Thankful for Practice, Positive Impact, & Laughs with Teammates

Day 2,254

Growth:

Practice, practice, & more practice. What’s interesting is that the more reps I’ve put in the longer the positive impact lasts. Putting in 15+ reps of a presentation means still having it all memorized almost six months later. So glad I put the work in early!

Appreciation:

Having the opportunity to have a positive impact in the lives of others is amongst the best feelings in life. No more details needed than that tonight.

Presence:

Sharing laughs with teammates is one of the many reasons I am happy to head back to the office after time away. The laughs shared with my teammates today were amazing!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Trusting My Body, a Jumpstart on the Work Week, & Quiet and Calm in the Dark

Day 2,253

Growth:

When my mind decides it is time to wake up I should really trust it. With jumping time zones everything feels just a little off and my mind woke up and started racing early in the morning. By 5am – on a Sunday – I was out of bed and headed out for a run!

Honestly, it felt incredible. The nice cool air, the quiet and still of being alone on the road, and the exercise were exactly what my body needed after traveling back. It helped to get my body back on the right cycle.

Rather than trying to eke out a few more zzz’s it is better to trust my body and mind and get out of bed and get moving.

Appreciation:

Not too long ago I was thankful for taking a day to ease back into real life after a vacation. This time around I have myself two days and it has made all the difference. Yesterday I was able to get a lot of my home stuff done. Today I had the space to start knocking out my tasks for this week at work. I know, it sounds crazy to enjoy work, but it really felt good to get ready. Tonight I’ll sleep like a champ knowing I’m already prepped for tomorrow. That’s an awesome way to start the week!

Presence:

Soaking up the cold and dark were amazing. The time spent in Iceland really got me into the mindset of happening to winter this year than letting winter happen to me. I’ve already been used to longer periods of darkness, the sun not rising very high, and the cool weather – might as well lean into it. Having that quiet helped me get me head moving in the right direction and allowed me time to be by myself. What a perfect start to the day today!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Cultural Differences, Home, & the Simplicity of Cleaning

Day 2,252

Growth:

The differences in culture from country to country intrigue me. Everything in Iceland moves at a different pace than here. While one might thing it has more to do with my perception from being on vacation there’ve been a handful of conversations that helped me see the differences are certainly more substantial than can be ruled out from “vacation brain.”

One of the reasons I love travel so much is the opportunity to learn from each culture, find the positives, and do my best to bring them home with me. Mission accomplished this time!

Appreciation:

We’re all home again! So pumped to have all four of us back home together. Traveling is great, but time with family is even better.

Presence:

Spending time focused on cleaning was therapeutic today. To have routine, quiet, and a task list to complete helped me ease back into reality. In each task there was only the task. The simplicity of cleaning a stovetop and the glass panels of the oven brought a deep seated sense of calm and purpose.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Clearing the Vacation Photo Cache, the Aurora Borealis, & a Joyful Hug from Gavin

Thankful for Clearing the Vacation Photo Cache, the Aurora Borealis, & a Joyful Hug from Gavin

Day 2,251

Growth:

I’m a slow but sure learner sometimes. Over the past handful of vacations I always plan on organizing my photos and videos but it often doesn’t happen. This means that while there’s a pile of memory starters there is also a big pile of near duplicate photos to be deleted.

On our flight back today I focused on cleaning up my photos. They’re all sorted by day, in chronological order, and with the near duplicates and photo fails deleted. Took some songs today but will save a ton of time in the future.

Appreciation:

One of the biggest reasons for heading to Iceland was to see the Northern Lights. The odds of doing so are spotty at best, even in the best of conditions. The clouds fought us the majority of the nights and when it was clear the Aurora Borealis was too shy and stayed away.

Last night while sitting in the hot tub I pulled up the forecast as we looked up at the stars. According to the Aurora app we had an exactly 1% chance of seeing them. Steve laughed and quoted the line from Dumb & Dumber, “so you’re saying there’s a chance!”

After some games we all started to close out our nights. On a whim I decided to walk outside and check one more time. As I turned to the north I was rewarded with a ribbon of light rippling across the sky. I ran inside, grabbed Gavin & Steve, and headed out to enjoy the show.

The really big lights didn’t last very long and some clouds moved in, but we’d accomplished our goal and beaten the 1 in 100 odds.

My dreams were very intense afterwards. Much of it was a reminder to me of the dangers of taking on too much. It reminded me of the importance of saying no more often, of slowing down, and remembering to stay focused on what’s really important to me. It was so intense I woke up in a sweat at 4:41 am.

When I got up I looked out my window and was so shocked at what I saw I didn’t trust myself to wake everyone right away. I quietly snuck out of the house and saw tendrils of light stretching through the night!

I woke everyone up and we spent well over an hour in astonishment and joy watching the lights. We took photos, we just looked up in awe, and enjoyed every single minute until it started to dwindle. I’m still awestruck at what we witnessed.

I am so grateful for our luck and our timing.

Presence:

Last night and again early this morning as we watched the Northern Lights there was a very specific moment I’ll remember forever. Amongst the spectacular light show Gavin put an arm around me and pulled me in close. “We did it! Thanks for bringing me to Iceland!” You betcha buddy, happy to have created these memories with you.

