Finally February…What’s Next On The Agenda?

A few more weeks to go until we change our clocks once again and life starts looking a little brighter and much more fun in my eyes.

Typically by this time of year, I have already starting planning our summer excursions, booked some camp sites, and made numerous other plans to fill up our summer calendar. This year, however, has been a bit different…..I have done none of this. UGGGG! I have been, in all honesty, unmotivated since we returned from Tennessee to do any of this. Life has been chaos and I just can’t seem to catch a break long enough to even consider summer planning.

I have been keeping up with my pledge to try at least one new recipe a week for our family dinners. And so far, we have found some real winners. Like beef with pepperocino peppers in the slow cooker. The easiest recipe ever since you literally take your beef roast and lay it in the slow cooker. Dump the jar of pepperocinos with the juice over the roast. Add a shimmy shake of Worcestershire sauce and a tsp of beef bouillon to the mixture and cover and turn it on. Taaaadaaaa….6-8 hours later you shred it up and serve how you wish. I layered whole wheat rolls with cheese and baked them until they were melted. Then I added the meat and served it with a side salad. A complete meal, with little work and very tasty to end a long day.

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With February normally being the month I struggle with the most, so far it has been ok.I have been keeping busy thanks to many different things on my plate at one time. With a trip disaster in January to TN, I am still fighting with the airlines for refunds. I have made and have had plans with friends cancelled due to illnesses(on their end) numerous times. And I have been doing my best to keep a level head about some work issues that have been plaguing me.

I recently went to dinner with my brother to a restaurant I had not been to in at least 15 years and was happily surprised by the remodel job. The place was beautiful but the food was mediocre at best. Next month it is my turn to choose the restaurant and I think I might try Thai for the first time ever. I love that my brother has a broad sense of taste, since then we have many different options to choose from. Often, when I go out with my husband, it’s to the same three restaurants and even though its nice, I sometimes wish he was a bit more adventurous when it came to trying new things.

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February at the gym has significantly gotten less crowded. Normally by February I am so ready to be outside doing something active, however, this year I am not quite there yet. I am loving the gym and my time to do what I love. I have been concentrating on strengthening my abs and core along with my upper body again. Paddling season is not that far off and after taking it easy all last summer due to my abdominal surgery and the summer before due to my husbands disc herniation….this summer I plan to paddle as much as possible.

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We have a bunch of birthdays coming up in the next few weeks and no real plans as of yet to celebrate them. For mine, I am hoping to get a nice dinner out somewhere…..maybe Hibachi/Sushi….we shall see.

There is also an REI garage sale date coming up and unless there is a snowstorm that stops me from making this two hour drive to our nearest REI, I have the calendar marked and the gift cards are burning a hole in my pocket. On the list….a new pair of Keen hiking boots for yours truly. Mine have taken me many miles through Minnesota, Tennessee, Arizona, Michigan, Utah, Arkansas, and all over Wisconsin. I think it’s time to let them rest and break in a new pair.

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And come next month our clocks will once again be changing. Daylight will be longer, snow will begin to melt away leaving mud around every corner. And we will slowly start to venture back outside and start making memories again of times better spent somewhere other than in the four walls of our house. Ohhhh, how I wait patiently for this month to pass.

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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….

Moms Can Have Fun Too

Why is it that after becoming a mom and raising our children most of us often feel we are too old to have fun? This is not the case ladies. Giving birth does not mean giving up on life goals of your own to give your children everything they could ever hope and dream for in life. It may mean putting them on hold for quite some time, but believe me, there is life after raising kids. You may ask where I am going with this statement….well, let me tell you.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend with two of my closest friends on a lake at one of their cabins. One is very new to kayaking, one is very new to any water sports, and I, as you all know, would live in the water if it did not freeze like a brick here in WI during the winter. We arrived to find the lake quite rough. Actually, in all honesty, the friend that owns the cabin called us before even leaving home and said its was very windy and we could reschedule if we wanted because the lake was too rough for her to even consider going into. I relayed that message to by husband and son and we all had the same thought…..what, too rough….not possible. We headed out the door minutes later.

