Sunday, November 23, 2008

A time to be Thankful

The other day I sat in my office at school with four crabby fourth grade girls. They indeed had life issues to be crabby about- no doubt. But, we quickly learned that by whining about life, we became sadder and crabbier. I went to my whiteboard(there is no such thing as blackboards anymore........and now if you are lucky Smartboards are replacing whiteboards) and put on top in bold letters, Things to be Grateful For:

At first, it took a while to get the conversation going.......but in no time, we had that board filled, we were telling stories and laughing and smiling.......feeling so much better. Yes, indeed......remembering WHAT we were GRATEFUL for helped shift our way of thinking into the positive frame of mind.
I am a firm believer in thinking sad thoughts equals feeling sad.
Thinking positive thoughts shift our thinking into positive thinking and therefore feeling more positive.
Pretty simple.

SO..........Here is my list of what I am Grateful for.........This list makes me HAPPY!

-My beautiful Kids, because they are kids and they do the funniest things, they are full of hugs and unconditional love.
-My Mom
-memories of my Dad: his smile, hugs, times together
-My 5 sisters
-My 6 brothers
- My extended family
-My wonderful support system of friends and family
-My best friends
-My incredible training opportunities through Gear West and SCS
-My awesome staff at Red Pine Elementary
-My Health
-My willingness to learn, to grow
-My faith
-My desire to be the best person I can be
-watching my kids shine as they learn and grow into wonderful people
-knowing my kids have a wonderful Dad who loves them and will always care for them
-for the people that have come into my life, sharing wonderful time together
-sunny days
-snowy days
-learning the new joys of photography
-the challenge each race and season brings
-long bike rides with friends
-trail runs
-adventurous mountain bike rides
-early morning lake swims
-runs with my sister, always followed by coffee for hours
-making chocolate chip cookies with the kids (after eating most of the dough)
-loving chocolate
tching the sun rise and sun set (if an ocean is near by.......perfect)

My last thought. Lets all do one nice thing for some one else TODAY. Lets give one gift of being kind today.
One random act of kindness. Lets share our blessings with others. WE feel good, lets share that with others today.
Even if its simply sharing a smile.

Lexi and Mom


My Big Family

My Friends

My Little Family

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tri Night Rocks!

Just a quick post to say what a great night was had at Tri Night and to show some pics of the night.
I am blessed to have such a great connection with so many wonderful people.

I think, for me, it also reminds me of why I train and race.
Each season is a bit different, different challenges and different celebrations.
But in the end, the people, the connections, the opportunities to challenge yourself is what it is all about.
I loved listening to Hunter Kemper, his stories, his passions and now his quest to make a difference.
It was so inspiring to listen and learn about AT and how we all can make a difference.

ANd of course.........the OFF SEASON!!!

The also inspiring Cathy Yndestad, accepting one of her awards that evening.
Triathlete of the Year and Performance of the Year.
These awards could not go to a more deserving and harder working individual with the biggest heart I know.
Love ya CY!

Jen and Julie with Hunter. Thanks to Paul at Competitive Image for this photo.

Coach John with Hunter.
I am getting really fired up for another great season with Coach John.
The thing I love most about working with John is that he just "gets it". He understands the need for balance with family, work and training/racing. Ironman Wisconsin HERE I COME!!


Thanks to Kerry for the wonderful photos.

Jen, Julie, Cathy and Julie

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Treading water.......but I can see the shore!

I know that I can tread for a really long time. Treading water is my specialty. As of late, I have perfected the skill of treading.
You know, the feeling of just staying afloat. Keeping your head above, doing all you can....just enough to get by.......but not really enough to thrive. The challenge arises when outside factors once again start to have an impact on your ability to tread. You are going along, treading and staying afloat when out of nowhere comes rough waters, huge waves. All of a sudden you have to work a lot harder to stay afloat. All it takes sometimes is one big wave, one big storm. Sometimes its just the constant rolling waves over and over........never giving you a break. Seems like the same thing over and over. You can be a great treader but if those waves get out of hand or if you get a cramp.........its going to be tough to stay afloat.
Well, good thing there is always support around. Friends and family are allowed to throw in floaties at any time and are always welcome. In fact the more floaties you have, the better chances you will have at reaching that shoreline. And after all that is the goal, nobody really wants to tread forever.

I am glad to say that it feels good to be swimming towards the shore. I see it and I know its in my reach. I have gotten so many floaties that have allowed me start swimming. ON MY WAY TO THRIVING

I want to tell you about my biggest supporter. Rosie. My mom.
Rosie is the best, always has been the best and I see no reason for that to change any time soon.
Rosie raised 12 kids with her beloved husband Bob. Bob is sadly missed as he passed away in 1999.
Rosie continues to support everyone of her 12 kids, no questions asks. She shows unconditional love in every way, she laughs, she lives, she enjoys life. She is my inspiration.

I had the opportunity to go home and be with my family this past weekend. I traveled to Green Bay with my sister and her husband (thanks MJ and Mike) to the wedding of my niece Beth and Adam. It was a beautiful wedding in many ways.
Beth is my oldest sister Teresa's daughter. Here a few pictures from the wedding.

Beth, always smiling and laughing

Teresa and son Reed

NO, this is not a wedding ring.
THIS is the 1996 Packer Superbowl Ring!! NO Kidding. And it is on MY hand. It was the second highlight of the night. There were probably 10 of us trying it on! Sweet. Oh, I miss Brett!

Trev always exploring

Crazy Girl Cousins

Trevor pretending to be a model, "posing". Really just being goofy.

And ya have to love Lexi's attitude toward LIFE.

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