Thursday, December 26, 2013

It's Time. #SheldonsJourney

Everyone says there's just a different energy this time of year, and after the holiday we've had, I couldn't agree more.

The ambiance. The twinkling lights. The sentiment in every hug. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Andy Williams, you nailed it with that one brotha. 

And this year, our family will receive the most amazing gift we could've ever asked for. 

A heart!!!!!

We got word around 2:00 this afternoon that there was a donor that was a match for Sheldon. This donor, who is still anonymous to our family, has given the ultimate sacrifice today. 

Their life....and their healthy organs.

A piece of that donor will live on with us. With Sheldon.

He's scheduled for a 6:00 am surgery, so we've got 8 hours to pray our little hearts out. Pray for Sheldon. Pray for our family. Pray for the pilot flying the heart into Kansas City. Pray for the nurses. Pray for the surgeons. 

But most of all, pray for the family that is saying goodbye to someone they love today. Pray that they find peace & comfort knowing that in losing their son, daughter, husband, wife, grandson or daughter, father or mother....that others received the gift of life. The most beautiful gift we could have ever dreamed of this holiday season!!

Thank you all for your continued support!!  This journey is just beginning...and still has a long way to travel. But the dark tunnel we've been traveling thru is starting to have light. 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

#SheldonsJourney...6 Weeks Later

Well, this past week sure has been a doozie with regard to Sheldon
& our families heart transplant journey.
For a recap of when this journey began, read here. A few hours after that post, we received word that he'd been accepted & was officially listed as a 1B status later that week.
That was 6 weeks ago.
It's been an exciting but terrifying 6 weeks to say the least. 

There are three different status' in which a person can be listed.
 1A:  You are confined to the hospital until you receive a donor heart. 
1B:  You can leave the hospital but not without a continuous IV drug or another device
2:  The most healthy people fall in this category.  May wait 1+ year for a heart.
As I said, Sheldon is a 1B.
  He has a permanent picc line in his upper left arm where he has a continuous IV push of the miracle drug I mentioned here
Due to the picc line, he has to show up for bi-weekly appointments at Saint Luke's
here on the Plaza in Kansas City.
Well, last weeks appointment didn't go so well.  They ended up admitting him & kept him most of the week. Last week was trying. But hey, it's just another curve in the road on this already wild journey. 
 Monday afternoon they did a read on his pacemaker that was put in about 2.5 years ago. And for the record, he's already on his SECOND pacemaker. Upon reading the results, two of the three leads that go from the pacemaker into the heart were not inserted correctly.
Well damn.
So, they opened him up & fixed the problem. 
But now the poor guy can't lift up his right arm for another six weeks. 
So what do I do, I go in to pose with him for a picture and slap my hand right down on his incision site.  I about died. After he winced in pain, he had a good laugh at my expense.
So another week of this journey has wrapped. 
Next up? Meeting our goal of keeping him out of the hospital & home for Christmas.
Thanks for your continued support & love as this journey continues!! 
Your thoughts & prayers mean the WORLD to not only me, but our entire family,
so thank you thank you thank you. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Time Out.

In the beautiful craziness that is life, don't you ever just want a time out?
We all need one from time to time & I did just toward the end of last week.
And it was glorious.
As I mentioned last week, Jon & I took a little mini vaca to the great state of Nebraska.
And can I just say...they have fantastic wine!

We started off the morning with a little wine tasting in this adorable little store that only sells goods made right there, in Nebraska.  We bought a few things including the worlds BEST SMELLING apple pie candle along with some wine.

Hey, you can't do a wine tasting & not buy five a bottle!
We were so grateful because the sky was spitting ice, snow & rain on us all day. 
God Bless You Mother Nature.
You're such a bitch wonderful woman.
But we made the best of it & explored the adorable Haymarket District all afternoon!

 Then it was off to see Justin Moore that night!
Needless to say, we had a blast!!!  Justin is so authentic & just plain down to earth that you can't help but love the little guy!  He's 5'7 & looks about 4'11 while on stage.
But hey, his cowboy hat gives him a few inches.
The next day we drove home & enjoyed a calm, relaxed evening lounging on the couch in front of the fire.  In fact, it was our first fire of the year!!  I needed to load up on carbs & get some rest as my first big race was Saturday morning.

It was not only my first 10K, but my first race in the new kicks.
And was a cold one!!!!

Thank GOD for a husband who hunts....because he had the BEST gear to keep me warm. 
Including a super sexy Carhartt Facemask & camo hip pack hand warmer. 

I didn't care if was -15 outside.
I had trained my ass off & I was running this race, damnit.
And run my ass off, I did.
My goal was to run the 6.2 in under an hour & I did it!!!

59:04 to be exact and 4th place in my age group.  I missed being in the top three for the award ceremony by one!  Never in a million years did I think I would place that high....and had I only known I was that close to the top three, I would've started knocking bitches girls over.

Just kidding.

You see that frozen snot on my jacket?
That's how frickin' cold it was.
My sorority sister braved the freezing temps to come cheer me on & it meant the WORLD to me!!   Being a fellow runner, we get each other on a different level. 
Pep talks, tips, motivation, running in name it.  We'll talk about it. 
A wonderful friend & a wonderful inspiration. 
I adore you Hali!!


This race was also super special as it was the first one Sheldon was able to attend!
He even made a sign...
"Anne...Hurry Up I'm Hungry!"
I saw it about a quarter mile from the finish line & was able to squeeze out a weak laugh.
I love that crazy old man! :)


You know what favorite part of this race was?
Seeing my husband beaming with pride on the other side of the finish line. 
Running is not for the faint of heart.  There have been many times over the past couple years that I wanted to give up.  There have been months where I've stopped cold turkey.  There have been runs in which I've stumbled thru the door only to fall on the ground from exhaustion,
telling Jon I'm giving up. 
Everytime, he picks me back up (emotionally & physically) and tells me to....
"Lock It In."

After the race, he looked at me with a huge smile on his face & said,
"Honey, I'm so damn proud of you." 
In that moment all of the soreness, sweat & tears became SO worth it. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


That's how many seniors will now enjoy a warm Thanksgiving meal this holiday season, all thanks to senior living professionals joining forces to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Last night was the kickoff cocktail party, and can I just say, I had to fight back tears when people started flooding in the door! 

We went into the party with about 65 meals ordered, my goal being 100.

Needless to say, about 15 minutes in, we broke 100!!!

I have to give a TON of credit to the awesome lady on the right. She hit the pavement a month ago helping promote the event. She's slso the one to credit for landing us on the news!! After the past 48 hours, this photo sums up how we felt.

I also have to give mad props to our Dining Services Director for making fantastic appetizers & even more fantastic pumpkin martinis. Without Dan, this event would not happen. More importantly, those 120 meals would not happen.

Most of my day yesterday was spent "beautifying" the space.

I wanted everything to have a touch of "Thanksgiving" so I went with oranges & browns everywhereeeeee. I then used the packaging that the meals will be delivered in as decor. We bought out ALL of the orange tissue paper in Kansas City.

A party wouldn't be complete without a few celebratory drinks afterward!! I feel so blessed to work with such AMAZING people!! They are not only co workers but more importantly, just plain damn amazing.

And that's a wrap!! Now Jon & I are off to Lincoln, Nebraska to see Justin Moore. 

Can't. Wait.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Giving Back.

If you follow me on IG (@annexenos) or Facebook, you've probably seen a few pics I've posted today about an event I'm hosting tomorrow at the 'ol workplace.

If you're new around here, you may be in the dark about what I do for a living. I'm a Sales & Marketing Director for a Senior Living Solutions Company called Brookdale ( 

We have over 600 communities nation wide & 9 communities in Kansas City. I currently work at the community pictured above. I've been with the company for over 5 years & I have to say, it's been an amazing 5 years! 

Some people dream about going to work everyday & making an actual difference in someone's life. I get to do just that.

A few years ago I moved a lady into my community only to realize that she had no one there on move in day. She didn't have a daughter following her in the front door with a wreath for her apartment door or even toiletries she'd need to get thru the night. It was in that moment that I realized, how many older adults are there that truly have no one left? That will celebrate the holidays all alone?

It was around Thanksgiving at the time...and so it was born, "Bring Thanksgiving to a Senior." 

It's my third year hosting & ever year it warms my heart to see so many people in our community come together to ensure all of these Thanksgiving meals get to delivered to those in need.

I market to anyone who may know an older adult who may be home bound. These people attend a kickoff party at my community. At the party, they then order the amount of meals they need. The following week, they come back to the community to pick up the boxed Thanksgiving meal we've prepared & deliver it to their senior in need! If they can't deliver, my team delivers. 

The local news station caught wind & wanted to bring us in for a live interview this morning!! It was such a fun experience!! 

You can view the interview here:

I feel like I look like an enormous huge black whale. I'm blaming it on the camera angle. Bahaha. Good LORD, I could never be a news anchor. I'd hyperventilate getting dressed everyday. And so would my husband. 

"Honey, do I look fat in this?" 

"No, babe."

"Uggh. Whatever, I'm changing. And after work, I'm going shopping. I have nothing to wear!"

Coming from the girl who turned an extra bedroom into a closet.

