Tag Archives: vacation

Back on track

OK, so I haven’t done a good job of writing. I still find excuses to keep from bareing my soul to the world, like doing pretty much anything else than writing. I really do think about this blog, I even think of clever things to share. But I’m usually not anywhere I can write when I do. But I know I need to write. Writing is theraputic. Writing is good for me. Writing is how I can make myself be a little more human.

I know that last thing sounded a little weird. But I really do feel that way. I can so easily close myself up here in the house and keep everything to myself. Sure, I go to work and deal with the public all day long, but I don’t share anything more than anticdotes with them. My staff knows me, and a few of my peers do. We have a small group of friends, and that’s about it. I don’t really have to go out of my way to be open to anyone other than K and the Wildman most days. But if I write, I’m forced to open myself up to anyone who bothers to read, and I feel like that makes me be a little more human.

So here I am. I’ve been working to be a better me so far this year, like I said I wanted to be back in January. I’m working hard at work to give it my all. I’m trying to have more fun. I planned a great vacation that I think we all enjoyed, even took my Mom along. We went to Universal Studios and played Wizards and Witches for 3 days in the Florida sun. I think we all needed to have fun and spend some quality time together. And I’ve made sure I’ve planned my time at work so that I get to not only spend time with the guys this summer but also get to take a week to lay in the sun and relax with my girls. Last summer two of my best girlfriends from high school and I took  a week and escaped from the rest of the world, reconnected and had a wonderful time. We’re doing it again this year. I have learned that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t expect anyone else to. And if I don’t love myself, no one else should be expected to either.image

I am going to work more on doing something meaningful for myself at least once a week, as well as doing something for the boys. Last night I had a “dinner date” with the Wildman and we talked and laughed and shared some time. It might not have meant much to him – I think he was annoyed that I won’t let him use his ipod or phone – but maybe some day he’ll appreciate it as much as I did. Tonight I’m fixing K some of his favorite food for dinner and trying to take care of some things here at home so he doesn’t have to. Not big things, but thoughtful things. Things that make me feel good to do them.

I guess my point is this – it’s a conscious decision every day to be happy, to be human, and to actively live life. Some days it is a stuggle, but I’m going to do it.


A hurricane, a cemetery and the Breakfast Club

The pineapple is a Southern symbol of “welcome”.

This week I had a wonderful treat – a visit from my best friend Trina and her hubby Larry. We had 2 1/2 days to explore the area and show them a little of what life is like in this part of the world. There’s so much to see and do in Savannah that it’s hard to know where to start, but we did our best to give them a little glimpse of everything.

We did the usual walking around down town, taking in the historic district and River St. We ate pizza at City Market, took in the sights of many of the squares, and had the best ice cream ever from Leopold’s. There is no shortage of great food here in Savannah, that’s for sure.

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The waves on Tybee Beach

An unplanned addition to our sight-seeing was watching the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The storm isn’t going to be any closer than 200 miles from here, but we enjoyed seeing the larger than usual waves on Tybee Island Beach and feeling the wind on our faces. Maybe it was having my best friend here, or maybe it was the power and beauty of the sea, but I felt more alive than I have in a while out there on the pier.

We also had to take in one of Savannah’s most beautiful and haunting sites, Bonaventure Cemetery. I love this place, even though graveyards generally give me the total creeps. The old stones and monuments have so much character, and I can’t help but wonder what the stories of the lives behind the marble and granite were. I showed Trina and Larry some of Bonaventure’s more famous inhabitants – the playful Gracie and the legendary Johnny Mercer. It was a beautiful day and we very much enjoyed our time there.

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One of the best parts of the visit was discovering The Breakfast Club, a little diner on Tybee Island that has the best breakfasts I’ve ever eaten. Trina, Larry and I ate there Thursday morning when the Wildman and Kev were in school and then we all met there again this morning before they left for home. Not only was the food wonderful, but the owners are hockey fans, so it’s a fair bet that I’ll be going back there.

It was a wonderful visit with people I love dearly. Of course it was heartbreaking when we had to say goodbye, but we had a few great days in this charming town. I can’t wait for them to come back again.


Daydream believer

[I’ve had that song stuck in my head all day so I thought I would share. You’re welcome.]

So far this week I’ve been in full-on daydream mode. Every time my mind isn’t occupied with something I have to be working on at that moment it is wandering off to somewhere else. Maybe it’s the grey, dreary weather here in Middle Tennessee that is making me long for a sunny spot. Maybe it’s the chaos and uncertainty in our lives right now that’s drawing me to a calm, relaxing place. Or maybe I’m just bored. Whatever the case, I keep going to the beach in my mind.

