Friday, July 29, 2011

Random Friday Post and 5QF

1.  I had no Internet yesterday.

2.  Part of it was my Internet provider's fault, and part of it was my fault.

3.  Apparently, I do not know how to successfully reboot my wireless router.  :(

4.  I had a LOT to catch up on last night around 9pm.

5.  But it was kinda refreshing to be "off the grid" for a while.

6.  I may have to start some "off the grid" days here and there.

7.  It's gonna be a hot, muggy day here.

8.  My hair is already frizzy.

9.  And I don't have frizzy hair naturally, it's normally pin straight.

10.  Have a great weekend!

1. Vow renewal ceremonies-yay or nay?

Um.....maybe?  How's that for an answer?!?!? 

Here's my take on it, and it kinda speaks to another issue I have.  So many couples feel the need to do the "big stuff" early.  Big presents, big vacations, big houses, big fancy schmancy cars, etc.  Our parents, and generations before that, saved, and waited.  They didn't need all these grandiose things in order to make them feel loved,  accepted or approved of.  So, you got a big house....what's next?  He surprised you with a trip to Bora he going to have to top it next year?  It's always bigger, beter, and more, more, more...   Why do we constantly have to celebrate ourselves?  Vow renewals fit into this category, I think.  At least where the younger generations are concerned.

Unless there's been marital strife, and its necessary to celebrate a reunion.  Or perhaps after 25 or 50 years....that's something to celebrate.  Then, it's just fun to get together and have a party- with a little vow renewal mixed in...well, sure!

2. What sound/s annoy you the most?

Whining.  Oh, the whining.....  By anyone....but if they have a nasally voice, I'm running for the door.


3. If you had to pick, would you have only all boys, or only all girls for kids?

HA!  Thankfully, I don't have to choose! 

I used to think "I don't know what I'll do without a daughter."  Thankfully, God totally knew what He was doing when he gave me boys.  I'm naturally a "boy" person.  I get along better with men than women (at least, I did when I was younger), and I understand their thinking patterns better.  Plus, I cannot stand the whining I hear when I call my friend on the phone (not saying every little girl's just hers that do it every.time.she'  Plus, I'm not a pink-girly girl.  Avoiding Barbie or princess-infested junk in my house is fantastic.

4. Do you believe in alternative medicine?

I believe that there needs to be a balance.

When I was very very sick, I was in my Dr.'s office once a week, EVERY week for 13 weeks straight.  They kept throwing new drugs at me, doing tests, more drugs, more money, no real relief.  $3375 later....

I went to a Functional, Anti-aging, and Rejuvenative Medicine Dr. who, within a few minutes of my first visit, took the time to look through my food journal and found my gluten issues.  Then ordered a full blood work up with a  tiered blood panel of my thyroid (not just the TSH) and found my real thyroid issue and also found my scary Magnesium and Vitamin D deficiencies.  Then ordered a month long saliva test and found my progesterone and cortisol (adrenal) issues . My regular Dr. would have just kept me on a double dose of Prilosec and Xanax- with a Beta-Blocker in there too.  I would still be eating gluten and still be hurting my body.  The last time he saw me, he realized that I hadn't been in to see him in over a year.  When I told him the issues I had with gluten, his response was "I just don't think that something like gluten can affect you so must have been something else that went away on it's own."  Oh....ok, Dr.

Here's my take on it:  Conventional Medicine has its place.  I go to my family Dr. when I am acutely sick (like strep or ear infection).  I take my boys there for Well Child Checks.  But, I don't think Conventional Medicine is made to handle chronic issues.  For that, I'll go to my "alternative" Doctor.

5. Would you take a family member's children and raise them if they needed it?

Abso-frickin-lutely.  Without question, and with willing hearts.

And then I wouldn't worry about money or patience because it would really be a walk of Faith.  If God brings me to it, He's gonna see me through it.

But then, I wonder what would have happened to our siblings in order for us to have to take their children...and that thought scares me.

So, I'll just end here! 

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What it feels like....

It's no surprise to you (if you've been reading this blog for any given amount of time) that I mention adrenal issues often.  And thyroid issues, and gluten issues. 

All of them are related to each some way, shape or form.  Kind of like a little domino effect.

At the same time, each of them has their own set of affects on me.  Each issue has its own set of medicinal support.  All the same, all related, but different.

Even over a year after my diagnosis, I still have "off" days.  They're coming around less and less, but when they do come a few things happen:

1.  I'm eternally grateful that they're happening less and less.

2.  I realize how far I've come in recovery.

3.  I realize I'm not as prepared to handle the bad days as I was when I was in them all.the.time.

What does an "off" day feel like?

I wake up already tired.  Like I haven't slept at all the night before.

