Hunting season eve


Well, it’s the evening before gun hunting here in Wisconsin.  Hunting is such an important part of my family’s life. The men in my immediate family prefer bow hunting over gun hunting by far, but there is something intriguing about this time of year.

 
Every year, religiously, I make “Papas chili”. Years ago when my husband was a child his dad made his special chili every hunting season and kept it in a huge metal pot warming on the space heater stove at the cabin. Some amazing memories were made there.

 
Once Mark and I started dating I got to partake in the tradition. To be totally honest I never cared for that chili. Mostly because they made it with venison😷. I didn’t grow up on venison so I didn’t care for it. Who knew I would soon grow to love it (made with beef of course) & actually crave it?!

 
Once we had kids we started bringing them to the cabin for lunch during hunting season. Papas chili was a hit. It was there that my son Austin would proudly wear his blaze orange that was adorned with his dad’s previous years back tags. He had quite a collection. He would stand next to the railing on the deck barely able to see over it resting his chin on his crossed arms just dreaming of the day he’d be big enough to go hunting himself.

My daughter Sam would also come to the cabin and sometimes bring her friends. They would sport the very fashionable plastic blaze orange vests and caps. I don’t think hunting was on her mind as much as just getting to the cabin to have fun.  Although she did prove to be quite the shooter once she decided she wanted to hunt. I say shooter, not hunter because she didn’t care to sit long and it rarely took more than an hour or so before her deer came in and she dropped it right in its tracks.

Opening day was and still is exciting to me. As soon as the guys would leave to go to the woods I would crack open the window a bit, no matter how cold-and sit with my coffee and just wait to hear the first gunshots. It was always very hard to tell which direction they came from. I’m directionally challenged the way it is and echoes didn’t help. But I always knew if it was coming from one of my family on our property. Then I would hear the four wheeler engine coming through the woods. I knew someone got one then!

 
To this day on opening day I still patiently wait and listen. It can be very bittersweet because now it is just myself and my husband . My kids are grown and on their own. They each go in their own direction and I still worry about them and their safety. Not everyone is careful out there. Not everyone was taught right from wrong. Not everyone was educated to do the right thing. Not everyone plays safe. But in the end I trust that all will be fine.

 
I await the day when our grandson Connor may be the little one excited to go hunting, or maybe he won’t want anything to do with it. He’s an animal lover for sure, but also a growing boy that could sure help provide for his family someday.

 
At any rate, I pray each hunter is safe and that there is a hedge of protection around each one.  Happy hunting!

✌️

Advertisements

Happy birthday Mom! 🎈


Happy birthday Mom! 🎉To the woman who always puts everyone’s needs ahead of her own. Some call that enabling. I say there are far worse things. I will justify my enabling to the very end, whether it is right or wrong. The apple doesn’t fall far. There’s nothing I won’t do for my family and I had to learn that someplace. I didn’t learn to be selfish, I learned to take care of people. I enjoy taking care of people,  I think she does too. Maybe the biggest downfall is continuing to do so while occasionally getting taken advantage of. But we press on and the next time someone wants or needs something we’re there.

 
My mom is the first one to bring yummy baked goods to any and every occasion/non-occasion. She loves to bake, is truly amazing at it and loves to just drop off goodies for no special reason at all. I truly believe this will be part of her legacy. Her love comes through in her baking. God sure has blessed her to be an amazing baker! People aren’t kidding when they say people love through food.

 
My mom will do anything for anyone. She really does have a big heart, although she doesn’t share it freely. There’s a tough outer layer that must be broken through first. She’s usually the first on the scene for urgent matters, and the one who sticks it out for the long haul and sees things through til they are finished. She may not always show that emotional, soft side-but trust me, it’s there. Being a grandma has softened her.

 
I may not always act like it or say it as much as I should but I am very thankful for her. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to learn so much from her through good and hard times. Ive been taught some pretty great life skills, and hard times taught me that we all have times when we could do better and to never stop trying to do just that.

 
My mom taught me at a young age to be hospitable, maybe not even through telling me but showing me.  To help clear the table at family functions and help with dishes even the other kids (even some adults) would run off.
She taught me that yes, chips and dip & Coke make perfectly suitable meals when you’re having a bachelorette weekend.

 
She taught me the wealth of knowing how to take anything in your kitchen and turn it into a meal. So now I’m known from my hubby as the woman who could feed 50 with a potato and a hot dog.

 
It’s my dream and goal of mine to be able to take my mom on a vacation someday. A vacation where we actually have to get on a plane and leave town. She will never do that for herself. To a place where she can feel what it’s like to just let loose and have fun.

