Life Lately….

As you all know if you have been reading recently I have mainly posted new trails for you all to try. Well, that’s because a lot has been happening in the background of life that I have been trying to gather and sort through in my mind. So I thought I would give you a break from trails and hikes we have been enjoying and focus on other life topics today.

Starting with…..we just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been this long…seriously over half my life I have been married to this amazing man that puts up with my crazy ideas. It’s been fun so far….and we are far from finished. So as we begin another year of life together I can only hope the fun continues.Stay tuned….

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As the leaves start falling this means less sunshine and that for me is like a death sentence. Here in Wisconsin most people hibernate all winter long. I see my neighbors come and go but don’t talk with them for months since I very rarely step foot outside in the winter months by choice.  I don’t even walk to the end of the driveway to pick my own mail in the winter months. Sad but true….it is what it is. I am simply not a winter lover!!! So as of October I always begin taking my “sunshine vitamin” (Vitamin D) to help with the winter blues that typically hit me hard by January.

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On the brighter side of things….we have planned one last camping trip of the 2017 season before the snow flies here in a few days/weeks. You really never know when it will happen…..so hopefully we make it through this last trip without a light covering of white stuff on our picnic table. I am excited to get out one last weekend and enjoy nature before it all freezes over. I am a bit up in the air but I do believe we will be sleeping in our SUV this time around and using our new SUV curtains we made a few months back.

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Soon after all this happens,Thanksgiving arrives which we are planning once again to keep up with the tradition of a Thanksgiving morning hike. Many people do some type of turkey trot but we would rather hike a trail than be surrounded by a bunch of runners/walkers. Looking back to last year reminded me to dig out the blaze orange once again since its deer hunting season in our parts during Thanksgiving.

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And after Thanksgiving comes the big Christmas holiday. This year we plan to simplify and not be so stressed out by who wants what, where, and when. Christmas is always a big stresser in my life. Why does everyone put so much pressure into two days of the year….like honestly, its two days?To make this less stress, we already have decided on a few things, we have already discussed our family gatherings and thankfully all I have left to do is the menu planning. Well, and gift buying but that is fairly easy at this stage of life.

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I have been getting back to making some family style meals with the colder weather upon us now. Summers meals can be almost anything after a long hot day of playing outside for my job. Fall and winter offer me more time in the kitchen(often with the kids helping) to prepare more thought out meal plans. I have been concentrating on two meat free dinners during the week and one on the weekends. This soup blend I found has been changed up a variety of ways and so far they have all been winners.

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Casseroles are back in the rotation once again and are a family favorite.

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And our son even surprised us one night by making french onion soup which was so yummy.

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As for workouts…..this has been the biggest change recently. Yoga has been my “go to” to help strengthen and get some flexibility back in my thoracic spine area. Physical therapy was an option but both my MD and my chiropractor suggested trying yoga before physical therapy since this is suppose to offer more benefit. Without a doubt, I am feeling better already….so for now yoga is scheduled into every single day.

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And four days a week I am back at the gym. Walking has become difficult to do since the sun is leaving us faster every evening that passes by, so the gym is my “go to” for cardio. Plus, in my opinion, movement is medicine!!! I feel so much better after a gym workout than I do if I do not go. Which means there really is no question of whether or not I need to make this happen. So once again, until the days get longer, I am back at the gym on my trusty elliptical.

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That should do it for today.

Anything your curious about….let me know?

Do you change up your workout routines as the seasons change?

 

 

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Twenty Three Years Ago….

Twenty three years ago my husband presented me with a beautiful diamond ring, his vow to love and cherish me forever, and to be by my side in sickness and in health.

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I am happy to say today we still love each other as much as we did all those years ago and maybe even more. We have both tested the limits in the sickness and the health department and have stuck by each others side through it all. The one big thing that has changed are that diamonds are not the key to my heart anymore. Yes they are beautiful, yes I would accept them if they were presented to me, but he knows exactly the type of rock I prefer if he is looking to make me a very happy wife. And thanks to all his hard work,  once again this year we spent another anniversary climbing/hiking the dusty, gritty, gorgeous rocks of the southwest in Sedona, Arizona this past week.

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This was dream come true!!!! We spent everyday on the desert trails hiking to some of the best places I have ever seen in my life.

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I can’t wait to fill you all in on our adventures in this area. We hiked 6 different hikes, had some awesome meals on the hotel balcony overlooking the mountain sunsets and relaxed in a pool and it’s the end of October. Now that right there is amazing in itself being we are from the midwest and its already WAY TO COLD HERE TO SWIM!!!

