Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Elite Eight, Final Four - A Bevy of Riches

Ok, y'all, if you've been reading this blog for more than half a minute you know about my unbridled enthusiasm for all things Baylor-related. I'm a HUGE football fan(atic), love the Lady Bears (my fam watched Kim Mulkey play her way through La Tech after all), and I've recently become VERY fond of our men's basketball team as well.

Why?

Well, because I've sort of become Twitter friends with a few of them. And also because it's the senior year for both Tweety Carter and Josh Lomers. These are two absolutely amazing young men (one of whom happens to be from Louisiana) who made the commitment to play basketball here when there was not really a program (at least a good/successful one) to speak of.

They came when we were under extreme sanctions by the NCAA after the horrid summer of '03 and the resulting scandal. They came because they wanted to be a part of something special.

And they were.

And will forever be Baylor heroes.

I must admit to my anger that Sunday's game truly seemed to be decided by officiating. It wasn't fair, in my opinion, for these guys to go out this way. For, you see, the team is FULL of awesome young men who have a passion for basketball and Jesus.

Ekpe Udoh, Fred Ellis, Quincy Acy, AJ Walton, Lacedarius Dunn (also a Louisiana boy - are you sensing a pattern? :-), Anthony Jones...the list goes on, y'all.

BUT they are still rock stars. They are an Elite Eight team. And no one can ever take that away from them. Even the Big 12 coaches who picked them to finish 10th in the conference in the pre-season poll.

Love, love, love them all!!

I also have a particular affinity for the Lady Bears. Brittney Griner is an amazing player (who should not be defined by one moment in time) and Melissa Jones is truly the heartbeat of this young team. Morghan Medlock is another one with a heart of a champion (did you know her mother was murdered last season and she had to grow up WAY too fast?) and I could not be happier that they - with ice water in their veins - found a way to beat Duke last night.

We are Final Four bound, my friends!

And you know what? The Final Four is in San Antonio.

And we're going!!!!!

Well, not Dave, but Tay and I are going with my parents and good family friend Aunt Anna. We could not be more excited (unless Davey was with us) about this outing. Besides, how can the Christian school lose on Easter Sunday, right? Even if we will probably play UConn...

Anyway, Dave isn't going because he just can't sit very long these days due to his knee. The trip there alone would rock his rehabbing little world so he's decided to rest up for next year because...

...the men's Final Four is in Houston in 2011!!!

It's a veritable bevy of riches. And the Bowers family could not be more proud to be Baylor Bears. :-)

Sic 'em, y'all!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Healing

It seems like October was so long ago, doesn't it?

That's when my baby girl began the very long journey to healing. When we struggled through a major injury. When she had emergency surgery and had a plate and six screws placed in her arm.

When I sat by her hospital bed and cried through the night. And texted my husband non-stop because he couldn't sleep either.

When we quieted her fears while facing our own.

And thanked God for grandparents who could - and would - shoulder the burden.

It seems like a really long time ago - almost six months to be exact - but I can assure you that the emotions of that dark period are still very raw. In fact, I just wiped away tears that sprang to my eyes just thinking about it.

No, she did not have a life-threatening injury. She had not been diagnosed with a terrible disease that would require months or years of treatment.

And, for that, we thank God every single day.

But she is our baby. And she was scared. While also incredibly strong.

We did not - and still don't - have all of the answers. We are very certain she will face more trials. But she will not face them alone.

We are also praising Him that her bone is now completely healed.

That she has full range of motion back in her elbow (save a miniscule amount due to some scar tissue that still remains).

That she was released last week to be "a normal kiddo" again.

That we don't struggle, cry, yell and scream through rehab every single night.

Yes, we still have challenges. No, she is not comfortable enough with her scar yet to confidently wear short sleeves. Yes, we have hope.

We have a rock on which we choose to stand. Come what may.

And I can, without reservation, tell you that our family is closer than ever. That we are, as a certain housewife would say, "thick as thieves."

Good did come from what is one of the darkest hours I've faced as a parent.

Today we celebrate. We look forward to what we hope will be a year without significant injury, illness or loss. And we rest in Him during this precious time we refer to as Holy Week.

We do this together. And that's what it's really all about, right?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our Week

Gym workouts.

