Kidney Stones!

Well, here's the latest...

We had a nice relaxing day yesterday. It was like Saturday for us. Laundry, cleaning house, showers and baths etc. Steve was able to get up and around a little. Moving slow and still in quite a bit of pain, but it was nice to see him moving around. We slept good last night...better than the nights past. He only got up once around 1am to take his pain pills. Actually, he was sound asleep, but I woke up and asked him if he needed it.

Our discharge instructions were to call today and schedule a "KUB" and office visit. Apparently, a KUB was in essence an x-ray of the kidneys, ureter and bladder. Rach was kind enough to stop by and pick up Jenna this morning and drop her off at school for me. We didn't know what time Steve would have to go in and I didn't want to drive all the way in to Nashville, come back and then have to turn back around to go to the urologist's office. So, I got up early and got Jenna up, dressed, breakfast-ed and out the door. Then I laid back down until 8am when the urologist's office opened.

I called right at 8am and they answered. After being transferred to about 3 people (how hard is it to schedule an appt?!), they tell me that they have an opening TOMORROW at 1:45. 'Scuse me?! Tomorrow? So, I ask, "do you have anything sooner than that?" I, of course, am thinking TODAY would be nice! She starts looking and then says, "Oh, no, that Tuesday appt. isn't actually available. But we have one on Wednesday at 3pm". OK. This is getting worse. I said, "He has a kidney stone the size of a jelly bean lodged in his ureter. Are you SURE there's nothing sooner?" She puts me on hold to get her supervisor (I was nice, I swear!!) and comes back quite a while later to say she tracked down the doctor that Steve had while in the ER and he said come on in today. So, they worked us in at 9:30.

We went in and went through all that for them to tell us that the stone hadn't moved. Um. Yeah, we know. Being that he's in excruciating pain and all and there's been no jelly bean in the toilet, we kinda figured that out. Anyway, they began scheduling for a lithotripsy procedure. After alot of back and forth, we were able to get it scheduled for Wednesday. It was the first time they had available...we have to be there at 7:30am, so that will work out well. I can drop Jenna off at school at 7:00 and then head on over. It's going to be a long day Wednesday and there is a very real possibility that due to where the stone is lodged, they won't be able to use the lithotripsy which means a more painful, invasive procedure, however, we have to get the stone out. If the lithotripsy can be used, they can also break up the other very large stones in the kidney so that we don't find ourselves going through this again in a few months. One time every 13 years is plenty for us both!

So, I'm headed back to work tomorrow and Steve's going to try to make a few hours. He's going longer and longer without pain meds and we have our parent/teacher conference tomorrow at 7am, so he wants to do that and see how it goes...if he doesn't feel great or the pain is too intense, he'll head home. I can't wait for our conference. We love her teacher so much and it's going to be so sad to see the end of the year come. Tomorrow night is my last night of Bible study with the girls (well, this study at least!) and I have to prepare for Wednesday night, so I don't know if I'll have time to update, but I will let you know how the conference and surgery went on Wednesday afternoon once we return home.

Until then, we appreciate your prayers. It's been a rough go since Friday, but I think the end is in sight!


Well, I got more sleep last night than I did the night I was in the hospital with Steve. But the nature of his surgery requires frequent trips to the bathroom so we were up every couple hours and it felt like having a newborn. Steve's feeling a tad better now that he can rest at home, but he's still in a considerable amount of pain. It's just going to take time. I'm praying that the urologist will see him first thing tomorrow, but in reality, I know it probably will be late tomorrow or even later in the week. I'll keep you posted.

I did want to tell you how cool the Lord was to us this weekend...it just seemed that He provided over and over. The first thing was that we have a family wedding to attend next weekend. The problem was that it was out of town about 5 hours away and with gas prices going through the roof, we really didn't have the money to spend. But because it was family, I really felt like we should attend. I just prayed that God would provide. Well...due to this kidney stone and surgery, there is no way Steve can go on a 5 hour (one way) trip. Not exactly the answer I expected, but an answer nonetheless.

I had gone straight from work to scrapbooking on Friday night and when Steve called, I went straight home to get him and he was waiting in the garage for me, so I didn't even get to go in. I was dressed in jeans, a sweater and dress shoes from work. Not exactly comfortable to spend the night in the hospital in. Well, lucky for me, I had brought home my work out clothes which included a much more comfortable sports bra, lounge pants and t-shirt, not to mention socks and tennis shoes. I had only worked out once this past week, so they were even clean! So after Steve got settled in a room, I went down and got them and relaxed as much as I could.

I was worried about what I would do while waiting for them to see him, take him up to his room and while in surgery. Again, I'd just bought a new book on Wednesday after church that I had taken to work to read and it was still in my work bag, so again, God provided something to keep me busy.

