Thursday, August 31, 2006

Good news!

I am at work so I cannot post long, but everything went great at my ultrasound this a.m. It's so nice when things go according to plan. They wanted the lining of my uterus to be at 9 (mm I think), but it was at 10 which is even better. The thicker the lining, the easier the embryo can embed (aka "stick") to the uterus wall.

So I keep taking blue pills, take last shot of lupron on Monday morning, and on Tuesday start taking the yucky thick progestrone oil shots. Both the blue pills and progesterone will continue until, either I am not pregnant, or until my 8th or so week of pregnancy.

We are for sure going in on Thursday morning! Yay!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ultrasound Day

My ultrasound is an hour. I'm not exactly sure how this works, because as I have said before, I have never done a transfer without the harvest. I don't know if they will tell me right away how things look, call later. I'm not sure. However, as soon as I know something, I will update the blog.

In the meantime, some anonymous person left these quotes in the comments of my blog yesterday. Man are they good, and they hit me right where I needed them. So I wanted to share! Thanks to whoever shared them with me!

I was regretting the past and fearing the future. Suddenly God was speaking: "My name is I am." I waited and God continued: "When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I was. When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I will be. When you live in this moment, it is not hard. I am here. My name is I AM." Helen Mellincost

Our circumstances are not an accurate reflection of God's goodness. Whether life is good or bad, God's goodness, rooted in His character, is the same. Helen Grace Lescheid

One thing we may be sure of, however: For the believer all pain has meaning; all adversity is profitable. There is no question that adversity is difficult. It usually takes us by surprise and seems to strike where we are most vulnerable. To us it often appears completely senseless and irrational, but to God none of it is either senseless or irrational. He has a purpose in every pain He brings or allows in our lives. We can be sure that in some way He intends it for our profit and His glory. Jerry Bridges

It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand. Madeleine L'Engle

Rather than saying "God, here is my problem," we should put the problem into perspective by saying, "Problem, here is my God!

If you have been reduced to God being your only hope, You are in a good place. Jim Laffoon

It takes two wings for an eagle to fly. If an eagle were to try to fly with just one wing he would only spin around in circles on the ground. The same is true with many people who are trying to soar spiritually on their faith, but have not added patience. These just keep going around in circles, getting more and more frustrated and kicking up a lot of dust. Any truth that we teach without this counter balancing truth will lead us to frustration, not fulfilment. Rick Joyner

Delays are not refusals; many a prayer is registered, and underneath it the words: "My time is not yet come." God has a set time as well as a set purpose, and He who orders the bounds of our habitation orders also the time of our deliverance. Anonymous

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

God's Plan

Here's something I read today that is helping me deal with the emotions of the upcoming transfer. I'm sure it can reach all of you with whatever life obstacle is overwhelming your life. Blessings friends! Remember, He does have a plan. Now if he would just tell me what it is I could get on with things!

God's Plan

By: Roy Lessin

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

God has a plan for your life. He brought you into this world to fulfill that plan. It is the best plan that anyone could ever make for you. It is a plan that will bring Him the greatest glory and you the greatest good. From the beginning of this calendar year until its end, God is working out His plan.

As you follow God's plan for your life, you do so by faith. It is important to remember that He is the Guide and you are the follower. He does not need to bring you into His planning room as a consultant to help Him decide what is best for your life. God has called you to trust Him and to take the next step of obedience according to His will. God has said, "I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16 NKJV

Here are some ways that God is working out His plan:

He is your Shepherd—He is leading you.

He is your Provider—He is taking care of you.

He is your Strength—He is enabling you.

He is your Counselor—He is speaking to you.

He is your Shield—He is protecting you.

He is your Comfort—He is encouraging you.

He is your Father—He is blessing you.

Katrina and Ernesto

Today is the one year anniversary of Katrina. It is also the day that Ernesto is scheduled to make landfall in south Florida.

A year ago, I did not have full cable and was simply dependent on my sister-in-law Gabbi, (aka "the meteorologist"), for my updates. However, now, I have the Weather Channel. I feel like I am ninety years old, sitting in my rocker, watching the Weather Channel every free minute. I keep reminding Kelsey that I am truly not this pathetic.

The ultimate diagnosis? Ernesto is scheduled to hit south Florida late this evening. However, it is currently not even a hurricane so at worst it would probably be a 1. Wilma, which caused major damage to our families last year and left them without power for weeks, was a 3, and they made out okay. So I am not too worried. Ernesto should completely miss JB in the panhandle and our new friends Tim and Jenny. (I know you are relieved Jenny.)

There is other news going on in my life. For those of you who love bullets, here they are:
  • Most of that news surrounds me "surviving" while JB is gone. The storm the other night majorly screwed up the fish tank. I think I got the motors running again, but I can't get the timer correct on the light. I need JB to come home and fix it.
  • Twain, our girl bird, has one of her eggs stuck to her chest. Just another reason I need JB to come home. Apparently, she cracked it, and the yoke stuck to her chest and now the entire egg is stuck there. I am thinking I need to figure out a way to get this off, however, while we can hold these birds, they don't react well to pain. So I am praying she decides to get it off herself, otherwise I either go in with my winter gloves on or wait for JB to return.
  • Speaking of the birds, for some reason, they decided 4 a.m. was a good time to start chirping last night. That was probably the perfect time to get that egg off of Twain's chest as I had enough frustrations to not care if I inflicted pain.
  • I got a call from Kristi last night. My little goddaughter Logan is her mother's daughter, driving her tricycle right off the deck and splitting her head open. She is fine, but they are having a plastic surgeon look at the huge gash running vertically on her forehead.
  • Kristi's pregnancy also continues to straddle precarious. She has placenta previa (which will lead to a c-section), however, the supposed tumor that one specialist saw in her placenta is no longer present. What a miracle! They do know the new baby is a girl, and they have named her Raylee. Keep Raylee in your prayers during the next few months. I plan to go visit their family of FOUR in the spring!
  • My boss at Mayo is back in town meaning work will pick up continually now. We have a grant due October 1st which is always stressful. I gave him a "head's up" yesterday about how much JB loved Eglin. He was disappointed but said he understood we had to do what was best for us.
  • Last night I talked to Sarah! They have officially settled into their little apartment in Brentwood, Tennessee, and will spend the next few months looking for a house. I am excited they are in Tennessee as, if we move to Eglin, they will again only be about six hours from us. This has been quite an interesting series of events to keep us within a half dozen hours from each other. When we left for Rochester, they moved to Chicago, and now that they have moved back to Tennessee, it looks like we are moving to Florida.

