Monday, May 02, 2011

2011 Thus Far

Sorry for the wonky formatting in the previous post, if it isn't obvious, I used the "post via email" option. I thought it would be easier, but probably won't do it again due to the formatting.

Ugh and I keep thinking of other things that happened - like in December 2009, Geoff and I took a whirlwind trip to Houston to help my borderline hoarder (like ALMOST could be on the show Hoarders, maybe not quite though) grandfather move into his retirement community. It was 5 straight days of 12+ hour workdays going through his house as quickly and efficiently as possible. My parents came down to help, and we had some help from my uncle as well. My cousin and his girlfriend innocently came by to pick up a fridge and some furniture on their anniversary - and ended up staying and helping us out straight up until they had to leave for their dinner reservation. It was SO kind of them (especially the girlfriend!! - now fiance!) to stay a disgusting, mold-filled house full of trash to help us sort through Goodwill/keep/trash/recycle/etc. It really meant a lot to me and Geoff. They apologized profusely for having to leave and for not knowing ahead of time (this was on Sunday, and they had to work the next day), otherwise they would have helped us out on Saturday as well.

Also at some point Patrick came to visit Portland - it was late 2010 because we went to bingo! But I have to stop thinking about what else happened last year otherwise we will never get into this year!!!

January 2011
Started off with a Murder Mystery Dinner Party at Dave and Busters with my sister and her boyfriend! The New Years Day we went to the Northwestern bowl game in Dallas!!! Yay for parents who live where your team's bowl game is! We were able to rearrange our tickets and because they actually cost LESS than our original tickets back did we even got a discount on our change fee! The Wildcats lost but it was still a great time and we got to see some college friends. We also got to meet up with my college friend Russ, his wife, and his new (probably 4 months at the time?) baby! They took us out for a fantastic lunch a Greek cafe close to my parent's house (so nice of them to drive out closer to us to meet us even though THEY were the ones with the baby!). 2011 definitely started out with an exciting bang!!!

February 2011
Ugh. February. We were planning a trip to Disney World with my friend/bingo partner/doggy daycare manager Chelsea and her boyfriend Peter. We actually DID go to Disney World, but two days into the trip I got sick. So sick. :( High temperature, feel totally rotten, stay in bed all day kind of sick. Yuck. Thankfully we were there with Chelsea and Peter so Geoff could go to the parks with them during the day. I was able to go to the parks Saturday and Sunday, but Monday (Valentine's Day - everyone went out to a romantic dinner but me!), Tuesday, and Wednesday I was in bed all day. Wednesday night I started getting concerned - we had to fly back Friday and I wasn't going to be able to fly the way I was feeling. So Geoff stayed home from a special luau dinner show even thing that we were going to go to in order to the doctor with me. A very nice man came and picked me up on a complimentary bus and took us to urgent care. We had to wait forever (like 2.5 hours?) but finally a doctor came in, said "you have some sort of tonsillitis, no strep test cause adults don't get strep, but I'll put you on an antibiotic". Fine. Happily, they had the antibiotic on site so we didn't have to track down a pharmacy. I started taking that and started feeling a bit better. Thursday I spent a couple of hours at the parks with everyone, just taking it real slow and easy. Friday night we flew home - with a stop in Dallas in which my parents were able to meet us at the airport and my mom brought me birthday brownies! - and then I slept in late Saturday, my birthday. Starting Thursday, I had NO VOICE. I have never had no voice like that before - I would open up my mouth to talk and words would not come out. I could whisper, but it wasn't until Monday at work (which thankfully was President's Day, so there were very few people at work), that I had any voice whatsoever to talk with! Even then it was awful. I would have had to miss a whole week of work, so I guess it was good that I was on vacation, but ugh!! What a vacation - sick the whole week!! So that next week I started feeling better and my antibiotics finished on Friday the 25th. By Monday the 28th I still wasn't feeling right, so I went back to the doctor. This doctor actually ran a strep test and SURPRISE - I had strep. He thought it was SO weird, because he had just been looking at my throat and saying "do you ever get acid reflux? because this looks more like some irritation than strep throat". The nurse then knocked on the door and said the strep was positive. He was shocked - they had only done the strep test because it's standard for them with sore throats. I asked what the percentage of tests are false negatives, and he said "are you an engineer? only engineers ask me questions like that." Why yes, yes I am. So he googled it for me - only 2% are false negatives. But we did a culture just to be sure - it really was strep, I found out a few days later. So he put me on a 2nd course of antibiotics - this one only for 7 days instead of 10 days. I got to feeling a bit better again (never 100%), and then again about 2 days after the antibiotics wore off, I felt worse again. Having been through this song and dance before, I went straight back to the doctor. Strep AGAIN!! It was so weird... they asked if I worked in childcare or was around kids or what. Nope, none of the above. She said "we never see antibiotic resistant strep throat!" She put me on a third course of antibiotics. I don't know if I had strep all 3 times, or if it came and went, or if I just kept having it... who knows. But that one finally did the trick and about 6 weeks after getting sick, I got fully 100% better. Thank GOODNESS!!! So half of February and basically all of March was shot.

