Monday, January 17, 2011

The new year comes

Time flies. I can't believe it is already 2011 and we have been in California for 9 months. It is so weird to look back at where we were at this time last year and see how far we have come. So much has changed in our lives and I want to thank all our friends and family who have encouraged us through this time.

The holidays were different from any others we have experienced through our marriage. For the first time we were living in an area without any family, also an area that had 80 degree weather the first week of December. So we decided to change that. Due to extenuating circumstances, I decided to quit my job at Nordstrom. Because of this we were able to fly out and be with our families for Christmas. Jordan had to work a bit longer than I did so I flew out to Utah a few days before him and he drove up 5 days later. On the 23rd of December we were off to Michigan for our first official Christmas with the Pack clan! Who knew you could fit so many people around a kitchen table? It was so much fun to have everyone together and see how much the family is growing. And in March we will be able to see them again because Jordan's sister Shaunee is getting married!

We flew into Utah on New Year's Eve and spend exactly one day there before driving to California with my family to enjoy our Christmas present - A cruise to Baja Mexico. Little did we know the adventure that would find us as we set off for the 10 hour drive. We failed to realize as we left on January 2nd that it was the last weekend day of the holiday season and that everyone else was trying to get home too. Just outside of Las Vegas we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for 2 hours. During that time we moved about 20 miles. When we finally started moving again we were so excited! Finally a regular speed! WRONG! To get into the Orange County / L.A. area you have to pass by Barstow, Victorsville, and through what I think is called Lone Pine Canyon. So now we were about 2 hours away from our destination. So close we could feel it. Then we saw all the brake lights. Then we about lost our minds. Right outside Victorsville we again hit bumper to bumper traffic. Google maps was telling us that this traffic continued all the way through the canyon a mere 28 miles away. At this point we were all frustrated so I decided to go to sleep. I awoke about 1 1/2 hours later to find we had barely moved. Only about 5 miles. At this point we were all trying to figure out what to do. Tensions were high to say the least. About 17 hours into the drive and still 5 miles to get INTO the canyon we found out that the canyon had been officially closed down for the night because a snow fall and an accident.

We had pulled off the road and were trying to figure out what to do. By talking to other stranded drivers we found that all other roads required chains, which neither of our cars had. So we were stuck in Victorville. On top of that my brother's and 2 sisters-in-law had been calling every hotel in the area to try to find us a place to stay. They were all full. So after about an hour of standing around having no clue what to do, we made a decision. We had to get down the canyon, we were boarding the cruise ship the next day! We were going to have to get back onto the freeway and wait in line to get down the canyon, at that time they were doing police escorts 20 cars at a time. Luckily for us by the time we got near the canyon they officially opened it back up. Not that it went fast after that - roads were still very slick and a slow pace was needed. So 21 hours after we initially left Utah, we FINALLY at 4:20 am arrived at our destination.

So we made it. We got on the ship and everyone had a wonderful time. You forget sometimes how much you miss your family until you are back with them. I miss them and love them all so much. My brothers have grown in the exceptional young men. I hope they know how highly I think of them. I loved spending more time with Jordan's family. The more I time I spend with them, the more I love them. The are wonderful people. And I love my parents. More than I could ever say really. I know they are always there for me and support me no matter what.

Most of all, I love my husband. This year has only strengthened our relationship for the better. He has been my rock this year and I hope he know how much it means to me that I could always tell him how I was feeling, for good or for bad. This move has been so amazing for us and as hard as it is to be away from my family and friends, I always have him.

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday and I hope that going into the new year we can all strive to better our lives and appreciate the people we have around us. I love you all!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Where has this year gone?!?! It seems like we have just been getting used to our new California lives and all the sudden 6 months has passed and the holiday season is starting.

I don't like Halloween. Never have really. I think it has to do with the fact that during that particular time of year people tend to want to go to haunted houses, watch scary movies and generally just freak each other out. I am a world class wuss. I HATE being scared. But despite all that we had a really good first Halloween in our new home.

Jordan decided he was not only going to be a boyscout leader, but he was going to be a CREEPY boyscout leader. Complete with booty shorts and a moustache.
I decided to go a bit simpler, a butterfly.Toady much to his distaste was a pumpkin. Actually he didn't mind the pumpkin part, it was the headband / stem that he hated. But he was so cute!Jordan also decided to show off his mad pumpkin carving skills and enter a carving contest that his office building was hosting. Another thing I hate...carving pumpkins. YUCK! But he slaved away at that thing for hours and I must say I was impressed with the results. (No he didn't win)
However I did have one major disappointment this Halloween. NO trick or treaters! Not a one! So sad! We bought candy and everything and I was really wanting to see the cute little kids in their costumes but apparently our apartment is not good pickings. Maybe by next year we will have a better spot to give out candy.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday! Bring on Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

3 Years!

This past Friday was mine and Jordan's 3 year anniversary! Crazy how time flies! It has been a crazy year and we have accomplished so much together.

