Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here it is, nearly 10:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve, and I'm anxiously awaiting 11:00 to get here, so that I can go home and enjoy the holidays for the next four and a half days. Christmas shopping finished now for well over a week, Christmas dinner purchased from the grocery store, the anticipation of this beautiful season is building to a crescendo now.

I pray that each of your families has a very Merry Christmas, and that 2009 brings you nothing but happiness, prosperity, and peace.

Until 2009 -- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

On Zack and college...

Ok – so I guess it has been a month since my last entry. No real excuse, just slacking again I guess.

The school year is flying by already. A little more than eight weeks into the first semester, and things seem to be going pretty well. Zack’s progress report a couple of weeks ago proved he is taking his senior year seriously. Even with 2 AP classes and a 2 period Humanities class, he’s keeping all his classes above a 90% average.

He’s even been accepted to a very prestigious private university – and even better than that, a mere 30 minutes from home. Go here if you’d like to browse the site. Obviously, with this prestige comes a high price, right? He was even invited to the university’s scholars weekend that only a select few receive. This is a weekend that the invitees compete for one of only 30 coveted presidential scholarship awards. The awardees receive a scholarship for a full four years of tuition, which is current $28,000 a year. We’ve told Zack that this could be a long shot…first of all, a very competitive school to begin with. But this scholarship competition is HUGE. I think we all understand if in fact he isn’t a scholarship recipient that the chances of him going to this university is slim to none. So we shall see!

He’s also been accepted to the three other universities for which he has applied. Those three are all public universities in Georgia. This means the state’s HOPE scholarship program will be available at his disposal. This program allows any student with at least a 3.0 GPA, full tuition to any PUBLIC school in the state. Consequently, it only pays for $3,000 a year for any private school. You see the difference? HUGE – right?

He is taking the SAT again this Saturday. Although he had great scores when he took it this past May, he thought he’d take it again to attempt to raise his scores even further, therefore raising his chances for the scholarship aforementioned above.

Zack is still dating Arrie, now for nearly 21 months. I thought this past weekend though that the time had come for their relationship to end. Zack broke it off with her, not really giving us a lot of details other than she was continuously doing things to annoy him. After only two days, and seeing how miserable he was (literally – he wasn’t sleeping, hardly eating, and spent most of his time moping around the house), he had a long talk with her, and they got back together.

He is currently doing some community service for his Humanities class for 2 hours a week. This year the class requires each student to go to different schools in the area to help assist teachers in tutoring, making copies, etc. He is enjoying it immensely, but I think its because it gets him out of the hum drum of every day life at his own school. Next semester these same students will be required to search for and find someone locally that are in current positions of what the students themselves wish to become. Zack has decided that he wants to major in political science for his undergraduate degree, and go to law school. Of course anything at this point is subject to change. He still has ten months before he even begins college, much less declare a major.

I guess this entry ended up being all about Zack. It was long overdue though. I have been meaning to write about his college decisions for awhile.

I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of Fall. We’ve had some beautiful weather the last few days, and I hope that the trend continues, at least for a few more weeks before getting too chilly for short sleeves.

We’re having a family portrait done this weekend in our yard. We haven’t had one done in over 7 years, so I thought that it’s definitely time. After all, this could be the last one in a long time considering that Zack will be a high school graduate next May.

Any suggestions on coordination of outfits? I’m still trying to figure this one out…

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day 2008 (a weekend that I never want to relive again!)

This weekend was supposed to a weekend of some relaxation, some sight-seeing, some shopping, and probably some good eatin' -- and doing all that sans kids! Our plan included spending the weekend nights at Michael's brother's house in North Georgia, and driving into Helen during the days --, a beautiful mountainous city just 15 miles from his brother's home. But those plans all went out the window last Saturday morning around 4:00.

It all went down like this...

The boys were scheduled to go on a church youth whitewater rafting trip, leaving this past Saturday morning at 8:00. Michael and I were planning on pulling out of the parking lot right behind the church bus to our own destination. Friday night came, and we finished packing -- each of the boys with separate bags because of the middle schoolers and the high schoolers, although going together, were not going to be spending any time together once they got to their destination. We all went to bed, anticipating what our weekend was holding for us.

I woke up at 4:00 to the sound of Zack wretching in his bathroom down the hall. I should have prefaced this all by saying Aaron had been sick just 36 hours before with the same virus. I helped Zack back to bed after giving him some tylenol for his fever, which was 103, and some medication for nausea. Then I woke Michael up telling him our plans for the weekend were now null and void. We all three went back to sleep and Mike woke up in time to get Aaron up and to the church in time for his departure.

