Yes, it really has. Almost two years. I don't even know if I remember how to do this, but here goes!
If we're Facebook "friends", you have a general idea of how my life has been. If not, I'm going to try to catch up as quickly as possible. Just the main facts:
Melissa retired from gymnastics about 1.5 years ago. Many reasons, most of which included health issues and financial issues. After being home-schooled from 4th to 8th grade, she started her freshman year at Bolingbrook High School. She took all honors courses (except spanish, PE and health). She earned all A's, and finished the year ranked no.1 (out of over 1,000 kids) in her class. She won outstanding honors biology student of the year, had perfect attendance, and all her teachers just loved her. I couldn't be more proud. She is an amazing young woman. She was part of an in-school dance team, participated in the thespian and key club. This summer she joined a local, very well-known dance team called the Bolingbrook Dance Force. She is on the senior company team, and is taking ballet and hip hop. She started her sophomore year of high school on Wednesday, and is happy to be back (I think)!
Ryan--well, what a year it was for him. He graduated from high school ranked 11th of over 800 students and won more awards than I feel comfortable mentioning. After many months of school hunting, we all decided on North Central College in Naperville. He was awarded two amazing scholarships from the school, and with loans and grants, will be able to pay for his own education. He will live at home this first year.
He worked really hard over the summer for the Valley View School District maintenance department. It was a full-time job, and I really think he liked it. He was able to make/save a bunch of money. We are working on getting him a car so he can drive himself to school.
He also started a part-time, mostly weekend job as a waiter/server at the Marriott Hotel where his dad work's part-time in Burr Ridge. He will be able to work during the school year, and will be a blessing financially.
Jerry is still at Sears and working part-time at the hotel. We struggle financially, as always, and he is doing his absolute best to take care of his family. Our 1996 Town & Chrysler finally died in June, so we have been living with one car--not easy to do.
As for me, I'll try to be as brief as possible. My RA was really bad for almost three years. I did no racing in 2010 and 2011, other than one 5K run. Health and $ the main reasons. I was really miserable physically, but I tried to stay as active as possible. I know it is to my benefit to keep moving. Most of this past winter I spent riding a stationary bike at Lifetime (my bike on the trainer was too hard); walking/jogging on the treadmill, and walking/swimming in the pool whenever possible. Core work and strength training whenever physically possible, too.
After five different medications, and being put on 5 grams of presdnisone per day, I finally started feeling better this past May. I started riding outside with a new friend, who was training for her first triathlon at She-Rox. She is MUCH younger than me, and the mother of two young kids. We hit it off right away! She convinced me to race with her at Evergreen--she did the olympic, I did the sprint (which I love because the bike is a 40K). I did better than I expected. An ok swim, really good bike, and a yukky run, which I did expect. I just can't run like I used to--the extra age and weight don't help.
I thought about doing more races this summer, but as the time approached to register, I didn't feel as good. Plus, the expense and timing were issues. With one car, the logistics are also difficult.
I'm glad I didn't sign up for any events, because last Saturday, on Melissa's 15th birthday, I had a really bad bike crash. I was alone, riding about 18 mph, and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground. I'm not really sure what happened, but I might have hit a very small, deep pot hole, or that squiggly black stuff they use to fix the roads--that stuff is really dangerous to cyclists! I'm really careful to stay away from it.
Jerry came and rescued me. Only one lady in a car stopped to ask if I needed help. Kind of surprising. I ended up with 3 fractured ribs, bruises on most of my limbs, a badly bruised wrist, road rash on my leg and knee, and a very swollen, sore knee. It's been over a week, and I'm still miserable. I can't drive. It hurts to sit or walk. Laying down and Vicodin are the only things that make the pain tolerable.
So, if you believe in the power of prayer, I would really appreciate some. I'm not good at "resting" and haven't been this immobile in over 10 years, when the RA was really bad. As soon as the pain subsides, the road rash heals, and I can drive, I plan to walk in the pool. The docs say it will take at least 6, maybe 8 weeks for the ribs to heal completely enough to swim, bike and run. We'll see. While I will be cautious, I will be back as soon as I can.
Hope everyone is having a great day, in spite of the rain here in Chicago.