AELARLEE1   36,459
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Yikes - Need to take a break from SP!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hey all,

As I watch the emails mount up without a response and time dwindle away, I realize something has to go -- at least for a season! So sorry (why do we always feel like we are letting people down when we have to be wise about time??)

Anyway, we are still trying to finish up the remodel, I am still working harder than I should, and like is changing all the time -- but I am okay, not gaining 20 lbs a week (its a joke) and still exercising, but just not enough time. I know you all understand.

I don't know how long this will be, but need to get on top of important things before I incorporate things like this. Appreciate everyone so much and am already thinking about people who I will miss hearing about -- for a season!

Hope to be back soon!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WONDERWOMAN 7/26/2013 8:01PM

    Totally understandable. When I did it a couple months ago, I couldn't believe the pressure release as soon as I made the decision. Crazy we put all this pressure on ourselves, isn't it? Take care of what you have to. And take care of you!

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BLESSED2BEME 7/26/2013 7:31PM

    I totally understand. I miss you when you are not here but you have to take care of you. Blessings to you!

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CARLANNIE 7/26/2013 7:28PM

    We're holding you to it - being back here, I mean. Sometimes it's necessary to take a computer break - time ticks away.....
Best of everything for your remodel - what a lot of work!

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Finally, an update!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Really, has it been since March that I wrote? Too much has happened to fill everyone in on one blog, so let me touch on the high points.

Travel: I have taken 3 trips since I wrote last. One was to Texas where I taught a seminar and ended up doing an impromptu mediation at the end. Once again I was pleased after 3 hours the 4 sisters were gloriously reconciled. This is a picture I took right at the end.

Despite all the stress and issues at work, sometimes my job is surprisingly wonderful.

Family: Everyone is healthy and well. Youngest daughter has her ultrasound in three weeks to determine the sex of grandchild #6. She and hubby are excited as this is their first. The 3 grandgirls in Portland were a delight to visit but it was far to short. I truly miss those girls! Son and daughter-in-law and their two little ones are well. Have enjoyed at least two Saturday's with my little Titus and it has been precious. He is walking, talking, and potty trained. He helped me put in the garden at the new house.

The little girl with him is our new neighbor's daughter. The couple we live next to are great friends of our son and daughter-in-law and it will be such fun to be next door to them.

Moving: Well this is perhaps the biggest news. We are nearly 70% packed in the old house and hubby is making good progress on the new house remodel. Hubby had to spend alot of the last 4 weeks prepping the old house for sale while trying to work on the new house. We are quickly trying to prep it so that we can move. We were supposed to move this weekend because we were to close next week, but the closing was postponed and we were not deeply disappointed given how much there is still to get done. Here is a picture of how things are looking in the kitchen:

I have no idea when we will move but we are going to work hard so we will be ready when the time comes. Anticipating settling in across the street in the new house by our anniversary, June 11th.

Fitness: Last year at this time I was running 25 to 30 miles a week, doing a 13 to 15 mile long run, riding bike once a week, was doing well. But consistency has been hard this year for some reason. Hubby got a trial run at a local gym so we have been going there but that treadmill just cannot make up for the road. The spin class has been helpful to get my legs more bike ready. We also are training for STP - the Seattle to Portland bike ride in July. We are woefully unprepared, but we are plugging ahead doing rides. We have done two long ones and sadly my bike just wasn't making it up the hills. While I was traveling hubby found one being sold by a friend. Far more gears so hopefully more "granny" options for those hills. Here is me (yea, need to burn off a few extra pounds) with the new bike:

Oh, and last week I took a pretty serious fall. So stupid! Tripped on the sidewalk and hit hard on my left side, hitting my lip. I cut it and looked pretty nasty teaching as I was headed out that day to California. People really stare at you when you wear a bandaid mustache! Anyway, it is healing up but the knee that has four rather large skinned spots and received a really large bump aches still a week later. But I am still getting exercise in.

That's it for now. Keeping up with everything has been a challenge, but with a move, strategic planning at work, handling all the cases, and trying to log everything is a challenge. At night I find I love my bed!

Hope you are all well!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 6/1/2013 3:45AM

Thank you so much for the update! I am late in reading it but glad to get "in touch" with what you have going on. Your pictures are wonderful. What cuties in the garden!

