The Difference A Few Degrees Means To Me

You wouldn’t think a few degree temperature drop would really make such a difference in my life but let me assure you, it really does. Here are a few examples of what has changed in the last few weeks.

  • I have more laundry. I often will wear three shirts just to keep warm during the days and when we go outside to play. Our son wears a hoodie and tshirt when it’s cooler. Then my husband adds a tshirt to his work uniform. You also need to add jeans instead of shorts which adds up fast. All this results in a lot more laundry per day.
  • We add soup back into our diets. This is not a bad thing by any means. We all love soup and it’s a great way to get veggies into kids that don’t like veggies:-) Shhhh, don’t tell them!
  • Blankets are never packed away far. Normally we only dig out the blankets for fort building time but when the temps drop they are out all day long. There is nothing better than snuggling under the blankets reading stories all together before nap time.
  • Outside play takes more preparation. Instead of slipping on sandals and applying sunscreen before heading outdoors we now need to be better prepared. Jackets, hats, socks, shoes, and the kleenex box.
  • Kleenex is in high demand! For some reason as soon as the temps drop the noses start to run and run and run and run…..
  • Grilling season comes to an end. Oh, how this saddens me:-( What can I say, I love my nights off when my hubby grills. We are not to the point yet where he will not grill (in other words, the patio is not covered with snow yet) but now grilling is at a minimum.
  • Goodbye to daylight. I already miss sitting on the porch together at night talking about our days. By the time we eat, clean up dinner, workout and get home it is already dark.
  • I am constantly vacuuming up leaves. Our trees drop little yellow leaves that love sticking to shoes and get carried inside. These drive me crazy!!!!!!

These are just a few things that change with the cooler temperatures in my life.

 

What do you notice most in your life when the weather turns cooler?

Camping Perfection

We had the most amazing weekend camping. The weather was gorgeous, temps were in the 80’s, colors were just starting to make an appearance in the trees, we ate amazing food, and had many great laughs with a friend.

We arrived at Perrot Park Friday afternoon. Our campsite over looked the water with Trempealeau Mountain in the distance.

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We did a quick hike upon arrival just to loosen up and move around before setting up camp. After camp was set we enjoyed dinner which consisted of freeze dried meals. We even got somewhat creative with dessert and tried something new. First, I crushed some vanilla sandwich cookies and layered them in a cup. Next, I added some Mountain House Raspberry Crumble and sprinkled it with the chocolate cookie crumbles.

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When camping you make due with what you have and it passed the taste test of us all. It was delicious!

Saturday was the day we had the most plans on our agenda. After preparing a nice breakfast and sharing it over some laughs from our over night accomplishment we headed to the trails. In case your wondering what our accomplishment was I will fill you in briefly. This trip consisted of one male (my husband) and two females (myself and our newly found active neighbor). We were told we were only allowed one bathroom escort per night from my husband and he was hoping we could sync up our visits. First night….SUCCESS! Second night, not such a success:-(

Anyhow, back to the trails. We hiked a total of three trails. Which all got our hearts pumping and offered amazing views.

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We were literally as high as the tree tops. No picture could ever give you the depth of beauty we saw before our eyes. We also gave our neighbor her first geocaching experience. She is not big into bushwaking but she was a trooper and headed off the trail into the thick of things to make the discovery.

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After almost 5 miles of hiking we were ready to have some lunch, refresh a bit and head back to civilization by making the drive to a nearby town called Winona, MN.

Here we knew of a disc golf course we had played at in the past and took advantage of the beautiful weather to get in 18 holes. After this we visited a local restaurant that my husband found once on a business trip with his company. Bub’s Brewing Company has these spectacular, very unhealthy stuffed mushrooms that my husband craves.

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There was no way he would allow us to be so close by without making a trip to this establishment for him. Especially since was our “middle of the night” bathroom escort, he deserved a treat on this trip too.

All in all it turned out to be an amazing camping trip. From start to finish we laughed, hiked, and had an amazing time together.

A Chilly Last Splash Of Summer…What’s Next?

Fall arrived this week which is why we now have all our kayaks stored for the winter. That is not to stay our gear could not make another appearance this fall, however it is very unlikely. We were able to get to the river one last time this past weekend as a family. It was also our son’s first time on whitewater with his new kayak.

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The river was running higher than usual and it was quite a ride for us all. After being laid up recovering most of the summer this was a fantastic way to end the paddling season for him.

We now move on to camping, geocaching, and hiking. This is the best time for these activities in our area. There is not a lot of mud and water from melting snow like spring time brings. No knee high snow to walk through like during the winter months and not many bug, snakes, or heat/humidity to have to endure from the summer months. Believe me, our calendar is packed right up until Thanksgiving with anything I can possibly think of to do outside.

