Before we moved I had mentioned that I was having knee pains and was no longer riding my bike.  Well I saw a doctor in Idaho and had an MRI done.  Turns out I have Chrondomalacia and moderate arthritis.  The good news is that after a shot in the knee (which is a very weird hurt in and of itself) my knee feels much better.  I am back to riding my bike.  I had to take it easy per the doctors orders and work my way back up to long rides and hills.  So that’s what I did.  In Idaho I waited for a week per doctors orders before I started riding again.  It was short and sweet but it DIDN’T HURT.  That was the joyous part.  Then a couple of days later I rode again and doubled my time on it.  It worked my way up to 1 hour and 15 minutes before we left.

Then it took a week to move and another week to get everything unpacked and put away before I would ride again.  That was this last Saturday.  I got up and we had breakfast and then I checked my tires and hit the road.  Now I just need to learn more about how to check my brakes and how to change them because it is very hilly here.  Right out of the gate our driveway is downhill and then the road is downhill for another half mile before I go uphill again.  Then when I turn around I have the opposite.  Thankfully my knee didn’t fight me or hurt so that was a plus.  I was tired and my legs were tired.   I had done 60 burpees Friday night and forgot to stretch even after my leg seized up.

So I hurt on my ride Saturday morning and I’m struggling with the downhill parts of my ride here.  Then I had the bright idea to ride past our road and take the back way home.  Ya I forgot just how steep it was.  You see I like hills and I like going downhill when they aren’t all zigzaggy.  I like to just let gravity take me as I get in the drops and go.  Can’t do that in this neighborhood or I’ll crash into a tree or a house or a garage or another car.

Anyways this hill is very steep and I wont walk a hill.  Haven’t since I started riding in 2013 and I wont start now.  There is also no way I’ll ride back down this hill.  So up it was.  That was the only choice.  at like 3 mph 3/4 of the way up.  I had to stop in a driveway 1/3 of the way up and calm my breathing.  I couldn’t go straight up it so I zig zagged back and forth.  Before you tell me that it isn’t safe just know it was a straight road and I could see if cars were coming and we live in the backwoods so not much traffic to begin with.  Finally about 2/3 the way up I could ride in a straight line and made it to the top and turned the corner to find more hills.  This one had a short downhill that I enjoyed before going up the next one.  I made it home in one piece without crashing into a tree.  I loved it and look forward to Saturday when I can ride again.


Well…..time for an update

Last time I posted was a while back and we were getting ready to move.  I also wasn’t riding my bike because of knee pain.  The update will probably take a few posts so just bare with me.

We moved.  Again.  Since being married we have moved 5 times.  I’ve been married for a little over 10 years.  So we move a lot.  We got permission from the company to move at the same time we took our vacation.  So we packed our stuff into two trailers.  One that was an ABF trailer and our personal enclosed trailer.  The enclosed trailer held things like my husbands tools which are hard to stack on top of each other or to stack stuff on top of them.  We took our trampoline and the outside benches to the cabin in Idaho for my in laws.  We also packed my canned food so we could keep eating it and so it wouldn’t go bad.  Then on top of that we had camping mattresses, pillows, and blankets.

This is what we knew going home to Idaho for vacation: not much.  I say not much because we didn’t know where we were moving just that we would be moving.  We knew that Pennsylvania had a project and that the manager really wanted my husband to go there.  We also knew that the company was planning to bid on a project in southern Michigan.  They had projects in California too.  Where they wanted us to go and when was the question.  If we were to move to Pennsylvania then we would need to start driving as soon as our vacation was over.  If we went to any of the other places we might have been able to stay longer in Idaho.

Anyways we moved to Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago.  We rented a house and got moved in and registered for school.  It is beautiful here and it feels like we live in a forest and so far so good.  The other thing now is not knowing how long we will live here.  Could be a year like they originally told us or it could last for up to 8 years total.  Who knows.

