What this Blog is All About - Our Life

We have started a blog. Why? To share our lives with the many family and friends who don't live near us. Seems over the years everyone has scattered. (Or rather, we have scattered) Shane's Family in Idaho and Ginger's Family in Wisconsin. There are also the wide range of friends, all over the country, we have made through TurningLeaf seminars. We thought this would be a nice place to keep the world informed of our lives. (Those who dare, anyway!)

Life, Babies & Nutrition

Holly Smokes!  It has been a year since we have updated this blog.   A text from my Mom this past week reminded me that this blog was still here.

Most everyone we hold dear follows us on Facebook so I haven’t felt the urge to write anything out.  We live very transparent lives.  I understand some feel we are crazy for living our lives this way but it works great for us.  We tend to ignore any of the whispers. We have enjoyed keeping our loved ones connected to us, even if sometimes we don’t feel connected to them.  I suppose this blog might be a great avenue to tap into, we’ll see how that goes this coming year.

This past week an individual we have come to love as family passed away.  Our hearts have been aching for the family he has left behind.  Death can often times become a reminder of just how short life really is.  At the funeral my best friend, his daughter, read from a journal of memories.  It touched my heart that he left these memories for his family.  I started to think of how different the world is now from the generations before us.  Technology has not only shifted the ways we can connect but also what we can leave for our kids to know us by.  I often thought how cool it would be to have known my ancestors better and thankful for the few pieces I do have of them. 

Shane is still working for Hoovestol.  This company is contracted with the post office and Shane works Wednesday through Mondays from 3:30 am to about 2:30 pm. It is a job we do not take for granted since he is home every night and many times pulls a better income than other truck drivers who have to stay on the road for months at a time.  He is also working anywhere between 20 to 30 hours for HTC Trucking.  This is a company he owns with his parents and sister.  They are currently running 4 trucks out of Cedar and employ 4 full time people, including his Dad.  Most of any profit is being left in the company, including any salary for him, so there isn't much of an income from it at this point.  HOWEVER, Shane is getting good use of his bachelor’s degree in business.  He runs all of the books, manages employees and helps his Mom with finding and negotiating loads.  He also takes care of various miscellaneous things which most people don’t think of when having to run a business. We see this as an investment in our future, not only for us but for our children. 

Shane and I treasure the time we do have together since we tend to work overlapping shifts and rarely have the same days off.  I am also on the lookout for some part time work I can do from home.  I am currently working about 30 hours per week at TurningLeaf and still love every minute of it.  Everyone knows it’s my passion in life, so I won’t go on and on.  However, I would like to start doing some things from home to help prepare for growing a family. It is no secret we have been trying to start a family.  I would like to be home part time when that day arrives, which is why I have slowly been shifting my hours in St George.  We have no idea how it will all work but trusting God does.  It is also Shane’s hope that someday he can shift into running HTC full time and we can then set our own hours.   It’s very important to both of us that we have the ability to travel as much as possible, especially to Idaho and Wisconsin where a large portion of our family resides.  We have come to believe that we create our future by the steps we are taking now. 

Our fitness and healthy living attempts continue.  We are by no means perfect at it but learning it’s not about being perfect.  We tend to make at least 3-4 dinners per week that I would consider healthy.  The rest either consist of left overs or unhealthy dishes. Breakfast and Lunch more often than not are on the Healthy side. For me personally, the food aspect of living healthy has been a huge challenge.  I LOVE treats and pretty much anything with sugar finds its way to my mouth.  I feel like I have finally gotten the fitness piece down.  I work out in some form almost every day and have been working with a personal trainer 3 times per week.  The bottom line, however, is that you can work out all you want but without shifting the diet, it’s almost impossible to move forward.   I have played with the idea of going back to school to become a registered dietitian. WHOA!! I KNOW!! Where did that come from?  Well, it comes from my obsession of improving not only my own quality of life but others too. This one area of my life, nutrition, keeps kicking my butt!!  Working in the Mental Health field has taught me that most people who enter the field have done so because they are in need of help themselves or have had a loved one who suffered with Mental Health.  For me, I need help with nutrition and it is always something that completely fascinates me. Do I always live what I learn?!? NOPE! BUT, everyone that hangs out with me on Facebook knows I am always posting something about fitness, nutrition or helping others.  Why not combine them all?

I could write an entire post about our trip to Alaska so I am going to save that for later.  Hope I do it soon though before I forget some of it.  I have a few friends who keep a travel blog for this reason.  Sure wish I had done that.  For now, I will just leave a few of my favorite pics of Shane and I from that trip.

