The week before we were scheduled to leave for our Christmas vacation, Grant started having headaches, really severe ones on the left side of his head. We thought they were just caused by stress (from work, not me!) and would eventually go away, but we began to get truly concerned when he discovered swollen, painful bumps on the back of his neck and a quarter-size flat-ish bump on his forehead.
He got in to see a doctor on the 18th and was diagnosed with cellulitis. Okay, we had never heard of that. It’s basically a bacterial infection underneath the skin. So he got on antibiotics right away.
On the 19th of December, we loaded up our
Here are some shots of us making sugar cookies. Very fun!
Corban, Katie, Marissa, Sabrina, and Annika - all dressed up for church. Aren't they cute?
We were at Sarah and John’s home for three full days. Grant got progressively worse each day. He would wake up with more bumps on his face, blisters, extreme pain and itching, and what made it even worse, it spread to his left eyelid. Now that was alarming. After nearly a full day of hassling with our doctor’s office back home and calls to the insurance company, we got him into see John’s doctor. Well, the doctor was out, he actually saw an assistant. Or something. She was very nice. She decided that Grant had shingles. Contrary to popular belief, shingles is NOT just an old person’s disease; she said they even see middle-schoolers with it sometimes. Thankfully, there is an anti-viral medicine called Valtrex that is very helpful for treating shingles, and Grant got started on it that night.
The next morning, he wasn’t really “better”, but it was the first day he wasn’t worse, so we proceeded on our journey to Arkansas. After another 8.5 hours in the car, we were more than relieved to arrive at my parents’ home.
That evening I got the chance to visit with a dear friend, Liz, whom I first met when I was ten years old and she was 24. Several years after that, she was a missionary to Costa Rica for seven (I think) years and I didn’t see her often, but she was faithful to send me beautiful postcards, which I have to this day. We’ve lost touch over the years, except for running into each other at church when I was visiting mom and dad, and this was the longest time we’ve had to just sit and talk. It was a very precious time.
Christmas Eve was spent with the family. Dad told the story of Jesus' birth to the family...very sweet! My older brother Jeremy and his family were there, as well as my younger two siblings, Joseph and Anna, who still live at home.
On Christmas day, we did the gifts and all that, and of course
practiced extreme self-control threw caution to the wind and stuffed ourselves to the gills and then some.
We also got a visit from my cousin Adam, his wife Mary, and their three kids. That was an entertaining visit, to say the least.
The next several days were spent with visits to see friends, family, a trip to the park, church, bowling, game playing, movie watching, and several trips to Braums. Oh Braums, how I miss thee. And the food….need I mention the food? We had all the candies/cookies Anna, Mom, and Jeremy made, plus pecan pies, brownies, apple pies (from Jeremy), a chocolate truffle cheesecake that I made, sugared pecans and almonds, and a half-gallon of Braums Cappuccino Chunky Chocolate frozen yogurt (that Grant and I ate nearly singlehandedly). Don't laugh, that stuff is wicked good!
Grant continued to show improvement and finished the five-day cycle of Valtrex, but he still has some lingering pains. He’s going for a follow-up appointment this Friday.
We headed back to Tennessee on the 31st, despite the fact that Annika had vomited twice in the middle of the night (having caught the bug from Joseph, we assume). She made the trip just fine and no-one else got sick, thankfully.
We spent a quiet, or rather, uneventful (as a house with five children five and under is rarely quiet) New Years Day at Sarah and John’s, and made the final trek home on Jan. 2. We were amazed that we completed that leg of the trip in 11.5 hours, a full 45 minutes less than the trip out there.
This is the stuff we unloaded from the van.....MOST of it, anyways. Can you believe we fit all that plus five people and some miscellaneous other junk in our Odyssey? Travelling at Christmas time is no joke.
The 3rd was spent unpacking and getting back into life, and then I came down with the stomach bug also. It was short-lived, but we still skipped church on Sunday. So there you have it……our trip in a not-so-small nutshell. Maybe it was a Brazil nut….
I just realized I didn't post many cute photos of Annika. There were tons, rest assured. I'll have to get to them later......this post is plenty long enough!