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!)
Ginger and I took a few days to recharge the batteries and to visit with some awesome people. The first leg of our trip took us to Bear Lake in northern Utah for my family reunion. We got to Bear Lake Friday afternoon and met up with some cousins that I haven't seen in a very long time. It was great to re-connect with them. We had a Luau style dinner with pork, pineapple, numerous pasta salads, and sweet desserts. Unfortunately, just as we were starting dinner, mother nature was starting to brew up a very nasty windstorm. You know, the kind where branches fly off trees and bash you in the shoulder. The wind got so bad that many trees ended up falling over completely. This created havoc for the tent campers. It was a bummer that the weather ruined our plans for a fireside visit, but it all worked out as my Dad's brothers and sisters and in-laws all crowded into our tiny KOA cabin. It was a blast and we had a very nice visit.
Day two saw us wake up at 5:30 (yeah, AM. ON VACATION!!!) to get to the SLC airport to catch a flight to Milwaukee. We drove from Milwaukee to Elcho, WI where Ginger's family reunion takes place every year. This was my first trip to northern Wisconsin, and it is beautiful. I just don't understand why they don't grow corn there?!? (Sarcasm) For those who have never been in the upper mid west, it is very very green and very thick with trees. And corn fields as far as the eye can see. And flying over Minnesota, I noticed that when they say land of 10,000 lakes, they aren't kidding. It was a very pretty drive. We had a great time visiting with her family on Sunday and headed back to Milwaukee Monday morning. We were able to get in a good visit with her brother and her Dad and their significant others Monday night. I flew out Tuesday morning to return home to work. Ginger will have to fill you in on the rest of her trip.
If you will indulge me for a minute and let me get sappy, I would like to say that I am very thankful for second chances and for God's grace. This trip was a very stern reminder to me that things happen for a reason and as long as we believe, then our poor decisions don't need to result in unhappiness. Everything in my life has happened for a reason and I have had some major ups and downs, but I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the woman by my side was intended to be my life partner and I am extremely thankful for her and am humbled by her. Thank you Lord for blessing my life and Thank you Ginger for being my best friend.
Shane and I have been doing well. We have been really concentrating on paying down our debt. It has at times been frustrating as we think of our families far away and want to visit more often. However, in the long run we will be able to make those trips more often if we get our butts out of debt. I am personally about 6 months away from finishing some mutual debt I have with Chris (My Ex Husband) and then a few months out after that to have ALL my debt paid off. We have finally decided to wait on getting a new car to replace the NEON until it completely, 100%, dies. In the mean time we are saving for the down payment for when that time comes. I can't even imagine what it is going to feel like to have no debt at all. Although it won't last for long (Shane has a mortgage I will take on with him when we get married and then a car payment unless the NEON lasts forever or we save enough to just pay cash before it dies. Highly unlikely but definitely ideal.)
OH, Did I just say... When we get married??? Ok, it is pretty well known for many that Shane and I have been in the process of setting up a wedding date. Although it is not official (Because Shane is being responsible about the purchase and so the ring is not on my finger yet... I did get to pick it out though) We have set a date for September 25, 2011. We are planning to get married in Long Beach, CA and will be taking a cruise to different parts of Mexico immediately after. We have played with the idea of waiting to post a blog until it is "official" but we want EVERYONE that would like to come to have enough time to save so here I am writing about it. We will be getting more information out about this event within the month. I have been gathering addresses to send it out when we have it. SOOOOO, if anyone has not yet gotten us their address please email it to me or Shane, send a Facebook message or text. I have put a few posts up on Facebook asking for addresses. Thank you to everyone who has responded!
So, that is it for right now... I hope everyone is doing well. We love hearing from everyone and what is new in your lives, so send us a message!"
I took a step in overcoming one of my biggest fears over the weekend. I have been wanting to hike Angel’s Landing for quite some time, but have heard horror stories and have seen countless (ok, 2 to be exact) news stories about people slipping and falling over the edge. I have heard firsthand accounts from people who have gotten to the Scout Lookout and turned back for fear of heights. Then there are those individuals who have the balance of a cat and the courage of a lion who have made it to the top. Ginger is one of these people. I admire that.
Well, every adventure begins with the first step. So we set out to conquer the 5 mile round trip 1,500 foot incline. And what a beautiful hike it was. The Southern Utah breeze proved to be very welcome to keep our bodies cool as we made the trek. It was a sunny and the scenery was, as it always is in Zion, unspeakably picturesque. Zion is my favorite place to hike. I admit that my travels have been limited and I have yet to set foot in the Appalachians, the Alps, Yosemite, and on and on. But there is a reason why Zion attracts upwards of 3 million visitors a year from all around the world. It truly is Heaven on Earth.