Going up the stairs from our room will leave me winded and breathless.  And tired.

Hopefully we don't have to jet out the door right away.  Having to start a day on a busy note will literally render me useless for the rest of the day.  If we can sit around for a bit, I'm semi-useful.

Regular dizzy spells throughout the day.

Feeling like fainting in the shower....feeling too tired to wash my hair- because lifting my arms above my head is just too much effort.

My arms feel like they weigh 80 pounds a piece when it comes to blow drying my hair.  A pony tail will have to do.

At any given time during the day, I need a nap.  Not want a nap....need.

On a rare day that I get a nap, I will wake up still tired....still needing a nap.

Exercise?  Ha! IF I can push through it, it's a hard hard workout full of half-hearted moves, bad form, and breathlessness.  And it takes me almost 2 hours to recover.

Brain fog.  I will sit at my computer attempting to work and blog, but essentially do a lot of nothing.  These are not productive days. 

If I have errands to run, it's like walking around with 50 lb. ankle weights strapped to my legs.  Each step a struggle, and I'm exhausted by the time I'm finished.

At 3 o'clock (when a normal person has a natural slight dip in cortisol), I will bottom out.  Nothing left.  This leaves my body in shut-down mode....craving any type of sugar for a quick pick-me-up.  Sugar craving like you've never heard of....I'm learning to reach for protein....but sometimes it just doesn't cut it.

By dinnertime, I'm useless.  Mumbling, and short tempered.  Hopefully this is a crockpot day and the boys are playing nicely outside.  If not, we have boiled chicken breasts and some sort of boiled veggie....D. will take the boys outside and I am a spectator while they play....I clean the kitchen at a snail's pace.

After the boys' bedtime, I will sit at my computer and stare at the screens for an hour or two before realizing I've just wasted a bunch of time.  Then, I just head to bed praying the next day will offer relief.

D. once asked me if it was "all in my head."  Until I showed him that these are measurable hormones in my body...and once measured, were proven to be well-below normal.

What do I do for it?
- I take adrenal support medicine prescribed by my Dr.
- I take Celtic Sea Salt shots first thing in the morning, before I work out, after I work out, and usually at 3pm.  And sometimes more often depending on the level of fatigue and the amount of pain in my back.
- I try to avoid anything very early in the morning.  This means switching my car pool during the school year so I don't have to drive in the morning, I quit my gym membership because the only time I had to go was at 5:30am...which made it worse.  I now work out in the comfort of my home in the late morning/ early afternoon, and only drive the afternoon pick-up at school.
- I try to keep my schedule sparse of commitments.  I didn't do such a great job of that last year...and think I prolonged my recovery.  I need to do a better job of it this year.
- I'm maintaining a gluten free diet.  The level of reaction in my body was leading me to go into "fight or flight: mode...which put my adrenals on overload.  By keeping my diet clean, I'm keeping my body's reaction at a minimum.
- I rest when I can.  Trying to push through will do no more than tax them more.
- I take 1 tbsp. of extra virgin coconut oil every day.  This makes a BIG difference when I work out!
-  I take advantage of good days.  I get as much as I can done when I can, so I don't fall so far behind on the bad days. 
-  I say a prayer of thanks for every good day.  And then I ask God for another good day...and say "thank you" for that one too.

So, yeah....that's what it feels like.  And that's what I do to maintain some sense of normalcy.

This post isn't to gain pity at all.  I realize that until someone explains to me what something feels like, its hard for me to understand.  So, the next time someone tells you they have adrenal issues....well, now you know.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top then things I learned while camping

1.  Bug Spray.  You can never have enough bug spray.

2.  There's always one kid that has to learn the hard way about the dangers of the fire pit.

3.  Rainy afternoons aren't all that bad.

4.  Socks and shoes are preferable where sand fleas are concerned.

5.  Mother nature will always call on you while camping.

6.  Frozen slushies are even better when it's hot, humid, and sunny out.

7.  Frozen slushies are even better with alcohol.

8.  Bug spray.  (yes, worthy of 2 entries)

9.  Naps are very, very good.  For.everyone.

10.  Creating memories with my family (and awesomely close friends) is worthy of all the dirt, sleepless nights, and bug bites.  The dirt washes off, you can catch up on sleep, and the bug bites will dissipate.  But those memories...those awesome memories will last forever.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A number story

I just spent three nights one hour north of here.

The four of us went camping with three other couples from our church.

Two of us went one night early so our five boys could play, and we could score campsite #'s 3 and 4 (right on the water)

Cindy and I walked two miles in 35 minutes every morning at 9:15.

I took a 3 hour nap in the RV on Saturday afternoon.

I consumed about 2000 too many calories over the course of the extended 3- day weekend.

