I gone and did it.

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I celebrated over on social media a few days ago because in the middle pictures exactly a year ago I lost 50lbs on that day. Now I have added an additional 28-32 give or take bloat.😀 which is documented on the right. I love sharing my story, but I do know people get tired of hearing it or thinking they can never do it.

So I guess I feel like it is time to revisit the realities. In my head, I still feel and think and look like the girl on the left. In fact, I am the exact same person and the only real difference I feel (besides the obvious health benefits of losing weight) is my super unattractive saggy skin. You can’t see it ever cause I usually cover it, but trust me it is there and yes it holds me back.

But a lot of times people believe that weight loss mentally, physically and emotionally fixes every thing. It doesn’t. They also believe it perfects life and marriage and your relationships. It doesn’t. They believe it is easy and that you always eat healthy and eventually they start to make side swipes at you about being too healthy, too skinny or too obsessed.

What happened for me is I recognized the weight I was carrying was a lot of issues that I needed to work on and that I still work on. It didn’t fix everything. If anything it probably made me deal with a lot. My own insecurities, my own inadequacies and my imperfections were suddenly front and center. I could hide behind it all 80lbs ago.

My relationships changed especially with those in my outer circle. I am still working on why, but I honestly feel like my weight issues stemmed from a lot of insecurity and feeling insignificant. I let and wanted myself to not be seen and now I have made myself a priority and want (no demand) that if someone is important to me that I hold that same sort of space in their lives. It has made for some hurt feelings on my part, but I have lived my life too long on others terms and not my own. If you are important and I let you in, you know it.

My marriage was not magically more in tune or in tact because I lost weight. In fact, the one thing I have always loved about my guy is he never knew me any different size than the one I was. I was overweight when we met. He loved me so much then and he loves me so much now. In my experience, that is what a successful marriage is…it is loving someone as they are and always supporting them to be better and yes he has done so flawlessly. I do love that I surprised him on my stick to it tive ness. I have mentioned before I am flighty sometimes. Meaning I become obsessed with something quickly and then move on just as quickly. I am a year and half in and still sweating and eating good. But I like to surprise him a lot because it keeps things exciting. He is so even keeled it is good for our marriage.

The misconception that every single bite of food I take is healthy. Ummm No. Yesterday Ientry4 went to Culvers and had a loaded burger, fries with a Dr. Pepper. Can I tell you my secret. It was exercising and being very restrictive for about 6 months. That means I counted calories, worked out consistently (1 rest day a week) and watched portion sizes. What that did was rev up my metabolism, so that when I splurge my body isn’t as brought down by it minus bloat.

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The second misconception is that I love working out. And I do…but I always love it after. Rarely do I love it before. It takes motivation (sometimes even caffeine) and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Some weeks I have two rest days. The reality is working out every day can be boring for some. For me I love running because it lets me have quiet time to work out the junk above. But when I am injured or it is 50 billion degrees outside and I need motivation I find workouts I like. I love HIIT workouts that challenge me and my competitive side. I love focusing on equipment I have like weights, balance ball or medicine ball or even challenges. Or I just run up a hill. I just try and keep it fresh. I just try and remember to keep moving.

The obvious benefits are my resting heart rate is amazing. My BP is perfect. My blood panels are perfect. My migraines are pretty non-existent. My IBS is all but gone. My mood and energy is so much better. My sleep is a lot better. My clothes sizes are awesome and I feel great.

But the biggest secret of all is I am kind with myself. I am extremely careful about words I use. I don’t like words like: bad, cheat, fix because I don’t need or do any of those things and they truly do nothing but start an internal argument with myself that I have had for all of those years with the extra weight. I use words like love, grace and forgiveness. That is my secret. Love wins. It just does. You can’t deny it.

If not a mommy blogger than what?

Ugh how times have changed. The passage of time shows on my face and in my hair and in my wisdom and patience. But I have been writing in a blog since 2000. I started writing when contemplating motherhood. I literally had a blog about thinking about trying to conceive. I contemplated all the choices of becoming a mother and of changing my marriage so significantly.

