Thursday, December 3, 2015

Playing Catch Up

And another month is gone. Apparently I am only able to post once a month now. Yay me.

Honestly, I have been avoiding the computer. The world just feels like a dark place lately and the internet just makes it even worse. Sometimes I just want to avoid it all. All the nasty comments, all the negativity, all the political garbage, all the violence, the war. Sometimes it is just all too much. And I guess that is what I've been doing. Avoiding it. But I really shouldn't be avoiding blogging. That is actually a bright spot. I miss writing down my thoughts and the happenings in our family and I miss all of my bloggy friends as well. It is time I step back into this world. I think I could use a little bit of bloggy sunshine.

So, in the spirit of positivity I am doing an abridge version of all the highpoints from this past month.

November came in slowly. Football ended and there was one whole week where we didn't have any sports practices, boy scouts, meetings, or anything going on. It was relaxing and rejuvenating. The weather was far warmer than normal. We spent our warm and free time up north preparing for the upcoming hunting season.

This hunting season was momentous because it was Tommy's first time going up to deer camp and Joey's first time hunting all on his own. Both of the boys were VERY excited.

My sweet Ben was not quite as excited to be the only boy not able to go hunting, but he was a good sport and I tried to make our time together as fun as possible. On opening day Joey got his first buck. He was very proud of himself. Since he had already gotten a doe during the youth hunt Joey decided to give the deer to our local food bank. Each year the butchers in the area process deer for free that are then given to the food banks for those in need. It is a great cause and I'm proud that Joey wanted to take part.
On Sunday I met Todd at the halfway point to the cabin and picked up the boys to bring them home. A few short days later and Todd was home. Just in time for Thanksgiving. 

This Thanksgiving was very unusual. Normally we host my side of the family on Thanksgiving and then we host Todd's side of the family on Saturday. However, a few weeks earlier I had bought raffle tickets from the kids' school and I ending up winning 4 Packer tickets for the Thanksgiving game. I was SO excited. Since I wasn't about to choose between my kids Todd invited his best friend to come with us and I invited mine. 

So, on Wednesday night my bff arrived (she drove up from Oklahoma for this game, btw). Since we never get to see each other we stayed up way too late and had WAY too many drinks (honestly, it doesn't take much these days). I wasn't going to have any drinks since I was planning on running the 10K Turkey Trot the next day but I can't let my bestie drink alone, right? 

Anyway, I hardly slept at all that night and when I finally turned over to look at the clock the next morning I realized I only had 30 minutes to get up, get dressed, grab a banana and some water, and fly down to the YMCA to register for the race. I briefly considered staying home and skipping the run but it was 48 degrees outside (balmy for late November in WI) and I didn't have to host a Thanksgiving dinner. I knew I had better take advantage. The problem was that I had a massive headache and was very much dehydrated. Can you say hangover? Blech. 

Regardless, I booked it out of the house and rushed down to register in time. I just made it, lined up, and took off for the race. I was going to try and get a really good time but considering the hangover I opted to just finish without giving myself a migraine. Besides, there were SO many people (there was also a 2 mile run and a 2 mile walk that families do together) that for the first half mile or so I was barely jogging.   
After the first mile I finally found my stride. I was feeling surprisingly okay. The very cool thing about this race is that the halfway point is right at the end of my street.
I gave my family an estimate of when I would be there and they came down to the end of the street to cheer me on.
 It was so sweet seeing them all standing there holding signs and cheering me on. It gave me a little extra spring in my step for sure.

I definitely did NOT run at my fastest pace. But considering how I felt, how little sleep I'd had, and the alcohol, I did fairly well. The last time I ran this 10K (3 years ago when I thought I was in such great shape) I finished in 59 minutes. This time I finished in 54 minutes. I beat my old time by 5 minutes and I came in 8th in my age group (just over 30 people). I was happy with that.

It is funny how sometimes working out will make you feel better and sure enough I felt great after the race. I showered, we got all decked out in Packer gear, took the kids to grandma's for their Thanksgiving celebration, and Todd, Sarah, and I headed up to Green Bay to meet Todd's best friend and go to the game.

