Life's Sweet Journey

Friday, May 31, 2013

Disney Dreams and Ugly Crys

Day 31 people! We made it!! This challenge was definitely an undertaking. It was a crash course for me in the world of blogging but I have enjoyed it.  It challenged me, opened me and brought me to many great new reads. I have loved following along with so many of you. 

Today we are to share a vivid memory and as I look back through my memory bank I realize that a lot of my big moments get somewhat blurry. I have flashes of vivid moments, some I will always cherish and some that I would rather forget, but for the most part some of the memories get hazy.  My wedding day? A blur! Those moments that have shaped and transformed me seem to have this filter through with which I view them. I think that trying to process all of my surroundings in so many of those moments just became to much for my brain to process and so it compartmentalized them. I can remember a lot of great things about that day but trying to piece it altogether was a process. It if for reasons such as those that I will be forever grateful for cameras. They capture memories and allow us to revisit them in all their vivid glory.  

One day in particular that, while it has its hazy moments too, is most vivid for me would be the day we got engaged. I remember that morning waking up at Animal Kingdom Lodge and knowing yet not knowing at the same time what this day could bring.  I was a wreck of nerves.  It had always been my dream to get engaged at the Magic Kingdom and given the fake out the night before I was assuming this might be the big day. I remember dressing down not wanting to anticipate anything (which in hindsight was dumb dumb because I was a hot and sweaty messy in that shirt but oh well) and leaving the hotel.  We rode the bus to meet my mom at the park so that she could let us in (special pass that only she and my dad can use). She walked halfway down Main Street with us, hugged us both and left (though she didn't want to) and we continued on towards the castle.  And that is when the following began... 

There had been a Photopass man there waiting and called us over to him to ask if we wanted a picture. And then the words began, those I can't really remember but I am sure you can get the gist. All I knew was I have a sweater tied around my waist. My mind says, "you can not have a sweater wrapped around your waist in these pictures!" so I logically untied it a threw it off.  Duh! Because that is so the thought process for a moment like this. 

For some reason I could not unclasp my hands from behind my back. Finally, they decided to unlatch and cooperate so that he could slip the ring onto my finger.  I guess I said yes, that part is kind of blurry. 

At some point I kissed him and there were fireworks. The timing was not planned it was just one of those things. They were part of the show going on at the castle. Those were followed by a street celebration in which they asked any newlyweds or newly engaged couples to come out and dance in the streets. So I did! 

Then we called my mom who came right back. She had wanted to stay and watch because she had her suspicions too but didn't know how to ask Babe if she could stay without me knowing. The following hugs and tears ensued. 

And then I talked to my daddy and that is when the above ugly cry came about. He had known as Andrew had made sure to ask his permission and so we are both crying on the phone.  My mom had not known that he knew, see it is kind of hard to tell her things and still have them stay secrets. 

Then we took some pics and celebrated with this little schemer who was a part of the whole plot.  This is January! She was hiding in the bushes snapping all these pictures and had been waiting for us to show up for two hours.  She is the one who got the Disney Photopass man in on the scheme. 

We then enjoyed our day as a newly engaged couple and sealed the deal with a 'blessing of the rings' from Mickey and Minnie themselves! It was all in all a perfect day and a fabulous memory. Babe had done himself - and my Disney loving heart - good! 

And now I sign off in hopes of seeing many of you on Monday because I will be resting my weary fingers this weekend! Thanks for sticking with me! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Just Let it Go

I have been avoiding today's post like the plaque. 1.) because I feel like I have the plaque and have been at the doctors and curled up in a ball trying to figure out what be wrong and 2.) because when I first read today's challenge topic my mind said "oh heck to the no!".

Letting go?! React to letting go? How am I supposed to react to letting go?

This moment was so bittersweet. I was happy to be marrying Babe but sad about the realization that though I would always be daddy's little girl, I was having to let go of the part of me that was his and give that to Babe because it was now his turn to care for and protect me.  That had always been my dad's job and I wasn't sure about letting that go.
Letting go has never been an easy thing for me. I couldn't even change my last name and let go of my old one, instead I now have four names instead of three. I liked my name. It was a part of who I was and I felt that dropping any part of my name (either my old middle or my old last) was like dropping the person I was before I got married. That girl is still in here.  She had to learn to adapt to married life but she still lets her voice be heard every now and then (aka all the time).