You have such a big project with the two houses...I don't know how you do it all especially with all of your travel...yet somehow you do it and with adding exercise into the mix as well. Amazing!

Your fall sounds bad. I hope you are healed up by now. I hate it when things like that happen. take care of yourself my dear friend! Hugs!

Very very exciting about your new grandbaby...please let us know when you find out if it will be a boy or a girl!

Thanks again for the update!
emoticon emoticon

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WONDERWOMAN 5/17/2013 8:23AM


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BLESSED2BEME 5/16/2013 1:32PM

    Wonderful update! So glad you took the time to let us know how you are doing. I got chills when I read about the mediation and saw the photo. What a God Moment!

Your kitchen looks like it is going to be amazing.

Keeping taking care of you along the way of your busy life!

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CARLANNIE 5/16/2013 8:31AM

    You are one busy lady! Love your recap. Sorry you took that fall - reminds me of when I was going for a brisk walk with Misty on a mountain trail and I hit the toe of my shoe on a rock and went down. Bruised several ribs because I rolled as I landed so I wouldn't land on the artificial hip. Road rash. Miles from home. But I lived to tell about it, so that's good! Your kitchen looks wonderful, even in its reconstructive state. Crossing fingers you'll finally get moved by your anniversary!

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A View From My Window

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wednesday, March 6th, after nearly 48 hours of emigration, airports and flying – Dhaka, Singapore, Tokyo, San Francisco, Salt Lake City then home to Billings, Montana---I am finally back at work on a normal schedule.

Hubby and I spent two weeks and one day traveling to Asia for work, and although it was fun to be in a different place, it was indeed some work. We began in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia with some teaching then went from there to Dhaka. Only our arrival in Bangladesh was on the cusp of some strong political upheaval. Due to the riots, strikes, killings, etc. we spent our 5 days visit in the hotel (per the US Embassy advice).

Fortunately, although not the fanciest place in the world, it was more than adequate and I got some much needed sleep after getting quite the cold in KL. It was disappointing not to be able to do what we went for, but it was not altogether unfruitful either. Just very much what we didn’t expect. Below is a picture of the view from our window there. (BTW, this picture makes it look kind of nice, but in reality all those trees are covered in a constant layer of dust, the city is noisy and dirty, and the buildings are in various stages of livability.)

Once home, I crashed after not sleeping well during the travel. I had to buzz back to work for ½ day before I began a two-day mediation on Friday and Saturday of last week. Fortunately the parties worked hard and the mediation ended with a wonderful reconciliation and agreement.
Sunday I totally rested. So today I am back at the office trying to get caught up on a mountain of work. And the view from my window today is below.

But even though you have two views and they might not look that dramatic, let me share with you my “mental view.” (Sorry can’t take a picture of that :)

Today I am grateful for:

1. My job – although it is hard work, challenging, more than I can handle at some times, I am paid well and I have way more than a majority of people in the world.

2. My health—it is not perfect, nor is my weight where I want it to be, but I am not on medication, I have healthy/safe food to eat at my fingertips, clean water to drink, and I was able to run this morning without pain or a heart-attack at the age of 57.

3. My family – Despite the job upheavals and life changes, hubby and I are doing well and our trip was fun to do together and we were able to bless people. That is worth a lot!! Not only that, we heard before we left that in October we are going to be grandparents again – that will make 6 little ones under 4!!

And last but not least, I am grateful for my SP friends, who seem to encourage me when I least expect it!

Thank you everyone! Here’s to getting my exercise and eating back on plan!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATREBEL 3/12/2013 10:56PM

    I am so glad you made it home safely! Congratulations on another grandbaby! Sometimes it is a blessing to look at what we have through the view of a window where others are not so blessed!

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HEALTHIERKEN 3/12/2013 2:50PM

    What an inspiring blog! Travel definitely helps put our own situation in persepctive. So many of us in NA are *so* blessed and cared-for! Thanks for reminding us of that.
Glad you're home safely and back in stride : )

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THINRONNA 3/12/2013 3:10AM

    I am very glad that you are safe and home! What an amazing life you lead! Truly. You are very special and quite brave as well as extremely dedicated to be able to to do what you be compelled to do what you do. I am always impressed by your ability to get through adversity and the toughest of times and then move on, loving life and your family all the while pursuing your calling.

Thank you for sharing so much in this blog. I very much understand your feelings of gratefulness.

