Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Last night while JB was on overnight call, I got quite bored, and I did something I am not very proud of.
I watched "The Bachelor".
What is it with that show? It is so painful to watch. It is so horribly frustrating, and yet whenever JB isn't home, I find myself flipping to this guilty pleasure, debating about which girl he'll pick. Yelling at the screen. Afraid to miss any of the drama. What is with reality TV? How twisted is all of this?
This was the season finale, and I watched as the Bachelor fell for two women. One of these women, Moana, had protected herself from men her whole life. She finally decides to let her guard down, and Travis dumps her, for Sarah, from Nashville. (Travis is from Nashville too which didn't hurt Sarah's chances. He's actually a doctor at Vanderbilt. This didn't hurt his chances either.)
Now I like Sarah. She's a kindergarten teacher and perfect "wife material". I definitely think Travis made the right decision, but man, you have to sit there and watch Moana in the car just sobbing and going on about this deep pain in her soul, and you are thinking, "Why the heck is American watching this crap?" "Why the heck am I watching this crap?"
Of course, did I change the channel? Heck no! I had to see who he was going to pick. I had to watch it up until the very last rose.
I thought about putting a picture of Moana and Sarah up on my blog, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. It feels so wrong. It is like admitting permanently, for the rest of eternity, that I watched The Bachelor. Of course, just writing that I watched it is completely different. It means I watched it, but my devotion wasn't quite so deep.
And don't you give me a hard time because I know a bunch of you watched it too and even worse, a lot of you watched it (especially the men out there) and won't admit you watched it! At least you can have the guts to do as I have done and BLOG about your pathetic Monday evenings. Be proud!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Josh wrote: "Great friends only come along once in a lifetime. I hope someday I find some. Until then, Sarah and I love settling for the two of you."
You see what I mean? You aren't sure if you should hug him or kick him in the knee. Sometimes I do both.
However, I have to give Josh some "props" for what I witnessed this weekend.
Friday evening Josh played at a youth center in Winona. It was a Christian center, but the kids that attend are just neighborhood skateboarders who take advantage of the indoor skating ramps. There is also a large assortment of old video games. I actually took my chance at some legendary favorites like Mario Brothers (the original), Ms. Pac Man, and Arknoid while waiting for the concert to get started. If I closed my eyes I could actually picture the celebration that ensued in the video arcade in south Florida when my brother beat Mario or my dad hunched over an Arknoid machine delicately bouncing a tiny ball all over the galaxy.
Okay, sorry, back to Josh (as I am sure he is mumbling as he is reading this.)
While the kids were rather distracted with other activities, it was great fun to watch Josh and our friend Ron Ray perform. I was reminded just how good Josh is! And, now, I hate to say it but how funny he is.
Josh takes his humor pretty seriously. I remember when JB and I returned from our trip to Europe and told Josh that our tour guide was funnier than he was. Josh didn't say anything about this until about two weeks later when he informed us that he had figured out why this guy was funnier -- he could reuse the same jokes on various tour groups. Josh on the other hand had to continually come up with new material.
At the concert, we joked that this wasn't really true anymore. He can now use the same jokes on every audience he performs for. Despite having heard some of the same lines before, I still found myself laughing hysterically.
On Sunday morning, Josh played for the youth at Christ Community and then spoke on worship. He started the lesson with an analogy comparing worship to the hot girl he asked to couple skate at the roller skating rink in the 8th grade. He even played "Lady in Red" when his date entered the rink. There wasn't a person in the audience who wasn't laughing. I had no idea how he would tie this in to why we should worship God, but Josh did it! Later he somehow paralleled his buddy who fell down the side of the cliff at a Burrito restaurant, with God's devotion to us. Just amazing.
I had the pleasure of working his CD table both that morning and in the evening when he performed for the Singles Group at our church again. What an amazing weekend. I am dog-tired as goodness knows John, Ron and Josh wanted "food" after these late night performances, but it was wonderful to watch Josh do what he loves and do it SOOO well. I pray that someday his music can be his ministry full-time as I know this is what he really wants.
So now, the house is quiet, and no one is making cutting remarks about anything he can think of and making me laugh every other second. The next time I see Josh, he will have a second kid in tow! Praying for you Sarah and your new little one. Could it possibly be a GIRL!?!
Sunday, February 26, 2006
My cousin Josh came into town on Friday night. His wife Sarah and son Tyler were unable to come as Sarah is due to have a baby in just a few weeks and Sarah works tomorrow.
Last night Josh played for a youth center in Winona, today he played for the youth at Christ Community, and tonight he is playing for the singles at CCC.
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Josh play and sing as always. I'll write a bunch more tomorrow but thought I would include a picture of Josh, Ron, and JB after he spoke to the youth this morning (and made me and the teens laugh 'til we cried!)
Saturday, February 25, 2006
To summarize Dr. K's research ... many people have heart attacks that are expected -- they are overweight, sedentary, diabetic etc. However, a large number of people have heart attacks who do not fit the mold -- they are thin, in shape, and take great care of themself. Dr. K is trying to figure out what these other high-risk categories are.
I really enjoy the work and have contemplated moving into it full-time instead of part-time, but sometimes I have struggled with feeling like I am really making a difference. When I was teaching, I truly felt internally motivated. However, this job, while very enjoyable and demanding, was often just a job for me.
That changed a little this week. Dr. K's last submission has finally gone to press. He was on the news last night, and all of a sudden I realized that this is important work, and I am getting to be involved with it. Here is a quick synopsis of the article from KTTC's website:
A noninvasive test that uses a pencil like device may help prevent a sudden heart attack. The ten-minute or so test is called aortic pulse wave velocity.
Doctors explain it measures how stiff a patient's aorta is by how fast a pulse wave travels to it. It's done by placing the pencil like device, called a tenometer on arteries in the neck and groin. Doctors say knowing the stiffness helps them determine treatment for patients who are in between high and low risk of heart disease.
