The Lost Boys & Girls.

It was shorter than I remembered, and jumpier, yet I waited in line for 45 minutes to ride Peter Pan’s Flight.

With Scarlet and Cassidy in the flying ship in front of me, my Aunt Marilyn to my side, and Des on my lap, we soared and dipped. “You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!” It was in my head for days. Weeks. Before our Disney trip, during and after. It came on my Pandora at random, since usually my Pandora Disney station only plays princess songs because I generally “thumbs up” them and skip over the rest, at Scarlet’s request. This song came up on the way to the airport, when I needed it most. You CAN fly.

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I knew something was wrong on our last day of vacation when I wanted everyone but Des to be away from me.

He is still exempt, such as when he was nursing, because I may always think of him as my plus-one. My add-on. One of the best decisions of my life, and a pretty great companion to hang out with. If you like people throwing balls and shoes at your head.

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So on my last day when options were limited, I chose to go back to the crazy Disney Village we had visited on our first day. In the rain. My choices were an arcade/bar & a building full of bounce houses, my cousin’s house, or Disney Village with Des. I chose that last option. I thought it was the only place I could go without tears welling up in my eyes and threatening to spill at any given moment. And if they had to spill, so be it. What could be better than spilled tears in the pouring rain in Disney Village? At least I’d get a free Ghirardelli chocolate sample for my pain, as well as shelter from the rain in these over-cheerful stores.

I wanted to be at a place swarming with people, because I felt alone. Or lonely. I couldn’t tell the difference.

I was everywhere all at once. At different times, at the same place. I was four-years-old and armed with false cheer, disorientation and a slight fear of adults in furry costumes. My father had just passed and how I was to know he wasn’t coming home? And he certainly wasn’t at Disney World. I wonder if I searched for his face in the sweaty crowd of strangers, anyway.

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How could I have known? What did I know?

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The second time I was at Disney, and the last time I went to Epcot (I think?), I had a meltdown in front of that giant golf ball thingy. I was with my maternal grandfather. He passed away not long after Des was born in July of 2012. The third and last time I went to Disney (at 19), was the last time I saw both of my paternal grandparents together, before my grandma passed away.

I waited all week for some sort of explosion or anxiety attack. I knew I was in for it somehow, to some degree. On the last day, in the rainy Disney Village with my son, did I allow myself the luxury of tears coming to my eyes after “When You Wish Upon a Star” blared out over the speakers. It was then that I experienced a bit of a letdown that Scarlet’s big adventure was winding down. It was then that I allowed myself to think of myself and how lost I felt that day. How I longed to be lifted up.

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I sat with Des and we split a snack. I got him out of the rain, although he was wearing an adorable ducky raincoat. I felt like I owed it to all of the generations sandwiching my own. To un-lose myself that day. To un-lonely myself. To rejoin my family.

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To encourage their steps, and cushion their falls.

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And wouldn’t you know, the rain did stop. The storm inside did too. For now.

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Something about being on vacation often brings out the Hot Mess inside. It’s when I’m out of my element and routine. No matter how much progress I have made in my life, when I’m not in my space and comfort, I can feel left behind. Lost. Disoriented. And yet it also brings out the inner strength and core that will do anything to make this a fun time for my kids. The nagging feelings I kept having, I keep having, that I’m ugly and incapable, and constantly running to catch up to Cassidy and Scarlet, only to have them run off some more. Always, those two. Well this is mixed with laughter and joy, new/old memories, smiles with Des.

It’s a mixed bag.

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I’m only lost, sometimes, and I’m only lost, sometimes, within my very own head. I can rejoin at any time. I can be found.

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I can find myself. Over and over again. I can withdraw, and I may always be someone who does so in order to breathe the life back in.

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As long as I keep finding my way back again.

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“Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
As sweet fullfillment of their secret drowns
Like a boat out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through”


Keep staying tuned! Those theme park “real camera” photos are happening soon! After a very awesome Ask Away Friday, of course.

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  1. *Hugs. That was beautiful Tamara. Bittersweet. It is good to get lost in our own heads sometimes and remember the things that were. It keep us grounded. I hope all is good today and all the days after!

    1. Thank you! My mom used to say to me, “All of what you’re going through exists only in your head (about various heartbreaks, etc. and it can be remedied there too.) What a unique perspective. It kinda makes it more bearable for me to have these lost days..knowing found days will follow.

  2. Lovely! It is so bittersweet when fun things are tied to sad memories. I also know what you mean about being out of routine bringing out the Hot Mess – I my predictable routines. I’m glad you found your way back to un-lonely!

