Looking Back At 2016

Hello, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I know we did here and I am ready to get back to a bit of routine again. So without further ado….

It’s always fun for me to take a look back at what the past year has been like for me which is what I am going to share with you all today. Maybe you have been a long time reader or you are a new virtual friend, which if that’s that case, then you can catch up with the events that have happened these past months.

Here we go:

January: A routine doctor visit turned into emergency surgery one week later with the removal of a large abdominal tumor and a few other parts and pieces that were effected by this slow growing tumor. Thankfully, it ended up being benign and all that was left was recovery and getting use to my new life with some limitations.

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February: This entire month consisted of recovery. I could not bend, lift, shower by myself or sleep in my own bed forever. And everything was left to my husband and son. I had friends stay with me during the daytime hours so my husband and son could work and visitors stopped in during the evening hours. It was a longggg month!

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March: I finally got the ok to return to work half way through this month. I also got the ok to keep the preplanned trip we had scheduled to visit Arkansas and do dome hiking. Although, my surgeon told me very firmly to stop when it hurts and don’t push myself. And in all honesty, when we arrived at the first trailhead I was a bit overwhelmed when I first put my hiking boots on. It had been a stressful, painful 9 weeks of HELL and I was not sure if I would ever be able to hike again….but I was here and it was warm, sunny, and I was truly happy for the first time in what felt like forever.

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April: By now things were progressing slowly and each day was getting a bit easier. Although, I had so many things I was still wondering….would I be able to paddle again, would the swelling ever go away, would I ever be able to do another abdominal crunch….etc.? Well, this is the month I gave paddling a try and I’m not going to say it felt great, but it was tolerable. I knew immediately I was a long way from a river with current but I was padding and it was a start.

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May: My husband and I went on the first camping trip of the year. Ahhh, I could feel summer right around the corner.

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June: I had the opportunity to go tubing behind a boat the first time in my life. And let me tell you, it was so much fun!!!!

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July: Family vacation to the North Shore of Minnesota. A first for us and definitely not the last time we visit here.

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August: Ahhhh, boredom will get me every time…..so, I had been patiently watching flight prices for a bucket list trip to Sedona, Arizona for almost an entire year. One day I happen to just be bored and thought, let’s take a quick check if anything has changed…and sure enough its finally affordable. I wasted no time…I emailed my husband at work and waited patiently for his response which took hours since he was in a meeting!!! And all he said was….”go ahead sounds good to me”….YEEEEESSSSSS! Three hours later we had three tickets, travel insurance, hotel, and a rental vehicle all booked. And when my husband and son arrived home later that day I greeted them with a training plan for the next 8 weeks. Steps, hills, and more steps:-)

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September: I finally had a chance to take a friend of mine hiking for the first time. I have been trying to get her outdoors to try different types of activity…..and she finally agreed to go hiking. She had a wonderful time, as did I.

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October: We celebrated our 23rd. wedding anniversary hiking in Sedona, Arizona. There are simply no words to describe how wonderful this place was.

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During this trip I also accomplished a bucket list summit which was captured by our son in a picture.

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November: As always in November my husband and I took our annual coach bus trip shopping for the day in Illinois. I love this day. I am not a big shopper but once a year I enjoy it completely.

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December: I returned to the gym full time for the first time since January. I dabbled here and there a few times while recovering from surgery and during the summer months but just was not willing to risk anything going wrong. I was told it would take a full year to completely heal and I waited as patiently as possible….gosh it feels good to be back.

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What a year….it brings tears to my eyes just seeing what my family has been through this past year, what I have accomplished, and the hurdles I thought I would never overcome. It’s no secret, if you know me personally, life has changed and will forever be changed……but that is not holding me back. It has made me adjust a bit here and there but I still wake up every day with a dream and I work to accomplish that dream someday.

Good bye 2016……bring on 2017…..I am so ready to start fresh!!!

 

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Let’s Reminisce Again….

Every year about this time I look back through my photos and just reminisce. Winters are very long, lonely, and cold for me. I try and keep myself busy, however, winters drag on as if they last forever. My summer photos give me something to look forward to so let’s reminisce together.

I miss grilled food

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I hope to utilize this box this summer.

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Maybe I will try outdoor yoga in the park.

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We are hoping to make another visit to a friends cabin.

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I miss relaxing on my front porch almost as much as I miss the beach.

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Don’t forget the sunsets of summer

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Disc golf, one of our family favorite games.

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This year our son’s brand new kayak will get a real taste of summer now that he is completely healed up.

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Just to see green leaves and grass again would be an improvement over snow, slush and yuck that is covering everything right about now.

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Summer can not come fast enough for me.

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What do you miss about summer?

Most Memorable Moments of 2014

Hi everyone!

Can you believe we are just days away from 2015? I think the older I get the faster the years fly by. I was looking back through some pictures of this last year and thought it would be fun to pick my top three most memorable moments of 2014.

This was not as easy as I thought it would be after looking back at everything we did. We really did so much fun stuff this past year.  Although, I do have to say, while looking back there were three moments that I can recall very clearly in my mind. Sadly, they are not all happy moments, but all of them touched me forever in my mind, heart, and soul.

First, would have to be the dreaded phone call we received from our son’s friend back in May. Calmly, he told me that our son had been in an accident and which hospital to meet them at. I can honestly say, I will forever remember the feeling I had at that moment. To explain how I felt is impossible so I will not even try. Thankfully, today he is fully recovered, and back to himself.

My second most memorable moment of 2014 would be floating in Lake Superior on blow up inner tubes while on vacation in the Apostle Islands.

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The water was calm, the sunsets were spectacular, and the temperature was perfect.

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And as much as I wish I could forget this last memorable moment I know I will never be able to. Our last big hike of the year in October to Devil’s Lake State Park was bitter sweet. The trees were brightly colored with oranges, yellows and red leaves everywhere around us.

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We were having a wonderful hike and had less than 2 miles to go before finishing what was the perfect day. We came upon a group of rock climbers and stopped to watch them do their thing along with many other hikers passing through this same area. That is when I looked to my side at a gentleman walking toward me on a trail next to the edge of the bluff. Apparently, he thought the trail was wider than it actually was and I watched him take his next step and fall down the bluff. That moment, that sound, the scream from his friends, the disbelief I felt when I thought maybe I was imagining things will be with me forever. I will never hike this park again without recalling that moment. My hope is that he is fully recovered or at least on his way to being able to enjoy life as he once knew it.

Those are what I would consider my most memorable moments of 2014. Even though they are not all good memories, I do believe that each one has changed me in a way that is for the better. I am a firm believer that everyone should live life everyday like it could be your last. You just never know when that day will come. I was so relaxed and at peace floating on the water that day. I thank God for my son and his health(and his friend). And every hike I take will be with more caution than before.