I Am Ready To Hike Mountains Again… Plus Some Weekend Snapshots

Another summer weekend with sun, fun and family has come and gone. With a bonus being I had a three day weekend which I wasted no time enjoying. First, let’s catch up a bit on last weeks big news.

Last week was a little nuts around here. I decided that after our family vacation to Minnesota’s North Shore and no real issues with the hiking/rock bouldering that we did during this vacation that maybe I was ready to go bigger once again. My husband knew I was watching flight prices the past year for a trip back south but then January happened and all was scrapped until I felt better again. Well, I believe that time has come and I am once again ready to hike some mountains. This time our destination is Arizona…..and I am over the moon excited to experience life elevated once again. Tickets are purchased, hotels are reserved, and permits have been applied for. Let the planning begin…..

That all happened Tuesday-Thursday….then Friday rolled around and one of my daycare dad’s surprised me by keeping his son with him for the day which meant I had the day off. BONUS!!!!! With no hesitation I made plans from sun up to sun down literally. My Friday started by getting my husband off to work bright and early as usual. Then I ate some breakfast and headed to the gym for a morning workout…..my absolute favorite time to work out.

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Then I called to see if any eye appointments were open yet that day. And another bonus….they had a 10:45 still open…..I took it. I really, really needed to get new prescription sunglasses.

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While waiting for my glasses to be made, I ran some errands and stopped at home to do some laundry. Then my husband returned home and both my boys headed back out for a night of fishing together. I had made plans to have dinner with a friend, do some shopping and walk a recreation trail.

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I finally returned home at 8:15p.m. to quickly make some dinner for my boys when they finally returned home and I went to bed.

Then Saturday rolled around and I was moving pretty slow. I was tired but ready nothing a cup of coffee wouldn’t fix. We had made plans to paddle Sawyer Harbor in Potawatomi State Park. This was our first time here and it was very relaxing. We arrived to find the parking lot was very large, your park pass includes your launch fee, restrooms are on site, fish cleaning house is also on site, and kayakers are very familiar with this area. Here are some pics from our day at Sawyer Harbor.

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It was a great day spent doing what we all love. The boys did some fishing, I paddled and tube floated for awhile, we shared a family picnic and later in the afternoon we even managed a hike at this same park.

More on that hike coming up……

 

 

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Most Memorable Moments Of Our Minnesota North Shore Vacation

It’s not often we get to spend time as a family anymore with our son being an adult, working two jobs and usually going separate ways. However, when we do, we waste no time making memories that will surely last a lifetime.

dad is never far behind when capturing that picture from the cliff’s edge

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experimenting with new campfire treats IMG_4976

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very sketchy bridge to cross

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family pictures just as I prefer them….dirty, hot and sweaty

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family picnics

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breath taking pictures of my husband who works so hard to make my dreams come true

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 feeding our meal time visitor out of our handsIMG_4761

organic fly swatter made while sitting by the campfire (the flies were SOOOOO BADDD)

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beach time

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many, many waterfalls

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It Is What It Is………

My week started out pretty good if you like pain and cold weather. I was so happy to have made it to the gym both Saturday and Sunday that by Monday morning I felt exactly what muscles I have not worked in a few months. I was very happy to feel this “good pain” when I woke up Monday morning.

Every morning this week I also had every intention of taking a walk in the morning as I usually do with a friend of mine. However, its was so miserably cold outside all week that I walked my 4-K student to school and decided to return home for tea instead.There comes a time in the winter that enough is enough and I believe I have come to that time. Spring arrived days ago and since then its has snowed numerous times, winds have been horrible and its just stinking COLD! Come on already, have we not suffered enough, lets have some warmth and sunshine.

Anyhow, let’s look at what I did this week for my mental and physical health.

Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, and full body weights minus abs

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical and full body weights minus abs and a family afternoon trail hike 3.1 miles Barkhausen 4-3-16low-1

(photo courtesy of Quade Byrnes Photography)

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 1.5 mile evening walk

Wednesday: recumbent bike 30 minutes

Thursday: 30 minute elliptical and leg/back weight routine, 3 mile evening walk

Friday: rest

Clearly, not a great week in the exercise department.  A few nights I had evening parent interviews to do to replace a daycare family that is moving to another state which really hampered our evening walks. And then, about mid week, I came down with some sort of stomach bug that made me feel pretty miserable. All I can do from this point is hope next week shapes up a bit better.

 

Happy Spring Everyone!!!!!!

Spring has finally arrived which means I SURVIVED ANOTHER WISCONSIN WINTER!!!!!!