    1. The comforts and stability of home life. Ah, well I like it. I do crave a little excitement and adventure too. Best of both, I guess it was in the long run.

  3. Tamara, I know that feeling well and it is almost like the day after Christmas, when you realize that all the lead up and excitement is over and now you have to somehow join back into reality. Hey, remember this is me who cried after her wedding day, one of the happiest days of my life, because I felt like I wasn’t sure what to do next after all the planning and such was indeed over and behind me. So, I get it completely and couldn’t love you more if I tried. Hugs to you my friend!!! 🙂 xoxo!!

    1. Oh I’m sure I cried the day after my wedding, or something! The letdown for that is so awful. So many years of childhood dreaming and then adulthood planning. Ah, so much.

  4. I had so many mixed emotions when we went to Disney. I was returning with only one of my parents after ALL the years of the happiest memories we had there as a complete family. Disney (or any vacation!) has a way of doing that, as you so eloquently wrote. I’m glad you went and had your alone time with your plus-one. It seemed to make all the difference 🙂

    1. I think even without have such a history steeped in Disney memories, it’s all so emotional. Your kids fulfilling some dreams. All of the crowds and money and energy spent…
      Escaping winter, only to find myself trapped in a snowglobe again today!
      Ah, it’s a lot.

  5. I am completed fascinated by your ability to capture your thoughts/emotions so eloquently, process them, and have them make sense. I think Des looks the most like you. Beautiful, as always, Tamara! Can’t wait to see the kids on all the rides.

    1. Sometimes if I have him in public, people say he looks just like me! They say that about Scarlet too, but only see it from the “old me” and not me now.
      Rides photos are coming! Des could really only go on two rides and they were dark. Drat. He still makes some nice theme park appearances, though!

  6. Can I give you a big hug? (Except you probably don’t want one, huh?) As much as I look forward to vacations, the reality and logistics of them, the interruption of routine, the hassles and misunderstandings, can make me frustrated and angry with the same people I’m supposed to be having “the time of my life” with. Thank goodness for sweet little boys that are so focused on enjoying the present that it’s infectious.

    1. ha! Who says I don’t want a big hug?? I totally do. Especially because I feel like I’m stuck in a snow globe. It’s funny who these big days, big events, big vacations are not exempt from bad moods and meltdowns. If anything, the pressure for everything to be perfect is too great for me. Although we totally had a warm and sunny day in Disney World. I would have cried (or gone again) if it had been cold rain.

  7. Oh, I know what you mean! I think the last time I really lost it when I was away from home, though, was on choir tour when I was in college. Touring the country for two weeks with a bunch of people who weren’t really close friends was very difficult! It’s a long story, but I cried a lot after our last concert. (Maybe I should blog about it?) Even now, I’m always relieved to come home after time away.

    1. Maybe you should blog about it! I’d be interested to read. Going away is so great, and coming home might be even better. Which says a lot about the homes we live in.
      I feel like touring the country for two weeks would be VERY difficult for me, with our without close friends. Although when Cassidy and I moved east and took two and a half weeks to get there..well…that was the best roadtrip of my life.

  8. I love how you write, Tamara, the bitter sweet nostalgia of this post and how you weave memories and family and childhood innocence into your tale of your family vacation. Your photographs and your children are just beautiful.

    1. I love how you write too!
      Thank you – I love inter-weaving photos. And these warm and sunny ones just needed to be blogged about alongside a few mournful words. And while I’m currently trapped in a snow globe. Boo!

  9. I feel bad that this happens to you but yet somewhat happy that I’m not the only one. I get terribly anxious no matter what type of vacation we go on and it comes out in grumpiness. It sucks because I do want to love to travel. I think it’s sweet that you had that alone time with your son that day. Your pictures of the kids are beautiful. They looks so happy dancing and running around in the sun!

    1. Heh, I get happy not to be the only one too. Just so much feeling-ness, ya know! And I didn’t freak out or get sad while at Disney. Just the rainy, cold Disney village. Just a date with my Des!
      They were so happy running in the warm sun. I wonder what Des must think of today’s snowstorm. He keeps looking out the window with a “WTF” look on his face.

  10. Really beautiful, Tamara and I can relate in some ways. I often experience sensory overload and need to retreat inside my own head and space for a little while. Looking forward to more pictures of your beautiful family.