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Planning Ahead, Thanksgiving from Far Away, & Watching the Skies

Day 2,250

Growth:

Remembering to be smart and plan ahead paid off very well today. We opted to skip on crossing a small river that we unexpectedly happened upon yesterday en route to Icleand’s tallest waterfall. Today we came prepared and crossed it easily.

While we were getting our shoes back on someone saw us and decided to attempt to cross and they were not prepared. They ended up wet to the waist and lost a shoe in the process.

Be smart, be safe, and be prepared.

Appreciation:

We may be many miles away but I could still feel the love from so many today. The number of Thanksgiving wishes shared warmed my heart many times over.

Today I’m grateful for thanks being shared from countries and oceans away. The fact the we can connect from so far brings bonus joy and in so ways even means more than normal.

Presence:

While starting to wrap up our night we relaxed on the hot tub. The clouds had cleared and we had an outstanding view of the stars. It was so clear we saw the line of the Milky Way. Throw in a handful of shooting stars and it was amazing! Just sitting there and looking up at the stars was so serene. The song The Nights by Avicii kept playing in my head while Gavin and I talked. What an wonderful moment!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Mustache Shaving, Opening New Doors, & Outdoor Hot Tubs in Winter

Day 2,249

Growth:

Never shave your mustache until you have to. In preparation for our snorkeling trip today I shaved off my mustache last night. Imagine my giggle when I read the email this morning saying our snorkel trip was canceled due to weather and wasn’t available tomorrow. Had I been smart I would’ve read my email earlier and shaved later. No worries, it’ll grow back!

Appreciation:

One of the benefits of Iceland is that when one door closes unexpectedly there are many more waiting to be opened. Rather than sulk we immediately shifted into Plan B and went on an awesome hike to see Iceland’s tallest waterfall. No tears were shed, more lifelong memories were made, and all was well. How fortunate to be so close to so many epics adventures!

Presence:

After hiking and dinner Gavin and I hopped into the hot tub while Steve wrapped a couple of things up inside. We relaxed in the outdoor hot tub with our stocking caps on and enjoyed the hot water. For a while all three of just sat back, listened to the wind, and enjoyed watching the stars. Pretty awesome!!!

Thanks!!!

Thankful for The So Called Experts, Gavin’s Choice, and the Sun

Day 2,248

Growth:

To decide what we wanted to see today we relied on one of our guidebooks. After watching Eurotrip and laughing throughout the show Gavin recommended I bring Frommer’s book on Iceland. As luck would have it that made a huge difference in our day! Turns out good old Frommer and team know what they’re talking about and recommended an excellent drive resulting in some epic views! As Jack Handy once put it, “some times the so called experts actually are.”

Appreciation:

I’m very appreciative for Gavin’s decision to make a return trip to Iceland. This island is mind blowingly magnificent in some many ways and it feels like it could be home. This country has quickly become one of those places that resonate with me at an awesome frequency (along with New Zealand, the big island of Hawaii, the upper peninsula of Michigan, and – of course – La Crosse)

Having the opportunity to come back has been almost as surreal as the first trip here. I’m still wrapping my head around it.

Excellent choice Gavin!!!

Presence:

Another handful of magical moments today. A few a that really jumped out all revolve around seeing the sun. I totally take seeing the sun for granted, but being in Iceland in late November has really helped me appreciate seeing that shiny orb.

When the sun came out today it did so in some pretty dramatic ways…

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Benefits of Waiting, Memory Shrink, and Múlagljúfur Canyon

Day 2,247

Growth:

Remember to wait, to be safe, and appreciate the added benefit of the forced pause time. As a storm rolled in just as we were about to hike we opted to wait it out in the car. We decided to take a 30 minute nap while we waited. The alarm went off, the skies were free of storms, and we hiked with almost zero precipitation. Added bonus – some of the higher elevations now had a fresh dusting of snow which added a magical feeling to the entire experience.

Appreciation:

Sometimes I build up a memory into something way bigger than it truly was. Today we repeated a hike we did in June and I was nervous about whether I was remembering it correctly. When we got there it was quickly obvious that my fears were correct and it wasn’t as I remembered… it was even more grand! How awesome to have an incredible memory turn out to be not nearly as incredible as it should have been. I did my best to remember harder this time.

Presence:

This moment for so many reasons.

Múlagljúfur Canyon

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Awareness, Experiences Which Cannot Be Captured on Film, & Ice Caves with Gavin

Day 2,246

Growth:

Awareness, awareness, awareness. Listening to my inner voice, hearing what I am saying, and being aware of my thoughts. Humbling and helpful all at had same time.

Appreciation:

Today was our ice cave tour and my mind is still reeling from how incredibly unreal it was! At times I paused and considered how to take a photo to do justice to the beauty around me. Some of the times I figured it, but many I couldn’t. In those times I paused, soaked it all in, and appreciated being in the moment.

Presence:

Do I really need to say anything with a phot like this?

Thanks!!!

Thankful for Naps, Parent/Child Moments, and Clouds Over Volcanoes

Day 2,245

Growth:

Sleep is a wonderful thing. Never underestimate the power of a well timed 30 minute nap.

Appreciation:

On our overnight flight Gavin propped his head against my shoulder as he fell asleep. Knowing that moments like that will likely become more and more rare I soaked up each and every precious second of it.

Presence:

How’s this for a sight today? Wowza!!!

Thanks!!!