“A wise mother knows: It is her state of consciousness that matters. Her gentleness and clarity command respect. Her love creates security.”
Vimala McClure, The Tao of Motherhood

But now I rarely talk about my girls other than very superficial terms of they are amazing or parenting is hard sometimes. I have literally went from talking about them as tiny little human beings growing in my body, sharing their birth stories and daily lives to almost barely mentioning them.

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This is not me lamenting on why am I really here if I am not just talking about being a mom. It is the most important job I have ever been given. This isn’t even about me as a blogger. I have always used this type of writing as less for my audience and more for chronicling my life and motherhood is arguably the biggest part of that. But sharing my kids stories as they get older feels intrusive and there are mom bloggers that do it every single day, but not me. If I choose tell the world about my OCD, my latest graduate school project or my current fitness obsession that is on me.

But I never want that part of my life to not exist here. It is the very soul of who I am and what I truly believe makes me the beautiful person I am. I am not talking physical beauty. I am talking about my kind and empathetic heart. They are why I exercise everyday and why I work as hard as I do as a teacher and student. I want them to know they can have any thing they want they just have to show up.

I remember growing up and my parents always did the best they could with what they had. It wasn’t always easy and our relationships haven’t always been easy even today, but they raised good people. I am proud of my siblings and I am proud of where we came from and where we are all headed. I want that for my girls. I revel in watching who they are and they become every day.

It is a hard thing for me to chronicle though because it is their path. I have had so much time to contemplate the type of parent I want to be and my opinion on that changes daily. But I do I stick by the core principles in our home.

  1. Kindness first always.
  2. Self before others, but never selfish.
  3. Never say the words, “I can’t.”
  4. Always try
  5. Love. Love. Love.
  6. Find strength in failure.

But I remember my mom always being enamored by just how differently children turn out despite you raising each child the same. And I get that. This summer has been different in the E household for just that reason.

I have a teenager who is on the cusp of high school, driving a car, starting (early) college and isIMG_1349 getting closer to figuring out who she wants to be in this world. I forget that that process is painful, joyful, beautiful, and messy sometimes. I also forget sometimes the best thing I could ever do for her is support her and love her unconditionally. I worry about the world she is growing up in, but I also take extreme comfort in the fact that we have raised her to be the girl she is who is stubborn, knows right from wrong and tries to see the good in everything. I also know she is timid of the hard parts of the world. I know she is afraid of rejection and sometimes her own shadow. So there is still more to learn together and I am grateful for that. I am excited to see what the next four years look like before we truly send her off to college. She is gonna change the world in ways that I have always wanted as the mother to daughters.

I also have almost teenager who is my child who isn’t afraid of me, the world or even IMG_1284anything besides bees. She is probably the one that worried me most as a young child, but what I saw as weaknesses back then are her biggest strengths. She isn’t swayed for anything or anyone. If she doesn’t want to do it, she won’t. She is fierce, the most intense and usually will try anything once. I worry sometimes the world will hurt her because she is so intense, but part of that intensity is damn near the most beautiful strength I have ever been witness too. Her fears are close to her heart. Her mark will be made on the world and she won’t care because the doing part of the mark is what mattered, not the aftermath. And can I just tell you how much this girl makes us laugh? She is authentic and real always and her ability to make tough situations lighter is something to see.

And oh my baby girl # 3 who is my handful. A lot of that handful is our fault. We accept that. She is also intense, but in a completely different way. She is not afraid of authority. IMG_1376She is not afraid of blazing a trail and looking back after the fact and not a moment before. Her giggles and laughter are infectious and she hates discord. She hates tension and gets her blunt honesty straight from her Momma’s mouth. But her gorgeous blue/green/hazel eyes will likely get her out of any trouble. That is if her “rhetoric” doesn’t work first. She is a sweet talker. I forget she isn’t a baby though. I still see her chubby toes and grabby newborn fingers. I feel like I always will.  She is just as smart and feisty as both of her sisters. The part that is our fault is she is our baby; we want her happy because truthfully when she is happy the family is peaceful. She reminds me of cat with its purr and snuggles that demand your attention. She is so similar to her sisters, but she is also her own person. Her own beautiful human being.

