Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Best Friend

First post in months and it is a sad one. My dad died. He was my best friend, my first love, my everything. I was a daddy's girl. It seemed like no one really understood me, except for him. I would share everything with him and he would give me advice or just be that person I could lean on and no matter what, he would tell me everything would be OK. He was my biggest fan!

The weekend before Thanksgiving, November 17th to be exact, we were having Family Dinner Night at my parent's house like we normally do every Saturday night. My sister and her family was there, my fiance was there, Grandma was not there only because she wasn't feeling well. We had chili that night. It was a great night. We were all laughing and talking. Gene, my brother-in-law, bought a new gun at the Gun Show and was showing my dad. Dad, being a retired police officer and a Navy Veteran, loved looking at guns and enjoyed when Gene would show him the new ones. Dad was so happy that night. We all finished up dinner and put away they dishes. There were still some dishes in the sink, but they would just be cleaned later. Dad always hated a dirty dish in the sink so he started to wash them. He stopped washing them for a minute, we figured he got hot and went outside to cool off. He came back in and was having difficulty breathing. We rushed in and as soon as my mom, sister and my fiance could get to my dad, he collapsed. I got on the phone with 9-1-1 and my sister started chest compressions; my dad was having a heart attack. My brother-in-law snatched up my nephew and took him outside so he wouldn't see my dad. The rescue squad showed up and started working on my dad. They were able to get him stable and transported to the hospital. This was probably the longest 20 minutes of my life.

We all arrived to the hospital and were taken to a room to wait. The nurse would come in and let us know what was going on. My mom was taken back and was with him. Once they got him checked out and test run, we were all able to go back and sit with him. He was unconscious but stable. He was then flown to another hospital that would be able to care for him and treat him more advance than they could. So we then drove to Raleigh. We went to the Critical Care Waiting Room and waited for just a few minutes. We were taken back to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and then sent to a conference room. None of us knew what to expect. By this time we have already all cried our eyes out. It had been a bad roller coaster ride and it was like we couldn't get off. A doctor came in and told us not to get our hopes up. Since dad was unconscious for so long, there could be brain damage, he could be in a vegetative state; things didn't look good. They were getting him settled in his room so we had to wait. They had started him on this Hypothermia Therapy where they cool your body temperature down to about 33 degrees Celsius. They do this to patients who have had a heart attack and gone unconscious to help save brain cells. We were finally able to go into his room to see him. The Dr walked us in and told us not to get our hopes up. Mom had to start answering some medical history on dad. They were behind him, and the nurse started asking questions. All the questions were yes/no. Mom would reply to the question. My sister, BIL (brother-in-law), my fiance and myself were standing over my dad just watching him when we saw his head move. We all looked at each other and thought it might have been a type of reflex to the medicine. Then the nurse would ask my mom another question and she would respond, and then my dad would respond...with the correct answer by shaking or nodding his head! We all got excited and told the doctor. So the doctor came in and asked my dad simple questions and my dad would respond. The doctor said that was highly unusual but it was a very good sign that he would have little, to no, brain damage. We had hope!

For the next few days were (my mom, my sister and myself) stayed at the hospital keeping watch over dad. We were all he had and we wanted to be there for him, whenever he woke up. I'm not going to go into the days/weeks spent in the hospital. I will just say that we had good days and we had bad days. Some of the good days consisted of dad sitting up and watching TV with us and whispering that he loved us and him making jokes or gestures. He was a very strong man and it was hard to watch such a strong man become so weak.

December 12 was the beginning of the end. He was to start on dialysis to help flush the toxins out of his body. We were all there (we never missed a day going to visit). We went in and told him we loved him and we would see him soon. He would give a wink or a smile to acknowledge. We waited and waited and waited. Finally, we went back into his room close to midnight and stood watch over him all night. We all got a couple hours of sleep, but were with him the whole time. Finally, at 8am on December 13, his cardio doctor came in and let us know the outcome. It wasn't good. At this point the only thing keeping my dad alive was the blood pressure medicine. The strong man who raised me, was still trying to fight, but grew so tired and he couldn't fight anymore. The decision was made (by all of us) to give him comfort care. It was 8:30am when the comfort care was given, all of his medicines were turned off. At 8:45am, we watched him take his last breath, and then he was gone. He gave a good fight, but in the end, it was just too much for him. My dad was 67.

It has been the toughest Holiday season without my dad. He was such a big staple in our lives. I know we all miss him, but I feel I miss him more. He was that one person who understood everything about me. I have nothing but good memories with him. One of my favorites are all the times we watched the Duke basketball games on TV (I was with him when he watched his last one). I love my dad and I will miss him every day of my life, but I do believe I will see him again. In my faith, we believe in eternal life. And it was said best at his funeral, as long as you talk about him and remember him, he lives on forever. I love you Big D! <3 little A!!


At my nephew's 1st Birthday


Hanging out at breakfast a few years ago





birthday dinner

Just a candid shot of him


Friday, August 10, 2012

Delayed A Bit


I still can't believe I haven't posted anything in a while. With work and the construction going on, I end up going to bed only to wake up feeling like I haven't slept. But don't worry...there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I am about a week away from closing on my very 1st (and more than likely ONLY) home! It has been over a year process. This marathon has now turned into a sprint.

The house looks amazing with all sorts of fun touches my contractor did for me. My future brother in law built me this AMAZING "butcher block" style island counter top, I have a screen door for my laundry room, and in about a week I can call it all....MINE (well...until April 27, then what is mine will turn into ours). But I am so excited!

Here is a little sneak peak of what I have:
Here is a shot of the front of the house!!
The screen door....it will be a wild color...promise!

I'm going to try and make a big update tonight or tomorrow just to kind of walk you guys through the process and give you an inside look to the house before all my clutter comes in :) 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How Long Have I Been Gone?!?!

Wow! Didn't realize how long it had been since I posted last. The last thing I posted was that we were breaking ground. Wow....and to think now it is about a month away from closing. I will update the site later this afternoon with some pictures. All and all it has been a tough process with hard choices. So far, I am surviving.

Monday, May 28, 2012

We Have Progress!

It has finally happened! We have broken ground on building!! 
The permit is going up!

The first dig!

We have a hole!

Part of the foundation was delivered....the pretty bricks came later

Pouring the concrete!

We are super excited to finally get started!

Hoping for more progress soon!
Thanks for checking in!

Tow truck in the back...yea, the cement truck got stuck!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Will It Ever Happen??

I'm starting to think this house building isn't going to happen!

I got my approval at the end of March, just a day after I submitted the paperwork and appraisal. I've been given the go ahead. I have the plans, the builder and almost all of the permits....wait, ALMOST all of the permits??

I'm waiting on one permit to build. I found out that the reason we haven't broken ground was because the house plans I have do not meet NC Building Codes. Are you freaking kidding me!!! So I have had to get permission from the designer of the plans to make the slight (and I mean SLIGHT) modifications to the house.

After waiting what seemed forever, I finally got the permission needed, and I forward it to my builder. And I am still waiting.  I kind of feel like I should have just bought a house and dealt with that rather than building one. Everyone said it would be fun...it hasn't been fun at all. It gets to the point I start to get excited and then squashed.

Excited moment #1 - went to Lowe's for a sidewalk sale. It was amazing. So many faucets and shower things. Bought about $400 worth of faucets and what not for the house (bought all I needed). I went home and checked the retail on all the items I got and it came out to a total of $1200....holy crap what a steal! Low moment....I picked up two faucets that I LOVED and went to buy them, they rang up as under investigation and I couldn't buy them. Come to find out, the items they were selling came from a recovery warehouse...basically the two faucets I was in love with, someone stole them and tried to return them for a profit. Awesome.

I'm just ready to have this over with and have a freaking house. I have been waiting with this process for over a year now. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Yummy Dumplings

I make it a point to have dinner with my friends AT LEAST once a month (more times are welcomed also). For our usually dining spots we choose Buffalo Wild Wings. It is usually something everyone can agree on and it is easy enough to meet up at. Well, my friend Suzie and I tried a new experience a few weeks ago. And it was amazing!

We went to David's Dumpling and Noodle Bar by NC State's campus (corner of  Oberlin and Hillsborough St). He has been open for a while, but we just found him recently. We took a look at the menu online and decided that is a place where we could seriously grub on! So we met up after work and had dinner. It is a quaint restaurant, but the food is amazing! We decided to eat just dumplings and I am so glad we did!

Of course, he does have all sorts of noodle dishes, Chinese dishes, Thai dishes. Tons of stuff. We ordered the Spicy fried Won tons....

Yes, they are as good as they look!! We also ordered Pork and Shrimp Open Top Dumplings...

These were really really good also! And then we ordered Half Fried/Half Steamed Dumplings...
And these were just as good as the others!

If you are near State's campus...right by the Bell Tower....stop by and eat at David's because the place is AMAZING! I hope to go back real soon!

P.S. we also had Popsicles from LocoPops right next door. Mine was Mexican Chocolate and Suzie got Raspberry Mojito!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Getting Closer....

Just wanted to say that I am getting closer to the house building! Got an email today that the appraisal was accepted (appraised for a GREAT amount) and a request for funding is going in tomorrow.  Starting to get a little excited...won't be too excited until we break ground!