Well, I suppose that is enough for now.  Sure hope I post more than I did in the last 12 months.  Much love to everyone!

Past 8 Months... Saving it all UP!

Ok, to keep in alignment with my previous posts, it’s probably time for an update. J

I am trying to remember all the events that have gone on this year, so far. Most good but a few sad.. Please forgive me if I forget something important.
FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT!!!! Our dear friend ZAC and his buddies returned home from Iraq just in time for Christmas. We were so excited and happy, not only for him but for his wife Brylee and the entire Nixon family. We really missed him and it was a tear filled reunion as Shane and I waited with family and friends at the airport here in Cedar City. It has been so awesome to have him back home safe and sound!!!!
Shane’s family had another lose in early February with his Mom’s Sister passing of cancer. It really has been a hard few years for the family. I was thankful I was able to meet her several times over the last few years and she is missed by the entire family!!!
My Dad and Step Mom came for a visit in late February. It was so awesome! He was here for his birthday and we just loved every minute of it. Shane took time off for his visit. We went to the parade of homes in St George, snowmobiling and a trip out to The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to find a Dog to rescue. It was so wonderful for both of them to be here as we found our dog Copper. I have to say it’s one of the best visits I have ever had with my Dad and Sue and I can’t wait for them to come back soon!

We went back a few days after their visit and picked up our newest family member, Copper. I was torn about getting a Dog. I was worried we would not have enough time to take care of him and that our schedules would leave him home alone too much. BUT, something else shifted this year for us… Shane’s work Schedule. If you read the last post I put up, you can be reminded how much I was struggling with it. Shane has since been shifted to a set schedule that runs Thursday morning to Monday afternoons. He has off on Tuesday’s and Wednesdays. No more shifting back and forth. He is home every night and I couldn’t be happier about it. The only drawback has been that Shane has to get up at 3am on the days he works but it is still better than before and he no longer has overnight runs. I tend to work from home on Tuesday’s which has been so nice! (I work for a pretty awesome company!). I also tend to work a lot on Saturdays so it makes up for any time off I take with Shane during the week. It’s been a blessing and we are not complaining.

In April we took a trip back to Wisconsin for my Niece Addie’s 1st birthday party and also to meet my Sister’s newest addition Jason Jr. along with my good friend Laura’s new baby boy Jude. We were so happy to get back to see as many as we could. There is never enough time on those trips and although I LOVE them, I always feel a little sad that I can’t get everyone in. I wish more than anything I could invent a teleport! J

Shane and I are plugging away at giving our back yard a much needed facelift.  Most follow us on Facebook and have seen my constant pictures. (Yes, I know between Copper and our Yard, I post a little too often.  BUT don’t judge too hard, our biggest Facebook fans are my parents who wish we lived closer.  I like to give them a taste of our everyday life.  So until my Dad starts texting and upgrades his phone to get pictures… Facebook will have to do! LOL)
Our friends Aaron and Jessi have come to stay with us a few times now this year.  The second visit came in June and Aaron so kindly helped Shane install a sprinkler system into our dirt pile.  By then, we already had our patio poured and our block wall was in the process of being put up.  Since then, we have brought in 4 loads of dirt and have maybe 2 more to go?  It will all depend on if we decide to get the garden area filled this year or next.  We are hoping to lay the Grass no later than September.  The yard projects we have decided to put on hold are the decorative concrete path leading to the fire pit and the fire pit area itself.  I am getting A LOT of ideas on Pinterest so it should be fun to see what we actually go with in the end. We purchased some patio furniture and have been enjoying it A LOT!  I love coming home and sitting on the back porch and enjoying our mountain view.

