Friday, December 30, 2011

2012.........Bring it on!

Wow, apparently half the world watches NY Ink! Lol. Seems like that's been the most popular interview/show I've done thus far. Or at least the people who saw it are the ones who commented and messaged me the most. We were at Wooster St. Social Club for 12 hours, so I was hoping they'd do a bang up job on the episode, and they did! It was an amazing experience for us, and I'll never forget it. (My new pretty lady on my ribcage won't let me forget either). We had a 'NY Ink viewing party' at a local joint in town and our close friends and family came. It was fun and touching to see people take the time to come hug my neck and hang out.

As 2011 comes to a close, I'm really just swamped with memories of the past year. Seems like the common thread is relationships and how important they are. Family, dear friends, and even complete strangers have really impacted me this year. I just can't get over the kindness of some people. I look back at some of the messages written, and words spoken, and things done and I'm just in complete awe. This world can be a dark place, but there are still many lights that shine. Things like that give me hope that my girls will grow up to become strong loving women who will get to experience the world like I have.

A lot of people have messaged me saying things like 'You have a beautiful family' or 'You are blessed to have a husband like Sloan', etc. I do not know where I'd be, or who I would be without Sloan. The man would go to the ends of the Earth for me, and loves me unconditionally. He builds me up daily and in the 12 years we've been together, he has helped propel me and made me strive to be all I wanted to be. People ask and ask things like 'how do you talk so well', etc. I have had a man who has complimented me, worked with me, and been my 'right hand'. He's my pit bull when I need one, and my shoulder to cry on when the world is too much or cruel. BUT, he's never let me wallow in pity long. Lol. Enough about that though.

I think I'm on the verge of getting all mushy and rambling on. It's 1 in the morning and for some reason I just can't shut my mind down. Since all this YouTube stuff has erupted, my heart has really been leaning towards wanting to work with people in some capacity. I really feel led to reach out to those hurting. Those whose walk in life is currently hard. Every time I have spoken at places, churches, or done an always seems like I meet someone who is somehow impacted and I can't help but feel like that's what this is all about. Reaching out to those people.

This whole journey has been me just going where He leads. Whatever has been laid out for us, we take on. I'm fully prepared to see what 2012 holds. I hope all of you reading this have a safe New Year and that each of you experience blessings in ways you never imagined.

Much love,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jan. 13th!!!!

Forgot to post when I scheduled it, but my other ear is scheduled to be done on January 13th!!!!! I'm counting down the days. Ready to get the 8 week waiting period before activation over with. Good thing this time is that I have one good ear to work with instead of one bad ear for 8 weeks :) I will be honest and say I'm not looking forward to the after effects of anesthesia though.

I went last week and had my adjustment on my ear, that went well. They changed some settings up and tweaked some volume and stuff. It's really kind of hard to explain because I honestly don't know exactly what they's all technical. Lol. Basically I just tell them what I don't like or wish was 'better' and they do their magic on the computer with the device and 'tweak' it. I did get a 100 on my word comprehension!

On another note, I hope everyone reading this has a very Merry Christmas and enjoys time with family. We ourselves have already had several Christmas parties this month with extended family, but this weekend will be spent with close family.

I really don't have anything else uber exciting to talk about..........sorry folks!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bit of this, bit of that....

So after finding out about Google's year end review video, I've just been left speechless. Utterly speechless. Speechless, humbled, amazed, excited, grateful, and did I mention speechless?!? I cannot even begin to formulate into words what an honor that was to be included. To further top it off, having the directors at Google tell me they were honored to have seen the video and been given permission to use it. Little old me. Once again God uses 'little old me'. Kinda like when we were in a 'small' village in China of 700,000. Here I was on the other side of the world in China feeling like I was accomplishing nothing, when God spoke to my heart and said "Could you just be okay with the fact that I may have sent you to the other side of the world just to love on a few people?" "And could you be okay if you never even know who those few people are?" Well you know what? I AM okay with that. I am okay with all that He has laid out for me. Just when I think things are 'dying down', something else is laid before me. There are so many things swirling around in this head of mine currently, and a few possible exciting things in the future, and I just can't help but not get too excited about any of it because God keeps giving me curve balls every step of the way. I know it's to test our faith. To test that we fully trust in Him. Someone was talking the other day about mustard seeds. A while back I got a mustard seed necklace and have worn it and researched mustard seeds, read about them in scripture, etc. You know what? I'm kinda like a mustard seed! We all are! We all can be!

On a different note, my episode filmed with NY Ink will air December 29th! The premiere episode! A local place called Fat Daddy's has given us a private room to host a 'viewing party' in. We don't have cable, so I'm excited to get together with friends and loved ones and hang out and watch it.

On Monday a Japanese film crew is flying in to do an interview. I'm excited, as I have not spoken with anyone from Japan thus far. I've really enjoyed meeting all these different people from all over during this journey. It's neat to sit down and try to get to know someone in a few hours. To hear their stories, their life, etc.

OH! Almost forgot!!! I hit 9million sometime last night!!!! Got like 66,000 something views over night! I didn't anticipate hitting it that soon, so my '9 million video post' will be a bit delayed. We are talking with a production company about possibly shooting it for us. Hang tight, it's coming, I promise! The same said production company wants to do an interview next week as well. Next week is a busy week for me! Japanese people on Monday, then on Tuesday I have my adjustment appointment :) My LONG awaited adjustment appointment! I'm so excited and am anxious to see what all is improved or changed or heightened afterwards. Speaking of that, I set up my official surgery date for my next ear. January 13 is the day! I am of course nervous/anxious and excited. I'm not looking forward to the after effects of anesthesia. I'm hoping it won't be another 9 hour surgery like last time, but due to my 'funky ears', I'm afraid it will be. Please keep me in your prayers on that.

Tonight we spent time at a family Christmas party. I'm one of 'those people' who LOVE family parties :) I totally enjoying pigging out on random food, sitting on the floor Indian style like a little kid, listening to the 'adults' chatter, and then of course there's the long awaited 'Chinese Christmas' that we always play. I think it's the 'bargain hunter' in me that enjoys it so much. Lol. I fared well in China for the same reason! Did you know that you can literally barter for a bottle of water there?!? Seriously, anyone reading this, if you ever travel to China, NEVER pay the first amount quoted. You can ALWAYS barter :) It's like a sport for me, that whole 'thrill of the hunt' thing happens and I totally play the Eye of the Tiger lyrics in my head. Anyways, it's always nice to hang out with family. Even that one cousin that's kind of annoying ;) Just kidding, I don't really have any annoying cousins. (Now I got them all wondering if they are the 'annoying one')

Well guys and gals, I think that about wraps it up for tonight. I'm sorry to be so sporadic with posts. So many of you message me with your kind words and I greatly appreciate it. I would not be 'that girl with 9 million YouTube views' without all of you. Please know that I appreciate all the kind e-mails, messages, etc. that I get every day. I'd message all of you back if I had no life, no kids, no hubby, and didn't need to sleep or eat ;) Really though. You all rock!

Have a great weekend. Hug your loved ones. Help someone less fortunate out tomorrow. Bless someone random. Pay for someone's coffee. For real, shock someone tomorrow. You never know what kind of day people are having, help to show them that there is still love and kindness in the world.

<3 Sarah

Monday, December 12, 2011

My apologies!

So tonight my heart is heavy. I stumbled upon a section in Facebook titled 'other messages' and found that I have literally hundreds of messages from well wishers to people wanting info on the Esteem. Several interview requests, book and magazine people, and things like that. My hope is that maybe some of you are reading this and will see that I am SO sorry! I feel horrible that all these people think I ignored them :( I am furiously trying to respond to them all. It's past midnight, but I can't go to bed until I have answered every last one and told them 'thanks'. I am sending everyone my blog link in hopes that I can get this 'blanket message' out to you guys. Thank you so much for all the kind words, the encouragement, and for making me open my eyes a bit further to all the world has and the ways God can use others for good. I sincerely hope this reaches the ones who touched me the most and that you know I am humbled.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Almost to 9 million!!!!

I checked on my YouTube video today and was shocked to see that I'm getting pretty close to 9 million views!!! I have told friends that once I get there, I'll make a video and post it thanking all you wonderful 8+ million folks that have watched and given me encouragement along the way :) It has been an amazing journey thus far, and I've been humbled and honored to have met thousands of new people. (Ellen among the top of that list!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Living in message for the last church I spoke at.

Living Trust

My name is Sarah Churman, I’m 29 years old, and I can hear myself speak! Not something you hear someone say every day is it? I was born deaf (And I’d like to mention that there are different opinions of what it means to be ‘deaf’. For me, I’ve worn hearing aids most of my life and without those hearing aids I couldn’t hear most sounds, so that was considered ‘deaf’ when I was growing up. Just like someone legally blind may have a bit of vision, I had a bit of hearing.) I have 80 bi-lateral decibel loss. Anyway, at the age of 18 months my parents discovered I was deaf and at the age of 2 I got hearing aids. From there I attended deaf Ed school before entering public school. I took speech therapy and simply worked very hard to blend in. I didn’t always do well, but I got by. Someone once told me a smile goes a long way, and I can honestly say it got me through 29 years!

For me, in my life, God has done things in some really unconventional ways. I have received words over the years that my hearing would be ‘restored’. I always assumed that meant a miraculous healing would take place. Do I think God can’t do that? Of course I think he can! BUT that’s not what He had in store for me. Sloan and I were missionaries in China for a year back in ’06 and ’07. At one point I lost my hearing in one ear after hitting my head. I was discouraged, scared, and angry with God. I felt as if I was stuck with no way of getting treatment and no money to fly home to see my usual ear doctor. My father in law called one day and gave me the scripture Hebrews 10:23 “He who promised IS faithful.” My hearing returned a few days later…………..first time it had ever done that in my life without a certain medicine. However, I knew in my heart that that’s not the extent God was talking about when he gave that scripture to Ross for me. I have clung to that scripture and reminded myself of it often. It has been relevant to so many areas in my life, and in my family’s life.

