9.29.17 Decade of Dysart

Four score and 10 years ago today, I witnessed the biggest event to date in my best friends life: her marriage to Clayton. Up to that point our life had been simple, easy, impulsive. To watch as she vowed to honor and cherish her future husband was both humbling and confusing – how were we old enough to be entering into this sacred bond of marriage? (yes, we because all for one and one for all) How amazing it was to stand by her with unconditional love and support on her wedding day!

kristin

So here we are, 10 years later, surviving this fun journey that is life and not a lot has changed. She’s still my best friend, my go to for advice on all things, and the person who continues to amaze me with her handle on reality. She is the mother of my three beautiful nephews, and man oh man does she make beautiful babies. She is a wonderful example of unconditional love and support through all things life throw at us. I’m proud that she’s on my side, my best friend, and the person I want to be when I grow up.

dysart boys

She posted this on FB this week and I personally learned from it, so of course I wanted to share with you. Since Kenneth and I are on the brink of our first anniversary, these life lessons from veterans like Kristin are encouraging and cherished.

Kristin Wade Dysart’s 5 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

With our anniversary just a week away, I thought I should share some wisdom.

5. Buy Glad Plastic Wrap
Just do it… what extra amount you spend over the store brand, you will save in arguments. Men want name brand plastic wrap that actually sticks to the side of the bowl. I’m still waiting for it to magically get men to help clean up in the kitchen…

4. Play Poker
Yes! Learn to gamble. I’m a good preacher’s kid, so of course, I know how to play. Knowing the rules of the game will make for fun times and great debate practice.

3. Roku is a Third Wheel
Have plans to go out? Not if Roku has anything to say about it. It’s the passive aggressive third wheel that lures you to Netflix and Amazon Prime instead of your original date plans.

2. Make Potatoes
Potatoes are incredibly diverse, and conveniently cheap. To borrow from Pippin of The Lord of the Rings, you can “boil them, mash them, stick em in a stew”. Learn to cook them. Learn to like them.

1. Be the Local Crazy- Talk to Yourself 
It is essential to talk to yourself. Preferably in your head, but if anything slips out- make sure it is no louder than a mouse picking up a cheese crumb. Sometimes what you want to say shouldn’t be said. At least not at that moment. Ask me how I know. 😉 Just remember, it’s better to be the local crazy than the village idiot.

Plastic Wrap, Poker, Roku, Potatoes, and Talk to yourself. So, yup, that about sums it up. That’s my marriage advice. Next time I go to a wedding, I’m listing this in the newlywed advice column.

Can you see why I love her? Happy Anniversary you crazy kids! Thank you for letting me be part of your big day 10 years ago, and every step along the way.

hico girls

9.26.17 Snot is the glue that holds us together

I’m learning that the ALS community is beautifully dynamic. Would we jump ship if given the opportunity? Without a doubt, but until then we are all here twitchin’ and droolin’ together.

Kenneth and I have had the opportunity to meet some of the absolute neatest people. Some we only know virtually but their love and understanding transcends the internet. Such a cool world we live in that people can support each other through a terminal disease and never have been in the same room together – wow!

On accident, I started following a woman named Meg who is living with familial ALS and writes a witty, honest blog called AlteringLifeSpectations. She too recently posted a blog about snot that I felt was too good not to share with y’all.

Trying to Reason with Allergy Season

Now with ALS, I can’t blow my nose or cough so I rely on my cough assist and suction machines and lots of Kleenex, which I use to catch my runny nose. But I am active too and it is not convenient to haul the machines around.

I don’t mean to complain and I am not looking for sympathy. I only want to show how difficult allergies and ALS can be.

You can read more about Meg, her incredible journey with familial ALS, and her troubles with snot by clicking the link above. We talk about how much ALS sucks, but when you have a machine specifically for snot, well, that’s a whole new level of suck.

9.25.17 Togetherness 

For the first time in what seems like forever, my husband and I devoted the majority of a weekend to each other. We live busy, consuming lives that allow for us to share each of our own passions with each other and separately. Our schedule is insane to the untrained eye, but we invest love and support into our conversations and all decisions regarding who goes where and when are made together. We start and stop each day together, we call audibles when necessary and are never afraid to cancel plans if staying home is emotionally, mentally, physically more important. 

Kenneth and I lean on each other many times throughout the day. Phone calls, hugs, meals, texts, snaps – anything the other needs to get through the day. Making decisions together, discussing our choices, and asking for or receiving praise and affirmation from our significant other. 


“We can’t do this life thing halfheartedly. There’s no time off. There aren’t even weekends. We are always preparing for what life might throw at us” – The daily stoic, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.

Kenneth is my rock, my person through good times and bad. We lean hard on each other when things aren’t going our way and we celebrate everything and everyone. I never knew someone could know me this indepth and still love me. Marriage is wonderfully exciting and way more fun than I ever dreamed it to be.


Friday was a perfect example of work/life balance: a beautiful day on the golf course, with my husband, benefiting JA. Saturday we jumped up and went south of San Antonio for the night to celebrate one of our very favorite couples as they joined in holy matrimony. I ate as much mexican food as Kenneth would let me, drank as much vodka as he would let me, and we spent the evening with sweet friends celebrating love. 


