Friday, January 10, 2020

A December to Try & Remember

Well, Happy New Year.

I'll cut right to the chase. I have been ill, & my illness made a liar out of me. Last I blogged it was last year, Black Friday to be specific. You can read that - - - > here. I told you I'd return to you in December, & that did not happen.

I have a great many pictures to share & a few interesting anecdotes to accompany them. Here we geaux, friends. 

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving Trey & I traveled to Baton Rouge to see LSU's final glorious home game against Texas A&M. We spent the day with friends. Every moment of the day was spectacular.

Trey enjoying his ribs at TJ Ribs:

Ensconced in the suite with our college friends, a lot of great food, & a host of extremely happy Tiger fans:

As you likely know, since the above photo was taken the Tigers improved to 14-0 on the season, won the SEC, defeated Oklahoma in the playoffs, & will play Clemson for the national title on Monday evening. Additionally, Mr. Joey Burrow won the second Heisman Trophy awarded to an LSU player. As you might imagine I absolutely did weep as Burrow delivered his heartfelt acceptance speech.

Trey & I arrived home in the wee hours of the morning after the A&M game. There were not many hours to sleep before it was time to rise & dress everyone for church. As I went through my day that Sunday I assumed I felt as terrible as I did due to my lack of sleep & the general emotional unwinding from the events of Saturday. That Sunday was packed, too, beginning with church & then Reagan's piano recital & then the kids' Christmas Party at church that evening. 

While Trey & I were at the game Saturday my mom sent me this picture of Reagan wearing the outfit Reagan roped my mom into buying her for her recital:

Anyway, I plowed through Sunday. I still vividly remember how terrible I felt when I got in bed that night, but I couldn't fall asleep for a long time. I woke up about four that morning from crippling sinus pressure, & it was at that moment I realized my parents had gifted me the plague they'd both suffered with in the weeks prior. 

The next two weeks are a blur. I did not have the flu, mind you. My parents had both run a little fever, had sinus issues, & generally been exhausted for about a week or so. My dad actually went to the doctor & tested negative for flu. It was like a sinus infection, but it was considerably worse than a typical sinus infection due to the crippling exhaustion & the pesky aching in my legs that sometimes woke me up & left me dependent on my heating pad. 

It hit me at a bad, bad time since the kids were still in school & a variety of Christmas-related parties & activities were on the calendar (not to mention a lot of birthdays to celebrate). On top of all this, Trey was out of town at one point for about four nights. He had a deposition in Pennsylvania & took that opportunity to fly to Toronto & see Niagara Falls. At some point as he was texting me image after image of the beautiful scenery he was enjoying I sent him this:

And also this:

In Trey's defense he'd booked the trip long before I fell ill, & he'd have been gone a night or two to take the deposition regardless. Thankfully the children are no longer babies, & they can do a great many things for themselves. I guess Trey & I called it even & moved on since I spent his forty-first birthday in bed the whole day barely coherent. I mean I think at some point I told him Happy Birthday, but I am not certain. 

Thankfully by Reagan's birthday, which falls a week after Trey's, I was feeling a little better. Reagan wanted to go see Frozen II with her cousins & then have a big family dinner during which everyone bestowed her with gifts.

That went something like this: 

You may have forgotten that my dad & Reagan share a birthday. He was present at Reagan's birthday dinner, & we all nodded in his direction in acknowledgement of his big day at some point during dinner. 

Reagan's birthday coincided with the beginning of Christmas Break for the children. My grand plans to Christmas shop & get the house decorated for Christmas while the kids were still in school were just shattered by my illness. I am certainly getting older, yes, but I also believe this virus was a pretty virulent little devil. I recall one morning rising to make lunches & get the kids dressed for school & falling immediately back into bed when they left with Trey. I didn't wake up until one in the afternoon. The tiredness was just unreal. 

Anyway, we did enjoy a nice Christmas thanks in large part to Amazon & various other retailers who kindly shipped me things. We have a variety of Christmas decorations I really love, but I never had the energy to get most of them out. We did put the tree up, but as an indicator of how tired I was I'll tell you that Henry was responsible for putting most of the ornaments on it. My Type-A personality never overcame my fatigue; I let him put up whichever ornaments he pleased wherever he pleased. 

Before I get to the Christmas photos, here's Henry & the giant gap left by the front tooth he lost mid-December:

The children obviously had a grand Christmas, but as you might recall my mother, my sister, & I are headed to Scotland later this year thanks to our newfound obsession with Outlander (yes, my sister & I have persuaded our mother to read the books), & our trip inspired a few of the presents we exchanged: 

Jessica & I bought our mom all eight books (there are of course two more to come according to Ms. Gabaldon). Let me tell you, it is something else to see them all lined up together. There are so, so many words, & yet, I want to read them all. 

Here's what I've read thus far . . . that's Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, & Voyager:

Speaking of reading, I regret to inform you that I missed book club in early December when we met to discuss The Ragged Edge of Night. I was, as you've likely guessed, sick & in bed. I did make book club last week when we met to discuss December's read, The Princess Bride, as well as hammer out a list of books to read in the year ahead. This month we're reading C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce. The last few years we've started the year with a Lewis read so as to set the right tone before we dive into all manner of fiction featuring depraved characters & unsettling dystopian settings. 

I mentioned my trip to Scotland above, & that is beginning to dominate my thoughts & my horizon as we march through January. I took the necessary steps to secure a passport, & I hope to get that in the mail soon. They took two photos & let me keep the extra.

I continue to fall more & more in love with the world Diana Gabaldon created. I've read the first three books & watched the first three seasons of the show on Netflix including rewatching a handful of episodes five or twelve times. Let me again encourage you to read these books (if you are a woman), especially if you've watched the show & love it. Both are wonderful. The show is a fantastic, well-acted, well done adaption of these novels. Thankfully Lewis's The Great Divorce is a short read because despite telling myself to take a little break I started reading the fourth book, Drums of Autumn, one night this past week. My progress with that will soon halt since I have to get myself in gear to start teaching next week.

Anyway, I have to get my act together. I allowed for a lot of slacking in December due to general December madness + illness. I truly regret being sick in December not only because it's always a bummer to be sick, but I kind of feel like I missed Christmas. I went through the motions, but I was just so tired & definitely was never overwhelmed with the Christmas spirit.

I finally got over the rot in the sense that I was no longer exhausted & plagued by my sinuses, but I had a nagging cough that never fully went away. Last week I woke up one morning & was struggling to take deep breaths. I went to the doctor & was told (after chest & head X-rays) I had bronchitis & some gunk in my head. I am now finishing medicine to deal with all that. Finally, at long last, I feel good. The last day I remember feeling rested & healthy was the day of the Texas A&M game. I honestly barely remember watching or enjoying LSU's incredible victory over Georgia if that's any indicator of how poorly I felt.

I plan to get myself in gear after the National Title game next week. I don't stress myself out about January 1. Why would you begin an exercise routine &/or a diet on a holiday, a day on which countless college football games are played? You're setting yourself up for disappointment & failure, y'all.

The kids returned to school this past Monday, & I will begin teaching my spring classes next Tuesday. So, Tuesday will be an ideal day to put down the cupcakes, return to a normal waking/sleeping schedule, & exercise more. I need to get myself in better shape before I go to Scotland. All I know of Scotland I learned from Claire Fraser, so to that end I know I need to drop a few pounds, firm up, & let my hair grow so I can pile it on my head & be prepared to flee Red Coats, ride a horse,  stitch wounds, & bathe infrequently.

There's really no way to conclude other than with a GEAUX TIGERS.

Let's try & do this again sooner rather than later, reader.



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