Tuesday, July 1, 2014

MPFL Reconstructive Knee Surgery

What a crazy year it has been! When I say year, I'm referring to this past school year that has kicked my butt. However, I successfully finished my first year as a teacher! I have had such a wonderful experience as a first-year teacher and have had so many supportive co-workers to help me along the way, but they're not lying when they tell you first year is the hardest. Those first few months were really tough. I was coming home every night in October/November/December completely exhausted. More often than not, I would go up on the weekends as well just to catch up on work. In the spring, I seemed to settle in to my position a little, and slowly I was able to reclaim some of my personal time.

I have met and grown close to some of the best people in this position, and I am so excited to start my second year in with all of the skills and knowledge I've gained over the last 10 months!

Meanwhile, I'm taking some time to relax with a little extra weight to drag around, hence the giant mass that is my right leg.



Yesterday, I went in for a Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstructive Surgery, or MPFL for short. I've had an issue that started when I was very young where my patella will go out of place without any warning. My doctor was able to see the that my femoral groove is exceptionally shallow, and after that first fateful dislocation, my MPFL just hasn't been able to keep it in place properly.  Each displacement over the years has resulted in a hard fall and usually some bumps or bruises to show for it. It even happened last summer when I was dressed for a formal night on a cruise. I was wearing a cocktail dress and heels. When I fell my dress flipped right up, giving everyone behind me a nice little show. (;

Needless to say, I'm excited to rid myself of this issue and move on with a little more peace of mind. I'm ready to enjoy an active lifestyle without worrying about my knee constantly. Here's a picture of me from a recent trip to San Francisco with a dear friend. We hiked downhill into Muir Woods, and I couldn't help but look at my feet the whole time to make sure I was being extra careful. A tumble down a mountain would not have been pretty!




And so here we are on the day of surgery about to go into the operating room! I'm trying to hide my nerves with a smile, but really I was pretty scared. Thankfully, Brandon was there to hold my hand and give me a kiss before they wheeled me in. 


Here's the before picture of my knee. I haven't been able to see what it looks like now yet. In a couple of days, I should be able to take off the dressing and take a real shower. Woo hoo! (:



 This is precisely what I look like right now. I'm lucky that my dad has this nice recliner. It's perfect for giving my leg a little elevation. 




Of course, I've got my little buddy by my side. It's funny how dogs seem to know when you're not a 100%. He's been sleeping right along side me, surely willing me to get better soon. (: 


I'd appreciate your good thoughts and prayers to a speedy recovery! If you have any advice on how to avoid going completely stir-crazy, please let me know! This whole reclining, reading, watching t.v., surfing the web thing will only be fun for so long! 


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Handmade Gifts Part Two


I've posted about handmade gifts in the past, hence the "Part Two" tag of this post. In this post, I linked some fantastic DIY gift ideas that are great when you're in a pinch.

 We were hit with an insane ice storm this weekend. I mean parking lots turned into ice skating rinks and every square inch was covered with at least 3 inches of ice. I have never seen anything like it. Being that Texans are completely ill-prepared to handle the ice, my weekend turned into a 5 day hiatus. Basically a stay-in-your-house-because-you-can't-even-get-out-of-your-driveway event. I'll admit I was going a bit stir-crazy. One afternoon, a friend who lives close and I ventured out for a quick trip to Walmart for some much-needed supplies. All was well until we met the highway bridge. Our lives may or may not have flashed before our lives as we creeped along the bridge losing traction every few seconds. Thankfully we made it through and I was able to get the supplies for my 5th consecutive Chocolate Covered Pretzel-a-thon! Every year I roll up my sleeves, break out the baking supplies, and painstakingly dip pretzels into chocolate one at a time. By the end of it my back is aching and I'm covered in chocolate with my hair thrown back in a messy bun, but I have saved myself a ton of trouble/money in buying gifts for people. This week's unexpected interruption provided the perfect time to take on this feat. 



After letting my pretzels spend the night setting, I set up a gift station. My jars were purchased in groups of 4 at Walmart, and I kept the decoration pretty minimalist with a kraft paper label and some yarned turned into "poufs". 



Using this tutorial, I created a dozen yarn pom poms ready to be tied on for adornment. 








I tied the yarn in a simple bow so that my recipients might choose to reuse the yarn on their own gifts. 



A hand-written note attached with glue dots, and I had one gift complete! 


Pretty soon, I had one for each person on my list.




When I ran out of pretzels I opted to fill the last couple of jars with Hershey's Kisses. 


I loved how this one turned out. The blue jar with the red bow is such a pretty combination. 


Oh what? You want to see what Louie looks like in his grandpa sweater? Here you go, my friend. (: 


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Saturday, October 19, 2013

10 Golden Pumpkins


I'm still on a gold spray-painting spree, but this time I'm combining it with my love of all things Autumn. 

Also, I found the holy grail of gold spray paint. Forget that Krylon nonsense, Rustoleum is the way to go. This is my new go-to. It goes on incredibly smoothly, and it's so shiny! I found it at Walmart for about $6. 


This took me about a half hour last weekend, and now I have all of these beautiful, inexpensive decorations for Fall. It occurred to me later that I could have used plastic, store-bought pumpkins to have these decorations for years to come. Oh well, next time!


It should be mentioned that I am shamelessly copying this idea from Anthropologie. How lovely would this be for a dinner party?



 I started out with 10 little orange pumpkins. 




I really could not believe how smoothly this went on. 


And look how shiny and pretty!





Once they were dry, I scattered them about my apartment. 









On a side note, did you know that magic eraser gets rid of sharpie lines on pumpkins? 




Look how nice this guy turned out. 




I hope you're enjoying the season as much as I am! (: 


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