Hello… old friend glad to see you again!

It’s been a long time since I have seen you.  I am so glad you decided to come back.

To be honest, I have REALLY missed you.

It feels like forever since you have been around.

If you have been stopping by to visit, I have shared some of my journey with Lymes Disease this summer. It’s been a tough summer.  I had plans…

Big plans.

Plans that I had to set aside, so I could get my life back.

Old Plans:
1. I was going to swim several more open water races.
2. Take the horses to shows.
3. Play in a couple of tennis tournaments.
4. Workout daily  okay almost daily.
5. Visit friends.
6. Visit family.
7.Maybe buy a road bike so I could ride with my co-workers at lunchtime.
8. Travel

Instead, this summer, I slept.  I took naps at lunch just to get through the work day.  I spent lots of time taking care of my body so it could heal. I did hot and cold therapy. I took my supplements.  I was beyond strict with what I ate– all to make it easier on my body to heal. I thought about working out, but most days I did not have the energy. That is until now.

So, I am beyond excited! Like jump up and down-dance down the hallway; not caring that I really can’t dance so it’s more of a bounce around; attempt a back flip!

I have worked out 7 out of the last 9 days AND I still feel good… Wait, I feel great!298

I have done Jillian Michaels videos, completed 3 pool workouts, Foundation Training, and even played tennis last night!
I am really starting to feel like the old me.  I still have areas that I want to improve, but I am excited to finally hit this milestone!  Next goal, do a better job of writing and working out!

What in your life has had you down lately? What’s a break through that you have seen with it, even a small victory!

Until the next post,

H.C._J                                  

Blessed Beyond Belief

Tonight while out in a field on the farm, I lost one of my pearl earrings!  I was  in knee deep grass and weeds playing with Teague my 6 1/2 month old Great Dane when I realized it was gone.  My heart sunk.  My pearls were a present from my dad my senior year of college.  I am pretty sure I was in shock.  I thought to myself, “how will I ever find a single pearl in the middle of a 10 acre field that was knee high?”  I had my checkbook in my pocket, so  I dropped where I thought my earring fell out.  With a heavy heart, I went to feed the horses.   While at the horses, I called a very special guy quickly to calm me down.

After feeding the horses, I decided that I would head back to my checkbook and look for my earring until dark.  I figured that I had about 45 minutes, being generous to myself. It took me 10 mins to find my checkbook in the grass.  Only a few minutes later, dad pulled in the driveway and he came out to help look.

My dad is the earring whisperer in the family.  He has always been able to help me find a missing earing and I was hoping this times was no different.  When I first got my ears pierced he taught me a trick– one that has come in very handy!  When looking for a missing earring, take the remaining earring and place it on the same flooring.  Your eyes will see how the earing looks on the floor.  Keep scanning the floor. AND BAM!  All of the sudden– there it is!  That missing earring.

I had gently placed the remaining earring in the grass to see if dad’s trick would work.  We were both crawling around on our knees, praying, and looking for the missing earring.  I thought I caught a glimpse of the earing but it turned out to be a bug, my heart dropped a little more.  We were discussing getting a weed eater and systematically working through the area…when the earring was spotted.

I carefully dug it out of the weeds it was hiding.  Instantly, I  felt  feel completely blessed. I have a dad that is willing to come help search for a lost earring and a Heavenly Father that showed us it’s hiding spot.

earringMy earrings safely in the house tonight with one back missing!

What are some of your blessings?

Nash in the field after my earring earing, both enjoying the sunset!

field

Just a little cursed…

My family has a little secret, okay maybe not a secret but a history, more like a pattern…

Almost every time my mother catches up on paperwork– like does not need to think about it for a while; pat herself on the back; award winning amount of paperwork completed we end up being challenged as a family.  I am not talking about little bumps in the road that as you pass them you barely notice the car of life shake,  or even the speed bumps that you have to slow down for.  I am talking about the speed moguls of Speed bumplife. I equate these speed bumps to the ones that  the city put on the access road during my senior year of high school. This was the city’s attempt to slow the speed racers trying to escape from school, and the super-speed racers trying to beat the morning bell to avoid detention by adding the biggest speed bumps to the only road that lead to the school.  These speed bumps are the king’s of speed bumps, you can ask my sister… after taking hitting one at 35mph in the truck she blew out a tire and broke the radiator.  My family has been cruising through life when mom catches up on the family business paperwork, the family paperwork and is all around ready to relax when we encounter the king of all life speed bumps like the one pictured right.

