A Healthy Indulgence

Cravings.

Whether it’s for chocolate, theater popcorn, or even celery with peanut butter, we all get cravings.

There’s really no sense to it. Many times the cravings are for something bad for us.

Is there any reason a healthy body should crave something unhealthy?

What if cravings are our bodies shouting up towards reality, our subconsciousness communicating with the rest of us… but what could it be saying?

Those that came before us so many centuries ago had a lot of stresses; stresses we don’t really have today.  While they were worried about death, disease, food and shelter – every single day – we worry about shoveling the driveway, screaming kids, and a world filled with constant noise and chaos.

Our bodies and minds weren’t built for these types of stresses and it probably takes an in-tune individual to know how to stay perfectly balanced in the world we live in… for the rest of us the cravings might just be a way our bodies are reaching out to us, trying to navigate it’s way through all the chaos and tell us something…

What is your body saying?

Your body and mind is fully capable of facing this world successfully, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need a break from the chaos.  A simple indulgence like a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie can go a long ways to help us stay… sane.

Yet even a chocolate chip cookie represents stress, we hear all the time to eat healthier, avoid sugar, avoid butter, avoid oil, avoid eggs.  Yet that kind of stress can be just as unhealthy.

An hour at a spa is more than just an indulgence; spa treatments can melt away weeks and weeks of built up tension.  And afterward, we’ll have a chocolate covered butter mint waiting just for you, a bit of unhealthiness to top your perfectly healthy indulgence.

Which if you ask us, is the best way to live.

Reflexology

Reflexology

When Sego Lily called to inform me that my next treatment would be Reflexology, I nearly did a back handstand!  I was going to say a “footstand”, so it tied in with the post, but since that is my regular position it wouldn’t have been anything remarkable.  And this treatment calls for remarkable!

I’d had a taste of Reflexology on my very first treatment, the Sego Lily Sampler, that I received after I won the contest.  Ever since that, I’ve been looking forward to the full monty.   It may partially be because I am a huge fan of foot rubs, massages, and long hot soaks (or for that matter,  anything at all related to pampering my feet.)  Or possibly because I am a runner and put a lot of miles on these poor feet of mine and they just can not get enough of any type of tender loving care.  But mainly because after a little foot pampering, I feel like a new woman!  All I know is that I was anticipating this treatment possibly more than any other.

I am a sucker for a foot rub.  I have even resorted to paying my boys to rub my feet since they don’t seem to want to do it voluntarily anymore.  There was a time when they did so willingly and happily, but that was before my oldest son’s friend told him he could become a rich entrepreneur if he started to charge me for simply rubbing my feet.  Yes, charging his own mother.  The woman who suffered through nine months of morning sickness and hours and hours of intense and very painful labor in order to bring him into the world.  Yes, his own mother, who risked her very life so he could become an entrepreneur at her expense.  And of course, the tradition flowed down to the other four boys.  My youngest has now found it a great way to barter with me and make deals while basically getting anything he wants if he is willing to give my poor footsies a rub down.

Whatever it takes.

I love foot rubs that much.

I was even more excited when I heard I got to have the full blown 60 minute treatment that also includes the hands as well.  Hand massages were foreign to me until my first treatment with Sego Lily.  But now I’ve discovered they are one of the best kept secrets in the massage world.  They are almost as wonderful as the feet, not quite, but almost. The longer treatment also includes an application of mineral rich heated (yes heated!) seaweed that stimulates the reflex zones and draws toxins out of the body through the feet.

I must make it clear that Reflexology is not just a massage for the hands and feet.  At least not a massage in the typical sense of the word.  It is an ancient Asian art that was practiced 5000 years ago and it is done by applying pressure to stimulate reflex points in the feet that correspond to specific energy zones and organs of the body, in order to restore health and harmony.

I was thrilled that my therapist was Jeff once again.  His hands can sure work wonders on the feet!  He also did a great job in explaining the underlying theory behind Reflexology is there are “reflex” areas on the feet and hands that correspond to specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body. Reflexologists call these “maps” and use them to determine which body systems correspond with one another. For example, the tips of the toes reflect the head;  the heart and chest are around the ball of the foot;  the liver, pancreas and kidney are in the arch of the foot; and the lower back and intestines are towards the heel.

