Friday, December 30, 2011

I dont think I have ever done a "Five Things Friday" or "Wordless Wednesday" post but this morning.... I got nuthin' epic or blog-worthy going on in my life. I figured I can come up with 5 non-epic and non-blog-worthy things to write about.

1. I think the crud is just about GONE! Both both are back to driving me each other crazy and while they sound like their lungs could appear on their high chair trays at anytime during a coughing fit, at least its alot looser and doesnt sound like its going to break their rib cages anymore.

2. Sage is obsessed with flushing the toilet. Not so much with contributing to the contents of the flushed toilet, but I guess not being afraid of it is a step in the right direction, right??

3. Considering dying my hair........hmmmmm?

4. Really need to go cut firewood but cannot seem to motivate myself to suggest it to hubby when its 60 degrees outside. We turn our furnace off in the winter and only heat our house with the wood-stove so stocking piling wood isn't exactly optional.

5. I have a really big EMT skills assessment test tomorrow yes, 8 hour class on New Years Eve that I feel completely unprepared for even though I have studied my ass rear off. Im sure by tomorrow night, I will be ready to get my drink on party pants on and to celebrate 2012 with friends at the bar in town

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I am not good at resolutions. I'm really not. I am good at making them and have all the best intentions of keeping them, but in all reality that is the part where I really suck.

But me being me (and learning my lessons the hard way) I keep on making them. This year, I am hoping that you people hold me I can hold myself more accountable.

At least once a month spend a one-on-one day with my kiddos. During our recent trips to the doctors office, I realized that I don't get spend the one-on-one time with the kiddos that they deserve. How sad is kids need to be sick to get mom and dad to themselves? Its hard. I'm outnumbered, we all have stuff going on...but those are excuses. The things that matter in life the most are not easy so I have to make it THEM a priority and one-on-one time with mom is something that they deserve.

Run at least 1 half marathon, possibly 2. Since I'm already signed up for Lincoln in May, barring some crazy injury, I should be good to go!

Run 1000 miles - O.M.F.Goodness. But it's out there now, so I gotta work towards it. Can 1/2 marathon moms fulfill those requirements or just marathon training moms? Yikes!!

Cross-training. Strength, yoga, biking. All the things that will help make me physically strong enough to finish the half (and make it through the day with the kids).

Keep running because I love it, not just because of my goals. Whats the point if you don't love what you do.

Pass my EMT class and National Certification. Prayers accepted and greatly appreciated now.

Build all the buckles for the Silversmith shop myself. Bud, my father-in-law who desperately wants to retire, will be so happy!

Focus on engraving. Karen, my mother-in-law, wants to retire also....but she is really good excellent A-mazing at engraving and I'm beyond a bit intimidated by it, not gonna lie.

Compete in the Womens 3 Event at the Arthur County Rodeo.....A women only event with barrel racing, pole bending and a reining pattern. My husbands horse can do it, I wonder if I can???

Run my horse in the Sandhills Summer Barrel series in Hyannis....cause I can't think of anything better to do on a Tuesday night in the summer then ride with friends and drink beer.

Learn to rope. Just looks like fun!!

There ya 2012 goals!!! Alot more then I had planned on but several of them are things I am already working and towards, so accomplishing them shouldn't be to much trouble.

Focus. Dedication. Commitment. Faith. Hope. Strength.

In the infamous words of Fasty McNasty aka Sage.......Ready....Set.....GO!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We Got Germs

First the flu the week before and over Christmas then Bronchitis the week after. 

We got germs everywhere in my house.

In case you missed the first round, I recap for you, without the gory details:

Wednesday Beezer throws up...twice.  Thursday its Sager' turn and he threw up all over his pillow pet (FYI...those wash up really well).

Friday Shawn and I both landed in the bathroom within 15 minutes of each other.  I was puking, it was gross.  It lasted most of Christmas Eve (minus the vomit) and finally on Christmas Day I started feeling human again and even managed a run that I should have skipped but felt like I knew my body well enough to tough it out....I was wrong.

On Christmas Eve, Shawn's uncle was holding Bran and said he sounds raspy and congested, which was new.  He got worse and my plan to take him down on Monday to the clinic was foiled by the clinic being closed on December 26. 

Don't. Get. Me. Started.

So we ended up at the ER with a diagnosis of Bronchitis and antibiotics.  Directions to elevate his mattress, get a humidifier going in his room and Vicks Vapor Rub his back and chest multiple times a day.  We were already doing all that stuff....not my first kiddo ;-)

Of course, Beezer isn't sleeping well...not with all that crap in his chest and coughing, plus it feels like the Florida in August when you walk into their room.  Boy doesn't sleep well....therefore, mom and dad aren't sleeping well.

So I wasn't surprised this morning when Sage woke up screaming/hacking/gagging and sounding like Alvin the Chipmunk.  It was only a matter of shared sippy cups time before he had it also.

Last night, of course my cough started. 

Safe to say, it is miserable in my house right now.  Everyone is cranky.  Everyone is fussy.  Someone is always crying, occasionally, its a child.  The only one who isn't sick in the girl-child and that cause she is 4 states away.  Lets hope we have this kicked in the boo-tay before she gets back next week. 

Stay away.  Stay far, far, FAR AWAY.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

This picture sums up Christmas in my house better then anything else!  Thing 1 is contained (aka Sissy has his head in a vice-grip) yet sticking his tongue out.  Piper is smiling up a storm because she never met a camera she didnt like and Bran, well, Bran is just chilling out.

I have tried to post a recap of Christmas Festivities, complete with the flu bug, but apparently Blogger doesnt want me to.  It keeps cutting out, not saving, wont post pictures...I give up.

Im off to the ER because the hospital walk in clinic is closed today and my 1 year old has a cough sitting right in his lungs, or so it sounds like. 

Merry Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Push ups

In case your not a friend of mine on facebook or Daily Mile, or in person, I want to send out a newsflash to you.

I hate push ups. 

Passionately.  Not just a little...with all my heart and soul, I hate push ups.

In high school, when most girls would fake their periods to get out of anything swimming, I attempted to fake mine to get out of push ups.   To bad for me Ms. Doty was smarter then my sophomore brain and informed me cramps had nothing to do with my arms.

You can imagine how excited I was when the challenge was issued on Daily Mile from Katie, one of the women who grew up in our small town but lives in a different small town now and will also be running the 1/2 in Lincoln, to join her and her friend Rachel, in 50 sit ups and 20 push ups daily.  In addition to the other punishment training we are already doing. 

OK, I figured I needed to take some of my own words of encouragement and "Suck it up Buttercup" and joined the challenge.

Then came in overachiever Jamie, who didn't have the greatest run last night so she punished herself with 50 sit ups and 30 push ups. 

THEN came Steff, and even though she didn't have a bad run she also felt compelled to do 50 sit ups and 30 freakin' push ups.

I'm sure Heather isn't far behind Jamie because they are sisters super competitive, then Katie (our Katie) will bring her 6 pack and sculpted Insanity arms to the party and they will all be doing 30 push ups.

