Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Thanksgiving was great. I got up, puttered around my house, went for a run, & then headed over to Mom & Dad's to make some noodles. I went to Mike's grandma's with him for the noonish time meal & then we went to my parent's for the 4ish time meal. Needless to say, we weren't very hungry for round two. I feel kind of bad for my mom b/c the meal at their house is always #2 for her kids. We just don't have too much appetite for another round. But, I did eat her stuffing with much more gusto that Grandma Stewart's oyster stuffing. OH MY! Does anybody out there like that oyster stuff?
The day after Thanksgiving started early. I had to work my 2nd job from 2-9, so I had to get my shopping done quick! My family has a completely insane tradition of shopping on Black Friday. It's not just me & my parents; it's also my siblings & their families, my grandparents, & my aunt & uncle. All in all, it's 15 people. We can't count Mike b/c he says he would have to smoke some weed to be able to go out that day. So I gladly let him stay home ;-) So I shopped, I worked, & then I crashed. Saturday was a lot the same.
Sunday morning was when things just went totally south. I had the feeling that I was coming down with something late Saturday night. I woke up & my left ear was really painfully achy. I hadn't had that feeling since I was a little kid. Sunday morning I got up & just felt really draggy as I got ready for church but I was hoping I'd shake it off after I had some coffee. It was a 5th Sunday so we had our regular morning service, a fellowship carry-in dinner & then an afternoon service. We also had a short choir practice after that for the Christmas Cantata. I got home at about 3:30, changed my clothes, & drove myself to the urgent care clinic. My ear was hurting very badly & my throat was getting scratchy. NOT GOOD. I waited forever (trying not to think about how I was breathing in all the germs from the other sick people) & finally saw the doctor. He thought it might be a mild ear infection. I was chilling but had not developed a fever so he wrote a script for a z-pack & sent me on my way. I got it filled & started taking it immediately. Went home, Mike came by & tucked me in & I was asleep by 8:30 or 9:00.
Monday was worse. In fact, it was probably about the worst day of sickness. My fever was around 103 for hours & my throat was full of infection (I'll spare you the details). I called my regular doctor & he advised me to go to the ER or see him first thing the next morning. I opted not to rack up a bajillion dollar hospital bill & waited to see him Tuesday morning.
So, I'm at the doctor's getting a chest x-ray & blood work b/c he thinks I either have pneumonia, mono, or leukemia. Yep, leukemia. Evidently it can start with a terrible throat infection. Who knew? My mom took me home to wait for the phone call. At this point I'm pretty upset. I didn't' really think I had leukemia, but I was really concerned about the mono thing. I didn't want to think about how long that can linger & how it affects the rest of your life. Scary stuff.
The phone finally rings that afternoon. Leukemia - no. Mono - no. So what gives? What is making me so miserable??? Acute tonsillitis. I never knew it could be so bad. I was given strict orders not to go anywhere until I had seen the Doctor again the following Monday & he gave me a ten day course of Levaquin (an antibiotic that has the side effect of rupturing tendons - how fun!).
So, ten days of drugs later I am feeling pretty ok. I still get really tired by the end of the day. I think I have begun to realize that I need more sleep on a regular basis. I just can't do what I used to do - how sad...I'm aging!
And it seems like the last couple of days I've been surrounded by people with upset stomachs. Fun! I am terrified of the stomach flu. I am scared to throw up. I am scared about feeling nauseous. Am I the only one? Seriously, I should probably be counseled about it; it's a huge stronghold of fear in my mind. Pathetic, I know.
Anyway, I spent a whole week at my house & I really loved having the quiet time there by myself. I got to feeling a lot more comfortable there. I know the sounds & smells better, if you know what I mean. The worst part of the whole deal is that I didn't have any paid time off left. My company is a little unconventional in the way that they handle vacation, sick time & personal time. It's all considered the same & they are fairly liberal with how much you get (I'm a six year employee & I get 26 days a year plus 7 paid holidays). The catch is that none of your days carry over year to year so many employees are trying to get their last days of in December. Since we only have 9 employees I try to make sure all my time is used up so that we aren't too short-staffed. Well, let's just say that plan totally came back to haunt me. I missed 5 1/2 days of work with no pay. And I missed all of my scheduled hours at my 2nd job, too. So it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks as I figure out where to cut some corners. I had some money saved (thank God!) but that is kind of a lot to cover, especially this time of the year when I had been spending a little more for Christmas gifts & things.
