Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Beginning of the “Lasts”

January 29, 2017

Well, it has begun…the reality of Max graduating and heading off to college later this summer is starting to sink in as we watch him experience significant “lasts” with each passing season.  For example, yesterday marked the end of Max’s high school hockey season…and he played in his last tournament!!  (sniff, sniff)  Rolf and I couldn’t help but get a little verklempt as we made the familiar trek up to Santa Maria knowing it would be the last.

Santa Barbara represented well as both varsity teams advanced from the semi-finals to play against each other in the championship game.  It was a fun way to end this chapter…getting to cheer for both teams in that final match-up filled with kids Max has played alongside for the past 5+ years!

We are so grateful to the administrators, coaches, players and families that make up the SB Youth Hockey Association for the positive fun, special friendships and investment in our family!

Well done Maxo!  Thanks for introducing me to an experience I wouldn’t have had otherwise and for turning me into a hockey mom!!  😉


Getting a fist bump from the team’s #1 fan before the final game…


…and a celebratory hug afterwards!


Way to go SB Gold!


The graduating seniors!


Rookie Max


Next generation?


Maybe not…but this little guy is going to MISS the rink most of all, I think.


Goodbye 2016

January 1, 2017

We sure enjoyed our Christmas and hope you did too!  Our holiday was filled with the usual Rescue Mission and church events but we also had the added joy of celebrating with old friends from out-of-town this year.


Rudy is good buddies with Joyce the camerawoman from our local ABC news station and tried hard to use his insider connections to steal the stage during an interview with Dad at the SBRM Christmas Feast.


Christmas fun with the Zovaks.


The Zovaks have lived overseas most of our kids’ lives so it was particularly fun to see the kids reconnect!



Christmas eve candlelight service.


Christmas Day 2016


Rudy’s favorite SBRM donation of the season!!!

We made the most of every second of Christmas Day (nearly pulling an all-nighter) as we got up before dawn the following day to make our departure for the airport at 4:30am!  We traveled to Key Largo, FL for a Geyling family reunion…big trips like this are  uncommon for us, especially around the holidays, but we enjoyed the opportunity to connect with Rolf’s family (many of whom Rudy and I haven’t seen in 5 years) and see a part of the country none of us have been to before.  Rudy traveled well and enjoyed 4 days of non-stop cousin fun!!


Beautiful Key Largo, FL


The Geyling Cousins


Quality sibling time too!


Oma and the California Grands!


Another set of siblings having fun! 😉


Rudy discovered the joy of boating this trip…on small ones…


…and big ones! (with Captain Gavin on a snorkeling cruise)


Olivia, once again, made friends with dolphins at the Grassy Key Dolphin Research Center…



And the big boys discovered the joy of jet skis!

We packed in a lot of fun in the four days we were with Rolf’s family…a great end to 2016 making fun memories to cherish for years to come (Thank you Oma!!)!!  Bye, Bye 2016!


Happy New Year dear ones!  Welcome 2017!




The Christmas Countdown is ON!

December 21, 2016

With Christmas just 4 days away, excitement and anticipation are building for sure!  Rudy has figured out the whole unwrapping gifts routine making it necessary for us to rewrap a few gifts already!  The gifts that arrive early and typically sit patiently under the tree until Christmas have now been stashed in the closet for safe keeping!!!  Ha Ha

The last couple of weeks have been filled with a combination of holiday festivities like the SBRM Staff Christmas Party and Auxiliary Tea, key medical appointments for Rudy and some Silver By Trish shows.  In the midst of all the seasonal and routine, we enjoyed making a new friend from Australia when we hosted Luke for a few days last week through a program at the kids’ high school.  Max and Olivia were great hosts and had fun introducing Luke to many of their friends.  Rudy was particularly happy to have a new playmate!  Ha Ha Thanks again, Luke, for being fun and spontaneous and for putting up with our brand of crazy! 🙂


Rudy’s new Australian friend Luke!

Last week also included a bittersweet goodbye to an old friend when Rudy’s OT celebrated her retirement from the Medical Therapy Unit!  We will certainly miss Janine but we are also very excited for her and hope to see her around town doing fun retirement things! 😉


Saying goodbye to OT Janine!


