She’s Still There

Summer Running 2017 / TiffanyAIOlson.com

My Favorite Running Partner …

She’s Still There: Rescuing The Girl In You is the title of a book that has come out recently by author Chrystal Evans Hurst. I am anxiously awaiting its arrival in the mail which I am pretty sure is today. I am intrigued by the title because at 47 years old, a wife of almost 17 years, a mom of a teen and a tween as well as being a breast cancer survivor, I have wondered more than once over the last few years if, with all that has changed, is the wonder eyed girl still in there. What I am hoping for in the pages of this book is to be reminded of how much God loves me. I want to be able to hear Him say that no matter how out of whack life feels at times that He is going to use whatever is going on to fulfill the plans He laid out for me in the beginning.

Life changes you. I look at the state of our nation right now with all of the natural disasters, people’s lives are in upheaval. Not only did we have Harvey in Houston but Irma in Florida and for those of you who don’t know, a great portion of the Pacific Northwest is on fire. Some of the most beautiful places in this great country have been utterly devastated. (I knew beginning the summer with reading the book of Job was a bad idea!)  It will take years in some cases a hundred years to restore what has been lost. Unlike nature, we humans although a little worse for the ware at the moment, will bounce back quicker because we have each other and the opportunity to trust that God is in control and will see us through.

I have been reminded time and again over the last several years that God uses the really hard things in life to sluff off the junk in our lives so we become more like what He created us to be. Right now when so many are hurting and wondering what to do and where to go next, what’s happening? People are stepping in and helping those who can’t help themselves. My friend Melissa, four days ago, was in a Costco parking lot in Florida. She and her friend watched an older gentleman shuffling his way to the entrance. They asked him if he was coming for water and he jovially told them that he was. They informed him that there was no more water, turned back to their car grabbed out a case and an extra gallon of water from their own stash, loaded it into his car, and told him to be safe. This is just a small example of countless stories and rescues and of communities coming together to help those that have lost everything.

What does all of this have to do with Rescuing The Girl In You? Well, maybe the girl in you has needed a reason to jump in and help. We all have gifts and talents that can be utilized to aid those around us who could use a little assistance right now. Maybe your hardships and struggles are just the background someone needs in order to empathize with those that feel lost in their current circumstances. And maybe, just maybe while you are out there making other people’s lives a bit easier, the girl inside of you, the one that has been missing for so long will reappear because in the end, life is not about us and what we have lost, it’s about love and what we can all gain when we step out help each other.

Have A Fabulous Day My Friends!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Almost Here…

I read my 1st article of the season about gratefulness yesterday and it flipped the switch for me. I think I am ready to enter the Fall season. I am aware that many schools across the country have already begun but here in Oregon, we do not go back to school until after Labor Day. It’s kind of nice since August and September are our two best weather months of the year.

I was a bit worried I wouldn’t be ready for summer to end. Living on the Oregon Coast does not provide a ton of opportunities for warm weather so when the warmer season comes around, I cherish every single second. I am grateful we were given so many opportunities to enjoy warm weather this year. The beginning of Summer found us in Phoenix and San Diego visiting family. Shortly after this, we spent a week in Myrtle Point, at the Coos County Fair with our kids as they readied their sheep for auction through our local 4H program. On a side note, I have to mention that we have the best 4H program ever. The local businesses come out in droves and generously support these kids, many of whom are trying to earn money for college. Auction day is amazing and a great reward for all those who get to participate. Best of all? Myrtle Point is 45 minutes south and inland from us, so it’s warm.

After fair, we spent the next two weekends camping on two of the most beautiful rivers in Oregon. The Rogue and the Umpqua. Our son squealed in delight as Jerry’s Jet Boats came screaming by on the Rogue and went out of their way to spray him with water. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, Bridger or the passengers. While on the Umpqua we floated calm waters in inner tubes and kayaks as well as snuck in a few hours of fishing. The rivers?  Inland and warm. Are you sensing a theme here?

These adventures led up to last week which I posted about here. School registration begins this week, along with eye Dr. appointments, sports physicals and hair cuts. My dad is coming to visit for a few days next week and then we are off for one last camping adventure over labor day weekend. I am hoping for warm.