In May I made my first attempt at the Insanity program sold by Beachbody.  I made it 30 days and I am pretty proud of myself.  I have found since I started that program I have been more active and have really started to enjoy working out.  I plan to go back to the Insanity program and finish out the remaining 30 days this winter sometime. Like most things I jumped in head first without realizing how difficult the 2nd half of the program would be.  I have also purchased p90x which I have been excited to get back into as well.  Regardless of what program I am doing at any given time, it has been fun to stay active.  Most recently I have been training for a ½ marathon in November.  Some coworkers got me motivated and it has grown into a group of more than 20 people who have committed to either running or walking the Snow Canyon 5K or Half Marathon.  We are hoping in the process to raise a few dollars for the TurningLeaf Foundation.  If you are feeling so inclined to help us get a jump start on the fundraising, please follow the link and donate a few dollars for the cause.   I would get on my knees and beg but I am trying to keep them healthy for the run. LOL.  We won’t hit the fundraising hard for a few more months but would love to get a start on it now.  J  Here is the link, just click on this… share the love! 
I am planning to write a blog down the road about how TurningLeaf has changed my life and why I am such a big supporter of it, especially now that it has a Foundation side to help those who have financial issues.  I will keep that post for another time, since this is already getting long. J
June marked the one year anniversary of HTC Trucking which is a trucking company Shane’s parents have started after Shane’s grandfather past away.  It has been a dream of Shane’s to see his parents do this and we have been blessed to be a part of it.  It has meant A LOT of extra hours by both is parents and Shane but it will be worth every minute, as it will be setting up a great future for the family.  Currently they have 3 trucks and are looking to add a 4th truck this fall.  Eventually Shane is planning to shift over to HTC full time but it will be a few years down the road.  For now, it has been fulfilling to be working on it part time and to see it grow so much in just this 1st year. 
We just returned Tuesday from Shane’s family reunion in Yellowstone Park… which also happens to be held the same weekend as my family reunion every year. (I was so sad to have missed it) BUT, this year was extra special for Shane’s parents because it was their turn to plan all the food and the location of the reunion. We didn’t feel it was even an option to not go, since it only happens every 9 years.  There are 9 siblings in his Dad’s family and they all take turns putting on the “party” each year.  We spent a lot of time cooking but JUST as much time visiting and enjoying everyone.  I personally really enjoyed it, and especially the time we got to spend with Shane’s Sister and Brother in law.  We don’t get to see them nearly as often as we would like and it was so fun to laugh and share stories!  Aaron, Jessi and the Girls also came along and it seriously feels like they are a part of the family. We are so happy they came and enjoyed the time everyone had together! 
Shane and I took a few days after the reunion to drive through the park and head down to Jackson Hole.  We had lots of fun while we toured the town and stayed at the Ski Resort.  Who knew a ski resort could be so much fun in the “off” season!  We spent our last night relaxing at a beautiful lodge in Bear Lake, UT.  I loved every minute!!
The next adventure is a trip back to Wisconsin this next week.  I am running in the Dirty Girl Mud Run with my Sister-In-Law while also visiting family.  I have been pretty excited for this run because it will be the first official event of many (I hope).  Seems to me, these types of events keep things fun for staying in shape.  Staying active is a new life goal of mine… I haven’t been perfect at it, but progress for sure!
Well, like always this has gotten really long.  Wish I was better about keeping it updated but I guess, as Shane has said, we are too busy living life. LOL.  Love you all and hope all is well with all our family and friends!

It's Me... Just Call Me CRAZY!!!!!

This is a very long overdue blog post. Blogging reminds me of when I was a kid and I always thought it would be cool to have a journal or keep a diary. I would write in it every day for about a week and then it would be months later before I made an entry. Always starting with “Well, it’s been a long time… “ Or “ Sorry I haven’t written” as if I was writing to a long lost friend. So this is no different I suppose.

So, to keep to tradition, much has happened in the last few months. To name a few in no particular order…

A Wedding, A Cruise, A Halloween Reception, A Boise State game in Las Vegas, Several TurningLeaf Seminars, my Sister’s baby and a bundle of cousins having babies. …. And now a very much needed visit from my Mom this Thursday. She is staying 10 days. I am pretty excited and hope it will help with my homesickness.

I could write all about all these things, especially the wedding but to be honest, it has felt like that’s all I have been talking about for the last year and so I am just going to share some random things. We will be getting our wedding video pretty soon, so watch for that. We plan to post it on here.

Most recently I have been having a hard time sleeping when Shane’s not home. For those that hang out with me on Facebook, this is not new news. I don’t keep much of my life a secret anymore. Find it has been liberating to just let it all out. (Ok, not everything, I wouldn’t want my entire Facebook friend list to hide me on their wall) BUT the sleep issue was really starting to become just that, an ISSUE! Shane is working a new schedule. He works 4 days on, 2 days off, 4 days on. That in itself isn’t bad but every other stretch of 4 days is an opposite shift. 4pm to 3am, then 4am to 3pm. He also, on his days off, tends to work random hours on the financials or a few runs for HTC Trucking. This new shift started shortly after we got married and we have finally found our rhythm. (I think) Let me tell ya though, I think I went through some sort of “Going Crazy” spurt. It really annoys me that we have to depend on sleep to function. When I WAS sleeping I was having crazy dreams. The kind that were so vivid you wake up wondering if it really just happened. Insomnia stinks. I feel embarrassed that I get it sometimes. It usually means I am letting my brain race and not letting go and resting. It can be a vicious cycle. The less sleep the more Crazy. Shane and I have had several discussions about what are we going to do if and when we have children. I feel bad complaining about my sleep when all the Mothers and Fathers out there selfishly give up sleep to raise babies. BUT it makes me nervous if I can’t even handle my own sleeplessness, let alone another’s life.