F TruckIn August 2001, she caught up on the paperwork in the middle of the night and mid-morning the next day our house caught on fire.  This was probably on the biggest bump we took as a family.  Because of that fire,  I learned a lot about insurance, organization, living without my belonging, construction projects and you guessed it,  fires.  I feel pretty lucky, no one was injured in our fire and one of my uncles by marriage was one of the responding firefighters.  Thanks TFD for being awesome that day and taking care of our family.
Photo of Toledo Fire Truck.

In the mid 1990’s, we tragically lost an office manager shortly after mom was caught up on everything.

I am pretty sure that in 2008, she had caught up on her paperwork just before we had a pipe break in a the kitchen and flood the house.

I am sure that there are old ones that I can’t remember, but those are the main ones that come to mind.

Mom’s paperwork curse struck again late last week.  This time, unfortunately, my brother received the brunt end.  At 5:15 pm on Friday, my dad received a phone call that my brother had broken his leg at a local wakeboarding park.  Well it was localfor my brother, but 2 hours away from our family homestead.  Needless to say, the family has rallied around my brother and his hurt leg, making sure that he is well taken care of right now and will continue as he heals.  The X-ray is pretty gnarly.  He not only broke his leg, but severely dislocated the ankle.  If you get queasy look away because here is a pic:

OUCH!
OUCH!

Okay it’s safe to look again!

Every time we are challenged with a new speed bump, we rally as a family.  Normally, this means making a game plan and tackling one little part until we are once again in control of our life.  To be 100% honest, every once in a while, I ask God why he feels our family can handle so much?  I know He only gives each of us only as much as we can handle, but that does not stop my from wondering why we get challenged this way. I am always looking to grow and be better… stretch myself, but sometimes the stretching that occurs because of the speed bumps hurts more than I would like.  But just because it hurts does not mean that I need get angry or bitter… I choose to grow through each situation.

Now you may be wondering how in the world would you ever notice a pattern of hitting speed moguls after paperwork was caught up on? To be honest, I am not sure.  We were sitting in church and mom leaned over and told us she had caught up on her paperwork the night before J broke his leg.

Have you noticed any patterns in your life like this?

Do you have any family superstitions?

How do you handle your family speed bumps?

I can tell you this we, as a family, have requested that she NEVER be caught up 100% again.  She can leave one piece of paper untouched! At minimum, she can warn us that she is up to date on everything!  That way, I can wrap myself in bubble wrap… or I can plan on arming myself with tools that will make me strong and ready to handle any challenge that comes my way!

Oh and I am arranging for a token stack of “paperwork” to stay on mom’s desk:Paper_Stacks_Desk

 

Skinny Does Not Mean Healthy- Day 14

Today’s theme is vulnerable, most people feel vulnerable when you see them without makeup. I have a friend that won’t answer the phone without putting on her makeup. Others feel exposed in sweat pants, or with out of control hair. I am not most people… most days you can catch me without makeup, in sweats during or after a workout and my hair lives out of control if I don’t straighten it.  Today, I want to be vulnerable with you… I am going to let you into a personal look at a challenging time in my life.

Recently, I dropped into a co-workers office to share some news and her response to my news was “I guess Skinny does not mean healthy…”Skinny Girl

That was a statement I had to choke down the other day after sharing with my co-worker that I have Lyme’s Disease. I love my co-worker but that statement hit me like a ton of bricks… I mean, the word disease is not really all warm and fluffy! It’s definitely not a word that I want to use to describe a time in my life. Hey, I don’t even want to admit that I have a disease. I felt like I had sewn a scarlet A on my chest. No matter how hard I tried to deny it, my body would not let me reject this new title. But when I let that thought settle, I realized it was true. Skinny does not mean healthy. I am not the skinniest girl alive or even the skinniest I have ever been, but I am not my healthiest either. I am however fighting a new, unexpected battle.

Let me back up a little here, I was excited for this summer to be full of great workouts, healthy food, lots of wakeboarding, riding the horses, hanging out with friends, open water swims (I had my eye on 3 more states for the summer) and a GREAT tennis season.  What I did not expect was to put all of this on hold to let my body heal. Several weeks ago, I was debating whether or not to play a tennis match. I had strained my elbow, and it was feeling “iffy” at the time. Then,x there was the pesky rash that was extending down my arm. But I am tough—I decided to play.

