Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello and HAPPY October 1st!!  I know it sounds cliche, but I can't believe fall is here once again!!  At this point I am embracing fall ~ the season ~ and all that comes with it.

  • Cooler temperatures :     check!
  • Long duster jackets:       check!
  • Cross Country races:      check!
  • Leaves changing colors: check!
And a couple of TOP FALL ITEMS...

  • Fall beer flavors:  check!
  • All things flavored pumpkin: check!
  • DAIRY QUEEN Pumpkin Pie Blizzard: check, check, check!!!

Besides that and the fact that I am working almost 30 hours a week at a preschool with 3-year olds ~ which means I am exhausted, I am feeling guilty by making poor supper choices for the family lately,  I am randomly doing laundry and all other "house duties" which makes for a less than desirable home at times, and I have been having a beer a night because as stated above....Fall beer is HERE! YUM!

Life is Good....And this is a look at the weekend plans......

The boy and I are volunteering with about 10 others from our church at Feed My Starving Children on Saturday.  
Kenzie and I are volunteering at the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday with her Cross Country team.  Kind of stressful because a local group called "Black Lives Matter" has been rumored to be PROTESTING at the finish line of the run.  Blocking runners (and yes, black runners too) from finishing a marathon that they have been conditioning and practicing for, for months now?  How is this going to put a positive twist on ones perception of black lives?  To me, and many others, ALL LIVES MATTER.  

~ Especially those that just lost their lives in Oregon due to a college shooter ~

Homecoming Football game on Friday...may or may not go.

Homecoming dance on Saturday.  

AND....Rudy has a grooming appointment.  Whew...just a day in the life.  

Enjoy yours!!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What? Another weekend involving a Cross Country meet??? Tis the Season right...

This weekend the CC team ran the Griak at the University of Minnesota.  The Griak is made up of college and high school teams.   These teams come from all over....last year's winning high school girl team came from California!! Most of the teams this year were from the surrounding state high schools or colleges for some reason.

As a team our girls haven't participated in this race for years ~ if at all actually.  I know some year's one or two girls who were that much better than the rest would go down with a coach or two but NOT the entire team.

They always have two divisions for the high school teams.  The so called "larger schools/better" teams run the Gold race. And the "smaller schools" run the Maroon race.  Both races are 5k in length.  Last year our boys high school team WON the Maroon race.  We weren't really sure why the coach signed them up to run the Maroon race because most of the teams that we normally run against were running the Gold race, but whatever they ran it and they won it!  That was amazing!! I mean there may be up to 50 teams running so to be a top three team is a great achievement but to win is brag worthy.  ha!

Our coach signed our girls up to run the Gold race.  Harder yes.  Maybe he thought it would push them more?  Maybe he thought they were up to the challenge?  Whatever he thought we don't know but, they gave it their all and did their best!

This gopher welcomed us onto the U of MN golf course ~ home of the Griak.

The girls getting a little photo time before heading to the "gate" for warm up run outs, checks, and the like.  Nerves must be at a high at this point so any distraction is a good thing!  Kenzie is second on the left....

Well the day did not disappoint.  It was HOT for a September day especially the last September Saturday of the month.  It was hilly.  Up and down hills no matter the height of the hill can do a number on any runner and it kind of did a number on some of ours and on a lot of others.  Booooo....

We witnessed many kids getting sick.  We saw a bunch drop out and having to be helped back to the medical tent.  And we saw some them seriously looked like they were going to faint ~ swaying, falling,  crawling, and then up and running....I almost thought they were drunk!  (ha! I didn't but it kind of looked like that)

The course definitely made you work for the win.  There were no gimmies here.  It was hot.  It was hard.  It was a 5k and some are still just getting use to running that distance at a race pace....our girls ended up in 30th place out of 50.  The boys got 2nd!!!! Amazing!  Our boys are running their butts off and the work they have done to get to this level is definitely giving them great results.

At a beginning point I thought I was videoing the girls as they ran past.
I was so surprised when I looked back later to see that there was NO video at all from the beginning point and only to find this lone picture.

The funny thing??

The girl in the green uniform on the top left "Irish" happens to be a good friend of ours.  She goes to our church and is the same age as Kenzie.  They are good friends.  Go figure!  Of all, the pictures I could have gotten I got one of her!! Some things are God initiated for sure!

Well, that's about it!

We are was a long, sunny, fun, and exhausting kind of day.

Hard to believe October is right around the corner.....

