Are Family Meals A Thing Of The Past?

As a child, I was raised to always be home at dinner time and we always enjoyed dinner at the dining room table together as a family.Well, there is no doubt times have changed. Family dinner is, for the most part, a thing of the past, from what I can tell in reading some of my favorite blogs. I have to admit, this does sadden me. I can remember when our son was young this was when he would tell us about school, what this/that friend said/did, how a test went is this/that class, and we also discussed our weekend plans during this time. Granted, now that he is older and works numerous jobs, our family dinners are far and few between but when they do happen we still find so much to discuss and catch up on that I savor this time.

As an active family we spend many waking hours outside enjoying life. For us family dinner time today can be almost anywhere. When we have the opportunity to actually be together we often will choose to do something outside and fun rather than sit at home, prepare a big meal, and sit down together. That is not to say we don’t pack up some food and take it with us to share in, what some may call, the oddest places to share a meal together. The point is, that a family meal can be shared anywhere you wish it to be shared. With just a little planning and some creativity it can be whatever you wish it to be.

Here are a few of the strangest places we have shared a family meal together.

the beach on a picnic blanket


over looking Lake Superior


top of Peter’s Dome


tailgate of our truck


top of Devil’s Lake Bluff


campsite deep in the woods


Rib Mountain picnic table


our front porch


tailgate of a friends truck


atop a kayak


our kitchen table(yes we do own one)


Christmas Day lunch from the back of our SUV


sitting around a campfire


picnic table over looking the Bay of Green Bay


As you can see, we can share a family meal almost anywhere and have it be special. During the spring, summer, and fall months, our dining room table is very rarely used, but that is not to say we still don’t spend a lot of time together having family meals.

Do you think family meals are a thing of the past?

Do you have meal time as a family? If so, how often?

Why do you think family meals are a thing of the past?




Weekend Snapshots: Could I Learn To Like Weekends LikeThis?

There is no doubt this summer our weekends are not about kayaking this river or kayaking that river. With no kayaking allowed (for my husband) we have been doing our best to find other activities to do on our weekends, which at times has been quite a challenge. However, this weekend we kept ourselves pretty busy.

Chores are always first, we find it makes having fun even more fun when all the chores are done. So while my husband cut the lawn I washed sleeping bags from a trip our son took to the Porcupine Mountains. IMG_1851Then for lunch on Saturday I had my first ever gyro. Forty some years old and I’ve never had one of these bad boys…what a shame because it was FABULOUS!!!!!    IMG_1857

IMG_1858 One more errand after lunch brought us to a very colorful sight in the sky. We were not aware of any kite festival but apparently some people were. IMG_1854That concluded our chores, errands, and new restaurants. I actually then spent an hour or so with a drink and a magazine simply sitting and enjoying the breeze.


Then dinner hour rolled around and neither of us felt like cooking or cleaning up the kitchen afterwards so we were lazy and had pizza and fruit while still enjoying the breeze outdoors.

IMG_1864Sunday I did something I have never done before. I met a friend for coffee at a local cafe. I know, again, forty something years old and I have never met someone for coffee…..soooo sad! I just never really have time. I work Monday through Friday very early and 11 hours a day. Then Saturdays we are normally either on the water paddling or recovering from being on the water all day paddling. During the winter months it would take a lot more than coffee to persuade me to leave my warm house to meet for coffee. So as you can imagine, this was quite a treat and a pleasant experience for me. I opted for something a little different than coffee and tried rose water lemonade. Surprising, it was really good. (My son suggested I try this since he had already had it, but normally we do not have the same tastes so I was a little hesitant)  IMG_1865

The conclusion to my weekend was a gym workout, which was awesome. I LOOOOOVE working out on the weekends. The gym is quiet, I have tons of energy, and it just feels great to end on a good note.

So to answer the question…..Could I learn to like weekends like this? Truth be told, yes, only if I have to! I loved getting tons of chores done, going to a new restaurant, meeting a friend for coffee and relaxing BUT I would have been so much happier paddling down a river, listening for the rumble of the rapid around the corner and feeling my heart beat just a little bit faster as I approached the whitewater. Paddling does something to me that no one will quite understand unless you are a paddler yourself. Seeing wildlife up close and personal, sharing a tailgate snack with friends after a day on the river,


or just being in the moment is special.


