Monday, October 31, 2011

Sandboarding! The new craze.

If you didn't know from the handy list on your right, Ben and I like a little adventure.  A little out-of-the-ordinary.  A little danger.  A little fun.  Well, mostly Ben... but I'm adjusting ;)

OBX is the proud landmark of the largest natural sand dunes on the East Coast.  Visiting the large collection of sand dunes (currently 5) at Jockey's Ridge was my favorite thing to do every summer, and the #1 thing I prepared Ben for.  Growing up our family brought an expensive kite (or bought one at the fancy pants Kitty Hawk Kites toy store across the street) to fly from the top of the dunes every year.  Ben and I didn't have one, and, at 25, simply walking up and down just isn't good enough.

Buying skim boards at 50% off to sandboard down the dunes was my idea.

Unfortunately, the sand + wooden skim boards had more of a sand paper effect than a smoothing effect.
Ben ultimately decided it wasn't fun if you "went slower than a snails pace", so I was left to sandboard alone. (I still thought it was fun... besides, I'd never promised we would go any faster than snails.)

He found other ways to occupy himself.
What a giant 4-year-old.

Yep.  5 or 25... it's still my favorite place at the beach.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunrise at OBX with Ben and Eleanor

Last Thursday Ben came home from work and suggested we go to the beach for the weekend.  He has heard a lot about the Outer Banks, I grew up going there, and we have been meaning to go since we moved to N.C.  I told him we should wait until the fall to beat the tourists, and, after all that has happened, we found ourselves too busy to go.  Going last weekend seemed impulsive, but perfect.

We got into the OBX on Friday night.  We checked into our hotel on the beach, then strolled the shoreline for a night of stargazing.  We decided to come back the next morning for the sunrise.

These pictures tell our story.

It was wonderful to be back in a childhood memory with the man I love, but I constantly thought about our little girl.  It meant a lot to me to write her name in the sand at sunrise-- I never told Ben that that had been a goal of mine since we lost her.  Seeing the tide roll over the letters I wrote so lovingly was dangerously therapeutic.  I love her so much, and I know that, though water may destroy something we love, it also washes the sand clean.  

I think Eleanor would have liked the beach.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

An Autumn Afternoon at the Greensboro Corn Maze

Since we are new to the city, Ben and I love to explore around and find fun things to do.  We found this corn maze thanks to a coupon in a Greensboro travelling book!

We used the coupon for $2 off one of our two $10 general admission tickets.  We also told the cashier that we wanted to add the $5 parking on our credit card (we didn't have cash to pay it at the gate), but she didn't add the charge b/c she appreciated that we were honest about it.  See, there are nice people in the world, and you do get something for being a good person!

So here it is-- a place definitely worth visiting if you're in the area!

About 15 mins. outside of Greensboro, this adventure camp is designed to be
an old-fashioned country town.

This hidden ATM just cracked me up!

Hey... What the...?

Kersey Valley Maize Adventure has tons of attractions for the whole family.  
It really is a fun place to spend an entire afternoon! 
We walked around wishing we had a toddler, though :( 

A Zipline Canopy tour

Gem Mining (for an additional entrance fee)

Sandbox with some dinosaur digs (perfect for little kids!)

Giant jumping pillow
This thing is SUPER COOL. I've been on one during the off-season of another corn maze,
but this was a warm Saturday in Autumn so it was FULL of children.  Not the 
most desirable jumping environment :(

Pumpkin Patch! This is something I was most excited about, but was disappointed that 
there weren't too many pumpkins to actually pick or choose to buy. 
But it was a fun yard!

Plus, the pumpkin patch had those photo cut-outs.  Love that.


This maze was really huge, and designed in the shape of three barnyard animals together.
There are six stations around the three animals that you are meant to find, and
a Clue Card to help you to each station and punch it out when you see it. 

Ben and I didn't want to do all that, so we spent a lazy hour just walking around holding hands 
and running into four-year-olds.  It was great :) 

Yep... Gotta love Autumn! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Post-Natal Medical Check Up

Exactly 5 weeks after receiving the news of our daughter's death at my 26-week midwife appointment, I had my post-natal check up.

I was pretty anxious in waiting for this appointment.  I wanted to hear that my body was healing (healed), so we could "officially" move on and look to the future. We have even been adding to our family prayers that the appointment would go well, and that the midwife I'd see would be inspired to give us the best advice for having more children.  I specifically scheduled to be seen on a day when the midwife who delivered the terrible news to us originally, Waledah, would be in the office so she could see how well we are handling it, and how ok we are (she had been pretty shaken up to report a stillbirth to us.  It was the first their practice had seen, and everyone there was really upset about it.) When I was back in the exam room I heard that Waledah had called in sick, and was being covered by another midwife.  That midwife, Dierdre, told me exactly what I'd wanted and prayed so fervently to hear! (I wonder if Waledah asking for her shift to be covered by Dierdre was inspired by The Lord. Would Waledah have given me different advice, and He knew that wasn't best or intended for me?)

Dierdre also talked to me about our decision to not have an autopsy performed on Eleanor.  We have no physical evidence of what caused her stillbirth, which is something I explained we are satisfied with due to our spiritual understanding.  I told her I wasn't interested in obsessing over the "whys" and driving from specialist to specialist, but she explained that just a few blood tests could give us a lot of answers, or at least rule out some important options.

Since Eleanor is the first stillbirth they have experienced, they have never recommended these blood panels before.  Dierdre knew what she wanted to test, but not the codes or details, so she got on the phone with a blood specialist.  She explained to the nurse, Lora, who had to look up additional codes for my bloodwork papers from a specific test-indication book.  They sent me to the lab downstairs to get the blood drawn, who also had to call around to know exactly what to do! Hahahahaha... I really did think it was a funny sort of hub-bub to find myself in! I'm glad though, that they are building their repetoir of how to handle a situation like mine, and maybe if it occurs again they will all know exactly how to handle it because they could go through a trial run with me. Everyone in this practice knows and really cares about me, which is very obvious with how caring and thorough they always are in our meetings.  I feel really taken care of, which is so important!

She sent me downstairs to the hospital lab, who preceded to take about 15 vials of blood for about 6 different tests to rule out an immune disorder, thyroid, and lupus.

I just laughed when I saw her pull out all these different blood vials!
I won't post the picture of them filled with blood, but, boy, did I want to lay down when she was done!

I gave so much blood that they had to cover the spot with this heavy-duty bandage. 
It happens to be purple. 
I kept it on until I went to the post office.  The mailman actually asked if I was supporting something!
"Yes.  Donatello.  And giving blood."
The lab clinic had lots of beautiful puzzles framed on the wall, and this puzzle of Christ was hanging across from the blood-drawing chair.  I really loved seeing a picture of Christ in a public hospital! 
It was nice to remember Christ when going through something hard, and receiving some comfort in a hospital. No matter how much blood I gave, He gave more!

We'll have the results back sometime next week.  It would be great to rule out as much as possible to rest our minds for the next pregnancy, but, if something is found, that would be comforting, too, and very treatable!

So keep your fingers crossed... that the results are.... negative.... or.... positive.... whatever....