Tuesday, August 27, 2013

And now we wait...

Well, today was the day!  Steph and her husband, Isaac, headed to Iowa City for a full day of testing.  They started at 8 AM and I think they made it home in the afternoon.

Isaac was kind enough to bring his iPad from work, so Steph shot me a couple of messages about midday.  She said once they did the first blood draw she relaxed and all the tests went pretty well.

Steph did say there were a couple of minor things that came up, but they didn't think that it was anything major that would eliminate her from being Blake's donor.  Steph said she felt confident that it was going to be ok and her husband said he had a good feeling as well.

So, I forgot to tell you all one very important piece of information on my blog yesterday.  Every single transplant that happens at UIHC has to be approved by the transplant board.  Each case with each potential donor, for better or worse, is presented and they say yes or no.  The transplant board meets on Monday mornings at 8 AM.  Next Monday is Labor Day, so they aren't meeting until Tuesday.

I'm thinking positively!  As least they ARE meeting next week and not skipping a week because of the holiday.  So, now we wait...  Prayers.  Happy thoughts.  Fingers crossed.  :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

An emotional run

Last Saturday we went to North Liberty (down by Iowa City) for a 5K that promoted donor and tissue donation awareness.  It was really, really great. 

Like I said before, the guy that was in charge of it does it as sort of a tribute to his mom, who donated her kidney to her son.  He spoke before the race and he brought me to tears.  This week will be his seven year kidney-versary.  He talked about the life he's gained because of kidney donation.  He now has a wife.  And a son. 
I just kept thinking, I want that for Blake.  I want him to go to kindergarten and go on his first date and have us move him into college and get married someday.  He deserves to have that opportunity.  Everybody deserves that. 
 After I finished wiping away my tears, I looked around at the other teams that were there.  Some had been donor recipients.  Some had had a loved one pass away and they then donated their tissue and organs to those that needed them. 
 I then had to focus on my 3.1 mile race awaiting us.  I kept telling Aaron that I was going to beat him - haha!  I kept him in my sights the whole time, but I just couldn't make-up any ground.  He was 36th overall and I was 40th.  I gave it my best shot. ;) 
 Steph was running her very first 5K!  She did the Couch to 5K program.  Emily Morgan, our friend from State Center, happens to be living just two blocks from where the race was, so she watched the kids and then brought them over for us. 
 We saw Steph getting close to the end.  I was holding Blake and went to cheer on Steph.  She took off her sunglasses and started crying, which made me and Emily cry.  I assumed it was because she was achieving her goal of running her first 5K, but it wasn't. 
 I had forgotten that even though we met Steph in the hospital, Blake was napping, so she had never met him in person.  That's what got to her.  Seeing Blake in person for the very first time.  Putting a face to this possible kidney donation.  It was pure emotion from all of us and I don't think I will ever forget that moment as long as I live. 
 Steph did it!  She ran the whole thing!  Aaron and I were so happy and so proud of her, as were her husband, girls and her friends that came to cheer us on. 
 It was nice because afterwards we could socialize and get to know each other a little bit.  Steph used the puppy to warm up to Blake and Bowen. :)  I loved the support that they brought.  Steph and her husband, Isaac, have two girls, ages 4 and 8, so they are very close to Jenna and Brody's age. 
 They had the kids races after the 5K.  It was nice because they really split it up into ages.  Afterwards, they all got green ribbons (kidney awareness!), so they were excited about that.  Brody already has it hanging in his room. 
 All the kids.  With their ribbons.  New friends.
 I love when we can make these runs that we do family events.  I love when they have kids races.  I love just doing this stuff together.  
 So, tomorrow is the big day.  August 27th.  The day we've been waiting for, for what feels like forever.  Steph is ready to go.  I am anxious and nervous.  I know God has a plan.  I just really, really, really hope it is that this amazing, unselfish person is the answer to our prayers.  Will you please pray for us all tomorrow? 
"...Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1).

Monday, August 19, 2013

Seven things...

