Sweet Summertime

If you’re like me, you have a love/hate relationship with summertime. I am an island girl by birth, so I love the beach. There is something about the salt air that soothes my soul. Summertime means less hectic schedules, vacations and an overall laid back vibe for a couple of months. Yay summer!

Then there is that OTHER summertime. If you have kids, you know what I mean. Yeah….I know you just nodded because you KNOW what I’m talking about.

“I’m bored.”

“What are we doing today?”

“Can you drive me to…..”

Hang in there moms. September will be here before you know it.

Yay summer.

Extreme Vacationing

My family is going to Walt Disney World in December. Well, most of my family. So this consists of myself, the hubs, three teenagers (the middles), my oldest daughter(the bigs), her significant other, their three kids (the littles) and my mom.

The hubs, the middles and I have been to Disney together before. But this is the first trip with this many different variables (aka kids). He warned the bigs that they are about to see a side of me they aren’t ready for.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I am a Disney fanatic. It’s part of what makes me so good at my job. Good old hubs, however, sees it juuust a little differently. I am, in his opinion, an extreme vacationer. Nobody goes to DISNEY to relax. Right? Am I the only one who feels this way? Especially around the holidays. If we sleep we’ll miss something, won’t we?

Why Disney?

Hi y’all!!

Just thought this would be a good follow up to my last post. Why Disney? Why does my family, specifically ME, love Disney so much? Isn’t it just for little kids? Let me explain.

Did you know that there is a reason the Magic Kingdom is not accessible from the parking lot? Walt wanted guests to truly feel like they had left the stress of everyday life to enter a world of fantasy, magic and wonder. Pretty smart, right?

As we become busier and busier, we become more connected to the world, and less connected to each other. When my family is on vacation, we try to have at least one tech-free day. Guess what? It works. Nobody complains. We actually talk….to each other. Our teens don’t mind being seen with their parents.

Even though we don’t have “babies” anymore, we still enjoy meeting characters. My nephew is still just as smitten with Tinker Bell as he was five years ago. Every visit, my youngest daughter tells Ariel how much my oldest daughter loves her. So, Ariel always takes the time for an extra autograph or picture. Last visit, we got a video message just for big sis.

I’ve even managed to get Big Papa to go on a kid free Disney trip. I can honestly say, I’ve never heard my husband laugh the way we laughed on that trip. We made some amazing memories.

We’re taking a break from Disney to try new places and experiences. Just a small break, like a year….maybe. Then it will be time to go back with the bigs (older kids and significant others) and littles (grandbabies). I say that the middles (teens) won’t get to go. But, when your sixteen year old actually wants to be seen with you, well, that’s magic. Isn’t it?

 

Why We Travel

“Are y’all going to Disney AGAIN?”

“A cruise?”

“Must be nice.”

So many times we have heard these phrases. But there is something we’ve learned over the past few years. Those trips make memories that are irreplaceable.

When I got ready to start holiday shopping this past Christmas, I asked my husband what we got the kids the year before. He didn’t know. They didn’t know. I didn’t know. That’s when I realized we’ve been doing it all wrong. Because if you ask them about that one time we were at Disney and dad got picked to go onstage at the Hoop Dee Doo Music Revue, they remember every detail.

Hear me out. We don’t skip out on gifts altogether. But the majority of what we spend goes to whatever our next adventure may be. It doesn’t have to be thousands on a Disney vacation. Maybe it’s a camping trip to the beach. This Christmas it’s a cruise. I’d much rather sacrifice all year to be able to give them real life experiences instead of the latest game console. My only regret is not realizing this when our older kids were still at home. They don’t stay kids forever, y’all. Soon enough, we’ll be a travel party of two. That, my friends, is WHY we travel.

The Story of a Girl

Exactly one month ago, we went to sleep and woke the next morning to find our lives forever changed. My 36 year old, little sister, was dead. Not so magical, I know. But I feel like this needs to be shared. You see, my sister, the one I knew, had been gone for years. This person, this addict, she was a stranger to me. I didn’t even realize just how long this stranger had been around until it was time to look for those cherished old pictures that we cling to after the loss of a loved one. That’s when I almost literally could feel my heart break.

They say addiction is a disease that affects the whole family. They say you’re supposed to love the person, hate the addiction. Separate the two, they say. They say and they say, and they say. But have THEY ever been there? I doubt it. Because it is almost impossible to separate the person from the addiction. I loved MY SISTER. This person, not so much. I watched her put our mom through the worst kinds of hell, again and again. I watched her choose drugs over her son, again and again. The girl and her addiction became one, again and again. She loved it. It loved her. To death.

I had no idea a person could feel so many emotions at once. But in the last month, I’ve experienced first hand the way anger, sadness, grief, guilt and relief can co-exist in one hot mess of mood swings. God bless my husband for never complaining, because it continues. I’m sad because my nephew will never remember his mom as “normal.” I’m angry because my mom is still going through hell. I’m relieved because deep down, I know she was sick. I get it. It’s a disease. I know she isn’t suffering anymore. I’m guilty for feeling relieved. There is no worse feeling than helplessness. When you have an addict in your life, you become very familiar with that feeling. You’re helpless as they self destruct. Helpless as those closest to the situation blame themselves over and over for not being able to reach her. But you can only throw the life preserver. Someone has to catch it in order for it to do the job. They won’t catch it if they are constantly turning away. My mom kept throwing that life preserver. My sister kept swimming away. An endless circle of push and pull.

I recently heard someone say that addiction is a demonic possession. I’d have to agree. What other explanation is there? What else could possibly steal your soul? You only have to look at the eyes of a person who is one with their addiction. No light. No life. Just darkness.

Maybe you’ll read this and think, “she’s gone crazy.” Maybe I have.

Maybe you’ll read this and think of someone you know or used to know.

Maybe this will help someone find some peace.

Maybe you won’t even read it to the end. But if you do, thank you.

My first cruise

img_7938

The hubs and I celebrated our tenth anniversary in November. I say that because that’s how long it took me to convince him that cruises were safe, cruises were (probably) a lot of fun. Okay, I finally get him onboard (no pun intended) for a five night cruise sailing out of Galveston on Halloween. Looking back, the date may have been my first mistake. Long story short, we spent the night on a wonderful ship that never left port due to engine problems. Carnival Cruise Lines was amazing throughout the ordeal and we re-booked. Fast forward to February 4th, out of New Orleans this time.

If you’ve never cruised before, let me say there is no feeling like waking up, going for a walk on deck and seeing the most beautiful blue waters all around you. I was a bit worried that I’d feel trapped, isolated, or cut off from the world. Boy was I wrong! It was amazing. No phones, no laptop, no kids, no dog. Nothing. Not that I don’t LOVE them to pieces, but let’s be honest, they’re energy draining monsters at times. Our steward, Blessing (real name), was the BEST. It was so nice to be taken care of at any hour of the day. No matter what I needed, there was Blessing. If you’re ever on the Triumph, seek out this guy, tell him hello. He’ll make you feel like you are the only passenger onboard.

We spent a day in Cozumel just shopping and hanging out a little on our own. Then it was off to Progreso to do some Mayan ruin exploring. Simply breath taking.

I think it’s safe to say this was not our last cruise. Maybe the next one will be a Disney cruise. Maybe we’ll bring the kids….maybe.

Here I go again…

So, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to start blogging. Again. For me, blogging is right up there with all the losing weight and saving money resolutions. I always have the best intentions, but, ya know….life.

Anyway, here I am again. New page. New start. Blah blah blah. Right?

A little about me: My husband and I have been married just over ten years. We have a blended family of five, two grandkids and a yorkie named Max. I’m a travel agent with a passion for Disney, although I am branching out. I went to Universal. Twice.

We just got back from our first cruise two days ago so I thought, “you know, now is a good time to get that blog going again.”

There is never a dull moment around my life, so I hope you’ll follow along on our many adventures. It should be interesting. Who knows? Maybe I’ll stick with it this time.