You Should Try This!

You may have seen it around with its increasing popularity, but if you haven’t you need to check out stand up paddle boarding (commonly written as SUP…like ‘sup, how you doin’?).  I started seeing it around last summer, but with limited places to rent a paddle board, and lacking the solid chunk of change required to buy one (you are looking at close to a G and up) I didn’t have the chance to try it.  Until this summer that is.

Many of the places I had seen rent paddle boards were doing so for about $40 for an hour and a half including a short into into paddle boarding.  A bit to rich for my blood.  So when we were at our local metropark earlier this summer (Memorial Day to be exact…a crazy hot day where we waited over a half hour in our car in line just to get in the park!) I saw that they were renting them at one of the beaches…for $10 per hour!  Jackpot!  All summer I’ve been jonesing for a chance to try SUP so when I got a text from my awesome hubby on Friday that said “want to go stand up paddle boarding tomorrow?”  I about jumped up and down with excitement.

So we headed out to the park Saturday afternoon and got our boards for an hour…that was an adventure in itself as the hubby somehow lost twenty buckaroos between the car and the paddle board rental counter.  A twenty dollar deposit is required on each board you rent so it seemed we weren’t getting two boards with me only having my twenty…cash only.  A big, humongous thank you to some friends we just happened to run into while they came up to buy some food at the food counter and loaned us a twenty (such a cool God thing and amazing friends).

SUP is awesome.  If I had crazy disposable income maybe I’d buy one, but I don’t, so I’ll have to settle for my $10/hour rental.  It is a GREAT activity to work on your balance and core strength.  I think it is actually a fantastic cross training exercise for skiers – they can work on upper/lower body separation and balancing in the bumps.  It’s amazing at how well I thought some of those skills translated between the two sports.  If you are afraid that you’ll fall…rest assured that it isn’t too difficult to learn…especially if you have fairly calm waters.  The water was a bit bumpy and rough while we were out, but we did it without much difficulty.  You may fall – I did once as I was shifting my weight to try to balance on one foot, but hey…you’re supposed to be in a bathing suit anyway – they are meant to get wet 🙂  You can always start on your knees if standing up seems intimidating right away.

So what are you waiting for – go rent yourself a paddle board and have some fun!!

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Eternal Procrastination

I am the eternal procrastinator.  I don’t know that I will ever break the habit.  It’s currently 10:39pm and I have one hot mess of an apartment to clean so when 9:30am rolls around and our area staff team members start pressing my buzzer they won’t walk into a war zone.  But what am I doing?  Procrastinating.

It is no secret that I dislike cleaning – I like having a clean place – but I don’t like having to put the work into keeping it that way.  I swear it is just about a full-time job.  I seriously understand  how stay at home moms and wives and such keep so busy.  It is outrageous how fast things pile up to become an evil home-eating monster.  Crazy.

I’ve known all weekend (and for over a month) that I have had this meeting coming up at my house…but Friday night we had a girls night (which just added to the mess…it was fabulous by the way and deserving of it’s own post!), Saturday I slept in and then went skiing all afternoon (3-10pm…so I went to bed when I got home) and then today I went to church, to the store to get food for tomorrow and then my hubby and I went on a letterboxing adventure!!!  So letterboxing…since its a huge hobby for us you’ll hear it referred to often as spring approaches so here’s the explanation:

Letterboxing – in short – it is a treasure hunt.  First you select a trail name and find/make a rubber stamp that reflects your trail name in order to identify yourself in the letterboxing world.  Next get a notebook/logbook (Preferably one with unlined pages). Then you go online to one of two websites either letterboxing.org or to Atlas Quest (I prefer AQ…it is generally kept more up-to-date and has an active online community) to print of clues to a letterbox…they are all over the States so chances are there is one near you.  You might have to crack a code or solve a puzzle to get the clue, but others are pretty straightforward or tell a story – then you go out and find the box!  You might need a compass, but otherwise just follow the clues.  When you find the box inside it will be a book and a rubber stamp.  Take the stamp inside the box and stamp it into your logbook.  Then take your stamp that reflects your trail name and stamp it into the book inside the box – you can write your trail name or where you are from, and the date you found it.  Then you put everything back where you found it (be sure to re-hide well) for the next person to find.  You can log your finds on the websites so the planter of the box knows that people are finding it or so that you can keep track of the boxes you’ve found – if you would like.  Online logging isn’t required.  It is as simple as that!

My hubby and I have been letterboxing for a little over a year and are in love with it…we’ve logged about 100 finds.  It gets us out and to different parks/places.  It takes us on adventures.  Some boxes you have to hike for, some are close to a parking spot – but its always fun 🙂  Today we trekked and romped through snow pile and drifts – some places it was over a foot deep but with such a warm day (in the upper 40’s) we couldn’t stay inside and we were itching to find a box since we hadn’t found one since December…snow usually hinders your ability to find boxes!  I had to dig through some snow today to find one and, being the brilliant one that I am, I forgot gloves so my hands just about fell off because of how cold it was!  But it was worth it and in the end we came out with two boxes to our credit, some calories burned and an enormously fun time!!

So now I sit here…11:11pm…and the apartment isn’t cleaning itself!  So in the spirit of movement I should start moving toward getting the job done so I can get enough sleep to move tomorrow.  🙂

Snow Day!!!