Letting go can take on so many different contexts and more often than not, having to do it is not something we can prepare for.  Letting go plays into relationships, it plays into life, it plays into death and the list goes on. Letting go is the ultimate goodbye because, though sometimes the things you let go of come back to you, when you are actually in the process of letting go you expect it to be for the final time.

Letting go also plays into forgiveness.  As Oprah said "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different." Our past is always something we have to eventually let go of and for me one of the hardest things to do. We can remember it and what it taught us, we can forgive the parts that we would rather gloss over, but we must let it go. In letting go of the past I have been able to find forgiveness even when an apology was never offered, or in some cases not needed. I had to forgive God for taking my grandmother before I got married, I had to forgive myself for mistakes I had made and that I finally had to let go of, and I have had to forgive others for hurt caused by being humans living in a world that trips us up all the time. Forgiveness is letting go and knowing that though I probably won't ever forget those things I also won't let them define me. 

I don't know if letting go of things is something that will ever get easier. I think that's ok. Letting go is supposed to be hard. If it isn't then whatever we are letting go off wasn't strong enough to teach us anything and moving on is about learning how to take the things we've had to let go of and learn from them. Letting go is not a giving up, letting go is the acknowledgement that circumstances were given their best shot, that lives were lived and that people were loved.  Sometimes letting go of something is the understanding that we have so much more to give and that what it is that weighs us down keeps us from loving ourselves and those entrusted to us in the fullest way possible. It is in those moments of letting go that we find hope and freedom and empowerment.

Words on a page are so much easier said than done and I know that I can cling to things that I don't want to let go of harder than Charlie hung onto his golden ticket, but today for this moment I vow to let go of the things that hold me and chain me. I will probably have to vow the same tomorrow but I promise myself to let go... just let it go!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

He Loves Me Like Jesus Does

*Photo compliments of Nu Visions in Photography
I have thought about Day 29 numerous times without even realizing it.  There are many songs that evoke memories for me. They are the songs that come up and transport you back in time to a moment, a feeling, a different sense of self. They can be songs which speak to me at certain times on a deeper level because they put into words feeling that I had tried to sort out and couldn't.  Music can be life. Music can soothe a soul. Music can break your heart to the point where you have to turn the station just to get away from the overwhelming sense of emotions that run through you as the song plays.  For me, there is one song that has stuck out recently that I have wanted to post my own spin on.  I will get there in a second.  Before that, here are a few that bring back memories of special times.

Baby Got Back: Oh me, oh my!! This song.  I have no rear end to speak of my friends so maybe this song became somewhat of an oxymoron but this song reminds me of high school and innocence (yes, strange I know) and friends. The one that when we hear it after all these years we have to catch each others eyes and laugh and sing along.  We were just these young, naive girls who thought that dancing to this was just the bomb dot com.

I Want to Grow Old with You from the Broadway show
I Want To Grow Old With You by Jim Tackett on Grooveshark
This is the song that Babe and I danced to at our wedding.  We went to see The Wedding Singer when it was playing at our local theater. I had never seen the movie and the play was fabulous. When they sang this song, I thought "now this is our song"! We had never really had a song that fit us so perfectly (minus the letting you cheat at checkers part; don't ever let me win - there will be serious repercussions if I find out "you done" let me win).

Recently however, this following song has struck me...
Like Jesus Does by Eric Church
Like Jesus Does by Eric Church on Grooveshark 
The first time I heard it I remember switching it off and then I heard it again and it just seem to catch and captivate me.  In that first moment, where I listened from beginning to end, I thought, "I like that song". It was fitting, except for the fact that it didn't fit just right. It didn't seem to fit me. If I were to paint a picture of our lives with that song, it would have to be the other way around. It wouldn't be she loves me, it would be he loves me. He does love me mostly like Jesus does.  Though no one but God alone can love me like Jesus, Babe is a pretty close second. The way he loves people in general is incredible to me sometimes. He is one of the most forgiving, loving, supportive and non-condemning people I know.

