Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 In Review

The last day of 2019! Another wonderful year for us in the books. We had some milestone birthday's this year (Mat turned 45, Arlington turned 16, and Finley and Cainan turned 13). We vacationed in Scotland, Netherlands, Spain and Denmark. Mat and Arlington visited London and Mat and Cainan visited Denmark a second time. Finley and Cainan went on their annual ski trips with their schools. Arlington visited Spain with her school. My parents came for a few visits. We spent 6 weeks in the United States visiting family and friends. We went to Lake Norman with Mat's family. We held a big fundraiser for Finley and our foundation. Arlington did a 75 hour internship and visited colleges. Arlington had a major knee surgery. And in between there was school, life, friends, and new experiences. On a personal note I read 168 books! My most ever. Here's to a great 2020 where we look forward to a trip to Japan and Whales.

We started the New Year in Cyprus
 Arlington turned 16
 We enjoyed our second Fashnacht
 Cainan went up two belt levels in Karate

We rode the Harry Potter train in Scotland
 Cainan went to Lego Land in Denmark for his 13th birthday
 We visited the Netherlands
 Arlington went to London for her birthday trip
 We worked the St. Rita's street fair
 Lake Norman with Mat's family
 Arlington helped birth a baby cow during her summer internship
 We did some family photos for my parents 70th birthdays
 We raised $20,000 for Finley's foundation 
 Arlington visited several colleges
 Finley started violin lessons
 The Orlandos and my parents came for a visit at the end of the summer
 I spent some quality time with family
 Cainan started a new school and went on a rock climbing trip
 We went to Spain and even got to see some Game of Thrones filming spots
 After 2 1/2 years we are still loving our life in Basel!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Christmas 2019

Our third Christmas in Basel has come and gone.  The kids and Mat had a 16 day break from school, and this year we did not travel because of Arlington's surgery. 

We stayed home and relaxed, and watched all 23 Marvel movies, and played board games.  It was a great holiday.  Everyone was glad to not have to go anywhere for two whole weeks.  Finley watched two dogs during our vacation, so that was extra company for us.

Cainan's big gift from the grandparents this year was a Nintendo Switch.  He was really excited
 Cainan's big gift from us this year was a retired Eaglemoss Marvel Chess Set

 My two big gifts this year were my handmade German nutcracker and a piece for my village: The Rathaus from Basel

 Arlington's big gift from us was a portable Home Theater
 Finley's big gift from the grandparents was a Cricut Sticker maker
 Finley's big present from us this year was a ScrawlrBox Art Box subscription

We played several board games, but Pandemic Legacy became a favorite.  The Legacy games are fun because you alter the game and the board every time you play, so you never play the same game twice.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Arlington's Surgery

Arlington had surgery on her right knee on the 18th of December.  For the last several years, she has struggled with a knee locking problem that was preventing her from doing sports.  It was causing her problems on almost a daily basis, so the doctors finally decided it was time to repair it surgically.

We had to be at the hospital on the morning of the 18th at 6:30am, and her surgery was at 9.  It lasted about 2 1/2 hours and then she spent 2 hours in recovery before going into her room.  The surgery went well - the doctors were pleased.  What they did was take a tendon from under her knee and tied the knee cap in place.  They secured it with a dissolvable screw.  This should stablize her knee.

She spent 2 days in the hospital - healing and getting her pain under control.  She did spend the night in the ICU the first night because they were having trouble getting her pain controlled.  By the morning of the second day, the medical staff had gotten in front of her pain, and the second day in the hospital was much better.  She even started physical therapy while there - they showed her how to walk with the crutches, and also a few stretches. 

For two weeks she has to keep her knee at a 30 degree angle.  Then 60 degrees for two weeks,  then 90 degress for two weeks and then done.    6 weeks in the brace, and so by the end of January she will be back to normal.  She also has stitches that will come out in two weeks.  She cannot stand to take a shower, so we got her a shower chair and I need to help her.  She has to wear compression socks for 2 weeks until the stiches come out and we have to give her a daily blood thinner shot. 

We were pleased with the timing of her surgery because she had finished all of her midterm exams and school was over for the holidays.  She has 23 days to rest and recouperate before she has to return to school. 

She will have physical therapy twice a week for a year from what we understand.  The knee is already more stable.

A little under a week after her surgery she was up and dressed and off to physical therapy!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Copenhagen, Denmark

This weekend we joined Mat in Copenhagen where he was for business.  We like hitting different Christmas markets each year, and thought this would be a fun one.

We had a great weekend visiting.  We arrived Friday night, December 13th and explored the area a bit before going to the hotel for the night.

 We picked up the Market Mug our first evening here - it is really nice

On Saturday we explored more of the Christmas Markets.  We also strolled around the city, took in some of the sights, and ate some delicious foods.

 Homemade Potato chips!  I look like I weight 500 pounds because I am wearing so many layers.  It was really cold.
 the Government building

 Cool bridge
  Almost every building was decorated for the holidays

 This is a Little Mermaid statue that is deditcated to Hans Christian Andersen who was from Denmark

 We spent the evening at Tivoli Gardens seeing the lights and shops.  We bought the cheapest entrance ticket to just walk around (it isn't free).  We decided not to do the rides ticket,and I am so glad.  It was jammed with people and we could barely move around.  The ride lines were hours long.  So it was a good decision.

Today's Gnome purchase!  I had to have a Viking

We finished the Christmas markets on Saturday, so on Sunday we did all touristy things around Copenhagen before flying back to Basel.  It was a great weekend getaway.

We started the day at the movies seeing Jumanji. It was raining really hard, so we decided to wait it out witha  fun movie with the kids.

Then we visited the graves of Hans Christian Andersen and Kierkegaard. 

We visited a spot where the Nazis guarded food supplies during WWII. When they got bored they had etched in the walls. 

 Part of the walls the Nazi soldiers notched
One of the areas the Nazis stored food during the war

We took a tour of the palace of the Denmark royal family (still active in the country) and ended the day eating one more time at the Christmas Market. Good last day.

One of the many carriages the Royal family uses

A small section of the Queen's library.  Pictures could never do it justics

View of Copenhagen from the Palace

Ruins of the palace