Speaking of Babies…. Now that Shane and I are married, we are getting the “Baby Question”. So, to be extremely honest with all of you that want to ask us, it truly has depended on the day. We have decided to revisit the idea in a few years. The baby itch has calmed down some now that I know it will be up for discussion later. Nothing ever needs to be decided in Stone. Unfortunately, It just won’t work right now with both our work schedules and while we are still climbing out of some remaining debt. I know one can’t ALWAYS plan these things but we would like to if we can. God knows we would never be upset by an accident. If that happens it will be Gods will, and what is the good in fighting God’s will? Just saying.

Well, I guess this is it for now. Maybe you will see me on here tomorrow… maybe in a few months. Either way, I really hope everyone is doing well. Send us an email or two, tell us about life and what is new. We would love to hear from you. Who knows, maybe the next post will be from Shane. :)

My Struggle with Perfection

Ginger Writes, "It’s time for another blog entry… Why? Because I want to put off my workout! (Honesty will set you free... LOL) Shane is at work today so I am having a nice “alone” day today. Alone days are good sometimes. I enjoy them here and there. They allow me to gather my thoughts and reflect on life a little. It’s been a busy few months so it is nice to not have anything planned and have the day just for me. (Although if I had to choose it would be a day for both Shane and Me)

So what’s new in the world of Shane and Ginger? Well, we have settled into our home in Cedar City. It’s been almost 2 months now. I have enjoyed seeing Shane almost everyday and have gotten use to the drive to and from work. I have the best Boss’ in the world, who have allowed me to work one day a week from home. I will NEVER take for granted that I work for the most amazing people in the world. Even on the hardest days, I still love my job. As for working at home, it is strange that I feel I get more done in that one day than I do sometimes at the office. The move to Cedar has been surprisingly enjoyable.

Shane is still plugging away with his current job. He loves the income and the stress free mentality but not so much the hours. He is home almost every night so we can't complain too much. He is also working his butt off to help with the new company his parents started. It is call HTC Trucking. He made the joke the other day that they named it after my LOVE for my phone. (HTC) BUT with all sarcasm aside it was named after his grandparents. Harold and Thelma Caldwell. I have been in awe watching the 3 of them (His parents and Shane) get this operation up and running. They now have 3 trucks and are in desperate need to hire drivers to keep up with the demand in loads. Shane’s Mom is a rockstar by maintaining loyal clients she has worked with in the past and they all seem to not care it is a “New” company because they love her so much. Some have even decided to go against their normal policy of not taking on companies less than 2 years old, just so they can keep working with her. It has been a blessing. The only real set back, so far, has been finding drivers in the Cedar City area. None of us would have thought in this economy it would be hard to find people to work. However, I don’t think it will be an issue too much longer, last week there were A LOT of people calling for the job. There were many people who didn’t believe they could do this. The competitive side of me is pretty excited they have proved all those negative people WRONG!