Most of you know that the end of the month is the tightest financially being that I only get paid once a month and so neither Steve or I usually have any cash on us. However, believe it or not, Steve had stopped at the ATM before going to the bowling alley and so he had just enough cash in his wallet. Combined with the few dollars I had, there was just enough for me to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hospital.

When I picked Jenna up from Rach yesterday, I had nothing for her to do at the hospital, so we stopped at Walgreens to get her a coloring book and crayons. When I got back in the car, I noticed she'd left her Nintendo DS in the van at some point and so she had that (it was still charged!) so she had something to keep her busy.

Speaking of picking up Jenna...Rach had to be in town at 11:45 yesterday, so it would have been ideal if I could leave the hospital at 11:20 and pick her up while Steve was in surgery so I could be back by the time it was over and get the call from the doctor. Because there is no set schedule on the weekends, they just take patients into surgery as they are able depending on who is there first and who is the most pressing. The likelihood that all things would come together at just the right time was going to be nil. However, they came up to get him at 10:40 and allowed me to go down to the surgical holding area with him. I had to wait for the anesthesiologist to show up so I could answer his questions and when he was done I could stay or go. I looked at the clock and it was 11:20. So, God again provided so that I could leave and pick up Jenna. I wasn't even gone and hour and we had lunch and everything and still had 30 minutes to spare before the doctor called after surgery!

Lucky (if there's such a thing) for us, Rachel was scrapbooking with me on Friday night, so she was right there when I got the call and headed for home so I could drop Jenna off to stay the night. I am so thankful for friends like her and David making themselves available during times of need. We have no other friends that we would have been able to drop her off with that are in the area. Just another one of the Lord's provisions for us.

Let's see...on our way there, it was raining so much in the hill I could barely see. I prayed that God would just give the rain a short break until we could make it to the hospital. About 3 minutes later, the rain completely stopped and was still stopped when we arrived.

Last night, I went out before Steve was discharged to get his prescriptions filled and get Jenna and I some dinner. Well, 6 pharmacies later, I finally found one that was opened past 6pm. Even though it was 6:45 and they closed at 7pm, the Belle Meade Kroger had pity on me and filled all three RXs by 7pm. I made it back to the hospital 30 minutes before the Dairy Queen (in the hospital) closed. Jenna was really wanting some ice cream to go with her dinner, but I had only $9 in cash in my pocket and they didn't take check cards. So, all I got her was a cheeseburger, myself a combo and figured she could eat my fries and share my drink. The total came to $8. But before we left, the lady at DQ said she was going to give Jenna a kids drink at no charge just because she was so cute. While we were waiting on our meals to come out, the guy in front of us ordered a big chocolate ice cream thing with chocolate and brownies all over it. It looked SO good, but I just didn't have the cash for it and I wasn't going to go to the ATM for $3 since we were running so behind. By the time the meal came out, the lady handed Jenna the ice cream again, at no charge. Apparently, the guy had only had a card himself and he just returned the ice cream to the counter. Never opened it or anything. The lady had overheard Jenna begging for ice cream and rather than throw the ice cream away, just gave it to us. There was more than enough so she gave us two spoons and we enjoyed our dessert.

I'm sure no one else really cares as much about all this as I do, but it just seemed that time and time again, God provided in sometimes, the smallest of ways. During such a stressful time, it was wonderful to see God's provision...


4122, 24 hours & a jelly bean

What does my title mean?

Well, 4122 is where I've spent the last 24 hours. Well...not exactly the whole 24 hours, but much of it. The jelly bean will come later.

Let's see, last night, Rachel and I went scrapbooking...you know, first time since our retreat and we were going to get back in the swing of things. I was really looking forward to it. Steve went bowling and took Jenna to the alley with him. He called about 8:30 and said he was done and they were headed home. About 9:30, I'm thinking that it won't be long before I wrap things up because I'd gotten increasingly tired, my cell rings again and Steve says, "You better come home now. I need to go to the hospital". Could there be any worse words to hear? I asked him what was wrong, though I inherently knew. There's only one thing that would cause him enough pain in 60 minutes that he needed a trip to the ER. KIDNEY STONE.

For those of you that don't know, Steve's battled kidney stones most of his life. We were only engaged the last time he was hopsitalized for one. His kidneys are lined with bunches of little stones that hang out until they are big enough to drop off and hopefully pass. In the nearly 12 years we've been married, I have lost count of the number of stones he's passed...some more difficult than others and 2 just THIS WEEK.

