Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#TBW The Bells

As you all know I consider Detroit to be my little home away from home for numerous reasons, but one that you may not know about is family. 

My cousin's wife, Emily, grew up in the surrounding area of Detroit and her parents continue to live in at least once every summer, Chris, Emily, and the kids make the trip from Ohio to the Detroit area. While visiting her family, they have always taken the time to come see us or invite Mom and I out to their family celebration. 

We don't get to see Chris, Emily, and their kids on a regular basis so it is always great to see them and it is a guaranteed good time! We have celebrated the 4th of July with them on Milford Lake, made a trip to Frankenmuth and Bronner's, the world's largest Christmas store, and so much more.

This year we decided to switch it up. Instead of them making the trip to come see us, we are going to them! We are heading out tomorrow and I can't wait to see them. 

This is exactly why I chose them to be the topic for my #TBW post.
 Check out some of our adventures!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dragging My Feet

“But I don’t want to go!” That phrase is often heard in our household when Jason & Heather come to pick up their kiddos after a day of playing and I can’t help myself, but I want to yell the same thing now as I head into my last four days of therapy…my last four days in Detroit. I’m just not ready to go home.

Once again we had a great week - therapy was good as always and as we head into the home stretch, I need to not only continue to focus on the tasks at hand, but also how to incorporate some of what I have been doing here into what I do at home. If only I could kidnap one of my trainers and take them with me! Just kidding...kind of.

This past week Mom and I actually ventured out of our normal area and headed north a little bit. On Wednesday, we made a trip to Warren to visit my Great Aunt Ruth and on Thursday, we went to the Holocaust Museum in Farmington Hills.

Aunt Ruth is my Grandma Bea’s younger sister and boy, can you tell it! We spent about two hours sitting around her kitchen table talking. When Aunt Ruth pulled out the cookie dough to make chocolate chip cookies and put them in the oven, I was immediately reminded of sitting around Grandma Bea’s table. Grandma and I always had our discussions over hot tea and chocolate chip cookies and it just made me feel at home with Aunt Ruth. It was a great afternoon trip and the only thing that would have made it better was if Grandma Bea would have been there as well.


Thursday’s trip was to the Holocaust Museum was a little bit more somber. I have studied the Holocaust quite a bit and although this may be somewhat morbid, I am fascinated by it. I think my fascination lies in the fact that I don’t understand it – I don’t understand that level of hatred and how one person can have so much power to cause such hurt and devastation. The museum was extremely interesting as it covered Jewish culture, WWII, the reign of Hitler, and the mistreatment of the Jews. They had numerous videos of Holocaust survivors telling not only their personal stories, but what life was like in a concentration camp and on the death marches. I don’t know how to describe it other than sad…and sickening. It is something I will never fully grasp.

It was Mom’s birthday on Friday so after therapy we walked down to the Hudson CafĂ©, ate a late lunch, then continued onto Campus Martius where a bunch of vendors has set up shop for the weekend. We browsed quite a bit, but nothing caught our eye enough to buy!

Also in celebration of Mom’s birthday, we went to the Tigers game on Saturday evening! After a one hour rain delay, the game began and the Tigers took no mercy on the Phillies. At the end of the 1st inning, we were up 5-0. Tigers ended the game 10-0 and despite the colder weather and burning my tongue on my hot chocolate, I would say the evening was a success!

This week will be a short one here in the D as I have moved my Friday therapy session to Thursday and as soon as I am dismissed, we are hitting the highway. In the meantime though, they’re moving right along with the Transformers 4 set and will start to film this week…maybe I can become an extra and will have to stay!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

#TBW Ricky J + Susie Q

Happy Anniversary Uncle Rick and Aunt Sue!
21 years ago today, Mindy and I walked down the longest aisle I thought I had ever seen and we forgot our only job for the day - to throw the rose petals. However, nobody seemed to notice our mistake. Their eyes weren't focused on us, but on my Aunt Sue as she cascaded down the aisle. 

The Evans family hasn't been the same ever since.
 (and I mean that in a good way)

I can't even begin to tell you how much these two mean to me, but I am sure am going to try. Here's to two of the most caring people who can always make me laugh and put a smile on my face...who have supported me in every step and stage of my life...who makes any time, a good time...who loves me unconditionally.

Here's to you, Uncle Rick and Aunt Sue! 
May there be many more years filled with love, laughter, and happiness.

Love you!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Barmaid Play Me Some Buffett

 Drunk girls on my left…drunk girls on my right…the smell of marijuana wafting through the air. Where was I last night, you ask? Nope, it was not some shady club in downtown Detroit…I was simply attending the Jimmy Buffett concert at Comerica Park.

