Thursday, July 14, 2016

Riley at 14

 
8th Grade Recognition
What a year it has been for this kid! He ran cross country (8th grade) and made varsity for conference meet. He worked hard on strength training and running with us all winter at the Y. He completed the Indoor Ironman (full Ironman during the month of Feb) at the Y. He participated in middle school track and was the conference champion in the triple jump. He trained for and ran his first half marathon (ON his 14th birthday- recap to come). He graduated 8th grade. He jumped right into high school with band and summer school. He has worked hard at summer school to get credit for fall and realizes the importance of that. He has become an avid fisherman. He knows more than just about anyone I know about fishing and loves to be out there even if he doesn't catch anything. He has become an amazing role model for his younger brothers.
 
8th Grade Recognition night


Friends at 8th Grade Recognition

Family at 8th Grade Recognition

Brothers at 8th Grade Recognition
It has been amazing to see the growth and change in Riley over the past year. He is no longer my little boy! He is turning into an amazing young man and I couldn't be more proud of him! I have seen him step up and be more responsible and he has been more willing to help out when it is needed. It has been so much fun to be able to work out with him at the Y and to experience training for and running his first half marathon "with" him! It has been wonderful to see him become interested in fishing and to watch him in his element.
 
It is crazy to think that he is now a high schooler- how the hell did that happen? He was my first baby and now he is a high schooler! I am excited for this next stage in life and what it will all bring for him.
 
 

Here is my interview with Riley:
  1. Name: Riley Owen
  2. How old are you?  14 years old
  3. What is your favorite thing to do? Play baseball 
  4. Who is your best friend? Ethan
  5. What is your favorite color? Purple
  6. What is your favorite food? Pizza
  7. What do you like to do with your family? go on vacation
  8. What is your favorite toy? my fishing pole
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Game warden
  10. What makes you happy? fishing
  11. What makes you sad? losing a big fish
  12. What is your favorite show? Mountain Men
  13. What is your favorite book? No idea
  14. What do you love to learn about? science
  15. Where do you like to go? to the lake (Lake of the Ozarks)
  16. Who is your favorite teacher? Mrs. Arellano (band and TA)
  17. What is your favorite treat? ice cream
  18. What do you think about before you fall asleep? nothing
  19. What sport do you like best? baseball
  20. What are you really good at? baseball
  21. What would you buy if you had $1000? fishing stuff
  22. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? chocolate, chocolate with chocolate stuff on top
  23. Who is your biggest hero? Derek Jeter
  24. What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday? catch a big fish
  25. What do you like to do best with your friends? fish
  26. What is your favorite song? Thunderstruck by ACDC
  27. I am very proud because.... I was conference champion for triple jump and I ran a half marathon.
  28. I am afraid to.... go somewhere really high without a harness
  29. Imagine that you can become invisible whenever you wanted to. What are some of the things that you would do? Pretend to be a ghost and scare people.
  30. Pretend that you can fly whenever you wanted. Where would you go? I would go really far away to where it is good fishing.
  31. Where do you want to go on vacation? Alaska or Hawaii
  32. What is your favorite thing to do with Mom or Dad? run

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Little man turns 7


Having a summer birthday and wanting to have a party can be tough... especially when your brothers play traveling baseball and have tournaments nearly every weekend. It is really tough when both brothers have a tournament in different places ON your birthday and your family can't even be together.  This was the case for Aidan this year- Riley had a tournament in Holmen, WI (close to home) and Isaac was in Marshfield, WI (a couple hours from home). I think it is safe to say that Aidan made the best of it and had a great birthday. He got to celebrate all weekend with his baseball family. He got to stay in a hotel. He was able to swim. But, the biggest reason he had a great birthday... 
 
The "twins"

... He got to celebrate it with one of his best friends and baseball sibling, Sissy (aka Cailyn). Sissy is just 2 days older than Aidan so we celebrated the two of them together all weekend at the baseball tournament!

me with the birthday kids

fun at the park

 
birthday treats for the baseball family
swimming with friends
 I think it is safe to say that they both had a great birthday weekend!
 
Exactly 7 years old!
 