Bye Bye Friend!

I got to go to Rudy’s class for some more holiday fun on Friday and while I was there, Rudy showed off his new classroom desk!


Big boy Rudy at his desk.


School fun!


Letter to Santa? (check)

Wilson is home!  Yay!!  Max, Olivia and Rudy are on winter break!  Yay!!  And we’re ready for Christmas!  Double Yay!!

Oh yeah, and Rolf reached a major 2016 milestone yesterday:


1000+ miles in 2016!! Way to go Rolf! YAY!!

Merry Christmas dear friends!!  Wherever you are in the world and whatever you have planned for this weekend, I pray it includes memory making moments with people you love and countless reminders of how very much you are loved and appreciated!






November Celebrations

November 14, 2016

This has certainly been a perplexing week with much to process as it relates to our country, it’s government and it’s people.  My heart has been deeply grieved during this whole election process and I am left feeling raw.  I read a quote last week by a Presbyterian pastor in Olathe, KS that I can stand behind and it inspired me to commit even more to do life in community & relationship with a purpose to make a meaningful difference in the lives around me…which ultimately brings healing to all of us.

“Unity, liberty and justice require effort from all of us as citizens of this great country. It won’t happen via politics…it will happen through relationships and a shared commitment to dig in to what is so terribly broken in all of us.” -Jim West

Ironically, this has also been a full week of celebrations in our household so, thankfully, there has been much “goodness” to focus on and savor as well.

A week ago Saturday was DP’s homecoming dance so we enjoyed an afternoon of fun preparation before the big kids headed off to dinner and the dance with friends and Rolf, Rudy and I headed to a SBRM (recovery program) graduation.  A big night for so many!


The traditional corsage making party with friends Tina, Autumn and Hunter…


The finished products turned out GREAT!




After graduation, Rudy, Rolf and I headed over to the dance for the crowning of the homecoming king ceremony. As mother of prince Max, I got to escort him onto the stage. Fun for me…not so thrilling for Rudy who, by 10:30pm was DONE for the day!



Homecoming selfie!

On Monday, Rolf and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary…a milestone worth noting:


November 7, 1992

Version 2

We may be starting to show some wear and tear but I’m proud of every grey hair and  wrinkle!  😉

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of visiting the big kids’ Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at school.  It was fun to see Olivia and her peeps having fun…


…and to hear Max share about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  He boldly shared how this Old Testament story encourages us all to never doubt God, to dare to be different and to never cease standing up for what we believe in…a timely reflection for sure.


One of Rudy’s favorite places is the rescue mission…Rolf had a few late nights at work this week so we had “dinner with dad” and the residents on Wednesday night and Rudy was in heaven!

Speaking of eating, we haven’t made it to Kyle’s Kitchen yet this week but we have gotten some fun shout outs from friends who were there!  Ha Ha  We are so grateful for Jay and Deena Ferro, their support of the special needs community in our town and for highlighting Congenital Heart Defects & Rudy this month at KK!!!  Stop in, take a pic and send it to us for Rudy’s gallery if you can!!!




This next week will be dedicated to final jewelry prep for my annual holiday jewelry show next weekend!  I have a couple of shows scheduled this season and a couple of trunk shows at local offices too!  So excited!!!  Let me know if you’d like Silver By Trish to come to your office!  Check out Silver By Trish on FB for more details.

School Games 2016

November 4, 2016


Rudy and his classmates enjoyed the annual Special Olympics School Games today.  In past years Rudy hasn’t been a very cooperative participant in the soccer tournament but this year he participated in the wheelchair “Hoccer” competition (a cross between hockey and soccer) and had a blast with teachers Ms. Ochoa, Teresa and Coach Galvan…







This is as good a place as any to take a break!


Fun with Nurse Evelyn…


…and teacher Teresa!

Team Mountain View played hard and finished strong!  All will sleep well tonight!!  Thank you Special Olympics of Southern California for another fun day!!!


Happy 8th Birthday Rudy!