As for me, I am, well, crying a lot, and praying a lot. Thursday morning is the ultrasound. That will be the next time we know more.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Friday, Ernesto, and little blue pills

Here are some pictures from Friday evening when a bunch of us got together for a "girl's night" to celebrate Lesley's birthday and to also say farewell to Kelsey who is leaving sometime next week to move to Boulder.

As for the storm, we are continuing to watch Ernesto. It changes so rapidly. It now appears that he will nearly completely miss the panhandle where JB is. However, now we are watching it because it looks like it might skirt over our families in south Florida. Of course, right now, Ernesto is not even a hurricane -- just a tropical storm -- so hopefully it will stay that way. I'll keep you posted. Here are the two links:

Model Forecasts


As for me, please continue to pray for me. Our ultrasound will be on Thursday to measure the lining of my uterus and determine if it is thick enough to do the transfer. I went to church on my own yesterday and had a rough time. Thank you to Ebby who called and prayed with me after service. I needed that. I don't even think she knew I had such a rough time until she called. That was the Lord. I love you Ebby!

I think I need to take a little break from church for the next few weeks and just stick to my Thursday Bible Study. Our church is SO filled with young mothers and pregnant mothers and babies that sitting through service when I am being pumped with so much estrogen is quite difficult to manage -- especially without JB there to calm me down.

What am I feeling? Mostly scared. Not scared for the procedure but scared to try again. I'll be okay, but please just keep me in your prayers, and also know that those little blue pills contribute significantly to the emotion of all of this right now.

Also please pray for our two little sticky babies -- that they survive the thaw that they will soon be undergoing.

New updates

I hope you all aren't sick of my updates. We are now watching the paths of Hurrican Ernesto very closely for two reasons. Some of the computer models are indicating south Florida where our families live. Others are indicating the panhandle where JB is currently living. Obviously, we have family in both locations so we are watching closely.

The Weatherchannel uses the "cone" model in the top picture. They don't really buy into the computer models in the second picture, and probably for good reason. You can tell how many different computer models emerge and how different each of them are.

A lot changed overnight

Yesterday was a relaxing day. In the morning I went and cheered Kelsey on at the conclusion of her half-marathon. She ran very well -- 1:50 which is around an 8:30 pace. This is very impressive as I don't even run 8:30 pace when I run three miles.

Speaking of three miles, this is about what I am running every day when I run. I ran about a 3.2 yesterday. I think I am going to try to run the Harvest Classic 5K (3.1 miles) on Saturday morning. I am hoping Kristen decides to run so I have someone to run it with me. My only major issue with running right now is that I am having some substantial calf pain. I am not sure if this is from my shoes or my form or my eating/hydration. It is a little frustrating because my stamina feels like I could run 4-5 miles, but my legs do not.

In the evening, a bunch of us went and saw Invincible. I really enjoyed the movie, and it was a good family-type picture. Rachel organized the event and Hans, Kelsey, myself, Jason, Tara, and Sean were also present.

Okay, I must digress for a moment to express my frustration with the Rochester Chateau movie theatre. When Bara was here, 12 of us decided to go see Pirates of the Caribbean. I went and bought 12 of Mayo's $5 tickets which are supposed to get you into any new movie. Then we got to the movie, and they said that they weren't accepting the $5 tickets. JB asked for an explanation, and they said they never accept $5 tickets until the movie has been in the theater for awhile. JB then told the guy that they accepted these tickets for opening weekend of Superman the week before, and the guy told him this was a mistake.

Okay, so we now have $60 worth of movie tickets waiting to be used. Frustrating. Rachel looked online for me yesterday and the webpage said they aren't accepting $5 tickets. So I whip out my new Military ID and get a $6 ticket. Not bad (in comparison to the normal $8 price tag.) Tara whips out her $5 ticket, and the guy takes it!


I ask him about this, and he gives us a different story -- that only a few movies don't take the $5 ticket. Are you kidding?! So I got a discount that was still $1 over my $5 ticket (which I currently have 12 of.)

Did you follow all that? Well, it doesn't really matter. Lesson to be learned: always ask if they will take the $5 ticket.

Okay, not onto things that are a little more important.

I woke up this morning and immediately turned on the weather channel. A lot has changed with Ernesto overnight. For one thing, it is now a hurricane. For another thing, the models are now projecting a much more Florida turn. They are even not currently ruling out south Florida (Fort Lauderdale) right now.

Here are the current projections which don't mean a whole lot at this point. It's very early.

Here is a picture of the entire panhandle so you can see exactly where JB is. You can actually see a dark area right around the star. This is the Eglin Air Force Base.

There is another good link that indicates the "cone" of where it may hit, but I can't get the picture to load. You can check it out at: CONE.

JB said that he will talk to his superiors tomorrow and get an idea of what they think he should do. He is supposed to fly out on Saturday morning, and the storm is projected to hit sometime on Thursday. I am praying that they say he should fly out earlier this week. However, we still don't know where Ernesto is going so I am not sure what they will say. He could also drive north (maybe to see Josh & Sarah and their new place in Tennessee. You guys ready for a visitor yet?)

Anyways, I will keep updating you on the storm. Please pray for everyone in this storm's path.

Off to church.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hurrican Ernesto Update

While JB is in the panhandle, we are keeping an eye on Hurricane Ernesto. Here are the current computer models courtesy of of my meteorologist sister-in-law Gabbi.

I also found a great picture of the area of Eglin and surrounding areas. The grey "blob" is Eglin Air Force Base (which is the size of ROad Island). The hospital where JB works is near the Fort Walton Beach area. The bay borders the base and connects to the gulf.

Kelsey is running a half marathon this morning, and I am going to try and go see her finish the race so I need to run (not literally mind you!)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hans and Rachel

We had a group of girls over to my place tonight to celebrate Lesley's birthday and Kelsey's (sad) departure. We started browsing through Rachel's vacation pictures, and we all fell in love with these two pics of Rachel and Hans. (Hans is the one on the right). Hans is in JB's class, and Rachel is in Dental school in Minneapolis. They are one of the reasons we want to stay in Rochester! :(

Trivia via request

Okay. I had a special request for a Friday trivia. So here it is:

Folks with this physical trait are likely to make 15 - 26% more than folks without it - name the trait and win!

Join the winner’s list:

  • Ray
  • Gabbi
  • Cindy V.
  • Ebby
  • Justin
  • Suebaby
  • Kristen
  • Florida/Doormark connection

In the dark

As we were leaving Bible Study last night, it started pouring rain. Not a light rain mind you. A really heavy rain. Lesley the fearless wanted to run home through it, however, I talked her out of it, and we took a ride home from Brandon and Kristen.

The rain did not let up, and about an hour later, Kelsey wandered in, soaked from head-to-toe. After Bible Study, she had gone to the public library to work on her law school applications only to be ushered to a "tornado-friendly" room. I told her she should have called. I could have easily picked her up especially as we have underground parking. But Kelsey (also the fearless) decided to run home through it. Wearing jeans proved to be a poor decision as we all know how heavy jeans get when wet.

I was really glad Kelsey came home when she did. Not ten minutes after she got home, the lightning picked up, and the electricity went out and stayed out. We spent the evening talking in the living room surrounded by every candle I could find.

The bad thing about the electricity going out and staying out is that you have no idea which items were on when it happened. Sure enough, a few hours later (I have no idea what time as every clock was blinking), the electricity came back on and so did the TV, three lights in the living room etc. So I wandered off to shut everything off. I also turned on my fan and the air conditioning in my room. A few minutes later everything went off again, but by the time I got up this morning, the electricity was back on for good. At least I hope it is for good.

Rumor has it that lightning hit right behind the church next to our house. Hey, maybe it knocked out the eight o'clock Sunday bells! Just kidding. The news is also showing that there were many tornadoes, fifty mile an hour winds, and a lot of power outages.

I just spoke with JB. His parents are on the way to visit him at Eglin. I wish I could see them! He also interviewed yesterday for a residency spot and said it went very well, and they seemed genuinely interested in him coming to Eglin. Are we going to go there?! I think so. Maybe. I don't know. Who knows. I really just can't think much about it right now. Too much to think about.

Off to take my shot and to work. I can happily announce I only took my own medicine yesterday. It was a successful day!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Faith & Trust

Today, we are two weeks from transfer and counting down. I wanted to share some cool faith encouragement that Tara shared with me as I wait for another try with two more "sticky babies". Whether it be infertility or something else it's still about faith and trust. Easier said than done.
* * * * *
"Trusting even when it appears you have been forsaken; praying when it seems your words are simply entering a vast expanse where no one hears and no voice answers; believing that God's love is complete and that He is aware of your circumstances, even when your world seems to grind on as if setting its own direction and not caring for life or moving one inch in response to your petitions; desiring only what God's hands have planned for you; waiting patiently while seemingly starving to death, with your only fear being that your faith might fail-'this is the victory that has overcome the world,' this is genuine faith indeed."
-George MacDonald
Remember...When obstacles and trials seem
Like prison walls to be
I do the little I can do
And leave the rest to Thee
And when there seems to chance, no change,
From grief can set me free,
Hope finds its strength in helplessness,
And calmly waits for thee"
-S. Chadwick

When you have come to the edge of all the light you know
And are about to step offInto the darkness of the unknown,
Faith is knowing that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid to stand on
or you will be taught how to fly
-Patrick Overter

Time for Trivia

It's a fear thing...20% of the guys and 25% of the gals say that this is one of their biggest fears - what are we talking about here?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Huge boo-boo

Last night I made a huge mistake -- a huge mistake that I only realized this morning.

Instead of taking my new estrace medicine, I took one of my Kelsey's medications!

I still can't believe I did this. But her pills were sitting where my pills normally are and I picked them up and they were the same shape (a different color, but hey, who's looking), and I swallowed it (with water if you care for details). Then this morning I woke up feeling very funny and walked to the same place to take my morning dose and happened to look at the container. The name did NOT say Wendi K. The name began with a K and ended with a Y. My name does not start with a K or end with a Y. (I am a Wendi with an "i").

It was at this precise moment that I began to panic.

Majorly panic.

Not positive that I did accidentally take the wrong pill the night before, I decided the best thing to do was to count my estrace pills to assure that I had actually screwed up. How hard could that be?

The bad news? My estrace bottle had 200 pills in it! Two hundred itsy-bitsy tiny little pills. About fifteen minutes later I was done counting. Sure enough, I counted 198! I had taken Kelsey's pill.

This sent me into a mad scramble. I was walking around the kitchen ... pacing around the kitchen ... yelling at myself. How could I have been so careless? How could I have made such a mistake? JB leaves me alone for two weeks, and I screw up the third day! I was so frustrated and mad at myself.

I couldn't get ahold of JB. Kelsey was asleep. And the nurseline wasn't open until 8 a.m. I was there, trapped with myself!

I desperately tried to call JB. I desperately tried to call JB about ten times. No answer. He was already at work.

I had two major questions. Did taking Kelsey's medication counteract with my own medications? Did not taking my own medication screw up this cycle? Oh my! I was sweating. I had been about to do my devotions but the morning's reading was in Job. I just could not read Job in a moment like this. Or could I?

