Some Real Talk Moments…..

As you all know Halloween rolled around, we changed our clocks, woke up and began November with cold, darkness, and ultimately then a bit of snow arrived. And if you love winter I am sure your thrilled about all these changes…..for me it’s been a long month! Besides all this change we had so much more happening behind the scenes here that I honestly found solace in some quality alone time. I decided to make a huge change to my daily routine and began going to the gym at 5:00a.m.. And let me tell you….this has truly changed my daily dynamics completely. Somehow this, that, and the other all changed and I have free time now from 5-7a.m. and its perfect time for me to get in a great workout, free my mind of the constant boxing match happening up there, and get some endorphin help to make me feel alive at a time of year I just want to crawl under the covers and not come out until mid March. Anybody else feel this way when winter rolls around?

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So let’s see, November has been good. Challenging but good. We have had work issues to deal with pertaining to all three of us this month.One job change(our son), I am waiting for maternity leaves to be over and then I will be back up to my happy stress level of kids once again, and the other issue is my husband is traveling one day and the next it is cancelled. Which results in literally driving this very organized person (me) completely crazy with frustration!!!! I am a total, get your %$#@ together or don’t plan on me being part of it, kind of person. So when he says he is leaving I plan for him not to be here…and then all of a sudden he is here which means I need to replan once again. Frustration I tell you, complete frustration.OK, that rant is over with….lets move on.

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I always feel pressured to get my Christmas shopping done since I really dislike the crowds at this time of year. To help with this task my husband and I once again made our annual bus trip to Illinois to spend the day shopping, eating, and enjoying life away from the daily grind at home. This all started a few years ago and now it has turned into a yearly event for us. He is the best package carrier ever and all I have to do is promise to feed him from Whole Foods hot bar for lunch every year. It’s a LONG day but so worth it. We always find treasures and deals we can’t find here in Green Bay and there is no stress since the bus ticket is cheap and we don’t have to worry about parking, traffic, getting lost or anything. Just shop, eat, and have fun.

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I took my first ever structured yoga class with a friend and it was life changing. Since starting yoga on a regular basis at home my back has gotten significantly stronger and has been feeling better. I thought a class taught by a professional would correct any form issues I could be having so this was the thought behind the class I took. I will honestly say that after class I was pleasantly surprised by how much I got out of it. I am planning on taking 1-2 classes a week for the time being. And I am looking at them as more of an active recovery day than anything. Movement is medicine in my situation and a day off with absolutely nothing is worse than anything so this should be perfect for me on my exercise recovery days.

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We once again broke out our yearly winter pass time activity of jig saw puzzles. This for me is a huge turning point since it really means my time outside is going to be next to none for the next five months.

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I do have something pretty big waiting in the back ground for me to begin planning after the first of the year. My husband and I have decided to renew our wedding vows for our 25th anniversary in 2018. I have a few ideas rolling around in my head but so far nothing is set in stone yet. I will say, the ceremony will be small…..simply because not a single person in our families will be joining us except our son. Why you may wonder…..well, none of them are willing to climb the mountain I wish to have the ceremony on top of. I have however, found a minister that is willing to hike this route and do the honors, so I may have to add in a bit more compensation than his usual and customary fee just for his effort.

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And one last thing to share with you…check this little morsel of yum out! I was shopping at a local grocery and they had these in the seafood case. They called them volcano shrimp. I asked what they were exactly and the employee said they are cooked shrimp wrapped in sweet potato strands sprinkled with ginger. Well, I had to give one a try. I brought it home, baked it for 10 minutes as directed, and shared it with one of my daycare kids. She cried when it was gone and I felt like crying too since it was the only one I bought. IT WAS SO YUMMY!!! Now I am determined to try and make them myself. Really, how hard can they be right? I just have to get my spiralizer back from the friend I borrowed it to and then we will have many more of these to enjoy with no tears when they are gone.

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That should do it for now. Have a great Thanksgiving.

 

Life Lately….

As you all know if you have been reading recently I have mainly posted new trails for you all to try. Well, that’s because a lot has been happening in the background of life that I have been trying to gather and sort through in my mind. So I thought I would give you a break from trails and hikes we have been enjoying and focus on other life topics today.

Starting with…..we just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been this long…seriously over half my life I have been married to this amazing man that puts up with my crazy ideas. It’s been fun so far….and we are far from finished. So as we begin another year of life together I can only hope the fun continues.Stay tuned….

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As the leaves start falling this means less sunshine and that for me is like a death sentence. Here in Wisconsin most people hibernate all winter long. I see my neighbors come and go but don’t talk with them for months since I very rarely step foot outside in the winter months by choice.  I don’t even walk to the end of the driveway to pick my own mail in the winter months. Sad but true….it is what it is. I am simply not a winter lover!!! So as of October I always begin taking my “sunshine vitamin” (Vitamin D) to help with the winter blues that typically hit me hard by January.

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On the brighter side of things….we have planned one last camping trip of the 2017 season before the snow flies here in a few days/weeks. You really never know when it will happen…..so hopefully we make it through this last trip without a light covering of white stuff on our picnic table. I am excited to get out one last weekend and enjoy nature before it all freezes over. I am a bit up in the air but I do believe we will be sleeping in our SUV this time around and using our new SUV curtains we made a few months back.

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Soon after all this happens,Thanksgiving arrives which we are planning once again to keep up with the tradition of a Thanksgiving morning hike. Many people do some type of turkey trot but we would rather hike a trail than be surrounded by a bunch of runners/walkers. Looking back to last year reminded me to dig out the blaze orange once again since its deer hunting season in our parts during Thanksgiving.