It is always a great feeling when another winter is behind me. I can’t wait to go to farmers markets, see bright flowers, sleep with the windows open, have picnics, and so on. What is there not to love about Spring?

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I celebrated Springs arrival this weekend by first assisting with some yard work.

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Then we slipped on our hiking boots and visited a trail that is off limits in the heat of summer thanks to an over abundance of snakes. IMG_3729

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I went to lunch with some friends and enjoyed a healthy veggie wrap and pasta salad.

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Visited a “new to us” library for some audio books for my husband and some new story books for our spring break week this week. IMG_3721

Visited the gym for a workout with my hubby.

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And the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing.

What did you do to celebrate the beginning of Spring?

 

 

 

52 Hike Challenge Update/Returning To Work Finally

I finally returned to work full time this week. I was not sure how everyone would return and was prepared for the worst but surprisingly they all returned with smiles. I had the happiest group of kids and that made me feel pretty great. Physically, I had my moments for sure. By evening I was sore but not in what I would call PAIN and no doubt exhausted. One night I was sleeping in the recliner 45 minutes after they all left….wow was I tired.

Tired was the name of the game this week and clearly you can see this in my workouts. However, in my defense, we did play outside many times this week which is also a workout with three kids. So ultimately, I think for the first week back I did ok. Here take a look:

Saturday: 2.5 mile trail hike,

gym: 20 minute elliptical

Sunday: 3 mile trail hike

Monday: 30 minute recumbent bike, arms/legs workout

Tuesday: 1.5 mile walk outside (morning), 2 mile mall walk (evening)

Wednesday: arms and legs workout

Thursday: 30 minute recumbent bike, arms/legs workout, 3 mile morning walk, 1.5 mile evening hike

Friday: rest

With three more hikes added to my list this week I am even closer to accomplishing the 52 hike challenge.

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We are still making progress on our to do list for Spring but I am hoping to add at least one more hike to the log this weekend to get me a little closer to this goal.

Have a great weekend everyone:-)

 

Looking Back At 2015

About this time every year I find myself looking back at the year and like many of you, looking forward to the next year to come. 2015 for our family was not a typical year, from beginning to end, it seemed to challenge our strength as a family both mentally and physically. However, I will say, I do feel like we won this battle and came through it pretty well.

Take a look back with me,

January 2015

I experienced my first dislocated rib while working out and preparing for our rock scrambling vacation in February. Very painful!!!

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February 2015

Our rock scrambling vacation we had prepared for for months was suddenly cancelled due to a major snow storm and no flights were coming or going. We were completely disgusted for weeks….

March 2015

I celebrated a birthday this month with a venture out of the house and some first steps of the year on a muddy trail.

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April 2015

I finally decided to see a doctor for a sore foot I had been having for a few months. After testing and imaging I found out I had torn two tendons in my ankle. Which resulted in some new footwear for weeks.

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On the brighter side, my husband picked up his brand new Jackson kayak this month.

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May 2015

After 6 weeks in that orthopedic boot I thought I was going to go see my doctor and he would say everything looks good and I could remove it. Well, that was not quite what I heard from him. He said I still had two weeks to go, but now I could do anything I wanted to do as long as I wore the boot. I took that line,”anything I want” very seriously and left two days later for a hiking trip to our favorite WI state park. Thanks to my husband and son, I made it to the top of the bluff and back down again with that horrendous contraption on my leg. Let me tell you, IT WAS NOT EASY BUT I (we) DID IT!

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June 2015

I finally was able to remove my ortho boot and what happens next…..my husband suffers a sudden back injury that literally changes our entire summer outlook. After a day of lake kayaking and standup paddling where we were rained on all day, we returned home that night with him feeling pain in his leg.

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After numerous tests, doctors, and images, we had a diagnosis that we were hoping not to hear. Next would be physical therapy for weeks, a lifting restriction for quite sometime, and learning how to do things differently for the rest of his life. This took some soul searching and a lot of praying that he could eventually recover enough to continue doing what we love to do again.

July 2015

This month was the start of a few months of physical therapy which we all tried helping with. He did seek professional help for awhile but after some time his neurologist thought he could accomplish more on his own. Most people need a therapist because they are so inactive that they don’t know where to start. We, however, are very active and just needed to know the basics of what would give him the biggest benefits toward his recovery. We found all sorts of ways to do physical therapy.

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Resistance Bands:

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Walking:

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August 2015

After all that therapy he was given the ok to go on our planned family vacation which just so happened to be hiking in the desert southwest in extreme heat and with extreme elevation. He was limited on backpack weight and was not allowed to even touch our luggage but could hike as far as his body allowed him to hike(as the doctor kindly stated). So we did. And it turned out spectacular!