The hike up was pretty tough as we worked to awaken our apathetic winter muscles and tried to keep our lungs from exploding. Once we defeated the switchbacks and got to the Scout overlook, I looked ahead and saw the first chain part of the hike. At first I thought to myself, “It doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would be.” Only .5 of a mile from the top of the cliff, I started to feel the excitement that I was going to make it to the top without a problem. Then came the act of actually climbing the rock face and holding onto the chains. We got about a tenth of a mile before my fear started taking grip. Now, here is where I would like to use the wind as an excuse for my vertigo setting in. It was a very strong breeze on an exposed rock face. However, when I saw a couple of 12 year olds making the climb, I realized that this excuse would not fly. I finally came to realize that I was going to have to admit defeat and accept that I was not going to totally overcome my fear of heights on this particular hike. So, we descended the rock and took a little apple break on the welcome flat surface of Scout Overlook.
There is a spot on the overlook that has a railing so you can walk right to the edge of the cliff and overlook without falling the deadly 1,000 feet. At this point my vertigo was so bad and my heart was racing so much that it took all I had to approach the railing. I stood for a couple of seconds and took in the unbelievable view and the ant-sized people and matchbox sized buses. Then it became a little overwhelming so I backed away and sat down on a nice level rock looking toward an uphill slope. You can’t fall uphill, right? But I kept looking back as Ginger was taking pictures over the railing and I got that queasy feeling in my gut. Then, I saw and elderly couple standing to the side of the railing and peaking over the edge. They were at a part that was totally exposed to the fall. As they approached the edge, the wife kind of stumbled and the husband grabbed her arm to help her keep her balance. I could just see them falling over the ledge. I had to turn away because now my fear was no longer for myself but for them.
Luckily, there were no falls that day. And I learned that I need to quit letting my imagination run wild and “create that scenario” as Ginger would say. I understand all of this. But I have also realized that fears are best confronted by taking baby steps. I look forward to working a little more on my fear of heights, but for now I am glad to have my feet on level ground.
Shane and I are doing well. We see each other a few times per week. On Tuesday he asked me if he could come down and take me on a date after work Wednesday and of course I said “YES”!!! Unfortunately I found myself so tired when he got here I felt like just laying around doing nothing. Those 5:30 workouts have been catching up with me. The weather was too nice to sit inside so instead of hitting a movie or laying around on the couch we went and purchased a blanket from sears and laid in the Washington park for hours just talking. We found ourselves watching a group of people putting together a LARP game. For those of you who don’t know what LARP stands for it is simply.. Live Action Role Playing. This is where participants physically act out their characters’ actions while in costume. I immediately thought of the movie Role Model. (Although a little over the top for my taste, still a really funny movie) Shane and I found ourselves quite entertained by the situation. What we also found interesting was the other group of young men making fun of the LARP Gaming. They entered the park from the other end with their remote control car and immediately poked fun from a distance. We watched the dynamics of it and I was reminded of the middle school years of feeling awkward and trying to find my place. There was one boy who just kept laughing and pointing. He even took a picture with his cell phone. Shane and I kept watching from our cozy blanket under the trees while the two groups lived life through their own eyes of seeing the world. I found it reassuring that after about an hour the group of young men poking fun had now wondered over asking questions and even joined in. By the time we left them, we were all having a blast. I love that the simplest things in life bring entertainment into the world. I am now thinking I want to go to one of those renaissance fairs this summer. Life is GOOD!!!!!!
Andrea and I worked out this morning and did the Kempo X DVD. I have decided it’s one of my favorites now. It’s mostly boxing moves but I feel all sweaty and accomplished when we are done. I am very uncoordinated and have not yet gotten the moves down very smoothly. But hopefully over time I will start to do better at it. Tomorrow will be the start of the 3rd week. I haven’t lost much weight yet But my pants feel like they are fitting better. I am hoping the theory that muscle weighs more than fat is what is really going on. Hahaha. Time will tell. I am sure it is also not helping that I haven't shifted my diet much. One step at a time. Shane took some before pictures for me last week. I am thankful because I need some motivation. The fact that my back is almost back to normal has been the biggest motivation. If I don't lose one pound and have the new found flexibility that has come with this program.. I will still be happy.
Alright, so time to go take a shower and head up to Cedar. I will work on the garage, throw in some laundry , work on a new side business that my sis has me involved in (More to come on that) and then make Shane some dinner. (2nd time in two weeks, that’s a record of some sort.)"