Warming up, my arm felt pretty good. I had applied Kineseo tape to my arm to help support it. I started to notice that I was just a little bit of off my normal game. Everyone goes through days where you just don’t play your best, but it’s my job to figure out a way to pull myself together and play well.  I could not quite place what was wrong. I chalked it up to the heat, drank some more water and stepped onto the court. Mentally, I was feeling pretty good. The court I was playing on and I had some good mojo going from the previous season. This is the court that I had beaten a very strong player on last year in a tough mental match; 6-4, 6-4. Generally, scores like that reflect just a slight mental edge.  We started our match, and no matter what I tried I felt like the normal me had checked out. Replaced by a robot.

As the match progressed, I had trouble reading the ball (knowing where it was going when my opponent hit it). I felt like my legs weighed IMG_7144100lbs. each. I knew what the score was, but when I called it out, different numbers came out of my mouth. I was starting to get concerned. On change-over (every two games we switch which side of the court we play on), I ate most of an apple and a couple of prunes; hoping my blood sugar was low and that the normal me would soon return. No such luck. My vision did not return, and I was beginning to get scared because I did not understand what was going on. I got really concerned when I tossed the ball and forgot what I was supposed to do. The match was over in what seemed like a blink of an eye. I crawled off the court and called for my family to come pick me up. I was afraid to try to drive, thinking that I would not be able to control the car.

As I waited for a ride, I started to panic and called a friend to keep me calm until the cavalry arrived. Thankfully, my dad and brother were around the corner. My brother packed my bag that I left open on the court and carried it out to the car. On the drive home, I reached out to several Naturopathic doctors asking for things I could do to help me feel better. Once home, I showered; I took a handful of vitamin C; and I curled up in bed.

IMG_5632
The rash on my arm

The next day was spent working with a great team, figuring out what all was going on in my body. By mid-day the Naturopaths felt pretty certain it was Lymes. In the middle of that pesky rash, we saw the bullet hole (the bite mark). All I could think, SERIOUSLY…I… have Lymes? And oh wait it gets better! My digestive track was not absorbing the proper nutrients I was putting in it; my heart and liver were stressed! Time to make a game plan to get better. In case you are not familiar with Lymes, it is a disease that one can get from ticks or mosquitos.

According to WebMD the symptoms of Lymes include: “In the early stages of Lyme disease, you may experience flu-like symptoms that can include a stiff neck, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. You also may experience a large, expanding skin rash around the area of the tick bite. In more advanced disease, nerve problems and arthritis, especially in the knees, may occur. […]Heart problems. Fewer than one out of 10 Lyme disease patients develops heart problems[..]Other symptoms. and severe fatigue, although none of these problems is likely to appear without other Lyme disease symptoms being present.”

I left the clinic armed with supplements to take and an eating plan to stick to. I feel like standing on the rooftop, and telling everyone that I am so grateful to have a great support system of people in my life that will help dig in and get my body back to functioning at its best.

This past month has pushed me to grow more than I thought possible. One of the scariest and biggest symptoms that I have been experiencing is mental fogginess. Strike that, it’s more than mental fogginess. There have been times over the last month that I could not get the words from my brain to come out of my mouth. Or, I have been known to say things that don’t make sense. These are the moments that can scar the crap out of anyone! These moments have earned me a new nickname at work, “Lymie.” One day, I was reviewing my PowerPoint slides & presentation that I was to deliver the next day to the international finance department for my company with my boss. I was staring at the screen and unable to deliver my well prepared speech. A little more than a scary feeling… My boss and I made a game plan, just in case I was not feeling well the next day; I went home for extra sleep.  God was awesome, the next day I had a mentally clear day and presented my speech without incident.

298

259No one expects to be sidelined. I certainly was not expecting my summer to be a slower paced summer. I have stuck to the game plan that docs laid out that day. I have been good with my supplements, great with my eating, and have made more than a conscious effort to take care of my body so it can heal. It’s been over a month since the tennis match night and I am finally beginning to work out again.  I even was able take a run on the wakeboard…Yay! If all goes well, I will play my first match in 5+ weeks on Thursday.

Thank you for letting me be vulnerable with you. I may not be standing in front of you without make up on, but to me letting you see a little bit of my crazy month is a lot more intimidating.

 

Day 13: Next: Will a real man please step up?

Today’s theme:  A hard lesson learned… what should I share with you?  We all learn each and every day.  Some lessons seem to challenge us more while others are easy.

Personally, I learn everyday.  At least I like to think that I learn everyday. I learn from others. I learn from reading, from listening, from watching, and doing things.  But let’s be real, we all learn while experiencing life… I am not really any different than you.

