i’m so happy

If I could tell the me of two years ago how happy I would be right in this moment, she would be shocked but so relieved. You know you are happy when you drink rum and Black Cherry sparkling soda and you are overcome with gratefulness. I’m just sitting here staring at the empty space that will eventually be my living room. It needs furniture and wall hangings. It needs sweat and elbow grease. It needs color and warmth. It needs memories. It’s a work in progress, but I am so happy that it’s mine. Charlie is being annoying and needy, but we are in our home. He is literally putting his face in my coat to go outside (even though every time I take him out he stares at the yard like “this is not what I expected”).

–Also side note: I’m listening to Lonely Eyes by Chris Young on repeat, and for some reason, the chorus is just so uplifting that I’m not even thinking about lonely eyes. —

Tonight I looked at my loan payments and savings account. It’s so relieving to know that even though I’m not living an extravagant life, that I am paying my bills and getting ahead of my student loans. Even though I’ve change my lifestyle a little bit, I’m still okay.  I’ve been eating out a little too much, but I’m cutting back so I can focus on my student debt again. It’s crazy what a little raise can do. I’m so used to saving money and accounting for every penny that I think I can go a few more years putting all I have towards my student loans and have them paid off by 2020 just like I hoped. According to an online calculator, I actually should be able to pay them off in May of next year!

Honestly, at that point, I don’t even know what I would do with all that money  when it isn’t going toward the loans. Maybe I would roll the snowball into my mortgage. Maybe I would put new siding on my house. The possibilities are endless. Just a little while longer watching all my money pay down my degree. It’s so close; I can taste it.




Currently Reading: I read salt. by Nayyirah Waheed in February. Waheed is an Instagram poet that published a couple of collections of poems. I really relate to her words and style.  She’s fiercly feminist and tough on white people, but so many of the poems were really helpful to me last month. I’m also still working on The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I’m flip it open every now and then. I need to finish it, and crack open something new.

Currently Singing: Worst In Me by Julia Michaels.

Currently Watching: Bojack Horseman and Cheers. I’m on the last season of Cheers which is very sad.

Currently Loving: Coming home to my own home and a happy dog who misses me.

Currently Celebrating: It’s Lent, and I’m doing a very bad job at being Lenten. I’ve been meatless every Friday, but I prefer to take up some routine or ritual that is reflective or good. I still haven’t thought of something.

Currently Thinking: I’m currently preoccupied with the house projects I still need to do.

  1. Sand and finish the hardwood floors.
  2. Take measurements of the kitchen and attempt to design my “dream floor plan.”
  3. Remove/throw away the old furniture and junk that the previous owner left in the house.
  4. Get the workout/studio room in a functional state.
  5. Put shades or curtains on the kitchen windows.
  6. Buy a couch and chairs.
  7. Clean the upstairs.

Currently Worrying: That I need to start saving for a newer car. I could definitely drive mine longer, but I’m worried something else will be wrong with it tomorrow. I’ve put almost as much into it as I paid for it – of course it wasn’t that expensive. My plan is to hang on for a little while and build a savings. I think if I hold out and wait for something to happen, I will at least be comfortable making the decision to buy a newer one.

valentine’s day 2018

I’m lonely, and that’s good because I’m still looking. I’m lonely and that’s good because I didn’t do something I regret. ‎I’m lonely, and that’s good because I’m working on myself. ‎I’m lonely, but I still love myself. ‎I’m lonely, but I’m still happy.

ACL Reconstruction

One day before: I woke up this morning thinking about how all the turning and stretching I did as I woke up will no longer be an option after tomorrow. I hiked at Stony Brook yesterday with Charlie and Rachael as a final “hoorah” before I become immobile. Having driven past the park after PT last Friday, I realized I had not been there yet this summer.  We walked the West Rim Trail which is one I don’t normally do. So. MANY. Stairs. I hope I’m not too sore tomorrow – I am usually the most sore two days after a tough workout. I ordered a foam mattress wedge to elevate my leg and a foam roller for stretching. Tonight, I plan to make plenty of meals to eat over the next few days. I’m going to bring a shelf downstairs to keep books, magazines, knitting supplies, and my laptop on hand. I plan on sleeping in the recliner for a few days before attempting the stairs. I’m not looking forward to sleeping on my back. This is going to be an experience.