Thank goodness we bought tickets to a pregame party (held inside the Resch) because it was pissing rain and cold. All November it has been balmy and sunny and the one day when we have to spend it outside it is freezing (33 degrees actually) rain.

We had a few hours of food and fun and music before the game, all warm and dry.
Then, right before the game we put on all 800 layers of clothing and our rain ponchos. Don't we look cool?  ;)
Honestly, I was SWEATING. I sweat through the entire first half. I didn't even wear my gloves. I was too freaking warm. 
Very cool pic of the flag and USA for national anthem. We were supposed to hold up another sign for the Brett Favre moment but the signs were made out of paper and had all melted in the rain by halftime.
 Love this dude behind us photobombing. Good one.
We won't speak of the actual game. I'm still trying to recover. It was brutal. We'll just say it was a LONG ride home.

It was an eye opening Thanksgiving. While I am so thankful I won the tickets and we had such a great time I really did miss my family. It didn't feel like Thanksgiving. I didn't like not being with them on a holiday. While it was a good experience I can honestly say I won't be away from my family on a holiday again. I missed my kiddos. I think this Thanksgiving definitely made me aware of how much I am thankful for.

We are now onto the next holiday season. It is hard to imagine that Christmas is just around the corner. The weather is so unusually mild. The grass is still green. There are still a few leaves on the trees. It is bizarre.

The other night while Todd and Tommy were playing basketball a hawk buzzed right by them and flew to our backyard. I was able to snap a picture of the beautiful bird sitting on our fence.  I was wondering why the birdseed had not been completely eaten up after two days. Now I know. The birds were in hiding because this guy was hanging around.
The other morning I got up early and looked out the window to the most beautiful sunrise. It was a gorgeous way to wake up and of course I had to grab my camera. Looking at this picture you would never know it is December in Wisconsin. But I am loving it. Believe it or not it is actually putting me in more of a Christmassy mood than ever. I know that doesn't make much sense but I think the warm weather just makes me happy. I was super excited to set up my Christmas village and all of our other decorations. Even when I had to cut all of the lights off of our prelit Christmas tree (it took me over 3 hours and was similar to this experience- whoever the sadistic hog is that zip strips all of the lights, I mean EVERY light, on the prelit trees deserves a special place in a fiery abyss) and then our other prelit Christmas tree broke I was STILL in a good mood. Crazy.
Anyway, our house is all festive and warm and glowy with Christmas lights. Our nights are back to being busy with basketball and cheerleading and boy scouts.

Tuesday night was the first basketball game of the season. It was fun watching how much Joey has grown since last year. He looked really good and was proud of how he played.
His form is night and day from when he first started. He is a pretty good shot now.
Tuesday was not only Tommy's first game of the season but his first basketball game EVER. The kids is a natural athlete and not afraid to handle the ball and take shots.
He played conservatively and I could tell he was a little unsure of himself. Once he gets used to the game I know he will be good. He is comfortable with the ball already. It will be fun to watch him grow this season.
The boys had their first basketball games which means that Grace had her first games to cheer for. At the kids' school there is a junior cheerleading group for kids from 1-4 grades. This is Grace's first time cheering. She was SO nervous. 

She was also a little miffed that the cheerleading uniforms hadn't come in yet (she REALLY loves her uniform) but she was very excited about the pom-pons. The kids were just too cute. 
 "Oh, I think I've found myself a cheerleader!" 

Lots of firsts around here on Tuesday night. As a matter of fact Ben said to me, "Am I the only one who doesn't get to do something exciting tonight? Sheesh!!!!" Poor Ben. Don't feel too badly for him though. I bought him some popcorn and he felt much better.

Another first happened yesterday. A few months ago Joey and Tommy started going to the orthodontist. Joey got his upper braces on and Tommy got headgear. Yesterday Joey got his bottom braces added and Tommy got the top braces on.

Such a handsome little squirt.

So anyway, that is our last month. So much going on and I really need to get better at getting it all down in writing. There are so many things I don't want to forget.