It has been a year filled with lots of fun for Aidan. He played basketball. He is playing coach pitch baseball and is also doing summer track and field. He got to spend lots of time playing with friends and experiencing new things. There were several trips to visit family in Iowa and Missouri which he seems to love. He learned to tie his shoes (finally) and has lost several teeth. He has started to read more and is learning so much. It has been such a joy to watch him develop into his own little person over the past year. He is very social and likes to be silly but can be serious when he needs to be. He is very sweet and loving. One of my favorite memories of him from this year would have to be how he would leave flowers by my water bottle when I was out training for my half marathon so that I would find them when I got home. That always made my heart melt! He is still snuggly and LOVES to have his back rubbed. He is smarter than he knows and I hope that he finds more confidence over the next year so that he starts to realize how smart he is.
 
I know it sounds cliché but I really can't believe how fast the years have gone! It still feels like he should be a baby. He will always be MY baby and I am excited to see what is in store for the next year as he moves into second grade.
 

Here is my recent interview with my little man:
  1. Name: Aidan Everett
  2. How old are you? 7 years old
  3. What is your favorite thing to do? Play with my friends
  4. Who is your best friend? Josh, Jack and Sissy (Cailyn)
  5. What is your favorite color? Purple
  6. What is your favorite food? Mac and Cheese
  7. What do you like to do with your family? go swimming
  8. What is your favorite toy? toy cars- motorcycle and monster truck. Oh, and snuggle bear
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Police Officer
  10. What makes you happy? my birthday
  11. What makes you sad? not being with mom
  12. What is your favorite show? Mountain Men
  13. What is your favorite book? Little Critter
  14. What do you love to learn about? dinosaurs
  15. Where do you like to go? Virginia
  16. Who is your teacher? Mrs. Roesler (1st Grade)
  17. What is your favorite treat? candy
  18. What do you think about before you fall asleep? what I am going to do in the morning
  19. What sport do you like best? baseball
  20. What are you really good at?  running
  21. What would you buy if you had $1000?  a cool racing remote control racing boat
  22. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? vanilla with cookie dough
  23. Who is your biggest hero?  Uncle Steve because he was in the military
  24. What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday? go to the zoo
  25. What do you like to do best with your friends? play on the trampoline
  26. What is your favorite song? Can't Stop This Feeling by Justin Timberlake
  27. I am very proud because.... I can run fast.
  28. I am afraid to.... do a backflip on the trampoline
  29. Imagine that you can become invisible whenever you wanted to. What are some of the things that you would do? Spy on people and play tricks on them.
  30. Pretend that you can fly whenever you wanted. Where would you go? Virginia, Grandma's (Elkader, IA) and to Missouri to Papa and GJ's house
  31. Where do you want to go on vacation? Virginia and Florida
  32. What is your favorite thing to do with Mom or Dad? going to the lake

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Isaac turns 11

This kid... What can I say? He continues to embrace every experience put in front of him and works hard at everything he does! He is one determined 11 year old. He knows how to lighten the mood and isn't afraid to be silly. This year marked the end of elementary school for him. This fall he will be moving onto a new building and lots of new experiences. He recently started learning how to play the trumpet. It has been amazing to watch him grow and change and I am excited for what is to come for Isaac!