Reflexology has a number of benefits.  At its most basic level, it is an amazingly relaxing experience that doubles as a great stress-reliever.  It’s pretty hard to feel any stress while someone is rubbing your feet.  Trust me on that.  Many claim that if the specific reflex points are targeted correctly, the benefits can be remarkable, including relief from migraines, circulatory and digestive issues, sinus problems and more.  I would be more than a willing participant to volunteer for any studies in this field!   In general, the theory is that any organ of the body with a correlating reflex point can be improved through regular reflexology treatments.

A more scientific explanation (as if it could get any more scientific!) is that the pressure created may send signals that balance the nervous system or release chemicals such as endorphins that reduce pain and stress.

Whatever is going on, I don’t care.   All I know is that it feels wonderful!  It puts me in my zone.  Takes me to my happy place.  Makes me feel like the world has vanished for the time being.  The only thing that could even compare to it, would be to be locked up in a chocolate factory overnight.  In fact, this w0uld even beat that, because if you were in a chocolate factory you still have to use your feet to go find the chocolate.  And if you were using your feet, then they wouldn’t be getting massaged.

This treatment is definitely undefeeted in my book.  I highly recommend it.  It’s heads and shoulders, (I’d even go as far to say feet and calves) above the rest!

Thanks Sego Lily for rubbing me the right way once again!

BEFORE

OKAY, SO MAYBE IT WAS MORE LIKE THIS...

DURING... Ah...

AFTER~~~ Good luck getting me out of here!

Jodi

Sego Lily Essentials Pedicure

The Sego Lily Essentials Pedicure description on the menu reads:

Your nails are expertly shaped, cuticles tended, and hands or feet exfoliated and lovingly massaged, then polished to perfection. For those who receive regular pedicures and are in need of a pick-me-up.

You had me at “pick-me-up” Sego Lily. After a long winter of wearing socks and boots and sneakers and heavy shoes, I was in desperate need of a pick-me-up!  My toes were begging for some air and flip flops and a pedicure was mandatory and essential before that could happen!

I love Sego Lily’s pedicures!  They are the best I’ve ever had.  There is nothing quite like being made to feel like a pampered princess while someone else beautifies your feetsies and toesies!

How often do you get to just sit back and relax in an over-sized comfy chair with your feet soaking in lemony hot sudsy water while you listen to spa music and catch up on People magazine?  Not often enough in my world!

My cute esthetician was Janell, whom I love.  I’ve had her before and she is so fun to hang out with while I sit back , relax, and munch on the most delicious frozen red grapes and lemon poppy seed scones.

Janell gave me a sample of color swatches to choose which color I wanted.  They have every color under the sun (including that color!)  I narrowed it down to a metallic shimmery light pink or a deep red.  I decided to be adventurous and go with the serious red nail polish this time.  I almost always go with a boring French manicure or something purple.

It took some deep thought, but once I decided I went for it!  Red is power and my toes needed to feel powerful after such a long winter.

I could tell my toes were happy and were on board for some serious adventure.

I told Janell how the last time I had a pedicure, I somehow smeared my polish on two of my toes as I was leaving.  Luckily I discovered it before I left and they had me go back to the pedicure room and have my esthetician fix them.  Yes, I was embarrassed.  I told her that this time I took every precaution so that wouldn’t happen again, including not wearing the robe so I wouldn’t have to put my Levi’s back on with wet toes.

I was extra careful in the dressing room and kept my bag away from my toes since I think my bag brushed up against them last time causing the smears.  We joked about how funny it would be if she got a message that I was waiting back in the pedicure room because I smeared them again.

Well, the joke became reality.  Just as I was leaving, I looked down at my toes to take this picture and sure enough…I had smeared my big toe!

Really?    Really.

They called Janell from the front desk but she was in another room.  They had me go back and wait for her in the pedicure room.  As she came in, we both just burst out laughing.

She was more than a good sport about fixing it.  We were just glad it was only one toe.  I promised and offered her my first born if I did  it again before I got home.

This pedicure is accurately named.  It was ESSENTIAL for me!

