Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My Reality

The feeling I was experiencing in this photo is known as 'euphoria.'  A feeling of well-being or elation.  The past year (since the last post) has been incredibly busy and life-changing and all for the good.  No, GREAT!  After my parents celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary, spring, summer, fall and winter rolled through.  Now we are back at SPRING--my favorite season!  Okay, no wait, Summer is.  But Spring is the runner-up.   Over the past year the boys have been active in all of the following:  Cub Scouts; Nathaniel is now a Wolf and will soon be a Bear, Carson is a Lion and will soon be a Tiger. They have participated in: Swimming Lessons and are both doing GREAT there!  They have wrapped up the Tae Kwon Do for now and have also been in soccer, baseball and football.  Here are their most RECENT baseball pictures from last week... they are getting SO big!

Carson on 3rd Base

Nathaniel is now 8!
Over the last year both boys have lost three teeth each!  Get this: Carson (my younger of the two) always looses his tooth first and within about 4-5 weeks Nathaniel will lose HIS...and it has been the SAME THREE TEETH IN THAT ORDER FOR BOTH BOYS!  It is bizarre! I need to get a side-by-side picture of this because I am sure it won't continue this way forever but let me tell ya,...the tooth fairy sure is missing her gumball machine money!

One other AMAZING thing that happened within the last year is that I secured my dream job back at the local clinic --but this time as an RN. In the department that I love and missed for years and wanted to get back into oncology--so here I am with the group I love and caring for the patients that I love.

Then the most AMAZING news of all.... I am engaged to JASON! !! It happened in March of this year on a night we went out to dinner with all of our boys.  What a great night it was!

As we move forward in 2017,  I look forward to what the days will bring. Hopes, wishes and dreams.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Party Like It's 2016!

Eight days in and so far 2016 has treated me well.  The second day of the year my parents celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary! My siblings and I hosted a surprise party for them and it was MAaaaa-rvelous!  I was so thankful to have us all together again, even if it was for two days.  I love it when we are all together--I can only imagine the happiness and peace it brings mom and dad to have all three of us (and our families) under the same roof for a night. 

My sister, brother and I.

My mom knew that the party was going to be happening, however, my dad had absolutely no clue! Mom thought it was a party to celebrate Dad's cancer going into remission and life in general.. . She had no idea that we were going to be focusing 100% on their anniversary.  Well, we did and it was a blast!


Mom was still surprised by the outpouring of love and all of the guests who arrived to make it for their special day.  We had a band, a caterer, a cake and lots of family and friends to share our time with.

This was fantastic tasting cake.

It was so wonderful to see all of our family and friends that us kids have grown up with.  Catching up as an adult I can see why my parents chose the friends they did; they are all wonderfully kind and down-to-earth individuals. We were so thankful that so many came.

This is just one half of the room that were ready to surprise Mom & Dad.

Prior to preparing for the party, Christmas came around.  My boys enjoyed it immensely this year and were 100% believers in the 'magic' surrounding it all.  We spoke a lot about the Birth of Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas.  They also were caught up in the idea of Santa Clause and trying to be on their best behaviors for the whole month of December (contrary to popular belief, they are not angels all the time). ;-)    Regardless, Santa did make a visit once they sent off their letters at the downtown mailbox.  The boys were not disappointed by Santa's Blessings. 

My greatest gift of all was wishing and receiving that my dad's cancer was in remission.  A couple weeks before Christmas he had another PET Scan and it reflected back what we were all so deeply wishing for.  He is feeling well currently and has severe peripheral neuropathy to manage.  He has good days and bad with it, but for the most part, he is good.  It beats the alternative.

Nathaniel received his Cub Scout Ranking of Bobcat last night.  He is so proud of himself as he learns new skills.  His confidence and motivation has increased greatly since becoming a scout and we couldn't be prouder of his accomplishment.  Nathaniel and Carson are both currently enrolled in Tae Kwon Do and swimming.  Each day they are learning so much at school and they are growing in to such handsome young men.  I couldn't be prouder of their accomplishments.  I love you both SO much! Nathaniel is taking off on his independent reading skills and Carson is understanding the concept of writing letters and enjoys making me 'gifts' every night while we mingle around the house.  My love continues to grow and grow for them as they live and learn... Being a mother to these two boys is the greatest gift I have EVER received. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

And Now, Autumn Falls Upon Us...

