Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trust Fund (From a Third Party)

Here's a great explanation from one of my blog readers/commenters of what a true Trust Fund is supposed to be. I hope that this info will especially help educate those who may be in need of their own financial support someday.

Sometimes you see where people in need (such as fire victims, etc.) have accounts set up to assist them in times of need. They are usually different than a true "trust fund".

A real "trust fund", (and I had one myself when I had my transplant to help with expenses), is put together by a lawyer and it is governed by laws, especially tax laws. I too had to have a Trustee that wrote the checks and decided, according to the rules, what was and what was not a medical expense.

This may seem really strict, but when you have the expenses from a transplant or other major medical event it can truly be a safeguard and lifesaver. Medication expenses from a transplant are huge, but necessary to sustain your life. The fact that you can not use the money for the electric bill or the car payment may seem unfair in some ways, but on the other hand, it makes sure that, if times get tight financially for the person in need, they will have money for their medication and other medical needs. I know of some transplant recipients who when times get tight, will skip some does of anti-rejection medication, and that can and has cost people their life.

The trust fund for many people assures you that even though you may not be able to make your car payment one month, you will still be able to get your much needed medication. Nathan is so true when he mentioned the high costs of the medication. Some months, even with good insurance, my medication co=pays are as much as a house payment.

New Favorite Pic!

Here is one of a series I just posted on my Photo Blog.

Nate

Cozy


Nate

Trust Fund

I think many of you misunderstood me (from reading the comments) when I said in my last post, "And, because I know people will ask, no, we won't use Tricia's trust fund to help buy a house"...nobody had asked, and nobody has tried to tell us how to handle the trust fund except for the people who manage the trust fund for us (called, go figure, "trustees"), In fact, the trust fund itself dictates what it can be used for (and for very good ethical and legal reasons). I specifically mentioned it in my last post because I knew somebody would ask, "Can't you use the trust fund for a house?"

Please, please, please, don't assume things. Again, you only see a small part of the big picture...if, for example, you had any idea how much Tricia's transplant meds are going to cost over the rest of her lifetime, you'd be incredibly unassuming about my last post. The trust fund is accomplishing it's purpose...providing financial support for Tricia Medical Needs Only. I can't use it for anything I want, even if I did want to. I suppose we could find a loophole for a house, but that wouldn't be helpful for us.

I honestly don't know why I even try sometimes...my last post should have simply said, "We're looking to buy a house on the OBX, thanks for your prayers." If I give just a few details about something, people misunderstand and assume crazy stuff...if I give every detail I can think of, the same thing happens. GRRRRR...

I think I know how Duncan Donuts and Rachel Ray might feel today...

And, while we really appreciate the thought, we won't allow anyone to give to us to buy a house. If you're really that zealous about giving, please, consider donating to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or by donating In These Ways I've Mentioned.

Thanks!

Nate

The Next Big Thing

Now that we've got a good idea or when we'll be back home on the OBX, the next big thing for us is to find a house to buy. It's a buyers market on the OBX just like the rest of the country, but it's still incredibly difficult to find something that fits our needs in our price range. Renting is something that has worked well for us in the past, but for several reasons, we really need to go ahead and take the plunge.

We've been saving while looking off and on for nearly two years without much luck. The OBX is a resort community, with one of the highest priced housing markets in the country. Just for kicks, we looked at housing prices here in Durham, and we could easily purchase a brand new house twice as big for about 3/4 the cost as anything even remotely comparable back home.

Because of Tricia's health, as well as Gwyneth's current health, there are some pretty specific needs we have with housing...

> We need something newer that doesn't have the dust and mold, etc. that most older houses have. We wouldn't mind buying something older that needed some renovations, but anything you tear up has the potential of stirring up stuff that wouldn't be good for the girls to be breathing.
> We need something without carpet. Carpet tends to trap all that stuff I mentioned above.
> We'd prefer something that's not on stilts as Tricia will have difficulty walking up stairs when her health is not the best. If you know anything about the OBX, you know this alone will be difficult to find.

