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A Tale of Two Thanksgivings

Thursday, November 27, 2014
At first i started out depressed because i was alone in the hospital the night before Thanksgiving. Even my roommate left. She was my second one. I felt like I was outliving everyone. All of the other people got to leave purgatory and I was stuck with more work to do on myself. Or my leg I guess.
Then it became today. My doctor came in and told me I would be fine to not see them until Saturday morning for a bandage change. Ecstatic! Especially because another roommate was on her way in and I couldn't outlive 3 people. No way.

I guess I forgot to mention surgery and how that went. It was great! Apparently it was really long too. I went in at 9 and I didn't get back to my room until like 2. I know some of that time was spent in recovery telling everyone how beautiful they were and how I didnt want to leave them. I was having a bunch of pain after the surgery and so i think they overdosed me again. Haha.

Anyway, I ended up with a giant plate in my leg and a bunch of screws. Its pretty intense. I became THAT person today and posted a picture of my *insert weird thing here*. I think it deserved a shout out.

David picked me up and we went to the pharmacy for really expensive ibuprofen  and needles. Chelsi has graciously agreed to be the person to give me my shots every night. I can thank her for not getting blood clots and dying. Thanks Sis.

I took my usual post in the corner of the couch and watched as the magic began. We put on a Christmas channel on Pandora and began to set up the tree. I have a video and what's on it is magical. Theres dancing by David and Chelsi and so much wonder from the kids as they pull out their ornaments from years past. They are so excited. The ornaments are so fun. Im so thankful every year for Aunt Taras ornaments. They mean the world to me. The kids like them too.

A big giant shout out to Stacey for bringing me my first thanksgiving. And then to the Manning family for taking in my family and feeding them. They went up (down?) the street to our neighbors house and ate like crazy. Im not gonna lie, I got food from there too. These people (the Forshees and Mannings and so many others) have become like family. They always said it would happen. And it did. Especially lately. The Malon family came and visited me in the hosptial and brought a gorgeous Christmas plant. Chelsi and Lara came and washed my hair. Lara shaved my toefro. True friends!
Ill have to get a picture tomorrow cause this tree.... is amazing. Im pretty sure its going to topple over from the overwhelming amount of ornaments on the front bottom part of the tree where Sadie put her favorites. And although the garland is crooked, and it stands at only 4 feet tall, its home. And i am so thankful to be here.





Bologna for Breakfast and Other Weird Hospital Things

Monday, November 24, 2014


At the hospital, its okay to not wear a bra. Or underwear. But if you do wear underwear it's definitely okay to wear ones that say "I love you". Thanks a lot David. We shared a nice laugh over that. At least those surgeons will know they are loved.

I'm in a weird cast and I dont have crutches. But I still have to use the bathroom. That should paint a picture enough. Truth is though, I have a wheelchair but i dont know how to use the brakes. So you can imagine how well that goes since i cant put pressure on my foot and ive got to get out of bed, into the chair and onto the toilet.

The good thing about German hospital care is they are very hands off. I am not attached to anything. Or anyone really. So David kidnapped me today and we took a stroll outside the hospital with our borrowed wheelchair. He took me in the sand of the kids playground and through the revolving doors in the hospital, rather quickly. At one point he would only do 90 degree turns. It was embarrassing only when he almost ran into someone.

Now I'm not sure if its Germany or if I'm hallucinating but I'm pretty sure bologna and a pickle for dinner is weird. Lunch must be the big thing here because it's the only meal that is warm and substantial. Breakfast is bread and more bread and maybe some more bologna. Lunch is usually really yummy and dinner is weird. I wish i could post pictures (no wifi either). It was 4 slices of various bologna meat. What do they call that here? A pickle, yogurt, 2 slices of rye bread and tea. True statement. David's been smuggling in delicious food for me.

I know it seems like I'm complaining, but I'm not. No i really am. However, it is not as bad as the horror stories you hear on the Graf/Vilseck Army Wives page. Weiden Hospital is a fine place to be treated for emergency care. Really. I wouldn't wanna be anywhere else.