Actually, they probably wont...they will keep adding so each on does a few more then the others. Which means I have to SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP and start doing extra push ups. AHHHH!!!

And yes, I have to go to the push up party because I made the unfortunate mistake of complaining informing my pain in the arse super supportive husband about the situation to which he replied "you have to do more then them, you cant let them one up you!!"  No pardon of the pun either.

At this rate, we will be doing 6,000,000 push ups a day just to one up the next person.

This is what happens when your friends are over-achievers.  And I may not  thank you when its all said and done but right now, the few choice words I have for you all do not include "Thank You."

But I do love you all and your drive to better me soon as my arms and abs stop screaming, I may remember that.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Other Shoes

I wont dispute that my running shoes are my favorite pair of shoes to wear.  However, they are not my ONLY pair of favorite footwear. 

Unlike some of my friends, who shall remain nameless (but if you go here you will figure it out yourself) I dont own multiple pairs of shoes.  I never have and never will be a shoe-a-holic.  I'm particular about my running shoes and my boots.  I have a pair of dress boots that I'm slightly obsessive about but that's about it.  Those 2 in the picture and 1 other
pair of boots....that's my shoe closest right there.  well, the ones I wear, how about that.

I love my boots.  Not just because they are comfortable, which after hours and hours of being in them, they usually aren't.  Mostly because when I have my boots on, its means I'm playing ranch hand that day and working some cows. 

I love cattle work.  Its not "work" for me, so its fun.  It can be stressful, for sure, and the only critters that tend to be more ornery and irritable then my 2 year old when he desperately needs a nap, is a momma cow, when someone is messing with her baby.  Those are the moments I love the most!

Today, we branded our fall calves....a small bunch, 35 to be exact.  Add in enough ropers and riders (3 of those),  2 branding, 2 vaccinating (including ME) and it went really well.  Only a couple escaped calves, and with the ropers we had, it wouldn't surprise me if the "escape" wasn't "accidental"....sometime they have a need to chase cows.  I have a need to run, they have a need to rope. 
Thanks for the pic Jamie....I "borrowed" it ;-)

Anyway, I manged to fit in a much needed run this morning with Katie.  Took me an hour to get the boys ready and out the door.  So I could run for 45 minutes.  Anyone else see the problem in that equation???

As I'm walking out the door, Shawn gave me the list of stuff I needed to drop off for the branding.  Like vaccine and forks to hold the calves.  Of course, as I'm running late to meet Katie for the run I really don't have time for but I desperately need, I'll just swing by and drop off all the stuff that easily could have been at the pens (aka MIL and FIL's house 2.3 miles down the road) the night before.  Since he was trotting away on horseback, he didn't hear me asking those questions, which is probably good....I didn't have time to argue my point, I wouldn't win and it would only cut into my run time. 

Delivered the items, went for the run, hauled my arse back home and swapped out my Athleta and Asics for Cowgirl Tuff and Twisted X.  It was cold today so the Cold Gear remained the same. 

We started at 1000am and were done by 1105am, in town having lunch by noon.  Not quite the whole morning ordeal as it is in the spring when we brand 500 calves but still, a good break to the monotony.

Ive said it before and I will say it again...I love cow work.  Its not work for me, which is probably why I love it.  Shawn understands but I don't think he gets it.  Just like I don't get why he doesn't jump out of bed in the morning and run to the barn to catch a horse.  Its daily for him, but for me, its once a month, or last minute "need-free-labor-get-the-wife" call for help.  Either or.....cow work tends to do the same thing for me as running.  Gets me outside.  Gets me dirty and sweaty (not so much today but you get the idea) and feeling like I accomplished something.  Something that alot of people wouldn't have a clue about, unless your also a ranch wife (or ranch child) and get the summon demand order request to help, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Faith, Hope and Strength

While I was dreadmilling it today (thanks to Mother Nature and her 25mph winds) I popped in my new go-to, in place of music, Another Mother Runner podcast.  In case your not aware of Another Mother Runner, its the blog site for Sarah and Dimity who co-wrote the amazing, "Get-off-your-arse-we-are-all-busy-moms" book "Run Like a Mother".  They do podcasts where they talk about all kinds of mommy/running related stuff.  I just discovered the podcasts last week and listened to one on my last run, loved I went back and downloaded all the rest I had missed from iTunes and now I have listening/pretend conversation for when I am stuck on the dreadmill.

The podcast today struck me because of the part where they talked about mantras.  What keeps you going?  What drives you when you really want to lay down and die? And no, keeping going because you live on a desolate road and no one will come long for hours to pick up your exhausted body and take you home is not a mantra.

This really struck me because I, like all of us, have a mantra but me, being, well, me...took it a step to far farther and had mine permanently inked on the back of my neck.  Definitely one of those 21-years-old-good-idea-at-the-time moments.

The Cliff Notes version of my mantra is I was going through a bad break up with my high school sweet heart whom I had been with for 5 years, was engaged to for 5 weeks and ended it.  We were at that cross road where you have to do something, either get engaged and take the next step or break it off.  Obviously since we are both happily married to other people, we made the right choice. 

Anyway, after a few months of minor depression (broken heart and loneliness) my BFF Lindsey said something about finally getting back to myself and asked what finally clicked and I said Faith that I made the right decision, Hope that things get better soon and the Strength to make it to the other side. 

There is it was..Faith. Hope. Strength.

So in the infinite wisdom of 21 years, I made the decision I wanted that statement inked forever in my skin.  Why my neck, not sure...seemed cool at the time.  In retrospect, aka, job where professionalism does not include visible tattoos, not the most well thought plan.

Here is the really interesting part.....I made the appointment to get the tattoo but received a phone call prior that the tattoo artist was sick and would need to reschedule.  So I did....for September 11, 2001.

I will never forget sitting in that artist chair, having Faith, Hope and Strength tattooed into my neck on the day that our country was under attack from an unknown enemy.  The artist, like the rest of the country, was in shock and said that my tattoo, my mantra, was what was going to hold our country together.  If every would have Faith, Hope and Strength, we would be OK.

I don't know if the whole country fell for that and I'm fairly certain the tattoo guy in Bay City Michigan didn't get the memo to everyone, but I know for me, I held on that statement. 

And I have continued to.  During my unexpected pregnancy, my failed relationships, my long distance love with my now-husband, who was my rock and support 1100 and 2 time zones away for 16 months.  My complicated pregnancy and resulting premature delivery of my middle child and his stay in the NICU.  I found myself repeating Faith, Hope, Strength over and over.

Trying to hit 10 miles for the first time or 3.5 on the dreadmill.  Hoping to get my horse around the first barrel and still be sitting on his back.  I said it over and over to the point, where I don't even think about saying just pops into my head.

It made me wonder what is your mantra?  What keeps you pushing up the hills and on the dreadmill?  Do you have one?  According to Dimity and Sarah (who are mother runner goddesses in my world) it can be one word or a phrase, it can be a picture...something that sticks in your head and gives you that second (third, fourth, 100th) wind just when you need it.   

