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February 01, 2006


9:45 PM I forgot to mention yesterday that Elisabeth went to urgent care in the morning complaining about a sore throat. Of course, it turned out negative, but better safe than sorry (even if she missed nearly half a school day for what turned out to be nothing). Although Sophie's counts have been high, we are still a little worried about germs around here--then again, one or more of us has had some kind of upper respiratory thing for at least a month now and Susan is still coughing a fair amount.

Sophie stayed up way, way too late last night. She was still awake around 10 PM when we finally gave up and went to bed ourselves. I wouldn't doubt if she was awake when we were asleep! Of course, we all paid for it this morning when I was rushing around trying to get two girls out of the house, get myself showered and ready for an 8:30 meeting (Susan had left early for work today). Sophie complained a lot about her leg hurting this morning as well. In fact, I had to carry her to the car, from the car to school, and into the school where I put her down in a chair. This seems to be a side effect of the chemotherapy, as it happened once before. She was fine for the rest of the day, thankfully.

Two cute things to report. Yesterday, we shared with Elisabeth a story about when Susan was at camp and the campers would sing songs about not putting your elbows on the table: "Susan, Susan, if you're able, keep your elbows off the table!" We're trying to get Elisabeth to keep her elbows off the table. Well, tonight, we caught Susan with her elbows on the table. Elisabeth sang the song. Then, Elisabeth, Sophie, and I laughed so hard we cried. Susan was not amused! The second cute thing is that Sophie has been learning songs at school. Yesterday it was the days of the week song (to the tune of My Darlin' Clementine). Today, it was "I'm a little teapot," but Sophie could not get the words right. She would say, "I'm a little teapot, short and spout, here is my handle, here is my spout." Susan tried correcting her, and even went to the trouble of explaining what the word "stout" means. Sophie would have none of it. She would not change the way she sang the song! Yes, we have a headstrong child.

February 04, 2006


9:15 PM Sorry to have taken a break for a couple of days. Our lives have continued along a pretty steady course and there hasn't been too much to report. I imagine that oftentimes this forum becomes a place for us to express our fears and worries when things aren't going so well (or when they are going well after having gone badly), so when we have a stretch of good days there isn't much to write about. At the moment, Susan is in Virginia helping her mother and grandmother out. Having been in a situation where a family member's health is an all-consuming priority, we realized that Mary and Nannie really needed another pair of hands and another pair of legs to get some things done that weren't a priority exactly, but would make life more pleasant if they got done. I'm thankful that as far as our family is concerned, there are two of us to trade off when we need to get things done! Susan's mom is pretty much a sole caretaker at times for Nannie, which makes it tough. Speaking of there being two of us, after spending the past 36+ hours as a single parent, I don't see how people do it. About half the time, things are just fine, but since I have to get ready for worship, finish a sermon, and prepare for a new Sunday School class, today was not the best of days to be home alone with both girls. We all managed to survive and I'm proud to say that nobody (me included) got a time out for yelling (although there were a couple of close calls!).

That said, I've had some time to really enjoy the girls lately, especially with my commissioning papers done. We pulled out a Chef Boyardee Pizza Kit yesterday and made that for dinner. The girls enjoyed helping and I enjoyed having the help!

We all seem to be reasonably healthy, although Sophie was complaining of a stomach ache part of the day today and skipped nap this afternoon, which made for some extra whining and crankiness on her part (and on mine, probably). Sophie started the final phase of antibiotics from her sinus infection, which seems to be clearing up nicely. Somehow, in the past week, taking medicine has become less of an ordeal. She seems to have gone through a phase where she would not take anything, no matter what it was or how it tasted--everything tasted "yucky" to her. Well, she takes everything with hardly a complaint now.

I have two cute stories to relate--one from Sophie and one from Elisabeth.

From Sophie: The other day, I got up to get something from the kitchen, and Sophie (who I will remind you, is only three years old) says, "While you're at it, would you mind getting me some water?"

From Elisabeth: Last night, we were reading through some of the "Food for Talk" cards that Mary got me for Christmas (index cards with discussion topics on them designed to foster conversation around the dinner table). Elisabeth pulled out the card that read, "Name one person you respect." I thought for a long time and then said that I had a lot of respect for the professor who is teaching the class I'm taking this semester and launched into a long explanation why. Elisabeth slammed the card down on the table and said, "What about Mama? HELLLOO! She's your wife!"