One day after surgery: As someone who is healthy, doesn’t go to the doctor that often, and has never broken a bone, I describe surgery as a surreal experience. I know for those who work in medicine it is reality, but for me, it was like a TV show. So many people come into the room. They ask me my name, date of birth, and to confirm the nature of my visit (ACL reconstruction, left knee). They give me the nerve block in my upper thigh, and I make jokes about my hole-y underwear. I was rolled to the operating room, moved to a new bed, and pumped with the anesthesia. I woke up nauseated and uncomfortable with a full length brace on my leg. I was so sleepy and sick. They kept trying to get me up, but I kept fading. Sleeping felt better than nauseated and sore. I threw up after using the bathroom. Then I got in the car and went home.

Day two post-surgery: The nerve block wore off this morning at 2:30 AM and the pain level went up to about a 9. It took awhile for the pain meds to kick in, and I cried and moaned quite a bit. When I woke up around 8AM, I was nauseated and tried to eat, but it came back up. I didn’t keep a meal down all day. I continued to sleep on the recliner with my leg on the foam wedge and pillows. I wasn’t too uncomfortable – making adjustments for my back as needed. My little sister helped me from the minute I got home. She didn’t like me getting up to use the bathroom without letting her know. An excellent aide.

Day three: My arms and right leg started feeling the burn. My shoulders, biceps, and traps took the brunt of it. I assume my triceps will strengthen as well. I still felt nauseated but was able to keep food down.

Five days post-surgery:  I slept in my bed for the first time since surgery, and it was amazing. This was the most mentally taxing day post-surgery. I had physical therapy today which went great, but the trip, with the walking around and being vertical, was exhausting. The good news is that I am healing perfectly. My legs aren’t that swollen, the incision was hardly bloody, and I’m in very little pain. The past two days, I’ve only taken one pain med with dinner. I’m struggling with quad isolations (which I think is from being so reliant on my right leg over the past seven months). The bad news is that the doctor had to repair damage on both my medial and lateral menisci. I will be on crutches, ie. not weight bearing, for 6 weeks. The pain from the lateral meniscus was what had finally made me get the MRI. I knew the menisci were damaged, but I hadn’t planned for this. The reality of being crutch-bound for so long set in on the drive home. After thinking about not being able to take my dog out on our daily adventures week after week, I finally cried. I know it’s temporary, but Charlie is so frustrated with me. I love taking him to the park. I love walking trails with him. It’s a huge sacrifice for both of us. I’m mad at myself for getting injured. I keep telling myself I am going to be stronger afterwards. I’m finally going to heal this injury. Today I couldn’t shake it off though.

Three weeks post-surgery: I haven’t taken the prescriptions since Day 5. I take Acetaminophen every few hours for the anti-inflammatory benefits. I can lower myself into the tub to take a shower. My stretching and exercise are going well. I can straighten and bend a lot better this week. I can feel the tension in the patellar tendon easing. I can even cross my left leg over my right. The calf pumps and quad exercises are definitely building the strength again. I’m also really good at sitting down and getting up with one leg. However, I’m really tired of the crutches. I want to walk so bad. I hate crutching up and down stairs. It’s hard not being able to carry anything. I had been hopping a lot, but I think I pulled a tendon in my right calf yesterday. It’s sore today so I can’t hop. I have to carry something in one hand and hold the crutch in my armpit AND GO SLOWLY. In 20 days, I get another brace and can start walking, hopefully.

Four weeks post-surgery: My right leg feels better after going easier on it the past week. Overall, the Acetaminophen is helping a great deal for my injured knee. I noticed a decrease in swelling over the top of my knee – which is what is making extension difficult for me. I’m struggling to go from extension to flexion smoothly. I feel pain in the back of my knee during extension and tension in the front when flexing – obviously.  I hate to admit it, but I haven’t been as consistent with my exercises because I’m feeling down about being unable to walk and not being able to work. Originally, they wanted me to work from home, but if I want to stay on top of my exercises I’m spending about six hours a day stretching and strengthening. Then add eating, bathing, and going to the bathroom -ON CRUTCHES- and there goes my day. I don’t get to the computer until six or seven at night.  Plus, sleeping in a brace does not get easier the longer you wear it, at least not for me.