Thanks Sego Lily once again from the bottom of my sole(s)!

Jodi

Ionithermie Algae Detox

Ionithermie Algae Detox

When Sego Lily called and told me I was scheduled for the Ionithermie Algae Detox treatment, I had absolutely NO idea what that even translated into or what I had in store.   I quickly did some research and learned that it is one of the newest and most popular spa treatments now offered at spa’s throughout the United States.   It claims to reduce the appearance of cellulite by giving skin a smooth, healthy appearance.   It’s main boast is that it removes toxins while improving your skin condition and firming up your muscle tone, as well as helping you lose inches.  Thus, the explanation for it’s popularity.  The claim is that it can do all this in just a little over an hour.  Shocking, I know.  Literally.  But more on that later.  It was invented over a century ago by a French biochemist and is being used all over Europe and the United States.

Entering the beautiful Midvale Sego Lily Spa

Sego Lilycurrently offers this treatment only at the Midvale location.  No problem for me since I always enjoy going to the Midvale Sego Lily not only because  it is beautiful inside and out, but I always love indulging myself for a bit in the steam room.  There is nothing like relaxing in a hot steamy mist that just pierces through your body and soul to release your tensions and stress.  Ah…  Make that a double ah.  Ah… ah…

Once I arrived, I got changed into one of their purple robes (which I love!) and waited in the absolutely beautiful and relaxing meditation room for my therapist Katie. Katie is one of only two Sego Lilytherapists that is specifically trained to do the Ionithermie treatment. She took me back to the room and began asking me some questions while answering the many that I had for her.  She then gave me a very thorough explanation of what the treatment would entail and showed me everything that she would be doing.

Katie also warned me that this treatment isn’t your typical relaxing spa “take me away” kind of procedure and to not expect feeling too relaxed during it.   So, if you are going into this treatment with the mindset that you are in for a wonderful relaxing experience to calm your nerves, then you need to re-think things before signing up.  This was not a relaxing treatment by any means.  In fact, it was “shockingly” uncomfortable at times.

The detox begins by first deciding which part of the body will be treated.  In my case, I requested  the outer thighs and caboose area.   Next Katie exfoiliated my body with a brush that was a little too coarse for my liking, but I just kept reminding myself that there is a cost for beauty, right?  She also used a vile of a very expensive golden formula, that I decided to call Liquid Gold.    Then a cleansing mixture that consists of seaweed, amino acids, and algae that claims to induce a chemical reaction that decomposes cellulite while releasing the toxins in the fat is applied.  It also claims to stimulate the blood circulation in order to help remove toxins as well.

Once that had been applied, Katie then wrapped the selected areas with cheese cloth and then applied an algae-infused clay over the top.  It would have been much more enjoyable if the clay had been heated.  I do not like anything cold touching my skin! Several electrodes are then placed on the clay, which serves as a conductor for the electricity. 

Katie did a great job explaining the science of it all and how one color was the galvanic current and the other was the faradic current.  She is specially trained in all this and I may have just totally shredded what she said, but suffice it to say, she knew her electrodes!  The galvanic stimulation uses positive and negative ions to remove toxins buried deep in the body while the faradic stimulation exercises the muscles to improve tone and appearance.

She warned me that the electrodes would be producing an electrical  stimulation to my system and that it might  be a little uncomfortable.  She was right.  Every four seconds or so, I would get a real shock that wasn’t really what I would call enjoyable.  I wouldn’t say it was pain per se, but not something very pleasant either.

Katie was able to control the intensity of the stimulation and so we experimented a bit to see what level I was okay with.  I had her crank it up a bit, but immediately had her turn it back down.  A little too shocking for my liking!  It would send a shock through me for about two or three seconds and then give me a break for about four seconds or so before it buzzed me again.  This part usually lasts about 30 minutes, but after about 15 minutes I was ready to be done.

The final step is to remove the clay and materials and apply a soothing lotion all over the body.  Then, if you are intersted, the therapist will usually check to see if you lost any inches.   I didn’t have her do measurements before, so it made no sense to do them after.   I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost a few inches though because my muscles were still tensing up very tightly after all that electrical stimulation!

