Opening A Child’s Eyes

It is so rewarding to open a child’s eyes to something new and exciting. Our family recently had this opportunity again this past weekend when we stopped in for a visit with my inlaws. They had our niece with them for the weekend and we just happen to have two kayaks in the truck for a brief paddle on the lake near their campsite. (Yes, I know we have whitewater kayaks and this is a lake, but water is water when you can’t get to a river.)

We see our niece once, maybe twice a year so this was quite the treat. Although, we do not know her very well, she seemed very interested in the kayaks and asked a ton of questions on the way to the lake. (Yes, that is a winter hat and mittens on her head and hands. It was quite chilly this weekend.)

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When we reached the lake the boys suited up entered the water.IMG_1083

That is when she took her position at the docks edge, got comfortable, and watched closely.

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Even talking Uncle Terry into rolling his kayak. ( it was pretty cold on this particular day)

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Then the offer was made for her to try it. She was not too sure but said she just wanted to sit in a kayak next to the dock. This was done and it took only a few minutes until she asked for a paddle and gave it a try. I think you would all agree that the smile says it all.

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I think we may have a another paddler in the family.

It was such a pleasure to spend time with her and show her how our family has fun. We don’t get to spend much time if any with much of our family but the offer is always there for anyone to join us in our adventures.

 

 

 

Random Thoughts…

Ahhh, it’s Friday and I have so many things running through my head that I am afraid it could explode. It has been a crazy week and I hope to have many things wrapped up by the end of the weekend. Hear is what I have on my mind…

Illness In Our Home Taking care of youngsters is normally a joyous experience until something like illness strikes. At this point I am in the “hoping it stays with one family and does not spread through all my families” stage of the game. Monday night my husband,son and myself spent the night cleaning every toy, bedding, and stuffed animal we have. Along with sterilizing highchairs, outside toys and everything else little fingers touch in our home. Here’s to hoping we got it all and we have a healthy week next week.

Vacation Plans This has consumed me for the past two weeks. I am making great progress and really hope to have it all wrapped up by Sunday. I keep thinking in my mind that I am actually resorting to buying warmth and sunshine in the winter months. I have always disliked winter but I never thought I would be one of those people that pay money to find warmth. Apparently I am.

Winter Gloves  I am ashamed to say, I bought a new pair of winter gloves this week. People, it is SEPTEMBER and I bought winter gloves. OMG, what was I thinking????

Weekend Plans This weekend we plan to take a trip up north to visit and celebrate my MIL’s birthday. Saturday hubby has to work as does our son. And hopefully we make it to a waterfall so our son can get some photography homework done in the meantime. Other than that no grand plans are set. It’s going to be a chilly weekend here so I am just hoping my boys don’t get the urge to kayak…then again…does that urge ever go away?

Workouts  I am pretty proud of all the workouts I achieved this week considering all that has been happening. We made it to the gym, walked over 15 miles the entire week, I did not miss a single afternoon workout, and even did one yoga session. I have not done yoga in a few months, so believe me when I say, sore was a good feeling:)

Panicked About Winter  I just can’t shake the thought that winter is going to be upon us so early this year. Thursday morning we woke up to a WINDCHILL!!!! I heard that on the news and wanted to shut if off. Don’t tell me about it yet, I am not ready. Maybe those winter gloves were not such a bad buy in September. Anyhow, my fall list of outdoor chores is written and hanging on the board. I better get at them before it snows.

Training Plan With our vacation plans coming together and a good idea of what we will be hiking I have been thinking about how we will train for this trip. Training and exercise are two totally different things in my eyes. I train to accomplish a goal. I exercise to keep my sanity. We trained for our Zion hiking trip and were so grateful we did. We were two of the oldest hikers in our group. We were also two of the only ones that did not live on vitamin I (Ibuprofen) the entire trip. I was proud of this. Which means I need to come up with a plan for this trip as well. We want to enjoy every second and not live to regret it for weeks after.

There you have. Everything important running through my head. Along with everything else I typically have on my mind, I sort of feel a little overwhelmed right now. If only I could see in that crystal ball and know what the future holds….then again I would ultimately just worry about the future too. So as life passes by I will just be patient and hope things all work out for the best.

Just Struggling….

Reviews, reviews, reviews…..I have literally read hundreds in the past two weeks. The hardest part is that it is someone’s opinion. Not a fact, not a lie, just an opinion. HELP!!!