After getting up, I decided to get weighed in at Weight Watchers -- down 11.5 lbs in 10 weeks, thankyouverymuch!, have my eyebrows waxed, and head to the gym -- in that order. I knew that I would probably be spend the rest of the day de-funking the house thinking that the virus was probably thriving, in our home. And I was sure that I didn't want it. When I came out of the salon for the waxing appt., I realized that I had a flat tire. I called Michael, who in turn came and took care of changing to the spare. We both drove to a place down the road that would repair the tire for us. It was at this stop where I realized that I was not feeling so well. I had a headache coming on, my body was beginning to ache, and I was suddenly feeling very fatigued. I told Michael as much, and told him I would see him at home when he got through.

By the time I got home, I couldn't get in the door and under the covers fast enough. Michael was home just 30 minutes later. I was covered up head to toe, joints hurting so badly I could hardly move, burning up with fever, and had chills. I had tears rolling down my cheeks when he came into check on me. After getting me the meds and the fluids I desperately needed, I slept til 4:00 that afternoon. (I had gotten home around 11:30).

When I woke later, Zack was already beginning to feel like himself again. I still could hardly move, nor did I want to try. My first trip to the restroom post virus-attack, my legs were like jello. Michael had to help me walk. I was so sick, ya'll. Sicker than I have been in a very, very long time. Michael heated me up some chicken noodle soup and brought me a bowl in hopes that it would help build my strength back up. I ate it, and ate it heartily. I was hungry, and still very, very weak.

After eating the soup and drinking ginger-ale, I also ate a popsicle. I did begin to feel like I was going to pull out of it. We all watched tv, the guys played cards, while I was still lying around on the sofa. I went back to bed around 9:30, woke up at 1:30 shivering so badly that I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering. My temp had spiked once again - 102.5. I woke Michael up, begging him to pile more covers on me. The shivering would not stop. My back was spasming -- I was in so much pain, I didn't know what to do. He finally brought me a heating pad, and started placing it in different places on my body intermittently. The chills finally stopped about 30 minutes later - no lie. I thought I was dying!

Believe it or not, just 7 hours later, I felt like that the virus had finally run its course, and I was feeling alive once again. I still was weak, but was beginning to feel good again. We were all waiting for Michael to catch up. Thank God that he did not!

A Labor Day weekend that I don't ever want to repeat! No thanks!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Hey everyone! I wanted to give you the good news. An entire year has passed since Michael's accident; a year since I've had a peace of mind about this whole situation. I'm glad to say that my husband is finally employable again. The best news...he got a job!!

He begins next week as an advertising executive for a local radio station. Therefore, he will still be in the car a lot, but the driving time will only be locally! He will be home for dinner most every night; will not be required to drive the 1000 miles a week that he was doing in his last job. Although it's not "all" that we were hoping for, it has us both looking up again. The benefits package is severely lacking, at least for now. But his new employer hopes to have a good one put together by the end of January or so. For now, I'll keep him on my health, dental and vision plans. We are contemplating whether or not we will continue to pay the COBRA premium or not. I'm thinking that maybe we will, at least until the end of the year. The main reason is that it looks as if Aaron will be getting braces by the end of the year. Michael's formal employer's dental plan is outstanding, and has an orthodontia plan attached to it. My dental plan has that plan as well. But I'm sure you realize that having double coverage for orthodontics is a wonderful thing to have. It cuts the monthly payments substantially.

So that's that, and I'm hoping to get my next post up soon. I wanted to write about Zack's college search. I've put it off for awhile, but think I have finally put it all together in my head to finally be able to write an entry about it.

Until next time.

Monday, August 04, 2008

1st day of school

Hey everyone. Yeah I'm still around reading blogs. I just haven't posted in over 2 months.

I'm finally getting around to posting another entry. I won't apologize, because that just sounds lame and "I'm all important and such", so I'll just get right to typing.

Today is the first day of school here in Central Georgia. And you know what? There's something so wrong about having to start back to school when it's still 100 degrees outside. Man, am I ever thankful for air conditioners!

Aaron started middle school today. He was going to ride the bus this morning, but for some reason it never came by. Mysterious, because it's been coming by for years now for other students in the neighborhood! This will be the first year that he's ridden the bus, because we lived too close to the elementary school in years past.

Zack started the first day of his senior year - boo hiss! He actually drove himself to school for the very first time today. We had his senior portraits taken a couple of weeks ago. They turned out really well. If you would like to see the proofs, email me or let me know in the comments section, and I'll be glad to send you the link. We had some taken at school this summer, and we also had some taken at a professional studio.

It's been an emotional first day for me, no kidding. I was very sad, and cried on my way to work. I guess every mother goes through this at some point in their kids' lives. From preschool, to kindy, to "big school". It's just all so surreal to me. The last 17 years of parenting have flown by entirely too fast!

