Wow, it’s been a minute since I have been able to add anything to any blog or social media. We are currently still without internet at home, and I have limited access at work.
Hurricane Michael came through Panama City, Mexico Beach and 7 other counties on Oct. 10th. Hitting our area as a Category 4 hurricane, we all went to bed thinking if we get hit, it will be a 2 but there is a good chance it will change course. It didn’t. I left my house with my three kids, two cats and a dog, at 4:00 a.m. and drove to my parents house about 5 miles away. My boyfriend stayed with his aunt and uncle about a mile away.
Our home has minor damages but we lost a lot of trees. My parents home has minor damage but they lost most of their trees. My boyfriend’s Uncle was not as lucky. With two pine trees falling on the back half of the house, they are down to two usable rooms. Between the two homes on the property, 20 people are living there due to losing homes in the storm.
Our town is not normal. Our schedules are not normal. Only a handful of places are open to shop and gas stations are still running out of gas. I am taking a break from this blog to help our families rebuild our lives. Maybe in the next year we can resume travel and really getting back to normal. I am just thankful that the MRE’s are packed up and I can actually cook…which for us nowadays is a lot of Crock Pot meals, since no one is home until after 6:30 p.m. every night.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas season. We are setting up our tree this weekend and trying to bring a sense of wonder and cheer for the kids. Lord knows we all need it. See you next year!
If you stop and look around, no matte what part of the country you are in, you will have the opportunity to experience different cultures. From the Deep South to the bustle of New York to California, Texas, and all the way in between, there is a pulse of a different culture. You get to experince different foods, sights, and different amazing parts of our wonderful country.
Travel on direction and see the ocean, mountains and snow. Another takes you through plains to the rolling hills and down to the desert. From the Gulf to the maple trees in Vermont, there is something to see and experience. You don’t need a passport, a lot of money or even a plan. Pack up. Drive out and see what this country has to offer.
Learn about a new culture, whether it’s tasting local seafood to the best barbecue in the country, step out of your bubble and look around. Scale the Rockies, wander through the desert, hike the Smoky Mountains, see the whales in Oregon, have fresh lobster in Maine, the list goes on.
How lucky are we to have a world at our fingertips and we can experience so much right in our own backyard.
Check out my USA Travels Board, where I can’t wait to explore in Florida and my bucket list for Weekend getaways all on Pinterest. I also have a board of places I have traveled and my favorite pictures of some of the amazing natural sights in the States. Snoop around!
Life can be so freaking hard. Like really hard. The kind of hard that makes you wonder if you will ever recover, catch a break, or be free. And it seems lately, life just keeps getting harder. It shouldn’t be this hard to just survive each day. However, sometimes it takes everything in me to just get out of bed.
I am a full time mother of three kids. I work full time. I attend classes at the local college full time. Dating? Who has the time? And lets just be honest, guys of this generations (not all but most I have found in this region anyways) still act like they are in high school.
Last night I mouse paid me a visit in my bathroom. I screamed, he screamed and we both ran in opposite directions. Sadly, I don’t think I am going to come home to a clean house or a new dress. Or dinner on the stove. Okay that was a rat, but still. I will be coming home with mouse traps, however.
Every day offers a new set of challenges. I have two starting middle school this week. Challenge 1. I have a 5th grade girl. Challenge 2. I am juggling working at a middle school, while raising middle school kids, while taking a full class load. Challenge 3. The list goes on. With each new addition to my overflowing plate, I being to think this is all impossible. How can I possible juggle football practice, school (for all of us) household chores, being a mom, working, being a daughter and hell just being a woman! It is impossible.
We must all be a little mad to be able to get through this life with a sense of humor and be able to laugh at it all. My plate runneth over. My mental capacity is reaching its limit. Exhaustion overload. The Mad Hatter may actually know a thing or two about life. Yes we are all a little mad. And yes, it is only impossible if you convince yourself that it is.
Take a few lessons from the Mad Hatter. Drink some tea, celebrate a half birthday, pull up your big girl (or big boy) panties and get to it. We can rest when we are dead.
This blog usually consists of food and travel and the occasional comments about cooking in general. Here lately, life has been so hectic that even cooking a meal that is picture worthy is a struggle. We are in the final stretches of school, so travel is on the back burner for now as well. That doesn’t mean life has stopped. It doesn’t mean that we are hiding in a hole waiting for the first glimpse of summer break.
Life is full of labels. Ones I am quite sick of seeing or being pushed onto me. #Imnoangel #plusisequal #skinnyisbetter #mediumwomenunite. The list goes on. While I am all for body positive image, being in between the Medium woman label and the Plus Size Woman label, we should all feel comfortable and happy in our own skin. Why does my body need a label? But these labels are going beyond our looks. They are stepping into our careers choices, whether it is working full time, part time , working from home or raising kids, labels are everywhere.
We are told to be individuals, be our own person, don’t let society define you. However, we are put under a label of some kind. How am I to be my own person when society is putting in box of conformity?
Why do we need a label? Why can’t we just be a uniquely, wonderfully made creature? If you were to wear your label…what would it read? Is this one that you gave yourself or one that was given to you?
I have struggled immensely with this concept this year. In the process of eating better, furthering my education, and raising three slightly difficult children on my own, being happy and content in my situation is hard. I see family members who do not have to struggle like we do, who can provide the moon and everything in between to their children, and we are saving every penny to be able to have at least one little family trip this year. I turn down purchasing items for myself or going without to ensure my children do not.
I compare my life to others and wonder how did they get it so easy? They have found love, they don’t struggle, they have nice, clean homes and pedicures. And here I am, crashing in bed by 9:15 p.m. from sheer mental and emotional exhaustion.
However, I know in my heart of hearts that I am not to compare my life to everyone else’s highlight reel. Yes we struggle. Yes life is hard. But I am trying to make the best of it. At least I can say my kids don’t feel the struggle. They are safe from the stress and the worry.
The amount of money you have, the places you can travel, the clothes hanging in your closet, are all mere items that can be whisked away at any time. There is no contentment or security of life in those items. I am learning that my happiness is what I make of it. Being content in what life throws at me and hitting right back. I’ll be damned if this season of my life defines me, or defeats me. In an instant all those things could be gone. Some families are one job away from bankrupt. I am raising kids who value the little things and cherish the vacations because they are not every day occurrences. Trips out for dinner, movies, and shopping are all treats that we savor.
Be that person who appreciates what life is and can fully live on very little. Contentment comes from within. Happiness is within your control. Don’t compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel. May your life be better than what is on Facebook. Relish in those moments when life seems to be running smoothly and fight like hell when its not.
Be happy. Not because of your situations, but because of your spirit. Today, choose happiness. Choose love. Choose grace. And above all, choose to be grateful. You’re on this side of the dirt. That alone is reason to smile.