Becky’s World

A Day in the Life of Becky

The Sweetest Place

Sweetbriar, CA. Its a vacation in the truest sense of the word. Its the type of vacation where you spend all day in your swimming suit, sitting in the sun, and deciding when to eat and then, when to eat again. We have been blessed in knowing Tina and Casey, being able to go to the cabin where Casey’s father grew up. Its the type of place where you spend all your time on the deck, you sleep in the open air, smell the fresh breeze and hear the spring water from the Sacramento River.

This year it was the whole clan: Ben, Trevor, Rebecca, Tina, Casey, Sean and me. We spent our time swimming for the most part. Sean ran every morning and covered over 50 miles of great terrain. We swam up the currents at Sims and jumped off the rocks. We even spent a day at Castle Lake. Its a serene place; the landscape is beautiful. We jumped off the huge cliffs, swam all around, hiked, and stopped by the fish hatchery on the way back. Usually we to into town (the smallest town). We ate a delicious Laotian Dinner, one of the top 10 in my book.

We spent a week there. Casey’s parents joined us for the weekend. We are fortunate enough to eat her yummy Swedish meals almost every night. We are so thankful the Becketts keep inviting us back. Everyone should have a Sweetbriar.

On the way back to San Fran to catch our flight we stopped at a sushi place and had some of the best sushi Iwehave ever had.

Check out Pictures by clicking on photos on the right or checking out photos from the Axners.


August 4, 2008 Posted by | Memorable Times | 1 Comment

First Triathlon, Loved It!

Danskin Triathlon 2008

Danskin Triathlon 2008

The Danskin Sprint Triathlon was a success. The Madison girls; Becky, Monica and I all finished the triathlon, and what a ride it was. If anyone was ever thinking about trying something like this I would highly recommend it.

The Danskin Triathlon was held in Pleasant Prairie, WI. This is a 6.5 hour drive from Minneapolis and almost in Chicago. This race consisted of a .5 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 3.2 mile run. I was very terrified of the swim as I am not a strong swimmer (actually a pretty poor swimmer). However, with the help of friends and Sean I was able to get up enough courage and practice to complete this challenge. Sean took me a few times to the lake to practice in the open water.

Although the race is very non competitive, anyone that knows me well enough is aware of my competitiveness. After I finished the swim, and it sunk in that I hadn’t drown, I was full speed ahead. The entire race took me 1 hour and 39 minutes (20 min swim, 46 min bike, 26 min run, plus transition times in between).

Thanks to Monica’s parents for hosting and feeding us. Also, a big thanks to her mom for waking us up the morning of the race, as we almost missed the race due to 3 alarms not going off for various reasons.

I look forward to the next one.

If you want to see a video of what it’s like check this YouTube video out. There are 3 parts to this video if you want to see it all. Oh, and please forgive the spandex, it’s the best outfit to race in, but not the best to watch.

July 17, 2008 Posted by | Work Your Body | Leave a comment

For the Ladies in My Life

I created this video while in Iraq, over 2 years ago, while stuck in the tents awaiting our move into the trailers. It took awhile to figure out how to post it to my website; and now that the site is upgraded, better late than never. I love this video and it got me through many rough times.

It reminds me how lucky I am to have such strong, wonderful women in my life.

Although it makes me cry to watch it, they are tears of happiness, pride and love.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
Keep in mind my picture options while in Iraq were limited, therefore, so women didn’t even make the video that should have.
There is music, so ensure your volume is up.

July 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grandma’s – a Personal Best!

Sean, post Grandma\'s He did it!

Sean ran Grandma’s Marathon last weekend and finished with his best time ever. Many of you have asked; he finished in 3 hrs and 45 minutes, which is over a minute better than his last marathon time (Twin Cities 07).

The race is run along the lake shore path. They start in Two Harbors and run the whole lake side down to Canal Park and finish a block from Grandma’s Restaurant, downtown Duluth. I dropped Sean off around 5 am the morning of the race, so he could get buses to the start line. The race didn’t start until 7:30, so I had some time to kill. It was a beautiful morning, so I walked around and took a few pictures (posted).

There isn’t a lot open that early in the morning. It reminded me of those military mornings when it’s just you and the world while everyone else is still sleeping. I was able to find the treasure of the morning – – a Carabou was open! That is where everyone (all the other spectators) were hiding. Oh, sweet coffee!

When it was time, I biked as far north as I could to see Sean. The path will only let you bike as far as the 22 mile marker (Lemon Drop Hill). I saw the first many racers come through. I really enjoy spectating. My aunts taught me well on this front. (spectating isn’t a word I guess). It’s odd cheering, as you have a few motivational phrases that you end up using over and over as you cheer for hours. To the runners it’s great, they only hear it once, but to those around you cheering….you sound like a broken record: “Great Job”; “Look’n Great Runners”; “You got it”, “Nice job Ladies”, “Way to Go Guys”.

I was in my grove, cheering for all these crazy runners who are running in one morning more than I bike in a week. It was hot and I had found a spot where there wasn’t anyone else, right before the large gatherings began. Then, I hear some yell my name. “Odd”, I thought, I thought I hear someone yell my name. “I’m not running”. It was Andy Johnson, a high school buddy of Sean and I. What a great surprise as I haven’t seen him in a long time. We cheered together and caught up a bit until Sean ran by.

He looks so relaxed when he runs that he makes it look so easy. Oh, I know its not, but he’s a natural. I was able to sprint on my bike to 2 more spots to see him before the finish line. I almost missed him at one; it was a close call.

Once finished, we traveled back to our hotel and relaxed and ate for the rest of the day. I think I had sympathy hunger as I ate as much as he did…..and I had not just run over 26 miles.

What’s next? Twin Cities is the plan, for the third time.

June 29, 2008 Posted by | Work Your Body | 2 Comments

Coming Home: Expectations

It has almost been 1 year since since I have returned from Iraq.  Some days it feels like it’s been a decade, but most of the time it feels like it was only yesterday that we were greeted by the large crowd of family and friends at the Bloomington Armory.  I have learned a lot since I have returned and have spent a lot of time thinking and most likely over analyzing most situations and thoughts.

One thing I know for sure is that coming home is the hardest part of the whole deployment process. This does not mean that it’s not the happiest part in the end, but adjusting is a long, difficult process. They warned us not to have high expectations about coming home. They said it was going to be hard to keep your emotions from letting your brain from creating great expectations. And even then, I decided to start recognizing that coming home would be difficult, that the life you had before would be altered forever. When you are deployed and all you want to do is come home, you can’t think of anything better than so be with your family. However, what I didn’t realize then was that to expect things to be close to the same as when I left, was a high expectation. Nobody can prepare you for that.

Now, I am not saying it’s hasn’t been great to get to know my husband again. it’s been magical to almost re-fall in love. That part is priceless. But it’s been a long journey………..

June 5, 2008 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | Leave a comment

Who Knew about Fruits and Vegetables?

Perhaps I should go back and take biology again. I thought I knew what a fruit and what a vegetable were….but I was wrong, or was I?

Technically speaking, in scientific terms, if it has seeds, it’s a fruit. By those terms, the following are fruit: pumpkins, cucumbers, squash, green beans, and bell peppers.

However, if you are speaking in culinary terms, they are vegetables.

Get this, the US Supreme Court said a tomato is a vegetable, even though technically it’s a botanical fruit.

Crazy huh? Check this site out for more info: Fruit or Vege?

March 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

There once was a dog named Bailey,

If left alone she will wail-hee.

She’s awfully sweet;

I’m sure you will meet;

We’re thankful for our beagle daily.

Have a Lucky Day!

March 17, 2008 Posted by | Family | Leave a comment

Hobbl’n Along

Sean is now off his crutches. It was an interesting week as it was icy outside, which made hobbling on crutches that much more treacherous. He was coming home from the second leg of his 10 mile run (after 8 he comes home to pick up Bailey). It was out in the back alley where he slipped on an icy patch and fell on his leg (knee and ankle). Thank goodness he was so close to home because it was pretty bad. After having Nurse Paddy come over to take a look, we decided to head to urgent care for X-rays. They said it was a sprain, gave us an air cast and crutches, and sent us home.

It’s been over a week and he is now walking “limping” without the crutches and making progress. They said the most dangerous time after a sprain is the first week because people tend to re injure and make it recovery worse. His big concern is his training as he plans to run Grandma’s this year.

March 16, 2008 Posted by | Work Your Body | 1 Comment

O’Connell Family to Run Marathon and Not Even Know It

Our 5K PhotoWhat? you say. How can this be? Its tradition in the O’Connell Family (Sean’s Mom’s side) to run a 5K the morning before a family wedding. In February, at Kelly and Adam’s wedding, we ran our 8th Wedding Day 5K. At 3.1 miles/ 5K, we are at 24.8 miles. We have only 1.42 miles to go before the big 26.2 miles of a marathon. It will have only taken us about a decade, but who’s counting? Still, impressive if you ask me.

It a tradition I have come to love. It takes on a totally different animal when its your wedding and your stressed out day already (picture is of our 5K). However, it does have so many benefits. It gets you going, its a fun way to start the day, its a challenge and is an incentive for everyone to get into a little better shape. Oh, not to mention the awesome T-shirt, designed by the bride and groom, that tells everyone “I ran the Wedding Day 5K”.

How do I ensure never to get involved in this crazy tradition? Well, don’t accept to be apart of the wedding party and don’t you, or your immediate family marry into the O’Connell Family. However, for those that didn’t run ours… don’t know what you are missing.

February 17, 2008 Posted by | Family | 1 Comment

Speaking Out – Soldier to Soldier

I was asked to speak at a veteran’s group in January. It was my honor to do so. This is a special meeting once a year call the “Last Man’s Club”. Its a annual meeting for those surviving soldiers of the Korean, Vietnam and World Wars. This is a long standing tradition among many soldiers, and I was more than happy to speak with them about my experiences in Iraq, about the common soldier experience and how the face of war has changed over the years.

There were two articles posted in the Stillwater papers:

1. Announcing my invitation to speak

2. Afterwards (check out the attractive picture)

February 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment