All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Camping Out

I don’t even know how to start this post, and I wonder why I’m putting it out there in the first place.  But, this is part of my life and I need to say it because it’s my reality.

My aunt has lots of cancer.  My aunt, the one who has been so supportive of me and is the mother of my favorite cousin (SK who lived with us this summer, and she’s also Sam’s mom), looks to have liver, pancreatic, stomach, and bone metastatic lesions.  The clinical report was sent to the entire family and although it’s not conclusive, the oncologist is pretty sure he’s right and that this is not curable.  He does say, though, that it’s somewhat manageable.

I’m always a realist, but can usually snap into a hopeful mood about these types of things pretty quickly.  This time, I just can’t get there.  It’s just too close to Jenny dying, and my friend’s nephew dying, of cancer to feel all, “rah rah rah you’ll beat this.”

Because so far, the people I’ve known and loved with cancer recently… they haven’t beat it.  And in our family, on both my dad’s and mom’s side, no one has died of cancer.  We knew a time would come that our luck would run out, but this is rather shocking.  My aunt K is the youngest of 7, and she’s 10 years younger than my mom who is the 6th child.  When Sam was hurt this past summer, it was really hard because he was the youngest grandchild, everyone’s baby.  My aunt K is her siblings’ baby, and this is feeling like it just can’t be.

So… 2016 isn’t starting out so great.  We didn’t even get out of January without devastating news.

I feel like a serious weight is sitting on me.  Not resting briefly, but camping out.


Year 41 Master Plan – Still Evolving but Getting There

I’ve set some pretty intense goals for myself as I turn 40 in March.  As I wrote this post, I felt like it really belonged here more than on my fitness blog, but I don’t want to push traffic from there to here, so I kept it there.  I’ll write about the fitness goals throughout the year on my fitness blog, but will come back here to write about everything else.

I’m very serious about these goals… I want to improve me!

Source: Year 41 Master Plan – Still Evolving but Getting There


THIS Moment In Time – Cake Pops!

Matthew loves cake pops from Starb.ucks, so when I saw this cake pop maker on clearance for $10.00, I surprised him with it! Bryson’s at school and we’re learning how to use this thing! We’re getting the hang of it. 😉


Quick update – Bryson and I decorated another dozen this afternoon and used my experience from the first round to make them pretty darned presentable!  Now, what do we do with all of these cake pops?

finished cake pops



Big Shoes to Fill

I enthusiastically rang in 2016 thinking that 2015 wasn’t all that bad.

I can be so blissfully ignorant!

2015 was not our year, and from the blogs I’ve read this year, it wasn’t a lot of people’s year.  2015 was rough for a lot of us, and my family did not escape the challenges of 2015:

  • Things with my parents got worse
  • My sister-in-law went through a divorce
  • My cousin was in a terrible car accident and was not expected to ever wake up out of his coma
  • My friend’s nephew died at the age of 13
  • My good friend lost her fight against cancer 9 days after her 35th birthday

But on the flip side, certain good things came of those bad things:

  • I finally realized that my parents are not the types of people I really care to interact with unless I have to
  • My sister-in-law and her husband decided to try to work out their problems and are still going strong
  • My cousin, miraculously, woke up out of his coma and, despite the expectations of multiple physicians, he is almost 100% recovered
  • My friend’s family brought so much awareness of childhood leukemia to hundreds of complete strangers with their outreach projects in Sam’s name
  • My good friend is finally done living in fear of cancer – and this has brought her husband a lot of peace

When you add the good things above to the list of GREAT things that happened in 2015 (happy healthy kids, a solid marriage, a truly fantastic summer, a full year of fitness, travel, school for both boys, so much fun time with Hottie’s parents, the most beautiful autumn in years, a (so far) mild winter, Christmas eve dinner for Hottie’s family, the excitement of Santa coming to our house, the most relaxed holiday season of our married life), I understand how I could forget about how hard the past year was for us.

I’ve been told by my mom my entire life that I’m a pessimist, and I never believed her.  I always said that I was a realist – I took the good with the bad.  But maybe I am an optimist after all.  Maybe I do see the glass as half full.  Maybe I do always search for the silver lining.  Maybe I am, truly, just one of those happy people.

I have high hopes for 2016.  Looking at the “bad” list from 2015, it wouldn’t take much for 2016 to exceed my expectations.  But looking at the “good” and “great” lists from 2015 – 2016 has big shoes to fill.

She’ll fill them!


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Fitness Update

I finished up an 8 week challenge doing the Beachbody PiYo program.  I loved it!  It was a great program to get myself motivated for tougher challenges to come.  My finishing stats, pics, etc. are here.

I’ve started a new challenge (why not just jump right into another one, right?) just today and am tracking my progress here.  The holidays, especially the 4 days between wrapping up the last challenge and starting this new one, were not kind to me – or rather, I was not kind to myself.  I got a little fluffy.  I had to up my goals for this next challenge so I could get below where I STARTED the last challenge.  HA!




Happy New Year!

We had a fantastic New Year’s Eve!

As I’ve written here, my cousin and her husband opened a new jazz club here in our city, and the grand opening on NYE was the most highly anticipated opening of the year. This club has been in the works for over a year and has been a long time coming – there is nothing like it in central Iowa. Because of the hype surrounding its opening, we really wanted to go all out and have a great time!

My friend and I started working on our roaring 20’s attire two months ago and we were both thrilled with the outcomes! We both did our own hair and make-up, which could have ended in disaster, but miraculously, did not. HA!!! Everything came together just as planned! I even wore my mom’s vintage watch she received for her confirmation.

We stayed the night downtown just to be safe and headed to an early dinner at 5:00 – a long night ahead. The club opened at 7:00 but we got in early and were a bit concerned that 5 hours would feel like forever. It did not! We had the only high-top table in the main bar so had unhindered views of all of the main acts. Time flew by! Because it wasn’t a “get wasted” type of event, the drinks came slowly and we stayed sober. It was perfect!

My aunt and uncle were there, as were my other cousin and her husband. With so much family there, it felt like an intimate party and we all visited, drank, and danced all night long. We stayed until after 1:00 before all heading back to our hotel for a bit of champagne and cookies before bed.

We took lots of photos, and the newspaper was there as well, so the night is well documented in pictures. Having pictures is very important to me!

I’m thinking of my new years goals, not sure what they’ll be. But for now, I’m happy to sit back and reflect on a fun, adult night out, dressed to the nines, enjoying awesome music and fun family!

Happy New Year!!!