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Monday, June 27, 2011

14 years ago we said "I do"

We met in May of 1995 at K-Mart in Anchorage, Alaska. Rick called in sick to work one day to take me out on a date. That first date was all it took. I keep the card he sent me a couple of days later above my bed.

To the most beautiful lady in the world. I'm thinking this could be Love. What do you think? Rick

The most romantic card ever...

Our lives through the years
Dating...

One of our engagement pictures...


Night out with friends before we were married...


Our wedding day June 28th, 1997


Glacier cruise on our 1st Anniversary...


Our first Family Photo
March 2000


Work Christmas party... He is so goofy...


Family photo days...


Christmas 2005


Family Christmas Card photo 


Another Christmas Dinner with my CAMPUS family...


Us at Brooke's wedding.. 


It has been years of ups, downs, ins, outs and upside downs. I am thankfully for all of these years. I am blessed to have had this life with him. We were blessed 3 years into our marriage with our beautiful, amazing son Ricky. We have been truly blessed by God in our marriage. Thank you Lord!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The date is set....

Rick and I met with Dr. Ross on Thursday. We talked for a little while and all of us agreed it was definitely time to move forward with a hysterectomy. We are moving forward and it will be a total hysterectomy; I'm gonna have a big empty hole. Oh well, totally worth it!!

August 29th!!! I am actually really looking forward to this surgery. I can not wait to be pain free for the first time in years. After discussing options with my doctor we have decided that I will have the procedure done by davinci robot assistance. This machine is AWESOME!!! My doctor will make 5 very small incisions and insert thin robot type hands. She will then control the "arms" and do the surgery. It makes it less invasive and easier for her to move around. I would not be a candidate for any other type. I would require a 6 to 8 inch cut if this machine didn't exist. I am so excited!

I will stay overnight in the hospital, then go home on Tuesday and will not be able to drive for a week. Then I can not do any lifting for 2 weeks or more. Dr. Ross thinks I will be back at work the following week without a problem. Especially since I work an office job, she doesn't expect my recovery to take very long at all. There are not words to tell describe how glad I am.

This has been a many year battle and I am so ready to be done with. Rick and I are both looking forward to me enjoying a pain free life...

I will start hormone replacement about 6 weeks after the surgery. This comes with some ups and downs. You have to try different types, doses, etc... Find what works for you, no one is the same. That will be an interesting process, thankfully Dr. Ross will guide us through the whole process. She values Rick's input too when it comes to my hormones.

Biggest drawback!! Well I'll be menopausal, YUK!!! At this time I already struggle with a vitamin D deficiency. Obviously this will need to be watched very carefully and I will start having bone density screenings in about a year. Even so I am still really glad this is being done.

Want to see a little more on davinci surgery...
http://www.davincisurgery.com/gynecology/

Sunday, June 19, 2011

STAMPEDE JERKY...

We took our jerky to the Monticello Watermelon Festival! We got rained out the first night around 8:30 Friday night and started again Saturday morning. On Saturday we set up at 8:30am and went till 4:30pm. They had the parade at 10am, that brought in a sea of humanity...

People loved the jerky, we didn't sell as much as we would have like too but we learned a lot. This was a great learning experience for both of us. So all in all not a bad experience. Only thing we didn't like was the intense heat on Saturday. It had to be well into the 100's especially under the tent on the pavement... Way too HOT!!!!
                                                                          Our tent...
Rick looking proud!

It's a family affair!

Aunt Brooke and Ricky

Our table with samples

Rai-Rai and Leeland enjoying a Pink Lemonade Shaved Ice

Leeland feeding Uncle Rick cheeze its..

Standing guard from the wind...

I'm cute, I was helping out!


Hiding from the rain!

Yep we got rained out!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day... Again...

Yes, Father's Day is a great holiday. I am all for celebrating Dad's. I love the fact that I get to celebrate my husband being the father of my son. It's a great day, but it's also very sad...

I was so very fortunate in life to have had my daddy, John. He was the best dad! He loved me, took care of me, cared for me. Sadly on January 1st 2009, my daddy left this world. He left the pain and suffering he was feeling, but it left me with pain and suffering...

I wrote this letter to help with my closure. I read at my daddy's memorial service, one of the hardest things I have ever done. It's helps every once in awhile to read to help me cope with his loss.