Congratulations on the upcoming new grand-baby! How wonderful and exciting! It makes me smile!

Your views are so insightful and interesting as well. What a contrast. I have to tell you ...Patrick had changed his blog last week and renamed it...he now calls it "A View From the Kitchen" ...I found it interesting how you named your blog in such a similar way...I really wanted to see your view! Here is another contrast ...if you want to see his/our "view" from our new work kitchen...our view from our last work kitchen was three walls, each other and the dining room!


I'm glad your back lady! emoticon

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KLASSIE 3/11/2013 8:48PM

    Your perspective on things is quite refreshing. Glad you have the opportunity to travel and bless others with your presence. And of course regardless of where we go, there is no place like home. Welcome back.


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CARLANNIE 3/11/2013 7:32PM

    Sounds like quite the trip! We do have so much to be thankful for here.

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BLESSED2BEME 3/11/2013 4:38PM

    I agree with DAISYBELL6. I could never keep up with you in any way! One strong woman indeed!

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DAISYBELL6 3/11/2013 2:53PM

    Your life and your blogs always leave me amazed and admiring. You are indeed one strong woman!


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MYUTMOST4HIM 3/11/2013 2:29PM

    emoticon HOME

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The Morning 10K and Training for Life

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

After a rather roller-coaster end of 2012, 2013 is ramping up to be a another year of changes, activity and keeping an even keel. It must look like I have no control in life, but truthfully it isn't just me -- I live with (and love) an adventurer who thrives on adding frenetic activity to everyday life as a means of feeling alive and productive. The only problem is, we end up with 15 projects all needing to be done NOW. So since hubby's work layoff in December he has decided to finish his master's degree, take on some handyman construction jobs, remodel/fix up our house for sale so we can remodel/fix up the house across the street. We are downsizing and trying to get in a better financial position and it will be a good move, but it's going to be alot of work and take ALOT of patience -- on my part.

After 27 moves and numerous remodels over 37 years of marriage, I am indeed a veteran of transition. But the house we are currently in has been home for 10 years and we have NEVER -- let me repeat that -- NEVER been in a place longer than 3.3 years. After moving so much, it is easy to understand why I have wanted to do a major purge lately and this move across the street will help do that, but I thought we had more time. But no, remember I live with the "adventurer" that likes adrenaline pushes and this man is currently without employment, so he sees every little task and project as a work deadline needing to be met. Currently, I have two bathrooms in total disarray, a kitchen full of boxes of items to sell and various boxes around the house full of things to go in storage. Then he says excitedly, "Oh yea, the family next door might be interested in our house and want to view it Saturday." So now it has to be show ready real quick :) What a man!

On top of the in-home dynamics, we leave for some work in Asia for nearly 3 weeks in 5 days. It might be a nice change of pace, but getting ready for that trip is being done in bits and pieces in corners of the house without dust. But yesterday before I left work when I stepped over a pile of construction debris in the hall, I let it all get to me and lost it. "Why do we have to try and do 15 things at once -- remodel, plan a trip, work, pack, move, have people over for dinner, show the house -- why can't we just work on one thing at a time?" I ranted at my poor hard-working husband. In my mind, I had just come off a very stressful time and now we were arranging life to be just as stressful and complicated. Self-pity's cape had turned me into a super-horror (not hero) that threatened to hurt and harm my poor well-meaning husband.

I tell you all this for two reasons:

1) Learning to run again - I made a commitment earlier this year to run a 5K once a week and time it. This was an effort to practice running without walking. I have become so used to taking walk breaks when I run that I think I have forgotten how it feels to run continuously. I also made the committment to run a 10K twice a month. This morning I did the 10K for the first time. IT WAS HARD! But it was a start. So I am learning and training to run again.

2) Training to run again is alot like training for life - As I was running my 10K this morning, I thought about how much I push myself to learn to do things better. Then I thought of hubby, trying to find meaning, purpose, fulfillment and continuing to better our life as he pushes to earn a little money, finish school, put labor into our house so we can get the most out of it, all so we can have a nicer living space across the street. Yes, it is going to be uncomfortable and a bit crazy as we attempt to store our stuff and pick a few things so we can live simply during the remodel. Yes, there will be days when I won't like it, when endurance and stamina run thin, and I want to give up. But really, doing another move and remodel isn't all that different than my training for a marathon. And both of these are very much like learning to live life well.