I went to work, tried to start working, and then at 8:02 called the nurse and left a message. Mary called me back at 8:15. "I saw you called at 8:02 and figured you were desperate," she said. "What'd you do?"

"I took my roommate's medications!"

Mary started laughing!

I was not laughing. "Mary," I said, "Tell me that everything is okay."

She laughed again, "Well your cycle is fine," she said. "Now I just have to check on interactions."

She spent some time talking with me, asking me how I was feeling, and helped me adjust my estrace medication so that I still took the right amount. Everything is fine. We are still scheduled for September 7th, but I feel very stupid and very careless. Ugh!

I am about to make my medication again now. I am carefully reading labels and have everything set out perfectly. I was asking everyone to pray for September 7th, but instead, please pray that I successfully get to September 7th without JB to help me. I did successfully give myself my shot this morning which I was proud of, but I have a lot of things to remember.

Stupid boo-boo.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Blood test looks good!

I got my blood results back and my estrodial level was exactly where it should be. What does this mean exactly? Well exactly ... I am not really sure? But I am now only going to shoot myself up every morning with 10 units of lupron instead of 20 and in addition, I am taking an "estrace" pill designed for women who have gone through menopause. Go figure! Either way I am taking 2-4 pills a day up until next Thursday. At that point I will go in for an internal ultrasound. I am assuming this ultrasound is to determine that my lining is thick enough for the transfer, but to be honest, I am not exactly sure what the ultrasound is for. This is the first time I have done a transfer so I have a lot to learn with this. Anyways, it's hard to believe that the transfer date is two weeks from this Thursday.

I am staying busy and haven't even had that much time to remember that JB is not here! I do miss him! After work I went for a quick run. Then Kelsey and I caught up over dinner at Noodles and then did some grocery shopping and stopped at the Rays to pick up my car and the birds. Twain and Monet are now home (much to Kelsey's excitement -- she said she desperately missed their incessant chirping!) Kelsey is currently out for her (gulp) ten mile run. We are having her go-away lunch at RLSF tomorrow, and she will probably head to Colorado sometime next week. I will really miss her.

Kelsey and I walking around the grocery store is really a sight. Kelsey is definitely more patient with questions and comments about our height. Tonight a tiny Indian man came up behind us and asked "How short are you?" We both answered "6'3" and "6'2" respectively and then had to basically convince him that we were not related whatsoever. "How," he asked, "Does someone from Wyoming and someone from Florida look so much alike?" We told him we really weren't sure. Kelsey is so sweet and just patiently answer questions and discussions while I dodge and try to avoid the stares and comments.

I was convicted of my sensitive nature about my height in a conversation I had the other day with JB. He is working with a Captain on base that is a Christian and also three inches taller than her husband. She told JB that she loves the scripture in I Samuel 16:7. She said this scripture convincted her of how "worried" she was about the height difference between her husband and herself.

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Wow! What a great scripture. Kelsey agreed that some things are going "too far" (ex. the woman in Walmart who asked me "where in the world do you find pants?" and the McDonalds employee who leaned over the counter and said, "Geez, I thought you was on stilts!") But on the whole, most people are genuinely interested and not trying to be rude.

I listened the other day to my cousin Sarah's cousin Erica give a radio interview. Erica (see her link on the right) is the young woman who lost both her hands and her feet to meningitis. She said that she doesn't mind at all when people asked her what happened. She said she'd be curious too. This also convincted me. If Erica can do this, can't I do this with something as trivial as being a 6'3" woman!?

Kelsey's kindness carried into the parking lot when a twenty-something guy stopped us to ask us what kind of perfume we were wearing. We both thought he was looking for a perfume to buy his girlfriend so we answered, only for him to say, "Well, I am not selling any of those kinds, but I am selling a few others." The guy was selling perfume out of his gym bag. I, of course, being the more shy and "dodgey" type tried to quickly get into the car, but patient Kelsey carried on a conversation with him about Notre Dame and a mutual party they may have been at. I can learn a lot from her.

All right, it's 9:30. Heading to bed.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Back in the Polar North

I have returned from the sunshine state to the land of 1000 lakes successfully. We woke at 4 a.m., I had a 6 a.m. flight, and after taking a shuttle from Minneapolis to Rochester, successfully arrived in Mayo-land around 1:30 today. I had to immediately go get blood drawn for our IVF cycle and then put in a few hours at Mayo before returning home.

Kelsey is here with me! Such a relief to know that the next two weeks I will have some company. I do plan to get together with some of the other ladies in my life (they know I am definitely free when JB is away!), but just having Kelsey here is a comfort. I am not sure if I told my blog faithfuls that Kelsey will be moving to Colorado in the next month or so. Her older brother lives there and is a third-assistant for the University of Colorado's mens basketball team. She decided that Boulder would be a nice change of pace in preparation for the start of law school in the fall of '07. I am sad to see her go but definitely know that this is the right decision for her. It's time for her to leave Rochester. Everything is for a season and the "Rochester" season has passed. As I write this, we are getting prepared to watch the season debut of Prison Break. Yay!

As for me, it will be weird being here in the Polar North while JB continues to soak in the rays at Eglin. Leaving Eglin was also very weird for me. I had so many conflicting emotions while I was there, and maybe, at some point in the next week, I'll feel at peace with sharing all of them. It's hard to vocalize (or should it be "editorialize"?) that deciding to go to Eglin means saying good bye to so many things we have come to love so much. In the same breath, it's hard to know that deciding to stay at Mayo means saying good bye, again, to the chance at seeing family and having a tan. (Thanks for noticing Aunt Linda!)

I was amazed at how quickly I reverted to being a beach-chick. I truly, somehow, in the last ten years, had deceived myself into thinking that I was no longer a beach girl at heart. Oh my what I liar I was. I had my flip flops on and hair pulled up and tank tops on every single day. Suddenly going to Tahiti for a graduation trip does not seem like such a priority if we are going to practically live in Tahiti!