Yeah, so Zack's driving now -- full speed ahead. Still dating Arrie, and still pursuing his college choice. It will be an extremly busy year for him, what with Debate competitions and multiple club activities, no to mention the two AP classes, Calculus and Spanish, as well as a 2-hour Humanities class. I hope he can keep his grades up. He definitely has his work cut out for him.

Aaron is just beginning the soccer season. Practices will begin in the next week or so (can you imagine practicing in this HEAT?), with games beginning the first week of September.

Michael has had a wonderful summer home with the boys. He said although it's been very tough financially for us for him to be unemployed, he's enjoyed doing things with the boys. He has just gotten released from all his doctors to go back to work the first part of July. He also had time to give Zack some more driving training, which helped us both more confident in letting Zack drive. He is smack dab in the middle of multiple interviews. Three of them over the last couple of weeks, and one today. He also has a phone interview (which is actually a 2nd interview from one that he went to last week). I would appreciate your prayers and good thoughts. We are both so ready for him to go out into the work field again.

Until next time!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In lieu of a title...

Hi everyone!

The month of May, as well as the 2007-08 school year is quickly coming to a close. I can hardly believe how quickly time has passed by. I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We certainly did, spending some family time at the lake and on the water.

Zack’s national debate tournament (in Wisconsin) was this past weekend. It was a looong weekend – the six students and three chaperones left at 8:30 Thursday morning, and didn’t make it back home til after midnight Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, none of the team members placed in the tournament, which means that the Vegas tournament for Zack (and his dad getting to chaperone the trip) won’t happen. Honestly though, I think it is a blessing in disguise, because at the tail end of the long trip to Wisconsin, Zack is heading to Niagara Falls, Canada with the youth choir next week. They are going to be gone for eight days, and are blessed to do some mission work while they are there. They will be working on and repairing homes of seniors with fixed incomes. They will also perform a couple of concerts at different churches while they are there. I thought that maybe we could make this into a family vacation when I first learned of this trip. I thought Michael would be long-settled into a job again by now, alas, it is not meant to be. To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement.

Speaking of Michael’s job – he is just beginning the job hunt. He’s at a time in his life that he knows he can’t go back to being on the road like he used to. But by the same token, he’s just unsure what his career goals should be. The doctor told him that he could give him the go ahead – to seek employment – at any time by giving him the official medical release, but wanted to let him do some therapy on his own first (non-ordered) to see if his progress would regress, impede, or continue to improve. Ironically, his knee has begun to bother him a bit more in recent days – and he’s trying to decide if he should call the orthopedist to examine him. The knee was injured in the accident when the bottom of his thigh bone actually came through the kneecap. Up to now, he’s made good progress where his knee is concerned. I’m thinking he’ll be making an appt. in the next few days if it doesn’t improve.

My trip to Colorado was wonderful. The bonding my sister and I were able to do while I was visiting is irreplaceable. We had a fantastic time. I was honored to be able to watch my nephew graduate from high school. I want to post some pictures, but haven’t had the time (or energy, lately) to download them to my laptop. I’ll attempt to post some soon – but can’t promise when that might be!

We had parents’ night for orientation to middle school a couple of weeks ago, and it made me sad to think that my baby is heading toward adulthood so fast. He is excited about this new venture, and can’t wait to be in Band, so he can play music. He’s done hand bells at church for two years now, but now wants to spread his wings and learn a new instrument. Zack’s girlfriend has volunteered to tutor him this summer in a couple of instruments to see which he may be interested in.

Friday is the last day of school for the boys. Zack exempted all but one of his semester finals and is finished except to take that exam tomorrow afternoon. We all have a busy weekend ahead – two graduation barbecues as well as a graduation ceremony. Arrie, Zack’s girlfriend, is graduating, and her parents have invited us over in the afternoon on Saturday for a cookout. The ceremony begins at 7:00.

I guess that’s it for now, with the exception of having to buy a new grill. On our old one the burners finally burned through, so we had to put it out by the street. I guess Michael will be getting his Father’s Day gift a little early. We got to be able to do the summer cookouts, right?

Until next time!

Friday, May 02, 2008


I guess I’m slipping back into my old ways…and that being I’m neglecting my blog. This part of the year is so very busy for us, as we begin to wrap up the school year; i.e., final exams, AP exams, cramming, award ceremonies, etc. The sports and hand bell practices continue for Aaron – so our schedules begin to get crunched, thus the reason for abandoning this website.

I figured I owed my blog (and the few readers I have left) an update.