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Anyhow, we arrived to find waves and my girlfriend repeating that we were crazy to want to paddle the lake. It took some time but eventually we got her into her kayak and us three ladies took our first paddle together. For extra assistance, my husband was not far behind just in case. A few strokes of her paddle and she admitted that it was not what she expected it to be. Her boat took the waves well and she did just fine. Clark Lake-4

Our next adventure of the day was tubing…..which if you recall two of us did a few weeks ago with not even the right type of tubes. This time, however, we used the proper type of tube and even though they both thought they were going to watch this adventure…. I would not take no for an answer. It’s too rough, my back will hurt, my hair will get messed up, I am not made to tube…..whateverrrrrr, lets do it!!!! And we all did.

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A big THANKS goes out to our husbands and my son. One for driving the boat, one husband assisting with the rope and ready to dive in for assistance, and my son for capturing this moment on camera from the boat. We had a fantastic time and some great laughs together. No one regretted this activity and we all were so happy to share it together.

After this it was time for warm clothes and margaritas by the campfire. IMG_4583

Maybe we forget as mom’s that fun can be had by all. Of course we want our children to enjoy life and grow up to be happy and as the parent we need to be the responsible one to say no that’s too dangerous or yes go for it. We make them wear their bike helmets, life jackets, shin guards and bandage them when they fall. However, that does not mean that when the time is right and our kids are grown up old enough to fend for themselves that we can’t go back to being a bit of an adventurer and try new things. I always say, life is too short to die before you have lived so go for it and live big. I plan to never say, I wish I had done this or that…..I plan to go with no regrets.

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Are you a mom that has raised kids and find yourself scared to try new adventures?

Why do you hold yourself back?

Are you living to die or dying to live?????

 

Kayaking Waupaca’s Chain Of Lakes

During the holiday weekend we had the opportunity to spend a day paddling Waupaca’s Chain Of Lakes as a family. Our son had both jobs off and this meant we were going to do some serious paddling for the entire day.

(If you recall, my husband and I made this trip once before and it was a disaster from start to finish, so we were very happy to see sunny skies for this trip.)

I can’t even begin to tell you all how beautiful this area is. We will be returning without a doubt in the near future. We ended up paddling, swimming, relaxing, fishing and exploring with the camera gear seven lakes in this chain. All of which are highly used for SUP and kayakers…..with Long Lake being the only one we explored that allowed big boats and a wake.

Here are some pictures from Manomin Lake, Knight Lake, Marl Lake, Lake Orlando, Beasley Creek, Long Lake, and Pope Lake. All of which are completely connected.

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We put in at the pubic boat launch at Knight Lake bridge. Here you will find a large parking area and a porta potty. You can go either direction to reach all of these lakes. By far, my favorite of them all is Marl Lake which is the only lake that offers this gorgeous aqua color. It also has a public dock which offers a nice break for the kids to swim, parents to rest and if need be, at the top of the stone step hill there is another bathroom. The other direction from Knight Lake bridge, was Orlando Lake, Beasley Creek and Long Lake. Beasley Creek we needed to walk our kayaks through since the water level was so low. Although, it was a nice walk, not long at all and offered us time to chill in the water.

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When you enter Long Lake from Beasley Creek, you will be able to get back in and paddle more, but this is not a slow wake lake, so watch for many go fast boats!!!!

*****If you have any questions about this area or the lakes we paddled, feel free to send me a message or leave a comment. I will do what I can to help you experience this beautiful area as we did.

*****As an added bonus I would like to share with you all some of our son’s moments captured during this gorgeous day. These last two pictures are courtesy of Quade Byrnes Photography.

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Taking It Easy….But Still Having Fun

Ahhhh, what a weekend we had.