This is definitely not your typical spa treatment.  I did not leave the room feeling relaxed like I usually do after a spa visit.  Luckily, I had the steam room waiting for me which always puts me in a very relaxed state.  That was the best part of the whole thing.  Heat!  Steam!  Warmth!

This is also a rather costly treatment at $140 per session.  Since results are likely to be better after a series of continual Ionithermie sessions, rather than just one, the overall cost may be quite high, depending on how many treatments you need.  As for me, I think I will stick to a wonderful pampering massage that leaves me feeling relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards.  But since this is a popular treatment, the cost to some is worth it for the confidence and self-esteem boost it may provide.   Losing a few inches after only one treatment is not unheard of.  But according to the research I did, the effects are short term.  It’s not uncommon for the inches to come back, but as far as the other changes, such as increased muscle tone, better skin and balanced hormones, many claim those are long lasting.  I personally had no side effects, though some people do experience skin irritation or redness. 

I left feeling "shockingly" relaxed and ready for a great day. I am sure the steam room had something to do with that!

I do have to add that when I arrived at the spa I had an intense headache, but by the time I opened that door to leave, it had completely vanished.  That was an added bonus. It must have shocked it right out of me!

Thanks Sego Lily for a very stimulating visit!

Jodi

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy.

Even the word smells nice.

One of the greatest blessings of life to me has always been the wonderful aromas that surround us each day.  I have always been a fan of yummy scents of all kinds.  Maybe my olfactory receptors are just a wee bit more sensitive than others because I can become easily addicted to certain smells.  I used to love to sniff magic markers and model glue when I was a little girl.  That explains a lot I know.  And to this day, I love to take a big whiff of gasoline as it’s going in the car.  Okay, okay, so I know those aren’t exactly the most healthy things to inhale (though I can think of plenty worse!) and luckily I have learned to control the urge…usually anyway.  But anything from cotton candy, to fresh bread right out of the oven,  from a bon fire while camping, to fresh cut grass, can get me all giddy and happy.  Spring has always been my favorite season for one reason…the wonderful aromas in the air.  There is nothing quite as healing after a long hard winter than the scent of lilacs breezing through the air.

There is definitely a power in certain scents.  The science of aromatherapy has become a very useful practice in helping to heal and restore so many aspects of our physical and emotional well being.  It’s amazing how just inhaling a certain aroma can do so much to change how we are currently feeling.  There are scents that produce a deep calming effect and those that totally energize.  I imagine the power of aromatherapy is vastly under used in our world today.

When I call it a science, I mean a science.  I was amazed at the in-depth studies and vast information there is regarding each essential oil and what it has the ability to do.  It’s nice to realize that each essential oil is completely derived from nature.  There are no artificial oils.

When I arrived for my Aromatherapy massage, my therapist Sarah gave me a choice between four essential oils that I had to choose from.  I honestly could not decide because each one had such a great effect on me as I sampled each scent.

I tried to decide not only on how much I loved the particular aroma and it’s immediate effect on me, but also on what it’s therapeutic properties were, which Sarah explained in detail.

I finally narrowed it down to two and thankfully Sarah said she could implement both of them during the treatment.  That was a relief because I would still be there today sniffing one then the other, trying to decide which I liked best.

The massage was beyond wonderful, but the added bonus of the great aromas permeating the room throughout the treatment was very relaxing and healing.  I felt like I was able to relax even more than usual which is always a bonus during a massage.

After I got dressed, I decided to try out some of the other essentail oils that Sego Lily sells.  They were seriously ALL amazing!  I had a very hard time deciding on only one.

Sarah informed me that the oils are great to use in baths, as a diffuser, or to add a drop on your pillow at night before bed, or to mix with water in a spray bottle and use it as a mist in your rooms.

Eenie Meenie Miney Mo...

I can say that it did all that and more.  I felt so wonderful during and after that I honestly wanted it to last all day.  When Sarah told me that we were done, I was so let down I decided that I better go find one that is specifically for depression!  Luckily my sadness was only momentary because the ones she did use on me helped me bounce right back and be ready to face the world once again!

Thanks Sego Lily once again for an amazing and healing experience!  It was beyond scent-sational!

