win the free kit, please fill out the contact form below. Winner will be drawn at random.

You can also download their Emergency Essentials Checklist HERE. (Make sure you have adobe reader installed.)

Or if you want to view a complete Tornado Emergency Guide, you can receive one via email by visiting their website.

As we are getting full swing into spring and tornado season, I hope you will join me in making sure you and your families and friends are prepared this year.  It is always better to be over prepared than the opposite.

Have a great weekend!

Dove VoxBox (Update and Review)

Well, I have completed my first VoxBox review. I have had the Dove Advanced Care deodorant since February and I STILL love it! It is almost empty, so I will definitely be going with it again. Have you used this deodorant yet?

I recommend it!!


I did not know that when we shave our underarms we remove SO much skin! Not that I have ever found myself sitting around pondering about my underarms, but good to know! Now I can’t help but think about it every time I’m shaving my under arm, HA! The moisture is completely different. I no longer feel awkward when my arm pit is showing in a tank top at the gym or working in the yard. Isn’t it funny the things we realize we are self-conscious about?

Give this a trial run and see if you don’t experience a difference as well!!

(And the pleasant smell doesn’t hurt anything either.)

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

**Photo Credit:

Maybe I’m Old Fashioned? Part 1

So, I have recently realized that I am either an old soul or was born in the wrong era. Is there a difference? Ha!

Maybe it is because I am a mother and view the world differently than I probably would as a single-bachelorette-23-year-old. Whatever it is, I find myself wishing that I knew how to do things that probably never cross many American’s minds.

For Example:Sewing. I do not know how to work a sewing machine. Somehow I feel less of a woman because of that. Ha! This seems ridiculous to me because my grandmother and great-grandmother were quilters. Serious quilters. Every child received a hand made quilt for their first Christmas. I also received a hand made quilt for my 18th birthday. During my early childhood, they ALWAYS had a quilt project going on. I don’t particularly want to learn how to quilt as of now, but I cannot even tell you how to work a sewing machine. Embarrassing. So I ordered a desktop sewing machine in order to start learning how to make some pillow case dresses and ruffle pants (like the ones that I refuse to pay someone else $100 a pair of pants for.) FYI, you are free to spend your money however you please, but if you buy your child of any age a pair of pants for $100, I have judged you and will ask forgiveness for it later. I cannot make myself buy my 3 year old toddler clothes that she cannot be a child in. I have better things to do with my time than stress myself out controlling her and making her stay clean because I spent an insane amount of money on her clothes. I’d rather be playing and spilling ice cream with her. (; The thought of $10 worth of material on sale at Hobby Lobby makes me happy!

photo (2)Here is my new sewing machine!

I sit here now and wonder how come I never learned how to sew, considering how much my grandmother enjoyed it. Then I remember, it is because my mother and aunt were still around to help with those things; therefore, we were told, “get in the yard and play.” As amazing as that was for our creativity, imaginations, and bonding with cousins… it failed us in the aspect that other than clean house, we never learned domesticated tasks that are probably quite simple. How hard can it be to work a sewing machine? Surely it cannot be that difficult. I just have never been shown how to do it. I am determined to learn how to do this. I consider myself a pretty intelligent person. I’ve lined up a friend who is quite talented with a sewing machine and, after laughing, she agreed to teach me how. I’ll have to practice on a few outfits before I share a final product. (;

I am going to do a series of the different things I want to learn how to do that seem like forgotten knowledge or have been made unimportant by such a technology based society. A few future topics will be: canning; gardening; homemade jellies; and homemade biscuits. I may add to that list as I go!

Why Do I Hate the Word Elopement?

marriage_proposal_clipartMan of the House and I are getting married in October of this year. I previously posted about our engagement that happened last November (“Mommy Will You Marry My Daddy?” ) We have slowly planned over time versus having to rush and do it all at once. We originally found a place in Gadsden, AL that I am still in love with. If you ever need a venue for such an occasion or banquet, etc. please consider patronizing J & D Farms. It is an absolutely beautiful place.


barnIt is absolutely beautiful. Check out their website if you have time.

We planned to use J & D Farms when we were going to have a traditional style wedding with ceremony and reception following, everyone invited, all of that good stuff. Then it began to feel like things were getting a little out of hand and also making it feel stressful for us. That stopped us in our tracks. We changed our plans completely.

We decided to go on our honeymoon, get married there in a private ceremony, and then have a reception the following weekend when we returned home. Perfect. There will still be a wedding dress, officiant, photographer, etc. at the ceremony. There will still be a full blown reception with food, family, music, drinks and fun. Oh, and a photographer there as well. Our daughter will still have a pretty little dress, and I’ll still get my hair done professionally for both days. Here’s the deal, though: It will be less stressful, it will be per our wishes, and we won’t have any regrets. Sounds like an absolute perfect wedding day(s) to us!

