Just a "zebra" trying my best to live life to the fullest with EDS and POTS...and loving the ride.

Our 2012 Rehash

Written by Katie. Posted in About Me, Questions

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It’s tradition!  Here are our annual reflections…

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Brad-My 2013 resolution continues to be to exercise consistently, even when life gets busy.

Katie- I like to make goals to work towards instead of resolutions.  I accomplished over half of the goals I set in 2012.  I made 50 more goals for 2013.  I carried some over from 2012.

What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Brad-I buried a best friend. Broke 100 in golf.  Went to a Lion’s Game at Ford Field.  Saw Trampled by Turtles.  Met Jud Heathcote.

Katie-I hosted an Invisible Illness Benefit with my sister. Made Life as a Zebra a foundation. Spent a week on Lake Huron. Saw Madonna in the pit.  Worked out with Dr. Lavallee. Testified to the Michigan Senate.

Did anyone you know give birth?

Theresa and Matt had Adelyn.  Stephanie and Chris had Reese.

Did anyone close to you die?

Brad: One of my best friends from childhood died suddenly from a heart attack.

What states/countries did you visit?

Brad-Indiana & Massachusetts

Katie-Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, & Massachusetts

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

Brad-A baby.  To find a better balance between my personal life and work. A fixed car door.

Katie– A baby. A landscaped yard.  A 501 3c.  A stronger body.  More patience.

What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?


January: When Eric passed away.

April:  The Invisible Illness Benefit.

June: Coaching the MSU BB camps.  Guys golf weekend.  Jaskolski beach weekend.

July: Magreta family reunion.  Stony Lake High School Reunion. DMB concert.

August: Lake Huron Vacation.  When our kitchen was finally finished.

October: Charlevoix vacation.


January: Visiting the Grotto.

February:  When the Invisible Illness Benefit became a go.

March:  The interviews I did for the benefit; especially with Melik Brown.

April: The benefit.  It is a night I will NEVER forget.

May:  Giving my testimony to the Michigan Senate.

June:  Finishing the Reading Diagnostics class I needed to take for my professional teaching cert.  Jaskolski beach weekend.  Philly trip.

July:  Working out with Dr. Lavallee.  Dave Mathews Band Concert.

August:  Lake Huron Vacation.  Finding out my school district agreed to keep me in my position officially half-time.

September:  Meeting with Arthur Ray.

October:  Celine & Jeremy’s Wedding in Boston.  Madonna Concert with Jen.

November:  Thanksgiving.  Life as a Zebra becoming a foundation.  Grandma Midge’s 90th.

December:  Chris Trapper Concert.  Newtown, CT shootings.  Christmas.

Sunday afternoons with my Mom.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Brad:  I taught 21 kids to play basketball together, I taught kids who rush that it is better to be patient and take their time, I changed my first diaper, and I was as good a friend as I could be.

Katie: I pulled off the benefit, became a foundation, and finally had my say with the MI Senate.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Brad:  Nope, knock on wood.

Katie: EDS, POTS, Gastroparesis.  But I still have my GOOD health!

What was the best thing you bought?

Brad: New golf clubs. MSU BB tickets. A water heater.  Countertops.

Katie: Prolotherapy treatments. Countertops and appliances.  Plane tickets to Boston.  A new camera.

Whose behavior made you appalled or depressed?

Brad: Congress. Certain politicians. 

Katie: Mean people. Certain politicians. Some of the people who made decisions about education. People who made it a point to put down others.

Where did most of your money go?

Brad: Bills, bills, and more bills.

Katie: House, car, and medical bills.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Brad: New golf clubs.  The benefit. MSU BB games. Vacations with family and friends.  Spending time with family and friends. Coaching basketball. Guys golf weekend.

Katie: The benefit. The Olympics (The Fierce Five; especially Jordyn Wieber from my former gymnastics club).  Thanksgiving. Christmas. Every time I got to see my siblings and nieces.  Being able to move officially from full-time teaching to half-time teaching.  Becoming a foundation.  The thought of having a family.  Every time I accomplished a new goal. Good feeling days. Speaking to the MI Senate. Great doctor’s appointments. Concerts.

