18 December 2007

keeping up is hard to do!

So we've gotten back from our trip and are still running running running! David is back at work. He rode his bike there this morning in freezing weather. We got him some under armor cold gear to wear so he didn't freeze his bum off. Usually David would ride his bike out of pleasure and desire to save gas. But right now, we only have one car and .... Coach is on the couch again!!!! I don't know what he thinks the big idea is! Usually Killian is the one on the couch. Stinky dog bums!

Anyway, so we're leaving on our trip last Saturday in the pink car. We've been doing pretty well budgeting lately and we thought we would go ahead and try to save some more money by taking the mx-3 on our trip with its better gas mileage. We wanted to get to SC around 2pm, so we got up at 5am and got on the road about 6:15am. About 7:15am David yells, "AAAAAAAAHHHH!" and I say, "What! What! What!" hyperventilating my way out of the start of what might have been a good nap. "The car is overheating." So we pull over immediately, open the hood, investigate and figure its leaking somewhere. Can't find it. Wait about 30 minutes for the temp to go down and start it up to turn back to Gainesville. Yep, so much for the savings on gas! Looks like we wasted money.

We get about 2 miles and find a place to fill it up with water. While we're there I notice a crack in a tube near the radiator and a puddle of water beneath it where we'd been parked. David thought that was definitely a leak, so we got some cheap electrical tape from the jiffy store and did our best sealing it off. Got on the road with full tank of water and another Slushie concentrate gallon jug full of extra water. We just wanted to get it home.

About 15 miles down the road, we notice lots of steam coming out of the exhaust (white smoke) and the temp decided to jump again which made David think, "Might be a head gasket." Pulled over, filled up the water again, started moving. This time it was only about one mile before the car went through all the water in its cooling system, blew it all out of its butt, and raised the temp again. We looked in the tank and saw some oil combined with the water, confirming David's hypothesis about the head gasket. At this point, we're aware we need to get it towed home, so we call and the best price we can get is "one and a quarter" which translated from southern to english means $125. We decided to get it back to the Wal-Mart a little ways back since they took cash only and we didn't have that much. That was interesting but we got it there and here's what the scene looked like, well at least from where I was sitting on the ground since we had to wait about an hour for the tow truck to get there!

Well, we finally got on the road again around 10am after getting home and transferring everything into the Volvo. On the way up we tried the Whataburger honey chicken biscuit breakfast. It was ok. Not phenomenal like we were hoping. We made pretty good time on the trip and enjoyed our travel snacks including IZZE sparkling fruit juice. Pure juice plus sparkling water. You can guess which one of us enjoyed that while the other enjoyed Gatorade. ;-)

We went straight to Charlotte Medical Center where my dad was waiting for a liver & a kidney transplant. He was very yellow and looked like he hadn't eaten in a month, which he kind of hadn't since all the medical complications added up to a non-conducive situation for eating and receiving sustenance. Daddy looked a lot worse than I expected and so I suggested to Joyce to call Mum & Jacob to come visit as soon as possible thinking if I were them, I'd want to know. Jacob and Mum planned a visit on Wednesday through Sunday.

Sunday morning we went to a nearby church where our cousin Daniel's wife Mary K's family is from! We got to meet them and they even invited us over for lunch after church. We got a few cute photos while we were at church. The one of Joyce & I got printed out and given to Daddy to put up in his hospital room.

These would be the famous Coleman eyebrows and purple passion...

Here's Mary K & Daniel, who we visited after Daddy & Joyce, being cute poots.

David and I hung out with Joyce at the beautiful house they built together, ran errands, conquered computer issues, and decorated for Christmas. Here's a pic of the exterior of the house which sits on five acres just 30 minutes outside of Charlotte, such a nice area!

One of our errand days involved helping pick out & order furniture for the house. We went to La-Z-Boy where Daddy & Joyce had found some good deals and assessed the situation. We found a beautiful fabric to match the Tuscan feel of the house for the furniture! Another day, I went to find some fabric to recover the barstools and kitchen chairs that would go with the new furniture. The bottom fabric is the couch fabric, the top two were swatches from Calico Corners for the barstools. I thought it would be stripe overload with the stripe, so we went for the paisley, isn't it beautiful?

I reupholstered the three barstools and four kitchen chairs and am going to be making new throw pillow covers this week at home. We didn't get every single thing done, but when we left on Tuesday night, we definitely felt like we had left Joyce with less things to stress over! I can't wait to see the new furniture when it gets in!

