Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare

26 Aug

Never seen this chocolate before …

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Definitely stood out …

 

 

Starting This Year on a Good Note … The Justin Timberlake Kind

24 Aug

And so it begins …

 

Another year of firsts …

The older kids playground and then entering kindergarten. Two kids, two sets of Ticonderoga No.2 adventures and I felt both excited and little anxious about this new season. As you all know last year’s academic year with Miss Viola Swamp was a challenging one filled with bite-your-tongue-and-pick-your-battle moments so we’ll see how this year pans out. New teachers, new experiences but I’m not so much worried about teachers this time around as something different came up.

Not a bad concern, just a parenthood observation.

As a parent you know they’re getting older because their pants and shirts and socks don’t fit them quite right anymore, getting a little snug. So you make a trip to Target. You notice their little faces and the expressions are still the same, but they’re not so little anymore.

And you realize the season is about to change. Granted it’s not a giant step into middle school, high school, or college and you’re not balling your eyes out, but it’s still a step ahead and you pause because you’re actually feeling it. You’re feeling the step and the growth right in front out you. Not in a slow motion, but just right in front you and you caught it. The kind of moment you want to save in those mason jars.

Pride and smiles because they seem to be on the good path. You’ve done a good job … so far. They know when to act crazy silly and when it’s serious Crayola Crayon time. So as always, first day of school love-you-you-can-conquer-the-world-notes in their Star Wars and Minions lunchboxes and a great feel good song to start the day, the kind that rocks you into a good mood and good grove. Ready for anything that third grade and kindergarten can throw your way. Starting this year on a good note …

 

The Justin Timberlake kind. It was a unanimous decision, we’ve been listening to it all week. Buen Camino my friends.

 

 

 

It’s Possible … Every Four Years

17 Aug

I hadn’t planned on it happening … but it did.

I’ve fallen off the WordPress wagon.

I’d like to say that it  was because of some amazing opportunity that has whisked me away, but no … not yet. And it’s not procrastination either as I wish I had extra time for procrastination itself.

No.

It’s been the epic involvement of watching Michael Phelps, Nathan Adrian, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and every volleyball match in existence. I’ve been pumped up with this Olympic coverage and suspended all Netflix watching. I’ve gotten so carried away that I’ve forgot to post on Monday.

rio-olympics

I’m aware that some people are so over it, but I’m not one of those people. I’m in awe of the fact that it took these people four years of sunrise and sunset dedication to get to where they are, some even longer. Whether it’s the podium, crossing the finish line, or touching the ball for a game-winning point that type of determination and sacrifice requires my full attention.

I admire that stuff in people, and like hearing about their journey. I enjoy watching the last shot, the clock winding down, or that stretch to the finish. I stand up, cheering like they can hear me. I get so excited to see their dreams come true that watching it happen, keeps the “It’s Possible” mentality alive.

They had big dreams four years ago with doubters, haters, and believers along for the ride. And in these last couple of weeks they’ve made it happen. They got there.

Believing in “it’s possible,” is always the first step. It’s an encouraging environment to be around, to watch.

It gets the writer in me juiced up. Seeing their dreams come true, to be at The Games, always inspires me to keep going, to keep the “it’s possible,” mantra at the forefront.

Four years … sunrise to sunset … thinking about your dream and making things happen in order to get there. That’s the kind of stuff writers are made of too. Although we don’t have a cheering section or medals, we still dream and work, even though some people consider daydreaming not part of the job. It is … it’s what keeps the possibilities alive.

Four years.

Setting my sights high for four years.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

12 Aug

Even on vacation, I find moments of peace in the early morning …

 

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🙂

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post

 

 

 

House Of Sports

8 Aug

Morgan Freeman is back and I’m listening.

He makes me want to be an Olympian … just so he can narrate my life.

I don’t know if The Olympics are big at your house but they sure bring my family together morning, noon, and night. We get pumped over here, so when someone feels a lack of enthusiasm I must remind them that I come from a House of Sports.

Now I just don’t passively watch it. I’m an enthusiastic fan, which is why I hesitate when a friend of mine recently invited me to a quick getaway for a few days before the school year starts. Hang out. Let the kids  play in the pool. Get out of the house which was desperately needed.

But … It’s The Olympics.

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I’m all for hanging out and drinking wine and chit-chatting, but when gold is on the line and my country is close to the podium I’m gonna have to be glued to the television. Surprisingly not many of my friends are into sports, like myself. Only a few share my love of Peyton Manning, Monday Night Football, hoop dreams, sideouts,  400 relay teams, a love for Coach Eric Taylor, Morgan Freeman commercials, Hoosiers, Miracle, The Natural and other sports movies.