That's about 40-percent of the population.
This test is in its final phases of a five year study other studies are showing promising results as well.
Dr. Iftikhar Kullo, Lead Author of Study says "We are trying to assess the arteries in a more elaborate fashion in several different tests and hopefully we think that will be part of a routine clinical assessment in the near future."
The findings of this study up to date have been published in a journal of the American Heart Association called Hypertension.
Anyways, this has been exciting for me. John and I often joke about this because Dr. Kullo has been acknowledging me in his papers which means I actually got to see my name in a scientific journal before JB! I finally feel like what I am doing has some value outside of just paying the bills, and I've realized that is pretty important for me.
I know most of you know what jobs I hQave, but I very rarely talk about what I actually do there. So, now you know.
P.S. My cousin Josh has come into town for a visit and some concerts. I will update you on this sometime this weekend.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Now last night presented me with an interesting dilemma. Not only were the Olympics on (which I love), but the only two other shows that I really watch each week, Survivor and American Idol were on at the same time. I opted to watch Survivor, tape American Idol, and flip to the Olympics. How pitiful am I? I also updated JB on the results when he called inbetween patients. Actually, I got an email from JB this morning, and it was slow in the hospital. He was able to sleep from 10:30-4:30 which is very good.
Dan, Cirie, and Terry
All right so this was a pretty pointless post. But hey, we all have frivilous events that fill up our day. I just happened to write a blog about them.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I truly do not know how they stay awake that long! I remember when we went to Europe and I was awake for almost 40 hours straight. It was a miserable existance. I was angry at the world! However they tell you to stay awake or you'll never get on the right sleep schedule. I'm not sure the people that made up that rule have ever actually tried it!
Another bad thing about John being gone overnight is that I really don't like staying at home bymyself. I do feel very safe in our condo, but I still just don't enjoy alone time. I will have the Olympics to keep me company, and I am sure I will end up falling asleep on the couch watching the women's figure skaters.
Speaking of JB, some of you mentioned the vocabularly in his last post. If you thought he was stretching, you couldn't be more wrong. John has an incredible vocabularly and is actually a very good writer. He was actually an English writing minor in college. Sometimes that bothers me. I feel like writing is the one thing that I truly love and, goodness gracious, the guy has way too many interests and things he is good at. I took a second to make a list of his current interests, and they include:
These are not minor interests. He is very involved in all of these things. My current interests?
Seriously, I can't think of anything else to put on my list! I really am trying!!! I do like to travel. Maybe I could add traveling to my list. Okay, that's three ... um, being on the computer. Is that an interest? Geeez, I'll have to get back to you my list. That's pretty pitiful.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
So, after weeks of prodding, I finally acquiesced. I have decided to write an entry for Wendi’s blog. That is right. This is not Wendi. This is John. Please, hold your gasps of horror, Wendi is alive and well. Please subdue your worries of boredom, I may actually be interesting, too. Just maybe.
I have been given some ground rules, though. I am not allowed to write about anything political. Actually, that is the only ground rule. Wendi said something about not wanting her blog to become a soapbox for dogmatic ranting … or something like that. Whatever. She did say I could write about fashion. I don’t think so.
That left me with a dilemma. What should I write about on the first blog post of my life? This actually troubled me for some time. It is a rather important event. One day little kids will run up to an old man (me) and ask, “Do you remember your first blog?” I want to have an answer that is profound, something that has a potential to shape those young minds. To make them stop and think to themselves, “Why do old people always smell like sour milk?” But right after that they would think, “I have just been inspired to change the world!”
Okay, who am I kidding? I have never heard those words from an old man. I don’t think words from mere mortals could ever be that monumental. Alas, I will have to answer those little kids, “My first blog post was about my first blog post.” A quizzical look will contort their faces, and they would think, “No, it is not really sour milk. It is more like musty bread.” But then they would think, “Hey, that is kind of cool (or whatever hip slang has permeated youth vocabulary by then).”
Now, Wendi is probably reading this wondering why she ever asked me to contribute to her colossal electronic endeavor… hovering her mouse over the DELETE button saying to herself, “Why didn’t he just write about the new spring line from New York and Company?” But, I have to admit, this is fun. I have decided to make occasional visits to the site. However, in the future, I plan to pontificate about something with substance, something… educational! You have been warned. Till then…
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I wore corduroy.
Well it gets worse. I bought corduroy and then I wore corduroy.
I assume most of you right now are contemplating how to tell me that I have gone off the deep end. "What the heck is this girl writing a blog on corduroy for?" "Has she completely lost it?"
Well, let me explain.
Growing up in south Florida, corduroy was considered something that the kids without a lot of money wore. JB and I attended a private school where we did not wear uniforms, and let me just tell you that those rich kids I went to school with wouldn't be caught dead wearing . . . corduroy.
Years later, when we moved to Kentucky, JB and I were walking through the mall, and we saw some people wearing this ungodly fabric on PURPOSE! We both looked at each other and nearly gasped! What were they doing? I asked JB if he held as much animosity toward corduroy as I did. Of course he did! We both realized that the reason the "not-rich" kids wore these pants was because they held up for a long-time and were therefore infamous for serving as hand-me-downs.
So I did some research on corduroy online and came to find out that our animosity toward it was actually founded on some actual concrete facts. One definition reads "At one time the ribs were cut by hand, one at a time. They were then brushed to raise the pile. It was in effect a kind of poor man's velvet because its pile is made of cotton rather than more expensive materials like silk or satin." Another description read: "Corduroy was generally looked down on by fashion writers in the 19th Century. One writer, Sydney Webb, declared that corduroy had been regulated to the use of navies and tramps."
However, over the past few years, I have realized that the teasing I took as a child for my corduroy was because I went to school with spoiled-rich-snobs, and that, quite honestly, corduroy could be fairly stylish.