Monday, September 21, 2015

KIDS....the look of seeing a ghost????

Saturday, September 19th was OUR meet.
WE hosted the 50th APPLE JACK.

It had just rained for 2 days and the race course was m.u.d.d.y!

We all volunteer and hubby and I were the usual "Course Marshals"
(if you read my last post you would have seen my lovely neon vest to prove I really was busy and held a very important role) ha!

As course marshals we also got to hold flags and "HOLD" fans back at the start of each race and then "Hold" them back as the kids come running past us two more times.  Some bystanders just walk and walk without looking where they are going and if it wasn't for ME they would have walked right into a runner...sheesh be careful out there!

Rewind way back to the morning before we left the house and you would have found this:

And that would be Owen's "I am really thrilled to be taking this picture", I asked him to look more excited when I take the next one......

This is what I got.....a boy who looks like he just saw a ghost but, heck he is really excited after all!!!   

Another busy week around here with Cross Country meets, swim practice, homework and work.

Throw in some new windows we had put in today...which means clean up after the men by vacuuming and washing of the tile floors and the back deck because my goodness their boots seem to track mud everywhere.  I will try not to complain much because the guys are very pleasant to talk to, they do a nice job with the windows, and they are even reasonably priced.  A little mud? Eh? it washes off.


Happy almost Tuesday!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bucket list disappointment.......ha!

Ya know that bucket list some of you have?  I personally have never made one, but over the summer I did think it would be fun to ............get my picture taken with our mayor.  I know, I know, its not like others who say they want to run a marathon in every state or want to go skydiving, tight rope walking, or even take a trip to the moon (ha! I bet somebody has that written down on some could happen right??) Nope, nothing fancy here; just a picture with the mayor.

He kind of had a lot of fun with it over the summer!  It seemed that every where he went people wanted to take a selfie with him and then they would post the pic on Twitter or Instagram. Well, I guess I wanted to be part of that train ride too....or train wreck?

Needless to say it didn't work out.

Not really a "sad face" moment ~ more like a "thumbs down" ~ because I just never went to the same city events that he attended or I simply got there after he had already come and gone.

But I survived. 

Then a couple of days ago my friend told me he was coming to our Cross Country "home" meet.

What???!!! Can you believe the first thing that crossed my mind was, "Finally, I can get my picture!".  And he announced he will be running for a Senate seat next year so not only can I say I got my pic with our mayor but our soon to be Senator too.

Owen, Mayor Matt Little, and me.

(why then was it a disappointment?)

We all know we can take good pictures and we can take bad pictures.....This has got to be one of my WORSE pictures of all time!!!  I mean SERIOUSLY? I am sporting my "Course marshal" neon lovely hair is falling out (but only on one side) and I guess I am storing nuts for the winter in my cheeks.  Treats, sweets and BEER OH MY! It sometimes takes seeing a photo of yourself to realize one may have just indulged in one OR two too many over the course of the summer.   


But because it is reality and I like to keep things real around here I had to post it and share my photo anyway.   

Have you shared any "bad" photos just because "Reality sucks?!" ha!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Celebrating 20 years with a Leiny beer tour......

20 years?  20 YEARS! Seriously, who would have ever thought that I ~ YES I! ~ would be married for 20 years.....hubs is a saint and I am very tolerant.  ha!  Really though September 9 was our 20 wedding Anniversary and we planned a night away in Chippewa Falls to do one of our favorite things........................drink beer!!! What were you thinking people? ha!

Chippewa Falls, WI is home to the Leinenkugel Brewery.  We happen to thoroughly enjoy drinking a Leiny and have enjoyed going to many craft tap rooms around Minneapolis this summer, so why not tour one in WI too?

The beer was wonderful!! Did you know they make some beer that is sold ONLY in WI?  And did you know they sell beer and liquor at gas stations?  Crazy....we do not sell alcohol at gas stations in MN.  On occasion certain stations will carry 3.2% beer....but not the "real" hard stuff.  ;-) Guess where we stopped before leaving WI?  A gas station for beer of course.  We are cool like that! Sunday morning and people are buying coffee, papers, eggs and there we were hands full of 6-packs to go.

Inside the Leiny store/tap room

 Taking a selfie because its what tourist do best.

 Taking individual pics would be a runner up to selfies.

 What a gorgeous day we had!! 
Heading outside to get inside the brewery...