    1. So interesting to hear! I know there are real sensory processing disorders, and I do think many people get touches of it sometimes. My friend, Karen, who I think you know once described what it’s like to be her son (who has SPD) and she explained it in a way that we could all relate to, at least somewhat.
      Photos coming! And speaking of beautiful families, holy cow. You all need to be in a catalog.

    1. So hard, so I guess I was grateful for the space to do just that! I needed to recharge for my early morning flight with two kids the next morning! Ugh! Actually, it wasn’t so bad but the prospect of it was.

  11. Vacations can be stressful too. With all the go go go and excitement sometimes it can be disorienting. I am glad you had your brief time away with Des and that it helped. I find that quiet time on my own helps me when I need space from the world, too.

    1. I really needed it to recharge for the flight home and just the last night of dinner with family. It’s very bittersweet that we all love each other and live far away from each other. Boo! Well, that’s life.

  12. Stepping away – so you can rejoin; stepping back – to move forward; being alone – to remind yourself you are not alone. yep, been there. And sometimes I didn’t even leave home. It’s all part of that push and pull of motherhood. being there, being all, for everyone; the You gets lost in the tangled knots.
    Sometimes you just gotta untie those knots so you can fly straight again.
    Beautiful pictures. Bittersweet words – just Loved this.

    1. That’s it – getting lost in tangled knots. So much. And I was like that before parenthood, but now, whoa – it’s a whole new ballgame.
      Thanks for your beautiful words.

  13. Beautiful words, Tamara. Reading about your vacation – the plans, the experiences, the emotions – have really made me think about our own trip, and how it may be the last one to Disney with my children. I’m not usually very introspective, but your writing seems to bring it out in me.

    1. Ah! Well you know I wish you a fantastic trip, and not too much thinking about how it might be the last. I went with my parents when I was already an adult. Was fantastic!!

  14. I get you. They say “it’s just in your head,” which, to me, is like saying “the pollution’s only in the air.” Well, in my head is kind of important. And only I can work through it. We always do though, don’t we? work through it. We get a boost from duckie coats or hearing a mischievous laugh, but we make it back.

    Sometimes the downfall of feeling so deeply is feeling so deeply.

    1. Oooh, I love that pollution comparison. It’s in the air, yes, and it gets into the little cracks of everything too.
      We do always work through it. I tell myself there’s no choice. I’m a parent and I have to get two little ones safely home on a plane. And to school. And to curling up with books on my lap.

      That is seriously the downfall and I do wonder if I’d have it another way? Maybe the reactions.

  15. I’m glad you had a place to spill your tears on your last day. And I’m not even going to say that I’m sorry that you had tears. Because we all have tears and I think that those of us who are in touch with those tears are fortunate. I think it’s always better to spill those tears than try to hold them back. Always. And we’re all a little lost. All of us. I have faith that you will always find your way back.

    1. Yeah..I wasn’t sorry about the tears! I felt like if they didn’t spill out, they’d get polluted with the inner buildup.
      We are all a little lost, and it still surprises me when it happens!

  16. I have those days! And most of mine are tied to places that stir up a cacophony of memories. Sometimes those thoughts and feelings and emotions just fill you up so much they leak out…through your eyes! Nothing wrong with that!

    1. True that! At least when they leak out, they get unclogged and unpolluted. Eli mentioned pollution and now I’m running with his fantastic metaphor.

  17. Awe, sending big hugs your way. I bet it was bittersweet to be there with all of those memories from before crashing in. I am glad you were able to add to those memories with your children and experiencing through a mother’s eyes what a magical place it is for kids. Vacations are nice, but they can also be tough. I am on my last day of vacation here in Montana, but I feel like I haven’t even taken a rest….which was the entire point. Ugh. But alas, I will survive and tomorrow will be a new day, and like I have always said before…..don’t look too long into your past or you very well may miss your future.

    1. Looks like not much resting in Montana!! Hopefully lots of huckleberry bar eating. And did you get a huckleberry milkshake? I remember getting one from the side of the road, but it was September! There may not be random milkshake stands in the height of winter!
      Can’t wait to hear your adventures!!

  18. How you manage to put into words the very things I feel, I’ll never know. I get lost in the storm inside of me, too. Never really sure what will bring me back. Vacations tend to do the same for me. There is a sort of grief to them as they wind down. It happens every time. Maybe it is the realization that this joyous time, this wonderful magical time will no longer be tangible but only a memory. One that you want to never forget. So many times I find myself escaping somewhere with Gia (my other appendage) and watching Leo with the other three going about life without me. I’m sometimes stuck in wanting time to stop that I can’t move and they all move without me. I so get this. XO

    1. I guess my Des is your Gia! Appendages!
      Vacations are so weird. When I was a kid we’d go on two week ones! So for the first week, I’d be in giddy mode an I’d be doing everything for the first time and running around and all around loving it. The second week would be the “heady week” as I called it, and it would just seem to get too long. I’d ache for familiar comforts, while also delighting in beachy things. It always confused me that my dad could just lay on the beach happily for two weeks straight! Now as an adult who works a lot, I get it more.