Mowing the 3-foot grass in our yard.

Tay's 4-hour orthopedic surgeon appointment.

A fire alarm at work. Down seven flights in stilettos.

Lunch with my man.

Unbelievable allergies.

Starbucks.

Sudafed.

Homework.

Thunderstorm.

Having my teeth licked by the dog.

Reading for AR tests.

Rehabbing Dave's knee.

Work issues.

Wednesday night church.

Being unable to sleep through the night.

Praying earnestly for Friday.

Exhaustion.

Three more weeks of bed rest.

Counting down the days until "normal life," whatever that may be, resumes.

Tears. Overwhelmed tears.

To move or not to move - that is the question.

Bowling league.


Putting it all in His hands.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bumper Cars

When one is recovering from knee surgery, they itch for opportunities to get out and about in the real world. Apparently (I hear) the walls of the house begin to close in on them. I'm going to assume that this could possibly render one temporarily insane.


Why would I come to that conclusion?

Well, that's the only one I've got for my man blazing through Wal-Mart on a cart at an alarming speed while challenging all other scooter riders in the vicinity to a race. Yes, even the elderly folks. Actually, particularly the elderly folks.

That was amusing enough, quite frankly, but my man decided to take things up a notch.


How, you ask?

Well, he came out of nowhere down the meat aisle and bumped into my cart at full speed while exclaiming, "Bumper cars!" Due to the faces everyone around us made, I'm going to go ahead and assume other shoppers didn't immediately realize we were together. Or that we even knew each other.

But that's ok - he got out and enjoyed himself.


That was last weekend. What happened this weekend? 

Well, I'm going to also guess that the greeters perhaps heard about a certain someone's shenanigans. At least that's my guess as to why they presented him with the slowest scooter ever to cover ground at the ol' Wally World on Saturday.

Perhaps I'm off base...but I really don't think so.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Our Personal March Madness

Another whirlwind of a week has come and gone, which means we're staring in the face of another weekend.

While we are very thankful Dave is another week along in his recovery, I must admit that him being pretty much bedridden has made life much more eventful. From this side anyway. :-) He's doing really well and his spirits are high now that he's able to head to the gym with me for an upper body workout.

His first follow-up appointment was yesterday. We saw the athletic trainer, who took his stitches out and gave him some new exercises to do that should keep his muscles conditioned during this non-weight bearing period. We also learned that his doc misspoke after surgery. He is to be non-weight bearing for SIX weeks and not four as we previously thought.

He sees the surgeon on April 12, which is only a few days before he's scheduled to return to work. Sounds a little unsettling, doesn't it?

I thought so too!


The good news is that activity with this type of surgery usually goes from zero to 90 miles an hour. Basically, from not being able to do anything at all to being able to do anything you want within your pain limit.

So we're hopeful he'll still be able to return at that time. Honestly, I believe he'll be fine but I also believe he'll go back regardless of the April outcome. Not because he's one to go against medical advice but because he'll be stir crazy and will most likely agree to return in a wheelchair if it'll just get him out of the house! :-)

We don't have much going on other than recovery. Tay's been absolutely wonderful helping me around the house and she's looking forward to a fun skating party with her church group tomorrow. I had lunch with her at school today and really enjoyed visiting with her before she was all tuckered out from school and then playing with her friends at daycare.

She cracks me up. Every stinkin' day. Love, love, love her!

To pieces. :-)

Happy weekend to you all - hope it's a fantastically fabulous one.

P.S. If you think I didn't almost have a heart attack during yesterday's game and then proceed to jump up and down (in the clinic hallway, mind you) once I saw that Baylor had won, you might not know me very well. Let's just say that a number of people I've never seen before (and who probably hope they never will again) go a hearty "We won! We won!" from me as we made our way to the elevators.

I've never been one to participate in March Madness but, seriously, with my natural propensity toward madness this might just push me over the edge. And I'm loving every single second. :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Luck O' the Irish

Though I have no pictures to prove it (yet), I can assure you that Miss Tay is indeed decked out in green this morning. She even has on a giant button that says "Luck o' the Irish" and it may or may not flash with the type of intensity that could induce seizures.