Back in May my husband was driving in to town and heard a radio ad on Rush Limbaugh for something called the “Esteem Hearing Implant” by a company called Envoy Medical. He called me up and said ‘Go Google this!’ I promptly did and started researching and reading everything I could find on the product. I requested information packets and DVDs and then I called the company and spoke with someone. After a lengthy conversation I learned from the woman that the implant was $30,000. I was heartbroken. I hung up the phone and called Sloan crying. There was just no way in my mind that we could ever afford a $30,000 implant. We could barely afford lunch. Sloan was quick to shut my pity party down and adamantly told me not to worry. This was GOING to happen he said. “I’ll sell a kidney, I’ll sell the house (the one that he had worked so hard on to restore and build when we returned home from China), I’ll join the army, I’ll do whatever I have to to make this happen.” He seemed so sure of himself but I was not deterred. It was $30k and in no way feasible in my mind. I reluctantly called the lady back at Sloan’s insistence to get some more answers and to see if they had some sort of loan program or payment system. Upon furthering my conversation with her I learned that it was actually $30k PER EAR. I just started bawling on the phone with this woman and had to let her go. When I told Sloan what I had found out his response was “What’s the big deal? $30k is so out of our league already, what’s the difference between that and $60k?” This resulted in days of depression and probably the biggest pity party I’ve ever had for myself. I’m not a pity party person at all. If anything, I’m the one always lifting others up. Meanwhile, my mother in law Lari had been praying and seeking God during this time. She eventually heard Him tell her to give the money. My newly widowed mother in law (and I don’t say that to gain sympathy, I say that to express how utterly heartbreaking and humbling it was for me.) came to us and said “Guys, I feel led to cash out my IRA and give you the money for this surgery. I really feel like I’m hearing from God on this.” I was absolutely overcome with so many emotions. It absolutely broke my heart that she was willing to do this for me.

After the initial shock of the gracious gift, I promptly called Envoy and said “Get me the soonest surgery date you have.” That date was August 4th. There are only 10 surgery centers in the U.S. and I was blessed that there was one in Texas and it was in The Woodlands just 3 ½ hours away. Surgery day came and I’m not gonna lie……… was the worst thing I’ve ever experience in my life. The surgery is supposed to take about 3-4 hours, 5 tops. Mine took 9 hours. 9 hours of being under anesthesia. I had no clue that skirting on the edge of death was that hard on a person. It took a couple of days for me to feel normal, and then 2 weeks before not having pain or being able to sleep well. Once getting the implant put in, they make you wait 8 weeks to ‘activate’ it. 8 long weeks. Possibly 8 of the worst weeks in my life. I did fairly well the first 6, but the last 2 were awful. It was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting to go that long only hearing out of one bad ear, and one bad hearing aid. You have to understand that my hearing aids only helped so much. They basically amplified loud noises and made everything all jumbled into one big sound. It’s hard for me to explain but the best way I can describe what it’s like for me wearing hearing aids is this: Being in situations all the noises were jumbled together in to one huge ball of noise. You have no distinction between sounds, and people talking is like being in a foreign country. You hear that there’s a noise, and you see their mouth moving, but you’re not sure what they are saying. That’s what it was like for me. I got by for 29 years by lip reading. If my back was turned and you started talking to me, I had no idea you were speaking unless you got my attention. Then once you got my attention, you had to focus on me and speak clearly and loudly so that I could read your lips. You become so 'inside yourself' when when you have a hearing problem. I can tell you for a fact that a good percentage of the population are mumblers. If that’s you, please, work on that! Ha. Anyway, 8 weeks after surgery, my activation date was upon us. September 26th we were set to head back to The Woodlands.

The day before we were set to go, Lari decided that she’d stay here with the girls. She felt that 3 ½ hours in a car with my kids after having my ear turned on might be too much. However, she gave Sloan her camera and insisted that he take a video of my reaction upon hearing with the implant. We arrived at the center and I was so nervous I felt like passing out before we ever even started the process. They first put me in a sound booth to check a few things and do some technical stuff with the implant. After that they brought me into the room and had me sit next to the technician they had flown in from Minnesota. She had me hold the remote up to the processor in my skull and then did her thing on the computer to activate it. I was so nervous that I kept moving my hand and messing the process up. The remote has to be in just the right spot in order to work and it took 3 tries before I did it right. Sloan started filming at the last minute. He hates taking pictures, or being in charge of a camera, so honestly, if it hadn’t been his Mom asking, he wouldn’t have done it. Lol. The minute she hit the key on the keyboard, I knew it was on. It’s really hard for me to explain, but the best way I know how is to say that it sounded so clear, yet so silent. With a hearing aid you kind of always have a constant fuzzy noise. She told me to put the remote down and I heard her clear as a bell. I then heard the noise of the remote being set down on the counter and started crying at all the new experiences. Then I said “I don’t want to hear myself cry” Which led to me laughing upon hearing myself talk, and crying some more. It was so incredibly overwhelming. I pretty much hyperventilated. Sloan stopped recording and Melinda the technician told him to ask me something. He covered his mouth so I couldn’t read his lips and said “Do you want a cucumber sandwich.” First time in our 12 year relationship and 10 year marriage that I get to hear him without reading his lips or looking at him and that’s what he comes up with J I didn’t care, to my ears, it was the sweetest thing he’d ever said to me.

We left the center and got in our car, and I was already tired of hearing myself swallow. I had scratched my head at some point as well and freaked that I could actually hear it. My first call was to Lari so I could tell her about it and hear my girls. As soon as she picked up the phone I could hear them in the background. I got teared up right away, but when she had them tell me they loved me I lost it. Their little voices were the sweetest thing ever. My oldest, Olivia, will be 4 next week and she’s so articulate and grown up sounding. My youngest, Elise, is 22 months and has such a little twang in her voice and is so assertive. I had to hand the phone off to Sloan because I couldn’t talk. We ended up meeting a cousin for dinner while we were in her area. We ate at Outback Steakhouse, and just for giggles I’ll tell you that my first meal was a salad with croutons. What was I thinking?!? The salad was so loud and eating the croutons sounded like fireworks going off in my head. I have never heard myself eat before and that took a good week to get used to. That car ride home was the start of what will be a long learning process for me and my brain. Every day still holds new sounds, and every day my brain gets a little more acclimated. They say it will take time because my brain is firing in ways it’s never fired before.

So, back to trusting in God. Our trust has been tested in many ways over the years. Just in the last 2 years we buried several family members, one of those being my father in law. He died suddenly 3 weeks before my youngest daughter was born and left a huge void in our lives. There are not enough words for me to describe what a great man he was and how much we loved him and miss him. Not only did we bury family members, we lost all 5 dogs on our place, we lost horses, we lost cattle, we had stuff stolen, trucks broke down, we had an attempted break in, and my husband has not been able to find work along with so many other things that just seemed to be going wrong. It hit my mother in law hard, as well as my husband and myself. It was about this time that I heard someone say in their message at my own church “If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it!” Well let me tell you, that is true, but He doesn’t promise that it will be a quick trip. And He doesn’t promise that it will be easy. God will give you more than you can bear, but He’ll give you the tools to make it through. My family is proof of that. Through these trials in our life, we still gave glory to Him for the good. We still knew He had a plan for us, and we ‘held fast’. We learned that the grass still grows green even through life’s trials.

The night we came home from getting my ear activated, I had several friends and family waiting for me to post the video on my Facebook page. Everyone wanted to see the blessing I had received. I started trying to upload it around 11 o’clock. FB stated that my video was ‘too many MBs’. Well I’m not computer savvy when it comes to things like that and I didn’t know what that meant. I started chatting with people and asking for help. Come to find out, that meant that the file was too big to upload. The crazy thing is, I’ve uploaded videos 3 times longer and not had a single problem. So anyway, someone suggested a certain program that would help to downsize the file size of the video. I told them that was way over my head, I needed something simpler. A couple people suggested I upload it to YouTube, then attach the YouTube link to my FB page. I thought that sounded simple enough and gave it a go. It took YouTube about 1 hour and 45 minutes to upload my video. By this time it was well after midnight and now Tuesday morning. Once the video uploaded, I shut down my computer and went to bed. I got up the next morning and checked messages. I had so many sweet messages from family and friends with encouraging words. By Thursday someone asked me, ‘have you looked at your YouTube video? You have like 200,000 something hits’. I was like ‘WHAT?!? You’re kidding!’ Upon checking it I found that it was nearing 300,000 hits and I was astonished. I kept saying to Sloan, ‘This is CRAZY! What are people typing in to even find this video? Why do people want to see a video of someone hearing themselves talk?” I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it and we talked about it off and on all day. Friday morning rolls around, just 3 days after the video was posted, and I get a phone call from Envoy Medical. The gentleman introduces himself and says ‘Mrs. Churman, you apparently posted a video on YouTube of your activation with us?’ I was worried I was in trouble at first and started trying to explain right away that I didn’t really mean for it to go on there, it was just a way to be able to get it on my FB page to show my family and friends. He promptly stopped me and said ‘Mrs. Churman, your video has gone viral and will hit a million views by the morning and we’ve had several phone calls and CNN is wanting to contact you.’ I had to let the man go because I couldn’t think straight. I told him I needed to talk to my husband and I would call him back. I threw the girls in the truck, half naked an all, and we flew down to the barn where Sloan was. I jumped out, ran over to him, and shouted “CNN wants to talk to me, my YouTube video has gone viral!” He was like ‘WHAT?!?’ I assured him I was not joking and asked what I should do. He was like ‘call them back, see what they want!’ Then he was like ‘Wait, we need to take a day to think about this and what all this means. We need to call Envoy back and talk to them as well.’ We all sat around at the barn just talking this over and trying to get over the shock of such an unexpected event. At one point our friend Josh said ‘You just wait, Ellen will call you, she loves these kinds of stories.’ I was like ‘Yeah right!?! Ellen?’ It wasn’t an hour later my phone rings and it was the producers at the Today Show. They had seen the video, were moved, and wanted to have me on their show that Monday morning. I was beside myself. I was dumbfounded and had to look literally like a deer in headlights. It still sounds nuts as I type this out. Originally they asked if I could fly out Sunday, and I said sure. I told them I wanted to attend church first, but could get to the airport right after. They ended up calling me back and asking if I’d like to go ahead and fly out the next morning and spend the weekend in New York, they’d put us up in a hotel. I hung up the phone and ran around the house screaming, “I’m going to New York!!!!” At one point I had to call back because we were concerned as to how we’d eat while there. We told the producers that we were literally coming there with no lunch money in our pockets. They ended up giving us ‘incidentals’ to eat on while at the hotel. That was at 4:30 Friday afternoon, and we spent the rest of the day and night running around like chickens with our heads cut off. (Talk about getting hair done, free shirt/earrings, then store in Mansfield staying open to give me clothes)

