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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Enjoying The Little Things

I have been really concentrating on enjoying the little things during this hectic time of year. With rude holiday shoppers, crazy drivers rushing from one place to another, and everyone stressed about the upcoming holidays it’s sometimes hard to find happiness. That’s why for me, I just concentrate on the little things to bring me happiness.

Lately, I have been feeling this need to come up with some new recipes for my family. I feel as if I have been stuck in a rut preparing the same old dinners and felt the need to change things up a bit. So I have been concentrating on making one new recipe a week….so far we have tried shredded brussel sprouts and glazed pork loin.

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While we are on the topic of food, I have also been enjoying the colder temps because I can make as much soup as I wish and everyone is willing to eat it. This is something that does not happen in the summer months.

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Along with good old comfort food, like roasted root vegetables and casseroles which are always a favorite at meal time and oh so easy to prepare.

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As the weather gets colder we find ourselves doing more short hikes around the area than longer ones. This is hard for me since I could literally walk forever on a dirt trail but at the same time, I am so thankful we have been able to still get out. We see so much wildlife when we hike here in WI and this is something that always brings a smile to my face.

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This last hike we did was cold….like really cold. And in one week the ponds have froze over and this means my hiking days are coming to an end fast here.

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This is not something that brings me as much joy as it brings my little kiddos that show up at my doorstep every morning for daycare but it is something special. Every year during one of the first snow falls my husband will get all dressed up and go outside and build a snowman that greets them bright and early in the morning. And that first snowman has been built already this year….and it brought such joy to so many people from neighbors to friends and family.

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Last but not least, let me show you our second jig saw puzzle of the winter. Normally we redo our stack of puzzles because let’s face it, there is no way to memorize where every piece goes in a 1000 piece puzzle so they really never get boring. However, once in awhile we will see one that just screams from the store shelf…..”buy me and put me together!” which this one did…..it’s so summer like that who could resist….right.

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What brings you joy in a hectic time of year?

Let’s Chat Over Some Tea….

Let’s chat a bit over a nice cup of hot tea.

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Hunting season is in full swing and this is a big stress topic for me. I am not fond of hunting…well not really hunting per say….just the part that includes the gun! So for me, when my husband says he is going hunting for the day…the busier I can keep myself the better I will be until I see him arrive home safe and sound. And hiking during hunting season offers a bit more stress since I often think the gun shots are closer than they actually are. Soon we will be adding blaze orange to our hiking attire to hopefully not be mistaken for an animal and shot at.

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Then you have the colors that are changing in the trees surrounding our state. Which is a photographers paradise….and our son is a photographer. Well, this also brings stress for this here mom since the same place my husband stumbled across a bear while hunting, just so happens is the same place my son says he is going to try and capture some fall photos. And let’s face it, a camera is far from carrying a gun for protection….so at least he asked dad to join him(with the gun) and he armed himself with the bear spray. I was a bit more at ease then.

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You all won’t believe what I received in the mail this past week. A “save the date” invitation for an upcoming wedding of one of the first children I ever cared for in my home. OMG, did this make me feel old. Even though I knew she had gotten engaged, had introduced me to her fiancee, and I even got to see the ring…..the invitation is what really made me think back and just say WOW….I have cared for children for a long time!!!!

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I am learning more and more every day how to live with my new limitations since going through major surgery 8 months ago. I am not going to say I like it by any means, but I am learning to live with it. I am still not up to what I weight lifted prior to surgery, which in all honesty, I don’t think I ever will be back to where I was. Although, I am ok with this since weight lifting was never my favorite anyhow. Yoga is a challenge….especially on my right side. However, I am not willing to give up yet on yoga since it brings me such calmness and peace. I do what I can and accept it for what it is. I am happy to say my cardio is back where I left it and even more on some days. This is awesome, since cardio is my favorite, stress relief.

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Even though fall officially just started….I really miss summer already. Like, REALLY miss summer!!!!!

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That being said, we are in full swing of some big home repairs and this makes me very happy. I hate summer home repairs, so we put them off until the fall and go crazy during the weekends.

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Have you all seen them….these mini 100 calorie bars of yumminess? I am by no means a chocoholic but when I am craving chocolate I will eat it no matter what the calorie count is and later feel guilty. I came across these in the store the other day and grabbed 4 bars just for me. Now, when that moment hits and I NEED chocolate, I can eat one of these with very little guilt.

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I have to say, since the weather has gotten cooler I have found myself rotating some of our favorite stove top and casserole type meals into our weekly meals plans. Summer is when we grill often and I rarely make casseroles.

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That’s it for me today. Got anything you want to share? Go ahead, I love hearing from you.