Upper GI Scope

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This morning I had the Upper GI Scope done at Scottsdale Endoscopy Center by Dr. Daniel Meline. It was a busy day in the Lyfe as a Smith household so we had to do some juggling with rides. Mark took Bri to school and then had to get to a catering at APS Palo Verde, he wanted to have someone else do the catering but I wouldn't let him, this client and the way things need to be done is extremely important and they are use to the way Mark does it; Reggie drove me to the center for the procedure; Shanel went to school and then rushed over to be ready to drive me home when the procedure was done. I sent her this message before I was drugged:

Hey Nellie when you get here to pick me up you need to come inside and check in at the front desk because you are gonna have to sigh me out just like I had to do for you when you were in school - I think that's kinda funny! Oh and bring a jacket, it's cold in here. Mommy

As I was getting prep for the procedure, I was looking around the office at all the shades of purple and it made me think about Santana and so I sent her this message: > Click Here <

So while I was waiting to be taken back, I passed the time playing on my iPad, texting and facebooking the kids, etc. and the last things I remembered are: they walked me back to the surgery room; told me to lay on my left side; the nurse put the medicine in my IV; the doctor said I'll be right over to talk to you.... and just like that A BLOCK OF TIME is missing from your memory...

My first memories after the procedure are: seeing Shanel, walking briefly to the car and then getting in the bed at home. But I can't tell you anything thing yet, since they sent me home and I was still drugged up most of the day and dosing in and out of sleep. So I'm assuming that Tuesday (since Monday is a holiday) that the doctors office will call to give me a better idea of what was revealed. Until then I have the patient instructions they sent home with me that tells me what they did  and what I'm suppose to do for the next week, so I'll share that:

During the procedure we found the following:
  • A direct laryngoscopy was performed. The uvula, epiglottis, vocal cords, valeculae, corniculate & arytenoid cartilages were symmetrical & non-inflammed. No lesions were noted.
  • Biopsies were obtained from the fundus to assess for Pernicious Anemia. (biopsy)
  • Biopsies were obtained from normal appearing antrum to rule out Helicobacter pylori.
  • Multiple cold forceps biopsies were obtained from normal appearing duodenal mucosa to rule out Giardia, Celiac disease, or microscopic Crohn's disease. (biopsy)
  • Otherwise normal EGD to jejunum
The doctor told Shanel that they took blood/tissue samples and submitted them for analysis and that we would go over the test results when I visit him next week.  As I mentioned before, I dosed in and out all day and felt a little nauseated at first. My throat was a little hoarse but not as sore as I thought it would be.

San Francisco - Day 1

Monday, September 27, 2010

Well, Mark & I along with our good friends Eddie & Joyce Rogers are off to San Francisco for our delayed anniversaries and well needed rest and relaxtion for a few days...

We stayed at the Hyatt on Fisherman's Wharf, located only a couple of blocks South of Fisherman's Wharf so what better way to start our whirl wind San Francisco experience than at the world famous tourist attraction, thriving, vibrant local neighborhood and commercial area - Fisherman's Wharf - which is home to world-class dining, shopping, hotels and endless entertainment opportunities.  For more info on the picture of the crabs click here...

You simply cannot visit San Francisco without strolling by Boudin's on Jefferson Street to see their bakers in action thru a 30 foot observation window as they create batches of bread by hand turning them into the fabulous edible teddy bears, crabs, lobsters, alligators and more....
Do I need to say more??? They are everywhere and definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. I do have 2 favorites but they come later on Day 2.  My "TRAVELERS TIP" here - travel with lots of $1.00 bills, can you guess why?
Is there anyone who seriously doesn't know something about Alcatraz - the island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles offshore often referred to as The Rock.  Through the years it has served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison until 1963 when it was closed. Then later in 1972, it became a national recreation area. Today it is a historic site and open to tours.  The island can be reached by ferry from Pier 33 which is near Fisherman's Wharf.  Although we chose not to tour the island on this trip, you will see many photo shots of it as we tour San Francisco. It is visible from pretty much every where you go in the city.

