Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dog Verses Children

The kids had been asking for a dog for a VERY long time.  I mean, they have only been alive for 6 1/2 and 3 1/2 years but ever since they could talk they have been asking for a dog.

I always had a dog when I was younger.  I was born into a family that owned a little cocker spaniel.  Dogs have always been a part of my life but honestly I never really took care of a dog.  Yep, my poor dad always did the dog work.

So, when we found the most perfect dog in the world at the local dog pound I jumped on the opportunity. however, Roger and I were so nervous about how getting a dog would affect our already hectic lives.

We couldn't be more pleased with the dog, well, actually we could, if the little feller could walk himself that would be FANTASTIC!  but he doesn't so we shall forgive him for that.

Jimmy Boy has such a wonderful temperament.   See for yourself.
He keeps Anna entertained for hours on end.  She plays baby with him and beauty shop and chases the poor thing through the house.

In my mind I was dreading the whole barking and running through the house that I thought this dog might be tempted to do. Because, yeah know,  the kids already do that and it kinda drives me a tad bit nuts .  

So far so good.  He is a pretty mellow little guy.  He runs the steam off in the back yard and comes inside to chill with his people. He thinks the kids are CRAZY and I totally agree with him on that.

My son, the genius

So there I was, taking a little cat nap on the couch, when all of a sudden I felt a small tap on my shoulder. "Hey mom. Look at this thing that I made with my legos."  I rolled over, half asleep, prepared to give my mommy pretend excited face, when all of a sudden I saw THIS.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

She's going to HOLLYWOOD!

Oh my GOSH I am so EXCITED for Lauren Mink!

She is a Georgetown College Graduate from Winchester, Kentucky and she is going to HOLLYWOOD. 
I'm pretty sure the whole winchester/georgetown college community is as excited as I am to see Lauren on American Idol.  The girl has a VOICE.  I'm so glad America is finally able to hear it.

We both went through 3 horrid semesters of Latin Class together at Georgetown and I remember her working very hard on the weekends singing at local establishments, being the opening act for several musicians and traveling around to perform at certain talent shows.  

I don't know about you but I am totally watching the rest of this season of American Idol.
Even if that means having to bum cable off of someone (we don't have cable).  


We are all so incredibly happy for Lauren.

You go girl!   

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Update on my cardiologist appointment

I apologize for the lateness of this post.  I have had several people, call, corner or text me to make sure things went well at the doctors office since I updated a post the day before heading to the doctor but haven't updated anyone with information after I got back.

Last Thursday my cardiologist appointment wasn't suppose to be until 2:30pm.  I had it all set up that Roger would come home to watch little Anna and pick Paul up from school so I could head to the doctor.  WEll, at about 9:30am I got a call from the nurse asking if I could come in as soon as possible because there was suppose to be some major snow heading to the area and my Doctor didn't want me traveling right smack dab in the middle of a snow storm. Have I mentioned how AWESOME my cardiologist is?

It just so happened that Roger had a very important meeting at 11am that he couldn't get out of so Anna ended up heading to the Cardiologist with me.  I was a tad bit nervous about taking her because I had some major tests and I knew that the appointment would take at least 3 hours, not to mention the fact that it was right in the middle of her lunch and nap time that all of this stuff would be taking place.

I took plenty of snacks, her favorite book and the nurse offered to let her watch Dora The Explorer (SCORE!!) while I was have my echocardiogram done (ultra sound on the heart).

While I was having the structure of my heart examined I started having all kinds of those crazy episodes that I have been telling you all about.  I looked at the screen that I was hooked up to and noticed how every time my heart felt REALLY funny it would either flat line or go all OVER the place, then jump right back into rhythm.  yes, it kinda creeped me out. I mentioned it to the nurse and she said they are palpitations.  Surprise!  Surprise!   That's the whole reason I have a pacemaker and I take 2 different types of heart meds.  My heart has arrhythmia problems.  I thought the meds and the pacer was suppose to help with that?  They have for over 12 years.  Why all of a sudden am I feeling all of these palpations again?

The Doctor didn't seem surprised at all by these episodes.  He said the structure of my heart looks GREAT!  They always check to make sure I don't have an aortic aneurism since I am at high risk for that and they always check to make sure I don't have any narrowing of the passageways since at 15 I had some major narrowing and had a stint placed.  Structurally all looked good but I still FEEL like crap off and on.

