Valentine’s Day

Be My Valentine

I thought I’d give a bit of an update…we’ve been…busy this past week!

First, I have to say: Friends are amazing! Last week a dear friend seemed to just know we were struggling and needed help and offered to drop off dinner. She picked up amazing pizza and salad and it was SO nice of her!! Michael was basically bed-ridden at that point.

The pizza was great and we had leftovers for several meals.

I’ve been trying to do everything and taking care of Logan, the animals and Michael. And working. And doing house chores and trying to still work out. It’s a lot. I feel like I’m not doing any of it very well right now. The meal was very nice and helpful and made me feel some relief.

Michael’s mom brought us ham and bean soup (delicious)! (And over the weekend she came to babysit and brought us a casserole.)

In better news, Logan got his first Valentine! πŸ˜‰

A card made by his BFF Winnie and some stickers! So cute! Another friend dropped of chocolates and a balloon! Logan is popular. πŸ˜‰ He had a Valentine’s party at daycare and that looked like fun. Plus, mommy and daddy got a valentine from Logan!

Michael and I had leftovers for dinner on Valentine’s Day. Then…his back went completely out. He couldn’t walk or stand or lay. He ended up going to the ER. At least I can cross off “hot firemen in my bedroom on valentine’s day” from my bucket list…?? πŸ˜‰ Made me think of that Friend’s episode.

Family came over to be with Logan and I went to the ER with Michael. He ended up getting an MRI (thankfully) and he has a herniated disk. I stayed late at the ER until he was going in for the MRI. It was going to be several hours for it and I had to get home for Logan.

I was in bed by midnight and got a few hours of sleep. I got Logan up and to daycare, went to work for a few hours, then left and went to the hospital. They aren’t doing surgery immediately. The heavy-duty meds Michael got in the hospital seemed to help a lot and relax whatever was going on and pinching the nerves. So after spending almost 24 hours in the hospital, he got to come home!

And he got to hold Logan for the first time in 6 weeks! We were all happy. <3

My cousin Anna hired some babysitting to help me out. A friend of Michael’s picked him up from the hospital because I had to go pick up Logan. It was SO nice how many people stepped up to help out. We have the best friends and family.

He’s doing better. He has a lot of follow-up appointments (Neurosurgeon, PT, spine clinic, his regular doc, I don’t even know what else). I hope we get some good answers for treatment. I really dislike that doctors just want to “manage” stuff like this with pain pills. That DOESN’T FIX the problem. And with a lot of people, it causes more problems. Neither Michael nor I are really pill people so we’re both determined to find another answer to fix this.

So it’s been an overwhelming, stressful week! Sheesh.

A Valentine’s Date and a Recipe

Logan has had a cold this week, which means he’s not sleeping well, which means we aren’t sleeping well….! I’ve been exhausted all week. So I was super surprised on Saturday morning when I went to the gym and hadΒ energy for days! It was a great workout! I did 30 minutes of strength training–body weights, free weighs and kettlebells, and then 30 minutes on the elliptical.

I could have kept going, too, but I had things to do! I went to the store to get groceries and then home to make this dinner:

I’ve made several Skinny Taste recipes before and they were always really delicious.

Our friends had a baby last month (their third!!) and we signed up for their meal train dinner. It was so amazing when we had Logan and friends and family made us meals. It was so so so helpful and generous and we ate some really great food.

Originally we were going to do Michael’s mac n’ cheese but our friends are dairy-free at the moment so I decided to make them chili. I’ve been craving chili for awhile now.

I browned the ground turkey and onions. (I added a teeny bit of spicy ground pork for some flavor.)

The recipe called for three different beans — one being chickpeas! So odd. But I went with it and it turned out to be a really good addition. I did black beans, red kidney beans and garbanzo beans.

I mixed it all and it cooked in the crockpot all day. It smelled really good.

After lunch Logan took a nap and I decided to take a nap, too, and ended up sleeping for over 2 hours!! Catching up on sleep after four days of no sleep, was awesome.

When it was done cooking I packed everything up and we went to our friend’s house to take them dinner and meet the new baby! NEW BABY SMELL!! Oh my gosh the baby isΒ sooo teeny tiny and adorable. I cannot believe that Logan was ever that tiny. It’s crazy. (Especially considering Logan decided to walk this week.)

So for the meal train I took our friends the pot of chili, a loaf of French bread and all the toppings: cilantro, chopped red onion, green onion, shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream (for the kiddos who aren’t dairy-free). Also in the bag was a bottle of wine and some homemade gluten-free brownies (from Bob’s Red Mill). πŸ˜€

We spent a little bit of time catching up and snuggling with new baby and then went home to get Logan to bed and open a bottle of wine for us:

There was just enough chili left over for Michael and I to have dinner, too. My one complaint about the recipe was that it said there were 10 servings in there but really, it was more like 5 or 6 generous servings. I guess she made the servings small to keep the calories low.

Ok I kind of loved this chili. It was so good! Lots of flavor and texture. I enjoyed the chickpeas, too. At first I thought they were weird to add to chili but the texture was great. The beans weren’t mushy.

This recipe is a winner! I would make it again for sure.

On Sunday I went swimming and then Michael and I got to go out for a Valentine’s Date Day. Michael’s sister babysat this guy:

I planned our date for this month. Our date started with lunch. We went to Ten Barrel Brewery. I’ve never been and it was a cool place with a fun vibe. We both got the Pearl IPA.

It was a pretty decent beer.

Michael got the personal sized pizza and the salad lunch combo:

The crust wasn’t anything special but the flavor of the sauce and the spicy pepperoni were really tasty. I got the Seoul Sandwich which had Korean steak with sauce, pickled carrots and shredded cabbage on it. It was really, really tasty! The meat had a fabulous flavor to it. I would have liked it a little spicier but it was a really delicious meal otherwise.

Next up was the highlight of our date day: A mini spa day! We went to Sole 2 Sole Reflexology in North Portland. I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never tried reflexology before.

It was such a good experience! We both LOVED it! We were in a semi-private back room with two chairs. We sat down in our side-by-side chairs and then we soaked our feet in barrels of hot water while the therapists massaged our arms and hands. They also put some hot neck wrap things on us. Those were nice.

Then they dried our feet and started the foot and leg massage and reflexology. It was SO GOOD! I get massages once a month (thank you insurance)Β but they rarely spend that much time on my legs or feet, which is a bummer. So this was a really nice treat because it was a full hour on your feet and legs!

The reflexology part was really interesting. Hard to describe, but nice. It was a lot of pressure-point massage and the massage therapist did some massage around my knees, which was really nice.

Michael fell asleep. πŸ™‚ I dozed in and out of very deep relaxation. It was so nice. The place was great and I would totally go back again. Michael enjoyed his surprise Valentine’s date and he said had he’d known what I had planned he would have run extra miles on Saturday to really get the full benefit of the massage. πŸ˜‰

It was a great date and we went home to be with the baby and just hang out for the rest of Sunday. Kinda lazy, which was nice.