Shaking my head at how fast time flies when you're having fun.  November 9th?  Say Whaaaa?

I have gotten caught up in the daily grind again and my blog fell by the wayside.  In the great scheme of things this little memoir doesn't equate to much and it releases only snibbets of my life and what I want you to know.  Regardless, I try my best to make it honest, emotion-filled and memorable if not only for my own sanity but also for my children if they every choose to read it.  I want my boys to know it is acceptable to share their hopes, wishes and dreams and to give a voice to themselves while they grow in this world.

My dad is doing GREAT!  He recently finished his sixth round of chemotherapy.  He still has some residual peripheral neuropathy and aches from where the tumors were in his body, but for the most part he is doing better than most would.  He is walking two miles a day at the Y....Go DAD!  I am so proud of him and how he has handled his cancer.... 'Handling' cancer is a statement that should never be made, but unfortunately, it is a statement that more and more of us are having to make these days.  Some days I feel as though there IS a cure and that the damn pharmaceutical companies are choosing not to share it with us because they don't want to be out of business!  Maybe I am bitter?  Maybe I know too much about medicine?  Maybe I am selfish in wanting to have my dad with me forever?  Maybe I am naive and know NOTHING about medicine?  Some day the truth will come, I only hope it is in my lifetime as I see way too many negatives come from a diagnosis of cancer. Lately the word, its presence and grip on my life has been all encompassing. Work. Home. Schoolmates. Friends. Moms. Dads. Children. Papas and Nanas. Healthy. Unhealthy. NO ONE is immune.  His most recent PET Scan was 'clear' and the chemotherapy has been doing it's job of complete eradication.  His next scan is Mid-December... Please pray it continues to show nothing and his cancer is considered to be in remission.  I want nothing more than a healthy body for him.  In other news, my mom has Lyme's Disease and is on antibiotics for that...  If it's not one thing, it is the other.  I pray she responds well to those medications and her level of fatigue decreases and she gets her energy back.  We have a lot to look forward to as the years go on and I want them by my side for it all.   They may live far away from me, but I feel closer to them now more so than I ever have.

My work-life balance is truly wonky right now.  My most recent schedule has not been ideal for my family (as I am working when the boys are scheduled to be with me) and SO many accommodations have had to be made so I can still have my time with them.  Switching days, having sitters come early/stay late. Jason helping me uncountable times. Meals being made by neighbors. Laundry being folded by grandparents; I can't be a MOMMY!  It drives me nuts and I am about fed up with it and my day time schedule of sleeping.  My manager was recently let go of her position as they are 'downsizing' at our facility and making major leadership changes.  The medical community in which I live is in a major transition right now and it has added oodles of stress to those of us who work in it.  I feel as though I am going through yet another 'divorce.' (This time I am the child stuck in the middle). I could compare it to being in an inflatable dinghy (without paddles) during a Category 5 Hurricane; I look forward to calm waters.

The boys are doing AMAZING in school this year.  Nathaniel is ROCKING in his school shoes.   His reading is improving daily, he is doing well with his math facts and now has spelling tests every week.  The kid has been amazing his momma every day and I love doing homework with him.  C-Diddle (my Pre-K'er) enjoys his routine and is having fun learning about upper case letters.  He is showing me daily how smart he is by writing out his name, counting to 30 and above and showing me how much he loves to help around the house.  I am so in love with these two, I just want to snuggle them all day when they are home.  Unfortunately they are more interested in Nerf Gun Wars, Pokemon and Football Cards, and playing 'Army guys.'   They recently began Tae Kwon Do and I see a lot of confidence and esteem eminating from the boys, it has been wonderful to witness.  The Sensi has been teaching them respect, skills, etiquette and mastery of the art.  I am so thankful to have them learn from such a strong-willed guy who wants nothing but the best for them.