October 2, 2016


Rudy celebrated his 8th birthday out at the Dos Pueblos Ranch yesterday with approximately 324 guests!  Although Rudy meandered around the ranch believing all the preparation and commotion were for him, we were actually there to participate in the 15th annual Back to the Bayou fundraising event for the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.  Sadly, we were so busy that none of us took any pictures at the ranch but we did enjoy a little post-Bayou party at home later that evening.  It was a full day for our family but Rudy definitely felt celebrated in the midst of all the activity and we were blessed to share the day with so many SBRM friends & supporters who have a personal interest in and love for our family as well…the best birthday gift one can get is to know how very much he is loved and Rudy certainly got that tenfold!  Happy Birthday Rudy!!!


An intimate dinner party on the ranch!


A Bayou after-party with friends Jeremy and Becky!


Olivia worked hard making Rudy’s Lightening McQueen cake just right…


…and Rudy worked hard  “eating” it!





All done!

July 8, 2016

Got buzzed shortly after the last post and figured it would just be the lab giving a status update. Discovered Dr. Dan was ready to give his report. No time to elaborate on that but the term “ridiculously good” was used repeatedly.  Not used to hearing that in a cath conference, so we’re a little bewildered.

We just got back to Rudy in recovery.  Leave it to the little champion to be here smiling and making little pig snorts as he comes out from under anesthesia! If things keep going smoothly we should be on our way home tonight. 

Checked in, Rolled and waiting 

July 8, 2016

A brief update while we’ve got time to post:  we had a 9am check-in here at UCLA so we were glad to be spared having to roll in the wee hours. We opted for the slightly longer drive down the coast (as we often do) as it just feels like a more peaceful start to a day like today. 

Demonstrating his ability to get excited about anything, Rudy asked repeatedly if he could bring wear his McQueen backpack and slippers to the hospital (and wore them for hours last evening after packing his toys).  Walked into the hospital like a boss. 

After check-in we moved to pre-op and got check-ins from the docs and kept Rudy occupied until they rolled him to the lab just before 1pm.  Gave us a thumbs up before he went through the doors:

Been close to three hours and we expect it to be quite a while longer. We’re OK with them taking their time. Thanks for keeping Rudy in your prayers. 

The Rudy Filter

July 5, 2016

Our family loves the Olympics…whether it’s winter or summer, we look forward to watching them together on TV and making fun family memories simply in our spectatorship.  Our anticipation of the upcoming summer Olympics in Rio catapulted to stellar heights this past week as we watched our goddaughter qualify for Rio in THREE individual swimming events during the trials in Omaha!!  What a thrill it is to watch our dear friends experience a ride of a lifetime and how very proud we are of their trademark humility in the midst of a pretty intense Olympic culture!  Maya DiRado is a class act and will be a fun one to cheer for in the women’s 400m IM, 200m IM and 200m Backstroke!!


All smiles at Maya’s wedding last year.


photo credit: Maya’s aunt Kate 😉


So fun to watch our friends have an experience like this. 😉


We sent Rudy’s bib # from the Special Olympics to Maya before she left for the trials and I loved Max’s prophetic sentiment the best…clearly he had no doubt she’d make it to Rio. 🙂 Good luck against the world Maya…no pressure!


One of the best gifts Rudy has brought to my life (and has been so evident this week) is what I call “the Rudy Filter”.  It’s impossible to do life without my experience with Rudy intensifying it…the celebrations are bigger and the heartaches find their way to a greater purpose.  The experiences can vary drastically like watching Maya accomplish an incredible milestone on the world’s stage or hearing from Wilson while out in the middle of nowhere on a grueling training mission or watching Rudy’s determination when struggling to pick himself up after a fall, but the depth of what my heart feels from day to day is the same and I don’t take any of it for granted.  God continues to use the Rudy filter in my life to turn bitterness into gratitude and uncertainty into peace…and to make the joys even more rich!  ‘Such a valuable gift.  Thank you Rudy!

