Tuesday, May 31, 2011


            When I wrote about my car accident I mentioned that this was how I met my husband, here is our story…..

            While I was in the hospital my parents told me that there was a young man, my same age of 17, who was responsible for saving my life, his name was Joel and he had called the hospital and talked to my parents and recounted what happened. I will never forget when my friend Shannon heard about this ‘Joel’ she said ‘well, too bad you have a boyfriend or this would be a great date prospect’ little did she know then that he would become my husband and the father of my child. The first time I talked to him was the day I left the hospital, it was brief and there were several people standing around waiting to see what I would say to him which was not what I wanted. I wanted to be able to tell him just how much he meant to me, how much I appreciated what he did and I wanted to tell him that I owed him my life and that I would do anything for him. This is all very difficult to say with people hovering over. So I did call him a once or twice over the next few months and I did invite him to my graduation party he said he would try to make it. That whole day I was so excited to meet him and I couldn't take my eyes off the driveway waiting to see what my knight and shining armor looked like. He never came. I thought of him often and so badly wanted to be able to repay him for what he did for me. I called him about 6 months after my open house and his mom told me that he had joined the Army, she knew exactly who I was as soon when I told her my name which surprised me-I guess I thought it had all been forgotten. We talked for a while and she gave me his address. I wrote him a letter with all the things I wanted to say to him, I poured out my soul to someone who was really a stranger but felt like so much more. I never received a response to that letter I wrote him and shortly after the twin towers were hit and I was sure I would never be able to meet the person who saved my life. I thought about him nearly every day and always envisioned being behind his mom in line at cvs or something. Mind you this is way before facebook and myspace so I had no way of contacting him and had no idea what he even looked like. I figured he had never received my letter and I assumed that he would be sent to the war in the Middle East.

            Two years later in 2003, I was going to a community college in the area and it was the first day of my summer psychology class. It was a very strange day, it could not have been more beautiful outside but there were tornado drills constantly going off. With no obvious treat of an actual tornado I just went outside to smoke while half the class went into the basement. By about the third time standing outside, smoking a cigarette by myself I noticed a guy my age also smoking alone so I figured I’d go over and strike up a conversation. After a little small talk we quickly started asking the preliminary questions, what’s your name, where are you from…and then he told me which school he graduated high school from. It rang a bell, that was where Joel __, my lifesaver went to school, in the off chance that he would know who I was talking about I asked my new friend Nick if knew Joel _ . ‘He’s my brother!’ he shouted excitedly. I could not believe it but also excited I shouted ‘he saved my life!’ and Nick said ‘Oh my God, you’re that girl from M-59.’ It was official, we were not only clearly talking about the same person but he actually knew who I was? This was one of the greatest days of my life. Nick pulled out a picture of Joel _  in military uniform and told me that he was still enlisted and was stationed in California. Nick said he would call Joel that night and tell him who he was sharing a class with. Here’s where people would normally say ‘it’s a small world’ I say this is a lesson to be learned about communicating with others, if I had not walked over to Nick that day just to chit chat and try to make friends with a new classmate, my life could be totally different. Or it could have just happened in a different way, as I strongly and with good reason believe that what’s meant to be will always find a way.
            The next day Joel _ called me. ( I refer to him with first and last name because this was how I referred to him for three years, I think it was partly because I liked his name so much). So he called and we talked a while, he told me that he had received my letter when he was in basic training but had a girlfriend at that time and didn't think it was appropriate to start talking to me. And he told me all about my accident, these were all things I was hearing for the first time. That night of the accident he and his friend Kevin were making a late run to Taco Bell and they were driving behind the woman who hit me, they saw the entire thing happen. Joel came to my car and assumed there were other people who must have been in the front seat because I was in the back seat. I was the only one in the car and I will never know how I got there. He said my arm was bent backwards and dangling out the window, this makes sense as to why the break in my bone had nearly a two inch gap. I was able to mumble a phone number to him but then passed out. He said he knew I was breathing because it was so cold he could see my breath but then suddenly I stopped. Surely this was when my lung collapsed. It took the paramedics a while to get there as the roads were terrible and now the traffic was worse. If Joel had not been there to get me breathing again so quickly I would have died. He is my real life hero. Of course I was crying while he was telling me all this but I was happy to learn this information and put the pieces together.  
            Within a few weeks we had sent each other pictures and I had mailed him several little gifts just to say thanks. When I received his pictures I could not believe what an incredibly handsome guy I was dealing with. I had never seen someone so handsome, and I still haven’t to this day, almost nine years later. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever have a chance in hell with him, for Pete’s sake he looked like an underwear model!