I have not fully modified my diet but am still going strong with staying caffeine free. I have slipped a few drinks of Shane's sodas here and there but for the most part this is the longest I have gone without it and I am pretty proud of it. I have been trying for well over 6 years to cut it out of my diet and have failed every time. Not fully sure what shifted this time but getting through the withdrawals and feeling the way I do now has made a big difference in not wanting to go back to it.
My dear friend Laura is coming in a week and a half from Wisconsin to visit.. I am pretty excited about it and keep getting gitty. We are going to head over to Zions and do some hiking around. I just love that place and its going to be fun to hang with her there. I have had family out this way recently but its going to be awesome to have a wisonsinite who I have been friends with for over 16 years out to visit.
Well, Till next time... Hope everyone is doing well.
Reflection can be a rewarding process. I took this 3 day weekend since Shane had today off and I finally got the opportunity to spend more then one evening with him. I have also needed some time away from work to refresh and renew my spirit. There are AMAZING shifts going on at TurningLeaf, yet even good stress is still stress… right? I have wanted to shift into a new way of seeing it all. I was reminded of a few things over the weekend. I am surrounded by the most amazing people in the world, both in my personal life and my work life. Which, at times, spill over into each other. It is true I would not have it any other way. I have come to realize that I have everything I need in this moment in life. Not to say there is nothing left to work towards or to look forward to. But having this weekend to relax and ponder has helped me notice the small things in life and the small things about the people I work with that I truly adore. At work, I am surrounded by something I feel is rare. We all have our strengths and we have our weaknesses yet we all love each other dearly through hard times and good times. We each seek the good in each other and share a common goal of growing the company to help others… and to grow within ourselves at the same time. I laugh everyday and even sometimes cry. And through it all I am loved just the same. Over the years many of our clients have also become dear friends. I look forward to the smiling faces and the stories of growth that come as a result of the services we offer at the facility. It can be hard work but at the end of the day I sleep well knowing that I am apart of something bigger than myself surrounded by many who see life the same way I do.
Shane and I agreed when we first created this blog to limit our discussion on politics, religion and work. (NOT Sports as Shane will lead you to believe… so watch for more sports blogs from him) So I will limit my future blogs from this subject of my work. But we would both agree that it is defiantly the tools we have learned and will continue to learn that have kept us feeling strong and safe in our relationship. And for THAT I am eternally grateful I work there and will continue to work there for a long time to come. And I feel fulfilled and renewed for the new shifts moving our way.”
The weekend started with a cold but very fun camping trip in the Virgin River Gorge with some good friends. We took a little hike Saturday evening as the sun was going down and built a campfire and grilled some hot dogs. When we woke in the morning, the wind was blowing and the cold cut right through. We broke camp and went to Mesquite for a little lunch in a park, then said goodbye to our party. Then, off to St. George to get cleaned up and go to a very yummy dinner consisting of ribs, sweet potatoes, shrimp pasta salad and asparagus. The dinner was shared with a very awesome family whom we are grateful to be in the presence of.
Next, time to separate Kobe from his buddy Duke and head home. Needless to say, a warm and comfy bed was very welcoming. That is, until 3:00 in the morning when I awoke with the worst migraine I have had in about ten years. The rest of the morning was filled with very short micro-naps interrupted by intense burst of pain and nausea. I finally rolled out of bed at about 11:00 and came out to join Ginger. The couch was my destination for the next few hours. But, I was not eager to get off the couch as I was being spoiled. Ginger rubbed my headache away and got me lunch. Then, we just sat around and relaxed. And to top it off, she made me a very delicious dinner-Chicken Alfredo over angel hair pasta and Texas toast. This is the first opportunity I have had to sample Ginger's home cookin' and I must say-I am in LOVE!!! I sit here and type this with a full belly and a diminished migraine. Just don't tell her that. Maybe I can get another head rub out of this :~)
My P90X adventures continue. I am doing it with my Best Friend and since she has to take her son to school and head into work by 745 (or maybe it's 7:15) We have been getting up really early to get our hour "plus" workouts in. I am indeed impressed by the program. It has kicked my butt so far, but well worth it! I know I will make it the full 90 days and excited to see the results. They suggest on the program to take some before and after pics, so I will see if Shane can help me with that this weekend. One week in shouldn't be to bad. Maybe if I feel brave enough I will post them after the 90 days. I am not sure I will have the same type of results as on TV because I am not following the nutrition guide but I am aware of what I am putting in my mouth and drinking lots and lots of water. I have noticed that some of the before and after pictures of the people on the website are after they do 2 to 5 rounds of this program. So, that was a little discouraging... BUT the fact that I am even exercising in the first place is pretty exciting for me.
