Saturday, August 25, 2012

I want to ride my bicycle...

Like most people, I've grown up knowing how to ride a bicycle.  I don't even remember when I learned, that memory is gone, but, as a child, one of my best memories is going on bike rides after dinner with my dad.  We would bike all over.  Through the neighborhood, around the lakes, everywhere.  In the summer, it would be multiple times a week that we would go on a bike ride.  As I got older, my bike was my main form of transportation for 3 seasons out of the year.  It was nothing for me to get on my bike and go across town to visit a friend or to pack a lunch and take off for the day to wherever my bicycle would take me.  I had baskets over my rear wheels and a little dog who used to love to go on bike rides with me.  I'd line the basket with a towel or blanket and Sassy would go for a ride.  The looks we would get cruising around town!  Of course, this was the same dog that used to love to go to the park and go down slides!  She was an awesome dog!

So I digress.  After I went to college and got married, my bike got dusty.  My family grew and my bike sat neglected.  When we bought our first house, I got a new bike with the best intentions to start riding again.  I even got one of those little trailers for Nathan, but I don't think we made it further then around our little neighborhood.  The bike sat in the rafters for years and years until this past summer. 

In the past month, I decided I wanted to start riding again.  Mike had started riding his bike again, we had just bought Nate a new bike (he had outgrown his) and Rachael was learning how to ride hers.  It was time.  Down came the bike and we looked it over.  After hanging in the rafters for more years than I care to remember, we realized that it needed some TLC and off it went to Erik's Bike Shop.  It cost nearly as much as the bicycle to get it ready to ride, but it was ready.  Then, I realized I needed a helmet.  I suppose if we require our children to wear a helmet, I needed one too, right?  Bought a stylin' helmet, got a rack for the vehicles, and got the old hitches (that were rusted in!) out of the receivers. (Ask Nate about his THOR hammer!)  Nathan, the great big brother that he is, took it upon himself to get his sister riding without her training wheels and did a fantastic job.  We didn't realize how good she was until we went for our first ride together.

This past Wednesday was the day.  Nate didn't go, but we packed up Rachael's bike into the back (it's too small for the rack) and off we went.  Not knowing how well she was able to ride her bike, we decided we had better go on a path that was less traveled and wouldn't result in her careening into a body of water.  Mike decided that Mayowood was the bike path we were going to try first and off we went.  Rachael did fantastic.  She was able to keep up, she had great path etiquette, and was enthusiastic.  Her big fear had been going up hills, but she got past it and was having a grand time. 

Until.... until... well, there was a bridge involved and we all know how bridges go up and come down.  She ended up having to walk her bike to the crest of the bridge and as we were coming back down things were speeding up and all of a sudden I hear her start squealing.  Not a happy squeal, but an, "Oh no!" panicked sort of squeal.  Down the hill and around the corner I see that the trail is about to branch off and I holler to Mike to watch out (he's hearing her squeal too!) and poor Rachael, can't think fast enough continues to go straight squealing all the way.  I can't help it, I realize she's not going to get hurt (it's tall grass) and start giggling.  It was pretty funny!  She in the grass and topples to the side in the tall grass.  I have pictures, not of the actual careening into the grass, but the aftermath:

 But my little trooper got up and started going again.  She wasn't going to let some tall grass get in her way!  BTW, that unicorn helmet?  Her pride and joy!  It cracks me up every time I see it because it's so goofy looking.  She loves it, though, and her 5-year-old friends are all just a wee bit jealous of it!  Gotta love 5-year-olds!

The next day my legs hurt so bad!  I had muscles aching that I didn't realize were there!  Did I let that stop me?  Nope!  Mike and I went on a date last night.  Nathan encouraged it.  I guess I was a little crabby yesterday.  Oops!  We went out for dinner and went on a bike ride.  We were able to go quite a bit faster and further without Little Miss along and it was a blast.  We rode almost 6 miles and I'm realizing that I've missed this!  I've missed getting on my bike and feeling the wind on my face.  We're planning on going to Winona tomorrow after church to take Ty a few things he needs and we're taking the bikes along.  It's going to be fun to discover all the paths around SE Minnesota! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What have I gotten myself into???

I meant to write about this earlier, but it's been a busy week and I just haven't gotten around to it.  Finally have a few minutes today.  Well, I should be downstairs folding laundry or sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor or... well, you catch my drift!

So, before I wondered off on that little sidetrack, what I was going to write about!  Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook or actually know me in person, probably already know this, but I'm going to retell the story anyway.  You know, the whole "my blog, my rules" thing!

Sheesh.. back on track.  Ok, then.  BLARGH! Back in the beginning of July, my younger sister, Megan called me.  She lives in Miami (yes, Florida.  Much different then Minnesota!) and offered a trip down to visit her toward the end of January as a birthday gift.  Hmm... Florida in January with no kids?  Sounds like a little slice of heaven to me!  Except, she had a proposition (darned lawyers and their propositions... or is that English teachers?) She wanted to know if I would be willing to walk a 1/2 marathon with her.  In Miami and in January.  That's 13.1 miles.  THIRTEEN MILES!  For someone who hasn't been able to walk 2 miles in a long time, that seems like a LONG ways!  Heck.. it IS a long way!