The man I married
But we talked from time to time just like we were good pals who had known each other forever. Then we started talking every other week, then once a week, then every single day, then more than once a day. Every conversation was so special and made my heart flutter. Not only did I have him on a pedestal for obvious reasons, but I really liked who he was and had fun talking to him, I loved his voice and of course thought he was so good looking. And on top of all that I had always had it in the back of my mind how something like this doesn't ‘just happen’ and I knew that something was supposed to become of this. Now did I actually think that it would turn into a relationship? I hoped it would. There was one point when I told Joel how I felt after he told me he was not going to come home, he would be staying out west and moving in with his girlfriend. I was devastated, I looked forward to him getting out of the army and coming home safely more than anything else. I told him how I felt, that I thought all of this had happened for a reason, he said he had thought of that too but at that time he felt like he needed to pursue his current relationship. One week later they broke up. I believe this girlfriend of his was one of the many people who told Joel he was going to marry that girl from Michigan.

The week we met

            Joel came home at the end of June 2004, he was released from the army just one week shy of being deployed to the middle east. I know he has always felt like he should have been over there with his brothers but I could not be happier that that was something he did not have to go through. Anything could have happened to him over there. We planned to meet up in the early afternoon at the bar on M-59, right in front of where my accident had been. Twelve hours later we had met each others families and had fallen totally in love. Three weeks later he asked me to move in with him, I said no. I didn't think I would ever live with someone without being married but about two days later I asked him if the offer still stood and we moved into our new apartment by the middle of July. Then on September 21st of that summer-two months later-Joel  purposed to me in the Park where we had had our first kiss on our first date. We were married April 2nd 2005, it was a beautiful ceremony and reception.

Nearly six years later I finally felt like I was able to repay Joel for saving my life when I delivered a gorgeous, healthy baby girl on October 7th 2010. I know some people think the idea of soul mates and destiny is silly but with my whole heart I believe that there is one man and one woman who are meant to be with each other in life. Where this is not necessarily a life experience you can ‘plan’ to have I do think you can ‘hope’ for it. If you are a person who wants to meet you perfect match-you have to sincerely believe that your soul mate is out there because if you don’t you will miss the signs. I had dated one or two people who in theory could have been potential life partners but ultimately I knew with certainty that they were not who I was ‘meant’ to be with. Keep your eyes and your heart open and I think God will make it very easy for you. I was led right into the arms of my perfect match from the very beginning on the very night of my accident. There is no doubt in our minds that we were created to be together, how could there be?  I have always known that with him is right where I am destined to be and I think that is what makes our marriage so strong.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Travel Tips: Experiencing the Culture

 When planning a trip abroad there are several things to consider in order to make the most of your trip. I have created this list of items that I follow to fully experience everything the new culture has to offer. Most of us are spending less than two weeks time on a vacation so it is essential to plan all aspects of your trip so that it is a worthwhile ‘once in a lifetime’ trip. You can use others mistakes to guide you in your planning. Due to lack of planning there are several times I have visited a location and for one reason or another returned home unsatisfied and wanting to return to ‘finish’ the experience of said place. In fact I like to “overplan”, meaning I plan the main things I want to see and do and then if time allows I have a list of other things I would like to see and do but it would not make or break my trip. The thing is, no matter how much you plan you can never account for the weather, illnesses, catastrophes or traffic-or sometimes things may not take as long as you would expect. For many of us our time and financial resources are unfortunately limited so if you can fully experience one place in one trip than you can move on to another! Here is the list in which you could model your trip planning after.

1. Dance/music
2. Food/Drink
3. Native Animals
4. Native Dress
5. History
6. Famous Manmade monuments/structures
7. Natural Wonders
8. UNESCO world heritage site
9. Religion
10. Form of Travel
11. Festivals
12. Special Hotels you will not see anywhere else in the world

1. Bavarian Music and Dance
2. Drink from a das boot, eat Weiner schnitzel, ride on the bicycle bar
3.  (nothing exclusive to Germany) deer, rare small squirrels.
4. Buy Lederhosen or a Drindl
5. Visit a Concentration Camp
7. See the German Alps
9. Attend a Roman Catholic Church service
10. Drive on the Autobahn

Monday, May 16, 2011


            There are some life experiences that you do not choose to have but can have an equally monumental impact on your life. On January 3rd 2001 I was in a car accident that changed the course of my life, has affected every major decision I’ve made and has affected me every single day for the last ten years. It is something I think about every time I see a car accident, look at my scars, think about my daughter one day driving or reflect on the reason I married my husband. The worst thing that ever happened to me is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me. God knows what He is doing. Everything happens for a reason.

