Sunday, February 26, 2012


I sure love Sundays with my husband. Well to be honest, I love every day with my husband. But Sundays are especially lovely. Since church isn't until 3:30 we have the whole morning to be completely lazy. We know that this time will be very different once we have children, so boy do we chose to enjoy it now! 

We rarely get out of bed before 11, and get to spend a lazy morning talking, cuddling and being in love. It's wonderful. More than I ever hoped for in a marriage. Then I make us breakfast and we head to the living room to eat breakfast and watch a show (SNL if we didn't watch it the night before). We have now folded all the laundry in the house (being bed ridden for a week really put me behind in the laundry section) and are drinking Carmel latte's and watching Kindergarden Cop - I am a happy lady. 

Next up we'll head to church where we'll help set coffee up, I'll be hosting the service, and then I'll head into a few meetings before heading home to get a good nights sleep before going back to work. 

What else - lets see. 

Friday I felt like I should try for more than just lying on the couch, so I took a trip to metro town in Burnaby to get some pants hemmed and do some grocery shopping. I bought pants in December but have been too lazy to go to a tailors, put the pants on to be measured and then change again. Its really quite easy to do but it always seems like a big endeavour in my mind. Anyways, 2 months later I feel like I have three new pairs of pants now, since I've never been able to wear them before. Awesome. The trip was pretty tiring but I got groceries and pants so it was a success. 

I headed home to make dinner; homemade Hummus & Pita Chips and then Pizza with sausages. Lovely pub style meal. I was supposed to go to the monthly Youth Worship night but after dinner I guess the food mixed with the meds and I was soooo sleepy. I could barely keep my eyes open, so I decided to stay home. I laid in bed and alternatively slept and watched episodes of "Drop Dead Diva". 

Saturday we slept in and had a lovely morning (very similar to this morning). Then at noon Jenna and the kids came over for lunch - I made grilled cheese and home made veggie soup (which Connor said was delicious). It felt like growing up - when we were little we always had toasted sandwiches and soup for lunch on sundays after church. 

Then Connor coloured and Austin watched Baby Einstein and Jenna and I got to catch up. I love sister time! 

Paul and I got to relax all afternoon and then we headed out to Costco to do the last of the grocery shopping before heading to my parents. We were through in record time. I always find a quick, productive and efficient shopping trip so rewarding!

We then headed to my parents for family dinner; all three famillies were there, the Maxwell's, my parents and Paul and I - Maxwell, Mitchell & Morgan - So random that all the new married names start with M. I love it!

We had dinner together, played with the kids and then had a fun game of Dominoes - Paul liked to stack them very orderly - typical Paul. 

I haven't played Dominoes in years - I forgot how fun it was. We played "Chicken Foot" - or as Jenna liked to say "Chicken Pied" (french for foot). 

After we got back from my parents we had a wild time - Paul watched TV in the living room while I organized things in the Kitchen. I put groceries away. I sorted all the veggies into Tupperware Fridge Smart Containers - I love them because they keep all my food fresh for far longer than they would without the containers and every thing stores neatly in my fridge. I only buy produce once every two weeks and rarely have anything go bad! So thankful for them. 
Then I continued on with my wild evening by making Paul a snack and baking Egg Muffins for breakfasts for the week. Crazy wild, eh?
I then had to respond to some email and facebook messages, send an email to TC for the service the next day and convert the flyer I made for our women's retreat from a PDF into a Power Point (which took forever). Oh my life, so fun. 

I am pretty proud of it though

Anyways, now it's time to head off for church. Gonna put on real clothes for the first time in over a week - awesome. Can't wait to be with my church family. I missed them all a lot!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back update again

Well here I am again, updating from my couch. But this time, I'm in the upright position! Somehow I am feeling MUCH better today. It was still hard to get up this morning, the pain is still there but by the afternoon the pain was much better. And I spent from 1pm until about 20 minutes ago either standing up or sitting, with barely any pain. So I'm feeling very encouraged!

Yesterday my lovely husband took me to the ER to try and rush a CT through. The pain of sitting in the car and the wheelchair were not lovely but I knew it would help. I made it to the ER at 2pm, was in a treatment area by 3pm (and then napping until CT time), heading to the CT area by 4:30 and leaving the hospital by 5:30pm, CT completed. Success! 