  19. I sometimes have feelings like this in church – the tears well up and I start thinking about things I don’t usually let bubble up to the surface. We had a magical Disney trip when my girls were little, and as sad as I am that I can’t do it over, the memories that WE HAD THAT TIME bring me much joy. And for the record, let’s get one thing straight here – you are just about as far away from ugly as anyone I’ve ever seen. So none of that.

    1. Why, thank you! It was hard being around all of those princesses day after day! They were so youthful and fresh! And I suppose I am too, on a good day. This last day was not a good day.
      I love your perspective that the memories of the fact that IT HAPPENED, bring you so much joy.

  20. It can be so emotional when sad things are tied to happy. I’m glad you made good memories there. Your pictures are magical…the kids will remember things through your photography so much clearer!

    1. Thank you! These were my early vacation photos – the ones from the days before the theme park marathon started. I just missed summer photos so much! Green grass color casts and all. It was such a nice change. Right now I’m gearing up the camera to go build a snowman.
      What a contrast for one week!

  21. Sending hugs your way! Your Disney trip had to have been difficult for you, because of all the memories you have. But you were also making new memories for your kids. I can’t wait to see the photos from the park. Enjoy your Wednesday!

    1. That is so true! New memories! And the un-grieving starts to memories for Scarlet. And maybe Des? He’s only I don’t know about that one.

  22. Integrating and accepting the death of loved ones in the human experience takes a long time. Yes, linear time does help but sometimes we rally against the universe at how unfair some deaths seem to us. I fell in love at first sight, married your father, had Lindsay, wanted another girl, and had you. Then, I lost him. It didn’t happen the way I “planned” your childhood. What we are is a result of what we have been through, who we have loved and how we have grown. Your amazing writing and photographs are expressions of who you are, what pain you are processing, and how you see life itself. If what the yogis and physicists say is correct and in a higher dimension that we can perceive, all time is happening at once, then I visualize all of us in one big infinite hug. Love is forever.

  23. Love you and love this post. You always say things that somehow I have felt, but I didn’t even know I was feeling it, or I hadn’t figured out how to articulate it, or that I even NEEDED to articulate it. I think I told you something similar on one of the first posts of yours that I read. It still rings true, all these posts later. I’m glad you were able to rejoin them and make some new memories, even if it was hard, even if it couldn’t be fully, and even if you needed that time to cry. I am not sure how I would feel about going to Disney because it is so associated with my grandparents, like I mentioned. I want to give my kids those memories, but the thought of doing it without those two very special people is overwhelming. Ahhh I am starting to cry and I am at work so I need to cut this. Just reiterating the love, in conclusion!

    1. Love you! No crying on your SITS Day! Well, it’s your SITS Day and you can cry if you want to.
      Totally associated with both sets of my grandparents to me. My grandmother is still alive at 100, and so alert. I’d love to visit her soon and tell her about this trip.

  24. I sometimes get that feeling, not caused by a place, but a certain memory moves me and tears just well up inside me. I usually go for a walk by myself to clear my head and let those tears run. Does wonders for the soul.

    1. That’s beautiful. And it happens to me in other ways and places. This was just such a big thing, that I had to finally get away to process it.

  25. I get it. And I almost cried at Disney World too because I missed my husband. He couldn’t come because he was deployed and I suddenly was like, “I want my husband!”

    1. No doubt! And you were with his mom. I imagined you all missed him very much. So glad whenever I read your posts about him being there and enjoying time with you all.

  26. I always connect with what you write, as obviously many people do. You put words to things that I don’t always know how to say. I have felt this way. And often. You seem to have such a healthy way of recognizing and validating your feelings, then moving past them. I tend to run from them and notice them when someone else point them out (kinda like right now!)

    1. Why, thank you! I’m always a bit bewildered that people relate to me. It helps to know that all of those years of keeping things in for fear you’d all think I was weird were for naught!
      I can be better at recognizing and validating my feelings, than I am at moving past them. I’m working on it, though!

