A Sign From Above Is Granted

Recently my husband has been spending more time on the road than at home for work. And this last time he came home he mentioned that he wished he would receive a sign from above to know what to do about a matter we have been pondering for quite some time now. How funny he should ask for this such thing since his wish has been granted loud and clear. As I sit and type in this very moment we are getting hammered with the biggest snow storm….ooops, sorry let me rephrase that…..the biggest blizzard in over 20 years here in WI.

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It began Friday evening and is still snowing at this time. We have had 50+ mph winds and so much blowing and drifting that highways are being declared impassable.Snow blowing has been done three times already just to keep up with the drifts forming around our vehicles, boat, and doorways/windows.

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And the best part of this whole sign from above is……IT IS APRIL 15!!!!!!!!

In three weeks we are suppose to be camping, hiking, and hopefully wearing a little less clothing than we need to wear right now to go outside.

So to all you enjoying spring time cherry blossoms, tulips poking through the ground, and sunshine on your shoulders…..please, please, take a moment and be thankful you live somewhere this is all happening.

For me, I am not angry about this snow….I am not sad about this snow…I am just smiling and being thankful that my husband got what he needed to now know……we need to make a change and we need to make a change soon.

Thank you GOD….he needed your help and you came through.

 

Spring Is Here….But We Are Still So Limited

According to the calendar Spring arrived a few days ago and I clearly am not feeling the excitement yet. Yes, we have been able to get outside for short bursts of time here and there but come on already…I am so over winter!

One weekend we got out and walked in just sweatshirts on a local trail.

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The next weekend my husband wanted to try out his new fishing reel and I wanted to wander the wooded area near the rivers edge while he did this. We both needed winter jackets once again unlike the weekend before we only needed sweatshirts.

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We arrived and he balanced on ice along the shore hoping it did not break

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while I only made it a little ways down the trail before hitting snow and ice.

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And that’s when I noticed this fella fishing in the river with neoprene waiters on. BRRRRR!!!! I don’t care how thick and warm those waiters are….there is no way he was not freezing his %$##@ off. In my eyes this was crazy….in a fishermans eyes this is dedication. All I can say is I sure hope he caught something for all his effort.

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On a brighter note…and much warmer topic…our gym got an overhaul and I could not be more thrilled. I walked in a week after missing out for illness and wow I was excited. Almost 15 years ago now I began my health journey and my first piece of exercise equipment was a stepper at a very small gym. Then I left that gym and never found another with this piece of equipment until now….our gym has two brand new seated step machines. WHOOHOOO!!!!

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Plus, they added 3 of my next favorite machines…rowers!

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So now when I go to my early morning workout session I mix things up a bit. I am all about cardio and do weights simply because I have to. And you all know if you’ve been following for awhile that when we train for our vacations we utilize real concrete steps at a local high school. Concrete steps=torture!

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We have been seen here a lot with boots on doing flights of stairs in the heat and humidity many times. Well…..never again! I can just go to the gym now and step until I cannot step anymore. And I can even wear my hiking boots if I wish to get strange looks from other gym members which I may just do. After all, you cannot climb mountains with out strong legs now can you.

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Sunshine Is The Best Medicine

A little over a week ago I came down with some virus that has caused me to uproot everything normal in my life. I have not worked since last Wednesday, I have not seen the gym in over a week, and I have barely gotten any exercise at all since breathing is something you need to be able to do to exercise. And in the kitchen, well thank goodness for my husband and son or we would have been eating from a can for at least three nights this past week.

This past weekend I started feeling somewhat better finally and really felt the need to get out and suck up some of the wonderful Wisconsin weather we had. Sunshine for me is often the best medicine. Although, I knew it would not be a distance hike by any means I wanted to walk outside and feel the sun on my face. So we did and it felt so wonderful. We arrived at our favorite spring time trail and saw no snow, a few people who also felt the need to venture out, and still ice fishermen capturing what is left of the season.

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Like us, we saw one couple out looking for the eagles that frequent this area. Shortly after we began walking we located them. Usually they would be up in the trees but this time they were out on the ice enjoying a meal the fishermen left behind for them. They were quite a distance away but still fascinating. IMG_0735

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It was wonderful to be out again. Everything is beginning to come alive after a long winter.

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All in all our weekend was not bad. Yes, I am feeling a bit under the weather yet but so much better than a few days ago. Hopefully my energy level comes back quick enough that I can once again return to my early morning gym sessions and keep up with all my little tykes that return this morning.

 

 

A Big Spring Welcome

Spring has finally arrived and I am LOVING the extra daylight hour we now have. I can prepare dinner and still have time to enjoy sunshine….how wonderful is that. Anyone that suffers from seasonal depression is well aware of this I am sure, since it really is a game changer in how life is lived for me.

I plan to stop taking my “sunshine medicine” at the end of this week. Since I have seen more of the natural sunshine than I have seen in the past five months I think it’s time.

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My brain has been in overdrive at night when I lay down to sleep trying to think of new places to explore in the state. Since this is the only time I really have time to think without being interrupted, I typically will have a list of places to research by morning. Which then ends up taking me until the weekend to actually research…again, time is always a scarce factor during the week days.

I have also found my way back to some nearby trails for my nightly walks instead of city streets which offer boredom and sore ankles. Last week one evening it was suppose to be gym night but the sun was shining and the temps were tolerable so we changed up routine and ventured to one of my favorite trails.

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Birds were chirping all around us.

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I prayed all the way there the trail would be clear of snow and ice and my prayers were answered. It was clear of all winter leftovers and this made me even happier.