To my Daddy, 

I want to thank you for raising me, caring for me, comforting me and loving me. Thank you for being kind and strong, thank you for being strong for me when I needed you. There were so many times in my life that I needed you and there you were with love, encouragement, kind words and advice. 

Though you are gone physically you will never leave my heart and you will forever be a part of my life. Through me you will forever be a part of my child’s as well. I am proud and grateful to have had you in our lives. I thank God everyday you were with me when Ricky came into our lives. I am so thankful you were able to spend time with him. 

I work everyday to not let myself be angry and frustrated over your loss. Instead, I try to remember the days when I was young and you were my hero. I see you in my dreams there we dance, hunt Easter eggs and I sit on your lap and laugh. In my dreams you are always healthy and strong, this is how I choose to remember you. In time, I hope to embrace your freedom from the pain and freedom from the weight of your illness. My sorrow is inevitable, but I will face it because that is what you would expect from me. 

I love you Daddy and miss you. 

Always your daughter, Rachael Kaye

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It appears the time has come...

This week has been another crazy week. Go figure, such is my life! Wednesday morning, I woke up not feeling to great, but didn't really worry about it. I was feeling a lot of discomfort in my lower stomach and wasn't sure what was going on.

Just a quick back ground I suffer from endometriosis and poly-cystic ovaries. I spend a great deal of my time in pain for one reason or another. I have been dealing as well as you can over the last few years. I had surgery in March of 2009, again! Then last year in January, I went through Lupron injections, which put me in menopause for about 7 months. Yep that's right menopause, and I had every part of it you would normally get. The purpose of this was to hold of having a total hysterectomy as long as possible. There are some dangerous side effects the younger you are to have a total hysterectomy.

Anyways, back to Wednesday. I worked all day, feeling very uncomfortable, taking Tylenol like it was candy. Still wondering what the heck was going on. I take a hormone birth control to make sure that it minimizes the effects of both conditions and I don't have to have a period. Yeah me!! Not the way you want to go about it!! I came home from work and went straight to bed and laid down for about an hour. I got up and Rick and I went to church.

Sitting in church for class was very difficult, I was in a lot of pain. I could feel it building and getting worse. We left church and stopped at LaFiesta for dinner, that wasn't so smart. I just kept getting worse and worse. We got home and I immediately went to bed and tried to relax. Not in the cards! It just got worse and worse! Thankfully I had a couple of Lortab left over from having my tooth pulled a few weeks ago. Downed one of those, it felt like it took FOREVER to kick in. I was crying, yelling and really just writhing in pain.

At about midnight the pain was under control enough to allow me to fall asleep. Yep only got about an hour of sleep, before I was up crying again. At about 1:45am I woke Rick up and he ran me a hot bath. I spent about a half our hour in there. When I got out I began to realize we were not getting control of my pain and something was very wrong.

2:30am, Rick loaded me into the van and off to the ER at North Florida we went. They promptly got me in and started getting my history and going over some information with me. Thankfully they realized the pain had to be controlled. I had and IV and got some medicine, first they only gave me some kind of anti-inflammatory drug. HA!! Like that was going to help! Then my nurse came in to tell me that they would need to do a vaginal ultrasound and exam. I don't think so! On came the Percocet, that was the only way I was going to be able to handle anything.

Finally feeling better they began running test, after test, after test. They couldn't see anything on my ovaries then ran a CT to make sure I didn't have any blockage in my intestines or other areas. Nothing could be found, sadly I knew what that meant. Endometriosis, it's back! It's like a bad horror film!

I was released around 7:45am and went home to call my GYN. Rick and I were beyond exhausted, thankfully we were able to sleep for about 4 hours. I met with my GYN's, nurse practitioner, Wendy at 2pm. We went over everything that had gone on at the ER and she did an exam and confirmed my fear. I asked if we could just do another Laparoscopy and remove whatever had grown. Problem with this, more scar tissue. The more scar tissue the more the adhesions.

I could try some physical therapy but that was up to me. Given all that I have been through over the last 15 to 16 years, physical therapy I think not. If surgeries and Lupron didn't help how would PT! Rick and I decided that really wasn't an option. Wendy spoke with my Dr. Ross, who told her it was probably time. They both felt it best for us to go home and really decide if we want to proceed with surgery.

