Friday, May 29, 2009

GeoWoodstock VII-Bell Buckle, TN

Just a few of the Geocachers in Attendance!
(we're in the back, near the stage!)

So, our family was wonderful enough to grant Mike and I a whole 5 days, 4 nights to get away without the kids. It was great and a much needed break and stress reliever. After the concert on Thursday night, we drove down to Nashville on Friday. The drive was terrible. Ok, it wasn't that bad but Dayton/Cincinnati was awful! We were waylaid an additional 3 hours just because of the traffic in that area. It's a good thing that Nashville is in Central Time or else we would have missed a special meeting with our bosses at Groundspeak.

We cached around our hotel Saturday morning, had lunch at my favorite restaurant, Cheddar's, and then headed over to the big event! I'm not sure what I was expecting, but within 30ft of leaving our vehicle, we were accosted by our good friend Sharon (from TN) and the familiar names and faces kept coming throughout the remainder of the day. Our friends from Panama City Beach, FL were well represented, some new friends from Alabama and of course all of our MI geocaching comrades. The local newspaper was reporting that there were close to 7,000 Geocachers in attendance! That blows my mind! Did a lot of caching around the event, went to a Flash Mob Event at 7pm and then to the Coin Event @ 10pm. That's 3 events in one day! Wild!

Sunday morning we headed into downtown Nashville to do some more caching and pick up some Web-cam and virtual caches in and around Vanderbilt University. Deane and Linda met up with us for lunch and we hit a bunch more before we needed to headNorth to Indianapolis. We spent the night there and then back home on Monday. I think we logged about 60 regular caches, 9 Virtuals, 3 Web-Cam and 3 Events, equaling about 75 caches for the weekend. Not bad, considering we didn't feel like we did any caching at all! It was fun, and that's the best compliment!

Next year they are having GeoWoodstock near Seattle, WA and we are already in the planning stages on how to get there, how long to stay and what to do! It's over the July 4th weekend next year, which would be a great time to travel! I guess we should start saving our pennies now!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Face 2 Face

23,000! That's the number of people sitting around us at the most awesome concert I have ever been to! Mike and I have seen Elton John in concert 2 other times and they were both fantastic shows, but nothing like this show. The band(s) were great, especially when they were combined together. The piano playing was so extraordinary, it made you want to take lessons ASAP! Elton and Billy's level of performance was beyond my expectations. The Palace was rocking-for over 3 1/2 hours! Yes, you read it correctly! No opening act and no intermission. Just 3+ hours of serious music mastery. I'm not sure that I will ever get the chance to see anything like that again in my lifetime. So still gives me the chills!

It was a great gift to each other for our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary-we really had a wonderful time, great seats, an easy drive over and our hotel was super close to the arena. That was last Thursday night and then we left Auburn Hills Friday morning, heading down to Nashville, TN for a super huge Geocaching Event. More on that tomorrow....stay tuned!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yes, Doctor?

Time for a little health update, for those who are following it or care. I think that I will start with the recovery from Guillain-Barré (GBS) and let you know that everything is going very well. I have function back in every part of my body, and my strength seems to increase daily. The only area that I have noticeable trouble with are my arms and hands. It's very difficult for me to open things or lift any heavy loads. There is no pain, only a pronounced weakness. Fatigue is also a problem but it's manageable.

I saw the Hematologist on Friday and I was really hoping that she would take me off the blood thinners, once and for all. No such luck. Although I still may have some small blood clots or P.E.'s remaining in my lungs, she isn't that concerned about them causing any additional problems. However, she is making me stay on them until at least September, and here is why...

