Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Vacation

The weekend after Christmas, my crew packed up mid morning and headed to Kansas City for a little mini Christmas vacation.

In a funny turn of events, I was laying on the bed girl talking with my sister on Thanksgiving Day, and it mentioned that we had got tickets to surprise the boys on Christmas morning. She acted shocked and then started laughing...she had gotten Tarquin tickets to the same game for Christmas!!!

So we met up and enjoyed a nice meal together Saturday evening.  After our dinner, the guys and I headed to the Plaza to see the lights. I have heard about these lights for many years. This is one of the things Danny always talks about when he talks about his childhood Christmas's.  It was so beautiful!! We were even stopped in the road for horse drawn carriages to cross...and now I've added going and doing that some year to my bucket list!!

Sunday was the big game. We headed over to Krispy Kreme, where we got a few hot donuts, and off we went. I quickly felt like I had stepped into the twilight zone. I just THOUGHT Danny and the boys were hard core fans. I was wrong. It could be SO much worse!  We drove by lots of tailgaters. Drunk and drinking tailgaters. At 10:30am on a Sunday!

The game was a dream come true for 3 out of 4 of us. The other one of us...well, I enjoyed the experience.  But I'm not a cold weather person. Or a crowd person. Heights bother me. And loud and obnoxious drunk people annoy me. (Sheesh--I sound like I'm 100 years old, don't I?)  But it was amazing to be with my guys!!

This is how I spent 85% of the game. If I tilted my head back a little, I could see the game just fine. My feet were numb and hurt so bad. They finally got back to normal about halfway home from KC. I even wore running pants under my jeans and thought if I wore my boots instead of my tennis shoes, they would be warmer. They were not. 

This is what $10.25 hot chocolate looks like. I was cold. And desperate. And weak.
 I'm so ashamed.

Remember what I said about crowds? And heights? ;)

All and all it was a great weekend!! Oh, and they won!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

I'm sitting here at my table, the day after Christmas, and can't believe another one has passed already.

This Christmas was different AGAIN, with losing Danny's dad just a short few weeks ago. I feel like we still are trying to figure things out even still from losing my dad a year ago. I crave the holidays that feel whole and complete. Maybe they will again someday. Or maybe they won't ever be again.  For the second year in a row we had sympathy cards mixed in with our Christmas cards. I have many of moments of didn't we just do this? and I can't believe we are doing this again.

That being said, I think we did great this Christmas. I carried on my theme from last year. Took pressure off and if we didn't REALLY want to do it, we didn't do it.  We didn't get lights hung on our house. Christmas still came.  I didn't want to make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. Danny threw in 2 rolls of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls when we were last minute shopping and called it good. Christmas still came. We laughed a lot. Some of us cried. We watched a lot of movies. Baked a lot of cookies, and one of us cried like a baby during Silent Night at the candle light service.  (Is there anything more beautiful?)

Danny and I were about to burst with excitement about one of the gifts we got for our boys. Our daycare elf, Mistletoe Max, stuck around to help deliver it,  Tristen has a love/hate..mostly hate..relationship with Max, so it was just icing on the cake I found a cute little elf jersey in the Halmark store.

Anyway, back to the gift: We got them Kansas City Chief tickets!

And Tristen thought his ticket was a "stupid letter mom wrote from the elf" and almost didn't read it!! HAHAHA

Danny got me a Garmin watch to help with my running...so...I guess I HAVE to start running more now.  He also gave me a skillet that says "Peace Love and Taco grease, some warm winter boots, and an Ipod dock so I can listen to my music MUCH louder while in the kitchen now!!

I was also SHOCKED when this CA-UTE little chair was carried into my living room. It was made by some of my favorite people in this entire world, and had been part of a scheme with my mother.  I had been drooling over this chair on Facebook and still can't believe IT'S MINE!!!

My boys scored as well, but the favorite gift came from Grandma Glennda.  She got both of them a little remote controlled drones, and feared they were too old for them.  They literally messed around with those things all stinking day. I don't think any boy/man is "too old" for "toys" like that! We got Tristen a big drone, that records while it is in the air. Its pretty cool, and has already had to have been rescued several times from our Mulberry bush in our yard.

One of the best parts of our day was going out to check on the cows.  We have 2 girls who are due anytime, and they've been checking bags and watching them close.  Jacob told us Tristen's cow, Black Out was closer than his, but that he didn't think it would be soon.  We loaded up, and went out. I said I thought there was going to be a baby. Jacob disagreed.  I won.  There was cute fluffy little black bull calf out with his momma at the bale.  We don't know for sure, but I'm guessing she had him more on Christmas Eve..probably right after Jacob checked and claimed nothing was happening. hehe He was really clean and dry and was running around when we were out there.

To:Tristen Merry Christmas Love, Black Out

So--Tristen following his Black OUT, Burn OUT, theme....meet SLEIGH OUT.  

Hope you all had a VERY Merry Christmas!!

"Sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see." The Polar Express

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Great Santa Run

I have NO idea why, but from the moment I saw an ad for Wichita's Great Santa Run, I wanted to go.  Keep in mind this was back in September, when I was a lot more active. Before doing The Santa Run, I hadn't done anything since Thanksgiving Day. And before that, the run in Haviland. But decided--WHAT THE HECK!

There were 380ish people running this race. It was the biggest one I have done to date. It was also the most FUN!!! Christmas carols where blaring, Santa was there, EVERYONE was dressed in Christmas attire, hot chocolate was flowing, donuts were appearing--you just couldn't help be anything but in the Christmas spirit!!

There were Santas, and reindeer, and tutus, men in Christmas themed boxer shorts,  Christmas trees, and bells...And everyone had a smile and a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

This fireman had lights that worked all the way around his air tank. I bet he was exhausted when he was done. 

I started off strong and then decided to just enjoy the experience..  which is code for...I totally fell apart. HAHA!! It wasn't the worst 5K I have ever done, but it wasn't my fastest. BUT--it was THE BEST TIME I have EVER had at a run. SO MUCH STINKING FUN!! I figured that made up for it!  Nothing like stepping over antlers and Santa hats that had fallen off other runners.


I've got several posts in my head. Just need to work on getting them here. I promise I'll update soon!! In the meantime..hope all of you have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thank You

Tuesday, December 2nd, our family was hit with another hard loss. Within 6 hours of being exactly a year apart with my Dad, my father in law passed away.

Chuck and Diane, with all their children: Danny, Tony, Chris and Sarah

Lying in bed this morning found me with my heart full and my eyes open, with my fingers needing to write.

How do you say THANK YOU, to a family who made the journey from Hungary to America, risking it all in a time that was treacherous, to find a better life? 
He was 11 years old when his family fled their country.  I had known this since I had entered this family, but at the funeral home, listening to Chucks sister tell part of the story, the hair on my neck stood up and I REALLY finally understood. She talked about being a little girl, 8 years old, and her mother telling her they were going to for a walk and that she needed to put on 2 layers of clothes. And of them stopping at her grandmothers house, and her wrapping up food for them. Her mother crying, and her grandmother saying "You act like I'll never see you again." They couldn't tell anyone they were leaving.  And she never did see her mother again. It took them a year before they made it to Kentucky, where Chuck would later meet Danny's mother.  This story has been on Tristen's heart, and in the hunting section of Wal-mart,  I felt him also grasp the full story. "If anything had been different, I wouldn't be here, would I?"

 And because of Chuck's family, and their journey, my husband is first generation born American.

How do you say THANK YOU to a man who fought in Vietnam, not meeting his daughter until she was 7 months old.  A man who wasn't born in America, but He KNEW what it was to be an American. He was one of the most patriotic people I have ever met, and his knowledge of world history was just absolutely crazy. 

How do you say THANK YOU for raising the man you would marry? The man who would help me bring my babies into the world?

How do you say THANK YOU to a man who adored your children? (Well, not just mine. He adored ALL 13 of his grandchildren!) He taught them about food, and about chess, about saving money and being thrifty, about stamps and coins..  He taught them to be yourself. 

How do you say THANK YOU to a man whose most important thing in life was his family. He was happiest with kids running around playing, and adults with bellies full, sitting around socializing. 

Chuck and Diane with kids and spouses: Me with Danny, Stacey and Tony, Chris and Penny, and Sarah..we were missing her husband Don.

How do you say THANK YOU for the life he lived? For the example of determination, and grit, and hard work. 

How do you say thank you? I have no idea.


 Thank you, Chuck Bruckner.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


This past Saturday I completed my 3rd 10K in a year.  After my last one, I experienced some health issues we've figured out, but I wasn't really sure I'd ever be able to do another one. (Quick--stop reading, Melanie! ;) )

But--I did!!

I didn't beat my fastest record, but I did beat my time from this race from last year. And I ran the fastest mile I have EVER ran. 

The difference between the miles is pretty comical. Mile 1-3 I felt like I could finally call myself a runner, and kept up with the pack.  After the 5K ended and I took the 10K turn off, I kinda questioned why I do this to myself! HAHA
Miles 1 and 4 were my fastest.  The 5K course in it town, mostly on paved roads, which the 10K'ers do, but then it splits and the second half of the route is cross country.


See..totally not kidding!!


I was so happy to see this pumpkin! Only 2.2 more miles to go!!

After this part, it was all super sandy dirt roads with a bridge that makes me dizzy as I cross it. I passed mile 5 and then kinda fell apart at 5.5. . I'm not really sure what happened, if I just needed a little more fuel or if I just went to hard in the beginning, but I might have went faster if I had crawled. =P It was also very unseasonably hot that day, and that certainly didn't help.  Was thrilled to cross that finish line.

These pictures were taken from the photographer that was there.


Taken right at the starting line. See me in the pink shirt and black pants?


See how I'm going one way, and my foot is going the other? THAT'S what GoRun was talking about! Perfect picture of it!*shaking my head*  BTW--my feet felt GREAT!! Not even ONE blister!!