Catching up

It’s been a while.  I’ve had a lot of thoughts go through my head that I didn’t type down.  I still read several blogs I just haven’t been writing my own.  A couple of things since I last typed.  I started carb cycling in March and it has helped me get my food under control.  I did really well for two months and the I struggle for a few days and do really well for a week or two.

I think part of my problem has been stress.  Not that life is never stressful but we are packing to move.  Where?  We don’t know yet.  We will go on vacation and take our stuff with us and then hopefully by the end of vacation we will know where we are heading.  Could be Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan at this point and those are only the options I am aware of.  I’ve been packing for months but just not knowing creates a stress all its own and I haven’t learned how to turn to exercise before food yet.  You’d think I’d have learned by now.

I also haven’t ridden my bike for two weeks.  After talking to my family doctor and my dad (who isn’t a dr but knows things) there is a chance I have torn my meniscus.  I have set an appointment with my dad’s doctor at home for the week after we get there.  My knee hurts when it bends and especially doesn’t like stairs.  The last time I rode my bike it hurt and not in a good way.  So I take Aleve every day and am walking.

I finally let my husband take my bike out of the rec room since he packed the only way I have of filling my tires.  I keep thinking I’ll try riding and see how it feels and then I’ll walk down the stairs and then decide I’ll wait.

Anyway, we are excited to move in a week and a half.  We are excited to go home and spend time with family.  We are excited for a new adventure.  We move every 3-4 years depending on the project and it’s time.

What is the rule of thumb?

Well, lets just say I have a bit of a dilemma going.  I finally got my act together a couple of weeks ago and things were going great.  I was running Monday, Wednesday and Friday and cycling Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and resting on Sunday.  The first week by Sunday I was exhausted and decided that the second week I would change Wednesdays jogging session into a walking/rest session.

I was woken up earlier than normal by my second daughter who didn’t feel good.  She had a fever and a cough so she wasn’t going to school.  I got the rest of the kids where they were going and I walked on the treadmill like I planned.  I also noticed that my throat was getting more and more sore as the day wore on.

Thursday morning my second daughter still didn’t feel good and my throat was hurting.  So I dropped my kids off at school and had my second daughter take a nap while I decided that I would ride my bike but just not hard enough to bother my throat.  Well that was my first mistake.  I can’t ride my bike and not try to ride hard.  I have found that GCN has some training videos that I really enjoy.  So I went through them looking for something about 30 minutes long but wouldn’t kill my throat.  I settled on a 30 minutes hill climb.  I think the sore throat was blocking some of the common sense from working in my brain.  I told myself that I would just not push as hard as they wanted but it would at least be a good workout.

So I set up the laptop next to the tv and plugged it in and started riding.  First burst got my throat burning.  Each burst after kept pushing.  Lets just say that by the end of my ride my legs hurt from the good workout but so did my of my throat than had before.  I couldn’t just not work hard….

As soon as I was done with that work out though I had to go pick up my oldest from school who had a 102.4 fever.   I spent the rest of the day aching and sick and trying to take care of my kids.  Apparently I have a cold or flu or something.

Friday after a good nights sleep I felt great except for my throat was still really sore.  No more aches and pains and my head didn’t hurt so….I ran.  But I sucked on a cough drop first which helped keep my throat from getting worse….Right thing to do?  Who knows but I did it anyway.

Saturday, I was again aching and my throat really hurt and I had no energy so I didn’t exercise at all.  Sunday was the same.

Well today is Monday and I feel great except for my sore throat.  It doesn’t hurt as much as it did last week.  I can tell it is healing but here is my dilemma.  Do I run or not today?  Knowing me and the fact that I am contemplating it all says I’m going to do it but the question is…should I?


My brain hurts…..

In December of 2004 I left my home in Idaho with my family to go to Provo, UT to the MTC or Missionary Training Center.  I had always wanted to serve a mission and after I saved up the money and turned 21 (the age women were allowed to serve at that time) I got the paperwork taken care of and mailed it in.  Then comes the 2-3 week wait.  The wait where you are always wondering where you are going to be called.  You see we don’t get to choose.  I studied French for three years in high school and Spanish for one year.  I thought I’d get called to France.  Honestly, I hoped I’d get called to France.