I have taken on a new workout program which also includes a Shake in the mornings and eating more healthy. Most of you reading this know this already because you hang out with me on facebook. My physical health has been a struggle my whole life. (Or at least since I was a teenager) When I say struggle I don’t mean that this whole time I have had a weight issue. My weight has fluctuated by 10lbs to 50lbs this whole time and even on the low end I have felt “Gross” about myself. It has been the emotional side of my body image that I have struggled with, not so much the weight. It is AMAZING to me now, looking back, to see pictures of myself over the years. There are some pictures I see and think “Wow, I look great” but if I reflect on how I felt at that time, I felt Fat and Lazy. How sad! It has really hit me the most since I have met Shane, just how hard I have been on myself over the years. Self image is HUGE! Since I have met Shane I believe I had put on about 30lbs. BUT for some reason, I hadn’t noticed as much as I would have in the past. I truly believe it was because I had spent those 3 years after I went through divorce, before meeting Shane, working on my Emotional health. There is a lot to be said for feeling emotionally healthy. I believe the first real moment I felt this shift regarding my weight and my emotions behind it, was when I went to pick out my wedding dress. My best friend Andrea was with me and although I was so excited to go with her and her daughter, I remember dreading it a little because at the time I was at my all-time high weight. BUT as I was trying on the dresses, I forgot about it. When I found the one that I would wear on my wedding day I thought to myself… “If I don’t lose one single pound, I am going to be just fine with it… I have never felt so beautiful in a dress” Had I been at this weight 10 years ago and tried on that same dress, I would have obsessed over being the heaviest I had ever been and trashed myself with Negative Self Talk regarding “How I could have let myself get like this.” It didn’t matter back then how much people told me I looked great, I didn’t believe them. I look at some of the pictures now and think… WHAT WAS I THINKING?, I did look great! The shift I have seen come over the last few years is that I feel good about myself from the inside and so it just doesn’t matter what my weight is anymore, I look great no matter what. That day finding my dress was a blast! Changing the way I see myself makes ALL the difference!

I have learned a few things since starting the “Insanity” workout DVD’s and also since I have started drinking the shakes in the morning. One, I have had to re-face a lifetime battle with Perfectionism. I am most certain many of you can relate to this. (Especially others in my family) If not, here is how it works… “If I don’t do something perfect, I don’t want to do it at all” My whole life has been this way. Another way to describe it is by sharing with all of you that I am a “LIST” maker. I have been my entire life, ask my Mom. If I miss one thing on the list… I am frustrated. Instead of celebrating all the things I have accomplished, I get upset over the one or two things I did not. Crazy, Eh? The logical side of me knows this is a very hard way to get through life. The emotional side of me is addicted to trying to be perfect. Now, over the last 5 years, I have hit this set back HEAD ON. I have been very lucky to have people in my life to remind me it’s ok to not be perfect, to not get everything done, to have bad days, to get upset with people and them with me, and to even express my frustrations of life. SO... this Insanity workout program has been another test of this life long battle and it ALMOST won.

Over a year ago I had tried to make it through another program called p90X. (made by the same company) I got about 3 weeks through it and missed a few workouts. That was it, I was done. I had no motivation to do it because I had already messed it up. I had lost about 10 pounds but quickly put it back on because I found myself discouraged I had not done the program exactly the way it was prescribed. Also about 6 months ago I found myself really wanting to take up running. This too was dropped because I could not find a way to train just perfectly. Just think of all the great things I am missing out on because I hold myself to this unreasonable standard!

A few months ago, I was determined to try again...I started with just drinking the shakes in the morning. I had again lost about 10lbs. I was excited and was ready to try a work out program but this time with “Insanity”. The first day was the “Fit Test” and to say it was one of the hardest workouts I had done, was an understatement. My body hurt so much the next day, I did not continue on. I then took a trip back to Wisconsin and stopped drinking my shakes and ate like crap… and guess what?!? I put on almost all the weight I had lost. BUT, when I got back home, I had a few good conversations with some close friends to remind me I don’t have to be perfect at it. So, I started it again. This time instead of seeing it as a 9 week program, I am taking it on as a program that has 55 workouts. If it takes me 9 weeks, GREAT, if it takes me 18 weeks, GREAT… heck, if it takes me ALL year, GREAT! I can not tell you how much this has helped me keep going. There have been a few days I just wouldn’t do the workout. BUT the next day, I was back at it. I am not doing it PERFECT and for some reason it has been a liberating feeling to not do it exactly the way it is supposed to be done. I plan to embrace this feeling and shift it into other areas of my life I am still struggling. The saying “Do your best, forget the rest” has come into my mind over and over... I am very grateful!

Well, this blog entry is getting pretty long, so for those who have been asking… the Wedding plans are still in the works but almost complete. We think there will be about 75 people traveling out to Long Beach to join us on our day. I am getting so excited to call Shane my Husband. Words cannot describe it. Of those 75 people about 40 of them will be going on the Cruise. It will be a moment in our lives we will never forget. We have also gotten a lot of responses from those who cannot make it and will be joining us at a St. George reception. We are still working out the details for it, so stay tuned. We feel so fortunate to have so many family and friends who want to be a part of our lives. I do not take it for granted. If you are still thinking of joining us in Long Beach, it’s not too late, send Shane and I a message and we can get you information. One of the wishes I had for our day was to be surrounded by the ones we love… there will be no greater gift."

