Love and Food in the Big D

Friday, December 24, 2010

Welcome Home Christmas :)

So many times it seems easy to forget the sweet things that are done for you when life gets...well, chaotic.  After the hectic week I had just endured with my family, the last thing I had time to think about was Christmas.  My sweet husband, holding down the fort back in Dallas while I was away, was bound and determined to give me a proper Christmas celebration, even if he did have to work that day... and despite my objections after the week I just had.  Needless to say, he did NOT pay attention to my objections... piling the presents under the tree, filling the entire house with love, warmth and the best welcome home I could've ever hoped for.  I love that man, much more than words could ever explain.   

What a wonderful sight to see when I walked in the door... 

Macie and daddy excited about opening presents!


Macie was up first. :)  Chad even sweetly wrote
"To: Macie, From: Mommy"
eventhough I had no idea what it was, AND HE wrapped it. 
She got a new leash by the way, she loved it!  :)

My goober-head husband certainly had fun picking out goofy presents this Christmas. 
The first present I opened was a refill of plastic FORKS
(we were running low..I love him for being practical AND silly ;)  
Oh yes folks.. it really contained forks... not just a box! 
Hahahahaha.. we both got a kick out of that one..I loved it!
Oh and an inspirational book to start our empire with.  :)

Next up... Scrabble FLASH with digital scoring...
So I don't "cheat" he 
I don't cheat... I just WIN! :)

Cleverly labeled...
"To my peeps in Texas... Keep it Real - S. Claus" could I NOT love this man?!?!

Ooooo... presents for BOTH of us
For our next major trip in September 2011

And one just for me... a super cool drawing digital pad.
I don't really know how to use it yet, but I can't wait,
IT. LOOKS. AWESOME!!!  Thank you love..I'm sooooooo EXCITED!!

Stocking stuffers  :)
Oh and I only got crappy pictures of the next present but these DVD's came with a
BRAND SPANKIN' new Blu-Ray player too!!

And another goofy gift..which I'm still enjoying I might add..  :) 

Only SOME of the bounty we both get to enjoy in 2011 :) 

Thank you Chad for being such a wonderful husband.  I could've done without any of these goodies and STILL felt loved beyond belief.  You are an amazing person, husband and most importantly, BEST friend.  You are all the present I could and ever would want.  Thank you for choosing to spend the rest of your life with me.  MUAH!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Quadruple Bypass Surgery - Project New Heart

It's definitely much easier to talk about now, since the tides have subsided and our world is calm once again, but less than a week after our return from California, I was on a plane once more..this time headed to the valley...and not under the happiest of circumstances.  Right before Chad and I had left on our trip, my parents informed me of a check up that my dad had gone on...that didn't have the best of outcomes.  Blockage in his heart.  Everywhere.  They would need to operate.  Panic quickly set in.  Words can not describe the feelings we all felt that week.  Leading up to the day, we felt hope that what was routine surgery for his doctor would REMAIN normal and routine... then fear that something could possibly go wrong....sadness of the mere prospect of losing our dad...then nerves as you waited for the man who held your dad's heart in his hands to appear in the waiting room.  It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. Open heart surgery was scheduled for Friday morning so I was on my way Thursday to spend some time with him and my family.  Emotions high, and nerves reaking havoc on everyone, we said a prayer amongst the family, shed nervous tears and sent him on his way at midnight to check-in for the next mornings procedures.  

Friday Morning:  A little more than four hours after the surgery had begun, the doctor emerged at the waiting room door and I swear time stopped for a split second.  I could tell my mom felt the same way I did, as our hearts jumped to our throats scanning the surgeons face to see if we could tell how it had gone before he even said a word.  Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly the routine surgery he was hoping for, but FORTUNATELY, he would recover well.  WHEWWWWWWWW.... tears of happiness and relief filled the room. 

No one can really prepare you for the way people look right after they come out of surgery like that.  Tubes running from each and every imaginable direction.  So many machines filled the room buzzing and scanning around us.  It was terrifying.  Rationally, I knew this was "normal" and stayed strong for my mom for the few minutes that we were able to see him. 

The rest of that Friday dragged on as we nervously waited for midnight to make our first call to the nurses station to see how he was progressing.  Calmly, the nurses informed us that he was losing blood.  As quickly as he was recieving transfusions, the blood was draining out his body.  What does this mean?  Should we worry?  How were we supposed to sleep comfortably that night?  The night wore on....

