It has been a very long time since I got everybody caught up on my life happenings. I have been so distracted by so much going on. I will hit the events one at a time to get you up to speed.
Job = A year ago I was working on the financial portion of writing the proposal for our next contract year extension. The Army asked us to write the proposal to go from 54 people being supported overseas to a massive layoff of 22 people this past Feb. 1. The Army was questioning keeping me on full-time so I immediately started looking for a new job since the company I worked for had lost 4 other contracts they were bidding on and on three of them, they had been the incumbent! I figured I could negotiate from a position of strength if I got out while i still had a job rather than after I was laid off in February. I started my new job this past December!
Commute = I decided to list my commute as a separate entry since driving to my new job would take over an hour in rush-hour traffic in DC. I have opted for the commuter train which takes almost 90 minutes each direction but I can sleep, eat, text, read, etc. and arrive at work rather refreshed and unstressed! But my days are incredibly long! I leave the house at 6:15 in the morning and get home at 6:30 in the evening. I get right to my workouts (most of the time Cathe Frederich) and then eat dinner, ice my sore joints, and go to bed. Nice to have a job I like in this economy so I will suffer this schedule for a little while longer, at least until our government gets its act together with sequestration etc.
Daughter's future FIL = he has recently been diagnosed with Stage 3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Not that cancer is ever good but this comes only 4 years after dd's future MIL passed away from liver cancer. Needless to say, that family is distraught! I feel so bad for the 4 kids (the youngest is 19)!! Luckily, one of the daughters and I have grown close over the years so she has her older sister, my dd, and me to lean on as does dd's BF and the rest of the family, should they choose to lean on me! The 3 unmarried kids and my dd have banded together and are cooking for the dad and taking care of him so if anyone ever had a fighting chance due to the family support, this father does!! He has already finished his first month of chemo and will start his second moth tomorrow with a dose on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by an injection of something designed to boost his white blood cell count.
Daughter's BFF = At some point in her second pregnancy, the doctors discovered the fetus had Truncus Arteriosus. There are 3 separate defects in his heart that are associated with his condition; lack of pulmonary artery, hole in the heart and a right aortic arch instead of a left aortic arch. Heart conditions form in the very early stages of pregnancy when the cells are forming and the doctors do not know what causes it. (The baby was supposed to go through open heart surgery a few days after he was born but he was too frail.) His specific heart condition involves several heart surgeries throughout his life replacing an artificial conduit piece that will not grow with his heart. When he was born, the trachea was too small and he was unable to breathe!! They pushed the intibating tube in so hard to help him get breathing, they shattered his trachea and punctured his esophagus. As a result of the damage to his trachea, he will most likely be mute. According to the plans that had been made following the baby's diagnosis shortly after he was born, he was medivac'ed to Children's Hospital in DC into their Cardiac ICU. After he arrived, they called my daughter's BFF and asked if they could resuscitate him as he had gone into cardiac arrest. BFF said yes and then a few hours after delivery, she checked herself out of the hospital (would you have done any different?? NOPE!!) and has not left her baby's side since she arrived at Children's! DD is in daily contact w/BFF and we have visited once. As of today, the baby is surviving completely on life support but showing small signs of improvement so taking him off has not been discussed. I do my fair share of keeping BFF's spirits up by every few days by texting her an incredibly beautiful picture of a sunrise or sunset my semi-globe trotting should-be-pro photographer brother has taken and include a note that she, the baby, her daughter, her hubby, and the rest of her family are in my thoughts and prayers!
I have known dd's BFF since she was 4 years old!!! Here is dd's BFF's sweet baby doing a good job fighting for his life and beating the odds!!! Note the feeding tube and the trach line.
My father = Apparently gardening can be quite the health risk! My almost 90 year old father was most likely bit by a tick that infected him with ehrlichiosis. (That seems to be the prevailing theory since the hematologist has no answers following a bone marrow biopsy and the infectious disease dr could only pin it on a tick bite!!) He had been playing tennis and bridge the day before his world came crashing down. When he got sick, his platelet count dropped to almost zero, his fever and chills were horrible, and he came mighty close to not beating this even after several transfusions. I flew down to Atlanta to spend some time with him when he finally got discharged from the hospital. After he got home, for the longest time he had no appetite and slept most of the day. He sounded stroke-y with slurred speech and was confused most of the time! But he is coming around and has been able to return to playing bridge and tennis!
My son = He has been doing awesome! I could not be prouder of how he has turned his life around! He has graduated and has a degree in Light and Sound Engineering! His teachers nominate 3 students for the Academic Excellence Achievement Award and he was one of the 3. The students then voted on the winner and another student got the award. But still, what an honor to be so recognized by your teachers!!! And in a few weeks, he starts his career with his first job!! The whole family, including my DD, brother, MIL, dad, and step-mom were there to see him graduate!
Pre-graduation lunch celebration with hubby and the guest of honor!!
The university is a located on a real live movie backlot so we were chilling right before graduation. Located from left to right -- my brother, stepmom, dad, hubby, my reflection in the glass door, DD, and DD's future SIL that I am close with.
Right before my sweetie was called up to get his diploma!!
So that is my Tolstoy novel update on my life for the past several months. Let me know what you think and also get me caught up on your life as well!!!