Thursday, May 31, 2007
The procedure went extremely smooth this morning. Not one problem. We arrived as scheduled. Wendi got her new favorite snack (Valium) and took a trip to her happy place. We went down to the O.R. Three sticky-babies were waiting for us. The procedure was a breeze. (let me interrupt myself by saying that we were all expecting a bit of a battle here. This "procedure" - placing a narrow, flexible, plastic tube through wendi's "corkscrew cervix" (as the docs have dubbed it) and into her uterus - has taken between 15 and 45 minutes each time we have gone in for it. Today it took approximately 7 seconds.) The three sticky-babies were dropped in place, and Wendi was brought back to her room for an hour snooze. Then we went and picked up some Greek food and ate it back at the Ray's.
Now the waiting begins... yeah!
That's it for now.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Someone said my video didn't work. I tried it again. See if it works now.
Your prayers tomorrow and in the weeks to follow will be coveted greatly. Please pray especially that our 3 tiny sticky babies will survive until transfer.
And congrats to Ebby who successfully gave me my progesterone shots the last two morning.
This post has been pretty choppy. Can you tell I'm rushed?
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The only downside is that due to some miscommunication, they will not allow us to move into it until June 1st. This is frustrating as Ronnie is there to help. So ... we will try to secure another male compadre to help us unload June 2nd or 3rd (I can't remember which day we will be there). It should work out fine. John managed to keep the rental truck for another week to avoid having to put the stuff in the storage for a week, only to have to reload a truck, and then move the stuff into the house.
John is currently sending me video and pictures via our phone so I hope to share some with you if I can. Yipee! No temporary housing. Very good news.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Okay, onto some other topics. First of all, I have had many emails and comments on the blog asking about our "schedule". I suppose I haven't been very clear. So I wanted to take a second and make sure I explained what is going on in our lives. John and Ron are currently on the base in Florida. They are staying in a hotel for now. Tomorrow morning they will head to the housing office and find out if we have a home ready for us or if we have to put our stuff in storage and move into temporary housing for a time. Please be praying that a house is ready for us! On Wednesday, JB and Ron fly back to Minnesota. Then on Thursday we will do our fourth IVF. Later that weekend we are flying down to Florida and will begin our lives in the "Polar South" together.
Speaking of IVF transfers, all is going very well. I have been taking my shots of lupron each morning since we got back from Nigeria. I have been giving them to myself the last few days since John is gone, and I'm doing fine with it. I take 2 pills of "estrace" three times a day (7am, 3pm, 10pm). I have an alarm set on my phone to remind me of these -- especially the 3:00 dose. I still take my Metformin each evening, however, I am working hard to get back to my normal dosage after missing my luggage for 10 days in Nigeria. I start taking two other new medications today, and tomorrow, I start the progesterone shots in my lower back. Ebby the great has offered to give me my first two shots since JB will be gone. Is she a champ or what?!
Today I helped Tara load her truck. She and her father are now on the road on the way to California. Once again, there were no "good byes". We simply hugged with a "see you later" attached. Good byes are just too painful and none of us have the emotional stamina to say it over and over again. To say I will miss Tara is not really an adequate explanation of how I feel about her leaving. But ... let's just leave it at that.
Yesterday I watched the last six episodes of Survivor in one sitting! Holy cow! It felt so fabulous to sit down and not have anything to do. Ebby and I also went over to the condo and put the finishing touches on the place. Our renters move in today. There were some tear-holding-back by both Ebby and myself as we finished things up and locked the door for the last time. Lots of memories in that condo, and it didn't just feel like home without all of our things in it.
Ebby also asked me to drive her by the Jones' new home so she could see it. On the way back, I accidentally ran a red light. And seriously, it was an accident. I was sitting at a red light and accidentally looked to the light ahead of me instead of the light above me. When the light ahead of me turned green, I went -- straight through the intersection. Ebby immediately said, "Wendi, you just ran a light." And she wasn't the only one who noticed. A nice female cop also saw me run the light. Fortunately, I haven't been pulled over since I was 17, and I guess the cop believed my story since she just told me to drive on. Geeesh.
