Saturday, June 23, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

I think it might become a Byard family annual tradition to attend at least one Cincinnati Reds Game during the summer.  

Home of the Cincinnati Reds :)


We've gone the past two years with Kyle's family and we enjoyed both times very much!  However, I think I'd have to say that if I had a choice, this year was better.  First of all, this year we went at the beginning of June instead of the end of July.  This cut down on the temperature A LOT.  It was still hot in the stands, but that's more from the proximity of people as opposed to the real temperature, I think.

Gary and Jacob walking a mile ahead of us...someone's eager to get into the game!

Michele and Kelsey sporting their Tigers colors.
Plus, this year Kyle's sister Kelsey went with us.  Last year she couldn't go because she couldn't get off work :(  

And....this year we went to the IKEA store before going to the game!  Can you say amazing?!  We didn't buy anything...it was enough to just look.  Kyle's brother Jacob got a coffee table for his room (for what I have no idea) but other than that, we were all able to hold out on getting much.

It was also a lot of fun rooting against the Tigers (mostly because all of Kyle's family are Detroit Tigers fans).  

The Goodyear Blimp that films the park.

Oh, Kelsey...

Gary and Kyle concentrating on the game

Our view of the field and some of its crazier fans (the woman in front of us in gray had some INSANE homerun victory dances!)

Leaving during the 7th inning stretch...poor Michele had work the next day :(
So I think this year was just a lot better! 

Plus, I even got some of the practice pitches AND Kelsey being dumb on video (she quickly realized I was filming):

video


Ahhhh....ballgames.  Makes for good family memories!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Garage Sale

Before Kyle's surgery, I helped my mom host a garage sale back in Jay County. 

My family are veteran garage-salers.  We love going to them and getting good deals, and over the years we've become pretty good at hosting them, too.  We get our whole family (aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins) to throw their stuff in too so we can advertise that it's huge!  We have a sale every other year so we have some time to accumulate stuff and get it boxed up and ready to go.  I missed the last one two years ago due to a busy summer school/work schedule, so I had four years' worth of boxes to contribute!

First of all, a couple of points about our garage sale that some people (mainly Indianapolis people I know!) consider strange:

-we host the garage sale rain or shine
-we have the garage sale for consecutive days and for extended hours
-we advertise on the radio and in the newspaper (or several newspapers!)
-we put out our own signs  (about 7-10) that we reuse year after year and we know exactly which intersections they go on, too!
-we have at least ten families that contribute every sale (this year it was fourteen families!)
-since we have so many families, we have to initial our tags on our items so we can divvy the money up later accordingly
-we have to start with $100-$150 in cash so we can make change
-we don't haggle on the first day unless the person who owns the item is present and is willing to do so or the person who owns the item has specifically told those operating the sale that day that they are willing to go lower (because we might sell it for full price later)
-at noon on the last day, everything is half off

These rules help us to make the most money we can while getting rid of as much stuff as possible.  I went out to Mom and Dad's on Monday the week of the sale and helped set up the garage and fold up clothes, etc. on Monday and Tuesday.  The sale this year was on a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Because of the surgery I couldn't work the sale on Thursday and Friday, but I kept track of the money on Wednesday from 8-4:30 and we made a ton!  I personally was able to fill the back of my car twice with stuff to take to the sale and when my mom and sister brought up my stuff that didn't sell, there was only about 1/3 of it left!  Nice!  I'm not sure how much we brought in total, but I do know that our sales made over $5,000 total...that total is my cut as well as my mom's, two of my aunts', my grandma's, and the kitty for my other grandparents' estate.  That total does NOT include the earnings from my sister, my three cousins, my step-cousin, my friend, and two of my uncles.  Some families make more than others, of course, but my cut was almost $200.  

Now what to do with that money?

Garage from far away...you can see the fridge, vintage stove, wagon, mattresses, and chairs that we sold.


Bikes and ladders

Bedroom sets, Christmas trees, chairs, benches, etc.  Someone saw the ad in the paper and came out early for the exercise equipment.

Free boxes and basketball hoop

Chairs, mattresses, cabinets, and (to the far right) the truck we sold

Handbags anyone?

A look at the garage.