I have mentioned my "new friend" Kelsey Spoon a few times on my blog. Kelsey recently married one of JB's classmates and also took a job at RLS. Kelsey and I have a lot in common. For one, we both played Division I basketball. Check out Kelsey in uniform! Kelsey also lives five floors up from us in our buildling. And, we also wear the same size pants! Kelsey is a little shorter and a little thinner, however, we both share the neverending quest to find stylish pants with good length. So we decided to go in together at Alloy and sharing the free shipping.
And that brings me to how I started this blog. Without any prodding from Kelsey, and with the full agreement of my husband, I bought, not one, but TWO pairs of corduroy pants from Alloy.
Forget being the poor man's velvet. I have since learned that rich snobs aren't necessarily the only people who know how to dress. So the picture above, now hangs in my closet, in not one, but two colors, and I thought it was time I hide my embarrassment and let the world know!
I am okay with poor man's velvet.
I am okay with corduroy.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Leave it to my husband to look up the word online. Leave it to my husband to inform me that the word "snafu" means: SITUATION NORMAL ALL f____ed UP.
Apparently you can put any word in there that you would want. Some nice people use 'fouled'. Some not nice people use a more aggressive word. Apparently it's a '"murphy's law" expression. You may think things are normal, but everything is always messed up.
WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me? I know that I have heard my mother use this word before. I know that I have heard my pastors use this word before. This word is used in the English language on a daily basis. And it is really the same as the word "B-F-E".
Aaaahhh B-F-E. This is another interesting English invention. The word means that something is VERY far away. It means that something is practically in Egypt. However, the first two words in this expression are also innapropriate to post on my blog so you can use your imagination.
Where we attended college in Kentucky, there was one parking lot that was SOOOO far away from all the classroom buildings. I was surprised when someone told me that this lot was called "BFE". In fact, by the time I left, this lot had been officially named "Egypt" and a sign had been put up by the University to attest to this fact.
Snafu?! BFE?! What is with our world today?
Sunday, February 19, 2006
To those of you who aren't watching I want to say: "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!" I don't think you have a clue what you are missing.
Now don't get me wrong. I am not into winter at all as most of you know. And going out into the cold to practice my love of a sport does not offer any excitement for me. However, these Olympics have been fantastic. Here is a quick recap of the favorites in the our house.
Snowboarding (half-pipe) The United States won gold medals in both men's and women's halfpipe. In fact the men won gold and silver and the women won gold and bronze. This is a fantastic sport with tons of young kids who use words like "gnarly" and "twisted" in their post-performance interviews. Shaun White is simply amazing. After falling on his first run, he had to perform perfectly to qualify. He did without needing his second run and took home the gold!
Shaun White "a.k.a 'The Flying Tomato'" wins gold.
Snowboarding (Snowboard Cross) First we watched American Seth Wescott take gold on the men's side in this exciting event which is a lot like motorcross racing on a snowboard. Then we thought we were watching Lindsey Jacobellis take home the gold. Instead, with no one even close, she tried to pull a trick right before she crossed the line and fell, ending up with the silver. Seth Wescott's Swiss girlfriend got the gold instead. I feel horribly for Lindsey. They were already parallelling her to other athletes who made huge sports snaffus.(How do you spell SNAFU?)
Lindsey Jacobellis peforms a trick coming over the last jump that costs her the gold medal.
Men's Pursuit (Biathalon) This is simply an amazing sport. In this Biatholon, you ski and then take "breaks" and shoot a rifle. If you miss, you have to ski an extra lap for each miss! It was absolutely amazing to watch even though the U.S. wasn't anywhere in the medals for this one.
Vincent Defrasne of France out sprinted four time gold medal winner Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen to win the men's 12.5 km event.
There are a lot of other great spots. The luge, the bobsled, figure skating, hockey ... so much fun to watch. The only sports I don't particular find fascinating: ice dancing and curling. In ice dancing, each group gets up and performs what appears to be a flawless routine that looks identical to the group before them. I can't figure out what is good or what is bad. Curling is the strangest sport I have ever seen. It looks like they are being given a medal for properly cleaning ice. However, are there are good things about these two events: they provide some time for me to do the dishes (Maytag is STILL sick) while they are on.
And I didn't even mention the DRAMA especially in men's short track and long track. It is seriously a soap opera out there and it would take me at least three episodes to explain it all to you.
So for those of you who haven't been tuning in, I say, GIVE IT A CHANCE MAN! JB and I have already decided that one thing we want to do before we die is attend either the Summer or Winter games somewhere. It is awesome to see such pride in homelands.
GIVE IT A CHANCE MAN!
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Now these may seem rather pointless and unimportant to you, but in order to incorporate these into my blog, I actually had to venture into HTML-territory. I had to go into the template of my blog and create HTML links. (Yes, I can hear the gasps!)
So it would be nice if you took a second and looked at them. If you don't want to look at them, maybe you could just pretend to look at them and compliment me on how wonderful they are. I have created a link to my fellow bloggers' pages as well as two of the places I work, and some other places I visit fairly often. If there is a page you think worthy of a link on the right side of my blog page, please let me know, and I will consider your request!
Friday, February 17, 2006
Now before I continue, I must explain. This post is designed for all of my family and friends that have not chosen (for some bizarre reason) to call Minnesota their home. I know I have some faithful readers who are hiding from the cold right along with me this weekend in the Polar North.
I also know that I have vowed to make 2006 a year of complaint-free weather comments. But then I remembered: My blog is called Life in the Polar North. If I don't share this life, what kind of disservice am I doing my readers? So I have decided to change my mind. I need to report the weather. To share facts is not to complain. Now if it just so happens that the facts I am sharing are interpreted as complaining (because WHO THE HECK could take them any other way?) I really cannot help that.