The other thing that happened in February is my sister went to Afghanistan. After grad school, she started a program to be a Human Terrain Analyst. She trained for 6 months in Leavenworth, Kansas, and then left in February for Afghanistan. I am SUPER excited for her and proud of her.

March 2011
Since I was sick all of March (more or less... and I was able to go to work but just didn't have much energy for anything else), I decided to become the master of care packages for my sister!! I have sent her some themed ones - Under the Sea, Easter, etc. and some random things that she has requested (clothes, etc.) I am now a pro at filling out a customs form and mailing to APOs. I know everything you could every want to know about how the military mail system works and what to send, what not to send. In fact, I've had so much fun doing this that when she comes back, I plan to do an "adopt a soldier" program for care packages. It's been just awesome, and having her there helps me learn and appreciate a lot more about our military!

We also went to the Portland RV Show TWICE in March - this time it's not us in the market for an RV, it's my in-laws. They went from wanting a Class A (like a big bus type) to a travel trailer (pull behind a vehicle) to back to a tiny trailer (a really short one that you pull behind a vehicle). That's kind of what my MIL wanted all along, but my FIL wanted something a little bigger. But when push came to shove, he realized he doesn't go very often and it makes more sense for her to have something she can tow easily and setup quickly on her own. It did take 2 RV shows to figure it out, but now she's in the market for something like the Rockwood Roo 21BH - has bunks, a U-shaped dinette (more space), plus a fold out bed for when it's nice out. Really great little camper. So she is working on getting her beloved Mustang ready for sale - it's a new season of life and while she's loved the Mustang now she is ready to love a camper of her own! So that was fun too.

April 2010
April brought our first camping trip of the year - to the coast on what turned out to be the nicest weekend of the year!! It worked out nicely. The only bummer came when Geoff opened the emergency exit window, and it somehow slid off it's track and popped off. In the process of trying to put it back in, he accidentally shattered the window next to the emergency exit (they are adjoined). So our camper has been out of commission and we have been living at my in-law's house for the past two weeks. Luckily they have plenty of space and are kind enough to let us stay there. Also, my FIL is out of town for work for several months so it works nicely that we are at there to stay with my MIL and give her a bit of company (or, she is annoyed that people are invading her house during her special time alone!). Plus they have an extra fridge in their garage, which is great because there is a refrigerator recall that we decided to have done as well (might as well since they have our camper anyway). So that should be done in about 2 more weeks - the problem with such a high-end / specialized camper is that everything is custom and so service takes a bit longer. That's ok, I think it was still the right choice for us.

Which brings us to May... this weekend we are headed to Atlanta for my brother-in-law's graduation from Georgia Tech! We'll get to see Geoff's brother for the first time since right before Christmas, plus his grandparents for the first time sense then too. It will be a quick trip but should be a fun weekend.

And now you're caught up on my life. :)


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