Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My little trooper

David had his MRI tonight and did GREAT! Permit me a little gushing about my brave boy. :-) Everyone at the hospital kept commenting that we would probably have to come back another time to do the MRI under sedation due to David's age, but he was a trooper and came through with flying colors. Results won't be in until next week but I'll share the update whenever we get it.
I don't expect to get a chance to post tomorrow since Abigail and I will be going to Greenville for a CIMT pre-evaluation appointment -- we will be leaving early and most likely coming home late. (I just realized that I haven't explained this therapy program, so I will follow up on that soon.)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Our adorable little patriots

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Happy Memorial Day!

I am very grateful for the sacrifices others have made
to protect my freedoms.
Much thanks to all of you who have served or are serving
in our military.

Here are a couple pictures

of the kids at the pool

this weekend...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mr. & Mrs. Jared Minota

The wedding was beautiful -- Krystle looked like a magazine bride and Jared was quite snazzy in his tux.
David & Abigail were adorable and did a great job coming down the aisle!
I got a little teary seeing Jared as he waited for Krystle to come down the aisle, when I saw the way he looked at her during the ceremony, and then when I saw his big handsome hand with a wedding band on it and I realized that he was married!...but I managed not to be a sobbing mess (phew!). It is quite a strange (but good!) feeling to see one of my little brothers as a husband.
It was a wonderful day and we are so thrilled to have Krystle as part of our family...

Why I have been MIA for a few days...

Oh, where to begin? First, as I mentioned in the short post previously, the wedding was beautiful. (And I will do my best to post pictures this weekend!) Monday we drove up Mt. Rainier and, among other things, played in the snow -- sleds, snowballs, the whole works. We had a blast! Afterwards we went to Jared and Krystle's house for pizza... While we were there, Bruce mentioned to me that his heart was racing again (he has had a few occurrences of this over the last year, and a week or two before the wedding, he had told me that when we got back home from the trip, we should schedule him with a cardiologist to get it checked out). When I took his pulse, it was 150. Long story short, Tuesday morning we went to the ER and he was admitted with atrial fibrillation [AF] (layperson's explanation: the atria just flutter instead of pumping regularly, the ventricles try to fire in coordination with the atria, and the result is a rapid heart rate and an erratic heartbeat). They kept Bruce overnight and ran a bunch more tests on him, and discovered that the right side of his heart is enlarged (dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM), which is what caused the AF. There is also a problem with his left ventricle. In the midst of all of this, we missed our return flight to Atlanta, but Delta was wonderful about getting us out as soon as the doctor cleared us to travel. We flew home yesterday. This morning, Bruce saw a cardiologist and we are waiting for a cardiac MRI appt, which is the next diagnostic step. The doctor can not give us any kind of prognosis until they know what is causing the DCM. There is a huge range of causes, treatments, and complications associated with DCM, so it really is a shot in the dark right now. Everyone in Seattle was wonderful -- the Lord took good care of us through a plethora of people -- my family, Krystle's family, the medical staff at the hospital, even the people who helped us reschedule everything from the airline tickets to the car seat rental to boarding Baker, and the whole list is much longer than that. So now we wait. While we all know that we are mortal and no one is guaranteed a tomorrow here on earth, something like this brings it really close to home. Yes, I am frightened at even the thought of losing my husband, my best friend, and (although the term is overused and cliched) my soul mate. I pray that his condition will be treatable and manageable and leave us decades upon decades to share with each other. Mostly, though, I am trying to ask the Lord to help me to say "Not my will, but Yours be done" and to truly mean it...a feat which is possible only by God's grace and through His strength.
On a side note, there is no way right now to know the cause for the DCM, the trigger for the latest episode, the treatment for the DCM, etc. In light of that, the reason for this post is not to solicit suggestions on any of the above. Please just pray with us and for us. Thank you for understanding!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Jared Minota

Jared and Krystle were married on Saturday
and the wedding was wonderful.
I am having trouble trying to load pictures, though...
you all will have to wait until we get home!
Congratulations, Jared and Krystle!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

And we're off...

...well, almost! We are checked in already (gotta love the Internet), the bags are all packed, and the house is spic-n-span. Now I have only to go to sleep so that I can get some decent rest before the alarm goes off at 4:45...! My next post should be from Washington state...