We flew to New York that next morning and got settled in at our hotel. The place we stayed was right by Central Park. We immediately started walking towards Times Square, and let me tell you, New York is LOUD. All the cars, and people everywhere; Reminded me of China with all the busy-ness. We walked around Times Square taking in all the sights and checking out street performers, at one point we came to a Peruvian Band playing on one corner. We sat there and listened to them for quite some time and I was amazed because I could hear each individual instrument being played. It was awesome. We did more sightseeing and went to dinner, then got up and did it all over again the next day but checked out China Town and the area where the towers were. That night while eating dinner I got a call from the Ellen Show producer, Chris. After talking to me and asking questions and if I was willing to come to LA to be on the show, he said to me “You seem so shocked that we’ve called you?” To which I explained that I was indeed shocked, and then I went to on to explain the irony of how our friend Josh had said in the very beginning that Ellen would probably call me and I just laughed. Yet here I was being asked to come to the Ellen show. I finished up my phone call and we went to bed early since we had to get up really early for the Today Show. Got up the next morning and got ready while sweating bullets and trying to overcome nervousness. The car picked us up and took us to the studio and we were immediately brought to the hair and makeup room to get made up. Once we got to the stage to go over the layout of the interview I started getting incredibly nervous. Sloan had to keep reminding me that the people on the streets of New York could see me through the windows and I needed to smile. Lol. We did our interview with Matt Lauer, and right before the cameras started rolling I asked him “If I pass out, you’ll pick me up off the floor right?” The 5 minute interview was over before I knew it and we were taken off stage. The producers offered to give us a tour of the studio, and the first place we went was the room where all the screen shoots are on one wall and the guy says ‘shoot to camera three’. I spotted Tim McGraw on one of the screens and I totally interrupted the lady talking and said “Is that Tim McGraw?!?” (Explain that part) After all that excitement we were taken back to the hotel. We flew back home just long enough to grab our kids and get ready to fly to LA for Ellen. I had done a ‘pre phone interview’ before leaving the hotel in New York, and they had asked me things like ‘is there anyone you want to thank while on the show?’ I proceeded to tell them about my MIL stepping out in faith and blessing me with the money. I told them all about her, and all about what had recently taken place in our lives and about what an incredible person Lari was. I apparently did a good job and really touched them, because little did I know that Ellen herself was up to some amazing things. While we were in the air flying home, her producer had called Lari and asked her to join us on the show as well. By the time we landed her tickets and hotel room were all arranged along with ours.

Let me take this time to explain that it was that night I sent out an e-mail to close friends and family. I explained what all had happened (because it had literally been all over night) and I stated that my 2 main goals and utmost desires were: Number one, that if publicity was going to be drawn to me due to all of this, that I would like to use that publicity to draw attention to the Esteem Implant. I would like for insurance companies to take notice and start covering it. It’s such an expensive procedure that insurance companies do not cover, yet there are millions of deaf and hard of hearing people in this world who could benefit from it; People whose lives can be changed like mine. Since the YouTube video started garnering attention, I have received literally thousands of comments and messages and e-mails from people all over the world telling me #1 that they’ve never heard of this device, and #2 that there’s no way they can afford it. It absolutely breaks my heart every time I read these messages from people. People just like me who cannot afford this. My number 2 goal was that somehow Lari would get reimbursed. God answered that second request through Ellen DeGeneres.

Ellen was a very nice lady, and obviously has a huge heart. While on her show I was so nervous but was glad that Sloan and Lari were in the audience. I went over my usual story and answered the usual questions, then she focused on Lari and Sloan in the audience and asked about Lari cashing out her retirement. She then made the statement, “I don’t think a family should have to struggle like this, so not only has Envoy Medical agreed to do Sarah’s other ear for free, but they’ve also agreed to pay back this family for the money spent.” And she whips out a huge check for $30,000 dollars and presents it to us. We were all so shocked and speechless. Lari and I just cried and cried and kept saying we just couldn’t believe it. We still can’t believe it.

My God is an awesome God. I was literally given $60,000 dollars worth of blessings within a matter of 2 days. Trips to places I’ve never been, and the ability to meet some really great people. He’s also given me the platform to reach millions of people in a way I’d never dreamed of. I’d feel selfish not to use this opportunity for greater good. God has answered one of my desires, I totally believe he can answer the other one, and that insurance companies WILL pick up on this implant and start covering it so that others can benefit from it just as I have.

I really thought all this would die down after the Ellen Show…….but it hasn’t. I cannot tell you how many phone calls, texts, e-mails, Facebook messages, and YouTube messages I’ve gotten in the last 4 weeks. It has been absolutely insane. I have since gone on Fox and Friends, I’ve gone on The Doctors Show, I’ve done an interview with CBS/CNET in San Jose California, I’ve done Skype interviews with London reporters, I’ve had film crews come out to the house for the local news channels and even for a Canadian Accessible Media show. I’ve done interviews with 3 different news papers, I’ve even gone on a reality show called NY Ink, and I’ve had countless people literally from all over the globe say they’ve seen me on their local news. 8.5 million people have seen my little 90 second video. Surely out of those 8.5 million is at least one insurance CEO who has been affected. I like to remind myself of that. That’s the reason I’ll continue on as long as someone out there asks me questions or interviews me. I truly believe that this will become something every deaf person in America can have if they desire.

One important thing I’d like to share, is that while we were in San Jose California for an interview, we stayed at a nice hotel called The Pruneyard Plaza. While heading to the elevator one night to go out for dinner, we passed a banquet room all set up and ready for some event. As I stepped into the elevator I read the sign by the banquet hall door. It said “Living Trust Seminar”. God spoke to my heart and said “Living Trust. Living IN trust, so that you have wealth when you die.” By wealth, God doesn’t necessarily mean money or material possessions. He means heaven. Living in trust, having a relationship with God, committing your life to Him while here on Earth ultimately earns us eternity in Heaven. Another important thing I’d like to share is that a friend from church gave me a word a while back, the word was that ‘God has my EAR in His hEARt’. Something so simple as an ear was dear to His heart. Simple things are dear to God. God can take simple things and make them amazing.

God turned our world upside down and showed us the ‘silver lining’ behind our seemingly endless cloud. My MIL was on a plane coming home from visiting a dear friend, and it was during a thunderstorm. She told me that she was scared while watching it from the plane window, but at the same time she was taken by the beauty and the magnificence of the lighting and rain. She was talking with God and telling Him, “You know, this is just magnificent. If you were to ask me right now what I’d like, I’d ask for you to do something magnificent in our lives.” God didn’t do that for her when Ross died, and He didn’t do it for her many other times in her life, but she was okay with that because she knows He is God, and she would love Him and continue to serve Him all the days of her life. She explained all this to God and just told Him, “You don’t have to do it, I’d understand, but just in case, that’s what I’d like. We need something magnificent at this point in our lives.” I’m here today to tell you that God can do extraordinary things in extraordinary, unconventional ways. If you are obedient, and if you serve Him and love Him regardless of every trial and tribulation in your life, He can do things you never dreamed of.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hello Mate!

For the last 2 days we've been interviewing with an Australian crew from Sydney. It's been draining but a very nice visit. I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to their accents and actually being able to hold a conversation with them :) Early this morning a gentleman from the show flew in to do the interview portion for today's taping. He's been a very interesting man to visit with, and I've enjoyed him as well. They are all very nice and entertaining. We are going to dinner with them tonight for 'off camera' socialization. Sloan was telling them about good places to eat, and suggested Texas de Brazil and they asked us to join them. Yesterday we filmed things like me shopping at the store, playing with the kids, doing stuff at the barn, baking a cake, etc. I guess just to show our 'everyday life'? Today was strictly the one on one interview portion. It was nerve wracking as usual, but a lot of different questions were asked, so I appreciated that. 'Dr. Nameless' is deaf in one ear (after an accident some years ago) and it's been nice interviewing with someone who can relate to my descriptions and circumstances. Gives the interview some sort of comfort for me; having someone who can relate.

Sloan's birthday was on Thursday and we took him to dinner that night. He turned 32. I'm in my last year of my 20's, so 32 just seems so far away. Lol. We spent our little vacation at a timeshare called The Villages Resort. We had a nice time just hanging out. We did the cliche paddle boats and feeding of the ducks and the place also has an indoor water park, so we did take the kids there on Wednesday. Unfortunately the girls weren't old enough to do most of the big slides, etc. That was a disappointment, but Olivia enjoyed her self regardless. She LOVED the kid area with all the slides she could ride and all the rope climbing stuff and shooting water things. They also had a miniature 'lazy river'. She and Muz even went back for round 2 while Sloan and Elise napped and I spent some time reading and knitting. Thursday we got up and headed to Canton to shop and look around. That of course was fun as usual. I love Canton.