Along with the house, we'll also need to purchase some new furniture. Most of what we have (sofas, chairs, mattresses) is very old and used, and carries lots of that bad stuff I mentioned above.

All of the above are things that we've decided to make a priority in our lives. Many transplant patients choose to not take these same precautions, and it's no guarantee that these things will improve Tricia's quality and quantity of life, but it should help.

Anyway, we'd love to have your prayers with us about all of this. We know that God will provide, as He has not yet given us a single reason to doubt Him. We'd love to be in something by the end of the summer, and, in the meantime, we'll be living with my parents (who are excited to have us...but I'm sure would also like us to be out soon as they're trying to sell their house).

(And, because I know people will ask, no, we won't use Tricia's trust fund to help buy a house)

Thanks!

Nate

Another Newspaper Article

If you're anywhere near Murray, KY today, pick up a copy of today's Murray Ledger & Times to read an article about us and Organ Donation.

If you're like me and have no idea where Murray is, you can read part of the article online.

Thanks!

Nate

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Making Herself At Home...

Nate

Inside

BTW, if you're at Duke this month, pick up a copy of their "Inside" monthly newspaper/magazine to read this quick article about us.

Thanks!

Nate

OBX Sentinel Article

If you're near the OBX today, pick up a copy of today's Sentinel for me and read the article about us...if not, check it out Online (under "Top Stories").

Also (at the Sentinel site), scroll down to "Features" and check out "Looking for money to find a cure" to read more about our upcoming Great Strides Walk in September!

Thanks!

Nate

The Countdown Has Begun

Tricia has 4 days of PT to go. The docs told us (a few days ago) that she should be released to go home when she's done. We are expecting to be on the OBX by next weekend!

We're stoked.

I'll keep you posted.

Nate

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

$900+

That's how much the HUGE Yard Sale made over the past two weeks!

Most of the donated items not sold went to the Salvation Army, and a few things are being held to be sold at other fund raisers throughout the year.

A BIG thanks to Amy and Donna and the several volunteers who helped pull it off, and for the many people who donated items! All of the money goes to the CFF to fund the search for a cure!!!

Thanks!

Nate

$983.40

That's how much Lisa Leonard raised for the CFF yesterday! Too cool!!!

Thanks, Lisa, and all those who made a purchase, for helping us find a cure for CF!

Nate

The Story of Us (Part 11)

Nate's Version:
(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10)

Tricia's Version:
(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)

Finally, I got my answer.

We went to the beach together that day after church. I was basically to the point that I was about to burst. Here we were, spending lots of time together, getting to know each other really well, having great fun with each other, but I had no idea where our relationship was heading.

As Tricia and I walked up the dune toward the ocean, I brought up our conversation from a few weeks before, and asked (it probably sounded more like begging) if she had made a decision.

She said she had. She reached for my hand, looked into my eyes (yeah, this is my romantic version) and told me that, as long as I never called her "Pattysue" she thought she would give me chance.

Of course, my heart was racing and I doubt my face could have hidden my happiness if my life depended on it. Of course, I immediately promised to never call her Pattysue again. And, of course, it only took me a few hours to break that promise.

Although I never kept my part of the deal, Tricia did.

And, just as I had told her she would, a few days later she was growing to love me just as I had loved her for so long.

That was seven years ago today (May 27), perhaps even this very minute. The best seven years of Tricia's life!

Mine too!

I love you, Pattysue!!!

Nate

Below is our first picture together later that same week.

Blog Stats

I like taking a look at some blog stats every now and then...they give me a feel for who is checking us out, and they're just kinda fun to look at. This might not interest you at all, but here are some of the more interesting stats about the CFHusband blog...

(These stats are based on a different system than the hit counter over there on the right of the screen, using GoogleAnalytics)

> Less than 8% of visitors only check the blog out one time.

> 26% of visitors have checked the blog out 201+ times.

> The average visitor sticks around for 1 minute 10 seconds per visit.