 
She taught me last but not least, that no matter what hand life deals you, to put on whatever face you need to & you will make it. There’s ups and downs all along the way but you–will–make it. That the good far outweighs the bad. So here’s to you Mom! Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day! 💞

✌🏻

Moments time stood still

Have you ever had things happen in your life that took your breath away? That seemed as though time stood still? Here is a list of some of the things throughout my life where time actually seemed to stop…for even just a brief second that seemed like a thousand years. The times where you always remember where you were when it happened. Where the whole room became silent as if you were the only ones there. In no particular order:

*Seeing my daughters big bright eyes open moments after giving birth to her, looking around,so alert.  Did I just create this beautiful little girl?

*The final push I gave when having Austin. The last push I didn’t think I had in me. Hearing the Dr say, “One more and you’ve got it.” Hearing Mark say “I know you can do this Mis-”

*Hearing my daughter in excruciating pain as she was giving birth to her own baby. Knowing this was one of those moments I couldn’t just rush in and hug her and reassure her it was going to be okay.

*Seeing my grandson Connor for the first time, eyes open laying on his moms chest…my grandson-to finally meet the boy I fell so in love with before I even knew him.

*Finding out I was going to have a baby for the first time. In that split second when I saw the pregnancy test results a flood of emotions from “Oh no!” To “Really?” To “How am I gonna do this?” To “What is Mark gonna think?” To “Wow…really?” All of those emotions seems to flood in at the same exact moment.

*Finding out I lost a baby.

*Finding out God blessed me with another baby on the way.

*Having a procedure done in a Drs office where I almost bled to death. The dr wouldn’t let me call my husband and told me to drive home and take Tylenol. We didn’t have cell phones then. So I listened to him and thankfully I made it. As he hit an artery and I almost passed out from extreme blood loss I saw the room go dark and thought my time had come. What an asshole that dr was!

*Watching my son get wheeled off to have shoulder surgery. There’s nothing like hugging him and seeing him go. I knew he’d be okay but when you see fear in your child’s eyes and can’t do a thing to fix it, it is really hard. Watching him get wheeled off seemed like it took an eternity.

*My first kiss. We played a stupid game where we had to look at each other straight in the eye and whoever looked away first had to kiss the other one. How stupid. I lost,but also didn’t make the first move. Not aggressive that way. Haha

*Seeing who would someday be my future husband for the first time. I was roller skating with a friend and he wheeled by and man did I think he was cute! Who knew? 😉

*The first time my future husband kissed me. I won’t forget. Once again we were roller skating. (it was THEE place to be) I was skating along and he wheeled up in front of me, very cool just turned himself around so he was skating backward so he was facing me- and said “I’m gonna kiss you now.” And he did. And off he went. 😍

*Writing my name with my future husbands last name on everything I owned. Who doesn’t do that?  Don’t say you haven’t done that!

*Hearing my grandma had breast cancer. There are no words when someone you love so much gets news like that. I remember calling her the night before her mastectomy and making sure she knew God and loved Him. I seriously thought she might die in that surgery and I needed to know where she stood.

*Phone calls in the middle of the night from my sister. They were never pleasant. Always scared the day lights out of me. I always regretted those calls but was always glad she called me and I was there.

*Finding out I was going to be a grandma. Numerous times. There is no greater joy than that of a baby. Especially when your babies are having babies.

*Hearing my son for the first time ever be sooo excited about this new girl he met. He brought her to meet us and they really clicked. I remember going to bed that night whispering to my husband “I like her…” And he said “I do too…” I remember calling my daughter saying, “she fits right in, like she’s been here forever.” He’s had other girlfriends but none has he ever spoke so intently about. At the time I thought to myself  “We will see, at first they ALL seem to be ‘the one’…” But hearing him so excited, as never before made me stop and think about his future for a moment and what it  might bring. Now I know that she completes him, and they are getting married!

*Getting life changing news

*Dealing with losses from both my children. There is nothing worse than the calls or messages saying that my children have lost a child. Each and every time my heart felt as though it stopped. I dropped to the ground. I dropped my phone. There’s nothing worse than that feeling of helplessness and that you can’t do a single thing to fix this.

I’m certain there are many more things that made time stand still. These are just a few highlights. The ones that came to mind instantly. I cherish all of them good or bad. They’ve strengthened me. Appreciate everything you go through. They truly all have a purpose.

✌️

Christmas~Family~Legacies

image

Absolutely one of my favorite times of the year. There’s really something magical about Christmas! (When things are going well that is….my blog from last years Christmas was not as happy!) I just love throwing on some Kenny G and digging Christmas decorations out. Just makes me mellow.