Jodi

Detoxifying Foot Bath

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect on this particular treatment.  It was a very simple and quick (30 minute) procedure.  My wonderful therapist Mary, led me to the pedicure room and had me place my feet in a foot soak that she had already prepared. 

Inside the foot spa is water, a saline solution, and an electro magnetic device called an array.

The plan was to soak my feet for a specified amount of time while it does its detoxing and then see what color the water changes.

The shade of color the water turns to, is supposed to be an indicator of what specific part of my body is in most need of detoxing. There was a whole list of organs and body parts, from the gall bladder, to the joints, to the liver, each having  a different color to indicate which one was being detoxed the most.

Now for the more “scientific” explanation.  Put on your Einstien hats with me for a minute.

Basically the Aqua Detox system produces a charge which stimulates the cells within the body.  The positve and negative charges in the water allow the body to attract and use negative ions to rebalance and release toxins.  The most convenient and effective way to release those toxins is through the 4000 pores on the feet.  Following a treatment the body will continue to detoxify for up to 48 hours.  Research has shown that those who receive this treatment have had increased: vitality, circulation, energy levels, sense of well being, and nutrient absorption.

Did you get that?  Good.

I was ready to put it to the test.  However, I was a little worried what the water was going to look like when I was done, but also eager to learn how “toxic” I was.  I hadn’t had my chocolate for the day yet, and so it could be ugly!  Unless of course, chocolate is considered an impurity and then the water could be ugly.

The water was very warm and relaxing.  It was nice to just sit and do nothing. I was in detox heaven.

Mary brought me some magazines and some delicious treats to munch on while I waited for the aqua detox to do it’s thing.  It didn’t appear to be “doing it’s thing” very quickly though as the water really didn’t change color.  It got a little bit of a yellow hue to it, but not much.

Mary said she had never seen anyone’s water stay that light in color.  I asked her what that meant and she explained that it meant that I didn’t have a lot of impurities in my system.  Hallelujah!  I was hoping that’s what she was going to say.  I was afraid it was going to be pure black like some of the pictures I had seen.  Or…maybe “chocolate” brown?   🙂

She added some more saline solution and we waited again.  It got a shade darker, but still didn’t change much.  Guess that is good news for me!

Does this mean I’m pure?  Well, of course!  At least that’s what I am going with whether it is true or not.  I know I felt much better with clear-ish water than if it had come out dark and black.

I do have to add that there seems to be some controversary over this treatment on the internet.  Some people swear by it and others swear at it, or at least at the promoters of it.  I personally prefer to stay controversial free, so I’ll let YOU be the judge.  Easy way out I know, but hey, I get to write what I want.

Whatever the case, I have to say I throughly enjoyed those 30 minutes of that hot and luxurious foot soak while relaxing  in a big comfy chair, munching on yummies, and catching up on People Magazine.

Thanks Sego Lily for another detox!

Jodi

Mini Refresher Facial

I am always up for a facial!  This particular one is unique in the fact that is only 30 minutes long, but you feel like you experienced a full 60 minutes or more. 

I was looking forward to this not only for the facial, but for my esthetician Haley. I had met Haley the first time when all the blog contest finalists were on TV to promote the contest and then again on the day they gave me the surprise party to announce I had won.  I thought she was just darling and told her I hoped I would be able to have her as one of my estheticians at one of my treatments.  I finally did!

She’s as knowledgeable as she is cute and I learned a lot about the products Sego Lily uses for their facials and why.

The Mini Refresher is a shortened version of a regular facial consisting basically of a cleanse, exfoliation,  mask, and a moisturizer.   The products used are determined specifically according to what your skin is best suited for.  Just so you know, extractions are not included with this particular mini treatment.

Since my first facial, I have really developed a love for the facial steamer and could just sit there the whole time with that wonderful hot steam on my face and leave it at that while I take a nap.  But I doubt that alone would do much good for my skin. 🙂  It is somehow just so relaxing!  I would love falling to sleep each night with the hot steam misting over my face. When they turn it off, I feel like I have been thrown into the cold, cruel world and want it back on.

