Sunday, December 3, 2017

Monthly Round-Up: November 2017

Eccck, it is such a cliche to say that time is flying, but man oh man, it is so true!

November was a somewhat difficult month for me, as I returned to work full time after my surgery, and I really struggled. I was in so much pain (you can read about that here). So I didn't feel well, I was way behind on my paperwork and seeing my clients, and that always stresses me out. But I'm finally feeling better, and I am getting close to being caught up, so that is positive. And I got rid of my final drain last week!

Adam & Link spent a week up in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving, visiting with Adam's parents. Link is a freakin' natural treasure up there.  He gets so much love and treats, and everyone makes over him. And he is such a good boy. The car ride was 15 hours long, and he never even made a peep. This picture is him watching squirrels from their big window, he stayed perched there all the time.

I spent Thanksgiving missing my boys terribly. But my friend Dana, had invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family, and they were so nice to me. The food was good, and I had a lovely time. It's so good to have friends who care about you not being alone on a holiday. Heck, my other friend Lark, even stopped by later that day, and brought me leftovers from her Thanksgiving.  I truly felt thankful all day.

This month, I went and saw the movie Coco, which I absolutely fell in love with. It was so beautiful, funny, and emotional. I cried like a baby. Now I could have lived without the Frozen "short" at the beginning of the movie, but I won't hold that against the movie.

Also, Taylor Swift released her new album, Reputation, which is currently on repeat on my phone and in my car. I've always loved Taylor Swift, and I'm not ashamed of that fact. I love almost all the songs on this album. My favorite right now is King of my Heart. I'm so into Taylor right now, that I've even dived into the podcast, Holy Swift, all about her songs. Those girls are fun to listen to.

In December, I am looking forward to our weekend trip to Disney, and a quiet Christmas at home. 


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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Problems & Results at 6 Weeks Post-Op

As I sit here tonight, I am 6 weeks out of excess skin surgery. And I wanted to document a little bit about the experience, as it has not been easy.  I had originally planned to take a week and a half off work, as honestly after my weight loss surgery, I could have gone back after a couple of days. 

But as the day to return to work drew near, I knew I wasn't ready. I had no energy. And when I tried to do anything I would spike a fever, so I ended up taking another week off.  Which was not optimal because it meant I would burn through all the leave, I needed for our Thanksgiving trip to Wisconsin (which is how Adam ended up going to Wisconsin without me, and I spent Thanksgiving at a friend's house).

So I finally went back to work after that two weeks, and I still didn't feel much better. I could barely walk, and I started to have immense pain at the drain entry sites. I would be OK for the morning hours, but moving around at work, just about killed me by the end of the day.

Due to driving around at work, I could not take my pain medication, which certainly didn't help the situation.  I could compartmentalize my pain just enough to get through the work day, but I would really start to feel it on the drive home. And then when I got home, I literally could not do anything. Adam would have to wait on me hand and foot. I couldn't even take off my clothes or prepare my own dinner.

After surgery, I had two drains. When your drains are putting out less than 15cc a day, you can get rid of them. Most patients get rid of them after a couple of weeks. But my drains continued to put out 50-75cc a day for over a month, which is unusual. This was caused by me being too active at work and not being able to get enough rest. But there was nothing I could do about it.

Three weeks after surgery, one of my drains started to slip out on its own, which caused even worse pain for me, and I had to tape it to my skin.  And then that drain started to decompress on it's own.

Drain problems caused me two late night emergency calls to the surgeon's office, and not to mention many nights moaning in pain. 

My surgeon finally let me remove the problemed drain, but I still continued to have pain with the other drain. Now I'm here at week 6, and I do have less pain, but I still have 1 drain. My output has been continuously dropping daily. So I'm hopeful I can get rid of it tomorrow at my follow up appointment.

I so want to get back to my normal life. I miss being able to clean, and I miss being able to workout. I just want to feel like my old self again.

But in good news, I'm super happy with the results. Here is my before/after pictures at 6 days post op:

And here is a more recent shot:

So I guess when it is all said and done, I will barely remember all the pain, and I will just be happy with the results.


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Friday, November 24, 2017

W Girls Do Disney 2017 Trip Report: Part 5

We spent the early morning and afternoon hours at Animal Kingdom before heading to the airport. I do believe in squeezing every bit of enjoyment out of a Disney trip, even if that means getting home on a fairly late flight.  

I feel like I should report that these are stock images  from Memory Maker. I did not take these, if you can't tell. HA. But one of the first things we did, which I had never done, was see the Festival of the Lion King. What a fabulous show that was!  I loved the audience involvement, it was colorful, and I loved the dancers & acrobats. 

A ride on Kilimanjaro safaris is a must do on any trip to Animal Kingdom. I love it because you never know what you will see. We loved the group of rhinos huddled together, we said it was like, "us three friends." But the highlight (and unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it), was the new baby elephant, Stella!! She was so adorable. 