The article on gratefulness came at a perfect time. With Mr. Wonderful’s hand surgery last week we have had several hours of down time and moments to reflect on all that has occurred over the last few months. We have a lot to be grateful for. We have been able to spend a significant amount of time as a family which doesn’t happen as much during the school year due to kids activities and tax season. Don’t get me wrong, we have meals and attend events together but there is just something about leaving it all behind for a few days, floating down a river and sitting by the campfire. It’s togetherness in a whole different way.

I began dreaming of these moments on December 31st, 2014. We had gotten off track and lost our sense of family and fun. When I was forced to stop and given ample opportunity to reflect on our life and the direction it was heading, I made a vow that when I was healed, all would be different.

Look at us! Here we are, living. It’s not extravagant by any means, in fact, most memories of this summer involved a camp trailer, floaties for the river and marshmallows. Okay, the water park in Phoenix was pretty great as well. The point is that for the 1st time in many years we spent Summer, together. We laughed, played, worked and even shed a few tears as no season no matter how great is perfect. But overall it was wonderful and the glow of these memories will keep me warm during the next few seasons.

Phoenix 2017 / TiffanyAOlson.com

Water Park! Phoenix, AZ 2017

Have a Fabulous Day My Friends!

Total Eclipse and Other Happenings…

Are You Qualified? / Tiffanyaolson.com

The Oregon Coast

Hello from the Southern Coast of Oregon! For those of you who are not aware, in about 3 hours (9:15am) there will be a total eclipse of the sun. Oregon is in the direct line of this eclipse and I happen to live on the Oregon Coast. Most of the hullabaloo is going on in Central Oregon but we have quite a few visitors staying in the local campgrounds in our area.

It’s kind of a weird phenomenon to be in a position to witness something so cool and yet it’s hard to know what to do with yourself at the same time. Our son has cross country running practice beginning at 8:00 am. It’s supposed to last right into the eclipse time. So this is where I will be during the Solar Eclipse… on the track at Marshfield High School. This should prove to be very interesting.

B - Running / TiffanyAOlson.com

Bear Claw 5K 2017

Mr. Wonderful had surgery on his hand last Thursday to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his middle finger. He missed several days of work and wants to open up the office this morning so the amazing people we work with can be home with their families for the first few hours of the day and enjoy this phenomenon. Our daughter will go to the office with Mr. Wonderful so they can experience what will be happening, together.

In other news, our family dog went to be with Jesus last week. Yes, with Jesus. Emotionally thinking of her with Jesus is the only way we are all able to cope. Molly was 14 and in a lot of pain. I felt like I was euthanizing my 1st born child and yet we could no longer in good conscience allow her to continue to live in the state she was in. Molly was a gift to our family that we were able to hold onto for 14 years. It was a great run and she will be missed.

Between Mr. Wonderful’s surgery and saying goodbye to Molly it has been a little difficult to get overly excited about the eclipse. To be honest I’m not sure I fully understand what’s happening and well … no members of my family have those little protective glasses they said you needed in order to look at the sun… yes, I am awesome. Hopefully, the retinas of our eyes will not be destroyed and we will live to see another day.

Wherever you find yourself on this eclipse morning  I hope you are with people you love. If you are one of those thousands and thousands of people out in Pendleton, please be safe.

Have A Fabulous Day My Friends!

Beauty Out Of Ashes

Thankfulness / Tiffanyaolson.com

Last photos before surgery… Jan 2015

There is nothing more thrilling than taking one of the sunniest and most relaxing times of the year and saddling up to read a book on suffering. Yet, this is where I find myself. I am enjoying it so much that I have found multitudes of excuses not to sit down and read so I am several days behind the rest of the group. I use a daily app from Proverbs 31 Ministries called 1st 5. Right now we are reading the book of Job. For those of you who might not know, Job is a book in the Bible. Job pronounced J – O – B, is a man who lived a decent life, suffered greatly and then returned to a decent life.

At this point in the narrative Job has in a few days time lost all his children, (he had 10) and all his livestock (all his wealth). They perished in a series of raids from neighboring tribes and natural disasters which also consumed his land and dwellings. Shortly thereafter Job was physically struck with boils all over his body. The only thing that was spared was his life and his wife. She’s not the most helpful soul and I suppose she was spared to cause Job even more grief.

Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” Job 2:3

He spends the whole of chapter 3 cursing the day he was born. Job wondered aloud why if God knew he was going to suffer this much, why had he allowed him to be born at all?

A little over a year ago I was gearing up for my 2nd mastectomy surgery. I had recently finished chemo and radiation. During chemo, our business had taken a huge hit as a result of circumstances out of our control. These circumstances had forced us to contact a lawyer as the situation rendered us in a position to not be able to make the monthly note payments (note to future self … don’t go into debt for any reason!) and keep the doors open at the same time.

The day before surgery my besties had gathered at our favorite sandwich shop to hang with me and offer their love and support for the upcoming weeks of recovery. Just as I was headed out the door to meet them, Mr. Wonderful called and said we were being counter sued. I had no time for lunch. I showed up at the restaurant and for the 5 minutes I had to spare, I sat there and cried. Breast removal, lawyers, chemo, radiation, medical bills… it was just too much. I told my friends I wish I knew what I was doing wrong so that I could fix it and the suffering would end. There were more than a few times during that season when I asked God if he would just take me home. I didn’t curse my birth but I was so ready to be done living.

The Art of Thankfulness / Tiffanyaolson.com

Besties…

God was fulfilling a promise in my life clearly stated in the book of John…

…. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

He promised there would be trouble/suffering/pain. No one is spared, not even his one and only son. What I tried to do and what Job did do is to trust God in the midst of the pain. There is grief and tears and a lot of times no horizon of relief to look towards but whether we can see it or not God is always in control. I wasn’t real thrilled at the prospect of reading this particular book of the Bible. Focusing on suffering makes me feel anxious about what our next round will look like. I still have a hard time approaching suffering with an attitude of joy. In my head, I know God creates beauty out of ashes but I have to keep reminding my heart.

Have A Fabulous Day My Friends!

Rest Involves Work

 

T and R 2017 / TiffanyAOlson.com

Playing At The River Summer 2017

I was reading a blog post a few weeks back about how much work it takes to be able to rest. I felt such relief when I read this because I thought it was just me. It’s not that the work is bad, I enjoy preparing the pizza for our friends who come over on Friday nights and I like meal planning for camping trips and gathering up all the supplies needed to bring it all together. The pizza and the supply gathering are what make these events special and memorable but it’s not easy.

It’s kind of funny if you think about it. There is twice as much work to be done while you are getting ready to rest. Not only is there the everyday tasks of keeping home and work life running smoothly, there is also all the extra work of trying to have all your bases covered while you rest. If you are leaving town, there is extra budgeting, meal planning, packing, laundry and lists and lists of items written down you are praying you don’t leave behind.

When you get to your resting spot, whether it’s camping or around your table, there is still work happening. Dishes need to be cleared, tents need to be pitched, dirty clothes and clutter always seem to need to be gathered. But you know what? It’s all worth it. My son has stolen a phrase from Uncle Si of Duck Dynasty. Bridger says it’s his life’s motto, “Work Hard, Nap Hard.” Truth be told, he’s 11 and naps don’t occur all that often but he says it to make people laugh and most of the time he succeeds. I think it describes perfectly what Christ wants us to do with our lives… Work Hard, Nap Hard.

Genesis 2:2-3 says:

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 
3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. 
God worked hard before he rested. He created the Earth and everything in it and then took a break. I’m not sure it was actually a nap but he stopped working for a bit and surveyed all that he had created.

 

Rest looks different for each one of us. For me, rest is plopping down with a good book or spending time around the table with a bottle of red wine and my besties. Mr. Wonderful would rather saddle up for a root canal than sit down and read a book. His idea of rest is puttering. When his hands are busy, his mind is at ease which is why when we are with our friends, he does most of the cooking. (Yes, this is one of the reasons he is Wonderful… ) While I was in chemo he designed and built a bistro set for our front porch. When he rests, he creates. When I rest, I grow.  Books and people are my thing, projects and puttering are his.