I went swimming once, and something walked over my foot.

I made it to page 246 on my new book "The Help."

Upon returning home, I gave two little boys 30 minute showers, and washed 5 pounds of dirt down the drain

I, again, took another 35 minute nap.

I now have two sore sinus cavities, and 400 bug bites all over my body.

Three of which are large, hard, and hot...and very itchy.

I spent three hours catching up on emails and phone calls this morning.

I have another 4-5 hours of catch up left.

I am infinitely glad our "traveling" season is over, and we can "stay home" for the last 5 weeks of summer.

The End.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Captain Obvious

Guess what? 

It's hot outside.

That's all I've got today.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crime, meet punishment

There's always a few weeks every summer that are challenging.

I'm trying to get things done, and the boys just aren't getting along.

Last year, it was the first two weeks of summer (trying to transition A. home from school), but this year....

it's now.

Only last year, I could still refer to C. as a baby.

"Be careful!  He's still a baby!"

"Be patient!  He's a baby, we need to teach him these things...he doesn't just know them."

This year, with a 4 year old birthday looming, I cannot use the "baby" line.

So, I take a line from a Jodi Picoult book:

"Take care of your brother, he's the only one you've got."

I'm learning that this is only effective the first 40 times you say it.

(Or, perhaps its totally ineffective given that I've had to say it 40 times!)

So, the other day, A. pushed C. which resulted in a GIANT black goose egg on the side of C's head.


Granted, A. didn't mean to hurt his head like that.

But, he did mean to push his brother.  Hard.

At first, I saw a flash of white- I was sooo angry with my son for his actions.

So, I bit my tongue until the anger subsided.

Over an hour later.

After I prayed for discernment, I decided to match the punishment with the crime.

He showed anger with his hands.

Hands are not for showing anger.

So, A. had to come up with a list of 10 things he could do to show love with his hands.

10 things to show love to his brother.

I got to choose the first one.

Here's his list:
1.  (My choice) Give a hug
2.  Make C's bed and mark it off on his commission list.
3.  Feed Molly for C. and mark it off on his commission list.
4.  Clear C's plate, cup and silverware from the dinner table.
5.  Let C. play the wii for the entire 1/2 hour.
6.  Give C. something.
7.  Push C. on the swing.
8.  Clean up all the toys tonight.
9.  Let C. pick the show during TV time.
10. (My choice again) Say a prayer with and for C.

I think he thought of a pretty good list!  He couldn't think of a #10, so he left it up to me.  Which surprised me only because he already saw what I put for #1, and threw a FIT about hugging his brother.

The prayer was short.  Very short. was a start.

There's only been one other offense with hands during the past few days, and since it was only minor , so the list was only 5 items long (the first one I chose....which, again, was a hug.)

Is this a solution? 

It is for now.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

If I had a million dollars

Don't get me wrong....I am a contented person.  I give thanks to God for every single solitary blessing he's given me.  And I try not to worry about finances...but at some level, I think everyone does.

Someone asked me yesterday what I would do if I had a million dollars.  Which got me I thought I'd put it in a post.

1.  Finish the house.  Oh, to not live in a construction site!  I'd decorate to my heart's content and love every minute of it.  Pottery barn desk, here I come!

2.  My teeth.  I have a mouth full of amalgam fillings.  Full.  Two dentists have informed me that they are starting to fail (since I had them filled at such an early age).  And studies have shown that they do indeed seep mercury into our bloodstream.  I'd love to get them all replaced.  The smallest quote I've received for this is $3000.

3.  New van.  Actually, I should say new/used.  Even though I had money to burn, I'd still be smart with it.  Thanks, Dave Ramsey for the education.

4.  Vacation.  The right way.  Fly far far away (preferably to the Rhine River Valley in Germany and cruise up the river), lots of bad-for-you food, lots of fun, great photographs.

5.  Brand new top of the line DSLR camera.  All the lenses.  All the fun stuff.  Start my fun little side-show business.  This would be more hobby than business.  But, man...I'd have fun!

6.  Fun car.  1969 Food Mustang Convertible.  Please.

7.  Fully fund my boys' college funds.  Which right now are non-existent.

8.  Fully fund our retirement.  Which does exist....but....well, whatever....

9.  Get Dave a Sprinter van for work.  These are really cool looking and really economical on gas.  Unfortunately, they run around $25,000.  I hate that he uses an old beat up van for work everyday.  It works, and its paid for...but we have to revisit the same issue every 3 years.

10.  Give the rest away.  All the bases are covered and we've had some it's time to be generous with our gifts.  (Assuming that the tithe was taken care of right off the bat....which is why it's not on the's just a given).  There's a few local charities that I'd love to support, and I'd give a bit more to some programs that need funding.