I know eventually we will be back out there I just need to be patient and it will come.




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…..

Weekend Snapshots: Wine, Water and Wonderful Friends

What a great holiday weekend we had. After everything that has happened with both my husband and son these past few weeks, I can honestly say none of us needed to take a visit to urgent care over the weekend. Although, that is not to say we survived the weekend with no first aid needed. OUCH! My husband sustained a deep cut but the tendon is still working…hurray for small miracles.


Friday is when our weekend officially started since we all had the day off. I very rarely have a day completely without children during the week so I needed to do a few daycare chores before our fun began.


After chores we decided to stick close to home and enjoy the nice weather by having some fun in the Bay of Green Bay. Our son gave the standup paddle board a try after suffering with a back injury all week. This made me nervous but I know from experience sometimes movement is the best thing for back pain, so I stood close by and watched.


Saturday we were up bright and early loading the truck for a day I have been looking forward to for the past year. Last year a good friend of mine bought herself a kayak after giving one of ours a try. Since then we have been trying to find a day that we could make it back to their cabin and kayak the lake together. This turned out to be that day….and it could not have been more perfect. The lake was calm, the sun was shining….it was perfect. We arrived, unloaded, and hit the water immediately. It had been at least two years since I had paddled one of our recreational kayaks, so I was surprised to find that I was a little nervous. Which is so odd since my whitewater kayak is so natural, but a few strokes into it and all the nerves disappeared.


While visiting we also had the opportunity to meat her son and daughter in law for the first time. They both had their first experience with a standup paddle board and needless to say her son granted us some pretty good laughs.

Here he is attempting to stand up


He’s standing….look fast


And here is is falling into the lake after a few seconds of standing


This was his one and only attempt….at least he was still smiling after his little swim.

After some fun they took us for a tour around the lake on their pontoon and then we all shared a very nice dinner prepared over the campfire.


Dessert was chocolate chip smores…yum!


The night ended with fireworks over the lake before we headed home very late. It was one of the best July 4th holidays I have ever had.


Sunday brought a day to sleep in. I cannot remember the last time I was up until midnight but Sunday I was not motivated to do much at all. We clean and put away all our weekend water toys, did numerous loads of laundry, made it to the gym in hopes of finding some energy which was somewhat successful, and pretty much relaxed the rest of the day.

I have to say, with my husband still suffering with a pinched nerve and on weight restriction, my son just coming off a week long back injury, and me trying to handle mainly everything around the house, it did turn out to be a very nice, relaxing, and fun weekend. Exactly what I needed. And the small parts that were not so relaxing I handle with a little help from the wine bottle:)


Have you ever tried standup paddling?

How did you do?


I Vowed….In Sickness and In Health

It has been a whirlwind week here at our house and I am preparing myself for it to continue for a while longer.

About a week ago my husband woke me in the early morning hours in severe pain. Without going into great detail, we ended up with the day off and me accompanying him to a few doctors offices throughout that day. By the end of the day he had a diagnosis, treatment plan, and some medications for his pain.


Which brings us to today. Thankfully he is finding relief with the treatment and medication. Although, since this all came about he has noticed an issue that may last a lifetime and could be debilitating for his future. Which leaves me, as his wife, wanting to do anything possible to find a way for him to live happily doing what he loves to do and for us to be able to do it together. Again, at this stage of the ailment we are still hoping it resolves itself after the initial injury is healed but we just won’t know until it happens, if it happens.

For now, I’ll be honest, I am finding it hard to keep up with life. He is on weight restriction, which leaves almost everything to me with help from our son when he is around. I have found myself stress eating, which I hate to do so much. I have found myself back at the gym a few times already just to get in a good sweat and relieve some stress. I have talked with so many medical professionals in the last week that I often wonder if I could not be a doctor myself. Training for our upcoming trip has totally fallen off the agenda of things to do. However, we have been walking, which is something he was told to do to aid in his recovery along with foam rolling, water exercise, and stretching.

Our summer plans have been adjusted as much as possible. My son and I have already talked about how we will adapt our hiking vacation to make it easier on my husband if there is no improvement before then. And we have a few more doctor visits coming up and a few more tests scheduled that will hopefully give us answers we don’t have right now.