All of this to say, the Lord has been right here with me the whole time. I am so grateful to Him for protecting me when I am afraid, helping me sleep when I don't feel well, & comforting me with His Word. I had some wonderful hours during that week just reading my Bible & loving it more than I have in quite some time (to my shame). I also had a nice visit with my sister. She came by one morning & we spent an hour just catching up & enjoying each other's company. Somehow I let my life get too busy/overwhelming to delight in those kinds of moments on a regular basis.
NEWS FLASH!!! I just got a text from Mike that says he is NOT getting laid off at the end of this week. Thank God they are keeping 65 employees & he is one of them. The Lord has been so good to answer prayer in this matter.
I have more great stories to tell, but they will have to wait for a later date. Hopefully soon I can give you some details about the wedding. We haven't planned much b/c we were waiting to see if Mike would be laid off. That question has been now been answered so it's time to move forward!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Letter would be a layoff notice from his employer. He has worked for the same manufacturing company for about 13 years. The company is experiencing some hard times & truthfully there have been layoffs going on at different times for over a year. Silly me, I kept saying, "You've been there so long they'll have to shut the plant before they get to you!" Hmmm...guess what? They might shut the plant.
The Letter says that as of December 18th there will be a plant-wide layoff. Of course, they expect this layoff to be temporary. They usually have a shut-down period of about two weeks over the holiday anyway. So, my thinking is that they are not sure at this point if they will be able to keep this plant open. They lay everyone off & then they can save some money because they won't have to pay them holiday pay (bah humbug!). Then if they need to shut down, it's already in process. In the employee meeting that was held, they said that they intended to call about 70 workers back as of January 5th. Mike is about #45 in seniority. If they call back by seniority, he should be included. Since they aren't union, who knows what criteria they will use to select employees to call back. Higher seniority = higher rate of pay so that may cook his goose.
Sooo...now what? I was thinking April for the wedding. Now we're not so sure. I've been kind of discouraged about it. But my heart & mind keeping coming back to the assurance that the Lord is in control. He knows all about it; He knows our anxieties & our desires. He will lead us for the right timing for our wedding & I'm praying He'll provide great deals along the way as we plan things.
In conclusion, if you're wondering when we will set the date for our nuptials, just know that we're wondering, too! And praying & seeking the Lord's will. Pray along with us, please.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
At the beginning of the week of October 20th, Mike suggested to me that we do something fun together on the following Saturday. Since I bought my house we have been on very few actual dates (unless you count trips to Lowes & Menards) & it has been a long time since we had done anything that wasn't family related. I readily agreed. Later that week my brother & his family decided they would come up from Kentucky for the weekend. Friday night was quickly planned full with a backyard campfire cookout for my dad's birthday (2 weeks late). A good time was had by all, but I was wondering how I could get some extra visiting time in with my niece & nephew & still do something fun with Mike that next day. I got up early (Mike doesn't usually so that worked in my favor) & went to a homecoming parade with my family. After that I picked Mike up & we went to Nashville for a few hours. It's a wonderful little town that has street after street of artsy gift shops. We had a really nice time just wandering around, looking, & even doing a little buying. I was very suspicious that he was going to take a moment somewhere during the day & ask me. We were in several really nice picturesque places but nothing happened. Hmmm....
As the afternoon wore on we were in a bit of a rush to get back to town for dinner at Olive Garden with the family. I know, I know...my family gets together so much it's probably damaging. Anyway - no proposal on Saturday.
Fast forward to Monday, October 27th. Mike had asked me if I would come over to his apartment for dinner in between my packing & getting ready for the Vienna trip craziness. I agreed with my suspicions once again fully aroused. That day was the one year anniversary of our first date. About 4:30 he called & said that his afternoon had not gone according to plan & he didn't have a plan for what to cook for dinner so would I please pick up a pizza on my way to his place? Once again, I'm confused. Pizza is not a very special dinner. In fact, we've had pizza a bizillion times since we've been dating. I was a bit disappointed. So I ordered pizza & headed out to his place. When I got there I noticed that his little kitchen table for two had been moved. Normally it sets in the wide doorway between the tiny kitchen & tiny living room. I walked into the kitchen & this is what I saw:
He's so funny! He was all nervous. He had gotten 2 dozen beautiful red roses & he had worked really hard to get his new candles to look all drippy. What a guy. He asked, I said yes, we ate pizza, took some bad pics that I will probably never post b/c we look so tired & goofy, & then we went to my parents house to show off my beautiful ring.
It was perfectly Michael. He's not one for big showy, fancy things & I loved the way he proposed b/c it was simple & beautiful.
Anybody else want to share their engagement story?