So they may not understand the importance of Olympics, they may be passive about it or maybe they’re just as excited as I am when I hear the tannnn-tannnnn-ta-tannnn-tan-tan-tan-tan-tan-tan tannnnn. Don’t know.

But what I do know is that come night time, when all the kids are in bed and some of the girls want to get to chit-chatting or drinking, I’m gonna have to steer them towards the television and remind them that I come from a House of Sports. And Michael Phelps will be swimming, Aly Raisman will be taking the floor, and Kerri Walsh Jennings will be hitting the beach. So NBC  will probably be blaring from the TV or iPad. But I’ll encourage them to bring their treats.

Writer Wednesdays with IWSG

3 Aug

It happens … shitty things happen to make your story more interesting.

At least that’s what I tell myself to help get through the nastiness that I encounter. Most people have to really use their imagination and dig deep for dramatic crappy things to happen in their plots.To some it comes natural, they have awesome imaginations … Stephen King.

My imagination is good, but not that great. But I’m lucky in other ways. I guess I’m lucky because I can just reach for what happened on a random Wednesday and it would make for an epic drama on any network.

 

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🙂

 

I used to worry about revealing the crappy parts of my life and the shitty things that people said and did to me.Insecure of myself. I used to think it was a reflection of me. But I realized … it wasn’t. It’s never been about me, it was always about them and their own broken parts they were trying to project on me.

Writing things out and being raw, with dialogue or dramatic events was not only therapeutic for me, but made for some of the best moments on the page.

I realized that writing my truth out struck a chord with people and made a connection, because they’ve also had crappy moments with family, boyfriends,  girlfriends, husbands, receptionists … whoever. They get it.

The stage play that was recently produced got so many nods and high fives because so many people that I didn’t know could relate to what happened to the young mother. They were like … I felt like you were talking about me.

My dark moments were also someone else’s, but I helped them not feel alone on the journey, plus I made them see the funny in the not so funny situation.

As writers sometimes the worst moments, the toughest moments, end up giving you the best parts of the page. And although I wouldn’t want to wish you crappy times, I do want to remind you that even when you’re at your lowest, no moment in your life is wasted. There’s a silver linings playbook with your name on it, and it will help bring something positive out of such a terrible experience. Sometimes it’s hard to see that right away. But eventually things shift.

Write out the crappiness and see what happens.

 

 

 

The purpose of the Insecure Writers’ Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. To see a full list of IWSG authors, click here.

 

 

 

Discover Challenge: Shared Journeys

1 Aug
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🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Discover Challenge via The Daily Post

 

Looking Through The Right Lens …

29 Jul

Turning the corner feels so good, when the day before seemed like such a nightmare.

I was secretly hoping things were going to get better but I didn’t want to jinx myself. It’s weird when people think like that, I know. But I was just hoping for a little luck from the universe, and it turns out, the universe was definitely conspiring with me that day.

Even though we had to cancel our Bucket List Adventures that day, turning 41 ended up being pretty good. I found so many tiny blessings that added up to such a cool day, small moments to be super grateful for, and if I hadn’t been looking, my perspective would have been so different. So glad I was looking through the right lens …

beach

🙂

 

101-degree fevers and vomit gone …

No traffic on the way and Flock of Seagulls on the radio …

Realizing it’s 99 degrees where you live but a cool 77 on your beach spot …

Warm sand, low tide, cool waters, and no beach space invaders …

Catching some awesome boogie board waves that make you feel like you’re on a the Travel Channel Special, in slow motion, and Morgan Freeman is narrating  …

Great picnic with no sand in the sandwiches …

Splashing in the waves, hearing my kids laugh, hearing my own laugh …

Relaxing on a Tommy Bahama Beach Chair and taking a moment, a couple actually, to check out the peaceful scene …

Driving out for an early dinner and not getting lost on the way …

Eating the best fish tacos I’ve had in 12 years … Duuuuude.

Driving home, in traffic, but kids watching Despicable Me and I’m bopping my head to The Boss, The Zac Brown Band, The Rolling Stones,Tears for Fears, The Beastie Boys, New Edition, and La Pollera Colorada … ahhh best mixed tape ever …

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, flan, triple chocolate mousse, one candle, a happy birthday song, and a great wish waiting for me at home …

Buen Camino my friends.

