Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What It's Like to be on a Reality Show

This past weekend, our episode of "I'm Married to A..." was on VH1.

You can watch the full episode here:

I'm Married To A... | Quadriplegic & Dominatrix

As I wrote about before, the crew was here just as we were first moving to Virginia Beach, and as I started my new job.

People have asked me if we were nervous to share our story. The answer? Not really. We share our story all the time here on the blog, and while no, we don't write about our sex life or about trying to have a baby, you had to know by now that both of those scenarios exist in our life.

By the way, there's no great baby update yet. Honestly, we haven't been trying, yet. Our life right now is consumed with my job.

So, that baby - while already incredibly loved, and covered by prayers of people all over the world - is on hold, for now.

You can read more of an update on VH1's blog. They interviewed us after the episode aired this week.

I want to tell you what the last week has been like.
It has been overwhelming, in the best way possible.

We have both received hundreds of social media messages and comments, emails and text messages from people in our lives (some that we haven't heard from in 20+ years) and some heartfelt greetings from complete strangers.

It's been hard to keep up.

But - it's all been so encouraging, and such a blessing.
We did not put our story out there for any kind of recognition. Definitely not for pity.

Knowing that our story, and our openness has given some people hope - that real love exists, that tough circumstances are worth pushing through, and that even a show that features a dominatrix can also show your faith, has been really fun.

We already knew that the love ("Love Like This") that we share is something special. It's interesting for so many other people to see it now, too. We want that for every marriage, every relationship.

Now - obviously, our love is not pure and perfect and devoid of me acting like a you-know-what during "shark week," and Michael sometimes being annoyed and disappointed. We face marriage issues like money and jealousy and selfishness, just like anyone else.

Don't put us up on a pedastal. Please. We'll fall right off.

But thank you for taking the time to encourage us, to lift us up, and to pray for us. It means a lot.

And to the crew, and the team at VH1 and everyone involved with the casting and production of the show, thank you for giving us a chance.

I'll never forget the day I came home from work, and there were lights and cameras all over my house.
I'll never forget wearing a microphone, and trying to come up with enough clothes that actually fit, for the wardrobe changes, that would work with wearing said microphone. And setting camera shots, and being on the other side of the camera - which, by the way - I was surprisingly comfortable with.
I'll never forget these nice people, Evie, Mary, Jenn, MJ, Brian, Orrin, and Andy - who took Brokaw on a million walks so you wouldn't hear a barking or snoring Puggle in the background of every shot.
I'll never forget watching ourselves on our own TV in our living room where everything was taped. It was the strangest thing, ever.

One day, we'll look back at this experience and chuckle, "remember that time we were on a reality show?"

But - I know this for sure, now. We won't ever regret it.
Thanks again to everyone who made this possible for us.

By the way - here are some more clips from the show.

Our love story:

I'm Married To A...

Our morning routine:

I'm Married To A...

Celebrating good news:

I'm Married To A...

And, finally, building a wheelchair ramp - which has to be the nicest we've ever worked together.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Paraplegic Contestant on The Biggest Loser?

If you follow us on Facebook, you've seen me blowing up the internet about this YouTube video.

I would apologize, except for the fact that I'm not sorry!

I admire Jamie so much! She is brave to want to do this, and to make this video.
Jamie's husband, Will, produced this video, and I think he hit it out of the park!

This video is good enough to air on The Biggest Loser, as-is, if you ask me.
And I am a TV producer, you know.
So, I can say that.

Please join us in supporting Jamie by watching and SHARING her video! Jamie said she just has to wait and see if she is picked by the casting producers.

We sure hope she is, but know that even if she's not, Jamie can still succeed!

You can follow Jamie's blog, Holy Rollin, online. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Park Day with My Best Good Buddy

Six years ago, I was living in a big townhouse in Pittsburgh all by myself and I decided I was ready to get a puppy.  That's when it happened.  I found some sort of quiz you could take online that decided for you what kind of dog would be best for you.

My results: A puggle.
I had to google it, because I had never heard of these dogs.
Then, I saw the cutest google images I had ever seen in my life: puggle puppies.

Then, I came upon a website for a breeder in Ohio, about two hours from where I lived in Pittsburgh, and I saw this little face online.
And that was it.
Next, I was in my car on my way to Ohio, and on the phone with the breeder giving them my credit card number to put a deposit down on "the one with the white paws."

It's not healthy how much I love this dog, but I don't care. He is my best good buddy. He is a spoiled brat, to the core. That's my fault. But, it's just another thing we have in common. He is my baby dog. Always.  Even though he's a grown man now.

The other day, he was getting into everything (what else is new?) and I could tell that he just really had cabin fever, and needed to get out of the apartment and RUN.

So, I took him to the dog park.  
Brokaw is really smart. He knows a lot of words. I didn't tell him we were going to the park, but he somehow just knew. He was so excited he barked all the way to the car.
There is a great dog park not too far from where we live.  It's a nice, big fenced in area for the dogs to run, and there are benches for the people in the shade.  It was pretty hot on this day, so there were only two other people and three other dogs in the park. One man AND his dog were asleep on a bench in the shade.

Letting Brokaw into the dog park is like watching a rodeo. He revvs up, I open the gate, and he shoots out like a wild, crazy bull.  He immediately made a new friend.
We have met lots of other puggles over the years, but this guy - his name is Cooper - and he is just barely one year old - looks more like Brokaw than any other puggle we have ever met.
"Nice to meet you."

The other dog at the park was just laying down, or circling around to change positions laying down.  Not the puggles. They went nuts.

It was funny to watch them because they were so much alike. They both wanted to be the one who was being chased.

After Cooper left, the dog park was just hot and boring, so Brokaw and I walked along a trail that's at the same park.  Neither one of us is very into or educated about nature.  As we were walking, I heard a strange noise, and jumped. Watch Brokaw's head tilt as he hears the strange noise.

Does anyone know what that is? It was in a marshy area. I was amused at my little city boy's nature listening skills.

After the dog park and the little nature walk, we headed home.
All that physical activity did us in.
It turns out, city dogs really like air conditioning.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Morning Post (and a video!)

I woke up earlier than I was planning to wake up this morning. Scratch that. A certain Puggle woke me up earlier than I was planning to wake up this morning.

So, here I am.  I just started drinking my coffee, even though I have technically been awake for an hour.  I blame my iPad. That's right, MY iPad!!

Uncle Sam's refund helped me reach my goal earlier than I expected, so Michael and I both have new iPads. (Which you know because of his awesome homemade iPad cases) They are super fun.  Coolest to do list I've ever had.  Looking forward to learning how to use it more, and finding cool apps, etc.

Of course, now that he has woken me up, and been outside and been fed, Brokaw is now back asleep.  So not fair!

I've been thinking more and more lately about wanting to have a baby.  Then, I have a Saturday morning like this, where a dog wakes me up at 7:00am and I'm grumpy about it, and I remember. I am so not ready for a baby.

Today, I'm going thrift store shopping with my friend, Jessi! I am looking forward to it.  I grew up shopping in thrift stores with my Granny Nora.  She taught me how to treasure hunt!  Plus, I haven't seen Jessi in a while, so it will be fun to connect.

It's allegedly going to snow tomorrow afternoon, but I'm noticing all of the weather guys dialing back their forecast.  It's fine with me. I'm not a big snow fan! Not a big fan of Winter at all for that matter.

We're doing good. It's been a good week. I have some pictures to share, so standby for a bit of a blog-a-thon!

Now, for fun: The other night, I took a video of Brokaw tucking himself in our bed.  This is our nightly ritual, while Michael is in the bathroom getting ready for bed, Brokaw does this and I watch.  Please pardon my breathy background noise - I was trying so hard not to laugh!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Soldier Is Home

My Soldier is home.
And now, my mother can sleep.

After a year of anxiety for every car that drove down her street.
And a year of deep breaths before every phone call she answered.

My little brother is home.  Safe.
It was like a family relay race getting up to Fort Drum, NY to welcome him home.  My mom and stepdad drove from North Carolina, to my sister's house in Virginia, with Chris's truck.  Then my sister drove with them up to our place, just outside of DC.  They stayed the night here, then the next morning, I drove, and we all made our way to upstate New York.  (a jack knifed tractor trailer at 5:15 in the morning led to a GPS nightmare that sent us to Syracuse two separate ways, but that's beside the point)

We got to our hotel room, free thanks to my Hilton Honors points (yay), and started piling in there like the ghetto fabulous family that we are. Roll away bed, and all.
We took our turns getting ready, then gassed Chris's truck up, and got some dinner near the base.
It was FREEZING there, and I think it was actually considered unseasonably warm!
We made it to McGrath Gym, where the Homecoming Ceremony was scheduled to begin, about an hour early.  My sister and I hung the awesome banner she had made for him that we held in the Norfolk Airport when he came home for leave in October.