Wonder if I'm the teacher's favorite parent today....

But, hey, a girl's gotta have fun when she's taking a practice TAKS reading test. She took a practice math TAKS test yesterday. She sure knows how to have fun, doesn't she?

There's really not a lot going on in our little world right now. Dave is doing better (except for yesterday when the nasty, rainy weather rolled through) and is not in much pain at all. He's getting around pretty well and has gone with me to the gym for the past three days. Don't worry - he's only doing an upper body workout but it's been good for him to have something to look forward to each day.

For some reason he thinks being stuck in bed for 4 weeks with a large bottle of Vicodin is hell on Earth while I think it would be a little slice of heaven. I'm sure it's all a matter of perspective, though. :-)

Tomorrow he heads back to the doctor (with me in the driver's seat, of course) for his first follow-up appointment. It's really just an incision check, I think, and we're guessing he'll get his stitches out at that time since the puncture wounds have closed up nicely.

All in all, he's recovering very nicely. We're making it. And this week is ever so much better than last. I can only imagine how much better things will be when he's able to go through life without pain. Poor guy!

From our home to yours, we wish you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day. May you get kissed many times today :-)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Only 3 More Weeks Now...

Hello world!

What have you been up to this week?

Us? Why, we've just been in survival mode, y'all.

It's been a rough, long, exhausting week but we're now down to 3 weeks of the man being non-weight bearing and that's definite progress.

Taylor had a great time going on various field trips at daycare because it is Spring Break after all. She's also heading to Austin tomorrow with my parents to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the Bob Bullock Museum. She's super stoked.

And, quite frankly, Mama needs some alone time...

Not because she's been difficult this week. She's been fantastic. And helpful. Very sweet. Uncharacteristically perky in the morning.

But being up and down with Dave during the night is tiring. Listening to him writhe in pain is heart-wrenching. And, if I'm honest, I've also felt a bit sorry for myself that the entire weight of our household rests solely on my shoulders for now.

My appreciation for single parent families and those whose spouses/loved ones are currently deployed is at an all time high.

This, too, shall pass. And, thanks be to God, my attitude hasn't been too bad this week. (Give or take 3-5 moments.) I've also been amazingly productive at work, which will be most helpful as we race to the end of fiscal year deadline at the end of April.

We're hanging in there and I hope you are too. Happy weekend to all and to all a good nap. ;-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our Exciting Life

This has been our life for the past few days...and will be for the next 3.5 weeks. Exciting, huh?

Monday, March 8, 2010

The patient...

...is doing well! Surgery was much faster than we anticipated and had a completely different outcome but that's ok because the problem was definitely found.

Turns out that Dave's ACL had healed nicely from the last surgery. The problem was the cartilage under his kneecap. Instead of being smooth and "plush carpet like" his was only smooth on the sides as a giant valley had been worn in the middle. His doctor, who I absolutely adore, pronounced it "absolutely horrible" and indicated that it was one of the worst cases he'd seen.

In addition, the cartilage he still had crumbled as soon as it was touched with the surgical instruments. It was a surprising find but my prayer had been that the problem would be found - and it was!

So how do you fix that? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Dr. Hamilton scraped all of the cartilage out and then pricked holes in the bone with an ice pick-type instrument until the bone began bleeding. This stimulates new cartilage growth. When all is said and done he'll have "something like Berber carpet instead of a plush carpet" but, hey, it's better than no carpet, right?

This injury causes all of the hanging and giving way he'd been experiencing (that can also be caused by the ACL) and is the cause of his chronic swelling and unbearable pain.

Since surgery, he's not really had much knee pain at all. Of course, I guess when you're in that much pain before surgery, the after isn't quite as bad. He did have a TON of soreness - like, to the point he almost couldn't move his upper body - due to the hammering that was done on his knee. That type of movement during surgery causes all of your bones above the impact point to shift.

Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

I thought so too.

So the only bad part is that he's now non-weight bearing for 4 weeks instead of 2 and that was a bit difficult for him to swallow but he'll survive. He will still be able to go back to work in 6 weeks and the recovery process should be much less difficult even though it will be just as long, if not longer. Cartilage regeneration is measured in months instead of weeks but we were expecting quite a long process anyway so that wasn't a big shock.

