JRA.... Journal of a Radical Arthritis Chick

Here I give advice, speak of my experiences and give information to those who want to better understand Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am NOT a medical professional, and you should always seek advice from a doctor.

My Photo
Location: MA, United States

Hello everyone! I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) when I was just 3 years old. I've had my battles with this disease over the years, and have decided to create a blog. I want to share my stories and adivce with other RA chicks, or anyone interested, to raise awareness and get insight from others. Feel free to comment/question me about anything. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Egg Allergy? -- Try these delicious, healthy treats!

I absolutely love to bake, it's definitely one of my all time favorite hobbies.  Before I stopped working, I was working as a preschool teacher for a few years, and absolutely loved it.  I was so heartbroken when my doctor told me I had to stop working, and could never work with children again.  I had so much fun creating lesson plans, teaching and playing with the children, and seeing them grow and learn before my eyes.  One of the things I loved sharing and teaching to the children was baking, and of course they loved eating the treats afterwards.  One year I was thrown a curve ball when I had a child who had severe egg and peanut allergies put into my room.  It was a tough year, but taught me a lot about baking with different things I never knew before.  As the years went on, I realized that food allergies, especially egg and peanut, seem to be more common.  After working with several children with different allergies, I learned different types of recipes.  To this day, I use these recipes, not because I know anyone personally with food allergies (because I don't), but because these recipes are actually a lot healthier for you.  I figured I would start sharing my yummy recipes with you. 

First and foremost, I did just a little research to share with you.  And egg allergy is when a persons immune system has an overreaction to egg or egg yolks resulting in minor to severe symptoms.  The person has built up antibodies to one - four of the proteins found in eggs.  This type of allergy is mostly seen in children, and is the second most common food allergy in kids.  The allergy is treated by avoiding foods that contain any type of egg in them, if not it could result in anaphlaxis, which causes shortness of breath, stopping breathing or even death.  It is advised that if you do or suspect an egg allergy and consume any, to seek medical attention immediately! The Allergy Foundation states that most children grow out of the allergy by the age of 5, but there are some who have it for life.  People who have egg allergies also need to avoid the the flu vaccine, since most vaccines are made using hen eggs as an incubator for the virus. 

Here are a few recipes I have used personally and love them!  I'm still working on eating healthier, like using whole-wheat flour, I find the taste odd, so I write a substitution when it can be used.

Eggless Blueberry Muffins
The actual muffin I made :)
I found a basic recipe online, and then tweaked it with my own stuff.   The recipe makes 12 muffins and are about 130 calories each. If you want them even healthier, I wrote some substitutions to lower the calorie amount. Hope you enjoy!

2 cups all-purpose flour (you could substitute with 2 cups whole-wheat flour)

1 cup sugar (use 1 cup Splenda® instead)

Dash of ground cinnamon (I didn't measure, so just add what you'd like)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk (I used whole, use any kind you like)

3 tablespoons melted butter (margarine doesn't always work well when substituting, so use salt-free butter instead)

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)


- Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin pan with paper liners.

- Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder in a medium bowl.

- Stir in milk and melted butter by hand until dry ingredients are all wet.

- Fold in blueberries, then fill each cup 2/3 full.

- Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

Actual muffins I made
Eggless Apple Muffin Recipe
This is one of my favorites, so yummy and they didn't last in my house very long!

2 cups all-purpose flour ( substitute with 2 cups whole-wheat flour)

1/2 cup white sugar (substitute with sweetener like Splenda)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup applesauce (all-natural, no sugar added)

1/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used a lot more, because I love cinnamon!)

2 cups chopped apples (I left the skin on)


1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine apple sauce, oil, and milk; blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy.) Stir in chopped apples.

3. Fill cups 2/3 full. Just before putting muffins in the oven, sprinkle tops of muffins with a bit of cinnamon & sugar, or if you have it, cinnamon sugar. :)

4. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan. While muffins are in the pan, brush/pour a bit of honey on top of muffins. Serve warm.
These are NOT mine. But a photo of someone elses :)
Fudge Healthy Brownies
These were pretty yummy for being healthy brownies.  The only thing that I can't get used to, is wheat flour.  I know it saves a bunch of calories, but I'm not sure if I like it or not. Great healthy recipe though.  The brownies are only 86 calories each! Enjoy!

Olive Oil Spray
2/3 cup mild honey
1/3 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup white wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/5 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large egg, at room temperature (or substitute a 1/4 cup plain yogurt or 1/2 pureed banana)
3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Spray the pan with the olive oil spray.

Place honey in a large glass measuring cup.  Microwave on high until honey is runny and bubbling, about 40-60 seconds.  Add cocoa and stir with a fork until well combined.  Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk until well combined. 

In a large bowl, combine applesauce, oil, egg(or substitute) and vanilla.  Whisk together until well blended.  Add the honey-cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir until no traces of flour remain.  Scrape the batter into pan.  Bake until the surface looks dry around the edges of pan.  Usually bake for 25 minutes.
Not mine, again. But looks so similar!
Egg-Free Cookies
These were sooo yummy! I got more compliments from this recipe than my regular cookies!  They do come out flat, but tastes just as good :)

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (24 oz) chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix butter, sugars, vanilla, and applesauce in a large bowl using a spoon.  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until well blended.  Mix in chocolate chips. 
Drop by rounded measured spoonfuls, about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then move to wire rack. 

I hope you all enjoy these yummy, egg free recipes!  Eggs are very good for us, so if you don't have an allergy, try to not substitute the egg.  Eggs offer lots of protein and nutrients, and help with baking and cooking by acting as a binder for the other ingredients.  If you are looking to make your recipes healthier, you can use wheat flour instead of all purpose, salt-free butter and more.  There are many substitutes you can use to make your baking a bit healthier :)  Here is a website that has a list of different ways to substitute: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-recipes/NU00585 Enjoy and happy, healthy baking!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Ever wonder why we dream, or what can affect our dreams?   I swear certain medicines make my dreams very weird and kind of whacked out, I wake up wondering what the heck made me dream that?  I decided to do some research into dreaming, and find out some answers.
Dreams are something that have fascinated people for thousands of years, but only recently has it really been put through scientific study.  According to Psychology Today a dream is defined as: "A dream can include any of the images, thoughts and emotions that are experienced during sleep. Dreams can be extraordinarily vivid or very vague; filled with joyful emotions or frightening imagery; focused and understandable or unclear and confusing."  While the exact known cause of dreaming is still yet to be explained, many scientists and psychologists have debated and released many different theories on why.  Ernest Hoffman, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass., stated that "...a possible (though certainly not proven) function of a dream to be weaving new material into the memory system in a way that both reduces emotional arousal and is adaptive in helping us cope with further trauma or stressful events."

One person who has researched dreams is Sigmund Freud, the famous psychologist.  According to Freud dreams are our own unconscious desires, motivations and thoughts.  These unconscious thoughts and desires are real, but are expressed in our dreams.  I'm not sure how much I agree with this, since some of my dreams I can't imagine ever coming true or wanting to come true.  I guess it depends on the person really.   This is also the case for dreaming in color, as much research as I did into whether people dream in color or not, everyone's answer was different! There was no conclusive evidence either way whether we do or not.  Personally, I think we dream in grays and blacks and whites, and our brain just knows what the colors are so we think we dream in color.

In 1977, J. Allan Hobson and Robert McClarley first proposed the activation-synthesis model of dreaming.  Which in their theory they stated that "circuits in the brain become activated during REM sleep, which causes areas of the limbic system involved in emotions, sensations and memories, including the amygdala and hippocampus, to become active. The brain synthesizes and interprets this internal activity and attempts to find meaning in these signals, which results in dreaming. This model suggests that dreams are a subjective interpretation of signals generated by the brain during sleep." 

