Monday, February 22, 2010

A Week or So of Firsts

It has been a week of firsts here in the Carter home.

ONE. We were able to enjoy a sweet Valentine's weekend together. Friday, we watched the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics while enjoying chocolate fondue. We lit candles and pulled blankets and pillows on the floor as we indulged in yummy fruit and chocolate and drank wine. It was a fun evening! After a day of working and studying on Saturday, we enjoyed dinner-in and were able to talk to my entire family via skype as they were together celebrating my biggest brother, Gary, as he turned 40! It was fun to see everyone and chit-chat even if it were only a few minutes. Sunday, I worked for a few hours while Christopher spent the day studying. We enjoyed dinner at Thai Wasabi, our favorite restaurant! We ate delicious sushi.

...Our First Valentine's Day as Mr. & Mrs...

...Always Something Fun & Silly Between Us...

TWO. This past week I was diagnosed with an inflammatory disorder called erythema nodosum. Here is a summary of how it all came to be. I came home from work Tuesday evening with itchy legs. I took a shower and I soon looked like a lobster, red on all my extremities. I took a benadryl and basically hurt all over. After a sleepless night of burning and itching, I woke up Wednesday with blotchy rashes all over my body. I went to the acupuncturist for what was to be a routine session, but we ended up focusing on the rashes. They were completely confused. They treated me to release some of the heat associated with the rashes and inflammation. As the day progressed, my rashes began moving all throughout my body, mainly in the extremities. I don't have any rashes on my stomach, chest or back. I went to urgent care where they diagnosed me. I will have the symptoms of burning, moving rashes for about 6 weeks. This also explains the malaise and joint aches that I have been having as it as a common symptom as well. I am going to be taking OTC aleve for the pain and then a prescribed medication to help relieve the itch discomfort, but that will make me sleepy so I am only taking it at night. Erythema nodosum is not contagious and over 50% of the cases are diagnosed with no known cause. It could be caused by anything from strep, birth control pills, cat scratch fever, allergies to food/lotions and so much more. I was lucky enough the rashes only lasted a little over 24 hours. I woke up very stiff, Thursday morning, but thought that if I get moving, ate breakfast and took my medicine then I would be good to go when I arrived at work. I had already spoken with my boss the night before and she assured me that taking care of my body should be my number one priority. I felt relieved from our conversation. I went to work and I guess God was carefully watching over me as my appointments at the spa were canceled. I decided it was a sign that I needed to go home and rest. I napped off and on throughout the day on Thursday. Overall, I felt pretty lousy...sore muscles, stiff and swollen joints, skin warm to the touch but no fever, etc. I looked like an old woman walking around the house. I was able to get some sleep Thursday night, but it took my body a long time to settle down and get comfortable. I woke up Friday morning feeling about the same. I decided not to work again today as it seems rest is the best thing for my body and healing right now. I napped off and on throughout the day and felt much better when I woke up this afternoon. Since Christopher had a meeting, I thought I would cook dinner. I chopped a few vegetables, picked up a frying pan and began to make a fritatta. I put in the oven, sat down and noticed my left hand (my dominate hand) had a rash on it and was swollen again. My arm began itching and a small rash appeared on my forearm. In about 20 minutes, the rash faded. Saturday, in summary, was pretty much the same as Friday. I was able to go to the grocery store with Christopher, but the walking I did around Walmart fatigued me. In flash-forwarding to Sunday and today, I feel so much better. The soreness is concentrated to my knees and wrists. I am so thankful for the prayers and concerns from our family and friends! I am going to see a dermatologist this coming Thursday to talk about ways to care for the signs and symptoms associated with this disorder.

THREE. We attended our first wedding as a married couple. Saturday evening, my chiropractor got married. We felt so honored to be invited to her reception to celebrate her marriage. The reception was so fun and intimate, only 90 guests. The bride and groom looked so happily in love and beautiful. We enjoyed cake and desserts, wine and dancing. Funny story...the DJ played The Cupid Shuffle. Christopher and I were the only ones on the dance floor; no one else knew how to do the dance. We even got a round of applause when it was over. As we were slow dancing, Christopher said to me that he finally felt like we were a married couple. It was very sweet!

....Celebrating Kristin & Rob in Downtown Bradenton...

FOUR. Our friend, Kimmy, came to visit us Sunday. She was able to spend the afternoon with me while Christopher studied at school. Kimmy and I enjoyed great conversations about our honeymoon, camp, friendships, life and so much more. I thoroughly enjoy the time that she and I get to spend together. Kimmy's visit originated from her 2010 goal list. She wanted to watch the sunrise on the east coast of Florida, and watch the sunset on the west coast of Florida. Well, clouds and scattered storms set in Bradenton Beach, so the sunset was really not there. But, we did find a piece of a sand dollar while walking on the beach. We went to a local seafood restaurant for dinner with Christopher. Over dinner, Kimmy explained the wonderfully new, yet somewhat old, hobby of geocaching. It is a treasure hunting game where you use a GPS to hide and seek containers with other participants in the activity. It is amazing! Christopher and I cannot wait to explore Bradenton one day while finding hidden treasures. Go to to find how many hidden treasures are in your zip code.

FIVE. Christopher and I learned so much today at the Honda car dealership. In seeing lots of advertisements on TV, we decided to check out the deals on leases to see if we could lower my current payments. Boy, was it tiring and tedious! It took a lot of patience, communication and wheeling and dealing! After 5 hours of trying to get in the driver's seat, we finally made a deal on a 2010 Honda Civic. We were able to lower my payment by $70. We accomplished our goal and learned so much. We feel like big kids now!

Marriage is great. We are learning and loving each and every day!

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