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Seven Weeks Post-Op

Today marks seven weeks ago that I had surgery to repair my trimalleolar fracture.

It’s hard to believe that it was two months ago (11/13/16) that I fell and broke my ankle in three places!

I hope you’re not getting tired of these posts, but I need them to document my progress.  I also hope that they’ll be a source of inspiration to others who may be going through something similar.

I’ve got to tell you that I feel as though I’ve come a long way this past week.

I enjoyed one last day before I had to go back to school.  A nap was in order.

It was short-lived, though.  I got up and prepared another batch of the Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew.  I wanted to have something for lunch the rest of the week.

I had a cute helper.

I went out to check the mail later in the afternoon and, on a whim, decided to see if I could crutch my way to the corner of my street.

I did, and when I got back to my house, I decided to put on the new ear buds that the Mr. had given me for Christmas…the ones that record my heartbeat and calories burned…and made another round!  I wound up walking almost a mile!  It was the first mile I’d collected for Charity Miles (check out the free app) since November 13th, the day I broke my ankle.

I cannot tell you what an emotional lift my walk was to me.  The longer I walked/crutched, the more I could envision myself walking normally again.  My gait became more natural, and I began pressing less and less on my crutches.  The weather was gorgeous that day, so being out and about was therapeutic.

We resumed school the next day.  Gambit was not amused.

It was my first day back at work since I got my boot on the 23rd of December.  Thank goodness I’d had practice walking around on crutches.

I dressed up in one of the new outfits the Mr. bought me after Christmas.

I took my scooter to work each day last week, but I only used it a couple of times.  I was supposed to be putting 75% body weight on my foot, so I knew that taking the easy way out by relying on the scooter too heavily would hinder my progress.

The first day back was a little tough, and my ankle swelled pretty good, as did my foot.  Still, I managed a fun dinner out, in the middle of the week, with my hubby…along with a rare glass of wine…rare these days because I’m being extra careful with what I’m putting into my body so the focus can be on healing.

Thank goodness for Epsom Salt!  I bought this from Amazon.  The salt is finer, so it dissolves a little better.

Last Wednesday marked a BIG milestone for me.

I got to sleep in bed WITHOUT the boot!

It was the first time in almost two months that my foot wasn’t confined while I slept.

I still kept it elevated on a pillow, but y’all…to be able to turn, gently, without five extra pounds weighing me down…

Oh my goodness!

When I woke up, nearly all of the swelling in my leg was gone.  It looked nearly normal.

Needless to say, I love bedtime now.  I’d dreaded it up to this point because I never slept well.  My sleep quality is slowly improving each night, although I am being super-careful not to twist my ankle when I turn over at night.

I went walking again on Thursday, but I think I overdid it a little.

By the end of first period on Friday, my ankle was shot.  I still have one area that hurts with regularity.  It’s the area where I think I have a pin, and it feels like a super-bad blister when it starts hurting.  The skin around it also gets red.

I took pictures of it and sent them to my nurse.  She still hasn’t responded.  Ugh.  I suspect that she must be out because she’s always so diligent to reply.

Before the weather turned cold on Friday, I did manage to get out and about (despite my sore ankle)…

I’ve definitely gotten more adept with the crutches and move along pretty well!

The weather here in Florida turned bitter cold late Friday night and through the weekend.  I’d been told that I’d be able to feel it in my bionic ankle, and boy did I ever!  It ached so badly Friday and Saturday night that I had to take Advil.  I’m praying that this gets easier with each cold season.  I cannot like this.  At all.

I must have been exhausted after the first few days back to school.  I got the best sleep since before I broke my ankle.

All of that rest was good for my ankle.  It looked amazing when I woke up.

This is the side that hit the floor directly when I fell.

This is the side that has the plate.

This is the side that has the plate.

Gambit acts as my personal escort now.  He’s constantly by my side in the house…

The Mr. and I went to a movie Saturday.  We finally saw Rogue One, which we enjoyed.  I crutched my way around the theater and up and down the stairs about three times.  On the way back to my seat after using the restroom, I saw a guy wearing a boot.  Of course I had to talk, and I learned that he’d broken his bone above his ankle the week after I broke mine.  He’s sporting a plate and screws too.  He gets around with a cane.  It seems that I keep running into people with similar injuries.  It’s my own little family.  ❤

I found these cute socks at Kohl’s on Sunday when we went shopping after church.  They were on clearance, and I wound up getting them free after we used Kohl’s cash.

I also found these slippers, which I got free as well after using my store cash.

