Tuesday, November 30, 2010

get well soon.

Disclaimer: This post is LONG and probably really confusing. It's been hard to explain all of this via texts and twitter and I've had lots of questions so I tried to include today's whole, twisted tale.

Today has been a ridiculously long, stressful, heart wrenching day for our little family. 

Kyle woke up this morning and got ready for class, then let Tucker out of his kennel as usual. I was still in bed but could hear Kyle having his usual morning chat with Tucker. Next thing I knew, Kyle was calling me out to the living room to look at Tuck's eye. 

His right eye wouldn't open at all. You could tell he was in a lot of pain and kept pawing at his eye and refusing to open it. Kyle finally got it open and his whole eye looked like it had a white film over it. In less than five minutes Tucker and I were out the door and heading to the vet. (Kyle had to go to class and turn in an assignment or he would have joined us)

Tucker had a few eye issues over the summer. Our vet in Georgia and my parents vet in Texas were confident that his problems then were seasonal allergies. We know exactly what to do when those spring up and know the symptoms, but this looked completely different. I was so nervous when I took him to the vet, I just knew in the pit of my stomach that something was not at all right. 

He was not himself at all when we were waiting at the office. He is usually antsy at the vet and explores everything he can. Today though, he curled up at my feet and barely even moved when the vet took his temperature. The vet took one look at his cloudy eye and said his greatest concern was glaucoma.

***cue me freaking out alone in the vet office***

Tucker had some tests run while I waited at the office. I could hear the vet tell a nurse that the pressure on his right eye was at 75 and I heard the nurse have a less than positive reaction to that number. I started googling and discovered that typical pressure on a dog's eye is 15-20 so I started bracing myself for some very bad news. 

The vet was so compassionate towards me. As soon as he came in he cut to the chase and told me that he was confident it was glaucoma. I started asking questions and he told me that vision in his right eye was likely already gone and we should expect the glaucoma to spread to his other eye. 

I am a pretty emotional person and we just adore our puppy, so I lost it immediately. It's never a good sign when your vet feels the need to give you a hug before leaving... it was bad!

He told us that Tucker could stay at the vet and they could help bring his pressure down but that he would eventually need to see an ophthalmologist so we opted to head straight there. Our vet gave Tucker some strong pain medicine because he was in miserable pain and off we went. 

I had been texting with Kyle through the whole appointment so as soon as I knew it was really bad news and that we would be heading to a specialist, he let me know that he was leaving class so we could go together. We picked him up and had a less than lovely driving to the veterinary hospital. 

Tucker seemed in a bit better spirits when we arrived. There were lots of dogs there and he wanted to play with them so badly... it was so nice to see that he was feeling a bit more like himself for the moment. 

The doctors at the hospital took Tucker's vitals again and got another reading on the pressure on his eye. Our prayer on the way to the hospital was that we would have a way to save his other eye. The thought of him being completely blind at one year old broke our hearts. He is such an active, spunky little dog and I cannot imagine how that would change his sweet personality. 

We were beyond relieved when the doctor told us that although he had all the symptoms of glaucoma, he did not have hereditary or juvenile glaucoma. Instead, he has a luxated lens in his right eye. Essentially, the lens had become detached and moved forward in his eye, causing a great deal of pressure. I'm a little fuzzy on some of the other specifics but that's the general story of what happened. She confirmed that he had lost vision in that eye but that we had no reason to expect this to happen in his other eye... HUGE HUGE BLESSING!

We're not entirely sure what caused the lens problem. He may have had a flare up of his seasonal allergies or some kind of infection which then caused his eye to become inflamed. As a result, this could have pushed his lens forward in the eye.

From there she discussed a few options with us. We decided to go ahead with a surgery that would remove the detached lens. There was a slight possibility that doing this will allow him to regain light sensitivity in that eye, but we weren't expecting it. Our main goal was to remove the lens and thus the incredible pressure that was putting Tucker in such great pain. 

