Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, a wrap

nashville rock and roll n roll
Interesting year.  I have a wonderful life with my husband, Gary, and I certainly look forward to our goals and our plans for 2013.  Sometimes everything is just a blur...

kohler, wi beautiful

and great fun!  2013 will be even better!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

best day of the year

For some reason, I have always absolutely loved Thanksgiving!  It could be the turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, or it could be the relaxed feeling of the day and football!

the gurecki girls and me. 

enjoying the day!

that is one good looking bird

Finally, we get to eat, and I have to say it was delicious!  I love the basics, turkey, stuffing, and a giant glass of milk.  I am officially stuffed!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 26, 2012


The Day, October 20, 2012... HIKE 30 miles in one day for CureSearch-research for children's cancer, has finally arrived.  Getting the hikers to accomplish their goal was my main concern at this point...

5:00 am the beginning
8:00 am- 5 miles in, the sun finally rose, and we have only lost two people at this point.  Luckily, we found them, otherwise, it would've been a lot of paperwork for Ellie and Erin.  Hello, buddy system.

We trek on...another 5 miles, more snacks, and then pouring RAIN for the next 6.1 miles.  I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed the rain.  Proper gear does wonders, and rain is peaceful.  While trying to cross a a broken bridge, I admit there was  a "tree dance." the hiking version of a pole dance.  Luckily, there are no pictures. I landed it, but it wasn't pretty.

After the rain...15 mile marker.

 Ahhh..mile 15 half way there.
Oh wait, a 27 story incline in waiting for us...

just hungry at  mile 15

And we move on... all I know at this point, I was a true motivational speaker... "This sucks" and "This really needs to be over."  I think it's good, and I'm taking it on the road, because apparently it worked, and it was the reality, let's face it.
I'm not even going to get into the inclines etc. It was an intense hike, and anyone who completed the 30 miles has an incredible accomplishment under their belt.  No question...  The Tecumseh Trail is beautiful, challenging, and a monster at some points, but we did it... and you guys are awesome.  :)

The End.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

30 in 1

In case you didn't know, I am coaching a Hiking team to complete 30 miles in one day.  I'm sure you are asking yourself, why is she doing that? Well, I will tell you....

I have run several marathons for charity, but to be honest running 26.2 miles on pavement gets to be a little old.  I saw this poster for the Ultimate Hike (at Panera) (I have a history with Panera that I won't get into right now.)  The Ultimate Hike is a fundraising effort for CureSearch for Children's Cancer.  I love to hike, I love raising money for charities, so I figured right up my alley.

Ellie, the midwest regional manager was in a bind because the coach for the team had to back our for medical reasons.  We started talking and there was no way I could turn her down when she needed a volunteer coach, and I am so thankful I didn't turn her down.  I have met some wonderful, caring people who are committed to raising money for CureSearch and completing the Ultimate Hike, 30 miles in one day on October 20th at Tecumseh Trail in Southern Indiana. 

I have to admit, it has been a challenge living in the Chicagoland area finding hikes that have terrain similar to what we will encounter at Tecumseh, but we are getting the miles in- Blisters and All!!  Next Saturday, we have the big one, 22 miles.  We are heading out to Waterfall Glen in Darien to get her done.  The following week, short hike and some team building, the week after that we head out for Tecumseh Trail for the really big one!!  

I couldn't be more excited and passionate to help our team of 17 hikers to get through this challenge.  I am incredibly proud of each and every member of Team BBC-Blisters Battling Cancer!

Starved Rockers!!-Some of our team Rocking It at Starved Rock!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

not the typical

check camden yards
My husband and I normally take an adventurous and active vacation in the summer i.e. intense bike rides, treacherous white water rafting trips, glacial hikes, marathons, you get the picture.  This summer, we decided to something a little different, an active-urban vacation.  We both love the DC area, however, we had never been there together.  So that's what we did...

My challenge was to make this trip as active as possible.  My first active activity was to bike from downtown DC to Mt. Vernon and back (38-40 round trip.)  The hardest part of that was finding the bike rental place in DC.  I think we walked that distance finding the place, but eventually we did.  I have to admit, the bike ride was a beautiful path along the Potomac, wooded, very nice.

destination: mt. vernon

Our next adventure was a 4 hour guided kayak trip in Potomac and seeing the memorials from behind.  The Potomac has a lot of large boats and a lot of trash.  It was kind of cool to see the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument from a different perspective, however, I had much higher expectations of this guided trip based on the website and talking to the tour guides on the phone.  It is irritating when there's always one person who can keep up and holds everything up.  And then, on the way back we took a detour through an area that seemed murky like the Amazon river and polluted like a chemical company has been dumping waste in for years.  I kicked it into high gear to hell out of there and finish the trip.