Monday, November 10, 2008
I'm happy to confirm the vicious rumor that yes, I am engaged! Mike proposed to me two weeks ago today on October 27th, our one year dating anniversary. That was also the night right before I left for Vienna. I was a little surprised, but not completely. I knew he had the ring (we had designed it & picked it out together) I just didn't know for sure when I was going to get it ;-) You can't tell a whole lot from the picture, but the ring is in white gold with a pear shaped diamond in the center. There are pear shaped sapphires on the sides. So very pretty!
I haven't posted sooner b/c I've been trying to call friends & family to let them know first-hand. It's taking awhile & some of you are still going to get a call :-) We haven't set a firm date for the wedding yet, but we're thinking April 11th or 25th. I've also got to decide if I can plan a wedding & train for the Indy Mini!
So it's exciting times here. I'll blog about Vienna & give wedding details as they come together!
Monday, October 27, 2008
This past weekend was so much fun. My brother & his family were in town Friday - Saturday. Friday night we had a family cookout to celebrate my Dad's birthday. Saturday morning we got in on a little hometown parade action. The kids got tons of candy. Then Mike & I headed to Brown County to spend a few hours roaming the shops in Nashville. He bought some beautiful pottery & we had a great time just hanging out. Saturday night we met up with Mom & Dad, Beth & Brennan & their kids for dinner at Olive Garden. Yum! Then I went on a little shopping spree. I needed a new coat & some new jeans before I headed over the pond & I also picked up a pair of Dansko's (very expensive but supposedly very good for your feet shoes). Anyone else ever buy them? Opinions to share? So far I like mine. Then yesterday was church (evangelistic meeting started & wow - good stuff so far!) & some more bustling around followed by an Amazing Race party at Beth & Bren's. Very busy, very fun weekend. I'm blessed to be able to spend time with such wonderful people, family & friends alike.
This afternoon I've got laundry, tidying, & packing to do. Oh, and today is our one year anniversary as an officially dating couple. Anybody else out there completely surprised that I've been able to keep him this long? ;-)
And I'm happy to report that I have already voted. I will be getting back to the States on Election Day so I had to vote early. Voting is a very precious freedom. I recommend the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" to any person who wants to gain a greater understanding of what women in the past endured to enable us to vote today.
All right, I guess this is adios for now! I would say good bye in German, but I've got no idea how!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This is the lovely, little old time medicine cabinet that I preserved in the bathroom. I love it. Everyone asked me if I was going to replace it & I firmly said no. I love it. Mike put in two lovely new lights on either side of the cabinet & put in wainscoting & paneling above. I love the two tone blue. It's cheerful & makes me happy.In the space next to the shower where we took out some old cabinets Mike built in this lovely shelf. This is the top half. And this is the bottom half. The lowest compartment is just the right size for my tall laundry basket. Very handy. Eventually I plan on making some curtains to hang on the inside for at least this bottom spot. This is the bedroom. The walls are Cranberry, the trim is Honeysuckle Bloom & the ceiling is Flax. It's hard to tell the colors from these dark pics, but I love it! It's a bit intense, but very warm.
I love this picture because it allows you to see a little better how it all comes together. The crown molding with the corner pieces was Mike's idea & has been considered a stroke of genius by us all. I think crown molding looks like the icing on a fancy cake. Beautiful! You can also see a little better the color of the ceiling. I promise, it does match the roman shades. I know in that other pic the color of the shades seems a little out there, but they really do look great.
Yikes, the clutter of moving! This is the living room During. The color of these walls is Lindhurst Mushroom & the ceiling is Quail Egg. It's hard to see much, but maybe you can see a little of how it's different.
And finally, the dining room During. Since it's very open between the living room & dining room the walls & ceiling are painted the same colors. And I have to thank God that I do actually really like all of the colors I've selected. That has definitely got to be a work of His kindness because I've never done this kind of thing before & I prayed often that He would help me. No one has the time or money to redo things, you know?
That's all for now! I hope that I really do get a lot done today so I can have some more pics for you this week!
The massive plaster hole mess in the bathroom.
This is the space next to the shower where we took out some cabinets.
The bedroom before. If you know me well, you know that lacey, floral wallpaper & sheer curtains are just not going to cut it.
The living room before. The couch & chair you see are the ones that I sold on Craigslist.
The dining room before. See all that lovely painted-over wallpaper that I had to scrape off? And that's my mom & dad checking the place out just before I bought it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I've finished a full 10 day course of antibiotics & I've been popping M*cinex DM like a junkie. I'm just praying that I can get over the whole deal completely before I fly next week. My ears can't hardly handle a flight when I'm 100 % well so I'm fairly certain that 3 flights on my way to Vienna could be completely miserable if I'm stuffy headed.