A little while into the surgery we got another dose of rough news. The surgeon called to give us the line that no one wants to hear when someone is undergoing surgery .... "I've never seen anything like this in my professional career"

That twist didn't change too much for us, but it removed any and all hope that he could regain any sight in that eye (because all of the inner working pieces are completely gone) That was really rough to hear because we were praying so hard that he may regain light sensitivity.

We got another call from the doctor not too long after that one to let us know that things were just too bad and she was going to have to remove the whole eye. Again, this didn't really change anything, it was just so hard to hear. We have felt so helpless all day and just got one call after another with bad news.

Tucker is staying at the hospital tonight. The surgery happened late in the day and since things went so awry, the doctor wanted to closely monitor him overnight. We just talked to her one last time and she was happy to report that he was awake and seemed to be doing just fine. We've been waiting for that good news for what seems like an eternity. I know that his surgeon did absolutely everything she could for him, I am so thankful for that.

I cannot tell you all how very much we appreciate everyone's kind words and prayers. I have received so many text messages, tweets and phone calls just calling to check on Tucker and the two of us. We are so blessed by all of you and feeling very thankful for the overwhelming support we've received today.

We're hoping to pick him up tomorrow morning. If you have some extra prayers, these are the things we're still concerned over....
  • Tucker's good eye. We're hoping for more confirmation that his left eye will be fine and he'll still have sight there. We have no reason to think his other eye won't be okay, but after the strangeness of what happened today, we'd like a bit more confidence. (side note: the surgeon is so perplexed by what happened today that she is sending his eye and surgery information for UGA to see if we can gain some information. We're praying to learn something that will give us some peace of mind in regards to the other eye)
  • His comfort. 
  • That he is able to rest tonight and isn't terribly scared.
  • A good recovery. We're not sure yet what that exactly means, but we'd like it to be stress-free.
  • We are so hopeful that his sweet, spirited self will be back to normal very soon. We miss his personality and playfulness and we're hoping he'll bounce back. 
Again, thank you all so so so much. It brought tears to my eyes each time a friend let me know that they were thinking of us and Tucker.  I know he's 'just a dog' but he is so much more than that to the two of us and we have been on quite the emotional roller coaster with him today. We'll love his sweet little self with one eye or no eye, we just want him feeling better.

We're going to spend the rest of the evening eating Chinese food and curled up on the couch. It's been an exhausting day and we just need to try to relax. We are so ready to have our sweet Tucker back at home with us. 

Love this picture of Tucker, but it just made me cry again. Please, oh please let my puppy be this happy again soon!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

happy thanksgiving!

This is the last you'll hear from me on the little ol' blog until at least Sunday. 

Our bags are all packed up (except for a few last items that we're hoping are back in Texas...) and we're ready to go!

From now until Sunday we will be eating the yummiest of meals, indulging in more pie and Julie's cake than is acceptable and most importantly, spending time with our wonderful families. 

We have so very much to be thankful for and I am beyond excited about spending the next few days celebrating those blessings. 

I hope your Thanksgivings are filled with lots of joy, delicious food and wonderful memories. Safe travels to all of you, sweet friends! 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

you may call me master.

Okay, well maybe you don't have to call me master. I suppose that might be odd. But in just 36 academic hours, you can if you want to!

Why, you ask? 

Because this girl is going back to school!

I was accepted to get a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M and I will be starting in the spring. 

No, friends, I am not heading back to sweet College Station (Kyle would flip!). The College of Education at A&M has a great distance education program and I will be taking advantage of it and becoming an Aggie student once again. 

Don't feel out of the loop for not knowing that I had even applied. I kept it super, duper quiet and only Kyle, my parents, Jenn and Jason knew that I was applying. I thought it would be best on my heart to not share it with the world until I knew that it was a done deal. But I have received my acceptance letter and am registering for classes this week... so the deal is done!

I am so excited to go back to school. The education world isn't overflowing with jobs right now (is any field?!) but I know that it is where I am meant to be. I am thrilled that I can use this time to learn more about being a great teacher and know that it will be hugely beneficial to me in the future. 

