Happy New Year everyone. I thought I'd write a little year in review to close out the year of 2017. If you'd like to read more details about the adventures i took this year check out the list on the right title Blog Post Archives for a complete list of all my blog post from this last year.
January. This might have been the most eventful month of the year. In January David and I set out from Idaho for Boston. January 25th I had my amputation surgery to remove by left leg above the knee. The recovery, praise the Lord, went very smoothly, 10 days in the hospital, in home to watch the patriots win the super bowl, which brings me to February.
February. Like I said the Patriots won the Super bowl in a great game, that for those of you who though they had lost by half time, now know it's never over till it's over with the Patriots. I'd like to say God gave me a little post surgery present, I know he answered a personal prayer that I would be home to watch the game. This seems like not that big of a deal now, but I think back to what David, I and my family were prepared for; a recovery that could entail months and months in the hospital. We were prepared for complications, multiple surgeries, infections, pain, etc. Instead God was extremely merciful. My recovery in the beginning went so smoothly it even shocked my surgeon a little I think.
March and April. March was uneventful for the most part. My sister came to visit, which was fun and encouraging. I began doing physical therapy, which was hard, but I was determined. Sometime around April started having a lot of pain in my stump, but was told it was normal, and so I tried to push through the pain.
May. On our first wedding anniversary, May 9th, the pain got even worse. We tried to enjoy a special date to the movies but by the time it was over i was in so much pain I was in tears. Early the next morning David drove me into the Children's hospital ER and after a sedated MRI (because i was in so much pain I could not lay flat) they found that I had a bone and tissue infection and Dr. Spencer did surgery to clean it out. My wound from my original amputation was opened back up and the infection was cleaned out. I had also grown bone spurs on the end of the amputated bone, which the doctor shaved off. This she said is rare but can happen. I was in the hospital for 11 days, one more that the recovery for the original amputation. I was on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks and oral antibiotics for 7 more weeks. My brother came to visit when I was in the hospital which was such a blessing. He did things like make us my grandma's stew, in a crockpot, in my hospital room. He also cleaned up our house and got the oil changed in the car. It was a big blessing. After Jay (my brother) left my sister (Jennifer) came for a couple days. It was a much needed encouragement during a time of a little bit of despair. I basically was starting over with everything.
Summer: To get out of our apartment, David and I would go on drives during the summer. We visited friends in different parts of Massachusetts. I got to share one of my favorite little towns with David, Rockport, MA. The best part of the summer was when we got to go to Eureka to visit my parents and then Idaho to see the Adoption of my nephew. This was very exciting because we missed the adoption of the younger two nephews in May because of my infection, so being there to see my third nephew get adopted was awesome. It was such a blessing to see family and friends in Idaho. We were able to go to church at our home church Stonehill. Even though the extra recovery time was frustrating and took a long time, as I look back over all the things David and I were able to do, I am very thankful we had this time together to experience all the things we did.
September. In September David started college. After praying about it for a while we decided that this time would be a great opportunity for David to finish his bachelors degree, so that when he got a job he would be able to get a job that he enjoyed. He began his two year bachelors program with WGU on September 1st. At the end he will have his Bachelors in Computer Science. The great thing about this program is it is a self paced program, you can go as fast or as slow as you need. Fortunately for David, between taking me to PT and doctors appointments, and doing a lot of chores around the house, he was able to use all the rest of the time to study. He is so smart and so dedicated too. And by next week he should be done with his entire two year program. Yep that's right, he finished his bachelors degree in a little over 4 months. Now comes the hard part of finding a job and interviewing. But not only does he have a degree now, but he has 13 certifications in things like A+, Linux+, Security+, Network+, Project+ and more, that will show how amazing he is!!
In September we got to visit my brother and his family, who moved to the DC area in august. The family we left in Idaho now only lives 8 hours (or so) from us. My three nephews live on the same coast as me and I couldn't be happier. I don't know if God moved them all the way over here just for me, but I feel like he did. I am so blessed to be able to go see them definitely more than we would have if they were still living in Idaho. We have made a couple trips down to see them since then including Thanksgiving.
The Fall: During the fall I had several appointments with the prosthetist to work on getting my prosthetic leg. Each appointment the prosthetist made adjustments to the socket each time and after three times and then I tried a microprocessor knee (the knee that I have now). After these appointments my final prosthetic leg was made and on December 4th I got to bring it home. Here are some videos from that day.
December. The first weekend in December I did a craft fair with David. During some of my free time during the fall and leading up to December I made Christmas décor and scarves to sell on my online store JOYFUL. David even helped me finish up some scarves right before the craft fair. I did ok, not as well as I was hoping, but I did end up selling a good amount of stuff online. I put a lot of work into the store and getting ready for the craft fair, looking back I don't feel like it was worth it, but I have this thing inside of me that has to be doing something. I love being creative, which cost money most of the time, so this was a way for me to be able to do that, but in hind-sight I probably should have just made a few things and given them away as gifts, considering I have about 10 wreaths left over and probably didn't make a ton of profit from my endeavor. Oh well, it was fun.
