Tuesday, September 30, 2008

26 Points!

I'll give 26 points to anyone who can answer, by Thursday morning at 10:45am, all 5 of the following questions correctly...

1. Why Do I Hate September So Much?

2. Why Do I Love October?

3. Why Is My Handle "MilePost13"?

4. Why Did I Choose Thursday Morning at 10:45am?

5. Why Did I Choose 26 Points?

Have fun! I promise, with a little research and smart thinking, you can figure out all of the answers...


Feeling Better

Just a quick update to let you know that Tricia was feeling better today. More than likely, the side-effects from this 4th round will kick in in a few days.

Much thanks to everyone who was praying and thinking of Tricia (and me) last night and today. It's very encouraging.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Feeling Bad

Tricia's not feeling good today...mostly fatigue. She had some blood work done this morning, which made her day at the doc's longer than we expected. After sleeping some during her meds, she has slept most of the rest of the day since she got home around 3:30.

The blood work revealed that Tricia's anemic, mostly due to the chemo. She'll receive a shot tomorrow to help her along with this. The anemia (along with other factors) causes the fatigue, which we've especially noticed the past several days.

And, of course, being a new mother with fatigue leaves Tricia feeling very un-motherly, which leaves me feeling very helpless. I love spending time with Gwyneth, but not when it's because Tricia cannot. We're praying for a better day tomorrow.



Round 4 (again)

Tricia will be receiving her 4th round of chemo today...I'll drop her off at the doc at 9:30, and she should be done by noon.



Sunday, September 28, 2008

On The Water

Here are a few more pics from last night. You can see a bunch more (and they're basically the best ever) at my Photo Blog!


New TRUNKorTREAT Commercial!

We went with the Sonic spoof last year (Click Here to view our three commercials from '07)...this year, we decided on the Geico spoof...

...more to come soon!

Don't know what TRUNKorTREAT is? Check This Out!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Every Girl Needs A Pair of Jeans

Gwyneth got her first pair of jeans today...GAP if you must know (we LOVE our GAP outlet store!)...she's stylin'!

Make sure you check back in for the rest of this photo shoot...some of favorite pics yet!!!


Saturday Trip

This afternoon, we took Gwyneth to see her first lighthouse...actually, we only jumped out of the car long enough to snap a picture...our real goal was to go down to see the house from "Nights of Rodanthe" (even thought we've seen it before).

The weather was great today (for the first time in a week or so)!

Here we are at the Bodie Island Lighthouse...

Here's the house, a little roughed up from the storm this week.

On the way back, we stopped at the old Oregon Inlet Life Saving Station, abandoned in 1988...I'm fascinated by this kind of stuff.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Slow Day

With the excitement of the house earlier this week, today has felt very slow. Tricia wasn't feeling so great this morning, so she slept a few extra hours while Gwyneth and I hung out. I got to work in the early afternoon (so thankful for flexible hours that work with our unpredictable schedule), and Tricia's been home getting some rest and playing with Gwyneth. I'm back home again, and Tricia is in bed...

The wind has been blowing pretty hard off of the ocean for over a week and became really bad the past few days with this nor'easter, which takes away the fun of the cooler September weather. But, the sun was out for much of today, and the winds and rain are mostly gone, so maybe we'll get to enjoy some nice September days after all.

A new movie opening today, "Nights In Rodanthe" was set and shot about an hour south of us. The movie was adapted from a book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, a NC author who sets all of his novels along the coast of NC (you may have seen "The Notebook", and our personal favorite, "A Walk To Remember"). I'm not going to tell you to go see the movie, but if you do, I hear it gives a pretty accurate portrayal of life on the southern OBX (minus the movie stars). In fact, the pic below was taken just yesterday during our big storm of the house where the movie was filmed.

Read more about this house Here.

We'll be traveling back to Duke in just a few weeks to find out if the chemo is doing what it should to Tricia's lymphoma. We're hoping and praying for the best news possible, and anticipating that, with the last of her treatments in a few months, we'll have most of this difficult medical stuff (minus Gwyneth's continuing meds and appointments and Tricia's normal post-transplant issues) behind us. With the contract to buy the house, we're actually allowing ourselves to believe that our lives might appear and feel as close to "normal" as they ever have in our time together...

Also, Tricia's 6 month transplant anniversary and Gwyneth's 9 month birthday are coming up in the next few weeks, and hopefully we can spare a day to find someway to celebrate! We've been shooting a lot of video the past few days, trying to get some of Gwyneth's new tricks and discoveries on camera...I'll try to share some of it with you soon.

Anyway, that's about all I have to share about today.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Change of Plans (Continued)

Our plan has been to return to Durham on October 6-8 for some checkups for Tricia and Gwyneth. This trip would show whether or not the chemo is making a difference with Tricia's lymphoma and how well Gwyneth is progressing.

But, because Tricia's chemo treatment has been moved to Monday, her side effects will probably still be hitting hard during that trip, which isn't a good thing for travel and spending lots of time running around a hospital. So, I'm going to find out if we can reschedule those October appointments for the following week.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers as we try to figure out what the best plan will be.


Change of Plans

Because of the weather (a nor'easter), Tricia's chemo treatment has been rescheduled to Monday. Gwyneth is very bummed...I had told her she could play the drums...


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CFHusband (Family)

Just a reminder...


Round 4

Tricia receives her fourth round of chemo tomorrow (Thursday) morning, and, because the grandparents are all busy, I've declared it, "Take Your Daughter To Work Day"! Gwyneth will be hanging with me for a few hours while mommy's being filled with the miracle poison.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

House Details

First, because the closing date is not until November 7, and the current owner will be living in the house for the next several weeks, I won't be showing any pics until we have closed, so you'll just have to be patient.

Next, you may want to Read This Post to remember all of things we were looking for in a house...

The house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with a smaller kitchen and a nice-sized living room. It is ground level, about 20 years old. It is a great, family-friendly neighborhood, with mostly year-round residents for neighbors (which is hard to find around here). It's on a cul-de-sac, off the main road, with a great fence-in back yard, a large shed, and lot's of trees and shade.

We're buying the house "as is", which means, outside of some major issues revealed with an inspection, we'll be taking care of any minor issues after closing. Most of the house is carpet, which we'll be tearing up and replacing with solid flooring. We'll also be patching and painting everything inside. Several of the appliances that come with the house are fairly new, which is great.

We're hoping to be in the house by Thanksgiving week. Assuming we close on November 7, we should have enough time to accomplish this. Fortunately, most of our stuff is still packed away in our storage unit, and we'll be getting rid of some of our old furniture and buying some new stuff, so moving should be pretty simple.

Thanks so much for your prayer and encouragement. This has been a two year adventure for us, with some time off while we were in Durham, and it's very satisfying to think of owning a house and living by ourselves (including hotels and condos) for the first time!

God continues to show that His timing is perfect, every step of the way.


Keeping Up

As most people know (because I've mentioned it a few times), I spend time every week (used to be every day, when most of my time was spent in a hospital chair) googling for mentions of our story on other blogs and websites and leaving a comment on every one. Most people also know that I respond (although I'm currently a few weeks behind) to every email (unless it's something that I feel doesn't deserve a response because it's crude or argumentative) that I receive from blog readers. To date, I've received about 4000 emails from blog readers and (this one's an educated guess) have visited close to 1000 blogs/websites that have mentioned us (and I'm sure I've missed a bunch).

Several people have asked me why I do these things. A few reasons:

1) Even with thousands of daily readers, I still find it fascinating that others would take the time to mention the blog, our story, etc. on their own blogs. Even if I didn't feel the desire to respond to everything, I'd still want to see what people are saying about is...some of it is very interesting...

2) I have tried, to my best ability, to document our story as much as possible, including what others are saying about us. I think it will be a very cool thing, especially for Gwyneth, to look back in 20 years and see just how amazing this adventure has been (and continues to be).

3) Unfortunately, there have been a (very) few people who have said some untrue and unfriendly things about us on their blogs/websites, and I like to know what those things might be in case anyone asks me about it.

4) I value the ability to say "thank you" to anyone who would (in a positive way) take the time to email us or mention us on the internet...most people email simply to be encouraging, and most people mention us on blogs/websites, at least in part, to point people our way and add to those who are thinking and praying for us. As I've mentioned many, many times, the support of our internet friends has been priceless this past year.

So, there you go...now you can sleep peacefully tonight.



At 10:40 this morning, we signed the contract to own our first home. The closing date is November 7. Tricia, especially, is very excited. I'll share more details about the house another time...


Monday, September 22, 2008

House Hunting Update (Monday Evening)

We should be signing a contract tomorrow!

Oh...and mommy's out for the evening, so Gwyneth and I are hanging at home.


House Hunting Update (Monday Morning)

We've been given a counter offer, which is great news. We're taking a look and talking with the bank to find out if it's something we can manage. We may have big news by the end of the day!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Caption Winner!

"I thought you said Oral Thermometer..."

Submitted by ronnie roach

There were a few others that we also thought were funny....

"That isn't Frebreze!"

"What do you MEAN 'I look just like my daddy?' (Tricia really liked this one...)

"Gwyneth. Froze." (assuming this is a play on words)

Thanks so much to everyone who participated...I'm especially thankful that I didn't have to delete any comments! Look for more posts like this one!


Long Sunday

This afternoon, we (along with my parents and Rachel and Ramon) drove up to Carova, NC (remember This Post?) to visit some family that is in town for a week. They're renting one of those houses that is only accessible by 4-wheel drive. Although it was too windy to enjoy the beach, we had a great time hanging out, watching the Redskins victory and enjoying some great Venezuelan food!

We have not heard back from the seller about the house. Maybe tomorrow...

Tricia has been feeling very good this week. She and Gwyneth have been busy together. She'll be receiving her next chemo treatment this Thursday.

Gwyneth is really starting to show a lot of great signs of developments. She holds her head up very well, is starting to roll over, and is spending more time talking, spitting and laughing. I'll try to get some stuff on video over the next few days.



Saturday, September 20, 2008

House Hunting Update (Saturday Afternoon)

We're making an offer on a house in a little while!



Friday, September 19, 2008

Write a Caption

Gwyneth is basically to the point where she is able to control her head when she's being held upright...she's also spending more time on her belly. It's making play time more and more fun...it also makes holding her close to your own head when she's squirming (which is pretty much anytime she's awake) a hazard to your teeth, lips and nose...with Tricia and I as parents, she was destined to have a hard head.

Write a caption of Gwyneth's thoughts for the picture below...I have no prizes to give away like other cool blogs, but you will earn a mention of your name and winning caption in a post if I think it's worthy enough (like that's anything super special...).


G-Rose In The Hood


House Hunting Update

Saw a house yesterday that fits most of our criteria...we both really like it. One story, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, nice yard, great neighborhood, etc. We're meeting this morning with the mortgage company to discuss where we're at. In the meantime, we're hoping nobody else likes the house as much as we do...



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Want To Know Something Freaky?

At last year's Great Strides Walk, we had just found out that we were pregnant, due on April 24, 2008.

At this year's Great Strides Walk, my sister, Rachel told me that she is pregnant, due on April 24, 2009.

How freaky is that?

I'm super stoked that I'm going to be an uncle (we have several awesome nieces and nephews on Tricia's side) and that Gwyneth will have a cousin her age (and size) that lives closer than a seven hour drive away!



Waking Up Is Hard To Do

Further proof that she is indeed her mother's daughter...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nightline Tonight

Bummer...doesn't look like it will air tonight...I'll try again tomorrow.

My friend, Greg Avery is leading a feeding team in Texas, delivering 80,000 meals per day to survivors of Hurricane Ike. Greg and his wife, Kathy, donate a lot of time, energy and their own resources to travel around the country with the North Carolina Baptist Men Disaster Relief, serving those who have lost much because of natural disaster.

Greg called us today to let us know that he was interviewed by Nightline today and may be on TV tonight, talking about the amazing work the volunteers are doing right now as well as the great need for more help.

If you're up with me tonight, take a look and see if they air the segment.


7 (More) Things

You may recall that I wrote a post called "7 Things" several months ago in which I listed 7 things (duh) about me that you may not have know. Well, here are 7 more things that you may not know about me.

1) I rarely drink caffeine. On my birthday in 2005, I decided to challenge myself to drink nothing but water for one month. I had some seriously major headaches the first week, but I actually did it (I confess I had a few bowls of cereal with milk), and I even decided to go an extra month past that. Since then, I only drink caffeine, maybe, once every few weeks, usually in the form of one of those chilled coffees. I do drink a lot of milk and juice, as well as a little uncaffeinated soda, but most of the time, especially with meals, I'll still drink water.

2) The only cat I like is Ralphie. I'm a dog person, and I never liked cats growing up. But, Tricia loves cats, so I got Ralphie for her as a gift our first Christmas. Ralphie is basically the most calm cat ever, which is nice. He and I have an understanding. Plus, he's Meka's best friend, so I basically have to like him.

3) Chocolate Chip Cookies are my weakness. If you find me dead with cookie crumbs near my mouth, you'll know I died happy.

4) I almost always wear something brown and/or blue. I don't know if it's because I have brown hair (when I have hair) and blue eyes, but I'm somehow subconsciously drawn to predominately wearing these two colors. I have, in the past few years, forced myself to purchase clothing of other colors, but still, browns and blues dominate my wardrobe.

5) I hate arriving late. I'm almost always arriving early, usually extremely early. Nothing ruins my day more than having a plan for a long trip and getting a late start. You can be late all you want...I don't care...just don't make me late.

6) I, like everyone else in the world (apparently) hate the "new" facebook. It automatically switched over on me the other day, and I haven't spent much time there since. I'm usually an early adopter to change, but cluttered websites (like the new facebook) just leave me confused and frustrated. And, no, I won't join your "24 billion people against the new facebook group", so don't ask.

7) I think that Giant Squids are the most fascinating creatures in the history of the world. And, yes, they do exist...and I'm pretty sure they could kill and eat you.

So, there you go. You are more intelligent now than you were 5 minutes ago (because I guarantee nobody knew all of those things about me), which is more than you can say about some blogs. Feel free to post you own 7 Things list on your own blog...I give you permission to steal from my genius...


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two Questions

1) I've heard rumors that my hit counter will stop counting at 10,000,000...anybody know if there is truth in this and what I can do to keep the count going without having to click "reload" 10,000,000 times if it is true?

2) I've heard rumors that blogger will only allow 999 posts (this will be post #904)...anybody know if there is truth in this and what I can do (without having to create a new blog or delete old posts) if it is true?

If you do know for certain if these two issues are true or false, please point me in the right direction so that I can verify.



Great, Informative CF Article

Here is a great, informative article (MSNBC) about several issues related to CF, including life-expectancy, fertility issues and how the thousands of CF mutations effect people differently.


Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Not The Only One

Remember last week how I asked you to vote for me for a blog award, and how you've been voting like crazy people (635 times to date), and how, if I win, I'm going to donate the winnings to a local charity (if you suffer from short term memory loss, Click Here to be reminded)?

Well, MckMama (one of Tricia's favorite blogs) has been nominated for an award on that same site, and she has also promised to donate her winnings to a great charity. Check it Out, and consider voting to help MckMama with another worthy cause!



What's Funnier Than a Singing Pug?

A singing pug in French...


Looking for Fun

Today is supposed to be close to 90f, which means, with Fall just around the corner, it may be the last real day of summer for us. After we go to the local hospital so Tricia can have some blood drawn, we three will be looking for something fun to do.