And not just any beach, mind you. It’s going to Holden Beach, NC. This is a lovely, quiet, family-oriented, non-commercial island just south of Wilmington and just north of Myrtle Beach.  We have vacationed there many times with my husband’s family, although it’s been a few years since we were last there. The first time I set eyes on the place I fell in love. There are no hotels or motels on the island, just beach houses, a small grocery store, and a few other little shops and businesses and rental offices. The beach is never full and the sand is soft and clean. As a bonus, the people are friendly and the seafood is delicious.

After our first vacation there, I knew I wanted to live there someday. I’m sure everyone who vacations at the beach thinks that, too, but I’m serious. There is something about the sand and the sea that speaks to me. Watching and hearing the ocean calms me like nothing else. Sitting on a porch with a glass of wine while seeing the sun set on the ocean is just about as close to paradise as I’ve ever experienced. So I’ve decided that one day, somehow, I will live on the ocean.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be Holden Beach, although that is my preference. And I don’t have to have a big fancy house. One the contrary, I think simpler would be better. I love one of the beach houses we rented years ago, the Carolina Sun. This house isn’t right on the beach like my dream house will be, but it has enough room to live in but isn’t so big it would be a hassle. And it is charming. Move this house across the street to the oceanfront, and I’d be sold.

The Carolina Sun, a charming beach home

I’m serious about all this, too. One day I will live where this is my view every afternoon:

I don’t exactly know how I’ll do it yet, but I will. That’s why I’m a daydream believer.

Now off to try to be productive…


Sometimes you just have to disconnect.

If you’ve ever read my blog, you know that we’re always going a mile a minute. This week has been no different. We’re getting into the swing of it all again: work, school, hockey, Scouts and whatever else comes along. Because we’re so busy, I depend on my computer and phone for just about everything. I know I’ve mentioned how I can’t live without my Google calendar, so when I got an Android phone it was the Best. Thing. EVER. There it all is, in the palm of my hand – email, calendar, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, the internet. Instant access no matter where I am. Now my life is fully organized, right? What could be better for an insanely busy working mom always on the go? I never have to miss a work email, Preds news update or cute picture on Facebook again!

Well, when we went on our family trip during Spring Break, all that “connected-ness” got me in a little trouble with the family. When I was checking work emails while walking around the amusement park or playing putt-putt golf, Kev got a little upset with me. (It’s all his fault since he bought the phone for me, right? He didn’t exactly agree.) Wildman would get a bit ill when I wasn’t keeping up fast enough because I was updating Twitter. So I tried to do better for the rest of the trip.

This week I read an article about “disconnecting” and it hit me like a ton of bricks – I’m going to be forced to be disconnected this weekend. I’m going to leadership training for Scouts and I am not allowed to even bring my phone. I won’t be able to text and check on the Wildman staying with Mamaw Patty or see what my nieces are posting on Facebook. I won’t be able to make sure Kev wakes up and goes to work on time. I will be completely isolated from the outside world, and I’ll tell you, it’s a bit unnerving.

I know why they prohibit our phones. It’s so that we’ll be listening more and engaging with the other people at the training. I’ll probably get to know people better than I would if I had the opportunity to be distracted. So while it’s frightening to think I won’t be able to check on everything at the swipe of a finger, it’s a little freeing to think I’ll be unfettered for a few days.

I know that it’s good for me. I know Wildman is in good hands. Kev is a big boy and will have to take care of himself. The world will keep turning even if I’m not privy to every little update. Will I wonder what’s going on with the hurricane headed toward my favorite vacation spot?

Of  course I will. But I know that I will be more focused on the experience at hand. The last camping trip Wildman and I went on with the Scouts was to Land Between the Lakes, and there was little cell coverage and even less data service. I still carried my phone in my pocket most of the time “just in case” I got a message, but for the most part I didn’t think about what was going on at home or at work and instead focused on my boy and the fun we were having. It was nice to connect him a little more and the rest of the world a little less. So yes, sometimes you have to disconnect in order to really connect with the world around you.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


My almost 2 week vacation from motherhood

(Author’s note: I actually voice-recorded this blog on my phone as I was driving to Ohio two weeks ago. I’m finally getting around to typing it up. I just had to confess that.)

