Let’s Relive Summer Mid Winter…..

Who’s feeling like they have had enough of winter? I know I am.

As I often do at this time of year I thought I would take a look back at summer and all the fun that was had by us all. Let’s just say it’s something a bit more brighter, a bit more fun, and a bit more cheerful than looking outside my window at everything covered in WINTER!!!

Join me will you….

The view from atop Oberg Mountain.

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Water, sunshine, and two great friends…who could ask for more?

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Simply relaxing;-)

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Catch of the day.

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Yoga outside…..priceless!

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My second home.

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Freezing cold Lake Superior in July.

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Disc golf anyone?

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The bluest water in Wisconsin.

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Roses….oh, how I miss stopping to smell the roses.

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Homemade fly swatter constructed while sitting next to the campfire.

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It’s coming, summer is right around the corner. If you keep repeating this to yourself like I do we will all survive this winter. You gotta believe….

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Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours

As we all approach the Christmas weekend I thought I would take a few seconds of precious time and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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I hope you all enjoy your family and friends as we will be busy enjoying all of ours here during the next two weeks. I will return with a look back at 2016 in the new year.

Until then……Merry Christmas!

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52 Hike Challenge Officially Completed

If you all remember last year, near the end of September, I registered to do the 52 Hike Challenge along with my husband.

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Originally this was something I choose to do to keep me motivated through the long months of winter here in WI. Which was working out wonderfully at first. Then the holidays rolled around and it got to be a little harder to go outside when the temperatures dropped. Although, it did not stop us all together. If you recall, we even went for a family hike on Christmas Day.

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And shortly after that my hiking all came to a screaming halt for a while because of an unplanned abdominal surgery at the end of January. Obviously, my health came before any goals I had set prior to all this drama but I still had the knowledge in my mind that it is only 52 hikes in a total year and I REALLY wanted to finish. If only my body would have agreed with my mind after surgery all would have been good but clearly it did not. (And neither did my surgeon)

Although, about 9 weeks after surgery I did feel well enough to go on our preplanned trip to Arkansas and this was the first time I had put on my trail boots since being laid up. I remember it being a very emotional time…..for awhile there, while I was laying on my couch trying so hard to feel better, I did not think I would ever feel good enough to hike again. Granted, it was hard hiking in Arkansas and I ended up resting way more than normal on rocks and benches along the trail side, but I was there and doing it and that was all that mattered at that moment.

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Which now brings me to today. About three weeks ago, we complete the 52 Hike Challenge and honestly, even with 10 weeks off completely…..it was not that big of a challenge. It was fun, rewarding, and yes, it even gave me a reason to want to heal and feel better so I could attempt to finish before the year was up. Although, I have to give a big shout out to both my husband and son who helped me get through these rough few weeks after surgery. And also to two great friends who walked the local mall with me every morning during those long winter months so I did not have to walk alone when I was ready to begin rehabilitation.

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Without all these people I can’t say for sure I would have recovered as fast as I did and made it back to my beloved dirt trails as quickly as I did either.

So thanks everyone for helping me complete this goal!!!! I could not have done it without all of you.

 

A Day To Slow Down And Smell The Roses

Recently, I was asked by two friends if I could take a day off to spend in Door County, WI. The answer was YES…..I would love to take a day off. Which is exactly what I did Friday and joined them on a day of adventure.

I woke up early Friday morning and got in a great morning workout at the gym before picking them up and heading north. Our first stop was for coffee and soon after that we arrived ready to walk, shop and smell the roses.

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Door County, WI is always a beautiful place to visit. With it being so close to us, its an easy, fun, one day trip that offers everything from shopping, water activities, wine tasting, specialty food tasting, hiking, state parks and some fabulous restaurants.

We visited one of these great restaurants while there and had a fantastic pizza, bean wrap, and wine.

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The area is just now coming alive with color and activity for the season. So it was nice to beat the crowds and take in all Door County has to offer without the hustle and bustle of a million people.

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It was great to escape daily life and just have some fun with two great friends.

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Do you ever escape for a girls getaway?

Where do you usually go?

Two Weeks Into My Recovery

Today marks two weeks since I went through open abdominal surgery to remove a very large tumor. Honestly, the first week is quite a blur. I was in the hospital three of it, medicated, and very sore, to put it mildly.  Today I am feeling a little improvement everyday and find myself able to do more for myself little by little.

For someone that does not sit a whole lot, I must admit, it is my happiest position at the moment. If I sit still I feel no pain which is quite wonderful. However, sitting still is not my favorite thing to do. My first outing since coming home from the hospital was to see my surgeon last week. I was nervous, yet excited to talk with her and see what I could start doing as far as exercise goes. Little did I know that my abs need more time on the inside than the outside to heal and be strong enough for exercise…..so all I am allowed to do is walk……for the next 4 weeks!!!!!! OMG, I may go crazy…..warning to all my friends and family…this could be bad! This was devastating to me, even though at this point, I do not feel ready to do any exercise at all. It was still devastating.