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The ice on the Bay of Green Bay is showing sever signs of stress which to our surprise we still saw 4 people not willing to give up ice fishing and making the most of what was left of winter. Crazy in my opinion, but more power to them if they feel a fish is worth risking there lives at this stage of winter.

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And let me just say, watching the sunset on this trail is exactly what I needed to end my day. It feels good to be feeling alive and enjoying time outdoors again. I am looking forward to so much more to come but for now, I will completely settle for this.

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Hello March….Your The Month I Wait For All Winter

Although I was feeling a bit unhealthy this week suffering from this nasty virus, it still was a great week for me since it was the beginning to another month…..March. Which means another month closer to summer.

March is a busy month for us here. Birthdays are spread all throughout the month, we have a day trip planned to attend an REI garage sale event for members, I have my first overnighter with a friend planned that I am so looking forward to, and don’t forget….this is the month where daylight gets longer in the evenings since we all change our clocks in a few days……hurraaaayyyy!!!!!

Since I have no workouts to share from this week of rest due to this nasty bug, I thought I would catch up on some of my favorite things lately. However, in all honesty, I did not rest completely…..I got in small workouts here and there because the guilt was worse than the virus plaguing me. Crazy I know, but it is what it is. Anyhow…
Remember those mirrors my son snagged before his employer threw them out….well they are up and I LOVE THEM!!! These will benefit my workouts so much being able to watch my form during yoga and weight lifting.

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Speaking of time changing and girl’s weekends….I have one coming up and we are so excited about it. A friend and I, that I have known for over 20 years, have planned our first over night girls weekend away from life here at home. We both do the same thing for employment….childcare. And if anyone knows anything about childcare you would all agree, winters are LONG! So we decided to take a weekend and go away over night to a near by town, stay at a bed and breakfast type lodge, shop, wander, and eat our way through 48 hours of not caring for anyone but ourselves and celebrate another winter passed. How cool is that? Does anyone else celebrate surviving winter????? Probably not, but that don’t mean we can’t.

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Speaking of surviving winter, it feels so good to be back outside with my kiddos. Fresh air does wonders for nap time, gives us all a new perspective on life, and makes them eat so much more food. I am so ready to pack away the puzzles, coloring books, and the finger paints and change over to sidewalk chalk, critter hunting, and bike riding. What about you?

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A few weeks ago I made a plan to try at least one new recipe a week since I was completely burned out on our dinner rotation. This has been going wonderful. We have tried many new things, some being keepers and some being not so great. However, I have not had to throw any out completely and we have not found ourselves ordering takeout due to any disasters. What have I learned these past few weeks during all this trial and error of meal planning? We LOVE sun dried tomatoes!!!!

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I have also been starting to stock up on our active seasons snack box that we keep stocked for those grab and go trips to who knows where. Typically, I will pick up trail mix, Clif bars, turkey jerky, nuts, chocolate, etc. and have that ready to go all spring, summer, and fall. Although, this year I am trying some new(to us) bars, and ideas for this box since I am not able to eat some of these prior things since surgery for some reason. Recently, I picked up numerous flavors of Larabars and this Nourish snack mix and found we love both and both agree with my new way of eating.

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That’s it for me today. My weekend looks a bit sketchy at the moment with many options, not enough time, and only one of me to be everywhere with everyone. However, I have narrowed it down to spending time with my husband since next weekend I will be gone and plus, we think we may start geocaching this weekend which is one of my favorite things to do together. So exciting….

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I Thought 50 degrees in February Was Awesome…..64 Is A Small Miracle

Wow, what a week we had here in Green Bay. Sun was shining, snow was melting, warmth was beaming down from the sky, and I saw neighbors I have not seen since November. It’s always so funny to finally see who you live next too after a few months and high five each other for making it through another LONG winter.

Alright, so maybe winter is not quite over yet, but you could not tell by the week temperatures we had here. Needless to say, this all changed Friday morning upon waking up. We were once again, hit by yet another snowstorm. Which made me so happy that I took complete advantage of the nice days we did have and spent every moment possible outside for exercise.

Here, take a look:

Sunday: Fox River Trail walk 3 miles…The trail, river, and parking lots were packed with everyone wanting to get some fresh air. However, we found a quiet stretch to walk on which offered us some peace from all the bikers.

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Monday: 2 mile walk and upper body weight routine

Tuesday: 3 mile walk and upper body weight routine

Plus numerous hours playing outside and going for two kid walks which equal approx 1.5 miles total….exhausting day but so nice to enjoy this mid February.

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Wednesday: 1 mile walk…..In honor of National Margarita Day my dear neighbors brought over two margaritas for my husband and I. I then proceeded to drink mine before leaving for our evening walk, which then went from a planned 3 miles to a stumble instead of a walk and lasted 1 mile instead. However, I am not complaining since that margarita sure tasted great after a long, summer like day:-) It’s great to have such wonderful neighbors….

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Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike and a 3 mile evening walk before the snowstorm arrived over night

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Friday: rest

Saturday: I finally got the virus all my daycare children have been passing around for the past few weeks, so no exercise for me today:-(

As for meals this week, I will admit, I should have planned some grilling meals but I did not. My husband is the griller in our family and we had some nights where he was not due to be home on time so inside meals it was all week. Although, that’s ok, we still had some great meals and one new recipe this week which was a summer time quinoa salad because summer temps deserve a summer salad…right?

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One night was pulled pork sandwiches with roasted carrots and sun dried tomato couscous.

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Another evening was no boil lasagna because nothing is easier than making it all in the early morning and sliding it in the oven when you spent all day outside and need a hot dinner but have no energy left to prepare it at the end of the day.

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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.