Emily Dobson Photography

I ♥ Megan April 16, 2010

Filed under: Personal — edobson86 @ 2:35 PM

As I sit to write, my heart is heavy. I am almost overwhelmed by the realization that life is so precious and so short, yet we take it for granted daily. I wonder why we waste time getting angry over dropping ice or spend time complaining over the fact that some Starbucks stores only carry Peppermint flavoring seasonally. Well, maybe I’m the only one encountering those specific examples (especially when one of them requires bending over 8 months pregnant). But I laugh at my immaturity, and tear up knowing that I let such petty details in life raise my blood pressure when my dear friend, Megan, fights for her every breath.

 

 

  Toward the beginning of December, I briefly described Megan’s heart condition and the struggles she was facing. At the beginning of February, I upated you, and explained that she had been added to the heart transplant list. Today, Megan’s condition is worse and she is fighting for her every breath.

 

 

On the first of April, Megan was admitted into the Cardiac Care Unit at Barnes’ Jewish Hopsital for additional medications. The meds were to help strengthen her heart so it could pump blood to all of her vital organs. On April 3rd, a left ventricle assist device was inserted into her chest to temporarily function as the left ventricle of the heart. She spent the next few days resting. The past week and a half or so, Megan’s condition has been up and down. On good days, she was able to eat small bits of food and actually keep it down while bad days consisted of poor sleeping, little or no food intake, and no energy. However, blessings from above were poured out to her on April 9th. Four nurses decided she needed a better view and took 30 minutes to move her and all equipment to a suite overlooking Forest Park – best view in St. Louis. The same day, she received a call from American Idol’s very own, Danny Gokey. Danny was our favorite Idol from last season and we talked about voting for him throughout the entire season!  According to Megan’s dad, Danny encouraged her and lifted her spirits. Danny’s wife died of a heart condition three weeks before he auditioned for A.I.  So I truly thank him for showing Jesus’s love to Megan on this particular day.

 

 

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, the doctors informed Megan’s parents that her time was running out. They are giving Megan and the family until Monday to receive a new heart. Otherwise, she will receive a mechanical heart which will drop her out of the #1 status on the transplant list. As of this morning, her condition has worsened yet, and she is struggling for every breath. Doctors are in and out of her room, and this afternoon there will be a bedside surgical procedure to relieve fluid around her lungs & heart. In addition, her white blood count is rising.

 

 

From my extremely close friendship with Megan in 2004-2005, I know she is a Christian and follower of Christ. She is only 23-years-old and full of life! My prayer is that God will grant her a new heart and sustain her life for many years so she can live a long, somewhat healthy life. But the irony of praying for a new heart is the fact that the new heart has to come from someone else… do I want someone else’s friend or family to experience a death in the family? No! But I also desperately want to see God heal my friend. I’ve been asking that God definitely not take the heart from a non-believer who hasn’t given his/her life to the Lord. And I’ve also been asking that someone not have to suddenly and unexpectedly lose a life. Fortunately, I have hope in a God who has Megan’s life in His hands. I know there is a plan behind this mess and that He works together for the good of those who love Him. So ultimately, I must put my complete trust in Him…as Megan’s family is so faithfully doing.

 

 

Megan was interviewed earlier this week by News Channel 5 in St. Louis. She courageously shares her story with viewers and you get a glimpse at her sweet, sweet spirit. I hope you will take the opportunity to watch the interview here: http://www.ksdk.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=78093481001#/Health/23%2Dyear%2Dold+finds+herself+on+heart+transplant+waiting+list/48541678001/48340612001/78093481001.

 

 

Megan’s family is keeping a blog called Megan’s Story with at least one update per date on her condition. Through Megan’s blog, you have the opportunity to give to her family. I can’t imagine the financial stress a situation like Megan’s could cause; therefore, if you’re able and willing, I ask that you donate something…ANYTHING…just to show Christ’s love to a family in need.

 

 

THANK YOU, to all of my friends and family who have been praying for Megan. I receive encouraging words via Facebook often from the many people who are praying for her, and many of them don’t even know Megan! We serve a MIGHTY God – I know He LISTENS the prayers that are lifted up and will ultimately take care of Megan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granddaddy and God’s Country March 17, 2010

Filed under: Personal — edobson86 @ 3:37 PM

Last week, Wade and I traveled to Mississippi for Granddaddy’s funeral and other arrangements. It was a time of mourning for the entire family as a great man’s life was lost after a seven month battle with cancer. However, it was also a time of rejoicing as we celebrated his peace and comfort in Christ. For Granddaddy, there is no more pain and suffering. His relationship with Christ and acceptance of the gift Christ has presented ALL of us granted Granddaddy eternal life in Heaven. We are all thankful that he is now with the Lord.

