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Mar 21

Posted by: ACHA
3/21/2012 10:10 AM  RssIcon

By Jennifer Gooden

Ziggy and I had been engaged for quite some time and we kept putting it off and putting it off. The whole wedding thing. Between both of us going to school full time, having full-time jobs and me seeing a new doctor every week, who has time to plan a wedding? Not us, that is for sure. We could barely find time to think about colors (purple and silver, by the way), let alone assemble a guest list.

Even though we have been so busy I still am your typical girl. I mean, every girl dreams about it—the colors, the people, the venue, the food. Most importantly, the dress. I always dreamed about the dress. I had even tried on a few. But I always came back to my scar. While proud to wear it, I will say it is not the most fashionable accessory, especially for a wedding dress. But one day—one random day at the mall—I saw a little white dress that I dared to put on. A summery, beachy, post-Labor Day dress. Not your traditional white ball gown. But we are far from a traditional couple.

So I grabbed the gown and slipped it on. It fit just right. And for once my eyes didn’t divert directly to my scar. I noticed me and the dress and how I felt. Amazing—the way they say you should. The way I knew I should. When my eyes finally settled on my scar I knew that this was the dress. I was strong enough to get past my own insecurities. Strong enough to keep my head high. Strong enough to love myself and my flaws. Strong enough to love Ziggy and his flaws. Strong enough to say I do.

I headed to the cashier, bought my dress, and walked out of that store feeling like a million bucks. I called Ziggy and told him I had found “it.” He replied, “Guess we have to set a date then. How is next Friday?” (It was Wednesday.) I responded “It’s a date.”

Our wedding day I woke up to a growling stomach. I made some wedding day oats and jumped into my dress. Then we gathered with just our parents and very strongly said “I do.”

Wedding Day Oats


6 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup dried, diced apples
1 1/3 nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup Splenda
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container in a cool and dry place for up to 6 months.

To Prepare:

  1. To prepare oatmeal, shake your container to mix well.
  2. Fill small saucepan 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Mix together 1/2 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup oatmeal mixture in bowl or large cup.
  4. Stir oatmeal and water and then let stand for one minute or until oatmeal reaches your desired consistency.
  5. Mix in berries or nuts if you desire.

Jennifer Gooden is an emergency department nurse who was born with transposition of the great arteries, as well as other congenital heart defects. She and her husband Ziggy are working on transitioning to a more healthy lifestyle. Read more about their adventures in and out of the kitchen at their blog.

Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

2 comment(s) so far...


Re: Stronger

Thats awesome Jennifer! Good for you and congratulations! I'm a heart surgery survivor too and I always think.. when the time comes and I start looking at wedding gowns, what am I going to do about my scar- will you see it in the pictures? Will I get a dress to cover it or just cover it with make up on the big day? I hope when my time comes I'm as brave as you to not worry about it showing... At this point in my life, after all my surgeries I think of it as my battle scar and have the right to show it off to to the world. If it is in pictures, who cares, it is a part of what makes us, us. I'm glad you were able to look at yourself as a beautiful bride and not at your scar. Best of luck!

By Louise Savarese on   3/21/2012 10:41 AM

Re: Stronger

Congratulations Jennifer and Ziggy!

Like you, I have been extrememly self-concious of my scar my entire life. I agree that it is not a fashionable accessory and although I wear it proudly as you do, I hate when people look at "it" instead of me. So for my wedding in 1997, I bought a high-neck, cap sleeve beaded wedding dress with a big ball gown.

Styles have really changed since then (thank goodness!), but I know now, no one at my wedding (or yours) would have been looking at my scar, they would have been looking at the bride! Best of luck to you both!

By Jen Fisher on   3/22/2012 2:16 PM

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