It hurts a little to put anything around the back of my right foot.  Considering that I broke a bone in the back, that makes sense.  It’s still swollen back there!

As my healing progresses, I am gaining more independence.  I can now get myself into and out of the shower unaided.  Yay!  I can also get myself into the bathtub, on those nights that I feel like soaking my ankle this way.  I still need help getting out of the bath, though.  I’m very afraid of falling again.

I can do even more things around the house.  I ironed clothes Sunday night after the Mr. set up the ironing board for me.  I only dropped a crutch twice and spilled a cup of water once.  Oops.

I haven’t gotten a bone density test done yet, but I’m already taking supplements…

Yeah, my house is starting to look more and more like your grandma’s house.

Here’s a homeopathic gel I read about online.

You can find Arnica in gel and cream forms.  I found the above at Walmart.  I’ve had burning pain since before my cast was removed.  Massaging my leg with coconut oil had helped a little.  This gel is magic.  I can put it on and be pain free shortly afterward.  I read about it on a broken ankle support forum.  Thank you, Lord, for allowing man to invent the internet.  🙂

So, that’s my update for this week.  I continue to be amazed at God’s grace and the way He constantly provides for me.  Every time I’ve been anxious, I’ve felt His Spirit calming me down.  Though I still sometimes question why I have had to go through this, I choose to trust the Author of my story.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  I know that they are a major reason why I’m healing…why I’m so close to taking my first steps unaided.

 

New Year Hodgepodge

Happy New Year, y’all!  Boy, 2016 flew by, didn’t it?!  It’s hard to believe that we are back in January!  Enough about that, though.  Let’s jump into Joyce’s questions, shall we?  Don’t forget to link back up with her and visit others to see how they answered.  Oh, and if I don’t get back to you right away, please forgive me!  Today is our first day back to school after the break, so things are going to be h-e-c-t-i-c…especially because I had a sub the two days before we left so I’ll be picking up the pieces after that.  Ahem.

1.  Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday. 

Just one?  I don’t know if I can choose.  We had a wedding AND Christmas to celebrate!  I think, though, that one of my favorite moments was the time my crew of five spent around the tree at my house opening presents.  We did this the night before we left to meet up with our extended family.  Having all of us together, in those moments, will forever be priceless to me.  My boy is in the military now…lots and lots of miles away from me…and I won’t know from year to year if he and his girl will be able to come home for the holidays.  Having this first Christmas with my babies together just felt so right.  Sigh.

2.  What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?

I made a Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew (recipe from Oh She Glows recipe book) last week.  It was easy to prepare and packed with flavor!

3.  What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

Even though Rooster and his girl tied the knot in March before he left for basic training, they had their big wedding on the 18th of December.  Watching them stand together in front of the uniform-clad pastor, who is a chaplain in the Air Force, was beautiful.  I haven’t blogged about the wedding yet (I am waiting for pictures), I will share that I did cry.  To watch your youngest…your son…stand, oh so handsome in his Air Force blues…beside his beautiful girl.  There just aren’t words…

4.  What does fresh start mean to you?

Fresh start means starting anew…leaving behind what was and reaching for what will be.

For me, it means leaving behind the angst of the last two months as I begin to walk again…trying to step out in faith and not fear, which there’s much of, trusting God for what lies ahead.

5.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

I’m going to rate 2016 as a 9 in terms of personal achievement.  It really was a wonderful year for me.  Professionally, I felt so validated for the past six years of hard work.  Personally, with my fitness goals, I felt better than I ever had.  Despite my ankle break in November, I can still view 2016 in a positive light.

6.  Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you’re like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it’s used. There were quite a few on this year’s list I’d never heard before.

Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

 

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I would ban “on fleek.”  I hear this term ALL.  THE.  TIME.  at school.  Blech.

7.  Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. 

My immediate goal for this year is to walk normally again.  I blogged about that a couple of days ago, but it bears repeating.  I’m at seven weeks post-breakage / six weeks post-surgery.  Sometimes, healing feels like it’s been a slow process.  Then, I look back at pictures from a couple of weeks ago, because I am the picture-taking-queen, and I see how far along I’ve come.  My incisions are almost healed fully, and the swelling has gone down so much.  My foot looks nearly normal again (until it swells after I’ve been walking on crutches).

Still, I have quite a ways to go until I can walk, unaided, on the right foot.

So, I know it could be considered a “superficial” goal.  It’s certainly not soul-searching or whatnot.  It is practical, though.

Sure, I have other goals for my life, but I think I’ll just keep those under wraps for now.