I'm at RLSF right now -- going to get some work in for the day. Happy Memorial Day.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Anyways, he tells me that last night they want and got sushi at Harbor Docks. This is where I connected with my friend Jenny when we were down there visiting last summer. It's a great restaurant on the water and, apparently, it was the best sushi either of them had ever had. I think Ronnie is loving Destin as much as we loved it.
I, on the other hand, am just tying up loose ends and also recovering from an incredibly busy few months. Yesterday I put a half day at RLS in. Today I put a half day in at Mayo. Last night I also slept nearly ten hours! I haven't slept more than five in quite some time. How great did that feel? I also finally broke into the old episodes of Survivor that Ray and Gabbi taped for me while we were in Africa. It felt amazing to just sit and watch TV (with their cat trying to lounge on my face again). I also took Ebby out for dinner at Applebees. It was a "thank-you" gift for their help with JB's graduation. What a great set of friends the Rays are.
Ebby and I are now going to do a few things at the condo before turning it over to the renters. Just a few more days before I am "officially" a Floridian again. I think I am ready!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I stole this one from Kristen's blog. I really wanted a photo of all the veteran-doctors praying for the all the soon-to-be-doctors at the Christian-oath-swearing-in-ceremony. My attempt at a photo came out so dark so it was great to get this one from Kristen. Thanks girls!
In other news, JB and Ronnie hit Josh and Sarah's house in Nashville late last night. They got up early this morning and moved on toward Eglin. Last I talked to John, they were nearing Birmingham and projecting an early afternoon arrival. So far, the drive has been fairly uneventful. The only disappointing event was the news that the Ray's beta fish, "Terd Ferguson" (which became our beta a few months ago, and, no, I have no idea where they came up with that name) did not survive the trip. The autopsy revealed that he was most likely cooked through the floorboard of the truck. Yuck. Twain(ette), our lone remaining love bird on the other hand, is having a great time on the drive and not chirping too much at all. I was worried JB and Ron would grow so tired of her that she'd end up somewhere amidst the bikes and plants. Good job Twaine
Last night I hung out with Brandon and Kristen (who left this morning for a vacation in Oregon), Dave and Lesley (who left this morning for a vacation in California/Hawaii), and Tara (who left this morning for a vacation in Chicago for Erin's wedding.) We went to Chipotle and then went back to Brandon and Kristen's for some ice cream (you can always count on Kristen and Lesley for dessert!), and played Brandon's new Wii (a gift from Kristen for taking the boards). I played some sort of bowling game and actually didn't embarrass myself too badly. I was also in a fairly goofy mood. I realized that it's one of the first times I have been simply able to "hang out" in a long time. We've had so much going on that I was fairly giddy with relief last night.
I also did a little cleaning at our condo and plan to finish it up this weekend. I found a mixing bowl set and a toaster oven we forgot to pack!!!! I am so mad about this. Now I have to figure out how to get it on the plane. How do you miss two huge kitchen items? I cleaned out every cabinet before JB left and totally skipped the one above the sink. My mom and mother-in-law missed them too! Geesh.
I spent the night at the Ray's last night. I also unwillingly bonded with their cat, Kevin. Kevin got up on the couch with me. I thought this was okay until I realized that Kevin likes to sleep on your face. Kevin also likes to purr VERY loudly and then tap his paws back and forth on your back while he pets your hair. Kevin was kicked off the couch at that point. I remember Kevin did this after one of my procedures when I went and stayed at the Rays. But that day I was so tired, I just basically let him sleep on my face. No go last night. I don't think Kevin was happy with me, but gosh, what happened to cats who just lay quiet and still?
Right now I am at RLS, getting ready to do some work to make up for my time off from the move. Our time in Rochester is winding down. I'd write all about it, but then I would cry, and I don't feel like crying. In order to avoid crying, I have downright avoided saying good bye to anyone. I just said "see you later" to Brandon and Kristen last night and a quick "farewell" to Dave and Lesley this morning. I think we are all sort of pretending that we will see each other next week. I plan to do the same thing with Tara on Monday and the Rays next week. I also have to connect with the Philips to not say good bye as well.
Okay, got to work.
