Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Special Birthday

If you have a moment, would you say a prayer for my sweet aunt today? It's her birthday today and last Friday she was told that she likely only has a few days to live. I am praying that she and her daughters will find peace and joy in the midst of the pain. That they will be reminded that this world is not our home, that this is not the end. I know those reminders don't take the pain away, but hope in the middle of it all makes a big difference. I am hoping that my aunt will have a good day today and that she and her daughters will be able to have some good visits that will leave her daughters with some good memories in the days to come.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Little Happies ~15~

It's Monday, so the real question is, what are we happy about this week?

1) I am so, so happy that Sundays exist. I have been pushing it maybe a little too hard the last couple of weeks with physical activity and fewer rest days than I normally have. There's just been too much fun stuff going on and I don't want to say no! Anyway, I was extra tired on my hike on Saturday, which meant that I was more than ready for a day on Sunday to sit around and hold the couch down. And do things like write this post. I promise, even though there's stuff I want to do every day this week in terms of physical activity, I'll take at least one more rest day! Not that you need that promise, but my Achilles says, "Back it off a touch, or else!"

2) I'm trying to figure out if my math is wrong, but on my hike yesterday, I was actually pretty fast, despite feeling "off".  It felt so slow, but the math says I was hiking at a rate of 1.8 mph. Now, in walking down the street, that's pretty slow, but for hiking up a mountain, it's not too shabby!

3) Fudge pie. Have I used this one before? I feel like I have, but it's so good, it can be used again. (Kind of like bacon; free pass to be used in LH's every time if need be.) I froze some the last time I made it, so today I was able to warm slices in the oven and then put vanilla ice cream on it. Yes, slices. Dessert after lunch, and dinner. And maybe a snack as well.

4) Thunderstorms. Not crazy ones that are going to take you out with flash floods or lightning, but the kind that come rumbling through all afternoon, giving you some nice rain fall to listen to as you nap.

5) TV on DVD. Just saying.

6) Wild ripe raspberries!

7) How can it be Little Happies without some mountain joy?

I've been to this lake before, and I'm sure I'll go again.
Head over to Stephanie's to check out more Little Happies!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How Edel 14 Surprised Me

Update: For those of you unfamiliar with the Edel Gathering, it was a get together as a break for mothers. It's not meant to be a women's conference and I think it is filling a great niche that needs to be met. I'm not trying to say that it should be anything other than what it is, but I am saying that I'm glad that there may be a start of a discussion of how we can all be a greater community and support to each other, even when our paths in life are not quite the same.

I didn't go (obviously). I think it's a wonderful thing and a wonderful idea, but it's not for me. From the very beginning, it was meant to be this place where mothers can go and get support from each other and laugh and enjoy themselves with a brief respite from the cares of child raising. Let me say it again. I think this is a good thing, a necessary thing, a beautiful thing. But it is yet another place where I am left behind.

I am blessed to have many Catholic friends, and when I am in a circle of friends, I don't notice too much of a problem. We share each others lives, whatever that looks like for us at the time. Still, there are those moments. Like the one time where the conversation turned to how to get poop stains out of onesies. I got nothing, y'all. In those moments, it's so hard to be there. It's even worse when you're with friends, but also there's acquaintances and people meeting for the first time. Now the talk REALLY turns to those bonding experiences like pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding, sleep training, discipline and whatnot. That's where it gets really hard. How can I get to know people when the "getting to know you" gig is all about stuff that I don't know? And the stuff that I do know is not something that moms of young children have any time to concern themselves with. This isn't anyone's fault, this is just the dynamic that happens.

When I first heard about the Edel conference, I just laughed a little to myself (maybe a little darkly, but at least it was a laugh). A whole weekend of those types of interactions, talks about being Catholic moms, and conversations revolving around Catholic mom stuff? No, thank you. It's a good thing I'm not really invited! All too often when I do read some of the bloggers that were going there, I have little to nothing to even say to topics they are posting about, even if I enjoyed reading about it or it made me think.  For a while, I couldn't even read Catholic mom blogs. It just hurt too much. In the last few years, I have started to read several, many of whom did go to Edel. I now really enjoy reading these blogs and the latest escapades various children. I love that they have made me appreciate in a new way how much of a struggle it really is to be wife and mother, even though it is also beautiful. I wish I could find a better way to interact, but I'm not going to lie, it's hard to find a way to connect, and I mostly continue as a reader and (mostly) lurker. And even though I think the idea of Edel is great, I admit that I was also a little sad, because here's this other great way for all these bloggers to connect and because I'm not a mother, I'm left even more to the outside that I already am.