> White Rose Blooming (2 Weeks) is the most viewed post with 10,601 hits.

> AsherandJacobsFriends.com have sent more hits (19,496) than any other site/blog.

> 128 countries have visited the blog, including Malta, Maldives, and Mauritius (yeah, I had to look that last one up...looks like a nice vacation spot) with 1 hit each.

> Other than the US with unique 669,595 hits, Canada with 30,222 and the United Kingdom with 10,555 have had the most number of hits.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Family Time!

Grandma K
PopPop K
Great Uncle Scott
Aunt Rachel
Uncle Ramon
Grandmommy L
Aunt Misha
Nate

PS. I've also added lots of new Gwyneth Rose pics on my Photo Blog!

Memorial Day

As I was sitting in a waiting room while Tricia was at clinic today, an older man (maybe my grandfather's age) was sitting nearby. He was wearing what looked like an Army hat with a bunch of pins.

After a few minutes (he was sleeping when I walked in), I asked him if he was a veteran. He said he was, and I told him, "Thank you for your service to our country."

He looked a little taken aback for a second, then smiled and said, "Thank you."

He then told me that it was about 20 years after he got out of the service before somebody actually said something like that to him.

That's a horrible thing.

If you are a veteran, or your are/have been military family at one point in time, my family would like to say thank you for all that you have done to keep our country safe and give us the freedoms that we are enjoying today.

God bless you.

Nate

the Gwyneth Rose Necklace

(Bump) Monday, Monday, Monday!

This Monday (May 26/TODAY!), our friend and personal jeweler (haha), Lisa Leonard is going to be donating 20% of all sales ordered from her website today to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!!!

If you're looking for something different and very cool, Check It Out! Below is the piece that she helped me design for Tricia a few months ago!



Thanks, Lisa!!!

Nate

Sunday, May 25, 2008

New Look Website!

Partly because I was up late last night with Gwyneth, partly because I like change, check out the New Look Website!

Didn't know there was more to ConfessionsOfACFHusband.com than just a blog? Me either!

Nate

Blogroll (+1)

Somebody asked me a while back who's on my blogroll. Without telling you everything about myself, here are a few blogs I check out daily (even though I've already mentioned them before)...

> All the blogs of my family (at least those I know are blogging). Check out My Dad, Uncle Andy and BIL Terry if you like church ministry related stuff. Check out my SILs Megan and Janet if you like some very funny stories and insights on family life.

> 65Pounds4Pattysue because 1) he's raising money for the CFF with Tricia as his inspiration, and 2) because he's very funny with his stories about tight pants and such.

> It'sTheLittleThings because she's super creative, a good photographer and has a beautiful family...I always smile when I read her blog.

> JessicaClaire because her photography is amazing and she's basically the nicest person ever.

> LivingLifeBreathlessly because she's a good CFer friend, I love South Africa and we get a sneak peek at what the post-TX life is like two months into the future...

(I left this last one off the first time...meant to post it)

> TheLockwoodFamily because they really need your thoughts and prayers right now...

There are a few more on my list, but they'll be kept a secret. Whose blogs do you read?

Nate

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yard Sale Update!

The HUGE Yard Sale went very well last Saturday, raising over $700 for the CFF!!!

They had so much stuff, in fact, that they're doing it again tomorrow from 8 until...

So, if you get a chance, check it out! (ignore the old date below)

Nate

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Could Not Ask For More...





Nate

Cell Memory

Tricia made an incredibly important statement just a few minutes ago...

"I don't think I like cranberry juice anymore."

Considering that cranberry juice is all she ever drank pre-transplant, and that we've spent more money on cranberry juice during our marriage than we have on all other food products combined, this is HUGE!

On a more serious note, this could be part of a transplant-related phenomenon known as "Cell Memory".

Nate

Adoption and Offenses

Unfortunately, it's apparent to me that I need to clarify something I said in my Last Post (the one about the Chapman family). But, I've been meaning to write a few things about adoption, so this gives me a good excuse.

