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The next few months were horribly slow in one sense and incredibly fast in another. I was on doctor ordered bedrest for almost 3 months. I pretty much just got up to use the washroom and to eat (aside from the occasional, rebellious shuffle around the house on account of losing my mind.) As hard as that time was, there were some amazing things that came out of it. My family grew so close over those months, and Chels and Max developed very meaningful relationships with my family.

So many amazing friendships were strengthened that summer too! Almost every weekend our best friends would pile into a car and make the trip out to my parents' house to visit us. I lived for those weekends! I could only watch so many movies, and my parents didn’t have Netflix yet. I am so thankful for all of those friends that pretty much gave up their weekends that summer. I know I was not the best company; a newly acquired head injury, a broken back and a steady diet of percocet and naproxen did not set a good stage for the best social interaction. But, we ate, we laughed, and sometimes I drooled, and we ate and laughed some more. The best part were the BBQ’s. It didn’t even matter what it was. Someone would carry my recliner outside and for those couple of hours I felt like a million bucks, every weekend.

I honestly do not how I would've managed without my friends and family during those months. But, as boring as it was being cooped up in bed, it was absolutely necessary for my body to heal properly.

Really good BBQ takes time too - keep it slow and low, baby!

A couple years ago, my siblings pitched in and bought me a meat smoker for my birthday. Aren't they the best?! It sat in my parents' basement until I got the courage and help to set it up. It was totally worth the effort.

If you enjoy BBQing at all, but have not yet ventured into the world of meat smoking, I would highly recommend it. It is much easier than it seems. You just need some time and a little patience. The payout is huge! If you don't have a smoker and aren't willing to shell out the funds, you can buy a small smoke box for your BBQ for about 20 bucks. If that's not in the budget, a tinfoil pouch for some wood chips will do the trick.

Pork loin was the first thing I tried out in the smoker. It doesn't take super long and the taste is killer. Give it a shot and impress your next dinner guests!