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!)
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."
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
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! "
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."
So what else can I say? I am starting to learn that I need more than just losing weight as a motivation for working out. I need to be working toward something. It couldn’t come at a better time since I am trying to prepare myself for the wedding in September. The best part is that I don’t really care what size my dress is as long as I feel I am healthy. This is a shift that came over the last few years as I have learned to just love myself the way I am. Shane has been a big part of that. A day doesn’t go by that he doesn’t tell me how beautiful he believes I am. In some ways (Don’t tell him) I feel so comfortable with myself and my body, I haven’t had a motivation to get back in shape. BUT, that has now changed with the thought of working towards a fun life goal. I have always wanted to run a marathon. I never really thought I could do it though. Maybe by running a half marathon I can decide then if a FULL marathon would be realistic. If it is, I will plan to run the famous St. George Marathon. It will have to be in 2012 since I will be on a FUN Cruise during this year’s run.
Ok, I think I have rambled enough… Goodnight everyone!”
Currently, this week, life is pretty calm. Shane and I are gearing up for a trip to Florida on the 10th to visit My Mom and Grandma. I am excited because by coincidence my brother and his wife are also going at the same time. They will be there for the whole week and we are meeting up with them on that Thursday. I am so excited to give my niece and nephew a great big hug and kiss. I don’t see them as much as I wish I could. It’s going to be awesome and I can’t wait!
My Mom and Step Dad came to visit in September. Wait, maybe it was October. Wow, I can’t believe I can’t remember which month! Well, anyway, they stayed at Shane’s parent’s house and we had a blast! I enjoyed every minute of it! It was fun for my two worlds to collide and for everyone to get to know each other. Only thing that would have made it more perfect is if Shane’s Dad could have been there. He was on the road that week so we missed him dearly.
The end of 2010 brought some tears and sorrow. Shane’s beloved Grandfather passed away. We were grateful we were able to get up to Idaho to visit him in November, but it was a difficult several months for his family. The passing of a loved one is always so hard. I personally have not figured out how to deal with loss. I am not sure anyone ever does. My biggest fear in life is losing the ones I love. My heart went out to everyone involved. We went up to Idaho for the burial, and although it was nice to meet more of Shane’s family, I sure wish it could have been under different circumstances. It was pretty amazing to see so many people at the graveside service. A quick scan counted more than 100 people in attendance. Shane and I will be blessed to touch even a fraction of the lives his Grandparents did, and I wish I could have gotten to know them better.
Christmas came and went. It was simple. Shane had to work so I spent the day with my “Other” family. The Nixons and the Taylors are always so good to me and I feel so grateful I always feel at home with them. I did, however, get to have a late, late dinner with Shane and his parents and then we spent time at their house exchanging presents. It reminded me of the late nights at my Dad's house with his family and I found myself a little home sick. I enjoyed every minute of it and LOVE the family I will be marrying into.
New Years was AWESOME. Shane did not have to work that night so we had ourselves a little party with our friends. We had TONS and TONS of food and games, it was so much fun!! It was our first official New Years together since last year he had to work. I really loved getting a midnight kiss!
The first week of January I made my final payment on a piece of debt I have been paying off since I moved away from Wisconsin. It was the last piece holding me to my past and well, I gotta say, it was such a great relief to see the check clear the bank. Shane and I had ourselves a mini celebration with a trip away to Zion’s. Zion’s is probably my favorite place on the entire planet, so to say the least.. IT ROCKED! Of course, I still have some of my own personal stuff I am paying off but I am on track to be 100% out of debt before the Wedding in September. Shane and I have had several people ask us why we are having such a long engagement and this is the main reason why. I always told myself if I ever got married again I would be out of debt before it happened. Not that I wouldn’t marry Shane if I still had debt but it is going to be pretty sweet to actually see something so important to me happen. I am very blessed to have a few things in my life contribute to getting out of debt. First, SHANE… he has let me use his Jeep for some time now and there is NO way my precious 98 dodge neon would have survived the many trips up to Cedar City and back. It takes a real Man to give up such a cool car to drive around a Neon. The second are Dean and Andrea. When I made the decision to move out of my apartment and in with them, it came when all of us needed help financially. It was a WIN, WIN for everyone. BUT it has been the biggest contributor to paying down what felt like a never ending pile of debt that would haunt me forever and ever. I have learned my lesson for life… with the exception of maybe one more car and then a mortgage, every purchase from here forward will be with cash. If I don’t have cash to pay off the card I make the purchase with (Because everyone should still use reward cards) I won’t have it. PERIOD!
I have saved the hardest thing to type about for last. If you have made it this far without falling asleep, beware that what I have left to share is sad. When I met Shane 2 years ago, he told me he had an awesome yellow lab that was unlike any other dog I would ever meet. I could tell he truly believed this but it was on our 2nd date, where we saw the movie Marley and Me, that I got a real understanding of the love he had for his doggy. He spent a good portion of the end of the movie trying to hide that he was tearing up. I must say, that even though he was embarrassed by these tears, for a 2nd date.. I was impressed. I didn’t get to meet Shane’s dog Kobe until several dates later when we went snowmobiling. The picture I currently have as my profile picture on facebook is from this first meeting. He enjoyed the snow and the excitement of getting to go somewhere in the back of Shane's Jeep. This was also the first time I met Shane’s parents and I could tell they loved Kobe Dog as much as Shane. I hadn’t fully learned what was so special about him on this first meeting, but I know I instantly loved him. He was friendly and sweet, and loved a great belly rub! Over the last two years I have learned firsthand exactly what Shane told me on our first date. Kobe Dog was the best doggy ever! He just loved everyone and every person who crossed his path. Everyone was touched by his gentle eyes and soul. A few weeks ago, Kobe Dog was not doing well. He wasn’t eating and having a hard time getting around. It was heartbreaking. Everyone was praying that he would come out of it but after a long, long night of no sleep and watching him in what seemed like pain… the very hard decision came to let him go. There were a lot of tears. I won’t get into details, because I am not sure it is my place to share them, but I can say it was one of the hardest things I have ever witnessed to see my future husband lose his bestest friend he ever had. Shane loved this doggy with all his heart because this doggy loved Shane with all his heart. It was an unconditional love that can only be given by a doggy. I have never seen anything like it, nor do I think I will ever see it again. Kobe Dog WAS the most special doggy I have ever met and he will be dearly missed.
So with that, I will end this post. I hope to start blogging some more and hopefully it won’t be a list of events to catch everyone up and put you to sleep. I have decided that I won’t be afraid to share my life in this blog, cause when I do, I feel more open and free. So here we go.. 2011 here I come! AND Aaron, if you made it this far, I promise I will post some fun stories of Shane for your personal enjoyment… hahaha. Just don’t tell him I said that"