In MY personal life (oh yeah, there is me too!)  I recently have gotten a new buddy. His name is "Scamp." He is a 12 year-old who was at the Humane Society that I volunteer at.  He had been there since April and he needed someone who could love him into retirement.  I was the one for the job as I took him outside for a walk and fell in love with him.  He is a little bit thicker than Boomer and I believe he has some arthritis and some tumors (see what I mean?) but I don't mind it.  He is playful and the dominate one in regards to Boomer but Boomer does well with him.  When we are outside Scamp likes to explore still and I need to keep him on a tight leash (literally) as he has already ran through the entire neighborhood when I let him out of the car a couple of times.  He just needs to learn his boundaries and then I think we will be good.

I recently got the shed I had on my 'Wish List' in my backyard.  Jason build it for me.  He is SO skilled at building and creating.  He is an amazing man that is motivated to complete things with skill and expert craftsmanship.  I fall in love with him more and more each day.  He gives so much of himself to the boys and I and I haven't ever felt this lucky to have someone like him in my life.

That's it for now, I am sure it will be a few more months until I am back here, but I just wanted to communicate what is happening 'now.'

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer is Here

Summer is here and with it, MANY changes.  So much has happened in the last few weeks/months that it could be considered chaotic to the 'normal' human being, however, for myself...this is just how my life is so I accept it and roll with it.  Over the last few weeks the most consuming reality for me is that my dad has been diagnosed with cancer.  He has endured the grueling staging process with scans, biopsies, labs and office visits.  He has completed one cycle of chemotherapy.  At this point in the game it is too 'early' to say how he will tolerate therapy, but for now we are simply glad that he is no longer in any pain. Having a career for nine years in oncology I am thankful that I have significant amounts of knowledge in regards to his diagnosis and treatment.  He has told me it is somewhat like having his own personal assistant to guide him through the vocabulary and expectations.  I simply have a hard time believing that this is happening--to my dad.  My best friend in the whole world, the one I trust with all my worldly stories and secrets, the one who has supported me since the moment I entered into existence. The one I want to protect from growing old/ill and the one I want to share many more years sitting on the deck, drinking Leinenkugels and shooting the breeze with -- has been given a diagnosis that could be a culprit in taking his soul from my presence. Being a nurse now, I have become incredibly familiar with the 'Stages of Grief' that a family or patient may experience due to illness.  I am in a state of naive bargaining at the time.  I know that I am blessed each day he is with me and for some reason a thought of him being ripped away from me in an untimely car accident keeps bubbling up.  I know that my time with him is precious and some are not given an opportunity to share with their loved ones just how special they are.  I have made it a priority in the past three weeks to make my dad aware how important and much of an impact he has been for me.  I share this information with you as my hope is that you share your true feelings of love and appreciation to whomever it may be that is on your thoughts as you read this. Don't wait one more second...share your thoughts now.

With all of these heavy words, it is still important to share things that make me happy and keep me calm.  Each day that passes I feel as though I am one step closer to having my dreams becoming reality.  For many years I have been what I call "survival mode." I was taking each step one at a time in order to reach a final goal.  I have reached my goal and have continued to reach passed it.  I have ideas, hopes, wishes, dreams which have been dormant through it all.  I feel I have reached a season in my life in which I can make realistic goals again and can meet them.   Conquering 'Nursing School Mountain' was a stepping stone for building my confidence back and my energy is renewed for living.   As of recent, I have completely eliminated 'pop' from my diet.  It sucks. Right now, it sucks...big time. I, along with my BF have taken a pinky-swear to not have any without each other. We also are committing to walking for exercise. It may not seem like a lot to you, however, we are greatly out of shape and need to get our grooves back.  Small changes will make a big difference and for now, these are the teeny ones we are making. I am encouraged, motivated and excited to see what else we can modify into the fall months.  I am already noticing that I am less fatigued and moody based on lack/increase of caffeine.  Don't get me wrong, I am still a coffee fan but I can't drink too much or my stomach hurts---it's a fine balance, folks. 

