Monday, November 26, 2012

Kicking Off Christmas!

My friend Katie Lee invited me over to make a gingerbread house the other night. It was a great way to start the holiday spirit. Since then the house has started to get decorated and we are getting a tree this week! I love our house at Christmas. I even listened to Christmas music...I think I'm starting to enjoy Christmas more and more! 

Decorating got a little intense! Charlotte broke a few things, Katie got crafty with the glue gun, Megan got sticky fingers from decorating the tree, and I just did a little bit of everything.
 We were very pleased with how the roof turned out! The tree is a little jankity, but I love it! Notice the logs in the back of the house. And yes, that is a bear walking on water!
Katie then worked her photo magic on Megan and I and took this lovely tree shot!
We are a little excited for Christmas!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Thanksgiving to Remember: Part 4/5

Finally it was Thanksgiving! Mom and Dad got to cooking. Dad was a champ and peeled all the potatoes. It was a lot because my mom was making sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and then she needed diced potatoes for my turkey pot pie. Mom and I were busy looking through ads so we could shop that evening. Cami and Ryan were packing up their things and the kids were running around being crazy. We had a very yummy Thanksgiving with lots of giggling in between. I'm so glad that I could have some of my family come out for the holiday. It was fun to have the house filled with family!
Camden helped me write in my gratitude journal and then drew a hand turkey! Haddley fell in love with my guitar and spent most of the morning just strumming away. Camden and Haddley loved using the banister as a race track for their cars. We had a little bubbly with dinner! Dad and Parker keeping the Hoppes tradition alive with the turkey leg. Haddley loving her dinner. Camden and Parker trying to pull the wishbone. Camden, Haddley and I went to the park to shoot some hoops. Camden and I being silly and making faces during snuggle time!

Once the house was cleared it was then time to shop. My Dad at first wasn't going to come at all, but then decided he would come with us and then head home around Midnight. I won't go into details about the evening, but it was long. We started at 7pm and ended around 7 am. We shopped the whole time...well actually most of that was spent in lines! I HATE LINES! By the morning Mom and I were feeling the pain in our backs and for me especially in my knee too. I came home for a quick power nap and then we organized it all into suitcases. The good news is that I got most of my shopping done! It might not look like much, but that was the second half of the evenings bags. My Dad has already brought in the first half.
Photo: This just happened...well for the last 12 hours!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Thanksgiving to Remember: Part 3

Temple Square
We decided to take a trip down to Salt Lake to see the temple. I wish the Christmas lights were on, but it was still beautiful. The kids loved seeing the big temple and walking around the vistor's center. We also stopped by the conference center and City Creek!

Not the greatest of pictures due to it was dark and I only had my phone, but you get the idea! We had a great time. I still can't believe that it was almost 60 degrees outside at 8:00 at night at the end of November! AMAZING!

A Thanksgiving to Remember: Part 2

Although I'm not a huge lover of the snow, I do enjoy playing in it a little. I decided to take the family up to Silver Lake which is my family place in Utah. We had the whole place to ourselves and loved every minute...well until the kids got cold! Really we were very lucky and had perfect weather!
Camden has seen/played in the snow a little bit in Oklahoma, but never THIS much snow. Haddley was hesitant at first, but then she loved it!
 Parker's first trip to the snow!
 Grandma taught the kids how to make snow angels!
 The whole gang had a great day!
 Now that they know I have snow in Utah I think they might come visit a little bit more!
It was probably my favorite day in the snow in a long, long time!

A Thanksgiving to Remember Part 1

This Thanksgiving I decided to invite some of the family to Utah! I love California and thank goodness get to go home for Christmas, but I really wanted my family to see where I live, work, hang out, etc. Lucky for me, they LOVE me and came for the visit. 
I had a few things that I really wanted to make sure we got to do while everyone was in town. First things first was of course bring the kids to school day!
When Camden and Haddley ask why I have to go back to Utah I always tell them it's because of my students. It was fun for them to see my school and to get to meet my students. Plus my students LOVED having them there.

Next was TACO time! My family laughed, but I really wanted to take them to Lonestar Taqueria! I love this place. I've mentioned it before. My family needed to taste it! Everyone agreed it was a great meal! PHEW...I told them I would disown them if they didn't!
Since we were over by the freeway I decided we needed to go to Scheels. I knew the kids would love seeing the animals and everyone else could enjoy shopping!
Clearly my Dad had a great time as well!

 Over all it was a WONDERFUL first day together!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Holding Out For A Hero

I recently watched the newer version of Footloose. Yes, I realize this came out a couple years ago. Amanda and I finally had time to sit and watch it. I actually really liked it. The best part was this song. Ella Mae Bowen does a fantastic job singing it. I love the lyrics. I think we all need a Hero. I often play it on repeat when I find I need to be reminded that I deserve a Hero. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Painter Family Sunday

I taught Rhett last year (you may remember some posts about him). They are one of the greatest families on Earth. A huge blessing to have in my life. When I'm bored I text Kim. When I'm needing some kid time I go hang out with the kids. When I need a haircut, I call Kim. When I need a good meal, I go to the Painters! Yesterday I went to church with them because 4 of 5 were in the primary program. They were adorable of course. This then turned into come over and make apple pies and dinner! This lasted from 3:00 to 9:30pm. When you are having fun at the Painter's house you just don't ever want to leave!

