Friday, August 17, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

After my surgeries I headed up to Seattle for about three weeks to rest and recover. It was a pretty great time filled with family and sunshine (believe it or not) and the lakehouse- you can't go wrong when all of those factors are part of a trip home! I owe a big thanks to my parents for putting up with my post surgical, lack of running complaining- you guys are pretty amazing! I am also thankful that they live in such a beautiful place that is so fun to visit. I loved seeing every single one of my siblings (except Kelly, way to not be there Kel!) and all of their children! It was busy and a little crazy but, I wouldn't have it any other way!

On the Ferry on our way to Crescent Beach  where I am pretty sure I haven't been since I was really little.
I am sure we were having a very serious birthday conversation.
These starfish were HUGE! The tide was out really far and we got to see some pretty sweet creatures.
We seriously walked out on the rocks so far- it was pretty awesome.
This picture was taken at the cabin on a cold day.
This picture was taken at the cabin on a warm day- warm enough that I had to invent a way to be in the water without getting my foot wet.

Surgery Number 2

If you are ever wondering how to make your summer really fun, here is a suggestion, you could have two surgeries about a week and a half apart. Make sure one of them is on a body part that totally limits your abilities to do things for yourself and, of course, make sure you are given all kinds of good pain killers. This was my strategy this summer! This second surgery was on my foot which was a little bit more lame, for me, than my hand since I love running so much. The good news is, about three and a half weeks later, I am still alive and, I haven't even lost my mind yet!

I have to give a BIG public thank you to my sister Becca for driving all the way from Logan to take me to surgery at 5:30 in the morning! While thank you's are going out, I also need to thank Sarah and Nat for watching Ella and Clay so Becca didn't have to bring them to the hospital at the crack of dawn! I have incredible people in my life!

I think the surgery took a total of about thirty minutes and then it was on to the recovery room- not my favorite place since I spend most of my time in there making a fool of myself and asking the same questions over and over and over again. Becca was patient with me though, thanks for that! On the way home Becca obtained some necessary supplies for me- Jamba Juice, chocolate milk, Teddy Grahams and drugs- what else more does a girl need?!

Recovery hasn't been too bad. It feel like sometimes I take a step forward and then two big steps back because I sometimes over do it... but I am trying to be smart and patient... it is a challenge though. Here is a little pictorial summary of my experience thus far. Enjoy!
The pre-surgical collage. My surgery pager, kind of like a table pager at a restaurant, just different. My hospital bracelet. My post surgical shoe. Documentation of just how ridiculously large my hospital gown was.

This was what it looked like under my bandage three days later... sausage toes.

This picture was taken the day my mom and I took out my stitches... Yep, we handled that one on our own.

This is my foot currently. My scar has definitely calmed down, my bruises are gone and my toes look much less like sausages- thank goodness! Now I just need to get my running back up to snuff and I will be a happy girl!

From Break Ups to Babies...

This was it- the last time our original six roommates were going to be together for kind of a long time. It was a bittersweet kind of reunion. I love these girls so much! I am so blessed to have them in my life and to have been around all of them for so long. We are losing Katie to Texas, actually she is already gone and I am already feeling her absence! Thanks girls, for everything! I love you... most ardently!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Namesake Lake

To spice up my recovering I decided to go on a hike with some friends the other day. It was a really beautiful   hike and it was not quite as physically challenging as my Lake Blanche hike which was a little bit taxing! The trail started at the parking lot of Brighton Ski Resort so it was beautiful even where we started! The hike was just a little over a mile and covered some really amazing scenery! It was a little difficult at first, hiking up the part of the mountain I usually take the chair up but I managed! The hike was completely worth it! And, one of the most fun parts of all was the fact that the lake was named Lake Mary AND! another 1/2 mile down the trail there was a Lake Katherine! All I needed was a Pickett Basin to complete things! There wasn't one but it was still pretty cool to have two lakes named after me because I am pretty certain they are named after me! Here is some photographical evidence of the activity- try not to be too jealous!