 

 

During our time in Mississippi, Wade and I enjoyed spending time with his family. We had many good laughs remembering Granddaddy’s humor. Even in his final months and weeks, Granddaddy was still making people laugh. Through his battle with pancreatic cancer, Wade’s mom lived with and cared for him 24/7. In order to guarantee good care at all times, Luanne had a monitor so Granddaddy could call on her at any time throughout the day. Knowing Luanne couldn’t shut off the monitor, one night he decided to have a little fun. In the wee hours of the night, he sang “She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes!” for an entire hour! Though Lu begged him to stop, she kept right on comin’. So it seems only fitting that a song would cause us all laughter during the actual funeral. Yep, the entire family almost lost control of themselves in the middle of a funeral service. As Wade wrapped up his portion of the service, we anticipated the sound of “Amazing Grace.” When the music played, we were caught off guard by Loretta Lynn’s “God’s Country.” If you haven’t heard this song, you MUST listen to the following clip: http://s0.ilike.com/play#Loretta+Lynn:God’s+Country:1173776:m3975757. It is a big ball of fun with an upbeat rhythm of country and gospel sounds! Oh how fitting it was for Granddaddy – as if he’d planned it himself!

 

 

Granddaddy will be missed. His kind and giving spirit along with his continuous humor and jokes will be cherished within our hearts. Today, I encourage you to cherish the moments with your loved ones. Time passes so quickly and how sad it would be if we didn’t take advantage of every opporunity we have to love on those we care about most.

 

 

And because the one I love isn’t here to strike a pose… here are a few other things that I especially love right now:

 

 

CADBURY EGGS: I eat at least one a day.

 

 

 

 

 

TENNIS SHOES: My feet are beginning to throb in anything other than these babies.

 

 

 

 

 

SUN: I believe I have now seen the sun 4 times in 2 weeks.

Only the 2 times this week have been late in the afternoon for only a couple of hours…….

I am ready for SUMMER!

 

 

 

 

 

www.emilydobsonphotography.com

 

 

 

Has anyone seen my earmuffs? {Macon, MO Professional Photographer} February 25, 2010

Filed under: Personal — edobson86 @ 6:00 AM

Every time I leave the house, I bundle up in my winter coat (off which I just lost a button) and my new snuggly warm gloves and scarf from Wal-Mart. This Missouri weather has taken some adjusting to after being in Memphis for a year and a half. Not only has it been bitterly cold, but the SNOW – the ridiculous amount of snow that just keeps on falling…every Sunday. Now, I can’t complain because I have thoroughly enjoyed 3 and 4 day work weeks and the additional photography workday it has provided me. But every time I leave the house, I must bundle up, start my car 15 minutes early, find something to hold on to as I attempt not to slip and fall down our icy steps and pathway through the grass, and cringe all the way to the car when the wind hits my ears. I hate being cold, and about 3 weeks ago, I lost my earmuffs! I wore those things when it was 40 degrees outside! Yet, I have somehow misplaced them. Where oh where did my earmuffs go? If you find them, will you please return them so my ears won’t suffer any longer?

 

 

Until then, I decided to find something enjoyable about the snow. I took one photo and edited it two different ways. I really love both edits, but I decided to go with this one simply because its different from my typical edit…and I need to start stepping out of my comfort zone every now and then.

 

 

Doesn’t it look gorgeous when you’re not outside suffering in it?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Day – {Macon, Missouri Wedding Photographer} February 8, 2010

Filed under: Personal,Wedding — edobson86 @ 11:03 AM

With the exception of the good ole college days, this is the first school year I’ve truly been able to enjoy snow days. As a student I typically always enjoyed a break, but in the back of my mind I knew I had to make those days up. We rarely had more than a three day weekend for Easter, and most of the time we added a day or two on to the end of the year too. Last year, in Memphis we only had one…maaaaybe two snow days – nothing much. Now that I’m back in MO, the snow days are quickly adding up. Fortunately, Baby Dobson is due May 22nd, and since all of Macon’s holidays are guaranteed, I won’t be making up any at the end of this year! My apologies to the lucky ones who do get to make them up…

 

 

The Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Pie turned out to be quite spectacular! I tried a small piece last night, and gave Wade a bite that turned into another small piece. Oops! Looks like we’ll be taking a chocolate pie to the staff luncheon today. By special request, here is the Cheesecake Pie recipe compliments of Michele Sadler.

