Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 23, 2008

Just over one year ago I married my best friend. It was a beautiful day, one that will forever fill my mind with wonderful memories. Jonathan and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple where we were sealed to each other for time and eternity and surrounded by dear family and friends. What a blessing to know that we will be together forever!

I'm incredibly blessed to have my sweet husband. How lucky I am to be married to a man who inspires me to be a better person, loves me unconditionally and helps me to achieve my goals and dreams. I love you, Jonathan. Thanks for an amazing first year of marriage!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jerry the Mouse

My preface to this story: don't get grossed out. We keep our apartment very clean. 

A few months ago Jonathan woke up to find a big water bug by our front door. Luckily I was still in bed, so I didn't have to see it. Insects are incredibly disgusting to me. Thankfully our building employs an exterminator to stop by every apartment on the second Saturday of each month. On his very next visit he sprayed our apartment with insect repellant and tossed sticky pads underneath our oven and refrigerator, and we haven't seen an anything since...

until this past weekend. 

Jonathan and I were in the kitchen, and we heard a little squeaking noise about every thirty seconds. At first I thought it was the floor, but once we figured out it wasn't that, I dropped to my hands and knees. Jonathan brought a flash light, and I started my search under the oven. Nothing. Only dust balls. I checked under our small table. Nothing. Finally, I looked under the refrigerator. As I flashed my light to see what I could find the squeak came again. I found the culprit - a sad, cute baby mouse awkwardly trapped on the sticky pad. Oddly enough, rodents don't give me the heeby-jeebies like insects do. I felt so sorry for the innocent mouse. Jonathan laughed and grabbed the camera as a couple tears skimmed my cheeks. Poor Jerry.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mr. Bond is Home

I'm writing this update as we watch a season two episode of 24 - our new found addiction. Nina Meyers is the mystery who keeps coming back. Jack Bauer is a hero who survives it all.

Much more important, however, is an update on my dad:

Last Thursday dad was moved from the ICU to the Critical Care unit where the doctors kept a close monitor on his heart rate. One thing we did learn from this is that my dad's heart is in excellent condition resting near 50 beats per minute. He's not a marathon runner, though the doctors asked several times how he was in such great condition. I attribute it to his daily runs on the treadmill and nightly bowls of Schwan's ice cream.

He was discharged from the hospital on Saturday night and is still in recovery mode at home, but he is making progress (and is enjoying not eating hospital mystery food)! The doctors continue to monitor his blood level which requires three visits a week to the cumidin clinic. His head still aches, but the pain is in control. A funny side note is that dad gained twenty pounds during his one week stay in the hospital. One of his many IVs consisted of sodium chloride to retain water in his body and keep pressure off of his brain. While at home he continues to take three salt tablets three times a day for the next two weeks, so it will be a couple weeks before he loses the water weight. It's quite funny - his concern now is not that he still has a blood clot in his brain, rather, it is how soon he will lose this weight. The blood clot should dissolve within six months to a year. It takes time to break down, but he will return to full strength soon.

I'm grateful that dad came home before I left for New York. I didn't want to have the image of my dad with oxygen tubes, IVs and heart monitors left in my memory until I see him again. Thanks to so many friends and family members for your love, support and prayers. We are seeing so many blessings from the Lord pour into our family.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Icey You -- I see you -- ICU

This entry comes from the hall leading to the University of Utah's Neuro Intensive Care Unit. Jamie is inside visiting her dad who is being treated for a blood clot in a vein in his brain. Normally most patients who suffer a similar illness recover to full strength with no lasting effects. It's a little scarier in her dad's situation, however, because his family has a history with blood clots --his mom, oldest sister, and two brothers have all suffered from them. His oldest sister passed away from a blood clot in her brain. She reacted with the blood thinner medication and her brain hemorrhaged. Jamie's mom is a nurse, so she has been able to communicate with the doctors and make sure they take extra precaution with his situation.

So far no neurological damage has been found with her dad. He is alert and responsive, but also very tired and on a lot of different medications. The pain is diminishing, but the pain killers have taken a toll on his heart rate (he has been dipping into the low 30s). Right now the doctors are giving him additional medication to help speed up his heart rate. The doctors are hoping to have everything stabilized within the next day or so. I'm optimistic that her dad will pull through. Her mom is having a harder time (her being a nurse has been both a blessing and a curse - -she knows too much and has seen too many situations go different ways). But we are confident and faithful that all we be well. We all feel that this is an eye-opening event--one from which we are all gaining faith and insight.