I have been having considerable amounts of pain in my skin/muscle tissue, especially in my upper arms, neck/shoulders, and lower legs. There is no pain associated with their movement, like arthritis or a pulled muscle. Touch and pressure are my problems. Just a small finger poke in the arm feels like someone punched me really hard. It sucks. Some days are better than others, and some days are terrible. Just having the girls sit on my lap can hurt. So, my GP sent me in to have some tests done (yippee) and low-and-behold, 3 tests came back positive.
  1. SED Rate was high, which a test that measures inflammation in the body. 20 mm/h and under is allowable or normal for women under 55. Mine was 45. Twice.
  2. ANACHOICE-Titer also came back positive. Twice. This is a test that they use to test for things like Lupus. Uh-oh...
  3. Vitamin D levels were almost non-existent. Not good, either. Dr. said that they were the second lowest he has ever seen...
So, now I get to have even more extensive tests done and have super fun times with a Rheumatologist. I mean, for Pete's sake, what the heck is going on? I was FINE!!!! Now, since last February, everything seems up-side-down. On the positive side, my spirits are good, my weight continues to drop and I'm getting out more often. Mike has been very supportive, given all the drama that I've caused in the past 15 months. Hopefully, this new issue is nothing major, maybe just my body telling me to get off the blood thinners, and I can move on without any further major health concerns. Hopefully... :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New, News & More News

First order of business is the situation regarding the renting of the old house. We were able to get the home ready for rental on Monday and the listing went up on Tuesday, the 12th. Our rental agent said that it should take less than 1 month to get good renters so we were excited about forward a whole 2 days to Thursday....we get a call that we have renters, a signed 2 year Lease and they are moving in mid-June. Holy smokes! That's friggin' awesome!

We finally have had a few moments to actually work on the new house, which has been a lot of fun.
  • Mike and I worked on putting up window treatments today in the kitchen/eating area and the living room.
  • We installed a new coat hook area in the hall leading out to the garage.
  • We fixed the kids tire swing (the rope was broken) and added another swing/seat/pancake-looking-thing to their playset.
  • Mike installed a light fixture and ceiling fan in the formal dining room.
  • Hung a picture in the eating area of the kitchen.
  • Installed a new light fixture in the Master Bedroom-still looking for a mirror....hmmm
  • Put up new numbers on our mailbox so people can actually find our house and house numbers on the outside of the house itself.
  • I actually found the kitchen table today, which was my biggest accomplishment by far. Yes, it was located in the kitchen where it belonged, you just couldn't see it under all the papers, tools, kids artwork and other treasured junk. Surprise! :)
  • I'm sure there's more but those are the main things and I'm total happy with that!
We took the girls to a Bounce Party! birthday party this afternoon as well, and had a ton of fun there. The kids keep asking when we can go back...I told them they are going to have to wait until some other kid invites them! I do see now where they have open bounce times...ok, well maybe we can go back again some time. It was fun...

Then Mike and I had the opportunity to out with a friend of mine and her hubby to The Green Well, which we have never been to before. Great atmosphere, food was fantastic and company superb. What more could I ask for? Well....

Tomorrow we get to get away again with my sister and brother-in-law for an early afternoon showing of Angels&Demons! I can't remember the last time we have all had the chance to see a movie together. I tried to remember earlier and I *think* it was Pirates of the Caribbean 3? Now that was a long time ago! Sheeesh...

And to top it all off, Mike is whisking me away on Thursday night to the Palace of Auburn Hills to see Elton John & Billy Joel in concert! Followed by us leaving from our hotel Friday morning and driving to Nashville, TN to attend the world's largest Geocaching Event-GeoWoodstock! We will be down there Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, then coming home Monday evening. Can you believe it?! Almost 5 days without the kids!!!! It will be the longest we have been away from the girls since they've been born, and although we are going to miss them a ton, we can't wait to spend some quality time just the two of us...and a couple thousand of our closest geocaching friends! Ha ha ha ....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Last Day of Preschool

Lauren, J.J., Alayna, Mrs. Anderson, Nic, Karlie and Tara

Today is the last day of 3 Year Old Preschool for the girls. I have to admit that I'm a little sad that the year went by so fast, that they are growing up so quickly and that I'm losing 5 hours of alone time per week. Overall, I think that the girls both excelled in school and loved every minute of it. Their teacher, Mrs. Anderson, was fantastic and their small class size was definitely a bonus. I know that Lauren and Tara will both miss going to Messiah Lutheran but I have no doubt that they will have just as much fun and growth next fall in Kentwood's Preschool program.