They say that if there is someplace that you want to go you generally don’t get called there.  So every night for two weeks I tried to think of everywhere not just one place.  I wanted to learn a language and go to a different country so in my thinking of places I made sure to include states in the USA.  I didn’t want to jinx myself.  Anyway, after two weeks my packet came and when it was opened it said Yekaterinburg, Russia on it.  To be truthful, I never even once thought about Russia.  I forgot it existed.  Sad I know.

I went to the MTC on December 15th where I stayed for 12 weeks.  While there I was learning Russian and how to approach people to share the gospel.  We also have to wait for our visas.  12 weeks passed and we flew to Yekaterinburg, Russia.  Now if any of you have ever seen the movie “The Best Two Years”  then you might remember the new missionary saying “That isn’t the language I learned in the MTC” (I’m paraphrasing…I haven’t seen it in a while.  That is how I felt.  The Russian I learned was not what I was hearing in Russian.

So 18 months later I came home and I must admit that I fell in love with Russia, the people, the culture and the language.  My grammar is awful but they seem to understand me well enough and I could understand them most of the time.  I took classes in college and my husband actually was called to serve in the Kiev, Ukraine mission Russian speaking so he also speaks Russian.  We used it a lot more when we were married but we don’t like people to feel like we are talking about them when we speak in public.  So over the years we mainly use it so our kids wont know what we are talking about for birthdays and Christmas or where we want to go for date night, etc.

I downloaded an app on my phone called Duolingo a while ago to help me practice my Russian and to help rebuild my vocab since I have forgotten a lot over 10 years.  Earlier today my daughter saw what I was doing and asked if I could download it on her tablet so she could learn Russian too.  Well, of course.  I had already started working with her off and on.

Well her Duolingo doesn’t support Russian on her tablet for some reason so we went with the next best thing: Ukranian.  Why well because although it is different some things are the same and I figured “why not.”  Then I decided to download Duolingo onto my tablet for her since I use it on my phone.  So now she is studying Russian on my tablet and Ukranian on her tablet and she keeps asking me to help her with her Ukranian because she can’t always remember.

I guess I need to add Ukranian to my phone so I can keep up with her and so she has someone to practice with.  Thus my head hurts 🙂

Have a good weekend.

Where do you see yourself in 5,10, 15 years etc….

I’ve been thinking a lot lately.  I know that it is January and a lot of people like to make new resolutions at the beginning of every year.  Well that isn’t me.  Mainly because I know that I might bake it a month for some resolutions and maybe 3 for others.  So I just don’t make them.

I have, however, been thinking about who I want to be.  Do you remember when you were a kid or in a youth program or in college or when ever and they gave you a piece of paper and asked you to write down where you wanted/what you wanted to be in 5, 10 or 15 years down the road?  I remember staring at that paper thinking “how the heck do I know?”  I knew a few things I wanted in life but I wasn’t on a time frame.  I wanted to get married and have children.  I thought about serving a mission.  I hummed and hawed about going to college until I was in high school and finally decided I wanted to.  I always wanted to stay in Idaho.  Other than that things are always changing aren’t they?  Hobbies, likes, dislikes etc.  So in other words I hated that question.

In December I started thinking about the new year and changes I might want to make to my life and realized that “who” I wanted to be.  Let me show you who I want to be.

Oklahoma Freewheel 009

Ok so this is the only photo I already had loaded in wordpress from when we lived in Oklahoma.  My point is that I want to be who I was in Oklahoma.  I don’t want to go backwards and I don’t mean just physically.  For some reason after we moved here to Illinois I lost part of who I was in Illinois.  I don’t know why and or how.  I was trying to explain this to my husband last night actually.  I told him I want to be who I was when we lived in Oklahoma.  His response was that we can’t have our happiness rely on how we feel physically alone.  I completely agree but there is more to it than that.