February 05, 2006


10:05 PM: The Super Bowl is over (Go Steelers!), so I might as well get on the computer and post. It's good to be home. I'm so glad I went--I had a good visit with my mom and Nannie, and we got a lot accomplished. My mom's closet is completely reorganized. We also worked on Nannie's dresser and some other areas of the house. She has a big box of stuff to take to Goodwill, and I took several bags of garbage to the dump. It was very satisfying, and it's much easier to do something like that for someone else than it is to take care of your own clutter. I was ruthless!

I know Randall and the girls were happy to have me home. I had a nice drive home (listening to Book the Eighth of Lemony Snickett), and when I was about 5 minutes from home (right around the time I thought I'd get there), my phone rang and it was Elisabeth wanting to know where I was. I told her I was about 5 minutes away, and she said, "Oh, wasn't that you who drove past the house just now?" Apparently, the girls were camped out by the picture window, watching out for me. Although I must admit, I have driven past the house before, it doesn't usually happen during daylight. It wasn't long before I arrived, and got big hugs from both girls (and Randall).

I wasn't home for long, when it was time to go to a Super Bowl party at the home of one of our church members. We had a good time, and I ended up playing board games (Scrabble and Rummikub) with a couple of the other ladies. We had so much fun! We're home now (obviously), and bedtime wasn't too bad (Sophie was up later than Elisabeth, as usual).

Randall told me a cute story about the girls when I got home. They slept together again last night, and Sophie was pestering Elisabeth, who was getting irritated and wanted to go to sleep. Elisabeth complained a lot about all the noise Sophie was making, and they were both pretty perterbed with each other by the time they both fell asleep. Elisabeth woke up first this morning and had some breakfast while she watched TV. When Sophie finally wandered into the living room, Elisabeth said, "Good morning" to her, to which Sophie replied (again, kind of unusual for a 3-year-old, we think), "Well, you're in a better mood, aren't you?"

February 06, 2006


5:00 PM: I have a neat thing to tell you about. A few months ago, my company (RTI International) sent out a notice requesting nominations for community organizations for RTI to support through a donation. I submitted the local chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Then in December, I got a notice saying that RTI planned to donate $1,100 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and it turned out that another RTI employee (her name is KC Collier) had also nominated the LLS and was planning to participate in a "Team in Training" event to raise additional money for the organization. I didn't know KC, so we decided to meet and get to know each other better. After we talked, KC asked me if she could dedicate her next event (a triathlon) in Sophie's honor. I was thrilled! She has set a fund-raising goal of $2,000 for this event (and will apply the RTI donation to it). If you would be willing to make a donation in Sophie's honor and support KC's fund-raising efforts, please visit her Team in Training web site (http://www.active.com/donations/fundraise_public.cfm?key=tntencKCollie).

February 07, 2006


8:30 PM We've all been spending some family time together since we got home from dance class (Susan was reading books with Sophie and I was getting Elisabeth hooked on a new word game). Things are moving along here at home. Both girls seem to enjoy their dance class. Sophie, of course, has charmed just about everyone at the dance studio. Her hair has grown in enough that it looks like she's got a pixie cut instead of someone who's been through chemotherapy. Someone even asked (without knowing Sophie) if she likes her hair short. We just realized this evening that we start back on steroids next week, because we're bumping treatment up a week so we can all go to Albuquerque for my commissioning interviews. All in all, a relatively quiet and normal couple of days for us (and a wonderful thing to have to report!).

February 10, 2006


8:45 AM: I have tons of things to do for work, so I'll procrastinate by typing out an update instead! It's been a busy couple of days (thus, the lack of updates on here). I drove in to work two days in a row (lots of meetings), and Randall drove in for class yesterday, so we've put lots of miles on the car and have been extra-tired at night. The girls are both doing well. Sophie has had a few complaints (a "headick", and sometimes her tummy or her foot hurts). There's some stomch bug going around at her day care, but we're hoping she hasn't picked it up.