  27. Okay, this is going to sound a bit weird, but there is something about going to the Magic Kingdom that makes me cry. Might have something to do with me always visiting with my dad when I was visiting my dad which would only be twice a year or so most years, and our visits were always bittersweet. Now I see him the same amount because I’m a grownup who can’t afford it, yeesh.

    1. Yeesh is right.
      I imagine people cry at the Magic Kingdom a lot.
      I also imagine people barf there a lot, but you’d never know, because magic fairies come and sweep and mop it right up! (true story, and it wasn’t one of my family members)

  28. A lovely post again, sandwiched in between those pictures of your loves. To feel alone in a crowded room is always the worst and always means it’s layer upon layer. Yay that you tuned in and turned it around…until next time.

  29. Such a lovely post ! This is something that I go through after my trips, especially after my trip to India. The last day of the trip can be so stressful ( emotionally ). I am glad you could find yourself again. 🙂

    1. I cannot imagine what it must be like going to India. Florida is only two hours by flight. I’d love to see some photos one day, or look through your archives if you already have them!

  30. I truly wish we lived closer – not stalkerish close cause I don’t want you to freak out!!!! I just think that it would be good to be close enough to see each other in person! I’ve never been to Disney so obviously have no memories tied to it but that whole feeling that you can’t decide if it is feeling alone or loneliness I know well. Many times it doesn’t bother me – just there – but somedays it is something that has to be addressed.
    I’m so happy that you had your sweet Des and that after a bit you were ready to rejoin your family and enjoy the final day of vacation.
    And now if we could just get rid of the snow and cold things might be even better.
    BTW – you are a better person than me – I would have totally picked choice 1 because it had a bar!!!

    1. Kim, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t freak me out if you tried! I always wish we lived closer. We’d have a lot of fun and probably work together too! Photographer at the Governor’s Mansion, anyone?
      I get you – many times the feelings don’t bother me. They barely register or I brush them off. And other times, I have to get my mood on.
      Choice one was where Cassidy and Scarlet were going and I didn’t want to join them! It would have been a drag because Des couldn’t do all of those things and I’d be waiting, as always, for them to finish up.

  31. OH wow, it’s no wonder you felt as you did, considering all the memories associated with your trips to Disney. We all need to release our feelings sometimes (even if they aren’t always in the most seemingly convenient places….I’ve definitely felt the need to cry in less-than-desirable places…but no one ever said feelings were convenient).

    1. So true. Sometimes when I’m at my hot-messiest, I wonder if I’m the hot-messiest person ever because I don’t often see people crying in public.. Not people my age, anyway. Maybe they run to their cars or to bathrooms! Smart..

  32. Disney feels to me like a place where it is easy to feel lost. So much magic but perhaps not all the way you imagined it would be. And then the letdown. I’m glad you and your boy found you again.

    1. That’s sorta of how I always saw NYC. Different too, of course, just a place that it’s easy to get lost in. And a place that can prey on you if you let it, but can also feed on the magic. Luckily on our day in the park, it was the latter.

  33. I’ve been there! That’s the other side of being away from home that no one tell you about…even when you’re at the happiest place on earth. I can only imagine it being emotional being at Disney with all the memories you have from being there as a child. I’m most certain that being there as a parent, for the first time especially, must have been quite whelming. Everything changes when you have kids, even some of the simplest things.

    1. So much! And just that you have to plan your day around someone (or two someone) else’s needs changes everything right there. If it were up to me, I’d have ridden the Haunted Mansion seven times! Instead… I met a lot of princesses.

  34. Your photos are absolutely stunning. felt like I was on the peter pan ride just looking at your gorgeous shots. So much fun and totally worth the 45 minute wait. Des is growing up huh? Look at that face. I hate (love) how your photos always fluster me out of talking about talking about the meat of the post your feelings. To that I will say, I get it. and I would have chosen the disney village, too.

    1. And the sign said 30 minutes! Yeah right. Peter Pan ride should be the first thing you do when the park opens, I say! Anyway. Tangent.
      I like that my photos do that to you. And that you still get to the meat. I’d only be upset if neither did it for you – yikes!

  35. Are the WordPress gremlins out to get me? I tried to comment this morning, and it wouldn’t work. Boo! So, sorry I’m late to the game today.

    My favorite part of this post: You felt like a hot mess, but you pulled it together for your family. They ground you, and you help them fly. Beautiful, my friend! As always!

    1. Oh no! I checked my spam filter. I hate when the greats can’t comment. I usually blame my own blog gremlins. I fed them after midnight.
      Thank you for noticing that I did pull it together! Somehow! I had no choice, but still. I could have screamed in a corner, I suppose.