Friday, May 25, 2007
I'm perched on the counter in our empty condo, my black ballet shoes dangling over the edge, typing on our laptop. It's sort of funny if you think about it. We still have wireless and still have a computer even though we don't have anything else in the place.
The condo is empty. We finished the place late last night. Getting ready for the renters included a multitude of tasks and since JB and Ron left early this morning, those tasks had to be done before they left. The carpet cleaners come today, and there are still a few other tasks I need to complete before Monday, but basically the place is ready to go.
In addition to our moving help, we would not have survived yesterday without David J. who painted the baseboards in every bedroom. Lesley helped feed us. Tara helped complete a few tasks that only a true friend would agree to: the refrigerator and bathtub cleaning, which just, coincidentally happen to be my least favorite and therefore the last to get done. Ron Ray was an All-Star doing touch-up work, fire alarm hanging, and closet painting. Strong work team 202!
We spent the night at Ron & Ebby's last night, and I will stay there the next week. It was surreal this morning watching that big truck towing our little Saturn pull out of Ron & Ebby's house and head to Florida. All I have know is two suitcases and this laptop on the counter. John and Ron will fly back on Wednesday.
Not sure how often I'll post here -- Ebby doesn't have Internet. I'm actually looking forward to a weekend of relaxing although there is still a long list of things to do including bringing some fish to the pet shop that JB couldn't take.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
- JEFF <-- wanted to make sure his shout out was loud and clear
- My husband
- Me (lol)
- Tara (was ready and willing but things progressed very quickly)
Thank you all so much for allowing us to pack up the truck and be eating at India Garden by noon! All of this despite the rainy morning that accompanied our moving date. Strong work team.
Also a quick note that my ultrasound this morning went fabulously. We are 100% ready to go on the 31st -- no delays needed. A week from today it is folks. YAY!
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The Jones moved out of their condo today. Their new house, down the street from St. Marys, is fantastic -- quite a big step up from their one bedroom on the fourth floor in Rochester Towers. I was glad I was able to see it before we left. It feels like we are becoming grown-ups, even though most teenagers would agree we already are.
Tomorrow, the Kits move out of their own condo. We just upgraded to a larger truck. It means driving a little farther (St. Paul) to pick it up, but I think it will be worth it to assure that all of our "stuff" makes it to Fort Walton Beach. We have quite a lot of stuff.
My office mates at Mayo had a going away lunch for me today. RLS is having one for me on Tuesday. More saying good bye.
It's hard to believe that four years have culminated into where we are now. It is hard to believe that it is really time to say good bye to life-long friends. We came here, knowing only the Ray family. We leave here with a collection of beautiful and incredible individuals who have filled our time in the "Polar North" with lots of laughing, crying, ultimate Frisbee, dominoes, Time's Up, movies, dinners, road trips, and study sessions.
In just a week, "Life in the Polar North" will become "Life in the Polar North Warms Up". In just a week, we'll complete our fourth IVF transfer and relocate nearly 20 hours south in a completely different home and culture. I will no longer wear silk leggings each day. I will no longer heat up rice bags and pray that it breaks the zero mark for at least one morning. I won't patch up my chapped hands with layers of lotion and moisturizing gloves. No more chap stick stashed in every possible crevice. No more Dairy Queens closing for 8 months of the year. No more Rochester, Minnesota.
In just two days, John and Ron will climb into our truck and move us across the country. As we sit here, bundled in boxes and cheering for Blake, I know that this will be a night I will never forget. Eating leftovers, watching our tiny TV, and reminiscing with our good friends. As cold as I have been, I love it here. I know I'll love it there. But I know I love it here.
It's time to go.
Only one more "sleep" in my bed in Minnesota. Our renters move in on Monday. Wow.
Here are some photos from the ceremony. It was an EXTREMELY windy day. Did you know Rochester is the sixth windiest city in the US? Stephanie and I, literally, were almost blown over crossing the street.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Some members of Nicole and the Jones' family
Monday, May 21, 2007
It was so wonderful to have them all here. It was wonderful to watch JB graduate with his MD. It's been wonderful living in Minnesota for these four years.