There are so many good things about staying at Mayo and so many good things about going to Florida. In the end, in mid-September, JB will rank his choices, and we will go to whichever choice that we get. What's difficult is that we feel the ranking is fairly indicative of where we will be especially if we rank Eglin first. Alas, seasons of life, right? This is just another one of those seasons.

Most people are still emailing, asking what we have decided. Our decision has not been made, however, the financial/weather/family gains of Florida have begun to seem too mighty for the Mighty Mayo in our feeble minds. We are continuing to discuss, pray, and seek wise counsel, however, putting Eglin down first, does seem like the likely choice.

We spent some time looking at houses and debating as to what we would do if we did move to Eglin? Buy? Live on base? Rent off base? As of this moment, I think that we are leaning toward living on base if we did move there. We could afford to live off base, but would we want to when living on base offers so much convenience and would not cost us an extra penny. If we bought, it is not likely that our housing allowance would cover all avenues of buying (hurricane insurances, taxes etc.) meaning that we would end up dipping into JB's pay for a mortgage that would be free if we lived on base. In exchange, our place will most likely be smaller, and not as new, but it's just a place to live.

Okay, so I ended up bearing more of my soul that I originally intended. Sorry for that. Any decision I tell you we have made stands to be changed at a moment's notice. Only when we find out December 15th where we are going will either of us really know.

Waiting. Also waiting for my September 7th transfer. Keep that in your prayers too.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Long promised pictures

Ray and Gabbi came in at about noon on Friday afternoon. Since JB was still in the hospital, I was in charge of meeting them at the visitor's center and getting them passes to get on base. (I can do this because I am now "official" with my new military cards.)

I went and got them checked in to their really nice two room little hotel room (for just $35 a night!) and by then, JB was off, and blessed to be done for the day thanks to a captain who thought he should spent the afternoon with his family. We took them to the little restaurant we really liked on the water, "Boatyard Cafe" or something like that. We are having difficulty remembering the name of the restaurants because they are all named some combination "boat" or "harbor" or "wharf" or "crab". It gets very confusing.

We spent the rest of the evening talking and hanging out around base. We also went and got some groceries at the Commissary (on base grocery store) (VERY cheap), and JB made some cheesy chicken marinara, bread, and veggies in their room for dinner.

Here are some photos from Friday evening.

Saturday, we decided to head out on another boat ride. Here is Grace helping her Uncle JB load up the van.

Here is a photo of my one and only niece. When she asked if she could wear my glasses to "look like me", I agreed, and even said "Sure" the way Gracie says "Shure" everytime you ask her somthing that she thinks is a good idea. (Example: "Do you want to get some ice cream Gracie?" ... "Shuuure!")

Here are a few pictures before we left on our pontoon boat. It was a gorgeous Saturday. Nate looks happy in his life preserver. That lasted all of about five seconds before he realized "this thing is a pain in my neck" -- literally.

Okay, so we had to take our family back to Crab Island and show them the beautiful blue water. Here are some photos. This is NOT a pool folks. This is the ocean. Oh, and there is a reason Gabbi isn't in any of these photos. She didn't come in the water. So she is sitting on the boat being the official photo-taker person.

Saturday afternoon after our boat ride, we went to Destin Commons -- a really nice outdoor shoppping area in the heart of Destin. It was gorgeous. When we got there, we realized they had a little outdoor waterpark for kids to play in/on so Ray & Gabbi found a cheap little t-shirt and shorts for Grace so she could play while we all took turns shopping and watching Nate sleep in his stroller. Very fun and a very cool area to hang out for the afternoon.

After we went shopping, we drove to "Seaside". Seaside is the town used to shoot the movie "The Truman Show". We just drove through it, but I would like to go back and watch the movie again so I can see it after seeing it if you know what I mean.

For dinner, we went to a restaurant recommended by our new friends Tim and Jenny called Big City American Bistro in Fort Walton Beach. It was a great recommendation, and we really enjoyed our meal despite two kids that were pretty over-tired.

It is now Sunday morning and my last full day here with JB. Ray and Gabbi and the kids just left. We are going to hang out together -- go to the beach, run some errands, do some laundry etc. I am really sad to be leaving. I have had SUCH a wonderful time and do not want to go back to Rochester without JB. My only little pit of sunshine is that Kelsey will be there to keep me company. It will be two weeks before JB returns to the Polar North with me.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Will post soon

I have TONS of great photos of our family here visiting. But we are so busy -- no time to post them. Stay tuned either tonight or tomorrow for some great photos!

Friday, August 18, 2006

McGuire's Irish Pub sends me into boy's room

Last night we had dinner at a much-recommended restaurant in Destin -- McGuire's Irish Pub. They pride themselves on making fun of you and having you making fun of yourself and do so I did.

I ended up in the men's room!

Now before you call me a complete moron, let me tell you that this is exactly what McGuire's Irish Pub hoped would happen to me and every new visitor. How did they manipulate this? Well, by putting a sign on the bathroom door which reads WOMEN in capital letters. Only after I walked in and saw the urinals did I go back out, recheck the door, and see the tiny print above the word WOMEN which read "Absolutely no WOMEN allowed in here. This bathroom is for men only."


I asked our waiter, Danny, how often people go into the wrong restroom. He said nearly 50% of customers choose the wrong one. Yikes! I didn't feel as stupid. Thank goodness the bathroom was empty when I walked in.

I am sure you are wondering whether JB ended up in the girl's restroom. Well, being the nice wife I am, I decided that I couldn't allow him to feel as stupid as me, and I warned him ahead of time much to Danny's disappointment.

I hesitated even putting this on my blog because if we move here and you come to visit, I would want to take you to McGuire's, and bummer if I didn't just save you some major embarrassment!

I'll probably blog later tonight with pictures of Ray, Gabbi, Grace, and Nathan who are currently on their way here. They should be here in just a few hours. I'm really excited to see them.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tall and infertile!