He said the dizzy spells that I have been feeling are more than likely my blood pressure dropping.  It is already REALLY low because of the medicine that I am taking for the arrhythmia and it is probably dipping pretty low throughout certain times of the day.  Hence the reason why I keep blacking out when I stand up.  If he increases the amount of meds to help the arrhythmia my blood pressure would reach a dangerous low so we can't really do that.  He has some other medicine that I will eventually go on to help relax my heart muscle so that more blood can flow through it but that is a LAST OPTION kind of medicine that I will be on for the rest of my life so he doesn't want to start that until I REALLY REALLY REALLY need it and I eventually will.

With all that said he has ordered me to take another Stress Test to see how my heart is doing during exercise. He wants me to be able to be as active as I want to be.  He actually gets REALLY excited about telling people that he has a patient born with Transposition Of the Great Vessel that is as active as I am and has given birth to two children !!   It makes me really HAPPY that my cardiologist is so excited about how well my heart is doing!

3 hours later Anna and I headed home completely EXHAUSTED.  By the time we made it to our car the snow was pouring from the sky but hadn't yet had a chance to stick to the ground, we had a 40 min drive ahead of us and we were both STARVING.  We decided to have a mommy/Anna Chick-Fil-a date since she was so stinking GOOD at the doctors office with me!    We both got a kids meal.

Now I just have the stress of having a Stress Test to take, I hate those things, hanging over me.  They make you run, with all of these machines hooked up to you, until you are nearing the passing out point. It is AWEFUL.  Then they put you on a table to cool off and catch your breath, at which point you want to cry, and often times do, because you feel like you are NEVER going to catch your breath.  Then you start feeling like you are going to vomit.  It is such a traumatizing experience.  I have had LOTS of them.

Jimmy Boy Comes Home

The Animal Shelter called us today (tuesday) around 2pm to inform us that our application for the dog had been approved and that we could come pick him up.   Check out THIS POST about how panicked I was.

I told them we wouldn't be able to get him until tomorrow since we needed to get all the supplies ready. Plus, I was still a tad bit nervous about whether or not we really needed to add a Dog to our already crazy lives.

When Anna and I picked Paul up from school we surprised him by going to the store to pick up the dog supplies (kennel, food, shampoo, dog dish and brush).  "I can't believe I am actually getting a dog!!  Is this for real?  Am I REALLY getting a dog?!?!  A real dog of my own!!!"  - Paul

The kids were jumping through the store with excitement!!  It was so much fun to watch.  Being on the other side, the parent side, when getting a new dog is so much better than being on the kid side.  I have gotten so much joy from watching the excitement of Paul and Anna over this dog.

Since we had all the stuff and the animal shelter didn't close for another 30 min I decided "hey, why not.  let's go get the dog now!"   The kids began to squeal with even more excitement.  "Paul, Paul, Paul, we get to go to that really stinky place to go get our own little puppy!!!" -Anna

 I was a little nervous about picking the dog up because I told Roger that we wouldn't get the dog until Wednesday.

As soon as we got home with the dog that we named Jimmy Boy, we gave him a bath.  The poor thing was soooooooo nastey from being at the shelter.  "you were homeless Jimmy, but now you have a home.  You can be a part of our family now!" -Paul

The kids laughed and laughed and laughed when the dog shook himself dry.

So far so good!!  This evening has been a blast with our new little four legged friend.  He is such a good dog!   He hasn't barked once, he hasn't whined, and best of all he hasn't went to the bathroom in our house!  When you want him to be playful he is playful and when you want him to jut chill out with you he chills out with you.

Tonight he walked with me to tuck Paul into bed.  He put his little paws on Paul's bed and licked his face while wagging his little nub of a tail.  He did the same thing for Anna.  The kids just LOVED that little Jimmy Boy tucked them in to bed and are so excited about getting up in the morning to have breakfast with him.

Roger is also warming up to the whole having a dog thing.  It is as if the two of them are long lost buddies that never knew the other existed.  This whole dog ownership thing has gotten off to a pretty good start.

Let me just tell ya, the dog is WAY EASIER to take care of than a child.  For some reason I had in my head that it was going to be this MASSIVE commitment but when you already have two children that you have changed around your WHOLE LIFE for, and have been committed to for over 6 years, and intend to be committed to until the day you die, having a dog seems like a piece of cake!!!