I am so very proud of the girls I am raising. It isn’t easy. In fact, there are so many times I wish I could come on here and talk about brutal it can be and is I just won’t. And for all of those moments there are 100x more of the beautiful ones that take me back to my original idea of using this type of forum for writing. I knew my life, mind, heart and soul was changing. Of course, I had no idea just how much, but becoming their momma was single handedly the absolute most selfish/unselfish thing I have ever done in my life and I look at them almost every day in awe because the power of this motherhood thing is breathtaking in a good and bad way. Your heart it breaks, glows, grows and shatters. Your mind all the exact same as the heart. The love is amplified something fierce. It is just a fiercely beautiful, brutal existence and I am glad I decided all those years ago to be a mom.

Love Winning Here Always.

 

Something happened back then. 

It kills me to admit it, but I lost a little bit of myself back then. Maybe it was the part of myself that gives multiple chances or maybe I just got smarter, but mostly I think I started guarding my heart. I still haven’t quite figured out the exact moment, but I know it happened.

No more will I let anyone hurt me over and over and over again. No more will I let others convince me it is my fault over and over and over again. I am no ones victim. I won’t cower in vulnerability seeking out a love or acceptance that I will never fully get. And I recognize that seems jaded and maybe it is. But I know in order to get love you have to be vulnerable. You have to love back. But I also figured out others have to be vulnerable and love back, too. It is a total package deal or it is no deal. 

Whatever changed has been hard…but it also helped me to see the light. I deserve better.

17 Years-I promise forever.

As we stand together
I promise forever
‘Til the day that I die
You are the love of my life

Wedding Song – Sammy Kershaw

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may 22, 1999

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may 22, 2016

Oh I suppose this may be another post waxing poetic about my marriage, but it isn’t some lame attempt at my social media life looking more exciting than the real deal. In fact, exciting and all of it’s connotations are exactly what makes my marriage worth having and where this post was generated from.

While on vacation I was perusing pinterest and I came across a pin about a man who had been married for 17 years and had written an extremely popular post about how to maintain a marriage for that long. I was struck very quickly with imposter syndrome. How in the world can a 17 year long marriage shed any sort of light on the keys to a successful marriage. Then I remembered it wasn’t even two months ago I celebrated my 17th.

Thus began a three week journey filled photo albums, love letters to precious to share, cards for grief, loving and friendships. Pictures of times long forgotten and I realized something. I do have something to say about marriage. I am not really the advice giving type when it comes to life choices like marriage and children. What works for me may not work for others. But to so easily tisk at my own marriage that has literally been through a lifetime of love, hate, pure romance, heartache is doing it an injustice.

I began to wonder what is it that makes me love this man so especially because if you know us we are opposites. He is a naysayer and I am always a yes sayer. I trust first and ask questions later. He never trusts and rarely asks questions. I see every road block as a chance to start again to conquer a hill. He looks at it as a sucky roadblock and it makes life suck and he is stuck.

And maybe that is what makes us work because when one feels a certain way the other feels the opposite therefore providing an equal balance that keeps us in harmony. But I have known many a couple who were virtually the same person and it just works for them. Therefore, all I can truly speak to is what makes it work for me.

When I met my guy I was about a year and half out of an engagement. Yes I was engaged at an early age. My heart was broken into a million little pieces and I was desperately trying to figure out who I was in this world and I was 20. My guy patiently waited for me to figure it out. He didn’t push other than to push me to be the best version of myself I could be.

He didn’t try and change me or ask me to be someone different and I will be honest in the almost 20 years we have been together I have been a lot of different people. I am a changer. I can’t stand to grow stagnate and bored. I long to feel inspired by the world and my surroundings and try and offer something better than what was there before I came. It is just my personality.