So for those of you who read my blog regularly (or hang out with me regularly) you know that I really don't like to be reminded repeatedly that I am 6'3". In addition, I really don't need to be reminded repeatedly that I am currently fertility-challenged.

But, alas, I still get comments about my height or about our infertility here and there.

Last night I got a double whammy. For the first time I got a tall AND infertile whammy.

There are Thai restaurants EVERYWHERE here. I mean seriously, on one stretch, we may pass three or four in a half mile. Yesterday, JB asked one of the residents he works with which one was his favorite, and we headed to Fort Walton.

At the conclusion of our meal, we are checking out at the cash register, and there are two older Thai women standing there talking. Now, let me preface this by saying they were very sweet -- kind of the female version (as JB remarked later) of the old men in one of our favorite movies Return to Me -- just sitting around after hours, shooting the breeze.

So here is the way the conversation went down.

Woman #1: "You two look like you could be brother and sister."
John: "We aren't. We are married."
Woman #2: "Woah, both same height. She is very tall."
Woman #1: "Yes. Perfect couple. Same height."
Woman #2: "You have children?"
Wendi: "No."
Woman #2: "How long you been married?"
Wendi: "Eight years."
Woman #1: "Woah, and no babies?'
Wendi: "No. No babies."
Woman #2: "Good thing. They would be very tall."

We laughed, and I really handled it well, and wasn't that bothered. They were nice woman, and I have mentioned before, sometimes the language barrier causes comments to be a little more "brusk" than they would be if said by someone who spoke English as their first language.

Point to highlight right now. If we do ever get pregnant, please don't tell me my kids will be tall. Let's just consider that an "understood". I won't tell a short woman her's will be short or an overweight woman her's would be chunky, so let me just get that out right now. I know if we do get pregnant, our kids will probably be tall. I am okay with that. :)

Anyways, okay, enough infertile/tall stories. Right now, I am sitting under a tree at 8:15 a.m. outside a building that has wireless. Oh how we take wireless internet for granted. So fast and so easy. I am in heaven. Going to do some work for RLSF and just relax until JB gets off this evening.

Ray and Gabbi come in tomorrow! I cannot wait! I can't wait to see all of them and especially to hug my little Gracie. I really miss her. She has started preschool. Man am I old or are Ray and Gabbi old. Okay, I guess we are all aging equally but they are the parents.

I'll definitely have pictures from our weekend with the fam. I also leave Monday. I don't want Monday to come! I also took my last two pills of progeseterone last night and gave myself my shot without JB there this morning. Hurrah for me!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I am official

I am now officially a military wife. I have both of my cards (one for reservists and one for people on active duty).

The only reason I wanted the card was to save myself trouble getting through security on base. However, I have learned that these cards offer other advantages as well.

I am now, officially in the computer. If JB dies, I get $400,000. Very exciting stuff there. Also, if he cheats on me and I turn him in, he can be court-martialed. Another exciting discovery.

Yesterday, JB was on an OBGYN rotation, and there were no patients scheduled. So while he had to go in in the morning and at lunch for a lunch meeting, he ended up having quite a bit of time here with me. We ended up running a lot of errands. We picked up his dry cleaning (uniforms for his interview next week), he got his hair cut at one of the military barbers, and went to the little store where you can buy Air Force t-shirts and other gifts.

We also spent a good portion of the day working on getting my ID's and a new ID for him. A few months ago, JB's paychecks stopped, and after a few phonecalls, he realized they had his graduation date in the computer as 2006 instead of 2007. He got this sorted out, and he started receiving paychecks again, however, the computer still had him down as 2006. This meant he was on an active duty tour while no longer in the military. We had to get this sorted out before we could get the ID's. It took about two hours, but we both left with ID's!

Last night, I went to my first pharma dinner. Technically, wives or significant others aren't supposed to attend these dinners. However, since I work for two medical organizations, they got me in. These are amazing dinners at amazing locations where you receive a presentation on a certain drug and eat an amazing meal. This one was on a new drug for smoking cessation. The meal was, nothing short of spectacular, and this restaurant was RIGHT on the ocean. In fact, right through the huge glass window, there was a couple having a fancy dinner on the beach.

I learned a lot during dinner, and I'm not just talking about all the information on smoking cessation drugs. We sat with two first year residents and one of the first year resident's wives, and Joe, who is basically THE main "go to" guy for all residents --all of which gave us some things to think about. Here were some things we learned:
  • Joe told JB that if he puts Eglin down as his first choice, he is basically guaranteed a spot. If we were to choose civilian first and then Eglin, we are losing our "edge" in getting Eglin if the military doesn't let us do civilian.
  • The housing stipend is up to about $1400 a month and rising every year. If we choose to live on base, we don't get the money. If we buy a house off base, that stipend pays our mortgage. The bad side is that to live off-base, we will be at least 15 minutes away which would require us to buy a second car. However, to not take advantage of FREE equity seems rather foolish as well.
  • One of these guys lives right in Destin. He is actually thinking about buying a small boat and boating over to base every morning. JB's jaw was literally UNDER the table.
  • The military will MOVE us to the base come next July. They do everything. However, if we choose to move ourselves, they will reimburse us for everything and pay us for weight and distance -- what comes out to about $5,000-$10,000. A signing bonus of sorts. These guys said that while the money would be nice, not having to pack a thing was quite a fun event as well.
We have not made a decision yet, but things are becoming clearer. Please continue to pray for us as we try to figure things out in our mind. JB must fill out his paperwork on September 15th so that date is fast approaching.

Also congrats to Kristen Y. who won the trivia yesterday! Hurrah!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Florida Rain Showers

JB got off around 4:00 yesterday, and we went for a quick run. Then we met another couple for dinner at one of their favorite restaurant -- Harbor Docks.

My friend Roberta who is one of the leaders of the Hearts like Hannah Support Group went to high school with Tim and church with Jenny when she was younger. She put us in touch with them so we could meet another couple while we were here. Jenny and I started emailing a few months ago and decided to get together for dinner while we were in town.