Well, that about sums it up for now. The next interview I have planned is with a Japanese crew on the 19th. I'm looking forward to it as well. It's really been nice to meet people from all over and spend time with them. I go for my adjustment on the 20th, and I'm marking the days off for that. Everyone have a nice weekend!

(EDIT: At the request of the film crew, names have been left out until after the air date. Sorry!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random minutia...

Well, I really feel as if nothing uber exciting has gone on lately. I don't think people care to read about my 'every day life', so I try to wait until I have something profound to say. Lol. Saturday I hosted Thanksgiving at my house for my family, and after getting food in the oven I quickly ran to shower and totally forgot not to get water in my ear! Couldn't do much about it since I didn't remember until after I was completely done showering. I'll be honest........I did consider blow drying my ear out, but decided against it. By Sunday I could hear just fine......I think the water dissolved the foam. Yikes. Yesterday I started the drops in my ear that were supposed to be used to dissolve the foam they packed in it after scar tissue removal. Drove to Blockbuster and tried the radio, and *drum roll please* sounded good!!!!!! That was my biggest complaint thus far, that I couldn't listen to the radio like I wanted. I still need a bit of 'tweaking' because some music seems too high pitched or not clear, but I can listen to the softer stuff with no issue. So exciting. Also, when I yawn or move my mouth a certain way, I no longer have feedback. So thankful for that!

How many of you did 'Black Friday' shopping this year? This was my first year to go out at midnight Thursday night, and Lari and I hit up Macy's. It was fun, and honestly wasn't bad! I think we need to make it a tradition :)

Today we will be leaving to head to our timeshare to spend a few days. I'm excited because they have an indoor water park! I love water activities and am excited to be able to do something involving water and be able to hear! The girls are excited as well. Who doesn't love swimming in November?!? We are also planning to hit up Canton's First Monday on Thursday, another mega exciting point of the trip :) I love me some flea market style shopping!

Speaking of shopping, I'm not sure how many of you know this, but I sell Scentsy. It's a wick less candle product. Basically a pot that uses a bulb to melt good smelling wax. It's really a great thing. Anyways, this month has been crazy good with sales. I'm thankful for that. Let's me buy Christmas goodies and such that I normally wouldn't be able to. If anyone is interested, check out my site. You can have it shipped to your door :) It's

Well, I guess that's pretty much it for now. I promised Olivia I'd take her to Michael's or Hobby Lobby to get some canvases to paint for Christmas presents. That girl is really into painting, and I enjoy seeing her creations. I hope each of you has a great day and rest of your week. Won't be long until Christmas is here!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

BBC Interview

Here's the interview I did with the BBC in London!

BBC - BBC World Service Programmes - Outlook, 16/11/2011

I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet.........we don't have a good 'internet usage plan' that allows me to listen to things :( If anyone can find a transcript or something, let me know.

Catch-up once again...

Well it's once again been far too long since I've blogged. We've just been so busy! We celebrated our 10 year anniversary last week by staying the week in Jefferson, Texas at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast (Alley-McKay House). It was nice to get away and just hang out with each other for days. We didn't do anything 'exciting' really........just shopped, ate, went to movies, ate, checked out flea markets, ate, took a tour of Caddo Lake, ate, you get the drift :) Funny thing is that we woke up every morning by 9 so that we could eat the gourmet breakfast prepared for us every morning by our wonderful hosts. None of that 'staying in bed all day' stuff for us! We did nap though, and that was strange for me.......I never sit still long enough for a nap unless I'm sick.

Since returning home I've spoken at a church in Alvarado, Texas. Cowboy Way Church off 35. If you're looking for a church home and live close by, it's a great place. We're friends with the pastor and his wife, and some of our family and friends attend there. I wasn't as nervous this time to speak, so that made it nice. Once finishing up there we had to leave and head straight to The Woodlands for my adjustment appointment and an interview for an Australian TV show. While in town we met with 2 other Esteem recipients and had dinner. I enjoyed that. It was nice to meet someone else who has had the implant and get to ask questions and compare opinions. That next morning the film crew was ready at 7 (Yikes!). I arrived, coffee in hand, after being up LITERALLY ALL NIGHT because Elise had a mysterious fever all night and did NOT sleep. First time in her life she's ever done that! It was NOT fun. She was so delirious at one point that she started singing what I like to call her 'Hominy Song'. She sings about hominy over and over. I have no idea where the child heard the word or what she thinks she's saying?!? It's pretty darn cute though when it's not being sung at 3 in the morning ;) Anyway, the film crew guys were very nice and efficient. I started some testing with Melinda, only to find out that I actually had some scar tissue. This was a bittersweet moment for me. Here I am on camera, I don't want to cry and be upset, so I work really hard to not do so. Melinda took me into the other room to inform me of the predicament, and we set up the minor surgery to have the scar tissue removed later in the day. I'll be honest with you and say that the worst part was getting the lydocaine (sp?) shots in my eardrum for the procedure. It hurt. I cried. Thank God by the second round of shots my ear was already numb so I didn't have to feel the rest of the shots. They draped me and I stayed awake while they made an incision in my ear then lasered off the tissue. They gave me Valium and Vicodin right beforehand, and I gotta tell you......that stuff is GREAT! Lol. Made surgery very endurable if I do say so myself. Took about 45 minutes altogether and we were on our way. They packed my ear with some foam gel stuff, so I cannot hear out of it. In a week I'll begin to put some special drops in it that will dissolve the foam and once it's cleared, my ear will be of use again. I go back in 2 weeks to get my actual adjustment since they weren't able to do it on Monday. They said I should be able to listen to the radio like I want, and I shouldn't have any feedback when doing certain things, and I should hear much louder and clearer. I'm very excited about that and focusing on that at this point.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have begun cooking. We are doing a family thing at my Grandma's tomorrow and for that I'm only cooking Cornbread Dressing, Cranberry Sauce, Rolls, and a Veggie Tray. Saturday I'm having dinner here, and that will be the big 'cooking day' for me. This year, like so many others, hasn't been all good happenings.......but like we've learned...the grass still grows green through it all. Tomorrow, hug your loved ones. Tell them how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them. Thank those who have done something for you in your life. Speak encouragement to those who need it. Help others. This world can be a lonely and dark place at times, and everyone could use a little sunshine from time to time. We shouldn't wait for holidays to feel this way or express our should be done daily. I hope each and every one of you reading this has a blessed day and remembers to give thanks to the One who gave His all.

Much love,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Catchin up, Drs Show, BBC, and my 10 year anniversary!!!!

I know I've fallen behind...I'll just pick up now...Today I'm thankful for Wendy Brobston Lastovich! She works for Envoy Medical and has been so gracious to answer all my questions as they arise. She works very hard, and is a very pleasant lady. If all companies had people like her to work with customer relations and such, I'm pretty certain this world would be a better place!

Lol.Well, I guess I just have to start off by saying 'Sorry for getting behind once again!'. Us Churman's have a busy life even when my ear isn't involved :) We went to Oklahoma City this weekend for a friend's wedding. It was very nice and we enjoyed it. Even got to stop off at the Outlet Malls on the way home to do a lil shopping! I'm such a bargain hunter......I got $224 dollars worth of clothes for like $17 bucks at Van Heusen, then at GAP I got about the same deal on stuff. Total score :) I'm an avid thrift store and garage sale junkie, so sales are the next best thing.

This morning we drove to Dallas for an interview with the BBC out of England. The interview went very well, and I was surprisingly calm and enjoyed myself. The gentleman that I spoke with was Matthew Bannister, and he was very pleasant. They said the interview will air on Wednesday and they'll mail me a copy so I have it.

We returned home from Dallas in time to catch our interview on the Drs Show that we filmed a few weeks ago. I thought it went very well and was very informative. We were there with the CEO of Envoy Medical, Patrick Spearman. I enjoyed spending time with him and getting to know him, he's a very nice man.

Tomorrow my husband Sloan and I are leaving to stay the rest of the week at a Bed & Breakfast for our 10 year anniversary! I'm so excited! We got married on November 17th 10 years ago, and the time has FLOWN by. I was a young bride ;) Sloan proposed to me a couple of days before 9/11, then I turned 19 the next month on October 5th, then we were married November 17th. None of that dragged out engagement stuff for us. Lol. I have been so blessed to have Sloan as my husband. He is more than I ever could have hoped for; as a man, as a hubby, and as a Dad to our girls. Your mate is an important choice. Possibly the most important choice you'll ever make in life. Having someone to propel you, to lift you up daily, to love, and to care for you will shape your life as an individual. I'm so glad I got Sloan. I strive to be as good of a wife to him as he is a husband to me. Everyone hug your mate today and let them know you love them. Tomorrow is never promised <3

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 7 & Day 8. Ooops.

Ooops, just realized I skipped a day of thankfulness. Let me back up one day here......

Day 7: I'm thankful for Ariel at The Magic Time Machine! (Yes, the mermaid Ariel) She made Oli's night :)

Now onto today's entry.....

Day 8: I'm thankful for the kindness of random strangers and the way God will place people in your path in odd ways! How many of you reading this have ever done a random act of kindness for someone you don't know? It made you feel good to help someone out didn't it? And it probably affected that person in ways you'll never know! I challenge everyone who reads this to start doing random acts of kindness more often. Sadly it should be this way all the time, but in this crazy, materialistic, 9 to 5, 'keepin up with the Jones' world.............we sometimes lose sight of what is good and right.

So, what's new with me??? Not too much. I've moved up on my remote in the last few days and am currently on C2. Some things are MUCH louder and I cringe at certain pitches......but I'm told that's normal. Lol. The shower was much louder for instance, and talking on the phone to certain people is tiresome at times, but overall I think I like the change. Still can't listen to the radio the way I'd like to and that makes me sad, but I'll not focus on that just yet. We got a new TV for our bedroom a couple of days ago, and I'm SO enjoying the nice great picture and sound quality ;) Anyone in need of a TV? Our old one is an albatross, but works just fine. Lol. Seriously though, it weighs about 3.625 tons. It's heavy.