Project Rod / TiffanyAOIson.com

The Bistro Set

Rest takes effort but it’s always worth it. It’s summer, the perfect season to find some time to rest. Build it into your calendar. It doesn’t have to be huge, take an evening, have some friends over and just hang… okay, hang while your husband cooks. If the hubs doesn’t cook or you are single get Papa Murphy’s, we do this All the time. If you are a putterer like Mr. Wonderful, plan some time to hang in your garden, get the weeds pulled and the veggies harvested. Do whatever you need to do to find the time to decompress and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Have A Fabulous Day My Friends!

Tiffany

 

 

 

 

Create Memories With Your People

Summer is here! Time to relax, go camping, have BBQ’s and go on vacation.  Vacation is traditionally defined as, “an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or traveling.” When I dream of vacation I dream about sitting poolside or on a quiet beach with froufrou drinks and a good book. I dream of hikes to remote places and enjoying God’s creation in places I have never seen before.

Mr. Wonderful and I have taken two vacations in our married life. One was our honeymoon which was spent in St. Martin, we were gifted a timeshare condominium stay and it was magical. The second vacation was on our 10th wedding anniversary (we will celebrate 17 years this year). We took our kids to Phoenix to stay with grandparents and then we borrowed their car and went up to Vegas and then on to Bryson and Zion National Parks. I loved that we did Vegas 1st because it was great to go from the big lights and the noise of the city to long hikes and expanses of great beauty in the Parks.

Two vacations in 17 years on the surface seems kind of lame. But there is a reason we do not vacation in the traditional sense. When I was 24 I moved back to Oregon from San Diego. My family stayed. Mr. Wonderful’s family moved from Vancouver, WA to Phoenix when he was 21. I just turned 47 and Mr. Wonderful is turning 50 this year. 50! (Yeah, I know, Right?) This is a lot of years to have not lived near family. So we do get out of town but since time is limited we have always chosen to take the time we have available and use it to go visit our loved ones. When we were 1st married we would meet Mr. Wonderful’s family in Logan, Utah every summer because that is where his extended family is from. We fished a lot, had family reunions and ate Aggie ice cream (the university in town has its own ice cream shop) and cheese curds from the local cheese factory.

Logan Utah 1999 / TiffanyAOlson.com

Logan, Utah

Fortunately for us, our respective families live in areas that are either beautiful in and of themselves or are near beautiful things we can go visit in route. Which is exactly what we have done. Mr. Wonderful has become excellent at creating fun moments for us as we travel to and from our families. On our way home from Arizona in 2015 we made a detour to Zion National Park. We had been there in 2010 and were excited to share this beautiful place with our kids. I had just finished chemo so I was bald and unsteady on my feet but Mr. Wonderful held my hand and we hiked all over. We even ventured into the Narrows a bit. It’s a hiking trail where most of the hiking is in the river. I was pretty nervous about this as the water was brown from a recent rainfall. We went to the visitors center to check on conditions (there are flash floods that occur quite frequently), they informed us that someone had broken their leg on that hike the day before. The risk for flash flood, however, was low so we ventured out the next morning. Because of my balance issues after chemo I was struggling with the water being so muddy we couldn’t see where we were walking but Mr. Wonderful held my hand and we walked. We didn’t go up all that far but it was far enough to feel like we had done something amazing and seen something beautiful.

Zion / Tiffanyaolson.com

The Narrows, Zion National Park 2015

In 2016 en route to Arizona Mr. Wonderful took us to Mammoth Lakes where we rented mountain bikes. We rode the trolley up to the top of the mountain and rode the bikes back down. It was amazing. He also looked up an authentic taco shop on the Vegas strip to introduce the kids to true street tacos. It was by the grace of God we arrived right when they opened. It was literally right on the Vegas strip. We found a parking spot in front and Mr. Wonderful stayed in the car with the dogs (it was super hot out). Natalie was unsure about this whole “authentic” street taco thing but when we came out and saw that the line had in 15 minutes began to wind out the door and down the street, we knew we were on to something. After the kids and I ordered food and then brought it out to the car so we could leave the air conditioning on for the dogs.  Natalie didn’t want to like those tacos but a year later she is still on a quest to find street tacos anywhere that can compare to Tacos El Gordo in Vegas.

