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For the Love of Uggs

18 Nov

kristis photos 001With winter on the horizon I feel that it is high time that I break by blog silence with the sharing of what has become a long standing tradition in our home that involves Ugg boots.

Let me first explain that I was a teenager in the late 80’s and started college at Biola University, a Southern CA Christian University, in the fall of 89.  I was exposed to the Ugg brand a little in high school, because AZ is so close to CA their trends seem to come to us rather quickly, but I was mostly introduced to it in College.  Almost anyone that had a love for surfing had a pair.  This, I must emphasize, included mostly guys.  For the Ugg boot was designed by a male surfer, for them to wear after getting out of the cold ocean so they had something warm to put on their feet.

Now that you understand my original understanding of the boot, you will follow why when my son was about six I bought him his first pair of imitation Uggs.  Because my son is a typical AZ boy, the minute it starts to get in the 60’s he thinks he is freezing.  He was always complaining that his feet were cold and he didn’t like taking the time to put his shoes on before running outside, just like most children.  That is when I remembered my friends from college that had Ugg boots and how much they loved the fact that you could just slip them on really quick before heading out the door.  The natural wool lining makes it so you really don’t have to wear socks if you don’t want to, so most of my friends didn’t.

Needless to say, my son loved them.  He thought they were the greatest things ever.  I could hardly get him to wear another pair of shoes.  What I didn’t realized at the time, because I was just trying to save money by not buying  the expensive original Uggs, was that the fake fur lining on the imitation pair could begin to smell so bad!  I tried everything to get rid of the smell.  It got so bad that we had to keep the boots outside because they smelled so terrible.

Well the sad day finally arrived that the boots no longer fit my son, so I had to decide what I was going to do for the next winter.  I finally decided to scrape my pennies together and buy him his first REAL Uggs and see if that would help with the odor problem.  Do bears like honey?  What a difference!  The natural sheep skin was soooo much better at keeping the stench under control.  Let me tell you, our whole family was extremely grateful!

But I have to say that another sad day arrived, after I got my son his first REAL Uggs, when he was confronted with the notion that these boots were only “girl” boots.  Well, when you are a little boy of seven the idea of wearing girl’s shoes is horrifying.  It took a great deal of explaining and website pictures to convince my son that he did not have to give up one of his favorite treasures just because the fashion market had decided to change their gender target.

Now every summer our family saves up money for his new pair of winter Uggs.  It is a huge task, at least for us, because they are not inexpensive.  Not only that, but much thought is put into what color he is going to have as well.  We have now had black (that was the first pair), brown, tan, dark green, blue and now we have graduated to red.

To be honest, I am proud that my son, now 11, wears his Uggs every winter with no care to the frequent remarks that they are a “girl’s boot”.  As we continue our tradition of putting to rest a loved and very worn-out pair of Uggs, to welcome in a fresh new pair, we want to announce to the world that your son can also enjoy, work to destroy, snuggle in the warmth, save up all summer, and does not have to be ashamed or embarrassed that he is wearing a “girl’s” boot.   You now know that they are NOT just for girls and he can wear them along side my son… just “For The love of Uggs!”

This was NOT a paid advertisement for Ugg Boots. Yes, there are other brands just as good as the Ugg brand that have a natural wool lining.  This just happens to be my son’s favorite.


Holiday Traditions

7 Dec

Here in America, and in many parts of the world we have officially entered the Holiday Season.  We have Thanksgiving & Chanukah (boy it came early this year) under our belt now, and are looking forward to Christmas and New Years just around the corner.

One thing I have learned during this season is that traditions don’t have to always be big, expensive or numerous to be important to us.  They can be little things like reading a certain book, making special food, calling a family member or friend, shopping at your favorite store, or going to a special place.

Last year's Anniversary

Last year’s Anniversary

I look around me at this time of year and I am reminded of the many extremes we can encounter in life.  Some families aren’t much of a family at all.  In fact many individuals find more joy with friends than being reminded of strained family relationships. Then you have the family gatherings that are so extensive that it requires a good year of planning just to accommodate everyone.  Both can be just as special in their own ways.

Whether you are one extreme or the other, or maybe just somewhere in the middle, we still find ourselves longing to do certain things as we enter this time of year.  In the spirit of the season I think it would be really fun to hear some of YOUR traditions. Let me get things started by sharing just a few of my family traditions.

We love Christmas movies in our house.  In fact, we have an unwritten rule that no one can watch a Christmas movie until after Thanksgiving.  Then the only movies you can watch are Christmas movies. We have been adding to our collection for years.  Our library is now pretty extensive. The movie watching is always kicked off with the decorating of the house.  The lights go up and the tree and trimmings come out. 

We do love to bake, but depending on the schedule of things, sometimes priorities adjust in this area. The only mandatory item that gets made every year is my Mom’s sugar cookies.  I have to specify that it has to be my Mom’s recipe because it is actually pretty different than most. These are rolled out very thin and are not frosted but sprinkled with sugar instead. Love them!

Going to Christmas Eve service, making several Christmas-light tours through the city, (Oh!) and celebrating our Wedding Anniversary are a few more traditions that we hold dear, but enough about us!  Now it is your turn!  What do you do this time of year?  It doesn’t have to be grand or exciting sounding, it just has to be important to you.

I can’t wait to hear what you have to share!

25 Perks

30 Jan


I have a seat everywhere I go.

Many of you have been following my blog now for several months so you have noticed that some of posts have been serious in nature.  If you missed my blog on “Finding Humor in Everything” you must check it out because then you will be prepared for today’s blog.