We were not allowed to take any pictures inside ~ while on the tour ~ so no pics there. ;-( However,   we did receive coupons to many local bars for $1 off Leinenkugel beers .....we didn't have a coupon for The Ghost Pub, but I had to stop to see if we would have an encounter with a ghost while in WI.

 The closest I got to a ghost was the one you see above the building.  We were given a tour in the basement of the Ghost Pub where the past owner was stabbed to death by a drunk patron.  Woooooooooo....supposedly his spirit lives in the basement still~ hence the name.  It was a dirty basement but probably not even suitable for a ghost to live in.  ha!

After drinking and drinking....we thought we should get a little something to eat.  You know the saying, "When in Rome..."...well, "When in Wisconsin" we figured we should eat cheese.  Cheese curds and cheesy nachos...equals only one thing.

Heart burn and an upset stomach!  UGH!! We shouldn't not have ordered this mess....

Next day.  Stomach feels better. We took a swim.  Ate our continental breakfast and even drove to a very small apple orchard.  It was a lot of fun to get away but honestly we kind of missed the kids.  We are weird.  We are looking forward to our 3rd trip to Disney with the family over Christmas, sure Disney may not have a tap room but they do have EPCOT and many countries to "tap" into.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Our mind can make us do crazy and even shocking things.......SAD REALITY of LIFE...

Yesterday was your typical Thursday around here.  I went to work. Kids went to school.  The air was cool and the skies were partly sunny.  One might say it was a perfect September day.  After our day was done I decided I still had a little energy and drove to a nearby Y to take one of my favorite classes, body pump.  Nothing says feeling energized like an hour of lifting weights to music and working every part of your body....YEA!

However, right as I entered the parking lot of my Y my phone started bouncing.  It makes the noise of a "spring" or "a bouncing Tigger tail from Winnie the Pooh" when I receive a test message....Boing, boing, boing....get the picture??

I, of course, did what any person would do...I checked my text.  It was from my neighbor and she was asking me if I remembered a family that lived in our neighborhood about 4 years ago and their kids went to elementary school with our kids.  Well, yes, I remembered them.

They were a happy, family-loving kind of family.  They took lots of trips together and our kids had a number of play dates.  They loved together time and it showed.  

Turns out that family was now making national news...turns out that the family of 5 was found dead in their home...turns out that family hadn't been heard from for days and people started wondering what went wrong....turns out the police are calling it a murder-suicide and no further details have been released.

TURNS OUT I am in SHOCK.  My stomach feels empty, I am shaking, my heart feels numb and I wonder, "What went wrong?"

I went through the motions of body pump and each time I lifted the weights I thought of the girls playing dress up.. I thought of the plastic animals that took trips, played outside, and neighed like you have never heard a horse neigh.  Imagination in 4th grade is a marvelous thing.  I thought one of those girls is at home doing her homework (my daughter) while the other is dead (their daughter).

What went wrong in the mind of one in her family has tragically changed the reality of HER life and mow mine.

Depression?  An affair?  Money problems?  BiPolar?  So many unanswered questions and so many thoughts of why?  Why does our mind cause so many to take it to the next level and do crazy yet even shocking acts of violence?

It is a SAD reality of life sometimes.

Please be aware of the problems others are dealing with.  We may not see them.  We may THINK, "They have the perfect life~the perfect family~the perfect job~the perfect house~the perfect body but reality is it isn't perfect!"

The mind is a complicated machine and let us all remember to take care of it as we take care of the everything else in our life.  Don't be embarrassed to ask for help.  Don't wait ~ thinking it will get better.  Don't assume you are alone.





Tuesday, September 8, 2015

This is the day that most media sites get bombarded with......First Day of School photos....

 Well, what is up with the lighting this morning???  I always take their photo by the front door before they leave....the top photo is the "Come on smile like you are excited to be entering 7th grade!"

The bottom photo is one HE asked me to take.  HE said it will show what he is REALLY feeling about having to leave for the first day of school....just a little different right?  ha!
 Then I asked Ms. 10th grader to come and take a photo with her bro ~ as she affectionately calls him at times ~ Well, Well.....Look Ma all smiles!!!

Here she is...all ready to tackle 10th grade and life as a Sophomore!

Once again my lighting is funky but then again our family is a little funky so its all good.

Today the oldest is going to be checking out the clubs and "other activity" groups at Normandale CC. I look forward to her getting more involved with the school and for her to make some friendships with those who may have similar interests as her.

Its all about getting involved and making connections no matter where you are or what you are doing in life.  Enjoy it and Own it....believe in yourself and you too can do it!!