Going Under the Knife

Well- my summer has officially begun! The first of my two scheduled surgeries happened this week and, thankfully, it went fairly well. This was my first experience being cut open so I am glad it wasn't horrible or turning around and doing it all again next week would really not be awesome!

Thankfully, my saintly roommate Katelin, loves me enough to have taken me to Riverton Hospital at 5:30 in the morning so we could be there by 6 am- great way to start off the day! We got there, I got checked in, got poked by an IV, got a really great speech from my anesthesiologist about him injecting enough lidocaine in me to stop my heart and then got wheeled to the OR in my bed which felt a little strange. My poor anesthesiologist had a real hard time getting his needle into the veins in my hand- turns out they are small. The last thing I remember is crawling from my gurney onto the operating table and then I was in recovery. The doctor said it went well. He got the cyst and the scar tissue that was surrounding it so, hopefully, in a couple of weeks, I will be able to have pain free range of motion! Cross your fingers!

Recovery hasn't been awful. Everyone has been really willing to help which I am not the best at accepting but I am trying! I have watched a lot of movies, napped a lot and, generally, tried to take it pretty easy. I had a friend tell me today that I am not going to have very many times like this in my life where people want to just take care of me so maybe I should live it up. I thought that was kind of funny- wise too I guess. So, my warm up surgery has gone well! I feel warmed up and almost ready for the next one! Here are some pictures of my experience!

Showing off my hospital gown, IV hand- post surgery, pain meds, IV pre-surgery.
The aftermath.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Reasons to Celebrate

I am so thankful for Independence Day and for the excuse it gave me to hop in the car and head to Logan for a couple of days. I don't get up there as much as I should. For some reason, the two hours in the car, by myself really stretches my limits. This time (and every time) the drive was totally worth it!! First of all- Becca always rewards me for coming up by feeding me yummy food. She had prepared for my arrival by purchasing a box of sweet and salty bars from Sam's Club. For those of you who don't know, those are my favorite thing in the whole world. Tuesday night, for dinner, she made me macaroni salad- another one of my favorite things. I was feeling pretty spoiled! Tuesday night we went to USU's version of Stadium of Fire to watch their fireworks. I have a thing about fireworks- I just love them. The show was pretty impressive and my favorite picture from the whole trip was taken this night- here it is...

This was taken as were were walking back to the car during the finale so we could miss traffic. The fireworks in the picture are my favorite- the ones that hang in the air... I love them! I also love Clay on my back- I just love this picture!! Good capture, Bec!

Wednesday morning started really, really early. I saw a five as the first digit on the clock and that hasn't happened for a while. Anyway, the reason we woke up so early is because Becca and I were running the Blacksmith Fork Canyon Freedom 15K. This race was actually the inspiration for me coming up for the Fourth. As many of you know, Becca was on bed rest in the hospital before Olivia was born for a pretty long time. Long enough for her to lose the majority of the muscle mass in her legs and that kind of thing. SO! Becca had the idea to sign us up for the run and to use it as her motivation to get back into shape. Watching Becca run this race you would have never guessed that she hadn't been training for months and months. She was awesome! She ran the whole time even after the big hill and I only had to be tough on her a couple of times :) Way to go, seester! You are pretty amazing to me.

As if running nine and a little miles wasn't enough exercise for one day we decided that a hike would be a fun Fourth of July activity. Jake decided that finding beavers would be an even more fun Fourth of July activity so, we set out on the Spawn Creek trail in search of some beavers. Despite our best efforts we did not see any beavers but we did see a pretty impressive beaver dam which, I think, has got to be the next best thing. It was a fun adventure! For Fourth of July dinner I got to experience Fire House Pizza for the first time in my life and I was pretty satisfied. It was pretty good! The funniest part about our Fourth of July is that we were all so tired by the time the evening rolled around that we didn't even watch fireworks that night. I heard the kids did some sparklers but I slept through that part of life... on the floor... in the basement... We had put a movie on and you all know what that means- nap time for Mary.