Anyway, because of where I work, we chose to drive all the way in to Centennial Medical Center where I had just been only a month ago for the stomach bug. As with me, they took him right back and did a CT scan which showed a 6mm by 10mm jelly-bean sized kidney stone lodged in the middle of the ureter (I think). That size of a stone is clearly not going to pass on it's own. They drugged him up good and admitted him in the hospital. Luckily, Rachel was kind enough to keep Jenna at her house overnight so that I did not have to worry about taking her to the ER. Good thing seeing that we were admitted! I slept on one of those pull-out chair/couch things which wasn't very comfortable. I think we got in the room about 1:30 and by the time I laid down it was 2:08 because I checked the clock on my cell. Even though the nurses didn't bother Steve much in the night, I barely slept because every time I heard him move, I'd wake up to make sure he was OK. It was like having a newborn all over again!

The doctor on call came in about 6am and said they'd scheduled him for surgery this morning but since there was no "schedule" per se on the weekends, it was first come first serve and there were 4 others in front of him. They came to get him about 10:40 and by 1:00 he was done with surgery and by 1:30 he was back in the room. The lithotripsy suite (or team) is not there on the weekends, so they inserted a stent to expand the ureter and relieve the excruciating pain. They thought if the stone had moved down to the bottom of the ureter already, they might be able to grab it and remove it. No such luck. It's still firmly in place exactly where it was during the CT scan. While the stent relieves the pain, inserting the stent is not fun especially for a man. If you don't know what that involves and are curious, go to webmd and search for kidney stones.

They came in and released us to go home about 8:45pm tonight. I had picked Jenna up as soon as they took Steve into holding for surgery. She was SO good considering she was cooped up in a hospital room for about 8 or 9 hours. Steve is in bed and Jenna has crashed (she had a late night last night with Hannah!) and I'm going fast. I just had to post so that everyone would send up a quick prayer for us in the next few days. We have to call the urologist on Monday to schedule another x-ray and then the actual lithotripsy. I'm praying that it can be done early in the week as possible. Steve worries about missing lots of work and let's be honest, we all just want this done and over with so that we can move on.

I have more to say...I have to tell you about all the ways God showed Himself to me the last 24 hours. You wouldn't believe some of the things and I can't wait to share. God has had His hand on us every step of the way...

OK, I'm tired...going to bed now. :) More tomorrow when I'm more lucid.


A Taylor Update

Just thought I'd check in with everyone and update on what's going on with me.

First of all, I had a weigh in yesterday. I had a vendor meeting from 9:00-1:00 and my WW meeting is at 11:00 and our break for lunch wasn't until 11:30, so all I had time to do is run in and weigh and leave. Of course, the meeting was going on, but the helper weighed me in. Since I was sick a few weeks ago, I haven't done that well with eating. I just started exercising again and I'm only walking. I gained .8lbs last week and I was expecting it. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't more of a gain. But I digress...

So, I go weigh in and I'm in a hurry and whispering about having to weigh in at a WW center last week yada, yada. She tells me to hop up on the scales which I reluctantly do and she nods, I get down and she starts scribbling on the tracker and calculating my gain. But. It wasn't a gain. I was amazed, but I lost another 1.2 lbs! I promise, this is such a God thing. He must just know that I need that weekly encouragement! But with the gain from last week, I'm down 13.4 total pounds! YAY!

Work life is crazy busy. My manager's wife had her 3rd baby (girl) yesterday afternoon so it's even crazier. I'm at a crossroads in my career and it's a self-imposed crossroads. I go through this periodically, trying to figure out where I want to be in the next 2-3 years etc.

Steve and Jenna are both doing well. Jenna just got her 3rd 9-weeks report card and is doing FABULOUS! She is right on target on most everything. She has reached the reading level that you are supposed to be at when you LEAVE pre-1st, so we are working hard to get her past that so she can be a little ahead when she goes into first grade. We are going to work hard the last few weeks of school and then of course during the summer, so I think we can do it. Although, it saddens me that we'll leave her pre-1st teacher. This woman is just amazing. I don't know how else to describe her. She is definitely one-of-a-kind and exactly what these kids needed.

I'm going scrapbooking on Friday night and try to get caught up a little more. I'm looking forward to it.

That's about it...will keep you posted...

A call to help

My friend Leigh Ann went on a mission trip to India recently. I can truly say that it has changed her forever. Please read and if you feel led to help, I encourage you to do so. If you are interested in what Leigh Ann did while in India, the link to her blog is here on my site and she is a fabulous writer.

Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you know, I recently had the privilege of traveling to Hyderabad, India, on a mission journey with eight other members of my church. My experience there was more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined, and I saw God moving in powerful ways. The people of this amazing country are burned into my heart, and I pray that God never allows the passion I have for them to fade.