Tim is an F-15 pilot, and Jenny is a social worker in Fort Walton Beach. They will most likely be leaving Eglin before we get there although there is a chance that their next assignment might be in the area. They are also dealing with infertility treatments and will actually be heading to San Antonio for IVF later this fall. So needless to say we had a ton in common and enjoyed a wonderful dinner on the water. They requested a table under a cover which was good because about thirty minutes into dinner, the rain and humidity flew in.

It was great to talk to another couple who lives here. Jenny was so wonderful to give me a bunch of brochures and information from the area. We talked about living on base, churches (they go to a large Calvary Chapel!), shopping, and of course, flying. JB was excited to learn that aerospace doctors are required to fly every thirty days with their flight! I would not be surprised if he decides to do aerospace medicine. We'll see.

In other news, I thought I would ask for prayer for a few things. My buddy Kristi found out that she is having a GIRL! Her name will be Raylee Hartley Hunt. However, Kristi's pregnancy continues to be high-risk with a few issues hanging around. Please keep her and their second daughter in your prayers during the next few months.

Also, my cousins Josh and Sarah are moving very soon. They are moving back to our old stomping grounds in Brentwood, Tennessee, where Josh will take a youth pastor position. Selfishly, we are very excited to see them heading back into Tennessee. If we move to Florida, they will only be six hours from us. In addition, JB and I hope to eventually settle somewhere in the south and it's great to have them close. I know moving with two young boys is a lot of pressure on them both so also keep them in your prayers.

While we are on the subject of prayer, keep me in mind. I will finish my last night of progesterone tonight and will do my blood work the day I return to Minnesota (Monday). Last night I made the mistake of getting up to use the bathroom less than four hours after taking it. I ended up in the kitchen instead of the bathroom and then knocked my makeup kit off the counter once in the bathroom. The dizziness that accompanies this drug is something fierce. I made the mistake one time of taking it in the morning because I had forgotten the night before. I ended up having to leave church less than ten minutes into service. I couldn't even stand up. But anyways, I am getting closer and closer to our September 7th transfer.

One of my big prayers with this transfer is that both embryos that they "dethaw" survive the dethawing process and are in good shape for the transfer. If one was to die relatively early, they would dethaw our one remaining sticky baby. Otherwise, if it is too late, they will only transfer one. I would really like to transfer two. I am starting to think about it often, and last night had a dream that we were pregnant but it was with a different embryo (not our own). I think it's always a fear of women who do IVF that they will give you the wrong child, and obviously this is true as evident from my dream last night.

Well, off to do some work for RLSF. I don't think JB will get a lunch break today so I will be on my own. There is a chance we may be going to a pharmaceutical company dinner tonight, but I don't think this has been confirmed.

All right, since I am online all day, I thought: why not do a trivia. So, I am including it below:

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Time for a trivia (and please remember -- this is family-friendly trivia!) Here is today's question:

Just over a third of us confess that we did this at least once in high school...but the number of folks doing it gets smaller each year. What is it that we got away with that our kids won't?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Did I tell you ....

Did I tell you that last night, I CREAMED JB in miniature golf?

Okay, well actually, it was tied going into the last hole. TIED! And the last hole is one of those holes that basically, you just hit it and it goes in.

Well, that's what I did. I hit it, and it went down the hole back to the people who run the miniature golf course.

JB hit it and the ball just sat there right outside the hole, and I won by ONE stroke! It was great -- classic! We actually realized we hadn't played miniature golf since we played with Josh and Sarah in Kentucky. It's probably been about four years! I don't think it will be that long before we play again though. John says he needs a rematch.

Another thing I need to tell you is that I have been giving myself my shots!!! John helped the first few times, but this morning I did it completely myself. It really isn't hard, but I am still very proud of myself. This is important that I learn this because once I go home, JB will still be here in Florida, and I will have to do this all by my lonesome.

I am currently working from the hotel room on RLSF stuff. I am getting tons of work done. This job is not one I really need to be in office for. In fact, if we did move to Florida, I think I could keep doing it if they would have me. I did take a break for lunch. JB surprised me by coming home for lunch. He said his captain ordered him to "take his wife to lunch" and more specifically, to take me to a seafood resataurant right on the water on the other side of the base. So we did! It was AWESOME.

Speaking of work, back to it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Great date night

Yesterday we said good bye to my parents and then decided to see if we could find somewhere with wireless that I could do some RLSF work from when the weekend was over. Our room has dial-up and it takes nearly 10 minutes to download a file. All the Paneras and Starbucks (which have wireless) are far from the base, and the library on base had its router damaged in a lightning storm last week.

So I checked the phonebook and found out there was a public library right outside the base. So we drove there and discovered that this library probably would not have wireless. It was actually quite humorous. Here is a picture of this little mom-and-pop library:

The rest of the pictures below are courtesy of our "date night" tonight. We went to "Joe's Crab shack" where we at shrimp and crab with a bucket and bibs, went miniature golfing across from the beach, and then got some custard and went walking in the dunes. Here are some pictures from the evening. We had a WONDERFUL time.


Well I am including a few more photos. These are photos that JB took before I got here in the hopes of showing me what the place looked like. However, his laptop went on the fritz, and he was unable to load them. Not to fear! Christo Philip came through with a laptop loaner from the medical school that I brought down with me. Now he can get online and load photos.

So here are some of the snapshots:

Just a shot of the beach

A shot from the car going over the bridge near Destin.

This is the hospital on base. This is where John would be nearly every day if we move here.

Here is a photo of my soldier!

This beach is actually right on base about a mile from the hospital and where we are staying.

My parents left this morning after we ate breakfast in the room. About two weeks ago, Lesley Jones left for Chicago with her husband's cell phone in her car. This morning my parents left for Florida with my cell phone in their car. We only realized this about an hour after they left. Lesley had to mail David's phone to him. I may ask my sister-in-law Gabbi to bring it with her next weekend? Gabbi? Darling? Is this a possibility?

