My Happy Place

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Recently, I dropped off of the face of the earth. I made a very soft landing into Disneyland where I enjoyed a much needed, stress free, fun couple of days with the people I love the most. Sometimes I forget that fun is meant to be in the equation. I get wrapped up in the seriousness of the daily responsibilities and I leave fun behind. Tomorrow maybe when there’s much less to do… I was standing in line one day. It was almost our turn when a man and his family walked up to the front of the line. He had a young girl in a stroller and he told the worker he was there for his little girls “Make A Wish”. The tears immediately welled up in my eyes. Fun cannot wait. Family cannot be pushed aside from the things that don’t matter and there is no time more precious than right now. Make that trip. Go on that date. Dance even though you know everyone is watching. We are here for a reason, a purpose. I think it’s simpler than people try and make it out to be. We are here to live, love and experience every precious minute we are given and to learn the difference in what matters and what never will.  

 

Just On A Whim

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For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be~~ John Connolly

I woke up on Saturday morning from a silly dream. I was laughing and playing like a small child. I couldn’t get the image of the genuine smile I had on my face out of my mind. Where was I having such a great time? Disney World of course. It’s a place that has always felt magical to me. Even as an adult, it has a way of awakening something inside of me that I don’t get to feel much anymore. I thought to myself, why not look up the airfare just out of curiosity. The prices were hard to pass up. I woke my husband up at that point who immediately grabbed his laptop and started looking for himself. An hour later, our trip was booked. When I told the kids, they more more excited than I ever imagined. They are 17 and 14. I guess we all need a break from the serious side of life. We all just want to have a little fun. I hope my pictures show a hint of that childlike smile I saw in my dream. Our last minute, spontaneous trip is less than three weeks away. When is the last time you made a spontaneous decision?

Is This How You Define Break?

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We are spending our last two days of so called fall “break” doing an extensive research paper on Kilauea volcano. I say we because having a kid with ADD does not provide for hours of dedicated attention span and requiring the paper to be done APA format makes it even longer and more intricate to complete. My daughter is in 11th grade and has never done a paper in this style. It would be nice if there was time in class to work on these papers and to make sure the teachers actually taught and explained what APA format entails. Where do they think the kids learn? The parents of course and here’s a newsflash. We didn’t have computers back then. We didn’t have to figure out how to cite something because there is no author or because it came from a website with no author. Give me a break. We never had to submit our reports electronically or add pictures using a computer that have to be certain dimensions. We could write the report, tape on the darn pictures, carry it to school and physically hand it in. Pardon me if I am technologically behind and I barely know how to turn a computer on. It’s tough times for us parents who are generationally behind. How can we help our kids who can’t seem to help themselves? It really gets under my skin. Really, a break means just that, a break, no work. This has really ruined everyone’s weekend. It just doesn’t seem fair.

Road Trip!

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It’s no secret the kids are off for fall break. One thing I love about my family is we are very spontaneous. Four hours ago, we decided to go on a road trip and I am writing this piece from the road. So, we are off on another crazy adventure, going back to a place we all love, praying everyone behaves in the car.

How about you, are you spontaneous?

When You’re Feeling Lost

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I was remembering something that happened a few years ago during our visit to Italy. I remember looking at things to do there and one particular town caught my eye. It was quaint and beautiful, everything I imagined a small town in Italy to be. I remember the frustration over buying our ticket and trying to figure out which platform was the one to board our train. Finally, we were in our seats and the sound of us rolling down the tracks put me right to sleep. We had been going non stop and we had to catch a few zzz’s whenever the schedule allowed.The problem was, my husband fell asleep too so now we had an 11 and 8 year old navigating for us. My daughter eventually woke us up to let us know we had reached our stop and we exited the train. It only took a moment to realize we were in the wrong place. Where were the rolling hills? This place was as flat as a pancake and the whole town seemed abandoned. Luckily there was a McDonalds but we quickly realized no one spoke a word of English. When we said the name of the town, the workers pointed to the right and made a walking motion with their fingers while shaking their head no. We knew now it was too far to walk. We went outside and saw a bus stop and stood there hoping we would figure out what to do. The man there knew we were visitors and pointed to a small shop across the street. My husband went to check it out and came back with four bus tokens. Everytime the train would stop, the man would shake his head no until finally I recognized the town from the pictures and he pointed for us to get off.

The lesson is similar to the one I posted yesterday. There will be times we find ourselves lost in a place we don’t want to be. We may feel scared and panicked and our instinct may be to run as fast as we can. Running in the wrong direction won’t get us anywhere. We must be patient and calm and find a solution despite how uncomfortable we may feel. When we are quiet and settle in, the answers will come. Everything we need will be right there to get us from point A to point B. We just have to believe.    

Lost in Mexico

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I’ve been flying under the radar the last few days completely caught up in the beauty of Mexico. It was a short trip but we filled our days to feel like we were there for eternity. St. Regis in Punta Mita is an amazing place. Not only is it beautiful but it is also like a quiet retreat. The resort is spread out so strategically well that at night it’s rare to see another human being. And the staff, amazing! There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe how pleasant and accommodating they were.  So, I didn’t do much writing in paradise because I was busy enjoying every minute. Here are a few pictures of this amazing place.