When I play the song through my way it goes a little like this...

I'm a long gone wayward soul sometimes, 
Dreams are the far outreaches for which my heart pines. 
Yet, he believes in my like he believes his bible, 
He loves me like Jesus does. 

I'm a lead foot leaning on a white old Ford, 
I'm a girl who craves stability with a mind that won't just let her get bored. 
Yet he carries me when my sins weigh me down to the floor
and loves me like Jesus does.

All the crazy in my dreams, 
My one right broken wing, 
and the left that fails to overcompensate for everything. 
Yeah he knows the girl I ain't, 
He forgives me when I can't.
The devil, man, he don't stand a chance.
He loves me like Jesus does.  

I should have thought he would give up on me someday, 
yet I never had to doubt him, though I doubt myself in many ways. 
So, I thank God each night and twice on Sundays
That he loves me like Jesus does. 

All the crazy in my dreams, 
My one right broken wing, 
and the left that fails to overcompensate for everything. 
Every single piece of who I am shines brighter in his eyes,
even the parts of me some might despise.
Yeah he knows the girl I ain't, 
He forgives me when I can't
The devil, man, he don't stand a prayer.
He loves me like Jesus does.  

I'm a long gone wayward soul sometimes. 

Most days I think I do alright at loving Babe, but I know I make mistakes at it often. This wife thing was a lot harder for me to learn than I thought it would be. I had considered myself a pretty good girlfriend.  We had been together for five years before we even got married. I thought "how hard and different could it be?" Oh, bless my soul! The wife thing has been a process.  Maybe because I hadn't ever pictured the wife role when I had planned out our futures. I had done the girlfriend thing, I had somewhat pictured the wedding thing, and I had absolutely pictured the mom thing but the wife thing? I guess that had gotten left out somehow. It has been a learning process (and a loving process) and he has bared with me through it all as a stable rock of clarity. He teaches me everyday how to love better and for that I will always be grateful.  

How about you? Any songs you have written your own lyrics or rhythm too? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The UnDisney Side of Cali

Day 28's Disclaimer: These are not the rest of my favorite pics as told to look for in this post.  Today I am on a "ain't nobody got time for that" mission to get my license reinstated after it was confiscated for supposedly not paying a ticket that I have the receipt for (thank you very much).  Thank you Mr. Policeman (or the automatic ticket payment system I guess) for messing up my schedule all weekend with the inability to drive my car. Must just be payback for this incident.  These were all together already in a nice little package.  Hope you enjoy!



Monday, May 27, 2013

Here's to you!

I am loving the topic for Day 27 and the opportunity to tell those of you that have joined me on this ride how much it truly means.  

Dear and Wonderful Reader, 

I want to say thank you! Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Thank you for bearing with me as I continue to work out the odds and ends of the blogging world. I jumped on this train and began "conducting" this space after having ridden a few trains for a while. The experience of seeing the blogging world from this side has been a new and empowering experience. It is made so much richer because of each one of you.  I have loved this journey and getting the chance to share in life with you. Each comment and remark and email I get touches my heart and makes it a bit lighter.  The worst of days can be made that much better when I check in and find that someone has left me a "happy" on one of my posts.  My heart dances! My heart also dances when I find a new post on your page, opening up the details of your soul and letting me share in your world.  

I have come to realize that this thing we share is special and for me this blog has begun a changing process.  However, this is one change that I have somehow embraced head on.  The first days were initially a bit nerve wrecking knowing that my life was broadcast for all to weed through. But each comment I receive calms that and this change is one that I accept gladly.  I have found freedom through this change and I have found warmth in so many others who have openly shared their posts as well. Thank you for your words.  The many words I get the opportunity to read each day when you publish a new post.  This community is a challenging one but it is also an inspiring one. I love this community and I am genuinely thankful to each of you who stop by to take a peek at my world. I feel honored to be sharing in this ride with you! You are so special to me! 

Peace, Love and Wishful Things!