  36. You are found, and you are here, once again with the words that I’ve come to count on you to bring to my heart with photos that rival no others. I love – so much – how you are able to capture with a “mere” post how life feels. How I feel. <3

    1. Those unrivaled photos? They will be yours in June! I just know it!!
      I love every post you ever write, and every comment you ever write, and every anti-Caillou song you ever sing.

  37. Those close-up pics of Des are to die for. And also, I always hate when a vacation has to come to an end. And it is definitely different as an adult than as a child. Just think of the amazing memories you have made for Scarlet (and Des) if even just in seeing your amazing photos. 🙂

    1. Thank you! That does help to think about. And Des..poor Des.. he needs his own vacations! I know this got through to his heart, as well as every summer we spend in Cape Cod, but I don’t know that he’ll be able to talk about them from memory. He’s just too young! Sigh.
      We’ll have to go back.

  38. So- this is the post, huh? I did tear up for you. You know, your writing always gets me, but, this post is just SO real & all you & this is only one of the many reasons I simply adore you, Sweet T!! XO. ~A~

    1. I don’t know if it’s THE post.. We’ll see what Monday’s is like! And tomorrow’s Ask Away Friday! Thank you for your always support.
      Love ya, girl. xoo.

  39. Tamara, I’m sorry you had those lonely feelings on your trip. And I’m glad that Des was there to keep you company through them. Sometimes our babies can be the very best kind of company in times like that – they help us so much without EVEN knowing it. “I can find myself. Over and over again. I can withdraw, and I may always be someone who does so in order to breathe the life back in.” Well, I do this daily. Sometimes multiple times a day. Like you said, what matters is that you keep coming back …

    1. Exactly. And I’m happy it was only the last day. I really held myself (and my happiness) together through most of the trip. It was like once I stopped to rest, it all came up. It was an emotional whirlwind. I miss it. I’m also happy to be back. I always want to visit again.

  40. I’m sure I’ve felt lost so many times too but like you, I always find my way back. After all, we need to. It’s nice to allow ourselves to get lost sometimes, it’s probably one way for us to distinguish the past versus the present and I think to find and know ourselves better. You have beautiful photos as always!

    1. Thank you!
      I agree that it’s nice to allow ourselves to get lost. I shudder to think about the alternative of pushing it down or ignoring it. It’s nice to breathe and cry every now and then!

  41. Your kids are going to be so grateful to have these beautiful photos to cherish when they get older. I know I’ve told you a thousand times, but your photos are BEAUTIFUL, as are your kids.

    I’ve been feeling lonely lately, even in my usual routine, around my usual people. I get lost in my own mind all the time, the what ifs, the unknown, all the questions. It’s hard to snap out of it, but cute kids definitely help!

    1. Ah, thanks!! You’re the cutest/beautifulest (new word) family too, just remember.
      Cute kids do help snap us out. Before them, I had to rely on myself and it could take days. Months!

  42. Feeling lost and alone is a miserable thing indeed, especially when we are surrounded by family and friends who love us. I think we can often feel the most alone in the biggest, busiest, happiest places. I’m glad you found your way back, and hope you find more peace as you move forward.

    I have been very, very, very, surprised over this last decade, and delighted, too, to have discovered 1)God, 2)I can have a relationship with God, and 2)that my faith allows me so much more peace and comfort in the face of difficult circumstances than I ever used to have.

  43. Oh, I so get this. When I am out of my routine and comfort zone I always get…iffy. I was *just* telling my husband today that every time we plan a trip I’m excited..and then it becomes a day or two before the trip and I always want to call it off. It just start to feel overwhelmed. Once we get going I’m usually fine, but the day before I seem to be filled with dread. I think I am just someone who functions best with a routine.
    Beautiful post, Tamara. Just beautiful. –Lisa

    1. I totally get that “I want to call it off!” feeling. It’s not very fun, is it??
      I do gain momentum on trips, and then I generally crash on the last day. Oh well!
      Have a great trip, by the way!

  44. I can totally see you and what would have been you and your dad had you not lost him when you did. I can see how this trip would be bittersweet at times considering that you were Scarlet’s age right before you went for the first time and how close Scarlet and Cassidy are. That makes so much sense to me now. I can remember a post you wrote about feeling invisible sometimes….I hope you feel I do, but I think I get it now. It all actually brings a tear to my eye. Such beautiful thoughts and photos.

