Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Back

Ok so I feel kinda bad... I wrote a Christmas letter this year to send with my cards (as I normally do) but in it I feel like I mostly complained. I mentioned that most of my year I struggled because of my knee injury. I mentioned that my dad had major open heart surgery that we knew was coming and I mentioned that my nephew was born. I learned a lot this year about overcoming trials but I didn't really talk about that in my letter. In fact I almost didn't even write or send a letter. But after I had written it and printed several copies and had many sealed in envelopes ready to be mailed I realized I had so much more I could've said. It is true that I struggled a lot this year (in fact I still am and I wonder how long into 2009 I will continue to struggle) but despite the knee injury there were a lot of amazing experiences I had this year. In fact if it wasn't for the fact that I have been out of work as much as I have I probably wouldn't have gotten to experience as much as I did. So here it goes a little more detailed review:

Jan/Feb I was seeing the ortho for my knee injury (it happened a year ago in Dec) and so I was still working and figuring out treatments and stuff. Late in Jan my ward went to Mount Pinos to the snow. I went sledding down the hill only once (since climbing up the hill wasn't feeling very good for my already injured knee) but I did also get to make some snow angels and have a few fights. As I trudged through the knee high (for me) fresh snow on the ground I gained a greater appreciation for the early pioneers of the church who endured through snow storms with sick families and hand carts and so much more. I could barely handle it for half a day in a "fun" environment. They overcame so much for their freedom of religion and I am so blessed because of it. R came home from her mission and we began hanging out again and got to be really close friends.... almost like twins! This turned out to be nice since V had moved back in Aug so I needed someone nearby. Because we would carpool she got me going to institute and stuff that i probably would've continued to avoid before.

March: Knee operation on the 13th. I worked up until the day before. I was so greatful to be getting it fixed and couldn't wait to get back to work! But this was also a great month because this was when my nephew Isaiah was born on the 24th. It was a blessing to be out of work and able to see him frequently as well as his older brother Elijah! I love my nephews so much! During my time after my operation I got to go to Disneyland several times, it was different going in a wheelchair but I loved the convenience it provided for the lines. I also got to go to Utah for a few days with R to see V and go through the Temple with her! It was great! While there we picked up R's piano and after returning home she started teaching me to play! I have always wanted to learn to play the piano!

April-May I was still recovering from the operation so I was home a lot with my family (and occasionally at Disneyland) and I was doing all I could to go back to work including physical therapy with a therapist that gave me the creeps! ...I got to go back on May 19th! I was so excited to be back. There were quite a few new faces but with one of my new co-workers I had some really great missionary discussions and was able to share my beliefs with him. It was incredible. Working was great!

June... still working until while at home one evening I slipped when i stepped into the bathroom. I twisted my knee and hoped it was ok. At first it seemed like it was but within a week I was starting to get really stiff and eventually the pain returned. I had to leave work early because it was so bad i was worried I might drop a patient. I ended up going back out of work on the 19th. Exactly 4 weeks after having returned to work! :( But I got to take another half day disneyland trip with R and then we went to Medieval Times for her birthday! It was a lot of fun. We sat center stage in the very front table! It was so much fun!

July: Can't remember anything too exciting then..... R was on vacation for several weeks so my piano lessons were put on hold.... but she sent me lots of postcards to add to my collection :)

Aug: R moved to Utah.... (one year after V had....) it was sad, it felt like losing a sister... as well as my piano teacher... But then my ward made a trip to the Kern River. We camped for 3 days and did some tubing. I decided I was only going to make one tube trip down river since I knew I have a knee injury and they said it would be about a 40 minute float. Well it ended up being like 4.5 hours and after that I was pretty water logged and still not where I needed to be so I ended up hiking up the mountain to the road and walking until I got picked up. Needless to say I end up being more sore than anticipated but I love camping and during the trip I got to be an EMT when not only did someone fall and cut his chin open ( I took him to the ER) but several people got bee stings and otherwise. Not that I wanted people injured but it felt nice to be able to help again! Anyways the trip was amazing despite the too long tube trip and sunburn!

