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.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"In the turning of an ear"

Wow, my how life changes in the 'turning of an ear' :) SOOOO much to say, so little time to type it. Posted that YouTube video Monday night/Tuesday morning with ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA anything like this would happen. God is sneaky like that sometimes. Posted it on YouTube so I could attach the link to my FB for all you guys to see it and wham. I've not even had the implant activated a week and I could write a book on all the sounds!!!!! From small weird things like the toilet running to big things like the subway!

Anyway, started getting calls like crazy on Friday from people, places, and things and boy has this skyrocketed. My 1st and foremost goal is to use this publicity to get attention drawn to Envoy Medical and the Esteem Implant............I have said over and over, and I"ll say again....INSURANCE COMPANIES NEED TO START COVERING THIS PROCEDURE! Most people reading this know me well, and you know I'm not wealthy by any means, not even close. The ability to receive this implant was a total blessing from family, friends, church people, and strangers even. Mainly due to my Mother in Law, Lari <3 She paid for the brunt of this surgery and it'd be REALLY awesome if she somehow was reimbursed.........that's my 2nd wish. All you praying folks out there reading this, give it to God. In that order. Please. I have been contacted by so many people who would love to have this implant but cannot afford it...........breaks my heart every time. How cool would it be if they all could receive it?!?!?!?!? I know there are millions of others out there who would rejoice with me over the sound of themselves burping ;) Like my friend Vanda stated "my EAR is in His hEARt".

These last few days have been amazingly humbling..........I've cried with so many people on the phone and with Sloan so many times I've lost count. Times like this remind me that this world can be a beautiful place, and that there are multitudes of kind, loving people out there. People who take the time to say 'thanks' or 'you go' have just absolutely humbled me. I am surrounded by great friends and family. Good honest people. I love each and every one of you, and I am thankful to be in this position. Gonna end with a total cliche line..........."I'm just a small town country girl" Eclectic my whole life, but def never dreamed anything like this was in store. I only hope goodness comes from it all. Thanks!