8.  My Random Thought

I think I’ll use this space to brag on my Chicky.  Chicky isn’t much of a homebody.  She doesn’t come “home” (aka, here) to visit often.  I understand.  She has her own life down in sunny south Florida.  Still, she came home for my surgery in November and was back again during the Christmas break.  She was here for two weeks!  We had our ups and downs…hard conversations that needed to be had…but overall, it was a wonderful visit.

She helped out so much.  She deep-cleaned most of our house.  She ran errands and was tender in her care for me.  She never complained about taking the scooter out of the back of the car or getting my crutches ready for me.  She prepared dinner a couple of times and, basically, helped the Mr. keep our household running.

Something I’ve always prided myself on is my independence.  Breaking my ankle has made me realize that asking for help is okay.  My Chicky stepped right in and did her thing.  Quite well, I might add.

Six Weeks Post-Op

Happy January 2nd to you!

Last night marked seven weeks since I broke my ankle.  Today marks six weeks since I had surgery to fix the three fractures that I got when I fell over my dog (in the dark).

Here is a list that the emergency room doctor wrote for me the night I broke it…

Yesterday, out of curiosity, I googled the bones.  Here are some pictures (nothing gross, I promise)…

If you’re wondering what the pinning looks like, here’s a photo (nothing gross)…

Here’s another illustration (it’s a little yucky)…

You might remember that I went to the doctor on December 21st and had the cast that I’d worn for three weeks removed.  It was replaced by a removable boot.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve progressively been adding more weight to my bum leg.

Using a scale to figure out what 25% feels like was harder than it looked!

Rooster took these pictures of me the first day I used the walker.  What a workout!

Oh goodness, but this has been so hard!  The first day I added 25% weight and walked around with a walker, my foot swelled so badly!  It was almost comical, except that it wasn’t.  It freaked me out a lot.  I took it easy the next couple of days to allow the swelling to go down.

I was also instructed to begin making air motions with my foot to work on my range of motion.

Meanwhile, my left leg, which has been doing all of the work for both legs, began hurting.

I freaked out a little.  It felt like I was getting a shin splint, which I could not afford!  The Monday after Christmas, I emailed my nurse; I was worried about stress fractures given that my bones are brittle (a discovery through this ordeal).  She assured me that it is very normal to feel pain in the supporting leg and confirmed my guess that wearing a more supportive shoe on that foot would help.

I’ve since been babying the leg a little…icing it when it’s sore…and wearing a sneaker when I walk.

I’ve noticed that the pain is worse the more I’m up walking around.  Duh.  That may seem silly, but I’ll admit that I’ve taken it a little easy since we got home from visiting family.  That hasn’t been good because I’m supposed to be working my bum leg, which swells when I walk, and which makes my left leg pain flare up.

It’s a brutal cycle, let me tell you.

When we were visiting the Mr.’s parents, his mom had told me that one of her friends swore by Epsom salt baths to help with swelling post-surgery.

I’m all about homeopathic treatments, so I jumped on board and got my family to buy me some.  I’ve been faithfully bathing with the salts or soaking my feet in a bucket of Epsom salt water.

I've already gone through this bag and half of another. I've got a large bag coming from Amazon!

I’ve already gone through this bag and half of another. I’ve got a large bag coming from Amazon!

Last night, I noticed an immediate difference in the swelling when I took my foot out of the bucket.  It had swollen on the left side of my ankle, near one of my bad breaks.  The swelling was GONE.  Even the Mr., who’s been poo-pooing this whole thing, noticed.

Excuse the lines on my foot. They are from my knitted sock.

Excuse the lines on my foot. They are from my knitted sock.

I’ve been doing more research now that I’m emotionally ready to handle it.  One thing I looked for was an answer to why my skin has been burning since I got my cast off.  I discovered that this is due to the nerve block I had during my surgery.  My nerves are asleep right now, but they are trying to wake up.  It’s painful.  It feels like a bad sunburn every time I have my boot off and the skin is exposed to the air.  I may have found a cream to help with that, though.  The Mr. is taking me to the store to purchase it today.  I’ll report back on it later.

So, the positives, since I just realized that much of what I’ve already said sounds negative.

I’m noticing that the walking is getting easier.  Although it’s been difficult to get to 50% body weight…this week’s goal…I am noticing less heel pain when I put my foot down.  I have an area on the left side of my heel (the bottom part) that feels like a hard knot.  Left side of the heel…where my ankle hit the floor and broke so badly.  No coincidence.  I’ve read that the pain is from the Achilles tendon trying to stretch.  It’s getting better though!

