Summer is near...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | | 1 comments
...and I'm adoring this outdoor furniture!! I think it is just what we need for the back patio!

Doobie Brothers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | | 2 comments
The Hasty's and The Steffes' united to see the Doobie Brothers a couple weeks ago. We met at Shakespeares and had ah-mazing pizza then headed to the concert. We're a good-looking crew, huh?

Me: Never have I seen so many retired people rocking out.
Random Guy: Apparently you didn't go to the Eagles concert.

Well, random guy, you got me. I did go to the Eagles concert.

2 Years Ago, Today.

Monday, March 29, 2010 | | 4 comments
Happy Anniversary, sweetheart. Two years go by so fast! I'm looking forward to 200 more!

Painting at the In-laws

Friday, March 26, 2010 | | 1 comments
A couple weekends ago Eric and I stayed at his parent's house and helped them paint their bedroom. If you remember, last summer we helped them as they renovated their kitchen, living room, and a couple of bedrooms. Somehow, the master bedroom was put on hold until now. I designed the new paint scheme-- picked out the colors for the bedroom and suggested the flat/glossy paint stripe on one wall. We went with navy and eggshell to match the quilt Renee already had on her bed. I think the room turned out GREAT!

Renee and me putting up the curtains
Edging around the window
Eric is working on the final details of the stripe
Measuring one foot increments for the stripes
Renee and me! She is the sweetest and always praises me for the ideas I come up with! I love helping her decorate her home!
The kids-- Evan was such fantastic help. He is always so much fun to hang out with. And Eric was great in keeping us organized and making sure the end product looked perfect.
Getting started on the navy wall
To see previous home renovations at my in-laws, click here and then click here.

DECA State Competition

Thursday, March 25, 2010 | | 1 comments
Last Monday I volunteered to judge at the state DECA competition. The students were given a scenario, they had 20 minutes to come up with a plan, and 10 minutes to present their plan to me. In the scenario I was judging, the students were asked to create a marketing plan for an upscale professional men's clothing store as they plan to expand their business. There were certain topics they were required to discuss but the judging was based on confidence, creative ideas, and execution of the roll-playing scenario.


My good friend, Lauren Goth, is the one who got me signed up to judge. She knew someone in charge of the competition and was asked to judge and then passed the word on to me that they were needing more judges. We had such a good time riding down to The Lake together that we missed our turn! Ooops.

High school Reunion-- The Girls

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | | 3 comments
I love these girls. We've been friends since Middle School- 6th grade, actually. After high school, we all went to college in Columbia-- Beth, Abby, and Julie went to Mizzou and I went to Stephens. After College we all went our separate ways. Julie went to Owensville to live with her grandparents for a year and work at a high school; Beth moved to Kansas City to be an elementary school teacher (both are now back in Columbia- Yay!) Abby is now in law school at Washington University in St. Louis. During her spring break she came through Columbia and we all were able to grab a bite to eat together at Broadway Brewery (love that place!) It was so good to see her again. Law school is crazy demanding and we don't get to see her as often as we'd like. All of you girls are amazing, I'm so lucky to have friends like you!

Eric's Desk

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | | 2 comments
A couple weeks ago I showed you what my work space looks like, today I'm sharing with you what Eric's work space looks like. hahahaha They really aren't much different are they? I love the random things on Eric's desk:
1. TWO computers
2. Coffee mug
3. Glass of ice water
4. Girl Scout Cookies
5. Too many books and notepads to count

I'm so proud of Eric for working full time during the day and attending school at night. So far he's taken 6 hours every term, 12 hours a semester, which makes him a full-time student as well! Next term we are trying 9 hours in one term...hopefully we make it out alive (and still married!) I'm just teasing, it will be difficult to spend so much time without him but I know we'll come out stronger. He is so dedicated and I really love him for that!

Bustopher 1994- 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010 | | 3 comments
I couldn't write this post myself, so I just copied what my mom was able to write.

The first photo is the last picture I had taken with him, just a day after I got home from the hospital (Saturday I think.) The second photo is one my mom took a while ago when, on rare occasion, all three pets would lay peacefully together.

Our cat Bustopher passed away this morning from symptoms of old age. Bustopher was a complex cat, he loved his family and hated strangers, even if he had met them before. He used to chase my sister on two legs when she would come to visit, trying to scare her (he did). He hated going to the vets. They would come out to the car to give him his shots. He loved Dakota, our Westie, who passed away a couple of years ago. He wasn't terribly fond of our new dogs, Truman and Wilson, although I saw him sleeping curled up with Truman a time or two. As a kitten he was skittish about everything. He'd jump straight up in the air when the phone rang. His favorite thing to do was to lay on me. Really. No matter where I was sitting, he was either on my lap or around my neck. If I was laying on my side, he was on my hip. At night he'd sneak up by our heads and sleep between our pillows. He also would try to sneak up on our food or drinks... while we were sitting right there! He could move with incredible stealth, even up to Saturday, when he did it to Ashley. We will miss his incredibly soft fur and his big black eyes. Even though I complained about his constant need to be on me, I will miss his company.

The Perfect Bike

My dad got me this bike for Christmas. More precisely, he bought this beautiful vintage bike at an antique store...but it wasn't quite so beautiful at the time. I think it was this avocado green color when he got it, and not in very good shape. My dad bought new whitewall tires for it, put in new brakes, replaced the chains, added the wicker basket and the bell, and painted it my favorite color-- Tiffany Blue!

If you keep up with my blog, you know I've had my eye on vintage bikes for awhile. But the new "vintage" bikes are so darn expensive! I'm too lucky to have such a crafty dad who can make my dreams of owning a vintage bike come true. Watch as I ride my bike for the first time with my proud parents cheering me on (and sometimes doubting my ability!)

First Day of Spring

Friday, March 19, 2010 | | 0 comments
Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, so I created a list of things to do before the summer. Perfect things to do with the beautiful Spring weather!

Spring Fling
A list of things to do before June 21 (the first day of summer):

1. Go bike riding

2. Go for a walk

3. Go to the park and play on the playground

4. Fly a kite

5. Go on a picnic

6. Have tea outside in the sun

7. Plant a herb garden

Back to the Hospital

Thursday, March 18, 2010 | | 5 comments
(Do you like the picture I took of myself? There is nothing comedic about my being here so I thought the "comic strip" effect was humorous and ironic.)

The Story
I was admitted to the hospital again on Wednesday night. Around 4:30 in the afternoon I began to feel sick to my stomach, I had just eaten a very large (late) lunch around 3 so I figured I had eaten too much or something I ate didn't agree with me. As the evening went on, the pain in my stomach got worse. Toward the end of the evening, it was so bad I could barely move, speak, or breathe. I felt like I could pass out, my skin got cold and clammy, and I was frozen in pain. At this point, Eric and I decided we needed to call a doctor and find out what was going on. Eric called a GI doctor at the University Hospital and he said we needed to get to the emergency room right away.

As I tried to pick myself up off the floor, I was in so much pain I seriously contemplated calling and ambulance. But, my pride got the best of me. I didn't want to be a baby so I clenched my teeth and pushed through the pain. When we arrived at the emergency room, the check-in attendant did her best to get us in quickly, but all the questions we have to answer and the paperwork needed to be filled out felt like it all took hours.We were finally admitted into the triage, where the nurse takes my vital signs and asks about my symptoms. After answering all her questions, all the while in agonizing pain, she tells me that there isn't a bed for me and that I'll have to wait in the waiting area. My amazing husband went up to bat for me, asking the nurse to talk to someone else and to look at how much pain I was in. The next thing I knew I was being escorted to a bed and the nurse made a snide comment about how they were turning away ambulances but I got bed!

I was in too much pain to care about her rudeness. I got a bed and was able to talk to several doctors: one from the surgical team, one from the medicine team, and a third from family practice. No GI docs, though. They like to act like prima donnas and refuse to see patients, I will never understand it. Anyway, I was in the emergency room from 10pm to 5am waiting to be admitted and to get a room. In the meantime, I saw more doctors than I can count. They all wanted me to repeat my story, listen to my heart, listen to me breathe, and poke around at my stomach. They did give me fantastic pain medication, though, so I wasn't too irritated.

I finally got admitted and was assigned a room for the "evening" (now 5:30am). I was given morphine but it didn't do anything for the pain. I decided to give it about 30 minutes to see if it just took longer to work. After 30 minutes, I asked the nurse if I could get the narcotic that I was given in the emergency room and she said yes. 30 minutes after I asked for it, I still hadn't gotten it so I called her in again and she said she was working on it. An hour after I originally asked for the medication I still hadn't gotten it. She finally came in and said she had ordered it and it would be available soon. Little did I know, but for the rest of my stay I would have to fight for pain killers! You would think pain killers would be a priority for patients in excruciating pain.