Sep: I got to go up north and spend several days with my cousin and his family. He took me fishing! I loved it! I hadn't been fishing in so long and I learned so much! It was nice to be able to spend most of the night on the boat with him I learned a lot about him I didn't know before. Even though we each only caught one fish (he caught a bass he had to throw back, and I caught one trout, which I ate the next night for dinner) it was a great trip for me! I loved every minute I got to be there and cannot wait to go again. This was also the month my dad had his operation. We were worried since it was a major operation but luckily all went well. He spent a month in the hospital during which time I got to do a lot of babysitting of my nephews. I love them so much, although it didn't help my knee injury much... I loved the bonding time we got! During this time my family also started some remodeling of our house. The elders came over and tore down 2 non-weight bearing walls! It really opened up the space a lot. We also took out all the carpet and linoleum around that time.

Oct-Nov: Still knee stuff to deal with, but it was a great Thanksgiving, so much to be thankful for, family especially with my Dad home and my nephews! There is a lot of blessings to acknowldge. I think my dad went back into hospital once during this time too.... but I don't recall why.... but he was able to get released a few days later.... I also got to take another trip to Utah after Thanksgiving. Rand V were home for the holiday and R invited me to drive back to Utah with her. It was a short but fun trip! I was so thanksful for her providing me the opportunity. She also took her piano with her :( not that I have had any lessons, but it was good to continue to practice what I could so I don't lose what I've learned and hopefully be able to improve.

Dec: We got hardwood flooring installed. It looks amazing! My dad spent a few days in the hospital again, a week before Christmas, this time for pancreatitis. But he also has gallstones and will need his gallbladder removed. But thankfully they released him and he was here for Christmas. He goes in to schedule the surgery soon... I got a new keyboard that I wanted for Christmas. So I get to continue to practice and even learn. This keyboard has a lot of features including several learning modes so it is kinda like a teacher! It will hopefully help me reach my goal of being able to easily play most stuff I want to on the piano someday! Both R and V were here for most of the week, so that was a lot of fun!

Well that is a more precise looking back review of 2008 than my brief little Christmas letter had been. I have had a lot of good and bad experiences as always and have continued to learn and grow! I miss working and even though I am stil having knee problems I hope to be able to work again soon! I love the gospel, I love my family and I love all my friends and my blog readers! You are all amazing! Well have a wonderful new year!~ I know I hope too!

Love ya Renee

Monday, December 15, 2008


Ok so in the past week and a half or so I fell into the "Twilight" craze. I love to read and the movie looked interesting enough so I decided I wanted to read the book before watching the movie (since usually the book is like a bajillion times better) So I read it the first 150 pages or so I was like "whatever no big deal" I was interested but I didn't feel like everyone had been saying that "I just couldn't put it down" I was enjoying the book but did not feel drawn to it. In fact I had at that point put it down while I was on the plane with like 45 minutes left on my flight. Then later picked it up again and put it down almost immediately, then up again later. I wasn't drawn. But I had time on my hands and had already finished re-reading the first Harry Potter I had started while on my trip. I wasn't eager to be with my family (within 5 min of being home my Dad was driving me insane) so i was lying on my bed reading. I was texting with a friend and was telling her it seemed interesting enough but that I felt I could put it down. (that's how I remember being at at least page 150) anyways I was bored so I kept reading. I guess after the first 150 pages the "can't put it down feeling" hit me. I stayed up way later reading that night and only went to bed because I was getting so tired it was hard to read. I finished the book the moment I had the chance the next day. But then because I had not received my check yet I had to wait to read the next one. I had gone to the library to check it out but with no luck. I was disappointed and then eventually my money came. I went and bought the rest of the series and in the past 4 days have been doing a lot of late night reading. I have been starting in the evening and reading until I can't stay awake anymore in the early morning usually only leaving a little left. I just stopped to get ready for bed a little bit ago and for some reason decided to go online instead of to sleep....

anyways here is where the shattering comes into play.... there was a returned missionary who spoke at church today. He served in Washington State. He even went to Forks, WS where the Twilight series is based in the novels. ANyways he said at church that there are NO vampires in Forks! I was shattered, I mean how can this series of books about vampires and werewolves not be true??? I thought I was going to cry?? Well I could've been like 3 chapters closer to the end by now but I should be snoozing away so goodnight! Oh and btw I was kidding I knew the story was fiction so I wasn't expecting there to really be any vampires in Forks.... I am still not sure of the werewolves though :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Short note....

