June 27, 2009

Sad day...

Today my great Aunt Louise passed away. She was the sister of my grandpa, but since my dad's parents died before I was born, she was much more like a grandmother to me. I have so many amazing memories visiting her throughout my life. She was 90 years old and had lived a long and full life. I am so thankful to know that she is in Heaven now, but I will always miss her.The last time I saw her was in February at her 90th birthday celebration. I am so thankful that I made that trip with my parents, and got to spend some quality time with her. She has, and always will, have a special place in my heart. I am named after her (Alyson Louise), and we were always close.

She was the epitome of a southern lady, always put together, was a wonderful hostess, and always had gentle and kind words to say. She was loved by everyone around her, and she genuinely loved all of us. She loved butterflies (and even got a special set of wings for her birthday--see picture above), and from now on, whenever I see a butterfly, I will treasure my memories of her.

We are off to Alabama on Monday for her funeral ...it is hard to believe that she is gone.

June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day...

First, Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband. Even though we thought this year's celebrations would be different, you are a father. This picture shows the day when I "officially" consider the day you first became a father...to our furry baby! I wish that this year, I was also watching you cuddle our son, but that wasn't to be. Thank you for loving him so much, even though he isn't phyiscally with us. You are a great father!!
Happy Father's Day to my Father-in-Law as well! Gene--thank you (and Kathy too!) for raising such an amazing son that I get to share my life with. You are a great example to him of being a man of God!!

Happy Father's Day also to our wonderful grandpas. Both are now in Heaven, but because of both of these men, our families had a strong, faith-filled heritage. It is hard to believe they are both gone, but we both have so many fond memories of them in our lives.

And now, to my sweet Papa, Happy Father's Day!!!!

As long as I can remember, I have been a Daddy's girl. And I am so very proud of it. I have the most wonderful Dad. He is one of my best friends, and still, to this day, I count on him for so much. Even though I'm a grown up, he is still there for me at a moment's notice. I love the fact that he lives here in Texas now. I have not lived near him since I was 17, and it is SO very nice to be able to do things with him again!

My Dad has always worked so hard for his family. I don't ever remember a time that he was not able to provide what we needed, even though, now as an adult, I'm sure there were hard times. Dad--thank you for giving of yourself to us throughout the years. I don't know how you were able to work as hard as you did all those years, but I appreciate it so much!

Thank you for being a silly Dad as well! You still make me laugh!

Dad--thank you also for showing us the world. We have travelled to so many amazing places, and I have so many wonderful memories of our trips!

I always have loved our special "dates" together. It is still fun to go out to dinner--just us!

(Thank you for loving my hubby so much, too! You are both CRAZY!!!)

I always dreamed of my wedding day--they day you would walk me down the aisle, and that we would dance to Nat King Cole's Unforgettable. I can't believe that it has already been 6 1/2 years since this day actually happened!! Thank you for making that day so perfect and so very special! And thank you for being willing to share me with Justin! =) I know that must have been a tough day for you!
Thank you so much for being a wonderful father, and a great friend. You are one of the most generous people I know, and would do anything you could to help anyone who needs it. Thank you for showing me how to trust God, even through the hard times. I am so proud of you, proud that you are my father, and I grateful for every moment that we get to spend together. Thank you for being my Dad! Happy Father's Day!!
I love you!!!

June 20, 2009

How sweet it is...

...to be loved by Justin! My wonderful husband was mowing the lawn this morning, and he brought me outside to see this...

Justin..you make my life worth living. I love you too!!!

June 18, 2009

Slowly but surely...

I'm coming along pretty well in my recovery. Today (in about 4 hours) it will be a week since the surgery, and overall, I'm very impressed (and relieved) at the recovery process! I guess since I had heard that the surgery is like a c-section--just minus the baby--that it would be a pretty tough recovery. I have to say, the first few days after I got home, I was feeling pretty good. A bit sore...needing to take it slower...but overall, not too much pain. Which led me into the false sense that there wasn't any pain, so I must be almost healed. So, I stopped taking the prescription pain meds, and just went down to regular ibuprofen. Which led me to yesterday...and the realization that those prescriptions just were doing a really great job!!! I think I just did too much, and without any pills, I was extra sore. Still, not to the extent I had imagined I would be, but sore none-the-less.

