Monday, January 23, 2012

Why I Love the Weekend

For the past 3 weekends Adam and I have done NOTHING. It has been wonderful. It has been relaxing. It has been glorious. It has been somewhat productive. All of those things to me= PERFECT WEEKEND!

After a very busy summer/fall/holiday and countless miles traveled- we have been 100% ok to have virtually NO plans for the past 3 weekends. We have "locked ourselves in" on Friday nights... typically picking up take- out and eating on the couch together while watching our favorite recorded tv. We go to bed early on Friday and wake up LATE on Saturday... I'm talkin' 10:30 am people!  I cook a big brunch and enjoy coffee without being forced to suck it down to wake up. We then usually go to the gym or walk Gus around the neighborhood. Because winter is confused and we have experienced exceptionally warm temps (50-60 degrees) we have also enjoyed outside activities like hiking with friends and eating outside.  On Sundays, we attend the early worship service at 8:30 am, serve in the childrens ministry at 10, then eat lunch with friends after. After a nap on the couch with our doggy, I've been going to PiYo class at the gym for a wonderfully relaxing workout. After that- I head to the grocery store then home to make our easy peasy traditional Sunday night dinner of a soup/salad/sandwich combo. Because work seems a never- ending thing for me, I usually spend an hour or so on Sunday before dinner to get ready for the week. On Sundays I also catch up on laundry so it doesnt have to be done during the week.  I try REALLY hard to be in bed by 10 pm, but that doesnt always happen.
Hiking at Devils Den
As much as I LOVE traveling and seeing family, it has been so refreshing to just spend time with A the last few weekends. I feel like our marriage has really grown and we're more relaxed throughout the week because of these low key weekends.  This weekend is another relaxing one with more or less NO plans!  I am getting the itch to be a little more productive so I have a couple of projects that I'm going to work on.  After this weekend, we'll be traveling 2 weekends in a row so I'm going to try and keep it calm for the most part.

I know one day I'll dream of "the good ole' days" of sitting around and enjoying a relaxing weekend. These past few weekends are just the type that I want to remember.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Health Scare and A Cancelled Vacation

For months, A and I had planned to travel oversees to visit Adam's sister and her family.  Kellie and her family (we have THE cutest/sweetest nephews on the planet) have lived oversees for several years and we have not seen them in over a year when they last traveled to the states. Because Adam has only traveled to see them once and I had never been we purchased tickets this fall and made the decision to travel the day after Christmas to see them. The plan was to meet my in-laws there and all celebrate Christmas together. Because it takes a full 2 days to travel there and another 2 days back, we had planned to take 2 weeks total.  The cost of plane tickets alone was the price of more than double our yearly vacation budget and leaving work for that long was almost unthinkable for both of us. After we purchased the tickets and had made the decision to go- I cannot describe the joy that overcame us of spending 2 weeks with our family in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Adam and I with our nephews- Jack and Max

That feeling of elation lasted until about 1 month before we were scheduled to leave.  Almost 3 weeks to the day we were scheduled to leave I had the worst headache of my life. It was a different kind of headache than I had ever had.  The pain was bearable and I continued with life as usual except I went to bed earlier and was more lethargic than usual. 2 weeks later, the headaches had not subsided one bit and the pain had migrated into my neck a little. I finally got into a doctor and he seemed to think it was an atypical migraine. He prescibed some meds, did some lab work, and sent me on my way. Because we were due to leave the country in a week, he wanted to monitor me closely over the weekend. When he called to check on me a couple of days later the Migraine meds had't even touched the headache. He ordered an MRI of my head just to rule out some things.  Because I had been involved in a rear- end crash a couple of months before that totaled my car, he definitely had some concerns.

When he called the next morning to tell me the results of the MRI I couldn't believe he was telling me that something had shown up "to cause concern." He called it a Chiari Malformation and gave me what little information he knew about the condition. I actually knew more about it than he expected because Amy, the girl I used to work with had called me 3 months earlier telling me her husband was battling the same condition. I had never heard of it then- but did extensive research to help and support my friend.  Because Shawn had since had several complications that have now resulting in brain surgery- panic set in. I remember calling Adam and being really calm. I told him and he immediately began to sob into the phone. His bosses were nice enough to let him work from home that day and he came home and we just prayed together throughout the day. Because we were supposed to leave the country in a few days- we diligently worked to get into the specialists that we had to get medical clearance from. 

