Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ever feel?

Ever feel as though you have nothing to say, but just need to blog anyway? Well, hello there! I am in that boat as I type!
Christmas is over, New Year's is upon us and I am spending a lot of time at home with lot's of snow outside, freezing cold temperatures and two kids with bounds of energy!
I wish it didn't happen, but it does. My brain overworks at times. It's, I believe in part because I am a woman and I also believe it's partly because I have a creative mind, but goodness sometimes I just get irritated by my ever thinking brain. I think about the future, about where I want to be, what I want to change, and unfortunately, a lot ends up in material ideas. A new car, a new house, more kids a "snap your fingers and it's amazing" type of career, perfect marriage, etc. etc. etc. Some of those things are attainable, in the future (not now). Why spend my time thinking about what I want in the future, instead of enjoying the gift that we call the "present"?
Christmas was magical, Al is doing very well post transplant and I am blessed beyond measure with my kids, my pets, my house, my car, my family, my friends, my life. Really. I'm not even 30 yet and there is a lot of life left to live, but I want to settle in and be happy with what I have at all times. Think my mind will listen to me?
On a side note, I am considering putting my creativity to work (hoping to side track the overzealous thoughts about changing my life and how). I whole heartedly believe that the experience I have had with donating a kidney is story worthy and I just *might* decide to make it into a book. Proceeds to go to raising awareness on organ donation. It seems like such a cool idea right? I think so too! Hence why I now have a notebook in my purse to jot down notes and ideas as they come to me.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Small but BIG news!

Al had a biopsy done on his kidney last week. He got the results, they were "normal, with no signs of rejection" I say that's a good sign!!!!!

RIP Shannon Sperando-Sales

In honor of my friend Shannon Rose Sperando-Sales who passed away December 12 of this year, I write about CANCER. The word is scary, the word breaks your heart, the word takes your loved ones from your life. Cancer, Cancer, Cancer, I hate it! Yes, hate is a strong word, but how can something so awful bring any any any good? It can't. Except for those that can fight it. Except for those who are in remission and are getting a second chance at life. Except the fact that when someone becomes ill and is in the final phase of life, we the loved ones, get the blessing of being able to foresee the impending death as an opportunity to soak up the patient as if you were a sponge. Spend your time with them, love on them, read to them, pray for them, tell them the things you never did before. It doesn't make missing them any easier, the feeling of empty in your heart is a tough one to carry, but with the empty feeling in your heart, you have the memory of your final times together to cherish.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One week since....

One week always seems like a milestone, whether it be "next week at this time..." or "last week at this time...." well, this morning I was thinking about what I was doing last week at this time, and guess what, I was in surgery! I can not believe a week has passed since the anticipated kidney transplant day arrived. Since then, I have recovered very well! The house has been filled with my mom, caring for the kids and doing all the chores that I usually do, filled with friends helping out, filled with visitors and cookies and cards, and well wishes, and....FOOD! My goodness! We've had some good meals this week, supplied by the wonderful moms at Acilia's school! The blessings feel like they have been pouring in!
I mentioned I am recovering well, and that's true! I was pretty sore through the weekend, I really was trying to stick it out pain med free, even tried the extra strength tylenol route, I developed a fever one night over the weekend, and I felt like my body needed a little bit of help fighting the pain. So...I pulled out my prescribed narcotics. Ack! Well, needless to say, that didn't go over too well, I took two pills as prescribed and soon after, I was loopy and itchy!! Pain was gone, but I actually think I bruised the tip of my nose because I was itching so viciously!! The itching had us thinking something wasn't right, so we called the hospital and they said not to take those pills anymore. A new medication was prescribed. We picked that up and I tried one before bed, it did NOTHING! No loopy, no itchy, no pain control. I decided I am not made for pills and haven't taken any since :) Yesterday I attempted jeans, I was in them all day, but I was pretty sore in the belly last night, so it shall be elastic waist for a little while longer :) I've been up and about throughout the day, so I've wrapped some gifts, gone through the kids toys to weed out garbage and charity donations, I have a few more things to get to that have been put off for a while :)

Al's recovery hasn't been quite as seamless. He's been in some pain and his blood pressure is elevated and his ankles are swelling. He's recovering at his parent's house, so he can have some peace and quiet and of course have his mom dote on him a bit :) He's still taking some pain pills, the doc's are watching him closely and overall, it may be a little longer until we can say "All Clear" for him.
Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Whew! It's behind us!

Surgery is done! Surgery is done! Surgery is done! Al has a functioning kidney and we are both on our way to recovery!! All this time, all the anticipation and it's past us in the blink of an eye! God is good, God is amazing! God orchestrated all of this and we are just thankful that he has blessed us in such a great way! We went in Thursday morning, 5:45 am. We didn't sleep the whole night before...nerves, anxious, excited, everything balled into one! We got there early, so we waited for a while, but once the check in opened, I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth everything went. I was scheduled for surgery at 7:30 and I think they wheeled me back about 7:40. Of course once you start with the oxygen mask, there is nothing to remember. I was out, and before I know it, I am eyes fluttering in recovery. The rest of the day, I could not keep my eyes open. I was out. So tired, so out of it. The day is truly a blur. I hear there was a lot of hustle and bustle about Al that night. My parent's were pretty worried. They were told when he was wheeled to surgery, it would be about 3-4 hours...well, it ended up being about 8 hours! He was wheeled to the floor at about 8:30 pm, stable and recovering, with a NEW...WORKING...KIDNEY!!!! The surgeon told us at one point that he urinated over a liter in the OR! This may sound odd to mention, but for us, that's a HUGE milestone! Albert had not urinated in over 2 years, think about it, something you do countless times throughout your life, something you take as "just part of the day", take it away. Imagine what that would be like. Then imagine that being what proves that the kidney inside of you is functioning!! It's pretty exciting isn't it?? I thought so!
It's amazing what God does with our Earthly resources!! The fact that we are born with 2 kidneys, but only truly need one to function completely normal, leads me to believe, that we are all meant to find a kidney recipient and share the gift of life!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I was upset last time I wrote, about the fact that all I wanted this past week was to have a "calm before the storm" week. As anticipation often proves to be worse than actually doing something, the same was said for this week! My "busy" week flew by, and today is Sunday, the beginning of a new week! Last week was busy, but I had time to breath and I actually found a lot of enjoyment along the way! Thanksgiving was a delight this year! I have a lot to be thankful for and I am just tickled that I have such great family and friends!! This was the first Thanksgiving without Grandpa. It was hard as always to see Grandma sporting the festivities without her other half. What made it managable was the prayer that Grandpa wrote *last* year. He apparently wrote it, but didn't get a chance to read it last year. God bless the soul whom held onto it, to be read *this* year. Obviously not the same as having him there with us, but certainly a nice way to honor and remember his spirit! Friday, Saturday and Sunday, though going fast, have given me many opportunities to sit and relax and still manage to get some Christmas decor up around the house. We have used the same decorations each year since we moved here; yet for some reason, they look different this year. Maybe it's because I am appreciating their beauty and how much joy they will bring to us while recovering from surgery. Surgery! Goodness! It's here, it's among us, it's creeping onto our watch! I can't believe it's here!! I am watching the stacks of dialysis supplies dwindle with each day, and get chills at the thought that we will no longer have the several THOUSAND pound deliveries at this house each month! Yahoo!! There are so many things that are going to change, I can't even keep count!! It's amazing, it feels great, and overall, we are ready to move forward with these days, and get ourselves to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in the early morning hours of Thursday, December 3rd.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'd like to aquaint you with...

I am Karrie, an active, family oriented woman! I keep myself busy throughout the day, I can't stand sitting still! Infact if our dogs didn't sleep on the couch, it would look brand new, because I can count on one hand how many times I've sat on it!! Speaking of dogs, I LOVE them!! I treat dogs and kids very much the same! They bring me great joy. All animals do actually! Horses, and kittens rank in my top faves too!
I don't cook, but I *can* follow a recipe if we don't have easy preparation types of food in the house.Feeding my children from all the food groups during the day is important to me.
I love Jesus and what he did for me and my brothers and sisters in Christ! I enjoy going to church weekly and I love that I can seek advice from my Pastor anytime!
I enjoy decorating, I also enjoy walking through homes that are for sale! I love seeing floor plans!! I used to draw floor plans in my spare time when I was young! I have a few that I saved, they were quite ummmmm...creative :)

I take pride in my appearance, won't leave the house without putting effort into the way I look, I also work hard to ensure my kids always look "put together" Did I mention I like budget finds?? I shop, a lot (according to my husband) but I come home with great finds. I won't buy anything full price, I go straight to the sale rack. My favorite store is Von Maur :)

I love horseback riding, galloping in fields is the best! I am thrilled that my daughter has a passion for horses! We talk often about our future together with horses for everyone we know, so we can all ride together!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lotsa happenings!