I know it sounds like I'm not enjoy this trip, but I actually am.  :)

Annapolis, the sailing capital of the world, has to be one of our favorite cities.  We just love it there!  Between the crab cake sandwiches and the craft beer, it's one of the best towns.  Not to mention one of our favorite stores, Helly Hansen.  Helly Hansen sucked us in in Portland, Oregon, and it sucked us in again in Annapolis.  The strangest thing, Gary and I always pick out the same exact expensive coat, and we aren't even sailors, but we now each own matching rain jackets. So we are ready.  So many awesome restaurants, but the one that stands out is the water taxi ride to the Boatyard!  I almost forget to mention in annapolis we stayed at one of the historic hotels on the circle. (Wonderful.)

Trust me, we are getting exercise without risking our lives.  We put on many, many miles walking from store to bar to store to bar.

So now we are in Alexandria, another incredible city.  We are staying at a great location, and we are about to learn to the DC metro system, I admit a challenge.  I'm a country girl.  The very kind and patient employees, as well as, a kind citizen, guided us in the right direction so we ended up in DC and not Philadelphia.  We are still novices, but realize why people use these systems, they do work.  Thank you to the kind people who told us when it was time to get on and then get off the train.

Alexandria is full of outstanding restaurants, shops, hotels, etc.  and our hotel was great until the 2 am drill. Apparently, someone called in a "threat" and the entire hotel had to evacuate. We followed the instructions and were one of the first people out.  People came sauntering out for 45 minutes.  The police were there searching the building, however no one was giving us any information.  People were getting extremely agitated, and I felt very sorry for the people with small children. (nightmare)  All in all we were outside for an hour and half, and when they finally let us back in they couldn't figure out how to turn the alarm off, which blares in your suite. I took matters into my own hands, and decided to get my pillow and sleep in the hall.  It's not silent, but much quieter.  Sometimes you just have to succumb. The most annoying part we never received an explanation, or an apology from the hotel.  I did expect a letter under my door the next morning, but NOTHING.  I will never stay in an Embassy Suites again.

Highlights of the trip:

  • went to an Orioles game.
  • we survived.
  • indulged in incredible food- mostly, oysters and crab
  • spent some great time with my aunt and uncle in Baltimore
  • experienced our nation's capital with the best guy in the world

Next year, more remote and adventurous........

Saturday, August 4, 2012

One Night Stand

not the four seasons, but awesome!
I'm an outdoorsy girl, I'm an outdoorsy girl, this is the mantra I told myself as Gary and I went on our first mountain bike/camping trip.  I mean don't get me wrong, I LOVE the outdoors... hiking, mountain biking, trail running, but CAMPING?  It was my idea for us to get in more in touch with the outdoors.  I don't want to live a double standard, meaning, hike, bike, etc.  and then head to the Four Seasons. It's just not right. So, I encouraged this endeavor.

The outcome...I absolutely loved camping, but at this point I'm really just a one night girl.  I think two nights would put me over the edge. As far as the mountain biking (I mean true technical mountain biking), I am totally hooked.  Minus the bruises, I had so much fun!  It was a tough course, but I did come in 1st place in my division, the first timers! (Ok, I was the only entry, but still proud.)

All in all, this is something we will absolutely continue to do! (But again, one night only.) It was absolutely wonderful sleeping in nature!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention our baby:

ruby...our adventure must have!

finish line, with team becky shirt on!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

summer 2012

According to the regular calendar, summer will not end until the end of September, however, for a teacher it's pretty much over by now.  Each year I wonder where it goes.  At the beginning of this summer I made a long list of things I was going to commit to.  I've been pretty good, but there are a few things I have been lax on.  I'm not making excuses, but the entire month of June I was taking two classes, don't ask me why, that's a entirely different story.  Before I knew it, June was over!  As you can tell from previous posts, I am an extremely active person.  Rest assured, I have been very active this summer!  Keeping my "normal" or "abnormal" schedule to some, I have been getting up at my typical 4:30 a.m. out the door by 5 and on the tennis court by 6 a.m. I play for a couple of hours, mostly singles and then my workout begins.  It might be a run or bike, but what I have really been getting into this summer are these killer WODs that I learned when I was in crossfit.  WOD stands for workout of the day.  It is craziness!!  For example, today (after two hours of singles) my WOD partner and I did 3 rounds of 800 meter sprint, 40 push ups, 50 squat thrusters, and 150 sit ups, yes, we did that 3 times.  Then to conclude we get on the rotating stairmaster for 20 minutes.  There was not a dry spot on me, and I loved it!  Needless to say, tennis and training have not gone by the wayside.  What has gone by the wayside is my summer commitment to read for 30 minutes a day for enjoyment.  Don't get me wrong, I do like to read, it's just I can't seem to sit down long enough to do it or I think about things I should be doing in my house.  Again, June was really tough because I had a ton of work for these two crazy classes I was taking (I did get two As.) :) But now it is July 19th and I still haven't started reading every day!  I have a plan....

