Two Years


As we mark the second year since Steve gained his angel wings I want to get these thoughts I’ve been gathering out to share. I’ve been jotting them down for some time and pardon me if they seem random, I’ll try to assemble them in order. It will also give you a look into my mind as I try to maneuver through this new world of mine.

Suffering a devastating loss, and for me a sudden loss was the.most difficult event of my life. I not only lost ‘my person’, I lost my support system. I lost the one person that I trusted most in life, I lost all of my hopes, my dreams and all of our future plans – in the blink of an eye at 9:47pm on July 21, 2014. BOOM – finished, done, the.end!!! I also lost my identity; I was a happily married woman of 37 years, the co-leader of our amazing family and now a widow, the sole head of my broken family.

The one thing I knew for certain was that I HAD to heal myself so I could help my family. I felt a strong sense of responsibility to lead others through this life change. I wanted to be an example of a statement that Steve used, ‘life is for the living’. It was extremely clear to me now more than ever that we are not promised tomorrow-

I am a fixer by nature, and I needed to fix this. It took me a while to realize that unfortunately I can’t fix everything… I can’t fix the pain of my kids never seeing or talking with their Dad again. I can’t fix the empty chair at the table. I can’t fix the hole in our family unit. What I could fix is ME, to enable me to be present for them when they need me, to listen empathetically and to help them and others through this loss.

I saw a therapist in an effort to heal, to have my feelings validated and to gain guidance. There is no quick cure, there is no timeframe for grief… It is as individual as your fingerprint!! I continue to work on getting myself stronger and provide support for others as they need.

I still hurt, I still get sad, I have bad days – these bad days can be triggered by many things, sometimes something very simple. However, I can see that when these days do occur (I call them dark times) I spend less time there before rebounding back to life. I continue to learn more about myself and how to manage without my husband. Some things I cannot do, but whenever I can I am independent and do projects on my own. I am constantly aware of my own strength – the fact that I continue to rise each day and contribute to life speaks of that!!

I still miss and love ‘my person’… Steve was my first love, my best friend, and my true love. When you lose that person in your life, you don’t get over it, you move forward… You have too! and by moving forward I mean you have to take that journey that includes finding yourself again. I made the choice to live life, to move forward – this choice has not been easy or always accepted, but I wanted to be happy again.

I branched out and tried new activities, made new friends and spent time with old friends. I met a wonderful man that shares the understanding of having your true love pass away. This new relationship does not replace or diminish the love I had for Steve! We are capable of loving what was and loving what is… one does not cancel out the other. Love expands the heart, it’s okay to honor the past and embrace the future.

I have high hopes for my future, I’m not going to let being a widow define me but it is what I am. I am also an example of life giving you lemons, and I ‘m making lemonade!!!

In closing, a couple of favorite phrases..,

* Live the life you have left
* Dance in the rain, dance like no one is watching!!!
* One life, don’t blow it



Spring 2015

Thought I would bring you up to date on my crazy life ūüôā¬† Since we last spoke I’ve been rather busy!

Besides physical exercise, it has been my goal to have something on my calendar AT LEAST daily… I’ve pretty much conquered that challenge –¬† The following in a brief recap of my life of late…


While Erin & Tommy were rafting the Grand Canyon, in honor of their Dad’s birthday…

E&T Grand Canyon

I was in Washington; enjoying time with my daughter-in-law (Lindsey), her Momma, my Sister and my grandbaby…¬† We participated in a longstanding tradition of Lindsey’s family for the St. Patrick’s Day Dash!

It was a rainy morning but we were surrounded by SO many happy people!


I had the good fortune to attend the Garth Brooks concert TWICE while it rolled through Sacramento…

Once with my Sister, a couple of cousins, nephew and his wife and additional friends!!!¬† It was an evening to remember…

Special thanks to my nephew JoeBoo for watching over us ladies ‚ô•

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and another with my kids and grandbaby!!!¬† This was Harlow’s first concert and she took every.single.minute in!!!

Her favorite songs were ‘Standing Outside The Fire’ and Tricia Yearwood’s ‘She’s In Love With The Boy’…

There was definitely not a dry eye in the house when Garth sang ‘The Dance’…

It was a group sing along with SO much emotion –


both nights were amazing; not only was Garth an entertainer beyond words but to share the time with family and friends was awesome!!