With my CNA course rounding to an end and surgery quickly impending, life is feeling a bit hectic! Today I had a big presentation in class. It was something that was noted to us the first day and since then, it's been hanging over my head! I *hate* speaking in front of people, not that I am horribly bad at it, it's just that, something that makes you so nervous can't possibly be good on the system!
The presentation is complete, I was reveling in my "freedom" of mind until reality struck and Al called to inform me that we have our pre op appointment on Wednesday. I was reallllly looking forward to next week (Thanksgiving break) to be the "calm before the storm". Acilia is off school all week, and it's the week before surgery, I was hoping to just lay low, counting my blessings and thanks! Well, real life sometimes gets busy and next week sure delivers busy! Monday I have clinicals. That was in the plan all along. What wasn't in the plan was to miss a clinical session last week due to this stinky laryngitis/cold that my body has poor timing in catching! So, Tuesday I make up my session. Wednesday we go downtown all day for tests and pre op explanation and then Thursday is Thanksgiving. Holidays are anything but relaxing, we tend to run around since we have lot's of family and that means lot's of faces to see! Atleast I still have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to relax, not sure there will be much relaxing, with surgery the following week, and my final to study for :/
Atleast I can count on resting after surgery...hang in there two more weeks Karrie!

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6th

The meaning of today is so much deeper than the day I celebrate aging. On this day, 7 years ago my grandmother passed away. I remember the day so clearly. I remember being there at my aunt's house as my grandmother rested as comfortably as we could make her. We were all around her, shedding our love upon her. She looked peaceful, she was working her way to the afterlife. I had found out 8 days before that I was expecting my first child. It was the day of my birthday. And I was there, with my family, experiencing a moment in life that will forever be close to my heart. Losing a loved one is never easy. Infact, it's downright hard. I have found it within myself to see the beauty of passing from this life; and that often is what comforts me when I feel the ache of missing my loved ones. Being with a person as they experience the final moments here on earth is an honor. It is perfectly orchestrated. There are moments where the body seems to be directly aligned with God's will. I find peace in knowing there is no longer suffering, but an infinity of beauty and walking with the good Lord. I believe I will be with my grandma again someday, and I look forward to seeing her again, and hugging her, and talking with her. I remember her sweet delicate voice, the accent that lingered from her childhood in Italy. I remember how she was perfectly proper when carrying herself and the smile of her's that included her entire being. I remember her standing by the stove as she made her spaghetti dinners on Christmas. I remember her calling me "Labelle". I remember her daily and I miss her daily, and today is the day I celebrate with her.
This day is no longer *just* a birthday, it's a day I share with my beloved grandma.
Anna Angelica Pancotto Latoria
~June 13th 1921-November 6th 2002~

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One Month

One month can mark timing for many many things, I am sure over the years, it has marked time for me a few times, but this time, it's BIG!
One month from today, I will be going to the city, to have surgery. Not just any surgery, but the surgery that will (God willing) change my husband's life for the better!
One month from today, I am giving a kidney to my husband. It feels surreal as well as great to say that!
I can't wait! I feel that this transplant is going to be a huge turning point in our lives and I look forward to what it leads us to!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Abuse awareness

What if your spouse came to you and told you they were being abused?
What if your spouse went on to tell you that you know their abuser quite well?
What if your spouse further went on to tell you that *you* are the abuser?
Often times abuse shows up with bruises and gashes. More often though, the abuse has no physical scars. Physical scars heal, emotional scars take longer, and they can cut you deep inside where no one would suspect a thing. Even the abuser.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

He loves me?

How is it that the person that is supposed to love me the most, treats me as though he hates me? I often wonder if *I* am doing something wrong in my marriage, and obviously I am (no one is perfect) however, I feel as though I am working hard to convince myself not to take the blame for everything. I am yelled at, sworn at, and then the tides turn and I have flowers presented to me by a husband who wonders why I am so down. It's up and down hill often times within 5 minutes and I am left with my head spinning. I recently saw a reference to marriage being "bliss". That puzzled me, and left me thinking I *MUST* be doing something *wrong* afterall, all that comes to mind when I think of marriage is "endurance" and hanging on because it's the "right thing to do".
The good Lord states clearly that divorce is not allowed. A man who leaves his wife and remarries is comitting adultery. A woman who leaves her husband and marries another man is comitting adultery. Wow! I had never thought of it that way. I wish I was still ignorant to that fact. It brings up a whole new level of accountability! It feels like a game at times! I ask for him to show me that I should stay in my marriage, and instead of urging a change of heart in my husband, he urges me to remember how unacceptable divorce is. I can't comprehend all of this right now. I physically can't tolerate it. My mind is going insane! I can not be focusing on this. I need stability. I need strength. I need support. I started my CNA course 4 weeks ago. It was going well, last week was my first exam. I made myself sick over it. Tomorrow is another exam. I honestly don't think I have it in my to keep taking these tests! I HATE tests! I sit there and confuse myself and turn every question into a potential trick question, leaving me questioning the confidence I had when I started the test! It's insane! I can't handle school being so intense AND my personal life and inside emotions to be so intense. I have no choice though. Endure I must.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Review of metoo - Red

Why put reviews of items I use on my blog? Well...because a) it's my blog and b) I am assured that there are moms that read it, and if I know moms (I think I do, being that I am one) we are always looking for the best products for our money to use when caring for our precious babies!! If you do not have this highchair, I suggest you run (not walk) to the nearest store that carries them and pick one up!! I say it's easy to clean, that's an understatement!! Imagine the free time you will have when you are not hindered by cleaning the cracks and crevices of the highchair you use, revealing food crumbs, etc. that is assumed to be as old as your child at times!

Originally submitted at

Phil & Teds metooTM - Red

Surely the world's smallest folding highchair. Metoo brings more to the table!

-Flat packing portability: the perfect on-the-go feed companion for a Phil & Teds inlineTM ...

MUST HAVE! More than one would be wise!

By Karrie from West Chicago, IL on 9/18/2009


5out of 5

Pros: Safe For Baby, Durable, Portable, Compact, Easy To Clean, Easy To Use

Best Uses: Meals, Crawlers, Toddlers, Snacks

Describe Yourself: Parent of Two or More Children, Child Care Professional

I love this chair! I love it so much I want to get another to keep in my car for restaurants!!


Tags: Using Product, Picture of Product


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love for St. John

Last year summer time, was spent agonizing over where to send Acilia to Kindergarten. I am not one to really look deep into the future, and when we bought out home in 2004, the school district was not on our list of things to check. Time flies as you may know. We found ourselves with a daughter that was graduating from preschool and rapidly approaching her first year in a "real" school setting. We loved her preschool so much, it was a tough task to find something comparable. I asked around, I visited schools. Nothing was coming up. Time was ticking and I can't exactly recall what brought me to visit St. John. The bottom line is, I did and when I walked in the door, I knew it was the place Acilia would be spending her Kindergarten year. Problem solved. She started her first day at a new school, I was relieved. As the days passed, I felt closer and closer linked to a family that I was growing with the parents and staff at St. John. The year quickly came to an end and the decision was made to stick it out through 8th grade. God willing. It's clearly God's will that we are there now, and better yet, I am feeling a strong pull to join the church there. Another story for another post.
Did I mention time flies? Well, it does, and we have entered our second year at St. John. My daughter, my sweet little girl has grown quickly and she is one day from completing her first week of first grade.
Today was a leap. Last year, in Kindergarten, my little dear would not step foot inside of her classroom unless she had me by her side. She absolutely could NOT do it. I happily joined her as we walked into the classroom each day, and watched her engage with her teacher as she settled in to her day at school. First grade is different however. Kids don't often have mom/dad accompany them into the classroom, infact, most of them are dropped at the door and with a kiss good bye bid farewell to their loving parents for the day. For a while, I was hopeless that would ever be my child. As much as I secretly enjoy her being attached to me as her comfort, I want her to spread her wings!
Today was a leap (did I mention that already?) Acilia and I were chatting on the way to school. With that, I was moved to ask her if she felt ready to walk in by herself today. She quickly stated she was ready. Too easy? Today was a leap of faith. I asked her if she was sure, and she said she was. She was ready to be a big kid. I pulled in to the parking lot, kissed my precious first born good bye and she was on her way. Did she really just leave me behind without so much as a bat of the eye? She did! I was so proud! I stood outside of the door, (in the rain) and watched her journey down the hallway to her locker. She knew exactly what she was doing! She looked like she had been walking into school on her own for years. She emptied her backpack into her locker and then walked right in to her classroom.
Mom was happy. Acilia was happy. Augie and Jen Kohl were happy too! Augie is the groundskeeper at the school. He greets everyone at the door every day. We got to know him last year, as we walked by him on the way in and out of school. He knew how special it was that Acilia felt comfortable enough to venture into the hallway on her own. He even gave me a thumbs up and big smile. He was proud of her too! Jen Kohl, another who I got to know last year, walked past Acilia in the hall and smiled as she looked back realizing what was going on. She too gave me a big thumbs up with a smile. You see, we all speak in the parent code. We are family afterall, and family picks up on those special moments.
St. John is a family to us. We love the school, we love the teachers, we love the environment! We love that God led us right where we are.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

1st grade...