Jimmy Buffett is amazing and he puts on one heck of a show! He is so fun, charismatic, and entertaining – one of those people who you would love to spend a day with! He performs effortlessly and puts out such a laid-back vibe, one can’t help but have a good time at one of his concerts.

Thanks to Dr. Bill Restum and DMC, we were able to take in the show in the amazing Tigers Suite with some great people! There was free drinks and food everywhere and it didn’t take me long to think that I could get used to watching Tigers games from Suite 202…a girl can wish right?

Speaking of wishes…I wish I could stay longer! We will be home exactly 2 weeks from today and like I mentioned last week, time is just flying by.

This week is therapy was great. Instead of boring you with tons of detailed exercises, we kept our focus on what it has been since I have gotten here. I continue to think I am improving each day and I think one way to see that is in my transfers. I am needing less help each day and am feeling much more confident.

Today after church Mom and I made our usual walk down to Greektown where had some delicious food at Pegasus and knowing my recent luck (see Greektown - 2, Emily - 0), I decided it was best to stay away from the casino today and so we ventured back home.

This week brings 4 days of therapy, a trip to the Holocaust Museum, Mom’s birthday, a visit to Aunt Ruth, and a possible Tigers game…sounds like a pretty good time to me!


Here's a few more pictures from the concert!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#TBW Scotty

Last week, I wrote about my brother Jason for his birthday...this week I write in honor of my oldest brother Scott as his birthday is just two days away.

Scott and I have always been close and have had the ability to talk to one another with no boundaries. When I was younger, I remember sitting on his bed just talking to him about all of life's happenings in the evenings. Even to this day, if he comes by while I am still in bed - he comes down to my room, plops on my bed, and we discuss life.

I have so many memories with Scott, but some that stick vividly in my memory are the time just he and I went to Coldwater Lake. I'm not certain exactly how it happened, but both he and I ended up in the lake and the boat's throttle was still pushed forward. As the boat circled, we exhausted ourselves swimming to catch it. Finally, I did.


Fast forward numerous years later, I was prepping myself to go to my junior prom. My date that year was Jack Ramthun who was new to Bucklin and never had met my brothers. I was still down in my bedroom when Jack came to pick me and guess who answered the door? Yep, that's right. It was Scott. As soon as we got in the car, Jack turned to me and said, "Don't worry, we're going to have a great time and I won't try to make any moves." I laughed and asked what prompted that. He simply replied, "Your brother...he's huge and could definitely kick my a$$." If only Jack knew how much of a teddy bear Scott is. 

If you know Scott, you know he loves to go driving around in the country. We have spent countless hours dinking around, but it was when I came home from Houston after my accident, we went for a drive down south, through Giles Ranch and by Clark County Lake that I will never forget.

Speaking of vehicles, did you know that Scott was the person who taught me how to drive a stick shift? It was in his green Chevy pickup on the way home from Moscow one summer. I won't say that I was an expert by an means, but I could at least get around if I needed to, thanks to him.

Scott has always been my protector and I look up to him more each an every day as I see him be a wonderful husband to his wife, amazing father to my nephews, Eli and Carson...and great friend and brother to me. Thank for you always being there Scott.

I love you!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Another week down and time is flying by entirely way too fast! I can’t even tell you how much my heart sank today when I received an email from our apartment complex with departure instructions…I don’t want to leave, I’m not ready! We’ve got 19 days left and you better believe that I plan to make the most of each and every one of them!
Every week we have been up here has been pretty awesome, but this past one was one notch above the rest…I might even go out on a limb and call it phenomenal. In therapy, we continue to work on the same target areas which I have mentioned in my previous posts and I still think I am improving more each day. I just feel stronger. Speaking of strong, listen to this news…I lifted my butt up off the mat this week! This is HUGE (and no, I’m not talking about the size of my behind). Never before did I have the balance or the strength to off-weight myself like this and it is a huge step in the right direction for transferring independently.  

It’s no doubt that I miss home – my family, work, and friends...but it is improvements like this and other little things that make me wish I could just pack my bags and move to Michigan. It makes me wonder what I could have if I were able to stay for a long period of time. If I ever win the lotto, you can bet that I will become a snowbird – I’ll be in Michigan from the Spring to the Fall and back to Kansas for the winter!

Nonetheless, we had a pretty eventful week on the entertainment front… and it mostly consisted of baseball. We made it to three games this week: Thursday afternoon against the White Sox, Friday night against the Rangers, and this afternoon again against the Rangers. A little much? I think not. Although the Tigers lost against the Sox, that game was probably the most eventful. There was a small brawl that got both Putkonen and Leyland ejected from the game. Friday’s game was great – I have to send a special Thank You shout out to Shannon and Greg for the tickets! We had a good time watching the Tigers claim a 7-2 win and the beautiful fireworks after the game! Today’s game was also awesome. Verlander pitched a no hitcher up to the 7th inning and we got some great hits in. It was a quick game, but fun, nonetheless.