Last night we went to do some work to prepare for our big steak dinner at church this weekend. We've got a caterer in our congregation, and we were doing a lot of the prep at her workshop. I had the girls with me, and they ended up playing "school" with some white boards and dry erase markers. When it was time to go, Sophie threw the biggest tantrum I've seen in some time. Ginny took two white boards off the wall and sent the girls home with the boards and some markers (to be returned on Sunday). It was nice to have the tantrum resolved without the parents giving in and setting a bad precedent. When we got home, the girls played and played (has anyone noticed how bad those markers smell, though? Yikes!). They had so much fun together, they decided to both sleep in Sophie's room. As usual, they chattered and played much longer than they should have, but after a threat of separation, they settled down and went to sleep.

Tomorrow, the girls will get a nice surprise. Someone at RTI saw the news about the triathlon and Sophie and got in touch to say his daughter Brianna (also 3 and a half) wanted to give Sophie her doll house. As usual, we felt guilty about it (after all, we don't need a doll house) and thought about asking him to give the doll house to the hospital or clinic instead, but then I figured their family feels really good about doing something nice for a specific, tangible child, and I know my girls will absolutely love it. It's a 3-story Fisher-Price dollhouse, with a couple of dolls and furniture to go with it. After the girls left for school this morning, I set it all up in the living room so they can play with it when they get home (and frankly, I got a kick out of going through all the furniture and putting each piece in the house--we're all kids at heart I guess).

February 13, 2006


5:50 AM: Wondering where we've been, have you? It's been quite a weekend! Our last update was Friday morning, so I think I have some catching up to do here! Friday afternoon, we went to an awards ceremony for Elisabeth's school. We knew she was going to get the principal's award for straight A's (durng the second nine week period), but we were also surprised to learn that she was Student of the Month in her classroom for January. When we picked up Elisabeth after the awards ceremony, we told her teacher we were pleasantly surprised to learn it, and she said she had told Elisabeth, to which Elisabeth replied, "I didn't know!" Anyhow, we're proud of her (even if we're a little late).

Sophie has been doing pretty well, although she seems tired. A couple of times when we were getting ready to go out somewhere, she said she couldn't go because her "counts are too low." I assured her that they aren't (or at least they're not supposed to be--one of the goals of this phase of treatment is to find the right dosage of medicines to keep her ANC levels above 1.0). But she may know more than we do. She does seem tired, and she's bruising a little more than normal (but in places you would expect kids to bruise). We'll find out for sure on Tuesday when she goes in for treatment.

Saturday evening, we had our big Valentine's fundraising dinner at church. It went really well--we had lots of people, and it was very well-organized, so everyone went away happy. We got a sitter for both girls, but Elisabeth really wanted to go. She worked the whole time (3:00-7:00, on salad prep), and then ate at 8:00 like the rest of us. I was impressed! KC from work (who is doing the triathlon) came with her boyfriend Jason and joined us for dinner and then came over to meet Sophie. It was a real pleasure getting to know them better. The kids were such hams showing off for them.

Yesterday we had the church service and Sunday school (Randall's sermon was a good one, and he did a hilarious children's sermon using Golden Oreos). We went out to lunch at a restaurant we hadn't tried before (not for lack of trying--it's hard to find!), and after a nap, Randall and I went to Bible study and out for date night while a sitter stayed with the girls. I forgot to tell Megan about giving Sophie her medicine before bed, but Sophie insisted to her that she needed to take mercaptopurine before she went to bed. She showed Megan the bottle and told her she needed to take a whole one (and she was right--she takes a half pill for three days during the week and a whole pill for four days, ending Sunday). Megan said Sophie was so confident about what needed to be done, she figured she'd better do it (plus, I had mentioned not eating after 7:00 so she could take her medicine at bedtime--just failed to mention what that medicine was!).

I'm going to drive in to work shortly, and I'm hoping the girls don't give Randall any trouble as he gets them ready for school.

2/13/06 PM

10:00 PM: The dressing change went pretty well tonight. We had a few tears, but I was able to mostly distract her by pretending I didn't know what I was doing and asking her to tell me what to do next (putting my mask on over my eyes, asking if I should clean her chest with a Barbie washcloth instead of the alcohol swabsticks, asking her if I should use 10 swabsticks instead of 3, etc.).

We have a very early morning ahead of us (we have to be there at 7:15, so we need to leave by 5:45 or sooner if possible). So I tried to take care of all the night-time rituals before she could ask for them (went to the potty, got her fresh ice water, turned on the correct lights, picked the right music). I tucked her in. Then she got out of bed to give me a piece of trash left over from the dressing change and gone back to bed. I thought we were all set, and I started working on some laundry when I heard her call me over and over. I went in there, and she said, "Mama, you forgot to cover me up and I called and called you! You're not a very good listener tonight, Buddy!" I'm fairly certain that she has not called me "buddy" before, so I'm not sure where that came from. She's all decked out in a very cute Valentine's outfit, so I'm sure she'll get lots of compliments at the clinic.