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Thanks honey for a fabulous 23 years……I love you!

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More to come real soon….

 

Celebrating Our 22nd Wedding Anniversary

I still can’t believe my husband and I have been married 22 years. That’s almost half my life. By this time we know exactly what each other really enjoys, needs and wants which made this anniversary quite easy to plan. I took the reins this year and planned an overnight getaway for us that was more about just escaping life and all the drama rather than celebrating anything special. Although, we did make time for a bit of celebration also.

The past two months for my husband have been a roller coaster ride with all the health issues his father has been dealing with. So I knew a night away would be so beneficial for him. However, because of the seriousness of this matter, I knew it needed to be close to home for a quick return if need be. The first place I thought of was Door County which has everything we love from water, hiking, great food, and so on.

Saturday morning we left around 9:30 a.m and headed that direction. He had no idea what was on the agenda except that we would be spending the night somewhere in Door County.  I handled all the packing and details, all he had to do was drive.IMG_2801 Our first stop was Sturgeon Bay and we did something that I would have NEVER done when I was younger. We went antiquing…..not my favorite thing in the world but I knew he would LOVE this. We stopped at two antique shops here and headed to two more a ways up the road near Egg Harbor.  IMG_2804

After some shopping we headed a little more north to our next destination to have some dinner. I knew he would be very happy with a visit to his favorite pizza place but upon our arrival we ran into a race event happening throughout the area which meant there we tons of people waiting at all area restaurants. So instead of waiting forever, we headed north a bit more and came to a restaurant we had never been to and decided to try for dinner.

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We were very pleased with our meal choices at Summer Kitchen. Service was very fast, friendly and the food was really tasty. And the best part, they offer a soup bar with every meal which is always a plus for me.

With full bellies we headed to our overnight destination…..Birchwood Lodge in Sister Bay, WI. IMG_2824

I made sure our room would have everything he enjoyed to fully relax for the evening. A fireplace, hot tub, and television meant he was in heaven. And this lodge had it all. Plus, I even packed a few celebration treats to enjoy together.

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When morning rolled around we had hoped it was going to be a much nicer day since it rained all day Saturday. We woke and opened the blinds to find sunny skies on the horizon. IMG_2821

We quickly gathered our things and went to grab a quick, hardy breakfast before getting to the last part of our getaway, the trail we had planned to finish this weekend. We arrived at a little diner in Sister Bay called Carroll House Restaurant and had a fantastic meal on their last day of business before closing up for the winter months.

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Unlike most restaurants in the Door County area, this place offered a wide variety menu at wonderfully affordable prices. After breakfast it was time to hit the trail. Along the way we enjoyed the views of the area.  IMG_2839  IMG_2834

We ended the day by finishing the Ahnapee State Trail, finding our #600 geocache and enjoying the fall colors together. IMG_2847

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Workouts Of The Week and a Celebration For Us

It was a crazy schedule week for me which meant I really had no game plan as to what and when I would fit in any workouts. However, I did the best I could and I am happy to say I feel pretty good about this weeks workouts.

Take a look:

Saturday: gym workout: 40 minute elliptical and stretching

Sunday: gym workout: 30 minute elliptical, weights and stretching

Monday: 2 1/2 mile walk, 30 min recumbent bike, and stability ball exercises

Tuesday: gym workout: 30 minute elliptical and lower body weights, 1 1/2 mile walk in the morning

Wednesday: 3 mile trail hike on a local recreational trail

Thursday: home:30 minute recumbent bike and stability ball exercises

gym: 40 minute elliptical, abs and stretching

Friday: rest

I am feeling great about being back at the gym again on a regular basis. The endorphin high is absolutely awesome. Although, I won’t lie, getting there after a long day of chasing two one year olds and occupying a four year old is sometimes a challenge. With a little help and gentle push at times from my husband, we are getting back to our gym routine and I couldn’t be more happier.

As for the upcoming weekend, we hopefully will finish the Ahnapee Trail this weekend. 48 miles x2 (since we always have to return to our vehicle) and its taken us two spring and fall seasons to do it. The weather does not look too promising but we are hoping for the best. We don’t have much to finish so if its a little rain we can hike in that, snow on the other hand, it’s not going to happen.

After that I have a little surprise in store for my husband since we are celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary also this weekend. It’s going to be a busy, busy weekend but hopefully a fun one.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Let’s Chat Over A Glass Of Wine…..