On top of three great days at the ballpark, the President of RIM, Dr. Bill Restum, presented Mom and me with one AMAZING gift…suite tickets to the Jimmy Buffett concert next week! Earlier this week I ran into Bill in the hallway and he was making sure we took in the sights and scenes while we are here which brought up the concert. Before I knew it, he left with telling me he was going to make some calls. The rest is history!

Once again, we started the week off right…this time in Grosse Ile Township. Shannon and Greg invited us to their church this morning as they were hosting an outdoor service at their house. With the Detroit River in the background, we sat and partook in a beautiful church service. It was picturesque. Following the service, was brunch, and we couldn’t have joined a more friendly and welcoming group. It was a great day of fellowship!


Hope you all have a great week and stayed tuned next weekend for the next update! I also ask that you keep my coworker, Tim Milford, and his family in your prayers. He was involved in a catastrophic accident yesterday that has left him paralyzed from the chest down.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

#TBW Jas

Isn't it funny how time flies by so fast, but yet you remember certain memories as if they were yesterday. Today marks my brother Jason's 30th birthday and I have spent the evening remembering some of my most favorite memories with him.

When we were kids, we spent many of afternoons "farming" all of the carpet in the house, building blanket forts in the basement, and so much more. However it was when Jason would reluctantly agree to play "store" with me that I will never forget. We'd gather things from around the house to sell and most of the time he let me be the cashier while he was the customer.

There was also the afternoon games of hide-and-seek in Grandma Bea's barn and the nightly games of kick-the-can.

When we got older, I relished the summer days we would spend at the lake with friends, but I will never forget the night my freshman year of high that he yelled at Fritz for having his arm around my shoulder during a party out at Demuth's. 

As we have gotten older, there's not as much sibling rivalry as there used to be and I find myself looking up to Jason as I never did before. He's one of the hardest working people I know...he's a great husband to amazing father to Karlee and Jake...and a great friend/brother to me. Thanks for always being there Jas!

Happy Birthday Jason!
Love you

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Greektown - 2, Emily - 0

This past week was pretty low key – other than therapy, we didn’t embark on too many adventures…well until today, but I’ll get there in a second or so.

This week in therapy we continued to focus on my core, triceps, scaps, and weight bearing. Although it has only been two weeks, I do feel as if both my balance and my transfers are getting better and I’m much more conscious of my posture!

I think I’ve told you before but my scaps are absolutely terrible. My shoulder blades wing terribly and stick out like you wouldn’t believe. My trainers like to say there is a canyon between my blades and although I hate to say it, it’s a little true! We have really been working on strengthening my scaps and other shoulder muscles to hold my shoulder blades in and down. I’m not lying when I say my arms are jello every afternoon when I get in the car!


If you are paying any attention to my Facebook pictures, you’ll noticed I posted one of me standing the other day. Karlee had been begging Mom to take a picture of me standing, but get this – after she got to see the picture, we were chatting on the phone and our conversation went a little like this:

Karlee: I saw your picture today
Me: Oh ya, what do you think? Isn’t that cool?
Karlee: Ya, but Emily…how do I know you weren’t sitting? I couldn’t see your feet!
Me: I promise you, I was standing.
Karlee: Can you please have Grandma take a picture of your feet next time?
Me: Yes squirt, I’ll get you a picture of me standing where you can see my feet.

Here you go, my sweet Karlee, a picture of me standing with my feet!

(Why is that blue mat behind my butt you ask? This standing frame really isn't made for tall people and so the mat puts my hips right where they need to be!)

So today after church, Mom and I went and ate lunch at the Fountain Bistro and then made our way over to Greektown. We did a little shopping, made a quick stop at the casino, and then walked down the street to Astoria Bakery.

This bakery is like heaven, I’m not even lying…and today, I went out of my norm and ordered a chocolate cannoli. Can we seriously say HOLY CANNOLI? I haven’t experienced a sugar shock like this since I had one of Phuong’s triple chocolate brownies with the marshmallow topping on top.

All I’m saying is between this cannoli and my trip to the casino, Greektown has once again defeated me.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

#TBW What Happens in Hays...

I'm a bit limited on my pictures here in Detroit and my posts will rely on just what I have on my computer, but regardless of what kind of collection I have to chose from, the picture below will always be a favorite of mine.

This was a crazy night in Hays back in '06 and it is one I will never forget. It began with a calf fry and ended with cops...I saw things I never thought I would, but as the saying goes, "What happens in Hays, stays in Hays."