Life's Sweet Journey

Friday, June 28, 2013

Just Call Me the Mad Hatter (or am I the Rabbit? or Alice?)

And all today's wisdom will come from Alice and Wonderland, mainly because I had tried to start a paragraph, got halfway through it and then realized it made not one lick of sense to any suitable brain. Made perfect sense to mine today, after a two hour long crazy and fun conversation with a friend that in hindsight left me feeling a little out of sorts and in a mood for comparing her story to my own (they are similar yet each with their own twists)... thou shall not compare! It's never good (see there I go not making much sense again)! These words should sum it up better than I ever could. Enjoy! And have a fabulous, carefree, and crazy weekend! Apparently that seems to be the mood I am in. 

And that is all. Good day to you! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Peace for the Soul Place

It's Wednesday and I am about to get all kinds of Whatever Wednesday up in here because I am going to start with today's topic and transition into Tennessee. Alrighty people?! This is mainly due to the fact that my response to today's topic is going to be short and sweet (somewhat). 

The lovely Whatever Wednesday gals, Shay and Alissa, would like for me to discuss my first kiss with you, but considering I talked about it in last weeks Whatever Wednesday post, you can read it in more detail there or just take it like this...  I don't really remember, ok?! Probably something one should remember, I know! I could be all sly and just say my dad, but technically it could have been my mom (I guess I could ask which one kissed me first if I wanted to, but nah!). I could also say that I think my first "official" one was in fourth grade in the fort part of our playground in the backyard. However, 1.) I do not know if that is completely correct and 2.) I may only be remembering it because it is the one my brother remembers and often reminds me of. Prime example I was setting for my younger siblings! Except I think John Wayne had probably already had his first one long before that point and I also think it may have taken place because he dared us. Who knows?! Not me! Maybe my brother can tell you. 

Anyways... I do know who my last one was with. And where! It was to Babe, in the shining state of Tennessee (ok, so really it was here at home, last night before going to bed. But Tennessee is a happier setting and also useful for the following) and that is how we will move into the rest of this post.  

I am not sure if my soul was meant to be raised for city living.  I think it belongs somewhere in the likes of Tennessee with a decent mix of country living and the suburbs. More of your small town feel, if you will! Most days I know that Florida is my home and that I belong here but some moments, I find myself longing for a different place, a different way of life. A place where things move at a slower pace and life doesn't seem to make people so flustered. My heart literally seems to sing when I am in Tennessee. It is at peace and my world is calm. I am on vacation but I also feel as if living there would make me slow a little bit and take in more around me. We were coming off the boat after a day on the water and joking with some of the neighbors about what goes on in their "little" cove (they were joking about all the craziness but...). And that is when I referred to it as "a little slice of heaven" and not a single one of them disagreed. They have a corner of the world that still seems untouched by the outside. Where you know your neighbors (heck you know everyone on the almost 30,000 acre lake) and where you all have each others backs. The kind of place where you can leave your doors unlocked while boating and not fear coming home to absolutely nothing, mainly because those who may even think of coming in "uninvited" also know you have an extensive gun collection. It is the type of place where all are welcomed and where setting an extra place at dinner because someone swung by for a glass of sweet tea is never even thought twice about (just pull up a seat). It's this magical land where the beer cooler always seems full, yet people's hands are never empty. Where the sun doesn't seem to burn as harshly and where the water is perfect for bobbing. Children are respectful because they have been taught how you treat others and the world is less 'dog-eat-dog' and more about 'help-a-brother-out' and 'roll-with-the-punches'. It's a place where you don't have to worry too much about people gossiping about you because what they may say about you, they will also say to you and it's never really in a harsh, judgemental way. It's more so a way of acknowledging that we all have our "stuff" and we may as well put it on the table. I am not sure what it is about all of it that sounds so appealing to me, but I could very well plant myself on a piece of land up there, settle in and never leave. 

 Going, going, gone.

Alas, my home is here and while some part of me may long for more land and a quieter, slower pace I do love my life in the sunny state of Florida and I would miss my people (most of them anyways ;) ). If I could bundle it up and take it all with me then I would, but then... I don't know if it would so calm anymore. 


Where's your place? Where do you find peace?

Monday, June 24, 2013

High Five for Monday

Sooo... it may be Monday, but I have been out of town, out of touch with technology and in the midst of all that is right in the world.  Now, it is back to reality and though the Five on Friday is supposed to take place on, well, Friday I figured I would (in pure Melanie fashion) jump on the bandwagon a bit late.

Here are five things I am loving lately

1.) Tennessee!!

 It is my place. It is the place I think my soul belongs. More on that later. Until then just know it is something somewhere that I am really, REALLY, REALLY loving! Which is why it is also number...


