My immigrant story

I do my best to stay out of political discussions especially when they are extremely heated. However, I just want to share my story again. I was an immigrant child. My family fled from Cambodia because of our own genocide. I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. I have no memory of any of this because I was able to immigrate to the United States before my second birthday. My parents managed to live their version of the American dream. They owned a thriving business for 25 years. They were a staple in their small-town community. They were, and still are the foundation and backbone to our family. They raised three children who are now raising their own children. We were immigrants then. We are Americans now. We vote. We pay taxes. My brother serves our country in the army. He has been deployed twice, once serving nine months in Afghanistan. My sister is a nurse. I am an advocate, and this is my story.


In the news part two

I wasn’t able to stay up to watch it live on channel 13 news at 11 PM, but here is the link to the piece done on me.

Not sure how I looked, I felt like a hot mess.

I felt awkward on camera.

For the second time, the age of my diagnosis was incorrect.

Besides all that, it was a really great piece.

My message came across well.

You can live the life you want, blindness does not hold you back.

Making it in the news

A few days before I ran my half marathon, I did an interview with Las Vegas review Journal. The article didn’t come out until the end of May, while I was off the grid on our family camping adventure. Friends texted me the link, was tagged on Facebook Shares, and told that I had appeared on the front page. When we returned home and emptied our mailbox full of three weeks of mail, I learned that it had been on the front page of the local mailer. Because of that article, I was contacted by A reporter from Channel 13 news and just gave an interview. I had a dream last night that a Las Vegas golden knights player wanted to help me get endorsements. Maybe this TV interview might find me a corporate sponsor to run with their name on my running gear. Who wouldn’t want their logo on my butt. Hopefully I wasn’t too awkward on camera.

Here is the link to the review journal article.

Rupp Summer Family Adventure

At 1:30am on May 26th, we hitched up the pop up tent trailer, climbed into our Honda Pilot, and said so long to the suburbs.

Just to add a special second touch of significance to that date, May 26 also happened to be our 11th wedding anniversary.

To celebrate, we were to spend the next 20 days making memories

as we traveled nearly 3000 miles on the road,

collectively hiked 300 miles through redwood groves, canyons, and ocean bluffs,

camped at five different parks,

hugged trees,

touched all sorts of sea creatures during Low tide,

played games,

rode horses,

laughed till one of us Peed our pants,

found $200 on the beach,

Inhaled as deep as we could the magic of the forest,

Embraced our inner hippie and did not shave for three weeks,

Earned Junior Ranger badges,

Chased waves,

Got sand blasted by the wind,

Hand wash clothes in buckets and hung dried them on a clothesline, later chasing our underwear down in the wind.

Took about 1000 photos,

Received about 80 mosquito bites,

Kissed banana slugs,

And overall had an amazing time!

My Running Journey with Achilles #ForTheLoveOfRunning

I began my running adventure with Achilles Las Vegas on Thursday, December 14th.  On our first run, I could barely run two miles.  John, my guide, asked me what my running goals were, and I said, “I want to run the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon.”

On December 31st, my brother, sister-in-law, two nieces,  and Achilles team ran the Resolution 5K with me.

I have always enjoyed running, but was faced with the obstacle of not being able to see.  Running with Achilles Las Vegas has given me the freedom to enjoy new parks and trails all over town.

How do I run without being able to see?

Before Achilles, I ran in the middle of the street in safety of my gated community, or bounced along like a hamster on the treadmill at the gym.

After learning about Achilles, I now run with a sighted guide.  We each hold a tether that is about 18 inches long with a loop at both ends for our wrists to go through.   My sighted guide basically runs next to me being my eyes, telling me about obstacles in the way, turns coming up, people or tree branches to go around, and my favorite, dog poop to step over.

On Sunday, May 6, I completed my first half marathon.  I had hoped to complete the 13.1 miles in 2:30.  Considering that it was 90 degrees, hilly, and I peed twice, I’m super stoked that I completed it at all.  As we climbed the switchbacks towards the finish line, my family waited with water guns ready to spray my team and I.  I crossed over the timing mat at 2.49 with a huge smile of relief and pride that I’d done it!