I’m massaging my foot every time I have the boot off.  This is helping with the nerve pain and, I believe, distributing the swelling.

The need to walk has been a great excuse to go shopping.

I’ve done a LOT of this since Christmas.

A lot.

I did some online shopping on the drive home.  I’d wanted to get more Ginger Snaps charms for the necklace that Super Sis’s family gave me, but the store wasn’t open.  I found a coupon code to get a fifth charm free and, since they were pretty inexpensive, I went for it.

We did our traditional after-Christmas shopping and I bought Express jeans on sale for half off!  I wound up only paying about $20 after I found a gift card from last year in my wallet!

We’ve also done a bit of shopping since we got home.  Chicky went with us one time.  The Mr. and I have ventured out a few times on our own, though.

One place I shopped at was a jewelry store.  I had Pandora charms on my mind…

For the record, I didn’t get the above charms.  If you’re in my family, I would be most pleased to see these gifted to me though.  😀

I did leave with three new charms (one of them was free because of a great sale)…

The family, dog paw, and flag charms joined the heart/birthstone charm that the Mr.’s parents had bought to accompany the bracelet.

Yesterday, we headed to Dillards for their semi-annual ginormous sale.  I tried on a LOT of stuff, including these dresses…

See my crutch peeking out from the right.

See my crutch peeking out from the right.

I loved the next dress…

I didn’t buy ANYTHING from Dillards, but my ankle got a good workout.  The people, y’all!  It was an obstacle course!

We headed over to American Eagle, and I did buy a few things.  No pictures, though.

By this time, my ankle was done.  I was in a lot of pain, so we headed home so I could rest it before dinner.

Another thing I’m able to do now is cook.

Last week, I made this Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew.  It was super easy and delicious!

Yesterday, I made another batch of chocolate covered peanut butter Ritz crackers.  I’d made a couple dozen before Christmas, but I had not put in enough peanut butter.  I made this layer a lot thicker this time, and YUM!

I’m even able to clean a little!

For those of you who are concerned that I’m pushing myself too hard, take heart.  I’m listening to my body, I promise.  I’m sitting when I need to, icing when my muscles are sore, and keeping close tabs on my pain to determine just how far to push myself.

Because of the research I’ve been doing, I understand that this is going to be a longer process than I’d like.  Making a complete recovery is my highest priority, but pushing myself a little is also part of that process.

I am thankful for the encouraging words and prayers that you lift up daily.  I know I wouldn’t be this far along if not for the healing power of the Great Physician.

2017 New Year’s Day Thoughts

Happy New Year!

I hope that you were able to ring in 2017 with a loved one…or two or three.

I actually watched the ball drop by myself…nearly in the dark after the bulb in my lamp blew.

The Mr. had gone to bed early because he had to work first thing in the morning (a rare event), and Chicky had hit the hay as well in anticipation of her drive home.

Oh, to be sure, the day had been filled with a bit of fun.

I celebrated Gambit’s Gotcha Day.

Five years ago, on New Year’s Eve, this precious baby, who was homeless at the time, followed me around the neighborhood while I took Molly on a walk.

He acted like he belonged to me.

He was skinny; his ribs were showing through.  He didn’t have a collar.  He followed me right into the garage when I got home.  The Mr. and Rooster quickly fell in love with him, and after feeding him at least three bowls of food, we set up a place for him to sleep in the garage.  Rooster and the Mr. checked on him frequently; it was a frigid night.

We took him to the vet the next day to see if he was chipped.  He wasn’t.  We let him into the back yard to see how he’d fare with the other dogs, and they all got along marvelously.  After a tick bath, we let him sleep in the house that night and found him, the next morning, snuggled against Rooster in bed.

We were in love, and after one quick drive to the animal shelter to get him checked again for a chip, we made the decision to keep him.

This dog has brought so much joy to our lives.  He is incredibly affectionate and very loyal.

Late in the day, Chicky suggested that we go bowling.  We’d never done that on New Year’s Eve before, but we wanted something to do, so off we went.

I was not about to be left out of the fun and told the Mr. as much.  I will admit that I was a little intimidated though.

The guy at the desk found me the lightest adult ball in the place, and when it was my turn, the Mr. carried it for me as I lined up.

I am able to put a little weight on my foot now, so I balanced with my crutches on my left side.

It wasn’t pretty, y’all, but I managed to get the ball down the lane.

It took me a few trips to discover that I could rest my boot behind me for leverage.

Y’all, my first ball went STRAIGHT down the lane!  I knocked down six pins but would have probably knocked them all down had I been able to put more power behind my throw.