Some of the things that I have learned…

When I am at a horse show, I watch how the trainers work with the horses so I can take back tidbits to the horses I ride.

An innocent face, whether human or animal is not always innocent.
Baby face
Photo Courtesy of: http://www.wallsave.com/wallpaper/1920×1200/awesome-face-feliz-infancia-ii-taringa-281024.html

 

 

People lie.

Eating birthday cake and ice cream means workouts need to be tough, long, and hard the next day.
workoutPhoto from: http://www.jackeddad.com/2014/02/20/combine-workouts-to-eliminate-boredom-and-to-enhance-results/

 

 

 

 

Life is too short to get upset with the little things.
Cat

Photo: http://s125.photobucket.com/user/59Moose/media/Postfests/S2K-Down/upset_cat.jpg.html

 

 

 

 

People are shallow.

Adults act like children.

Now for my hard lesson learned. A couple of years ago, my sister asked me to try online dating.  She wanted me to find someone to settle down with and live happily ever after.  I obliged her.  I signed up with one of the more popular dating sites online, paid for their services, filled out the never-ending questionnaire, and watched the matches flood my inbox.  Potential suitors would start the communication process.  It seemed like most of my matches were just bad matches! I began to wonder if the questionnaire system worked.

Do you remember the old MTV show, “Next?” Well, I felt like a contestant on it.
Next Photo from: MTV

 

Next, you creped me out.

Next, you seem like a jerk.

Next, you came on a little strong.

Next, why would you proposition someone you don’t know THAT?!?!  

Next, I don’t find you attractive…hey if I have lots of matches I get to be picky right?

Next, I don’t think we would make it through one date without someone wanting to punch the other in the face.

IF and only IF they made it past the initial setting, then we  could attempt to get to know each other.

What have I learned from online dating?  I learned that  it might work for some people, but it did not work for me.  I gained a couple of great friends, but no relationships.  I had to learn to hold my emotions in check… even if I liked a guy initially, I waited to really like someone. It takes a real man to say: “I don’t think we will work.”  Most guys just never texted back.  I have a 3 contact rule.  If I text on three different days with no response I write a guy off. I refuse to be a clingy girl.  Guys… man up and tell a chick that you aren’t interested. I gained tougher skin and learned to be tougher on people.   I realized that I do not need to go on a date with everyone or even talk to everyone.

For me today my hard lesson learned would be that I get to be picky with my potential dates.

Now that you know my lesson, check out Birthday Twin’s: Here.

Day 10: I Failed Flirting 101… Confessions of a Reformed Flirt

I can honestly say, Birthday Twin (M), you are pushing me on this one!

I am like every other human being and make a fool of myself daily… but what should I share with you?  What’s worthy of your time?  I am not really sure!  This would work better if you were here to share with you, hand motions make a story.  Actually, I am pretty capable of recreating the entire story for you, if you where here…

The story that I kept coming to mind happened my junior year of college. Since it’s Thursday and so many people post a pic or some sort of TBT posting, here is mine.

Let’s set the stage… It’s the middle of winter and the swim team has been hauled to the UP for another meet.   For those of you not familiar with Michigan geography, the UP is part of Michigan that is above the mitten.

Michigan

Picture from: http://www.lifesafer.com/michigan/ignition-interlock-laws/

By this point in our season, the team was pretty close and only seemed to be getting closer.  After one of the nights, one of my teammates family took us out to celebrate their daughters 21st birthday.  This was awesome because it meant our dinner was going to be something more than Subway.  YAY!

PoolCan I tell you how happy the team was to be going out to dinner that night?  We were coming to the end of our season… We were tired, sore and Lick-N-Smells.  Do you know what a Lick-N-Smell is?  One is considered a Lick-N-Smell swimmer when you get the skin wet of a subject and you can easily smell the chlorine permeating out of the individual.    This happens because of the countless hours we spend in the pool and no matter how hard you try, showering just won’t get rid of the smell.  So a warm meal in a real restaurant that we could enjoy was just what the “doctor ordered.”

Now back to that night, if memory serves me correctly, this meet was our conference meet that takes place in February.  I remember climbing off the bus and noticing that the stop signs were as tall as the driver in the coach bus, and the snow was almost to the actual sign.  It was cold so we made a mad dash into the building. We had no idea where we were going, just that dinner was in a hotel and that even though we were in our team sweats, our attire was just fine.