What do you think - is Airborne effective? Should I try it? And does anyone have any flying tips they would like to pass along? I'm always happy to get travel advice so let me know what you know!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
But after some more in depth reflection I have decided what my one main reason is for blogging and what my one main reason is for blog reading.
I blog b/c I like to write. For those of you who know me well this will not come as a surprise. I love to type out a post about something funny that happened, or a strange question that arose in my mind, or an answer to prayer I've had, or insight about the Lord I've realized. Oftentimes I don't have time to actually sit at the computer & write the posts. But I get to think about them & that process, for me, is much more than half the fun.
I read blogs b/c I am a voyeur. Not in an icky, creepy way. I've always been a snoop - I wanted to know what other people kept in their bathroom cabinets so when I was a kid, I had to look (I promise I haven't done this in YEARS!). When I'm driving, I kind of glance around at the people in the other cars. And if you leave your curtains open at night you're just asking for me to look in as I go by. I just can't help it. And reading other blogs kind of satisfies the same nosey urge in me. Can't help it. Curiosity compels me.
So...why do you blog? Why do you read blogs?
Monday, October 6, 2008
I got off of work a little bit late & Mike's truck broke down so we didn't get off to a promising start. I was also kinda worried because I hadn't packed anything at Mom & Dad's. I didn't want all of my helpers getting impatient with me as I stuffed boxes & ran around like a crazy woman. I got home & my grandparents were there, ready & waiting with their truck. I know it sounds awful for me to enlist the help of my mid-eighties grandpa, but he is such a great packer, tier-downer, & he insists on helping. My grandma is a great cheerleader so we had to have her along, too. I'm not sure I've mentioned it before, but I LOVE my grandparents. They are such a source of joy & wisdom for me. My mom was a huge blessing to me because she had stuffed several boxes full for me while I was at work. I started piling up what was ready to go, they started carrying it out to grandpa's truck & a little bit later Beth & Brennan arrived to help. Caleb & Madison even got in on the action by carrying out smaller things. Moving is a terrible pain (I'm sure you can all agree!) but it was wonderful spending those few hours with my family. We got it all moved in about 3 1/2 hours. Very little of it has been situated or put away, but it's all there except for my tv & a couple of other things. I've even been staying there the last two nights. Yesterday my family went to a pioneer/harvest festival thing & I even bought a pumpkin for my front porch ;-) I'd take some pics & post them for you all but I cannot find my camera anywhere. Imagine that! I work both jobs today but I have high hope for organization & unpacking for tomorrow & Wednesday. This has been a long & ongoing process. I've been a bit exhausted & exasperated at times, but the Lord has been so good to provide just what I've needed all along the way. I can't thank Him enough for the people in my life - my family, Mike, Virginia - who have been so faithful to encourage & help me along the way. I'm so blessed.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
- the bedroom is DONE! Except for some touch up painting which shouldn't take more than five minutes.
- the living room is DONE! Touch up painting note applies here, too.
- the bathroom is DONE! All we need to do is reset the toilet, reinstall the shower door & then I need to clean.
- the dining room just needs the woodwork washed, the floor stripped & waxed.
- the kitchen is an utter disaster. We'll label it the current work in progress. ;-)
And for the BIG NEWS - I hope to move in a big way on Saturday! It's gonna be an interesting process because we won't be able to start until about 3 pm because I have to work my second job. I'm excited; I can't wait! It's gonna be a major mess but oh well! Roxi, I hope you're ready for some chaos when you come visit :-)
I am cautiously hopeful that the Terrible Tuesday curse is broken ;-)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Now for the bad news. It would seem that my streak of Terrible Tuesdays has not exactly ended. The first Terrible Tuesday my car's computer went kaput. The second Terrible Tuesday I hit a deer. Last Tuesday was a Terrific Tuesday - I worked just one job, worked on my house for a little bit, then met my sister & the kids for dinner at Fazoli's. Yum. Then we spent the evening at their house - went for a walk, played some badminton, got the kiddos cleaned up, read to, tucked in, & then Beth & I had some chatting time. I've really missed those relaxing catch up moments for us. It was a great day. Then came Terrible Tuesday #3. I went to my house after work & Mike helped me get the lawn mower going & I tackled the yard. I'm ashamed to admit that it had been about 6 weeks since I had mowed. It was hard work, let me tell you & a mistake that I do not intend to repeat. While I was mowing Mike went to Lowes to get some stuff we needed. He forgot his wallet. Oops. He came back empty handed realizing that he left his wallet at his apartment (about 10 miles away) & my fueled needed light was flashing. Thank God he didn't get stranded on the side of the road! So then we decided to start hanging the crown molding in the bathroom. Thanks to lovely Virginia the bathroom is now all painted & just needs this last bit of trim to complete