One day while we were there, we visited a village church where I met a little boy named Ramu. He seemed about my oldest son's age, probably around 9. The pastor that we were with told us that his name was Ramu, and that he had been blind since birth. His father died a few years back, and his mother is suffering from tuberculosis. We had an opportunity to pray for this family and this precious child, but I had to pull away from the prayer time because I was so overcome with grief. The look of fear on this child's face was unlike anything I have ever seen, and the look of sheer desperation on his mother's was more than I could bear. They so earnestly wanted us to bring healing that day, and we couldn't.

Since that time, Ramu's face has never been far from my thoughts. Through talking with some of the local ministers, I found out that he is a candidate for corneal transplants, and there is a great possibility that his sight could be restored. I wrote about this experience on my blog from India, and my dear friend Dana immediately jumped on it and asked why we couldn't raise money for his treatment. I was overwhelmed by her readiness to do this for a child she had never met, and it filled my heart with a determination to pursue helping Ramu.

All I know at this point is that the initial testing and hospital stay is going to cost $1250. I still don’t know the exact cost of the actual surgery. But even if it's double that number to get it done, I feel like it's easily doable. We all have so much, and if we each give even a little, great things can be done.

I know that you all get hit up for money constantly for one thing or another, so I hope this doesn't just get lost in the shuffle. I completely understand if you can't give right now, but please join me in prayer that a miracle will be done in Ramu's precious life. You can read more about my experience with him at http://leighannswords.blogspot.com/2008/02/namaste-last-day-was-such-long-one-that.html, and I'm attaching a picture of Ramu so you can see him for yourself. He's such a beautiful boy.

Please pray about this. If you feel the Lord leading you to give, please write out a check to Brentwood Baptist Church or BBC, and put the words “India Fund: Ramu” on the memo line. You can drop this off at the church or mail it to Jamie Bennett, c/o Brentwood Baptist Church, 7777 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027. Please do this as soon as you are able to so that we can get the ball rolling. The pastor of the church knows that we are attempting to raise money for him, and he is very eager to see how the Lord provides. What an incredible opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.

If, by God’s grace, we raise more money than we actually need for Ramu, please be assured that what is leftover will go to help take care of his mother’s ongoing medical treatment with tuberculosis, and any other needs that could be met in that sweet church. Their building is supposed to be complete by the end of this month, and a church dedication service is planned for March 31st. I so wish I could be there to see it.

Thank you in advance for giving this careful consideration. I know the Lord will bless you for it!

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:18-19

In His Love,
Leigh Ann


He is Risen!

Happy Easter everyone! We are up and have already been to the sunrise service at church. How awesome! The music was fabulous as usual. We sang "He Lives" which is a song my mother absolutely loved. I remember hearing her whistle the tune all the time. I hadn't thought about that song probably since she passed away. It really got to me in a way that other reminders of her haven't in a long time. All I could think about is that she is sitting up there with Jesus celebrating what today means and the sacrifice He made for each of us.

Jenna looked so beautiful in her Easter dress and as always, the Easter bunny was good to her! We are home now and I'm ready for a nap. Steve is playing in the orchestra in all the services this morning, so it will be close to noon before he gets home. I have laundry to fold, put away and iron but other than that, I am just going to relax. I went ahead and bought groceries last night after getting back from Gage's party, so there's not much left to do today. I'll try to upload pictures a little later.

My hope for each of you is that today you know that there is a risen Lord and that He is a God that pursues you. As my pastor, Mike, said today, we do not have to 'come' to God. The Good News is that God has come to us!




One year ago today, my precious baby grandson, Gage, entered this world and life has not been the same since!

Today is his actual birthday but tomorrow is his party and I can't wait to see him!

Ah, what a difference a year makes!

Happy birthday sweet baby boy! Mimi loves you!

Ahhhh...Spring Break!

Gotta love spring break!

I didn't get to enjoy Monday-Wednesday of this week, but I was able to take off yesterday and today to spend with Jenna.

Yesterday, my friend Kylene came to visit. If you will recall, she moved to Alabama about this time last year and we have not seen each other much. She brought her daughters Mady and Shelby to play with Jenna and we just had a fabulous time! Shelby's not quite one yet, so she didn't do much playing with them, but the older girls had a good time. And of course, in the selfish way, it was wonderful for Kylene and I because we had time to catch up after 7 months of just sporadic conversation via short emails. It was rather sad because after they left, Jenna and I were sitting on the couch watching TV and Jenna asked if when I was a little girl and my friends left, did I ever feel lonely? And of course, I told her I did and knew exactly how she felt.