I guess I should preface this by saying you never really get a break from motherhood. Sure my son was gone for almost 2 weeks, but that doesn’t mean that during those 2 weeks I never thought like a mom. Of course I did. I started thinking about school clothes, school supplies, our school-day schedules, Cub Scouts starting again in a couple of week, and how to get Wildman back into his routine when he returns home. The other things that Moms don’t really take a vacation from are being anxious about whether or not he’s fine, what’s he doing, and is he behaving himself wherever he is.

But I did get a break from the actual physical day-to-day job of being a mom because for the last two weeks Wildman has been in Ohio visiting with his grandparents, aunts and uncles. I get the privilege of sending my child away to stay with family a couple times a year, usually in July and then again during his Christmas break. This is really nice considering all of our family lives 6 hours away from us (I’m sure they would say WE live 6 hrs away from them, and I guess technically they are right). We rarely have any time when our boy is not with one or the other of us. It’s not like we can just send him to Grandma’s for the weekend or even for a night. Yes, occasionally he does get to stay with our Godchildren’s family – and that’s always very appreciated – but it’s not the same as getting to send him away for the weekend and not have to worry about him. So I look forward to these little “mom-cations” when they do happen.

Last year and again this year, his summer trip has been two weeks at a time now that he’s a little older. He gets to go up to Ohio and hang out with his cousins, get spoiled, go swimming, run around and just generally not have to listen to Mom and Dad. And on the flip side, Mom and Dad get to do adult activities for a change. We got to go out with friends after work, we tried out a new place to eat. We even went to the movies ALONE. (Full disclosure, it was Harry Potter but that’s because that’s what we wanted to see and not chosen because the Wildman chose it.) Actually, we went out to dinner twice. We spent time with our neighbor and got to talk about whatever we wanted to talk about and not worry about what little ears might hear.

It was a really nice break, and I enjoyed it – for a little while. It was great the first week. By that weekend, the house was just way too quiet. I kept thinking things like “if Wildman was here, we’d go to the library.” “If Wildman was here, we’d go to Cheekwood Botanical Garden and see the trains.” “Ooh, if Wildman was here, we’d go to Ice Day at the Nashville Zoo” – because that’s one of his favorite activities. But since he wasn’t here, I went shopping alone – which never happens! – and then I drug Kev out with me to run some errands. (I’m sure he’d rather Wildman were here so he wouldn’t have to go with me but he was a good sport and went along.)

So after a few days of quiet I was ready for my boy to be home. And so I get to drive the 6 hours back to my hometown, alone, to go fetch him. I will be very glad to have him back even though I know he’ll be rotten and he won’t want to behave and he’ll be spoiled and used to getting his way because those things tend to happen a little more when he’s with his grandparents then they do with Mom and Dad. But that’s okay because he needs that time away from Mommy and Daddy, and he needs to spend time with his extended family so that he’ll have wonderful memories and experiences of spending time with his cousins and aunts and uncles the way Kev and I did as kids. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I am picking Wildman up on this particular weekend is so that I can also attend my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary party. I’m really excited to be able to be there for this occasion because my aunt and uncle are very special to me, and my two older cousins who, while they have picked on me my entire life, were a very special part of my childhood. My mom’s family is very close, and I don’t get to spend time with them nearly often enough.

So as I said, I’m glad the Wildman gets to spend time with his cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends because that’s what being a kid is all about. And it’s an added bonus that Mommy and Daddy get a little time to just be themselves and not have to be Mommy and Daddy for just a little while.


Let’s try this again…

Hello, my name is Tammy and it’s been 42 days since I last updated my blog. That’s bad. I promise myself I’m going to do better. I don’t really have a good excuse why it has been so long other than I just haven’t made the time to do it. The end of the school year was busy, but school’s been out for a couple weeks now. We had a Cub Scout campout the first weekend of June, and then the Wildman had Cub Scout day camp the first full week of the month, but that is all past now and the calmest time of the year is finally here. Even though I don’t get a summer break like Kev and Wildman do, my life is still much simpler now.

Kev and I did have a very lovely trip to Beaufort, SC and Savannah, GA at the end of May. It was so nice to get away. Thanks so much to my mom for coming down and staying with the Wildman for us. It was much needed, and the lowcountry is amazing. I loved the trees and the old houses with their hand-made window glass. It was so peaceful and serene. It was also hot. As much as this girl loves the South, my body is still much more comfortable in a northern or midwestern climate.  Despite the heat, I really enjoyed the trip.

