Sunday, April 25, 2010

Decisions Made and Goals Attained

Monday morning before my doctor’s appointment my mom called to verify which flight she should book for me out to my sister’s wedding in June. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had this dilemma of whether or not I should ask my CI for more time off when I haven’t even started yet. Throughout the last two weeks I have been informed that there is also a possibility of my brother Jordan receiving his endowment the same day as my sister depending on when he is called to leave for his mission, and with that possibility, I had a feeling that I should just ask for the time off. So my flight is booked for the evening of June 24th!

My doctor’s appointment went well, my doctor is referring my care to a coumadin clinic so that they can follow me long distance. This is great news because now I won’t have to find a doctor out in Pittsburgh. I will still have to find a lab that is willing to draw my blood and fax the results to SLC, but I don’t think that will be a major problem.

I finished what I considered to be my hardest final on Wednesday morning and to celebrate Matthew and I planned on making a homemade pizza! When we went shopping we bought pepperoni, sausage, tomatoes, three colors of peppers (yellow, green and red), a pizza crust, mozzarella cheese and a couple jalapeƱos. It was wonderful! The only thing we regretted was not taking at least some of the jalapeƱo seeds out…I tell you it was spicy!

The rest of my finals went very well. I had a mini panic attack on Thursday morning when I found out that Julie Fritz (one of my professors and one of the worlds greatest Back authorities) was going to be my tester, but I survived it and I can now say that I received an A from her!

Thursday night the Relief Society had a Visiting Teaching (VT) Workshop. I interviewed some of the visiting teachers about how things were going and then we had a little meeting with Sister Sams speaking about the importance of VT and a few sisters stood to share some experiences they have had with VT. The testimonies were wonderful. I love to learn from the Sisters’ experiences. After the meeting I had the opportunity to sit and gab with a few of the sisters while eating donuts.

All week Matthew had been looking for a couple of speakers for Sunday, but only got one yes, so Saturday morning he asked if I would talk seeing as he had only talked a week or two ago. I am very grateful for that opportunity to speak. I have had a lot of experiences that have built my testimony of the gospel lately and this was a wonderful opportunity for me to put all those experiences together and realize even more how blessed I am and how much the Lord loves us.

Saturday morning I got a call from Alli wondering if we could babysit Tristann again. I agreed and told Matthew where to meet me. Luckily this time I was able to get Tristann to sleep before Matthew showed up, she actually asked to go to bed and didn’t cry at all. I think last time she was just uncomfortable because Matthew showed up just a few minutes before she went to bed and she still had some stranger anxiety. We decided that this was a perfect opportunity to finish off our Papa John’s Pizza gift card and order a Redbox. I think Matthew is excited that we experimented with more toppings on our homemade pizza because now I am prone to allow more toppings instead of just pepperoni and sausage. We watched “My Sister’s Keeper” and both welled-up a bit.

After church today Matthew and I decided that we would have a little bit lighter of a lunch because we always have a late lunch after church and then we are not hungry until 8 o’clock at night. We decided to make some smoothies!!! We put strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, milk and a can of frozen concentrate in the blender and came up with a wonderful tangy treat! It was just enough to satisfy our palates so that we could have a yummy fried rice dinner right before we headed off to Institute Graduation with his parents. Matthew and I both graduated together. I received a diploma and Matthew received the same plus TWO advanced certificates for all the classes he has taken. Matt’s sister Liz also showed up to the graduation with a gift for us; it was a pineapple and had a tag that said we would be blessed by the Fruits of our labors! She is so clever. Right when I saw that it was a pineapple I was excited for our next Titan peeler match-up!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Old Friends

Thursday the 15th was Anthony Woolf’s birthday and that morning Matthew and I received a text message inviting us for some cake and ice cream to celebrate. We went over around 9pm and it was us, Anthony’s roommates and girl, and a short while later Anthony’s family showed up. It was really good to see Anthony again, we hadn’t seen him for a few months. It is really interesting how times change; before Matthew and I got married we saw Anthony most if not everyday. I know Matthew was roommates with Anthony, but still, it is crazy for me to think that we only get to see him every few months now.