When we lived in Oklahoma I felt like a different person.  I was in better shape and at a better weight but I also wasn’t so selfish.  I looked for ways to serve and help those around me.  I did a much better just visiting people to make sure they were doing well or to see if they needed any help.  I was more organized,  I was less stressed, I was…..take a pick of the things that I was in Oklahoma.  I am not trying to say I was perfect or was awesome or a great example.  I’m just saying that I was much happier with how I chose to live while living there.  Some how I lost a lot of that after we moved here and I want it back.

So instead of setting new resolutions I have set up with my family a wellness/balance challenge.  Each week we add one new physical challenge, food challenge and spiritual challenge.  I’m honestly not keeping up with it very well.  But I’m trying and I am starting to feel more like myself than I have in a while.  I need balance in all the things I want in my life and this is how I’m getting there.

10 years to make one quilt!

I had grown up with a sewing machine in the house although it was never used.  I wasn’t really interested in them until I learned how to make a quilo.  That is a blanket that has a pocket on it so you can fold it up into a pillow.  I loved it.  I kept making them for family and friends for birthdays and Christmases.  Then I went on my mission.  When I came back I bought a basic sewing machine.  When I was in college I decided to take a sewing class.  We made shirts, pillows (I opted to reupholster my brother’s jeep seats), skirts and blankets. When we got to the blanket part we discussed different ways to finish quilts.  I already knew how to tie a quilt.  Every quilo was tied.  Another way to was to free motion stitch them.  So I pieced together a twin size quilt for my daughter and then started free motion quilting it.  It took me two weeks because I was doing the design so small and was still learning.  I fell in love with it.  I haven’t tired a quilt since.


Then I decided to make quilts for our family members.  I started with my husband’s grandfather, then his parents and then my dad and step mom and then my mom and step dad and so on and so forth.  If someone wasn’t married yet then they got a quilt for their wedding present.  If they were already married they got it on rotation for Christmas.

Quilts are not cheap and they are not easy and they are very, very time consuming.  But I love them.  Well over the years I have finally made one quilt for every parent and sibling and my two oldest have one as well.  I started working on my husband’s and my quilt probably a year ago.  It was taking forever because I didn’t have a pattern and I kept changing my mind as I went.  I started out paper piecing it and then decided I didn’t want the whole quilt that way.  The other thing is that our quilt is made entirely (except for the batting and thread) out of our old worn out levi’s and button up shirts.

Well I’ve finally finished it.  It went on our bed last night around 11:30. Saturday my husband helped me get this set up so I could pin it in order to keep the layers from shifting while I sewed.quilt-on-the-frameThis is how I work on it.  I do not have a long arm machine.  Just my sewing machine and it has to fit in order to sew it.  I have a system that works for me.  I roll it and sew straight down the middle on my first run.  Only 6 inches wide roughly.  Then  turn it and roll it the other way to quarter it and start doing quarters of it at a time.  It works for me.  The bigger the quilt the more of a work out it is to sew.  It is a whole upper body workout.rolled-up-quiltAs I sew this is what my station usually looks like.  Usually I take over the kitchen table but it was General Conference weekend for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and this way I could sew while I watched/listened.  The gloves help me get a better grip on the quilt.  I bunch it up like that to help keep it moving freely and so they edges don’t start pulling.  That is when I start to have problems.on-the-machineBy the time I get to the edge it moves much more freely.quilt-in-the-living-room-2Here it is on our bed this morning.  It looks great with the log. 🙂on-the-bed-3My sewing machine has some small embroidery options.  I can do the alphabet on a small scale.  I do not hand sew the bindings or I’d never actually finish a quilt.  I also do not so a normal line because I can’t sew in a straight line.  So I like to sew the binding with fun stitches.  This time I put our names and when we were married and then went to the fun stitch.namecornerI love to sew.  It is one of my stress relievers.  I quilt and sew clothing and alter things and well just whatever I want to do.  I’m so glad that my quilt is finally finished.  My husband commented that it took me 10 years to make us our quilt….but it is also 10 years of our lives in that quilt.

Now to make My third daughters quilt in time for Christmas…..