So this morning, I did a little "life training" like my 10K run - I leaned over to hubby as I headed out the door and thanked him for all he was doing. As I tried not to see the clutter near the remodeling going on in the bathroom (IT WAS HARD!) I kissed hubby and headed out the door. It was a start and I couldn't help think that I wouldn't be as productive as he is if I had just lost my job!

Just some random thoughts as I struggle through the early months of this year.

Oh and I found out yesterday that my cholesterol is not borderline high anymore -- it is high. I have to retest in 3 months and if it isn't down then it's time to medicate the problem. Not so excited about that. If I needed motivation to do all the things I know I SHOULD do, including lose weight, I now I have it.

Blessings friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLANNIE 2/14/2013 9:36AM

    Life gets in our way, doesn't it! Oh, well.

I loved your post. Not the part about your stresses and challenges, but the part I read into that we all do what we have to do, yell once in awhile, and then march forward. What else can we do?

And your part about the cholesterol sounds just like me. Except I didn't go back in three months for a recheck - it was right before Christmas and I just didn't want to be annoyed with a dismal outcome. But now I read about you, and I think maybe I really should go back. In thinking about this just now, I think that if I give myself another 3 months, I will have it rechecked then. I have been remotivated to live more healthily, i.e., eat well, eat light and exercise daily. If that doesn't work, then I guess I need to go the medication route.

Good luck with the showing this weekend. We are having an Open House today, and I have a strange feeling that maybe we'll get it under contract this weekend. Probably only wishful thinking, but I can dream, right?

Let us know how things are going before you head off on your big trip. emoticon

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    What a great blog! I would be a crazy lady! I love the patience that you are choosing to have with your hubby. You are definitely an inspiration, I seek to choose better ways to react in my relationships too.
Running is such a lesson in all areas of our lives. Thank you!

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CATREBEL 2/13/2013 4:39PM

    Oh WOW! You do continue to have a lot of stress in your life. I can understand about your husband. When my husband was laid off two years ago it was really important to him to get up at the same time in the morning as he did when he was working. He would then work around the house or run errands for us so that he would stay busy. Fortunately we didn't have a reason to remodel since we built our house just 9 years ago. Yes, he was very down about losing his job but staying busy really helped him.

That is great that you are running again and have a goal to work towards. I really hope it helps with the cholesterol.

I hope you have a good working trip to Asia.

emoticon emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 2/13/2013 1:07PM

    WoW! That is a mouthful. Stress with just a bit of life in between.

I sure like how you turned in around in to 'life training' though. When my DH was laid off last summer, he became extremely depressed. Nothing got done around the house. It was very difficult to understand his pouting, etc when all I wanted to do was yell at him for being lazy. I'm not sure whether that or what your husband has been putting you through is worse. Guess both ends of the spectrum are bittersweet.

I'm glad you are running again. That will help you balance your stress level a bit and also help with the cholesterol.

You are in my prayers Annette, as always but I'll throw a special request in there for a bit more peaceful existance while you navigate all this stuff.

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Finally Off SP Break

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hi Friends,

It feels like forever since I had the chance to touch base with my SP friends! For nearly two years I remained consistently on SP in one way or another but it became clear about 6 weeks ago that I couldn't keep up with all that was going on. Even now, I will have to ease back in slowly, but I did want to update everyone on what has happened, where I am at, and how I am doing.

First – the job situation. Oh, my, what an upheaval! A new CEO took over the non-profit hubby and I both worked for. Wasn't long after his arrival that it became clear he had been tasked to get things on a better financial footing, and that would involve layoffs. Fortunately, the organization I work for understands conflict and those of us on staff did begin to consider what we would do if we were laid off. Even though hubby and I knew one of us would go, I didn't think it would be him. The first ones to go totaled 4, and 3 of them were upper level. It happened a few weeks before Christmas and our youngest daughter’s wedding. I won’t go into gory detail about why we the organization was in such a poor place financially, except to say I struggled with feelings of anger, hurt, betrayal and all those lovely things. Hubby on the other hand responded maturely, hopeful, and just downright well! SO proud of him! With the help of many friends and the onslaught, er, I meant arrival :) of family, we managed to prepare for Christmas and put on a wedding the Saturday before. Our little late adopted daughter (see People Magazine article – google “Strangers on a Plane, Now They’re a Family”) had a beautiful wedding. It was a fast paced day but lovely (albeit cold). Here is me with my two lovely daughters.