It seems there are many different theories of how and why we dream, and something that still needs to be researched.  Now, do certain medications affect how and why we dream?  This is one subject I am interested in because, it seems the night I take my Methotrexate, I have some weird dreams.  Nothing too messed up, just something I could never imagine happening, usually I laugh at what they were, but rarely I'll have a really bad dream.  The answer to the question is Yes! Certain medicines can affect our dreams, because it they can affect the stage of sleep known as REM (rapid eye movement).  During REM sleep, is normal sleep mode where our eyes rapidly move and when we dream.  Cough syrup can makes dream weird, because they contain alcohol, which alcohol itself can make ones dreams different than normal.  I also found out that Vitamin B supplements are often deemed to cause intense dreaming, especially in people who were not dreaming at all before they started the supplement.  Beta-blockers, tranquillizers and anti-depressants may become a reason for bad dreams, especially if you've recently come off of these. 

If you're having really bad dreams, it could be caused from your medications, withdrawal from a new medication or something known as parasomonia.  Parasomina is a list of different types of sleeping disorders that cause bad dreams, sleepwalking, unnatural movements and behaviors during rest.  If you're having trouble with bad dreams a lot, it is advised to see a doctor about this.  There are lots of medications and supplements that can help make dreams less severe.  I know when I have a bad dream, even if they're not very often, I have trouble sleeping for a while in fear of dreaming like that again.

Research into dreaming is still new and under case studies constantly.  I'm not sure if we'll see any answers anytime soon, but in the meantime we can just hope.  If you're having trouble with dreams, it's good to start a dream journal, write down the medications you take the day before and the next day write down your dreams.  Especially if they're becoming a problem, you may be able to figure out what medication is causing you your bad dreams.  You'll never know until you try.  For now, sweet dreams to all!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Auto-immune: the gift that keeps on giving!

Okay, I can't take credit for the title of my blog, someone commented on a status on my Facebook with that and found it fitting for this blog.  It's not an informational blog today, just one of my thoughts rambling on, and maybe a few questions for my readers later on.

I've been having bad digestive issues for months now, I'd say for the past 7-8 or so.  They started off minor, happening once a month or less, so at first I figured it was just something I ate.  Sometimes when I'm on the run, I do get fast-food, but I don't eat it very often so I attributed the problems to that.  In September I had three days straight of severe pains and diarrhea, went to the E.R. and they claimed it was just a stomach virus.  Since the pains and diarrhea went away after another two days, I thought the same thing and just brushed it off.  It wasn't until a few weeks later, when it happened again, and it started happening more often, and more severe, when I became concerned.  I finally made an appointment with my primary care doctor in March to hopefully see what was going on with me.  After describing my symptoms she said it's probably just Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) but sent me for blood work and stool samples and also sent me to see a gastroenologist (digestive specialist). 

I had the appointment with the specialist on April 7th, and it didn't go as well as I hoped.  First, I absolutely loved the doctor, she was very warm, almost motherly.  She was also very well educated, she knew every one of my illnesses and medications, no questions asked.  I felt very comfortable with her, and knew I could trust her judgement.  At first she was mentioning IBS as well, but when she looked at my stool sample, her whole expression changed in her face.  She told me they showed a high white blood cell count, which is common with something called Colitis (Ex, Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease).  She came over and held my hand and told me I'd have to have a colonoscopy, not something she'd like to put me through, but in order to find out what it is, this procedure has to be done.  I am totally okay with having a surgery if it means I will find out the answer to my problems, I really am having an awful time with these pains, they just seem to be getting worse.  I have my colonoscopy scheduled for May 9th, and of course I'll be updating everyone with the details and results afterwards.  When I got home I emailed my Rheumatologist, because I am close with him and he had asked me to let him know how I made out.  He thanked me for updating him and said that if it is Colitis, it complicates my case even more and would like to work with my gastroenologist for medications, since the same ones are used for both.

I just don't know what to think or feel right now.  I always tell myself it could be worse, but in all honesty, I'm kind of scared.  Colitis is inflammation in my digestive track, there are a few different kinds, depending on where in the track is affected.  It's another auto-immune disease - does this mean my R.A. has anything to do with it?  If so, does it mean that it's spreading?  I didn't ask these questions to any doctors yet.... I'm trying to wait until after the surgery and I get the results before I really stress myself out. The key word there is trying

Today I was supposed to have an appointment with a specialist about treatment for my Osteopenia (bone loss) but right before I was headed out the door, the office called and had to reschedule because the doctor had an emergency.  They didn't have another appointment until June, but I am trying to see if I can get in sooner.