All in all, we have been incredibly blessed and truly couldn't have asked for better care. My parents were there to see him off and my mom stayed with me while my dad picked Tay up from after school care. We all met back up at our house after he was discharged for pulled pork sandwiches and chicken gumbo, courtesy of my mom.

See? I told you we were blessed!

And very thankful :-)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Morning After

The morning after the Great Snowstorm of 2010, which amounted to all of 3 inches of the powdery white stuff, my little one has a delayed start at school. Nothing like the fear of some semi-icy roads to scare us Texans into heading out 2 hours later than normal. Please do not take that statement, however, as disappointment because I was super stoked to hang out a bit longer with the girl.


In fact, I was feeling a bit guilty about her having to literally drag me out of bed the last time this happened (I was still recovering from the aftermath of strep, y'all, and can I just reiterate that it's not pretty when an adult get a kid disease) so I was happy to get some more snow time in after logging 4 miles and, unfortunately, learning that a former boss and very good friend had passed away unexpectedly the night before.

Tay was a bit upset that the snow had "iced over" and wasn't fluffy and powdery anymore. She also didn't care much for being on the receiving end of this type of snowball. Of course, I have no idea who would lob this type of snow missile at their child. 




Miss Taylor then decided we should take a walk up the street to "check out the scenery." Here's where she was the beneficiary of my guilt from the last time because I still only had on my workout clothes and a light jacket (you notice from the pics that she'd stolen mine again, right?)...needless to say, off we went on our cold, merry way...

After we got back to the house, she plopped herself into the snow for "just one last minute."
And then proceeded to make it "rain snow" on top of her head. Seriously, this only happens once every 20 years in Texas so I had indulged the child. And then gave her a warm shower and bundled her up. I promise.
But not before she insisted on saying a final goodbye to Marty and Bart. Pieces of whom were still around for 4 or 5 days. They were nothing if not stubborn, resilient little fellas.
But she had the time of her life.

And, quite frankly, that's all that really mattered.

P.S. Tomorrow is Dave's big surgery day and we would really appreciate it if you remembered him in prayer. This will probably be a major procedure (they won't know exactly what's going on until they get in there) and he's a guy who doesn't like to be dependent on anyone or laid up for a long period. He'll be both for 4-6 weeks so I'm praying it goes much better than I'm anticipating. No matter what, I know He will take care of us.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Snowman Envy

What happens when you're 10 years old and, after building what you consider an awesome snowman, you look across the street and see this?

Well, if you're Taylor, you decide that another - larger - snowman must be built immediately in your backyard. Yours may not be quite as big but if you have two and they only have one, the score is even.


Or so I was told.

You also force your mother, who is trying to make homemade potato soup and bread for a cold evening meal, to don her slippers and grab her camera to take some grainy shots of you building said second snowman.

And you take you mother's Baylor jacket because you slid around in the snow earlier in the day, which required it to be immediately washed.

You roll the largest snowball you can possibly muster because you're "doing this one alone" and have the time of your life playing in the frigid snow. And your mother doesn't say a word because she knows this much snow only arrives in Waco, Texas, once in a great while.


The next morning you head out at first light to "decorate him" only to find that he (actually I should be referring to him by name - it's Bart; Marty was the first one she built) froze overnight and the only thing you can do to accessorize is add a couple of celery arms.

But it doesn't matter. Because you had the time of your life. And your mother has pictures to prove it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Glorious Snow Day - Yet Another Photo Essay
























Monday, March 1, 2010

The Hot Rod

About a month ago (maybe more - I've lost complete track of time), my mom called to tell my my stepdad was getting a new car. Since he'd just traded in his Tracker for a Liberty due to a couple hundred thousand miles, I was quite surprised.


Little did I know that what he'd actually done is run across a really awesome deal on a dream of his...

...a hot rod, if you will...

I believe it's a 1920 Ford Roadster...or something like that...

...what I do know is that my stepdad and my daughter really like riding around in it and going to Dairy Queen. Of course, they have to take all back roads because it's not street legal and can't go far due to the 10-gallon gas tank...

....but whatever makes them happy, right?

No matter where they go, they look super cute in the hot rod.