Sunday we got to smooch on our Mischloneys, which never happens as often as we’d like and always goes by too fast. We spent nearly 10 hours in the car together this weekend and lived to tell about it. We listened to A LOT of standup comedy on spotify which lead to laughs, tears, and a couple of almost spews – nothing bonds you like high speed dr. pepper expulsion from your nostrils. 

We made a quick stop in Hico to pick up my new favorite toy: a power wheelchair! Before you even ask, it has 6 tires and is bottom heavy to help eliminate turnovers – maybe. Excited to get it all figured out and situated for important things like races and donuts. 

We are the first to acknowledge that we do not have our lives together, and there are parts of every single day that are mean and hard enough to cause anyone to throw in the towel and be done with it. Like Thursday, I was wrestling with Baloo rather than concentrating on putting my feet on the floor which caused me to slink into a puddle on the floor and i wasn’t strong enough to get up. 3 baloo lick baths, 45 minuets and a HUGE blow to my independence. hurt? no but lucky for me my Prince Charming came to save the day. this instance was more comical than anything else (do you remember the broken nose incident?) 

“So today if things look like they might take a bad turn or your luck might change, why worry? This might be one of those formative experiences you will be grateful for later.” – The daily stoic, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.

line up my “formative experiences” side by side and you’d have a great transcript for Anericas Funniest Home Videos. i should not be taken seriously, ever. but man we have a great time. 

9.21.17 Worries 


I joke all the time that I won’t have to ever worry about anything again in my life because everyone else has me covered. I’ve never been prone to worrying, usually able to shake off any scenarios that don’t end happily – or avoid those situations all together.

My personal destructive tendency is procrastination. Now we’re not talking about last minute homework or prioritizing tasks by preference and saving the worst for last – we’re talking full on not doing laundry until there’s 20 loads, snoozing 5 minutes past the latest time possible to get up and be somewhere only 5 minutes late (rather than my normal 20ish), or putting off errands until there’s more than I can accomplish in a day and wearing myself out pretending I can get it all done. I’ve always preformed well under a certain level of stress, it helps me to focus and prioritize, and it motivates me through completion.

The problem is ALS sucks – it literally sucks the life and energy out of every cell in my body. I am tired and weak before I even get started, so that added stress makes even the accomplishable (that’s my word) tasks are now just that much harder. And you know who is to blame? Me, Myself, and I. Do you know how much easier it is to be mad or blame someone, anyone, other than yourself? Ugh.

Back to worrying, it has never been something I understood. You can’t change a past situation that is causing worry, and you can’t speed up time to get past the future situation that is causing worry so why even worry? As a right on the nose, textbook definition of “Type A”, this investment of energy doesn’t make sense to me because “if I can’t control it, I ignore it” – it’s our group motto. And to further make my point, as a person with diminishing energy and increasing control tendencies, I can’t imagine starting the worrying game now.  c’est la vie

FullSizeRender

It’s all fun and games, black and white, until you’re married to a worrier. So here I am, rockin’ and rollin’ scooters, carefree, 10 feet tall and bulletproof but when I see the look of horror on my husbands face when he sees my bruises from flipping my scooter, or the pain in his voice when I casually call and tell him all of downtown FW knows what color my underwear are because I tripped, in a crowd, wearing a dress – that’s puts the worrying into a different perspective. It’s not that he’s worried I might hurt myself, it’s that he knows it’s going to happen.

Beyond my sweet husband, the majority of my support system is classified as chronic worriers. I am literal kryptonite to the majority of people in my life. Mostly it’s fun, I keep everyone on their toes and going but if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: Sunny, I just worry about you.

I wish there was a way to let them know, to let you know, every minute that I’m ok, or that I’m not ok and to hurry and pick me up. Luckily for you, there’s not. Can you even imagine? It would be like The Truman Show with drooling and four letter accent words – I’m a lot to handle, you know it and I know it.

The Truman Show (1998) Blu-ray Screenshot

Thankfully, worrying is easily translated as love. You love me and you know it and that’s the way you show it, hey! Please don’t use too much energy worrying about me – I mean some is fine because I’ll have withdraws if you all leave me at the same time – but not too much energy, ok? Know that I love you, too. Without your support – worrying or otherwise – ALS would suck a whole lot more and life would be a lot less fun.

Probably safer to invest your worries in my husband, he is the first line of defense when I get myself into a pickle. Bless his sweet, sweet heart.

KennethSunny-2406

9.20.17 No good, ugly, rotten day

Ever have those sucky, sucky days? Where no matter what you do it backfires? Today was my no good, ugly, rotten day.

It started with me driving Kenneth’s car. Now, I fully realize how blessed we are to have two vehicles but for the sake of dramatics please let me whine about this. His car is too low to the ground and I have to exert myself to get out, rather than falling out like in mine. His car is all manual adjustments, rather than pushing buttons like in mine. His car does not have a sun roof – ok, I get that I’m being a brat but looking back on the day, this is where it all started.