Speaking of rich joys, we had fun with our friends at the Rescue Mission yesterday.  The SBRM 4th of July BBQ is Rolf’s and my favorite SBRM celebration and the staff & residents did a fantastic job of creating a comfortable and festive event for the homeless in our community.  We missed Wilson dearly but we did get a chance to talk with him briefly during a break he had from his official cadet duties.  He has hit the halfway mark in this month-long army training camp and has just one more “in field” training for the next several days.  He sounded upbeat and is having a positive experience overall.  🙂

Happy 240th Birthday America!!!  (photo credit – Dale Weber)


4th of July at SBRM!!


Maxo gettin’ creamed!


I LOVE this picture!…


…and this one…


…and this one!  🙂  Thanks Dale.

Later in the day, we stopped in to see Max hard at work.  We exceeded the entertainment budget this month with a few extra stops at Kyle’s Kitchen…just checking out the new hired hand in action:


Rudy ordering his favorite Tomato Basil Soup from his favorite KK employee! 🙂


We LOVE Kyle’s Kitchen!!!

Breaking news!!  UCLA called last week to schedule Rudy’s cath and the first available date wasn’t until September 6th…I admit I was a little bummed because I had hoped to schedule it before school started up again…BUT there has been a cancellation and if we can get insurance to authorize it, Rudy’s cath will be THIS FRIDAY!!  Even though moving it up throws us into a bit of a frenzy, it eliminates a ton of stress waiting for a later date and I’m grateful.  Yay!!!  🙂  We’ll keep you posted…

‘Lots to process but at the same time lots for which to be grateful!!




Is It Summer Yet?

May 28, 2016

We’ve been seeing so many fun graduation and end-of-the-school year celebration posts on FB lately that it feels like summer has begun for everybody BUT us…Max, Olivia and Rudy still have two, 4-day weeks to finish up but spirits are high and enthusiasm is building for the carefree days of summer ahead.  Olivia is particularly excited as she has the 8th grade promotion party and ceremony to look forward to her last week of school.  Max is busy wrapping up his coursework, doing some prep for his senior year AND interviewing for his very first summer job!!  Fun stuff!  After taking a week to decompress when he got home from APU, Wilson headed back to the car wash and has appreciated a couple of weeks of solid work (and the paycheck & tips that come with it).  I thought there might be a bit of an adjustment having Wilson back home again but life in the Geyling household hasn’t skipped a beat and it’s just great to be together…we’re enjoying the family fun for sure.

As is typical for us every May, there has been something significant on the calendar each day this month which has helped pass the time and keep us out of trouble.   A few of the highlights include…


Olivia’s last volleyball game of the season ended in a tournament championship. We’re grateful for her fun experience and positive coach!


Max and Rudy had a birds-eye view of the final playoff game. 🙂


Later that week, Wilson and Rudy joined us for Olivia’s induction into the Nat’l Jr. Honors Society at her Junior High School.


Last weekend we hosted a reunion bbq with a posse of neighborhood girls that have been friends since Kindergarten at La Patera!! Although they all branched out and widened their circle of friendships in Jr. High, they have remained friends all these years…and these are the families that surrounded our family in so many ways the year Rudy was in the hospital…so special…forever grateful!!


We had the joy of hosting our church’s annual baptism ceremony last weekend as well. I’m not sure we’ve ever hosted as many people at one time as we had people packed around the pool and standing in planters (ha, ha!) but it was such a sweet time and it made me so thankful for all of Rolf’s hard work turning our home into a comfortable place to share with others!


The recognitions continued for Olivia this week at the 8th grade Student Awards Night at GVJH. She was awarded for her excellence in performance and attitude from the Physical Education department. I told her I was doubly in awe of her because that isn’t an award I would have been even remotely considered for, well,…EVER!! 🙂 Well done Olivia!


Rudy and his special ed schoolmates enjoyed a field trip to the bowling alley this week and it just so happened that Aunt Cora was visiting us from Alabama too!!!! How cool is that?!?!


Being goofy with Aunt Cora!



A little big sister love for Rolfi!