    1. I feel invisible a lot around Cassidy and Scarlet. They have a tight bond. I have one with her too, but he’s more fun for her because he’s not around as much. He’s more fun and energetic and larger than life, and I’m often the one doting on Des. And Des naps. It’s tough, but it doesn’t always bother me.

  45. I can only imagine the feeling that you felt having lost my own dad not too long ago. I’m glad you were still able to experience it with your own kids. The memories will live on within your heart and you’ll be ok. You’re strong beautiful young woman who can do anything she puts her mind and heart to. Once again I love the photos, you always capture their emotions but would be nice to see some of you at Disney as well. I know whenever I leavea place that hold strong feelings for me I always end up crying. Did that when we left Canada after Christmas. 🙁 Here’s hoping you’re having a great week.

    1. I can’t believe people don’t cry there! I imagine many do. It’s certainly an experience I’m so glad we had. I wish we had longer or could do it over, or differently, but it was just right as is, I’ve grown to learn.

  46. I think you are a very gentle soul that feels things on a deeper level than most, and that can be both a burden and a blessing. Are you going to enjoy a sentimental moment more intensely than the next person? Yes, and what a joy that is. But are you also going to feel despair and loneliness on an amplified level? Unfortunately, yes. It’s healthy to claim and take your space when you need it. No one can bring you to the edge but you, and when you get there, you deserve to look down at your leisure and then slowly back up once you’ve regained perspective. A rainy day with your plus one as “When You Wish Upon a Star” rings in the background is a beautiful image and memory that you deserve to have, regardless of how it came to be. Sometimes it’s in our most lonely of times that our true self has the freedom to catch its breath in the midst of all the chaos that surrounds it. What a beautiful post. You know it’s good when the photos are the last thing I’m talking about!

    1. What a beautiful comment. I do feel things very deeply, but it’s hard for me to compare since I’ve only ever been me! I am grateful to be able to express it, and I’m grateful for so many supportive friends, family members and readers.
      Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  47. There are definitely places, songs, things that remind us of the hard times in life. I’m sorry that Disney has been one of those for you. Hopefully you were able to make more positive memories this time. That said, it sounds like your kids had a blast, and I have a feeling this won’t be their last trip!

    1. Thank you! And it was mostly fantastic. The last day just caught me off-guard. We have to go again! Poor Des won’t remember a single part of this trip. He slept through a lot of the fun parts.

  48. This is how I sometimes would get during the holidays. I think it’s all that anticipation and expectation, and the SUDDEN over-ness of it. I can see the same thing happening with vacations. I’m better about it now, such as not stretching out the holidays too long and looking forward to new things once it’s done. I hope your vacay still rocked! I really liked the Peter Pan ride too 🙂

    1. Oh, so much! You are so right. The holidays. Weddings – mine or family members. Big parties. Really anything big that you plan for, gives me a letdown.

  49. This was beautifully written Tamera! Its bittersweet sometimes how places, moments, and events can bring about a variety of emotions in us. It looks like Des and Scarlet had an awesome time too! I can’t wait for more Disney pics!

  50. I have to say, I have been to your blog every day this week but I haven’t commented, I’m not sure exactly how to say what I want to say. So I hope this comes out right – your ability to say things that are so personal and tortuous and hard and not pretty in such a lyrical and beautiful way is really an amazing gift. I find many times that I tear up when I’m reading what you wrote and much of it is so different from my own experience but some of those really awful underlying feelings are present for both of us and while on one hand its good to know I’m not crazy because others experience these feelings too and I’m not alone; on the other I hate that you have these awful thoughts and doubts about yourself because if you could see your presentation and the whole package of what you offer and give to the rest of us who come here and visit you, you would be able to vanquish those demons at once and be done with them for good. Those thoughts are stealing from you and you need to take it all back because you are pretty amazing.

    1. Sometimes I get a comment that I love so much, that I keep the email notification about it! Even though I can just go read it here. It’s like I need double proof that it happened. And I put those emails in a folder to read when I really need to read something like that.
      So your ability to write heart-warming comments is right up there! Thank you for coming back to say what you wanted to say. Obviously I knew nothing of you not knowing what to say so this is just a bonus.
      I think you’re right that the thoughts do steal from me. Luckily they’re not constant, but they do happen.

  51. Oh Tamara. I feel this so much. Certain places and song and smells and images bring me back, especially now as Jasper edges near the age when I lost my father. It’s surreal and I get these flashes of memories from that time. They are very vague memories which I think is what makes me sad – the fades images in my mind. And the need to withdraw in order to breathe life back in? Absolutely. PS those photos of Des are insanely cute.