Here is the bride taking her "chariot" to the church -- it was about 12 degrees that day.

Having everyone here was a delight but exhausting. Just plain exhausting. I loved it but after months and months of chaos at work, people living in and out of the house, the planning, the stress, etc. that by Christmas day I was a wreck. I held it together, but oh my, the weariness!

I managed to get a few runs in but without watching what I was eating and all that food and comfort I put on at least 5 lbs. Doesn’t sound like much but if you know me, it takes months to get even a little off!! So since the first of the year I have been trying to get back in gear, running, watching my food, but I am having a pretty tough time pushing myself out in 15 degrees on icy roads.

First of the year and back at work (for me at least) hubby and I talked. We both agreed that my position provides an income and medical insurance so I will stay. He is going to continue to take on the little handy-man construction jobs he can (he got two over the holiday that helped get us ahead so we have funds to survive through April). Then I heard I got a small raise. We sat down and figured it out. If we are frugal we can keep at this pace so he can finish grad school, so that is the goal for the year.

There is much more to tell but I will save that for another blog. Let me say one final thing. You just never know how much people mean to you until you are not in contact with them. I have to say so many of you have touched base to check in with me and it was so special and appreciated! Even though my SP friends and I only know each other online, the support and care has been so wonderful and helpful! I am thankful for you all and hope to catch up with everyone soon!

Here is a picture of my hubby and I. It is the beginning of new things in 2013!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRYT55 1/31/2013 4:07PM

    So happy to see you back! My husband has lost two jobs over the years and I was always the one who was crazed and angry. He responded like an adult. Happy you will be OK for the time being and very happy that you have health insurance.

Wonderful have lovely daughters. I think I remember reading the story in People when it came out. How cool that I "know" the lovely family who made such a difference in this young woman's life. You are a wonderful couple.

Welcome back!

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IONA72 1/25/2013 5:06PM

    Hi Annette, so good to hear from you again, hope 2013 works out well for you. I hear you about running in winter, still waiting for my first run this year - the weather is just awful, have to be content with the pool for now.
Lovely photos - you look great. emoticon

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AMSTERDAMAND125 1/23/2013 10:12AM

    Also - I just read the article. You're even more amazing than I thought!! :)

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AMSTERDAMAND125 1/23/2013 10:08AM

    What a great blog and an exciting time for you. I'm glad you took the break and glad things are going well despite some challenges. You're amazing!

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CATREBEL 1/22/2013 9:02PM

    So glad to see you back! Prayers for 2013 being a better year for both of you!

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DAISYBELL6 1/21/2013 5:05PM

    I'm really glad you're back. You were definitely missed. I know the past few months have been very challenging for you. You seem to be coping well (as you always do!). My prayers and thoughts are with you as always.


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WONDERWOMAN 1/21/2013 1:38PM

    What an upbeat blog, especially in the face of some not-so-upbeat circumstances. Somehow I just know you and hubby will come out even further ahead. Hugs to you. Missed you around, but understand too.

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CARLANNIE 1/21/2013 9:04AM

    Annette - YOU'RE BACK! And you sound like you are getting back in the swing of things. What a lot of situational stress you've had the past couple of months! Anyone would feel that weight. Your dd looks like she had a great wedding. How special! I understand your outdoor running dilemma - it's been cold here and even walking at 10-13 degrees, well, let's just say it makes you walk a little faster just so you get back home quicker!

I had a question. Will you have to travel overseas now, since your dh isn't with the company any longer? I foresee you have important work to do here at home (geez, but an absolute worry wart I am! Just want you to be safe here in the Rockies.)

Hope you have a great week. I'm planning on doing the same. emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 1/20/2013 10:37PM


So good to see your pretty face here. You have been missed. I've thought of you often and prayed that all was going well. I knew you needed the break from sp and prayed you felt the love even though you were not here. As you know, the Lord only gives us what we can handle as long as we are riding with him at the wheel.

I pray that 2013 brings you continued blessings, balance and understanding of all that goes on in your life and the life of your family.

I had been having a rough time with the winter blues up until yesterday but am feeling my old self again! Praise the Lord!

Hope to see you more often back on spark:)

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