Aside from the moment where we went to the car and Paul got the block wrong, so we thought our car was towed but really it was just a block away, everything was perfect. We headed home to rest my hip after that, it was quite tiring. My sweetest love treated me to a Blizzard (which I'd been craving for days) and when we got home he made us potstickers. Awesome. Also we were in bed by 9pm since Paul was super tired; he said worrying about me is exhausting. Aw. I got to lay in bed with my sweet love asleep next to me while I read a book. Lovely.

I woke up at 9am this morning to call the surgeon, got my appointment for 1pm. Woo. The doctor at ER said to not even try for a week, so ha! Then Stefany came over, we chatted and caught up, as if we haven't spent almost every day together this week. She made me lunch (Turkey Sandwiches and Pretzel Chips, mmm) and then drove me to the doctors appt. 

When we got to the surgeon's he told me that he thought it was 50/50 for an outcome; either my back has a disc protruding and might need surgery or it is merely scar tissue digging into my back. He'd like me to wait a couple weeks and see if this might resolve itself, otherwise they'll immediately perform surgery. I feel encouraged that they think it might resolve itself and wouldn't want to perform surgery unless necessary, but I am also happy that if they need to they'll perform surgery and bump me in it's needed. So it feels like a win either way. Plus my doctor was so kind and caring. Love it. 

Stef and I drove home, I bought us a much needed Timmies and then after dropping Stefany at home I got to stop by and visit with my friend Irene. It was excellent. I love Irene. Chatting with her is always a breath of fresh air. 

Then I came home and put dinner together (Oh how I missed cooking). I made Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Penne Pasta. I used fresh spinach sauteed for a moment, and added asparagus and a small amount of Johnny's Garlic Seasoning since I found the recipe slightly bland. But I'm a garlic junky, so that is easily explained. I also decided to make one of our favorite bread recipe's; pita crisps. Simply take a piece of pita, and put a bit of margarine mixed with garlic on it. Then top with parmesan and bake for 5 minutes. Perfect.

Cooking away!

So tasty!

So to recap: I feel great, still need pills but less so. The pain can still be felt, but I am feeling much stronger in my legs. Also, I have a plan in place with my specialist and feel confident in either outcome. And I should be able to go back to work on Monday, at least for a partial day; which our finances will thank us for.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Back updates!

So I'm waiting. I can't make the health care system move any quicker, I can't make the pain leave, I can't go back to work until I can sit/stand for 8 hours (and travel to and from work) and I can't make an appointments until I have a scan. 

Currently waiting for the CT people to call to make me an appointment, so that I can call the specialist and make an appointment. He won't see me without a CT scan, but the CT people are backed up and that could take weeks. I could have had one in the ER the first night we were there but they didn't want to do it in case my doctor wanted an MRI instead, and now this makes my waiting even longer. So we're trying to go to the ER now, we'll be leaving in about an hour, to see if they can do one - I am still in a lot of pain, the meds barely help. It's so frustrating. 

I am concerned about finances and in pain, but I know that God provides. i know he does. I've seen it over and over again. 

My Auntie Sandy sent me a text (she said it was from God), Jude 1:2 (MSG) "Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; Open your hearts, love is on the way!"

So I'm taking that seriously. I am Relaxing, Resting, and having an open heart. I am choosing to take the time and enjoy it. I am getting my fill of peace. I am open to the things that God would bring or do in this time. 

And I am loving it. 

Monday my dear friend Stefany came over to make me lunch (grilled cheese and salad) and spend the afternoon with me - how I love to spend hours with a friend, and normally I don't get the chance. What a treat. Plus I've learned that my dear french friend, makes a lovely french maid. 

Me, flat on my back, ready for lunch!

After that, my friend Sarah came by to visit. How wonderful to be able to lay flat on my back and still be in relationship!

After Sarah left I began to get very very sleepy, so I spent the evening with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on in the background while I lightly dozed on the couch, with Paul across the room from me playing video games. Lovely. 

Paul snapped this as proof that I'm laying down, haha

Tuesday one of the girls from church, Kayla, came over. We had a lovely time of conversation. I love real, honest conversations with a new friend. I am so glad to get to know her - I love, love, love new friends. After that my friend maid, Stefany, came back. She came around noon and stayed until after life group! She made me tuna melts and salad (seriously, she's awesome). We had a lovely afternoon of conversation. We laughed and got to bond and it was so lovely. 

Paul popped a frozen Lasagna into the oven, Stef whipped together a salad, Gabe brought over garlic bread, John brought over dessert, and the rest of our life group came to join us. All 9 of us fit easily around the big table, and it felt like family. After dinner we moved into our living room (with a new-to-us couch) for bible study, conversation and worship. The new couch made the room seem so much cozier and everyone had a place to sit. It was perfect. The conversation was great, and worship was excellent (Gabe led). I had to move onto the floor to lay down for most of it, but that was to be expected, and everyone was so kind about it. 

To me it seems less aesthetically pleasing, and much more crowded, but the feeling of home it creates when you are in the space is amazing. 

Lynds stayed around after for conversation. I love talking to that girl! and again, I love that I can have great conversation with her while I lay on the couch. I am so thankful for friends. 

Anyways, today I have moved onto my couch again to catch up on PVR'd TV. I am waiting for Paul to come home so he can take me to the ER in the hopes I can get more pills (I'm running low) and a CT scan. I want to get up and eat something but I am rather apprehensive of was fairly painful this morning. So I think I will wait for Paul's return. Hopefully he makes me something awesome. We'll see. 

My sweet view from the couch

Monday, February 20, 2012

And back to the sick bed

Something you should know about me: about a year and a half ago (October 2010) I had back surgery. I have been struggling with back pain for some time. It started in February of 2010, I began experiencing lower back pain. Then it slowly moved into stabbing pain that went down my leg. I kept going to see my doctor and chiropractor but there seemed to be no stopping the pain. My doctor just kept saying it was stress from planning my wedding (May of 2010) and wouldn't take it very seriously. Sitting and standing hurt, laying down was often the only relief. When we returned from our honeymoon it started to spread across my lower back and up and down my back as well. The pain down my leg was pure agony. Sitting and standing now became unfathomable - lying was the only way to experience any small break - and even then it still ached all the time. 

Finally after 1000's of dollars at the chiropractor, and nights spent crying on the floor since sleeping in the bed next to my hubby was too painful, I decided to seek yet another opinion. I went to the ER in the middle of the night...after hours there a doctor finally heard that my symptoms were more than a pinched nerve. By prescribing me some heavy duty pain pills, he started the process of fixing the issue. When my normal doctor saw what he prescribed and that it had helped he sent me for a CT scan. The CT scan showed that one of the discs in my back was sticking out, and had broken off. There were small pieces of disc sticking into my spine. They immediately knew they needed to do surgery. I had to wait a few months before I could have the surgery but in October of 2010 it finally happened and I have been pain free ever since. Wahoo.


As I mentioned in my last post I went to the Island this weekend. I had a lovely ferry ride over - I blogged, read, drank my latte and enjoyed the view. 

As I started to walk off the ferry I noticed that the dull ache I'd begun experiencing in my lower back of the past few days had spread to my upper back. It felt a bit like my pre surgery pain. I couldn't fully straighten my body. It was a bit worrying but I didn't really know what to do, so I just proceeded as normal. I met up with my Nana, who was picking me up from the ferry, and we headed in to town for dinner. After dinner I really couldn't straighten out - I was completely hunched over, almost bent in half. My nana was quite worried. When we returned to her house I layed down on the floor for a while and that made a HUGE difference. I started to feel much better. And the laying down straightened out my body a bit and I could walk mostly straight, which was a great surprise. Though my body quickly retreated and again i couldn't stand. I was worried I would need to cut my trip short and head home in the morning. We thought we would see how I was in the morning and re evaluate. After an evening talking with my nana (which was lovely) and laying on the ground, I went to bed at 10pm. Laying down felt great!

When I woke up at 10am, I felt wonderful. My lower back still hurt but I could totally stand straight up, which was lovely. I decided to stay for the day and visit with my friend Rachel as intended, and then visit with my Aunt in the evening. I'm so glad I got to do both. I haven't seen Rachel since the weekend before I got married almost two years ago...and she now has a four week old baby. It was so great to connect with her. I love having her as a friend - I miss living in the same town as her. Afterwards I went for a lovely walk around the Gorge with my Nana and then met up with my Auntie Lesley for dinner, and she bought an iPod Touch and I got to help her set it up. It was very fun.

The Gorge - so beautiful
 Auntie Lesley's new iPod Touch
 Mmmm Subway Sandwich - Italian BMT

After we left dinner and headed to the ferry I found that the pain had now travelled to the leg, from the hip down. It was starting to get scary. After my aunt dropped me off at the ferry and I started linking in, I realized I could hardly handle the pain in my leg. The ferry attendants saw my struggle and offered me a wheelchair ride on, which I in no way could refuse since the pain was getting so bad I thought I would throw up. 

