Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the post in which everyone is jealous of me, including myself

I told myself sternly that I was not going to have post-vacation blues, but here we are back into the routine of things and I find it impossible not to feel at least a little sad. For me, the charm of the ocean lies in the waves crashing--constant and in a sturdy, peaceful pattern--That sound alone accounted for approximately 29 pounds of stress lifted off of my shoulders.

Even still, there is something to be said for getting one's house in order, one's baby back on his sleeping schedule, and one's routine back in place. 

I'll try to be good and not give in to the post-beach melancholy (dirty laundry, cranky baby, worn out momma) and just post some pictures. It was a really lovely time, and I'm especially grateful to John's parents, who made it all possible.

Grant's free ice cream scoop, the adorable factor makes me happy just looking at this photo

the adorable factor is high on this one and the next few as well

he is the most natural sharer of a kid that I have ever met. it's really sweet and cute

this is the touristy side of town. i'm kinda glad we weren't close to this section, it was too garish for my taste. surfside beach is much more calm than myrtle beach proper

we went to a great place called Wonder Works where the entire building looks like it is upside down. it is basically a boy's dream in there, tons of science--but fun science, like doing simulators of space walks, flying the space shuttle, flying jets, and also a huge section of just fun video games, and then there were a bunch of virtual reality type games, like the one above that I titled, "grandma snowboarding." she is probably going to kill me for posting this ha!

can't remember what this was simulating, but Grant looked funny

john looks better wearing my purse than i do

i read on one of my friends' blogs (can't remember who? was it you jodi?) that they loved the Mellow Mushroom. I had never been so I convinced my family to go and oh man was it ever delicious. wow. i could eat some right now. it is this almost constant readiness for pizza that gives you several chins like you see in the photo above, might be worth it...


we must have been waiting for the bill, everyone looks kinda bored ha

this guy was fairly terrible throughout the entire vacation. that's a whole other post. he thinks he is two. i am sorry to inform him that he still faults a few more months and i want my nice baby back.

with all the running and jumping in waves, i got several photos of zonked out maddy

unfortunately, all of the exercise seemed to have the opposite affect on Granty. that kid had a hard time sleeping. no bueno

very very bueno. the view from the balcony patio. i tried to sit outside as much as possible to listen to the waves and breathe in lots of fresh ocean breezes.

it had a pool but we didn't pay the extra money to heat it. maddy and i braved it once, but it was too cold. the ocean was actually way warmer and we played in that every day.

a tall frosty glass of lemonade and the trusty bottle of sunscreen. this is the essence of vacation in one shot. tell me you don't feel happier just thinking about it? ahhh

since grandma bought a big bag of popsicles, it was our moral duty to eat as many as possible

Maddy and Gram doing their crafts on the porch

causing trouble

told ya, worn out. 

next time i'll tell you about our trusty trip to the renaissance festival. i know, i're on the edge of your seat. i'll try to make it as painless as possible by using huzzah at every opportunity. you're welcome. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bahamas or Bust

I have lots of things to share that we have been up to since the last time I posted, but I am feeling too giddy not to talk about The Great Mom Deception of 2012.

You see, back earlier in the year when I was living in Charleston and likely to remain living in Charleston, my Mom and I thought it would be fun to go to Time Out For Women. It's a conference for LDS women that has inspirational and faith promoting speakers come to speak to you. My Mom thought I could use some inspiring since these past few years have been a bit tough. I was excited.

Well then we ended up moving and John's parents booked a house on the beach during the same week that my Mom went ahead (without double checking with me ahem) and booked. We realized the double booking belatedly, but were going to work around it and still go--in fact John's mom Jane was going to go with us.

Meanwhile, I realized that Mom had booked the tickets during the week that her 10th anniversary fell. I knew this would sadden her husband Gordon, because we had been talking for months about possibly doing a big party for their anniversary. Right around this same time, my Mom started telling anyone and everyone that she wanted to go on a cruise for her anniversary. :)

Finally, I realized that maybe instead of Mom coming to see me, maybe Gordon could secretly book a cruise out of Charleston and get a flight down at the same time. We were kind of doubtful that the flight she already had would line up, but we checked anyway, and it lined up almost perfectly! After going back and forth, Gordon decided to pull the trigger and surprise my Mom. I was on the phone with him while we went over everything and I helped him make the reservations.