Staying in line with the last several years, I recently sat down with Isaac to interview him. I am excited to look back in the years to come to see how his answers change over time.
  1. Name: Isaac Paul
  2. How old are you?  11 years old
  3. What is your favorite thing to do? Play with my friends
  4. Who is your best friend? Sam
  5. What is your favorite color? Purple
  6. What is your favorite food? Burgers from Burger Fusion (local restaurant)
  7. What do you like to do with your family? go to Missouri
  8. What is your favorite toy? phone
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? DNR Officer
  10. What makes you happy? playing baseball
  11. What makes you sad? when it rains and I can't play baseball
  12. What is your favorite show? Mountain Men
  13. What is your favorite book? UUUMMMM... I don't know.
  14. What do you love to learn about? wildlife
  15. What was the best part of your birthday? going go-carting
  16. Where do you like to go? to my grandmas
  17. Who is your teacher? Mrs. Turgeon
  18. What is your favorite treat? ice cream
  19. What do you think about before you fall asleep? the next day
  20. What was your favorite birthday present? money
  21. What sport do you like best? Baseball
  22. What are you really good at? taking care of dogs (Mollie)
  23. What would you buy if you had $1000? Fishing stuff
  24. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? blue moon
  25. Who is your biggest hero? my big brother
  26. What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday? go to the Mall of America
  27. What do you like to do best with your friends? play baseball
  28. What is your favorite song? Kill the Lights by Luke Bryan
  29. I am very proud because....  I am good at catching fish
  30. I am afraid to....   be catcher again in baseball because I got hit in the knee.
  31. Imagine that you can become invisible whenever you wanted to. What are some of the things that you would do? Scare people.
  32. Pretend that you can fly whenever you wanted. Where would you go? I would go to Florida and Wyoming. I would also go visit Papa and GJ in Missouri and go fishing.
  33. Where do you want to go on vacation? Disney World
  34. What is your favorite thing to do with Mom or Dad? Going on vacation and to baseball games.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

WHAT!?!

Seriously, my last post was April 28th??????? You mean to tell me that I haven't updated you on my crazy life since then?!? My life has been a sort of whirl-wind since then and I have had posts written in my head but I guess they never made it to the blog!

Here are just a few things that have happened since then (more details to follow in upcoming posts and with pictures, of course):
  • Isaac turned 11
  • Tim, Riley and I trained for a half marathon
  • Tim and Isaac went to EBELC for a multiple day field trip for 5th grade
  • Riley did middle school track
  • Riley was conference champion for the triple jump
  • Riley turned 14
  • Tim, Riley and I  spent a weekend in Green Bay celebrating Riley's 14th birthday
  • Riley ran his first half marathon and ROCKED it!
  • Tim and I ran and finished the Green Bay Half
  • Dad had a health scare that sent us on an urgent trip to Missouri for Memorial Day weekend.
  • Riley graduated 8th grade
  • Last day of school
  • Baseball, baseball, and more baseball
  • All three boys play games on Tues/Thur nights
  • Aidan turned 7
  • Very little running after GB due to an angry right leg
  • I spent an AMAZING weekend in Madison for the HER Madison Half and 5k
  • Riley has busy days with summer school, strength, band and baseball
  • Isaac and Aidan are busy with track and baseball
  • I still work full time
  • Tim works full time and is coaching Riley's baseball team
  • We are trying to keep up on laundry, house work, yard work and keeping everyone fed
  • Operate day by day
I think we have had just a few things going on in the past couple of months... no wonder it felt like that time went so fast!

I really miss blogging so I will be working on getting some updates done as I am able. There are lots and lots of pictures to document most of the above :)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Running is my therapy

We have been having a tough week or so due to Isaac having some behavior issues at school ending with an incident that he participated in resulting in really hurting the feelings of one of his best friends, whose family we are also very close with. It has been an emotionally draining time for all of us! Add to that me working Wednesday-Friday last week and so far Monday-Wednesday this week- all 12 hour shifts. That has made dealing with emails/texts/phone calls/voice mails, etc very challenging... very necessary but very challenging and now I am also physically drained! Last night after work, I was able to have a very nice chat with my friend, and the mom of the child Isaac upset. It was great to talk to her mother to mother and process through the situation together and I feel good about where we are headed and know that we can all help support the boys the best we can. Their friendship is important to all of us! They have been close for several years and it has been a good relationship for each of them. We were also finally able to coordinate a meeting with the principal, his teacher and the school counselor this morning and  I think we are on the right track there too.  Now it is just a matter of mending those broken fences!

After getting back home from the meeting at the school I just wanted to crawl back into bed but  I knew that it wouldn't make me feel better in the end. I knew what I needed... a good, hard RUN! Even though my mind was racing all over the place I also felt hyper-aware of everything on this run. I was fully present and in tune with myself and it was strange and amazing all at the same time!



