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.