So until our scenery turns from this

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to this

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I will be switching gear from this

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to these

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and living life just as I plan, like this.

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I better be going, have a great weekend everyone.

 

 

 

What I Am Most Passionate About-Part Two

Yes, I was a little wordy on part one. Just in case you did not have the time to read the entire post I thought I would sum it up with a few key points on why I am most passionate about MOVEMENT.

1. Find something you enjoy.Even though you may not first succeed at finding something you love that keeps you moving, keep trying. There are many different sports and activities, you are bound to find something you love at any age.

2. Have an open mind. If your son/daughter come home excited telling you they want to try out for something at school or with an organization, encourage them and keep an open mind. Just because it does not sound like something you would like does not mean they will not like it.

3.Expect some discomfort. It’s more rewarding to be sore from what you do than be sore from what you did not do.

4. Be a role model. Do not preach to your children to go outside and play when you sit on your laptop while watching television for hours a day. Kids learn from watching others.

5. Being a parent brings responsibility. Some may laugh at this statement but….as my husband says, I am a little spicy so I am just going to say it! You were ok when your heart rate was elevated conceiving your child, you will also be ok when you raise your heart rate playing with your child. Until they are old enough to do this themselves, it is your responsibility as a parent to keep them active and healthy.

6. Movement is cheap. Before running to the clinic for the newest greatest treatment, pill, cream, injection or therapy, try moving. It is much cheaper than seeking medical care for your aches and pains.

7. You are never to old to move. Nursing homes offer active time for their residents, why can’t you be active?

8. It is never too late. The damage is not done! I had someone tell me this once and I wanted to scream. Don’t ever think this is true, it is never too late!!!

****Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor of any kind. Everything I have told you here is basic knowledge. Something that we all know is true but we don’t like to hear.

If you have a medical condition or concern please clear anything you wish to try with your medical doctor before trying it.

 

Do you have something you are passionate about?

 

 

What I Am Most Passionate About-Part One

If I could name one thing that I am most passionate about it would have to be “MOVEMENT”

***Warning: Very wordy post, but it’s what I am passionate about so I have a lot to say.

No surprises for many of you. I am obsessed with motivating people to get up and do something. With obesity, heart disease and arthritis effecting so much of the population I truly feel the simple act of moving could benefit everyone.

Many people think if they eat healthy, eat clean, don’t smoke, buy organic, avoid chemical/pesticides/antibiotics and such that they will be healthy. I am not saying this all will not help you become healthier however, if you do not move your body on a regular basis in some way you will not be healthy.

When I hear about schools debating cutting back on gym classes I just cringe at this decision. Granted, it is not a schools responsibility to give our children an active lifestyle BUT one hour a day is pretty important when that may be the only hour that child is active all day long. I make it a point to keep the kids I care for active on a daily basis. This is not always easy being there is snow on the ground and it is freezing outside 6 out of 12 months of the year where I live. Ultimately, it takes some creativity and some thought but it is by far what I would consider difficult. Tumbling exercises, jumping on big pillow piles and toddler yoga are some activities you can do with your children in the winter months. Summer months are so full of possibilities that you would never run out of ideas. It could be as easy as a walk. I take a walk every single day(weather permitting) with my daycare kids and whom ever is able to walk, walks. Typically by 18-20 months they are walking well enough to make a mile block at a toddler pace. This is pretty amazing to most parents simply because they have never left there child walk by their side at this age, they are still being carried. From walking age on I very rarely carry my kids….why, when they can walk?

Let’s move on to a little older, such as when they discover video games, television, computers, tablets, etc. This is when most parents loose control of their children in my eyes. Two big words come to mind when I think of this age. PARENT and FRIEND. Of course we all want our children to come to us in times of need, to like us like a friend, to enjoy spending time with us and we want to give them everything we possibly can in life. What parent wouldn’t? The one thing I think most of us forget is that before we can be our child’s friend we have an obligation to be their parent. In good times and in bad, like it or hate it, want to or don’t, it is our responsibility. So instead of loosing control and letting your son/daughter tell you when you get to leave for the park, go bike riding, play catch in the yard etc., you need to make some boundaries and STICK TO THEM!!!! Teach them how to earn fun things(like if we get up and go to work everyday we get paid $). They give you 60 minutes of active play time and in return you give them 60 minutes of video game time. We did this with our son and it worked wonderful. His friends did not like it too much but they did all get out there and play kickball for an hour before they came in on a sunny summer day to sit in front of the television to play video games. This is not always easy and there will be arguments but you will be benefiting your child’s health which is, as a parent, your responsibility. (Remember: there is a plug or battery for every electrical device out today, don’t be afraid to pocket this if you have to just to get them motivated)