So I've learned my lesson...I am not wonder woman, and I do need to let myself heal! So I'm back taking just two pain pills a day, which, hopefully will be done by the weekend. Oh well--live and learn!! I'm still so thankful to have had this surgery, and would have taken weeks of excruciating pain if that is what it took!

I had some wonderful friends bring me food and a sweet gift this week--things that were so unneccesary, but very appreciated!! Thanks Michelle for the yummy spaghetti dinner--we are still munching on it for lunch! And thank you for bringing the beautiful plant from the lifegroup--I love it, and as soon as I'm feeling 100%, plan on potting it and finding it just the right place in my house! Amy--thank you for the sweet Hope angel--I absolutely love it!! I don't think you could have found a more perfect one--it is even my favorite color! And the Chilis giftcard--we used it that night!! You are so very thoughtful!!
Hope you are all having a great week. My mom is getting back from California (she has been back there for two weeks) late tonight, and I'm really looking forward to spending a few days with her. Even as an adult, there is nothing like the care of your mom. I definitely am not so needy that I need her to take care of me, but I'm looking forward to just having her around. We are planning on doing a duo celebration this Saturday--my mom's birthday and Father's day--before my parents--the travelers that they are--are on the road for a week in Alabama.

Hopefully soon, I will actually have important, real life things to discuss on here, but until then, I guess this is what you get...the ramblings of a slightly sore, slightly bored lady stuck in her house! So go out and doing something really fun for me!!! =)

June 14, 2009

Here we go...some pictures from our whirlwind trip to Chicago last week! Justin and I had such a great time, and as I posted these pictures, I realized that there were so many more that I should have taken! Oh well!! Here is what I have...

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency, McCormick Place. What a beautiful hotel!!

After booking on expedia, I anticipated a small room, with no view, so it was to my huge surprise when we opened up the curtains of our room and saw this...

I know it doesn't look that spectacular in these pictures, but trust me, it was! To our left we could see out over Lake Michigan, and then straight out, the beautiful tree-lined streets! We overlooked the whole convention center (the roof that you see), but from the 18th floor, we could see a long way!! We got there on Wednesday, and it was a beautiful day. Mid to high 60s, sunny with beautiful clouds, and at times, even a little chilly! We, coming from hot Texas, hadn't even though to bring long sleeves, so we each had to buy a sweatshirt to keep warm that night!!

We dropped off our bags and went for lunch at Giordano's--a Chicago must, a lot of people told us! It was great. We ordered a small stuffed pizza, and ate the whole thing!! Well, Justin ate most of it, but I did put away two pieces!!!

Not the clearest pictures, but had to take one!


After eating, we needed to walk, so we made our way to Navy Pier. It was really neat--shops, tours, ferris wheel, miniature golf course, etc! We didn't do all that... took a fun picture in one of the booths, walked through the shops, and signed up for a boat tour. Here are a couple pictures back at the skyline from Navy Pier.

We took the hour long architectural boat tour, and it was really interesting! Justin and I both love buildings, and finding out about the history of places, so we had a great time. I highly recommend it if you are heading to Chicago! (Thanks, Jess, for recommending it to us--you were right!)
Here we are--the best First Mates ever!!

Here are some of the buildings that we saw... Trump Tower...

There is such a variety of different styles of buildings here-from ones that look like medieval structures to corncobs to glass-roofed river front bungalows! Amazing!!

And, of course, the Sears Tower. We had plans to go up on Thursday morning, before checking in for my surgery, but when we woke up, it was foggy and rainy. So we didn't get to do that--bummer!! Next time!!

We then walked some more (still trying to walk off as much of the pizza as possible!!), through the Magnificent Mile area, and made our way towards Millenium Park. My sister-in-law had told us about "The Bean" there that we had to see. But along the way we saw many interesting statues/sculptures that seem to be all over Chicago. Here is the giant version of American Gothic. It was gigantic--and the cool think was it still looked like the painting. It didn't seem to be solid colors, but still had brushstrokes, just like the picture. Pretty cool!

Here is one more picture of the river we had just done the tour on, as we walked over it. Such a pretty downtown area. Amazing how well they have restored it!