Any suggestions?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

OBX Great Strides!

What a great day! A record high for September 13 on the OBX at 90f, a nice breeze, and no rain!

Tricia was feeling very good, and she and Gwyneth were able to hang out under the pavilion and stay out of the sun.

We ended up having almost 30 people on Team Pattysue, which is awesome! I am told that over 100 people pre-registered online for the walk, and my guess is that around 250 people showed up to hang out.

Unofficially, I ate two slices of pizza, about 6 sodas, 3 bottles of water, 1 cup of water ice, 2 snow cones, 2 bowls of frozen custard, several corn fritters, 2 donuts and 1 rice crispy treat.

Althought there is still money coming in, the latest total is well over $46,000! I'm guessing that, by the time everything is counted, we'll be over $50,000 (I'll share the official, final total with you when I receive the word), which is awesome! The Elizabeth City Walk brough in $31,000, which means, in the past two years, OBX and E. City have collectively raised well over $100,000 for CF research!!!

Here are a few pics I was able to take between helping with the event and sampling all of the great food...

Tricia's BIL, Al, modeling our Team Pattysue t-shirts! Thanks to Rich for the
winning design, and to everyone who sent in their great designs for our consideration!

One of the many teams who came out to walk!

Some of our great volunteers at the registration table.

My BIL, Ramon, grilling the dogs and burgers.

My mom, Gail and our good friend, Brenda, in charge of the site decoration.

Tricia's brother, Frank.

Tricia with Rita's Ice Man.

Jody from Beach104.

The evidence of a blueberry snow cone.

One of Tricia's awesome Duke nurses, Jamie (who's brother died from CF a few years ago), who drove out from Raleigh with her husband and mom just to hang out with us. Duke nurses are the best!!!

Our great friend, Sophia, from the CFF.

Of course, we had a lot of friends (including a few blog readers) come out to support CF with us, and although I don't have pics of everyone, we want those who were there to know how much we apprecaited seeing you!!! And, of course, thanks to all of our blog readers who supported the walk with your gifts, prayer and encouraging words! We're looking forward to setting a date for '09 very soon, so stay tuned!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Long Day, Good Day

I'll share details and pics tomorrow. I'm very tired.


On Our Way To Make Great Strides!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Great Strides Walk Tomorrow!!!

Here's a rundown of all that you'll find at the walk tomorrow!

Free Food:
Dunkin’ Donuts
Captain Frank’s
Jimmy’s Buffet
Slice Pizza
Little Caesar’s
Butcher Block
Boar’s Head
Kill Devil’s Custard
SOS Enterprises Snow Cones

Raffle and Silent Auction with more than 75 items donated by local businesses and restaurants
Games and Crafts from Kitty Hawk Kites
Artist, Glenn Eure
Kill Devil Hills Fire Truck
Dare County K-9
Jody from Beach 104
DJ, Matt Cooper from Outer Banks Music Masters

That's only the tip of the iceberg! If you're coming, make sure to bring some spending money to participate in the raffle and silent auction. There will also be several vendors on site who are donating all of their proceeds to the walk!

CFF has already received over $30,000 in the bank, which is half of our goal of $60,000. Considering that nearly half of our 2007 total came in on the day of the walk, we're very hopeful that we'll make our goal this year!

The weather is looking good! Warm and mostly dry!

The Wedding Day Photography Auction is over...the winning bid was $2160! Thanks again to Kirsten of Innate Photographics!

Oh yeah...I officially reached my personal goal of $15,000 today!!! Of course, there's still time to Donate Online if you can't make it to the walk!

And, although Tricia never made it to the doc yesterday (because she was feeling so bad), they did prescribe a muscle relaxant...she slept from 2pm yesterday to 10:30 this morning, and she's feeling much better!



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Like Anything

This has always been one of Tricia's favorite poems...

My name is Rose.
My eyes are blue.
My name is Rose,
and who are you?
My name is Rose,
and when I sing,
I am Rose
like anything.
- Gertrude Stein -