This was before surgery, but I had already lost a significant amount of weight at this point.  Megan told me to think about it and get back to her.  Well, fast forward about 6 weeks.  I can walk about 2 miles comfortable now and still thinking that Miami in January with no kids is so very enticing and after talking about it with Mike and figuring out schedules, we figured out it would work.  I also figured it'd be a good way to keep up with the exercise to help continue the weight loss, so a win-win, right?   I wrote on her Facebook page last Monday night "I'm in".  Tuesday morning by 10 a.m. she had our registrations in and was asking me about flights.  *gulp*  She wasn't giving me any wiggle room to back out of this one!

So.  Yours truly is headed to Miami to WALK the ING Half Marathon on January 27, 2013.  I'm nervous.  I'm a little scared, but I'm pretty excited and I'll probably cry when I finish it.  Thank you, Megan, for the challenge! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A little of this, a little of that...

I've been thinking I need to update, but just haven't had anything to update about.  It's been a while though so bear with me.. this may become a bit disjointed and rambling, but it's my blog and I can do what I want with it! 

So a bit of an update since it's been almost two weeks since I last wrote anything.  I'm 2 weeks post-op and feeling pretty good.  Have a tender spot on my left, lower side but it's feeling better every day.  Kind of feels like a side-splint when you've been running or walking too much.  Otherwise, everything feels pretty good.  The port is in an awkward spot.  It's positioned right where I lean over a counter on my belly, so it hurts when I lean over something.  Another thing I can't change, just annoying and I'm learning. 

I can tell my innards are healing because my hunger is back!  I'm on "soft" foods now and have to chew everything to a mush, but it sure is nice to be able to chew food again!  Mike and I took Nate and Rachael out to one of our favorite Mexican places yesterday and I asked Rachael if she wanted to order off the "big" menu and share with me.  She was game and we ordered enchiladas. I gave her half and hate about 2/3 of what was left.  Before surgery I would've eaten the whole darned thing and not batted an eye!  It sure tasted good, though.  One thing that I'm really having a hard time with is not drinking anything with my meals and for 1/2 hour after I'm done.  I never realized how much I enjoyed drinking with my meals and I'm thirsty! As for my weight-loss, it has kind of stalled a bit, but I was told that was pretty normal in the weeks between surgery and getting fills.  I just keep chugging along, trying not to step on the scale and getting discouraged. 

Rachael is still asking questions, but she's so sweet.  We were having a conversation in the car the other day and she asked something about eating too much and my band.  It's so hard to explain to a 5-year-old that I had the band so I wouldn't eat too much and to help me lose weight so I can do more things with her.  She asked if she ate too much and I told her she was perfect and she didn't (and she doesn't!) It's such a slippery slope teaching her to be healthy and confident with her body image when it is a huge issue with me.  Explaining that we need to eat food to help our body grow and be able to have the energy to do things and not eat too much so we gain too much weight which is harmful for our body.  To make wise choices with the food that we eat and to keep treats as treats.  I feel blessed that, at 5 1/2, she makes pretty good choices with food.  She likes a variety of vegetables and is open trying new foods.  Now, she loves "the junk" as much as the next kid and would be willing to have fruit snacks for breakfast, but accepts the idea that they are a treat, not something to eat all the time. 

I just am so blessed with a supportive network of people surrounding me.  My husband, my kids, my family and friends.  Mike has this week off between jobs.  He's excited about starting next week at the new place and has been able to slow down a bit and breathe in this week in between.  He went up to Duluth camping over the weekend and came back on Monday afternoon.  I could tell when he walked in the door that a load had been lifted off his shoulders.  Thank you, Jesus.  He went camping with some friends from church including our pastor and his wife.  The rest of us were invited, but I just was not comfortable going being only 10 days post-op and not able to eat much at that point so I opted to stay home with the kids and told him to go with my blessings.  Had a good visit with my parents on Friday with Ty and Rachael and then Saturday, went to a friend's house and had fun at their place.  Sunday, I dropped off Ty at camp and picked up Nate in Cannon Falls.  He had spent the weekend with my brother and his girlfriend.  Monday we hosted the youth group with our study group for dinner and had a great time. 

This week has been nice with Mike home.  Just laid back and relaxed.  Still feels like the weekend!  Sometimes you need a week that feels like a weekend! 

Anyway... I want to start doing some photo-journaling and may try to do more of that.  Everything is better with pictures, right?

So here are a couple from the last week or so.  Enjoy!

 This one cracked me up because my beautiful daughter loves horses and when we flipped to the Olympics and saw the horses she got so excited!  She watched the equestrian events all morning and played on her little stuffed horse.  So here she is, on her horse with the riding events going on in the background!

I can't claim this one. Mike took it while he was camping this past weekend.  It's so tranquil and relaxing, though and I can close my eyes and imagine sitting there soaking in God's majesty.  It was taken on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  God is so good and He spoils us with the beauty He surrounds us with!