Haley used a raspberry/peach combo scented mask on my face and it smelled luscious!  The only problem is it made me hungry and my stomach started to growl!   It smelled that good!  She also used several Rhonda Allison products.  I have been completely sold on that line and the Essence line due to results of other facials and suggestions from other estheticians.  Those products are amazing.

Haley told me about Rhonda Allison’s Growth Factor product that would be helpful for my skin.  She used it on me as part of my treatment and I could tell it really is a great product.  I have been using it since this facial and have loved it.

Even though this mini facial was pretty quick, I felt that I got the full benefits of a longer version.  I can see how this would be just perfect for someone who hasn’t got a lot of time but still wants to get a quality treatment.

It may be called a Mini Refresher, but I left feeling hugely refreshed!

Thanks Sego Lily once again for refreshing me even in a mini kind of way.  I have never once left your spa feeling anything less than refreshed!

Doing my Vanna White impression showing the wonderful display of Rhonda Allison products

Jodi

Honey Body Polish

When I learned the Honey Body Polish treatment was in the vichy shower room, I couldn’t wait!  I had already experienced the Ultimate Body Cure in that room, and so far that has been my all time favorite treatment.  I LOVE the vichy shower.  It is one of those things that you really have to experience to appreciate.

After I arrived at the Layton Sego Lily Spa location, I got dressed in my spa robe and then went and sat in the beautiful meditation room.  I was feeling just like a little kid on Christmas morning, waiting to see what Santa had left!  Shortly after, my therapist Mary, came and escorted me to the room.  I was so excited to experience a treatment in this room again.  Oh yeah, I already mentioned that didn’t I?  

Once inside, Mary explained the procedure and I became even more excited.  After I got positioned on the massage table under my towel, she came back in and began with an exfoliation using a blend of sugar, honey, and scented oils.  It smelled wonderful.  The steam was already going and the room was very pleasantly warm. The true epitomy of relaxation in my world includes warmth of some kind!   The sound of the steam helped me feel completely able to let go of all the cares and worries I brought in with me.

Once Mary, (who was wonderful!) completed the exfoliation, she turned on the vichy shower with it’s many heads.  I love that sound even more.  There is something about the sound of steam and water coming  from a shower that takes me to my happy place.  I felt like I was in a warm tropical rain forest.  I was able to just zone out and enjoy each and every moment of this pure pleasure.  I knew that this time I was only getting 30 minutes of bliss compared to the Ultimate Body Cure which is a 90 minute treatment.  So I truly savored every moment.

I have to say one of my favorite things in life is a rainstorm.  The ultimate rainstorm is a warm rainstorm.  This treatment was the ultimate!  I felt that comfy cozy feeling I get when it starts to rain and then just pour.  In my mind I was caught in a very warm and blissful rainstorm, only with the added bonus of a little massage too.  Does it get any better than that?

Not in my world!

I was very amazed afterward how soft my skin was.   I don’t remember my skin feeling that soft and smooth in a long while.  And even though I really hated to see it end, and I was wishing I could stay for another hour or more, I am grateful Sego Lily offers this 30 minute shortened version for those days when that is all the time you might have.

The best part afterwards was not just the extremely soft skin, but taking that feeling of warmth with me into a very cold world and having it linger with me all day.

If you are in need of a little piece (or peace!) of paradise but can’t afford to travel that far, then try out this treatment.  It’s truly like escaping to a tropical paradise for a mini vacation. Loved it!

Jodi

Sego Lily Passport Special Offer

Plan your summer vacation with us!

Take a tour of the Summer Specials and get your ‘Passport’ stamped for each special you receive! If you receive ALL of our summer specials between now and August 31st 2010, you will receive a FREE 60 minute service of your choice from Sego Lily Spa!

Don’t forget to get your official passport for services at either Sego Lily Spa location so we can stamp it for each summer special you receive.

The Summer specials that are included in this offer are:

Sun Kissed Facial –  60 Minutes $72

Perfect Poolside Pedi – 90 Minutes $64

Icy Hot Massage – 90 Minutes $92

Head to Toe Summer Glow – 90 Minutes $100

For more details about each service please visit Seasonal Specials or feel free to give us a call!

Mother’s Day Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone who nominated a special woman in your life!  We loved reading all of the letters you wrote.  We wish we could have given everyone a free treatment!  You all deserved it!

