Kevin and Tara's wedding on 8/18 was absolutely perfect. The weather was sunny, the church and reception hall decorated beautifully, and a good crowd in attendance. The kids were obviously on cloud 9, enjoying every minute of their special day.
For some pics, go to www.lissaanglin.com and click on her blog, then scroll down to the entry for kevin+tara. You'll see - this gal takes some AWESOME pictures.
The kids didn't get to go to Jamaica for their honeymoon - thanks to Hurricane Dean - but they decided to drive back to Alaska instead. They took their little dog Bella, and headed north on Monday morning (the 20th) and were in Anchorage Saturday evening (the 25th). It took several long days of driving but they were so glad to be home. Tara doesn't start work till the 10th of September so she's been busy unpacking things and setting up the house the way she wants it. They have a lovely park across the street from their home and they've had fun taking little Bella over there to run and play.
They will get to take their Jamaica trip later on - in October - so its kind of like getting 2 honeymoons! We're going to fly up to Anchorage on Sept. 14th to visit for a week or so (coming home the 22nd) and I can't wait to see them. I already miss them. Kevin calls every day when he's heading home from work at 5:30 (which is 8:30 in our time zone), which is great, but its not like being there in person. :)
Joe continues to struggle with depression, though the Cymbalta does help. Thankfully, it also seems to be easing the physical pain from his back injury (pain relief is a known side effect of this drug). I think I've spent most of the summer sitting with him and talking, holding his hand, trying to comfort and console him. We've spent many, many evenings sitting in our back yard, talking and reading, crying and hugging. All I can do is encourage him that the next day will be better, and hope that it is. The therapist he is seeing is helping him learn to cope with the feelings he's been holding in for so long. (the "I'm a tough guy" attitude that makes men suppress their emotions) Even though its mentally exhausting to go through this every day, I am so grateful that he is finally getting help. He's starting to be more thoughtful, and is making the effort to tell me (and Kevin, and Tara, and his friends) that he loves and appreciates us, often on a daily basis.
Yesterday he had a dr. appt. and when he came home, he brought me an inexpensive little book about identifying caterpillars and butterflies. It was so unexpected and sweet... he was not happy about all those little cats eating our sunflowers and other plants this year, but I was fascinated with them. I had learned that they would be butterflies, and I really enjoyed watching them decimate our flowerbeds and then come back to feed and lay new eggs to start the cycle over again. I enjoyed this so much that I want to plant more "host" plants for the butterflies next year. When we've gone out in the yard over the past few days, we disturb a flock of birds that are eating seeds from the dried sunflower heads, so I guess its about time to cut them down.
Last Friday I went for my annual checkup. My doctor found a "mass" in the left side of my neck, and sent me immediately to the hospital for a sonogram. Tuesday I had a CT of my head and chest. I have an appointment next Wednesday (the 5th of Sept.) with a surgeon who is an oncologist. The scans all suggest its a benign tumor, since there are no other suspicious areas. Its not on my thyroid, and its not in the muscle, but it is pressing on the jugular vein; I don't have any symptoms of any kind of disease. It looks like a wholly-contained blob on the scans, kind of like an egg or a hunk of putty or something. At least it isn't an octopus-like tumor with tangled roots - that would be hard to get out. I hope they will schedule a day-surgery to get it removed pretty soon, before I go to Alaska, or maybe it can wait till after the 24th when I'm back home.
The hardest thing about this is trying to keep it from bothering me, because Joe is so upset about this, as if he needs something to worry about. I've told him it doesn't help to worry, because we won't know what it is until the pathology is done, and he has no control over that. In fact, I didn't really want to even discuss it with anyone except my immediate co-workers in my group and with my sister. I think he must have talked about it with everyone he knows over the past few days, because people keep asking me "how are you?" in that funny way, and I'm like, "fine, I think"... so I decided I better tell Kevin in case he heard it through the grapevine. This is a small town... I would have rather not talked about it until the surgical consultation was done, but the cat's out of the bag now. So, hopefully everything will turn out to be ok. I know that whatever it is, we will just deal with it and that's all we can do.
I'm looking forward to the day when I can get some time to sew. Its selfish of me to think that when my husband is so needy, but I need my space sometimes to de-stress. I hope it will come someday soon, even though I don't have a creative thought in my head, and haven't for at least a couple of months. Its funny how people say they can't wait for life to get back to normal, but we don't really know what normal is anymore. :)