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My Oklahoma Adventure!

At the end of June, my bestie and I took off on the adventure of a lifetime. We frequently referred to it as our "Thelma and Louise" roadtrip, but realized that probably wasn't even close to the truth!

No Brad Pitt, no driving off cliffs, waaaaaayyyyyy more tame than good ol' Thelma and Louise, but still A TON of fun!

Way back in February, when I turned 40, T suggested we take a roadtrip to The Pioneer Woman's new Mercantile store. Knowing that a visit to the Merc ranked about as high on our husbands' list of things to do as, oh, say, having their toenails pulled out one-by-one, (now, if it were a Drummond Ranch working visit, then yes, both of our hard working, farm boy husbands would be eager to roadtrip to Oklahoma!! Crazy working fools that they are!) we figured we should make the trip with just the two of us. Days and days of uninterrupted girl time...YES PLEASE!

We set off on a Monday evening, stopped for a relaxed bite to eat in the Twin Cities, and head…

Wor(l)d GN and Helo

I just have to bring this information here to this space because I KNOW that there are people out there with the vision and the passion for this...

A few weeks ago, I joined a company called Wor(l)d Global Network after completely LOSING MY MIND over their Helo product.



Let me tell you why...Helo is a health awareness band and the nurse in me absolutely LOST IT when I saw what this thing can do (and will do SOON!). It is like a FitBit on steroids...it does all the fitness tracking (heart rate, steps, calories, sleep etc.) that other wearable devices do but it also has the ability to do blood pressure, sense mood and fatigue, and it can even do a basic EKG (plus oodles of other amazing things!). WHAT?! And later this year it will be able to do non-invasive blood glucose monitoring, oxygenation, blood alcohol levels, and more!!!!


Yes, my mind was blown. How could it not be?! Imagine what this can do for people in terms of health awareness. The possibilities are flipping ENDLESS. ENDLESS!!

B…

What Happened?

I've suddenly found myself at an interesting "phase" of life. I'm now that mom who looks at her friends with young babies and I feel everything. EVERYTHING.

All.

The. 

Things.

Like, when did I suddenly become the "old" mom of the group?

And, where did my babies go?

And, how on earth do I have a 21 year old?! TWENTY-ONE YEARS OLD, PEOPLE! How can that be when I feel like I'm only 26?!

Surely someone is playing tricks on me.

But then, something happens and I smacked upside the head with the reality that yes, indeed, I am that "old" mom. For example, my middle child broke his hand a couple of weeks ago. Broke a bone in his hand clear through...no teeny little fracture or anything, but a bonafide break. 

Once upon a time I would've been sick with worry. Probably teary eyed and weepy over the whole thing. I would've made him a bed on the couch and he would've gotten gifts to wish him well and I probably would've written a blog post about whi…

Grief, Take 2

You know, after my brother-in-law, Verd, died, I kind of thought we were "done". That we had paid our dues...I mean, one tragedy per family is too much, right?

This familiar path is (forgive me for being a two year old for a second), so freaking unfair. SO UNFAIR.

My husband has had two brothers die. WAY before their time. Those brothers had wives and children (13 between them) and parents and brothers and sisters and in-laws and nieces and nephews and ENTIRE communities that loved them. 

I just read some of my old posts from when Verd died and yes. ALL THE YES. It still rings true. From walking through the sludge of grief to the things I've learned. It is all still so true.

You guys, these two men that we've "lost" (more on that word in a second) were two of the greatest. As I step back and take a look at my husband's family from afar I am amazed at what great people my in-laws made. And gosh dang if it doesn't take my breath away that I've been bl…

The Unimaginable

Last week, life fell apart on us.

Again.

My husband's absolutely amazing brother, Jared, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving behind a beautiful young wife and 6 kids. Jared was a life force all his own...his silly antics, giant heart, and happy-go-lucky spirit was contagious and you couldn't help but love the guy.

Why is it that the good guys are taken from us too soon?

This last week has been a roller coaster of emotions; from endless tears to laughter and back again. Just when I'm feeling strong, I get a hug or an offer of condolences or a sweet email and the tears start to flow all over again.

Walking the path of grief is miserable...it is heart breaking and exhausting and gut wrenching...and it is unimaginable to have to walk this walk again. Just 6 years ago we were reeling from the sudden death of my husband's oldest brother. This feels far to familiar to have to deal with again.

