Tuesday, October 28, 2008

where everybody knows your name...


I have finally started my new job after 6 weeks of training. The first 3 weeks of training were hard. It was like sitting in a classroom all over again, learning and memorizing things from a book all day long. Once I started the "on the job training" 3 weeks later, I felt as if I had to learn one more thing, my brain might literally explode. Well, turns out that I don't give my brain enough credit (sometimes) because I DID have to learn more and more and more and my brain didn't actually explode. Now that the on the job training is over, I'm working on the floor now and it's going okay so far. It's very exhausting, though - I come home really beat at the end of each day. And they don't have my phone working yet (which is kind of hard for a job that requires tons of phone conversations), but overall, it's okay so far. I still have a lot to get used to, but I'll deal. It's just a job, right? Plus...the people are nice and, in an economy where job security is falling by the day, it's nice to have a job that is fairly secure for now.

Now...on to something even MORE exciting....

Within the past 7 months or so, I have taken a stab at learning web design. My skills in web design and html coding is pretty fundamental but, with a little patience and time, I was able to teach myself the basics and have created a couple of rough draft websites. And with my design work for The Hampshire House and Cheers under my belt already, I was approached by a friend and colleague with the company to try to redesign the Cheers website.

And guess what??? It's FINALLY UP AND RUNNING!!!!! Take a look......and be nice to me. Tell me it looks really really awesome even if it doesn't!!!

Check it out here:
Cheers Boston Website

Anyway...I bet ya didn't know I was this cool, did ya?

Monday, October 27, 2008


Twilight like totally premieres in 24 days, man!!!

i looovvve yoooooooooou!

I know this post won't be very substantial, but Alanna passed this along to me and I just HAD to share it...

Friday, October 17, 2008

an update for all y'all

As you can see, posting is becoming few and far between...for which I apologize. Most of that is due to the fact that Joe and Jen had their big surgeries last week as well as the fact that I have started a new job.

All is well so far since the surgery, so that's really good. Joe is healing well and is even able to walk the dog with me now! Not that I don't mind doing it like I usually do, but it's fun to take family walks together. He's still not able to lift anything, really...but don't worry, Joey....you'll be able to help clean again in NO time!! he he he And as for Jen, she and Chris left on Wednesday and, as far as we know, things are healing okay for her. Like I said before, the Mayo Clinic is just really awesome and everything went so smoothly. In fact, I'm going to see if there's an online comment form or something so that I can go say nice things about them.

And as for work, I pretty much feel like this every day...

...so that's another reason postings are getting further apart. I'll try to get updates posted as often as I can, but just for the interim, while I get used to getting up really early and working all day, I pretty much just want to curl up in a ball and veg out whenever I get home so blogging is usually last on my list of things to do each day. Especially since I never get to just veg out when I get home.

What do I do, may you ask?

Well, usually I have to make dinner (although Joe has done the past couple nights....SO GOOD!!!), then I walk the dog for about 2 miles since she doesn't get exercise during the day, and that is usually followed by a trip to the dog park (since 2 miles hardly tires out a little beagle) and, by the time I get a chance to sit down and down and do nothing it's already time for bed. Craziness, I tell you.

And, on top of all of that, the new job is a little crazy. All the people are really really REALLY awesome...but I'm not quite sure if it's a good fit for me yet. So that uncertainty is really weighing down on me as well.

And, yes, to answer the question in your head, I AM just complaining right now and will definitely get over it especially since, in the grand scheme of things, life could be so much MORE crazy than it is. But sometimes it's just nice to vent, eh?

But everything else is just awesome! Lucy is getting so much smarter (and sometimes dumber) every day. Having Jen and Chris here, besides the life-giving nature of the visit, was really really nice. And Ma McGowan is still here and she's helping keep everything together and epsecially helping Joe while I'm at work. We've got health, life, love, family, friends, food on the table and roofs over our heads. PLUS......::drum roll please::......the new Cheers website will be up soon, so I will let you know as soon as it's up and running so you can take a look at my first big website design job. YAY!!!!!! So all in all, the fall has gotten off to a great start.

I'll definitely have Joe post next time so that he can tell you his side of the story but, until then, thanks again Jen (and Chris), thanks for everything Ma McGowan, and I hope everyone has a really nice weekend! I know I will...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

the wait is over

Doesn't seem like there's a new kidney in there, does it?? Well....there is! See...

  • The surgery on Tuesday went smoothly and took WAY less time than they originally estimated.
  • They let Jen go the next day (which, by our consensus, we think they could have at least kept her there longer).
  • Joe was up and starting to get around a little the next day, too. With pain, of course, but he still got up to walk a little.
  • Joe's surgeon (a nice little Indian man) was just awesome and said that Joe was doing so well with everything.
  • They released Joe on Friday.
Now, Joe and Jen are home and healthy. Still in pain, but all is well. And some good news = no more dialysis!!!