How could it be, the little girl I gave birth to 6 years ago, has grown into a first grader!? This is a moment in parenthood that proves just how fast time moves. I made the mistake of blinking my eyes, the summer flew by! My daughter, sweet Acilia Rhiann is starting first grade tomorrow. My baby is no longer a baby but a blossoming flower that is growing with beauty and grace!

I went to Vegas...

and I survived!!
Not only did I survive, but I thoroughly enjoyed the trip!! (Aside from my mini internal meltdown the first night. I missed my kids, I missed my home and had a small panic attack. It ended and I moved on to enjoy the whole trip, and lived to tell about it!!)

We left Wednesday, August 19th. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 12:35 and today's standards calls for a 2 hour window pre flight to get through security and situated at your gate. That didn't happen, we were running late (typical style of my husband, I, however like to be prompt so I can relax. Being late is something I have come to accept when I am with him though!) we made it to the gate with 10 minutes to spare, I popped a 10 mg tranquilizer to calm my jitters and we boarded. The flight, for being over three hours went incredibly fast and we were there! Las Vegas baby!! I was euphoric when we landed. Ironically speaking as nervous as I was to leave home, I truly LOVE flying! Nothing compares to the beautiful sights you see from that small window of the plane.
I found it quite amusing that the minute you step off the plane, you are greeted with slot machines!! Only in Vegas! We went to retrieve our luggage and headed to pick up our rental car. (A convertible Mustang).
OOH! Side note, I had a blast doing the most simple thing...riding the monorail shuttle from the parking lot at the airport to our terminal. Weird, I know, but it was fun :)

Picked up the car, headed to THE hotel of all hotels! I am telling you, if ever you get the chance to stay at this hotel, DO IT! Don't hesitate. Where did we stay? The Venetian! It is "staged" (rather well I might add) to feel like Italy. There are gondolas, there are beautiful painted ceilings, there are fountains, there is marble and gold and, and, and. There is no detail left behind and it was BREATHTAKING! I can't say enough. I was walking through just trying to soak up the beauty as well as snapping every picture I could to capture the beauty.
We entered our room and got situated and then without batting an eye, left the room to explore the town that has such a reputation! I can't recall detail for detail the way our days played out, but during our time there, we ate incredible (tasteful as well as expensive) food, shopped in great stores, walked, talked, took a gondola ride (ROMANTIC! ROMANTIC! FABULOUS! LOVED IT!) visited Madame Tussuad's, watched a Pirate show at Treasure Island, the amazing fountain water show at the Bellagio, visited with some fabulous friends that came in from Arizona to enjoy a few days with us and I learned how to play Craps. What a fun time! We even situated ourselves at an Oxygen bar. The homeopathic way to get a little boost on no sleep and jet lag :)
Friday came, the day to leave. Our trip was not long enough, yet it was long enough to ache for my children. As the hours passed, and the more children I saw, I literally melted each time missing them! We missed our scheduled flight (did I mention Al is always late, well, this time he doesn't get full blame, we were both completely wrapped up in our fun times that we both submitted to being irresponsible about watching the time!) but were able to make a flight two hours later. We checked our bags and headed through security. Al realized a bit too late that he had forgotten to take his knife off his belt (he's an electrician, he uses it to cut wires and is in full habit of clipping it on his belt as he gets dressed in the morning) he thought by chance, sheer luck if you will, that he would slide through security with no issue. NOT THE CASE. He was flagged and long story short, had a report filed. Just call him Mr. Terrorist himself :/
We flew home, as night fell. Making the sights from that little window on the plane even more beautiful. We landed safe and sound, came home and went to bed with sweet memories of an amazing trip!

Pictures from Vegas

There are many many many pictures that I took, I chose these to highlight our trip :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vegas bound!

Yes, Al and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage next Thursday.
Yes, We will be traveling to celebrate.
Yes, we had a Bahamas trip planned the year we got married to celebrate our union.
Yes, the trip to the Bahamas was cancelled, therefore we had no honeymoon.
Yes, at that time, I was 100% relieved, because I was NOT a traveler at the time, due to panic attacks hindering my life for 20 some years.
Yes, the time has come to pack up and travel far away from home, with just myself and my husband.
Yes, I am beyond excited.
Yes, I am in denial that the time has finally come (considering I booked this trip ages ago, but as life so often does, it came with the blink of an eye!)
Yes, I am scared, nervous, jittery, not quite sure how to word my internal feelings but I do get a major case of the butterflies when I even *think* of actually going.
The days are flying, and in just 8 days WE will be flying to our destination in Vegas.
I could get nervous, the old Karrie would, but the new Karrie is trusting that God will be by my side. Afterall, that's most likely why you have two sides to your body, one side for your life companion, and the other side for our Father in Heaven!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A ball of emotions!!!!

Our perserverence, patience, hopefulness and optimism, has been recognized by the Almighty Man Above. It is with great honor that I am writing to acknowledge that I have tested as a positive match for Al!! He's listening to us Ladies and Gentlemen!! If ever you think your prayers are not being heard, that is simply not true!! He hears our prayers, he hears are fears, our hopes and dreams! Our thoughtless schemes. He hears it all, and for that we are blessed and graciously accept that he knows what's best! Thank you for the support, thank you for the prayers, thank you for your thoughts and cheers and for experiencing this awesome journey with us!! There is FINALLY some light at the end of the tunnel!!!

Yes, that's right! I am a match for Al! I am now literally referring to us as a "match made in Heaven" :) I am humbled by the opportunity in which God has put into my life. I am moved to tears by the sheer thought that my journey to Jesus has taken this amazing turn. I am ready for it, I am excited for it! I can't believe it's here!! I feel our life together is officially validated, and beyond that, I just have no words to describe how I feel. I will leave you with the lyrics to a song named "Born Again" by Third Day. It sums up my emotions :)

Today I found myself
After searching all these years
And the man that I saw, he wasn't at all who I thought he'd be

I was lost when You found me here
And I was broken beyond repair
Then You came along and You sang Your song over me

It feels like I'm born again
It feels like I'm living
For the very first time
For the very first time
In my life

Make a promise to me now
Reassure my heart somehow
That the love that I feel is so much more real than anything

I've a feeling in my soul
And I pray that I'm not wrong
That the life I have now, it is only the beginning

It feels like I'm born again
It feels like I'm living
For the very first time
For the very first time
It feels like I'm breathing
It feels like I'm moving
For the very first time
For the very first time

I wasn't looking for something that was more
Than what I had yesterday
Then you came to me and you gave to me
Life and a love that I've never known
That I've nver felt before

It feels like I'm born again
It feels like I'm living
For the very first time
For the very first time
It feels like I'm breathing
It feels like I'm moving
For the very first time
I'm living for the first time
In my life

Monday, July 20, 2009

A million and one excuses

I could sit here and list justified excuses as to why I haven't posted about the Love Dare that I am doing. The only reason I have that's valid though is that I haven't been doing it. I made it to day 12 and then I had a dare, that is seemingly impossible to complete. The dare was to "give in" to an area of disagreement. I still haven't completed this dare. Not for lack of trying. I have searched for disagreements within our days. To be honest things have changed a bit and we aren't disagreeing as much. (PRAISE THE LORD ON THAT ONE!!) However, there are still one or two disagreements in which I can't "give in". This is when I am thankful that we have the blessing of having a couple's counselar in our life. We are being granted the tools we need as a couple to work out our disagreements. No where in that does it mean "give in" and that's ok with me. The Love Dare is 40 days and I am comfortable at day 12 to say, this dare is not complete, however it's not going to hold me back anymore from continuing on this journey.

Day 13
Love fights fair
"If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand" Mark 3:25

Initial thoughts:
OOOOOOH! I like this dare!! There were a few helpful examples of things to put on "the list" and I will definitely be using them!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We hope we hope we hope!

This is a note I sent out to a Facebook Group I started. Below you will find a small update and a few words pertaining to our current status with a potential kidney transplant!

