Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas in Georgia

This year was my very first Christmas away from my family. We were planning on going back to FL for Christmas, but since I chose to risk flying on passes instead of actually purchasing tickets, we ended up staying in GA since every flight to South Florida was completely full and we couldn't risk not being able to get back home since we both had to work the day after Christmas.

I was completely depressed and even cried for a really long time on Sunday, but by Sunday night, I started to realize that John IS my family now and even though I miss my family, I should be thankful that I get to spend another Christmas with John as my husband AND with him in town and not out flying. I spent so many Christmases alone (single) and I should be grateful that God gave me everything I wanted and more when He sent John to me.

The other thing that I realized was that we have been blessed to have a lot of John's family living close to us. We were not alone on Christmas and I am beginning to feel like I am really a part of his family (I know that I am, but sometimes I still feel like an intruder).

The best part about staying here was that John and I had everything ready so early that we were able to relax and just spend time together for the 3 days that we were planning on going to FL. We watched movies, slept in, cleaned the apartment, and went to Christmas Eve services at our church. While we were in the service (which included worship that was co-led by Candi Pearson-Shelton from the Passion conferences!) it hit me that it was the first time in about 7 years that I had actually sat in a Christmas Eve service. When I worked at FRC, the staff served at all of the services, so I was always either singing, working at the Information Table, or coordinating volunteers. While it was always wonderful to serve, I usually was so exhausted by the end that I had little energy left for my family. I was so thankful this year to be able to worship and to leave the service refreshed and not drained.

After the Christmas Eve service, we went to John's aunt's house for dinner and then went home and opened our presents from each other. On Christmas Day, we slept in and then went to John's grandma's house for Christmas Brunch and more presents. Christmas night, we ordered Pirates 3 On Demand and ate leftovers from brunch. It was so nice!!!

As much as I missed my family and wished that we could have gone home for Christmas, I really did enjoy a different kind of Christmas. I realized that no matter where you might spend Christmas, as long as you are surrounded by people that you love, you should be thankful. Christmas is about celebrating the greatest gift the world ever received and, to me, it is about celebrating all of the people that God has placed in my life to remind me of just how much He loves me. So this year, I am thankful for the additional family that I have been given and am looking forward to having another "Christmas" with my family just as soon as the flights are open!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I finally had my visit with the GI yesterday which resulted in an endoscopy today (nothing like getting it over with quickly - I love how God answered this prayer!) I really wasn't nervous - everyone I know who has had one has told me that you just go to sleep and then wake up and it is over - no pain, no memory!! John went with me and when they called my name, I marched in there like I was about to get a pedicure - no stress, no worries!!

That all went out the window when they tried to put in my IV. Usually, getting an IV hurts, but then it is over and done with pretty quickly. Well, since I couldn't eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight last night until they did the procedure, I was dehydrated and my veins were not cooperating. The nurse stuck me in the arm and I saw stars - I screamed and started crying - it hurt so badly!!! THEN, she told me that it wasn't working, so she pulled it out and went to work poking me with the world's biggest needle IN THE TOP OF MY RIGHT HAND!!!! I started bawling and then started to think...if getting an IV is usually not a big deal and this is killing me, what is this "no big deal" endoscopy going to be like????? She finally finished, saw that I was still crying and asked, "Do you want me to move it?" Ha! No way, lady!! I was not about to do that again!!

They wheeled me into recovery where I was supposed to wait for my turn. I saw some guy come out of his endoscopy - he was completely knocked out, laying on his side, and his mouth was wide open - drool and everything. I thought, oh great, THAT is what I'm gonna look like??? How is this not a big deal???

