Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lake Powell July 2013

In July we went on a family vacation that we would never forget. This was the first time in 3 years that Jeff and I were able to go down to Lake Powell. I guess that's the price of being an adult, we had to work the previous summer since we used our vacation time to go to San Diego. Oh and the year before... we got married! I guess that's the best excuse not to go. I think so. Well this trip was a pretty big deal for many reasons. Allison, Jeff's older sister, was visiting from Alaska. She was getting married the week after we got back, so her soon-to-be husband came to join us. I had never met Paul, so it was fun to get to know him. Jeff's oldest sister, Cathy, was getting ready to move back to Italy with her husband, our sweet nephew, and they're soon-to-be born baby. Plus Jeff's parent's next door neighbors came with us. They have kind of been adopted into the family and seem more like family than friends. They have the CUTEST little girls and really made the trip. 

The Soon-to-be Newlyweds
Lake Powell was an adventure from the minute we got there. When we arrived we had arranged to meet Jeff's parents on the beach next to the dock. When we got there we found Jeff's mom had gotten stuck in the sand with the trailer. It took maybe 30 minutes and having to detach the trailer, but we were able to get her out without having to call the park service to be towed. We gathered up everything from my car and started loading it into the boat. When the worst possible thing happened. 

I need to backtrack a little bit, ever since I was little I get this debilitating charlie horses behind my knees. They come sudden and with no warning. They literally drop me to the floor, because my knee locks up and they are excruciatingly painful. As I have gotten older incidents have become less frequent and even a year or so can go by. I used to get them weekly as a child and have been tested for everything under the sun as to why I get them. Anyways, sometimes they occur at REALLY bad times. When I was a sophomore I had fractured my wrist and was cheering in the homecoming game. I went to do an aerial (no hands needed) and right as I prepped it happened. I had to just finish the aerial or just face plant it. Not pleasant. I ended up tearing my lcl and sprained a bunch of other tendons in my knee. I was in a brace for 2 months and physical therapy for 3 months. Again not pleasant. 

I digress... back to Lake Powell
{You can probably tell where this is going}

We had just loaded the last of our stuff into the front of the boat. I had my left leg planted in the mud and my right leg up in the boat, I was waiting for the cooler to be moved before I got completely into the boat. I guess I had locked my left leg and the next thing I know is a extremely sharp pain and my leg just giving out. Unfortunately, my foot was planted in the mud and I fell sideways instead of backwards. I heard three loud pops as I hit the water. I might add I was dressed in sweats and not in swim attire. I knew right away that it was my childhood nightmare again. I couldn't move my leg as it was locked and all I could do was lie in the water screaming in pain. Great way to start a week long trip, right?  Honestly, I thought that once the charlie horse went away I would be fine and maybe at worst a little sore for the rest of the day. Boy was I wrong.  Well it became obvious after a couple minutes that the pain wasn't going away, even after I could start moving my leg a little bit. Jeff helped me get up, but I couldn't put any weight on my leg; not even toe pressure. I cannot remember how I got into the boat to be honest. It was clear I needed to go over to the clinic, which is not in a convenient location I might add. Thanks to my brother-in-laws and father-in-law I was able to get out of the boat and hobble across the dock into our car. When I got to the clinic still in my soaking wet sweats, in 105 degree weather, they did a very brief examination of my leg and said I pulled my hamstring and sprained my knee. They gave me this giant, old-school, gross, yellow foam brace that was far too big and completely pointless. I didn't take a picture, but take my word for it nasty. Plus I got my only saving grace crutches and pain pills. Said I'd be as good as new in a couple days and sent me on my way. This whole time Jeff kept telling me that fortunately I haven't torn anything and how lucky I was. If only. 