On that note, it's strange that since the girls were born in January, they will be some of the oldest kids in their class. The cut off for Kindergarten is December 1st. Many of their 4 year old friends will be heading to Kindergarten in the Fall, but the girls will have to put in another year of Preschool instead. I don't know whether this is a good thing or not. I feel like they will be better prepared for K than younger children might, but I also worry that they will be bored out of their minds. I guess only time will tell...

The girls both loved Mrs. Anderson!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's Your Day, Mommy!

A very happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Grandma's, mom's and soon-to-be mother's out there! Even though I'm working hard today, I can still appreciate that there is a whole day dedicated solely to the celebration of motherhood. I know that I have been blessed several times over, not just by my own mother and grandmothers, but also by other women who know that being a great Mom isn't just about raising your own children.

The girls each picked out a Rose plant for the new gardens and gave them to me today. So sweet! They also made little plaques with their hand prints at school and hand-made cards, which was the first of many, I'm sure! I love being a mother...their smiles each morning remind me how lucky I am each time I hear one of their little voices calling, "Mom!". It's one of my favorite words!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

After All These Years...

Today, Mike and I are celebrating our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary. It's a great day outside today, much better than our actual wedding day-where it spitted rain drops all day, gray clouds filled the sky and the breeze was strong. It seems so long ago and then again, like only yesterday.
I have so much that I want to say but I think I'd rather just say those words to my husband personally.

I can tell you this, I have been blessed in so many ways, but my greatest blessing was meeting this man and getting to spend the rest of my life with him. I love you, Mike.

A faded wedding photograph, you and me in our first dance
Our eyes are closed,we're lost in one sweet embrace
Since those days the world has changed
Our love remains the same
God knows we've had our share of saving grace

And I'm proud of all the blessings you have given me
The mountains we have climbed to get this far
You learn to take the laughter with the tears
After all these years

You make it feel brand new
After the fires that we've walked through
Against the odds we never lost our faith

In a house we'll make our own
Where our children all will grow
Precious moments time can not erase

Made a living up and down the gypsy highway
Seasons that we've had to share apart
Somehow in my heart I always keep you near
After all these years

After all these years
You stood by me
The days and nights that I was gone
After all these years
You sacrificed, believed in me
And you stood strong
Cause with our love there's nothing left to fear
After all these years
Journey 2008

Monday, May 4, 2009

Almost there...almost...there...

With lots of help again this weekend, we were able to finish moving almost everything out of the old house, garage and shed. All that's left is some wood and trim, our sheet-metal brake and some trash. The house needs to be cleaned, although my sister has done a lot of work there already and I should have most of it cleaned by Thursday. We have a little touch-up painting to do and we have to figure out what we want to do with the downstairs Laundry/Bedroom. It needs help. It's the only room in the house that we did not remodel in the 8 years that we lived there. Mike and I are sure to come up with something simple and then we'll be done! Yay!

Now, the new house is a whole other story! Oh, the boxes...and the little things that have yet to be completed. It's driving me batty! I would make a list but I'm afraid that I would get writers cramp! Oh thing at a time, they always say. At least the weather has finally gotten better and with the sun shining through the windows, it gives me extra incentive to keep working so that eventually, I can just go outside with a new book and relax in the warmness.

All in good time.....all in good time....

*On a sad note, Mike and I just received news that a good friend of ours from Mike's days at Western Michigan University has passed away. It was sudden...a car, a tree, no seat belt...they don't mix. I remembering attending her and Steve's wedding in Chicago...such a beautiful girl, so full of life and love. We'll miss you Kelly...