Halfway to my marathon goal, I get to begin the real work of training in mid-July.  I’ve decided to go with the Jeff Galloway Method.  My goal for this first Marathon is to get to November 11th without injuries, and to finish the 26.2 miles before they start shutting down the race and bussing people back.

Follow me and the Achilles Las Vegas team as we train and log in the miles.  If you love running, don’t mind early mornings, join us!

Whether you’ve got experience or not, Achilles pairs volunteers with athletes of all abilities to get out, get active, and enjoy physical activities like running, hiking, biking, and more.

I love that I am part of the running community.  I love that I am part of a team.  I love running.


Time for a Fashion Post;Rocking the Romper

As rompers started getting popular, I could never see myself in one. When I thought of a romper, I thought of the cute little frilly ones my daughter wore as a toddler. Well, today I am totally rocking a cute frilly romper from H&M. Hubby tells me that the pattern is white, navy, and lighter blue flowers on a blue background. The romper also rocks the popular off the shoulder look and high waisted belt.

Now I don’t have to worry about the wind blowing up my dresses.

I’m still looking for a cute long romper that fits my petite frame.

If you have any suggestions for somebody who is 5 feet two and 120 pounds, send the links my way please.

What would your self contract say?

I planned for today to be a day in front of the computer where I got lots of writing done. Well, the universe had other plans for me. Instead of working on lesson plans for the NFB of Nevada BELL Academy, instead of writing a long blog which was to include awesome photos from my half marathon, I have a laptop that won’t turn on and a sick kid to cuddle and listen to Harry Potter with.

Instead, I get to write this short blog post from my handy WordPress app on my phone.

A few years ago, I attended a leadership program on emotional intelligence. I walked away with a personal contract that said, “I am an unstoppable, courageous, and powerful woman.”

Today, three years of continued self discovery, self development, and lots of self compassion and self love later, I have a more fitting contract with myself.

The old contract came from the self that was still searching, still needing to prove something. The old contract screamed, “I am woman, hear me roar!”

This new contract comes from a self who owns her space, A self who is confident, having nothing to prove to anyone her worth, and a self who owns and loves herself wholeheartedly.

This new contract with myself reads, “I am a worthy, kind, confident woman.”

What would your contract with your self say?

Tuesday Tip, Never Leave Home Without a Spare

image of a metal cane tip

When hitting the road, every driver should have with them a spare tire, just in case an emergency arises.  As a nondriver, my spare cane tip is something I carry with me in every purse,, backpack, or tote bag.

Featured above is a photo of the metal cane tip zipped in that side inner pocket of my bags.  If you want to know why I choose the long white cane (also known as the NFB cane) over the shorter, heavier, slower moving cane with the red tip, I invite you to read on in my, “Meet the Rupps,” blog post.

What is something you never leave home without?

Fun Trivia Fact, What Color are the Streetlights in Henderson?

I find that I am spending more and more time in Henderson.  It’s quite literally just on the other side of the Interstate.  Most of us in this area have no idea where Vegas ends and Henderson begins.  Actually, did you know that the two cities have completely different colored streetlights?  That’s a fun fact for a trivia game.

Why am I going on and on about streetlights and the city of Henderson?  Since I’ve been running, and since I’ve been spending all of my free time preparing for our NFB of Nevada BELL Academy, which will be taking place at the new Henderson campus of the Nevada Blind Children Foundation, I’m loving the city more and more with it’s family friendly feel.  From the running trails, parks, schools, community activities, and lastly our off Strip Local stay-cation spot at Lake Las Vegas. I’m in need of a summer program for my future engineer like Snapology.  After learning about the STEM themed parties, summer and after school programs, I’m halfway tempted myself to open a franchise.

future engineer holding a lego car

I’ll stop blabbing on, but before I go, if you live in either Vegas or Henderson, can you please do me a favor?  Step outside after the sun goes down and tell me if the streetlights are white or yellow?