I’ve already said it…but I love winter and I love snow 🙂

We were hit this week with a pretty good amount of snow…and it has been fabulous!  I think the heavens delivered us somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-8 inches overnight a couple nights back…not as much as the almost two feet that fell at my parent’s house, but enough to make a good time nonetheless!  AND enough to cancel classes at the University where I work for InterVarsity.  SNOW DAY!!!  Woohoo!

I spent my morning cleaning, working, cleaning and working…but when the hubster came home from work we were able to go hit the slopes!  It was a great evening of skiing…once the sun went down the wind died down and it was fantastic 🙂  I came home somewhere around 9 or 9:30 while he stayed a few more minutes and did a few more runs before taking his buddy home.  When I got home I filled up the bathtub with some hot water and bath salts…lit a candle and grabbed a book (Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers).  I felt super pampered as I soaked in the tub and took in the beginning of what is turning out to be a fantastic book!  After a while in the tub I cozied up in my soft robe and kept reading, and reading, and reading.  Finally, 321 pages into the book at 1:30 in the morning I decided I needed to go to bed.  I kept telling myself…only 100ish more pages and I could be done…but knowing I had a bunch of work to do today was the only thing that pulled me from my cozy position on the couch with my gem of a book.

But what a glorious snow day.  Felt good about myself with the cleaning/work I was able to do and the things I was able to scratch off my to-do list, a lovely couple hours of skiing and the nice snow on what is usually and icy run, a heavenly bath and a wonderful book.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

What would you do to make a perfect snow day??

Think Winter…

I realize there are a lot of winter haters out there…I’m just not one of them.  I legitimately love winter.  Not just for skiing.  Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved winter…and I’ve loved snow.

Really...I do!

When I was younger I bought a button from an antique store…it was yellow, beat up and old but it said “think winter, help stamp out summer.”  I looked forward to winter and snow.

So in the spirit of steady movement forward in fitness and health I thought I’d give you a few ideas to beat those winter workout blahs so you can get moving and have fun.  Think like a kid…try: tobogganing (like we did down the hill in the back of our house growing up…yes…it was that big), ice skating, sledding, making snow forts (the were the best made out of the big piles dad plowed), try to make an igloo, have a snowball fight, build a family of snowmen, make snow angels or snow sculptures, play king of the mountain on a snow pile, go snowshoeing, or play fox & rabbit in the snow (this one is really great…find a fresh snow field that hasn’t been walked over run in a big circle and retrace your steps a few times around to make a big circular path…then cut the pie in half and run from one side to the other and then again to make quarters.  One person is it and you play tag…the catch is that you have to stay in the paths that you just created…no stepping out or cheating…its a great workout!).  Winter is simply the most wonderful time of the year 🙂 and a great time to get out and MOVE!

Learning to ski four years ago just made winter even sweeter!  It was the first date for the hubby and me.  The story goes that if I couldn’t learn to ski it was never going to work.

First date...first time skiing. So this is love...:-)

Thankfully I took to skiing pretty much like a fish to water…I simply loved it.  This season it has been a blessing that the hubby is working as a ski instructor – the ability to ski whenever we want and not worry about it breaking the bank has been fantastic!

Last year I added snowshoeing to my repertoire of winter skills.  I went snowshoeing for the first time at Tahquamenon Falls with my mom and sister.  It was gorgeous out and we had an absolute blast!

So…think like a kid…put the hate behind you and have FUN!!!  If you do you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier you 🙂

I’m not sure how many times I have sat down to write – and have had nothing in particular to write about…so I don’t.  It seems the only times I think of something “interesting” to write are the times I am away from my computer or too busy to even think about sitting down to share my thoughts, but I am determined to write something! 

Saturday I ate chocolate for the first time since March!  We were finally able to go skiing – at last it stayed cold enough for the resorts to make enough snow for us to ski on since we haven’t had any significant snow around Detroit yet this season!  It was a perfect day for skiing!  Dan and I can’t wait until our trip out to Crested Butte coming up in a few weeks   Speaking of Dan – he is in the middle of his LAST exam right now!  We are definitely excited for him to be done with school, now we are just praying for a job.  If anyone knows of any entry level civil engineering positions open in Michigan let me know! 

If we can’t find any jobs in Michigan my vote is Colorado – what could be better.  They have amazing skiing, awesome hiking, a plethora of places to rock climb outdoors, great places to run…its the outdoor and adventure junkies slice of heaven on earth!  The only downfall – neither of us would have family out there since pretty much all our family is in Michigan (minus a few people).  And hey – if we go as far as Colorado why not just hike all the way down to South America – Western Argentina where we can go skiing in the Andes Mountains there and in Chile…hiking and backpacking and everything else.  I can dream I guess, right?  

It’s been a time of trusting Jesus that is for sure!  I like to know what is up ahead and the reality is, I have no idea what the next couple months are going to hold.  I have no idea where Dan will get a job (if he finds a job in the next couple month) and where it is going to take us.  It is a bit stressful at times, especially when I have people wondering if I am going to be around, what our plans are now, etc.  I like to have the answer, and I don’t.  It frustrates me to no end sometimes, but I know that God has our future in his hands and we have to simply trust him.  Even when it feels like we are walking in the dark and have no idea where we are headed.  I guess that is the beauty of it, we are forced to listen for His voice and direction, because if we try to figure it out on our own it usually takes us someplace we don’t want to be.  It is a constant reminder to be in intimate connection and relationship with Jesus so we know his voice and can recognize when He is leading.