My store is still up if you'd like to take a look at the items still for sale: JOYFUL
Before Christmas I started PT, and now am in full swing. PT two times a week and lots of exercises to do at home everyday. It's hard on my body, especially after the infection and not doing much of anything for about six months. But I'm going to work hard in 2018 and there is something big to work towards (iI'll tell you later in the post) and having goals makes it easier.
During Christmas time I did a lot of baking and decorating. I love Christmas! We got a real tree, small but perfect for our little cottage in Plymouth. We had a wreath on the door and candles in the window, just like lots of houses in New England and I love it. I've always wanted a house with candles in the window. It's very quintessential New England. For Christmas it was just David and I. Our family was spread all around the country this year and we just didn't have the funds to travel. We enjoyed the quite at times, and at times missed the business of having family around. We enjoyed the Christmas Eve service at Harbor Church in Hyannis MA that we have been going to since September. We really enjoy the pastors teaching and hope to get more plugged in this year. Even though it was just the two of us, I made a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and lots and lots of left overs. Here's a bunch of pictures from around Christmas time.
Yesterday it was just us again as the clock struck 12 but there is no one in the world I'd rather be with. For the last 12 months David and I have spent every single day together, almost every hour and we still love each other, even more now than before. He has been my comfort through the hardest time of my life. He is my best friend, he always makes me laugh, he lets me cry on his shoulder (a lot), he encourages me to hope, and hopes for me when I just cant. We are each others helpers, more than I thought anyone could be. He is the person I begged God to bring me January 1st 2015. And I am so thankful that He answered that prayer with David.
Goals and Announcements for the New Year.
2018 is going to be a great year! For starters...
David and I are getting married!!! Ok what! I know we already are married, but as some of you know, David and I did not get to have a traditional wedding ceremony like I (and most girls out there) always dream of. We got married in Vegas, with just my parents, sister and David's aunt and uncle there. It was a small ceremony in a park outside of Vegas with some minister from the wedding wagon (yep that's a real thing look it up). We did it like that because the February before we got married my knee stopped working and I was in able to walk, and I was in a ton of pain. Trying on a wedding dress was out of the question, walking down the aisle with my dad was not happening, so we had a small ceremony in the hopes that some day we would get the wedding we dreamed of and I would be able to walk down the aisle and everything. So we have set a date now that I have my prosthetic. I have a little less that a year to learn to walk and walk with my Dad down the aisle towards David. Right now we don't have much of the details worked out but it will be on December 29th, 2018 in Eureka, CA (where I grew up). I'm am so excited and am going to be in full wedding planning mode soon. I'm really looking forward to finding a wedding dress too, I've been dreaming about this since I was a little girl and I would play bride and groom dress up with my sister, or when I was in high school and I would cut out pictures of my favorite wedding dresses (no I don't still have them). So that's the biggest news. I'm sure there will be lots more to come about wedding planning and my progress to learn to walk.
David and I had started clean eating last fall but sort of fell of the wagon when thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around. Well now that it's January 1st we are back at trying to eat better. So that means no processed food and no refined sugar for us. Mostly fruits, veggies and meat, with a little dairy too. We don't have the budget to eat all organic but someday I would like to do that. My body is very sensitive to chemicals and processed food, probably because I have chronic pain, so eating healthy is a must for feeling better.
Something else that is big for 2018 is David will officially be done with school and in a few weeks he will begin looking for a job. We have not decided if we are staying long term here yet but because I am not done with physical therapy we have decided to stay until that's done, and David will need to get a job soon so that we can afford to continue to live here. In June David gets to walk across the stage at graduation and get his diploma. He now holds the record for WGU (Western Governors University) IT program as the fastest to complete the program. And might hold the record for the whole school, but we're not sure yet. I'm so proud of him, and he's super excited to get to walk across the stage and get his diploma.
I guess that's about it. Thanks everyone for all your support during this last year. I know I would not have made it through the year without all the prayers and encouragement. To end I wanted to share something with you I posted on my personal Facebook a couple of days ago. Happy New Year everyone, I pray that this year is full of joyful moments and hope during the not so joyful moments and through it all Peace.
I shared this last year, as I was looking ahead to some big things and praying for God’s peace. Now I look back through this last year and am so incredibly thankful for God’s peace through it all. I look ahead to next year and all the things that the year will hold and again I ask for God’s peace. And I know he will give it to me. If you need peace for 2018, Jesus said “Come to me, and I will give you rest.”(Matthew 11:28) And that His peace is a “peace that passes all understanding”(Philippians 4:7) meaning that people won’t quite get how you can be peaceful in the midst of the circumstances you’re going through. But its because Jesus is holding you in His arms and He’s got this. Believe me I know, He had me in His arms, last year, when I was taken into the operating room to get my leg amputated and now He has me as learn to walk with my prosthesis. He’s got this, I belong to Him and He is with me. His peace and joy are mine. He wants this for you this year too. Happy 2018!