Besides spending every single day in my fat pants(they are the least irritating on my incision), I have been starting to do other time occupying things. I can finally sit up to 15 minutes on a hard, upright chair, so I have started doing puzzles again.

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I have also started redoing our trip plans that we had already scheduled in the near future. My husband and I had an exploration and hiking trip planned prior to surgery and we have been cleared to go on this trip, at this point, from my doctor. However, hiking after sitting for 6 weeks will be challenging at best. So I have started researching different activities and hot spots in the state we will be visiting so we have something to do while we are there. This is always fun for me since I am the travel planner of our family.

As a family we all decided this would be our opportunity to watch a movie that has been on my list forever…..A Walk In The Woods. I always see these movies I want to watch but never make time to actually sit for that long and watch the entire thing. Well, this was perfect, all I am doing is sitting, so why not try and watch a movie.  Let me say, this was a fun movie to watch. Great shots of the AP trail, great story line, but WAY TO FUNNY TO WATCH AFTER SURGERY. Laughing hurts and hurts a lot after surgery…..and I laughed many times during this movie. Great idea turned bad really fast.

Other than that, I have been spending much of my time here….either in the recliner or on the couch.

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I am never far from my heating pads. I spent the first 5 days sleeping in that recliner. My meals have all been served to me on a tray in that recliner by my amazing husband.

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And walking consists of laps around my house numerous times a day. It makes for some very long days and nights but slowly it’s improving.

During the week I have had friends stop over and sit for hours while we drink tea and pass time. They stay here while I sleep to help me get up(I still cannot sit up by myself if in bed) so my husband can work, and many of them have brought meals to us to make life a bit easier for my boys.

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It has been eye opening to see what great friends I have. And simply amazing how great my husband and son have been through all of this.

My goals for the next week are to start walking further distances before the pain starts, sit up in bed alone, and try to help with dinner preparations to ease my husbands load after he works all day.

 

 

 

The Crack Of Thunder vs. The Growl Of A Snow Plow

I came to the conclusion this weekend that I would much rather wake up to the crack of thunder than the growl of a snow plow early on a weekend morning. I am happy to report that the precipitation the professionals all had predicted for our area Sunday morning fell in the form of rain and I could not have had a bigger smile on my face. Thank the Lord above for this being rain and not snow. We would have been buried!

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Let’s take a look at what else happened on a positive note this weekend.

Lunch out with a friend who I have not seen in months. It was great to catch up and chat.    IMG_1865

Two great workouts accomplished

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Homemade lasagna with this recipe

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That pretty much sums up my weekend. Warm temps, good friends, great workouts and comfort food….who could ask for anything more?

With Christmas being a little over a week away our calendar is pretty full with family and friends get togethers coming up. We have two parties to attend and I am hoping to fit in some vehicle shopping somewhere in that mess. My boys attempted to finish good ole mom for Christmas yesterday and they came home a few hours later ready to both take up drinking from the mass chaos happening at this time of year in the stores. I secretly chuckled …..alright maybe not secretly….I actually laughed out loud at their frustration. I often ask to just buy my own gifts to make life easier on them but every year I am turned down and they ask for just a list. I think I may be getting closer and closer to them giving in and letting me do this after this years experience.

Do you buy for your spouse for the holiday?

Is it more important to get them what they ask for or get them something you think they would like?

 

 

Our Thanksgiving Day

My day started at 6a.m. when I woke up. With only us three to prepare Thanksgiving meal for I was not a bit concerned about being ready. So as I have every year for the past few I started my day with a workout. Only this year I had a workout buddy. I had been telling a friend of mine for quite sometime that exercise is the best mood elevator in the world. Not to mention it makes you feel better, healthier and so on. I think after hearing me preach this for so long she finally decided to give it a try and that is exactly what we did today.

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It must have been meant to be since she ironically received a free “guest pass” in the mail the day before Thanksgiving.

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I was very happy to have the company and she did fabulous for her first time.

After the gym I arrived home to find my husband preparing to smoke a turkey breast for the first time ever.

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Since this takes significantly longer than preparing an entire bird I was able to do some prep work on the whole turkey we had also planned on cooking, IMG_2915

get some laundry done (it really never ends),

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and dig out our Christmas decor containers.

By mid afternoon our house was smelling very yummy. The smoked turkey breast was finished and was set aside to rest,

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the table was set, and the roasted bird was ready for carving.

IMG_2927We ate Thanksgiving dinner as a family and the rest of the night is history. A little lounging, a little puzzle time, and a little more lounging. We all agreed it was a pretty awesome day.