Sunday, September 29, 2013

2013 California Coast Classic Day Two

Today Team Z rode 48 miles from Santa Cruz to Monterey. OZL, Grandma, and I rang cowbells for the riders at rest stop one, with a gorgeous view of the ocean. 

Today was Team Jersey Day and we enjoyed getting to learn about some of the other teams doing the ride. Of course there is Team Princess Parade, who ride for Caitlin Ryan. In fact, we actually learned about the ride when Caitlin's mom Colleen wrote about it on her blog a couple of years ago. At dinner we met the Ohio River Valley team, captained by an orthopedic surgeon and here all the way from (you guessed it!) Ohio. But perhaps the most powerful story was Team Also Touch, who have participated in the CCC five years in a row. The team captains, Dwight and Evelyn, celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary today. They ride in honor of their daughter, who had juvenile arthritis and passed away due to complications at the age of ten. The people doing this ride are so inspiring and I am honored to have a chance to get to know them. 

The only bad news about today is that OZL is not feeling his best. He has a little fever but we hope it is just from teething. He is being an amazing little trooper, though, and still managing to have fun and make all the riders smile. And hopefully he will feel better tomorrow. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

2013 California Coast Classic Day One!

Today was Day One of the 2013 California Coast Classic and I am so very excited to be involved this year. Team Z rode 87 miles while OZL and I passed out snacks and rang cowbells at one of the checkpoints. The ride has already raised OVER A MILLION DOLLARS for the Arthritis Foundation!! Plus I just found out that two of the riders got engaged on the ride this afternoon! I'm writing this post from my iPhone so I'm just going to stick to highlights and pictures for now, but I already feel like I am part of something very special!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September Articles on

You can find a complete list of all the articles I have published on by clicking here. Below is a list of the new articles I published in the month of September.

The 2013 California Coast Classic Is Nearly Here!!

At the 2012 CCC Finish Line
We are leaving on Friday to fly to San Fransisco for the beginning of the 2013 California Coast Classic! For the second year in a row, APL will be riding his bike 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise awareness and funds for the Arthritis Foundation. 

Last year, OZL was just three months old. While daddy rode his bike for eight days we stayed with family in Los Angeles. While APL had an amazing time and met some fantastic people on the ride, unfortunately it was not an easy week for me or OZL. I had just made the difficult decision to stop breastfeeding so that I could go back on the meds I needed to get my RA under control. I was in emotional and physical pain from weaning and very overwhelmed by how many friends and family members wanted to visit with us and meet the baby. To make matters worse, about halfway through the week OZL started having some major trouble with his tummy. He was a very unhappy baby and I was stressed and sad and missing APL's constant support. 

But, grandmas and grandpas and friends stepped in and took care of OZL and I through the week. And I was still very proud of everything that APL accomplished by doing the ride. Being at the finish line and watching all the people riding and cheering, all committed to helping those of us living with arthritis, was an amazing and emotional experience. And, though I must say that I was not at my best at the time, I was really excited to finally get to meet fellow blogger Colleen in person, especially since she had always been so supportive online.

And I am certain that this year is going to be a lot more fun for the whole family - because it has turned into a family affair!! Last year, APL rode alone for the first six days and his cousin joined him for the last two. This year APL will be joined by his cousin, his brother, and his brother's girlfriend for the entire ride! I have also signed up to work as a ride volunteer, so I will be able to travel with them the whole way too. And grandma and grandpa are also following along to help take care of OZL while I work and daddy rides. I'm so excited that, instead of spending a week apart, our family will get to be together while we all work to raise awareness about arthritis. We are all very excited and I promise I will try my best to update this blog along the way. 

APL has met his fundraising goal this year but his teammates are still working towards theirs. There is still time for you to help! Please click here to donate to Team Z!! Any amount, no matter how small, goes towards raising awareness and finding a cure for those of us living each day with arthritis.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I've been very busy writing, but I obviously haven't done much writing on my own blog recently. I keep thinking about how I need to update this blog because so many things have happened since the last time I really wrote about my life here. 

I've been meaning to write more about my new position at and how we finally enrolled OZL in preschool/daycare two days a week. I want to tell you about how I'm getting past my working mommy guilt and actually enjoying my writing jobs. I've been meaning to recount our crazy summer experiences at Folks Fest, when friends visited from California, and our weekend trip to New York for great grandma's birthday. I want to update you on the point of this blog - how things have been with my RA lately.

But then Colorado nearly washed away last weekend - and the flood waters seem to have taken my thoughts and energy with them. One of the creeks flooded to within a block of our house, which was both scary and exhausting. Luckily we are doing better than a huge number of our fellow Coloradans, as in the end our house didn't end up sustaining any damage. The sun has finally come out and I'm trying to collect my thoughts, but I am not feeling well at all and I think this is about all the update I can manage for now.

Please keep Colorado in your thoughts!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happiness Is Everything

I used to be a busy, fast-paced, crazy overachiever. After being diagnosed with RA, I suddenly found myself in a body that wasn't capable of that lifestyle. It was then that I decided to reevaluate my life, my choices, and my priorities. I decided to try to keep looking forward, take one day at a time, and figure out what would actually make me happy. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I'm sure I'm not the only person living with RA who has experienced catch-22 situations, where I feel trapped by a paradoxical set of circumstances and forced to make a decision where it feels like I lose either way. I've been faced with dozens of these decisions over the past five years.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Is Blogging A Career Choice?

I know I already posted this picture when I got hired by, but it's just so hilariously appropriate I had to post it again. I mean...just look at me! With my "Save The Whales" t-shirt, the dangle earrings I borrowed from my mother, and the crimped hair, holding a notebook and a pen! I'm twelve and when I grow up I'm going to be a writer!

I'm laughing at myself because it turns out twelve-year-old me wasn't far from the truth. I may not be writing the fantasy novels I imagined in sixth grade, but I've already used my hard-earned law degree and masters in environmental policy to co-author two books. (In case you're interested: International Environmental Law in a Nutshell, 4th Edition, where my name only appears on the title page, and Hydrocarbon Hucksters: Lessons from Louisiana on Oil, Politics, and Environmental Justice, which comes out in February). I also write articles about arthritis for

And now I'm excited to announce that I have a new blogging position at, an RA community that just launched last week. Check out their launch press release and like their Facebook page to get connected to an amazing community of RA patients and caregivers.

I'm pretty sure the internet basically did not exist when that picture was taken of me in the sixth grade, and the word "blog" probably wasn't invented yet. But these tools have enabled me to make my twelve-year-old dream a reality. And though "professional blogger" probably still looks weird on a resume today, it is the perfect career for me - flexible enough to allow me to care for my own health and my family, a platform where I can feel like I am making a difference, and, perhaps most important, I love doing it!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Planning a Wedding With RA

I am so very behind in updating this blog! We have had visitors, gone camping, had more visitors, and we just returned from a weekend in New York yesterday. And did I mention we did all of this with a one-year-old?!?! Needless to say it has been crazy busy around here lately. And though my body appears to have arrived back in Colorado, I think my brain may still be somewhere in New York. When I locate this "lost luggage" I promise to get some updates posted soon!

In the meantime, I was recently interviewed about planning a wedding with RA for an article at Everyday Health. While I don't think I agree with all of the advice in the article (and honestly I don't think the author did a very good job ironing out conflicting advice) I still thought I would share the article with all of you. 

What do you think? Is the advice useful? What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding with RA?