Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First ER Trip

I feel compelled to tell everyone a story about a Tim Taylor Home Improvement moment we had in our apartment not too long ago.

Lyndsey and I had fallen asleep watching Public Enemy on the couch on a Thursday night at about 10, the way it seems most married couples spend early weekend nights off. We woke up and decided to go to bed. I stumble into the bedroom to turn on our tower fan on the floor, which sits just below a shelf that's mounted right at forehead level on the wall (of course, any higher so that I could walk under it would just be too high and would look strange and tacky, according to the Mrs.). I turn it on, and stand up quick. A little too quick apparently. I hit my head so hard right on the sweet spot that I knocked myself out temporarily. As a testament to my handyman skills, the shelf did not budge one centimeter.

My next recollection is looking down at my hands as I wake up dazed laying on my stomach on our bed with blood all around me. Lyndsey said she had called me, and I didn't respond. Her first reaction to seeing her new husband face down on the bed bleeding, squirming, and completely unresponsive was to pull the new, expensive comforter down so I didn't ruin it (that's my girl!). Then, she threw a towel at me and told me to clean it up. Truly the perfect Army wife!

I stand up with a feeling I haven't felt since IED number 6 in Iraq, the feeling of having my bell rung in a total daze. Lyndsey dresses me and we take our first trip to the Ft. Belvoir ER.

We arrive at about 1 am. There are two other people in front of us; a screaming child and a lady who apparently ran out of a prescription medication and needed a refill. Despite this, we waited over an hour, which sadly is probably more efficient than most Army hospitals. We are finally seen by a nurse who asks me such questions as "where does it hurt", "why are you bleeding", and "do you have a headache now". The doctor comes in and diagnoses me with a concussion, and offers to give me a shot to help me sleep that night. The nurse brings out the needle, and it's massive (Lyndsey would probably disagree, but she's not writing this story). She says my only choices are my butt or my femoral artery on my thigh. Lyndsey still laughs that I had to think about it. In my defense, I wasn't thinking too clearly, and I think I saw two needles at the time.

I get the shot, we drive home, and go to bed. One interesting fact we learned from all this that we probably would not have learned otherwise is that corner guards for shelves are only sold at baby stores (I stopped asking after the Bed Bath and Beyond and Home Depot both referred us to Baby's'R'Us) and are apparently not marketed for grown-ups. Of course, I never mentioned the fact that it was for me to the salespeople, and that I hit my head on a shelf that I had installed.

In the end, the comforter was okay, we had an excuse to buy those new 500 thread count sheets we'd been eyeing, and I've regained some of my sanity. Between the two of us in our first 8 weeks of marriage, there has been 1 concussion, 3 cuts and burns in the kitchen, and approximately 6 broken glasses (approximately because I said one of them was still good!). It's true what they say: you really can do more with that special someone in your life than you ever could or would alone, as we have just proven. I just know our kids are going to be truly special one day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Colors

This past weekend, we took a quick roadtrip to visit some of my {Lyndsey} family in Pennsylvania. Because I am now working, we left late afternoon on Friday - right as everyone else was leaving the city {two hours later, we were out of city traffic!}. My uncle lives in State College and my grandparents had driven up from Texas to visit him.

On Saturday morning, we went with my grandparents to an apple orchard/pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful {very windy} fall day, accented further by the bright reds, yellows, and oranges of the Pennsylvania trees. As Texans who had never really experienced "fall" in the countryside, we were in awe at the rich hues! After selecting pounds of apples {we opted to pick them from the pre-picked barrels, not the trees}, tasting numerous samples, and venturing through a real pumpkin patch {first time to actually see pumpkins growing on its vine}, we went back to my uncle's house. We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting, touring Penn State, and eating delicious home-cooked food.

First Guests

Chris' sister, Jenni, and her boyfriend, Dave, came up from Texas to visit us for the weekend {first visitors!}. We spent most of the weekend as tourists, starting with a Capitol tour on Saturday and ending with a walk down the Mall to the Lincoln Memorial. After church on Sunday, we went to Arlington Cemetery {touching and overwhelming experience}. Jenni and Dave were more ambitious than Chris and I, trekking up to the National Cathedral after the cemetery and then waking up with the sun on Monday to see the sunrise over the Mall.

On Saturday, we had lunch in the Eastern Market {one of my favorite places!}.

View of the Mall from the Capitol. We spent the afternoon walking from this point to the far end where the Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial and Vietnam Memorial are located.

Chris and I at Arlington Cemetery. We're standing of front of the Robert E. Lee house {aside -- did you know that Robert E. Lee was distantly related to George Washington?}, which sits on a hill overlooking Washington DC. In the far distance, you can actually see the Capitol and the Washington Monument.

So many graves. One cannot go here and not be moved by how many have come before us, believing in a greater cause, served this country.