23 October 2008

Trick or Treat!

Being married to the owner of a chain of Halloween stores, coming up with a costume idea for the past several years has usually not been that difficult. This year, Cory’s stores, Spirit Halloween Superstores in Houston & Austin are raising money for the kids at Texas Children’s Hospital. In mid-October, he spearheaded a fabulous Halloween party for children, ages 2-16, at Texas Children’s. Kids spent an entire afternoon forgetting about their illnesses & focused on face-painting, pumpkin painting, movies, games and best of all, a free costume from Spirit Halloween. Speaking of costumes, this is the first year where I am simply stumped on what to be. I’ve searched my personal stash of costumes, as well as the Spirit aisles left and right-first planning on a sexy vampire costume, then a trendy Go-Go girl. As the parties begin this weekend, I’m completely indecisive. Ok, preppy readers, what are you going to be, and can you also give me some more ideas? I hope each of you has a Happy Halloween-Trick or Treat & stay away from those smelly feet!

09 October 2008

My Breast Cancer Story

As I approach my 37th birthday this Sunday, I am celebrating by coincidentally being featured in Girlfriends Health Guide . October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and my story is about having breast cancer at a young age. Girlfriends is a free quarterly health publication, published by Strive Media Institute. In 2007, I had a lumpectomy which, after a biopsy, was found to be the very beginning stage of breast cancer. I am VERY fortunate. I did not have to endure chemotherapy or radiation, but was urged to begin an oral treatment of tamoxifen. I am a huge advocate of self breast exams for the prevention of breast cancer, and especially encourage women in their 20s & 30s to do them because of our generation’s invincible attitude that breast cancer could “never happen to me-I’m too young.” I recently hosted a video about self-examinations for ABCAP.org . I also hosted a DVD for cancer survivors for my sorority, Phi Mu Fraternity, called “Scarves”. Now that I have been without cancer for a year (still not considered cancer free) , I will spend the next four years of my life doing MRIs, mammograms and appointments with two different oncologists every six months. Breast cancer stories about younger women, including actress, Christina Applegate, are becoming a bit more common. Hopefully, this will encourage women our age and younger to become more informed of this disease. Encourage all of the women in your life to do self-examinations monthly, in addition to having an exam done by a physician. Men are prone to breast cancer too and should also be checked. Please share your stories or dedicate a message to someone you know who has been touched by breast or other types of cancer.

05 October 2008

Galveston after Hurricane IKE

Sadly, it will take a VERY long time before Galveston, Texas, recovers from Hurricane Ike. There is complete devastation in the Bay City just south of Houston. Homes are gone & those that survived will more than likely end up abandoned. With no electricity or plumbing (there are port-a-potties on every other block), Galveston is now a ghost town. Trash mounds about 50 feet high and torn up buildings litter this coastal city. Gas stations have simply collapsed on themselves and hotels and other buildings will remained closed for a while. Driving down I-45 South from Houston to Galveston there are boats scattered along the interstate from where Ike lifted them out of the water and threw them about. The boat pictured above is sitting on the shoulder of I-45. The photo of the building next to the port-a-potty with all of the boarded windows is the JP Morgan Chase Tower in downtown Houston. It is the tallest five-sided building in the world & sustained a lot of damage with blown out windows. Keep the people of Galveston in your prayers!