Elisabeth lost another tooth today. She has a note ready for the tooth fairy (who had better not forget to come like last time!!!).

February 14, 2006


9:20 PM: Happy Valentine's Day! (Or "Valentimes" as Sophie calls it). It's been a long but satisfying day. I got up at 4:30 this morning, so Sophie and I could hit the road by 5:45 (which we did). We were 4th or 5th in line for check-in at 7:15, but the nurse who does Sophie's vitals moved us up in the queue (mostly because Sophie looked so tired and clingy). That was nice, because she was third in line for sedation, and they took her in right before 8:00. I tried to prepare her, but because it went so well last time, I forgot I needed to talk to her about it until we were on the way there. She started to get upset, but I asked her if she wanted me to put the blanket over her head. That did the trick. It took her quite a while to wake up (at least 15 minutes, but I wasn't watching the clock). When she finally did wake up, she was completely loopy--she could hardly get words out and she sounded really drunk. It was hilarious to watch her try to eat cheese grits. I started to feed her a spoonful, but she insisted on doing it herself and lifted the bowl to her mouth like she was going to drink the grits (they were too thick for that to work). I ended up helping her, but as long as her hand was on the spoon and making the motions, she thought she was doing it herself, so that was okay. After she recovered, we had to wait a little while for her blood chemistries to come back before they could administer her second chemo (vincristine). Everything looked fine, including her counts (which weren't the least bit low, despite her earlier insistence). They will bump up one of her medicines a little bit (but not too much because they want her to be in good shape for our trip next week). She'll have a blood test here at home in two weeks to see if they can increase the dosage some more then.

Elisabeth wrote a poem last night for the Tooth Fairy:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I lost my tooth
And I gave it to you

The tooth fairy (who was a little more on the ball last night than before) wrote back:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Thanks for the tooth
Here's two dollars for you

Elisabeth noticed that the tooth fairy must have run out of paper because she used a post-it note from my desk. Randall told her that using paper and pens from people's houses makes a lot of sense so that she doesn't have to carry so much around.

February 15, 2006


8:45 PM Today has been a full day for everyone. Susan left early again this morning for work--I honestly don't know how she does it (I am just not a morning person)! We had planned ahead for this morning, and both girls were already dressed for school this morning and prepared for getting up a little bit early and having to get going because I have my regular Wednesday pastor's meeting today. For the most part, they were willing to cooperate with more of a rush this morning than normal, although Sophie struggled to take her medicine. I can completely appreciate that she is fed up with taking all this stuff, but there's no discussing whether or not she's going to take the meds--she's just going to take them.

I had my meeting this morning and left for campus for an orientation for the South Africa trip this summer. By the time I got home, I was wiped out. Thankfully, the girls were happy to entertain themselves and both wanted sandwiches for dinner, which was fine with me. Susan showed up a little after the girls ate and we had leftovers. Then it was bathtime. Following the bath, we all watched about 30 minutes of Lilo and Stitch 2 (thanks, Oma!).

Sophie has seemed a little slow today, dragging and tired. I can't help but imagine that her little body is wiped out from the meds yesterday. Of course, she started her five days of steroids yesterday as well. Maybe this five-day course won't be as easy as the others, who knows?

February 16, 2006


9:00 PM: Today was Randall's day to go in while I stayed home. I had driven into either work or treatment three days in a row, so I was ready to take a break from driving. I went walking this morning with a friend from church (hoping to make a habit of that), but I still managed to have a pretty productive day. Randall drove in to his class with another classmate who lives in Fayetteville. They enjoyed carpooling.

The girls had a good day, and they behaved very well for me once they came home. We managed to have dinner, take care of some chores around the house, practice piano, and we still had time to finish watching Lilo & Stitch 2. Elisabeth can be so empathetic when watching movies. During the sad part at the end, she was having trouble holding it together and kept telling herself that he was going to be okay (because her friend at school had told her he would be). Sophie didn't get the least bit emotional. Maybe she's too young to realize what's really going on sometimes. She seemed to have more energy today and didn't complain about taking her medicines at all (although she did complain about going to school--I guess she needs to complain about something!).