Tonight it is going to be -21 (without windchill). My cousin Sarah asked us what we were going to do to celebrate JB finishing his surgery rotation. I told her we are going to stay in our house and attempt to stay warm. We are even contemplating skipping church Sunday. I think God understands as there is a warning that if you expose your skin to the cold for more than 10 minutes, you are risking frostbite. The weather channel describes our weekend forecast as: "Bitterly cold. Generally fair skies. Dangerous wind chills may approach -40F." I am not sure exactly what "fair" skies means. However, I am not sure anything can have a negative sign in it and still be referred to as fair.
Anyways, we plan to enjoy the fair skies from inside our home.
No complaints, just facts.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
following the sidewalk was my only hope. Speaking of eyeballs, wearing glasses was practically purposeless. I couldn't see out of them due to the fog that was building and it was snowing so hard, I had to duck my head. Who LIVES in places like this? Oh, yeah, we do. Ooops.
Not that I am complaining of course, but today, they are expecting temperatures as low as 18 below and with windchill, 15 to 30 below! I don't plan on going outside much if I can avoid it, and this will be one day that I drive to RLS even though it is only 3 blocks away.
Today at 9:30 a.m., JB takes his "Shelf" exam for surgery which he must pass in order to not have to repeat his surgery rotation. He has been studying a lot for this, and I know many of his classmates will also have to take different shelfs today.
As for the weekend, the temperature will most likely keep us inside most of the weekend -- lots of heat, rice bags, and hot drinks! How come no one visits us in February?
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
After spending all day in the IVF clinic with me, I came home to find a card that JB had painted for me. He has painted in years, but he painted a card for me. Then we got in the car to leave for dinner and I found a dozen white roses. This was followed up with a Martina McBride CD and then some of my favroite perfume from Victoria's Secret.
We had Olive Garden for dinner and Coldstone ice cream for dessert! What a fantastic day.
As for me, I am still really struggling with head aches (that are then follow-uped with stomach aches). Last night the head ache got so bad, John dug out some Tylenol-3 I had leftover from my wisdom teeth surgery, and I finally fell asleep and slept straight through the night. Today was a tough morning, however, this evening I am feeling a lot better. Hopefully this will soon pass.
Emotion-wise, I am feeling great! I am very excited about IVF and feeling very comfortable with how everything has played out. Thanks again for all your prayers, love, and encouragement. I am blessed by such wonderful family and friends.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
1st Appointment: Our first appointment was with the nurse who gave me the whole schedule. Unfortunately we did not get an earlier stim date but after she told me that there are 400 (YES! FOUR HUNDRED) women on the waiting list, I decided I should not complain. So here are how the dates will work:
- February 14th-April 16th Birth control pills (no placebo pills)
- April 17th Begin shots of lupron (to shut down my ovaries)
- April 26 Go in for ultrasound and blood test to determine if ovaries are ready to go
- April 28 Begin stimulation medication if all is well. These are 2 shots a day and will continue mixed with ultrasounds until they believe I am ready. (At least 6 days)
- May 5 (approximately) take shot to release eggs (called HCG).
- 36 hours after shot, go in for surgery called "retrieval"
- 3 days after surgery, return for "transfer"
- Begin taking shots of Progesterone. These are the killer shots! They will last for 10 weeks if I am pregnant, 2 weeks if I am not.
- 12 days after transfer, blood test to see if I am pregnant.
- If I am pregnant, return for blood test two days later to recheck.
- If still pregnant, return 3 weeks later for ultrasound to determine number of children.
- If I am not pregnant, wait 1-2 months, and return for frozen embryos.
After we discussed all this she quickly talked about the shots with JB. He's not worried about that at all.
2nd Appointment: Financial breakdown with bookkeeper. Actually IVF isn't quite as expensive as we had initially thought. It looks like it will be between $5,000-$8,000. Each subsequent return for frozen embryos will cost about $1,500
3rd Appointment: Psychiatrist. This was actually much more helpful than I initially thought it would be. Prior to this appointment we answer a ton of questions and then she went over our emotional states with us. Not surprisingly, John's emotional state was, "John, does anything bother you?" We spent a lot more time on me. Basically though, she said I am doing very well and that my main area of focus was getting past reminders (i.e. pregnant bellies, baby showers, mother's day, the mall, etc.) without letting them affect my mood. She gave me some great CD's to help with my thinking. As my dad always says: avoid "Stinkin' thinkin'."
4th Appointment: Dr. Coddington. He is wonderful! He honestly reminds me of what John's dad would be like if he were an RE. Just so caring and thoughtful and compassionate. A real joy. Anyways, with Dr. Coddington, we answered the tough questions, primarily, how many embryos we will have them attempt to fertilize. Our number is 14. No matter how many eggs they get that day, we will only have them fertilize 14 (There's a whole formular for that -- I could dedicate a whole blog to this but I will spare you). We also went over my "Advanced Directives" with him which basically state that if I die, John can have my eggs and if we both die, my brother Keith gets them (to be responsible for donating them to another couple.) Without these directives, all embryos are destroyed or used for research. We also decided that if John dies, I get to keep the eggs. If we get into an argument we can't get past, I get to make the decision, and if we divorce or separate, I get to keep them. Either way, I feel like a winner!
We also spent a lot of time talking about exercise. His feeling is that until IVF is over, I should limit myself to walking or swimming and not "raising my core body temperature". His word was "Chill!" to which John said "Geez it takes an MD after your name to get her to listen." He has said "Chill" quite a bit, but okay Dr. Coddington, walking or pool. Got it! John laid it on thick telling me if I went to the gym and ran, he would be MAD, so now I feel very stuck into being hard on myself with limiting exercise.
5th Appointment: Signing off on allowing them to use any extra "materials" (anything other than embryos -- extra eggs or sperm etc.) for research which we agreed to.