Hello to all of you!
I first would like to take a minute to introduce myself to those that may not know me, I am Karrie, Al's wife. My husband has been on dialysis for 2.5 years waiting ever so patiently for a new kidney. It's been a long road, but we are hopeful that we are at a major turning point!!
I figured I would type an update.
I started seriously considering being tested to become a donor for Al. We had waited, and hoped and waited some more and nothing was happening. I knew my blood type was a match and I felt the urge to do something about it, but it takes a lot as a mom to step forward and opt to go through surgery at the same time as my husband. We have two children and my biggest concern was how the heck will that work?!?! Well, I started asking around and it turns out, it WILL work, we have our ducks in a row, the kids will be cared for, we will be recovering comfortably, and we have lot's of help being offered, IF infact we get to be graced with the sheer blessing of being a match! My testing was completed on Monday, two days ago. Medically speaking, I am ok to donate. I had blood work done on Monday it will be "mixed" with Al's to see how it reacts. If there is little reaction we are GOLDEN!! If there is a little more than "little" reaction still ok, but if there is a big reaction all will go back (yet again) to square one! Our hands are yet again folded as our patience is tested. We will find out in about a week if I have the kidney that my husband so desperately needs! It's quite the whirlwind of emotions here and I wanted to take the time to thank you for being a part of this experience with us.
I will update when we know something, but in the meantime please be in prayer that if this is what God wills for us, that it will be a smooth and comfortable process!
Thank you all!

Monday, July 13, 2009

This is the day that the LORD has made!

I will rejoice and be glad in it!! :)

Today July 13th 2009 is the day I completed my donor testing to see if my kidney will work in Al's body. What a day! I was scheduled to be there at 1 and down for a CT scan at 3:15, well, let's just say I didn't get downstairs to the CT scan until 5PM! Grr!! Then something that was supposed to be quick didn't end until almost 7! I left with a feeling of giddyness, I believe it was finally feeling the fresh air on my face after hours of being couped up in the hospital!! I also believe I had a complete and total relief that my job with the donor testing is complete and now...we wait :)
We should know tomorrow if it's a go or not, I have a feeling deep down that it's a go, but hearing it will confirm it and send me over the moon with joy!! I can't wait for tomorrow to come :)

As for the Love Dare, I took today off, because yesterday's dare is not complete. Al and I argue over plenty of things, but nothing has come up the last two days for me to experiment with "giving in" so I am giving it a little bit of time. If no arguements come up, I will be sure not to complain and I will move on with my dares :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Love Dare

I write this post fully admitting the fact that I am grasping at straws. I will further be honest and admit that I am working at this alone. Or so it feels. Tomorrow marks the beginning of a 40 day journey. "The Love Dare" journey. If you have seen Fireproof, you know what I am talking about, if you have not, I urge you to do a little bit of research and self examination. In the meantime, I am taking that plunge and doing "the dare" and as divine intervention would have it, our sermon at church yesterday actually was all about dares. The dare of leaping in faith. Take the leap? I have had my eyes opened to what needs to be done. This is my chance to make my decision. 40 days feels like a long time, but in making a decision as to whether to stick with my marriage or walk away, it feels like it's the blink of an eye type of 40 days. I truly don't know what the outcome will be, but as "He guides me" I am sure to know my choice will be clear when it's all said and done.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's official, we are done with this marriage...

Now, please, take a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor, and read on. The glory that Jesus has given to each and every one of us, is the fact that we can stop what we are doing, regroup and start over. Completely fresh. Forgiven. That is what I choose to do with my "ex marriage". I am proud to say I am not done with Al, my husband, I am just done with the marriage we have built rather bumpy. We are starting over, as a couple whom is dating. My "boyfriend" and I are reintroducing ourselves to one another as the new person we have both become and redoing it all. Not quite sure how long it will take to be ready to marry him again however, this is all new to me. It's not everyday that one chooses to divorce their marriage that is not working, but not divorce the partner. I think it's a rather ingenius way to survive the rough spots! It's an interesting direction, it's a God sent direction, it's the right direction. I feel it in my bones!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Armed and "dangerous"?

Well, counseling today was brutal. I think I cried through most of it, even felt the urge to leave the room, I swear the air in the room was not getting to me, I felt like I was suffocating. Or maybe it was truth coming to the surface, something Al and I have not allowed for quite some time. We have been running to keep up with life, we have been busy, we have been everything BUT a couple that works TOGETHER. Today marks a fresh start. I have been praying for the answers that God wants me to know, and yesterday, "Clean slate" kept coming to was clarified today when in essense the same idea came about in conversation. I am willing to try it. What do we have to lose, that isn't already lost? I visited the library, searching for a book that helps couples prepare for MARRIAGE, not the wedding. You know the basics of finances, and child rearing, and life goals, etc. The librarian actually had a hard time locating such a book. You see, when you say wedding, you think the wedding day. It's often mentioned that you need to prepare for the Marriage, not the wedding, because the wedding is just one day. I, infact went in to my wedding day, thinking I was prepared for the marriage, and truly I had no clue! I find the same to be true with school. You can't possibly know what you want to do for your career fresh out of high school, I still stand by my theory that the college age should be raised to atleast 25. Your first few years out of high school are about freedom. Your early 20's are about finding yourself, only when you find yourself, can you truly know where your life is going, and what you want your future to hold. Learning is not about education, it is about walking along life and picking up what's meaningful and powerful enough to stick itself to you, to make that impact.
I came home from the library with a few books, I plan to put my computer away for tonight, and hope that Al turns that TV off, the two "barriers" we often claim keeps us from chatting freely with one another. Will you do the same?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I will start at the beginning of this story. I signed up for a Psychology course to fulfill the requirement for my associates degree. The class, though I started excited turned out to be a flop! I have come to the conclusion that the instructor should not be in the business that she is, because she was anything but helpful. I ended up withdrawing from the class. There is a time limit to when you can withdraw from a class and get a refund, I was past that deadline. It didn't sit well with us that we had fully paid for a class that I was no longer taking, nor would get credit for. I did what anyone else would do, I went and filled out a form that explained the circumstances and requested a "breech" in contract (so to speak) and hope for atleast a partial refund. Time passed, I bit my nails, then I received a letter. My request was denied. Ack! Not cool, however, not unexpected. Al was not happy with the news. You can't blame him, afterall, it's his hard earned money that we are talking about, and he really does NOT like to see it go to waste! I decided to contact that printed name on the bottom of the letter, to find out what else I could do. She stated there is a committee that meets once a week, and I was welcome to appeal their decision. I pulled out all the stops, I wrote a "sob" letter so to speak of why they should reconsider the thoughts they had already formed. No easy task. I faxed it to the number she gave me, and again I waited.
Fast forward to Monday, the day of registration for my CNA course, the day I signed up to be charged almost $900 to be paid within 7 days. Today, with 5 days left to pay, Al informed me that it was either pay the mortgage or pay the tuition. Shoot! Needless to say, my tuition was not looking like the winner. I went out to get the mail, (a great time passer if I do say so myself) in the mail, I had a letter from COD. Nothing unusual, that comes with any registration. This letter was different, it was an appealed version of the original refund denial. This time, it was different I say, this time, they granted the refund! And not just partial refund as I had requested, it was full 100% refund!!!!! Hallelujah! God asks us to put faith in him, he is kind and he delivers!! So, our mortgage will be paid this month, as well as a much smaller portion of the tuition I owe, after this refunded credit makes it in to my records! Happy day!

Quick quote!

Irony isn't irony, it's GOD!

Open my eyes

The last few days have been really rough on me emotionally. The registration fiasco really showed me the type of support I am getting (or shall I say LACK OF support) and it hurts deeply. My husband is a man who tries his best. He overdoes everything in his life. He works so hard, and I admire that. He wants things a certain way and who can blame him? However, when it comes to our marriage, something is grossly lacking, on both ends. I have spent countless hours wondering if this is something that is fixable or something that we need to bid farewell. I don't fully have my answers yet, but a few things became clear to me today. I am happy we have our counseling appointment tomorrow morning, I really have a lot to talk about this time, I just keep waiting for something or someone to tell me what to do, and this isn't that type of situation. No one but me and my husband can decide what we can do. I think that's what bothers me most, the fact that I want something so completely different from what my husband wants. This is what's unfortunate. Both of us walked in to this relationship with little expectations at best. I had no way of foreseeing the person I would become, and how bettering myself, would distance me from my husband. The man I vowed to spend my life with. I can say I didn't take my vows seriously at all. This is all in hindsight of course. I would never walk in to a marriage with a blindfold, but I anticipated something completely different than it's become, and what it's become has been there all along. I just didn't see it.
Simple changes from Al will be what makes us tick again. If he is capable of being a kind hearted spiritual man, my feelings for him will return. That much is clear, and I am glad that has become clear!! When you know something, you can work with it.

Green on who's side?