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August is half over and I have that sense of sadness starting to creep up in the back of my mind. I am not ready for summer to be over by any means. Why is it so short when winter seems to last forever????? There is still so much fun to be had, things to do, friends to see and I feel like I am running out of time to squeeze it all in.

OK, enough with the wining……onto other things. You may think I am just incredibly crazy with this next topic but here it goes. You are all aware we are vacationing in an amazingly beautiful place with mountains around every corner. I have grand plans to summit one of these beauties on this trip but did you know that this is not the only thing I am hoping to do while we are there. I also have high hopes to see my first mountain goat on the side of an actual mountain. I do not love these creatures, have no real reason to want to see this except to just witness it first hand. I have seen many, many goats in my lifetime and every single one has been in a cage, zoo, or on a farm. I really want to see one on a mountain side in its natural habitat.  Will it happen? We’ll see….IMG_2832

After we return from this trip we still have a pretty full calendar until that first snowflake falls, which hopefully will not be until December. I am excited to be going on a bus trip with two friends to a harvest festival a few hours away. I am also excited to be taking another bus trip with my husband again this year. He had so much fun last year joining me for a day of shopping….yes…you heard that correctly…..shopping, that he asked to go again. This is my absolute favorite place to shop and with someone along to help carry the packages it makes it even more fun.

We also have a big hike planned for our 22nd anniversary. Right now we are hoping to hike a 10 mile loop in Michigan. It’s suppose to be a fabulous hike, with great views along the way. I am not quite sure if my husband will be able to make this distance quite yet in this stage of his recovery although, we still plan to do what we can and turn back if we need to. We live close enough to this area that we could do half on this trip and half next time if needed. As long as we are together doing what we love, that is all that really matters.

IMG_3005Soon after we return from our trip, school will be back in session around our area. This is when my days will get a little quieter. Honestly, I am not quite sure if this is good or bad but it has to happen. I have cared for three children at a time for over 20 years as my profession and I have one that will be starting school this year. She has been my extra hands, my third leg, and my little helper for 4 years. Plus, she has truly become part of our family.

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It’s been a long time since I have sent one off to school (my son is now 20 yrs old) but I know she is excited and that makes me excited for her. Although, that leaves me with two little ones that cannot talk a word yet for half of every day!!! So I do expect for a brief time that I will be a little nuts with too much quiet time since she typically talks nonstop. However, I know the two little boys I will still have will be talking soon enough, which means I should really try and enjoy the moment for what it is.

And with that I will finish my wine and wish you all a great day. Enjoy the moments, they sure pass by quickly.

Currently….

Life just seems to be passing by so quickly these days that I often find myself wishing I could freeze time. Clearly that is not possible so let’s take a look at my life as it is currently.

Currently I am looking forward to doing a weekend of “glamping” again with my husband and son at one of our favorite parks. We started out the Spring season with this same trip and ironically we are ending with the same trip.

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Currently I am reading my latest issue of Backer Magazine which has way to much winter gear for my liking in it. Although, I still find the articles interesting to read, I have no reason to see the outcome of winter gear that was field tested and the results. I will never be a winter backpacker;-(

Currently I am eating lots of fall veggies. I can’t get enough zucchini and squash. And plans are in the near future for some pumpkin muffins. YUMMMM

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Currently I am watching the new season of Grey’s Anatomy. This is literally the only television program I watch every week. I am not a big fan of the new time slot but so far I am adjusting to it as well as possible.

Currently I am trying to figure out what to do with my professional life. It’s all coming together nicely but I just wish I had a crystal ball to see what the future will tell me. Don’t we all?

Currently making me happy is that my husband has been stopping in to have lunch together everyday this week so far. This is quite the treat since he is usually at work way too far from home on normal days.

Currently I am planning our training schedule for our upcoming vacation. We will be hiking in the Mojave Desert and rock scrambling. We were given what to work on, what skills would be helpful and the mileage we will be hiking from our guides. Now we just need to prepare for this adventure.

Currently I am thinking about our upcoming 21st. anniversary. Should we do something, should we hang out and be lazy, should we buy gifts this year, should we……oh who knows? We will figure it out eventually.

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Currently I am excited about a class I signed up to take in our area. I will be attending aqua zumba for 6 weeks and can’t wait to see how much fun it’s going to be.

Do you have anything on your mind you care to share? Tell me what’s up with you currently.

 

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….