Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hello Again, It's Me

Excuse me while I clear a few cobwebs away here, thanks. My daughter Kendall (bottom lip stuck out) consistently asks me when I'm going to get back to blogging. Dave, of 42 North (one of my biggest writing cheerleaders) also prods me once in a while, so I decided to at least post an update. As I typed this, I realized there are many topics about which I could blog for weeks! Maybe this will be the post that inspires me to get back at it.

I'm a teacher off for the summer, but I'm not really, as I'll be attending trainings and meetings, plus teaching summer school and tutoring. I’ve also been spending a lot of time planning for next year. In the fall, I’ll be joining a new 6th grade team, so that should keep me pretty busy, but I’ve always enjoyed sharing the entertainment that naturally comes out of teaching middle school, so I’ll likely blog about that once school starts.

One thing I’ve been doing this summer is decluttering. I read the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and have been inspired. It has been so freeing to finally be able to let go of a lot of things that I couldn’t (for emotional reasons) seem to get rid of before. I highly recommend the book.

In September I began working out consistently. I lift weights or do other cardio (YouTube videos and Beach Body OnDemand) six days per week and enjoy riding my bike (sometimes with a hitchhiker), now that it’s summer.

If you had told me years ago that I would be getting up at five in the morning in order to work out, I would have bet against it and laughed in your face, but here I am, and I love it. I’m 100% healed from my rotator cuff surgery from two summers ago. (I’ve been gratified to see that my post written to help others facing shoulder surgery has more than 6000 views!) An added benefit is that ever since I started getting stronger, I've had no more pain in my non-surgery shoulder, for which I'd thought I'd be facing surgery this summer. It just goes to show you, when they invite you to do physical therapy to avoid surgery, do it, and do it with commitment; it could save you a lot of pain!

As if that's not enough, I've purchased some paint for two rooms. Since our youngest has been away at college and will not likely return to live here, Mr.4444 helped me turn her old room into a workout room! Here's a photo:

(What the photo doesn't show is ceiling paint peeling.)

I’ve recently finished training to become a Hospice volunteer. My experience with my dad’s passing and my desire to leave this world having made a difference motivated me. So far, I’ve only had two patients, one who passed away the day after I met him, but I’ve already learned something and hope that I can be of more use in the future.

The biggest news I have since we last talked is a wedding! Yes, Kyle and Alayna will be getting married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 27th! I’ve got my dress, shoes, and am working on accessories.  What do you think of this necklace? Does it make me look like like a blue hair?

A few weeks ago, Kendall and I threw a “This is Your Life!” shower that was a big hit; I really should blog about that! Here's a photo I shared on Facebook recently with the caption, Gaining a daughter, gaining a son :)

As I type this, Mr.4444 has taken Kyle and a few friends to “Bachelor Camp” in the Sylvania Wilderness Area. The prep for this trip alone would make for a great blog post.

Mr.4444 and I went to Aruba in April and I am now spoiled forever--It was wonderful. It was our second trip without kids, which was a little weird for us but definitely something I could get used to. Island vacations are expensive, though; how do people do it every year, I wonder?! We didn’t have to pay for our flights or hotel (due to Mr.4444’s business mileage), but it still wasn’t cheap. I’ve learned some tricks for next time, though, so I’ll definitely be saving up for another trip in the future.

Milo, Steve, and Ted are doing great. Steve and Milo have been chipmunk obsessed for weeks and have gotten in some trouble as a result. Fortunately, the hot, humid weather we’ve been having has put a damper on their outdoor adventures.

Note the dirty feet (from digging a hole with his accomplice, in the patio!)

We celebrated my mom’s 87th birthday recently with a party at my brother’s house, and we surprised her with a barbershop quartet. This of course, blew her mind, because she is a barbershop groupie!

She just kept repeating, “This is just marvelous!” I’m happy to report that she’s feeling relatively good for her age and is still very active and content.

Two of my sisters flew home for Mom’s party, which meant that we were all together for the first time in four years. We enjoyed many meals and activities together, and of course Mom was thrilled to have all of her chicks under her wings.

My favorite photo (in age order)

Life is short, and I want to get the most out of it; I don’t want to spend too much of my time on a computer, you know? Balance. That said, I do think I have more stories to tell; I’ll be back. Thanks for checking in. I’d really love to hear what’s been going on with you--Feel free to leave a link or just a reply in the comments :)

Ya happy now, Kendall?!

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