The end.

Top Ten {Tuesday}

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yet another random post....

It seems as though I'm incapable of forming  a formal post lately.  I'm blaming it on the dog-days of summer.

That, and a long long looooooong to-do list that has me scatter brained.

So, here's a quick update on list form.

  • We The boys  lost one of our wii remotes on Friday.  Which ended up in wii privileges getting taken away all weekend.  D and I cleaned the top two floors of the house, organized toy boxes and closets in search....but nothing.  D and I moved all the furniture too.  Nada.  This morning, A. asked if he could watch Netflix on the wii, and I told him "no" because the remote was still missing.  Later in the morning, he miraculously found it under the couch.  This falls under the category of "things that make me go hhhmmmmm."
  • My friend, Melody, is coming over this morning and we are going to Shred together.  I'm nervous of this for two reasons:  1) I sweat and stink when I work out.  Really bad. 2)  Being honest here, I sometimes shirk on some moves that are pretty tough for me to do, and I'm afraid she'll push me to actually do them, do them right, and do them in entirety.
  • It's also a running day today.  Nothing like making up hard for poor eating choices over the weekend.
  • It's going to be a hot one today.  I'm going to cool off with an iced coffee frappe (made by myself with high protein, low carbs and low calories!!!....oh, and CHEAP!)
  • Perhaps I'll throw a popsicle or two at the boys to help them stay cool as well.
  • The bottom level of our house still needs to be cleaned after our weekend rampage.  And the bathrooms of all levels....and the kitchen(s) floors.
  • Did you know that lets you log "cleaning" as exercise!?!?!?  This is great incentive to clean.
  • I'm suddenly in a mood to pitch old junk and organize.  Don't tell my husband, or he'll expect me to do something about it.  :)
  • I have dry cracked heels.  What do you do about this?  I've never had them before.  I cannot wear socks to bed.
  • Wearing socks when I sleep gives me nightmares.  Yes, this is a tested trend.  I do.not.know.why.
  • I had a weird dream of an old friend last night.  Weird.
  • I'm loving seeing my niece on a weekly basis.  I love having her help me with the boys so I can get some work done.  I'm excited for her to get her ipod touch.
  • D. and I are fighting some strange summer cold.  It's not a bad cold, and we're not even's just a tad annoying.
  • I made an awesome dinner last night- marinated wild caught salmon, roasted herbed red potatoes, and steamed broccoli.  The boys ate hot dogs.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Random Friday Post and 5QF

1.  Somehow, over the course of the past week, I hurt my back.

2.  I just thought that the dull pain I was having in Wisconsin was due to a strange mattress.

3.  But its getting worse.

4.  And I'm not sleeping anymore.

5.  I can't figure out if its nerve, muscle, or organ pain.

6.  Whatever it is, it's a LOT of pain.

7.  I just spent 6 random friday points complaining of my back.

8.  Harry Potter opened last night.

9.  I never got into Harry Potter.

10.  I never got into Twilight either.  Just not for me, I guess.

1. If you knew your best friend's spouse was cheating on her or him, would you tell her (him)?

If I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that a husband was cheating on my friend, then YES - absolutely.  However, if there's doubt that he is, I'm not one to start rumors or insecurities within a marriage.  You need to make sure the facts are correct. 

2. Soda in a can or a bottle?

Neither.  I no longer drink pop.  I've been off the "sauce" for 3 years now, and honestly...I don't miss it.
3. What do you wash first, hair or body?

Since the hair takes so long, I start the hair process before washing the body.  By the time I'm done washing my body, it's time to rinse the conditioner.

4. What advice would you give to any new mama?

Find your groove.  This is a big change and it's amazingly overwhelming.  Everyone has an opinion on the best way for you to raise your baby.  Diapering, nursing, sleeping, foods, toys, education....blah blah blah.  If you're parenting to everyone else's expectations, you'll likely have a nervous breakdown.  Find your own groove and enjoy the journey.

5. What is your best hangover remedy?

Sugar (in food form), water, and ibuprofen.  Half the reason you're feeling lousy is because you're dehydrated or your blood sugar is too low.  Get those two levels back up into the "happy" range, and life will be much more pleasant for you and those around you.  :)

Have a great weekend!  It's supposed to get hot and muggy here - REALLY glad I'm living in a house with air conditioning!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer of learning

I love that life is constantly changing.  I love that I get to learn something new (hopefully) everyday.  Parenthood is all about growing and evolving, but so is being human, being a wife, being a know,


So, I thought I would list a few of the things I've learned over the past few days, weeks, months.