Anyway, it was fun to see Anthony’s family interact. They play this fun little birthday game where they put all of the gifts (seemingly random ones) in the same big gift bag. Then the person receiving the gifts pulls one gift out at a time, says the first thing that comes to mind, makes a wish for the person he thinks gave the gift and then tries to guess who is the giver. If he guesses correctly then the wish “will” be granted to the giver. I know it seems a little silly, but it looked fun at the same time.

Saturday my classmates and I helped to take down a tennis bubble. It is a covering for the outside tennis courts that allows people to play all year round. My class helps put them up and take them down as a fundraiser for our graduation party. I couldn’t help all that much because of the blood clot, but I did what I could and was a cheerleader of sorts.

Friday evening I met Matthew at the bike store on Second and Second. I brought the bike my dad gave to Matthew. It was my grandpa’s old bike and after he passed away Matthew got it. We met at the store because we wanted to get the bike tuned up so Matthew can ride it while I am in Pittsburgh this summer. After dropping the bike off I asked Matthew what he wanted for dinner and after a bit of discussion we decided to go to Chilis. It was yummy! This has always been a favorite restaurant of mine and we hadn’t been in awhile. Well, we discovered that they not only had new menus, but new food on the menus. In fact, they have changed much of their menu, but luckily they still have my favorite appetizer…Southwestern Eggrolls…mmm mmm mmm! And even better they have a ten-dollar deal where you can choose from select appetizers and entrees, so I got to have my old favorite and try a new item. While eating I got a call from my good friend Kirsten Fischer who I had not seen in ages. She called to see what I was doing and I knew we had to get together. I told her I was eating, but that we could get together a little later. I wanted to go dancing, but I knew Matthew was tired and Kirsten didn’t have a dancing buddy so we settled on renting a movie. I soon discovered that Kirsten hadn’t seen “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and I had wanted to see it, so she and I went to the Redbox machine to pick it up while Matthew took a little nap. It was a good movie. I will have to read to book sometime soon. It was also good to see Kirsten again; we have been friends for about 5 years now. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown. She is graduating in a few weeks and is hoping for a job back down in St. George. I hope things work out for her.

This weekend we also got to see Matthew’s other old roommate and mission buddy Justin Jay Kofford…and although we share a last name, Justin and I have yet to discover how our families link up. Matthew and I went over to Justin and Natalie’s new house for a party. The Koffords are also expecting a little bundle of joy in the next month or so. All very exciting. Unfortunately earlier that day my allergies decided to visit, which always seems to happen when we are planning to visit Justin…hmmm.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to check up on everything and to see when I can get permission to exercise again. I am not too worried about it, I have much bigger fish to fry this week…finals. I am not as nervous about them as I have been in the past, I mostly just want to get them over with. It has been a long crazy semester and by Friday I will be a third year!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Packed Weekend

On Friday night we decided to go on a Temple Date Night. Friday afternoon I picked up Matthew from work and we were able to make it to the 6pm session. It was a really good session. I could feel the spirit very strongly. There were a couple of couples going through for the first time and they made me smile and remember what a wonderful experience it was to go through with Matthew for the first time. It got me really excited for Elisa’s wedding. I have a hard decision to make though; my loving mom offered me her flying points so that I could get a free flight to Vegas from Pittsburgh for Bean’s wedding. I told my mom that I wanted the latest flight out on Thursday night because Bean is going through on Friday for her Endowment and I really would like to be there. Well, my mom look at the flights that are valid through her points and the latest flight out is at 7:30pm and my internship usually goes until then. My mom said the next flight out isn’t until 6am and that would put me in Vegas 20 minutes after the session begins. So now I have to decide if I want to once again ask my Clinical Instructor (CI) if I could change my schedule around before I even start, or I can just tell Elisa that I won’t make it for her Endowment, but I will be there for the Sealing on Saturday.

After the session was over, Matthew and I were going to go to dinner at some place cheap like Denny’s, but Matthew said he had passed a place on the way to work that he thought I would love and wanted to take me to it. I agreed and so we went to this tiny little restaurant called Vinto’s. It is a casual Italian pizza place and Matthew and I give it two thumbs waaay up, plus 5 stars. The appetizer we had we wonderful and could have fed 4, the pizza was original and the dessert was elegant! We would recommend it to anyone and plan on going again sometime soon.