Once Edel happened, I knew there would be a slew of blog posts about it, and I figured I could just skip those. But then I saw this one, and I thought, "Holy sh- moly! Someone actually saw it? Wow!" Then Cari followed it up with this article, and another blogger talked about it briefly here.

Here's the thing. All of the lovely women who (thank God!) do not have to be aware of what it is to be single or in/subfertile sitting in a pew week after week and going home to a too quiet house are not ignoring those of us who do know all too much about it. It's just that even though we all want more community and to be there for each other in all aspects of life, to learn from each other and help each other, even if we don't fully understand what the other is going through, we just don't always know how. As I watch this conversation begin, it seems like a fantastic place to start.

Can I also just throw a HUGE shout out to those of you that read here frequently as the mothers of several to many children and have been a big support to me in my struggles.  As well as to those of you who are also in that either single or sub/infertile life that are such a huge support and let me know that you get it and that I'm not as badly insane as I feel some days. ;) Also, to those of you who were struggling with this and went to Edel anyway. That is not an easy thing to do (as I said, I couldn't even consider it), and I admire your courage and willingness to open yourself up to that pain... Leading to the fact that there is this conversation.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Little Happies ~14~

Hmm, I'm not sure what kind of list I can come up with, but I have to try. There's a new banner to use! The lack of list skilz today is not because there is nothing to be happy about, but because I'm not thinking of things off the top of my head.  Usually during the week, I notice things here and there that I want to use for the list, whereas I didn't seem to pay attention very well this week. I guess that's why. Oh, yeah. And because I didn't hike this weekend. That's where I have time to think about things like what I want to write and so forth.

How about I start writing and we see what happens?

1) Took a great class this weekend starting to get into some more advanced rock climbing skills. That's always a mental challenge for me, because I do NOT like heights, but climbing is fun and learning is fun and challenging the comfort zone is fun.  We actually didn't climb much this weekend. We were learning how to make safe anchors and such instead while standing on the ground.  However, it's going to open some doors to some things in climbing that I've never done before.

2) I love having friends that give me the space I need and the encouragement that I need, even if they don't fully get why I have my little moments about "easy" stuff that we're doing. There was one anchor that I set that was on the top of a bit of a drop off, and then I was supposed to rappel down it. I did NOT trust my anchor at first, but I got through it anyway, with two people being encouraging, and actually the 3rd is the one that helped me the most, even though it could have made things a lot worse.

Me: "I know this is an easy rappel, I'm just having a hard time trusting my anchor."
Friend 1: "That gear is bomber." (Solid.)
Friend 2: "It's not moving at all."
Friend 3: "Except the top one."

That last thing was what actually made me okay with it, because I realized that I didn't believe Friend 3 in the slightest, so then I knew I was fine. With friends like these....

3) I went for a bit of a hike on Tuesday, and it didn't go the way I wanted. I got turned around due to a bridge being out, and that was a huge disappointment, because I'd been looking forward to this hike for months. The happy part was that it was still nice, and that because I couldn't do the hike, I had a chance to go moose hunting. I "shot" one, but only with my camera. I hunt for photo ops.

4) (through 9) See, I kind of forgot about my Tuesday hike, since that was an odd time to hike and since I didn't hike on Saturday. We'll do the rest of the Happies in photo format.

Got to love hiking by the creek.

Not enough exposure on this shot, but I love the fireweed.

This guy really gave me the what for!

I played with the shutter speed on this one. I need a tripod, but this shot turned out well even without it.

My moose!
Head over to Stephanie's for more Little Happies!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Little Happies ~13~

It's Monday, which I always dread a little bit, but I love that something like this can shift the focus a little bit from the idea of an upcoming week of work. So, joining with Stephanie again this week.

1) With all my working out this week, I expected to start dropping off a bit in performance, but I kind ratcheted up instead! I got my personal best time on one workout, and that felt awesome! It's true that I love the physical changes in my body in the last few years (and, yes, I did dress up for a quick trip to the grocery store simply because I had a new size of pants to wear today), but what I really love is how much stronger I feel physically and mentally. I know I talk about this a lot, and I'm sorry if I bore y'all, but I really can't believe the difference between now and five years ago. (I do actually have a link to some photographic evidence of this, but you'll have to email me if you want to see that. I'm not going to link it here.)