A few people have commented and emailed me about my use of the word "adopted" to identify the Chapman's youngest daughter, apparently having been, at least, slightly offended by my choice of words.

Firstly, I meant no offense. I doubt that anyone believes I purposely meant to offend, but just in case...

As most of you already know, Tricia is adopted. I also have several other family members and many, many friends who are adopted/adoptees/adopting. In fact, we were seriously considering adoption before Gwyneth came along, and may still consider it in the future. Tricia (and her family) are very open about the adoption of three of their six children...in fact, Tricia's adoption is a HUGE part of her story and our story.

In my humble opinion, adoption is one of the most beautiful acts of love that we as humans can show to anyone. It is, perhaps, the most incredibly tangible reflection of the love of God we can witness on this earth (as He has chosen to "adopt" us into His kingdom), and I know that Tricia and so many others use their stories of adoption to show the story of God to others, just as the Chapman family has done. Even if you don't believe in God, it is always an incredible gift of love and life. I respect that some choose to keep adoption a secret (when it is possible), but I don’t understand it, especially in light of the incredible miracle that it truly is.

I also recognize that there are a lot of adoptive families who read my blog every day. My hope is, by recognizing that Maria is adopted, even those who aren't familiar with the Chapman family will take the time to stop and pray/think about them. I also pray that those who have never given adoption much thought might see this story and consider the miracle that it is.

Perhaps, with posting the picture of the Chapman family (which I added to the post later), it was unnecessary to specifically spell it out, but I consider it an important part of their lives, and an important reason to pray for them now. I can only imagine that the loss of any child is too difficult for words.

I find it discouraging that people are so easily offended (several other people left comments like your email under that post) when my post was meant to do nothing more than ask that you remember the Chapman family. I am not hurt or offended, but, I also continue to find it amazing that every single one of my posts has the potential make somebody feel offended...I've even had a few angry comments/emails about my pictures-only posts... The only way for me not to offend anyone on this blog to have never started it in the first place, which of course, is not something I'm sorry for.

I’ll be the first to stand in line and say that I’m offended by things that weren't meant to be offensive, and I’m attempting to be more consistent in making the choice to not be offended (because, most of the time, we're only offended because we choose to be).

Again, I meant no offense, and I took lengths to make sure that I posted about the Chapmans with sensitivity. I am sorry that a few of you were offended by my words, or least felt enough emotion to tell me about it. I hope you’ll understand my position and motives, and that you’ll consider thinking the best of me next time you’re tempted to be offended by something I write.

To all those adoptive families who read my blog, thank you so much. Without adoption, neither Tricia nor Gwyneth would be in my life right now.

Thanks!

Nate

Maria Chapman

Most of you may have already read/heard this, but yesterday evening, the youngest (adopted) daughter of Christian Musician/Artist Steven Curtis Chapman was killed when she was struck by a vehicle driven by her teenage brother in the driveway of their home.

Many of you may not care, but SCC is one of my music heroes. My heart is very heavy for them today...just as many of you have never met us but feel close, I can feel the same way about this family.

Steven and his family have been HUGE adoption advocates over the past few years...Maria (held by her father in the pic below) was the youngest of their three adopted children.


Please, if you get a chance today, pray for the Chapman family, especially his son. You can leave a prayer/encouragement for the Chapman family Here.

Here are a few lines from a song Steven wrote last year about his daughter...

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something
The prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon
The clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone


Thanks.

Nate

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Answers

Wow! You people really know how to ask some questions.

There were a lot of the same questions asked several times, which makes it easier, and a ton of questions that I've already answered...if you asked a generic question about CF or organ donation/transplantation that I either don't answer here or only give a quick answer to, it means I've already answered it and you can very easily find a more detailed answer by using my "labels" feature over there on the right of your screen (start with "CF", "Organ Donation" and "Transplant"), by visiting CFF.org and DonateLife.net or by googling your question.

I'd love to answer every CF/organ donation/transplantation question in detail every time they're asked, but I just don't have the time.