On Saturday I worked on a few school things, like studying for my upcoming finals and looking at articles for my Doctoral Project. In the late morning Matthew got a text message addressed to me from a girl in the 11th ward. She said that she was looking for a baby sitter that night while she worked and that our friend Molly Hogan had suggested me. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, but over the last couple of days I had felt the spirit so strong and came to many realizations about how when I am willing to take the Lord’s yoke, my life becomes easier to bear. After a short period of thinking, I felt that I needed to babysit. Tristann was a very cute little girl. And although she wasn’t too happy when her mom left for work, after a short period of time we became friends. Just as we were beginning to get comfortable with one another and about a half an hour before bedtime, Matthew showed up from running errands with our dinner. Unfortunately I think Tristann became uncomfortable and when I tried putting her to bed she cried and cried. I let her cry for about 20 minutes and then brought her back out, wrapped her in a blanket and held her in my arms. Within 2 minutes she was asleep, so I knew she was tired, but even with the slightest movement she would wake back up and she seem very concerned. Well, I knew I couldn’t do this all night so I called Molly and asked her if this had ever happened to her when she watched Tristann. Well, Molly gave me some good advice. She said that Tristann was probably just uncomfortable because her mom wasn’t around and suggested that I put her back in the crib. She said I could let her cry for up to 45 minutes before checking in on her again, si I put my trust in Molly and gave it a shot. At about the 43 minute mark Tristann stopped crying!

On Sunday the Branch had an Easter Program and Matthew gave a wonderful talk about Christ and the spirit felt in that meeting carried over to the relief Society meeting. I could feel the spirit so strong that when I noticed we would be finishing Relief Society early, I leaned over to Sister Sams and said that we should leave some time for the sisters to bear their testimonies, she agreed and announced it to the sisters. Not 30 seconds later I was up bearing my testimony.

Later that afternoon Matthew told me that one of the Sisters (Norma) stopped him after the meeting and told him that he gave a wonderful talk. She then said, “I think that one day you will be the President of the Church.” Matthew was taken back a bit by the comment and gave a little laugh and said, “Norma, why would you wish such a hard thing on me?” It was a cute little moment. We love serving in this branch. Of course there are always some challenges, but the brothers and sisters are trying so hard to do what is right and endure. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Solutions and Sweethearts

So this past week has been a crazy adventure indeed. Since our anniversary my leg (at first it was specifically my calf, but then it grew) has been hurting immensely. I went to the doctor on the 17th of March to get it checked out after a classmate, my professor and I thought that I might possibly have a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT...aka blood clot) in my leg. I had an ultrasound and doppler performed on my leg from the hip down, but nothing was found and although I recalled no trauma my doctor concluded it must be a strain and said, "Stretch it, rest know better than me what you should do." She said this because she knows I am in physical therapy school. It made me feel good that she has that confidence in physical therapists. Any who, so I went on my way, trying to decrease my pain with Ibuprofen and stretching and taking it easy. When we went to California with Matthew's parents it started to feel a little better in my calf, but my hip started to hurt. Needless to say the pain did not get better. Matthew felt very bad for me and did all he could to relieve my pain. This past Monday he even surprised me with a Redbox Family Home Evening. we watched "New Moon" and I think I saw Matthew welling up. (He said he wasn't, but I'm convinced Bella's love for Edward touched Matthew!) He is such a sweetheart. I know he cares about me because he does these small random things. I also know because he tells me stuff like "If your leg doesn't start feeling better in the next few days you have to go to the doctor again" and "I don't like to see you in pain."