            I was seventeen and a senior in high school. I worked as a waitress at Big Boy in Heartland Michigan; it was at least a thirty minute drive from where I lived. I remember when I told my dad I was working there he warned me that the road I took to get there had the highest accident rate in the county-I shrugged it off to an over paranoid parent. There wasn't that much business that night because the roads were terrible, I only made fifteen dollars. I got in my car and saw that my grandma had called, I went to call her back and thought better of it since it was snowing so hard. On my way home to meet my new boyfriend (yes the one that proposed to me in Paris-although this was only about 3 weeks after I had met him) I stopped at a gas station to buy some gum to hide my cigarette breath. I remember how frantic everyone seemed at the gas station because the roads were just awful that night and we couldn't keep up with the snow on our windshields….this is the last thing I remember.

                        Days later I woke up in Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital intensive care unit. The first thing I said was ‘is everyone ok’ My car had been t-boned on M-59 and I had been in a temporary coma. I had 3 broken ribs, my pelvis was fractured, my lung collapsed, my heart was bruised and my arm was broken so badly that it required a metal rod to get the bone back together. This all was good news. The early prognosis was that if I were to make it I would be in the hospital for months having major surgery to get my internal organs back where they were supposed to be and that would be the best case scenario. I found out later that our family’s pastor was had been urged by the doctors to ‘prepare the family’ for the worst possible outcome.

            There is not much I remember, but I do remember how strange it was to wake up not remembering anything but knowing what had happened. My parents talked to me while I was unconscious and they said I would respond by squeezing their hand so I guess I was able to take in what they told me. I wasn’t shocked or surprised by anything that had happened or anything that the doctors told me I think because my mom told me everything while I was out and it seeped in. Although when I saw the pictures of my car it really became hard on me emotionally. When I left the hospital we drove by the police station so I could see my car and it was shocking to believe that I survived and was really ok. I had very few cuts (which is so hard to believe-there was glass everywhere-the dashboard of my car was through the windshield and the passenger door was in the driver seat) but I did have bruises! My legs were solid bruises from the very top of my thighs to the very tips of my toes-I remember pulling up the covers and looking at my legs-I couldn't believe I actually had bruises on my toes-I thought that was the weirdest thing. Somehow I was thrown into the back seat so I'm guessing that's where the bruises came from-my seat belt broke. I do remember flashing my visitors my bruised legs and flopping my arm around, I couldn't feel it or move it but was impressed with how limber it was.  I know I had many visitors but only remember two of them actually there was about three months where I don’t really remember very much. After so much morphine, Vicodin and Demorall the brain becomes a bit mushy.

            My physical recovery was pretty quick considering all my body had been through. I did have a rod and screws put in my arm in order for it to grow back together and then two years later had it taken out as it was rather painful. I had exercises for my lung to get stronger. By no logical explanation from the doctors my organs that were shoved in my upper chest relocated themselves to their correct dwelling. I do remember how much my throat hurt for months from the paramedics jamming the tube down my esophagus and my voice sounded very different to me for a long time. I also had severe headaches for weeks and weeks-at the exact same time every night-they were so bad I would wake up crying but it got to the point where I would wake up on cue about thirty minutes beforehand and take a Vicodin  That was so scary and as soon I was ready to make an appointment with a neurologist they went away. It was hard to sleep and shower, with the hole where the tube had been inflating my lung I could not get in the shower or bath as it was too risky that water would seep in. Sleeping was a pain-literally, I couldn't sleep on the right side because of my arm, I couldn't sleep on the left because of my lung, I couldn't sleep on my tummy because of my ribs and it hurt my pelvis to sleep on my back. I was in and out of physical therapy for three years although that was not the end the physical effects-I had to have a c-section due to the pelvic fracture (nearly 10 years later). It could have been so much worse, I am so blessed that it wasn't. Then this was weird...a few months later, I found a huge bald spot on the back of my head! I have a lot of hair and since I could only use my left arm I am not surprised that it took so long to discover...but I NEVER did find out where that came from-it took a very long time before it started growing back. It could have been ripped out in the accident or maybe they had to remove the hair for a test while I was in the hospital or something...no big deal-it was just so odd!