Ok, off to bed. I shouldn't be up this late in the first place. Workout in 6 hours. At least I get to take a nap afterward. My BFF doesn't, so I refuse to complain."
Katy (My Niece) is coming up this weekend from Vegas, Shane and I are meeting them in Mesquite tonight and she is staying for the weekend. I am pretty excited!!! We are hoping to hit a few movies. Her passion for the movies seems to be similar to mine and for that I am very grateful. It will be a blast. I was planning to wait until Monday to start the Power 90 program (Still waiting on the bands in the mail) but I might see if she wants to start with me for the few days she is here. I am pretty motivated, even more today when I got on the scale this morning and hit my all time high weight of 185. I know it is all relative to each person, but for me this is unacceptable. The last time I hit 184 it through me into a workout kick and I lost 35lbs. So, I am determined this will be the same. It’s no wonder I am having back issues. My body is yelling at me for not taking care of myself.
So here is my question of the day. Why is it when we know what we need to do to feel better, we put it off. Why do we continue to maintain old habits we know slowly kills us everyday? I wish I had the answer to this question because there are so many things in my life that fall under this category. I finally feel like I am starting to recognize them and fight to shift them, unlike before when I knew, but justified all the reasons to ignore them. Like drinking Caffeine when its proven to be one of the worst things for PCOS. But yet even now with Caffeine, my mind is still fighting me. Everyday I am craving a Diet Coke, when my physical symptoms are now passed. Those types of things are psychological. It is amazing just how powerful our minds are. The last 4 years I have overcome a lot of emotional triggers in my life, and feel relieved to be more grounded emotionally. So now I am going to take on the physical stuff with the same motivation. The fun part now, is I have Shane to do this with me… The timing of him coming into my life can only be described as "God Sent". So, Bring it ON!!!!!!!!!!!
I will keep you all updated on the progress. Like I said in my first blog, sharing is what will keep me accountable so if you have read this far… thanks a million times over for your support!! If I have learned one thing in the last few years, it is to NOT keep your struggles to yourself. Your family and friends are waiting to help."
What's not to love about March? Old man winter is finally making his lethargic exit and God's creations are springing back to life. It is nice to wake in the morning and hear the cheerful song of birds as they migrate their way to northern climates. Who doesn't love to look outside to see the sun shining on the green mountains and red rock of Southern Utah? And what is not to love about college basketball in full swing? It's March Madness time and I am giddy with the prospect of winning the bracket challenge yet again. I am the reigning champ and have absolutely no intention of passing the crown this year, although Ginger or my parents will try to make you believe one of them will be able to dethrone the King of the Brackets. As I write this blog, I am firmly perched in front of the TV doing some last minute studies on particular teams of interest.
Oops...I realize now that I told Ginger I would not write about politics or sports in our blog. Sorry sweetie. I had to get that jab in there. Alright, time to shift focus on other reasons to be excited about March. When you reside in an area of immense beauty such as we do, it excites the mind and heart to think of the plenty of adventures that await us in our own backyard. Will Angel's Landing finally be conquered by a man with a great fear of heights? Ginger seems to think so. We shall see. March and April are among my favorite times to hike in Zion. It is not too hot but warm enough, and the tourists have yet to make their exodus to our heaven on earth.
I am excited to take Kobe to Navajo Lake and do some camping. I am relieved that there are not many feirce storms remaining in the season to interrupt a nice day at work. And I am antsy to get a little spring cleaning done in the house and the yard.
It is definitely a great time of year. Grass starts to turn green, flowers start to bloom, the smell of BBQ fills the air and children playing and laughing brings joy to the heart. And this nasty virus called cabin fever starts to get quelled. Finally, Spring is here!!! Stay tuned for what I hope to be frequent posts exhibiting our passion for life."
My quick trip back was so awesome. I loved seeing everyone! And it was very cool to see the look on my Dad's face when he got to Josh's house today. The only downer to this trip is that my back has gone out. And i am not just talking a little. When i woke up from my nap Saturday morning (After taking the red eye in) I went upstairs to see India, Elijah and Emmie. I went to sit down and WHAM!!! PAIN GA LOUR! I was trying to play it off like no big deal but it has been a long time since I couldn't even sit down. i was so frustrated and was starting to panic that maybe I was going to be laid out in bed this whole trip. I went back down stairs to try and stretch it out. It helped a little but it wasn't until the Advil kicked in I felt relief. As the weekend went on the stiffness and pain slowly let up, but now I am conserned about this plane ride back. Sitting for this long is always a trigger.
Other than that.. I enjoyed the trip A LOT. I need to make more of them back. In about 14 months I should be in a much better financial situation to do that. I can't hardly wait.