Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Can See!!

Yesterday was the day. I went in at 7:45am with glasses on, and emerged at 11am with clear vision. Yes, I had LASIK surgery done. I was very nervous since I have never had any type of surgery before and this is one where you are awake and staring at a laser that is messing with your eyes. Oh, and I like my vision, so the possibility of anything going wrong was a bit nerve-wracking.

But Dr. Wright was very encouraging and they talk you through every little step along the way. It's crazy because they give you these eye-numbing drops so even though they are doing a lot of stuff to your eyes, you can't even tell.

The lasers really aren't on your eyes for long at all. I had IntraLASIK done so the whole thing is done by lasers [verses the kind where the eye flap is cut with a blade]. So they take you in, numb your eyes, and cut a flap in your cornea with a laser. Then you go sit for 20-30 minutes while some air bubbles that form during the flap-cutting disappear, and then they take you in for the shaping of the cornea. The doctor lifts the flap in your eye, and then everything goes pretty fuzzy; you stare at this little blinking red spot, and as the laser shapes your cornea it's kind of like a psychadelic light show. Each eye took less than a minute.

Mark got to be in there with me as well and watch the whole thing on a TV screen, which was kind of cool, as well as a friend from our church who works at the Vision Center I was doing this through. Now I just have this crazy eye drop regimine to stick to for the next few weeks and quite a few follow-up sessions to attend.

I know it's only been one day, but they checked me out this morning and I already have 20/15 vision in one eye and 20/20 in the other, and they say it will only get better over the next few weeks. I would totally recommend this to anyone, as long as you find someone who will do a good job.

And I must say, it is very nice to not be wearing my glasses anymore, but strange to be able to see without the aid of contacts. Yes, exciting times for sure.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Things to Think About before Saying to Your Wife

Tonight Mark and I were watching a PCT documentary and the following conversation happened:

Jess:: "Have you forgotten how scary I look when I hike?" [I mean, really, who feels cute after a week in the woods with no shower, no makeup, wearing the same clothes and the inability to do your hair?]

Mark:: "Not at a distance...or at 60 miles an hour!" [referring to road crossings on the trail] [the appropriate response would have been, "no honey, I think you look cute!" or some related verbage]

He's lucky I have a sense of humor :).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last-Minute Vacation::Colorado

With the end of our time here in SD drawing nearer [we are down to one month], we realized pretty quickly after getting back from Wyoming that if we were going to use our last week of vacation, we would have to do it soon...and it ended up being that the only week that would work for us was last week. So we called up our friends down in Colorado and headed down for a week of snowboarding, hanging out, and in the end, climbing a 14er. We got to spend a day at Loveland, a day at Winter Park, and a day climbing Quandary Peak [14,265 ft]. I also got to spend some time hanging with my great friend, Emily, and some time resting and just relaxing. It was a great week!

This is my stud of a husband going over a jump in a Winter Park terrain park. Yeah, he's awesome. I got to practice my jumps as well, but they didn't look anything like that. Mark is pulling 360's, while I'm just happy if I get a few inches of air. I'm still getting used to having my board leave the ground :).

Quandary Peak is a great novice backcountry snowboard descent, so we strapped our snowboards onto some backpacks and lugged them up most of the mountain. I used a Burton daypack, which is made to carry a snowboard from a car to a ski resort. I would NOT recommend using it as a climbing pack. It sucked big time. Mark strapped his onto his GoLite pack, which seemed to work a bit better.

We took the East Ridge route. Our day had beautiful blue skies all day, which made the temps feel much warmer than the teens that showed on the thermometer. This is Mark heading up the ridge.

Jess and Mark on the summit after several hours of climbing.

Looking down the ridge we walked up...It looks a bit narrow, but in reality it was probably about 20-30 ft wide.

We stashed our boards around 13,000 ft., made the summit, and came back to claim our ride down a couple hours later.

Jess getting ready to ride down from 13,000 ft.

We didn't follow the same route down as we took up. Eventually we ended up overlooking some pretty steep chutes that had some rocks sticking out. Mark thought we could slide down the chute, so he went first. But what he thought was a snow patch ended up being a light dusting of snow over some rock and as he slid over the rock he knocked this one loose. Luckily as it rolled it bounced off his board and not him, and I was still above him. Instead of doing the same thing, I ended up downclimbing the chute with an ice axe and we had to hike the rest of the way out to the road.

My gaiters wouldn't fit over my snowboard boots, so this is what my boots looked like after post-holing down to the road. They were pretty frozen.
Despite our little detour and climb, we had a great day. We had a great week as well. We got to the summit of a 14er with clear skies and had a great time snowboarding as well. We got to see great friends and got to relax and enjoy being together.
*Sigh* Back to "normal" for now...

Monday, March 03, 2008


When we moved out to South Dakota, I had this plan to get a membership to the local YMCA or find a gym that would allow me to get a 5 month membership. But right away, Brooke asked if I would want to do this new workout program with her. She said her aunt had done it and that her aunt got "ripped" from doing it. I said okay, but was a bit skeptical at first simply because I've done home workout videos before and they have been good for a time or two, but it was never as good of a workout for me as going to a gym. It didn't take long for me to get hooked! P90X is awesome! I would recommend it to anyone looking to work their butt off and get in shape. It's a 90-day program that works you out 1-1.5 hours a day, 6 days a week, and the order in which you do them, changes weekly. The website describes the effectiveness of P90X this way:

"The secret behind the P90X system is an advanced training technique called "Muscle Confusion," which accelerates the results process by constantly introducing new moves and routines so your body never plateaus, and you never get bored!"

What's really fun is that Mark and Paul have gotten into them too. So every once and awhile you will find all four of us doing yoga, plyos, or some other routine together, kind of like a "family" activity. And because the leader, Tony Horton, is a bit quirky, we have all these funny one-liners memorized from the different workout routines that are easy to throw around in the middle of normal conversation and that make us [well, me] laugh most of the time that I hear them during a workout.

So, you ask, have I gotten ripped from doing this workout? Heck yeah! I'm huge! Well...okay...that might be an exaggeration. I worked out pretty consistantly before starting P90X, so I haven't seen a ton of difference, but I can definitely say I am stronger, more flexible, and more toned. I have done more push-ups and pull-ups in the last 10 weeks than I've done pretty much in my whole life, and I think if I was following the food program they suggest you follow, that might make a difference as well [although we try to eat pretty healthy anyway]. I am definitely fit, though, and will be bummed when we move and it will be over.

All in all, it's been awesome and a lot of fun as well...I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a great workout program and who doesn't want to head to a gym. You just have to be willing to work hard, be consistant, and be willing to