Mammoth / TiffanyAOlson.com

Mountain Biking at Mammoth Lakes

On our way home from Arizona we went through South Lake Tahoe and took in a few sights while were there. We had planned to stay two nights but I picked the seediest joint in town to sleep in and Bridger had a fever from heat exhaustion. B does not do well in the heat. You take a boy who lives in 55-65 degree weather and you put him in 110-degree weather for a few days, it does not end well. So we stayed one night and got in as much sight seeing as we could.

Taking in the View / TiffanyAOlson.com

South Lake Tahoe 2016

All of these little side trips are only one night and sometimes two but what makes them so great is that we are creating memories albeit short ones but memories nonetheless. Life is what you make it. Take what you have been given and add something special to it …. it could be a half hour bike ride down a beautiful mountain or a quick stop at a taco shop in the middle of Vegas. It takes extra time and effort to do these things but it’s always worth it and it’s what we remember the most when we come home.

Have A Fabulous Day My Friends!

Phoenix 2017 / TiffanyAOlson.com

Water Park! Phoenix, AZ 2017

The Run

 

13.1-  2017 / TiffanyAOlson.com

Just before the race… Yes, I showered beforehand… thin haired bedhead is not cute…

So I mentioned last week at the end of my post about finishing a 1/2 marathon here in town. It was a spectacularly beautiful morning and I was anxious but comfortable at the same time because of my familiarity with the course.

I knew this was going to be a small race but wasn’t prepared for exactly how small. Of the 20 people that were there only 10 lined up to run the 1/2 marathon distance. To add a little more perspective there were 8 elite runners (well, they looked elite to me), a mom with her tween-age son and me. (the son ran a shorter race) As I sized up my competition I thought to myself that maybe I could at least hang with the other mom. That fantasy ended as soon as the race director said, “Go!”

All along I had planned on treating this race like a Saturday morning run and not a race at all. I am so glad I had this mindset when I began because any other notion would have had me in a state of despair within the 1st quarter mile. Instead I took a deep breath, turned up the volume of the podcast I was listening to (thank you Shauna Niequist and Jamie Ivey) and let everything else go.

Some good friends of ours happen to live 4.7 miles up the road I was running on so Mr. Wonderful and Natalie graciously came out to watch me run by… my own personal cheering section, for the girl in last place. I teared up a bit when I saw them as I was glad they were there but also a bit embarrassed by my inability to run any faster. Mr. Wonderful gave me some water and I kept going.

The course was an out and back, so right after this point the faster runners began passing me going back the other direction. They were, of course, gracious and one by one kept telling me, “good job” as they headed back towards the finish line. I’m not sure if the look I saw in their eyes was pity, concern or bewilderment as to why I was out there in the 1st place. Nevertheless I trudged on and finally made it to the turn around spot.

I was 6.5 miles in at the turnaround and already tired. I decided it was time to turn the podcasts off and to turn the music on. Music makes me run a bit faster so I did begin to gain on the other mom running the race. When I reached the spot where Mr. Wonderful was waiting, our friends the Plummer’s were out there as well cheering me on. I didn’t have enough strength to more than give a brief wave and move along.

In mile 10 I caught up to the other mom. I told her, “good job,” she said the same to me and then she found another gear and took off. In mile 11, I was toast and began wondering how I was going to finish this race. Fortunately and unfortunately I knew exactly how far I needed to go to be done. I seriously began to question my sanity at being out there at all. This is a flat course. I know the road like the back of my hand and I began praying in earnest that this race would just end. Wisely, I kept running because if I had stopped, I never would have started again.

I finally finished. I was so tired I forgot to press the stop button on my watch so I am not sure what my time was other than it was way worse than last year’s time on a much harder course. I didn’t have the strength to care that I had come in last. I was done. I set a goal and I accomplished it. It wasn’t pretty or mind blowing but it was finished.

Finished! / TiffanyAOlson.com

Finished 13.1!

The older I get the more I see the need to set goals and to see them through. Dreams and goals keep you going, they help you get out of bed each day in hopes of doing one little thing to get one step closer to seeing those dreams come true. Whatever you are dreaming about at this season of your life, sit down and make a plan as to how you can see that dream get accomplished. Set some goals and take the steps to make it happen. It isn’t always going to be pretty or easy but the achievement of finishing what you have started is so worth all the effort put in.