My mom and mom-in-law helped me pack while they were here. I got a TON of stuff done. Quite honestly, I am probably only a few hours a way from having the house packed up. This is bitter sweet to me. I really love our home. I really love our condo. I really love warm weather, but nonetheless, I don't feel ready to go.
The good news about going, however, is that we aren't selling our "home". We are going to rent it out. I put a free ad on Craig's List and in the Mayo classifieds on Friday morning. By Friday midday, JB had four people stop over. Two of them wanted to rent without question. The first one, however, put a deposit down, and will therefore be our renters. We'll rent for at least a year and then see what we want to do.
I still need to post pictures of the party on Saturday. I'll try to do that soon. I cried a lot at the party on Saturday. There are so many people to say good bye to.
Okay, crying again here. Gotta go.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Okay, I jumped straight to the degree. But how could I help myself?! My husband is now a doctor. Let me back up a bit. Here is me and my mom before the ceremony. How skinny is my mom!?!?
We decided I should hold the diploma too as I think I worked sort of hard these last 4 years as well! Whew -- so glad I passed the boards.
All in attendance with the doctor
Kristen and myself. Kristen threw an AMAZING picnic after the ceremony. More pictures of that later!
- Tara A. - The Fruitful One, John 15:5, 8
- Ajit I. - The Family Man with a Future, Jeremiah 29:11
- David J. - The Gap-Minding Influencer, Ezekiel 22:30
- Lesley J. - The Focused Encourager, Matthew 6:33
- John K. - The Inspiring Leader, 2 Timothy 2:1-4
- Antonio M., The Whole-Hearted Voice, Colossians 3:17
- Nicole S., The Dignified Doer of Good Deeds, 1 Timothy 2:9-10
- Hans S., The Man of Balance, Zechariah 4:9
Here are some pictures from the evening.
This is Jock and JB. Jock is one of the leaders of the CMDA. He works for L'abri in Rochester. If you don't know what L'abri is, please click HERE to find out more. It is a fantastic organization started by Francis Schaeffer in Switzerland. It's basic mission is to help intellectuals with their faith. They now have a home in Rochester as well. Jock has served as a mentor to JB for the last year and is a fantastic man!
Some of the graduating students: Tara, Hans, Nicole, and JB
Second year medical student Brandon and wife Kristen -- my awesome blessing this weekend. Kristen helped plan and coordinate the graduation party we had on Saturday. We met them through the CMDA Bible Study and will really miss them when we leave next year
Brandon and Kristen with Tara and Lesley
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Those of you who know John and I personally know that we have a very interesting dynamic to our relationship. We pick on each other all the time, bantering back and forth. We say exactly what we are thinking and do not beat around the bush. We have often tried to change this aspect of our relationship but to no avail. It is who we are.
This dynamic is a strong part of who we are as a couple, but I think it is also stops me, sometimes, from bragging on John. I am so busy being sarcastic that I often don't say how proud I am of what he is doing today.
I met John when I was 9. I started dating him when I was 16. I married him when I was 21. Next month we will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. Sometime in 1999, JB decided he didn't like that I had a higher degree. (See there is the sarcasm ... just kidding.) No, seriously, in 1999, JB decided that he wanted to go back to school to get his Bachelor Degree. A year later he had firmed up the decision to go to medical school. He ended up graduating as the TOP student in the Ogden College of Science at Western Kentucky University with a perfect 4.0 GPA. (He would not want this on the blog, but oh well, it's my blog.) He studied for nearly a year to take the MCAT (medical school entrance exam) and while he didn't do as well as he would have liked, scored very well. He majored in Biology and minored in English writing. He was the president and vice president of two of the medical organizations on campus.
John applied to approximately 10 schools in the U.S. He gave me a book on medical schools and asked me to take a look at the 10 he had picked. One of those schools was the WFMC (world famous Mayo Clinic). Mayo's statistics included a 1% acceptance rate. It was the smallest school in the country with approximately 40 students in each class. I often retell this story joking that I never thought JB would actually get in when I told him he could apply, but quite honestly, I tell that story for effect. I think I knew he had as good a chance as anyone.
