Friday, December 31, 2010

Music City Bowl Game

My recovery has been coming along quite well, and my vision now is about 20/50. Because of my progress, my doctor allowed me to go to the Music City Bowl game in Nashville yesterday. Alan and I went with my brother Patrick and his wife Elizabeth. We had a great time tail-gaiting on Broadway before the game and ran into some friends which was fun. The weather could not have been better: it was cold but perfectly clear even though there were forecasts of rain earlier in the day. The loss at the very end was extremely frustrating, and we were sad for such a heartbreaking end to the season. I guess there is always next year! After the game, we went to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville which just opened downtown and had a great dinner. My sister Maggie who was also in town for the game stopped by to see us too. We are headed to Memphis to ring in 2011 with Alan’s grandmother. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Scary but Merry Christmas

Alan says that every family needs at least one Christmas story they tell every so often. This year certainly qualifies as being memorable, and this is what happened.

Alan and I left Saint Louis at 3pm on Friday (Christmas Eve) to drive to Knoxville and surprise my family on Christmas morning. Alan's family was in on the surprise, so they played along and helped to convince my family that we were so sad that we were not coming to Knoxville this year...but we were! I got off work early, and we intended on arriving in Knoxville by midnight. It had been snowing all day, but the roads looked pretty clear. The interstate didn't really get bad until about 3 hours into our drive. Alan was doing a great job driving slow (about 40 mph at times) and very carefully.

At one point in Kentucky, around 7:30pm, Alan hit ice and our car fish-tailed sideways. Alan has had lots of experience driving on ice, and easily corrected, and steered us to the median where we stopped. We took a second to take a quick sigh of relief, and Alan preceded to then get the car at the right angle to pull back onto the interstate. While we were waiting to pull out, another car hit ice, over-corrected and hit our car head on. There was a loud crash, our air-bags deployed, and then everything was silent and dark. I began screaming Alan's name, and he responded letting me know that he was okay. My nose was bleeding badly, and the right side of my face was starting to swell up. Alan grabbed the airbag in front of me and held it under my face to catch the blood from my nose. Once he confirmed that I was alright, he called 911 and then got out of the car to talk to the other driver. Everyone in the other car was okay. Alan also called our parents to tell them what happened, and Alan's parents got right in their car to head our way. Alan came back to check on me, and gave me some napkins to start getting the blood off my face. I flipped down the mirror to begin cleaning up, and it was then that I realized I couldn't see anything out of my right eye. It was like trying to see through wax paper: I could identify sources of light but that was it. I thought that I had gone blind. It was so scary. I began yelling for Alan again to tell him what happened. Alan was very comforting, and so loving and supportive. He kept repeating, "God has a plan, everything is going to be okay...."

About an hour later a tow truck arrived, and the driver called 911 back to have them send an ambulance for me. Another hour or so passed and first responders came, and then an ambulance, but the ambulance could only take me to a local hospital (which did not have an Ophthalmologist) so we declined going with them, knowing that Alan's parents weren't too far away and could take us to Vanderbilt in Nashville. We continued waiting on the police to come because the tow truck couldn't load our car until after the police inspected the accident. About 4 hours after the accident, police finally arrived. After documenting the report, the tow truck loaded up our car and drove us to their garage. They dropped us off at a gas station down the road where we waited for Alan's parents. Susan and Mitchell got there about 30 minutes later (at this point is was about 1:30am) and loaded up everything that was in our car, and then headed to Vanderbilt. We got to the hospital around 3:30am and I was quickly admitted.

The diagnosis was that I had Hyphema, which is bleeding in my eye that prevents me from being able to see because the red blood cells are blocking my vision. The Ophthalmologist stated that she could not see any structural damage to my retina and a CT scan confirmed no fractures or broken bones. This was a huge answer to prayer. The Doctor said the recovery timeline is about 1-3 weeks and for me to basically do nothing and keep my head as still as possible. I was released at 8:30am on Christmas morning, and we drove home to Knoxville.

The rest of the day was spent rejoicing with our families that we were okay, opening stockings and presents, and celebrating the birth of our Savior. God is so good, and we are so thankful!