Anyway, we went and had lunch at McDonald's playland and the girls played some. I always enjoy when we go there with friends because Jenna enjoys it so much more. We came back and the girls played a little more and then finally they had to leave. Jenna and I watched the Nativity Story, which I know we are one holiday off, but we'd had it from Netflix for quite some time and I just could not find the time to watch it.

I'm glad we got to do it though because I'd never seen it and it was wonderful to watch the birth of the Savior right here during Holy Week. Once that was over, Steve was home, so I got up and cooked dinner. It was nice to have dinner all fixed and eaten by 6pm.

Once we finished dinner, we went and did some shopping for Gage's party on Saturday and stopped at Lowe's. And of course, at Target, we picked up Wii Play for the Wii which Jenna and I played until bedtime!

On the schedule today is getting the laundry started, making the menu and grocery list for the weekend, wrapping birthday gifts, coloring eggs and getting ready to go see Horton Hears a Who tonight. And, who knows what else we might find to get into!!! :)

One last exciting thing was that we booked our flight to Tampa the other night. I had received an email from my friend Carrie talking about how flight costs were going to skyrocket soon with the increase in gas prices. I'm still looking for someone to buy my Delta voucher, but for now, at least the cruise is taken care of!


Need your help...

I'm feeling a bit needy lately...

Here's the deal...when Steve was trying to get home from Moldova, due to all the issues they had with flight delays etc., he was given a voucher worth $400 from Delta airlines. As most of you know, we are planning a cruise in August which departs from Tampa, FL. Unfortunately, Delta does not fligh direct to Tampa. You have to make at least one stop with at least an hour layover. Even with our $400 voucher, the round-trip flights are going to cost an arm and a leg for all 3 of us.

Last night, I spent most of the evening on the PC trying 100 different combinations of driving and flying to get to and from Tampa and so far, everything I've tried has come out way more expensive.

I can get 3 round-trip air tickets straight in to Tampa on Southwest for $658. SOOOOOO......I'm wondering if anyone out there might be willing to buy these vouchers from me. I know that giving me $400 in exchange for $400 worth of paper for airline tickets holds no value for you, the potential buyer. I'm hoping you'll do it out of the kindness of your heart! I was going to put it up on ebay or craigslist, but first of all, I'm not entirely sure how the exchange would work AND I am not sure I could trust a buyer and they probably wouldn't know whether they could trust me. But with family and friends or even someone that you know personally, I think we'd all feel more comfortable than with a complete stranger!

I'd love for someone to tell me they'll give me $400 for the vouchers, but I'll take $350 and that's like getting a $50 off coupon! I really want to book those Southwest tickets soon because they are such a good prices. Ultimately, if I can't find anyone to buy them, well...I'm not sure what we'll do. I haven't gotten that far yet. :)



It's official!

Effective at 7:20am today, I became an official "Wii Waiter"!!! We knew that the Super Target in Spring Hill would have a shipment of Wiis this morning, but we didn't know how many.

When I asked the guys in Target what time they opened, they said 8am, followed by "good luck". Uh. OK. Steve set the alarm at 7am and promptly rolled back over when it went off. I laid there a few minutes wondering how I would explain to Jenna that we were too lazy to get out of bed and even try to get one. So, I went ahead, got dressed and headed to Target.

I had already decided if there was a line around the building that I would NOT be waiting. I got there and there were at least 50 cars in the parking lot. However, when I got closer, I figured out, it must be cars of all the workers because there were just a few people standing in line at the door. It was about 7:20 and 37 degrees out according to the truck's thermometer. I went up right behind an older man and his young teen son. There were three guys already there sitting on the Target bench, another man sitting on the ground, the father and son in front of me and me. I was the only woman in line, thank you very much.

I'm not sure who I expected to be in line with, but I was pleasantly surprised. I imagined there would be young men scalpers waiting to snatch the last Wii right before I could get one. But these guys, while young, were married and EXTREMELY funny, which made waiting all the more easy. If I had thought, I would have gotten out my camera and taken a picture of my fellow Wii Waiters. I have no idea what their names were or anything about them. All I know is that they wanted a Wii bad enough to come out at 7am (some earlier) on a Sunday morning to get one.

Anyway, as we were waiting, a Target worker came and as she was waiting on the manager to open the door for her, she asked if we were all waiting for a Wii. She said at Christmas, she did the same thing for her son and would be like number 4 in line and they'd only have 3...that's when I started to panic. I was number 6 in line and had no idea how many they would get in. I had heard the stories of "shipments" coming in just to find there are only 3 or 4 in the shipment.