The girls were big helpers! Rhett...he just wanted to eat the pies!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Best Friend's Wedding

7 years ago I met Lisa! We were both teaching at Greenwood Elementary. I was teaching 4th grade and she was teaching 2nd. The principal asked us to all pick a lower grade to be reading buddies with. We both kind of looked at each other and said yeah? Well that is where it started. That year we became friends and then I moved to the 2nd grade team. Do you know how fun it is to go to work with one of your best friends every day? It's amazing! We started branching out from just being work friends and doing stuff outside of school. Then we decided to be travel buddies. We have gotten lost in Greece, zip-lined in Costa Rica, snorkeled in Honduras, and so much more! Yesterday Lisa married Devin Walker and things will of course be different, but I still look forward to meeting up for Thai, gchatting at work, texting about dates late in the night, craft nights with the girls, etc. 

 Of course we had AMAZING weather all week long and then the snow storm hit Friday carrying over to Saturday. Poor California got a white wedding. It was beautiful, but very cold!
They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple!

 Super blurry but the only shot with my shaky cold hands!
 Isn't she beautiful?
 Lisa knows how to party! Amazing food! 
I tried everything and was full the rest of the evening!
 Their reception was at the Grand America Hotel in downtown SLC. 
It was the perfect location for this fancy and fun day.
 Random shot, but LOOK AT THAT DRESS? 
I was in love with it. Lisa had stressed a little about the dress, but she for sure picked a winner. It was stunning!
 Cake time!
 First dance
(Love her veil)
 The snow finally stopped for a little bit and it made for a beautiful day at the SLC temple!
I'm so grateful for Lisa and all that she has done for me over the years. I'm lucky to have her in my life. I'm so glad she is so in love and happy. I can't think of someone more who deserves it!

Lisa and Devin
November 10, 2012
Lisa Gardiner became Lisa Walker!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Over a month ago I tore my meniscus. At the time I had no idea what was wrong. You might remember some nasty pictures of a giant knee. All I knew was that it hurt. I like to think I am pretty tough and have a high tolerance for pain, but it got to be unbearable. Before I left for my trip to Boston they did an MRI on my knee and decided that yes I had torn my meniscus. I scheduled an appointment for when I was back to meet with the surgeon and talk about my options. After meeting with him he let me know that it could still heal and that surgery wasn't the only option. I waited another week and then decided I just couldn't do this anymore. I gave myself a few days to plan at school because unlike most professions you can't just take a sick day. I had to spend hours at work finishing grades, writing sub plans, prepping for parents, preparing for conferences and more. Luckily I have a BYU student helping me right now who has saved me! I was finally ready though!

Surgery was set for November 1st! Great planning because that meant no crazy kids the day after Halloween!!!! My roommates and I joked that I needed "My last meal" before I went in. Amanda, Aubrey, Kimmie and I went to get my favorite tacos and to talk about the surgery.
I had really weird concerns about my surgery. None of them having to do with the actual procedure of the surgery. We had a good laugh as we discussed what I would be wearing, who was going to see me in it and how loopy I would be. It made for a great last meal!

The morning of the surgery I was still feeling pretty okay about everything. Bobby, my friend/home teacher was coming over to give me a blessing and then drop me off at the hospital. When we got to the hospital he came in with me to help me get checked in. 
I was a little bummed it was UNC blue and not Duke Blue.

It was a quick process and the lady said to go upstairs. He had offered to wait, but I knew the surgery would take a long time so I told him to go home. He was hesitant, but listened. As I went upstairs I realized I was in another waiting room...all alone....That is when the anxiety hit. I had no idea how long I would be there, what I was suppose to do and I was worried. I sent Bobby a quick text just saying thanks for dropping me off. Then I sent another one that said would you hate me if I asked you to come back? He quickly called and as I fought back tears he realized I really did want him to come back. I was so happy to see him get off those elevators. I hadn't realized how nervous I was until that moment. Thank goodness he did come back because my 9:45 arrival time turned into don't go back and get ready until 12:00. We joked around, read some scriptures, had some good chats about life and then they took me back. This was the best part because they automatically assumed Bobby was a boyfriend or husband. The lady was like okay go ahead and change and I'll be back. Bobby was trying to get out the door and she was like oh you can stay. He just looked at her like NO I CAN'T! He was a good sport though. I'm pretty sure my nurse hated him because he kept making wise cracks, which I loved because it took my mind off of everything. I had a BYU nurse putting in my IV which caused some discomfort and I just kept looking at him the whole time. He was cracking jokes to make it all better. One of the doctors came in and called him Dad, which both of us just went wait?? WHAT??? He explained he worked in labor and delivery and called everyone Dad. It was finally time for me to go in and the doctor told Bobby to hug and kiss me goodbye...I got a high five :) After Bobby left the doctor said so what is your relationship with that guy. I said oh we are just really good friends. He said like with benefits? I just laughed and so nope! We try not to cross the line. It was pretty amusing. Again I was grateful for the humor because now I was on my own! I had to laugh a little though because as they wheeled me into the room I quickly realized that my nurse, my surgeon, the tech, and the anesthesiologist were all male! Part of our conversation the night before was that I would be in a room with all men and of course they would sneak a peek. Ha Ha. I'm pretty sure they had no idea why I was giggling while I went under.