Have a Fabulous Day My Friends!

PS… My daughter took the running photos. She made sure I knew how she captured me and the view at the same time so I could post them to my blog. I am one blessed mama!

One Foot In Front Of The Other

Mr. Wonderful n Me / TiffanyAOlson.com

 

Well, here we are! Summer has arrived, Wahoo!! I for one am thrilled about this because I am soooo ready to be warm! Of course, I will have to leave town in order to get warm as unfortunately, the Oregon Coast is not known for balmy weather. There are not too many days here where you can go without a sweatshirt. And shorts? Forgetaboutit!! But Summer does mean it is warm somewhere and I am planning on finding all the warm spots I can over the next several months.

The other great thing about Summer is hopefully the rain will dissipate a bit. It feels like it has rained nonstop since October. Last year, when I trained for a half marathon I had the pleasure of doing a ton of walking in preparation for running because the weather was so nice. This year? Not so much. I haven’t bounced back from my two surgeries like I thought I would and because of all the rain, I did not spend as much time walking and probably began running before I was ready. But begin, I did and well, it has been an interesting ride.

I began this year’s running adventure just after Christmas. It snowed here, which NEVER happens and I wanted to get out and enjoy it a bit. I couldn’t really play as I was still recovering from surgery so I did the next best thing and went for a walk.

It wasn’t much, but it was a beginning

By the end of January, I was running, mostly because I could no longer spend that much time walking in the rain. Running gets me done quicker… okay, not much quicker but I like to tell myself it’s quicker because it makes me feel better.

I keep thinking each run is going to get easier. So far this has not happened and I am also not getting any faster. Last year I was running 9:30 per mile and I felt great. This year 11:30 per mile and I feel like I’m dying. The slow miles, coupled with the never ending rain made it extremely hard to be motivated to get out the door. There were some weeks I only ran once. I knew this was folly because there wasn’t much time to prepare for the Eugene 1/2 marathon in May to begin with. The more time I took off meant the less time I had to be ready. At the beginning of April I made the decision to not sign up for the 1/2 in May and set my sights on a  13.1 run here in Coos Bay in June.

I like the idea of this run because the course is the road I do all my long runs on. I’ve been running this road for two years and I know where every 1/2 mile marker is. Marker, is a generous term because my “markers” are large bushes, houses, fences etc. They are points I have memorized along the route so I know when to turn around and go back. I don’t go out and run 10 miles, I run 20, half miles. I have to trick myself mentally or I would never finish. Speaking of 10 miles, I ran my 1st 10 miler of the year last week.

This coming Saturday is the run…. 13.1. It will certainly not be a big race with fanfare and t-shirts and all that other hoopla. I am kind of glad for this because right now I just want to get out there and get r done. I’m feeling a bit anxious because I still don’t feel super ready, but, I am going to get out there and run anyway.

I have had a dream since my early 20’s to run a full Marathon. I have set my sights on October 2017. This marathon dream of mine has sat on the shelf for an awfully long time. My thought process is this, if I can complete a half marathon in June then surely I can complete a full marathon in October. Hey, if I survived breast cancer, surely I can survive a marathon right? I don’t know what will happen between now and October but I am going to run. I am going to put the time in, one foot in front of the other and I am going to keep pushing until I cross the finish line of a 26.2-mile race.

Have a Fabulous Day My Friends!

PS… Update:

I finished! 13.1 miles!

It was not pretty, it was my slowest 1/2 marathon to date, I did not feel well when I finished so no triumphant video to post AND I was DEAD LAST!! To be fair to myself there were only about 10 runners. but still … LAST. I will post more on this later. For today, I am glad it’s over and I can focus on gearing up for future runs.

Have a Fabulous Day My Friends!

Peace, Love and Fish

This past weekend we introduced our children to Mr. Wonderful’s other greatest love. It is his first love, after his love of God, and although I come in a close second there is nothing like the peace that comes over this man when he gets in the river and casts a fly line.