If you don't have one, I (in all my 32 years of infinite wisdom) suggest you get one or three.  Find something to hold on to, regardless of what you are doing.  I don't recommend getting it inked into your skin but put it on a piece of paper and hang it on your mirror, or print off the picture and stick it on the back of the door so its the last thing you see as you walk out.  Something to hold on to.....its been the difference for me more times then I can count.

This is hanging on the side of my fridge, so its the last thing I see before I walk out the door.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Middle Child

The middle child in our house is a boy.  And he is 2.  Therefore, we are smack in the middle of the that wonderful time in a parents life where consumption of alcoholic beverages becomes the necessary alternative to banging your head against the wall because your 2 year old is awake, screaming, throwing, climbing, hitting, biting conscious.

Here is he.  Sage "Fasty McNasty" Hanna.

Don't get me wrong, he has his adorable, funny, sweet little boy moments but they are few and far between.  He is 100%, text book, look-up-the- definition-and-see-his-photo terrible 2 year old boy.

He is the middle child by 10.5 months, but his "little" brother is not "little".  Or even "littlier" then he is.....his "little" brother outweighs him by 7lbs.  Doesn't sound like much, except when you are 2 years old and your 15 month old brother has chosen to enact his revenge for your swiping of his favorite sippy cup (that is identical to the one said 2 year old already had) by sitting on you.  23lbs vs 30lbs...there is alot of screaming in my house.

And Sage deserves every bit of retaliation that Brannon throws his way.  He doesn't get much....because Bran is the most uncoordinated child to ever trip stumble crash walk on the face of the Earth.  And I mean, klutzy, but I will save those tales for another blog.

Back to the Middle Child.  So far this week he has given up naps by crawling out of the crib and the pack n' play and attempted to redecorate the Christmas tree (and his brother). Yesterday, he strutted across the gym floor, waving to his adoring fans (aka 7/8th grade girls and his great-grandma).

Today, he wanted to help make holiday cookies (FYI....EPIC post tomorrow but I'm too annoyed to go there today), but of course, his version of helping.  So he was banished rather quickly to the living room where he felt the need to redecorate the Christmas tree (again) by spinning it in circles to get the lights off.  Thankfully, his sister (who was helping but couldn't dare miss a second of Beetlegeuse on TV was sneaking a peek at the movie and caught him in the act...BUSTED).

After making the cookies, he needed to inspect them.  What follows in the pictorial of what transpired when hubby and I stood back, camera in hand, of course (well, I had wine) to document the shenanigans that can only be produced when a 2 year old walks into the kitchen carrying a chair.

I'm not doing hands are folded nicely in front of me.

Think you can stop me, I dare you!!

The chair always falls

That's his "dead" face....this is when his brother jumps on top of him to "wake" him up, and Sage says "AWIVE"!!!!!

P.S. That chair is now sitting on top of their little slide in the dining, but thankfully, he dad got to him before that plan could play out. 

All of my children drive me to drink wine.  That child drives me to drink cheap wine.

Holiday Baking

I'm not much of a baker.  While I LIKE to bake, things just don't always go as planned......hence my hard ask rock Scotch-a-roos for the basketball concession stand 2 weeks ago.  Or the pan I burned last year for football.  I have since sworn off scotch-a-roos, for the sake of everyone.  If a teenage boy wont eat them, you now their terrible

However this year, I want to do some baking.  Part of it is because we have an "Adopt a Student" program at the high school, and I got the German exchange student.  Of course, the mom in me has the fact that he is away from his family for the holidays pulling on my heart and I want to make it special for him.  But what do you buy a 17 year old German boy?  Yay, I got nothing either so I'm going with....FOOD, the universal language!  Baking holiday goodies, which will make him happy (hopefully) and my family (better make them happy!!)

My adventure started with a simple facebook post: "Where is my stupid-simple Christmas baking cook book?"  Surely SOMEONE would be able to point me in the right direction.  Sure enough Jamie came through for me with a link 12 minutes after my cry for help.  I knew someone out in facebook land could help my domestically-challenged cooking abilities!!!

In checking out the link, I realized that either Jamie thinks I am much more talented in the kitchen then I am (which cant be true because she saw the rock hard scotch-a-roos) OR she has a wicked sense of humor and knows full well I will blog about whatever disaster happens in my kitchen, because somewhere between the meringue snowflakes, stained glass Christmas tree sugar cookies and the choo-choo train made from chocolate graham crackers and nilla waffers, she must have lost her damn mind if she thinks those qualify as "stupid simple". 

I KNOW she has been banished to the dreadmill for at least 2 of her runs this week, maybe that's whats wrong...she needs fresh air to clear her head.

Once I found this out, and posted back to Jamie, I was informed by her sister, Heather, that I cant trust Jamie because she will sabotage (see...I knew humor at my expense was her motive) and she posted a link to another page that includes a title with the words "fast and easy"...that's my kind of baking right there!

I found a couple recipes that had 4 ingredients.....STUPID SIMPLE....YAY!!!!

Pre-baking dizaster.
Kitchen "rock star" pose.
So who can screw up graham crackers, condensed milk and M&M's.....yep, you guessed it.  ME.  And I did, and I'm still bitter about it because I followed the directions COMPLETELY!  I did everything right....except for whatever part I did wrong and I don't know what part that is, therefore....bitter.


Sooooo we said forget those (even the boys and Shawn wouldn't couldn't eat them).  On to round two...which included making chocolate Christmas candy from a kit. 

Knowing full well the limitation  lack of ability, I turned this project over to the best baker in the 9 year old daughter.

She quickly jumped on the idea because she didn't want to clean her room and pretty soon was up to her elbows in red, green and white chocolate. 

She had so much fun!  They turned out really cute and correct.  Except for the fact that she got a little carried away with the amount of chocolate for each one, so we only got 7 made instead of 16 but oh well....I highly doubt her focus could have lasted much longer then the hour it took her to make those 7.  Plus, who really needs 16 chocolate lollipop looking things hanging around their kitchen....not I, or my husband.

The loot....and yes, I have an orange countertop.
She did a great job!  Even if Santa does look like he face planted in the mud.

It was super fun, minus the round 1 dizaster and something I hope WILL continue on year after year.  Couple more years and the boys will be able to help out.....but as long as Piper is here, we will be guaranteed SUCCESS!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Card Exchange

Im taking part in (Just) Trying is for Little Girls Holiday card exchange this year for the first time!  Im excited, which is strange because really, I dont like doing Christmas cards.  I can never find the right card so I resort to trying to make a card, which is usually a disaster (despite having enough money invested into scrapbooking supplies that could probably feed a starving country), so then I try the "Good Mom" approach and take a nice picture of my child.....but they are 1,2 and 9.  Therefore, I dont usually do Christmas cards.

So why Im excited to get the 5 out that I have for the Team Santa Claus in the exchange, Im not certain, but I am.  Maybe its because they dont expect long, drawn out letters about what our year has been like (not that I dont love getting those, but I really dislike writing them.  Wanna know what I have been up to, review my Facebook statuses....thereyago!).  Maybe its getting the names and blog sites for other running moms, who I can lean on and learn from while riding the crazy train that is my life.  Regardless....Im loving the mail and meeting new people!!   