Saturday Morning:  Before long, my mom and I were back in the ICU hoping to catch the doctors as they made their rounds.  The surgeon, scheduled to be out that day, showed up to check on my dad.  He was frank with us and told us he had contemplated going back in to see what the problem was...fortunately, throughout the course of the night, my dad's blood loss had subsided considerably but they would need to keep him intubated for the rest of the day.  My mom and I stayed with him, relieved to see some movement (to me indicating that his body was ready to wake up and fight).  Although they continued to sedate him, I was pleased to see my dad wanting to wake up.  All good signs... 

Sunday Morning:  After a full day and a half of being sedated and intubated, they let us know that they would begin the process of waking him up early Saturday morning.  He would need to pass a series of breathing tests before they would be able to take the air tube out.  My dad, quite the rebel, decided in his groggy state to make the nurses work for their pay.  In one full swoop of the hand, he took matters into his own hands taking the air tube out, HIMSELF!  Luckily no damage was done and several minutes later he was greeting his doctors as they came to check on him.  It was smooth sailing from this point forward.  Thank goodness!! 

It wasn't until Thursday that he was finally released from the hospital, but from the moment his air tube came out, he progressed in leaps and bounds.  Every hour was better than the last and every day was like a new day for him. 

WHAT. A. RELIEF.  I'm exhausted again just thinking about it all... what a way to end a year...and start a new one... with a NEW HEART!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Doheny Beach, San Juan Capistrano & Family Fun

On our last REAL day in California, we decided to spend the morning checking out the nearby beach in Dana Point where Chad's aunt, uncle and mom were staying temporarily.  Doheny State Beach was just walking distance away and it proved to be a fabulous way to take in the sun on this glorious Sunday morning.  :)

Hundreds of sea gulls...

Taking flight.. 

Only a few people could be seen for what seemed like miles.. 

The water was a bit chilly but felt invigorating on our feet... :)

The sun felt warm and inviting... Ahhhh... I love California :)

Here comes that tiny little wave of water... ;)

Chad trying out our Christmas gift from his mom... 
A super cool portable video camera :)  Thanks Diane, it's awesome!

Heading back to the house...

And finding a BUNCH of these little guys... 

Aren't lady bugs a sign of good luck?!

I swear they were EVERYWHERE on this bridge.. crazy.  

So the itinerary for the rest of the day wasn't set in stone but we did have brunch plans to meet up with Chad's cousin Jeff, chef at a near by country club, his wife Angela and their adorable son Hayden.  Although Jeff was in fact working that day, we took time to enjoy the patio and the gorgeous golf course scenery....oh and of course watch Hayden enjoy his dessert.. lol.  :)  What a ham.  :) :)

Apparently.. it was THAT good!  ;)

I don't even remember what it was that he ate...
but that chocolate sure was a treat!

Lol... :)

After brunch, we took a little detour to visit the Mission of San Juan Capistrano.  It was perfect weather to enjoy the garden, museum and chapel set inside the mission walls.  :)

Ruins set amongst a gorgeous lush garden...

Tiny little doors thoughout.. 

Where people at the mission slept back in the day.. 

museum relics

Not sure the original mission had a fountain of koi fish...
but beautiful none the less.  ;)


Statue dedicated to Fray Junipero Serra, 
founder of the Mission of San Juan Capistrano

Tiny scale model of what this part of the mission might have looked like

Us, being silly... :)

Awww... ;)

I'm not sure how I feel about this being called the "Poor Box" :/

Loving the architecture

crazy lady popped into my shot... then wouldn't MOVE! lol..

remnants of the original roof.. made of bamboo sticks??

See...tiny, tiny doors everywhere... lol

Apparently there wasn't anyone over 6' back in the day.. 

Entry into the Chapel

HUGE fountain of holy water

still being used today.. 

With my dad's upcoming heart surgery, 
Chad and I took a moment to light a candle in his honor.. 
Love you Dad

So intricate and was hard to focus on just ONE thing

After our tour was over, we headed back to the house to begin preparations for one last get together with Christy, Ryan and the kiddos before our early morning departure the next day.  

More "seek and find" fun, this time with Grandma :)

Chop, chop, choppin' away at those veggies.. 


lol... kinda scary Love.. lol.. 
(he was only kidding by the way :)

While I spent some quality time with the kids...

I think by this time I had convinced both Kenzie and Logan to come and live with us in Dallas (I'm sure it was just the excitement of a plane ride that had them saying Either way, it's a good thing Southwest doesn't charge for extra baggage... lol.  ;)

After dinner it was time to pile onto the couch and watch Christmas Vacation!  Woo Hoo!!

Kenzie... snuggling with Uncle Bob.. 

Then with Grandma and Logan... 

Then finally with Uncle Bob and us on the couch... lol.. 
One big happy family!  

Thanks for a wonderful trip to California guys.. we can't wait to see ya'll again!