Been rather contemplative these last few days.

A year ago at about this time, we were getting into a not so great place.  We were struggling.  There's no skirting around it, it's true.  Nate was having a really hard time at work, not sleeping, not dealing with stress very well at all. It was scary, I know I wrote a lot about this last year about this time - that I just felt like he wasn't there for a bit.

I had my own struggles and coming to terms with things as I approached the big 3-0.  I kept saying it was no big deal and I was accepting it as it got closer, but it was a struggle.  I wasn't 100 percent myself.

Flash forward a year back to the present day.  You don't want to jinx it by saying it out loud, but I also feel like I don't want to just hide it either - we're both in a good place.  It took some time to get there, but we're really doing well.  I'm especially proud of Nate - work has improved for him so that helped a ton, but he also worked hard on figuring out ways to manage his stress and I think he had to work through some things for himself as well.  Now he's in a good place, he's healthy and happy.  I can't ask for much more than that.

I came through the other side too - I too am in a really good place now.  I think I have changed a bit.  Not necessarily in a bad way.  I feel less intense, less overly future-minded, more overall peaceful.  Yes, She Reads Truth helped me with that a great deal, but also walking the road we walked over the last year has led me to this place as well.  I gained some wisdom.

I always believe things happen for a reason, so as much as it sucked at the time, I figure we had to go through what we did last year for some reason.  I learned things as I went.  It's similar to other times we've been in that boat - when Nate was out of work, when I dealt with leaving Immaculate - these were tough challenges we had to deal with and somehow we still came through it stronger and better for it.  And the same can be said for our bump in the road last year.  That is how I choose to look back on it - a bump.  There may be other bumps ahead, I'm not so naive to believe it's always going to be smooth sailing - but having made it over another one, I have even more strength and courage if another one presents itself.

For now, I don't borrow trouble, I love where we are and where we are going.  I rejoice in it.  I'm smiling a lot.  And I take each day as it comes.  Most of all, I'm incredibly thankful and blessed.  I'll take it.


Back to the ole grind

SO hard to come back from a week's vacation.  It helps that we made it a short week this week though - Friday we're off again to go to the Fair.

Here are some highlights from Itasca - it was awesome.  To quote Nate's cousin Tyler "This vacation is off the charts!"  We are planning to hopefully go back next year if Nate's aunt Annie is able to get the Clubhouse booked.  Fingers crossed.

Our table at the Rapid River Logging Camp enjoying dinner

Me on the bridge to the Clubhouse

The Clubhouse


The rest of the week was good too - we did a little shopping for Nate who has lost a bunch of weight (on purpose in a healthy way) and needed clothes that actually fit.  Friday we brewed the last of our beers for Oktoberfest - a raspberry wheat.  It should be delicious, real live raspberries went into this one.  Saturday we got to go on  Living Social Adventure that we had purchased - a tour of the Leinenkugel brewery and tubing down the Chippewa River.  We were nervous going in because neither of us had ever gone tubing before and we also didn't know anyone, but it ended up being a lot of fun.  It was a little chilly when you first got in the river but the sun warmed us up quite a bit.  I would love to do it again sometime.  Sunday we had church and then recovered from everything else!

I have to say, I have really loved this summer.  I really hope the good times continue into this fall.  Based at things I'm already seeing on the calendar, I think that is a high probability!



So, today is my last day before a one week vacation.  And let me tell you how productive I've been so far.

I've blogged in my fashion blog.  I've read a bunch of blogs.  I took a high chair out of my boss's car that is going to be used in the new audiology department.  I've played Words with Friends, Draw Something and SongPop on my phone.

And it's only 10:15.  Um, yeah.  Friday before vacation = big fat joke.

(Praying the kind folks at FV do not see this.....)

So hey, did I mention I'm going to be on vacation?  LOL.  There will be pictures and stories later.  I'm pretty certain of that!


Signs I'm becoming way too much of a "pet parent"

I got up on Sunday morning and started getting ready for my walk.  Normally, at least one of the cats, usually Pippin, greets me as soon as I'm out of the bedroom.  But not this time.  I thought it was odd that neither cat were out in their beds in the living room and as I'm tying my shoes I think, it's so quiet.  I think it's too quiet.  I decided to go find them.  And this is what I found:

Yeah, I'm becoming one of of those crazy cat ladies.  Was I angry?  Of course, but I had to get the picture before I yelled at them!

What I didn't capture was after I took these, Taylor got up from her spot and I was going to come back to clean up and Pippin had taken over Taylor's spot laying right on top of the paper towels.  I promptly shooed her away.  Oh cats.  You make life interesting.


Hello August

Hey it's August!  What say I post in this blog for a change?

Our world lately has been Praise Project stuff, beer brewing and...that's about it.  But August promises to be a bit more exciting!

First of all, we're going to Itasca in just over a week with a bunch of Nate's family on his mom's side.  I cannot wait.  I love Itasca and this will be a new way to experience it.  We'll only be up there about three days, but Nate and I took off the whole week that week, so he and I should hopefully get some time to do some fun things around here too.

Secondly, we bought a Living Social deal that is a bus ride out to Chippewa Falls, WI to tour the Leinekugel brewery and then go tubing on a river, followed up with a BBQ dinner.  It will be a very fun day later in August.

Thirdly, the State Fair is at the end of August and you all know how much Nate and I love the State Fair.

So it's all happening!  I get the feeling the month will fly by in fact, but I almost wouldn't mind, it'll get us closer to Fall and hopefully some cooler weather finally.

We or I should Nate has been brewing like a mad man.  He's learning a lot about making all grain beer and we're going to have some awesome things on tap for Oktoberfest this year.

I am hoping we get out golfing a bit more too, the weather hasn't been super agreeable for golf lately, or if it has, we've had something else going on!  We actually have a free round to use from when we took our lessons, so it would be nice to actually use it!

So here we are.  And here we go.