it. Yay! We got the crown all hung except for one piece that I still need to buy. We took a little break (by this time it's about 9:30 & we still haven't stopped for dinner). I went to the bathroom & noticed a major toilet malfunction. As in, it wasn't flushing & I could hear water running somewhere. Mike ran to the basement & told me not to come look. I went anyway. I shouldn't have. Water was coming through the floor. Say it with me people, NOT GOOD! Thankfully we spent some time rearranging things in the basement this last weekend & so nothing important got wet, but yuck! We realized that there was obviously an obstruction in the drain & since the water couldn't go down it had ruined the seal on the toilet. We went back upstairs, removed the shower door, removed the toilet & put it in the shower (it looks quite comical) & then stared at the pipe in the floor that was full of water all the way up to the rim. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to go to bed & not get up until noon on Wednesday. Instead I decided to listen to Mike. He thought it would be a good idea for me to go get gas in my car & get some take-out for our dinner while he went & retrieved one of his many tools from his parent's house that would allow him to snake down the pipe & see what might be clogging it. Say it with me again, YUCK! That's what we did & by the time I got back he had already run the snake & come up with a big wad of little tree roots. I called the city yesterday & they checked their end of the sewer (of course it was fine) & I have some people scheduled to come check out my end tomorrow. It's a blessing I'm not actually living in the house yet b/c I would have no toidy & no shower. I'm praying that it's not a tremendously expensive repair. That will make me want to scream, cry, & go to bed early ;-)
Since this was the Third Terrible Tuesday hopefully now the trend will come to an end!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Fast forward to last night. I have been experiencing excellent performance from my little car - just like it had never had any problems. I was driving on a country road at dusk (& I'm sure you can guess what happened!). I whacked a deer. The damage is minimal - I hardly even felt the impact - but the bumper is all caved in on one side. No fun. So I called the insurance today & found out that this kind of claim is covered under comprehensive & I have no deductible! I also have rental coverage so when the work gets done I won't be dependent upon everyone else to get me to & fro.
These little difficulties are a bit trying, but I have to say that the Lord has been very faithful to take care of me. Since I bought my house & have been pouring every extra penny into it I tend to get a bit more disgruntled when things like this come up. He has definitely covered my every need & I'm so grateful!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Each year there is a group of us Northland Girls that tries to get together for a few days. This year we were down in numbers (usually there are at least 7 or 8 of us with about 14 little boys running around). Even though we didn't have every one with us we still managed to have some great times. My camera went kablooey so this is the only pic I have (thanks Dellie for e-mailing it!). We slept in, went for walks, talked, ate, baked pies, shopped, talked, made homemade pizza, talked, & prayed. What a precious few days! We missed you, Chrissy, Rachel, Becca, & Angie! Here's looking forward to next year & praising the Lord for godly friends!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
This was the first step in renovating - removing the old wall paper. Beth & Brennan stopped in for a few minutes to help me peel.
Mike was on duty in the living room. We both took a couple of vacation days so that we could work hard on getting some stuff started.
I was trying to teach Caleb how to use a scraper.
My dad bought a Sam's Club cake to celebrate my house purchase. I promise you, any little occasion & that man is headed to Sam's to buy a cake. He loves 'em!
This is the living room after it was painted. The color of the walls is Lindhurst Mushroom & the ceiling is Quail Egg. I'm doing the same colors in the dining room since the area is so open. Thank you, Virginia for all your hard work!
Here's Mike standing in the doorway of the bedroom. I chose Cranberry for the walls, Flax for the ceiling, & Honeysuckle Bloom for the trim. Since I took this picture we have hung crown molding & it looks great! All that is left to do is touch up some paint, do some caulking, & clean. Yay! Thanks Mike, for all of your hard work!
I'm a little bummed because I thought I actually had a few more pics than this. Oh well, there will be more to come! We've started on the bathroom now so hopefully soon I'll have some finished pics of it!
Supposing that definition is correct, I have to admit that lately I have kind of fallen off the wagon regarding regular exercise. I was really working hard to get ready for the Indy Mini so when the race was over I was ready for a break or a change in routine. Plus I figured it would be beneficial to give my feet a bit of a rest. I had decided that this summer I would cut back on the running & spend more time biking & doing yoga or workouts that revolve around strength training. Well, I've been busy. And I would really just rather run I guess because it's been nearly impossible to make time for the other kinds of exercise. I have all kinds of excuses - my work schedule, my house renovation, Beth's illness...you know how excuses are, they go on & on. So, I've tried to reevaluate a bit and come up with a new plan.