Also, tonight is the first night I have had a nurse who speaks great English. As in, he gets humor and implied humor. Its so amazing and i immediately have felt better. I know what they are injecting into my stomach and i know what theyre telling me to drink and i even know what visiting hours are now! Its only been 3 days. Lol.

The doctors came and talked to me and they too spoke English. I am having surgery tomorrow and I have 3 breaks. Theres even a name for it but I cant remember what it is. They are going to attempt to fix it without a rod so that I will be mobile and in a walking cast after 2 weeks. They will stich my ligaments and things back together. If they do place a rod, I will have to stay off of it for 6 weeks. The chief of surgery is doing my operation. Its a real life version of Grey's Anatomy!

So that's all. Im roommate less for now and im thankful for that too. Im even tired so I'm going to attempt some sleep before the big day! Woot!

Why I Won't Go See Mockingjay Part One

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Plans were in place. I had a date on the way. Who also has a husband. But that's besides the point. Anyway, I put on a smoky eye, lip stain, a cute jacket and my sparkly boot socks.

And then it clicked. Well snapped. Literally. It hit me, as I glided (I say glided cause it's much nicer than fell) down the stairs. I wouldnt be seeing The Hunger Games tonight because I would be spending it in the hospital instead.

As I layed in the doorway to Jacksons room, I was holloring in pain much as im sure Katniss does in the movie, although I won't know at least for awhile. I thought for sure I could make it a few years without these stairs getting the best of me. All of my Germany friends know what I'm talking about when I say its you against them. 3 sets of them. They won this time.

I convinced David and Chelsi to please call 911 except thats not the number in Germany. And I probably didn't say please. We had to Google it. None of us will forget from now on. It's 112 here.
I cried and begged and acted like a fool asking them to please help me. They assured me they were doing everything they could which they really were. I didnt want to be moved but I wanted to be moved. I wanted it to stop but I didnt want them to touch me. Nevie was so sweet. She started crying and asked me several times if I was okay. It wasn't until i told her I was that she was convinced, and her little eyes stopped frowning.

The paramedics arrived and they so felt so bad for not being able to find a vein for an IV so they called the doctor to come do it. What? Awesome! Thank you for caring Germany.

He found it less than one minute after arriving and immediately I felt better. Mostly cause they pumped something amazing into my arm. A few minutes later, I was still feeling a little pain so the doctor gave me more cause he said i was such a good patient. Haha.

That's when they relocated my dislocated ankle. David said something was protruding and they put it back in place. He didnt even get a picture of the before. Haha.

On the way to the hospital they made me count 10 deep breaths because i really wanted to take a nap! After vomiting at the hospital, he said he probably over did it on the medication. Lol. I kept asking them if they were all grossed out and David is pretty sure they had no idea what that phrase meant. They were so nice! Although, even when high, I didn't want to take my clothes off in front of 3 men and 4 women so half of them left. Is that normal? David was such a good sport trying to walk them through my crazy questions about Germans and nudity and other such topics.

Christina in the ER was so kind. She was funny and like a mom. She took care of me and laughed at my stupid jokes and answered all my dumb questions. Remind me to thank her. Dr. Harsch (true name) was also very nice.

I got an x-ray by Christian. And it has been determined at this time I have a fractured fibula and ankle. The doc wants a CT scan so that's happening tomorrow. He said this kind of fracture (in my leg) is rare. In the meantime I'm casted and enjoying my view from the 5th floor of the Weiden Hospital.

Although I'm sharing a room (she's nice and is helping me translate things from my nurse who hardly speaks English), the room is awesome and my bed is comfortable (it has this amazing duvet covered comforter).

Im fighting in my own hunger games though as im not allowed to eat before my CT scan. Who will win? What will happen next? Stay tuned for the next installment of Lisas Hunger Games!

What Stuff Feels Like

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
There used to be a Barnes and Noble in Prescott AZ. My friend and I used to go there and sit in the kids section in the back corner and sip Starbucks while our kids played at the train table. 

That B&N closed down. Now there's a black light golf place where we used to sit. Hole number 8 is probably right where Thomas the Train was constantly fought over. 

We associate places and things with experiences.  Really they are only memories.