We rode Expedition Everest and Dinosaur! We also had an on going joke, that when the T-rex popped out, Anna didn't even spill the drink that she had in her lap! I had hoped to meet Baloo and King Louie this trip, since I had a Jungle Book shirt on, but the times didn't work out, so we hung out with Pocahontas instead!

Our tradition upon leaving Disney is to have one, nice goodbye meal. Our restaurant of choice was Yak & Yeti, and it was sooo delicious, especially the Cream Cheese Wontons. Cream Cheese Wontons are kind of special to us, as there was a Chinese restaurant we used to frequent often during our college years, where we would order plates and plates of cream cheese wontons! 

After lunch, we headed back to the resort and on to the airport. Unfortunately, there was flight delay after flight delay due to horrid storms, but we luckily made it out just in time. It was a long airport night for sure. We wore our ears through out the flights home, which elicited bemused smiles from the other passengers. I think wearing the ears home on flights is a new tradition.

This is a wrap on Disney World 2017, I am going back in less than a month for a quick Christmas trip with Adam. I'm also going to be posting some of my digi scrapbook pages I made from this trip. So yeah it's Disney overload all the time on the blog, but I can't help it I love it so!

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Monday, November 20, 2017

The Weekend Report

I had a pretty good weekend this week, as it is was one of the first weekends I finally started to feel a bit better, have a little energy, and not be in pain post excess skin removal surgery (I really need to do post all about that, since I haven't had an easy go at it, at all).

Adam left early Saturday morning with Linkee to go spend Thanksgiving with his family in Wisconsin. It's a long story, as to why I'm not going. But no one need worry about me, since I will be spending it with some friends. But I will miss him dearly. 

On Saturday, my friend Lark and I had made a date to go to the Gingerbread Market in Huntsville, which was a big, Christmas shopping marketplace. And it was such an enjoyable morning. First of all, every time Lark and I get together we talk a million miles a minute and seem to have so much to catch up on.

Second of all, the market was big and had such cute stuff.

I ended up buying two wooden door hangers. I'm kind of in love with cotton fields, and I thought the cotton ball that said, "Welcome," is so very perfect for fall. And then I got the cute fox for the Winter months. 

We both got these Mad Scientist candles. What was so interesting about them is once the wax burns, you can blow out the candle, and then use the wax as a lotion! So cool. 

We of course got some treats. There was the always delicious Piper & Leaf tea in Cherry Christmas flavor. I also got this super moist and creamy Pecan Praline bundt cake. Soo amazing.

The outing wore me out for sure, and I spent the rest of Saturday napping.

Sunday, I managed to get a little crafting done which felt good, as I haven't had much energy to spare lately. I made a page for my November Project Life spreads. I love the Homespun studio calico kit sooo much.

I also started on my 2018 "All About My Selfie" album. I made a title page, and I made a page about my goals for 2018.

Some where between all that, I watched a million classic episodes of Survivor, stayed up way too late, and cleaned up my craft room.

I have a little bit of Sunday night blahs. But I'm happy to have a really short work week, and I'm ready for Thanksgiving.


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Sunday, November 19, 2017

W Girls Do Disney 2017 Trip Report: Part 4

Day 4 was Hollywood Studio day. But before heading to the park, we had breakfast at O'hanas at the Polynesian. Stitch is at the top of my list of favorite Disney characters, and even though I've been to Disney so many times, I have yet to meet him, so I was pumped.

Stitch did not disappoint. He danced with us and he "licked" us, and when he discovered Anna lived in Tupelo (the birth place of Elvis), he was ecstatic!  And at O'hanas instead of the Mickey waffles, they have Stitch waffles! The whole morning was perfection. Meeting Stitch is probably my most favorite character meet so far! 

Many people are down on Hollywood Studios lately. And I totally understand why. They have shut down so much to make way for the new (Star wars land & Toy Story land), but I always enjoy my time here, and I am able to spend a full day here easily. Many times it feels like a much needed slow down day, after so much go, go, go. 

One of the new things I noticed about HS park this trip that I loved, is all the Star wars touches they have added. Several times during the day the Storm Troopers marched around the park, and I loved that! 

Our trip was a few weeks before the release of the live action Beauty & the Beast film. We were so excited to have the opportunity to see Belle's yellow dress & the rose prop from the movie. We also got to watch the first 15 minutes of the movie, we were so excited! 

We had some really great, new character meet n' greets this trip. Olaf was really cute but he was very tough to hug, and he did not feel very "marshmellowy." I loved his summer oasis though.

But Chewbacca was the star. He was hilarious! He "coughed" up a furball, and he gave it to Jana. We were all rollin. And Chewie was very huggable. 

After a day of shows and a few rides, we finished off with dinner at Hollywood Brown Derby. I had never eaten there before, and I loved the classic decor and delicious food.  