You know that saying "The grass is always greener on the other side"? Well, guess what.....I found the irony in it! :)

I've been hanging out with a friend I went to high school with. We have met a few times, the farmers market, or the pool, but majority of the time, I take Miles to her house, and he and her little boy have fun playing together. I love taking Miles to her house. It seems to have the perfect set up for playdates with small children. Not to mention, it's a nice house, one I admire, one I would love to have something like someday! Well, I swallowed my reservations and took my turn to host a playdate. I was cleaning this morning, getting all ready, and even mentioned to Al how I hate having people over (which I don't really, I just like my house to be perfect, and stress over it a bit. Once people are here, I always love it!!) and how I don't like our house, etc....I was ready in time for my friend to arrive with her two sons and she started at our greeting with what a nice house we have (Thank you!!) she came in and was walking around looking at everything, admiring the woodwork, etc. You see, me and her have completely different houses! My house is oooooolllllllddddd, it was built in the 1850's. Her house is nnnnnneeeewwwwww, I believe it's about 10 years old. My house has the "character" you find in old homes, lot's of wood, squeaky floors, dust piled in to the radiators. Her house is shiny and clean and "baby like" in it's newness and freshness. I go to her house, wishing I had what she has, she came to my house and was wishing she had what I have. We even joked about how we should trade houses!
Today's playdate taught me a few lessons about appreciating what I have, instead of always wanting something different. I have known this all along, I am a Christian and I know I "shall not covet". I am a sinning Christian though, and my nature sometimes is just to covet. God moves me back to where I need to be, and I am thankful I have a subtle reminder when I need it :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm in!

I went today, and registered for the CNA course at COD. It starts September 15th, and I chose the day classes vs. the night classes that I had planned on trying to claim. This whole ordeal with having to find a sitter when I expected that hubby would be around, proved to me if I want to be successful in this class, I need to find others to count on! Day classes will give me the opportunity to drop Acilia in school when it starts and drop Miles off at my mom's to play with his cousins, while I study my booty off and hope and pray that I make it through to becoming a CERTIFIED nurses assistant! :) Onward and upward!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


As hard as I try to be a wife that I can be proud of, I have a husband that sees me as a wife that tries, or maybe doesn't try at all, it depends on his mood I guess!

He tries too, he tries to be sweet and kind and all the things I hope to have in a husband, but then something sets him off and he loses it.

Perfect example:
Al went today to the grocery store. Came back with flowers for me, how sweet!! Then we started talking about my registration for CNA course (explain that whole story later) and he ended up losing his temper on me and hitting me on the head with the flowers! That behavior leaves me shaking my head wondering what the heck is going on in my life??

So, to explain registration. This is something that I have been pursuing for MONTHS! I wrote the registration date on the calendar back in April, I have been doing all the tests, etc. to be able to register, and now, all my work is done, and registration is bright and early Monday morning. Al has been notified of this entire process and also that registration day, I will be leaving at 6:30 am to get myself a spot in line to register at 8 am when the doors open and he was responsible for being home with the kids until I get back at 9:30 - 10 am. Perfect plan right? Well, he informs me today that he has a job scheduled in Darien at 9 am and he must be there. WHAT???? To me it shows me he cares nothing about my time and energy put forth to pursue this. He wants me to find a sitter. He was throwing a tantrum over the fact that HE has to work etc. How could he do this to me?

This is my relationship with Al. He works so hard, he forgets that he's human and not a robot, and in the process he expects the same of those around him. I recently called him a boa constrictor. He wraps his body around his prey and squeezes the life out of them. Happy marriage to me!

Would you, could you?

This post is directly from a mommy friend of mine, her son Logan is only 15 months old (Same age as my little Miles guy, they were actually born just days apart) and is in need of a new kidney! This sweet precious little boy has been on dialysis his whole life. As you know, I can relate in a sense because my husband who is 30 is also on dialysis. There is no age limit to organ donation, consider what YOU can do!

I have decided and I'm sure that the wording of this post will change many times over the course of this new project of mine. But, I am just going to dig in as I feel that is what God is telling me to do. In a dream last night I came up with a plan to share about organ donation. In my dream I had it fully planned out how I was going to write this post and which pictures I was going to post and the good that I was going to do. But, somehow in the waking up and doing the mom duties, it got lost in my brain and the coffee still has yet to drag my thoughts back to me.

The basics--there are plenty of organs to go around. The problem, not enough people are donating those organs when they die and the organs are being buried. The why--they didn't obtain and sign a donor's registration card and so when they died their family didn't know what they wanted and since they had just lost a family member, it was too hard of a decision to make and therefore they didn't make it and what could have been a lifesaving organ for someone was instead buried in the ground. As of today there are 102,019 people waiting for a lifesaving transplant of some organ. My son is 1 out of those 102,019 people. Statistically 30-50% of these people will die before they ever get a transplant. For a parent waiting on one of those, those are some pretty scary odds. Now, my son is lucky at the moment (in a sense) because he is only 15 months old. What an odd sentence as how could it be lucky to need a transplant?

He is lucky because he is only 15 months old. Due to his age, he is top priority and will therefore only wait around 6 months for a kidney. When he does this again in 10-15 years, his wait will be 3-5 YEARS. Dialysis in and of itself is risky business. There is the constant threat of infection. Then there is the wonky labs that could possibly harm him. And not even in the top 5 things that I worry about but still in the back of my head is that this will mean that for the majority of his preteen to teen years he will feel sick. That's a long time.

So, I have decided that I need to be the change. I need to advocate for him in the best way I know possible.

I have decided to make this into a contest. Right now I have two gift cards and I would like to give them to people. So, the contest goes like this. You will get one entry for every email, facebook post, blog entry, etc that you send out in which you tell someone that this is the face of organ donation. Organ donation is not just elderly people who have lived out their lives. Organ donation affects little bitty babies and it affects men with families in their 30s and it affects elderly grandparents as well. My gift cards are not much yet but I'm hoping through donations and God touching people's hearts to make this into something much bigger than just me and my blog. My goal is to inform 1000 people about organ donation and to help them to realize that this affects everyone.

So, get to blogging and emailing and facebook posting. : ) Right now the giftcards are a $10 to Starbucks and a $10 to Best Buy.

I have to go out in a bit so I'm sure this will be reworded when I get home but I felt the need to post this before I my brain totally forgot about the idea. Please let me know if you have any ideas.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

He has me pegged!

Al and I began seeing a counselar once a week a few weeks ago, I went by myself today because Al had to work. I had the chance to speak with him myself and it worked pretty well. I can't believe how "transparent" I am! There were a lot of good points brought up, they got me thinking! (As if I don't think enough already!?!?) One thing that was a little bit unsettling was that apparently there is deepness behind my smile. I have a face that shows happy and joy and .... and.... but right behind that, there is a lot more. I have known this all my life, I have always been "deeper" without sharing too much. Mostly because I have sooooooooooo many thoughts that go through my mind that I am working through at any given time, to let that all out would send people running! Ha ha! I also learned that I should allow Al to be a part of my thinking process. I tend to come to conclusions on my own and then drop them like a bomb into Al's lap when my decision has already been made. I am going to strive to let Al in on some of the "pre thoughts" from now on. I have a feeling that may be easier said than done, but if it's done right, I think it will be rather effective!

On an unrelated note, Al and I are going to Vegas in August! Anyone that knows my history with anxiety knows how huge this is!! I am so excited that it's booked!! We will be going August 19-21 (Our 5 year anniversary is August 20th) flying in, I rented a convertible Mustang and we will stay at The Venetian! Can't wait can't wait!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I want this chair!

Update: I bought the chair, it is currently on it's way via UPS!! :)

If you read The Butterfly you would know why this chair seems so cool to me! I can picture it in my garden next to my new fountain, and I can picture sitting in it, remembering grandpa, watching my children play or just looking at it as a beautiful addition to my backyard! Off to save my pennies!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Let the testing begin.....

I have been drawn to try to see how far I can get in testing to be a donor for Al. It's a tough decision, not because of *me* but because I am a mom of two children, and with Al HAVING to have surgery, it should be up to me to be the one to take care of everything while he is recovering. If *I* have surgery at the same time, well, that puts things in a more complicated place. However, I have had a soft whisper in my ear, and it's gaining decibels, and that tells me that God wants me to jump in, see if I am a match (I know deep down that I am) and he will take care of the rest. So, yes Almighty Father in Heaven, I am listening. I have passed the first step (health questionnaire, basic stuff) I am moving on to step two which is a chest X-ray, EKG, and blood work. I got my paperwork today, now it's time to get scheduling! Lord be with me, I am trusting you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baby names....

NO, I am not pregnant, YET....however, for whatever reason I am thinking about baby names, and I wrote a few down on a piece of paper which has been sitting in my wallet. I have decided to clean my wallet and in turn I am documenting the names I like here :)

So, here it goes...
Ellia (Ellie-uh)
Avaia (Uh-vay-uh) is number one at the moment. I like it with either Selene or Camille as the middle name. Undecided at the current minute, and I do have some time to think about it ;)
I like Eden Amalia (Uh-molly-uh) too.
Melaina (Mel-ai-na) is another one I love as well as Malena (Muh-leena)
Lucia (nickname Lucy)
Leana (Lee-on-uh)

As for boys, I only have a few
I LOVE Leo, have since as long as I can remember, I even named my mechanical baby Leo Salvatore when I was in child developement :)
Salvatore is taken by Miles though, so there would have to be a different middle name, throwing around Vincent or Charles, haven't given it too much thought though.
I also like Heston, although it's not the best with Viscogliosi.
Another goodie Nigel

New additions to add:
Psalm (This jumps out at me, the words it speaks in bible verses I have read seem to have a positive uplifting effect, something very appropriate for a child of mine!)
I also like Byron!
Carma for a girl

So, that's what I had written to do something better with my time ;) Hee hee!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The butterfly

Acilia brought a butterfly home from school, little did I know what an emormous experience this would be. Read on...

