Return to the IEP Frozen Yogurt Shop

My husband and I wrote this article in the 2017 Edition of Future Reflections. Future Reflections is a publication produced by the National Federation of the Blind for parents and educators of blind children. Last week, I received a phone call from our daughter’s TVI. She called to inform me that my daughter has been reassigned to a new teacher. All of our hearts are broken. For the last two years, this wonderful woman has gotten my daughter excited about learning braille. I can’t help but feel nervous of what is in store. We’ve had quite the experience with teachers throughout the last few years. Now, it’s time for another trip back to the IEP Frozen Yogurt Shop.


Mixing It Up This Monday With Cold Quinoa

It’s Monday, and your mind is marching a mile a minute.

It’s hot outside, and you don’t want to turn on the stove.

Why not mix it up with a cold quinoa meal?

Featured here is a photo of my lunch.

Leftover cold quinoa from the night before, with a light sprinkling of garlic powder and smoked chipotle powder, topped with green onion, cilantro, and avocado.

What is something simple and savory you like to share?

Tough Blind Mom Days

This week was a tough week for me. I found myself completely overwhelmed and crying. Sometimes sighted people just don’t understand how much extra planning simple things like trips to the doctor can be for a blind parent. I was our BELL Academy coordinator, and teacher, since my teachers were dropping like flies during the week. My daughter had to go homesick because she vomited from her sensitive stomach. She was fine later on, like she always is. The next day when we showed up again, the director of the center who was sponsoring our Academy refused to let her back in the building without a doctors note. There I was, about to start teaching for the day, and having to find a way to take my daughter to the pediatrician just to get a stinking doctors note. Luckily, my friend and lead teacher suggested to call my dad who had dropped us off, who probably wasn’t all the way home yet to turn back around to come and get us. When we finally arrived at the pediatricians office, I ended up crying at the counter explaining my situation. There was a doctor willing to see us, but then I was faced with inaccessible forms to fill out. My dad speaks very little English and couldn’t help me with that. We managed to get the doctors note, return back to the BELL Academy, but my daughter was required to stay home for one extra day just to be on the safe side. I’m not complaining. Life is good. I would not change it any other way. My week was totally worth it. However, sighted people just don’t understand how much extra effort and planning goes into simple things like taking a child to the doctor when you are a blind parent.

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.