The next day was actually Mardi Gras, and we spent it at Universal. I will be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Universal. It doesn't hold the same magic and appeal for me as Disney does. I do not feel compelled to keep going back again. Outside of Harry Potter world it is just kind of "meh" to me. But Anna had not been to Universal before, so we were all game to go.

We all bought some special beads, and we had some character fun before we headed to Harry Potter World. We met a minion and Beetle juice. Beetle juice was funny and "gross" of course. He pretended to lick us. And I got some coffee, and I wanted to take a "cute picture" with it. 

In Harry Potter World, we enjoyed Butter beer and lunch at three broomsticks. Anna was picked to participate in the Olivander's ceremony, and she designed her own wand. And I rode dueling dragons and Gringott's bank ride for the first time ever. 

We left early afternoon from Universal. Jana and I went for a swim and a dip in the hot tub back at the resort. We had dinner at the food court, and we all got king cake and beignets to celebrate the holiday. We spent the evening packing, as we were headed out the next day after a morning at Animal Kingdom.


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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Link's Mini Album

I mentioned in my September Monthly round-up that I had planned to use this Zelda themed journal from Hobby Lobby to make a mini-album about Link. I have been having a lot of fun with it so far for many reasons.

For one, most of pages have only taken me a few minutes to put together. I also like being able to use up some of my scrappin' stash I've accumulated over the years.  And not to mention, it is just fun  to try something a little different.

But most importantly, I'm kind of obsessed with Link, so there's that.

The inside cover of the book was already printed with a map from the game. I did not worry about coordinating with that page, when I made my title page.

For the title page, I just cut up some scrapbooking paper, framed the white space with some washi tape (I feel the words-hi/hello are perfect for a starter page), and I stamped Link's name repeatedly.

On the next page, I typed some journaling on a 4 X 6 pocket page card all about Link's adoption from the pound. I had some pet themed cards from a journal card set from Studio Calico, and I used some chipboard pieces from there as well.  Isn't the sentiment that, "In a perfect world, every pet would have a home and every home would have a pet," just perfect for this project?

This is probably my favorite page so far. I love how it turned out, both cute and simple. These pictures are from Link's first few days with us. I wrote about what it was like just having a puppy in the home again.

For decoration, I used repeating star embellishments. The green ones are vellum and the yellow stars are stickers. The up & up card is from an Ali Edwards kit. Then I framed the pictures with an alpha set to make a title.

I can't wait to make more, and I will share as soon as I do.


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Monday, November 6, 2017

Monthly Roundup: October 2017

October has been a weird month for me. It has both flown by and dragged on. It was the month I had my skin removal surgery, which ultimately was harder than I anticipated. I ended up being out of work two and a half weeks, and I struggled with pain from my drainage sites. I'm super proud of myself for going back to work last week, as I did not feel well. Somehow I was able to compartmentalize the pain during the work day, but as soon as I left work, I was almost rendered disabled by the pain. I'm still struggling with that pain, and pretty immobile at home, but I'm hopeful I will be able to get rid of my drains soon. 

It is safe to say I've spent tons of time online this month, and I spent a lot of time watching TV. I'm happy I have the CBS all access pass, as it has allowed me to watch all these back seasons of Survivor. I've never watched it before, and I'm enjoying it. 

Football this year has been a little ho hum for me and Adam this year. Not only is our quarterback out with a broken collar bone, but so many players that are fun to watch are out too. And don't even get me started on my Fantasy Football season. I literally can't win for losing, and I'm losing horrendously. But Adam is doing OK, so maybe he can pull off the win this year! 

We have had incredibly mild Fall weather so far, which I am finding disappointing as I love chilly days. But the trees are FINALLY starting to change colors, and I'm happy about that. I'm still wearing leggings and boots all the time however, because I love Fall fashion, regardless of the temperature. I am also happy about daylight savings time ended because I love it getting darker earlier. I feel like I'm a rare bird in that aspect. Everyone else seems to be complaining.

This month we made some fun purchases. Adam got the new Nintendo Switch, which he was super pumped about. He has been playing a lot of Mario Odyssey lately, which is an adorable game, and it looks like it is a lot of fun. I found out that one of my favorite podcasts, My Favorite Murder, is doing a live show in Nashville in a few months. I was able to grab a ticket for me and a friend, and I'm more than a little pumped.  

Halloween was very low key this year. I didn't end up buying a costume for me or Link this year as planned. I realized that Halloween fell on the night of my bowling league, so we couldn't hand out candy to the trick or treaters. So I spent the evening at the alley, hanging with my team, and cheering on Adam who is still bowling in my place due to me being in recovery. But I did celebrate by eating too much candy, and I wore my Nightmare before Christmas LulaRoe Leggings, that everyone seemed to like. I couldn't get that "This is Halloween" song out of my head all day.

Now that is it November, I'm looking forward to a calm month. I will hopefully get my drains out, and I will be able to resume a workout routine. There are some movies I want to see, and I have a few plans with friends. And I really can't wait for that long, Thanksgiving weekend!


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