    1. When Scarlet neared that age last summer, well you saw, I couldn’t stop writing about it! I really think I did ok, considering, but in some ways this trip was just as weird/hard/good as it always is to watch her grow.

  52. Tamara, I think only a secure person would allow themselves to express themselves so well. Tears okay. Feeling alone when your not is okay. Your emotions are what keep you so connected to your family. Even though you were feeling sad, I’m happy for you that you love so deeply and stay connected that way. It’s very special. Not everyone lets herself experience all that.

    1. Thank you! It’s really the only way I know…
      I appreciate you saying that, because I so often feel so crummy about myself, and it’s nice to think that loving and living deeply may sometimes cause that.

  53. My dad died when I was four years old too. I have a few anxiety issues because of it. Like not really wanting to leave my kids and go on a date out of fear that I’ll die while I’m gone. I know it sounds crazy, but our last two dates have been us leaving our kids at my mom’s house, which is three minutes away and going back home watching a movie and eating takeout. Also, I worried about my mom dying a lot when I was younger.

    1. Wow, I didn’t know that about you! I was very anxious about my mom leaving my side when I was a kid. I’m anxious about my kids going on sleepovers now. It doesn’t really happen much because they’re so young, but I know the time will come!

  54. How did I not comment on this one? Maybe I’m missing it- but had to makes sure I said something if I didn’t. Oh Tamara… we are so much alike in this way. When I am not home- I tend to lose myself and things get twisted up inside of me because I simply can’t lay them out right when I’m not in my own space…my own safe comfort zone both outside and inside. Add to that all the excitement and the emotional charge from it all- and there is bound to be a break down of sorts…

    A trickle of unraveling- if you will. And you are so right- finding yourself in your core and stringing it all together may take one moment…sometimes years to get there- but within that moment of perspective, it all comes back together and you are back. Full. Whole again.

    It’s all a constant state of in and out, peace and strife, comfort and on edge…. over and over again, we emerge more wise about who we are and our sense of things, sense of life, sense of what it all means as it all grows into something bigger.

    Life seems to do that to people like us, doesn’t it?

    1. Well you got here, didn’t you? I love the late comments. They always bring me back to the posts I wrote previously that I’ve already forgotten in my mom brain.
      That last paragraph? Really brings the life back into my lungs. It does come back together. Whole again. And it goes in and out, and I find that we grow wiser, fuller and faster than our demons do. Take that, demons!

  55. This is a beautiful post and it honestly made me a little weepy. I know that feeling of loneliness when you are outside of your element. That bittersweet feeling of belonging while not belonging at all. I am tempted to say that you are lucky to be able to see these feelings so clearly and to articulate them so well, but lucky doesn’t seem like the right adjective; I will say that I am envious of your ability though.

    1. Oh, thank you! I think if I didn’t have this ability (if I really do have it) I’d probably be medicated or something. Where would all the angst go? I shudder to think.
      I appreciate your words so much. I just read them three times!

  56. tamara, this made me misty-eyed. i’m glad you were able to find yourself and go back to living in the moment with your family. vacations bring out so many emotions in me as well. it can run the whole spectrum.

  57. This is why I love you. The way that you put your pain and your introspect and weave them into a brilliantly written post. You don’t hold back and that’s what makes you special.
    I don’t like it though that you feel this push and pull but look at you, look at your strength. You may not feel it, but I can through your words. Kids are amazing saviours and vacations are too (sometimes when you’re not trying to fend off black flies that are eating the bites that they already bit like 3 hours ago because they’re stupid…fact.)

    1. I think I had that black fly problem once. It was never repeated.
      I thank you for these words. I think if I held back, I’d be in some serious anxiety hell. Not to say I never am anyway, but it does take the edge off.

  58. So beautiful. So honest.

    A co-worker that loves to travel told me once that when she takes a trip, each one in the group, adults and kids alike, is allowed one meltdown. I loved that advice and adopted it in my family. I seriously struggle with anxiety, probably due to my mom’s unexpected death, and just knowing that I will have a meltdown at some point in a trip helps me. Then I can say, “Alright, it’s here. Let’s do it.” And then I can breathe deeper when it’s over. Is that crazy?

    Looking forward to catching up on your blog!

    1. One meltdown. I can take it! Honestly it usually amounts to that, except Cassidy never has one. I had the one at the end of the trip. Des had one on the plane so he was covered for the whole trip!
      Looking forward to having you catch up!
      And no, not crazy at all. I get it SO MUCH.

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