Mine were mailed today!  So Whitney, Jennifer, Bobbie, Karien, and Kittee watch out, because they are on their way.  Nothing super special, I had great plans....but, well, your all moms, you know how that goes!

Happy Holidays!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

Right round like a record baby, right round, round, round!!

That and one of Nebraska's favorite sons says "Tara...Git 'er Done"...thanks Larry the Cable Guy.

Those are the statements that were going through my head during my dreaded quality time with my neglected dread treadmill.  Its not totally neglected, hubby has been getting up and running 3-4 times a week in the morning and since he refuses to run outside for some strange masochistic reason, he runs on the TM.

I, however, have a definate, passionate hatred for the portable piece of road that makes me feel like the hamster in the photo above. 

Sidebar: IS that a hamster or a bear....if its a hamster, he needs way more time in his little wheel cause he is a bit bearish looking....but if its a bear, he is doing OK.

Anyway, because of a lack of time, 2 toddlers and a major test in my EMT class tonight, I had to suck it up buttercup, and pound out 3 miles on the dreadmill while Thing 2 slept and Thing 1 stayed out of mischief watched a movie. 

I dug out my compression sleeves because I always get shin splints after the DM, found my running shorts and tank top (none of which was readily available since I have been running in 20-30 degrees for 2 months now), my iPod (that I haven't run with in several weeks) and headed downstairs.

The miles went by so.slow.  Like crazy slow, I really felt like I was standing still.  I hated every minute and .10 of a mile but I got it done.  I had a great sweat going, which I love so I know I worked hard and being that I do despise it, I feel really accomplished.  Kinda like I did when I ran 5 miles for the first time.  I did something I knew would suck but I "Got 'er done" (Thanks Larry!!).  Suffering through the dreadmill does have its benefits, first and foremost being, I know I can run so if I quit before I hit my goal, I'm going to be furious with myself for the rest of the day.  And when I make my numbers, I feel really proud of myself because, well, because it sucked the whole time.  Just another reason why I love to run.....pushing myself past my self-imposed limitations.  That's whats its all about.

Wish me luck...this EMT test is going kick my ass.  If your my neighbor, pray really hard ;-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Its a beautiful day

for a rest day ;-) 

I was completely unaware that we were supposed to get this junk today.  And by junk I mean that inbetween not-quite-snow-not-really-rain-misting-cold-so-the-roads-look-ok-but-then-you-spin-out-on-the-highway-and-know-they-are-not-ok type of junk.

So Im happy today is a rest day.  Hubby had a pickup that broke down this weekend so he is in need of some free labor assistance from me to get chores done.  Mainly caking/feeding. 

Cake is a little chunk of mineral supplement that we drop to the cows a couple times a week.  To bad for my husband that he needs the help because when you get me, you get the 2 boys as well.

Bran - he is in there, I promise.
Sage's job...he honks so the cows know its time to eat!
Anyway, we drive around the pick up, daddy stands in the back and scoops out the cake by the shovel full to the awaiting critters.
Usually this can be done with very little marital discussion, but occasionally, I hit a hole or hard as rock "cow-pie" and Shawn's life flashes before his eyes.  Occasionally, I may do it on purpose but never hard enough to knock him out....just throw off his balance a bit....dont be mouthy when momma is driving.

This moring, with the arrival of the "junk", it was really pretty so I took my camera along as well.  Enjoy a sampling of the photos of where

I live.....lots of cows, not alot of trees and miles and miles of hills. 

Enjoy this little photo-journey of my day today....the life and the critters that keep me going.

5-45 is a big of a pet as a cow can get....without being a milk cow!

Because of that, she is a giant pest as well!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jingle Bell 5K Recap

PR!!! PR!!! PR!!! PR!!!

Yes, I am BEYOND excited because we have been waiting a week for results.  I forgot my Garmin (again, bad runner, BAD runner) so all I had to go on was that it felt like a fast race.  However that could be because of the blowing snowy and slick roads.

But let me compose myself and give a proper recap.

It was cold and windy and less then favorable in 23 degrees with 10-15mph winds and a 90 mile drive so that we could run 3.1.  Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?  Thankfully, I had my partners-in-crime with me as Katie (the other sporting a tutu), Jamie, Heather and Sammy all along for the ride.  Literally...we piled into Heather's mega-cab at 630am for the drive to the race. 

Sidebar:  The race was not only 90 miles away but in another time zone, moving everything up an hour for us.....thats just how we roll in the sandhills.

Jamie made breakfast burritos (super delicious), the smell of them didn't make Sammy puke as she warned was possible on Facebook the night before (always a plus), and the tutus didn't get crushed on the way to the race (it was all about the tutus). 

Me, Heather, Jamie, Sammy and Katie

We made it, slipped and slide across the parking lot and seriously questioned what we were doing.  Jamie questioned what she was doing there and if a sweatshirt was worth it.  I didn't tell her till after we were already there that if she had skipped out, her sweatshirt would have been mailed to her anyway.  I'm pretty sure she considering strangling me at that time but we were in public town so might as well run, right? 

Sidebar #2:  Check out Jamie's race recap here....after reading it, I'm sure she was cursing me after finding out about the sweatshirt disclaimer, oops!

There were over 600 people at the race.....YIKES!!!  Conditions being what they were and the amount of people, Katie and I figured out hopes of a sub 27 were gone.  And really, I was OK with that......conditions were bad so I had an excuse if it all went down the snow covered drain.

Katie and I figured out that if we stayed to the shoulder and ran in the snow (versus the packed-down snow in the middle of the road) we would have better traction, which we did.  We did take off kinda quick and I wished we hadn't because I really wanted to pass on the news-flash to the rest of the ladies so that they didn't crash either, but it would have been more dangerous for me to stop in the middle of the pack of runners on snow-packed/icy roads then to just keep I hoped they were all OK. 

Starting line...yep, told ya..snow covered roads!
We ran hard, and it wasn't so much to get a better time as much as we wanted that snow as fresh and non-stomped on as we could possibly get!  Apparently it worked well for us as we crossed the finish find out the clock couldn't be used in snow. 

No visible time.  No watch.  NOTHING TO GO ON....AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

With 600 runners I wasn't going to ask the guy poor soul  who was manually writing down the times that the other guy poor soul was calling out to him while yet another guy poor soul was taking our bib tags.  Nope, I figured we would wait till they were posted and get them PR was possibly anyway so why worry about it.

Katie and I headed out to the corner before the finish line to cheer on our running buddies and it wasn't long before we saw Heather coming down the road!!  Not far behind her was Sammy and Jamie was a few paces behind her.  We all made it, no one slipped, no one WALKED and no one was injured!!

We loaded back into Heather's mega cab and headed back to work the high school concession stand as a fundraiser for the youth organization that we are all a part of and helps raise money for the kids in our tiny town to participate in sports. 

No, we didn't sport the tutus in the concession stand.

Fast forward a week....I emailed the race direction and asked if she had the time, could she please email me our results. 

Imagine my shock and awe when I read 26:11!! 