About 15 till 8am, the manager came to the door, made sure we were truly Wii Waiters and started to hand out the golden tickets! OK, they weren't really golden, they were on red Target paper, but to those of us in line, they were GOLDEN! As the manager said, once you had a ticket, you were guaranteed a Wii, so there was no use in running or being crazy once they let us in. Now, mind you, I had been waiting in the cold since 7:20am and was number 6. It wasn't until about the time they started handing out the number that anyone else got in line behind me. So, I could have waited until 7:45 and still been good. At the point that I got into the store and was waiting on my Wii, they'd only handed out 10 tickets and they had 25 Wiis (I was told, I never actually saw all the Wiis...guess they have them under lock and key!)

They took two at a time, checked them out and then that was it. I was around the corner checking out other Wii accessories when I heard the "WOOOOOOHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" from #1 Wii Waiter who was the funny guy in line. The rest of us Wii Waiters laughed and cheered as he left Target with his Wii. Before I knew it, they called number 6 and I went forward to claim my prize. It took all of 30 seconds to check out (using my $5 off Target card) and that was it.

I walked out of Super Target in Spring Hill at 8:14am a proud Wii Owner, graduating from my short stay as a Wii Waiter.

I know probably nobody else really cares about this type thing, but for someone who minored in Sociology, this whole Wii experience was right up my alley. Looking at these other Waiters and wondering about them, their lives and how different we all were, yet life had brought us together for the same reason. It was truly a Breakfast Club moment. The #1 Waiter was somewhat of a Harley guy...Harley boots, chain, long hair in a pony tail, but otherwise clean cut. Then #3 Waiter was young, but already married, no kids. #5 was the man and his son. Behind me was an older lady (than me), and then behind her was a lady in her mid 60s I would guess getting a Wii for the senior center. How different we were...but all laughing and talking as if we were friends.

I walked out with the father and son who wished me a good day with my Wii. I'll probably never seen any of these folks again, although even if I did, I probably wouldn't recognize them or realize where I knew them from...

It was an interesting experience to say the least. And I'd sit and tell you more about it but Steve just finished hooked up the Wii, and so, well....you know...I gotta go. :)


Cruise-Shore Excursions...any advice?

OK, for all my readers out there, I need your tips and advice. We are going on a cruise this summer to the Caribbean. We will visit Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Island Roatan. I was told that I am able to book our shore excursions in about a month, so today I got online (been online about 2 hours!) to get an idea of what there is to choose from.

And I think I made myself more confused. First of all, there's so much to choose from, especially on Grand Cayman. Secondly, we have to choose something that Jenna (who will be 7 by that time) can/will enjoy.

Soooooooo....here are my questions to any of you who have ever been on a cruise either to these islands or somewhere else...

*What is a must see? Has anyone been to Stingray City on Grand Cayman?

*Would you book your excursions through the cruise line or through a local vendor? Last time we cruised (it's been 10 years!), we just booked everything through the cruise line because we didn't know better. This time, I was on Trip Advisor reading some reviews and saw where lots of people book their excursions and tours outside the cruiseline and it is a lot cheaper. I just wondered if anyone had any experience with this?

I know a bunch of you have cruised, some of you are pros...I'm just curious because any way I can save a buck, I'm going to!

Just email me if you don't want to post a comment. Any advice is appreciated. Even if you can point me to a good website talking about making the most of your cruise, that is great. After all, at this rate, it might be another 10 years before we cruise again!



Lucky number 13!

So, I had my first weigh in at Weight Watchers today. I had no idea what to expect because while I was sick, I also haven't tracked what I was eating in 2 weeks. I was hoping to at least maintain.

Well, I am happy to report that I lost 2.6 pounds!!! I am down a lucky 13 pounds! I was so excited! I have someone every day that I am looking thinner and they don't read this blog, so I know they aren't cheating! I have just a few more pounds to reach my 10% goal and when I do, I have to select my REAL goal...so that will be interesting.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who are such wonderful supporters and cheerleaders! You are keeping me going and that's worth more than what I can put into words!

Oh, and a very quick thanks to everyone who ordered magazines. If you ordered and didn't tell me, please let me know because I didn't get any reports of who ordered. Carrie-I know about you...thank YOU and enjoy your guilty pleasure!



Fun while it lasted...

I guess I had one good day and that was Saturday. Well, Friday was OK too, but by Sunday, I was sick again. Luckily, it wasn't the stomach virus sick from last week, but it was what I affectionately term, "the crud". It's what us Tennesseans get when the weather is 60 one day, 40 the next and then snowing 4 inches a day later. It started as a sore throat (probably caused by drainage) and now my voice is almost gone. I did go to the clinic at work today and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and severe allergies. DUH. I got an antibiotic to get rid of the infection and they told me to take Mucinex D for the drainage. I started feeling better a couple hours after taking it, but I have to drink about a gallon of water because it's such a strong decongestant. Tonight, I'm feeling a little better (about 75%), but the voice is nearly gone.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. And I'm definitely looking forward to better days ahead.