In other news, I got a call from the people at The Drs. Show and they informed me that the episode I taped with them will air Monday, November 14th :) Still waiting to hear when other shows will air, but I think this is the only one in November that I'm aware of. Everything else had originally stated late December/early January. Well, I'm off to start dinner. This time change has not notified my belly, and I'm already hungry! Everyone have a nice night!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 5 & the weekend events!

Day 5: I'm thankful for family! Nothing like a birthday party to bring everyone together :) I've always enjoyed hosting everyone, and seeing everyone have a good time and chat and hang out makes my heart happy ♥

Well, yesterday's 'Carnival Party' went well!!! All of the kids really seemed to enjoy all the games, horse rides, face painting, and food. I was a little worried because we only had 18 fish and 47 kids, but the prizes other than fish went over very well. Great group of kids. I enjoyed talking with everyone and hanging out.

After the bulk of people left, Sloan, Misty, Ben, John C., Beth, and I all went down the tank and shot guns. This is only the 2nd time I've shot my Draco since getting my ear turned on. Getting used to the repercussion will take some getting used to. I've always had a hearing aid in my ear keeping it plugged, so that's a new sensation for me. Lol. Sloan makes me wear an ear plug in that ear now, but I shot a few times without it just to see what it was like. Once we got done shooting we went to our favorite little 'hole in the wall' Mexican food joint, Jalisco's. If you're ever in Mansfield Texas, you must eat there! We got done with dinner and headed over to the Farr Best Theater to watch Josh Weathers & The True Endeavors play. They sold out on tickets weeks ago, but Josh managed to get us some. (If you're reading this Josh or Kady, thanks again!) They had the full band there, and it was absolutely incredible!!!! It was very loud, but my ear was fine, and I really enjoyed it! Olivia and Elise danced their little hearts out all night long, and I have to say that Olivia now has quite a 'fan club'................the girl had to of learned her 'moves' from Daddy, cause Momma ain't got no rythm! Lol. She's in dance class, and we all dance and play music all the time here at home, but WOW, she really got a groove going last night :)

Anyway, I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! My next planned interviews are with the BBC out of England. We'll be going to a studio in Dallas next week for that. Not sure what else is on the docket as of many things are 'in the air', but nothing is 'solid' at this point. That's okay......we Churman's have always done well flying by the seat of our pants :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Olivia Li

Day 5: Today, I'm thankful for my 'China doll', Ms. Olivia Li! While we were living in China we decided to start trying to get pregnant and figured it'd take a few months......wrong!!! Ms. Olivia came along right away :) We brought her to the states in my belly, gave her a Chinese middle name, and 4 years ago on November 7th we welcomed her to the world. I cannot imagine my life without her, she's a ray of sunshine and is such a unique, confident, beautiful little girl. Today we celebrate her birthday <3

Olivia's Carnival Party is today! Got up at 7:45 on a Saturday...........if that ain't true love, I don't know what is ;) Ready to have a houseful of friends and family and celebrate. Hopefully the games and prizes go over well with the kiddos. Supposed to be 42 kids here today for Oli. I am so thankful that I can hear all her little antics and her 'grown up' voice. Later tonight we go see Josh Weathers' full band at Farr Best in Mansfield. I'm SUPER stoked about that. First time I've seen him play since getting my new ear. (Other than the karaoke night, but that doesn't count, awesome as it was.) Hope everyone has a great Saturday! Hug someone, tell them you love them and what they mean to you <3

Friday, November 4, 2011

Josh Weathers

I keep forgetting to mention that one of my fav bands is Josh Weathers and The True Endeavors. For all you readers out there, go check him out! He has a Facebook page, and you can find him on YouTube or just Google him. He's an awesome musician and his wife Kady is a very nice gal, not to mention they have the cutest little boy :) Seriously, do your ears a favor and go listen to some of his music :)

Day 4

Day 4: I'm thankful for all my parent's relationships with our girls. (Mom, Stepdad, Dad, Stepmom, Mother in Law). Some of my fondest memories growing up are of times spent at my Grandparent's houses. I think it's important for children to have a close bond with their Grandparents and be able to spend time with them and stay the night with them. I'm blessed that all my parents are willing and have the desire to spend time with the girls ♥

Today will be spent baking the last layer of one cake, then making icings, then cleaning the rest of the house. I have to say that this reminds me of one of my new fond things I can hear................the oven dinging when something is done cooking! Although I have to admit that it goes off for some time before I realize it's actually going off. Lol. Yesterday was the first day I've used a blender or a mixer since being activated (hey, don't hate, I've not been home much lately!) and let me tell you, those things are LOUD.

Some of my latest endeavors are interviews with Japan, Australia, and Germany. Japan and Germany are just phone interviews, but the Australian one would like to send a crew out possibly to go with me to my first adjustment appointment in the Woodlands. I'll keep you posted. That's all for now, gotta get back to baking and cleaning :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I decided to jump on the bandwagon on Facebook and do the '30 Days of Thanksgiving'. Someone suggested I post them here on my blog as well, and I thought that was a great idea. This way I'll feel the need to post something every day.........even if it's just one sentence. I'm sorry I've gotten so behind on this. I've been getting stuff ready for my oldest daughter's birthday party that is this weekend.

Day 1: I'm thankful for my new ear and all those involved in helping me along the way. (Scientists, Doctors, etc.) These last couple of months have been AMAZIJNG. God really turned our world upside down and showered us with blessings in ways I never dreamed possible. (And He's continuing those blessings!)

Day 2: I'm thankful for my close circle of friends. As you get older you realize how important it is to surround yourself with good people. Genuine people that you can count on in any situation.

Today's: I'm thankful for and this amazing Amaretto Cake I got goin on. YUM.

Earlier today I was walking to the mailbox and I thought something was wrong with my ear. I was hearing an odd noise that was freaking me out. Come to find out, it was a tree full of black birds! They weren't singing or tweeting, it was like they were all ruffling their wings and feathers and talking. Sounded almost like when I first turn the TV on before turning on the antennae box. Crazy. Anyway, I have cakes on the counter, cakes in the stove, cakes everywhere........gotta get back to baking!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Short but sweet...

I've had a few people message me and ask 'What's up?!?' because I haven't blogged in a while. LOL. Sorry guys, between traveling to New York, my Grandpa dying, and preparing my message for a church tomorrow, I'm busy and can't seem to find a good theme to blog about.

We returned home from NYC yesterday, and I have to say we enjoyed our time there again! New York is still loud and busy, but I like all the noises since I know I'm coming back home to my quiet place :) We traveled there to film for a reality tattoo show and we spent literally 12 hours there. The folks at the shop were incredibly nice and were great to spend the day with. Interviews are still so nerve wracking, and I'm just convinced it will stay that way. Lol. The main focus was me getting a tattoo and talking about my experience. I got a 'woman anew' tattoo on my ribcage. I'm keeping the details short and sweet because they asked that I not divulge too much info until the show airs, which will not be until late December/early January I believe. I'll def keep everyone posted on that date when I find out. Anyway, I met lots of really great people and got to have really good conversation. I'm sad that I can't mention names at this time, but I'm seriously grateful for the opportunity, and for the new friendships made. My tattoo turned out way better than I hoped for, and it ended up having great significant meaning and will mark a very important time in my life. I also was honored to have gotten the artist to tattoo a small red heart behind my ear as well. God has my EAR in His hEARt, and so much more.

I'm speaking at Bar Cross Ranch Cowboy Church tomorrow, so I really need to finish up my message for that. Sorry to make this short, but bear with me, I'll get back to posting regularly soon!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bobby Langley

My Grandpa (Bobby Langley) passed away tonight while I was in the air trying to get home. I'm absolutely heart broken that I didn't make it in time. I feel like I let my Mom down by not being here for her. My Grandpa was a spectacular man. He lived a great life. If you Google him, you'll find all kinds of articles talking about his character, and what a kind, generous, honorable man he was. He was one of the pioneers in the drag racing world. My whole life my Grandpa was a humble man. He was kind, generous, loving, and full of adventure. He told stories and jokes. He made life fun for us grand kids when we came to stay with him and Grandma. My fondest memories are of a few things: Going to the drag races and meeting all his old buddies and hearing the 'new guys' talk about him being a legend and how much they admired him. Him letting me mow on his riding mower, because Mom and Dad didn't let me do such 'dangerous things'. Working with him out in his shop and him letting me use whatever tools and such to 'carve' on plaster with. Watching movies and having 'popcorn parties'. Oh the candy and conversation! And of course, us grand kids were always excited because Grandpa let us drive his car! His rule was pretty much that when your feet could touch the pedals, you could drive. I'll never forget our drives in the Lincoln. Last, but certainly not least...........Christmas. My Grandpa made Christmas special. He taught us the meaning of Christmas, and always had a very elaborate nativity scene, as well as more lights than you can imagine. Decorations galore! The house sparkled around Christmas time.

Most importantly, my Grandpa taught me life lessons. While working along side him or just hanging out, he always made a lesson out of things. Not only did he teach us things in stories, but we learned a lot from his actions. I remember when I was little, I asked why they saved all their cans and bagged them up. I learned that Grandpa would stop on the way to work every few days and give their cans to a homeless man on the side of the road. He was a giver. He took neighbor kids to the movies with us when we'd go. He gave material possesions, he blessed others, and he gave words of wisdom. He was so much fun.

Grandpa never had health issues, didn't take medications, and hadn't been in the hospital since a dragster wreck in '59. I think about that and I think 'Wow, he was so blessed'. He spent his last days at home doing one of the things he loved most........working in his yard. He always had projects going in the house and in the yard. He would not have wanted to grow old and feeble and not be able to do the things he loved. He was a man with an incredible work ethic and it would have drove him nuts to be young in mind, but old in body. I loved my Grandpa dearly. This is pretty much a bunch of ramblings.......but it's nice to be able to write.