We headed to Columbia next and got to Mary K & Daniel's place about 11pm. After a little chatting and catching up we headed off to bed and had dreams of sugarplums and guitar hero and disc golf. The next day, Daniel & David headed off to play disc golf with Andy at a couple different courses in town and left me & Mary K to hang out. We ended up getting some shopping done and had lunch at the Tokyo Grill, which if you're from Gainesville, is exactly like Maui Teryaki. Yum! Later on we played some guitar hero, here is Daniel doing some sweet riffs...

For dinner, we headed out to Yesterday's which has been mentioned by ESPN's greatest college town places to eat. David had the signature dish, the Arkansas Traveler, which is this crazy southern dish of cornbread, slices of roast beef, black-eyed peas, and gravy. I had chicken strips with white gravy... mmm. I had forgotten about white gravy! I made a mental note to hit Dairy Queen on the ride down to Florida to relive some high school senior lunch memories.

We got to go on a tour of USC where Spurrier decided to try college football again. He just couldn't beat Urban this year. I think we ended up with the better end of the bargain! It was quite pretty and we even got to tour Andy's biology lab where he is researching how to turn a common reed into ethanol for powering cars. Neato!

We left the next day for Augusta after making D&MK David's special dish, homemade mac & cheese with bacon and chicken. We ditched the mushrooms for them, since they aren't a fan. It was awesome. We got to Aunt Diane & Uncle Jimmy's about 7:30pm and hung out with them chatting and whatnot and then got some good rest. The next day we went by Theresa & Larry's shop to say hi and drop off some Krispy Kreme. Nana & Popa were next on the visit list and we got to spend a few hours with them and help get some computer issues solved. In the afternoon, Aunt Michelle commissioned my personal shopper skilz and David played yet more disc golf with Joe B. While we were shopping, I got a voicemail from my dad that they told him that they might have a donor and the surgery could happen that night. That was really good news. We headed back to North Augusta for dinner with the Carpenter family at The Snug. It was great food and good fun. Later on in the evening, we got confirmation that Daddy would be getting his transplant surgery that night and it would start around 2:30am. It was so great that my mum and brother were there to sit with him and keep Joyce company throughout the process. God definitely arranged that.

Saturday morning I called and found out that Daddy's surgery was still under way and that things were going well. He had gotten the first incision at 5am and would be done around 2pm. We got the day started with some good breakfast at the Sunshine Grill/Cafe/somthin' with Aunt Diane & Tara. It was yummy! Then it was off to Hephzibah! First we went to see Danny & Michelle at Motivation Manor, where they are sharing a small space with Aunt Sheila until they get their house all finished up at their new property. Later we went to see the Badke's where I finally got the update on Arlene (Arly) their new Bassett Hound dog and we caught up with Aunt Carolyn too.

This is the regular couch situation at their house as I understand it...

Carolyn getting some love from Arly and some more Arly shots... she's so much fun!

We met up with Aunt Theresa for dinner at Vera Cruz, which if you're from Gainesville is pretty much exactly like Las Margaritas, just a different building! It was excellent food and we had a good time. We really liked the dips, which Joe is sampling one of below.

Daddy's surgery went well and he is in ICU for now getting recuperated and will soon be transferred to a regular room I'm sure and then he'll be getting to go home. They were speculating as early as this Saturday which would mean he'd be able to be home at his own lovely house if all goes well.

All in all it was a good trip, pretty jam-packed, but at least jam-packed full of good stuff. A few hiccups here and there (I know Daddy had plenty) but it was fun and we're glad we did it. It's nice to be home in our own bed and with our family of buddies and Mr. Jake.

Now for the prayer requests:
  • Job for me! We'd really like to pay my student loans off asap and start saving for a house so we can get out from under perpetually renting less than lovely properties with hassling management. Also, David's car is broken and we have some fixing to do there potentially, or maybe replacement of the vehicle.
  • Smooth recovery for Daddy. He is getting used to two new organs and has a lot of eating to do to get back to normal and his body sometimes doesn't want to cooperate because of the Crohn's.
  • Prayer for the donor's family. They lost a young healthy family member. We're grateful that it saved my dad's life and we know they must be experiencing a lot of pain right now.
  • That I can stay on track to get all my paperwork for registered intern status sorted out. Now that I've graduated, I enter a period of 2 years (at least) where I am pre-licensure and have to accrue hours and supervision. Once that's over, I can apply for licensure and work on my own.
  • David's car... what to do? We're thinking about just getting a nice bike for David instead of fixing it and waiting on the fixing for now. It might be time for a new car, please pray for us and that possible decision. We aren't planning anything, just considering options in the near future.
Thanks for reading! Hope your holidays are blessed! Stay warm and fuzzy,

Love, Jemma & David

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