Just wanted to share the news with all of you. Gig 'em Aggies!

going to the chapel.

This past weekend I got an oh-so-exciting phone call from one of my very best friends. My beautiful former roommate got engaged Friday night and I am bursting at the seams with excitement! Meredith and Charlie are a wonderful couple and I cannot wait to see them get married!


Big, HUGE congratulations to the future Mr. and Mrs. 

My dancing shoes are ready and waiting just name the day and the Kruegers will be heading to the Big D to celebrate!

Monday, November 22, 2010

catching up.

It's been a while since I have actually told all of you what has been going on in our little corner of the world, so let's do a little bullet recap! 

**disclaimer: this is the lamest recap ever. Apologies to anyone who makes it to the end!**
  • Our apartment is filled with Christmas cheer. I decided to decorate last week and am so glad to have all of my pretty decorations out on display! I know it's a little early, but we head to Texas in the middle of December and might be staying for quite a while (woohoo!) and I wanted to be able to enjoy my decorations for as long as possible.
  • I'll share pics of everything later, but here is a little preview of one of my favorite decorations

the cupcake elf!
  •  We are flying to Texas on Wednesday for Thanksgiving. We'll be in Houston Wednesday-Friday and enjoy 2 Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday. 
  • On Friday we are heading to El Paso with my parents. My brother-in-law, Jason, is from there and his parents are hosting a wedding reception/celebration for the happy couple. I am so excited to see where Jason grew up and have one more chance to celebrate Jenn and Jason. 
  • Because of our crazy travels, Tucker will be spending Thanksgiving at Camp Bow Wow with his furry friends. 
  • Kyle has been super busy with school. We are both very ready for this semester to be over with. He will take his last two classes in the spring and then it's all research, all the time (or so I've been told)
  • I have finished most of our Christmas shopping. I have a few things that I still need to order, but I am waiting until after Thanksgiving so we won't have packages sitting on our doorstep.
  • My Christmas cards are due to arrive today! I am crossing my fingers that they turned out great!
  • Kyle's parents came to visit a few weekends ago and we had a great time! I need to get the pictures from his dad and then I'll share with all of you. 
  • During their visit we took a trip to the dog park. A family showed up with free puppies and we came thisclose to bringing one home with us. Sadly our apartment is not big enough for two big dogs, otherwise I would be snuggling this little love bug right now....
I should never be allowed to hold puppies. Ever. I am way too weak against their cuteness. Kyle is not much stronger... we are a very dangerous combination!
  • Thanks to that little puppy, Kyle and I now have puppy fever. Someone please talk some sense into us and remind us that we do not need another dog... yet!
That's all I have for now, friends. Again, I apologize for the lack of interesting information in this post. Better luck next time :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

happy weekend.

I hope that the weekend brings all of you as much joy as this little guy has when he hears his favorite song.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

november 18, 1999

It was Judgment Day in Aggieland  
And tenseness filled the air;  
All knew there was a trip at hand,  
But not a soul knew where.

Assembled on the drill field  
Was the world-renowned Twelfth Man,  
The entire fighting Aggie team  
And the famous Aggie Band. 

And out in front with Royal Guard  
The reviewing party stood;  
St. Peter and his angel staff  
Were choosing bad from good. 

First he surveyed the Aggie team  
And in terms of an angel swore,  
"By Jove, I do believe I've seen  
This gallant group before. 

I've seen them play since way back when,  
And they've always had the grit;  
I've seen 'em lose and I've seen 'em win  
But I've never seen 'em quit. 

No need for us to tarry here  
Deciding upon their fates;  
Tis plain as the halo on my head  
That they've opened Heaven's gates." 

And when the Twelfth Man heard this,  
They let out a mighty yell  
That echoed clear to Heaven  
And shook the gates of Hell. 

"And what group is this upon the side,"  
St. Peter asked his aide,  
"That swelled as if to burst with pride  
When we our judgment made?" 

"Why, sir, that's the Cadet Corps  
That's known both far and wide  
For backing up their fighting team  
Whether they won lost or tied." 