When Tuesday rolled around and I wanted to cry because of the pain (Ibuprofen didn't help whatsoever...even though usually it does for me), I called my doctor and got an appointment for that Thursday. On Wednesday at work my leg was hurting real bad so I decided to stretch it and when I pulled my pants up to take a look at it I noticed that my leg had swollen up so bad that my ankle was replaced with the dreaded cankle. So with the swelling and tenderness and the discovery by a classmate that one leg was warmer than the other, I was already suspecting that a blood clot was there. Thursday my fear was confirmed after a second ultrasound and doppler that indeed a DVT was present. The Radiologist who diagnosed the DVT told me that he went back and looked at the first ultrasound and assured me that it was not there two weeks previous. (He was not the same radiologist who did the first ultrasound) Whether he told me this or not I believed that the DVT did not show up on the first ultrasound. I believed this because of the differences between my two ultrasound experiences. The first time I had one performed nothing hurt, even when the technician told me it might, on the other hand, in the second ultrasound it not only hurt when they pressed on my leg, it hurt just getting into the position required to perform it.

Well, needless to say, because I think most could imagine (even if they could not imagine me, but themselves in the situation) I was pretty freaked out. The whole time I was talking to my doctor and the nurse and the pharmacist giving me the drugs needed to begin fixing this problem, I was doing everything possible not to burst into tears. First the diagnosis, then the radiologist saying I shouldn't be walking, then my doctor telling me that I would need to give myself two shots in the stomach for 5 days and be on coumadin (a blood thinner) for 3 months, then paying for the very much so overly priced shots that I had to give myself (even though I only had to pay 25% of the cost of the drug), then the nurse trying to teach me how to give myself the shot, then having to go downstairs to the lab and get blood drawn, finally as I walked out the door to the the car I could release the valve. Fortunately I only live a block and a half away from the clinic and fortunately Matthew was home to give me a big hug and tell me that it would be alright, especially since not 15 minutes after I got home my doctor called me to tell me how bad the clot was and to tell me that if I had any shortness of breath or chest pain that I should call 911...scary! I woke up in the middle of the night that night with a small stitch in the side wondering if I needed to wake up Matthew to take me to the ER! Luckily besides the big hug and pep-talk, Matthew also gave me a blessing. The power of the priesthood and the love and comfort that the Lord can bring thru the Holy Ghost is a marvelous blessing. Even though I still had fears and worries the next morning, because of the assurance I received the night before, I was able to remain calm.

Friday night we had a lot to do, but I as in a ton of pain. Matthew offered to go over to a branch members home without me, but then I realized that I still needed to get my sister a bridal shower gift for the next day, so I decided to go with him. We went to Carls' house and gave him the pages I had typed up for him and then we headed to Smith's Marketplace for the perfect gift. When we got there we both had a mission; I would stay upstairs and find some sexy stuff for my sister, while Matthew went downstairs and got chocolate and sparkling cider. I was faster on my mission, so I met Matthew downstairs where he had yet to get the candy because he could not find the sparkling cider. I tried to help him, but I couldn't find it either. Finally we found an employee and he guided Matthew towards the cider while I went towards the candy. After picking up all the goods I went back to the car to sit while Matthew bought everything. He said the cashier thought the sexy something was really cute, which I thought was funny. After the store run we headed home to bed.

Saturday Matthew and I watched General Conference. Elisa came over too because one of Alex's old mission buddies had one extra ticket and invited Alex and since we live so close Elisa decided to join us. Alex then joined us for the second session. I have really enjoyed having Elisa closer. We don't see each other every weekend, but it is nice to be able to spend more time with her than I have the past few years. It has also been great to get to know Alex more over the past couple of months. He is a great guy and I can tell that he and Elisa make each other happy.

After the second session of conference we all jumped in our car and headed up to Ogden. While the boys were at the Priesthood session, Shaley, one of Elisa's best friends and I threw her a bridal shower. We had pizza, root beer floats and cookies and played some fun games like a wedding scrambler, how well do you really know each other, making veils out of toilet paper and wrapping Elisa up in a toilet paper wedding dress. I think she had a lot of fun. When the boys got back from conference we decided to watch "The Blind Side". We all thought it was an A+ movie...which means Matthew and I will probably eventually get it.

On Sunday Matthew and I watched the first session of conference at home and then headed over to his parents house for the second session. After the second session was over we had a wonderful waffle dinner and then celebrated Cynda's birthday with cookies and ice cream. I have to say that I love the way the Bowen's sing happy birthday. If I am correct it all started with Jen singing out of tune on purpose and now everybody does it. It sounds like dogs howling at the moon rather than singing. Some of the grandkids even cover their ears, but it's fun!