Archive for November, 2011

Ever Thankful!

November 25, 2011

It’s 11:58pm on Thursday which means we’re not too late in wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂  We just rolled in from a fun day with dear friends and our hearts are full as we stop and reflect on things for which we are thankful.  I feel like this blog is one big Thanksgiving post as we’ve learned in this journey to never take for granted the things that mean the most to us but there is definitely something special about today and we trust you shared in a wonderful celebration of your own.

Rudy saw Dr. Harake on Monday for his regular appointment.  Nothing has changed…Rudy’s heart function remains the same and his aorta is still narrow even after his angioplasty in September so the next step will be a stent.  The plan for now is to schedule his next heart cath in March to coil a grip of collaterals  but Dr. Harake is going to talk with Dr. Dan about the possibility of bumping it up earlier to get that stent put in.  So, we’ll continue to stand by.

As if life isn’t chaotic enough, we’ve decided to do the long-awaited kitchen remodel we’ve put off for the past 3 years.  A kitchen remodel during the holidays isn’t the most practical choice on many levels but there sure are a lot of great appliance deals and added incentives this time of year so maybe the headache of a Christmas without a working kitchen will work to our advantage!  Ha Ha  In preparation for the Thanksgiving demolition this weekend, the kids were unleashed in the kitchen with Sharpies…


And, of course, Rolf was unleashed too…



In keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, the kids added things they are thankful for…








We’re definitely committed to the kitchen remodel now!!  Ha Ha  Happy Thanksgiving everyone and Happy Holidays OFFICIALLY!!!

Caught Off Guard

November 16, 2011

I was very interested in seeing the Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly interview on 20/20 Monday night.  I knew it would be an inspiring report but I was not prepared for my emotional response to their story.  Shortly after the start of the show, I felt the tears welling up and by the second commercial, I was literally sobbing.  Now I admit I’m an easy mark…I’m known to get a little weepy over Folgers commercials (you know the one when the older brother comes home early from college for the holidays  and surprises his younger sister when she smells the coffee he is making and they visit over a cup of joe before their parents join them in the kitchen? Classic!) and old reruns of “Little House On The Prairie” that I’ve seen more than a couple of dozen times (those darn  heart to heart moments between Pa Ingalls and Half-pint get me every time!!!).  So, yes, it doesn’t take much to get me reaching for the Kleenex box but I was quite surprised at how deeply I was moved by the remarkable progress Congresswoman Giffords has made since being shot and surviving severe brain injury just 10 months ago.


I’m not even sure what I got so emotional over…it was a well constructed report and the producers did a good job of building the story for the maximum emotional response  but my response was less about the content and more about the images…I was fixated on the hospital video clips that showed the Congresswoman’s trach and her all-too-familiar medical supplies( I couldn’t help but compare them to what Rudy uses) and then was struck by the image of her in the interview looking bright and beautiful with barely a scar where the trach used to be.  I was mesmerized by the familiarity of hearing her first whispered words (similar to Rudy’s) as she relearned not only how to talk but how to talk with a trach (!) and then contrasted that image with her animated responses to Diane Sawyer’s questions.  Although the circumstances of her journey are vastly different from Rudy’s, there is much in her story that I can relate to and I couldn’t help but be profoundly encouraged.  I have a new favorite quote that came out of the special.  It wasn’t clear to me if the quote came out of their new book or was part of Diane Sawyer’s scripted report but it went like this… Their story is about “the courage you need when the life you live is not the life you planned and you learn there have to be many definitions of ‘a beautiful day’”.  Yes, yes…so many definitions!!


On a much smaller scale, I hope we can be that kind of encouragement to others too.  I was in Kmart the other day with Rudy and the cashier peppered me with a handful of very direct questions about Rudy while he rang up my purchases.  He was visibly disturbed when I quietly explained that Rudy was born with half a heart.  He stumbled through his next few sentences and as he finished processing my payment, he apologized for being too intrusive to which I replied “No, it’s okay.  I don’t mind, besides, it’s important you know you just played peek-a-boo with a miracle!”  The smile that came over that cashier’s face was priceless…I was smiling too and that’s not something I do very often in our Kmart.  Oh, that God would bring more and more encouragement…and not only an abundance of encouragement for ALL of us but also the ability for us to recognize it and be touched by it when we do recognize it which will then inspire us to do more than we think is humanly possible.  Thank you for being that kind of encouragement to us for so long.  We are so grateful!


Speaking of videos and progress and talking and miracles…check out our little school boy reciting his abc’s!!!!!!:


19 Years and Counting!

November 8, 2011

Rolf and I celebrated our 19th Anniversary today.  November 7, 1992 couldn’t have been a prettier day…the sun shone brightly for our 2pm afternoon wedding in Chula Vista, CA just south of San Diego and we were blessed to be surrounded by 250+ of our dearest friends and family.  It was fun to look through our wedding album with the kids first thing this morning before they headed off to school…it has been a few years since I sat down to really look through our album now almost 2 decades old.  It was nice to be reminded of so many fun memories…memories of that special day which led to the reflection of significant memories of the past 19 years and I’m struck this year by how very much Rolf and I have experienced together in a season that truly has flown by at, what feels like,  warp speed…

Experiences that include our nightmare honeymoon in Hawaii, our life in South Central Los Angeles working with inner city kids and their families, our sabbatical and ultimate resignation from our work in the city,  Rolf’s full time pursuit of his MDiv degree at Fuller Theological Seminary and the 7 odd-jobs we held between us to provide for our very young family at the time, the 8 homes we’ve lived in (yes, we’ve moved that many times!) since our wedding day, the birth of “Silver By Trish” and the conversion of Rolf’s “wood shop” into Trish’s “silversmith studio”, the births of Wilson, Max, Olivia and, of course, Rudy (a lifetime of experiences wrapped up in that little bundle alone), two trips to Europe to visit Rolf’s extended family and the countless holidays spent with our immediate families in Kansas and Texas over the years, the significant losses of my Grammie Fink, Rolf’s Tante Barbara, Aunt Elliott and Uncle Rixie, our nephew Seamus and niece Faoileann and my Dad just 16 months ago and now that distinct shift when life revolves less around our own passions and more around the  interests and activities of our growing but still dependent children :).  We’ve been shaped and molded, challenged and stretched in the nineteen years we’ve been married and, by God’s grace, most of it has been accompanied by laughter…even in the darkest moments we’ve found something at which to laugh.  Thank you, Rolfi, for being an amazing father to our kids, a conscientious provider and a fun partner.  Here’s to the journey we’ve walked so far and the path that is yet to be revealed…Cheers!

A couple of "cool cucumbers" at the rehearsal 11-6-92

"Great is God's Faithfulness" INDEED!!

Our first introduction as "Mr. and Mrs."!

November 7, 1992

Celebrating at Cold Stone Creamery - November 7, 2011

Halloween 2011

November 1, 2011

We sure enjoyed a fun and full holiday weekend which started with a quick visit from Uncle Steve and Aunt Michelle who were in California on business and ended yesterday with a day off from school (teacher in-service day) and a fun evening of candy-collecting!  After all the fun of this weekend, none of us are ready to start another week of school, work, etc!  Ahhhhh, time is marching on, indeed, Happy Halloween everybody and Welcome November!  (Yikes! It’s November already!!!)  🙂

An overnight stay for Aunt Michelle and Uncle Steve in Goleta!

Rudy the cowboy attended Olivia's school "Hat and Mask Parade" on Friday. Olivia and her class made very cool lobster hats!

Rudy the overwhelmed cowboy and a bunch of Livy's classmates...


Halloween preparations continue on Friday with pumpkin carving fun at church...


Celebrating Asst. Coach Buddy's 62nd birthday with fellow-Charger Josh after the game on Saturday!


Halloween 2011


Dr. Rudy and his patient Max...


The mad scientist and her Frankenstein creation...aka Olivia and her good friend Dahlia!


Sorting is a little difficult with Rudy in the mix!


Wilson's anguish...this is a tough time of year for his fellow M&Ms!