 

 

Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Pie

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 9″ unbaked pastry shell

1-1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 cup caramel ice cream topping

 

-In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg, and vanilla until smooth. Spread into unbaked pastry shell. Sprinkle with pecans.

 

-In a separate small bowl, whisk remaining eggs. Then, gradually whisk in caramel topping until blended. Pour over pecans. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until lighty browned. Loosely cover with foil after 20 minutes IF pie browns too quickly. Cool for one hour. Refrigerate for at least four hours before slicing.

 

-Wade and I thought adding chocolate to the mix would be splendiferous! Next time, I think we’ll try to pour hot fudge over the pecans before the caramel topping. Let me know if you try it out!

 

 

Recently, I’ve been prepping several wedding photos. I came across these two beauties over the weekend. What do you think?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Afternoon Bliss February 7, 2010

Filed under: Personal — edobson86 @ 3:01 PM

I sit here on a Sunday afternoon enjoying the blissful atmosphere of the house. Wade is busy prepping for the Crossover Student Ministry Super Bowl Party at 5:00, and I am here alone in the quiet – something I often take for granted. There is a Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Pie in the oven that I will be taste-testing prior to sending off to the MFBC staff luncheon tomorrow. I am thankful for this quiet, peaceful moment because I know that in 14 short weeks these quiet moments will be few and far between. The excitement and anticipation of Baby Dobson’s arrival is increasing with each passing day. We’re ready to meet this little guy… OR girl!

 

 

Today, I am thankful. I am thankful for an early out on Friday, which provided me with a much needed relaxing Friday evening and Saturday. I am thankful for a husband who took me on a date last night for some great food at Rick’s American Grill in Moberly and a movie: Dear John. (Although, I don’t recommend this movie as it was a huge disappointment!) I am thankful for a mom I can call and get recipes from, a dad I can call and get coaching advice from, a sister who laughs at my goofiness, and two brothers who always crack jokes. I am thankful for Cadbury eggs even though I do not have any today. I am thankful for a new baby cousin, Kinsley. I am thankful for a pastor who preaches the Word and gives the Holy Spirit a chance to convict me each Sunday. I am thankful for a relaxing Sunday afternoon, and the pizza I will soon devour.

 

 

Take a moment today to leave a comment and tell me, what are you thankful for?  

 

 

 

 

 

Update on Megan February 4, 2010

Filed under: Personal — edobson86 @ 5:25 PM

Hopefully, many of you remember my blog post back in December when I asked for prayers for an old college friend, Megan. Back in December Megan was experiencing some shortness of breath and weakness. This was a major concern for Megan and her family because in 2002 she was diagnosed with Myocarditis: a virus that attacks the heart and causes heart failure. On November 30, 2009, she received a diagnosis of congestive heart failure with a heart ejection fraction of 15-20. A healthy heart is a heart ejection fraction of 50 and anything below 36 is considered serious.

 

 

After several days in the hospital, the doctors made the decision to try and strengthen Megan’s heart with medications before resorting to a heart transplant. As a safety measure, they put in a defibrillator to shock the heart if needed, and Megan went home on December 11th.

 

 

The month of January was a bit of a struggle for Megan. She experienced a significant amount of nausea and was unable to keep food down. After adjusting some medicaitions, she started to feel better – temporarily. When the nausea set in again, she started losing a lot of weight. On January 26th, she was admitted back into Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. Tests showed that her veins and liver were full of fluids, and her heart ejection fraction was down to an 8. She is now in major congestive heart failure and must be on continuous IV meds. Yesterday, she had a heart cath and is now been placed on the heart transplant list.

 

 

TRANSPLANT LIST (explanation)
Barnes is the only heart transplant hospital in the Mid-America area. Dr. Ewald, Megan’s doctor, is the head physician of the transplant team and decides who gets what heart. Beside the obvious of a perfect match, there are other criteria that determine who is at the top of the list. They are:
1A – Patients on continuous IV meds and in the heart cath lab
1B – Patients on continuous IV meds
2 – All others
Other factors in every patient are age, health other than the heart, size, and blood type.