Then I ran errands for work, without my handicap placard because I left it in Jaci’s car on Saturday. After walking to the back of the store to get the card, it was a 30 minute discussion on whether I could purchase a gift card with a credit card – answer was no.

Next stop, I ordered everything online for pickup and they didn’t have one of the items. Still needing the item, I asked the employee to get it for me because if I walked to the aisle I wouldn’t be able to lift the item when I got there. He brought the item to me at guest services, but I wasn’t going to be able to check out because I didn’t have the membership card. I explained that it was a company account and the card is on vacation this week with the keeper hence the online order, blah blah blah, I finally checked out and got someone to help me load my car.

Do you know how long all of this took me? 3.5 hours – and do you know how hot it was this morning? Stupid hot. My boss text me during all of this and asked if I was ok. My reply: yes, mad at everyone and everything. Don’t you just know he was excited to see me when I got to the office? Worn out, hot, grumpy, and mad at Kenneth’s car I redirected my energy into work – completely resolved to not have a good day.

And then my phone rang, and it was my Mama calling to ask:

Where is Ian’s food kept?

Me: Um, where are you?

Standing in your bedroom because I can’t figure out how to turn the TV down – hurry the clothes just finished in the dryer.

Bad attitude vanished. Frustration disappeared. “Clothes just finished in the dryer” is like music to my ears. Craptastic day turned wonderful by the surprise appearance of my mother and her need to clean and cook spaghetti. I quickly took her to lunch, not wanting to interfere with any “Honey Do’s” on her list, and sent her back to my house.

mah

No, we weren’t matching today. This was last week when we were matching, boom.

You do you, Wednesday. Boomshakalaka.

9.19.17 Benefit of the Doubt

Do you ever have those days where a word or phrase seems to work its way into every conversation you have? Have those days ever turned into weeks? months?

Somewhere along the way we became suspicious of each other, unforgiving, and choose the negative in situations rather than the positive. Now that’s not always the case and it’s not an every day thing, but it seems to be more frequent in my surroundings than I ever remember.

I found this article on Huffington Post and felt it needed to be shared:

When Should You Give Someone ‘The Benefit of the Doubt’?

“I was thinking about that interesting saying, “The benefit of the doubt,” and I decided to look it up on the Internet. The Urban Dictionary defines it this way: “When giving someone the benefit of the doubt, you are believing what they say and taking their word because you, yourself, have some doubt about what happened.”

The Free Dictionary says this about it: “to believe something good about someone, rather than something bad, when you have the possibility of doing either.”

“The concept of giving or not giving the benefit of the doubt is very important when it comes to relationships.” Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

Some consider it to be my naivety, but I refuse to live my life in fear of the world. My faith in Gods perfect plan for my life is stronger than my worries. Now i’m not going skydiving without a parachute just to test Gods plan, and by all means I do my research before I put myself or my family in harms way, but vacationing is not something I’m giving up because of a mosquito or facebook rumors. Life is to be lived, loudly, boldly, with no regrets – my life is, anyway.

 “This is why it is so important not to write people off or brand them as enemies. Be as forgiving of them as you are of yourself. Cut them the same slack you would for yourself so that you can continue to work with them and make use of their talents.” – The Daily Stoic

What happened to the Golden Rule? What happened to believing in humanity? What would happen if we passed less judgment and gave more hugs? What if we used more situations as teachable moments, investing in each other’s success, rather than walking away or turning our heads?

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” – Matthew 7:1

Of course there are exceptions to this, bad people who ruin it for everyone else, people who prey on the weak and take advantage of others. Are we not glorifying them by using their behavior as the standard for which we view others? Are we not encouraging this behavior by personifying it in those around us?We are all busy, instant gratification, gotta have it right here, right now people. We are all trying to get home at 5 PM, or to work in the morning – shouldn’t we have more empathy for each other as we wait our turn to exit? Can you imagine the weight off our shoulders if we invested more positive energy into our lives rather than negative?


But what do I know? My plan is to keep taking epic trips with the people I love, to explore every corner of the world that I can get to, and to hug as many necks as I can get my arms around. Terminal disease changes things, perspectives, ambitions, dreams and agendas – I love my little life with my sweet husband and you know what? It loves me right back.

“If I’m going down, I’m going down in flames. from this moment on, aint nothin gonna be the same. one thing’s for certain, everybody’s gonna know my name, if I’m going down, I’m going down in flames.” – Stoney LaRue

9.18.17 Hare Speed

MDA muscle walk was absolutely amazing! Our team raised $400 towards the fight against ALS! Sunnystrong was well represented, well exercised, and eventually, well doctored. 

SamP: have you ever flipped your scooter? 

Me: Nope 

(30 seconds and a donut later)


thank goodness Dr. Dias carries antibacterial cream and put all of her germaphobe tendencies aside to doctor my road rash. full body contact with the concrete makes for a very, very sore Sunny. I can now say that I, Sunny Brous Erasmus, have officially flipped my scooter. 

the night ended with live music, sweet friends and the best tacos on the planet – all in the benefit of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Perfect ending to a wonderful Saturday.