Onto young adults/adults which by this time the damage is starting to set in. Your joints hurt, your lazy, weight is creeping higher, and your physicals are not so much fun anymore. You start hearing words like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and so on and wonder how this happened. Which is such a stupid question and we all know it. Look at yourself, get a mirror if you have to. I don’t think anything you see in that mirror will surprise you. Now what are you going to do to fix it? Let’s start with something slow and easy. A one mile walk a day would be terrific. And please don’t expect to not feel a little discomfort when you wake up the next morning.You walked your first mile in a long, long time. If you are not a walker, try a bike ride, take your kids to the park, try some basic weight lifting with the milk jug in your refrigerator. Just find something that get’s you up and moving for a short period of time. Keep in mind that even nursing homes offer active adult time for the elderly so YOU CAN DO THIS! Keep up this pace until the discomfort subsides (a few days) and then raise your activity level a little more. You are never to old to do something active.

I think you all get the point here, I am pretty passionate about movement at any age. It is the best thing you can do for yourself, your children, and your health.

****Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor of any kind. Everything I have told you here is basic knowledge. Something that we all know is true but we don’t like to hear.

If you have a medical condition or concern please clear anything you wish to try with your medical doctor before trying it.

Join Me For Coffee….

I feel like I need a little chat time. For someone to listen, maybe comment or not. So let’s have a virtual coffee date.

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First,  would welcome you with a hug and buy you coffee:) I would tell you how grateful I am that you came.

I would tell you we are doing fine and things with our son are looking much brighter this year at school. He is very happy with his choice to change campuses. That is quite a relief coming from a mom.

I would tell you about our trip we finally have planned. That I am so excited and that I hope it helps with my winter blues. However, as excited as I am, I am also quite nervous to try something we have never experienced before. Although, as with our trip in Utah, at least if I screw up and slip I will be assured to die somewhere beautiful.

I would ask your opinion of a change I am working on in my profession. I have lost sleep over this for a week now but hope to have it all figured out real soon. Being self employed is not always as good as it sounds. I still have to deal with issues just like any business only mine are on a much more personal level.

I would tell you I did my first tabata workout this week and it literally kicked my butt. I thought I was going to fall over right then and there. It was 20 minutes of the greatest torture I have ever experienced! The next 2 days I was moving pretty slow but it was that good kind of sore, ya know. The kind that says I worked parts of my body that I normally do not work.

I would tell you that I should start packing for our camping trip that is coming up.  I am just simply struggling to get motivated because of the cold temperatures we have been experiencing here in Green Bay. Sleeping will be fine, we have warm sleeping bags. Hiking will be great in cooler temps but those early morning and the middle of the night bathroom trips will suck! If my husband wants a happy wife, he better get up before I do and have hot water ready to go before I crawl out of that tent. I love camping, he is 100% in charge of cooking, always! It almost makes me want to camp in the backyard every single night:)

I would also tell you we are really hoping to paddle a river once more this year but I am almost ready to pack it all away for the year. I swear it went from comfortable to very chilly here overnight and I don’t believe the comfortable will be returning until probably next June. If there is one thing as bad as seeing a snake in the river while I am in it, it would have to be shivering while paddling uncontrollably. Cold and wet is not my idea of fun:(

By this time our coffee should be gone or cold so I better get to planning my weekend, prepare for my little ones to arrive and getting this Friday started so it can eventually end.

Have a great weekend.

 

 

My Favorite Form Of Exercise And Why

You all know I love to exercise. I do it everyday in some form or another. I do it for my health, to control my weight, to feel a sense of accomplishment but most of all exercise is a way for me to control stress and keep my sanity.

I spend countless hours caring for children during the week. This in itself can be very rewarding yet stressful. To relieve stress during my day, cardio is the way to go. This is usually a 30 minute bike ride during nap time on weekdays.

My most rewarding exercise at the gym would have to be the elliptical or ARC machines. They both seem to give me the best workout with very different results. I don’t feel I get much benefit from weight lifting other than keeping me strong and fit enough to keep up with the activities we do. However, I know they are good for me. I don’t dread doing them but I could easily pass them by if I knew I would not pay the price later on.

I do have to admit that even with everything I do, walking would have to be my number one go to form of exercise. It’s how I started my journey to a healthy lifestyle and it is still today my favorite thing to do. I could be walking a street, mall or a trail and be perfectly content to walk on forever. It does not matter if I am alone or with someone, I love to walk. When I am alone I have time to think. When I walk with my husband we can have a completely private conversation and not even realize we have walked a few miles. And when I walk with my daycare kiddos, it is non stop talking about anything and everything. It a great form of exercise that is easy to do anywhere at any age.

Tell me, what is your favorite form of exercise and why?