"Well, then," said St. Peter,  
"It's very plain to me  
That within the realms of Heaven  
They should spend eternity. 

And have the Texas Aggie Band  
At once commence to play  
For their fates too we must decide  
Upon this crucial day." 

And the drum major so hearing  
Slowly raised his hand  
And said, "Boys, let's play The Spirit  
For the last time in Aggieland." 

And the band poured forth the anthem,  
In notes both bright and clear  
And ten thousand Aggie voices  
Sang the song they hold so dear. 

And when the band had finished,  
St. Peter wiped his eyes  
And said, "It's not so hard to see  
They're meant for Paradise." 

And the colonel of the Cadet Corps said  
As he stiffly took his stand,  
"It's just another Corps Trip, boys,  
We'll march in behind the band."  

P.H. Duval Jr '51

Sunday, November 14, 2010

wilderness girl.

As most of you know by now, Kyle and I took off on a camping adventure last weekend. 

{pause so you can all chuckle at the idea of me camping}

Kyle camped a lot with his family growing up but this was the most real camping that I have ever done. I camped once in college with a big group of friends but we weren't really roughing it. I also don't think that my camping trip with my Brownie troop counts since it was a) in our assistant leaders backyard and b) my best friend and I ended up sleeping inside with our moms!

Kyle's brothers and a friend gave us a bunch of camping gear as a wedding gift. I guess they figured the only way I would be convinced to go camping with Kyle was if I didn't have to buy most of the stuff... smart boys! 

We camped at Red Top State Park and loved it! It was only about 45 minutes north of us so it was nice knowing that we weren't too far from home in case we had any problems. We had initially planned on going a few hours north to the North Georgia Mountains and I am so thankful that we didn't because they ended up having snow last weekend!

We headed to the park on Friday afternoon and got ready to set up our tent. Kyle started putting out the tarp and Tucker was busy exploring while I got things out of the car. It was raining just a little, but nothing bad at all. UNTIL it started to HAIL! It was insane! We knew that it may rain a bit Friday evening but my weatherman made not mention of a hailstorm. We waited it out in the car and then got back to work.

We had a great location looking out over the water.

After we got our campsite set up we took a little stroll down by the water. 
Tucker did some hurdles over the logs

This is what we woke up to Saturday and Sunday mornings. 

I just thought this was a pretty picture of our pup :)

If you're curious about Tucker's attire.... no, we do not typically dress our 50 pound friend. However, I was really worried that he was going to be cold. I found this great reversible 'jacket' that had a thick fleece lining. It may have made zero impact on how Tucker felt, but I worried about his comfort a lot less  when he had it on!

 Kyle made breakfast Saturday morning. We dined on scrambled eggs and bacon. Note: It is tricky to flip bacon with a plastic fork...

And while Kyle cooked, Tucker took a break from eating leaves to eat the camping platform. Rough life for that guy!

We bundled up after breakfast and went for a hike. I love this picture but hate that there is a giant shadow on my face. Any photoshop pros want to fix that for me?? 

Conversation following the above picture:
SK: Kyle! I look like a real wilderness girl!
KK: Steph, I don't think real wilderness girls wear pink sparkly scarves, J. Crew puffer vests and Versace sunglasses.

 We took naps after the hike. Pardon the fact that I look like the stay puft marshmallow man. It was freeeeeezing!

We had a great time and I think I would even go camping again. The roughest part for me was going to bed at night. It was SO COLD and my Texas bones just aren't made for that. Saturday night was even colder than Friday night so this is what I wore to bed:

two pairs of socks
one camisole
FOUR long-sleeved tshirts
a fleece vest
a fleece sweatshirt
Kyle's UT hoodie

I also had the warmth of a puppy dog who decided to spend the night asleep on my feet.

Not to mention that I pulled my sleeping bag and blanket up high enough to cover my entire face. I think that I may have slept a total of an hour Saturday night. It was rough!

So with the exception of Saturday's icy bed time, I loved spending the weekend with Kyle. It was so nice to get away from school and computers and spend time together without any distractions.

