Happy Holidays from The Bulfers!

I hope you were all able to find some joy in this holiday season in whatever circumstances you found yourself in – I know the holidays can be very difficult for some people.

Personally, I extremely overdid it and my body crashed hard on Christmas day. Thankfully, our Christmas day is very relaxed and so I kept from overdoing it even more. Unfortunately, on the 26th, I woke up in extreme pain because I had managed to dislocate my L5 vertebra and my sacrum (again). My vertebrae dislocate rotationally, meaning they rotate like they’re supposed to, but get stuck rotated and won’t go back into place properly without manual manipulation. I was at a “chronic illness ten” meaning that I would have gone to the ER had I not known exactly what it was and instead just kept doing what little I could to keep my brain distracted. Experiencing “chronic illness ten” pain is frustrating, because unless someone knows you extremely well they have no idea how badly you are truly suffering.

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Sometimes, There are High Points – Mt Evans Adventure

It’s easy to fall into the trap of only showing the negative aspects of chronic illness. When we’re “healthy” (for us) and feeling well, we tend to go out and live! When we’re sick and feeling awful, that’s when we think “I haven’t written in a while, and this is something interesting to write about.” If we’re just so-so then we’re probably doing something that we deem ‘boring’ and don’t write about it. I try to keep my blog focused on my entire life, not just the chronic illness pieces, but it’s definitely easier to write about the “bad times.”

arm-2029989_1280.pngHowever, I have been quite lucky lately: my body is cooperating. For the most part, I’ve been able to feel relatively normal in the past few weeks. No, I’m not ‘better’ but I’ve been able to do more than I had been able to do in over a year! My Pilates classes went surprisingly well, my physical therapy was going really well, and I’ve been able to be significantly more active day-to-day! Of course, I’m waiting to accidentally run off a cliff (metaphorically of course), but until then I’m really excited that my body is letting me be ‘normal’ most of the time! Continue reading

When And How Dan Became My Caretaker

Someone on my Instagram recently said “I’d love to hear about you and Dan’s relationship with him as your caretaker” (see comment on this post), which made me realize that I really don’t talk about that much. I think it’s difficult for me to talk about, simply because it feels natural to me. However, I will try to explain things the best I can. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day: The Day to Celebrate Love

I love holidays, all holidays! My mom always made a big deal out of them when I was a kid: the entire dining room would get completely decorated (every bit), and there would be other small decorations scattered about the house; there would be some sort of present, even just small little goodies like some candy or fun socks, to open with breakfast; even special meals, like green eggs at St. Patrick’s Day or pink pancakes for dinner on Valentine’s Day. The holidays were some of my favorite times, and not just because I was a kid getting presents. Each holiday was special, just the excitement of family time! (Every time I test for my “love language” I flip flop between being word based and action/quality time based. ) My family would play games or watch movies together, and I loved that. Because the holidays were always so special to me, I do my best to continue the celebrations now that I have my own house and husband!

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So Excited and Happy I’m Crying

Some days are actually good days!

I just logged onto my Zazzle store, expecting nothing to have changed as I haven’t been able to do anything to it in a long time thanks to all of the headaches I’ve been dealing with lately. But, to my surprise, that wasn’t the case. Instead…

I SOLD MY FIRST PHOTOGRAPHY MUG!!!

Now, that may not seem like a huge deal at first. But, I have never sold any of my photography. So that means… I AM NOW A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER!

Not only that, but it was a nature photograph. I AM NOW A PROFESSIONAL NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER!!!!

I have wanted to be able to say I am a professional nature photographer for an extremely long time. My dream, since I was a small child (age 4 or younger), has been to be a National Geographic photographer. When I was about 12 or so, I won second place in an amateur photographer contest held by the San Diego Zoo (not for children, it was open to all ages and all equipment types and was advertised on a clapboard in the middle of the entrance path at the zoo itself) with my single megapixel digital camera with a picture of bison at Yellowstone National Park. This is something I have been working for and dreaming about FOREVER!!!!!!

I am shaking so hard and crying and smiling from ear to ear and I’m so happy I could explode!!!! I literally do not care how symptomatic I am right now and I just want to celebrate and YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what that I only made 84 cents on the sale? It still makes me a professional by the definition as someone “paid to participate in an activity,” so I’m happy!

So what did I sell that has made me so happy? This:

 

It seems very interesting, doesn’t it? I’ve been wishing for so long to be a nature photographer, to make money doing the one thing I’ve loved me entire life, and my first photography sale happens to be a product with that very word on it. I believe synchronicity would be the right word…

Anyway, I just had to tell pretty much everyone 🙂

I wanted to share a few photos from our trip to Beaver Creek with the in-laws 🙂 The people that went were: Becky (my mother-in-law), Shelby (sister-in-law), Jimmy (Shelby’s boyfriend), Dave (brother-in-law), Claire (Dave’s roommate), Dan, and myself. We got up there Saturday afternoon, and just hung out at the condo and had a nice dinner. Sunday (Jan 3) we went ice skating, then went tubing at Vail. Monday we went skiing. Tuesday we checked out about 10 and drove home!

Ice Skating – Sunday, January 3rd

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Beaver Creek Vacation – photos

It’s Giving Tuesday

I hadn’t even heard of Giving Tuesday until today… apparently, I’ve been living under a rock? I think I just have difficulty keeping track of which “named” days get added onto this specific part of the season…

Anyway, Giving Tuesday makes me feel much better about the world than the others. One invisible illness blogger I read regularly, Let’s Feel Better by Ilana, also works for the Global Genes Project. She wrote about the work they do and some of the non-profits they work with!

Check out Ilana’s Giving Tuesday post!

Featured in Ilana’s post: Dysautonomia International, Jeffery Modell Foundation, EB Research Partner (EB is the “butterfly” condition)

25 Little Things That Make Daily Life Fantastic

The prompt from Writing 101 was to make a list of some sort. Originally, I was going to make a list of how my life had changed due to chronic illness… but then I realized how depressing that list was going to be. Living with chronic illness is challenging, at best, and can make it impossible to see the good in life. So, I decided my list needed to be happy. A major change is how much time I have to stay at home, and how trips and adventures have had to move to the back burner. I spend most of my time at home. Because I spend so much time at home, I decided to focus on what I love about my daily life. So here it is:

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Let’s Shake the Gratitude Tree and See What Falls Out

Not having the best day mentally/emotionally. I woke up with my depression flaring up, and I have no idea why. Well, I keep hearing how therapeutic a gratitude journal is, and while I’ve never done well with consistently keeping a journal, I thought I would at least make a gratitude post. Maybe listing things I’m grateful for will help me out of this funk.


I’m thankful for:

my husband, Dan – he is the love of my life, my soul mate, and he is my rock. He is always here for me, takes care of me when I’m ill, and loves me for all that I am. My life would be so different if he wasn’t in it, Continue reading