To make it easier, I split these up into categories.

Organ Donation/Transplantation
>
A second double lung transplant is an option for some, but hopefully we won't be considering that for many years to come.
> Tricia's new lungs will never have CF, although the rest of her body always will.
> The potential for rejection will always be a part of Tricia's life with her new lungs. She is on a very high dose of anti-rejection meds that keep her immune system from attacking and rejecting her new lungs. The first year is the biggest risk, and then the drugs should be reduced.

Blog
>
I'll probably try to continue the "White Rose Blooming" segments, but maybe only on a monthly basis. Last Tuesday's was the last weekly one (as I've been alluding to every week).
> I will continue blogging when we return to the OBX (which stands for Outer BanX, BTW), but I guarantee it won't be nearly as often as I have been able to the past several months.
> I am going to continue to "Story Of Us" series...I've been waiting for a special day...look for the next segment later this week...
> I used one of the blogspot templates and just modified it to fit my style. I designed the header myself. Look for an all new look coming soon!

Gwyneth
>
The docs told us to avoid sick people, lots of direct contact with lots of people and large crowds...which is basically what we do with Tricia.
> My ring has not fit her arm in about 7 weeks. I think I wear an 11/12?
> She is not on an apnea monitor. I know that a lot of parents of preemies have a really hard time sleeping when they bring them home for the first time, being scared that they'll stop breathing or have other issues (which is totally understandable). We figured, if they let her come home with us, and she has been breathing on her own for nearly two months, we don't have much to worry about, and along with the fact that we are already very accustomed to dealing with severe medical issues at home (which is a blessing and a curse), we've been sleeping very well.
> Gwyneth has very long eyelashes, just like her mother...you can see them in many of her pictures.
> Her eyes are doing well. She has another appointment next week to have them checked again. The doc said she might need glasses as she grows older.
> We've been using her real age (4 months) when people ask, but we also follow up by telling them that she's a preemie ('cause we can tell most don't believe us)...not sure why anyone would be touchy about that...
> As I've mentioned several times before, outside of adoption, Gwyneth will be our only child.
> All of Gwyneth's smiles are real (not sure what a not-real smile is...).

Tricia
>
Tricia has a test in a few days that will help determine if she'll need the stomach wrap surgery. Her last test showed that she probably won't need it, so we're optimistic. If she does need it, it probably won't be scheduled until later in the summer.
> She blogs at times on Her Website...hopefully she'll be updating soon! (funny side note...she doesn't remember writing her last blog entry...)
> The ring Tricia wears on her right hand is something I gave her on Valentine's day. I "went to Jared". (I also "saved a bunch of money by switching to Geico" a few years ago, but that's a different story)
> Tricia only has about 12 of her 23 days of PT left before she should be released to go home to the OBX.
> She is breathing better and feeling better than she has in a few years, and she's (hopefully) only about half-way to feeling 100% at this point. Check out Alice's Blog (nearly 4 months post-TX) for an idea of what it feels like to be nearly 100% there!
> She plans on a stay at home mom (which by the way, is a $134,000/year job according to Salary.com). She is already strong enough to care for Gwyneth, which she loves to do.

Me
>
I haven't been without facial hair for more than a day or two at a time since my junior year of high school.
> Have I ever doubted God? Yes!
> Was I tested for CF? Click Here.

Other
>
My mom is doing well. You can read a few updates about her surgery/recovery on My Dad's Blog. Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts.
> I used a tripod for a few of the pics I took in This Video.
> What do I do for a living and how I am able to spend so much time away from home/work? Click Here.
> As I've mentioned before, Tricia's trust fund is ONLY able to pay for anything involving Tricia's medical needs...it does not cover Gwyneth's medical needs (and we don't need it to) or any other personal expense (please, be careful what you assume).
> Meka the pug is doing great hanging out with Frank, Don and Ginger.
> The font I use for my videos is "Broken Ghost". I'll devote an entire post later on video making...
> I did find what I was looking for when I asked for help with jewelry (Here). Her name is Lisa Leonard and she is seriously good...plus, I read her blog every day because she has a cool family.
> Most of the CFHusband videos you see on this blog can be found at our YouTube Channel (which has been over there on the right of your screen for a few months...)
> I've posted a few photography tips on this blog and on my Photo Blog...I'll be posting more at some point there when I have some time.