I was worried that the medicine wouldn't knock me out, but it did. I don't remember anything after getting into the room with all the men. I do remember waking up and being in a strange room. There was a lady standing next to me and I had an oxygen mask on. I was really confused by it all. I could feel myself start to panic and not know what to do. I was itchy but the lady told me it was normal. I remember starting to cry a little bit and thinking it was so odd that no one was saying anything to me or talking to me. I'm sure I was really out of it, but I hated that feeling. I think that was the worst part of the whole thing. I must have fallen asleep again because when I woke up I was in a different recovery room. The same thing happened of not knowing where I was. I just remember the lady asking me if she should call Bobby. I told her yes and then just sat there not really sure what to do. I could feel the medicine wearing off, but wasn't really sure what I was suppose to think or feel. It was all so weird. Bobby got there and started making calls to my roommates who were going to pick me up. The physical therapist came in to show me how to use crutches. I was a little annoyed at this point because I had to pee and she made me get in a wheel chair to go to the lobby to practice. I was still in my hospital gown and she didn't close it very well so I felt VERY exposed. I apologize to anyone who got a sneak peek at me. Finally my nurse let me go to the bathroom! She wheeled me across the hall. I didn't have any pain in my knee so was super glad when she at least left me alone so I could go by myself. She was surprised when I opened the door and was wheeling myself out of the bathroom. Ha Ha. 

Aubrey and Ashley came to get me! I was very ready to get out of the hospital. This quick surgery was sucking the life out of me and I wanted out! We had to go through a few things and sign papers, but then I was out of there. I still wasn't in any pain, thank goodness! Once I got home though it hit me and I decided I better take some pain meds. I took those and then hobbled up the stairs to watch some TV. That didn't last long though because apparently those things put you to sleep! The downside is that they also make you sick. My friend had been texting all day saying have you thrown up yet? I was like nope! I'm good. Amanda and Aubrey went to get me ice cream because I really wanted some. It sounded so good and all I had eaten since tacos the night before were some crackers. The ice cream hit the spot...and then made me throw up...

Since that first throwing up I haven't gotten sick again, but I am still very nauseous. I was pretty sure it was the pain medicine, but I have switched medicine and still felt sick, gone off the medicine and still felt sick, taken nothing and still felt sick. At this point I think I'm just going to feel sick forever. 

Lucky for me I have had friends come by and visit! I'm getting a little bored of Netflix on my own so it's so much more fun when you make the visitor choose! I've gotten gifts, calls, texts, and felt oh so loved!
 The sunshine committee at work were so ahead of the game that they gave me flowers a week early so I got to enjoy them before. My parents sent me some strawberries which have been one of the few solids I have eaten. My sweet friend brought me flowers and a Jamba one night and I even got flowers delivered. We have flowers all over the house so everyone can enjoy them!

I even got a wonderful visit from Kim and Rhett the other night with these goodies! Rhett knows my favorite colors and picked out the yellow and grey socks for me!
It has been so nice to get the help from everyone. I try not to ask for a lot of help on a day to day basis so it's been a little hard for me to ask for people to do small things. My roommates have been amazing though. I feel silly asking them to carry crackers up the stairs or to grab me a blanket, but they have done everything so willingly. It has helped a ton. I've learned a few things about myself in the last couple of days that is for sure. I've also recognized some changes I need to make and things that need to be more of a priority. I've been blessed to see how much my friends mean to me and how much I mean to them. 

I saved the best for last! Here is a collage of my knee!
I hadn't looked at my knee until I got home and the dressing started to slip. I laughed a little when I saw it said YES! Bobby and I had joked that they should write NO everywhere else just to make sure. My knee was a little bruised up the next morning. My special ice machine which is kind of a pain. Most of the knee looked pretty good by Saturday. I still have that small red spot on it though. The stitches come out next Monday! 

So far I'm able to get around on my own pretty well. I just use the crutches for support outside the house. I was able to go to Sacrament meeting yesterday and I even drove myself! (I was nauseous the whole time though). I'm taking off one more day of work before my busy week of parent teacher conferences begins. It could get a little crazy if I'm still nauseous, but hopefully I can get something for that soon!

It's been a long month and a half dealing with all of this, but I'm glad that hopefully it is fixed and I can start the process of recovery! 

PS: Sorry this was so long...