What song will always remind you of 2012?

Brad:  Whispers in the Dark.  Liza.  Bedouin Dress.  Mongo Push.  I Never Knew You.  Complicated.  These Days. Midnight on the Interstate. How Many Times.

Katie: Avalanche. Somebody I Used to Know. Call Me Maybe. Little Talks. Head Full of Doubt.  Up to you Now. Mercy. These are the Days.

Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) fatter or thinner? c) richer or poorer?

Brad: a) happier b) Same size. c) Poorer in the monetary sense.  Richer in life experiences and with family and friends.

Katie: a) happier b) the same c) About the same in the monetary sense.  Richer in knowing who I am and what I want.

How did you spend Christmas?

We spent Christmas Eve in Grass Lake with the Jaskolski’s and Christmas Day in Lansing with my family.

Did you fall in love in 2012?



What was your favorite TV program?

Brad-Parenthood, Master Chef, Modern Family, New Girl, The Journey (Big 10 Basketball)

Katie-Today Show, Parenthood, New Girl, Modern Family, & yes, the Real Housewives of New Jersey

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?



What was the best book you read?

Brad: Feel Bad Education and other Contrarian Essays on Children & Schooling

Katie: God Never Blinks.  Be the Miracle. 

What did you want and get?

Brad-Golf clubs.  A new kitchen.  Time with friends and family.  MSU Basketball tickets.

Katie-An SLR camera. Life as a Zebra as a foundation.  A Keurig.  An amazing medical team. Time with family and friends.  A better perspective.  A stronger body. My Montessori position as half-time. A better understanding of what I want in life and who I am.

What did you want and not get?

Brad-A baby & a new car.  I’m not lacking for much of anything…

Katie-Life as a Zebra as a 501 3c.  A baby.  A landscaped yard.  A new DVD player. An organized basement.

What was your favorite film of this year?

Brad-Dark Knight Rises

Katie-Not gonna lie…Magic Mike. Don’t judge me 🙂

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Brad-I turned 36, we went out to dinner, and then I bought golf clubs.

Katie-I turned 31, I went to my cousin, Celine’s wedding in Boston, and danced the night away with family.  One of the best birthdays ever.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

We’re broken records here…

Brad-A Final Four for MSU Basketball.  A Baby.

Katie-A baby.  Less POTSy days.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Brad-Casual/Athletic.  A lot of Spartan wear.

Katie-A lot of tunics, leggings, skinny jeans, knee-high boots, animal prints, earrings, scarves, and work out clothes.

What kept you sane?

Brad-Music, watching sports, playing golf, seeing Katie’s dreams become realities, family and friends, exercising, a sense of humor.

Katie-Music, my happy places, sleep, exercise, Brad, my Mom, my family, my friends, inspirational stories, good people, Dr. Rosen, Larry, my teaching partner, Zondra, a strong support system, writing, social networking, positive people, laughing, my faith.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Brad-Passing bills in Michigan behind closed doors.

Katie-The presidential election.

Who did you miss?

Brad: Eric, and friends I have not seen in a long time.

Katie: My siblings, my nieces, extended family who live far away, and friends I have not seen in a long time.

Who was the best new person you met?

Brad-Dan Glasscock.  Reese.

Katie-New friends I met through Life as a Zebra. Arthur Ray. Reese. Chris Trapper. Mimi and Joel Heberlein.  Mike Spencer.

What is a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

Brad: Life is short; never pass up an opportunity to spend it with those you care about.  Learn to listen, listen to learn. If you can see it and you want it, you’ll make it happen.  I learned that from Katie this year.

Katie: I am stronger than I think I am. Morality is doing what’s right regardless of what you’re told.  Obedience is doing what you’re told regardless of what is right. The little things are often the biggest things. Most of the best things in life take hard work.  Kindness matters. I can do something, but not everything.  There are a lot of really great people in this world. You just have to look around.

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