Thanks for all your kind words on Instagram & Facebook, though!! You sure know how to make a girl feel good. 

Hope everyone's having a great week! On another note, I've only got two days left of mine. Jon & I are heading to Lincoln, Nebraska on Thursday to see one of our faves, Justin Moore, live in concert. FRONT ROW BABYYYY!! Prepare for IG overload. No apologies, I gave you a warning. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


What does that really mean? 

To be a quote unquote "runner."

This is a question I've been asking myself for a year and a half.

I played competitive softball all my life & even played in college for a few years. I loved it. I loved the pain from a good slide into second base in which the top layer of your skin ripped off. I loved hating the skanks in the other dugout for no apparent reason. The rush of diving for a ball & realizing it actually ended up in your glove.

        (Competitive Team Circa 2003)

I spent a shit ton of time playing the game & loved every single second. So I was a softball player. Simple as that, right?

                  (College Circa 2005)

But with running, it's different.

It doesn't come natural to call myself a runner & I don't know if it ever will. I've thought a lot about why and I think I've figured it out.

Running is an objective sport. The decision to call yourself a runner is the individual & individuals alone. 

I haven't ever ran a marathon nor a half marathon. I'm not sure I ever will & I'm beginning to be ok with that. I'm just a measly little 5k runner. 

But damnit, those 3, 4 & 5 mile runs are frickin' hard.

I have missed softball terribly over the past 6-7 years. It's like I broke up with someone I was deeply in love with and running came along & filled that void for me.

I saw this quote awhile back & it resonated with me to the core! I couldn't have said it better myself. 

I guess you could say I'm writing a new love story with running. She's a bitch sometimes, but I love her regardless. We dated for quite sometime before I used the "L" word, but I'm here now & ready to see what the future holds for us. 

In the near future, a 10k is in the cards.

Let's just hope we make it thru without serving eacother divorce papers. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Today is the day that our ENTIRE world will change.  I know, strong statement to lead off a post this early on a Tuesday morning. 

But the scary thing is that it's true. 
Let me explain.
This past week has been a whirlwind to say the least.
Last Monday was Sheldon's first appointment with the St. Luke's Cardiac Transplant Team.  We all woke up Monday morning feeling anxious, excited & just plain scared shitless, all wrapped up into one emotion. All of us (Jon, Jon's Sister Beth, Myself and of course Kathy, my mother in law) took off work to be there.  For moral support, but also to hear firsthand how this whole heart transplant thing will work. 
This appointment was supposed to be the first of what you would think would be a longgggg, drawn out process.
During the appointment we were told that Sheldon couldn't wait another week to begin his "transplant workup."  It's an inpatient hospital stay in which every specialist you can think of has to sign off on Sheldon having this surgery.  From the transplant workup they are able to determine if you qualify to be put on the list for a heart and more importantly at what level.

They admitted him to the hospital last Tuesday morning and was finally discharged yesterday.  It's been grueling on the guy, but he hasn't complained ONCE.  Now that's a champ right there!
He even celebrated his 59th birthday on Sunday, in the hospital. 
Even though we were in the hospital, this birthday was extremely special to all of us.
It was the first birthday in a LONG time in which we felt that we may actually get ALOT more of these with him.

And that my friends, is pretty damn cool.
Typically the "transplant workup" only lasts 3 days or so, however because Sheldon's heart is so weak, he had to spend a few of those days in the ICU following his heart catheter on Wednesday.
They pumped him full of this miracle drug...
Which is supposed to make your heart beat faster therefore pushing your blood out to all of your organs.
His heart is so weak that it's unable to do that on it's own any longer. 
Thank GOD for modern medicine, eh?
They inserted a permanent picc line in his upper arm in which he'll have to continue pumping this medicine to his heart (from home) while we wait. 
Right now, while you're reading this, the Transplant Team at St. Luke's holds Sheldon's life in their hands.  They meet every Tuesday morning to decide if someone qualifies to be put on their very small list of less than 20 individuals.  I can't imagine what Sheldon is feeling as he wakes up this morning because my palms are sweating just typing this post.
We're all scared to death of this process.  We're scared to think of another person's heart being put into his chest cavity.  What if he dies on the table?  What if his body rejects the new heart?  What if....what if...
But what scares the hell out of us more is the thought that he WON'T get another person's heart put into his chest cavity. 

That's what keeps all of us going.
More importantly, that new heart will keep Sheldon going for many birthdays to come.
Any prayers you throw our way today are appreciated more than you know.
I can't wait to hopefully share some VERY GOOD news with you in the days to come.

Thank you ALL for your support of our family & more importantly, Sheldon!!