2) I saw a meme on the Book of the Face this week that I loved. It said:

Athletes don't diet and exercise;
they eat and train.

All kinds of goodness there, and so true! When you are eating for proper fuel, you look at a lot more than just calories in and calories out. And training is much more goal oriented than just exercising for the sake of exercise. Once I had specific things to train for and specific activities that I was fueling, my daily activity routines changed dramatically.

3) This sign made me happy:

4) Another happy thing about that sign is that the new lens made it so that I could get a much crisper photo because I could actually zoom in. I love it!

5) This hike made me happy:

Because how could it not?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

C'est La Vie

Perhaps you can tell, but life has just been what it is around here lately. There hasn't been a lot that I've been dealing with personally, so consequently, the blog has been a little quiet. The last month has been tough in some ways, but in what is going on with people around me, not in my own life. Can I just say, take the time to let the people in your life know what they mean to you. It is important, even if you feel a little cheesy sometimes doing it.

Beyond that, what's been going on? Well, as I said, even though none of it has been happening to me, there's been enough going on where I want to help fix things for people and I can't, so in processing some of that, I have been working out more than usual. It has been good, but it's also been good to rest today. Last week, I threw in an extra day of spin and an extra day of climbing. Why it's taken me to my 30's to figure out that working out is better for processing than comfort food or retail therapy. Actually, I usually don't do retail therapy, because I have to be in just the right mood to shop and have enough in the bank, or it stresses me out. I used to do the comfort food, but then I end up feeling like crap, so that's not such a great option. Sweating, though? Sweating is good. It doesn't fix the problems, but it does make me more prepared to deal with them, or to deal with the rest of life when there's no fixing the problems.

Moving on in this lovely, not at all thought out, stream of consciousness post, I am very excited about getting a new camera lens, but I have mixed feelings. I thought my old lens was scratched, and that's why I had problems on some photos. New lens, same old problem. I also have a camera error that happens that they thought was a problem with the lens and the body of the camera "talking" to each other, but that wasn't fixed with a new lens either. Finally, now with a wide angle lens, it's picking up some extra issues in the corner. Blerg. Most of it can be edited pretty easily, but I don't want to have to edit for stuff like that. On the other hand, I'm loving the added zoom that I now have!

Let's see, working, working out, eating, sleeping. Yeah, that's about it right now. I'm really looking forward to my trip in the fall, and we're working out some of the details for that. I do have the new lens partly because I'm going to be needing to take so many photos! Looking forward to it!

We obviously need a little photo from the weekend.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Little Happies ~12~

It's Monday! That's not always a bad thing. This day is kind of weird, though. It seemed kind of long and kind of short all at the same time.  Anyway, since it's Monday, it's time to join up with Stephanie for Little Happies!

1) I guess this doesn't really qualify as a "little" happy, because it's a really big deal, but I'm happy to have so many amazing friends all over the place who are so quick with prayers and support.  Thank you all so much!

2) Another happy is that I love that there is this online community.  I posted something today on FB about the weather, and I got comments on the weather from locals, and from people from East to West coast.  How sweet is it that about anywhere I want to travel, there's a good chance I could find someone to meet up with? So fun!

3) Wild. Flowers. Columbines and Indian Paintbrush are some of my favorites, and I'm so excited that they're out now! Yay!

4) You know one has to be about food. I made a big batch of gazpacho this weekend, and I have been LOVING it. I've been eating it with avocados and either bacon or shrimp with Cajun seasoning. SO good!

5) I got the best compliment recently.  I have changed in a lot of ways in the last 5 years, and especially since moving out here. This person has known me for a couple of those years, and here was the observation the other day, "You used to be this round-faced, corn-fed Midwesterner, but now you're kind of a beast!"  I loved it. Before the last few years of my life, I used to be quite sedentary, and I certainly never saw myself as active or athletic. I will gladly take that and own it now, because yes, I am! :)

6) Have I mentioned that I love hiking?

7) I'm excited to meet up with a friend tomorrow for another early morning workout. I'm dreading it, but it'll be fun.