  • My boys are really good car riders on long trips!  This astounded me - as I thought A. would have a lot of motion sickness issues...and I thought the boys would have "togetherness" issues...but it was quiet the contrary.  Making our previous road trips splendid.  (Sans Chicago traffic.)
  • Dual DVD players are fantastic.  And if your kids watch too much tv in one day to get them to a far away destination...well, then so be it.
  • Little girls do not have to be treated like princesses or be obsessed with princesses in order to have fun.  As a matter of fact, it was splendid!
  • My joints are getting older, and need to be stretched often.
  • Mullets and fanny packs do still exist....and yes, on the same person.
  • I think I want to retire in the Upper Peninsula
  • I am not a big city girl.
  • I should make sure I eat something with protein in it after a run.  Failure to do so will result in a little Sandy-melting 2 hours later.
  • Scheduling 2 vacations within 2 weeks is a tad much.  By the time you get ready and go on vacation, you need to unpack....just in time to get ready again.  One more week in between would have been preferred.
  • In addition to cats and horses, C. is also allergic to guinea pigs.
  • I am also allergic to guinea pigs
  • Too much togetherness leads to an ornery big brother who pushes little brother into a table.
  • Mommy can be so mad that she doesn't have words to scold.  Until much much later.
  • A. is capable of showing love with his hands.   Ten times.
  • My parents are very generous.
  • I feel good about cleaning out the crap in my garage.
  • I need to feel better about cleaning out more crap in my garage.
  • I'm allergic to the dust in my garage.
  • I'm addicted to and LOVE the ladies on there who encourage me to make good choices.
  • I'm looking forward to seeing a friend this weekend.
  • I need to start thinking about the school year and find a secretary to serve on the PTL board.
  • It's easier for me to run to rock songs than any other song.  I'm not sure what this means, but this is a recent observation.
  • It is possible for my eldest son to eat 3 hot dogs w/ buns and a carrot and have room for dessert of a cookie ice cream sandwich (gfree!)....and still be hungry 1 hour later.
  • If I don't procrastinate my to-do-list items, my schedule seems less overwhelming.
  • I sleep better in my own bed.
  • C. is not an air mattress kind of kid.
  • Good friends are hard to come by, and it takes effort to maintain a close relationship.  But they are so, so worth it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On the road again: Wisconsin trip!

Apparently, this is the summer that we travel.

Not apparently, it is the summer we're travelling.

For so long, we've put all our energy and money into this thing we call the Love Shack.

I have been telling D. for the past 6 years that once we get into the addition, we're going to plan some fun.

Occupancy permits were received in we're travelling.

Not that we have the extra money to travel,

so we're doing that on the cheap.

But, since there's not much to actually do on the house before the teardown,

we have a little more time and energy to travel this year.

One of my best friends, Gina, has been to visit in Michigan a few times now.

We haven't been their way since before C. was born.

Which is about 5 years ago.

A visit was long overdue.

Additionally, she had a baby 2 years ago that I hadn't met yet.

Worst friend award = right here!

Anyway...we borrowed my parent's car since it was in better shape than ours,
and got MUCH better gas mileage.

We loaded up, and last Friday we left our house at a scary early hour of the morning.

Since they live in Marinette (the boarder of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula),
we chose to go the north route on the way there.

By the time we reached Mackinaw, it was almost lunch time. 

So, we got out to walk around a bit, let the boys stretch their legs, and waste 40 minutes before lunch.

Family pic with the bridge

 D. was teaching the boys how to skip stones on the water.

 We crossed the bridge and had lunch at a pretty picnic area in St. Ignace.

We got to our friend's house by late afternoon and spent the day playing,
eating, playing some more, and just getting the boys acclimated to their kids.

Saturday started with my friends little boy freakishly hating me.

He threw a fit at the breakfast table until I left the room.

He wouldn't even look in my direction.

I was heartbroken.  :(

Later, we decided to head into Green Bay to visit a place called Bay Beach.

It's a really neat place! 

We packed a picnic lunch, found a table there and ate together.

Then, we found some great carnival type rides that are horribly cheap!
Each ticket was 25 cents
The kids' rides were 1 ticket.  The larger rides were 2.

Seriously, a cheap cheap day FULL of fun!

C. rode his first ride that day.

He loved it!

A. was a tad big for the tiny rides, so we switched between the larger rides and the little rides.

There was a really tall 3 tier slide that the dads got in on.

Can you find my kids?

It was such a hit that the kids had to go again immediately.
Neither dad pretested.  :)

There was a mullet sighting.  Awesome.

And another ride on the slide.

A. rode the tilt-a-whirl with Aunt Gina and Lauren.
He loved it.

(Bad picture brought to you by D.)

C. had no desire to ride that ride.
Neither did I.

While they were waiting and riding, C. asked if he could ride the ferris wheel.