Until all this is resolved I plan to continue blogging but posts could be more sporadic at best. You will not see any kayaking adventures since that is on his “don’t do it list”. Although, we have and will be spending more time on the water with my SUP board. We have already bought him a new water toy(a big floating noodle) so he is able to enjoy the water with us and aid in his recovery all at the same time. He is not completely thrilled with the idea of no kayaking/SUP but in time I believe he will be back to paddling again.

For now I leave you all with one thought… thankful for good health!




Standup Paddling the Chain of Lakes – Waupaca, WI

I finally had my chance to take my SUP out for it’s first paddle of the year. We watched the weather all week and Saturday was the day that was predicted to be beautiful, low 70’s and sunny. However, when the alarm went off I glanced outside and all I saw was clouds and more clouds. Life must go on and despite the dreary skies we packed up as planned and headed to a new destination, Waupaca, WI and the Chain of Lakes.


We started to hit a fine mist of rain about half way there and prepared for a wet paddle. I was so determined to make the most of the day regardless of the weather that we just continued on toward our destination. I had been quite anxious all week to know if my ankle was strong enough yet to be back on my board and within 20 yards I knew it was healed enough to continue. I have been pretty diligent on stopping whatever it is that I try when I feel pain, as I was directed to do, until I have gained back all the strength in it. So I knew if I felt pain, this would have been a short trip but happily I felt nothing and we paddled onward.

We started at Knight Lake/Manomin Lake boat launch. They have a nice sized parking area, no bathrooms, but a great place to launch kayaks, canoes and SUP’s.

Launch parking areaIMG_1269

Our destination was Marl Lake, known for it’s crystal clear waters and floating public dock which many paddlers are known to bring and share a picnic lunch at. To reach Marl Lake you must launch where we did, paddle through a small opening into Pope Lake and then again through another small opening into Marl Lake. If you have any sort of rudder or fin on your vessels watch for logs in these openings. (We had no trouble at all maneuvering through on this day)


Within minutes of reaching Marl Lake it started to sprinkle a little heavier. Which was ok, I had prepared for a possible wet ride anyhow not knowing if my balance would be what I wanted it to be after an entire winter. Although, not long after this sprinkle the rain really started coming down. My husband and I found a tree and sat under this for quite awhile waiting it out. Thankfully there was no lightening, just rain. After about 20 minutes it seemed to have let up a bit and we made our way as fast as possible to the other side of the lake to the floating public dock. We beached our vessels and again hid under the trees.


By this time I was wet, very wet, cold and a little miffed. However, my husband being the positive person he is said at least we were together and safe. Which was right, but sometimes that glass he always keeps half full I would just love to dump over his head. He always finds a bright side to everything and it sometimes drives me crazy!


Eventually the rain stopped and we did not take long to make our way back to the truck to warm up and dry out our clothes using the heat vents.


While waiting for our clothes to dry we shared our picnic lunch in the truck shivering instead of on this nice dock.


After lunch we did go back out for awhile. I paddled, he fished, and we just enjoyed the cloudy weather the best we could. Even though our day was not everything I had hoped for in the weather department, I am very glad to know that I am still able to enjoy my standup paddle board.
We have already researched a little more about the area and have our next few lakes in the Waupaca area picked out for our next trip. However, at this time we have no idea when this will happen. Summer is so short and there are just so many fun things to do that I can only hope we make it back here one more time before it’s over.


A Look Back At May And What’s To Come For June

Here is a little recap of the month of May 2015.

Our first camping trip of 2015 IMG_0930

 Everything is blooming and coming out of hiding from winterIMG_0871


Fishing in the boat for the first time in 2015


Our first big hike of 2015



Finally getting my lifestyle back after an injury



Our first kayaking trip of 2015


It’s been quite a whirlwind month for us. As for June, it’s even crazier. With a visit to a friends cabin, a weekend garage sale to clear out the growing pile in our basement of things we no longer need/want, kayaking, hopefully standup paddling depending on my ankle, and to the beginning of our training plan for our up coming vacation. Life is looking somewhat overwhelming although, it’s exactly how I like it to be.

Do you fill your summertime calendar with busy, fun activities?

Or are you one to leave the weekends for rest and relaxation?