I read every comment and every question, and again, if I didn't answer your specific question, it's for a very good reason.

Thanks!

Nate

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Interested?

There are a few national media groups (I'm not allowed yet to say who) are interested in our story. I've been asked to find out if any of my blog readers who have changed their minds about organ donation or have decided to become an organ donor for the first time because of reading our story might be interested in sharing their thoughts with a reporter or two.

If that's you, and you are seriously interested in helping us tell our story, please leave a comment under this post (don't email me!) with a brief synopsis of how/why our story has helped you make the decision to become an organ donor, including your previous thoughts/opinions about organ donation.

I don't know for sure if anything will come of this, and I won't be the one making the decision about who might be selected.

Thanks!

Nate

Deep Thoughts with Nathan Lawrenson


So, Tricia was just flipping through the tv channels, and Arthur was on PBS, and we just caught a few seconds of it, and some little monkey girl was asking her parents if they could go to the pet shop.

Why does a show about talking, walking, human-like animals have a pet shop? That seems more than a little demented to me...

And, for that matter, what's the deal with Pluto and Goofy?

Thanks, and please don't take me seriously.

Nate

Monday, May 19, 2008

Daddy Time!

Not that there's anything wrong with Mommy...



These next few should answer the questions about her eye color and eyelashes...






Even I can see the resemblance in this picture.



I tried to tell her that I do a good job of picking my own nose...

Nate

PS. My email is back up and running, and I've responded to everyone who had emailed me over the past week...if you haven't heard back from me, try again. Thanks!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Q&A

I know that lots of people have questions for us...I haven't done a good Q&A in a while, so here's your chance to ask.

I'll answer any question about the stuff on our blog that I am able and willing to answer and that I haven't already answered before like 47 times. I'd recommend that you first use the "labels" feature over on the right of your screen, or look at all of the previous Q&A's.

Thanks!

Nate

Update

We are loving having Gwyneth home with us! It's been amazing to see the timing of everything. Had she been discharged earlier, Tricia would have been too weak to do much with her. If she were discharged closer to when we are hoping to go home to the OBX, we wouldn't have all of this time to spend focused on her. God continues to bless us.

The trip home was very good. A video camera met us on our way out, and I've heard rumors that we were on ABC11 again, but I missed it and haven't found it yet on the website (I'll let you know if I do find it). Gwyneth was sleeping by the time we made it to the car, and she slept all the way home.

The whole first 24 hours was a little strange as both Tricia and I kept consciously looking/feeling for all of the monitor feeds that have been strapped to her for all of those weeks...it's incredible to be able to pick her up and carry her around anywhere we want to. When we got home, I sat in the glider with her and started crying.

She came home with several meds and a few breathing treatments. Everything is to help her as she continues to catch up with her development. She has what is called "Chronic Lung Disease", which basically means that her lungs are still underdeveloped (for a newborn 4+ weeks after the due-date), a very common thing for a micro-preemie. It sounds a lot worse than it is...she has a little trouble catching her breath when she's very active, and should grow out of it within a few years. It should have no affect on her continued development.

She has breathing treatments just like Tricia did with her CF, with some of the same drugs that Tricia has been on. She should hopefully be done with the breathing treatments soon. (and, because I know somebody's going to ask...again, Gwyneth does NOT have CF)

All that means that there is a little more to remember to do than with a normal infant. All of her meds are liquids that are mixed in with her food. She's eating ad lib, which is about every three hours. She was transitioned completely off donor breast milk and onto formula over her last few weeks in the NICU, and other than a little gas (which is also normal), she is doing great with her feedings.