Please keep my Grandma and my family in your thoughts. My Grandparents were honestly the most 'in love' couple I've ever known. They definitely were a model marriage and I for one looked up to them. I just cannot imagine Grandma without Grandpa, but I know God can keep His loving arms around her and give her peace like no other.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Living Trust"

So we flew into San Jose today. Doing a CBS/CNET forum in the morning. Anyway, we got to our hotel and upon entering our room saw that it was dirty and had not been cleaned or attended to. We just put our luggage up and I went to the front desk with intentions to just get fresh sheets and new towels. They were mortified about the mix up, and had us wait a minute. After a few minutes a manager came over to me and introduced himself, apologized profusely, and said he was 'upgrading' us to a King Suite with a jacuzzi for the 'trouble'. Phhhttt! Wasn't no trouble for us buddy, but THANKS for the upgrade! We went to our new room and settled in. I of course took my stack of books, Nook, and newspaper and promptly put the jacuzzi to use while Sloan went and worked out.

We got ready to head out for dinner and as we made our way to the elevator I noticed the banquet room had a function going on. The sign said "Living Trust" seminar. Hmmm. I read that sign, stepped into the elevator and God spoke to my heart...."If you live IN trust, you'll have wealth when you die." I was like 'WOW'. Anyone who knows us Churmans well, knows that we wholeheartedly 'live in trust'. It's how we've gotten through so much as a family and as individuals. For me, at this time, in this moment.......that was confirmation. Confirmation that all this traveling, shuffling the girls around to family, all these interviews, peeks into what we consider a seemingly 'private life', all the e-mails, the phone's all worth it. We've stepped out in faith so much over the last few years. With our decision to move to China for a year, with getting pregnant with Olivia in China, with our home birth with Elise, with Sloan in the job industry, with this hearing implant, with so many things. (those are just the top ones). We have solely lived in trust. In HIS trust. Knowing that God will provide us a path and the means to stay on that path. I'll not ramble on and on any more.....but God is really working something in me with this 'Living Trust' thing. And by the way, when I say 'wealth when we die' I don't mean money or material things. More to come on that later.

I've got so much going on, I'm not sure if I'm coming or going anymore. I may have already mentioned it, but my next 'adventure' will be heading back to NYC. (Yay!) The reality cable show called NY Ink has asked me to be on their show and come to their shop. World famous Tim Hendricks will be doing a tattoo for me :) Google him, he's awesome! I have to admit I'm pretty darn stoked. I love my ink, and am excited and honored to be able to sport some of his work. Pics will follow soon. We leave out on next Wednesday and go for a couple of days. The show will film on Thursday, but I'm not sure when exactly it will air. I'll keep people posted when I can. My bestie Misty will once again be joining us on this trip. I'm so excited. Other than that, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has a show called 'Found' and they are doing a documentary that will air at the first of the year. Part will be filmed at Envoy Medical, and part will be filmed at our place. They'll send film crews and basically film us for 2 days. Kind of like a 'day in the life of' thing. Not sure we can provide them with enough entertainment, but we'll manage. Oh who am I kidding?!? The Churman Circus is quite entertaining and I've joked for years that we'd make a great reality show ;) Sloan and I think that the days they come to film should just happen to fall on 'stall cleaning day' at the barn. Sounds good right? Ha. I've also been asked to speak at a couple of churches locally in the upcoming weeks, looking forward to that. Oh yeah, and a Canadian Accessible Media group is coming to film at the house next week as well. Just gotta keep telling myself "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!" Gonna ride this train 'til there's nowhere left to go and insurance companies are tired of hearing about it. Blessings to all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Just found out a few minutes ago that my YouTube video has hit 8 MILLION VIEWS! Absolutely surreal. 8 million people have seen the video and are now aware of the Esteem Implant. The odds have to be good that an insurance CEO or whatnot has seen the video and been affected. Don't you think so?

Anyway, we are packing and preparing to leave in the morning. Flying to San Jose and will be doing a CBS forum Thursday morning. From there we fly to LA and do the Doctor's Show on Friday morning. We'll be back home late Friday night. Saturday is my 10 year high school reunion :) I think it's safe to say I'll have plenty of stuff to talk about in the event someone asks "What have you been up to lately?" Today was a trying day. Today I started out doing a Skype interview with a London reporter, followed by a almost 3 hour interview with the Mansfield News Mirror (article to be in next Wednesday's paper), then on to picking out clothing and to Target. By the time I got home my ear was having feedback and I was worn out. Had to actually back down a notch on my implant remote :( I think I'm discovering that talking a lot wears my ear out...............I'm sure Sloan is happy about that. LOL. By the way, I'd like to inform anyone reading this that is from my area, check out Aspirations in Mansfield!!! They have really cute clothes and jewelry! They, along with Ruffled Rebelles, blessed me with some cute items to wear the next couple of days. I'm continually amazed at the kindness of strangers and friends. I fully intend to 'pay it forward' in any way I can when the opportunity arises.

Well, just like that, I've lost my train of thought. Sorry folks :( I need some rest. I sure will miss my girls while I'm gone, and I sure am so grateful that my family and friends are willing to help us with the girls during all these crazy travel times. Thank you once again to all those in my corner. Blessings to each of you and good night!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Not much...

Wow, more rain!!! It's so relaxing to hear it. We have the screen up on the front door, so I'm enjoying the sound and the smell :)Sat down at the computer to check e-mails, write down itineraries, and glance at Facebook. Just about came unglued when some thunder hit. Seriously, my heart is still pounding. I could not imagine being in bed with my ear on and sleeping and having that hit!

We up to the hospital tonight to visit my Grandpa. He's been there for a week now with heart troubles. My Grandparents have become very soft speakers in their older age. Sloan has always jokingly gotten frustrated because they speak so quietly and I always had to make them repeat themselves, or ask others what they said. Visited with them at the hospital and got mostly every word either of them said! I only had to have a couple of things repeated! Anyway, they did a scope this morning and found out that Grandpa doesn't have any blockages or other issues. He has to have a valve replacement on Wednesday morning. Just praying he goes through surgery well and bounces back. He's 78ish (can't remember how old exactly) and has never had any health issues. Doesn't take any medication, and is still very active. Works in his shop and yard daily. When my Mom took him to the hospital and they were asking medical history, they asked when the last time he was hospitalized and were shocked to hear that it was in '59 after a bad dragster wreck. Lol. My point to all this is, that he's been the picture of good health and I hope after this mess he returns to that. He was alert tonight and even asked Oli about her upcoming birthday :)

My oldest daughter, Olivia, will be 4 on November 7th. We are having her birthday party the weekend before that, and I'm doing a carnival theme. She loves Olivia the Pig, so it's "Olivia's Birthday Carnival". We're having carnival games, horse rides, face painting, etc. She's so excited, and to be honest, so am I :) Some of my fondest memories as a kid were from birthday parties, or family gatherings. Sloan and I have quite a bit of family, and it's always fun to get together. I enjoy hosting people.

Well, I don't have much to say tonight. Sorry to not having anything exciting to say. Hope you all have a nice night and a great week! I'll def blog from Cali later about the upcoming shows!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


So, tonight, we ended up venturing out to the Mansfield Music Festival. My Mom was going to babysit so we could go to a Halloween party, but she's been busy with my Grandfather who has been in the hospital. So, we decided the festival would be a kid friendly activity. We got there and right away, as we walked closer to the festivities, I could hear the music and the people. I got so tickled because I could make out the words to the songs being sung without asking what they were singing. Lol. We walked around and let the girls do some kid stuff and play in the bounce houses, then we got food and sat down. The hustle and bustle of people was a tad much, but I just listened and took it all in. Lari ended up calling while we were there and offered to watch the girls so Sloan and I could go to the MOVIES!!!! I haven't been since getting my ear activated, so I was thrilled. Several days ago when my whole 'adventure' started, I received a message in my YouTube box from a guy that said he worked at a movie theater and had recently given a closed captioning device to a man whose wife had had an implant put in but it wasn't activated yet. As I read his e-mail, I hollered for Sloan because it sounded like the guy was from our local theater that we go to. LOL. I messaged him back and sure enough, it was the same theater, and Sloan was the man he was talking about! Sloan is always the one that waits for the manager to bring us the closed captioning device while I go in and get our seats, so they never see me, just Sloan. So that's why the guy didn't recognize me on my YouTube video. (Everyone together now.....'It's a small world after all') Anyway, I messaged him back right away and explained that the 'man' he referred to was my hubby :) We were both blown away at the connection and he blessed us by offering free tickets the next time we come we used them tonight!!!! I got to meet the guy, and thanked him. I went ahead and got the closed captioning thing again........just in case my ear/brain couldn't handle the noise and I needed back up. It was FANTASTIC! Very loud, and I felt like I was right there with the actors in the movie. We went and saw 'The Thing'. Out of habit, I did peek at the captioning a few times. On any other day I probably wouldn't have thought the movie was great, but because I experienced it in a way I never have before, it was swell. Ha. I kept leaning over to Sloan and saying things like "I hear the wind blowing" and "I can hear their footsteps in the snow". He just laughed and looked at me and would say "That's amazing". And you know what? It IS amazing.

I keep seeing the whole 'science vs. God' debate on YouTube. I respect those who don't believe what I believe, but let me just say............God bless scientists ;) Bless all those who have worked so hard and dedicated their blood, sweat, and tears to such things like the Esteem Implant. God AND science rock as far as I'm concerned. The two can coincide quite nicely and I'm very thankful. I'm heading to bed still thinking about how cool it was to enjoy the movies........but my heart is heavy thinking of those who cannot enjoy the movie like I got to tonight. I just continue standing and believing that something is being worked out. Something will change. Insurance will pick up on this. And when that too will be amazing!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Q & A.......

