2017 has been a chaotic year for both Dan and me. Honestly, it’s hard for me to even wrap my head around because it flashed past so quickly – I feel like I haven’t gotten to take a break since last Christmas!
I wanted to write up a little summary of our year, both so you can know what we have been up to, and so that I can have something to look back on myself. Since this is a summary, I will include links back to any relevant posts so you can read more detail. All links are either to my personal blog posts or Instagram posts.
My pelvis and back started causing a lot of problems in October 2016 (read more here and here). By January, I was in excruciating pain 24/7 and having to spend most of my time on the couch. Thankfully, I saw a new doctor (a physiatrist) and at the end of January, I got a cortisone injection into my right SI joint.
While not everyone celebrates Christmas, most religions and spiritualities celebrate a winter holiday right around Christmas (which is right after the winter solstice). Everyone celebrates this time of year differently. Because of that, I wanted to outline my Christmas traditions a bit more so you will know better what to expect from my Blogmas posts – but first, I want to share some traditions I’ve heard about through the years. (Check out my Blogmas Kickoff so you know a bit more of what to expect from me.)
For anyone not familiar: Christmas Day is December 25th, and the winter solstice is right around December 21st (it’s the shortest day of the year so it changes a little).
Christmas 2015 pictures
Traditions I Know About
Two of my friends celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. Their mom is Christian, their dad is Jewish, so they do both! I thought it was really cool that they were able to come to that agreement and that it worked out so well for them. I also love how unique their holiday season is!
What is Blogmas? It’s a “tradition” where bloggers write a post every day in December celebrating Christmas and the Christmas season. I won’t be able to post every day, because it just takes too much energy, but I’m going to try for every other day – I’m going to call it “Spoonie Blogmas!”
… I Discuss Why My Posts May Be a Bit Different from Some of the Other Posts
Dan and I at Blossoms of Light – Chatfield, 2016
Thanksgiving through New Year’s is my absolute favorite time of the year! I love the holidays, all of them. There is just a warmer feel to this time of year, despite the temperature dropping outside. People, in general, get happier. Families feel more cohesive. The decorations make everything feel magical! There is fantastic food everywhere (even though I can’t eat it all), and special, seasonal dessert recipes come out! Fires can be built in fireplaces thanks to the dropping temperatures, and the cozy sweaters and blankets get brought out of storage! And then there’s hot cocoa and apple cider! Overall this time of year is completely magical for me. (And now that I live in Colorado, it usually even comes with winter snow!)
It’s easy to fall into the trap of only showing the negative aspects of chronic illness. When we’re “healthy” (for us) and feeling well, we tend to go out and live! When we’re sick and feeling awful, that’s when we think “I haven’t written in a while, and this is something interesting to write about.” If we’re just so-so then we’re probably doing something that we deem ‘boring’ and don’t write about it. I try to keep my blog focused on my entire life, not just the chronic illness pieces, but it’s definitely easier to write about the “bad times.”
However, I have been quite lucky lately: my body is cooperating. For the most part, I’ve been able to feel relatively normal in the past few weeks. No, I’m not ‘better’ but I’ve been able to do more than I had been able to do in over a year! My Pilates classes went surprisingly well, my physical therapy was going really well, and I’ve been able to be significantly more active day-to-day! Of course, I’m waiting to accidentally run off a cliff (metaphorically of course), but until then I’m really excited that my body is letting me be ‘normal’ most of the time! Continue reading
(To see the first post in this mini-series, check out When And How Dan Became My Caretaker)
Dan and I have been married for almost four years now, and together for almost eight and a half. (A sappy look at our relationship: My Personal Romantic Comedy.) When we first met, I had a few health issues, but I was relatively healthy (and quite active). Unfortunately, in the past five years, my health has started declining in leaps and bounds: it will be stable for a bit, then suddenly I’m blindsided by new symptoms and pain, then we’ll work hard to stabilize it and it will happen all over again. Through all of this, Dan has been my primary caregiver. Yes, it’s stressful, and it’s not always perfect, but it actually works relatively well for us.
Dan’s graduation, a month after getting engaged and only a few days before our 3rd dating anniversary!
This last month has been such a blur for me. My health decided to skydive, without a parachute, and it hit the ground hard. I haven’t gotten quite this sick in a long time, and it’s just as miserable as I remember.
So, what exactly happened? Well, I do kind of mention it in these posts: Being “Normal” Sick, The New Diet So Far, My Virus Has Returned, and I mention a little in my LEAP/MRT Diet: Phase 1/2, Week 2 post.
In summary: Right before starting the new diet, I got sick. Continue reading
If you have been following my blog since the beginning (at least since August 2015), or if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you know that I collect socks. Yes, socks! I absolutely love socks! They’re my happy place, and always put a smile on my face when I am having a bad day. Since I haven’t written about my socks since August 2015, and I had rushed through the pictures in that post (yikes), I wanted to update my sock post! (My original sock post: The Sock Problem.) (You can see all of my Instagram sock posts by searching the hashtag #LizzsSocks.)
I have a lot of socks! I actively collect them, and I haven’t gotten rid of a pair of socks in so long I can’t even remember. I’m pretty sure there are even still socks in my old dresser at my parents’ house, which I want to grab the next time I’m there. No, I don’t really have a favorite pair. There are several pairs that I consider “some of my favorites,” but they’re all favorites for different reasons! Continue reading
I love holidays, all holidays! My mom always made a big deal out of them when I was a kid: the entire dining room would get completely decorated (every bit), and there would be other small decorations scattered about the house; there would be some sort of present, even just small little goodies like some candy or fun socks, to open with breakfast; even special meals, like green eggs at St. Patrick’s Day or pink pancakes for dinner on Valentine’s Day. The holidays were some of my favorite times, and not just because I was a kid getting presents. Each holiday was special, just the excitement of family time! (Every time I test for my “love language” I flip flop between being word based and action/quality time based. ) My family would play games or watch movies together, and I loved that. Because the holidays were always so special to me, I do my best to continue the celebrations now that I have my own house and husband!
It’s now officially fall! Yesterday was the autumnal equinox, which marks the first official day of fall here in the northern hemisphere.
One of my friends, CL, shared an interesting article on her Facebook about why fall is the only season that has two names (one thing I know I have personally wondered about many times). I thought it was an interesting, and not too terribly long, read:
Do you have a preference for what you call this season? I use both fall and autumn about equally. Sometimes I’ll even use both in the same sentence! I do really love the name Autumn, as well.
Is this your favorite season? Even if it isn’t your favorite season, what is your favorite part of the season? I absolutely love watching the trees change (so gorgeous!), the smells, the crunch of the leaves underfoot, the feeling of the crisp breeze, and hoodies!!! I also love hot tea and cozy blankets, but I get to keep those all through winter too 😉