We Still Do….After 25 Years

This past week we spent as a family in Sedona, Arizona to celebrate our 25th anniversary. To celebrate this occasion we did something somewhere very special to us and it could not have been more perfect.

20181021_084957

That picture right there is Doe Mountain…a place that will forever have great meaning in our hearts. That is where I dreamed of saying I Do all over again and my dreams came true on this day.

IMG_1885

IMG_1886

We married very young, we have had many struggles, we have gone through many things together and never once have we left each others side through it all. Today, looking back, I can honestly say that it all made us stronger and so much more grateful for each other. So to make it to this milestone in our lives together where we could celebrate in a big way was something we worked very hard to do. We came up with the idea a year ago to renew our wedding vows on our anniversary but I wanted to do this at the top of this mountain…not on ground level. Yes, crazy I am…..but I was determined to find a minister that could and would be willing to make this happen for us. So I started contacting ministers in the Sedona area and I was quickly shot down by six of them as soon as they heard my destination. That is, until I contacted the 7th one on my list and after talking with him, he kindly agreed to hike with us to the top, let us pick our place atop the summit, and perform the ceremony all while our son photographed the entire time.

On Tuesday, October 23, 2018 we arrived at the trailhead parking lot and waited patiently the arrival of our minister, Reverend Ken Froessel.

IMG_1884

We said our hellos and began our hike up the mountain.

IMG_1887

IMG_1888

This was to be a completely casual affair. However, our kind and thoughtful minister asked if we would mind if he changed into his hiking boots to make the climb instead of his normal wedding attire shoes he arrived in. I simply said of course, we are planning to wear our boots, he may as well also.

We said our vows on this point looking out into the canyon. It was perfect. Something we will never forget.

20181023_110149

Parent's Vow Renewal low-9

Parent's Vow Renewal low-16

After all was said and done we took some more pictures, he presented us with a copy of the vows we had just promised to each other, and then said our goodbyes as he headed back down the mountain while we stayed up to enjoy more of the summit.

IMG_1890

Parent's Vow Renewal low-18

Parent's Vow Renewal low-19

Parent's Vow Renewal low-23

It was a dream come true. A day that will forever hold great meaning in our hearts.

Wedding

Parent's Vow Renewal low-26

I could not be more honored to be married to this man. He is my rock….the person that I know, no matter what, I can lean on. Here’s to many more ahead of us babe.

20181023_110642

 

From Sunscreen and Bug Spray To Chap Stick and Hand Warmers

Yes, summer is no doubt over here in WI. I have traded my sunscreen and bug spray out for chap stick and hand warmers and I don’t like it!!!! I know I know, I should be used to this by now but it’s no secret I dislike winter with a passion.

Anyhow, I thought I would share with you my first walk in over a month in a forest setting that was on my own free will, not meant for any sort of exercise, and it was simply just to get out, breathe, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors before old man winter freezes everything into a solid state of miserable.

IMG_1699

IMG_1698

We here had a rough week this past week. My husband had some nasty illness that really leveled him. He came home from work one day early to sleep, slept on the couch four nights in a row, ran a high fever with not much relief from any fever reducing medications, and hardly ate much all week. So finally, when he said he was feeling up to doing something, we took a walk. Fresh air never hurt anyone is my thought.

IMG_1709

IMG_1701

It was gorgeous in the woods. Trees were all colors and the ground was just as colorful. Never have I seen a purple mushroom like I found on todays walk.

IMG_1712

IMG_1708

It felt so good to get out and enjoy a few hours of nothing…..just nature.

IMG_1716

IMG_1717

It makes me sad winter is right around the corner. Although, like most things, it will pass. I can just hope it passes by quickly and with not much snow and ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I Turn Another Year Older I Have A Few Wishes

Recently I celebrated a birthday….a very low key birthday just as I like them to be. However, I did make a few birthday wishes…some of which may or may not come true. Here is what I wished for…

I wish for good health for my whole family.

I wish for peace.

I wish for winter to be over and done.(We received 5+ inches of more snow on my actual birthday….wish fail!)

I wish for kids to feel safe at school again.

I wish for parents to put down their phones, close their laptops, and turn off their televisions to be able to LISTEN to their children.

I wish for real, healthy, chemical free food to feed our families.

I wish for families to make sharing a meal around the dining room table a meaningful event again.

I wish for people of every race, color, and religion to look past these three things and just be together as one.

I wish for equal rights for women.

I wish for calorie free chocolate.

I wish for better healthcare for everyone.

I wish everyone would learn the number on the scale does not dictate healthy or unhealthy.

I wish for three day weekends.