Okay, so I've done what everyone has said not to do................I've gotten sucked in to reading all the comments on my YouTube video. (Bad idea, I know!) Anyway, I really feel like I should clear some things up, so I'll take the most popular questions and answer them now:

Q: (Of course the MOST popular) "How do you know how to talk?"

A: I'd like to start off by pointing out that people who are hard of hearing or deaf do not have a lower IQs. I sometimes feel like the mean people posting comments actually think this...... Anyway, everyone is different. Everyone heals differently, everyone learns differently, and everyone excels at different things. I personally have always LOVED to read and write. English and Grammar have always been something I have enjoyed. I also enjoy talking! (Big shocker to those who know me huh? NOT! Lol.) I have worked very hard to overcome and to speak well. I went to deaf ed school when I was very young, then on to public school where I took speech classes and therapy. I don't think people realize how intently I read lips. When you read lips, you are studying how people move their mouths, where they place their tongue (and for those of you with tongue rings, yes, you trip me up) and their teeth. It's a skill I have had 29 years to hone. People with accents are hard to read, they move their mouths a different way then us Americans do. People with facial hair throw me off constantly. There are even those who don't move their mouths when they speak (Yes, that can actually happen!) Then you have the ones who mumble or speak quietly. I absolutely cannot talk to anyone under the influence of drugs..............those people's mouths move all sorts of wacky! Lol. When I was younger I got made fun of quite a bit for the way I talked. I said certain words funny, and I'm still told I say certain words funny. Guess what though? It's me. It's a part of who I am.
Q: What kind of music have I been listening to?

A: ALL KINDS! Lol. I'm really just now able to even enjoy it. For the first week I got horrible feedback if I even tried listening. My brain is still acclimating to the noises it's hearing, and I am slowly getting used to it. At this point, live music sounds WAY better than recorded. While in NYC I sat on a street corner and listened to a Peruvian band play. That was awesome. I could actually make a distinction between each individual instrument, whereas before music was just all one jumbled sound. We have a good friend in a band, and his music is really good. It's eclectic, and I like that. Check him out: Josh Weathers and the True Endeavors.
Q: "How did she know what the doc was saying without looking at her mouth?"

A: Um. I got my ear turned on :) How do YOU know what people are saying? You HEAR them. I don't mean to be rude, but really? I don't know, I can't explain the brain or how it works. I just know my ear works and I heard her clear as a bell. (which was awesome) I've always been able to hear some noise if it was loud enough with my hearing aids, just not able to make a distinction as to what people were actually saying. If you covered your mouth, I couldn't read your lips. The best way I know to explain it is like this.; if you went to a foreign country and someone spoke to you, you'd know they were talking because you can hear something, but you have no idea what they are actually saying. Hope that helps.

I think those were the top 3 questions. I probably forgot something, but I'm done for now. We went to Dallas this morning for the Fox News Fox & Friends show. That was absolutely nerve wracking. They didn't go over anything with me beforehand, so I had no clue what to expect. Sloan says I always forget to smile, but it's mostly due to nervousness and then because I'm still new at this whole hearing and understanding the words thing and I'm so used to needing to read lips that I kind of get off kilter. I promise I'm really a 'smiley' person. Just ask anyone who knows me. I'm definitely a 'cup half full' kinda gal. Anyway, that's it for now. I wasn't really in a 'blogging' kind of mood, but felt led to do these questions. Thanks everyone for following along on this journey. It's been amazing :)

Monday, October 10, 2011


So Friday I got up and got ready to do interviews. Started the day off with Matt Smith from the Cleburne Times Review. He was very nice and asked lots of questions and took pictures of all of us. Once he left I grabbed a bite to eat and then met with channel 5 and channel 11. They set up while we put the girls in the back room with toys and cartoons. In the middle of the interview Elise came walking in and wanting to sit in my lap. It was quite hard to keep a straight face for the TV while she was sitting in my lap playing 'peek a boo' and trying to get a reaction from me. Lol. Anyway, those interviews went smoothly. Channel 11 stayed behind a bit and got some shots outside and talked with us some more. Got to see the first interview segment air later that day and was impressed that they were able to do a good job and work around Elise ;) Channel 11 really went all out, I was very proud of that one. Went last night and got me a copy of the Cleburne paper and was shocked to see that he had put a picture on the front! As well as almost a whole page on the story inside. He used our words exactly as we said them, and if you know me well you can tell by the words I was nervous. Lol. The sentence structure and stuff was my 'nervous talking'.

Saturday had been marked on the calendar for a few weeks now as the night to celebrate my birthday. I kept having my friends ask if we needed to move it to another day so I could get rested up, but I was ready to hang out with my friends! We started the night off at Pluckers. I had never been there before and didn't realize it was a 'sports bar'. I'm not a fan of TV sports at all. Sorry to break any hearts out there. Although, I may could get into them now that I can hear the TV. Captioning on live things is always off and very frustrating, so I've never enjoyed watching sports on TV. Anyway, back to the story. Once we arrived at the place, it started raining! Lots and lots of rain! We've needed it so badly, so none of us even cared that it was raining on our night out. The Rangers were playing and it was soooo loud in there, but I was overjoyed that my ear wasn't giving me feedback, so I actually enjoyed the noise :) Our wait took FOREVER, but I was determined to get my hands on fried pickles. I wasn't leaving. Ha. We ended up getting seated on the covered patio, and there wasn't a wall at the end of our table, so we could hear the rain and cars along with all the noisy people. It was cool. Pluckers gives you tons of food. We all had tons left. Of course the night wouldn't be complete without someone insisting on me being embarrassed for my birthday. Here came the whole 'birthday crew' hollering and singing. I had to wear a 'beak' and use take out boxes to 'flap my wings' while they sang. I was a good sport. I'm not scared ;) We left there and decided to go to KG's in Mansfield. My girlfriends and I now love that place. It's small and we love watching people sing karaoke. I now enjoy listening to karaoke!!! Well.....most of it anyway. LOL. There were about 12 in our group and not long after we got there my friend Kady's husband Josh joined us. He has a band called 'Josh Weathers and the True Endeavors'. Check them out. I LOVE them. Their sound is eclectic and I'm all about that. They are local and play just about every night of the week. Josh brought his brother and a friend. Before the night's end we all danced our little hearts out. I think the rest of the bar was a little confused as to why I was jumping all over the place and our little group was so excited. I LOVED listening to the music and getting EVERY word being sung. It really hit home and I was running on pure joy. At one point in the night, a few of my friends sang a funny song to me. They were brave to do it! I felt special. To top that feeling, Kady and Josh came up with a song for Josh to sing to me and it was 'Sarah Smile'. I had never heard it before and it was really touching even though it didn't apply to me or us.........just to hear my name in a song and have someone sing it was so nice. The gesture was awesome. I cried. If I'm not mistaken, I think a few of the other ladies teared up as well. Night's end came and we all prepared to leave and it was STILL RAINING!!!! It was so loud in KG's I didn't have a chance to listen for the rain, so hearing it upon leaving was nice. It was dark so I couldn't see the tank on our place when I got home, but I was hoping it would be full by morning. Our poor little tank has been pitiful. It's been the lowest and driest I've ever seen it. Woke up the next morning for church and guess what? STILL RAINING! The tank was full and overflowing. Much like my heart. I headed to church with so much on my heart and mind and so much to be thankful for. I hadn't been in 2 weeks due to getting my ear activated, and then being in New York for the Today Show. The praise and worship was absolutely amazing. I knew our little church was loud, but WOW we are LOUD! Lol. I could make a distinction between instruments and voices. I could hear individuals around me singing. I could hear babies crying. It was overwhelming.

(For those who don't know, I have 'Hold Fast' tattooed on my wrists. I came up with the idea when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter Elise. My Father in Law passed away 3 weeks before she was born. It was a really, really, hard time in our lives. My Grandfather in Law had passed away the week before that, and so many things were going on. Our hearts were absolutely broken. They both passed suddenly, but with Ross, we couldn't get over the fact that we felt he had so much life left to live. He was the most amazing man I've ever met in my life. I could spend days talking about him and ways he touched my life and others. During this time it just seemed like nothing went right, things kept 'falling apart' here on the place. Stuff was stolen, things were breaking down, things were dying. It seemed like the world was wilting slowly like a dying flower. At church one Sunday I read the words from the projector for a song called "Hold Fast". They really hit home and struck a chord with me. I thought "I can do that. I can 'hold fast' and just trust that God will get us through. Get me through. He always has, and He always will. I just have to 'hold fast'." So once Elise was born I got that tattooed on my wrists.)