The attendant wheeled me  onto the boat, and found me a spot to lay down in. I was able to be pain free while I laid on the ground between the seats. I was so thankful for that, though so scared by how badly it hurt when I stood. Thankfully I didn't have to pee or that would have been excruciating. 

When I arrived in the Mainland Paul was there to pick me up - he had brought two of my best friends, Jodi and Stefany with him. I am so thankful that all three of them were there - it took all of them to get me into the car. The car ride was terrible, since I couldn't lie totally flat. When we arrived at VGH we were again so thankful there were three of us - Paul took me into the hospital with a borrowed wheelchair and the girls went to park the car and grab my comfy pants from my luggage. They were all an amazing team. 

The admittance nurses at the hospital were terrifying and totally mean, and since doing anything by lying down was intensely painful and made me cry, AND i had to sit up to answer their questions, this was not a pleasant situation. BUT i was admitted and able to lay down in a bed within half an hour, and was seen by a doctor with a plan being put in place within an hour, so I'm pretty pleased with VGH, even if their admittance nurses are really rude. 

The doctor thinks I either have scar tissue from my last surgery that is being a problem, or that there is another disc that is sticking out, same as the last one. We need to wait until we hear from my surgeon to find out if he'll want an MRI or CT scan to determine the problem. So all they could do for me was prescribe pain pills, tell me not to go to work, and send my info off to my very busy surgeon. I was under instruction to take at least a few days off (which he didn't need to tell me since i can't actually stand for more than a minute without screaming) and to make sure I got in touch with my surgeon to get an appointment. 

After they prescribed some pain meds and gave me some there I was free to go. While Paul went to fill my prescriptions, the girls helped get me dressed. I felt like a giant baby. You know how when you dress a baby they can't help you? Yeah, that was me. Moving hurt. If someone picked up my leg and moved it for me, that could be relatively pain free but if I used my muscles to do it it was agony. So my two lovely friends put my pants on, my shirt, etc. It was hilarious for us. We were all laughing so hard - it was just so ridiculous. It was also a definite bonding moment!

The three of them drove me home, Paul carried me into the house while the girls followed with my belongings. Paul tucked me into bed, and then drove the girls home. It was quite the home coming! I then proceeded to lay in the bed all night, the pain meds barely touching the pain, unable to sleep except fitfully. Paul had to carry me to the bathroom a few times, and we have no reached new levels of intimacy that way - when you have to hold someone up so they can wipe, your relationship will naturally do that, haha. 

I spent Sunday on the couch. As long as I am lying down the pain is only at a 4 or 5, generally. The second I stand it rockets up to a 9 or 10. Terrible. Paul made us lunch (breakfast for lunch) and dinner (chicken satay stir fry) and Stefany and Jodi came by for a visit later. Other than the pain, it was actually a nice relaxing time. Paul and I have started watching Star Gate and he is stoked that I like it. 

I woke up this morning (Monday) feeling pretty good. I could roll onto both sides (which I couldn't do Sunday). I could get up to go pee - woo! But that was about it. Unfortunately when I got up to move to the couch in the living room I realized that I was in more pain than I thought - I finally landed on the couch in tears. I had been hoping to grab some cereal since I was really hungry and felt pretty defeated. But then I remembered that Paul's sister (who lives next door) might be home - I called her and she immediately came over and made me cereal and poured me some juice. My friend Stefany is is here now for lunch and a visit. 

I am waiting for my surgeon to call me back to let me know when I can come in - if you're a praying person I need prayers that I will be able to get an appointment today or tomorrow and that I'll be able to have this resolved ASAP so I can get back to work because I don't get paid for sick days since I'm on contract...and my boss goes away on vacation soon so I'd like to get back to helping her. 

ANd that is the saga of why I am sitting on my couch in the middle of the day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

To catch up

When I last wrote it was Valentines Day and I was still at work. I mentioned that we were going to be having our life group over for a Valentines Day dinner.

And boy was it fun.

Not only did people enjoy the food, but Jodi made us a beautiful plated valentines day dessert. Lovely.

The process 

While Jodi and Stef were plating the desserts, the rest of the group quickly figured out that since I’d used a disposable white table cloth they could draw. And draw they did. Armed with Sharpies (and great imagination) they really went to town. The first thing someone warned was that we shouldn’t draw any boobs (obviously). This was said jokingly. Within 5 minutes we realized the first part of drawings that Gabe and Jonathan were working on definitely looked like boobs….John’s turned in to eyes in a cartoon face and Gabe was working on a motorcycle – the irony of the outcome was very amusing to us. We also turned out hand to some sensosketches – drawing with our eyes closed – to varying degrees of success.

