Archive for January, 2006


So, no big surprise or anything, but I’m sick again. If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve lived my whole life out in the open with the normal people, I would swear that I am the girl in the bubble who escaped six months ago and has now caught her death.

Please do not write to me about vitamins or teas or medicines or bubbles because I need no more advice. I do not need to eat better. I do not need to sleep more (although suggestions to do that aren’t completely unwelcome because I can show them to Jud and say things like “see, even the internet said I should go to bed now!”). I do not need to turn around three times while clapping and lick salt from a metal spoon while upside down or anything else. I need a darn immune system that works!

(Thank you Air Force docs and all of your infinite wisdom for prescribing me antibiotics when I was a wee child who actually needed a surgery to correct my problem, not another dose of your syrupy voodoo. Look! Look what you have created! She’s ALIVE, but lo, she is not well.)




Sore throat

Nasal Congestion

Nasal Leakage

Red Sore strangely flaky nose

Tired Eyes

Back Pain

Neck Pain

Sinus Pressure

One of my friends has been sick for three weeks and I’m sure her list is longer. She went to this magical place yesterday where the doctor didn’t charge her anything, gave her free samples of antibiotics and his office wasn’t scary at all. He’s just a medical magician who loves DTS students and has a practice off Preston Road. Thank you Magical Doctor! I will call you on Thursday if my symptoms persist!

I feel about as bad I look in this picture…


Sick and Busy

[this picture is from a chili cookoff we attended the summer of 2003]

I’m not sure what things are like in your area of the country but things are pretty sick here in Texas. Sick in that everyone has been getting this sort of cold/flu type of illness that kind of does you in for a few days. Our friend Jenn had it most of this week and I think that Kim and I are starting to really feel it today. Kim has been feeling kind of achy for the past couple days but the true cold symptoms hit both of us today when we woke up. In other non-sickness news, I’ve been pretty busy with the completion of my school work for my wintersession class which is due on Monday morning. I just finished my last paper but I have to proofread another paper I had already written so everything should be good to turn in. I’ll be glad to have this monkey off my back so I can actually focus on the classes I have been taking during the normal part of my semester. Well, I just want to put a post and let everyone know that we’re still alive. I hope everything is going well with everyone else. Just so everyone knows, we found this out this week:

Paula and I met with my surgeon, Dr. Reilly, this morning at Ehlring Berquist Hospital and received great news: the tumor (which measured 3 inches long by 2 inches wide) and the lymphs were cancer free! This means NO chemo or radiation treatments are needed, so we are just thrilled with the news. Praise the Lord!

My blood pressure has also returned to within normal limits for me (~138/84) for the last two days, so we thank you all for praying about that problem. The doctor did say I was overdoing my physical activities and stated that I need to rest more during the day. Moreover, I will not allowed to drive while taking the vicodin during the day, so it may be two more weeks before my driving privileges are returned.

We can never begin to thank you all for all of the notes/emails of encouragement, cards,
meals and so forth. It has really meant a lot to both of us knowing that so many people were uplifting us in prayer. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Rick & Paula Bragg

This is truly an answer to a lot of prayers and we’re delighted that there was no cancer.

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” Psalm 126:3

Beyond All Expectations

It’s not like we didn’t know he was an overachiever, but this is over the top. My dad is doing so well that he may get to come home today. Seriously. He had the surgery on Wednesday and this is Saturday and he may be back by tonight. THANK YOU for praying and for your sweet words of encouragement. I’ll have more to say when I’m back in Dallas, but I’ve got left over work from the week that I should clean up before Monday.

When there’s no time for words….

My dad’s C-Section balloon sent by Chuck, Jeremy and Daniel, welcoming his 12″ long tumor baby

Pre-Surgery Excitement with my dad, mom and uncle, Clyde

These handy deals inflate and deflate so that he doesn’t get blood clots. He thought they might help him ski.

Wednesday night he was feeling all right.

Right after we tucked him into bed last night.

All’s Well

Thank you to everyone who’s been praying for my dad. The doctor removed a little over 1 foot of his large intestine, the part that included a flat tumor about the length of a pinky finger. It’s being sent to pathology so that they can decide if any additional steps need to be taken. He was joking with everyone that he was having a C-section, especially because they gave him an epidural, which he will have for a few more days. So, obviously he’s not feeling any pain, which is good. It was a crazy long day at the hospital and his surgery took longer than expected, so my mom started to get a little wigged out, but all in all it was fine. He’s already had a bunch of visitors and so many people have called to check in on him which just reminds me how much people love my dad. I am sure he is doing so well because of all of the prayers.