Another new thing, I have been on Methotrexate pills for about 7 months now, along with Humira (which I've been on for about 6 years), the combo still isn't working.  Before completely switching to a whole new regime of medicines, especially with the digestive issues now, we are trying to exhaust all options at hand right now.  We decided to switch to Methotrexate injections 25mg, instead of the pills; because injections absorb all the medication into your body, whereas pills only absorb a portion because our stomach acids destroy some of it.  For example, I was on 20mg pills, and my body was probably only absorbing 12-15mg.  We've maxed the dose out, so hopefully this works, it will take a few weeks to clearly see. 

Thanks again to all my readers who keep up with my blog, I enjoy writing it and researching different ideas.  Sometimes I'm not sure what to write, and other times the ideas pour out of me.  As always, I'd love YOUR input. What would you like to see in my blog? Any suggestions would be great.  Thanks and take care everyone!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I decided to take a different topic for this blog, and learn more about diabetes.  The reason why I'd like to learn more about this disease, is my fiance Adam has suffered with Type 1 diabetes since he was 4 years old.  I have learned a lot about it in the 5 years that I've known him, but still am learning everyday about it.  Someone had also asked me a while ago whether or not diabetes and RA can be seen or linked together.  I will discuss the link between the two, at the end of the blog. I figured it was time to do some research into this, and try to find out some answers. 

First of all, diabetes is a chronic illness resulting in high sugar levels in the blood.  There are three different types of diabetes known as Gestational diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 (I will explain the differences later in the blog).   Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar.  Diabetes is caused by too little insulin, too much insulin or both. 

To fully understand diabetes, it's important to learn how food is broken down in the body and then used for energy.  A sugar called glucose enters the bloodstream, glucose is energy for the body.  The organ known as the pancreas makes insulin.  Insulin's job is to move the glucose from the bloodstream into different parts of the body like muscle, fat and the liver where it can be used as energy.  See diagram above for an example of how this works.  People who have diabetes have high blood sugar because either their pancreas does not make enough insulin, their muscles, fat and liver don't respond to insulin normally, or both. 

Insulin and syringes
 Like I said before, there are three different types of diabetes and will now explain the differences. 
Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in childhood.  Some patients are diagnosed when they are older than age 20. In this type, the body makes little or no insulin. People with this need to do daily injections of insulin.  The cause of this type is unknown, but genetics, viruses, and autoimmune problems are considered.

Type 2 diabetes is a lot more common, and makes up most of the known cases of diabetes. In this case the pancreas does not make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal, often because the body does not respond well to insulin. Many people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have it, although it is a serious condition. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common due to increasing obesity and failure to exercise.

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that appears any time during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes. Women who have gestational diabetes are at high risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life.

There are many different risk factors for diabetes, which include: age 45 years and older, family history, gestational diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, not getting enough exercise, and many more.  Symptoms in all types include: blurry vision, extreme thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, hunger, weight loss.  Since Type 2 progresses slowly, sometimes there are no symptoms at all.  Type 1 symptoms also include: fatigue, increased thirst, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, weight loss in spite of increased appetite. 

Blood test
 There are a few different tests used to diagnose diabetes.  A urine analysis may be done to look at the glucose levels, this alone is not enough however.  A fasting blood test is always done, and is diagnosed when the blood glucose level is higher than 126.  Levels between 100-126 are used as prediabetes, and are considered a risk factor for type 2.  Another test done is known as an A1C test, which is used to see how well people are controlling their levels.  The test is determined by: less than 5.7% normal, pre-diabetes is between 5.7%-6.4% and diabetes is 6.5% or higher.   People with diabetes have to have their A1C tested every 3-6 months to be sure their diabetes is under control. 

