Life Lately….

It’s been a bit crazy here lately. Although, I could not be happier with this craziness. It’s clearly summer time in full swing here in our house and I have been enjoying many of my favorite things along with working on many other projects when there is free time to be had.

Our annual date night (yes, I did say annual…sadly) is coming up and I recently picked up the tickets. I am so excited….I love this event. And this year my brother is joining us so it shall be fun for sure.IMG_4532

I find myself packing a beach bag every single weekend.

IMG_4535

I have been working hard at planning and gathering our vacation things. I love vacation but the planning part is the real challenge for me. My goal is not to forget anything and then to go and hopefully accomplish everything on the list that I have planned.

 measuring our free tent footprint IMG_4594

food/supply table so far

IMG_4589

I started taking water aerobics at a city pool. I use to love water aerobics but normally took a class in winter. Then the older I got the more I dreaded getting out and stepping outside with wet hair into the snow and ice of winter. So I stopped taking winter classes. Maybe I will enjoy summer classes more. We shall see.

IMG_1743

Meeting once a month with my brother for dinner out together. We have been doing this now a few months and I am loving it. We live in the same city and maybe see each other 2-3 times a year because, well, life is just so busy. So I thought the least we could do is try for once a month…. just him and I… and so far its been working out great.

IMG_3056

I am truly enjoying the summer heat, summer sun, and summer activities. Before I know it it will be over and life will slow down drastically. So right now I am rolling with it and enjoying every second.

 

 

Advertisements

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.

IMG_2118Hiking boots or shoes?

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.

IMG_4028

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!

IMG_0504

Kayak or canoe?

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

IMG_1098

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.

IMG_2716

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.

IMG_3005

 

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

 

 

 

A Look Back At June 2015 In Pictures

As you all know from reading, this month has been very discouraging for me and my family. However, we have still been finding time to get out and enjoy the summer weather. Here is a look back at June 2015 in pictures.

Silver Creek Disc Golf

IMG_1203

First SUP Trip Of The Year

IMG_1270

Fun With Water Balloons

IMG_1228

Little Free Library Trip

IMG_1338

What We Wear In WI On The Beach In June

IMG_1372

SUP Board Yoga Attempt From A Newbie

IMG_1360

Walks With The Kiddos

IMG_1385

Way To Many Waiting Rooms This Month

IMG_1410

Our New Playground Very Nearby

IMG_1391

Hoping For Cherry Tomatoes Real Soon

IMG_1403

Picnics Bay Side

IMG_1387

Exploring A New Zoo

IMG_1519

IMG_1479

IMG_1451

I hope you enjoyed looking back with me through our June events. I have high hope that July brings better health to my husband and that we can get back to the life we are used to living. We miss paddling our rivers with our whitewater kayaks more than you could all imagine. That being said, I sure am not minding the extra time I have been getting on my standup paddle board while he does water therapy for his back pain. Who needs a pool when you live near so many lakes…..water therapy can be done anywhere and that is exactly what we have been doing.

Happiness Is….

 

What makes you happy? For me it was really quite easy to come up with a list.

SunshineIMG_0831

Friends

IMG_4926

Summer

IMG_0709

Heat

Being the first to knife into a newly opened peanut butter jar

Hiking, especially elevation

IMG_0364

Sleeping in the rain

Wild flowers

IMG_2439

Breakfast prepared by someone other than me

Date night

IMG_0523

Children

DSC_0135

Freshly laundered bed sheets

Flowers from my husband

IMG_3385

Massage

Coffee on a cool morning

IMG_1112

Exercise

IMG_3267

Pajama days

Nature

IMG_0256

Beach days

IMG_4907

Vacation

IMG_3040

Kayaking

IMG_4682

 

Can you name a few off the top of your head?

 

 

 

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.

IMG_4907

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.

IMG_4787

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.

IMG_4878

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!!!

IMG_4896

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.

IMG_5041

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.

IMG_0076

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.

IMG_0523

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.

IMG_4944

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

IMG_0820

IMG_0533

to chai shakes,

IMG_0051 and nice hikes,

IMG_4785

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Littel Girl’s Wishes Are Granted

Nothing makes me happier when I see a spark in the eyes of a child who loves to be outdoors. Even at a young age you can tell if you have one of these children or not. I have a family that I offer childcare to that has one of these children. She is just shy of three years old and often tells us that she wants to do the things we do, such as kayak, standup paddle, hike and go fishing. She helps me pack supplies every Friday for whatever it is that we have planned for our weekends and every single Friday she says she’s going to come too. I knew this past Saturday we were going to have a pretty low key day at the beach so our son could give paddling a try so I asked her parents if we could borrow her for the day. They happily granted us this request which meant her little wish was was going to come true. She was finally going to get to kayak, standup paddle and go to the beach with us.

We packed up our supplies as usual adding her water shoes, suit, towel and PFD right along side of our gear. We talked about what we were all going to pack for a picnic, who would all be coming along and so on. We made a list for her mommy and daddy of all the supplies she would need to bring Saturday morning. And, I also added, that she needed to go to bed like a good girl and sleep a long time because Saturday would be her big day.

She showed up Saturday morning and we all packed into the truck and off we headed…to the beach. Upon arrival, she could not change into her suit fast enough. We hauled all our gear to the edge of the beach, laid down some safety rules (no entering the water without a life jacket on) and then it was play time.

Her first wish was to try kayaking. We did bring our recreational kayaks for her to ride with one of us in but my husband was the first one in his whitewater kayak. She immediately ran to him and he just sat her on top of his kayak skirt and she was all smiles.

IMG_0006

We eventually got her to get into a recreational kayak with me and we paddled the lake for a bit before she said it was time for the standup paddle board. She wasted no time hopping on but was a little more unsure about this ride than the kayak. I think she expected sides on the board and obviously there are no sides to hold you in.