Now, let me get to a few things about hospital etiquette. First, do not speak loudly about procedures that your loved ones are undergoing. Yes, we are all curious, but no, we do not need to know the minutiae of your husbands health and personnality problems. Second, please do not take over the private room where doctors tell people that their loved ones didn’t do so well with your humongous family so that you can all watch nascar or whatever. Also, do not give out the number of the telephone that is used to update families on the patient who is in surgery to all of your relatives so that they can call you eighty-billion times, ensuring that the surgery unit will hear a busy signal when they attempt to contact families. Finally, please, do not forget your hairbrush when you are going to have surgery, or simply ask one of the nurses to bring you one. They will do so happily and you will look less crazy.

A side note: If you are familiar with my food addiction, you’ll know that I talk about food all the dang time, which is common for my family. So, here’s your food update from yesterday.
Breakfast: 1 slice of banana bread from the hospital cafeteria, surprisingly delicious and one mediocre cup of coffee.
Lunch: Pasta Reggio from the famed Lo Sole Mio (where Jud and I had our rehearsal dinner) because if you are going to have to sit in a hospital waiting room from 7:30 am until 6:00 pm you might as well eat delicious things. And so, we did.
Supper: Still digesting the Pasta Reggio from lunch
Snack: A cinnamon roll from Bonnie (nobody makes cinnamon rolls like Bonnie, so I ate my breakfast before I went to bed).

Well people, I’m heading back up to the hospital now. Thanks for all the calls and emails and well wishes. We love you too and thanks for praying.

(by the way, this is/was Jud posting this because Kim had trouble with it on her computer)

Second Semester

Well, I’m a few hours away from beginning the second semester. I sort of already began it last week with a wintersession class that lasted every day from 8 am to 5 pm. It was definately nice to have my father-in-law with me for class, I just wish the class had been a little better. I feel like it was kind of disappointing for him. The professor wasnt necessarily dedicated to whether or not his class actually learned anything and as it turns out I really didnt. In fact, I would say I’m more confused about the classes subject matter than before I actually began the class.

Tomorrow I have 7 and a half hours of class which will take care of all but 4 and a half hours of my weekly class time. So, all things considered, I’m pretty excited about the schedule. I have a couple papers left to hammer out for my wintersession class so hopefully the first couple weeks wont be overly filled with assignments in my other classes.

On Tuesday evening Kim flys to Omaha for Rick’s surgery. In case you havent heard about it yet, my father-in-law is going to have major surgery on his colon because of a pinky sized tumor. We pray that everything will go well and that the tumor won’t be cancerous. Kim will be there until Sunday afternoon and Rick will be in the hospital for a least a week and then at home recovering for the next two to three weeks. If you know Rick at all, you’ll realize that he’ll probably have tough time taking it easy for very long.

Anyway, I began this blog tonight because I wasnt tired and now since I am tired, I’m going to call it a night. I hope all is well with everyone.

Oh Where, Oh Where

So it’s January. For the past nine years, I have spent each January in Omaha. Those days are usually filled with snow and the overall nastiness of grime, salt and gravel. In Dallas, however, we spend our afternoons enjoying the sunshine and walking around White Rock Lake. It’s pretty wonderful, except that I keep thinking, “Is winter coming soon?”

Last week, while on one of our walks, there was a woman with the cutest little dog. We don’t know what kind of dog it was, some sort of silky terrier mix or something, but the thing was adorable. I started making strange little noises because the dog had some sort of power over my vocal chords and while looking polite about the whole thing, I may have freaked out the dogs owner. We got to see the little ball of cuteness twice because the owner had circled back around and let me tell you, I was contemplating a dog-napping. The owner was this skinny little woman and I was sure we could’ve taken her down while the other one grabbed the puppy and ran. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have been caught, either. But we didn’t. Instead, we just started thinking.

Thinking and talking. Mostly thinking about how great it would be to come home and have a tiny thing be really excited your home, even if the little thing was so excited that it pee-ed in the floor, we wouldn’t be upset. After all, the tiny pet is so cute! Mostly talking about the expense and what would be required (middle of the night potty sessions and trips to the doggie ER and one of those harness collars so that they couldn’t slip their little head through a cheap but sexy rhinestone collar and food and probably about $1000/year).