I had to get a little creative because we were originally planning to HOLD the sign, but we saw an opportunity to hang it, and realized that we would both be double fisting cameras and video cameras.  I knew my husband would be proud that I came up with a creative solution for rigging up the sign...
Yes, those are the usb cords from my sister's camera bag.  They worked.  Some rednecks thought it would be a good idea to sit in front of our sign.  Tracy and I regulated, and moved the sign right to the middle of the bleachers.  Which worked, because when Chris marched in, he said he saw the sign first thing! 

We couldn't find Chris at all! Tracy and I were both scanning the crowd with our cameras zoomed all the way in.  The ceremony was short and to the point.  I tried to take it all in, knowing this was it.  Chris is home, for good.  He has DONE THIS.  We are such a proud family!

The Army band played a few songs, an announcer talked about the Brigade's accomplishments, and how this was the first group to come home, then allowed the soldiers to be at ease, so they could give their families a hand.

Which we happily accepted.  Because this is not easy.  It is not easy to watch someone you love walk down an airport hallway, knowing in a matter of hours, they will be in the heart of danger.  That yes, they are volunteers, yes they are well trained, yes they are surrounded by their Army brothers and all of them have the pledge and honor of never leaving anyone behind.  But that's still your son.  That's still your little brother.  And no matter how big their muscles have gotten, and no matter how much camo they are wearing, there's still a part of you that sees them as a laughing, giggling, chubby cheeked little boy.  There's a part of you that thinks of that little boy first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and your prayer life grows to a place it has never been before, because of the worrying, and the wondering where they are and if they are okay.

None of us recognized Chris until the ceremony was over, and the guys were released to their families.  I took my mom's hand, and said, "Let's go!" and we made our way to the bleachers.  There was a sea of soldiers reuniting with their families. Sons and moms and dads. Soldiers hugging their small children and their wives and girlfriends.  Then, I saw my soldier.  He was walking toward us.  He had taken his hat off and had it in his hands.  "There he is!"  I led my mom around another reunion, and had my iPhone ready to record the second she saw her baby.

Of course she got the first hug. She deserved it.  And though this 30 year old SGT would probably never admit it, he wanted to hug her too, like nobody's business.

We all had our hugs, and squeezes and pictures with our soldier.

Chris was exhausted. He had been in like 5 countries and 2 states, in one day!
We decided to just head back to our hotel room, all together, and we just laughed and talked and caught up.  It was a really special time, and I may or may not have been the only sensitive sap to cry!
We watched a local TV news report  my friend posted to my Facebook page, that you can see three short glimpses of us in!
Then, we settled in, all 5 of us in 3 beds for a short night of sleep.  Then, as early as we could in the morning, we took some more pictures of our soldier home on American soil, and started the long trek back to Virginia/North Carolina.

Chris will be "home" in Virginia in a few more months.  And you better believe, we will be putting that "Welcome Home Chris" banner to use one more time!

Let me tell you a couple more things.  Chris didn't even want us to take any pictures and post them on Facebook or where ever because he is the first of his guys to come home, and he's not really ready to celebrate until they are ALL home.  So, know that all of this is from ME, not from him, okay?  We are still praying for each and every one of the members of the 3rd Platoon, as they wrap up their missions in Afghanistan and all come home in waves.  They should all be back to Ft. Drum by the middle of March.

Another thing that I also have to note.  This sign in the gym was a huge reminder to me that not every soldier comes home like my soldier got to come home.  Standing.  Safe.  In one piece.
One soldier in particular, Derek McConnell, still isn't all the way home.  He is still fighting, in his recovery in the hospital at Walter Reed.  I have had the honor and privilege of getting to know this soldier and his family, and I couldn't stop thinking of them as we were enjoying Chris's homecoming at Ft. Drum.  Because his family didn't get to stand in the stands and wave a flag, and find their soldier in the sea of camo in the gym.  Derek was seriously wounded. He has come a long way in his recovery, thanks to amazing battle buddies, an incredible medical team and a loving family, but he isn't done climbing to glory yet.  Derek - I want you to know that Chris and all those guys have literally carried you everywhere with them since you left Afghanistan.  They carry you in their hearts, and since we sent them that flag that you autographed, they have carried that with them every time they have gone out to work.

