A Series of Unfortunate Events

I can’t even look back and tell you how long it’s been since I’ve written a blog post. It has been way too long. Do people even blog anymore? I’m out of the loop on so many things, but I plan to be getting back into said loop, very soon… and I’ll report back.

I’m using this platform today to share the wild story of what my sweet little family has been through lately, but most importantly to thank those who have helped us along the way.

It all started on a beautiful day in May! I had two shoots on the calendar and was just days away from officially being back from Maternity Leave after having given birth to my second daughter back in March. We started that beautiful Sunday, May 22nd, by attending my cousins son’s birthday party… and we ended that day in serious regret.

The kids were having the time of their lives in the giant bounce house obstacle course that my cousin and her husband rented for the day until someone showed up with water balloons. Then the kids were having the time of their lives throwing water balloons and no one was enjoying the bounce house. So the adults started racing each other through it… because, why not? Bounce houses aren’t dangerous. Who gets hurt in a bounce house? (insert shifty eyes here) …. *Raises hand. Me. I do.

My husband found the idea of me racing my sister amusing and challenged me to race her. This is one of those moments in life where I should have listened to my gut. I didn’t feel like doing it. I didn’t think it was a good idea… but I didn’t want to be the square Mom. I wanted to be the cool Mom that has fun in bounce houses… so I said ok, and coaxed my sister into it as well.

I was wearing ultra slippery socks and was falling behind quickly in the race because I couldn’t get enough grip to climb up the ladder portion to the top of the slide. Once at the top, realizing I was losing, and that was NOT ok, I decided that a leap would be the best and most effective option over sliding down the slide, to get ahead of my sister. I thought of nothing other than, “if I just jump, I can jump ahead of her”. So I did it. I jumped, and every time I think of that jump now, I get the willies, because… I came down and my right foot slipped and my right knee hyper extended and I knew that I was in terrible trouble. I went straight down grabbing my knee in pain, knowing that I had just done something truly terrible to my leg. There was no wishful thinking – it was immediate regret and dread and thoughts of surgery.

If we rewind the clock back to 2003, I had a similar injury to the same knee at a family reunion where I crashed a dirt bike and hyper extended my knee then. So the feeling; the pain I felt; it was familiar. Even though that injury was 19 years ago – you don’t forget that kind of trauma. I knew. What I didn’t know, was that this time the damage would be far worse. 19 years ago, I had a minor tear in my meniscus. This time I tore my meniscus again slightly, took a chunk out of my femoral trochlea (cartilage under your knee cap), AND demolished my ACL. That’s where you pause to cringe because if you know anything about knee injuries… you know that you NEVER want to fck up your ACL.

On June 13th I went in for surgery to repair the tears, and to get an ACL transplant. The surgery was extremely painful. The pain blocker didn’t work, and I woke up in excruciating pain. I went home in excruciating pain. I tortured myself by hobbling up the stairs in excruciating pain so that I could be in my bed, and stayed there for about 5 days. I could not sit up in bed with out assistance. I couldn’t get to the bathroom without assistance. It. Was. BRUTAL. The pain was so bad that I had to have Randy lift my leg up for me to move me around for several days.

We had planned for help to get us through those first two weeks. My Mom was going to come and spend the night for the first night or two in order to help with the kids so that both kids AND my care weren’t all on Randy. However, the night before my surgery, my Mom injured her foot and couldn’t walk. Then our babysitter got sick!! Turns out it was covid. Turns out, Randy caught it. Turns out, he gave it to Brynlee. So by the time my first week post surgery came to a close, my house was infected with covid. I made it 14 days after Randy and 9 days after Brynlee before it finally caught up to me. I am forever grateful to my Mom and my brother’s girlfriend Mariah for showing up that week unafraid. They knew we needed them. They put themselves at risk of catching covid to be here for me and my family. I am so happy to say that neither of them caught it from us, but they came assuming they probably would and they helped anyway. Selfless.

In addition to those two, we have had an abundance of love and support flowing to us during this time. We had people showing up to help before covid, sending meals, sending meal gift cards, and I cannot express how much that helped take off Randy’s plate. He has been caring for both kids, and me, and making every meal, cleaning up every meal, trying to keep the house organized AND work. So taking the cooking/cleaning off his plate was beyond instrumental for his sanity. THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to my family during this crazy time. We are blessed beyond measure to have so much love and support around us, and even more blessed that this has been a temporary set back for us… we are on the upswing from all of it. Healing has begun and we will get to look back on this time and think “wow – that was nuts!” and know that it was just that – a tough time, but a time where people showed us really big love.

To the following people, THANK YOU does not express it enough but they are the only words:

Mom, Dad, Mariah Kennebrew, Robin & Vern, Aunt Janette, Aunt Michelle, Caitlin Ferry, Cindy & Marcia, Trinity Wallas-Ellis, Jenny Rosso, Kara Joffe, Rena Franco, Alex & Dustin, Elaine King, Emily Helmick, Matt Cambell, Aunt Jenny, Lauren Pollack, Philip Aronoff, Uncle Ken & Aunt Kathy, Richelle Loranger, Colton & Alli Centala, Nikki & Trevor Porter, Megan McGarry, Annie Bernard, Jennifer McNeil, Tammie & Max Harlan

Your love, your compassion, and your kindness is truly touching. Thank you for loving my family and for taking care of us. We love you all dearly. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

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