Let me explain a bit. I have been struggling to plan a winter vacation for my husband and I. We are going somewhere sunny and warm in the middle of winter. I could not be happier….but we plan to hike while on vacation and that is where the issue is. I have read what many, many others have said about the area we plan to hike. Some say don’t try it without a guide. Some say it’s easy and a great place to hike. There is no middle of the line. Some say the hike has literally exhausted them for the rest of the day and some say it was an easy hike and very enjoyable. Again, no middle of the line.

Which leaves me with the big question. Hire a guide or don’t hire a guide? I did talk with a few guides and they all asked very specific questions like, where do we usually hike, do we have any elevation, how far are our typical hikes, and so on.  When I answered them and also added that we hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park  one year ago, which was our biggest elevation ever, they all said the same exact thing. “OH, that is extreme, you will have no problem then.” Which I kind of knew but the reviews all say that the trails we have in mind can be very hard to follow and are not well marked. (Let me remind you, we were guided in Zion National Park) I am not concerned about mileage or elevation. I am concerned about getting lost in the desert!!!

So I sit waiting for another guide to email or call me back and hopefully get more in depth information on whether they think we can handle this one on our own or not….more to come when I finally figure this out.

What would you do?

My Job Title: The Boss

I have been what most people consider a “stay at home mom and wife” for 19 years of my life. Ultimately, that means I have handled just about everything that can go right, go wrong, and everything in between for many, many years. If I was handed this job title with a description of duties 19 years ago, I would have probably laughed at the person making me this offer and walked out. Clearly, I did not do this then and this is where I am today.

My Job Title: The Boss

Job Description:

mom

wife

financial advisor

maid

bill payer

chef/meal planner

appointment scheduler

medical assistant

taxi driver

dishwasher

teacher

travel agent

landscaper

activity coordinator

I think you get the picture, although I am sure I have missed something in this list. In addition to all this, I also work from my home 75 hours a week for an actual income that contributes to our household a little bit.

Despite everything I have handled in the past or will handle in my future I have been pretty happy to hold this position for the past 19 years. Yes, call me crazy but I really am happy.

That being said, after last weeks events I was completely ready to apply for a desk job in a cubicle where I would see nobody for my entire day.Thankfully, my husband who is typically very calm and never deals with conflict in our life took over. I am normally the one that handles conflict but last week he made me proud. I just stood back and let him handle it all and wow was it nice.

I may be known as “the boss” by everyone we know. He has me in his phone contact list as “the boss”. His friends know when he says he needs to check with “the boss” exactly what he means. Members of our family’s will even call our house asking for “the boss”. However, once in a while it’s nice to know that he can and will take over the reigns and let me watch from the sidelines.

Will I ever get to retire from this position? Probably not. However, it’s nice to know I have an assistant that can get the job done when “the boss” just needs a day off once in awhile.

 

Looking Ahead At Fall

It’s September which means, school is back in session around our area, apples are almost ready to be picked, and the leaves on our trees are starting to fall faster everyday. I love the crisp mornings, the piles of leaves we can rake and jump into, and the abundance of fall veggies available at my favorite market. This year, however, I am pretty excited about a few other things I have on the calendar.

My husband and I are going camping at one of our favorite parks in the next few weeks. The last time we were there it was over 100 degrees and hiking was pure torture. I have never been so hot and miserable. I am hoping for a cooler tenting experience this time around.

We are also going to squeeze in a fall trip to hike another state park that we love. Although this one we will be staying in a cabin since our son will be joining us.

I have another girls day planned coming up where we are taking a bus trip to an art festival. None of us have ever been to this art festival so we are all very excited.

My husband and I will be celebrating 21 years of marriage this fall….. which I really can’t believe it’s been that long. No plans are made yet but I am sure we will come up with something.

And the most amazing thing I have planned in the next few weeks is a day of retail therapy. I am not a big fan of shopping, although once a year I take this bus trip to a city that I LOVE. In the past I have had so many packages that I simply ache for days afterwards from carrying all my bags for hours. This year however, I found a solution to this problem….I have hired my hubby to accompany me on this trip! Can you believe it? I still can’t, quite honestly. It is going to cost me a pair of shoes that he wants and I am sure I will find out what else in good time. Either way, it should be a great trip. (I hope)

That’s what our fall calendar looks like. In between all these events we are also hoping to achieve come more miles geocaching on the Ahnapee trail, a few more trips in our kayaks, and as many outdoor walks as I possibly can before the snow flies.

