Life's Sweet Journey: May 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Blueberries, Bicycles, Caps and Gowns, and Steve Brown!

5 Things I am Loving Lately!
1.) Blueberries- Mainly picking them! Blueberries have never been my favorite fruit, not after getting sick on a blueberry muffin in high school.  However, that has all changed!! Fresh off the vine, sun-soaked blueberries?! I pop them like candy! They are so sweet and simply amazing! I could pick blueberries all day, everyday. If you live in Central Florida you should totally check out Tom West Blueberries!
2.) Bike Riding- Love it! I am on this thing any chance I can get. However, I am a destination oriented rider.  "Snazzy McQueen" takes me to breakfast at the nearby diner and on many a slurpee run! It is my newest preferred mode of transportation! 

3.) Graduations- They are happening all over the place! My oldest niece is no longer a preschooler, come August she is officially in kindergarten, this is big news- mainly because my mind can't seem to wrap itself around the fact that she isn't still just 2 years old. If my mind can't wrap itself around that, it REALLY can't wrap itself around the fact that my bro-in-law is graduating from high school! Wasn't I just at his 8th birthday, spelling his name wrong on his card because I thought KC was his actual name and not just his initials?! What?! So, maybe not all of me is loving this... part of me is very sentimentally wondering how in the world they (and I) got so old, so quickly. 

4.) Sunday- Well, I love that it's coming! And that Steve Brown (from Z88.3 and founder of Key Life) is guest teaching at our church for the next two Sundays!! I can not wait!! I get a lot of great wisdom out of sermons at Summit  and I can not wait to see what I get out of these. Mainly though I am looking forward to hearing that voice; I heard it briefly (though I tried not to listen, so I didn't spoil anything) while I was working on Thursday night. There is just something so comforting about that voice. Maybe I will even get to hear him say "you think about that" in real time! 
5.) Friday- Taking the easy way out on this, one but I really am loving that it is Friday and one weekend closer to summer! I am looking forward to a little more free time, a little time with a good book and a lot more sunshine. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Patience and Pirates and Disney Virtues!!!

Disney! There is no other word that I really need to use to describe it than that. I love Disney... the magic, the wonder, everything. It is, in my mind, truly one of the happiest places on Earth! Which is why, when Babe got us annual passes for Christmas, I was one stoked lady!! We waited to start using them because the hubs was finishing his MBA and wanted to wait until he was just about done so that we would have every free weekend possible to enjoy it in all its splendor. I have grown up with passes due to work my father had done for Disney , however, we were always at the mercy of one of my parents being able to get us in. It was so nice being able to just get up and go when we had my niece the other day.  And so while at DisneyQuest, as we waited in line (a very short one at that), the idea came to me to document this year with all the wonderful and wise things Disney has to offer. Because I truly feel that while it is a place of play and imagination, Disney can also teach many a wonderful lesson.  And so begins my first installment of "A Year of Disney Living"!

Patience... it's a wonderful virtue.
Coming by it, is a little tougher, especially for children. So how exactly do we go about teaching it? Well, I say let Disney help! There we were, at DisneyQuest, about to get on Pirates of the Caribbean for the second time. The line was just a bit longer than the first time we got on, but as lines go it was nothing to scoff at (maybe 10 minutes tops). I was holding Makaylin when she asked, "why are we standing here? Where is Pirates?" So I responded that we had to wait, which of course was answered with a why. I do not know how it came to me in the split second, my normal reaction would probably have been to say "well Disney like make us wait on things", instead (and it shocked me too) I answered "Well baby, Disney likes to teach us about patience. We have to have patience. Do you know what patience means?" "Waiting in line?!" "Well, yes waiting in line and waiting for other things in life, without getting upset. It means waiting nicely" "Oh ok, patience. Waiting for pirates!" And there is was, patience and pirates and a lesson... just standing there in Disney line.  Yup, sometimes patience is all about waiting for those pirates.
Disclaimer: Be careful on the backlash! As we were putting Makaylin to sleep the next evening, after allowing her extra time to watch her Goofy movie with Uncle Andrew and then two more minutes to clown around, I was delivered with this response upon telling her it was time to kiss Uncle Andrew goodnight, go sing songs and say prayers... "Aunt Mel, you have to have paaatience!! I said patience Aunt Mel!!" Welp, there it was.  She remembered, she had the gist, but somehow our translation got just a little lost. Next lesson: listening ears and whose in charge (this one is forever ongoing)! 
***DisneyQuest thoughts for toddlers*** 
Originally I was a little skeptical about bringing her to DisneyQuest. Mainly because she was asking for the "castle Disney". However, it was a busy weekend and we didn't want to fight lines. We told her we were talking her to a new Disney. She LOVED it!!! It had been years since I had been to DisneyQuest and all I really remember was the roller coaster simulator. While there was a fair bit she couldn't do the stuff she could do could have kept her entertained all day long. She could ride the river raft ride and pull the handle on the canons in Pirates of the Caribbean.  I was worried I would have to hold her steady, but she did just fine and I was able to play myself, while Babe steered the boat. She also soaked up every minute we would let her in the kiddie arcade game section. She found a kiddie coaster that just vibrated and moved left to right while you watched on the screen and we literally had to pry her off of it!
It was also very under crowded.  Our longest line was maybe 10 minutes. 
Overall, we loved it, she loved and we would totally take her there again!! She even remarked on our elevator ride between floors "This is the the so fun Disney!!" 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Coming Back

I sit, and the days go by, folding in on each other like pages of a book that is just slightly over descriptive, that you find yourself reading over too much.  It is in the read over, in the skimming, that you realized you missed some crucial point hidden in all the clutter. So you go back to move forward, you go back to find the point where you missed the message and you carry on from there.  That is what today feels like, that is what this weekend felt like. The picking up and the carrying on. Excitement felt freeing. Hearing Babe tell me "You are such a big kid sometimes" was light, but what came after, that part was heavy. "You haven't acted like that in a while." There was no mocking in his tone, I could only hear longing. Longing and hope. Hope that it would stick. And after the sad taste of swallowing all the moments in which I thought I had done a good job of "being" excited, I felt it too, that hope. And so I'm going back and I am hoping that person, the one that has simply been trying to get from one moment to the next is not gone, because she was needed, but that she has found room for "the other one".  The one who hunts alligators and finds freedom in the little moments of stolen splendor, who does life and doesn't let life do her.  I want to read each page. The fast paced ones where you are clinging to each word and the descriptive ones too; the ones that hold the beauty and the heartache and the pain and the freedom and the redemption. I want to soak it all in and live on each moment that life brings. 

And so I have decided to come back, back to this world that I so enjoyed during the brief time that I was here. I may not be here often and it may be sporadic but I enjoyed this space and I feel like I have words now, words that couldn't seem to find their way to the surface for a while. And I may be coming back to myself, because no one may have even realized I hadn't been by this little space and there may not be many who will read this, and that's ok beccause coming back to myself may really be what I need most of all.

***This was written quite a few weeks ago and the coming back has been a process, but for some reason today just felt like the right day! 

Below is the day in reference and it (and many more sense) have been good, GOOD days! And good in the sense that even the tough parts have been soaked in. So if you are reading this, I am sorry for the hiatus and I am so very glad to be back!