We were a little shocked when we got inside. This hotel was gorgeous and team made a fashion statement by showing up in our sweats!  At least we were all in this together and we matched right?  The bellhop told us we would be dining privately, that our accommodations were upstairs.  My first thought was,  “good idea, keep us out of sight of the other guests.” So, into the elevator we all went, that is the entire team 14 swimmers, 1 diver, 1 waiter and an assistant coach.  This elevator was not your typical elevator, it seemed to be a little small… or maybe it was the 17 people we shoved into it.  That elevator was like The Little Engine That Could, delivery it’s precious cargo upstairs.  Now did I mention the waiter that road up with us was SUPER cute… blond hair, devilish smile, in shape?  Nope?  I did not thinks so.  Well he was and I was a little smitten… See where this is going?

Fast forward to dinner… everything was AMAZING but then again it does not take much to impress a swimmer in season with food.  Eating is our hobby.  At one point, that super CUTE guy stopped in to see how our dinner was going.  He was chatting with the table and asked a simple question.  I mean how hard can it be to tell someone where you are from?  Well if it’s me answering, pretty darn hard.

cute boy: “hey how’s your meal?  You enjoying yourselves tonight?”

table: “Yeah this place is great.”

cute boy: “So where are you all from?”

I answer “Weeee’re from Miiiiichigan” (drawn out all cute;)

Now remember we are in the UP… Upper Peninsula as in part of Michigan?

I am pretty sure that the entire table snorted or laughed or something.

Cute boy: “Did you just say you’re from Michigan?”

I am pretty sure a teammate graciously pointed out that the UP was part of Miiiichigan… about this time, my elbow destroyed a cup and saucer, I turned 50 shades of red and was trying to figure out a way to gracefully crawl under the table and die.

I decided that from then on, I would leave the talking to my teammates… my pride was safer that way.

Please note that the exact wording may not be accurately represented here… junior year was a few years ago.  I do know that the “Weeee’re from Miiiiichigan” is accurate and complete.

Below is a pic that my team proceeded to take at the infamous Miiiiichigan table; so that I will never forget the time I tried to flirt and proved that geography is not my strongest subject.

Team dinner pic

Ok so know you know a little embarrassing thing about me, thanks to my Birthday Twin… what’s yours?

Feature photo from http://www.thenew-renaissanceman.com/flirting.html

 

 

Day 7: My Fears!

Today I am joining my friend Mariama and sharing some of my fears, but wait she changed up her theme for today.  That’s okay!  Big shout out to her anyway! Check out her desired diner guests here!

Now to tackle my fears:

1. Old egg pans that are left in the sink to soak… don’t ask me why but they just kind of freak me out. I know you are thinking seriously? But I will do just about anything to avoid cleaning up an egg pan that has been left in the sink.

2. Spiders and Mice… or any other dead animals the cats and dogs bring home. (This includes the 10 point buck my Great Dane brought home, he is a pretty talented dog:) —I know that I am like a bazillion times their size but they are just creepy and scary and don’t get me started on the dead ones. YUCK!

3. Being Vulnerable.

4. Letting people down—My personality is a pleaser personality… I want everyone to be happy.

5. Failure—I can’t stand the idea that I would fail… I mean truly fail.  This is probably my biggest fear.  I learn through life’s bumps and bruises that get thrown my way, so little “failures” are okay.

Now here’s how I deal with my fears!  I pull myself up by the bootstraps… sometimes and sometimes you have to enlist the help of others!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

1. Old egg pans… I just have to toughen up and do the dishes!

2.Spiders, mice and other dead animals—This is why God created brothers, dads, boyfriends or the closest guy nearby!  THANK YOU GUYS that have saved me from these things!

3. Being vulnerable… in a few days that’s a topic here. You are just going to have to wait for that one… So check back!

4. Letting people down. This one I have struggled with but have come to the realization that no matter how hard I try, I will NEVER make everyone in my life happy. I can do my best to help others when they need it, but I have to set healthy boundaries for myself. If I don’t set appropriate boundaries, then I will make myself sick. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the fact that not everyone will be happy with you all the time. But guess what? It’s okay! I will live if people are not happy with me. Depending on the situation, it is probably good for me too!

5. Failure—I use that to drive me. I use my fear of failing to push me to try harder, train longer and harder and be better. I like hearing someone say, “Great job on__________”  So I use my fear of failing to drive me!

Do you ever turn your weaknesses into strengths?

Have you ever sat down to consider what your fears are?  Today I challenge you to take a few minutes to write down your fears and how you will/handle them!

See you tomorrow… I am off to the store to get my TREAT that I am sharing with you….mmmmm forget dinner here I come dessert!