26:11.  We hit our goal.  We beat our goal....we smashed it into the ground and slipped and slid on our Jamie would say WOOT WOOT!!!

I wonder what we could have done in good conditions?  With my watch?  Probably not nearly as well, to be honest.  With the watch, I would have thought, slow down, you pushing to hard for the slick roads.  I may have been more conservative to keep from getting hurt and landing on my tutu. 

But I didn't have the watch and I wasn't more conservative and I honestly ran my tutu off and felt good.  I feel even better knowing my time.  I now know what I'm capable of doing.  I have no excuses.  I am capable of a 26:11 5 K, so I'm capable of a 25:59 5K, which is my new goal. 

I'm also capable of 13.1 miles, which is my next big adventure, May 6, 2012 in Lincoln.  So far partners-in-crime Katie and Heather are in, and I'm hoping Jamie also (I promised no peer pressure, but I didn't promise you wouldn't tweet her and pressure her).  Sammy should be but since she is the high school rodeo drill Sergeant coordinator, she should probably be there instead of trasping across Lincoln with us.  However, we are much more fun.

I love my new PR, but I'm so very thankful that I was able to spend a girls day with some great friends.  I'm very happy and proud of Jamie and Heather for sticking with their plans and running the race.  Its an accomplishment, for sure and they both rocked!!! 

Cant wait till the next one ladies!!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tweet Tweet

Can you guess what that means?  I'm sure you can.....yes, it has finally happened.  I have taken the leap to twitter land. 

Yes, I have finally caved to peer pressure (morbid curiosity) and now have a twitter account.
My husband is considering disowning me.  He isn't really considering it.....he does love me but he is fairly embarrassed by the whole thing.  I find that amusing and something I should probably tweet about, right?
Anyway, I'm lost....I'm easily confused anyway so this whole twitter thing is really confusing to me but I figure there are alot of people out there who tweet and they have alot less brain cells then I least, it would seem so after reading what they post, er, uh...tweet.
Took me awhile to find Jamie, but I did.  Well, she found me....after some emails back and forth that went something like:

Jamie: I cant find you, search for me.
Me:I cant find you either, did you search with the email addy
Jamie: Why cant I find you!!! 
Me: I'm not smart enough to tweet.

Rest assured, we are linked and tweeting away (to each other...follow Jamie too).
I also had serious issues uploading a picture, but I blame that more on my computer then myself.  I did, however, enter my first blog contest via twitter this morning...and that only took me 2 tires before I figured out hashtags and that other stuff.  I haven't really figured it out yet but copy and past is a beautiful thing ;-) I also am having serious issues (aka getting wicked you-know-what) at trying to get the link to post on my blog page.  But I did figure out how to add the link in text to follow me....just a subtle hint, of course.
So please, follow me on twitter (if you tweet) because you never know what shenanigans I may or may not put out there.  For instance.....I bought an at home eyebrow waxing kit today and I felt the need to share that in twitter land.  Might not have happened if I had more then 1 follower but its there....cant take it back now.

Happy Tweeting!!!

P.S. I did get a run in today.....roads were a bit slick, but I didnt land on my keister and neither did Katie (who because of an unfortunate-yet-could-have-been-much-worse incident with a wood splitter had to run with a sock on her hand).  4 miles...felt great!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mrs. Grinch

Thats me....Mrs. Grinch.  Thats a had thing to admit to youself (let alone toss it out there into blogger-land) but really, its true.  Christmas is far and away my least favorite holiday/time of the year.  Always has been.  Well, not always.  Pre-1996 it wasnt my favorite, but it wasnt dreaded like it is now.
Yes, I dread I said, Mrs. Grinch.
Long story short is that my Grandma Katie passed away on October 6, 1996.

Christmas was always her show.  She LIVED for it.  The cooking, the decorating, the family time.  All of it, and it was all about her.  Really, it was her show and she put on one.  Grandpa would spend a  month decorating the outside of their house way back in the 1970's and 80's so that every inch was covered in lights.  Im talking every. single. possible. open space had a light or a piece of the nativity. Not in the "National Lampoon" style either...classy and beautiful.  I remember being 6 years old and sitting in the living room while Grandma would say her rosary after supper, and watching the cars drive by, just to look at the house.  This is long before it became a competition with neighbors and long before multicolored icicle lights could be set to music. Before it was super cool.
I will always think of Christmas as their holiday.  Grandpa passed away in 1992...on December 23.  Grandma, in October....and my dads father in November.  It was a long few years and sadly, it changed the holidays. 
Now that I have my own kiddos, I really try to get into the holiday spirit but thats just not me.  Im not a cookie baker or decorator, Im not crazy with lights outside (however Im forcing my husband to put some up this year.  We dont have neighbors to oogle over them but the kids will love it).  I dont meticulously fuss over our tree...shoot, this year I even contemplated NOT putting a tree up because there is no way Im going to be able to keep the boys out of it.  Nope, not gonna happen. Rest assured, there will be a tree in the Hanna family living room but no ornaments
I am doing the Daily Mile Secret Santa to keep some holiday spirit going, and (Just) Trying is for Little Girls Christmas card exchange, that Im really looking foward to.  We have an Elf on the Shelf ( about P.O.W.E.R!!), Santa will be in town this weekend so the kids will (hopefully) sit on his lap and get their pictures taken as I have not manage to accomplish family pictures.  I have someone lined up to take them, but just wont pick a date.  Me, not her.  What is wrong with me!!!
Piper wont be here this year (which just adds to my grinchiness) so we will be holding off our family Christmas till after she gets back, in January.  2012.
I hate the commercialization of Christmas.  The only time being a stay at home mom bothers me is around Christmas because we dont have the dual income that would allow me more freedom to get my family the stuff they ask for.  My daughter asked for a Kindle for Christmas and Shawn wants a nice pair of $300 snowpants for sledding....enough said. 
My parents are in Michigan and my brother and his fiancee are in Colorado.  I just saw my parents but I wont see my brother at all. 
The hardest part, is pretending that none of those things bother me when they really do.  Im getting used to it.....its been 15 years and its better then it was before.  So far, it hasnt cost me my marriage, my husband isnt perfect, but he is perfect for me.  Even if he doesnt get it (which he doesnt) he just lets me have my issues and move on. 
Can you tell I didnt go for a run today......goodness!!!!  I guess Im just down, and needed to vent.  Why out here, Im not sure.....but something about it feels safe.  Thank for listening/reading.  I prommise, next blog will be running related and/or something amusing about my kids.....they always keep me on my toes and in a good mood (for the most part).

Its a little chilly these days.......

