#GOALS

This morning my tennis clinic was pushed back an hour.  So what do I do with an unexpected free hour?  I knew I should do some exercise- I just read an article that said interval exercise is better than moderate exercise (my usual is walking outdoors or yoga).   Well, first I got on the treadmill for a whopping 15 minutes walk/jog (oh how I hate it) but then I was over that idea so I treated myself to Ali Edwards‘ latest blog posts.

She is so inspirational to me for so many reasons.

  1. I love her photos + words philosophy- it is my passion
  2. I love her honesty
  3. I love how she does “life- perfectly imperfect”
  4. I really love how she parents.  I can tell she lets her kids and step-kids be themselves.  Another passion of mine.
  5. I love how she creates such thought-provoking journaling prompts
  6. I love how she creates such fascinating scrapbooking projects!

One of these projects is called A Week in the Life.  It involves documenting the everyday, mundane pretty intensely for one week.  7 days.

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from 2016

These photos and words are something I would treasure if my mom had done this during our childhood.  Last year I participated by taking the photos and then I started (but did not finish) placing the photos and words into her templates via photoshop.

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from 2016

At the time I did not think my pictures were pretty and I did not think my words were profound.  Additionally, I started losing interest/attention thinking about layouts and how I wanted things to look.  I completed and printed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, now that I am looking over these pages for the first time in a year, I am so happy to have them!  They really are perfectly imperfect.  This weekend my goal is to complete last year’s Thursday-Sunday.

This year I would like to try again, knowing my sticking points and hoping maybe I can simplify and actually get it done.

My plan is to follow what she did this time around.

  • Daily taking photos
  • Typing up the words the following day
  • Then cutting and pasting the words along with photos onto the final documents
  • Sending to printer and slapping in an album

I am nervous just writing these intentions, but I really do love and believe in this project so I’m going to attempt before school lets out.  I might even try to start Monday.  Gah!

Spring Break Stingrays

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We just got back from a very relaxing trip with the kids to Treasure Cay in the Bahamas.  We traveled with four other families and it was a blast!  My kids have been spoiled and now say they always want to travel with other kiddos!

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This beach definitely lived up to its title of a top 10 beach in the world!  I loved it so because the sand was like white flour and the water was glowing turquoise.  But the best part was how quiet it was!  No resorts and very few people around!  There were chairs and umbrellas out on the beach and there were always some available.  No getting up early to snag a chair here!

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I think this is a good destination if you want a perfect, absolutely gorgeous, quiet beach.  If your family likes to have lots of activity, shopping, or entertainment- this is probably not the destination for you.   We rented a condo (via VRBO) in the Bahama Beach Club and loved that the condos all faced the pool and the beach.  It was a lovely view and if you sat on your screened porch, you could see all that was going on.

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We had one chartered boat expedition that came highly recommended and then we planned to take a boat on our own, visiting the different islands, for several other days. It was pretty breezy the week we were there which made for great weather and no bugs!  But if did make the ocean water choppy and the women especially did not love the boating as much as just staying in paradise.  So we ended up having 2 boating days total and I have no regrets about that.

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Having said that, my two most favorite experiences did occur on the boating trips.  First on the chartered tour, we went out, fished for our lunch, and were taken to another desolate island where they cooked the fish for us.  It was so delicious, but the most amazing thing were the stingrays!!!!  The guides told us they were friendly so we had no fear petting them and letting them “pet” us!  Having just read The Soul of an Octopus, I was in awe and amazement the whole time!  Truly the highlight of the whole trip for me!  Only when we returned home did my husband talk to several people who have been stuck by stingrays.  I am so glad we didn’t know those stories before the experience!

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Whenever I have a unique encounter with an animal, I google that animal’s spirit meaning.  I love animals, and I have been told (and believe) that they are here to help us along this earthly existence.  This is what I read about stingrays on one  website:

If Stingray has come swimming by you today;

Stingray is letting you know that everything is now in place. You have the knowledge, you have the means, you have the tools and you have the skills – now get busy and get on with it. Everything you have worked toward is open to you so stop hesitating. Have faith in your abilities and follow your inner guidance.

