Twas the Night Before Xmas

Twas the Night before Christmas... and we are tucked in watching the classics and hoping tonight's snowstorm delivers. Terry is flipping between National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story, and we have Elf ready to go. For the third year in a row, we are staying home for the holidays. It wasn't our original plan, but we are making the most of it.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

Since Thanksgiving, Terry's back has deteriorated and surgery is planned for next week. He is looking forward to immediate pain relief once the extruded disc is removed and stops pinching his nerves. He's been battling back issues on-and-off for over two years, but the last six weeks have been the worse.

"Save the Tree" up for a 2nd year, thanks to Corrie!
Terry's invertrac in background, thanks to Nelson!

The initial injury happened during our trip to Priest Lake. Once we got home, the MRI showed damage but there were signs it was starting to heal. It eventually healed, as did a couple other major episodes, including one last Labor Day that delayed our Italy trip from last Fall to this Summer.

Italy 2014 - Selfie on our 13th anniversary

This last episode resulted in another MRI after an injection failed to relieve any pain. It shows a very large extrusion pushing against his nerves, which explains the pain and numbness down his leg. Although Terry's been disciplined with daily yoga, monthly bodywork, and standing at work; this extrusion needs the help of a surgeon. We are fortunate to have a very good one in town and his willingness to operate during his holiday.  The road to recovery is now only days away!

A painful company holiday party - too much sitting and an uncomfortable hotel bed

Terry's injury has dictated many of my activities the past couple months but I've also had plenty going on. Since Thanksgiving, I had another go-live at work that meant long days and weekends. I also started transitioning to a new role which meant more email and multi-tasking. Fortunately I didn't have any travel, so I could keep to my training schedule at home, the gym, and at cycling class.

So much easier to sweat thru a 90min workout with good company!

Rob stayed a Friday night after a week of work in Orem. The following Friday night, my parents stopped by on their way to Death Valley. They'll be back this weekend on their way home, so we'll get to hear all the stories about Christmas in the desert.

Bike ride on Dec 5th - Global Warming?!
Mom arrived and we got down to business - squeezing in 3 games of Scrabble!

Last week, in addition to doctor visits for Terry, I spent an evening with Penny and Steven at the hospital after their knee replacements and an afternoon with Christian and Corrie at Huntsman. Thankfully, everyone is home from the hospital for the holidays and on the mend.

The Knee Replacement Superheroes

I continue to pursue my passions when not working, working out, or playing Florence NightingaleDid you know she was also a statistician and writer? I've kept up with my weekly Italian lessons and daily homework. The last two sessions, il mio insegnante consentito solo italiano!

On the cycling side, I fine-tuned the multirider software for cycling class and now enjoy running the sessions and helping out with social media. Other than geeking out on the software, it is satisfying to provide my fellow cyclists with a new challenging workout. It's awesome to see the nerves before class turn into a proud smile of their achievement as they conquer the course.
Max serving up cinnamon rolls between intervals last weekend at Operation Coverup ride

In other exciting cycling news, I found out that I'm a 2015 Vanderkitten VIP! Overnight, I became a member of an inspiring community of strong athletic women. I can't keep up with all the private FB chatter, but I'm thrilled to represent the brand and meet new friends next year.

My latest Vanderkitten gear - you'll see plenty more in 2015!

All this cycling and 2015 talk, has me thinking of next year's events. As a volunteer, I plan to help with Tulsa Tough in June, the inaugural Tour of Montana in July, and The Tour of Utah in August. As a rider, I've got a few events in mind but haven't registered for anything yet. Of course, once Terry recovers we'll be working on plans for Italy. For now, the focus is on a quiet Christmas together and a healthy New Year!

Happy Christmas to All and to All a Good Night