Friday, July 22, 2011

An Extraordinary Man

This week has been a difficult one emotionally - for me and my family. I'm fortunate to know some amazing men - first, my father, who was the best father any girl could imagine having. He never missed piano recitals, concerts, football games when I was in band, and so on. I treasure having a close relationship with him. Next, my Grandpap (mom's Dad; Granddad passed away when I was small and I don't remember him all that well).  Grandpap was incredibly patient - my favorite memories are with him on vacation at the lake, where we go every summer. He taught me and my four sisters to waterski... And of course, my husband - I don't think I can count the number of times I just stop and thank God for bringing him into my life.

But this post is about another extraordinary man - my Uncle J. Uncle J has always been a favorite - since Grandpap passed away a few years ago, he's taken over driving the boat while we waterski. He taught DH to ski, and was patient when I was trying to learn to slalom. He's quiet, rather private, patient, sarcastic, but very funny. Uncle J has never married. A few years ago, he began dating a wonderful woman, whom I'll call A. The first time I met her, she reminded me of my mom and aunts. She fit in our family beautifully. A has two grown daughters- both very sweet girls. One is married. About a year and a half ago, A began having trouble with her foot... and then increasingly, more and more health problems seemed to surface. It took a long time to finally come up with a diagnosis - ALS. She went from being a vibrant woman, to confined to a wheelchair, and then finally, bedridden, unable to speak except through an electronic device (I never saw it and I'm not sure how it really worked), but she was able to communicate using it. It must have been so frightening - to be trapped in her own body. Uncle J helped her first by making her home wheelchair-accessible when she could no longer walk. He continued to care for her - taking her to doctors appointments, and has been caring for her for the past year. Towards the end, when she was really bad, my Grandma would tell me about him having to suction her lungs when she couldn't breathe. Every time I heard about it, my heart just broke for him. My sisters and I, after we met her, couldn't stop saying how happy we were for him. And then, this...

A passed away this past Sunday, in her sleep. She was 57. DH and I drove up Wednesday night for the funeral, which was yesterday morning. Watching my uncle be a pall-bearer for the woman he loved, but never really had a chance to share a life with.... well, I don't have any words. I've asked myself so many times - why did God bring A into Uncle J's life, when He was going to take her away? I don't know... but maybe it was because He knew how much she would need him.

At the luncheon after the mass and burial, I was really happy to see A's daughters joking around with Uncle J. A's oldest daughter and her husband are planning to come for a day when the family is at the lake in a few weeks. I really hope and pray that they will remain in his life.

If you would say a prayer for my Uncle J, and A's family, I would really appreciate it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Quick Takes

1) First - Wicked was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! I can't believe I waited this long to see it. :) The casting was just phenomenal. My DH really enjoyed it too and said he wished we could see it again with this cast! I started listening to the music the week before we went to become more familiar with it, and I'm hooked. All the songs are going through my head at regular intervals! Haha! It takes me back to high school when I was in musicals and I sang the songs for months.

2) We met with our SW last week for our last visit. Truly, she was so nice, that it wasn't difficult, and it didn't even feel the slightest bit invasive. We turned in all the paperwork except autobiographies, so I think we're good to go there. The education class is at the end of August (we couldn't schedule before then), so hopefully after that we'll be approved. And then the wait begins!!

3) For those of you who have adopted - how much prep did you do to the house? Buy a crib? Paint the room? Nothing? How long before you were chosen by birthparents? We are turning our "office" into the nursery, so the only thing I can really anticipate doing is getting a smaller desk. It will move to the guest room once we need a crib, but I'm sure we'll use a bassinet at first anyway. Part of me feels that to fully get ready would make me really anxious.

4) My cycle review wasn't all that great this time around. Estradiol level was 4.6 and Prometrium was 8.1. I know the Femara can impact Estradiol, but I'm taking 200 mg of Prometrium. The nurse said we'll try another cycle and see how it goes, but I may end up with HCG. I have no idea yet if our insurance will pay for those. I'm going to try one more cycle with Femara... but honestly, I'm dreading ovulation. If it's as bad as this cycle, it'll be hitting right around the time we leave for vacation. I do not relish the idea of driving or spending the first few days chained to a heating pad!