I've been feeding Gwyneth throughout the night, letting Tricia get the sleep she needs to continue recovering, and for the most part, she is sleeping well and letting us get plenty of sleep. Agnes (Tricia's mom) is here for a while to help as we adjust to life as three, which has been a huge help. With Gwyneth's minimal medical needs, and Tricia's continued needs, it can be a little crazy to remember everything and maintain a sense of normalcy, but it's been going very well.

We had our first outpatient Pediatric appointment on Friday. It was just the two of us as Tricia was at PT. Everything continues to look great, and her doc (who was seeing her for the first time) said she looks very developed for her history. We have another peds appointment tomorrow, and an appointment with a pediatric pulmonologist later in the week....it's actually the same pulmonologist that followed Tricia when she was a child at CHOP.

There is always a chance that, if she gets sick or has a setback, she'll be back in the hospital, but every day improves her chances of not having that happen. We are still praying that we'll be able to go home to the OBX within the next 3-4 weeks when Tricia finishes up her PT.

A few highlights from our time home...

> I took her for a walk outside our hotel the afternoon we got home (she was wide awake) and showed her things like her first tree, her first sidewalk, her first cloud, her first helicopter, and her first hot tub. She was very impressed.

> Her first trip to Babies"R"Us. She basically wanted everything...slightly annoying, but she'll learn soon enough to do that kind of thing only around the grandparents.

> Her first episode of SportsCenter...I was sure to point out Mia Hamm and the NY Mets. I'm teaching her to spit at the TV with me whenever the NY Yankees and Dallas Cowgirls make an appearance.

That's basically it. My email is still not sending, so don't sweat if you haven't heard from me in the past few days...hopefully I can get it fixed tomorrow. I'll post some pics when I get a chance.

Thanks!

Nate

"Happy Endings"

The News & Observer has updated the latest chapter of our story. Read it Here.

Nate

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yard Sale Still Going!

It's noon now, and there's so much stuff that they'll be out there for at least a few more hours if you get a chance to go by. I picked up a couple of sweet t-shirts for Tricia and I. Lots of good cookies too!

Nate

I've Fallen Quite Hard Over You

I have been dreaming about this for a long time...

video
("Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop" by Landon Pigg)

Nate

Friday, May 16, 2008

Email Down

Although I've been able to receive email, my server hasn't let me send anything since Wednesday morning...I'll respond as soon as it allows.

Thanks.

And, here's a tease of what's coming in the morning...

Nate

Yard Sale Tomorrow!!!


Be there or be square!

There is some seriously good stuff to take a look at...here's an email I received a few days ago from one of the organizers...

We have more clothes than WalMart!! We have microwaves, a convection oven, computers, printers, lots of kitchen and household stuff, washing machine and the list goes on and on.

We are also having a raffle:
a 42 piece tool set
2 gift certificates from hair dressers
an autographed photo of Mickey Rooney
limited edition photo of Lucille Ball
a gift certificate for free car detailing
a gift certificate for house cleaning
agift certificate for tupperware
an autographed CD from Coastline Band.

I'm going to do my best to try to make it out there at some point for a little while. Hope to see you there! The weatherman just said it's going to be a "Beautiful Day!"

Nate

Thursday, May 15, 2008

WE'RE HOME!!!


:D

White Rose Blooming (18 Weeks)

This post is scheduled to automatically publish at 2pm today.

Every Tuesday while you've been in the hospital, we have taken a picture with your pug so that everyone can see how much you are growing! You will be coming home with us this week, so this will be the last post about you in the hospital!

You are now 16 inches long, and you weigh 4lbs 10oz!

Your eighteenth week was a great week! You have finally grown big enough to be able to eat everything from your bottle, which also means that you had your feeding tube removed! This was your last big step before being ready to come home, and you are scheduled to be discharged sometime later this week!

We are so excited to have you home with us, and we've been very busy getting everything ready so that you will be happy and safe. Grandma K. will be hanging out with us for a while to help you feel at home, and I'm sure that you'll have more family coming to see you after you feel like you've settled in!