Then what happened was every where I looked in the Asheville area, offered elopement packages. “Great venue for your private elopement!” Hotels offer elopement packages, there are officiant and photographer combined elopement packages. Elopement, elopement, elopement. I hated it. Elopement? We are not eloping. Are we? To me an elopement is a spur of the moment hey, let’s go get married kind of thing. I was still taking 8 months to plan our  day and trip and honeymoon. Does that count as an elopement? I guess since we aren’t inviting anyone and it will just be us then it is considered an elopement? It still makes me want to be like “wait, this is still like a wedding and we are still having a reception! No one is running off and secretly getting married??” Ha! I know I am being ridiculous, maybe. But I still hate the word. Our invitations for the reception say “following a private ceremony”. Cannot bring myself to say “we are eloping.” To each his own, right? I don’t view it as an elopement, so who cares in the end. (;

Am I the only one who doesn’t like using that word to describe my wedding events?

Coconut Oil

With my recent life changes and trying to be healthier (and possibly living a little longer), I have found Coconut Oil. I think I may be somewhat behind on this craze, but I am so glad I found it! Coconut Oil has SO many uses it can be completely overwhelming. Even Man of the House says, “let me guess, Coconut Oil can help that, too?” Ha. He won’t admit it, but his heartburn went away the other night after I convinced/forced him to eat a spoonful of coconut oil.

A few of its uses apply to us as a family or individually. Man of the House is not altogether sold on the idea of it, but he goes along with certain things just to please me. Like eating a spoonful to see if it helped his heartburn. He didn’t complain any after that. (For the record, pure virgin, non-GMO coconut oil has zero taste. The consistency is like when butter melts in your mouth, but there is no taste. It is slightly strange at first. It is similar to eating a spoonful of water and butter at the same time.)

Here are some new ways we are using and substituting with Coconut Oil:

  1. Substituting butter. Perfect example: We grilled on Sunday, and I made sliced ranch potatoes. I placed the coconut oil in the aluminum foil wrapped around the potatoes instead of butter, and it cooked the same but with less fat.
  2. Energy Boost. I read to dip a tablespoon of coconut oil in Chia seeds for an energy boost and to NOT take this at night. I tried it one morning when I was dragging, definitely better than drinking coffee and ending up with stained teeth, etc. TRY IT! (:
  3. Healing Stretch Marks. Hey, when you have carried a child and you end up with stretch marks, no matter how minor they are, you’d like a little help making them a little more subtle. I have noticed a changed with only two uses! I will eventually do a separate post on extensive results over a period of time.
  4. Helping with weight loss when consumed on a regular basis. I don’t have results or proof of this theory yet, but I am testing it out.
  5. Reducing appearance of cellulite. I’m actually not using it for this purpose, but my sister-in-law is. She is a small framed woman who does not need to lose weight, but is uncomfortable with the appearance of cellulite on the back of her thighs. How many of you are in the same situation? Well, I will keep up with her and see how it turns out! In the mean time, it wouldn’t hurt to start trying as well. (;
  6. EXTREME FACIAL MOISTURIZER. Unless you have EXTREMELY dry skin, I suggest only using this two or three nights a week. And only at night. (:
  7. Helping with Heartburn. Well, this is a premature assumption since we only tried this once. Will be trying this again in the future just to find out.

There are many, MANY other uses for Coconut Oil, but these are the ones we are utilizing right now in our lives. I was given a listing for 101 uses for Coconut Oil! I am going to eventually try as many of them out as possible as long as they apply to our needs and life.

Do you use Coconut Oil? What is your favorite way to incorporate it into your routines?

Miller Analogies Test


I am going back to Grad School this Summer. I graduated August 2013 with my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. While I have enjoyed what will be a 9 month break, I know I need to do it now. I already know it is something I want to obtain, and our daughter is already three. I want to be almost finished with it before she starts Kindergarten and ESPECIALLY since we are considering having a second little one after the wedding this fall. It almost makes me want to kick myself for taking a break at all. Almost.

So, even though I just graduated with a 4 year degree, named to the president’s list and all of that good stuff, I have to take either the MAT or the GRE. Great. I have opted for the MAT. I can do words. I canNOT do math problems. Plus, the MAT is cheaper priced and only takes an hour. It was the winner before the race got started. Ha!

But now I’ve spent the last few weeks making myself study for this test. Geez, it has been hard to want to do after freedom since August, but I’ve been pushing through.

Have you had to take a Graduate School admission exam? Have you taken the new MAT, or did you opt for the GRE and just laugh at people like me with our inferior mathematical skills? What made it easier for you to study for the exam?

Wish me good luck??