Remember when I started my resolutions posts and I talked about…

Back to Colorado

Back to Colorado...figuratively, not literally, as in "back to our trip", not "that's it, I'm packin' up and going back to Colorado!".

You know what?

I could move. Right now, I could up and move my family out to Colorado. Of course, that'd be irresponsible but OH MY HEART. I have fallen in love.

I realize I'm basing this "love" not on real life...we slept in (sorta), we had the most amazing chocolate chip cookies everyday, we walked everywhere, went out for supper every night, there was no laundry or meals to cook or homework to do or dishes to wash or jobs to report to, and...get ready for this, we ate outside SO MANY TIMES! Odd, because the CO temps were similar to MN temps and you would NEVER find us eating outside.


It was flippin' amazing. And those cookies. Ooooooh, how I want one right now. These were not "3 o'clock Base of the Mountain Cookies...these were The Pines (our hotel) cookies and they were the most amazing th…

Our Colorado Trip

One week ago today, I had skied myself down a mountain (several times) and survived.

Oh, you guys...Colorado has captured my heart. I loved our vacation like you wouldn't believe and while I am not (nor will I ever be) a world class skier (let's be honest, greens are where you'll find me...and I won't be whizzing down them, either!), the mountains and the skiing and the fresh air and the walking everywhere? I grabbed a hold of me and doesn't seem to be making any moves to let go!


Check out this view from our hotel room!!


I just told someone today, "If I had had my kids with me, I'm not sure I would've come back." I felt so healthy and vibrant and alive...ugh, I wanna go back!

Funny story, the first evening we were in Beaver Creek, we walked down to the village and I got my first real look at the ski runs...I thought, "Huh. They don't look so bad." and we went about our business and had supper and went ice skating and tucked ourselves in…

What????

So, I came across this picture yesterday:


That picture...the one you see just above these words? Yes, that one...it was taken 7 months ago. SEVEN MONTHS!! 

And now, my middle boy looks like this:


He's turned into a little man overnight. Just like that, he lost his baby face.

Help me, friends!! What is happening?? Where did my babies go??

Hold me. I can't handle this time warp we seem to be in...where you go to bed one night with itty bitty babies and you wake up the next morning and they are practically adults.

Gracious. I need to go put them all in footy jammies and stick a pacifier in their mouths.

Excuse me now, while I try to swaddle my babies and sing them lullabies. 

See you soon!
M.

Totally Winning

Give me a moment, will you? To commend myself for absolutely WINNING at life today?!

First, I wore heels to work. HEELS! And dress pants too! Anytime I don't wear leggings and flats to work makes me feel like a bonafide adult. So, there's that.

THEN, I came home and worked out. Yes, you heard that right, I. Worked. Out! I've been doing a good job of trying to get myself somewhat in shape for skiing (we leave on Sunday!)!

I whipped up a delicious supper that is baking away and so I'm sitting here, reveling in the gloriousness that is BEING A FREAKING ROCK STAR! I love this feeling...part of me wonders...is it the Vitamin D that my bestie encouraged me to start taking? Is that little pill full of sunshine kicking in and making me feel like so much less of a slug? Or, is it that I had something to motivate me (Colorado...turning 40) and so, I'm grabbin' the world by the nuts and getting stuff done?

Who knows...all I know is today rocked. Oh...OH and guess what?? Guess…

It Wasn't Half Bad

Well...I did it. I survived my 40th birthday and judging from those who've already weathered this big birthday, I think it's safe to say that 40 is going to be awesome!

I had a great day...started off with donuts with my Birthday Thief for Catholic Schools Week, then I was wished a Happy 28th Birthday during morning school announcements. The best part of my day, though, is when one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world brought me and another one of my favorite people coffee. And there, in my grimy nurse's office, the three of us had an impromptu coffee gathering and laughed and chatted and I was assured, once again, that 40 isn't half bad.

We came home and I wrapped a whole bunch of Japanese candy kits for the other birthday girl in the family. Let me digress for a sec...have you seen these candy kits? They're adorably disgusting. Tonight she made "ice cream" and I kid you not the goo that was concocted was actually cold. COLD...can you imagine…

The Big FOUR-OH.