I am the luckiest man alive!  This doesn’t mean I win every drawing, game of chance, door prize, etc.  Quite honestly, I get slaughtered at every one of those things.  No, I am the luckiest because somehow, someway I was able to meet the most amazing woman in the entire world, get her to fall in love with me, marry me, and to stick with me.  It’s a good thing too, because she truly is my addiction. 

Many of us look back on our lives and try to pin-point the moments that really shaped who we are today.  Whether that moment happens in an instant or a grandiose event, it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is the fact that it was a time when something changed drastically.  For me, those moments have come in abundance and the changing event has guided the ship of my life through some very dangerous and perilous waters.  All parallels and euphemisms aside, these two events are what made me who I am today.  So what are those events?  The day I met my wife and the day I was diagnosed with Leukemia.

My wife and I met on a blind date and, like most blind dates, it was a little awkward.  But we still had fun.  I called her a week later and over the next 3 months we dated, talked on the phone for hours at a time, and were pretty much inseparable.  On Valentine’s Day 2004 we were engaged…at sunset…on the beach…in Maui.  So why does this make me the luckiest man alive?  We aren’t the only lovebirds to experience the whole beach engagement at sunset thing.  I’m the luckiest, because prior to meeting me, my wife had been engaged and had made one of the hardest decisions of her life…that it wasn’t meant to be, and called off the engagement.  I met her shortly after this and even then she still struggled with how hard a decision it was, albeit she knew it was the right one.  From my perspective, the courage it took for her to call off the engagement is something I will always admire; especially knowing how much it had hurt the other person.  I am the luckiest because, unbeknownst to her, she waited for me.

Shortly after we were engaged, I was diagnosed with Leukemia in March 2004.  This is the other event that makes me the luckiest man alive.  Knowing that Leukemia was a terminal illness, I was terrified that I would make my wife a young widow.  I remember telling her that her life would be much easier and better if she moved on and let me deal with the illness.  I told her this and told her to find someone who was healthy and could, with more certainty than myself, offer her a long life together.  She refused.  Again she waited for me.  She was the rock of strength for me.  She was by my side through some of the most difficult challenges someone could ever face in life.  I spent 3 months confined to a hospital bed, underwent round after round of chemotherapy, total body radiation, and eventually a bone marrow transplant.  It was the hardest and scariest thing I have ever been through in my life, and my then fiancé was there through it all.  I know it was tough for her and she had moments of hopelessness and fear, but she was there, shoulders square, head held high, and the silent comfort that gave me the determination to continue fighting.  Because of the Leukemia and the treatments given, the doctors told us we wouldn’t be able to have children of our own.  My wife, with all her dreams of being a mother and caring for her own children, still stuck with me, knowing it wouldn’t be possible to see those dreams come true.

Well, almost six years later, I look back and think about what life has presented.  Through years of heartache trying to have children and trying to adopt without success, not once did she ever regret her decision to stick with me.  I felt horrible for her, knowing how much she wanted to be a mother, yet neither of us could do anything to realize that dream.  Eventually, through the miracle of modern medicine, we were able to have children…twin girls.  They are now 15 months old and the joy of our lives.  They are very good babies (which I attribute to my wife), but they are also twins – double the pleasure and double the fun (work).  My wife is truly an amazing mother.  Obviously with twins it doubles the amount of effort and time it takes to get things done.  Yet, somehow she manages to stay on top of everything around the house:  all the cooking, cleaning, meals, exercise, reading, playing, and teaching our girls.  I can’t believe all the things she gets done in a day.  When I have the girls, all I can get done is the playing J.  She truly is an amazing mother and homemaker.

On top of the domestic stuff, my wife is one of the truest, kindest, most sincere, loving people you will ever meet.  I remember having a conversation when we were dating where we were talking about changing your personality to fit the person you were dating.  I remember telling her I hoped she never changed because I had fallen in love with her, not anyone else, and certainly not the person she thought I wanted her to be.  I am the luckiest because SHE is exactly the right person for me, her and no one else. 