Okay, so that sums everything up. Maybe tomorrow I will write down more of how I feel about all this but right now, JB and I are getting ready for a nice Valentine's Day dinner and dessert! Overall, however, I should tell you that I couldn't sleep last night and I was doing my usual "Ssssh, John, quit trying to distract me" in the waiting room as I dealt with my nerves. However, by the time we got started, well, it must have been everyone who was praying for us, because I was just filled with so much peace, even about the dates. We are ready to move forward and feel comfortable with every single thing in this process. The nurses and doctor are wonderful and excited that I am one of the 12 women who will get to do IVF in May. So am I. It could actually fall that we get our results close to my birthday. Anyways, thank you for your prayers. We are "ready to get this PARTY STARTED!"
In other news, it is now 6:45 a.m. on Valentine's Day. My appointment is at 8 a.m. JB just left for a lecture that he has from 7-8 and then he will join me in the Charlton Building. Hopefully he won't be too late. He got the rest of the day off so when our appointment is done at noon, he is going to study for a few hours while I put in some time at RLS.
The last two days have been tough. Not only am I very anxious for our appointment today, but I fell on the series of pills that cause some real doozies of a headache. Yesterday I tried to down it with Excedrin, water, and even a Mountain Dew to no avail. And then my stomach paid the price for so much caffeine and pills. However, I am hoping that is behind me and today is a new day.
My sweet Grama Huisman knows of our struggles to have children, but as I don't think she has been on a computer in her life, and my phone calling skills are fairly suspect, I don't keep her completely up-to-date. That is why it was so amazing that yesterday of all days, I received a beautiful card from her. I will share a few bits from it that were quite an encouragement to me.
Be at Peace dear One! I'm reminded Psalm 37 "Trust in the Lord; Delight in the Lord; Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass! Rest and wait patiently for Him." and Isaiah 26:3 "Thou will keep him in perfect peace who's mind is stayed on Thee because he trusts in Thee." "So will you join me in thanking God everyday for the precious 'gift that coming in His perfect timing!" Heb 11:11-12.
My sweet Grama. I can just picture her in her chair in her room with her little bookshelf filled with Bibles and prayer books, praying so diligently for John and me even though she doesn't really understand all these tests and procedures. I know that a lot of who I am today is because of that praying Grama. I know each of her six kids, six spouses, sixteen grandkids, their six spouses, the seven great grand-kids, and three great-grand kids on the way (and the ones I forgot to count -- although Grama NEVER loses count) can say the same thing.
Thank you for remembering us today. We will sign off on everything, trick the psychiatrist into believing I am emotionally stable enough to handle these drugs (pray for JB!), and decide how many embryos for them to fertilize. I would be blessed if they told me we were looking at a date earlier than May 15th, however, May is a good month and I am at peace with however this all pans out today.
Blessings friends! Thanks for riding this wave with me!
Sunday, February 12, 2006
When Don finally got up around 2:30, Karuna was anxious to play. JB didn't have much energy, however, the two of them still managed to have play time. Here is a link to their play time. You will also notice a tent off to one side that they made while I was trying to do the laundry.
If you listen carefully you will hear Karuna saying her own name "Kar-na". She also says "Don" and when she sees a baby on the TV, she says that too. Her other favorite word is "Heavy." Everything she picks up (including blankets) are "heavy".
Anyways, our friend Bara taught me how to use this link. Speaking of Bara, his VISA finally came through and he will be moving to Boston in April. We are excited that he finally gets to come train in the U.S. (and that we know someone in Boston to go and visit!) The only thing about this link is that it is only good for seven days and a limited number of downloads. So if you are viewing this later and it doesn't work, let me know, and I can send you it by email.
Enjoy your Sunday (and the olympics!!!!)
Saturday, February 11, 2006
When he left at 1:00 a.m., I was pretty groggy but he said that they had to do emergency surgery on a man who had had his colon perforated in a previous surgery and was developing sepsis. I told him to "make him better" and then prayed for the man as I was lying in bed.
This also made me think of our friend Kelly Ray in Kentucky. Most of you probably remember my emails two years ago this April. Scott and Kelly Ray were our friends when we went to Calvary Chapel Bowling Green. Scott is Ronnie Ray's first cousin. Kelly went in to get her tubes tied, developed sepsis, and within just a short period of time, was gone. She had six children. At the time Bethany was 13 and the youngest, Ben was just 1 year old. It was so difficult to think of those children losing their mother. We saw Scott and the kids about a year ago, and they seemed to be doing well, but when John left this morning, I couldn't get Kelly out of my mind. She was a beautiful woman who loved the Lord and her family like crazy. She was a real prayer warrior.
Actually JB just called. He is on his way home. I asked him how the guy was doing, and he said he was doing very well. He also said he is very tired but said he may stay up awhile and just take a nap later. He doesn't want to screw up his sleep for tonite.
Karuna will be here within the hour. I also have a mystery shop at a flower shop to do today. We have our big appointment on Tuesday. JB told his resident what was going on and the doctor gave him the whole day off to spend with me! It will be an interesting Valentines Day but exciting. If you think of it, pray that they tell me that an earlier "stim" date has opened up! I am ready to get this party started!
Friday, February 10, 2006
My co-worker Char is now reading the book I recommended: Hot Lights, Cold Steel by Michael J. Collins. I have mentioned this on my blog before; you really need to read this book! She reminded me of an excerpt (one of many) that talked about the author's battle through residency with junker cars:
Highway 14 was deserted at that hour and I kept the Battleship cruising along at seventy. The car had no dashboard light, and since it was still dark, I occasionally had to turn on the overhead light to see how fast I was going.
