middle of no where Iowa family farm

We drove back from Mayo Clinic in MN and drove down to Grandma Huff's house all piled together in a 15 person van. She still lives on the a farm way out in south east Iowa. She is 92. It was great to see the farm where ben grew up riding ponies and coon hunting on the weekends. Ben took some great portrait shots of his grandparents and surrounding farm stuff and he doing a big post on his blog. We went a few miles to Joan's sisters farm and had lunch with the rest of the family (ben's parent were high school sweethearts and there are farms on both sides of the family).
i took this picture of ben and taylor. not bad eh?

of course caden was passed around to everyone and i also held him for awhile.


mayo clinic update

We are in our last day of testing at Mayo. Lots of information and after meeting with the surgeon and doctor they have decided that it would be better to pursure another donor. Ben is of course healthy and able, but the positve crossmatch reaction (my antibodies react with his cells) is really severe and would require 2.5 weeks of pre transplant treatment (similar to kidney rejection treatment in seattle), removal of my spleen and still no guarrantee they would do the transplant. So we are looking into other donors and some of my family members have graciously come forward to be evaluated to donate a kidney. Mayo is going to test my their blood for the same positive crossmatch and go from there. It has been a long couple of days, but we have to been able to get out in downtown rochester. We should know more in another couple of weeks. Dea


one of the many christmas day family pictures.
jeff and jen at christmas eve dinner.

Mayo is Crazy

Ben and I are at Mayo Clinic. This place is huge, we each received a colored bag (green for transplant and orange for donor) and then they set us off in opposite directions. I did pass Ben once today. Very modern and beautiful place. Everthing is connected via underground marble subway lined with retail and coffee shops as far as hospitials go it pretty nice. Everything is planned to the minute, LG then go to LA, charlton or eilson...you get the lingo of the billon different buildings pretty quick. I have some great pics from the holidays to post when I have a little more time. Dialysis again today, skipping once was ruff and christmas day and the day after I was feeling pretty crappy so I am going again today to get all caught up! It has been a whirlwind tour so far.


snowing in anchorage

hard to tell from this picture but is snowing like crazy here in anchorage(not like denver, but still alot). this is our plane, we are supposed to be boarding now, but we have heard nothing yet.
we hope to get outside tonight! Dr. Wu is also here so we are just hanging out playing on free wifi. dea


Happy Holidays!

We are off to Chicago, Iowa and Minnesota today...we arrive tomorrow night. Can't wait to see everyone.
Tim and Stacia showing the latest in Fairbanks Fashion. Fox and Rabbit Ruffs.


a super duper cool picture!!

i stole this from Ed's blog. This picture is by Todd Paris.
This is a great time lapse picture of how low the sun is in winter. this is what is looks like for 3 hours of daylight, sunrise-sunset colors the entire time.
my cool new ipod shuffle from Ben for Christmas.
we skate skied across the street from the house yesterday, of course middle of the day is still pretty dark. it was 15 below so we had our baklavas on. it is supposed to be 30 below by Sunday, but we will be in sunny warm chicago! -dea



Ed and Trevor have just been introduced to blogging. They say they are totally hooked. Take a look at their blogs. Ed has some sweet white mountain pics. They are both sure to have some great Alaskan stories. -Dea
heading into the darkest week, we kept busy this weekend with a holiday dinner party. the kapusta was a big hit with everyone and so was julie's rasberry tort.
Pella loves her new coat that she recieved for christmas from my parents. it's very cute and she did wear it outside on a long walk.
she is an easy target. pella all dressed up for the party.


I went straight from dialysis this morning with some super duper low blood pressure(so no circulation) to race in the IAB department fun race with Stacia and Tawna. It was really cold around -15F without the windchill of skate skiing. The sun didn't come above the horizon until half way thru the race and that was around 12:30 this afternoon! It was a good time, but my nose and finger tips almost didn't make it. I was slow, but luckily this race is scored by how consistent your laps are....mind kind of race. We were alaska oil field men for the competition.
some frozen eye lids.


ben and i all dressed up to go to the turtle club last night for ben's company christmas party. we had some great prime rib. not the best picture we are getting pretty pale up here in the dark.


That is the turtle club saying...don't you wonder what it means??


I had the most amazing phone call last night. Dr. Clausen is the head of chemistry department here at UAF, some of you might know him, he is the professor consulted in the book Into the Wild. That is not the amazing part though, yesterday his wife called me on the phone. I have never met or even seen her before. She says " so I here you might need a kidney and surgery is no big deal, you go to sleep, wake up and it is over..." at first I am like this lady is nuts, but of course at the same time I think that she sounds just like me (about the surgery part). It was the most surpising phone call, we chatted a little while and she ended with "I'm as serious as a heart attack, you call me."

Seriously, I have the greatest life. I am lucky to have so many generous and caring family and friends. Some I know well and some I barely know at all. Anyway the whole thing just blew Ben and I away and I thought I would share the story. -Dea


northern lights tonight

Martin and Tawna came over for a feirce game of trivial pursuit. In the end Ben and I won. We almost called it quits because we thought we were playing into the wee hours of the night and when I looked at the clock it was 8:50pm! dea


ben's photo blog is still going strong, it somehow did not transfer when changed
to the beta blogger.


Julie, Stac, Ben and I went for a great skate ski in the white mountains Sunday. They temp was warm, the trails were fast and all the dogs were crazy. It was a nice weekend after my first week of 4 hour dialysis three days a week. The one hour increase seems so much longer, but I have started reading like crazy, the devil wears prada, the coldest march, the 13 element and that is just 1.5 weeks.


julie, stac and i went for a bike ride saturday. it was around 10 below, but sunny. the trails are in great shape and except for my flat it was a great ride.I am not sure how only one eyelash was frozen.