I didn’t realize this until recently when I thought about every serious job I have ever had and how much I loved each and every single one them. I thought with each one that I could grow old and retire here. When I didn’t feel that way anymore or at all…I left. To some that could be too flighty or too living by the seat of your pants. Especially, to someone like my guy who is so grounded sometimes I have bust cement around him. But never once ever did he say, “no, stop wait…maybe that isn’t a good idea.”

And truthfully that road goes both ways. I don’t necessarily always like the decisions he makes, but I always try and hear him out and support and love because that is our foundation. It is love. It is trust. It is being the best us together and trusting one another that that is our goal always.

And if this sounds a little too sappy it is. I acknowledge that. I also acknowledge it hasn’t always been as easy as it seems. We have grown up together in so many ways. I could give you all the stats of houses, children, deaths, births and vacations. But they all lead down the same exact path that both of us committed to one another and that commitment stands above all else.  It was a commitment first to God, a commitment to our selves and then a commitment to our marriage.

Never was there a bumpier patch as there was when he had his MVD or even TN struck because the reality is my guy and my marriage changed completely at that moment. It wasn’t the kind of bumpy where there is fighting and slamming doors or even lonely isolation. It was the kind of bumpy where we both were completely different people once things were better. We both shared very different experiences of what we had gone through. We both no longer recognized the person in front of us.

That is probably a newer realization. The advantage and comfort that I had coming out of that is my commitment has never waned. But it is life’s little intricacies that make him my one. The way he always makes me smile. The way he looks at me. He may not smile for the world, but he always smiles for me. The way he parents. The way he is dedicated to us and our family. The way he heads our family. The little ways he takes care of me every day. How he loves to run in the hot oppressive heat and I love to run in the cool crisp air. The way he grabs my hand when he is driving always. The list could virtually go on and on.

Times do get hard. We do get mad at one another and the secret is no secret. I remember the commitment every single day that I made to loving this man.  The commitment to our memories, our children, our public promise and private declaration to one another. That means more to me than anything.

My reward for this comes every single day even on the hard days. There is always a hand to hold, love to be had, someone to wipe the tears, some one to giggle with even when I do not necessarily agree with his political views or appreciate his “you kids get off my lawn mentality”. It just works. 7000 days strong and it works. Love always wins.

And in case you don’t believe we have been together all that time I have proof. We have literally grown together and I can honestly say we only get better looking and better together.

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Engaged…My guy and I

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Traveling…Las Vegas

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Yes this pretty much happened on a regular basis

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We were literal babies.

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Love winning. 5-22-99

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When our sense of humor collides watch out!

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Notice the look on my face. No one else gives me that look. It is a mixture of love, comfort and home. So there is the secret. Find the one who makes your face and body feel like that and you have found your one. That is also the warm fuzzy that is love winning.

I was one of those survivor reality people. 

My guy and I have watched survivor since the beginning. Well he has more than me, but one of the parts we bond over are the food rewards because we just know that all that glorious food and is going to come back and kill them. 

If you follow me on my social media stuff you know I have been down and out. Not an illness. Not an ailment. A punishment. I drastically changed my diet so much apparently while on vacation my body rebelled against me. 

On our way home I started feeling off. I couldn’t really say what was wrong. I just knew it wasn’t right. I exercised every other day and I still ate pretty good. But I definitely upped my carbs and likely lowered my greens. I opted for fries instead of broccoli. 

One night my stomach started hurting to the point I was doubled over in pain and couldn’t walk or move. Went to ER for two crappy visits where I was treated horribly. Tried seeing my OB/GYN who ran a bunch of tests and seemed pretty perplexed at where it was coming from. Recommended bland diet and rest but wanted me to seek further attention if pain worsened. Two hours later it reached a peak worse than it had. 