Back to church; Crystal started up the song 'Hold Fast'. I closed my eyes and sang. Followed every word, not from memory and hoping I was in tune with others, but because I could hear it and follow it in tune. I had 'held fast' and just like God promised, He got me through. He'll get Lari through, He'll get Sloan through. He'll get everyone who is willing to rely on Him 'through'. Sunday was a day of refreshing. The music. The emotions. The joy. The RAIN!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Well, arrived home from NYC Monday night at 11, only to hurry up and pack to leave for L.A. the next morning! Before we left NYC, the producer from Ellen called and did a 'pre phone interview' with us. Asked us lots of questions, but at one point they asked if there was anyone I'd like to thank on the show? I told them my MIL Lari! Without her, this implant would not have been possible for me to get. Stepping out in faith, she cashed out her retirement so that I could get it done. I proceeded to tell them how awesome she was, and what a kind and generous woman she was. Apparently I really sold them on her, because while we were in the air, they called Lari and asked if she'd come to the show with us! Also, while in New York I was talking with my bestie Misty and she said she'd love to go to L.A. with us, did we mind? 'Course not! So needless to say, it ended up being a big group. We took our girls as well! Anyway, we all headed to the airport Tuesday morning and got on the plane with no problems. Halfway through the flight, Elise (my youngest) started throwing up. It was awful, but I assumed it was from altitude, or flying. I rushed her to the toilet on the plane and cleaned her up while Sloan cleaned the seat. Thank God it didn't smell and people were very understanding. We landed in LA where a driver picked us up and took all of us to our hotel near Universal Studios. I had exactly 45 minutes to shower and get ready before the driver picked us up to take us to Ellen's studio where we would film that day. We have friends that live in LA, so they were able to join us and go back stage while we got ready once we arrived at the studio. They were very nice and got us food to eat while we waited and went over the script and what would be discussed for the show. They did mine and Lari's hair and makeup, made us feel pretty. While walking to and from the green room, I spotted Angus Jones in another green room! (2 1/2 Men) Then found out that Kim Kardashian and her hubby were there as well. Anyway, after much sitting around and trying to remain calm, it was finally time to head to the side stage. There they prepped me one more time and touched up my hair and makeup, then sent me onstage. I was SO nervous. I was SO afraid I'd trip and fall onstage, or just start bawling once I saw Ellen. Sloan and Lari were in the audience, so I was going on alone. That only added to the anxiety. Once I stepped out and people started applauding, I tried to smile and relax. Made it over to Ellen, and she hugged me and smiled. We sat down and she started talking to me. I really don't remember what all we talked about, and I haven't yet gotten to see the show. Several friends have recorded it for me, so I'll see it soon. I just know that once she started talking about Envoy agreeing to do the other ear and that wasn't all they were doing, I lost it. Then she said the words "and they have given you a check to reimburse you for the other ear". I was so overcome with emotion, and was so thankful that Lari and Sloan were able to come up to the stage. I think none of us knew what to say or do. We were just completely blindsided by the generous blessing. I had sent out an e-mail to friends and family several days before asking that they pray that Lari somehow get reimbursed, and here God was answering my prayer! We all hugged and thanked Ellen over and over. As we left the stage, we passed Kim Kardashian and Kris. While I was saying to Sloan, "OMG, it's Kim!" She was saying to Kris "OMG, it's that girl from the video!". That was a humbling moment. They were getting ready to go out onstage, so all we got to do was say "Hi" to each other. We walked back to the green room with Lari saying "Oh my God!" repeatedly and me just grinning and crying. Took several hours til we calmed down. I left Ellen's studio with a copy of her new book, and let me just say, it's HILARIOUS! Everyone, go buy a copy! Seriously! That night we went to eat at a place at Universal Studios. Had a nice dinner for my birthday, and the restaurant was kind and gave us free dessert! While eating I had some people come up to me and recognize me. That's an odd feeling, and very flattering. We spent the rest of the night walking around Universal and taking in the sights. Misty and I shopped and got a few little things. We headed back to the hotel and crashed hard core pretty early. I was running on fumes from little sleep and all the anxiety. The next morning we headed to a cafe and had breakfast with everyone. While there we saw a guy from the TV show 'The Office'. Breakfast was great, and afterwards we opted to go walk around a mall so the girls didn't get stir crazy at the hotel. When it was time, a driver picked us up and took us to the airport to head home. We flew Virgin Airlines on the way back, and it was a first for all of us. Virgin is very nice, and has great planes. Very fancy. We loved it. Elise on the other hand...........her tummy was not happy! She was SO gassy and we would like to apologize to all those on the plane. Lol. We arrived home late and went to bed late. Not long after I got in bed, I was running to the restroom. Apparently Elise had given me cooties. They were not nice to me at all. Worst I've ever been sick. BUT, I was just grateful that I didn't get sick until we returned home. L.A. was fun, and we were glad to get to go. I was glad that Lari and the girls got to go and was so touched that Misty went with us. What kind of friend calls you up and says "Hey, I wanna go with you to L.A. to support you and experience this with you!" I'm surrounded by good people. Good, honest, kind, generous, genuine, and loving people. I'm blessed.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New York

Okay, wow. Got the call on Friday late afternoon from the Today show. At first they were flying me out Sunday after church, but then they called back and asked if I'd like to fly out Saturday morning and spend the weekend in New York. Um, YEAH! Hung up the phone and started panicking, this gal was going to New York to be on television and had nothing to wear! Plus, my hair needed help! Thanks to The Ritz salon for doing my hair and blessing me with a shirt and earrings. Thanks to Altered Couture in Mansfield for the beautiful dress you blessed me with and for holding the store open late for me to come in! Thanks Brittany Giese for blessing me with the second dress. Sloan ran and got a hair cut and pants starched, we ate dinner with family and friends, then came home and packed. Sloan was able to sleep, I crawled in bed at 3, only to have the alarm go off at 5. (Yeah, remind me not to do that again!) Lari took us to the airport, had a nice flight. I was so thankful to not be close to the back of the plane where it's really noisy. Didn't know if my new ear could handle it. Arrived in NYC to find that the Today Show had sent a driver to pick us up and take us to the hotel. Hotel was very nice and within walking distance of many things. New York is LOUD. So many cars, people, and sounds. Not gonna lie, it was overwhelming at first, but I was enjoying taking it all in. Our first exploration was to Times Square. We enjoyed seeing it and all the lights and hustle and bustle. At one point we stopped and listened to a Peruvian Band playing on the sidewalk. It took me a few minutes to realize that I wasn't having any feedback from the music, and I turned to Sloan and was like "It sounds AWESOME!" I could actually make a distinction between each instrument and such. I listened for quite a bit and enjoyed it. We went into some stores just for fun and bought a few little souvenir items for the girls. At this point it started to rain and we refused to spend 10 precious bucks on an umbrella, so we made our way back canopy to canopy from store to store. I enjoyed the sound of the rain and people chattering and hurrying to get to where they were going. Got to the hotel to 'dry out' and make some calls, then headed to dinner. The restaurant was an intimate place with great food. Sloan and I sat in the corner and really enjoyed ourselves. The food was fantastic, I got fillet Mignon both nights! It was right after dinner that I got the call from the Ellen producer and got that rolling. We walked around a little bit and enjoyed the New York nightlife and sights, but we got back to the hotel and went to bed kinda early. We were pooped. The next morning we had breakfast at a great little cafe called 'Sara Beth's'. We opted to eat out on the sidewalk and I sat and took in all the sounds. The horse hoofs and they clomped down the street, the cars as they whizzed by, birds in the park. At one point a large group of Shelby's zoomed past on their way to some sort of car show and they were incredibly loud. After eating we headed to the subway where I had to turn my device off due to the noise :) We went to see where the towers were, that was an experience in itself. Being right in the place where so much tragedy happened. After that we headed to Chinatown with one goal in mind: To find good noodle! Sloan misses authentic Chinese food dearly since leaving China. We struck up a conversation with a Chinese man on the street after purchasing a little clay figure from him that he made, and got directions to a good noodle and dim sum place. We shared a table with another group and had nice conversation.............conversation I was able to be a part of and catch most of without having to rely on Sloan. Much walking ensued after eating, and we finally headed back to the hotel where we rested and went to dinner. The Today Show graciously gave us incidentals to eat on at the hotel, so we ate well both nights. This particular night we were eating and Sloan said "Hey, that's the guy from Fast 5 and Transformers!" I look over, and sure enough, 3 tables over sat Tyrese Gibson! My first official 'star spotting'! Sloan made me promise that I wouldn't 'fall' into his lap on the way out. Darn. We went to bed early since we had to be up early for the Today Show. Got up the next morning and got ready for the driver to pick us up. Sloan was so nervous that he didn't sleep at all and was up walking the streets of New York at 4:45. I on the other hand slept like a rock. Got up and got ready and headed to the lobby and waited for our driver. One of the producers of the show came along to escort us, and direct us where to go. Arrived at the studio and was introduced to everyone. They were all very nice. They went over what would be discussed, and kept telling me 'not to be nervous'. I was shaking like a leaf. Physically shaking! Sloan kept reminding me to smile because I was so nervous every time they did a 'shot' for the commercial break. That along with all the people out on the street looking in through the window at me, only added to my nervousness. Lol. The doctor that was going on the show with us came over and talked to me. Right off she said "You speak so well, I'm impressed." She said "it's obvious that you have some speech impediment, and that you are reading my lips and very focused, and that you are paying attention to how I move my mouth and form words, but you are doing so well.". That really made my day. Got settled on the couch and right before they started airing I asked Matt Lauer "You'll pick me up if I pass out right?" Lights, camera, action, and the interview started. Seemed like it was over in a flash! After the interview they offered to give us a tour of the studio. While we were downstairs getting a tour, I caught a glimpse of Tim McGraw on a screen. I quickly asked "Is that Tim McGraw?!?" Kerri, the woman walking us around, was like "Let me check for you". She came back and said it was indeed Tim, and did I want to go outside to see him? Um. YEAH! I thought I was going outside to get a picture from a distance type thing............had no idea I was going to meet him! He walked over, Kerri explained what I was on the show for, and he grabbed me and hugged me. I chokingly got out that I loved his music and was over the moon to meet him :) He asked me if I wanted a pic, and Sloan started snapping. I had 'perma grin' for a few hours. Got to see Kathy Bates as well, but no hugging. She was doing an interview with Al Roker at the moment. Anyway, we finished up and got in the car and headed back to the hotel. Called all the friends and family back home and filled them in. Walked through Central Park and checked out a place called "The Shake Shack"..........which was AWESOME. Check it out if you ever go to NYC! Great shakes and burgers, and reasonable prices! (which was what we needed on our shoe string budget) Basically just spent the last few hours walking around. Found a great little thrift store and bought a pair of shoes. (Thanks to a cheap lunch, I got shoes for dessert!) All during this time we were talking with the Ellen producers and setting up flights and schedules to go to LA for the show there. We packed and a driver picked us up and took us to the airport. We arrived back home at 11 that night.............only to leave out again the next morning :) All in all, NYC was a great place to visit and we enjoyed ourselves. The Today Show was fun and I was honored to be a guest.