I finally started getting SOME relief the day before Christmas Eve- the same day that Adam contracted The Great Acumen Stomach Virus of 2011.  Just as I started to feel better, poor Adam was feeling REALLY sick. We barely made it to Benton for Christmas, and after a lot of praying- decided that it was best NOT to leave the country since we both weren't even close to 100%. The thought of putting either of us on a plane for 30 hours was unbearable- but cancelling our vacation was TERRIBLE. I cried for 2 days. What made things worse was waking up the day we were supposed to leave feeling significantly better. By that point it was too late to get a flight out and airfare had more than TRIPLED! We took it all as God's sign that we made the right decision- though I can't explain the sadness we had!  We ended up taking the rest of the week off work as planned, then returned to work January 2. We saved a week of vacation and spent several days at home together just relaxing. We got massages, celebrated our 3rd anniversary, then attended our friend's New Year's Party. It was wonderful to relax and get healthy.  I also was able to get into the Chiari Specialist in Little Rock who gave me a perfectly clean bill of health. By the time I saw him on Jan 3, the headaches had gone away completely! Because I lack several of the other symptoms that go along with Chiari Malformation, he didn't seem to think that is what was causing the headaches. We were so thankful for this news and thankful for God's provision and peace during such a scary time.

We are currently trying to re- plan travel to see Kellie, Joel, Jack and Max... but we're also considering waiting until our precious NIECE to be born in May before we travel. Either way- traveling to see the Turners is something that is definitely on our 2012 list of things to do!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

We are blessed with such wonderful family and friends and could not WAIT to get to Benton to start celebrating Jesus' birth with our loved ones!  Unfortunately, 2 weeks before Christmas... I had begun having terrible headaches that did not seem to go away. Adam also contracted "The Great Acumen Stomach Bug of 2011" that wiped out more than 15 people at work! He became sick on Thursday night but went ahead to work on Friday (which is why the stomach bug wiped out that many people, ha!) We had planned to leave right when he got off work on Friday to head to Benton- but he was feeling terrible so we decided to wait until Saturday- Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve came and Adam was sick as a dog. I wasn't feeling 100% either so we just laid around most of the day. I loved spending time with A, but I was ready to see our families! We were also supposed to leave Monday- the 26th for Malaysia! We started feeling anxious that we wouldn't make it home for Christmas or to Malaysia...

Adam went several hours without vomiting so we decided to make the trek down south. We stopped in Little Rock and Adam dropped me off at Olive Garden to meet my parents, Lee, and my mom's brother and family.  We have a tradition of eating at the OG on Christmas Eve together! Afterwards we played Dirty Santa at mom and dads and just hung out together.

On Christmas Day, Adam and I both woke up feeling awful. I was able to make it to church with my family but he was sick in bed all day. I felt so bad for him! Adam is always in a good mood and despite him not feeling good we had a great day. I was so thankful we made it "home" for Christmas.
 My dads brothers and sister and my sweet Meme
 My dad sporting some of his Christmas loot. He's a nut.
 I love this woman!
 Luckily I was feeling better by this point... Adam was still puny. (But still cute. :) )
 Brother/sister love
 Meems and her new Coach wallet!
 Mom and her Christmas apron
 I didn't mention that I got a new fancy camera for Christmas! It takes great pics like this one of my precious cousin, Avery
 Kate and Uncle Ted
 I love this pic of Kate, Meme, Tiffany and I
 Adam and Gus
2 of my BFF's and me on Christmas morning. Kori (middle) has a little Christmas present in her belly that will arrive in July! We're so excited!

Unfortunately the sickness did not subside enough to where we thought we could travel to Malaysia the next day- so we cancelled our trip. I cannot tell you the sadness we had! Of course we woke up the day we were supposed to leave and Adam and I felt at least 90%. By that time it was too late and we searched for HOURS for another flight but were unable to get out.  We went ahead and took the week off work as planned... but didn't have energy to do anything but lay around. As sad as we were to not spend Christmas with Adam's sister and family- we were blessed to spend some (A LOT) of quality time together. We enjoyed doing nothing... something we hadn't done in a very long time.

We had a wonderful Christmas and feel so very blessed this year.  We have wonderful family, friends, a warm home, successful careers that we enjoy, and a growing church. Most of all- we have the grace and love of our Savior, Jesus that was born a little over 2000 years ago. He came to Earth as an innocent baby- only to grow up and die a gruesome death on the cross to save ME.  I'm so thankful for His sacrifice... and for the many other things that He has blessed me with.

Merry Christmas, from the Fites!