Our AWESOME campsite. You can see the private little cove in the background.
{Picture by Allison}
I spent the rest of the day just trying to avoid pain and still enjoying myself. We set up camp in an awesome location, we had our own private beach and cove that was protected from the main bay. We spent the rest of the day just relaxing and just enjoying each others company. Riding in the boat was pretty painful, especially in the bay where there are lots of waves. Jeff made me up a protective barrier of life jackets, pillows, and towels to help absorb the shock of all the waves. I refused to spend the entire trip in the houseboat and unable to have any fun. After the first two days Jeff kept telling me that I'd be okay and I'd be able to do what everyone else was doing by day three. Well it was clear every morning I wasn't getting any better. I still couldn't put any weight on my leg. I was still in a great amount of pain, even with the pain pills. I think I realized before everyone else I wasn't going to be better and able to do what everyone else was doing. I was still determined to ride on the boat and take pictures along the way. I like riding in the boat and am not big into tubing or wakeboarding. I hurt my shoulder years ago and those activities just aggravate it. It was so hot outside I had to get into the water even though I couldn't kick my leg. Fortunately, Jeff's parents had brought a noodle chair that I could sit and float around in. I got pretty good at getting around in the water with that and since they put in a new swim ladder I was able to get in and out of the houseboat with little pain.
The group that went to Rainbow bridge.
{Picture by Allison}
We went down to Rainbow bridge and explored around. The houseboat had a new slide that was the main attraction of the trip.We just enjoyed hanging out in the water with everyone. It was Jeff and his Mom's birthday while we were there. For Jeff's birthday and just for the trip in general we rented a jet ski for the week. Jeff couldn't have been more excited. You know boys and their toys. All the boys turned the jet ski into a contestant, who could get it to the go the fastest. I think the max speed that was reached was 56 mph towards the last day. We also found out Cathy was going to be having a girl, which is what most everyone was hoping for. We loved having the entire family together and sad that it isn't like that all the time. We hope that someday everyone will live in the same state and our kids can be close to their cousins and not see them once a year. Here are some pictures from the trip. 

Eric & David
My handsome husband keeping me company on the boat
Having fun with my camera.
Making a duck face. She was always some kind of animal and always wanted to be in the water
What little girl is not happy with a bubble gun?

I think I spent most of the trip just playing with these little girls. I hope that one day that I have little girls just like these two. They are such sweethearts, super polite, and so smart.
Cathy and Dominic. Can't believe that little boy is going to be a big brother!
What a cutie! He was more than content filling and emptying the cup
FINALLY finding out its a girl!! Coming Sept/Oct 2013 (Cake is pink)
{Picture by Allison}
Obviously he enjoyed his birthday present. They want to rent one every year now. 
Wakeboarding was the favorite pass time during this trip
Allison getting some air!
Some epic crashes happened this trip. Ouch!
David jumping the wake
Everyone had some rough finishes
Jeff exiting the wake. I thought this was a cool shot. 
Jeff practicing his tricks
Jeff had a particularly bad fall and left him with a massive headache for the rest of the day
He blacked out for a minute and was a bit dazed. So Lene jumped in to help him get back in the boat.
After his fall. I think he just didn't want me to feel left out being the only injured person and all
Lene got up his first time wakeboarding and even went out of the wake! 
Eric & Sherridan, parents of the adorable girls. We love these two!! Cutest couple
Jeff and Linda on their birthday. {We bought her the crown to wear}
Jeff's family. Love being part of this family
A huge amphitheater that we loved to go to. It was huge this year since the water is so low
Allison was teaching Paul and David to dive. Showing off her skills
Pauls attempt at a dive
Jeff going backwards and head first down the slide
{Picture by Allison}
David trying the same thing... freaked out right at the end. OUCH!
{Picture by Allison}

The Catch Up: Part I Career Changes

Long time no blogging....
I can honestly say I haven't blogged anything of substance in about 10 months.
When we got Bailee last year, WOW how things have changed since then
I don't even know where to many things I want to document about our lives
I have have started probably 2 dozen different posts and thought about many more in between
I just never finished or posted any of them. My bad.
I think part of it is I either didn't want to post anything about the trials we have faced in the last year
Or maybe I just haven't wanted to admit and post about them to the world
Probably a little from column A and a lot from column B
Though our lives haven't been all troubles, we have had some wonderful memories I'd love to share
I know this will be a long post with little to no pictures
Feel free to read or not, I just want to document our lives for us. 

Well back in April Jeff received a transfer/promotion at IHC to the Dialysis Unit
Really an awesome opportunity that not is hard get.
Plus the jump in pay was an added benefit!
It consists of a 6 month on job training that consists of learning complex machines, reading doctor orders, and of course poking people with REALLY BIG needles. Yikes.
{Needless to say I told Jeff, no practicing on me}
Jeff shocked people at how quick he learned and how fast he moved through the program.
My rockstar husband! 
They even had him training the two newbies in June, when he was supposed to be in training himself
Proud wife here and love to boast about my amazing husband. 
Well shortly after Jeff got offered the job in Dialysis Jeff came to me with news that turned our world upside down.
He decided he no longer wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, meaning no more nursing school
What does he want to do instead? Law enforcement.
I can honestly say I was surprised shocked dumbfounded
First, Jeff has been working towards a career in the medical field since high school
Second, he has NEVER to my knowledge mentioned ANYTHING about law enforcement
Other than throwing around the idea of entering the military in high school and joking about being a cop
Third, he had just accepted a new job that would look awesome on his nursing resume
Honestly, I really didn't think he was serious and that maybe he was just overwhelmed with school and a new job
Shortly before this we found out that for him to be a nurse practitioner he'd have to get a doctorate instead of a masters.
Well I quickly found out just how serious he was
Jeff contacted his family's friend who is a sergeant with highway patrol and he told Jeff that they were hiring and to apply
Highway patrol, as any law enforcement agency, has an extensive application process.
Our world became filled with training for the physical assessment and studying for the exam
It was all a whirlwind and I barely had time to wrap my head around the whole thing.
Sadly, Jeff injured his wrist {pretty significantly} days before the physical assessment, which forced him to drop out
It has been in part a blessing, because we've since had the ability to make a game plan towards his career
He is 150% behind this new career path and I can really see a difference in his motivation
He switched all his classes and major at school and is in full criminal justice mode. 
Which is nice for me since that's what I just finished doing in school
His new plan is to quickly finish his degree in criminal justice and really focus on getting in tip-top shape
He is going to start the police academy this December.
Then hopefully he can get hired on with highway patrol in the spring

I also changed my career plans, but not as much of a surprise 
I have always planned on going to law school since elementary school
My family has told me to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember
Apparently I like to argue?
I really do love law and have enjoyed all my classes I have taken.
This past year I just haven't felt so excited about getting so close to law school.
I had talked with Jeff about potential law schools and moving out of the state. 
I found I was more excited about just moving than the potential of going to law school.
I am a perfectionist and I don't do anything half fast and if I can't do it the way I want then I won't do it.
My dream with law school was to become a criminal prosecutor. 
There really isn't any other law that interested me.
I don't want to be a public defender; I just don't have the mindset for it.
Over the years I have had many conversations with professors who lived what I considered my dream. 
They really showed me the reality: minimum 60 hour work weeks that really are more like 70-80 hours 
Yes, money is pretty awesome not going to lie
Is it worth it to be paying off  HUGE school loans and not being able to enjoy the money
To me it ultimately came down to career or family?
Do I want to have a family, but not really be around to play with my kids?
Ultimately, I came to the decision that no. The money wasn't worth it and I chose to be a mom. 
Now that I finished my degree, now what? 
I threw around the idea of working something administrative for law enforcement or even the FBI
Nothing sounded all that appealing to me. 
During my second semester of college I started tutoring and it really showed me how much I loved to teach.
I started talking some education classes and when I moved back home I helped out in a family friend's kindergarten class.
I loved it and still do.
So new plan is to finish what I had already started in college.
I am no working towards my second bachelor's degree in education.
Last spring I started substitute teaching and have loved it.
Except teaching 7th grade boys. They test my patience a little too much
It would be awesome to be a debate teacher some day and combine two things I've been passionate about
Time will tell ...

Well that's just part one of our catch up. I have lots more to share!