Merry Christmas Friends

I would like to thank all my readers, blog friends, and every last one of you that have read Natural Red this past year This sure has been one amazing year for my family. We have been blessed with good health, great friends and memories that will last forever.

I will be spending the next few days with my family and friends celebrating the Christmas holiday, as I can only imagine you all will be doing the same. I will return with information on what I have planned for the new year on Thursday, January 1. It is sure to bring a fun, challenging twist to many of you in the upcoming year.

Have A Very Merry Christmas Everyone:)


Most Memorable Moments of 2014

Hi everyone!

Can you believe we are just days away from 2015? I think the older I get the faster the years fly by. I was looking back through some pictures of this last year and thought it would be fun to pick my top three most memorable moments of 2014.

This was not as easy as I thought it would be after looking back at everything we did. We really did so much fun stuff this past year.  Although, I do have to say, while looking back there were three moments that I can recall very clearly in my mind. Sadly, they are not all happy moments, but all of them touched me forever in my mind, heart, and soul.

First, would have to be the dreaded phone call we received from our son’s friend back in May. Calmly, he told me that our son had been in an accident and which hospital to meet them at. I can honestly say, I will forever remember the feeling I had at that moment. To explain how I felt is impossible so I will not even try. Thankfully, today he is fully recovered, and back to himself.

My second most memorable moment of 2014 would be floating in Lake Superior on blow up inner tubes while on vacation in the Apostle Islands.


The water was calm, the sunsets were spectacular, and the temperature was perfect.


And as much as I wish I could forget this last memorable moment I know I will never be able to. Our last big hike of the year in October to Devil’s Lake State Park was bitter sweet. The trees were brightly colored with oranges, yellows and red leaves everywhere around us.


We were having a wonderful hike and had less than 2 miles to go before finishing what was the perfect day. We came upon a group of rock climbers and stopped to watch them do their thing along with many other hikers passing through this same area. That is when I looked to my side at a gentleman walking toward me on a trail next to the edge of the bluff. Apparently, he thought the trail was wider than it actually was and I watched him take his next step and fall down the bluff. That moment, that sound, the scream from his friends, the disbelief I felt when I thought maybe I was imagining things will be with me forever. I will never hike this park again without recalling that moment. My hope is that he is fully recovered or at least on his way to being able to enjoy life as he once knew it.

Those are what I would consider my most memorable moments of 2014. Even though they are not all good memories, I do believe that each one has changed me in a way that is for the better. I am a firm believer that everyone should live life everyday like it could be your last. You just never know when that day will come. I was so relaxed and at peace floating on the water that day. I thank God for my son and his health(and his friend). And every hike I take will be with more caution than before.

Monday Motivation

Sunday 12/7: 3 mile hike on the Ahnapee State Trail

Monday 12/8: HOME: 200 crunches, arm weights, 50 pushups, 30 minute bike, balance ball routine

GYM: 35 minutes elliptical, upper and lower body weight machines and stretching

Tuesday 12/9: HOME: 200 crunches, upper body weights, balance ball routine, 30 minute bike

MALL: 5 mile walk

Wednesday 12/10: OFF

Thursday 12/11: HOME: 200 crunches, arm weights, 30 minute bike, balance ball routine

GYM: 35 minute elliptical, upper and lower body weights, stretching

Friday 12/12: sledding ( this counts for something right?)

Saturday 12/13: 3.5 mile walk outside

After last week I am happy to say life was a little more normal. Workouts were great, weather was tolerable for December, and everything is falling into place for the holidays nicely.

Sunday we had the nicest hike on a fairly local trail. This is quite the treat for me in the winter months. I see and enjoy the outdoors very little during winter but today I was happy to be outside.

As for this week, workouts could be a challenge but I know I will squeeze it in somewhere. With two parties two days in a row, I may find myself forgoing my normal workouts. However, I will rely on my nightly routine to keep me grounded and sane this week. Or at least that is the plan. Now all I need to do is follow that plan….we’ll see.

Tell Me Your Thoughts

With the end of another year right around the corner I thought it would be a good time to ask for some of your thoughts regarding Natural Red. I have blogged about many, many things. Topics on exercise, kayaking, hiking, family, children, SAD, recipes, day in the life, weekend recaps, etc. I would like to know which topics you would like to see more or less of here on Natural Red.

Please take a moment and give me some feedback. Your opinion and thoughts will be appreciated. Thank You:)

What are your favorite kinds of posts on Natural Red?

What are your least favorite kinds of posts on Natural Red?

How often do you read Natural Red?

Do you ever try the recipes you find on Natural Red?

What would you like to see more of on Natural Red?

Would you like a post to read on the weekend?

Have any posts inspired you to try something new?

Any other thoughts you care to share with me.


Monday Motivation

Sunday 11/30: GYM: 40 minute elliptical, lower body weights and stretching

Monday 12/1: HOME: 200 crunches, upper and lower body weights, balance ball routine, 30 minute bike

MALL: 5 mile walk

Tuesday 12/2: HOME: 200 crunches, arm weights, 30 minute bike

Wednesday 12/3: HOME: 200 crunches, arm weights

MALL: 5 mile walk

Thursday 12/4: HOME: 200 crunches, upper and lower body weights, 30 minute bike

Friday 12/5: HOME: 200 crunches, arm weights

Saturday 12/6: GYM: 35 minute elliptical, upper body weights and stretching

Monday and Wednesday we were joined for our mall walk by our son which was a nice change. Typically he is at work, school or gone with friends. Normally our family walks happen on a trail somewhere surrounded by wilderness so this occasion was really out of the ordinary but very nice.