The wind was streaming in through the holes in the floor. At seventy miles an hour and the temperature near twenty below, the windchill had to be approaching a couple hundred below. There was a four-day-old copy of the Post-Bulletin on the seat next to me. I spread it across my lap and started fiddling with the heater. I turned it off and on. I pounded my fist on the dashboard. I jiggled the control knob. But, after fifteen minutes, as I passed Mantorville, I realized there would be no heat on this trip.
I had another seventy-five miles to go. My legs were shaking and I was starting to lose feeling in my feet. In desperation I looked into the backseat. Next to the car seat I saw Mooey, Mary Kate's brown-and-white, stuffed cow. The car swerved onto the shoulder as I stretched behind me and grabbed the cow.
Poor Mooey. There would be no coming back from this mission. I wedged her into the largest hole in the floor. Immediately the cold draft up my pan leg diminished noticeably. "'This a far, far better thing you do than you have ever done before," I recited.
This conversation started Char and I talking about old junkers, and I was suddenly thrust down memory lane.
My first junker image was that of one of the cars my father bought. I have no idea what kind of car it was (I was 12 and could really care less), but I do remember that it had two doors and that the windows did not roll down and that the passenger side door did not open from the inside. Now, keeping this in mind, I will add something to this story that is completely and 100% factual. The car did not have air.
Let me remind you that we lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (the middle of the Caribbean!) and then repeat myself: the windows did not roll down, the passenger side door did not open from the inside, and there was no air.
I have vivid images of riding in that car after school feeling like I would suffocate. My father could open the driver's door at traffic stops but that was the only relief we received. I honestly do not have any idea how we managed the fifteen minute drive home each evening. How did we not DIE?
Ten years later, another junker would join my life. Those who know us well, probably remember -- "The Bucket". We bought this car from friends for $500. We were busy paying off our debt at an exponential rate, JB had gone back to school pre-med, and we didn't want another car payment. Thus the birth of "The Bucket". I am not sure which of my students first named this car "The Bucket" but it stuck, and we never referred to this car as anything but what it was ever after. When I really thought about it, I realized that the name was very appropriate. Imagine an old rusty bucket sitting in the corner of the barn and you just about have the image of our car.
When we bought "The Bucket" it was sky blue with rust spots everywhere. One day, one of my native Kentuckian students strode up to my desk, clicked his boot on the corner of my chair and said, "Coach Kaaay" (and you must picture this in the slowest country drawl you can imagine). "I saw that there bucket outside the school today. Reck-on I could paint it for you fer about a hundred dollars. Or, you could just give me a B."
I paid Ben "a hundred dollars". He got a C by the skin of his teeth.
I told John the story and told it just like Ben said it. I remember John saying that no one actually talked that slowly and with that big of an accent. A few weeks later he met Ben. Then he apologized to me. Ben talked every bit as slow as I said.
From that point forward "The Bucket" was black (except for the few spots Ben missed). The Bucket had a few problems including no air and no heat. JB reminds me that it did have heat, however, it took about twenty minutes to get the heat to actually materialize into heat. I only lived two miles from work. I would go out early on cold days, start "The Bucket" up, and then return ten minutes later to head to work. I soon learned it didn't matter how early I started "The Bucket". Without fail, the windows would fog halfway to work, and I would be forced to drive down the road in frigid temperatures with my HEAD OUT THE WINDOW. I kid you not. I can have students vouch for this image because it actually existed. I honestly believe there is a picture somewhere that will emerge when I least expect it.
My players loved "The Bucket". I even had one student ask me if he could use it for Prom. For legal reasons, I declined. But "The Bucket" did offer its advantages. I could put about twelve kids in there without anyone even touching each other. In addition, the speakers had fallen through their respective slots in the back window causing the car to shake quite violently when I put music on. The kids would joke that "Coach K has a system!" I found the rattling quite annoying.
Another problem for "The Bucket" was that the speedometer did not work. We realized this when we caravanned to a game only to face the question, "Why were you going ninety?" when we arrived. "Ninety?!?!" We had no idea with no speedometer.
"The Bucket" also did not have a working gas gauge. The worst of my "running out of gas moments" occurred one morning at the busy four-way-stop right in front of the school. I ran into the building to call John to bring me some gas. Everyone knew everyone in that town and by the time I got into the building, the cop was on the phone asking "Coach K to please remove 'The Bucket' from the intersection." I told him I would as soon as I could.
However, "The Bucket" served its purpose. It got me back and forth the two mile round trip to work for the three years we lived in Franklin. It easily carried the piles of soccer, volley, and basketballs required of it. It loaded students who needed a quick ride with ease. And, it only required a few hundred dollars worth of work over the three years. In the end, I sold it to a student for $450 right before we moved to Minnesota. We didn't think "The Bucket" could survive the cold Minnesota winters.
Judging from the book excerpt that I started this Blog with, I think we were right. I remember how cold I was in Kentucky without heat and the image of Michael Collins riding down the highway with a stuffed animal shoved through the hole in the floor board makes me cold just by thinking about it.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
- JB is on his second to last week of surgery. He has decided that he will for sure not be a surgeon. The five weeks so far have been interesting but not what he enjoys. He loves seeing the patients but doesn't like surgeries. Yesterday, he was way down the totem pole on a surgery and was therefore holding a retractor for six hours. He explained this in more detail for me. "I have to hold the retractor with one hand. I cannot lean on the table. My other hand is not allowed to move higher than my armpit or lower than my bellybutton or I am no longer sterile. I can't go to the bathroom. I can't scratch my face. I can't eat. I can't drink. I can only stand." He said that it feels like an eternity unlike last week when he was the "first assist" on a whipple (I hope I spelled that right) and was able to do stuff the whole time. Either way, he loves talking to patients and being a surgeon is just not his cup of tea. He is looking forward to next week end and pediatrics beginning.
