Sunday, July 28, 2013

Back to Reality

I'll keep this short...- no really I will. 

I'm back from being away from home for 11 days.  I traveled in 8 different states and stayed in three different places during the vacation time.  It was so great, but now back to life/reality:
laundry, "to do" lists (which overwhelm me currently), making lunch, work tomorrow, getting my head on straight to get ready for the week, let alone realizing that this week ends July 2013- where has the summer gone. 

I've gained some more adult perspective over my vacation time- life is indeed good and I should remember all the great things I have and people that I've been blessed to know in my life.  I have it good: good kids (healthy, a little snarky now and then, but good), great family (both in-laws and immediate), and a husband who I really enjoy sharing my life and dreams with. 

So back to reality, but with a fresh perspective, at least until I get annoyed by something at work or better yet before I even step out the door to go to work tomorrow.  It has been a busy/great month!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Family so important

I am 36 1/2 years old and have been traveling to Virginia to see my father's family since I was born. I went two times a year until I was about a junior or senior in high school and then visited off and on over the years. I've been lucky to have all the memories (bad and good of my trips to Virginia).

I'm lucky my kids are good travelers and find "farm life" and vacationing in Winchester just as fun as I did growing up. On my last night in Winchester at this great Herd's Inn (single family log home) I feel teary eyed thinking that sooner or later this experience in my life will stop because times are changing, people are getting older and the reason to visit Winchester is not the same as it use to be.

On our last night here we had dinner with about 15 of my family members. We went to visit a second cousin of mine who lives in my great grandmother's house and I took a walk with my daughter for one last visit with kittens in the farm we are staying at-one in particular "Furry"- whom she'd take home in a minute if I had amnesia and forgot about our cat at home who has no love for other felines in her life.

I'm thankful that my dad grew up where he did and that he had us experience traveling to VA throughout my childhood and now adult life. I'm hoping my kids can look back at pictures from this trip and others and feel as happy as I do looking back at pictures from my childhood travels to VA.

The first picture is my sister, my grandparents and me sitting on my grandparent's porch swing at farm house. Love it!

Second is a picture from the family reunion I attended last Saturday. Oldest 90 ( my grandpa and youngest 6 months old).

Third picture my three cousins, minus my sister, the all girl grandchildren of my grandpa.
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Monday, July 22, 2013

A great day!

Do you ever just have one of those days you'd like to bottle up and be able to open the bottle when you are having one of those tough days?

Today was a great day- I'm not writing this to brag or make my life inflated- I'm writing this to be a reminder and a looking back point when I'm doubting my skills as a mother and person.

So why was it so great...

I woke up had a yummy breakfast sitting with some of my favorite people in the world: my mom, dad daughter and son while looking out at the beautiful countryside of the Shenandoah valley and mountains. We then (son, daughter, and me) headed to the Wagon Wheel Ranch in Winchester, VA for a trail ride.

My daughter was ecstatic and enjoyed riding her own horse while being lead by Tabitha one of the trail guides. She looked so cute with her little riding helmet, skinny jeans, and pink cowgirl boots. Her horse Whiskey was a perfect match.

My son, I had been a little worried about because he is more apprehensive around animals let alone an adult size horse. He did great!

We rode for 90 minutes and there was no whining or complaining. We were smiling at the end. I'm ready to take lessons when we get back to iowa and I'm pretty sure daughter ready too- not sure who is going to foot that bill :).

Son went off to spend the rest of the afternoon golfing with my dad and daughter and my mom, Kate and I headed off for afternoon of shopping.

Shopping was fun. We all had some great buys, but none better then daughter's "school backpack".

Now finishing the night with everyone in the family room- some as you can see on hide-a-bed watching a great movie "The King and I". Perfect ending to a perfect day.

Really wish I could bottle it up!
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

This week...

Starting tomorrow we begin our annual no T/V, screen time, blogging, etc week. We did this last year and didn't miss technology so much we went on to another week.

This year I'm timing the week before we head on vacation to Virginia. Not going to try the 14 hour trip, me driving with kids by myself for 5 of them, without a little movie watching, and of course Facebook , and blogging our trip. So tomorrow starts the freedom from technology.

So if you don't hear from me for awhile know I'm just on vacation :). My writing has not been that prolific lately so i'm hoping that this week off gives me some time to read and write.

Here are some of the finds I've found today at the library. A bunch of cookbooks to entice me into cooking. I'll let you know how motivated I get. So enjoy some chattynatty free time and look forward to the return in a week or so.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

June Reads

It was a challenging reading month in June.  I read a couple of long books that weren't my favorites and so I felt like it was taking me forever to get through a couple of books and move onto ones I really was interested in.  Here they are in no particular order..

      Beautiful Ruins
This was our book club book for June.  I was disappointed in it.  Too many story lines going on and some of them not too interesting.  It as a long one and I kept reading thinking it was going to get better and it just never got there for me. 
      A Long Way from Chicago (A Long Way from Chicago, #1)
I started reading Newberry Award winners and thought this was one of them, but then realized that is was not a winner, but a  Honor in 1999.  However, I'm glad I read this one with the kids, because my oldest enjoyed it so much he wanted to read the other two in the series, which one of them was a Newberry Award winner.  The story is great and the main characters are all very strong and interesting, especially the grandma.  Fun family read. 
      Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)
Two of my friends recommended this one.  The one said it is a book for those who love books.  It was an o.k. read, but I think that the book had been too hyped up for me and so I just kept expecting more.  Don't think I'll be reading the other two in this trilogy. 

June Running

Total mileage was 66.  I'm at 424 total for the year and not super excited about the 96/month I would have to do to meet my goal of 1,000 miles in 2013.  Without training for Chicago this year my mileage is lower and also with doing so many 1/2s and upcoming sprint tri I'm just not able to get the miles in with the down weeks my "older body" needs these days.  So I move forward...

This past month was good up until I ran the Chicago Women's 1/2.  It messed with me physically, but more so mentally.  I like having a goal and I enjoying training for something and historically I've been a lucky runner and improved on my times most races.  I thought that was going to happen this time, but no luck.  Just wasn't my day.  So I was cranky, disappointed and took the week off to let my body and mind regroup. 

I've started my sprint tri training.  I was a little overzealous on my first bike ride on Monday and paid for it with sore knees the rest of the week which cut down my running mileage.  I swam at the natatorium and was reminded about how much endurance you need to swim long distance.  One more run to go this week.  Then onto week two.  My goal is to run 3 days a week, swim one day and ride bike another day.  It feels good to have an excuse to decrease the running this month, but I also realize with even less days running I will also have less mileage gained this month so it is a tough "see saw" of sorts.  Can't "have your cake and eat it to" all of the time.  Hope to have a more exciting and positive running report at the end of July.