Even the storms seem better in Tennessee. It was less like a horrible, Florida flood and more like this incredible, peaceful light show that we got to enjoy from the confines of a wrap around back porch while the storm took place right across the lake behind the mountains leading into Kentucky. 

3.) This book
I have read this book already but our 12 hour road trip consisted of dramatic readings. Babe is still working his way through it after reading Divergent and while he is not a reader he has managed to get immersed in some of the books I love (which I love him for). Due to school he has not really been able to pick it up since our cruise in January. Most car trips consist of at least some dramatic reading periods by me while he drives. This trip we actually made it through almost 250 pages. I have forgotten a good bit of what happens and so now we will be reading this book aloud together so I can finish it with him.  If you are looking for a new book series and have not read this one I seriously recommend it! It is right up there with Hunger Games for me. However, I would wait until at least September to start (depending on how quick a reader you are). The third and final book does not come out until October (which I was unaware of when I first picked up the series before out last cruise).

4.) This movie

Fe, fi, fo, fum... you should watch it, is is fun!
We just watched it and my expectations were somewhat low. I had wanted a movie that I didn't think would require much thought and gave Babe three choices. He chose Jack over Despicable Me and Keeping Score (both of which I still want to see). I thought this movie was great! A little icky at parts (the giants were somewhat disgusting) but overall a really cute story! And though most of it was somewhat predictable to me (there is not many a movie or tv show that can stump, I always call the ending) there were parts that I was off about, which I deem like worthy in my book any day. It was kind of Narnian-esque in the filming. One scene looked exactly like the scene when the White Witch comes to discuss the terms of payment for Edmund's treachery.

5.) Skype
While in Tennessee I got the first chance to Skype with my bro, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. Tears ensued, but it was so great to see his face and hear his voice. Well, kind of. One thing about the lake is that there is not very good wi-fi reception. This is great for the most part because I leave all cares behind. Yet, it's not so great when trying to Skype all the way across the world. It was hard to see him but it was perfection either way. He got a chance to see all the Tennessee crowd too, which was nice! 

What five things are you loving this week? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A First Time For Everything

Just swinging in for the 'Whatever Wednesday' post that these great ladies have thought up! Thanks Shay and Alissa for the idea! 

I am not super great with the whole memory thing. I can't remember dates or time or tell you many specifics. Feelings and moments though?! I can give you some of those. Today's topic for this wonderful non-link up, link up that I am jumping in on is about firsts... Dun dun dun! 

My mind was going in many different directions... milestones, interviewing my mother about my first words (she's a tad busy trying to get out of town), first memories. Then I thought why not go through my list of "first" boy moments (Disclaimer: Babe if you are reading this you are welcome to stop now). I was a tad bit "boy" minded when I was a young soul (bless that child). My old soul has it's moments. I sometimes live vicariously through The Bachelorette as to who I would pick and why. It's sad I know, the show in general and the fact that I get such pleasure out of the drama. Any who, here we go!

My first "love" 
That one is simple. That would be my Daddy! 

My first kiss
Oh heavens. Who even knows?! My mom tells me I had a little kissing buddy in preschool. I can still remember one that was in the fort part of our playground when I was in elementary school. There were a few of the neighbor boys too. One who reminded me not too long ago when we were out with mutual friends. *Clapping hand to head now! Child, where were your parents?! Just kidding Mom!

My first "wedding"
So I think I may have like three different husbands. I am pretty sure I "married" my little preschool best friend in his backyard one day so that we could play house in his really cool tree house that had a zip line. Then I "married" one of my neighborhood friends. His brother officiated and all our neighbors were in attendance. He wasn't strong enough to carry me back down the aisle sidewalk so his older brother filled in for that part. 

My first official "gift" from a boyfriend 
*I use the term boyfriend lightly because I am not sure if elementary school should really count
That would be a pet snake - yes, snake - that he found and put into a plastic juice pitcher. He jumped the school fence to get it for me from the woods behind our school. This is the same snake that I named after one of my elementary school besties and the same snake that escaped its cage a few weeks after I brought it home. My Mimi was never fond of me having the snake so when she was over one night my parents told her that we gave it back, instead of telling her it was lost somewhere in our house. After finding it curled up in a potted plant one night, Becky, was taken to a pet store because we couldn't tell Mimi that the snake had just miraculously reappeared. 