I wish people would stop thinking so hard and just live in the moment.

I wish for more time in a day.

I wish for a self cleaning house.

As you can see, I, like many of you, could probably wish forever and some wishes may and some may not come true. At any age I believe it’s better to just make everyday count and live everyday as it could be the last. You really never know…so why not be happy now instead of trying to be happy later.

 

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….

IMG_3545

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.

IMG_3807

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.

IMG_8582

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.

IMG_6264

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.

IMG_1870

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.

IMG_9801

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

IMG_9796

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

IMG_9798

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.

IMG_9802

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.

IMG_20161126_0802446_rewind

That should do it for today.

Anything your curious about….let me know?

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

 

 

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow….

Well, it’s here, 3.7 inches of the fluffy, white covering fell on Sunday and this meant life for me got a bit lot more depressing. I miss green grass, green leaves, and warmth. Suffering with seasonal depression is real everyone and it hits hard in our house when it begins to snow. However, as always, I hold my head high and try my best to stay positive….and by this I mean, I am positive that someday I will never have to endure another winter like WI winters again. Someday…..

So let’s talk about what does bring me happiness…like exercise. Here is what I did this week in the happiness department:

Sunday: 3.4 mile hike

IMG_6372

Monday: 3 mile mall walk…yes you read that correctly…..our first mall walking laps of the winter….ugggg!

Tuesday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, rowing and abs with a short stretch session

Wednesday: 3 mile mall walk and floor weights routine at home

Thursday: 3 mile mall walk

Friday: rest

Saturday: 1.5 mile freezing cold hike(check out the temperature when we arrived at the trailhead)

gym: 30 minute elliptical, rowing and my first attempt at the new addition to our gym….the Synergy 360 Circuit.

IMG_6410

This week was a bit odd. My husband hurt his shoulder so we swayed away from the gym most of the week and concentrated on walking instead. Mid week the stomach bug plagued one of my kiddos which meant some disinfecting at nap time instead of exercise for me. And then, near the end of the week we got a bit of unnerving family news that threw me for a loop which then made us change up our weekend plans. Add in the snow storm we are experiencing while I sit here and type….and well, let just say it’s a good week to have over with.

 

 

 

When Something Is Not Working Change It

I am a firm believer in this statement,“When something is not working change it!”

The older I get the easier it is to just simply say….whatever, who cares, what do you got to loose, etc. to others that ask advise from me. I learned a long time ago that everyone makes mistakes and we have all learned from them. However, I am at a point in my life where there are definitely some things I do not like and I am determined to change them one way or another. On the other hand, I am at a very content point in my life and am very happy where I am in many areas. Although, I know in my heart I am just not quite where I wish to be yet. Close….just not quite.

Which brings me to the big question, can one ever be completely happy? I mean truly happy, down to the core, to our inner soul? And if so, will we know when this is?

I just don’t know if its possible. Don’t we all need something to drive us through everyday? Something that gives us a reason to wake up every morning and face the world we live in? Something that gives us a reason to continue on a path toward that happiness we all seek out of life.

It scares me to wonder if I find true, complete happiness, whatever that may mean, will I find something else to not like. Isn’t this what life is all about after all? Seeking something, achieving it and striving for the next big thing that brings us happiness.

Do you think it’s possible to be truly happy in all areas of life?

Are you a dream chaser or do you settle for good enough?

Sunday…Time To Reflect and Look Ahead

Last week I found satisfying. Life matters calmed down, I did not struggle to find time to exercise, and I even enjoyed a few moments of relaxation.

Let’s see, if you remember I mentioned last Sunday that I plan to share what the upcoming workouts will look like to try and keep myself focused and accountable all at the same time. If you missed it, click the link and you will see what the plan was for last week.

Here is what I actually did accomplish last week:

Sunday: gym:elliptical

2.5 mile walk outside

Monday: yoga with a friend

IMG_5362

Tuesday: home:20 minute recumbent bike, weight lifting

gym: 30 minute elliptical, weights, stretching

****we ended up swapping steps for the gym tonight due to rain

Wednesday: steps and hill walking

Thursday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, weight lifting, stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday:  gym: 30 minute elliptical, stretching

Which now brings me to next week which will hopefully look something like this:

Sunday: trail walk

Monday: steps and hill walking

Tuesday: gym

Wednesday: rest- dinner date with my brother

Thursday:steps and hill walking

Friday: rest

Saturday: hike….hopefully

Am I happy….I am.

Could I have done more….sure, but why?

I feel good about what I did accomplish and that is really all that matters.

What about you?

Do you look back on the week and wonder if you could have done more?