Life sort of got in the way of our normal routine this week. My husband is battling a respiratory bug which made it quite difficult for any gym workouts to be accomplished this week. We did however get in two good walks which still made us pretty happy. Yes, I could have went to the gym alone but walking gives me the same stress relief so I just went with it.

Tuesday we had to forgo all evening exercise to go visit my mother in law in the hospital. Thursday my husband finally started feeling a little better but instead of heading to the gym we did some of our weekend shopping instead. If there is one thing I dislike about December it’s the weekend crowds in the stores. I use up all my patients during the week with my kiddos which leaves me with none left for weekend shopping. The grocery store is usually all I can handle without having a meltdown. So I would rather squeeze it in on a week night and spend the weekend in the gym.

Friday finally arrived and we had every intention to make it to the gym until….my husband called his dad to see how his mom was doing after being released from the hospital. The news he received was not good and asked if we could forgo our gym plans and make a quick trip over to see his mom. Which we did.

This week was simply reality. Sometimes we need to make adjustments for whatever reason and that is what we did. I am just thankful I have equipment at home to still get in some exercise. I have hope that this next week should return to normal.





Winter Hike On The Ahnapee Trail

Today my husband and I decided to head outside and take a hike, find some winter geocaches and enjoy the fresh air. Aren’t you shocked? I will admit, I was not all that excited about this adventure but I really needed the break from routine. You all know I am not a winter weather lover but thankfully I do own some cold weather clothing for when the urge hits and I just need to get outside.

Today we hiked about 3 miles on the snow covered Ahnapee Trail starting in Forestville, WI. We started and completed many miles last winter and hope to finish this trail this winter. We have from Forestville to Sturgeon Bay remaining and today was as good as any to venture out.

Here is a unique hiding place for a geocache.


I personally love this trail. Any trial that follows a river or stream is just so relaxing for me that I often feel I could walk forever and never get tired of the scenery.


It ended up to be a great few hours together away from the big city and all the craziness of this time of year. Even though I had more layers of clothes on than I prefer it was great to be outside.


I also need to add that the best part of this whole day had to be when we arrived back at the parking lot. We noticed that the park where we started our hike had a bathroom building on the premisses but at this time there was no need for a visit. By the time we returned to the car, I asked my husband what his thoughts were on that bathroom possibly being open. He laughed and said it was very unlikely, which I knew. So we changed out of our boots, drove up to the bathroom and I noticed there were no footprints in the snow leading up to the bathroom door but I still had hope. He got out and tried the door and I couldn’t believe my eyes when it actually opened.


It is December in Wisconsin. No public park bathrooms are ever open at this time of year. He even took a quick look inside and announced that they even had it stocked with toilet paper…..OMG I was a happppppy hiker!!!! (Even though I do carry toilet paper in my backpack for emergencies) This really made my day.

So ladies, if ever you find yourself hiking the Ahnapee Trail in the little town of Forestville there is no need to worry about sqauting in the wilderness. They have very nice park attendants that unlock, clean, and stock the bathrooms, even in December:)






Life’s Highs and Lows

Doesn’t it always seem when something happens that is great there is always something right behind that is not so great? Lately, this has been the story of my life, high and then low. Much like being on a roller coaster, which in case you did not know, I do not enjoy roller coasters!

Take A Look:

High: It’s now December, one month closer to Spring. Hurray!

Low: December is crazy busy with parties, family, stress, shopping, birthdays etc.

High: Every week that passes is one week closer to vacation.

Low: I am already dreading coming home from vacation and I have not even left yet.

High: My Christmas shopping is almost done.

Low: Now I need to wrap everything.

High: 2015 will be bringing many changes in my daily life, but I am confident it will all work out for the better.

Low: Sleep has been pretty scarce lately. I blame stress over these changes.

High: Our health insurance deductible has been met this year thanks to our son and his accident back in May. (We have not met our deductible in years) So health care has actually been affordable.

Low: Our deductible will start over(as most do) Jan. 1.

High: I walked 5 miles for the first time in months without my ankle taped up and I had no pain:)

Low: My husband is sick with a respiratory bug and I am hoping I am not next to battle this illness.

High: I have a girl’s Christmas get together planned for this month and it should be fun.

Low: Our daycare Christmas party is also planned and even though it’s an exciting time for the kids, it’s always a very rough day for me. Kids don’t understand that there is only one of me to three of them. And let’s face it, whom ever thought of twist tying or using screws and plastic pieces to secure toys to the cardboard packages they are sold in could not have had any children. This is simply over kill in my eyes. And it takes FOREVER to get the darn toy out of the box. My only hope is that we have a major snowstorm that day and my husband stays home to help. Or my son has off of school and work that day and I can use him to my advantage. (now let’s just hope neither one of them read this post)

High: We are really doing well on our training. My cardio time has improved significantly and if I had more time in a day, I know I could even go longer.

Low: I am dreading January when the gym we belong to fills with new year’s resolution newbies!!! I know….. how bad I am to think this way. I really do support a healthy lifestyle, it just frustrates me when you join a gym to become healthy and spend most of that time walking around or sitting on the machines texting instead of working out. Do that in the lobby and leave the machines for those of us that really want to be healthy and fit:)

As you can see, there are many things weighing on my mind right now. Some good, some bad and some are even quite ugly. I just keep my head held high and remember life could be so much worse.