Saturday morning we woke up, talked some more and decided that we were going to go out and adopt a puppy. While I got ready, Jud got online and started checking out puppies in the shelters. While Jud got ready, I did the same thing. What we found were some really sad stories (one dachshund puppy had all his ribs showing because his last owner left him tied up in a room with no food and no water for who knows how long. He was a pretty sad little 2 year old, but he was also lovable and shy. One terrier looked just like the spawn of a rat and a fraggle – strange tufts of hair and freaky eyes. He had obviously been neglected, had fleas, mange, and all sorts of things. He was pathetic and scary). I’m pretty moved by the one paragraph synopsis of abuse these dogs endure, but then completely repulsed by their pictures. Anyway, what we found were plenty of dogs too far away to go check out (the skinny dachshund was in Austin) and plenty of fear about having something that needs us all the time.

So, we remain dog-less.

For now.

Until we have our own little Gibroni Dog…

Why We Don’t Post More Often


I know we’ve been awfully neglectful of this blog. Thankfully you know we are not dead now. Far from dead, we are just busy. Things you should know:

We’ve been back in Texas for two weeks now and things are running smoothly. Jud is taking a Winter Session this week and starts Spring Semester next Monday.

Kim is working hard at her job and hoping to get to take a trip out to LA at the very end of this month, should the powers that be grant her privileges to attend a Sales Meeting that would be the only way for her to meet all of the people she supports at one time and also to talk with them about the changes that are being made.

Kim’s dad is in Dallas right now taking the Winter Session class with Jud. In case you haven’t heard, and I don’t know why you haven’t, Rick’s colon has decided to grow renegade cells that are making more of themselves and if they have not gone to the dark side (read: cancer) yet, they will as soon as their little nuclei can. So, he is having surgery next Wednesday to remove at least half of his colon (Kim will be flying up for it so that she can entertain her mother in the waiting room for the four hours people risk THEIR lives by entering his bowels). If you are freaking out about the big C, don’t. We aren’t. Nothing that happens is a surprise to God and no amount of worry will change the future. Prayer might. You should try that instead.

It would be more fun to worry about the audit Rick will endure in February by the IRS. I thought about a few things to call the IRS just now and really, we’ve all heard those jokes like a billion times and I think I’ll just leave them alone. The target is just too big and it’s always sad when someone attempts to hit such a big thing and though they clearly hit what they were aiming at, it just doesn’t have the same sort of satisfaction when the bulls eye is that ridiculously big. Anyway, cancer and the IRS in the course of a month does not usually a happy man make, but if you think my dad is one of those men, you would be wrong. The man just doesn’t quit.

Last Friday night we hung out with our Dallas couple friends and had a ridiculously good time. We played a few rounds of Scattegories. If you’ve ever played Scattegories with Jud, you know the sort of hilarity that ensued. Let me tell you that our friends are also good at the game and that I should not even write about the funny things that came out of Daniel’s mouth. We think we are funny. And we are.

In sad news, Kim has ended her game. Yes, mourn for the loss! Grieve over the destruction!! It wasn’t that she couldn’t have kept going, because she could. She had a brand new jacket that she LOVES (thank you mom!) that has not even made an appearance, but it was time. (Of course, saying that I could’ve beat the game but not continuing it, is sort of like Matt Leinhart’s “We’re still the best team” ridiculousness. Look, the winner is the best. Not the loser. Don’t give me any of that Kindergarten Teacher “we’re all winners” garbage). Last Friday at 6:45 am, Kim walked into her office with the same black tissue tee, pink tank, blue jeans and black boots that she had worn once before in October. The clothes, they have triumphed! Thank you all for you support during the game. There were moments when I could hear you cheering for me as I stood in front of my closet, wondering which shirt to choose and I drew strength from it. You know, I’ve never worn this outfit I have on today before, but I for sure haven’t worn it in the first quarter. Hmm, maybe it’s a quarterly game. Or a semester game?

One last bit that you should know. I do not believe for a second that what one learns can be measured by grades at the graduate school level. So much is subjective. So much is about the power professors wield to which students must bend. So much is completely out of one’s control. I am the first to yell, “Don’t pay attention to those grades. They mean nothing and have no true life significance!” But I also am the first to yell “Do you know how smart my husband is?! He got perfect grades his first semester of seminary!” Not that it surprises anyone, but I’m still incredibly proud.