I used to love when the kids would line up all their ornaments on the floor, reminiscing about each one. I went through various stages at Christmastime as we became empty nesters. Our first year here as empty nesters I cried doing all this because I still had my sons ornaments (our daughter had been on her own for a few years and had all hers-although the first year I put the tree up without hers was equally as hard!). I remember thinking back to each one remembering details of why they got the ornament they did that year. So I cried. The second year here my son now had his ornaments, so I was a bit more used to it but the kids weren’t getting along and that made me mad…I didn’t have the Christmas spirit- I was bitter and angry and actually took the tree down before Christmas even came! So I cried. This third year here I started thinking about putting the tree up so I sent my son a message telling him if he felt like he was missing out on Kenny G and me bawling my head off he was welcome to come up for the day! Haha ! Well little did I know he decided to come up and help me put up and decorate the tree!  He and his fiancé! I know he could have been doing a ton of other things and I know just the thought of Kenny G makes his ears bleed but he was a trooper! I appreciated that so much! The gift of time is a precious thing!

img_0192

This was our grandsons first Christmas. It was so fun! He’s at a very fun stage right now where his mind is so curious and he’s so active. As all kids he could have cared less about his gifts and more so loved the paper. His obsession right now is cell phones, laptop cords, all the things he is not supposed to have. He is perfect, and so much fun! He also got his first haircut (at 6 mos old)and has just recently started eating solid food. He enjoyed some morning playtime with Uncle Austin and loves when he hears Auntie Allyshas voice! He was a bit taken with her this weekend! Let me thank my beautiful daughter and son in law, without who we would not have this beautiful bundle of joy!  

     

    This was our first year hosting Christmas with my side of the family and had a great turnout. A few families could not make it and they certainly were missed, but we still ended up with about 22. Lots of food, lots of fun! Games and outdoor play for the kids, fellowship and cameraderie for the adults.

img_0689 It was great to spend time with family, especially my Gram who will be turning 90. Still full of spit and vinegar now more than ever! We had lots of fun doing selfies with Gram!  image

image

My niece was born on Christmas Day so I always feel bad for her having to celebrate both at the same time. Although my daughter phrased it perfectly- “You are so special that God chose you to share the same birthday with His Son.” I like to try to keep things separate for her and make it as special as I can. She got an amazing new flat iron from Sam and Jordon and a girly goodie basket and things from us. We took her out for dinner and they gave her an Oreo ice cream drink. I was very thankful to have some time with her! She always puts others ahead of herself, would rather give than receive, and it was great to spoil her a bit and make it about only her!          The weekend ended with all of us in the man cave playing cards and just hanging out! Absolutely LOVE weekends like this!

image

image

I am very thankful to be able to spend as much time with my family as I do. You hope you make a difference in their lives when you see them and that you are creating a legacy that they will remember throughout their lives.  It makes my heart happy to spend time with them, to see them making it, making good choices, living happy lives, doing the right things regardless of their circumstances.  My husband reassured and told me this weekend as I got emotional over so many things that I was seeing the fruits of my labor in action this weekend, that living by example is such a profound thing. That there is always someone watching how you live, how you choose to deal.

I am so blessed! I hope you all had a great Christmas and that it carries into the new year!

✌🏻

*side note* Allysha LOVED her new selfie stick! 😜

Thanksgiving 2015

Happy belated Thansgiving!  It was yet another perfect day for our family! Great food & camaraderie.

Our daughter Sam and her husband hosted Thanksgiving  this year at their house. It was a special one as it was our grandson Connors first Thanksgiving.   What a cutie, huh?

We had sooo much food! Everything was so good! Everyone brought a dish to pass to help out. We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, buns, stuffing, pumpkin, pecan and apple pie. Needless to say naps followed.   

 It’s such a great time of year. A time for family, traditions and making memories.   It’s always fun to get together. Our son is engaged, our daughter and her husband still pretty newly married, and always fun to see how everyones families celebrate. Even though we seem to do the same things it’s nice to have that routine. It’s nice to show what is important to our family and what we hold dear. From preparing the meals, to watching the men with their full bellies meander to the living room while the ladies clean up and have great conversations there also. Not that it’s just a woman’s place to be in the kitchen & a mans on the couch– haha! Call me old fashioned, I just enjoy the cameraderie amongst the girls. We hope that we leave a legacy of just wanting to be together through life’s events.  It’s our greatest wish that family would be priority to all, no matter the event. 