I am happy to say that I am working my dream job as well.  I am no longer working as I was in the previous post WAY back in February.  I look forward to going to my position when scheduled and sharing my hours with those who need rehabilitation in a physical medicine sense. Some people automatically think of drug/alcohol rehab, and that is not what I do. I work in rehabilitation in which those who have suffered multiple traumas, spinal injuries, amputations, strokes or hemorrhages come to in order to learn a functioning way of living as they have been affected.  I love my work. I get to see the same patients and families for many weeks (getting to know them well), I get to see improvement/results, it's not constant chaos at work.  I feel as though this job was made for me, for this time in my life... I couldn't be more blessed.

The boys are growing and changing every day.  They are healthy and happy.  Both boys are in summer sports and Nathaniel is in summer school as he prepares for first grade.  Carson gets to spend mornings with me and we have fun times together visiting the library, going to the grocery store, visiting the zoo.... I feel so blessed to have this time with him as I know in a few years he won't want to hang out with mom as much as he does now.  Last week I acquired a new living room set in which we can all sit on and snuggle when we have our ice creams in the evening... Things are good.    I will post pictures of the bedroom makeover soon, just haven't gotten around to it.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Working Girl

Hard to believe this is real and I am living out my dream... I made it. I am a working Registered Nurse.

I am forever grateful to God for giving me the strength, determination, motivation, understanding and capability to believe in myself  in order to make this all happen.  I am so blessed to have the very best of friends and family supporting me throughout my journey of nursing school and giving me strength and prayers throughout this goal completion.  I anticipated the day shown above...the day I would wake up bright and early, excited (as if it were my first day of kindergarten), butterflies in my tummy,  unable to focus on a single thought.   The day went well, I was mentally exhausted by the end of it but truly enjoyed being able to care for patients one-on-one.... oh, how I have missed patient care!

New Hopes, Wishes and Dreams come into focus for me and the boys with each passing day.    

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Thirteen into Fifteen

The 13th of the month already? How did this happen?

Life is going well with the boys and we are clipping along at a steady pace. Carson has been battling Strep. throat over the last month and is febrile again tonight--so I have to keep an eye on him.   We had an excellent Christmas and New Year's Celebration and I couldn't be more thrilled that my house is all cleaned up (except for the nativity-which I like to keep up a little longer).  The weather has been BEYOND freezing (-10') with a -30 to -40 wind chill over the last two weeks which limits our outdoor activity. Having two boys our cabin fever sets in rather quick around here--I look forward to taking the boys to the park, going on bike rides and making a mess in the backyard with footballs, baseballs, sprinklers/Slip and Slides and Frisbees.   My poor heater barely gets a chance to rest in between it's cycles and I try to shut 'down' as many vents in unused areas of the house so I can conserve.  Boomer turned nine years old a few days ago! He is trying to hide his wrinkles here....

Lots of exciting changes and motivations happening for me. I felt a 'shift' in energy within the last couple days and am looking forward to what this year will bring.  Most importantly will be the realization of my dreams coming true and living with purpose by caring for others; which is what I know I was called to do in this life.  Being in school and all that it entails (with uncertainty and stress) it will be wonderful to live with routine in times, locations, faces, meals and sleep.  When no longer in the throws of college there is an appreciation of simplicity and the mundane.  I truly can not WAIT to take a few days up at the cabin when the weather gets nice to just relax and play with the kids! 

My goals for the year are to build a stronger relationship with God, our Savior.  Fully forgive others and myself for hurts of the past.  Crank out some great workouts and start jogging again--I need to build strength in my lower back.  Ever since I had the boys, my lower back has been messed up and I know that a huge part of getting stronger will be building my core up.  My major physical goal is to run in a 5K this summer with my good friend.  I want to take a week long vacation with the boys somewhere (maybe South Dakota/Yellowstone/Anywhere not here).  Being able to meet some of my financial goals would be wonderful as well.  So... just a few small goals for 2015.  :-)   What are your goals for this year?!  Are you as ambitious as I am or more conservative?  I believe that we can all meet our goals when focused, best wishes for you!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Go Pack! GO!"