1. I found the easiest recipe for simple ice cream!  Two ingredients.  Plus, whatever you want to add to it.  We did an oreo-butterfinger last week that was AMAZING.  For full directions you can click here.
 2. We went to the Iowa State Fair. Again!  I love it, I really do.  Saturday we met my dad and Linda there for round two.

 My Wisconsin born/Minnesota grown father was in heaven in the DNR building pointing out all the different kinds of fish to Jenna and Brody.
 3. I made some wall art for my office.  I like to get crafty, but I usually just don't have the time.  I bought this big canvas at Hobby Lobby and then we painted it.
After the paint dried, I cut out letters from the newspaper (because I work at the newspaper, get it?!  I'm clever like that. :)) I then modge-podged the letters on. 

 And the finished product looks like this!  I'm pretty happy about it.  I picked this quote because it pertains to a lot of things in my life, including taking the leap to be the editor at the paper, where I learned of my love for writing!
 4. School starts tomorrow.  I'm excited and sad.  Sad because it will be quiet around our house without Aaron, Jenna and Brody here.  Excited because I know that all three of them are ready for the new year and challenges it brings.

5. To go with number four, it's time to say good-bye to the summer list. :(  We didn't do too bad.  We missed a few things, but had a lot of fun, too!
6. This weekend we are participating in a 5K down by Iowa City.  It's to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation.  The guy who started the run actually needed a kidney and received one from his mom.  This race is like a tribute to her.  Pretty cool, huh?!  Also, our potential donor, Steph, will be there running her very first 5K!!!  We are so excited for her! :)

7.  Tomorrow is my 33rd birthday!  For the big day (ok, it's not really big since everybody will be at school, but anyway...) I'm going to run 3.3 miles.

I'm excited to see what year number 33 will bring.  I'm never one to dread my birthday.  I feel like we should be thankful that we are here for another year.  I always remember this..."Do not regret getting older. It is a privilege denied to many." 

Also, if I have to pick a motto for this year, I think it might be this:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Picture taking, Part Two

Jenna had been begging to go to Reiman Gardens for the past month, so we decided to surprise the kids on Aaron's last day of summer vacation with a trip there.  It was so pretty and the kids had so much fun! 

I think after the first photo fiasco we went in with our expectations pretty low and just because, we had them wear their outfits again.  We promised if we got even one good picture it would be a good day.  Oddly enough, we ended up with a handful of LIKES!  Yaaaay!   

Even though we were surrounded by pretty colors, I just like these in black and white.  I just do.  Ok, so, here's what we got:



We were still struggling to get them to all sit still and look at the camera, so I had an idea.  Let them move!  And then...take the picture!  This was the result and I like it alot. :)
 Double Trouble. ;)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Picture-taking fiasco, Part One

If you remember, I mentioned awhile back that we tried to take some new pictures of the kiddos for our wall.  Coordinating outfits and all.  Yeah....it was a fiasco.  And that's putting it mildly.  Aaron and I weren't expecting miracles, but we thought we'd get something.  Our day went a little something like this:
 One looks at something, they all have to look...
 This one.  Bowen.  Oh man.  This child will cause me more gray hairs than the other three combined I have a feeling.  He was a handful that day.

 Finally.  Finally Bowen was ready to cooperate and then Blake decided he wasn't.  Does the mom look like she's at her wits end?! ;)


 If you looked up the word "defiant" in the dictionary, I'm quite certain Bowen's picture would be next to it.  Meltdown city...
 If you look closely, you can see Brody pulling Blake up by the hair to get him to stand.  Niiiice.
 If we were doing a "Hollywood" type of session these pictures probably would have worked:


Jenna and Brody were excellent.  They really were.  Blake and Bowen are two. They are toddlers.  We know they aren't perfect. But, it is just doubly as hard because, well, there's two of them.  Here are couple of photos I actually liked from the day:

We took some photos at a different location today and I think we may *fingers crossed* have gotten a couple good ones.  Part two, coming soon. :)