Cute Sophie story from recent days: Randall asked Sophie what letter they're working on in day care this week. She said, "I don't know, but it starts with a porcupine!"

February 19, 2006


10:45 PM: Another weekend gone, and we have a very fun week coming up. The girls have been a real pleasure this weekend. I was home with the girls Saturday while Randall was at a workshop. I think half their toys ended up in the living room, but they had a good time. Elisabeth and I went to a local dance performance Saturday night. The Gus Giordano dance troupe (based in Chicago, I think) is on tour and made their way down here. I'm sure it was a real culture shock for them. Our local caterer did the dinner that preceded the show, and we heard that 6 out of 10 of the dancers were vegetarians, which is nearly unheard of around these parts. The performance started at 8:00 and lasted until 10:00 (Elisabeth didn't). We had a good time though, and I really enjoyed a chance to do something special--just the two of us.

Sophie has definitely been more tired than normal this time, but we're hoping the steroids will wear off before too long. She felt very hot today, but it must have been the dress she was wearing, because she never had a fever (thank goodness--that would really throw a wrench in our plans).

We had a nice evening out tonight, and tomorrow will be a busy one. I'm going in to work, and Randall will take Elisabeth (who is out of school tomorrow) to Duke with him for a lunchtime seminar. We'll need to get packed up tomorrow for our early flight on Tuesday. We're really looking forward to the trip. It's our first big trip as a family since Sophie's diagnosis, and I know folks in New Mexico are looking forward to seeing her. I really regret that we can't stay longer this time so we can see everyone. We're not going to be able to make it up Santa Fe to see our friends up there, and we can't stay over Sunday to see lots of friends from our old church. But we'll all be back again in late May/early June and will try to catch up with more friends then.

I don't think we'll be able to post updates much while we're gone. I have no idea what kind of internet access we'll have, so don't be surprised if you don't hear from us frequently (if at all) during this week. But when we're back online, we'll share the highlights (and the lowlights if they're funny)!

February 21, 2006


5:25 AM: Well, we're packed up and ready to go. We'll get the girls up in just a few minutes and head to the airport. We're all very excited about going. Sophie seems to be developing quite a cold and has gotten little sleep the last two nights (consequently, we haven't slept well either). We've got all her medicines packed up in the carry-on bag, and we know what hospital we need to go to if something should happen. It's too early in the morning to think of any cute stories about either girl, but we'll be sure to pass along a few when we get back!

February 23, 2006


6:00 PM (MST): We're having a great trip! This is our first opportunity to get on a computer. I brought my laptop but forgot to bring a powercord, so all it's done so far is make our backpack extra-heavy.

We had a good trip out, although it felt like slow-motion day or something. Everything just seemed to take longer than it should have. But we got here safe and sound on Tuesday afternoon. Randall spent the first couple of days being very nervous about his interviews. When he got back to the hotel afterwards yesterday, he had a big smile on his face. It went really well, and he's been much more relaxed ever since. The Board of Ordained Ministries voted to accept Randall for commissioning in the spring. So at Annual Conference in June, he will be commissioned as a Probationary Elder. He'll serve as a minister in the church under that status for 3 years (while being mentored by a more experienced pastor), and after that, he'll be interviewed again and (if all goes well) be ordained. Although we're still waiting for the official word, it looks like Randall will be able to serve his first year at our current church in North Carolina so Sophie can finish her treatment at UNC. Then the plan is to come back to New Mexico.

Anyhow, back to our trip. We have really packed in a lot of visiting. We've been able to connect up with quite a few people we had thought we might not be able to see (but have unfortunately missed a few). Elisabeth and her friend Jacquelyn have been able to spend a lot of time together and are getting along beautifully. Sophie and Jacob have been playing too. We're spending the night at their house tonight and tomorrow (which is why we have internet access now). Tomorrow during the day, I think we're going to go to the local children's museum, which I hear is pretty good. Barbara is taking the day off and pulling her kids out of school and daycare so we can play!

Sophie has really been feeling pretty crummy. She's got a terrible cough, and her nose runs a lot. She has coughed so much, she's gotten very hoarse. She said on Tuesday, "I have a toad in my throat!" The girls have been up late both nights so far (past their bedtimes in this time zone, which means they were up really late). Sophie finally got a brief nap today in the car, but she must have woken up before she needed to, because she was completely crabby for a good half hour.