Not two minutes after we hung up my Mom got a text telling her that there was an "unusual charge" to their credit card. She panicked and almost called to report that their card must have been stolen because she certainly didn't make a purchase that large and she doubted her super frugal husband would have done so either. She called him just to make sure and he answered that it was him with a sheepish laugh.

So...Mom was a little suspicious at this point, but knew that her anniversary was coming up so decided to not press for details.

Now, let's talk about the fact that we could NOT find my Mom's passport. Anywhere. We had my sister call to try and ask how mom organized her important papers (didn't work, she answered too vaguely). Gordon tried to look in one of her many purses, no luck. Finally, Kelly drove all the way down to her house, snooped through her stuff for five minutes and found the passport! We were back in business!

It all came down around our ears last night when a out of town relative called and asked if she could come and see my Mom during a last minute trip to D.C. She just needed to stay one night the night before Mom got back from her trip with me. So Mom asked Gordon if he would be okay with that. Gordon hmmed and hawed and said he didn't think it would work. Mom asked why, and he said he wasn't sure he would be home. She asked where he was planning on being since she was going to be out of town (she was thinking he must have forgotten). She was even thinking of cancelling her flight when Gordon finally confessed that he was going with her and that she was headed to the Bahamas for 5 days! From all accounts, we got her good!

So, now my Mom and Gordon are on their way to Charleston tomorrow and will be heading straight to the port where they will embark on their 10th anniversary Bahamian cruise. I think the whole thing is adorable and romantic, and I am beyond excited for them. And in the end, it's probably a good thing she found out early anyway....we had forgotten to get someone to feed the cat while they were away. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Let it go or let it fill

Today I had a tiny little epiphany of sorts. I was sitting down to lunch after being very busy all morning tidying and cleaning and shopping at the market. I have been getting ready for John's parents to come today and felt happy to have a special reason to get my house spic and span and smelling good and all of the flat surfaces sanitized and shiny. I have finally been getting over my two weeks of sickness, and I wanted everything to be homey and welcoming. 

As I finally sat down to my late lunch while Grant napped, I felt overwhelmed with a sense of joy and pride in my accomplishments. I hadn't done anything particularly amazing (not brain surgery anyway). I had swept and mopped, tidied and laundered. I had arranged things I hadn't gotten around to making nice yet. I cleaned bathrooms, scrubbed dishes. All the while I was still able to play with Grant when he needed a friend. I was able to read him books while snuggled with his favorite blanket and then lay him down peacefully for his nap. I realized that with all of this work I felt full--full of health, a sense of having done a good job, and a sense of contentment. I felt grateful.

Sometimes it is easy for me to feel full of other things. I let nagging feelings of anxiety, worry, disappointment, regret, anger, blues, and envy fill me up to overflowing and today I realized that when I let those things stay inside, I take up all of the room that all of the good things would like to occupy.

We are not rich (ha!) we are not always living up to the best we can do as parents, spouses, children, siblings. But we are trying and the fact is that we can choose what we let fill us. I am so glad today I let the good things fill my heart.

And on that note, here are some cell phone pictures of my house while it is super clean and homey.
It's a rental, but it is our's for now, and my family makes it feel like home.

 Maddy's room
 i like to get kid soaps for their bathroom
 dark teal blue that is growing on me
 these pictures are all jumbled up. the curtains i made for maddy out of thrift store sheets and pinned up because i'm frugal like that :)
 a quilt my momma made
 love maddy's sweet little bed
that free dresser i got from the side of the road that one time
my desk that i love

 got that lamp from the thrift for $4
 my bed, slouchy and cozy. love my handmade headboard still
 and the only curtains i wouldn't give to the people that bought our old house

 one corner of our living room. i gave up trying to look cute all of the time and just wanted grant to enjoy the space too so i put his train table down here
my imperfect slipcovers

another road side save. one of my favorite revamps ever
that lovely craigslist t.v. we got for a steal. everything in my home was some sort of great deal, but i like to think that what matters is that it is clean and cozy
kitchen sink with my milk bottles
love this extra storage area between the kitchen and front room
still haven't made the shelves pretty. probably won't. notice there isn't anything on the lower shelves. that two year old is veeeerrrrry curious
a place to sit and watch the cars go by

love pumpkins

notice the leaves we have collected on our walks home from the bus stop?
it looks pretty and tastes pretty too

made a morning beverage station. notice my father-in-law isn't mormon so I bought him some folgers. I didn't want to scare my mom and get her all worried about our eternal salvation or anything :)
my favorite little boy having fun while mom cleans.