- My jobs are going very well. I work at Mayo every morning from 8-12 and also Wednesdays afternoon. Then I spend a total of 8 hours a week at RLS and 8 hours a week working from home for RLS. I have also been continuing to do house tours although those haven't been as steady as they were in the beginning. I am hoping they pick up soon. I also continue to do mystery shopping, however, I only do it if the job is easy and convenient. Some of them take much more time than the pay is worth. My ultimate goal is to be able to completely work from home by the time JB graduates from medical school. I think if I can continue to do RLS, the houses, occasional writing for Rochester Women and continue to look into other freelance opportunities, this could happen.
- This Saturday, Christo and Melissa are going to the cities to see Les Miserables. I am going to have Karuna the whole day. I'll try to include a picture of our adventures. We always have a good time.
- In JB's freetime, he is busy studying for the surgery "shelf" exam that follows this rotation.
- Current TV Shows we are watching include: American Idol (we love the early shows), Survivor (of course), and 24 which Dave, Lesley and Ajit join us for each week. We also will sometimes catch House, Scrubs, Lost, and Extreme Home Makeover but none of these are regulars. Speaking of that show, Mayo Clinic will be on Extreme Home Makeover this Sunday evening. Apparently someone with MS is being featured and her physician is at Mayo. I am not exactly sure but heard it is on this week.
- Current books we are reading: I am reading The Story of My Life: Helen Keller. It is fascinating! JB is reading a lot of farming books and that surgery book that I finished up recently. He said that when he is stuck in the operating room, he spends a lot of time thinking about farming.
- SHOUT OUT to Gabbi who turned __ yesterday even though I forgot her birthday! Congrats Gabbi!
- Another shot out to Christo & Melissa who are expecting their second baby. Not sure when that one is due.
- English Brown (Ray) has gotten a job in my office at Mayo! This is very fun having her around for a few hours a day. She is on "work release" from school and is working for the lab next to me.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
You can also choose your activity level or individualized activites that you completed that day in order to determine how many calories you have burned (and therefore how many more you get to eat). This site is amazing and it is free! You just have to create a username and password on the initial screen but there are no strings attached. This website gives you a great appreciation for what you are putting into your body and how many calories you need to lose weight or how many you need to keep your weight consistent.
Very educational and inspiring. Check it out!
Monday, February 06, 2006
There were only 26 students in our graduating class at FLCS. Chris Moyer was killed in a drunk-driving accident a few years after we graduated, and now JP has passed away. I still don't know how he died, however, this has kind of stuck with me since I got the email. Graduating from high school at eighteen years old, we all felt so invincible. Just 10 years later, two of us have left this earth.
I remember JP vividly as we were on the drama team together. He was a hysterical guy and an amazing actor. He also loved baseball.
Please keep JP and his family in your prayers and don't forget to hug your family tonite.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Okay, so I got this email the other day from a friend about classes being offered at the local community college for men. Now, obviously, as you read these, you will realize that these are not real classes ... there is a tremendous amount of sarcasm implied.
As I read them, I grew very thankful for the husband I have, but also had quite a few good laughs as I remembered past husband and father occurrences.
So here are the classes.
1. How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays I can't really complain about this one especially after we got a Brita. I do, however, have visions of visiting the Kit. house when we John and I were dating (before they got an ice machine -- or maybe even before ice machines existed) and never being able to find an ice cube tray that was full. Since their house is over half male, I therefore, systematically, attributed it to the male gender.
2. The Toilet Paper Roll --- Does It Change Itself? This was an issue for JB for quite some time. However, he found a way to stop me from nagging. He decided to redo both our bathrooms and there is now no toilet paper holder in either bathroom. Can't complain when there isn't a right place for the roll now can you?
3. Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor Now this is something I tease JB about a lot. Our bed is set up in such a way that John's side borders the wall that no one can see when they walk in the room (not that we get a lot of visitors to our bedroom mind you.) However, I also don't visit that side of the room very often. However, early in our marriage, I made the mistake of scooping up ALL the clothes that were in these piles next to his bed and throwing them in the dirty clothes. Later that evening John told me I had done too much work. I didn't know that he kept SEPARATE piles based on levels of dirtiness and only the "very" dirty pile needed to be washed!
4. After Dinner Dishes --- Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink? Now here is one that I really can't comment on. The dishes are my job and the cooking is his job. However, ever since Maytag's illness, I have begun to rethink our original deal. Not sure I am coming out on top anymore.
5. Loss Of Identity --- Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other This has really not been too much of an issue in our house for various reasons. First of all we don't watch an excessive amount of television, secondly, we like to watch a lot of the same things, and lastly, we don't have very many channels to choose from. The other major reason that this isn't an issue is that I seem to have great difficulty WORKING the remote/VCR/DVD player. Why is that?I was the technology coordinator in my first job at Franklin-Simpson High School. I could fix a printer with my eyes closed. But set the VCR to record? Not a CHANCE.
6. Learning How To Find Things --- Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming Now a lot of people say that girls marry their fathers, but I have to say that in most areas, my dad and John are very different. My dad loves to shop. John hates it. My dad loves sports and TV, and John really isn't in to it. I could go on and on. But this is one area that the two are identical in. I mean, long lost brothers at birth! When we were kids, if the remote (called the "buttons" by my dad) was lost, the whole world would come to a hault! Dad would tell us all we had to all come into the living room immediately and that we must all look TOGETHER for the remote and keep looking until we found it. "EVERYONE GET DOWN HERE AND HELP ME FIND THE BUTTONS!" or "WHO LOST THE BUTTONS?" or "WHO HAD THE BUTTONS LAST?" were common 'discussions'. Then I married John and found the same thing happening, just not with the remote control. The moment he can't find something I find out we are going to look together. He says this is because I "hide" things. His favorite expression is, "If I were my ___ where would I be?" He fills in this blank with an item that I have recently found a new home for. I must admit that 99% of the time, the loss of his item is due to my cleaning rampage.