 

 

Megan has been placed on the 1B transplant list. Their entire family is dedicating this to the Lord, and her father, Wayne (where I got all of the above information) said, “The wait for a heart could be days or months. It will happen in God’s time.” I have recently been reminded of the same truth. Life doesn’t happen when I want it to happen, life happens when God wants it to happen. HE is in control.

 

 

In honor of Megan, I’d like to inform/remind everyone that THIS Friday, is the American Heart Association’s “National Wear Red” day. So…. “Go Red with your wardrobe! Whether it’s a red dress or a red T-shirt,  show the world you support Go Red For Women, the American Heart Association’s movement to help save lives.”

 

 

 

Money. Money. Money. February 2, 2010

Filed under: Personal — edobson86 @ 7:58 AM

Spend. Spend. Spend. Save. Save. Save. The two words describe two totally different philosophies on money. Can you guess which philosophy is mine? If not, allow me to help: American Eagle, Maurices, and Forever 21 – my favorite clothing stores! I’ve always loved to shop. I remember when I first started working in high school. I wasn’t allowed to work often, but I worked enough to earn a little extra cash-cash I couldn’t wait to use for new outfits, jewelry, and shoes. I’d come home with a big bag of new “necessities” and my mom would always tell me I already had “exactly” what I just bought and I should try to save for college. College?! Who in the world considers college before January of their senior year?! Well, about April of my senior year, I wish I had because I realized I was broke and college was outrageously expensive. The summer after I graduated high school, I got a full-time summer job and saved, saved, saved. When I left for college, I got a great job at Fiddlestiks and I was able to continue with the occasional shopping trip and also work my way through college. I only paid for what I thought I could realistically earn and still had over $10,000 in student loans when I graduated – how depressing. To top things off, I decided I NEEDED a new car my junior year of college, so I was able to add a significant amount of money to the student loans I’d already accrued.

 

When Wade and I got married we were able to combine each other’s debt to come up with a grand total of over $30,000. “Not bad” some would say, but it was sickening to think we were going to spend the next 10 years of our married life owing money to someone else…and we didn’t even have a house!

 

About a year ago, Wade and I were introduced to Dave Ramsey, the author of Total Money Makeover. I remember Wade calling one Friday while I was teaching and hearing him say, “You have to read this book!” He started telling me all about it and I could tell he was pumped. So I read it… well most it… and it completely altered the way we both thought about money – especially in regards to debt. Wade and I were fortunate enough to bring in a little extra money each month, which allowed us to save some money over the first year of our marriage. After reading Total Money Makeover, we took everything we had saved (except the $1,000 emergency fund) and paid off what was left on my car. Debt #1 = Gone!

 

Once the car was paid off, we took our monthly car payment plus any additional money we had leftover after bills and put it all on Wade’s student loan. After several months, debt #2 = GONE! The only debt we had left was my student loan; therefore, after all monthly bills, we applied the “extra” money toward my loan. Our goal was to be debt free by January 2010.

 

While Dave encourages an extreme, radical lifestyle, Wade and I decided to keep cable television and internet as well as a small entertainment budget for date nights and eating out. But we limited every category and TRIED (although we often failed) to stay within the limitations set forth in our monthly budget. In just under one year, Wade and I met our goal. As of last week, we are completely DEBT FREE! By applying Dave’s strategies and techniques to the money God FAITHFULLY provided for us, we saved approximately four extra years of bill hastle and approximately $4,000 in interest. Neither one of us had incredible paying jobs during this year: internet, teacher, minister, and substitute teacher. However, we were extremely blessed in that neither of us lost our jobs during the drowning economy and the principles Dave came up with worked.

 

I am NO financial advisor. In fact, I know VERY LITTLE about money. Wade takes care of our budget and I am very thankful for that. But if you’re interested in a Total Money Makeover and have an open mind in regards financial principles, then I highly recommend Mr. Dave! And of course faithful giving to the One who provides it all for us.

 

Wade and I are now in stage four of this makeover process. We hope to spend the next SEVERAL years putting the money where we want it to go. God willing, we will save for new vehicles and our first house as well as retirement and future college funds. And maybe, JUST MAYBE, I’ll even be able to get in a shopping trip or two!