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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Quickly Life Can Change

In one week my life went from healthy and happy to sitting on an exam table facing a doctor who said a bunch of words that I thought I would never hear. She started with urgent and ended with cancer…..and from that word on I heard nothing else. I went numb!!!!

I had been having issues for three years and have seen numerous different doctors regarding these issues. Each doctor basically telling me the same three things….it’s part of getting older….I can’t see anything abnormal that would cause these symptoms….or give it time it may resolve itself (which basically was like saying I was crazy). Well, I had finally had enough and made one last appointment with a new specialist and went to this appointment alone two Monday’s ago. I left there an hour later with blood work orders,c.t. scan orders, and surgery scheduled one week from that day. I drove home numb,walked in the house and fell apart.

I shared the outcome of this appointment with my husband and son,called my daycare families to schedule the next 6 weeks off, and basically switch over to auto pilot the rest of the week. When Monday morning arrived I knew life could change in a matter of a few hours but we went into this surgery with high hopes and many prayers from family and friends.

Four and a half hours later I woke up and heard my husband whisper in my ear that everything was over and it was NOT cancer and everything went wonderful. This is a moment in life I will never forget.

Three days after that I was discharged and now here I am. I have a long recovery ahead of me. Since my tumor was too large and pushing on too many organs I was not a candidate for robotic surgery. I had to have open abdominal surgery with a vertical incision through almost all of my abdominal muscles. Which means I have a lot of work to do before I can give my stand up paddle board a try this summer but I will get there. Without a doubt!

I must admit, it has not been easy. I am not one to sit around and watch others do what I have done my entire married life. Although, with the amount of pain I have, there is really no other option. My husband and son have stepped right up and have been taking over everything, friends have brought meals and visitors have been stopping in continuously. Which all makes me so grateful for what I have. I couldn’t ask for a better support group. I plan to be back on the trail by spring, paddling by summer, and working out again as soon as I get the go ahead from my doctor.

For now blogs may be far and few between but I will be back with more  outdoor adventures as soon as I am able.

 

 

 

 

Home Alone!

On rare occasions I find myself home alone. And when I say rare, I mean hardly ever.

You all know my husband and I do almost everything together as far as activities go. However, there is one thing I am not willing to do …..that is ice fishing. I have tried it a few times when we first started dating but clearly it was not for me. You can’t say your surprised…..freezing temperatures, holding still in a very small ice shack for hours and wearing layers and layers of clothing….nope not my idea of fun. Although, I would never tell him he can’t go, which he did Saturday for the first time this winter. He left bright and early, our son was scheduled to work bright and early, which meant I had the entire house to myself. So I said my goodbyes and they left and I immediately made a list.

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I can get so much done in so little time when alone that it’s amazing. During the week some things are just impossible to try and accomplish with kids running around everywhere. So this was my moment to get it done.

First priority was to get the crock pot chili going so I could assemble some freezer meals later in the day. I love this chili recipe, it’s so, so, so simple but tasty and freezes wonderfully for my husband lunch on days we don’t have leftovers from the night before.

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Then I threw in a load of laundry and decided to get my husbands shirts ironed and out of the way. Ironing is not my favorite thing to do. And this is definitely one of the chores I can not do with kids hanging on my legs during the week.

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Next, it was time to clean the front hall where all my parents enter our home. The one thing that drives me crazy about winter is the “gravel yard” we are blessed with from the salt/stone mixture in parking lots everywhere. Shoes carry this yuck in and somehow my little ones find these little gravel pieces and attempt to eat them. So cleaning the front hall is often a daily chore, if not twice a day. While I was at it a complete vacuuming was also done.

Then it was time to switch the laundry, add another load, and get ready for the gym. I love morning workouts. They give you so much energy, are off the to do list, and it’s just a great way to start a day. I grabbed a snack, my gym bag and headed out the door.

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It’s then that I remembered our driveway was like an ice skating rink. The night before we had a freezing rain event for a few hours which left everything covered with a nice layer of solid ice. So I ended up taking a little detour before the gym to a local hardware store for a bag if salt.

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After the gym I returned home to fold laundry, shower and then I took a few hours of “me time” and went shopping for some items I have had on my list for awhile. Happily, I found everything I was looking for and then some….like usual! Those darn clearance racks get me every time….but I did find two awesome pair of yoga pants and another work shirt for my husband (that doesn’t need ironing..yehhh) so I had to purchase them.¬† IMG_3328

On the way home I decided on dinner, pasties for everyone. Easy, fast and yummy! Since Saturday is normally my day off from cooking dinner, this was as good as anything to throw in and enjoy.

It was a wonderful Saturday I must admit. I got everything on my list done and then some. I couldn’t ask for a better outcome. Oh, and by the way….ice fishing was a success!

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A Week Until Christmas….Are You Ready?

We have had one busy week. From getting all the last minute prep things done for Christmas to attending holiday parties….it’s been crazy.