I’m so blessed and trying super hard to incorporate that thankful feeling all year long. I have so much to be thankful for…we all do. It’s so much more than just a day. 

🍂🍁🍂

2nd annual Papa’s chili & family photo day

Happy fall! 🍂🍁

This past weekend we had our second annual Papa’s chili and family photo day. Marks dad had his own chili recipe (which is very different than mine or any I’ve had). I always thought it was “ok”, they made theirs with venison and I’m sure my husband and son would for sure love it more if it were still made that way.  I prefer beef…always have-always will. Not that I won’t make it for them with venison because I totally will.

As I said before I always thought it was ok, until I went through one of my dental surgeries and I couldn’t eat a thing. We had just made this chili and I thought I’d give it a try. Oh…my….goodness did it taste good! I’m not sure if it was because it tasted soooo much better than applesauce and yogurt or what but since then I have CRAVED it!  

So we decided that this will be a yearly event-family photos and chili. It’s a perfect time of year for both.

The morning of photos was so relaxing- my hubby, our son and his fiancé spent time on the porch talking trucks and drinking hot chocolate while covered in a cozy blanket. Our daughter, her hubby and our grandson spent the morning catching up on some much needed sleep. We had scrambled eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast and then we were off.  

It’s such a beautiful time of year where we live. The weekend could not have been chosen any better as far as fall colors. I’m so thankful we did them when we did!

Our family photos are not edited yet so all I have are some candids-

Our beautiful daughter & her baby boy😍

Connor & his Daddy!😀  
A first selfie with our grandson! 

My snuggle bug!
My loves! “Papa let me tell you a story”

Two of the handsome men in my life!😘


Matching outfits😊

  Connor driving the ranger-can never start too early 😉
I can’t get enough of his little face!😘


The photo bomber 😂 

Beautiful fall colors!

    
I am blessed with an amazing family! Through all the ups and downs we still manage to come together! I recently read a neat quote …”Life takes you to unexpected places~Love brings you home.” Isn’t that the truth?

✌🏻

Chasing life

Every once in a while you run across something that rocks your entire world. Something that really makes you think. In my case it happens to be a tv show. A series on Netflix of all things. It’s really amazing how a TV show can impact you so profoundly. I guess you have to be in the right frame of mind to accept it though. 

Chasing Life….. In the last two days I watched the entire season. Don’t judge. I have no responsibilities right now as my husband was gone on a hunting trip, I have no kids in the house anymore, my only responsibility is me…and my dog-who eats, sleeps & poops and starts the whole process over again, and honestly I’m the simplest person in the world to take care of-totally content eating cereal for supper or chips and dip for breakfast. I’m pretty easy to take care of. 

This show sucked me in. It’s about a girl who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Long story short, it’s about living in the moment because you just never know. It seems so cliche to always be preaching the whole “live each moment like it was your last” and as I said before sometimes you have to be in the right mind frame to accept things and to allow them to make a difference. 

One character in the show had brain cancer. He spent his time making other people’s last wishes come true, making the end for them the best it could be. Never worried about himself-had the attitude he wasn’t going to be around anyway so he didn’t matter. But what happened was he found worth, he found value and his attitude changed. He always put others first but found happiness for himself along the way. He had the attitude that he was going to live in the moment, because a moment is just that and can be gone before you know it. He did crazy things, he broke rules, he had fun and most importantly he lived…if you can’t be crazy in the moment with people you love then what’s the point? I’m not saying you should blatantly disregard responsibilities, be totally irresponsible, neglect what’s “right”…but there has to be much freedom in just once in a while saying the heck with it all and living in the moment. 

Do things in the moment that feel right & understand that where you are right now, this very second is where your are supposed to be.  Wanna tell someone how you feel? Tell them. Wanna hug someone or kiss someone? Do it. Wanna help someone with something? Help. Something you need to say? Say it.  Fall. Be vulnerable. Laugh! Say something stupid & not care what people might think. Maybe for once in your life—be honest. Mistakes made are all part of your story. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? It shouldn’t take cancer to make a person live. 

One thing is for sure-this worldly life here on earth is short. Why not make the most of it? Dont wait for cancer to come and steal your joy-or anything or anyone else for that matter. LIVE! Have fun! Be spontaneous! Leave a legacy that will make your kids, grandkids & generations to come be proud! Let them say “Whatever he/she had…I want that!” Just get out there and live! (Says the girl who just binge watched 21 episodes of Chasing Life😉) And if you choose to spend your time this way-more power to ya! Just do it! Whatever “it” is….do it. 

Peace! ✌🏻️