After my doctor ordered a CT scan of the head following four sinus infections in as many months, everything turned out “normal” – good? Yes, but now we still can’t figure out why I continue to get them. At the moment, things have settled down – I don’t feel bad. The regimen of meds I’m currently on are and have been helping now for over two weeks (fingers crossed). Let’s hope that trend continues.

Prom night turned out great. Everyone had a good time. Arrie’s parents didn’t have to send anyone home for getting out of hand. NO ONE got more than an hour of sleep. I believe Zack is still attempting to catch up on his. I think Zack’s respect grew immensely for us letting him be allowed to be part of that night away.

Aaron’s middle school orientation is next week – OMG – I don’t think I’m ready for this. Middle school? Where has my baby gone? He is looking forward to having a bit more freedom educationally – and having multiple class changes (as well as teachers) during the day. He is also looking forward to riding the bus. We’ve always lived too close to school for him to be allowed to ride, so he’s always been dropped off and picked up by us.

He said he was also very interested in being a part of the drama club – which I think is great. Aaron is a part of the cast in a musical at our church this evening. I take this latest statement to mean that he’s taking this gig more serious than first thought. It’s his first real “part” in acting and he is responsible for 8 or 9 lines. I think I’m more nervous than he is.

Zack is scheduled for the Scholastic Aptitude Testing (SAT) exam tomorrow morning. He is required to be there at 7:45. That should be interesting to say the least. He is SO not a morning person that boy. He’ll just need to go to bed by 10:00 tonight to ensure he gets a good night’s rest.

Our belated anniversary trip to Savannah will begin about the time Zack gets out of the bed in the morning. Our plan is to be out of the house and gone by 6:30. His girlfriend will be taking him (along with her sister, who is also taking the exam) to the testing site. Zack will be taken somewhere else to spend the night away, while Aaron will be with Arrie overnight. I’m looking forward to this trip in so many ways. The wedding we’re attending is at 4:00, so we’ll have some time to just hang out and sight see before the ceremony. We’ll be home on Sunday evening.

I still owe an entry on Zack’s college search. I promise it will still be written.

Until next time.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Prom 2008

If you can believe it, Zack's junior is quickly coming to a close. I am having a very difficult time wrapping my brain around that fact myself.

My son has grown up in the blink of an eye. (sniff! sniff!)

These pictures were taken in our yard this afternoon before the prom. (her prom -- he didn't want to go to his -- figured they would go to that one next year.

They actually met up with 3 additional couples (and two stag males) at their restaurant of choice after these pictures were taken.
I want your opinions on something. I hope I didn't make the wrong decision. Curious about your thoughts.

Arrie 's (Zack's girlfriend) parents have opened up their home to an all night fellowship for Zack, Arrie and their friends. Their plan after the prom is to run home, change into comfortable clothes and go bowling. After they're finished bowling they're headed to Arrie's house for some popcorn and movies. All of them plan on staying away all night, with Arrie's parents in the house. (Their house is only 1500 sq ft, and their bedroom is right off of the den).

They all are going to church in the morning in their prom attire.
Be honest...would you all be ok with your teen(s) given permission to do the aforementioned in this situation?
Why or why not?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm 39 today!

Happy birthday to me. This will be my last birthday in my 30's. Waaa! Where has the time gone? The answer is beyond me!

I was thinking about this the other day and realized how big a year 2009 will be for us. Huge milestones next year for sure! Our 20th anniversary, my 40th birthday, Zack turning 18, Zack graduating from high school, and (gulp!!) also beginning college!!

But...I guess I need to age gracefully, and just let it all sink in.

OMG -- I'll be 40 years old in 365 days!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Catch up entry on what's up with Aaron

Aaron is definitely keeping us on our toes these days. First and foremost, he’s been struggling academically this semester, specifically in the subject of Math. Standardized testing is scheduled for week after next. All 5th graders are required to take and score a minimum for Reading and Math sections in order to be promoted, or be required to take summer study classes to retake the standardized test at the end of these courses. We are a little concerned that Aaron will not make the minimum score in Math.

We feel we are doing everything right. Examples: he’s been in after school tutoring for Math twice a week for the last six weeks. His brother (you know, our young mathematician) has been checking over his homework papers, and going over mistakes with him. Apparently, when it comes to testing, Aaron gets a mental block. He rushes through to get through due to frustration levels. The last report card Aaron received, he had a 79 in Math. Since then, I would guess to say that it has slipped down even further. My question is this…how could this be the same child as the honor roll student of last year? Different teacher? Perhaps. But from having an “A” in Math to the fear of failing this year? I just don’t get it. Any suggestions?