Fourteen Weeks post-surgery: My extension is good but I still can’t do much more than -3 degrees. My right leg is at about -5, so the injured knee is definitely not as flexible yet. My physical therapist says I’m doing great, and they are impressed with my progress. I have been putting the functional ACL brace on less, and I actually have been experiencing less pain without it.  I’m doing more walking and less stretching at work. The main place I experience a little pain is where the arthroscopic insertion was. It may also be the meniscus repair on that side. I went back to work at about Week 8 after getting the functional ACL brace. The doctor cleared me for desk duty. The first few weeks with the new brace I spent most of the day on the computer. I needed to keep it straightened or else it would stiffen up and make walking tough.

2017 is almost over…

life currently (2)

… and I haven’t written in awhile. I almost asked myself why even bother sharing my thoughts with the ether, but I know how much it positively affects my mental state. So I am back here.

I think the thing I miss most about logging on and putting my thoughts down in words is reflecting on my goals and weaknesses. I use a daily planner for every day To Do lists, but I don’t take the time to think about myself as much as I used to.

Part of that is because I’m not as worried about “making the right decisions” anymore. I know that life is not about making the right decisions but rather about finding your way day by day.

I had knee surgery. I had an accident with Charlie. I gained some weight. I went back to work and picked up another part-time shift.  I currently work 40 hours plus an additional 3 shifts at the Knights. I got a raise at my day job – the one I asked for a year ago. I’m going to close on a house soon.

Life is happening to me.

My most important goal was paying down my student loan debt, but then I started to like my job and started to hate my living situation. I recognize that I’m so lucky to have to home I have now with my sister. We just can’t live together and be happy. It never worked when we were little. It hasn’t been working now.

So, I got excited about the idea of having my own place, and my mom – with her newly earned real estate license – starting looking. My budget was small, and I know that means a lot of paint and a lot of patience until I have a home that is modern and mine. I found the house that I was looking for. I have plans for an office and a shop room and a guest bedroom with a screen projector for movie nights. I will have room for an additional freezer for the game I harvest. I will have a garage to put a canoe. I will have little view of the river. I will have my own bathroom!

I’m grateful. I’m grateful for my jobs. I’m grateful for my family. I know I’m single and 25 all alone in a house, but I have my doggo. I have my parents and grandparents within ten miles. I’m scared and worried and a little disappointed that I’m taking out more loans rather than paying them off, but mostly, I’m excited.

dads make life better

I meant to post this for Father’s Day last year, but I somehow missed it. And here we are again… another year gone by… another year of my Dad being awesome too.

My friend Nichole’s birthday celebration was the week before Father’s Day last year, and it was such a good time. She got her family and friends together for drinks and wings and dancing. I got to meet her dad who I think is just too sweet. He was dancing with all of us and told me how nice it was to meet me. I realized how important it is to meet people’s parents.  They help you understand your friends better.

Nichole’s dad has several daughters. I think dads with daughters know what’s up. Men who have girls learn so much about what growing up as a girl is like, and those men ultimately watch their daughter turn into a woman. I think watching daughters grow up makes most fathers into better people.

And I was thinking about this the weekend of Father’s Day. I like when my life lines up like that. I got to meet Nichole’s dad, and he reminded me how great dads are.

And look at my dad when he was in high school!


What an 80s hunk.

He’s gutted his whole house to make it pretty – the house in which all of us kids were/are being raised – and took a photo with us even though he was sweaty and gross. It’s okay; we love him that way.

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Now look at his herd of kids (plus a grand baby)! The photo below was taken almost two year ago. We need a new one with my niece in it. Mom and Dad did a heck of a job. My Dad not-so-secretly loves having adult children to meet up with at the bar. I have a theory that he had so many kids just to grow a bunch of friends.