I have become a swimmer

But there is something you should know.  I hate to work out and I hate to sweat.  I have a hip issue… a shoulder issue… a back issue… and a lung issue (as in “heaven help me I cannot breathe and I’m going to die”). So because of my issues, I don’t like to work out. I’m averse to pain that way. On the flip side of things, I have a back fat issue, my thighs touch issue, a belly issue, and an emerging double chin issue. Something had to be done.

I realize I still have alot to learn, but here are some things that have worked for me as I’ve started this journey.

#1 Just get in the water. People of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels swim laps. It’s for everyone. People aren’t there because they are in shape (well, some are). They are there to get in shape or maintain their fitness, so “Go you!”

#2 A good pair of goggles, ear plugs and a swim cap are great to have. Goggles are a must. Ear plugs help keep the water out of your ear (which I was having a big problem with), and a swim cap keeps my hair out of my face (even though I feel and look like a dork).

#3 Use swim props. A kick board is great and I bought my own pull buoy to get a burning arm workout. I actually love my pull buoy and usually start my laps by using this.

#4 Sit in the hot tub for a few minutes after your swim. Soothe your muscles, relax and give yourself a pat on the back! Yay you!

#5 Get one of those hang up bags for your toiletries. A well spent $10 at Walmart. It’s so easy to grab a shower after your swim and to have all your stuff in a hang up bag on your shower door is so quick and convenient.

#6 Don’t forget your underwear! Not that this has happened to me (cough, cough). Who wants to leave the gym commando style? Wouldn’t THAT be embarrassing! (Ahem)

#7 Keep some sort of protein bar and water bottle in your bag. After I swim, I am famished.  Nibbling on a Clif bar helps bring back some energy and not feel wiped out.

At my pool, 36 laps is a mile. That has been my goal 3-4 times a week for over a month now. It used to take me alittle over an hour. 5 weeks later I’ve cut it down to 45 minutes and every day I try to beat my time just alittle more. For me, small goals are best. I’m only in competition with myself.

My punks have been beside me the whole way. Two weeks ago, Ol’ Blue Eyes decided to join us. They are my biggest encouragers and push me beyond what I think I can do… and I end up doing it because they believe in me. Isn’t it amazing what we can do when the ones we love most believe we can?


Love makes a family


You may remember my owl family from my sketchbook…


Well, now they have made their way into my art journal.


That’s me… with the curly eyelashes.


That’s Ol’ Blue Eyes and my other punk who is 21 and has left our nest. He kind of has a beard because last week when he was over here, he looked like a Amish-man with a beard all around.


This is me with our other two punks. You can tell them apart by their hair. The top one is our youngest with curly hair, and the bottom one is our oldest. His hair is different every day, but I did my best.


When you put us all together, we make a family and it is good because LOVE makes a family.

Time for tennis


My youngest punk played in his first tennis tournament Saturday.


It was a nail biting time.


Just kidding.


Seriously though, this was my first tennis tournament to go to and I loved getting to see my little man in action.


He’s been a dedicated tennis player less than a year now.


And his serve has come a very long way.


He played boys doubles.


He and his doubles partner won 3rd place.


Which I thought was pretty good considering this was his first tournament.


He had a really good time.


I loved watching his confidence grow.


As a parent, it’s a huge blessing to see your kids find a niche and succeed at it, especially if they love it.


And for that I’m so thankful.


When there is no rush…


ones scrambles eggs while the other waits for his fathers next move.


He leaves his hand on his piece making sure it’s good.


Chess is a game that Ol’ Blue Eyes has taught all of our boys,


and they never seem to tire of it.


Except maybe when they loose to Ol’ Blue Eyes.


Ol’ Blue Eyes = Chess Ninja Master


But, one of these days… the teacher may just become the student.

Duck hunters can’t beat the view

It begins before dawn. They make their way to the lake which is about an hour away. They put the decoys out on the water and settle in where they can’t be seen.

My oldest digs a hole with a large rock and makes himself a table for his coffee before he settles into the blind. His coffee is in Papa’s thermos. They share.


Make no mistake, hunting is about the game, but it’s also about bonding and memories. He snaps this with his cellphone.  A silhouette of my dad that tells the story of before dawn with decoys out on the water and ready for sunrise.


Which is always a spectacular show, especially out on the lake.