The day we brought the caterpillars home, was like any other day. I thought to myself, what a fun little project. Acilia enjoyed watching the caterpillar grow....and grow....and grow! And hang upside down to reach the nutrient in the bottom. The chrysalis formed and we waited. 7 days passed. 8 days passed. 9 days passed. Since the paperwork said that it takes 7-10 days I expected that it was a possibility that it would take the full 10 days. But I was still wondering when the heck he would emerge. Day 10, a new butterfly had worked his way out to the world! The poor thing was on the bottom of the container upside down :( I worked gently to flip him on to his legs. To be honest, I thought he didn't make it and I had discovered an unfortunate circumstance. NOT the case. Butterfly was alive, and fine. Aside from his horribly mangled wings. Emerging and then landing on his back with all the weight on his delicate wings proved to be a challenge for this little guy. HOWEVER, this butterfly has a spirit and a will to live. As "coincidence" (or perfectly configured by the good Lord himself to show us in true form how he really is with us in every way) would have it. The day the butterfly emerged was the same day my grandfather passed away. I saw the symbolism in it, and explained to Acilia how neat I thought it was that the butterfly freed himself from his crysalis the same day Grandpa "Cuckoo" (they have a cuckoo clock) freed himself from cancer. It was a beautiful experience. Even more beautiful; today was the funeral. We thought it would be neat to release the butterfly by Grandpa's grave. Acilia loved this idea, so she carefully carried the little fighter in it's container. We brought it in to the church for the service. Would you believe that the bulletin for Grandpa's funeral had a beautiful butterfly on it??? I felt compelled after this discovery to share all of this with the Pastor that would be performing the service. I went up and spoke with him about what a neat little story this school project has become. He thought it was neat too, and worked it in to his sermon! The service ended and we moved on to the grave site. Acilia picked a flower to release her butterfly onto, and this butterfly was at home right away surrounded by beauty!

This morning, Acilia began to cry, she missed her butterfly :( I can't help but think it's misplaced sorrow for the loss we have on a much bigger scale, but to make her feel better, we went outside and I showed her a bush we have in our yard that should attract butterflies all summer because it's called a "Butterfly bush" while we were outside, wouldn't ya know we were graced with the first butterfly of the season in our yard??

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The time has come for his wings to fly....

My grandpa passed away this morning. 7:40 am.

Life begins with a date and a time. Life ends with a date and a time. The dates and times in between are points in your life where you imprint memories and happiness on your loved ones hearts.

Oscar Thon~ 1/10/1919- 5/20/2009

I have found peace in all of this, through "coincidences" which I am sure are not coincidences but comfort from God himself.

Acilia brought home a caterpillar 2 weeks ago. It was growing and growing and growing and finally on May 10th, it formed it's chrysalis. The paperwork says a butterfly would emerge in 7-10 days. How perfect that today, is day 10 and I came down to find the butterfly had emerged. It was comforting to know, that the butterfly broke free, at the same time that Grandpa broke free from cancer. If my butterfly is ready to released, I hope to release it near grandpa's grave the day he is buried. They can "fly" together.

I had a comforting dream the other night.
In my dream, Grandpa was sitting in his chair. He was in the same physical state, however he had his strength of voice back. Grandma said she was going to be so lonely without him. He was comforting her, and then reached under his chair to pull out a big box. In it, was a huge comfy blanket. He wrapped it around her. To me it symbolizes how he will wrap his arms around her even if he's not here to do it physically.

I have been listening to KLOVE daily. There is a song that is awesome, and especially awesome for what we have been going through.
The lyrics are as follows:
Chris Tomlin - I Will Rise
From the album Hello Love

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say, "it is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

And I hear the voice of many angels sing, "worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart, "worthy is the Lamb"

I am not kidding when I tell you this song has had impeccable timing the last few days!
My alarm is set to turn on the radio and yesterday, wouldn't you know that was the first song I heard? And, wouldn't you further know that after I left grandma and grandpa's house yesterday, yup! First song I heard when I got in the car. That may be coincidence, however, is it also coincidental that it came on the radio right after I found out that grandpa had passed away? Yeah....I didn't think it was a coincidence. I am learning that coincidence doesn't exist!

Thon, Oscar W.
Oscar W. "Tony" Thon, 90 of Bartlett, formerly of Addison. Beloved husband of Verna nee Moeller; loving father of Beverly (Thomas) Novak, Robert (Mary) Thon, Cynthia (David) Russell and Shelby (Joe)Latoria; dearest grandfather of Tim, Laura, Shawn, Anne, Joe, Stephanie, Amy and Karrie; loving great grandfather of Joey, Alison, Acilia, Samuel, Kate, Benjamin, Kristin, Jack and Miles. Visitation Friday, 3 to 9 p.m. at Humes Funeral Home, 320 W. Lake St., Addison (2 Mi W of Rt. 83, 2 mi E. of Rt.53). Lying in state Saturday, 10 a.m. Funeral 11 a.m. at St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church, 37 Army Trail Rd., Addison. Interment St. Paul Cemetery. If desired, memorials to the church or CNS Hospice, 690 E. North Ave., Carol Stream, 60188 greatly appreciated.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

He's ready

His body is fighting
His mind is set
He's ready to go, he's ready for his wings
He's begging "Dear God" take me to my mom
I want to walk with her, laugh with her, hold her
He's ready, he's waiting, he wants to go
"Please Dear God won't you take him"
We have been blessed to have such a man
In our lives to show us how life has it's plan
We soak him up with all we can
He's made the perfect role model
His spirit will live on
He knows it, we know it, please won't you pray
"Lord, he gives his life to you, he repents his sins, he's ready for you,
take him Lord, give him his wings, he's ready, he's willing, he's waiting"
I see it in his eyes, he's at peace with this change
he is not scared, he is not fighting, he's ready
It's beautiful to see a man start so strong, his body is fading but his spirit is still so full of what he has to offer.
I pray with him, I am thankful for him, I am so grateful I have this last bit of time with him
I watch the love that is ever present between he and she, it's amazing, a true sight to see!
It's time for him to go, we ask of you so
Please take him, he's ready, oh please can't he go?

This poem is for my grandfather. A little blurp about him in my blog just would not do this man justice, he is a man that has touched every single person he has ever been in contact with. He is loyal, respected, he loves my grandma with all of him and she loves him the same. The life he has made with grandma is one that can teach all those around them, it's so apparent to me the strength in faith and wisdom they have. Grandpa is a soft spoken man with a lot to say. If you listen to him, you truly would learn more than you could ever in a day!
He has mesothelioma, otherwise known as lung cancer, he is fading fast. Each time I visit, it's clear that he is walking closer to his life in Heaven, I can't help but want to soak him up a little bit more! He is 90 years old, a full life he has lived, he's ready to go, and I just try to comfort him and reassure him that God will take him when he's ready for him.
Today was a visit I will cherish forever. I went into his room, I was holding his hand, he put his hands together, he wanted me to pray with him. (I prayed with him last time I was there, melts my heart that he remembered and wanted me to do it again!) I prayed with him, and then I went to get my bulletin from the church service today. I told him I would read him the prayer of the day, the Old Testament reading, and Holy Gospel. I got through the Old Testament reading and then he was motioning for me to get his "white bible" from the book shelf next to me. He had a prayer marked in the book that he wanted me to read. It was a prayer that made clear to me that he is ready to go. It was a prayer that said he gives himself fully to God. He truly does. It is abundatly clear. I finished the prayer with Amen, and he was able to get his words out that "He is ready". I told him it's ok, and that he can just keep resting. He wants so badly to go in his sleep. I pray so hard that's the way he will go. He's willing, he's waiting. I am willing and waiting to do whatever he needs while I am with him. In the mean time, I tell him I love him, and tell him to sleep. Sleep grandpa sleep...

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Psalm 23:4

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No age limit.

Apparently kidney failure has no age limit, and neither does dialysis. I was contacted by a fellow blogger, who has a 1 year old on dialysis. WOW! It's been over 24 hours and I still can't fathom having a sweet precious little baby (very close to my son's age mind you) on dialysis. I am glad she found me however, it's so neat to compare notes and share stories! I look forward to following her and her sweet little boy's story!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So proud of my "sweet girl"!