Alright my dear bloggy friends. Leave me a comment and let me know what is going on in your lives. My google reader has been down and out so I've been missing out on all of your adventures. I'll have to find some other way to keep up with my bloggy friends. What readers do you use? I wish blogger would go back to having readers. That was my favorite.

Hope all is well with you lovely people and that you are all enjoying this festive season. 


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Sounds like all kinds of goodness! Happy, healthy, braced (!) and active kiddos, good times with friends and fine weather for December.
Let's see, I got a new clothes dryer which is SO NICE. My boys are playing basketball, T shot a MONSTER doe--150 pounds! I'm closing in on a major writing deadline with my newest novel.

DramaMama said...

I use Feedly for blog reading...I resisted it at first but then found that it has an app for my phone too! As for the happenings in our house, we are still in the holding pattern for an adoption of siblings and I'm doing a long term sub position. I'm ready for it to be over...I am one of the crazy people who LOVES snow, so this mild start to winter is not my style. We are in the thick of gymnastics team practice and the first boys' only meet is coming up! My daughter is thriving in her new school, which is a relief =) I enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for sharing!

Kat said...

Green Girl- Wow! You are super busy too. Tis the season, and all. ;) I don't know how you are writing a book while you are raising three boys and teaching. What the? What are you, Wonder Woman? Amazing.

Kat said...

DramaMama- No snow for me! Maybe for the one week surrounding Christmas but then I'm good with it going back to warmer temps. ;) Good thing I live in WI. ???
In the process of adopting! How exciting! And stressful and exhausting as well, I imagine. Saying a prayer for your family that all goes smoothly and everything falls into place.

betty said...

I'm writing this right at the end of the Packers game tonight!!! Wow, what a win!!!!! I really thought Rodgers was going to get sacked, but wow with that throw and catch!!

Love that hawk that came a visiting :)

I bet Gracie is adorable as a cheerleader :)

Sounds like fun busy times for you all! Enjoy it :)


Kat said...

Betty- Weehoo!!! That was quite the ending to the Packer game, huh? I must admit I couldn't even watch. I just kept checking the score. Good thing I recorded the game. That ending was perfection. :) I wish they would have done that last week when I was at the game. ;) Better late than never.

Bijoux said...

I am loving the warmer temps and the fact that I haven't had to shovel snow yet! Woot, woot! I'm in the midst of baking and shopping. Decorating was done on Saturday and took my son back to college on Sunday. Planning for our big trip in the spring and I'm super happy about that!

Kat said...

Bijoux- Yes! The no shoveling thing is gold. LOVE that. Snow right around Christmas and that's it. ;) Good thing I like in the frozen tundra.
Planning for a trip always makes everything happier. It is nice to have something to look forward to. :)

Riahli said...

I've missed you! :) I feel the same way about staying away from the computer but it's true that blogging is more of a happy way to record what's going on with our families and focus on what matters. Just have to try not to get caught up in all the other awful stuff while on the computer! I'm about to log off Facebook for good because of all the negativity. Yuck.

Kat said...

Yep. I know some think it is burying my head in the sand but sometimes I just have to do that. And Facebook is definitely a bad place for it. It just seethes with negativity. I try to just look at the happy fun stuff and ignore all the nastiness but it is difficult.
I knew you'd get it. ;)

Tabor said...

The day will come when you will be so glad you kept this electronic diary. I do not get around to reading all the blogs I follow, so your once a month is fine with me! I need to get back on the elliptical once I get through the boxes of mail that came while I was on travel.

Elaine Alguire said...

Always great to catch up with you, my friend. Looks like you had a great time on Thanksgiving but I agree about being with family, it's the best. ;) What a fun experience for y'all though. I cannot believe how big our kids are getting. Happy Holidays to you all!

Kat said...

Tabor- I often think that I will quit blogging but when I go back and read old posts I am always awed by what a lovely family treasure it is. It is so good to have. :)

Kat said...

There you are!!!! I have been so worried about you. I went on FB the other day to send you a message (I realized I hadn't heard anything from you in a while) and I couldn't find you anywhere. I checked your blog and you hadn't posted there in a while either. I was just going to send you an email today! I hope all is well with you and your beautiful family!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson