Monday, March 30, 2009

TOP 10.

10 top reasons this weekend was INCREDIBLE.

1. Sarah came to visit!

2. We went to Dos Taquitos, a local Mexican restaurant, and a personal favorite. The food was delicious and the atmosphere and company divine!

3. Sarah did AMAZING in the half marathon on Saturday! She placed 7th in her age group [out of 175 women!] and timed in at 1:43.43. Incredible! We were proud spectators!

4. The rain stopped long enough on Saturday for the race. The temperature was in the low 60's AND, the sun even came out briefly.

5. Sunday was gorgeous [sunny and 80]. We walked through Lake Johnson, found some geo-caches, and went to Sonic for happy hour!

6. We went to Mura-a Japanese restaurant and had SUSHI, for the first time! It was quite an adventure [pictures to follow!]

7. We went to Goodberry's! We stood shivering in line [the wind was brutal] for a ridiculously long time to satisfy our craving for frozen custard. It was well worth it!

8. We played Ticket to Ride AND introduced Sar to the bean game.

9. We made homemade pizza, enjoyed Newton Folly, and devoured brownies.

10. We laughed A LOT.

It was great having you, Sarah! We miss you already [even Bentley. He was looking all over for you when I got back from the airport!]

Come again soon.
We love you!

before the race!

rounding mile 13...the homestretch!



the end.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My [side of the] Story.

We’re in the air on our way back to Raleigh. I just dominated in Solitaire [at last!]. So, I thought I would write a few thoughts down regarding the last five days.

I’m not quite where to even begin…the past weeks seems like a complete blur and in some ways it’s hard to believe this adventure is in many ways over.

It was a tough trip…

But, completely worth it.

My cells were transported to the receiving blood center late afternoon on Monday.
“Sally” [we named her] the stem-cell recipient received her transplant either late Monday evening or early Tuesday.

I’m exhausted. Physically and mentally. Life begins again bright and early tomorrow. It’s almost as if we were never gone…

What a whirlwind of an adventure…

Thanks for praying us through.

Monday, March 23, 2009

One and Done

well the needles were pulled out at 2:30pm.

The morning started early and we were to the blood center by 8:00am. After doing some more tests and getting a couple more shots, Emily was ready to begin at 9:00am. Her cell counts were on the higher side which is what they were hoping for. The first couple hours of the procedure were going well, so I decided to hand the reigns over to mom for a little while so that I could go and donate some blood. When I returned to where Emily was, it was evident that she was not feeling well. As the time went on, the sickness and pain got worse for Emily. The nurses kept a close eye on her, and did whatever they could to help her feel as comfortable as possible. They were surprised by her sickness and pain, as that were not all that common for this procedure. Thank goodness for blankets, cold wraps, pink buckets, pillows and nurses who would do whatever was needed.

No one was more relieved than Emily when they finally announced the procedure was completed. Emily could finally move her body into the comfort of the fetal position. However, even that position didn't prove to help much either. It was a long and draining day (literally and figuratively I guess you could say) for Emily, and we were all glad when we could come home. Emily was still quite sick in the car on the way home, but has since started to feel better. She is on the couch sleeping right now, and hopefully her body will begin to recuperate during the nap.

I apologize for the lack of details, but maybe Emily will post sometime later and let you know how it all went from her perspective (and I'm sure she won't sugar coat it like I just did). All I can tell you is that the procedure was a success and Emily's body did a fantastic job of producing extra cells for today. The nurses and doctor were all quite impressed. As were we!

Thankfully another day is not needed to get the required amount of cells. Well I think that is all I have to say for now. We greatly appreciate all the thoughts and prayers throughout this process.


Friday, March 20, 2009

we're off!

We're heading to the airport in about 20 minutes-just one last minute post!

We would love to see you so if you're available on Monday [& possible Tuesday] come stop by, say hello, grab a cookie AND donate blood! The stem-cell collection begins bright and early @ 8am [and will continue through the afternoon] -so if you're out that way, stop on in to the Michigan Community Blood Center-we would love to see you! [Feel free to call either of our cell phones first.]

1036 Fuller Ave NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

love to all.
e & j

Monday, March 16, 2009

A few more details...and a plea for prayers

As our trip home quickly approaches, the reality of this experience sets in. Yesterday the woman who will be receiving my stem-cells begun her "pre-transplant" protocol. During this time her immune system will destroyed in hopes that her body will accept my cells. Please pray for continued health for her during this pertinent time.

Thursday I begin getting injections to boost my white blood cell count. The side effects can be undesirable [flu like], yet definitely tolerable [and well worth it] Minimal side effects would be great as well as an INSANE production of stem-cells. that would be awesome.

At last we received our travel itinerary...we should be home Friday night around 9pm. I will receive shots on Saturday and Sunday and then Monday morning @ 8 will begin the collection process.

i am excited for what the next week entails.
i am thankful that needles, blood and bedpans don't bother me.
i am grateful we get to see family and friends.
i am ready!

and now a glance into our life tonight:

Jim found a sweet deal on a paper shredder @ Target: originally almost $70: on sale for $18. he currently is shredding every unwanted piece of paper that has accumulated in our apartment [including the Sunday paper] oh, the joy.

AND, I'm devouring a bag of Starburst Jelly Beans-the limited edition red fruits ONLY-amazing.

that's life as we know it.

love from the rainy state of NC.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi Day

So,who did something special for Pi day, today? Come on, I know somebody did something cool...

Emily worked. I did paperwork. Bentley slept.

With 6 IEP meetings to write and hold, a week and a half of lesson plans to accomplish, 3 days of sub plans to write (for our trip to MI), report cards to construct, SST meetings to attend, and and a few tutoring sessions to do in the next 14 days (while in MI for 5 of those days) I found plenty of school work to do today. I cleared off the kitchen table and set up my work station. I turned up the Greg Laswell station on Pandora, made a half pot of coffee, and started on my quest. I was surprised at the production, but still have so much to do. Here's to a Sunday afternoon to be spent at the kitchen table... tomorrow's music station still up for debate.

I hope y'all are enjoying your weekend.

Friday, March 13, 2009

the FURminator!

Our suppose-to-be, once was, but no longer NON-shedding dog.....has begun to shed!

ahhhh! So, we took matters into our own hands and purchased....THE FURMINATOR!

With convincing pictures, videos, [check out Youtube] and reviews we placed our bid on ebay...and won!

We tested out the product last night and were amazed! Just look at the results.

amazing and completely disgusting.

so, his undercoat is gone and his shedding is too.

back to being one happy family.

Monday, March 9, 2009

a new fascination

i'm falling in love with etsy.

anyone else?!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

happiness is...

...Lake Johnson + picnic lunch + slushies from Sonic + 80 degree weather + Sunday naps.
it was another great weekend.
that just went too fast.

[our attempt at] a family photo

off to enjoy the last few hours of the weekend.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

my kind of day.

What a crazy and unpredictable change of weather this week! On Monday we had 3.5 inches of snow and today temperatures soared into the 80's! It was a welcomed change and pleasant surprise from earlier this week. We definitely took advantage of it this afternoon!

relaxing in the sun.
ok, any guesses on what these kids are playing?!
I seriously didn't know this game existed.
hint: think harry potter.

the park was packed: a beautiful thing.
kites flyers.
and lots of walkers.

spring is always such a welcomed change of season.
now, off to watch "Fireproof" and devour brownies & ice cream.
not a bad way to end a great day!

love to all.
em & jim.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

it's a go!

I received the call yesterday, the tests went really well. The stem-cell donation/transplant is a go! Details are still pending, but we hope to be back to Michigan around March 20.

My trip home went really well. It was great to be back to my old stompin' grounds for the testing. I can't believe how much the hospital has changed since I worked there years ago. It was great to meet with the director of the blood center to put a plan into action and to answer questions.

I learned the patient is a 41 year old female with leukemia and lives in the United States, and is in remission. Her odds of survival without the transplant are zero and even with the transplant-odds are not necessarily in her favor.

She is on my mind daily. I find myself trying to grasp what she is feeling, thinking, and anticipating. I simply can't. all i can do is pray.

So, on that's a glimpse into our life the past few [& crazy] days...

[FRIDAY] I returned home to Raleigh around 11pm. it was so good to see my husband: amazing how much you can miss your soul mate after a mere 48 hours.

[SATURDAY] thank goodness for sleeping in + naps
i was exhausted.
we celebrated Jim's birthday.
[it was tough keeping his gift [a wii fit] a secret-i couldn't wait till Sunday!]

what a riot. i was quickly reminded why i don't like to play video games with jim...

he dominates...all the time.

Jim's wii fit age: 22.
my wii fit age: 40....and seriously, NO! I do not trip over my feet when I walk...despite what the wii fit says.

[SUNDAY] a bitter cold and rainy day....a good day for naps, a little wii-fit, church and small group.

[MONDAY] 3.5 inches of SNOW! crazy, we woke up to a winter wonderland. snow day for Jim...back to work for me.

[TUESDAY] 2 hour delay for Jim for possible ice + day off for me = sleeping in. delightful. a day of getting caught up on laundry and cleaning.

so. life is good.
we have so much to be grateful for.

the day of testing

lunch downtown

my love.
i'm head over heels.

the birthday boy
[and homemade cream puff]

yep, he's sweet.

a little yoga

winter wonderland: March 2009
with love.
e. hapner