A Big Spring Welcome

Spring has finally arrived and I am LOVING the extra daylight hour we now have. I can prepare dinner and still have time to enjoy sunshine….how wonderful is that. Anyone that suffers from seasonal depression is well aware of this I am sure, since it really is a game changer in how life is lived for me.

I plan to stop taking my “sunshine medicine” at the end of this week. Since I have seen more of the natural sunshine than I have seen in the past five months I think it’s time.

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My brain has been in overdrive at night when I lay down to sleep trying to think of new places to explore in the state. Since this is the only time I really have time to think without being interrupted, I typically will have a list of places to research by morning. Which then ends up taking me until the weekend to actually research…again, time is always a scarce factor during the week days.

I have also found my way back to some nearby trails for my nightly walks instead of city streets which offer boredom and sore ankles. Last week one evening it was suppose to be gym night but the sun was shining and the temps were tolerable so we changed up routine and ventured to one of my favorite trails.

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Birds were chirping all around us.

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I prayed all the way there the trail would be clear of snow and ice and my prayers were answered. It was clear of all winter leftovers and this made me even happier.

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The ice on the Bay of Green Bay is showing sever signs of stress which to our surprise we still saw 4 people not willing to give up ice fishing and making the most of what was left of winter. Crazy in my opinion, but more power to them if they feel a fish is worth risking there lives at this stage of winter.

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And let me just say, watching the sunset on this trail is exactly what I needed to end my day. It feels good to be feeling alive and enjoying time outdoors again. I am looking forward to so much more to come but for now, I will completely settle for this.

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There Is Just Not Enough Hours In A Day and My Workouts of the Week

I had every intention of posting regularly this week although as you can see this plan did not happen. After spending four days and countless hours in the hospital with my father-in-law and then going back to work on Monday, I was tired. During the week we were left with only the evening hours to visit with him after working all day, which used up every ounce of energy I had left.

Let me catch you up a bit on my last week and show you what I did squeeze in for workouts. Like I said, Monday I returned to work and I must admit routine was nice. After sitting, walking the halls of a hospital and trying to wrap my head around how a cardiac ICU unit functions, I needed my routine life back. These nurses in this unit are IMPRESSIVE and that is an understatement. From patient care to family care they have it all and they even manage to throw in a little fun into the mix at times also.

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We could not have wished for a better team of professional to care for my father-in-law. I also found it very comforting and at the same time odd that we actually made friends with other patients families in the CICU waiting area. Since visitation is limited much of the time while in this unit we spent a lot of time just waiting for our turn to have some time in the room with my father-in-law. During this waiting time other patients families would talk, share and discuss what they where doing in this area also. It’s comforting to know that others are going through the same thing, struggling with the same issues and can relate.

As you can imagine, dinners were pretty scarce this week as was everything else. However, I am blessed to have a pretty good setup of workout equipment right here at home so I was able to squeeze in what I could in between nap times with my little ones and get in a workout here and there. Here’s what I did accomplish for exercise this week:

Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical

Monday: 20 minute recumbent bike, weight lifting, stretching

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: recumbent bike 30 minutes, weights and stability ball routine

Thursday: rest

Friday:rest

Not my greatest week of workouts but I still managed to get in a few sweat sessions and that is good enough for me. Toward the end of the week I started coming down with some sort of nasty virus and was feeling pretty rough. Which in turn made me decide to just call it a week and rest when I could.I am looking forward to life getting back on track in this next week.

 

I’ll Take This Any Day

Sunday when I went around our home and reset our clocks a part of me wanted to just dig a cave and hibernate for the next few months. Something in me changes during this time of year and as much as I want to fight it…..I just don’t know how. I struggle through every day and literally drive my family crazy counting down the days until it’s time to change back the clocks again.

 

Despite my mood, life must go on. Monday I truly expected to have a horrible day. That one hour time change in a child’s life can literally cause them to crumble. However, I was happily surprised when all my daycare children showed up bright eyed and ready for a day of fun. What a wonderful way to start the week.

Take some happy children and mix them with some extreme temperatures in the month of November here in WI and life only got better. We actually played outside with no jackets and the sun shining on our already fading summer tanned faces. How glorious this was….