Attempted to go a third time but due to the previous ER treatment and super busy waiting rooms I opted to struggle through at home with lots of sleep and no food.  Finally, I made it into see a doctor in Fort Wayne on Saturday and had an X-ray. 

Found out due to the stupid surgery I had 6 years ago that has done nothing but cause me trouble has caused scar tissue adhesions all over my digestive tract. Therefore, my changing my eating habits has kept this potential problem at bay. Until vacation when things started getting infected and ulcerated and lodged because I drastically changed the way I ate again.

Thankfully, the doctor was extremely nice and didn’t push me away since I had “just” stomach pain and could not bear children. If you can’t have kids and have stomach pain you basically have to be bleeding out to get someone to listen. 

Basically, my digestive tract needs to heal now. I have been on a liquid and fruit diet. I am now on a fairly bland diet and I honestly will struggle to eat any sort of ridiculous not essential carb (think white potatoes, chips or limited grain breads). I never want to feel like that again. 

I would place the pain with child labor. I basically hulled up in my room and used Vicodin from my March surgery when I didn’t need it. I am just grateful for an amazing doctor that finally listened to me and didn’t think I needed to just suffer through. 

It will likely take me a while to recover and I am thinking about trying Whole 30 or the Ultimate Reset to give my body time to heal. I hate meds and now I am on three to heal and recover. I strongly believe food, rest and taking care of yourself spiritually, physically and mentally means more than any med you could take. Hoping between diet and oils I can turn this around. 

So even though I knew better I still struggled be caused fries. Fries will always be the bane of my existence. 

Some days it feels like too much. 

Actually lately most days seem like too much. Every attack…every news blurb…it is all too much. So many children, so many mothers and fathers…so much not just destroyed but forever changed. But for what? 

One day in the car with my kids the radio broke in and told of another attack. At this point who knows which one. Tears started streaming down my face and in the silence that followed because I didn’t know what to say or how to console I said,  “It feels like we are going into world war 3, but who are we at war with? There are no borders to fight over. Just ideas and love.” 

I could have turned the channel and maybe I should have. This is a parenting question I ask myself daily. What is too much and how honest should I be? The world feels scary. It feels unpredictable and chaotic. That is the world they are coming up in.

Last night at the game about every 30 minutes I checked my Facebook. Not because I gave up already on my digital “diet”, but because I had a friend in Instanbul. She checked in all smiles earlier in the day in Turkey. 

This girl is a world changer. She is doing things that need done. Spreading love and saying no to hate. I could tell you her story, but truthfully that isn’t the take away here. 

The takeaway for me is that I am raising three young ladies to hopefully be world changers. To not just seek out love, but share it. I have raised them to see beyond their own backyards and see the world is so much more than their zip code the flatlands they see here in Indiana. 

At times I felt like those lessons were too much because it set them apart in different ways. But when I see another notification of another act of hate I feel grateful that I have taught them that you can’t change the things people with hate do, but you can change your reaction to it. 


I just pray and hope that they always choose to respond with love and kindness in the face of hate and fear. The world is scary, but it is a little less scary when it is filled with hope and love. 

Where I am at.

me1Well exercise is tricky. I love it. I do. But what happens when school is out is I push myself to darn far and I get injuries. I am not reasonable and over do it. So I thought long and hard on vacation about changing what it happening here.

I know a few things. I want to run. But I am either too old or too bad to run every single day despite my best attempts. This summer I have had shin splints and knocked my knee cap out of place so many time that I lost count and broke my toe. I am not nursing a sprained wrist.

When I went I decided this was how it was going down. I would spend the rest of the summer focusing less on distance and focusing on speed. I want to be faster more than I want to run further. So alas I am two weeks into interval trainings. I found a great weight loss running app that focuses on speeding up your runs and tells you what to do with intervals. I love it and the British accent I chose for it to talk to me with.

I run every other day and walk in between. I can walk once school starts back up so this isn’t drastically hard on my body. On my walking days I will do a cardio workout of some sort and on running days I will focus on easier exercises. For example, today I did a fullme2 routine with my balance ball and the other day I did a routine working on weights with legs. On the off running day yesterday I went back to my homeboy, Shaun T, with T25.