So, I took him over and we got in line.

After we were loaded in our car, we went right to the top.

C. went ram-rod straight, looked at me out of the corner of his eye, and said,
"Mommy, I'm a little 'cared fer you."

After the first round or two, he was a pro at carny rides.

And, you know...if you're in Green Bay, might as well visit the mecca.

I'm posting both pictures taken in front of the stadium because A's poses are too cute and make me laugh.


And guess WHO Aunt Sandy won over?!?!?!?

This is sweet little Elliot T.
Which you will also notice is List Item #58.  :)

This little Goo is too funny.

Seriously, class clown in his future!

Elliot's big sister, Lauren, just received some guinea pigs a few weeks prior to our trip. 

She named them butter cup and peanut butter cup.


C. was very eager to help her take care of them.

Part of taking care of them is socializing them and taking them out everyday.

He was very happy to help.

Which....much to my dismay....was a horrible mistake.

This "episode" started the sleepless portion of our vacation.

Allergies and asthma suck.

The next day we stayed close to home base and played on some playgrounds.

The adults only supervised....

Again, only supervision.

No fun was had by any adult at the playground.

Just throwing this one in here because the hotness needs to be shared.  :)

On the way home, we stopped in Appleton for lunch.

Dave's little brother lives there with his wife, and she graciously offered to make us lunch.

And gluten free dessert.  :)
It was neat to see their new house and talk to them for a while.

(Notice the boys' new t-shirts?)

Since we were already almost 2 hours south of Marinette, we decided to go the southern route to get home.

It took considerably longer...and I'm not reaching the opinion that I'm not a city girl....nor am I a city driver.

Neither is my husband.

But, we did complete an entire circle around Lake Michigan.
Which, you'll notice is my #89.

Two list items with one long trip- bonus to an already awesome weekend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top ten things I get to do before bedtime tonight.

We just returned from vacation.  My "trick" from the last post was Friday's post courtesy of scheduled posting.  We were on the road all the live-long day...and I still managed to post!  We returned last night -  late. So, here's a fun little list of the things I "get to do" before I lay my head on the pillow.

1.  Unpack.  Ugh....I managed to fit in a run while we were gone...which means buried in the bowels of my bag is a plastic bag full of sweaty running clothes.  I'm scared to death of finding that bag.

2.  Work!  Two vacations in 4 weeks does not lend itself to high productivity.  I have 12 audits to complete today.  My daily audit total usually runs around 5-7.  Sigh.

3.  Entertain my boys.  This morning while I was showering, A. pushed C. into the corner of the coffee table resulting in the biggest goose egg I've ever seen.  Apparently, they are proving that 11 hours traveling in one day lends itself to energy to burn the next.

4.  Blog.  The other blog I work for has a post scheduled for me today.  I did not think of this when the schedule came out, and now I'm pushing to complete a post.

5.  Cook.  Ahhhh...the joys of wifery and motherhood.  The dirty buggers still need to eat.

6.  Laundry.  See #1.

7.  Run.  I need to get back on track!  I allowed myself one indulgence of crappy food daily while on vacation..... and I can feel it in my body!  Weird that I'm saying I'm actually looking forward to being "back on track."

8.  Pick up Molly.  My sister-in-law has graciously offered to watch my spazzy dog while we were away.  We arrived home too late last night to go get her...and now I need to grab her...and face her pouty face.  Leaving her twice in 3 weeks will result in quite a few extra dirty looks and head turns.  Oh yeah...home-girl's got attitude.

9.  Vacuum out my mom's car.  I'm using her car do go get Molly.  Home-girl sheds too.  And drools.

10.  Attend a thyroid seminar.  The Dr. that treats me is doing a local seminar on thyroid health.  This is the same Dr. who found my thyroid dysfunction in one test that my regular Dr. couldn't find in 8.  I know there's so much more to learn, and I want to learn it!  Whether or not I attend depends on my progress of #2.

Vacation pics coming soon!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Random Friday Post and 5QF

1.  Appearances are deceiving.

2.  I have a trick up my sleeve. 

3.  :)

4.  My to-do list (or better yet, my "get-to list") is no completed.

5.  I started the 30 day Shred this week.

6. Ouch.

7.  Ouch.

8.  Really....really....ouch.

9.  I have bug bites on the back of my arm.

10.  And no where else.

1. Do you think cursive writing is overrated? (Schools in Indiana have now voted to take teaching cursive writing out of their curriculum.)

No, I don't think it's overrated.  I think it requires patience, and a new level of thinking at an early age to know how to read and write in cursive.  Besides, how would anyone learn how to do a signature?!?!?
2. Do you still use a pocket calendar or notepad or do you keep your info on your smart phone?