Please continue to be in prayer over my recovery as there is still quite a lot of inflammation to my eye which is causing my vision to be about 20/60. My Ophthalmologist in Knoxville, Dr. Hildebrand, believes that my eye will heal on its own over the next several weeks with the proper treatment of Atropine which will keep my eye dilated until it heals, Prednisolone which are steroid eye drops, and rest, but he is still not making any promises. Alan and I would also appreciate prayer as we now are also in the midst of handling all post-accident reports, insurance claims, etc. While this was a very scary time for us, we are so thankful that God spared our lives and protected us. We give Him all glory, honor, and praise!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Nutcracker

This afternoon, Alan and I went to see The Nutcracker. Having never been to the ballet before, I was excited. It was fun for me to observe all the little girls twirling around in their dresses waiting for it to begin. I really enjoyed the performance, and Alan admits he did too. I did see him doze off a couple of times... What a fun beginning to the week before Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Sweaters

Alan and I have had so much fun going to Christmas parties this year; however, tonight we might have reached the summit when we "won" the Tackiest Christmas Sweater Contest as a couple! I'm not sure if that is really something to be proud of or not...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

You've asked for the recipe, so here it is! A Rockwell Christmas tradition and delicious treat for any holiday gathering. Enjoy!

2 cups peanut butter
4 sticks butter, melted
1 Tbsp. vanilla
8-10 cups powdered sugar
24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick paraffin
Christmas M&Ms

Mix peanut butter, butter, and vanilla in mixer. Add powdered sugar 2 cups at a time mixing well between each addition. Roll peanut butter mixer into small balls and put on tray. Put tray in freezer for about 30 minutes. On stove, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and paraffin in double boiler (you may use a regular pot just make sure the chocolate doesn't burn!) Take the peanut butter balls out of freezer and stick toothpick into each one in order to dip into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper to dry. After about 5 minutes, take toothpicks out and cover hole with a Christmas M&M. (I put a little bit of the melted chocolate on the underside of each M&M in order to get it to stay in place) Recipe makes about 100 chocolate peanut butter balls!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let It Snow

This morning Alan and I woke up to snow covering the ground! We heard last night that it might snow, but didn't really think we'd get any...we were wrong! All of Saint Louis got between two and four inches! When we left for church this morning it was still snowing. You can imagine me freaking out as Alan was driving, but he had no problem at all! We spent the rest of the day Christmas shopping, studying (well this was Alan), and enjoying a lazy day at home.
Let it Snow...Let it Snow...Let is Snow!

And a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY shoutout to my wonderful mother, Michelle Rockwell!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

The Christmas cards went out today! I had the best time looking through all the possibilities and making our card this year. Our good friend, Laura French, took the picture for us downtown by the Arch... thank you Laura! :) I commissioned Alan to write the letter again (perfect timing I know, right as he is trying to study for exams!) but I think he enjoyed it, and saw it as a break from studying. Hope you like it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Deck the Halls

This weekend Alan and I began getting ready for Christmas. We braved the crowds on Saturday morning to get some shopping done and find a Christmas tree. With all of our Christmas stuff packed in boxes that are still in Knoxville, we decided that a small little fake tree would be easiest this year. We found one at Target that was just the right size! I do miss the smell of a real tree though! I spent the afternoon messing with the branches and hanging ornaments (which really took all of about 30 minutes) and Alan watched the SEC Championship. We are happy that Auburn won only because lots of our friends up here went there and several I think are now planning on going to the National Championship game which is exciting for them! We haven't done much else as far as decorating our little apartment, but just getting a tree up and turning the lights on is fun and reminds us of the season. Sunday morning in church, a family lit the second advent candle, and it was neat for us to see that being celebrated here as we did the same thing with Alan's family at their church last week in Knoxville. Sunday afternoon I worked on our Christmas cards and Alan studied for exams. Please pray for him over the next two weeks as he takes all of his finals!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tis the Season

I realize that it is only the second day of December, but I am already finding myself extremely distracted by the fact that Christmas is almost here! Everywhere I look, I see lights and garland...thank goodness I've started my Christmas shopping or else I would feel like I am already running behind!

I am so excited about Christmas this year! For Alan and I, this year will be new and different having never celebrated Christmas in a city other than Knoxville; however, God has been so good to us in providing a great church and wonderful friends and because of His provision, we go into this holiday season with joy and anticipation!

Several of the girls I have met even decided to do a Christmas Cookie Exchange similar to what I've hosted the past couple of years in Knoxville, so I'm really looking forward to that! We also have a couple Christmas parties already on our calendar! At bible study this week we talked about taking time just to talk to God throughout the day, so despite all of the hustle and bustle this time of year, I will remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!