If I lose weight great. If not that is okay too. I haven’t eaten horrible. I am not always eating the best either. I am not gaining and really that is all I hope to at least do is maintain. I am in my target weight despite wishing I could lose 10 more pounds. I guess right now I don’t feel motivated enough to focus and do that. Maybe once school is in. Who knows?

I did want to say when I was walking the other day I was trying to not beat myself up. (SIDE NOTE: seriously why do I do this? I go on walks and talk crap to myself.) I tried to pick one part of my body that I didn’t hate and I narrowed it down to my shoulders. I have worked so hard for my shoulder collarbone area and it seems like a dumb area, but it is  how I wish the rest of my body would catch up. So any way….I am hoping to focus a little more on that positive talk. I need to focus less on the things I cannot change like my extra skin. It is what it is. Trying to let love win.

E Party of 5 took a trip

This one was long planned and we were excited. It was also the first trip like this since MVD. That did make me nervous cause you never know when and how it will strike. The addition of the new med in May and increased dosage in the other has made it more manageable. Thank goodness!

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We were still in our neighborhood at this point. Which is funny given the girls look like they have been in car for hours.

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Everywhere my guy drives is a race, so imagine how fun that is in the mountains and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it because I don’t want to drive in the mountains. So I hold on and grit my teeth.

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After two days in the car (basically 14 hours) we made it the beach. Ahh!

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# 3 knows how to cheese about like her Daddy. Keeping # 1 and # 2 out of the ocean the first few days was a trick. I liked it though. I am a beacher more than a pooler.

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We went on lots of shell hunts and family walks.

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And here it looks like # 2 inherited my guy’s “grin”.

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Woah? Is he smiling?

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Hmm, not sure where # 2 is. But cute pic! There she is.

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It was good family fun. We cooked, played games and drove each other crazy. So I think it went perfectly.

That my dear readers is….Love winning again.

Maybe it was just me.

IMG_0679My family headed south for vacation. That alone is always a task. But on my way home I was thinking I know it won’t be that exciting of a post, but I would like to kinda talk about our trip in the economical and review of places kinda sense. I promise to include pictures and links, so hopefully that will spice it up some.

First off, for the last two years I have tried for a travel grant to travel the east coast and the south. The grant is prestigious and I have yet to win. Every year I am disappointed and every year I vow to try again. Last year I got the family involved and I think it got their hopes up. So when the rejection letter came it was  hard to tell them we didn’t get it. But the letter did come and we made a family decision this year.

We are taking a family vacation. Our 2nd ever and 1st post MVD. Traveling with kids is stressful. It is also fun and beautiful to see the new places and things through their eyes. Add in that my and I had a horrible experience in Myrtle Beach at the beginning of our IMG_0704marriage and we were determined one to recover and take back our experience and two to see the beach in a family friendly place.

There are people that rave about MB and I think it is great. But it IS SOOOOO packed with tourist. We weren’t even there during their busy time, so I cannot imagine that time frame. But the biggest issue I saw in MB as a whole was just how unsafe I felt with my children. Now I will preface to say I am a little more paranoid than normal (thank you OCD) and my husband is a reserve sheriff and has been all of our marriage, so I don’t always see the world and people’s intentions as rosy pink. But I literally felt like I could not let them out of my site. Some of the characters I saw were more than questionable.

I also booked our “resort” solely from the web and reviews I saw. Once we drove up we realized we were smack dab in the middle of it all. That approximately 11 floors from our townhouse was the center of MB and all of its chaos. So maybe that was some of the nervousness I experienced.

IMG_0749We stayed at the Sandy Beach Hotel and Resort. We have stayed at resorts before and I will say this deserves a “resort” status. Resorts to me speak of service, respect and safety at the least. The customer service here was poor. They were clearly doing us a favor by showing up for work. Never once did any staff member make eye contact with us.