I have a feeling this was not my last camping trip and I am a-okay with that! My only request is that we invest in an air mattress for the next trip. If I have to freeze at night, I should at least have something soft to sleep on.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Nine years ago today Kyle asked me to be his girlfriend.

We just returned from a delicious dinner at Houston's to celebrate the fact that our relationship is almost a decade old. I know it's a bit odd that we still celebrate this anniversary, but we've been doing it since we were 15 and I hope we always will.

 I am so thankful that sweet, fifteen year old Kyle asked me to be his girlfriend and I can barely believe that it was nine years ago. And now here we are, living in Atlanta with a year and a half of marriage under our belts. Can't wait to see what the next year will bring!

Before celebrating our second anniversary at PF Chang's. We were super fancy that night and even got to borrow Kyle's dad's Camaro :) (Thanks, Scott!)

Anniversary number 9!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

snuggly sunday night.

Happy Sunday evening, lovelies!

Kyle and I returned home today from a camping weekend. We had a wonderful time and I have lots of great pictures to share. 

For tonight though, I am enjoying being curled up on the couch in last year's cozy Christmas pjs. I am looking forward to sleeping in my great big bed and not having to go to bed wearing three pairs of pants just to stay warm (ya'll.... it was SO cold!)

I am so exhausted from two nights of very little sleep, so a camping recap will have to wait. For now, I am enjoying my new Real Simple and a cup of hot cocoa. 

I hope you have all had great weekends! Looking forward to catching back up with everyone now that we've returned from our weekend away!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Tonight Tucker attended his first training class at Pet Smart. 

As of 6:30 this evening, this shiny blue clicker is now taking over our lives.

We will be using our clicker daily to complete our weekly homework and it will hopefully be beneficial to puppy and humans alike!

We had a great time at class and I am excited for the next seven weeks. There are only three dogs in our class and the teacher is great. Kyle and I quickly made the discovery that Tucker will be undergoing very little training.... rather, Kyle and I have already learned a million little things that we need to change. 

I'm crossing my fingers that my little furry friend will graduate his class with a whole new set of tricks and will leave behind a few of his less than favorable behaviors!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Two of my best friends came to Atlanta a few weekends back. Sara and I have been best friends for pretty much eternity and Meredith and I became fast friends our senior year of college. I am so thankful that not only am I lucky enough to call each of them friends, but that they get along so well. This was the second time the two of them have made the big trip to Atlanta and I do believe it is now an official tradition! 

Kyle and I picked the girls up Friday night and took them to one of our favorite local restaurants. After that we headed back to the apartment for some quality girl time. 

The weather on Saturday was perfect so we headed over to the cutest little outdoor shopping area in town. We did our fair share of browsing, shopping and enjoyed a yummy lunch on the patio of a local restaurant. It was such a fun afternoon and I wish these girls lived closer so we could spend more Saturdays just like that.

After a relaxing day around town, we got all dressed up and went to dinner at Two Urban Licks. It is one of the most unique restaurants I have ever been to and the girls both loved it! 

We finished the night off with a comedy show at The Laughing Skull Lounge

The girls didn't fly out until Sunday evening, so we packed as much fun into Sunday as we could! We started with a delicious lunch on the patio at another favorite local restaurant.

Mani-pedi's were next on the agenda.

After our relaxing time at the nail salon we picked up Tucker, grabbed some Starbucks and headed to Piedmont Park. We had a great time there, indulging in a few more heart-to-hearts, some people watching, and, of course, a few more photos!

I had the best time getting to spend the weekend with these two. Living away from family and friends can be so hard at times and traveling is incredibly expensive these days. It means the world to me that they put their lives on hold for three days, packed up their bags and bought some plane tickets to come to Georgia. I didn't even have to extend the formal invitation (it's hard to make people feel obligated to spend that kind of money on airfare), the two of them came to me and said they wanted to make the trip and I am so thankful that they did. I love these girls so very much and cannot wait until our next reunion... wherever it may be!