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