The next trip down, I knocked down two more!  I was thrilled!  My family was shocked, as was a sweet friend who I bumped into (hey, Jenny!) who was bowling in the lane beside me.

So it was with Chicky and the Mr.’s help, I bowled two games.

I broke 60 both times, although my second game was uglier than my first.  There were a lot of gutter balls as I tried to adjust for my leg being in the way.  The hubby gave me some good pointers about turning my left foot in the direction I planned to throw and keeping my wrist straight so I wouldn’t throw a hook shot every time.

Still, I was pleased.

I’m learning that life isn’t always about winning.  It’s about #findingjoyinthejourney.

After our second game, we went home.  Chicky got me set up with a bucket of warm water and Epsom salt.  I had a knot on my ankle from the swelling, and boy was it sore!  This getting up and acting like things are normal is tough on my body right now.

I settled into my recliner and watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  Freeform has been having a Harry Potter marathon, which I can totally dig.

I did manage to sleep really well.  Thankfully, my sleep quality is slowly improving as I figure out more comfortable ways to rest.

And so I find myself on my own for a bit while the Mr. works and Chicky begins her drive home (with a side trip to her grandparents’ house to help put away their decorations).

—————————————————-

So, what do I hope for in 2017?  I’m not sure that I want to make any resolutions.

I know, though, that number one on my list is to walk normally again.  This is going to to be a painful process once I begin physical therapy in two or three weeks.

I am also praying that I’ll eventually be pain-free again.  I’m experiencing some side effects from the nerve block I gave approval to before my surgery.  For the record, if something like this happens to you, don’t get the nerve block.  The burning feeling is horrible.  It feels like I have a sunburn whenever I remove my sock.  The numbness is also aggravating.  I’m massaging my foot regularly, which has helped a lot.  I have read that the burning will go away, but it will take time.

Looks almost normal when I haven't walked much on it! Gives me hope that one day this will be what I see on a regular basis again!

Looks almost normal when I haven’t walked much on it! Gives me hope that one day this will be what I see on a regular basis again!

I’m also hoping that the pain from skin sensitivity on the inside of my ankle will go away.  I don’t know if one of the pins is too close to the surface of the skin, and that’s what’s causing the discomfort.  It’s one of the questions I plan on asking when I return to the doctor mid-month.

Look how nicely the incision is healing!

Look how nicely the incision is healing!

During 2017, I want to continue growing closer to the Lord.  Part of that plan includes a new Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study I’m going to participate in.  It starts on the 23rd of this month and will run for six weeks.  I received my book in the mail a few days ago.

Another hope for 2017 is that I find my way through some of the frustrations I’m having with teaching.  This profession is so challenging, and I just don’t understand some of the mandates that people from on high impose upon those of us working in the trenches.  Kids are seen as numbers, not individuals, and that angers me.  Accountability is a loose word randomly thrown around at convenience.  For a girl who sees things in black and white, this just rubs me the wrong way.

I want 2017 to be about simplification.  One thing the Mr. and I have come to recognize during these weeks of my injury is how messy things are.  As soon as I’m better, I plan on helping us purge some of the crap we’ve acquired over the years.

That doesn’t mean that I’m going to rid myself of yarn.  Some lines will not be crossed.  Ha!

Aside from these things, I’m just going to take things one step at a time.  I’ve learned that the best-laid plans sometimes don’t work out.  As a person who needs order in my life, this is challenging.  Yet, 2016 taught me that God really is in the details…that He always works things out in the most PERFECT way possible.

So it is my prayer that I will trust Him even more as I seek to follow His lead.

I hope you have a wonderful day as you celebrate the promise of an unwritten year.

2016 Ruminations

Can you believe that it’s the last day of the year?  I sure can’t.

What a crazy twelve months it’s been for me and my crew!

We started out the year with trepidation as we waited for Rooster’s basic training ship date.  Everything we did was tempered with the knowledge that he’d be gone soon.

I don’t know if there’s a good way for a mama to prepare for her chicklet to leave the nest.

January was a month of fun, though, as we treated the kids to a trip to Universal Studios.  This included Rooster’s then-girlfriend.  It was her first time there, and she had a blast!  We are both huge Harry Potter fans, so we bonded over all things Hogwarts.

We got Rooster’s ship date either right before or right after our trip.  It’s all a blur now.  I do remember that we had between two and three months’ notice.

The rest of the winter months flew by as I prepared my students for their state writing and reading tests.  That is the part of the school year that goes by in a flash.