As I started out I couldn't help but notice how much this run was representing my past several days. The weather was dreary and drab just like my mood. It tried to rain on me multiple times just like I had shed some tears over the past days due to feeling disappointed in both Isaac and myself as a parent. There were hills that were tough to charge up but I knew I had to push through to enjoy the view at the top. There were down-hills that felt like I was coasting though time.

the ups and downs of the past several days
At times, the wind picked up and made it tough to move forward... like when I was upset, angry, and felt frozen in fear of what was going to happen to Isaac and what was going to happen with his and our friendships that were involved. At first my breathing felt crazy and out of control much like my world over the past several days but as my feet continued to hit the ground I started to feel more and more grounded and was able to take control of my breathing very similar to how this whole process has felt. At that point, I was also able to take in and appreciate the beauty around me- the flowering trees and all of the beautiful spring flowers.




To me these beautiful things represented all of our wonderful relationships and amazing support system. I also noticed all of the new leaves and buds on the trees indicating to me that we are going to all be able to grow from this experience and flourish like we are meant to! I struggled to keep my pace consistent just like I wanted to rush through this process and make it better knowing full well that it was best to take it easy. I started out feeling very little confidence but as the miles went by I felt more and more confident in the fact that I knew what was the best next steps and as I was able to feel that way my pace was able to get faster and faster. It was a tough run (mostly emotionally) and I had to push myself through the process but in the end I felt much better!



The universe works in very strange ways and my music during my run was also interesting to me and something that I was in the moment enough to take note of. No matter what I was thinking it felt like just the right song would come on for that thought. Here are a few examples:


Feeling defeated and struggling up a tough hill


Feeling emotional over the whole situation and what the consequences could be

Feeling down about myself in general
(Tim says this song is how he thinks of me)

Inner critic creeping in
(another one that Tim says expresses how he feels about me)

all the feelings in one song and being grateful for walking through this with Tim by my side
(another song that Tim has played for me in the past)

as I was noticing all of the beautiful flowering trees

As I came around the block to home- feeling more confident.
 I am absolutely serious about when each of these songs came through my earbuds. It was crazy how spot on each was with how I was feeling at the time!

turquoise flower= believe & stay strong
#FFCREW Hat= fiercly united
It felt great to get out there and in the end I was so glad I did. It was a much healthier way to deal with all of my emotions than sitting around on social media comparing myself to everyone else's highlight reel while eating crap! That just drags me down. This run helped boost me back up and helped give me an entirely new perspective! It is amazing to me the power of running!



This was a "turquoise flower run" for me and for my middle man who I love with all of my heart! Now to build him back up so that he starts to believe in himself and see his potential like we do!! Maybe I need to get him out there running with me:)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Big sigh of relief

Based on past history I figured I would get a phone call if there was something to worry about and since I hadn't gotten that dreaded phone call yet a week after my biopsy,  I allowed myself to relax a little over Easter weekend. When my worry/anxiety would try to sneak in I stopped it by telling myself that there was a letter with good news somewhere in the US Postal System. But, as a worrier, I still needed that confirmation before I could completely relax and fully believe it. Late Sunday night, after a long day of traveling home from visiting my dad and stepmom in Missouri, I was grateful to find the letter waiting for me. This letter brought with it good news and a great big sigh of relief!


I feel very lucky and incredibly grateful for such great news and also for all of the wonderful people in my life who sent messages of thoughts/concern/support over the past couple of weeks. I am blessed to have so many wonderful people by my side helping me through tough times like this!

So, now that I am able to put that scare behind me, it is time to move on to "fun" stuff.

We had a great time in Missouri and I will have more to share on that once I have an opportunity to get my pictures off my camera. That hasn't happened yet because we have been busy enjoying the beautiful spring days that we have been blessed with the past few days (and the fact that I was only working 6 hour shifts- a coworker and I split our Monday and Tuesday shifts up to help each of us out).

Monday the kids were off of school so I hustled home from work (grateful to be off after 6 hours) so that we could go hiking with some friends. We had a lot of fun exploring some new trails in the area. It was a beautiful day and was nice to catch up with a friend while being active with our boys.

According to Aidan we hiked to the top of the world.
Tuesday the kids were back in school so I was able to get back to my normal Tuesday morning routine of heading to the Y after dropping them off. I was able to get in a 5k run on the dreadmill before heading to my favorite yoga class. I have worked the past several Tuesdays so it felt so good to get back to that class. The stretching was just what I needed and helped me find some balance again.