Jamie and I received a call from her mother early Sunday morning and were on the next flight out. Being back around our families and in the "shadows of the everlasting hills" has made us realize just how wonderful it is to be home.

We've been looking back on the past month and realized how many blessings we have: we had visits from both Jamie and my family. I led a service project with 12 students where we provided free HIV/AIDS testing for people in the Bronx; additionally, we worked with an AIDS organization in the city to help educate others and serve food to people with HIV/AIDS. Afterwords I had a nice spring break where all I did was study for the MCAT. I will be taking the MCAT near the end of the summer.

Jamie has been busy at work, and despite her last entry, she shined during the GEMS hair conference. One of the head directors called her the "American Idol of GEMS." Jamie is a great presenter, though certain eccentric Frenchmen find perms distasteful--he must have had a run-in with a young Howie Mandel. She is looking forward to her next (and last) rotation where she'll be working with Redken's US Marketing team on haircolor.

We feel blessed to have so many good people in our lives. No matter where we go, we tend to attract wonderful friends and family members. Joe (Jamie's dad) is such a happy guy--it really is amazing. He has remarked how much like heaven it is to have his two daughters nearby. He is in good spirits and continues to share valubale insights that he is gaining from this recent challenge. We are hoping that he will be moved from the Nuero ICU to the neuro floor soon. Until then, we'll keep praying hard and bringing in chocolate malt milkshakes.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I rarely blog about my job. After coming home and debriefing Jon on my day, the last thing I ever want to do is write about work; however, I think my most recent experience definitely deserves a post.

To give you a little background: I currently work on the global marketing team at Redken. This team concentrates on the development of brand strategy, products and concepts. In other words, this is the more creative side of marketing. Every country around the world that carries Redken has its own domestic marketing team that is in charge of taking what we (global marketing) develop and implementing and promoting the strategies/products in their respective market. Once a year all of the countries come to New York for an event called GEMS where global marketing presents their plan for the upcoming year to the domestic teams. GEMS is a huge event - it started on Sunday and went through Wednesday, and I worked long days from 7am to 11pm.

I work on the Color and Texture team. My boss and I oversee the development of our color collections (if you are a Redkenite Runway Reds or Mahogany Glam may sound familiar...past collections) and perms (Vector Plus, Creative Curl, anyone?? probably not). Lucky me being the lowest on the totem poll, I mostly manage our perms. I know, I know - perms are so twenty years ago. It's true! But believe it or not, there are some countries in this world that still use perms.

On Tuesday, I presented our 2010 plan for texture (I like to use this word rather than perms - it makes the product sounds a little more modern, right?). The countries were split into two groups, so I gave this presentation twice. The first presentation went really well. Everyone was on board with the strategy and thought it was a great plan for the tiny texture category.

The second presentation unfortunately didn't go as well. It wasn't a mistake that I made - I 'm completely comfortable presenting in front of big groups - rather, it was an important man in my audience that helped my second presentation become a little more dramatic. We'll just say he's much higher up on the totem pole than I am, and he has opinions (lots of them) about the texture category. Two minutes into my presentation I delivered my analysis concerning the current texture business and our opportunity for growth. This high totem-pole man in the audience started rolling his eyes, breathing audibly and finally threw his hands in the air, stood up and headed towards the door (I wish you could've been there - words can't explain what this man was doing). Granted, perms aren't a big generator of revenue in the countries that he oversees, however, he didn't even give me a chance and listen to the rest of my presentation. "C''s her first GEMS," everyone started saying, but he continued to walk out of the room. I paused, waited for him to exit, and then started right where I left off. I was so confused - I knew this guy was important and opinionated, so I was quite alarmed that he caused such a scene and left.

The rest of the presentation went smoothly, but on the inside I was so confused on how to react. After I finished I headed straight for the bathroom, shed a couple tears and came back to the end of the workshop. My high totem-pole friend immediately came up to me and apologized: "I was extremely disrespectful, I'm sorry. You see, I've been hearing about texture for 20 years now..." as he tried to explain his behavior. After three long days of working and weeks of late nights and preparation for this presentation, I was feeling all kinds of emotions. There I stood, tears running down my face, as this high on the totem-pole man tried to apologize for his inappropriate action...and all I could do was cry.