- ride my bike to work at least 2 days a week (this week that would be today & tomorrow)
- ride my bike on Saturdays for all errand running unless I need to go somewhere that I could get killed on a bike
- lift weights with Mike whenever he wants (he has a small personal gym thing - it's kinda fun!)
- do at least two other workouts a week using my exercise ball & DVDs from my collection or the library
- get some sleep! I think if I could work up to at least six hours a night I would feel a little bit more like exercising
So there's the plan. We'll see how it works. Mostly my schedule is out of control. If I could slow down a bit it would really help. Here's what I've been up to this week:
Monday - worked both jobs (7am-9pm) & then went to Lowe's with Mike to get some tools
Tuesday - worked both jobs & then lifted with Mike
Wednesday - worked 7am-3pm, haircut, prayer meeting, hung the crown molding in my bedroom
Thursday - work 7am-3pm, 2-3 precious hours at home to tidy up & clean/relax, dinner with DeAnn to celebrate our birthdays, mow grass at both houses with Mike
Friday - work 7am-3pm (while my family enjoys the day at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari!), grocery shop, work on the house
Saturday - get up super early so that I can exercise & go to the Farmer's Market, work 9-1, help Mike begin to pack, clean for Mom, have my birthday dinner & party
Maybe now you'll forgive me for STILL not posting pics of the house. I promise that one day I will do it!
How are all the rest of you doing with your summertime fitness goals? Any hints, encouragements, or tips? Everyone feel free to comment!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Let's start with an update on Beth. Many of you have asked what her status is at this point. It's been a long road, complete with 2 night stay at the hospital in Indy. I was so overtired & mentally worn during the 24 hours I was there with her that I took the stairs every time I went from her room to the cafeteria or gift shop. There are exactly 214 stairs from top to bottom. Anyway, while she was there she had a whole group of interns & a couple of neurologists working on her. There has been a lot of blood work done & they have tweaked the dosage of medication that she had been taking. She also saw a nutritionist because some of her difficulties have come from being uncomfortable with eating. Her sensation of swallowing changed a lot & it made it hard for her to eat. The nutritionist suggested that possibly she should try a gluten free diet because sensitivity to gluten can cause the body to experience neurological symptoms. She has been home for a couple of weeks now & slowly she seems to be coming out of this episode. She has been following the gluten free diet for a couple of weeks now & she has also been trying to increase her physical activity. She went for a walk with me on Sunday & she went swimming yesterday. She is still having some pain (today her neck hurts some) & she is still experiencing some insomnia (something that both of us struggle with sometimes). Thank you so much for your prayers, expressions of concern & love. The Lord has been so faithful to strengthen us all through this & I pray that the lessons we have learned will be deeply written on our hearts. Please continue to pray for Beth. They still haven't diagnosed anything & there is the realization that it could worsen at any time. She has a follow up appointment with the neurologist on the 18th. We'll see what happens then.
Now let me update you on my house. I have had some tremendous help lately. I am happy to report that the living room is done! A wonderfully sweet lady from my church, Virginia, loves to paint & she has been really working hard for me. She primed both the bedroom & living room. Then she came back for more punishment & painted them both. She did the living room all by herself while Mike & I helped in the bedroom. The bedroom just needs to have the crown molding nailed up & then it will be done. Yay!
We have also started on the bathroom. We pulled all the trim off & have begun to hang wainscoting & paneling. The walls in there are just too uneven & messed up to paint. So the bottom half will be wainscoting & the top half is another type of paint-able paneling. Mike has gotten two walls done. He also removed some cabinets that were next to the shower. He is going to build me a custom cabinet so that it will be the right size for hampers & other things that I want to hide in there. The cabinets that we pulled out may actually get used in the kitchen (they match exactly). We're going to replace the lighting in the bathroom as we go along & once all the walls are done, Virginia is ready with her paintbrush!
Then all that's left will be the kitchen & dining room. I think that once the bathroom is done I might try to start cleaning up & moving some. I don't like living in the middle of a remodeling project, but thanks to my parents I've had lots of experience doing it! :-)
Work has been going really well. I've been a technician long enough now that I had to recertify & renew my license. That was a flurry of continuing education & form filling out. I'm glad it's behind me for two more years. Strangely enough, I did learn a lot from my CE. If you have any questions about Medicare Part B or how to regulate thyroid hormone levels, give me a call!
Six weeks ago I made a major change that I should have posted about. I got my hair whacked! I had about 6 inches chopped off & do I ever wish I had done it sooner. It would have made for some fabulous before & after shots but alas, I didn't get it done.