Its been cold the last few days....which means I have been running in the cold.  Saturday, Sunday and Monday.......Actually, I have timed it well and been able to be out in the 25-30 degrees which isnt terrible (unless you live in a Southern state, and you probably think Im insane).  Heck, my husband thinks I have a few screws loose but that doesnt stop him from "informing" me when I need to take a couple extra laps around the pasture ;-)

The Jingle Bell Run 5K was last weekend and it was FANTASTIC! The weather was cold (read 25 degrees) snowy and windy but without any major (or minor) injuries and no one landed on their tutus, I call it a successs.  Im waiting for the official results to be posted before I do my "official" recap.  See, I forgot my Garmin (I know, I know...BAD RUNNER) ANND the big clock that they usually use at the finish line was also long story short, I didnt want to wade through 600 people to bother the poor time keeper with looking up my results.  I also didnt want to wait for 600 plus people, to finish in the snowy and icy conditions.  So I wait....but Im thinking, it could be good :-)

Im out to go help work some cows now....which is good cause my kids are making me bonkers.  Its an off day for me, so Im looking fowarding to get outside in the (wait while I check) 21 degree weather.

Happy Running!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I almost died.

Really, just a few minutes ago....32 years flashed before my eyes in a, well, flash. 

And I blame blogging. 

It all started because I have the Jingle Bell 5K tomorrow.  The one I am sporting my fantastic, amazing, crazy puffy because of 100 YARDS (yes YARDS) of tule handmade tutu.  Well, I have always wanted to do one to those posts where you show off your running "attire" before the race....sooooo I attempted a picture.

With the help of my 2 year old (and if you have any experience with a 2 year old you know that they are not nearly as helpful as they think they are) I got everything all laid out on my bed, a soft, comfy wake up with a backache every morning bed, grabbed the camera and realized, I needed to stand on the corner of the bed to be high enough to do the whole outfit justice.  So me, in all my brilliance, jumped up on the bed, which apparently meant that my 2 year old should start jumping on the bed also and he lands right on my tutu. 

I only panicked slightly, which he thought was so funny, he did it again.  Once I corraled the short person (aka banished him) I climbed on the bed, again, balanced right on the very edge of the very soft, plushy, pillow top corner for about .26 seconds before my lack of coordination, mixed with gravity tossed me right on to the barbed wire stitching on the rear pockets of my favorite pair of jeans. 

Thankfully, my cat-like skills (that apparently failed in landing me on my feet) did manage to keep me from hitting my head or, more imporantly, dropping my camera. 

Safe to say, you will have to wait till tomorrow to see the whole outfit, when I have it safely on my body (and Im standing on solid ground). 

But just for is a teaser....

Monday, November 28, 2011

You Gotta get some of these!!!!

First pair of running shoes I ran through.  Yes, they are still sitting on my porch and yes, I look at them before I step out the door for a run.  They will not be going anywhere for awhile...they may look like their are useless but in reality, they are far from it.  A key part of my motivation......I love that I ran holes in my running shoes. 

If your looking for motivation, if you want a visual to help kick your booty out the door after a fulling meal with your family.....keep running till you get a pair of those.  It will be hard to stay on the couch!

Sunday, November 27, 2011 are a pain in my......

Turkey Day has come and gone.  We had 2 family celebrations...Thursday, Turkey Day itself, with my inlaws at their house.  The kiddos, hubby, bro-in-law and his wife and kiddos, and my mother and father in law.  Its a nice...low key.  Just how I like it.

Friday, was a few more people, a little farther away to celebrate with my husband aunt and uncle, and their kids.  Minus my bro-in-law and his fam, but add in a bunch more people.  And the Huskers football game.

Both were great, but Friday was super fun!  We played Apples to Apples...ever played that??  No, if not you need to get NEED play it.  And if you drink wine, you NEED to play after you have been drinking wine. 

Random amounts of fun with family....thats what holidays are made for!!!

Yesterday, I had an all day EMT class I had to attend, then we headed to Denver to pick up Stinkerbell after her Turkey time in Michigan.  She flies by herself (YIKES) and she does a great job, but I still get really worried about it.  FYI, for anyone who is facing or thinking about their child flying unaccompanied minor, I HIGHLY recommend Frontier.  For starters, its only $50 one way as opposed to $100-200 ONE WAY.  They have DirecTv that included in the UA program, and really, they are never, ever left alone.  There is always a flight attendent watching over her.  Cant be that difficult, with DirecTv and on a plane by herself, her mom isnt there to bug her about watching to much tv....she is perfectly happy.

NOW.....lets fast forward to last night....when I left the hotel to get to the airport an hour before she was due to land.  ONLY to get stuck at check in (honestly, the ONLY time I have had to wait, even when I was the passenger).  Apparently because I didnt have 600 over-limit bags and I stood there without a pissy unhappy look on my face, I wasnt worthy of anyone's attention.  So that took me 20 minutes.....and then I got stuck in security (because the Saturday after the busiest travel day of the year its a great idea to have 2 security lines going at a major airport).  There goes another 30 minutes (see the problem arising????)  I was really happy that I was close to her gate once I made it through security so I figured I would be ok.  I mean really, what airplane lands early, and even if they do land early, they still have to sit for 20 minutes on the tarmac waiting for the jetway to be set, ect...right....

Well, my heart started to beat a little faster when I saw a whole group of people walking towards me wearing the tell-tale colors of Maize and Blue...I knew I needed to haul my runners arse to the gate. 

Just in time...she was walking down the aisle as I got to the counter......OMG!

Of course, her plane would land late when I get stuck for  the first time at tickets and security. 

Ok, so maybes its not the first time ever, but it was the first time I have gotten delayed trying to get to Piper flying solo.  Thats a whole seperate ballgame.  Me missing a connection or losing my luggage is on thing....Piper partaking in her own version of  "Home Alone" DIA version.

Not to mention she is a 9 year old female who is prone to psychotic episodes that tend to included alot of crying, yelling, crying and yelling at the sametime, small doses of rational followed by more hysteria and then possibly landing herself on CNN. 

Its better to just make it to the gate ontime.

And really, I did....I mean, I wasnt early but I wasnt late.  Technically. 

The rest of the night is the reason why I was able to run a really good 10K kids made me nuts.  Thing 1 was as cranky and crabby as his sister would have been if I had to have tied my shoes after going through security.  Thing 2 was not interested in sleeping in the hotel room.  Or the pack n play...or really, sleep in general.  Stinkerbell was exhausted from a full day of traveling (did I mention her plane landed at 845  815pm!).  Daddy was cranky cause he was at the hotel with the boys while I hung out with TSA and me, well I was just exhausted from the 8 hour EMT class, followed by the 4 hour car ride to Denver.

Tired, cranky, crabby family....I started dreaming of a long run before we left Denver this morning. 

And I got 'er done.  10k...6.2 miles (why does 10K sound less intimidating to me that 6.2 miles?) in U.N.D.E.R 60 minutes.....booya!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day

I have to say that Turkey Day is one of my favorite holidays.  Not because we get to sit and eat, and not because we travel what seems like all over God's green Earth to spend the day with family we really dont live that far from and really should make more of an effort to see more often.  Actually, its the opposite of that....on Turkey Day, I try to make sure the crazy-train that is my life slows down.  Even if its just for a few long as its chills out its engine at the station so I can sit and relax, then its a good day for me.

Im also very behind in my Thankfuls, so I figure here is as good a place as any to get caught up....since Facebook will let me type so many characters in in the status bar, and Im sure I need more then the space allotted.