Aaron is still loving soccer. He has become the team’s 1st string goalie. The teammates look to Aaron very respectfully. These two things combined have definitely helped his confidence level on the field this year.

I can hardly believe that my youngest son will be in middle school this fall. *He* can hardly believe it either. He’s growing up way too fast!

P.S. Just as a clarification...the person (Robbie) that I mentioned in my last entry is Michael's sister. My sister is the one I'm flying out to visit with and attend her son's high school graduation. I think I confused some of you. Sorry! :)

Until next time!

Next up…

Zack’s college search, and the latest discovery that we've made about funding the same.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Continuing as promised...

The allergy troubles that I was having when I first put up the list of what's to come on my blog, for the most part (and I cross all things crossable here) has worked itself to a "better" mode. I no longer have continuous sinus drainage down the back of my throat. I'm not constantly sneezing. For the most part, the sore throats and headaches are staying away. The ENT specialist put me on an elixir of meds hoping it would soon do its magic. It looks that for now, it has begun to do so.

I have an appointment on May 1 for a follow-up with him. For now anyway, I can safely say that I can go in there with a good report. He had told me that if it wasn't a good bit better that he was probably going to discuss the next step with me -- which was of course, a tonsillectomy. He told me when I was in his office last that my tonsils have become "pitted" over time from numerous infections, and that THAT was why I was having continuous sore throats. The infection would never completely go away. It would then rear its ugly head once the antibiotics got out of my system.

Some of you may know that I have a sister who lives in Colorado near Springs. She and I are the closest of all our siblings. She called me one time last fall right after her son started his senior year of high school. She was very emotional and told me that she was dreading when her son graduated this spring, and the fact that she had no family around her for support made her even more sad. I told her then that if there was any way possible that I was going to be there for his graduation. Thanks to getting a nice sum back from our taxes this year, I'm flying to Colorado Springs in just over five weeks...all by myself! I say that because I feel the need to get away by myself for awhile. I've had to shoulder so much these past few months. I'll be leaving on May 15th, and returning on the 19th. This nephew is the brother of the neice that went on vacation with us last fall.

Oh -- one more thing. Robbie got a great report from the Mayo Clinic last week. She is currently cancer free! She has to endure 4 chemo treatments as a precautionary measure only. To say that she is excited is a huge understatement. You may remember that when she was diagnosed last June that the one thing she asked for was to see her son graduate high school. Now here we are six weeks away from his graduation.

All I can say is I am so glad that our family is finally getting some good news again!

Until next time!

Next up...

- A catch up entry on what Aaron has been up to lately.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Our (delayed) anniversary plans

As some of you may have already read in a previous entry, Michael and I just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary on March 25. Due mostly to financial constraints we opted not to do anything special together besides having dinner out until we can better afford it.

Then I remembered a dear friend’s wedding that’s happening in Savannah on May 3rd. I had an aa-ha! moment and suggested to Michael that we make this our anniversary trip. I thought that we could spend two nights away to begin with. Then I looked at my calendar and realized that Zack has the SAT exam on the morning of the 3rd. I didn’t think it a good idea to allow him to spend the night away before an uber-important exam such as this. So, we decided to wait and leave town at dawn that day. We have worked it out that he will be picked up and taken to the testing site by his girlfriend, who will then return to the house with Aaron until the testing is complete. (He has a vehicle, yes, but doesn’t have his regular license yet. We are working on him getting them. Just not quite there yet.) She has also agreed to pick him up. They'll all have lunch together, and then take Zack to where he will be spending the evening and night. She and Aaron will spend the night at our house. Works out perfectly for us.

It’s a mere three hour drive to Savannah, and the wedding is at 4:00 in the afternoon, so we’ll have sufficient time to site see, enjoy lunch together, get checked into our hotel, and get ready for the ceremony. The wedding reception will be a sit down affair at the famous chef Paula Deen’s Restaurant, ( which means the only money we’ll need is for fuel, lunch, and any souvenirs that we may want – oh, and a wedding gift for the happy couple of course! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! The best part of this trip? Michael was able to use the last of his Hilton honor points to reserve a top notch hotel spot for us. Buffet style breakfast included!

All in perfect timing, no?

Until next time!

Next up --
- This never ending allergy crap!!
- Tonsillectomy in my future?

- My future trip to Colorado Springs...alone; May 15 - 19

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Michael's recovery progress report...another surgery ahead?

Michael had an orthopedic appt on Monday, and it looks like, at least for now, that surgery is not on the horizon. His physical therapists have been documenting that stiffness and/or scar tissue is impeding progress. After several tests last week they told him that they were sending his doctor(s) notes to describe what was going on. The flexibility in his foot has stopped increasing. Stiffness is an understatement…I think the word they used was “frozen”. The doctor told us way back when that this may happen, and “may” require surgery. For now, the doctor is modifying the therapy treatment, to focus specifically on his gait. He thinks that Michael is favoring the foot so much that the flexing isn’t happening mainly because of habitual “compensating”. Does all that make sense? He’ll begin that therapy on Friday.