Here are a few pictures from this evening:


It was a very long day for the both of them

Come Pick up Your dog

I'm kind of panicking.  The Animal Shelter just called and said that we could come pick up our pet, that our application has been approved.  WHAT?  I thought we would have a little more time to think this whole "getting a dog" thing over. I mean, I was pretty sure I wanted to get a dog, this dog, but I honestly have been trying to process the whole thing. The whole "having something else to tend to besides two children and a house."

I have been back and forth about whether or not to get a dog.  The kids have been BEGGING us for over a year now to get a dog. Paul and Anna have separately broken down into tears about how they are "NEVER GOING TO EVER HAVE A PET."  Paul said that "he was a boy with out a pet" and just broke my heart, while Anna screamed at me "If I had a pet I would calm down. A pet would calm me down. He would walk in my room, lick my face and I would be ALL CALM."

I too have been pinning for a pet.  Growing up we ALWAYS had dogs.  My parents are pet lovers but not the CRAZY kind, they are the "we love dogs but they are dogs, not people" kind of pet lovers.

Recently while Anna and I were at the Animal Shelter we found the most adorable standard poodle puppy. He's 8 months old, apricot color.  I had a standard poodle growing up and absolutely LOVED her.  She was the BEST dog that we ever had, so smart, so loyal.  I immediately WANTED the little poodle.  I filled out an application knowing that we would have at least 7 days to think it through.  Over the 7 days I have been excited, nervous, super happy, super nervous and full of anxious tension.

At first Roger was ok with the idea but not thrilled.  He knows how much the kids want a pet and loves to see those two happy.  Over the past 7 days he has been researching the standard poodle breed and has taken an impressive liking to them.  He is confident that he will end up enjoying the dog but is still a bit nervous about the cleanliness issue.  A the house......yuck.   I too am a neat freak and can not stand yuck so I am a bit nervous about that. In fact that is one of my number one concerns. Plus the whole allergy issue.  I have such AWEFUL allergies.

After the animal shelter called I called my mom in a mad panic about whether or not we should get the dog, was it a good idea or a stupid one?  She encouraged it and even said that if we get him and need help that she would help train him or if we get him and decide not to keep him that her and dad would adopt him from us.  You see, she too is missing our standard poodle that ended up passing away of old age just a few years ago.  

As I type this I am getting less nervous...... sort of.   After I pick Paul up from school I am going to take the kids to the store to get some animal supplies.  We need a crate, dog food, a leash and collar, some dog wash (he is stinky), and a dog dish.  

For any one who knows us they know that we have thought more about this whole Dog thing than we did about getting pregnant.  I guess because the whole pregnancy thing is like, well, ummm, well, you know what I mean.  It just kind of happens at a very spontaneous, romantic moment.  Thinking about  getting a dog, let's just say I have a clearer mind to think with.  ;-)  

I just don't want the thing to tear my house up and make it all stinky.  But I'm pretty sure this standard poodle, the 2nd smartest dog breed, will be just fine, once I train him.  Who knows, maybe the little feller is already trained!!!   we shall see.

I'm excited to see the kids faces when I tell them we got our dog!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cardiologist Appointment Tomorrow

I have a cardiologist appointment tomorrow.
I am a tad bit nervous about it.
Well, actually I am plum near terrified.
I haven't been feeling very well lately.
I am currently wearing a 30 day halter monitor to record these episodes that I have been having and for the past week the episodes have increased.

 I can still function during the episodes, they aren't bothersome enough to knock me down but it is a struggle to keep on working through them.  Last night as I was getting the kids ready for bed I had several of the episodes.  I just held on to the bathroom sink and kept on instructing Anna to brush her teeth. I refused to let Roger help be because I am a pain in the butt when I am bound and determined to be perfectly healthy. 

During the episodes my chest gets really tight, starts to burn a little bit (but only sometimes), I start feeling nauseous and short of breath. I also start feeling my heart doing really strange beats like it is skipping.

Tomorrow my appointment is with the main cardiologist, not the pacemaker doctor.  This doctor that I am going to go to tomorrow will be focusing on examining the structure of my heart.
I'm scared.

It has been a while since I, as I say, started going down hill in the heart health.
That is probably an over statement but that is what I feel like.
I feel like having to get a pacemaker and be put on 2 different kinds of medicine was a low point.
I just keep waiting for the next low point and I just have that feeling that it is close.
I know, I am a total Debbie Downer at the moment.
It's hard not to be when just a few months ago I had no problem at all taking my long walks and now it is such a fight to get up that darn hill on Mable St.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Epiphany 2012

What do a Pastor, a Seminary Student, a Biologist, a Teacher, a Lawyer and a Personal Trainer all have in common?