Anyway, I don’t mean bore you with a long list of things that make my wife deserving of a little pampering, whether the pampering comes from a giveaway or not.  In my mind, if I could, I would give her everything under the sun…and more.  I hope, in some small way, that I have demonstrated the type of person she is and I’ll sum it all up by repeating what I’ve already said, “I am the luckiest man alive.”

Sincerely,

-Brad Ross

One Year ago my cousin Laeci Bird gave birth to who appeared to be a healthy baby boy who she named Cooper. Very little time passed after he was born that the doctors discovered that something serious was wrong with him and he was care flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. He was diagnosed with Hersbrungs Syndrome. Hersbrungs Syndrome is a birth defect of the large intestine where the child is missing the nerve ceels in part of the intestine that help push stools through and out of the body. He was fitted with a colostomy bag and told he would have to have surgery to fix his bowels when he was 1 year old. His mother and father were devestated, but have pushed through all his ordeals with enormous strength. Laeci has been in and out of the hospital more than a dozen times with her son in the past year, most of which they had to stay for weeks at a time. Even tho she and her little family have been through so much, they are still very positive people and strive to live good lives and give their son the best.

In addition to everything she’s been through with little Cooper, a couple months ago they had to move in with her husband’s parents because their medical bills were so overwhelming that they could no longer afford their own place. Even with medical debt consolidation and insurance their medical bills total over $100,000.

I think Laeci deserves a spa treatment for mother’s day because of the tremendous courage she has shown her young child by helping him and staying with him all through all their hospital stays and visits, and because of the strength she’s shown throughout everything they’ve been through in the past year. She’s been her family’s light through everything. She is a wonderful mother and has been through alot. After being through so much Cooper has a hard time being away from her and she cannot get a moment’s peace without him. His last surgery was last week and now that things are calming down he’s finally letting other people be around him and it would be awesome for her if she could get some time away. Please pick my cousin Laeci Bird!

Thank You!,

-Kate Moore

I would like to nominate my mom Linda Oberle for the mothers day giveaway. She deserves it because she is the most caring mom and the most selfless person in the world. She always puts everyone elses needs before her own. Even now that I am grown up I consider her my best friend. She is always there to support me and listen to me and give me advice. She has been through alot in the past year to make her doubt her abilities as a mother and I just want her to know how great of a mom she really is. Last April, my younger brother made a poor decision and decided to drink and drive. He caused an accident and the person he hit did not survive the accident. As a result of that he is serving time in prison. My mom partly blames herself and feels as a parent she must have done something wrong for him to have made that choice. She goes down to visit him in prison at least once a week even though its a 2 hour drive away. Her love is so unconditional and I would like to show her how much she is really appreciated and how I can’t imagine going through life without her. On behalf of my brother and myself we again would like to nominate her to show her our love.

Also she deserves to be pampered!

Thanks!

-Melody

I would like to nominate my wife, Mackenzie Dye, for a 90 minute massage. She is the glue that holds our family together. Our son was born in March 2008 and had many complications. He had a fractured skull and had weak muscle tone. He went into the NICU and also was born with clubfoot. Hours after her c-section she was walking around so she could be near her son. Pushing through the pain so she could visit him in the NICU. Shortly after he came home we were stationed in Germany and had our son treated for the clubfoot there except they did it wrong. So she found the man who created the method and talked with him and a week later she was flying from Germany to Iowa to get our son treated by the best clubfoot doctor out there. When we were reassigned back to the states because our son was undiagnosed she fought to the bone to get the doctors to do testing so she could know how to take care of him and help him progress. She is the reason he sits by himself, the reason he eats solid foods, the reason he says the words he does. Finally he was diagnosed, because she pushed and pushed for it, with a form of Muscular Dystrophy. She does therapy with him every day while he screams and cries and has done this since he was only a few months old and you can see it in her eyes that it breaks her heart to do that to him and feel like she’s torturing her little boy. She kept it together and did amazing when I was deployed to Afghanistan. Before I left she did it all and had a job too! She makes sure I have what I need and what her son needs before even thinking about what she needs. Those are only a few of the great things she has done for her family. She is one of the strongest mothers I have ever met in my life and truly deserves to win.

Thank you,

-Sean and Blake

(Husband and son)