I have no smart phone, iphone or Black Berry.  I just got texting on my plan last year, and that was only because I needed to converse with car pool friends late at night/ early mornings.  Now I can't live without it! 

But I'm not a note pad person either. 

I'm not at all type A, can you tell?

3. What 3 things would you save if your house was burning down? (family & pets are already safe)

Pictures, pictures, pictures.  You can't get those back!

4. Country Mouse or City Mouse, err Person?

I like the city...for a visit.  So, I'll go with country girl- as long as horses aren't involved.  :)

5. If you could pick ANY reality show to go on, which would you pick?

I'd probably still do the Biggest Looser.  Even the people who loose the game still win at weight loss.

Or I'd do Deal or No Deal.  High pay offs for little skill.  All you need to do is know ratios and basic logic.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kentucky Trip Part 2: Cave Dwelling

Sunday was probably my favorite vacation day.

The six of us took a little journey to the southern part of Kentucky to visit some caves.

We chose to do the self-guided tour for a few reasons:

1) We wanted to go at our own pace since we weren't sure how my dad's leg would tolerate a lot of walking/hiking/climbing, etc.

2) We didn't appropriately plan in advance, and the guided tours all started really early or really late, so this is the only one that we were qualified to go on.

#1 is not my fault.

#2 may be my fault.

First we walked down a paved driveway. 

It was about 1/2 mile long.

There were beautiful banks around us!

We took a family picture right before heading down into the cave.

100 (well 98...but who's counting?!?!) steps down....

This is from the bottom landing looking up.

I love this shot!

Now, my camera didn't work well inside the cave.

The lighting really doesn't support good photos.

But, I did get a few, and I learned a few things too!

For example, they used to mine in these caves.

They used hollowed out poplar trees as pipes.

D. got a little ahead of us with the boys.

I was walking closer to my dad.

They stopped and waited for us to catch up.

To entertain them, he taught them how to make finger shadows on the cave walls.  :)

After walking down, down, down, into the cave,

Through the cave,

Back UP through the cave,

Back UP the 98 stairs (but who's counting?!?!?)

And starting back UP the steep 1/2 mile hill....

Well, we were all a little tired.

I found a pretty area behind a bench, and asked for a grandparent picture with the boys.

I love this picture!!

We left Mammoth hungry, so over lunch we plotted out next adventure:  The Onyx Cave.

My dad stayed behind in the van and took a snooze.

Boy, am I glad he did!  It was a lateral cave - which means that the caverns were tall and deep, and the pathways were tight.  So, he caught some zzzz's while we hiked, climbed, and took tons of pictures.

This is our cave guide, Missy.

These rock formations were so big!  I should have put my thumb in there or something for reference. 

Tight squeeze!

You have to try not to touch the walls because the onyx is a mineral that forms on the walls. 

Once we touch it, the mineral will stop growing.

C. loved caving!

He only got scared once.

This formation is so beautiful! 

My camera doesn't do it justice.

It's between 3-4 stories tall.

At the bottom of the cave, there was a natural "Kodak Spot" where we all paused so everyone could get a picture in the circle.


(the rocks and the guy...hehe)

On the way back, we stopped at the Lincoln Memorial.

It was educational, and really fun!

Oh...and more exercise!!!  (64 stairs!)

And on the way home, we had a very quiet ride.  :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Top ten things I learned about running that can also translate into life lessons

Six months ago, I embarked with all seriousness on a new journey.  My body was starting to heal, and I knew my weakened muscles needed to get back to work. So, here's a few important things I learned along the way.

1.  Anything forward moving is progress.  As long as your not sitting in your butt indented cushion of the couch, its good.

2.  You don't have to spend a lot of money to make it a success.  My original investment in running was under $200.  It's a bare bones basic plan to use my legs as the workout tools.  I didn't need a fancy gym or a fancy trainer in order to move and be successful.  There are few things in my life I would consider fancy.

3. Using your voice is imperative.  Telling people about your goals will help hold you accountable.  I had wanted to run for a while now, but didn't tell anyone.  Why?  I wasn't ready to take myself seriously.  Once I started telling people about my goal, I knew it was time to get the good tennis shoes....cause we were going running!  Using my voice helped me create an accountability system.

4.  True friends are blessings.  There are a few friends that I told and offered no support.  Matter of fact, they actually tried to talk me out of doing something good for myself.  I quickly realized that I only wanted to surround myself with positive friends, and not lobsters in buckets.  (If you have 2 lobsters in buckets, one will always try to escape.  The second one will always pull the other one back down into the bucket.)  The great friends I've relied on through this journey are tried and true.  I know that now, and I know they are honest, dependable, and supportive - and most of them are only a text away.  (Melody, Cindy, and Michelle, talking about you guys here!!!  Thank you!)