   
   

No More Limits

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My husband said something to me yesterday that really made sense. We are vacationing in Hawaii and I mentioned I was going to have one poolside piƱa colada a day. He asked, why set limits? As human beings, we are constantly limiting ourselves. We tell ourselves we can’t take time off of work to go on vacation. We convince ourselves that next year we will have more time or more money and we actually believe that most things are not possible, at least for us. What if we started to change our dialogue and tell ourselves we will go on that special vacation right now. We will make it happen because all things are possible. Where there is a will, there is often a way. We have to stop putting things off like spending time with family and exploring this wonderful creation awaiting our arrival. We have to start saying yes to the things that feed our soul and make us feel so alive we think we may burst. We have to stop saying no to the things we really want and use this precious time we have to live a life with no regrets. Go to Hawaii. Get extra whip cream on your coffee. Eat that chocolate croissant and for goodness sake, take that long walk on the beach and stay a little later to watch the sun go down. Say no to texting and surfing the Internet and watching too much TV and say yes to life! Make it wonderful. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Now go get started.  

 

Sedona, A Piece Of Treasure

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It feels so good to get away. It’s exhilarating to travel to new places and experience a different pace of life and a change of scenery. We just finished exploring Sedona. Actually, this is my second visit. I was there a few years ago and it has remained very much alive in my memory.

I’m not sure I can capture Sedona with words. It is truly a place of awe and the way it makes you feel is just amazing. It may just be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The natural panoramic beauty captures your heart and makes your spirit soar. You can’t help but feel the peace spread through your entire being as you sit there silently taking in the picturesque scene. It is a place that will tug at your heart strings and make you want to stay, or at least for me, place a stamp on your heart that someday will call you back to visit again. I hope the pictures do it justice because it is surely a gem nestled in Arizona. 20140729-100620-36380397.jpg

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Surrounded By Beauty

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Ooh Aah Point. That is where I am sitting right now. I think I may have found the most incredible place in the world to blog. I feel so peaceful here. So small. Not small in a negative sense but rather in a rejuvenating one. Every direction I look is perfection. Beauty beyond words. The Grand Canyon is an amazing place and I feel blessed to be here sitting in this beautiful spot writing these words. It is a perfect mix of nature and solitude. In a world where everything is fake or man made, this natural beauty is a sight for sore eyes and healing for the soul.

As I sit here, I think how much as humans we carry. We carry the responsibility of work, raising our children. We carry guilt and sadness of watching our loved ones survive disappointment and pain. We carry the weight of the world in our minds and in our hearts. Sometimes it’s important to remember how small we really are. In this great big world, we have to put it all down and remind ourselves that we are just one little person in a great big world. We are not perfect but we all do the best we can. We can’t fix everyone and everything but we sure do try. We can’t carry the weight of the world but our actions and our decisions can make it a more peaceful place.

There are some moments you wish you could catch in your hand. There are sights so beautiful that you wish you could stay in a particular place for an endless amount of time. This is truly one of those moments. I feel blessed to be here and I will sit here quietly to take it in just a little bit longer. I will leave with a pounding head and tired legs but every second, and every single step brought us closer to an even more beautiful place. I am full. Completely filled up with the beautiful peace that only nature brings. Here are some pictures so you can enjoy our magnificent view.20140728-184943-67783492.jpg

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Just Another Crazy Day

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Some days of my life could be straight out of a sitcom. Yesterday was no exception. We started off on vacation and the excitement really started to build about 45 minutes before we pulled into park. I could hear the little ball rolling around in the cans as the kids shook them up and down. Even my husband got in on the action.

As soon as we stepped out of the car the pungent smell of manure immediately filled our nostrils. There we were, the four of us marching elbow to elbow, holding our guns and ready to shoot. Like experienced graffiti bandits, our steps quickened and became purposeful as we scoped out the scene and chose our next defenseless victim. There it was in the distance, a perfect Cadillac just waiting for us to leave our mark. Tops flew off and spray paint started to fly. You couldn’t hear a pin drop except for my own voice shouting at the kids to point the can with the wind. “Don’t get paint on your clothes I screamed, but it was too late. They were like maniacs pointing and shooting in every direction. It was corny, it was weird. It was awkward but I must admit, it was kinda fun.

There we were in Amarillo Texas at a place called Cadillac Ranch, where 10 Cadillacs were there waiting to be transformed by another can of paint. It was a place to let loose and let the paint fly as you sprayed your name on the car of your choice. Just for a second, it was your creation, at least until the paint ran out. Then, off we went, elbow to elbow back to the car fighting headaches from the strong smell of paint.

After we left I couldn’t help but think how similar we are to those cars. We come into the world leaving ourselves open and vulnerable to each person and experience that crosses our path. Each person is like a can of paint and every interaction changes who we are. Like it or not, everyone leaves a mark. Some leave a beautiful mark forever stamped on our hearts, but others leave something ugly and we are forced to keep putting ourselves out there. The good news is that the only thing that is really constant in our lives is change. Every person and every event gives birth to a new person each and every day. We learn, we grow and we adapt as the picture of who we are changes with time.

It was a neat experience. Like I said, a bit corny but a crazy kind of fun. If you look closely at the pictures you can see how serious we took the responsibility of transforming our car. And yes, even I couldn’t help but spray my name there at least for a moment until a new family came along. Hope you enjoy the pictures, it was a unique experience we will never forget.

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