No this is not some kind of a joke.

do you give up?

They are a few of our friends!!!

Although our lives have changed a LOT in the past few years we still all remain close.

You know those kind of friends that you can just let loose with and spend hours and hours talking about nothing in particular and laughing so hard your gut hurts?

Yep!  That's what I am talking about.

Every year we try to have some sort of Christmas party but this year Christmas kind of got away from us, and so did New Years, so we decided at the last minute to have an Epiphany party.

Everyone was instructed to bring a book from their personal book shelves, wrap it up and bring it with them. Along with a side item that would go well with the pork tenderloin. 

We played the gift game and each of us ended up leaving with a different book.

Roger and I totally scored on the whole book exchange!
Rog got Tyler's Backyard Homestead book that I have been DYING to have. My mom has that book and I have tried stealing it from her but she wouldn't let THAT happen.

I ended up getting the book Colt brought called Lost Mountain by Erik Reece. It is about the radical strip mining and the devastation of Appalachia.   I am SOOOOO EXCITED to read it!

Once I put the kids to bed I forced EVERYONE to play a game with me.

My parents got Roger and I this game called Head Banz where each person puts a word (that they can't see and have no clue what it is) on their heads and  then try to guess it by asking the group of people yes or no questions.  It can be rather hilarious.
beer and church

pamela anderson and melons

It cracks me up that we are all grown up professionals now. It is like we are pulling a big one, "ha ha ha they think we are adults but really we are just little kids!"
I guess this is how our parents felt when they hit their mid 20's/ early 30's?

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
- C.S Lewsi

Monday, January 9, 2012

Our Grand Adventure at The Seelbach

Life for the past month has been CRAZY but good.

Roger finished up his semester with papers and exams, while I prepared for Christmas, tended to two hyper active children and job hunted.
(yes, I am headed back to work in the outside world.  The details of that will have to wait for another blog.)

By the time Christmas was over we both looked like hell and felt like death.

The day after New Years (Jan 2) Roger was scheduled to attend a Young Ministers' Conference in Louisville, Ky at the Historic Seelbach Hotel.  I was so dreading being left alone, YET AGAIN, with two hyper active bundles of joy but I knew that he REALLY needed to go to the conference.

Heck, three FREE nights at The Seelbach!

You think I am going to miss out on THAT?

I tagged along.

And so did the two hyperactive bundles of pure joy!

While Roger met in small groups with other young ministers to talk about the joys and stresses of being in the ministry, the kids and I EXPLORED!!!

Anna- "mom. look! I found pirate treasure!" 

they LOVED sitting on the steps, and watching people walk by
While Roger signed copies of Sacred Places of Kentucky.......

.... the kids and I went down into the Rathskeller

Like a true explorer, Paul brought along his flash light.

He was intrigued by the history of the place.

I had so much fun telling him about all the old stories and legends.
"what is THIS mom?"   "well son, that is a bar."  "what is a bar mom?"

But they both got a little creeped out by walking through all the "old spooky places."
"wait a second, are we allowed to be in here?"

"did you hear something mom? there was a spooky sound."

Paul was convinced that this was all "real, pure gold, from the ancient world."

 After I explained to them about the old mail slots on each floor, they decided to write their very own letter to mail out.  
Paul ended up writing a letter to the hotel that said "dear Hotel, Thanks for letting us stay. Love Paul."
Roger gave it to the front desk to read before he checked out but asked for it back so we could keep it to show Paul when he grows up.

For Christmas they both got sleeping bags so we figured since we were "camping at the Sellbach" that it would be a very appropriate time to use them.

Since the majority of the people on our floor where young ministers and during the day they were all at the preaching conference, I figured it was more than ok to prop the door open and let the kids play in the hall way.  Those old rooms are super tiny.  And that big hallway was SO MUCH fun for our two hyperactive bundles of joy! 

I didn't tak the camera but I did take the kids to the fitness center in the hotel with me.  They enjoyed "working out" with me while I walked on the treadmill and lifted weights.  Anna was intrigued by all the people walking by on the street below.  The windows of the fitness center overlook 4th street.

We also explored the historic The Oak Room of the hotel and Paul was pretty much left silent with excitement that he finally got to see a secret passage way.  The manager of the restaurant saw us poking around and took us on a small personal tour of the restaurant. Showing us the room were Al Capone used to play poker with the gang and the secret passage door that he used to sneak out unnoticed. She also pointed out the secret door that the hookers used to be brought in through. 
 She whispered that tad bit of information so the kids wouldn't hear.  