5.  The treadmill is always there.  You skip one day, it will be there tomorrow.  Bad day yesterday?  Pick yourself back up today and try again.  Never stop trying.

6.  Good nutrition is a good start.  Running is a lot harder when you've only fueled your body with crap.  It's a little less hard with good fuel and protein in your body.

7.  A little wind in your sails keeps the boat moving.  Sometimes we all need to hear, "good job!"  Finding someone who is willing to tell you that is a blessing.  I know this goes back to #4, but the "good job" deserves a line item of its own.

8.  Pain is temporary.  Some more temporary than others.  But, temporary none the less.  I spoke to my bloggy friend, Charlie, the day before the race and she reminded me that not one person listed in the bible had a painless existence.  Not one.  I should not consider myself exempt from pain either- because in pain, I am in good company (God).

9.  Find inspiration.  I read a lot of 'fat to fit' blogs.  Charlie's blog is one of my favorites.  She serves as an inspiration to me.  Talking to her on the phone the day before the race was just what I needed to calm frazzled nerves.  She reminded me that I can make my actions a prayer.  I could actually make my run a prayer!  Her journey started earlier than mine did...and she's a great person to follow!  My sister-in-law, Marianne, also has a miraculous and hard earned journey in her running/weight loss.  I love surrounding myself with people who inspire me!

10.  This is the most important lesson I learned while running.  Foundation is the most important.  Good shoes, good bra, great God.

Top Ten {Tuesday}

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

"Let the 4th of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights;  that government is only a convenience created & managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should. Happy 4th of July. "

~President Ronald Reagan, (1981)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random Friday List and some 5QF

1.  Getting ready for, and catching up from a vacation is a lot more work than anticipated.

2.  I created an account on and I love love love it!

3.  I completed the Couch to 5k program yesterday.

4.  Yes, I realize that I participated in a 5k race a tad early in training...

5.  But I still completed the race.

6.  I just need to make sure I stay motivated to keep pushing myself.

7.  I have a LONG way to go!

8.  We're hoping and praying that the AC man shows up today.

9.  D. already warned me that it probably wouldn't be ready to go this evening.

10.  He said something about vacuuming out the system, but all I heard was "blah blah  vacuum out system blah blah, not cool tomorrow night blah blah blah going to be hot."

1. If you had the opportunity to bungee jump, would you?

Well....does this answer the question:

(That's me on the right, my brother is in the middle)

This was a while ago.  I was visiting my brother at the Air Force Base in Utah.  I had two friends with me and my brother and some of his fly-boy buddies.  We went to the Free Fall Tower and all participated in "Power Hour."  For $59, you could jump as many times as you wanted in one hour, and you got a t-shirt at the end.  I did 3 jumps total.  My friends did one.  My brother jumped 4 times.  The only reason I didn't follow him up the 4th time is because you had to walk up the entire NINE flights of steps, and I was feeling lazy.  :)

2. Would you rather go to the movie theater or to the drive-in?

Movie theater.  The little speaker boxes just don't cut it for surround sound. they still have those speaker boxes?  Or is there a fancy schmancy way of doing it now?

Ugh...shows you how long its been since I've been to a drive-in movie theater.

3. Do you have your groceries delivered?

WHAT in the WHAT?!?!?!  Delivered?!?!?  I had no idea this was even available!!!!

So, I guess my answer is: no.

There's a drive in pick-up service at a local Meijer up here, and I haven't even used that yet.  The idea is to go online, make your order, and when you get there it's all ready.  You just drive up, slide your debit card, and they load it up.  Bad points:  It costs 7 or 8 dollars, you can't use coupons, and you have NO control over the produce chosen. 

I'm a bit of a produce snob (for lack of a better term), and I use coupons at every given opportunity.  Plus, I NEED to be able to read labels before purchasing.

So, I guess my answer would  still be no.

4. Eyebrows: Do you wax, thread, pluck, or stay au naturel?

Well, when I pay attention to them, I wax.  I tried to pluck once....but I cannot knowingly inflict pain on myself.  Apparently, that's something I have to pay someone money for.

I tried threading once.  It was at my MOPS spa day.  SO painful!  And my eyes would not stop watering- it looked like I was sobbing...which ruined the make up the spa ladies had just applied.  Never.again.

Thankfully, I have blond eyebrows.  So, if the tightwad in my wins over, letting them go for a while is not a huge situation.

5. Would the people you went to high school with be surprised by your life today?

Probably not.  I'm pretty much the same person I was back then - just with more confidence (in who I am and what I believe in) and a lot more love and humility toward others.