In the next week, we are looking forward to bringing you home and getting to know you even more by spending as much time as we can with you!

We love you!





Compare our Blessed White Rose at:

2 Weeks
3 Weeks
4 Weeks
5 Weeks
6 Weeks
7 Weeks
8 Weeks
9 Weeks
10 Weeks
11 Weeks
12 Weeks
13 Weeks
14 Weeks
15 Weeks
16 Weeks
17 Weeks

Thank You!

We should be at the hospital right now getting ready to bring our baby girl home...I've set this post to automatically be published at noon today.

We want to make sure that we say "thank you" to the NICU staff at Duke for all they have done to help make today possible. There were not many people who truly believed that Gwyneth would survive and grow to be this healthy so soon, and we all of the human credit to the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and the rest of the Duke Intensive Care Nursery staff for making us all believers in miracles.

We especially want to thank our primary nurses, Susannah and Noel. While the entire staff is wonderful, these two have given us very good reason to miss our daily visits to the nursery, as they have invested in our lives in an incredible way. We'll miss you, and we look forward to visiting in the future!

Thanks.

Nate

My Mom

Please, pray for my mom (Gail) this morning if you have a chance to. She is partners in a wedding decorating business, and she cut her hand pretty badly handling some glass on Tuesday. She saw the surgeon yesterday, and is having surgery this morning at 10am to repair a severed tendon and some nerve damage.

She's really bummed, as this week began the busy season for her business, and as she has been looking forward to coming here and helping us get settled in with the baby. Her arm with be in a sling, and she won't have use of her hand for at least two months.

Also, the last time she was put to sleep for a surgery, she an incredibly horrible experience, so I'm sure she's very anxious about this morning for that reason as well.


If you'd like to leave a note of encouragement for my mom, you can do so Here.

Thank you so much.

Nate

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Did You Catch This?

A comment from a wise blog reader under My Last Post:

"After reading some of the comments, I do want to point out, posting negative things here does not mean a person does or does not believe in God, just as posting positive things does not mean a person does or does not believe in God."

So true...the meanest people I have ever met in my entire life have been a few who called themselves "Christian", and some of the nicest people I've ever met have wanted nothing to do with religion. It's amazing how we who call ourselves "Christian" (myself included) think a cruel person (like the few I mentioned in the last post) must automatically also be someone who does not believe in God...

I know I can be a real jerk sometimes (probably more than I'm willing to admit).

I don't like to shove faith and God down your throat, but this is something to think about...

Nate

Yesterday's Pics

Tricia tells me it was her best birthday yet. I have to agree...








Nate

Tomorrow?

Thursday, May 15, 2008.

That's the day that Gwyneth Rose is tentatively scheduled to become the full responsibility of Nathan & Tricia Lawrenson.

She's a little freaked out too...

I'll keep you posted...

Nate

40 Minutes of Sunshine

(written on 5.13.08)

So, I received an email from Jessica Claire a few months back telling me that she was following our blog and wanting to know if we'd be interested in having a photo shoot with her...

Don't know who Jessica Claire is? That's OK, because neither did we...until I checked out her blog and discovered that she's basically one of the best photographers in the world (according to popphoto.com, and I agree).

Anyway, Jessica has family in the RDU area and was in town this weekend for a visit...and, of course, we said "YES!" to her offer. This kind of opportunity doesn't come around very often!

The forecast for yesterday was "partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain". It was raining and cold when we woke up. It was raining and cold when we left to drive to meet Jessica.

As we pulled up to the shoot location, the clouds parted and the sun came out. For 40 minutes, the weather was perfect.

As we entered Elmo's Diner for a late breakfast, the sun disappeared...it never showed it's face again for the rest of the day.

And, we all got to spend some time with Gwyneth later that morning as well! That's what I call a perfect Mother's Day/Birthday gift for Tricia.

Here's Jessica with Gwyneth...

Thanks, Jessica! The Photos (amazing!) and the time spent getting to know you (also amazing!) are such a wonderful gift!

Nate