The Changing of the Rooms
After one night in my room, I was moved to another floor. I'm not sure why, they never told me. Kinda random. My new roommate likes to grunt and moan a lot. My old roommate was old and kinda smelly but at least she was quiet. Late last night (or maybe early this morning) my roommate began acting strangely, didn't make it to the bathroom and wet her bed. The nurse brought in a doctor and basically conducted a psych eval. They were asking her if she knew where she was, what the date was, if she felt drunk, and what happened that she didn't go to the bathroom when she had to pee. Half of my heart wanted to reach out to her and say it is okay. I know how embarrassing it can be, but that sometimes when we are sick we don't have control of our bodies. The other half of me was annoyed because she was being rude to the doctors trying to help her and she kept her TV on (at full volume) the entire night. To make matters worse, the woman across the hall prefers to yell for her nurses rather than using the call button. What the heck?

Attending class without leaving the Hospital Bed
After moving to my new room, I joined my classmates for our Ethnography class through Skype since I was missing class by being in the hospital. They allowed me to remain a part of the discussion through technology and I was able to contribute to the conversation while getting my vital signs taken and giving blood. Some of the nurses sat next to me (after taking blood/giving me shots) to watch as I interacted with the class through my computer. It truly was as if I was there! I had hoped to make it through the entire class period, but due to pain and drowsiness I only made it two out of the three hours. Not too bad considering my condition.

Every once in awhile I have groups of doctors visit me, ask me the same questions as the last group of doctors and the groups before them. Sometimes I feel like I'm on trial and they ask me the same questions to see if I remain consistent. Perhaps that is just the grad-student in me...always feeling like everything will be tested. I've gotten some work done on my dissertation while I've been here. But I lose energy quickly and I get distracted by the grunting next to me.

I sure can't wait to get outta here, we are looking at Friday right now....keep your fingers crossed!

More Welcomed Visitors
In the meantime, while I'm here, I am blessed to have such great visitors. Eric spent most of the day with me today, he took off work to make sure I was well taken care of. He had to go to school, though, so he left around 4:15. My dad was so great to come up from Jefferson City after a day full of meetings, he made it to my room around 6:30 with the beautiful flowers pictured above. Two of my favorite things: puppies and flowers! If I can't get puppy-love at the hospital, I suppose this is the next best thing. The nurse kicked both Eric and my Dad out at 9pm. Then, Hilary, a great friend of mine going back to middle school ice skating days, surprised me with a visit at the beginning of her shift as a nurse at the Children's Hospital around 11pm. I had been dozing in and out of sleep and when she first stuck her head in I was sleeping, so she was going to write me a note and leave it in my room, but the second time she came I had woken up. It was SO GREAT to talk and catch up with her. I've missed her so much. She has a great bubbly personality, those kids are so lucky to have her as their nurse. She has a great heart.

I am expecting new visitors today: Renee, my mother-in-law graciously agreed to keep me company today; my friend Andrea from JC asked if she could visit me, as did Beth! I'm so excited to see some friendly faces! Hilary showed me just how much is means to have friends during these times of our lives. Thank you to all of my wonderful family and friends.

Today is looking Good
My day began today at 4am when my roommate's IV was beeping quite loudly and she didn't feel the need to silence it or ask a nurse to take care of whatever was wrong. So after about 20 minutes of this beeping I finally called a nurse to have it turned off. Then at 5am I gave my daily blood sample. This woman was the best I've had so far at taking blood, it only took her one stick and there was no digging involved! She also noticed that the tape they use irritates my skin so she used the elastic wrap. It is the little things that hospital employees do that keep patients sane. She also said I had pretty eyes, so I might be a little biased. hahahaha After spending several nights in the hospital, nothing about you feels pretty so she pretty much made my day and it was only 5am.

Today just keeps getting better and better! My friend Hilary just dropped off some Jello for me! Yesterday when we were talking I said it wasn't fair that I didn't get to participate in any St. Patty's day celebrations. Even when I was allowed a clear liquid diet, they brought me red things like cherry jello, berry mix juice, cranberry juice, and strawberry popsicle. I told Hilary they could have at least given me green jello. Well, at 6am this morning she shows up with TWO green jellos and a cute St. Patty's day card!
(See what I mean about not feeling pretty? My hair looks so dirty!)

Another plus...I've gotten enough fluids so I no longer have to be hooked up to the IV constantly! I still have the thingamajig in my arm because I'm still getting shots of pain medications, steroids, and whatever else I'm getting injected with! Today is looking up so far!

Randy's Ice Cream

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | | 1 comments
Last August we moved to a new duplex which put us about a block away from an amazing ice cream shop. The weather has been so nice lately...perfect weather for ice cream. When my parents came to town the other day they took us to Randy's for a little treat! We really enjoyed our first (outdoor) ice cream of the season! Look how sunny and beautiful it is!

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