We had a lovely evening – lots of laughter. We had a good discussion about some of the topics we talked about at church on Sunday (which I’ve already blogged about). I found that sermon so helpful and I’m glad we got the time to talk it over.

Before our Life group came over, though, Paul’s sister Katie and her boyfriend Joel came by to open the Valentines Day gift Paul and Katie’s mom had sent us all. She had Taco-Deli shirts from Austin for most of us, and bootie shorts for Katie. She sent us sparkly red table centerpieces and lots of Candy. She is so sweet! She even included things for our homestay student Karen, which made Karen’s day! She got a valentines from us and from Nancy!

 Wednesday after work I finally had a night off and I knew I had to tackle some of the house  - it had been spiraling out of control and needed to be tamed! I sorted, prepped and stored all my fresh produce into Tupperware Fridge Smart containers, which extend their shelf life greatly. I rarely have produce go bad before I’m done with it. So awesome.

Mostly, I needed to deal with our shelving/storage area for dishes and Tupperware. As Karen and Paul put clean dishes away, they tend to put them in strange places and the organization systems slowly slide away. It was time for me to regain control. And I got to have a phone date with the lovely Lynds K, so that was also excellent.

I wish I’d thought to take a “before photo” but these after photos will have to do the trick.

My freezer and sandwich containers

Smaller containers with lids

As soon as I was finished with all this a bunch of our life group (you could also call them friends, haha) showed up to hang out spontaneously. Jonathan, John, Stef and Jodi had come by earlier to pick Paul up and head out to prank our friend Gabe who was on a first date near by. They covered his car in pink decorative balls and a big heart. The new couple found it amusing and the group had way too much fun doing it. They showed up at our place after, where we ate snacks and talked for an hour or so. I love spontaneity!

Last night I enjoyed a phone date with Kari (our pre marital counselor and my dear dear friend who lives 13 hours away outside of Edmonton) and then an evening with my sister. I’m so thankful for her!

And now, after an early work day, I am on the ferry headed to Victoria on Vancouver Island. I’m going to be spending the weekend with my Nana, who is simply wonderful. I can not wait! The last time I managed to sneak away and have a weekend with her was 2 weeks before I got married – which is almost 2 years ago. I used to come do this at least twice a year, so we both really miss it.

Each time I visit it looks the same: we sit in her den in two loungers, side by side. We have cider and we talk for hours. It is a most lovely way to pass time. My nana is one of my best friends. She makes me laugh. She cares. She has always been a gift to me – God knew I’d need her!

So now I will sit and type….I’m still trying to collect all my thoughts on prayer, and prophesy and Janelle’s visit. And also I have some flyers to make for our upcoming women’s retreat.

Love me some good stormy weather, from a safe warm spot!
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On outfits

Sunday I was hosting again at church and was so tired after a weekend babysitting my nephews that I had no idea what to wear. The thought of piecing together an outfit was a bit more than I could handle.

And then I remembered THE DRESS.
I bought it at dress barn in early January for $40 and thought, this dress would be perfect for church, work, weddings...anything really. And let me tell, it was perfect.

I wore it to church. And oh did it go over well. Which is always fun.

This is me in THE DRESS and a cardigan that I feel never matches anything
(until this dress came along)
 These pictures are taken in like the only part of our house that looks good as a photo background.
 This is me about 60 seconds after those photos were taken -
I am so much more a pajama person!

This was also what I wore all of Monday as I was home SICK.
 This photo is dedicated to Karen, our homestay student.
She is AMAZING. When she heard that I was sick she was so kind. She left me warm water to feel better. She made dinner (with a bit of help from Paul). She made her own lunch so I wouldn't have to. She brought me my phone and pills. She is wonderful.

Also, when my little sister heard I had the stomach flu she came over with gravol. She was also there to witness me attempting to swallow a chewable gravol, because I hadn't quite realized the procedure. Awesome.

I am VERY loved. All day I had texts and phone calls and emails from people checking in on me. God has blessed me with family and community and I could not be more grateful. 

Also I woke up this morning at 10am feeling 100% better. So I got up and headed in to work. This is what I wore. I think I rocked it. 

And now I get to spend Valentines night with our life group - we shall feast on Orzo, Roasted Veggies & Chicken - and a lovely plated dessert made my our resident baker, Jodi H. Woo!


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