We did some driving around this morning, checked out a local mall, and spent about an hour at a beach on base just sitting in the water talking. It seems like we have been doing a lot of talking since I got here -- trying to list and relist our reasons for leaving Minnesota or our reasons for staying in Minnesota. Today we tried to list the "reasons we wouldn't leave Minnesota" and the reasons we "wouldn't come to Florida". This may not sound very different to you, but the different angle can give different answers. Did it help much? Not really. We don't want to move. We don't want to leave our friends in Minnesota.

One bad thing we realized: there is no train running from here to Fort Lauderdale. The tracks were damaged in last year's slew of hurricanes and Amtrak is debating whether to fix them at all! So that option of visiting family doesn't exist. The best I can do is to drive to Orlando and take a train from Orlando. That's a possibility.

So anyways, we are now off to take a tour of the hospital and get some Thai food for an early dinner. Keep praying for our decisions. JB has to put his list together early September. Not much time!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My husband the boat captain

I wish I could load my photos. However, while JB has gotten the photos up on my desktop, for some reason, I can't get them to load. If I could load my photos I would show you JB and I nearly a half mile from the shore of the local bay (that has an Indian name something like Chatohochtocheeke), standing on a sandbar in the most amazingly blue water I have ever seen.

How did I get there?

Oh, well, I got there because my husband JB the goat-loving/physician/bird-watching/Chef is now a certified boat captain!

Here's the moment I, too, grew to know this.

Picture it:

Driving in our tiny red rented neon on the way back from Fort Walton Beach Airport late on Thursday night.

Husband turns to wife: "Do you like boats?"
Wife: "Yes."
Husband: "Do your parents like boats?"
Wife: "I think so."
Husband: "Want to go out on a boat with your parents when they get here tomorrow?"
Wife: "That sounds nice."
Husband: "Cool."
Wife: "How would we do that?"
Husband: "We would rent a boat."
Wife: "From where?"
Husband: "From the Outdoor Recreational Rentals on base."
Wife: "Cool."
Husband: "Yeah. Isn't it?"
Wife: "Who will drive this rented boat?"
Husband: "I will"
Wife: "Who will?"
Husband: "I will."
Wife: "You will?"
Husband: "Yes."
Wife: "How?"
Husband: "I have a small craft boat license."
Wife: "How?"
Husband: "I took a test."
Wife: "When?"
Husband: "A few days back."
Wife: "Did you pass?"
Husband: "Of course."
Wife: "Did you study?"
Husband: "No."
Wife: (Remembers that she failed a driving test after driving for ten years and studying for the test prior to taking it). "Geeeeez."
Husband: "Cool, huh?"
Wife: (Shocked to believe that her husband, on top of wanting to be a farmer and a doctor and a chef and a diver and a pilot, now also can drive boats.)
Husband: "So you want to go tomorrow?"
Wife: "Sure."

That conversation led to the four of us renting a boat. They were out of the boats JB wanted to get so we opted for a Boston Whaler and headed off to the blue waters of Destin on a boat! Getting sun. Wind in our faces! Ninety-eight degrees beaming down.

Once there, we realized that hundreds of yards from shore, all the boats were docked and people were swimming and snorkeling. We looked into the light blue water (that I thought only existed in places with names like Tahiti and Cancun), realized that the ground was right below us, and immediately anchored our little boat. Then me and our captain jumped in! It was waist deep and absolutely gorgeous. It was truly a memory I will not quickly lose. I wish everyone of you could have been there with us.

Prior to going out on the water, JB and I took a three mile run while my mom walked. After the boat ride we finished off an already fabulous afternoon by making a sonic run. People: Have I told you how good a cherry limeade is? I mean, those of you who out there who have had a cherry limeade, am I not telling you the God's-honest-truth here?

I also realized that it took me, oh, about 36 hours, to immediately return to my Florida roots, wearing my bathing suit top and cabana skirt to Sonic with flip-flops! Only in Florida folks. Could you picture that in Rochester, Minnesota?

I did realize that if we were to move to Florida, there is one major issue I would have to deal with. That issue is leg shaving. This would have to be done, well, even during the winter. (Gasp!) Now don't pretend my dear Polar North compadres, like you don't know what I am talking about. Rachel, Tara, Lesley, help me out here! You know as well as I do that it is easy to skip shaving when you realize that no member of public society has seen your legs in nearly three months, and if they did see them, they'd be blinded by that light.

Okay, well shoot. Tara's half Indian. Lesley is Asian. Rachel, do your legs at least get a little white? Ebby? Kristen? Any of my completely Caucasian friends? You feel my pain here right? Moving to Fort Lauderdale would completely take a chunk of my day in shaving my legs alone.

Okay, all joking aside: did I tell you they have a Chick Fil' A here? Susie was it you I heard singing praises of the Chick Fil' A? Oh man! I miss that place. Even in Kentucky we had a Chick Fil' A.

All right, off to play a game of spades with my parents and then hit a fabulous seafood restaurant. Seafood. Geesh. Rachel you may be right. I think this town is brain-washing me with things I absolutely love. Red Lobster isn't quit the same thing as "the Crab Trap."

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Note: Shortly after posting this blog I figured out how to load my photos. Okay, actually JB figured it out. But here are some of the photos from Florida.

This was actually yesterday. We were lying on our stomaches on the beach, looked up, and these birds were inching their way toward us.

Here is our crew shortly before launching.

Here is the blue water I am talking about. You can see where the sandbar starts in this photo.

Here is JB, I mean, Wendi in the water. You can see how far we are from shore!

Wendi and the boat captain!

Okay, so while I figured out how to load photos on this new computer, I can't change the photo order so this photo is actually prior to leaving the dock. "Oh captain, my captain!"

Again, my order is lacking. This is yesterday when we saw the birds. The sand in Destin is so white!