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September 2015

We returned from vacation, rested up for two weeks and hit the trail again, only a little closer to home this time. We headed to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and hiked the Chapel Loop together….10.6 miles in a day.  IMG_2530

He was still feeling some discomfort but by now we had learned how to deal with any pain he was having. We would rest when the pain started or soaking his foot in cold water was also a nice way to help decrease his discomfort.  IMG_1798  IMG_2661

I also got away in September for a girls day to Cranberry Fest. We had a blast!

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October 2015

October is when we celebrated our 22nd. wedding anniversary. We did this with a overnight trip to Sister Bay, WI at the Birchwood Lodge.

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November 2015

The beginning of this month we found ourselves, yet again, among numerous medical professionals supporting my father-in-law with a major surgery.

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Also this month my husband and I went on a shopping trip to my all time favorite city….Schaumburg, Illinois. I begged him to join me last year and he agreed. This year he offered to join me since we had so much fun last time. I think I may have a shopping partner (package carrier) for life:) Whoo Hoooo!  IMG_2888

December 2015

As predicted by weather forecasters, it had been a pleasant December. One of the best ways for me to celebrate a no snow December is to continue hiking which is exactly what we did. Here is where we spent Christmas Day as a family with sun in our eyes and doing what we love…..hiking.

(photo courtesy of our son, Quade Byrnes)

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So there you have it. Our year from start to finish. It’s been quite a roller coaster ride this year. Among so may other exciting things that have happened throughout the year, I am happy to see this year is now behind us.

My hopes for next year, of course, are to continue to stay healthy. We miss our kayaks severely, have not touched a golf disc in months, and are very excited to be traveling more in the upcoming months.

 

 

 

This or That?

Good morning. Happy Hump Day! Let’s keep it fun today.

So many people either like one or the other of something for his/her own reasons. Whether it be related to politics, weather, money, location, and so on….everyone has an opinion. Which, personally, everyone deserves to have. Let’s look at a list of this or that and I will share my opinions with you.

Beach or mountains?

You guessed it. For me it’s mountains….all the way babe. I love the beach but mountains are where my heart is.

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I have tried both and do own both. Although, due to terrible ankle strength, I prefer my boots for hiking. They offer the support to keep me stable enough to conquer any trail I please. IMG_0261 Morning person or night owl?

Oh gosh, morning person for sure. After 8 p.m. anything I say cannot be held against me because I will not remember saying it. When that alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m. every morning I am ready to go but after 8 p.m. you are asking for a miracle.

Salad or soup?

This is a tough one. I love both but have been known to eat soup year round.

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Chocolate or vanilla?

Probably chocolate…if it’s ice cream. IMG_2557 Treadmill or elliptical?

Ahhh, I’d have to say at the moment elliptical. I had a treadmill here at home for years and did not mind it too much but the elliptical is much more fun.

Sweet or spicy?

Spicy!!!! It’s so odd to answer that because up until a few years ago I did not like anything spicy. Now, however, everything is better spicy.

Shop or order online?

Depending on what it is, I would order online before shop. However, if shipping costs too much I will just go buy it in the store. The older I get the less I like to shop.

Pizza or tacos?

Pizza!

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Kayak or canoe?

Did I seriously need to answer this one? Kayak for sure.

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Hot or cold weather?

Hot and sunny is what I love.

Save or spend?

Well, I guess save. I have always been a saver although, as I age, it is getting easier to spend a little and enjoy some of it. We never went on big vacations before and now I am somewhat addicted to adventure and I really don’t care what it costs to experience it.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee

Fruit or vegetable?

Veggie lover is what I am. There are very few vegetables I will not eat. Fruit is good but nothing compares to veggies.

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Paddle or hike?

Saving the best and hardest to answer for last. Honestly, I’d have to say it depends on the month, temperature, and forecast. I love hiking in spring and fall. Dislike it in the summer months, due to bugs, humidity, and SNAKES! I love paddling in the summer when it’s hot and humid and the rivers are gorgeous. I dislike paddling in the spring due to roaring rivers that seriously could kill us if not make me freeze to death. And I also don’t like paddling if it’s overcast and rainy. Simply because sunshine is my happy drug of choice and rain makes my glasses almost impossible to see through and I am not able to kayak without my glasses on. This could also be life threatening:-) All that being said, if I had to give up one or the other, I would give up paddling before hiking.

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If you care to list a few, please feel free.