All in good time….

 

 

Looking Back At The Summer Of 2014

With Labor Day past us the unofficially end of summer is here. This brings some sadness to me personally but as always, life must go on. So I thought it would be the perfect time to take a look back at our summer of 2014.

SUP DAYS: We used my stand up paddle board more this year than ever before. We even found a great new beach.

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FUTURE CAMPING DESTINATIONS: We found our next new park to reserve a campsite at for next summer. I am so excited about this one. It’s on a gorgeous lake and offers nice trails to hike throughout the park.

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A FRIENDS CABIN: I finally made it to visit a friends cabin. And while we were visiting them, her and her husband tried our recreational kayaks and fell in love immediately. They bought one of their own the next week:) She thanked me for inspiring her to try kayaking and hiking (which they did on their summer vacation) and I felt so honored to be the person to do this for her. They are a couple with 3 kids that have grown and married. And now they are searching for active things to stay healthy as a couple again. I am so proud of her and hope she continues in this path of trying new things.

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AN EMERGENCY: We also had the chance to experience what it’s like to get a phone call telling us our child has been hurt and rushed to an emergency room. This, of course, was not a pleasurable thing to do this summer but it was still something I will not forget about the summer of 2014. Thankfully, no permanent damage was done and he is close to a full recovery at this point. However, it was a long few weeks!!!

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GIRLS DAY IN DOOR COUNTY: I had the best time spending the day in Door County with two girlfriends wine tasting, shopping, and eating our way through the area.

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FEAST WITH THE BEAST: Our annual date night we shared this year with another couple my husband knew from where he works. We had so much fun, came home way too full of food and maybe even a little to much alcohol may have been consumed. It was a great time and I can’t wait until next year.

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VACATION TO REMEMBER:  We visited the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Copperfalls State Park for our vacation this summer and it was amazing. We will have memories forever of everything we did, saw, and shared while at this beautiful place together.

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A FEW KAYAKING TRIPS WITH A NEW FRIEND: This year we were pretty limited to our kayaking weekends with our son unable to paddle for most of the summer. Thankfully we still did get out  a few times with our neighbor who has become a big part everything we do. We have lived two doors down for a few years now and just never really met until this year. We have since learned that she is as adventurous as we are and have enjoyed including her in all our activities. She has become a fun friend for my entire family.

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This is just a quick look at everything I loved about the summer of 2014. From sunsets,

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to chai shakes,

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I will miss summer for months to come.

Despite my sadness, I do have great plans on the calendar up until those white, cold flakes start falling from the sky. So I best be going and start planning those fun filled fall days that are ahead.

What’s your favorite season?

Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Addition

Our son finally made up his mind and decided to purchase his new kayak. With his collarbone almost 100% healed and a few more weekends of nice weather ahead, he is not going to waste any time getting back into the swing of things and start paddling again.

Saturday morning we traveled to Wausau, WI to a fairly new paddling outfitter. The specific kayak our son has had his eye on for over the past year was available at this store, in the color he wanted, and at a very nice discounted price for a new, never seen a rock in the river, kayak. The owner really wanted to lesson his stock before winter arrives so I made the deal over the phone and all that was left to do was the “test drive” one last time to make sure it was what he really wanted. Upon arriving, they fitted him into the kayak on the store floor.(Wouldn’t you love a job that you could do bare feet like this sales associate?)

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Then it was outside to the rivers edge to take it for a paddle. Dad also tried a demo model they had for sale but he was not so thrilled with this kayak. (This is not a case of like father, like son. They have always had different likes when it comes to kayak models)

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He did not take long to make up his mind. He loved it immediately. Dad, on the other hand, tried really hard to like his but in the end he just was not comfortable and decided to stick with what he has for now.

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After some paddling, we made the deal final, paid, and loaded up the new addition to our fleet. Our son is now the proud owner of a Jackson Karma.

*****If you are considering purchasing a kayak for your own personal use I would highly suggest finding  an outfitter that allows you to “test drive” your purchase first. We have always had this opportunity and have learned from experience that what is comfortable and seems nice on the showroom floor is COMPLETELY different floating in water.