7. Health Watch --- Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health I cannot even begin to complain about this category. John buys me flowers all the time. And chocolate. And cards. He's very thoughtful. But I put this comment up for all the women out there married to a Huisman-male. You know who you are. #7 is for you!
8. Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost --- Real Life Testimonials Is there a guy who asks for directions? I have yet to meet him. I think everyone can relate to this category.
9. Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks? This one absolutely cracks me up. I have given up driving when John is in the car altogether. When I drive by myself, I do fine. I have never been in an accident (unless you count the time I hit the two deer. But even the insurance company says that doesn't count because it's an act of "God"). I have only gotten one speeding ticket when I was seventeen years old. But when John is in the passenger seat, we just both get so tense. My boss, who is a cardiovascular doctor, said that one of his patients complains that the only time his heart has trouble is when he is walking up hill and when his wife is driving. So are the women bad drivers or the men just control freaks? Oh man, that's a whole 'nother discussion.
10. How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion --Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques. I have realized that John is a great shopper when we have a list of something to buy. Browsing is probably number 4,623 on his list of things that he likes to do.
12. The Stove/Oven --- What It Is and How It Is Used Obviously this will be a class I will be attending. I'll be lonely. I'll be the only woman there. But I'll have a full stomach.
|Hate is a strong word.|
But when we woke up this morning and got ready to leave for the 8:30-10:00 aerobics class I take on Saturday, we looked out the window, and we remembered why Minnesota, from September until April (and sometimes May), is not a fun place to live. We remembered why we sometimes use the word "hate" when talking about Minnesota.
Without even walking outside, you could see how cold it was. You could just sense it in your bones. I pulled up the weatherchannel.com website and sure enough -- "feels like -7". A high today of 17. I looked at the rest of the week. One day it will have a high of 23. The rest is too pitiful to speak of.
I am afraid we were totally thrown for a loop during this past January. As I mentioned earlier, I heard that it was the warmest January in the last 150 years! Honestly, this last month, I started saying to myself things that were not healthy. I started saying things like, "Why do you complain so much?" "This isn't that bad." "Minnesota isn't as cold as you remember." I even said, "Wendi, you are getting used to the weather here."
Lies! They were all lies! I HATE the weather in Minnesota. I don't, actually, hate Minnesota itself. I hate when the weather has a negative in front of it. It becomes so cold, you seriously can't even breathe!
Yesterday, it wasn't quite as bad. It was in the 20's. But our dishwasher guy came to fix Maytag and my boss was in a frantic mood so I simply RAN the two blocks OUTSIDE back to my house to let the dishwasher guy in before my boss could realize I was gone. My glasses were permanently fogged, my hair was soaked, and my chest literally burned for hours. And, after all that, the dishwasher STILL ISN'T FIXED. (I'll save that for another blog!)
Honestly, to the Wilsons who visited in an unusually warm December and to our "first-Minnesota-winter-friends", you have been deceived. Today is the actuality. I hate to say it out loud but it is true.
It is VERY cold.
P.S. I have done very well not complaining about the weather for the last month or so. I am fearful my streak is coming to an end. Did I tell you how cold it was?!!?
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Keep reading to find out why these jeans are NOT good!
Okay, now recently, I have shared with a few very close friends a very personal secret. I have a new passion.
I have now decided that it is time to share this with the world. My new passion is fashion.
Now I must explain myself. I am not saying that I am some sort of fashion professional. Far from it. I want to repeat this! I am not a fashion professional. I am sure you will see me very soon wearing something very unfashionable.
However, I have recently become fairly obsessed with fashion, more so, learning to wear the right things for the right body shapes. This started when I was teaching. I would watch my female students wear things that just didn't fit them right and made them look so much heavier than they were. Or instead of accentuating their great parts, they would accentuate their not-so-great parts. An example of this is perfectly illustrated below:
These jeans were featured on a special that Oprah had on wearing the right jeans. Oprah calls this the Dunlap Syndrome because, "That's when your stomach 'done lap' over your jeans." I cannot tell you how many times I saw a girl wearing Dunlap jeans. I wanted to grab her and shake her and say, "Honey, what are you doing? These pants don't fit you!"
So I thought I would give you some examples of my new passions. Below are some pictures from Oprah's special:
The ice cream cone!
Okay this is what I am talking about when I say that I am learning something with this new passion. Oprah's guests actually said that no one should wear these ice cream shaped jeans. Tapered denim actually accentuates the size of the hips!
Now here's where this is interesting. We have all seen this. We have all realized that it looks bad. However, how many of us knew why it looked bad? That's what interests me.
I know that my buddy Kristi in New Mexico is reading this right now laughing her head off yelling, "Who is this crazy girl!" I mean, when I came to WKU in 1995, I was guilty of every fashion sin imaginable. I have since learned a lot and am learning more with my new passion. I know, this is so unlike me. But I am really into this stuff. (If you are still reading at this point in the blog you are probably a female and probably only doing it to see how far off the deep end I have actually jumped!)
Okay, look, stay with me here. Take a look at these two pictures below. Each of these is a before and after photo. Do you see how just wearing the right pair of jeans makes you look thinner without doing anything different but wearing the right style?
All right, so tune in next week for more fashion tips! I hope I didn't smother any of you but I just think that it is about time that I quit hiding this part of my life from the world.
Next week, in memory of my wonderful birthday conversation with Tara, Erin, and Lesley, I will discuss turtlenecks. Why "just because you like them" doesn't mean you should wear them.
Tonight is the first night of the new season os SURVIVOR. I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!! Please join me in watching. Remember: you have to watch from the beginning to truly appreciate it.
I have seen JB a lot more this week despite the fact that he is still on the surgery rotation. Apparently it all depends on which resident you pull. His resident this week doesn't really want to teach much so he lets him go home pretty early. It's been nice to see him more.
Well, off to work!