So now we are in the time of year that things move a little slower. Kev doesn’t have classes to go to or projects to work on. He still works at the college but only one or two days a week. Wildman is out of school so there is no homework. Cub Scouts still has some summer activities but not weekly meetings. And we’re even on a break from hockey right now. So life seems a little easier. There’s no rushing from one place to another. I can get to work early if I like and have a little more time to get things done.

I admit I’ve been lazy at home, so I’m kicking it into gear this week and getting laundry done, stocking the fridge and who knows what else. I’ve been preparing for Cub Scouts this fall as I will be the Wildman’s Wolf Cub den leader. I’m really excited about this because I really believe in Scouting and the great opportunities it provides to kids. That is something I want to concentrate on this summer. I also have made it my goal for the summer to do start a Cub Scout scrapbook for the Wildman. I have tons of scrapbook stuff and always have good intentions of making wonderful keepsakes for myself and my family, but I never seem to find the time to actually do it. This one I will do. It isn’t doing a full scrapbook, just a few spreads, and I was fortunate to get a lot of materials on sale recently so once I get photos printed I’ll be ready to go. Now to get inspired to go through the hundreds of photos we shot this year…

I’ll keep you posted. For now I’ve got a couple loads of laundry to finish while I watch the 2nd round of the NHL draft (yes, I’m that much of a hockey geek.) Have a great weekend and I WILL write again soon!


A Little Chance to Breathe

The end of the school year is always the busiest time. Kev had projects and papers, as well as end of the year work to do with his job in the lab. I’m happy to announce that he not only got everything completed, but his final grades reflected all the hard work he put in this semester. I’m very proud of his accomplishments at school, and when you consider all that he’s doing at once with work, family, coaching and then school, it’s all the more impressive.

I’ve been really busy at work lately too, which is challenging and fun. I am a workflow manager  at an advertising agency, so busy is a very good thing. If you’re interested, you can see some of the work we do here. I love working there, and while I’m not involved in the creative process I am surrounded by it every day. The drawback of being so busy is that I’m very tired when I get home. Of course, there is always more to be done and not enough time to do it. On Thursday last week I even had to leave work a little early so that I could go to the school book fair, then to Cub Scouts, then the grocery store, then home to bake cookie and make Chex mix for a fundraising bake sale at work. I guess keeping a schedule like that is one of the reasons I haven’t been very good about keeping up this blog as I would like to.

Another reason I haven’t been keeping up the blog is a lack of attention span. I wonder if my attention is shorter due to all the instant information I take in every day between Twitter and Facebook and having everything at my fingertips with my smartphone. And there is always lack of time. I get home from work around 6pm every evening, either prepare or eat dinner, go over Wildman’s homework and then try to spend a little time with the boys. Oh, and add in that spring hockey is on Wednesday and Friday evenings, and Cub Scouts is on Thursdays…well it’s no wonder I don’t have any time to write!

Enough bellyaching about all that. This has been a fun week, even though it’s be a busy one. Kev is done with classes so he gets a little more rest – which he’s really needed. The school year is winding down for Wildman, so he’s doing some fun stuff at school. And this week we also added to the family and gave Wildman some additional responsibility when we added Macy – an 8 month old Beagle puppy. We got Macy from the wonderful folks at Hickman Humane Society, and she is as sweet as can be. She’s already attached herself to Wildman, and he’s over the moon about her.

Wildman and I were supposed to go home to Ohio for my cousin’s wedding this weekend, but with gas at almost $4 a gallon I just couldn’t do it. I hate to miss an opportunity to celebrate with my family though. As much as I love living in Nashville, I do regret missing out on family events like this. So here’s a shout out to Mikey and Ally – who are about to be wed as I write this. Congrats!

I’m also planning a getaway for Kev and I next weekend – I’ll tell you all about it when we return. Mom is coming to take care of Wildman. Here’s a transcript of the conversation when I told him about the trip:

Me: Daddy and I are going to take a little trip.

WM: Am I going with you?

Me: No, you’re going to stay here. MeMe is coming to stay with you.

WM: (concerned) But who’s going to take care of me?

Me: I said MeMe was coming to take care of you.

WM: But how can she take care of me? We’re not going to be at her house.

I love how children’s minds work. I assured him that it will be alright. I’m still not sure he’s completely convinced MeMe can take care of him here at his house, but I’m sure it will all be fine.

So it will be a typical busy week, getting the house tidied up for our guest, taking care of the new family member, wrapping up Cub Scout projects and preparing for our trip. It’s a crazy life, but so far it works somehow.