Friday, October 21, 2011

Microwaves, Mattel and what matters most

My friend, Jen, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in February. She had plans to spend her Fall Break in St. Louis for follow-up radiation. My entire life, when I've heard about people being treated with radiation, I have pictured them in some airtight room being bombarded with microwaves. But Jen informed me that she actually drinks her radiation. Regardless, when she talked about going I would picture her in a microwave, and I told her so. Since we wouldn't be seeing her for a week while she had her radiation, Toby, Kate, and I wanted Jen to know we'd be thinking about her. So, naturally, we gave her a microwave with a figurine inside.
Jen was kind enough to let me see what her radiation was actually like:

While Jen was busy drinking her radiation, I had an exciting Fall Break of my own. If you aren't an immediate family member or don't follow me on Twitter, I guess you probably didn't know that I spent the last week in Utah. (I'm sorry I didn't tell you; I knew my time was limited and made a conscious decision to spend it only with my family.)

So here's the story: It was Fall Break at school, and originally I had plans to stay in Omaha. But since all of my friends were heading home, I made what some might consider a rash decision to make the drive home as well. I left Omaha on Friday afternoon and planned to drive to Cheyenne, spend the night, and go the rest of the way home on Saturday. But Cheyenne came and went. Laramie came and went. And I just kept on driving. Around Rawlins, I realized I was going to make it the whole way in one night. I came through the mountains and saw the Salt Lake valley sometime after midnight. A little before 1am, I called and woke up my mom, asked her to unlock the side door and told her I'd see her in ten minutes. She and my dad met me in the driveway, and I think they both thought I was a little crazy. Eventually I convinced them I wasn't and we went to bed.

Saturday morning we woke up and drove to my nephew's football game, where I was able to surprise Jenny and Jessica and their families.

 For lunch we went to Dickie's and watched the BYU game.
The microwave I gave Jen (Omaha Jen) came with a Barbie, that I planned to give my niece. But you can't give just one niece a toy when you're spending the day with both of them. So Jessica and I took Jenny's youngest (sister Jenny) to Walmart so she could pick out a Barbie, too. She also got to pick out lip gloss and nail polish, because Jessica and I are cool like that.
 To give you a glimpse of just how cool we are, take a look at the following pictures. Jessica and I got all of the kids to play Barbies. Yes, that includes my 13 year-old nephew.
It was such a blast. We fished out the bins of our old Barbies in my parents' garage and showed our nieces and nephews how cool Barbies used to be when they all fit the same clothes and had impossible body shapes. Those were the days.


 While I was home I enjoyed lunch at some of my favorite Utah restaurants and even managed to stop in to visit Kate (my old roommate), who happens to work right by my mom. (I know the duplicate names are confusing. Jen/Jen, Kate/Kate, but you get used to it. Just remember there's one of each in both UT and NE)

 I also got to visit Gardner Village, which is one of my favorite places in the world. Well, I should clarify that Anastasia's Attic is one of my favorite places in the world. I could spend all of my time and money there. Fortunately, I was able to rein myself in and just buy the essentials. Like this gaudy crown ring for my 2 year old niece :)
 Yesterday after a fabulous book club and trip to Costco, I had to say goodbye to my family and head back to Omaha. I got in at about 5am, slept until almost noon, and have done absolutely nothing in the last six hours. Overall, it was a great week. I missed Ashley a lot, as it was my first time being home without her, but I'm grateful for the time I spent with the family that was home. Now it's time for me to look forward and commit to the next two months here in Omaha.

1 comment:

Adiel said...

Great, I'm crying. Thanks. :P
Aren't you glad your IHT has such a unique name?