I dedicate this blog post to Team Derek.  Climb to glory.  All the way! To the top! Team Derek, I brought back a little something from Fort Drum for y'all, and I will see you soon!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Most Uninspired Post, Ever.

Hello, my dear readers.
Bless your hearts for hanging on with us this month.

You know that the past two months have been crazy busy for me, right? I think I've mentioned that. :)
I was in the office all of two days in the month of September.
I'll be in the office Monday, for the second time in October, and it's the 31st.

I haven't had much time to myself.
Not much time to gather my thoughts, to let them wander, and end up with a bunch of brilliant blog post ideas.
So, that's that.

Miraculously, you have still visited, and clicked here and there, and for that, I am grateful.

I almost always chuckle at the random Google searches that lead you here.
For example, the top searches for the past week:

1. Dana Brown Ritter
2. Homemade Christmas Gifts
3. Apple Crisp Recipe Paula Deen
4. Joni and Friends paintings
5. Paralyzed husband
6. Puggle in pumpkin costume
7. Baby handoff
8. Dana Perino
9. danabrownritter
10. dog flash eyes

I am happy to bring you the most random content on the planet.

And now, a reward for staying tuned... Brokaw in his Halloween costume in 2008.  That was the last time he dressed up for Halloween.  After that, I was engaged and planning a wedding, then a newlywed, and this year, same story.  What can I say, when budgets are tight, the dog costumes just don't make it on the shopping list.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Laundry Man

I wouldn't say the household chores are evenly divided around here. But when you consider the circumstances, and the time and effort involved, they kind of are. Michael folds (pretty much) all of the laundry. It's not perfect. It's not exactly how I would do it. Although he has gotten better and faster in the year that he's been folding laundry! But, I'm thankful to come home to a basket full of folded laundry that's sorted his and hers and is ready to put away. Because I know he does it because he loves me and wants to contribute. And it's good enough to be stuffed into drawers and closets, for sure!

I love you, babe. Thanks for being the laundry man.

I secretly shot this video of M folding laundry one night while we were watching 24. Don't mind the TV in the background, it does sound like some love-making is going on, haha!


Scared of my Cooking!

Remember the star of the Thundershirt video??? Mr Anxiety, Brokaw Brown?
He does NOT like when I cook! Our old apartment had this really sensitive smoke alarm that would go off every time I used the stove, so he's still conditioned to think that's going to happen again. So, when the vent fan is on, he freaks out, runs and hides.

We got video of it the other morning. video

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh, Blog...

I have not forgotten about you. I'm sorry it's been more than a week since I've posted. It's been a very, very busy week! We had the most perfect Thanksgiving and weekend after Thanksgiving.

We successfully brought home, put up and decorated a real Christmas tree! We transitioned back to getting up at 3:30am so we could take care of M's personal care. (No more home health lady for a while). I had a quick, successful and hilarious trip to traffic court (everything was thrown out, yay!), and a super busy week at work, which included one of my favorite things of the year, the White House Christmas decorations!

(I put together this little FlipCam video for work)

I'm sitting in on a heating pad in my white chair with a sleeping puggle at my feet, looking at the most beautiful 7 foot tall Christmas tree in the corner. Sipping some Christmas Blend topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. I've just received an amazing massage from my husband which completely relieved my aching back. (He can rock a massage with those pointy little elbows and warm palms, haha!) There's a frozen lasagna in the oven for the next hour. I'm watching the local news and cracking up at one of my favorite reporters who blows every live shot and standup way out of proportion and always makes me laugh, and cringing at upcoming temperatures in the 20s!

More, including pictures, soon! Tomorrow, my bud Jessi is coming over and we are going to have a Holiday Baking Day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snowmageddon Survivors

We ventured out last Friday before it got bad. We knew it would be pretty much impossible to get around once all of the snow hit the ground, so we went out to take some pictures.