We prayed that John would not get offered interviews at any out-of-state school that wasn't going to end up being the school he would go to. The interviews were expensive to fly to and stay a whole weekend. He got interviews at both the state schools (U of Kentucky and U of Louisville), and not surprisingly, was accepted at both. He temporarily put UK at the top while he waited to hear from the other schools.
About a month before my cousin Jason's wedding to Kathleen in 2002, JB received confirmation that he had moved through the first step of Mayo's process. He had been granted a phone interview. About a week before Jason and Kathleen's wedding he received another call. They wanted him to come to the campus for an interview. John actually flew from their wedding in New York City to the interview. I remember my Uncle Bob and other family members praying with JB before he left for the airport.
I didn't go with him to Mayo, mostly because of money and also because, we had already decided, that Mayo was his "dream" school. It was the school that he threw in the pool just to see what happened. If he got in, there was no question whether or not we would go. Of course we would go. That being the case, my opinion of Rochester wouldn't matter. In the end, it's good my opinion didn't matter and that I didn't go with that weekend. It was -1 degree the weekend JB interviewed.
While we waited to hear back from Mayo, the University of Miami called John and asked him to campus for an interview. I didn't like this idea. It went against our prayers that he would only be asked to visit one out-of-state school. But having not heard back from Mayo, John went ahead and scheduled the interview for a Friday.
The day before he was to leave for Miami, JB picked me up from work at Franklin-Simpson High School. I climbed into the car, and he asked me if I wanted to go with him to a nice dinner on Friday evening.
"We can't go out for dinner tomorrow night," I laughed. "You are leaving for the University of Miami."
John shook his head and told me he didn't need to go on his UM visit. He had gotten into Mayo!!!
As scared as I was to move to Rochester, that was one of the happiest moments in my life. I was so proud of John. I think I immediately jumped out of the car to tell anyone I could find in the building.
During this time, JB was also commissioned into the Air Force, the most difficult branch to be a physician as it requires an application process instead of "automatic acceptances." This was a business decision as they would pay for medical school.
We moved to Rochester with the Ray family (our stalkers!) in 2003. We rented a house that had a mother-in-law apartment on it. The Rays lived in the house, and we lived in the apartment. In 2004, we bought our first home, a condo downtown.
Now it is 2007. I don't want to get all nostalgic or anything, but John has finished medical school. What seemed an insurmountable obstacle, is now completed. Today, he is given his M.D. and is also promoted to Captain in the US Air Force. I am so very proud of John and so very blessed to be his wife. This has been a rough 4 years with a lot going on in our family, but our marriage is stronger today than when we moved here in 2003. I am married to the best husband in the world. He is intelligent, well-spoken, funny*, loving, kind, gracious, and just all around, my best friend.
I LOVE YOU JOHN! YOU ROCK!
*Team Nigeria voted that JB grew considerably more funny in Africa. This humor has continued now that he is back in the states. He also does a great job running the "John-ocracy" as we so appropriately called it in Africa.
Friday, May 18, 2007
This morning at 10am we went to Panakooken for breakfast. (I never know how to spell that.) Now, we are all planning on leaving the house for a bit while JB stays here. We have 3 new people coming to look at the condo. One wants to buy but two want to rent, and we are quite honestly considering renting. We will see what works out.
If you could be praying for me, I would greatly appreciate it. I am still having some effects from the procedure on Wednesday and also not sleeping well. However, the good news is, we are currently still on track for our transfer date. Keep the prayers coming.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Quickly, I'll share the disappointment -- it looks like the sale of our condo has fallen through. Quite honestly, I am leaving the details to JB. We are thinking we may just rent the place for a year and then reevaluate. Either way, it's in the Lord's hands, but I am disappointed that we can't just walk away with a clean break.
Other bad news -- Bara will not be able to join us for the graduation. He tried to change his ticket, but overbooked flights mean he can only upgrade to first class. Who can afford that? So ... he has cancelled his ticket. This is disappointing, but I hope it means he can use the flight later to visit us in Florida. It will all work out, and we know we will see him again. I was so excited for Bara to meet our families, but maybe another time.
Okay, enough of that. The good news ...
JB's parents and brother Robbie have arrived in town! It's so great to see them! My parents and grandparents are on the road on the way from Chicago. They should be here in the next two hours.