In the meantime, the doctor has scheduled an MRI for his shoulder. He has had shoulder pain since a couple of days after the accident, and even mentioned to the doctors this fact. They were more worried about his foot and leg (rightfully so) at that time, and casually mentioned to him that they would put off tests of the shoulder until a time that he wasn’t going to have to rely on that shoulder for mobility. (Remember, he used a walker exclusively for 4 months post-accident, and obviously had to rely on use of both arms).

Michael mentioned to the doctor once again this past Monday that his shoulder was still bothering him and was anxious to get something done about the pain he was continuing to have. The MRI will be done later in the month. I’ll keep you updated on the results.

Until next time.

Next up --
- Anniversary trip; May 3 - 4

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Of posts to come...

Just so that I have something to help me remember, as well as to keep my reader(s)? coming back, I wanted to put a list here of different subjects about what I want to blog.

- Michael's recovery progress report
- Another surgery ahead?

- Anniversary trip; May 3 - 4

- This never ending allergy crap!!
- Tonsillectomy in my future?

- My future trip to Colorado Springs...alone; May 15 - 19

- Catch up on what's up with Aaron blog entry

- Zack's College search

- Zack's 1st prom, April 26

- Zack's 1st car - finally purchased (the one we looked at way back when didn't work out for us)

Happy Anniversary, my love!

I want to say a BIG “Happy Anniversary” to my wonderful husband. Nineteen years ago today, I was walking down the aisle, at the arm of my dad, toward my life partner, my best friend.

I don’t tell Michael enough how much I appreciate him. We have been through many rough times through the years (these last 8 – ½ months notwithstanding!) but we can always count on each other for never-ending encouragement, love and support.

I love you Michael – more than words can ever say! This poem says so eloquently what doesn’t come so easy for me.

I Love You Because

I love you because of your sweet, gentle, ways;
So, slow to condemn, so quickly to praise.
Encouraging words, with a soft easy touch ...
Just some of the reasons why I love you so much.

I love you because you are honest and strong.
Right here, in my arms, is where you belong.
You hold me, console me, and you are my best friend.
I can't live without you, no need to pretend.

I love you because you light up my days,
Fill my heart and my soul with your sweet loving ways.
I love you because you never pretend.
And if I'm hardheaded, you always give in.

You're so easy to love, so hard to forget;
Faithful and true since the day that we met.
I could search the world over and still never find
A love like yours. You are one of a kind.

I love you because you are quick to forgive
Overlooking my faults each day that I live,
So slow to anger, so quick to respond
To my loving wishes; above and beyond.

Thank you for choosing me to be your wife!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sickness, sickness, go away!!!

Here it is little more than a week after my last post, and unfortunately I have been sick at least half of those days.

Zack had a debate tournament this past weekend. We didn't get home until 2:00 on Sunday morning. He and his partner came in 4th place out of 30 other teams. The top 3 teams are going to Vegas this summer. Although he was very disappointed he didn't make 1st, 2nd or 3rd, he was excited that he made it as far as he did. It was a double elimination tournament, and the last debate of the night was his team's 2nd loss, thus knocking him out of 3rd place.

Overall -- that part of the weekend was good. All day Saturday my throat was feeling raw from sinus drainage, but wasn't feeling too terrible. It was the ride home where the symptoms of my previous malade reared their ugly heads. The sinus drainage and pressure, the dry cough, the sore throat and fever all were making me miserable. I spent the next two days in bed and went back to the doctor yesterday. I marched into the exam room (after spending 45 minutes in the waiting room -- apparently everyone else has been suffering from similar symptoms) and, after listening to my lungs, and examing my throat and ears told me that bronchitis was plaguing me again (still, I say!). So I'm currently on my third round of antibiotics and having to use an Albuterol inhaler four times a day. Doc said that my chest was very tight -- and this combo should do the trick of loosing up the mucous in my lungs. So, we shall see!!! I had to go back to work today, suffering through a blinding headache most of the day. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be feeling quite a bit better and can say I'm over the worst part of it.

Zack's girlfriend traveled with us on the 2 hour trip to the tournament. She had never been to any of his competitions, and was curious to know what Debate was all about. We gladly invited her along with us. It actually helped him pass the time way in between rounds.