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And after Thanksgiving comes the big Christmas holiday. This year we plan to simplify and not be so stressed out by who wants what, where, and when. Christmas is always a big stresser in my life. Why does everyone put so much pressure into two days of the year….like honestly, its two days?To make this less stress, we already have decided on a few things, we have already discussed our family gatherings and thankfully all I have left to do is the menu planning. Well, and gift buying but that is fairly easy at this stage of life.

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I have been getting back to making some family style meals with the colder weather upon us now. Summers meals can be almost anything after a long hot day of playing outside for my job. Fall and winter offer me more time in the kitchen(often with the kids helping) to prepare more thought out meal plans. I have been concentrating on two meat free dinners during the week and one on the weekends. This soup blend I found has been changed up a variety of ways and so far they have all been winners.

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Casseroles are back in the rotation once again and are a family favorite.

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And our son even surprised us one night by making french onion soup which was so yummy.

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As for workouts…..this has been the biggest change recently. Yoga has been my “go to” to help strengthen and get some flexibility back in my thoracic spine area. Physical therapy was an option but both my MD and my chiropractor suggested trying yoga before physical therapy since this is suppose to offer more benefit. Without a doubt, I am feeling better already….so for now yoga is scheduled into every single day.

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And four days a week I am back at the gym. Walking has become difficult to do since the sun is leaving us faster every evening that passes by, so the gym is my “go to” for cardio. Plus, in my opinion, movement is medicine!!! I feel so much better after a gym workout than I do if I do not go. Which means there really is no question of whether or not I need to make this happen. So once again, until the days get longer, I am back at the gym on my trusty elliptical.

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That should do it for today.

Anything your curious about….let me know?

Do you change up your workout routines as the seasons change?

 

 

Less Time On The Trail…..More Time In The Gym

It has happened….I knew it would eventually, I was just hoping it would not be so severe.

IMG_3218We have been buried in 13+ inches of snow in 12 hrs.. I had friends call me, email me and send me sympathy thoughts all night while I sat and listened to the wind and snow fall outside with a furious punch. My husband tried to lighten my mood by making cookies that evening, my son had friends walk over in the blizzard only to laugh and enjoy each others company…..all while I sat on my couch and let a wave of sadness take over my body.  IMG_3219

For now, I will be spending much less time off the trails and a lot more time in the gym I suppose. Ultimately, it is what it is and I just have to learn to accept it until the time comes that I can change it. However, it does not make it any easier.

Here’s to the next few months dreaming of warmer weather and green grass.  IMG_3223

 

The Perfect Storm…

QUESTION: What is 17.5 inches tall and can ruin a wonderful vacation?

ANSWER: An airport covered in 17.5 inches of snow!

Yes, you read it correctly. Our vacation was not delayed or postponed. It was CANCELED!

I have learned a hard lesson about trying to escape the winter blues of Wisconsin and escape somewhere warm for a few days. A lesson I will NEVER relive again as long as I live in this state. (Which will not be much longer, I hope)

I will say, if you are ever headed to the Nevada area and wish to hike the Red Rock Canyon area I have two spectacular guides that offered exceptional customer service. I wish I could tell you how much we enjoyed hiking with them but this never happened. Although, despite their cancellation policies we were very happy to hear we would receive a full refund from both guides.

For now, give me a few days to feel sorry for myself. Then I need to find my big girl panties, put them on, and continue on with life as usual.

Join Me For Coffee….

I feel like I need a little chat time. For someone to listen, maybe comment or not. So let’s have a virtual coffee date.

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First,  would welcome you with a hug and buy you coffee:) I would tell you how grateful I am that you came.

I would tell you we are doing fine and things with our son are looking much brighter this year at school. He is very happy with his choice to change campuses. That is quite a relief coming from a mom.

I would tell you about our trip we finally have planned. That I am so excited and that I hope it helps with my winter blues. However, as excited as I am, I am also quite nervous to try something we have never experienced before. Although, as with our trip in Utah, at least if I screw up and slip I will be assured to die somewhere beautiful.

I would ask your opinion of a change I am working on in my profession. I have lost sleep over this for a week now but hope to have it all figured out real soon. Being self employed is not always as good as it sounds. I still have to deal with issues just like any business only mine are on a much more personal level.

I would tell you I did my first tabata workout this week and it literally kicked my butt. I thought I was going to fall over right then and there. It was 20 minutes of the greatest torture I have ever experienced! The next 2 days I was moving pretty slow but it was that good kind of sore, ya know. The kind that says I worked parts of my body that I normally do not work.

I would tell you that I should start packing for our camping trip that is coming up.  I am just simply struggling to get motivated because of the cold temperatures we have been experiencing here in Green Bay. Sleeping will be fine, we have warm sleeping bags. Hiking will be great in cooler temps but those early morning and the middle of the night bathroom trips will suck! If my husband wants a happy wife, he better get up before I do and have hot water ready to go before I crawl out of that tent. I love camping, he is 100% in charge of cooking, always! It almost makes me want to camp in the backyard every single night:)

I would also tell you we are really hoping to paddle a river once more this year but I am almost ready to pack it all away for the year. I swear it went from comfortable to very chilly here overnight and I don’t believe the comfortable will be returning until probably next June. If there is one thing as bad as seeing a snake in the river while I am in it, it would have to be shivering while paddling uncontrollably. Cold and wet is not my idea of fun:(

By this time our coffee should be gone or cold so I better get to planning my weekend, prepare for my little ones to arrive and getting this Friday started so it can eventually end.

Have a great weekend.