Back Among the Living-Just in Time for a Snow Day!

I finally feel like I am truly back among the living just in time for a wonderful snow day! The snow started earlier than we expected last night and we were out in it. It was touch and go driving for a while. We passed a car slid off on it's top on I-65 on the way home. Because of the way the front was moving, the southwest got the snow first and so "the hill" was pretty dense. But we got home fine and at 7am, Jenna came running in all aflutter about the snow. We managed to stay inside until about 9 and then we all bundled up and went out. Even though it was freezing, the wind wasn't blowing and so it didn't feel as cold and so we shed quite a few layers after a while.I guess this was probably the most snow Jenna had seen in her short life. It's probably one of just a few good snows I actually remember. The best was the snow about 5 years ago that dumped 10 inches on us! This time, we got a good 4 inches!Our first order of business was to build a snowman. The snow was great packing snow, but it's clear we don't live in a snowy portion of the country because our snowman looks more like a cone head than a Frosty. But Jenna did a lot to make this snow man and Steve and I really worked ourselves to get him looking good. Unfortunately, Frosty fell forward on his face as the sun rose and is slowly melting away already. Gotta love Tennessee weather!

After the roads had melted, we went out on a few errands. After my scrapbooking retreat, I wanted a desk light with a full spectrum bulb and I had gotten this idea for my scrapbooking room. I wanted something like a 2x2 with hooks on it in which I could hang my sticker protectors. So, off to Lowe's we went. I picked out the 2x2, then the pink spray paint and golden hooks. Brought it all home, put a couple coats of paint on the 2x2 and showed Steve what I had in mind and voila! Here it is. I have only hung up one of the protectors yet because I'm sorting through my stickers. There are some that I've had since I started scrapbooking and I'm giving those to Jenna to play with. I still have a fair amount of baby stickers I was holding onto in case I were to get pregnant again and so I'm pulling those out and putting them aside for Gage's book (if I ever get around to starting it). I didn't get very far in the organization, but you can at least see what I've done to the room. I think the pink compliments the green walls and I can't wait to get some pictures and other accessories to go in there.

Let's see...couple other exciting things...my friend Angela emailed me last week to announce she is expecting baby #2! She is such a fabulous aunt to her nieces and nephews and now a great mom to her son that I am totally stoked that she is pregnant again! In other baby news, my friend Farrah had her baby boy a week ago Thursday. She and her husband (and family and friends) are totally excited. I have to go see her as soon as I feel that this stomach bug is totally out of my system. I still have to take her a baby gift and now she's got a nice order of scrapbooking stuff I need to deliver.

Finally, tomorrow the new Super Target in "the hill" opens. I cannot wait! Just to think that I will have no more than a 5 minute drive to a Super Target (the only one in Middle Tennessee) is about more than I can stand! Next weekend, the Kohl's opens. Then, soon to follow, Books A Million, a multiplex theatre, an already opened Logans and Cracker Barrell...there's so many stores coming that I can't even name them all, but I will not have to leave the hill for anything other than work and church (and that might not even be for long!).

OK, I think I'm only about 95% back to capacity, so I'm beat after my romp in the snow today. Jenna is asleep on the couch with me and Steve is watching TV in our bedroom (which probably means he's asleep too. We lose an hour tonight with the change to daylight savings time, but it will be so nice to have an extra hour of daylight too.

Stay warm!


Magazine Sale...Over tomorrow March 7

For those of you that are infamous procrastinators, I forgot to add that Jenna's magazine sale ends tomorrow, March 7. After that, you can still order, but she will not get credit for it. Should have mentioned that in the first post, but just forgot.

As for me, I am feeling better. The stomach upset is definitely gone. I'm still battling a dizziness of sorts and I'm unsure if that is leftover dehydration symptoms or something different. And then I also have a pretty bad headache hanging around at the base of my head in the back. I did make it in to work this morning, but by noon, I was pooped out. I picked Jenna up from school and came on home with the intention to not sleep, but just rest and relax. Well, about 30 minutes on the couch and I was snoozing away. I'm up now trying to stay awake...it's harder than I thought it would be. I'm about to see if Jenna will come read to me and see if that will keep me awake.