The boys are out of school this week for winter break and are enjoying playing the Wii with different friends coming over different days. It helps pass the "boredom" away they say. Well that and they're staying out of their dad's hair as well. Win/win, right? :)

Zack is competing in another tournament this weekend. The top three teams of that trip will go to Appleton, Wisconsin for competitions on Memorial Day weekend. It's apparently a pretty big meet for the winners. We shall see. Wish him luck!!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Good news, and not so good news...

I know. It's been awhile, right? Well believe it or not, I am *just* getting over all that mess that I've been fighting for OVER THREE WEEKS. I ended up getting bronchitis, which actually turned into walking pneumonia. Three days of missed work, a chest x-ray, a round of antibiotics, as well as a shot in the hip, and a multitude of bills and pills later, I am finally on the mend, I think (fingers and everything else crossed!). Of course, not before each member of my family was stricken with something eerily similar. But, they too are all now on the mend -- thank God!

Now for the not so good news...

There is so much going on lately that I don't really know where to start. Lots of stressors work as well as home. Michael is still unable to return to work at his job, and is now officially unemployed. They came and picked up ALL his company assets last week while I was sick at home. It wasn't an unpleasant experience, all things considering. His former boss was as wonderful as he could be. Told him he could reapply when he was able. But, in the same breath also told him that that the promoted position that he received over a year and half ago was being phased out! This news has all but put Michael under. Depression...and thus I have followed. I hate this! It has been just over six months since the accident, and we are still in limbo! He's still in some type of therapy 4 to 5 days a week. He's doing ALL he can to get better, and he's being punished for not being able to go back by the six month mark! Ugh!!

I have become unhappy at my job. Stuff I won't go into at this time (there is a coworker that reads me sometimes. I may talk to her about the circumstances at some point) but will plan on explaining here in detail sometime in the future. Suffice it to say that there is a lot of uneven ground going on. It's become a real chore to show up at work.

Aaron begins soccer practice this week. The one good thing about Michael still being home is the fact that HE will be able to do some of the transporting this spring to the sporting events, and let me have some downtime.

I don't know if any of you remember this or not. But annually, Michael's sister, Robbie and I are invited to an all female cousins' retreat (coincidentally, it's actually their mother's female cousins). February 23 & 24 will be the weekend for the event this year. This month makes 10 years since the death of Michael's mother, and we (Robbie, me and and all the cousins) plan on doing something really special in her memory. I'll let you know more details after I find out more of them. It's being kept hush hush for the moment. Bittersweet times for us, I'm sure, but I can't wait for some wonderful bonding time with them all.

Zack was chosen as first alternate to compete in the school Math competition this next week. The winner(s) could win some scholarship money, so we are very hopeful! ;)

Until next time..

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Still fighting with this illness

Urgh! I swear I cannot get rid of this earache. I'm tired of being in pain. I've finished my antibiotics, and have since then called the drs office back to get some drops called into the pharmacy. I'm on the third day of that script, and I still have pains in my ear that feel as if someone is pushing a hot poker through the canal at times! If I'm still hurting tomorrow afternoon, I think I'll ask for another appt. He'll tire of seeing me soon and will want to figure out what's going on so he won't have to hear from me anymore. But something's gotta give -- that's for sure.

Zack is leaving to go on a three day trip tomorrow after school. The school Beta Club is having their annual state convention in Atlanta starting Friday morning, where he will be competing in the Quiz Bowl competition. Counting shopping/souvenir money, food, lodging, etc., it will put us back a pretty penny. But he was really looking forward to going, since back in October when we had to put a deposit down for the trip, so we really wanted to allow him to attend.

I signed Aaron up for soccer yesterday. I thought he might want to try baseball this year, but it's not to be, I guess. He took tennis camp in a summer enhancement course last year. He IS interested in beginning tennis lessons though. The teacher that taught the summer course teaches lessons to kids in the fall, spring, and summer. So, I'm curious to know what the cost will be. He's a professional tennis coach, so I hope it's not too outrageous!

Today marks five years since my mother passed away. I can hardly believe it's been half a decade. I'm giving blood this weekend in honor of this date. I really miss her, and wish I could still talk to her one on one.

Michael and I are going out with friends this weekend. Two other couples and we will be going out to eat at a Japanese steakhouse where they cook right in front of you! I'm excited; the big reason is we haven't done a lot of socializing since the accident. I'm looking forward to catching up with some of our friends again.

Enjoy the rest of your week. I will try my best to do that myself!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sicknesses Abound

What started as a cold New Year's weekend, ended in a bad sinus infection this week. This past Wednesday, I woke up to my throat closing up and my ears feeling as though they were filled with fluid. Thursday found me in my doctor's office getting scripts for a sinus infection and the beginning of an ear infection. To top it all off?? Last Saturday I had a pedicure for the first time in two months -- which led to me getting a badly infected ingrown toenail by Thursday. I began soaking it in warm Epsom salt water two to three times a day. Today it's feeling a tad bit better, but looks horrible! I'm afraid I may have to call in a favor to Michael's uncle (who is a surgeon) to look at and drain for me before the weekend is over with. Ouch!!