That Barnes and Noble train center was the catalyst for my kids and my friends kids to learn to share and the table she and I sat at watching our kids was the place we bonded as we shared experiences and salted caramel hot chocolates. Once physical things that now exist only in memory.

It doesn't matter that we used to live in a single wide trailer with a leaky roof. Because what I remember now is how that same roof only leaked when it rained reaaallly hard. And I remember worrying that my toddler kids would knock over the pot that held the water. 

It doesn't matter that now I live in a brand new house, or that I'm living in Europe really. Because what I'll remember are not these things but what happens here instead, what has already happened. The trip to Vienna where David watched The World Cup in the hotel, and we shared a hot chocolate cake, our visit to Mitterweich where we rode those little cart toboggan things, or that I've never felt so close to my little family as I do now. 

I have been thinking about the trip with my parents which has kind of served as a great example of what I'm talking about. The trip was a whirlwind now that I think back. I don't feel like it was too busy to enjoy, but we did a lot of activities and I can't remember what happened where. Isn't that interesting? I remember playing the "Whose Picture is the Best" with Jackson in the van but I can't remember whether that was on our way to Munich or Frankfurt. I remember a picture taken with this amazing green background but I'm not sure whether it's in Salzburg or Flossenburg. What I remember are the feelings associated with these experiences. 

What I'm confused about in my head though, is whether this thought process aligns with my hearts desire to be a minimalist or whether this goes against it. I'm thinking it's both. Because at the core of minimalism is the idea that stuff is just not that important. So even if I have too much stuff, or an excess of it, it's not doing much for me other than providing opportunities for memories. Maybe some of those will be throwing it out. :-) 

I think it's funny I wrote this post the very night before I got a text at the store from my worried sister saying that she burned my couch. I'll always remember her and the frantic messages I received when I look at the tiny spot on the arm of my chair. Maybe that's what she was going for. 

Frankfurt is Fun!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
So. Here's the deal. I'm no travel blogger. But I do want to remember some things.

Like how we reserved a room at the temple housing. We showed up at 11 p.m. or so and had to obtain our key from a lock box. The thing we didn't know what that our room was in a different building than the main one. And what we really didn't know, or we forgot, was that in Europe doors to stores and things sometimes (mostly) open by PUSHING them. Not by pulling. So don't worry, David and me and Dare all tried that dang door several times before we figured out that it just needed a good push and not a pull. Hashtag blond moment.

In the celestial room of the temple I was reminded of how much love I have for my dear sweet man. I was actually overcome by it really. It's been awhile since we've been together and as we sat there I totally fell in love all over again with him. Except it wasn't really love. It was more like obsession. Haha. Just kidding. I'm having a hard time coming up with adequate words to describe how I felt. I never want to live or be without him. That's all.

First stop, Chipotle in Frankfurt Germany! It's there! It exists! It's delicious and well worth the arm and leg it costs. 

It was inside this mall. Yes, a mall in Germany. With a lot of stores. 


Next day was temple day. Beautiful and quaint. 





We were craving Chinese. SO this is what we had. It was awesome. 



That's all really. It was quick jaunt. We will be back. It was awesome to be in a big city. 

My 6 Year Old

Monday, November 17, 2014
Dear Sadie, 



















I don't think I've been steady at writing these letters like I used to. But I'd really like to be better at it. It's hard though, to surmise a year in the life of an active girl. 

You remind me so much of myself, except at my age. You're soul is so much older than the years you have on earth. You're so perceptive and intuitive and brilliant. 

When we do school, I can't seem to keep up with you. You will do 5 pages in the time that Jackson does 1. lol. It seems like you're most interested in art, but if I had to pick a subject besides that, I'd say you're really into (and really good at) math. 

Your pictures though! They are incredible! I wish we had enough space to keep them all. Just the other day I had you color a book we were reading that didn't have any color. You went through and colored each page and kept the same outfits on the characters throughout the book. So even when I wasn't sure who was who, you knew! You knew who Bob was and who Pat was and their outfits were definitely the same! So smart! What 6 year old does that? 

You are starting to understand story lines a lot more now. You can pick up on movies and TV shows we are watching and that's been fun. We watched Elf and The Grinch and now you're watching The Parent Trap and I think you're actually interested! Yay! You've never been one for shows, unless it's Bratz or Frozen or Monster High. 