The end of March got a little crazy when Rooster proposed to his girl on a Friday and married her in front of a judge that Sunday.  They knew they had found their special someone in each other; it was time to take care of business, being practical people (and needing her on his orders).

They married on March 20th, and he shipped out the first week of April.

That’s when my heart broke; the Mr. and I were so nervous as Rooster set out into an unknown world.

April and May were filled with much letter-writing and praying.  My phone never left my side, and calls from Texas were eagerly awaited for.

Meanwhile, I still taught and was shocked when I received an extremely prestigious award about three weeks after Rooster left.  It buoyed my spirits and gave me the push I needed to finish strong.

A grand celebration was in order the last week of May as we traveled to San Antonio to attend Rooster’s graduation from basic training.  He didn’t just squeak by either but graduated with honors, which a mere 10% of graduates manage to do.

The summer was filled with a lot of sun, sand, poolside views, and more praying as the season of no school was mixed with Rooster’s beginning weeks of tech school.  Weekly dinner dates with his new bride, who was still in town, kept us connected.

July saw the return home of the boy, if only for a few days, as he packed and prepared to move to his first duty station with his girl.

The see-you-later was very hard on this mama; the knowledge that her boy would be almost 3,000 miles away a bit too much to take in.

I didn’t have much time to cry, though, because a new school year was upon me, and along with that was not one prep but two.  These four months of school have been extremely challenging; balancing the needs of very low students with exceptionally high students a test of sorts.

And all along the way throughout my year was my drive to be more fit.  What started in September 2015 evolved into a passion.  I was more fit than I’d ever been, and I finally accomplished my goal of being able to call myself a runner.

Then came November 13th, when my legs got kicked out from under me…literally…and I broke my ankle.

What a way to begin the holiday season!  With family by my side, I prepared for the surgery that was performed a week later, and now, nearly seven weeks after my injury, I’m beginning to walk again with the aid of a boot, crutches, a walker, and a scooter.

Of course, my year wasn’t finished.  I had the joy of hobbling into my son’s arms at the airport as I welcomed he and his girl home for the holidays.  I also had his wedding to celebrate…eleven blissful days when my family was reunited.


2016 was filled with so many highs and lows.

I experienced elation and humbleness to the fullest extremes.

I went from being self-reliant to completely dependent.

I learned what it means to open your arms to let go and receive so much more in return.

Part of me would like to say that I’m glad to see the end of 2016; however, I know that I wouldn’t be the person I am without all of the events that transpired.

I don’t want to allow my frustration of breaking my ankle to cast a shadow over the joy that came with adding a daughter-in-law to the family and watching my son discover renewed focus in his life.  I feel like my ankle injury and the support that Chicky provided during and after my surgery helped us connect on a deeper level.

I am grateful for the lessons I learned during 2016…to never take family for granted…to thank my husband for the love he gives me every day…to let go of unhealthy relationships…to slow down so I can see things directly in front of me.

I don’t know what’s in store for me during 2017.  I only know that I serve a mighty God who loves me and uses everything in my life for good.

It is my trust in His plan that will help me put one foot in front of the other as I literally and figuratively walk the path He has set before me.

Christmas 2016 – Part 2

You’d think that with me being on Christmas Break, I’d be blogging more.

Not!

Ha!

In my last post, I detailed my family’s fun during our first Christmas gift exchange.  I’ll pick up from there.

We got up the next morning and packed up the car.  We were heading out for our family get-together in Bigger City, Florida.  It was the first time that we had Rooster’s girl with us, so we wanted to make sure she got the full experience.

The dogs were not pleased at our departure…

Poor Gambit. He had loved every second that his boy was home.

Poor Gambit. He had loved every second that his boy was home.

Pele had been allowed to sleep in the room with Rooster and his girl. He was in happy land!

During the ninety minute drive, I kept myself occupied by setting up the new headphones that the Mr. had gifted me.  It was pretty easy.  I downloaded the Under Armour app for my phone and after a quick Google search for instructions, paired it up with the headphones.

The hardest part was getting the ear buds in my ears correctly (this was after I changed out the covers for smaller ones to fit me).  I watched a video that helped a bit, and before too long, I had them in.

It took me a few more minutes to figure out how to get the heart rate monitor to do its thing (I had to install the headphones in the app and then press on the right ear bud).  I joked with the Mr. that he obviously hadn’t irritated me too much; my heart rate was a calm 79 bpm.