The resort parts like elevators, pools, hot tubs and amenities were mediocre mostly because they were not the cleanest or were jam packed full of people. People could literally walk in off the street and swim in our pools and enter our hotel. It felt extremely unsettling. They did give us rubber wrist bands to identify resort guests. But given the homeless man I saw sleeping right next to the kiddie pool play area I don’t think the resort bands are checked on the regular. In fact, not one person asked to see ours or even looked for it.

We didn’t use the pool a lot mostly because it was so busy. We would sneak down early IMG_0748before it got crowded and go for a swim. But if we didn’t go then your chances of swimming with everyone and their family member were extremely high. The resort section of the beach is by far the nicest part of this whole place. It was well kept, beautiful and spacious. They also provided two lifeguards which is a nice sense of security for a parent. There was also a nice dive beach bar right next to hotel with cheap drinks and food. The beach wasn’t nearly as crowded and felt much safer. There was also a swim amusement park right next to us. We went there one day. It was okay. It is so hot and it had no where for one to just swim. The pools were all for slide catches and lazy rivers. I just wanted to cool off and so did my girls so it lasted about two hours.

With the negative I was extremely nervous about the rooms and how they would be. Well let me tell you they were extremely clean and spacious. I felt the most safe in there with IMG_0741the doors locked and our make shift alarm (hello tons of bottles of water). The room had some wear and tear, but given it’s location I don’t think I was overly surprised. But we had everything we needed. Everyone had a private bedroom, bathrooms, kitchen with dishes and washer and dryer. There were also two balconies to boot.

The room also included free wifi and coffee all day. The wifi worked in #2 & 3’s room and then the rest of the townhouse it would maybe work. In the upstairs master it never worked at all. My guy and I had to use our hot spot if we wanted to do anything net. The coffee was always brewing every day, but there was one small issue. By the time I got there they would always be out of cups and remain that way.

So the big question…would we stay here again? Probably not. We may go back to MB, but for what we paid I would work on finding a rental home with a pool. I think my girls would have been much happier and I would have been more calm about safety. But it wasn’t an awful vacation. The area is beautiful and the drive was breathtaking.

IMG_0778I did want to give a huge shout out to the places we stayed on the way down and back. The way down we stayed in Asheville at a Doubletree and it was amazing. We felt like queens and a king with our freshly baked cookies and the kindness shown to our considered “large” family by booking standards. But nothing was better than our stay on the way home. We stayed in a new concept hotel by Hilton called Home2Hilton. It a concept that prides itself on economical and ecological impacts of the community it surrounds. It was breathtakingly gorgeous to look at with it’s grays and lime greens. We were also able to all stay together in one room with three double beds, a kitchen, office area and still feel like we have some privacy. We want to go back just to stay there.

The hiatus took a hiatus


I went to the beach. We saved for a few years and took the kiddos on a beach vacation. We took a little extra time to explore areas as we traveled south. 

We booked a townhome with wifi but guess what. It didn’t work that well. In fact, it was one of those situations where it only worked if stood on one leg in a certain spot and flapped your arms. 

I could have been upset about the boasted wifi and made a stink. Or I could have used my phone constantly. Notice I said could have. Well I used my phone as a camera. I didn’t go to bed with it and my iPad stayed 100% charged all week long cause I never got it out of the bag. 

And you know what…it was nice. Weird but nice. It made me realize that we as a family probably need to work a little more diligently for our time together. For it to be our time and not time spent looking at screens. 

Now we aren’t talking going off the grid and throwing away all the phones and iPads. I believe in technology and its purpose so that won’t be happening. But more concentrated effort to put the electronics down. 

I realized four years from now my life is going to look completely different and I don’t want to regret the time we have spent together. 

So here’s to a less digital driven life on the important moments. The ones that social media and a camera can’t capture because it can’t capture feelings despite its best efforts to do so with cute emojis and fad phrases (think yolo).