I participated in my first group bike ride – After several months of spin class I deceided to register for a group road bike ride.¬† This was a 17.5 mile ride on a mountain bike…

The group that I rode with were all on road bikes…¬† My appetite was whet…¬† I had to look in to getting a road bike!


I was hooked!!!  I needed to get a road bike to enjoy the freedom of bike riding!

May 3rd I began my journey with this beauty…


I rode another 22 mile ride and have also completed my first 40 mile road ride!!

I was fortunate enough to accompany my friend Kimmie (AKA my daughter-in-laws Mom) to Kauai for 10 days!!!

The timing could not have been better and what a blessed trip this turned out to be –

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We enjoyed a bonfire on the beach with locals (including a high school classmate that lives on the island) and a wonderful lunch oceanside with another high school classmate of mine!

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Spent an afternoon in the foothills enjoying lunch at a local winery with my cousin and sister


Met up with a couple of high school friends for sushi!!!


That brings us up to date!¬† I hope that you have had a great Spring and as we creep into Summer, I wish you a cool one…

We are in a drought here in CA, not going to be overly fun but we will get through it!

Until next time ~

Project Repat Blanket Review

I want to share an incredible way to re-purpose your race tech shirts, your children’s team t-shirts and jerseys and all of those 5k t-shirts!!

If you are like me, I couldn’t get rid of any of the above mentioned items! I mean really… I could never wear them all enough and they were taking up a bunch of room in my closet.¬† Here is the perfect way to keep them and enjoy them often!


Project Repat is a company that will take your shirts and turn them into an awesome blanket – AND the company creates new jobs, they recycle, they are friendly, and the blankets¬†are made in USA ‚Äď YEAH!!!

When placing your order you are given the choice of blanket size; lap, full, twin, queen or king. You will also choose the color of backing (polar fleece) you would like. Once your order is placed Project Repat sends you an email with instructions on how to prepare your shirts for shipment. The number of shirts needed is dependent upon the size blanket you choose. You will need to cut the shirts and send the back or front (or both if you have logos/writing on both) to Project Repat for processing.  Once your shirt panels arrive at Project Repat you will be notified via email and the sewing will begin!!!  Another email is sent when your blanket is finished and being sent back to you.  Turnaround time for my blanket was less than 10 days!

I took a walk down memory lane while preparing my shirts to ship, recalling each race and remembering something about each one.¬† That was a special moment, but when I received my finished blanket it was even better!¬† Imagine being able to look at all of your shirts at one time with fond memories while being wrapped up in their warmth ūüôā

Do yourself a favor… Order a keepsake blanket full of memories!!¬† When you place your order using this link ¬†you will receive a 10% discount as my referred friend!!!¬† You.Are.Welcome ūüôā¬†¬† P.S.¬† You can place your order and send in your shirts at your leisure…

Remember to use the link above for your discount!!

Here are a couple of pictures of my blanket (I ordered the¬†twin size, 24 panels)¬†–

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Enjoy my friends!!!

Steven Richard Horning


Steven Richard Horning was born in Sacramento on March 13th, 1957 to Mary Jane and the late LeRoy Horning.   He was a resident of Galt and Elk Grove, graduating from Elk Grove High School in 1975.  Steve married Leslee Rae Schultze on August 27, 1978 and they have two children; Erin (Chris) Vestal and Tommy (Lindsey) Horning and a granddaughter Harlow Raellyn Vestal.  Steve worked as a farmer in Galt and a mechanic for the Elk Grove Unified School District before being hired by the Elk Grove Fire Department (Cosumnes) in 1986.  Steve retired in 2010 and enjoyed additional time for his many hobbies, including white water rafting, hunting, fishing and most important, family time.

 Steve is also survived by his Mom Mary Jane, brothers Fred and John, Father-in-Law Ray Schultze, Sister-in-Law Teri Kunz, Brother-in-Law Jim Kunz, nieces & nephews Bryon (Marilyn & son Max) Kunz, Joey (Ashley & sons Jake and Luke) Kunz, Justin Horning, Jennifer Horning and Cassiar (Mike & son Jace) Ladenburg in addition to Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.  Steve also leaves behind his beloved extended Firefighter and River families.

A celebration of life will be held in Steve’s honor on July 29, 2014¬†at 11 am, Harvest Church, Elk Grove.

In Steve’s honor please feel free to make a donation to either the American River Parkway Foundation,¬†The Rocky Mountain Elk¬†Foundation, The Leary Firefighters Foundation or¬†the charity of your choice.