Some picture from our beavering adventure (that would be the technical term for hiking with the intent of finding beavers)

So! From watching fireworks to running to eating too much puppy chow- I had a great Fourth of July! Thank you to the men and women who have sacrificed for the freedom that we enjoy each and every day. And a big thank you to my incredible sister and her wonderful family! I love you guys! Thanks so much for a fun Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July to you all!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lake Blanche

The great thing about requesting off of work for a surgery and then having that surgical procedure pushed back is that I ended up with a week of time that I can choose whether I want to work or not. Today, I chose not. Instead of being responsible and picking up a shift, I went on a sweet hike in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was beautiful and a pretty good workout. We gained 2,700 feet in elevation over almost 3 miles- it was pretty steep, most of the time! I am looking forward to having some more great adventures this week with all of my free time- starting tomorrow when I leave for Logan. Conveniently this time off is falling over the Fourth of July, that might have been planned... Here are some pics from today!
This is just one of many breathtaking views from the trail

A little collage of what the lake looked like... in case you were wondering what it felt like, it was cold.

Me and Lake Blanche

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mormon Miracle Pageant

On my list of things to do this summer was go to Manti. These last couple of weeks have been the weeks of the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti and so, I thought, what better time to go to Manti than when it is crazy busy and I get to see a great theatrical production? Last night was the night! I went with a friend of mine south on the I-15, through Ephriam (I pity EVERYONE who attends Snow College, I thought Provo was boring!) and into Manti. For those of you who have never driven into Manti, it is kind of spectacular how you can see the temple while you are still miles and miles away, that might have been my favorite part! The pageant was good too- a little cheesy- but good all the same! I am glad that I got to have this Utah experience and I look forward to, one day, being able to go inside the Manti temple because it is now on my list of favorites!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Food for Thought

You know when you are struggling with something and then the lesson in Sunday School or Relief Society or both is about the very topic you are struggling with. I had one of those experiences today. I have discovered recently that I am fairly judgmental. This has not been a fun discovery but it will be fun to work on correcting this problem- or at least that is what I tell myself. This thought was shared in Relief Society today and I loved it and wanted to share it again and think about it always so that I can continue to work on improving myself everyday! 

             ' Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is that hope? Yes! Is it charity? Yes! Above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ. If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. Don’t keep going back with your little sand pail and beach shovel to dig it up, wave it around, and then throw it at someone, saying, “Hey! Do you remember this?” Splat!
            Well, guess what? That is probably going to result in some ugly morsel being dug up out of your landfill with the reply, “Yeah, I remember it. Do you remember this?” Splat.
             And soon enough everyone comes out of that exchange dirty and muddy and unhappy and hurt, when what God, our Father in Heaven, pleads for is cleanliness and kindness and happiness and healing. ' (Elder Holland)

I just LOVE this thought. Who wants to be dirty and covered in mud? Who wouldn't rather be clean and and kind and happy? I know I would which is one reason why I am going to actively pursue this non-judgmental kind of attitude and, hopefully, one day, I can be a little more like my Savior, Jesus Christ, by being a little less like the natural man which has been plaguing me recently!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Please ignore Ian and James in the front...
There are a handful of things that everyone talks about doing in Utah that I have still not done in Utah despite the fact that I have lived here for the last almost five years of my life. Some of these things includ,e but are not limited to- driving the Alpine Loop in the fall, going to Lake Powell, going to Manti (ok, not everyone talks about this but I decided that it is definitely something I want to do before I leave), etc. Thankfully, yesterday, I was able to cross one of these 'everyone's favorite Utah activities' off of my Utah bucket list. After careful planning- or not- a group of us headed down to Mona yesterday to play on the rope swings at Burraston Ponds. The pond was just that- a pond, kind of dirty and such, but it was so fun! We brought all kinds of snacks and the boys brought fun activities like corn hole- if you have never played corn hole, you probably should. Best of all- even with all the shenanigans going on, no one got severely injured. We did have a minor foot injury but I am going to go ahead and count that as a victory. Thanks for a fun day everyone who came and thanks for keeping me entertained Utah, maybe you are not so bad after all.
This is Rachel- She is great!

