Wednesday, November 18, 2015

mero cruise 2015

last november, my brother, evan, called me while i was out running errands. this is what he says to me... "hey em, so we were all talking at thanksgiving about trying to go on a family cruise in march. would you and mark be in?" um yeah! actually, i think i said, "that sounds awesome but let me run it by mark real quick." and then i realized how stupid that sounded...of course mark is gonna want to go on a cruise! oh, and it was going to be over the week of our 14th wedding anniversary. perfect.

march 7th we were on a plane to puerto rico. we stayed the night in puerto rico, ate some amazing local food and explored all the next day before boarding the ship. it was beautiful. someday i'd like to go back and just vacation there.

our stops were: st thomas, barbados, st lucia, st kitts and st marteen.

i'm not sure that i could pick my favorite place. st thomas had the clearest water and whitest sand. we swam with turtles in barbados. took an island tour of st lucia and went to the coolest waterfall. we went zip lining in st kitts and i conquered my fear of that specific moment. and i met the cutest little monkey that i wanted to sneak back home. man, adorable. okay, so maybe i can say that i have a favorite...every time i think back on the most fun i had, st marteen comes to mind. look up videos about people watching planes take off at the st marteen airport. i wish we had a video of it. i haven't laughed that hard in a long time! trust me, look it up.

probably my favorite picture. ever.

left to right: amy, jess, cassie, rachel, laura and me.

extra props to amy and rachel for surviving a cruise while pregnant. and to laura who had just discovered she was pregnant and pretty dang sick.

chillin. joe, evan, mark and me.

st lucia. rachel, me, amy, cassie.

always a good time with mr steve brown. his face!

puerto rico

mark had our room decorated on our anniversary.

see! cutest thing ever.

leaving st lucia.
 I think cruising is my favorite way to vacation. so many cool places without having to pack and unpack at each place, so much food, sunshine and fun!

disney. all day, every day.

after writing the post title i feel a bit spoiled. and i guess i am. while in CA we decided to get disneyland annual passes. we were only about an hour away and we figured we might not ever be that close again. i have to say, it was one of the better ideas we've ever had. but that's not saying much because we have a lot of bad ideas too. ha!
we ended up going to disneyland/california adventure almost every week for a while. i think i loved going almost more than the kids. it was just so much fun to take a break from reality, enjoy the rides and eat a ton of sugary foods. we figured out which days were less crowded, thanks to an app i had, and we'd hop in the car and go. i'm pretty sure izzy could give you a guided tour of both parks. the point, we were there a lot. and i'm so grateful we had the chance to experience something like that. good old CA blessed us with some fun times.

so that's batman. aka christian bale. aka my favorite newsie. we were waiting in line and suddenly he and his family were at the front of the line. hopped on the ride real quick and then disappeared again. must be nice to use the disney tunnels to go from ride to ride.

ps. my kids look like babies in these pictures. crazy how much they grow up in a year!

Monday, November 09, 2015

showing up. again and again.

you're surprised to see this, right?  ha! i don't blame you one bit. i'm surprised that i'm writing on my blog again! i was thinking the other day about things that make me happy and blogging came to mind. i always loved sharing and expressing myself in this way. i love all the connections i've made through it. it's like therapy sometimes to just sit and type. so here i am. 

quick update. we are living in colorado these days. mark's solar job has brought us out here. over the summer the kids and i were in utah with family and mark was in arizona doing some work training. yeah, we were split up again for 4 months. remember how i said i would never do that again? silly me. sometimes there are other plans. but we are all together again and loving colorado. it's been a huge blessing to be here already. we've really been watched over and taken care in so many ways. this is where we need to be.

so out of the last 22 months, we've moved six times. i'm a moving pro, y'all! also, mark and i have been living in different states for 10 of those months. 6 months here, 4 months there. can i just say, it's not fun to be apart. it's crazy how quickly we became used to doing things on our own. mark was like a single dude. he's had to get used to the kid's noise levels again, which isn't something you'd think would be hard, but it is. we've had to get used to each other again. all the opinions, quirks, moods and so on. and i'm not gonna lie, having my own bed and alllllll that space was nice. ha! but it's even nicer to be a whole family again. i will say, i sincerely have so much respect for single parents. it's so not easy. i don't think i ever got the hang of it. i did my best but fell short in some areas.
i realized the other day that i've only been surviving, not thriving, most of this year. surviving all the moves, surviving all the changes, surviving as a single mom, surviving as me. but i can say that i showed up. showing up to me is taking on all the changes, challenges, issues, opportunities, chances and being present for them. feeling them, not pushing them away. looking at them head on, being unsure and still going for it. being me as much as i know how to be. i was surviving but i showed up. that was me being brave when it was hard.
also, i'm not saying that i haven't experienced joy. i mean, being around family and seeing two (now three) little babies come into the mero family was the best. seeing the kids enjoy cousins and old friends was wonderful. reconnecting with my friends. summer evening walks with my mother-in-law. endless shaved ice. visiting national parks i'd never been to and learning more about myself and my little family has brought joy. but at the core, i was lacking, just surviving.
i'm ready to thrive. to get back to doing what i love to do. to be a happier person. to be a more giving person. sometimes while trying to survive, i forget to give to others. giving is my love language and i had stopped doing it. i blocked that kind of happiness out but didn't realize it. i see that now.

remember all my past rants on this blog about being purposeful? well, i need to take my own advice and give it another try. i survived. i showed up. and now i'm going to be purposeful and thrive.