The kids and I ended up leaving a day earlier than Roger because Paul boy had school and little Anna was explored out.  
I was so sad to leave Roger and super sad to leave the hotel.  
I just LOVE staying in super nice historic hotels and I can NEVER sleep when Roger isn't home.

Even though I spent Monday- Wednesday chasing 2 kids through The Seelbach, I felt well rested when I got home. 

I had a blast having a small little adventure with the kiddos and enjoying a Historic Kentucky Hotel that we will probably never in our lives be able to afford to stay in.
I am so thankful for these opportunities that are placed before us.
It truly makes our lives seem like one grand adventure after another.

Have I mentioned that Roger has been asked to represent the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Memphis, Tn at the Christian Churches Together conference in February?


They are even giving him a rental car because he opted to drive instead of fly.

Yes, I am TOTALLY tagging along for that one too!!

And yes, I am taking along my Paul Simmon Graceland Cd!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Home Makeover: Hand Me Down Edition

I really envy people who have an eye for decorating their home.
I REALLY REALLY envy people who have time to decorate their home.

For years I have read through blogs, magazines and walked through the most beautiful houses, with that inner dialogue going on, "jess, you can do that. look how beautiful that is"

I have crafty little ideas popping through my mind at all times of the day and night.
I KNOW how I want to decorate but I have no TIME to do it.
While our current house was being remodeled I had 30 minutes to pick out the paint. At the time we were living 2 hours away and only coming into town to check on the house once a week. Every time we were at the house so were the kids, who were 5 and 2 at the time.  I was given a BIG stack of samples and given a small amount of time to pick out the paint.  So there I was in the middle of a construction sight, with two small children running circles around me, trying to hold paint samples up to the wall.  I ended up GIVING up and having pretty much the whole  house painted the same thing. Except the kids rooms because, or coarse they knew exactly what they wanted their rooms painted. 

For the past year I have been wanting to repaint our upstairs library walls and the awful looking book shelves that we got from someone else's road side garbage.
I found a beautiful color for them.  It's just matter of TIME.  When do i even have the TIME.
Have you ever tried to paint with two little one INSISTING that they help?

I've also wanted to refinish or paint our HORRIBLE looking bed frame and head board that I got off of my aunt. It was her bed all through high school.  The thing looks REALLY bad. I want to do that cream color and then sand it so it has that antique look. Even though right now it has an honest to goodness antique look, but not the good kind. you know what I mean?  
I should probably invite some crafty friends over to help me with all this crafty stuff shouldn't I.

I just KNOW I'll start something and just mess it plum up.
I kinda suck when it comes to making stuff look pretty.  
Just ask my husband. He thinks my decorating is CRAZY when I actually attempt it.
He already thinks I am nuts for even talking about painting the head board.  But I'm telling you, the ugliness of the thing is driving me NUTTS. For 7 years I have been climbing into that awful looking thing.  I'm GOING to paint it.

I fanatize about one day owning our OWN furniture instead of all of this hand me down and garbage picking stuff that we have.  not that I am not appreciative of our strange assortment of furniture and the crazy stories that go behind each piece, but I would not be truthful if I didn't admit that I dream about one day all of our furniture sorta kinda matching in some sort of way!

When we first got married I slept on the twin bed and Roger slept on the couch. the church that we were staying in didn't have enough space in the small room we were allowed to live in for much more furniture.  At least we have moved up from there!  At least we have a bed to share now!!!

We went for a while without a couch once.
We sat on the floor which really wasn't all that bad.

I still remember the feeling of excitement when we got our little mobil home stack washing machine!  It was PURE JOY!!  I asked for it for christmas.  My uncle got it out of a house he was renting to someone.  The former tenants had left it.    Before that we had been lugging clothes and a small baby back and forth to the laundry matt.  It really wasn't all that bad.  While the clothes were washing I would put baby paul in one of the baskets with wheels and push him through the place.  
he thought the laundry matt was the circus!  
It kinda was.
Honestly, all the strange conversations we had with the laundry attendants were well worth all those quarters. 

Not to mention all the fun stories we have accumulated along the way.

Now what in the heck was the point of this blog post.
I can't even remember.
Oh, yeah, decorating.
I crave a nicely decorated home.
Doesn't everyone?