A trip to the ER

Well, last night, I made a trip to the emergency room. I was feeling "OK" all day, but slept most of the day. No huge trips to the bathroom which was good and I kept down a few bites of food all day. About 8:30pm I took an Immodium to try and calm my stomach which was rolling still and then a Tylenol PM to help me rest since I'd slept almost all day. About 10pm, I rolled over in bed and even with my eyes closed, I felt like I was being spun all around. I opened my eyes and the room was spinning like crazy. It was the craziest feeling. Then I started to get really hot. And I knew I was about to pass out. I tried to sit up and Steve got the trashcan. Luckily, I never passed out all the way and I never got sick. I did have to run to the bathroom though. I just felt really bad at that point, so we just went on.

We dropped Jenna off at Steve's mom's house on the way. Bless her heart, she took it all in stride. The folks in the ER were nice and my nurse was super nice. They got me on a IV bag full of fluids and some Phenergan for the nausea. About 30 minutes afte that, I got sick again (go figure), so they gave me Zofran. That worked well, but it made me double tired but then I felt like I had to move every 20 seconds. My mouth was just so dry. Anyway, once the lab work came back it showed that everything was fine except for my potassium which was low. They sent me home with a prescription and the movement of the ride home, put me right to sleep. I guess we got home about 2am and I crashed and didn't wake up until about 11am. I've slept nearly all day but am feeling much better, just extremely fatigued.

I am thinking I might get up and try to shower here in a bit. I anticipate going back to work tomorrow if I can, so you guys keep me in your prayers...


I'm sick

There's not much to say except that. This time, it's the worst kind, if you know what I mean. I guess it started last night after dinner, my stomach was just feeling "blah". You know the feeling...not really hurting, but just "blah". So, I turned in a little early and at midnight, I got up to go to the bathroom and it hit. I was in there a while and then had to get the trashcan. Oh, what fun. This went on for 4 hours or so. Back and forth bathroom to bed. Clearly I didn't make it in to work. And until now, I didn't have the energy to even log on so my out of office at work wasn't on and my voice mail didn't reflect I was out. I have literally been in bed all day long. Most of the bad stuff stopped about 4am and in between sleeping, I've had a little diet Coke, a couple of Jenna's popscicles, some grapes and crackers. My stomach is growling so I know I'm hungry, but nothing sounds good. Steve and Jenna are on their way home with some gatorade and such, so that will make me better. :) I missed my Weight Watchers meeting today which is a pity because after last night, I'm sure I dropped a few pounds! Isn't it awesome how God works?! :) Seriously, I would NOT recommend this as a weight loss plan.

My last comment is that it is a true loving husband that will clean a vomit-filled trashcan just so his wife can mess it up again! God love him!


Fundraiser for Jenna

Hello everyone! It's that time again for school fundraisers. This time it is a magazine sale. I always order and renew my magazines through this fundraiser, because it's nearly always cheaper than doing it the regular way.

This year, the school is going GREEN and so everything is online. Rather than emailing all my friends and family and begging them to buy, I'm posting it here and hoping that some of you will support here. At least doing it this way, it feels less like an obligation than a personal email.

OK, so if you are interested, go to www.dlcs.lipscomb.edu and there is a link that will take you directly to a form that gives our school credit for your purchase. You'll have to register, but then you can select what you want online and pay right there. Or if you prefer, go to www.qsp.com and click the link that says something like "Just shopping". Make sure that "David Lipscomb Campus School" is selected and that you enter Jenna Grace Taylor as the student you are supporting so that she can get credit.

If you aren't into magazine, but still want to support the school, you might be interested in the music that QSP has for sale. And if that doesn't interest you, you can contribute to the DLCS Annual Fund. A donation of $20 will equal one subscription purchase. If you are interested in this, let me know or go to the school website to get more information about donating.

Thank you all so much for your support!

Fun weekend!

I had such a great weekend! I took off at noon (ish) on Thursday and about 3pm, we headed to a state park just a little south of us. "Us", being Rachel and I. Thursday night, we scrapbooked until after midnight. Friday, we made it to 2am and then last night, we turned in at 1am. No morning were we later than 9am getting started. It was marvelous! We do this every Spring and Fall and it is by far one of the things we look forward to for months. I'm sad that it's over now. And I have to wait until October to go again! But we both got so much done. Rachel is actually quite nearly caught up, so I may be scrapbooking alone for a while!

I am sure Tuesday will be a sad weigh in day because when we are there, they bring in dinner and lunch and there's not much to choose from. I'm sure I gained at least a pound back. I might go run/walk tomorrow and try to get it off before weigh in!

Micah and Gage came and stayed with Steve this weekend. I got to spend about 2 hours with them when I got home this afternoon. After scrapbooking some old pictures this weekend which included the kids, I was feeling a little homesick to see Micah. And of course, you know how much I love seeing my baby boy! I got some good pictures, but I have not had any time to post them.

OK, that's about it for a while. I am about to post a little about Jenna's upcoming magazine fundraiser, so stay tuned...