Oh yeah, there's more --

Michael began saying last night that one of his ears was beginning to bother him. I put some ear drops in his ear, but told him he would probably need to get on an antibiotic to clear it up. He went to his men's breakfast this morning, so he must be feeling somewhat better. Time will only tell, I guess.

There is some good news that I can share in this post as well:

Michael's sister Robbie had major surgery Friday before last. To give you some background on it...

The cancer that started in her colon (she had a resection done in June) spread to her liver. Two masses were found back in August/September time frame. The goal for the doctors was to treat her with agressive chemo strong enough so that those tumors would either disappear or would shrink enough that they could surgically remove them. After an MRI showed one mass disappearing altogether (thank GOD!), the other one was now small enough for surgical intervention. They began doing other tests to ensure that the disease hadn't spread elsewhere when they found a suspicious spot on her lung. They told her that if this spot was malignant, they couldn't and wouldn't do anything else for her. The "suspicious" spot on her lung turned out to be nothing else but scar tissue from several bouts of bronchitis over the last few years (thank GOD that was all it was!). We found out the good news the day before she was to host our entire family at her house for Christmas dinner. Fast forward to January 4, she underwent the liver surgery. They ended up removing 50% of her liver as well as the mass. The surgery went wonderfully, much better even than the doctor had hoped. He was able to do everything laparoscopically, but because of liver involvement in the cutting, it will take her months to fully recover. Did you know that the liver is the only human organ that eventually regenerates itself? I didn't either! That's just amazing to me! It will take close to a year to full regenerate. She was released from the hospital this past Thursday, where she is currently recovering with family in Jacksonville, who lives very close to the Mayo hospital there. Her goal is to be back home for her son's birthday, which is January 25. Shortly after that she will go through three more months of chemo to ensure that all the cancer is gone from her body. She is worried though about full recovery. Because the liver had already been attacked with cancer, then the removal of half of it, and now the chemo given to attack more (good as well as the bad) cells in her body, she is rightfully concerned that she won't bounce back to a healthy person. She is a very social, vivacious, loving person who I'm glad to call my sister. She loves her family with every fiber of her being. Her son graduates from high school the end of May. I'm sure she must be thinking a lot about the future right now. I would appreciate any prayers for her.

Then my sister, who lives in Alabama, had a benign tumor removed from her adrenal gland this past Tuesday. Although benign, it was causing her to have uncontrolled, dangerous blood pressure levels. I'm happy to report that she is back home recovering after a very scary few weeks for all of us.

Michael's recovery is going grand! He's beginning to walk with a cane now. He's been on a walker and/or wheelchair since the accident over five (!!) months ago. This is a huge step forward (pun not intended) for him. His hopes are to be back at work in 4 to 6 weeks. I pray that this happens, but I know that several things in the past have put this on hold. One being him having a staph infection on a place on his arm that he had to have surgically drained. It's definitely time for some good things to happen to us, no doubt!!

That brings me to this current paragraph. Our Christmas day was fabulous - and now the boys are back in school. Our life is beginning to turn to semi-normal, I guess. Zack's junior year is flying by -- and doing great. He has won first place trophies in debate tournaments more than once this school year. His grades are outstanding -- 2 AP classes this year have kept him to 2 B's and 4 A's for the first semester, with a current solid 3.75 overall GPA. We just received his PSAT scores that was taken back in October. His freshman year his score was a 1740 out of 2400, his sophomore year an 1850, and this year a 1960. If this trend continues, he'll have well over 2000 for his SAT scores to be taken in May this year. Hopefully, this will have schools from all over knocking on our door. ;) Aaron is doing well in school this year, too. 2 A's and 2 B's overall.

That just about catches you all up in what's going on in our life. I hope that 2008 brings each of you health and happiness!

Until next time -- take care of yourself. It is still flu season afterall! :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

In 2008 I will...

Love me for who I am. . .

Be the person that I want to be, not what others want me to be. . .

Show and tell those that I love exactly how I feel because we never know what tomorrow will bring. . .

Instead of trying to change myself to please others, I will only change myself to please ME. . .

Take more time to myself. I DO deserve a break once in awhile. . .

Live life to the fullest, love like I"ve never loved before, laugh more times than I will cry, and be happy with whatever God has in store for me. . .

This year, WILL be better than the last, but not as good as next!