About 10 minutes later, another nurse came and wheeled me into the room where they would be performing the procedure. I saw all kinds of tubes and utensils, which made me decide to keep my eyes closed until the doctor came in to see me. The doctor came in, assured me that it really wasn't a big deal, and started to put on his coat. The nurse put this big old round, plastic device in my mouth to keep my mouth open for the procedure. The anesthesiologist came in, told me that he was going to give me something to make me sleep and I should start to feel it in about 20...and that's the last thing I remember.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up back in recovery and John was sitting with me. The doctor came in and showed us some pictures of my insides...and then I don't remember anything until the nurse showed up to tell me I was going home. John said that I just kept telling everyone, "That was AWE---SOME!!!" kinda like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy. He laughed at me all the way home - he also said that he was glad that I don't drink :)

I feel pretty good. I ate a chicken wrap when we got home and am hungry again, and being hungry is a BIG deal - I haven't been hungry in a LONG time!! They took a few biopsies and we should have the results in about 10 days. The doctor thinks it is either allergies or IBS - both of which are 100% recognizable and treatable. We have been praying for that kind of result, so we are really anxious to hear what the tests will show so that I can get back to being healthy.

Thanks so much for your prayers!!!! I really appreciate it!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Prayers Needed

I need your prayers - I got really sick (AGAIN) while we were at Disney and I am going to see a gastrointerologist on Wednesday. I have been feeling better over the past few days, but there is always the fear of the next time I will be sick - and it isn't ever predictable. I am praying that it is something that they can find AND something they can treat quickly and easily. I am so tired of being sick and so tired of hearing, "we can't find anything wrong with you - what were your symptoms again??" This will be the 4th visit to a doctor and my 2nd visit to a medical specialist over the past 3 weeks, so I am praying that this will be the end of the mystery and the beginning of my road back to complete health. (And no, I am definitely NOT pregnant!)

Thanks for your prayers!!! Hopefully I will have good news to share soon!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My 33rd Birthday

Yes, it is hard to believe, but I am now 33 years old! I had a great birthday - and like every year, it is going to be a week long celebration!!!

It started on Sunday when we went to get our Christmas Tree. I know that most people don't think of a Christmas Tree when they think of their birthday, but I haven't ever celebrated mine without one!

After moving the furniture around and dragging the tree into every corner of our living room, we found the perfect spot (it was actually the very first place we tried!). I love to come home and turn on some Christmas music, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and look at the tree. It is the greenest and thickest tree I have ever had - it could be due to the fact that it didn't take an 800 mile truck ride to get to my house :)

Monday night, John took me out for a romantic dinner and gave me the best present ever - La Mer!!!! I know, I am a spoiled wife, but he will be thankful he spent that money when I am 75 and still have skin as smooth as a baby's...well, you know :)

Yesterday was my actual birthday and I was showered with phone calls and emails all day long. Our Aunt Pam took me to a wonderful lunch and gave me MORE La Mer - I just love her! She is like a best friend/mom/sister all wrapped up in one amazing person. John's grandparents and their friends, Bill and Jeanette, took me to a delicious dinner at Longhorn and gave me even more presents!! After dinner, I went to Small Group and had the most amazing ice cream cake ever - mint chocolate chip - I felt like Meredith on The Office!

Today I am working and going to the doctor (no real birthday celebrations planned for today) but...TOMORROW, WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!! We are meeting my family on Friday and going to the Very Merry Christmas Party. Saturday we will be park-hopping and Sunday, John is going home, but I am staying to hang out with my niece, Jordan, for one extra day. I am SO excited and SO grateful that God worked it out so that we could go!

It was a great birthday and I am so thankful for all of the people who made it so special. What's your favorite birthday memory? I'd love to hear it!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Hello Everyone! After nine days in bed and 2 trips to the ER (complete with IVs, ultrasounds, and lots of waiting) I am finally feeling better. The doctors say it was a virus and that the virus that is going around takes 2 to 3 weeks to get through your system. I've lost 8 pounds and am eating a very bland diet again.

Of course, I feel better today and John left a little while ago for his very first AirTran flight. He looked so handsome and I am so proud of him. Even though Atlanta has not been very good to me, I am very glad that it has been good to John!! He is a wonderful pilot and I can't wait to hear all about his first day!! Here's a picture of him before he left...

