Life's Sweet Journey

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! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I Want Her Back

I am linking up today with day ten's prompt for Blogtember.  Originally I had planned to make this a love letter to people. To all the people who made my family feel so cared for in these past months.  I went to type weeks but realize it has been much longer than that.  Time has seemed to have a warped sense of reality for me lately, it flies and yet goes so slow all at once.  I still plan to write that post about people (I have been meaning to for sometime now) but ever since posting the self portraits I have not been able to think about anything but that girl, the one in the picture.  I want her back. I want the girl pictured above back. And so I write this letter for her, I write this letter for me.

Dear Girl,
I love you! I am sorry it took me losing you to realize just how much.  I wish you hadn't gone away.  I miss your smile.  I miss the way it not only showed up on your face, but the way you felt it deep down in your soul. I pray that you will be back soon.

Your utter joy with the world astounds me.  You struggled, yet there was always something in you that sought the best.  I loved the way you said that everything would be ok and that you truly believed it.  I am sorry if that is not the case anymore.  I loved your optimism and your zest for life.  I miss your ability to believe that everything is not only going to be ok, but that it is going to be great.  I apologize that you now view life without that filter.  I am sorry that you now believe that life sometimes just is what it is. If I could give those feelings back to you I would.  Maybe we can find them together. But for that to happen I need to see you.  I need to feel you.  I need to know that there is a part of you that is still with me.

I want you back.  I want you to sing along to the radio at the top of your lungs, not to drown out the emptiness you are feeling, but because you find joy in singing along to a song that means something (or that just has an awesome tune).  I want you to watch a movie, or some corny reality tv show, and get crazy because it was a horrible ending that you had called all along but hoped you were wrong about.  I want you to be able to remember the movie days later because it was something you actually watched and not just some screen you stared at to pass the time.  I want your fight back!! I want you to get mad, I want you to have something mean so much that you have a reason to argue with someone! I want your sass back! I want you to care about the little things that drove you into a tizzy.  I want you to get upset when there are no garbanzo beans for your salad or when you realize you are out of Mt. Dew for popcorn night and the popcorn is already popped.  I want you to act like it is going to ruin your whole evening unless you have that Mt. Dew and pout so that Babe will go to the corner store and come back with five in hand (either because he loves you just that much or because he doesn't want to hear you gripe. I love how you always chose to believe the first even though you knew most of it was the latter).

I want to say thank you for holding on.  I want to say thank you for showing up and trying to make your face match what it always had. I thank you for the energy you left behind; it has helped to keep my feet moving and my body get out of bed.  I thank you for continuing to know that even though the picture may be a little different now, that you still look to a source higher than yourself and know that someday things will be better, that it just may not happen here on this earth.  I wish you continued to believe that would happen this side of heaven. But God did not promise us that we would not struggle, he did not promise us that we would not fall; thank you for continuing to hold on to the fact that He will catch you when you do.  Thank you for knowing enough of this world to know that there will be happy, blissful, wonderful moments. Please remind me, if you can, that they are all around me if I just look closely.

I just want you to know that I will fight for you.  I want you to know that though it may not seem like it right now I am looking for you.  I vow to not let you go forever, I wish we hadn't needed to take a break. You are amazing, you shine and you love so wholeheartedly that it often hurts.  Don't ever lose that!

Until we are one again,

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Self Portrait Inside and Out

I am counting today's post as a 2-for-1! I found it fittitng for the self-portraits to got right along
with the personality test. There has always been something about these photos that I have
loved (even though they are a tad old). Maybe because I find them so me? 
I'm posting... and it's not a Saturday.  Saturday's post got started but never happened.  On Saturday I planned to take this fun personality test for Blogtember, which I did. And then I planned to post the results, which I didn't.  So here they finally are.  

I am an ENFJ. And here is some of what the results said (most of them are pretty fitting)... 

"ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are. (Yes, this I know is very true. I enable, but I have learned to see if in a different light.) 
ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. (The new j-o-bs are teaching me how very true this can be) Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability. 
ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization (ummm? Organization?) and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs (oh, makes a little more sense now). Their offices may or may not be cluttered (cluttered, definitely cluttered), but their conclusions - reached through feelings- about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.
ENFJs know and appreciate people (people have been my saving grace in many ways lately). Like most NFs, and Feelers in general, they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people (Oh heck! Not sure how fitting I find this but I guess my trust in people has been known to hurt me in the past). ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear."

There was a little more information given but I thought the first main portion was the most fitting. It was interesting to me to see certain things in a different way.  When it first said organized I figured something had to be wrong. When I kept reading though and understood what was being said, I realized how fitting it was and was also quite proud to thing of myself as an organized person (even if it is only internally).  

I also found it fun that Oprah was also an ENFJ (I love me some Oprah)! And based on the match up  that Jenni found, Dumbledore would also be an ENFJ. That he was my match was a little surprising, but rocked my Harry Potter loving socks! 
"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Smart man that Dumbledore!