The immediate goals with diabetes is to lower the blood glucose level, and get the levels controlled.  Also taking care of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a complication of diabetes when the body cannot use sugar as a fuel source because the body has no insulin or not enough insulin, and fat is used instead.  The long-term goals of treatment is to prolong life, reduce symptoms and prevent further complications from occurring.  Treatment used is self-testing of glucose with a meter, exercise, diet, and medication or insulin use.  There is no cure for diabetes, but with the right symptoms, the illness can be well-controlled for the most part. 

It's important if you do have diabetes to fully understand what you need to do, to properly take care of yourself.  Understanding the difference between high and low glucose levels by monitoring it with a meter, and how your body feels is one important way.  Another way is to know what to eat and when, it's important to track how much sugar and how much carbohydrates are in food.  Insulin is used in Type 1 diabetes, since their bodies do not make any insulin.  Insulin only comes in injection form, and are usually done 1-4 times a day. The amount of insulin varies by the person, what you eat and certain lifestyles.  Type 2 diabetes may respond well to diet and exercise, and sometimes pills are administered to help. 

People with diabetes have this for life, and it's a life of shots, watching what you eat and getting the proper exercise.  It's important to always take care of yourself, because diabetes, if not well controlled, can cause complications in the future.  Complications include foot problems, vision troubles, diabetic coma, coronary artery disease, stroke, vascular disease, and many more.  Always keep track of your sugar levels, and see your doctor on a regular basis and sooner if any new symptoms occur.  Again, there is no cure for this disease, but you can try to lead a somewhat normal life if everything is taken care of properly. 

I did some research into whether or not diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis can be linked together, because I honestly had no clue.  I found an article on Arthritis Today about this very topic.  It stated: "New research shows that people with diagnosed diabetes are nearly twice as likely to have arthritis, indicating a diabetes-arthritis connection. If you have both conditions, you probably take different treatments for them. You probably see different doctors for them. But the lifestyle changes you make for one may be good for the other. Eating smaller portions of healthy foods and walking daily, for instance, are important parts of treating diabetes; rheumatoid arthritis benefits from the same activities".  Diabetes starts off as a hormonal problem, but without proper treatment it can cause joint problems, especially after having diabetes for several years.  Long-term diabetes has been known to cause diabetic arthropathy, which is a form of arthritis.  However, because these two diseases are seen together, does not mean one is caused by the other.  Taking good care of yourself, can help minimize the risk of developing the other if you have one of the two diseases.  Arthritis Today also compared Type 1 diabetes and RA: "Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, as is rheumatoid arthritis. In people who have type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the pancreas, the organ where insulin is made, just as RA attacks the synovial tissue lining the joints. Inflammation is the common culprit".  It's important to take care of yourself and always be aware of risks in your future to prevent them from occurring and prolonging your life.  If you have RA and/or diabetes it's important to always get blood tests to monitor everything. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

When Two RA Chicks Meet...

Our first day we met!
 Brenna and I met on the Facebook page RA Chicks back in September, we first started chatting because we found out we were the same age.  We friended each other on FB, starting off by exchanging messages and getting to know each other a bit, then decided to exchange phone numbers.  A friendship formed over mutual ailments and personalities. We decided it was time to meet in person, so Brenna came for a visit to Massachusetts.  We decided to write a blog on our visit and share it all with you! 

Mallory: I was super excited that Brenna was coming, I enjoyed the friendship we had already formed over the phone.  Brenna arrived here in Mass on Wednesday night.  When I got to the airport, the silly people working there wouldn't let me park out front, so I had to keep circling around and around until I saw her.  When I finally did see her, I pulled over and jumped out of the car.  My first impression was that I thought she was taller than I pictured, but so cute.  We hugged and it felt like it was hugging an old friend.  We got in the car and headed to my apartment.  Along the way I pointed things out about the city, and stuff like that.  We got back to the apartment, settled in and of course, took some photos!  Since Brenna's plane got in late, we just watched a bit of T.V. and mostly talked, then headed to bed to get some good rest.