5) My next appointment with Dr. S. is in August. (Ironically, the day before our adoptive class!) I'm wondering if I should ask him how long we should continue everything. When do we "give up"? I've been on hormones for the better part of 2 1/2 years... and I know my surgery was just this past February, but still... I'm tired of it. More and more I'm wanting to just let God take over and stop with the medical stuff.

6) Sooooooo looking forward to vacation! I have piano camp with my students the week before we go away and I've been procrastinating with those plans! I know what I want to do... but I need to get everything written down and printed. This morning instead of working on plans, I started packing my toiletry kit! Ha!

7) DH has been working some crazy hours lately. Please keep him in your prayers!

Happy Friday, everyone!! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What you can get for free...

So far for my birthday (coming up on Sunday), I've received via email, a coupon for a free... breakfast at IHOP, a treat at Rita's, a creation at Cold Stone, a dessert at Eat-n-Park, a "surprise" on my MyPanera card, a scoop from Baskin Robbins, Chocolate Fondue for 2 at the Melting Pot, and a 1/3 burger from Fuddruckers. Where do I begin??? :)

Well, I don't know where I'll go first to use up those freebies, but I am really looking forward to this weekend. We're going to see Wicked!!! I am sooooo excited! I've been wanting to see it for years! We're planning on a nice early dinner out afterwards, at one of my favorite restaurants. They take great care of my GF needs. Yum!!

DH and I had a great weekend - we spent Friday night with his brother, and his brother's former roommate and girlfriend - made homemade pizza, and had a few good rounds of bananagrams. Saturday we enjoyed dinner with some friends and their kids - I was quite content, and only a tad jealous of their newest 2-month old addition. And the baby had to be one of the best ever - he was quite content to sit in his little rocker chair, and he never even made a peep! Sunday, we ended up spending time with the family of some good friends of ours. The couple, D&M, live within walking distance of us. D plays soccer with my DH and M is another musician, so it's a great friendship. D's family is all quite musical, so we ended up playing and singing for over 2 hours with everyone, ending with a rousing rendition of some patriotic hymns, sung in harmony.

This week - SW visits tomorrow for her last visit - I'm trying like mad to get all the paperwork done. I just want to hand it in and be done with it. :) She'll do her walk-through of the house. Fortunately, since DH's brother was here, I cleaned a lot on Friday, so I just need to do some quick de-cluttering. 

Happy 4-day week!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

SW visit & cycle craziness

This week we met with our SW for our first interview - again, she made me feel really comfortable. We decided to just pack it in and schedule the second interview - the separate interview - next week. I have most of the paperwork done, I just need to finish a few more things, finish my autobiography and copy everything, and give it to her. We are having a hard time scheduling the education course though. Please pray for that - I really want to get it done in July - especially if we have everything else done, but it looks like it won't be until the end of August. We are on vacation the first week in August, then I'm out of town the second week. We could potentially come back or leave late for vacation but I really don't want to do that. Vacation with my family is so much fun, and I come back so relaxed. We'd probably have to shorten it by 2 days in order to do the course. Any idea how much it would delay things if we have to wait that long to complete it?

In cycle news, this week has not been a good one. I'm really frustrated. Wednesday night, around the time the SW was going to come, I started having ovulation pains. I thought I felt them on Monday, and figured that was Peak Day, but then this. The pain woke me up during the night, I finally started using a heating pad and tylenol in the morning Thursday, but then I was chasing the pain. It never really went away significantly and I spent most of yesterday in bed. It hurts. A lot. I'm not a wimp; I have a high pain tolerance; and this is ridiculous. I cannot imagine that any normal ovulation hurts this much. Really?? So, I'm seriously considering bagging the Femara - and the Mucinex, which has done nothing for CM.

Strange question - (maybe TMI) can surgery damage the parts that create CM? I mean, occasionally I would have months where it wasn't that great, but now, I'm not even seeing anything remotely stretchy. It just runs. I won't go into detail there, but it doesn't seem quite right.

Looking forward to the weekend though; we're getting together with some friends tomorrow night, and their 5 very cute kids. The youngest is only a few months - so pray that I can handle that!! They are a great family though, and one of our references, so it will be good to see them. And DH's brother is in town for a wedding so we'll get to spend some time with him too. I just hope I don't have to walk around attached to a heating pad. Ha!

Happy 4th!!
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