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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.

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  1. I love your version of January way better than mine right now. As your Disney trip that is literally days away sounds so exciting. I mean I have a Disney trip upcoming, but not nearly as soon as yours right now. So, I am so living through you for the next few weeks. That said, I do get to book our dining as of Monday we are 180 and days out of our July trip. But who’s counting 😉

  2. Have to say I am a bit jealous of the Florida trip. It is so cold here today! Great news about Astro. Btw, I saw that you can now have slippers made that look like your own dog. I think you might love them. Enjoy your laptop… the mobility is pretty powerful. It’s great to be able to curl up by the fire and work all at the same time!

    1. I’m jealous of myself – 12 degrees here today and of course a storm blowing in around when we’re flying out. It still has a lot of time to change, and luckily we have a lot of time to work with before we have to be anywhere on the Disney schedule.

      Someone put those dog slippers on my Facebook! I am tempted to order them..

  3. That is so exciting that you are going to Disney World again! So glad that your January is off to a good start! Glad to hear the good news about Astro too!

    1. He’s doing SO well. Just running and tearing around and not limping at all. Really glad we did the surgery even if my wallet is screaming at me!

  4. Congratulations on becoming Community Manager for Sway Tamara! 👏👏 So many great home pics and Disney pics. What tender and unforgettable moments with your daughter. Wonderful news about Astro, and that’s such a perfect name for him. I’m already looking forward to more pics and hearing all about your upcoming Florida trip. Happy Halvsies Scarlet!

    1. Thank you! I love working with Sway. It’s a great fit and I have a great team.
      As for Astro, Scarlet said his middle name is “Naut”. Get it?? I say it’s “Physicist.”
      Hope you’re well, Eddie!

  5. Oh I enjoyed this so much! I came on over to catch up with what I’ve missed at your blog. As always, I am smiling so much at your adventures and longing to go for a magic trip to Florida. ( We have 10 inches of snow today, and it’s still falling.)

    1. We got 7 inches of snow in November and nothing since! Of course while we’re away, or before, we’re scheduled to finally get snow. I just want our flight out to be ok!

  6. Love it! Happy half birthday to Scarlet and I’m so jealous of your Florida trip. The Harry Potter World rides were my favorite ever ever. I hope you have so much fun and as always, the photos are delicious. Congratulations on your new Mac too! I love mine 🙂

    1. I’m afraid of most of those rides.. like the castle one. I don’t do well with motion simulation. That hippogriff coaster is calling to me, though!

  7. Girl, you are KILLING it with those pitches! My gosh, you amaze me with all you do, Tamara! And I LOVE that you take the much needed trip to Florida and I also love the different things you do with your family. It all sounds like SO much fun.

    Those pictures are absolutely precious. And that snippet about Scarlet is breathtakingly beautiful.

  8. And I forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS on being the community manager for SWAY! OMG THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!! When on earth will you find time for THAT job? LOL Go get’m girl! If anyone can pull all this off, it’s you. XOXO

  9. I love this post so much. It makes me happy and hopeful and so giddy for you guys. It’s going to be a great year! And a great trip to Disney. Can’t wait to read all about it. And congratulations on the new gig at Sway! I need to get my butt over there and start applying for some things – I got kind of discouraged – but this is the year!

  10. We are doing Universal in February too, only in Ca. though. It should be super fun as it is our first time. Congrats on SWAY! I haven’t done much there is forever. I need to though!

  11. I’m jealous of your new MacBook. Mine has the spinning beach ball and everything I do on it is in slow motion. So it’s not fun at a coffee shop anymore. But the time I turn it on and get to the point of being able to do something, I’m done with my drink. I’m over it with the iPad too. It’s not the same and having a real keyboard and real applications. I imagine Florida in January from your area would be a major pull every year. Enjoy!

    1. Oh no! That happened to my mom’s but then we all chipped in to get her a new one that she still has! And that was for her 60th birthday. And she is NOT 60 anymore.. Macs have long lives!
      It’s 12 degrees here today, so yeah.. Florida is calling!

  12. Congrats on your position at Sway, and on your new laptop! And have a blast in Florida – we may cross paths down there:) Sounds like your 2019 is off to a good start, Tamara.

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