Her Majesty, The Queen

This last weekend was a pretty special one. There was a lot of celebrating going on in our family. We celebrated the end of one, incredible life and the beginning of a new life, full of potential to be just as incredible.
 My great aunt JoAnn passed away almost two weeks ago and she is already sorely missed. She was an amazing lady. The kind of person that you aspire to be like. I have so many memories of her house, her laugh, her sarcastic comments- I am going to cherish those memories for the rest of my life. Most people might ask, 'how well could you really know your great aunt', but that is the great thing about our family- I really did know her and I really did love her and I really do hope to be like her one day. I have to mention her girls as well and their families. I love that no matter how long I go without seeing them it is a happy reunion when we cross paths again. We hug and kiss and smile and chat and I can feel their love and that made this weekend even more enjoyable. I am glad to have known JoAnn and glad that she is now forever reunited with her sweetheart, Martin, who, I learned this weekend, referred to her as his queen.
I do think this picture may be the sweetest picture ever taken.

The contrast of the beginning of life and the end of life was an interesting one to watch and experience this weekend but I was thankful for it. I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation and for the knowledge that our families truly can be together forever. Watching little Olivia Mae be blessed this weekend and thinking of just how hard her parents worked and sacrificed to get her here built my testimony of the love of family and the love that our Savior, Jesus Christ, has for each of us. I am thankful for the occasions that bring us together. Grateful that I got to spend the weekend with my parents and my grandparents and with my favorite Youngs. It was busy and exhausting enough that I baked a metal spoon into a loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread... that is another story... I loved every second of it. I am thankful for the new addition to our family in Olivia and I will be forever grateful for my association with one of the backbones of our family- JoAnn, or The Queen. To quote the JoAnn and Martin Hickman family, ILYBATWSM.
There is a pretty momma and a pretty Liv.
I seriously love this photo and I seriously love this man- my  Papa Bob.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blog Slacking

So... It has been awhile since my last blog post. Life has been pretty tame in the last little while, not a ton to report, I will share the highlights though- briefly.

Upon finishing my semester in December I officially graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor's degree in Athletic Training. Skip forward to the month of March which was riddled with job drama for me. I was offered a job at a clinic in Riverton but was waiting to hear from BYU about a position and had to keep Riverton waiting and was caught in the middle of all the waiting! For those of you who know me, you know I am not the most patient person and this particular situation was really hard for me! Thankfully, my waiting paid off and I was offered the job with BYU and will start working there in the fall! So excited about this! For the last couple of months I have been just working at Brick Oven and trying to have as much fun as possible! Now that summer is here that fun includes sunshine and swimming and hiking and taking full advantage of the natural playground that the state of Utah is.

Looking ahead... this summer I am getting two different surgeries and following the second one I get to go home to Seattle to hang out with the fam for a good couple of weeks- I am really looking forward to this, practically counting down the days!

Like I said- life is not the most exciting right now but it is good and I have a couple pictures to share to help illustrate that point!
This picture was taken at our Memorial Day picnic in the canyon- sometimes I am AMAZED by Utah's beauty.

This picture was taken at Lake Day- we are trying hard to find excuses to be in the sunshine!

This was another day I was amazed by the beauty of Utah- we hiked up Stewart Falls and I couldn't keep my eyes off of my surroundings, I was simply amazed!
Another picture from Lake Day... the water was FREEZING!
This is my latest battle wound... I wiped out on a run in the canyon trying to avoid a run-in with a handsome mountain biker. You can imagine my embarrassment....