Mr Wonderful / TiffanyAOlson.com

Mr. Wonderul … In His Happy Place

Some of Mr. Wonderful’s fondest memories as a kid centered around the days when his dad would show up at school unannounced, and take him out for a day of fishing. In college at Central Washington University he was introduced to the world of fly fishing, the one activity that makes him feel closest to God.

When we met, Mr. Wonderful spent a lot of his spare time tying flies and finding ways to get out on the rivers of Central Oregon. I knew I was getting under his skin when he took me to the Deschutes River and we spent the entire day talking fish, casting and line positioning. Mr. Wonderful is a different person out there on the river bank or cruising around in a float tube on a pristine Cascade Lake. I have always told him my favorite days with him are the days we are headed to the mountains. We laugh easier, joke more and take one moment at a time. Unlike any other activity, he is involved in this is the one where he can let everything else go and only focus on the line, the water, and the fish.

Everything in life has a season to it and after we were married and began having children, priorities changed and so did the fishing. Natalie hung with us on a few fishing adventures but adding another child to the picture and then moving to Coos Bay, changed everything. Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of fishing to be done on the Oregon Coast and as much as Mr. Wonderful has enjoyed getting out on the bay or hanging with buddies on a local river, it has never quite touched his heart and soul like the peacefulness of casting a fly line on a mountain river or lake.

A few weeks ago I posted about getting back to living and doing things that make us feel more alive. Fly Fishing is one of these things. The kids are older now and have taken to fishing quite well. When we were getting ready to go camping for Memorial Day Weekend I suggested to Mr. Wonderful that he bring his fly gear and introduce his children to his favorite past time.

It was a beautiful thing to watch the kids out there in the river with their dad. Most of life is not peaceful and serene, so I cherish these moments with my family. My hope is through their dad’s love of fly fishing they will catch the passion, the rhythm and the grace and it will inspire them to find their own activity which brings them this much joy.

For now, they get the opportunity to hang with their dad and learn all the lessons in life that the achievement of a perfectly casted line can bring.

Have A Fabulous Day My Friends!

For The Love of The Game

Another season has come and gone. As with many seasons in life it was fun, hard, exciting, frustrating, invigorating and disappointing all at the same time.

Mr Wonderful and B / TiffanyAOlson.com

We tied, we lost and we won. Us spectators cheered and laughed and spent a lot of time wondering aloud how it would feel to sit through these games without hats and gloves. Brrr… the Oregon Coast in the Spring/fog/wind is not the best time of year to be sitting outside for extended periods of time.

Crystal n Me / TiffanyAOlson.com

Crystal N Me, Enjoying A Lucky Patch of Sun!!

With Bridger every year there is a debate as to whether he will make the Allstar Baseball Team or not. This year was not his year. Although he can hang with the big boys defensively, offensively, his batting needs work and in the end the team needed hitters.

Bridger, although devastated, handled it pretty well. In truth it’s a double edge sword for us all. On the one hand, hanging with all the families on the weekends up and down the coast is a great time and we love doing it. On the other hand Allstars doesn’t end until mid July which makes Summer feel very short. So now that our Summer has been freed up a bit we decided to make plans for other kinds of fun.

1st up was a memorial weekend camping trip with a jaunt up to Eugene to watch the last University of Oregon baseball game of the season. God, in his mercy, made it a day to remember for a tween boy who truly loves the game. Bridger showed up, clean baseball and sharpie in hand, ready to ask players if they would sign his ball.

Graciously, they one by one took the time to make his day. I was proud of him for having the courage to walk up to these college guys and talk to them and was surprised when my normally chatty, expressive son, got nervous and hung back, chewing on his fingernails until they were finished.

A few minutes later a staff member who coordinates activities for the fans came up to Mr. Wonderful and Bridger and asked if Bridger wanted to be the announcer for the UofO batters in the 6th inning! The Sandlot is his favorite movie of all time (his team mates call him Ya Ya) so he knew exactly what anncouncing the players meant and he couldn’t have been more thrilled.

God didn’t have to show up and turn a major disappointment in our boy’s life into a memory he will never forget, but He did. The weather was warm (a special treat for mama), the hot dogs were huge, the game was lost but the day was oh so special for a family who was looking for adventure.

Have a Fabulous Weekend My Friends!