There are only a few things in life that I take very seriously and the rest is completely up for grabs in my opinion.  Now let me just preface to you that there are many many things about being a paraplegic that are extremely difficult, painful and downright depressing at times, but those topics are no fun to talk about so I’m not going to.

What I am going to educate you about today are a few fun perks about living your life in a wheelchair.  Now, if you are already offended then just stop reading now because I
have no intention of making people mad at me.  But after 26 years I have definitely gained some insight on the matter, and if I can have fun with it you can too.

  1. My feet never get tired from waiting in line.
  2. When someone has to tell me bad news I am already sitting down.
  3. I didn’t need a stroller when my son was little…I was a stroller!
  4. I get on all the rides at Disney Land a lot faster.  Yeah!
  5. No one ever thinks I‘m lazy for always taking the elevator.
  6. I‘m always allowed on the airplane first.
  7. I can buy as many shoes as I want because they hardly every ware out.
  8. I never get blisters from my new shoes!
  9. I have the perfect lap for holding babies (big fan of this one).
  10. When in a group and told to find a seat…I’ve got one.
  11. I can always see over everyone’s heads at the movie theater.
  12. My friends find me handy at the mall because I can carry their bags.
  13. I always get a good parking spot.
  14. Signs that say, “No Shoes, NO Service.” Don’t apply to me.
  15. My hubby knows I’m exempt from washing windows and mowing the lawn.
  16. I’m the perfect hugging height for 5 year-olds and younger!
  17. Going downhill is super fun!
  18. If I get tired of walking my dog he can always pull me…literally.
  19. My air cushion can be used as a flotation device.
  20. It sounds totally impressive to say that my chair is made of titanium.
  21. When I was younger I could actually miss school for having a flat tire.
  22. I can easily impress any child (and some adults) by doing wheelies.
  23. I get two bounces in wheelchair tennis and you just get one!
  24. I am the envy of every person carrying a folding chair.
  25. I get to witness the shocked looks on people’s faces when I say silly things about my disablity!

Everyone has things in life that can be difficult, but it just might be up to you whether or not you make that difficulty a handicap or a perk!

For the love of Herbie

16 Jan

I think it is safe to say that today’s average nine year-old does not know very much about Herbie the Love Bug.  Yes, there was a more recent movie Herbie Fully Loaded done not too long ago, but it’s not like you can find Herbie toys at the store, or find shirts with Herbie on the front.  But let me tell you, my son is the exception to the rule.

My son loves Herbie!  He has for years.  He has seen all six movies.  In fact when he had just turned three we took a trip to Disney World as a graduation gift to my twin step-sons.  At one of the stunt shows Herbie made a guest appearance.  I of course was not prepared for the fact that my son spotted him immediately, and did what any three year-old would do if they saw their favorite thing in the world…he took off.  The only thing he was focused on was Herbie!  I think all parents can agree with this next statement.  Man! Can a three-year-old move fast when they want too!  He shot off my lap like his pants were on fire.  By the time my brain kicked in he was already well out of arms reach and well on his way to his destination.  You also have to remind yourself that I am in a wheelchair.  I DO NOT go down stairs!  So as you can imagine, I am now screaming at my husband to go get our son.  I love my husband and he is a great dad.  With this said, his response was not as fast as I wanted.  In fact it was much, much slower than I wanted.  By the time he got to my son he was only about a foot away from the bottom of the amphitheater.

My son was very convinced that he was going to see Herbie, and he was almost there!  With this in mind, I am very sure that you can vividly picture his response when this dream was cut short by none other than his very own father!  I was about 30 steps above him, but I could clearly see and hear the magnitude of his disappointment.  His face had a look of sheer horror and the sound coming out of his mouth matched his face perfectly!

When your children have these kinds of explosions in public you always have such a mixed response from bystanders.  You have the group that is still in touch with their own parenting years, or are currently in them. They give you encouraging looks of sympathy and support.  I love this group!  Then comes the faces that you know at one glance that they have either not had children yet, don’t want to have children, or had children so long ago that they have completely wiped the memory from their minds.  I don’t mind these people too much because they are just ignorant, brain dead or a little of both.  The group that drives me crazy is the people that give you that look that says, “Really…can’t you control your child?  My children never do things like that!”  I know that is a lot to say in a look, but if you have been there, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Now let’s be clear.  I have been known a time or two to give the look of, “Will you please stop spoiling your child and discipline him!” But this was clearly not one of those circumstances.  My poor son, in his three-year-old little mind, had no way of grasping the idea that he could not go see Herbie.  It was also very hard for everyone else to grasp just how much he adored Herbie.

A genetic (like his father) passion for the love of cars, mixed with the personality and
fun-loving nature of Herbie and you have the perfect recipe for the BEST CAR EVER…in the eyes of my son.  I am actually very thankful that my son is not too old, at nine, to still love Herbie.  I mean what is not to love?  He’s the under-dog that wins the race!  There is no logic involved, but so what.  Herbie just wants to do what he loves to do. On top of this, he races with such a wonderful passion that comes only with doing something you thoroughly enjoy.  Add to this the fact that Herbie is loyal to his friends and wants to do the best he can for them and you have one amazing car.  So who can blame my son for wanting to meet Herbie?  I wish we could all have a Herbie in our lives.  OK, so maybe Herbie is a little out of date.  But maybe good things just never go out of style.  In our house Herbie the Love Bug will always be very cool!