Answered prayer

Lisa is coming home this afternoon – she comes home on daily injections, oral antibiotics, and major activity restriction – but she is alive and going home! We are very thankful. Thank you so very much to everyone for your prayers on her behalf – please continue to uphold Lisa (and her family) as they expect her to be “off duty” for 4-6 weeks as she recovers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A heart full of gratefulness

Today I have been reflecting on the Lord's mercy in our lives... *David had to have a CT scan yesterday to check out a lump on his back. We got results today and it is NOT a tumor, which is of course the most frightening option that was out there. He will have an MRI done to try to figure out exactly what it is, but we suspect it is fluid of some sort from an old injury on that spot. *Both kids had hearing checks today and got incredible reports. Both of David's ears were stable with a few small improvements, and Abigail had huge improvements across the board in both ears. *Lisa is much improved, and there is talk of her going home tomorrow. Although those things are never reliable until you're actually out the door, just the suggestion is a wonderful thing. Today was one of "those days", when everything little thing that can go wrong does (complete with being stranded at the drive-thru at A&W because the employees were having a knock-down-drag-out fight inside!), and yet covering all of the annoyances of the day is the knowledge of God's mercy to our family. There are not adequate words to describe how wonderful He is and how grateful we are for His care for us.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Urgent Prayer Need Latest Update

We just got word that they moved Lisa out of the ICU and into a high-risk OB/GYN room, and took out all tubes etc except for her antibiotic and blood thinner. As far as we know she is still on oxygen, as well. We were very excited to hear this good news…thanks for continuing to pray.

Congratulations, Matthew

Congratulations to my brother Matthew,
who starts his new position today as Assistant Manager
at a Sherwin-Williams store in Ocala, Florida.
It has been exciting to see you wait for
the Lord's timing on this, Maciej,
and we are so happy for you!
(Is this where I should plug the SW line of paints,
of which I have become a loyal devotee?!)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to our moms and grandma -- we love you!

How grateful I am to be a mother, and to two such beautiful babies, too. :-) The Lord fulfilled a huge desire of my heart when He gave me these two and I am so blessed.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Abigail's new glasses

Abigail is very pleased with her new glasses -- she has been announcing them to almost everyone who looked at her while we were running errands today!

Sorry for the just-out-of-bath wet-hair picture, but that's all we had time for...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Urgent Prayer Need

Lisa (my sister-in-law who gave birth Sunday night) is in septic shock due to a uterine infection after childbirth, which apparently is a rare thing to happen but, obviously, it does happen. They are scrambling to try to treat her with a cocktail of antibiotics. Her blood pressure is still low, her heart rate is still incredibly high and she is having trouble breathing. Please continue to pray...

Monday, May 07, 2007

A busy week ahead

I am going to say this now in case I don't post in the next few days -- now you will know why -- we have a crazy week ahead of us! Tomorrow we go to get Abigail's brace adjusted, Wednesday I have a class to attend (related to Abigail's CP) and then a hematologist appt, Thursday we go to get Abigail's glasses, Friday is the kids' annual cardiology checkup. Did you catch Thursday's activity?! Today the kids had their annual opthalmology appt (sometimes hearing loss can happen in conjunction with eye and heart issues, so we get those organs checked every year to make sure nothing untoward develops), and while their eyes are structurally sound (which is good news!), we found out that Abigail needs glasses -- she has one eye that is very farsighted. In this instance, we are grateful for her hearing loss, which prompted us to have her eyes checked every year -- otherwise, who knows how long it would have been before this was diagnosed. According to the doctor, without glasses to correct this, her brain would have started to "shut off" her right eye, so by the time we discovered it down the road, it probably would have required some difficult rehab. Now she will be all set, even before she starts to read, etc. This vision issue has nothing to do with her hearing loss -- it is just one of those things. I took her to order glasses right away and they are so tiny and cute! I am feeling a little sad about detracting from those stunning navy blue eyes of hers, but I know that we will quickly get used to her in glasses, and I am very grateful that they will help her so much. Do I need to mention the "we're never bored" line again or do you all know it by heart now?!

Welcome to our new nephew

A special welcome to our new nephew,
Blake ___ Provenzano (middle name TBA!),
who was born last night.
He was 7 lbs 10 oz.
Bruce's sister Lisa and her husband Joe
are the proud parents...
and Blake will be loved to pieces by older siblings
Jessica, Zack, Nick, Jake, & Luke.
Congratulations, Provenzano family!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

My birthday weekend

Well, I had an eventful but overall pleasant birthday weekend. Friday the kids and I spent most of our day with Greta and her kids, which we all enjoyed. By dinnertime Friday I was in excruciating pain and, to make the story short, it appears that I had a ruptured ovarian cyst. Thankfully, I had one Percocet left from my surgery, so I took that to survive the night so that I didn't have to spend my birthday night in the ER! By Saturday morning, the pain had abated and I was just worn out. Needless to say, I did not partake of my birthday dinner or cake until Saturday!

Fortunately, Saturday night we went back to having fun again! As a birthday present for me, RaDora came and kept the kids so that Bruce and I could go out (how great is that?! Thanks again, RaDora...we love you!). We went to Medieval Times (click on the link if you don't know what I'm talking about!) for dinner and a tournament complete with knights, horses, etc. It was SO MUCH FUN! Besides getting to go on a date, and going somewhere that I have wanted for several years to visit, the kids were thrilled to pieces that Miss RaDora came to play with everybody was happy! I had a fun and memorable thirtieth birthday celebration. Thanks, too, to everyone who left me a birthday comment -- it was a blast to get them throughout my day!

One of the joys of being thirty -- you can
wear the crown for your knight without
having to worry about your image. :-)

Friday, May 04, 2007

The unsung hero!

Thanks, Mom, for all your work to bring me into the world
exactly thirty years ago!

Happy birthday to me!

The long-awaited day has arrived.
Today I am 30!
As I reflect on these thirty years
(or at least as much of them as I have concious memory of!),
one phrase keeps coming to mind:
"He who promised is faithful."
(Hebrews 10:23)
God has been so good to me --
He has filled my life with so many blessings
and lovingly carried me through so many difficult waters.
Before I know it, I'll be reflecting on another thirty years,
and it is good to know that His faithfulness will not change!
I keep this blog so that anyone who wants to
can share in the daily lives of our family,
and the kids' lives in particular.
However, today I make a request for myself!
If you visit my blog today, please leave a comment!
I think it would be fun to see how many "visitors" I have.
Remember, you don't need a sign-in name etc to leave a comment.
Just click on the "comments" link below the blog entry,
then click on "anonymous" and type in your comment.
But be sure to include your name in the comment
so that I know who you are!
Thanks for humoring me...
It is, after all, my birthday! :-)

My birthday present

Here is part of my birthday present -- for those of you from Syracuse, NY who have eaten Hofmann hot dogs, no explanation is necessary. For the rest of you who haven't been so privileged, suffice it to say that once you have eaten these, hot dogs from the grocery store just don't cut it anymore!

Ever since I got married and moved to Chicago, my dad would always call me before they came for a visit and ask "Do you need any Hofmann's?" Now, of course, they aren't available to be my supplier any more...but Bruce discovered that you can now order voila! My birthday dinner!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A moment to melt Mommy's heart

The kids have had a very difficult (read: naughty!) couple of days...but there have been occasional moments of sweetness, and here is one that I captured while I was making dinner and peeked in to see why they were quiet...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Celebrating May Day with water fun

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High 80s and sunny -- time to get out the pool! The water was cold and they were both shivering, but both protested loudly when I said it was time to be done!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

In honor of your anniversary

I'll be with you in apple blossom time...
I'll be with you and change your name to mine.
One day in May, I'll hear you say,
"Happy the bride that the sun shines on today."

What a wonderful wedding there will be...
What a wonderful day for you and me...
Church bells will chime...
You will be mine In apple blossom time.

Happy Anniversary, Dad and Mom

Congratulations to my parents on 31 years of marriage!
We are all enjoying watching them adapt to their new stage of
"old retired folk" :-)
and my little family is especially enjoying that
we see them regularly now and can have them here
to share special days with us.
31 years later...!
The whole clan (except for Bruce, and with the addition of Jared's best bud, Jason) in NY, July 2006