1-14...please see first 2 weeks of Novermber status updates on Facebook (see, behind...didnt totally forget)

15.  Zensah Ankle Compression sleeve.....apparently I tweaked my ankle yesterday and its throbbed all night. 

16.  Internet.....alot of family and friends far, far away.

17.  5 Hour Energy

18.  My 4 legged critters.....the dogs, and the horses who give unconditional love and keep our lives interesting...Im missing the morning ride this morning...can you tell.
19.  Coffee - while I dont drink it, my hubby does and it makes for a much nicer husband morning.

20.  Friends - the ones I see and talk to all the time and the ones I dont see very much....they keep me grounded, make me laugh, tell me its ok to cry, and anyone of them would sit in a jail cell next to me going "we are really in trouble but that was fun!!!"

21.  Deadwood -  google it...I need a Deadwood trip with members of the above mentioned "Thankful" soon!

22.  Running - as it has changed my life.

23.  Baby monitors that make soothing, white noise in the form of crickets and wind, at the touch of a button.

24.  Happiness -  I am happy.  I love my life, the ups and the downs, the good and the bad.  Im learning how to learn from every situation, how to guard my heart without closing down.  I see beautiful sunrises when I go for a run, and a million stars at night, without any tall buildings or traffic to interfere. 

Here is to wishing you all a very Happy Turkey Day.....I have 4 bottles of Moscato, 2 six packs of Moose Drool and 2 quarts of vanilla ice cream...what else do I need????

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dark, desolate gravel roads - reliable GPS + Great friends = Good Times

It started out simply enough, innocently enough...just a couple moms (J and I) going to a jewelry party at another moms house on a Friday night.  We met at the bar in town at 615pm, kissed our kiddos goodbye, and left.  Im pretty sure we both said bye to our hubbies also.....yes, Im sure we did.  Maybe.  I do know that as we left J said "lets roadtrip it!" Which turned out to be famous last words.

Anyway...we headed to the party and I had only been to "K's" house once before, in the daylight.  That alone is very imporant and kinda sad as she is a running buddy AND mother to one of my daughters BFF's.   

We made it to the party ok, even going a different way then I had gone the one and only time I had been there before, because J knew a back way.  She grew up here, she lived out that way once....of course she knew where we were going. 

Party was fun!  Crossed a few Christmas presents off the list, drank some beer, tasted some of K's really good but extrememly potent fall beverage, caught up with friends I see alot but havent talked to in awhile and at 930pm, we left.

Now, let me start with where K lives.  In the middle of nowhere.  Yes, according to friends and family who live within 20 minutes of 2 Wally-worlds and 3 malls, I live in the middle of nowhere but let me tell you....K really is in the middle of nowhere.  Ok, not "nowhere"...middle of a beautiful ranch in the Sandhills but for purposes of this story, its nowhere. 

Upon leaving of the party.....I may or may not have taken the wrong direction out of her drive.  Alright, I did, I totally did.  Straight up, went the wrong way.  To bad for us, we had been driving for 15 minutes or so before J said "did we go the right way...I dont remember these bales being here".

Hmmm....neither did I....was my reply.

"Did you see the school house?" 

"Nope, sure didnt" but it was crazy dark. 

At this time was my first major mistake (no, going the wrong direction was not my first major mistake, that was my first minor mistake...big difference).  At this time I should have turned around and went back to K's, and then gone the correct direction.....

Alas, I did not.  For some reason, I just kept on going.  Down desolate gravel roads, without any light aside from the headlights on my vehicle, on a very dark, windy night.

J and I just kept on chatting away about hunting (she just got her first whitetail buck!) and sledding (both love to snowmobile) and whatever else we could besides what direction we were going. 

Till we stopped seeing bales.  And we realized the fences were gone.  And no cows.  Houses, windmills or cattle guards.

Around this time J's 8 year old daughter (who is also a BFF to my daughter) started asking if we were lost.  At first it was "No, P, we are not lost, we know where we are going...just taking a different way to get there."

P is a smart cookie and didnt buy it for a second. 

So now, we are wandering aimlessly around dark, windy, desolate gravel roads with less then 1/4 of a take of gas (smart P, she informed me of this as she was looking over my shoulder from the back seat...told ya, she doesnt miss anything) WITH and 8 year old girl who knows exactly whats up.

No worries, right....we have cell phones...J has a brand new iPhone that apparently P knew alot she informed us "why dont you use the GPS on the iPhone?'

Child is brilliant (and without wine flowing through her system).

Rule #1 in the Sandhills....never rely on a cell phone tower you can will never be the one you need.  And indeed, wrong tower.

Again, P caught on way to fast and asked if we "seriously" were lost without a cell phone signal.  And were we going to run out of gas? 

Yes and No....followed by "P, lay down and go to sleep."  Good try J, she was way to amped up to do that. 

By this time, we were really lost.  I mean, no clue what road we were one or even what direction we were driving (yes, still driving cause why would I stop obviously, that wouldnt help us out....eventually we would hit a main road, right?  right??)

We did come across a street sign and if it hadnt been so dark out (or trying to avoid the panic that could possible set it in at any moment) I would have stopped to take a picture of it...because it was a true Sandhills street sign.  Set on the shoulder of the road, it told us we were on Road 213!  The best part was the cross road listed was Road 66.

We looked.  We stopped and turned around.  There we no other road.  Not even a driveway that could possibly be listed as a road.  Just a random street sign showing a cross road that didnt exist.  That would only happen to us.

We kept going and J announced "I GOT 2 BARS!!!"

Slammed on the breaks and did what any woman lost in the middle of nowhere would do.

We called our husbands. 

While J's hubby was going with the supportive line of questioning like "your what, how did you manage that, whats wrong with you two" and a few more colorful words (you have to know J's husband to know if there werent any colorful words, we would really be in deep do-do) I called Shawn who, after I told him about the cross road street sign without a cross road informed me "your in Lewellen, turn around and go back to K's."  He went with the more annoyed that we got lost approach, which wasnt good when I just started laughing.  That only made him more annoyed at us me.
Ummm, ok, I dont know how to get there....."just turn around and go back the way you came, its not that hard."  Sure....easy to say when your sitting at home with the roaring fire, beer and sleeping children. 

Like J said, sometimes you just gotta laugh.......

Ok, well, that confirmed our suspicion.  We (I) did take a wrong turn, and we were no longer in the correct area.  We were in Garden County. 

UNFORTUNATELY....I didnt know how to get back to K's.  So we (I) kept driving.  Again, down dark, desolate, seriously in the middle of nowhere even for where we live, gravels roads. 

Well, sitting and doing nothing wasnt going to help us out ....and apparently neither were the men on the phone.  However our friend the iPhone (which now ranked way higher then my husband did) was able to pull up a enough of a signal to tell us we were indeed on road 216 and to "keep driving". 

OK, so we did...and we came upon the most wonderful thing EVER....a HOUSE!!

We were convinced we knew whose house it was, we were chattering away enough that I almost hit the deer as they jumped out of the trees and scared the crap you-know-what out of us. 

Then we pulled in. 