And then we finally made it...
And found the Bean! It is really called the Cloud Gate, but I like the Bean better. It was the coolest thing--I think the skyline actually looked even prettier when you saw it in the reflection!!

It gives some interesting reflections--so I had to get one of us underneath!!

Strange, huh?!

Very cool--don't miss it!
We also walked a bit farther in the park to see their beautiful outdoor ampitheather! Wish we could have stayed for a concert!

In Millenium Park there is also a huge garden. Had to take a picture near the peonies for my mom! (And by the way, Happy Birthday, Mom!! I hope you are having a wonderful birthday. Wish I could be with you today!!)
Another view of the city with the garden/park underneath.

Another cool statue/fountain in the park. Justin was mesmirized by this one!!

Walking on water... =)
After we got a cab back to the hotel (we were too tired to walk the last 2 miles...) we cleaned up and headed out to see...
This was a gift from my parents, who had already seen this show two times. It was amazing!!! I love Broadway shows, but this one was especially great with a ton of wonderful music!! I wanted to sing along SOO badly, but I knew I'd embarrass my hubby! He enjoyed it too, even though he wasn't quite sure what he was getting into!!
We had dessert after at a restaurant called "Italian Village". Wonderful tiramisu and cannolis--I had to enjoy my last bit of food, because after midnight, I wasn't allowed to eat or drink until after the surgery!
The next morning, in the cold rain, Justin walked to McDonalds to get breakfast so I wouldn't have to see him eat. What a sweetie! Can you see him way down there?? I took this out of our window!


Oh...there he is!!

Good thing we could spot those arches!!!
So after a relaxing morning, we arrived at the hospital at about 12:30. We checked in pretty quickly, and then we had to wait a bit for the anesthesiologist to come in to get started. Even at this point, I wasn't really nervous. I guess I should have been, it being major surgery and all, but I was so excited to be there and get my TAC placed that I was all smiles!!

Gotta love the hairnet!!

Even Justin was so excited, can't you tell?!
The surgery went super well. Started at 3:30, and I was into recovery by 4:30. I had a spinal block instead of general anesthetic, so I was even awake and asking questions most of the time. Honestly, I don't remember much of the first part, but remember him telling me what they were doing the second part. So I'm kind of embarrassed to know what I was saying the first part!! =) Dr. Haney told me that I just wanted a step-by-step of what they were doing--weird--because I thought I wanted to just be out the whole time! It was interesting to talk to the dr during surgery--it was almost like being inside one of the medical tv shows--except I was the one being operated on--not just watching! Strange!
All in all, I haven't had too much pain. The first night, I had some nausea, from the pain meds I'm pretty sure, but since about 10 am Friday morning, I've been fine! The strange thing is that my worst pain isn't from my incision site, but from about 5 inches to the right on my abdomen. I'm not sure what they did there, but boy does that spot hurt when I stand up! Again--strange, but overall, I feel MUCH better than I thought I would at this point! I have to remind myself that I just had surgery, and need to be relaxing. I guess I'll just have to make myself be a couch potato for a few more days! No gym time just yet, but I'm sure I'll be back to normal sooner, rather than later!!
While there, I met two other ladies who had their TACs placed on Thursday also. I met them through Abby-loopers, the online Yahoo groupd where I really found out about the TAC. It is a wonderful support group, full of ladies who understand what it is like to lose a baby because on incompetent cervix, and know how important getting a fix like the TAC is! Both Kim and Dorelle were so wonderful, and I'm so glad I got to meet them. Both Kim and I were in recovery together, and the nurses pulled the curtains back and we chatted for about a half hour! I was so amazed by how similar our experiences were, and we were both so excited and full of hope for our future. I thank God for a doctor like Dr. Haney--who changes so many women's lives. I have a hope again, now that I know my incompetent cervix won't be an issue again!
And just one more picture to share...my welcome home hug from my girl...
...who was taken care of so well by our neighbor Jimmie and my Dad. Thanks for watching our girl!!
Thanks so much for all your prayers, support, and love! I am so thankful to everyone who is always there for me! I feel such a peace about having this TAC placed--I know it is going to change our future--for the better! We are planning on starting IVF in August, so we are praying for a baby Steiner in 2010!!!
Have a great week!!