Now that's a long hike!
I found a great book the other day that is right up my alley.  It is titled wild. It is a true story about a women who had never been active in her life, but had a "calling" if you will to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, where she encounters just about everything possible, and during her journey "finds" herself.  I'm starting today, and I'm going to sit long enough to get into the book, and hopefully, I won't want to put it down!

I have also really been getting into my mod podging, collaging, and scrapbooking.  I'm pretty sure the employees at the local craft store are concerned about me, I'm there constantly.  They may even pretend to be busy when they see me coming.  I'm going to keep learning more and continue to get better at it.  I will post some of my creations soon!!  :)

I really went out on a limb... my husband and I have been to several National Parks.  I got this idea to purchase posters of the parks we have been to from an artist online.  They are beautiful, however, I have been putting off getting them framed because it is sooooo expensive.  Well, I decided to give it a try on my own.  Mind you, the posters are not the typical size of frames you can buy with matting and put them in and your done.  So I went back to the craft store and asked someone for help.  (She was very helpful.)  All I really had to do was purchase acid free paper backing to mount the posters on, cut the paper to fit the glass, and put the frame back together.  I was a little nervous about this, but thought I'd go for it.  I purchased rustic barnwood frames, and the rest of the necessary materials and I was on my way.  Here are the finished products, and I have to say I was very happy and somewhat surprised as to how they came out...
ran the marathon here

Well, according to my calculations I am 1,350 minutes behind in my reading for the summer so I best get going and begin my book!  There are a few other things that I want to accomplish this summer that is rapidly coming to an end.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Just Finish

5 marathons, at least 10- 1/2 marathons, numerous 5ks, 10ks, etc. and I can honestly say I can't stand running! I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.  I dread it and as soon as I start, I want it over. I have NEVER experienced "runner's high, only runner's low.  Why do I keep doing this to myself, you ask?? I ask myself that question a lot, and the only answer I come up with is to continually challenge myself mentally, because I absolutely refuse to QUIT!  It's just in my nature.  If I have to drag myself to the finish line, I will finish.

13.1 done
love these shoes!
I was a tomboy growing up.  I loved playing baseball, football, and soccer. I have always loved playing sports, actual sports that is.  I have played competitive soccer and tennis and will chase a ball around for hours, I just can't seem to muster an enjoyment for running on pavement for no reason. I promise I really try to enjoy it, and  I envy those people that can go out and just run and love it.  (Chances are, they don't play a sport with a ball or another instrument to control.) I won't go there...

My latest 1/2 marathon... my husband (who happens to be an All American collegiate runner) and I traveled to Nashville to do the rock n roll this past weekend. I realized this past weekend the main reason why I  do these races I dread, is to take long weekends with my wonderful husband in cool cities and relax.  (After the run that is.) And then, we have an excuse to explore, to eat whatever we want, and relax with a few cocktails.  I have to admit, the 2+ hours I'm out there plodding along makes the quality time with my favorite person in the world worth every minute.  So I will continue to do these races.  The plan is for us to do 2  rock and roll 1/2 marathons  a year. But, what I am really excited about are the trail runs and mountain bike races we are going to do this summer.  (I'm slightly ADHD):) and I just find running on pavement incredibly boring (nothing against anyone who likes it, and remember why I do it...mental challenge), but I do believe I have found my answer with trail running/hiking and mountain biking.  Both are technical, (you are forced to pay attention, or you will get injured), and they are challenging.  Most importantly, they keep my interest!! I believe this is the way to go.

I'm excited about the events we have planned for the summer... several mountain bike races and trail runs through September and conclude 2012 with the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half in November!

time to enjoy some wine and pizza!
my favorite guy in the world!
i admit, i couldn't wait... :)
hobbling around nashville

 I'll be sure to keep you posted to how things are going this summer, but rest assured I will never quit!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

23, but who's counting

we did get out once or twice:)

Last week was my 23rd spring break and could probably go down as one of the worst!  Don't get me wrong, I have a very good life, but sometimes I wonder...

I know my 4 followers, that spring break is supposed to be a time to relax, go someplace warm, and be silly.  Instead, this is what I did: wrote a research paper, went to the gynecologist, got a root canal, continued to get up at 4:30 a.m. to play tennis and workout.  I know it sounds like a lot of fun!

For the record, I am totally fine with staying home and doing things I enjoy, but trust me writing a research paper is not something I enjoy.  There's really no reason why I am getting another endorsement. I have 2 master's degrees and I'm maxed out on the pay scale, but I do love to learn!  I am in the field of education and if I were learning something new, that would be great!  Anyone that has been in education for more than 10 years knows there is nothing new coming out.  Nothing has changed, reading and math are still the same.  The last time I checked, we read the same words we always have,  and they still mean the same things that they have meant forever, and I'm pretty sure we still add and subtract the same way too.  People in education used to call it "cyclical", it's not cyclical because nothing leaves and comes back.  It's just the same stuff over and over again.  Here are a few innovative ideas I've learned in my two classes: cooperative grouping, KWLs, use visuals, hands-on activities, use literature to teach content areas.  Hmmm...I've only been doing all of those innovative ideas for 23 years!  Just one new idea...