A little background. Acilia has a piggy bank in her room. She is very very VERY good at saving every penny she gets because she wants to buy a horse someday ;) We were having some issues with the way she was handling respect toward us a while back, so we got her what we can a "sweet girl" bank. (We actually found a bank that has "Sweet girl" inscribed on it!!) When she had a good day, and she was "sweet" she would get a dollar at the end of the day. This gave her a way to save money to buy something for herself, but not take money out of her savings for a horse. It works rather well, she has been able to buy a few things for herself, with her own money and she really enjoys seeing what money can buy.
There have been times where we are particularly proud of her, and at our discretion, we will give her a $5 dollar bill. This happens very seldom, and when it does, she is pretty excited about it.
On to tonight and the heartmelting dialogue!

Acilia had a sliver in her finger. You know any child and the "thought" that something may hurt, and you have something that could take about 30 seconds, lasting about an hour! Tonight was different for some reason. When I told Acilia I would not hurt her when I was getting it out, she actually believed me and sat there like an angel fighting to be brave! I was truly proud of her, and when I got the sliver out, we looked at it, and she told it, it was a "bad sliver" and we both giggled. Then I let her in on the fact that I am so proud of her, that I am going to give her $5! Ready for the sweet part? She said "Oh! I will put $2 in my sweet girl bank, $2 in my piggy bank, and give $1 to Miles!" My heart truly melted into a puddle! She is a special child!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

God has filled my plate!!

I feel blessed to finally be in a position where my creativity may get some "real" use! I have spent years writing poems, drawing floor plans for homes, decorating, doing hair and make up, planning weddings.....all things that you could potentially make money doing, but I never felt I had the resources to turn any of those things into a "business" even though I tried with a few of them!
Last night, I went to a mandatory meeting at Acilia's school. The school is one of the few Lutheran schools in the area and they are in financial trouble! :( Due to this dilemna, understandably tuition rates have gone up. What hurts more though is to see families turning away from St. John because what was hard to afford before, just became much harder. On top of that, two teachers in a school that feels like family have been "let go" and it just hurts to watch.
I am an idea girl. I brainstorm actions all the time, I create lists and pictures and talk talk talk until I am heard. You better believe this situation is no different! God called me to St. John and it was abundantly clear to me that not only does he want my daughter to be a part of a Lutheran family education, but he also wants me to help the school! So, I have started "Team Boost" in an effort to save the St. John family from further detioration!! It feels so good to have these answers brought to me through the good Lord!! Prayers get answered people! Keep on praying!
In the meantime, if you are feeling as though you can help financially, you may visit my paypal page to donate to St. John. 100% of the proceeds will go to a school that needs support to thrive!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Grab my button! Spread the word!

I added a button for Al's "cause" in needing a kidney, you will find the code on the right hand side. Please feel free to take it and use it in your own blog!! The more that read about Al's story, the higher the chance that he will get that kidney, we are ever so patiently waiting for!!!!
Thanks for your support :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My craigslist ad for a Volunteer

I am writing you today, as a wife and mother of two young children. My husband, just turned 30 and he started his birthday as he does every other day, on his dialysis machine. This man is full of passion for life and providing for his family, yet he is ever so patiently waiting for a willing and commited donor to grant him his full potential! My husband has been on daily dialysis (12-14 hours PER DAY) for 2 years, 7 months. I am watching him struggle to keep it together and inside I am aching! We have faith that there is someone out there that can help us, and we just pray that person happens to come across this post and decides to reach out. Can you be that person?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oohhhhhh BOY!

Well....I like a good challenge, and better yet....a PLANNING I did it. I have officially....taken....over....the....planning....for....................................................... Oh goodness, I am saying it, making it official, the 10 YEAR REUNION. Wowza! How fun!! My mind is racing! I love brainstorming!! Fun fun fun!


The thing that I thought could not happen, did. The donor that God so graciously blessed us with, is not going to work out afterall. Maybe I had TOO much faith in this whole thing, to not think that God would bless us with a donor that was 200% ready to do this, then to go and have the rug pulled out from under our feet. Today, the hospital called to inform us that we would not be moving forward with the tranplant due to "medical reasons". I wrote Jen an email and I hope first and foremost, that everything is ok, because she did not let on that she had any health concerns, so it worries me that she may have heard some unsettling news about her health. Pray for her....

We obviously have many thoughts going through our minds, and we just need to process it all, and mourn the huge disappointment this has caused.

My mind is already working on the next step. That's the way I work! Get knocked down, jump up and move on! I will find a kidney for my husband!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My brain hurts

I have so many thoughts racing through my mind, I can actually admit that my brain hurts. I am not sure where to go, or who to talk to, or if it's something that needs to be talked out at all. I have always been the one that people go to, to "talk to" I have always been able to work through my emotions. It so much more complicated this time. I have kids, I have started a life, and I would like to say that I have grown up and think I have become a responsible adult. Who, what, when, where, WHY!?

Friday, April 24, 2009

I think it's safe to say....

I think I can officially say that Miles has *ahem* weaned from nursing. It sure seems that way anyway! I will note one of the last times my precious little boy requested a nursing session, and that was a little over a week ago. I was laying in bed, he woke up and I brought him into bed with us for some cuddles. He had his nu-nu (pacifier) and was just hanging out with us. Literally out of the blue, I saw a little light bulb go on in his head, he smiled and giggled at me, took his nu-nu out and whipped it across the bed, then assumed the position for a milky snack :) It was so precious and so cute, it will rank up there with "Top Memories" for sure! Since then he has nursed once, maybe twice, and those times were because I offered it. Miles is a few days short of 14 months, so, I am officially noting he is weaned at 13 months. Aside from that, it's safe to say that Al and I started counseling today. I am optimistic and will explain more as we go in the future :)
And finally, it's safe to say I am SO EXCITED!! I am signing up for the Certified Nurses Assistant course at a local college! Yay! Registration isn't until June though, so I will twiddle my thumbs a bit until then!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our meeting with Al's donor....

I will explain this picture later :)

These two, I caught from the car. Jen's train had just arrived, and I still had to find parking, so Al got out and ran up to her, so they could chat. I was so glad to catch this was a tear jerker! Reminded me of a movie :*)

Jen (holding her mug, she LOVED it !!) Al and our little guy Miles

The story of the night:
Well....the train arrived at 5:27 PM. Minutes before, Jen texted me with "Hearts racing?" We replied "With excitement!" Then a few minutes later we are at a stop light, I get another text with "Move train!!" We saw the train, it was just sitting there, and she was stuck on the other side!! The anticipation was great!! The light turned green, the gates went up and we see everyone walking across the tracks, we spotted her from the car, and instinctively, I waved! She saw us (how??? We were IN the car, and there were tons of people around...but she saw us!) waved back excitedly!! Al jumped out of the car (at another stoplight) and they ran to each other and embraced! It was such a teary moment to watch from the "outside" world. All this busyness was going on around all of us, and for a moment, it felt as though the world had stopped just for us! The kids and I crossed the tracks, to find parking and when we finally met up with Al and Jen, I got my chance to hug her to death!! It was such an impactful time! She had baked us COOKIES!!!! As if giving her kidney up isn't enough, she baked for us! This woman is amazing. I must just make that perfectly clear. She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! She is so bubbly and personable and sweet and funny and informative and...and....and....AND! She is a gem!

We went to dinner, were there for a few hours. I was impressed with how well the kids behaved and how sweet she was with Acilia. Acilia LOVED her! It was so cute! She just kept looking at her and talking to her, and loving on her!

We told her we wanted to drive her home, so she wouldn't have to take the train back. It was a nice drive. She lives in the city, and it's just so beautiful as it is, but on top of that, it was all made up because the Olympic committee was in to decide whether the Olympics would keep Chicago in the running for 2016! I got a cool picture of a building with a star made of lights. (Remember seeing it at the beginning of this post?) That was just a teeny part of all the fun for the night, but the city sure pulled out all the stops!

Overall, the night was a complete and total success. She is sure to be a lifelong friend! Or, better yet, a part of our family!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Stellan's Name gallery

Our picture made it in :) I drew Stellan's name on our office window, Acilia caught me doing it, and grabbed a marker and asked if she could do it too! I said surely!! I snapped my pictures, attempting to get a good one for the gallery, and this is what I got. She asked if we could keep it up until Stellan is feeling better, I replied "Absolutely!"
Still praying for you sweet baby!