Our first afternoon and evening with the family were fairly calm events.  We ate lunch at the Mr.’s parents’ house and met up with the rest of the crew for dinner at Newk’s with an in-between stop to get Rooster a new phone.  I was relieved.  His old phone wasn’t staying charged for long, and because I’m the “owner” of the account, he needed me to approve his new phone purchase.  There had not been any phones to his liking where I live.  Fortunately, we were in Bigger City, Florida, where we had options.  He upgraded to a 7 Plus.

We actually went to bed fairly early because we knew we’d be busy the next day…Christmas Eve!

I slept on the couch downstairs; the Mr. slept on an air mattress in the den so our boy and his bride could have the upstairs room.  Because I haven’t been sleeping well, I was up around 6am.  I took advantage of the quiet time and started getting ready.  It takes me a lot longer with one healthy leg to stand on.

My foot was looking better than the day before.  I’d been instructed to start putting 25% body weight on it and had overdone it my first day.  It had swollen up like a balloon.  By the 24th, it wasn’t back like I wanted, but at least I could see more of my toes.

Soon, I was ready and raring to go.

Please admire the skinny jeans that I am now able to wear because the cast is GONE!!!

I texted Super Sis.  She’d graciously offered to be my chauffeur for the day.  I had lots of errands to run for Santa.

She drove my car…a long line of people to drive it since I got hurt.

We ALWAYS go shopping together on Christmas Eve.  It is one of my favorite traditions because we don’t get to spend much time together the rest of the year.

We ran by Starbucks; she treated me to a hot chocolate.

Because she wouldn’t let me pay, I had the idea to pay for the order of the car behind us in the drive-thru.  We tried driving away slowly to see the occupants’ reactions, but because of the way the lot was set up, we had to turn the corner before we could look.  I hope they were surprised.  🙂

We took a little longer to shop than we’d originally planned.  As I said, things take me more time.  At our last store, I spied the following glasses…

I fell in love with them and wanted to get them priced.  They were more than I was willing to spend, simply because I was already spending a small fortune on gifts.  Super Sis said, “How much do you like them?”

I replied, “A lot.”

She said, “Birthday gift?”

I said, “Okay, but write in my birthday card that you gave these to me.”

She said, “Done.”

And so they came home with me.

For the record, my birthday isn’t until March.  She said I could go ahead and start using the glasses though.

When we finished there, we were pooped.  People had started calling us.  We were being summoned back to the house.

We had Christmas dinner to get ready for!  The Mr.’s mom had slaved away all day to prepare some of our favorite food…field peas, dressing (which I don’t eat but everyone else does), turkey from Sonny’s (none for me, thank you very much), mashed potatoes, and other goodies.

Cali, my grandpup, was ready to snarf up crumbs.

Cali, my grandpup, was ready to snarf up crumbs.

Then, we all got ready for our traditional pre-church photos, which went off swimmingly well.

I wish I could show you the pictures, but alas, some of my people don’t like their faces on my blog.  Rooster’s girl was very agreeable; she’s used to my picture taking by now.

Then, we headed out to church for a beautiful candlelight service.

By then, it was pretty late, so Super Sis’s family and ours parted ways.  They were instructed to show back up at the house no later than 7:30am.  We had a tight schedule to maintain because my boy and his girl had to visit her family.

As has been my custom, I awoke early Christmas morning and got ready…

I have to wear a sock under my boot to prevent chafing.  Thank heavens for all of the knit pairs I’ve made over the years!  This one matched my shirt…

Then, I made my way to the living room to await the arrival of the rest of the clan.  The tree was gorgeous!

We had a stocking waiting for Chicky.  Rooster and his girl had done their stockings before they’d left their home, but we had a little something for each of them.  I can’t say that I like not doing stockings for our kids.  We may have to go back to this in the future.

Cali got in the middle of everything.  She was loving all of the extra attention.

I received this blanket…

I also got this night light (a few days after the fact, but the intent was there!!!)…

Super Sis and her family actually got to the house at 7:15…the first time I think they’ve ever been early.  Go them!

Present opening began immediately, and once again, Cali settled herself in the middle of the action.

How awesome that there were ELEVEN of us opening gifts this year!  We opened one present at a time, starting with the youngest member and working up in age.

There was so much laughter as each gift was opened.

Cali managed to catch a nap despite the noise.

Every year seems to have its own theme.  This year, we were all about sports…as in “We are a sports family…except for Super D (Super Sis’s husband/the Mr.’s brother).”  Ha!

Everyone got something sports-related, I think.  The Mr.’s mom got an exercise ball and a jacket/vest to wear when she’s out walking on frigid mornings.  Other members of the family got various apparel from Under Armour.  We could have done a commercial for the company, I kid you not.