We survived Snomageddon or Snowpocalypse or whatever ridiculous name you want to call it. It doesn't matter how you put it, 3+ feet of snow on the ground is just not okay. Michael and I definitely made the most of it, though. I usually get cabin fever really quickly, like, if we spend oh, I don't know, more than just a day at home! But, I actually enjoyed the time at home! From the top --

M was working the video camera while I tried to get a little artsy with the Nikon.

I made him my bokeh! Yay for me for learning new photography terms. Here are a couple other shots I got that day:

You know it's bad when they mark the fire hydrants so they know where they need to dig them out!

Friday, thankfully, I worked from home:

And, of course, baked. I made the chocolate chip cookies.

I used the recipe from the manual for the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. They were super yummy!

And, there was so much dough, I froze half of it, so we can enjoy it later.

Saturday morning, we woke up to 2 feet something on the ground. It was crazy!!! Instead of looking like everything had been dusted with sugar, it was more like someone spilled a bunch (a.k.a. too much) white icing all. over. the. place!

This was the view from our balcony. That's a school across the street.

This is what I'm talking about. These poor trees couldn't handle it!

And these are cars, not giant marshmallows. I feel sorry for the people who had to dig out their cars! They deserve archeological medals or something! Thank GOD my SUV lives in a garage!

We missed church on Sunday, but we had our own little service in the living room! We sang worship songs, and pulled up the webcast and watched it, and prayed together. It was actually a lot of fun!

Then, of course, I baked some more.

My goal was to make one loaf of sandwich bread for the week, and some pull apart garlic bread.

What I ended up with was one oddly shaped loaf of sandwich bread, and some fall apart garlic bread, but we're not going to dwell on that.

I also made some Turkey Chili for Super Bowl Sunday, even though we didn't watch the game. Just to be festive! I freestyled the chili, but it was a week ago, and now I can't remember everything I put in there, or I'd give you the recipe. Oops! Gotta get back into the swing of things.

We watched a ton of local news, it was quality entertainment!

Monday, the streets were still pretty bad, but I was able to make it to work. There was worry of ANOTHER huge winter storm! We could get 10 to 20 more inches of snow! Whaaaatttt??? My work was kind enough to book hotel rooms for several of us, so we could be sure to get to work on Wednesday.

Well, here's the deal. I don't generally take them up on the offer for a room, because I need/want to be home with Michael to help him get in and out of the bed, fix him food, help him get dressed, etc. etc. etc. He was welcome to stay at the hotel with me, but NOOOOO, Mr. Independent wanted to stay home to take care of the dogs. I was so incredibly nervous about this proposition because I am such a worry wort and I was worried that something would happen, or he wouldn't be able to get to something, or the battery in his chair would die, and who would help him? He was making a point that we needed to do this. So we would know that we can. So, reluctantly, I agreed to it. I made him like three sandwiches, poured coffee, tea, water, and orange juice into containers he could get to, set out the pet food (when I told him the small bites were for the cat and the big bites were for the dogs, he looked at me like, "Seriously??" I can get a little maternal, which I suppose is a good instinct, but isn't the best interpersonal skill when it comes to relating to your spouse, or so I'm learning) and I packed my stuff and headed for work. And you know what? EVERYTHING WAS FINE!! More than fine, I think we both enjoyed ourselves. Michael was so proud when I got home. And I was so proud of him, too. And proud of myself for letting go (for one night!).

It was actually nice to have a night to myself in a hotel, all expenses paid by my employer!

I slept in a nice, fluffy bed all by myself and got almost 8 full hours of uninterrupted sleep! It was heavenly.

I took a really, long, really hot bath/shower and used up almost all of my travel sized products. That, too, was heavenly.

I only had to worry about packing stuff for one person. I'm an OCD packer, can you tell? :)

Had horrible hotel room coffee.

Then... I looked out the window. Sigh. I trekked down to work for a few hours... then the official BLIZZARD hit! So, I got sent home. I took pictures on my crazy/scary/snowy/icy/blinding drive home. Don't worry, I think my maximum speed was like 10 mph, so it's not like I was flying down the highway snapping pictures left and right. Here's a look at my journey home Wednesday:


Aaaaahhhh. I have never been so happy to pull into a parking garage IN. MY. LIFE!

Thursday, I worked from home, and made a to.die.for Pot Roast, that of course I have no photos of :)

This morning in church, Pastor Mark said we should have t-shirts that say "I survived Snowmageddon." So true! I bet they do exist somewhere.

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