"Recycle Yourself"

I designed this mug. It's a gift for Al's donor, Jen. Has a fun story to go with it ;)

It says "Recycle yourself, Donate a kidney". This originated from a conversation I had with Jen. She has a coworker that donated one of her kidneys and has a mug that says the same words. In a reference, Jen said she needs one of those mugs. I took her literally, and decided that would be a small token gift from us, to give her today. The picture on it, is a picture she sent me. Photography is a hobby of her's and I thought it would be neat to put a picture she took as the "backdrop" to such simple, yet impactful words :)
I love how it turned out! I hope she loves it too!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Did I tell you, Al found a donor??? luck would have it, Al had appendicitis in February. No, that's not a fun experience, and no, most people don't wish to have an organ/body part removed, regardless of the fact that it's not a "useful" part...however, it helped me to see clearly. The normal, appendix out, recovery, on your way, turned in to a much more complicated situation, because of the fact that he is on dialysis and nothing is easy. Well, God spoke to me, he gave me a nudge, (I love when he does that!!) my cousin sent me an article about a man who was in need of a kidney transplant, his daughters put an ad on Craigslist and they found a perfect stranger who was a match, and voila! New kidney! It was a lightbulb moment for me, I had previously thought of posting on Craigslist, but how do you post an ad for a new kidney?? Well, I sat down at the computer, and let the words flow. I did it, to try it, and figured, why not! However, I knew it was a needle in a haystack type of trial.
Would you believe, within 24 hours, we had a person reply, asking how to seek the information needed to get started in the process?
And would you further believe within a week or two, she was at one of the information sessions, and then was tested
Better yet, would you believe that she was A PERFECT MATCH and is going to be his willing donor?
She is a fabulous soul. I have become attached to our daily back and forth emails, and realizations that we are two of the same soul!
We are meeting her tomorrow. I am thrilled, nervous, amprehensive, beyond words really. It's just such an interesting situation, with such a cool twist!
I will update on how it goes, and of course, add some pictures!

Keep pressing on....

I am fighting nearly every bone in my body to follow my career goal of becoming a Labor and Delivery nurse. I can *handle* the job, but the schooling is going to kill me, and I am just in the "gen eds" stage! Grr!
I am currently taking one class per semester. Clearly it's not the "fast route" to finish line, however, I have a husband on dialysis, that is on his machine 12+ hours a night, then he is at work at different hours of the day, leaving me home with two kids. My day is consumed with keeping the household running smoothly...anyway (Minor attempt to justify why I won't man up and "get it done") The class I am taking this semester is Psych 1100. Trying to make life easier on myself, I signed up for a telecourse. I guess I didn't have a clear idea of what a telecourse is. It's basically an independent study class, however, you have correspondance with your instructor if need be, and you go to the campus testing center for tests. a perfect world, this wouldn't sound so bad, but as I mentioned before, I work around my family's schedule and that does NOT work with the TESTING CENTER SCHEDULE. Grr again!
I have been attempting for more than 3 weeks, to get in touch with my instructor, she has literally gone MIA. My voicemails have gotten a bit snooty, which is not like me, but how hard is it to return a phone call? My studies have been put on hold, and I am on shakey mental ground, fighting a strong desire to withdrawl from the class. I will not quit! I will not quit!! Please dear God, give me the strength to stick it out, and possibly even Ace the class to maintain my 4.0 GPA. I will not quit. I will not quit. I have gotten the nudge it takes, (Mail today brought the summer classes catalog, I can't in clear conscious sign up for a new class, when I haven't finished the one I started!) Thank you Dear Lord. I am going to study my butt off and get in to that dang inconveniant totally freak me out testing center (Did I mention taking tests is a HUGE weakness of mine...I studied my butt off, and got in to the center a little over a month ago and took my first test, which I BOMBED! That was not good for the ego, considering I felt ready GRRRRRR) and take the dang test! Moving on!


My heart is melting, not aching.
My smile is bigger, not frowning
The wonderful Lord is listening
To our prayers, our concerns, our thoughts
Stellan's condition is improving
the precious little soul is resting
his mama is smiling
we are all praising!
Stellan man is smiling and giggling today, and my heart is rejoicing!! I've been praying so hard that this sweet little boy. Our God is great! Our God is listening!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My heart is hurting, my mind is whirling, my brain is stirring, please dear God let this long week for Stellan and his family end soon with a sigh of relief!
You have the power to turn it around, you have the power.
Please with deepest heartfelt prayer, please let this little boy, loved by thousands, pull out of this condition and grant the miracle in him that he was granted at birth!

I'm pulling for him, I'm praying for him, I am thinking of him constantly, his precious smile flashes through my mind uncountable times throughout the day.
You want many to know him, you want many to love him, you want many to pray for him, please Lord, we ask that you heal him!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A case of the "why's"

I didn't write this, but thought it was good enough to share!

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are almost dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they already know there is not enough money?

Why does someone Believe you when you say there are four billion stars; but have to check when you say the paint is still wet?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word 'lisp'?

If people evolved from apes, Why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses Are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will
have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, 'It's all right?' Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, 'That really hurt, why don't you watch where you're going?'

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And......The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Miles birth story

I can't believe my little boy is already almost 13 months!

Before I share my birth story, I want to share a little background, I had an epidural with Acilia, I didn't want to take any chances, I was afraid of the pain. When I had her though, I got the epidural because they said it was time, not because I *needed* it. My delivery with her was great, but I couldn't help but wonder if I could do it without the drugs. What really put it all into perspective for me, was my extreme hate for catheters! You have an epidural, you are getting a catheter. Ugh! I hate them!!! Fast forward to when I was 15 weeks along with Miles, I had some bleeding. I was taken to the ER and of course the first thing they do is put a catheter in! :/ That was the day I decided I was going to do what I could to hold off on an epidural when delivery day came and just *see* if I could go without one. I had my mind open, afterall you never know what is going to happen in the delivery room, but it was a hopeful goal of mine. JUST so I wouldn't have to have a catheter :) I bring this story up, because I wanted to note the sheer irony at the end of my birth story, and I hope it makes more sense knowing this little fact!


Friday, February 29th, a day after my due date, I had a doctor appointment. I had been stuck at 4 cm's for the previous three weeks, so, when I felt twinges of discomfort the three days leading up to Friday, I thought *maybe* something would have changed, but, I surely didn't have my hopes up! I get into the office, I was lamenting over the fact that I was still pregnant. Dr. suggested we check, as he's checking, he started to suggest membrane stripping and then I should go home and have some lovey dovey time with hubby and most likely that would do it. He stopped mid sentence though when he found that I was 6-7 cm's dilated. The talk that we had about stripping membranes was quickly averted to doc backing away slowly and telling me I was going to the hospital. I got there about 1:30. The nurses anticipated a woman coming in, in raging labor, and that just wasn't the case. I have concluded my body is very weird! :) I must admit, when doc told me it was time to go to the hospital, I went home; made Acilia lunch; grabbed my bag, I got to the hospital about 2 hours after my doctor had called to let them know I was coming in. To make matters even more amusing, I came strolling in to meet Al who was there waiting for ME. Hee hee! I found myself stalling because I knew I would be stuck at the hospital for a few days once I was admitted. The nurses even mentioned they thought I had gone to a different hospital since it took me so long to get there! Anyway, I made it and we got all situated in the room, my mom, hubby, my sister in law and Acilia, who was so excited to become a big sister! The doctor came in and broke my water at 3:18 PM. We waited. My sister in law kept looking at the monitor wondering why I wasn't affected by the peaking contractions that were showing up! (Yup, weird body!!) About twenty minutes later, I asked for the "birthing ball" I figured it would be a little more comfortable than the bed. I sat on the ball next to the bed, and put my feet on the bed, my mom massaged my feet with lavender oil. Really nice :) The contractions began to get painful. I moved back to the bed, and kind of just buried my head on the pillow when they hurt. They were good ones for about twenty minutes. Then I started feeling a little pressure during the contractions. I asked to be checked again, they said I had just a little bit to was 5 PM, I mentioned I thought Acilia should leave the room. No sooner did she leave and my body became the "worker" and I felt like a "spectator"!!!! I had no control, if anyone had asked me not to push, well that just wouldn't have even been an option. He was coming out! I asked for the squatting bar, and within four minutes, gravity and some pushing on my part worked him right out!!!!! I laid back on the bed and just cried!! It was awesome! I noticed then that the room was pretty much full of nurses!!!! The way I delivered, apparently was a first for the hospital, so we had some interested eyes!! It was amusing and impressive! I held my little man and just cried! Then, it was time to deliver the placenta. It took 35 minutes and when I tell you what they had to do to remove it, I am not exaggerating that it was the worst part of delivery! Doc had to manually extract the placenta as I was levitating off the bed in agony! They were asking if I wanted something for the pain. I couldn't believe my ears! I had just successfully delivered my baby naturally, as I had hoped and I was going to take drugs to get the placenta out?? I couldn't bring myself to say yes, but it was torture! I could have sworn my insides were being ripped out! Between excessive bleeding, and high blood pressure; I was made to stay in labor and delivery for 24 hours, while they administered magnesium through IV and I dealt with having a catheter put in! I swear, irony is what it was! It's laughable now though :) My beautiful baby boy was 8 pounds, 9 ounces 21 inches. Born on LEAP DAY at 5:04 PM :)