Friday, January 22, 2010

Five Words

"Flying Class II waiver recommended."

The docs here have finished their evaluation & will have a full, detailed report prepared in a week or so, but they provided the above summary for my home docs to move forward with.

(Note that that is only exactly what it says, a recommendation; the folks that actually make the decision will be reviewing the full write-up & deliberating in the coming weeks. There's still a lot to be done & to wait for, but it's a big step in the right direction.)

- Posted on the road from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

. . . Into the Wild Blue TX

So here I am in Texas again, finally being seen by the medical folks after nearly two & a half years!

The first couple days of my evaluation have gone swimmingly: I met with my case manager, the flight surgeon assigned to my case, the neuropsychiatrist, had an MRI & EEG, & completed a few neuropsychological exams. Everyone has expressed their optimism for my special case & has been very open & friendly in talking with me about it.

Even though everything seems to be progressing well so far, I was cautioned to remember that these folks don't actually write the waiver, they only provide a recommendation to those that do. Granted, nine times out of ten the decision follows the recommendation, but it's possible.

So after I finish my evaluations down here, AETC should get a recommendation to waive my head — er, cranium injury or to not & based on that, decide to return me to UPT. I have no idea how long that decision process will take, but here's hopin' sooner rather than later!

- Posted on the road from my iPhone

Monday, January 18, 2010

Off he goes . . .

Took T to the airport this morning to get his flight evaluation down in Texas. Currently he's safe in his layover in Dallas. Apparently, to be "safe" they cut his orders to keep him there until 30 January, in case they need him that long. But they also said the process should take 3 - 5 days. I believe the first appointment is actually tomorrow. He's supposed to log his thoughts & experiences, but he gets distracted & forgets, hehe :).

Here's to hoping he can come back early - But not the 24th because I have a baby shower in Kalamazoo to go to. :) Also to hoping, with lots of prayers, that everything goes perfectly and he gets back in a cockpit this year!

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009: a year in review

2009 might have been the Year of the Ox, but for the first six months of it anyway, to us it was the Year of the Wedding! So much of our January - July was filled with something related to weddings.

First, as you all know, we got married in May. So a lot of the time before that was filled with the last minute planning and crunch-time! We had to go through all the typical - invitations, seating chart, special songs, etc. But there also was really fun stuff like such a wonderful shower weekend, and two crazy, somewhat memorable Bachelor/Bachelorette Nights :).

The day finally arrived and it was everything we expected it to be. I say that because I expected that little details wouldn't end up perfect, and things would go wrong, but knowing that it wouldn't spoil the day! Overall it was a blast, and did not disappoint. We are still so thankful for everyone who was able to spend the day with us, and felt the love of all those who had to attend only in spirit. Some photographic highlights:

Vows & Rings


Unity Candle


Praying for fruitfulness & blessings from The Virgin Mary

You may now kiss the bride


The most amazing wedding party in the history of wedding parties! :)


We honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was gorgeous and the weather was amazing. Unfortunately, due to the prevalence and scare of the swine flu at that time it was a little under-crowded. I think I remember them saying our beautiful hotel was only 16% filled. We didn't see many other people at the pool, dinner, etc. I think it would've been a little more fun if we had a chance to meet some fun young friends to go out to bars, dancing, touring, etc. We definitely still made the most of it:


Our suite patio


View from the patio


poolside, a book & a drink - that was many of our days :)


Swim-up bar, Javier convinced us we just *had* to try good, Mexican Tequila :)


We did get out and tour the area - this is one of the most beautiful scuba places in the Pacific



And, of course, SWIMMING WITH THE DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!




In addition to our own wedding, we had a crazy span of loved ones tying the knot as well! :) First, in March, we had the lovely Roblez-Winslow Wedding. We got to jet off to northern Florida for a weekend to celebrate with an amazing couple!! I was an excited member of the wedding party and T was honored to do a reading. Here're some highlights of that trip:

Bride and her Maid/Matron of Honor


Bride & Groom in the Limo

The gorgeous bridesmaids

Wedding Party on the Beach


Then, in April, we traveled up to Kalamzoo, MI for the Johnson-Askelson Wedding. I was also so happy to be in this bridal party as I watched another wonderful man join my extended family. It was a really unique experience - they met at Western Michigan University so we got to take a lot of fun wedding pictures around the campus and at places special to the couple. I, unfortunately, don't have any of those pictures on my computer but here are still some good highlights of the day:

Bridesmaids!

Happy Couple!



Funnily, my groomsman partner caught the garter & I caught the bouquet!

And finally, in July, we drove down south to Louisville, Kentucky for the Swanigan-Wilson Wedding. I, again, was an extremely proud member of the wedding party. The groom was newly commissioned in the US Navy, and T was happily a member of the traditional Sabre Arch. He stood with 3 Navy officers, but proudly sported his Air Force Blue :):

Bride & her Matrons of Honor

T rocking out the arch!

Bride & Groom

No 4th of July wedding should happen w/o fireworks!



In non-wedding related news, T had some career events. After the car accident and having to leave pilot training, he transitioned to a communications officer. He spent 6 weeks in Jan & Feb '09 down in Mississippi taking care of comm. training.
August also brought about the 2 year mark from his head injury which started us on the long, confusing path back to pilot training. His file has been reviewed by a number of people and departments. There has been some misfiling and delays, but he will be going down to Texas to be looked at by the doctors, finally! If they examine him and determine that he's back to full capacity, they can give him a waiver so he can get back in the air!! :) There will definitely be much blogging & updating about this as the process unfolds.

In family news, we made our first addition to the household - an adorable Boxer puppy! Her name is Piper and she is a definite pistol. She very much enjoyed being at her Grandma & Grandpa's house over Christmas and particularly bonded with her Uncle D. We had to check the Focus to make sure he didn't try to take her back to Hutchinson with him :). She's 56 pounds currently and we're not sure how big she'll end up, but based on her parents we think she'll get 5 - 15 lbs bigger.

As an itty bitty pup

. . .and a week ago



And lastly, we've had our first holiday season as husband and wife! I started small by hosting our first Thanksgiving with my mom & dad and my godmother, Aunt B. It was really fun and just the right amount of stress & relaxing. I made a few appetizers to hold people over until dinner, and then we had all the traditional - turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etc. We finished off with the standard pumpkin pie & an original invention, Almond Joy pie. They spent the night and we enjoyed good wine, fun games and great company!

We spent Christmas in Kansas this year, which was really fun! We drove so we could save a little money AND bring the pup, definitely win-win for us. We were able to spend 6 days down there which was so great. Living so far away makes it hard to see all our loved ones down there as often as we'd like, so we definitely tried to make the most of it. It is a little ironic that we live in Ohio during the Kansas year and hopefully plan to be down in Oklahoma by next Christmas which will be the Ohio year. But that's life off base :).

We drove up to my family's for a late Christmas & New Year's Celebration. We had a casual gift exchange and we spent NYE at the golf course like we have for the past few years. It was wonderful because some of our best friends from college were able to travel in from Boston to celebrate with us. We had great food, open bar and live band dancing the night away!

And those are the main happenings and highlights of our 2009. At least all the ones I can think of, anyway. Bring on 2010 - and keeping you posted much more regularly than once a year!

Love & Hugs