We have been praying since Thursday afternoon, trying to prepare our minds for the best option. We have spoken with a couple of family members and friends who have seen me through these years. Decision, move forward with a hysterectomy. We will meet with Dr. Ross in the next couple of weeks, obviously we have a lot of questions. Hopefully the surgery can be completed with minimal incisions and a quick recovery time.

Please pray for a minimally invasive surgery, easy recovery and for the this to be the right decision. I knew this day would come now that it's here, I'm pretty nervous. This is a serous surgery and comes with a lot of potential complications. Long term ones and short term ones.

Rick and I both really appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Thankfully this week Ricky has been with Grammy and Papa. I know he was upset he wasn't here to help take care of me. I have such a great kid!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On to middle school.....

So long Norton Elementary... Ricky is headed to Westwood Middle School. They had their graduation from elementary school today. It was a great celebration!

Ricky has finished the year with straight A's. Rick and I are so blessed to have our son. He is very well behaved, a great student and a very compassionate heart.

Ricky is now off to enjoy his summer vacation. Grammy and Big Papa picked him up on their way back from the beach. He couldn't wait to get some time with them. I know he is going to love his time with them.
video

Monday, June 6, 2011

What a week!

It has been a crazy, emotional, wonderful couple of weeks. Last week was so amazing with the joy of our son being baptized. I still can't put into words how amazing that was for us. Ricky took his first communion yesterday. He was so serious and did a really great job focusing on the Lord and keeping his mind where it needed to be. We are so very proud!

Last Tuesday night while eating, of all things a Taco Bell mexican pizza my tooth broke in half. UGH, yes half!! I promptly went to my dentist Dr. Von Gunten who I love, thank goodness. He informed me that because this tooth had been filled with a porcelain inlay it had settled and expanded. Of course there was some more decay; this caused the tooth to split. Okay no problem right, just need a crown. I am very familiar with this process it will be fine.

The kick in the teeth.... Because it was a porcelain inlay the insurance company considers that a serious repair and like having a crown. They will not pay to fix the tooth. Well great, who has a $1000 just laying around to crown your tooth. It had to be done, it was sensitive and was only going to get worse. Thankfully my dentist being the awesome guy he is cut me a deal and then got me financing for 0% for 12 months. Thankfully I only ended up spending $842, that seems like a stupid sentence! Nearly 3 hours later I walked out with my new temporary crown and scheduled to go back in 3 weeks to get my permanent crown. It was just not how I wanted the week to go.

We have had good reports on Dan, the father of the child who want's to live with us. He has had his tumor removed, there was a serious fear it would become malignant. I ask that you pray for him, because of his history he can not take pain medication. He is just taking Tylenol, they cut into his back and he can only have Tylenol. I felt so bad for him when I talked to him the other night. He is doing better. Rick and I do not think that his son will need to live with us, however we are going to continue to be here to give guideance and be of help to them.

Ricky is graduating from the 5th grade tomorrow. Wow I can hardly beleive that as of tomorrow I will be the mother of a middle school student. These 6 years of elementary have passed so quickly. There is a big celebration tomorrow at school. Ricky will then go spend some time for the day with a few friends and then off to Grammy and Pappa's.

All of our friend's laugh but when the summer comes, Ricky goes. He get's to spend time with family and friends. He will also have North Florida Bible Camp in July. He has a busy summer ahead of him, again this year.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Lord is answering prayers...

Good morning! I know that I have written about the young boy that wants to live with us. He was at the house last night when his Dad called from the hospital. He was being taken to surgery to remove a mass at the bottom of his spine, near his tailbone. Thankfully the mass is benign! A prayer answered. He was to be in the hospital until at least today, so we offered to let his son sleep over and get him off to school this morning.

This is such a great thing! Our prayer is that he will heal quickly and be able to continue to put his life right. Please join me and pray for him, his name is Dan. He needs prayers for guidance, faith, wisdom and direction. Rick and I both feel he is desparate to do right for his son. We are hopeful this puts them both on a better path. Maybe we were just meant to help them through this process, who knows but God. He will bring them through.

"And Jesus said unto them ... , "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to younder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you." Romans 1:17

Okay now on to a funny note... Rick finally read my blog posts last night. I really think he thought I was writing something crazy. He was even impressed, what is the world coming too. He cracks me up. But seriously we both really appreciate all the words of encouragement for Ricky and his decision to become a Christian. It is really moving and so wonderful to have you in our lives.