Brenna: Okay so I had been packed for two days already before my plane left because I was so excited. I had my knee wraps, icy hot, a bunch of meds and too many clothes. When we landed I wasn't even nervous!  Then I finally saw Mal (she hates that nickname...) and Adam.  Mal is short, much shorter than I thought, but just as adorable. Lol. It wasn't awkward at all- it was like I had just seen her a week before.  We talked and hung out and then passed out.  We had both been hoping that we would feel good, or at least feel pretty similar each day and luckily it worked out well.  The next morning (and pretty much every morning) we slept late, and poor Adam had to keep busy and quiet until we woke up.  I'm used to sleeping 16ish hours so I think when I get back home I'm going to sleep for 3 days straight.  Okay I had to ask Mal what we did on Thursday, so I'm just going to let her tell it. Lol.

Us at Battleship Cove
   Mallory: Lol, I almost forgot what we did too... must be Fibro Fog or something!  On Thursday, we didn't want to do too much, since it was our first day, so we sorta took it easy.  I took Brenna to see a place here in my city called "Battleship Cove", it's right on the water and has old battleships, a museum and a park nearby.  Unfortunately, the museum was closed for a private party, so we walked around taking lots of photos of the park and the battleships.  I then drove around the city a bit, and also showed her a famous church in the area and was able to take great photos of the outside.  It was kind of chilly, so on our way back to my apartment we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts and grabbed some hot chocolate and some donuts (yea, we ate kind of bad but oh well!).  We came back, ate some donuts, and Brenna painted my toes and fingernails pretty colors.  We then played the game battleship (haha), but the Pirates of the Caribbean version.  We looked outside and it had started to snow! So, we got into comfy clothes and played a game on the Wii called Mario Party, and Brenna won YAY! She's a superstar!  Friday was a fun day, we took Brenna into Providence, but I'll let her tell you all about it. :)

Us at Fire and Ice at Providence Place Mall
 Brenna: Okay then. So Mallory is an excellent driver by the way. She is also an excellent cook! We drove into Rhode Island (I was all excited because I have no idea where I am and didn't really realize that I had already been there...I blame the RA for making me so scatter brained but that's probably not the only reason.) I took a lot of pictures of the cityscape-Fall River was a huge factory town and a lot of the original buildings are still up.  The mall we went to was humongous!  It was like 6 stories- thank goodness for escalators. We bored Adam to death by looking at girlie stuff.  We got a few shirts! And I wanted a cool hat but it was wool and it made me itchy ):  Went to a rocking comic store! Then off to eat at Fire and Ice- which was pretty awesome inside- although we had to stand for a while while we watched them cook our food, it was totally worth it (and the chefs were cute...).  And we both have no idea what we did when we came home...but it probably involved achy joints and happy faces. When we woke up we felt like crap and had no energy but we were in total denial...

 Mallory: So yes, we both woke up and felt like crap, no energy and in pain, but we both apparently wanted to ignore that and try to have fun.  Since our shopping trip to the mall didn't have what we were looking for, we decided to try going to Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, since they usually have great deals.  We barely finished at Marshalls and were both so totally beat, we decided to at least try T.J. Maxx....which again was a total bust, we didn't find what we were looking for.  We decided to just come home and try to have a relaxing day.  We made some yummy/pretty chocolate chip cookies (from scratch ::wink, wink::). That was the last straw though, we were so pooped, we both passed out and took a nap!  I slept for about an hour, and Brenna slept for about 2 hours.  We still felt tired when we woke up, but decided to try and have some fun anyways.  I cooked some dinner, and afterwards we drank some crappy beer (haha), and played some RockBand. It was totally fun! (except the crappy beer that Brenna loves :P)  We stayed up kind of late, but was well worth it.  I think all of us slept pretty well that night.  Sunday, we woke up feeling okay, both of our legs were achy and energy was okay. We were planning on going to Plymouth since it was beautiful outside, but that required a lot of walking, so we decided to keep it local and do something short.  I took Brenna to the famous "Lizzie Borden" house here in my city.  It's less than 5 minutes from my apartment and I've never been before, can you believe it?!  I'll let Brenna tell the story of though, my paragraph is getting kind of long, hehe. :)

Us at the Lizzie Borden House!