Let’s see, our three Christmas gathering menus are made, my boys have their shopping done(not wrapped but at least done) and I have read my fair share of Christmas stories to my kiddos that I think I could tell them by memory. We even found time to do a little car shopping during the week….a bonus. All that being said, I feel like I am ready to conquer the next week.

Here is what I did for stress relief this week:

Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, lower body weights, and stretching

Sunday: gym: 40 minute elliptical, core and abs

Monday: home: weight lifting 30 minutes,

gym: 40 minute elliptical, abs and stretching

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: home: weight lifting 30 minutes

gym: 30 minute elliptical, lower body weights and abs

Thursday: home: weight lifting 30 minutes

Friday: rest

I decided to change up my ab routine this week by adding back into rotation inclined sit ups. It’s been years since I did this exercise and gosh could I feel it!!!! However, in only a week I have noticed great improvement and this makes me very happy.

I am really looking forward to some time off in the next two weeks since mornings are my favorite time to work out and during the work week this is not possible. I will admit, however, sleeping in tomorrow morning will be nice. It’s been a long but good week.

 

Workouts Of The Week and a Celebration For Us

It was a crazy schedule week for me which meant I really had no game plan as to what and when I would fit in any workouts. However, I did the best I could and I am happy to say I feel pretty good about this weeks workouts.

Take a look:

Saturday: gym workout: 40 minute elliptical and stretching

Sunday: gym workout: 30 minute elliptical, weights and stretching

Monday: 2 1/2 mile walk, 30 min recumbent bike, and stability ball exercises

Tuesday: gym workout: 30 minute elliptical and lower body weights, 1 1/2 mile walk in the morning

Wednesday: 3 mile trail hike on a local recreational trail

Thursday: home:30 minute recumbent bike and stability ball exercises

gym: 40 minute elliptical, abs and stretching

Friday: rest

I am feeling great about being back at the gym again on a regular basis. The endorphin high is absolutely awesome. Although, I won’t lie, getting there after a long day of chasing two one year olds and occupying a four year old is sometimes a challenge. With a little help and gentle push at times from my husband, we are getting back to our gym routine and I couldn’t be more happier.

As for the upcoming weekend, we hopefully will finish the Ahnapee Trail this weekend. 48 miles x2 (since we always have to return to our vehicle) and its taken us two spring and fall seasons to do it. The weather does not look too promising but we are hoping for the best. We don’t have much to finish so if its a little rain we can hike in that, snow on the other hand, it’s not going to happen.

After that I have a little surprise in store for my husband since we are celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary also this weekend. It’s going to be a busy, busy weekend but hopefully a fun one.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Workouts of the Week

I had another great week of workouts.This week I will start with Saturday since I left that off last weeks workout routine.

Here is this weeks workouts:

Saturday: gym workout which was 35 minutes on the elliptical, weights and stretching

Sunday: bluff and trail hiking at Devil’s Lake State Park

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Monday: 1 1/2 mile street walk

Tuesday: 30 minute incumbent bike and weights(at home), evening gym workout: 30 minute elliptical, 15 minute bike, and stretching

Wednesday: 1 1/2 mile street walk in the a.m. and 3 mile street walk in the evening

Thursday: 2 mile street walk in the morning, weights in the afternoon, and gym workout at night consisting of more weights & 30 minutes elliptical

Friday: rest

This week I took it easy a bit due to a sore neck which I saw the chiropractor for Monday and will again later today. Although, I still feel like I accomplished what I needed to for my health and sanity.

 

Together We Can Do Anything

I suppose it would be best to update you all on what’s been happening here with us.

If you have been following you know a few weeks ago my husband sustained a back injury and we have been waiting, wondering, and hoping for good news from the medical professionals. That wait is now over, we know what is wrong, what they wish to do to try and fix the problem, and we have also finally figured out what we want to do to fix the problem.

Without going into great detail, I will make this brief and simple. Our kayaks are hung, paddles stored, and all our kayaking equipment has been packed away for the summer and it’s not even the end of July! My husband has handed over his disc golf supplies to our son as an early birthday present since this will never be a possibility again. I will now be the person who carries the heavy pack when we hike. The weight machines at the gym will not be getting any use from him anytime soon if ever again and his primary place of exercise happens in a physical therapy room 2x’s a week for the unforeseeable future. His pain is controlled and for this we are thankful. Although, their plan of attack and our plan of attack are completely different. For now, he is very limited on what he can and cannot do. Thankfully some of the activities we do normally are very helpful for his recovery and we plan to continue all these with great hope of success. That being said, it’s a long recovery if even possible.

I have always believed that God does not give us more than we can handle. We are a very close couple and do almost everything together. Which means together I believe we can succeed at improving his condition without drastic measures that involve huge risks to his future. This is the road we have started to travel and my hope is that we eventually find the end. I know it going to be hard, long and sometimes no fun but together we can do anything. For now life must go on…..