DSC_0248_edited-1

Her biggest wish was to paddle by herself. She is three and it’s all about independence so my husband granted this wish but dropped down to his knees because she was not brave enough to stand.

DSC_0249_edited-1

She was one happy little girl, doing all these big girl sports. After some time though, the little kid came back out in her, my husband and my son. They all joined her in building a sand castle together.

IMG_0013

We called this Addie’s Island and it even had a waterfall!!!!

About two hours into our day her little belly started to get hungry so it was picnic time. I knew exactly what she all asked for and most of it was granted along with a few of her favorites, like green peppers and hummus.

IMG_0024

We really all had the best time. She was a complete angel the entire day. She enjoyed playing in the sand, getting to ride alone in my husband’s kayak while we spun her in circles and even using her big muscles to paddle with me really fast to beat my son back to shore for our picnic. It was a wonderful day!

I should point out, this is typically not part of what I do for my daycare families. I don’t often see this spark in a child anymore and it is quite heartbreaking that many kids will never get to experience things like this in their lifetime. This is the same child that requested to come hiking with us one day and we also granted her this wish back in Spring. Since then, her parents have followed along and have taken her camping for the first time and also on a few hikes. I am so proud they are encouraging and granting her the opportunity of an active lifestyle in the outdoors.

I am also very thankful they granted us the opportunity to have this day with their daughter. The big hug, kiss and thank you I received when I went to put her into her car seat before leaving the beach for home made me so proud. I am quite sure she will remember this trip for a long time.

A big Thank You goes out to her mommy and daddy:)

 

Weekend Highlights: July 4th. Weekend

Technically, our July 4th weekend started out at 4:30 Thursday night when my last daycare child was picked up from our home. My husband was with our son at the orthopedic surgeons office and I was left home alone with my thoughts of the last few days. And what a few days it was.

First of all, being out of routine with little ones running around does not make life easy! Typically, our son is at work most week days and we do our thing throughout the day. This is not at all what happened this past week. Instead, our son slept most of the day time hours or needed assistance of some kind. I honestly don’t know what injury was worse for me to deal with. His broken clavicle was the one that gave him the worse pain but the head injury gave us the biggest worry. Even the doctors were amazed all the CT scans came back ok because the bump and gash they stapled back together was amazing. So we obviously did not leave him alone for the first few days, which meant after Monday when my husband went back to work it was all me. Thankfully my husband took the overnight hours of checking on him and making sure he did not roll on the head injury and kept his medication on time. I got to sleep through most of the first few nights.

Then our weekend arrived and all original plans of kayaking were cancelled:( I was bummed! We struggled to decide if we should do anything at all with or without him and in the end decided that it would be best to stay together and just take it easy. He was still sleeping a lot of the time and his arm still hurt him quite a bit. So Friday was a relaxing day of getting some things done. I did a little shopping and then we planned a relaxing beach day for Saturday hoping that he would feel up to at least getting out of the house.

Saturday morning was gorgeous. We loaded up the stand up paddle board, one kayak, beach towels,chairs, and headed to the beach. If there is a better place to recover from an accident other than relaxing on a beach I would love to hear it because I believe sunshine can cure almost anything. We had the pleasure of having our neighbors join us for the day and it was quite a pleasant day for everyone. Both our neighbors had the opportunity to try stand up paddle boarding for the first time and did wonderful.

IMG_4904

Even our son was in the water for some of the time. The only part of him that he was not able to get wet was his head so he even attempted to play frisbee with us. Although, it was quite frustrating to throw with the wrong hand and watch it go everywhere other than where he was hoping it would go.

IMG_4916

At the end of our day our neighbor decided it was her time to learn how to wet exit and roll in a whitewater kayak. We had taken her down a river once before in the past but it was too cold to teach this on that day, so this was the perfect place to learn. The beach was a controlled area with no current and lots of assistance.

First, the wet exit was attempted. She got all the advice she needed and we were all close by for help if she needed it. Over she went.

IMG_4926

And out and up she came.

IMG_4928

Success!!!! It’s funny how this is really the biggest fear most people have when in a kayak for the first time. The questions of WILL I BE ABLE TO GET OUT is always scary and the best way to know if you can is to just do it. She did terrific and even said she has a better feeling now knowing she will be able to exit in the event of a rollover on a river.

Then she surprised my husband and son with the request to try and roll. Females are the bravest people we have had on the river by far and she was no different. Request granted and the lesson began.

IMG_4944

Here she is learning the hip action while leaning against my husband as our son watches and gives pointers. (he really felt so useless because normally he teaches the roll very well)

Now, it was her turn to try it and hope for the best. Over she went…

IMG_4934

And no success, she had to wet exit. Although she tried twice, both times were unsuccessful:(  We all have faith that in time she will get it.

After this we were all chilly and agreed it was time to pack up and head to a county park very nearby before heading home. Upon arrival the temperature change was amazing. I grabbed a jacket before heading down to the shoreline.

IMG_4953

IMG_4961

We did not spend a whole lot of time here because of high, rough water and it was time to get our son home to rest. He was already sleeping in the car by the time we returned.

Even though it was not the weekend of kayaking we had planned, it was still a great day on the water. We all had a wonderful day at the beach with some fun friends and beautiful weather. I love summer:)

Then Sunday came and the first thing on the agenda was a quick trip to the clinic so our son could get his staples removed. I can’t believe a week has past since the accident. The rest of the day we just sort of did our own things. My husband went fishing, I hung out did some reading and went for a walk and made a pan of no boil lasagna for dinner. And our son had more friends stop in for a visit. I must admit, it was a nice way to end a long weekend.

Did you do anything fun? I’d love to hear about it.