To let all my fans out there (all like maybe 10 of you if I am lucky) I am still alive. I would say alive and kicking... but with the whole knee thing there isn't much kicking going on. I am thinking though that I would like to try and kick things up a notch or two. It still seems as if I get sore when I do stuff but I have been losing weight (I am down almost 11 pounds now) and I really want to increase my exercise. Since now there basically is none because of the knee.... I am thinking I may start trying to ride my exercise bike a little. But my plan is to take some tylenol before I start and only do maybe 10 or 15 min (if I can last that long pain free) I will do it with no resistance and then as soon as I get off I will ice my knee to hopefully prevent any swelling.... if there is increased pain I will then take a pain pill... and or quit my bike riding. I shall see how it all goes... if I even do it.... but I do want to if I can make the time! Well here's the end of my short note. Even though I am not blogging as much I am still alive!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trial and failure.....

SO I have been walking with crutches now since I think around September-ish and it isn't exactly my preference. By far it is more of a nuisance than anything but I have my good days and my bad. Generally when walking around the house because I am usually walking shorter distances and am up for a lesser amount of time I just walk. Then when I go anywhere I always take the crutches, and then if I am shopping and they have one I will generally use an electric wheelchair. (I am quite a pro now, I can make a 3 point turn in a store isle without knocking stuff off the shelves.... although occasionally I misjudge a turn but whatever...anyways.....) but last night I went to a friends house for visiting teaching. It was fun but then we decided to go to the church and watch part of the christmas program and look at the creche displays. I had brought my crutches to the house but left them in the car (considering it was going to be like home and I wasn't going to be doing much walking) but then when we were going to the church I decided to kinda go without. I figured it still wasn't a lot of walking, it is not like a trip to costco where who knows how long you will be up and about. So I went. After walking the displays a little I was getting uncomfortable but it wasn't bad. More like a stiffness and a little ache no big deal. Life goes on. Well then today all day long I have been getting really sharp knee pains. I don't know if it is connected with the walking last night without them... The pains today have been worse than anything I can recall in awhile, and the worse part about it was they were originating from a different spot in my knee than where most of my pain has been. Since June when I went out of work and back on disability the majority of my pain has come from the inside area of my knee. Today it seems to be below the kneecap mostly. I don't really know what to make of it and it scares me a lot. I just recently got another cortisone injection and was really starting to feel that maybe it was improving and now I am doubtful again! I really hate this roller coaster I am on! I had kind of thought about not bringing them in for church Sun but now I am realizing I better not give up on them quite yet. Also since church seems to be somewhere that it gets to be sore lately in general anyway. I better also make sure there are some pain pills in my church bag! Well I should be off to bed! Darn knee pain!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bigger or Better

So was sitting at home the other night waiting for a friend to call so she could come and get my stuff for Utah (as she was packing the car that night with her stuff and I wanted to make sure that she would have room for my clothes) and the front door was cracked open. We were sitting watchin TV when we heard some female giggling outside. Then the dog started barking and the doorbell rang. I got up to see what all the fun was about. There was about 6 approximate teenage girls at the door dressed in formal-wear. They had a 2001 Guinness World Records book and they said they were playing a game called "bigger or better". They said that they wanted to know if we had anything either bigger or better than the book that we were willing to trade for the book. I was kind of conufsed so they explained it again. (I wasn't that I was confused at the concept or instruction but I was kind of surprised plus there was 6 of them all giggling and kind of saying it at once) so then one of them asked if maybe we had a really really big box they could have. I was kind of asking my mom if we had anything and was thinking I would go look in the garage for something when they asked if they could have a piece of the wood from the front porch. We were like sure take one but be careful of the nails in them, (The wood was remnants from the wall that had been removed from the house but it has not been disposed of yet) so then because there was also 2 really beat up weather beaten chairs on the porch they asked if maybe they could have the chair so my mom said yes. They were all excited and then they were more excited because it had wheels on it. Then one girl said "oh I get to ride in the chair" we informed her that it may ruin her dress as well as give her splinters in un-splinter friendly areas if she chose to sit down. So she didn't and they left. So then about 5 min later we hear more giggling and went outside they were at a house kinda up the street but also across the street (we live near a T intersection of the streets so they were up the T) they no longer had the chair. So they must have gotten someone to trade for it. It was interesting. I think I have heard of similar games where you start out with something simple like a paperclip and see what you end up with. So that was my interesting event of Sat night.
Then yesterday we drove up to Utah! I love road trips! It was a lot of fun and inbetween listening to conference talks and Christmas music we were reading Harry Potter in the car. We got about half way done with the first book. Woohoo! Anyways it is getting late and we are going to the Salt Lake Temple in the morning! Catch y'all later!