Hmmm… this message is probably meant for me but I’m still not entirely clear what “it” is 🙂

Another thing I loved was when the adults went for a short boat ride.  We found a small desolate island and we all jumped in the water and swam to it. It was just so nice- the clear water, the clean sand below, and there  were a lot of big conch shells so I took one (its very imperfect- not all shined up like in a novelty shop) and brought it home.

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For the most part we relaxed and read and talked and ate:)  We either grilled dinner or we went out to one of 3 places.  As always, the kids preferred to have dinner at home all together in one condo while the parents went out to eat every other night.

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Because it is a fairly remote place, they have to import everything in.  There is a small grocery store but it is pricey.  Luckily, we had lots of advice from others who had been on ways to prepare and pack ahead.  And that is what I have listed below because some have asked:

  1. We were told to pack (in checked luggage) liquor and food because we all had our own full kitchens and groceries are quite pricey on the island, as most everything is brought in. This was very stressful for me to plan but now I feel like a pro. Our group had a loose plan to eat in 3 nights and eat out 3 nights.  Our airline charged $25/checked bag under 50 pounds.  So at 3 o’clock in the morning as I was packing the cooler, I realized it was more economical to check two bags as opposed to paying $100-$250 for an overweight (over 50 lbs) suitcase. I ended up having one suitcase with things like a medium sized plastic liquor bottle, small box o’ wine, coffee, 2 cans of tuna fish, peanut butter & jelly, seasonings like baggies of salt, pepper, seasoned salt, garlic cloves, dry pasta, protein bars, tortilla wraps, and oatmeal packets. The soft Yeti cooler (which we also planned to use on the boats during the week but did not end up needing) was packed with frozen tenderloins, cans of crab, frozen shrimp, turkey lunchmeat, sliced cheese, frozen bacon & sausage, frozen lasagna, frozen pizzas,  and frozen hamburgers.  Let me just say if you had heard me shlepping those bags up and downstairs at 3 in the morning to weigh on my bathroom scale, you would have heard some words!!  Never did it occur to me to bring the SCALE downstairs…  Some things I bought like packs of crackers/chips/club soda did not make the weigh in.  In the end, was it all worth it??  Yes, it was!  Each fun fruity drink from the swim up bar was $10 so the luggage fees were recouped almost immediately.  And we certainly did indulge and let the kids order some fruit smoothies, too 🙂

 

2. Things we bought from the little grocery store were: bread, eggs, milk, club soda, and a couple snacks.

My family had a blast and especially loved traveling with other families.  Adam and I would go back- it was just so beautiful and relaxing.  Although I’m not sure the kids would say that.  They feel they kind of “mastered” the island and would prefer to explore somewhere else.

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Legacy of LOVE

We just returned home from a wonderful Spring Break vacation.  It was so special for so many reasons but one was this book:

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Amazon link

I read about it somewhere (probably Amazon) and bought it and I’m so happy I did.  It wasn’t the best vacation read I could have chosen… I cried ALL the way through it… but I LOVED its message SO much that I really want to start a group just to talk about it and put her ideas into action!  I think it could be fun to do it together with girlfriends!

After losing her mom to cancer at a young age, the author discovered that the surviving family members don’t always get the loving support they need so she began asking questions and has given us the gift of this book.

I feel like all my memory-keeping is for this end… to help show me and my kids what we did and who we are.  Years ago I read a story in People magazine about a mom dying of cancer (in England, I think) and she prepared a long, detailed list for her husband.  Things to remember after she had gone.  Things like: check her hair for nits and let her buy a new dress for each school dance.  I don’t think I realized how difficult major milestones like graduations, weddings or holidays would be for surviving children.  For example, I definitely prepare the Easter baskets so that needs to go on my list of reminders.  Gemini recommends simply writing a letter to be opened as a future surprise.  She says you cannot imagine the comfort even just one letter will bring your surviving family 🙂

After attending several funerals over the past year, I have more work to do.  Think of the funeral arrangements alone!  What would that look like and how would my family be able to make those decisions while suffering with overwhelming sadness?  My husband has generously over-prepared for the unlikely future without him and I want to help my family by preparing now for the unlikely future without me.

Does all this sound morbid?  It brings me comfort… so I guess I just need to get started!