Life's Bumps

Ginger Writes “Life has been a nonstop rollercoaster these last few months. The ride started at the end of April when I got the call from my brother, while I was at work, that my Step Dad was in the hospital and that it didn’t look good. After I sat in the back group room and cried, I immediately booked a red eye to get back to Wisconsin. The emotions I felt that day are unlike any I remember feeling. There have been mixed emotions over the years… as everyone feels when parents have remarried. But at that moment none of that mattered. All that mattered is that I wanted to get home to hold my Mom’s hand and to hopefully see him before he passed. I scrambled to get everything in place at work before I left. I was unsure how long I would be gone exactly. But on my drive home I got another call from my brother that he had just witnessed his passing. I pulled the car over and again just let myself cry. My heart was aching for my Mom, she loved him dearly, as did I. More than I think any of us have ever accepted. I have been blessed to not have much death in my life. Most significant had been my Grandpa Dan when I was 15 and it was devastating and I never wanted to experience it again. Unlike Shane who I have learned has experienced a lot of death in his family, I just have been sheltered from it. During the week that I was home it was nice to be with all my family. I miss them a lot. Even though I wish it was under different circumstances. Shane was able to fly out on a flight a few days later and stay with us the majority of the week. We both had some deep conversations about life and our future. I fell more in love with him, even though I didn’t even think it was possible. There is a lot to be said for someone who can give you a hug and make everything else not matter. Shane does this for me. He grounds me unlike anyone else in this world can.

When I got back to St George a little over a week later, I was in “Catch Up” mode at work. I love my work. More now than I ever have. I was thrown back by the love and understanding I got when I returned. I don’t know why I was thrown back by this, this is always true with my job. But it was a nice reminder that I am loved as a person not just for the things I do for the company. There are many shifts going on at work. In my mind all AWESOME! We are shifting our image and will be rolling out a new website, we are reorganizing and it has been refreshing. We have a lot of things in the pot and they are finally starting to come to life. BUT even good shifts come with stress. I have always loved change. I thrive off it. I don’t know why, it is just a part of me. It always breaks my heart when I see people who are threatened by it and are resistant to change. I have had to learn (again) that we are all different and all react differently to situations. In the last few weeks I have been able to calm my mind to accept that not everyone is going to like me for me. I have also learned (again) who DOES love me for me. My boss made a comment to me yesterday that has completely calmed my soul over these changes. It was simply “You do not have to be perfect”. In that moment I believed it and all the stress of these shifts became exciting once again.

The other fun shift going on has been that I moved up to Cedar City over Memorial Day weekend. It was a bitter sweet move. At the same time that I was moving out, my friend Brylee was moving in because her husband (Zac) was being deployed to Iraq and she needed a place to stay. We have all been sad but proud of him for this courageous sacrifice. It’s all that I could think of the entire weekend and the next week. Zac has been a dear friend since I have moved to St. George. He has loved me and supported me through all the hills and valleys. When I moved here I believe he was only 15 and I took him on as a little brother and have watched him grow into this amazing man who I am so proud to call my friend. I could go on, but the tears are forming and I know he doesn’t want us crying, so I will not. I am just simply going to say, that I love you dearly Zac!The move has been full of emotions. I have LOVED seeing Shane every single day. (except the one night a week he has an overnight run) He has also been my anchor for the shifts going on with work and it has been so wonderful to get home and tell him about my day and to be able to move forward hearing about his day too. His parents have started a new company that became official this week. This company has been a dream of his since he was 14 or 15. It has been so fun to hear the challenges and the progress they have been making in its creation. It has also been fun to have some insight with my knowledge of business to help in small ways.

I have been feeling nervous about the hour drive to and from work every day. Surprisingly (and to what I believe will be Shane’s relief) I have enjoyed it. It has given me a time to prepare for the day and to then wind my mind down when the day is finished. The only drawback has been the days I put 10 or 12 hour days into work, it has made it to be a very long day by the time I get home. Other than that, this move has been pretty darn cool. I thi nk Shane h as been more excited than me to decorate the house. The words he says are to make it “Homey”. It has been a bachelor pad for years now… so far we have

made a few minor changes and it has made a huge difference. The guest room is just starting to come together. We have a nice Queen bed ready for anyone that wants to come and visit! (My Mom gets first dibs, she is coming for the week on June 19th)

Well, I think I have probably shared enough for one blog. I have much more to say, but I will save it for another time. Till next time….”

Vacation!!! Oh how I love VACATION!!!!

Ginger writes "Vacation! Oh how I love it… I didn’t even know how much I needed it until I got back to work today and felt AMAZING! I am a believer in vacations, more than ever. It needs to be a priority in every person’s life. Vacations allow people to be more productive in all areas because it’s an opportunity to let go and relieve the mind of the stress that builds over time. A happy individual is a more productive individual and Vacations make me very happy.

So, with that said let me share a little of my vacation with all of you that wish to hear about it. Shane and I took a Thursday to a Monday off of work, not a full week, just 3 working days and I suppose since I didn’t make it into the office until 1ish today that it would make it 3 and a half days. But that is beside the point. We spent most of Thursday traveling and arrived in Orlando, FL that evening. We shared a condo with My Mom, Step Dad, Grandma, Brother, Sister (in law) and my adorable niece and nephew. I am officially sold on the idea of getting a condo for vacation. It was so nice to have a common area to visit with everyone and to relax.

I could give you all the play by play but instead I am going to share my feelings about it all. First, I cannot get enough of my nephew Elijah and his silliness. He says the cutest things that only a 3 year old (Soon to be 4 year old) would say. Every time I spend time with him I am reminded that life is too short to take anything too seriously. I am not sure I can count how many times he fell down or bumped his head and then quickly said.. “I’m Okay”… just in case anyone needed to know. Of course there were the times he was not Okay and needed a Kiss to make it all better. Then there is my Niece Emmie, who has picked up from her big brother, that a kiss can make any boo boo better. She is at that cute stage where she runs a little faster than her feet can keep up and finds herself diving head first when she is not paying attention. Her Daddy or Mommy run to her rescue and she immediately needs a kiss. It’s like magic and she is smiling away! Oh, how I love those kids!!!! And the best news, there is another one on the way in April! Being an Auntie is the best! I could go on and on of all the cute stories…

My Bro, his wife and kids all went to the Animal Kingdom with Shane and me on Friday. It was cold at first but then warmed up enough to make it enjoyable. I was somewhat grateful for the mild weather since it kept the crowds down significantly.

I am always hearing from family and friends who have gone in the past that it is the most crowded of all the Disney Parks. This day, it wasn’t so. I think the pictures I post on Facebook will tell the story of our adventures at the park. But to say the least, we LOVED IT!!! Got a lot of great video of the kiddos to treasure forever!

Saturday was our last day together with the family since everyone (But us) needed to head home on Sunday. So we left the kiddos with Mom, Don and Grandma to enjoy and went to downtown Disney to stroll the area. I just loved hanging out with my Brother Josh and his wife India. Reminded me of old times when I saw them more. I sure do miss them and enjoyed every second of it. We got the chance to talk a little bit about the half marathon we will be running in September. I should probably clarify... India and I will be running in September. We haven’t gotten the boys to fully commit but we’ll see what happens. I will be coming back to Wisconsin to run it and I don’t think Shane will be able to pull it off with his work schedule. But he has committed to run a few 5K’s with me to get warmed up for it.

Sunday we said goodbye. I found myself tearing up because I see my Grandma’s the least of all my family. It was so wonderful to see my Grandma Lucy and it made me miss my Grandma Marian. I finally told my Grandma of my plans to name my first Girl Lucy Ella. It has been my plan since I was a young girl so if it’s in the cards I still plan it to be that way. My nick name on my Mom’s side of the family has been Ella and it just flows so nicely when it’s put with my Grandma’s name. You never know though… there may be no kids, there may be 5 kids, all boys, all girls… we shall see.

So anyway, Sunday after we checked out of the Condo, Shane and I headed to Cocoa Beach to visit an old dear friend of mine (Drey) from Oshkosh. She moved down to FL in the last few years with her 4 kids and I was so excited to see them all. She gave us a very nice tour of the city and we were able to eat dinner at a restaurant on the pier. So awesome! It was during this time I got to know her kids a little better. It has been a very, very long time since I have met children under the age of 11 who had such amazing manners and social skills.

They were so sweet and learning what they have all been through in the last few years made me want to just sweep them up and hug them. God keeps trying to tell me something by crossing my path with such amazing kids. OR maybe my clock is just starting to tick on me. Hahahaha. Who knows… I just know I enjoyed being with them all and was reminded once again that it is possible to go years without seeing or talking to someone and then to be reunited as if no time has passed. Drey, thanks for being such an amazing soul in my life, no matter when our paths cross. It is always so great to have friends who are nonjudgmental people and who are just loving and accepting of all things.

So Sunday was our last night in Orlando, we ended up getting a hotel near the airport and I was able to enjoy some alone time with Shane. I know I get sappy about him… maybe more than most care to read about… but this trip was again a reminder of why I am going to marry him. I am so in love with him and enjoy every minute I get to spend with him. I find myself being more at ease with him than with any other person in my life. I have shared every sin and every achievement in my life with him, some no others know about and yet he still just loves me because I am “Me”. He doesn’t want anything about me to change, nor do I of him. We are each individuals yet we flow together so nicely. So, before anyone starts heaving, I will just add once last thing… HE IS MINE, ALL MINE!

Monday was another travel day. We didn’t land in Vegas until 7:30 which is 10:30 Florida time. We were very tired. BUT I was excited to get to the hotel we booked there because Monday was my Sisters Birthday and she so happens to live in Vegas. We met up at the Excalibur and had dinner with her and her husband and spent some time together after. It was really awesome to see them. We don’t see them enough considering they only live a few hours away. It was a nice reminder that Shane and I need to get down there more and visit.

Monday was also somewhat of an anniversary for Shane and I. (and of course Valentine’s Day). You see Shane and I met and started dating on January 9th, 2009 but we didn’t officially consider ourselves an item until that following February 14th. It was that day that Shane finally got the nerve to kiss me after many dates and well… the rest is history, we have been together ever since. (By the way, it was him waiting those many, many dates to kiss me that made me fall for him… it’s rare to be courted these days and he is always such a gentlemen)

So that brings me to the end… so till next time, thank you to everyone who takes the time to be a part of our lives, we don’t take it for granted and are very thankful for all of you! "

A Story about Shane and Ronald Reagan.

Ginger Writes "Today I am going to share a story about Shane. (Aaron, I don’t think this is the type of story you are looking for, so I will warn ya now so you are not disappointed, this is not an embarrassing one. I will share something embarrassing soon, I promise)

Today while I was at Wal-Mart I was checking out and noticed the special edition of Life Magazine featuring Ronald Reagan. Now, anyone that knows Shane knows that he is Shane’s hero. So, I got him a copy. While I was in the car driving I thought of our 3rdish date or so where we started talking about politics. And well, anyone who knows me knows I can’t hardly stand the topic. Sure I have opinions and what not, but I find I get frustrated very easily with people’s intolerance of each other’s opinions and politics is a sure way to learn about people’s judgmental side. It doesn’t matter what your views are, if you can’t respect others opinions, it drives me nuts! I have many friends on both sides of the fence who I respect dearly so if someone is degrading or dehumanizing a person based on a political view, it makes me ill.

So, here came the scary, yet necessary date where we learned about each other’s political views. A sure deal breaker for either of us if we found that we could not tolerate the way the other viewed this sensitive subject. I wish I could remember the EXACT conversation, but at some point I tried to crack a joke about actors running for office. (Everyone should know this does not bother me, I was just trying to lighten the conversation) and almost immediately I saw a look of sadness in Shane’s eyes. I thought, well that’s weird, I was just kidding. But he then went on to tell me that he really liked Ronald Reagan and didn’t see the issue with actors running for office. I quickly shifted the subject to something else (Cause that’s what I do regarding political discussions) and we carried on with our date. I found out sometime later that this little 2 minute discussion about Ronald Reagan ALMOST was a deal breaker for him. (He denies this, but I know otherwise) Thank goodness we had many other discussions on politics later and he then knew exactly how I felt. But what SOLD me on his Love for Ronald Reagan was what he told me later in the evening. When I asked him why he liked him so much Shane said “Because he genuinely loved his wife”. Here I was waiting for him to go on some conservative rampage about all the great things Regan did, but instead it was simply because he loved his wife. It made my heart melt and he probably didn’t realize at the time, but he scored major points on my “I am going to hang onto this guy” meter.

Since then, I have found I can talk to Shane about anything political even when we disagree and I NEVER get frustrated with him. He is the most respectful person when it comes to politics yet he is never, not once, afraid to share how he is feeling or his personal views on a subject. I have learned a lot from his ability to have an opinion without getting worked up (Except you Devin… haha, jk) But really, even when he has a heated debate with someone it is just that, a debate and then everyone moves on. No hard feelings, no lost respect, no words later about what an idiot that person was for having a different opinion than him… just a couple of people sharing their thoughts on the world. I hope over time I can become a little more like him. Share my thoughts and feelings on the subject, but for now.. I will just say… Shane you are my hero."