At the finish line!! 6.2 miles! I did it!!!  I'm ALIVE!!!!This was quickly followed by "Good Lord..I need to sit down." =)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Hello? HELLO! Is this thing on?? I'm not sure I have have any readers left out there, but here I sit.  I thought I'd update everyone on my journey.

My weight loss has come to a stand still since my Dad died. Because until recently...I honesty did not care.   I'm grateful I have gained hardly any weight back,  but it sure isn't moving the other way either. So..it IS time to get busy again. It's for sure a 2 steps forward, one step back thing.

I completed a 10K in Garden City Saturday.  I ran A LOT.  I have been working on a running program, and until this, I had only done 2 miles. I'm not really sure what I was thinking when I signed up, but I did finish and managed to take a personal record by taking off over 3 mins off my time from a 10K almost exactly a year ago. Maybe soon I'll actually TRAIN for a 10K and see what I can do! HA!


You know the saying sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out? Well, this picture makes me laugh..because ALL I SEE is my mom!! ;) The older I get, the more she blinks back at me when I look in the mirror! This is the AFTER picture..see how red I am??  HAHA

I got REALLY tired around mile 4.5-5.  The road we were coming off of seemed like it would never end.  And then a song came on through my headphones that reminded me of Jamie. And of my Dad. 

My heart and lungs are strong enough to do whatever I ask them to do. I'm alive.  I suddenly felt super silly for feeling tired, and told myself to NUT UP, BUTTERCUP.  I plowed through those last few miles and felt great as I crossed that line.

My recovery time has been much easier this time. I had some butt/ back of the thigh pain, and was super stiff. But--no blisters, no shin pain, no knee pain. God Bless you, GoRUN, for my new shoes!!

I also realized that while I may  not think much is changing scale wise, I CERTAINLY would not have signed up to do 6 miles, "just for fun" a year and a half ago. 

Progress is STILL progress, no matter how slow, or what form it shows itself! Must keep telling myself this!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Feels Like Fall

Today in SC Kansas, it feels like falls.

The boys have started school.  I have a junior and a freshman in my house. Tristen had the normal freshman jitters, but after the first day of not being able to find his classes and almost walking in to the girls bathrooms, he claims its "just school" now.  I don't really enjoy sending my boys to school. It nothing to do with a school issue. I just like having them around. ;) This year I get to sleep in bit longer. For the first time ever both my boys are in the same school in the same town we live in.  Now, the time Tristen was getting out bed, was the time he was getting on the bus in previous years.

This season also found us with another first. For the first time since Jacob was a 4th grader..I have no one playing football. My feelings change a lot on this. As tired and worn out as I'm feeling these days, I'm mostly thankful, mixed with just a bit of sadness.

Tristen sent off his German Chocolate Cake Friday morning to the state fair, and was THRILLED to see it earned him a blue ribbon!

Our family recently went to Kansas City and took in a Royals game. Tristen and Danny are huge fans. Jacob and I..well, we enjoyed the experience. ;)  Out of the 4 of us, 3 of us are not city people, and couldn't wait to be back at home to our sleepy little town.  It WAS fun!


Pre-game--hoping to get a warm up ball.

My garden has really produced this year!! I have many jars of canned jalapenos, banana peppers, and okra. My freezer is full of pretty tomatoes that I'll turn into salsa when things slow down a bit.

I'm sure every family goes through this, but Dan and I are on a mission to de-stress our family as much as possible right now.  This has resulted in a step down on a board, downsizing on a couple of things,  asking for help, and the admittance of "if it doesn't get done right now, the world will not end,"  and not feeling guilty about saying NO when asked to do something I don't have time for or just don't want to do.  (I'm getting better at this one.)  My boys didn't complete their record books for 4-H this year. Guess what.. I'm almost positive they will still grow up and be productive members of society. 

Back in January I started a running program and then had to stop for health reasons. I have recently found one that I LOVE, and have really taken off with it.  I'm slow. Painfully of slow. But I love it.  Recently I started having some knee issues, and decided I probably needed new shoes. So, my very loving, tired of hearing her complain, husband drug my butt to GoRun to be fitted.  I wasn't sure what to to expect, but the very sweet girl looked at my shoes, and how they were wearing, watched me walk away from her, and then back, and then made me run on a treadmill while a high speed camera recorded my feet.
I'm not sure why it bothered me so much. But I was MORTIFIED! and HORRIFIED.  Its really no wonder my knees had been hurting. Or that my ankles just haven't snapped right off.


I over pronate. When I run, I turn my foot out, land on the side of my foot, roll it in, and then step and repeat. Danny loved it, and made sounds like we were passing a really gruesome accident on the high way. After trying on a stack of shoes, I put on the ones that were MADE FOR ME. They have taken away every ache and pain I had. Like walking on clouds. I highly recommend getting fitted! I just wish I would have done it sooner!!

And this past weekend, we partied hard as this little cutie turned one year old.

Michelle, Tarquin, and Jayden Michael, the brown eyed ball of sunshine.

I'm constantly amazed at how fast life can change in a year, both good and bad.