Here are a few of my gifts…

A purse from Super Sis and her family

A purse from Super Sis and her family

A Ginger Snaps necklace…also from Super Sis and her crew

I’d never heard of Ginger Snaps before.  They are adorable!  You just pop the charms off and change them out!

I ordered more of these charms on our drive home the next day.  I’ll share photos of those in a future post.

The Mr. and I got a bonus gift from our siblings…

Aren’t they fabulous?

The in-laws had labeled their gifts to us with numbers…in the order we were to open them.  Of course, I was number-challenged.  Last year, it was Super D who opened the wrong gift first.  Fortunately, we caught my mistake before I actually opened the wrong gift!  Ha!

A Pandora ornament with a check inside for a ball winder (I've already ordered it).

A Pandora ornament with a check inside for a ball winder (I’ve already ordered it).

The in-laws also gave me this beautiful bracelet…

The bracelet has a heart charm with my birthstone…not pictured.  I’d been wanting a charm bracelet after the one I had purchased a couple of years ago from Premier had tarnished.  I’m in love with my Pandora bracelet.  ❤

There were a number of gift cards exchanged and other things requested on Christmas lists…because that’s how we roll.

The morning flew by, and before I knew it, Rooster and his girl were packing up.

Despite having spent eleven days with my boy, the parting was hard for me.

I sat close by as he and his girl ate lunch and fixed snacks for the road.  They had a six hour drive ahead of them; her family was eagerly awaiting their arrival.

The Mr. and I walked them outside and said our see-you-laters…never goodbye when you’ve got a family member serving in the military.

I did really good as I hugged my babies tight.  Having them in the same zip code had been divine; letting them go was another rip on my heartstrings.

I scootered my way up the driveway as they backed out and kept the tears in check until I went back into the house.

The rest of the evening was quiet; I tried to focus on my blessings and not my boy’s absence.

The gifts had been wonderful, but what had been best was spending time with my loved ones…something I’ll never take for granted.

Christmas 2016 – Part 1

Merry Christmas, y’all!

It’s been quite the whirlwind around here, let me tell you!

Rooster and his girl came into town late on the 15th, and it was nonstop running from that point forward.

I think I’m going to split my Christmas musings into two posts because, quite frankly, I’m exhausted (and a little emotional).

Let’s call this Christmas 2016 Post #1

We decided to do Christmas with our kiddos the evening of the 22nd because we had plans to go to Bigger City, Florida to visit family the next day.

Our custom has always been to take turns opening presents, starting with the youngest family member and working our way up.  We take things slowly so everyone can watch.  The process lasts a while, which I, as a mama, love.

We got the kids a few gift cards and clothes, which they loved.

Rooster and N were surprised when they opened a joint gift…

I’m so happy that I can finally blog about it!  I made this blanket this past summer.

I bought a solid blue fabric for the back and, rather than tying the strips together, cut slits into them and pushed the strips through the slits.  This made the blanket a little less bulky.

I didn’t know how much a yard was, so I followed instructions I found online and got four yards of each material.

The blanket wound up being HUGE.

Rooster is tall, so it works out.  Still, it seemed like it took forever to make my way around the edges.  Really, it only took a couple of days to finish.

They loved it so much that, upon my announcement that I’d mail it to them, they quickly said that they would make room in a suitcase for it.

#win

The kids went in together and got the Mr. a coin display case.  I guess I don’t have any photos that I can share with you.  Dang.

I gave the Mr. a coffee maker, which was a big deal because I cannot stand the smell of coffee.  I figured that it was the least I could do for him given the selflessness he’s displayed over the last month and a half that I’ve been recovering from breaking my ankle.

Of course, I was spoiled.  Rooster and N bought me a set of spatulas that I’d been wanting.  Chicky gave me a framed photograph of her and Rooster from the wedding…a snapshot someone had taken with her phone.  She also gave me a pair of silver loop earrings.

The Mr. gave me some workout tank tops, a workout shirt, and an ornament.

I really like this ornament!  There’s a hole to look into, and you can see Olivander in his shop.

My big gift was a set of JBL Wireless Headphones.  These are amazing…especially because they will grab your heart rate from your ear!  They just came out on the market in September.

The process to set them up was fairly easy.  You can see data through an Under Armour app you install.

We had a wonderful time exchanging laughter as we teased one another over various presents.

The fun wasn’t over, though, as we prepared to head out of town for a few more days of partying the Auburnchick way.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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