We still can't get you to say prayers out loud, or really tell us how you are feeling. You are such a mystery that way. That's the part about you that reminds me of myself. I'm not very good at those things either. But I'd like so much for it to be different for you. Your future husband and friends will be grateful if we can just get you to talk! Express! I'm thinking your art will be a great way for you to do that. You always say "I'm an artist" and I'm so glad about that. Because you are! 

You're so helpful and kind to your brother and sister. You're always willing to help and you don't complain. I'm so thankful for that. You and Jackson both always want to help in the kitchen and that's so fun. Just last night Daddy taught you how to do the dishes in an effective way. You and Jackson did all of the dinner dishes and there were no fights. Some of my most favorite memories are of doing the dishes with my brother and sisters. I'm hoping we can keep you interested. I'm pretty sure you said "That was fun" after it was over! 

You're still terrible at making decisions, just like I am. I wonder where you get that from. I'm asking you to pick out 2 things from the toy catalog that you want for Christmas and you've actually done it (an Elsa dress-up dress and a set of Anna and Elsa dolls). Good job! 

I love that you pick out your outfits and they always match and are a little bit quirky. It's so awesome. You know what hairstyles you like, and you love makeup. I'm pretty sure you're a girly girl although you'll play Minecraft and Plants versus Zombies and Roblox, just like any boy would. If not better. 

I wish I had better words to describe how lucky I am to have you as a daughter. You really are so special. You're so much different from Jackson and Nevie and it makes for such a good mix. You're our little mystery girl and we love that. I think Heavenly Father sent me you to keep me grounded. You're aware of things that I'm not. Thank you for showing me what unconditional love is. I only hope to show you it better. 

I love you Sadie Faye













Oregano's Vino Bambino Copycat

Sunday, November 16, 2014
If you've ever sat foot in Arizona, then I hope you've visited an Oregano's. It's to die for. We take all of our guests there. Wow. We used to take our guests there. I don't live in Arizona anymore. In fact, I live REALLY far from Arizona. So there was this one day when David was gone and I realllllyyyy needed a salad from Oregano's. I looked at the menu I did a long-term borrow of, and went for it. Here's the results.


Started out with these ingredients (I was making this for one person. So I didn't need much) but the ingredients below feed 3 adults and 1 kid

2 Salad mixes (include romaine) 
1 pound of chicken breast cooked to preference
1/3 pound (box) of tri-colored rotini 
Parmesan cheese
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of olives
5 green onions
1 red pepper
About 5 sun-dried tomatoes
Cilantro (Coriander here in Germany)
Kens Creamy Caesar Dressing

Their menu says they put sauteed onions on top. I don't remember that and we've never done it. Since this original picture taking time, we've made it several times and used the above ingredients (with no sauteed onions) and it tastes pretty exact. 

The Chicken:


You'd think this would be the most important part. Which it isn't. Ha. I went all out the first time around and cooked it in the crockpot. My uncle and my sisters happened to be at Oregano's when I was cooking this and I asked them to ask their waitress what they cook the chicken in. She said it's Italian dressing. The menu says wine. So I did both. I had the cooking wine and a bottle of Zesty Italian. Cooked it on high for about 4 hours. 

The second time, and every time thereafter, we have marinated the chicken in Kraft's Zesty Italian (it's the ONLY kind to use) and grilled the chicken. It tastes the same. Well secretly, I prefer the grilled way. 


Then you're gonna layer the ingredients. We've also started doing this in a big pan and tossing it before we serve it. 

Don't forget to soak your sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl of hot or boiling water for five minutes covered. Then dice them into small pieces. 
Rinse your pinto beans
Put the chicken in last. 
And then do dressing to taste. We like a little salad with our dressing. Just kidding. 



Honestly, it tastes JUST like it. I promise. 


Also, I have two other kids who don't love salad that much. So I made the whole box of rotini and added the rest of the Parmesan cheese and a little ranch and fed that to them with some chicken. Yum! 

Please let me know what you think! And if you haven't had Oregano's before, make this anyway and you'll go!