Between all of the painting and Christmas concerts we decided that an adventure was needed to stir up the boys curiosity a bit.  Nathaniel had been talking for weeks about Aaron Rodgers and how when he grows up he wants to be a Green Bay Packer!  This morning we had an opportunity to travel over to the 'Frozen Tundra' for a fun day trip!  Who on earth would travel to Lambeau Field on a day when the Packers are playing at an away game..?    US! 

I was surprised as every time I go there (not even to watch a game) there is something new to explore.  This time I was shocked to see how large the Packers Pro Shop has gotten! The boys were in heaven checking out all the little knick-knacks, toys, hats and footballs. With the boys both being so young (and FREE) we took advantage of taking a Lambeau Field Tour for $11.00 for each of us--for the hour long tour.  Knowing that the Packers were elsewhere today, I was pumped to be able to actually go out on the 'field' (more on that later). 

Once we rode up the escalator, the boys were able to shake out their giggles and wiggles in the large atrium.  Coincidentally, this is about the time kick-off was happening in Tampa Bay--we were able to watch the game as we hung out til tour time.  The boys enjoyed tackles and plays with the hash marks laid out within the flooring.  For almost an hour the boys were completely content--even though we weren't really doing anything other than looking around.... the atmosphere was full of energy. The atrium can be deceiving because it is so spaced out that it doesn't feel like there are a lot of people because everyone is tucked back in their own corners.  However, when the Packers made a great play, the ENTIRE atrium filled with shouts and cheers; it was pretty sweet! Even though we couldn't see all the fans, they were there.

When the tour started we were ushered up to the fourth floor and were allowed into an $83,000/year suite! (and that was the smallest size)  The boys were very excited to finally see the field (and I was excited to see the latest additional of 7,000 seats on the south end).  As per usual, I am in awe for about the first five minutes--it's just such a cool place.

This picture shows the green seating (the newest seating added on prior to the beginning of this season).  We received a significant amount of Green Bay Packers history while sitting in this box.  It was humbling to hear just how things came to be and how much tradition is carried through with this team.  I felt so proud to be a Packer Fan when the great story of the team's birth and legends was being told.  We had individuals from New Jersey and Upper Michigan on the tour; we were the only 'Wisconsinites.'  After the suite we were taken down to the basement (which is unlike any other basement in the NFL.... Two racquetball courts, a basketball court, a workout center, cafeterias, etc... it's more like an insane YMCA!  When we got off the elevator the boys got excited because they knew that we were about to go near the field--Carson wanted to get out there NOW...he was pulling on my coat the whole time!  We zipped up our coats and made our way through The Tunnel.  I didn't think it would be so awesome; but let me just say, I was again humbled by the awesomeness. To know of ALL of the players and greatness to come through there, it almost teared me up!  There is a bunch of tradition within the walk out to the field, I will save those trinkets as a surprise for those who haven't done the tour.  

Joel-Our Tour Guide

Our tour guide had awesome information, was great with my young boys, and had a True Packer Fan Spirit--it just felt good to hang out with him for an hour.  The boys were amazed that the field screens were so incredibly huge and as wide as two of our houses! 

As we were about to leave the field we called out to a major Green Bay Packer Legend by shouting out into the field--"Go PACK! GO!"  The boys later told me that this was their favorite part of the whole day (It was mine too).

Once we got back up to the atrium for the closing of the tour it was halftime and the boys were HUN-GRY (this means so incredibly cranky that mom is about to lose her mind).   We thanked Joel and went up to Curly's Pub (where the noisy folks were hiding out).  I was happy our hostess seated us in a booth looking right over the front of the stadium.  I 'went crazy' and ordered a soda, Nathaniel got a root beer in a glass bottle (living on the edge) and Carson stuck with his usual chocolate milk!  Jason and my burgers had this awesome branding when our dishes arrived.... it was picture worthy.  And... now I want a Green Bay Packer 'brander' for my kitchen.