I have 4 days alone - that hasn't happened for a LONG time. We are getting our Christmas tree when John comes home, so I have that to look forward to! I am also going back to work tomorrow which is kind of exciting. The most exciting thing I am looking forward to is going to Disney! Since we couldn't go this week, we are going to try to go when my sister and her family go in December. My mom is coming, so it is going to be a blast! I am also trying to figure out when I am going home for Christmas, so I have plenty to keep me busy!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and that you will enjoy every day of the Christmas season!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This Week Stinks

I am very frustrated right now, and I know that it is all trivial and it all has a bright side, but I just need to vent for a little while....

I have been sick in bed for 6 days - yes, SIX!! I spent the day in the ER yesterday, was given medicine and an IV (I have a love/hate relationship with the IV), and was told to rest and drink lots of clear fluids. I am feeling better, but not so great that I can leave the house.

Because I have been sick for 6 days, I have not worked (which means that I don't get paid) and I did not get to go home last weekend to see my family and eat our Thanksgiving meal together.

John's parents arrived here yesterday and are staying in a hotel 5 minutes from our house, but because I am sick, I haven't seen them, nor did I get to go to the mall with the Orr girls today (as was planned before I got sick).

John and I will be celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary on Sunday. We had planned on going to Disney next week for 4-5 days to celebrate. He found out last night that his 4-day in-flight training guessed it, Sunday! So much for Disney and our anniversary.

Needless to say, I am sick, homesick, sad, disappointed, annoyed, and FRUSTRATED! I know that God has a plan hidden in here somewhere, but it seems like I have been searching for it since January with no luck. I love my husband and I love that he is reaching all of his goals - I am just dealing with a lot of personal disappointment that all came to a head at one time.

Ironically, this week is Thanksgiving, so I guess I should cheer up and think of all that I have to be thankful for instead of complaining. I do have so much to thank God for and hopefully I will be thanking Him soon for working behind the scenes on something that I have yet to even hope for or imagine!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Visit From Mom

Last week, my mom came to visit us for the first time since we got here. I was u
ltra-excited and could not wait to show her all of the things that made me think of her here (and there were tons!). My mom and I were always VERY close - from high school all the way through college - and I loved it! Once grandchildren (for her) and a new husband (for me) were added to the mix, we developed a different, yet still close relationship.

We hit the Cyclorama, Stone Mountain (which I could go to every night and never get tired of its charm), and the Georgia Aquarium. It was amazing to share the weekend and some of my favorite spots in Atlanta with 2 of my most favorite people. John loves my mom and she loves him, so it was really cool to hang back and watch the two of them walk and talk and laugh and just enjoy each other.

Here are some pictures from our weekend - and did I mention that it was COLD???

Joan and me at Cyclorama :)

My mom and I at Stone Mountain - yes, we like to try on funny hats!

John and I at Stone Mountain - isn't it gorgeous???

John and I at the Aquarium

We had a great weekend and I am ready for more visitors! John's family is coming next week for Thanksgiving and we are really excited! Who are you going to see or who is coming to see you soon???

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Starting Over

There's nothing quite like a fresh start. I have been given the amazing gifts of a new city, state, home, job, car, church, and neighborhood. At first, I tried really hard to hang on to the old while trying to embrace the new - let's just say that it didn't work! Ever tried to drive two cars at once? Of course not!! It is hard to be in two places at once and it is really hard to move forward when your focus is on what is behind you. After wrestling with reality for the past few weeks, I decided that it is time to look forward and time to get excited about what lies ahead instead of dwelling on what has been left behind.

Some things have changed dramatically and others have only changed slightly just because of geography. Thankfully, family and friends fall into the latter category, so in order to help bridge the gap that the miles put between us, I plan on using this blog to share the new things that God is doing in my life and to celebrate the amazing future He has planned for all of us!

So, as Walt Disney said, let's keep moving forward!!