The front portion of this table was housewares and the back portion was mens.  The rest were baby clothes that belonged to only one of my cousins!

Juniors clothes table.

View from my parents' door to the house.

Electronics and jewelry

ALL SALES FINAL!  Also not responsible for accidents!

Cathy and Blake :)
PS--my cousin's son Blake came along to help because his mama had just had a little sister for him!  Congratulations Deanna, Matt, and Blake!  Plus a belated welcome to the world Reagan Catherine :)

Gall Bladder Surgery

Back again to do some catching up!  I was just flipping through the pictures on my camera memory today and realized I had some things to add!  Try to bear with me here as I catch up here as well as adding photos on Facebook.

Out of chronological order (but certainly the biggest thing that happened to us most recently) is that Kyle had surgery to get his gall bladder removed.  This whole ordeal started way back in March, the day before we left for our spring break cruise...

...Kyle complained that afternoon of chest pains that gradually moved down to the side of his abdomen.  He's had food poisoning multiple times, so we assumed it was just that.  He tried throwing up to make himself feel better, but nothing worked!  I worried that maybe his appendix burst, but after a little bit of research online, I discovered that a burst appendix would have pain built up over the span of several days.  Also, the pain wouldn't start in the chest.  Hmmm...so what could this be?

We called our parents to see if they had any ideas that we didn't think of.  Kyle's brother had just been in the ER a few days previous for having a build-up of gas throughout his entire mid-section.  The doctors told his brother to take some Gas-X and it would relieve the pain.  Tried it, but nothing.  So at about 9:30 PM the day before we were to leave for the cruise (my parents were picking us up at about 10 AM), we went to the ER down the street.  

I was in a panic.  Not only was I worried about Kyle's feeling ill and us not getting any sleep, but I also had to pack (which of course I put off until that night...never again!) and run to the store to pick up last minute things for our trip....if we could still go.  To make a long story short, we ended up going obviously.  Kyle got some pain medicine through an IV and then to take with him on the trip.  They did some CAT scans and discovered he had gall stones, which is very uncommon in someone under 25.  Yikes.  So, with strict orders to eat right on the cruise and to come back as soon as possible to have the gall bladder (and stones) removed, we were on our way.

...except he didn't have any more flare-ups.  He had a dull pain in his side a lot, but other than that, no gall stones seemed to be lodged anywhere.  So instead of listening to the doctors and coming back for a surgery right away, we decided to wait until summertime when school was out so he could have recovery time and I could be with him.

Originally he was to have the surgery laparoscopically (and they would have pulled the gall bladder out through his belly-button), but after the began the surgery, the doctors quickly saw that there were some problems.  The gall bladder was too swollen to pull it out that way, the walls of the gall bladder were too thick and not very bendy, and two of his gall stone had gotten out of his gall bladder and were lodged in his liver duct (and quite possibly some had gotten into his liver).  So they had to do it the old-fashioned way by cutting him open and removing it that way.  They removed the stones from the liver duct but didn't want to cut into the liver if they didn't have to, so we had to wait until he was well enough to get an MRI a few days later before we could go home.  Needless to say, Kyle was in the hospital for five whole days recuperating.  

The first two days he was pretty out of it being hopped up on morphine and all, but the last three he became more alert and willing to walk.  I spent almost my entire day in the hospital with him each day he was there.  I left in the morning to shower and eat breakfast and feed the cats and then at night to get into my PJs and feed the cats again.  I'm just glad we live so close so I was able to do that.  I guess I could have slept at home (it certainly would have been a lot more comfortable!), but I know if it were me, I wouldn't want to be alone, so I didn't want to leave him there by himself.  And boy, he sure was grateful!  Now that we're home and I ask him to do anything for me, he jumps right to it! :)

He didn't want any pictures taken of him while he was in the hospital (Kyle hates taking pictures even when he's well), but I did manage to get a few to document our life experience:

Kyle's bed with all his bedding and my stuff on it right before we left the hospital.

Our "goody bucket"...bucket to puke in, hospital socks, toothbrush, mouthwash, etc.  All complimentary from the hospital!

Kyle's lunch when he was on his liquid diet.  Poor guy's so sick of jello.