 

 

Small Moments On A Buen Camino …

25 Jul

101-degree fevers accompanied by vomit and tears?

It might end up being a tradition.

Maybe.

Three years in a row when everything that can go wrong does go wrong on the night before? Yeah, maybe. It’s Birthday Eve and I’m remembering last year and being in a somewhat similar position where things beyond my control were out of control. Well it’s happened again, only this time I had to cancel a trip because of it.

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Image from Santa Barbara Adventure Company at Channel Islands National Park

 

No bucket list adventures for me this time around, no sea cave kayaking off the coast of California to ring in another year. The Birthday Eve bad luck bandit has struck again.

But …

It was Birthday Eve … it was Birthday Eve two years in  a row where I had to ask for grace and work hard to find the bits and pieces of gratitude throughout the day. It happened on Birthday Eve and I expected it continue onto the next day. But come sunrise things changed.

The universe decided to rain sunshine down on me and helped turn things around. I found spectacular moments to be grateful for on my adventure last year, and so I’m counting on that happening again. I’m counting on all that bad luck hitting the night before, making way for blessings and happy moments for the next day.  The day.

I was sad about cancelling our trip, our little get away on such short notice, but vomit, fever, and kids are unpredictable on vacation. So no hotels, no kayaks, no sea adventures.

So now Plan B is in full effect …

They’re turning the corner and health is looking up. So day trip is in my future tomorrow. Just a single day trip with small moments of happiness and gratitude throughout. That’s  what I’m hoping for …small moments that will eventually add up … small moments that turn the corner on a Buen Camino.

 

1

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing The Current

20 Jul

It’s the downfall of every  parent.

You have your plan …the  snacks, a good attitude, and the sunscreen. You think you’re set. Until … the lines.

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Duuuuuude.

You’re there to celebrate …birthdays, anniversaries, milestones, vacations. All that.

And you thought you’d hit a couple of snags here and there, but when this happens and ugh … you just feel that vein in your forehead ready pop during your George Costanza moment.

Now mind you, I was prepared for it. I even prepared my kids for it, so when we encountered a 55 minute wait at the Radiator Springs Attraction at Disney’s California Adventure I was totally on top of it. I knew there would be a battle for the spot in front of the chain, for the one next to the rails so that climbing would be possible, for the spot in the shade, for the spot in the sun, for the spot in front of me, for the spot next to the wall, for the spot with of view of the attraction.

I knew there would be a lack of patience running rampant throughout the park and with the heat in the 90s I prepared. I did. I had all the snacks and the positive vibe going on, but nothing can really suck the air out of your balloon like long lines and tired kids.

And I witnessed this happening in multiple languages throughout the park, but the one Dad rubbing his head and having a George-Costanza-Serenity-Now! moment  … he seemed to be having the toughest day yet.

The amount of pressure used to rub his forehead was the first clue and his 14-year-old son was the second. Had the cause and effect right in front of me.

I could totally see this happening and I nodded my head like … yeah I know, I know.

But luckily for me I never got to that point that day. I was able to salvage some moments that could have really turned gruesome in that heat.

Thanks for the deep breathing and peaceful talks Deepak Chopra OnDemand.

But aside from this meditation guru helping me find the Zen, two complete strangers helped keep things in the right frame of mind.

We met these two lovely ladies that just happened to get in line with us. They saw the birthday buttons on my kids and began conversation. It was regular stranger-nice-day-good-luck conversation. But when we got on the rapids ride laughter ensued with all of us and all the waiting in line from the morning faded as we enjoyed moments of unexpectedness and fun on that raft.

These ladies had such a good vibe, and were totally digging our laughter fest, that everyone on that raft gelled.

The rest of the day followed the same pattern and I was glad to have met those two ladies. The universe had put us on the FastPass tip and we bumped into them, helping to improve the rest of our day. It’s really too bad that the father of the teenage boy hadn’t met them earlier as well. Things might have turned out differently for him. Never know.

So while reflecting about the day’s events, I remembered those two ladies and hoped that the universe had paid them back for crossing our path. Conversations with strangers are something I don’t do often, especially when I’m with my kids. Sometimes things get weird, like that time at Michael’s Craft Store when this guy swore I was a spy and was upset because he thought I had overheard his conversation with headquarters and knew I had told “her” to do “it.” I didn’t know who “it” or “her” were,  I almost had to call security.

But this time … this time the conversation changed the current of our flow. Their kindness and vibe was a good thing that day and I was grateful.

 

 

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