As for Rudy:

I mentioned in our last post that Dr. Harake (SB) and Dr. Dan (UCLA) were discussing whether or not to schedule a cath this summer.  Dr. Dan felt it was important to discuss Rudy’s case with the team of docs at UCLA and revisit our treatment plan before scheduling another cath.  He called Rolf yesterday and rather than paraphrase, I’ll just share Rolf’s email to me below:

“Got a call from Dr. Dan at lunchtime today.  Since I was walking to a restaurant I scribbled notes but wanted to write out the substance here to make it as clear as possible.

 He wasn’t sure anyone had ever communicated back to us after their presentation of Rudy’s case at conference earlier this month.  He said it was a very thorough presentation and extensive conversation—not just a quick review.  He also said that his disposition going into it was not to do a cath anytime soon as there didn’t seem to be a pressing reason to do anything invasive.  That opinion changed with input from the other docs—Dan said he basically talked himself into doing a cath.

 To give perspective he said that, immediately after hearing the presentation, Laks wondered aloud why there would be any need for discussion—the next step is a Glenn.  He hasn’t had it and he’s blue.  That’s what needs to happen.  That’s when people around the table countered with Rudy’s history—even though that was a long time ago and he’s a very different patient, they would still view him as a very high-risk surgical patient.  Additionally, there would need be a huge cath to coil all kinds of collaterals to get him to where he needs to be for surgery.

 Dan doesn’t feel like that would be a good reason alone to do the cath.  The most pressing reason is the Sano—it’s extremely small.  It was sized for a newborn heart that’s grown and now sustains an active child.  Additionally, it continues to get narrowed by the usual tissue accumulation, etc.  This would be the most pressing reason to do a cath.  While they’re there, they would obviously want to get a good look at all the pressures and take care of some collaterals and anything else that might move Rudy toward a surgery.

 Probably the most pressing issue surgically is a Tricuspid Valve Repair.  They feel the leakage there is significant and impacting function of the heart.  If they were going in to do the repair, they would also have to take a good look at doing some kind of modified Glenn, but that again would be driven by really good information obtained via a cath.

 He said that he spoke to Bilal about all this and says there’s agreement.”

So, I’ll give Dr. Harake’s office a call on Tuesday and start the process of getting a cath scheduled some time in August,  I hope.

Although the “big picture” discussions the last 6 years have centered on whether or not to attempt the Glenn or, instead, focus our energy on the heart transplant process, the reality isn’t that straight forward.  It is becoming more and more clear to us that if and when Rudy becomes a candidate for any of the “big” surgical interventions,  it is going to require a process of preparation to get him ready whether it be a series of caths to coil a literal road map of collaterals that have sprung up or an open heart surgery to replace his Sano Shunt & repair a leaky valve.  It can feel a little daunting when you consider each step in the process holds it’s own set of risks and we’re not even talking about the BIG risks that come with the treatment goals we’re trying to get Rudy to ultimately.  It’s also hard to have these conversations when watching friends like Owen battle through those very risks as we speak.  Ugh, looking at the big picture is heavy and it makes our hearts ache (literally) but we can’t stay there too long…our focus needs to shift back to “what needs to happen today?” and trust that we’ll know how to navigate tomorrow’s needs when they come.  As always, we appreciate prayers for peace and wisdom in the process.  Will you add Owen to your prayer list?  He is stable but still in critical condition after a cath earlier this week…a clot in his stent almost took his life on Wednesday and he is now on the top of the list for a second heart transplant!  He and his family have a long journey ahead on an all too familiar and frightening road and we want to help extend their circle of support.  You can click on his name above to get to their family blog or find him on FB (Owen’s Superhero Heart).

Finally, I ask that you add my mom to that list as well…poor Grandma Jo fell a week ago Friday and had surgery to repair multiple fractures in her leg on Monday.  She is now settled in a rehab facility in Lenexa, KS and starting the grueling work of recovery.  No word yet on how long she will be at the rehab facility but it will be long enough that patience and grace will be required.  I know she’d appreciate prayers for strength and pain management at this point too…she’s pretty tired and uncomfortable after her “work outs”.  It’s hard to be so far away in times like these.  Thank you for sharing in lifting her up in prayer dear friends!!!

Kinda feelin’ like summer can’t come soon enough!  Sending you our love and gratitude from the breezy central coast!!!