Hospital journal in case he'd like to write about his hospital experience.  Kyle laughed hysterically every time I brought it up.  Something tells me he'd rather forget the experience instead of remember it!

Kyle's room board the day we left.

The only picture of him he'd let me take...complete with stockings to keep blood circulating and hospital socks.

Everyone sure was happy when Daddy came home!  Max has been cuddling behind Kyle's head nonstop.

Recovery is going great!  Since Monday, Kyle has walked a ton and gained his stamina back.  It still hurts him to sit up and laugh and sneeze and yawn, but he's getting around a lot better.  The bruising on his abdomen is going away and his staples come out tomorrow!  We're ready to get it put behind us and never have to think about it again....

...oh yeah, I about forgot...that hospital bill will be coming soon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Guilty Anxiety

Warning:  be prepared to be weirded out by my manic subconscious.  But it's been bugging me lately, so here it is:

I have an issue with anxiety.  And guilt.  The two mixed together are not fun for others.  Or so I'm told by those who are willing to be honest with me.  I try not to notice too much because then I will feel guilty.  Or anxious.   

I'm usually worried about something, whether it's something small or something huge.  I always have a mental string of "projects."  Typically I worry about school--not getting things planned quickly enough, not having enough copies, not being signed up for the presentation room when I need to show movies (if you're one of my school buddies reading this post and you've noticed that I frequent the IMC sign up binder "just to check", that's why!).  I worry about whether I know enough about the novel I'm teaching, whether I grade quickly enough, whether the kids are going to pass the ECA.  I worry that I'll forget something important, like a date that I've made something due or that I'll miss some meeting that I need to go to.  I worry that I utilize my lunch too much as a prep and don't get to see my friends enough in the lounge during lunch break.  Mostly I worry that I worry too much.  Isn't that stupid?  If I take a step back to examine things, I recognize that a lot of the things I worry about I cannot help.  After this, I feel guilty that I worry so much.  I've survived 23 years of my life with no major misfortunes.  Surely I shouldn't worry.  

But when I don't worry, I feel guilty about not being worried.  When you're me, there's always something to complete next.  There's always some sort of worry that goes along with that next task.  So when I'm not doing something related to that task, I feel bad.  My parents used to get on my case when I'd lounge around and entertain the idea that I was bored.  I didn't dare be bored or not doing something!  Now look where it's gotten me. 

This past week has been glorious.  I've gotten many errands done and I've successfully cleaned out/organized multiple closets, dressers, etc.  Kyle even did the garage by himself because he knew it was on my project list.  My house is clean and I've done a little bit of reading from three different books (I felt guilty that I wasn't getting to them quickly enough that I started all of them.  Now I feel guilty that I haven't completed a single one.  And I feel anxious that I never will complete one!).  Girls camp duties for church are coming along a-okay.  I've taken naps and caught up on my sleep.  Kyle and I have taken walks nearly every other night.  I've made dinner a couple of times...I even planned the next week's meals and made a detailed shopping list!  But the feeling continues to creep in...

...Anxiety.

I've gotten some teaching materials recently in the mail that I'll need to begin tweaking my plans for the first semester of next year.  But I don't want to do it, of course.  I've been out of school less than a week.  I deserve the opportunity to be lazy, right?  Bad, bad!  When will it get done if you don't worry about it soon?  I can't wait until August to begin!  And the sad thing is that I'm looking at my June calendar and it is mostly full.  And that's not even considering the upstairs remodel.  Won't that take most (if not all) of July?  So I should feel guilty about not working on school stuff?

Let's not even touch the remodeling process!  I can't believe we haven't even jumped on that yet.  

And when will we camp?  And what about that whole stack of books I want to read?  And reading Kyle's book?  And working out throughout the week?  

I obsess about not getting things done so much to the point where if I'd just quit talking about it and actually do it, I could have finished the task.  For example, it's taken me 10 minutes to write this blog post.  I feel guilty that I've written it now.  I feel guilty because I could have been doing something else, but I didn't.  But I'm not going to erase it, because that'd make me feel doubly bad...time TRULY wasted.

I have a problem.  My problem is that I feel guilty and anxious because I can't do everything.

 And I feel guilty about having that problem.