And now for some milestone occasions that have passed...Mike & I have been dating for nine months. That's about 8 1/2 months longer than any of my other relationships - lol! I kinda can't believe he's still hanging around but he still seems to like me ;-) Also, I celebrated my 31st birthday this last Sunday. My parents were on vacation (yeah, what kind of timing is that???) so I had lunch & cake with Beth & the family. Then after church that night Mike made me dinner - homemade pizza. Yum. And yeah, he got me a present. Good man that he is he got me exactly what I asked for...a salad spinner! I know I'm weird & all that but seriously, I hate soggy romaine! I've been told that they don't really work but we'll just have to give it a try anyway. It's super cool - it even has a brake on it. My family is having a bash for me this Saturday night. If you're nearby please drop in! ;-)
So that's my massive update. Hopefully I'll have some pics of the house posted in the next couple of days. How's that for a little teaser?
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Beth loves butterflies so I thought I would put some on display here. Many of you have asked what her status is so I will attempt to update you thoroughly. I have waited a little bit so that I could have some remarks from her most recent appointment. She met with the neurosurgeon. He does not feel that all of her symptoms can be attributed to Arnold-Chairi Type One. He ordered 2 MRIs. The first she has already had done & the second will take place on the 30th. It will show if there is obstruction of the cerebral spinal fluid. The only way she would be a candidate for surgery is if there is obstruction of some kind. If there is no obstruction, there will be no surgery & she will just have to manage her symptoms (say it with me people, complete misery!). This week she saw a neurologist at IU. He seemed to be very interested in her because her symptoms read like the complaints of a 70 year old person who has had diabetes for decades not a presumably healthy 32 year old. He performed the regular in-office tests for reflexes & strength which she passed easily. He also does not think that the Arnold-Chairi is responsible for all of her symptoms. All of her complaints involve peripheral nerves (except for the tongue weakness) rather than central nerves. So he ordered lab work. Beth has had lots of blood draws since this all started but this dude ordered much different tests - from the order sheet it looked like he ordered some way out of the ordinary stuff. He wants to test for autoimmune disorders that attack the nerves (both my mom & her sister have Lupus, an autoimmune disease) & who knows what all else. He was very reassuring in letting Beth know that he does not think she will have any dramatic loss of function or onset of pain. This booger is a progressive thing & shouldn't land her in any kind of emergency situation. However, he did tell her if certain things happened that we should bring her to the E.R. at I.U. & contact him so that he could come evaluate the situation. This is a relief because no other doctor would offer that assurance. She has a follow-up appointment with him in six weeks - once again, nobody is in a hurry but us. *sigh*
So, how is Beth today? I spoke to her on the phone a little while ago & she is really feeling weak. Even though the doctors have not restricted any activities, she hasn't driven in several weeks because of this persistent weakness. Their home is out in the country, about 15 miles from my parents home, & she doesn't feel capable of making the distance. She is sad, in pain, fighting anxiety, & feeling like a burden. Please pray for her spirit & soul as much as you pray for her body. She is making a valiant effort to trust the Lord in all of this. She has dug deep into His Word & posted promises that are a blessing to us all throughout her home. Please also pray that we can all rally around her family & help her husband as well. My parents are all trying to juggle full-time jobs with many responsibilities as well as do what we can to be there for them.
That's the status of things in a nutshell. God has been very good to us this far. We're just waiting, praying, & praising Him for all He has taught up to this point about His grace, His peace, & His sustaining strength. We also are so grateful for the people who love Him, who have helped so much. Our church family & friends have really gathered round & been so warm & loving to our family - God bless you all! Thank you so much for your continued prayers on Beth's behalf.
Monday, June 30, 2008
This is my lovely sister, Beth with her daughter Madison. Just over a month ago my family & I were enjoying home made ice cream after Sunday night church. Now we are spending much of our waking hours caring for Beth & praying for her. They suspect that she has Arnold-Chairi Type I. It's a condition where the lower tonsilular lobes of the cerebellum descend from the skull into the spinal space. It can pinch off the circulation of cerebral spinal fluid. Beth had a terrible episode of sickness 15 months ago that they diagnosed as a viral neuropathy. It's uncommon in a woman her age & who enjoys good health but the burning pain in her arms & legs could not be explained any other way at that point. She got better but has struggled off & on since then with terrible pain & numbness. They have explored fibromyalgia, lupus (prevalent in our family), and even Lyme's Disease. Last week our family doctor did some review of MRI results, etc. & discovered what he feels is an overlooked case of the Arnold-Chairi. In the meantime, Beth has suffered a terrible flare up of numbness, pain, & muscle weakness. She has lost some of her ability to swallow so she is barely eating soft foods. She was successfully referred to a well-known neurosurgeon in Indianapolis (one of my co-workers has has been his patient 3 times). That appointment is early Wednesday morning. It's been a tremendously long wait for this appointment (7 days down 2 to go!). Please pray for Beth. Pray for her peace of mind. Pray for the Lord's continued direction in testing & treatment. Pray for us as her family to be the right kind of support for her. Pray for her children (8 year old son & 5 year old daughter). There has been a network of tremendously loving people from our church who have really "circled the wagons" & we're so grateful. I personally am praying for a miracle. Each night before I go to sleep I ask our powerful God to erase the whole problem before Beth awakes the next morning. If He chooses to do it, I will praise Him; if He chooses not to do it, I will praise Him.