As we left, the Packers clenched another win and we are one step closer to the NFC North Championship!  Only 6 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes and 42 seconds until their next kickoff!  GO PACK! GO! SUCH an amazing day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sweat Equity

The beginning steps of a painting project are the most annoying -- but most important of the whole process.  90% of the project is in preparation and clean up.  Gathering all the supplies, prepping the room, planning the proper order of walls/trimming can be a bit tricky.  I take great pride in being very organized during a project. There is nothing more annoying than to stop mid-way and have to run across town covered in paint from head to toe to grab an extra drop cloth or Frogtape.

Having the boys away every other weekend allows me the time and ability to forge through an idea with gusto!  Today I will share some of my preparation for the boy's bedroom makeover.

First off, I start with removing ALL items from the walls (posters, pictures, screws/nails), ceilings and windows. I move the large and cumbersome furniture to the middle of the room and it gets a drop sheet on it for time and simplicity sake.

Next up is lighting.  Nothing bugs more more than getting all cleaned up, looking at a section/spot on the wall and seeing a neglected area or not enough coats of paint. I learned early on in my 'painting career' (three houses ago) that lighting can make or break your sanity when it comes to a beautiful result.  I take off every lamp shade, open all blinds (depending on the location of the sun--it can white out too much and throw the coloring off).  I get extension cords plugged in the walls ahead of time so that all I have to do while I am 'in process' is pick up any lamp in the room and walk with it.  It is important in evaluating your work after each section to scan for blotchy spots or major errors.

Once I have the good light beaming is when I patch up the walls with Spackle.  My home is 68 years old and sand paint is the texture I have to apply for the rooms, which is applied after the Spackle dries.

Purchasing the paint and supplies can become costly (the first time you do it).  Once you have a lot of the supplies, however, all you need is the paint.  I like to scope out paint colors online and I stick with what the websites say 'works' for having certain colors together. I usually have an idea of the color I want, then seek out the coordinating/accent colors from the professionals.  I have never been disappointed with my choices. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS spend money on the higher quality paint and don't tolerate something from a  (no offense) 'Big-Box/Man Store.'

When I get the paint home I like to examine the paint before I start the job.  There have been times when I have had the paint mixed and the mixing person does not share the color with me... that drives me absolutely nuts!  If I am spending $50.00 a gallon on paint, I want to see what I am purchasing from you.  So, if they haven't done that for me before I purchased, I get my OCD self home and check it out.  I also do a 'drop' sample on each lid and side of can.  This way I can quick reference from the shelves when stored away or when I am standing in the room painting away and need to open something up quick. I am all about making my future self happy, this is a serious time-saver.

It is important to have a sturdy workstation while painting (covered with a drop cloth if the furniture is important).  When starting out a job I like to have a list (found on Pinterest or any DIY website) with a suggested list of items.  (Why NOT use it-again time-saver).  Added on to my list are garbage bags-which I use to cover the paint tray and brushes overnight, rather than cleaning, some good tunes, 'junk shoes' (for standing on the ladder), a small bowl of water (with lid) and paper towels for small slip-ups.

Here is what my workstation looks like before I get going:

Once I have everything in one place, the room is cleared, I am dressed for a mess and tunes are on.. Stage 4 of prep starts... taping.  I use Frogtape (shown above) and a straight edge to help push down for corners, woodwork and alternating between wall and ceiling.  Taping can be a tedious job but it is worth it.  I don't have a sturdy hand AND I am a huge klutz, so I appreciate this step big time.  Once that is done, I am ready to rock with the drop cloths getting laid out, I pour my paint for trim work and begin....