            The worst part for me was dealing with what had happened emotionally. I didn't know how to handle that level of attention and was easily frustrated with my loved ones who just wanted to take care of me. And it was very, very hard for me to deal with the stories I heard; It was hard to hear that the police officers wouldn't tell my mom anything so the whole drive to the hospital she didn't know if I was even alive, it was hard to hear that when my dad called my aunt in Maryland and sobbing said ‘it’s Allison-she’s been in an accident’ that my aunt said she just started crying so hard because she instantly thought he was calling to tell her I was gone, it was hard to hear the police officer tell me that he had been called to investigate the accident and an accident is only investigated when there is a death and they assumed that that would be me, and it was hard to hear that our pastor had been in the traffic of my accident on the way to the hospital and saw the cars and said ‘I hope that’s not Allisons’ accident because whomever was in that car didn't make it.’ I knew how lucky I was but point blank-these are sad things to hear and  strange things to hear about yourself. For a very long time, I’d say close to a year, I cried so hard every day, it was almost as if I was in mourning-but how do you process things like this? It is still so hard to believe that this happened to me because I don’t remember anything. I always feel like I’m telling a story about someone else. It still makes me so sad that my family hurt so much and now that I myself am a parent I just pray so hard that I never experience that moment of a policeman knocking on the door and delivering such horrifying news.
            I know many people think I’m quite paranoid nowadays and that I worry too much about things that haven’t yet happened but the truth is you can never be too careful or too cautious, you can never love someone too much or be too open with your feelings because you really never know what’s going to happen-anything can happen to anyone at any time-no exceptions. For every scenario I am wary of what could possibly happen-I don’t feel like I live my life in fear, I just try to prepare myself for…anything. And don’t wait to do things, you may never get the chance. I think so many people are so focused on having a career and lots of money that they wait, wait to have kids, wait to get married, wait to travel, or put off learning something fun or doing something they've always wanted to do-but you can’t. It doesn't mean that death is looming around the corner but it does mean that an accident could render you paralyzed or a family emergency could break your bank, a divorce could crush your spirit or a family member’s health could suck up your attention and focus. My point is that I really feel that it is important to live life to the fullest now because there will come a day when you no longer have the chance. This accident changed everything in my life. How I live my life, my thoughts and my actions in the long-term and it was ALL for the better. It has given me such an mammoth appreciation for life, for my family, for my health, and for my faith. I feel so lucky to have had an experience like this. This accident is also how I met my husband and ultimately the reason for my daughters’ existence. It has also given me the certainty of knowing that I was put here to do something amazing or else He would have taken me that day….. I just hope I haven’t already done it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Well, I had a problem with my eyes and a tooth ache so between doctor visits and Mother's Day I've been super busy...not to mention other major inconveniences this week...I'm also very busy working on all my life list items, so I'm doing them I just can't write this week but it'll be business as usual come Monday. Enjoy this beautiful week!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

That's NOT for Me! : Visit Outer Space

            Many people have asked me if I want to put fly into outer space on my list. Are you crazy? I don’t want to fly to Phoenix, why on Earth would I or anyone want to fly to outer space???!!!! The good Lord put us on planet Earth for a reason and I don’t think He wants us zippin’ around where we don’t belong. How do I know this? Isn’t it obvious?? We can’t even breathe without our heads stuck in a capsule! What more does outer space have to do to demonstrate to us that we are not allowed there! I found this on a website, I think it describes perfectly why humans and outer space don’t mix.....
“When the human body is suddenly exposed to the vacuum of space, a number of injuries begin to occur immediately. Though they are relatively minor at first, they accumulate rapidly into a life-threatening combination. The first effect is the expansion of gases within the lungs and digestive tract due to the reduction of external pressure. A victim of explosive decompression greatly increases their chances of survival simply by exhaling within the first few seconds, otherwise death is likely to occur once the lungs rupture and spill bubbles of air into the circulatory system. Such a life-saving exhalation might be due to a shout of surprise, though it would naturally go unheard where there is no air to carry it” –Alan Bellows http://www.damninteresting.com/outer-space-exposure

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Travel Resources

Here are some great resources to check out when planning a vacation to another country or within the United States-so basically if you’re planning a trip anywhere within the world you can find amazing things to do and see through these books, websites and TV shows.

  1. Anthony Bourdain- No Reservations
  2. Samantha Brown-Passport to Europe
  3. Anthony Zimern- Bizarre Foods
  4. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/
  5. www.tripadvisor.com
  6. www.worldtravelguide.net
  7. www.yougodo.com
  8. www.virtualtourist.com
  9. 1001 Places to See Before You Die
  10. Sacred Places of a Lifetime

You might also like....