And so we wait on the Lord. He never disappoints.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thomas W. Bailey
Thomas W. Bailey, 88, of Terre Haute died at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, May 20, 2008, at Meadows Manor North. He was born in Arkansas on Aug. 7, 1919, to Henry F. Bailey and Mary E. Sluder Bailey. He retired from the former Quaker Maid where he worked in the shipping department. His wife, Rosalie Johnson Bailey, preceded him in death on May 8, 2005. He is survived by two sons, Thomas L. Bailey and wife Becky of Rosedale, and Steven R. Bailey and wife Kathy of Texas; a brother, Earl S. Bailey of Arkansas; his grandchildren, Robin Rice and husband Scott, Birch Bailey, Betsy Leslie and husband Dan, Ryan Bailey, Brian Bailey, and Michael Bailey; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers, Charles, Emery, Elmer and Lester Bailey; and sisters, Gladys Johnson and Zelphy Foster. He was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving in the Southwest Pacific Theatre with the Seabees. His memberships included Terre Haute First Church of the Nazarene, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 972, and he was a former member of Southside Evening Optimist Club. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Saturday at DeBaun Springhill Chapel, 85 E. Springhill Drive, with the Rev. Ryan Bailey, a grandson, officiating. Burial will be at Westlawn Cemetery in Farmersburg, with VFW Post 972 conducting military rites. Visitation is 4 to 8 p.m. Friday.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I have had State Farm insurance ever since I became a driver. It has been a fairly friendly relationship & they also cover several other policies for me. Recently I received a statement that let me know what my car insurance premium would be for the next six months. They had incorporated all of the changes to my policy from moving and adding homeowner's insurance, etc. The very next day I received a check from State Farm for over $400! I was a little confused. So today I called & asked my super nice agent to check it out for me. I was worried that my homeowner's payment had gotten applied to the wrong policy or something crazy like that. He did some digging around & discovered that the corporate people are doing a huge audit to determine that all policyholders have received the discounts they are eligible for. It appears that I was gypped the multi-car discount for two years while I was living with my parents. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??? What a blessing - to get a whopping check like that out of the blue & then to find out that I get to keep it!!! Jehovah Jireh. Sometimes I feel like the Lord is just loving on me more than I can stand. And I'm so convicted because I don't deserve one bit of it.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Love you, Mom!
So that's the scoop on the race. I've been pretty lazy since & I've only been running once. I'm hoping to go a couple of times this weekend though.
And by the way, here's a shout out to Anonymous...who are you???
Friday, May 9, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
And the hot seats. Each day here at the nuclear pharmacy we go through the restricted area doing what we call 'wipe & survey' tests. The wipe test consists of just wiping a piece of paper towel over surfaces & then putting the wipe in a machine that tests to see if radioactivity is present. The survey test is just moving a Geiger counter over different surfaces to see if there is radioactivity present. Basically we have to check for contamination daily. On Friday we test our vehicles & the unrestricted areas as well. I got that job this morning & I was buzzing through the "swipes & slurveys" (that's what I like to call them) when I discovered that two chairs in our break room were reading a little bit hot. Hmmm...I had actually sat in one of them a little bit earlier. So I told my boss & we did a couple more surveys & wipes & pinpointed a little more clearly where the contamination was. I want to assure you that it was nothing major. Just a little hotness. So then we all lined up at the survey meter to check out our hineys. There's nothing like waving a Geiger counter over your posterior end! The real mystery is that no one had hot pants, shoes, or hands. We haven't been able to tell how the activity was transferred. Very interesting. Don't I have a fascinating job?
My house closing is in less than an hour...anybody else out there as excited as me? I have never written a check for such a huge amount in my entire life - & I kinda hope I never do it again! Stay tuned for more...
Thursday, April 3, 2008
What are some of your fitness goals? How do you like to stay active?
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
And I'm a little tired today because I stayed up too late last night trying to master the Breakout game. This little booger could be quite addictive!