After suffering for almost the entire week from paddling Lake Michigan the weekend before, I had decided going into this past weekend that I was going to take it easy. I was determined not to touch a paddle of any kind. My water toy this weekend would be a blow up inner tube. That left my husband with a hard choice….his kayak or my stand up paddle board. Both of which would be fun where we were headed but after taking a look at the wind direction/speed he ended up taking his kayak. And in the end it was a good choice. IMG_4400

We arrived at a friends cabin mid morning to find small whitecaps on the lake…..which means FUNNNNN in the life of a whitewater kayaker. My hubby ended up paddling his way in the waves to the beach located at the other end of the lake while I gladly boarded the pontoon and made my way to the beach this way. When we arrived I boarded my tube and relaxed until the chills set in.

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Thankfully the beach was nice and calm and we all had a great time soaking up some sunshine. IMG_4387

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After some time at the beach, I talked my friend into having her husband pull us both back to the cabin in our tubes. Neither of us had ever tubed before but there is a first time for everything…right? Granted, we did go very slowly because remember, I was taking it easy and hoping to end this weekend with NO PAIN! Which I am happy to say, I did accomplish.

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After our little water adventure back to the cabin, we all changed into dry, warm clothes and prepared dinner over an open campfire.

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What a blessing it is to have such wonderful friends that love to have fun in the sun. I can’t wait to do it again…..and maybe, just maybe I will be ready to go a bit faster in a tube behind the boat by that time.

 

 

Let’s Go Paddling

Saturday my husband and I decided to paddle somewhere we have never paddled before….Cave Point County Park in Door County. We have hiked and explored here many, many times before but have never ventured out into the big open water with our kayaks. Seeing this beautiful place from another perspective was so nice.

We packed up our gear,

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grabbed an iced coffee for the road and

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checked the weather and wind direction one last time before heading out.

We arrived to see the water was calm and calling our names. Not quite calm enough for me to open the dry bag and risk taking out my camera at the gorgeous rock caves, but calm enough to grab a few pics here and there of the other areas.

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I was amazed by how many other groups had decided to do this same thing. There were kayakers everywhere. From guided classes going on to private parties just out enjoying the day.

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Thankfully our son was not along since we witnessed one of his biggest pet peeves ever. Two newbies who clearly had no idea how to hold their paddle. Although, if it works for them, then it’s all good.IMG_4363

Eventually we hope to get back to river kayaking before summers end here in WI. However, truth be told, this is the one thing that still gives me some pain when I do it. I am not sure if its the position I am in or the act of paddling but there is no denying its there. Which means Sunday then brought a day on the couch with my heating pad and some rest. Which is not great for someone who loves summer and just wants to be outside enjoying every last second. So whether or not I attempt a river with rapids and current battling against me has yet to be determined.

 

 

A Little Of Everything

This week brought a little of everything. We started out Monday with beautiful temperatures and quickly moved to cold, rainy and dreary. Mid week we were again back to tolerable temps which means we took full advantage of it all day by playing outside. And then back to rain and dreary once again toward the end of the week.

Add the weather to a crazy week of activities and events and I did what I could this week in the exercise department. Sometimes there was time and sometimes there was time but I was just too tired or just simply not motivated to do anything. I suppose everyone deserves a break once in awhile and this week I did not sweat the small stuff and did what I could.

Here’s a look at my workouts this week.

Saturday: 2.5 mile hike

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Sunday: 1.5 hour paddle, and 1.5 mile walk while playing disc golf

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Monday: 100 crunches, arms and legs routine, 2.5 mile morning walk

Tuesday: home: 100 crunches

gym: 30 minute elliptical, 20 abdominal crunches on the ab machine at 30lbs.***This is the first time I have attempted this since prior to surgery. I used to do 70 lbs. which I am determined to reach eventually again

Wednesday: 100 crunches, 2.5 mile evening walk

Thursday: home:20 minute recumbent bike, arms and legs weight routine

gym: 30 minutes elliptical, stretching

Friday: rest

Have a great weekend…