We did not know that house.  We didnt want to know that house.  Not gonna lie, it was a little scary.  A little bad start to a Lifetime movie-ish.

And they had cows in the front yard.  Not cows like WE have in our front yard...but cows IN their front in on the wrong side of the thick, plastic fencing.  And the fence wasnt tore down so the consensus in the car was that those cows were supposed to be on the front porch, which was a little different for us (except J, who has an issue with a goat who thinks he needs to be on the porch but still...a goat versus a cow....totally different situation).  Oh, and according to P, spider webs on their windows.

Safe to say, we turned and drove (quickly) out of there without even attempting to ask where the hell are we.  I mean, why ask, we knew where we were....Lewellen.....just didnt know how to get back to Arthur and thankfully, we had an iPhone!

P started to panic a little here....she was nervous and worried so we tried to reassure her that she would be fine, we would get home and we were just on a great adventure.  She was worried someone would come and hurt us, to which I informed her we would protect her.....J and I both shot deer, we can handle a gun so she was very safe.

"Do you have a gun with you?"  Damn, that kid really doesnt miss anything.....

So we drove a little more, the GPS telling us to "follow highlighted route" which was RD 216 (or 215, I dont really remember).  We were doing just fine....till the road forked.  I "followed the highlighted route" until the GPS said "off route, return to highlighted route".  Ok, turned around and went the other direction on the forked road.

It only took a few seconds before "off route, return to highlighted route".  AHHHHHH!!!!

How exactly were we going to do that when both routes on the dark, desolate, gravel road in Garden County are "off route"?  Your guess was a good as mine so I picked, committed and off we went. 

Possibly North..but idea as we had lost direction on the iPhone.

But there was a light!!  A beautiful light that we were sure was a cell phone tower so we drove to the light.  Then we got to the light, and went past the light...which was a tower, however it was not the tower we wanted (no signal, imagine that) ANNNNND, it was not located on a main road.  Not even a side road or oil strip....a dark, desolate, gravel road in Garden flippin' County.

P was keeping us entertained with her one liners, such as "Im never getting in the car with you two alone, again.  If Im at someones house, Im just staying there, Im never doing this again."  And my personal favorite "yep, we are really lost."  Its my favorite because she used "we" alot....she was in it with us.  Not that she had a choice but still....its the same child who informed us she would never drive with us alone, again.  I took the "we" as maybe, someday she would see the humor in all of this that her mom and I did.  Trust me, at that moment, P saw NO humor in the situation. 

We kept driving.  And driving and driving.  Then we drove some more.  Occasionally we would pick up a signal on the GPS, but of course it was always going down a hill or lasted for .5 seconds so it was gone before J would say "I GOT 1 BAR!!!"

Yes, every bar was an announcement, a WELCOME announcement.

About 1030pm (yes, an hour later) we started seeing stuff that gave us some hope (no it was not the gas gauge that was now hovering alarmingly close to the dreaded red line of E)...cattle guard, windmills, A SIGN!!!

Tipton Ranch. 

No clue where Tipton Ranch is located, J kinda knew...well she knows where its located but we didnt exactly know where about on the Tipton Ranch we were located.  And of course...the road split.  I dont remember what direction we went....I think we just kept going straight hoping to see a farm house or something.....with lights and without cows on the front porch.

No lights or houses but we did find full stack yards, windmills and more cattle guards.  ALL good signs!

At some point we must have turned or the road curved or something because we came to ANOTHER sign.....Rush Creek - Avery summer range.  I LOVED IT!!!

Wanna know why I loved it...ok, Ill tell you....not because at this point in our adventure any sign was a welcome sign but because OUR summer grass backs up to Rush Creeks summer grass!!!  Meaning we were at least headed in the correct direction.  At least, we hoped we were headed in the correct direction but at least we had something to work with now.  We had a familiar name! 

Kept on doing what we do best...driving and was getting into some familiar looking country.  And fresh gravel!  Someone was taking care of the roads.  Hoping we would find our way out, if not, at least by Monday someone would drive down the roads.

Then the miracle happened.....the announcement of "I HAVE 2 BARS!!!" followed by "we are on Valentine Road".

Valentine Road runs straight through our summer range!!  I wouldnt have know that IF there hadnt been a suspected fire in October that was reported on Valentine Road and my dear husband and father in law went tearing off to fight it because it was our summer grass.

See....I do play attention.  and I had to get my husband off the pivot, out of the herd of deer he had been chasing for a month or so.....wives dont forget those conversations.

Kept on driving when the SECOND miracle happened.  First, J says "that looks familiar, I feel like I have ridden that or been here before"...then...... the shocker announcement and SOOOO exciting J said "GPS says we are on Silhassen Road."

Aka Sillassen Road.  Home of the Sillassen Ranch (that J and her hubby worked and lived at for awhile) and, oh yea, MY ROAD!!!! 

Somehow, one of the stars we followed thinking it was a cell tower (opps, did I leave that part out...) aligned with the moon and VOILA....our lost rear ends managed to wander to the place where J lived and where I still live. 

Ive never been so happy to see the freshly painted Sillassen Ranch sign in my life.  Ok, so Ive never really been excited to see the Sillassen Ranch sign but I was super excited at 1055pm on Friday night. 

J called her husband, who was patiently waiting at his moms house for us.  That may be a flat out lie but you need to know her husband to really appreciate the irony of "patient" and Shane in the same sentence.

I called Shawn but he was sleeping.  Im glad my 90 minute adventure of wandering around dark, desolate roads on windy nights didnt interfere with his beauty sleep. 

He would have come to find us.  Sure...right after a good nights sleep.....(he may or maynot be standing here watching me write this.....)

P did finally fall asleep, but was woken up by the yelling from the front seat as we went past the Sillassen Ranch.

We were good to go.  We could walk at least to the nearest cell phone signal and have someone come and get us, IF we ran out of gas.  Yes, we were running on fumes by this point.

Dropped J off at the garage where her husband was patiently adjusting his hat every 5 seconds as we pulled into the driveway and I went on to get a Diet Pepsi. Yes, it was 11pm but HI, I EARNED IT!! 

Pulled into the bar to find out that one of our other friends who was also at the party, was waiting on her sister, who imagine lost leaving as well.  See, we were in good company. 

Sounds crazy, and indeed it was but in all honestly, we had a great time!  Who gets lost going home after a jewelry party.  A whole 20 mile drive back to my house ended up taking 90 minutes and apprximately 26 miles in the wrong direction, making our total trip about 50 miles, give or take.  Thats a lot of dark, desolate gravel roads.

And its safe to say that J and I will never be allowed to go anywhere unsupervised again.  P will never get in the car with us, unsupervised, again.  We will never be in the lead when we go sledding again.  Not that we ever wanted to be or were before, in the lead sledding.....its way to easy to get lost doing that, and alot colder ;-)

But I dont really care about any of that becase in the end, we had lots of fun!  J did say "roadtrip!!" as we walked out of the bar and that exaclty what we did, an impromtu road trip to Garden County. 

To J - Thanks for the Good Great time friend!!!