Well...this is it guys. My last night in my 30's. Laying another decade to rest and starting a brand new one with a bigger number. Gah.

Ugh...I'm struggling with this big birthday of mine like I never thought I would. I think part of it is (I'm so sorry, mom!) that when my mom was 40, she was a grandma...and the thought of that makes me want to throw up.

SHE WAS SO YOUNG!!!! (Look! I said she was young when she was 40...so why do I feel old?!)

I was thinking back to a conversation I had with a boy friend when I was much, much, much younger (I was probably 16ish)...we were discussing my parents and he said, "Well, you know...she's no spring chicken anymore." You guys...YOU GUYS...this was well BEFORE I made my mom a grandma at 40. Which means, she was the ripe old age of 37...maybe 38 at the time.

Waaaaaaaaa!!! "No spring chicken." Lord help me. She was just a baby.


My aunt told me that "40 is the old age of youth and 50 is the youth of …

Don't Judge

Here I am, blogging 6 days...SIX DAYS!!!...after my last post. What kind of a resolutionist am I???

Not a very good one. (Don't judge.)

Forgive me though, I was up to my eyeballs in planning and let me tell you, my friends, we pulled of a great event! It was such a fun evening...of course, I am a bit biased, but dangit, it was a good time!

We don't have any firm numbers in, but I'm thinking we will at least hit what we did last year. I'm hoping we'll come out ahead of last year, but I'm not gonna be greedy! "As good as" is good enough for me!



Let me tell you something about me...I give this event my all. Near the end, nearly every waking minute I have is spent thinking things through. "Did we remember to do this?" or "Did someone remember to ask that?" or "Did we print this or copy that or scan this or fax that..." and OH MY GOSH I start to keep notes when I wake up at night because if I don't I wake up in a panic, havin…

Home Stretch

Well...tonight was the last official meeting before our big event on Friday. We hammered out some details, firmed up our timeline, and drank a little wine.

I need to tell you all something...if ever you find yourself planning a gigantic event, gather amazing, strong, fun women to have by your side. We have fun...and (forgive my language) we get shit done. What more could you ask for?!

I'm nervous and excited and I think I need something new to wear because what good is a big event if it doesn't include the opportunity to wear something new and cute?! ;) Shhhhhh...don't tell my husband. 

Everything is coming together...live auction, silent auction, volunteers...it's exciting to see everyone pull together to make this event happen. It makes me happy that we have so many generous people willing to donate their time, talents, and lot's of amazing items. I can't wait to tell you how it all goes down!


Okie dokie...I've got kids that need to start their bedtime routin…

Finances and Grown-up Stuff

I'm sure I've mentioned it here a time or two, but I'll say it again: I was wired to be a stay-at-home mom. It is truly my dream job.

So, when we had a financial advisor dude come over tonight to talk about grown-up stuff like retirement and he asked us "At what age would you like to retire?", I was all, "Well...I turn 40 in a couple of weeks. So...40?"

I'm not quite sure that was exactly the answer he was looking for.

In any event, I guess it's good that we're planning so that someday we CAN actually retire, right? And then he asked us stuff like "what do we want to do when we're retired" and you know what? I couldn't really come up with anything more concrete than, "Not work?".

We are headed to Colorado in a few weeks to go skiing...what better way to celebrate "The Old Age of Youth" than to send yourself careening down a mountain on a couple of plastic sticks strapped to your feet? The good news is, Mr. F…

High Maintenance? Perhaps...

I've been searching for a pair of navy blue flats...I've had my eye on Lucky Emmies, because: Tieks, gah. I can't bring myself to spend that much $$ on a pair of dang flats! Boots? Maybe...but flats? Heck to the no.

So, I decided to just go ahead and order the Emmies online last week, only, if I spent a little more money I got free shipping so WHY NOT TWO EMMIES?! Yes, I'm glad you agree.

Let me tell you an interesting (some might say, "high maintenance") fact about myself. I love...I ADORE...ordering shoes online and you wanna know why? Because 99.9% of the time they arrive in pristine and pure form and have never, ever touched the foot of another human being. It's like some soul satisfying thing for me to slip my foot into a shoe that no one else's stinky foot has ever touched. (I know, I know...my poor husband has to put up with me. Poor guy.)

Back to my Emmies...so, my navy ones arrive and just like always, I sighed a sigh of utter contentment when I…