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!!