My first "date" with the first boy who I had fallen pretty hard for 
Oh this night! This was my first high school 'I think I am head-over-heels' crush (turned relationship). He was a senior to my freshman. He wanted to take me on a date. Daddy did not agree with him. At least, wouldn't until he had met him. This boy happened to not live too far from my house, a two minute car ride maybe. The big plan? For my father and I to go on a run with him... A run! If you have read any previous posts you might know that I do NOT run. Anywhere! But I was young and smitten and so like many a girl in my circumstance would do, I laced up my sneakers. I tried to keep up, I really did. I made it maybe a block when it became one of those walk/ jog/ intermittent running things. We ran to a nearby park; the boy, my dad and me. My dad asked him all kinds of questions and they did most of the talking considering I was trying my best to breathe, run and at the same time not sweat too much. Then on the way back to my house we walked, the boy and me, while my dad did a cool down jog up ahead (just a ways). As a freshman girl I was slightly mortified, but I dealt. As a future parent (someday), you can bet on Babe being right there at the door ready to run down with any of his daughters potential suitors. 

My first heartbreak
Heartbreaks are tough. It doesn't matter if it's happening to you or you know you are causing it. It burns. The main one that sticks in my memory would have come from the one who takes part in the story above. It was a long story that is best chalked up to immaturity on both parts.  The first time I felt I dealt one was just as tough in many ways as being the recipient. It broke my heart to think I was breaking someone else's. Sometimes I think that whole courtship idea and not getting to emotionally attached to someone until you're ready for the whole marriage thing seems like a good idea. But try telling that to any person who thinks that they've already found it (even young naive freshman who think the whole world works like a high school love story). 

The first time I understood "love"
Each step in my life, each person that came before, taught me something different about what love is and isn't. In recent years I have not been hugely fond of the word love. For me it implies the love that we read about in fairy tales. The only name that fits for me with any clarity for what love looks like is Babe (and God and my daddy and now knowing what it means to love the little people I sometimes claim as mine, though those loves are slightly different). Babe teaches me everyday the true meaning of the word and the selflessness that is involved in being with someone completely. Love is about commitment. It really is about weathering the good and the bad together, especially when sometimes the only thing in sight is stormy seas. When it's right and it's yours and you know it was built to last you hold on, you cherish it and you work at it.

Ok so now that this post went from slightly funny to serious in the matter of paragraphs we are going to consider this a true 'Whatever Wednesday' post and say, see ya on the flip side. Excited to read through some of the other lovely posts as I road trip it to Tennessee! Yay for my first summer getaway!

How about y'all, any summer vaca plans? 
Any of you guys out there "married" to multiple people?! 
You know because those two questions totally go hand in hand...not! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Daddy's Girl

"We stand together in front of the mirror, one of us old and the other no longer young. I think of the ties that bind us: our sense of family, our sense of place, our sense of fairness. The old man next to me stands tall, walks softly, and says nothing, even when his heart is full of feeling." -Michelle Morris

I can tell you right now I will probably not make it through this post without tears. Yesterday I spent the day celebrating the man that I have been blessed to call my dad. My father is the most amazing man I know aside from my husband; they share the title.  It was very hard to imagine that there could be someone that might share that spot with my dad.  He held that place in my life, alone, for many years. Everyone says that I am so much like my mother (which may be true) but I am forever my father's daughter. Just ask anyone who has so much as questioned that my daddy was anything less than the hero in my life; apparently, you do not want to know the wrath that follows.  This is something I did not know about myself until someone pointed it out to me after a discussion on if my father would come and find me like Liam Neeson did for his on-screen daughter in Taken. Sure as shoot he would and no one better try to dispute that claim!

My dad has a stillness that does not run very much through many of his children, but I would like to think that I have received many of my qualities from him. His determination at never giving up on those he loves is amazing. He has had every reason to give up on some of them and yet he stands, solid, against all that the world may throw at him. In a world where it seems like people are so quick to give in when the going gets tough, he shows me what it really means to hang on through it all - even if your heart is bleeding - and the reasons why, sometimes, it is so important. He is a shield. A barrier, barring out the world and trying to keep it from attacking, too strongly, those he loves.  He is a man of few words, surrounded by people who love to talk. Yet when he has something to say, it is as if the world stills for a second, just to lean in and listen. He is strong and noble, the very essence of what a man should aspire to be. I am so amazingly blessed by the example that he set for me and the fact the because of him, I know that my children will be able to be led be the same solid assurance in their own father. 
This man- the thoughtful one, the loving one, the funny one, the strong one- is a man who carries many titles on his back (good thing he is fit for an "old guy"). He is the provider. A lawyer who will probably never know the definition of the word retirement. It just really is not a part of who is. Yet, he is also a surfer.

A kick-your-shoes-off, sand-in-your-toes, paddles-the-lake-everyday (if he can't be on the ocean) dedicated boarder. He is a son, a husband, a friend. He is the best grandpa "Surf Daddy" that any fairy princess grand kid could ever ask for.

But the title that I love most, the one that he will be until I take my last breath, is my daddy. I love him to the end of the world and back again and am blessed beyond measure to call him mine.

*Even if he did give me my red eyes and fair skin, I still wouldn't trade it for the world!