To celebrate we went to Disneyland / California Adventure. We discovered the benefit of living so close to the happiest place on earth is purchasing So. Cal resident season passes. That way we can go pretty much whenever we want to. I like the idea because a whole day at Disneyland is draining (we were so tired on Saturday!) so if we want to we can go for just a few hours after work and not feel like we have to stay a long time.

Jordan's birthday was the day before our anniversary (28!) so we have had quite the fun filled weekend. I feel incredibly lucky to be married to a guy who is also my best friend. It still amazes me how much fun we have together just goofing off and being silly. I couldn't ask for a better husband! Looking forward to another exciting year together!

Friday, October 8, 2010


This past weekend we were able to get down to Arizona to visit some friends and family. Last year we went early November, I figure there shouldn't be much difference between early November and early October right? WRONG. It was around 108 degrees. Not fun.

Other than the heat, we had a great time. I always say that I am going to take lots of pictures, then I never do. Bad on me. But we hung out with friends, ate good food, and generally had an awesome time. We stayed with my Aunt Jill for 2 nights and it was so good to see her and her family! It was wonderful to talk to her since she had done a major move away from the family about a year before us. She is a wonderful person and I hope she knows how much talking to her meant to me.

Next stop, Las Vegas Nevada for Thanksgiving!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Phlebotomy 1

So today I had my first treatment for my Haemochromotosis. Phlebotomy number one complete! Anyone who knows me well knows that I am really no good with needles or blood draws, so I was really nervous about it. A bag a blood is a lot!

Luckily I have an incredible husband who went along with me. During the whole thing he kept asking me how I was doing and tried to make me smile. I did pretty good till the end when they took the little rubber band that makes your veins pop out off my arm then the spinning started. As per usual I feel sick and they have to lay me down and put my legs in the air so that I don't pass out. I am so awesome.

But I do have to say, it could always be worse. We were in the same room as 3 elderly people who were all receiving chemotherapy. I can't even imagine going through something like that. It makes me very grateful that my thing is so minor in the scheme of things.

I have a follow up exam in October where they will do some more blood panels and see where my levels are at. Hopefully since my levels were so low to begin with, they should be regulated and I won't have to do this again for quite some time. Yay!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Yesterday I was diagnosed with a blood disorder called Haemochromatosis. It is a genetic disorder that I have known about most of my life since my dad, 2 uncles, and grandpa all have it. Originally we were told that non of us kids would have it since you usually need 2 genes. One from you dad and one from your mom. When my dad was diagnosed my mom was tested and she does not carry the gene, so I only received one from my dad.

Well last month when running some blood panels with my doctor, my iron came back high. So she sent me to a blood specialist where he ran MORE blood panels along with a genetic test for haemochromatosis and it came back positive. Yay me! I defy odds!

Now it is a very easy disorder to handle, especially if caught early enough. It is basically when your body absorbs to much iron in your blood and does not filter it out correctly. The excess iron and eventually build up in your organs, causing some major problems. In order to correct the iron levels you have to do phlebotomy's. So basically they have you do some blood draws until the excess iron is out of the blood. Then you just have to go back every so often to maintain your levels.

My levels were fairly low. In a normal person the blood saturation percentage is between 15 - 50 %. Mine was 65%. They also have a ferritin serum levels of no more than 50 and mine was at 56. When my dad was diagnosed, his levels were over 100. So for now I'll have to go in and do 1 phlebotomy, then go in a month later to re-test my levels and take it from there!

In a way I am very lucky. We caught it extremely early so the chance of me having any liver damage (the first place iron stores up) is small. Plus we can get my levels under control hopefully with not much treatment. I am hoping as they get older, my little brothers will also get tested so that if by chance they defy odds as well, they can be as lucky as me.

And if I haven't said it before - Thank you Dad for all the wonderful genes!!! Ha ha just kidding, I love you!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I am lazy

Sooo yeah. Everytime I think about updating the blog, I suddenly find something else to do.

The end of summer! We have had a very interesting summer. We have settled into our lives in California wonderfully. Jordan is doing wonderful in his job and looks forward to playing baseball with his friends at work every week. In July I had the chance to go to Utah for my Grandma and Grandpa Gorringe's 50th wedding anniversary! It was such a special day and I am so happy I was able to be there with them.
We briefly started looking for a condo only to realize about a month later that in order to get somewhere that we are completely happy we need to have a 20% down payment. So for now we are on hold on the house search, but we look forward in the future to finding a place of our own.

A couple of weekends ago we took Toady to the dog beach in Huntington Beach. It was an experience to say the least. So many dogs! We had to keep him on the leash the whole time because he gets so excited around other dogs. It was pretty hard to control him with all the dogs there, it was good to experience but I don't think we will be going back any time soon. Especially after one dog (who had a muzzle on - so I knew he was trouble) was let off his leash and tried to attack Toady. He was literally 5x Toady's size and before we knew it he had 5 dogs on top of him. I was able to wrestle him out of the pile, but his lip did get cut. That didn't stop him though, he was still ready to play!

He was still happy in the car though! Now we are dealing with a flea epidemic, that hopefully we can get under control soon. Because everytime we try to give him a flea bath the flea's take out their frustration on me! I bought him some medication today so hopefully it will get better soon.