Brenna:  Alrighty then.  We were all prepared to go get freaked out! We had cameras, cash, and a voice recorder thingy that might pick up some spooky stuff! The house looked fairly normal on the outside- but the inside was gorgeous and decked out in old Victorian style. We got some gruesome pictures of the crime scene photos and learned all about Lizzie and the day she did the deed... or well didn't do the deed since she was acquitted, but come on we all know she killed her parents (I hope she doesn't come haunt me for the statement). We didn't see any ghostly faces in our pictures, but they still rocked! After the tour we went and paid respects at the Borden's gravesite at this awesome graveyard that looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie or Gotham city. It was gorgeous out, which was a nice change. Mallory took me for a little tour of the city- most importantly to the "7 hills" which is this really fun road that goes down this extremely steep hill and has flat plateaus at every street intersection.  It is seriously like riding a rollercoaster. It's even scarier on the way up!!! I know I mentioned before- but I must give "props" to Mal again- she is the greatest driver ever.  Massachusetts doesn't seem to believe in having lines on the roads, and all the roads are one way or they merge constantly or the stop lights are off to some obscure side.  Well we made it back home safely and I think we decided to wake ourselves up after eating a late lunch and watching a crappy crappy movie (never watch it- don't even ask), by doing some Michael Jackson dance moves on her Wii.  I have a new found respect for wacko jacko now.  He was a rocking dancer.  And my muscles are sore from doing all his crazy arm movements.  I didn't even attempt to do the leg movements!  Instead of stripping all our clothes off because we were so hot and sweaty, we decided to play some simple games (which I have never really done), and Mal taught me Bowling, Baseball, and Boxing. I need a Wii now.  We took a break and ate dinner and watched movies/T.V.  And by the way Corona is the king of beers baby- you can't go wrong with lime!

Dancing to the Michael Jackson Game for Wii - Haha!
 Mallory: Eww! Corona is so gross! (We will debate this forever, haha).  Anyways, today is Monday and that means that Brenna is leaving tomorrow.  You'd think we'd have some awesomely rad plans for today, right?! Wrong.  We have been pretty lazy, watching movies and chillin in our PJs.  It's crappy outside, raining and just miserable.  A good end to our vaca is to just relax, take it easy and spend some time together.  I had a lot of fun with Brenna while she's been here, and am sad to see her go.  I'll miss her, and I do wish she lived closer so we could see each other more often, but I'll look forward to our next meeting.  Hopefully, I can go down and see her in the summer.  I'd love to meet her cool family, and see her farm!  It sounds like we'd have a blast!  This week didn't fly by as fast as I thought it would, yet the end is almost here.  It's been so great meeting someone who shares not only similar interests with me, but similar ailments and diseases, I think it's made our friendship stronger.  I feel like I've known Brenna for years, and can't wait for our friendship to grow! I have a feeling she'll be a lifetime friend for me. :)  Thanks Brenna for being such a great friend to me already, and thanks to Niki and RA Chicks for helping two lonely RA girls come together, form an incredible bond and to be able to fully understand what the other is going through.  :)  I've had a blast this past week, it's helped me forget the stress a bit, and help me cope a bit better with what I have. I can't wait until the next fun adventure! :)

This is how RA chicks have fun!
 Brenna:  Lol okay I haven't really read this whole rant that we have been writing. I hope it doesn't sound too disjointed. This past week has been one of the happiest times I've had in a long long while. I feel so very lucky to have meet Mal and her awesome fiance and furry kids.  From the start I felt like I'd known her since I was little. And I just know that we are going to be ranting and raving together for the rest of our lives.  So even though RA has taken a lot from me, it has given me a great friend- and that helps me get through the rough days.  So thanks Niki for making this possible.  I hope all you chickadees can meet someone who truly understands you. Now I'm going to go try not to cry because I know I'm leaving tomorrow and it will be a while before we see each other again. But there is always Skype, and that Oozoo thing, and phone calls and text messages and Facebook. So always be willing to take a risk and who knows what will happen- you could end up painting your friend's fiance's toenails just for a laugh. :) Hang in there everybody. Muahs.


New shirts- New friends - forever!