Whether it's family fun, unique shopping (110+ stores), an up close look at the sea lions or delightful dining, PIER 39 is the place to be... it is one of the largest tourist destinations in the city. It is also the place to catch your tour boats for Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Aquarium of the Bay is also located here as well as a Venetian Carousel, Theater 39 and so much more.

Oh, and I haven't forgotten about the Sea Lions, they just deserve their own little paragraph. They are known as the world's "smelliest tourist attraction." For the past 20 years, hundreds of noisy, lazy, smelly sea lions have conquered the boat docks at Pier 39 in San Francisco and been a top tourist attraction. It's a must see attraction when visiting San Francisco.

Heralded as one of the top 10 construction achievements of the 20th Century... Have you ever wondered why the Golden Gate Bridge isn't painted GOLD???  You will see lots more pictures of the bridge coming up over the next couple of days.

Oh but this is a MUST DO... and I will even share a "golden tip" with you on how to catch a ride and miss the long waiting lines, and they are long of course because everybody has to ride the cable cars. Okay so this tip was given to me compliments of one of my new homeless friends, but I can't give it to you until tomorrow which will be Day 2 of our trip because that's when he gave it to me.


The pictures below were taken for no other reason than I thought it was a hilarious site to see these women caring a sofa UP the STEEP Streets of San Francisco. In one of the shots you see them stopping to catch their breath.

San Francisco - Day 2



The market is held both in front of the Ferry Building and on the rear plaza overlooking the Bay.  The markets offer fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, meats and eggs from small regional farmers and ranchers, many of whom are certified organic.  A wealth of other products include regional artisan specialties such as breads, cheeses and jams.  Also includes local restaurants serving a variety of hot, delicious meals as you can see from some of the pictures.  My TIP - GO HUNGRY!
Okay, so I promised to tell you who my 2 favorite street performers were... did you guess yet.  Well taking 2nd place would be the "Tapping Guys" I really enjoyed watching them and thought that Bri would love to have seen this as well.  And topping out the # 1 spot for Anna's favorite San Francisco Street Performer is 'THE BUSH MAN"  Oh my goodness, I literally stood on that street corner watching this man scare the heck out of people for 1/2 an hour and could have stayed all night (til it got cold) if Mark, Eddie and Joyce hadn't pulled me away. There was nothing funnier than this, I have so many video clips and will try to get
 some up on the blog.

The CROOKEDEST (most winding) street in the world. It is located on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets and is 1/4 mile long. The one way road has eight sharp turns or switchbacks and was orginally designed in order to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade which was too steep for most vehicles to climb.

This was our day to walk/run across the Golden Gate Bridge. I think by the end of this 2nd day we had walked over 20,000 steps. These pictures are all taken on/at/from different points on the bridge.  Have you ever wanted to know How Long It Took to Build the Bridge?

San Francisco - Day 3


I can not say enough about this place. We ate here the day before we left San Francisco and we wished we had known about it earlier in our stay because we would have eaten here everyday. Prices are great and food is great! All food was made to order and the staff who runs the business were very courteous. It's just a little cafe right across the street from our hotel that only served breakfast and lunch from 7am to 1pm daily.

If you want the ultimate sightseeing experience then this is it, rent a GoCar. It is a talking GPS guided tour car that takes you all over the city and I promise you won't ever get really lost.  My BIG Tip here is to book your tour for your 1st day then as you are touring you can make notes as to want things you really want to go back and see in more detail. Oh, and dress warm, the car is open and at times it was a little nippy.  Click here for more info on GoCar GPS Guided Tours...


San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. It is another of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco. You can click here to learn more about the attractions, culture, history and events in Chinatown.
We had the most fabulous dinner at this truly authentic Italian restuarant that we found in Little Italy, so if you ever make it to San Francisco I would highly recommend that you find this place. Volare Trattoria located at 561 Columbus Avenue, serves hearty pastas, ravioli, gnocchi, pizza, and tiramisu made daily plus fresh seafood and grilled meats at reasonable prices. From the restaurant you get a bird's eye view of historical Washington Square Park and St. Peter & Paul Church in the heart of North Beach. One last great meal to end our last night in San Francisco.

San Francisco Video - TAPPERS

This is the video from one of the many Street Performers that can be found on the streets of San Francisco. If you'd like to see the orginal post from our Anniversary in San Francisco just CLICK HERE.

San Francisco Videos - the BUSH MAN

The following very short video clips are from our visit a couple of weeks ago to San Francisco for our Anniversary. As mentioned in the original post this was the highlight of the entire trip for me. I hope you enjoy these and get a GREAT BIG BELLY laugh from watching... ENJOY!










A Nightmare!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I think having two recent rattlesnake visits within only a couple of days and now this was a little too much for my blood. I went to bed later than I needed to last night and was woken up by Shamesha at 11:30PM telling me that I had to come see the size of this spider that was on the wall right above the casita door. So I dragged myself out of bed, across the house, down the stairs to see what all the commotion was about... I SHOULD'VE STAYED IN BED... a GIGANTIC Tarantula!!!

I took one look and turned around leaving Mark, Shamesha and Reggie attempting to capture it in a tupperware container. Getting back into bed, I could hear them going on and on, and I guess I did realize before falling back to sleep that they had caught it and that it was in the kitchen SOMEWHERE!  I yelled out, telling them to tape down the top and with that on my mind I drifted back to sleep...

ONLY to wake up an hour later from a nightmare screaming. I was in the kitchen and the tarantula was growing fast, and it got so big that it was knocking the top off of the tupperware box. I reached over to hold the top down but the thing got out anyways and was biting me and I screamed - waking up myself and Mark. I think I scared him (Mark) more than myself, so much so that he got up without my even asking him too, turned the alarm off and took the tarantula outside on the patio... I guess he knew I wasn't going back to sleep with that thing in the house.

Okay, permission granted - you can laugh if you want to because Mark and I have been laughing all morning BUT it certainly wasn't funny at the time it happened.  I will NEVER AGAIN build or move into a house on the mountain preserves. END OF STORY!

My Life In 2 Quart Size BAGGIES!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cardinals 17 vs Rams 13

ST. LOUIS, MO - Shamara and I travel to St. Louis and met up with Ken's parents and some other friends for the Cardinals vs Rams game. Here are a few pictures of us hanging out before the game.

Ken's friend Bradley Fletcher # 32 Cornerback for the Rams graciously provided us with our fabulous seats for this game in their "Family Section" no less. All the Rams fans around us wanted to know how in the world we were able to score such a great spot. It's all about who you know! Seriously though, the crowd around us was very kind and gracious throughout the entire game even when we were yelling for the Cardinals. Thanks Bradley!

These are all pictures of the game in full force...


THE BEST PLAY OF THE DAY...Ken slammed this guy so hard his helmet flew off, pretty exciting stuff.

WHY I TITLED MY POST - "My Life In 2 Quart Size BAGGIES!"

The most interesting part of this entire trip was the fact that it was pretty much a turn around trip. We flew in Saturday afternoon, spent the night and was ready for the game on Sunday. Here's the tricky part - after the game we had to go immediately to the airport to catch our flight, which meant that we couldn't travel with any bags because we wouldn't have anywhere to store them while at the game. So Shamara and I travel with only our purses carrying with us only 1 change of clothes, our toiletries & phone charges in quart size baggies and the camara OF COURSE. Pretty amazing if I must say so myself and Shamara has learned a whole new way of life.

A Summary of Our Trip in RANDOM THOUGHTS:
  • Traveling on Saturday 9/11/10 the 9th anniversary of September 11th.
  • There was absolutely NO lines coming thru security.
  • Already 2 people who I've shocked when telling them that Shamara is my daughter.
  • When visiting a different city, how is it that people know you are not from "around here." Is there an invisible sign that says, "I'm not from here." JUST ASKING!
  • How come there's a man talking to us with a piece of tissue up his nose?
  • How do you sleep GRACEFULLY on a plane?
  • I swear Arizona is the only city that is not green.
  • Why is it that riding in taxi's makes you feel dirty?
  • If this taxi cab driver don't get off the bumper of that car...

It's Our Anniversary!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Today is our ANNIVERSARY! We started the day at church with the family and how appropriate that today's message was on "Relationships." After church we took the kids home and Mark & I spent some quality time alone without the kids. We went to lunch at Sauce in Chandler where we enjoy a couple of different types of thin crust chicken pizzas and topped that off with some really good cheese cake. After a leisurely lunch we went to see the movie Machete. Great lunch, not so great of a movie but priceless time spent together.

One thing that has always been very important to us and that we have made a priority in our lives is our family and so how could an anniversary celebration be complete without some type of celebration with the kids? So after our lunch and movie we gathered the kids (all who was available) and off we went to play some LASER TAG at Stratum in Mesa. I had never done this before so it took me a couple of games to get the hang of it but after that I had NO MERCY for anyone not even the little kids running around, if you weren't on my team you were gettin' zapped. I think Reggie, Ken and Shamesha monopolized the game... but the rest of us were doing our best to not be to far behind. Definitely something we'll look forward to doing again.


I love all the different sides of you. I love the tender side that makes me feel safe & protected. I love the playful side that can make ordinary times fun & fun times even more memorable... You're everything I wanted in a partner & a friend, & everything I need to feel loved. Happy Anniversary Baby! Song of Solomon 3:4


  • Adele James: Happy anniversary to the both of you. If everyone loved like the two of youu love, what a difference there would be in this world and relationships. I love you both.
  • Kendra Elliott Tillman: Happy Anniversary! You are great example to all of us younger married couples. May God continue to bless your marriage.
  • Joan Wax Guilliam: Happy Anniversary 2 U both !!
  • Kandi Andresen: Happy Anniversary to 2 awesome people. May the Lord continue to bless you in your marriage! You both are a great example to so many people. Keep growing in your love for our Lord and each other. Love you both.
  • Ruth M Zappe: Blessings and many more anniversaries to come! Thanks for your reflection of Jesus!
  • Becky Adams: Happy Anniversary to a great couple!
  • Pat Foley: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you both!!
  • Mona Ekstrand: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you & Mark! May God bless you with many more years filled with His abundant love & joy!
  • Santana Smith: Happy Anniversary to my parents!
  • Espi Mitchell: Happy Anniversary!!
  • Aubrey Carter: Awe yes Happy Anniversary to them!!!
  • Lorrie Loomer: Happy Anniversary!!!
  • Shanel C. Smith: Happy anniversary love u!!
  • Reggie Sheffield: Happy anniversary!!! Have fun on ur special day.
  • Mark C Smith II: Happy anniversary!!
  • Cammeron Clark: Happy Anniversary!
  • Elizabeth Clark: Happy Anniversary! Have a blessed day!
  • Frank Haynes: Happy Anniversary to Mark and Annadean! May you have many more great years together.

My First Sushi Experience

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We met the kids for Sushi this afternoon at RA in Ahwatukee.

Call me a rookie, but I assumed that all sushi was raw fish. I was relieved to find out that was not the case at all but still too scared to try the raw fish so I ate the safe non-raw rolls only. The flavors were pretty interesting and overall I think it was a good experience. I don’t think I will be eating sushi every week or anything, but it was definitely a nice change of pace from what I was used to but the company kept while eating it was even BETTER!

Thank you kids for a DYNAMITE afternoon out!

A Purple Doctor's Office

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hi Tana Banana, I miss you! I'm at the Endoscopy Center in Scottsdale getting ready for the upper GI scope. The nurse just poked me in my hand to start the IV, her name is Sarah, she's nice. I just told them that you are a nurse and that you'd love working in this office because it's all PURPLE! The walls, cabinets and... even the bathroom door are different shades of purple. Oh and the floors are purple & gray checkered too. I'm gonna try to sneak some pictures with my iPhone & post them later when I'm conscious. It's all pretty cool and just makes me think of you & miss you all the more. I love you, Mommy!

Cardinals vs Redskins

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shanel, Shamara and I went to the Cardinals game tonight as they closed out the pre-season with a 20-10 home win over the Washington Redskins.

Pretty Girl!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Santana posted this picture the other day on FB and I thought it was adorable and so I stole it. She'll probably be mad at me but it's all her fault since she doesn't let me take pictures of her.
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