Anyway, next year I am definitely going someplace to relax and not get a root canal.  Oh, did I mention I needed a crown too and it cost $2000.00. :(

It wasn't all bad, I did play a lot of tennis, worked out like crazy, and got some organizing done at home.  All in all, it was nice to have a mental break from work.

This is what I should've been doing:
taking a road trip with my husband to hike and bike

Monday, February 20, 2012

a treacherous trip

My husband and I have taken some amazing and adventurous trips, but nothing compares to our death defying white water rafting trip in Colorado.

I would consider us (or at least me) moderate in the adventure category. (I have no interest in sky diving or bungie jumping, but I'm open to a lot.)  All of our trips are planned around activity and adventure, whether it's biking, hiking, kayaking, etc. We are always up for something exciting.  My bucket list consists of summiting Mt. Ranier.  I thrive for a challenge and love adventure!

trying to get back on board
Anyway, I planned (what I thought), a wonderful trip to Colorado.  We ran the half marathon in Steamboat, went to a Rockies game, hiked in boulder, did some biking, explored in Estes Park, etc.  I also included a white water rafting trip, that turned treacherous (class IV).  By far, the scariest moment of my life.  I was in the boat with my husband, 3 guys on a bachelor party, and the guide.  The river was running would be an understatement.  We are flying down the river and all of sudden we literally get stuck in a giant water hole.  The boat is at about a 75 degree angle at a standstill.  Everyone is yelling... I get thrown from the boat, I'm under the water.  I pop up, and my first thought is, I'm alive and I have all of my limbs.  But now what? I'm flying down this river which at any moment, I could be sucked under or crash into a rock, etc.  Somehow, I get back over to the boat and I will never forget the bachelor guy's look on his face.  He grabbed me with one arm and flung me back onto the boat.  We are spinning and flying down the river.  I don't have time to have any sigh of relief, where is Gary??  All I hear is, "get him, get him."  They end up getting him back on the boat along with our guide.  The boat is completely out of control, and they end up  throwing out a rope to pull us to the side.  Now on land, we reconvene and we all get back in the boat and head down the river.  The rest of the trip was amazing!

back on land... a
chilling out after a scary moment
My bachelor party friends were quite impressed (being the only girl in the two boats) that I continued on the trip.  I wasn't about to pack it up and quit.  I will tell you, it was the first time in my life that I thought, this is it.  This is how it's going to end.  It was that scary.

Friday, February 3, 2012

my creative side

So, I wanted to start 2012 starting something new, exciting, and crafty. Please keep in mind, I am not in any way, stretch, or form creative and/or artistic.  With that in mind, I committed to a craft for 2012.  I asked a crafty friend about mod podge, and for some reason, I thought it would be right up my alley, low and behold, I was correct, for a number of reasons.

I head out to Michaels for my craft endeavor and it was the perfect storm,  I was ready to delve into creativity, and I met the most wonderful associate in retail history.  She guided me through the store and opened my world to stickers, frames, brushes, canvases, etc.  It was amazing.  Needless to say, I purchased an entire workshop for mod podgers.

While speaking with the wonderful associate, I had decided I was committing to a mod podge portfolio for 2012. I am a trailblazer, and this will catch on.  (She thought it was a great idea!)

I get home and start cutting things out, creating my collages in my mind, etc. Now,  January 1st is upon us, and I begin my collage with excitement and curiousity.  I begin my "collaging" and all of sudden realize that mod podge is nothing but the watered down glue mixture that I had used as a first grade teacher to retell Eric Carle stories 20 years ago (although, I only used tissue paper because that is the eric carle technique), and a craft I had done as a child.  I'm in the midst of doing this and thinking, seriously, NOTHING has changed.  I realize people want to think things have changed, but they haven't.  If they had, I would be writing in some other form write now.  It is all the same, people...

It is now February 3rd, and I am ready to debut my 1st installment in the 2012 portfolio...

I like it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

From Maine to California

This is one of my favorite things in my house.  It is a memory board of pictures and postcards of places we have been, numbers from races, baseball stubs, basically wonderful memories from our first five years together.  I enjoy looking at it and remembering the different places we have been, but I absolutely LOVE adding to it.  Adding to it means we have done something else worth remembering. :) I plan on adding many wonderful things we do in 2012! A couple memories below...

 white water rafting trip in Colorado-treacherous!
Bar Harbor, Maine marathon!