I had to laugh, which I know will come back and bite me in the %$# eventually since we are basking in warmth and sunshine and some individuals already have their Christmas trees up in their homes. I know, nothing like rushing the season, I almost choked when I saw this driving by a home the other day. I can’t help but wonder how much of a shock it’s going to be when this warm, summer like few days is over and I wake up to a cold, white covering on my lawn one morning. UGGGG, let’s not think about that!!!!

Talking about Christmas, did you know that Starbucks has released their holiday cups, stores/malls are playing Christmas music and everyone is already talking up black Friday shopping events. Maybe this warmth has me thinking summer yet because apparently everyone else is ready for the holidays except me. Plus, whatever happened to Thanksgiving…..it does come before Christmas???

Either way, I am going to take and spend every last moment outside before Mother Nature decides this needs to come to an end and winter has to arrive.

What affect does the time change have on you?

How about your children….do they adjust well or does it take some time?

My Countdown To Spring Begins…

Every year about this time I start counting down the days till Spring.

Easter is usually the goal for me. It is my favorite holiday! It has nothing to do with a family gathering, the food, the pastel colors in every store you shop or Easter egg hunts. It is simply because this is normally the first real outing we take as a family into the outdoors and share Easter our way. After being cooped up in the house for months with freezing temperatures outside and snow everywhere, I look forward to Easter more than anyone I know.

So what do I do until Easter….I wait patiently (well, sometimes not so patiently, but I try). After the Christmas and New Year holidays is when winter really sets in for me. Although, as a family, we have so much to look forward to come spring that I do really try and prepare. Spring is when the ice turns into water again, which means our rivers start running, trails start thawing out and my kayak and stand up paddle board hanging on the garage wall looks more and more appealing every day:) We have in the past been known to paddle next to ice chunks in the river. Although, I will admit, I am not a big fan of this. You want to know what cold is, try paddling in March.

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In preparation for all this, I really concentrate on my workouts. You cannot sit around all winter and expect to just jump back into whitewater kayaking,standup paddling or hiking long distances without some pain. Which is why I work hard all winter to stay conditioned to do what I wait to do all winter long. I find it so rewarding to hike up a cliff without even a thought of, “can I make it?” Or paddle our first river of the year and wonder, “will my arms hurt when we get to the take out point?” Typically, I worry more about whether or not I will do something stupid and flip over into the ice cold river…but we don’t need to discuss that.

Another way we prepare is by attending our favorite expo that is held every year in Madison, WI. Canoecopia  2014 is at the beginning of March. It is the one place where we can go as a family and actually fit in with the crowd and have a conversation with people that do what we do. Since we have started kayaking, we have seen more and more people with the colorful floating vessels atop there vehicles on the highway. Sadly, they are used mainly on lakes a time or two and then left to collect dust hanging in the rafters. And even sadder, very few are whitewater kayaks, which is what we enjoy. Who knows, maybe it’s just Wisconsin, but the lack of inactive people always seems to amaze me.

As far as our Easter outing goes, we typically will plan a hike, praying that most of the snow and ice have melted away. Believe it or not, a few years ago Easter was when I consumed my first freeze dried meal. We hiked up a cliff up north and prepared our Easter meal from atop looking over the horizon. One year we packed a picnic lunch, loaded our packs and headed to one of my favorite lookouts, Devil’s Lake.

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Another year we hiked Rib Mountain in Wausau.

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Another year we had the best Easter on the books so far. We snowshoed into a yurt on lake Superior for the Easter weekend. Now this was an adventure. We even had company join us one of the mornings. A whole pack of wolves were a little too near by for my liking.

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This year we have not decided quite yet where will celebrate, all I know is as long as it’s outside it will be a fabulous holiday.

I would like to just point out, we do invite our family to our Easter celebration every year but so far not a single one has decided to spend Easter with us. They just don’t know what they are missing….

So for the time being, I will continue to mark off every day until Spring arrives. No one will be waiting more for the days of ice cream cones,

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picnics

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or some fun filled days of paddling more than I will.

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Until then let the sun shine and the days get longer…