When I walked out of The Y I couldn't believe how nice it was outside and I started to regret running earlier. On my drive home I decided that I had just enough time (and energy) left to head out for a couple more miles before having to get ready for work. It turned out that was also just what I needed. It felt so good to run outside after a week off (due to work and traveling). It was nice enough that I was comfortable in a tank top and my leggings and I was able to "take in" and appreciate the wonderful morning while my favorite songs played in my ear. It was glorious and really helped me embrace my inner blue flower.



This is a flower that I have not always felt I connected with but am really working on this year and  I think I was successful in doing just that on Tuesday!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pesky little rogue cells

Just because this picture makes me smile:)
Dang! Where did the past month + go? The only explanation is work, work, and more work with a little fun thrown in on the side. We had someone leave at work so I have been working lots of extra hours since my last post. It is amazing how fast time goes when you are working extra and have a lot going on outside of work! I will get to all of that in my next post. First I have another post that I need to get off my mind before I gain a bunch of weight by eating my fear/emotions. Typing my feelings seems to be a good way for me to understand what is going on in my head and in my heart so here goes...

Last Friday (3/18), I had my 6 month dermatology follow-up. For a week or more I had been feeling pretty emotional but couldn't put my finger on it. It dawned on me on my way to the clinic that this tends to be a pattern for me leading up to these appointments. Once I started to acknowledge this pattern and really think about why they would make me emotional I realized that deep down they scare the crap out of me! I have always acknowledged the fact that they make me uncomfortable (who would like to have their skin examined from head to toe every) but they also scare the crap out of me!

Usually they are very easy appointments and I am in and out in minutes- it usually takes me longer to check in than it does to actually be seen. But they still make be emotional and full of fear. These are all things that I am thinking through as I walk into the clinic and check in because I am finally processing this after all of these visits. Why does this appointment bring me so much fear/emotion?


Well, my appointment on Friday helped me understand exactly why! How ironic that I was thinking about all of this on my way in! USUALLY, I am in and out within minutes but not Friday. It took longer because I had a mole on my shoulder that was a concern and he wanted it gone... then and there! Before I knew it a consent was pushed in front of me to sign and a photographer swooped in to take pictures of this pesky little spot. The room was full of people as a couple of other staff (MAs and/or RNs) came in and began to lay me back and helped get everything ready. My doctor injected lidocaine, to numb the area, and before I knew it those pesky, little rogue cells were gone. I got a small bandage and received instructions on how to care for my new "wound" over the next week. At that point I was also told that I would get a letter or call within 10 days regarding the results. It was such a whirlwind! It wasn't until I got back out to my car that it all started to sink in and I was able to process what had just happened. Then it was full freak out mode... HOLY CRAP... this is why these appointments make me so emotional! It was deja vue... in that moment I was taken back to December 2012... and all I could think was that I could be headed down the crazy path of melanoma again!



So, here I sit... marinating in that fear! Waiting for those darn pathology results to come back! Scared out of my mind but hopeful at the same time. I have been going to dermatology every 6 months for 3 years now. Plus, my family medicine doctor is amazing and keeps a close eye on me and my skin (I should add that he actually commented last fall about keeping a close eye on the spot of concern). I am hopeful that, even though this is concerning, I believe that we served it's eviction notice early enough to not cause bigger issues! I believe the fear comes from the fact that you just never know. I thought the best back in 2012 and was blindsided. Reality is that I could be dealing with this all over again many times in my life. I will probably be dealing with these same feelings again in 6 months when the pesky mole in the middle of my back (that the doctor looked at three times this visit) decides to go rogue and my doctor decides that one needs the boot. I am learning to recognize and acknowledge these feelings instead of stuffing them with a chocolate malt like I have done in the past. Last Friday I pounded it out on a run THEN finished it off with a chocolate malt.. progress not perfection...baby steps!


I guess what I am trying to say here is...
Life can be scary at times. We need to acknowledge the fear but we can't let it consume/control us. We just need to keep on living life the best we can because you just never know! Oh... and sometimes a chocolate malt does make it feel better... for a moment!