All in all, I am so very much impressed by the Mayo Clinic. They were just very informative with everything, always there for any need whatsoever, and they were just very on top of things. Since I just started training for a new job (that is pretty inflexible with missing work for a kidney transplant), so it was really hard to be gone for 10+ hours each day while Joe was in the hospital. But everyone is home now and on the road to recovery. It's hard to believe it has already come and gone. Thanks to EVERYONE for all of your prayers and support for Jen and Joe. It has really paid off!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm home

I don't feel like typing a whole lot right now, but I am home. Everything went excellent, my new kidney is working very well. I'm still very sore and I'm not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds for like a month. More updates and maybe a pic of my incision later. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers people !

Sunday, October 5, 2008

1 day, 9 hrs, 1 min, 30 scds, 29 scds, 28 scds...


Here's a little PR for my friend, Lindsay.

Besides being an amazing woman (who has the most wonderful friends and family!!!)...she is having twins this December. Identical twins. And she's also (fairly) newly married! What an exciting year, huh??

Her tale has been rather taxing and there have definitely been some scary moments during her pregnancy, but all is well for her, she is looking beautiful as ever, and she has an awesome support network and a husband who will, without a doubt, be the best father to these special little girls! Thank you, Lindsay, for letting me be part of your journey to parenthood!

LASTLY (but definitely NOT leastly):

This is Joe before his transplant (he is reading some mail in this picture because I interrupted him to snap this photo).

If I had a picture of Jen right now, I'd put that up, too...but I don't. I'll take some pictures over the next week, though, and will keep you all posted on everything that's going on.

I can't believe how quickly time has passed. And, while I know that this is major surgery for both Joe and his sister, I know that the outcome will be wondrous.

There is this booklet that Joe picked up once when he was at the Mayo Clinic for testing and it tells a bunch of different stories of people who have had transplants of all kinds - even the story about an artificial heart transplant that lasted for 13 days before the woman was able to get an actual heart transplanted in her. AMAZING!! These folks at the Mayo Clinic are first class and I'm just so happy that, of all places, Joe and Jen are in their hands.

Once again, I'll keep everyone posted as soon as I have details (and as soon as I'm able to actually sit down at the computer). So until then...hats off to Joe, Jen and the doctors. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I've been doing SO WELL since last December and for the past 10+ months have had the best and longest nails I've ever had in my life. For those who don't know: I've been a nail biter since in the womb. AWFUL habit. I know, I know. But for the past (almost) year, I've been having awesome and fairly healthy looking nails (see image here, from my post about our engagement).

But I just bit about half of them and now I'm sad and angry with myself.

Can this week just be over already? Oh wait...it hasn't even started yet!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

laparoscopic donor nephrectomy and renal transplant

Yeah. You heard me right. Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy and Renal Transplant. Now say it 10 times fast!

Joe and Jen's surgery is taking place next Tuesday...can you believe it? That's less than 5 days from now. Tuesday! I can't believe how quickly time has passed. For those who will be cheering on Joe, Jen and the doctors from afar, here's a sneak peek at what will be happening...


Donor Nephrectomy
  • This operation is performed by using a "scope" to peer into the abdomen through a small incision. This approach makes it possible to locate, secure, and remove the kidney through a surprisingly small wound. This "minimally invasive" surgery allows for a faster recovery than with the traditional operation. Donors are generally able to leave the hospital one or two days after the surgery and can often resume work within two to three weeks.
  • source: Mayo Clinic
On surgery day, once the kidney is safely removed from Jen, Joe gets wheeled into his OR for the next part of the transplant...


Renal Transplant:
  • During kidney transplant surgery, an incision is made in the transplant recipient's abdomen, usually on the lower right side near the "hip bone." The donor kidney is placed near the bladder on the right side of the recipient's pelvis. Surgeons usually attach the donor ureter to the recipient's bladder, allowing urine from the new kidney to flow normally. Surgeons restore blood supply to the donor kidney by connecting it to blood vessels supplying the recipient's legs.
  • The patient's own kidneys are usually not removed. In some cases, such as when the kidneys have been a lingering cause of high blood pressure, one or both kidneys are removed during the transplant or at a later operation.
  • Transplant typically takes about three hours. The recipient usually gets out of bed and takes a short walk the day after surgery. Liquids can be sipped the day of surgery, and a normal diet is usually resumed within two to three days. During recovery, most patients gradually experience less discomfort in the incision, a greater ability to move around, and return to normal activities. The donor kidney should begin to function immediately, and patients typically remain in the hospital for three to five days.
  • source: Mayo Clinic

From Jen to Joe.

Where Joe's battle wound will be.

How Joe will get hooked up.

When all is said and done...

seriously...don't watch this

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