It's really good to be here. As scary as it is to think about leaving our current situation (because we're very happy where we are now and we feel emotionally tied both to our congregation and to Sophie's medical treatment), the thought of moving back here is really appealing. New Mexico just feels like home to us. I know a lot of east coasters think it just looks brown and ugly, we think it's amazingly beautiful and really distinctive.

February 27, 2006


9:30 AM: Wondering where we've been and why we haven't posted an update? Well, what would you say the odds are that both of our computers would crash when we got home? Apparently, my laptop died during the trip (the battery hadn't just drained, the system board was dead--it's being repaired and I have a loaner). After we arrived home Saturday night and got the girls settled in bed, Randall hunkered down to work on his sermon and the bulletins. The computer was really slow and not acting right, so Randall rebooted it, and from then on we got an error about a missing or corrupted hal.dll file. I called my friend Stan, who gave us the bad news that it usually indicates a bad hard drive but gave us a couple of suggestions to try. None worked, so Randall just had to improvise. We held the service on Sunday without bulletins, and he preached from his Treo (where he had typed in his sermon during our trip). It all worked just fine. He's going to go computer shopping today, and we might just get a laptop for our home too, since my work laptop has served me so well.

Sophie and I are still coughing a lot. I felt pretty crummy last night, but she seems to be on the road to recovery. The home health nurse is meeting Randall at Countryside right now to do a blood draw. They want to see if the slight bump in dosage of her medications two weeks is keeping her blood levels where they're supposed to be. I'll be curious to hear the results.

That's all for now!

2/27/06 update

9:55 AM: Randall just called to say that when the nurse checked Sophie, she had a fever of 102 and an elevated heart rate (which is probably because of the fever). So, he's driving her in to Chapel Hill and taking her to the clinic. I think I'll meet them there so I can find out what's going on.

2/27/06 PM

5:50 PM: Our trip to the clinic went fine, and Sophie is at home resting (has been napping for nearly 3 and a half hours!). The doctor said it looks like she has a viral infection (but they gave her antibiotics--go figure!). They said if she has another fever in the next 24 hours to give them a call. We also asked them about a possible exposure to shingles we had while we were traveling (a friend was recovering from it and mentioned it only after he had given me a hug). The doctor said she probably would have shown signs of chicken pox by now if she were going to. They didn't have the blood test results while we were still at the clinic, so we don't know yet how that turned out. They also did a blood culture, so they'll be able to know for sure whether she has any chicken pox virus in her bloodstream.

I have a loaner laptop while my regular one is getting fixed, and when I got it home, I couldn't get it connected to the internet. Over an hour later, tech support at work finally figured out something that seems to work for now. Meanwhile, Randall plans to go to Walmart while Elisabeth is in dance class to see if he can pick up a cheap computer for us to use while we figure out what we want to buy for our permanent home computer. We're thinking a laptop would be a good option, and it sounds like I can get a good discount on one through RTI, but it would probably take a week or two to get delivered, and we need something now. Randall's got an Ash Wednesday service to work on!

Her royal highness is awake finally! I'd better go attend to her.

February 28, 2006


8:45 PM Well, my major accomplishment for today was buying a new computer--I got the second-cheapest one I could find, and, of course, it's probably light years faster and bigger than the one that just died (we also ordered a new laptop that will hopefully come in next week). I'm still grieving over all of the files and information that we lost, but it sure is nice having internet access again. I'm so dependent upon it for everything!

Sophie seems to be doing just fine after her adventure yesterday. After her long, long nap last night, she was amazingly cheerful and pleasant. Surprisingly, she went to bed fairly easily last night after all that. This morning, she was more than happy to go to school. She is still coughing a fair amount, but it's becoming more of a dry hack.

Susan, on the other hand, has definitely caught whatever Sophie had. She's been coughing and coughing all day. She was up a fair amount in the night, so she's just miserable between coughing fits and being completely worn out from lack of sleep. I know that she's trying to get back on top of whatever work she missed last week while we were in New Mexico. I just hope that she recovers as quickly (or even quicker, how about that!) than Sophie seems to have.

Thanks to everyone for the prayers and support on my interview, they were much appreciated and I am grateful!