I Can Show You the World, Shining, Shimmering, Splendid

So yeah – I’ve had the Aladdin song in my head for days.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week's topic is: In 2019, I want to... Link up with yours!

It wasn’t until just over a year ago that I finally went on the Magic Carpet Ride at Disney World.

It wasn’t around when I first went at age 4, and it wasn’t around when I second went at age 11. After that, it surely coincided with my phobia of spinning, or my lack of patience with waiting in lines. I remember waiting for Scarlet to go on it so I could take photos of her flying by. Her hair hadn’t been combed in DAYS and it was starting to get scary. She went to sleep wearing a candy necklace that then got stuck in her hair, and get this, Cassidy ate a piece of candy off it! I grimaced about it in line and a lady standing nearby cracked up. Obviously I have photos of what her hair looked like that day.

It was a real bear to comb that out, but I did it.

Last year I went on the ride because Scarlet’s best friend’s family convinced me and I didn’t mind waiting, if I was waiting with them. And Scarlet’s hair was combed and even with a terrible spinning equilibrium and a phobia of spinning, I’m ok on those kinds of circular rides with wide berths. They don’t actually do a thing to me. My inner ears don’t protest as we go round and round. Rather, I just flew. All I could do was get a photo to show my aunt because her daughter loved that ride. She passed away after a lifetime of smiling through cerebral palsy and that day, that ride, was a highlight of her short life.

I’m glad I can fly sometimes. Oh, what a waste it would be otherwise.

Which brings me to Finish the Sentence Friday’s prompt: “In 2019, I want to…” It’s either a 10 things listicle or just plain writing prompt. I’m never one to shy away from a top ten list. And I don’t know that I’ll get to do all of these things, but I’m ready to put heart plans and heart minds and heart hands in motion. I do know that I’m happiest with the wind in my hair in front of me and behind me and beside me. I know that sometimes the demons creep up and it’s really hard to fight them.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week's topic is: In 2019, I want to... Link up with yours!

I’d love to believe you can’t tell, but how could you not? My family can tell, and that is perhaps the worst. I know I’m happiest when I’m letting go and I know that I used to be more calm with a handful of stormy days, and then it got to be half-and-half, and now sometimes it’s more storm and less calm – which is this still and brightly colored boat in between the swells of storms – in that sweet spot staying afloat. Under that one beam of sun and over that one patch of calm waters.

I’ll take it.

Sometimes I’m sinking and sometimes sinking without suffering. Always thinking about how storms come back, and even more always thinking about the fact that sunshine always comes back. And I can sail and soar and fly, I can. I can take it in.

In 2019..I want to…

1 – I want to try a new roller coaster or maybe Splash Mountain or something else that soars. Just a few days from now..

2 – I’d love to actually go somewhere on a plane more than once this year. We always do the Orlando trip but nothing else! I haven’t been to California in 8 years! I haven’t been to Greece or Alaska for the Northern Lights or..so many places.

3 – I want to finally rent that cabin on Moosehead Lake in Maine. It’s always a big dream of mine but I never plan it because I’m not a good planner or leader and Cassidy never seems interested. But with one of his favorite bands playing in Maine this summer, I think we might all four be on board for days of moose safaris, whoopie pies, and Phish concerts.

4 – I want to get passports for the kids so that they can see Niagara Falls from all angles. And I might skip this year in telling Scarlet that she was conceived on the New York side of Niagara Falls. You know why, right? It’s boring there!

5 – Speaking of which, I want to see where my mom is from and she’s from Rochester so I think a trip to upstate NY and parts of Canada is in order. So much to see and do and eat in bakeries that have magical cookies. That’s what I want.

6 – I’d like to have a better work/life balance which I’ve already started to have, but it’s only because the busy seasons of blogging and photography have just ended. That said, the work is coming in now and it’s steady and perfect.

7 – I’d like to make regular coffee dates and lunch dates with local friends. And I’d like to meet new friends!

8 – I’d like to see old friends. I sort of got terrible about that with kids and work but I used to be much better about paying visits to my loved ones. Now it’s like I get too nervous or something. I miss you all, though!

9 – I want to eat all the foods and this really needs to be the year I get more consistently active, more hydrated, and more eating fruits and vegetables with every meal. I’d honestly be a superhero if I did all that, considering that I generally feel pretty great and I do none of the above. It’s like I’m on borrowed time, though, and it has to be running out.

10 – I want more little ones. Probably not a dog, and definitely not a cat. Nothing that belongs in the sky or the water, and nothing that poops pellets. Maybe more chickens. Maybe cousins, nieces and nephews? A goat? Just more littles.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “In 2019, I want to…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

What would you say?

So This is January, and What Have We Done?

You know what I’ve got? I’ve got five things of January. That’s what I’ve got.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week's topic is OMG it's January...and come linkup with us!

We celebrated Scarlet’s half birthday this week, which means that mine is right around the corner. Mine will be celebrated in Florida.. which brings me to one of my five things of January, which is all out of order! Scarlet’s half birthday is a thing of January, but we’ll get back to that one. Right now let’s talk about the first thing of January – our much-needed Florida trip!

Every year, it’s a little or a lot different, and it’s funny how it’s dependent on our incomes (or lack thereof) or the generosity and/or whereabouts of others. That’s really what it boils down to. This will be our sixth year and counting and every year Cassidy thinks that maybe we should skip a year. Perhaps because we could probably travel to Italy for that amount of money! It’s starting to occur to me as well but Florida holds amazing pulls. It’s where one set of in-laws lives.

And it’s where my aunt lives. Plus, it’s where a break from the biting wind lives. Lastly, it’s where magic lives, right?

Like I said, we always do it differently. One year we did SeaWorld, Universal and Disney for free and stayed with my aunt. The next year we stayed there for half the time and then in St. Augustine where my in-laws were then renting a house down there. The next year? Same split but a different St. Augustine rental house. And we tried on Animal Kingdom for size. The next year, no St. Augustine but we did Hollywood Studios where Des told off some Stormtroopers and I got the major giggles at meeting Kylo Ren. We also have been fulfilling dreams as they have fallen in love with Cars, Harry Potter, Jurassic World..

I went on my first roller coaster two years ago. Last year, I rode four!

And we went with Scarlet and Des’ really close buddies last year. That was amazing. This year has some new excitement as well. For one, I pitched three theme parks (quite nervously) and heard back from all three. We’re saving a ton of money, getting to the fronts of the lines, and riding the Hogwarts Express. We’re doing a character lunch at EPCOT, as well as heading there for the first time in five years. We booked early morning magic hours so we can ride Mine Train and Winnie the Pooh over and over – before stuffing our face with a buffet breakfast – and we’re eating in a rotating restaurant.

And that’s just what’s booked. Cassidy and I always have surprises up our sleeves!

Ultimately, if I can ride a new coaster, feel sunshine on my face, and maybe read a book or two, I’m pretty happy. I usually have to do a tiny bit of work down there but that brings me to my second thing of January! I won’t have to borrow my mother-in-law’s computer several times anymore! When Des was a baby, I inherited my grandfather’s iMac. He was 100 and it was new for him! Obviously it’s not new now and it’s always had a crack on the screen, but I have built two businesses on this thing and picked up a third job too. I’m the Community Manager for Sway now! OMG, that’s just a bonus. I was really here to tell you that I have saved up for years and I bought myself a new iMac and a MacBook Air with money left over..

I’m as giddy about it as a dancing Des! I always said NO to laptops because as a photographer and long-form writer, I need my desktop. I need it. And I can’t stand tablets – I won’t touch the iPad we have. That said, the MacBook is so sleek and pretty and I can now go to magical local coffee shops to work there when I need a change of scenery. And with three jobs and multiple New Year’s goals about eating more vegetables and getting less screen time, I’m not sure if it helps or hinders that one. I suppose it helps because instead of sitting here for 7 hours straight, I have the drive in the countryside that’s screen free. And I can always order vegetable soup. Plus, sometimes I bring the best co-pilot along and then we go for walks.

Another thing of January (I lost count and decided it doesn’t have to be five) is that I’m currently editing photos from.. June 2016. A wonderful record. I’ll have so much to share. I’m doing this because it has gotten out of hand, but I’m also doing this because I am superstitious about setting up my new iMac until all of the photos are safely where they should be.

This photo SLAYS me. It was Des’ 4th birthday and that was the first year Scarlet decided to wrap presents for him. She had gotten that rainbow frisbee from our local Pride parade and wrapped it up to give it to him. He was SO happy.

And she gave him a Cars car too. I can’t with them. I had to stop writing this 117 times because the photos are so cute. That’s probably why it took me 2.5 years to edit them. Wait until you see the Cape Cod and Scarlet birthday ones!

And that’s the last point. It was Scarlet’s half birthday two days ago. We celebrated with sloth squishies, cupcakes and cookies. I found an old piece of writing I wrote seven years ago – when she turned two and a half, and it’s still true:

“On Saturday morning, while Scarlet was ready and waiting to do errands with Cassidy, she crawled into my arms in her coat, boots, hat, mittens, and red heart purse. A bit unexpected, I held her as she wanted to be held – like a newborn baby. As I leaned over her, humming, I stroked her cheek as her eyelids fluttered, looking near sleep. I stopped and her eyes flew wide open. “More!” she said, and more I did. Just held her and stroked her cheek for several minutes, softly talking to her:

“Every day I find out something new about you.” I said and her eyes opened again.

“Yeah,” she chuckled.

Then it was errands time and she slid down to the floor and dashed out into the white van. And it struck me how darn interesting she is these days, and I wanted to write about it on the eve of her half birthday, marking her as two and a half.”

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And the last two things of January. Astro had x-rays for two months post-op and they looked wonderful! The surgeon was delighted. I can start him back up to regular exercise, but I’m doing it slowly. He’s absolutely delightful.

And lastly? OMG it’s January.. and I’ve got a lot of living to do. Stay tuned..

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “OMG it’s January…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.