I start with the ceiling. Every time. I start with the trim (any straight line is followed), corners and outlets/switches or areas that can't fit a roller between.  When I have trimming (coat 1) complete I roll out the first big area.  This is usually when I get excited because I know I am finally underway with the project and there is no turning back!  A sturdy ladder or step stool is important to have nearby so that every area of the room is accessible.  Note: it is important to roll out the entire wall/ceiling in one full coat completing it in its entirety. Reason being, if you have one area of the wall wet/the other dry and it isn't done together, you may mistake an area for not having a deep enough hue/shade.  Can you tell I have made this mistake?  Here is what the boy's room looked like when I started out:

Lots of work to be done!  More to come... 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Best Parts of Each Season

When I thought of doing this post, I was simply planning on picking one or two photos for each season and that would be it.  However, when I started looking through my photo app. I started racking up quite a few--46 to be exact.  Observing the fantastic-ness and beauty of each season is really hard for me to narrow down.  My boys and I are SO lucky to live in Wisconsin; where we live and breathe each season for an average of 14 weeks.. (Winter came WAY early this year--it will be more like 21 or 22 this time around). True-to-form, my favorite season (summer) had the most pictures and my least favorite (winter) had the least.

 Watching the crops begin their journey and BLUE Skies!
After six months of gray and white--this is a welcome view.

 The daffodils and tulips are the first to announce we are close to warmer temperatures
--again, I love the color!

Our first trip up north to the cabin happens once the driveway snow melts (around 2nd week of April)
enough so we can let the vehicles in. 
I love watching the new little lives of ducks, deer and others grace the shore.

 Easter is probably my most favorite holiday. I love why we celebrate, I love the traditions surrounding it, I love the Easter egg hunts, I love the Peeps (yep, I am one of those people), I love the pastel colors, I love the jellybeans.   "Christ is Risen, Indeed!"  :-)

Lilacs and their scent.  I don't like the allergies they push on me--oh, but it's worth it.

The first trip to the garden center has to be one of my most favorite days of the year. 
The smell of dirt and seeds. 
Flowers and fertilizer. 
Coming home with the first potted plant of the year always makes me smile. 
Seeing the green grass NEXT to the potted plant; that calls for a grill out!
The FIRST grill out of the year!

 Playing outside can resume comfortably!
The days are getting longer.

Hydrangeas bloom near the end of May/beginning of June; they are absolutely my most FAVORITE
'flower' (bush) that exists in my region.

The trees begin to bud their flowers, and leaves are becoming abundant.  This is also another week where my allergies amplify--but I LOVE the beauty of the colors and life that comes out in nature. 

 The cabin. No filter, every sunset is different and just as beautiful.

Wildlife is everywhere.

Being on the water is best!  Water sports, swimming, fishing... all of it.

Sparkles on the water.

Watching the summer rain scatter across the lake from the deck.

Fun with family in the brilliant sunshine.

Again....Grilling out. An excellent brat with some Secret Stadium Sauce is BEST!

THE. Milwaukee Brewers! The games. Tailgating. Brats. Beer. Baseball cookies.

My Birthday is in the summer -- and I always try to take the day off from work, be with family, do something I enjoy and thank God for another year lived. 


Leaves changing.  'Peak week' is usually the second week of October in these parts. 
That week is also celebrated now because of Carson's Birthday being then.... I am so thankful for the best part of autumn occurs the same week he was born.  
(Picture below) was taken 6 days before his birth; I was contracting irregularly from this day forward until he was born.  I believed that the delivery would never come... but he did! And was it ever worth the hard work!

The smell of wet leaves.  
Hiking in the woods in autumn.  Peaceful. Open.  Cool. 

Best part of Autumn???   The cabin... again.

Caramel apples. Sweatshirts. Fire in the fireplace.

The Canadian Geese come for a visit as they travel south... they spend many weeks in town.

Below is showing the best part of autumn: The last fishing day with Papa before the lake freezes.


Frost on the trees upon waking up has to be the best part of winter.

Sparkles in the snow.

Drinks in the snow: Major benefit of living in cold temperatures

Opportunities for snow forts

Snuggling with babies while watching Christmas Parades is a 'Best!'

Walking 'the hill' at (guess where?) THE CABIN... and SLEDDING!!!!!

Watchin' Da Packers (with these two cuties--my BFF)!

That's all I got for now....
A little bit random of a post, but hopefully you can feel the beauty that I see and experience throughout my year!  

Blessed to enjoy the best of the FOUR SEASONS where I live and love!