The other good news is that it appears I am going to be able to keep my health insurance at my job through Mayo, at least for awhile. My boss at Mayo is fantastic and also thinks he needs me to work more hours. As long as I stay near 20 hours a week, I can keep benefits which means we pay 50% for future infertility treatments instead of 100%. In addition, Mayo pays $10,000 toward any adoption! Who knows if I will still have the insurance when all this happens, but for now, it is good news.
Okay, lots to do. Have a great weekend! I know we will.
Tonight is a wonderful ceremony through our CMDA Bible Study -- it's a Christian oath ceremony. JB and seven of his classmates have decided to take part in this ceremony. Many of them are people you have heard of often: Dave and Lesley, Tara, Ajit, Antonio, Hans, and Nicole. I am blessed that our families will be here in time for that.
Tomorrow evening is a Mayo party for the graduates. Saturday is the graduation itself. Then at 4:30 we are having a cook-out at Ron & Ebby for a group of the graduates. I am so blessed that KRISTEN THE GREAT (can't think of a good, powerful "k" word) has offered to help with the party. This is an AMAZING blessing!!!! Kristen, I owe you for LIFE!
Okay, should be an adventure of a weekend. Please keep me in prayer as I am recovering from yesterday's delightful procedure. Also keep everyone in your prayers for safe travels.
Folks, Saturday, I'll be married to a doctor!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I went in for my "mock transfer" today. This is where they basically practice doing the actual procedure, testing out sizes of equipment and angles of entry etc. The idea is that they will get your body ready for the procedure weeks earlier so as to prevent a lot of "trauma" on the day of the procedure. They dilate your cervix and apparently it stays that way until I go in for the actual procedure. They also do a few other things while they are it. I'm not even sure what.
I guess it's good they got the trauma over today because it was not fun at all. Once again they were having trouble seeing things properly. That's never a good sign. It usually means that my bladder is not full enough. And when the bladder isn't full enough, a catheter is a likely tool of choice. I'm not sure, but I think they catheterized me three times before it went through properly. Yuck. At that point, they fill your bladder up and then push on your stomach as hard as they can. Imagine having to go to the bathroom as badly as you ever have and then someone just leaning on your stomach. It's fairly torturous.
Once they could see properly there was still some trouble getting me dilated. Everyone told me I was doing well and being tough. It was, by far, the worst mock transfer I have ever had. Dr. H. told me that her hardest mock transfer ever resulted in a pregnancy. I'm okay with that possibility.
Either way, once I got up, as they suspected, I was pretty light headed from all the "trauma" and ended up feeling like I might throw up and then pass out before finally getting into my bed. I'm now up and feeling a lot better ... trying to block out the day's experience. I wished they would give me a Valium before the mock transfer like they do on the day of the procedure.
The good news is, I survived. Everything looks on course for a May 31st transfer. There is a possibility things could be delayed at this point but no possibility of a cancellation. Please pray for a right-on-time delivery of our three sticky babies. Also, please be praying that our three babies look great at transfer time.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Our good IVF news yesterday, turned out to be, only the tip of the iceberg. There was tons of other great news to go around!
Dave and Lesley have safely returned from their month long rotation/mission trip in Bangladesh! We picked them up from the airport late last night. We are so excited they are back in town. However, we also realize how little time we have left hanging out with them and other friends. They are actually moving the same day we are next week into their new house in Rochester. They will be staying here for residency.
In addition, JB's younger brother Matt got engaged earlier this week to longtime girlfriend Danielle Bare. We've considered Danielle a part of the family for years now already so it was about time that Matt made it official. Good job Matt! You picked a great girl.
We are also excited that so many wonderful people are coming to Minnesota to help us celebrate JB's graduation. Folks, he will be a REAL doctor on Saturday! My parents and grandparents arrive on Thursday as do JB's parents and his youngest brother, Rob (now the only one not married or engaged). In addition, our friend Bara arrives on Friday. We were disappointed to find out that Dr. Chris, our wonderful Nigerian host, is not going to be here for the graduation after all. He was only granted a one year visa (they are very difficult to come by) and wants to use it wisely. I really wish everyone could meet him!
Should be a very fun and very hectic week!
Monday, May 14, 2007
I got the call around 3:30. My bloodwork came back perfect. We are moving forward! I will continue taking my shots each morning and will start my new medication tomorrow morning as well.
I cannot begin to express to you the relief at hearing the nurse say those words. I get so used to bad news that it is hard to remember that sometimes the news can be good.
Please continue to pray that my body responds properly. May 31st is currently a go!
We are reminded yet again how little we control even when we think we do.
I just wanted to say thank you to all who were thinking of us and praying for us over the last few days. Everything has turned out wonderfully!
It was an amazing sight. If you would like to see pictures of how close the fires were take a look at www.catalinachamber.com and www.latimes.com. They both have some phenomenal pictures. You can really get an idea of how close the fires were to the town.
It's been a mess in town, tons of ash and such. Avalon is going to take a huge hit by not having tourists in town for 4 days but overall it's all ok. Over 4,000 acres burned down and only one person was hurt (fire fighter that inhaled too much smoke-he's fine now). One house burned down up in the canyon and a few businesses burned down. Overall, we were very lucky. We had angels watching out for us and I for one know who to thank.
By Friday we had more firefighters here than townies. Over 700 made it over via plane, helicopter, hovercraft, and boat. I just can't get over how great they worked to keep our little town safe. I volunteered on Friday just to see if I could help in any way and luckily, there wasn't much to do. That's how organized everything was. I made some sandwiches for fire fighters and helped relocate the patients to the hospital - that was about it.
Anyways, I never send out mass emails but am doing so this time just to give a special thanks to everyone who wrote or called. Thanks again -- We're still here. That'll give you all an excuse to come and visit!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Here is the southern most tip of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meets. You will see JB who was in love with the tidal pools there. We had to drag him away.
If you think of it, could you please be praying for both JB and myself during this time. We are both a little frustrated by the lack of response. If my body responds soon, there may still be time to get on track for the May 31st transfer. If it responds slower than expected, they may have to push my date out. If it doesn't respond, the transfer date would have to be scrapped, and I would have to start over with medications. Basically this means that all the medications I took in Africa, were not needed. That's a bit frustrating.
If the transfer is delayed, JB will probably not be able to come up for it as he starts work on June 6th at Eglin. I am okay with this and know I can handle it without him. We talked to Delta, and we can cancel his flight and save the "credit" for a future flight which is encouraging. I can stay here for a bit longer and just stay with friends and continue working from here for a week or two.
If it is cancelled altogether, we'll have to figure out when we can get things started again. I'll have to fly back up to Mayo obviously. Like I said, all of this will work out fine. It's just a tad frustrating when we were working on such a tight window. The nurses had so carefully helped me plan this out so things would be on time. In addition, I have never had this problem with these medications before.
I also wanted to tell my mother and mother-in-law "Happy Mother's Day!" today. We'll get to see them in a few days to celebrate. In addition, I wanted to ask everyone out there to please remember that this day is difficult for some and not forget about the women like me, who aren't mothers, or people who have lost their mothers and struggling with memories today. Holidays are always an emotional time, and we should always remember others while we are celebrating ourselves.
Normally, JB and I usually do something "fun" together on Mother's Day. The last two years, we have gone canoeing. However, we have so much going on this week, that we really can't spare the morning. We are skipping church (on purpose as it is coupled with baby dedications -- thanks for the head's up Ebby), but we are going to stay at the house and just get some pre-move work done.
Thanks for all the love and prayers as always. While we are both a bit frustrated today, we know that God is at the helm. We continue to trust Him.
Friday, May 11, 2007
I'm not sure how many of you know that John's younger sister Katie, who was married just one week ago, lives in Avalon with her new husband Eddie. His older's sister, Elizabeth, and her husband Grant, moved to Catalina quite a few years ago to run a YMCA camp. They have since relocated back to Florida, however, Katie, who helped them run the camp, has stayed and is now working at a hotel on the island. Eddie is a boat captain.
JB and I visited Catalina Island back in 2001. It is a beautiful island and am amazing place. They have been evacuating people by ferry since yesterday. Please be praying for the people and the town itself. When your town is one square mile, everyone is affected.